Why I bought this gun
You see, after I had the my Thompson for a while(about 6-8 months) I began to want for something with better range, and far better accuracy. Basically I wanted a DM rifle, and for a considerable period of time I was stuck on wanting a bolt action. I knew I could give the Thompson a tightbore, start using super heavy .3g bbs and upgrade it further, but it just didnít suit me to have an SMG DMR. So I turned to a new, longer gun. The marui M14 seemed perfect for this role, but I was down on TMís AEGs after I had some problems with the Thompson(read my review and the whole barrel wobble spiel). I was not exactly ready for another pot metal AEG. So when I saw that G&G had a new model out I jumped at it.
The advantages of this gun are numerous. Sure it looks expensive when you see the 550 dollar price tag. but when I started adding up the expenses needed to get the marui up to G&G standards, I was hooked. First of all, G&G M14s(and all their guns really) are well know for their external ruggedness, which was a plus to me since Iím sort of hard on my gear. The receiver is made from machined aluminum, and there just arenít any aftermarket receivers for the TM that have that going for them. The barrel is also Aluminum(though the TM is too). Now, aluminum isnít my favorite metal. But I think itís an understatement that TM zinc castings impressed me not in the least. Also, there are no aftermarket reinforced gearboxes for the TM. Sure there is the G&P 7mm bearing box, but itís not reinforced, and it doesn't support the sector gear with 8mm bearings. Also the G&G comes stock with a real wood stock, and upgraded internals shooting 400 FPS, with the ability to take much stronger springs with no modifications. Also the G&G barrel is a 6.04 diameter one(although G&Gís barrels arenít exactly top quality). Now think about how much it would cost to put al those things in/on a TM M14. And after all that money you could still only run an 8.4v large battery or a smaller 9.6v one in the stock.
So I got this gun about 4 days after I ordered it from UNcompany. GREAT job to those guys for a quick turn-around. I didnít even order express shipping! My first impression was that this gun doesnít weigh as much as I thought. I guess I assumed the rifle would weigh the same as a similar length lead pipe, but obviously I was wrong. The Thompson I used to have was lighter by something like 800g, but the two guns seem about equal because of the length of the M14, which gives you the impression of a light weapon. My attention was then drawn to the wood stock. IMO the faux wood on the M1A1 was magnificent, and recreated the wood look quite well. But the feel of real wood just canít be faked. Plastic tends to feel smooth to the touch and a little colder than wood. The walnut on this rifle however, has a definite grain to it that makes it nice to touch. It is also finished quite nice. Itís not exaggerated like the Pro Arms stocks made for marui rifles. In my opinion the lighter finish on those pieces is prettier, but not anywhere near what real M14 stocks look like. Real M14s have a darker finish that doesnít show off the wood grain as much, this is what the G&G mimics. Also, Iíd note that website pictures do not do the stock justice. No matter which website I look at, none of them capture the beauty of the wood just right. Also the gun is as advertised, full metal. G&G says that the receiver and barrel are Aluminum, and the receiver shows machining marks in some places. Without the manufacturer claiming anything else to be otherwise, I can only assume that everything else is cast zinc, but there are some exceptions, which Iíll get into later. Most of the metal except for the trigger guard and a piece by the sights are finished in matte black, while the barrel is slightly greyer and feels less smooth, and has more texture to it. Also, the dust cover is ABS plastic. It can flex if I push on it in the right areas, but it wonít creak under any circumstances, and it doesn't move from itís place whatsoever.
As I mentioned before, the gun comes completely upgrade internals. To be specific, there is an M120 spring, a metal spring guide with bearings, an aluminum piston head with bearings, a polycarb piston, a metal cylinder head, v2/3 compatible steel gears, 4x 7mm bearings plus 8mm bearings for the sector gear, and a new reinforced tappet plate. Also thereís the tightbore, which is compatible with standard AEG barrels unlike a marui. Also Iíve heard the hop-up unit is the same as an AUG.
Now obviously the first thing I wanted to do with this thing is shoot it. I had ordered a 9.6v 3800mah battery for the gun(the ďdarth vader of batteriesĒ as my friends put it). I though it was weird that the connector doesn't have enough slack so that you can put the battery in and then connect the wires, you have to connect the battery and then put the wires in followed by the battery. After I did this, the battery immediately jammed in the butt stock. I had to pry it out with a screwdriver. It later turned out that I had smashed the wires a bit, which caused the battery to get stuck. even so, I now have some electrical tape over the rear of the battery in a sort of batt-pull, so that I can easily yank the thing out in case it gets stuck again.
I quickly went out to shoot, after loading up the high-cap the rifle came with. A quick note on the mag. G&G claims itís ďstamped sheet steelĒ, which Iím inclined to believe. Steel is really pretty cheap, and sheet steel is about as low as it goes. Itís got G&G trades on the bottom. The problem with this mag is, itís not marui compatible. No G&G M14 mags are. This is bad for me, as I wanted to go with standard mags, and Deepfire/King Arms mids are dirt cheap, but they wonít fit in the G&G! A small price to pay, I think. G&G ďstandardsĒ(It carries more ammo than an RPK drum, I donít really consider that ďstandard cap) are metal and about the same price as marui standards are...no big loss. The included magazine is a 470 round high-cap. Thus far it has fed perfectly for me, but after the one skirmish I took it to, it got lost. Go figure how that happened.
But anyways, the shooting the rifle, the first thing I noticed was the BBs got out to my target fast. Maybe thatís a no-duh from me, but 400 FPS isnít something Iím used to. At 95 feet(the longest distance I can shoot at this place) the rifle exhibited good accuracy, with noticeably better groupings than my Thompson ever got. I was shooting semi-auto for a while, and I found the trigger delay to be very short, about half as much as my Thompson. This says to me that the motor has quite a bit of torque to it. Full auto is...wow. I didnít expect it to be anything special, what with the m120 spring installed. But I was very impressed with the RoF, though I donít find high RoF to be of any particular use. I hesitate to throw out untested numbers, but I believe the cyclical is over 1000rpm quite easily. The accuracy was also good. I expected a better grouping that I got with my Thompson, and got almost exactly what I expected. The groups I shot right out of the box seemed similar to my Thompson groups, except I was shooting from about 25% further away, from 95 feet compared to 75 feet. This is par for the coarse, considering the barrel length is so much longer than the Thompson. Also I think that the .25g ammo I was using may be too light for the 400FPS this gun supposedly puts out. I found .2s to be way too light for accurate shooting at 345fps with the Tommy gun, so Iím assuming that .25s are too light for a good test with 400. I know in the future Iíll be switching to .28g and heavier ammo for the best accuracy.
Later, when I got onto my usual field I was able to shoot on open ground, and I found the range to be noticeably better than the upgraded TMs I usually shoot. It wasnít a quantum leap ahead, but hey, itís an AEG you know? I will say though, that the distance that the BBs went on a straight path was considerable, even though I would not shoot at anything further away than 160ish feet due to poor airsoft ballistics. Just to give you an idea, last summer my friend bought a KJW M700. We shot that thing on a warm day, which says it aught to have been shooting at well over 500, probably more like 550+. Though the hop-up was inconsistent, the good shots went to, or a little bit past a certain pile of branches. I shot the M14 at the same branches and found that my shots were falling only 10 feet or so short, and that I could lob a shot out to the pile by aiming about 3 feet high. Thatís pretty impressive, as I guestimate the range of that bush pile(I have not measured, sorry) is probably further out than 200 feet, but really more like 220-230. Iíll stress though that I wouldnít consider the range of this gun to be that far; hitting a human at that range is going to be near impossible, even though the accuracy at that range was pretty fair. I know for certain that there was absolutely, positively no freaking way my 345fps TM was ever going to shoot that far.
The coke-can chrono showed that the gun is definite shooting quite hot, G&G is not lying about the m120 spring they put in these. you can see that the BB penetrated both sides of the can quite easily, and went clean through the center bottom and the bottom edge without much trouble. I also did some reasonably scientific accuracy tests, which I will have to repeat, because they were done at night and I couldnít be sure of my aim with the lights I was using. Also the tests, done at 95 tape-measured feet, show a grouping of only 4 inches wide over 5 shots. This, if itís really true, makes me oh-so-very happy. Just check out the VSR forum and look for some posts form people shooting TM sniper rifles at that range; 4 inch groups from 95 feet are outstanding.
Anyways, on to some more mundane parts of the review.
Racking the bolt-now thereís a real treat. In the short time I got to hold the Marui M14, that one of the things I did. I have to say, the G&G has marui beat on this little issue. Pulling back the bolt and letting it fly is honestly louder than shooing my GBB. This is because the bolt is attached to the realistic gas piston, in short, a massive piece of metal. Lots and lots of metal slamming into each other means a big, satisfying sound. Also, the gun has a working bolt catch right out of the box. This is a nice little feature that you could add to the marui, but G&G does it for you. It also makes it much easier to adjust the hop-up, which is under the bolt. Also, when you hit the bolt release the gun jolts a little bit in your hands, as well as making that nice sound. The little things are what I like...The downside of that is that the bolt is free for a little bit of movement when itís in itís forward position. It can move up and down if you push on it, and can also rattle just a bit if you shake the whole gun. Iíd rather that this have been more solid, to tell you the truth, but it is a very small imperfection. Plus the bolt-racking makes up for it.
The sights are often praised, particularly by other M14 enthusiasts as being very easy to use and quick with acquisition. They are, in fact, the same type of sights used by the M16, being rear-aperture/front post style. The notable difference is that they donít have the dual flip-up apertures like the M16, but they do have two very easy adjustment knobs on either side of the rear sight. They click in place, and the receiver has marks to help you calibrate the sights.
The other thing that I noticed about this gun is, the magazine is able to come out of the gun if you give it a descent whack from the front. I donít know exactly why, but there is no latch on the front of the magazine, only in the back. So if you give it some force from the front, it will release. Mind you this is a sizeable amount of force weíre talking about here, not something thatís going to happen in the field. Iím just used to the Thompson, which I could insert a mag and then flip the gun upside down, and shake the whole gun as hard as I could and it wouldnít do anything.
Also, a few things about the stock. It has two sling mounts, plus a hole cut in the forearm for the attachment for a bi-pod. The front sling mount is a hinge type, while the rear is non-moving. Iíd suggest you watch the rear mount, because on mine the screw that holds it on came a bit loose and cause the mount of come off. You need to loc-tite that screw in place as soon as you get it, it is inside the stock, and to get to it you need to remove the butt plate. Also, as for complaints about the stock. A few days after I got the rifle, I noticed what I thought to be barrel wobble. Now, if the gun actually had barrel wobble, I would have sold it right then and started saving for a guarder all steel AK. Luckily I was able to keep my new precious. What was actually happening was the wood stock was flexing just a bit when I pressed on it just a certain way. Due to the stock not be exactly machined to fit around the gas tube this meant that I could move the forearm a little bit in relation to the barrel. I put a layer around the gas tube, and then another, and the wobble went away entirely. I suggest you do this to your M14 immediately, as it will lessen the stress on the long part of the stock.
On a positive note, Iím glad to report that the trigger pull is very clean and light on this rifle. Many reviews and opinions Iíve read about G&Gís old M14s said that the trigger pull on their earlier guns was horrendous. This trigger set is pretty much the same as any other AEG Iíve used, nice and clean. On the subject of the trigger, Iíll mention that I really believe that the trigger guard is steel. It has a noticeably different color and texture than the other metal. Itís grey, rather than place, and course and grainy rather than smooth, it resembles the magazine metal more than anything, which G&G claims is steel. And it wouldnít be beyond the range of possibility that it steel either. itís not a complicated part, it could easily be made from stamped steel, and it would make sense to as well. The trigger guard is part of the disassembly. In fact, itís the only part you need to touch to field strip the gun, by bending it slightly. Pot metal obviously wouldnít be suited to repeated bending stress like this, neither would aluminum, which leads me to believe that steel stampings are what G&G used. Also, there is a similarly textured and colored piece of metal just in front of the sights that also might be a bit of steel.
The gun has been through only one skirmish so far. That was a good skirmish, 10-4, kills to deaths. I was never, not ever close to being outranged, and I was never outgunned. My very first kill was easily the longest range kill Iíve ever got. See, these two guys showed up behind our squad. They didnít shoot at me, even though I was in the open, since I was too far out. I decided to pop off three rounds in semi auto. Sure enough this got me three hits on the same guy, who was half hidden behind cover. Iíd guess the range was over, but still pretty close to 150 feet. I canít say for sure. Also I got a pretty sweet kill on a guy at maybe 120 feet, but he was also running perpendicularly to my line of fire, plus there was wind to take into account. Both of those were pretty satisfying. My personal favorite however, came on a wide, solo flank I made later in the day. I had been forced to flee from a position that had gotten all flanked and surrounded, so that I had to try to trudge though knee deep mud in a swampy jungle like place. This got me way away form all the fighting, so I had some leeway to march all the way around the edge of the game field, sneak up on the rear of this enemy base to find one guy just sitting reloading his mags. I took aim at about 75 feet, and sent a single BB at his chest. I was close enough that I figure more than that were unnecessary, and I was right. My BB hit not just the body part I was aiming for, but there exact M4 mag pouch I aimed at. Of coarse, when I revealed my position to him(he was looking around for who shot him) he said he was already dead. I guess he didnít have a dead rag, and he wasnít walking back to re-spawn. Either way, I enjoyed having a weapon that I trusted enough to use in semi-auto all the time.
The weight and length never really slowed me down either. Remember Iím only about 5í10Ē, 170 pounds, and since this last year of relative inactivity Iíve lost a lot of muscle mass and endurance. The rifle did get heavy if I held it leveled for long periods of time, but thatís a problem with any gun for me, no matter what weight it has. Holding the gun shouldered but at low ready was no problem. And even after my sling failed early in the day, the gun never got heavy when I was holding it in two hands, though I usually tucked the butt under my shoulder to take up some weight, or sometimes I was able to balance the gun on my hip by wedging it in between my hip and my web gear. Unconventional technique sure, but it was effective. The length never came into play, wasnít surprising but it sorta was at the same time. The field was mostly woodland, but there was also an area with shanties that needed to be negotiated, plus the brush was unbelievably thick even though it hadnít started growing yet this season. Even with that, I only got the muzzle caught on something once, something that I donít think will happen once I get used to the extra length. Also, I noticed that the finish on the stock had been scratch near the grip. I knew the stock would eventually accumulate wear, but this happened way faster than I thought it would. I never expected anything to show up after one skirmish. I did hear from other G&G M14 users that the finish would come off in time, just not this fast.
So in short, this gun rocks. It fits into the classic ďexpensive, nicely madeĒ category of things. These guns go for 550 on all websites Iíve seen them at, and theyíre well worth the price. They built very well and include a whole bunch of stuff youíll need/want if youíre upgrading to high FPS levels, or if you just want an AEG that performs far above stock levels right out of the box.
+real walnut wood stock
+400 fps out of the box
+comes stock with a tightbore
+machined aluminum receiver, barrel, and generally well built externals
+reinforced mechbox thatís good for 500 fps
+entirely upgraded internals that can handle higher springs without problems
+huge battery capacity(10.8v large)
+working bolt catch as standard
+realistic field stripping
+inner barrel, hop-up, more internal components are v2/3 compatible(no specific parts)
+more weight adds to realism
-bolt tends to be loose
-magazines are not marui compatible, denies access to cheap knock-off mags
-hop-up is not as good as the TM M14
-external specs may not be exactly real spec
-some internal parts are rumored to be non-marui compatible(G&G offers replacement parts)
-the magazine could possibly come loose
Once I get my mag back, or when I get some new ones, I will update this thread with some solid accuracy tests. Also I have a KM V-hop that I bought for this gun, Iíll be looking to test the exact difference it makes when I install it, as compared to the stock G&G rubber. Also, I intend to make an update once Iíve had the gun for a year. I'll also get chrono results the next time I come across one.
Edited by hsimoorb, 02 May 2007 - 02:13 PM.