Please note that this is a BETA review. More and more information will be added when found.
The Well G22 gaz rifle is not a real rifle from the start. Various rumors and hypothesis where made regarding the designation "G-22".
Infact, it is simply the 22nd rifle made by Well. That is all. A fun fact is that the L96 is designated G22 in Germany. However, the stock design is the one of the "normal" L96.
The Well G22 rifle is apparently a clone of the "shotgun" stock made by Laylax for the Maruzen APS-2. The shotgun components are not present and cannot be retrofitted without extensive work. You have to like the look of the gun first, as it is even MORE "exotic" than his spring brother (the L96) with it's "Z" shaped stock.
This rifle is based off the Well L96, boasting the same bolt/barrel group design. The only difference in between both is that one has a gaz bolt, while the other has a spring bolt. If this is your first sniper rifle, or if you don't feel confident about repairing/modifying a gas system, this rifle is not for you. The unit I have received would not hold gas properly, and needed a good cleaning/relubing. Some o-rings had to be changed too.
Since the Well L96/G22 are exact copies of the Maruzen APS-2 Type 96, all the upgrades and the magasines will cross-fit both. It is a nice feature, as the stock rifle NEEDS some basic upgrades, more on that later.
I bought the rifle from a member here on the forums, brand new, never fired, for 300$. You can get similar pricing from Shootsoft.ca.
I had a nice arrangement with the seller, he came to see me at work to deposit the rifle. Damn that was a long day...
The box is a plain brown cardboard box, with a sticker in the center only stating Well G22. The underside and interior is made of styrofoam, like most other Airsoft boxes around. Anyways, who cares about the look of the box, since we have to rebuild it upside down to bring them to evens incognito.
The box contains the rifle unassembled. The stock, the upper receiver with the barrel attached, the magasine, some allen keys (for assembly, size 5mm and 1.5mm) and a dirt cheap sling. The sling is known to break within the 5 first minutes of usage, so I will not use it.
The stock finish is quite nice. Some molding lines are apparent, and the joint between both halfs of the body is quite sharp and not perfectly closed/lined. The empty magasine lever is assembled upside-down (the spring is on the wrong side, so it is alway in "empty" mode). No a big issue, but these guns are always like that. There seems to be a loose piece in the stock, maybe a screw of something (and is it not the assembly screws). The stock is also more plasic than the Maruzen. It is not shiny, but not flat. Like some wall paint I would say.
The buttplate is rubber, with some kind of paint/finish over it. The "finish" wears-off as soon as you touch it. It looks better without it anyways. It is not adjustable in draw, but you could install the adjustable stock kit made for the LayLax shotgun stock (retailling at 200$ at uncompany).
The finish on the upper receiver, bolt carrier and bolt handle is some kind of thick epoxy based paint. There is some imperfections here and there, and a little hit on the paint makes it flake. Not the best quality if you ask me.
The magasine is exacly the same as the Well L96's one. Clone of the Maruzen, only the letterings are missing. External dimensions are quite close, the Well magasine is about 0.5mm longer. The lower is some sort of pot metal, but exactly the same as the Maruzen counterpart. Finish is very good on this.
The outerbarrel is lighter than the Maruzen one, but does not seem to be easier to bend of of shape. The barrel end is screwed just like the Maruzen rifle. It is not perfectly round however, and will go past the OD of the barrel by about 0.5mm. It is very loose and I had to use tread lock to keep it in place (tightening as much as possible with hands, 5 shots and it is still loose).
The inner hole a is bit offset to the inner hole (where the inner barrel is held). It is not a big issue, since I am oversizing it to let the new inner go through.
Finish is the same as the barrel. Looks like some sort of anodising process. It is however very thin and prone to scratches, unlike the Maruzen finish.
The trigger box is the same as a Maruzen L96 trigger. The ABS plastic of the exterior is not as "nylonish" as the Maruzen's. It might be prone to wear on the inside, where cross-pins are held.
Assembly is a breeze. You simply have to drop the upper in the stock. Please note that it won't go in completely right away. Then use the 5mm allen key to screw the mounting screws. They are already in the stock, and are aligned with the hole just behing the mag well, and behind the trigger. The hole in front of the trigger is just to allow the spring catch to clear when using a LayLax one (they copied their stock... not usefull in our case). You have to screw one of the two screws about 2 turns, then you can completely screw the other and finish the first. DO NOT screw one completely then go to the other. It WILL NOT WORK. Plus, you will damage the stock.
There was no scope that came with it, so I had ordered an Accushot medium scope mount in 25mm. I already have a Bushnell 3-9x40mm scope that I like lot. I installed it and found that the top rail was loose. Just a mather of 15 seconds, but it made me disassemble the gun to check for other loose screw.
I opened the stock too in order to find what made the noise (and to remove one of the steel blocks that was added for weight). The stock is held by several cross screws, and some pins here and there that are pressure fit. I don't recommend opening the gun for fun, as the pins will tear the plastic over time. You should also clean the outerbarrel and bolt, because a HUGE amount of yellow grease was applied there. This is not needed, as there is a nylon ring in the upper that prevent the bolt from grinding on the receiver.
Be carefull when you remove the outerbarrel. There is a little 1.5mm set screw that keeps the barrel centered. If you do not remove this, you will destroy the treads of the outerbarrel (I know, I did damage some). The outerbarrel material is soft enought that it feels like it is just screwed in tight or the receiver is taper. When you remove that screw, you will see that the barrel is actually VERY loose. I added some teflon tape before re-assembly to fill this loose. Worked very well.
Now start the bad part. The ratling noise was actually one of the rear stock "stand-off" for the cross screws. I replaced the piece and applied some steel epoxy on the joint. I also added some around the base of the opposite stand-off, and on the others that looked like they where supporting some stress. There is 4 points that are important to reinforce. The two at the rear, on each side of the cheek adjustment screw, and the two in middle, front and rear of the trigger.
The ones at rear hold the pressure of the cheek piece's adjusment screw, and the two at front hold the upper reciever (via two plastic blocks and the two 5mm allens).
There problems solved, time for a little shooting.
I tried to fill the gaz bolt. You have to pull it to be able to acces the fill valve. There, I found that the bolt carrier screw (the one at rear that hold the whole carrier assembly) was loose. Again here, there is a 1.5mm allen screw securing the screw in place. The material of the carrier screw is sooooooo soft. I unscrewed it without even noticing the set screw. That made me replace it with a 6mm mecanic bolt. Hard to find, but I got one at my hardware store. I decided to change it because as you can see, there is a hole in it for the cocked indication (that is not present). This is prone to break, since this screw holds all the pressure when cocking.
Propane adapter, I push the bottle against the valve for half a second and get a spray of propane all around the valve. A second try shown that it is the o-ring around the valve screw that is cut in half. It is about 4mm OD and 2.5mm ID when removed. I found one again at the hardware store. You will have to ask the clerc for it, in my place it was in a little metal box behind a stock of toilet reservoir. 39 cent each... I'll take 3 just in case.
I replace and soak the o-ring and the inside of the valve with silicon oil. Filling was completed succesfully. It took about 3-4 seconds to fill. And I found that if you hold the gun pointed up, it will only fill a little fraction of the gun. point the gun down, with the valve as up as possible (with the gun down, hard to explain). Dry fire release an impressive cloud of gas at the muzzle of the gun. Probably means that the release valve is letting WAY too much gaz flow. I load a fresh magasine and proceed to empty it. At the 13th BB, "poffffut" and the BB roll out of the barrel. Re-cock and there is no gaz left. Very poor performance so far. It might be related to the o-rings. If the internal o-rings are in a condition as bad as the one on the valve, it is a big possiblity. I don't have the tools to disassemble the bolt completely, so it will be left aside for now.
I have not enought room to test for range/accuracy. I also don't have a chrony, so I only have the poor man's FPS test.
The .20bb I used blasted through the bottom of the can, and did a big dent in the top in front. Very big dent, but not quite enough to go through (the metal splitted, but not enought to let the bb pass). So far, the only other rifle that did this to a can was my late Maruzen L96. It was one chronied at 575 fps. That give a good idea of the power of this gun STOCK.
Now starts the fun part!
I have ordered over 600$ in parts from HK.
PDI lv.3 HD cylinder set, including a steel cylinder, steel 9mm spring guide and a 3 piece HD piston. This piston does not have a lipped head like others I have seen before. It have an alluminium head, with a o-ring inserted in the middle (to dampen the impact probably) and a thin lip ring around the head. There is also a large and thick o-ring on the cylinder head and at the end of the tread to seal it properly.
PDI L96 hop-up chamber. This allows you to install a standard AEG innerbarrel instead of the L96 one. It is a very good upgrade I recommend to EVERYONE, since the cost of a tightbore for this gun is 120$+, compared to 50-80$ for an AEG barrel. The stock chamber is also EXTREMELY leaky. You can fix it by wraping some teflon tape over the rubber and on the innerbarrel, but it is a fix that is not 100% guarantied to work. It also have 2 adjustment levers for a precise left-right adjustement on top of the backspin.
LayLax 120%, 150%, 210% springs for L96. Springs, need to say more?
Prometheus red hop-up rubber. This rubber has proven to be working very well in my late Maruzen L96. It is expensive (around 13$ each from HK) but if you want GREAT rubbers, these are worth it. The bucking that comes with it is useless, but can be kept for an AEG if you have one. It work better than the stock one most of the time because it is a bit more rigid.
DeepFire SS 6.04 tightbore barrel. I bought this barrel from airsoftpart.ca, along with a Madbull propane adapter. It costed my 55$ and I took one in 6.04 because the 6.02 was out of stock. Lenght is 509mm, made for M16. The perfect lenght would be 500-502, but the only barrel is for the M14. You can use this, but made sure to align the barrel perfectly before tightening the two side screws of the PDI hop-up. The flat spots on the side are not at the same place and the set screws will just hold on the outside of the barrel instead. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT PERFORMANCE. I used a stock M14 barrel in my late Maruzen L96.
Accushot 25mm medium scope mount. This is a nice, cheap scope mount. It is a one piece, two rings setup, very similar to the Maruzen scope mount. I chose the medium height because I read that the scope would get in the way of the gas fill valve. With this one, a BLUE propane bottle (the one for welding) barely clears the scope. The inside of the rings are covered with some rubber material to help keeping the scope in place (and are very effective at it).
LayLax 7-9mm steel spring guide. The 120% and 130% springs are 7mm, so I needed that part to use my 450 fps spring. Comes with both 7 and 9mm rods that are screwed to the base. Use some treadlock, as shooting 10-15 shots will have it unscrew almost completely.
Installing the parts is easy as pie, not like working in an AEG mechbox. If you are able to assemble/disassemble the gun like it was in the box, you are good to go. Well, almost.
First is the bolt.
It comes disassembled in 4 pieces, cylinder, cylinder head, piston and spring guide. Insert the spring guide (or the LayLax one in my case). Then insert the spring and place the piston over it. I recommend you ti have a small screw driver to help you. The piston's lip is very tight against the cylinder walls. You will have to push it gently, and hold it in the slot for the trigger with a screw driver. There is 4 holes in this one, you just have to insert the screw driver in one of them. Then push the piston softly a few millimeters, and let it return about 1mm. If you don't do this you will cut the lip around the piston head and loose all the air by there. Repeat the same this a few times until the piston is free. You just have to go past the tread and you are done. Keep the pressure with the screw driver and screw the piston head as much as you can with your hand. You can now release the piston and finish the job with a pair of plier or a wrench.
Then you have to get acces to the gas bolt assembly to remove the bolt carrier. First remove the stock from the receiver assembly. Then, flip the assembly over and pull very hard on the "T" shaped part right in front of the trigger. It does take some effort to remove. If you pull strait, you won't damage anything. Then simply pull the bolt from the bold handle just like you are cocking the gun. Try not to spin it when you remove it, because it can jam on the safety mechanism. Then you have to remove the carrier and handle. DON'T FORGET to remove the set screw that is under the carrier. You only have to remove the screw at the rear to release everything. Keep the assembly with the carrier upward. There is a tiny pin in the bolt handle that prevent it to move when you are cocking the gun. If you want, you can remove the bolt handle and remove the pin not to loose it. If you loose it, you won't be able to use the gun AT ALL.
I had to file the inside of the handle because the stock bolt is made tapper at the end and the handle is molded for it. It took about 5 seconds to file it. Mostly file the molding lines and it should clear. You have to place the handle only on the new bolt. it has to go all the way to the bottom and spin freely, but without free play from side to side. Then simply replace the carrier and the screw. You are done for upgrading the bolt!
Next up is the hop-up/barrel assembly.
First remove the outerbarrel (again REMOVE the set screw under the receiver to free the barrel). You don't have to remove the barrel end, the hop-up will go out from the other side. Then remove the mag catch. There is a screw in the center, on the magasine side. This little screw it the ONLY thing that holds both the magasine catch and the hop-up. I find it a very important flaw in the design, and modified it.
First open the stock. There is some moldings to keep the mag catch from moving, but it is not yet enought. You have to find some plastic or metal parts to fill the space between the holders in order to be able to glue the mag catch on one side of the stock. I am using epoxy steel, the same stuff I used for the repairs of the stock before. It glues the thing perfectly. You can also add an other piece of plastic/metal on the other side, held in place with some foam double-sided tape, and going just a little bit past the molded holds. This will help stabilize the mag catch.
Next, you have to take the foam barrel spacers off the stock barrel and place them on the new barrel. I am using a few stacks of tape on each side of the foams to keep them from moving and spaced evenly. Place the silver barrel stabilizer that comes with the hop-up chamber, with the taper end towards the hop-up. Then place the hop-up rubber on the end of the barrel.
You have to assemble the hop-up chamber if you bought it new. It can be a bit tricky, but there is a trick to it. Place the tiny o-ring in the cut made for the magasine. There is a litte notch at the front most part of the cut. You MUST NOT USE OIL FOR NOW. Just push the top of the o-ring inside the chamber, then take a small screw driver and work the rest of the o-ring inside. The rest should be quite easy. The little spring IS NEEDED. You will never have high hop-up setting if you don't install it.
Then place a few drops of silicon oil over the hop-up rubber. Start inserting the barrel inside the chamber. You can rotate it as much as you want, there is nothing inside the chamber. You have to push it past the "window" of the chamber about 3mm. The rubber will not go past or get displaced if you try to push further. Then align the innerbarrel "line" with the hole for the mag catch screw. This is the bottom of the barrel. Place the hop-up bucking that is included with the chamber in the notch. I personally am using some 14ga silicon wire sleeve instead to have a more forgiving setting. Very little hop-up is needed anyways. Then place two levers and the pin that hold them. Place the large o-ring over them in the notch of the chamber. Now you only have to screw the two mini set screws in place. Push on the tip of the levers to make sure they are pushing properly on the screws, and adjust them so that there is about 0.5mm between the outside of the chamber and the tip of the levers. Place the spring on the levers, and secure them with some tape.
Insert the inner barrel in the outer, up to the hop-up chamber. If you are using a 500mm barrel, everything will fit. If not, you can either cut the inner barrel to the right lenght, or bore-up the barrel end to let the inner barrel slip through. Make sure that the chamber is aligned properly and push it in until the tape. Then, remove the tape, and insert the remaining of the chamber while pressing the spring in the outer barrel. You can use the bolt to push the assembly in place.
You then have to replace the barrel in place and the receiver in the stock. Don't forget to replace the cylinder (and keep it aligned or it will jam on the safety) and the spring guide retainer (the "T" shaped part). You will have to undo and repeat the next steps if you don't. The barrel will line-up with the mag catch properly if you did it right. If not, just loose the set screw under the barrel, and spin it slightly. Then install the little screw in the mag catch and screw in place. You are done!
I have fielded the gun in a 4h even a few weeks ago. It shot VERY straight and VERY far. The hop-up is a bit tricky to adjust. You have to unscrew the two little set screws that are inside the mag well to add hop-up. I recommend you to unscrew the two screws about 2 turns, then shoot. The bb SHOULD fly upward. It will be easier to adjust side to side that way. Screw-in the screw on the side that the bb tend to go until it fly directly above the gun. Then screw both set screws IDENTICALLY until you have the right amount of hop. You can then make some fine adjustement to side play if you have a high zoom scope (5x and more).
Once the hop-up was set and using some .28g bbs, I could hit a 1' target on every shot from roughly 230' away, standing. I am certain that using a more powerfull spring/ heavier bbs would increase grouping and range. FPS was chronied at 448 fps using a 120% spring.
At the end of the day, the gun stopped working properly. I disassembled the gun to find that the tip of the barrel has been hit, and the whole hop-up unit moved in by about 2mm. This prevented the bolt from returning to battery correctly, and also pushed on the trigger some way to prevent it from firing.
I also found that the sear was cast wrong. The leading edge of it, where the piston catches, is at a slight angle toward the ouside (like a piramid) when in the locked position. I filed it down to a 90 degree angle and tested the gun. Everything worked perfecly, and the lock was crisp and strong. While at it, i also filed the opposite side of the sear to be mating properly with the lever. I also filed the trigger/lever end to reduce the travel of the trigger and lighten the pression needed to fire. Kinda like a lightweight mod. I filed the trigger safety a bit more square to get a more positive lock (it was a bit sloppy when stock, and when a bit more pressure was applied, like when pulled by a piece of gear, the gun would fire).
Here are some pictures of my rifle. They are not the best quality, but still good to have an idea.