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Because of all the questions people ask about their L96s, I'm going to list possible upgrade paths, general knowledge, and possibly (it might take a while) a full disassembly guide. Why? I'm bored :p Also keep in mind that the rifle you choose to field depends, in the end, on personal preference. Fully upgraded bolt-action airsoft rifles with similar ammo will perform very close to each other in the hands of an experienced player (assuming consistency modifications have been made in all areas).

First off, here are some good sites to buy these upgrades from:,,,,,,, etc.

There are several paths you can take to upgrade the L96. Keep in mind that if you're serious you'll want to use a Maruzen as an upgrading base, rather than a clone like the UTG or TSD L96. However the clone rifles are *usually* close enough to use as an upgrade base if you plan on replacing all the durability-related parts within a short period of time. The Maruzen simply allows you to spread out your upgrade process, and ensures you'll have no clearance issues during your upgrade path.

The first items you'll want to upgrade, every time, are the barrel and hop up unit.

Tightbore Barrel options: All of these are AEG barrels to fit with a PDI or hexagon hop up system. You'll want a barrel length of 490 to 500mm for the stock barrel and endcap, however with a flash hider an M16 length barrel works wonderfully. You can also drill out the endcap and have a small amount of barrel protruding if you can't find the right length.

EdGI 6.01 and 6.00 bull barrels-These have a brass construction and are 10mm thick (bull barrel), which tapers to 8.55mm at the ends to slot into an AEG hop up system (or another system, although I wouldn't recommend this) and most aftermarket flash hiders, end caps, and silencers. The bull barrel helps consistency by reducing vibrations. Some people swear by them, but I have never personally used one. This is a solid choice however I would recommend a wider bore. If you go with this, get the 6.01-even EdGI admits that the 6.00 has no purpose other than to increase fps. They run $75. EdGI is a player and can custom make any barrel if you send him the specs or a stock barrel from the same system.

Sidenote: EdGI also makes a lot of custom trigger assemblies, cylinder sets, etc. that are decent. I detailed the laylax and PDI upgrade paths because those really ARE the best you can get, and I have experience with them. Don't hesitate to try out EdGI's stuff though-he's a player and makes good quality internals. In fact, if you use his parts in your L96 post the results here and I'll incorporate them into the guide and give you credit.

Prometheus 6.03 barrels-These have a stainless steel construction and are not bull barrels. They have the best accuracy and consistency for the money. Not much more to say to be honest. I use one of these with my current setup and it works wonderfully. I would recommend this barrel over a 6.01 because the wider bore helps improve airflow consistency and therefore shot consistency at range. Tighter bores help accuracy at short distances, but this IS a sniper rifle you're building, right?
Lots of places carry prommy barrels, here's a good retailer's link to them:

Dee's custom barrels (DBC)-These have a brass construction and a reputed breakin of 500-1000. I believe this is myth, but you might as well try it. Their bore is 6.01mm and they're on par with prometheus barrels. It's really a matter of preference, although be warned: DBC has been known to make batches of faulty barrels. They are also discontinued, so good luck finding one.

PDI barrels: The best barrels, although they run at around $130 for the appropriate L96 length barrel. They come in several sizes. The 6.01, 6.05, and 6.08 barrels are not bull and are made for an AEG hop up. The 6.04 barrels are bull barrels and are also made for an AEG hop up. I would personally get the 6.04 because the wider bore will help consistency, as I previously mentioned. The bull barrel also reduces vibrations, which helps consistency. They have THE best manufacturing methods, however they aren't really necessary-you'll notice a nominal difference at best when you upgrade to this from another high quality tightbore barrel.

You'll want spacers with whatever barrel you get. Both PDI and laylax make good quality spacers, and you can also make homemade ones with electrical tape wrapped around the barrel to the required thickness. If you buy commercial spacers make sure you get the right type for your barrel. AEG barrel L96 spacers are what you want unless you get the PDI 6.04-PDI sells spacers for these on their site.

Hop up:
There are really only two options for the hop up for an L96. The PDI hop up and the hexagon hop up.

The PDI hop up has great construction and features two o-rings to improve airseal within the chamber and a dual hop up lever system. The two separate levers each have a hex screw which you turn to change the pressure on the arms. This allows you to fix any misalignment of the nub or bucking you made upon installation and helps consistency as well. This is made for AEG barrels only.
You can get it on the same site as with the PDI barrels.

Hexagon hop up: I haven't personally used this. It features a simple, single arm system-it's basically the stock hop up made to better specifications and for AEG barrels. This would probably be easier to get shooting decently, but it won't give you as good results as with the PDI hop up, given enough work.

Buckings: There are several buckings you can use for your rifle. No matter what your fps is, I would recommend a soft bucking; they tear up more quickly, but are cheap and are more consistent.

Prometheus, Tokyo Marui stock bucking, and firefly all make good soft buckings. I would personally recommend the prometheus or TM bucking to start off. A guarder 70 degree bucking is also a very consistent option-I own one of these and use it along with the prommy and TM buckings. Hard buckings are also made by all of these companies, if you don't know how to listen :p

You'll want to replace this as well-this is the buffer between your hop up lever arms and your bucking. There are two commercial options: an h-nub and a SCS nubbin'. Shredder's concave spacer is shaped to contour to the bb's surface, and I find I have amazing results with this. They don't make one for the pdi spacer, so cut up your stock PDI hop up nubbin (clear cylindrical piece) into two pieces and space the SCS with this. H-nubs are like a more square-cut, primitive form of the SCS. They'll also increase consistency marginally.
Message bnoji on to buy an SCS-they run $8. H nubs can be found on any major airsoft site.

Hop up arms: PDI makes low and high type hop up arms. You may want to replace the arms that come with your chamber with the "high" type arms. The standard arms often don't apply enough pressure without you cranking up the hop, which makes the hop up more unreliable.

That covers the barrel and hop up unit. At this point I recommend replacing the cylinder head/nozzle simply to help airseal and consistency. Several manufacturers make good ones: guarder and laylax, namely. I would go with the laylax damper/tapered cylinder head pro. It's got interchangeable nozzles of different lengths so you have replacements and another way to customize your rifle

Your next step is to increase durability of your rifle. The first thing you'll want to do is upgrade your trigger mechanism.

There are several options for this. The least expensive is to buy a set of trigger sears and install them in your stock trigger mechanism. The only problem with this is that with a high-fps setup your stock trigger box MIGHT crack or snap under the pressure, given enough shots run through the rifle. Trigger sears also don't last as long as other options, but you can keep replacing them over and over again (and they last a good while...a year of constant use, perhaps).

Good trigger sears, in order from least to most durable: deepfire sears, daikai sears, laylax and PDI sears. You'll have to do some googling to find these, good luck. Also keep in mind that it would be smart to replace the piston sear as well-the same companies make these and they run close to the same amount as a set of trigger sears.

The other option is to completely replace the trigger mech-box, sears, trigger, etc. This leaves you with two options for the type 96. PDI doesn't make a v-trigger for it.

You can get the laylax zero trigger, which is pretty much the best all around trigger. I've shot thousands of rounds through my rifle and it's yet to show any wear other than the paint stripping off the trigger from all the pulls I've made. Good construction, light trigger'll be set for your airsoft career with this baby.
Price: $140

You can also get the KA (king arms) lightweight trigger assembly. This is very close to the zero trigger in construction, with only slightly worse construction/materials. I'm going on word of mouth, but this will last you a long time as well.
Price: $99

Now that you've done that you can upgrade your cylinder set (this includes the cylinder, nozzle/cylinder head. For this, you have three options: PDI, laylax, or OK Be warned, while many people have reported the laylax zero trigger working with the PDI/OK cylinder sets they ARE different manufacturers. If you want to be safe, you'll just go the laylax route. In my opinion, laylax makes much better cylinder set parts anyway. The Laylax and PDI sets are very good quality, while OK is a good budget option-you won't be disappointed, but it's not THE best. I won't mention the OK cylinder set further, because it's a package deal (no separate parts).

The first step is to get a new spring guide and piston. These take the most pressure of the spring slamming into place, and so need to be replaced first. For the spring guide, get a PDI or laylax steel spring guide-either one works. The laylax set comes with both a 7mm and 9mm guide, for different types of springs.

For your piston, you should either get the laylax 3-element neo piston or the PDI hard piston. The PDI vacuum piston is hyped up in any case, and falls apart easily. Again, I would recommend the laylax 3-element neo piston-if you go with this, you also need to get the laylax red power-accuracy cup. This fits on the top of your piston and helps airseal.

For your cylinder, you should either get the PDI or laylax cylinder. In any case, I would recommend you spend the extra $15-20 to get a teflon-injected (laylax) or palsonite (PDI) cylinder to improve cylinder life and make bolt pull smoother and easier. To be honest, there's little difference between the laylax and PDI cylinders. You should just go with whatever type you've upgrading the other cylinder set parts with, to prevent any problems.

You've already gotten the cylinder head, so it's on to the spring

Spring: The LAST thing you want to upgrade on your rifle is the spring. Of course, there's nothing wrong with getting a high quality 400 fps spring to start off with, to help consistency. A higher powered spring, however, is just going to break your rifle if you put it in early on.

There are several options. Laylax sp150 and sp170 springs will put you at 500 and 550 fps, respectively, depending the bore of your barrel and other factors. The PDI 220 spring will put you at 520 fps+20 fps for your tightbore. I use this, and it's WONDERFULLY consistent. 541 fps 5 times in a row at the last event I went to. Laylax and PDI springs are, again, the way to go. I would recommend PDI but it's your choice. Do a quick google to see what spring will give you your desired fps. You can also slide a spacer (get 'em at a hardware store) down the spring guide and then install normally. The spring will rest on the spacer and it will increase the power of the spring. Cheap and it helps get the correct fps for a chronograph at a game.

Externals: for this, you'll want PDI externals. Stay away from the receiver unless you go with a PDI cylinder. For any other cylinder, it will scrape horribly against your cylinder, scratching it and making bolt pull impossible. Their barrels and flash hiders are top-quality, however, and I highly recommend them if you want to improve your rifle's aesthetics.

Bolt handle:
It's possible for this to break, but only if your technique sucks (to put it bluntly :p). I've been using my stock bolt handle for a long time now, and the only sign of wear is the stripping of the paint. That being said, your options are a guarder and laylax handle. The guarder is your best bet, as laylax stopped producing theirs years ago. It's high quality and won't break on you.

BB's. First off, fps matchup. 400 fps to 450 fps you'll want to use .3's. 450 to 500 fps you'll want to use .3s or .36's (I'd recommend .36's). Through 550 you can use anything up to .43's. Any higher fps. and you're breaking the rules at U.S. based events and you'll be breaking your rifle soon, too.

Good brands: The best .3g range bbs are SGM .29's. They are THE best bb, and if they were made in heavier weights they would be in even greater demand. $16 for 500. If you're cheaper, KSC .3's are also great. 2000 for $12 to $15, depending on the site. Bioval .27s are also amazing, on par with SGMs. They're just a bit light for for me, even with a 400 fps spring.

For heavyweight bbs (now that straight bbs are dicontinued) Madbull bbs are where it's at. .36, .40, and .43g bb weights are all available. Bioval is also coming out with .42g bbs soon, which I'll be the first to get. :)

DIY mods:
There are several you can do. Talk to some L96 gurus or vindicareassassin (on these forums) about this, but here are a few you can and should do early on for relatively little.

Here's a small parts list for you: Silicone spray, krylon camo paint (tan, olive drab, and brown), teflon tape, car polish, brasso, and a roll of electrical tape.

1) Use the camo paint to break up your rifle's outline (just do a mottled scheme if you want, it doesn't have to be fancy).

2) Next, follow this guide to cleaning/brasso'ing/polishing your barrel. It'll improve your grouping on the stock barrel immensely:

3) Then, teflon tape the cylinder head and barrel/bucking joint. The stock barrel/hop up unit is a bitch to disassemble, if you can't manage it just teflon the area between the end of the hop up unit and the barrel.

4) Finally, replace or add on to the stock spacers by wrapping electrical tape around your inner barrel so that it fits snug with the inside of the outer barrel. Do this at perhaps 4 spots along the barrel, and if you have trouble fitting the inner barrel assembly back in afterward, spray it with silicone and try again.

Cheap, easy mods to improve your effectiveness on the field as much as 2x over. If you need help send me a PM-most of it is pretty easy once you get the rifle apart.

5) A good durability upgrade is to replace all the stock screws with heavy-duty steel flatheads. It'll make your life a lot easier when one of them strips and you can't get your rifle apart. Just take any screws you want to replace to a hardware store and have them get you replacements-if you can't find a store with the right screws at first, keep looking. It'll be worth it (RC hobby shops are a good place to look).

Sidenote: If they're too long, that's okay-get a cheap $2 hacksaw and nuts to go with the screws. Twist the nut onto the screw at the length you want the screw to be, and saw through the screw on far side of the nut from the screw head. Then twist the nut off to reform the threads and put that new screw in your rifle.

I listed upgrades in the order I think you should do them (actually, you should get good quality bbs and do DIY mods first, but other than that...), and I hope you enjoyed the guide. PLEASE come here before you make a new thread. If you can't find what you're looking for, post here and I'll answer within a day or two, tops.

I'll make a disassembly guide sometime and post it here, but until then just send me a PM or post here with your question if you have trouble with your clone or maruzen L96.


The tools I use to disassemble my rifle:

Yours may differ, especially as I've replaced some screws in my gun. You'll need a small allen wrench to disassemble the PDI hop up, and a large one to unscrew the stock. Everything else you can replace.

I'm doing everything except the barrel assembly, that will come the next time I NEED to do it, because it's finicky and I'd rather not chase after small parts and springs if I can help it. Also, I apologize for the poor quality-all of the pictures are clear enough for you to see what I'm talking about, but all I have is a cell phone right now.

The first thing you need to do is unscrew the two hex screws set into the bottom of the stock. Don't worry about loosening them too much, they have housings and won't fall out unless you take apart the stock. This is something that most airsofters don't do, but if someone's interested in a paper maché or foam job to decrease sound, send me a PM and I'll get a guide put together for you.

My stock is literally bursting at the seams because I packed it so full of a paper maché mix, but it's servicable.

The two screws are located behind the mag well and next to the pistol grip.

After you loosen the screws, just lift the stock free of the barrel/receiver assembly.

Your next step is to unscrew the barrel assembly from the receiver. IMPORTANT: Clone models have a small hex screw that holds the barrel assembly centered, unscrew this first or you WILL strip the threads on the barrel and/or receiver. Maruzens do not have this, and are built so that the barrel lines up correctly (in theory, anyway). Next you simply have to unscrew the barrel counter-clockwise out of the receiver, and pull them apart. It will take some time.

This is the joint:

I didn't take a picture of the full receiver, but the takedown is very basic. First, take off the trigger assembly:

No matter what upgrade path you chose, you'll need to unscrew two screws on either side of the trigger assembly. These usually have base plates that center them over their holes. The stock screws are phillips, but as I mentioned, you should replace these with heavy duty flatheads.
Pics of the screws:

I have a zero trigger-the KA looks similar, but the maruzen has a bulkier build. Don't worry about that, as far as disassembly is concerned.

Next, pull out the piston sear. (the piece sticking out of the trigger with the curved protrusion that helps you pull it out). This is shown in the picture of the trigger assembly above. It will not come completely out, but you'll feel a shifting/clicking and it'll move upward about a centimeter. This means that it's disconnected from the piston.

Remove the trigger assembly. This is the bottom of the receiver once it's gone:

Pull the cylinder/bolt handle assembly out of the receiver. It should simply slide free now that the piston sear is disengaged and the trigger is gone.
Pic of the separated cylinder/bolt handle:

Next, unscrew the cylinder head, counter clockwise. You can use a pair of needle nosed pliers to help you-insert each prong of the pliers into the small holes in the cylinder head, and twist counter clockwise. If you have a factory cylinder, it might be threadlocked or glued. Try heating it with a hair dryer and running it under hot water if you can't unscrew it. Don't try to force it.

Next, tilt the cylinder and simply let the piston, spring guide, and spring fall out.

Separate the components-they're not connected.

I have the laylax 3 element piston, laylax steel spring guide, and laylax spring. Your parts may look different, be made of plastic, etc, especially if you're taking apart a stock rifle.

To remove the bolt handle, take a large flathead screwdriver and unscrew the flathead screw at the back of the bolt handle assembly.

The first time you take this apart, it may be difficult-the pieces SHOULDN'T be connected, but friction/factory gunk is a powerful force.

I'm not disassembling this because it can be a bitch to do. The only thing you need to worry about is the tiny protrusion here:

I hope you see what I'm talking about-the small 1mm wide cylindrical bit that sticks out from the base of the bolt handle. This is connected to a spring and lets you flip the bolt handle. Just don't lose it-you can reinsert it if it comes out.

It should be a simple 2 piece construction. There is a protrusion at the back of the cylinder that the hollow endpiece and bolt handle slide onto, and the screw you took out at the start connects it all. I recommend you replace this with a PDI end screw, because the stock screws have been known to snap. Mine never did, but I replaced it just in case.

The barrel assembly is next-it should be posted within a few weeks, depending on when I next clean my barrel. Enjoy!

This barrel diassembly is for the PDI chamber and AEG barrel because I was never fool enough to try to mess with the stock chamber. The design is similar on all hop up units, it'll just be simpler if you're taking apart the stock one.

To disassemble the hop up unit, you'll need a tiny allen wrench (.5mm, I believe). One size up actually works better for the screws that clamp to the barrel, but you can make do with the small size.

First, you need to unscrew the mag release from the outer barrel. I have a flathead, but the standard screw is a phillips. It will simply detach once you've unscrewed it (the screw fits into the hop up unit).

Next, simply push the barrel assembly out of the outer barrel. This should be fairly easy, depending on what kind of spacers you've got on the barrel. You can use a screwdriver to help push it out if you can't fit your finger far enough in.

It should look something like that, although my spacers may be different than yours (and one is still in the outer barrel :p ).

Now you get to the business end:

Take the o-ring that's putting pressure on the hop up arms off, and set it to the side. Flip the hop up arms up and take out the nubbin that rests in THIS gap in the middle of the chamber:

The adjustment screws are also pictured here. The pointy end of them (very technical, I know) rests on the hop up arms and changes the pressure they exert based on the position of the screw. There are holes drilled out for these to fit in.

Image of bucking and nubbin' (I have an SCS nub, yours may be different):

This is an image of the hop up chamber with the hop up arms put to the side.

This is not necessary for disassembly, but if you want to sand them and lube them (or replace them with PDI hop up arms) then it's easy to disassemble. A small metal cylinder holds them together and attached to the hop up unit. Push this out with a small size allen wrench and simply take out the hop up arms.

Next, unscrew the stubby little allen screws from the sides of the unit. This is the point where a slightly larger allen wrench is helpful. When this is done, simply slide the barrel out of the hop up unit.
It will look like this:

Detach the bucking, and it will look like this:

The ridge on the bucking fits into the slot on the barrel opposite of the breech shown in this picture. The breech faces the side of the hop up that the arms are on, when you insert the barrel/bucking into the hop up unit. The bucking covers it, the arms apply pressure to the nubbin' and then to the bucking, and the bucking applies pressure to the bb. It sounds complicated but it's really not.

To reassemble, just do the opposite. When you put the barrel/bucking into the chamber, make sure to align them as well as possible. With the PDI chamber you can fix any mistakes you make, but it's better overall if you nail it during the assembly.

I tried to make this as clear as possible, but to be honest this is one of those things that is better learned by doing. Do this a couple times and everything will make a lot more sense. If you have a specific problem, PM me.

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1,045 Posts
grandpa09 said:
Dude i need some advice... I have a choice between Well MB-01 and the UTG Mk96... wich do you think is going to handle these upgrades better? Please reply to [email protected] PLEASE
A word to the wise... not a very good idea to put your email address on an international forum there chap, unless of coarse you enjoy reading all the adverts for making your cock 12" longer and stiffer than a poker with little blue pills ;)

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27 Posts
Sorry to bring up an old thread, but just to adjust a small area of this PDI does make a V-trigger for the Maruzen Type 96.

I'm sure people already know that though :) but just to put it stock trigger box for my UTG Shadow Ops 96 cracked at the screw areas so I need to get this one soon...

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1 Posts
as someone researching the L96 family, i must say this is a great topic, and kudos to you, zulu.

Although there's a question that comes to mind, im getting the Tokyo Marui L96 model soon enough, would these tips you've posted be applicable to the TM version as well ?

Thank you.

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909 Posts
kraio said:
as someone researching the L96 family, i must say this is a great topic, and kudos to you, zulu.

Although there's a question that comes to mind, im getting the Tokyo Marui L96 model soon enough, would these tips you've posted be applicable to the TM version as well ?

Thank you.
They use a whole different type of parts. I'd PM woogie if I were you; he's the only one I know of on here that's upgraded one.

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8 Posts
I know it's an old thread, but great informative write up.
For any new builder to spring/bolt rifles, the best TRICKS are those using Teflon tape
To properly seal any joints and seals, and mirror polishing your spring guide and piston head. Proper use of Teflon tape will make or break your air seals.
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