H&K G3SG1 Review

 

 

TM HKG3SG1

images
and review by

Arnie

Stock
Specifications
FPS
280fps
(stock fps may vary)
Length: 1040mm
Weight: 3.2
Kg (heavy)

Ammo
capacity:

 

500 rounds
(Hi-Cap)

70 Round (Standard
Mag)

NEW!
The SG1 has been upgraded

NEW!
The G3SG1 Image page


So why
the SG1?
When
I started airsoft I borrowed a friends (upgraded) AK47, and became instantly
addicted to the game. I decided there and then, that when I had the money I’d
get myself a rifle and a good pistol. I was looking for a decent rifle that
could double as a sniper rifle. I’ve trained as a marksman (I feel most at home
with a Parker-Hale 7.62 Swing action match rifle), so the ability to snipe was
important to me. The possibility of laying down suppressing fire was also something
I was looking for. As I couldn’t afford to get an automatic weapon, and a sniper
rifle at the same time, I had to choose a single all round rifle.

The sensible
choices I came up with, were either the G3SG1, the M16A2, or the AK47. It was
important to me to have something different, and the M16 seemed to be very common,
a good friend already had the AK, so I plumped for the Tokyo Marui SG1.

The decision
was made to buy the SG1 from WolfArmouries.
The basis for the purchasing decision was that although Wolf Armouries may not
be the cheapest suppliers out there, they are well founded and provide good
after-sales support. As my first airsoft purchase, I wanted the best support
I could get.

So what’s
it like ?
The
rifle doesn’t have the futuristic looks of the FAMAS or the Steyr, it’s a tidy
practical rifle, and that’s what I was after. It’s very comfortable to hold,
and the rifle comes with a bipod fitted as standard. (As I’ve said) With a background
in marksmanship, from my point of view, bipods are only for keeping the
rifle out of the mud if you have to put it down. It’s just a personal opinion,
but the bipod makes the rifle rather unstable and unbalanced when it’s extended,
as when you swing the legs down, it shifts their weight forward. That said,
it adds a distinctive look to the rifle when folded up or down.

Val fiing over short rangeVal Kilmer rolling out of cover with the SG1Val firing at a long range target

( I pulled
these images from my VHS copy of Heat, here Val Kilmer lays down support fire
from about 100 yards, hence no scope is needed or used)

As for realism
and looks, the outer barrel past the foresight is made of solid metal, as are
the foresight, backsight, bipod and the stock fitting. The rest of the rifle
is made from a tough matt ABS plastic. The rifle is built very solidly, there’s
just a few things to watch for, (some bits gradually come loose) but I’ll list
those issues further into the review.

The rifle
comes with a cheek piece that fits on the top of the stock. It should
be noted though, that when the rifle comes out of the box, it’s only held
on temporarily with some small sticky pads.

The cheek
rest is intended for use if you plan to attach a scope. I’d recommend
taking it off and dumping it in the box for safekeeping if you intend
to use the steel sights. If you wish to use the cheek piece with a scope
(as I do) there are some decent strips of sticky tape in the box.

To get
the rest in the correct place I’d recommend trying the cheek rest attached
with something pliable like Blu-Tac You’ll should to zero your scope (I
have some targets in the garden for such a purpose), and make sure you
are comfortable with the feel of the rifle. Stick it down after you are
happy with it’s placement, as once you’ve stuck it down with the big sticky
pad that comes in the box, it’s a real pain to get off again.

The G3 standard stock
Access to the hop-up is very simple

As with
most Tokyo Marui rifles access to the hop-up is gained by use of the cocking
handle. As you move the handle back, against a hidden spring, the shell
exit cover comes open, to reveal the hop-up. It’s very easy to access,
and I’ve tweaked it many a time in the middle of a fire-fight, even with
my fingers (they look like Frankenstein’s hand-me-downs) I can
still twiddle the adjustment dial with ease.

The cocking
lever returns quickly and snaps back thanks to the retaining spring. At
the front of the barrel near the foresight, there’s a pin that snaps across,
which retains the cocking handle, and stops it rattling around when you’re
on the move. Although the sound of BB’s rattling around in the mag, somewhat
overpowers any rattles anyway (mental note: look into ways to suppress
this churning sound created when you run with a hi-cap bb mag).

Upgrade
details:
As
a boggo ‘stock’ setup, the rifle is relatively indifferent from another
other similarly sized airsoft AEG. This is where where a few 3rd party
companies come to the rescue. After several skirmishes, I decided that
the power and range were not sufficient. I really wanted to give people
with PSG1’s and APS sniper rifles something to worry about. So after a
small conversation with my wallet, I decided to outlay the cash to buy
the UK Systema Pro Power FTK. – please note the UK kit has had
the spring replaced with one within the legal limit (an M100 rather than
an M150). I have a separate page concerning the details and problems I
encountered while performing the upgrade here.

The power
of the rifle immediately after the upgrade was a rather worrying 360-380fps,
this seemed to be artificially high as the new gears and silicon grease
(which I used plenty of) settled in. The power is now a reliable 320-328fps,
which is right on the 1Joule limit.

You can
also upgrade the EG700 motor that’s in the rifle to an EG1000 (which in
theory will turn the gearbox faster, as it’s more powerful), and there’s
a TN 6.04mm inner barrel available, which will increase power and accuracy.

I have been told that the
TN inner barrels can cause feed jams (as they are slightly tighter than the
stock barrels). There seems to be two resounding solutions to this – REMOVE
the staples from your ammo bags religiously (don’t let them fall into your
magazine or ammo bag)
;
and
do not under any circumstances use either cheap (read inferior) ammo,
or ‘recycled’ ammo (stuff that’s been fired once before).

There is also a high speed
FTK from Systema available. – Personally I wouldn’t recommend fitting these
unless you know what you are doing. A collegue of mine has been through 2 sets
of gears after various problems caused them to strip teeth off themselves.

As you can
see though, I’m not crazy about putting any more upgrades in until the power
drops lower, as I don’t want to break the 1Joule (328fps) limit.

Accessories!
– Just when you thought you’d emptied your wallet…
This
rifle needs several things to make it complete. From personal experience, I’d
recommend picking up the following bit and pieces:

A scope, preferably
a 1″ 4×40 (4 times zoom, with a 40mm front lens). I have a rather nice
Illuminated cross-hair scope, that I’ve grown rather fond of. Now here’s the
minor problem, in order to fit the scope you’ll need 2 things.

The first is the Marui
Claw mount
which is what you attach to the rifle to provide a scope base.
The second thing is a pair of Weaver scope rings (or a good copy of them).
The Weaver mounts are very expensive for what they are, and come in at about
£35

The claw mount is about
£35 from most UK shops. I picked my Weaver Mounts from a rather nice gun-shop
in Portsmouth, near the Navy base (which we turned the car round in when we
got lost – they don’t make it easy to leave Portsmouth!).

The illuminated backsite
SG! with claw mount and scope attached
Weaver mountings
Here
you can see the back of the scope with the cross hair illuminated
The
rifle with scope and claw attached
.
Ahh
the sign of quality.. these little bits of steel cost a small fortune,
but were worth it.

You’ll also
need at least 3 hi-cap magazines (trust me) . The standard mags, are
effectively useless (70 rounds get’s emptied in a few seconds), unless you like
the advantage of not having to wind them, or you want the realism of restricted
ammunition. Each Hi-Cap costs around £25 in this country.

Another essential
is a decent carry bag. I’ve got a long rifle bagmaster bag (It came with
mine when I bought it), it’s big enough to hold the rifle, scope and a few magazines.
You really should get one to protect the rifle when it’s not being used. I have
seen the damage first hand that can happen to a rifle it it gets left lying
around out of a bag.

Another accessory
that’s nice to have is a 3 point sling. You can use a simple SA80 sling (you
can get them from most decent army surplus stores for about £8). I built
mine from an old sports bag carry-handle I got from a friend. There is a current
theory that using a sling can be damaging to your rifle, as it has a habit of
putting a strain on the rifle and breaking it in half. I’ve never seen this
happen (yet..).

Compare battery sizes

The most important
part I purchased to go with this rifle is a 3000mAh NiMh battery. I managed
to get 13 clips (500 rounds each) through the rifle in one day, with no
recharges.

Personally I’d recommend
buying the largest NiMh battery you can get your hand on. The Stock for
the SG1 is big enough to take almost any large 7 cell battery (‘C’ cell).

Here you can see the
size difference between a small MC51 battery (fits in the hand-grip) and
the monster battery I keep in the stock of my SG1.

.

Performance
in the field
Well
what can I say ? – After you see people walking along merrily at a skirmish
thinking they are out of range of AEG’s… Until you fire – then they run like
startled chickens. As a stock issue weapon (not upgraded) it’s still a beauty
to fire, the range isn’t great as it comes, and until you upgrade the rifle,
there’s little point in buying a scope, unless you want the good looks that
is. It’s also worth remembering that a scope is of little use in dim or poorly
lit conditions.

As the weapon
comes out of the box, it’s great for CQB, admittedly it’s a little large, but
I’m used to it now, and it’ll normally outgun an MP5 variant (if only for the
fact that you can fit a bigger battery to the SG1). Oh.. not forgetting that
the SG1 Hi-Cap carries 500 rounds.

 

Small
issues to be aware of
Most
of these issues are common to most Tokyo Marui AEG’s in some form or other,
so as such they are not drawbacks to this rifle. However I thought that people
really should know which bits of the rifle to keep an eye on.

Sling Pin
there’s a small pin that’s found in the stock of the rifle, that holds
the sling on. This has a nasty habit of falling out when you least expect
it, usually into a mud hole, or a large pond. The universal fit/bodge
it tool ‘gaffer-tape’ comes to the rescue here.

Simply place a strip
under the hole the pin is placed through, and it should keep it in place
for many a skirmish. You may wish to add something like “Lock-Tight”
to the thread as well for that extra secure fitting.

 

 

Gaffer tape holding the sling pin in

Screws
there are several screws to watch, which need regular tightening. The outer
barrel grub-screws, need regular tightening, as does the screw that holds the
flashhider on. The bipod also needs tightening, not really to stop it falling
off, rather to keep it from rattling around too much.

Fire-Selector
– The fire selector
switch is unfortunately the weakest part of the design, and quite possibly the
most annoying part of the rifle I have discovered. It really doesn’t feel up
to the job. Compared to the fire selector of such weapons as the MP5, it really
isn’t built well enough. Now that’s to say it’s something I dislike, it’s not
a great issue, but it’s one I hope to fix shortly, with a metal replacement
from an MP5. It’s also worth pointing out that I am unaware of anyone breaking
the fire-selector, so maybe my worries could be completely unfounded.

Foregrip
‘Creak’
– The foregrip creaks a little when gripped tightly. Not a great
issue, but I fixed it by removing the grip and ‘wadding’ it (packing between
the barrel and the grip) with some black material cut from an old T-Shirt.

Hit the butt plate down to release the battery cover

The Butt-Plate:
The butt
plate is very difficult to get off the first few times. In case you can’t
remember which way to push it, push it ‘down’ (i.e. towards the pistol
grip). The easiest way to ease its movement on and off is to coat it inside
with silicon spray, before you put the cover back on. After a few months,
you’ll find it comes off much more easily.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Appearance

4/5

Build
Quality

4/5

Performance

 

4/5
(stock)

5/5
(upgraded)

Value
for Money

4/5
I didn’t buy it from the cheapest place though

Overall
Potential

5/5

I really
can’t fault this gun as it is my personal assault cannon, as stock
it’s nothing unusual, with performance similar to that of any other similar
sized AEG. After it’s been upgraded though, it’s the most fun weapon I
have used so far. There are possibilities to add reinforced ‘Radish’ backbone
kits, to improve rigidity, and full metal parts to replace the receiver
and cocking tube cover. I’ll have to fit these sometime after I win the
lottery though, as they ain’t cheap =).

Site
Links:
The
SG1 has been upgraded

read how to do this yourself

The G3SG1 Image page

G3SG1 Review 2
by Andrew
Wagstaff
(akaThe General)


External
Links:
MovieWeb
page for ‘Heat’ – contains casting info, some nice images and the theatrical
trailer
HEAT
fan site
– contains links, sound files, interviews
and more…
SecurityArms.com
– the big daddy of firearm image archives, here you can find an image
for the real-steel weapon from HK
NEW!
Classic Army G3 “Metal-Body”
– a fitting review over at
Airsoft Players

Comment
about this review in the forums


All images
that have been photographed, edited, and produced by myself are copyright 2001
ArniesAirsoft.
All images
from ‘Heat’ are copyright 2001 WarnerBrothers
arnie@arniesairsoft.co.uk




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