The Umarex G3 Gas Blowback Rifle by VFC
Firstly it's been a while since I wrote a review , years in fact . This rifle has been one i've been looking forward to for many years so a bit of that enthusiasm is most certainly going to find it's way in . However I am not one of those young guys from Youtube who gets their first rifle and thinks it's the best thing ever. I've got an extensive collection and have been in airsoft since 1990 . This rifle was not supplied for review , I paid for it myself as soon as pre order was available .
Upon the rifle arriving you will see it packaged in typical umarex style with black H&K marked cardboard box with stiff card inserts holding the contents very securely . The rifle itself being wrapped in a tough plastic “bag” . Also in the box you will find the instruction manual and loading tool for the included 20 round gas magazine .
Once unwrapped you can feel the heft of the G3 with it's steel construction running around one metre in length. The plastics are of good quality and feel very solid with only the very slightest of sideways play at the rear of the handguard , Although the plastics are of high quality , I intended from the start to switch these out for real furniture as I do with the vast majority of my rifles . If anything the VFC plastic is of too high quality with decent texture in contrast to the H&K parts .
The muzzle device is steel and a very good replica although I will likely switch this out for a real one soon. Behind that is the steel outer barrel extension which runs into the steel front sight block . The outer barrel under the handguard is alloy and does serve to lighten the front end a touch compared to the full steel barrel of the LCT but it does not detract from the overall feel for me .
The Handguard is patterned on the slim green handguard we are all so familiar with . It is real spec and every real handguard I have tried has fitted perfectly unlike the LCT which has some annoying protrusions from the reciever pin that must be ground down to fit some . So far Ihave tested the following real handguards …. Slim , wood , Wide(tropical) and RAS from Fab Defense with no issues . In fact all of them removed that tiny bit of sideways slop that the factory handguard had .
Above the handguard is the steel cocking tube with it's steel charging handle assembly which has the usual green plastic sleeve on it (the cocking handle appears to be real spec but I have yet to find time to change mine out). The cocking tube is correctly and neatly welded to the reciever which is of course more steel .
The reciever appears to be made just like the real rifle , being made of a stamped sheet which is then folded and welded in all the right places and with attention to detail.
On the left side of the magwell you will find the markings which say “G3FS 106****(serial number protected) HK 2/72 Bw . These markings denote that this is based upon a later “freefloated” model of the G3 manufactured in 1972. The only other markings on the upper are the usual white umarex markings which are very cleverly done on the part that is covered by the lower when assembled so there is no “cal6mm” ruining the look of the rifle until you take it apart for cleaning .
The lower is again a stamped steel construction and is again real spec so you can fit the real pistol grip sleeve on with no mods required . Due to the insane attention to detail from VFC you could also use a real lower by dropping the well replicated GBB trigger box into the real lower . I will be doing mine in the next few days hopefully but mine is a FMP lower so I will need to quickly run a file inside the front lugs to make it match up against the VFC (this is a known point when using FMP lowers on H&K G3s).
The stock again is a very well replicated part , VFC opted to fit the recoil assembly to the end cap like it would be on the real one so you will need to move this to the real stock unless you use the VFC end cap . I have tried using a real stock on the VFC end cap and also using a real slither stock and moving the recoil assembly over and both worked great.
Internally the level of replication continues with the trigger group and bolt carrier group both replicating the real parts very well . Field stripping this is all but identical to the real rifle.
So …. onto the airsoft side of the replica
The 20 round GBB magazine is a good design and not only replicates the real one very well but also cleverly enables the rifle to give the “dead mans click” on empty or allow for dry firing depending on how you set the “dry fire switch” . The fill valve is on the back of the magazine just below the strike valve which means it's protected from debris but also hidden from view when in the rifle .
Filling with gas and Bbs is easy which is a relief for those of us that use GHK rifles . The gas tank is enough for around 60 shots when using RWA Airsoft Surgeon gas unless you try to mag dump every mag. Given the size and weight of the bolt carrier this is quite astounding .
Upon inserting the magazine (if you haven't used a G3 this can take practice) you need to charge the rifle by pulling the charging handle to the rear and then allowing spring pressure to carry it forward into battery . This gives a very satisfying “clunk” and you feel the weight of the bolt carrier close as it hits the steel trunion . Once charged you remove the safety catch which has a stiff , positive feel like the real one (manly) and you are ready to fire . The trigger has some take up and not a very distinctive wall before breaking at surprisingly lightweight . The reset is quite short with a bit of slop but audible with a noticeable click on the trigger finger once it resets . The recoil is sharp and has good travel which is nice for a rifle of this size and weight but does not feel sluggish in the slightest . It's very satisfying . On auto the rifle will rock about nicely but of course that is not what users of this rifle will be using in the field so it's just a fun factor when messing about .
Once the magazine is empty the hammer will fall will a”click” and you will be required to change magazines and charge the rifle again . The “correct” military way to do this is to lock the charging handle into it's rear recess , take out the spent magazine , insert the fresh mag and then “H&K slap” the charging handle into battery . This feels great and you can be confident doing this with the steel construction .
The hop up is easy to adjust and is located under the handguard (no more damn allen keys) . I have not range tested my rifle yet but the grouping at CQB distance was nothing short of surprising . With 0.28g airsoft surgeon ABS Bbs ,the rifle was easily grouping into an inch group from rested and not quite two inches freehand !
That kind of repeatability on a GBB is almost unheard of from the box and the chrono helped me understand why that may be with only a few FPS variance over a 20 round mag when firing semi auto at a steady pace . Mine currently reads 416 fps average with green gas and 0.2g but I will be restricting that to be around 1.1J with 0.3g just to be safe ,
This is just a first look and I will be updating this review with photos and more data over the coming days as well as continuing to test real parts compatibility
Please feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer them ASAP