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.
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.
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:
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.
Generally speaking, KWA/KSC Taiwan loading nozzles are incredibly durable in my experience. Super beefy loading nozzle “finger” looks extremely durable on its own…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Pictured below is the valve knocker retracted:There 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.
Using 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.Pictured below are BB marks on the AKG chamber block from firing approximately 120 rounds (same picture as was demonstrating bolt “stop” feature above):Note 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.Do 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.
My 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.