Not since I purchased the Marui Mk46 Mod.0, has any one item gathered so much attention as this simple little hinge. From the moment I posted on Instagram that mine had arrived, my inbox has been overflowing with questions about this rather unique looking device.
Being potentially the only independent reviewer of such a niche item as this, is not a responsibility I take lightly. So it’s taken longer than some of you would like to get my thoughts put down in writing, but it’s rather important that time is taken to work out all the benefits, all the negatives and come to a decision on the ultimate question: Would I buy it again? Well that’s something you’ll have to stick around until the end to find out.
Before we go any further, I’d like to point out that LAW Tactical (who make the genuine LAW Folder) have had a large amount of issues with copies of their products being used on real firearms. This WILL end in a catastrophic failure of the device and likely injury or death of the user/spectators… This copy is not designed for the pressures that accompany firearms, and will result in the user being a contender for a Darwin Award. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
If the genuine LAW Folder was able to be imported into the U.K. and actually a drop in part for my replica, I’d have seriously considered buying it. However, the Tokyo Marui ZET System is annoyingly off-spec in certain areas, meaning that in general you’re forced into using clone items.
Theft of Intellectual Property is something that continues to alienate airsoft from the main body of gun related pastimes, and I can absolutely understand the frustration of companies who spend time and money developing a product, only for it to be copied (often poorly) in China and mis-sold to unaware customers.
Perhaps… Licensing to Airsoft manufacturers is a way to avoid this, making items that are close enough to the real thing for airsofters to emulate the product, without any risk of the item being compatible or usable for real firearms. It appears to be the route that some companies are going down. PTS have released Airsoft specific items from Radian, Magpul and Unity Tactical amongst others, so what’s to say that businesses like LAW Tactical couldn’t come to a similar arrangement in the future.
The basic premise of the Folder is that it allows you to fold the buffer tube of an AR-15 type rifle to enable a more compact storage profile without removing the upper receiver. The process is tool-less and very quick, In addition to not relying on fine motor skills that are needed to quickly line up and pin together an upper and lower receiver.
OMG (Oh My Gun) are not a company that I’ve heard of before, so ordering from them was always going to be a calculated risk. But curiosity prevailed and an order was placed through Dytac (who I do trust) for one of these folders. I wouldn’t even be surprised if OMG turned out to be just a rebranding of one of the Taiwanese OEMs for replica parts… It seems that every other week another brand pops up that I’ve never heard of.
The Main Hinge Assembly (including the latch) is constructed of steel, unfortunately I couldn’t find any information on the type of steel used so I can’t comment on it’s suitability against the elements. I’ve seen no evidence of corrosion or oxidisation so far, but that’s probably also in part to its QPQ finish.
Quench – Polish – Quench (QPQ) is a type of finishing process that creates a barrier layer of oxidised material, preventing it from rusting. As a byproduct, it does darken the metal to a suitably tactical Black.
The main hinge assembly is formed into two halves, the first half that bolts to the receiver is a bracket that sits on the rear of the lower receiver, flush against receiver.
A T6 aluminium flanged collar with a threaded outer surface sits against the above bracket, screwing into the corresponding threads on the lower receiver. The flange has a quartet of slots milled out to enable it to be tightened using the included tool, although it’s easier said than done. A collar is provided for both the MWS/ZET and another for the VFC series, please note that they are not interchangeable due to the thread pitch.
A pair of Bolt Carrier Extensions (BCE) are included within the OMG set, one is 16.7mm wide for the MWS/ZET and the other being 15.5mm for the VFC. O-rings are required to ensure a snug fit to the rear of your bolt carrier group, and a dampening grommet is also provided to keep the wear down on your BCG and Buffer.
The MWS/ZET BCE is to be used with the provided MWS/ZET replacement buffer weight, it’s worth noting that the replacement weight and BCE result in an overall reduction of 43 grams on the bolt carrier’s mass, raising the possibility that you’ll encounter side effects such as an increased rate of fire, slight drop in FPS/Variations in FPS or even a slight amount of bolt carrier “bounce”.
Fitting the OMG Tactical Folder isn’t rocket science, but it’s worth having decent tools and a good work area set aside for such tasks… You won’t need much as the key installation tool comes with it, but the following are pretty much essential for the Folder’s installation.
- Barrel/Castle Nut “AR-15 wrench” tool (Laylax for MWS/NGRS). Or alternative for VFC install
- Dremel type multi-tool with metal cutting disk and grinding wheel
- Allen Keys (Metric Size M3 and M4)
- Silicone grease.
- Thread locking compound (Loctite 243 works well)
Begin by removing the buffer tube and upper receiver from your lower. Once this is done, you can look at installing the correct pitch flanged collar.
To install the flanged collar, you might need to partially disassemble the hinge by undoing this particular bolt. It might be possible to fit the flanged collar over the locking mechanism whilst depressed, but mine just wouldn’t quite fit.
Once the collar is in place, apply a small amount of thread locking compound to the receiver threads and use the supplied tool to tighten up the collar directly to the receiver.
Next, you’ll want to reattach the buffer tube to the Folder’s hinge. Simply attach this as if the folder was the receiver itself. Apply a small amount of thread locking compound to the threads to assist in keeping it secure under recoil.
Be sure to avoid over-torquing the threads when installing the Folder, Airsoft replicas are not made to the same integrity as real firearms, you risk damaging the threads by over tightening the collar or buffer tube. A small grub screw can then be tightened down on the flanged collar and keep it firmly in place.
Once the folder has been installed, check the alignment, ensuring there isn’t any unwanted slop or movement in the set up. A small amount of play is normal within the hinge itself, but it shouldn’t be enough to cause concern or affect the bolt carrier from moving freely.
If you’re fitting the system to a Tokyo Marui ZET/MWS system replica, you’ll need to modify the Bolt Carrier Group to enable it to pass over the buffer retention pin. This is simple enough to do, simply mark out and cut away the material as shown on the below picture… It took less than two minutes to complete, although perfectionists might want to have this milled off by a professional.
After the slot is cut away, fit the provided MWS specific bolt carrier weight and then fit the bolt back into the upper receiver. Once the replica is back in one piece, simply push the Bolt Carrier Extension into the rear of your BCG.
The key to fitting items that can interfere with cycling in a GBBR is constant test fitting… I test fitted the Bolt carrier before installation, I test fitted the flanged collar into the receiver, test fit test fit test fit… that way, if you encounter an issue with the install, it’s easy to isolate.
Using a mainly stock MWS, it doesn’t appear to slow down the system at all. I’m using a HAO REBCG with Marui parts and no NPAS or modifications, the cycle time appears fine, no issues and zero drop in overall performance or consistency. Operating the folder is as simple as pressing the button firmly, then pulling the stock to the side. A large ball and detent helps keep the stock in place when open, although the weight of most stocks will cause the hinged buffer to move around unless retained.
The hinge can be snapped rapidly shut, but it’s honestly worth depressing the button first as treating Airsoft replicas without respect will almost always lead to damage. Even if the folder doesn’t break, Marui receivers are not the strongest in the world and it’s certainly not a fantastic idea to impart excessive force onto the main area that prone to breaking.
One thing to be aware of is that the stock buffer on an MWS/ZET System has four channels cut into it, and there’s a chance that the buffer retaining pin will meet one of the channels and allow the buffer to spring out of the buffer tube. A minor inconvenience, but one that will make you rather careful about opening the folder.
I’ve not noticed any ill effects from using the folder, and it appears to run very smoothly. Cycling doesn’t appear to be affected, neither is the FPS, shot consistency or bolt cycling time but due to the nature of GBBRs, your experiences may vary.
The key question though, is can I recommend it? Well, I probably wouldn’t buy another one myself. not because of any particular issue, it’s just that the folder is designed to solve a problem I just don’t have. Accessories like the folder are fantastic for those who require a long gun in a short space, but I have SMGs and shotguns for that particular purpose. And when it comes to transportation, I can fit two rifles in my case without too much issue anyway.
For themed games where I want the firepower and range of my MWS but in a discrete and quick to deploy package, I can see the appeal. But aside from the obvious cool factor, I just don’t think it adds enough functionality to a build to justify the cost.
Although I might not consider buying another one for myself, I wouldn’t put people off of buying one for their own builds. It’s yet to show any signs of wear and it’s built from materials that should pass the test of time. I have only seen one example that was broken, but without having a reliable account of how it was damaged, I couldn’t say for certain whether it was operator error or a manufacturing fault. As with any airsoft item, you have to expect it’s durability to far less than a real item… Certainly when it only costs a third of the real item’s price.
Airsoft is a fashion show, and there’s no point in denying that we buy most things because of how they look. If it was just about performance, we’d all be running around with polarstars and hicappas… not tricked out glocks and very specific AR-15 variants with folding stocks.
A final note… Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test the folder on a VFC platform, but if it performs in the same way as it did in my MWS, I wouldn’t be concerned about fitment or functionality.