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Intro
Many people around the world have found the desire to pursue the sniping role in airsoft. While it is a expensive journey, many find the role exhilarating and a challenge to follow through with. Time and time again, people find the role of the sniper is not what they enjoy, and decide to change to another more aggressive role. The ability to be patient separates the true snipers from the cocky noob who thinks taking the long shot is as easy as it is on the xbox. Much more goes into this role than being a great shot, including effectively communicating with the squad, scouting ahead behind enemy lines, and effectively using camoflauge to remain hidden from the opposing forces. With this said, it is time to decide whether to become a serious sniper or to back out and pursue another role.

Choosing a rifle
One of the most effective parts of the sniper is the rifle. Having the ability to take accurate shots when needed is vital for the sniper's success. Thus, one of the biggest decisions in pursuing this role is to pick a rifle worthy of the task. Many people, including I started out with a clone rifle. Even to this day, I find myself using a clone rifle rather than lets say a maruzen or vsr. Their is nothing wrong with a clone, except when a young immature person decides to get one, and thinks they are the best shit out their. One must realize that there is much more to the rifle than just "buying it". The rifle must be tweaked, modded, and upgraded before it even has a chance of being successful on the field.

However, due to budgets, many people find themselves only able to afford a clone rifle at the time. They will use the rifle for some time deciding if the role is or is not for them. After awhile, the person judges whether to put more money into the rifle or to sell it for a solid aeg. If you find money is an issue, and desire to fulfill the sniper role, read on.

WANT A RIFLE THAT IS CHEAP, SHOOTS HARD, AND CAN HIT TARGETS REALLY FAR AWAY!!?
Sorry but this does not exist. I do not know how many times I have heard this, but this is one of the most annoying questions in the world to me. No bolt action rifle out of the box can outperform a solid aeg. Its as simple as that. It takes time for a person to put together a rifle worthy of being successful at hitting the target. Cheap ways to increase performance include do it yourself mods, etc. More expensive ways include upgrading the rifle with solid internal/external pieces. While it can be expensive, one can slowly upgrade their rifle over time, while still squeezing every bit of performance out of it each and everyday.

Now you realize no rifle out of the box is SUPER AWESOME ACCURATE AND A HARD HITTER! That is one step into coming out of the noob stages and becoming a successful sniper.

Realizing money might be an issue, I will suggest a good base platform for a solid bolt action rifle. I personally have had experience with a few clones and find the mk96 from UTG is the best option. The UTG m324, I found weak and unable to take certain upgrades. Its hop up was almost unnoticable, and the accuracy was just awful. The JG l96 clone was the worst of them all. With a hard trigger pull, and loud clank when fired, the rifle was very noisy and unnaccurate, proving to be a sniper's worst nightmare. It was not until the mk96, that I found a solid clone featuring the l96.

The Review of the UTG mk96 clone


Out of the box performance
This is the most important part for those who are trying out the role and are unable to borrow someone's rifle to test if they like the bolt actions. The mk96 is affordable and solid as a stock rifle. The barrel is sturdy and is held in place without any fllimsyness. But the stock is made of a weak plastic, making the rifle feel like a toy. This is one of the cons of buying a clone rifle. :-/ Often a scope package is included with two magazines and a cheap flimsy sling plus a handy speedloader. While not necessary, the speedloader makes loading the magazine easier. The rifle features a nice rail for attaching scopes and optics, but remember some rail rings are also necessary. ;)

Pulling the rifle out of the box, I noticed it came in two pieces. The stock and the barrel assembly. It is pretty self explanatory and can be assembled with two screws that are located inside the stock by screwing them in with the included allen wrench. Once this is done, it is time to load her up and see how she shoots.

After firing a few shots with .28 bbs, I noticed there was a major curve of the bb. Adjusting the hop up will not fix this, due to the fact that their is only one arm that can be adjusted, unlike the pdi hop up chamber, featuring two adjustable arms. Most likely, it was a problem with the hop up chamber, but the use of some madbull .4s helped straighten out the curve of the bb. By using the other allen wrench used to adjust the hop up, located in front of the magazine catch, my shots were dead on. Next, after figuring out how to get the shots shooting straight, I zeroed in the scope. I successfully was able to hit a small round target about 6inches by 6 inches 3/5 times from 120 feet away. After further shooting, I noticed hitting a torso sized target 150 feet away was no problem, but after that, shots began to stray away flying all over. Even occassionally, a flyer would occur, resulting in a very ugly shot. This disappointed me, but I concluded it was able to shoot more accurately than a stock aeg. However, the mk96 was unable to outrange any aeg. Thus, to use this rifle in the field would create a utter disadvantage. With only slightly better accuracy and no more range than an aeg, this rifle stock is not going to perform great on the field. Firepower would most likely win this battle, and usually results in the mk96 user, to drop the role of the sniper, and to go pick up a aeg of some sort. Yet, some stick with it, and find themselves able to practice their skills and to use camoflauge such as a ghillie to their advantage. They find themselves becoming more stealthy and understand the rifles limits. By being able to get in range unnoticed, this rifle is quiet and able to take accurate consistent shots to a certain point. The sniper realizes he enjoys and is quite good at the role. This is where upgrading the rifle will really help with performance of this clone.
Overall rating: 6/10
Reason: Fliers here and there, and range is limited

Durability
Overall, the stock has held up, even after a few falls. The barrel is solid and shows no signs of denting even after a few crashes too
The sears are metal, and have held up for a long time, showing no signs of wearing down. The hop up chamber is sturdy and reliable, but recently I have come to the conclusion that the bucking has been worn out. Sadly, taking apart the hop up chamber is difficult and is not recommended. Replacement parts can only be purchased from leapers under the 30 day warranty. I suggest you get a few extra buckings (which are only made for the specific mk96 hop up chamber). Once the bucking wears down, you have no choice but to take apart the hop up chamber. :( I am currently fiddling with it, and will post a dissembly guide if I figure it out. Wish me luck comrades
Also, the piston and spring guide are a yellow plastic, that seems very solid for stock pieces. However, dropping in a heavy spring from the beginning will result in very results. With that said, despite the durable stock internals, they in no way can handle a heavy spring by themselves.

Overall rating: 9/10
Reason: Nothing wore down and broke on me after all these years :)

Upgradability
Being a clone rifle, the mk96 can take maruzen l96 parts. Here is a link to a very useful thread when upgrading any clone or maruzen l96 rifle: http://www.airsoftsniperforum.com/phpBB/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=681

If money is still an issue, keep saving up for some good upgrade parts. But for the meantime, here is a link to some good Do it yourself upgrades (DIY): http://www.airsoftforum.com/board/Stock-MK96-Dummies-t172200.html . These mods can help make the rifle more affective without burning a hole in your pocket. Some deal with helping increase compression, and decrease in compression lost, a vital part of your rifles success. Others like custom barrel spaces help prevent barrel vibration which results in decrease in accuracy.

Next, once you have gotten some cash, and still enjoy this role, it is time to upgrade the internals. While the upgrades prove to be costly, they also find themselves to greatly increase the rifle's performance. All the way from consistency, to accuracy, to an increase in its fps. But wait, didn't the noob ask a question about a rifle such as this?? They wanted accuracy, long range, and a high fps
. O, but they wanted it cheap, thats right. :-/ It just goes to show you, that the rifle takes some money to get shooting to the best of its ability. Noobs, seriously think about whether or not spending lumps of money on the rifle is worth it to you. If not, using this rifle stock will be difficult, yet not impossible ;) on the field. For you, I recommend a aeg to get you started. Now for those who are interested and have the desire to still go through with upgrading their rifle, please continue reading.

Many upgrades are available in and out of the country. My favorite is airsoft atlanta, which is in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, redowlf, is out of the country but has a alot of good stuff. Redwolf, unlike Airsoft Atlanta, has the zero trigger in stock, a valuable upgrade part that offers amazing durability. Just read the thread by Zulu for a better description on all of the upgrades available. :)

Here is my recommendation for upgrade order. This is based off Zulu's thread, and this will be like a little summary


First Upgrade Purchases
1. PDI hop up chamber: allows use of aeg barrels and buckings
2. AEG tightbore barrel (6.03mm to 6.05mm recommended.) Stock barrel length is 499mm, but a 509mm barrel will suffice if the end cap is removed. A flash hider will provide cover for the small bit of barrel that is extended.
3. Soft bucking and nubbing (possibly polar stars concave spacer--is a nubbing)
4. Heavy weight bbs (madbulls are nice)
5. PDI repair kit: Cheap kit, with spare pieces for PDI hop up unit.

Second Upgrade Purchases
1. Cylinder head, spring guide, cylinder, and piston and accuracy cup. I prefer laylax parts but PDI parts are also very high quality.
-Note: the cylinder being the most expensive is not necessary with the purchase of the spring guide, piston, and cylinder head. The stock cylinder will suffice just fine for now.
2. Trigger sear and piston sear. Although, the stock sears held up extremely fine, and show no signs of wear after three years of use.

Third Upgrade Purchases
1. Zero trigger
2. If not bought yet, a teflon cylinder
3. Heavier spring (note how other internal parts were upgraded before the spring was. This is very important

Fourth upgrade purchases
1. Flash hider adapter
2. Flash hider
3. New bolt handle
Note how these are not necessary upgrade parts. Some offer good durability upgrades, whiles others are for looks


Overall rating: 9/10
Reason: So many available upgrades, and only a few pieces like the piston sear is hard to find.

Now for the overall rating of the UTG MK96 clone rifle: 8/10
Reason: So much can be done to this rifle. Not to mention, it shoots very decent stock. This allows the person to slowly upgrade overtime, and practice the role of the sniper, without terrible performance from the rifle. Only true weakness when fully upgraded is the stock, which makes the rifle feel weak and like a toy, even when it is shooting fantastic :'(

For any further description please refer to Zulu's thread linked above. This is just a brief summary for you lazy kids out there


Sites


Airsoftatlanta.com
airsoftgi.com
redwolfairsoft.com
evike.com (not a whole lot of selection but it has some good stuff

Just go to the bolt action parts sections and there will be some great stuff :)

Any questions feel free to pm me. After all, I love to talk airsoft


I would also like to thank Zulu, a valuable member of the forum, who helped me get to where I am today with my rifle ;)
 

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It's a little late for a question...but why a 6.03 to 6.05, and why not a 6.01 tightbore barrel?

EDIT: I did some research and was wondering if the only reason is because they jam easily if not properly cleaned and used with clean bb's? Or is there another reason?
 

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Because you wont see any difference between a 6.03 and a 6.01.

That and with a little bit larger barrel you will have more room for the bb to settle up on top of the barrel.

You need to remember that it isn't the tightness of the bore that helps..... it is the consistency of the inner barrel that is key.
 

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Great article.

I went and ordered a PDI hop up and a Prometheus 500mm 6.03 EG barrel as I figured it's close to the 499mm of the Well L96 stock barrel length. I'm now a little concerned as I have read elsewhere that the 500mm is cut specifically for the M14 and that it will not fit in the PDI hop up.
Tell me that aint true as the order has been shipped so cannot be stopped :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I pm'ed you on the other site. I remember reading about this somewhere.

Well, did some searching around and it looks like the prommy barrel for the m14 is cut slightly different than most aeg barrels. Call the company and ask for a switch, saying you accidently clicked on the wrong barrel.

See what they can do first before doing any modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thought I would throw this information into this thread as its getting lost throughout the other section.

Target Shooting Test Results

Recently I have decided to do a few tests between a stock mk96 and a upgraded one. I just so happened to have one of each laying around
This for all you kiddies out there who are curious how much some upgrades really make a difference. Buckle your seat belts.

Shots were taken from various distances, and all were taken with madbull .36 gram bbs at a body sized target (inlcudes head, arms, legs, chest). Scopes were zeroed before data was recorded.

Stock Rifle

Stock UTG mk96 stats and weather conditions
-.36g
-no mods or upgrades
-slight to no wind
-Around 85-90 degrees

75 feet

-7/10 shots hit the target.
-A couple flyers were way off
-shots hit various parts of the chest region with a few on the arms
-Overall: Very disappointed in consistency

100 feet

-4/5 shots hit the target
-All in the chest region but not very tight groupings
-Overall: Little better than at 75 feet. It can be concluded that consistency is a major issue with the stock rifle.

125 feet
-4/5 shots hit the target
-Two shots hit the hand area (very close to missing)
-Other two hit chest area
-Overall: Lucky shots, could have easily been 2/5.

150 feet: Slight hill-have to shoot up alittle against the force of gravity
-3/10 shots hit the target.
-Two of these shots hit the hands again!
-Overall: More lucky shots that almost missed. From this distance accuracy is a major problem as well as consistency. However, the rifle had enough power to get to this distance very easily.


Complete analysis
: Power is not a problem with the stock rifle. Easily could have gone further but unfortunately very few would have hit the target. Accuracy and consistency were the two flaws even at close range. No shot hit the same place twice. Reduces the shooters confidence in game, because he will not know where it will go.

Please note this rifle was tested completely stock. With a few mods, the rifle would definitely increase in both accuracy and consistency.

Upgraded Rifle

UTG mk96 upgraded
-laylax piston and accuracy cup
-laylax spring guide and cylinder head
-pdi trigger sear
-Prometheus 6.03 (499mm) tightbore barrel
-PDI hop up chamber with stock nubbin and KWA Bucking
-.36 gram bbs

Well, due to a problem with the pdi hop up, adjusting and zeroing in the scope has taken a little longer than expected. While I did not entirely fix the error, I was able to pop a few test shots just to see if it was still performing better than a stock mk96 (one would hope ;) )

Weather conditions
-no wind except a breeze here and there
-90 some degrees (hot!)

75 feet

-10/10 shots hit the target
-All headshots (I do not encourage headshots but this is for data collecting purposes only)
-Very tight groupings
-Overall: very impressed by the accuracy and consistency of each shot

100 feet

-5/5 shots hit the target
-All chest shots
-Tight groupings
-Overall: Shots were money in the bank, no fliers. One can feel confident about taking precision shots from this distance


125 feet

-5/5 shots hit the target
-Chest shots
-No fliers
-Looser groupings
-Overall: While shots were confirmed hits, some shots were alittle off, but still managed to hit the target.

150 feet

-7/10 shots hit the target
-Slight curve of the shots
-Managed to hit the chest fairly easily and consistently
-Overall: Accuracy suffered alittle. Most likely was due to the small problem with the hop up adjustment screws which kept coming loose.

Complete Analysis: The upgrades definitely increased performance including both accuracy and range. However, a few adjustments are yet to be made before this rifle has seen its full potential with its current upgrades.


Overall of the Overall
: No doubt the mk96 with upgrades won the fight, but performance from both were still lacking. Like I said before, a stock rifle can be tweaked to shoot alot better than what was recorded above. I am curious as to how much better it will shoot when a few mods for accuracy and consistency take place. As for the upgraded mk96, it needs some tweaking before it can hit the field. Hopefully in a few days, 200 foot shots will be no problem while anything closer will be money in the bank


More tests will be conducted at longer ranges to see how they perform. This includes 175 feet and 200 feet, and for kicks possibly a 225-250 foot test.

Thanks for reading.

Fuzzy

Update!

New shots taken from 175 feet and 200 feet
Weather conditions: Nothing changed. Still hot! Currently slight to no wind.

Stock Mk96

-Still nothing done to it internally

175 feet
-.36 gram bbs
-hit 6/10 times
-Wild shots all over the place
-Curved into the target
-Most likely lucky shots but successful none the less.
-Overall: Stock rifle can hit the longshot, but not very often. Hop up was all the way up, and a few shots fell short. Looked like this would be its longest distance without adjusting the crosshairs (aiming up to compensate for distance)

200 feet
-still .36 gram bbs as this is the heaviest weight the hop up can handle at this distance while not being agitated by the slight wind.
-Hit the target 1/10 times
-Really had to aim up to compensate for the inability to shoot the .36s. However, if I would have used .28s, the curve would have been too much, creating even more innaccurate shots than what already was taking place.
-A few shots dead on, but fell short. Others were not even close.
-Overall: Hop up just could not handle the heavy weight .36s at the 200 foot distance. Consistency was not there, and accuracy was lacking. However, at 200 feet with a completely stock rifle, what do you expect


Upgraded mk96
-Using .4 madbull bbs this time. The rifle could handle the heavier weights, and at this distance, the heavier bbs were almost a necessity (to maintain accuracy).

175 feet
-9/10 hit the target
-Very impressed
-No doubt the heavier .4s over the .36s helped increase accuracy and were very little affected by the wind.
-Several shots dead on.
-Others had a slight curve
-Overall: Capable of hitting a person from this distance with ease

200 feet
-6/10 shots hit the target
-Had the distance, just not the accuracy and consistency to hit the target everytime.
-Overall: This rifle has the ability to take shots from this distance and still be successful. It seems this might be its maximum range when trying to hit the target with confidence. 225 feet could be a stretch :'( However, with a heavier spring upgrade, the rifle would definitely have the range to hit the target at further distances. At the moment though, the stock spring (which has been worn down) just cannot produce enough power to make it as far. All will change when a zero trigger is purchased along with a teflon cylinder. Then a heavier spring will be inserted and the range will be increased so that longer shots are no longer a problem ;)
 

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I am a newbie on the site and am looking to buy a L96 clone, there is a WELL Warrior L96 AWF (G96D) Gas Powered on various web sites, the reports on this look good. But what is it like for upgrade parts? Has anyone got one, what is it like ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
longbow said:
I am a newbie on the site and am looking to buy a L96 clone, there is a WELL Warrior L96 AWF (G96D) Gas Powered on various web sites, the reports on this look good. But what is it like for upgrade parts? Has anyone got one, what is it like ?
This was about spring powered l96's. Please read the rules, do some searching, and place your questions in the appropriate section.

If for some reason you do not find any information, or have some questions, ask away. But do it in the right place. Also, make an intro post.

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
gadsden said:
What a great post, I have a choice between L96 or VSR-10 and I think ill give the L96 a chance.
Thanks for the kind words. I love the l96 and over time its look has grown on me. However, I find rifles such as the vsr-10 to be less cumbersome than the l96 rifles. Both have their pros and cons, and you cannot really go wrong with either choice. Both have an abundant amount of parts available whether you are looking to upgrade or just replace worn down parts.

Good luck with your rifle.
 

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fuzzywolly said:
Thanks for the kind words. I love the l96 and over time its look has grown on me. However, I find rifles such as the vsr-10 to be less cumbersome than the l96 rifles. Both have their pros and cons, and you cannot really go wrong with either choice. Both have an abundant amount of parts available whether you are looking to upgrade or just replace worn down parts.
The only real difference in air soft is the body, and the person using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hidden187 said:
fuzzywolly said:
Thanks for the kind words. I love the l96 and over time its look has grown on me. However, I find rifles such as the vsr-10 to be less cumbersome than the l96 rifles. Both have their pros and cons, and you cannot really go wrong with either choice. Both have an abundant amount of parts available whether you are looking to upgrade or just replace worn down parts.
The only real difference in air soft is the body, and the person using it.
Actually there is...
1. weight of the rifle
2. size of the rifle
3. parts available

All these things are very important. If you are playing a really fast paced game, carrying around a 50 cal is going to be a serious problem. Especially in cqb :)
 
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