G&G has long been a manufacturer of accessories for the Tanaka-type M700 platform, and they’ve finally decided to manufacture an entire sniper rifle using their own parts. The G960 is the product of that idea, and it is a very nice looking piece of kit! Combining the trusty M700 short action type receiver with a modern thumbhole style stock, you get a rifle that’s ready for almost any situation a sniper might come across. Using a gas-in-mag firing system, you get a light, smooth, bolt pull, coupled with a trigger unit that is adjustable to a wide range of settings. Since it uses a gas-powered firing system, you can have extremely high FPS, even when in totally stock condition. This rifle is designed to be used and abused out on the field, and the robust construction really attests to that. Thanks to Valken Sports, we’ll be able to check out the G&G G960 inside and out and give you all details.
THROUGH THE SCOPE
WHO MAKES IT: G&G
GUN NAME: G960
TYPE: Sniper Rifle
WHO IT’S FOR: Mid-High Level Gamer
HOW MUCH: $355
FPS: 600+ with .20g BB’s
To say that the G960 is an intimidating gun is quite the understatement. With a massive barrel that’s over two feet long, a chunky tactical bolt handle and thumbhole stock, this thing just looks like it means business. There are no real frills on the gun, as the only rail is on the receiver and is used for mounting a scope. The weight balance is good and the coloring looks nice on both the receiver and stock; however, the fit and finish could use a little improvement.
Star rating (1-5) = 4
PROS & CONS
+ Modern design looks great
+ Adjustable butt pad for most users
+ Light and easy bolt pull
+ Detachable gas magazine
+ Great power out of the box
+ Comes with a lot of expensive G&G upgrade parts out of the box
+ Easily adjusted hop-up dial
– Short nozzle causes some FPS inconsistency
– Gaps and sharp casting edges on stock
– Proprietary magazine, even though it uses a common rifle platform
RIS (Rail Integrated System)- Top rail only for mounting optics
STOCK- Polymer with metal inner chassis
BARREL LENGTH- 24.75 in.
TRIGGER GUARD- Wide, can be used with gloves
MAG RELEASE- Lever type, located at rear of magazine
OPTIC SPACE – 5.5 in., must use separate rings
MAGAZINE- 15 rounds spring fed, gas filled metal unit
LENGTH- 44.75 in.
WIDTH- 1.75 in. (at stock, 3.5 in. at bolt handle)
HEIGHT- 6.5 in. (rail to grip)
SIGHT RADIUS- N/A
LENGTH OF PULL- 12.25 in. – 13.5 in. (adjustable using removable inserts)
WEIGHT- 8.5 lbs.
Trigger- 3 way adjustable
Barrel- 655mm 6.04 ID tightbore
Hop up- Top dial adjustable with a full metal chamber
Bolt assembly- G&G “Power Bolt” equipped
.20g- 593.7 – 610.8 FPS
.28g- 581.3 – 603.9 FPS
-Matrix .20 BBs
-Echo 1 .28g BBs
Firing the G960 requires you to cock the bolt back with every shot, and the gas-powered system allows the bolt pull to be light and pretty crisp. Basically, when you cycle the bolt, all you are doing is re-cocking the hammer and chambering a new round, so the pull is quite short. The trigger pull, after a little bit of tweaking using the adjustable trigger unit, is short and clean, with no grittiness or snags along the length of travel.
I was really surprised to see how many shots I could get out of a single gas fill. I was easily able to get between 40 and 50 shots out of each fill. However, toward the end of that run I was seeing wild FPS fluctuations, dipping low into the 400 FPS range for the last few shots. I’d recommend topping up the magazine with gas between BB loads to keep the shots as consistent as possible.
With heavyweight ammo and after carefully adjusting your hop-up, you can easily put shots on target out to 200 feet and beyond. The longest range I was able to test is 210 feet, and I got six out of 10 shots on a torso sized target using .28g Echo 1 BBs. With the G960’s high velocity, you absolutely must keep track of your minimum engagement distances, as you can really put a lot of hurt on someone if you shoot them at less than 100 feet away. This is a gun you have to wield very carefully.
The FPS deviation from shot to shot, even with plenty of time between shots to allow the magazine to get back up to temp, is pretty high at 15-20 FPS. This deviation affects your range, as well as the hop-up effect on your BB, but all things considered, I’ve seen worse variations on gas guns before. The G&G rubber set seems to do a great job of keeping the gas transfer smooth and leak free when firing, and the special hop-up chamber has a rubber seal around the air nozzle to minimize the air-leaks, but the short nozzle still causes some issues here.
There are a few performance aspects that are absolutely crucial for snipers, and those are mainly range and accuracy. The range of this gun, even in stock form, is great as I can comfortably engage targets at ranges exceeding 200 feet with a high probability of a hit. Follow-up shots are easy to accomplish with the light and short bolt pull and the low cool-down effect. Overall, the G960 is certainly skirmishable out of the box and with a few small tweaks; it can absolutely outperform even heavily upgraded sniper platforms.
The stock is a very modern design with interchangeable inserts between the rubber pad and the metal inner frame to allow for a range of adjustments for different shooters. At the bottom of the stock, you’ll find a small ledge for your off hand to rest when shooting with a bipod. Metal sling mounts are located above on either side of the stock and have corresponding front sling mounts at the front of the handguard. The cheek rest is slightly raised, but it is molded into the frame and is not adjustable.
Moving forward from the stock, you’ll notice the thumbhole-style grip which allows for structural stability with a more comfortable grip angle for shooters who are used to pistol grips. I’ve got pretty big hands and most thumbhole grips are quite uncomfortable for me but this one manages to be pretty comfy. The distance from the edge of the grip to the trigger is long, which is great for consistent trigger pulls, but users with small hands may find this to be a bit of a stretch.
The trigger pull in its stock form is quite light and crisp; however, you can adjust it using three different adjustment points, so if you’re not happy with any aspect of it, odds are, you can fix it. The gun must be disassembled in order to access the adjustment points and I’ll discuss the finer points in the internal section. In front of the trigger is a small metal button which, when pressed, will unlock the bolt, allowing you to remove it from the receiver. Above the trigger you’ll notice the large, easy-to-grab bolt handle. The bolt pull is light and crisp, much like a real rifle, helping with rapid follow-up shots. The rear of the bolt has a protrusion that sticks out when the gun is cocked, helping you to know the current status of your rifle.
In front of the trigger guard, you will find the magwell which houses the 15-round full metal magazine that powers this rifle. There are two notches on the sides which help facilitate removal of the magazine from the gun after you push the release lever. Oddly enough, I can only remove the magazine with the bolt pulled back.
The bolt assembly fits into the metal receiver which must be attached to the stock before you can use the gun. The receiver is a very realistic design with a great view at the top of the magazine when you pull the bolt back. The safety switch is located at the rear of the receiver on the right side and strangely, it can only be activated while the bolt is pulled back.
Moving forward from the magwell, you’ll notice the large rectangular handguard which has a groove on either side to give you a place to rest your fingers. A sling stud and a QD mounting rod at the front are provided for mounting several different types of bipods. The QD mounting post is removable by pushing the small button in front of the sling stud and pulling it out of the gun. When locked into the gun, the post has about 10mm of front and back free play, which may cause some durability issues down the line. Sling mounts can also be found at the front of the handguard on either side.
Above the handguard you will find the outer barrel which adds quite a bit of length to the gun, as it’s over two feet long. The barrel is securely mounted to the receiver without any wobble or free play. It’s a free floating design, meaning that it doesn’t touch the stock at any point, helping eliminate any potential accuracy issues from putting pressure on the handguard. The barrel is terminated in a funky tapered muzzle which is painted orange. I’m not sure why they went with this strange design instead of a normal bull barrel, and it does not look like it is removable.
There are no iron sights equipped on the G960, but there is a scope rail mounted on top of the receiver. The design of this rail requires that you use separate ring mounts instead of a one-piece mount like the Larue SPR unit.
The included magazine is a full metal unit which holds 15 BBs. It also holds your gas—either green gas, propane, or duster gas for lower power levels. Filling the magazine is accomplished using the top-mounted fill valve which keeps it free from dirt and debris when you’re crawling in the muck. The knocker valve is G&G’s upgraded unit which should last quite a long time without needing replacement. The magazine looks similar to the Tanaka M700 units this gun is based on, but it’s slightly out of spec in a few different ways, so the gun’s not compatible with readily available Tanaka mags.
G&G equipped the G960 with their “Power Bolt” which was an upgrade part available for Tanaka M700 rifles. It has a few quirks, namely that the air nozzle is really short. This, unfortunately, causes some consistency issues up to 15-20 FPS from shot to shot. It doesn’t look like you can easily change out the air nozzle either, which is quite a bummer, as this inconsistency does affect your accuracy between shots.
The adjustable trigger unit is a very nice inclusion with the G960 as it allows you to really dial this thing in to your shooting style. There are three different adjustment screws and each one adjusts a different aspect of the trigger pull and release point. At the front of the trigger unit, the upper screw adjusts the distance that the trigger can be pulled, and the one beneath adjusts the trigger bearing to fine-tune the release point. The screw at the rear of the unit adjusts the length of trigger pull, and all three screws can be locked with the small hex grub screw located on the side of the trigger unit.
Adjusting the hop-up is an absolute piece of cake as the G960 has a large adjustment dial right on top of the optic rail. This top adjustable position also provides the most consistent hop effect without any side-to-side deviation.
One of the cool things about the G960 is that you can actually drop it into some real steel M700-type stocks with minimal modifications, so if you’re not happy with the thumbhole stock, you can swap it out for something different. A common upgrade for these guns is to change the gas-in-mag system for an external air system by drilling and tapping the magazine for a QD line connection.
THE LAST WORD
The G960 is a very attractive and technically very impressive rifle, with a thoroughly modern design. However, I’d like to address a few things that concerned me. First, the proprietary magazine is a little strange, as G&G is using a tried and true platform that has loads of aftermarket support. Limiting your ability to use other magazines is a bit confusing. Second, the air nozzle is really short, and on the M700 platform like this, a longer air nozzle is really a requirement for shot to shot consistency, which is absolutely crucial for an airsoft sniper rifle. That 15-20 FPS variation between shots could very well mean the difference between a hit and a miss. Lastly, the fit and finish on certain parts left a little bit to be desired, as the large gaps and casting marks on the stock don’t feel great in your hands.
Even with all that, I still think that the G960 is a good platform to base a gas sniper rifle build off of. The stock is lighter than others of the same design, while still feeling incredibly robust and solid. The receiver is a very nice design with a rock solid outer barrel mounting system, something that is absolutely critical for an airsoft sniper rifle. The trigger unit can be adjusted in three separate ways and the light bolt pull makes follow-up shots a piece of cake. It just needs a bit of work to be really competitive, and thankfully, as this platform has been around for a long time, there are plenty of options out there.
Words: Jeremy Hendricks of booliganairsoft.com
Photos: Walter Sidas & Jeremy Hendricks