Real Sword Type 56 Indepth Review by: James Bernatchez This is my entry into the Real Sword Review Contest. I can only hope people vote for me if they honestly think I deserve to win. I have been looking forward to the release of the Real Sword SVD for a while now and if it is anything like their Type 56, I am sure everybody will be proud to own one. I look forward to hopefully doing a review on the SVD when they are released. Contents 1. Real Steel History 2. Overview of the Real Sword Type 56 3. Disassembling the Real Sword Type 56 4. Issues with the Real Sword Type 56 5. Performance A. First Impressions B. Skirmishing the Real Sword Type 56 6. Pro's and Con's 7. Ordering info 8. Final Verdict I have had this weapon for a while and have used it countless times on the field. It has seen mud, sand, rain, cold, and dirt. Yet it has come back for more. The only differences between mine and a stock Real Sword Type 56 is that I installed a Tokyo Marui AK air nozzle and a Prometheus 6.03mm tightbore barrel. Below you will find my indepth review with an extensive amount of photos showing all of its features as well as it taken all the way down to the mechbox. 1. Real Steel History (taken from Wikipedia) "The Type 56 assault rifle is a Chinese copy of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, which has been manufactured since 1956. It was produced by state factory 66 from 1956-73, then by Norinco from 1973 onwards. Originally, the Type 56 was a direct copy of the AK-47, and featured a milled receiver, but starting in the mid-1960s, the guns were manufactured with stamped receivers much like the Soviet AKM. Visually, most versions of the Type 56 are distinguished from the AK-47 and AKM by the fully-enclosed hooded front sight (all other AK pattern rifles, including those made in Russia, have a partially open front sight). Many versions also feature a folding bayonet attached to the barrel just aft of the muzzle." "The Type 56 is likely the most widely proliferated AK-47 type rifle in the world having shown up on battlefields in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, South America, etc. While exact production figures are not known, it is commonly estimated that as many as 10-15 million Type 56 rifles have been produced since the 1950s which means they may account for nearly one-fifth of the world's AK production." "Type 56 – Basic variant introduced in 1956. Chinese copy of AK-47 with fixed wooden stock and permanently attached spike bayonet. Beginning in the mid-1960s, the guns were manufactured with stamped receivers, mimicking the improved (and cheaper) Russian AKM, while the permanently attached bayonet became optional." Weight Type 56: 3.8 kg (8.38 lb) Length Type 56: 874 mm (34.4 in) Barrel length 414 mm (16.3 in) It is a gas operated rifle firing a 7.62mm x 39mm cartridge. There have been 10-15 million of these weapons built in the world. They fire at a rate of 600-650 rounds per minute. 2. Overview of the Real Sword Type 56 As you can see in the first photo the gun comes in a nicely labeled box with a few accessories. The box has some really nice foam holding the gun in place to protect it during shipping. First class packing job all the way. First things first, the manual. The manual is thick. It is written in three different languages, of course one of them being English. It explains how to do everything, from getting the rifle ready to use to basic maintence, you can find it in the manual. A nice surprise is a full color pull out poster. On this poster it shows all the parts of the gun disassembled and clearly labeled. On the bottom it goes through each of the steps in order to strip the gun all the way down to the mechbox. The included accessories are bb loading tube(not shown), orange flash hider(not shown), steel flash hider, steel threaded flash hider(not shown, to be used with silencers), oil can(empty, replicating the oil can the real steel version came with, rear sight base assembling wrench, and the accessories box（inside is a screwdriver and two tips for the cleaning rod）. Upon pickin up the gun the first time you will find it is extremely solid! Nothing, and I mean nothing on the outside of the gun is plastic. The only exception is the plastic bayonet, which you can purchase an aluminum one for display. Even the included mid cap magazine is metal. Everything is screwed on tightly and fits together very well. There is absolutely no play in anything on the gun. The magazine does wiggle from side to side when in the gun, but it doesn't detract anything from the overall package. The fire selector switch makes a satisfying click in each position so there is no need to worry about accidentally switching from one to the other. The wood kit on this gun is unbelievable! It is solid as a rock and looks wonderful! Granted, you will see some marks on mine, but that is from months of use. Plus, it adds to its worn used look. The receiver is steel and looks very close to the real steel! On the left side of the receiver you will see a serial number on the gun. On my particular model you can see that I have #398. Also in the second photo below you will see the fuse under the receiver cover. Very easy to replace if needed. Below, is the rear wood stock. This gun is unique because you can put a battery either in the stock or above the receiver. Real Sword includes a jumper for whichever plug you are not using. I needed to hollow out the stock a bit more in order to comfortably fit a mini 8.4v battery pack in there. Here is a nice shot of the reciever, receiever cover, fire select lever, cocking lever, handgrip, and magazine. The color of the steel and word is perfect! The "L" position on the fire selector is FULL AUTO, while the upper position is SAFE, and the lower "D" is SEMI AUTO. This side shot shows the front end assembly. This includes the outer barrel assembly, front sight, plastic bayonet, as well as the upper and lower handguard. The bayonet locks in place when it is closed or open. In order to open it you push the bayonet towards the butt of the gun and swing it down and towards the front until it clicks in place. To close it you do the opposite. Here is a close up shot of the adjustable iron sight. With the top receiver cover removed you can see the top of the mechbox as well as the fuse, cocking lever set, and battery connector. This connector has the jumper wire connected because I use the buttstock to house my battery. The Real Sword mid cap magazine is a replica of a real steel thirty round magazine. it holds about 140 bbs fully loaded. It is solid and very well built. The magazine makes a very satisfying click when setting the magazine in the gun. Something that didn't need to be done, but adds the over quality and level of awesomeness is the fact that the cleaning rod is actually removable. You screw on one of the two tips that come in the accessories box to either swap the barrel or remove a jam. In my opinion that is above and beyond! The handgrip is held on wit one screw via the bottom. By unscrewing this screw, the grip slides off and exposes the motor and motorcage. A nice feature that is included is a spring release lever. You can see it arrowed in the third photo below. 3. Disassembling the Type 56 The gun strips pretty simply and once you have done it once or twice it will be like second nature to you. First, remove the receiver cover and take out the cocking lever set. Next, use your accessories case to push the lever up to free the upper handguard. Use the rear sight wrench to push down as shown on the iron sight. This will allow the iron sight and spring below to come out. It does require some force and I found that this is actually the hardest step. The second shot shows the sight and spring removed. Above the lower handguard on the inside right you will see a lever. Flip that to the front of the gun and slide the metal retaining piece forward. You can then pull the lower handguard out and set it aside. Now it is time to remove the inner and outer barrel assembly. First, remove the two screws holding the hop up in place shown below. Next usse a 3/32 Allen key to remove the two set screws that hold the outer barrel in place. I am pointing at one and there is another one just forward of the one shown. Doing this will allow you to slide the outer barrel assembly off as well as being able to remove the inner barrel. NOTE: The stock inner barrel is brass. The inner barrel shown is a Prometheus tightbore AK barrel. To remove the stock you just need to unscrew this one screw on top to slide the stock off. You should be left with only the receiver and mechbox together. To remove the mechbox you will need to remove the fire selector lever. The piece I am pointing at needs to be unscrewed by hand. Once this is done, you just need to pull the lever up and set it aside. Now it is time to remove the mechbox from the receiver. It just takes a little bit of wiggling while pushing it out of the top of the receiver. I find it easiest to tilt it towards the back while removing it. Just help guide the wires out and your done! Take note how the selector lever is positioned when assembled correctly. Look at the otherside too before going futher. Remove the lever and small metal piece under it towards the front of the gearbox. Remove the two screws holding the motor cage in place. Once the screws are removed, the cage can be pulled off and moved out of your way. Before opening the gearbox make sure to release spring tension by hitting the spring release lever on the backside of the gearbox. Now you can remove the small plastic clip behind the trigger as well as the last 4 screws holding the gear box together. When you are ready to pull the box apart put pressure on the cylinder so the spring doesn't go flying. Release the spring from tension and you can now release the cylinder. The inside of the gearbox looks very well built. The gears look strong and are stamped with "RS" on each. The box is pretty well shimmed and all the gears are lubed well. To reinstall everything just follow the steps backwards and you should have no trouble at all. It really is a dream to take apart. 4. Issues with the Real Sword Type 56 The day I received my Type 56 in the mail I promptly took it out to shoot it for the first time. I was very excited for it to arrive and couldn't load it up fast enough. With the battery loaded, hop up off, and a full magazine I went out to test it. The first shot dropped due to having the hop up off. Adjusting it in small increments I began to add hop and test fire the gun. With the hop up half way on it still was dropping off way to quickly. I wasn't even getting 75 feet out of it. I tried adding more but with too much hop it jammed. Ran back up stairs cleared the jam easilly and tried again. Same thing. Now from reading that the hop up bucking was too hard stock I swapped it out for a stock Classic Army bucking. Once doing this it performed much better, with range closer to 140 feet. Semi auto shot flawlessly, but full auto left something to be desired. In full auto the Type 56 would misfire every now and again. I thought it was sort of odd so I got to thinking. Long story short, I found the issue to be the air nozzle. it was just a tad too long. In full auto it wasn't clearing the bb feed tube to allow another round to chamber. Don't worry though, it is a very simple fix. I replaced the stock Real Sword air nozzle with a stock nozzle from a Tokyo Marui AK-47. After doing these two small changes the gun is perfect. 5. Performance A. First Impressions Once those two small issues above were resolved I proceeded to empty some mags at trees 75, 100, and 140 feet away from me. I found accuracy to be spot on for a rifle of this length. I added the tightbore barrel to futher enhance its capabilities on the field. The gun consistantly chronos right around 300 FPS with a .2g BB. This is with the new bucking and nozzle as well as the tightbore. I am assuming stock would be a bit lower. The deviation wasn't bad. I would get 301, 305, 300, 301, 298, 394, 296, 301 on the chrono. It seems to be a very consistant gun. B. Skirmishing the Real Sword Type 56 In Connecticut, we have a local hobby shop that has a 50 acre wooded field (www.groundzeroairsoftusa.com) that we play each and every Sunday. I have fielded this gun many times and always found it to be reliable and perform well. Everybody that held and shot it couldn't believe how well it felt. It just feels right shouldering it. The real test of this gun came on a weekend in September of 2008. We had a two day, non-stop Vietnam era game planned. The game started Saturday morning and ended Sunday afternoon. We slept out in the woods, the whole time while fire fights were going on. Seeing as I had my beautiful Type 56 I chose to be on the Viet Cong side. We were vastly outnumbered, with the US Troops being 60 or more strong, while we only had about 22 or so teammates. The weather was perfect too. Rainy and cold all day everyday. I was sure this game would give me a good idea as to weather I could rely on this weapon or not. During that game the weapon got covered in rain, dust, dirt, mud, and more. It was pushed through underbrush and banged into trees(of course not on purpose). Overnight surface rust started to form. The only thing I did during those two days was to occasionally wipe it down with a rag. Over two days of use and abuse the Real Sword Type 56 NEVER failed me in any way, shape, or form. Despite being rusty, wet, and dirty the gun fired true each and every time I pulled the trigger. When I came home later that night I gave it a quick once over, wiped away the dirt and sand, and gave it a wipedown with WD-40 on all the metal parts. To this very day, the gun is still performing flawless. 6. Pro's and Con's Pro's Solidly built Well shimmed and lubed gearbox Great wiring job Wood finish is excellent Takedown is very easy Excellent packaging and accessories Manual/Adendium is one of the best i've seen Con's Stock Nozzle is too long Stock Hop Up bucking is too hard Inside of stock needs dremeling to fit 8.4v mini comfortably 7. Ordering Info I ordered this gun from Airsoft Atlanta(www.airsoftatlanta.com). The price was right, shipping was quick, and it came to me in excellent condition. Airsoft Atlanta is a great place to do business with. 8. Final Verdict What can I say: BUY IT! I have owned over 30 high end AEG's and I find the Real Sword Type 56 to be one of my favorites. I was hesitant at first to try it out because there wasn't much information on it that I could fine. Boy, am I glad I did. While it needed two small upgraded parts out of the box, that was a small price to pay for the quality of this rifle. I did this unbiased review to educate others about the Real Sword Type 56. Weather I win the contest or not, I hope this review is helpful to anybody considering purchasing this fine weapon. Even after owning it for five months I still get all excited just picking it up and smelling the wood. It is a weapon I am very proud to own and look forward to skirmishing with it for many years to come.