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Muskrat Love

By Steve Chun

 

What is a Muskrat? 

 

Definition:

\Musk"rat`\, n.
1. (Zo["o]l.) A North American aquatic fur-bearing rodent
   ({Fiber zibethicus}). It resembles a rat in color and
   having a long scaly tail, but the tail is compressed, the
   hind feet are webbed, and the ears are concealed in the
   fur. It has scent glands which secrete a substance having
   a strong odor of musk. Called also {musquash}, {musk
   beaver}, and {ondatra}.

 

No, I’m not going to be reviewing the animal that has a similar resemblance to a rat.  On the contrary, I’m going to be reviewing the evolved M4 SMG that was first created by Joey at Airsoft Extreme.  AEX markets the custom gun as “the smallest AR you will ever find”.  The prototype Muskrat created by Joey was nicknamed “Kitty”, and became so popular that AEX decided to market it as one of their custom AEX Max weapons.

 

First of all, the base gun used in the conversion of the Muskrat is normally an M4.  In my case, I tried to save some money so I converted my Tokyo Marui SR-16 that was already upgraded with a systema 120 spring, TN barrel, and bore up cylinder before the transformation took place.

 

The systema 120 spring was replaced with a guarder sp100 spring.  The purpose of this was to sacrifice power or fps (feet per second), for the sake of speed or rof (rate of fire).  The spring was matched with Systema high speed gears and the motor was also replaced.  Originally, the motor was to be replaced with a high speed motor, but after testing, it was determined that the rof with the high speed motor produced bb misfeeds, so a regular motor was used instead. 

 

The TN barrel was retained in the gun, but it was cut, since cutting of the barrel was necessary to accommodate the G&G SMG kit.  The Muskrat normally comes with the metal body, but since this gun will be used primarily for CQB (Close Quarter Battles), I chose to retain the original plastic body in order to keep the gun light weight.

 

The DPMS free floating handguard replaces the stock handguards found on the M4 and SR-16.  Although a real steel handguard was used in the original prototype Muskrat, this one is specially made for airsoft guns.   

 

The last part of the transformation comes from replacing the original retracting stock to a crane stock.  The advantage to doing this is that with the crane stock the battery is contained within the stock, which prevents you from having to use a battery inside the front foregrip or in a battery pouch.  There are different brands of crane stocks that you can use, including the Vltor, Apex, or Star.  I chose to go with the Prime Crane stock, mainly because it uses sub “c” type cells instead of “a” type cells, which is what the Vltor, Apex, and Star crane stocks normally use.  Sub “c” type cells are known to deliver more power with less resistance than the “a” type cells. 

 

Performance

 

So what’s so special about the Muskrat?  Well, people who find the M16 too long to use as an effective weapon may find that this is the perfect size for them.  So in essence, the gun was nicknamed the Muskrat because of its size.  It’s small and compact, easy to get your hands around.  If you’re one of those people who believe the motto that “Size doe’s matter”, then this may not be the gun for you.  But don’t get the wrong idea by thinking that this gun is only for small people.  Superman “Ning” has plans on getting one himself and we all know what a big boy he is.

 

Power wise, this gun shoots approximately 335 fps, well within socal airsoft rules.  Bps (Balls per second) is at approximately 19 per second.  Prior to the conversion, the SR-16 was shooting 371 fps at 15-16 bps. 

 

The first impressions from holding the gun for the first time were “Damn, this gun is small”.  In fact, my daughter, who once had an obsession with getting the M16 boys rifle, even felt comfortable holding the Muskrat.  But this gun is by no means anything compared to the M16 boys rifle.  If the M16 boys rifle were a girl, the Muskrat would be a Vogue supermodel. 

 

When I first fired the gun it scared the hell out of me!  Bbs flew all over the place when I barely pulled the trigger.  The gun cycles through bbs really fast, which conjures up images of Jesse “The Body” Ventura as he wielded the Vulcan gun in the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Predator”. In fact, the gun emptied the 300 round hicap that I was using in a matter of seconds.  I decided that the only way to keep this bb munching monster satisfied was to use the laylax box mag which has a 5000 round capacity. 

 

To keep the Muskrat on its CQB mission, I also installed a mount riser with a BSA red dot site attached to the top of it.  The site has a butler creek see thru scope cover to protect the scope against random bb hits that may shatter the front lens. 

 

As for battery charge duration, the crane stock is equipped with a 3300 mah nimh battery which lasts all day.  The only thing you need to be concerned with is that the crane stock uses dean’s plugs.  What that means is that you either have to have a good charger that has the ability to change connector leads, or you need to create an adaptor that goes from a tamiya connector on one end to a dean’s plug on the other.  If you’re not familiar with what a dean’s plug looks like it has two prongs which consist of a horizontal plug on the top and a vertical plug on the bottom. Forming a "T" as you look at it. 

 

Conclusion

 

Overall I’m very pleased with the conversion of the SR-16 to the Muskrat.  The main disadvantage to the conversion is cost.  AEX sells complete Muskrats from $625.  If you can live without the metal body and have your own M4 or SR-16 that you want to use for the conversion, I suggest using that in order to try and cut down on the cost.  Another disadvantage is of course, since it has a shorter barrel due to the smg kit, accuracy is somewhat compromised.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to hit the side of a barn with this weapon, all it means is that it should be used more for CQB battles and not so much for long range shooting. 

 

For CQB there is no comparison.  If you want a small, compact CQB weapon that will mow down your enemies, then the Muskrat is the way to go.   The main advantage is the small size.  Second the high rate of fire.  Match these two with the unlimited firepower of a 5000 round box mag and you have a buzzsaw gun capable of keeping all your enemies pinned down.  Best word of advice I can give you if you decide to purchase this gun is to stock up on your bbs because this baby will finish them in no time…