Socom Gear Cheytac M200 review by Lon3Wo1fDiscuss this review here.
This review is from an external point of view and will have no comments on any internals that require disassembly.
Table of Contents:
Basic Info - Real Steel info, Specs, Pricing, Source, Accessories
Products Descriptions/First Impressions
End NotesBasic Information
Real Steel info:
The CheyTac Intervention is an American bolt action sniper rifle manufactured by Randy Kobzeff for long range soft target interdiction. It is fed by a detachable single stack magazine, which holds 7 rounds. It fires .408 CheyTac or .375 CheyTac ammunition. CheyTac papers state that the entire system is capable of delivering sub-MOA accuracy at ranges of up to 2,500 yards (2,300 m), one of the longest ranges of all modern-day sniper rifles. It is based on the EDM Arms Windrunner.
Credits to Wikipedia
Weight: 19.6 lbs unloaded, 21.2 lbs w/ magazine and shells (will detail this bit later).
Length: 47 inches with the stock retracted, 54 inches fully extended.
Price: MSRP $1200
Source: AirsoftGI.com, can be found here
Accessories: Package comes with Socom Gear hard case, 5 Shells, 1 Magazine, Gun, Gas bolt, and ManualProduct Description/First Impressions:
<First thoughts regarding product features, finish, and packaging>
Picking up the case, my first thought was WOW, the M200 is heavy. The included hard case is decent, but it doesn't compare to the quality of a Pelican hard case, more like a Plano. The eggshell foam is protective, and I don't see any problems coming from it.
After popping open the case, your eyes will be greeted with an instruction manual, magazine, bolt, bolt handle, package of shells, and the actual M200. Unlike the M82, you will not be receiving any certificate of authenticity.
The finish on the M200 is amazingly matte. It barely reflects light (aside from the orange flash hider), and seems fairly scratch resistant. The entire gun is extremely solid, without any noticeable flexing. My only trouble with it is the fact that the bipod legs are neither secured into the outer casing, nor spring loaded. Aside from the pistol grip and stock butt, the entire construction is made of metal. Socom Gear claims it is CNC'd aluminum, but I have no sure way to test if this is true.Externals
Starting from the stock end, you will notice that the rubber pad is extremely thick. It is in a concave shape, with the ends being close to 2 inches thick while the middle is about 1 inch thick. The rear monopod can cleverly be folded into the stock, but when extended and screwed in, it is extremely solid. On top of the stock is a non-adjustable, solid metal cheek rest.
The stock is attached to the gun by two solid metal rods, which in turn are slotted into two equally stable mounts. The stock has 4 points of retraction, but the gun is only usable at the furthest two positions.
The pistol grip is made of a polymer and nylon mixture. The material isn't quite as pleasing to grip as a Magpul PTS Pmag, but it is solid and does its job. It is attached by a single screw underneath.
The body/receiver is powder coated, with engraved markings of the Cheytac trademark and accompanying words. The indicators of Safe/Fire are also engraved into the body.
Regarding the safety, the trigger is not physically blocked, but simply detached from the actual firing mechanism, while the safety is engaged.
Like the majority of the gun, the handle is made of metal. It's mounting is extremely rugged, and can easily carry the weight of the rifle.
The outer barrel sheath is mounted without any play but is not powder coated. This will cause for wear to appear where the bipod is mounted.
The bipod is mounted on the barrel sheath, and can be adjusted to the user's preference. However, the legs are not spring loaded, so take care while extending them or one may be lost. Like the monopod, the bipod can easily take the weight of the rifle.
The actual barrel is rather odd. It has a fair amount of play in all directions, but will not rotate. The entire muzzle is metal, but is painted with a ridiculous amount of orange.
The magazine is made of stamped steel, but its coating may be scratched while insertion into the gun. It seems resistant to most forms of damage, but if it receives too much punishment, replacement magazines can be purchased at $90 each.Power/Magazines
Gas is charged directly into an inlet valve on top of the bolt. Socom Gear recommends using green gas or propane.
Only proprietary shells and magazines may be used, and this model is NOT compatible with STAR/Ares M200 parts.
Reloading the gun can either be a two step or one step process. The user can either load up to 7 shells into the magazine, which is then slid into the receiver AK style (a notch on the front magazine is locked in, the magazine rocked back into the receiver), or a shell can be chambered directly into the bolt. The bolt-loading method can only be used to chamber one round at a time.
Take care not to lose any shells, as they are expensive. Only Socom Gear shells can be used, and can (at time of writing 4/28/11) be found at a handful of US stores. Price is $35 for a package of 5 shells.
The M200 also uses 8mm bbs. While these bbs are not rare, they are costly when compared with standard 6mm bbs.Performance Characteristics:
<How does the gun perform, power, accuracy, etc>
Testing was done with Bioshot 8mm bbs. The bolt was filled with propane for 5 seconds, allowed to settle for 1 min, then another 5 second charge was used. Average temperature during testing was 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bioshot 8mm .34s
Average with .34 - 327.6
Bioshot 8mm .45s
Average with .45 - 298
Obviously, this gun is not nearly as consistent as standard gas rifles. Hopefully the CO2 bolt will solve some of the FPS inconsistencies.Accessories/Modifications
Upgrades are limited to whatever the user can fit onto the rail. This includes lasers, scopes, grenade launchers, etc. To do this gun justice, large scopes with 50mm+ objective lens should be mounted.Upgrades:
Internally, there is not much to replace. Unless the user has access to a precision machine shop, upgrading the 8mm inner barrel will be difficult. Finding 8mm hopup components will also be a problem. Socom Gear has stated that a CO2 bolt will be released in the future.
However, the internals appear to be well made, so repairs are not needed for out of box usage.Skirmish Results
<How does the gun fair on the field>
Like the Socom Gear M82, this M200 is not for the light hearted, weak, or short. This beast is usable on a field, but only up to a certain extent. While I was able to score some hits, my effective range topped out at just over 150 ft. However, the 8mm rounds do make a difference. I was able to punch through light foliage to hit my targets where 6mm rounds were unable to penetrate. Also, the 8mm impacts are instantly noticeable to the targets I nailed and I had no problems with people not calling their hits.
The main disadvantage I faced was the lack of ammo when compared to more tradition sniper platforms such as VSRs or L96 based guns. Having only 7 rounds per magazine makes me conclude this is not a skirmishable replica, but much more of a hyper realistic/expensive collector's item. While it was not effective as a skirmish weapon, the showpiece function makes up for its shortcomings as I was immensely entertained as other people gaped at the sheer size.Conclusion:
To anyone even considering acquiring one of these beasts, understand that this is not built as a skirmishable replica. Its size, magazine capacity, weight, price, and firing action simply makes skirmishing too expensive. These are best used for target shooting, movie props, or collector's items.
Assuming that you don't mind dropping 1200+ on an unskirmishable gun, then by all means get it. There is not any airsoft model that will get as close to its real counterpart as the Socom Gear M200 Intervention is to the original Cheytac. I have had no qualms about dumping such a high figure into a replica that, in my eyes, is a work of art to be displayed.
If a skirmishable gun is desired, pick up a Socom Gear M82 or Real Sword SVD. If you want to be the envy of your friends, team mates, and everyone else at events, pick up the M200.End Notes:
<Any last important info about the products/review
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