Which AEG am I looking at to find one that operates most like an AR15 as far as manipulation goes? M16A4/M4 type required, not really important which, I can change the furniture if I need to. I just want something to keep proficient with my magazine changes, failure drills, transitions, etc. People have told me Classic Army and ICS are good, with Tokyo Marui being a distant third.
I am an old school airsofter and I would tell you that TM is the top of the line as far as stock guns go. None of the brands you mentioned have "entry" level guns that have the features you are looking for however and ICS and CA do not offer them on any of their models.
As FJB mentioned both TM and Systema offer these features. You will hear a lot about the Systema, mostly from it's owners how uber cool it is. However it is very tempermental and of all the owners I have heard of most all of done extensive body upgrades to make the replica more robust... which when you are dumping over 1k into a toy gun I would think aftermarket parts would not be needed....
Yeah crewdog is correct I have a systema and I like it but I hated the price tag. I have since thought about selling it to get that TM SOPMOD one that has all the bells and whistles but I havent had an issue with the PTW yet. Im hopeing I wont since its the MIL/LE version but I dunno.
To my knowledge there isnt any aeg/gbb out yet that combines all the "working" parts of a real ar15/m16.
some do have working bolt catches, charging handles and fwd assists, but they work entirely different than on a real ar15.
the blowback being just a gimmick anyway..
@crewdog, dont know about CA but my ics v3 m4 is still stock and runs very well over a year now.
I believe you. I started playing in 2000 when TM and CA's were they only game in town for AEG's. ICS came out and was utter rubbish at the time. CA had a metal body but crap internals. Guys would by a CA and crack the gearbox open the first day to insert a Systema FTK. TM you could get a metal body for. Which I did, a systema one. I have been using my TM gearbox now with systema parts in it for over 5 years.
I have simply found that the Japanese replicas are a much better product than the Chinese replicas. Thats my personal opinion and is not a slam on nationality, so please no one get their panties in a wad over it.
The latest GBB releases DO have fully functional internals. These include the Western Arms M4 (mine, pics here), the Inokatsu M4, the G&P WOC M4 (WA with G&P parts)
The TM Sopmod version is NOT. Many of the Chinese copies are NOT (WE etc). When you look up vids, you can see when they pull back the bolt, it just slides a cosmetic plate backwards and it reveals the internals.
None of that crap on the WA/GP/Ino versions; As you are familiar with the AR system, you will be able to see this is VERY realistic. Everything is functional (down to trigger reset check after assembly, not being able to "safe" the replica when the hammer is relaxed, all functions are replicated in detail)
It is NOT an AEG, but if you're looking for realistic function, the WA/GP/Ino are the only options.
Internals... yes. But what I was saying about the SOPMOD Marui is that on the outside everything works the same. The bolt, bolt catch, mag release, and charging handle all serve a purpose instead of being purely cosmetic like on other AEG Colts.
OP, in addition to the above, there is also the AGM gas M4 which is a copy of the WA. Only $200 and mags are $18. Not sure if it's any good or not. (Probably isn't)
You have to agree there is a noticable difference. (look at the way they bolt stop is operated) I just hate the Sopmod's "real functions" because they just aren't. Yes the buttons work, but the feel will never be the same. If you're looking for something to hone your weaponhandling-skills, you'd be 1000 times better off with a gas-replica with at least a full replicated bolt. That way you are sure that it will work the same way as the real one.
I wouldn't be so quick to judge the Chinese copies, they might surprize us. WE already made a WA copy (but again, pulling the charging handle reveals just another cosmetic plate and just another internal part where the bolt should be)
Just be very careful when buying one of those, check the internet that it's a full working copy, you don't want it to arrive home and discover it doesn't have a working bolt stop or something.