Mancraft gas powered (CO2) conversion kit test.
Gas powered (CO2) conversionkit for spring sniper rifles replicas, made by Mancraft.
Mancraft is a Polish company that offers its customers conversion kits for airsoft sniper rifles replicas – it allows to convert a spring powered replica into a gas powered one using either CO2 (carbon dioxide) or HPA (high pressured air). The customer has a choice in this regard.
Metal parts of the conversion kit are manufactured in CNC technology and made from 2017 aluminum, C37800 brass and 304 stainless steel (material standard codes in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials). The photos below (made by the manufacturer) show how the parts of the conversion kit look.
Mancraft registered its design in the Polish Patent Office. The product is suited to be installed in spring sniper rifles such as: SWD, VSR, L96 and M40/M70. The manufacturer is also willing to install its conversion kit in other models. It was done is such replicas as WA2000 or Cheytac M200. The photos below show examples of airsoft replicas with installed gas conversion kits.
The principle behind the workings of the conversion kit is relatively easy: the mechanical energy of piston’s motion is translated into a plane motion of the conversion kit's mechanism. As a result, the pressured gas is expands and propels the BB.
In other words: when the bolt is pulled back the gas fills the cylinder and when blot is being closed the gas inflow is cut off – therefore the cylinder is always filled with the exact same amount of gas, with pressure set by the reducer. When the trigger is pulled the gas is released.
The kit, together with an appropriate reducer, theoretically allows to set the muzzle velocity from 10 to over 900 fps. But the failure-free workings of the conversion kit guaranteed by the manufacturer are up to 700 fps.
The idea behind the Mancraft conversion kit is to achieve the best repetition of shots by dosing an exact same amount of gas for each shot. A well known problem of gas replicas is the inconsistency of fps between shots and their susceptibility to atmospheric conditions. Mancraft ensurtes that its product not only allows to achieve a steady fps rate each shot but also performs very well in cold temperatures. We will try to check all of this in our test. Enjoy your reading.
The replica used in the test, as the base for installing Mancraft’s conversion kit, is the ARES spring SVDS - a Dragunov sniper rifle with a folding stock.
It is worth pointing out that to create an airsoft sniper rifle its pointless just to install the conversion kit. More fps do not guarantee good accuracy and grouping. Therefore installing a good precision barrel is also a necessity. It is also advisable to install a better HU rubber than the stock one.
The test replica for the Mancraft converion kit was fitted with an AEG presission barrel: Teflon-coated JBU KUAN 550 mm with 6,03 mm internal diameter (it was repurposed by Mancraft – a groove was added at the end of the barrel, on the HU side). A silicone HU rubber from the Vsr system was also used.
The tested conversion kit used an external CO2 tank.
An important factor is to pick the right pressure reducer. Mancraft conversion kit can work with different pressure reducers. By setting the right pressure one regulates the muzzle velocity of the BBs. Paintball pressure reducers are a preferred choice. One can also use much cheaper welding reducers – the choice is up to the customer.
Some Mancraft conversion kit users use, with good results, the reducer that is a part of the CO2 adapter used to load magazines and airsoft gas grenades (manufactured by MadBull).
Mancraft makes a proper connector for the conversion kit's hose, which can be screwed on to the adapter. (One must remember that the MadBull reducer is a simples device compared to the recommended paintball or welding reducers. But it allows to achieve high pressure values, up to 1200 psi).
In this review, we used the reducer provided by the manufacturer, which can be seen on the photo below. It is a welding reducer allowing for achieving a pressure of 14 bars. This, together with an appropriate barrel – allows to achieve around 700 fps. The manufacturer made an appropriate connector that can be used with painball tanks.
INSTALLATION AND APPEARANCE
In a big short: installation of the conversion kit is done by exchanging the mechanical parts of the spring replica with the conversion kit parts and installing the hose for the external power supply – in this case a CO2 tank.
The Mancraft website has all the necessary manuals and technical advices available.
Non the less, it is advisable to have the manufacturer install the conversion kit, especially in case of replicas other than the ones listed in the company’s basic offer, because it may be necessary to modify the kit to fit the replica properly.
Below: appearance of the spring mechanism of the replica before installation of the conversion kit.
The next photo shows what parts of the spring mechanism were exchanged in the SVDS replica (together with the stockHU rubber).
Appearance of the conversion kit after installing it in the replica.
The mechanism’s appearance before reloading.
The mechanism’s appearance after reloading, but before firing.
Reloading the replica my not be as easy as in blot action gas replicas, because a spring of sufficient stiffness is needed to initiate the workings of the conversion kit – but its not to hard. In fact it is much more comfortable than reloading the spring mechanism. The bolt travel is quite short, about 25 mm (1 in).
The hose for the external power supply (CO2 tank) was installed in the most logical way – flexible and comfortable for the shooter – in the pistol grip.
Players using spring SVD replicas know the problem of the “aching finger”, especially after prolonged shooting. The cocking handle in the SVD is not only short but also narrow, which is not comfortable for the user. In this regard Mancraft made a slight alteration in the replica. The company puthas on a soft plastic tube on the cocking handle. It is a small gesture that greatly increases the comfort of reloading the replica.
DETAILS OF THE CONVERSION’S KIT APPEARANCE
The photo bellows shows the all the main parts of the conversion kit together (next to the hose you can see the connector, which we did not finally use, opting for a different reducer type).
Individual parts of the conversion kit. (Parts are machined very precisely and esthetically. A minor con are the sharp edges, which can cut one’s fingers. This aspect of the finish of some of the parts should have been a bit better).
The question of weather external powered systems are comfortable to use or not is up to the individual preferences of the user. This solution is both praised and shunned. But this issue was not the subject of this test and in our opinion using an external tank was not uncomfortable. Smaller tanks can be stored not only in backpacks, but also in buttpacks or larger cargo pouches (especially when we use them with them with the MadBull reducer, which is quite small) and it is only up to the player to comfortably configure his/her tactical gear.
In case of the tested conversion kit, the hose was installed comfortably for the shooter, in a place that does not obstruct shooting or changing stances.
Of course, when moving, especially in woodland terrain, one must remembet to properly place the hose and adjust its length no to e.g. get it stuck in bushes or tree branches.
The replica shoot evenly, the workings of the conversion kit were flawless. Reloading, especially in comparison to the spring system, proved to be surprisingly comfortable and did not tire the finger.
The achieved repetition of shots was very good. Together with the sufficient power of the CO2 gas, a precision barrel and a silicone hop-up rubber the overall effect was very good.
The conversion kit, installed in the SVDS and together with the CO2 tank, was placed in a freezer at -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12 hours. After that time we checked the workings of the set – we did not notice any failings. The mechanism of the conversion kit worked flawlessly and there were no problems when firing.
SHOTS REPETITION TEST
The maximum muzzle velocity is a factor of the type of reducer and pressure used and also the length of the internal barrel. The measurement below test the degree of shots repetition, meaning the difference in fps values.
1. Measurement of muzzle velocity repetition for 0.2 g BBs at the preasure of 12 bars.
We used Blaster BBs.
The difference between the extreme values achieved in this test was no more than 5 fps.
2. Measurement of muzzle velocity repetition for 0.4 g BBs at the preasure of 12 bars.
We used Blaster Devil BBs.
The difference between the extreme values achieved in this test was no more than 5 fps.
Using the Mancraft conversion kit gives the owner of a replica a sufficient repetition of shots, but it does not entirely influence the accuracy and grouping. In this regard, there are other factor to consider: the internal berrel, workings of the hop-up system in a given replica and BBs used. Proper correlation of all these elements, supported by a consistent shots repetition, can yield good result, but will surely take some time to achieve.
Therefore, the details of shooting presented below can only be treated as an example, as we do not test the replica itself but the conversion kit.
The shots were performed with free hands, without any support and stabilization, at the distance of 70 m (76.55 yd). 0,4 Blaster Devil BBs were used. The test was carried out using an A3 target with a background of a 1:1 silhouette.
We scored 10/10 hits in the 1:1 silhouette, 6/10 in the A3 target (the other 4 hits – on the edges of the A3 target).
Similarly to grouping and accuracy, the final range of the replica with the Mancraft conversion kit will be influenced by additional factors such as the workings of the HU system for example. Another issue is choosing the proper type of reducer and gas pressure which generates the muzzle velocity of the BBs.
Having a 100 m (109.36 yd) long shooting range at our disposal, we can conclude that at 12 bars of pressure and the muzzle velocity of 650 fps with 0.2g BBs (and using: a Teflon-coated JBU KUAN 550 mm internal barrel of 6,03 mm internal diameter and a silicone Vsr system HU rubber) the achieved range was impressive. At the distance over 90 m (98.42 yd) hitting a silhouette was not a problem.
We are happy that a Polish company entered the ASG market offering a very good product which allows to convert a spring rifle into a proper gas sniper rifle at a relatively low cost. The overall effect achieved is very positive.
Mancraft conversion kit guarantees achieving repetition of shots which is impossible with other gas systems (replicas). Together with sufficient power – thanks to the CO2 power supply and using a precision internal barrel and a silicone HU rubber – Mancraft’s product allows to create an "airsoft sniper rifle", meaning a replica which performance will satisfy a player wishing to become an ASG sniper.
In our oponion Mancraft’s product is worth recommending not only because it is made in Poland, by most importantly because it is of high quality and gives impressive results which are possible to achieve when using this conversion.
- quality of the manufacturing
- very good shots repetition
- resistance to low temperatures
- ability to modify the conversion kit, by the manufacturer, to individual replicas or user preferences
- some sharp edges of metal parts can cut one’s fingers
The conversion kit was testes thanks to the courtesy of: Mancraft
Manufacturers photos source:
Translated by SHOGUN_YAMATO