Thursday, 19 September 2013

Choosing a companion or backup airsoft gun for my G3A3

My new JG G3A3 - a good woodland long range AEG.

Even before I began to play airsoft I did quite a bit of research about my new hobby and took a lot of advise from experienced players about how I should kit myself out. In particular, it was recommended that I should buy a second airsoft gun; a back up should my primary AEG fail.

This advise turned out to be prophetic when, on only my third time out, my expensive Classic Army SA58 malfunctioned in a very dramatic fashion – but, fortunately, I had my trusty AK74U ‘shorty’ to fall back on.

I am currently putting together a new loadout based around my recent purchase of a lovely Jing Gong replica of the German Army H&K G3A3, and so I started thinking about what would make a suitable companion gun. Luckily, airsoft replicas of German weapons - particularly of Heckler & Kock models - are very poplar and widely available, ironically however this actually make things a little more difficult as now I have almost too much choice!

The long choice - perhaps too long to be considered as a suitable back-up for my
G3A3. Top is the Classic Army 'M41 ES' and bottom a HK33 (CA KA3) variant.

You can have any AEG - so long as it’s H&K!
You might think that having to choose a replica from a selection of guns originally made by just one weapons manufacturer would be a problem wouldn’t you, or that the selection would be very limited? But when that manufacturer is Heckler & Kock, one of the worlds most respected and prolific small arms manufacturers then you needn’t worry about variety.

However, I do have some preferences regarding my back-up AEG and how I want it to perform which should help me trim the herd. I like a companion gun to be shorter than my primary, both as an aid to my already over burgeoning luggage and so I have a CQB alternative to my long ‘rifle’. I also prefer that the candidate has a folding stock, for the same reasons just given, compactness and maneuverability.

The very popular G36c (TM version). A medium length AEG
ideal for both woodland and CQB.

The list of possible stable-mates to my lanky JG G3A3 are as follows then, the G36c, the HK33c, the MC51 or M41 SAR ‘Offizer’ and by way of SMGs - the UMP, the MP5 and the sexy little MP7.

Apples or oranges?
One thing is for sure; there isn’t a clear-cut front-runner among these alternative AEGs. They are all superb designs and very good AEGs, so how do I choose?

Well, I must consider carefully what I want this secondary AEG to do. While I do want something a bit more compact than my primary AEG I don’t want to feel too disadvantages when playing woodland airsoft. However, neither do I want something that is overly long for the confines of CQB. At either end of this scale you have the MP7 and the HK33 respectively – so let’s sideline those.

On the left the Classic Army M41 SAR 'Offizer', on the right the Tokyo Marui
MC51 - spot the difference? These are both medium-length cut-down folding
stock G3 replicas, but the TM model is primarily ABS plastic and is about
£100 cheaper than the Classic Army metal 'Offizer' AEG.

Of the short assault rifles, the G36c is an extremely popular choice as the perfect woodland and CQB ‘all rounder’, but this choice would mean yet another magazine format to contend with. However, the MC51 or M41 SAR ‘Offizer’ are essentially cut-down versions of the G3, so would allow me to use the same mags as my current G3A3 AEG (in theory).

SMG wise, the MP5 is one of those AEGs that many say is requisite to any airsoft gun collection. It opens up so many loadout possibilities because law enforcement and Special Forces units all over the world use the real steel version. On the other hand, its ‘ugly duckling’ sister – the UMP – has a ‘dare to be different’ aura about it.

An ICS MP5 SD AEG along side the STAR UMP SMG. Like all the AEGs I have pictured
in this post these models are also available from budget manufacturers, in this case
from Jing Gong and GG respectively. The ability to add suppressors to either of these
SMG models opens up the possibility of adding a longer inner barrel, extending the
effective range of the AEG.

…Lions and tigers and wolves, oh my!
And here is where I will leave you hanging, I’m afraid, as my quandary is no-where near resolved (in fact, I change my mind on which companion AEG to buy from one minute to the next). But, I will soon be posting up a complete overview of my new ‘Modern German Infantry’ loadout and by this time I will have made a firm decision.

One thing is certain; any one of the AEGs I have listed above would be a cracking addition to any airsoft collection.

The ultra-compacts. Perhaps too short for my requirements or taste, these very
short SMGs would make terrific CQB alternatives to your long German primary AEG. Left is
the TM MP7, while on the right is the rather peculiar JG G3 'SAS'. The G3 'SAS' is the
H&K replica equivalent to the AK47 Spetz, in that this is a made-up weapon - it doesn't
exist as a real steal gun, but was specifically designed to fill a niche in airsofting.

Related links:
> Milgeek's 'Modern German Army loadout' Flickr album
> The real steel Heckler & Kock weapons range

Next: What I got in the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment