(1)Real Steel History
The M4A1 carbine is a fully-automatic variant of the basic M4 carbine intended for special operations use. The M4A1 has a “S-1-F” (safe/semi-automatic/fully automatic) trigger group, while the M4 has a “S-1-3” (safe/semi-automatic/3-round burst) trigger group. The M4A1 is used by almost all U.S special operation units. The M4A1 is especially favored by counter-terrorist and special forces units for close quarters combat because of the carbine’s compactness and firepower. These features are also very useful in urban warfare. Although the M4 has less effective range than the longer M16, many military analysts consider engagement with a non-specialized small arm above a range of 300 meters (330 yd) to be unnecessary. It is effective at ranges of 150 meters (160 yd) or less and has a maximum effective range of about 500 to 600 meters (550–660 yd).
I ordered this gun from Airsoft GI. Their shopping and checkout system is very simple to use. I bought it for $155.
Jing Gong, also known as JG or GB (Golden Bow) is a Chinese based airsoft manufacturer. Although a very notable company in AEGs, they do not have any official website. JG is the OEM of some Echo 1 guns. Jing Gong does not put their logo on any of their products nor release any company information with their products.
(4)Why I bought this gun
I got this gun because I needed a gun of my own. Being a new player I was borrowing guns from others. This is OK for a few games but it is etiquette to get your own gear if your thinking about diving into the sport. I was also looking for something fairly cheap and upgradable as a starter gun (couldn’t go out and lay down $250 plus or the real deal)
The box was in great condition when it came. It was still in its original packaging and shipped in a box and peanuts. I’ve seen some places (not in the airsoft industry) that will ship in the retail packaging just wrapped in brown paper. This is a great plus because the retail package also has Styrofoam shell, so this is double shipping protection. The gun and all the included were in the original position (airsoft gi fires every gun they ship) There was a note in the box from Airsoft GI with the FPS and test employees initials (410 fps).
(6)What’s in the box
Included with the gun was the manual, 8.4 1100Mah battery, standard wall charger, 300 RD high cap (all metal) and orange muzzle cover.
The gun body is mostly plastic. The only metal parts are cosmetic only and include; outer barrel, selector switch, mag release, front and rear sights, carry handle, and dust cover. The main body of the gun is a olive green-ish, and had a bright hunter orange sticker (which I removed). The outer barrel is the same green as the body but is all metal. The front hand guard is in two sections that split apart revealing the battery compartment. These are made of black plastic. The stock is a collapse-able stock with 5 stops. Carry handle is made from aluminum and is removable to reveal sight rail. The carry handle also has the rear sight. Lower body and pistol grip is the same green with a black grip. The grip is comfortable but hard plastic. The flash hider is bright orange but is removable with a small allen screw on the bottom of the hider. Removing the flash hider reveals a 14mm CCW threading for aftermarket flash hider, mock silencer or whatever.
The sights are pretty basic. The front sight is adjustable up or down with a special tool. The rear sight has adjustments for elevation and wind. I had a hard time getting my gun sighted in properly because the front end of the gun mates with the body kinda sloppy (metal to plastic) and the whole gun can “fold”. I have read other reviews talking about this. My gun was shooting more lefthand I couldn’t adjust the sight over to the right anymore to get everything to line up. just had to “bend” the gun the other way, this is a temporaryfix and the more permanent solution is to get a metal body.
The hop up is in a really cool (and easy to get at) location. You pull back on the charging handle and the dust cover folds down to reveal the hop up adjustment.
Pretty simple, the mag that came with it fits well with no wobble. Going to order some mid-caps and will review those with the fit.
This is where alot of other reviewers have a problem. The battery compartment is a bit of a challenge to master at first but when you get it, its pretty simple. It is in the front hand grip (see section above) the lower grip comes off by sliding the “delta ring” towards the body and tilting the grip down (delta ring side first). This gun takes small type batteries with the mini plug.
Gun preformed great out of the box. All my shots were consistent and the range was above expectations (about 125 ft). Has a solid rate of fire of 12-14 RPS. Airsoft GI chronoed the gun at 410 FPS but my chrono showed 390 with .23g bbs. The only performance con I have is the battery that came witht he gun failed at the start of a day after its 3rd charge/discharge cycle.
I havent taken this gun apart yet but here is a review of the internals I have found.
“This is a pre-upgraded version of the most popular JG M4A1 AEG with the reinforced gearbox. Pre-upgrade parts includes new type JG torque up motor, bearing ready bevel gear, new type reinforced cylinder, one piece outer barrel, reinforced black JG gearbox and ball bearing piston head.) It was so nicely built with very high reliability and performance our house players had been running it with lipoly batteries. It’s ability to handle high power battery made it one of JG’s best release today! Due to the pre-upgraded internals, we recommend using at least a 9.6V battery to obtain it’s true capability. (The free battery in all JG standard package deal will power the gun but its only a 8.4v)”
(14)Pros and Cons
The gun is mostly plastic and is a greenish color. Being plastic the gun bends easily effecting the accuracy of your sights (only when you drop/land on your gun very minor). The battery that came with mine was junk and failed to hold a charge after a few charge/discharge cycles.
The price was the biggest pro of my purchase. I had a budget of $175 and this fit nicely at $150 (free shipping). The construction of the gun in whole is very solid, and there were no major wobbles.
I would recommend buying a new battery with this gun. Either a new 8.4v or a 9.6 will do (9.6 will only increase your ROF). Also a set of mid caps is in my wishlist. Others have told me that the MAG brand or King Arms magazines will fit nicely with this gun. If you don’t already, I would recommend getting a smart charger because wall chargers suck.
Very very much worth my money. The gun is completly upgradable with all aftermarket modifications. Very good starter gun.