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Need advice for sniper rifle upgrades


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Vandal

Vandal

Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:06 AM

First things first, hi everyone! My name is Vandal and I am a brand new ASF member. I've only been involved in airsoft for about 8 months now, but seeing how popular the sport is here in southern California, I've been quickly sucked in to the lifestyle. I'm still trying to pick up on all of the mechanical sides of things, so bear with me if I seem a little "slow" at points, but I really am trying to learn. However, until I do master my weapons, hopefully all of your experienced ladies and gents can give me a little advice.

A few days ago one of my friends offered to sell me his old airsoft sniper rifle (roughly a year old) for $90. He had no idea what brand it was, but he knew it was an L96 that cost around $120. With this package he would also throw in a really nice 3-9X scope and 3 mags. There were no brand markings on the gun, but judging by the materials, look, and price I'm guessing it's a UTG L96. Given that if I were to go out and get all that myself it would cost at or over $200, I saw a good deal in it and happily bought the gun.

He had the sight zeroed already at 25 yards (his backyard space), but seeing as how I envision playing at a much farther distance, like 50-60 yards, my first task was to re-zero the sight. I knew a nearby place that provided ample distance to fire, so I grabbed some old cans and a bag of .2's and went off. When firing the gun at 25 yards, it was dead on and was very powerful. I haven't had it chrono'd but I've heard the UTG L96 comes at 450 FPS right out of the box. However, at the desired range of 60 yards this thing can't hit the broad side of a barn. I'll hold up and to the right, it will shoot up and to the left. I'll hold up and to the left, it will shoot down and to the right. There was absolutely zero consistency and I couldn't get a grouping to save my life. I figured it was that I was firing .2's so I went over to airsoft GI and picked up a bag of madbull .25's (I didn't think .28's would have made much difference for the extra money). Tried the .25's today for about an hour straight with the same result. I must have fired 100 shots and only connected 4...out of luck. I couldn't get a grouping so I couldn't make any adjustments to wind age or elevation. After a while I just gave up and took to the internet to get advice.

What I found was that the UTG L96 is prone to have inconsistent spacing in the barrel spacers, meaning some spacers are closer to each other than others and some are farther rather than being evenly placed, which causes the inner barrel to flex from the force of the shot which throws the the BB off target. My source said it was an easy fix, but gave no instruction on how to do said fix (re spacing the barrel spacers I mean), so my first question is does anyone here know how to do that? Or perhaps know where a guide can be found? I know how to strip the L96 (thanks youtube), but when it comes to barrel spacers and getting them back in properly without moving them - I'm clueless.

My second question involves upgrading this puppy. Although the stock L96 is fairly good for sniping, it isn't as reliable as I'd like in a sniper system, especially when I may only get one shot to take someone out before being spotted. I know I need to get a 6.01mm tightbore, that's first on the list, but beyond that I'm not sure what I can do to make this gun more reliable and accurate without pushing it over the 500 FPS legal limit. Any ideas?

edit: I know that "what upgrades should I get for the L96" threads have been made before. However, I am simply asking what upgrades are recommended to increase accuracy while maintaining an FPS of 500 or less. Considering that I have some stiff limitations on how well my weapon is allowed to perform, I'm not sure how to proceed. Thank you.

Edited by Vandal, 03 July 2010 - 04:17 AM.


#2 yayapfool

yayapfool

Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:37 PM

I feel bad because you put effort into this, and did some research, but still no one has posted
I do not, and never have owned a spring gun before, and only recently got my gas sniper rifle, so I really can't tell you much

but reading your post, I'm not sure if you know exactly what barrel spacers are, because not all guns come with them, in fact I thought none did

I know what barrel spacers are, are you refering to padded...things that contact the inner barrel and outter barrel to reduce shock?

#3 tototime

tototime
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mission Viejo, California
  • SOA Name: tototime

Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:59 PM

I have never heard of a stock gun coming with barrel spacers. If it is an UTG L96, your upgrades will be fairly easy. I used to work on Maruzens, and they us the same parts. Anyways, I would suggest that if you want completely consistent shots, you will have to gut the whole thing. Start with accuracy first. Purchase a tightbore barrel. I have only used PDI .01's in my rifles before, but you can pick up an Edgi or Laylax barrel as well. Any way you go, you will see a drastic improvement with that. Next think I would do is upgrade the hop up. Get the PDI hop up because that is the only one available for L96's. Side note: when and if you upgrade your hopup, they require AEG cut barrels. So, you will have to get an AEG cut TBB rather than a Sniper rifle barrel. After purchasing a PDI hop up, and an AEG cut TBB, you will need to purchase a hop up rubber. I recommend a Firefly AEG hop up rubber. Depending on your FPS, you will need a hard or soft. I would recommend a soft for stock UTG's.

Then, you can now purchase barrel spacers. However, they get rather expensive rather quickly. It is much easier to make them yourself using electrical tape. Here is a link:http://www.airsoftforum.com/board/Jg-Bar-10-Mods-Explanatio-t102219.html&pid=17632506&mode=threaded#entry17632506


After getting your accuracy sorted out, you will want to move into power. All power upgrades can be found here: http://www.xfire.org

You will need: A zero trigger, reinforced piston, reinforced spring guide, reinforced cylinder, and a reinforced cylinder head. You will also need a spring. If you are trying to stay at 500fps try a 150. I'm not sure if that's a little above or below 500 fps, so do some research on that. You've got a long road ahead of you if you want to consistently hit 50-60 yards with that gun, but it will be fun.

Edited by tototime, 04 July 2010 - 05:00 PM.

Who will guard the guards?

#4 ATW2800

ATW2800
  • Interests:Airsoft, mechanical engineering, airsoft engineering, video games.

Posted 04 July 2010 - 05:20 PM

Actually, the APS-96 clones I've seen come with barrel spacers. Cheap, low quality barrel spacers which can arguably do more harm than good, but the gun should come with barrel spacers. And as for everyone saying to buy the PDI hop up chamber, it's a great idea, but the chamber is out of stock everywhere. Instead, the Hexagon Products or HP hop up chamber works well and also takes the more common AEG cut inner barrels, like the PDI. AirsoftGI also has some higher quality aftermarket barrel spacers.

Heres a vid of how to disassemble the gun and get to the barrel/barrel spacers :

Hope that helps

Edited by ATW2800, 04 July 2010 - 05:21 PM.


#5 Vandal

Vandal

Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:01 PM

man...that sounds rather expensive. Looks like I've got some saving to do if I want to tune up both my UMG and my L96 at the same time :P

As for the AEG cut barrels, does PDI's 500mm L96 barrel fit in their own L96 hop up? Or do I literally have to find a 500mm barrel made for an AEG like the M14?

For the bucking, I'll start with soft like you said, but when I upgrade the power will I have to switch to hard?

Oh, and about the barrel spacers. The ones in the UTG L96 are four little black disks that act as shock absorbers/stabilizers for the barrel. I don't believe they are fixed to their position however as you can see them sliding around when you strip the weapon, which leads me to believe that they are uneven in my barrel and are causing my inaccuracy. I'm pretty sure they are cut for .03 barrels though so when I do upgrade to .01 I'll probably have to make/buy new spacers anyway.

thanks for all your help :)

#6 Rhino217

Rhino217
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central, IL
  • Interests:Airsoft, cars, real steel firearms, hunting...the usual...

  • My Temperament:4,2,7,9

Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:59 PM

Welcome to airsoft and ASF!

Here's a great guide to for a UTG 96 Click here please do it yourself mods. All should improve accuracy in some shape or form. That should help out, before you shell out money for brand new parts. Id suggest when you get a TBB, to go with a 6.03 MadBull. Tighter isnt always better with longer barrels. Plus, MB barrels wont brake the bank but will still maintain nice accuracy.

For the aftermarket hop ups, they should use any AEG cut barrels and buckings. Most say use soft buckings because you get better accuracy, with slightly less durability.

To help the stock barrel spacers, just use some electrical tape on both ends, spaced out to keep them in place. You may even want to carefully wrap your inner barrel with Duct tape to make longer/wider barrel spacers. Its an option.

Good luck.
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#7 tototime

tototime
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mission Viejo, California
  • SOA Name: tototime

Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE (Vandal @ Jul 4 2010, 04:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
man...that sounds rather expensive. Looks like I've got some saving to do if I want to tune up both my UMG and my L96 at the same time :P

As for the AEG cut barrels, does PDI's 500mm L96 barrel fit in their own L96 hop up? Or do I literally have to find a 500mm barrel made for an AEG like the M14?

For the bucking, I'll start with soft like you said, but when I upgrade the power will I have to switch to hard?

Oh, and about the barrel spacers. The ones in the UTG L96 are four little black disks that act as shock absorbers/stabilizers for the barrel. I don't believe they are fixed to their position however as you can see them sliding around when you strip the weapon, which leads me to believe that they are uneven in my barrel and are causing my inaccuracy. I'm pretty sure they are cut for .03 barrels though so when I do upgrade to .01 I'll probably have to make/buy new spacers anyway.

thanks for all your help :)



There are ways to budget around. The L96 barrel should fit in the hop up, but I'm not sure. I would say go with a mad bull or a Laylax. I used to use PDI's .01, and I'm just beginning to get back into upgrading sniper rifles. New word on the street is to get a 6.03 like Rhino said, so just disregard the 6.01 part. Prometheus makes a pretty good 6.03 that isn't incredibly expensive either. (I will be getting one of these soon) You are going to want an AEG barrel that is 495 mm long or something close to it. I think a M16 or M14 length would do. I switched to hard after I hit the 550 fps mark, but it is just preference. Also, you can find the PDI hop up here: http://www.x-fire.org/etop/t96.html They almost always have them in stock, and they will let you know if they do not. They are a great site to order from. On a side note, what part of socal are you from? Have you hit up Jericho yet? You'll see me there often.

Who will guard the guards?

#8 Vandal

Vandal

Posted 04 July 2010 - 10:47 PM

I'm down in Orange County so I mostly play at Code Red or Tac City. I've been meaning to hit up Desert Fox though. Where is Jericho?

edit: Also, I'm pretty sure the UTG L96 comes stock with a 6.03. Can anyone confirm this?

Edited by Vandal, 04 July 2010 - 10:49 PM.


#9 tototime

tototime
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mission Viejo, California
  • SOA Name: tototime

Posted 05 July 2010 - 12:21 AM

I'm not sure about that, but I would still get a new barrel. Stock barrels just won't have the same tolerance an aftermarket one has. I'm also in Orange County. Desert Fox is fairly nice, but I've had my best experience at Jericho. One is in Lake Elsinore and another is in Camp Pendleton. Here is the link: http://jerichoairsoft.com/
Who will guard the guards?

#10 ATW2800

ATW2800
  • Interests:Airsoft, mechanical engineering, airsoft engineering, video games.

Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE (Vandal @ Jul 4 2010, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm down in Orange County so I mostly play at Code Red or Tac City. I've been meaning to hit up Desert Fox though. Where is Jericho?

edit: Also, I'm pretty sure the UTG L96 comes stock with a 6.03. Can anyone confirm this?


I know most APS-96 clones come with 6.08s, but I've heard some people claim that the UTG has a tighter bore. I don't believe it's lower than 6.05 though.

#11 Vandal

Vandal

Posted 06 July 2010 - 01:34 AM

I've been doing some research on 6.03 vs 6.01 for bolt actions to see which one really is better, and as far as I can tell it's a 50/50 split. Has anyone here had any experience with both barrels on a single weapon and noticed any significant change? The only real side by side comparisons I've seen were done with an AEG, so I'm not sure how relevant that is to bolt action sniper rifles.




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