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Review

The Tokyo Marui L96 AWS Reviewed
  • Manufacturer 
     Tokyo Marui
  • Model 
     L96 AWS
  • Capacity 
     40
  • Weight 
     3514g
  • Power 
     305fps
  • Power Source 
     Spring
  • Blowback 
     N/A
  • Hop-up 
     Adjustable
  • Shooting Mode 
     Bolt Action
  • Construction 
     Plastic | Metal

Pros

  • Best L96 for accuracy and consistency out of the box
  • Extremely smooth bolt action
  • Easy to take apart
  • Realistic placement of magazine
  • Comfortable to hold and shoulder
  • No creaks or wobbles
  • Does not come with a high price tag
  • Available in OD (as well as black)
  •  

    Cons

  • Bulky compared to other sniper rifles
  • Not fully compatible with VSR aftermarket parts
  • Small mark seen at the base of the grip from molding
  • Limited aftermarket parts available at this date
  • Does not come with a fluted barrel
  •  

    Verdict

    This package comes with a very modest price tag considering its new revolutionary design features all the improvements the china branded ones was supposed to have.

    With its consistency in power and shot accuracy on top of the authentic looks of this gun having all the realistic features in all the right places, you will sure look the part on your sniper loadout impression.

    If you were to look for a bolt action spring L96, then we strongly recommend that you consider this Marui L96!

     

    Background.

    Back in the 80's, the British Army started to search for a replacement service rifle to replace the Enfield L39 and L42 where it has been in service for around 30years. Accuracy International and Parker-Hale were the main competitors with the L96 and the Model82 respectively. One of the winning features of the L96 rifle was design of the stock. Where the stock is made from a hollow polymer stock in two halves and assembled around aluminum bedding block throughout entire stock length instead of a solid polymer or a wooden stock. It performs so good it's used by sniper competition participants and various police and armed forces around the world, no wonder this is commonly seen in action movies and computer games.

    Initial impressions.

    The L96 comes in a bigger than usual box with a matt black finish as compared to the glossy types TM has for their pistols. There're a few labels and markings on the box basically saying it's 100% Japanese. This may be a statement to show the end users that this is a 100% genuine TM product since there are quite a few Chinese branded alternatives on the market today. Upon opening the box, you will notice the L96 is nicely supported with foam blocks around it to dampen any bumps it may encounter during transportation, what makes this even better is that the packaging comes with a Velcro strap holding the gun securely in place just in front of the mag well.

    The finish on the gun is pretty nice as the plastic has a nice sturdy feel to it even though most of it is plastic and does not have the 'cheapo' plastic feel you get on some models of the L96. The mold joints can be seen although it is not something that would be blatantly obvious although one part of the stock is not so much expected in terms of quality from TM is the base of the grip where you can see the plastic entered the mold and has not been finished to eliminate that blemish. The rubber butt pad is also a nice touch considering some of the L96 variants do not have a soft rubber pad and therefore is not as comfortable to shoulder as this TM version. The cheek pad is also fully adjustable up to around 4inches extended support. There are no wobbles at all along the whole gun, considering the gun is mainly made of plastic and only takes 3 screws to hold the receiver and the barrel to the body, which I will describe in further detail below. Upon inspection on the underside of the gun by the mag well, you will notice there is a adjustment dial for the hopup where the clicks can be felt so that this may also be accurately adjusted in low light conditions or when moving the whole gun to another position is not a wise choice.

    There is also a quick detach bipod mount located under the barrel as well as having a sling stud capable of attaching a harris type bipod on without any problems at all so that you can choose the type of barrel to use dependant on your need of the application or the looks. On the topic of looks, you're sure to get your share of markings on this L96 than some of the other variants as shown below. The magazine placement is also at the correct location directly under the ejection port where the VSR series is further ahead to accommodate the working mechanisms inside the cylinder but this is possible due to a new feeding ramp design that will be shown below in the disassembly guide. The magazine also helps with the feeding as well, specially if you were to use higher grade and weight ammo where the cost is substantially higher and you have no intention to waste any single BB's you have purchased. This is because the magazine lip has a catch so that it only allows one single BB to be fed at a time up the feeding ramp as well as positioning the feeding plate that only moves back just far enough to accommodate one round fed at a time therefore even when extracting a loaded magazine from the gun, you will not have any loose ammo dropping out which can cause you to give away your position if you're around hard surfaces.

    Performance:

    The Tokyo Marui L96 chronos at 315fps at most, with slight fluctuation on the fps readings on the chrono giving readings as low as 300. 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 20shots recorded. It is expected that the air seal in the system is very good because with most of the 20 shots being in the region of 308-312fps, the consistency of the power is very stable on this gun. With the hop up adjustment dial located exactly where your front supporting hand is placed, it also becomes that much more convenient if you had to fine tune your hop up during that shot when you're in a skirmish to make sure you get the trajectory you need to nail the target exactly where you want it.

    A grouping test has also been done on the L96 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. Without cleaning the hop or barrel of factory grease or dirt, we were surprised to learn that the L96 did not have any stray shots during the hop adjustments that flew to a random direction. With the target printed on an A4 sheet of paper, the shots hit an amazing 2inch grouping at prone position supported with a small pouch. 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 L96 sniper rifle, although it is more bulky than the other sniper rifles out there, is a very user friendly and a very much comfortable rifle to shoulder and hold with much anticipation on the market for a high performing elements featuring all the hallmark characteristics of the true L96. In Airsoft laymen terms, you get to look the part, be authentic in your British or specialist sniping unit impression as well as being able to hit targets on its stunning accuracy. The gun performs extremely well straight out of the box since the groupings test and fps consistency speaks for itself as well as having the thumbhole grip for added comfort and stability allowing you to trace your shot in at longer ranges to confirm you have hit the target. With its beautiful finish as well as the feel of sturdiness throughout the whole gun, you no longer have to cradle the L96 as if it was a fragile parcel in the hopes that the hop and barrel adjustments do not stay consistent which quite a few L96 variants have an issue of.

    It has to be said that at a price for a TM bolt action rifle, this can be seen as a very modest price considering the new revolutionary feed mechanisms and hop adjustments made to this rifle, with the quality and consistency it provides it already is a winner without having the high cost as a baggage along with it.

    Disassembly guide

    Firstly, ensure your gun is safe and clear.
    remove your magazine, cock the weapon and fire it off into a safe direction to ensure the gun is completely safe and discharged.
    Remove these following screws. First one is located towards the front of the frame.
    Second one is located inside the magwell.

    One behind the trigger.
    The gun then can be lifted apart as shown.
    Remove the 3 screws holding the feeding ramp.

    This is what it looks like with it removed.
    Then proceed to remove the 2 barrel retention screws.
    Remove the rail base.

    You will find a small screw on the under the rail mount. Remove this and your barrel will be free
    Twist the barrel to extract the barrel and chamber.
    Remove the screw to the lower barrel block to free the internals.

    Be cautious of the barrel retention ring and do not lose this part as it secures your outer barrel in place
    Pull the chamber backwards out of the rear of the barrel via the silver tab.
    BE CAUTIOUS OF THE SPRINGS WHEN EXTRACTING THE CHAMBER!

    Remove the 2 screws on the hop chamber using a hex key and pull away the bracket
    Slide the chamber block out.
    Gently pry out the C-ring on the hop chamber to release the barrel.

    NOTE: To access the hop up rubber you will need to push the barrel back into the hop up chamber to extract the hop rubber.