So, Every once in a while something very new and very different comes onto the airsoft scene… In the many years I’ve been interested in Airsoft I’ve seen many different innovations hit the market, Some last… Many don’t. So when around 2 years or so ago a good friend of mine showed me some pre-production information of an innovative prototype system from an unknown Korean company which looked as though it bridged the gap between AEG and GBBR, I was hopeful but not convinced I’d ever get my hands on a working model.
It’s most airsofters dream to have the realism of a fully functional GBBR replica but with the year round reliability of an AEG, Here was a company that was looking to deliver the holy grail… GBBR functionality with AEG reliability.
I’ve covered the relentless pursuit of realism that many of us strive for in previous posts, And I’m not the only one always looking for that next step up… Its a hot topic from the safe zone to the pub, We all want to push the limits of what our replicas are capable of to the most realistic lengths possible.
PTWs offer the user with an experience akin to driving a Ferrari, With the right care and maintenance it’s a fantastic system. Pricey to be sure, But with benefits such as near instantaneous trigger response and 1/1 scale with the additional benefit of being able to use a variety of real steel components within your replica. I’ve never made the leap myself, but it has its fan base… Loyal to a fault and indeed you can appreciate why its become the pinnacle of many an airsofters aspirations, Especially after a little tweaking by one of the handful of techs skilled enough to master its complex planetary gearbox. The below one being a showcase of what is possible, Rich from The Reptile House with a very special HAO Heckler and Koch 416A5 body kit
Tokyo Marui’s Recoil Shock Series offers the user a reliable, great performer out of the box. The rumbling “Recoil” felt adds to the shooting experience, as does the “stop on empty” and bolt release functionality. A platform that was once seen as a lavish expenditure, Its now a staple of not just the Milsimmer’s armoury but also you’ll see (And hear) this being used up and down the country on a Sunday walk on… It’s the platform I’m most familiar with and it’s the basis of my go-to primary. Below, My recoil in a previous incarnation as a Mk12 Mod 1 (Early on in its build).
Gas Blow Back, the veritable king in terms of pure realism… usually 1/1 scale receivers, no gearbox or motor to worry about, Instant trigger response and full controls with every function replicated including a beefy kick with the bolt group providing a weighty kick… Often however, this is at the expense of performance, especially at lower temperatures. Personally, I use a Tokyo Marui MWS/ZET System platform… A good balance of realism and performance. The below CQBR being mine, In its current “Mil/LEO’esque” guise.
Full disclosure before we get into the meat of the review, I was kindly given the chance to borrow the GDR15 at no cost from GBLS UK with only one condition, I had to give it back in the same condition after I’d tested it.
I was given no restriction with what I could say, and under no contract or obligation to produce a positive review. There are other reviews out there, some are independent, many are not. I’m not saying this is the most accurate review out there, Indeed I’m sure its going to have points that people don’t agree with, but i’ve no obligation to the company to say anything good or bad. I’ve also got no stock I’m trying to sell and I’ve not made a purchase that I’m trying to justify to myself and others… Take from that what you will.
Nevertheless, A bold move for any business, allowing independent reviewers to critique their products prior to release. So, Being as objective as I can and having stayed firmly on the fence until this point, Let’s have a look at what they’ve made.
Mine being a retail ready sample, It came in a branded black box. Plenty of branding alongside information on the outside regarding the PTS (Professional Training & Simulation) Parts selected for this Airsoft replica. The contents of what you get are as follows:
- GDR15 Lower Receiver Assembly
- GDR15 Upper Receiver Assembly
- DAS M4 Steel STANAG 60 rnd Magazine
- Speedloader adaptor
- Hop Up Adjustment Allen Key
The contents of the box are retained by hook and loop straps and the individual parts are wrapped in bubble wrap, the top of the box is also lined with egg box foam, Nice to see that they are looking to minimise potential damage before arrival. Apart from that its pretty standard… No stickers (Would be a nice touch, My $70 Magpul stock came with a sticker as do many other high value items) and no form of muzzle protection, a bung or sock would have been a great addition. There is a manual in the firm of several sheets of A4, it’s not the worlds best instruction set but it will help you with the basics.
On to the replica itself, The GDR15 appears to take its inspiration from the civilian shooting world, with 3 gun and practical shooting being very much in vogue I can understand why to a certain extent. With USSOCOM looking at this competitive area of the firearms market for innovation and looking at COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) Solutions designed initially for civilian shooting disciplines for many of its small arms accessories, 3 gun inspired set ups are finding their way into certain military and LEO units for certain applications.
The furniture itself is a subject of much contention, many within the community would have rather seen a bare bones M4A1 than something as specific and dare I say it, as civilian as the model on offer.
My personal feeling is that a standard M4A1 Receiver minus trades with a 14.5″ barrel, Crane stock and a KAC Type RAS would have appealed more to its prospective audience, with airsoft being very much a detail oriented pastime we do like to put our own stamp on things. However there are certainly those out there who are not looking for a Mk18 clone or a perfectly recreated L119A2, For those who are just interested in Function over form, The supplied receiver and furniture will more than suffice.
I’ll not dwell too much on the stock, I’ll go as far as to say I’m not a massive fan of its aesthetic. In use though I can see why it was chosen, It’s a rugged design (As most PTS manufactured furniture is) and it allows or ample space for your LiPo pack to reside. It also has a QD (Quick Detachable) point on each side, Allowing full 360 travel for the sling loop itself.
Inside the stock a PTFE Teflon shrouded 18awg wiring loom terminating in a deans type connection sits ready for you to connect your power source, a flat blade mechanical fuse protecting the circuit from potential battery issues.
The power source itself must be an 11.1v LiPo, This was most apparent when I first connected a 7.4v lipo and nothing happened. A little un-nerving when your looking after someone else’s replica, But a short discussion with GBLS confirmed my error. In their defence It is stated in the included literature that the battery type is 11.1v, I was far too eager to start playing! GBLS UK kindly sent me out 2 LiPos to use for the test, Being a lowly TM Recoil user i generally stick to 7.4v. I’d suggest buying the biggest capacity you can fit in the stock, By all accounts it an energy hungry platform.
The pistol grip is something I am fond of, Another PTS item and one I’ve been considering for my Block 2 Recoil build… The EPG or Enhanced Polymer Grip. It’s influence is recognisably from The Magpul MOE and the BCM Gunfighter Mod 3 grip, Albeit with a slightly more AEG friendly angle and a dot grip pattern. It also confirms one of those questions that many have asked, yes it is a Marui AEG spec item… So choosing a grip for your personal requirements shouldn’t be an issue.
The rail, A Licensed PTS copy of the Centurion Arms 13″ CMR MLOK Rail… Probably the most questionable addition to the entire build, Especially for the Milsim market you’d assume this platform was aimed at. At first glance it’s incredibly hit or miss in its appeal, However in the short time I’ve been playing around with the GDR15 it’s proven to be a pretty comfortable rail and certainly to a quality you’d expect on what is marketed as a premier quality Airsoft replica.
I can see why rails of this type are becoming extremely popular with competitive shooting, The lightweight nature and modularity of this type of rail allows for a “Less is more” ethos in the end users build but with the benefit of still having accessory space where it’s needed. There’s also a QD point forward and rear on either side of the rail, all these are directionally locked, preventing the loop from rotating a full 360 degrees.
Let’s be honest, Your going to see a shitload of Mk18s and L119s being made out of this platform… The rail itself, Along with the other furniture should not be a deciding factor when investing in a new platform. Much like deciding on not buying a house because you don’t like the furniture of the current owners, You need to sometimes just look at it as a blank canvas.
The receiver, This is where it gets interesting. The design is not wholly a milspec one. The magazine well is flared with a more pronounced and less rounded lip than you’d find on a Colt or FN built AR15 lower, The front of the magazine well is also ever so slightly cambered… although it’s only noticeable if your looking for details (Which of course I certainly am). The forward and rear body pins are steel as expected, And are retained… Which again is an absolute must for this type of replica with a split body design.
The receiver thread is another point of confusion, Many believing that it’s GBBR/Milspec however I’ve been assured that the thread itself is AEG spec… A good or bad thing depending on your point of view. There is also a hidden QD point on the rear receiver plate, I’m not a fan of QD sling points so I’d leave it alone, but it’s useful to know it’s there for those who run a sling like this.
The major point of discussion is the GBLS logo and trades on each side, If your looking to create a scale replica you’d need to either source a blank receiver or have this one filled in and engraved with your required trademarks.
In a purely objective point of view the GBLS markings are neatly presented and certainly not as in your face as those found on many other replicas such as G&G or Celcius’s CTW range, They’re subtle until you have it in your hands and if you look at the product as a test of concept and the first in potentially a long line if models, it makes perfect sense to have your branding on the side of it.
Not that it should matter, But the serial number on the mag well is not unique, All the GDR15’s I’ve seen having the same G151802L1 serial… A missed opportunity I feel, Even my old VFC 416 had a unique serial number… It made it feel that little bit more special.
The upper is close enough in appearance to milspec, I certainly wouldn’t question its appearance on a mil type build. It’s devoid of markings but as a generic AR15 you’d not expect to see manufacturers stamps anyway.
The weight overall is surprisingly light and the whole thing feels slim, But I’m used to carrying around a chunky military clone complete with optic, illuminator, weaponlight and a big ass rail system designed to take a fair amount of abuse.
The lightweight and slim nature of the build is in part down to the Lightweight Centurion Arms CMR Rail in the front… A Daniel Defense rail or even a Knight’s Armament RAS would undoubtedly put the weight up, But that’s par for the course.
The weight belies the apparent strength of the replica… It’s not something I’m willing to torture test, The simple fact that if I break it I have to pay for it means that although I’m not treating this with kid gloves, I’m also not going to be diving over logs whilst it’s in my care. One thing I’d point out is that it doesn’t matter how strong you build your Airsoft gun, There’s always someone clumsy enough to break it… Time will tell as to how durable these are, But looking at the GDR15 sat in front of me, I see nothing that would indicate a potential issue.
Getting it set up, A relatively simple task… If (like me) your an old hand with GBBRs or one of those whose used to playing with a PTW you’ll be used to the semi-realistic field strip of an AR15 pattern Airsoft replica, Simply pull both body pins out to their retained open position, line up the Upper Receiver front end into place and push the front body pin back through the body. Then simply rotate the upper into position (Ensuring the BCG and charging handle are correctly positioned), A gentle push on the buffer recoil weight will help ease the BCG into battery. Then all you have to do is push the rear pin back into place.
The action itself… The real innovative feature within this replica is that it uses a proprietary cylinder and piston system contained within the BCG (Bolt Carrier Group), The benefit of this is that is allows the whole bolt to cycle rearwards into the buffer tube, This creating a noticeable recoil…
At the rearward apex of its travel, the piston is held to the rear by a mechanical sear on the trigger mech/faux hammer. The BCG is allowed to continue forwards whilst the piston is retained by the sear, In effect acting as a spring powered replica, More similar in pure function to a bolt action VSR than most other electric rifles. A massive benefit of this is a very predictable piston release, Not just in the tactile feel in the trigger but also when looking at consistency in the piston travel and therefore the volume of air within the cylinder being (In theory) more stable.
Once the trigger is pulled, the piston releases off its sear and shoots forward, propelling the BB out the barrel with almost no delay… There being no electrical power required for the firing of the chambered round, The electric gearbox being used only for the cycling of the system to effectively “pre-cock” for the next pull of the trigger.
The other key features of this system are that alongside the felt “recoil” you should in theory have an almost instantaneous trigger response, The first round being chambered by pulling the cocking/charging handle (Let’s not debate its name here 😂) to the rear. A little quirk of the platform is that being effectively an electrically cycled springer, your able to cock and fire the replica without any electrical input, Although only as a “straight pull” type action. It’s a little kick right in the nostalgic feels for me, And I’m sorely tempted to pull a few peoples legs about skirmishing with a £1600 springer.
The action of cocking the weapon is unsurprisingly quite tough, it’s certainly not backbreaking but it’s not made easy by the standard type handle adorning the GDR15 as stock (I’ve been informed that G&P GBBR type charging handles will fit… Investing in a Radian Raptor type handle will certainly be a worthy purchase.
Pulling the steel trigger, That magic moment that can separate a good experience from a great one… I’ll tell you right now, It’s unlike anything else on the Airsoft field.
A rather firm squeeze is needed to shoot this replica, More so than on a GBBR. I’ve enquired as to whether an adjustable trigger might be made available in the future, allowing for a lighter pull and a customisation of the length and reset. Nothing as yet but it’s been noted… I’m not the only one pushing back, as shown here with a monstrous trigger weight of 11lbs recorded by Pain X. To put that in perspective, the USGI M16/M4 trigger weight has a requirement to be as follows:
MIL-C-71186: 3.4.3 Triqqer Pull.
The trigger pull shall be free of creep
end shall be within the range of 5.5 to 8.5 pounds. Creep shall
be interpreted to mean any perceptible rough movement between the
time the trigger slack is taken up and the hammer is released.
After partial or complete trigger pull, the trigger shall return
to its normal forward position (cocked and uncocked) under spring
Should there be a demand for it, I’d imagine GBLS or another 3rd party will be sure to fill that gap in the market.
The steel bolt release is rather stiff, so much so that it will require you to adapt your drills, even if coming from a platform that utilises a bolt stop function. However, A firm slap with the heel of your hand will allow the bolt to slam forward with a no-nonsense thwack. Again, very different to any other Airsoft replica I’ve come across… It’a a faster return than even a TM MWS, the buffer spring being somewhat stiffer than a GBBR. This of course is in its nature, It is in essence holding a spring responsible for the entire replicas power under tension. It can (Despite my earlier doubt) be used in a manual sense, that is to say that by cocking the weapon and depressing the lower part of the release you can hold the working parts to the rear… Thanks to Aryan Alipour from Airsoft & Milsim News Blog for the spot… I just didn’t count on having to pull it back quite as hard as it needed…
The selector, not as stiff as the other controls… positive in it’s action and as good as any other replica I’ve used. I’d again have like to seen a standard Colt type selector in place, But it’s just not what the design of the GDR15 is about so i’ll move on.
The barrel is an oddity… It appears to be a 14″ length, the profile not being that of a standard M4A1. An AEG friendly 14mm CCW thread sits on the end, An orange four hole plastic birdcage sitting far too proudly on the front. I’d suggest that this is to assist with US import (I’ve since been informed that it’s due to strict export laws in South Korea, The subsequent batches will be distributed with black muzzle devices).
The magazine release is pretty much what you’d expect, a Colt type non-ambidextrous (unfortunately) release. Upon pressing, it allows the magazine to drop free of the magazine well.
So, one of the biggest selling points of this platform is the recoil… Its purported by many an excited reviewer to be “Much harder than a TM” and “On par if not more than a GBBR”, Now I can get as wrapped up in the moment as anyone… But on a par with a GBBR it is not. I’d say its a little more than the felt “Recoil” on a standard Tokyo Marui NGRS but with a slightly harsher impulse… Although its important to note that the movement is generated by the BCG being pulled back by the gearbox, Not by the force of a rapid expansion of gas (As per a firearm or to a much smaller degree a GBBR) so with that simple fact your not going to get a real kick… More of a shake.
The supplied magazine (The retail version comes with a single magazine, I was given another 3 for testing) holds in the region of 60 shots, Its comprised of a pressed steel casing, powder coated and with a GBBR type feed lip at the top. to the rear of this is a flat section with the empty magazine detection on the rear, Very similar to the Tokyo Marui design, but a firmer feel.
The dimensions are a little smaller than the Tokyo Marui GBBR and Recoil mags.. closer in size to the AEG mags seen in most replicas in the field.
I’ve had a quick look inside, Its much what you’d expect… a channel with a spring and a follower… the spring can be eased by removing the feed lips massive credit to the design team for building this as a separate component (This could be damaged should a foreign body enter the breech whilst the bolt is to the rear or if there was a feeding malfunction).
Once you’ve decided to put the magazine back together you can feed the spring back in via a loading port to the rear of the magazine. It is a little odd that the capacity is so low, There’s certainly room to accommodate a longer feed channel in The middle of the magazine. The mechanical empty indication lever is similar to the Systema design, Tokyo Marui users will also recognise this tell tale lever to the rear of the magazine.
The magazines are very light, Especially considering the steel shell. I guess due to the realistic nature of the platform I was looking at PTW/GBBR weight mags as a rough idea of what I’d be getting, But I guess like with many things, we airsofters are selective with what we want our realism to be.
The feel of the magazine is unusual, the powder coating having a rough texture that takes some getting used to… Its nice to see that they want to protect the magazines, but surely cerakote would have possibly been a more cost efficient option (and looked nice as hell) given that the receiver itself is also cerakoted.
I don’t want to come across as overly critical of the magazines, but at a suggested retail price of £42 per unit I’d say its a little steep considering the lack of R&D needed to effectively adapt an existing design with a few little tweaks. An average combat loadout of 6+1 will mean an additional spend of £252 for the average player… I didn’t spend that much on my 6 GBBR mags! Even PTS Recoil PMags don’t often hit that price point and they’re discontinued and highly sought after.
Loading the magazines is relatively simple with the aid of the supplied speed-loader adaptor, it simply push fits onto most small loaders, A 3D printed adaptor for the Odin Innovations Speedloader would be a great idea… I’m sure some bright spark with the designing knowledge will soon make one and start selling it at a suitably high price tag (I want my cut though 😉).
60 rounds doesn’t take long to fill, Its a very small capacity… Even a recoil user used to standard 82 round midcaps will have to control their ammo expenditure. A player used to 100+ capacity mags will really feel the pressure and your probably going to either adapt your loadout to carry more or adapt your play style and make those 60 shots count.
The guts of the platform, where the magic truly happens… the parts that count such as the trigger, sear and BCG rack are machined from steel. The gears are MIM (Metal Injection Moulded) Which does have certain benefits over traditional machining or investment casting, the main one being strength at a reduced cost compared to machined gears… Also without the machine stress on the metal that can be an unwanted side effect of cutting teeth.
The electrical control unit, unfortunately Non programmable. I’ve heard from a reliable source that it’s an off the shelf item with a custom loom, but I’ve not been brave/stupid enough to rip it apart to find out.
One potentially troublesome design element, Although potentially one that could be relatively simple to fix it the small cylinder volume… The apparent lack of volume is compensated by powering the piston with an overly strong spring. With this whole assembly as a self contained unit within the BCG it wouldn’t be too complex to make incremental changes to the cylinder without affecting timing or travel.
Compatibility… Another topic of much debate. This is information collated from GBLS directly;
Upper receiver thread – AEG spec
Pistol grip – AEG spec
Inner barrel – AEG spec
Hop rubber – AEG spec
Buffer tube – Their own spec but AEG/Milspec compatible
Muzzle Thread – 14mm CCW AEG spec
Cocking/Charging Handle – G&P GBBR/Milspec
Onto the guys themselves, GBLS… A simple review of the GDR15 wouldn’t really be sufficient without a look at the company itself, Especially looking at how they see their place in the market. The phrases being thrown around on the street are “TM Recoil killer” and “Battery powered GBBR” I think maybe this is misguided, You shouldn’t look at this and directly compare it to either of those platforms… Sure, there are always going to be shared ideologies and obvious parallels but it really isn’t like either system… It’s certainly not “An AEG that operates like a Gas Blowback” It’s also quite different to the PTW system, Although I’d certainly say there’s more taken from the PTW than from anything else. The price being the first logical comparison, With that in mind I felt that the buyers would want to know more about what GBLS (GBLS UK in particular) would offer in terms of future support.
So, I’ll show a brief excerpt from the ongoing chat I’ve had with GBLS UK…
Q, Aftersales support, how will you work with UK retailers and the end customer?
A, We are going to be holding stock of spare parts.
– we offer a free tech training session for all dealers in the first year.
– phone support for dealer techs
– RTB servicing through the dealers who cannot service themselves.
Awaiting roll out is:
– email support for end users.
– 12 month warranty with RTB service or DIY with replacement part of feasible. This is being done through an authorised service centre.
– Also, upgrades or mods carried out by the authorised service centre will NOT affect the warranty.
So as you can see, GBLS UK is serious about keeping their customer base supported… Only a handful of other Airsoft manufacturers offer this type of after sales support, And those retailers who work closely with distributors and manufacturers will always have loyalty to the businesses that stay in contact and offer continued support. You only have to look at ASGs business model to see that with a few feet on the ground you can keep close to the community and build rapport with not just the retailers, but their customers as well. It’s heartening to know they appear to be taking their commitment seriously, I do hope they continue to interact with the retailers and us mere mortals… There’s a lot of great ideas out there and if taken seriously by GBLS they could find the benefits are a two way thing.
I also asked about the elephant in the room… Future projects. There are certainly projects in the pipeline, I was politely told they are currently not looking to release details… I can understand that, If they started talking about their next project would it negatively impact the sales of their current launch model? possibly… But the die hard clone builders would wait anyway, no matter if they had to wait another year… Some won’t make the jump until a blank receiver or their specific replica of choice is faithfully replicated. I will say this though, It’s been noted that a large amount of people are interested in the platform, But are looking to build something a little more grounded in reality… There will certainly be models to cater for those people but you could be waiting for some time.
I’m still a massive fan of GBBR and TM Next Gen recoils and I’d have to think long and hard before spending around £2k of my hard earned to buy in to a new platform, But I will say this… Airsoft is due a shift towards realism, For too long we’ve put up with AEGs that keep firing on empty, replicas that only partially replicate the feel and controls of a firearm and replicas that put us into bad shooting habits and teach us nothing about the functionality of a firearm.
The DAS system is a noble representation of what Airsoft could be, A glimpse at a direction that many manufacturers fear to tread… but a small South Korean business with a vision of making the most realistic replica on the market has taken that leap and you know what?… They’ve done bloody well! It’s not perfect by any means, I’d love to stick an aftermarket barrel and hop in and see if the accuracy could be improved, my hunch is that with a little tweaking this could be one hell of a straight shooter. I’d really like to see this become a success but without a realistic reduction in price it’ll only ever be taken up by a select few within the Airsoft community.
I can only hope that the business continually looks to improve their platform, That they don’t go down the route of Systema and keep making the same mistakes with every new release.
Sure, It creates a market for skilled techs to work upon a platform and get them where they should be, But it shouldn’t be a market that exists… I’d wish for DBLS to combine elements of Tokyo Marui’s patience… Their ability to wait until the project is near perfect before releasing any details with their own brand of innovation and pursuit of perfection.
The only test that counts though is how it preforms on the field… For that I decided to take it to Spartan Airsoft… A site I’ve visited for many years. Well run, Marshalled and with common sense rules… One rule in particular however was something that may or may not be the cause of the below issue…
Spartan allow the use of only one brand of Ammo on site, Green Devils. The reason for this is that after various tests its the only ammo that satisfies both their landlords requirement for a “green” site and the players requirement for suitable and reliable ammo for the many PTWs and HPA users who frequent the site. Indeed both Andy from Tacbelts UK and Rich from The Reptile House are two of the sites well known PTW users… Neither of whom have anything but praise for the ammo, And I’ve personally not had an issue in the several years I’ve played there in using Green Devils in any one of several platforms.
GBLS have since come back to me with an acknowledgement that the system is a little selective on the ammo it prefers, Airsoft Surgeon, Geoff’s and G&G appear to be the ones with the best results…
Whilst zeroing the Visionking Short dot and adjusting the hop, I suffered a double feed. Probably caused by a BB becoming dislodged from the magazine whilst the bolt travelled rearwards, upon its forward journey another BB was picked up and only one of the two was fed into the chamber… This caused the gearbox to whirr in a worrying fashion… Although to its credit, the whole internal set up looks and feels bomb-proof… it simply smashed the BB into the lower portion of the BCG and the corresponding slots that the bolt lugs engage into, This in turn caused the slot for the hop adjustment to become clogged with debris.
I had to resort to clearing out a £1600 replica with a 5p safety pin as it was the only tool I could find to remove the smashed up BB..
This raised a potential area for improvement, The hop adjustment cavity needs a plate covering it… This would require a little redesign but would remove the issue for foreign bodies to become lodged inside it.
The following routine is what I’ve used upon a stoppage, rare as they might be it’s important to know what to do when something goes wrong.
- Remove Magazine
- Pull working parts to the rear
- Hold working parts rearward
- Inspect chamber
- Release working parts
- Remove battery
- Ease Springs/Fire Weapon
- Field Strip Replica
- Clean BCG and Breech
I’ve had a similar blockage in the MWS and I cleared it in seconds… The hop adjustment being high above the bolt and protected by being of a wheel design. Tricky as hell to adjust but once its fixed, You need not touch it until you change ammo weight.
The only other bit of advice I can offer is that maybe there should be a way of easing the spring without having to pull the trigger, Although this could be impossible due to the nature of Airsoft mechanics.
The general consensus from Tacbelts Andy, Cheesy_C12 and the many others who had a couple of shots downrange are virtually identical to my own, Reassuring to know I’m not alone in my thoughts.
Trigger Pull – Needs to be lighter, It also could do with being adjustable… If a VSR trigger unit with a 500fps capable spring behind it can be made feather light, so can this. Either GBLS or a 3rd party will make one, I’d suggest that in order to remain in control of their own product that they get on this without delay.
The Price – At £1600 recommended retail, Too rich for many peoples blood, Even with the generally good all-round performance… Putting down the best part of £2k is not for everyone’s budget…. GBLS may not care about the 90% of players that don’t want to pay big money for a new system, But they need to appreciate that the middle ground is probably where people will value this… Maybe more towards the TM recoil market than the PTW one. Its somewhat unfair of me to place a price on how much I’d pay for this… Its a new platform, new company, Research and Development are not cheap, Neither is machine time and the whole process of turning an idea into a tangible item. However it was mentioned by a number of people that a simple base weapon would be more in tune with how they see the progress of this platform developing… Let the end user customise their own build without the addition of unwanted furniture… If the GDR15 is successful, I guarantee a lot of Centurion Arms rails And PTS stocks will be available “Second Hand, Taken off my GRD15 from new.”
Range and Accuracy – Good, but not mind-blowing… Akin to any other well performing airsoft replica. I had the occasional fly away and it took a few hundred rounds to bed in… After a couple of thousand it has appeared to settle somewhat and become rather consistent. Hitting a frying pan at 50m wasn’t a challenge, but It was matched in this regard by my newly refurbished TM Recoil Block 2, With only a Prometheus hop rubber and an Eagle 6 M100 spring being the relevant additions to it from stock. Shots of 60+ metres were achieved both in and out of the game…. The distance on Spartan’s range being accurately measured upon its build many years ago.
The general premise – People were very much enthralled. Its obvious that there is real passion put into the design, And its shown the community that there are companies that are not afraid to step outside the comfort zone and produce something very unique, Albeit in an M4 shaped body. Everyone seemed to be positive about the platform, Indeed I had one player who I honestly believe is going to buy one after having a few shots down range… If its one less HPA player on the playground then my work here is done!
I’d like to congratulate GBLS on what they’ve done… Its maybe not the absolute beast in performance that a few “eager to please” people have said it is, But its certainly skirmish-able. It also adds that realistic bolt carrier movement to an electric platform, something that is only a thin metal plate in a TM recoil… The proverbial daddy of EBBRs. If GBLS take on board the few little points of concern that those who has used it have, They will have a well regarded and good performing platform on their hands…. The simple fact that an idea from a guy without airsoft manufacturing experience to have come away a couple of years later with a working platform, Sat in airsofters hands around the world is nothing short of amazing. A well done is most certainly in order… Even its haters (And your going to find haters in any platform) can’t deny how revolutionary this platform is compared to anything else on the market.
The big question? Would I add one to my armoury? Well I don’t like to get tied up in costs… We’ve all got a different budget and we can all find a justification to exceed our own limits. Despite my head saying “No, It doesn’t offer anything I need for the price it costs”. My heart tells me that in a moment of weakness I’d probably make sacrifices and buy one… I’d certainly like to spend more time with the platform and tinker with it to see what I can get out of it. It fascinates me and I’m eager to see businesses who innovate and take on board advice be rewarded with success. Only time will tell if GBLS will be one of these companies… I sure hope so though, I’m rooting for them.