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Review of my Ares Stoner 96


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Old August 1st, 2013, 11:43   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Review of my Ares Stoner 96

Not sure if this is the correct place to put up a review, if not please move it.

So often you only get gun reviews from people who have just un-boxed there latest toy and who are over the moon with there acquisition. People who have never even gamed the gun once.

This is my experience of the Stoner 96 from Ares after gaming with it and trying for months to get it tuned in.

First the externals are great, very solid all metal, excellent fit and finish. The look of the gun was what primarly got my attention and after several months I still think the gun looks sexy as hell. One point. Ares states the weight of there gun is 3.2kg, this is a LIE. I put the gun on a scale and it came in over 6kg. (even with bbs and box mag there is no way this thing is 3.2 empty.).

Internally is another story. The wiring was cheap and my mini connector for the drum mag broke on the first day. I have seen thicker rubber on condoms than was used for my hopup rubber. The gears and compression system were fairly decent though.

The main reason I bought the gun was that I wanted a light LMG that would allow me to use a box mag in ammo restricted games. But the stoner 96 is a poor support weapon for several reasons.

1. It uses a stick type battery in the gas tube. This means a very low MAH rating no matter what kind of battery you use. This can be gotten around by rewiring the battery to sit in the nut sack of the gun which allows for a much larger battery space. This is what I ended up doing. However any decently aware airsoft gun designer should know that a 1500mah battery compartment will not cut it for a support weapon.

2. The box mag is very small. 1,100 bbs is not that much for a support weapon in an airsoft game. Most comparable LMGS have 2500-4000 round mags. In my neck of the woods LMGS are restricted to 1 full mag, while mid cap players get any wear from 800 rounds to 8 mags. This means that in some of our games Mid cap players get more ammo than my Stoner 96 gets.

The final straw however was that after putting in a pommy 6.03 barrel. Experimenting with various hop up rubbers, sealed compression system, shimed gears, mosfet, etc etc etc. The gun simply would not shoot strait and would commonly misfeed. The misfeeding issue was also experienced by an acquaintance who also poured money into his Stoner.

Attempts to get a new hopup unit from Ares support Canada was so frustrating that I finally gave up. I sent dozens of emails only got sporatic response and never could get a hard number on what it would cost to purchase and ship me the part or how long it would take.

After many months and hundreds of dollars in upgrades I was just happy to be rid of it for less than half what I paid and put into it in parts and labor.

All this has left a very bad taste in my mouth about Ares whom seem to have very good externals but horrible internals and beyond lousy customer support. I would NOT recommend the Stoner 96 from Ares to anyone.

Last edited by blackjack21; August 1st, 2013 at 11:48..
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