Using the rifle:
Battery fitment: Obviously you’ll have to fit a battery inside the foregrip to use the CA36C, these things are electric and not much more than a pretty paperweight without power. Fitting a battery is quite simple really, just remove the foregrip pin, and slide the front grip off to the front as shown here:
Now you’ll find a mass of wire inside the grip, things aren’t as tidy as the TM wiring system, so best to tidy things yourself before sticking the grip back on. Personally I prefer to hide the fuse box tot eh side of the barrel between the muzzle break and the knee bend in the metal reinforcing subframe, then hiding the connectors in the same place on the other side of the barrel.
With the wires tucked away in place you can just slide the foregrip back on carefully. With the wires and battery in situ you’ll find the foregrip is much tighter and once the pin is back in place there’s almost no lateral movement at all. You won’t have to worry about the foregrip pin falling out with the battery in place either.
The magazine: The magazine provided is a 470round high capacity (aka hicap) model. This is pretty normal for CA, they provide high capacity magazines with all their rifles on the assumption that more people use hicaps than locaps. The added value of not having to buy a new magazine from the outset for some is a good selling point.
The mag is made from a transparent plastic so you can actually see through it and how full it is from the outside. It should be noted that this may not be suitable for purists that prefer exact copies of real gear.. however the same people may also be best suited to getting hold of the more realistic low capacity magazines with the false rounds housed inside anyway.
On either side you’ll see attachment fixings. One side there are two shoe like mouldings, and the other side there are two locations into which fitments like that will fit into. This simple idea allows you to clip together multiples of magazines for easy changeover.
On either side of the magazine you’ll find these markings:
To fill the mag you’ll find a ribbed section on the rear area at the top. This pivots backwards leaving you with a hole through which to fill the magazine. The latch cover is tight and secure, so you’re unlikely to get mags popping open inside your webbing like the G3 or MP5 series can when carried upside down.
At the foot of the magazine you’ll find the winding wheel. The wheel needs to be turned towards the front to wind up the clockwork mechanism and thus feed BBs into the rifle when used. As with any other hicap you fill the magazine then wind the wheel until there’s a louder click than normal which indicates that the clockwork mechanism is wound tight.
With the mag filled the transparent nature of the hicap magazines from CA is obvious. Seen above you can see how standard 0.2g white BBs show through. The plastic colour for the magazine is about right compared to the real magazine, and if you’re worried about the white BBs showing through and looning wrong you can either just use the lowcaps with the fake rounds in the or stick to Bioval BBs or similar that are black/green/tan etc.
The moulding on the magazine is much better than that found in my old CA MP5 hicaps and shows a huge improvement in their processes and quality control.
Shown to the left here you can see how the two halves match up nicely, there’s no excess at the edges and the BB feed mech operates nicely. The loading latch cover is a nice tight fit although that’s sure to wear looser eventually with use. This shouldn’t be a huge issue as mags normally need to be replaced after a certain amount of use anyway. If you don’t crush them in a mag pouch you’ll drop them on a hard concrete floor – been there done that and got the t-shirt. ^_^
Mag fitment: Securing the filled mag to the AEG is dead easy, there’s no great knack to it that sometimes confuses people like with the AK series for example. Simply align the top of the mag with the the mag well (BB feed hole to the top front) and press it firmly upwards until you hear a click. I wouldn’t recommend slamming it in Hollywood style as you’ll just break something.
I should say from the outset here that there’s a fault with the prototype’s design that will be fixed for the production version. Basically the tolerances on the mouldings are too tight for the mag well which means that the magazine needs to be pushed in quite hard before the mag catch audibly clicks into place. The securing lug on the catch could be adjusted, but my guess is that CA will take the obvious simple option and modify the mag catch lever itself reducing the overall length above the pivot point by about 0.5-0.8mm or so to give a better fit that’s still secure.
Unlike the CA MP5 series and the CA M15 to an extent, there’s no lateral play in the mag well which really tells you how well the moulds have been made. Obviously the mags are almost overly secure in this model (due to the flaw mentioned above) but things should still remain a nice fit in the production version. You are highly unlikely to see any mags unexpectedly dropping out while in use with the CA36C, just make sure it clicks into place when you first attach the mag!
If you drop a full magazine out of the CA36c you’ll find that 5 BBs fall out – this is normal, as when you secure the magazine the BBs are released into the hop-up area of the AEG. Remocing the mag means that the fall back out again. Don’t worry, if you’re new to things like I said it’s perfectly normal.