Airsoft Canada
MILSIG

Go Back   Airsoft Canada > Information Center > Reviews
Home Forums Register Gallery FAQ Calendar
Retailers Community News/Info International Retailers IRC Today's Posts

Real Sword Type 56 rifle review - NOT 56K FRIENDLY!!

:

Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 7th, 2008, 21:14   #1
Crunchmeister
 
Crunchmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In your bedroom going though your underwear drawer
Real Sword Type 56 rifle review - NOT 56K FRIENDLY!!

Today I came home to a nice surprise sitting between my doors - a package that I knew containted my new Real Sword Type 56 rifle. So without delay, I raced my ass inside to get this thing out of the box and take a good look to see if this thing was truly worth the $890 I paid for it. After close inspection (from my noob perspective), I must say I am genuinely impressed, and am content that I spent my money on what is without a doubt the finest AK variant available in the airsoft world. And here I am to share the story with you guys. Yes, there's another review posted here, but it's for the Type 56-1, so I figured I would give this baby its own review from my point of view instead.

I'll start with a VERY brief history for those who aren't familiar with the Type 56. It's the Chinese variant of the AK-47. More modern Type 56 rifles have the stamped (vs milled) receiver of the AKM, but the rest of the gun is undeniably AK-47. Real Sword offers 2 version of the gun. There's the Type 56 (wooden stock), and the Type 56-1 with a steel folding stock.

First off, just a quick note to say what makes this gun so special compared to other airsoft guns. It's the first AK to be made to 100% accurate dimensions of the real steel. Normally, AEG bodies are slightly wider than the real steel to accomodate the mechbox. Airsoft AKs are typically a bit longer, also to accomodate the AEG internals. Real Sword have managed to make everything fit inside the space of a real Type 56 rifle by using a modified V3 mechbox that is 5.5mm shorter than a standard V3 mechbox so that it can fit.

Secondly, all steel and wood are made using the same materials and processes as the real Type 56 rifle. It's widely rumoured that Norinco (Chinese state factory who produce the real Type 56 for export) produce the basic steel and wood parts. While I can't find 100% confirmation of this anywhere, it seems widely accepted in other reviews that this is the case. Judging by the construction and the inclusion of internal 'notches' that have no purpose in an AEG, I tend to believe that the lower receivers were stamped on the same machinery used to produce the real steel. And the end result is an AEG that is 100% authentic and true to the original.

I unwrapped the box from the outer packaging it was shipped in to see a rather plain box with minimal markings. Its subdued look really belies its content. Upon opening up the carton, I was what was the best AEG packaging I had seen to date. The gun and its accessories were well packaged in sized foam to prevent any moving or rattling during shipping. The magazine, an all steel magazine, came wrapped in oil paper. Everything was very well packaged.








As a side-note here, I'll take a second to make a rather odd observation about this gun. It's the best smelling AEG I've ever encountered. While that may sound a bit odd at first, the first thing that struck me when I opened the box was the smell of gun. I'm talking the smell you get when you pick up a real steel weapon. Whether it's the smell of the finish on the steel, the oils, solvents used to clean it, it all contributes to that 'gun smell', and this thing has it. As a matter of fact, I haven't actually handled the gun in close to 45 minutes, I've washed my hands twice (to make and eat dinner), and I still have that smell on my hands.

So back to our regularly scheduled review already in progress...

Taking the rifle out of the box, I was immediately stricken with its solid feel and substantial weight. As solid as my other metal-bodied AEGs feel, this eclipses them completely. The gun is 100% steel and wood. Other than the spike bayonet, there isn't an external piece of plastic to be found anywhere on this gun. This is as close to a real AK as you can possibly get without being in criminal posession of a prohited weapon. There isn't a loose part or rattle to be found. It's solid and well built. And it feels substantial too, weighing in at only 100 g less than its real steel counterpart.

I have to say, I was quite stricken with the wood furiture. This is serious quality, and 100% real-steel grade stuff. You could easily use the buttstock to beat on things and not damage it any more than you would a real AK. The finish on the wood is excellent, but not "furniture" good. This is an assault weapon, and its finish is what you'd expect out of the real thing. "Upgrading" to real AK furniture would be pointless, as you'd be getting exactly what's already installed on the gun out of the box.







I popped the upper receiver cover to inspect the inside and prepare for battery installation. I immediately noticed the neat and tidy internal construction in terms of wiring. The blade-style automotove fuse is nicely tucked away. The wiring is run through guides so that it doesn't go all over the place. You can tell that they paid good attention to detail.




The battery installed easily, sliding into the upper gas tube, and left plenty of space. You could easily fit a 9.6V or 10.8V battery without a problem. As a matter of fact, you could easily add aother 4-5 cells to the battery and still have plenty of room left over. It would more than likely fry something, but physically, there is nothing preventing a veyr large stick battery from being installed. In the picture below, the battery is only slightly inserted into the gas tube, but believe me, it goes in COMPLETELY if you want it to. This gun was well thought-out in the design stages.




Popping off the end plate on the buttstock, I was very pleased to see a second battery compartment for a larger size battery. According to the manual, the wiring connects in parallel to the receiver battery connection, so you can actually use 2 batteries at the same time to give you more than enough power capacity to play extended games without ever running out of juice. This is a very nice touch, and I applaud Real Sword for including this. It's so simple and brainless that's it's absolutely brilliant.




Next I decided to inspect the accessories that came with the AEG. Included are a small steel cylinder tool kit that includes the cleaning attachment for the cleaning rod, a multi-tool that includes as a screwdriver, and an adjustment tool for the fron sight elevation. The tool kit itself also serves as a tool to release the upper hardguard latch. Believe me, you won't move this latch without some kind of tool. It also includes a blued steel muzzle (to replace the orange plastic tip that comes pre-installed) and a silencer adapter. There's also a tool for removing the front sight (not pictured). Also included is a plastic oil can, although I don't see this as being all that useful without a small nozzle on the bottle to be able to apply oil precisely where its needed. It's a nice touch nonetheless, although sort of useless IMO. The cleaning rod itself is attached to the gun under the barrel as it is on its real steel counterpart.





As stated earlier, this gun is made as its real-steel counterpart using the same materials and processes. The quality of the steel certainly makes me believe this, as this isn't your typical steel AEG. The receiver and upper cover are both engraved with a unique serial number, with mine being 56-RS000359. The markings are consistent with the export version of the Type 56. I would have preferred to see Chinese markings on the gun to maintain that authenticity, but it in no way takes away from the beauty of this gun.



This next pic is my only real sore point with this gun to date - the bolt. Its movement is VERY limited, and this makes the hopup adjustment rather difficult to reach. Pulling back the cocking lever all the way only opens the bolt about -3 cm. While hopup can still be reached, those with large fingers will definitely find it challenging. I removed the bolt and its guide rod and determined you could easily cut up to about 2 cm off the end to make it open farther without affecting its stability. I cut 2 cm off the end and now the bolt opens enough to make hopup adjustment easier. I will be performing another small mod in order to be able to open it up about another 2 cm. I'll update this review with new pics when I do.



A note on the magazine - it rattles. It really sounds like a real AK mag. And it has a very satisfying click when locked into place. However, it also wobbles a lot when in the gun. There is a lot of side to side play. While firing it in semi-auto, I tried wiggling the mag, moving it from one extreme of its travel to the other, but I never experienced any feed issues. Despite this motion, the mag is held in place firmly and will not come out until the magazine release is pressed. I tried using a King Arms plastic AK magazine (I have a box of them) and they fit and work well. However, they DO NOT hold securely into the gun because their locking tab is thicker, and the mag catch can't lock onto them properly. A hit with a dremel and sanding bit will quickly fix this issue. Even without being locked in completely, the KA mags fed without issue. I should also note that the KA mags have very little side to side wobble compared to the steel RS mag. And the KA mags feed as well as the RS mag. So with a little work, these mags will work with this gun.I had no feed issues



Next I will mention something that usually get very little attention in AEG reviews - the included documentation. There are 2 pieces of documentation included. First is the instruction manual. It is NOT your typical Engrish manual. This is a 56-page, bound manual. The first 23 pages are English, and the last 23 Chinese. I was surprised to find that for the most part, it's very detailed and well-written in good English. Yeah, there's a bit of Engrish, but generally, it's quite good. It doesn't have the generic illustrations and warnings accompanied by atrocious Engrish found in every other airsoft manual I've seen to date. It's well written, well illustrated, and very concise. Secondly is a 2'x3' FULL COLOUR pictorial guide to disassembly of the gun. Other airsoft manufacturers should pay very close attention to the effort that Real Sword have put into their product documentation. They could learn a thing or two.



So finally, I got to fire this thing, and it was a pleasure to shoot. This is easily the quietest gun I've heard to date in terms of internals. There's very little motor sound, and the mechbox gears are pretty much inaudible. The only thing you really hear is the POP-POP-POP sound of the piston and the subsequent sound from the barrel. At the short ranges of 15 and 30 feet that I have to shoot it at in my house, it performed admirably. A small hopup adjustment was all that was needed (at that range, at least) to tap out groupings of less than 1". I don't have a chrony to test this out, but it failed the pop can test, so the advertied 90 m/s (295 fps) out of the box is probably close to its actual velocity.

Unfortunately, I'm not a tech guru or mechbox expert, and I'd rather not have my noob self tear this thing apart to inspect the insides. The other review posted here on ASC has more than enough details on its internals to satisfy the most experienced airsoft tech. That being said, RS have equipped this gun with a rather weak spring, more than likely to accomodate laws in other countries and to make the 'one size fits all' AEG. All reviews of this gun clearly cover its reinforced mechbox, gears and other internals and make no bones about saying you can easily install a 400+ fps spring in this gun without having any worries of damaging internals or the mechbox itself. Of that, I have absolutely no doubt. If the internals are as good as the externals (and from other reviews, they are), then this gun can probably even handle 500+ fps springs without requiring any internal modifications other than the spring itself.

So in the end, I can't really find anything bad to say about this gun other than the easy-to-fix bolt problem. This is as perfect of a replica as you can possibly get without getting a non-firing AK. Try as I might (with my limited airsoft knowledge) to find something wrong with it, I simply can't. This is the perfect AK.

If I have to nitpick a bit, I would have to say that the only thing that irks me a bit is the bayonet. I find its position when retracted a bit annoying, as it sits out of the lower hand guard. It's not a major annoyance, but since it's made of relatively soft plastic (for safety, or course), it tends to bend easily as you grip the hand guard. I'll probably just either extend it or remove it if I use the gun in a game scenario, as it serves no functional purpose. An aluminum bayonet is also available and would eliminate that problem, but for safety reasons, it's probably best to not install that for gaming purposes.

So in the end, this is the very best airsoft AK variant that money can buy at the moment. With these things available, there's no reason for someone to spend $600 on a Tokyo Marui AK then spend another $500+ to upgrade it to steel and wood and to upgrade its internals. In the end, the upgraded TM would still not be as good quality as this gun out of the box. For just under $900 Cdn, this thing is far better than anything to come out of Japan, or any other country in terms of airsoft AKs. Outside of Systema, I don't think you can get a better, more realistic, and more solid AEG than the Real Sword Type 56. Consider this thing the PTW of the AK world, at least in terms of its external construction. And even its internals are of a high grade not usually found in even high end stock guns. This is the best AK on the market - FULL STOP. Nothing else even comes close, stock, or upgraded. Anyone who thinks you can't get a quality airsoft gun out of China (Hong Kong in this case) needs to take a good hard look at this gun. All other AK airsoft makers have just been served notice.

PROS:
  • Solid, real-steel quality construction
  • 100% accurate reproduction of the real steel Type 56
  • Built with the same processes and materials as the real steel
  • Heavy weight (100g short of the real steel weight)
  • Incredible feel
  • Impeccable accuracy and shot consistency (at the short ranges I could try it at)
  • Can hold 2 batteries at once for extended gaming.
  • Cheaper than a fully upgrading a Tokyo Marui AK with metal, wood, and upgraded internals, and still better external quality.
  • As close as you'll ever get to owning an AK without owning the real thing
CONS:
  • Travel of the fake bolt is limited, making hopup adjustment a bit difficult (I've already fixed this by cutting about 2 cm off)
  • Soft plastic bayonet is a bit annoying when folded back under the hand guard.
  • Availability
Here are a couple of full size 1600 x 1200 pics. I figured I'd add them as links instead since they'll throw off the layout of this page.

Bayonet extended: http://www.societyssorrow.com/_crunc...6/IMG_1984.JPG

Bayonet collapsed: http://www.societyssorrow.com/_crunc...6/IMG_1985.JPG
__________________

Last edited by Crunchmeister; February 8th, 2008 at 01:35..
Crunchmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2008, 21:32   #2
HELLFIRE989
 
HELLFIRE989's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Kelowna b.c
Very nice Crunchmeister
__________________



HELLFIRE989 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2008, 21:42   #3
Crunchmeister
 
Crunchmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In your bedroom going though your underwear drawer
Quote:
Originally Posted by HELLFIRE989 View Post
Very nice Crunchmeister
If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have this baby. Thanks dude.
__________________
Crunchmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2008, 22:08   #4
Omi-san
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montréal
The bayonet looks like shit compared to how nice the rest of the gun is. Take it off.
Omi-san is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2008, 22:22   #5
Dr_Tinshnipz
 
Dr_Tinshnipz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brantford, ON
nice moccasins. Nice rifle tho! The Bayonet looks more like a prison shank
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droc View Post
ASC violated you in ways your uncle never did.

Last edited by Dr_Tinshnipz; February 7th, 2008 at 22:25..
Dr_Tinshnipz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2008, 22:52   #6
Crunchmeister
 
Crunchmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In your bedroom going though your underwear drawer
Yeah, the bayonet is the weak part of this gun for sure. I'll probably eventually order the aluminum one for show, and just remove it altogether when gaming, since it's useless.
__________________
Crunchmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 00:09   #7
Skladfin
 
Skladfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vancouver, B.C
the funny thing is that It's completely made in China but it has a Japanese/Chinese manual.
Skladfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 00:21   #8
Zeaken
 
Zeaken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Thats a really nice touch with the parrellel wiring job. Will the stock compartment fit a 9.6v large or just an 8.4v or for some...the dreaded 7.2
Zeaken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 00:35   #9
Koopa
 
Koopa's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Port Credit, Mississauga, ON
Good Review. Cant wait for mine to get in
__________________

My old buy & sell ratings: http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=7117&highlight=koopa

Boland Howe: Cause Scheisse Happens (official team sponsor since 2007)
www.bolandhowe.com
Koopa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 00:45   #10
ShaWdowS
 
ShaWdowS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario
Send a message via MSN to ShaWdowS
Awesome review. Awesome rifle! Love the capability to use 2 batteries.
It makes so much sense, it's ridiculous how no one else has thought of it...

BTW where'd you order if from?
__________________
" Deeds, not words. "
ShaWdowS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 10:25   #11
scooterboy
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dark n chilly Scotland
nice review and good to hear you got it thru safely, as an old saying goes the quality will remain long after the price is forgotten
scooterboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 15:01   #12
pawscal
Guest
Cool!, Cant wait for the Japanese to clone it LOL
  Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2008, 15:58   #13
Crunchmeister
 
Crunchmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In your bedroom going though your underwear drawer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skladfin View Post
the funny thing is that It's completely made in China but it has a Japanese/Chinese manual.
The manual is English and Chinese only. The takedown guide includes Japanese as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeaken View Post
Thats a really nice touch with the parrellel wiring job. Will the stock compartment fit a 9.6v large or just an 8.4v or for some...the dreaded 7.2
It takes a large size battery, but not the standard size one. It's the one with the 'offset cell'. Sorry, don't know what they're called.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koopa View Post
Good Review. Cant wait for mine to get in
Ooooo... you're getting one too. You getting the full stock, or folding? You getting it from Hellfire too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaWdowS View Post
Awesome review. Awesome rifle! Love the capability to use 2 batteries.
It makes so much sense, it's ridiculous how no one else has thought of it...

BTW where'd you order if from?
Yeah, the dual battery thing is a nice touch. I have 2 8.4V stick batteries - 1500 mAh and 1800 mAh, so I wouldn't ever need more than 1. I could see if someone was playign an extended game wiht 600 mAh batteries, it would be useful. I think I may consider ditching the 8.4V completely though and go for a 9.6V instead. I didn't realize there would be that much space for a bettery internally.

As for where I got it, scroll up a bit and all will be answered...

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterboy View Post
nice review and good to hear you got it thru safely, as an old saying goes the quality will remain long after the price is forgotten
Well, I didn't get it through myself, but I too am glad it made it into Canada ok. I can't get enough of this gun and how well it's built all around. This is a level of quality in a league of its own. Now, I can't speak of durability, since I've had it less than 24 hours at this point, but I would be really surprised to ever have any real problems with this gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawscal View Post
Cool!, Cant wait for the Japanese to clone it LOL
Well, I would think even the Japanese who had 'perfected' AEGs could take some good lessons from Real Sword. From all I read about RS, they were out to prove that you could get stupidly high quality airsoft from China at a reasonable price. I believe they attained their goal.
__________________

Last edited by Crunchmeister; February 8th, 2008 at 16:00..
Crunchmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2008, 12:30   #14
Crunchmeister
 
Crunchmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In your bedroom going though your underwear drawer
I just ordered the aluminum bayonet. The plastic one just looks way too plastic and sort of ruins the look of the gun IMO. Otherwise though, still crazy happy with this thing.
__________________
Crunchmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2008, 17:38   #15
Crunchmeister
 
Crunchmeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In your bedroom going though your underwear drawer
Just a small update on my bolt mod and shooting performance.

As I had noted in my original review, the action of the fake bolt is rather limited. You can only open it about 2 cm, making hopup adjustment rather difficult for anyone with fat fingers. I had make the suggestion that a couple of cm could be cut off the end to improve bolt travel. Well, this is true, but still, it doesn't let it travel quite far enough for my liking. It's both a matter of practicality and realism.

The motion of the bolt is stopped by a nub on the guide rod intended to block the spring from sliding off the rod. This nub, unfortunately, also is what prevents the bolt from travelling back far enough, even with a bit cut off the end. So, I made a small modification that allows the bolt to travel over the nub.


First, I removed the fake bolt, and used a grinder bit on my Dremel to grind a notch out of the tip so that it could "ride over" the nub. I installed it and it worked - most of the time. But the notch would still sometimes get caught up on the edge of the nub. So, I used the grinder bit to slightly grind the squared edge of the nub to allow the bolt to ride over it more smoothly.



So now, when the bolt is pulled back all the way, the bolt easily rides over the nub. ow the 2 parts mate together very well and the bolt rides over top of the nub without any interference. I managed to keep the length of the fake bolt as to not expose the AEG's internals to dust by shortening it, and managed to get good range of motion.



This gives it close to a full range of travel as it should. It's still about .5 cm off from having a full range of travel, but now it's the fully compressed spring that's blocking it from moving fack to its full range. I'm pretty happy with this though. It's about as close to perfect as I need it to be - opens enough to allow easy hopup adjustment, and the action is more realistic.


So today I had the gun out at a friend's place in the country and was shooting it. It's a very fun gun to shoot. Its ROF is decent enough, although I'm considering switching for 9.6V batteries (now that I know there's plenty of internal room for them) to increase that slightly. A stiffer spring will be a certain addition down the road, as I just don't feel the stock 300-ish FPS is quite enough for this beastly of a gun. Even with the stock spring though, 150 foot ranges were nothing for this gun to hit accurately.

If you know how to shoot, there's no way you could miss a man-size target at this range as long as it's not moving. And since we were accurately shooting at a 9" aluminum pie plate attached to a 2 x 4, I would say it's realistic to say that you could accurately tag a human head sized target at that range with little effort. At that range, there's the odd BB that will stray from its target a touch, but for the most part, they hit where intended. And this was using the cheap Wal Mart .20 bio-BBs (still working off some leftovers I have).

A note on the hopup adjustment. The other RS T56 review here on ASC mentions that this is a 400+ FPS gun loaded with a weaker spring, and the hopup rubber installed is intended for a high FPS, and not the low out-of-the-box performance. It takes very little adjustment to get the BBs flying straight.

My first 'blind' adjustment attempt had me move the hopup about 25%. I figured that would be a good start point. That effectively converted my gun from an assault rifle into an anti-aircraft gun. BBs would travel about 50 feet with a slight upward arch, then suddenly turn skywards. It was one of the funniest sights. More hopup adjustment only helped to increase this effect. Hopup of over 50% with the stock spring will cause the gun to jam. It's just not intended to handle this type of low power. I found that the best adjustment was to have the hopup at about 10%. That keeps the BBs flying in a nice straight path.
__________________
Crunchmeister is offline   Reply With Quote
ReplyTop


Go Back   Airsoft Canada > Information Center > Reviews

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Airsoft Canada
MILSIG

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:58.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.