REVIEW: BOTH ELEPHANT METAL GEARBOX STEYR AUG A1 (Military Version)
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1: Real Steel AUG History
3: First Impressions & What is Included
4: Magazine Info
6: Internals & How To Disassemble the AUG
10: Upgrades & Modifications
11: Pro's & Con's
12: BE AUG Variants
14: More pictures!
REAL STEEL STEYR AUG HISTORY
The Steyr AUG is a family of firearms. They were first introduced in 1977, but had been in development since the late 1960's. AUG stands for Armee Universal Gewehr or Universal Army Rifle. It was developed by the Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch company (now Steyr-Mannlicher AG & Co KG) to replace the FN FAL for the Austrian army. This rifle was first adopted in 1977 by the Austrian army, as the Stg.77, or Assault Rifle, model of 1977. It began production in 1978. The first AUG, the AUG A1, had a distinctive green frame and an integrated 1.5x scope. The first version was chambered for 5.56mm NATO cartridge (.223 REM.), but can also fire 9mm rounds with a separate kit. Since the 1970's, the AUG has gained some serious popularity. More than fifteen countries worldwide use the AUG. Some of which are Austria, Australia, US, UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Indonesia, Oman, and quite a few others. There are currently more than 20 variants of the AUG, also. Since the AUG is a bullpup design rifle, it is 25% shorter than other rifles with the same length barrel. It is also very ergonomic, has ambidextrous controls, and uses clear/translucent mags. The barrels of the AUG can also be changed very easily and there is also a modification kit that allows the AUG to shoot 9mm rounds rather than the larger 5.56mm (.223 REM.) rounds as mentioned before. The conversion kit includes a new barrel, bolt assembly, and magazine throat. Any AUG may be converted to SMG and back withink 10 minutes by the owner. The result is a SMG with a simple blowback operated firearm, and could be equipped with a silencer. Overall, the AUG has been well-liked by the soldiers that carry it, and it is known for decent accuracy, good ergonomics, and excellent reliability.
First of all, where did I get this gun? Where can you get it? These are the questions I will answer in this part of the review. I got my BE AUG metal gearbox version at Geartron.com for only $59.99 shipped via Fedex Ground. I paid on the night of the 21st (of June) with a credit card (Visa to be exact) and they shipped it out the next day (22nd of June). It came on the 27th of June, which was only 4 business days. That's not too bad for free shipping. I will probably order from them again and I will not hesitate next time. Other places you can buy this are: Jungletoy (airsoft128.com), eBay (there's always some on eBay), AirsoftGi.com, Evike.com, and possibly a few others. The cheapest retailers so far are Jungletoy and Geartron, which both have the same price ($79.99)and they both have free shipping. However the one on JT is on the "As-Is" page and does not have a warranty and cannot be sent back. Geartron upped their prices by a good $20 since I ordered from them, yet they still remain the cheapest. I guess these new BE AUG's are getting pretty popular. I'm glad I picked mine up before the price skyrocketed, though.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS & WHAT IS INCLUDED
The gun was shipped in its original box with brown paper wrapped over it. I ripped off the brown paper and the plastic on the box. When you open the box the first time, you notice a weird plastic/rubber odor that is not very pleasant. The gun comes with the following: AUG, standard mag(it will come with the standard mag if ordered from Geartron.com, but it should come with the hi-cap if ordered anywhere else), cleaning/unjamming rod, crappy pistol mag speedloader (more about this later), safety glasses, crappy laser sight (attached to the gun), instruction manual, a little box of bbs (don't use them...), a 9.6 volt 1200 mAh-Nimh battery, and a 9.6 volt battery charger. The box has the usual Engrish written on it. Some funny examples: "Emulational High power Nicety", "Adapt the crowd over 18 years of age usage", and "The product simulates the real gun and reappears the excellent mechanical assembly. It makes operation more exciting. The product can be simply taken apart for repairing. It has high percentage of hits. Moreover, there is the equipment for adjusting the distance." The box also has "NO. M8-1" and "Made in China" on it. Also, on the right side of the body, near the rubber butt plate, it says "SHUANG XIANG TOYS. MADE IN CHINA" and then a little picture of two elephants with a circle around them. When I first picked up the gun, I noticed how back heavy it was. This is because of the metal gearbox. All of the externals are plastic, excluding the sling mounts. The gun weighs a little less than my Jin-Gong AK-47 (both fully loaded). I would say about 4.5-5.0 pounds fully loaded. I must say, it is much more comfortable to hold and shoulder than my 6.0-6.5 pound Jin-Gong AK-47. My gun also came with a crappy laser sight attached to the gun. I got some pliers and quickly yanked those off. Another nice thing about this gun, is that it is really comfortable to shoulder. This is because of the rubber butt pad and bullpup design. One thing I didn't like about this gun, however, is that the scope is non-functional. It is just a plastic tube with no reticles or crosshairs. On top of the scope are the iron sights. Those are pretty accurate and I find them pretty useful. I painted three white dots on the iron sights. This makes it a lot easier to aim.
BOTH ELEPHANT AUG HI-CAP MAGAZINE & STANDARD MAGAZINE
I also separately purchased a BE-Tech AUG 330 round hi-cap magazine from Jungletoy (Airsoft128.com) for this gun. It was only $19.99. I know you have read very little about this mag and might have heard some misconceptions and a lot of misinformation about these mags. First of all, mine feeds perfectly and I can fit 375 bbs in it when fully wound. It is an awesome magazine with no misfeeds on semi-auto or full-auto. And at less than $20 (cheaper than a Tokyo Marui standard mag), this is a steal! Also, if you have a Tokyo Marui or Classic Army AUG and want some cheap hi-cap mags, these are perfect for that, too. I highly recommend them. Now, about the standard mag can hold up to 65 bbs. But, no more than that. I would say even 65 is pushing it. I would recommend loading only about 60-62. Sixty-four at the very most. I have found that using the standard mag is only effective when shooting semi-auto. It simply cannot keep up with the fast ROF of this gun. Even sometimes if I try and shoot semi fairly fast, it misfeeds. Your only option (if you wanted standard mags) is to buy Tokyo Marui standard mags. I assume those will feed perfectly. Let's just hope STAR or MAG will come up with some real caps, lowcaps, or even midcaps for the AUG. I would also like to mention the speedloader that this gun came with. It didn't work right when I first tried to use it, but I took it apart and noticed that it was put together wrong or something. A piece was loose and in the wrong spot, so I quickly fixed this problem and put it back together. Now, it feeds just fine.
Hi-cap mag right side:
Hi-cap mag left side:
Standard mag right side:
Standard mag left side:
Both mags right side:
Both mags left side:
The externals of this AUG are basically the only major disappointment (in my opinion). The plastic is the same quality as the BE AUG SR LPEG (Low Powered Electric Gun) that I have handled. The only different thing about the two guns is the fact that this one does not have a weaver rail, but the scope is integrated on the receiver. If you do not like this look, you have two options. One, you can buy the LPEG BE AUG for about $40 shipped and swap barrels/receivers, or two, you could just buy the BE CQB AUG, which has a metal gearbox and the weaver rail on it. It should be around $100, or about the same as this gun. The foregrip on the AUG also isn't very durably made. I would be very careful about it when skirmishing with this gun. Or, you could simply fold it up and forget about it, or, you could simply take it off. This is done by getting a small screwdriver or a tap and hammer and hammer the pin out that is holding it in. But, hold onto the bottom of the grip while doing this, or the spring and bottom will fly out. If you want to put the foregrip back on the gun, it is kind of tricky at first, but very easy once you get the hang of it. You will need a somewhat small Phillips screwdriver to take out the screws. Once you have done that, separate the halves of the grip and take out that silver piece. Get the spring, put the spring in so the end that has the full circle is inside that silver piece aligned with the holes in that silver piece. Once that is done, hook the end piece up with the other end of the spring. Before we put everything back together, you will need something thing (I used a really small nail) to put in the spring about 3 coils form the top circle thing (sorry, I am bad at explaining this) so you can slide the grip in the receiver of the gun and then put the original pin inside the spring, and finally you can take that pin/nail out and you are done. If that doesn't make sense, just email me, or PM me and I will try my best to explain it to you. Now, onto the other external parts. The sling mounts are the only metal external pieces. They seem to be very sturdy and can support just about any sling. The barrel and flashhider seem to be glued on to each other/the receiver and I am not sure if they are threaded or not. Frankly, I do not want to try and get them off to find out because I do not want to break it off. To reveal the metal gearbox, you can simply pull open the ejection port on the right side of the body. Another thing you have to be careful about is the safety button. When putting the safety on or taking the safety off, it is very easy to push it a little to far, and if you do that, it will slide completely off. I just thought I would mention this, so people won't loose them. I think that just about covers it as far as the externals go.
INTERNALS & HOW TO DISASSEMBLE THE AUG
To takedown the AUG, it is very simple, and it is the same as any other AUG (both airsoft and real steel). First, you push out the little black button that is located about 4-5 inches away from the safety. Once that is out, you push the lever that is by the foregrip in a backwards/diagonal motion, and the barrel/receiver of the gun should slide right out of the body. To get to the gearbox, you have to remove ten screws from the body and 4 more screws on the top of the trigger assembly on the top of the gun with a Phillips screwdriver, for a total of 14 screws. The stock barrel quality is adequate, but I would recommend installing a tightbore. Also, the stock hop-up is non-adjustable and is set for 0.20g bbs. This is a big downside for many people. However, there is a guide on making your own adjustable hop-up and how to install a tightbore. It is located on the ACM forums here. Registration is required.
As far as the internals go, I have not opened the gearbox as of yet. Once I get the necessary funds for upgrades, though, I will update this review on the internals and the quality of the gearbox, etc.
To take apart the barrel/flashhider assembly, you must first separate the receiver from the body of the gun. After you have done that, you must get the pin out. There are three pins. One holds the foregrip, one holds the barrel in place, and the other one holds the sling mount in place. You are looking for the middle one. I think the best way to get it out is if you get a small flat head screwdriver and stick that in the little crevice for the barrel and pry up while you stick something in the hole and push out the pin. It is a little easier done than said, I believe. Once that pin is out, lock the bolt back if you haven't already done that, and while pressing the takedown lever back, turn the barrel assembly in a clockwise motion and pull it away from you. It should easily slide off. To get the plastic flashhider off, simply pull it out. Do not twist it! If you twist it, you will never get it out, you must pull it out. Also, the outer barrel and inner barrel should also slide out. To put everything back together, just repeat the process backwards.
Length of stock BE AUG: 31.50 inches
Height of stock BE AUG (from scope to end of mag.): about 11.00 inches
Width of stock BE AUG at its widest point: 3.0-3.5 inches
Before you start shooting this gun, you need a battery. The battery included is a 9.6 volt 1200 mAh-Nimh rechargeable battery. To charge it with the included wall charger, line up the positive and negative ends of the switches, plug those together, and plug the wall charger into your electrical outlet. Charge time will be 4.8 hours. To find out the exact charge time, you simply take the mAh of the battery and divide that by the output of the charger. In this case the output is 250 mAh. So the equation would look like this: 1200/250= 4.8. And 4.8 hours is about 288 minutes, which is 4 hours and 48 minutes. Just under 5 hours. Once you have charged the battery, take off the butt plate, connect the battery, slide the battery in, and put the butt plate back on. For testing the accuracy and range, I will be using a 12 inch square box with a target attached. I will be testing it with 0.20g and 0.25g bbs at 25, 50, and 100 ft. ranges. Also, this gun doesn't have a selector switch. To fire semi-auto, you simply pull the trigger back halfway. To fire full auto, you pull the trigger all the way back. It is the same way with the real steel STEYR AUG's. I also like it a lot better than guns with a selector switch, simply because there is no wasted time trying to switch the gun from semi to full auto with a selector switch. All you do is adjust your trigger pull. What could be better? It is the perfect gun, in my opinion.
0.20g @ 25 ft. (about ~80 shots):
0.20g @ 50 ft. (about ~50 shots):
0.20g @ 100 ft. (about ~50 shots):
0.25g @ 25 ft. (about ~60 shots):
0.25g @ 50 ft. (about ~60 shots):
0.25g @ 100 ft. (about ~60 shots):
Here are the two cans I shot at. Notice that the gun penetrated both sides of both cans. Also notice that it only shot clean through one side on each. I estimate the FPS to be about 330-340 according to the Redwolf's Coke Can Chrono.
First can (Vault)
Where bb entered can:
Where bb exited can:
Second can (Sprite)
Where bb entered can:
Where bb exited can:
Okay, so now you know what the accuracy is like. Yea, I know, it's not that great. Well, what were you expecting? Keep in mind, that the stock barrel is an aluminum one and the target I was shooting at was roughly the size of a human head. You should also know that a head shot is quite difficult. As far as effective range goes, I bet I could hit a human-sized target out to 115 feet easily, and I might possibly hit it at 125-130 feet. Anything past 130 feet is pure look. Also, part of the problem is that there are no sights, except the iron sights on top of the fake scope. That is one of my biggest disappointments in this gun. I think BE could have at least put some crosshairs in their fake scope. Your only option, if you want to mount your own optics, is to buy the BE Civilian AUG LPEG (AUG A2), which only costs about $40 shipped. Another plus is, if you buy that gun, you also get another battery and a standard mag to use with your metal gearbox AUG. You can't go wrong with that.
Finally, how long does the stock battery last? Well, my guess is that it can shoot a good 1200-1500 shots before it dies. Also, with the stock battery, the ROF doesn't slowly get worse, it seems that it all of a sudden gets worse and then dies. Pretty good for a stock battery. Here are a couple pictures of the battery it comes with:
Well, I honestly cannot say too much for durability, because I have only had the gun for about 15 days, and I have only managed to put about 2000 bbs through this beast. As long as you take care of this gun and not throw it around too much, it should be pretty durable. The only weak points of the gun are the folding foregrip and the outer barrel. I find these two to be the weakest points of the gun. If the outer barrel gets hit hard enough or gets dropped on something hard enough, I would imagine it would break and you would probably need a new inner barrel as well as a new outer barrel. From the couple weeks I have had this gun, I have seen no wear at all and it seems to be holding up perfectly.
UPGRADES & MODIFICATIONS
Since this gun has a V3 Marui-Compatible metal gearbox, it will take any V3 aftermarket gearbox parts and the upgrade possibilities are endless. So far, I have only done external modifications to my AUG. I first put a few light coats of Krylon Semi-Flat on the whole gun (as a primer), and then I painted the body, butt pad, trigger, foregrip, cocking handle, and standard magazine, with a few light coats of Krylon Ultra-Flat OD (Olive Drab). After that, I decided to paint the receiver, barrel, scope, flashhider, and slings with Krylon Semi-Flat black again. Just in case. I must say, it looks 100% better than the original finish, which looked rather shiny and too much like a toy, in my opinion. I have also added a custom PVC silencer. First, I cut a 1" tube of PVC piping about 9.5 inches long. After that, I used some Krylon Semi-Flat black and painted it with a few light coats (allowing drying time between coats, of course). I used semi-flat black because, in my humble opinion, it makes the silencer look a lot better than if I used ultra-flat black. It isn't too flat, but it isn't too shiny, either. Perfect. After painting it, I custom fitted it to the AUG barrel. The total length of my AUG is now 33.5 inches. It slightly resembles the phantom AUG now, only I used a smaller silencer. After finishing the silencer, I decided the mag needed some black, so I unscrewed the screw on the bottom of the mag(the standard mag) and slid off the bottom base plate. After that, I put a couple coats of paint using the same Krylon Semi-Flat black that I used before. Now it looks perfect. I think that about covers it as far as upgrades and mods go. I will definitely update this once I check out the gearbox and upgrade the internals a bit. Before I am done with this section, I would also like to point out the difference in AUG tightbores. When purchasing or looking for an AUG tightbore, you will notice that there are two different sizes. One is a 509mm tightbore. The other is a 550mm tightbore. The 509mm barrel will not pass through the flashhider, but the 550mm barrel will go about 2 inches through the flashhider. It is only about a 2 inch difference. Not enough to affect accuracy or FPS. Or there will be so little, you won't even notice.
The other modification I have done to my AUG, was the battery plate mod. All you need is a hacksaw and a Phillips screwdriver. First, you take off the butt plate of your AUG. Next, unscrew the 2 screws and take out the battery plate. Once you have done this, with the hacksaw, cut about three quarters of the plate off. Start about an inch down from where the screws are. After this is done, simply screw what is left of the plate back in the stock and you are done. This mod will let you put in larger batteries. Here are a couple pictures of this:
Stock battery plate:
Modified battery plate:
PRO'S & CON'S
Affordable (usually around $80-$100)
Tokyo Marui compatible (mags, barrels, upgrades, etc.)
Very good ROF (about 17-18 RPS on full charged stock battery)
Shoots faster than Tokyo Marui counterpart (mine does 330-350 FPS)
Very comfortable to shoulder (Rubber butt plate)
Upgradeable (has metal V3 Gearbox)
Effective range is more than 120 ft. (130 ft. is pushing it)
Hi-cap magazine feeds flawlessly and is reliable
Field strips just like the real steel AUG
Decent stock battery (9.6 volt 1200 mAh Ni-mh)
Too much plastic
Only external metal parts are the sling mounts
Foregrip not very durable/sturdy
Fake scope doesn't even have crosshairs
Many visible screw holes (most of them are on the right side of the gun)
No trademarks (hey, it was made in China, what did you expect?)
A little too shiny for my tastes (Krylon or similar flat spray paint fixes this)
Plastic quality isn't the best, but it is not the worst, either
Visible seam lines
BE AUG Variants
So far, there are three BE AUG variants. The first one to come out was the LPEG version with the plastic gearbox/gears. It shoots approximately 200 FPS with 0.20g bbs (about 250 FPS with 0.12g bbs) and costs around $40 shipped. The next BE AUG variant to come out was the AUG A1 replica and that is the one I currently have. This is Both Elephant's first AEG. Basically, all they did was take the body of their LPEG AUG, made a different receiver (made of some plastic as the LPEG receiver), put in a metal gearbox, and added a hi-cap (in my case, I got the standard mag that comes with the LPEG BE AUG's). The most recent AUG they released is the Tactical CQB version. It is basically the LPEG Civilian version with a short barrel and a metal gearbox. I believe that is all of the AUG versions Both Elephant plans on releasing. I will update this review if they release any more STEYR AUG replicas, though. The next guns they are releasing are the G36K and the SL8, both in metal and plastic gearbox versions, so I think they are done with the AUG's.
In conclusion, if you are searching for a good starter AEG, and do not want the usual MP5, M4, or AK-47, get this. You will not regret it. Also, with a little work, it makes a nice collector's gun or wallhanger. With minimal work, this thing can shoot farther, faster, and more accurately than a Tokyo Marui and/or Classic Army AUG. Since it already shoots faster than a Tokyo Marui AUG, all you need is a tightbore barrel and possibly a new hop-up. Although, the stock hop-up is fine and can be modded to be adjustable. For only $80-$100, how could you go wrong with this? I do not and will probably never regret my purchase, and neither will you. This will also make one hell of a project gun.
If you have any questions, comments, requests (want more pics?), or anything at all, please PM me, email me, or possibly catch me on AIM at bartsimpson78691. Thank you all for reading my review of the BE AUG A1!
EVEN MORE PICTURES!
Keep in mind that ALL photos were resized to 700x525, if you want a larger picture (they were originally 1280x960), just ask!
Ejection port open(right side):
Ejection port open(left side):
A bunch more! Click to enlarge. Enjoy!