Platinum is a completely new series of Cyma replicas. Malicious commentators, who did not have those replicas in their hands, already claim that using the term "platinum" is abusive. And what is the truth? We will try to help to make Your own judgment based on facts.
The CM.097B is one of 4 currently available variants of the AR-15 replicas from the Platinum series, differing only in the length of the handguard and the barrel. Only the shortest model, the CM.097D has an different muzzle break. Available barrel lengths are 400 mm in the base CM.097 version, 370 mm in the CM.097A version, 295 mm in the described CM.097B version and 275 mm in the aforementioned shortest D version. It is worth noting that in addition to the four AR-15 replicas, the Platinum series also includes replicas of the AR-10 which are original chambered for the 7.62x51 mm NATO or .308 Winchester round.
Of course, the common feature of all 097 models is the gearbox and the factory increased rate of fire. In addition, ALL Platinum replicas (AR-15s and AR-10s) are equipped with a custom spring replacement system. But more on that in a moment ...
Basic technical parameters:
- overall length (collapsed/extended stock): 730/815mm;
- weight: 2770 g;
- inner barrel length: 295 mm;
- inner barrel diameter: 6.03 mm;
- magazine capacity: 160 BBs;
- muzzle velocity (using 0.2g BBs): 360 fps
Parts made of plastic are: the pistol grip, the stock, the magazine. Others are made of aluminum alloy (ZnAl).
In the set with the replica we get:
- metal folding sights;
- a mid-cap magazine;
- a NiMH 9.6V 1200 mAh battery;
- a NiMH battery charger;
- a simplified user's manual.
CAUTION: the supplied charger is not suitable to charge LiPo batteries! When deciding to switch to this type of battery, no matter if it will be 11.1V or 7.4V, you must use a dedicated charger!
From the outside
The somewhat massive and aggressive receiver seems to be another variation on the VTLOR MUR receiver used in real carbines. It is covered with a semi-matte black coating and simply looks very good. The receiver has a fixed (integral) enlarged trigger guard facilitating using the trigger in thick gloves.
The upper receiver is slid over the lower receiver and secured with the front pin, which is the in a most common of connecting both parts. It is worth noting that the pin itself is protected against loss as it does not slide out completely from the socket.
Apart from the serial number and pictograms, there are no markings around the safety/selector switch. Some might not be bothered, for others it is a reason to disqualify this replica, yet othr will appreciate the possibility of advanced customization.
As I mentioned earlier, the precision of manufacturing and fitting of individual partsis great. A particularly good example is the connection of the upper and lower receiver. In many earlier Cyma replicas there was a gap in this place. Here, both parts come together with exemplary precision, there is not even a smallest gap. The photo shows the left side. It looks the same on the right.
The connection to the pistol grip is equally precise.
The polymer grip has no nub between the middle finger and ring finger. Its bottom plate is made of aluminum alloy, which slightly improves the working of the motor. Plastic bottom plates tend to bend a bit, which makes the positioning of the motor relative to the bevel gear less precise and secure.
The motor is adjusted with a No. 6 Allen screw which is a better solution than the smaller sizes of screws that wear out too fast or ones with a slotted head.
The handguard, with mounting points in the M-LOK system, is made of metal, cleanly and carefully. It seems to be of a slightly different color than the replica's receiver. In accordance with the current fashion, it has a slim or low profile. The small diameter allows for a firm grip. On the right and left side there are QD sockets for mounting carrying sling swivels.
The top Picatinny rail running the entire length of the handguard connects the upper receiver's rail almost perfectly. There is a misalignment but its small, measured in tenths of a millimeter. The other replicas we tested recently performed slightly worse in this respect.
The handgaurd is fixed using 2 screws.
Unfortunately, like most replicas from this price range, we will not find a dummy block and a gas tube here.
Instead, we find a mounting ring for the barrel and handguard.
The barrel ends with, and here a surprise, a copy of one of the Knight's Armament flash hiders, the KAC QDC 3-PRONG FLASH SUPPRESSOR - 5.56mm.
There is no mention of it in any description, but it is a fact. Is it, like the original, compatible with any sound suppressor? We didn't have the opportunity to verify this.
And here the original (source: ROG Tactical)
The more common version is slightly different (source: Knight's Armament)
The flash hider is mounted on a 14 mm counterclockwise thread. The photo below shows the spacing O-ring and the setting screw.
The second pleasant surprise are the folding sight sights mentioned at the beginning. The front and the rear sight are made of metal (ZnAl) and are adjustable. The front sight is adjustable only vertically, the rear sight can be adjusted in both planes.
What is the surprise? Well, these are also copies of the Knight's Armament products! This is the KAC 200-600m Micro rear sight and the front sight dedicated for it. The originals (source: Knight's Armament):
The stock is made of polymer and has 6 setting options (including the most extreme one). The red arrow indicates the adjustment button. The photo also shows the double-sided QD socket for a carrying sling swivel.
Other carrying sling mounting points are the double-sided swivels found on the lower receiver's end plate.
Space for the battery is provided in the side compartments of the stock. Access to them is obtained after releasing a latch (see in the miniature) and opening a hinged back plate.
During tests, we used the factory supplied battery and an 11.1V 1100mAh LiPo split-type battery. Both fit without any problems.
The inner barrel and Hop-Up adjustment
The brass inner barrel has a diameter of 6.03 mm. This is a typical barrel currently used in Cyma replicas. The Hop-Up chamber is traditional, with three gears. Access to the adjustment is obtained after pulling back the charging handle, which simultaneously opens the ejection port cover. The retracted charging handle moves the dummy bolt carrier backwards, which stops in the rear position. The functional bolt catch allows one to release it after making the adjustment.
In the set with the replica, we get a polymer mid-cap magazine with an above-average capacity of 160 BBs. The magazine looks like a Madbul's PMAG. Cyma and Taiwangun recommend lubricating it with silicone and initially gradually loading the magazine with more and more BBs. This is to ensure its trouble-free operation. And there is probably something to it, because the tested magazine, loaded fully from the very beginning, sometimes had problems with feeding. Fortunately, this happened sporadically and only at the time of firing in the full-auto mode with the rate of fire characteristic for the CM.097.
Main spring change
As I mentioned at the beginning, one of the distinguishing features of the Platinum line is the characteristic spring replacement system. As one might expect, this is done as usual: first, disconnect and remove the battery. For convenience, it is also good to remove the stock and unscrew and remove the stock guide. The spring can also be changed without moving the guide, but then you must have a long flat screwdriver or an allen key with a sufficiently long extension. And watch out for the wires!
To unscrew the crown nut you will need a dedicated wrench or pliers, but with the latter it is easy to damage the knurled nut surface.
The spring guide in Platinum series replicas is not mounted in the gearbox, but directly in the lower receiver. After removing the stock guide it looks like this:
And after unscrewing the guide from the socket it looks like this:
Despite the much greater length of the entire spring guide, its working part is identical to the classic solution. It is difficult to judge how this patent will work during long and intensive use, especially at higher muzzle velocities, i.e. using harder springs. During the tests everything worked without problems. When inspected several times, the thread on the guide and its socket showed no signs of wear. We took this opportunity to conduct some experiments related to the guide, but more on this will be written later, in the part devoted to technical details.
All replicas from the .097 line are tuned for an above-average rate of fire which, according to the manufacturer's declaration, is to be about 25 shots per second. The frame of the V2 gearbox is slightly modified due to the way the spring guide is installed. Other parts are made in the unwritten TM standard.
The basic and, at the same time, the most important parts of the mechanism, the gears, are made of steel steel and are machined not sintered and have a high speed ratio of 13:1. Other parts include an electronic control system with a MOSFET, a microswitch and good quality pneumatic system parts, including a piston with full steel teeth and a set of silent heads.
The configuration is topped with 8 mm ball bearings and low-resistance wiring. The whole is driven by a high speed motor using neodymium magnets. It certainly cannot be said that the mechanism assembled perfectly, but it cannot be accused of a lack of diligence. The gears have a slight lateral play, which may be worth correcting with additional shims, but this is a cosmetic thing. On the other hand, the amount of lubricant used is a bit too much. It is likely that both the performance and noise would not suffer greatly if the amount of lubricant used was slightly lower. Especially on gears working closely together.
Shooting, taking measurements and target shooting test
Rate of fire
I wrote at the beginning of this text that the replica is comfortable to hold and easy to handle. It's basically a feature of almost all ARs. That is why we paid more attention to how the replica works and to measuring the much marketed rate of fire. In terms of its workings, the replica presents a fairly good level. The sound of the mechanism's operation does not raise any objections, the motor has been adjusted correctly. It immediate responded to trigger pulls. All was unexpectedly good. But what about the rate of fire?
To begin with, we measured the rate of fire using the 9.6V NiMH battery supplied with the replica. Earlier, we've formatted it by performing several discharging and charging cycles with the Raytronic C14 automatic charger, just to be sure. The result: 22.3 shots per second. After changing the battery to an 11.1V 1100mAh 20C LiPo the measured rate of fire was 26.2 shots per second. The result is impressive in a Chinese made replica straight out of the box and the result was in accordance with the manufacturer's declarations.
Surprised by the rate of fire achieved using the factory supplied battery, we decided to check its performance. We fired 10 full magazines one by one (that is 1600 BBs) using both firing mode settings alternately. The motor and the battery were warm, but were not hot. The rate of fire and reaction time to the trigger did not noticeably changed. What's the conclusion? It seems that the battery, for which the importer provides only the start-up warranty, when carefully formatted before the first use, can be used to power the replica. But ... Firstly: we don't know how fast it will age/wear out/lose its capacity. Secondly: you should have a good charger (Raytronic is a very good charger). Therefore we suggest switching to a LiPo battery and a dedicated charger as soon as your fund allow for it.
Muzzle velocity and target shooting test
The test was carried out on our own enclosed shooting range, at an ambient temperature of 19°C, the Hop-Up was set to zero.
The muzzle velocity measurements were made with the XCORTECH X3500 chronograph using Open Blaster 0.2 g BBs.
Average: 375.8 fps. The average is higher by 15 fps than the muzzle velocity declared by the manufacturer.
Spread: 5,8 fps - which is fantastic.
Target shooting test (Hop-Up has been adjusted, test done using G&G 0.25 g BBs)
The CM.097X high speed versions are replicas that we think many will have a problem with. First of all, they look much much better than older Cyma ARs. Secondly, because they seem to be free of defects common in previous versions: they have no slack, gaps and do not clatter. And thirdly, these are factory made replicas (and therefore come with a warranty) with a high rate of fire, and there are few of such models on the market. A comparable G&G replica costs sightly less, but generates only 320 fps and is entirely made of polymers. Finally, the configuration used, including the piston with steel teeth and aluminum heads, allows one to believe in long and trouble-free operation. How will all this work in reality, time will tell. But those replicas will certainly not have an easy life.
The replica has been provided for testing by Taiwangun
On the next page - technical details for those interested.