A&K LR300 AEG
A&K LR300 review by Booligan
Table of Contents:
Real Steel History
Basic Gun Information
As impressed as I was with A&Kâ€™s SAW series, I knew that I needed to check out their AR series. Their SR-25 lineup has been thoroughly reviewed on several sites, but I hadnâ€™t seen too many reviews of their LR300 models, which is why weâ€™re here today! Needless to say, I was very impressed with this latest offering from A&K.
Real Steel History:
The LR 300 is an assault rifle based on the M4 Carbine, designed and manufactured by Z-M Weapons. One stated feature of the rifle is its 'diverted felt recoil' which helps prevent muzzle rise common to most other select-fire rifles and carbines. Also notable is the rifle's capability to use a fully folding skeletal stock. Most AR-15/M16 rifle variants have a thick, cylindrical recoil buffer tube that protrudes several inches straight back from the rear of the receiver, and the weapon cannot operate without it. This normally precludes the use of anything but fixed or telescoping stocks. The LR 300 gets around this problem in two ways - the bolt carrier is half the length of a standard AR-15 carrier. Secondly, the return spring for the bolt carrier is mounted forward of the receiver on the extended carrier key. LR-300MLs have flat top receivers with Weaver rails, allowing them to be used with multiple types of sights. The trigger, as well as the charging handle, magazine button, and hold open device, etc., are the same as the M16 and AR-15 rifles. The barrel has a 1:9 twist ratio, is chrome lined and has a Phantom flash mock mock mock mock mock suppressor.
Info and pic courtesy of Wikipedia.com and World.Guns.ru
I was provided this gun by Airsplat, so that you guys would have something to read on those boring Wednesday nights. I ordered it on Tuesday morning, and it arrived at my doorstep on Friday evening, as is my normal time frame with Airsplat. It is currently priced at $180.00, with free shipping, and with either a short or long barrel at Airsplat.com.
Basic Gun Information
This AEG is a replica of the ZM Weapons LR300, specifically their early models, manufactured about 2000-2001. It is a clone of the G&G GR300. Before if you wanted an LR300, you needed to get the G&G or the Prime conversion kit, both of which are quite pricy. This is a much less expensive option, and a great starting point for a weapon buildup.
As my A&K M249 arrived in a plain, unmarked brown box, I wasnâ€™t surprised to see that this came in the same thing. At least A&K doesnâ€™t jack up their prices to cover their box art charges! Inside this box was a foam lower that housed the gun and all the included accessories.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
â€œPut your junk in that box!â€
A&K didnâ€™t skimp on the accessories with this one. Included with the gun are one extended metal hi-cap magazine, metal orange spare flashhider, 9.6v 1200 mAh mini battery, charger, phillipâ€™s head screwdriver, front sight adjustment tool, stock wrench, two QD sling swivels, and a bag of shady looking BBs. Youâ€™ll notice that I didnâ€™t mention a manual. Thatâ€™s because there wasnâ€™t one! Itâ€™s a gun designed for men who wouldnâ€™t read it anywaysâ€¦
Swivelly slingy rapidly detached goodness
Weight: About 6.5 lbs
Length: 27.5â€-36.25â€ (folded or unfolded)
Width: 2.5â€-3.3â€ (again, unfolded or folded)
Sight Radius: 10.5â€œ-14.5â€ (if you remount the rear sight further back on the receiver)
Metal metal everywhere, but not aâ€¦ dropâ€¦ toâ€¦ drink? Okay, all 18th century poetry references aside, this thing has a ton of metal. The only non-metal parts are the pistol grip, handguard, little plastic piece in the stock, and the butt pad.
The stock is what makes this gun what it is, in the real world at least. Now, before everyone cries foul, with â€œthatâ€™s not the right stock! The right one is this one,â€ the stock included with this one is an actual LR300 stock, just not the one that everyone associates with the gun. The included one is a side folder, and is not adjustable for length like the aforementioned ML stock. It is made of metal, with the butt pad being hard plastic, as well as the little piece in the middle. It folds to the left by lifting up at the hinge to clear the locking lug, and swinging it around until it locks in the folded position. Doing it the other way will extend it again. Itâ€™s secured to the body by a screw as well as large threads (this is where that stock wrench comes in handy.) To remove it, you really just need to unscrew the allen head screw from the middle, and pull the stock right off.
More secure than Fort Knox
Ribbed for herâ€¦ security?
The receiver is not a standard M4 receiver. The upper is the special LR300 receiver, but the differences are primarily cosmetic. One thing to note, the charging handle does pull back, but doesnâ€™t open the dust cover. You must pull it down using your hand, and hold it there, as it springs back closed, opposite of what a normal one does. The lower receiver is all standard M4 however, and should feel right at home with anyone whoâ€™s handled one. The paint is a nice matte black, and is very evenly applied with no runs or uneven spots.
Pulling down the dust cover
The switchgear is all metal, and is easily operated, in true M4 fashion. The fire modes are laser engraved on both sides, although the right side is non functional. The mag release is standard stuff, holding and releasing mags at your command. The mock bolt catch is serves no function, aside from scratching the upper receiver when disassembling the gun.
The grip is another â€œZMâ€ thing, and, although it looks funkier than George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, it actually fits the hand very well, and is comfortable for southpaws or us â€œnormalâ€ folk. It is heavily ribbed for solid gripping in all conditions. It appears to be made of some kind of nylon polymer, very much like Dboys M4 grips. The motor base is massive, vented, and flat head tool adjustable. No tiny motor disk to lose with this gun!
Make my funk the G-Funk
Gigantor motor base
Moving forwards, we arrive at the cylindrical handguard, which serves two functions. First and foremost, it give you a place to put your hand! Secondly, it houses the battery, which is much less sexy, but equally important. It is also quite poky (in a good way) too keep your hand on the dang thing. It isnâ€™t really secured to the gun in any way other than somewhat clipping onto the large metal disks at the back of the gas block and the front of the receiver, but it wonâ€™t just fall off. It does have some rotational wobble, but you can help that by attaching a sling mount in one of the side holes. There are several holes in the bottom which are threaded to take the sling mounts as well, but they can be used to mount rails if you so desire. There are two little notches on the top of the handguard which need to go towards the receiver when installing, otherwise the handguard will bow out a little at the rear and cause it to wobble a touch more than normal.
Gotta keep it ventilated! Note, the handguard was installed backwards in this pic. Those little notches at the top should be on the receiver side.
Threaded for fun!
You need to somewhat pry the front apart, then slide it forwards to get to the battery. Itâ€™s kind of a pain in the butt, but has to be done unfortunately. Once the battery is installed, you slide it back, ensuring it locks into position.
Slide it forwards
Stick the battery in
The sling mounts can be mounted in a variety of places. There are literally 10 different spots on the gun that are threaded to accept them, with 9 being on the handguard, and one being on the right side of the stock folding mechanism. They are a QD type, where you can keep the base mounted and attach or remove the actual sling mount with ease.
One on the stock hinge
And one on the handguard
The front sight/gas block is a fairly solid chunk of metal, and it clamps to the barrel using 8(!) allen head screws. Mine could be rotated a degree or so, but it took a good bit of strength to do so.
The outer barrel is one big long piece, and has absolutely zero wobble. It is terminated in 14mm-(CCW) threads, with an orange plastic flashhider attached. I removed it (with help from a dremel as it was glued on quite securely), and replaced it with the metal Phantom flashhider that came with the gun.
The sights are metal and removable if you feel so inclined to do so. The front is mounted on a dovetail mount in the gas block, and is adjustable for elevation with the included tool. The rear is RIS mounted, in a somewhat odd location. I have no idea why ZM Weapons decided that was the right place to put it, but it certainly works. I think itâ€™s due to the ease of rapid acquisition of targets with it being that far forwards, but I could be wrong. Either way, you can move it back if you want. The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation using no tools. Itâ€™s a flattop receiver and you can mount whatever optics you want as well, provided theyâ€˜ll mount to the 20mm top rail.
Overall, I think that the LR300 is an odd looking, but oddly comfortable weapon to use. There are a few negative aspects to the externals, namely with the loose front handguard, but it can be solved by putting some screws in the side holes, at the expense of a more tedious battery install.
There are no markings on the gun at all, aside from the laser engraved selector switch markings.
The included magazine is a G&G extended type, made of metal, and holding 400ish rounds. It fits and feeds very well, with about 2mm of front and back freeplay, and 3mm side to side. I tested it with JG, SRC, MAG, Dboys, Echo1, UTG, ICS, and TM mags and didnâ€™t find one that didnâ€™t work.
Baseline performance after a 500 round break in period is as follows:
FPS (Recorded using TSD .20g BBs shot through a Madbull V1 chrono:
High: 436.7 FPS
Low: 422.8 FPS
Average over 10 shots: 431.3 FPS
ROF was about 10 RPS using the stock battery. It went up to 13 RPS with my Echo 1 10.8v battery box, so a better battery would certainly help. One thing to remember is that this is a high powered gun, with a high torque motor, and is not built for high ROF.
Range was pretty straightforward. The combination of 430 FPS a somewhat short inner barrel led to my personal ability to hit a man sized target 155' away about 90% of the time, using TSD .25g BBs. I would not advise using .20g BBs in this gun, strictly because the FPS is too high. It won't damage the gun, but your shots will go everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except for your point of aim...
Luckily, anyone who has worked on an M4 will feel very much at home with this gun. Disassembly is straightforwards, and the upper receiver is of a tabless design. One thing to note on the disassembly is that you WILL cause scratches on the side of the upper receiver due to the mock bolt catch. It hasn't scratched down to the metal yet on mine, but after 4 takedowns, it's starting to get through the paint.
Inside you'll find a reinforced V2 gearbox, which is wired to the front, obviously. The wiring used is very flexible and seems to flow the current pretty well. The motor is a very high torque type, which is most likely needed for the M130ish spring. You will also find metal bushings, which appear to be 6mm, a metal ball bearing spring guide, nylon piston and ported head, type 0 cylinder, and a shell that actually has some reinforcement at the front, where it's needed. The gears are A&K stamped, and seem to be cast well enough. The gearbox was actually lubed lightly, but in the right places, and the shimming wasn't horrible.
Slight gearbox reinforcement
The inner barrel is approximately 345mm long, which is about 3" or so short of the muzzle. The hop-up is metal and is a one piece design. It gets the job done, but a longer barrel would be a nice addition.
Barrel and hop-up
Being that this has an M4 V2 gearbox shoved inside, the skyâ€™s the limit. There are no rails on the front handguard, but you can certainly mount some, even without drilling any holes. I used to SPR rails end to end on the bottom, and mounted an M203. Now thatâ€™s style!
I also installed an STS from Tactical Airsoft Supply to help prevent gearbox shell failure due to the hot spring. This required some cutting to the lower receiver, but was a fairly easy task. For battery use, I mounted a rail on the side, expanded a hole in the handguard, and used my Echo 1 10.8v battery box, which gave me very nice firing results.
Inexpensive LR300 replica
Very high FPS (also a con)
Full metal construction
Sturdy folding stock
Lots of included accessories
Goofy handguard attachment
Limited to small batteries in the handguard
Handguard is a PITA to remove and install
High FPS (too hot for a lot of fields)
Finish on some parts could be better (namely the stock hinge)
Well, if you want an LR300 and donâ€™t want to blow about $400, then the A&K is a no brainer. Itâ€™s a great starting point to build your perfect LR300. Iâ€™m very pleased to see A&K stepping up their game, and hope there are more models like this in the future!
Many thanks again to Airsplat, Deadrag Airsoft Radio and of course, AirsoftRetreat!