AGM C-CQB Stubby M4 AEG
AGM M4 CQB (036) review by Booligan
Table of Contents:
Real Steel History
Basic Gun Information
In my quest to review pretty much every M4 variant possible, I bring you yet another review! Hopefully youâ€™re not sick of my writing yet! This model is the latest offering from the China based company, AGM. They have recently launched an entire lineup of full metal AR variants, including several M4s in various lengths and RIS kits, as well as some full length M16s, all reasonably priced in the sub-$150 range.
Real Steel History:
Technically, this isnâ€™t based on any actual real steel model. Itâ€™s receiver is M4, but without a gas system, this would never work as a real gun. Therefore, you all get a break from my usually slightly rambling and incredibly unoriginal â€œReal Steel Historyâ€ section!
I was contacted by Airsplat to see if I wanted to have a crack at reviewing one of the new AR variants from AGM, and, given my love of all things made in China, I happily obliged. Also, given my unnatural lusting towards tiny (and completely impossible to manufacture in the real world) M4s, I knew the C-CQB model (#036) was the one destined to be mine. Priced at $139.95 at the time of this writing, it is on par with the other metal bodied AR replicas from the various ACM manufacturers, but offering several new style not yet seen. As always, my ordering experience from Airsplat was quick and painless, and the package got safely to me in a few days using their free UPS ground shipping method.
Basic Gun Information
So, what makes the C-CQB (036) the gun for me? Namely, the unique flip up sights, short full stock, and, of course, the 4.25â€ outer barrel and accompanying RIS kit! I have a soft spot for tiny, CQB dominating M4 layouts, so this just had to be mine. Some quick info on the gun is that it is full metal, uses a metal gearbox obviously, features front and rear flip up BUIS, one piece outer barrel, SPR grip and a short full stock, which are both coated in a rubberized coating. This thing is a tiny little powerhouse, which Iâ€™ll get into in detail later on in the review.
The AGM arrived in a brown box with nothing on it, save for a lone sticker identifying it as the 036 model I ordered. Inside this box was a molded foam liner, which kept everything snug and safe for its journey halfway across the globe.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
Snug as a bug
The AGM 036 included the gun, one VN style hi-cap magazine with winding key, 8.4v 1200 mAh mini type battery of unknown manufacturer, 8.4v 300mAh â€œdumbâ€ charger w/ LED light, cleaning/unjamming rod, and about 150 iffy looking BBs. Overall, I wouldnâ€™t expect otherwise from AGM, being a typical ACM manufacturer.
Weight: About 8.5 lbs (Need new scale)
Height (Folded sight to grip): 7.75â€
Sight Radius: 9.3â€
There are a few very unique external parts to this gun which separate it from the flocks of M4s on the field, which is one of the main attractions for me.
Starting at the back, this replica features a full stock, but not a normal M16 length one. It instead has a short full stock, which is great for CQB or players wearing replica body armor or vests, which normally make a full stockâ€™s LOP too long. The butt plate is identical to an M16 stock and is made out of metal. It opens up to allow you to insert the battery into the gun. It wonâ€™t fit a normal large type battery without dremeling off the supports inside the stock itself and removing the foam piece that is inserted to prevent battery rattle. The stock is coated in a rubberized coating that feels very nice, but it collects oils from your hands very easily, as you can probably tell in the pictures. There are some visible seam lines, as well as one rough casting mark on the bottom, but overall, the stock is very nice and comfortable to use.
Battery compartment, battery holding foam shown
The receiver is metal, but isnâ€™t a normal style receiver, due to the use of a 2 piece hop-up. The upper slides over the lower receiver with absolutely zero wobble which has traditionally been present in ACM metal bodied ARs. The finish is very even and smooth, and is a nice matte black. This is a tabless designed upper receiver, so field stripping is accomplished by removing the front pin and sliding the upper receiver forwards off of the lower.
Everything that should be metal on the receiver is metal, including the mock bolt release, trigger guard, mock forward assist, cocking handle, selector switch, and the mock bolt/dustcover assembly. Pulling back the charging handle opens the dust cover and exposes the mock bolt. Pulling it back with the cover open exposes the hop-up adjuster. The selector switch is a tiny bit stiff, but loosens up with use, and clicks firmly into each of the three settings. The markings are engraved on both sides, but the right side indicator does not move. The trigger pull is typical M4; light and somewhat short. The mock bolt release has some movement, and will rattle if the gun is shaken, but it has much less freeplay than the DBoys series.
Mock bolt carrier
For some reason, AGM decided to ship this model with an SPR grip, usually reserved for DMR type rifles. It works very well, provided youâ€™re right handed. If youâ€™re a lefty, a pistol grip swap will be more or less necessary. The grip receives the same comfy rubberized coating as the stock, which adds to the look and feel of the gun. The base has a DBoys style vented motor plate, complete with large flat head adjustment screw.
Moving towards the front, this model comes equipped with a very short RIS kit, measuring less than 4.5â€ from the receiver forwards. It is a free floating system, mounting directly to the receiver and avoiding contact with the barrel. Given this solid mounting technique, I wasnâ€™t surprised that there was zero wobble or looseness in the RIS. The rails appear to be within specifications, and are the standard 20mm in width.
The outer barrel is a tiny little bugger, and ends in a 14mm- threaded tip. My gun came from Airsplat equipped with a very plain, quite homely plastic orange flashhider, with no ports or any other distinguishing marks or designs. Needless to say, it was quickly removed and replaced. There was no barrel wobble that I was able to conjure by shaking, twisting, or otherwise abusing the barrel.
What good is an airsoft gun if you canâ€™t aim it? Well, AGM chose to include metal flip up sights at the front and rear to accomplish this end. The rear is a copy of the ARMS #40L, and is adjustable for windage, as well as for range (using a flip down precision aperture). The front is a clone of the HK Style Troy Industries Flip Up Battle Sight, and is adjustable for elevation, but no tool is included. The combination works quite well, although it suffers from a very short sight radius, which isnâ€™t good for precision shooting.
Rear (Both apertures shown)
Overall, I was more than impressed with the externals on this replica. It didnâ€™t exhibit any of the traits that I was used to seeing on most ACM metal bodied ARs, such as receiver gaps and wobbles, and the finish is quite nice and seems to be long lasting.
AGM took the effort to design and very cleanly engrave their own trademark on the receiver. Their logo, resembling a coat of arms, is engraved (laser possibly?) on the left side of the lower receiver.
Included with the gun is a VN style hi-capacity magazine, holding about 190 rounds. It clicks smoothly into the gun, with almost no side to side wobble, but with about 2mm of front to back wobble. It features a key winding mechanism, like most new mags from ACM manufacturers. They feature an engraved AGM trademark on the bottom, as well as stating (somewhat proudly) that itâ€™s made in China.
With regards to aftermarket mags, Iâ€™ve tested JG, SRC, Dboys, ICS, TM, ARMY, MAG brand magazines in it with no fit or feeding issues to report. They fit in much better than in Dboys guns, and with much less wobble in all directions.
Baseline performance after a 1000 round break in period is as follows:
FPS (Tested using TSD .20g BBs shot through a Madbull V1 Blue Chrono):
Low: 389.9 FPS
High: 390.4 FPS
Average over 10 shots: 390.15 FPS
ROF (Recorded using Audacity/stock battery after 100 round break in):
10 RPS on the nose. Pretty low, but I blame the stock battery, combined with a wicked hot spring to crank out nearly 400 FPS out of a 5.5â€ inner barrel.
I wasn't expecting too much out of the tiny little barrel with regards to accuracy and range, but with .25g BBs, I was able to tap man sized targets at 145' with ease. The rounds aren't exactly where you aim, but are within 12" or so, so a burst can do nicely to hit your target
Overall, I think it shoots too hot for its intended use, but a simple spring change will yield a lower FPS, higher ROF, and CQB dominance.
Accessing the internals is accomplished like other metal bodied ARs, namely by removing the front pin and sliding the upper receiver off of the lower. The only difference is due to the 2 piece plastic hop-up, whereas the lower portion needs to be unscrewed before removing the gearbox.
The gearbox features a black painted, non-reinforced shell, with "AGM" molded into the shell. Here I am met with the bane of my existence, the notorious Torx screws that hold up my internal reviews. I have no Torx bits that will work, so I'll have to tell you what I can see externally.
The AGM comes with metal bushings, a metal spring guide, chrome ported cylinder, and a piston that appears to be nylon. The bushings appear to be 6mm, and are made of a brass colored metal. The spring guide doesn't have a ball bearing base, and is made of what appears to be a zinc alloy. Pretty standard ACM internals.
Metal spring guide
Plastic air nozzle
The motor is a high torque little SOB. It's very hard to rotate by hand, and has no markings on it at all.
The inner barrel is short, only 142mm long, and features a smoke colored plastic upper hop-up chamber. You can see the standard bucking and nub inside the chamber. The barrel has the tiniest hint of muzzle crowning, but not much. Fitting a 1 piece hop-up is not a direct drop in affair, instead requiring you to cut out the lower hop-up mount from the lower receiver.
Overall, the internals seem very similar to the '08 JG "Enhanced" lineup, but with a few differences, namely the non-reinforced gearbox shell. I think that, with a downgraded spring, the internals should last for a good long time. On the stock spring, it most likely won't suffer a catastrophic failure, but with a non-reinforced gearbox and a spring that is most likely close to an M130 in strength, I can see the potential for gearbox shell failure. Modifying the body to fit an STS wouldn't be a terrible idea for a long gearbox life.
Well, being an M4 variant, you can modify it literally a million different ways. You can utilize the unique look of the short RIS to make some very interesting gun designs, especially when coupled with the short full stock.
For me, I choose the EOTech/FirePig approach, with good results I think.
Rock solid metal body
High FPS in relation to size
Lots of unique parts
Rubberized coating on contact surfaces
Too high FPS for CQB use
No good for leftys
2 piece hop-up
These ACM manufacturers keep pulling new tricks out of their sleeves to keep me coming back for more. Each one brings a new, unique aspect to their products, and this is no exception. Powerful, rock solid, and very unique to boot. Whatâ€™s not to love?
Many thanks again to Airsplat, Deadrag Airsoft Radio and of course, AirsoftRetreat!