Mid Price Reviews

The Middle Priced AEG Buyer's Guide
« on: May 08, 2007, 07:54:04 pm »

Hey all, sorry it took so long, but here's the Low Cost AEG guide re-released for your viewing pleasure. Mods, please feel free to sticky this again. If you have mini-reviews that you would like to see added to the guide, please feel free to let me know via PM or in this thread, and I'll edit and add them in when I have time. A further note; this guide is not my work, and I claim no credit for it; I'm doing this as a favor to another member, and because I do know a lot about the recent ACM's that have been released.

For the record, to stave off the otherwise inevitable comments about how this looks the same as the previous guide, let me refer you to this comment made by the original author:

""I am really getting pissed with these forums. I truly am. And it is all because of this *** thread. If someone does not give me a good reason, I have the mind to just delete all of this and end the madness. Let the n00bs do their own *** research.

I don't want this to be some sort of MPEG bible for people. It was originally intended to give people a general idea of the clones coming out and what their strengths and weaknesses were. You know, just summarize what the general consensus of the gun was for people who are too lazy to do the research themselves. I thought that it would possibly cut down on the number of "which MPEG should I get?" threads.

This thread now has nearly 55,000 views, and everything I write seems to be taken as absolute fact, like I own every single one of these guns and have a perfect idea of the capabilities of each one. To tell the truth, I have experience with not even half the guns I write about. I just read a hell of a lot about each gun that comes out and try to summarize the info I get into something easy to read, that will give a newb enough info to tell if he wants to buy the gun or not.

I am tired of the pressure that comes with being the author of this thread, and I really don't have time now to update it as much as people want. I've been wanting to do this for a while, seeing as I have been getting out of airsoft for the most part. So unless someone wants to take over this thread and start updating it themselves (CrimsonFalcon, for instance), it dies."

So, I agreed to repost it, rather than have this great thread deleted, and take on the responsibility of dealing with the stupid noob questions, as I already answer a ton of those about sniper rifles. My reposting it does not mean that I WILL answer stupid questions, and for those of you that want to comment about how it's the same, or flame me for not giving the original author credit for the work, I have one word for you: DON'T.

Because I think this thread is a great resource, I've taken over; that does not mean that I'm the guru of ACM's, nor does it mean that you should PM me constantly asking when I will update it. I will update it in due course. The major reason this is up under my name now is because otherwise, it would be gone permanently. Please keep that in mind before you make any comments.

Without further ado, the guide:

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past year, you probably know about a new airsoft paradigm called low-cost AEGs. These guns sport metal gearboxes and cost 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a true AEG, while giving close to the same performance and upgradability as their true AEG brothers. All of these new guns are clones of Tokyo Marui AEGs, and they have been getting better and better to the point where it is now hard to tell whether a clone is a Tokyo Marui or not.

This craze all started with a gun called the UTG MP5, which made its appearance in the Summer of 2005. Previous attempts to create a low-cost gun with a metal gearbox hadn’t done to well, as seen in the Panther Arms A-15 and Academy L85, both of which had too many problems for them to be practical. The UTG MP5 offered a good, reliable platform for an AEG for almost 1/3 the price of it’s Tokyo Marui brother. Since then, Well, Double Eagle, CYMA, and others have created other low-cost AEGs that are quickly approaching the quality of Tokyo Marui and others. It is necessary to note that these low-cost AEGs are not of the same quality as Tokyo Marui, CA, ICS, etc. What they have in performance and build they lack in quality control and durability. Do not expect these guns to last the same length of time as a normal AEG, nor be able to take the same amount of upgrades.

One of the absolute BEST things you can do to your low-cost AEG is to re-shim it. Almost every single manufacturer of these guns nowadays just stick a .3mm shim or two on each side of every gear (the exception being AIM), causing lots of wear on the gears and early failure of the gearbox. This is seen in a UTG MP5 gearbox that I recently worked with that had seen less than 1,000 rounds put through it yet already had 2 teeth on the Spur Gear broken off. Re-shimming of the gearbox should increase the life of a low-cost AEG exponentially, and a gun that may have failed at 10,000 shots would now fail at 20,000 or 30,000, depending on the quality of the rest of the gearbox. NOTE: Some newer low-cost AEGs do not need to be re-shimmed, but all of the older models should be.

I also recommend cleaning off all the grease used in the gearbox and replacing it with white lithium grease and silicon grease. Grease is almost always overused (although sometimes underused) in these new guns and is of poor quality, congregating on gear shafts and slowing down RoF slightly. Re-greasing your gearbox will give you better compression and less wear on the gears. All you have to do is apply grease anywhere where friction occurs (such as where the gears mesh, inside the cylinder and on the piston head, on the piston teeth, etc). Bottles of white lithium grease can be found at your local hardware store for less than $6 and will probably last you a while. Silicon-based cylinder grease can sometimes be found in hardware stores, although I recommend buying aftermarket cylinder grease so it is assured that there are no petroleum products in the grease which will deteriorate the O-ring on the piston head and cause poor compression over time.

Another very good idea when you purchase a low-cost AEG is to buy an aftermarket battery pack. Batteries that come with clones are generally low quality (with a few exceptions) and give the guns a low rate of fire and don't last for as many shots as they should. I recommend buying batteries from a site dedicated to battery packs, such as www.cheapbatterypacks.com (which I have purchased at least ten packs from with excellent service). Ni-Mh cells are your best bet, since they offer better capacity than Sanyo Ni-Cd cells and also give better performance and don't need to be discharged. Li-Po batteries could be used, but I only recommend experienced airsofters to consider purchasing them, since the only real choices for airsoft are 7.4v and 11.1v, of which the former is generally too low powered for most guns and the latter puts a lot of stress on the internals of the gun. Cells I generally recommend are Intellect and Elite cells, which both have excellent capacities (generally more than stated by about 100 mAh) and high drain rates while remaining quite inexpensive.

BRANDS:

There are many brands of ACMs out right now. Each brand has their own strengths and weaknesses. Here is a list of all the known ACM brands:

WELL - The maker of the first low-cost AEG, WELL guns are generally the poorest quality ACMs. Almost all of their guns use 6.2mm bushings and shoot well below what other guns of similar cost shoot. They use plastic bodies, and generally aren't as good as other choices.

Double Eagle - Double Eagle guns are a mixed bunch, with some really good and really bad models. They have definitely been improving, and now produce some of the best ACMs on the market. Older DE products should probably be avoided. They are some of the leading pioneers in cheap AEGs, and have come out with some interesting designs such as an original AEP and a clone of the v7 gearbox.

CYMA - CYMA produces some of the best (if not THE best) cheap AEGs. Featuring externals and performance comparable to Tokyo Mauri and great reliability, their products are greatly anticipated and well thought of. Their first guns, the CM027 and CM028, changed the way people think about low-cost AEGs.

AIM - A Taiwanese company, AIM guns are generally better quality and more expensive than other low-cost AEGs. They currently only have one product out, but are producing a wide variety of other guns that should be interesting to compare to other models.

Jing-Gong - Although the release of their first ACM was shaky to say the least, JG has improved their product line tremendously to produce some of the best quality ACMs on the market, along with CYMA. Featuring amazing externals and internals, sometimes better quality than even Tokyo Marui, at great prices, and shooting harder than some of the highest quality AEGs on the market, JG is up there with CYMA as one of the highest-quality producers of low-cost AEGs. They generally shoot harder than most stock AEGs (even high end ones).

Both Elephant - Although not as high of quality of other low-cost AEGs, both internally and externally, Both Elephant guns are generally of unique design and are very cheap. Their guns are perfect for projects, wall-hangers, or someone who wants a decent gun for not much money.

A&K - Not much is known about A&K, other than that their manufacturing capacity is far less than other ACM companies. They currently make an entire line of armalites, all of good quality.

D-Boys - Originally Boyi, D-Boys produces a few armalites, including an M4 and a CASV.

Kart - It is unknown whether Kart is its own company or working with CYMA or Double Eagle, but their first release, an M14, was almost immediately outclassed by the release of the Double Eagle version, which was both cheaper and better. They then released a v2 of their M14, which was re-branded by UTG and is very well thought of. They are currently in the process of developing more AEGs.

Bell - Makers of G3s, they design their guns with full metal bodies which are a clamshell design, making them non-compatible with aftermarket parts. Their guns are generally of lower quality.

Galaxy - Currently the manufaturer of one AEG, the MP5k, Galaxy is generally new but already well thought of as another quality clone manufacturer, easily competing with the best of the other clones.

NOTE: UTG DOES NOT MAKE THEIR OWN GUNS! THEY RE-BRAND PRODUCTS FROM CHINA AND ADD A WARRANTY AND ACCESSORIES!

NOTE: Echo 1 ALSO DOES NOT MAKE THEIR OWN GUNS! THEY RE-BRAND PRODUCTS FROM Jing Gong AND ADD A WARRANTY AND ACCESSORIES!

For more info, see here: http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=19484.0

KEY:
Power: The FPS most guns shoot at (with .2g bbs)
Actual: SgtWiltan's actual chrono results (with .2g bbs)
Range: The maximum effective engagement range (the max range you could hit someone if aiming).
Accessories: Everything the gun comes with
Compatible: Is the gun compatible with Mauri magazines?
Gearbox: What gearbox version is it?
Price: What the gun usually costs on the internet

Description: A quick description of the gun to give a new airsofter a good idea of how the gun is.

Suggested Upgrades: Upgrades needed to bring the gun up to snuff with its $300 counterparts (performance-wise).

Reviews: One or more reviews of the gun

Overall: The overall thoughts on the gun. Sorted best to worst:
Grin = Truly exceptional gun for the price, almost no problems
Cheesy = Very solid gun, overall is great but nothing truly exceptional
Cool = Pretty good, has a few minor problems but nothing that can't be fixed
Smiley = Fairly average clone
Tongue = Slightly below average, has enough problems to cause some serious problems
Sad = Below average, needs some serious work out of the box
Angry = Very bad gun, better find a better alternative
Cry = Pretty much terrible all-around, avoid at all costs

QUICK PICKS:

CQB: New JG MP5 Series, JG Spetz
WOODLAND: JG Armalites, CM031, DE M14

MP5: New JG MP5 Series
ARMALITE: JG Armalite Series (D-Boys M4 if you are a techie)
G3: JG G36C
KALASHNIKOV: CM031, JG Spetz
OTHER: DE M14
SIDEARM: CM030

MY OPINION ON CLONES
This debate has been raging ever since the release of the very first clone: do clones offer enough for the price that they are actually better buys over higher-end guns? There are many sides to this debate: some say that clones will never reach Tokyo Marui quality, some say that they already have and they have overtaken TM in the United States.

This is my personal opinion: most clones are not yet good enough to say that they are a better buy over any high end AEG. Newer clones are offering externals that are claimed to be almost identical to Tokyo Marui or the gun that they are copying, as well as internals that some of the time are made out of better materials. All of this is true; new clones offer great externals (minus trademarks) and generally have steel gears and are now sometimes offering metal bushings and metal spring guides stock. However, it is not the parts that necessarily make the gun good, it's the way they are assembled.

I will use the company SRC as an analogy. SRC full metal M4s, on paper, are superior to Tokyo Marui M4s. They offer reinforced gearboxes, metal bushings, a one-piece metal hop-up unit, a tightbore barrel, and shoot at a higher velocity than Tokyo Maruis. All of this is offered at a very reasonable cost as well. However, SRC guns are not assembled nearly as well as a Marui. They generally have bodies that have gaps in them, bad hop-up rubbers, bad shimming in the gearbox, and gears that strip very easily.

This is true for many clones too. Although they offer very similar and sometimes superior parts than the gun they are copying, they are not assembled as well. Marui was the inventor of the AEG, and therefore have more experience in developing AEGs than any other company. They know how to design and manufacture a product that will last a very long time, survive tons of abuse, and shoot very well as long as basic maintenance is performed. Every part of a Marui works perfectly with the parts around it, and therefore gun operation is smooth and precise.

Clones are not assembled nearly as well as higher end guns. Assembly is generally crude, and the parts, especially in the gearbox, are fairly generic do not fit together as well as parts that are designed to work with each other. This causes for a louder, cruder, looser feeling product. Some very common aspects of clones that do not meet the expectations of higher end guns are the hop-up rubber, the O-ring, the shimming in the gearbox, and the greasing of the gearbox.

There are far more lemons in ACM guns than there are in higher end guns as well. There is generally a much wider time frame of failure for cheaper AEGs; some may fail in the first 1,000 rounds due to poor shimming or a faulty part, while some may shoot for over 200,000 rounds without a single problem. Due to this fact, reliability in clones are always in question and do not offer the peace of mind in terms of reliability that a higher end model would give you. I have personally seen 3 sets of XYT steel gears that were claimed to be "better" than Marui gear sets that have been deformed. Some gears had shafts that were bent, and in others the actual gears themselves were severely deformed and not cast properly. That sort of thing would almost never happen in a higher end gun.

One aspect people also have to realize is the fact that Marui AEGs differ greatly in build depending on when they were designed and manufactured. For instance, if one were to feel the very first AEG, the TM FAMAS, and then feel the TM SOC16, I doubt they would ever think that the two guns came from the same company. This has to be taken into account when comparing a clone to a Marui, as it would be quite easy for a company to clone a superior FAMAS.

I have been comparing clones with Marui guns this whole time, as that is generally what they are cloned from and therefore compared to. There is also the issue of comparing clones to guns that are considered higher end than Marui, generally Classic Army, ICS/AE, G&P, STAR, VFC, etc. These guns generally need more maintenance than a Marui gun, but offer far superior parts and externals than Marui, and blow all ACMs out of the water. There is no comparison between a G&P M4 and a JG M4, they are in completely separate categories. It is common knowledge, even among the ignorant on these forums, that clones should not be compared to guns one step up from Marui.

Now there are tons of good things about clones as well that many people believe to make them superior to Marui products. The obvious fact is that they are significantly cheaper and almost always come with everything one needs to start playing airsoft immediately. There are multiple legitimate reasons why people should buy clones:
1) Loaner guns for new players to get into the sport
2) Base guns for both external mods and internal rehauls
3) Temporary guns for those who wish to see if they enjoy playing airsoft
4) To satisfy a craving for a certain style of gun that one will not skirmish with often and therefore does not wish to spend big $$$ on

Clones should NOT be purchased to:
1) Compete with higher end guns on fields
2) To substitute a higher-end gun in an arsenal (unless worked on)

As said above, one of the main attractions of low-cost AEGs is for people who wish to tinker with their guns. For external mods, most do not wish to cut up a $300+ gun, so it is very nice to have the piece of mind that the gun you are hacking up only set you back $100. Also, for people who would replace almost every part of the internals anyway, clones with good externals make a very good base, as the internal reliability is negated by the fact that the whole thing will pretty much be gutted anyway. It is far cheaper to gut a $100 gun and replace all the internals than gut a $300 and replace all the internals, which pretty much negates any advantage the higher end gun would have in the first place.

Note that these are my opinions after working on and owning numerous low-cost AEGs and high end guns. I know many people may disagree with some of my opinions, they are welcome to debate this, but not in this topic. Please keep "clone vs TM" debates outside of this thread, thank you.

-Crimson's Note- I actually believe that there are certain clones that are actually worthy of competing with TM guns and other high-ends, and the general trend in quality has been steadily increasing. I expect to see ACM's and other middle-priced guns coming out within a few years that are as high-quality or better quality than TM, and eventually perhaps JG and some of the other top-line ACM companies will be competitive with higher-end guns. Some things that I'd like to see—licensing for trademarks (one of the external aesthetic things that really makes a high-end worth it), better externals (which they're already working on, with many companies beginning to release stamped steel bodies), and perhaps more contact with the customers. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt JG to have a representative or two who has a presence on various airsoft forums.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 12:50:14 am by The Crimson Falcon » Logged
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Re: The Middle Priced AEG Buyer's Guide
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2007, 07:54:41 pm »

----Armalite Series----

Well R6

Power: 200-270 FPS
Actual: 242 FPS
Range: 80 ft
Accessories: Magazine, Cheap Sling, Cleaning Rod, mini 8.4v 1100 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger
Compatible: Yes, with modification
Gearbox: v2
Price: $100

Description:
The very first low-cost AEG to come out after the UTG MP5, the Well R6 is an M4-style gun. It has an all-plastic body similar to that of a spring gun, and probably has some of the worst externals of any low-cost AEG to date. There are two different versions of the gun, although they are not specified on any website whether they are a v1 or v2. The v1 was a very sub-standard gun which shot in the low 200s. The later production runs are the v2s, which shoot anywhere from 240-270 FPS and have much better performance.

Accuracy is OK at best. The hop-up leaves a lot to be desired, and the brass barrel is only 300mm long, 63mm shorter than a normal M4 barrel. This, coupled with a lousy hop-up system, does not give the Well R6 a very effective combat range. This means that this gun should not be used for long-range engagements unless upgraded.

The soft spring that comes with the gun coupled with a surprisingly decent motor produces a really good rate of fire for the Well R6, like all their guns. And that is with stock shimming; with a re-shim job the rate of fire, even with the stock battery, could easily match or beat stock Marui armalite levels.

One of the worst things about the Well R6 is the magazine. The stock magazine holds 300 rounds and mis-feeds, but the gun is not compatible with Marui magazines (without modificaion). DPMS hi-caps seem to work just fine in this gun, however, although they are just as bad as the stock magazine (if not worse) and don't feed well on full auto. This used to be the only low-cost armalite AEG out there besides the Panther Arms A-15, but there are now better ones to buy. Note that this gun uses 6.2mm bushings and will not take normal bushings like all Well guns. This is a perfect gun for those who are willing to dive into the gearbox and buy some upgrades for it, for less than $140 you can have an M4 clone that can compete with the big guys.

WELL R6-E

The Well R6-E version is pretty much the normal Well R6, but with better externals. These include a metal carry handle, buffer tube, and a flip-up front sight.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Stock Marui spring
-Re-shim job
-Replaced O-ring
-Re-greased gearbox
-New hop-up set and tightbore barrel

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=30&cat=29

Overall: Tongue

AIM M4

Power: 340 FPS
Actual: 339 FPS
Range: 70ft
Accessories: Magazine, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2 (Reinforced)
Price: $150

Description:
This gun is a blend between a low-cost AEG and a true AEG. It costs more than any other low-cost AEG, yet it doesn't come with the battery, charger, etc. that is included with all low-cost AEGs nowadays, which makes it more like a true AEG. It is arguably the best low-cost AEG to date, which is not at all true unless you are willing to spend some money to make this gun be able to compete in the field.

The AIM M4 is the only low-cost AEG to sport a rienforced gearbox, giving it more upgrade potential than any of its brothers. It also sports all XYT gears and a very strong spring, probably m100-m110 in strength. These factors push the AIM to shoot almost 340 FPS stock, and because of this the AIM requires a 9.6v nun-chuck battery to run properly on the stock spring. Unfortunately, the AIM's barrel and hop-up give this gun absolutely horrible range and accuracy. Even set for maximum hop, the gun gets only 70 feet of range at the most, and groupings that would make a UTG MP5 cringe. The problem is that the stock barrel, although of very good quality, is 6.12mm in diameter, giving the gun horrible stock accuracy, and the hop-up bucking is not nearly strong enough (or too strong). By buying a new barrel and hop-up bucking, this gun gets 120 feet of range or more and the accuracy it should be getting.

One thing to note is that quality control is just as bad with the AIM as any other low-cost AEG, as seen in the fact that my Spur gear's shaft was bent horribly, forcing me to bend it back into place in order for the gear to not crap out after 1,000 shots. Stock shimming is decent, better than all other low-cost AEGs that just put a .3mm shim on every side of every gear.

The externals of this gun are mixed. The receiver is made of ABS plastic (same as the TM) and is incredibly solid. The AIM outer barrel has little wobble, and the handguard is incredibly solid with very little flex. There are many metal parts to this gun that give it a lot of weight, probably 6 lbs. The stock, however, is made out of lpeg-like pastic and has a lot of wobble to it (next to weighing virtually nothing). The magazine is of good quality and has no misfeeds, as well as being metal.

The final verdict is that if you're willing to spend an extra $80 buying a new barrel, hop-up bucking, and battery, this gun can easily compete with the true AEGs. If you're experienced enough, a re-shim job would also be a good idea. However, for the price, it would just be better to buy a TM or even better, a CA.

Just a note that there is another gun, a clone of the AIM M4, dubbed the "M" M4A1 that has been reported. It is almost an exact copy, and although there may be minor differences, should be considered the exact same gun as the AIM M4A1.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Tightbore barrel
-New hop-up bucking and rubber
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forums/index.php?showtopic=51110&hl=another+m4a1+clone+improving+the+gene+pool

Overall: Cool

Super M Full Metal M4A1

Power: 330-340 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 100 FT
Accessories: Magazine
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2 (Reinforced)
Price: $140

Description:
A full metal version of the "M" M4A1, the China-made AIM M4A1, the metal externals of this gun alone are worth the cost of the gun.

Externally, the gun is metal. Lots and lots of metal. The entire receiver, outer barrel, buffer tube, and carry handle are all made of good quality metal. Everything else is made out of high quality plastic similar to the AIM M4. The outer barrel, unlike the original AIM, does not have any wobble at all, and also features a removable flashider.

Internally, the gun is very much like the AIM. The reinforced v2 gearbox has a good quality piston with a ported head, XYT gears, and a very stiff spring that pushes the gun at FPS levels similar to that of its Taiwanese counterpart (330-340 FPS). In the stock form, the plastic spring guide and nylon bushings should probably be replaced.

In the original AIM M4, the parts that needed replacing right away were the hop-up rubber and barrel. The rubber was too hard, causing a pathetic range, and the barrel had too wide of a bore. In the Super M, both of these problems are fixed. The barrel is now brass and has the bore size close to that of a TM or CA, and the rubber is softer. The hop-up chamber is all metal, and actually features tape on the inside to promote a better air seal.

The major problem with this gun is that the tabs of the receiver cause immense stress and wear on the gun, and make taking apart the gun an immense pain. The receiver is already a tight fit, and the tabs add a level of difficulty that should be removed. Removing the tabs has no bad effects on the gun, and they should be cut off if you ever plan to open it up.

To quote BroJames, the Super M is "simply a rough stone waiting to be polished". With some TLC you could have a full metal M4 at almost half the cost of a CA and performs close to the same.

NOTE: This gun is now being sold as the "Lao Bing M4", which sports metal bushings and trademarks. These guns can be found at gunnerairsoft.com in Hong Kong or M4airsoft.com in the U.S.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Re-shim job
-Metal bushings
-Metal spring guide

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewm4&action=display&thread=1158159895

Overall: Cheesy

Well R7

Power: 270 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini Battery (unknown capacity), Charger, Flashlight, Red Dot, Sling, Foregrip
Compatible: Yes (with modification)
Gearbox: v2
Price: $130

Description:
This gun is pretty much a modified version of the Well R6. Sporting an RIS foregrip, a full stock, and a flip-up rear sight, the Well R7 is pretty much an SR-16 externally. You can switch it to a normal M4, though, as it comes with a detachable carry handle. It uses a rear-battery set up as well, allowing the use of much larger batteries than the Well R6.

Performance of the Well R7 is supposed to be far better than the Well R6 in every aspect, although the 300mm brass barrel remains. The body is still lacking in many respects, and made out of the same cheap springer plastic as the Well R6.

There seems to be more than one version of the Well R7 as well, one that comes with metal rails on the RIS system and one that comes with plastic. Affordableairsoft sells the one with the plastic, and I don't know where to find the metal.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Stock Marui spring
-Re-shim job
-Replaced O-ring
-Re-greased gearbox
-New hop-up set and tightbore barrel

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=review&action=display&thread=1143104478

Overall: Smiley

A&K S-System

Power: 260-310 FPS
Actual: 287 FPS
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 1100 mAh ni-cd Battery, Charger, Speedloader, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2
Price: $150

Description:
A&K is a relatively new company, and unlike most manufacturers, do not own their own factory. As a result, only a few guns can be created a day, and therefore there will be a very limited amount of S-Systems that will be produced.

The A&K S-System has some of the best externals to date, with an ABS plastic body and just as much metal content as the TM. This means that the buffer tube, rails, flip-up sights, outer barrel, trigger, sling mounts, and more are all metal. Trademarks consist of a big ugly "A&K" where normal trademarks should be. This thing is also really heavy, weighing in at around 9 pounds. The gun comes with a 300-round metal hi-cap from the factory, although retailers seem to be selling it with a 65-round metal magazine instead. Both magazines are of good quality and feed well. The gun does have barrel wobble, just like every other M4 it seems. Another problem are the tabs of the gun not being able to support the weight of the weight of all the metal on the gun, making broken tabs almost an inevitability.

The internals are a different story, however. The A&K is reported to have a massive and what appears to be a bore-up piston and a very small O-ring that gives the gun horrible compression. The cylinder tube is also incredibly loose and increases air loss. Some guns have been reported to shoot a measly 260 fps stock, completely unacceptable for this gun. Some good news is that all the gears are XYT, like pretty much every other low-cost AEG coming out nowadays, and are shimmed fairly well (although it never hurts to re-shim). The newer versions of the gun seem to have fixed some of the problems, although some remain.

Also, according to SgtWiltan, the hop-up is a bit inconsistent. I don't know whether the hop-up is TM compatible yet, but if it is, a new bucking might be in order. The barrel and hop-up are compatible with TM barrels, but that should not be necessary since the stock barrel appears to be a tightbore.

This gun is great, but you have to know what to expect when you buy it. This should be a project gun, and with a few internal problems, should most likely be worked on. However, for about half the cost of a TM S-System, you can have one of the best (and coolest looking IMO) low-cost AEGs to date.

FULL METAL VERSION:

A full metal version of the A&K S-System is coming out, which will fix the broken tab situation. More info to come.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New piston
-New cylinder head
-New battery
-Re-shim job
-New hop-up bucking and rubber?

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=21079.0
2. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=review&action=display&thread=1152578166

Overall: Cheesy

D-Boys M4A1

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v ?mAh Battery, Charger, 3-Point Sling
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2
Price: $115

Description:

Formerly known as Boyi, the makers of many low-quality LPEGs, they have changed their name to D-Boys with the release of their new M4A1. A very solid clone, "D-Boys" has done a fantastic job with their first AEG.

The externals of the gun are similar to the AIM M4, with a solid ABS plastic receiver with no trademarks to be found. However, the D-Boys M4 features much more metal content than the AIM version. Metal parts include the carry handle rail, buffer tube, selector switch, mag catch, outer barrel, and heat plate. The front sight and carry handle, as well as the D-ring are plastic. The outer barrel is a 2-piece, just like Marui, and is very solid. The front part of the outer barrel can thread off, making a conversion to a CQB gun easy with a new inner barrel.

The internals are a mixed bunch. On paper, they look fantastic. The gun features a full metal hop-up unit, a reinforced v2 gearbox with XYT gears, solid piston with ported piston head, 7mm nylon bushings, and a spring guide with a metal base. However, some guns have been running as low as 250 FPS in their stock form and getting ranges of about 70 feet max. Some teflon tape, a new O-ring to replace the horrid stock one, and a new hop-up rubber should be able to fix this.

Overall, the D-Boys is an excellent base for a performance or custom gun, and with a few aftermarket parts and some TLC could be made into an excellent carbine for very little money.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Re-shim job
-New hop-up rubber and bucking
-New O-ring

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewm4&action=display&thread=1159962781

Overall: Cheesy

JG/Goldenbow M733/M4A1/M16A3

Power: 350-360 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 150 FT
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1100 mAh ni-mh Battery/large 8.4v 1500 mAh ni-cd Battery, Charger, Tube Loader, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2 (Reinforced?)
Price: $125-$135

Description:
Our old friend Goldenbow, also known as Jing-Gong, have been one of the best manufacturers for low-cost AEGs. With their whole slew of new releases, they have not only come out with some great guns, but raised the bar once again on the quality of cheap AEGs coming out of China.

Externally, the guns are hard to tell apart from TM, with the exception of the blank receiver where the Colt trades usually are on the Marui model. The receivers are made up of ABS plastic, while the triggers, buffer tubes, outer barrels and flashiders, flat top rails (minus the M733), and sights are made out of metal. This makes for a very solid gun, and while barrel wobble is inevitable with any plastic receiver, there isn't that much with these guns.

The JG armalites all come with full metal hi-caps that feed fairly well, and are completely compatible with Marui magazines. Actually, almost everything on the guns is Marui compatible, including the inner barrel/hop-up. This makes installing upgraded hop-up rubbers and tightbore barrels a breeze. Also, the flashiders are removable and have 14mm counterclockwise threading for anyone who wants to install a silencer.

Internally, the guns has some issues, none of which can't be resolved. Some of the inner barrels, although of seemingly good quality brass, were reported as bad and caused horrid accuracy, so a better inner barrel would drastically help any accuracy issues the guns could be having. The durability of the stock gearbox is also a huge concern, as it uses a 6mm shell with plastic bushings with some gearboxes pushing 380 FPS + in their stock form. To make these guns last, one of two things must happen: A) Reinforce the gearbox with upgraded parts (IE metal bushings, a metal spring guide, etc.) or B) Downgrade the gun with a softer spring so that the stock components can handle it.

What is amazing is that the stock motors coupled with the stock 8.4v batteries can pull such an enormous load with such ease. The guns get a respectable rate of fire stock, which can only be attributed to JG's great motors, as well as surprisingly good shimming. The batteries are decent, although some have found that the M733 models were not designed to use the mini battery included with the guns, so that some trimming of the handguards and precise installation was needed in order to fit them in.

Overall, Goldenbow/Jing-Gong has produced some fantastic clones that are sure to up the ante when it comes to China made guns, although immediate work is needed if their internals are to last.

NOTE: Echo 1 re-branded JG armalites are down-graded with a weaker spring.

The version 2 JG M733 is basically the normal M733, but with an M120 installed, pushing the gun to shoot 380 FPS or more. Note that the newer versions of the JG Armalites do not use CA gears but instead use no-name gears of similar quality.

The only difference between the JG M16A2 and the other JG Armalites is that the M16A2 has a fixed carry handle, "Commando" trademarks, and torx screws for the gearbox instead of phillips.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New barrel
-New hop-up rubber/bucking
-Reinforced internals or a softer spring

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=25815.0

Overall: Cheesy

D-Boys S-System

Power: 320 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 120 FT
Accessories: Magazine, 8.4v ?mAh Large Battery, Charger, PEQ2 Box, Vertical Foregrip, 3-Point Sling
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2 (reinforced)
Price: $130

Description:
The second release by the company D-Boys, this gun offers a highly improved version of their original M4 design.

The D-Boys S-System features basically the same gearbox as the original D-Boys M4. This means it has a reinforced v2 gearbox, a high quality piston with ported piston head, XYTii gears, spring guide with a metal base, 7mm plastic bushings, and a full metal hop-up unit. However, unlike the original M4, the CASV gets good compression in its stock form and has a spring that dishes out 330 FPS.

Although the internals of the gun are quite good, it is the externals of the CASV that really shine. Featuring a full metal CASV front-end, the gun is definitely not a lightweight, weighing in at over nine pounds. The CASV is also rock solid, with no wobble whatsoever, partially thanks to an almost free-floating design. The full metal rail that runs all the way on top of the gun keeps the plastic receiver very solid, as well as the unique one-piece barrel design. This full metal barrel is the same design as the D-Boys M4A1, which means that the end section of the barrel screws off with 14mm negative threads for adding barrel extensions or silencers. The metal phantom flash hider also screws off with 14mm negative threads. Also included with the gun is a heat sink for the motor plate and a high quality LE stock with six positions.

Included with most models is a PEQ2 box for large batteries (although small batteries can still fit inside the CASV foregrip), a vertical foregrip, and a high quality 3-point sling. The hi-cap magazine that comes with the gun feeds fine, and the hop-up unit is compatible with most aftermarket magazines.

Overall, the D-Boys CASV is a beautiful replica and easily keeps up with almost all modern clones. Although it features a hefty price tag for an ACM, the gun has enough special features to justify the high cost.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New O-ring (never hurts)
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewm4&action=display&thread=1174662419
2. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewm4&action=display&thread=1175404447
3. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=33504.0

Overall: Cheesy
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The Crimson Falcon
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Re: The Middle Priced AEG Buyer's Guide
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2007, 07:55:14 pm »

------MP5 Series------

UTG/WELL MP5

Power: 240-270 FPS
Actual: 246 FPS
Range: 80 ft
Accessories: Sliding/Full Stock, 3-Point Sling, mini 8.4v 1050 mAh ni-mh Battery, High-Rise Scope Mount, 2 Magazines, Charger, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2
Price: $100

Description:
The gun that started it all. Made by Well, this is the very first low-cost AEG that really took off. There are currently 4 versions of the gun. The v1 sports 2 MP5k style dual-mag hi-caps that hold 250 rounds each and the plastic on the internals of the gun are made out of cheap black plastic. The v1 UTG MP5 is the exact same gun as the WELL R-5.

The v2 UTG MP5 uses stronger white plastic for its internals and has better quality control as the v1, as well as 2 XYT gears instead of just 1. This version usually shoots a bit harder than the v1. The only difference between the v2 and v3 is that the v3 UTG MP5 sports a dual-MP5 style hi-cap magazine that holds 500 rounds in addition to an MP5k style magazine. Some retailers carry a v4 UTG MP5, which to my knowledge is just a v2. Note that all versions of the gun use 6.2mm bushings which makes upgrading this gun to high velocities difficult.

These guns have a flat-black externals and are almost all plastic externally. They can change from a MP5A4 to an A5, since they come with 2 different stocks. They sport a great RoF of about 14 a second on the stock battery. They also sport a brass barrel with a bore size of 6.08mm, the same as a TM barrel. There have been many complaints of the magazines that these guns come with not feeding correctly. The spring in the hi-cap just can't seem to keep up with the gun's automatic firing, causing misfeedings every once in a while. Some mags are so bad that they will misfeed every other shot. An extremely easy fix is available using only a paper clip and a thumbtack that can be found on this website or on Arniesairsoft.

These guns are very well suited for CQB combat, anything more and any stock AEG should be able to outrange and outpower this gun. A decent beginner's gun, just be sure to buy a v2 or later, as the v1s have a lot of problems, including the hop-up un-adjusting itself on full auto and the selector switch grinding into the body of the gun. I suggest a replacement O-ring for the piston head for anyone who is brave enough to dive into the gearbox of this gun, as it gives the piston head better compression and 10-15 FPS more power.

LIGHTED FOREGRIP VERSION (NIGHTHAWK):

A new version of the UTG MP5 is coming out. Still made by WELL, this gun features a lighted foregrip (among other things). Performance should be considered the same as the UTG MP5.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Stock Marui spring
-Replaced O-ring
-Re-shim job
-New hop-up bucking and rubber

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=22&cat=27
2. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forums/index.php?showtopic=30898

Overall: Sad

CYMA MP5j CM027

Power: 290-300 FPS
Actual: 283 FPS
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1200 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2
Price: $100

Description:
The best MP5 clone to date, the CYMA CM027 is the gun that changed the way people looked at the company CYMA, who have long been known to make cheap spring guns and lpegs. This was thier very first attempt at a true AEG, and they succeeded magnificently. Shooting close to 300 fps out of the box and with better externals than the UTG MP5, the CM027 raised the bar for the quality of low-cost AEGs.

Everything the gun comes with is of decent quality or better. The hi-cap is of great quality and feeds absolutely perfectly. It has a very high metal content, higher than that of any other MP5 clone. However, the gun is far from perfect. One of its main turnoffs is its low-quality aluminum barrel, which although has the same bore size as its Marui counterpart (6.08mm) is much rougher than brass, causing some inaccuracy. What's worse, it's hop-up system (a V-hop system which gives the gun great range and accuracy) does not allow the use of standard barrels in thier stock form. Severe modification must be done to them in order for them to work in the CM027. Another downside is its rate of fire, which is only 9-10 bbs a second (more on the later production runs), which is the result of its powerful spring and its sub-standard motor and wiring.

Internals are great, and although the tappet plate and spring guide are clear plastic they are of good quality. All of the gears are XYT gears, which should last quite a while. The O-ring is really shabby and leaks a lot of air, I suggest replacing it for even more power. It's a great gun for the money, especially if you're willing to work a little bit with it.

Sugggested Upgrades:
-Better O-ring
-Weaker spring or hi-speed motor
-Upgraded tightbore barrel (modifications required)
-Re-wire job
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=90&cat=29

Overall: Cheesy

CFB/Goldenbow/JG MP5 Series

Power: 290 FPS
Actual: 284 FPS
Range: 90 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1050 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Sling, Mock-Silencer, Rail, Sling
Compatible: No
Gearbox: v2.5
Price: $90

Description:
This gun is also known as the Matrix MP5, and there are currently about 6 variants of the gun. These are the MP5A4, MP5A5, MP5SD5, and the MP5SD6, and with some coming with different magazines. Pretty much all you need to know about this gun is to stay away from it.

This gun has great performance, and shoots about 290 fps consistantly in its stock form. However, the externals of this gun are extremely lacking, and are worthy of an LPEG. Plus, the plastic used in many parts of the gun is extremely brittle, causing cracking of mainly the hop-up chamber. Reports of cracked hop-up systems are too common to be ignored, and seriously hinder this gun's attractiveness. The selector switch is also something to note, it does not click into place well and wreaks havoc with everything.

Another thing is that normal Mauri compatible magazines are not compatible with these guns, and almost all versions coming with only 1 50-round magazine, this MP5 is severely limited on the field. Just a note about the gearbox: it is a v2 gearbox with a partial motor cage, which makes it a hybrid between a v2 and a v3 not seen before on an airsoft gun. Weird. There are far better MP5 clones out there, I suggest that anyone looking into this gun instead buy a UTG MP5, CYMA CM028, or even a Well R-5.

There is a mod to aftermarket mags that you can do to fit them in the Goldenbow MP5, by cutting off two little tabs near the top of the gun. Make sure that you don't force the mags in too hard, because the brittle hop-up can break this way.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New hop-up set
-Tightbore barrel
-Entirely new externals, mainly the selector switch
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=981.0

Overall: Angry

JG/Goldenbow New MP5 Series

Power: 340-350 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 120 FT
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1100 mAh ni-mh battery/8.4v 1500 mAh ni-cd battery
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2
Price: $100

Description:
The second line of the JG MP5 series, these guns are different enough from the originals to deserve an entire new section. Everything about them, both externally and internally, has been improved exponentially.

These guns come in multiple styles: an MP5A4, MP5A5, MP5SD5, and MP5SD6. All of these guns have J-type externals though; sliding stock versions have a J-stock, and the non-SD styles have J-style flash hiders.

On the outside, the plasticy, LPEG-like externals are gone. They have been replaced with strong Marui-quality plastic and metal. Metal parts include the rear sight, the mag catch, selector switch, stock (for models with the stock), and other minor external parts. The newer models also feature full metal front sights as well. The externals of the JG MP5s actually exceed Marui in some respects, seeing as how outdated the TM MP5 is. Some improvements include the stock mechanism and selector switch (clicks nicely into position and holds well).

Internally, the guns are about the same as all of the newer JG guns. CA gears, a good motor, and a strong spring push the gun to over 340 FPS while maintaining a decent rate of fire. Unfortunately, while the gun may shoot hard, the spring guide and bushings remain plastic, making the internal reliability questionable. The brittle hop-up chambers of the older JG models is gone, replaced with a far better quality one, with a decent hop-up rubber and brass barrel.

For a standard MP5 model, you really can't go wrong with the JG MP5s, which easily beat every preceding ACM MP5 in almost every respect.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Upgraded spring guide and bushings, or weaker spring
-New O-ring

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewmp5&action=display&thread=1166794710

Overall: Grin

Galaxy MP5k

Power: 330 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 120 FT
Accessories: x2 Magazines (1 240-rd hi-cap, 1 28-rd short low-cap), mini 8.4v 1400 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Speed Loader
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $120

Description:
The first release by the company Galaxy, their MP5k has been met with resounding success and is considered a solid Marui clone that brings ACM guns one step closer to reaching true Mauri quality.

Externally, the gun is almost completely identical to that of its higher-end brethren. At first glance, the only noticeable difference between the Galaxy and the Marui is Galaxy's white trademark on the side of the gun. The plastic used is high quality, and there is quite a bit of metal used, including on the selector switch, charging handle, stock mechanism, front sight, and magazine catch, among other things. The flash hider is also made out of metal and has negative 14mm threads, meaning that it can accept most aftermarket barrel mods with no problem.

Internally, the gun is up to par with most clones, featuring a strong v3 gearbox, a generic motor, nylon bushings, plastic v3 spring guide, and CA gears. The Galaxy has a spring equivalent to a bit over an M100, not putting the internals in enough stress to need to replace some of the plastic internals in its stock form. The piston is of good quality and has a ported head; it seems that the only weird thing about the internals of the gun is that it uses a v2 cylinder head instead of a v3.

The hop-up unit can accept aftermarket barrels and hop-up rubbers with no problem, unlike some clones. It is also compatible with all aftermarket magazines, although the ones that it comes with feed quite well and are full metal.

Not much can be expected from an MP5k performance-wise. The extremely short barrel does not allow any MP5k to achieve the range or accuracy that of a larger gun could, limiting it almost exclusively to CQB. That said, the Galaxy MP5k manages to dish out surprisingly good performance for all of its limitations. It is accurate up to about 120 feet, which is quite good even for ACMs with longer barrels. The one complaint the gun has is that the stock battery coupled with the motor does not give the MP5k a very good RoF, which could be solved by buying a better battery.

Overall, the Galaxy MP5k is an excellent first release and about as solid of a clone as one could ask for.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Re-shim job
-New O-ring
-New hop-up rubber and bucking

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=30930.0
2. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewmp5&action=display&thread=1169260769&page=1

Overall: Cheesy

------G3/G36 Series------

Well R8

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: 286 FPS
Range: 80 ft
Accessories: Magazine, Sling, Scope Mount, mini 1050 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Red-Dot Sight
Compatible: Yes, with modification
Gearbox: v2
Price: $100

Description:
Probably the best low-cost AEG to date for CQB. This gun shoots just as hard or harder as its Marui counterpart, and for only $100. It is also fully compatible with the same wheel-style hop-up as the TM G3SAS, and although not as good, still gives the gun decent range. Externals are better than that of the UTG MP5, as is almost everything else about it.

What really makes this gun special is its RoF, which can reach upwards of 15 bbs a second on the stock battery. This is a better rate of fire than the UTG MP5, and with even a stiffer spring that allows the R8 to shoot upwards of 280 fps stock. Its low cost, great performance in close quarters, and compact size will make this gun the obvious choice for someone who wants a cheap gun for use in CQB.

Takedown on this gun is especially easy. The Navy-style selector switch is not ambidextrous, but is contained in itself and does not need to be taken apart in order to reach the gearbox. I would say that this gun improves on the MP5 design in almost every possible way, from performance to build to ease of use. The 400 round hi-cap is decent and doesn't mis-feed often, and Mauri magazines are compatible with a slight modificaiton to the mag well/magazine.

The gun's only downfall is its accuracy. Sporting a barrel that's even shorter than that of an MP5, accuracy is not this gun's forte. However, this should only be used in CQB anyway, so accuracy should not be a problem. Another thing worth mentioning is the piston. It is a very strong polycarbonate, but is very heavy. I have no idea what a lighter piston would do, but I'm pretty sure it would increase power by a slight amount. Also, like all Well guns, the Well R8 uses 6.2mm bushings.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Tightbore barrel
-Lighter piston?
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftcore.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=39229
2. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=18555.0

Overall: Cool

BE G36K MGB

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: 298 FPS
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 9.6v 1200 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Speed Loader, Shooting Glasses
Compatible: No
Gearbox: v3
Price: $100

Description:
This gun is made by the company Both Elephant, famous for thier AUGs (both PGB and MGB) and XM8. They have released yet another unique gun, the G36k, which is thier best release to date.

Externally, the gun is great. ABS plastic is used for the entire body, making the G36k extremely solid with no creak or flex whatsoever. Although the plastic is not up to Marui standards and especially not Classic Army standards, it is good and great for low cheap the gun is. The stock folds nicely and is quite solid while extended, although there is a bit of movement. The carry handle of the gun houses a "scope", which is actually just a clear plastic tube, although a technique can be used to create a "ghost ring" to help aim. There are also pistol sights on top of the carry handle if one wishes to use that instead of the fake scope or just pointing and shooting, although those are mostly for show and don't provide much in the way of accuracy.

The gun is completely compatible internally and externally with aftermarket parts, with only a few exceptions (such as the clockwise threads on the flashider). The barrel is made of aluminum and should probably be replaced, along with the hop-up bucking. The magazines are not compatible with Marui mags, but since the quality of the stock hi-cap is good with little misfeeding, there is really no need to replace it.

The gun comes with a 9.6v battery like every other BE gun, but the low quality of the cells give the same rate of fire as that of a high quality 8.4v battery. This means that the BE G36k gets roughly 14 rps on the stock battery.

The gun sounds great in its stock form, shooting very smoothly compared to other low cost guns. I suspect this is because of the motor of the gun, since the shimming is even worse than almost all of the other low-cost guns. BE decided to cake on a watery-like dirty grease over everything in the gearbox, making cleaning everything out of the gearbox a pain. The sector and spur gears are XYT, while the bevel is an XYTi. Bushings are fairly good quality 6mm nylon, with almost everything else in the gearbox being similar to other low-cost models with exception to the semi-auto cutoff lever, which is plastic. Some other things worth mentioning are a ported piston head and a short, stiff spring capable of 300 fps or more.

Although not the best gun on the market, the BE G36k is sure to be popular because of its uniqueness among low-cost guns (and by unique, I mean completely kick a$$). It is also a great tinkerer gun, and can be made into a serious Mauri contender for very little cost.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New barrel
-New hop-up bucking and rubber

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=17618.0

Overall: Cool

BE SL8 MGB

Power: 300 FPS
Actual: 301 FPS
Range: 100 ft +
Accessories: Magazine, mini 9.6v 1200 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Speed Loader, Shooting Glasses
Compatible: No
Gearbox: v3
Price: $120

Description:
Made by BE and released at the same time as the BE G36K, the SL8 is the biggest low-cost AEG to date. Both Elephant has something for the obscure, and this gun certainly fits their style.

Externally, the gun is great. Same ABS plastic that was used on the 36k is used on this gun as well. The cocking lever system is identical, as are a lot of the parts used. However, the guns differ in enough ways so that the parts are not easily interchangeable. Instead of a clear plastic "scope", the SL8 uses a longer G36C-style rail with iron sights that are quite effective, although the gun is just begging to have a scope mounted on it. Both sights are removable, and the front sight is adjustable.

The inner barrel is painted orange and is exposed about one inch out the end of the gun, almost forcing the use of the extended barrel or a custom flashider to cover it up. The barrel is the same length as the G36K, M4-length (363mm), so the whole "sniper rifle" thing is just for looks. The outer barrel, which is made out aluminum and screws into the metal threads at the end of the gun, adds an extra pound an an extra foot onto the front of the gun. It increases the SL8s range slightly, but makes the gun rediculously long and awkward to the point where it's not worth it. The stock of the gun is hollow, and although there is only enough space in the stock compartment to fit a 9.6v battery in, if the stopper were to be carved out much larger batteries could be fit into it.

Internally, the gun is exactally the same as the BE G36K. Same v3 metal gearbox, same hop-up chamber and rubber, and same crappy aluminum barrel. This also means that the gun is highly upgradable and could very well be turned into an effective marksman rifle for very little cost. With the barrel extension the gun could easily accomodate a PSG-1 length inner barrel, and with a replacement hop-up rubber and bucking the gun could become a force to be reckoned with.

Over the BE G36K and BE SL8, the G36K is the obvious choice for practability's sake. However, for someone who wants a very unique gun or for an extreme modder, this is a dream come true.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New Barrel
-New hop-up bucking and rubber

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=24306.0
2. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/633/sort/2/cat/16/page/1

Overall: Cool

Bell Full Metal G3SAS EG-706

Power: 290-310 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 80 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1050 mAh ni-mh? Battery, Charger, Cheap Sling
Compatible: No
Gearbox: v3 Reinforced
Price: $120

Description:
The first low-cost AEG created by the company Bell, the gun was good for its time but now falls short of almost all other clones.

This gun's claim to fame is its full metal body. And when they mean full metal, they MEAN full metal. the entire receiver of the gun is made out of metal and is a clam-shell design, so while it feels solid and heavy it is not compatible with most Tokyo Marui G3SAS parts, including aftermarket mags. Although magazines should not be a problem, considering that the stock magazine is also full metal, holds 500 rounds, and feeds well.

The internals are a bit mixed and generally should be considered complete crap unless worked on. The G3SAS features a reinforced v3 gearbox and all XYT gears, but has plastic bushings like all low-cost AEGs, along with a plastic cylinder, cylinder head, and even shims (similar to the BIM4). For optimal performance, these should all be replaced with aftermarket metal parts.

The barrel featured is brass and has a bore size of 6.05mm, the same bore as STAR barrels. This gives the G3SAS better versatility than even the TM version since the added accuracy gives the gun the ability to compete outside the CQB environment. To access the non-TM compatible hop-up unit, pull back the cocking handle and the ejection port on the side of the gun should open up, just like the TM version. From there you may access the XM8-style wheel hop.

One of the weirdest parts of this gun is the selector switch. There is no semi or full auto, only "on" or "off". By turning the gun "off" you're activating the safety, and by turning the gun "on" you're turning the safety off. The trigger is the same sort of system as the AUG, where pulling the trigger back part way shoots semi and pulling it back all the way shoots on full auto.

Overall, the Bell G3SAS has the potential to be a very good gun, but falls short in just enough aspects for it to be almost completely useless. For the money it would take to bring this gun up to par with just other clones would cost more than just buying the TM G3SAS.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Metal shims w/ re-shim
-Brass cylinder head/cylinder
-New O-ring (never hurts)

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=review&action=display&thread=1149169616&page=1
2. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=25659.0
3. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/627/sort/2/cat/16/page/1

Overall: Sad

JG G36C

Power: 340 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 150 FT
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1100 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $130

Description:
The first G36C clone, the Jing-Gong G36 is a well-built gun that performs great and meets all the aspects of a good low-cost AEG.

Made of almost entirely strong ABS plastic, the G36C body has no flex and feels quite similar to the Marui. Metal parts are scarce, as they are on all G36 clones, and include the sights, sling mounts, trigger, selector switch, hop-up cover, and flashider. The stock is very solid, and its 470 round hi-cap magazine feeds flawlessly. The overall quality of the externals is great considering the price, although Marui is still ahead with its trademarked receiver.

Like newer JG guns, G36 shoots very hard (over 350 FPS in some cases) and has great range because of its good hop-up unit and power. The gun uses a v3 gearbox with nylon bushings and a plastic spring guide, making the gun's stock durability questionable shooting at such high velocities. These parts should probably be replaced with upgraded parts if the gun is to shoot reliably in its stock form.

The gun does use CA gears and a very good motor, common with all newer Goldenbow guns. The stock battery is actually quite good and in combination with the motor and decent shimming gives the gun an impressive rate of fire for an ACM. Accuracy is quite good due to the brass barrel and hop-up rubber that works fairly well, giving the gun about the effective range of a normal Marui G36C. Replacing the hop-up rubber, however, would give the gun even greater accuracy and range, and is a worthwhile investment for this gun.

A very well constructed clone, the JG G36C is a good choice for anyone who wants a Marui-quality G36 at a reasonable price. Great for both newbies and tinkerers alike.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Reinforced internals/softer spring
-New hop-up rubber

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=25743.0

Overall: Cheesy

Bell Full Metal G3 SG-1 EG-711

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 100 FT
Accessories: Magazine, 8.4v ?mAh Large Battery, Charger, Sling
Compatible: No
Gearbox: v3
Price: $130

Description:
From the same makers of the full metal G3SAS, Bell’s G3SG1 offers the same full metal clamshell style body that is the company’s staple. And like its predecessor, the SG1 also suffers from the same disadvantages that come with the full metal body and the same shoddy internals.

The externals of the G3 are the only saving grace of the gun. Featuring a clamshell full metal body that brings the gun’s weight to more than ten pounds, the gun is no lightweight. All parts that aren’t made of metal are black ABS plastic. Although a full metal body may seem like a plus, it may actually serve as a disadvantage, for it does not allow the use of any aftermarket magazines besides those made by Bell. The trigger system of the SG1 remains the same as the SAS, meaning that the gun’s “safety” is an on/off switch, and semi-auto and full-auto are achieved by pulling the trigger back to different degrees (the same system found on the AUG).

Internally, the gun fails miserably compared to other modern clones. With the same plastic cylinder and plastic shims as the original gun, the Bell does not offer great internal reliability. Without a nearly complete re-haul of the gearbox, the SG1 should not be considered skirmishable.

Although it has the same 6.05mm barrel as the G3SAS, the SG1 also has the same crappy non-TM compatible hop-up unit, making aftermarket barrels and hop-up rubbers unusable. It is this feature that truly limits the capability of this clone, as it is quite uncommon now to see this disadvantage in modern ACMs.

Bell seems to be way behind the curve in the “clone wars”, even behind Well when it comes to their releases. Their first release at least had enough potential to keep up with other clones at its time, but with manufacturers like JG and CYMA offering exquisite clones at cheaper prices than this gun, there really is no reason to buy this unless you really want a project gun or just have to have a cheap full metal G3.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Metal shims w/ re-shim
-Brass cylinder head/cylinder
-New O-ring (never hurts)

Reviews:
-None

Overall: Sad
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Re: The Middle Priced AEG Buyer's Guide
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007, 07:56:20 pm »

------Kalashnikov Series------

UTG AK-47 (Warhawk)

Power: 230-280 FPS
Actual: 258 FPS
Range: 120 ft
Accessories: 2 Magazines, large 8.4v 1200 mAh ni-cd Battery, Charger, 3-Point Sling, Cleaning Rod, Speed Loader, Scope-Mount
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $130

Description:
This gun is made by Double Eagle, and also goes by the name M86. It was UTG's second AEG release, dubbed the Warhawk, which was met with much anticipation but failed miserably in the end. Reports of split-stocks, bad paint, and rusting metal plagued this gun for many months, and in turn made it incredibly un-popular. This was in addition to the sub-standard performance, as many of these guns only shot in the 230s and weren't up to standards with other AEGs.

Featuring one of the worst metal gearboxes to date, internal failure was incredibly common. The gearboxes could barely turn out 230 fps in some models, and lemon rates were sky high. The barrel and hop-up were decent, but coupled with crappy power, still could not even begin to bring this gun up to Marui standards.

Double Eagle has fixed some of these problems in thier newer production run of the AK-47, however. The new version does not have the split-stock problem, shoots better, and comes with a blue 8.4v 1500 mAh ni-cd battery instead of the old yellow 1200 mAh one. By the time the new version was released, however, newer, better alternatives for an AK-47 were released, and this gun sort of faded away.

Overall the UTG AK-47 is a sub-standard gun, performing under its Mauri counterpart in almost every aspect. One mentionable thing about the gun is its good fake wood, which still is not too great but is decent. What people usually comment on is it's great accuracy, which sort of makes up for its lacking power (at least in the older versions). The magazines have been one of the major problems with this gun, which will for some reason not feed correctly on full-auto. New magazines are essential if you want to purchase this gun (unless you want to shoot semi-only). Just a note, the selector switch on the UTG Warhawk is the opposite of that on the real-steel AK-47. All the way up is safe, half-way down is semi-auto, and all the way down is full-auto, as opposed to the real AK-47, where the semi and full auto are switched.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Replaced O-ring
-New magazines
-Stock Marui spring
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=28&cat=27

Overall: Cry

CYMA AK-47(s) CM028

Power: 300 FPS
Actual: 289 FPS
Range: 120 ft
Accessories: Magazine, large/stick 8.4v 1200 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Sling
Compatible: Yes, with modification
Gearbox: v3
Price: $120

Description:
The second of CYMA's new AEG line, the CM028 sports amazing performance for its price tag. There are two versions of this gun, the CM028, which comes with a full stock, and a CM028s, which sports a folding stock. Costing as little as $80 on some wholesale sites, you not only get more power than a stock Marui AK-47 but also externals equal to or better than that of the Marui. With excellent fake wood and tons of metal, this gun feels amazing. Even the plastic parts feel like metal.

The magazines that come with the CM028 require a lot of silicone lube in order for them to feed correctly. They are all plastic and not of the best quality, but replacing them with Marui compatible magazines doesn't always work. Some CM028s have an usually long air nozzle that causes replacement magazines to not feed on full-auto, which requires a replacement air nozzle in order for them to work. Some, however, work just fine without any modifications, so it's a hit or miss sort of thing. Adding spacers on either side of the aftermarket magazine seems to fix a lot of feeding problems.

Like the CM027, the CM028 sports all XYT gears. However, the bushings used are absolute crap and should be replaced if any internal work is to be done, as should the spring guide, as it is made of clear plastic and shouldn't hold up to any serious upgrades. Replacing the O-ring is also highly reccomended and will give a noticable FPS boost.

Also like the CM027, the CM028 is plagued with barrel and hop-up problems. Just like it's counterpart, the CYMA AK-47 has an aluminum barrel and the weird hop-up system, which forces severe modification to a normal barrel in order for it to work in the CM028. However, the barrel length and great V-hop system give it good accuracy anyway, so replacing the barrel is not as big of a deal as it is on the CM027. There are now later versions of the CM028 out in the US that have brass barrels, it matters on what site you order the gun from.

Rate of fire is greater than that of the CM027, about 11-12 bbs per second, so it isn't as big of an issue, although the wiring remains just as bad. Just random note that the stock on the CM028s has quite a bit of up-and-down wobble to it, which isn't noticable when shouldered but is still there.

SgtWiltan says,
The body design [of the CM028] is more like the real AKs than the DE AKs with their funky S-Stock nubs on the full stock versions. The stock attachments are also more true to life with upper and lower tangs rather than the non-existant ones on the DE versions. The DE version just slips into the rectangular tang and has side screws as well which do not exist in real steel.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New air nozzle w/ Marui-compatable magazine
-Replacement O-ring
-Modified tightbore barrel
-Re-wire job
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=6400.0
2. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t49472.html

Overall: Cheesy

UTG AK-47 Beta Spetznaz

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: Not known
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: 2 Magazines, large 8.4v 1800 mAh ni-cd Battery, Charger, 3-Point Sling, Speed Loader, Scope Mount
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $130

Description:
The AK-47 Beta-Spetz is UTG's latest AEG release, and they seemed to have gotten things right this time. Double Eagle seemed to have learned from its mistakes in the Warhawk and created an awesome gun for both CQB and woodland. It uses the same design as the Warhawk, but shoots harder than its larger brother by about 10-20 FPS and has a suprisingly high rate of fire of 14-15 bbs per second. What's more, it has a very high metal content, making it weigh almost as much as the original Warhawk although it is much shorter. One of the main turn-offs of the gun when it first came out were the pictures of all the screw holes on the left side of the gun, which for some reason were only in the picture. The actual gun does not have all of those screw holes.

I have been informed that the barrel of the Beta Spetz is NOT compatible with Marui barrels, and uses the same sort of barrel as the CM027/CM028, maybe slightly different. If you want to install a tightbore, modification to the barrel is needed.

Even though the barrel is short on this gun, it gives the Spetz surprisingly good accuracy and range. This is an educated guess, but I believe this is due to a better hop-up system in the Spetz, causing it to not be compatible with Marui barrels but giving it better stock performance.

The Beta-Spetz also uses the same magazines as the Warhawk, so unless you want to shoot only semi-auto purchasing a Marui compatible magazine is almost required in order for this gun to work well. One of the major complaints this gun has are the sights, which are too close together to have any use, so a red dot sight should be used. Overall it was a good attempt by Double Eagle, but with the JG AK Spetz on the market, there really isn't any reason to buy this gun.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Red dot sight
-Tightbore barrel
-New magazine
-Re-shim job
-New O-ring

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoft-online.8m.com/UTGSpetzReview.htm

Overall: Smiley

JG AK Dragunov

Power: 315-330 FPS
Actual: 349 FPS
Range: 100 ft +
Accessories: Magazine, mini/stick 8.4v 1050 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Full Metal Bi-Pod
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: Not Known

Description:
There are two versions of the new Dragunov out on the market, the plastic gearbox version and the metal gearbox version. This is a description of the metal gearbox one.

The new Dragunov is a very interesting design, featuring a different foregrip and receiver than the true Dragunov sniper (it has an AK reciever). And a sniper this thing ain't. Although it seems to have a very long inner barrel, the barrel is actually only AK-length, the remaining length filled by a plastic tube. The Dragunov's externals are excellent, featuring lots of metal and durable plastic and although they aren't as good as the CM028, are still very good.

Performance is great, as it shoots well over 300 fps consistently and the barrel, although not as long as it could be, is still very long and gives the gun great accuracy and features a 6.09mm bore (about that of a Marui or Classic Army barrel). The hop-up is reported to be finicky though, and is very inconsistent in its performance. The magazine that comes with the gun is a short style mag and holds 35 rounds. Misfeeds tend to occur using this mag, and it is unsure whether is is from the magazine or a bad tappet plate/air nozzle.

There is nothing really noteworthy about the internals except for the type 2 cylinder and CA gears. It is unknown whether these gears are actually Classic Army gears or just marked that way. The gearbox seems to be of average quality compared to other ACM gearboxes. Shimming is sparse, and re-shimming is almost a must if you want the gearbox to last (the shimming is even worse than, say, UTG). It is reported that with just a little bit of work on sealing the gun up to prevent air leaks, the FPS skyrockets to up to 360.

Overall, the AK Dragunov seems to be a good platform for a different looking AEG and is a good performer with some tweaking.

BTW, thank you Rambo on ACM Forums for the pic, it's the best I could find. Sorry if I stole it.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New hop-up bucking and rubber
-Longer barrel (tightbore)
-New cylinder (for longer barrel)
-New O-ring
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=review&action=display&thread=1155992900
2. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=review&action=display&thread=1155981687

Overall: Cool

JG AK-47 Krinkov/Beta Spetz MGB

Power: 320-335 FPS
Actual: 349 FPS
Range: 100 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini/stick 8.4v 1050 mAh ni-mh Battery/large? 8.4v 1500 mAh ni-cd Battery, Charger
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $120

Description:
This gun is made by a company called JG (Jing-Gong), the same people that made the LPEG AK-47 with externals almost equal to that of the TM AK-47. Since then they have continued to make high-quality LPEGs, but have really shined with thier new MGB line of Kalashnikov weapons. There are currently 2 versions of this gun, the stockless Krinkov and the Beta Spetz (has a full stock).

The first thing to be mentioned about this gun are the externals, which are absolutely fantastic. The metal content is through the roof and probably has the best build of any Kalashnikov low-cost AEG to date. This makes the gun extremely heavy for its size, and also very durable.

This was the second MGB gun released by JG, right after their MGB Dragunov. The fact that it uses the same gearbox means that, like the Dragunov, the shimming is sparse. Shooting at such high velocities, if you want the gun to last re-shimming is almost a necessity. The gears used are CA gears, and it is unknown whether they are actually steel Classic Army gears or just gears labeled the same. The plastic bushings are also pretty crappy and should probably be replaced, considering a lot of stress will be put on them (330 fps + is nothing to sneeze at).

There are two versions of the gun, one that comes with a 35-round metal short magazine and one that comes with a 200-round metal hi-cap. It is unknown how the hi-cap feeds, although it is known that the 35-round magazine has some trouble feeding on full auto.

The best part about the JG Krinkov/Beta Spetz is that it is almost 100% Marui compatible, something very few low-cost AEGs can claim. This means that the non-compatible hop-up/barrels of the UTG Beta Spetz, Warhawk, and CM028 are a thing of the past. Of course, there really isn't any rush to replace the barrel assembly, since the stock barrel is brass and the hop-up unit is of decent quality. The upgrade potential is very high and the internals can be tinkered relatively easily to make this gun perform above and beyond that of it's TM counterpart at a very reasonable price.

Overall a fantastic gun for the price and a great tinkerer gun.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Re-shim job
-New bushings

Reviews:
1. http://acm.jconserv.net/viewtopic.php?t=99
2. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=22976.0

Overall: Cheesy

UTG AK-47 Paratrooper

Power: 300 FPS
Actual: 289 FPS
Range: 120 ft
Accessories: 2 Magazines, mini/stick 8.4v 1100 mAh Battery, Charger, Sling
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $110

Description:
The fourth AEG released from UTG, this time they have re-branded the latest version of the CM028s. It has the exact same externals and the exact same internals, but you are guaranteed a brass barrel. It also comes with 2 340-round full metal magazines that actually feed well unlike most other AK clones that have come out.

Between the CM028 and the UTG Paratrooper, the UTG is the obvious choice. Not only is it cheaper and is guaranteed to have a brass barrel, but the gun comes with better magazines and Leapers can be contacted for customer service if the gun has problems.

For further information look at reviews of the CM028.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Upgraded bushings
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftohio.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=107&sort=7&cat=2&page=1

Overall: Cheesy

CYMA SLR-105 CM031

Power: 320 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 120 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1200 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Sling
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v3
Price: $100

Description:
A clone of the Classic Army SLR-105, the CM031 is a hybrid between the externals of the SLR and the internals of the original CM028. It is not actually based off of the AK-105, it is actually an AK-101.

The externals of the CM031 are almost identical to the externals of the Classic Army with the exception of the metal body. The upper receiver, outer barrel, sights, selector switch, trigger, and flashider are all metal. Everything else is made out of durable plastic.

The gun is compatible with most aftermarket parts and magazines, unlike the earlier CM028s. However, the hop-up unit, like all CYMA guns, is not compatible with aftermarket barrels, although the barrel is brass, so replacing the barrel is not as big of a deal as it was with the CM028. The gun still gets great range and accuracy with its improved hop-up system like its predecessor.

The CM031 shoots very hard, harder than any previous CYMA gun, chronoing in at over 330 FPS in some instances. The gears of the gun are all CA gears, an improvement over XYT and very durable. The motor on the CYMA is also a lot better and quieter than previous motors, making it sound less like a cheap gun and more like a Marui. Rate of fire has jumped quite a bit as well, to around 14 RPS on the stock battery as opposed to only about 12 RPS on previous models, which may be not just contributed to the motor but the decent shim job as well. The clear plastic for internal parts remains, although most components of the gearbox have seemed to be improved.

The magazine that comes with the gun is made out of plastic, like the normal AK-101 mags, and is supposed to hold 500 rounds, although it actually only holds about 400. It is a great magazine and has zero misfeeds at all and is very durable.

One of the strong points of the CM031 is its super reliability. The first factory runs of the gun are reported by NachosDesign to still be running after 200,000 rounds in their stock forms, which means that these may even beat Marui in terms of reliability.

Overall, CYMA has cranked out yet another amazing rifle, easily comparable to most high-end guns and is a force to be reckoned with.

For a chrono video, see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKSXlxJH43w

Suggested Upgrades:
-Better bushings
-Replaced hop-up chamber/rubber w/ aftermarket barrel

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=news&action=display&thread=1159018337
2. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=25293.0
3.http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/627/sort/2/cat/16/page/1

Overall: Grin

------Other Series------

BE AUG (Metal Gearbox Version)

Power: 300 FPS
Actual: 304 FPS
Range: 100 ft +
Accessories: Magazine, mini 9.6v 1200 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Cleaning Rod
Compatible: Yes, with modification
Gearbox: v3
Price: $100

Description:
Both Elephant has long been known to make the best lpegs on the market, the BE AUG and the BE XM8. This was thier first attempt at an AEG, for which they pretty much stuck a metal gearbox into the body of thier AUG and added a different upper receiver and magazine. This results in a gun with awesome power and internal durability, but with the externals of an lpeg.

Along with the metal gearbox, the other obvious change that BE made to this gun is the upper receiver, which contains a fake scope similar to that seen on the BE XM8 (just a clear plastic tube). They also added a hi-cap, which feed flawlessly, although they can only feed about 1/3 of the 325 rounds the hi-cap can carry in a single wind.

The barrel and hop-up system are the same that are found in their original AUG. This means an aluminum barrel and a fixed hop-up that should be used with .2g bbs. The accuracy is decent, but the non-adjustable hop-up does not give the gun the versatility of many different low-cost AEGs out there. If you want a gun for medium-range engagements, lots of power, or a low-cost AUG, this is the gun for you.

There is a new version of the BE MGB AUG out, the AUG Commando, which is a AUG Civilian with a shortened barrel. This is a perfect gun for those who want an AUG-style gun but want to play CQB. It doesn't get as good of range or accuracy, but that does not matter in close quarters.

Just a note that MGB AUGs ordered from geartron.com seem to come with a laser mounted to the body of the gun, as well as a standard magazine instead of a hi-cap.

Suggested Upgrades:
-New barrel
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=102&cat=58
2. http://www.airsoftgi.com/product_reviews_info.php?products_id=1526&reviews_id=853
3. http://acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=review&action=display&thread=1149780271

Overall: Cheesy

DE XM8 MP005/6

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 120 ft
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1100 mAh ni-mh? Battery, Charger, Loader
Compatible: Yes, with modification
Gearbox: v3
Price: Unknown

Description:
The Double Eagle XM8 series is now the solution for XM8-lovers, since they are much improved over the other affordable options (the PGB and MGB BE XM8s).

Featuring a brass barrel, a lever-type hop-up system, and an all metal v3 gearbox, the gun has a lot going for it internally. Externally, the gun is much improved over the BE version, although the fake tube for a scope remains.

More info to come.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Unknown

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewothers&action=display&thread=1160270723

Overall:

Kart/Double Eagle M14 (M66/MP008)

Power: 320-330 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: Unknown
Accessories: Magazine, Large 8.4v 1500 mAh ni-cd Battery, Charger, Sling, Scope Mount
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v7
Price: $130

Description:
The first M14s made, these are some of the most expensive clones to date. Retailing at about half the price of its expensive TM counterpart, it is an affordable alternative, but still quite pricey compared to its other ACM brethren.

There are currently two versions of this gun: the Kart and the Double Eagle versions.

Externally, both are fantastic. Both have full metal outer barrels and flashiders with ABS plastic receivers, along with great fake wood. The Kart version has a plastic gas tube/clamp and battery cover, while on the Double Eagle version they are metal. They also have plastic front upper receivers but the rest of the upper receiver, including the adjustable rear sights and the cocking mechanism is metal. This gives the gun an amazing weight, so much that some serious strength is needed to keep the gun shouldered for long periods of time.

The magazine that comes with the guns is reported to hold 260 rounds, although it is supposed to hold a lot more, and is full metal with minor misfeeding. Both come in a variety of colors, including the normal wood, black, and OD green.

Cocking these guns is one of the best parts about the M14 clones. It makes one of the most definitive cocking noises of any airsoft gun, almost as good as the Marui version. The chamber opens and closes smoothly flipping the ejection port cover back and forth, easily earning the M14 the most realistic mock cocking system of any low-cost AEG.

The internals of the guns are slightly different than the Mauri. One improvement this gun has over the Marui is that they use a standard spur gear. The gearbox castings are relatively clean and overall a good clone of the v7 gearbox. The guns use all the latest versions of XYT gears, with the bevel being XYTi. The M14s come with a brass barrel and a Marui-compatible hop-up unit. Both versions feature reinforced gearboxes, but use modified v3 spring guides whose tabs are thinner than normal. The gearbox casting is great and all of the components look great and are well-greased. However, the guns come seriously under-shimmed. Version 7 gearboxes need quite a lot of shimming, and with just as much shimming as a standard low-cost AEG, the longevity of the gears in their stock configuration is questionable.

Performance is mixed. The guns have a high stock FPS of up to 1J of power or more, but the stock motor and battery of the Kart version can't seem to give the gun a very high rate of fire. The motor, being an EG700 clone, is not meant for speed, but more for torque. However, even then it falls short, being weaker than JG motors, and is very loud. The Double Eagle version has a better and far quieter motor than the original Kart. With a well-shimmed gearbox and a properly adjusted motor height, the DE M14 gearbox sounds very muffled and actually silenced. Range is actually very good in the stock form, as well as accuracy.

Overall, the quality of these guns are such that they actually surpass Marui in some areas, and performance easily exceeds almost all other low-cost AEGs, thus earning the DE and Kart M14 my award for best low-cost AEGs of 2006.

NOTE: The UTG M14 seems to be the second version of the Kart M14.

Suggested Upgrades:
-Metal bushings
-Re-shim job

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewothers&action=display&thread=1161137080&page=1
2. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewothers&action=display&thread=1161440290
3. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=23994.0

Overall: Grin

DE MP40 (MP007)

Power: 280 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: Unknown
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1100 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger
Compatible: No
Gearbox: v3 (modified)
Price: $150

Description:
One of the most innovative low-cost guns to come out of China, the AGM (otherwise known as DE) MP40 offers a great WW2 replica at an affordable cost.

Obviously the biggest appeal for this gun is the fact that it is lower-cost, more readily available and more skirmishable than any previous MP40 (albeit the cheap spring gun). It features all steel externals, with the only exception being the pistol grip, making the gun very solid and very heavy. The folding stock is solid and although it wobbles, it is far better than AK underfolding stocks. Although the gun only comes with one 50-round magazine and there are currently no guns out that are compatible with its style of magazine, other low capacity magazines for the gun are available, and a hi-cap should come out as well.

The gun's internals are some of the weirdest of any AEG. The gun has a v3 gearbox, although it is very heavily modified. The motor is positioned in the lower back of the gearbox, as is the trigger assembly. The motor assembly is un-adjustable, and the anti-reversal latch is positioned on top of the bevel gear. The battery sits on top of the motor, and there is plenty of room for a custom 9.6v or even a 10.8v battery.

Because of the weird gearbox design, the MP40 also uses a weird selector system. The gun has no safety, but instead has an on-off switch on the bottom of the handgrip. The gun can then be switched to full auto and semi-auto via a selector switch.

Performance updates coming.

Suggested Upgrades:
-None

Reviews:
1. http://www.acmgames.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=reviewothers&action=display&thread=1167434321
2. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/635/sort/2/cat/16/page/1

Overall:

JLS SCAR (E02)

Power: 330 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: Unknown
Accessories: Magazine, mini 8.4v 1150 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Bi-Pod Vert Grip
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: v2
Price: $150

Description:

Suggested Upgrades:

Reviews:

Overall:

------AEP/ECM Series------

CYMA Glock 18C CM030

Power: 200 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 80 ft
Accessories: Magazine, micro 7.2v 450/500 mAh ni-mh Battery, Charger, Speedloader
Compatible: Yes
Gearbox: AEP
Price: $70

Description:
CYMA's third release after thier CM027 and CM028, and this time it's a clone of Tokyo Marui's Glock 18C AEP. There are currently two versions of this gun with only the v2 currently being sold, the whole deal about a v3 of the CM030 is believed to be false.

The gun is a very good replica of its TM counterpart, with only the lack of trademarks and lighter weight giving it away as a clone. This means that all upgrades that are compatible with the TM AEP can work in this gun, including all nineball parts. The only major difference is the CYMA version uses a type-0 cylinder, meaning an increase in FPS but a downgrade in RoF. This downgrade is negated, however, by the better battery included in the CM030, which brings its rate of fire up to snuff when the TM version is using its 200 mAh battery. The difference in quality is pretty clearly seen, however, when the CM030 battery is put into a TM; the CYMA gets about 11 RPS while the TM gets a noticeably cleaner sounding 13 RPS.

The body is made out of durable ABS plastic and is about the same quality as the TM version, albeit the slide being slightly lighter. The only real complaint externally is the selector switch, which can be ridiculously stiff. The magazines that come with the gun are metal and completely compatible with TM mags, which means that hi-caps and low-caps will feed fine in the CM030. Just a note that CM030 mags can be a bit tricky to get out of the TM G18C.

The gun also sports a brass barrel and adjustable hop-up. I believe CYMA has heard all the complaints about their crappy aluminum barrels and have started using brass instead. It also features adjustable hop-up that can bet set for .12g, .2g, .23g and .25g, although .2g is recommended for a nice median between FPS, range, and accuracy.

Performance on the CM030 is absolutely amazing for the price tag and the size of the gun, easily reaching out to 70 feet accurately with .2s. It has a surprisingly good hop-up unit for being an ACM, actually out-ranging some AEG clones that I have owned. On semi-auto groupings are quite phenomenal considering the length of the barrel and the low FPS. On full-auto the groupings are definitely more sporadic and should only be used in closer environments (especially since the stock magazine will be emptied in less than three seconds on full auto).

Overall, for someone who wants a cheap sidearm or wants a substitute for a gas gun, this gun fits the bill perfectly. Hell, even if you already own the Tokyo Marui version, this gun is worth it just for the magazine and battery alone. A great buy for anyone, highly recommended.

NOTE: There is a "clone" of the CM030 called the P01 floating around, supposedly made by Well. It comes in a pistol case, comes with 2 450 mAh batteries, and is complete crap compared to the CM030. The gun itself has many problems, including low FPS and bad reliability, and although it may seem worth the money just for the two batteries, they too are of low quality and frequently explode while charging. Stay away from this gun!

Suggested Upgrades:
-None

Reviews:
1. http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=18843.0

Overall: Grin

DE USP (M81)

Power: 220 FPS
Actual: Unknown
Range: 80 FT
Accessories: Magazine, 7.2v 500 mAh ni-mh Battery, Silencer, Speed Loader
Compatible: Not Known
Gearbox: AEP
Price: $70

Description:
The first AEP to come out that was not a clone of Marui, the DE USP is a high quality sidearm easily comparable to the CYMA G18C.

Externally, the first thing most will notice is the full metal slide with painted Double Eagle trademarks. Since the slide on the gun does not blow back like on gas guns, there really is no need for the slide to be made out of metal besides the fact that it adds weight and strengthens the overall feel of the gun. The magazine in the gun holds 27 rounds and is currently not compatible with any aftermarket magazines except mags sold exclusively for the DE.

Among the more appealing things about the guns is the fake silencer that comes with the USP that threads onto the outer barrel of the USP. The silencer does nothing to silence the gun at all and does nothing to performance at all, it is purely cosmetic. It is made out of cheap plastic and the threading on the muzzle is compatible with most aftermarket barrel extensions, as it is 14mm- threading.

Performance, once broken in, is similar to that of the CM030. The range is acceptable with the adjustable hop-up, and the brass barrel gives the gun decent accuracy. The hop-up can be adjusted by removing the slide and turning a wheel on the inside of the gun. The USP uses a stiffer spring than other AEPs, increasing FPS marginally but sacrificing RoF in the process. This puts the RoF of the DE USP at about 10 rounds per second, perfectly acceptable when the magazine only holds enough bbs for less than 3 rounds of continuous fire on full auto.

The battery that comes with the gun is the same type that comes with the CM030, holding nearly 3 times the juice as the stock Marui Sanyo-Cell batteries and are ni-mh instead of ni-cd, releasing a steadier stream of power and steeply dropping off instead of gradually decreasing in performance.

Overall the USP is a good sidearm, although the CM030 is a better choice for extra magazines and time-tested performance. If you are looking for a cheap USP to use as a sidearm that doesn't need constant cleaning and can be skirmished with in the winter, this is a great choice.

Suggested Upgrades:
-None

Reviews:
1. http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/reviewpost/showproduct.php/product/643/sort/2/cat/20/page/1

Overall: Cheesy

Jieke M93R

Power:
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Gearbox:
Price:

Description:

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New Releases:

Here are a list of some new guns coming out, sorted by manufacturer:

WELL
-MP7
-MP5 (full metal)
-M93R
Double Eagle
-MP7
CYMA
-Thompson
-Sig 55X
Jing-Gong/Goldenbow
-AUG
-MG34
AIM
-M4A1 (anniversary addition, RIS addition)
-G36C
-M14/SOC 16
Both Elephant
-MP7
-FAMAS
-HK33
A&K
-S-System (full metal)
-M16A3
-M4A1 RIS
-SR-16
-M933
-M4A1 CQB
-M4A1
-M249 (full metal)
D-Boys
-M4 CQB
Kart
-AUG (full metal)
JLS
-FS2000
-HK33E
Others
-UTG M4A1 Series (full metal)
-UMP

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