Elite Force/Umarex Pink G36C AEG Review by Booligan
Table of Contents:
Basic Gun Information
With more and more women starting to get into airsoft, more companies are starting to produce guns catered to "the fairer sex". Generally, this means the gun is going to be pink. Now, I could get into the politics of color in relation with traditional heteronormative gender roles, but today, we're just going to be looking at a pink gun. A gun whose tagline should read Hey, it can be for men too! But I digress, the pink gun we're looking at is the Umarex/Elite Force/H&K licensed G36C made by S&T (that really is quite the mouthful). This is a relatively budget oriented gun, certainly not the top tier by any stretch of the imagination, but is it skirmishable? Let's take a detailed look at it and see!
Drink of choice during this review: 5 Wives Heavenly Vodka with Cream Soda
Music: Iron & Wine Radio on Pandora
I was sent the G36C by Evike who has is available HERE MAP priced at $149.99 at the time of this review. The package also included a plethora of other guns, reviews of which you'll find on this site in short order. All of the guns arrived quickly and safely using UPS Ground, Evike's free shipping option.
Basic Gun Information:
This pink G36C is made by S&T, licensed by Umarex/Elite Force, featuring H&K trademarks. It's also not just a slapdash paint job, the whole gun is actually made of a color molded polymer. You won't be getting rid of this pink by scratching off, it's pink 4 life yo. But it's not just pink, it's also white! The thing actually contrasts fairly well, all things considered. It features a V3 metal gearbox, hi-cap magazine, and all of the normal G36C features you've come to know and love like fully ambidextrous controls, side folding stock, etc. Since it's an S&T, it comes with a quick change spring system that you can easily access in only a few seconds for fast velocity changes to fit your field's rules. Realistically, for a $150 gun, I had fairly low expectations, but this thing actually pleasantly surprised me.
The professional H&K branded packaging belies the hilarious gun held within. Only the sticker on the side with the image of the pinkness held within betrays the normally stoic black and red packaging. When you open that lid, you'll realize, hey, this thing is pink. Just so pink. But then you'll pull it out and feel it's fairly sturdy construction and nicely textured polymer body and you might just be impressed with this thing. I know I was.
Along with the gun itself, Umarex includes a basic 8.4v 1100 mAh NiMH battery, 200 Ah trickle charger (5.5 hour charge time), a wide variety of warranty paperwork, and a fairly comprehensive multi-language manual. It's nice to see a beginner gun coming with a battery, something that's been lacking a bit lately. Throw in some BBs and you can absolutely hit the field with this thing out of the box.
Weight: 5 lbs
Width: 2.75" (at handguard)
Sight Radius: 10.6"
Length of Pull: 12.8"
Externally, there's not much separating this from a normal G36C aside from the slight difference in color. I mean, squint and you're barely notice. It's made pretty much entirely out of polymer with only the handguard rails and some internal parts being made of metal. The light weight makes it a good option for younger players, but more experienced players may mistake the lightness for cheapness, because compared to most other guns, it does feel a little lacking. That being said, the overall feel is quite solid, with very little wobble aside from the outer barrel which flexes quite a bit, unfortunately.
Click on the individual thumbnails to see the full size photos
External overview, right side
Overview, left side
The stock is a side folding unit with a molded in plastic butt pad instead of the add on rubber unit found on most G36 models. It folds by pressing the large white button, swinging it to the right side of the gun, and locking it on the little nub. When folded, you can access the charging handle spring guide which can be easily removed to access the quick spring change point. A sling mount can be found on the left side of the locking plate.
Stock folded and locked to the right
Take out the bottom pin and slide this out to access the back of the gearbox
The lower receiver, if you want to call it that, consists of the grip and the selector assembly. The switch is ambidextrous and clicks satisfyingly into each setting. The trigger pull is quite nice, given the microswitch trigger system. The grip is relatively featureless but is big enough to get a comfortable grip on.
Pistol grip and selector switch
Easily manipulated selector switch on either side
The magwell can be removed like all G36 variants and locks the included magazine in very well. The magazine release is a large paddle located at the rear giving you ambidextrous capabilities here as well.
The charging handle can be pulled back to expose the hop-up adjuster. It doesn't lock back, however, you can shove the handle down inside the top of the receiver to keep it locked back fairly well. There is no blowback function or anything like that on this gun, thankfully.
Charging handle pulling back faux bolt
The handguard is a standard short G36C design with white painted metal rails installed for easy accessorization. It pops off with one pin to access the battery compartment which is fairly small, but has plenty of room for the included battery or my Tenergy LiPo. A handstop at the front keeps you from shooting your fingers off and gives you a front sling mount point.
Handguard removed, showing short wiring harness
The outer barrel is, unfortunately, plastic and threaded 14mm+ in true S&T form. Use great caution if you're planning on removing the orange tip because you'll likely break the threads.
Outer barrel threading
The top rail has plenty of space for any optic configuration you could reasonably imagine. The front sight is fixed and the rear is adjustable for windage and elevation, however, it requires tools to do so. The rear sight has the two standard G36C apertures, both of which work great for CQB. They're not the most precision sights around, but they're not designed to be!
Plenty of rail space
Since this is a Umarex gun, it has licensed H&K trademarks which consist of molded and printed markings on the left side of the receiver, a serial number that appears to be unique, and of course, the normal plethora of warning labels which are thankfully discretely molded in instead of being painted on. With the bright body color, they actually hide pretty well.
Umarex's normal warning labels
The included magazine is a white molded plastic hi-cap, holding 400 rounds and featuring the normal features you'd find on a G36 mag such as the large locking lugs on the sides and a damn near complete inability to fit in most mag pouches. It winds at the bottom, fills from the top. It locks in place better than most G36s that I've tested, and the magazine feeds very well. The gun will work with most other TM compatible magazines, and I didn't see any compatibility issues with my JG and SRC mags that I have from other guns.
Performance after a 500 round break-in, using ASG .20g ammo is as follows:
High FPS: 370.9 FPS
Low FPS: 364.6 FPS
Average FPS: 368.7 FPS
With the included 8.4v battery, I got an acceptable ROF of 14 RPS. With my tried and true Tenergy 11.1v 1000 mAh 20C LiPo pack, I saw the ROF increase to 18 RPS, a very nice jump, but still a little on the low side with this battery pack and power level. The gun sounds good while firing, no screechy or rough sounds to be heard.
Range and accuracy were, again, perfectly skirmishable for a gun of this level. I was putting .25g ASG BBs on my normal torso sized target out to 155' without issues. The hop-up is easy to access and adjust and it holds the selected position quite well. That being said, the inner barrel is quite short, and this is a CQB oriented gun, so set your expectations accordingly.
One of the things that I like about the G36 platform is the easily accessible gearbox. Pop out a few pins and you can slide the entire lower receiver out of the upper and access the V3 gearbox. Once removed, take out one pin and a few screws at the bottom of the grip and you're ready to roll!
Gearbox, right side
Gearbox, left side
The first thing you'll notice about this gearbox is that it's seriously beefy. Seriously, this thing is built like a tank with a massive amount of metal at the front of the gearbox shell. My only concern is that the metal itself looks kind of iffy, but I'm thinking the design will keep it from cracking. The shell is equipped with steel bushings that appear to be 7mm, and a small window that allows you to decompress the spring using a small tool. Combined with the quick change spring guide and this thing is an absolute breeze to take apart.
Wiring guide and selector plate
Steel bushings and window to access anti-reversal latch
Same gearbox design as the blowback models, but without the blowback function
Inside the gearbox, you'll find steel gears, a polymer piston with steel teeth and ported head, and an unported cylinder. The piston has a shaved tooth to aid with AOE and the air-seal is fairly good for a stock setup. You'll also see the microswitch trigger system and standard G36 style cantilevered trigger itself, which is a royal pain in the ass to reassemble if it pops out when you open it up. The short type motor is held in a half cage and seems to be a standard torque unit. Nothing groundbreaking here.
Well shimmed, but nastily greased steel gears
Ported cylinder head
Long G36 air nozzle
Microswitch trigger system
The hop-up unit is plastic and features an easily adjustable drum to set your desired hop-up power. The bucking is a split nub design which likely contributes to it's skirmishable accuracy. The inner barrel is anodized red and is 247mm long, standard G36C length.
Hop-up and barrel
G36 replicas may not have the external part availability of M4s, but their modular nature lends them quite well to accessorization using aftermarket parts. For maximum intimidation, it'll fit the S&T AG36 40mm launcher, however, you'll have to open up the top mounting hole a smidge to line things up. Internally, it's fitted with a V3 gearbox so upgrades or downgrades are an absolute breeze. The quick change spring system makes is very simple to adjust your velocity to fit your field and gameplay style, and is something that every gun needs.
For me, externally, we added a 14mm+ stubby can for which Mrs. Booligan lovingly crocheted a rainbow cover. For reasons. And next, my children will be helping me decorate it properly. We just can't make up our minds with a Pinkie Pie or Hello Kitty motif. What we do know is that we want this thing to scream, so we're thinking DSG setup with sub 300 FPS for CQB domination. Fear the pink.
Sub $150 licensed G36C
Pink molded body, no cheap paint job here
Includes 400 round hi-cap
Metal V3 gearbox
Quick change spring system
Adjustable rear sight
Plenty of rails for optics and accessories
Gearbox shell is well made, but the material looks a little iffy
14mm+ threaded muzzle makes muzzle accessories very limited
Plastic outer barrel
Molded in butt pad
Some seam lines to be found throughout
If you're in the market for an inexpensive, but still skirmishable G36C replica, these things are pretty hard to beat. $150 or so, and you get a decent body, metal gearbox, and skirmishable performance in either black or pink. But you want pink. I promise. It's just ridiculous enough to work. In the end of the day, we're a bunch of grown men (and women!) who are playing dress up and shooting each other with replica guns that sound like sewing machines on steroids. Let's now take things too seriously. Have a little pink in your life.
Many thanks again to Evike, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!