Well known among airsoft players, ARES company was chosen as a producer of AEG replica of Beryl carbine, basing on agreement between Taktyczny.com from Cracow, Poland and "Archer" - RadomArms Factory LLC who is the producer and the bearer of license for real firearm.
MOD.96 Beryl carbine, running 5.56x45mm NATO is an automatic weapon, with side exhaust. Breech lock mechanism is completed after two turns right. Trigger mechanism with a limiter allows single round fire mode, triple round fire and full automatic fire. Fire mode selector is located on the left side of the body. Separate safety selector is located on the right side next to breech chamber. Standard magazine is bent, with 30 rounds, but also 20 rounds magazines are being used.
Replica comes in a solid box, made of thick cardboard. Both marketing function and securing replica during transport are fulfilled. Graphic design uses mostly dark colours. It presents a big photo of a replica, next to the name of a carbine and RadomArms Factory logo. Except for that, there are some brief specs of this replica and both ARES and Taktyczny.com logos.
Inside the box, there is a soft protective foam, which keeps the replica and magazine in place. No part would freely move in the box, and what is more, it is covered with flat foam to secure it from the top.
In the box, except for the replica itself you find one magazine and a manual. Manual is black & white, simple in two pages, clearly describing usage and carries info on replica's elements and maintanance.
At the first glance it gives an excellent impression. Care for details and original weapon resemblance should be satisfying even for the most picky Beryl fans. Any differences are motivated by technical requirements for AEG type replica.
Carbine is well balanced and parts are very well matched. It does not give impression that it is very heavy, and taking a shooting position seems natural.
When taking out of the box, replica seems like made of one part of metal. We didn't experience any unnecessary play on the parts. Even plastic parts would not give any squeaky sounds. After basic stress tests there were no strange sounds and no loose screws or other parts.
After folding a stock it still moves a bit. You may take it as a disadvantage while using, but it is worth mentioning that a real firearm neither has any notch to keep it in one place after folding.
MOD.96 Beryl resembles a real firearm very well. I would risk a thesis, that it is one of the top replicas in "the resemblance" category. It has maximum number of details possible in AEG type replica.
Metal parts are black with some satin (half matt) same as the original Beryl.
Beryl replica is categorised as a full metal type, but number of parts are made of steel.
According to magnet test, we checked which parts are made of steel: body, breech lever cover, mag release lever, trigger cover, stock (rods only), gas exhuast pipe, and every pin and screw.
Polimer parts are thick and made of good quality material.
Stock end is made of softer material. It folds and unfolds smoothly. Stock release knob does not require force to use (which frequently occurs in side-folded stock' replicas).
To disassemble a stock, you have to remove two screws.
Front of the body is mounted to the barrel in a similar way as it is in an original weapon.
Front sight base is also mounted with pins, with additional screw to prevent any play on this part.
At the front, the only visible difference to the original weapon, is one Allen screw on the top of the gas exhaust system.
Mechanic sights system. Front sight adjusted vertically.
Rear sight. Slide movement is a bit too loose, which is common for number of replicas (it is too loose in comparison to real firearm).
Safety lever slides easily. Work of both safety lever and fire mode selector is comparable to the real firearm.
Fire mode selector works in three settings. Thanks to electronic system, it allows to take single shots, full automatic and three shots' bursts.
Three shots burst
Breech chamber cover and its notch. It is mounted firmly, and resembles well the real one. Notch releases the cover after first pressing it down, then slightly pressing to front direction.
Disassembled notch of the breech chamber cover.
Magazine release lever.
Muzzle. After dismantling you see a righthanded thread inside.
Replica is delievered with hi-cap type 300BB magazine, made of grey plastic.
It resembles real weapon magazine very well. It even comes with the jaws which in original keep rounds from popping out, which is very rare detail in replicas.
It fits very well in the socket. It has no play on the sides, but it has to be pressed firmly (there is a click sound). On the side there is a 5.56x45 calibre mark.
It feeds pellets without any problems. We have not encountered any jamming or breaks, and winding up is necessary in a similar periods of time as other hi-cap magazines available on the market. Feeding spring is pretty strong.
What is a frequent problem for the number of other hi-cap type magazines, is that the top cover for pellets is too loose and tends to open itself. While here it is more solid. It would not open by an accident.
Our impression on the magazine look was that it "looks real". Obviously the winding up knob stands out, but we hope that the mid- and low-cap type magazines would be available soon.
Another visible difference to the original is its lentght. It has to be shorter than the real one, as it would not fit in the socket as deep as the original, but when it is in the socket it looks very realistically.
As for the marks, Beryl MOD.96 replica is unique. It bears the original "Archer" - Radom Arms Factory LLC same as the real firearm.
The only difference is that the unique serial number is printed, and the original weapon has it embroided.
Battery is located under the breech chamber cover. It uses T-type connector. Replica is LiPo ready and the producer recommends 7.4V or 11.1V LiPo batteries.
Replica of this carbine is equipped with an electronic module, designed and made by ARES company which was adapted to Beryl. It allows three fire modes: single, automatic and three shots bursts.
PARTIALLY DISASSEMBLED REPLICA
To start disassemble, first remove breech chamber cover and remove spring slides of dummy breech. Dummy breech moves on two slides instead of only one typical for AK replicas. It not only reinforces dummy breech durability, but also reassures that breech would not slide too easily.
Slides are secured with ring snaps, which should be removed first.
At the same time remove the breech cover notch, as both slides goes through it.
Dismantled dummy breech cover.
Dismantled dummy breech slides.
Safety lever has to be put in the right angle and taken out of the body.
Next step is to remove screw, mounting pistol grip, but the grip itself should not be removed yet.
Remove a screw which fixes hop up chamber (in the magazine socket).
Remove front grip, secured with a small lever.
Next, remove rearsight by pressing it in the front part (adjustment ox) and pulling to the back. Remove rearsight spring.
Remove the pressing Allen screw as presented on the pictures. Then knock out pin which mounts rearsight base to the body.
Next step is to pull outer barrel towards front, along with the rearsight base and dummy gas pipe, and then to take out a pin located just over the magazine socket notch.
Then slightly move gearbox up-front and now it is possible to remove the pistol grip. Dismantle the engine cover from gearbox and disconnect wires.
Now gearbox has to be moved to the back and up, at the same time balancing the inner barrel, to prevent the damage to nozzle and hop up chamber.
Below there is a picture of a body, after removing a gearbox. You may see round inner part of fire selector mode with two magnets.
Fire mode selector elements.
Gearbox parts are very well matched and put together. GB is non-standard, similar to typical v.3 but modified.
GB does not have typical elements like selector plate, circuit-breaker or outer contact points. Inside GB, there is no part which would define its working modes. Those are replaced by electronic plates on the sides of the GB body.
The main circuit board is located on the right side of the gearbox, while on the left, where usually fire mode selector is located, there is a sensor which reads fire mode lever location. Its work depends on two magnets mounted on the fire mode selector.
Similar solution works also with a piston rack. Magnet in the rack, is used to get the information about the rack setting, which is sent to the circuit. It replaces the mechanic circuit breaker (protruding pin on the ox with a lever connected to the circuit cube).
Circuit cube was replaced by a micro-connector on a small circuit board.
Because of non-standard solutions also trigger was redesigned, to work with a micro-connector.
Advantage of this solution is possibility to replace whole electronic system, without the need to disassemble gearbox itself. Just remove three screws which fix circuit and fire mode sensor. Gap for wires is wide enough to take out the sensor itself.
Gearbox without electronic circuits
Electronic circuit board
Electronic circuit is secured with black silicon. In the front there is a service connector which is used to program circuit.
On the back of the GB, there is a large screw which allows to replace the spring without the need to disassemble gearbox body.
On the picture below - engine.
2. Inner gearbox parts
All of the inner gearbox parts have a very good quality. Cylinder and piston both have aluminium heads. Piston head with bearings gives an excellent tightness. Nozzle is not sealed up in any specific way, but its tightness is very good.
All of the piston tooth bar notches are made of metal.
All of the racks are made of steel. Engine rack has four anti-reversal teeth.
Ball bearings are of 8mm diameter.
Slide spring is made of metal and with bearings.
Spring uses the uneven force distribution design.
2. Inner barrel and HU chamber.
HU chamber is non-standard. Even though some would think so, it is not an AK type HU chamber. New design makes it almost impossible to spot, after pulling back dummy breech cover. It is newly designed for the Beryl replica, with adjustment rack on the right side.
(on the photos there is also another element, a tool which is obviously not a part of this replica, it was just used to keep the dummy breech cover pulled back while taking photos).
Adjusting hop-up requires some patience, but after proper adjustment it does not tend to deregulate itself. Rotating it ahead would loose hop-up setting while pulling it backwards would tighten the hop-up (we have cross-checked it number of times, while the manual states that it is the other way round.)
Hop up works in a specific way; we have observed that while rotating it forward it loosens up the setting, up to the point where it slightly tightens the setting in the end. So adjusting the settings requires some precision and patience. Pulling it backward tightens gradually and is typical without any surprises.
Rubber part of hop up is standard, silicon. Inner barrel is 500mm long.
There is no classic distancer part. Its role is done by much better, profiled part ( picture below ) which is responsible for tightening movement.
Shooting test was carried out outdoor, at minus 2 degree Celsius, with light wind.
General impression is very good. Replica shots steadily and its effective range, as for stock replica is very good. Sound of replica work is smooth, especially three rounds burst sound is nice. Only the piston work is heard, racks work is silent. Gearbox works very well in our opinion.
Accuracy at the distance of 30m and 40m is similar. All of the shots reach silhouette practice target. Range is not spectacular, but it is comparable to other stock replicas and we see it as better from number of other replicas we had a chance to test.
Replica is really handy, much more comfortable to use than AK type replicas (like AK74). Comfort and balance is rather comparable to M4 than AK. Weight and thin body come handy. Its lenght is also not a problem.
1. Muzzle velocity and energy
Muzzle velocity was tested with 0.2g Blaster BB.
Avarage muzzle velocity, after ten attempts was 380 fps.
2. Accuracy and convergence at the distance of 30 and 40 meters
Test was carried out with a silhouette practice target with centrally located A4 size piece of paper (297x210). Distance set with 100 meters measure tape. Shots were taken in series of ten. Accuracy test was carried out with 0.25g Blaster BB.
At both distances accuracy was similar. All of the shots found their way to silhouette. Hits outside A4 were still close to its edge. Precise inner barrel might result in a drastic improvement of accuracy. It is also possible that heavier pellets might improve the accuracy.
10 of 10 shots hit silhouette, of which 5 of 10 hit A4
10 of 10 shots hit silhouette, of which 5 of 10 hit A4
3. Effective and maximum range
Effective range to hit a silhouette size target is around 55 meters. It is a distance we have around 50 percent chances of hitting a target (while it is slightly better at the distance of 50 meters exactly, and gradually gets lower over 55 meters.)
Maximum range is around 65 meters. At this distance it is possible to hit a silhouette, but every hit is accidental - it is a distance on which it is possible to deliver pellets.
4. Rate of fire
ROF measured with LiPo 11.1V, 1200mAh battery:
Full automatic 13.5BB per second (810BB per minute)
Three rounds burst: 13.3BB per second (798BB per minute)
OUTER LOOK COMPARISON TO REAL FIREARM (wz. 96 Beryl)
(At every upper photo there is a real firearm photo, while below it is a replica)
Left side of the body:
Right side of the body:
Stock, left side:
Stock, right side:
Front grip, left side:
Front grip, right side:
Front grip, lower part:
MOD.96 Beryl replica, made by ARES resembles a real firearm with care for almost every detail. It is very solid, with both outer and inner parts well matched. Gearbox's inner parts quality is also very good, especially tightness of piston/cylinder set is worth mentioning.
For those players who appreciate realism, licensed original marks of "Archer" - Radom Arms Factory LLC. would be a big advantage.
Metal, steel and plastic quality are also very good. While comparing Beryl with any other stock replica available on the market, it is hard to find any flaws.
Its quality is similar to other ARES products, with a great care for details and a few interesting solutions such as: new HU chamber, double dummy breech slide or three rounds burst circuit.
As far as range and velocity is concerned it is also sufficient, and gearbox parts quality allows upgrades. Gearbox's work is smooth.
Of course Beryl AEG has a few drawbacks, while every replica could have something done in a different way. Though there are more advantages than disadvantages in this product.
Beryl AEG should satisfy most of the players who are interested in this firearm, even those who are very demanding. Polish airsoft players waited long enough for a Beryl replica. Now when it is available - we should be just glad, that thanks to Taktyczny.com determination it is delivered in such a quality.
+ full metal
+ steel parts
+ solid design, parts well matched, tough build
+ body pins, muzzle and rear sight base
+ solid and well matched gearbox
+ full licensed marks
+ electronic three rounds burst
+ quick release gearbox spring (without GB dismantle)
+ possibility of electronic circuit replacement without GB dismantle
+ high quality inner parts
- stock play on sides while folded
- loose setting of rearsight (in comparison to real firearm)
- pistol grip mounting screw is very short ( it may result in the thread damage )
Replica was tested thanks to courtesy of Taktyczny.com:
Special thanks from WMASG.pl to Luis for his contribution to this review
Real firearm photos by Taktyczny.com