Review: ECHO 1 M16A4 (Jing Gong M16A3)
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Real Steel History
The M16A3 was a fully-automatic variant of the M16A2 adopted in small numbers around the time of the introduction of the M16A2, primarily by the U.S. Navy for use by the SEALs. It features a Safe-Semi-Auto (S-1-F) trigger group like that of the M16A1.
Some confusion continues to exist regarding the M16A3. It is often described as the fully-automatic version of the M16A4. Descriptions of the M16A3 that claim that it shares the M16A4's Picatinny rail are incorrect. This misunderstanding most likely stems from the usage of the A2 and A3 designations by civilian manufacturers to differentiate between A2-style fixed carry handles and Picatinny rail versions.
The M16A3 is still used by our United States Military, though frontline troops often are equipped with the new M16A4.
Reason for purchasing:
Well, I was on the verge of buying a Classic Army M15A4. I’ve been craving a M16 for so long it was driving me insane. But, realizing that I’m in school, play sports, and have a girlfriend I just don’t have the money to get everything I need. So, I opted for a cheaper route. I looked into the Jing Gong M16A3 at Gunners, and decided that would be the one for me. Sure, it was virtually untested, but it looked nice enough. So, I ordered through Nachos.
Well, low and behold AirsoftGI re-brand ECHO1 came out the next day, and I cancelled my order.
Ordering from AirsoftGi:
First off, I applaud www.airsoftgi.com for their fast delivery and prompt service. I highly recommend ordering from them, for they have good prices, and got the gun to me 5 days after I ordered it, and I live in Iowa (They’re in California.) Remember to use the coupon “freeupsground” on orders over $100, otherwise shipping will get pricey. Also double check your cart, for someone bb’s I didn’t order got into it, but I removed them before ordering.
Appearance (Box, Packing):
After tearing that nasty looking brown paper off, I was met by a pleasant surprise. I was met by a very nice looking blue box, with a small M16 pictured in the middle. The only thing that stood out was the Big “ECHO 1” logo on the left, and the words “M16A4” Written across the top.
Packing: The packaging was very nice; the gun was nicely protected in Styrofoam. Also packed in the Styrofoam were the magazine, an 8.4V 1500mah battery, charger, bb tube loader, and a cleaning road.
All this was packed neatly, and covered up with two more pieces of Styrofoam, making it virtually impossible to get damaged.
Battery included, suggest buying a new one.
I think this sentence will really sum it up…When I opened the box I thought I ordered a TM M16A2. Externally, it really looks the same. I can compare the plastic to numerous TM weapons, and really, I can’t feel, or see much of a difference between this and a TM.
One of the first things that caught my eye was the coloration of the rifle…It looked great! The receiver is grey, but is nothing close to that of ICS’s color. Personally I like it, for it is a balance between the coloring of an ICS, and a CA. Also, the hand guards were very dull in color, which really pleased me, for I was worried that they might have the usual Cheap-plasticy-shiny MPEG look to them, but it didn’t.
As many of you asked, the gun had no rust whatsoever. I checked all metal parts, and found none. In fact, the whole gun was presented beautifully, for it didn’t have any scratches on it.
Lastly, a huge plus for me is that this MPEG had no trademarks whatsoever on it. That’s right, a blank receiver. This is great, for you can engrave whatever trademarks you want on it, or you could just choose to leave it blank. At least you don’t have those corny company trademarks that you all dread on Chinese AEG’s.
Blank Receiver, perfect for engraving your own trademarks
Well, it feels durable. Hell, about as durable as I can imagine a plastic gun being. I feared this gun to be very creaky, like early TM models, but this was not the case. I checked all places on the gun for creak, and the only place that it creaked ever so slightly was the stock. But, that was not unexpected.
Also, another expected problem with this gun is the infamous barrel wobble. As of right now, it has none, but I expect that to change eventually with use. The only way to counteract this is by buying a metal body and installing a one-piece outer barrel. In total, that will cost you $100+, so you may want to keep that in mind if you’re picky about that. However, if you put tape around the screws where the outer barrel meets the receiver, it will decrease the wobble.
Hi-Cap included, Feeds decently (Metal)
This gun has a lot of metal. It makes the gun feel quite nice in my hands, and I really enjoy shouldering it. Metal Parts are:
Metal Parts (External):
- Butt Pad
- Sling mounts
- Part of charging handle
- Motor cover on grip
- Trigger Guard
- Magazine release
- Dust Cover
- Body screws
- RIS Rail
- Windage adjuster
- Sight adjuster
- Back and front sights
- Outer Barrel
- Delta Ring
- Flash Hider
As you can see, all these parts make for a very nice feeling gun; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed when picking this up for the first time.
When I first shot this gun I was surprised, it was pretty loud. That was fine with me however, for it didn’t sound like the normal Low-Cost AEG. Louder than a TM gun, but sounded on par with a CA gun. I can’t compare them to an ICS, for no one on my team has one. I’m not going to open up the gearbox until something breaks, so don’t expect me to analyze the quality of parts in the gearbox, at least not yet. All I’m probably going to do soon is put in a tightbore, as well as a 50% guarder hop up bucking, for better consistency, for the hop consistency doesn’t always seem to be there.
Barrel and Hop
Nachos said that re-shimming and rewiring doesn’t need to be done, and I believe that. Even with the crappy 8.4V battery, powering a 350FPS gun, the ROF is still pretty nice. The gearbox doesn’t sound stressed at all, and seems to be running very smoothly, though it is still quite loud.
Now, here is the big thing for me, as well as many others I’m sure. “Sure, the gun shoots 330FPS+ stock, but who cares if it can’t hit a person at 100feet.” Well, I’m going to be blunt, it can. The only accuracy I have run on this gun, besides just randomly shooting outside was a 50ft. indoor test.
I did this when I didn’t have the Iron sights zeroed in, so instead of checking to see how close to the bulls-eye I just checked for grouping size.
Semi Auto- 2” groupings
Full Auto- 3” groupings
I will conduct tests at 100 feet as well, but right now it is so windy and rainy that the results wouldn’t do the gun justice. This is one place where I will definitely be adding on to the review.
Coke Can exit
Coke can entry
Hop up: (Tests with .23s)
As many of you asked, how is the hop-up? Well, pretty damn good. To check its effectiveness I turned the hop all the way down. As you’d expect, the gun went about 80-100 feet, then just dove to the ground. I then found a nice middle ground, somewhere towards the middle of the dial, which kept the bb flying straight past 100feet, which was what I wanted, for most shots will be around that distance. Then, for the fun of it I turned the hop up all the way up. Once again, as expected, once the bb got about 100 feet, the bb went sky-high. Because of this, I’m assuming that you could easily get shots 150-175feet accurately, maybe farther.
The barrel is brass, just like all Jing Gong (ECHO1) guns. I’m assuming it has the same diameter as most stock guns (6.08)
However, if you want full potential with this gun, I suggest getting a tightbore. Most of the time, people get the M16 for its accuracy, so internally I suggest it be the first thing you do. It will increase your FPS to probably around 360, while giving you better accuracy. Also, replace the hop up bucking for a more consistent shot.
Overview of the entire rifle
Things that could be better:
First, the big thing for me is going to be the eventual barrel wobble. I probably will replace the body eventually with a metal, one, and a one piece outer barrel. The gun could also be more silent as well, it sounds intimidating, but that’s not always what you want when the opponent always knows where you are at. They could have included a better battery, but I don’t blame the company for being cheap. Lastly, the sling mounts. The front one is unbelievably wobbly and noisy, so I tied it to the barrel, since I don’t use a sling as of right now.
-Full stock with room for Large 9.6V battery
-Pretty good stock accuracy
-Good ROF despite cheap battery that is included
-Very nice FPS (340-350)
-Very sturdy, TM-like plastic receiver
-Good finish on the receiver, its grey, but it looks ‘just right’
-Removable carrying handle, with un-limitless external upgrade options
-Many metal parts, making this quite durable (Check list above)
-Pretty loud Gearbox
-Eventual barrel wobble because of outer barrel
-Battery that comes with isn’t very good (Get a new one)
-Just a little big of creak in the stock
If you want the nicest MPEG that you can get, the new Echo guns are forces to be reckoned with. Their higher than CA stock FPS, most likely better accuracy, very cheap price, lots of metal, and very nice feel make them prime choices
My current setup with it.