Friday, February 6, 2009

JG M4 Airsoft Rifle

Whether for recreation or for military/law enforcement force-on-force training, air soft firearms have become very popular in the past years. There are many makers out there, some good, some bad, and some in the middle. Many manufacturers have different levels of air soft gun, from beginner (lower quality) to higher level guns (better quality). Many of the manufacturers are still overseas manufacturers while more US companies have come into the picture lately.

One of the overseas companies is JG (Jing Gong). When my younger brother decided to start playing air soft for recreational purposes he decided to start a team among his friends. He asked me if I’d play along as well to try to teach the team a few things. I decided to get a JG M4 for this purpose. I saw the quality of some of the lower end models so I decided with a mid level rifle from Airsplat. Airsplat has excellent prices that are hard to beat.

When I got the rifle the first thing I noticed was the weight. Although not quite the weight of a real rifle, it’s pretty darn close. One thing to do when you first get an air soft rifle is to read online about the proper times and ways to charge your battery. I charged the battery overnight and continued this practice for the next few times that I used the rifle and have since realized that this has ruined the battery. The battery had to be replaced because at times you wouldn’t even get a shot off before the battery would die.

This being a mid level gun it’s functioned pretty well, but has not held up to rugged use very well. My younger brother got the same gun except his is a folding stock instead of a collapsible stock and his has had issues as well. I will get to these issues later.

First I’d like to hit the key features of this rifle as it pertains to it being an air soft rifle:
~ Adjustable hop-up - This feature allows you to adjust the spin of the BB to make the rifle shoot straighter and more accurate. The adjustment wheel is hidden under the mock bolt. Pulling back on the charging handle reveals the hop up wheel.
~ Uses .20gr BBs. Anything less than that will drift and not maintain a zero.
~ Like a real AR15, the trigger guard can be dropped for gloved use in cold weather.
~ Side mount sling attachment.
~ Removable carry handle.
~ Metal barrel with removable inner barrel for cleaning.
~ Metal gear box.
~ Select fire - safe/semi-auto/full auto
~ Includes a high capacity magazine which holds 300 BBs.
~These are not a good choice for realistic training due to the fact that you won’t be making mag changes after 30 rounds. Star brand real capacity (30 round) magazines work well with this rifle.
~After a certain number of rounds you must wind the small wheel at the bottom of the magazine or the BBs stop feeding into the rifle.
~The BBs that aren’t held in place by the spring are loose in the magazine and rattle and shake when moving. This is horrible for sound discipline.
~Bottom line… get real capacity magazines.
~ 360 fps fire (0.20g BBs)
~ 8.4v 1500 mAH NiCad small battery and standard wall charger included.
~ Included cleaning/ram rod.
~ Orange safety muzzle cap included.

OK, now for the cons. This is going to seem like I’m bashing this rifle a little, but I’m not. It’s a decent gun and has been impressive, but myself and my brother are both hard on our gear (not to say we don’t try to take good care of our gear). This rifle has taken a beating, and it shows a bit…but as a first air soft weapon it has been pretty decent despite some of it’s shortcomings in the durability area…
~ Adjusting the sights… get them on as best you can but don’t expect pin point accuracy. In fact, I couldn’t even get the front sight to move for adjustment. My brother’s would only turn ¼ of a turn with the aid of pliers.
~ Rounds start to drop off around 100yards.
~ The shot accuracy was more consistent on full auto. On semi-auto the rounds impact more erratically than on full auto…full auto the rounds tend to stay in a tighter pattern.
~ The receiver is plastic. This hasn’t caused any problems but it’s a potential weakness.
~ The selector switch easily moves. This could be a bit of a problem if it accidentally has gotten put on safe when you want to fire, or could be a safety issue if it’s placed on fire when it should be on safe.
~ My brother’s rifle stared shooting on full auto even when the selector switch was on semi.
~ The instructions could be better translated. They’re originally in Japanese and translated to English, but the translation could be a bit better.
~ The safety fell off. I attribute this to the fact that when the rifle is held with my sling the selector switch is against my body and gear. The selector is screwed on from the inside and it loosens up and falls off. In order to put it back on you have to take it apart. I did this and I should have had a professional do it because the rifle lost some power by doing this myself. But either way, I reattached the selector switch and used red loctite. A few uses later the selector switch fell off again. It fell off while in the full auto mode and I haven’t attempted to reattach it again. It was not easy at all to take it apart and do this, so I think I’ll send it to a professional if I decide to have it done again.
~ My brother’s didn’t come with all the proper nuts and bolts to attach the butt stock. So after some machine work and finding a close enough fit bolt we were able to attach the butt stock.
~ My brother’s barrel got so loose it almost fell off. He was able to tighten it down.

Again, the previous list of faults doesn’t make this a bad gun. For realistic hard use you’d want to spend a little more and go with something with all metal parts and a reinforced gear box. But for the beginner, the light or occasional user or as a backup rifle for when your is out getting upgraded or whatever, this is a decent choice.

Another thing I think is worth mentioning is that we used these rifles on a couple occasions during some pretty hard rain storms. We blew them off afterward with a compressor and applied lubricant to the barrel and rust prone parts and the rain seemed to have no negative effect on the rifle.

All in all a decent rifle. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it in the year I’ve had it an despite some problems it’s proven reliable.


Anonymous said...

Good review. I purchased the same rifle and generally agree with your assessment, but I've got some different views.

Weight - too light due to the plastic receiver and way different balance than a M4 profile barrel. I added a relatively heavy RRA A3 rear sight/rail combo to bring the weight up. I also added a "real" M4 buttstock, which was a few ounces heavier than the airsoft version. Still feels light and has a different balance, but closer to a real M4/M4gery.

100 yards? Mine is accurate in a 6-12 inch zone at 50 yards. I can't seem to loft a BB beyond 65-75 yards though.

My experience only, but a great site and reviews.

airsoft gun said...

This airsoft gun is not to be misrepresented as a real firearm or gun that is manufactured by Colt and is merely an airsoft gun that fires 6mm pellets.