Echo 1/Ohio Ordnance M1918 SLR (BAR) Review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
Basic Gun Information
Echo 1 continues to produce high quality and unique airsoft replicas, and their latest to hit the market is this, the M1918 SLR. This WW2 era design features a full metal body and licensed trademarks through Ohio Ordnance. With a timeless design and sturdy construction, this gun is great for skirmishers and collectors alike. For more info on this thing's features, pros, and cons, keep reading!
I ordered this AEG through Airsplat, who has it available HERE, priced at $395.00. Yes, this is one of the more expensive Echo 1 guns to hit the market, but as far as support weapons go, it isn't too bad. Considering one of your only other alternatives for an airsoft BAR is the VFC, which is priced at $1200, the sub $400 price is a lot easier to swallow. The gun was shipped out via UPS Ground and arrived a few days later. Unfortunately, there was some slight shipping damage which I'll discuss later in the review, but it was easily remedied cosmetic damage only.
Basic Gun Information:
As mentioned before, the Echo 1 M1918 is a full metal AEG with faux wood furniture. It comes with a full metal bipod and two magazines, making it pretty much skirmish ready out of the box. It has a few cool internal features, including a quick change spring and MOSFET from the factory, which I'll go over in the internal section of this review. This is not a small gun, as it comes in just under 4' long and over 13 lbs, but it really looks and feels like the real steel gun! One of the biggest perks with buying an Echo 1 gun is the included 30 day warranty and US based support in case of manufacturing defects.
The gun comes in a massive cardboard box with a soft foam inner liner to prevent damage during shipping. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, there was some slight damage due to shipping. The bipod is permanently attached to the outer barrel, and the large steel feet managed to scratch the barrel a little bit. Other than that, the gun looked perfect, and was much bigger than I expected. It had been a long time since I last handled a BAR, and I had forgotten how big the damn thing is. It's really massive when you first pull it out of the box.
Along with the gun itself, Echo 1 includes two hi-cap magazines, a 9.6v stick battery, trickle charger, warranty card, and a cleaning/unjamming rod. The included battery is perfectly usable, however, for optimum performance, you can go with something such as a LiPo or larger NiMH/NiCd battery.
Weight: 13.4 lbs
Width: 2.5"(at foregrip, 4" at bipod)
Height: 14" (bipod feet to carry handle
Sight Radius: 30.75"
This huge AEG is made entirely of metal with an exception of the faux wood furniture. It has a decent paint finish, however the bipod legs did manage to scrape the outer barrel during shipping. A little bit of touch up paint will remedy this situation if it happens to you.
Click on the individual thumbnails to see the full size photos
Overview, right side
Overview, left side
The stock is made of plastic with a faux wood finish and comes complete with a folding shoulder rest on the metal butt pad. The stock has an integrated grip allowing you to get a good handle on the gun when firing. It's pretty bulky, so if you have small hands, you may have some issues with this gun. The stock acts as the battery compartment as well, and you have to unscrew the butt pad to access the battery compartment, which can hold everything from the stock 9.6v stick pack to a massive LiPo pack, due to the removable foam inner lining.
Folding shoulder rest
Moving forward from the stock, you'll hit the large metal receiver, which holds the various fire controls and acts as the backbone for this gun. The right side of the receiver is pretty plain, only featuring the mock ejection port, but the left side houses the charging handle and selector switch. The gun has a three position selector switch, but the gun only fires in full auto. The magazine release is located inside the trigger guard, and requires a firm push to release the magazine. Pulling back the charging handle pulls back the mock bolt, exposing the AK style hop-up adjuster
Right side of the receiver
Left side of the receiver
Trigger and selector switch
Charging handle pulled, back, showing the hop-up adjuster
Moving forward still from the receiver, you can find the faux wood handguard which is really wide, but still comfortable to hold. There are no rails or anything like that on this gun, and you really should never attempt to mount one, as it'll really mess up the classic look of this thing. Above the handguard, you will find a carrying handle, which is made out of steel with a faux wood handle. It can rotate from side to side as needed.
The outer barrel is pretty damn long and comes with a bipod mounted on the end. The bipod is not a modern design, using large thumb screws to lock it into the various positions or to unlock the extendable legs. The bipod rotates 360 degrees freely around the barrel, allowing for easy placement on uneven terrain. The legs did scratch the barrel during shipping unfortunately. The muzzle has no threading, but does have a large orange plastic tip applied over the metal muzzle.
Scratched outer barrel
Front sling mount
The iron sights are really well replicated with the rear being a flip-up design with a wide range of adjustments for windage and elevation. The front sight is a simple hooded post with no adjustability. The sight picture is really set up for precision long range shooting, but it works well enough for airsoft use.
Rear sight folded
Rear sight flipped up
Echo 1 has legally licensed trademarks through Ohio Ordnance, who does indeed manufacture the real steel M1918A3 SLR (Self Loading Rifle). The trademarks are located on top of the receiver and are laser engraved for a clean, durable finish.
Echo 1 includes two full metal hi-cap magazines with the SLR, each holding about 190 rounds. The magazine fits firmly in the receiver and feeds very well at my tested rates of fire. You can wind the magazine from the bottom or using the side winding hole and butterfly key.
Recessed feeding end
Performance after a 500 round break-in, using Airsplat .20g ammo is as follows:
High FPS: 409.7 FPS
Low FPS: 403.2 FPS
Average FPS: 404.7 FPS
Rate of fire with the included 9.6v battery was right around 15-16 rounds per second witha fresh charge. When I put a Tenergy 11.1v 20c LiPo in it, I got around 21 RPS, which was quite the boost in performance with a simple battery change.
Range and accuracy were quite good as well, given the long inner barrel, Madbull hop-up bucking, and 400+ FPS velocity. I set my torso sized target out at 165' and was able to hit it consistently using .28g Echo 1 BBs. This gun has plenty of backspin for heavy weight ammo, it just seems to run out of velocity at ranges much further than that.
Accessing the gearbox in this gun is a piece of cake. It has a tool-less takedown feature allowing you to separate the upper and lower receivers by simply removing a single body pin. With the pin underneath the cocking handle removed, you can slide the upper receiver off of the lower assembly to access the gearbox.
Lower assembly removed from upper receiver.
With this removed, you can swap out the main spring by utilizing the quick spring change feature. To remove the spring, you need to push in the spring guide slightly, and pull out the pin from the top of the gearbox. You can then remove the spring guide and spring, allowing you to swap it out for a higher or lower powered unit.
Spring guide and retainer pin shown
Easily removed for quick spring swaps
You can further remove the M240 type gearbox unit from the lower receiver by removing two phillips head screws and unplugging the wires from the motor, ensuring to mark them so you don't get it mixed up upon reassembly.
Gearbox removed from lower assembly
Once the gearbox is removed, you can open it up further to access the 8mm ball bearings, gears, polymer piston and flexible tappet plate. The gun was overgreased, especially on the spur gear, but it was well shimmed for smooth firing. The piston has a steel rack and a half tooth design, along with a ported piston head. The air-seal was pretty good, but an X-ring would greatly improve it.
Gears and ball bearings
Half rack piston
Ported piston head
Electrically, this gun comes with a standard torque, short length motor, special trigger system as well as a MOSFET. The MOSFET has a mini auto style fuse and is located in the stock.
The SLR utilizes an AK style hop-up with a Madbull bucking for improved accuracy and range. The inner barrel is 509 mm long and has a 6.06mm inner diameter. It's a standard AEG cut barrel, so upgrading it will be a piece of cake if so desired.
With a WW2 era gun like this, there really isn't anything that you're going to want to add to it, as it comes just as it would 70 years ago. You will probably want to add a period correct sling, as this is a lot of gun to lug around. Otherwise, I'm waiting for a real wood kit to come out, as that would really make this thing look awesome.
Full metal, incredibly sturdy construction
Includes two hi-cap magazines
MOSFET included for electrical reliability
Quick change spring lets you easily change your velocity
Tool-less takedown for upper and lower receivers
Includes bipod and carry handle for easy use in the field
Bipod feet will likely scratch the barrel during shipping
Faux wood finish looks decent, but real wood would really be perfect
Low magazine capacity for a support gun, however, the real gun only held 20 rounds, so I guess it's proportionate
The thing really is massive, which is correct for the gun type, but a pain in the field
I was really surprised when this thing popped up, as I hadn't heard too much about any affordable BAR replicas coming out, but I'm really happy to say that Echo 1 did a great job with it. It's big, bulky, but really sturdy and has a few awesome features inside and out. If you're a collector or WW2 skirmisher, this thing will fit the bill as a great support weapon. Let's hope that Echo 1 keeps producing awesome WW2 weapons like this!
Many thanks again to Airsplat, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!