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Home » Spring Guns » WELL
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Well MB05C AWM Sniper Rifle
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0 22135 Wed September 3, 2008
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Description: Full Photo Review: WELL MB05C AWM Sniper Rifle
Author: The Crimson Falcon
Published: 9/3/2008



http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285844.jpg


The past few years have been an airsoft sniper’s dream, in many ways, with several different models of budget rifles being released. Of course, they have all been variations on the same rifle, for the most part, so it’s nice to see that looks externally very unique released. I have obtained this new spring rifle, courtesy of Airsplat, for your review reading pleasure (and sorry for the long wait). The WELL G-22, designated as MB04 and MB05, comes in a number of different styles, with an adjustable stock model (MB05) or a fixed stock version (MB04), and in both gas and spring (although I haven’t seen a gas adjustable stock version). I picked up one of the spring versions, which tend to be more reliable, especially in the cold weather conditions I sometimes play in.
There has been a lot of speculation about what, exactly, the G-22 is. Most retailers list it as a Walther G-22, but if you look at a picture of a Walther, you wonder how they could possibly make a mistake like that. In point of fact, the designation G-22 comes from the German designation for the L96 AWM, and, fittingly, what we have is a WELL MB01 L96 barrel assembly with tab cutouts, in a very nice custom-looking stock. As near as I can tell, there is no real world service sniper rifle equivalent with this stock. So, let’s take a closer look at the rifle.


Table of Contents



First Impressions
Real Steel History
Appearance/Feel/Build Quality
Internals
Performance
Accessories and Modifications
Pros & Cons
Ordering
The Final Word





First Impressions



The gun comes in a completely plain brown cardboard box with “MB05C” printed on it, which is pretty boring. However, it becomes much more interesting when we open the box and get a look at the goodies. I have gotten one of the adjustable stock versions, and that custom stock looks very good.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285539.jpg


More than that, it’s got a ton of nice extras, including an MB-101 bipod with detachable rail interface, which is a lot like the UTG bipod, except a useable height, a 3-9x40mm scope that appears identical to the Airsplat 3-9x40mm scope, and a sling that actually appears to be of decent quality, surprisingly enough. It also includes the requisite speedloader and barrel clearing rod, and a single magazine (which means I need to pick up another when I order from Pointact next).


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285630.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285791.jpg
http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285941.jpg


Okay, so lets take a look at the rifle.


Real Steel History



http://world.guns.ru/sniper/ai_sm.jpg
(Picture taken from world.guns.ru)


The L96 was brought into service in the early 1980's to replace the British Army's L42 Enfield sniper rifles. The L96 was made by Accuracy International (PM model). One thing to note is that it did not have a solid polymer stock, but instead a hollow polymer stock formed around an aluminum bedding block. A few years later, the Swedes also sought to obtain a sniper rifle that would work in Arctic conditions. The AI PM (L96) won the contract, and was fielded as the Arctic Warfare sniper rifle, chambered for the .338 Lapua cartridge. This particular airsoft rendition resembles the AW 338, with it's distinctive indentation in the bottom of the stock. The original L96 did not have this feature:


http://world.guns.ru/sniper/l96.jpg


According to world.guns.ru (with some edits for readability): "Built by Accuracy International of Portsmuth, England, this line of rifles is among the best in the world of sniper rifles today. This rifle can shoot less than 2" (51mm) groups at the distance of 600 yards (550m), using boat-tail match ammunition. The Arctic Warfare line includes 5 rifles: the original Arctic Warfare was designed for the British military. It gained its designation by special anti-icing features, allowing sniping operations to be carried out under Arctic conditions as low as -40C (-104F)! The other models are Police (AWP), Suppressed (AWS), Folding (AWF) and Super Magnum (AW SM). The first three rifles are designed for 7.62mm NATO ammunition, while the Super Magnum can be chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7mm Remington Magnum. The AW has a 26" (660mm) barrel, AWP has 24" (609mm). The AW SM barrels are available in lengths from 24" (609mm) to 27" (686mm). The standard scopes supplied by Accuracy International are Smidt&Bender 3-12X variable or the Leupold Mark 4 fixed 10X scope."


Appearance/Feel/Build Quality



The stock is made out of durable ABS, and, like the MB01 (Warrior 1/UTG/TSD L96), it contains an “aluminum subframe,” which is a small block of metal that mostly serves to weight the stock, rather than for structural reasons. The stock feels solid, but is made from two pieces, and could probably split open if abused enough, like on the UTG Mk96. The seamlines are pretty subdued, and the finish is overall quite decent. Here’s a show of the inside of the stock. Note the checkerboard pattern for improved structural durability:


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290120.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290146.jpg


The butt of the rifle sports a ton of nice features, including an adjustable ergonomic buttplate, with a comfortable rubber pad, and an adjustable cheekpad as well. The grip is reminiscent of a PSG-1 style sniper grip, and, although fairly wide, is very comfortable. The silver metal buttplate adjustment wheel turns easily and looks great (albeit not very stealthy). The cheekplate adjusts by loosening an Allen screw with the included wrench.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285615.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285640.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285622.jpg


The safety switch clicks back and forth quite nicely (it uses a small metal nubbin on a spring to work), and is nicely detailed. I like the way the safety is designed on the L96 because it is set against the receiver, and hence unlikely to break, in contrast to the M700 style of safety.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285685.jpg


Speaking of safety, the MB05 also sports a double trigger; you can’t pull the trigger without also depressing the center trigger. The trigger guard is large enough to fit gloves, which is another feature of the Arctic Warfare line of guns that I really appreciate. The plastic of the trigger guard is thick and sturdy, and does not have raised seamlines.


The receiver is dark grey, and is blank except for the “Made In China” text, which is fairly large. This gun is just begging for a new paintjob. However, its definitely solid metal and feels durable. The receiver also boasts an installed Weaver rail to permit mounting of the included scope, which comes with high mount rings for whatever reason.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285680.jpg


You’ll also note the characteristic ball-shaped bolt handle that marks the L96. I personally prefer paddle shaped handles for comfort, but the ball is easy to grip, and its certainly solid enough to support a stiff bolt-pull (not that the bolt pull is stiff). As on the MB01, the cocking indicator is fake.


The magazine well is clean, and fits tightly around the magazine. I occasionally had issues getting the magazine out, so I sanded the well a small amount, and it works flawlessly. If you haven’t used an L96 before, the magazines have a spring-loaded top that pops them out when the magazine catch releases them, which is a nice touch, since it facilitates magazine reloading. I have to say, however, that reloading them is a real pain, even with the included speedloader. The magazines hold 30 rounds.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290124.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290275.jpg


Fortunately, magazines are easy to come by, as this rifle is compatible with MB01 magazines, and those are readily available from a variety of different places, including at Airsplat and Pointact for nice and cheap. They don’t seem to misfeed either.


The front of the stock holds space for the modular RIS attachment or for attachment of another bipod. Of course, the included bipod is RIS attachable, and can screw onto the RIS. It is adjustable length, although the shortest length is pretty much perfect, and, like the UTG bipods, it’s a real pain to adjust quickly.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8119251459.jpg


The outer barrel is metal and more or less free-floating, which is nice because it minimizes the effect of vibrations. The outer barrel is matte black, but looks pretty greasy, which doesn’t bode well for the internals, which will likely need cleaning before use. Still, it appears very solid, and probably won’t bend under strenuous playing conditions.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285722.jpg


Overall, the build quality is pretty solid, although I’m not prepared to say it’s on par with a high-end rifle. Still, it’s a very unique and sexy rifle, which is comfortable, surprisingly maneuverable, and durable. It will look great with a custom paintjob.


CAOC Externals Rating: 36 out of a possible 50 points.


Internals



Well, I wasn’t originally going to do all that much with internals, since they’re identical to the UTG, but when I looked around, I realized that there’s not a SINGLE decent internals discussion of the MB01. So, I’ve written up a disassembly guide that will help you figure out how to take this thing apart (and it will work for the L96 as well).


The first step is to use an Allen wrench to loosen the set screw that holds the outer barrel to the receiver.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285726.jpg


This will allow you to unscrew the barrel from the receiver, as so:


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285768.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285766.jpg


Okay, so we’ll start by getting to the hopup. You’re going to need to use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the metal part that helps the magazine feed.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285713.jpg


Then it should just pull off nicely.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285856.jpg


Removing the barrel can be pretty tricky. You can either remove the muzzle cap (which appears to be glued on), or else just shake the barrel until you get it out. This will allow you to access the hopup unit.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285832.jpg


You’ll notice a couple foam barrel spacers, which are really stupid. I recommend wrapping some duct tape around the barrel to the diameter of the foam spacers, which will hold them in position and reduce barrel vibration as well. You can then slide down the brass ring if you want to inspect the hopup. It’s a modified v-hop with the nubs in the middle of the arm, and the prongs are a bit too close together for optimum performance (about .2mm), but it’s still a decent enough hopup. Here’s a shot of the arm:


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285855.jpg


The barrel is made out of mid-quality brass, is not crowned, but fortunately is a tightbore, with an inner diameter of 6.04mm. It is identical to the MB01 barrel, which means it will take DBC 6.01mm Warrior 1 barrels. Still, the stock barrel, when properly cleaned and polished, works quite well.


Okay, so lets turn to the receiver and bolt. To access the cylinder, you’re going to have to remove the trigger mech. You need to unscrew two Phillips screws, one on each side of the trigger mech, which made out of plastic, sadly.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285871.jpg


Next you need to remove the spring guide stopper, by pulling down on that curved piece:


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285999.jpg


This will allow you to remove the trigger mech. The trigger mech is held together by 3 Phillips screws with a nut on the other side, and the safety can be removed by unscrewing two more screws.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290035.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290029.jpg


The design is actually pretty similar to the design of a PSS10 zero trigger, as you can see. Okay, so now we can get at the cylinder.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285975.jpg


The cylinder head is threaded and made out of brass, and can be opened. An easy way to open it is to put in an Allen wrench to provide extra torque:


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285971.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285958.jpg


Once you get that removed, you can take a closer look at the internals. The piston has a nice o-ring, and has a rubber silent dampener on it as well. The piston and o-ring are both made out of durable nylon fiber.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285928.jpg


As usual, if you want to get some increase in power, you can add a spring spacer. The cheapest and easiest way to do it is to toss on a strip of duct tape, making sure that it will still fit inside the piston.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290117.jpg


You can also get an upgraded spring guide. A member of ASR, 9Battousai, makes some nice quality parts, and sent me one with a built-in spacer. It didn’t quite work properly because the bottom disc was too thick, but he plans on amending that problem, and in any case, I should be able to get it to work by sanding it down a bit.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290027.jpg http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118285814.jpg


One tip for reassembling it. It’s a real pain to get it back together with a spacer on there, so put a screwdriver through the nozzle of the cylinder head, and push the piston down (you won’t hurt it) so it won’t push the cylinder head off when you’re trying to screw it on. It’s still hard, but doable that way. You definitely will want to wipe off the copious amounts of grease that cover everything, and replace it with pure silicone oil or teflon lube. The spring will pump out about 450 fps with .2’s stock, and 470-500 with a spacer. Teflon taping the cylinder head threads doesn’t seem to be effective, although the other two forms of the teflon mod work fine. Remember to use some Elmer’s glue to coat the teflon tape (and to stick it on initially), and it will last much longer.


Overall, the internals look very good. The one thing I don’t like is the plastic trigger box, but it should hold up pretty well; that’s not a part that’s liable to break, and you can reinforce it with some epoxy enamel.


CAOC Internals Rating: 37 out of a possible 50 points.


Performance


So, how does it perform? Stock power is very good, chronoing in consistently at 450 fps (486 with mods). The tightbore is decent quality. Initial testing was poor, due to the massive amounts of grease, but once you clean the bucking and barrel, and wipe down the internals, performance is very good. The 100 foot grouping is 4.8”, with a few fliers that increase the size.


http://img2.putfile.com/thumb/3/8118290198.jpg


Accessories & Modications



I’m also pleased to note that it comes with pretty much all of the accessories that you could want. It will fit pretty much any scope, although you may have to do some work to get a silencer adaptor on. Modding the spring guide and cylinder head also really improves performance, and it will fit DIY suppressors made out of 1” PVC.

Pros & Cons


Pros
Custom stock
Good stock power
Stock tightbore
Adjustable buttpad
Adjustable cheekrest
Comes with scope
Comes with bipod
Comes with sling
Durable construction
Good stock performance
Modified v-hop
Fully upgradeable



Cons


V-hop isn’t top quality
Plastic trigger box
Plastic finish
APS96 upgrade parts are harder to come by
Has some occasional issues cocking (you can “fix” it by pulling the trigger)



Ordering



This gun is available at www.airsplat.com. It costs about 150 shipped.


CAOC Overall Rating: 73 out of a possible 100 points


CAOC VPC Rating (Value Per Cost): 0.487.


The Final Word



Overall, if you like the aesthetics of this gun, it’s a great buy. It’s got solid performance out of the box, and, although it’s not the best at extreme range, it’s still a competitive rifle, with great ergonomics, good heft, and a unique look. If you’re looking for a solid performing rifle that isn’t everywhere already like the L96’s and M700’s, this is the gun you’ve been waiting for. It’s definitely a good value.
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