It’s cold and frosty outside, which meant, appropriately, that it was time for a Russian gear day for the team. That, in turn, meant gorkas, SMERSHs, and other such assorted gear from our frenemies in the East. Huzzah! Closer pic of my personal setup after the break.
The fix for all your VFC hop-related issues.
(Update July 28th, 2015: I took the SCAR-L with above Guarder two-piece hop up and it functioned flawlessly in about two midcaps’ worth of testing on the field in both semi and full-auto. Consistency was solid and I was actually quite impressed with the range, although this could be attributed to the Maple Leaf 70 degree bucking and tightbore as well. Either way, it worked flawlessly, and seems so far to be an effective fix.)
Perhaps against my better judgement, I accepted a VFC SCAR-L in a trade. I absolutely love the SCAR platform for its handling and aesthetics, but completely abhor VFC’s SCAR for a single reason – the terrible, terrible, terrible hop unit design. It is made of poor quality plastic (leading to sheared hop adjustment wheels), it’s a bit too tight in diameter and thus only reliably accepts VFC hop rubbers, the hop up arm is shorter than standard and thus aftermarket hop nubs/rubbers aren’t nearly as effective in it, and worst of all, it is proprietary. Or so I thought.
Some internet sleuthing revealed that old-school two piece V2 M4 hop up units have been tried and tested in the VFC SCAR with good results. I’m kind of angry at myself for not thinking of it sooner – two piece hop units, like the VFC SCAR hop, are open ended at the bottom, allowing for the lower receiver to swing out during disassembly. Could it work? Could this be the answer to all my VFC SCAR-related problems, and make a solid, reliable platform out of a piece of junk?
The answer so far is: Yes. Read more after the break.
I’m bringing back the magwell grip, goddammit.
Having gamed my TM HK416D Next Gen Recoil Shock AEG three times now, I feel that I can give a pretty solid review of its performance in its stock form. Note that while I’ll be focusing on the 416D, the same can be applied for most of TM’s Next-Gen line. Also note that this is for the stock, out of the box performance; these platforms are capable of some mighty impressive things once upgraded (which, admittedly, is something that’s still just a little bit out of my range of skill as an airsoft gunsmith, but also something I’m trying to work on).
- That legendary Tokyo Marui consistency and accuracy is indeed a thing, and yes, it lives up to the hype – particularly in certain CQB situations where consistency and accuracy take precedence over range. I was able to place precise shots at people’s backs, knees, shoulders, or other parts that were just barely sticking out over cover. With a zeroed in optic (I used an Eotech replica), you can rest assured that your next BB is going exactly where you want it to.
- In an outdoor environment with longer engagement distances, stock TM guns, while remaining competitive, will not be as dominant as say, a tuned PTW or Version 2 build. You won’t feel outgunned, but you might feel outranged; either way, you will still remain competitive. This says more about the quality of a stock TM AEG than it does about its weaknesses.
- You can’t trigger spam the thing. I used the 416D mainly in semi-only CQB situations and we all know there are some moments in CQB when you wanna spam that trigger as fast as you possibly can, Time Crisis-style. Unfortunately, the trigger response is only adequate (thanks mostly to the inefficient proprietary batteries); coupled with the fact that the recoil system has to complete a full cycle (sending the recoil weight back, then waiting for it to return, etc.) means that trigger spamming isn’t as easy as it would be with, say, a PTW or a high speed Version 2 build.
- The recoil and bolt lock, which are probably the biggest selling points of the system, are a lot of fun, especially in CQB situations when you face oh-shit-i’m-out-need-to-reload-quick situations.
- You’ll need at least three of the proprietary batteries to make it through the day. Obviously this depends on the RoE of your site as well as how trigger happy you are, but I’ve found that I needed at least three fully charged batteries in order to ease my worries of running out of juice midway through the day. The trigger becomes noticeably more sluggish as the battery begins to fade (boo NiMH) so if you want to keep that somewhat snappy trigger, you better have a spare battery in your pack.
Those are the observations off the top of my head with regards to the TM Next-Gen platform – again, in its stock form. Put a little tuning into it (as Juicy has into my TM SCAR-H), and it becomes a bit of a monster…
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.
Dytac has been all about the rails lately, flooding the market with all sorts of SMR variants in all sorts of colors and lengths. To say they got mixed reviews is a bit of an understatement, with most praising their affordability but decrying the build quality, softness of the metals, and overly sharp edges.
I kept all this in mind when Dytac released their long awaited RAHG replica, or the”REM rail” (REM standing for Remington, the manufacturers of the rail, and not the band) as they call it. With Dytac being the only ones in the RAHG replica game (for now), and wanting to give my TM HK416 a bit of an update externally, I decided to take the plunge. Installation and first impressions are after the break.
Whenever you acquire a new AEG, you usually have to answer a series of questions. Many are basic:
- what role will it play in my armoury, and does it fill a gap in said armoury or does it’s role overlap with other AEGs in my collection?
- What optics and other external accessories will I add to it, if any?
- Do I have the batteries and magazines I want to run with it?
For those of us who like to indulge in airsoft gunsmithing (and I would guess the majority of those who are reading this fall into this category), we have the following question:
- What is my aim in terms of internal mods? High FPS DMR? Low FPS/High RPS bullet hose? Somewhere in-between? Am I looking purely for enduance/reliability mods, or am I willing to sacrifice long term reliability in my pursuit for the absolute best performance?
But for those that are lucky enough to acquire a Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock AEG, we must also answer the following:
- Should I bother touching the internals at all?
More on my thoughts on the unique conundrum posed by the Recoil Shock series after the break.
Finally got around to running some cleaning rods through my guns at a team tech day this past weekend, and the above was the result of a pass through my TM PX4. To the credit of both my PX4 and MEU, both guns shot with typical amazing TM accuracy/range despite having absolutely filthy barrels. I guess I should do it more often…