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jeremythegenius

L96 Warrior MB-01 Airsoft Rifle Field Review

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OK this is my first Airsoft sniper rifle review. The L96 Warrior MB-01 is an Airsoft version of the British Army L96/PM standard issue sniper rifle which is manufactured in the UK by accuracy international and used in battle theatre such as Afghanistan. I have always had an interest in sniping and I wanted to get this rifle for over two years but held off. Then low and behold my local pawn shop was selling one. The guy wanted £80 for it, but I managed to get him down to £65 by trading some old Barry Manilow records – OK I know that I have issues. The strap that came with it is very cheap, the buckles could snap when carrying the rifle and it could be damaged, so I threw the strap away and got a quality leather one. It came with a cheap bipod, which I had to modify to stop it shaking like a French soldier. I later bought a quality 3-9x40 scope with metal weaver mounts from ebay for £20. This scope is excellent with quality optics in which the target view is sharp up to 8x40. Not a bad rifle for a total price of £85, which even if I do say so as the cheapskate that I am.

 

The previous owner I don’t think used it that much, or it was probably owned by some brat from the local council estate whose parents pawned it after their offspring shot the cat. Anyway, there was some slight damage by way of scratches to the paint work of the bolt, the hop adjuster appeared to be a little stiff due to the adjuster knob not being installed correctly and it had a cracked chin rest – but these were only cosmetic in nature and easily fixed. When I stripped the rifle down (expecting it to be full of chocolate that some little bugger had shoved down the barrel) it was covered in excessive oil. This was easily cleaned out of the barrel using a dowel. I am always wary about corrosion and wear due to use in the field – but the aluminium and zinc parts are well made and the bolt action assembly is stainless steel. The internals are precision cast and are all metal (aluminum or zinc) with the exception of the trigger, trigger safety and safely switch assembly which are ABS. The brass barrel also looks that it has been CNC lathed with a polished finish and no striations present. The upper receiver, top rail, bipod mount and outer barrel is also metal. The bolt action is smooth and quite silent, the bolt action and other moving parts are reassuringly durable and robust and it feels solid to hold. The anodized metal barrel looks great and is not too shiny. Overall when I pick up the rifle, it just feels like a quality rifle.

 

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This is a big rifle begin approximately 1.1m in length and it weighs 5kg which I believe is nearly as much as the real thing, but without the £22k price tag. My previous experience of shooting a British SA80 and US M16 which felt cheaper to hold by comparison, so and I don’t regret getting it for one minute. The best gun by way of quality I own is my Colt 1942 gas actuated hand gun, the L96 a very close second but only by a nose.

 

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The great thing about the rifle is that it is the only version of the L96 rifle that is 100% compatible with Maruzen APS parts and upgrades. So you can upgrade it to your little heart’s content. The green camo swirl stock is constructed from ABS thermoplastic in which the injection moulded finish also looks reassuringly good and is a big improvement on the older versions which were painted bright green. This very professional rifle looks great, without going for a more expensive stock rifle which can cost between £300 and £500.

 

In the field

 

So I headed up to my local forestry for a field test, this is where I normally go shooting. Nobody ever goes up there, and I pretty much have a 2000 acre valley site with obstacles, hidden tracks, an abandoned quarry, bracken filled fields, rivers and fallen trees all to myself. It is a great area for practicing sniper skills from the holes left by fallen trees which act like natural fox holes. You can get great firing positions from this area and it is great for training, honing skills and testing tactics, also it is free to use. A few miles away in Breacon Mid Wales is the British Army sniper school, but I think that my site is much better for honing sniper skills due to the variability in terrain, from dense forestry, to open fields/pastures and even rocky cliffs. There are also a few abandoned buildings and an old mine works.

 

In order to access the site on foot, I strip the rifle down and walk to the site with it concealed in a normal campers backpack. People I pass on the way think I am just a humble rambler. This approach I find also it avoids being questioned by the old bill, as they will probably think I am some sad burke with a couple of spam sandwiches and thermos flask of earl grey in my pack but not carrying one awesome rifle.

 

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A few weeks ago I made on my lathe a suppressor specifically for the L96, so I decided to test this out as well. The bipod as it is flexible for adjusting your firing position approximately ±10° left and right. But it has a problem that it wobbles somewhat and makes some slight noise when patrolling. A simple solution is setting it to fold outward towards the barrel and not inwards towards the stock. This reduces the noise greatly. At the site I can field assemble the rifle from scratch in under 3 minutes, it is really that versatile.

 

The L96 can shoot at 450fps as a restrictor is not fitted in this version (as it was manufactured post May 2012) giving it an effective range of 100 metres. This rifle is very accurate and feels very solid when being fired. In order to get the best accuracy I set the hop to open/none which improves the accuracy dramatically. I did notice that when shooting a few rounds downrange that there was a curve slightly down and to the right left, but it is just a case of compensating using the scope. At approximately 25m distance I can get a 2mm diameter spread with ten 0.2 gram rounds. The nylon 0.2 gram rounds fly like nobody’s business. But the heavier 0.3g metal rounds although range restricted can easily shatter a thick bottle in a single hit at 40m. The first time I did this, I was dumbstruck by the combined power and accuracy of this rifle. I can shoot across a 100m deep gorge and hit targets on the other side easily and accurately every time.

 

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The unique shape of this rifle due to its revolutionary design by an Olympic gold medal winning rifle champion Malcolm Douglas Cooper, makes it ergonomic to shoot and also comfortable to hold when patrolling. You can easily go from a firing position to a patrol and then back into a firing position very quickly.The rubber butt plates also make it comfortable to pull back when cocking, especially when you are firing it all day. It is easy to clean as there are no real nooks or crannies that can’t be accessed, mud and bracken stains can be easily cleaned making it look good as new again. The magazine holds 22 rounds which is a perfect number for sniping and this fits very well into the receiver housing. The speed loader is pretty good, although one piece of plastic that directs the rounds into the magazine did come off, but this is not really a problem. The suppressor that I made looks pretty good on the rifle and fitted well with an M30 thread cut into it, but doesn’t make any difference towards suppressing the sound – but it looks aesthetically appealing none the less. The chin rest can also be easily adjusted in the field – just remember to take the M5 Allen key with you.

 

Targets such as a full beer can which has been shaken excessively is great fun. A can of Stella (as you drink) when shot with this rifle using a 0.3 gram round will jump over twenty feet into the air. I also use trees marked with targets which are great to test range and also shooting deer in the arse from a concealed position also has many interesting outcomes.

 

Altogether the rifle looks great in the field and is great for general sniping operations. I am going to procure some quality sniper tape 50m length should be enough – probably a dark green to make it blend in better and maybe a ghillie wrap or netting for my next time out. There are plenty of natural materials such as bracken and long grasses in the general area which should come in handy for camouflage. Anyway I am looking forward to much continued use in the future. In the field I will give this rifle as it comes:

 

· Ease of field assembly: 8/10 – It is very easy to field assemble and strip. The M5 hex bolts are easy to work with.

· Look: 10/10 – One word is awesome, it looks pretty much the real thing except for the position of the magazine.

· Comfort: 9/10 – I could carry it all day, it is ergonomic and comfortable – even though it is a weapon.

· Stability and durability 8/10 – Feels quality and solid in construction.

· Accuracy: 8/10 – Very good and consistent, I am no marksman, but I can get pretty good results every time.

· Power: 9/10 – Yes 450fps is great for hitting targets up to 100m away.

 

Although this rifle is manufactured in China it is still a really good quality, may god bless the Chinese for producing such an affordable but quality rifle. If you want a quality introductory sniper rifle then don’t let the manufacturers origin put you off getting it, this really is an excellent rifle, which looks and performs really well.

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This should go in the Review section man.

 

And I have to point some things out that I have not seen in these things.

The Bolt assembly is nickel plated brass like every other stock bolt action rifle,and the internals are cast zinc,I saw no tooling marks when I was working on my mates one not long ago,the casting burrs were also a bit of a giveaway. Unless the previous owner installed aftermarket steel parts,then it's a different story.

No need to worry about corrosion externally since it's all pot metal and aluminium like every other airsoft gun.

 

And I don't reccomend using brass .3g,if they even exist,metal BBs will ruin your hop up rubber and barrel. I've also never seen these go up and over 100m,unless they are very well Rhopped.

 

Otherwise,very detailed and good review. These are generally the best upgrade platforms along with the TM VSR.

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