The best airsoft AK - ranking of three popular replicas of the AK platform
Choosing a replica of the AK platform
In the airsoft world, AK replicas are becoming more and more popular. There is probably nothing strange about it. With all kinds of AR-15 clones dominating, it's not hard to stand out in a skirmish with something different. The natural choice for people who want something different than this American carbine may be its competition in the form of the AK platform. As I mentioned in other materials on the Gunfire blog, by purchasing this type of airsoft gun, we open up a lot of styling possibilities. We also have the opportunity to train on slightly different equipment than the one we are used to.
The only thing left is to choose the right base for our new toy. Whether we decide to tune the replica is important, but for the purposes of today's article, we will skip this issue. All the structures discussed in this text will be susceptible to the same modifications in principle. For this reason, it is worth focusing on what we get from the box.
We will evaluate the airsoft guns presented today in three main categories. The first is the external structure. I am not an expert on reenactment, so we will skip the issue of compliance with the original. However, it will be important whether the replica is built reliably and what materials were used.
Another thing is the internal structure. We will focus here on what the internals are like, what are the design solutions and whether we have the potential for good performance. While we can theoretically change everything in our gearbox, the fact that manufacturers use good parts allows us to avoid some costs in the case of tuning.
The last criterion we will pay attention to is the overall performance. Airsoft guns should shoot well and allow trouble-free operation. When describing their features, it is worth putting emphasis on this.
CYMA CM040 - the new better quality
The times when CYMA airsoft guns were associated with the lowest possible quality seem to be long gone. This manufacturer has made a very big step forward and has been releasing more and more interesting constructions in recent years. Importantly, many of them are not ordinary clones of the AR platform. Today I wanted to describe a very popular model which is the CM040. This is a replica that has recently grown to the level of a legend and is often recommended as a good, but still relatively budget friendly base for the AK platform.
The popularity of the described construction comes from the fact that it has a very decent construction. Here we find a bent steel body. The airsoft gun is made with care and only small elements are made of aluminum alloys. The external construction is decent, but not free from shortcomings. The outer barrel mounting block is not made of steel. There are also overflows on plastic elements. However, these are relatively minor shortcomings, taking into account the price point of this airsoft gun.
Internally, there is nothing to complain about, but also nothing to get excited about. Of all the replicas described today, only this one is devoid of the quick spring change system. In addition, we find a completely normal gearbox with a trigger box. There will also be gears made in powder casting technology. The pneumatic system is based on plastic elements, including the piston, which does not have a full metal jaw.
The performance of the airsoft gun is acceptable. It is true that it can show quite a high muzzle velocity of over 400 fps with a standard measurement, but this does not translate into range. The CM040 should have an effective range of about 50 meters. This is a good result, which should be enough to start with.
Legendary precision of E&L airsoft guns
Recently I had the opportunity to interact with the E&L airsoft gun again. It's no coincidence that they're so popular these days. In my opinion, their external performance is a one step above compared to other replicas described today. The almost entirely steel construction needs no further advertising in my opinion. E&L airsoft guns are heavy, but their weight is due to their solid construction. We will not experience any slack or alignment problems here. It's a good design.
But sometimes in life you have to compromise. It's no different here. Replicas of the described manufacturer are currently most often sold in the Essential series. It's a good platform, but not ideal in terms of the solutions used in the gearbox. We will not find here, as in the CYMA, a full steel jaw on the piston. The gears and the motor are also ordinary with no more advanced counterparts in the condition straight out of the box. Pneumatics again rely on polymer parts.
However, two positive points are worth noting. The first one is a simple MOSFET that the replica is equipped with. It's a great convenience that we don't have to install it ourselves. The second thing is a quick spring replacement. This solution makes working on the replica much easier. The airsoft gun should easily shoot at about 50 meters, similarly to its predecessor.
Specna Arms - airsoft gun interior above standard
I must admit that AK airsoft guns from Specna Arms are very close to me. I had the opportunity to test them a few times and each time they did not cause any problems. The external construction in the Edge version definitely does not differ from market standards. Again, we find here a receiver made of bent steel sheet. The cover and other elements such as the outer barrel are also made of steel. Depending on the version of the airsoft gun we buy, we can also find wooden plywood or good quality polymer elements. Just like in the CYMA, here too there is no steel barrel support.
Internally, Specna probably offers the most of the constructions described today. Not only do we find here a piston with a full metal jaw, but also a metal cylinder head. There was also a quick spring replacement system, which this manufacturer is known for. The whole thing is complemented by the option of buying AK Specna Arms airsoft guns with a pre-installed ASTER system, which replaces the trigger box of our replica. This is a great relief.
In terms of performance, it is basically comparable to other constructions described today. The precision barrel and the hop-up system, coupled with the described gearbox, allow you to achieve a satisfactory range of about 50 meters.
While Specna Arms does not differ from market standards in terms of external construction, it has a lot to offer in the case of internal construction. It is enough that we decide to pay a little extra and we can afford a version with an advanced MOSFET circuit. Then, for many games, we won't need to interfere with the gearbox parts at all. The quick spring replacement system will help us adjust the muzzle velocity of the BBs to different games. The good quality S-mag magazines added to the set will only make the experience of using the airsoft gun more pleasant.
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