Marui SR-16 – Review.
The M16 series is probably the most famous rifle/s in the world. The first model being adopted by armed forces in 1964, its gone from strength to strength with its constant improvements and modifications. When first used in combat during the Vietnam war, soldiers had little faith in the weapon – early models were prone to mechanical problems, and required stripping and cleaning every day, to ensure problem free operation. Also, the calibre was deemed substandard, and didn’t have the stopping power of its larger brother, the 7.62mm round – however since then many different versions have been released and consequently earned the respect of armed forces across the globe.
The M4A1 was first seen in action during the year of 1994 – and by this time the M16 has been thoughtfully refined, and the latest materials and technology used during manufacture, to make the most robust and mechanically sound weapon available. Firing the almost standard 5.56mm NATO Ball M855 round, with a muzzle velocity of 2900fps (Airsofters…. dream on!) it was soon seen as the ultimate weapon for Special Ops groups, who demand the best. (Worth mentioning that the M4A1 is a carbine weapon, due to the slight reduction in barrel length, compared to the M16A2, the gun lost 300fps of velocity).
Now we move onto the Airsoft version. I can’t seem to find any data on “the real steel” SR16 – maybe it doesn’t exist (correct me if I’m wrong) – but the Airsoft version certainly does, and I’m sure its going to be a popular gun. Take the stock from a M16-A2, and the upper receiver from an M4-A1, now add a fully adjustable R.I.S system, flip sight and stylish flash-hider – what have you got? The SR-16 from Marui, £225 of pure Airsofting genius. A quick look at some of the vitals straight away shows this gun is going to be a success. Sporting the EG1000 motor as standard, you already know this gun is going to have a high rate of fire, and is ready for any upgrades you throw at it. The overall weight of this gun is amazing, a tribute to the large quantity of metal parts used within its construction. There are far too many to mention – but it all adds up to make one very robust piece of equipment. The R.I.S system, to buy would cost you well over £100 – and this comes with the gun as standard. The M16-A2 stock gives you the capacity for a large battery, meaning one charge will keep you skirmishing for well over a day. This weapon certainly boasts features which would make your mouth water, but is it love at first sight?
The gun demands a closer inspection, which it passed with flying colours. It seems that since the introduction of the Electric Airsoft gun, Marui have gone miles ahead in terms of construction, and the overall quality of their AEG’s gets better with each one produced. This one is very solid and almost appears indestructible. I would think, the only upgrades you would possibly want to carry out, is to install an M90/100 spring and metal bushes, and possibly the M4A1 Classic army body, to add yet more metal to the structure. The inclusion of the R.I.S system also allows a host of after-market accessories to be added, such as laser targeting devices, or the most popular add-on at the moment, the Marui M203 grenade launcher. The gun, as stock, is certainly a match for the majority of standard Airsoft guns on the skirmish field, and I would consider it to be money well spent. You would definitely have a hard time faulting this one.
At the business end of things the flash eliminator, barrel, fore-sight and bottom plate of the R.I.S system are all metal, the overall finish is very good, and appears to be quite scratch resistant. Peering down that huge flash eliminator you can see the end of a high-quality 6.07mm Airsoft barrel. I’m not sure how it would be possible to fit a tracer unit onto this gun if desired… if anybody knows, please drop me a line.
What comes with the gun as standard is a very useful handle which bolts onto the R.I.S system. I’ve asked a few people, and the preference for using this handle is widespread – however I find it quite comfortable and makes it easier to control your fire. If you wanted, you could also mount it on the left or right side of the R.I.S panels. I found it made me feel very “Arnie style”… which could be further aided by adding one of those large capacity “box” magazines, making the SR-16 a very successful suppressive fire weapon. The usual 60 round magazine, loading and cleaning tools are also supplied, as is a fairly comprehensive manual with good diagrams and a large “take down” schematic, for those of you technically minded.
As always not everything in life is perfect, neither is this gun. The only reported problem, is one which affects most if not all of the M16 range… and is barrel wobble.
Due to a slightly flawed design, it has been noticed for the barrel to occasionally become loose. This is fixed within two minutes by simply tightening a screw, which can be locked into place with “Lock-Tite” glue afterwards. Nothing to worry about really, its a pity Marui still haven’t picked up on it in their later designs.
With the host of weapons now available, there’s so many different configurations depending on your skirmish environment. The M16-A2 is an excellent woodland weapon, but too long for CQB work. The M4-A1 is an excellent contender for all scenario’s, and the SR-16 can only improve this reputation further.
So is it just another M16 variant? Well, Yes and No. At a glance, it may seem like just another addition to the extensive range, but this one certainly stands out from the rest in terms of functionality and practicality.
If you’re a fan of this famous American rifle… what are you waiting for – go buy one! If you have any second thoughts, I can assure you they’ll all be dismissed upon opening the box.