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Education / Training UTG Shadow Ops Type 96 sniper rifle – Part 2

UTG Shadow Ops Type 96 sniper rifle – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Let’s get right to it. I’m impressed by the function and quality of this sniper rifle. Less than five years ago, I critically tested a Classic Army M24 sniper rifle very similar in performance to this gun. That one sold for close to $300 new, then had about $800 of extensive gunsmithing done, but it wasn’t as nice as the UTG Shadow Ops Type 96 from the box.

For starters, the Classic Army had a 190 mainspring and powerplant upgrade to get it up to the same velocity this rifle gets from the beginning. That made the bolt extremely difficult to operate (I can’t remember whether it cocked on opening or closing). The UTG Shadow Ops Type 96 is very nearly as easy to cock as the Marui VSR-10 G-Spec, which is to say, very easy, indeed. And, it gets 160 f.p.s. higher velocity than the Marui at the same time! That’s what I find fascinating.

Many shooters are wary about scoping a rifle, but if you use the UTG Tactedge 4×40 scope that I recommend, you don’t have to be. This scope comes with the rings already on it, and all you have to do is clamp them to the Picatinny mount on top of the receiver. If the rings are in the wrong place to mount, loosen one ring and slide it forward or back until the rings fit the mount.

Mounting the bipod
You’ll want the bipod mounted before you start shooting because not only does it provide a steady rest for shooting – it also makes a great stand for when you want to set the gun down. It has a Weaver mount that couples with the short Picatinny rail extending from the front of the forearm. Two rails are left after the bipod is mounted, so there’s room for a tactical flashlight and a laser. If for any reason you want to quickly remove the bipod, the entire Picatinny rail is released from the forearm with the push of a button!

Firing behavior
Cocking is surprisingly easy, as you know. The feed from the magazine is 100 percent positive. The trigger-pull is strange because the trigger is one of those modern two-lever blades in which the thin blade is the first stage, but it works very well and the second stage is a crisp and repeatable 4.5 lbs.

The power level of the gun suggests 0.25-gram BBs, though the literature also says 0.20-gram BBs may be used. At 20 yards, the 0.20-gram balls gave 10-shot groups larger than three inches, which is not good for a sniper rifle. It also indicates that no amount of Hop-Up adjustment will probably tighten the group, since the BBs are scattering so fast in all directions.

20-yard 10-shot group of 0.20-gram BBs is not what we’re looking for.

But, 0.25-gram BBs were quite different, as you can see. They proved that this gun can be very accurate despite its low price.

10 0.25-gram BBs at 20 yards made a group we can be proud of.

Long-range accuracy
Once I was on paper at 20 yards, I went to the range, where I shot at a full-size silhouette at 50 yards. The rifle shot too high, so I would want to shim the front ring to lower it, but the results were quite satisfactory. You don’t shoot groups at 50 yards in the 15 m.p.h. winds I had to battle, but the preponderance of the shots did hit the target. Those that missed were always the BBs with voids. You can tell when you shoot one of them because they spin off wildly in all directions. While there is an adjustable Hop-Up, the rifle was so on target, except for the elevation, that I didn’t have to adjust it.

50 yards on a windy day is far for airsoft!

Is this gun a good deal? You bet it is! If you’re looking for an inexpensive sniper rifle that still has most of the performance of an expensive tuned gun, try the UTG Shadow Ops Type 96 from Pyramyd AIR.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

43 thoughts on “UTG Shadow Ops Type 96 sniper rifle – Part 2”

  1. Sumo

    where did you get the new shroud from that has sorted your problem?
    And it is actually a complete shroud, or is it just the pieces that fit inside the existing shroud?



  2. Vince,

    One inch is about right. Isn’t that impressive? Now the shooting was indoors, so zero wind disturbance, but the other target was shot in the same place.

    There are some modded airsoft sniper guns that will shoot even better than this, but they cost a bundle. That’s why I think this gun is such a sweet deal.


  3. BB: how does Air Soft work? If the power is low enough not to be dangerous, how does one know if you have hit who you were aiming at? Roughly how many fpe is an average Airsoft rifle? At least with Paintball there is an obvious visual confirmation.

  4. You know, this is a very good question. The energy of the BBs is quite low, but you can usually feel when you’ve been hit.

    Airsoft skirmishers often operate on the honor system, which is dubious at best. If the players use stealth BBs, which they often do to keep their positions secret, then the field judges haven’t got a chance. So it’s up to the honesty of each player. Well, you know how that will turn out.

    There has been a push to switch to 8mm for more paint capacity, and some players are even looking at Realistic Action Markers (RAM), a .43 caliber ball that holds even more paint.

    The paintball aspect of airsoft is still in its infancy. The BBs don’t break reliably yet, and the guns jam too easily. Still, a number of paintaball players like the fact that the pain threshold is greatly reduced.

    If any active players can add to what I’ve said or correct my mistakes I would be indebted.


  5. hi bb
    your comment about cock on opening/closing got me thinking. both airsoft snipers ive had have been cock on opening. but why no cock on closing? the front of the piston could catch when you pulled the bolt back and then pushin it forward would compress the spring.seems logical.

    also do you kow if high velocity helps accuracy in an airsoft sniper when using heavy bbs(.25-.30)? in thinking of getting the mk1 gas carbine. it gets about 450fps with .25 gram bbs.

    Nate in Mass

  6. Nate,

    I don’t know as much about airsoft as I do airguns, but the experience I do have tells me that as velocity increases, you also want to increase the weight of the BB. You aren’t up against a supersonic barrier with an airsoft gun, but for some reason, heavier BBs seem to work best in the more powerful guns.

    Of course a lot hinges on the tightness and trueness of the barrel, too


  7. paul,

    i got my shroud from pomona airguns. Thats in california, USA. Its a 225 us$ shroud and it is actually a complete shroud. it is 1.25 (3.175cm) inches compared to the thin .875(2.2225cm) shroud and can be cut to any length you want. It looks much better than the factory shroud. It improved accuracy. On 12foot pounds the trigger is as loud as the gun (well almost)! See it at


    The owners name is steve. He is very nice and more importantly he is good at what he does.

    Daystate will fix it for free. I think they know they have this problem. All they do is tighten the shroud(you dont twist it LOL). My shroud came forward so you could see the barrel because it was to loose. It was seen through a 3/4 cm gap between the shroud and the reciever. It will not be as good as the pomona shroud.

    My best advice to you is to spend all the money you need to and take all the time it takes. For me that was 4500$ and three months.

    Good Luck!


  8. Sumo

    hmmm are you sure you gave me the right web site? Non of the pictures work (maybe the site crashed?) and it looks as though it was designed by a 4 year old? I followed the seemingly random links but found nothing about shrouds or silencers?


  9. golgo

    Hey! BB what was the groupings of the Shadow OPs Type 96 sniper rifle at 50 yards( and do you know what was the Velocities at that distance). For an air soft shooting a one inche group at 20 yards is pretty damn good so im guessing adding 30 more yards to that might open up the groups to 6 inches give or take but even that is still pretty good for an air soft rifle, i would even consider 1 foot grouping at that distance to be pretty good as well. so do you have any idea’s of it’s potential accuracy for 50 yards since it was a bit windy when you tested it at that range??

  10. paul,

    i got a $900 scope and a $550 tank, 50$ rings, $70 valve, the gun was 2200, the shroud was 225. And like 200$ for all the shipping and insurance. The gun was $2200. $120$ in pellets and $100 on a chrony. ALL was needed to get it shooting like it does. MY guns before this one had a max fill of 2600 to 3000. This one takes up to 3300psi (like 235 bar). So thats about $4200.


    all the pics work for me on my macbook pro, it works on my pc’s too.

    Good Luck!


  11. BB,

    I read all you said about the HW 45 but cant find anything about its accuracy. How does it shoot at 25, 35, and 50 yards in .22? With the stock and scope. Would a bug buster gen 2 work well with it?


  12. bb,

    as always, im just posting on a recent discovery. my 1077 has never given me good groups…around 2 inches with gamo match at 15 yrds. i never tried any other pellet, because its not recommended to use anything besides flatheads. well, i finally said eff that, and started going through my exstensive pellet collection. almost all other pellets wont fit…none of the premium pellets(cp, beeman trophys, or any other decent pellet). but then i remembered my last discovery of the gamo pro magnum pellet, so i tried loading em…THEY FIT. i started shooting…under a half inch at 25 yrds! then i tried it out on pests at the bird feeder. instant kills on all sparrows, chipmunks, and squirrels(this is at 15 yrds), with through and throughs on sparrows and chipmunks. this gun has waaaayyy more potential then i thought it did…i was going to use it this winter on mice in the house, but now i see itll just over penetrate…gotta go to something else instead.

    also, i just got my cfx .22, and this thing shoot cp 14.3 grn pellets at about 850, just like the pyramyd ppl say on their website…very impressed. im sending it to charlie da tuna for a tune, and better trigger, and then i can gaurantee itll be my most used gun in my collection.

    the next gun im going to get is perhaps the rws 850 .22. im kinda putting it off though, because its going to start getting cold soon, and the co2 will suck. maybe ill wait till spring. ill let you know. hmm…did you by any chance do a review on this gun?


  13. You can get B.B’s review of the 850 AirMagnum here. It’s in 3 parts.


    The 850 is a LOT of fun…you can not be dissapointed.

    -Paul Capello

  14. Sumo

    thanks, that new link works fine now. The shroud they make looks like is has a bigger diameter? If so, do you HAVE to have a new air tank as there is very little room currently between the shroud and tank?


  15. golgo,

    I certainly wasn’t even 12 inches on the day I tested. A guess would put it at 18 inches, but as I said, the wind played bavoc with the BBs – even the ones that flew straight.

    Maybe in dead calm air 12 inches would be possible. Who knows, perhaps less, but I haven’t got a place to test it that far.


  16. Sumo,

    I haven’t tested the HW45 at 35 and 50 yards. I did teste it on falling plates at 25 yards and it knocked them all down. I would guess that a group size if 1.5 inches is possible at that range, but then JSBs weren’t even on the American market when I tested the gun. At 50 feet, it will keep them on a nickle, which is 0.84″.


  17. The correct name of the gun is the UTG Shadow Ops Type 96. There are not two guns, only one. You may be looking at a gun with a scope, but the gun retails for $129.50.

    Don’t confuse the Shadow Ops Type 96 with the UTG Master Sniper, which IS a different gun.


  18. b.b.,

    I noticed that the utg tactedge 4×40 scope, that goes with this gun, has a zero reseting feature or some thing like that. What does this feature do?

  19. B.B.,

    I have one last question to ask of you. Does the utg 4×40 tactedge scope that comes with the utg type 96 have both zero resting and zero locking features? Thanks for the help!

  20. I am considering buying either this gun, the T96 or the new Gen. 3 UTG Master Sniper.
    I have never owned an airsoft sniper rifle before and I was wondering which one would be better to get for learning and participating in small skirmishes with friends
    I was also wondering which of the two rifles, the T96 or the Master Sniper, would be a better gun to have in the long run, after I learn how to use a sniper rifle.
    I was hoping B.B. could answer this, seeing as he has owned and reviewed both of these guns, but any advice would be appreciated.

  21. I was thinking about buying this great sniper rifle , but I live in Canada . I was just wondering if I can buy any guns from Pyramyd AIR or from Air Splash . If somebody from Canada have already bought an airsoft from one of these websites please tell me .

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