Deep Fire Silver Series M16 AEG
Deep Fire Silver Series M16 review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
Basic Gun Information
Deep Fire has produced a line of affordable AEGs called the Silver Series. These AEGs feature high quality externals and proven Deep Fire internals at an affordable price. The model that I am reviewing today is the M16A3, which comes with a full length outer barrel, polymer furniture, and an aluminum receiver. I will discuss all of the various aspects of this gun in this review, so continue reading for more information!
I obtained the M16 directly from Deep Fire, which is located in Hong Kong. It was shipped via UPS and arrived safely a few days later with no issues due to customs. I haven't been able to find the Silver Series M16 for sale yet, but the various M4 models can be found at several stores, both in the US and abroad. HERE is their M4 model available at Airsplat, priced at $179.99, putting its price on par with the higher end ACM offerings.
Basic Gun Information:
When Deep Fire launched their Silver Series, they wanted to make an AEG that would give players an opportunity to get a high quality gun with great components, but at a price similar to lower quality ACM guns. Some of the price reduction measures include changing the internal components from a full titanium gearset to a steel unit, and using a standard hop-up unit instead of the new Deep Fire custom design. The big external difference is that they do not include a rear iron sight, allowing you to run either an optic or an aftermarket iron sight of your choosing.
I was quite surprised when the gun arrived because it was in a box that was substantially smaller than I expected. That is because, in order to reduce the packaging size, Deep Fire ships the gun with the stock unattached, requiring you to attach it yourself once you receive it. The various components are all zip tied in place to keep them stationary during shipping, and it did that job well.
Along with the gun itself, Deep Fire includes a single hi-cap magazine, a Deans connecter to solder onto your desired battery, manual, and of course, a cleaning/unjamming rod. The gun does not include a battery or charger, so you will need to provide your own.
Weight: 6.2 lbs
Sight Radius: N/A
Externally, the Silver Series M16 is largely comprised of aluminum and high strength polymers. The paint looks fantastic with a matte black coloring and smooth finish, however it is starting to show wear at the normal high wear points on the receiver.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
External overview, left side
External overview, right side
Like all contemporary M16s, this model comes with a fixed stock that is equipped with a trapdoor on the metal butt pad to access the battery compartment. Unlike most M16s, the stock has a MASSIVE battery compartment, as there are no internal reinforcement pieces which prevent the use of oversized batteries. It comes equipped with a metal sling mount on the bottom of the stock, which is actually the only sling mount on the gun, as there is not one located on the front sight.
Metal butt pad with trapdoor access
Lonely sling mount
The aluminum receiver is lightweight and strong and serves quite well as the backbone of the gun. It is a standard M16 flat-top receiver without any noticeably odd features. The controls are in all the normal places, with the selector switch on the left side and the magazine release on the right. Pulling back the charging handle pulls back a mock bolt carrier, opening the dust cover if it is closed.
Receiver, left side
Receiver, right side
Charging handle pulled back
The pistol grip is not a standard M16 component, as Deep Fire equipped it with a Tango Down type grip, which is quite comfortable to hold. It features texturing on the sides to assist in keeping a good grip on the gun. The motor base has a small heat sink section as well as a hex screw to adjust the motor height.
Standard M16 length oval handguards are equipped, which are very comfortable to hold onto and assist in the ability to point and shoot the gun. This gun uses a real steel type delta ring with an INCREDIBLY stiff spring. You may actually need a handguard tool to remove the handguards, as the spring really is as strong as a real one. The receiver threading appears to be standard, so installing rails won't be a problem.
Deep fire installed an aluminum 20" outer barrel, which fits with absolutely zero wobble. They also installed a faux gas tube between the front sight and receiver, adding to the realism of the gun. To get the gun through customs, Deep Fire installs an orange plastic tip, which I replaced with a metal unit for review purposes. Underneath the tip, you will find standard 14mm- threading, so you can add whatever muzzle device you want.
Aiming this replica is a little bit tricky as Deep Fire only includes a front sight as a cost cutting measure. The flat-top receiver has a standard 20mm rail, so you can add pretty much any iron sight or optic you want. I had a slight issue with my front sight, as the locking hex screw that keeps it snugged up against the barrel had stripped, allowing the front sight and handguard to wobble a bit. I was able to drill and re-tap the hole to fit a beefier screw, so I was able to correct it.
Deep Fire has applied trademarks for "Calydon Arms", onto the receiver, as well as a unique serial number. The trademarks are all laser engraved, and are VERY well applied, with no visible defects that I can notice.
Trademark and serial number
The included magazine is a full metal hi-cap, which holds about 330 rounds. It fit slightly loose in the magwell, so I slightly bent out the mag catch notch, and it fits in perfectly now. I tried out my other magazines that I had lying around, and I couldn't find one that caused any fit or feeding problems.
Winding wheel and trademark
Chrono results using Airsplat .20g BBs, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono, after a 500 round break in period:
High FPS: 329.9
Low FPS: 321.7
Average FPS: 327.2
Rate of fire will obviously depend on the battery used, but, due to the Deans connector that is pre-installed from the factory, you will have less resistance than most other guns. I used an 11.1v 1500 mAh 15C battery in mine, and was able to achieve 21 RPS, which is quite good for a stock gun. The motor seems to be the weak point here, so an upgraded motor will net a much higher rate of fire.
Range and accuracy were kind of tricky, as the hop-up is a bit tricky to adjust. It doesn't have a stopper on the gears, so you don't know when it is at full hop, requiring a fair bit of trial and error when shooting. The hop-up nub did a great job of keeping the shots centered, but it didn't seem to put enough spin to give it a lot of range. I would suspect that a boost in power would give you a bit more range. As it sits now, I was only able to hit my standard torso sized target at 135' consistently, which is a bit lower than I was expecting.
Inside these great externals, you will find excellent internals. Deep Fire installed a V2 gearbox which is fitted with high quality components from their catalog. The reinforced shell itself has a slightly notched cylinder window, which increases the overall durability of the gearbox.
Gearbox, right side
Gearbox, left side
Deep Fire marking
Notched cylinder window
Inside the gearbox you will find a green polymer piston which is equipped with a solid aluminum piston head. This unventilated piston head forms a great airseal inside the type 1 cylinder and polymer cylinder head. At the base of the spring, you will find a metal spring guide with a polymer washer installed.
Gearbox opened up
Solid aluminum piston head
The gears are steel, and are fitted into the gearbox via 6mm metal bushings. The quality of the gears appears to be great, so they're not that much of a downgrade from Deep Fire's titanium gears.
The motor is a pretty basic unit and is marked as spinning at 29000 RPM with an 8.4v battery. The wiring is quite flexible, and appears to have a high strand count. Deans plugs are used to connect the battery to the gun, which is the preferred connector for optimum electrical transference.
Oddly enough, Deep Fire installed a 363 mm inner barrel, when M16s should use a 509 mm length barrel, however, the barrel itself appears to be great quality. The metal one piece hop-up doesn't have a stopper on the gear, so it is tricky to adjust the hop-up to the maximum setting. The bucking has two nubs to keep the BB centered and prevent side to side deviation.
Barrel and hop-up
I will be using this gun as a testbed for future Deep Fire products, so I won't be doing anything too crazy with it for now. I did, however, change out the 20" outer barrel for a Madbull 16" Dissipator barrel, to better use the 363mm inner barrel. I will be installing a Deep Fire M4 FTK in the coming weeks, and will post results here on ASR once I've done that!
With Madbull 16" Dissipator barrel
Deep Fire quality at JG prices
Very high quality aluminum receiver
Comfortable polymer furniture
Comes with Deans plugs from the factory
Full stock has a huge battery compartment
Real steel type delta ring
363mm inner barrel (509mm would be the correct length for the gun)
Paint finish is a little fragile
No included rear sight
Front sight locking screw stripped on mine (was likely an isolated event with my gun, but I wanted to note it)
I wasn't sure what to expect with this AEG, as I've never handled a Deep Fire AEG before, but I really was pleasantly surprised with the overall fit and feel of the gun. For a sub-$200 gun, this thing is absolutely a great option. Since it uses Deans plugs and doesn't include a rear iron sight, it's not really a gun for beginners, as you'll need to do a tiny a bit of work to get it rolling, however, that shouldn't scare away new players who might be interested in it. As far as bang for the buck goes, this thing is really near the top, and I'm quite excited to add it to my stable of AEGs.
Many thanks again to Deep Fire, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!