Just an unsolicited FYI RE: the post on Echo1 vs. A&K guns...
FWIW, Echo1 acts as a “VAR” for almost all the Jing Gong/Goldenbow guns they make. By that I mean they supposedly tweak the JG guns for reliability and to eliminate OOTB failures, re-package them, and add their value-add warranty as incentive. TSD is doing the same thing with SRC products.
Anyway, on to an example of an A&K gun vs. a JG (Echo1) gun…
I have a JG (non-Echo1-boxed version) M4A1 and an A&K “M Series” M733 (basically a short-barreled M4A1).
: This is actually an M933
- as the carry handle is removable from the rail, like an M4, vs. fixed as in an M733. The e-tailer I got it from called it an M733 - which is what I have been referring to it as this entire time!
They are absolutely from two different companies.
Some differences between these two similar “Armalite” guns in my hands are:
(Caveat: My chrono is a “PMC” and I have not yet opened up the mech-box on either gun.)
Externally between the two;
The A&K has a much more uniform satin-black finish across all the parts, unlike the two-tone Colt-green and black seen on the JG. For some, the A&K may even look “too toy-like perfect”.
Nowhere on the A&K can you find any visible “Made in China” markings, the JG has it on the bottom plate of the pistol grip.
The A&K M733 I have has NO readily seen trademarks or logos of any kind – a real “CIA Black Ops" gun, whereas the JG has their “Commando” shield logo on the mag well.
Both have metal M16A2 “birdcage” flash-hiders - but with subtle differences in shape and spacing of the openings. Both are secured with recessed hex screws, but I haven’t removed either so I can’t say which direction barrels are threaded.
The front-sights of both are metal, and both have front-sight posts that are adjustable for elevation - but the A&K does not have the little arrow and "UP" cast on the surface of the front-sight assembly.
The JG has the tiniest snippet of a fake gas-tube sticking out from its upper receiver and entering the upper hand-guard. This creates a realistic look in pics and from a foot away. The A&K has no such illusion.
Further, the JG upper handguard has a molded-in gas-tube effect when glancing thru the top vent holes in the upper handguard. This can interfere with battery placement. The A&K has no such illusion.
The JG lower handguard has four molded “ribs” inside to somewhat position the battery under the barrel. The A&K does not.
Both handguards have the external grip ridges, but the A&K has more of a texture to the plastic between the ridges.
The smooth JG handguard plastic almost sparkles if you look real close.
The JG handguards have more of an elongated, tapered “CAR-15” profile to them, while the A&K has more of the cylindrical M4 profile.
The handguards are not interchangeable between the two due to plastic thickness of the ends - and the fact that the A&K handguards are maybe a millimeter or so longer than the JGs.
The “delta ring barrel end” of the A&K is quite realistic as opposed to the JG.
With the A&K handguards completely removed, you can easily see the exacting real-steel look to the serrated-edged barrel nut and the weld spring behind the snap-ring Circ-clip of the delta ring. This realism is a polar opposite of the JG.
In your mind’s eye, the only thing missing from the real-steel look of the A&K is a stainless gas-tube under the upper handguard.
The entire surface of the A&K outer barrel is “finely turned”, as if done on a barrel lathe for a near-commercial quality firearm.
The JG has the same – but much more pronounced and super realistic “Mil-Spec” - lathe effect.
This is great as opposed to either gun having a simple stretched and painted metal tube for an outer barrel.
On top of that; the A&K’s largely-hidden one-piece metal outer barrel has a real-steel ”heavy barrel” taper you see on the Star M4A1 for example.
The JG outer barrel is a lighter, thinner, steel tube under the handguards.
Of the two guns, the A&K’s biggest weakness is that there is just TOO MUCH METAL hung out in front of the plastic upper receiver.
Everything except the plastic hand-guards is metal, which looks great, but makes more sense on a metal gun – not this plastic one. Factor in the battery weight and it gets worse.
OTOH, the JG’s use of the hidden skinny metal outer-barrel reduces at least a little bit of strain on the plastic upper receiver simply because it IS lighter than the A&K outer barrel.
And – so far - the resulting lack of front-end wobble makes the JG feel more solid.
(Regardless of brand; do not use the front-sling point on plastic-bodied M4A1s if you want to keep front-end wobble to a minimum. Instead, get yourself a “single-point” sling attachment that attaches at the base of the stock tube. And when handling, stick to the carry handle or rear pistol grip.)
Of the LE-type tele-stocks; they are “exactly the same” - but different in that internal diameters are off a bit so they can not interchange between guns without either wobble or sticking.
(Either that or the stock tube diameters are slightly different!)
The pistol-grip on the A&K is assembled with a much closer fit to the lower receiver than is the JGs.
The JG came with a greenish-gray steel 300rd wind-up high-cap magazine, while the A&K has a black steel 68rd mid-cap mag.
Moving inside the guns:
The 300mm A&K brass barrel has a nice “crown” on the muzzle while the JG’s 360mm M4 barrel is basically just a cut tube of brass.
OTOH, the JG has a brass “hop-up retention ring” that slides down over the barrel and jams up against the hop-up. The A&K does not have this.
The V2 mech-box of the JG has a wire-protection shield at the front to save the wires from potential pinch damage when you close the upper and lower receivers. The A&K does not have the wire shield.
I haven’t removed/opened either mech-box for shims and bushings yet, but I can at least tell you that the JG has a metal spring guide while the A&K has a white poly/nylon spring guide.
The JG has a black poly/nylon air nozzle while the A&K nozzle is in white poly/nylon.
The JG came with an 8.4V 1300mAh “Jinyin” battery and the A&K has an 8.4V 1000mAh “Hero” battery. When fully charged, either gun spits out the .20’s with an extreme sense of urgency.
The JG punctures a hole - but not fully penetrates - the center bottom of a Coke can; so the “PMC” guesstimate is of 340++ FPS as it will easily thru/thru the sides of a Coke can.
The PMC has the A&K at only 290+ FPS as it only fully penetrates one side of a Coke can. I need to get a correct, ported cylinder installed…
I do not have enough “range space” in my yard for accuracy comments on either.
Similarities between the A&K and JG/GB Armalites are:
Everything that wasn’t mentioned as a difference, plus;
Aside from the mentioned outer-barrel contours, both the A&K and the JG have equivalent metal bits and pieces to make either one an attractive and substantial gun in anyone’s gun cabinet.
Either steel mag fits either gun and both work flawlessly.
Both have real-steel-like sight markings on their fully adjustable front/rear sights.
Both do the expected charging-handle-pops-open-dust-cover M4 trick, along with the non-functional spring-loaded forward assist plunger and useless, floppy, rattling bolt-release paddle.
Both use the typical M4-style 2-piece plastic hop-up assembly.
Both have white nylon/poly pistons and brass cylinders.
(Note that the JG uses a ported “Type 1” (??) cylinder while the A&K I have uses a non-ported “Type 0” cylinder - which is incorrect for the shorter M733 barrel. I’m sure this accounts for the reduced hitting power of the A&K gun.)
Both use 18AWG wire which feels like it has the super-flexible silicon insulation.
Anyway; hope this was of help to you or someone else out there on the A&K.
It seems that there is precious little/nothing on the ‘Net about the attractive A&K “M-Series” guns as opposed to their S-Series SR25 or their M249s.