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Review

Why is the SOCOM Gear M82 selling like Hot Cakes?!
  • Manufacturer 
     Socom Gear
  • Model 
     M82
  • Capacity 
     130rds
  • Weight 
     23lbs
  • Power 
     390fps
  • Motor 
     High torque
  • Hop-up 
     adjustable
  • Battery 
     n/a
  • Shooting Mode 
     Semi | Full auto
  • Construction 
     Steel | Aluminum

Pros

- Sturdy build due to full steel / aluminum design
- Fluted barrel
- Accurate replica mimicking the real steel
- 390fps out of the factory with high upgrade potential
- Realistic weight - just a little lighter than the real thing!
- Easy to disassemble
- Availability of aftermarket/upgrade parts
- High torque and low resistance wiring as standard
- Cocking handle moves full length!
- Soft rubber buttpad
- First complete M82 AEG ever!
 

Cons

- May be too heavy for some to carry around for a skirmish
- No matter how good, it's still quite a bit of money
- Mag pouches may be hard to source or of limited supply
- May require partial disassembly during transportation/storage
 

Verdict

Most affordable complete M82 package available on the market today featuring fully licensed and authentic markings and manufacturing process. All the external features are accurate to the real thing and if you have always wanted an authentic looking M82, this is it. And it performs well enough for you to use it on a skirmish field too! Watch your opponents take cover in fear from the sheer power and fear factor of the light fifty!

 

Background.

The Barrett 'light fifty' was made by Barrett Firearms company was founded by Ronnie Barrett for the sole purpose of building semi-auto rifles chambered for powerful .50BMG ammunition, originally developed for and used in Browning M2HB heavy machine guns. Barrett began his work in early 1980s and first working rifles were available in 1982, hence the designation M82. The first real success was the purchase of about 100 M82A1 rifles by the Sweden Army in 1989. Major success followed in 1990 - 1991, when US Military purchased numbers of the M82A1 during the operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. About 125 rifles were initially bought by US Marine Corps, orders from US Army and Air Force followed soon. The M82A1 is known for US Military as the SASR - "Special Applications Scoped Rifle", and it was and still is used as an anti-materiel weapon and EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) tool. Soon after this was used by the US military, it became a popular icon in the gun culture that the Barrett 50cal was powerful, mean and intimidating. Featured in various action movies and computer games, this sure is a popular model to replicate.

Initial impressions.

The Socom Gear M82 comes in giant brown box with a label on the front side of the box with Barrett, Socom Gear and Madbull logos along with a massive list of features of this package. The box comes with an integrated carry handle allowing you to carry all of the 23lbs of M82 inside it. We cant just judge a gun by it's box so we opened it up to inspect this further. You will notice a green 'Operator's Manual' where it advises you to read before using. We also strongly recommend you reading this manual before attempting to assemble as it includes vital information to assemble this without damaging any of the parts.

The matte black finish on the gun is very appealing featuring a full length fluted barrel and the correct muzzle brake. Having the gun shipped partially disassembled can be a good thing in a way, not only does it reduce the dimensional weight on shipping, it also allows you to get hands-on on this gun giving you a nice chance to examine and truly appreciate the workmanship of this gun. From the stamped steel receiver with licensed engravings to the one piece fluted barrel to how the parts fit together perfectly with ease. There are no wobbles at all between the upper and lower half of the receiver, considering the only thing holding it down is the front pivot bar, front and back body pin it really does show Socom Gear have done a good job on the design and manufacturing of this M82. Since the pistol grip and the trigger group is almost identical between the Barrett and the Armalites, it's no surprise to find a version 2 gearbox inside. Featuring a high torque motor, low resistance wiring and a 7mm reinforced gearbox, you're pretty much getting a pre-upgraded AEG as a standard!

Not only is this the cheapest M82 airsoft replica available on the market, it is also a complete kit that only requires ammo and a battery to make it skirmish ready! What makes this gun truly special is the additional features of the gun. A working bolt cover that can move the full length, realistic magazine and licensed Barrett markings, Stamped steel receiver along with authentic weld marks on all the correct places on the receiver. Although when you examine the magazine, it can be a let down as you find out it uses a M16 vn mag positioned front to back inside the M82 magazine casing. This can be solved very easily if you happen to have a VN midcap spare but they're cheap to acquire anyway. Just replace the existing VN hicap with the midcap and you're set! No more rattles! When you're assembling this gun, you will no doubt see the barrel and it comes with a very nice Madbull Black Python 650mm tightbore barrel. This just seems to get better, most of the time you purchase any AEG or sniper rifles, they come with a standard or sub-standard barrel where the barrel is sometimes 6.08mm at best.

Performance:

The Socom Gear M82 chronos at 393fps at most, with slight fluctuation on the fps on the chrono giving readings as low as 379. This is a very small fps fluctuation telling you there is very little air loss in the system as it shows a 7fps for the 10shots recorded. It can then be expected the air coming out at the muzzle end would be warmer as this setup can produce such a high compression ratio with such little air loss. The battery recommended by Socom Gear is to use their 11.1v lipo battery which will give you a quick shot response even though a mini 9.6v battery will be sufficient to pull the spring back and cycle the gearbox. Obviously the 9.6v will have a slower ROF and also a lower discharge rate to the 11.1v lipo so it will not have as much endurance as the 11.1v lipo.

A grouping test has also been done on the M82 using KSC perfect .20g ammo at 20metres. Without a proper open area to set the hop, we had to make do with the 20metres we have available to do a groupings test with the hop set to what seems correct at this range. Occasionally there are shots that stray off in a random direction whilst the scope was being zeroed but there are numerous factors that can affect the shot accuracy on this. With the target printed on an A4 sheet of paper, the shots hit an amazing 2.5inch grouping at prone position using the bipods. Below is the groupings sheet before and after the hop and scope adjustment.

Grouping before hop and scope adjustment
Grouping after hop and scope adjustment

Conclusion:

The Socom Gear M82, although it has a hefty weight along with it, is a very user friendly and a much anticipated rifle featuring all the correct markings on the real Barrett M82. In Airsoft terms, you get to look the part, be intimidating and definitely will get recognized if you were to bring it onto the field for a skirmish. The gun performs extremely well straight out of the box since the groupings test speaks for itself and also has the capability for quick follow up shots due to its semi automatic capabilities with room to spare if poop hits the fan if you decide you need the full auto mode too. With its fully authentic markings and manufacturing process at the lowest price compared to other alternatives of the M82 replicas available on the market today, this is a bargain as well as being able to use this in a skirmish.

It has to be said that at a price for an AEG, this can be seen as a very expensive price but if you were ONLY wanting an AEG, you will not be looking to buy the Socom Gear M82 as this was solely intended to be the first and cheapest complete M82 replica on the market without having to manually cock the spring back after every shot like the springer alternatives there are to choose from. But that will only be silly and lose its authenticity if you wanted an M82 but have to cock it as if it was a M99 which is the bolt action version. If you were to consider getting a Barrett light fifty, this cannot be denied to be one of the competitive contenders on the list to choose from mainly due to the cost compared to the other M82's but also featuring officially licensed markings and upgraded parts as standard.

Below are a few more pictures of the gun and tips on how to install your M82 without damaging your barrel.

Align the 2 holes as shown on the picture
Tighten the grub screw to secure the outer barrel
Place the bar into the recess on the upper receiver (DO NOT SHUT THE 2 HALVES YET)

Hold open the cocking handle with one hand whilst pushing the hop chamber forwards into the outer barrel with the other. You can now seat the receivers together. Be cautious of the gearbox wiring.
Secure the body pins by the magwell and on the stock
Now you're set to go!

load up a mag and fire away!