KJW M4 GBBR – First Experiences

If only the mags didn't look like that...

So pretty! If only there were other options for mags…

Jester recently decided to put up his KJW M4 GBBR up for sale. I had a VFC SCAR-H that I was fed up with. Conclusion = I have a new gun.

It’s my first GBBR (I had a KWA Mp7 briefly but that didn’t last long as it wasn’t really a “Dizzy gun”). I’ve stayed away from GBBRs for the usual reasons – the need for regular maintenance, the inconsistency/performance issues, the temperature sensitivity, the lowcap mags, etc. etc. I’ve always been strictly an AEG guy.

But the deal was too good to pass up, and so I decided to take my first plunge into the GBBR world. Read on for my experiences, after the break.

After gaming the KJW M4 GBBR for a day, here are my main points:

  • The recoil is significant – enough to throw your shots off if you don’t control it. Obviously not nearly as much as a real steel 5.56, but much more significant than my Tokyo Marui Next-Gen AEG and miles above anything you experience with a normal AEG. You really have to control the gun if you want to place accurate shots, which is where the AFG and a Magpul style grip comes in handy. Now I know why those guys grip the gun like they do – it works.I love placing double taps, particularly with my PTW and the insane trigger response you get from that platform. Double tapping is still possible with a GBBR, but the recoil is such that the second shot isn’t nearly as accurate as the first, since you’re fighting the recoil. I know all you real steel guys are laughing at me, but I really do have to work on my recoil control.All that being said, the recoil is also what makes the GBBR so satisfying to shoot – nothing else in the AEG world kicks like a GBBR.
  • The low mag caps are not as much of a gameplay hinderance as I thought they would be. I was test-running an ICE tactical belt-rig (more on that soon) which allowed me to carry three mags on my belt for a total of 3+1 and 120 or so rounds, and I never found myself in a situation where I was forced to go to my sidearm – as long as I was constantly rotating fresh mags from the four spare mags I carried in my pack, and refilling spent mags when I had a chance. The KJW shot DMR fps so I was being a little more careful with my shot placement than usual, which helped matters a bit. But with a normal rig and running 5 or even 6+1, I don’t thin the lowcap mags will be much of an issue – again, as long as I top myself up whenever I get a chance between games.
  • The accuracy/shot-to-shot consistency is not at the same level as an AEG. I was still able to consistently place shots at targets 150-180 feet away, but I certainly wasn’t getting the consistency/accuracy/range I’m used to seeing out of my PTW. This is perhaps an unfair comparison, I know. I was getting about the same performance level as my LCT AK, which is actually a good thing, because my love for that gun is well-documented in these pages. The point is, this isn’t a laser gun, and I had to maneuver/aim a little to compensate. This did make the kills I got much more satisfying, however, which is a good thing.
  • I’m still a little concerned about the effect of the temperature on GBBRs. Jester told me the fps could deviate pretty significantly depending on the weather, and that’s something that bugs me. I’m all about consistency/reliability in my airsoft guns, and that could end up being a pretty major knock on GBBRs. Plus, I don’t know if I wanna hold on to a gun that I can only use six (or less) months out of the year.
  • Reloading gives me a half-chub. I think that says it all. There’s nothing quite like feeling the bolt lock back on an empty mag, jamming a fresh mag in, and sending the bolt home. Hitting a bolt release on a PTW or TM AEG is a lame comparison. Nothing else comes close. I almost found myself looking forward to running empty, which is an odd thing to say, but it’s true.
  • Reloading is pretty fun.
  • Also, reloading makes me smile.

Externally, the gun is almost done – thankfully, Jester included a lot of the externals in the deal, so I didn’t have to spend money on a rail or stock or anything (most of my extra externals are already on my TM recoil shock). As you can see it’s set up for a civvy look, so I had no qualms about tossing my Vision King short-dot on there. Not only did it fit in with the civvy look, but it also let me take some shots from further away, as the gun was shooting 400+ fps on a hot (25+ degrees celsius) day which made it a DMR by local game standards.

AFG2 for extra Magpulliness. My gun has all the Magpuls.

AFG2 for extra Magpulliness. My gun has all the Magpuls.

The Troy battle rail on the gun is extremely comfortable and lends itself well to a Magpul type grip. I threw the AFG2 on there for a little ease of maneuverability. The rail is light and certainly counts as being “in style” as far as gun styling goes, but to be honest I’m not really a fan of the look of it and I may replace it at some point with another tubular/modular type rail. Suggestions, anyone?

photo (3)

Jester also installed a Tactical Link Battery Assist Lever (BAL), which makes manipulation of the bolt catch super easy and reloads extremely fast, since you can send the bolt home after a reload with just a quick flick of your finger. The trouble is, it’s extremely sensitive – more than once I found myself accidentally brushing the lever with a finger while I was drawing my fresh mag, sending the bolt home into an empty chamber. Then I had to reload the mag and rack the charging handle to complete the reload. It’s not really any fault of the device and more of a training issue; I just need to remember that the lever is there and keep my trigger finger away from it. When I use it as it’s meant to be used, however, the BAL works great and certainly speeds up reload times by eliminating the need to find the ping pong paddle with your thumb.

photo (4)

To be honest, I picked this gun up because I saw an easy opportunity to be introduced to a new platform, and I took it. I wasn’t entirely sure I would be keeping it for very long, and to be honest I’m still only about 80% sure… but the initial experience was extremely positive, and after gaming it another day or two I think this might find a permanent place in my arsenal.

One thing’s for sure – you don’t use a GBBR to be competitive or because you want to get a ton of kills. That’s what PTWs and highly-tuned AEGs are for. You use a GBBR because they are fun as hell to play with.

And the reloads, man! TEH RELOADZ!

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