SURVIVE MAGAZINE #16 September 2018 Translation
SURVIVE MAGAZINE is a piece of supplementary lore from airsoft maker Tokyo Marui. These articles are written in-universe to compliment the replica gun.
Tokyo Marui have been regular collaborators with Capcom in the release of replica handguns and other weapons from the franchise. In some cases this includes additional background information regarding the weapon and its users. These stories are written by the Capcom development team.
This information has been translated by REP staff member, theBatman.
There are two versions of ‘SURVIVE MAGAZINE #16’ focusing on the ALBERT.W.MODEL 01P. The first was released in JUNE 2018 and was packaged with the replica release of the Albert 01P Tokyo Marui replica. The second was released in SEPTEMBER 2018 and was given away as a promotional item at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show. The September version contains all content from the original version as well as additional lore and therefore this is the version presented in this document.
IN THE BEGINNING
Since some time has passed since the last issue (No.15), let us have a quick review.
In the first place, this article began with an e-mail from a friend. ‘You’ll get permission to cover Umbrella’s firearms.’ I took him up on his offer, and putting my family’s worries to the back of my mind, I enthusiastically made my may to the ‘Umbrella Corporation Anti-Bioweapons Development Bureau’… That was the outline of the previous article, followed by a commentary on THOR’S HAMMER and an actual live-firing report.This time, as previously announced, I will be reporting on the SAMURAI EDGE, one of the best factory customs of our time.
I cannot deny that I wrote the last article in a state of excitement, so this time I tried to be a little more reserved when conducting the interview whilst still feeling the pressure of everyone’s expectations upon me. I wish to present the full picture of this gun in as much detail as possible.
First of all, if you are at all interested in guns, you have probably heard of it. As far as I know, I cannot think of a more famous custom firearm. If I were to be so bold, I would say it was like the Buntline Special from the days when Westerns were all the rage. In order to understand how it became so famous, I cannot continue without mentioning the existence of S.T.A.R.S., but this time, the gun takes centre stage. In my analysis of why SAMURAI EDGE gained so much recognition, I concluded that it was because of the following points:
• It is a custom gun based on the popular Beretta 92FS.
• S.T.A.R.S. was the first organisation to confront bioterrorism, which has increased frequently in recent years.
• The fact it is often mentioned along with the legends of S.T.A.R.S. personnel.
That is about it. In addition to its good looks, the guns themselves are characterised by the drama that lies at the backbone of their stories. But is the gun really worthy of the drama? The question is always a controversial one. It is, after all, the UMA in the world of handguns that has never even been confirmed except in poor quality photographs. Moreover, the 92F is probably in the range of the old guard. These realities have created a controversial situation.
In this article, I will report on a gun that is unprecedented in this world. Due to limited space, I would like to focus on the latest version, the 01P. Let us see how this legend fares… I hope it will not shatter the dream… Let me begin the report.
This time, I was able to cover the latest version of the SAMURAI EDGE series, which is classified as the ‘Albert W. Model 01 P’. If you read my previous report, you may have noticed that THOR’S HAMMER is classified as ‘Albert W. Model 02’, and these are part of a structured armament system. In addition, there are also assault rifles, sub-machine guns, etc., which are issued to each member of the BSAA Special Incident Response Team as individual weapons.
At this point, I feel dizzy at the huge budget that must have been invested in the system. It is easy to imagine that previous development of THOR’S HAMMER alone must have had an enormous budget, but to think that it would also include a handgun is surprising.
First, to avoid misunderstandings, I would like to explain the background process leading up to the development. As it restructured, the United Nations imposed a number of conditions on Umbrella Corporation. One of these was that the company must be able to deploy support anywhere in the world within 24 hours of an incident occurring. This was a major challenge in the rebuilding process. This was because there was a separate clause prohibiting the retention of private organisations capable of using force. This may sound like a contradiction, but considering the circumstances of the incidents they caused, it is understandable that it would be difficult from a socially accepted point of view to allow the reconstruction without this provision. A great deal of consultation took place between Umbrella Corporation and the United Nations on this issue. Umbrella’s request was for humanitarian considerations be taken into account when asking people to go unarmed to a dangerous site. The UN’s answer was to provide armed support from the BSAA, a UN subbordinate force. Politically speaking, the UN also needed the cooperation of the Umbrella Corporation. UN forces had yet to establish the means to counter the growing complexity of B.O.W.s and were subject to severe criticism from other countries. In addition, the ballooning operating cost of the BSAA and other organisations was also a source of concern.
The fact they offered to pay the costs and provide the technology made sense, so an unprecedented step was taken for a United Nations subbordinate organisation to be stationed in the hands of one company. Since then, the Umbrella Corporation has devoted itself to expanding the equipment of the unit. I hope that this honeymoon relationship will continue for a long time…
At any rate, this cooperative framework has allowed the Umbrella Corporation to fulfil the necessary requirements for reconstruction. In order to ensure its personnel were fully equipped, special armament sets were prepared and tailored for each investigation. The benefits of this cooperative relationship were significant, as they needed to be ready to respond immediately in the field. The unit was always well stocked with ammunition and consumables, which can be supplied rapidly… but it is still an organisation with an excessive budget.
The 01P is the weapon that is always carried on the hip of every member of the unit. The other armaments are changed depending on the situation, but the handgun is carried at all times.
Here I asked a long-running question. Why do we need a handgun made of metal when modern polymer-based automatics have already been perfected? As before, the senior official in charge gave me a detailed answer. According to him, a variety of guns were tested for official adoption. (It was interesting to note that even modern automatic custom guns such as the SAI and TTI had been tested)
However, the only one that survived to the third round of testing was the SAMURAI EDGE. Why? Because the biggest challenge that plagued the modern automatic was ‘melt-resistance’.
Although it was not possible to uncover specifically what kind of chemicals were used, no matter how tough the polymer is, it is still a polymer on a molecular level. I assume that the material itself was vulnerable to certain elements. It was disconcerting to imagine the entire frame dissolving. This is another glimpse into the harshness of the environment in which the team members are placed.
There is also the question of whether the SIG P226 or the Government was submitted for the trial. We have also heard rumours that the P226 has been adopted by some Anti-B.O.W. units. Why was the Samurai Edge based on the old Beretta design?
The key to unravelling this mystery is to find out who is manufacturing the 01P. There is no doubt that it was based on the original SAMURAI EDGE. The original was made by the late gunsmith KENDO, but the 01P was designed and manufactured by Umbrella. As proof of this, a blue Umbrella shield mark is embedded in the grip.
(Incidentally, this grip is said to have been applied with a special countermeasure coating to prevent it from dissolving, but it still seems to have dissolved in an earlier test. However, the end of the trigger bar has been modified so that the gun can be fired without the grip panel. That is an elaborate piece of work.)
After listening to the explanation, I was excited to be able to see the original it was based on. I was so excited, but… too bad! The 01P has been completely redesigned and even the materials are custom-made. It is not made of commercially available metal. As a side note, this metal is patented by Umbrella Headquarters and I was only told that the main component is a derivative of stainless steel. This material is highly oxidation resistant, extremely hard, and very stable. A gun could be manufactured from this material. It was on this basis that the choice was narrowed down, and the Beretta was selected.
The name of this model, Albert W., is said to be derived from the name of the first Captain of S.T.A.R.S., Mr. Albert Wesker. He seems to have been a brilliant man who suggested the design basis for this SAMURAI EDGE, and even the manufacturing method of the special stainless steel, therefore it is regrettable that he is already deceased. Whenever he was mentioned, the face of the elderly officer in charge turned grim, and I felt that his death had a profound effect on many people.
As you can imagine with the name 01P, there are several variations. Here is a summary with images. They are provided by Umbrella Corporation and the elderly man was very generous.
FIRING MODEL DESCRIPTION
This model is the most standard of the variations, and a considerable number have been produced as standard equipment for the squad. However, unlike most mass-produced guns, there are probably less than two zeroes in terms of production numbers. Therefore, the construction of each part is elaborate and unique, and the processing of the base, which is the foundation, is also special.
The barrel is custom-made from stainless steel. The rifling has been specially dimpled to reduce resistance, which is said to improve initial velocity. The barrel length is 109mm, which is 16mm shorter than the original CQB size for easier handling. The slide is made of ultra-high tensile carbon steel, and the Brigadier slide, which was a feature of the SAMURAI EDGE, has been restored to its standard shape to reduce weight. The frame is dyed black, made from the aforementioned stainless steel, with Picatinny rails and beaver tail added from the original, but without the straight grip seen on the M9A3. These external features are remarkably similar to the original SAMURAI Edge Wesker model, which seems to be the origin for the name of this project. The internal components are all crafted from exceptionally durable stainless steel with a special lubrication coating that allows for maintenance-free operation for extended periods of time, but since special lubricants are required for maintenance, this point needs to be improved.
As for the AFPB and decocking safety, it complies with the Beretta on which it is based. This was at the request of the members, who do not carry cock-and-lock, and a safety and double action that can be carried hammer-down for operational use were listed as mandatory items. It is also interesting to note the extreme dislike of press-moulding. Press-forged parts are rarely deformed from a strong impact from the side, and they requested that the gun should be made of carved components as much as possible.
Finally, it was time for the actual shooting. I was so nervous. Am I showing my age by writing that? Since I would probably be the first civilian to fire this legendary gun, there was no way I could not be nervous.
This time, I was allowed to fire a special ammunition. There were only 8 rounds in the magazine, a little low I thought for a 9mm, but it seems the magazine comes in variations of 8, 15, and 20 rounds. The number of rounds depends on the type used, and the impact of discharge affects, and the follower spring is adjusted to prevent the rounds from dancing and causing feeding problems. There was a hint in this explanation, but I was so worried about this thing in my hand that I just let it go… I was going to get cold feet when I actually fired it.
Whilst suppressing my urge to fire it immediately, I decided to check its operation to avoid embarrassment. The trigger pull was unexpectedly light and smooth, and the tip was longer than that of a race gun, but it still fell lightly and naturally. The gun is well tuned. In double-action, the Beretta’s distinctive touch is overshadowed by the extremely even resistance that continues and grows just before the drop. This makes it easier to get the timing right, I think. I have heard it said that a well-made trigger pull is like gliding over glass, but in recent years I have rarely seen a gun with that kind of precision. The Glock and M&P both have composite trigger and trigger safeties. It is the epitome of function first, rationalism second. In such a historical context, the trigger pull of this gun is no longer out of place, but a reminder of lost technology.
The magazine, which holds eight special rounds of ammunition, is slammed into the magazine and the slide is pulled back, giving the magazine a rough insertion feel as opposed to the trigger. It looks like a lot of clearance was taken. And the slide pull… it is not heavy, it is hard! It is so hard it makes you wonder what is wrong with it! A very strong recoil spring is used. At times like this, you must bring the gun up to your chest and use your pectoral muscles to pull at once. Now it is time…
The actual distance is about 15 metres.
I aim at the target with combat sighting. I pull the trigger at once, careful not to tense up. This is the way it is done these days. A muzzle flare like a fireball appears in front of me, and I felt a shock that stung my palm. I was honestly surprised by this first shot. The impact was more than that of a 10mm caliber. This is amazing!
It was the complete opposite of THOR’S HAMMER, and the word ‘juggernaut’ is decidedly appropriate. I was completely bewildered and frightened. This round, at 9mm, is said to have nearly 200 grains. A standard 9mm round is around 120 grains, and even a 100m round is one of the heaviest. Since it is launched at around 1300ft/s, it surpasses the 357 Magnum in simple joule calculations. The rounds used are comprised of an ultra-heavy, highly durable core material with a slightly softer alloy, and is specially designed to provide both stopping power and penetration. This is combined with a special powder that contains an additive that speeds up the rate of combustion to achieve the aforementioned specifications.
It is said to be the same standard rounds used by the members all the time, but the detailed specifications of the ammunition cannot be disclosed, and the composition itself seems to be a mass of secrets. It is said to be a material that will be used for armour-piercing bullets for MBTs, but it is not something that can be distributed to the general public. The material is also expected to be used in rounds that contain special chemicals and even moulded explosive ammunition.
However, the recoil was tough on this author, who had only brought along a pair of cheap mechanics gloves and only possessed amateur training. I managed to get the first shot into place, but after the second and third shots, I could barely hit it inside the target paper. Not wanting to end it like this, I changed by firing technique. I slowly squeezed the trigger in the traditional style. Because I felt this was a better fit for me, instead of holding the gun in the centre of my body, I extended my right hand and held it like a stock, while my left hand provided support. Then I managed to hit the target. I slowly worked my way through the remaining rounds and crawled my way through the magazine. I do not know how accurate it was with only one magazine, so I would like to present it as a simple impression.
LIVE FIRING GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
In a word, the accuracy of this gun is ‘extraordinary’.
I felt that 15 metres was too close a distance considering the accuracy of this gun., after all, the last four shots were almost in one hole. However, the accuracy here is not just about the accuracy of the hits, but also the unusual smoothness of the overall movement. It is like an overhauled SIG210, a hard, highly accurate piece of machinery that operates without any resistance. That is why I was a little concerned that the strong recoil of the first bullet might affect the precision machine.
As I continued to fire two or three rounds, I started to get the hang of it. It was not that I was too used to the high grip of the Glock, but it is the same feeling I had when so-called pistols were made of copper. When I first shot the CZ75, which I had always wanted to own, I was taken aback by how ordinary it was, but the more I shot it, the more I fell in love with its unique ease of firing. This is similar to that feeling.
The metal frame does not soften the recoil but transmits it directly. Speaking of which, I recalled to myself that I had not shot my 1911 recently. When shooting the Government, I naturally held it in a Weaver stance. The recoil of the .45 caliber is too heavy for me, and I cannot fight the recoil even if I lower my foot halfway in an Isosceles stance.
With so much precision, was there any problem with environmental adaptability? Would it be more environmentally compatible if the overall design were a little rougher? I was not able put this question to him directly, but during whole process the officer in charge kept repeating the word ‘multifunction’. It is not surprising, considering the purpose of use, that this should be the case, still… it is simply hard to believe that it is compatible with this accuracy. This is a gun designed with great care and attention to detail. If some measures are taken, it would be difficult to find any flaws in this gun.
In recent years, polymer autos have always been compared in terms of how they are better than Glocks. However, the SAMURAI EDGE retains the characteristics of the days when guns were made from steel and each one had its own strong individuality. I understood from my own experience that the SAMURAI EDGE is not a gun that overwhelms you with rapid fire, but a gun that accurately hits the critical target and cuts you down with a single shot. This is a very special model and a professional tool.
Another point is their commitment to ‘operational guarantee’. In the face of bioterrorism, members will fight a B.O.W. at a distance of less than one metre if necessary. This moment they intersect, this distance can mean the difference between life and death. A malfunction is a problem that can lead directly to death.
Until this interview, I had imagined the gun to be a sword forged to be held by a samurai, who were the members of the B.S.A.A. However, after live firing, that image has changed dramatically. It silently endures any environment, and when necessary, finishes the job like a single sword with minimal action. I understood now that the name ‘samurai’ referred to the gun itself. The legendary gun undoubtedly existed and was as good as the legends said it was. To be honest, I was afraid that I would have to put a damper on that legend, but I am pleased to say that my fears were unfounded, and I can write about it without any concerns. At the same time, I cannot say the Glock is a masterpiece because the SAMURAI EDGE contains all the elements a gun should have. So, I would like to say it compares to the 01P… but unfortunately there is no one who can sympathise with me. The appearance of the ‘Samurai’ who is both silent and fierce in the face of adversity is likely to blur other guns for some time.