topbar for interface

Classic Army MP5A2


Review date: 1-7-2001
Model: Classic Army MP5A2
Type: Automatic Electric Gun
Manufacturer: Classic Army
Retailer: Airsoft Extreme

Ever since I sold my Marui MP5SD5, I have been waiting for the opportunity to replace it with another SMG. As I built my collection up with other models, I realized that we all MUST have an MP5 somewhere in there. Recently, I began shopping for a full metal Marui MP5A4, and it is then that I first heard of the new Classic Army MP5 series. Famous for their metal bodies and other AEG accessories, they have now stepped into the market as the newest manufacturer of complete guns.

The MP5A2 that Classic Army offers fit the bill of what I wanted in a gun. They come with a full metal body, including upper receiver, cocking tube, Navy-style flash hider, front and rear sight assemblies, and of course other metal parts like magazine releases, trigger, etc. All of CAšs MP5s sport the A3-style lower grip that is available as an aftermarket accessory for the Marui guns, and I had already had my eye on this upgrade. The A2 and A3 models also include a G&P/SureFire replica handguard AND flashlight! The internal gearbox components are also upgraded for durability with items such as a reinforced gearbox, metal bushings, and an upgraded piston. CA uses Maruišs EG1000 motor, while Marui MP5s come with an EG700. And instead of the normal 50 round standard magazine, Classic Army ships their guns with a 200 round high capacity model. These guns simply cannot be beat in terms of what you get for the money, and matched perfectly with what I wanted in my new MP5.

Upon doing some internet research, I found that Airsoft Extreme was the sole source here in the United States offering the Classic Army lineup. I read up on these guns on their website, and was sold. Once my defense budget allocated funds, I immediately ordered my MP5A2. After only a few days of waiting for the gunšs arrival to them, Peter at Airsoft Extreme notified me that it was on its way to me.

Initial Impressions

When my package arrived via Priority Mail, I could hardly wait to see one of these guns firsthand. I was surprised to see that CA already has nice packaging prepared for these guns. Early guns were offered with a free carry bag, and I have since found out this was because their regular boxes were not available yet. Mine came in a standard Styrofoam tray, with a sturdy cardboard box top. There is a nice graphic of the gun on the box, and all writing is in English. A full color manual printed on glossy paper, also completely in English, is included with these guns. The manual covers all of the CA MP5 models(A2, A3, SD3, and SD5), and includes a section with spare parts illustrations. One minor disappointment is that these guns do not come with a cleaning rod, but I will be able to use one from my other guns. It would be a good idea for them to include these, since some people may only have this gun.

My CA gun came packaged with the flash hider uninstalled, and the obligatory orange marking was on the inner barrel. This works out nicely, because the flash hider covers this completely. On these guns, the flash hider is not the quick release style found on Marui guns. Rather, it attaches as a permanent outer barrel assembly to the front of the gun. Classic Army includes both the flash hider AND a three lug barrel so that a tracer unit or other suppressor can be installed. These two barrel ends attach via a 1.5mm set screw located on the underside of the front sight assembly, just as found on Maruišs MP5 series. I immediately installed the flash hider and began sizing up my latest acquisition.

This gun is my first all metal airsoft, and I was immediately impressed by its heft. EVERYTHING other than the stock and grips on this gun is metal, and gives the gun a very solid feel. The manual that came with the gun claims a weight of 2.635kg(about 5.8lbs), and it definitely feels nearly twice as heavy as a Marui SD6 I used for comparison. There are no squeaks or rattles heard from this gun...period. In fact, removing the front pin to get the handguard off required a screwdriver to help push it out. This gun is that tight, and makes it the most solid AEG I have handled to date.

The metal body is finished in a very flat black color, despite some of the comments on various airsoft websites stating that the guns are gray. Although the gun does show a hint of gray in photographs, I believe this is due to the texture of the finish, and the way that the camera flash reflects off of it. The best description I can give of the appearance of the body is that it looks very matte black, and seems to look different depending on how the light hits it. Some of the raised surfaces of the gun appear lighter in color until you look at it from another perspective. I have extensive experience with real firearms, and can easily say that Classic Army uses a very convincing finish on their product.

Classic Army chose to install A3-style lower receivers on their new guns, and it is a nice change of pace from the Marui navy-style unit. This is just another way that a CA gun can set you apart from the crowd. The grip is molded in a very high quality plastic, and its markings are finely detailed. The A3 grip is not ambidextrous like the Marui, and the selector lever is located on the left side of the gun. Instead of the bullet pictograms we find on Marui guns, this model is marked S, E, and F- 'S' meaning SAFE, 'E' identifying SEMI, and 'F' naturally meaning FULL AUTO. The grip also has finger grooves and a thumb rest molded in. This earlier style of HK lowers is quite familiar to seasoned enthusiasts, and it is nice to see it on an airsoft model.

The G&P/SureFire foregrip is another well-known accessory in the airsoft market, and really rounds out the A2šs looks. It comes already mounted on the gun, and the bulb assembly is uninstalled. The genuine SureFire bulb comes sealed in a factory package, and is easily installed by removing the end cap from the flashlight. The unit requires two DuraCell DL123A camera batteries, and they are not provided with the gun. The foregrip features a full length pressure switch located on the right side, and it is functional across its entire length unlike Maruišs lesser product. The light is definitely powerful, and seemed to be on par with my genuine SureFire 6Z combat light. Expect about one houršs worth of light from a set of batteries.

Inspecting the stock of this gun finds its quality to be much higher than the Academy stocks I have previously put on other MP5s. The texture and finish of the Classic Armyšs stock is much more accurate looking, and the butt plate is actually rubberized. The mounting plate for the rear sling point is another metal part on this solid gun. Removing the butt plate provides access to the battery compartment, which houses a large type battery. Unlike Marui guns, the Classic Army MP5 does not have a fusebox. Rather, the battery is directly wired to the motor with no circuit protection. Although I donšt think that this will prove to be a problem, I would much rather have seen them install a fuse.

Performance

I must let it be known that when I first test fired this gun, I experienced a gearbox failure after approximately 150 rounds. Apparently, the piston got stuck in its most rearward position and would not fire anymore. Once I get a report as to what caused this failure, I will post an addendum here. Although this was very disappointing, I must commend Peter at Airsoft Extreme for his excellent customer service. Once I notified him of the problem, he immediately shipped out another gun to me and told me to ship the defective one back at his expense. I was very pleased that he didnšt make me wait until he received my defective gun before shipping the replacement. I advise people to remember the fact that these are mechanical devices, and as such they are susceptible to occasional failure. That is where the customer service of your retailer becomes important, and Airsoft Extreme did what they needed to do to correct my situation. When my replacement gun arrived, I was obviously anxious to try it out. I charged my 1500maH battery, loaded the magazine, and headed to our local playing field for some target shooting and chronograph readings.

First order of business was to set the Hop Up. The adjustment lever is located in the same location as Maruišs- on the left side of the gun near the cocking tube. My first observation was that the lever is slightly shorter than Maruišs, and that makes it a little cumbersome to operate. Once I found the ideal setting, it was noted that this gun does not seem to require as much Hop Up as a Marui MP5. They usually shoot well with the lever about midway through its travel. My Classic Army gun seems to like the lever more towards the minimum setting with 0.2g Marui BBs.

I immediately noticed that this gun does not sound like a Marui; it has more of a "raw" sound to it. I speculate that this could be due to the metal body, since it may not muffle the sounds of the gearbox like the plastic-bodied Marui guns. My teammate commented that the gun doesnšt sound like that when you are standing nearby, and I noticed less of the "raw" sound when he was firing it.

Next stop, the chronograph station. Using 0.2g Marui BBs, I proceeded to take 12 shots in semi-auto. I removed the highest and lowest numbers, and averaged out the remaining 10 readings. This particular gun produced an average velocity of 369.6 feet per second(FPS), which was a surprise since I had read that these guns were no longer shooting at upgraded levels. I inquired with Peter at Airsoft Extreme about this, and he informed me of yet another production update to these guns. Apparently, my gun is from the latest shipment from Classic Army and includes a modification requested by Airsoft Extreme. It was relayed to the manufacturer that people had originally been expecting improved power over similar Marui guns, and that something needed to be done to up the velocity to around 320fps. In response to this request by Airsoft Extreme, Classic Army is now installing a poly spacer inside the piston in order to increase spring compression, thus raising the velocity. Apparently, it was thought by CA that 320fps was needed with 0.25g BBs, which is the commonly used weight overseas. The result is that the gun is actually shooting quite a bit faster than that when 0.2’s are used.

Once finished with the chrono readings, I headed over to our target range to see how accurately these blazing BBs were being directed to their target. I took three shots from 5 yards twice, just to verify my sight adjustment. The Classic Army MP5 series features the same adjustable sights found on Maruišs guns, but these are all metal! From the pictures of the targets, you can see that the gun was producing very repeatable results in a nice tight group. Moving out to 10 yards, I was still able to produce acceptable results and actually put two BBs through the same hole! All of the test firing was done from an unsupported, standing position. At 20 yards, the results show that two of the six shots taken went over the target. The four shots that did make the paper still were acceptable when you take into account that a human target is much larger than this 8.5x11" sheet of paper that I was shooting at. Possibly, I need to lower the Hop Up slightly, but the BBs appear to the naked eye to be flying straight with the current setting.

After doing the serious target shooting, I relaxed and did some full auto firing. The gun really shoots nicely, and the rate of fire may be just slightly higher than that of a Marui gun. This could be due to the EG1000 motor installed by Classic Army. I have read reports from other CA owners that the included high capacity magazine sometimes fails to feed and causes dry fires occasionally. I did notice this on my first magšs worth of shooting, but did not see it occur again during the following 800 rounds or so. I think that the magazines may need a little break-in time to get smoothed out. I also noticed that the magazine can be slightly difficult to insert into the gun, and that once inserted it does have a little play to it. I have heard that this is to be expected with metal-bodied guns, and it doesnšt affect performance. The selector lever audibly clicks into each firing position when moved from ŒFš up to ŒSš, and there are slight depressions molded into the lower receiver which help to show where the lever should be for each firing position. However, I did notice that the clicks were not audible when going down from ŒSš through ŒEš and ŒFš. This really isnšt a problem, and the lever can still be easily put into the proper positions if you pay attention.

Conclusion

Overall, I am very happy with the Classic Army MP5A2. Although I got off to a shaky start with the first gunšs failure, this one seems to be doing fine. The fact that these are very new guns, coupled with my realization that anything mechanical is subject to occasional failure, leads me to believe that these guns are not poor quality. Time will tell the true story, but I believe that the quality will continue to improve as Classic Army gets more feedback from the field.

Classic Army has done a superb job in bringing some of the most sought after MP5 accessories together in one package. The huge amounts of metal make this gun a very convincing replica, and the A3-style lower receiver and G&P handguard and light round out this gunšs great looks. The gun is very solid, heavy, and shoots quite nicely. Fit and finish is excellent overall, and the gun has a nice appearance to it.

I would highly recommend that anyone looking for an MP5 consider these guns, as they are a tremendous value when you consider all of the accessories that are included. Before settling on this gun, I priced out an identical package using a Marui gun as a platform, and was quoted a price of nearly $700 from a Hong Kong dealer! I have tried to think of anything that could use improvement on this gun, and I really canšt come up with anything substantial. CA really did well with their first attempt at producing a complete gun, and I canšt wait to see what they come up with next!


Review by: FA-John.

 


[Back to Top]
© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego