G&P Defender

G&P makes some of the sweetest-looking airsoft products out there, and that’s a fact.  Pretty much all of their airsoft guns are full-metal freakin’ works of art.  The best part is that they have some pretty original pieces, and they have some nicely futuretastic pieces too.  I like their products.

I’ve been holding out for an M4 that fit the bill for a few months now, especially since Players 1st Airsoft announced that I could preorder the new G&P Defender that was coming out at the beginning of November.  I checked out the specs and thought “Hello, nurse!”  Everything but the kitchen sink was included, all for about $325USD.  Can’t beat it with a spoon.  8mm bearing mechbox, full Daniel Defense replica rail system, G&P’s replica of the Aimpoint CompM2, even a front grip included.  That’s a lot of bang for the buck.

So I nabbed it.  And it looked great.  It even performed great.  For about an hour, before I stripped the first piston.  Several pistons later, and the fine folks at PFA finally reached a solution.  Granted, it was a bit radical and involved extending and drilling into the piston to lighten it, but it’s finally rock-solid.  Turns out the piston was literally unable to keep up with the speed of the gears in their 8mm bearings and thus getting chewed all to hell.  Yeah, pretty nasty stuff, but you can only imagine how fast this thing actually is.

Thing is, this isn’t the only G&P this is happening to.  Be aware of this if you’re looking at a G&P airsoft product, and you don’t have talent like PFA to turn to when you’re literally going through a piston every week.  The high-speed frictionless mechboxes are just crazy fast.

Fast forward about a month, and we’ve changed quite a bit internally, and even a few things externally.  Internally, we’ve swapped out for a King Arms hop-up chamber and Element V-hop, pushing bb’s through a PDI barrel.  The gears are stock (and decent quality), but the piston has been modified significantly to keep up and the spring downgraded to keep to our local 350fps limits.  I’ve installed a Cheetah MOSFET unit to get 3-round burst and just increase the overall performance of the carbine, and it’s been an extremely effective upgrade.

Externally I’ve changed the RIS to the shorter Daniel Defense Omega 7 rail system.  The full-size SOPMOD Block 2 rail system was just too long and heavy for my tastes – switching to the Omega really lightened the load a significant amount.  Plus I really just had no reason to have that much rail… it felt awkward and a bit wierd.  The crane stock has given way to a stubby 416 fixed stock (more room for the MOSFET and battery, plus it just feels more solid).  I also replaced the G&P red-dot for a replica Aimpoint T1 Micro – significant improvements both in weight *and* in effectiveness.  The T1 is fast to acquire and extremely compact.  Very acceptable.  The overall weight of the weapon was reduced by whole pounds… and that feels great after 4 or 5 hours of lugging it around the jungles of South Florida.

All this is just personal preference, of course – and there’s not much left that makes the “Defender” what it is.  But it’s a great platform to start on and after some modification is rock solid with ultra high performance.  Definitely a “high-potential” platform.  At this point, I think I’m shooting (accurate 3 rnd bursts) out to about 120 feet, at 30rps and 345fps.  All this on a low-output (1100 mAH) 9.6v battery.  It’s a great and extremely reliable gun once it’s been tended to, albeit a touch high-maintenance in terms of how much work was required to get it to where it is.  Thanks definitely go to Players First Airsoft for their help and expertise in making it fly.