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Defender90

PTS Mega MKM AR-15

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Gun Name and maker: PTS Mega MKM AR-15 (manufactured by KSC/KWA)

FPS: 350 on .20s originally now 450
Hop up:Yes
Mag Capacity: 40
Battery:No
Plastic/Metal/Both: Metal

My opinion and overall comments:

I deeply wanted a GBBR and decided that the best thing to do was buy a gun with as many of the weak points already eliminated, rather than something cheaper where the costs were as long as the proverbial piece of string.
I also wanted as realistic a GBBR as possible, a virtual acquaintance who is a deputy Sheriff in Kentucky told me they trained with KWA LM4 PTRs due to their faithfulness to the real steel they actually used, I like the idea of having something that duplicates the real thing even though … I like authenticity and nice thorough design, I'm an engineering and design fanboy even though I’m a bodger myself .
However as I wasn't so taken with the sound of the 2 piece upper of the KWA LM4 PTR this lead me in turn to the PTS Mega MKM AR15 as it has the same mechanicals but with rather Gucci Megalithic System of upper and lower receivers purporting to be machined from "billet" aluminium (I have my doubts about whether it is really machined from a solid billet, the real steel ones are, but a made in Taiwan airsoft? Unlikely).
I must admit I wanted an M4 but also something to set me apart from the run of mill.

Once I had it in my hands I knew I really wanted it, the pleasingly chunky Megalithic System does not feel like it's made of stamped metal like most AR15 airsofts, and indeed "real steel" weapons, but rather all of a piece with lots of nice little bevelled grooves to aid your grip. The angular MKM AR-15 Upper Receiver with integral KeyMod hand guard meets up with the slablike GTR-3H Lower very pleasingly, like a single, solid chunk of machined metal.
It all immediately strikes you as well designed and machined, whether from billet or not, in short it is a quality body.

It has an uninterrupted and effectively seamless full-length top rail which extends all the way from the back of the receiver to the front of the octagonal KeyMod handguard. The latter is one of the first things that strikes you about it: slimmer and more comfortable than the quad rail of my previous 416, albeit more frustrating to fit accessories to.
The Mega’s receiver flares at the front out to accommodate the fixing system which the handguard slips over and bolts into using 12 Allen keys which ensures the effectively seamless top rail and a really solid fit.
It has well machined “keyholes” all along seven sides, apart from the top, so you can mount whatever you want, where ever you want where it suits you best. Even mount the front iron sight off set if that’s your bag.
Of course one need not mount anything, as KeyMod is comfortable enough right out of the box and that would have the advantage of making it more balanced and less nose heavy unlike mine due to all my stuff dripping off the front end.
It doesn’t feel so much an M4 as a gun that shares the same layout and dimensions, there are other AR-15s with similar receivers and no doubt with KeyMod too but this one ticks more of my boxes.

The skeletonised trigger in it’s comfy, enlarged glove friendly guard, the bolt release and mag eject are set inside carved out hollows rather than the stamped enclosures as per normal and there's a nice little inset carved out in front of the trigger guard to rest your finger on, - it all adds to the impression of a custom gun right out of the box.
Of course all the controls work as per the real thing.
It feels sculpted.

The standard AR-15 selector is nothing special, likewise charging handle, bolt release and forward assist.

But I examined the internals and wanted it even more as it really is as advertised - as good a copy of the real steel as one can get while still being a working airsoft.
There is a roller bearing on “heel” of the hammer which the RS would not have, a plastic buffer but it has Steel Bolt Carrier and metal (but not steel) loading nozzle (For this reason I am always careful not to hold on to the mag when letting the bolt forward, allowing the mag to find it’s seat itself rather than risk the metal nozzle chipping the plastic feed lips).
The paint is good, nothing special really, despite it supposedly being “Black Hard Anodized Finish” Really? It just seems like paint to me - unlike TM’s Cerakote, which was a consideration.
The imminent arrival of TM’s M4 competitor was tempting but in the end I went for a known quantity rather than take a risk, albeit TM is very thorough but it is just a standard M4 with none of the designer touches that make the Mega feel so special. Besides the TM obviously wasn’t so realistic internally.

As to the markings, I don’t care really, it shoots just the same. But there’s nicely engraved Mega Arms logo, name etc on with on the left and some fairly small white painted stuff on the right: A PTS logo, serial number and other script identifying it as a training simulator made in Taiwan etc, does give me some nerdy satisfaction I must confess.
So I went for it.

It comes competently packaged in a nice branded box if that matters to you and with a good, well written and comprehensive instruction manual (which is not to be taken for granted by any means with airsoft), one mag, 30 round loading tool and a cleaning/unblocking rod.

I took home a 3 pack of PMags in addition to the normal STANAG type magazine that came with it. The gun did not like PMags despite them being KWA/PTS branded as well, the power was low and the bolt often didn't lock open, whereas the standard mag gave good power and behaved. So I took the PMags back and swapped for 3 standard STANAGs which worked, they have minimal mag wobble and look and feel very solid although not as good looking and tactile as the PMags with their lovely crackle finish.

Initially I tried a PTS/Fortis ShiftGrip for Keymod that I bought with the rifle but it didn’t work for me – it’s metal, not a good idea to my mind - better with a quality plastic like most grips. It is too short, even for my small hands. A clever idea though and your mileage may vary.

I got my EOTech 512 clone exactly where I wanted it thanks to that lovely seamless top rail and got going.

Not as fantastic trigger feel as I was hoping, mushy. I suspect being aluminium doesn't help with the feeling.
Yes that's right, for all the skeletonisation it's ally when you'd think, having gone to the trouble of making it so nice, they'd would've found some steel. And I am tempted to wonder if the Process steel trigger for the KSC M4 would fit.
In hindsight this should have raised questions in my mind re the quality of some of the internals, however takedown pins, mechanism, and bolt carrier are all steel.

Kicks quite nicely so far as I can tell, not having shot a real AR … as much as a .22 rimfire maybe? It shot OK, not as good as an AEG but approx 10” groupings at 15 yards on .20s.

 

Next the story of the hop up adjuster and other travails, modifications and results.

In order to make it look as authentic as possible the hop up adjuster is a hidden castellated 3/4 of a thin tube hidden just behind and around the breech which can only be seen if you look into the ejection port at an angle. This must be adjusted with a corresponding tiny wrench which is of course included.
The design is…. an acquired taste shall we say. It's fiddly and difficult to get the spanner firmly seated onto the nut. In my view hop up adjustment should only be done with the gun broken open and bolt removed. And even then gingerly and seldom. The LM4 uses same I understand.
My verdict on the material used is much less ambiguous – it’s wrong. Crap. No good.
The teeth round off immediately, as in first time you use it. It’s made of soft pot metal or aluminum that is just not up to the job, it smacks of penny pinching. And in this price range that is completely unacceptable not to mention just plain thick.
I’m no engineer but this is obviously a design flaw in that for such a thin part it clearly should be steel from the get go, a false economy and KSC/KWA deserve much criticism for such short termist “thinking”.
I do respect the idea behind the design and that they keep the appearance so authentic by so cleverly hiding it though.
Likewise the internal bolt spring seemed to break for no reason recently – more evidence of third rate materials?

After a traumatic attempt to install them myself *********** installed a Guarder steel hop up adjuster kit, which comes with hop up and a 6.02 from Intruder Shop.
In addition a Guarder steel “firing pin” as the original is also soft alloy and that’s just asking for trouble. A mechanical part knocking against the mag valve would wear away in time and surely lead to inconsistent results. I reckon I dodged another bullet there.

After that it shot much better: straighter and further, better than 10” groupings at 25ish yards on .25s, albeit more fussy about gas than before I think, Guarder Power Up really seems to be the best.

I found it even more fun then ever; it is very more-ish and I was like a little boy with a new toy and couldn’t leave it alone.
I could now almost discern things like consistency, range and accuracy. Nothing like my air rifle of course, but enough to simulate what I imagine real steel might be like and build up some muscle memory at reloading, cocking and shouldering the weapon etc.

I don’t get on with the standard fixed iron sights, so replaced the standard rear peep and front trident type replaced with Mbus style flip up sights. Much easier to get on with folded away, especially the front although I'd prefer to have an H&K ring type. The trident interferes with Co-Witnessing with my EOTech 512 clone, an H&K 416 ring type front would Co-Witness better with the holo’s ring of light.

Bolt hold open quite is variable, par for the course with GBBRs I understand now why TM went with a more belt and braces approach albeit it's less realistic.

Maintenance: After a few thousand rounds it probably needs some cautious filing - bolt lock catch , bolt carrier face and buffer lock for example. And judging by the rate of wear even the steel parts seem to be too soft for the job. Again I’m no engineer, so take proper advice.
Trigger mechanism has been faultless despite having had a couple of broken BBs and half the bolt spring make their way through it at various times.

It really is not as good to fit accessories to as a Picatinny but I view KeyMod as way of avoiding more jagged rails than you need as one can fit such rail sections only where you need them and no more.
I covered the unneeded KeyMod with grippy flat rubber sections, a rubbery Finger Stop section underneath with short rail sections attached in front and behind that for my forward grip and torch. These rubber KeyMod accessories are tricky to fit, awkward even. Better done after soaking it in hot water, maybe even using a little Windowlene as lube.

A PTS/Magpul MOE pistol grip replaced the mediocre standard one which seems out of place on such a quality body, in any case I find it unergonomic: hard, narrow and plasticy . Although in hindsight I might chosen a fatter and more sculpted one it is nevertheless much more wieldy and gives improved one handed control when reloading (as well as having a cute little compartment for storing the hop up tool),.
A PTS/Magpul ACR stock replaced the crane stock which I found way to slippery on the shoulder, whereas the moulded rubber butt pad of the ACR is much grippier and stays planted on my shoulder undeterred by recoil, much less likely to slide around in the irritating way the crane’s hard plastic did and gives much more positive check weld. It makes the gun much more pointable.
There is wobble but it is minimal. It has no less than three cute little compartments for storing tools and batteries! Truly AR15s are Barbie for men.
A PTS/Mega Arms Slide Lock Skeletonised Charging Handle makes for ambidextrous cocking without having to pull back on the left side of the T-Piece to release the steel latch the of the standard AR-15 type charging handle the gun came with. I find it more flexible, ergonomic and also better matches the aesthetics of the gun.

All of the above match the quality feel of the gun in general as opposed to the standard items, which I feel let it down somewhat.
The combination of rubber KeyMod sections, pistol grip and moulded butt pad make for a very grippy and planted experience on the shoulder - it all results in a wonderful, solid piece of kit that feels irresistible in the hands. I would recommend them as a way of improving the versatility of any GBBR AR-15.

Not really a great full auto “rock n’ roll” gun, it will do it if I keep to short controlled bursts – especially when mag is full – but I’m sure it won’t surprise you all to hear it’s no AEG. It soon runs out of steam and as such is a good reason to exercise fire discipline. (In any case, if we’re talking true authenticity I suspect that few militaries would pay for such a “Gucci” piece of kit so the most, if not all real steel Mega AR-15s will be semi only civilian models).

Approx 450fps on .20s and 350 on .28s with Guarder Power Up gas according to FireSupport, I mostly use .25s Bio BBs in order not to have the land littered with BBs for generations to come.
Groupings : I was reliably hitting a shoebox at 30 yards but since it came back from FireSupport I can only say I can reliably hit an oil drum at approx 25 – 40 metres / yards and 90% hit rate at 50 (wind permitting) at the moment. I am waiting for a spare, wind free moment to zero everything in.
I mostly stick to Guarder Power Up as it seems the best frankly, Brut Sniper Gas a disappointment, NuProl Red is OK when it’s cold, Swiss Arms Extreme is alright I guess, at the least with .20s.

Cool down is not too bad considering, if I stick to spaced double taps on semi with only a couple of short bursts at most. And consistency is an issue of course but even in winter it tends to get more than 2 magazine’s worth of shots out of a single filling of gas although it often won’t engage the bolt lock on the 2nd lot of BBs.

I’ve only once had to unjam the barrel
Only had BB problems once or twice. Although at least once the broken BB must have made it's way through the trigger group but it seemed to shrug that off.

Recently the hop up came adrift and the bolt spring broke at the same time which meant it was out if action at the hottest time of year. Profoundly irritating.
Since it came back it seems to be shooting to the right but I shall cautiously observe, experiment and gingerly fiddle with hop-up on as wind free day as I can before jumping to any conclusions.

Pukes it’s recoil spring out probably the plastic buffer, although the buffer retainer pin seems undersized as well. Not sure what I can do about that. Apparently it’s a MilSpec buffer tube dimensions though and I believe I even heard that a real steel buffer and spring would fit… Hmmm. Although whether they would work well is something else again I suspect. Heard it's possible to jam a socket in the back of the bolt carrier for more recoil too.

Final verdict? As it comes it’s a bit of a Curate’s Egg: Excellent in parts, the rotten bits are inexcusable at this price. I would advise having the shop fit Guarder steel hop adjuster and firing pin before delivery as the pot metal bits will break, probably immediately in the case of the hop adjuster. And send the bill to those cheapskates at KSC/KWA!

But I have to say I just love the way it feels and looks, especially with the MagPul bits on and just can’t keep my hands off it.

Obviously this is way too hot for games, shredding cardboard boxes at 40 yards is more what I have it for. But. I am wondering if it could stand up to actual competition with a NPas bolt … or maybe it could take HPA? Be expensive if it bust though.

 

Overall rating:
7.5/10 originally

with modifications 9/10

 

https://postimg.org/gallery/170h1kcnq/

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Also owning 2 of these (and having owned 9 other LM4 based guns), few corrections need to be made.

 

The stock nozzle, only the loading ramp is metal, the rest is a hard polymer - It's the same nozzle construction as every LM4 based gun. Replacing the Nozzle with a RATech NPAS nozzle http://www.milspecsolutions.co.uk/ra-tech-upgrade-parts/ra-tech-kwa-ksc-upgrades/ra-tech-kwa-ksc-m4-loading-nozzle-and-npas.html is all that is required to lower the velocity, not the entire bolt, as that would be a tad expensive and somewhat over kill.

 

I've got an email somewhere (i'll find it when i'm not at work and screengrab it) where I got PTS to confess that the hard anodized claim was in fact complete B******t, it is only painted.

 

Do not under any circumstances use a real buffer spring, the compression strength is a magnitude higher, and will prevent the rifle from cycling.

 

It is a milspec receiver extension (i use a Magpul USA PRS Stock with milspec threads) on one of them.

 

The threads for the barrel nut on the receiver are AEG spec, again concurrent with generic LM4's (not that it matters with the proprietary upper receiver).

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I mostly stick to Guarder Power Up as it seems the best frankly, Brut Sniper Gas a disappointment, NuProl Red is OK when it’s cold, Swiss Arms Extreme is alright I guess, at the least with .20s.

 

Great write up, defender90!

 

Do you mind if we ask in what way our Brut Sniper Gas disappointed?

 

Thanks!

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Thank you.

On this, admittedly much modified, GBBR it suffers in comparison to Guarder's Power Up in that it feels as if it has less power, seemed like less shots per fill up and is less likely to engage the bolt catch. However I never tried it on the MKM when unmodified.

On my completely unmodified TM G18C it is very good and satisfactory but I worry it is a little "hot" for an entirely plastic gun and that I am stressing it, in what passes for summer temperatures here in the UK anyway, I might buy another can for winter use with the Glock.

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Also owning 2 of these (and having owned 9 other LM4 based guns), few corrections need to be made.

 

The stock nozzle, only the loading ramp is metal, the rest is a hard polymer - It's the same nozzle construction as every LM4 based gun. Replacing the Nozzle with a RATech NPAS nozzle http://www.milspecsolutions.co.uk/ra-tech-upgrade-parts/ra-tech-kwa-ksc-upgrades/ra-tech-kwa-ksc-m4-loading-nozzle-and-npas.html is all that is required to lower the velocity, not the entire bolt, as that would be a tad expensive and somewhat over kill.

 

I've got an email somewhere (i'll find it when i'm not at work and screengrab it) where I got PTS to confess that the hard anodized claim was in fact complete B******t, it is only painted.

 

Do not under any circumstances use a real buffer spring, the compression strength is a magnitude higher, and will prevent the rifle from cycling.

 

It is a milspec receiver extension (i use a Magpul USA PRS Stock with milspec threads) on one of them.

 

The threads for the barrel nut on the receiver are AEG spec, again concurrent with generic LM4's (not that it matters with the proprietary upper receiver).

Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

 

The gas nozzle feels metal, as does the loading bit beneath it, different metals but looks OK quality. Did mine get renewed and I don't remember... maybe.

Does that NPAS adjust up the current power levels I've got? I don't want to go down on power for my plinking but it would be nice to have it competitive. Or would I be nuts to take such an expensive bit of kit into harm's way? I hear tales of GBBR users never finishing a game.

 

Hah! Suspected as much with the paint thing.

 

So my buffer tube is milspec dimensions? Although I feel the fault lies more with the buffer stop, and am seeing results with (very) cautious filing: What do you think about a metal or RS buffer? Would I feel any benefit? Alternatively there's the jam-a-socket-into-the-back-of-the-bolt-carrier-for-more-recoil method, which appeals to the ham fisted bodger in me. Or would that have bad knock on effects?

 

I'm super happy with the ACR but wow that does look like a nice piece of kit!

 

Re the previous reply from Abbey; What has been your gas experience?

 

As ever there are so many variables with airsofts, and GBBs in particular that it is difficult for me to be sure of when I'm making a difference.

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Thank you.

On this, admittedly much modified, GBBR it suffers in comparison to Guarder's Power Up in that it feels as if it has less power, seemed like less shots per fill up and is less likely to engage the bolt catch. However I never tried it on the MKM when unmodified.

On my completely unmodified TM G18C it is very good and satisfactory but I worry it is a little "hot" for an entirely plastic gun and that I am stressing it, in what passes for summer temperatures here in the UK anyway, I might buy another can for winter use with the Glock.

That's Interesting, thank you! We'll look into it and see what can be done.

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