I thought for today's post on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, I would cover one of my favorite topics.  Airsoft machine guns.  For a long time, all I could think about was designated marksman rifle (DMR) platforms and was all about that role when playing games, but over the last year or two, I've really become attached to the support gunner role and all the fun & excitement it provides.  So for those of you who have been considering the acquisition of an Airsoft machine gun to play a "supporting role" in your Airsoft squad or fire team but weren't sure on just exactly which platform suited you best, allow me to highlight some of the differences between some of the more well-known options out there.

M249 MkII Para Machine Gun
M249 MkII Machine Gun
Perhaps the most common Airsoft machine gun you will encounter on the field in the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, commonly referred to as the Airsoft SAW.

These guys come in several different configurations, but the two primary base models are the M249 Para (top) and the M249 MkII (middle).  There is also the M249 MkI (bottom), which I believe is, or was, commonly used by U.S. Army Rangers at one point in time.  This one, for whatever reason, is much less common than the first two I mentioned.  At least around the various parts of California that I've played.  Most people that have them are true support weapon fanatics, like my brother, who loves them even more than I do, and I love them A LOT.
M249 MkI Machine Gun - Image: world.guns.ru

Click here to read more about Airsoft machine guns after the jump...

If you caught the last installment of my A&K M60VN Review, you no doubt saw the underwhelming footage of this general purpose machine gun's performance at 30 yards.  As I stated in that blog entry, I had a sneaking suspicion that there was an internal issue with the hop-up.  Turns out, I was right.  Somebody at the A&K machine shop didn't quite have their settings dialed in on the CNC machine.  I think my photos pretty much explain what happened.  See below.

First, to get to the hop-up, you must remove the outer barrel on the gun using the barrel release lever seen just above the hand guard. 

A&K M60VN Review, A&K M60VN Hop-Up Issues, Airsoft Machine Gun, Medium Machine Gun, General Purpose Machine Gun, Airsoft Gun Reviews, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Tom Harris Media, Tominator
A&K M60VN Review - Fixing the hop-up
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
A&K M60VN Review, A&K M60VN Hop-Up Issues, Airsoft Machine Gun, Medium Machine Gun, General Purpose Machine Gun, Airsoft Gun Reviews, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Tom Harris Media, Tominator
Push the bolt in and rotate the barrel release lever 90 degrees
A&K M60VN Review - Fixing the hop-up
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
A&K M60VN Review, A&K M60VN Hop-Up Issues, Airsoft Machine Gun, Medium Machine Gun, General Purpose Machine Gun, Airsoft Gun Reviews, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Tom Harris Media, Tominator
Go no further than 90 degrees, barrel won't release otherwise
A&K M60VN Review - Fixing the hop-up
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Get the rest of my expoloratory Airsoft gun surgery on the A&K M60VN Machine Gun after the jump...

I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that looks better, is built better, AND performs better than the Echo1 M240 Bravo Airsoft Medium Machine Gun RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Notice that I used the word "and" instead of "or," so before you trolls get on here and start rattling off your various contentions for a better AEG, make sure that it has ALL of those three attributes I mentioned (beauty, build quality & performance), not just one or two of them.

Peep the video of me dominating with the Echo1 M240 Bravo after the jump...