"The first impression is that it feels light and well balanced, at 523g with no mag. Secondly, the trigger feels a lot lighter than normal, and has more distinct walls than an SSX23. Sights are also better, more akin to the upgraded sights on my Glock "build", while my SSX sights sorta suck for lack of a better term. They feel like more easy to acquire combat sights while still seeming precise, which is really what you'd want on a gun like this. it also has space for an RMR without need of costly mounting plates, which I may purchase at some point if I'm feeling extravagant. Feels different than the SSX generally, with the slide being 29.37mm at it's fattest, with the SSX I have being 29.52mm, and the slide cuts looking a lot cooler.
As for the "half blowback" thing, that's completely ridiculous. You can rack the slide pretty far back like with a Tokyo Marui, where with an SSX or other clone you can only rack the slide a little bit, and then it feels like something might break. Cool enough feature I guess, but it's not at all a blowback gun. Normally "half blowback" means pre short stroked to the max, so a slide will barely cycle enough to feed a BB. Those guns are usually not very good, but for other reasons.
Frame : 216G
Slide EMPTY : 115G
Barrel, hop, spring guide : 164G
Nozzle : 14g
Total : 523G
Frame : 215G
Slide EMPTY : 108G
Barrel, hop, spring guide : 160G(stainless 188X6.02 barrel)
Nozzle : 14g
Total : 510G(probably the bored out outer barrel and different inner barrel)
Bucking : Old style Maple Leaf 60* Autobot, I recommend switching to the 2021 70* Autobot.
Trigger parts : Silver pot metal instead of black painted pot metal
Nozzle : Pretty normal, about identical to the two from my SSX
Outer barrel : Pot metal, less glossy than SSX but with more delicate paint, has a hex end in the muzzle. Orange tip can be ripped out with pliers easily. Apparently the SSX is now coming with the same orange tip.
Inner barrel : Maple Leaf 144X6.04 with a silver(probably Chrome) finish. Very good bore finish, would very likely see no improvement from lapping or polishing. Has an outer diameter of 8.48, common size, but not the 8.55 TM spec I look for. May lead to sealing or wobble issues with some chambers, outer barrels, and buckings, but this applies to at least half the barrels out there.
Frame : Identical to the SSX, both say MADE IN TAIWAN where a pic rail should have been added...
Slide : ACTUALLY CNC, there are obvious milling marks on the inside, which gives me hope that this is a decent aluminum alloy. SSX slide seems to be die cast aluminum, and is generally less nice than this. Slide seems anodized, over the glossy paint of the SSX. Cool touch.
Slide stop : Has a little thing on the side that acts as a safety when clicked up. Cross compatible with the SSX, and can be filed off with ease if you don't dig it. Can go on with or without the hammer cocked.
Safety : Same as the SSX, only goes on when the hammer is cocked. Safeties are dumb imo, only important where you're shooting metal projectiles with more power. Two is even more ridiculous, but the slide stop one is clicky and fun.
Mags : give much more power than Nov mags, and hold more BBs. With some 3D printed short followers the mag will hold 34 BBs, while the SSX mag will hold 29-30 with the same follower. Also easier to load as the spring isn't very heavy, and there is a nice wide channel at the bottom to load BBs instead of a little groove on each side to form a BB sized hole like on the 5 SSX mags I've owned. I shot 20 shots from all of my SSX mags, and got an average of 223, 272, 281, and 244 FPS with a .30g BB, while the Falcon mag averaged 309 FPS, much more reasonable for a pistol imo.
And lastly, the hop chamber. It is a Maple Leaf hop chamber that is worth $26-40 depending on where you buy it, my main point of interest when buying the gun. It is plastic and adjusts by a wheel on the side from the outside of the gun, not even needing an Allen key for adjustment. The screws that hold it together are a little larger in diameter and longer than SSX screws, and seem to engage much more plastic. Much less likely to strip than an SSX chamber having wrecked 2, but do be careful not to cross thread or strip the thing as a replacement will either suck and require a TDC cover, or be rather expensive at about $50-65 after shipping.
Power And Combos
Power with stock parts, stock mag : 1.04J with .30g
Power with stock parts, Nov mag : .82J with .30g
Power with Nov nozzle, Nov mag : .79J with .30g
Power with Nov nozzle, stock mag : 1.02J with .30g
Power with Nov slide assembly, stock mag : 1.36J with .30g
Power with Nov slide assembly, Nov mag : .95J with .30g
Power with Nov frame, Nov mag : .94J with .30g
Power with Nov frame, stock mag : 1.12J with .30g
Power with 188X6.02, better sealed 2021 70*, stock mag : 1.31J with .30g
Power with 188X6.02, better sealed 2021 70*, Nov mag : .85J with .30g
Power with .20g Elite Force, stock mag : 333.5FPS avg - 1.03J
Power with .30g Evike, stock mag : 273.9FPS avg - 1.04J
Power with .48g BLS, stock mag : 228.2FPS avg - 1.16J
Power with .20g Elite Force, Nov mag : 297FPS avg - .82J
Power with .30g Evike, Nov mag : 242.5FPS avg - .82J
Power with .48g BLS, Nov mag : 205.9FPS avg - .95J
Tests done in the same temperature room on propane, letting mags warm up and be refilled every 10 shots.
All power readings had hop set to flat with a .30g.
Accuracy And Range
Not as flat as my SSX23 and doesn't shoot as far, but with a better bucking that should change.
Accuracy was fine, I could hit stuff, but again, a better bucking would be ideal as I forgot how bad the old 60* Autobot was.
Modifications And Upgrades
Ditch the old 60* Autobot and get a 2021 70* Autobot
Add a longer and tighter inner barrel(optional)
Shim the nozzle unit down to engage more with mag, may boost air seal and power
Bore out the hammer valve fittings on the mag for more power
Add paper or other shim material under the C-clip on the bucking to make it seal around the nozzle better
Add some O-rings or tape to center the inner barrel to center it a tiny bit better
Rip off the orange muzzle
Polish trigger and hammer contact surfaces
Grease trigger and hammer contact surfaces
File away the retention and safety nubs on the mag release for easier use
For $10 less than the SSX23 and with the opportunity of discounts, coupon codes, and the $20 off first order from a new member, getting this thing from Evike is a no brainer over the SSX, not to mention free shipping over $149. I was able to buy this with the $20 new account discount for $131, and that's with a kilo of ASG .28g BBs, so this gun was super cheap compared to the SSX. Don't forget that Nov will squeeze another 15-20 off you for shipping, so his $149 gun actually turns into a $160-170 gun shipped. Kinda a shit deal if you buy his $39+ suppressor.
The inner barrel, bucking, frame, and all that shit is the same, save for the slide and hop chamber which are the main points of interest besides it's price. The chamber is sold for $26-40 plus expensive shipping to the US, so that's a big point of value, and the slide is actually CNC aluminum, not die cast like the SSX. Die cast isn't bad, but CNC is better as you usually need to start off with a higher quality and stronger alloy or else machining it will suck really bad.
The gun itself doesn't lose any power when you fire it in single action for those of you who do that, while the SSX loses enough power that it's shots drop way faster since the hop isn't working as well. The mags are also way more powerful than SSX mags, and cost $28 instead of the $33 Nov is now charging, and don't forget the discounts, $20 off first order for a new account, and free shipping over $149(before coupons are applied), so this pretty much kills the SSX and it's mags. Now I'm just waiting on a cool suppressor to come out for this. Doesn't come with a shitty plastic case I can't hold another mag or my suppressor in, so I guess I'll just suffer lol. In total, 100% score, I suggest everybody sell their SSX23 and it's mags to get one of these.