UTG Special Ops M14 Sniper Rifle - Part 2
by B.B. Pelletier
Let's look at the field performance of this airsoft gun.
The gun comes with two high-capacity magazines that hold 350 shots each. They are very conventional airsoft magazines, so anyone who's ever loaded an M16 or M4 AEG will be familiar with them. The top has a loading door that slides open and the BBs are just poured in. A BB bottle with a pouring spout is real handy for this and nothing gets spilled.
Pour BBs in the loading door.
Close the door and load the magazine into the gun just like you would a real M14 magazine. For the majority of you who have never done that, the M14 mag goes in with a slightly forward slant at the bottom. It looks and feels misaligned until you get use to it, and then you never forget it. It's been 40 years since I last loaded an M14, and I did it right the first time with the UTG. This must be the right way to load mags into rifles!
High-capacity AEG magazines have a small toothed wheel at their base. It's for winding up the feed spring inside the magazine. Wind it until you hear or feel a distinctive change in how the wheel winds. At that point, you have about 30-35 good shots, at which point you wind the wheel again. Although there are over 300 BBs in the magazine, they don't all shoot without winding this spring. Think of the magazine as more of a reservoir, and you have about 35 ready shots per windup.
Wind the wheel at the bottom of the magazine to tension each set of BBs. When the gun stops shooting BBs, it's time to wind again.
This gun is rated to shoot both 0.20-gram and 0.25-gram BBs. When I loaded it with 0.20-gram BBs, it often spit out two and three BBs per shot. Obviously, the accuracy went south in a hurry. This was when I shot it on semiautomatic, which is how a sniper rifle is supposed to be used. On full-auto, things happen too fast to see this phenomenon.
On the other hand, 0.25-gram BBs were very good in both semi- and full-auto. The Hop Up adjustment requires that the magazine be removed, which is a pain because there will be three or four BBs sitting between the magazine and the breech. Prepare to catch them when you remove the magazine. I adjusted the gun in the field at 50 yards. By using white BBs, I could watch the trajectory all the way to and through the target. The Hop Up was grossly adjusted at first, then finely adjusted the closer I came to zero. The UTG Tactedge 4x40 long eye relief scope has a huge field of vision that made watching the BBs in flight like watching television.
I got the BB's curve down to about 3"-5" at 50 yards, but it was impossible to remove all of it. Every tenth BB or so curved wildly in another direction. That's caused by voids in the BBs.
The 0.20-gram BBs that didn't work well shot an average of 330 f.p.s.. The better-shooting 0.25-gram BBs shot 295 f.p.s. That's good speed for a gun in this price range.
The day was windy, with gusts at 5-20 mph. They were coming mostly from the back, which helped immensely, but no wind is good for airsoft. Especially not when the target is 50 yards away! Even so, the gun did quite well. I'll show you the target because this is not a minute-of-angle airgun. It's an airsoft sniper rifle and hitting the target is all that matters. Yes, there were complete misses. Most of them were wild shots from errant BBs. Once I got on target, it was easy to hit if the BBs were good - even with the wind.
50 yards with an airsoft gun on a windy day is nothing to laugh at. The M14 Sniper handled it well once it was sighted in.
If you want to get an AEG, this one is pretty good for the money. I cannot say it is in the same class as a $300 Marui M16, but it costs only half as much. I found the battery options limited and the battery door breakage was inconvenient. That aside, where are you going the get an AEG M14 for anywhere near this kind of money?