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2008 Systema P.T.W. CQBR–MAX

Review date: April 21, 2008
Model: P.T.W. CQBR—MAX 2008
Manufacture: Systema
Retailer: Empire Airsoft


I have been playing airsoft for a while now. I have bought many Classic Army, Tokyo Marui, ECHO1, etc. and they are all pretty nice guns. But compared to my Systema PTW, they were like those little springer guns you buy at Wal-Mart for $15. I play airsoft as a serious hobby and I enjoy the comraderie of playing with friends and a team. If you are serious about playing airsoft, you need a serious gun - Systema PTW.

Why Buy?

I purchased my Systema because I was sick and tired of going to games and having my guns break down on me right before the start of the game. I wanted something reliable and easy to use, and that is exactly what I got. I had heard nothing but good things about Systemas and the people that I knew who had them, swore by them.


The Systema PTW (Professional Training Weapon) started out as a tool for both Law Enforcement and Military personnel to use in order to provide a realistic training environment and still maintain the use of the weapons that they were familiar with (the M4 and M16 Rifle). Since then, Systema has begun making another version of the PTW that they sell to consumers worldwide for use in MilSim and Airsoft games. The only big difference between the Mil/LE version and Consumer PTW is that the Mil/LE has a different motor that is built exclusively for durability to minimize maintenance and upkeep. The PTW field strips and breaks down just like a real M4, and in a matter of a few seconds you can have it in pieces. It features a self-contained cylinder system allowing the user to swap out different cylinders to obtain the desired FPS. The cylinders range from an M90 shooting around 290-310 fps all the way to the infamous M150 shooting 500-550fps!


I purchased my Systema from Empire Airsoft in Kalamazoo, MI. I purchased it there for three reasons. 1) I live in Michigan half of the year so I wanted an actual storefront that I could take my gun into if it needed repairs 2) Later this year (Spring '08) Empire will become the official Systema Dealer/Warehouse for this region of the United States making them the “go-to” guys for parts and such, and 3) Empire is an Authorized Systema Dealer. I ordered everything through their website ( and through phone conversations with their one and only employee, Steve. (Whole different story...HaHa) I ordered my gun, magazines, batteries, charger, and sling adapter through them. They sent me great products and I had no problems with defective parts or anything of that sort. I recommend them to everyone I meet who is interested in a PTW.

Watching and Waiting

Here is where things got a little bumpy. I ordered my PTW from Empire right after Shot Show in Las Vegas. It just so happens that Systema decided to SHUT DOWN their factory for that week, just my luck!! So there were only a few PTW's left in the United States that weren't already claimed. Luckily, since Empire is high up on the retailer list for getting shipments, they had priority over everyone else. I called Steve and told him that I wanted the CQBR model after deciding that the extra few inches of barrel on the M4-A1 weren't that important to me. “No problem, I should have it in a few days”, he said. After bugging him with numerous phone calls for about 5 days, he told me that there had been a shipping mistake and that my package was either in Ohio or Massachussets. Turned out that it ended up in Massachussets and it would have to be overnighted to me for my game on Saturday. Long story short, Wallace at Z-Shot was nice enough to cover the shipping charges since it was their error and on Friday night I finally saw the UPS headlights coming down the street. I dropped the TV remote on the floor and ran out the front door. I have no clue what name I signed on the UPS clipboard but the delivery man bought it. I lugged my giant package inside my house and slammed the door.


Since I ordered so many things, my package came in a huge box. I grabbed the scissors out of the drawer and cut open my package. I grabbed one of the smaller boxes inside and the packing peanuts came pouring over the edges of the large box. Finally at the bottom of the box was my baby. I opened up the black box with the bright red Phoenix on the front and took a look at it. I was especially happy when I saw that nothing had been damaged. Everything had been packed flawlessly and well organized inside the box so nothing was shaking around during shipping. I cleaned up some of the peanuts, and begain tinkering with my new gun.

First Look and Tests

Since I had been checking out pictures online for weeks and fantasizing about what I wanted my gun to look like, I immediately started to install different parts. But, out of the box, the PTW comes with very high quality furniture and body. It is full metal and is extremely sturdy. As mentioned earlier, it is compatible with nearly every real steel part that you can think of and installs the same way as one would on a real M4. I immediately put a battery in the stock. Battery installation is a breeze!!! You pop off the butt cap, pull out the tamiya connector, connect the ends, and slide in the battery. No more fumbling with wires and having to figure out how to jam them all inside the notorious crane stock. I loaded up a 120rnd Mag and popped it in my gun. Took it into my garage, put on my ANSI sealed goggles (of course), switched to SEMI, and...nothing. Oops, I forgot to press the bolt catch. Just like a real M4, the Systema has a functioning bolt catch button. You have to press it when you insert a new mag and once you are out of BB's the gun automatically stops firing. This prevents dry-firing which can be very damaging to normal AEG's. Now I pressed the bolt catch and... Zip, Zip, Zip, Zip, Zip. The BB's tore through the Pepsi can I had duct taped to my BB catching target. The trigger response on a Systema is the best thing about it. You can shoot on semi-auto and still shoot faster than a normal AEG that is on full-auto. On full-auto it isn't even fair...HaHa. With a 12volt battery you can pump out a stream of BB's and lay down cover fire like there is no tomorrow!

Included in the Systema PTW box:

  • 1x Systema Professional Training Weapon
  • 1x 120rnd Magazine
  • 1x M150 Cylinder
  • 1x Speed Loader/Loading Tube

Game Use

My first game with my new Systema was the next day. We played over at a desert type field. The first game we played the opposing forces had a 20+mph wind behind them, thus doubling their effective range and cutting ours in half. Our fire team was stationed on a hill (our spawn area) and out team could barely shoot past our shadows...HaHa. FA-Tony and I were the only ones on the hill with Systemas and we were the only ones that could actually shoot farther than 40 feet. Of course the other team overtook our position but at least I was able to get in some trigger time!! Later on that day once the wind died down I had even more fun since my range doubled and I could easily hit targets at 100 feet. The Systema has a very tight grouping on both semi and full-auto. Most AEG's shoot fairly straight on semi-auto but once you switch to full, that is where they become innacurate. The Systema maintains a very tight grouping even on full auto. I know that when a target is within 60 feet all my BB's will hit within 12 inches of another. I use .25's because I have found that they give me the perfect balance of distance and accuracy. Overall the Systema performs very well during gameplay, which is exactly what a player needs when he goes out on the field and skirmishes.


Overall the Systema PTW is worth every penny. I will admit that it is a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for. You are making an investment in your hobby and if you enjoy airsoft/MilSim enough you will make the investment. I found out that adding up all the money I spent on other normal AEG's, I could have easily bought a PTW. You can only be as good as your equipment, so why not have the best of the best?

Systema PTW, Everything else is just a toy.


Review by: jdizzle921


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© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego