Angel Custom G2 SUS304 Stainless Steel 6.01mm Tightbore Barrel review by Booligan
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Inner Barrel Details
I've done a few reviews of Angel Custom's various airsoft products, including their 1st gen 6.01mm tightbore inner barrel, and today, I'm reviewing their latest tightbore barrel. Manufactured out of SUS304 stainless steel, it features higher strength and manufacturing consistency compared to their 1st gen model. My review of the 1st gen unit can be found HERE. Keep reading for more info on the differences between that model and the one being reviewed today!
Like my previous reviews of Angel Customs products, I was sent this inner barrel through their primary distributor, Evike. I'm reviewing the 407mm length unit, which is available HERE, priced at $40. This low price puts it slightly above other brands including Madbull, but far under brands like PDI and EDGI. It was sent to me the same day it was ordered, and arrived a few days later using UPS Ground, Evike's free shipping option.
The G2 6.01mm Tightbore Barrel is CNC machined out of SUS304 stainless steel, which is commonly used in medical implants, brewing supplies, and architectural uses. It's damn strong, and is able to be used for high precision manufacturing. Basically, it's totally overkill for inner barrel use, but if you want your gun stuffed with some of the best materials, it gets the job done. It's available in a wide variety of lengths and cuts, from 203mm – 650mm in AEG cut, 430 and 500mm in VSR cut, 517mm in M24/M28 cut, and lastly, 630mm in KJW M700 cut. Prices range from $30 - $58, depending on the cut and length. I chose to go with the 407mm length barrel, which is the perfect length for the Madbull 16” Dissipator outer barrel on my test gun.
One of the things that Angel Customs improved over the G1 models is the packaging. Before, the barrels were packaged in a small plastic tube that could potentially be damaged in shipping. Now, it uses a much larger tube, and the barrel itself is secured in the middle with some air-space all around it to prevent damage during shipping or storage. It's a small improvement, but it's better than the old packaging.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
Labeling on the tube
Inner Barrel Details:
There's really not a whole lot that I can say about the look and feel of the barrel, since, well, it's an inner barrel. It's made out of high quality metal, well machined, and is extremely strong. I'll do my best to cover the various components that make it what it is!
In order for you to identify the length of your barrel, Angel Customs has laser engraved the length and inner bore on the side, near the muzzle end. The markings are different compared to the G1 model, so you can see which model you have if you end up with one of these barrels.
Keeping our attention on the muzzle end, you'll notice the nicely machined crowning. This helps with the consistency when the BB exits the barrel, and helps smooth the airflow behind it, keeping it from messing with your accuracy.
At the other end of the barrel, you'll find dual hop-up locking notches for different hop-up systems across different gun platforms. The hop-up window has a standard cut, so you shouldn't run into any compatibility issues with different components.
So, to make a long story short, it's a pretty barrel. The thing looks good, and is well built, but what good is that if it doesn't improve your performance? I suppose that's the next thing we'll talk about!
Installation of a tightbore inner barrel is one of the simplest modifications you can make to most AEGs. Usually, it requires the removal of very few parts, and it doesn't require you to have any experience with gearboxes or anything like that. In my case, I'm running this barrel in my WE M4 AEG, that has slowly but surely been modified into something unique. The M4 review can be found HERE, so you can see the base performance I was dealing with.
Before installation, I ran a few cleaning patches through the barrel to see if there was any residual oil or grease from the manufacturing process. Thankfully, there was a minimum amount of it, and it all came out on one patch. After that, I did some baseline performance testing with the stock inner barrel which we'll go over soon.
Now, I'm always a fan of running a few hundred rounds through a new barrel before really testing it out. The theory behind this stems from my experience with the old DB Customs barrels, that always showed a large improvement in performance after running 500-1000 rounds through it. My understanding is that it helps smooth out any potential manufacturing defects in the barrel on a microscopic scale. Whether it helps or not, I've always done it, and see no reason to quit now.
So, let's talk about the actual performance. Here are some before and after stats, with testing done using .20g Matrix BBs.:
High FPS: 387.8
Low FPS: 382.1
Average FPS: 385.5
Angel Customs barrel:
High FPS: 405.5
Low FPS: 399.5
Average FPS: 402.8
The increase in FPS is largely due to two things. First off, this barrel is about 40mm longer than the stock one, which gives the barrel more time to get up to speed. Second, with the much tighter bore, the airflow is more efficiently optimized to shoot the BB, helping it get a higher velocity.
Range and accuracy are the other big improvements that you normally see with tightbore barrels, and the Angel Customs G2 doesn't disappoint! I set an 8x11 target out at 90', and went prone supported by a bipod. I fed it some .28g Matrix ammo, adjusted the hop-up, and got the following results:
Angel Customs barrel
I fired between 15 and 20 rounds into each target, and those were the results that I got. I've got a few things to report from the testing. First and foremost, conditions were absolute crap. I was shooting outdoors, prone, from a bipod, but I had a nasty headwind that caused some fliers with both barrels. It was a little bit windier during the stock barrel test, so those results would likely be better in different testing conditions. Second, I was really impressed with the results of the Angel Customs barrel! The overall accuracy really tightened up, especially with lateral precision. I had much less side to side deviation with my shots.
I was expecting an overall range increase due to the increased FPS, and wasn't surprised with I got an additional 20' or so of usable range. Before, I was hitting 155' pretty consistently, but now I'm comfortable engaging out to 175' on a torso sized target.
All in all, I was really pleased with the improved accuracy, range, and velocity over the stock barrel! I saw clear improvements across the board, all of which translate to improvements on the field!
Improved velocity over stock barrel
Tightened up my groupings at range
Added about 20' of usable range
Budget price – Only $40 for this length
High strength manufacturing techniques and materials
Available in a wide variety of lengths and barrel cuts
Outer diameter is a little narrow, caused some slight looseness in my hop-up housing
Hop-up window is standard, could cause increased wear on hop-up bucking vs a smoother window design
Like all barrels, if you increase the length a lot over the stock length, you'll probably need to change gearbox components
Having had some prior experience with Angel Custom's tightbore barrels, I knew I would see some improvements across the board, and I'm glad to report that it exceeded my expectations. The quality seems to be consistent with their prior efforts, and the materials used are an improvement. The packaging is a nice update, as it prevents damage to the barrel before you even get it. Honestly, there are a ton of upgraded barrels out there, ranging from dirt cheap to more expensive than some AEGs, and the Angel Custom models are a fantastic option, at a budget price. I'm glad to have several of them in my guns, and when I'm looking for options for future projects, I'll absolutely see if there's one that will work for me!
Many thanks again to Evike, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!