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"I received my M3A1 a few weeks ago and I am more than happy with it. I thought I would share my impressions of it so letís get down to it.
Because I ordered a battery, extra magazine and a bag of good BBs the gun came with an outer shipping box. The extra items were well packed in that box, the M3A1 and its accessories were in their own box. The gun and accessories were well packed in semi hard foam. The factory box will prove to be excellent for storage of the gun when it is not in use, so plan on hanging onto it.
What you get in the factory box:
1ea submachine gun, airsoft, caliber 6mm: M3A1
1ea magazine, airsoft, 6mm
1ea sling, small arms
1 ea rod, cleaning and de-jamming
1 ea, bag, 6mm Snow Wolf BBs
1 ea manual, instruction
The gun w/o magazine is 6 lbs. 14+ oz. So with the magazine it weighs a little over 7 lbs. Not bad when the real thing weighs 7.8 lbs. w/o magazine. A real loaded magazine weighs 2.1 lbs., holding 30 rds of .45 ammunition. That means that a real fully loaded M3A1 weighs 9.9 lbs. .45 ACP ammunition is heavy folks. Externally the gun is built like a tank. It is quite hefty and solid. This is perhaps not surprising as the Chinese made their own copy of the M3A1 in 9mm, the Type 36. For a review of the internals see here:
The battery is not included and will not take a regular mini style battery. This is a shame as the interior of the grip is large enough, but the opening is just a little too small. However the Matrix battery designed for this gun works fine. The foam packing in the box does have a slot cut for the battery so that will give you a place to store an extra battery.
The battery compartment lid is concealed as the built in oil container on the real gun. Just slide the fake oil container cap back and the lid comes off. In fact it comes off too easily and could come off in the field and get lost because it is not secured to the gun. You could epoxy a safety line to the underside of the cover and to the inside of the battery compartment (With careful placement there should be enough room for that) otherwise I would recommend using a bit of tape over the butt of the grip to hold it in place when in the field.
I do not know if this gun has a fuse. I couldnít find any mention of one in the manual. If there is a fuse you will need to disassemble the gun to get to it. Disassembly is not easy, but is similar to the real gun. The manual does not contain disassembly instructions or a parts list or diagram. Disassembly instructions can be found here:
The safety is the ejection port cover. Closing the cover renders the gun safe and opening it releases the safety. Unfortunately the cover must be held closed for the safety to work. The manual said to ďclickĒ it shut, but my gun had no catch so it springs slightly up and that is enough to release the safety. It would be nice if the safety were more positive. So how do you really make the gun safe? Simple. You remove the magazine. I also suggest that you remove the magazine with the magazine well pointed downward so that the BBs fall out of the magazine well. About 3 to 4 BBs will fall out, about the same number as my M4A1 AEG. If the magazine is removed with the well up BBs are likely to fall into the body of the gun and will rattle around. I donít think they will do any harm, but I donít like loose things like BBs rattling around the internals.
The included high capacity magazine works just fine and there is no wiggle in the magazine well. The plastic filler does its job well in removing any play in the magazine.
The sling was not used and I left it in the box. The included sling has metal snap links and might damage the finish so I got a reproduction sling for the M1 carbine (which is period correct anyway) and used that. The sling swivels are designed for a 1 in wide sling, but a 1 1/4 in wide sling might work too.
The gun has only one mode of fire and that is automatic. Just like the real weapon. You can fire single shots by trigger manipulation, again just like the real gun.
The gun appears to be quite accurate over the short ranges I have been shooting it. I have an indoor BB trap and shoot it inside my house. Actually a quite realistic range for clearing a house in a built up area. The shots land about 2 to 3 inches high from the aiming point and just slightly to the left. The grouping is quit tight. The hop up is adjustable and works by sliding it forward or backward. You gain access to the hop up by opening the ejection port cover and sliding the bolt back. There is no blow back.
I donít know about the included Snow Wolf BBs. They might be medium quality .20 gram BBs, but then they might be cheap plastic BBs. I have a spring M4 and I will use them in that. Get good .20 to .25 BBs to use in this gun. You donít want to ruin this gun using cheap BBs.
The biggest gripe I have is that bright orange muzzle cap. To be clear I both love it and hate it. The cap screams to the world that this is not a real firearm and just begs to be taken off. On the other hand the gun looks so real that I am glad to have the cap to remind me that it is not a real M3A1. Again, just to be clear, this gun is super realistic so I will leave the cap on. (Not to mention that to remove it will void the warranty!) The cap is held on by two Phillips head screws and some sort of glue. If you were to remove the cap you would still have the holes in the aluminum outer barrel into which they are screwed. For display purposes it would be nice to get a replacement outer barrel. (Does Evike sell spare parts for this gun?) The outer barrel screws on and off just as it does on the real weapon.
I checked some prices for real M3A1 submachine guns and they seem to range from $13,000 to $24,000. Itís a matter of scarcity as there are few transferable M3 and M3A1 submachine guns available. And, of course there are all the legal restrictions for owning a Class III firearm. They are also expensive to shoot. (Although, if you can afford to buy one, the cost of ammunition may not be a problem.) You can run through a box of 50 rounds in less than a minute. At $20 a box it can get quite expensive very fast.
The bottom line is that for most of us this superb airsoft M3A1 smg is the closest thing to the real thing as we are likely to get. You can shoot it indoors and the ammunition is much cheaper than .45 ACP ammunition. "This gun is freakin' sweet. I have mostly positive things to say (except that a battery isn't included). The weight is a bittersweet aspect; the heaviness is nice for feeling authentic, but the heaviness is also kinda cumbersome when using for extended periods of time. The FPS is good, and the gun is very accurate. The price is very reasonable. All in all, this is a great buy. "this is a great gun overall......ive had it for almost 2 years and no problems.....only issue i see is the weight but its not very heavy to me.
pros- perfect for cqb
- good for outdoor play
- good fps
cons- little heavy
- nothing else on the cons
great gun and worth the money.........oh yea it is full stamped steel so no plastic or polymer "Received my new S&T Grease Gun M1A1, This thing really shoots hard, smooth as silk, beautifully heavy, meaning it has a good solid feel, The weldings are right there with the WWII Greaser. It really has a nice high capacity magazine which is also metal like the rest of this O.D. green beauty. Also would like to mention and thank Evike for it's quick shipping abilities,and excellent packaging, and also that S&T really packed this gun for "shipment" It came clear across the U.S. looking the same as it was when it left the west coast..The small battery fit into the pistol grip perfectly, so don't worry about that at all. If you're waiting to hear more about it, wait no more, get one while they last. If you like submachine guns and don't mind one that's close to 8 lbs., then this is for you!. A REALLY NICE LOOKING REPLICA. "This gun is accurate down to the weld marks, with the only thing missing being the "trademarks". It has a parkerized finish, instead of the matte black of the ICS M3. The retractable stock can come off, which is nice for slight reduction in weight. The dust cover also acts as the safety, however it has to be completely closed in order for it to work properly, even if it's left slightly open, the safety will not activate. It's also heavy, weighing in at about 7 pounds with the magazine inserted. The orange tip can be removed with a small screwdriver and some elbow grease. The magazine holds about 480-500 rounds, the FPS on my particular M3A1 was on average 340 FPS, which is nice for both CQB or (if you were to try it, like I did) Field Use. The trigger pull is nice and smooth, no tension. There's a small amount of wiggle in the stock, but only when it's retracted inwards, When it's retracted outward I don't notice any wiggling or looseness of the stock.
TL:DR - Overall this is a nice replica, and I would certainly recommend it. Displaying
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