I just received my KWA LM4 in from Airsoft GI yesterday so I figured I’d post up my initial thoughts for those who might be considering it as a purchase.
First off let me say that this is my first GBBr and I have never owned a KWA although I've heard good things mostly and have upgraded quite a few for friends. Having never owned their product before, I entered into this purchase completely unbiased. This review will be updated periodically as the LM4 is fielded and get a place to test range, durability, and longevity.
Side by Side with Systema M733-
KWA has a slightly darker shade of grey but both guns look great. Nothing to complain about here.
I do wish that KWA had gone with a stamped body and worked to get trademarks from Colt perhaps on the receiver but it's still a gorgeous gun. Upper receiver is a of two piece construction and joined at the top by the rail. It seems pretty well reinforced as the delta ring attaches like real steel as well keeping the receiver together that much better. Only seam that can be noticed is along the front of the upper receiver where it meets the delta ring. I didn't have my M16 multi-tool handy, but through the parts diagram and talking with KWA reps, the outer and inner barrels are identical to the KSC version of this gun allowing us to swap parts fairly easy as more become available.
The lower receiver is one piece and the buffer tube is screwed into the receiver like the real steel. LM4 does not come with Knights Armament RIS or Command Arms stock, however it shows that LM4 can take real steel parts.
Buffer tube spring
Pistol grip should be able to accept real steel accessories as well but some slight modding might be required. Need confirmation here...
Bolt carrier group is metal which is nice. According to Airsoft GI's comparison video, the air nozzle and various other parts in the bolt assembly have been changed and reinforced vs. the KSC non-ATF approved Asian version. Good news ;-)
Hop-up adjustment is made through the ejection port by turning the small dial with included tool. Something that may catch some off guard initially is the hop-up construction. When I first looked over the gun, I glanced at the hop-up which revealed a bucked which appeared torn down the middle. After contacting Airsoft GI is was confirmed that this is in fact the 2GX hop-up system which is designed with two separate nubs. Melt-down averted hah.
Magazine construction is spot on as well. The top inch is polymer and replaceable as one piece should it fall and break. It seems that the construction is very durable, however time will tell. Magazines hold approx. 40 rounds and I was able to get 80 rounds through one fill.
(KWA left, Systema right)
(Systema left, KWA right)
Recoil is surprisingly strong. Much more than I had expected. I used King Arms green gas exclusively during my testing. Just like the real steel, if the hammer is de-cocked in safe or semi, the safety will not move to safe until the hammer is cocked back. ASGI chrono'ed the gun prior to shipping at 370 FPS. KWA advertises 390-400 FPS however after speaking to KWA reps this is now inaccurate as parts have now changed causing a drop in FPS. As is probably known, bolt release and charging handle function as to be expected as well.
**Initial impressions conclusion**
Let me start by saying, this gun fulfills what I was looking for in airsoft when I began playing over 6 years ago. Recoil is crisp and really requires you to shoulder the weapon in order to take accurate shots which I love (No more sitting the stock on top of your shoulder if you except to hit anything). KWA has included every detail to mimic the real operation of the gun to include functionality of the forward assist in seating the bolt fully forward. I really have nothing negative to say about this gun at this point. It has met or exceeded my expectations so much that I'm considering selling my Systema and picking up a LM4C as well when it releases. It really seems as if KWA did their homework on this and although I have no experience with GBBr's prior to this, I feel like this could truly change the game.
UPDATED 22 MAY
**Initial Skirmish Report**
This weekend I was able to get out and use the LM4 for about 4-5 games. Having used a Systema up until the LM4, I'm still becoming accustomed to the magazine capacity however it's a welcome change. From a play and training aspect I enjoy the stressful reloads during firefights. During play I used exclusively green gas and Madbull .28 precision bb's.
The LM4 performed well during my skirmishes. I experienced no double feeds, chopped bb's, or jams at any time. I also didn't notice the bolt failing to lock back completely as some have reported. One huge recommendation I would make to anyone picking up an LM4 is to invest in the valve key which Allizard has mentioned for tightening the release valve. This if nothing else is great preventative maintenance for your gun. EDIT: I put approx 12 magazines through the LM4 during my skirmishes this weekend and magazines were filled to 30 rounds.
Range and Shot Consistency-
The foliage I played on was a little too thick to accurately gauge range on the LM4 but with engagements at about 100-120 feet groupings seemed very consistent. One note here is the hop-up adjustment. While I can truly appreciate the work KWA put into designing the hop-up so what it didn't detract from the overall realistic look of the LM4, the hop-up tool is a pain to get seated into the hop-up teeth. I think that it may just need some break-in time so I'll keep an eye on this and report back if it get any easier. At close distance, accuracy what dead on with my aimpoint.
I didn't have a chrono on hand but the temperature was at about 88* and we were in the woods raising the humidity slightly so if I had to guess, I'd say the LM4 was shooting at about 375-385. Ill try and confirm this, this upcoming weekend when I play again.
Another note on the magazines. Ensure you guys are checking your magazines immediately upon receiving them. Especially the two screws holding on the magazine feed lip. On one of my magazines the rear, longer screw was not threaded into the magazines. Upon closer inspection, I found that the actually hole was bored out too big and that the screw was perfectly fine. This is something I would have never caught if I didn't check my release valve. My local shop exchanged the magazine without a fuss most likely because I hadn't even taken the orange sticker off the bottom of the mag.
Full auto mag dump at end of day:
Next weekend I'll be playing a much larger game with some open fields where I will update this review. Any questions, comments, or requests please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to fulfill them. Thanks for reading.
Edited by dino325, 22 May 2012 - 08:25 PM.