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Iceni

LCT G3 - LC3A3. Review and Upgrade Review.

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Stock review:

Gun Name and maker: LCT G3 - LC3A3 Slim Olive Drab

 

FPS:                                         300 (UK import factory downgrade)

Hop up:                                  Rotary G36 style

Mag Capacity:                     Supplied Mid Cap 140rnd, High cap (optional) 500rnd

Battery:                                 Whatever fits. No lipo protection, and a good sized battery compartment.

Plastic/Metal/Both:         Steel, Glass re-enforced plastic.

 

My opinion and overall comments:

Out of the box the LCT G3 is something to behold. It's weight, and build quality are exceptional. The feel of the body is at a level that is normally only reserved for the very best AK's, Been made out of mostly a very generous thickness stamped steel. The gun feels real, Frighteningly so. It is the single best example of a G3 currently been sold on any airsoft market. 

The gun is finished in a professional gun blue, that has good scratch resistance, and is a nice deep matt black. This finish can be weathered to produce a used looking rifle.

The plastic parts are made out of a very high quality glass re-enforced plastic. The moulds are good with some raised die seams, but no flash on my example. The stock is fixed to a steel end cap and has brass inserts for the steel bolts to hold into. It has a generous thickness of plastic, and is built to last. The foregrip is made from even thicker plastic, it is solid with minimal movement. The plastic parts do not feel like regular airsoft plastic. These are thick solid chunks, made to be abused and feel real. The plastic parts are almost identical dimensions to the real steel wood and plastic counterparts, and various owners have built LCT G3's using both real steel sets.

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The attention to detail is not perfect, the gearbox through body pin is not present on the real gun, The selector is single side only, and the blanking cap does not move with the selector. The mid cap magazines need some work to feed correctly. And there are a few gearbox niggles, The tappet plate on mine was warped and slightly too short, The cylinder head had a poor airseal, and the rubber washer had come loose. Easy to fix but those problems should not happen on a  gun at this price.

To  further elaborate on those gearbox problems out of the box mine shot at 280fps. With a new tappet plate, and the cylinder head sorting it went up to 355fps. No upgrades were done, That was an out of the box drop of 75fps due to poor QC on my gun.

I took my G3 out on the day or purchase, before I sorted these issues, and even at a leaky 280fps, it shot straight and had very good range. The gun felt snappy on a 7.4v 30c battery, and all of the controls worked perfectly.

That been said the gearbox component selection bar the tappet plate is very good. Steel gears, Nice alu piston head, Good piston, O-ring airseal nozzle.

As such the LCT G3 is not an out of the box package that you can un-box and start to play with and expect 100% performance. The issues it does have are all correctable with a little time. And the second part of this review after the basic review is going to cover that.

The finish on the steel parts is also sharp, Some  effort has been  made to de-burr the steelwork, but it is in no way complete, and I would not recommend handling a new LCT G3 without gloves. Removing the burrs will take you about an hour with either a de-burr tool, a fine file, or some very fine wet and dry paper. And you will still find the odd burr that needs knocking back for the first few days of handling the gun.

 

Overall rating: Out of the box.


9/10 - looks and build quality external.

7/10 - function, midcaps have a feed issue (correctable).

6/10 - internals. Correctable errors by LCT.


In function the LCT G3 is the only top end solution for people wanting a steel G3. It has a few issues, but these are correctable. At it's price point these errors should have been picked up in QC and dealt with at the factory. LCT may at some point revise the G3 internals and correct any issue I have highlighted, and these problems are only relevant to my gun. I have a 1 gun sample and can not speak for the LCT QC department as a whole. The closest competitor is the Classic Army range that also see extensive modding to make it look real, but the CA gun isn't steel.

 


The second part of this review is going to deal with the minor issues of my LCT G3 and how I went about making one of these guns into a beast without breaking the bank.

 

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First Fix.

The very first thing you want to do to an LCT G3 is fix the burrs on the steel work. As previously stated it's going to take about an hour. And in that time you will get a chance to fully investigate the steelwork. You will see just how well it is constructed. The welds are substantial, and the pressed steel is done very well. No expense was spared on the body.

Oiling some of the metal on metal components should also be done on the first inspection. The cocking lever will want some oil on the slides, And the spring inside that will want some sticky grease to stop spring twang when you slap it closed. The mag release will want some oil on the flappy paddle mechanism, and will need some working to remove a bit of the stiffness.

You will also want to add a mosfet. A basic one was all I required for the gun. So I installed an Xcoretech X304u, and replaced the tamiya mini connector with deans. I also replaced 90% of the loom with silver plated wire. The stock wire is very good, and the loom is clean. Adding the fet gave me the opportunity to open the gearbox, at this point I did not know about the airleaks and thought the spring had been cut short to give 280fps. So initially I went in expecting to have to replace the main spring.

The tappet plate was the first thing I noted, It was tight on the sector gear cam and grabbing at the cylinder head on retraction slightly. I had a spare ASG ultimate v2 tappet plate in the bits box and replaced the stock part with that one. This tappet plate was the correct dimensions. Retracting correctly without the resistance, and slightly moving the airseal nozzle forwards.

The cylinder head was also tested for airleaks. And was found to be less than perfect. There was a slight warp on the cylinder wall caused by a slightly shallow and slightly too narrow O-ring groove in the cylinder head. I re-cut the grooves with a small file and put the rings back in with added silicone grease. This removed the warp and allowed the head to fully seal. I also had to glue back in the rubber washer. On my example there was no sign of any glue having been applied by the factory. I degreased the face of the cylinder head, Keyed the face with some fine wet and dry, and superglued the washer back into position.

I also took the time to re-shim the gearbox. The LCT shimming was decent, but not perfect.

The work to the gearbox took me about 3 hours. Most of that was the loom.

The fixes increased the FPS considerably. Up to 355 fps. And I didn't change or re-cut the spring from that. A gun tech should be able to do all of the above fixes if needed as part of a regular service. Expect to have to pay for the tappet plate (£10), but the cylinder head should be correctable, and the mosfet is no harder to install than any M4 variant. So don't expect to pay more, or for it to take longer than normal.


The mid cap magazines.

It took me a little head scratching to work out the feed issue. The LCT mid caps would stop feeding, then if you pulled the mag towards you would feed again (you could hear the spring engage). After a little head scratching and looking at the parts some things are apparent.

The feed tube for the Magazine is low compared to the roll-overs. And the internals have some movement and can roll slightly, This rolling motion and the force of the retention clip spring act together to further push the feed tube out of the hop unit, and allow the BB retention clip to partially re-engage.

To fix this I filed the back side of the plastic internals where they interact with the tang on the mag outer.

 

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I shimmed the magazine internals to remove the rolling action, Using 5x6mm plastic rod roughly cut into pegs.

 

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And I reshaped the steel tang on both the front and back of the mag outer to allow the internals to ride as close to the roll-overs as possible.

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With that all in place the mags feed perfectly. It's hard work for the first mag, but once you know what to look for it's a 20 minute fix per mag. This error seems to affect a lot of the G3 midcaps. I am not alone in having to find a solution to the poor feeding issue. LCT may fix this problem at the factory, but at the time of writing this there has been no information provided that this is the case.

 

 

Overall rating: First Fix repairs.


10/10 - looks and build quality external. De-burring and possibly weathering complete the look.

9/10 - function, midcaps have a feed issue corrected.

7/10 - internals. Correcting the airseal, Tappet plate, Mosfet, and shimming. The internals are still not Gucci, but the only way to get a 10 here is to be running a gate titan, on helical gears, with CNC shells. 7 is very good for what is in essence still a basic box design.





Taking it to the next level.

 

The LCT G3 can be modified with real steel components. Some fit without an issue, other require a little persuasion. This part of the review is going to cover taking this G3 and adding a wood kit, Real steel sight drum, A sling, and optics in 2 styles (stanag claw and rail adapter mount).


A real sling should be purchased for this G3. The leather German issue ones are easy to find on-line. You can normally find them in used condition for £10-15. Just make sure you get everything you need with the sling. It should be complete with a snap hook at one end, and a removable rivet to hold the belt style end. Adjustment is done on the Snap hook end. And with the correct sling the gun will sit correctly on the shoulder in both the barrel up and barrel down position. Barrel down is the most comfortable as the cocking lever will not be digging into your back. A muzzle protector included with a sling is also a nice bonus. If you can find a sling with the muzzle protector then it will fit on the LCT flash hider without a problem, and help stop debris getting into the barrel on storage.

Using the German sling is very easy, The weight of the gun is transferred directly through the shoulder. Using a more tactical sling might prove troublesome. The gun is heavy, and all that weight acting on your neck and shoulder with the gun horizontal will produce significant strain on the neck. The German vertical sling is the better option for a gun of this weight. LCT have used the correct size ring mount at the fore of the gun for the real sling, and the bar at the rear is also the correct width and height to make installation very easy.


The LCT rear sight drum is not correct for German Field issue. It has no range markings. The correct drum will have number 1-4 stamped into it to show you at a glance the range you are shooting. 1 and 2 are 200M range settings, the 1 been the open sight for low light. 3 is 300M, 4 is 400M. The LCT one not been stamped is not an issue for most people, but having those marking makes the gun look and feel more real. A real steel sight drum is not expensive, £15-20. And will fit directly into the LCT mount with no modification. Just make sure you get the spring for the de-tent as the LCT drum uses a different de-tent configuration to the real one. LCT have taken the time to drill the spring hole on the mounting, The LCT drum doesn't use this hole but the addition of it by LCT is a clear commitment to detail and makes installing real drum effortless. I didn't get a spring with mine and had to find a spring out of a mechanical pencil! With the spring in place the real sight works as intended. The LCT windage adjustment screw will fit into the real drum so there is no need to pick up a complete drum with mounting materiel package.



If you want to add a scope you have 2 options for mounting it:

A rail adapter mount, These come in many lengths, and all do the same basic thing. They have 4 screw style clamps and only fit the gun in one way, with the cut out on the mount resting in a slot on the top of the upper receiver. Adapter mounts for the G3 and MP5 should both work. And when fitted it will be a solid mount giving you a section of regular rail to mount an optic. It is advisable that the mount for the optic should be the type with a through sight design so you can continue to use the iron sight without needing to remove the optic. Mine was £10 and fitted without a problem.

Stanag claw mount, These are generally the more expensive mount option. And the most restrictive. There are 2 common designs. Stanag mounting holes that should work with all Stanag optics, The optic is bolted to the claw mount. Or a Stanag conversion plate to allow the mount to have a regular rail on top. These claw style mounts will work on the LCT without a problem. And the steel is both thick enough to take the clamp force and the upper is designed to make full use of the mount. There should be no issues with a claw mount provided it is from a quality manufacturer. Direct fit without any problems. If you are planning on using a claw mount with the conversion plate to a standard rail you will need very low optic mounts, or on rail mounts to keep the optic low, As the claw + a regular mount will be very high on the gun.

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The Mil surplus claw mount (1240--12-140-9932) will need the rubber grommet at the back of the mount removing. It's a 20 second job and is just pushed in.

The UTG/Leapers mount is cheaper, but there is a casting issue with some of the variants. The rubber grommet on the mil spec one was cast in metal directly into some of the UTG/Leapers mounts. If you get one of these you will need to file that extra mount of metal away.

There is also an Adapter to Stanag option. This system requires the G3/MP5 rail with the 22mm rail upper, then a conversion plate from 22mm to Stanag. ARMS do 2 plates that will make the final conversion, The ARMS 7 mount and the ARMS 19 mount. The ARMS 7 is very rare, but the 19 is available for a very high price so I don't recommend going this route. It will work out cheaper to mount a Hendsolt scope with a UTG/Leapers claw, or use scope rings with a 22mm rail fitting.


Getting your wood on.

 

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The foregrip, is a direct swap part for the plastic stock one. You remove the plastic one by removing the pin near the front target post. The handgrip then pulls away from the gun top edge first. The Wood foregrip will go directly into the gun without modification, and you can use either LCT body pins, or real steel ones.

The stock is much harder to fit.

First you will have to strip the wood stock down into components. The alloy end cap on the stock will need fully removing, This also removes the recoil guide and spring. Inside the stock there is a hole that may need enlarging. a small sharp chisel should be enough to remove this extra wood and make the hole larger without needing a drill. There are a few video's on-line showing this process.

You will also have to remove the metal end cap from the LCT plastic stock. It's 2 screws and the stock will be tight in the cap so expect a fight.

You then need to mate the LCT end cap to the wood stock. A sharp knife, Dead-blow hammer, some files/rasps, and a bit of wet and dry paper should be all the tools you need. Line the wood up to the end cap and look for the points of contact, it's then a case of removing as little materiel as possible to get the 2 parts to mate. It is better to have as tight a fit as possible so if you have to hammer the stock into the end cap the final result will be stronger. Expect the process to take 1 hour, and when you get it to mate you can put the screws back into the stock and feed through the loom to mount the stock. If done correctly the stock and end cap will mate perfectly. You can use either the LCT body pins or original ones, both sets look and fit correctly.

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Overall rating: Upgraded Externally.


10+/10 - Looks as close to a real G3 as you can get without actually modifying real steel receivers.

9/10 - function, midcaps have a feed issue corrected.

7/10 - internals. Correcting the airseal, Tappet plate, Mosfet, and shimming. The internals are still not Gucci, but the only way to get a 10 here is to be running a gate titan, on helical gears, with CNC shells. 7 is very good for what is in essence still a basic box design.

The external additions are purely cosmetic, and should only be done if you want that full wood look. The fitting is straight forward and not as hard as with other models of gun, LCT have done a fantastic job of keeping to the original dimensions of the real gun and it makes the conversion process almost effortless.




Final statement.

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LCT have done a good job with this gun, It is externally unparalleled. Internally there is room for improvement, and the mag issue is correctable.

The gun is almost perfect, and if LCT got the gearbox and mags right it would be perfect.

With some basic tech skills this gun can be classed as an intermediate project. You can throw money at it and replace parts, Or you could leave it stock just correcting the basic problems. Doing either will give you a gun that works, and looks fantastic.

This is not a gun you can buy and use from the factory. You will have to modify the mags at the very least and perhaps sort some minor gearbox issues, Until LCT correct these issues.

I would recommend the gun to anyone that is competent. But I would not recommend it to a new player, or to someone that can't get there head round sorting the mags. The mags are the big killer, And should be your main concern if you are looking at the gun. I have given you all of the information I have about correcting the problem and it has worked on my gun. Just remember it is a 1 gun sample and other problems may be apparent, or I might have an early gun  and the problem is already fixed.

 




 

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Tappet plates seem to be an LCT weak spot, certainly were on my RPD 

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If someone wants to proof read this then I would be grateful.

Otherwise I think it's about there.

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Lovely work

 

Cheers


G

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Nice writeup Iceni  - I have the G3 and its definitely very well put together, not had any feed issues yet with the midcap but the the fps is certainly low.

Just ordered a Gate Titan to put in so will take a peek internally then though not to sure on tappet plate corrections - could you elaborate a little?

Planning to put in a 130 to lift up the fps a bit to  (looking for around 450-475) so I can use this as a true dmr, factory fitted 120's get you to about 430-450 apparently (USA market).

 

Looking for slings now :)

 

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6 hours ago, Thuban said:

tappet plate corrections - could you elaborate a little?


There was no correction, it was a straight swap. The LCT one was visibly warped. The ASG one that replaced it went in without needing any modification.

I got my sling from Zib militaria with the muzzle protector. Wasn't expensive but it looks nice and was in good condition.

http://www.zib-militaria.de/epages/61431412.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61431412/Products/100499

 

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14 hours ago, Iceni said:


There was no correction, it was a straight swap. The LCT one was visibly warped. The ASG one that replaced it went in without needing any modification.

I got my sling from Zib militaria with the muzzle protector. Wasn't expensive but it looks nice and was in good condition.

http://www.zib-militaria.de/epages/61431412.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61431412/Products/100499

 

 

Zibs nice n cheep though they have a minimum spend order so if anyone else wants a sling in the UK let me know and I'll order a bunch.

Very tempted to get the real wood fore-grip and stock - you gun looks superb Iceni.

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Do it.

It's never going to loose value as a wood kit. So even if you never use it it will still be worth what you paid in a few years time.

 

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Ordered :)

Iceni - did you end up putting in a Gate Titan - just got mine in and having issues with the selector - just cant get it to register , blacked out all i can but no dice :(

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Nope I put in a basic mosfet. Xcortech x304u.

I personally don't see the point in a Titan, It's a great device in theory but for me I don't need the features it brings or the install fun.

I run 7.4v 2000mAh 25/50c batteries in the G3. So I'm not pushing the gearbox hard, The basic fet does the only thing I need it to do and that is protect the contacts.

If I want a better trigger response I'll upgrade the motor to a 35K and perhaps looks for a 130+amp battery that fits. That should boost it into the 25rps range. Outside of that all of my gearboxes are pretty basic,  I don't add upgrades that are going to significantly shorten the service period.

If you need Titan specific information you would be better served by making your own thread in the "Electric guns" section.
https://airsoft-forums.uk/forum/27-electric-guns/

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1 minute ago, Iceni said:

Nope I put in a basic mosfet. Xcortech x304u.

I personally don't see the point in a Titan, It's a great device in theory but for me I don't need the features it brings or the install fun.

I run 7.4v 2000mAh 25/50c batteries in the G3. So I'm not pushing the gearbox hard, The basic fet does the only thing I need it to do and that is protect the contacts.

If I want a better trigger response I'll upgrade the motor to a 35K and perhaps looks for a 130+amp battery that fits. That should boost it into the 25rps range. Outside of that all of my gearboxes are pretty basic,  I don't add upgrades that are going to significantly shorten the service period.

If you need Titan specific information you would be better served by making your own thread in the "Electric guns" section.
https://airsoft-forums.uk/forum/27-electric-guns/

 

Ah thanks, Had a late night and got it all sorted out.

For others -  info that might be of use - I used a sharpie to black out the selector plate and then all worked just fine.

I'm also running similar battery though I just put in a 130 spring as I'm pretty sure mine came with a 90 (300fps on .2's  - UK spec according to LCT).

Accurate range now is unbelievable though I think I'm pushing up around 460 fps - will crono later on, motor is getting a little warm.

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