DPMS A-15 Carbineby aznplayaflavah
A-15 as it arrived from the UPS guy, sans orange tip.
I purchased this spring rifle about 3 months after Airsoft Atlanta first had it. I was a bit skeptical towards it since it was new, made in Korea, and no had ever heard of it before. After hearing some praise about its performance and power, I decided to take the plunge and shell out the $99.99 plus the $11-12 shipping from www.airsplat.com.
Nicely executed trademarks adorn the receiver.
Upon receiving my rifle, I promptly tore open the box and took it out for inspection. It came packaged in a nice, picture-laden box. Packaged much like the Korean Academy AEG's, it was quite presentable for a spring rifle (unlike the packaging for a HFC rifle). After removing the rifle from the box, I gave it the once over to make sure there were no broken or missing parts. The rifle was no different in size compared to the TM or HFC XM177 save for the flash hider. Unlike the HFC version, the A-15's pistol grip was very solid without any wobble. The fore grip had a bit of play to it, but that was nothing the real steel isn't plagued with as well. The obvious trademarks and "Safe-Fire-Auto" markings adorned the safety and look rather good. The standard Armalite sites were never a high point of the weapon, but they're not bad in their own respect. Satisfied with my initial inspection of the weapon, it was time to see what it was made of.
I first began with removing every part removable without disassembling the entire weapon. This consists of the fore grips, flash hider, front barrel assembly, fore grip weight, inner barrel, delta ring, and stock. As you can see below, the entire front barrel assembly is held on very loosely with two screws holding a small connecting portion of the front barrel assembly just in front of the weight. Being very weak, mounting suppressors and such is a limited option due to its inability to support very much weight.
The image above is the front barrel assembly disassembled. As you can see, the front barrel portion is held on by a very small portion of plastic and two screws, causing it to be very weak and unstable when supporting any weight.
Another problem concerns the front portion of the barrel assembly as well. Since it is held on so loosely, barrel wobble is a big problem. If you grab the end of the flash hider and give it a shake, you can move the barrel around a good 3-5mm around in every direction. This is easily fixed by putting electrical tape in between the barrel and where it connects, reducing the gap and limiting movement of the end of the barrel assembly (see guide below).
NOTE: The screws that hold the weight in the fore grip screw into the seams where the two halves of the rifle come together. It is advised that you place a piece of electrical tape over the hold to prevent loss of the screws during play.
Other than those two problems, the build is surprisingly solid for something assembled in Korea. The stock has very little play to it, and when extended feels rather solid. Metal content is rather low however. The only metal parts I am able to locate are the inner barrel, fore grip weight, and the stock bar. Despite that, it's a very solid weapon worthy of skirmishing.
The stats on the gun say that it shoots .2g bbs at 262fps, and I believe it. At 60ft. it can easily puncture a standard cardboard box. To give you a good idea of how this weapon performs, I will compare it to two commonly owned rifles, the UHC MP5 and the TM XM177. With the TM rifle, it can outrange the A-15 by a good margin using .25g bbs while the A-15 uses .2g bbs. But, they are both good weapons in their own respect. On an odd note, although the hop-up is very responsive and set for .2g bbs, the bbs included are closer to .16g. They are heavier than .12g, but when used in the A-15 they fly up in mid-path. Supplying bbs of improper weight is odd, but no big deal if you already have some .2g bbs on hand. If you don’t, make sure you do.
With the UHC MP5, they can both take shots out to about 30 yards, but the A-15 maintains a much higher fps when going to distances like that. The A-15 is still able to puncture several sheets of paper at 30 yards while the MP5 would just bounce off. Using the poor man's chronograph, it should be in the range of a stock AEG at 250-300 fps (the box states that it fires at 262 fps).
Accuracy wise, the A-15 achieved approx. 2 in. groupings at 25 ft. in low wind. At 42ft. the groupings expanded to approx. 4 in. groupings. At 90 ft. an iffy 3 ft. grouping can be achieved, but with a little skill, hitting man-sized targets is possible.
Groupings at 25 ft.
Groupings at 42 ft.
I am yet to take this weapon into a skirmish, but I intend to play a sniper type role with this weapon as it can outrange most weapons I play against (i.e. anything UHC, HFC, and KWC pistols). I am quite happy with the magazine capacity of 50. Actually, the magazine is capable of holding closer to 55 or so rounds, but the magazine doesn’t feed the last three rounds, but I’m not complaining. Using the loading rod provided with the rifle, loading is a very easy thing to do if you have one of those grenade loaders, you can just pour it into the tube, shove, and go.
As stated earlier, it is difficult to mount a suppressor unless it is if relatively low weight, anywhere from 1/4 to 2/3 of a lb. would be the limit. Mounting a scope is a viable option as you can take shots far out enough to warrant a scope. The 4x20 designed for the real M16 carry handles work, but if you intend to mount a larger scope using the weaver rail that screws on through the hole in the carry handle be warned: There is a nub from a screw hole that prevents you from mounting the rail at a level angle. A notch had to be ground into the bottom of the rail so that the screw hole would not interfere.
Nub on top of carry handle that prevents mounting the screw on rail attachment.
Notch ground into bottom of rail to accommodate nub on carry handle.
Now, mounting a suppressor is difficult, but not impossible, it simply has to be light enough so that you don’t pull the front of the barrel down and affect accuracy. Also, how far back the can is mounted is another factor. If it is light enough, you can mount it in place of the flash hider, but if you're not sure, you can make the mounting hole bigger and mount it closer to the front sight. My suppressor is a PVC inner pipe with cross-drilled holes wrapped in one layer of foam rubber. It is then placed inside a larger PVC pipe, capped, and mounted using a set screw.
Close-up of suppressor.
My A-15 with custom suppressor and Bushnell 4x35 scope w/ Bushnell glare resistant scope caps mounted.
Despite this weapon's shortcomings, I don't want to make this sound like a bad rifle. Its performance is around the best for its price. I would not recommend this for beginners or anyone not interested in tinkering with their weapon, but for experienced players able to fix the miniscule problems in this weapon, it would be a great rifle.
Barrel Wobble Repair Guide For A-15 by HEATLoE
- A small Philips screwdriver
- A piece of scrap paper or electrical tape
- Take off your fore grip by pulling back on the delta ring.
- Take off the screw on each side of the weight under the fore grip.
- Now unscrew the 2 screws right behind the front sight that are normally hidden by the fore grip.
- Now pull off the front sight
- Now take off the weight. You should now be able to see the larger outer barrel, a smaller plastic barrel, and the inner barrel.
- Wedge paper or electrical tape in between the larger inner and outer barrel to make it a tighter fit.
- Now replace the weight and screw it in. Put on the front sight (a little piece might have come out but its not hard to figure out how to put in).
- Screw back on the front sight