For anyone who's been following me here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog over the last several weeks, you've no doubt seen all the Airsoft action footage I've uploaded to the Pyramyd Airsoft YouTube Channel where either myself or my good friend, Trent F. Warren, were slaying tangos with the KWA M4 CQR MOD2 AEG. This rifle is a great option for anyone who wants the high performance that KWA guns are known for, without having to go over budget to get one.
The CQR MOD2 has been a great rifle, but I did notice that the FPS seemed a bit low for what it was rated for by the manufacturer. FPS was a little more inconsistent that what I'd like to see in an AEG, so I decided to tear this thing down a bit and see about sealing up the hop-up assembly to see if that would help (it usually does).
To do a proper evaluation of the results of your attempts to improve performance, it is essential to perform an accuracy and/or chrono test, whichever is applicable, prior to beginning your tuning procedures. Luckily, I remembered to do this before I got started, which isn't always the case.
Here are the chrono results before any improvements or upgrades were performed on the CQR, using Elite Force .20g BBs:
=/- average (standard deviation): 11.5 fps
Spread: 45 fps
Average FPS: 308.1
So, as you can see, it's a bit more inconsistent than I'd like.
See, now piston is clear and it became a lot easier to detach and reattach the upper. You CAN, however, do both with the piston locked back as pictured above, it just requires you to use a bit more force and you run of the risk of damaging the piston.
So once I figured this out, the upper just popped right off (after removing the front & back body pins).
Just like most other Airsoft AEGs out on the market, the inner barrel just pulls right out once you've got the gearbox out of the way.
Here, below, I have fully removed the inner barrel & hop-up assembly, as well as the clip that secures the hop-up to the inner barrel.
Here is where you go get your roll of Teflon, of PTFE, tape. You will need this to continue if you are using this as a guide while you work on your rifle at home.
Next, gently and carefully, slip the hop-up chamber back over the bucking and brass ring on the inner barrel. This should be a more snug fit than before (my inner barrel & bucking were able to move out of place & alignment quite easily beforehand). Also note that I've reinstalled the hop-up chamber clip.
Once you've got the hop-up assembly back together, it is extremely important to reset your bucking. It is likely that it was moved out of place and off aligned while you were installing the hop-up chamber again. You can do this easily by turning on the hop-up enough so that you can see the nubs hanging down into the barrel. It is a lot easier to see them if you're looking down the barrel with a well-lit, light colored background to provide contrast against the nubs. Once you can see the nubs hanging down, ever-so-slightly twist the inner barrel to one side or the other while holding the hop-up chamber steady with your other hand until, while looking straight down through the inside of the inner barrel, it appears that your nub is centered at the top of the barrel. Use a point on the back of the hop-up chamber for reference as well.
Once you've done that, just reinsert the inner barrel & hop-up assembly back into the outer barrel/upper receiver assembly. Then put that whole unit back onto the lower receiver, pop the two body pins back in and you're in business (almost).
One must test the results of their work using a choronograph afterwords, to compare to the original performance date and see if there was any noticeable improvement or if this is just a huge waste of time. Here are my after-improvements stats on the chrono, using .20g BBs from Elite Force.
+/- average (standard deviation): 6 fps
Spread: 17 fps
Avg: 349.6 FPS <-------PERFECT!!!
Comparing the 2nd set of stats after this mod was completed to the 1st set, before anything was done to the gun, you'll notice a very nice improvement in performance across the board, especially in the average FPS category (almost a 50 FPS boost!!!). And to think, the only thing that this cost me was the time to do it all, and a few pennies worth, if that, of Teflon tape.
I would like to point out that I did not invent this technique, nor do I pretend to be the foremost authority on upgrading Airsoft guns. We can get caught up in the idea that we need to spend a bunch of money on upgrade parts to get a big boost in FPS, when sometimes all you need to do is spend a little time working with what you've got (Teflon tape). Sure, there is plenty more that can be done to gain even more improvements in performance, but this technique should give you a great start.
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