G&G Combat Machine Review – The Workhorse of Beginner Airsoft Loadouts

G&G Combat Machine is the most commonly recommended starter AEG for a reason.

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.

G&G Combat Machine review header image for blog

The CM16 was one of the first AEG’s to feature the nylon fiber receivers. This was a HUGE upgrade compared to the more common, at the time, ABS plastic bodies.

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.

The reason is rather simple: It just works.

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.

G&G Combat Machine review and unboxing
G&G Combat Machine Raider CQB Variant – Tan

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.

G&G CM16 Combat Machine Airsoft Gun Review
The construction is so sturdy you could do pushups on it!


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:

Left: Combat Machine Raider – Right: Combat Machine Carbine
  • 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:

VariantStockHandguardDirection WiredRear Sight System
Standard Combat MachineStandard LE Collapsible StockStandard Carbine Length M4 Clamshell HandguardFront WiredRemovable Carry Handle M4A1 Style
Raider Combat MachineCrane StockQuad RailsRear WiredRemovable 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).
G&G Combat Machine Raider CQB Variant

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.

G&G CM16 Dustcover and hop up adjustment wheel
You have to hold down the dust cover. This is backwards in my opinion.


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.

Magazine Construction

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.

Technical Specs

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:

G&G Combat Machine Review Image

SpecsG&G Combat Machine M4
ManufacturerG&G Armamanet
Magazine Capacity450 Rounds
Ammo Type6mm BBs
Sight SystemA2 Style
Firing ModesSemi-Auto and Full-Auto
Hop UpTokyo Marui M4 Single Piece Style
Weight4.6 Lbs

G&G Combat Machine Tan
G&G Combat Machine Raider CQB Variant – Tan


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

Performance Testing

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 1Test 2Test 3Average
Bench Rest5.5″6.0″4.7″5.4″
Combat Shooting7.5″8.2″7.3″7.6″

125 Feet Test – grouping measured in inches

Test 1Test 2Test 3Average
Bench Rest10.2″9.8″11.5″10.5″
Combat Shooting12.2″15.4″11.8″13.13″

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.

G&G combat range accuracy testing

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.

FPS Consistency

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

8.3Expert Score
G&G Combat Machine CM-16 Airsoft Gun

The G&G Combat Machine is a popular choice among airsoft players because it offers a good balance of price and performance.

Shooting Performance
Build Quality
  • 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:

Ive had the raider-l for 4 years. Was my first gun and still the only one i have and it has never let me down. Been recently upgrading it here and there
Got this little cqb cm16 just about 4 years ago.
It's had the gear box worked over a bit ( not from failure ), however its been a reliable, fun , fairly accurate gun to play. I let my brother play it one day and he loved it. Offered me money for it . Nope...
It's been a great platform to upgrade as a project gun. Ive fallen on it and the only damage that happened was the hand guard screws needed to be tightened back up but play the rest of the day with it.My daughter still has hers as a back up . I bought her a rip off Valken copy of this aeg, if i were to compare the 2 side by side . Hands down the CM16. This is my go to primary it shall be top of my list for beginner guns .
I bought a CM-16 SRS in December of 21. I still own it and have only upgraded the externals. It’s an amazing starter gun for CQB if you find it cheaper than a walk in store. I plan to polarstar it when the gears strip from the abuse
I have had this gun for like six months and it runs perfectly 10/10 would recommend it to anybody that is getting into airsoft. and great for upgrading.
I use my CM raider 1.0 weekly, with 11.1s (don't crucify me) and it works like a charm. My cqb field does not have a lot of long lanes, so the accuracy is not that big of an issue. Also the lipo did not kill my gun, but maybe I'm just lucky

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

Carbine Variant – Choose this if you want to go with the inexpensive option.

G&G Combat Machine Raider

Raider Variant – Choose this if you want quad rails and rear wires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is G&G a good brand?

G&G is a well-known brand in the airsoft and airgun industry, known for producing high-quality products. They are known for their durable and reliable guns and gear, as well as their attention to detail and realism. However, everyone has different opinions and preferences, so it’s ultimately up to the individual to decide if G&G is a good brand for them.

We like to think of G&G as a great brand for enthusiasts.

Who makes G&G airsoft guns?

G&G Armament is a Taiwan-based company that manufactures and designs airsoft guns. They have been in business for over a decade and have a reputation for producing high-quality, durable, and realistic airsoft guns, gear, and accessories. They are a popular choice among airsoft enthusiasts and are known for their attention to detail and commitment to quality. They make some of the best airsoft rifles on the market.

Hopefully, you found the G&G combat machine review useful.

Timothy Hackett
Timothy Hackett

Tim has been playing airsoft since 1994. With over a thousand (no lie) airsoft games under his belt he has spent countless hours testing various airsoft guns and tactical gear. He's gotten hundreds (still no lie) of people into the airsoft hobby and is more than willing to spread the love of slinging 6mm plastic to any new player.

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