ECHO 1 MP5A4 REVIEW
Well, this excellent AEG was manufactured (arguably) by Echo 1, a relatively new company based in the US. All Echo 1 AEGs come standard with a metal gearbox, m110 spring, poly carbonate piston, and 16 guage wiring.
This AEG is based off of the MP5A4, manufactured by Heckler & Koch. The real steel MP5A4 (and all MP5's) uses the 9 x 19mm Parabellum pistol catridge. It has been in service since 1966, and is commonly used by German and US military and police. Production of the weapon began in 1964. The MP5A4 weighs approxmiately 2.54 kilograms, or about 5 pounds. (correct me if I'm wrong.) The primary version of the MP5 submachine gun family is the MP5A2, a selective-fire roller-delayed blowback operating weapon. The MP5 originally used a double-column staright box magazines, but since 1977, they have used arced steel 15-30 round magazines.BASIC INFORMATION
I purchased the Echo 1 MP5A4 off of Airsoft Atlanta, because they have reasonable prices, and excellent service. I would recomend them to anyone. The weapon itself was $125, but when i bought it, they had free shipping on orders over $100 (I believe they have changed it to free shipping on orders over $199 now). But, they do charge tax for people that live in georgia or Tennessee, so overall, the final cost was about $135. I had to wait about 2 days for the gun to get to me, because I live pretty close to Atlanta. When my package arrived, I was so excited. So, I grabbed my knife, and cut into the cardboard box, throwing the packing peanuts all over the place while getting out the very nice blue Echo 1 box. It had a picture of the MP5A4 and the MP5J on the box, with a little box under the MP5A4 checked off, so I knew they didn't ship me the MP5J on accident. As I opened the box, I saw the gun (obviously), the magazine, the unjamming/cleaning rod, the manual, a small black box which contained the 8.4v 1500mah battery and charger, and a small bag of 200 Tokyo Marui .2g BBs. All the things that were included were laid out very well, and I could see everything included when I opened the box.FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Well, when I opened the box, my first thought was, 'Wow, this looks a lot like the Tokyo Marui!'. And it was, the AEG looks very smooth, and fairly sleek, too. It has a matte black finish, with a little bit of shine on the plastic, but it doesn't ruin the overall appeal of the gun. From far away, the gun looks very good and realistic, the same from up close as well. The Echo 1 MP5A4 is about 26 inches long from front to back, so it's pretty compact. It weighs about 4.5 lbs with it fully loaded with the battery and a full magazine, so it has a pretty realistic weight. The combination of plastic and metal parts make the gun incredibly balanced. It is really not back or front heavy at all. That is a plus in my book! Now, onto the gun's external features. The gun is mostly ABS plastic, which is very good quality. It also has a lot of metal parts. Here is the full external metal parts list: Muzzle
Front sling mount
Mock charging handle
Rear sling mount
Besides those parts, everything else is plastic. But, the good quality plastic and metal make for one extremely durable gun!GRIPS
The grips are your standard MP5 slanted grip, really nothing special about them. The weapon fits into my hands very well, but if my hands get sweaty, the grip may become slippery. Anyone with smaller or larger than normal hands should have no problems gripping this AEG!STOCK
The Echo 1 MP5A4 has a full buttstock, like the real thing. So, because of that, it is not adjustable, which some people who like adjusting their weapon to the situation may not like. The stock does aid shooting somewhat, because you can rest your cheek on it for those tough, long range shots. Since it has a full stock, it uses a large type battery, the included battery is a 1500 mah 8.4v NiCad large type. It fits into the stock very well.SIGHTS
The Echo 1 MP5A4 has a pretty nice sighting system. It has a rear sight that has four different appatures, each one meant for various distances. The front sight is your standard MP5 front sight, nothing special. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation, like the real steel. There is no scope mount included with the Echo 1 MP5A4, but you can buy one online for about $10-20, depending one where you buy from.BARREL
The Echo 1 MP5A4 has a relatively short inner barrel, about 225mm. Although, it does still have remarkable accuracy, as you will read later on in the review. I believe you can install a suppressor or tracer unit onto the muzzle by just unscrewing it, but I can't unscrew mine, for some reason.HOP-UP
The Echo 1 MP5A4 has a hop-up system. The adjuster is located just under the mock cahrging handle, and it is a pretty basic plastic lever. You push it all the way forwarad for no hop-up, and all the way back for full hop-up. The hop-up is very effective, my BBs start to curve just after 150-160 feet after the hop-up is adjusted. But, make sure you set the hop-up to normal when you're cleaning/unjamming the gun, beause the rod will damage the hop-up system if it is on! Overall, nice hop-up system!TRIGGER
The Echo 1 MP5A4 has a trigger (duh!). The action is pretty simple, like most AEGs. The trigger pull is VERY light, it takes almost no force whatsoever to get this gun to shoot. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing. It can be bad because it will be easier to accidentally shoot if it is not on safety. The trigger is metal, as you can see from the metal parts list earlier in the review. I don't think the trigger is adjustable, though. Now, I do not have any device that tells me the response time, but I can say it's very fast! Overall, good quality trigger.POWER
The Echo 1 MP5A4 is battery-powered. The power source is the battery and the parts in the mechbox. Obviously, the main power source is in the mechbox. It can be upgraded by taking apart the mechbox and replacing things. Recomended upgrades: Better piston head, metal spring guide, and metal bushings (if you don't have the version that comes with them). MAGAZINE
The Echo 1 MP5A4 does have a magazine. It is a metal 200 round high-capacity magazine. One nice touch is that the winding gear on the bottom of the magazine is pretty wide, which makes it easier to wind. This particular AEG can accept pretty much all brands of high-caps (as far as I know). Also, most major mid-cap and low-cap magazine brands will fir in this AEG, including STAR and MAG, among others.PERFORMANCE
Honestly, isn't this the part of the review that everyone cares about most? In short, the Echo 1 MP5A4 is a rock solid performer!!! However, I will get into the details. The Echo 1 MP5A4's effective range is about 140-160 feet. Anything after that, luck is a pretty big factor if you hit something. This AEG is very accurate, I was able to get a 3.5" grouping at 80 feet, a pretty good grouping for such an inexpensive weapon. I would say the maximum range of hitting a man-sized target is about 150 feet. The advertised velocity of this particular airsoft AEG is about 330-340 FPS, and I would say that's a pretty accurate number. Mine can go through both sides of a soda can at 50 feet. Here is a quick full-auto shooting test done by myself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bgCcuF_His
. In stock form, I think this AEG is best suited for standard Assault/Close Quarters roles. That pretty much sums up the performance portion of this review!ACCESSORIES
If I were to recomend any accessories for the Echo 1 MP5A4, it would be a few extra magazines, whether it be a high-cap or low-cap. Also, a magazine clamp would be a nice addition for it. Maybe even a red-dot or scope would work well with this AEG, considering it's excellent performance!CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the Echo 1 MP5A4 AEG is a great gun for any airsofter wants a great weapon, but doesn't make to spend over $250 for a high-end AEG! It's solid construction and awesome performance makes this gun a keeper!PROS
.many metal parts
.overall good construction
.perfectly balanced weight
.simple sight system
.aftermarket parts are readily avaliable!
.simple and easy hop-up system
.comes with everything you need to get started!
.just an overall great gun!CONS
.somewhat glossy plastic (not that bad)
.needs some internal upgrading to make it last longer
.plastic hop-up system
.mostly plastic internals (besides gearbox)DOWNRIGHT UGLY!
.seam lines on the plastic
.magazine wobbles in the mag well a little
Overall, I would highly recomend this AEG to others!!! END NOTES
For this review, I used Wikipedia and other firearm sites for the real steel information.
Some more pics:
Review Completed 10/24/07