KWA AKG-74M

This was my first experience taking an up and close look at the GBBR AK from KWA. As a matter of fact, it was my first experience shooting it too.

I’ve shot the WE, and though it feels nice to hold and to rack the bolt on, the performance leaves much more to be desired. I’m currently in the market for a GBBR AK, and was delighted to get the opportunity to shoot/take a closer look at KWA’s AKG when a customer brought this one into my workplace for a power downgrade.

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Those of you whom have read posts of mine about KSC/KWA systems will know that I am anything but a fan of these products. The AKG, though cool to hold as it is a nice feeling AK-74M GBBR, left very much the same disappointing impression on me as I have come to expect (most) KWA products to perform.

Though never fielded, this gun has been folded up enough to put some wear on the stock hinge lock parts (likely for storage purposes by the owner) that would have caused wobble on cheap CYMA or other China-made AK AEG’s. The side-folding stock is really solid when unfolded. As with KWA/KSC products, the plastic used looks and feels great, as well.

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Unfortunately, KWA chose to use bolts or dummy pins for many of the connections between parts that are traditionally pinned or riveted together in most real AK assembly guides and reference photos that I’ve seen (AK’s are prohibited firearms in Canada – I haven’t had a chance to hold or shoot a real one ever before). The following are examples of a few of these:

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Trigger is super mushy. I was relatively impressed with the build quality found in the KWA LM4 GBBR, and was hoping to see some of the crispness of that platform in the KWA AKG GBBR. I guess it is a KWA product, and like my KSC TW P226R/Dizzy’s KWA M226 overall trigger mushiness, I should have expected this… but still – way more sloppy than what I was crossing my fingers for.

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Generally speaking, KWA/KSC Taiwan loading nozzles are incredibly durable in my experience. Super beefy loading nozzle “finger” looks extremely durable on its own…

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A loading nozzle “finger” of this size would probably be practically indestructible… if it weren’t for the way that the gun stops firing when out of BB’s. Tell tale sign of empty magazine after last shot? Dead trigger and bolt slightly out of battery – not nearly as pleasing as it is to fire the WE AK until empty, where you get the click of the hammer dropping but no bang.

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The AKG magazine is rather heavy for a mag that is plastic (externally). At least it doesn’t weigh as much as the KWA LM4 GBB PMAGs do – though it certainly is up there. Note that the AKG feed lip is plastic.

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Areas near the top of the magazine that bear weight (i.e. weight of the magazine when fully inserted into the magwell) are made from metal (metal, though KSC/KWA metal quality is not the greatest, could potentially result in much more durable lips than the vast majority of AEG AK mags out there) – smart, especially considering the additional weight of the AKG magazine.

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Output valve on the AKG magazine appears to be covered up by a nice metal plate. Though I won’t be attempting to take apart the magazine as this is not my gun to spend extra time tinkering with, I suspect that this is a spring-loaded dust cover… if so, good thinking, KWA.

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Note the size and shape of the magazine BB follower – this follower protrudes into the path of the loading nozzle when there are no more BB’s inside the magazine. This results in the follower obstructing the return of the bolt into battery, preventing the gun from being fired. Literally, a bolt “stop.” The motion of rocking an empty magazine out of the gun results in a slight backward motion of the bolt as the follower pivots, followed by the bolt returning fully to battery when the magazine is clear of the gun.

There is already wear on the follower from the loading nozzle “finger” smashing into it when it stops the bolt on an empty magazine – this is just from the owner of the gun test firing his brand new toy, plus my couple of test shots to chrono and attempt to figure out feeding issues.

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Position of valve knocker when not retracted looks like a potential failure point as it protrudes quite noticeably far into the magwell – I’m concerned that mashing a fresh magazine into the KWA AKG in the middle of an fast-paced reload could potentially take the valve knocker out if done on an incorrect angle. Valve knocker return spring looks very fragile… after seeing multiple failures in the KWA 1911 PTP MK I/II/III/IV series of the valve knocker breaking in the majority of the KWA 1911 PTP’s that some of my team mates carry, I’m expecting this to fail sometime soon. Pictured below is valve knocker forward:
IMG987Pictured below is the valve knocker retracted:IMG988There were some rather serious issues encountered for use in-game, considering the way that it is often played locally:

No.1 issue for war game usage experienced with the KWA AKG-74M was high FPS (too high for local limits).

A customer brought this in for a FPS downgrade at work – it shot about 470-490 FPS on a 0.20g BB during late Spring/early Summer weather here (20-25 degrees Celsius). One solution that I am still waiting for the part on is a low FPS rocket valve for KWA NS2/KSC System7 – the one I currently have installed in my personal KWA/Umarex MP7A1 reduced that gun’s FPS by 17-20% (Tonic advertises 20% reduction). I did not have good experiences with the RA-Tech NPAS kits I’ve owned – one for WE closed bolt M4 and one for WE open bolt systems – as the NPAS’s I installed in my personal WE M4 has a tendency to loosen up as I shot, causing up to a 100% increase in FPS after 300 rounds… not a good thing for muzzle velocity limits and safety of other players on the Airsoft field. Installation of aftermarket downgrade rocket valve is pending receipt of the part at work – I’ll try to update this article with the chrono results when the supplier of my workplace actually sends out the back-ordered valve.

No.2 issue for war game usage experienced with the KWA AKG-74M were unexpected stoppages.
IMG968Using Tamashi Biodegradable 0.20g and 0.25g (Gen 1, black bag) ammo which feeds flawlessly in every KWA/KSC gun I’ve tried – even on full auto – the KWA AKG seems to have some fairly major feeding issues. One example (pictured above) is similar to a stove pipe stoppage, in which a BB gets lodged in between the bolt carrier and the chamber block, preventing the bolt to return fully to battery. When this happens, I generally find that the BB that gets stuck was generally a result of either most often a failure to feed properly (more common – remove mag, charge gun and no round in chamber), or a less common double feed (remove the mag, charge the gun and see a round in the chamber); I’m unsure of exactly why this happens, but this happens approximately once every 30-50 shots. I fired over 300 rounds to test if this issue was a regular occurrence, and it happened repeatedly. Rotating the axis of the gun to let gravity do work doesn’t seem to influence much of anything.I would theorize that the feed lip may be too big for the feed ramp (and/or the loading nozzle “finger” face too big), causing a BB that is scooped up from feed lip to pop out from the feed ramp and end up outside of the chamber packing upon return of the bolt forward during firing.IMG978Pictured below are BB marks on the AKG chamber block from firing approximately 120 rounds (same picture as was demonstrating bolt “stop” feature above):IMG970Note that the length of bolt travel is not to be considered “full travel,” as the bolt only cycles back 3/4 of the way – similar to the GHK. Like the GHK, removal of this buffer from the KWA AKG will result in improper cycling.IMG980Do notice that the recoil spring guide is actually a part built from bent wire – not a solid piece of metal. Interesting design choice from KWA/KSC as this looks like it would be less prone to outright snapping/shearing/other breakages that could occur with shitty pot metal, but it could be prone to getting bent out of shape (which would cause pretty serious cycling issues); knowing the typical KWA/KSC designs, its probably just made this way not to prevent breakages, but rather to cut down on costs.
IMG981IMG982My verdict? The AKG looks good enough and feels nice to shoot. Doesn’t work so great for any extended shooting practice, or for practical Airsoft gameplay, though.

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21 responses to “KWA AKG-74M

  • Dimitri MdP

    Hi there.

    Great review, sadly it’s a shitty gun 😦 Hope GHK or WE develop a 74M soon, their systems are way better.

    BTW, the wire style recoil spring guide is there for simulation, as real AKs have that kind of guide. The solid one is WE’s invention.

    • juicy

      Thanks for reading. Yeah, its a little disappointing considering how the external build quality is actually really solid.

      Yes, I only recently found out that the wire style recoil spring guide is there for realism – I didn’t know this until I was researching the updated 2011+ GHK platform. Thanks for the pointer though.

  • Donnie

    Great review, I have been experiencing the same problems with my GBBR. However, are you certain it is a KWA and not a KSC? I have heard there are differences and although minor, they are enough to make the KWA version much more reliable. Have tested both versions?

    • juicy

      Hi Donnie,

      I actually own neither a KWA nor a KSC – owner of the gun (client of mine at work) stated that his was a KWA. I’m not sure what markings are put on either gun (or the one that I had been working on), but if they are in fact different, I would lean towards thinking that this was a KWA as well.

      Out of curiosity, what are the fixes? I stopped looking into the platform myself after seeing the initial issues and ended up picking up a GHK myself.

  • Michael Dominic

    You can’t use .20g bbs. They get stuck in the barrel. It says on the box .25 and higher.

    I think it’s a great gun. I’m surprised to see the negative review. The GHK looks great, but I have no issues with my KWA AKG.

    • juicy

      You can use whatever weight you want – that’s not the issue. BB weight does not affect the gun function. I’ve watched many a KSC or KWA pistol shoot 0.20g with no adverse effects – that being said a 0.25g shoots straighter and further (with all GBB’s, in general), so maybe that’s why KWA tells us that…

      Feeding issues with any KWA or KSC product generally relate to BB size – I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the case with this KWA AKG, though I didn’t have a chance to try it. Personally, I don’t own this gun – a customer at work brought it in for downgrade/diagnosis because of the issues after a couple of mags worth of shooting; it could very well be a lemon.

      There is another “revised” review out there that went from good to bad after the author’s AKG internals essentially self-destructed, check Red-Alliance.net.

  • virg

    The problem is due to the feed lip where the bb gets released from, is wider than the hopup ram (part of metal body). This ramp must bee filed/sanded to match as wide as the feed lip, filed/sanded on both left and right side of that hopup ramp to prevent the bb from hitting them as it exist/traverse the feel lip to the hopup cylinder.

  • Hallo

    This is the most BS review I’ve ever seen. The “feeding issue” you showed is stupid and looks you obviously placed the bb there. I have never had a problem with this product which i’ve had over a year now. This compared to the WE PMC , the kwa is much better. After about 500 shots on my friends pmc a internal piece snapped (don’t know which or what is was) and had to replace it. I haven’t had any issues like this before with the kwa. I’m not sure why your trying to promote these other crappy companies such as WE, but all I know is that this review sucks. Bye have a nice day, wont be visiting this website ever again.

    • juicy

      1) Let me begin by clearly stating that this is not a complete review, but rather more of preliminary one. In regards to the jamming issue, I’m just showing an issue that was reported in a client’s KWA. That being said, I will openly admit that I am biased against KWA/KSC products, as this is my personal opinion resulting from many issues with long term ownership of KSC TW products that I have owned, gamed, and tried to keep up and running way beyond their usual life expectancies (much shorter than those such as Marui GBB products).

      2) I did not place a BB there. What could I possibly gain through staging that photograph? I don’t understand why you would make such a claim.

      3) I will not and have previously refused requests to “push” products on my readers. Though yes, that is my day job as an airsoft salesperson, but this blog is far removed from what I do to make a living and what I enjoy out of airsoft as a personal hobby. My content on Overhoppers is a representation of what I enjoy from my hobby.

      4) I have no vested interest in supporting WE. As much as it would be awesome to get freebies from them (or anyone else), they are ultimately run like a business – my personal collection of 4 WE guns is small fry compared to the distributor & dealer clients they deal with, and in all likelihood, they probably don’t even realize that I exist.

      5) On the topic of the WE AK being terrible, I do not disagree with you; (as I clearly stated in one of the first paragraphs) the WE AK models in particular are by far the worst AK GBBR on the market. While many of the functions are more “realistic” (full-travel bolt carrier, hammer still drops when chamber & magazine are empty) and hence highly desirable for the realism factor, the WE AK just doesn’t run very good and has a well-documented tendency to break extremely quick. After a quick look at one the first time I had the chance to hold a WE AKS-74UN in person, I haven’t wanted to touch the WE AK platform since. I personally own a GHK, and though it may not be the “perfect” AK GBBR on the market, my personal opinion is that it is one of the better ones out there.

      6) I will have a nice evening, thank you.

  • Critizen

    Did you downgrade it yet?

  • Joshua Loughren

    Where can I get this FPS reduction kit? PLS I need one….

  • Suhayl

    What bullets does this ghk take

  • Anonymous

    Great review, except this gun won’t feed .20-.25 very well, tried in mine and had feeding issues. .28-.32s no problem. The gun has been great in the field for me, tons of ohHhohh ahhhhs

    GL
    Kyle

  • Anonymous

    I so agree with you. I know it sounds dumb, but for some reason I have feeding issues if I use .20-.25 but with the heavier, no problem.

    • Paul

      I have the same stovepipe jamming issue with both of mine (74m and the 74s) if I use .2’s and occasionally with .25’s. Strangely though with .28’s and higher they both feed flawlessly. This is with multiple brands of bb’s. Normally I wouldn’t think the weight had anything to do with it but that’s what I’m seeing with mine.

      I was also able to remove the bolt-stop thing that prevents the bolt from being full travel with no issues (other than you can’t be easy with the charging handle or it catches… but my real ak has the same issue). But no issues firing at all 🙂

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