This is my second AK74 AEG - my first being the SRC AKS74UN (3rd gen). So this is all I have to compare it with. I got this gun after sending back for a refund the G&G GSS Vintorez. A gun which was too electrically complicated for it's own good, it failed three times on me. I can't fault Gunfire on their service on this and their no quibble refund. I decided after reading several reviews to get the E&L because it was simple and well built - less to go wrong. Don't think I'm going to be disappointed.
I had it down graded by Gunfire down to 320fps for legal requirements and received in the box the test from them and quality control from E&L. It also came with Mag, Oiler, and the AK Tool Cleaning/Tool kit which goes in the stock (which is pain to get out by the way).
BUILD: This is a well built gun. I've handled a few real steel firearms - SLR, Sterling, SMG, GPMG, MP5 and AK47. This is probably as close as an AEG can get to the real thing unless you get a Real Sword. It is heavy, strongly built and good quality. The only rattle I found was from the flash hider, had the same problem with my SRC - easily fixed with a bit of PTFE plumbers tape. Everything is tight and it comes apart like the real thing. The only thing I noticed was the top handguard is integrated with the gas tube. This may cause problems if you plan to use an after market RIS/RAS rail system. There should be no problem with the bottom guard though which is standard fittings.
MAGAZINES: I put this top of the list as there are a lot of questions about this on line. The mag that came with it is a mid-cap pretty much the same quality as a CYMA. It fits in with a bit of push and snap the first time like the stock mag, but after that it's fine. MY CYMA AK74 150 midcaps (C74) fitted perfectly with that same push and snap. But my metal versions(C96) of this were too tight. As CYMA mags are pretty cheap that's good to know if you are buying this gun, but stay away from the metal AK74 and 47 ones.
HOP UP/BARREL: Some complaints about the hop up on line, but I seem to have no problem with mine. The adjusting lever is a bit loose but it wasn't hit by the ejector cover as it slid back into place. I had this problem with my old SRC all the time.I see no problems with it, as the gun has little vibration. Hop is definitely one you want to fine tune to get it on it's hot spot. Too much hop and it's anti-aircraft gun and it will drop the FPS. Barrel is 6.03 making the accuracy of it pretty good! It didn't come with a plastic cleaning rod, but it does come with the metal under barrel AK one. I wouldn't recommend using this or the tools for it as you could easily scratch the barrel.
GEARBOX/MOTOR: I haven't take this gun apart, so I can't comment on the internals too much. But it is one of the quietest guns I've owned. My old SRC gearbox is still going after 4 years was noisier than this out of the box. This suggests to me shimming, and AOE is good and the gearbox is tight and free from air leaks.
BATTERY: Another issue which you find on line about his gun. To be blunt using NIMH batteries would be a waste! AK stick 8.4 and 9.6 will fit no problems but your wasting this guns potential. I'm using 7.4v 1200mah lipos which fit perfectly(15mmx16mmx116mm), but the next size up of the same make (1500mah) are just to big to fit. For this reason I'd take note of Gunfires recommendations regarding batteries for this gun. It shouldn't need a mosfet for 7.4v, but probably would need one fitted for 11.1v (if you can find one which will fit of course).
FIRING: I fired 300 rounds (E&L and CYMA Mag) with out any problems in single and auto straigh out of the box. It didn't miss a shot, just needed some fine tweeking with the hop up.
CONCLUSION: This is not a beginners gone, and certainly for the serious player who wants reliability - you learn over the years you get what you play for, and with this gun you definitely get a good deal for the price. Considering the quality of this gun, I would think this is easily going to last as long as my SRC which this month hit 4 years with out a shop service. It is well built, tough but heavy. I'm pleased I didn't get the version with the wooden stock and handguard! This could easily act in a DMR role with the 6.03 barrel, but it's pretty much a good all purpose gun. It has barrel length but the folding stock gives you good options for CQB. There is always the E&L AK104/105 versions if you are CQB/FIBUA orientated. It has good quality parts, internally and externally out or the box, and excellent performance. If feeling inclined it will be make great upgrade platform when you get bored with it. If this is the quality you find with the all the E&L Gen 2 AK's (which all use the same basic Gearbox, Receiver and parts) I would recommend any of them, particularly if you are now hooked on airsoft and planning to move up from you're battered old budget AK. You're getting good value for money!