Review: Classic Army M24 Version 2
Author: Mike "Pineco" Fanning
I would like to mention a few things before I start the review. I have owned this weapon for over a year now, and have put well over 1,000 shots through it. I don't have much if any experience with this weapon in its stock form, as I started upgrading it the day I received it. The upgrades and accessories listed above are what I installed into the weapon myself.
When I first handled the weapon out of the box I was in awe. It has a hefty weight to it, about 10 pounds, and is built like a rock. There are no plastic parts on this weapon. It's all metal except for the stock, which is made out of some sort of composite. The stock is finished nicely and feels like the real thing. The weapon does not have iron sights, however it comes with a scope mount already installed for optics. The only thing I found to be wrong with the weapon upon the first inspection was that most if not all the screws needed to be tightened, which I will highlight more on later in the review.
As I stated before, I can't comment on how the weapon performs stock. I had the gun out of the box for less than an hour before I started installing the upgrades.
Range: With the 300% spring shooting Straight .36 gram BBs I get a range of about 80-85 yards. I have not actually had a chance to measure it out exactly, but they travel quite a distance.
Accuracy: I find that the weapon is very accurate; I am consistently hitting chest-sized targets at about 50-55 yards away. Every once in awhile I may get a "stray" that will shoot way off to the left or right, but that is a very rare thing that I have not experienced too many times. I never had to adjust the hop-up once on this weapon, but if I ever needed to it can be easily done through the magwell with a quick turn of an Allen wrench.
When I was playing during Operation: Umbrella back on June the 29th of 2002 I was able to get a lot of use out of this weapon. One story that I recall the most was when I "killed" a small squad of three, one of the members happened to be the friendly mod Snicker. I was sitting around our regen point when I noticed the three come in from the tree line about 20 feet from me and head south. I immediately ducked into some tall grass for concealment and watched patiently as they passed my position. I waited for them to get far enough away to where their A.E.G.s didn't have range on me but I had range on them. They were about 60-70 yards out with their backs to me when I took the first shot. The B.B. hit with a loud "pop" sound. The victim called himself out while his buddies hit the deck. I creped slowly and silently about 15 feet to my right to angle up for a better shot. After a few moments they both got back up, again with their backs to me. I lined up my cross hairs onto Snickers back and fired. The popping sound of the BB striking his vest was so loud I could here it easily from about 60 yards away. Snicker called himself out and his one remaining buddy ran straight to a wooden bunker for cover. I started to cautiously move around to try to get a shot on him when he leapt up from the bunker and started firing at my general direction. At first I thought I was toast, but soon realized he was way out of A.E.G. range. I took a few shots, but missed. It's very difficult to hit a moving target with an airsoft replica. He then spotted my position and started running straight for me. Just what I wanted, a straight shot target right in front of me to shoot at. I centered the cross hairs on his center mass and fired, hitting him in his hand as he brought it up while running. He called himself out and I stood up, to find several of my team members standing at the regen point staring in awe at what I had done.
Trigger Pull: With an upgraded spring the trigger pull on this weapon is very heavy. It can be adjusted by tightening the tiny screw that is located at the top of the trigger, right where it moves up into the mechanism part of the whole trigger. It can be lightened a little bit, but it is still a bit heavier than most other weapons I have handled. I don't really mind however, after I got used to the heavy trigger pull it was just like using any other weapon.
This is something that is very finicky on this weapon. It has its good days and it has its bad days. I would strongly not recommend this weapon if you are a beginner, or if you are afraid of getting inside and tinkering with its guts. I can almost guarantee you that no matter how fine-tuned you have it set something inside will eventually fail and need to be corrected. Don't leave your tool kit at home!
The first problem I will point out is the loose screws. Keep them in the back of your mind at all times and check them often. They have a tendency to come loose after use, especially with a heavier spring installed. Next is the trigger mechanism. While it is much stronger than the APS trigger, it does have its flaws. If everything is not on there right it probably wont work. This is what makes and breaks the gun. If one screw or nut is on too loose or too tight it will fail. Over time you will grow accustomed to tinkering with your trigger, but when you first get your M24 try not to mess with it too often, but start to familiarize yourself with it. The third and final problem I had with my M24 is over time and prolonged use the threading for the screws that holds the stock and the receiver together wore out and stripped completely. This problem however was easily remedied by the tapping of new steel threads directly into the receiver. The weapon is now held together stronger than ever before. Other than those three things, the weapon is almost flawless.
Handling on the field:
As I stated earlier, it's a hefty weapon, and if you aren't in somewhat relatively decent shape it can be a real pain in the ass to carry out into the field for a day. Not only can weight be a problem, but also the length of the weapon could be troublesome for some of the smaller folks out there. Heck I am about average build and when I first started using this weapon I had trouble maneuvering it out in the bush. It takes a little time to get used to, but once you get comfortable with the weapon you wont have any trouble at all in maneuverability. Operating the weapon with such a heavy spring installed can be quite a challenge, and takes some time to get used to in getting the right technique down. I suggest practicing a bit to get a feel for the weapon before you take it out to the field for a serious skirmish. While firing from a standing or kneeling position I find it easiest to fire the weapon then reload by positioning the butt of the stock on my thigh and pulling back on the bolt. Yes, it's a pain in the ass to change positions just to reload for a shot, but when you are in a tight spot you will be surprised at how fast you can perform that operation. Now, firing from a prone position does not require the change of positions, and is easier with the aid of a bi-pod. After you discharge the weapon, push the butt of the stock into your shoulder with your left hand and pull back on the bolt with your right hand. The bi-pod helps stabilize the weapon on the ground and makes it a whole lot easier to operate. Those are the methods I use when I operate the weapon; feel free to experiment in different methods and positions. What really matters is that you the shooter are in a comfortable enough position to operate the weapon effectively.
I would not recommend this weapon to beginners. It requires a lot of work to keep it up and running consistently. If you take care of the weapon, the weapon will take care of you. This weapon is for more of the hardcore dedicated sniper types out there, and those that love to thinker with their weapons. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I have had with this weapon, and how much havoc I have reaped on the "enemy." Yet, I also can't begin to tell you how much grief I have had with it. It comes down to a love/hate type relationship. If you have experience working on airsoft weapons, and are looking for that awesome power/look of a sniper rifle to use in your role as a sniper, this weapon is for you. If not, go get yourself a fancy AEG.