A&K and CA I've found are about just as brittle as one another. The only CA pattern M249's I've seen without stuff broken off were the ones I've seen BNIB
However the A&K box mags are way more reliable, pretty sure you can put a large battery in the box mag (if you get a PARA stock). But uses the same totally useless and overrated PGC mechbox who's only saving grace is the quick changing spring.
Also, every CA, echo1 and A&K M249 I've worked on was 3 months to a year old and had hop chamber issues. Things not lining up, misfeeding, jamming, and 50-150fps compression loss. The hop chamber is definitely worth upgrading.
But incase you want an LMG for more than 3 years, G&P is definitely the way to go.
-The externals are tough as nails.
-You can run fast, trip, and land on your box mag at least twice without breaking it.
-It uses direct box-receiver feed, so no mags, but no clumsy/unreliable feeder tube. -The boxes feed mechanism is generally paddle switch controlled on/off, some new boxes have useless electronic boards for pressure feeding, I cut it out and use direct on/off feed.
-9.6v large NiMH battery capacity in the 2500 round box mags
-Uses tried, tested, proven, and reliable AUG hopup chamber
-Has V2 mechbox built to perfect TM spec
Mines fully upgraded. After 4 years I've gone through one piston (my own fault), 3 hop rubbers, one box mag motor (I've got it wired to an 11.1v LiPo), and over 150,000 rounds.
Any op I go to, my G&P M249 is my primary and single most reliable AEG I've ever had.
Last edited by ThunderCactus; December 23rd, 2011 at 00:23..