Evike SOCOM-47 Challenge Kit review by Booligan
The SR47 is one of the most rare weapons both in the real world and in the airsoft world. Before, if you wanted to make a replica of your own, you had to purchase the Hurricane kit which was both hard to find and was very expensive, costing over $400-$500 normally. Well, Evike has made the process a lot easier and more affordable with their new "SOCOM 47" challenge kit. This kit is much more affordable than the old Hurricane kit and comes with pretty much everything you need to convert your M4/16 type AEG into an an AK magazine equipped hybrid. This will be a brief review, discussing the basic info on the kit, some installation tips, and some pros and cons, but for detailed installation instructions, watch my video above which follows over my shoulder as I built the kit.
The kit was sent directly to me by Evike, who has it available HERE, priced at $120.00 currently at the time of this review. Evike also sent out a G&P 8mm ball bearing equipped gearbox, located HERE, priced at $70. The kit is designed to be used in conjunction with a complete M4 or M16, so if you are planning on picking up just the kit and a gearbox, you will need to purchase an outer barrel, rail or handguard, iron sights, buffer tube and stock, pistol grip, trigger guard, as well as an AK pattern magazine.
As mentioned before, this is considered a “Challenge” kit, which means that you have to assemble everything basically from scratch. Thankfully, all of the small parts are packaged in their own individual bags making assembly pretty damn straight forward. The kit includes the upper and lower receivers, special hop-up unit (without inner barrel, bucking, and nub), pins, selector switch assembly, charging handle and faux bolt, dust cover, and magazine release assemblies.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
The kit, as well as the rest of the parts that I used in my build
The receivers are made out of metal and are quite well made, with only one real noticeable defect in my example. On the upper receiver, where the charging handle locks in place, the material was cast quite thin, causing some barely visible holes. This is purely cosmetic and is most likely isolated with my example.
Overview, left side
Overview, right side
Another little quirk with the kit is actually how tight all of the tolerances are. The charging handle is difficult to pull back and requires a slight push with returning it forward due to how tight everything is. Also, to adjust the hop-up, you need to physically pull back the faux bolt to access the adjuster which is located further back than normal.
Faux bolt pulled back
There are trademarks on both sides of the receivers that are nicely engraved. Most of the trademarks are Evike specific, and there is a unique serial number located on the left side of the magwell.
Selector switch markings
Upper receiver markings
To help you build your own, I put together a video watching over my shoulder as I built mine. That video can be found at the top of this review.
A few notes of my build process:
Assemble most of the small parts first, such as the dust cover, AK style mag release, hop-up, charging handle, faux bolt, etc. Some of these parts will require a small amount of super glue, especially the plastic guide for the faux bolt.
AK style magazine release and hop-up visible
Plan on the main body pins needing a little "motivation" to get into place firmly. This is due to the tight tolerances of the kit, especially once the gearbox is installed. I actually had to mount one of my pins in the opposite way to get it installed.
My kit included two selector assemblies, and I used the red colored one. Not sure if there's any difference between the two, but red is better, so there.
The G&P gearbox that I used in my build was, for the most part, a top notch piece of equipment. 8mm ball bearings, steel gears, and great air-seal out of the box. I had to open it up in order to convert it from front wired to rear wired, and saw that it was very well lubricated and shimmed. However, once I actually built the gun, I had some firing issues, some of which I'm still working on. Semi-auto is a little "crunchy", requiring a very stiff trigger pull. I'm not sure if something in the cutoff lever area is out of whack, but it's an issue I'm still working on. Also, the spring on the anti-reversal lever is quite weak, and the bevel gear only has two notches for it to interact with. Because of this, I would get occasional "rollback" between shots, so I swapped out that bevel gear and AR latch for different steel units, as you saw in the video.
Performance wise, it's shooting very consistently in the 360 FPS ballpark. Rate of fire with the JG motor I installed is pretty good, considering the mid-level output of the LiPo that I'm using. The new hop-up unit puts great backspin on the BB, allowing me to use heavy weight ammo with ease. I was worried about air leaks since the hop-up unit is kind of a clamshell design, but it actually has great consistency.
First really affordable SR47 option
Full metal construction
Installation is pretty straight forward if you've ever worked on an airsoft AR
Individual serial number
The included hop-up unit is very well constructed
G&P gearbox that I tested is quite consistent
Slight casting defect on my upper receiver
Tight tolerances make hop-up adjustment tricky
Some magazine wobble
My G&P gearbox required some work before use
If you're looking for an affordable way to build your own SR47 based replica, this kit really is the way to go. At $120 for the kit, you just need to add your own M4 AEG and AK type magazine and you're ready to build. The kit is well made and comes together quite easily with a minimal amount of drama. For detailed build instructions, check out my build video at the top of this review.
Many thanks again to Evike, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!