TSD Tactical Gen II G36

TSD Tactical Gen II G36

Postby Nocte » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:03 am

Provided by: TSD Tactical
Publish Date: October 27, 2008

The G36 has become a staple AEG platform for several teams as an alternative to the M4 or the M16, and like the M4s and M16s, there are several options to choose from when the time comes to purchase one. For the few of you that might not know, the G36 platform is readily available in three variations. The G36 (or, sometimes referred to as the G36E) is the full length rifle, the G36k is the carbine length version, and the G36c is even shorter still. The other major component difference is the lack of the optic in the carry handle on the G36c, which is instead replaced by a lower-profile rail that runs almost the entire length of the upper receiver. Today, I'm going to go into detail on the G36c by TSD.

My first impression when picking the AEG up at my editor's house was that it was extremely sturdy. This AEG feels just like a Classic Army G36c when you hold it in your hands. The polymer frame doesn't buckle or flex. The folding stock locks firmly into place when open or closed. The trigger pulls smoothly without jarring. There are three numbered rails included, as well as front and rear sling mounts. Nearly every external component is metal that should be (which, is admittedly fewer than most AEGs, since the real-steel G36 series are also made of polymer plastics). The exception to this is the front ring sight, which is made of the same sturdy plastic the rest of the body is made of.

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The only major negative inaccuracy in relation to the externals is that the flash hider it ships with is for an M4, and is not the typical G36c 4-prong flash hider. On the upside, for those of you that like to remove the orange tip, there is no glue holding this on. Just removed a small set screw, and you can replace it with any 14mm negative-threaded flash hider or suppressor you want.

The other inaccuracy is actually an intended design, and it's pretty neat. The magazine release catch on every other AEG (and on the real thing) is just the tab that hangs down behind the magazine. TSD's G36 has this tab as well - and yes, it's metal - but this component has a larger section that also runs parallel to the trigger guard. This enables you to drop and empty magazine with your trigger finger while your non-shooting hand can reach for a fresh mag. The spring on this style magazine catch is tough enough that you can't accidentally bump it and drop your mag out - you really have to make a conscious effort to push it down.

TSD ships two 470-round high capacity magazines with all their G36 series AEGs. The magazines feel flimsy and almost as if they might split in half if you flexed them in your hand too hard. I'd recommend replacing the magazines with a sturdier brand - or at least planning to do in the inevitable case that the included mag housings break. TSD's magazine durability is the biggest downfall of this particular model. I have to say that in spite of this, there are several things that could be worse and harder to replace than magazines. The included magazines feed flawlessly, despite their build quality.

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The hop-up unit is constructed almost entirely of metal. While it's pretty unnecessary for there to be that much durability on a part like this, it's still nice to see - and it certainly doesn't hurt anything. Adjusting the hop-up is done by pulling back the ambidextrous bolt and turning the adjustment piece that's hiding behind the bolt. Unlike some other barrel-style hop-up units on the market, this one does not turn too easily, and does keep its setting instead of wiggling free after several shots. Muzzle velocity when shooting TSD .20g bbs returned very steady readings around 320 FPS. This is ideal for an AEG this small and maneuverable, as it allows players to use it with stock components indoors without having to downgrade the internalls. It also provides plenty room for after market upgrades should the player want to beef it up to our 400 FPS outdoor limit. If you do plan to leave this AEG stock you'll be pleased with the range the included components provide, although I might still recommend picking up a new hop-up bucking and/or hop-up nub. The accuracy past 100 feet leaves something to be desired. The hop-up nub seems a bit crooked, which is more visible when you turn the hop-up all the way to the bottom.

The internal components are where I judge the quality and value of an AEG. Externals, while also important for look and feel, can be easily replaced or customized. Once you feel like you have to start replacing a ton of parts in the gearbox, your wallet starts feeling the pain. Also, internal parts are much more difficult to replace than just adding on a rail kit or a different stock. Luckily TSD doesn't disappoint at all - in fact, I was thoroughly impressed with what I found inside the gearbox on their G36c.

Removing the Version 3 gearbox from the housing is just like doing so on a Marui or Classic Army. The gearbox itself is made of the same metal as a Classic Army - or near enough to it to be indistinguishable. It will handle firing the added tension of a M120 (or equivalent) spring with no damage to the gearbox shell. Metal bushings are included for added durability, as well as high quality steel gears - no pot metal. The shim job is correct and smooth right off the bat, and the gears, cylinder, and piston are very well-lubed all over instead of a glob pumped on the spur gear that's expected to make its way through the rest of the gears as its cycled.

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The spring attaches to the piston head similar to a Marui, and the spring guide has a single washer on it to prevent the spring from torquing the piston off its tracks. The piston is made of high quality polycarbonate with a single steel tooth for durability. The piston head is ported and the o-ring provides superior compression with the cylinder (which explains the very consistent velocity readings when chrono'd). The tappet plate is pliable yet firm (this is good - too stuff of a tappet plate is brittle, and still snap under slight pressure). The motor runs strong and doesn't whine when you add a beefier spring in.

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In fact, my only complaints about the internals are relatively minor. The wiring is thin and somewhat stiff - the insulation isn't very flexible, and over enough time (particularly if you upgrade the spring, which draws more current that heats up the wires), it may crack and cause shorts. The other is the Marui-style hole at the tip of the nozzle. It seems to me that if I'm shooting spherical bbs, I'd want the airflow behind that bb to be circular in shape, not cross-shaped. I've never liked the cross-shaped hole and I don't understand why a handful of manufacturers make their nozzles this way in the first place, but again, these are very minor gripes.

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TSD has given us a surprisingly nice AEG to add to the lineup of G36s already on the market. I would seriously recommend this as a primary AEG for anyone looking to get into airsoft without any upgrades at all. I would also recommend this for anyone looking to get into the G36 platform, as long as they were fine with spending a few extra bucks to take care of the intricacies that hold it back. With a price tag around $220 (depending on the retailer) you'll be hard pressed to find a better value. Check out TSD's website at www.tsdtactical.com for more of their product line-up.
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