Spring Sniper Rifle
Words: Jeremy Hendricks
Photos: Walter Sidas
ActionSportGames has continued to partner with very high end airsoft manufacturers in order to produce licensed replicas of high-end real steel firearms, and the Ashbury ASW338LM is one of their newest to be released. A very impressive replica of the real Ashbury Asymmetric Warrior, the ASG 338 has all of the ergonomic and adjustability functions of its big brother, but without its pesky ability to punch .338-inch wide holes in meaty targets hundreds of yards away. This high-quality construction and licensing come with a high price, and as such, this is one of the most expensive airsoft guns you can currently purchase. Is it worth the price? Keep reading to find out!
THROUGH THE SCOPE
WHO MAKES IT: ASG, OEM’d through VFC
GUN NAME: Ashbury ASW338LM
TYPE: Sniper Rifl e
WHO IT’S FOR: High Level Gamer/Collector
HOW MUCH: $795 for the gun, $78 for mock silencer, $89 for bipod
FPS: 390 with .20g BB’s
PROS & CONS
+ Legally licensed replica of the real Ashbury ASW338LM
+ Extremely well manufactured
+ Die cast aluminum receiver with CNC machined top rail and other components
+ Compatible with VSR-10 type internal components
+ Fully adjustable to fit shooters of all shapes and sizes
+ Detachable 40-round magazine feeds every round
+ Plenty of rail space for accessories
+ Smooth bolt action
+ Comes in a high quality hard case
– Very expensive
– Doesn’t have “sniper quality” performance out of the box
– The accessories (bipod and mock silencer) aren’t included and are quite expensive on their own
– Quite heavy and bulky
The ASG ASW338LM really is one of the most beautiful airsoft rifles that I’ve had the pleasure of testing out, but I am really stuck on that price. The thing is expensive, even by super-high-end replica standards. That being said, ASG and VFC did a fantastic job putting this gun together and it really does serve as a worthy counterpart to its real steel inspiration. If you’re looking for the best performing sniper platform for your money, you may want to consider other options, but if you have to have the most gorgeous replica of one of the best real sniper rifles that money can buy, the ASW338LM might just be the gun for you.
STAR RATING (1-5): 4 stars
RIS (Rail Integrated System): Several rails, adjustable for position.
Stock: Able to fold and adjustable for butt height, length of pull and cheek rest height
Barrel Length: 16.5”
Trigger Guard: Integrated into frame, roomy for use with gloves
Mag Release: Large lever type unit
Optic Space: 20.75” of top rail length, canted down the real gun
Magazine: Steel bodied 40-round spring fed unit
Length: 32.75” (stock folded, no silencer) – 51” (stock fully extended, can installed)
Width: 3.25” (at bolt, stock extended)
Height: 8” (top rail to pistol grip)
Sight Radius: N/A
Length of Pull: 13.25” – 15”
Weight: 12.2 (just the bare gun) – 14 lbs. (with silencer, scope and bipod)
– Leapers 4-16×50 scope
– ASG .30g blaster devil bbs
– ASG .40g blaster devil bbs
– Madbull V1 Chronograph
If I’m being 100 percent honest, the body of this gun is what most buyers will be most concerned about. Thankfully, ASG and VFC did an astounding job with the ASW, putting together a replica that looks damn near indistinguishable from the real rifle, aside from some differences in the bolt assembly. From the carbon fiber-look handguard to the gorgeous tan finish, the thing is just plain mean. It’s ready for business.
The stock is, frankly, more adjustable than I have any need for it to be. You can adjust the butt pad height, length of pull, cheek rest height, and it has a flip down monopod for those times when you don’t feel like supporting the weight of the gun when shooting. The ability to really dial in the way the rifle feels in your hands is a huge perk with this platform. You can also fold the stock to the left of the gun to make it a little easier to carry and store; however, the storage case is designed to hold it with the stock removed entirely, something that requires you to undo a large hex screw at the base.
The pistol grip is your standard AR type unit, meaning you can upgrade it to a different design if you wish. You can even adjust how far back from the trigger unit the grip sits by undoing the hex screw located inside and sliding the whole assembly back and forth.
The receiver itself is a multi-piece design but it is held together by several large hex screws, so it’s incredibly solid. There’s zero free play in this thing. The bolt handle is large and easy to manipulate, and with the stock spring installed, the bolt pull is fairly lightweight. Pulling back the bolt doesn’t expose the chamber like on the real gun, due to the long VSR type cylinder.
The handguard resembles the real-steel’s carbon fiber unit; however, it’s not actually made out of carbon fiber. It has rails located at three, six, and nine o’clock in addition to the monolithic top rail for mounting optics. There are several mounting holes for the side rails so you can put them at a variety of heights relative to the barrel.
The outer barrel is a replica of the shorter of two barrels available on the real rifle and is terminated in a large, orange painted metal compensator. The compensator features a large 28mm external thread to correspond with the optional mock silencer. Apparently, you can remove the compensator and find 14mm threads underneath, but I haven’t been able to remove it yet.
No optic or iron sights are included with the ASW so you will need to provide your own when you get the gun. The top rail is a very long, uninterrupted design that allows you to stack optics, night vision, iron sights and more all on one continuous rail. The rail matches the real gun’s canted design which, for real-steel use, allows you a great range of adjustment for extreme long range shooting.
The optional mock silencer is a great addition to the overall look of the gun and allows you to install a longer inner barrel if you so desire. The can is entirely hollow, so there is no effect on the sound of the gun when firing.
ASG produced an optional bipod for the ASW that matches the look of the gun very well. It has large locking levers that need to be manipulated before lowering the legs into position, and the legs themselves have screws that allow you to extend the large feet to your desired length. The included hard case has cutouts for the mock silencer and bipod so you can carry them along with the gun easily.
The included magazine has a steel outer shell and holds 40 6mm BBs. It uses a special feeding system custom-designed for this gun that allows it to feed every BB without issues. It is held securely in the chassis of the gun, but it does have a little bit of side-to-side wobble. Spare mags are available at about $50 each.
Given the abundance of rail space the ASW offers, you can trick this thing out to your heart’s content. Lights, lasers, optics, back-up iron sights, even grenade launchers can be easily installed to the 20mm rails. Internally, you can set this thing up however your budget and field rules allow due to the VSR10 internals and AEG cut inner barrel. The hardest part will be deciding how to trick it out, as well as budgeting for it, given the steep price of admission to this thrill ride.
INTERNAL BUILD BOLT ASSEMBLY
The bolt assembly is based around the VSR10 system, so upgrades are plentiful at a wide variety of prices. You can pretty much set this thing up however you want, performance-wise. ASG has released M150 and M170 power upgrade kits, including almost everything you need to get to those power levels.
The installed spring is listed as being M120 strength, but it seems to be shooting a little low for that rating. The air-seal isn’t bad in stock form, but an upgraded piston assembly will likely reap huge benefits in consistency and reliability down the line.
The trigger unit is a fairly basic 45-degree system; however, ASG has an optional zero trigger unit available for use in conjunction with their high powered upgrade kits. The trigger pull is light, like most stock sniper rifles, and has a very consistent breaking point. It’s a perfectly usable trigger in stock form, but really, who keeps their sniper rifle in stock form for long?
The hop-up adjuster is accessible by inserting a hex wrench into a small hole in the top rail. While it’s nice that the hop-up has a top adjustment point for the best consistency, your scope will probably block the hole, making it difficult to properly adjust it and set it up with your optic. The hop-up system is very similar to most VSR-10 units, and uses a split type arm to push onto the bucking for consistent hop-up engagement. The bucking appears to be a VSR10 type, but with an AEG cut inner barrel. It’s an interesting combo and does a fairly good job at these stock power levels. The stock barrel length is 430mm and doesn’t appear to be too tight of a bore based on my woefully inaccurate digital calipers. ASG has standard and extended length tight bore barrels available.
PERFORMANCE FIRING NOTES
The stock bolt pull is very smooth and not too heavy, given its moderate spring strength. The large bolt handle makes rapidly cocking the gun a piece of cake even using gloves. One thing to note about shooting the gun is that the ability to really dial in the stock and grip to your specific shooting type is a godsend for consistent shooting. Also, the gun is spooky quiet when firing, even without the optional non-functional silencer. I don’t know if it’s from the bulky body or the handguard design, but this thing is whisper quiet when you shoot, helping you avoid detection in the field.
One thing to note is that your ammo selection is absolutely critical with this gun, due to the loading system. You need to use very hard ammo, regardless of the weight you choose, and I’d recommend contacting ASG for their recommended ammo. I used their .20g Blaster Devil ammo and it worked great, but their .43g Blaster Devil ammo was too soft and got jammed up in the loading track, requiring a total disassembly to clear it out.
Given its power level, you shouldn’t expect crazy long range out of the box, but I was pleasantly surprised once I got the hop-up dialed in, scope adjusted, and shots down range. Using my standard torso sized target, I was easily able to get rounds on target 90 percent of the time out to 170 feet using Matrix .28g BBs. Now, keep in mind, the gun uses a standard AEG cut inner barrel and VSR10 type hop-up bucking, so you can easily upgrade these components for improved range.
.20g – 382.5 – 391.2 FPS
.28g – 329.7 – 334.6 FPS
The FPS deviation from shot to shot isn’t too bad, but improved air-seal at the piston would likely help out a bit here. Sub-10 FPS deviation is quite good for a stock gun, but at this price point, I’d like to see a touch more consistency.
To be honest, the gun has perfectly respectable performance for a stock sniper rifle, however, for this price it leaves me wanting a little more. The fact that it is fully upgradeable and compatible with VSR10 internal components means that you can certainly crank it up to crazy performance goals if you wish. It just seems that it should already be shooting at that level to begin with, in my opinion.
THE LAST WORD
The ASG Ashbury ASW338LM is a functional piece of airsoft art, with a price tag to match. In stock form, it’s certainly skirmishable, but not really at the level that most snipers require from their guns. The finish on the gun is impeccable, and the trademarks look fantastic without being too ostentatious. For collectors looking for a replica of the ASW338LM, this really is the only option, and hey, it’s available at a fraction of the real gun’s $8,000+ price, but for players looking for a boring, readily skirmishable bolt action sniper rifle, there are less expensive options on the market that will perform just as well as this, and be much easier to lug around.
Leapers, leapers.com, 734-542-1500
Madbull Airsoft, madbull.com