UTG M4 – Part 1 Built in America!

by B.B. Pelletier

WARNING – Today’s post contains airsoft content. Read at your own risk.

Remember that I will be on the road from today through next Monday. Please help out with the answers for new readers. I will be online once a day at least, but there are so many messages that I will need your help. Thank you.

What’s this “Built in America” stuff? Airsoft is Asian – everybody knows that. Well, not any more! Leapers is now building their new UTG M4 automatic electric gun (AEG) in Livonia, Michigan. You might think that another M4 AEG is about as novel as a reliable Toyota. They no longer surprise anyone. So, is this gun even worth talking about or is it just the same old story?

As it turns out, when you make something that everyone else makes, you have to do things differently, and I believe they have accomplished that. So, let’s take a look at a different M4.

Even the box is great. Really!
Snore! How can a box be exciting? I know several ways they can be really disappointing, and airsofters should be able to relate. I’m talking about the Asian boxes with the flimsy pasteboard and the crumbly styrofoam that are partially disintegrated by the time they make it to your doorstep. I’ve had guns that took 20 minutes of cleaning just to get the styrofoam particles out of the mechanism. And, what about those boxes where all the parts are loose and banging into each other? Or, they’ve broken out of the box and you’re not sure whether or not you have the whole gun?


Everything is held in place by non-crumbly styrofoam. If you’ve bought Asian airsoft guns, you know this is a big step forward!

The UTG M4 comes in a box that would make a $3,000 target rifle proud. Heck, it has a carry handle on the side and this one is actually strong enough to be used! Everything is in a separate compartment, AND the owner’s manual has an inventory list for you to compare with what you actually received. That’s the way all airgun boxes should be made!

The manual takes nothing for granted…it gives you ALL the info you need to shoot, use & enjoy the gun
The manual is a dream come true. Instead of a straight pictogram or a sloppy Chinglish translation, “Please to always obey the command of official and righteous party when use the gun,” this one is written correctly and loaded with detailed line drawings that actually show what they’re talking about!


A small section from one page of the manual looks and reads like this.

What comes with it?
With the rifle comes:

  • 8.4-volt battery and charger
  • Rear diopter sight
  • 1 magazine
  • Cleaning rod
  • RIS vertical foregrip
  • Front sight adjustment tool (yes, the front sight adjusts for elevation just like the firearm)
  • Magazine winding key
  • Owner’s manual

I’ve never seen or used a key to wind a magazine before. The mag has the normal wheel winder on the bottom, but the key is easier. So, use it when you’re sighting-in and use the built-in wheel in the field.


First time I’ve seen a magazine winding key like this. The standard wheel is also present.

It’s as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar
This M4 is a heavyweight that feels very solid. No flexing like some cheaper AEGs. The loaded weight is 8 lbs., 14 oz., which is a right solid chunk when it’s a carbine. The rifle feels right in your hands. Although I didn’t skirmish with it, I think it will hold up well.

Steel gears, no less!
The guns the M4 competes with are also very good, so Leapers put all-steel gears in the gearbox. The bushings, however, are nylon. The manual cautions you to let the gun rest 5-10 minutes after 500 continuous shots. Metal bushings might stretch that time out.

Firing rate
The cyclic rate of 750-850 RPM is right up there with the Colt M4 spec of 750-900 rounds per minute. It’s impossible to count the rate, but a burst of a few seconds left enough BBs in a container to determine it pretty close.

Some might be tempted to put a 9.6-volt battery in the butt, because there’s enough room for it in this Commando version (the Tactical version has an extending butt and stores the battery in the handguard). If you want to upgrade, I’d advise you to get a larger 8.4-volt battery (2300 mAH ) for a longer runtime, but don’t go to a higher-voltage battery unless you re-bush the gearbox and lube everything, because you’ll overheat the gearbox.

Next, I’ll take a look at accuracy & firing.

24 Responses to “UTG M4 – Part 1 Built in America!”

  • Anonymous Says:

    Hi B.B.
    I read your blog, and I like it very much. I live in Europe so if my speling is bad please forgive me. I am owner of Diana 52 and I am planning to scope it. Based on your reports and what other people said it seems to be a difficult one for scoping. At first I was thinking to get a Diana C-mount adjustable, but you wrote it actually bends scope tube. Now I am thinking to get a B-Square adjustable base and maybe B-Square interlock fixed rings to solve all the problems you have mentioned(barrel droop, pin stop…) and then to put Leapers 3-9×50 scope. I know it would be easier just to buy B-Sguare adjustabele rings but I read that these are difficult to adjust (some say you have to put the scope down – btw. is this true). Will this work for me?

  • Curtis Says:

    Hi B.B.

    I am currently leaning toward adding a TX200 to my (small) collection of air guns. I know you have covered the TX200 rifle in detail (and I read the article a couple times), but my question centers on the TX200 carbine version. This is the TX200 that interests me most, mainly because I like the handiness (my HW97KL is about the same size and a very nice shooter) and I like the appearance better than the full length version. My question is: why does Pyramyd list the velocities of the two versions of the TX200 (I am interested in the 22 cal) as the same? Longer barrel should equate to more velocity, no? But it says 735 fps for both??? Also wondering if the sound level for the two is about the same? Thanks for entertaining my off-topic question.

    Curtis

  • pestbgone Says:

    Roanoke show –
    I’ve never been before, so can anyone please tell me what to expect at the Roanoke show tomorrow? I know Pyramyd will have several tables of nice “clearance” items. What about other dealers and distributors? Private individuals? New stuff, used stuff, junk? Buyer beware? Manufacturer’s reps? Cash? Credit cards? Guns, ammo, accesories?
    Any info would be very greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Pestbgone

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB, What was the final outcome on your Taurus 1911? thanks George

  • Ozark Says:

    Europe 52 -
    I saw your post and thought I would put in my comments since BB is away (but I’m also pretty new here). BB has posted on the B-square adjustable mounts and they do a good job. He is helping to develop a mount with pyramid air that is suppose to be available I think by the end of the year. If you can wait, I might consider doing that. But the B-square adjustable is suppose to be great. I use a leapers one-piece mount on my 48 and the stop pin in the front stop pin hole on the rail, and it works fine for me and after several thousand shots, it hasn’t slipped at all. I think it works ok because you can adjust the stop pin depth on the mount to get it deep enough in the hole. Just don’t adjust it too far or else you’ll effectively shim the front of the scope up.

    Did you buy your scope yet? I had the centerpoint 3-9×50 scope (made by leapers), but it had to go back and I upgraded to the leapers 4-16×50 scope, which I would highly recommend.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=1808

    If I shoot a target at 10 yards, it almost blinds me with how much light is coming through the scope!
    Ozark

  • mechredd Says:

    I’ve been slowly getting into airsoft, and although I don’t own that many airsoft guns or get to play that much, I have been following the industry.

    Beware of the cheaper UTG guns. They are CYMA clones. CYMA is knowen for poor quality, a lack of relyability, and poor preformance, and thier clones are usually worse. I once had a P90 AEG that was a cloned CYMA MP5 placed into a top fed P90 shell, using a gravity fed hopper style magazine. It had fixed hop-up and was rated to fire at 290 fps with a .20 BB. It fired more like 29 fps and the hop up did absolutly nothing for range or accuracy. Holding the gun level, the BB would fly about 10-15 feet before hitting the ground. The hopper style magasine would often clog up orfeed multiple BBs simultainiuosly. I returned it and recieved another as a replacement. That one had the same problems, so I exchanged it for an MP5 springer with the same velocity and hop-up specs but from a different manufacturer. That springer is accurate out to 25-30 yards, and hasn’t faild me yet. It’s not very suitable for a game, but it is great at scaring the squirrles away from the bird feeder.

    Back to the topic of UTG. I am happy to say that thier newer and higher end models are Marui clones that often use genuine Marui parts. This means a huge leap in the quality and preformance of UTG guns.

    mech

  • mechredd Says:

    I would like to apalogize to the readers for one thing. I forgot to use spell checker. Sory

    mech

  • mechredd Says:

    Is there any way that we can go in and edit a previous post that we have made? I’ve noticed that I keep forgetting to use my spell checker. I’ve also found that sometimes I will mahe a comment that is inaccurate or not worded properly, and I don’t catch these errors until after the comment has been posted. I have a bad habit of saying things that come out wrong and it makes me look as if I don’t know what I’m talking about, when I actually do. This has gotten me into some heated debates on other sites, and I would like to avoid that here.

    thanks,
    mech

  • Anonymous Says:

    curtis,

    bb did a review on the tx200 carbine. he didnt like it as much…it wasnt as calm as the mkIII and it wasnt as quiet i think…check it out for yourself.

    DED

  • Anonymous Says:

    curtis,
    i can answer the velocity question. spring guns use very little air for each shot. the spring compresses it and the pellet stars moving. however the pressure drops very fast. i remember reading that a spring gun gains all of its velocity in the first 10 inches of barrel. however in a pnuematic gun there is more air and it pushes all the way down the barrel. this is why a longer barrel in a pnuematic will result in more velocity. the sping gun doesnt have any extra air

    Nate in Mass

  • JDB in NY Says:

    BB,

    Looks like a nice piece. Airsoft has caught my attention with this one. I look forward to future parts.

    One question…. what about ammo? Specifically, how do you contain it? Inside, I collect pellets in a silent trap or rocker trap, pretty easy to pick up any strays; What about all those little plastic “bbs”? Outside, seems like a little polluter to me. My club range guys would have a fit if they found thousands of airsoft bbs on the range. What about the biodegradeable ammo? Maybe a good blog topic.

    See you in Roanoke

    Joe

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Europe,

    The RWS C-Mount is made by B-Square. Unless you got an old one, B-Square has made them for several years and they won’t bend your scope tube.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Curtis,

    Longer barrels mean LOWER velocities in springers, but the TX barrel is only 9 inches long (I think for both versions). Whet you see on the outside is the barrel JACKET.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Pestbgone,

    It will look like a slow gun show. Then you look at what is really there and neat stuff starts popping out of the woodwork.

    Stop by and say hi.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    George,

    I’m not finished with the Taurus yet, and I will be reporting it in this blog.

    I have found much to like about the gun, but there are some fundamental problems, too. It wasn’t the wisest choice of guns for the price. I tried to get too much for my money.

    The good news is I used to work on 1911s and I will gunsmith this one back to health.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Joe,

    Two good ways to contain plastic BBs. First is the silent or quiet pellet trap. It’s about 80 percent efective.

    A cardboard box with a hole cut in the front for the target works great if the gun isn’t too powerful. It passes through the target, then the hole and rattles around inside the box. Use a carpet backer if the gun is more powerful.

    B.B.

  • Steve Says:

    GEEZ, BB – enuff with the silly toy guns. What a waste of bytes! 460 in .22, 460 in .22!!!!

  • Scott Says:

    Mechredd,

    I wouldn’t worry about the folks on here flaming you for less than perfect spelling and wording.
    We know English is not your first language, and, to tell the truth, there are plenty of those who have English as their first language who don’t do as well as you did.
    We’re really a good bunch here, this isn’t the Yellow Forum, you know.
    Oops!
    Did I just say that?
    ;-)

  • Curtis Says:

    B.B. and Anonymous:

    Thank you both for your answers. Also, B.B.; it is an eye opener to learn that both these guns’ barrels are essentially the same length.

    Curtis

  • Anonymous Says:

    Hi again,
    I am the guy from Europe, and I am sorry for not introducing myself. My name is Gordan. Thank you Ozark and B.B. for your answers, but now I am still confused, because I dont know wheather I shoul buy B-Square AA mount or RWS C-mount. Which one of them can handle 50mm scope on my Diana 52?

  • Anonymous Says:

    Grodan,

    That is a very large and more importantly heavy scope to mount on the 54 with the mounts you mention. On a lighter scope fine. The B-Square AA and RWS C mount are the same mount. Unless the C mount is an older one. B-Square makes the mount for RWS. My experience and personal view on this mount is theat the stop pin is short and made to fit in the shallow mounting hole on the RWS scope ramp. When you couple this with a high recoil air gun such as the RWS (54, 350M., 52) AND a BIG HEAVY scope, the mounts mentioned will have the following tendencies:
    1. Scope slides backward in the rings.
    2. gimbles and screws loosen over time and POI changes.
    3. Over longer time the short pin/shallow hole compination digs a furrow backwards along the scope rail.

    Therefore IMHO. I would suggest using:
    Item#:LERGPM2PA-25H4 Accushot 1-Pc Mount w/1″ Rings, High, 11mm Dovetail
    AND:
    Item#:BS17011 B-Square 17011 11mm-to-11mm Riser Base, Adjustable
    as mentioned to you yesterday by another poster.

    What I have learned is to mount smaller glass (scopes in the 50-55 and up obj. size) on magmum springers and save the larger glass for the PCP’s.
    The heavy weight and the sharp forward recoil combine to be tough on mounts, especially if you are puting ++1,000′s of pellets down range.

    I would like to have Tom’s opinion on this as well. I hope his promised scope series will cover this area.

    KTK

  • Anonymous Says:

    Sorry to correct the above post I put the bracket “(scopes in the 50-55 and up obj. size)” in the wrong place it should be after the word larger glass further down. I am trying to say that 50mm and up scopes are large and heavy. What I think of smaller scopes for magmum scopes in the under 12.5 oz in weight or in the 40mm and smaller bell objective sizes.

    KTK

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Gordon,

    B-S2quare MAKES the C-Mount, so when you buy a C-Mount you are getting the B-Square mount.

    It is the same, though B-Square does have different models of mounts.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Read the comments about barrel length not having much affect on fps with a Co2 rifle. Then why would you choose, say a 24″ Crosman barrel over a 15″ one? Accuracy?

    And the $75 Crosman 24″ barrels, are they really more accurate than the $20 ones? THANKS

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