Much to the chagrin of my wallet, I started a (second) new summer airsoft project: a high speed build. I’m far from the best gunsmith I know, and the prospect of building my own AEG from the ground up scared me a little, but my experience gained from the M110 building inspired me enough to take the plunge. I figured with 5 years in the hobby it was time to learn how to actually build my own guns.
More details after the break.
The base gun was a VFC model purchased from EOD Steve on airsoftcanada (cheers bud), with unique Noveske trades on the receiver and a ACM Noveske NSR in 11″. I’ve been a fan of the NSR since I got the chance to play around with the 13.5″ version on my (since sold) ERG, but I did feel that the 13.5″ length was a little long and unwieldy at times. Even with an aggressive C-clamp or Magpul-type grip on the rail with my arm fully extended, the 13.5″ rail still felt a little too long. On top of this, I knew that I wanted to build an SBR-length gun, mostly because my other AEGs are carbine length or longer. So when this baby went up for sale, I jumped on it. With the flash hider, I find the 11″ rail splits the difference perfectly between SBR and carbine length, while still allowing for a 363mm inner barrel – convenient, as I was planning to put a 363mm Prometheus inner barrel in there.
Externally I tossed a PTS CTR, along with ACM versions of the ASAP, MIAD, and MBUS (as I feel those are close enough to the PTS versions which are both more expensive and becoming increasingly more difficult to find). I had planned on buying the real-steel NSR rail covers and purchased the G&P keymod rail covers you see above as a placeholder, but now that they’re on there I think I’ll keep them as-is. They’re comfortable, flexible, and easily cut/modified on top of looking pretty damn cool.
To the business end, I added an ACM keymod QD sling point, along with a Surefire Scout replica mounted on an FMA S&S Precision light mount, which works surprisingly well. It puts the light super close to the rail and makes it easy to activate with my thumb. I may switch out the tailcap push-button on the Scout with a switch mounted on the 12 o’clock rail to allow for full ambidextrous use down the line, but the push-button works fine for now.
Internally is where I put the majority of my time and effort, installing Super Shooter 14:1 high-speed gears – I believe Super Shooter is a division of SHS. Using the limited experience I had from my M110 build, I shimmed the gears to the best of my ability but found that the gearbox locked up a couple of times upon testing; fortunately, this was due to the piston becoming misaligned when I reassembled the gearbox and not due to crappy shimming. I put it together and it sounds relatively smooth, so I’ll keep it like that until it breaks or someone on the field says “damn Dizzy, your shimming sounds terrible.”
Trigger response and ROF were okay with the stock VFC motor, but I also added an SHS High Torque motor to pair with the gears and give me very solid trigger response and an even better ROF on an 11.1v. Altogether it shoots around 380fps at around 25bbs/sec, which is right around where I want it to be. I find any higher RPS than that to be unnecessary. At 30+ bbs/sec you’re basically just doing it for bragging rights.
The barrel group uses the stock rotary VFC hop unit which I’m a fan of, along with a Prometheus 6.03 inner barrel and Prometheus purple bucking – my go-to combination for full-auto guns.
Aside from that, everything else is stock VFC. I purchased an SHS piston to replace the stock VFC one but will wait until it breaks. Given the lightening cutouts of the SHS piston I’d expect an increase in ROF/trigger response with the SHS piston installed. I also should really install a MOSFET, but given my inability to solder… I think that’ll have to wait.
Tossing a new gear set and motor along with some very basic barrel group tweaks might not seem like a lot of work to many of you, but to someone like me who is only taking his first steps into airsoft gunsmithing, they’re pretty big leaps. I’ve yet to field test the thing, as with it being summer most of my teammates and I are off doing summery things. Plus, I’m generally not a fan of playing in 30+ degree heat. When I get the chance to field it I’ll be sure to post my performance review – hopefully it won’t involve me describing a catastrophic gearbox failure.