Magic Box Miracle TOT Inner Barrel review by Booligan
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Inner Barrel Details
New products promising miraculous improvements to your performance are frequently introduced in the airsoft world, and generally, they're proven to be bunk. Whenever I see a product that touts incredible claims of improved performance, I always view it with a heavy dose of skepticism until I can get it on my test bench and see what it can actually do. This new barrel, called appropriately enough, the “Miracle” barrel was no exception to this rule, so when I was contacted by Airsoft GI to and asked if I was interested in testing it out, I was eager to get my hands on it. Will this barrel offer miraculous improvements to your AEG, or is it just another bit of marketing hype? Keep reading to find out!
Airsoft GI recently started carrying the line of Magic Box Miracle TOT Inner Barrels in a variety of lengths ranging from 300-590mm with most of the popular lengths in between. The barrels are pretty pricey, coming in at $70 each, irrespective of the length. This price is the hardest part to swallow about these barrels, as they are currently the most expensive inner barrels listed on Airsoft GI's website. This puts it higher than Prometheus, PDI, Systema, etc. The barrel that I'm testing is available HERE. The barrel was shipped out via USPS Priority Mail in a triangular package which kept it safe during shipping. I received it 2 days after it was shipped out, safe and sound without any damage.
The Miracle Barrel is an interesting design in that it doesn't have a crazy tight bore or anything like that, which is a departure from standard barrel theories. It has a relatively wide bore, 6.06mm, which may or may not be tighter than the barrel that your gun comes with from the factory. It also veers away from exotic materials in its construction, being made out of good old brass. Where it differs from other designs is that it features a small hardened steel “BB track” at the bottom of the barrel, directly opposite the hop-up window. This BB track holds the BB perfectly centered in the barrel, providing very consistent engagement against the hop-up bucking. This consistency, in theory, is what gives this barrel its performance benefits.
The Miracle Barrel comes in a retail ready hangable package with a cardboard backing. It comes complete with a bunch of information about the barrel itself, its purported benefits, and information about the company itself. I was really pleased with the apparent quality of the barrel, as it looked very well manufactured with no visible defects, rough machine work, or other flaws.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
Inner Barrel Details:
The barrel that I am reviewing today is the 433mm version. It has multiple cuts to allow use in a variety of gun platforms, and is listed as being BAR10/VSR10 and AK length. The barrel is straight, easily passing my highly scientific “roll it down a hill to see if it does anything weird” test. My digital calipers are pretty inaccurate at levels this precise, so inner diameter testing is relatively moot with them. I'd measure the same spot and get between 6.05 and 6.07mm ID, which I blame pretty much entirely on the calipers. They're just not very precise.
Starting at the hop-up window, you'll notice that it is slightly longer than on other inner barrels. If you look past the hop-up window, you can see the steel BB track which is located directly opposite the window. The track appears to be very well manufactured and is attached to the brass portion of the barrel very solidly. The two small protrusions on the track rise up into the inner bore of the barrel, allowing them to hold the BB firmly against the hop-up bucking. You will also notice the small O-ring which replaces the brass ring that normally centers the barrel inside the hop-up unit.
Backside of BB track
At the opposite side of things, you'll see the nicely crowned muzzle as well as two machined grooves near the end of the barrel. I believe these grooves can be used with an O-ring to help center it in the outer barrel, but no additional O-rings are included in the package. The muzzle is free from machining marks which could affect accuracy.
Overall, the barrel looks and feels very well made, but all that is useless if it doesn't perform well. Let's go through the proper installation procedure and see how it shoots!
In order to test the barrel, I needed to find a gun in which to test it in. I decided to throw it in my WE M4 AEG which has been a bit of a test mule for a variety of parts. Since my last test of it, I had downgraded it 350 FPS with .20g ammo, to make it able to be used both in CQB and in longer range games. It is fitted with a stock 6.08mm bore 407mm long inner barrel, so this barrel will be slightly longer than the stock unit.
Installation is simple, like any other inner barrel. The only thing you really need to make sure of is that the barrel is perfectly centered in the hop-up unit, which is something you should do with any barrel to be honest. The O-ring is very snug inside the hop-up unit which helps seal everything up and keep the barrel secure inside the unit.
Now that the barrel is installed, we can measure the performance. Here are some before and after stats, with testing done using .25g Airsoft Elite BBs.:
High FPS: 330.4
Low FPS: 325.7
Average FPS: 328.7
Magic Box barrel:
High FPS: 346.0
Low FPS: 341.8
Average FPS: 343.3
There is a slight FPS bump using the Miracle Barrel, right about 15 FPS on average. The slight bump is most likely due to the tighter bore over the stock barrel. Consistency stayed about the same between the two barrels, only suffering from a +-2.5 FPS from shot to shot with either barrel.
Accuracy is what this barrel is all about, so I set up an 8x11” target at 95', took a prone firing position supported by a bipod. I adjusted the hop-up with each barrel and did two 10 shot tests per barrel, one on semi-auto and one on full auto using a burst chip to keep it to an even 10 rounds. The testing was done with .25g Airsoft Elite ammo, and aiming was done with the above shown 1-4x28 long eye relief scope. Results are as follows:
Stock barrel – Test 1
Miracle barrel – Test 1
As you can see, my groups did tighten up quite a bit with the Miracle barrel, but I still did suffer from the occasional flier. I imagine that if I upgraded the hop-up bucking at the same time as the barrel, as most people do, I would see even better results, however, today, we're just looking at the barrel. Full auto testing is below:
Stock barrel – Test 2
Miracle barrel – Test 2
Even on full auto, firing about 24 RPS using an 11.1v LiPo battery, I didn't see any real change in performance with either barrel vs. my semi-auto testing.
Range is another story. Using my standard torso sized target placed out to 150', I was able to get hits on target with the stock barrel only 8 out of 10 shots. With the miracle barrel, this was an easy 10 out of 10 shots. I stretched the range out to 160', and saw my shot percentage drop to 7/10 with the stock barrel, however I still shot 10/10 with the Miracle barrel. At 170', I barely got 5/10 hits on target with the stock barrel and I finally got my first misses, only shooting 8/10 with the Miracle barrel. Beyond this point, my accuracy dropped substantially with both barrels, as I was basically unable to get any sort of consistent hits with the stock barrel at 180' since my shots required a lot of overhopping to even reach out that far. With the Miracle barrel, the trajectory was much flatter, but still, the low velocity caught up to me and I only got 5 hits on target. The shots simply ran out of steam at this range, even with the upgraded barrel, and started falling short.
Improved accuracy at all tested ranges
Steady 15 FPS velocity improvement
Usable range increased by 20-30 feet
Easy installation, basically anyone can do it
Very well manufactured barrel, clean machine work and decent materials used
Expensive - $70
Similar results can be achieved with less expensive barrel/hop-up combos
Limited lengths options, nothing too short or too long available
I poured water through the barrel, and it did not turn into wine. I wish it was more miraculous.
The Miracle Barrel promises increased velocity, improved accuracy, and longer range over your stock barrel. My testing showed increased velocity, improved accuracy, and longer range over the stock barrel. So, the Miracle Barrel does what it says on the box, so to speak. The big question here is whether it gives you $70 worth of improvement, and that's a little bit more of a gray area. Can I get similar, or even better results using a Prometheus barrel and upgraded bucking at a same or slightly lower price? Yes, but I was quite impressed with the results that I got without even changing the bucking and with a bare minimum of tuning between tests. As a drop-in upgrade, it does a great job. The barrel works and does what it is supposed to do, I just wish it was a little bit less expensive to make it really competitive on the market.
Many thanks again to Airsoft GI, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!