I thought I’d start a discussion about getting near to PTW performance from a normal AEG.
This was written a little while ago, but a little back ground on this. I was looking at buying a PTW. I decided that I could not get what I exactly what I wanted from a PTW, so could not justify the expense. I ended up building an AEG that got as close to PTW performance as I could get. In the end I ended up buying a PTW also so can directly compare what I build vs a Tac built PTW.
I’ll try to explain why I used certain parts, and what I was trying to achieve. Also whether or not I would recommend the parts.
First of all before we even start I think we’ve got to understand what I was after, and what is possible/not possible. My main airsoft guns are an external gas gun, that’s what I get most enjoyment from. I tend to use all my guns on a rotation, so a PTW or an AEG is never going to be my main gun, it’ll always be a backup gun for me. I was after a really good backup gun, one that I knew I could pick up and use, no questions asked when I felt like something different, or lighter.
A normal AEG is not real dimensions, it doesn’t feel as good as a PTW, and you are not going to replicate the feeling. If that is an issue for you then it’s either a PTW or a GBB for you. Next is the bolt catch, now it is possible to have a bolt catch on an AEG using a certain mosfet (or the new generation of AEGs from TM & KWA), but this was never a big deal for me, as I think without a tactile response it’s pretty much pointless anyway.
I really wanted a Car15 (XM607) style gun, I started with a G&P base.
Building the Gun
I bought a Raptor mosfet, I think this is the most important part of my build and in certain ways this mosfet is better than the mosfet in the PTW and gives more options.
I said I would give you my thoughts about the parts that I used, so my thoughts of the Raptor mosfet are as follows. This is a fantastic mosfet, it my opinion it’s a game changer for the AEG market. The features it offers are simply amazing but, and it’s a huge but there are two problems with it. First is that it’s made by a tiny company who doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with demand, and second it’s so fragile, I have 3 of these mosfets and all 3 have broken. They have all been repaired free of charge, but it’s still a huge pain.
I see now that the Raptor has been discounted and its replacement, the Spectre, or Chimera is stronger and Black Talon has listened to the feedback. I have used both of these newer mosfet and so far they have addressed the weakness in the Raptor. It’s still made by a small company, and there will most likely still be a wait to get hold on it.
To get the best possible trigger response I bought a Speed adjustable trigger for my build. These triggers have a grub screw built into them that allows you to adjust when they fire, they are great when used with a micro switch, like the Raptor. It did take me a little bit of trial and error to get the best engagement with the trigger and micro switch. In my opinion this setup is as close to a PTW as you are going to get with an airsoft gun, with Pre-cocking enabled on the mosfet the trigger response is more or less the same as a PTW.
Next I want to talk about my secret weapon in making a ultra-reliable AEG, it’s all about the gears. I wanted gears that I could install and forget about, and I think I found them in the shape of a guy called Riot who make his own Siegetek gears. I ordered some standard ratio gears and I think they will do what he says they will, even now, after many thousands of rounds, these gears still look great and are performing perfectly.
For the gearbox I got my hands on a Prowin 8mm CNC’d split gearbox. These are discontinued but I managed to find someone selling a couple on a forum. I’m very happy with the gearbox, and they were certainly worth what I paid, but to be honest for UK power levels, or a none silly high speed setup a normal gearbox would have been more than enough. But with this gearbox, I know that it’s is unlikely to crack, and it makes piston changes very easy.
I am pretty much forced the use a 7.4v Lipo in this gun, because of the same amount of space available inside the hand guards. With this in mind I have tested quite a few different motors, and found that the rof was quite slow, or at least slower than I would of liked using the standard motor. The trigger response was a problem with the standard motors too, the G&P M120 is a OK motor, but it’s spin up speed is terrible. The motor that I ended up using is a SHS High Torque motor. I found that this motor OK, it gives me a nice rof, along with more than enough power to pull the spring. I have now had several of these motors and they can be hit or miss, if the quality control was better this motor would be an easy recommendation.
For the piston I used a SHS full metal tooth version. I used this piston after some recommendations, and after a good experience of them in my high speed gun. For the price I think this piston is the best on the market, and you’d have to spend a hell of a lot more to beat it.
Last part of the gun is the hopup and barrel. The Prowin gearbox comes with a built in hopup chamber, so that really took the choice out of my hands. I bought a ton of parts before I got my hands on the Prowin gearbox and I tried quite a few hopup units. I did settle on the Madbull one before I got the Prowin version. I also ordered and tested lots and lots of barrels, the two that I settled on where the Madbull version 2 and the twist barrel. If I’m honest the Madbull one is probably a little better, but I just think that the twist barrel is cool. I have the twist barrel installed in this gun, and have no plans to remove it.
Lastly I did the R-Hop mod on this guns, this gives the gun great range, and consistency. Compared to a classic airsoft LRB I have, the R Hop doesn’t quite have the range of a LRB but it’s close enough for most people and a lot easier to tune. Comparing the hopup of this gun to my Tac build PTW, they are about even, the PTW is probably a little more consistent. Neither the R-Hop or the PTW can really compare to the classic airsoft LRB but both are so much easier to use.
Conclusion and comparison to a PTW
Do I think I have achieved my goals? The answer is yes and no. Yes in that I think I have built an airsoft gun that will be extremely reliable, it will out range and out shoot most other guns on the airsoft field and it will work perfectly as a backup gun or when I want something a little different. I also think I achieved a gun which is unique to me, although it looks standard on the outside I think people will be surprised when they try it.
Where I think that I failed is the feel and experience of the PTW platform. At the end of the day my gun is a G&P with a lot of expensive parts inside it. It still feels like a G&P. It doesn’t feel as solid as the PTW, it doesn’t feel as special. It’s hard to put it into words, because I can’t really. Maybe it’s just a feeling, or because I know there is a difference, but it just doesn’t feel as special as my PTW.
I am very happy with the results and I would do it again in a heartbeat. That said I’m also happy with my PTW, and will have a review coming in the next few days. I think that both guns complement each other, and give me different options for different moods.
Here is the part list that I have settled on in my Car15
Pro Win 8mm Gearbox
Speed adjustable trigger
AWS Raptor Mosfet
RiotSG Standard ratio steel gears
SHS M110 Spring
Pro Win Alu Piston head
Pro Win Spring Guide
Pro Win Cylinder
Pro Win Cylinder Head
Pro Win nozzle
Tanio Kobas Twist Barrel
SHS High Torque motor