Having loved and cared for my first long term AEG, a Marui M4A1, for nearly 2 years, I felt no Armaltie could replace it. I was just about to order the finishing touches to add to my ‘baby’ when I noticed an advert for the GR16 on Redwolf Airsoft. Being a little bored, I thought ‘meh, may as well take a look’ … from then on there was no going back.
Taking a look at the specs of the gun it boasts the following as standard:
Looks The gun is packaged in a very basic light brown box with the words ‘AIRSOFT RIFLE’ printed on the outside. Upon opening the box you are greeted with much the same simplicity; a magazine, the barrel plug and the gun, all fairly well packaged.
Upon picking up the gun, the first thing you notice is the weight and rigidity. Weighing in at around 3.5kg this gun is far from light and being made entirely from metal (bar the stock and pistol grip) barrel wobble, or indeed any flex what so ever is non existent. The metal body has a very nice matt/velvet finish to it and is nice to the touch. Now, the part which doesn’t bother me at all, but can put many buyers off is the lack of official trade marks.
Above this, there is a nice looking G&G crest.
One slight niggle with the metal body is that although it is of a very good quality, the paintwork seems very prone to scratching. Simply adding and removing the included rear sight has scratched the Top rail considerably.
The R5 ships as standard with a nice full stock, which enables anything up to an 8.4v large battery to be fitted with ease (perhaps more cells could be fitted, I’ve yet to investigate). The stock is of a decent quality, although there are large seemliness visible in its construction. Another point to mention is that the butt of the stock is made of plastic, considering the amount of effort that has gone into making this gun fully metal it’s a shame to see they have failed to include this part as metal. Fitting an 8.4v battery into the gun is a breeze, there is ample room in the stock to manipulate the wires and get it seated correctly. There is infact so much room, that the battery tends to move around inside the stock and makes annoying bashing noises whilst you are running with it. To stop this merely pad out the stock with foam to stop the battery moving J
The manual is very basic, but a refreshing change from standard manuals. It is in perfectly translated English, with black and white photos illustrating techniques with added ‘Caution’ tips at the bottom.
Sadly no exploded diagram or any sort of technical information is included.
Overall I have little qualms with the quality of the gun, being full metal it feels superb to the touch and has some serious heft, I feel like I could cut a tree down with it (Of course, I’m not going to try). The feel of the gun was the main reason I bought and I was certainly not disappointed!
Shooting impressions Onto the bit we’ve all been waiting for. Loading up the supplied 450rnd Hi-cap with Excel 0.2g BBs the first thing I noticed was how much bigger the G&G magazine is compared to the Marui magazine. The G&G is around 1 inch longer than the Marui, this allows for larger BB capacity and I believe (don’t quote me) that it is modelled to the real steel magazine size. It is also a different colour, being a matt grey as opposed to the Marui’s matt black.
Half way through filling the magazine I decided to start winding the clock work mechanism, around 2 turns in I was met with the ‘click click’ you get when the Hi-cap is fully wound. Strange I thought, as the mag was not even wound enough to have loaded BBs all the way up the magazine feed tube. After 10 minutes of poking and fiddling I managed to get the magazine working, somehow a BB had gotten jammed in the mechanism. It seems like this could be a regular occurrence as I hear misfeeds are common with G&G magazines (once tested in the field, will update!)
Fully wound I inserted the magazine into the mag well and put a fully charged 8.4v 2400mAH battery into the stock. *Whine, thud, Ting*, the BB hit the empty can of green gas I had standing 10meters away. Moving the select fire switch to ‘Auto’ I gently squeezed the trigger *Ting Ting Ting Ting*, an evil grin crept across my face. The Rate of fire, as standard, seems slightly higher than my Friend’s stock M16A2 running the same battery and a lot higher than an M100 upgraded MP5A4. So far so good. Next, onto longer range shots and some hop up adjustment. The cocking handle is completely non functional with this model unfortunately, and you must open the Ejection port dust cover with your finger nails. Once opened the hop up is identical to a standard Marui M16 hop up unit, except made of metal. Winding it forward a 1/6 of a turn and testing, little difference to range was shown, another 1/6 and again, nothing…………….I continued turning and test with no result whatsoever until max hop up was applied. Deciding the hop up needed bedding in, I proceeded to shoot another hi-cap at the Green gas can to wear the hop in. 300 BBs later eventually the hop up started applying spin, 40 more rounds and I had it set well. Unfortunately, the hop up seems somewhat insufficient and ‘rogue’ shots are not too uncommon, it also has a tendency to slip out of position and after being in a cupboard for 2 days it had slipped off completely! Not to worry, a Systema metal hop up unit and new rubber is on its way to me as we speak………………little price to pay for such a beauty of a gun. Will update once I have used my new toy in the field.
The gear box cycles quickly, with very little delay between trigger pull and discharge. Gladly it also doesn’t suffer from the CA and ICS trait of sounding like a biscuit tin full of bits of metal bolts, it fires with a sharp crack and very little gear box whining can be heard from more then a few meters away
Accuracy Coming soon
Chrono results Taken in 8 Degrees Celsius:
Not bad results at all, no need to upgrade as it’s shooting right at my local sites limits as standard J .
Upgrades Well, what can I say? The gun has over 46 inches of 20mm rail to attach whatever takes your fancy. You can mount anything from bi-pods to M203s, silencers to sliding stocks, box mags to 3 point slings………….the list is endless. Internally, the gun shares the same gearbox design as a Marui Version 2 and as a result, all parts are entirely interchangeable.
Use in the field Ok, so, the time had come to put this beauty into action! As I had guessed, the hop up had slipped of entirely and had to be set before playing, easily done. The whistle blows and off I go to ‘get some’, first target presents itself, I squeeze the trigger and oh crap, the hop up has gone and reset itself, I find myself outranged by 10m or so and have to run away crying (well, not really crying, but disappointed). Determined to not let this happen again I get out a trusty screw driver, set the hop up perfectly and then tighten the adjuster up so its too hard to move (not excessively tight though), voila, seems to have done the trick. Still fearing it would reset, I found myself shooting randomly between engagements to make sure it was still there, luckily it was.
Hop up troubles over, I went on and enjoyed a good day out. The gun decided to misfire once or twice (the worst time being when I had snuck up on the enemy, had 1 in my sights, went to fire and nothing but air…………….oh crap) but a little lube seemed to end all that. The rate of fire is up there with the best of the 8.4v guns, the only rates of fire faster than mine were those from 9.6v and 10.8v AEGs. Accuracy isn’t bad at all, you stop being able to reach a target before you have to worry about not being about to hit him in one shot (sometimes it may take 2 or 3 to get a hit at 40m+). With a good 3 point sling the weight of the gun didn’t bother me and the rigidity of the AEG was reassuring.
All in all a brilliant gun in the field, and with a new hop up unit fitted I can’t see anything what so ever that I will be upgrading in the near future.
Overall You pay for what you get, this is probably THE most expensive ‘stock’ (as in not custom built) AEG on the market, but for that money you get an upgraded full metal A2 with full length RIS, 2 RIS covers, a Vertical foregrip and a QD rear sight. With superb out of the box power, excellent rate of fire and very few faults there is not a lot to improve on. If you have the money, a Systema Metal hop up unit with rubber and nice 3 point sling may be a good investment (I already have both of these from a previous gun J ). Having said that, the hop up is not a major issue, and I happily used the gun all day without problems so don’t buy the gun thinking you will definitely need a new hop up.
External links: Links to external sites of interest.