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CYMA FAMAS Supplemental Review

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Old November 21st, 2014, 13:23   #1
kalnaren
 
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oakville, Ontario
CYMA FAMAS Supplemental Review

First thing’s first: This review is meant to be a supplement to the excellent FAMAS review by JLiang, available here: http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=135663

My goal here is to cover a few points he didn’t, and provide a comparison between the CYMA/Cybergun FAMAS and the Tokyo Marui FAMAS. My version is fully black, and according to both the retailer and box has a few upgrades, but functionally it is the same AEG.

Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. I have really crap lighting in my condo.

Real Steel History

The FAMAS (Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-√Čtienne) is the service rifle of the French military. The project began development in 1967 and was accepted into service by the French in 1978.

The FAMAS F1 is the familiar airsoft version with the straight mags and the bi-pod. 400,000 of these rifles were produced. The improved G2 version (often mistaken as the FAMAS SV) was developed in 1994 and included fibreglass rather than plastic furniture and, more importantly, the ability to use STANAG magazines with NATO standard 5.56 ammunition. The G2 retains the bi-pod equipped the the F1. Despite the improvements of the G2, the F1 is still the more common of the two rifles in the French military, and several versions exist. Both the Tokyo Marui version (with no rails) and the CYMA version with the lower rail can be found among the real steel FAMAS (as well as numerous other versions with different handguards, rails, and other details).

Little known is that the Tokyo Marui FAMAS SV (Super Version) is actually modeled on the FAMAS G1:


Source: GIAT FAMAS brochure

The G1 was a conceptual design that never entered production, however several features -like the enlarged handguard- were kept for the G2.

The real-steel FAMAS possess an incredible rate of fire (up to 1,100 RPM for the G2 version) due to the lever-delayed blowback action… very similar to the one used on the AA-52 machine gun. However, this, combined with the 1/12 rifling, required the FAMAS F1 to use French-made steel-cased ammunition in 5.56x45mm. The G2 was modified to accept either the French ammunition or standard brass-cased 5.56x45mm NATO.

Ordering and Shipping

There are a few retailers in Canada that have the FAMAS, and luckily it’s been long enough that any around are likely the newer CYMA ones. Having said that, it’s hard to know exactly which version you’re getting, as Cybergun used the same SKU number for all their FAMAS, regardless of the OEM.

I ordered this gun from Hero Outdoors. Yes, this is the store that used to be known as Hero Army Surplus in the ‘shwa. A lot of us that have been around for a while have had various degrees of unfortunate dealings with that company, so I was somewhat nervous about this. On their website they state the gun is backed by a 30-day warranty… whether that’s provided by them or Cybergun I didn’t ask. However, ordering and shipping went off without a hitch, and I had the gun delivered in under 2 weeks. I have to say, it was kind of cool for the first time getting an unopened airsoft gun. Still in the original wrap. Cool. I sent them one e-mail after a shipping delay and they got back to me quickly to tell me the gun was being moved from their warehouse (in Asia??). So no real complaints there.

I do have a slight issue with the info on their website. Some of the information for the FAMAS is incorrect (“Heavy Weight Metal Version (Faux Wood Parts)”)? and looks like it was a copy-paste job from some other gun. Their shipping info also says 1-5 days to ship, with no information about having to transfer from a warehouse. Overall pretty minor gripes.. I bought a BNIB unopened airsoft gun from a Canadian retailer for $40 more than the US selling price that arrived at my door in under 2 weeks. Yea.. can’t complain.


What's in the Box

Hero’s wrapped the box well for shipping. No complaints there. On the box (under the wrap) is a label warning customers that the gun was modified to shoot 370-450 FPS. That’s a hell of a spread, I hope the chronie proves more consistent. I assume this was done to comply with Canadian import requirements.







Inside the box you’ll find a manual (with pictures I assume were copied from the Tokyo Marui one.. as it goes over using the spring tension release, which this gun does not have), a Cybergun accessories catalogue, a crappy 300mah wall transformer, a 1,100mah 8.4v mini battery (mini-tamiya connectors), an unjamming rod, and of course the gun itself.



The FAMAS is wrapped and secured quite well in the box. Even the metal ends of the bipod were wrapped.




Typical China craptacular battery

Build Impressions

The body of this gun is better than the Marui, hands down. It’s nicely textured with a matte finish, has hardly any flex in it, and zero creek. The pistol grip and handguard are both solid. Despite the compact size there’s decent heft to the gun, with more weight over the back than the front. The buttstock is a rubberized-plastic compound we’re used to seeing on China guns.

The handguard is solid enough that a foregrip placed on the rail should hold for normal gaming, though I don’t think I’d make a habit of holding all the gun’s weight by it. The bi-pod legs are held on by little rivets of some sort:



One is nice and tight, the other wobbles a little bit. The asymmetry actually annoys me somewhat. One improvement Cybergun has made from their earlier models is they now have the proper “flat” edge on the forward sling mounts to use a proper FAMAS sling. It’s hard to tell from the pictures but it looks like the model JLiang reviewed has completely round sling mounts. However, these mounts do rotate a bit when you flip out the bi-pod. On the Marui they didn’t. I’m not sure how that will affect function of the sling.



The Cybergun model maintains the Marui’s ability to swing the trigger guard out of the way for use with gloves.



On Hero’s website they advertise that the FAMAS does not come with an orange tip. What they really mean is it does not come with a blaze orange flash hider, but does in fact still have a stupid orange ring held on by a stupid plastic rivet and stupid glue that takes off the paint. Also it seems my metal flash hider has some strange glue over top of the screw holding it in.





Another bonus point for the Cybergun one is a threaded barrel. That means you don’t need an adapter to fit a suppressor, unlike the Marui. However, the KA Marui adapter will not fit, so if you want to replace the outer barrel with a suppressor you’ll need the CYMA specific one or rig up a custom solution.

There are a few minor scuffs on the body. A little disappointing considering how well it seems Cybergun has packed the FAMAS.



The cheek rest clips on with more authority than the one on the TM FAMAS, and I wouldn't worry about losing this one under normal use, but a good smack could still cause it to come off. I’m currently exploring options to secure it.

Many online descriptions and reviews claim the magazine release is metal. It isn't.

Chronie Testing

Testing equipment used: XCORTECH X3200 and BB Bastard 0.2g BBs. I didn’t use the 8.4v that came with the gun, I used a 9.6v mini instead. Battery isn’t of great quality.. it’s the 9.6v that came with my JG P90. All the other 9.6v batteries I have are wired to deans. The trigger has a very long, slightly squishy pull due to the long thin rod going back to the mechbox. I rather dislike this but there isn't much you can do about it (maybe some creative MOSFET wiring could fix this).

I’m posting a large chart here:
  • 359.8
  • 277.5
  • 276.2
  • 274.3
  • 272.8
  • 278.3
  • 278.8
  • 305.9
  • 278.1
  • 301.3
  • 269.7
  • 330.7
  • 348.4
  • 273.5
  • 266
  • 330.7
  • 274.2
  • 348.2
  • 338.2
  • 336.5
  • 270.9
  • 316.5

Average: 300.3 FPS. I think the only way I can describe that is "fucking abysmal". I cleaned the barrel and tried again:
  • 270.2
  • 301.9
  • 349.9
  • 353
  • 349.9
  • 343.1
  • 269.5
  • 346.6
  • 349.2
  • 342.8
  • 270.7
  • 345.2
  • 271.8
  • 272.7
  • 271.7
  • 269.2
  • 347.6
  • 341.9
  • 277.9
  • 269.2
  • 268
  • 345.5

Average: 310.3 FPS. I think the only way I can describe that is "fucking abysmal". Not only is this the worst and most inconsistent AEG I’ve ever tested (and I have a few ACM guns in my collection), this is also significantly worse than practically every online review out there (most peg the CYMA FAMAS at 350-ish). Most show this gun shooting with wild inconsistencies -some as high as 70 FPS- but the average this low is just disappointing, and of course doesn’t even come close to the claims on the box. Given the variance I’m guessing this is largely an issue of colossally shitty air seal. I may take the mechbox apart this weekend and give it a good thorough cleaning, which should be done with any ACM gun anyway.

Rate of fire was more acceptable, averaging 13.64 RPS at 276 FPS. This puts it at 818 RPM on a 9.6v battery, which is still 300 shy of the Marui on an 8.4v. I suspect this may be better after cleaning, will update as required.

The hi-cap requires a stupid amount of winding. I could change mags 5 times in the same amount of time it takes to fully wind this hi-cap. No, I wish I was joking. I’m not.



Other Thoughts

As JLiang mentioned, there’s a foam block in the handguard that makes getting a battery in a royal bitch. Even the 9.6 mini was a tight fit. However, with that battery the weight of the FAMAS is just slightly to the rear. The gun comes up to the shoulder perfectly and balance is excellent. A large battery will probably tilt the weight just slightly forward of the pistol grip.

Not much else to say. If you want a brand-new FAMAS this is pretty much your only option right now. The body is definitely better than the Marui, but performance is very disappointing. While all ACM guns generally need moderate amounts of TLC most of the newer CYMA and JG guns are at least gameable out of the box. This one.. not so much. I have no idea if this is typical of the CYMA FAMAS, or just an illustration of the crap QC ACM guns typically have.

I’d never recommend a FAMAS as a first gun regardless, but IMO this is more evidence that unless you’re willing to do some gundoc work you shouldn’t expect to game one.

On the plus side this gun looks a lot better than the Mauri and the body appears to be much more sturdy. For a bullpup collector there is really zero reason not to get one if you want a FAMAS mainly as a wall hanger or plinker.

If you want one to game (which I do) this gun is going to need some TLC. Luckily pretty much everything in the mechbox except the tappet plate is a standard component from the V2, V3, or V7 mechbox.

I really enjoyed gaming with my TM FAMAS and always regretted selling it. Hopefully I can turn this one into a competent game platform. There seems to be a lot of hatred toward the FAMAS platform, and I don’t really get it (aside from the gundoc perspective). This is one of the more ergonomic bullpups. It’s easy to maneuver, easy to reload, mags are easy to handle, weight and balance is excellent. The raised sights are actually usable with both goggles and a mesh mask (though I do find the sight picture lacking. Not a fault of the AS version as the real steel has the same issue). “But it can’t take STANAG mags!” Neither can the G36, AK, SIG, MP5, AUG, or P90. Deal with it. Believe it or not, not everyone runs an M4 platform (I own 12 AEGs, only one of which is an M4, and only 2 of which can take M4 mags).

Having said that this gun isn’t a full-metal tank. If you abuse it, you will break it. The externals are better than the Tokyo Marui one but at the end of the day it’s still a fully plastic gun that’s not as compact and sturdy as a P90.

Planned Work

-Get it shooting not like ass (will replace needed air seal components).
-T/N barrel.
-New, high quality spring.
-7.whatever lipo. I would try an 11.1, but since I can’t replace the tappet plate if it ever breaks I’m not going that far.
-MOSFET with burst functionality.






Faux trades with unique serial number (unconfirmed)

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Last edited by kalnaren; November 21st, 2014 at 14:03..
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Old November 21st, 2014, 13:23   #2
kalnaren
 
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Old November 21st, 2014, 14:39   #3
professionalnewguy
 
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Nice review. A shame you're having such trouble with it shooting though. I've watched a few un boxing videos and they seemed to chrono 370ish out of the box, perhaps you got a lemon? Either way, thanks for the review.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 14:47   #4
kalnaren
 
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Could be a dud spring or bad air seal. The fact I got results in the 350-360 range makes me think the later.

Apparently this gun has some upgraded components over the "normal" CYMA FAMAS. My guess is they fucked up putting them in. I'll know more when I open it up.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 18:31   #5
kalnaren
 
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Well, opened it up.

It looked like the mechbox had already been cleaned a bit as there was very little grease in it. What grease there was is the typically china goop.

Shimming was terrible, and I think in my attempt to fix it I may have made it worse (ROF decreased, although that could also be because of the battery, charged 2 days ago). It's almost impossible to get the bevel gear sitting perfect because of the amount of force the motor exerts on it. And because the motor leads are soldered, you can't close the mechbox without the motor in place. I reduced the motor height as much as practical but I still think there's a significant amount of side-loading on that gear. I should probably re-shim it again. Might need to get some better opinions on this.

The V1N mechbox also has the most infuriating AV latch in existence.

Air seal, as suspected is terrible. I managed to get the piston head and cylinder sealing really well, but the cylinder head -> nozzle is complete crap. Air whistles through it no problem. If I can figure out what type of nozzle this gun needs I think a full replacement of all the compression parts will be required. I got the FPS numbers a little more stable with an average of 306 over 22 shots. ROF was down to 12.45 RPS.

Good news is after the re-grease it feels like trigger response is better. But that's about the only good news.

This is really, really disappointing. I was hoping this gun would be at least gameable out of the box, but it looks like I'm going to have to drop about $100 worth of parts into it to get it there. I'm still wondering if this is a result of the "upgrades" done for the model from Hero Outdoors, as like I said, this seems very abnormal according to other reviews of this gun.

Pending shopping list:
Modify V3 Spring Guide
Modify S110 Spring
Modify AK Nozzle (I *think* that's the one)
Prometheus hop-up rubber
New Piston head O-rings (tempted to just get a new piston head though)
Lonex Cylinder Head

So $84 in parts. Will have to wait until after Christmas though.

This gun is a bit of a mixed bag. CYMA improved some aspects of the Marui. The body is better, it's secured better (they added an additional two attachment points with screws above the trigger block), the run for the wires to the front of the gun is well thought out and held out of the way. Disassembly is a lot of steps but not difficult. Unfortunately the quality of the air seal components is crap and inconsistent. I'm betting the inner barrel is pretty crap, too. They also didn't approve the barrel attachment so it wobbles around quite a bit in the outer barrel. Apparently the motor is rather weak as well, so you're never going to get the Marui's fire rate out of this gun.

I'm hopeful that with some time and monies this can all be improved.
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"Someone in a Prius tried to race me at a stop sign the other day. I couldn't believe it. I had him for the first 100 feet or so but I can only walk so fast."

Last edited by kalnaren; November 23rd, 2014 at 12:38..
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