Read on after the break for my impressions after a full day of gaming my new toy.
The first thing that hits you about the Real Sword Type 56-1 is the quality of the externals. Now I’ve been impressed by AK externals before (see my review on the LCT AK-74N), but the Real Sword really is on another level. The pics I’ve taken don’t do it any justice.
The gun has a beautiful blued steel exterior that looks amazing in person; pretty much real steel quality. The real wood pistol grip and hand guard is extremely well made – the joke I’ve heard on the internet is that if you were to order a real steel wood kit for this gun, you’d probably just get the same stuff that came with it. If you’ll recall I weathered my LCT AK, but I likely won’t do the same with the Real Sword. I can’t bring myself to intentionally ruin such a beautiful finish.
The gun weighs quite a bit, too, if weight is any indication of quality. I haven’t weighed it on a scale or anything, but my arms definitely got a workout from carrying this thing around all day. It’s not ridiculously heavy, like a SAW or M60 is, but definitely weighty enough to make sure you don’t forget it’s there.
To say the gun is solid is an understatement. I’m sure you could run this thing over with a tank and it would laugh at you the same way the damn dog does in Duck Hunt.
Thankfully the internals match the externals in quality. Real Sword cut down the size of the gearbox to match the real Type 56-1 dimensions exactly, which unfortunately results in a mostly proprietary box – however, from what I’ve heard the internals are rock solid anyway and don’t really need drastic upgrades. I can confirm that the motor, inner barrel, and hop rubber are all standard Marui compatible parts; these are really the only parts that I see myself changing on this gun, barring a catastrophic failure of the gears or something like that.
Accuracy and range were impressive. The Type 56-1 can reach out to 160-180 feet easy, but what really struck me was the consistency from shot to shot. You know exactly where your shots will go, so long as your sights are lined up. The confidence that inspires is awesome; when you’re a DMR and thus confined to semi-only fire, shot to shot consistency is extremely important because every shot has to count.
My few gripes with the gun are really more directed at the AK platform rather than the Real Sword itself. I’m still not a fan of AK iron sights, and the folding stock on the Type 56-1 has some wobble to it (not sure if that’s faithful to the real steel or not). The folding stock’s shoulder rest also has some ridiculously sharp prongs on it that jabbed my chin from time to time – I’ll have to file those down so I don’t risk stabbing my cheek on them every time I transition from shoulder to shoulder.
I will say that reloads are significantly easier on the Type 56-1 than they were on my LCT. I was able to easily lock mags into the gun without fear of overinsertion into the magwell. I think this is because of the semi-magwell that is present on the Type 56-1 that isn’t present on the LCT (which lacks any sort of magwell). Whatever the reason, AK reloads are significantly easier now.
I also prefer the look of the AK-74 (5.45) series magazines over the AK-47 (7.62) series magazines, but that’s a minor complaint. I guess I could technically run 5.45 mags in this gun, but I’m sure certain AK purists I know would hunt me down for committing such blasphemy.
In conclusion, I’m very, very happy with my purchase. It’s worth every penny. I’ll definitely be bringing it along to every game day from here on out as a primary and as a backup gun when my other AEGs go down.
Considering how often my other AEGs go down, I think the Type 56-1 will be getting a lot of use.