Tech Tips: The last gearbox instructional you’ll ever need!

Our lead technician Josh takes you through this in-depth video on everything you’ll ever need to know about your M4 airsoft gearbox. How do they work? How to take them apart? Tips, tricks and hints galore!

The video may be long, but it is chock full of great information. A definite “FAVORITE” and a video you can come back to again and again.

If you still have additional questions or want to suggest another video for our techs to provide, email us at info@vipairsoft.net!

What’s the Difference? – 3 Rifle Comparison

“So…. how come these guns look the same but cost different? What’s the difference?”

Here at our retail walk-in location, we get that question a lot when it comes to our three most popular M4 style AEG rifles: the G&G CM16 Raider, the KWA CQR Mod 2 and the Elite Force V2 CQB/CQC. They all look so similar, so we’re dissecting the ins and outs (literally!) of each gun to give you on easy to understand list right here!

G&G CM16 Raider :    $189.95 –    9.6v Battery & Charger Included
Elite Force V2 CQB:    $169.95 –    No Battery
KWA CQR Mod 2:       $199.95 –    No Battery

EXTERNALS

FRONT BARREL/BODY

The G&G CM16 Raider (left) comes with a fiber reinforced polymer quadrail system and triangle sight.

        Fiber reinforced polymer upper and lower receiver

The Elite Force V2 CQB (center) comes with a metal quadrail system and flip up sights.

        Fiber reinforced polymer lower receiver and reinforced charging handle

The KWA CQR Mod 2 (right) comes with a fiber reinforced polymer handguard and triangle sight.

        Fiber reinforced polymer lower with metal upper receiver

3GunRails copy

FRONT/REAR SIGHTS

The G&G CM16 Raider (left) comes with a removable iron rear sight paired with the front triangle sight.

The Elite Force V2 CQB (center) does not come with a rear sight but has a front flip up sight.

The KWA CQR MOD 2 (right) comes with a removable iron rear sight and triangle front sight.

3GunSights

REAR STOCK/BATTERY COMPARTMENT

The G&G CM16 Raider (left) comes with a basic crane stock with 2 piece battery compartment butt stock plate.

The Elite Force V2 CQB (center) comes with a modified crane stock with flip down battery compartment access.

The KWA CQR Mod 2 (right) comes with basic stock. Battery access is within the front handguard.

3GunBattery

MAGAZINES

The G&G CM16 Raider (left) comes with a metal Hi-Cap magazine

The Elite Force V2 CQB (center) comes with (2) metal Hi-Cap magazine

The KWA CQR Mod 2 (right) comes with a Mid-Cap 120rnd capacity magazine.

3GunMags

INTERNALS & EXTRAS

G&G CM16 Raider

        – Standard V2 Gearbox                                            – Standard ratio gear set

        – Aluminum cylinder w/composite head                   – (6) 8mm bushings

        – Plastic piston                                                          – Plastic nozzle

        – Aluminum inner barrel with brass ring

        – Adjustable Hop-up with C-Clip with 2 o-ring attachment to brass barrel

ELITE FORCE V2 CQB

        – Reinforced standard V2 Gearbox                          – Standard ratio gear set

        – Aluminum cylinder w/composite head                   – (6) 8mm bushings

        – Plastic piston w/ metal teeth                                  – Plastic nozzle

        – Aluminum inner barrel with brass ring                    – Adjustable Hop-up

        – Micro-switch trigger (for slightly increased trigger response)

        – “Quick” change spring (Still have to remove gearbox from receiver, but don’t have to open gearbox)

KWA CQR MOD 2 

        – 2GX Gearbox

        – Heat treated gear set with 5mm reinforced torque gear

        – Fully brass inner barrel

        – Adjustable Hop-up with C-Clip attachment and 2GX high performance bucking

        – (6) 9mm bearings

        – Plastic piston with heat treated metal teeth

        – Reinforced cylinder with composite head

        – Thicker reinforced angled trigger post for decreased chance of damage

THE BATTERY QUESTION

Finally, we’ll discuss the impending question… “why don’t 2 of them come with a battery like the Raider?”

Elite Force recently released their V2 model CQB and CQC rifles and stopped packaging their equipment with a battery and charger. While the consumer may see this as “swindling” by the company- it was actually a strategic move for the benefit of the consumer. No longer packaging a battery with the gun increases the consumer’s ability to purchase and use a “fresh” battery as opposed to one that may have been sitting in a warehouse for a while which slowly drains the overall life of the battery itself. Now you get to choose if you want an 8.4v (eww… yuck), 9.6v (recommended) or upgrade a few components and go with a 7.4v LiPo (talk with a technician prior to this option).

The KWA CQR series, like most KWA rifles, also come without a battery so the consumer can choose if they want to stay with the typical recommended 9.6v or go straight to a 7.4v LiPo. It puts the power of choice into your hands!

That being said, we do sell the G&G CM16 Raiders with a battery and charger combo which we order specifically for our facility. That special order means they aren’t sitting in the warehouses for months on end like that. We chose to offer the addition of battery and charger to our customer as a convenience.

LETS SUM THIS UP

So we’ve gone over all the externals and internals of each rifle and as you can see, there are clearly some significant differences between each of the rifles from materials to quality of the internal components. All three comes with a 30 day manufacturer warranty and if you purchase through our online or walk-in retail location, you get an additional 30-day repair warranty!

We hope that this will give you some insight into your decision current or future.

You can find these three great rifles at our walk-in location or order them online for shipment within the continental U.S. at www.vipairsoftarmory.com

Stay tuned for more upcoming product comparisons and other helpful tips and tools!

ADVANCED TIPS 2: Upgrading Your Gun

So you bought a great gun, but now you’ve grown tired of it. It doesn’t shoot as quickly or perform the way you want anymore. Instead of buying a new gun- upgrade it! But where do you start? Just like a new car being brought into the shop, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on parts you don’t need or are unnecessary. You just want it to go from good to amazing.

Some players choose to purchase a high end gearbox, while others just upgrade their existing gearbox through new bearings and shimming. Upgrading gearboxes can be confusing with a wide array of parts, choices, brands, fittings, and terminology. Knowing the type of parts that work for your gearbox and which will parts will give you the performance enhancements you’re looking for, will help you get the most for your money. Get to know your local airsoft technician if you’re still unsure, and they’ll help you choose the best bang for your buck.

TYPES OF UPGRADES:

GG CM16 TAN - LRG

External Upgrades
         These are the aesthetic enhancements to the look and body of your gun. Plastic to PolyCarb to Metal bodies, RIS Rail systems, stocks, hand guards, motor grips, selectors, extensions and silencers. Most have no real impact on the overall performance of your gun.

External changes will enhance the realistic look, feel and ergonomics of your AEG airsoft gun.

Choosing your external parts can be confusing as to whether it will fit your existing gun and add/decrease the overall weight ratios. First, its best to check for compatibility by simply checking if the packaging states a type/model (M4, G36, AK47, etc).

Body Style
Upgrading from a polycarbonate to a metal body style will not only add a more realistic look and feel, but it will also improve your gun’s durability. Metal adds an extra amount of protection for your gearbox and will be tighter around the shell keeping your gearbox from rocking back and forth in the receiver.

RIS Rail Systems
          A rail system will give you more space to add accessories like sights, scopes, flashlights, lasers and lower hand grips. Rails provide ample opportunities for customization of your gun. Many companies offer rails in body polycarb and metal and you can choose from single, double, triple or quad set rails.

Grips/Stocks
          Changing your grip can make a huge difference in the comfort of your gun- important for long airsoft scrimages. Choosing a new stock that adapts to your needs and fits comfortably against your shoulder will also improve overall comfort and if your accessories work the way you need- you’ll love your gun even more!

V2 Gearbox

Internal Upgrades
          These upgrades are the parts that will directly affect the way your gun runs and fine tuning these parts are the key to getting your gun to peak performance. You’ll want to consult an airsoft technician for the parts you’ll need and to assist in some of the upgrades. Upgrading bushing sizes will require you to drill and gradient into your gearbox shell and shimming is an art that takes patience and a keen eye/ear.

Upgrading Rate of Fire
          To upgrade your ROF, it is highly recommended not to use a spring tension any higher than an M100. This will help relieve the wear and tear on your gears and piston while allowing your motor to cycle through faster. It will also take some wear off your motor since it won’t have to work harder to pull the spring. You’ll also want to consider a high speed steel gear set at a higher ratio, upgraded lightweight piston, ball bearing bushings at either a 6mm or 8mm setup, and a high speed motor. Remember to shim, shim, shim that gearbox! These upgrades will help add 8-15 round per second increase to your ROF!

Upgrading FPS Limits
          While increasing FPS can also increase range, you’ll want to check with your local field and check on the requirements and regulations so you don’t spend the time and money and not be able to use your gun. To increase your FPS, you’ll want to look into a spring tensioned at M110 or higher depending on the FPS you’re looking for. You’ll also want to consider a high torque steel gear set set at a higher ratio, spring guide, reinforced steel piston and a high torque motor. These changes will get you an increase of 20-100FPS (depending on the original AEG set up and the spring tension).

Increasing Range
          So you want to be a sniper without the sniper rifle, you’ll need to look at the two main components: your hop-up and a tight bore inner barrel. The best Hop-Ups are made of metal and are CNC machined; some have external O-rings which can provide maximum air compression, but the external o-rings are not always necessary. A tight bore barrel can drastically improve your accuracy and your range by keeping the bb from jostling against the barrel sides and by decreasing the air pressure loss in the space between the bb and the barrel edge. This tighter space will keep all the air pressure behind the bb pushing it further and harder. Tight bore barrels require the use of high quality BB as well as rigorous cleaning to prevent bb scoring. Tight bore barrels are available from 6.04mm – 6.01mm; the small the inner diameter of the barrel, the more consistent your range and accuracy will be, but it also means that dirty or imperfect bbs will jam MUCH easier!

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Now that you’re knowledgable about the ways to customize, personalize and enjoy your existing AEG, go out and make the gun you LOVE and couldn’t imagine playing without!

*Remember that these upgrades are only recommendations and not every upgrade is necessary. Consult with an airsoft technician you trust to find the best configuration for your needs and your wallet. Some upgrades will require prerequisite upgrades or companion upgrade parts to keep your gun from destroying itself. (ie. Don’t upgrade your gears or motor without also upgrading your piston, otherwise you risk stripping out your piston.)

BEGINNER TIPS 1: Gearboxes

There are numerous styles of gearboxes on the Airsoft market.  The gearbox design has changed over time and all have specific parts that make them function.

The gearbox design: A gearbox interworking is rather simple.  A shuttle in the trigger housing connects the electrical current, powered by a battery.  Then, the motor turns, spinning the gears, which pulls back the piston, which in turn is connected to the spring and spring guide.  Once the piston is pulled the tappet plate is pulled back till the piston is released as well as the tappet plate and air is sent forward and directed by the piston head.  The piston/ piston head hits the cylinder head and air is sent out the nozzle.

Gearbox Diagram

:: COMMON GEARBOX DESIGNS ::

VERSION 1 GEARBOX: Motor is attached within the gearbox
**Picture below is a Tokyo Mauri (TM) FAMAS gearbox

 V1 Gearbox

VERSION 2 GEARBOX: Most commonly used on the market.
          This gearbox takes most parts and is redesigned constantly. ICS has made a split version 2 where the cylinder and air seal all comes out. There are many different variations but the gearbox is still considered Version 2. This gearbox is designed for M4, MP5 and other modified guns such as the SR25.
**Picture below is a basic V2 Gearbox

 V2 Gearbox

VERSION 3 GEARBOX: Most commonly used in G36, AUG, AK and SIG series.
          This design is the 3rd of Tokyo Mauri’s designs. V3 gearboxes are more reliable, in that the shell is stronger than the V2 and doesn’t crack as often at the front end of the gearbox. This gearbox has a caged motor that attaches directly to the gearbox shell.
**Picture is a Tokyo Mauri AK47 V3 Gearbox

 V3 Gearbox

VERSION 6 GEARBOX: Easiest to get into. Designed for Thompson & P90 styles.
          These gearboxes are built strong and last a long time. This is the easiest gearbox to get into and is designed for Thompson and P90 style airsoft guns. These gearboxes can take Version 2 gears, pistons and spring guides. Again a cage attaches the motor to the gearbox in the style of V1 gearboxes.
**Picture is a Version 6 P90 Gearbox

 V6 Gearbox

VERSION 7 GEARBOX: Designed for M14
          The Version 7 gearbox is designed for the M14 style airsoft guns and suffers the same cracking problems the V2 gearbox faces. All electrical components outside and parts are specific to this gearbox.
**Picture below is a basic V7 Gearbox

 V7 Gearbox

SAW/M60 GEARBOX: Specialized for their guns
          These gearboxes are extremely strong and have the motor ins tide the gearbox just like the V1 and V6. There is a quick change spring on it as well and instead of a normal trigger, it uses a micro switch.

                                                 ****IMPORTANT NOTE****
Disassembly of a gearbox will void most if not all warranties. Professional installation and disassembly is recommended. Any and all disassembly of a gearbox by a consumer is at the responsibility of that consumer. 

About the Author:
Joshua Weir is the lead technician at VIPAirsoft Arena. He has been with the company for 2 years and has been working on airsoft equipment for over 5 years. For more information about VIPAirsoft, please visit our website.