Javelin Airsoft Works M4A1 AEG
Javelin Airsoft Works M4A1 review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
Basic Gun Information
Javelin Airsoft Works is a US based company designing and importing customized AEG models from various overseas manufacturers, in addition to adding after-sale support as well as a warranty. They are part of the Spartan Imports family of companies, who handles their warranty as well as managing their wholesale distribution. They have a variety of M4 models available, and today, we are going to take a look at their basic M4A1 model, which is currently available at most major airsoft retailers!
I was sent this AEG to review directly by Javelin Airsoft, who is very interested in getting more involved in the airsoft community, and getting word of their products out to the public. It is currently available at retailers such as Airsplat, Evike and Airsoft GI, priced at $209.99. This includes everything you need to run the gun, aside from BBs, as well as including the aforementioned 60 day warranty against manufacturer defects, handled through Spartan Imports. This is the plain model, without any forward rails, and with a standard 14.5mm outer barrel, however, Javelin has various other models available at various prices.
Basic Gun Information:
The Javelin M4A1 is a full metal AEG that is equipped with a piston driven blowback system. It differs from a standard M4A1 in its choice of furniture, coming with a GLR-16 type stock, TD type pistol grip, and KAC style trigger guard, in addition to a standard handguard, normal barrel length, and standard iron sights. The combo makes it ripe for customization, as it's pretty much a pre-customized lower receiver, with a standard upper receiver. The gun was manufactured by APS for Javelin, and as such, features APS internal and external components.
Like the prior Javelin AK that I reviewed, the M4A1 comes packaged in large orange box, with cardboard inserts to keep everything centered inside. The box features several compartments for the various items included with the gun. My first impression on actually seeing the gun itself was to double check if the receiver was actually metal. The gun is fairly lightweight, in a good way, and the receiver is textured, which made me think that it was actually a high strength polymer, but upon further checking, I confirmed that it was in fact metal.
Along with the rifle, you receive a full metal 300 round hi-cap magazine, small bag of BBs and an 8.4v battery/charger, along with the standard cleaning/unjamming rod. Javelin did not include a manual, instead opting to have the manual posted online HERE.
Weight: 6.2 lbs
Sight Radius: 14.75"
As mentioned before, this beast is a full metal replica with polymer furniture, just like the real gun. The weight is right on the money with what it should be, coming in slightly lighter than a real M4A1 (6.2 lbs vs 6.36 lbs). The gun is devoid of any forward rails, however, Javelin sells a few other models that do come with rails.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
Overview, left side
Overview, right side
One of the focal points of this gun that differs from a standard M4A1 is the GLR-16 type retractable stock. This stock has a rail on the side for mounting various accessories, such as cheek rests and magazine holders that can be found online. It is adjustable to six different lengths, and has a few interesting features such as CR123A battery compartment which is covered by the rubber butt pad, and a polymer sling mount on the bottom.
Moving forward you will encounter the receiver, which is finished with a slightly pebbled texture and a matte black color. The receiver is a standard M4 unit, with the selector switch located on the left side, magazine release on the right, and bolt catch, which is functional, above the magazine release on the left side. The fire controls are very familiar to anyone who has ever used an M4/16 variant, and should make for an easy transition.
Receiver, left side
Receiver, right side
The pistol grip is a tactical TD style unit with textured sides as well as a heat sink adjustment base. The trigger guard is a KAC type unit, which gives you a bit more finger room, which is helpful if you're wearing gloves.
The bolt catch is functional on the gun, however, to prevent it from accidentally locking back due to the blowback operation, you must push down on the bottom of the bolt catch button while pulling back the charging handle to make the faux bolt lock back. Releasing it is as simple as pushing the bolt release button. This allows you to have easy access to adjust the hop-up.
Bolt locked back
The handguards are normal round units like you would find on any standard M4, and the gun has a real steel type delta ring, making mounting certain RIS and handguard types a piece of cake. In my gun, I ended up adding a real steel Magpul rifle length MOE grip, which mounted up easily once I swapped out the barrel. The gun also features a faux gas tube that is attached to the front sight assembly as well as the upper receiver.
Real steel delta ring assembly
Faux gas tube/battery compartment
The outer barrel is a one piece unit that is absolutely rock solid with zero wobble whatsoever. It is terminated in a 14mm+ threaded muzzle, which is a departure from the AEG standard 14mm-. This is a negative point, however, you can find all kinds of flashhiders and other muzzle devices threaded in this format.
Flashhider, made of orange plastic
Aiming this rifle is accomplished using the standard M4 style iron sights, which are adjustable for windage and elevation without the use of tools. The front sight has a sling mount that can be adjusted for right or left handed users. The rear sight is integrated into the removable carry handle, which is attached to the upper receiver's 20mm top rail.
One of the things that Javelin does to its guns is add Javelin trademarks as well as a unique serial number. The trademarks are laser engraved onto the metal body, which is a very durable method, as they can't be scratched off. Along with the Javelin markings, you will find a few other, smaller markings, indicating that the gun is made in China, and that it has the blowback system installed.
The included hi-cap magazine has a 300 round capacity, and is finished in a very light gray finish. Like my other APS based M4, this has a fairly wide magwell, that causes the magazine to wobble a bit when inserted, mainly front to back. It's not as much wobble as my previous APS M4 review, but it is still present. I resolved this by placing a small piece of loop side velcro on the front inner surface of the magwell, closing up the gap. This still allows me to use 99% of the magazines out there without issue, and with MUCH less mag wobble.
Chrono results using Airsplat .20g BBs, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono, after a 500 round break in period:
High FPS: 378.9 FPS
Low FPS: 374.6 FPS
Average FPS: 376.2 FPS
Rate of fire will obviously vary depending on the battery used, but with a stock ACM grade 8.4v mini battery, the ROF fell fairly low, only around 15 RPS. With a higher output battery, the ROF greatly improved, hitting 21 RPS with my medium output 11.1v 1800 mAh LiPo battery on standard mini Tamiya plugs. An upgraded battery should be your first purchase with this gun.
Range and accuracy were quite reasonable given the gun's mid-level FPS output. I loaded it up with some Airsplat .28g BBs, which the hop-up could spin quite well, and was putting shots on a torso sized target at 165' without issue. Side to side deviation was minimized, and can be improved by using a split nub hop-up bucking.
Inside this AEG, you'll find a modified V2 gearbox, making upgrades a breeze. At the rear, there are molded in vents, as well as a track for the piston driven blowback shuttle. On the right side of the gearbox, you will find the bolt catch mechanism that works with the bolt catch button to operate.
Gearbox shell, left side
Gearbox, right side, bolt catch mechanism removed for disassembly
Upon opening the gearbox, you will find a heavily lubricated, but well shimmed set of gears, that come complete with a sector chip for smooth feeding. The tappet plate is an unusual design, with a shortened tappet arm and unique pusher spring design. Spare parts should be able to be purchased through Spartan Imports. Unfortunately, Javelin had plastic bushing and a plastic spring guide installed, but they seem to be quite sturdy at factory power levels.
Inside the gearbox
Tappet plate design
For compression parts, a chrome type 0 cylinder is installed, with a polymer cylinder head used at the end. The air nozzle has an inner o-ring installed for a great air seal. For the piston, POM material is used and a ported piston head is equipped. With the combination of compression parts, you have a fantastic air seal that optimizes the stock spring for maximum velocity.
Cylinder, cylinder head, and air nozzle
The inner barrel is 363mm long, and the polymer hop-up unit seals well with the stock air nozzle. The hop-up is effective enough to spin heavyweight BBs, such as .28s, which I used to get optimum range and accuracy.
Inner barrel and hop-up
The motor feels like a standard torque/speed unit, which gives you fair overall performance. If you want to go more powerful, or give the gun a higher ROF, I would recommend upgrading the motor to your desired unit.
When I got this gun, I had a specific project in mind, and this was a fantastic base gun to work with. I swapped out the 14.5" M4 profile barrel for my spare Deep Fire 20" M16 profile barrel, which fit perfectly into the upper receiver. I then reinstalled the factory front sight and handguard cap, and installed a real steel Magpul MOE rifle length handguard, which worked perfectly with the existing parts. I then replaced the rear sight with a UTG light weight unit, adding to the unique look of the gun. After installing my spare 500mm Javelin inner barrel, the gun was pretty much complete.
After my modifications
Full metal, but still lightweight
Great finish on all of the parts
Aftermarket type grip, stock, and trigger guard for a custom look
Zero wobble in any of the parts
Great performance out of the box
Blowback function is a nice feature
Functional bolt catch
Loose magwell (can be fixed with some velcro)
Blowback unit can reduce performance and cause extra wear, but can be easily removed
14mm+ threaded muzzle, making modifications a bit tricky
Plastic bushings and spring guide
Javelin Airsoft continues to release a wide range of AEGs that offer a great list of features at an affordable price. Their M4 series is no exception, and this base M4A1 is a fantastic starting point for your own custom buildup, and with some slight tweaks can be made to be really unique. Overall, I really do like this gun, and after I swapped out some parts, it has a really unique look and great performance.
Many thanks again to Javelin Airsoft, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!