(This gun was loaned to me for this review by Fondprodukter)
If there ever was a situation in the history of Airsoft sales the word ”Anti-Climax” would aptly be used, this weapon is gunning for one of the top spots. Released in Sweden years after the AK5C had made players wary of hype and the market satisfied with Swedish service weapons; the release of this gun went almost unnoticed by the community, save for the fanatics.
While stores tried to sell their surplus release stock with a old fashion price war, it is still not a common gun to see around Swedish skirmish sites.I fully intend to make sure we are get to have a good look at this gun without focusing on that aspect. G&G have a track record of building beautiful solid guns that may sometimes have internal glitches.
Is this one truly any different or have they learned from their mistakes with the AK5C ?
Before we get to the body we have to talk about the box itself. G&G have as per their habit adorned their box with everything from the word ”Gun” to a picture of the item inside. Aside from that, there is also a lot of text about how great and wonderful they are. In short, the box is their way of telling you to get a proper gun case – you do not want to ferry around the gun in that thing.
Lifting up the gun from said box for the first time is however a pretty neat experience that will make you believe all the stuff they wrote on the box whereupon you will realize this is a pretty heavy piece, far heavier then any gun its size have any right to be. Of course, the reason for this is the Bofors design that G&G have made sure to accurately represent but those of you who are more Weekend then Warrior may want to take this into account!
The body itself is – of course – made of metal and not your average Mainland China stuff either. Not only is it very smooth to the touch and well painted; I can also not recall one featuring any serious battle scars. The regimen I put this one through sure as hell did not produce any – several of the photos are taking after two days of skirmishing and you may entertain yourself by trying to guess which ones.
On top of the body is a rail meant for optics. I cannot stress enough that this gun is meant to be used with optics – the iron sights are hardly sufficient for the job. Due to the sheer Swedishness of this weapon, anything else then Aimpoint is considered Heracy. Since I however do approve of Heracy this will not put you in any conflict with me. The rail can be removed if you so choose but due to the method it has been attached to the weapon, this will just make the gun look broken.
The fire selector is nothing special. It does it job but may feel a bit different considering it is neither AR-15, H&K or AK type. It is however simple to use and does not drift away from its position. The hop up is hidden behind the charging handle that can be locked in place simply by pulling it back. Releasing it with the bolt release on the other side is a very satisfying thing to do. As such, the ability to lock the bolt release will most likely be the first thing that breaks on this gun and in most cases, overuse or playing with the bolt will be the direct cause. Moderate users will have less fun but will retain their bolt catch for a lot longer.
While this all good, it is also what I expect from a gun that retails around 450$ and up.
The handguard is a rather interesting piece of design, both externally and internally. Externally, it looks very similar to the real steel design – featuring three rails – one below and two on the side of the gun. These too can be removed but since rail covers are provided there are very few reasons as to why you would like to do so. The rail beneath the weapon can accept pretty much anything you would like to put on it and unless you are that wierd type who loves holding a gun right in front of the magazine, I would advise a foregrip since holding it the regular way is a great way to hurt your wrist. If you are going the Swedish Army route, a thick OD Green one is the way to go.
The small rails on the side cannot accept larger items – they are reserved for small laser units and flashlights. I know a PEQ-15 would look great on there but it simply will not fit. The black plastic things can be removed and made to house a trigger unit for your chosen side-mounted light or laser.
The handguard itself is made out of plastic and a bit less durable then the body. The seams on the underside of the handguard have me a bit worried but it may just be me being careful. The battery is changed in a similar manner as on the G36C and pretty much an equally frustrating experience until you get the hang of it. The handguard is removed by removing a pin and then you insert the 7.4 LiPo into specially made battery holders. You then insert the entire thing into the handguard. Knowing this makes inserting a battery into the gun a far less frustrating experience but it also means a dual-type LiPo is pretty much the only thing that will fit. Do not try with the three-piece unless you want to break down crying – that is pretty much the only guaranteed result should you fail to follow the instructions.
There is a possibility a short stick type may work but I have yet been able to try this so any experiments with one is considered to be at your own risk.
The Stock and how it is operated should come as no surprise to anybody who have used the G36 IDZ Stock. Since this number – due to AR-15 Operating Operators and Communist AK Comrades – is a shockingly low amount I will take my time to explain this in a tad more detail. The stock can be folded, making the gun even more front heavy then it already is or locked in one of several positions. I would daresay it will be impossible to find one that does not fit you regardless of the length of your arms.
The stock design is solid and it locks well into the different settings. I can as a honest person find no fault with it save perhaps the oddity of it being slightly angled down. Since this is made for your comfort however, it has been allowed to pass without further comment. Another thing made for your comfort is the rubber that covers a large part of the stock where your chin and shoulder are expected to be. This – again – is a Saab Dynamics / Bofors design that has been replicated very well by G&G.
So far, I have abstained from making comparisons between the AK5C and the AK5D – it would however be unfair to finish this review without making one. Both weapons does however both look and feel awfully similar. It is only at the handguard, the barrel and the flashhider you will see the real changes.
The AK5D is made primarily for soldiers who may have a need of a shorter weapon – that means tank crews and soldiers trained for Close Quarters. The Handguard of the AK5D is shorter but this is somewhat off-set by the longer flash hider that is required to hide the bigger flash created by the shorter barrel. Looking at the side by side, one would wonder why they even bothered but hey, it gave me a cool gun to review so I am not complaining.
As for Airsoft, the battery space is another difference. You do not remove the entire handguard on the AK5C but it cannot hold a two-piece battery; it requires a three piece 11 volt LiPo and works best with this configuration. The AK5D on the other hand work best with the 7.4 Two-Piece and will not fit a three-piece.
The best comparison would be between the G36 and the G36K – just a few inches differ but it looks different all the same; it all comes down to taste.
So far, I have not told you anything that cannot be said without putting the gun back in the box and shipping it back where I got it. That is however not how I work. I do not review anything without it being played with at least twice. Since I find out a lot about the gun this way – you would be surprised how many guns show problems just by taking near a skirmish site – it has become something of a mandatory thing in my reviews – especially considering G&G usually having some issues or another internally.
The first thing I did was run the gun past a chronograph. The gun preformed the expected 122 m/s (400 FPS) with 0.25g ammo but what truly impressed me was the shot consistency. The difference between each shot for 10 rounds was 0.2 M/S (0.6 FPS) and that is pretty damn good considering my other guns drift at least 2-3 m/s (6-9 FPS) over that many shots.
Running around with the piece is heavy and you are encouraged to keep your additions on the gun to a optic and a foregrip. My angled grip worked well without my wrist taking a hit and the gun is accurate enough to support an optic with magnification. I did however have several issues with the gun locking up on semi-automatic. While this happens with many guns, it is a bit disheartening to see it happen on a brand new one. However, switching to full automatic solved the issue and I could resume my normal style of play. In total, I scored four confirmed hits on the opposing team with at least another four being unconfirmed. Since I usually do worse then that, I am inclined to thank the gun for my boost in Woodland performance. Of course, it could just be that the opposing force decided to be extra visible for a change but that would be out of character for them.
The high cap magazine included in the box worked well – I encountered precious little feeding issues with it and while working the wheel was tedious, it was hardly the proper pain it can be on other guns. The G&G Midcaps offered in the same green polymer mag does however have a bad reputation that so far have yet to be washed off. You can of course go with pretty much any M4 Magazine of your choice – I use the SOCOM Warfighter Lancer magazines and they work great, even if they are a bit on the pricey side.