There's a fair bit of debate about where exactly G&P falls on the quality scale. Some people will swear they're much better then Classic Army, up near TM. Others say G&P is not much better then high end midgrade and a far cry from Classic Army, let alone TM. I have no personal experience with G&P but from what I've heard the problem seems to stem from a fairly high lemon rate. Classic army went through something similar a few years back and they're still working to get rid of that rep. If you get a good G&P then you're set, if not then you have to replace most of the internals. One thing that both G&P and CA have going for them is great externals. I personally am a CA man and would always choose CA over G&P, given the choice. From the price trends in the classifieds it seems that a fairly large number of people agree with me since G&P guns seem to go for between $50 and $100 less then most CA guns.
I did extensive research and settled on the Tactical Carbine version of the Classic Army M15A4 as my first gun. If an Armalite is what you're looking for then I think it's the best of all possible versions. You have the shortened M4 carbine barrel, which makes you less likely to smack your barrel off something when turning quickly, combined with the full stock which houses a large battery. Small batteries don't have near the run time of a large battery, not to mention that the reinforced slip ring (the ring that keeps the fore-grip on) is really stong. While this is mostly a good thing and a big step up over CA's previous M15 versions, it makes changing small batteries in the field very difficult if not impossible.
CA's M15A4 series in general is a big step up over their previous versions and as far as stock armalites go they're probably the best. All metal where the real steel version is, the plastic parts where the real steal version is plastic are made of good quality nylon-fiber rather then abs. Classic Army has a deal with Armalite so you get all the proper markings. Plus that deal also goes to show the quality of the manufacture, Armalite wouldn't put their name on a shoddy product.
Internally the gearbox is reinforced metal and all the gears are metal as well. It fires hotter stock then Tokyo Marui's as well, firing at 300-320 fps where your average TM only fires 280-300 fps.
All in all this is a great starter gun if you can afford it. Because it's all metal you don't have to worry nearly as much about breaking it and you won't get any of the wobble or creaking that is infamous in stock TM M4/M16's. Unfortunately affording it is the biggest problem, they're not cheap. For reference I got my CA M15A4 from the classifieds, upgraded with a bunch of Systema internals to fire 390fps, for $600 shipped which was a great price.
Hope this helps some.
Last edited by Kuro_Neko; May 6th, 2009 at 00:09..