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Well MB-01 (L96) Version 3 Review


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#1
Liam Porter

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I'm bored. I've had my sniper rifle a while now, so I thought I'd do a quick review (which has actually turned out rather long and taken me ages! Sorry for the length!)

Gun Brand and Model:
Well MB-01 (L96) Version 3.

General:
I got this gun for 180 (including a 3-9x40 scope and a bi-pod and adapter) at the same time as my mate ordered his sniper rifle (Well MB-06, having the same internals as mine) from Action Hobbies. The service was excellent, items arrived 2 days after ordering, they were well packaged, the boxes being wrapped in bubble wrap and a hell of a lot of tape, took quite some getting into!
The gun is a Chinese clone, so I was expecting horrid externals and even worse internals, but I was actually quite surprised by the externals when I opened the box!
One thing not to do is to tighten any screws too much - they're metal and most of them screw into plastic! They will ruin the threads on the plastic easily!


External Quality & Materials:
- The stock/body is full plastic, it's not super bad quality plastic, but quite shiny and the seams where the two halves were joined together are quite clearly visible. The plastic has scratched around the sling mounts, as expected from use, to leave a dull grey colour rather than the shiny black.
- The cheek rest and butt plates are adjustable using an Allen key (the same size as the one to put the gun together when you get it, which is supplied in the box). There are two Allen screws below the cheek rest, on the right side of the gun, which you unscrew, then move the cheek rest either up or down. The cheek rest itself is an even shinier plastic than the body, and is extremely uncomfortable to rest on for long periods whilst aiming. The butt plate is adjustable by unscrewing the two Allen screws in the end of it, once removed, the butt plate comes off easily, and there are two 'extenders' you can choose to have either on or off, depending on your preferences and arm length. The butt plate material is pretty good, it's rubber and is comfortable in your shoulder whilst aiming.
- Sling mounts. These are a dark grey colour, full metal and pretty strong. There are enough, two on either side of the gun, at the front and at the rear. The gun weighs around four and a half kilograms and the sling mounts have no damage yet, but then, I've only used it for three games.

- The outer barrel, bolt and bolt housing are all metal. They're good external quality, full metal and add a nice weight to the gun.
- The bolt housing has an 18cm long 20mm rail on the top for mounting optics (or anything else if you really want to), which is also full metal and I have had no problem with at all.
- The bolt hand is comfortable to grip, locks back and is relatively easy to cock. With a little practice, you can cycle the bolt very fast!
- The outer barrel is a matt black metal, unlike the bolt hand & housing (which are slightly grey). It looks nice, has a removable flash hider, which can be replaced with a 14mm adapter for a silencer, if you want to. The barrel screws into and out of the bolt housing very nicely when the gun is apart, it only screws in in one position, so is impossible to put it in upside down!

Magazine:
- I'm impressed by the magazine, it holds around 25-30 rounds, is a nice metal, and I've had no feeding issues at all with it. The magazine release, which is just in front of the magazine, is metal and very sturdy, it screws into the hop-up, but is held in place nicely by cuttings in the outer barrel. The magazine clips in very easily, and is spring ejected for fast changes, not that you would need this, as it is a sniper rifle.
- The speed loader that came with the gun is cheap plastic, has a poor adapter (for the L96 magazine) which comes off quite often. Although it doesn't look pretty, it gets the job done as it is supposed to and loads the magazine without any problems (as long as you hold it firmly).

Accessories:
- As previously stated, I ordered the package including a scope and a bi-pod.
- I've not had any problems with the scope, it's a pretty cheap 40 one, but it does the job fine for me.
- One the other hand, the bi-pod and adapter I had problems as soon as I got it. The adapter clips into the front of the gun, and is released by pressing a button on the bottom. Although it holds steady, it wobbles loads! If you're running with the gun, you can hear it clunking about and wobbling as you walk, making a horrible sound in the plastic!
- The bi-pod itself is not much better. The legs are spring eject, although they get stuck, so you have to pull them out anyway. The rail mount part of the bi-pod is terrible, it comes loose so easily, causing my to lose my adapter the very first game I played! I've now bought a new adapter and bi-pod, which are the same, but I'm determined not to lose this one, so I have tightened it onto the rails using some pliers and a 50 pence coin, which got bent in the process. It still has the spring eject problems, but lubing it before every skirmish does help a bit, as does constant use.


Internal Quality & Materials:
- And now onto the internals. Overall, I'm not too impressed. I wasn't expecting much, but was definitely not expecting such a badly cut barrel, torn hop-up rubber! The internals are brass (barrel, hop-up unit and cylinder head), aluminium (cylinder) and plastic (piston, spring guide and trigger unit).

Accuracy (hop-up & barrel):
- I'll start with consistency. The accuracy is very consistent, every shot veers wildly to the left and instantly drops after 40 metres or so. The cause of this is the barrel. The cuttings on it are awful, the two slots on either side and the bottom are all aligned nicely, but the larger cut out, where the hop-up is applied, is quite a bit to the left, causing uneven spin on the BB. I don't get backspin, I get a bit of backspin, and a lot of left spin. Which I have found useful once - curving around a building and hitting some poor guy. I've read reviews where people have had badly bent and curved barrels with this gun!
- The barrel spacers that come with the gun are foam, there are three of them. There is nothing to hold them in place along the barrel, and all mine were pushed against the hop unit. They are completely useless, and I have now made my own using electrical tape, which works much better!
- The hop-up isn't too great either. It's metal, which is a good start, but has no air seals, and is extremely horrible to adjust. The hop-up appears to be slightly too big for the gun. This means that the cuttings on the outer barrel do not match up properly, so to adjust, you have to take the bolt out - not very helpful.
- The hop bucking that came with the gun was very soft, which I don't mind, but it couldn't keep .30s in the air very well, so .40s were terrible. The rubber was also torn on the bottom, which doesn't really effect its performance much, but shows poor quality.

Power (piston, cylinder & spring):
- The gun actually has pretty good stock power, perhaps too powerful for the internals, with an FPS of 480 (without velocity reducer) and a poor 270 (with velocity reducer). Being the Version 3 of the Well, it has a removable velocity reducer (comes installed). To remove, you have to take off the cheek rest, remove the bolt and unscrew the reducer from the cylinder head. It's that simple. The way it works is by reducing the air flow, so even though you're at a lower FPS, the spring is still the same, so the strain on the internal is also the same.
- The cylinder is made of shiny silver aluminium, which looks quite nice to be honest. I've had no problems with it, but it's a weak metal, and apparently if you use a high power spring, then the threads where the head screws on can be damaged. When I took the cylinder apart, it was full of dirt and grease, which I cleaned out and used silicon instead.
- The cylinder head is made of brass, I don't really have an opinion on this one. It has a removable velocity reducer, which is an advantage, although it drops to 270 FPS. If you get drill out the velocity reducer (make the hole in the centre wider) very slowly and carefully, you can get it to shoot at 400 with reducer in. This means you have a sniper rifle set for urban and for woodland!
- The cylinder internals. Spring guide and piston - poor, poor quality. Surprised they still exist in all honesty, they're a very poor plastic and are definitely not going to last very long shooting at the stock 480 FPS. I'd suggest replacing these, along with the barrel and hop-up very early on. And while you're at it, you may as well replace the trigger unit too.
- Not much to say about the spring itself - apart from that it went from 480-430 FPS in just three games! Not happy at all, although, it gives me a reason to buy more upgrades.

Trigger Unit:
- The trigger unit is a cheap plastic. Mine has cracked already, which I have temporarily super-glued, which will hopefully hold until I replace it. The trigger unit can't withstand the stock spring very well, so is another part which ideally need replacing early on.
- I don't know enough about sears or what they do to say much. But I know that the stock ones are poor are wear down or break relatively fast!

Upgrading:
- This gun may not be very good out-the-box, but makes a nice upgrading platform. There are plenty of upgrades for you to get, with varying quality and prices.
- If you want the best, but the most expensive, then LayLax and PDI are the ones to go for, although, try and stick to one of these brands to keep the compatibility there!
- If you're on a lower budget, like me (but still be prepared to spend!) then there are other after market upgrades. These include the 'upgrade hop unit' with metal hop levers and air seals, also allows the use of AEG barrels, the Madbull tight bore barrels are much cheaper than PDI's ones, the King Arms trigger unit is just over half the price of the LayLax one. I plan on getting my upgrades from http://www.airsoftsniperparts.com as it is free delivery and they offer a cheaper alternative the top of the range.
- Always check compatibility before you upgrade.

- After installing a new barrel (MadBull 6.03x650mm tight bore) and the previously linked 'upgrade hop unit', along with a MadBull AEG hop bucking, my shots are much more accurate and the left curving has completely gone.
- Next on my list of upgrades is to replace the whole cylinder area, as my cylinder head is slightly wrong sized.

My opinion and overall comments:
- Overall, this is gun is not particularly good, but then again, most sniper rifles are not good out-the-box.
- I do not regret getting this gun, I love it. I love the weight and the length (mine's 1.4 metres long due to the silencer). I bought it with intent on upgrading anyway, so the poor internals are not too much of a bother to me.
- I would not recommend this gun to anyone who doesn't want to, or can't upgrade it - it is not worth it.


Ratings:
- Externals: 6/10
- Internals: 2/10
- Upgrade Platform: 8/10
- Overall: 5/10

I will update as I perform more upgrades and get more use.
- Rating with my upgrades: 7/10


New Upgrades [16-09-2011]
Bought myself some new parts, ordered Wednesday night, arrived today.
All parts from ASPUK, good site, extremely good delivery and good prices!
- New Piston, Spring and Spring Guide
- New Cylinder and Cylinder Head.
- New metal trigger unit, exactly same as stock, but metal instead of plastic, replaced as mine has huge cracks in it now.
- Consistently hitting body-sized targets at 75m range with .40g BBs.

- FPS with .20g BBs on upgraded set-up - 499.4, 500.1, 500.0, 499.6, 498.9. Average of; 499.6 FPS.

Skirmishing Report
Took it out today, first time since any of the upgrades, so it's been a while since I used it.
Did pretty good, hit where I wanted it to. Out ranged pretty much everything else there easily, is so quiet that people had no idea what was hitting them.
Very happy with it.

Rating with upgrades: 8/10. If the hop-up was more consistent, then would be a 9 or 10. This is due to me choosing a bad one and having to use pen parts as the nub.

-- Total Spending on this gun (excluding ammo, including accessories): 521, plus delivery costs. --


New Upgrades [August 2012]
Decided to jump in and get myself some Laylax and PDI parts. Here's the list:
Internal Upgrades:
- PDI 6.05x495mm Barrel (would have gotten 6.04 but was out of stock).
- PDI Type96 Hop Chamber
- Laylax Type96 Zero Trigger
- Laylax Type96 Teflon Cylinder
- Laylax Type96 Cylinder Head
- Laylax Type96/APS-2 3-Element Piston
- Laylax Type96/APS-2 Spring Guide
- Laylax Type96/APS-2 170sp Spring
- Laylax Type96/APS-2 Piston Head
- Prometheus Air Seal Hop Rubber (Hard) (AEG Type)
- Set of 3 R-Hop Patches
External Upgrades:
- PDI Fluted Outer Barrel
- PDI AI Flash Hider 1
- UTG Leapers 4-16x50 R/G Illuminated Scope

Installed all the upgrades, and met the following problems along the way:
The outer barrel causes the bottom of the bolt to scrape on the inside of it, as it was too long to screw far enough into the receiver, so I had to cut a bit off. Filed it all down smoothly, and still scrapes.
The hop rubber was too hard. With the hop off, it would just jam BBs. Replaced it with a MadBull red rubber for now.
The spring was too powerful (as I knew it would be), shooting 590 FPS. Cut it down a bit (6 coils off) and is now shooting 495-498 FPS consistently.

Didn't install the R-Hop patch (installed on in my M16, and they're pretty good), but the patches were all slightly different sizes, and none actually fit the PDI barrel properly. Pretty annoyed about this.

Took the gun as-is to the NAE Weekender, but took the Teflon Cylinder out and used the ASPUK one (didn't want to ruin a 107 cylinder). Was shooting a bit off, inconsistencies from the hop, for the first half of Saturday.
Had it apart at lunch, and after some fiddling about, got the hop set as best I could in a caravan and the only testing place being on the field. Was good all afternoon.
Come Sunday morning, the hop had completely messed up overnight, without being touched. Was sending .40s far too high, turned it completely off, half the shots dropped as if there's no hop (as I expected), the other half still went far too high. I managed to lose the Allen key.

All these upgrades cost about 800, including delivery etc.

Post anything I missed and feedback please, bear in mind, I've never done a review before.
Thank you!

#2
Devastator

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Very good review for your first - you should write one for everything you have :)

#3
THE PREDATOR

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I enjoyed reading your review :)

It was good advice as I was thinking of buying this gun, cheers :)
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#4
Kieron

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I am thinking of getting one of these and with the site limit being 400 fps can you make a tutorial on how to drill the reducer ? thanks mate ;)

#5
Liam Porter

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Thanks guys, and I think I will if I get another day of being bored Dev :)

Kieron, if I find my reducer, I'll get a few pictures and make one.
It's pretty simple though.

I clamped it in a work bench, firmly but gently (so the threads didn't get damaged) and got a drill bit the same diameter as the hole in centre.
Then drilled it out literally half a millimetre at a time by pushing against the sides evenly as the drill was on.
After doing a small amount, I put it back in the gun and tested the FPS. If it was too low still, I drilled slightly less out and repeated.
I ended up going over, as my step-dad had a go and used a 2.5mm drill bit, which is too big.

#6
Alexb111

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I have the same weapon but in 2tone without the folding stock, Im going to camo spray it once Its legal when I get my airsoft licence. Got it for 130 and a smk 8x scope separate for 40 + 10 for mounts.
Have to fully agree with almost everything you say, cheap internals but good out the box, spend 200 on upgrades and you have an amazing sniper.

I didn't have the hop up problem and at 20m get a 0.5cm spread with as many bbs as I can fire, not yet got a chrono reading or long shot accuracy but with 0.3g metal bbs it can shatter a thick glass wine bottle in 1 hit at 20m. 0.3g plastic bb's will easily rip through both sides of a standard aluminium can at 20m.

I can only add:
-If you get a scope separately make sure you get weaver mounts not the air rifle SMK ones which I ended up getting by accident.
-Strap that comes with the gun is ridiculously cheap and should be thrown away before it breaks and you drop your gun.
-Use high quality 0.3g bbs. I cannot stress this enough, I've seen 0.2g bbs shatter before even leaving the barrel, not sure on 0.4g bbs but 0.3g fly straight and perfect for me, need a long range shooting test to confirm though.
-Make sure you remove the barrel and de-grease most of the gun before firing it first time as manufacturers usually put around 4 times as much grease as necessary on. Personal advice is to clean it all off and use your own silicon spray or preferred lubricant. If you don't it will ruin the barrel and hop up chamber once you've fired around 5 shots.
-Yes the bipod is poor but I found a good fix by using a hollow rubber tube from a slingshot around the connection point to stop the rattle and the movement, I still have the problem with the feet extending but not major in the long run.
-Grip is very, very comfortable and fine for lefties.
-I also love the 2 stage trigger which should really be metal but makes firing much smoother.

Finally the empty mag indicator and cocking indicator is broken on most clones produced, you can attempt to fix these as shown on this youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/p90m92f. - Note Im not responsible for any damages and or other issues resulting from this, it is not my channel and they are not my vids I just thought I'd show that its possible to fix if you know what your doing.


Overall for 130 you cannot expect to get a top of the range sniper, but compared with spending 400 on a stock gun you are better off getting this one and upgrading it as it will perform better in the long run.
Congrats to Liam for an awesome and accurate review, again I second everything he's said.

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#7
Airsoft-Ed

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Since I'm looking into the sniper side of things, how does yours perform now?

What kind of groups are your shooting at various ranges?

It is a very good review though, the only thing that really puts me off getting the gun is the bipod wobbling and making the horrible noise against the plastic that you mentioned.

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#8
Wardeneo

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Since I'm looking into the sniper side of things, how does yours perform now?

What kind of groups are your shooting at various ranges?

It is a very good review though, the only thing that really puts me off getting the gun is the bipod wobbling and making the horrible noise against the plastic that you mentioned.



Very nice review..

Having owned the same rifle I can say I too liked the realistic weight, very nice bolt handle and really nice magazines - I like the fact there spring loaded....

One of the ony real things I didn't like was the hop adjustment - can be fiddly...

Also after opening mine up; mine never had a velocity reducer fitted, my hop rubber was intact and I had no problems with my barrel! - so u must of had a Friday afternoon rifle ^^

Overall this is one of the best sniper rifles I have owned/used, I think it's on par with a&k svd and bar 10...

All are great with upgrades and all are good out the box

But now I have a tm vsr 10 g-spec and although Not perfect and there are some elements of the others I prefer (l96's weight and ergonomic grip, a&k looks with wood furniture etc) the g-spec is definetely my favourite...

It's really accurate and although lacking fps ATM - upgrades will be bought an installed within the next few months...

Not that it matters as its proper good out the box ^^

Liam

#9
jakeas

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very good reveiw i must admit i am having the same problems as you mentioned. i have a pestistant curve to the left which is not to do with the hop. i will be upgrading in the close future. i have found an upgrade kit for a small amount of money compared to the other items added to gether. http://airsoft-club....-airsoft-sniper.
i have also have a solution to the problem of mag pouches, i find that the jack pyke knife pouches work perfectly for mag pouches.
jakeas

#10
dazz

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be very wary of that kit from airsoft club. i was very tempted myself.

i chap from ireland contacted me after he tried the kit. The cylinder was slight;y wrong measurement, piston grated and a few other problems.

the chap bought from us and had no issues.

Now im not suggesting to not buy this kit... i think it offers great value but just to give a "heads up". Always remember - you get what you pay for. You might have to modify "things" for this to fit properly.

#11
Liam Porter

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Thanks guys.


Just updated slightly with the new Laylax and PDI parts I recently bought.

Still needs to be set up though, will try to find time before the weekend as I want to use it Sunday! :(
Once it's set up properly, I'll update a bit more and give a new skirmish report.

#12
Liam Porter

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Been a while since I posted here, but have just solved a problem I've had for a long while (since I got the PDI outer barrel), and made a couple of other simple modifications to the gun itself.

 

The PDI barrel I got was slightly too long for the bolt housing, because it's designed for the Maruzen Type-96 and I have the Well/Warrior clone of it, so slightly different dimensions.

Solution to this problem was to cut about 2mm off the thread end of the barrel, where it screws into the receiver.  Did this with no problems, until I put the gun together with the new barrel.

 

The cylinder would scrape pretty badly on the inside of the barrel.  I thought it was where I had missed part of sanding down of the cut edge of the barrel, so took it apart, did some more sanding down, got it as smooth as the stock barrel.  Put it back together - same problem.

 

Realised I could avoid the scraping if I pushed downwards slightly on the bolt as I pushed it forwards, so I have been using it like this up until now.

 

 

Yesterday, I decided I'd have another go at solving the problem.

Initial thoughts on the cause:

- The thread on the barrel wasn't as long as on the stock barrel, thought this might mean it wobbles so isn't straight, meaning the cylinder scratches.  So, I put PTFE tape around the threads, and a layer of electrical tape around the bit that isn't threaded.  Put it back together, still scraping.

- Thought it could be the very slight gap where the receiver meets the barrel, so I cut up various plastic objects to fill this gap.  Still scraped, no matter what I tried.

- The other thing I thought could be causing it was the inside of the barrel itself.  The stock barrel was perfectly smooth, whereas the PDI barrel was slightly bumpy, not rough, but not perfectly smooth.  Turns out this is what was causing it.  Put strips of electrical tape on the inside of the barrel, so the cylinder sits on those and doesn't touch the barrel itself.

 

 

Another problem I was having was FPS and hop up inconsistency from shot-to-shot.  Still unsure if I've solved this, but I've changed the hop rubber, made sure the hop unit, inner barrel, outer barrel, flash hider and bolt housing are all perfectly aligned.  I've also used PTFE tape in a couple of places on the hop rubber/unit.

 

 

Finally, the barrel and bolt housing is held onto the receiver using just two Allen screws.  One where the trigger is and the other just behind the magwell.  This means the front of the stock isn't actually held onto the barrel very well, so there is movement there and the barrel is able to lift up by about 2mm from the stock.  I have put a couple of cable ties around the barrel and stock, pulled them as tight as possible, cut them and then melted the sharp bits.

 

 

 

Pictures of modifications and fixes I have done (in order that I did them):

Wrapping PTFE tape around the hop bucking and barrel, to create a better airseal to increase FPS and consistency.

http://i.imgur.com/tMfJY1U.jpg

Wrapping PTFE tape around the metal o-ring on the outside of the hop up, for the same reasons as above.

http://i.imgur.com/RLUFcV2.jpg

 

Cut 3 strips of electrical tape, each about 7cm long.  Then I cut them all in half length ways.  2 of these strips are spares.

http://i.imgur.com/NBlyPlh.jpg

Stuck 1cm of the strip on the outside of the barrel, where it's smooth and there are no threads.

http://i.imgur.com/HD1j7zg.jpg

Then pushed the rest of the strip inside the barrel and made sure it was all smooth.

http://i.imgur.com/q10I87O.jpg

Repeated this with 3 more strips, so 4 in total.  1 for the top, bottom and each side.  Made sure none were overlapping, as this makes it too thick for cylinder to get past and ends up jamming the gun.

http://i.imgur.com/h9zztqY.jpg

Don't want those bits of tape coming off I push the bolt forward, so wrapped a few layers of PTFE tape around the excess bits of tape on the outside.  This means when I screw the barrel in place, the threads in the receiver push into the tape and lock it in place.

http://i.imgur.com/fEQtiwF.jpg

If the barrel is removed, it looks like this.  You can see where the threads have indented the tape.

http://i.imgur.com/oQLcluT.jpg

 

Making sure everything is aligned.  Using the flat part of the flash hider, the rails on the bolt housing, the flutes on the barrel and the magazine release (screws into the hop unit) to make sure it is all aligned perfectly, to prevent shots from veering off to the side due to uneven spin on the BB.

http://i.imgur.com/GELfCwT.jpg

 

Because I've cut the spring to get down to 500 FPS, it is now too short for the cylinder really, so the spring guide stopped falls out.  To prevent this, I put tape over the hole where it is usually able to be pulled down to remove the bolt.  I have also put tape all around the grip, as it is more comfortable for me to hold, put tape over the hole in the bottom of the gun (there to access the screw to dismantle the gun) as this rubbed on my hand, and I've covered an unnecessary holes around the trigger, because it looks nicer.

http://i.imgur.com/xrhOvwt.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/QeVZ9bL.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/CgXJMUM.jpg

 

Finally, to stop the barrel moving separately to the stock, I've locked it in place with a couple of cable ties.

http://i.imgur.com/kPdfC4b.jpg






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