Just received our pre-order for this. I wanted my son to have his own M4 and after watching the stress test and all of the Airsoft GI reviewers, I decided to pre-order. Plus, with all the AGI specials, I was able to get this gun for very close to $100. It comes boxed and "mostly" fully assembled and "inspected" by Airsoft GI personnel. Overall, it seems like a good gun with a few negative observations. It's an all plastic RIS system - my first experience with such. The RIS is held on by two floating screws that lock in place. By unlocking them, you are able to remove the lower RIS section and access the battery connections (which, btw, already come with enough wiring to relocate the batter to the stock or for a custom crane stock). The problem is one of those screws kept popping out. I am concerned that under combat stress, the RIS may pop off, allowing the battery to fall out and possibly damaging the wiring. I'm considering solutions for that now. Also, the barrel extension in the front is held on by a single small screw which was simply lying in the box when the gun arrived. It took forever to seat the screw and it did not lock in place - it did not truly seem long enough to adequately secure the barrel. It's likely that the vibration from the motor will allow the screw to loosen and fall out, causing the barrel assembly to just fall out of the gun. I used a small amount of electrical tape to hold the screw in place.
The charging handle works, but mainly its just the best way to reach the hop-up adjust located in the simulated shell port. Also, it does come with an inexpensive plastic foregrip which was a beast to put on.
All in all, for $100, it seems like a great gun. It comes with a standard 8.4 battery, but we dropped a 9.6 1600 mAh butterfly NiMH in there (do not use lipo) and it nearly sounds like a KWA when dry-firing. It easily will compete with G&G or any of the mid-high range models in the gearbox. The mag that comes with it is about a 200-rnd bottom-winding mag, which is actually a plus - it's not simply a low- or mid-cap that you hope is going to feed on the field. However, do yourself a favor and pick up either Lonex or Lancer Tactical Flash mags - you will be much happier with your ROF and consistency of fire when you have a couple of 360-rnd mags that you just pull the wire a couple of times and then forget about it until you run out of ammo.
DADS - this is a great gun, IMHO, for pre-teen to teens who are done with renting field guns and ready to move on to their own weapon. It's got a good weight and the availability of small customizations that you can add is really nice. Lots of mags are available. The Lancer Tactical flash mags are only $18 or so, I think, and Airsoft GI is regularly running 10% or more off. That said, this is also a great gun if you have been looking to get out and play with your kids and don't want to throw $1000s at the game. Watch the Airsoft GI videos.
- Out of the box, the weapon sounds amazing. The gearbox rocks and our test rounds flew out of this thing. We haven't chrono'd it yet, but I am going to guess 370-400 right off.
- Looks cool - the RIS system is visually appealing
- Flip-up sights rock
- Standard collapsible stock
- Bottom-winding mag
- Nice picatinny on top running length of gun, plus smaller rails on both sides and bottom of RIS cage
- Easily accessible battery
- Weak external construction (see above); the collapsible stock is nice but will likely have to be replaced within the year - it just doesn't appear to be solid enough to make it through a lot of combat
- I'd avoid using the sling connections unless using one that is all straps, no claw or hook connectors.
- The mag that came with the gun offered some resistance to insertion; it was not smooth like you would want under fight conditions
- The flash hider is going to be a pain to remove and replace with something, but this is really minor. Plus, for kids, its probably best to just to leave it on.
- The included tactical foregrip was low-quality (but nice not to have to buy one)
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]