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Review: Black Ops M4 Diamondback Assault Rifle

Manufacturer: Black Ops AirsoftM4D-01
Package: 1x AEG, 1x 300rd hi-cap magazine, 1x manual, 1x 100rd bag of 6mm .20g BBs, 1x cleaning rod, 1x 9.6v Ni-MH 1500mah battery, 1x 120V A/C charger.
Type: Weapon
Rating: 5/5
Cost: $299.99

Word around the campfire is that Black Ops Airsoft is putting out a new premium line of products and it just so happens that yours truly got his hands on one of their new M4 AEGs! The M4 Diamondback Assault Rifle is not your average starter AEG but rather the next step. Out of the box this AEG will surprise you with it’s weight, crane stock, FPS and internal build quality… I know it surprised me! So let’s dig in, shall we?

M4D-26 M4D-25

Contents:

The contents of the box contain the usual new gun fare (cleaning/unjamming rod, hi-cap magazine, wall charger, battery, manual, warranty card) as well as the AEG itself. The Diamondback M4 weighs in at 6.1 pounds unloaded and you feel every ounce of it when shouldering it. I’m a big fan of full-metal guns and this M4 doesn’t disappoint. The battery is a 9.6v Ni-MH 1500mah nun-chuck style wired to a small Tamiya connector, nice change from the usual 8.4v Ni-MH battery we’re all use to, but seeing the FPS specs in the manual (340-380 w/.20g BBs), the bigger battery would be a must.

M4D-28 M4D-27 M4D-03 M4D-18 M4D-17 M4D-16

Externals:

The Diamondback M4’s first impression is her metal content and flip up sights, of which none disappoint. All the appropriate parts that are metal on a real M4 are metal here. Body, buffer tube, outer barrel (12″), ris rails, sights, gas block… all metal. Only the crane stock and pistol grip are plastic (just like the real McCoy) and don’t feel brittle or cheap. The crane stock is a feature that really caught my eye and allows for nun-chuck style batteries of varying size without much fuss… a welcome change from the little PEQ-box style battery housings. The flip up sights are spring loaded and give a crisp reply when opened up. The ris rails are straight as an arrow and any accessory I throw on it holds like a champ. The magazine well has the Black Ops logo on one side and “warning’ paragraph on the other. The one label that really caught my eye was the “Made in Taiwan” white lettering near the fire selector. Judging purely by this label, I’m all tingly to dig into the internals. Interesting note, the motor plate is stamped “SRC”. When you look into the magazine well, you can see the metal gearbox and full metal hop-up! See… tingly.

M4D-24 M4D-22 M4D-23 M4D-21  M4D-20 M4D-19

Shooting:

For all my tests, I used the included battery which I have very mixed feelings about. I used the included A/C charger to charge the battery just as the manual instructed which looked like all went well. When I hooked up the battery to the AEG, the AEG half-cycled then locked up. I plugged the battery into my peak charger and the AEG cycled afterwards but not for long. Maybe the battery I got was a lemon, but it just won’t hold a charge for too long.

Onto shooting though, the Diamondback out of the box shot between 370 to 377 FPS with an average of 374 FPS using .20g BBs. When I flipped the selector to auto, I got 10.51 RPS, which maths out to be 630.6 Rounds per minute. I suspect this might be higher if I had a more reliable battery, but I wanted to use the provided items for testing. Overall a very respectable FPS and rate of fire for any outdoor game. You probably would have to downgrade the spring to use the Diamondback in a CQB environment to meet their lower FPS limits.

M4D-09 M4D-10 M4D-11 M4D-13 M4D-14 M4D-15

Accuracy:

The diameter of the inner barrel is listed as 6.06mm, a nice range between the normal inner barrels (6.08mm on average) and tight-bore inner barrels (6.03-6.01mm). I only have a 50′ range to test with, I was consistently hitting 3-4″ groups within 50 feet. The full metal one-piece hop-up contributes greatly to the accuracy as well as the wishbone hop-up nub built into the hop-up arm. That’s a new one for me, but a very cool innovation.

M4D-04 M4D-05 M4D-06

Internals:

This is where I void the warranty so you don’t have to. I didn’t plan on breaking the mechbox down but I just couldn’t resist. The disassembly of the Diamondback is nothing uncommon, which is appreciated. The motor is an SRC High Torque long-type motor which was an awesome surprise. Again, I’m use to the unmarked random motors in AEGs these days so this was a pleasant surprise. The mechbox is full metal and is also stamped “SRC”. Opening the mechbox probably blew me away more than anything. I was expecting that weird yellow-white plastic everywhere, globbed with some unknown grease throughout the case. Yea, not so much. Everything was appropriately lubed. Let’s do a quick list showing what I found inside:

  • 8mm metal bearing bushings
  • Metal bearing spring guide
  • Polymer piston
  • Red metal piston head
  • Metal cylinder & cylinder head
  • Shimmed Steel gears

First… 8mm bearing bushings! Are you kidding me… that’s awesome! The spring guide upgrade is one that I seldom do on my own AEGs and to see it stock here is awesome. The metal cylinder head / cylinder along with the metal piston head had a FANTASTIC air seal, I would even call it a perfect air seal. The part that threw me for a loop was the shimmed gears. Whenever I normally buy a new gun, the first thing I do is reshim the mechbox, but not this time. It was literally shimmed the exact way I would have done it on my bench. You know me… I totally would have called Black Ops out on this if it was out of spec, but seriously… it was perfect. This mechbox, in my opinion, needs no durability or performance upgrades out of the box.

M4D-37 M4D-39 M4D-36 M4D-34 M4D-35 M4D-32 M4D-31 M4D-30 M4D-29

Pros:

  • Externals are metal & plastic where the should be
  • Crane stock battery storage
  • Adjustable metal flip-up sights
  • Full-metal hop-up
  • Upgraded mechbox
  • Field ready FPS
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • Included battery was a dud (this might be isolated to just me)

Conclusion:

What Black Ops Airsoft has put out is an AEG that all range of users can appreciate and rely on. The solid externals with upgraded internals provides a reliable tacti-cool airsoft platform that performs like a champ. I have never been a die-hard M4 fanboy but the M4 Diamondback has won me over. I highly recommend this AEG for any level of player.

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Review: Black Ops 1911 Full Metal Blow Back Pistol

Manufacturer: Black Ops Airsoft1911-01
Package: 1x pistol, 1x manual, 1x 100rd bag of 6mm .20g BBs, 1x hex key.
Type: Weapon
Rating: 5/5
Cost: $59.99

Over my many years of airsofting I’ve owned plenty of 1911’s, ranging from Western Arms to KWA but for one reason or another, I always end up selling them but this 1911 might be the exception! When I opened the package sent from the Black Ops Airsoft team and saw the 1911 staring back at me I was initially hesitant but as soon as I picked it up, it began to grow on me. Weighing in at a beefy 2.1 pounds, this monster will make sure you know it’s there when running it on the field. The gun did arrive fairly dry so I do suggest a general maintenance lubing before you head out to the field.

1911-03 1911-04

Unlike my other 1911’s, this one is CO2 powered, something we in the frozen tundra of the north need when running secondaries in the fall/winter/spring months. Utilizing the standard 12g CO2 cartridge found at most sporting good stores, finding charges for this pistol should be a breeze. If you look at the magazine with the BB channel facing you, you would load the CO2 cartridge on the right side, the only side it would fit in. Once it’s in, you would then use the provided allen wrench to screw the cartridge into place. Once seated, DO NOT REMOVE THE CARTRIDGE UNTIL IT’S SPENT. Pro-tip: screw the CO2 cartridge in as quickly as possible so no gas is accidentally vented.

1911-02 1911-07

Shooting:

Shooting the 1911 is really where this replica shines. There are 2 safeties, the grip safety (the one that the webbing between your thumb and index finger engages) and the thumb safety (the one on the right side of the frame right below the rear of the slide) to ensure accidental discharge won’t happen. As a side note, my dislike of the 1911 design is the thumb safety alone… this feature has cheated me out of a few kills and I never forgave the 1911 for it, but that’s just a personal irrational gripe. Once you load the magazine with the CO2 cartridge and feed in your 16 BBs, you are ready to throw some 6mm death!

1911-05 1911-06

The kick from the blowback is like that of a mule. I wasn’t ready for it when initially testing… I was thinking it would be like my KWA G17, but man was I wrong. A very crisp report and return to battery makes the gun feel that much more realistic. I was shooting in 59 degree weather with .20BBs and averaged about 315fps over 5 shots, the hottest being 330, lowest being 298.

1911-09 1911-08

Accuracy:

At 30′ I was getting 3″ groups consistently but beyond 30′ I started to notice a few abnormalities. At around 50′, the rounds were hopping up like crazy. At first I thought it was BB weight so I switched to .25’s and got the same results. Ah, the hop-up must be cranked up… I broke the gun down as the manual instructed, adjusted the hop in one direction and shot again. Same results. Rinse, repeat but in the other direction… same results. I then broke the 1911 down to the outer barrel / inner barrel & hop-up assemble to take a closer look. No matter which way I turned the hop-up dial, the hop-up rubber never moved. Not even an inch. I still have more testing to do but to be perfectly honest will probably leave it as-is. I use my sidearms as a back-up to my primary and if I’m shooting a pistol at over 50′, I’m looking to scare someone into cover, not being a BB-laying support platform. I didn’t knock the pistol for this oddness.

1911-11 1911-10

Let’s break it down:

Pros:

  • HEAVY full-metal design
  • Awesome gas efficiency (3 mags per CO2 cartridge!)
  • Decent accuracy at 30′
  • Functional metal lanyard loop

Cons:

  • Very dry out of the box, lube it before your 1st game.
  • Accuracy abnormalities beyond 50′
  • HEAVY full-metal design

In conclusion, I’m pleasantly surprised at what this pistol offers at this price point. She’s a heavy-weight straight shooter that kicks like a mule. What more could you want in an airsoft replica? Maybe an extra mag or two because I plan to field this guy in the very near future, giving my venerable KWA G17 a break.

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The OPSEC Airsoft Radio Show Archive

OPSEC Airsoft LogoWhile OPSEC Airsoft Radio died a few years ago, I have been getting more and more requests from folks asking for the old episodes to be posted. So once I found the external hard drive the OPSEC archive was on and took a few hours to update the MP3 tags, here we are. 128 shows have been zipped up into various files, with only episodes 25 and 48 missing. If anyone has these shows let me know and I’ll amend the appropriate zip file.. but until then, enjoy (if you can). This archive includes episodes 1 – 24, the fabled “Lost Shows” (which are horrible production quality but fun none the less) and episodes 26 – 130, the live shows. Click here to get your download on.

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Cancer Free!

In a weird post for this blog (ie, totally not airsoft related) I’d like to announce that my wife is officially cancer free! Her last set of test confirmed that she is 100% cancer free but not totally out of the woods yet. There are still plenty of meds to balance and a metric tonne (or two) of medical bills beating down our door… but I couldn’t care less about that right now. Crack open a cold one for me and mine tonight!

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The Javelin M24 Project – Part 2

Continuing with my Javelin M24 project, I placed an order with one of my local airsoft shops “Ready4Chaos” in North Tonawanda NY for the cylinder internals. While the shipment took forever and a day, at no fault of Ready4Chaos mind you, I decided to work on the accuracy portion of the M24; the hop up and inner barrel. While this sounds super easy, trust me when I say it was beastly.

The inner barrel I am using, the Madbull Black Python Inner Barrel – 6.03mm diameter, 509mm length, was about 30mm longer than the stock barrel. This meant that I would have a tiny bit of inner barrel sticking out the end of the outer barrel. To cover this up, I sourced the Falcon Snow Wolf M24 Silencer Adapter and a 40mm x 200mm Spartan Doctrine Lightweight Mock Silencer. 200mm is a bit long and a I may replace this in the future with something a little slimmer/shorter, but for now, it looks mean. The original barrel cap was a beast to get off, requiring Herculean strength and a heat gun as there was an overabundance of glue on the threads when the factory sealed it. Once off, there was a lip on the silencer adapter that would not let the inner barrel pass through. Chris from Ready4Chaos worked his magic with tiny files (and the patience of a monk) to remove the lip, letting the inner slide through. With the PDI Snow Wolf M24 Hop Up Chamber installed, Chris noticed the inner barrel wobbling around the end of the silencer adapter and had the genius idea to a a very small, thin o-ring to act as a barrel spacer. The inner barrel is rock solid with not a bit of movement. Big thanks to Chris for his help on the external components, I don’t know if I would have been able to get all that installed without his efforts.

Once the parts order arrived, we moved onto the cylinder upgrades. The stock upgrades weren’t horrible or broken. They were very clean and lightly oiled but not putting out the FPS I needed to be competitive on the field. I decided to do a complete swap of the internals at one go rather than piece it out, here’s what I dropped in:

  • King Arms Reinforced Piston for APS-2
  • Guarder Precision Piston Head for APS-2
  • Angel Custom APS-2 Ball Bearing Spring Guide (7mm and 9mm)
  • Angel Custom SP150 Spring

The install was pretty straight forward with no additional modding whatsoever. I greased the new piston head and that was pretty much about it. I did wrap Teflon tape around the cylinder head before screwing back on to the cylinder, but who doesn’t do that to spring rifles? Once reassembled, it was off to the chrono. Using Tsunami .2og bbs, I was shooting at a high of 543 FPS and a low of 538. Just a little too hot for the local fields but I can drop that with a spring mod or two. That can be round 3 of the modifications. I haven’t done any range testing yet and I don’t have my heavy-weight bbs in. With a target FPS of 500 w/.20g bbs, I’m planning on using .40s, maybe .43s but further testing will determine that.

All in all, she’s coming along nicely and I’m still on track to have her fully functional by the end of April.

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Posted in Projects