For Tier One Fans on a Budget
Here we are…talking about the GameFace GF460 AEG and I bet you’re wondering what I’m doing behind this rifle when there are so many others I can wrap my “NBA hands” around. Well, Crosman is the company that gets airsoft products placed into big box stores, which you have to give them props for; it exposes the sport to a big crowd… a crowd that will eventually see many of its members meld into one of us. Being a part of Airsoft Insider, I also know that this magazine in your hands is being placed in those very same stores, spreading the joy to those masses. Since I like to do my part in spreading the airsoft gospel, I threw my hat in the ring to help out the budget-conscious newbie that may pick up a Crosman from the mass market arena. Now, are you that newbie in the market for an HK416-style M4 rifle? Yes? Well, I suppose you’d better keep reading then, because, just like sweet little baby Airsoft Jesus, I’ve got some good news for you.
THROUGH THE SCOPE:
WHO MAKES IT: GameFace Airsoft, OEM by Classic Army
TYPE: Assault Rifle
WHO IT’S FOR: Entry-level player
HOW MUCH: MSRP $229, but really…it’s around $190 most places
FPS: 330 w/.20g Elite Force BBs
What’s that old saying about opinions? “Everyone has one, but only opinions read in Airsoft Insider Magazine are worth noting.” I think that’s how it goes, right? Alright, so what about the GameFace Airsoft GF460 rifle? This rifle provides a solution for the entry to mid-level player who isn’t ready to take the massive financial leap into being full-blown airsoft addict, or for the player whose budget won’t permit him/her to purchase the VFC-based version which goes for at least twice the cost of the GameFace version. In the under $200 class of airsoft rifles, the GameFace Airsoft GF460 is a pretty classy choice. Sure, it’s going to have its shortcomings, just like any other rifle in this range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some damage with it on the field.
STAR-RATING*: 3 out of 5
*Compared to other AEGs across the board.
+ Well assembled with limited wobble among the main external body parts
+ Weight: heavy enough to avoid feeling like “cheap quality,” but light enough for younger players to use without fatigue
+ Quad-rail system on the front end to allow plenty of space for attaching lights, lasers, slings, sights and grips
+ Counterclockwise 14mm threads on outer barrel for attaching mock suppressor or variety of different flash hiders
+ Trigger action is firm and smooth, not clunky like other entry-level guns
+ Buffer tube is standard size for adding after-market airsoft stocks
+ Hop-up is pretty stable, not prone to needing constant readjustment
+ Internal parts are upgradeable to improve durability and longevity of the rifle
– Durability, or ability to withstand being dropped or fallen upon by a person during a game, could be an issue due to the external parts primarily being polymer/nylon fiber-based rather than metal
– Internal parts are a bit weak. I would not classify this as “LiPo-Ready,” or otherwise able to withstand the higher voltage and discharge rate from an 11.1V Lithium Polymer battery, nor would I recommend the user to fire on full-auto for extended periods of time with stock internals.
– Wired to the front, rather than to the rear of the gun, which limits battery size and results in decreased use-time before requiring the battery to be recharged or replaced with a fresh one
– Access to battery compartment on the front end rail requires a flat-head screwdriver. I find this to be annoying, but not a major flaw
RIS (Rail Integrated System) – Nylon fiber material, but an otherwise standard 416-style 20mm, monolithic Picatinny rail system.
STOCK – Six-Position Standard LE Stock
OUTER BARREL – 14.5 in.
GRIP – Stippled Pistol Grip
TRIGGER GUARD – Standard, Straight Design
UPPER & LOWER RECEIVER – Nylon Fiber
MAG RELEASE – Standard, Non-Ambidextrous
FORWARD ASSIST – Standard, Non-Functional
OPTIC SPACE – Ample space for mounting an optic, even with the fixed front and rear sights attached
MAGAZINE – One 300-round high-capacity winding magazine
GEARBOX – Version 2, metal gearbox
GEARS – Steel gears
BUSHINGS/BEARINGS – 6mm diameter, plastic
SELECTOR – Standard, non-ambidextrous
CYLINDER & HEAD – Standard, ported metal cylinder with plastic head
PISTON & HEAD – Polymer piston and head, with last tooth being reinforced metal
TRIGGER – Micro-switch
AIR NOZZLE – Plastic, with internal O-ring for improved air seal
SPRING – Standard, non-linear m110 spring
SPRING GUIDE – Plastic, no bearing
INNER BARREL – 363mm length, 6.04mm diameter
HOP-UP UNIT – One-piece unit with one large, rotary adjustment wheel
Performance is another area I try not to get too excited about ahead of time, but I was pleasantly surprised. I took the GF460 out for a spin at the world-famous SC Viper field at SC Village in Chino, California. Hitting the Chrono (not literally) right around 340 fps with Elite Force .20g BBs, the velocity was a bit lower than the allowable 400 fps (w/.20g BBs) at this field, so I was at a bit of a disadvantage compared to other players there. However, the gun is reasonably accurate, and my Elite Force BBs found their target more often than not during the game. As I mentioned before, with a savvy airsoft tech to tune this gun, you could bump up the range and accuracy with some aftermarket internal upgrade parts (e.g. metal bearings and a new hop-up bucking) and just a few simple techniques, most of which involve Teflon tape, and this thing will be shooting lasers (again, not literally) in no time! For the beginning player with no tech savvy friends or knowledge of their own about how to upgrade, fear not. Leaving the gun as is and keeping your trigger pulls to short bursts on full-auto or just using semi-auto when firing, you’ll extend the longevity of this rifle. The accuracy out of the box is good enough for you to have fun, but you won’t be winning any long-range sniper competitions with it, if you catch my meaning.
I did test out the GF460 on full-auto during the game, using a 9.6V battery. The rate of fire was decent, and it seemed to cycle just fine. During the game, I kept my firing to short bursts while on full-auto. Rate-of-fire (ROF) is right around 14 rounds per second (RPS) with a 9.6V battery. I didn’t bother to test with an 8.4V battery because I already know that the results would be depressingly slow. That’s just the nature of using lower-voltage batteries. However, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any other options, the 8.4V battery will treat you just fine. Better than not having a battery at all, right?
To be perfectly honest and at the risk of sounding like an elitist jerk, I went into this review with low expectations. I just didn’t want to get my hopes up because I’ve been hurt by all the sexy lies and deception of the proverbial Airsoft Temptress in the past and didn’t want to have my heart broken like that again (“Fool me once…”). However, I was pleasantly surprised with what I have experienced after taking the GF460 from its packaging and out for a spin on the field. While shortcuts in the manufacturing process are necessary in order to produce a budget-friendly version of everyone’s favorite DEVGRU primary (#SEALz), I thought GameFace & Classic Army did a great job with the nylon fiber body and the assembly. With the exception of the retractable butt stock, there is virtually no wobble or play between the major external components of the rifle. The rifle has a very solid feel to it despite the externals being almost entirely made of nylon fiber instead of metal.
This version of the GF460 gearbox has some positives and some negatives. The good news is that it has potential for greatness and with the help of a savvy Airsoft technician; you could have a little “CQBeast” tuned up in no time! We’ll start with the primary short-coming: plastic bushings. These will inevitably be one of the first things to wear out, probably even before the piston. Considering how cheap 6mm bearings or bushings are to purchase at the retail level, I’m not sure why they didn’t just include them at the manufacturing level, but oh well. The good news here is that I measured them with professional grade digital calipers, so if you want to go ahead and replace these bushings with aftermarket parts, you’ll be looking for 6mm bearings or bushings (I’d recommend bearings over bushings for this setup to allow the gears to spin faster/easier). The rest of the gearbox internals were actually just fine. The piston appeared to be of good quality polymer, the air nozzle has the internal O-ring to create a better air seal with the cylinder head (typically found in high-end air nozzles) and the gears are metal.
TRIGGER & ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
Trigger pull is quite smooth and resets quickly. While I didn’t take the trigger assembly all the way apart, I can tell it’s a micro-switch type, similar in function to what you’d find in an Ares rifle or many of the airsoft machine guns on the market. The actual wiring used appears to be pretty good quality and should hold up well over continued use.
HOP-UP & INNER BARREL
While the hop-up assembly is plastic, it does have a more stable design, with one large, rotary adjustment wheel rotating perpendicular to the inner barrel rather than the more traditional design which utilizes two small wheels that turn parallel to the inner barrel and can be prone to breakage and/or require frequent readjustments.
It’s time to wrap this review up like a Chipotle burrito. I’d say that if you’re dying for a 416 airsoft rifle, but you’re forced to ball on a budget, the GameFace GF460 AEG is a great way to go. Coming in at under $200 really helps the wallet account for all the other things you need to acquire in order to not only play airsoft, but look good while doing so. With the standard internal parts being compatible with many of the aftermarket parts available out there, it wouldn’t require much to take this rifle from good to great. I like the build quality even though the rifle is mostly made of nylon fiber, although I wish they didn’t skimp on the bushings. Overall, a nice little entry-level AEG for someone who has yet to realize they’re a full-blown airsoft addict.
Crosman/ GameFace Airsoft, gamefaceairsoft.crosman.com, 800-724-7486
Words: Tom Harris of airsoft-obsessed.com
Photos: Walter Sidas & Tom Harris