Once in a while, there is a gun that comes along and makes me say “wow”. It has happened to me four times; KWA KM4 Series, KWA KMP9, and Western Arms Gas Blowback M4 series. The fourth time was when I first saw the G&G G96 gas operated sniper rifle at the Airsoft GI warehouse. I have shot and owned a lot of different airsoft sniper rifles, but I was never satisfied, that is until the G&G G96.
I have owned both spring and gas operated sniper rifles before, but I was never happy with either platform. For spring sniper rifles, the action is hard to pull back, especially when the rifle has a high power spring in it. Also, spring sniper rifles are very loud, which defeats the purpose of a sniper.
Gas sniper rifles are great, they are very quiet, and the action is very easy to pull back. However, gas operated sniper rifles seems to shoot weaker compared to spring operated sniper rifles, and the temperature of the weather significantly effect the performance and the FPS of the rifle.
The G&G G96 is a very good looking gun, but I based my decision on more than just the visual appearance. G&G is famous for making quality electric rifles, but gas operated rifles are completely new territory for them. Even still, G&G did not disappoint their supporters. In fact, they exceeded their customers' expectations and they have achieved the impossible.
G&G Custom Action
The G&G G96 is a gas operated bolt action sniper rifle. The action is smooth and the trigger is very crisp. The G&G G96 comes with a picatinny rail, ready to accept any type of optics. Interestingly, the hop up adjustment knob is located at the top rail; it allows the operator to adjust the hop up easily while still shooting the rifle.
The bolt on the G&G G96 sniper rifle also did not disappoint me. It has an extended and enlarged bolt handle, which allows the operator to pull the bolt back much more easily. The extended and enlarged bolt handle also gives the rifle a more tactical and meaner look, same as the custom precision sniper rifles you would purchase from a reputable custom shop.
A precision barrel is extremely critical to a sniper rifle. The G&G G96 comes with a full metal one piece barrel which free floats from the stock. Free floating the barrel increases the accuracy because if the barrel touches the stock, any vibration or pressure on the stock will affect the barrel, which will affect the projectile trajectory. By free floating the barrel, whatever vibration and pressure done to the stock will not affect the barrel, therefore resulting in a cleaner and more stable trajectory.
The inner barrel on the G&G G96 is a precision inner barrel, which is 655mm long, and the diameter is 6.04mm. A lot of the cheaper guns on the market come with larger diameter inner barrels. By having a small diameter inner barrel, it increases the accuracy and the velocity of the rifle. Also, tighter inner barrels increase gas efficiency of the entire system.
Polymer Thumbhole Stock
G&G decided to replicate a particular style of sniper rifle. That rifle features a thumbhole stock. The thumbhole stocks allow shooter to acquire a more consistent grip on the rifle. It also aids the shooter in pulling the trigger back straighter, which is extremely critical when making a long range shot. Every precision shooter knows that every tiny movement the shooter makes during the trigger pull can and will affect the trajectory. The longer the distance, the more the trajectory will be affected.
The stock comes with two bipod adaptors, depending on the style of bipod the operator likes. I chose the AGM multipurpose bipod because it fit the stock well, and it is very aesthetically pleasing. The G&G G96 comes with 4 sling attachment points and can accommodate various types of slings.
Like I have mentioned before, the barrel is a free float barrel, which mean the stock does not touch the barrel at all. The action and the stock are held together by two screws, which hold the parts very securely. The stock is adjustable by inserting or removing the spacers to the stock. The G&G G96 comes with a rubber pad, which adds comfort for the shooter when shooting it from the shoulder.
NC Star Mil-Dot Reticles Scope
For the glass, I chose the NC Star 4-16x50mm Mark 3 Mil-Dot Scope. NC Star did a great job making this optic; the glass is clear and the mil-dot is very user friendly. The 50mm objective lens lets more light into the operator’s eye which aids the operator in low light environment.
What I love the most about the scope is the windage, elevation, and the focus adjustment dials. Traditionally, airsoft scopes require the user to remove the dial cover, and adjust the dial using a quarter or a flat head screw driver. Unlike the conventional scope, the NC Star Mark 3 Mil Dot scope is built for tactical use, all the operator needs to do is to turn the turret and he is able to make the adjustment.
On The Range
Sighting in the scope for any rifle can be frustrating. However, I have the NC Star Red Laser Bore Sighter kit at my disposal. Bore sighting the rifle will at least put my rounds on paper. To truly sight in the rifle, I put 10 rounds down range. For better stability and accuracy, I used 0.36 gram bbs. I also sight in the rifle in conjunction of tuning the hop up, making the rifle shoot straighter for longer period of time.
With a quality piece of glass such as the NC Star Mil-Dot Mark III scope, I was able to track the bb’s trajectory especially at longer distances. It is very fun to see the bbs fly into the target. The range test consists of two things, range and accuracy. For testing purposes, range is defined as the ability to hit the target, and accuracy is looking at the groupings. Traditional wisdom tells us that the faster the projectile, the more consistency it has. Shooting at 500 FPS with 0.36 grams, the G&G G96 shot very consistently. At 35 yards (105ft), the G&G G96 has no problem hitting the target. The G&G G96 also made an impressive grouping, a 5 inch grouping.
At 70 yards (200ft), the G&G G96 had a little trouble hitting the target. However, I was still able to hit the target (torso size) 8 out of 10 times at that distance. The bbs had no trouble penetrating the target and denting the back stop behind it. The G&G G96 shot a 12 inch grouping at 70 yards (210ft), which to me was pretty damn impressive. But again when it comes to precision shooting, it is the shooter that makes the difference, not the rifle.
The G&G G96 is definitely on the top of my list when it comes to gas operated sniper rifles. With a quality piece of glass, the G96 is a definitely a force multiplier on an airsoft battlefield. It delivers 550 FPS with 0.25g bbs right out of the box. The G&G G96 is a hard hitting rifle, which delivers extreme accuracy and range. Along with a quality scope like the NC Star Mark III Mil Dot Scope, you could be very deadly and lethal (in terms of airsoft) on the battlefield. If you are afraid that people do not call their hits, do not panic, this gun will pack enough punch to make them want to call their hit. Check out the G&G G96 at www.airsoftgi.com. I am Andrew, until next time, stay safe, and get out and play airsoft.