There are some basic truths in airsoft that is very hard to miss if you have been active for any period of time. One is that there is always that jerk that accuses others of not calling their hits, another is the rookie who keeps asking questions and is hopefully picked up by a fellow helpful player. Then there is the endless stream of people in multicam and pimped out M4s and 416s with the american flag with the stars towards the enemy quietly humming ”Yankee Doodle Dandy” after having watched ”Black Hawk Down” or ”No Easy Day” the evening before the game.
This is not a gun for those kind of people. This is the gun for the non-Swedes who want something rather different, for the Swedes who wish to remember their time in the army or for the Swedes who just wish to own a replica of the gun their army is using. So put on that Swedish Power Metal and let us have a look on exactly how G&G did with this piece.
One could not say they lacked the market; It is the only gun I have seen actual pre-orders for when it was released. To make a long story short – the Hype was real. Some stores bragged big with a ”first in Sweden” sign (despite the fact that all stores got it at the same time), others served cake to customers and yet others tried to compete with a good price.
The hype was only in part justified. The first version of the gun game with a series of problems that forced G&G to release a kit to help out with some of them. Common problems involved but was not limited to feeding, loose or broken bolt handle, a sensitive gearbox that was prone to breaking and a lose handguard. Considering that G&G Guns are rather pricey, this left a sour taste with many and most likely led to the utter lack of hype and resulting price dumps upon the release of the G&G AK5D – same gun, shorter barrel for tank crews, military police, helicopter operations and special operations.
The box is stylised and a bit over the top – just like you expect from G&G and I have nothing against this kind of embellishment as long as the product inside is good enough. It does however rule out any sort of actually carrying the case openly as it shows a picture of the gun so unless you get it delivered home – get a gun case and leave the box at the store – or do like I did and get a case big enough for the box.
Now, the first things you are going to notice about this gun is the build quality and the weight – probably at the same time. The gun looks really good and is pretty damn close to the original as well. Of course, any Swedish Soldier is going to be able to point out the differences but few others are going to be able to do that. However, despite the fac that the weapon is rather small; like the real gun it is also pretty heavy and this is this one time I secretly wish for JG to just produce a cheap plastic version. This gun is not a good choice if you dislike heavy firearms but at the same time, it also inspires confidence. Where I to throw this gun off out my window, I am convinced the ground would be looking worse afterwards. You simply do not worry that this thing will break on you just because you ran headlong into a tree or tripped when ambushed.
The body is one of the most satisfying parts of the gun and will at the first glance whisper to you that your money was well spent. The metal feels secure, the paint job is good enough and everything from the fire selector to the bolt handle feels steady and secure.
On top of the body itself you can find a rail where you can attach your optics of choice – something that is recommended as the gun looks just awkward without it. While there are iron sights, they are clearly meant as backup sights only – the Swedish Army use this baby with a red dot and so should you. The Bolt Handle is incredibly fun to play around with and most likely the reason so many manages to break it or the bolt release button. If pulled back, the bolt will lock in position giving you all the time you need to set the hop up hidden in the chamber without having to worry about the bolt slamming down on your fingers.
The fire selector clicks into position as it should – and on both sides – the ambidextrous system is tried and true by this point and should cause no issues for right or left hand shooters. All in all, the body itself is a sturdy piece of hardware and arguably one of the guns many strongpoints – especially if you keep playing with the bolt catch to a minimum.
The Handguard of the gun is one of the more interesting parts of the gun, an impression that is aided by the built-in rail system that comes with its own, fitting rail covers. On the cool side, you can fit a foregrip as well as a flashlight or laser. If you use a pressure pad, this is no problem as the guns handguard has a place dedicated for this on the left side of the handguard. Sadly for you lefties, The one on the right side is a dud that is used to remove parts of the handguard in order to insert the battery. Here is where some of the guns issues start to show.
Some people will tell you that a two-piece 7.4 LiPo will fit the gun perfectly. Those people are called ”liars”. From my experimentation I have found that the only battery guaranteed not to pop the hatch on the handguard is the one G&G specificity recommends – a three part 11.1v LiPo so I would really suggest you go with it unless you actually enjoy the hatch popping during your game. Even with this battery, I heard stories that the hatch may be loose at times and considering the tight space for the battery, I would not be surprised if this was the case. It may also be user error as the system takes a while getting used to.
The flash supressor is on top of a 14mm CW thread so fitting a silencer of your choice should prove no trouble at all. Should the iron sight on top bother you, it can be flipped down in order to provide a clear view for your optic.
It was inevitable that we would come to some parts of this gun that made the G&G Development Team cheeks burn with shame (Ring the bell!) and if there is one obvious flaw with this weapon, it is the magazine included. It is a high cap with a somewhat inaccessible gear. You really have to reach in there in order to wind it up and even then, it may not feed properly. You are better off with the midcaps (if you like me want to keep the looks), otherwise the gun will have little issue taking magazines from other brands. If you want to keep to the Swedish Army style, then SOCOM Warfighter Magazines or the G&G Midcaps are your best bet but the classic metal mags are also kosher. Experiment as you will – there will always be some brands that work less well but at least the gun is not that picky.
When you purchase the gun, you can have it with one of two FPS Options. The first one has lower FPS – 360 FPS (110 m/s) – and the second has higher – 426 FPS (110 m/s). I would have preferred the first option that is clearly aimed at CQB to have an FPS more around 295 FPS since 360 is way to hot for most Swedish indoor arenas. The 426 Option is however a great gun for woodland areas.
Regardless of option, you can rely on this gun to be accurate, especially if you give it proper ammunition. Bullet weights between 0.25 and 0.30 will all work well with the woodland version and give you an accurate gun that will not require excessive tampering to work well and here is where G&G truly starts earning their pay.
The first release of the gun would come with a somewhat unreliable gearbox but the Version 2 has that covered – the reports of broken guns in the GK5C family has dropped sharply since it was introduced and repair kits issued to the older models.
Any gun that needs to be released in a second version and have the version number in its name has had a flawed history but I cannot help but say that G&G truly took responsibility for this weapon and the mistakes they made with the first issue.
It is a heavy, sturdy and very realistic weapon that on non-Swedish fields is sure to raise a couple of eyebrows, even after its introduction to Battlefield 4 and Medal of Honor. Sure, it comes with a price but so does many of the high end AEGs – if you like the looks of the gun and can afford the asking price then you should go for it. If you want the shorter barrel, then the AK5D should serve you just as well as this baby. If you go for Second Hand purchases however, this one should be more readily available – at least in Sweden.