Classic Army, KWA, Echo1 G36c Review
By: Tim Seargeant
As much as airsoft guns are made to emulate real ones the fact still remains that they are completely different. Real gun manufacturers design their product around many physical characteristics that airsoft guns just do not have and are not capable of. Luckily for airsoft manufacturers the G36c is a multipurpose rifle that is perfect as a multipurpose airsoft gun, and it shows. There are many things that make the G36c a fantastic airsoft gun. For starters, the stock can be folded down to cut the length of the gun by 200mm or about 8 inches. Being able to quickly fold down the stock and reduce the length of the gun is extremely advantageous to cutting corners in close quarters combat. Likewise, the stock can be quickly unfolded in order to provide stability and control for a long distance shot in a matter of seconds. Another great attribute of the G36c is the rails that allow the user to accessorize their airsoft gun with flashlights, optics, and/or lasers that would give a distinct advantage during combat. The G36c’s ambidextrous design makes it the perfect gun for left or right handed players, or for extremely skilled players that switch hands during combat in order stay well hidden while firing. In addition to exterior attributes, internally the G36c is equipped with a version three gearbox, which means it is made to take a beating and keep firing. The G36c is the perfect gun for the type of player that wants a compact airsoft gun for indoor or CQB, but also wants a reliable accurate airsoft gun for long range outdoor engagement.
Currently there are five airsoft gun manufacturers that produce the G36c, with so many to choose from the only way a consumer can effectively differentiate between them all is to buy each one and test thoroughly. Well, we decided to save you the money and time, of trial and error, and test the three most prominent sellers that we carry; Classic Army, KWA, and Echo 1. The fields of comparison chosen for this review are: Aesthetics, Performance, and Statistics. In the interest of neutrality Airsoft GI will not chose an overall “best” and “worst” G36c, the purpose of this review is to present the airsoft guns from a players perspective so that consumers can make a wise decision on which is the best one for them.
In the area of looks Classic Army is the better of the three for multiple reasons. First, the finish of the airsoft gun is matted black which appeals to those who are sticklers for “tactical” realism. The matte black finish on the CA G36 does not reflect light in the same way that the shiny plastic body of KWA, and Echo1 does. Second, the Classic Army G36c fire selector modes are properly painted white and red, the contrast of the red and white color against the black body looks much better than the orange-red of KWA and somewhat brown color of Echo1. The final reason the Classic Army G36c looks better than the competition is because it comes with a slim body and side rails; The KWA G36c also comes with side rail but the fat front end destroys the streamlined look of the airsoft gun; Echo1 seems to have chosen the minimalist route and not include rails on their version of the G36c. Looks can only take a player so far, when it is time to step up to the plate performance supersedes aesthetics.
Performance wise the G36c that stands out the most is the one made by KWA. This airsoft gun comes from a company that is well known for their gas pistols, and their first AEG is very impressive. Whether the KWA G36c is rapidly fired on semi-auto or a constant burst on full-auto, each trigger pull feels and sounds solid. The motor does not rattle inside the handle, nor does it make a high pitch noise as if it were struggling to pull the piston back. When the piston head hits the cylinder head it sounds like a solid shot without any subsequent spring vibration noises. The Classic Army G36c performance tests yielded some interesting results, while sustaining a full-auto trigger pull the airsoft gun felt and sounded fine. However when rapidly firing in semi-auto the gun would sometimes pull the piston half way and sometimes not fire at all, my suspicion is that the electrical contact at the trigger was not designed for the gun to be fired rapidly on semi-auto mode. However this was not a problem with the Echo1 G36c; like the KWA, it was able to keep up with the rapid trigger pull on semi-auto and fire a clean shot every time. The emphasis being made on the trigger pull in semi-auto mode is for the precision shooter and BB conscious player, particularly in CBQ. CQB is not just about spray and pray; experienced CQB players use full-auto to fire for effect when moving around then switch to semi-auto when engaging their opponent, in certain situations. Semi-auto is important for two major reasons in CQB. The first reason is accuracy and control; team play in CQB is up close and personal, not just with opponents but with teammates as well, semi-auto in CQB reduces the risk of friendly fire. Secondly, semi-auto saves BBs which reduces the amount of reloading required during play, down time caused by constant reloading could mean the difference between a win and a loss. How the airsoft gun shoots is all well and good, but where the airsoft gun shoots is perhaps the most important part of its performance.
The accuracy test performed on each of the G36c’s consisted of 10 shots indoors at a distance of 50 feet. Each of the airsoft gun’s iron sights and hop up were adjusted accordingly before the test. The target was an 11 by 12 inch piece of cardboard with a 2x2 inch box drawn inside another 3x3 inch box. The airsoft guns were tested for pinpoint accuracy as well as grouping. The Classic Army G36c is by far the most accurate of the ones tested, that is where experience in making guns comes in, and that is what you pay for. Many consumers do no not realized what they buy when they spend money, to some people it is all a matter of dollars and cents, but good quality goods cost money and they are worth it. Think about it, what good is an airsoft gun that does not shoot where you are pointing? A cheap airsoft gun that cannot be brought to hit an intended target is an expensive paper weight, but a more expensive airsoft gun that does what it was made to do is an example of money well spent. One important thing to note about the KWA accuracy test, the iron sights could not be adjusted so the BB would hit where sighted.
In addition to looks and performance ease of use, in regard to the battery pack, is another major factor to consider when buying a gun. The Classic Army G36c is a nightmare to put the proper battery in the front grip, not only is the grip small but the Classic Army G36 has the fuse bubble that takes up valuable room. The KWA has an interesting design, the large front hand guard is larger than usual so that it can fit a large battery pack, which usually comes with large battery connectors. However the battery connector that sticks out of the gun is a small size connector, which means that in order to plug a large battery into the gun a large to small adaptor is needed. At first glance this seemed to be a huge design flaw on the part of KWA, but after careful inspection of the airsoft gun I noticed that KWA actually built the gun to accommodate the connector adaptor. However event though KWA appears to be very clever with their large front grip and fancy wire accommodations, it is still difficult to fit the front end onto gun properly with a battery connected. Hands down the Echo1 is the easiest to get the battery in its proper compartment; the wires are short, the fuse compartment is built into the gun as well as guides on the inside of the hand guard for the wires and battery.