Aesthetically, this is one of my preferred AR builds. I’ve long felt that all-black is a bad move camo wise for firearms in general and just about any other ‘tactical’ colour works better, even if not necessarily suited to the environment. That and with 99% of the metal parts on all the guns out there being black, having something different is appealing.
I can’t remember the exact name of the base model, but G&P had a phase of producing a lot of guns that gave zero fucks about trademarks and used Mapul or VLTOR style lowers with the VLTOR MUR uppers. They also had VLTOR MOD series stock clones and TangoDown pistol grip clones with 9″ replica DD quad rails on the front, as well as either 10.5″ or 14.5″ barrels tipped with the VLTOR ‘flower’ type flash hiders (or again, copies thereof).
As with all of my airsoft ARs, I only ever really buy for the receivers, buffer tube, hop unit and internals, everything else gets changed (and obviously sometimes I change internals as well). At the time I bought this AEG originally, the new standard for mid-length gas systems on ARs had taken off in the states and both Magpul and PTS were producing the mid-length MOE handguards. So when a company called Crusader released an outer barrel that placed the gas block in the right place to replicate said gas sytem, I picked one up along with the new style handguard. At that time I also learnt that G&P uppers are different to most other companies in terms of the area inside the barrel meshes with, so if you have a G&P and want to change barrel, stick with one also from G&P; there’s tons of them out there.
Along with the new longer MOE handguards I went for a PTS MOE grip and sourced a Magpul Industries MOE stock all in the matching FDE. I then added a first gen Magpul rear MBUS to go along with the King Arms copy of the VLTOR gas block that integrated a flip-up front iron sight. This was a nice, light configuration that didn’t cost a lot to put together compared to the quad rail monsters that were popular at the time, but a year or so ago I decided it was time to update.
I’d already converted a couple of airsoft AR uppers to take actual firearm barrel nuts by re-profiling the threads using an appropriate die nut, so I did just that again on this gun. I saw Weapon Outfitters offering the Parallax Tactical rails with a Cerakote finish option (various colours available), so I moved to a low profile gas block and acquired and fitted the 13″ ‘FFSSR’ in KeyMod from Parallax. Price wise it’s around the mid range for an AR rail, but only weighs 8.6oz alone or 12oz with the barrel nut and screws, which is very much as light as a feather compared to a 13″ Quad picatinny rail.
I kept the PTS pistol grip since it was and still is one of the very best of the market and stepped up from the MOE stock to a B5 SOPMOD Bravo, which at the time (around 18 months ago) was a big step ahead of Magpul who had been rather stagnant in their stock offerings for a while. Luckily the colouring of the forend and receivers happens to match up perfectly, leading to my primary liking of the aesthetics of this AEG. I’ve stopped bothering with BUIS for airsoft usage because there’s really no need for back up sights when the ranges you’re shooting are so short you’re just point shooting most of the time.
There’s a PTS AEG-specific Magpul ASAP plate on the rear which works very nicely with a Magpul sling in the 1 point configuration and a newer PTS licensed replica of the Griffin Armament compensator. Overall a very ergonomic package that remains light and easy to manoeuvre with tons of modularity options. I still need to put in a nicer selector lever and charging handle just as finishing touches; possibly a mag release button too if I can find a nice airsoft product that both copies a real item and will fit and function in this gun. Interally the gearbox has had a spring downgrade and a general check up and re-grease/shim check from LCs Engineering Outpost and it definitely sounds smoother than stock form for having that done (though still not amazing given G&Ps very ‘average’ parts). Long term it could really use a MOSFET and a higher torque motor because as mentioned, G&P stock internals are the definition of mediocre and ‘just about do the job’ to my mind. But for indoor/close range airsoft it’s not like you need a super high performance replica anyway. I also feel this replica is a good example of how airsoft can be setup to be a supplement for live firing, given that the usage of real parts makes the ergonomics extremely close to a real equivalent rifle using those same parts. That and the weight is also very close to an AR configured with the same parts and accessories.