Review date: May 1, 2012
Model: Ares Knights Armament Stoner MG Ė 006 LMG
Type: AEG Ė Squad Automatic Weapon
The UPS guy arrives at my door with a strange package. I see the Evike label and think to myself this canít be my new SAW because this package is way too small. I tear off the paper and to my pleasant surprise it is! The ARES packaging is actually quite nice. It comes in a simple brown box with a small label on it. It is understated as if to say, ď if you bought this product, you are probably aware that it has hop up and youíre likely not impressed by the huge fps it shoots with 12g bbsĒ as seems to be the case with a lot of other AEG boxes one sees. When opened up the LMG is packaged nice in tightly in open cell foam, not the typical white Styrofoam. It has separate compartment for the weapon, magazine, stock, fore grip, and rail covers. The packaging also includes a very poor and incomplete instruction manual. It has a separate booklet with very good and clear instructions for disassembling and unjamming the box magazine (uh Ė oh), as well as a nice little signed certificate of authenticity from Knights Armament Company with the serial number on it.
Pulling this AEG out of the box it feels really solid Ö and light. Despite the horrid directions, assembly took only a minute. The upper body is a solid Aluminum. The lower, grip, and rail system are all made off nylon fiber and it does not feel like the cheap stuff. The detachable stock is metal and still feels a little sloppy when attached. You donít notice when the weapon is shouldered but when you are holding it down. The other minor irritation with it for me is that when in fire mode the ambidextrous safety is touching my trigger finger on the right side. Hopefully it is a minor annoyance that I will get over quickly. It came out of the box shooting at 382fps average with .20g bbs. It holds a fair group (a little smaller than a paper plate diameter at 90 feet)and a tight bore would improve that, but I prefer my SAW to spray a little for help with the covering fire. The overall heft and feel of this AEG are great, and anyone who has run the support class with a squad automatic weapon will instantly be in love with the way the ARES handles and feels.
Battery placement is very simple. A latch on top of the receiver releases the barrel, an AK type stick battery is placed in the gas tubs and connected under the bell, and the barrel slides back in. The outer barrel, inner barrel and hop all slide out together making it very easy to access these parts. Unlike most airsoft LMGs, the box magazine feeds directly into the bottom of the receiver. Thatís right, no aggravating spring feeder thingy to screw up and jam. The power for the box comes from a pigtail coming out of the receiver using the AEGs power source. This gun also has a quick change spring. Remove the stock and unscrew the back of the gearbox with a flat head, the spring pops right out, put the new one in and screw the plug back in. An awesome two minute spring change. The hop up is accessed from the top of the receiver. It is easy to get to and adjust while firing, and appears to be tight so that adjustment will hold. I really canít tell you how to access the gearbox right now and Iím not tearing her down for the review, hopefully I wonít have to update that for a while!
Overall I really like this platform. I want it to be great. I can sum it up one way. It weighed in at 8.3lbs full of bbs with the battery installed and it does not feel like a cheap toy. For a support gunner this is a dream. It feels comfortable and solid to shoulder and it shoots well. What else could you ask for, right? The only question left is durability, but only time will tell on that part. I definitely would give it a solid A at this point.
Great review Cupcake!! I have wanted one of these even before Dan(FKM) showed up at DV8 with one a few months back. If I ever went support this would be the gun I would go with. Keep up the good work and hope to see you at Red Dawn if not sooner! Stinger out....