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Review

Inokatsu M4A1 SOPMOD (2009th Edition)
  • Manufacturer 
     Inokatsu
  • Model 
     GBB M4A1 SOPMOD
  • Capacity 
     N/A
  • Weight 
     2635g
  • Power 
     460fps
  • Power Source 
     Propane
  • Blowback 
     Yes
  • Hop-up 
     Adjustable
  • Shooting Mode 
     Semi | Full auto
  • Construction 
     Aluminum, Steel, Polymer

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Full steel outer barrel
  • Nice recoil
  • Authentic looks/finish
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Extremely easy and tool-free to access the internals
  • Realistic weight distribution
  • Authorized trademarks all in the right places, even inside the foregrips!
  •  

    Cons

  • Magazines Not Included
  • Gas magazines are expensive
  • Not consistent fps due to gas laws
  • Expensive running costs of gas compared to AEGs
  • Adjusting power may be difficult for some users not familiar with gas weapons
  •  

    Verdict

    The realistic manufacturing process creating a beautiful forged receiver along with its authentic stainless steel outer barrel with Colt markings all at the right places. Rate of fire and recoil is extremely pleasing to experience. There is yet a GBB M4 that performs as well and looks as nice and authentic as this to date! Definately one to consider if you're on the market for a GBBR

     

    Introduction

    Although the concept of a gas blowback rifle isn't entirely new, Western Arms has caused a new spurt of excitement in the world of Airsoft from their introduction of the GBB M4. Other manufacturers like WE, INOKATSU, G&P, AGM etc. have also jumped on to the GBB bandwagon, creating their own M4 (plus variants) gas blowback guns.

    We have already seen the aforementioned companies follow suit with their own GBB M4, and very recently, Inokatsu have showed us their new revision. So how would this fair amongst the ever growing crowd of gas blowback rifles?

    Inokatsu comprises of a talented team of engineers that had previously worked behind the scenes as GUARDER's supplier of authentic conversion kits, like the famous GUARDER AKM, AK74, and various other full steel kits. When they started introducing their products under what we now know as the Inokatsu name, we got to appreciate the skills they have as engineers. The kits they produced were no less than sublime, with an insanely high level quality of construction. If you have ever seen or touched one of their kits, you will know and appreciate how solid they are. After getting some conversion kits out, Inokatsu dabbled in producing complete guns, making some very pretty-looking AEGs. Although, it could be said that this gas blowback M4 is the gun that is really going to get Inokatsu noticed.

    This review will show you what's changed in this version and how it performs along with what makes the 2009 version so different from the others and why you should consider this GBBr to be in your inventory if you were to choose a GBBr in the near future.

    Professional packaging complimenting the high end product
    Extremely sturdy correlated cardboard padding
    Fully licenced Colt markings

    Initial impressions.

    This revised version of the Inokatsu GBB M4 comes in a black, glossy finished box with Inokatsu and Colt markings on the top and the front edge of the box. Actually a major improvement from its previous bright orange colored box where this new packaging is much more professional and looks more superior. This is expected from a high end manufacturer to compliment the high end product they produce. Upon opening the box, you will see layers corrugated cardboard with a cutout holding the M4 in place as if it was something from an action movie concealing a firearm inside a book. This may be a little let down on the initial impression with such plain and low cost padding for this product but it still provides support and protection during transit, we all know however, the actual contents are what you're paying money for.

    The color and the general feel of the gun is very pleasing if you happen to be an Armalite fan since the finish on the outer barrel definitely mimics the look and feel of the real steel version, the only difference is that it doesn't smell of real steel gun grease or powder residue. Although it may be an issue if it does and you live in an area where real steel firearms are a sensitive matter. The normal features of an Armalite are also replicated to a level you would expect Inokatsu to reach, i.e. being the leader in producing realistic airsoft replicas. From the authorized stamped Colt markings, forward assist, fire selector and trigger as well as the dust cover, attention to detail may be something amongst the agenda when the Inokatsu engineers during the design of this product. Furthermore, to top up with the realism factors, there is also KAC markings on the inside of the lower foregrip adding a very nice touch of authenticity to this product.

    There is actually NO clearance between the two halves of the receiver
    Extremely realistic finish on the outer barrel
    The top rails are at the same height giving you an uninterrupted platform for accessories

    The features of this gun are the bolt itself, the receiver, the capability to take any WA style magazines at ease as well and according to Inokatsu, the 2009 version will be more powerful with similar gas consumption. Having the capability to accept any WA type magazines without a too tight or loose a fit, this is definitely a bonus where alternatives may have trouble accepting alternative mags. Allowing you to quickly use a magazine from a team mate as long as it's a WA type magazine during the heat of battle where you've spent all your rounds in the magazine and do not have time to reload the magazines.

    There are no creaks or wobbles on any part of the gun where a lot of the GBBr available on the market today have, most GBB M4's have a problem with the receivers wobbling between the top and bottom halves or if it was sturdy, it can be extremely hard to open up. The Inokatsu GBB M4 does not have this problem and have found the perfect combination providing a solid receiver as well as being easily opened up by forge molding their receivers where the top and bottom receivers come from a matching mould. Giving you a very strong platform to hold any accessories you decided to mount on top and more importantly, you will not have to worry about the receivers misaligning any parts inside if it was to wobble out of place! Upon the time you have to open up your receiver to inspect or maintain your weapon, infact accessing the bolt or the trigger group requires no tools at all! Just push the pin slightly out and pinch the pin outwards and the receivers pivots open with ease. This was not possible previously with other models due to the buffer tube and the back of the bolt carrier having either too much friction or tension between them.

    To top it all off, Inokatsu have made sure that the rails are of the same height from the fore grip and the receiver top rail, giving you an uninterrupted platform to mount accessories on top where previously this was not possible to mount any accessories at a point between the receiver top rail and the fore grip.

    Performance:

    The gun chronos at 460fps at first, then after 10shots in quick succession, the power dropped down to 405fps. Somewhat a significant power loss after some shots but this is expected from gas weapons but it is still a reasonable figure compared to some that lose almost 80fps compared to the 55fps lost. Charging the magazine with a full can of guarder green gas, the gun was capable of firing just over 2 magazines on semi auto only using a Bomber magazine. This will be a totally different story if it was fired in full auto with a much faster cool down effect as well as excess gasses venting out of the ejection port due to the bigger and easier escape hole than the barrel during the high cyclic rate of fire. Obviously various conditions will factor into how efficient gas weapons are so the gas efficiency may be different when tested again. Even though the ambient temperature was 32۫c, the recoil felt when firing this weapon is very satisfying and somewhat matching the other GBB rifles out there, this goes to show that Inokatsu have been innovative in their own ways to produce such a high performance GBBr.

    A grouping test has also been done on the weapon using green gas and KSC perfect .20g ammo at 20metres. With such high power, the aerodynamic flight path of the BB is extremely unstable, comparative to a paper airplane thrown across the room as hard as you can due to the weight stability to speed ratio. Occasionally there are shots that go straight but more shots are straying off at random directions due to the power. With the target printed on an A4 sheet of paper, only 3 actually hit the target but the rest steered away and missed completely. Sure, a good hopup rubber can help reduce that inaccuracy by controlling the spin but hop rubbers cannot defy the laws of physics and aerodynamics.

    However, at 10metres, it was able to produce a 5inch grouping as shown in the picture below. Recognizing the cause of the inaccuracy we used 0.25g ammo to stabilize the flight path of the BBs in this test and it has dramatically reduced the instability of the BB's flight path, producing a grouping of just over 3 inches.

    However, if you were to use this in full-auto mode engaging targets at a longer distance, you may produce a much wider grouping due to its heavier steel bolt and stronger buffer spring combination giving you the additional recoil. This can be taken either way as some GBBR users would like a slightly lower ROF to reduce the rate of ammo expenditure where some users cannot get enough ROF as their personal style is to pin somebody down at a location. So this is totally subjective to the user but however the recoil felt during the bolt movement is extremely satisfying and the semi automatic mode functions like a dream with a crisp and smooth action. Inokatsu must have noted that due to the constraints of GBBR's, players tend to play in a more realistic manner and stay on semi automatic more than having it on full auto during games so their refinement on the semi auto functions does deserve this attention

    0.20g grouping @ 20metres
    0.20g grouping @ 10metres
    0.25g grouping @ 20metres

    Conclusion:

    The Inokatsu M4, is a combat effective rifle featuring all the realistic features on an Armalite rifle that has the highest realism in replication so far. So what does this mean for Airsoft? Well, you get to look the part and definitely will not need extra training to become familiar with the weapon seeing Armalites are a common weapon system to use. The gun performs extremely well straight out of the box with fps reaching a slightly warm power level where a downgrade is much more economical and easier than an upgrade on these GBB rifles. With its realistic steel finished outer barrel, uninterrupted top platform rails, capability to accept any WA style magazines, you're sure to look the part as well as being able to perform well due to the adaptability of this weapon to suit your needs or the situation it is configured to.

    It has to be said that at a price for this GBBR, although the output power may need to be downgraded to comply with some site regulations but it performs tremendously well giving you decent gas efficiency. This is the first GBB M4 available on the market with so many realistic features in one package as well as being able to be used in a skirmish field outperforming other GBBr's if not matching their performance. It's already outweighed the bad elements of this package, which are the price of the gas magazines and the gas consumption costs. Even if it was not to be used as a skirmish weapon, but a plinking weapon or for reenactment or even as a collector's piece or wall hanger, the realism, working bolt and bolt lock and quality does not let you down as the construction as well as its performance is absolutely top notch on this rifle. If you're looking to buy a realistic M4 with moving bolt parts, this is it without a doubt.