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Airsoft-Ed

WE L85A2 (Gas blowback rifle)

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Make and model:

As per the title, the manufacturer is WE and the gun in question is their L85A2 gas rifle.

Build quality:
I think this is a thing most people will be curious to know but won't think to ask, so I'll stick it at the top of the review.

I have to first state that I haven't handled the real rifle, so my comparison will be more against all (as I have handled all) the other airsoft L85 models on the market, all of them are AEGs of course, but I have owned the ICS for a long time, I've owned the Ares for a brief stint, I've picked up the odd G&G for a fondle at shows and I know a few people with Army Armament models too.

The WE is more or less what you'd expect, it's full metal, sturdy construction with a good amount of heft to it and made of the right materials in all the right places. I don't think there are really any L85s on the market that don't deliver on that front, to be honest. Even the Army Armament, being the cheapest L85 on the market, does a good job of living up to all the others on an externals only basis.

EDIT:
One thing of note that was brought to my intention in the comments which I completely forgot about, is that the WE L85 has an 18mm top rail. The real rifle, as well as many, perhaps even all of the other versions on the market have 19mm rails as per the real thing.
This means you'll have to be careful with buying optics, as well as rail adaptors. Definitely go for a try before you buy approach. SUSATs are designed for the 19mm rail, so you might only be able to fit certain brands of SUSAT.
I don't want to say this with 100% certainty, but I do think you should be safe with anything that fastens with screws and is designed for a 20mm rail though.
I myself am using an ACOG mounted on a Hornbill cantilever riser mount, which is essentially an ACOG mount designed for the L85's 19mm dovetail rail and that fits on my WE. It doesn't fit on there perfectly, you have to balance it out carefully with a screw that anchors it to stop it sliding forwards and backwards (same as with the rear iron sight that comes with the rifle) but it does fit.
End of edit.

With the WE being gas though, the moving parts come into it a little bit. Racking the bolt on the L85 is the most satisfying of the GBBRs I've handled (GHK G5, WE M4, WE MP5, KWA MP9, TM MP7, WE SCAR L and WE AK PMC being the others I've tried), the charging handle wobbles a little bit but that's because it's held in place by the ejection port's edge overlapping the edge of it to stop it coming out. I've no idea if that's the same as on the real rifle, and I'm aware it sounds bad, but trust me when I say I trust it to never fall out even with heavy knocks, or even a direct bash from a hammer. The rifle is solid. If it wasn't like a child to me then I wouldn't think twice about using the front grip as a ladder to help me through windows lol.

As for being true to the real rifle, it's not the best on the market, Ares probably takes that trophy. The WE is externally modelled off the ICS design from what I can tell, the barrel threading is the same (14mm CCW), it shares the same quick detach system on the polymer hand guard, (though if you want to fit the Madbull RIS, the ICS adaptor won't work, you'll need the WE specific one) and it's the same incorrect shade of green. Unlike the ICS however, the WE actually has the (functional) bolt release in the right place and also has markings on the fire selector. Though it does lack the trades on the right side of the magazine housing that the ICS does have, and the bolt lock on the right side of the rifle is non-functional on the WE, whereas it does work on the ICS.

The only other thing I can think to mention on this front is that the WE, being a gas rifle, field strips in exactly the same way as the real rifle. The only clear differences are that the trigger mechanism is obviously set up to work with an airsoft gun, so there's a hammer to hit the back of a magazine, and the guide rods for the recoil spring have small buffer springs at the back end of them to help return the bolt slightly faster.

 

Speaking of the bolt, it doesn't travel the full distance, which is to say, when it locks to the rear and when firing the gun, the bolt only cycles to around the back end of the large rectangular ejection port, on the real rifle there's a good inch or more of travel left to go past that point, but the WE stops short. It's probably for the sake of gas efficiency and to help the rifle cycle faster, it is only powered by compressed gas and not mini explosions after all, given that this is the only gas L85 on the market though, it would be a shame to hold this against it, especially since all the AEGs, even the blow back models also lack full travel of the bolt.

The bolt is also constructed differently to the real thing, which again is obvious, but it looks very similar, the nozzle is even modelled to resemble an actual bolt, complete with locking lugs.

So on the whole it's a very well presented, realistic feeling rifle, with noises that excite your downstairs parts.

Moving on...

Performance:
When buying a gun you want to know it's a solid shooter, right? Well that's a difficult thing to really approach from a scientific perspective when it comes to gas guns. I can't just say it shoots X distance at X fps because it's a little more complicated than that.

If you're reading this as a gas gun user, then I'm sorry for mentioning all this, but my reviews are designed to give people every ounce of info I can pass on to anyone who wants to read them, so I don't like to skimp out on the more general details for the sake of keeping things short and sweet.

By its nature, gas as a propellant is... Unpredictable, let's say. The pressure gas is held under depends on the temperature and how much of it there is, couple this with the fact the parts accepting the gas move around (the bolt) meaning they don't mesh in exactly the same way every time, and by the nature of them moving, have gaps between them, through which gas can escape; gas rifles make for pretty inconsistent shooting platforms.

Don't expect AEG performance from any gas blowback rifle, the WE L85 is no exception to this rule. However, that's not to say you can't get god-like range and accuracy from them, it just means you won't get it all the time on a repeatable, game day to game day basis.

It is unlikely that you will see this gun performing the same on every skirmish you take it to, the temperature is never going to be the same, so you're going to need see your fps alter slightly from game to game, fps differences mean the hop needs re-setting often, and perhaps even ammo weight changing to account for lower power in some instances.

What this means is that sometimes you might have it performing so bad that you just can't deal with it, whereas others it will be so totally flawlessly on the money that you'll want to marry it and take it to bed. Such is life with gas rifles. You have to take the rough with the smooth, and I think this ambiguity, combined with the higher than usual price tag is what puts a lot of people off getting gas rifles.

You can help the consistency by buying an NPAS (negative pressure adjustment system) kit, which replaces the valve in your nozzle for an adjustable one, this allows you to alter the time gas is sent down the barrel for. Longer for more fps, shorter for less. Generally it allows for adjustment between the low 200s and the high 400s but I haven't honestly tested mine to its extremes. Just remember it's like a screw, you tighten it for more fps and loosen it for less, they cost about £15 so definitely buy one otherwise the rifle will more than likely chrono too hot for UK limits. Especially in the summer, and especially with heavier ammo, which I recommend using with any gas rifle.

Realistically though, it's a very capable rifle, on a good day it will reach out and touch people at 70m, and being gas you can easily up it to DMR limits, use super heavy ammo and just have at it. With it being entirely mechanical, if you understand how it works then playing around with the power settings and fitting different barrels and such can be half the fun on its own.

Fun factor:
High. Very high... Oooohhh, buy one. :P
I may be biased... But seriously, I have had issues with this gun, which I'm going to stick in their own section later on, but they're not bad enough to out weigh how amazing to use this rifle is.
The bolt is large and heavy, this thing has a really nice kick to it, it's loud and the sound is awesome, all the metal on metal noises when reloading just round it all off nicely. It's so nice to fire that I honestly wouldn't mind if the actual shooting performance was a lot worse than it is, because it's just so fun to shoot.
I joke about being biased, but if I'd had a bad time with the rifle there's no way I'd be able to be this positive about it, is there? Haha.

I can't personally recommend it though, and it's not because I'm hiding anything from anyone, it's just that I acknowledge that I am weird. =/ I'm seriously picky when it comes to picking guns, and personally I'm more into it for the realism side of things than anything else. Like I said earlier, if it shot half as well as it does, I'd still love it, just because how it works is mechanically orgasmic to me lol. But! Considering the cost, I'm not sure many people would want to deal with the downs as well as the ups. Everyone's going to love the ups, but the fact that there are any downs at all, let alone the fact that you can't really control them that well, is just going to be too much for some people, and since I can't run a psych evaluation on everyone who reads this, I think it's safer to just say I don't recommend it, in case someone buys it, has nothing but bad experiences and then blames me lol.

You need to know what you're doing, you need to have money to burn (or good patience), you need to have contacts in the airsoft world who can supply you with spare parts and I would say it would help hugely to actually have an interest in the mechanical aspect of the gun, rather than just wanting it to shoot people with.

It's more about the joy of the recoil and the sound than the actual performance, it just so happens that the performance can be incredibly good. So if you are looking at buying it, buy it for the awesome recoil, noise and the realism, not the performance.

It's like having an awesome conversation with a girl in a bar and falling over yourself because of how amazing she is, that's the fun factor of this gun. The silver lining, is that she's also hot as balls, which translates into shooting good in airsoft gun terms lol.

Issues, fixes, and things to be aware of:

Right, the first thing you need to be aware of, is that the version of the gun that I have, came with the trigger mechanism and barrel pre-upgraded with steel, RA Tech parts. As such, I have no idea how long the stock gun's trigger will last, or what the stock barrel will be like.

However, when it comes to upgrading parts in gas rifles, they are generally more to increase reliability than performance. My steel trigger set doesn't make the trigger perform better, it just makes it last longer and as of today I have owned the rifle for about a year and a little over a week and I have had precisely 0 trigger related issues. The trigger mechanism also houses the bolt lock, which has also been flawless and is still showing no wear at all, even on the stock bolt where it meets. Very impressed, very satisfied.

The barrel obviously is a performance related part, but I do also have a gas WE SCAR which has a stock barrel and that is more accurate than the L85 on its good days and that's with a standard barrel, so just forget about the barrel point for the sake of the review. I actually wish I had a stock barrel to try with my L85, because given how well the SCAR shoots I think it might actually be better without a barrel "upgrade".

Anyway though, the first issue you will probably encounter, is the bolt seizing. You'll be firing and then the bolt will just jam and not return to its forward position. This is a known, and very common fault with the WE L85, so common in fact that I can 100% guarantee it will happen to absolutely every WE L85 that's ever been made, unless it's been fitted with a steel bolt - which as it happens, I do not recommend you buy. Total waste of money, unnecessary and they've also been discontinued, so also very hard to get.

So, what causes this bolt jamming issue?

The bolt is made of cheap metal and it moves around very violently. As it travels back upon firing, it hits against a pair of very short, very stiff buffer springs. These springs then fire the bolt forwards again.
They hit the bolt so hard that they cause the metal to mushroom around the impact point, you will more than likely experience this issue within the first 3000 shots fired, might be more, might be less.
The metal deforms from the impact and it causes it to close the holes around the guide rods that the buffer springs are sat on. So when the metal deforms enough, the holes close to the point where they just grip the guide rods and the bolt jams.

How'd you fix it then? You just need to get some steel washers, just the simple little, metal rings, and fit them between the buffer springs on the recoil rods, and the bolt. Sounds like a joke it's that simple, right? Well it seriously is. The washers take the brunt of the impact force and completely stop the bolt from deforming. I've been running a stock bolt for a little over a year now without that issue occurring one single time since I fitted the washers.

I have a video on my YouTube channel detailing this and how to fix it if you need clearer instruction. I'd stick a link here in the review but then there'll be a massive video box breaking it all up. I might add it as a comment, maybe. Send me a personal message or check my profile for ways to get hold of me for more info if you need a hand with anything.

Next thing to keep an eye on, whilst we're on the topic of the bolt, is the screws for the guides that hold the nozzle inside the bolt. There is one guide on the top of the bolt, and one on the left side. The top one is held in with two screws, the left one is held in with one.

These screws are TINY, but they're also very important. Important, and a little bit annoying... If you tighten them all the way, then they can restrict the movement of the nozzle inside the bolt. The nozzle needs to freely move back and forth because it's what causes the blowback, you need the blowback to work for the gun to work. So you need these screws to be loose enough for the nozzle to move freely, but tight enough to not fall out, because they can and will come out. The recoil force will work them loose over time. So you need to keep an eye on them before and after every time you get the gun out for a shoot. You might want to think about holding them in place somehow, but if you're thinking of using loctite be VERY careful you don't get any on the moving parts because that shit is like glue, and moving parts that don't move, don't work.

You need to be aware of the pistol grip. This is held on with a single self tapping screw that is both very short, and very thin. As such, swinging the gun around and holding it by nothing but the grip may very well strip this screw at some point, or work it loose, until you eventually end up with the grip either coming off, or physically breaking off.

If you buy the rifle from Milspec Solutions then Iain actually carried out a very simple mod that fixes this issue before shipping the rifles out. Which is to simply remove the screw the gun comes with, and fit a slightly wider, and much longer self tapping screw. This grips better and just generally more, by nature of being a longer screw. If you can't fully eliminate all the wobble, then stick some washers between the screw head and the rifle body on the inside of the gun.

The only other thing I can think to mention is that you need to keep an eye on the ejection port/dust cover. This is the green piece that flaps up and down just behind the bolt. It's designed to stop dirt and dust from getting inside the gun through the little slot behind the bolt which the charging handle slides through.

The dust cover is held on with a pin, this pin is free to slide back and forth to the point where it comes right off the gun if it wants to. The dust cover isn't essential, the gun will work without it, but standard practice is to close it when not firing to stop any dirt magically jumping in through the hole. Firing the gun automatically opens the cover, but it's firing to open the cover that persuades the pin to start escaping, so if you don't want to have to worry about it, you can either glue the pin in place, or alternatively, just leave the dust cover open all the time, as if it doesn't move, the pin won't either.

Maintenance:

I think this is a bit of a dirty word that gets thrown around a bit too much in the wrong ways. I often see people mention maintenance as an excuse, or argument against getting a gas rifle, but at least with the WE L85, it's really not a maintenance heavy rifle.

You just need to make sure all the parts that need to move, can move freely, and if they can't, open the gun up and see if you can figure out why.

Similarly, if the performance seems to have taken a hit, or if full auto doesn't work, or whatever, then have a look on the inside at the parts in control of that function and see if there's any signs of wear. This is where knowing how the gun works comes into its own, if you understand how it works, diagnosing issues is very simple and easy.

So, making sure everything works as it should, and checking for wear. Bob's your Uncle, Fanny's your anut and WE's your significant other because L85's your new baby lol.

Cold weather performance:
Another thing that people hold against gas guns, though with a little more reason this time.

I have used my L85 in temperatures as low as 2 degrees Centigrade and the performance was no different to using it in the height of summer, I could still get off a full mag, it would still lock on the last shot and the shot trajectory, accuracy and range was no better or worse than on any other day. I've also used it in torrential rain, and I do mean literally like standing in a cold shower levels of moronically, monsoon-esque rain and it still worked fine then too. Accuracy did suffer because the hop rubber got wet, but it still cycled flawlessly, still got a mag off, still locked. Can't fault it at all.

There are CO2 mags available for sub zero temperatures, but I honestly wouldn't waste my money on them, CO2 mags are highly prone to leaks because of the higher pressure of the gas and they're much harder to maintain and fix once leaks occur. They also cost more to buy, and significantly more to run, with CO2 being about 60p per CO2 capsule. CO2 is also a lot less versatile, you can't just top your mag up with CO2 if you only fire 20 shots through it in a game, you have to just keep going until the gas runs out, and rather inconveniently, you can't get 60 shots off one CO2 capsule... So that means you get one full mag of 30 shots off, then at some point before you're through with the next 30, your gas runs out. Not ideal.

Costs involved - Running costs:

As I mentioned earlier, I bought mine with the trigger and barrel pre-upgraded, this cost me £500 for the base rifle, which comes with one 30 round gas magazine.

I then bought another 5 mags, to the tune of £35 each, bringing the total to £175 + 500 = £675. Not a cheap initial outlay. But, I haven't had to spend a single penny on any internal parts since then, so I would personally say the extra money you pay for a steel trigger is a very good investment if you don't want to have to take the gun apart further than simple field stripping.

Without any upgrades the base gun generally retails for around £370 last time I checked, so the upgrade parts add about £130 to the price. You could choose to buy the base gun and then upgrade as parts wear out, which if I had the chance to buy the gun again, that's what I'd do. I had previously had bad experiences with gas rifles because I didn't know what I was doing, so when I bought this I wanted to bomb proof it just to be on the safe side. Having played with it quite heavily for a year I now feel confident enough to dismantle it fully down to individual components and put it back together in working condition, and I'm fairly sure a lot of the stock trigger parts would have lasted a year before needing any replacements anyway, so it probably works out cheaper to buy the stock gun and then upgrade when you need to.
Especially considering I highly doubt the barrel upgrade is necessary, and that probably makes up £50 of the £130 I paid extra for the upgraded version of the rifle.

Running costs though...

A lot of people assume this is going to be insanely high because there's gas to buy as well as ammo, but the costs involved are down to the player really.

I use Coleman's propane to run mine. Canisters cost about £9/10 from Go Outdoors, which is a camping shop, or there are a few select airsoft retailers that sell propane as well. Patrol Base being the one I know definitely do.

£15 gets you an adaptor to put on the cans, which you use to fill your mags, and then each can lasts me a little over one full game day. Bear in mind though, Propane canisters hold a little more than double the amount held in a green gas can, so if you stick with standard green gas cans - those 750ml ones - you're going to need 2, probably 3 to last you a day, so that £9 becomes more like £30.

Propane is definitely the way to go. Green gas actually is propane, just purified (which really doesn't matter, it just makes it cost more) and with silicone oil added. So if you choose to buy propane you'll need to add the silicone yourself. The adaptors come with a little bottle of it that seems to last forever, you just add a few drops to the top of the canister at the start of every game day and you're golden. Just helps keep all the rubber seals in the magazines in check, stops them developing leaks.

As for ammo, you only have 30 round mags, so you don't get through much in a day. The mags are heavy as hell too, and at £35 not many people are going end up with more than about 8 unless they get them for free in trade deals or something, so that's less than 300 shots going into each game with you.

I personally have 9 mags but I only use about 700 shots a day. I use Bastard BBs, the .28s, which come in bags of 2000 and cost £12 a bag. They're very, very high quality. That bag will last me 3 game days, minimum, every time.

So £9 for the gas which lasts a little more than one game day. Call it about 1.3 game days. So about £6.50 on gas per game day + £4 on ammo because a £12 bag lasts 3 days. Costs me just over a tenner per game day. That's about the same as your average AEG user buying a pot of 3000 .25s, so running costs really aren't anything to hold against gas rifles. You could even use some much cheaper ammo and then it'll cost you even less.

Conclusion?

I would say that it is an expensive rifle with performance worse than the price would suggest. You could spend that much on an AEG and get much better performance for your money, as well as the ability to use mid and high capacity mags, but this makes up for it in the fun of the blowback and the noise.

If you want to buy one, do it for the kick, the sound, the realistic weapon controls and functionality, and the pure mechanical brilliance of the internal mechanism. The performance isn't bad by any means, but it is bad for the money.

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the charging handle wobbles a little bit but that's because it's held in place by the ejection port's edge overlapping the edge of it to stop it coming out. I've no idea if that's the same as on the real rifle

Yup, that is just like the real steel SA80 :-)

 

Don't expect AEG performance from any gas blowback rifle, the WE L85 is no exception to this rule. However, that's not to say you can't get god-like range and accuracy from them, it just means you won't get it all the time on a repeatable, game day to game day basis.

Maybe I'm just lucky with my G5 but once the hop is scrubbed in (needs to be done each game day) it fires bang on accurate consistently and has range as good as if not better than my RM4 (which is the best AEG I have fired)

 

so definitely buy one otherwise the rifle will more than likely chrono too hot for UK limits. Especially in the summer, and especially with heavier ammo

Not quite sure what heavier ammo has to do with being hot.... the 350fps on 0.2s is a joule limit converted to fps for that weight (roughly 314 on 0.25s) does the heavier ammo react different in a GBBR to an AEG?

 

You just need to get some steel washers, just the simple little, metal rings, and fit them between the buffer springs on the recoil rods, and the bolt.

Awesome tip, although I don't have an SA80 it is always good to have quick fix tips :-)

 

You just need to make sure all the parts that need to move, can move freely, and if they can't, open the gun up and see if you can figure out why

Yup, although AEGs can survive pretty well with no maintenance, they are far harder to fully service than a GBBR when they do go wrong, and simple regular maintenance will see a GBBR stay mechanically reliable, and the maintenance is very simple, easy and therapeutic to do with a beer and the tv on in an evening :-)

 

There are CO2 mags available for sub zero temperatures, but I honestly wouldn't waste my money on them, CO2 mags are highly prone to leaks because of the higher pressure of the gas and they're much harder to maintain and fix once leaks occur. They also cost more to buy, and significantly more to run, with CO2 being about 60p per CO2 capsule.

I'm pro CO2 at the mo, in fact just ordered a CO2 pistol and very tempted with the Tippmann M4 which can be run with HPA or CO2 mags. I just purchased a bunch of 12g CO2 cartirdges and they only cost just over 30p each... a mate up at my local site can get them for under 15p each apparently too (so will be getting some off him when I run out next time). CO2 suffers cooldown less due to its higher pressure volume in the cartridges so less of a drop in % of gas per shot fired too... saying that I have seen CO2 guns through a chrono and if fired shots close together can get quite inconsistent fps, but it is the same with gas too when in rapid fire.

 

Great review dude, thanks for sharing :-)

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Not quite sure what heavier ammo has to do with being hot.... the 350fps on 0.2s is a joule limit converted to fps for that weight (roughly 314 on 0.25s) does the heavier ammo react different in a GBBR to an AEG?

[

It'll be to do with joule creep, although I ought to leave it to Ed to explain as he'd do a better job than myself.

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You have to be careful with optics with these as well. The rail is slightly narrower then the other manufactures. To fit an ARES Susat on without it wobbling I had to superglue strips of cereal box onto the sides of the clamp on the scope.

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You have to be careful with optics with these as well. The rail is slightly narrower then the other manufactures. To fit an ARES Susat on without it wobbling I had to superglue strips of cereal box onto the sides of the clamp on the scope.

I thought the WE had a dovetail rail like the real steel (ie not a 20mm weaver/picatinny)

 

On my ICS AEG i used an adapter since the rail is so low it needs a riser anyway

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I thought the WE had a dovetail rail like the real steel (ie not a 20mm weaver/picatinny)

On my ICS AEG i used an adapter since the rail is so low it needs a riser anyway

The Susat uses a dovetail rail, he's saying the WE one is a bit too thin for it to work.

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Ah, i thought for a sec that some smart arse at WE had tried to put a weaver on an SA80...

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I think its something like 18mm on the WE while the real steal one is 19mm or something like that.

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Not quite sure what heavier ammo has to do with being hot.... the 350fps on 0.2s is a joule limit converted to fps for that weight (roughly 314 on 0.25s) does the heavier ammo react different in a GBBR to an AEG?

 

I'm pro CO2 at the mo, in fact just ordered a CO2 pistol and very tempted with the Tippmann M4 which can be run with HPA or CO2 mags. I just purchased a bunch of 12g CO2 cartirdges and they only cost just over 30p each... a mate up at my local site can get them for under 15p each apparently too (so will be getting some off him when I run out next time). CO2 suffers cooldown less due to its higher pressure volume in the cartridges so less of a drop in % of gas per shot fired too... saying that I have seen CO2 guns through a chrono and if fired shots close together can get quite inconsistent fps, but it is the same with gas too when in rapid fire.

As Marcus said, I was referring to Joule creep. Joule creep is an effect which occurs when the gun in question over volumes the barrel; by which I mean the amount of air or gas it sends down the barrel is more than the barrel can physically contain.

 

In an AEG this amount is limited by the size of the cylinder, and cylinders are often ported when the gun is fitted with a shorter barrel, which helps match the barrel volume to the cylinder volume.

 

When there is more cylinder volume than barrel volume it means that lighter BBs will be accelerated out of the barrel faster than the gun can apply all of its energy to the shot.

 

Say for example the barrel is very short, so the amount of air it can fit in it is only 50% the amount the cylinder sends down it. If you fire a .2 out of this gun, 50% of the air will be used on the .2 and the other 50% goes to waste. If you then use heavier ammo, it takes more energy to accelerate a heavier shot out of the barrel, so the shot actually ends up with a larger than 50% share of the power, meaning the joule output behind the shot actually goes up with the heavier weight and the fps reduction will be less than what conversion charts state, because conversion charts assume that the amount of power being applied to the shot remains the same.

 

If the barrel volume was the same as the cylinder volume the joule output would remain the same because the full 100% of the cylinder volume would be used on just a .2, so any heavier ammo you used wouldn't have a pool of surplus air to take from, if that makes sense?

 

In both cases there will be an fps decrease, but the drop will be smaller on the gun with an over volumed barrel and because the drop is smaller, the joule output drop isn't the same, it's actually a joule output increase.

 

This effect is hugely noticeable in gas rifles because the amount of gas they direct down the barrel is MASSIVELY more than the barrel can contain, over voluming in an AEG can only ever be by a small amount, because cylinders aren't that big, but in gas guns, the gas expands continuously for as long as its being released. Firing a .2 through a GBBR probably equates to using about 20% of the power applied to launch that shot.

 

Even if you used a .46, you'd probably still be seeing over voluming of the barrel from the amount of gas being used by the system.

 

To give you a real world example, I once set up my L85 to fire at 370 on a .2, I then changed ammo to .28s, which is what I use. According to conversion charts this ought to drop the fps to 295, but when I rechrono'd... I got the same reading. 370 on a .2 = 370 on a .28, because my L85 over volumes the barrel to such an extent that adding heavier ammo barely scratches the surface off the top of the amount of gas being wasted down the barrel lol. I had to fit it with a shorter barrel just so the NPAS could go low enough to let me chrono safe in the warmer months on my ammo weight of choice. This means that I was firing over 70fps hot on .28s, but chronoing safe on .20s. So you can understand how dangerous this could potentially be if sites force you to chrono on .20s, right?

 

So if you chrono safe on .20s and then change to heavier ammo to play, the conversion charts will not be accurate to the drop in fps you'll be seeing in any gas rifle. Depending on how much you increase the weight, you could gain a massive increase in joule output and see only a very minor fps reduction, if any at all, so it's very important to chrono on the weight you intend to use.

 

If I set my L85 up to fire at 500fps on a .2, and then loaded it with .46s, I can barely even imagine what sort of ridiculous power it'd be putting out. I actually want to get a chrono to try it out sometime because I'm convinced it'd punch through baked bean tins with ease. Probably both sides of them.

 

Also, with regard to the CO2 thing - Yes, liking it is fine and it is a better gas, on paper. But, WE CO2 mags are bad. They might not be with whatever you're using, but if you have a WE GBBR that takes M4 mags, the WE CO2 M4 mags are shite. It kinda looks like you're discrediting my opinion when you big up CO2 like that, but I was discrediting CO2 as a gas based on the way with which you use it with this gun. People reading that part of your comment could lead someone to buy CO2 mags based on your experience with a different platform and end up wasting a lot of money.

 

Not trying to call you out on it or anything, I agree CO2 is better and I wish I could use it with my WE rifles, but the mags just aren't worth having, they leak easily, they're hard to fix and they cost more than green gas mags. Most people generally can't get CO2 for that cheap either. The best deal I could get was £15 for 30, which is 50p a capsule.

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You have to be careful with optics with these as well. The rail is slightly narrower then the other manufactures. To fit an ARES Susat on without it wobbling I had to superglue strips of cereal box onto the sides of the clamp on the scope.

 

This is true. I forgot to mention it. I'll edit it in now.

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Hadn't realised that it made that much difference, will have an experiment when I've got the G5 up and running again :-)

Not at all mate, was more an observation on my experience of CO2 and have not even fired a green gas SA80 let alone a CO2 powered one so please don't think I was saying you were wrong on this gun. You did mention 60p a 12g cartridge before though and I wanted to point out that they can be had an awful lot cheaper than that (up to 4x cheaper). I guess it is my writing style that made it seem like I was discrediting you, not intentional at all. I should proof read more than just typos before hitting the submit button to try avoid it happening, soz.

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Hadn't realised that it made that much difference, will have an experiment when I've got the G5 up and running again :-)

 

Not at all mate, was more an observation on my experience of CO2 and have not even fired a green gas SA80 let alone a CO2 powered one so please don't think I was saying you were wrong on this gun. You did mention 60p a 12g cartridge before though and I wanted to point out that they can be had an awful lot cheaper than that (up to 4x cheaper). I guess it is my writing style that made it seem like I was discrediting you, not intentional at all. I should proof read more than just typos before hitting the submit button to try avoid it happening, soz.

No harm done, I know you didn't intend it that way, but just generally praising CO2 whilst quoting me talking badly about it makes it look like a opinion to counter my own which could mislead anyone that doesn't know either of us.

 

I was just trying to explain how the CO2 mags were bad, not the gas.

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So I bought this gun a little over a week ago and it just came in today. I absolutely love it and I cant wait to take it out on the field but I want to get some optics for it. I haven't been able to find any WE brand SUSAT scopes in my area and I was wondering if anyone knew of some 20mm picatinny adapter rails that would fit on the 18mm dovetail. I did quite a few google searches but so far I my searches have been less than fruitful, any feedback would be great, thanks

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Ed, this and your ICS review are some of the best written on the Internet. If you haven't already you should definately write to some retailers and offer your services as a reviewer.

 

I'm looking at potentially getting an L85 for my next purchase (along with G36 series and SA VZ 58) and was leaning towards the ICS L85 because of your review and the fact I am part of a Mil-Sim group on Arma 3. I never originally considered gas due to concerns of how much the gas would cost.

 

But from reading the above I'm some what eased on that concern but that leads me to another question. I am not as technically minded as some, as such I tend not to 'tinker' and would not be hugely confident with repairing stuff myself.

 

With this in mind, what is easier to repair when they go wrong, AEGs or GBBR?

 

I thought before reading/watching both reviews that this would obviously be the AEGs however the components seem alot more complex, fragile and 'finicky' with alot more components that could go wrong whereas from your take down of the WE they look a lot more straight forward.

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I realize this is an old thread but I had just recently acquired the WE L85 GBB and am very happy with it. It came with the standard handguard and I changed it to a Madbull Daniel Defence rail - this is a used one from an ICS AEG. The adaptor needs to be modified so that is fits the WE L85. Also changed the iron sights to a G&G SUSAT and the mount needed to be shimmed as indicated in the earlier posts above. 

Would recommend this airsoft rifle just for the 'fun' factor :)

WE L85 GBB Rail Install (02).jpg

WE L85 GBB Rail Install (04).jpg

WE L85 GBB Rail Install (08).jpg

WE L85 GBB Rail Install (11).jpg

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