G&G airsoft guns are generally considered to be some of the best on the market and are known for their high build quality and reliable performance. So, we wanted to do a Combat Machine review.
I’ve played well over 1000 airsoft games and I’ve spent a good 50+ playing with G&G Combat Machine. Let me tell you: their Combat Machine CM16 line of AEG is a big workhorse of the entire industry. Go to your local field and randomly pick out an airsoft M4, and chances are, it’s a Combat Machine.
In fact, it is one of the best airsoft gun for beginners.
We’re going to be reviewing this venerable workhorse of the airsoft industry. Does it hold up nowadays? Is it still a good entry level gun? Read our G&G Combat Machine Review and find out.
What makes the G&G Combat Machine unique?
That’s the neat part. It isn’t.
What do I mean by this?
As described earlier – it is the workhorse of the airsoft industry. Many new players come into the game with a G&G Combat Machine. We often recommended it back when I worked at one of the major Southern California airsoft stores. G&G is well known for making a wide variant of great airsoft guns.
And it works at a great price as well. It hit that perfect balance between performance, durability, and cost. Most new players come in with a budget of around $150 – $200 for a new airsoft gun. At the time I was working in the industry, a new 9.6v Nunchuck NiMH battery, a smart charger, and a CM16 Combat Machine ran exactly $200.
Features and Benefits
The Combat Machine is an AEG (automatic electric gun) and it come in two major configurations: the standard variant and the Raider variant. Additionally, they both come in the short barrel and long barrel forms. I will go over all kinds below.
Material & Construction
As mentioned earlier, the G&G Combat Machines were one of the first AEG’s to come with nylon fiber receivers. This included the rail system on the raider variant as well.
The nylon fibers were simply far more sturdy compared to the ABS plastic bodies at the time. In fact, most beginner guns now are made of this nylon fiber, copying what G&G did.
This gun is metal where it matters, however. The V2 gearbox, the barrel, and the buffer tube, are all full metal.
The main thing to know about the polymer construction of nylon fiber was that it balances sturdiness with weight. Coming in at around 4.6 lbs, this is, once again, why it’s a good choice for beginners.
Plastic vs Metal Receivers
A common question we get is: are plastic bodies ever better than metal?
It depends on what kind of metal receivers are compared to. Are they better than pot-metal receivers in lesser reputable brands? Yes. Absolutely yes.
However, compared to any reputable company’s metal receiver?
The truth is: they aren’t, at least in the terms of durability & performance. However – they differ greatly when it comes to cost. plastic receivers allow an airsoft gun to be sold more cheaply. In the case of the G&G Combat Machine, it is clear that G&G chose to go a little cheaper on the body so they can maintain GOOD internals.
Standard Combat Machine vs Raider
There are two main packages when it comes to the CM16. They are the standard variants and the raider variants. They are alike in many ways and different in others. Let’s start with the similarities:
- Same internals – the performance isn’t going to differ between them.
- Polymer receivers
- Outer Barrels
- Safety selectors
- Pistol grip
Here is where they are different:
- Combat Machine Carbine (The Standard Version) – this variant doesn’t come with a rail system. Instead, it uses the classic M4A1 carbine length handguards. Additionally, this gun is front wired. This means that typically the standard CM16 fits a larger battery because it goes into the handguard. Next, it uses a more classic collapsible stock. Lastly, it comes with a removable M4A1 style carry handle.
- Combat Machine Raider (The Railed Version) – this variant comes with a quad rail system made of nylon fiber. This means that the fun has to be wired to the rear. Additionally, this means it comes with a crane stock (which is arguably more ergonomic than the standard stock). Lastly, it comes with removable cut-off A2-style rear sights.
Generally speaking, you’ll find the raider AEG more expensive as well. We’ve broken down the differences in the table below:
|Variant||Stock||Handguard||Direction Wired||Rear Sight System|
|Standard Combat Machine||Standard LE Collapsible Stock||Standard Carbine Length M4 Clamshell Handguard||Front Wired||Removable Carry Handle M4A1 Style|
|Raider Combat Machine||Crane Stock||Quad Rails||Rear Wired||Removable Cut-Off A2 Style|
CQB Length vs Long Length
In addition to the standard and raider variants, there’s also the Long and CQB variants.
- Long – this variant comes with a standard M4 14.5 inch outer barrel. In addition, the inner barrel measures 357mm (which is slightly between the usual 363mm on other airsoft M4’s).
- CQB – this variant comes with a shortened 10.5 inch outer barrel. The inner barrel is also shortened to 275mm (which is shorter than the usual 300mm found on other CQB length M4’s).
The FPS difference between these two lengths is negligible. The only thing I’ve noticed when test-firing the two is that the CQB variants seem to have slightly less consistency between shots, but it hardly matters are combat ranges.
Hop Up Adjustment
The hop up adjustment wheel is located in the same place as any Tokyo Marui style M4 AEG. However, there’s one gripe we have about the CM16 line: Their dust covers are spring-loaded in the closed position.
For those of us without long fingernails (aka ME), it can be a bit of a pain to actually adjust the hop up. We’re not sure why G&G chose to build them this way.
Internally, the Combat Machine features a full metal, zinc alloy 8mm gearbox. Everything from the cylinder, air nozzle, piston head, gears, wiring, and piston are all good.
It basically “meets standard” – 10+ years ago it was phenomenal at its original price point. Now? It’s what other entry-level guns try to hit (and aren’t always successful in doing so).
One of the coolest things is that this gearbox has all the aftermarket support you could ask for – so any future upgrades you could want are basically compatible with this gun. The world is your oyster here.
The main standout of the included G&G magazine is that it has a capacity of 450 rounds. Outside of that, it is a fairly standard high-capacity AEG M4 magazine that requires users to wind a wheel at the bottom of the mag.
It clearly shows that G&G was thinking about the beginner with this BB capacity.
The magazine does come longer than a standard 350 round high-cap, but it’s not too noticeable.
The last thing I’d like to say about the G&G magazine is that they feed into nearly EVERY airsoft gun I’ve used it on. That’s pretty awesome I’d have to say.
This is the fun part of our G&G Combat Machine review. Here’s a quick breakdown of the technical specs of this airsoft AEG:
|Specs||G&G Combat Machine M4|
|Magazine Capacity||450 Rounds|
|Ammo Type||6mm BBs|
|Sight System||A2 Style|
|Firing Modes||Semi-Auto and Full-Auto|
|Hop Up||Tokyo Marui M4 Single Piece Style|
In terms of features – these are the top standouts with the main benefits:
- Classic Internals – The world is your oyster in terms of aftermarket compatibility
- Plethora of Parts – On that front, the vast majority of airsoft AEG parts are made for AEG M4’s
- Polymer Construction – the pioneer in nylon fiber bodies & rails
- Realistic M4 Features – Functioning safety, collapsible stock, sights adjustments, grips, and more.
- Large Magazine – 100 more rounds than most other beginner M4 magazines
We put this AEG through the paces and are aiming to determine the following:
- Average shot placement at combat distances
- Average RPS (rounds per second) also known as the rate of fire
- FPS Consistency
The following are the parameters of our testing:
- Stock G&G Combat Machine (Raider variant)
- Stock G&G 450 round high cap
- Maintenance performed included cleaning the hop up unit, inner barrel, and bucking.
- Adjusted the hop up as close as we could to point of aim, point of impact at 75 feet.
- 71 degrees temperature
- Outside range with little wind
- 0.25g BBs (Elite Force Brand)
- Actionunion Airsoft Chronograph E9800-X (Our Matrix Chrono broke)
Accuracy at combat distances
We chose 75 feet and 125 feet as our standard combat distances typically seen by airsoft players. The gun is accurate enough within 75 feet that you should be able to hit anything you want.
We gauged the groupings by measuring the distance between the two furthest shots in a single group. Each group was done with 8 shots in semi auto.
Click to see the Chart & Results
75 Feet Test – grouping measured in inches
|Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Average|
125 Feet Test – grouping measured in inches
|Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Average|
The G&G Combat Machine is respectable in terms of combat accuracy. By 125 feet you can tell that spherical projectiles fire at 380 FPS have started really losing speed and their backspin. This isn’t mind-blowing accuracy, but you will hit man-sized targets at combat ranges.
Rate of Fire Testing (RPS)
Sometimes you just need accuracy through firepower, right? In a world where a single BB is all it takes – just flinging hundreds of them at the target is just what you need.
We don’t need to include a set of tables for this one as on a 9.6V battery we were consistently getting 13 Rounds per second. Respectable, but nothing to write home about.
We often test for FPS consistency since it tells us how tuned the air compression is. To be honest, we usually open our gearboxes not long after purchase and tune it up ourselves. However, since a significant other picked up a new combat machine, we had a chance to test the stock capabilities.
What we found was that the FPS variance after doing a full magazine dump was not too bad. The lowest FPS we saw on our chronograph was 376 FPS on .20 BB’s. The highest we recorded was 383 FPS. That is less than a 10 FPS difference, which is not too bad in our opinion.
Once again, G&G’s AEG performs fine. Nothing amazing, but it gets the job done clearly.
By the numbers: Pros & Cons
The G&G Combat Machine is a popular choice among airsoft players because it offers a good balance of price and performance.
- The golden standard for starter rifles.
- Reliable no-nonsense internals.
- Quality out-of-the-box performance.
- Larger high capacity magazine than most stock guns.
- Multiple options for many different users.
- Dust cover doesn't open on its own, requiring two hands to adjust hop up.
- Crane stock (on the raider variant) can pull out battery wires.
Other Reviews: At A Glance
Check out other reviews for the CM16:
Should you buy the G&G Combat Machine?
If your budget is in the sub $200’s – then the G&G Combat Machine is a good buy. It has enough out-of-the-box performance at a great price point to be considered on any “best starter airsoft gun” list. Additionally, the internal parts are so universal that nearly all Version 2 upgrade fits in this gun. This makes it a perfect upgrade platform for those who end up loving airsoft like we do.
If you have the money, however, go for the raider variant as having rails is awesome and so is having the airsoft gun being rear wired.
G&G Combat Machine Carbine
Frequently Asked Questions
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Hopefully, you found the G&G combat machine review useful.