Project guns. Can anything else give in you a bigger headache? Well maybe one or two things… I made a decision about a year ago that the accuracy and constancy of my G&G GR15 (basically an AR15) was sub -par, and it was. I doubt I could consistently hit the side of aircraft carrier let alone a person at 200 yards. I initially wanted to replace the hop up system and inner barrel and maybe try installing an R-Hop just to see how they worked. Externally I wanted it to look like an old school M4A1 with some modern touches so not a massive undertaking. However things got a little out of hand and thus began the epic saga that was to be my project gun.
It all started when I decided that I should probably replace the cracked plastic receiver so my rifle would stop doing its best impression of a Mexican wave. I got a swanky new metal receiver from Dytac which was awesome, until I realised that the GR15 has an odd shaped blowback gearbox and it wouldn’t fit… Magic. Okay, never mind. A good opportunity to replace the gearbox shell with a stronger model so I got a new Laylax shell and I thought since I’m already opening the gearbox I may as well swap a few parts out to improve the air seal. You can see where this is going. Basically I ended up replacing everything in the gearbox, totally on purpose. Air nozzle, piston head, cylinder, bearings, spring guide, selector plate and tappet plate (those last two came free with the gearbox). All swapped out for a more consistent or higher quality part. While I was in there I also sorted the gears angle of engagement and put a sorbothane pad in to help increase the life of the gearbox. Needless to say the air seal is pretty amazing now, so good in fact that since all the new parts went in the fps has gone up from 340fps on 0.2 BBs to about 425fps on 0.2 BBs… Didn’t see that one coming.
As I write now my project rifle is leaning against my desk with various parts missing and hotter than a ghost pepper sunbathing beside Hell’s lake of fire. Until I have the time and money to swap out the spring for something a lot weaker I can’t use the damn thing. Which clearly outlines the problem of not setting a goal and actually sticking to it. You end up changing so many things that you never even thought about touching at the start, leaving you with nothing but horrendously expensive desk ornament. My original goal wasn’t even completed, it turns out I suck at installing R-Hops and after three attempts I still haven’t nailed it so the accuracy is iffy at best.
I know that it’s this reason that a lot of people leave their rifles stock out of the box and don’t meddle of fuss with them in any way. The chance that when you take a gun apart it loses all of that factory fairy dust that makes it work properly is seriously real. That or they’re not bothered, they just want the gun to work and that’s all that matters. I’m not one of those people. For me half the fun of Airsoft is the tinkering, trying to make your guns as accurate and consistent as they can be. Swapping out parts and build your own dream rifle is just too much fun to pass up for me. I really enjoy that challenge no matter how infuriating it can be, because damn is it satisfying when you land that one shot headshot from 200 yards.