Tested replica of PLR-16 is produced upon the license of live firearm manufacturer – American Kel-Tec compay. This autoloading model was originally designed for civilian consumer and was meant to be used at firing ranges, as well as during hunts. Seems to be interesing, especially while ackonwledging it uses 5,56x45 mm NATO caliber.
Let's take a bit closer look to the replica made by Socom Gear – the MadBull Airsoft sister company.
In the front, you may spot the compensator. After removing that, the 14 mm CCW thread became visible – it matches almost all silencers available on the market. Here we got the element that shall be twisted off for unmounting the front grip.
The part that holds the front grip in place can be twisted off without need for removing the compensator. Unfortunately, it makes possible only to disassemble the lower part of the grip.
After twisting off the compensator and the „grip keeper” it is possible to remove the grip completly.
To remove the upper grip, replica must be partially disassembled and the bolt with gas pipe must be pulled backwards.
Replica without the grip looks somehow original or even „exotic”.
As it was mentioned before, product is licensed by the producer of the live0 firearm. Thanks to that, almost all trademarks are in their place. KEL-TEC logo is perfectly visible.
On the opposite side of the device, we got real firearm caliber given. Considering this, replica is almost lookalike to the original construction. Additionaly, the Socom Gear logo is placed there.
That's how automatic fire position looks like. What is interesting – original firearm is not equipped with this mode.
Safe, opposite side.
It must be mentioned, that this selector is solved in a very peculiar and comfortable way. It is operated with index finger, but it may be pressed practically without leaving the trigger. It is pretty important both for sport shooters and for people utilizing this replica as a sidearm during airsoft skirmishes. On the other hand, it may be recognized as a drawback, due to the chance of accidental unlock.
Stock, or rather the lack of it
Straight behind the pistol grip, we can find a pin. Removing it allows opening the replica. Additionaly, the part, that may serve as sling catch and stock adapter is visible on the photo.
The important thing is, that tested replica is not equipped with the stock. Obviously, it is available to be purchased separately. Moreover, the manufacturer intends to introduce PLR-16 with the stock provided. Nonethless, the lack of it is spottable and sometimes disturbing. In my opinion, whoever may decides to buy this replica, either has at least one GBB already and looks for back-up or simply likes toys similar to this one. Another target group may be post-apo fans or others searching for a good base for „sci-fi improvements”.
Looking into the magazine well, the bolt part is clearly visible. All of the WE open bolt green gas magazines fits there. What really matters – including ones powered with CO2!
Charging handle is comfortable and the movement needed for reload is not too long. This part needs to be unmounted from the bolt for disassembling.
Mag release is finished with this squared element, instead of rounded one. Users of replicas from AR-15 family may be surprised with the shape. The part itself is placed too distant from the trigger, what is obviously a drawback. My fingers are neither especially long nor short, but I still lack approximately 2 cm for comfortable and firm press of mag release without unhanding the pistol grip.
Another squared part visible her locks the bolt backwards.
Hop Up adjustment can be done with the hex key added to the set. The screw itself becomes uncovered after pulling the charging handle backwards. The adjustment is rather hard and frustrating, due to the limited access through the chamber and very short "leaps" of the key. It takes a lot of time and effort to adjust it properly. But when it's done, effects are more tham satisfying. Hop up bucking seems to be quality itself, what gives the replica really nice precision and effective range.
Disassmenling of the replica is absolutely easy. We have presented that in the video below. It is enough to remove single pin and „break” the grip.
Gas pipe must be pulled backwards and turned by 90 degrees, to fit the protruding part in the hole under the RIS. By the way - rear iron sight may be unmonted in the case of colliding with optics.
Next, pull the bolt backwards.
Remove the charging handle from the bolt.
After taking out the bolt, the cause of the strong blowback seems to be revealed. The bolt is the serious, huge piece of iron. It's impressive weight is 305 grams.
Trigger mechanism is simple and looks reliable enough to work with CO2 powered magazines. It is important to mention, that producer points out faster parts absumption while utilizing the CO2.
Bolt's rail is done from plastic as well, but it looks thick enough to deal with the friction generated with the moving part.
WE compatible Open Bolt 20 rounds magazine is added to the replica. It ia equipped with the mechanism allowing the selection, if the bolt should be open or closed after last shot.
Let us remind, that even if producer informs you about faster absuption of the replica parts while using CO2 mags, you are not discouraged from utilizing them.
Strong blowback is definitely the asset of this replica. I am not the weakest person I know, so I have no problem with holding the firearm firmly, but still - on below vieo you can see, how strong the PLR-16 „kicks”.
I have used standard Ultrair Power Gas. Shooting took place in 20 Celcius degrees. What is important, even shooting the whole magazine at once haven't occured with bolt freezing or another malfunctions so typical for GBB replicas.
FPS and energy
Muzzle velocity and kinetic energy tests were done with 0,2 g G&G pellets at Xcortech x3200.
Producer states, that muzzle velocity for this replica is 370 FPS with Green Gas and this information can be confirmed anywhere on the Internet. This particular replica, no matter how hop up is adjusted - gives 330 fps. It is rather strange, because hop up reacts for each hex key move. Differences between shots haven't been greater than +/- 2 fps, what indicates very thight and precise assembly of the whole mechanism. Initally, I was thinking my PLR-16 got internal flaw, however after numerous dissasemblings I haven't found anything that may have caused "the problem". Chronograph still shows stable and elegant 330 fps.
Precision at 20 m and 30 m distance
During this test I have been using Ultrair Power Gas and 0,25 g pellets by G&G.
Test was conducted utilizing targets of A3 sheet size. I shot in single fire mode and automatic fire with 10 pellets series. Hop up was regulated with accordance to the distance. Shooting took place indoor, temperature was set at 21 Celcius degrees.
At 20 m distance the 9/10 pellets hit the target. 8/10 made it to the centre of A4 sheet size. After repeating the test, 9/10 pellets hit the target and 9/10 hit the A4 sheet size centre.
At 30 m distance, first series 5/10 pellets hit the A3 size target. The same after repeating the test.
This outcome is the result of the very intensive blowback, that affects aiming. However, I wouldn't complain on that.
Effective and total range
Effective range, when pellets still hit the target of human body is estimated at 35 m. This is quite surprising, considering the barrel lenght and muzzle velocity. Hop Up is really important here and it does the job perfectly.
Total range is estimated at 40 m. At this distance it is still possible to hit the target of human boy size, but effects depend rather on the luck than skill.
standard silencer thread
Really strong blowback
Quality of the manufacturing and utilized materials
Very uncomfortable hop up adjustment
No stock adaptor in set
Replica is manufactured in „nice and neat” way. It gives a lot of fun while shooting. That's the best summary for PLR-16. It is really cool during the usage and makes your chance against majority of AEGs equal. I suppose, that muzzle velocity was decreased to 330 fps on purpose to make PLR-16 useful during CQB clashes. Replica may be used as a back-up, especially when you got another M4 GBB.
I would definitely bought this replica, if I had an opportunity to try it before purchase. There are very few GBB replicas giving this amout of joy during the game.
We would like to thank Specshop.pl for letting us test this replica. In the same time, we want to notify, that they are the only company offering this one in Poland.
Moreover, I would like to thank Radzio for borrowing me the chronogrpah after the malfunction of my device.