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As you may have already read here : https://oioiairsoft.wordpress.com/m1-carbine-king-arms-introduction-fr/ the M1 Carbine manufactured by King Arms was announced more than two years ago with the promise of a better M1 carbine. Yes yes, that’s the name of their marketing campaign, Cf below the cover photo of King Arms facebook who stayed several months.
So let’s see if we have done well to wait so long !
M1 CARBINE KING ARMS – REVIEW
Partie 1 – Externals.
It begins if you believe the previous photo with a promise, blowback-operated CO2 replica, with real wood and corresponding to the standard “ELITE” of King Arms.
So let’s take a look to an excerpt from the replica manual:
If CO2 logo and real wood pose no problem, the “ELITE” logo requires to be interested more.
So the present M1 Carbine is a semi-professional replica following the latest technology, having all the features of [a real]. Exceptional performance and quality and irresistible once hand on the grip. The main materials are nylon fiber [not too much here since the stock is announced real wood], steel and aluminum alloy 6065 CNC. Exciting, right ?
A box like all King Arms boxes, well nothing special so far.
Ah well, something particular, this label in the corner:
Do you feel the the scam made in King Arms ? Yes yes, the main material that was advertised as aluminum alloy becomes suddenly zinc alloy, so… zamac.
Aluminum is light and strong while the zinc alloy is heavy and very brittle besides being much cheaper. We put that aside for now, we’ll come back later.
When I opened the box, new surprises.
Yes yes, the manual completely crumpled but especially…
The mag who wanders out of its housing. And as the box is designed to receive the para model also, there is a vacuum and the mag had a lot of opportunities to move and unfortunately to damage the wood … Who the shop or manufacturer has not done its job properly? No idea but it’s enough to be edgy well considering the price of the gun, big hurts on the stock.
Also, like the boxes of some cheap AK47, the foam is recessed to allow a place to the cocking lever just under cardboard, ready to break at the slightest shock on the box…
Not really related to the box but the front sight and outer barrel are sanded / scratched …
Even before having stock in hand the bilan is compromise… I take this opportunity to introduce you the one who will help me to convey certain information, Ms. Underwood. Well it’s not really for nothing that I took it, Underwood, typewriter manufacturer has also made carbines M1 during the Second World War, Winchester and other arms manufacturers as Springfield Armory were not able to satisfy the request. IBM and General Motors have also produced carbines for example.
The bundle includes :
– Sanding sponge.
If at first saw the contents of the box seems standard and satisfying, well … I disagree!
To compare with Marushin (there will be a lot other comparisons in this review), except BBs and targets that are useless,
I do not see a tool to lock a CO2 cartridge in the mag,
I do not see either the hop-up adjustment tool.
Similarly there is no silica bag. You will say that I’m fussy but not really, in Hong Kong it can get very humid and here is a metal replica with potentially rusting steel and rotting wood …
However an abrasive sponge is provided to customize or how to say …“Build Your Own King Arms M1 Carbine !”(sic)
NB : A short video on the use of this sponge to give a “battle damaged” effect to your replica.
Do not overdo it if you want a realistic thing, the weapons during their use hadn’t all of their parts worn ;)
For my part I don’t take care on this.
The first thing we can see is its similarity to the Marushin model, as expected. I do not have my Marushin rifle anymore but I kept many photos from mags and I think I can say 99.9% certainty that they are intercompatible. They are not identical and vary in shape and color of the cap, an additional cavity under the Marushin mag and a different finish, painted black with Marushin 1st versions, very… paint appearance
Different treatment in King Arms, maybe painting but it has also a metallic sheen, enough to make metal appearance and ask whether it is not rather a kind of bronzing. Very well anyway!
The King Arms “cap” receives the same treatment, thus correcting the appearance very… “airsoft” of Marushin model with bare aluminum, silver.
It therefore works with standard 12g CO2 cartridges, the choice of this type of propulsion can be criticized compared to gas but it’s probably for ease it was made, just copy the Marushin mag rather than full redraw.
Full metal, including lips, it seems strong and is rather heavy, 530g without capsules or BBs. Suffice to say that it is better to avoid dropping it on a hard floor.
Brass valve with a pin that does not seem steel (at least my magnet, weakly attracted by the spike, probably more by the spring in the valve, rather go stick on 1cm pin below) which could be regrettable if that’s the case. It’s not compatible with any spare valve on the market.
No leak on my mag. At the time the 3 Marushin mags that I tested, none was leaking. It is rather a reliable mag, not like CO2 mags for KJW 1911…
It only takes a maximum of 15 BBs. King Arms did not think to improve its capacity, which updates the changes that I made on my Marushin mags : https://oioiairsoft.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/m1-week-day-1/
Simple and relatively fast change that increases capacity to 21 BBs per charger but vitally requires to empty mags after games to avoid the risk of premature wear of the ball rebound spring (already weak at Marushin, more strong in King Arms in my impressions).
No slide stop mechanism… Why, oh why King Arms? It’s just essential especially when you claims making a replica “full feature”…
A mag with dimensions that do not allow make it fit in a M1 pouch, at least put it through with your lips out and force a lot… No possible reproaches to King Arms, this is inherent in the used technology, the GBBR mag has lips that the RS mag hasn’t, it is also wider to accommodate for CO2 sparclette.
Currently no spare mags available, but it should happen one day. King Arms is not known for quick availability of spare mags after a replica release (like their VSS, VAL etc…), that day will come but when ?
No tool found in the bundle to lock the CO2 cartridges although there is the two holes into the plug for the pins of the Marushin tool. We will console with the use of a large screwdriver (at least 8mm), very large or at long-term you will really damage the cap because the slot is very shallow and you will skid sooner or later. A shame as the appropriate tool costs nothing to produce … tightfisted at King Arms! Maybe they will add it on the next series.
No central hole in the plug which would allow the use of gas sparclettes (cf. below). (Gray thumb because red would be wicked since no airsoft manufacturer to my knowledge has brought this improvement in its CO2 mags.)
NB3 :When you have leakage problems on a CO2 magazine you become nervousness and waste capsule(s). Unless you own gas cartridges as in the photo below showing a lambda CO2 cartridge and a gas cartridge produced by PPS. (Caution wink in the picture)
These small things I mentioned here https://oioiairsoft.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/1607/ allow to test for leaks before you waste a CO2 capsule that will be lost if the leak persists.
But for use in a CO2 magazine not designed for, it is necessary to drill the mag cap in its center to let the nozzle of a gas tank, a change rather easy. By cons don’t dream (unless… Cf below), you will not turn your replica to green gas in this way, the autonomy of such a capsule is very small because of low capacity.
Here are found in France : http://www.airsoft-entrepot.fr/consommables/gaz/pps-shs-cartouche-de-co2-remplissable.html
And here in Hong Kong, for example : http://www.khmountain.com/airsoft/product_info.php?products_id=4643
NB4 :Marushin released long after CO2 release a mag with the same dimensions but adapted to contain gas. Go unnoticed at the time (except for Guillaume, thank you for the info;)) and now out of stock, it can be a compromise for those who do not like CO2.
I will not discuss in this chapter the type of metal used which will be the subject of a subsequent description as there are probably deception.
We go out into the real heart of the matter regarding the appearance of the replica. Concretely there are quite a few metal parts on a M1 carbine, at least not as much as .30 caliber on a course or on a Thompson, making it a light and maneuverable weapon, for which it was designed finally. The King Arms replica is no exception to this description and from an aesthetic point of view the achievement was neat.
Except on the left side of the deck plate, one notes no blatant casting trace, not even on the front sight while the prototype showed two large.
The surfaces are flat, non-embossed and well defined edges (but not ultra sharp) rather than rounded, two criteria that distinguish this carbine from many cheap replicas.
The treatment applied to the metal parts is the best I’ve seen so far (my top remaining aspect was the Lee Enfield Matrix / Iron airsoft – 1911A1 Inokatsu out of competition due to the use of steel). This looks very much like bronzing but I can not say more because not expert in the field of bronzing types.
Some small bluish spots decrease finish quality but they appear only from certain angles and brightness. A great success from King Arms, if I’m not mistaken it’s their first oldschool replica with such treatment rather than a painting. A little more work on process control and and it will be perfect !
The cocking lever has a significant play so it makes a lot of noise when you shake the replica.
Model with bayonet lug that won’t delight purists of the second world war. It is true that King Arms could have reproduced a rifle without this lug, most representative of this period.
The first version of the M1 was equipped with not really adjustable sights, fixed front sight and rocking rear sight (2positions). This is the one that conforms if one attaches any importance to the majority of theaters of operations of the second World War.
King Arms preferred to reproduce the second version of the rifle, with sights similar to those of its big brother, the M1 Garand ; aiming through an eyepiece, adjustable horizontally and vertically, towards a fixed front sight protected by two lips. So if the bayonet lug was relatively absurd to replicate, for rear sight, their choice is defensible. Indeed – and I’m glad – having adjustable sights is a serious plus, who has never had a replica (hand guns essentially) with poorly calibrated fixed sights and therefore not usable comfortably.
And so if we say that adjustable sights is an interesting contribution, it is normal that KA reproduced the bayonet lug in order not to make an “hybrid” model that would have made grumble more than one ! So it’s and endless circle, here is just my hypothesis among others on why there is no true M1 carbine in airsoft. Stop brainstorming, a carbine with adjustable sights is a very good choice King Arms ! So I give you a green thumb for having decided and not falling into an absurd fault.
BUT THEN, WHY DIDN’T YOU REPLICATE IT PROPERLY ????
King Arms was very poor on the issue. In fact, I do not think they have thought not even a single second of their iron sights (you can even wonder if they were aware of the rocking sight of the first model … ). The rear sight is indeed pretty and announced as adjustable, the famous “Metal Adjustable Rear Sight.”
Lies! Finally a bit adjustable but only half. The horizontal adjustment is functional but the vertical one is purely fake, everything is cast in the same zinc alloy block instead of having an eye hole mounted in its rail with a small spring and a ball for locking it in one of the four positions corresponding to the weapon 50, 75, 100 and 250m. Note that my cheap spring M1 carbine which is nearly 7 times cheaper has a fully adjustable rear sight.
It is true that we rarely shoot beyond 50 meters in airsoft but adjustment still allows to adjust our sight to a path with hop-up or just getting a closer ajustment to our fire. So now if I tell you that the sight is attached at the 250 meters position ? Well it means that in theory we will clearly shoot above our target if it is distant or small. We’ll see shots of the tests but then there is reason to be pessimistic.
No, there, frankly, King Arms, fat red card!
The rear sight remains pretty, with the same surface treatment as the other metal parts of the replica (but I can not decently put a green thumb for that).
The front sight has nothing special, metal and molded well, it rotates around the barrel and has a small Allen screw to remove or readjust it properly.
NB5 : Small transgression for those who would put an RS sight, I do not have accurate information because I don’t own one but here are the dimensions.
If you have an RS sight, do not hesitate to share the information, I will update the review.
Clean, deep enough and well integrated in the surface treatment of metal parts.
Realistic !!! Good point, first M1 carbine with realistic markings.
At the front of the receiver : U.S.CARBINE CAL .30 M1 > Conform to RS.
At the rear, under the sight, STD PRO 2014XXX >
Replace XXX with a serial number.
Unique serial number for each replica.
Little aside on marking PRO STD corresponding to the gun manufacturer, so the replica is marked as made by “Standard Products Company.”
It’s not the one I prefer given the other markings that could have been made, I would have loved an UNDERWOOD but no matter, it’s realistic and we will not complain, the choice of King Arms had to be conditioned by obtaining a license. Here manufacturers and their stamps :
Source : ar15.com
Sling mounts, outer barrel and bayonet lug.
The front sling mount is fully made of steel and therefore strong enough to hang in there a sling without much fear for his replica. It has just the right size to receive his 1″ sling so approximately 2.5cm wide.
The outer barrel is not steel, it is a shame because the strength gain would have been huge for not too expensive. Fortunately, given its low weight, I bet on aluminum and not of zamac. Relatively strong and light, it may be no worse.
It could be compatible since King Arms have shown its prototype gun with bayonet at the IWA (thank you Huscarl for the info;)). It remains to see if they had “hacked” just for the IWA or if they really made this compatibility effort.
It appears that the essence used here to make the wooden parts of the replica is beech but it remains to be confirmed (thank you Yannourugby for the info;)), the fact remains that the impression is pretty good!
Wood is manufactured very well, it does not peel, sanded well … very well machined!
Pressing my fingernail into it, it leaves hardly a trace, it is a rather dense wood and therefore solid seemingly !
Not only they applied a tint of the best effect, King Arms has added in some places a layer under the dye of a dark product. The result is an uneven wood, darker particularly in the handle and in a few other places, it really is of the most beautiful effect ! And even if it is a hasty and involuntary application of dye, we finally have something approaching perfection in my eyes.
I hesitated between gray and red thumb because despite a perfect adjustment of parts in this picture too, I have to mention again the problem mentioned above disastrously protection of the replica that makes this timber jewel can arrive at home injured.
Congratulations to the brave 1% of readers who have arrived so far by reading all, more soon with description and pictures of the internals and operation.