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MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

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Hey guys for what its worth...

 

I picked up one of the Massada's in the UK a few weeks back and I have to say I'm pretty impressed - with a 2x/4x optic it really reaches out and touches people on semi with a damn snappy trigger response on a 9.6v mini. The range is simply awesome. Most of the externals are the mutts nuts and it has the magpul logo all over it if that get's your rocks off. Taking the gun apart is a snap and as long as after market barrels and hand guards roll in then versatility is assured and simple to achieve in the safe zone. Two weeks running, 4k rounds each game day and no problems at all so far (except the operator's usual bb attracting abilities). Hand guard hasn't split and isn't showing any weakness as yet (but it's not been tortured with rails or toys yet). Mold lines are present on the front grip, which moves slightly and doesn't hold minis too tight (electrical tape around the mini's is a quick fix for this). I'm not overly impressed with full auto and I do kinda feel that the grouping could be a touch better.

 

Conclusion

Has it been hyped to within an inch of its life - yes.

Is it good - yes.

Is it perfect - no.

Am I glad I shelled out some cash for one - yes.

 

That's a review in a nut shell for you :)

 

So as nothing is broken I thought now was a good time to mess with it (don't doubt my logic :P).

 

The externals are easy; already got on order folding / telescopic stock, single point sling mount (wtf Magpul, am I missing something here?), hand guard rails and an AFG. Bundle a 553 and jobs a gooden in black and FDE glory.

 

 

The tricky part is the internals - no one I know has yet been mucking about too much with this stuff...

 

My personal thoughts are that a tight bore barrel would help improve grouping and a nice new motor would get rid of the un-satisfying whine. I know a lipo is certainly an option but I'm still hanging onto the mini's atm until I finally commit to changing format. A slightly punchier spring to bring the rifle up to the 375 limit used at a couple of sites near me may be a bonus but not overly worried about that at the moment.

 

The last little quip I have is with the hop... well really it's the biggest quip. I see people have been having trouble with the hop's, I guess a lot of it is not winding the hop off when removing the barrel (kinda makes sense - though I must admit if LW hadn't told me when I went down to pick it up, you know the first thing muggins would of done). The hop on mine is certainly working and makes 0.25s go nice and straight - but full on they don't curve up at all. This makes me wonder if a more efficient hop might see better results? If the hop's ain't great does anyone know if it's possible to swtich these things out or improve them at present, strikes me that the barrel design fubar's that?

 

So in summary does anyone know whether and how the following upgrades could go down:

 

A) Tight bore barrel

B) New Motor

C) Hop replacement

 

 

P.S I was wondering if anyone has taken the gear box apart yet and if they had any feelings about the gears, bushings et al. The ARES fears well justified?

Edited by demize2010

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So in summary does anyone know whether and how the following upgrades could go down:

 

A) Tight bore barrel

B) New Motor

C) Hop replacement

 

 

P.S I was wondering if anyone has taken the gear box apart yet and if they had any feelings about the gears, bushings et al. The ARES fears well justified?

 

 

Received my UK-spec Masada last week, with 1 free Pmag kindly thrown in from Dingodogs.

 

I'm extremely impressed with the material and build quality. The polymer is gorgeous stuff, seemingly better quality than the Pmags with a slightly more shiny or 'waxy' appearance, and a more complex, deeper texture. The polymer seems very tough and has a nice, dense feel to it. Yes there are mold lines visible, but they're not excessive or ugly and don't detract from the quality at all in my opinion.

 

The CNC upper is one very solid piece of metal. It's clearly been made to tight tolarances. I think the fact that it's been painted slightly reduces the precise appearance of the upper, but only when you look very closely. It's a very nice part of the gun and gives the whole thing a beautifully solid structure. The outer barrel is a beautiful part too. Very solid, very high quality work. Not sure what process has been used to colour the outer barrel and gas tube, but it has a gorgeous satin finish.

 

Some people have said the gun is light, but personally I think the weight is perfect. It's light enough that I'm be able to skirmish it all day, but heavy enough to make it feel solid and sturdy. Certainly lighter than some other guns, but this is also due to the way the weight is petfectly balanced. It's very ergonomic and feels completely natural to shoulder. Lucky for me the fixed stock is the perfect length, and feels very solid. Mine came with a sling point already attached, although the design is different to the separately sold Mapgul PTS sling point.

 

As a showpiece it's stunning, but I bought this gun as an upgrade platform so the crucial test for me is whether it can be elevated to high performance. There's room for an internal tracer unit, as well as the electronics I've designed to run the tracer on any battery. I found that the barrel lever is removable, so there's actually plenty of room in the handguard for electronics.

 

Upon disassembly, it becomes clear that a lot of work is needed to gain serious performance from this gun.

 

I have no interest in running a stock gun, and wanted to take out the motor brushes to put into my own motor, so I never fired it in it's stock form. Even though I can't comment on the performance out of the box, visually inspecting the internals is very revealing.

 

Wiring

 

The soldering was ok, but not great. Tamiya connector is disappointing but not surprising. The gearbox has been designed so that the wires run through the gearbox shell itself. This makes the installation of a mosfet quite tricky, as there isn't much room for extra wires. The major obstacle that the wires must avoid is the magazine release. I ended up making some plastic blocks to glue onto each side of the gearbox to keep the wires out of the way, allowing the mag release to function normally.

 

Another obstacle to overcome when installing extra wires is the fact that the gearbox is held into the lower receiver via ONE screw only. This means that the gearbox is not held firmly in place and can therefore be pushed out of alignment by the extra wires. So, before perfecting the reassembly process, the ejection port cover would bind on the top of the gearbox.

Microswitch/Trigger

 

The microswitch says it's rated for only 15A which is quite low, so it wouldn't last long if used with a high performance battery and motor combination without a mosfet. So while the microswitch is a nice idea, it's a half-baked one and something of a liability when upgrading. It doesn't provide much physical resistance, so you can't feel a nice, crisp click (although you can hear it). In fact, the design of the trigger is such that a trigger pull actually releases the switch, so installing a stronger microswitch wouldn't improve it. The trigger itself is let down hugely by the fire selector design becasue when reassembling the gun, it's very difficult to correctly align the selector gears with the lower receiver. This is a part which actually requires some 'tuning' to get right, which could have been so easily avoided with a better design. The trigger does seem to be very sensitive to slight fire-selector movement, bizzarely requiring a stronger trigger pull in certain positions. Definitely needs some learning to get right.

Motor

 

The motor doesn't use the strong neodymium magnets found in high performance motors, so this would be one of the first things to replace. The best motors can be bought for around $20, so it's a disappointment that the gun doesn't include one.

 

Anti-Reversal Latch

 

I had problems with the stock ARL. I'm not sure exactly what was wrong with it, as it didn't appear to be binding on anything, but there was audible backspin until I replaced it.

 

Gears

 

I reaplaced the stock gears immediately, so I can't comment on their performance or durability. It was disappointing to see that the bevel gear only has 4 ARL teeth.

 

Tappet Plate

 

The gun did not feed at first. Not at all. When manually inserting a BB into the barrel, the power was awful. It turned out to be a malformed tappet plate not allowing the nozzle to make contact with the bucking. I had to shave off a little material from the tappet plate. Feeding improved slightly, but I had to install a sector clip to allow the gun to feed reliably.

 

Air Nozzle

 

The air nozzle has no o-ring, meaning it does not form a proper air seal with the cylinder head nozzle. This affects power and consistency, which is disappointing for such an expensive gun. It wouldn't be a problem if the nozzle itself was a standard part, but as far as I know it's a unique design. At 3cm long it's enormous. If anyone knows of an air seal nozzle which works in this gun, please let me know!

 

Piston/Piston head

 

I haven't tested it, but there's an air bubble visible inside the pickup tooth so I wouldn't want to put any strain on the piston. The piston came with a huge metal weight inside it (which is of course the opposite of what we want), and of course the angle of engagement hadn't been corrected. The O-ring was too big, causing excess friction on the back stroke so it had to be replaced.

 

Cylinder/Cylinder head

 

The cylinder isn't ported, but power is good enough so I haven't spent money on perfecting the barrel/cylinder volume yet. The cylinder itself seems great, and forms a perfect air seal.

 

Spring guide

 

This part is another major disappointment along with the air nozzle. It has no bearing, just a simple metal washer. Again this would be fine if it weren't a unique design. And again, if anyone knows of an aftermarket bearing spring guide which will fit please let me know. The quick spring change feature itself is very nice. Quickly changing springs isn't something I plan on doing, but it makes assembly and disassembly much easier, as you never have to fight against the main spring tension. For this reason, installing a high power spring would be trivial.

 

 

Everything in the gearbox was severley overlubed with some sort of very thick gunge, as with most stock AEGs. I forgot to check the shimming so I can't comment on it. I immediately replaced the bushings/bearings so I can't comment on them either. I haven't done extensive range testing so I can't yet tell if the hopup design or stock barrel are good enough, but the integrated nub does concern me.

 

 

Self-retaining body pins

 

A small detail, but the little clips holding in the body pins makes working on this gun an absolute pleasure. They snap into position with a really satisfying click, and having 4 less things to keep track of is awesome. Although the clips can come loose so be careful!

 

Iron sights

 

The integrated front sight is strange, as it eats into the paintwork if allowed to spring into position. Otherwise it's a nice, solid sight which is adjustable. The rear sight is really beautiful.

 

Sling mounts

 

The multitude of sling mount points is a very nice feature. The gun comes with 3 quick detach mount points, which can all be mounted on one side of the gun if you choose.

 

As an upgrade platform this guns is fine, but the proprietary spring guide and air nozzle are the 2 major problems. The ability to use most other standard parts makes it good enough, and if a decent air nozzle and spring guide are made available then nothing inside the gearbox could hold it back.

 

There's a lot to be desired from the gearbox in it's stock form, and there are a couple of irritating design choices, but overall I'm really happy with the gun. I haven't been able to put it down since I got it, it just feels so nice and solid.

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Had a bit of an issue with my Masada on Sunday, it was running a bit hot for the site so I swapped the springs and after that the problem started.

It was randomly cutting out, no grinding noises or anything but it was exactly as if the gun had no battery and after running a few more steps it would start working again but this kept happening every 15-20mins.

 

The battery wasn't flat and the gun ran fine in between this, same rate of fire and great trigger response. I'm thinking it's definately electrical and my first guesses would be the connector to the battery or the connectors on the motor coming loose. I was quite careful changing the spring and don't think I did anything that would affect the electrics.

 

I'm hoping that is it rather than an issue with the micro switch. I'll investigate it when I get home tonight, just wondering if anyone else has had the same/similar issue?

 

Other than that though the gun was a pleasure to use :)

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Nice little write up Tacitus!

 

Thanks :) I didn't plan on writing that much, but I got quite into it. It was very late so apologies for any spelling errors!

 

I forgot to mention that the hopup assembly is held in place by two roll pins, which are very difficult to remove. If anyone has any tips on how to remove them, please let me know!

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Sorry mate, there's no polite way to do it but just simply hammer it out with these. :-

 

Good to know it's actually possible. I have a few more questions for you!

 

I assume these are standard roll pin punches?

Do you know which size is the best fit for the Masada?

Were you able to avoid damaging the paintwork around the roll pins?

Did reassembly go smoothly?

And lastly, is the hopup assembly still firmly held in place after being reinstalled into the body? No wobble or anything like that?

 

The reason I'm so curious is because I'm working on an internal tracer unit for the gun. I've installed some LEDs around the feeding tube and it works great, but I want to put 2 more in the hopup just to get the light as close to the barrel as possible, for brighter semi-auto shots.

Edited by Tacitus

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Good to know it's actually possible. I have a few more questions for you!

 

I assume these are standard roll pin punches?

Do you know which size is the best fit for the Masada?

Were you able to avoid damaging the paintwork around the roll pins?

Did reassembly go smoothly?

And lastly, is the hopup assembly still firmly held in place after being reinstalled into the body? No wobble or anything like that?

 

The reason I'm so curious is because I'm working on an internal tracer unit for the gun. I've installed some LEDs around the feeding tube and it works great, but I want to put 2 more in the hopup just to get the light as close to the barrel as possible, for brighter semi-auto shots.

 

Can you come up with a list of directions and parts you used for that? I want to install internal tracer led's myself.

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Can you come up with a list of directions and parts you used for that? I want to install internal tracer led's myself.

 

Actually I'm planning to start offering custom built internal tracer units as an upgrade service in the near future, with a solid design that I've spent some time developing. If there's enough interest from overseas, I might also offer kits for people to install themselves.

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[Tacitus] 1) I assume these are standard roll pin punches?

[Tacitus] 2) Do you know which size is the best fit for the Masada?

 

Yep, it's between 4mm & 5mm but I ended up using the 4mm.

 

[Tacitus] 3) Were you able to avoid damaging the paintwork around the roll pins?

 

I did mine a few times and damaged the paint job on 2nd round. It's possible but gotta be careful. They are tight (and if I remember correctly, the lower ping is tighter than the upper; at least in mine).

 

[Tacitus] 4) Did reassembly go smoothly?

 

Re-assembly was smooth. At least with that, I could put some padding/cloth before hammering the pins back in.

 

[Tacitus] 5) And lastly, is the hopup assembly still firmly held in place after being reinstalled into the body? No wobble or anything like that?

 

So the hop chamber sits in that metal housing block but loosely. Two screws just hold it in place they don't bolt it down tight. So the hop chamber does "wobble" within the metal housing. This was the case before and after (re)assembly.

 

[Tacitus] The reason I'm so curious is because I'm working on an internal tracer unit for the gun. I've installed some LEDs around the feeding tube and it works great, but I want to put 2 more in the hopup just to get the light as close to the barrel as possible, for brighter semi-auto shots.

 

I'm not certain how much room you have to install your LEDs. Here's a closer pic of the hop chamber and the housing block around it.

 

ACRHopHousing.jpg

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More PTS woes, just picked up my Folding Stock and it doesn't fit, ran back to the shop and we tried three different stocks in two different guns and on all of them the upper pin hole is too far back, and prevents the upper pin from locking down into place.

 

Thats really *suitcasey*.

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More PTS woes, just picked up my Folding Stock and it doesn't fit, ran back to the shop and we tried three different stocks in two different guns and on all of them the upper pin hole is too far back, and prevents the upper pin from locking down into place.

 

Thats really *suitcasey*.

 

Had the same experience with the folding stock. Minor filing of the stock to fit is required it but slots on solidly after that. Still, it's not something you should have to live with for a gun in this price range..

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More PTS woes, just picked up my Folding Stock and it doesn't fit, ran back to the shop and we tried three different stocks in two different guns and on all of them the upper pin hole is too far back, and prevents the upper pin from locking down into place.

 

Thats really *suitcasey*.

 

Were you trying one of the PTS stocks?

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Yes, Overall I'm on the fence with MASADA, we'll see if it makes it through its first game with the new trigger switch this weekend.

 

Ick I have one of these on order from ehobby. I'm still enjoying the Masda ATM but I;m a bit worried by the trigger issue you've had :(

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Had the same experience with the folding stock. Minor filing of the stock to fit is required it but slots on solidly after that. Still, it's not something you should have to live with for a gun in this price range..

 

 

After having my Magpul PTS ACR/Masada for quite a while now, I was seriously considering purchasing the Magpul Masada folding stock and sling mount, reading through the many posts on this thread, I'm suddenly not so sure anymore.

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