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1 49637 14/1/07
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100% of reviewers £37.00 8.0





Description: The Double Eagle M81 USP Auto Electric Pistol (AEP), sometimes known as a Mini Auto-Electric Gun (MAEG). Internally a Chinese clone of the Marui Glock 18C but with metal slide and USP style grip and frame. Non-blowback and features both semi-automatic and fully-automatic firing modes.
Keywords: de m81 usp aep maeg pistol handgun hk h&k double
Homepage/URL: N/A
Is it tea break yet?
Posts: 4
Registered: September 2006
Location: Yo mama


Is it tea break yet?

Registered: September 2006
Location: Yo mama
Posts: 4,932
Review Date: 14/1/07 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £37.00 | Rating: 8 

Positive aspects of the product (pros): High quality metal slide (as well as other parts), plastic but very solid grip, large capacity NiMH battery and good stock shooting performance.
Cons: Paint can easily come off some metal parts, will possibly need some minor upgrades to get top level skirmishing performance

Review of the Double Eagle M81 USP Auto Electric Pistol

To begin with, I would like to quickly run through why I decided to go for this pistol as my choice of backup weapon over one of the more popular pistols amongst the wide range of GBB side arms out there. Relatively speaking I am still very green around the gills within the world of Airsoft, however last October I bought my first AEG and ever since then have been slowly reading up on things and researching products, building my first full load out as I go. Recently I got to the stage where all the real necessities had been covered and decided it was time to look in to getting myself a secondary weapon. There are of course many options available, some go for SMGs or Spring shotguns such as the Marui MP5k or SPAS-12, however the large majority of people will, when thinking backup, think handgun.

With this in mind I began looking at the different pistol options available, and with the relatively recent introduction of the AEP design by TM (and subsequent clones by at least 3 other Chinese manufacturers) I produced the following list.

1. Auto Electric Pistols (AEPs) vs. Gas Blow Backs (GBBs)

Advantages over a GBB:
  • Generally cheaper to buy (particularly if you opt for a clone).
  • Can quite easily be upgraded to decent GBB performance standards.
  • Almost non-existent running costs, pretty much all you need to do is charge the battery, forget cans of gas and tons of lubrication.
  • This of course also means far less overall maintenance.
  • Almost totally unaffected by lower temperatures, as long as it doesnít drop below 5 Celsius youíre fine, and even then you just suffer a slight rate of fire degradation due to the battery getting cold.

Dis-advantages compared to a GBB:
  • GBBs generally include more metal and are slightly higher in terms of quality.
  • There are far fewer models/accessories/upgrades available currently for AEPs, at this point there are only 6 weapons total available, and 2 of those are clones of Marui guns which already exist, though this will of course change however.
  • You do lose a lot of the realism factor, the slides cannot be racked back and do no move while firing, the magazines can seem quite odd looking until you get used to them, and obviously they sound more like an AEG than anything else.

2. Real USP vs. Airsoft Version

The real USP (or Universal Self-loading Pistol translated from the original German) is produced by world renowned weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch. It comes in various calibres including 9mm, .40, .45 and .457. With a few minor alterations it is issued in itsí 9mm variant as standard under the designation P8 to the German armed forces. It has proven a popular handgun not just within the Bundeswehr but also bought by many civilian and also US military users due to it being lighter and more compact than the Mk23 SOCOM, which is sort of itsí bigger brother using .45 ACP rounds only.

The Airsoft versions we have here would appear to be based loosely on the USP .45 Tactical, firstly in that it is a relatively large sized pistol (slightly bigger than an average Beretta 92 but also smaller than the Mk23) and secondly because it features the screw adapter protruding from the front of the slide to which suppressors can be attached; that said however the base of the grip is modelled more around the standard .45 or 9mm version without the extra material sticking out of the magazine as seen on the Tactical. Also the front portion of the trigger guard is roughly parallel to the front edge of the grip, unlike the curved trigger guard seen on the popular Compact variant.

3. Whatís in the Box, a Quick Run Down

-Double Eagle M81 USP Auto Electric Pistol
-1 Magazine for pistol
-1 Battery for pistol
-Dummy suppressor for attachment to pistol
-Pistol magazine style quick loader tool
-Small bag of ~200 bbís
-230v Charger
-Adaptor to attach battery to supplied charger
-Operation Manual

4. Comments on, and Images of Packaging, Pistol and Extras Supplied

(a) Packaging



Mine arrived a tiny bit battered just on the top cover, although the damage was very minimal and in no way near compromising the integrity of the packaging and a million miles of damaging the contents. It consists of two tightly cardboard halves with moulded expanded polystyrene insert to hold the weapon/bits, an improvement over many weapons packing; even my £300 CA rifle was just the polystyrene and loosely fitted cardboard cover.

The front features imagery which again appears to be copied from the TM AEP boxes and is slightly shiny black, the back piece is again plain gloss black. The insert is well moulded and holds all the pieces very well with little to no movement and even includes a little bag of silica gel balls to absorb any moisture next to the exposed metal parts of the charger plug, which perhaps seems slight overkill to me but nice none the less.

Please be aware at this point I have had the pistol for about a week at the time of publishing this review so there will be some slight wear present that was of course not there when it arrived on my door mat.

(b ) Parts of the Weapon Itself (In no Particular Order)

(i) Slide

Right and inside:




One often highlighted feature of this USP is that, unlike the other AEPs around at the moment, it comes with a fully metal slide. This is absolutely one of the first things youíre going to notice when you take it out the box, and I have to say it certainly impressed me. The metal is of a very high quality, certainly not thin thatís for sure. There are no casting lines what-so-ever, this is one extremely solid piece of metal. Not sure what kind of metal since it isnít magnetic, but definitely good quality.

It is also worth noting that it is not in fact painted, other than the trades and the white highlights on the sighting system there is nothing to possibly be scratched. The surface is totally smooth and free from any noticeable imperfections in the metal in terms of either texture or colouring. When you remove it the inside does vary a bit colour wise but no one is ever going to see this of course.

In function terms it is more a cover than anything since it is fixed in place and does not move, serving to hide and protect the barrel, battery compartment, gearbox and other internal parts. This is a feature many GBB fans will no doubt miss, but the price of not having to use gas is that you need basically all the same parts an AEG has, but miniaturised to fit in to a weapon the size of a pistol, hence thereís no space left for the slide to move backwards and forwards.

(ii) Trademarks


As with basically all clones Iíve seen, one thing you do basically have to accept is that there will be either no trademarks at all, or they will be as far from the real thing as you can pretty much get. In the case of this pistol you lose the H&K markings on both the grip and slide, and instead have some blank areas on the lower end of the grip, which isnít too bad. However you then get Double Eagle logo (bearable) and ďUses 6mm BB BulletĒ on the slide, which isnít so great. Personally Iím looking at spraying the entire slide, which is easy to do since anyone with half a brain cell can take it off and itís not attached to anything you wouldnít want to get paint on, so no danger there. Do be aware however if you do those you will lose the white highlighted areas on the sights and will probably want to at least replace the dot on the forward post.

(iii) Flash Hider


Unfortunately made of not terribly thick plastic, but still surprisingly stable. Features an anti-clockwise 14mm thread for mounting the supplied suppressor and presumably any other appropriate after market suppressor you might wish to use, which would be a better alternative if you want some actual noise reduction (although it wouldnít make much difference with this AEP). Also worth noting is the fact the inner barrel does not protrude in to the flash hider.

(iv) Sights





Top of the slide:


Simple but effective, you line the white dot on the front post up with the white U shape painted around the inner edges of the (again a sort of squared of ĎUí shaped) rear sight. Iím not sure how realistic these are to the real ones but Iíd imagine theyíre not far off. However you cannot remove these sights and replace them with others, for example dedicated night use versions with brighter highlighting; that said however the white is extremely bright and clean and provides a very contrast with any background and is comfortable to aim with.

(v) Hammer


Serves as the release/retention mechanism for the slide, but other than that does nothing. Made of decent metal and painted in perhaps slightly easy to scratch black, you simply need to pull it back slightly to enable the removal of the slide by lifting said slide up slightly, then pushing towards the front of the gun over the piston assembly, hop unit and outer barrel.

(vi) Thumb Safety (at least I think thatís what it is)


Not sure what this does on the real steel USP the (Iíd guess either part of the safety or to do with stripping the gun), however for the AEP version there was evidently no use for it so instead you have a piece of the same metal used to make the hammer just bolted on the outside for realism purposes, again coated in the same slightly temperamental black paint. There is a little bit of play in it up and down but itís so incredibly minor youíre never going to notice, and I suspect tightening the screw would fix this anyway.

(vii) Fire Mode Selector


Works slightly differently to the real thing in that it switches the pistol between semi and fully automatic firing modes, rather than the ĎSafeí and ĎDecockí positions on the real one. Itís again made of the same metal as the hammer and has a satisfying click in to place when you switch it over from one mode to the other. One white dot for semi and 3 for auto, the dots are quite bright so you should be able to see them ok in the dark.

(viii) Trigger

The trigger is yet another metal part of the same stuff as the hammer and painted black. Itís nicely curved and fits well to the end of your finger while being just angular enough to not slip. Trigger pull as you would expect is quite light but fortunately not so light it goes swinging in the breeze shootings BBís in to your mateís eyes, so overall Iíd say Iím quite happy with it.

(ix) Magazine Release Catch





Hopefully the last piece Iíll have to talk about being made of the same metal as the hammer. As with the real steel this release catch is ambidextrous with small areas of stepped metal protruding out from just underneath the trigger guard on either side at the point it meets the grip, you simply push down on one of these sides with the thumb on the hand holding the grip and the magazine slides out. Mine was quite stiff at first but I took the magazine out and re-inserted it quite a few times just for sort of practice and this loosened it to a more reasonable level.

It does wobble a little bit to the sides but again this isnít a part youíll be holding and itís far from significant Ďloosenessí so Iím not going to worry about it.

(x) Handgrip/Frame/Trigger Guard

Front of grip and trigger guard:


Back of grip:


All one solid piece of plastic and very sturdy, no flimsy bits on any area of the frame (even with the slide removed) and the plastic on the trigger guard is quite thick and certainly wonít go breaking any time soon. Itís a completely jet black colour which is always nice, the texturing on the sides, as well as the stepping on the front and back of the grip, seem authentic to the real steel and hence give a very firm hold in the hand.

I feel I should point out though that if youíve got particularly tiny hands you may find the size of this thing a bit much. Mine are about average size so it feels quite large and substantial in my grip which is good, and for those with big plates it should work very well, giving you a good size without the ridiculous volume of a Desert Eagle.

(xi) Safety Catch

Located on the right hand side of the frame about half way along where the real steel has its' slide release and take down pin; the down position is safe, push it up and youíre ready to go. It is rather sticky about 2/3 the way up and youíre going to have trouble switching it over quickly, especially with gloves on, but I suppose from a safety aspect this is a good thing.

(xii) Inner Barrel


From what I can tell appears to be made of brass (the step up from the shoddy aluminium inners that come on many earlier clones) and fits all my BBís down it just fine. I havenít stuck the cleaning rod in to it yet to see whether thereís any dirt in there or whatever but from the time Iíve had firing it at targets the shots all came out at a consistent looking speed without any unusual deviations and accuracy was as youíd expect. It is however quite short of course, so donít go thinking youíll be sniping people off with this thing even if you did upgrade for longer range, accuracy wise itís fine, but still 'just a pistol'.

(xiii) Hop-Up Adjuster


The hop up adjustment wheel can be found by removing the slide, on the left hand side just behind the beginning of the inner barrel. In total it rotates about 180 degrees, and as expected about half way is the optimum. Itís good in that you can adjust it very easily in quite small increments and yet itís just tight enough that it wonít go turning around for no reason on itsí own accord, do be aware with it being quite loose however that it would be easy to knock it out of alignment again with your finger if you rushed.

(xiv) General Insides

Right side:


Left side:


The battery is stored in the space underneath the inner barrel and is removed with the flick of a hinged plastic flap which pushes it up and out of itsí slot. This can very stiff at first as if it would break if you pushed too hard but thereís actually no need to worry, just takes a bit of force to get the battery out the first time.

The outer barrel as first doesnít serve to have much purpose, but I would imagine that it does strengthen and reinforce the mounting of the flash hider to quite a large extent, especially with the slide removed, as without it I imagine pushing the suppressor on a bit hard would simply break the threaded part clean off.

(c ) Extra Components

(i) Magazine

Rear (this side will be facing towards you once loaded in to the pistol):




Made of very solid metal the supplied magazine is double stacking and holds 27 rounds. It feeds very well and so far Iíve had two instances where the pistol did not fire a round out of 100 shots total fired on semi-auto. Granted they donít look as good as GBB mags but they are also nice and slim so you would be able to comfortably get 3 of these in a standard pistol pouch, dramatically increasing the amount of ammo you can carry within very small space on your load carrying equipment. They slide smoothly in and out of the gun and click in place securely.

(ii) Battery


I was very pleasantly surprised when looking at the battery supplied with this pistol I must say, the TM AEPs come with a mere 150mAh battery where is this is almost 3x that, and a NiMH rather than NiCD to boot, meaning far less worries about discharging.

(iii) Suppressor


First thing to emphasise, although I did mention it earlier, is that this is a purely cosmetic item, it is essentially a hollow out plastic tube and contains no foam so the noise level the gun makes will remain basically the same whether this is attached or not, if you want to use it then do so in mind that it just changes the look a bit.

The plastic it is made of is of an acceptable quality and provided you donít bash it about it will be fine, there were a few scuff type marks on mine when I got it and the plastic is possibly a bit shinier than I would like so I intend to give it a quick spray of black paint. However, considering you pay no extra for this I can forgive itsí shortcomings in that itís nice to be able to have the option of the suppressed aesthetic.

(iv) Charger/Charger Adaptor

Primary Charger:


Adaptor to fit to battery:


The mains charger is one item I would say lets the package down slightly in that as you can see itís a European rounded 2 pin style plug which is no good for either US or UK wall sockets, so firstly youíre going to need an adaptor. Also, it takes ~-230v input, which again is fine for the UK, but does mean any US based players are going to need an transformer as well, although some sort of transformer with plug adaptor designed for use on mainland Europe would obviously be the best choice.

Overall though, once youíve got your plugs sorted, it charges the battery, nothing to complain or compliment particularly.

(v) Pistol Magazine Sized Speed Loader


Now this is an odd thing, because having tried I can never get it to feed more than about 3 BBís in to the magazine. My King Arms M16 magazine style speed loader however works a treat, you hold it sideways to the pistol mag and as long as you keep a firm grip on the two and keep them together it will feed in the vast majority of the 27 round capacity, maybe a few nearer the end you might have to push in by hand. This pistol mag style loader however just doesnít seem to have the strength required in itsí mechanism and simply pushes itself away from the slot the BBís are meant to be going in to, spraying spare ammo all over the place.

Iím sure it work just fine for a normal AEG mag since it canít possibly slip then, it seems to hold about 100 rounds so could fill a mid-cap, but really

(vi) Cleaning Rod and Alan Key

The cleaning rod is exactly the same as any other grey plastic cleaning rod youíll have ever seen or used, angled at one end and slit in the other for putting a small rectangle of cloth through. Nice to have as a backup, but since an AEG rod can be used on the USP and the USP rod wouldnít be long enough for anything other than a pistol I wouldnít bother taking it along to a skirmish.

The Alan key supplied is nothing out of the ordinary and made of average looking metal, apparently designed to adjust this Alan nut:


Why however, I donít know, as the manual doesnít elaborate. Take note though that isnít rust on the nut, it seems to be just a bit of excess glue left over from manufacture or something since itís smooth and doesnít rub off, not a problem.

(vii) Small Bag of BBís

Average white 0.2s, about ~200 of them. Problem is some of them are horribly deformed, not that many of them fortunately, but unless you can be bothered to sift through the whole lot Iíd just bin them.

(viii) Manual


(Apologies about the flash on this one)

Covers all the basics and safety precautions youíd want and probably already know, but then most Airsoft manuals do that anyway.

5. Basic Shooting Performance

A commonly heard phrase on Airsoft forums is the ancient philosophy of ďyou get what you pay forĒ, and I can quite honestly say that what youíve paid for is a very fine piece of kit.
Basically, at this point in time I will quickly summarise to say it shoots very well stock. This was the first time Iíd fired any sort of pistol other than maybe 5 shots out of an ancient M9 springer and I could 70-80% of the time hit the 5-10 score areas on a standard size target from about 10m away. I unfortunately donít own a Chronometer to measure FPS at the moment, but I did fire off a few magazines in comparison to my CA M15A4 and my untrained eye didnít notice a significant difference, they certainly donít fly slowly Iíll say that.
Range wise youíre probably looking at something like 25-30m maximum to hit a human sized target that doesnít have much cover, although this of course is largely down to the short barrel length, but at the end of the day at close combat ranges (and if you spray enough shots in an emergency long range confrontation) where youíll mainly be using it the accuracy is more than enough to hit small bits of people sticking out from cover. In terms of Rate of Fire, again I donít have an accurate measurement just yet, but considering the fact hi-cap mags for this weapon donít exist yet and might not ever be made, full auto mode on this weapon (if you must use it) should be kept to short bursts only, since during my testing I estimated it would have taken maybe 4 seconds (probably less but better to under than over estimate itsí capability) to fire off 27 shots.

6. Usefulness when Skirmishing

Update: Just had my first skirmish yesterday so a quick report on performance. Range wise, whit this gun as stock, you will definitely get out shot by an average TM/CA AEG since the BB's drop quite sharply after about 20m (though aiming up for drop shots does work), however once people get in a bit closer than maximum 328FPS distance this thing works great. I don't think I scored any kills with it but then again I'm not sure I scored any with my M15 either so that's down to me not the weapon.

I did draw it a few times for clearing rooms and structures with my rifle hanging from my sling on my front and it worked very well for that seeing as I could keep the barrel up and ready to go at all times, whereas with an M4 length weapon I would have had to lower it to get round some corners. Do be aware that particularly with the kind of ambidextrous holster on this pistol you will occasionally lose magazines when holstering, and a small black stick amongst thick mud can be very hard to find, especially if you've emptied the magazine and there's no white BB's to contrast against the ground, so be aware of this and check every thing's secure when holstering.


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