Echo 1 MTC AEG
Echo 1 M.T.C. review by Booligan
Table of Contents:
Real Steel History
Basic Gun Information
Continuing with their recent trend of very unique airsoft replicas, Echo 1 has released their Modular Tactical Carbine, more readily called the MTC. The MTC is essentially a G36C with several unique features for increased usability and customization for user comfort. Like all Echo 1 AEGs, this model features their 30 day warranty against manufacturer defects.
Real Steel History:
As this gun is basically an H&K G36C at its heart, thatâ€™s the real steel history which weâ€™ll discuss today:
The G36 is a German 5.56 mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1990s by Heckler & Koch GmbH (HK) and accepted into service with the German Armed Forces in 1997, replacing the 7.62 mm G3 automatic rifle. It is made in several variants, with differences in barrel length, stock length, handguard length, choice of optics, etcâ€¦
This variant, the G36C, has a short barrel and a shorter (than the G36K), 4-prong open-type flashhider. The use of a reduced length 228 mm barrel forced designers to move the gas block closer to the muzzle end and a shortened gas piston was used. The handguard and stock were also reduced in length and the fixed carry handle (with optical sights) was replaced with a carry handle with an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. In place of the dual optical sight found on the regular G36 and G36K, the G36C was equipped with rail-mounted iron sights that consist of a hooded front post and a flip rear aperture sight.
(Taken from wikipedia.com)
Real G36C, courtesy of hkpro.com
I was sent this gun directly from Echo 1 USA for review purposes. It was actually somewhat of a pleasant surprise when it arrived, as I was not anticipating receiving this gun! It is currently priced in the retail sector at about $175, which, when considering the additional cost of the add-on upgrades this model provides, is quite a nice deal.
Basic Gun Information
Basically, as mentioned previously, this gun is a G36C with a few fairly major changes to make it unique. These changes are the fact that it uses M4/16 magazines, has a 6 position M4 LE stock, includes an SAS type stockless butt plate, and includes inserts for the top rail to make it a flat top. These are very nice additions if youâ€™re used to using an M4, or if you have a lot of STANAG mags and want something thatâ€™s compatible. The ability to configure this in several different ways means that you can outfit it to fit pretty much any scenario that you may come across.
The MTC arrived in a black box with white lettering, as well as a full color image of the gun housed within. It features the product number JP-33, and states that it is a high grade AEG with metal bushings. Inside, everything is nested in a molded styrofoam lower section, which will soak up those bumps that it will inevitably take in shipping.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
The package includes the gun with LE stock attached, one 300 round metal M4 hi-cap magazine, SAS end cap with QD sling swivel, rail insert pieces, 8.4v 1100 mAh small type battery with charger, cleaning/unjamming rod, manual, targets, and a warranty card that needs to be sent in to Echo 1.
The manual is fairly inclusive, and has some useful information on the firing and basic maintenance info for the gun.
Weight: 6 lbs
Length: 21â€-30.5â€ (depending on if you have the stock attached, or if itâ€™s extended)
Height (Sight to grip): 9â€
Height (Sight to mag): 11â€
LOP: 0â€ (If using SAS plate), 11.5â€-14.25â€ (With LE stock)
Sight Radius: 11â€
This model is an odd hybrid between a G36C and an M4, and it shares many external high and low points between the two. To anyone familiar to the older Echo 1 G36C, this will feel very similar overall.
Starting at the back, the MTC has an M4 buffer tube with 6 position LE stock, attached via a fixed stock adaptor. The stock itself is textured plastic and slides easily and securely to its 6 positions. The buffer tube is metal and attaches to the stock adapter using a long phillipâ€™s head screw. There is also an included stockless â€œSASâ€ style end plate, which allows you to mount the included QD sling swivel. It is mounted by removing the buffer tube, unscrewing the three allen head screws underneath, and swapping out the whole assembly with the SAS one. The adapter itself is plastic, and locks into the G36C receiver using the normal folding latch point as well as the hinge pin on the right side. The adapter does not fold, and has a slightly shinier finish than the rest of the gun.
Close-up of the adapter
The receiver is normal G36C, through and through. Itâ€™s made of textured plastic, and has a very nice feel and appearance. It has a semi-matte finish, which reflects very little light. There is a single point sling mount at the rear left, towards the stock locking point. The pistol grip and trigger guard are one piece, and fit the hand well, although the selector switch can hit your trigger finger when in full auto mode. Speaking of the selector switch, it is ambidextrous, and has painted selector markings. Pulling back the ambidextrous cocking handle pulls back the metal mock bolt and exposes the rotary style hop-up adjuster.
Cocking handle pulled back, exposing the hop-up
The magwell is not a normal G36C one, but is instead a conversion piece used to fit M4/16 mags instead of the polymer G36 magazines. It, like the stock adapter, has a slightly shinier appearance than the rest of the receiver. The magazine release is located on the left side, and is a basic button that you push to drop the mag, similar to the L85 mag release. Unfortunately, mags are quite wobbly, which I will talk about more in the â€œmagazineâ€ section.
Magwell with magazine
Shot into magwell
The handguard is a normal G36C handguard, and is where the mini type battery is housed. A single 20mm rail is mounted on the bottom, but you can mount one on the sides as well, although they are not included. An ambidextrous sling mount is located at the very front of the rail, but it can be removed to utilize the entire length of the rail for mounting lights, grenade launchers, and the like. It can be swapped out for a different length of handguard from the standard G36, K, or other option; a part of the modular nature of the G36.
It is removed by taking out the pin at the top and sliding the handguard forward, allowing you to fit in the included battery. I could also fit in a 9.6v 1600 Intellect mini nun chuck battery with no issues.
The muzzle is orange plastic, and can be removed to expose 14mm- threads for mounting different flashhiders, mock mock mock mock mock mock mock mock silencers, or other barrel mounted accessories.
Aiming this replica is accomplished using the standard G36C sights. They are not the most precise sights around, but they get the job done at the ranges this replica is effective at. The rear is adjustable for both windage and elevation, and the front is fixed.
The sights are sunk into a plastic carry handle which has a full length rail. One of the selling points of this gun is that it comes with a flat top rail kit, designed to fill in the holes left when you remove the iron sights. Unfortunately, I needed to sand a bit off of the front plastic filler piece for it to fit in the gap, but overall, the kit is a nice addition.
Sight rail with iron sights attached
Rear filler piece
Front filler piece (needed sanding to fit)
Nice flat top
Well, externally, the MTC is a nice G36 variant, and the unique parts added make it that much better. Yes, there are a few cons, like the wobbly mags in the magwell and the subtle material differences, but overall, the issues are minor.
This model features what appear to be laser engraved trademarks on the side of the receiver, complete with Echo 1â€™s new bar code design. It has a serial number that is not unique.
There is also â€œEcho 1â€ molded into the stock adapter:
One of this modelâ€™s primary features is its use of M4/16 magazines instead of the polymer G36 magazines. This is accomplished with a magwell adapter that replaces the normal G36C one.
The included magazine is a normal Echo 1 M4 hi-cap, which holds 300 rounds and features a side mount optional winding port. It fits into the gun with a good bit of mag wobble, which is something thatâ€™s normal with the magwell adapters. Iâ€™ve tested all of the normal brands of M4 mags, and havenâ€™t found any that are not compatible. MAG midcaps are a good fit, not too tight, not too loose and with a minimum amount of wobble out of all the mags I tested.
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):
Average over 10 shots: 366.8
ROF (Recorded using Audacity/stock battery after 100 round break in):
This is a replica designed for CQB use, and the stock accuracy reflects this. I was able to put 90% of my aimed shots on a torso sized target at 140', which isn't bad considering this replica's size, but is a little shorter than I've been accustomed to seeing from Echo 1 AEGs lately. The inner barrel is fairly short, and it uses a standard AEG bucking, which most likely results in the shorter range.
I haven't opened an ACM G36 since the old V2 Echo 1 and JG G36Cs, and I wasn't expecting anything really different on this model. I was very pleasantly surprised when I pulled the gearbox out of the body and discovered 7mm ball bearings, instead of solid bushings. They looked to be quite high quality, and probably are a large contributor to how smoothly this replica fires. The V3 gearbox shell is engraved with Echo 1's logo, and seems to be a better metal composition than the early Echo 1 G36C. The motor is a medium torque "long" type, and has fairly strong magnets.
Engraved E1 logo
7mm ball bearings
The inner barrel and hop-up assembly are standard ACM G36C bits, with the plastic hop-up chamber being TM compatible, and using a rotary dial to set the hop-up level. I was disappointed to find a standard bucking, as I was hoping E1 would have put a Madbull blue bucking in this model like their P90 and Zombat. The inner barrel is 247mm long, so it's relatively short. A longer/tighter inner barrel and different bucking would work wonders here.
Overall, the internals are a nice step up from the earlier Echo 1 G36 options, but if they were to throw in a few factory upgrades, like the Madbull bucking, they would really be awesome. I believe Echo 1 is intending to make the move to 7mm ball bearings and Madbull buckings on many of their models, but time will tell which models end up with them.
The inclusion of parts like the LE stock adapter, SAS stockless adapter, and flat top filler pieces mean that you can set the gun up in various ways with the included pieces. Since it features an assortment of rails, you can mount sights, lights, lasers, grenade launchers, foregrips, or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Mine is set up as a PDW of sorts, with the included SAS end cap with sling swivel, UTG folding vert-grip, flat top pieces and EOTech replica sight.
Tried and true G36 internals
Very sturdy build
Ability to use some M4 parts
Included flat top pieces
Good performance out of the box
7mm ball bearings
Flat top pieces needed some sanding to fit
No side rails
Mismatched shininess on adapter pieces
Iâ€™m not a huge fan of the G36 series for two reasons: The use of bulky, somewhat expensive magazines, and the folding stock just doesnâ€™t fit me that well. This model takes care of those two issues and then some. Overall, I think itâ€™s a very unique weapon that could feel at home with most airsofters.
Many thanks again to Echo 1, Deadrag Airsoft Radio and of course, AirsoftRetreat!