Markings: So lets have a look over the external build quality of this new AEG from Classic Army. Visually you’re looking at a pretty good copy of the real thing, and apart from the differing markings externally you’d be hard put to spot that this is not a Tokyo Marui which is not a bad thing in my opinion.
Markings: As I’ve previously mentioned there are no official markings on the CA36C, instead of the ‘HK’ logo there are CA’s own markings. Down the left side of the rifle you’ll find the following lettering:
I’m sure the lack of original markings will be a sore point for some, although it does mean that imports into the US will be easier without unsightly trademark removal or obscuring. The rifle could fall foul to any relevant ‘look-a-like’ patents should they so be enforced at the time of import.
The only other markings of any note are those found around the trigger group on either side of the trigger grip, which detail the very familiar HK style “0-1-lots” fire select modes as seen on the popular varients of the MP5 series.
Build quality: To me the fiber reinforced plastics used by CA look better than any I’ve seen in any other G36 replica. All the plastics are the same colour, with no difference in shade between sections that you sometimes see. The glass-fiber reinforced material is not only stronger than standard ABS, but looks more like the composites used by HK themselves.
The size and dimensions of the AEG are not quite the same as the real thing, everything feels a bit smaller and less chunky on the CA version. You have to remember CA wanted to make a copy of the TM version, not the real thing, and thus keep the Airsoft parts swapable between the two.
There’s very little play in the design, although the foregrip is loose with no battery fitted. This is a known issue and one that CA will have fixed in the production versions. For some reason the foregrip pin fits more securely when inserted from the right than from the left which as far as I can tell can only be down to moulding tolerances.
Because of the way that almost all moulding systems work most of the body for the CA36C body is moulded in two halves then attached together to make the complete part. All the major parts have moulding seams along the centre line.
The handguard, main body and folding stock all have these mould lines visible on them. The foregrip lines are not perfect (although this should be improved before release) but are comparable to TM quality, on the model that I have the moulding on the main body and stock is very good. As ever there can always be improvement, but you have to remember that this is a low cost replica and therefore never going to be up to the same quality as very expensive real firearm.
The foregrip has 4 hard point mounting holes in it, two either side, which allow you to bolt on the side RIS rails. These threaded holes could be a point of failure in a cheaper design, but thankfully CA have nicely over engineered these with some decent material making up the threads (see photo).
One complaint that was sometimes aired about the TM G36C was that the wireframe buttstock/hinge was a weak point to the design and could be snapped. The CA stock is as well built as you could expect really and much the same as the TM stock as far as I can see. The stock is only fibre/plastic, so there is a physical limit to how strong it can be. You can fold the stock out on the CA36C and happily swing the entire AEG by it along and there’s no creaks or worrying bending to anything which is good enough for me.
The entire body is built around an inner metal frame, so unlike most other plastic AEGs there’s no creak or flex to the design, which is a very pleasant break from the norm.