Javelin Airsoft Works M24 Sniper Rifle review by Booligan
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Basic Gun Information
In addition to their AEG offerings, Javelin Airsoft Works currently produces a sniper rifle modeled after the M24 SWS currently in use by the US Army, IDF, and more. This bolt action sniper rifle is based on APS internals and gives you a great starting place for your sniper rifle buildup. This affordable M24 replica has a few interesting features that make it a good option, and I will discuss all of the various pros and cons of this replica in this review!
I was sent this sniper rifle to review directly by Javelin Airsoft Works, through their US distributor, Spartan Imports. It is currently available at most airsoft retailers such as Evike, AEX, Airsoft GI, all priced at about $175.00. I frequently find special deals on Javelin guns, so check around for any current specials before throwing down your cash.
Basic Gun Information:
The Javelin M24 is a relatively lightweight sniper platform that effectively replicates the US Army's current sniper rifle. The real gun is based on the M700 firing system, but with a tactical stock and other accurizing modifications. The stock is the most recognizable portion of the entire gun, as it has a wide, textured foregrip as well as an adjustable butt pad to customize the gun for a wide range of shooters. It is upgradeable using standard APS parts, meaning you can take this thing to pretty high levels of performance. It appears that the OEM manufacturer of this gun is Snow Wolf, maker of the affordable Barrett M99 and M82 replicas.
Javelin packaged the M24 in a pretty basic package, with a foam lower portion and a cardboard upper lid. A sticker with information about the rifle held within is placed on the top of the box along with a standard warning sticker.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
Along with the rifle itself, Javelin includes a single plastic magazine, a speedloader with special nozzle for filling the magazine, a rather iffy sling, a small bag of Snow Wolf brand BBs, and the standard cleaning/unjamming rod. No manual or assembly instructions are included, however, they have a link to assembly directions HERE.
Weight: 5.4 lbs
Sight Radius: N/A
The M24 is comprised of a polymer stock with metal components, and a full metal receiver/barrel, all of which are finished in a matte black finish. The stock has a nice texture to it, however, you can tell that it is made of plastic with large hollow sections that make it feel a tiny bit cheap.
Overview, right side
Overview, left side
The stock is the most distinctive part of this gun, mainly due to its adjustable butt pad. The pad is made of rubber with a metal backing plate and adjustment dial. You can adjust it over a large range, giving you an additional 2.5" length of pull. You can lock the selected position with the second dial by locking it against the main dial. At the bottom of the stock, you will find a sling swivel for mounting two point slings.
Adjustable butt pad
Pad at full extended position
Moving forward, you will hit the fire controls. Being a bolt action replica, the controls are quite minimal, consisting only of a trigger, safety lever, and the bolt itself. The trigger has a lot of side to side wobble, however it has a smooth and short pull with consistent release. Shimming the trigger unit inside the trigger box would likely reduce the wobble. The grip portion of the stock is VERY wide, almost overly so, however, it is still comfortable to hold and easy to shoot.
Safety lever and bolt handle
The receiver is a relatively standard M700 type receiver, with a smooth and easy bolt pull. The bolt handle is fairly compact but with a nicely checkered knob at the end. The bolt itself is well lubricated, but the opening in the receiver is large and could allow for a lot of dirt to enter and foul up the lubrication. I know it wouldn't be realistic, but I'd love to see a gun come stock without the purely cosmetic hole in the receiver, to prevent dirt from fouling everything up.
Bolt pulled back
Moving forward still on the polymer stock, you will hit the nicely textured wide foregrip. This makes the gun extremely comfortable to hold, even with gloves on. At the bottom of the handguard, you will find not one, but two sling swivels, one of which is equipped with a stock mounting ring. The frontmost point is for mounting Harris type bipods, or other sling swivel mounted bipods. On the left side of the handguard, you will find the hop-up adjustment lever, which is very similar to what you will find on a VSR-10 type rifle.
The outer barrel is a tapered design, and is finished with a machined texture. This adds a nice look to it, however it always looks dirty even after touching it, as it acts kind of like sandpaper. The orange tip is a glued on plastic unit that I removed for this review. The metal muzzle has a target crowned design, adding to the overall look of the gun.
Like most sniper rifles, it does not include iron sights, instead coming equipped with a top rail for mounting your choice of optics. The rail seems quite to spec, as I didn't have any issues mounting my optics onto the gun.
The gun is entirely devoid of any identifying marks indicating who makes the gun. The only marks are on the faux internal magazine hatch, and they consist of a single "Made in China" marking, and a serial number.
The included magazine is all plastic and holds 23 rounds. My understanding is that this gun uses its own magazines, which are available HERE, priced at about $14. The magazine fits well into the gun at the front, however at the rear, it hangs down a mm or so. This doesn't affect how solidly it sits inside the gun, so it's just a cosmetic issue.
Now, when I first got the gun, I had a HUGE double/triple/quadruple feeding issue. I checked around online and found that this was a common issue with the gun, but there were no solutions aside from modifying a CA M24 magazine to work. This didn't sit well with me, so I came up with a solution for the multiple feeding issue. The problem was that the stock magazine spring was too long, and as soon as you pulled the bolt back, it would push several BBs into the chamber. The solution for this was to remove the magazine spring and cut about three loops off. This fixed the problem 100% for me, and after 100 rounds, the misfeed hasn't occurred again.
Taking the magazine apart is quite easy, just tap out the two pins on the side, and split the magazine into its three main parts. Take the screws out of the main body, and remove the spring plug at the rear. Cut the spring, and replace everything as it was. Simple and free solution!
Chrono results using Matrix .20g BBs, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono, after a 100 round break in period:
High FPS: 442.9
Low FPS: 439.7
Average FPS: 440.5
Chrono results using Echo 1 .28g BBs, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono are as follows:
High FPS: 361.2
Low FPS: 359.8
Average FPS: 360.0
Consistency is fantastic as you can see, and I credit the good air-seal components for that. The sliding arm hop-up makes adjustments a breeze, but it is a little mushy when sliding back and forth. Once set, it doesn't undo itself, so you can do a bit of trial and error with your chosen ammo, and it should stay put.
Accuracy and range were pretty much on par for a box stock sniper rifle of this power level. Using Echo 1 .28g BBs, I was able to put my rounds on a torso sized target at 170' consistently. After that range, the BBs tended to roll from side to side, showing me that a better hop-up bucking will probably do wonders for the gun, along with a tightbore barrel.
As mentioned before, the Javelin M24 utilizes APS type internals, including pistons, springs, spring guides, barrels, and trigger components. This makes it very easy to customize to your liking.
As far as compression parts go, the gun comes equipped with a polymer piston and spring guide, and a brass cylinder head with a rubber pad to cushion the impact forces. The air seal is quite good for a stock gun, but upgrade components would probably help out here.
The trigger unit is full metal, and utilizes a 90 degree trigger sear. As mentioned previously, the trigger pull is light and smooth, but the trigger itself does have some side to side wobble. After a few hundred shots with the stock spring, the sears show no wear at all.
90 degree trigger sear
The inner barrel is brass, and comes in at about 482mm long. Bore is unknown, but I'd assume it to be standard, or a mild tightbore. The hop-up is a full metal unit that is very similar to an APS style, however, it does have the side mounted adjustment lever instead of a bottom mounted hex screw. The hop-up arm has a split design, helping your side to side consistency at range.
Inner barrel and hop-up unit
As far as modifications go, I'm leaving the gun largely stock externally, aside from mounting a rail at the front to give me a wider range of bipod options. This was a simple operation, only requiring me to drill one hole for a front screw, and repurposing one of the sling mounts for the rear screw.
Internally, I will be using this gun as a test bed for several parts, so we will see how high I can crank the performance on this thing!
Very realistic M24 replica
Great finish on the stock and metal components
Comes ready to mount a scope and bipod
Fantastic consistency out of the box
Adjustable stock able to fit most users
VSR style hop-up adjustment is very easy to use
Stock feels hollow
Horrible misfeed out of the box, but I was able to fix it easily. See magazine section for details
No included bipod or scope
Overall, I like sniper rifles that are kind of different than the normal VSRs and L96s, so this is right up my alley. It has all of the ease of use of a VSR10, but with a more customizable fit and better finish than most sniper rifles in this price range. It actually looks like a truly tactical rifle, instead of a hunting rifle like most VSRs. So far, I really like this rifle, and I plan on using it as a test bed for various upgrade parts from several manufacturers, so you will see more of this gun here on Airsoft Retreat!
Many thanks again to Javelin Airsoft, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!