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COP inc 357

Review text and images by Hacksaw.

The COP 357 was originally designed as a police off duty weapon or a backup handgun. The now defunct COP Inc. of Torrance, California, originally produced the COP, or Compact Off-Duty Police.

The 357 is basically a four shot derringer and is designed to combine the flatness of an automatic pistol with instant readiness of a revolver. It provides the ability to fire quick successive shots while it can be carried in the loaded and firing position with little chance of accidental discharge. This is due to having a heavy trigger pull. The COP has an interesting and unusual firing mechanism. The weapon has an internal hammer and the pistol has one firing pin for each barrel. As the trigger is pulled, an internal ratchet is actuated that lines up to a cocking hammer and one of the four firing pins, rather like the rotating chamber mechanism employed by revolvers (although nothing moves externally). After the trigger has travelled to the end of its stroke, the internal hammer is released, exerting force on the ratchet which in turn pushes one of the firing pins forward, igniting the primer, and firing the bullet. Each subsequent pull of the trigger causes the ratchet to line up with the next firing pin in the sequence and firing the bullet in that chamber, until the gun is out of ammunition or the shooter stops pulling the trigger.

The COP 357 has appeared in a number of films. Of course the first one to enter a gun nuts mind is "The Matrix Revolutions", where it was wielded by the beautiful Persephone (Monica Bellucci). Another screen appearance was in "Blade Runner", where it was wielded by (the not so beautiful) Leon (Brion James). An interesting fact about the Blade Runner appearance is that the prop gun was modified to fire all 4 barrels at once. Something impossible to do to either the real steel gun, or Airsoft gun without a major redesign.

Marushin - COP 357 8mm

The Marushin COP 357 is actually a very accurate replica of its real steel counterpart. The piece is compact, coming at just 140mm nose to tail, just 30mm wide and 110mm from the top of the slide to the base of the grip. It is a definite palm pistol, and can be carried with pride by any man who is not insecure about his manhood. It is also fairly light; tipping the scales at just 400 grams loaded which makes it about half the weight of the real thing. The replica is predominantly ABS, with the rear part of the gun, which houses the gas system being contained in an alloy housing of some kind, which is also shrouded in ABS. The barrels are the usual brass affair, and the rear sight / chamber release is also made of metal. The replica also shares most of the originals trademarks; the only difference I can see is on the right hand side (looking down range) where it says "Marushin Industry CO, LTD Made In Japan ASGK".

Also, as a 8mm model, the barrel sizes are fairly close to the original, so the illusion is nearly complete.

To load the COP, the chamber needs to be released. Pulling back the rear sight does this, the front section then flips open, like a shotgun, ready to be loaded. The 4 8mm BB's are then simply popped into each barrel, and the chamber is snapped shut. Gas is fed into the nozzle at the bottom of the grip. That's it, ready to fire. Oh, there is a safety, a small lever on the RHS (again looking down range), but combining the long trigger pull with the fact it needs to be used immediately "on draw" means the safety is only engaged between games. This also seems to be an addition to pacify ASGK, as I cannot discern a similar mechanism on any web image of the real thing.

It is surprising that something so cheap and cheerful can actually be so detailed.

So as a back-up it is small enough to conceal but how effective is it?

Running on AE winter (or equivalent), it trips the chrono at around 200fps, although there is a marked lack of consistency in this. But what is surprising is the range at which it kicks the BB. From a barrel of just 72mm in length, it will spit a 8mm, 0.34gram BB roughly 45 feet with a pretty level flight. Consistency again is pretty poor however, occasionally a shot goes underpowered and falls short, and none of the shots would hit a standard paper target at the extremes of range. The flight of the BB is also quite sedate; you could certainly recreate some "bullet time" moments with this gun.

On closer inspection the reason for the long range becomes apparent. These guns have massive hop rubbers, which are also used to retain the BB's in the barrel before firing. High fixed hop means heavier BB's need to be employed to compensate, which will then cause a decrease in perceived muzzle velocity. But in reality, long range shooting is not what the COP 357 is for, in Airsoft or even it's real steel use. It is for last ditch, close backup. The trigger pull is as long as the original, and in testing it seemed excessive. I did think that it would be too long to be effective in an emergency, but when the adrenaline kicks in the pull becomes surprisingly short and light…

At it's first days play with me it had to be drawn twice. In both instances my 93R was either completely out of ammo or needed reloading but there wasn't time. Relishing the thought of getting my first "kill" with the COP it was swiftly drawn. As said above, the trigger pull that seemed long and heavy was no hindrance, and I managed to empty the 4 barrels in very quick succession. Unfortunately in both incidents the result was me shouting "hit", and walking to the safe zone. But the fact I had it there was justification enough.

It's a bit of a weird weapon to have in the arsenal. Having little real tactical appeal, it probably deserves to sit in the same draw as the rubber bayonet - it is possible to get kills with it but that is probably more down to luck than the weapon.