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Reviews - Classic Army CA249

Airsoft Extreme Review of the Classic Army CA249

We recently received a CA249 preproduction model from Spartan Imports for review. The overall look and feel is virtually identical to the TOP version. In addition, it includes the “PGC” style gearbox with 8mm bearing bushings so standard AEG upgrade parts can be used. The CA249 has all the features you could ask for an M249 out of the box. Much like the regular line of Classic Army guns, the CA249 is equipped with the same metal parts and plastic parts that you would see on its real counterpart. The weight seems to be about the same as a fully loaded TOP model with a PGC gearbox. We broke this review down in a few different categories for easier reading:

CA249

Appearance

As mentioned above, it looks and feels just like the TOP version with a PGC gearbox installed already. The only thing missing would be the “FN” logos and trade marks. Not a big deal considering that they are barely noticeable on the TOP model. The charging handle operates just like the TOP version and makes a very satisfactory “Clink” sound when pulled back and let go – perfect for pretending to “lock and load”. The carry handle feels very solid and can be folded just like on the Top M249 Mark II and Paratrooper versions.


The CA249 came standard with US Style hand-guards and heat shield.

The outer barrel can be removed with the lever just like the TOP model.

The ABS plastic bits have a nice flat finish like Classic Army’s M15 line and are not shiny black like the TOP versions. The feed tray cover is made of metal (as opposed to plastic on the Top M249’s) and adds a little weight overall to the weapon compared to the TOP model. The one bad point with the external parts was the stock. It was secured to the gun with one bolt inside the center front of the stock and ended up breaking off easily on our sample. This problem should be addressed and can be easily fixed with a better design from Classic Army. Meanwhile, take extra care handling the stock.

Performance

The overall performance is much like the regular line of AEG’s offered by Classic Army. Out of the box, this sample fires smoothly, shooting approximately 320-330 fps with 0.20g Excel BB’s. The gun draws about 12-13 AMPs with the stock spring. We are not sure if this will be the velocity on the production CA249’s but it is the average fps for stock CA M15’s. Since the gun comes with a “PGC” style gearbox, it can be upgraded just like any other normal AEG using Systema, CA, Guarder, G&G, or even Tokyo Marui parts.

This gearbox is virtually IDENTICAL in appearance and dimensions to the PGC gearbox. The only difference is the CA249 gearbox is cast whereas the PGC gearbox is machined. The tappet plate is a Ver 2 and the spring guide is a Ver 2 as well and it has a CA short type motor. The cylinder sleeve is exposed in the CA gearbox unlike the PGC gearbox where the sides are solid. Therefore, the CA gearbox may have the risk of cracking at the stress points in the front of the cylinder as in any regular AEG gearbox. However, we have experienced very few cracked gearboxes in CA guns in general and are not too worried about this potential weak point. Replacement gearboxes should be available from Spartan Imports if required.

The rear of the gearbox has a lever that can allow the user to remove the stock spring and upgrade the velocity or even lower it. The gears are the same gears used in all the other CA models and it would be recommended to upgrade the gears to torque up or super torque up for springs that would produce 450fps or higher.

The hopup unit and inner barrel is not secured to outer barrel as in the Top M249’s. It is secured to the front of the mechbox and nozzle. The hopup has a spring like a Tokyo Marui P90 or AUG hopup to give it some resistance back into the gearbox. The benefits of this would be better seal against the gearbox. It also eliminates potential feeding problems from outer barrel misalignment that occurs easily on some Top M249’s, especially those with PGC mechbox upgrades. You will have to take care to remove the outer barrel straight till it clears the inner barrel before angling it in anyway. If you pull up on the outer barrel as you remove it, it could snap the nozzle off.

Also, the hopup unit on the barrel has a notch which lines up with a groove in the feed mechanism in front of the gearbox. No need to spend time lining up the barrel and also helps to eliminate feeding issues. The sample gun fed flawlessly and never seemed to skip when fired long full auto bursts.

The rate of fire with a 9.6v battery was around 800-900 rounds per minute. We changed the springs to see what velocity we would get and how it would perform. We installed a Guarder SP110 spring first and the CA249 shot 370-380fps with 0.20g Excel BB’s drawing 14-15 AMPs. The rate of fire with a 9.6v power source was around 800rpm. I then installed a Guarder SP120 spring and the velocity was 405-412fps with the same BB type and drawing 16-17 AMPs with a ROF of about 700-800rpm. Connections on the motors are like regular AEG's with the quick detach connector sleeves.

  • Pros: Easy to remove, fix or swap out motor, no soldering
  • Cons: Can come off during play like a regular AEG, especially when the brass heats up during long bursts of fire. Possibility of breakage like a regular AEG. (Easily overcome by soldering on the connection)
  • Quick disconnections on trigger switch
    • Pros: Easy to remove, no soldering
    • Cons: can come off or might not have secured connection causing power loss (also easily overcome by soldering on the connection)

Motor height adjustment is much more effective. The adjustment screw is bigger, no chance for the motor disc to fall out of place. The motor height can be adjusted with a small flathead screwdriver rather than a 1.5mm hex tool. The screw holes on receiver for the gearbox are large and easy to line up properly.

The gearbox doesn’t have the problems of lining up with the hopup unit like the TOP models.

Other:

The only other problem we found with this particular gun was that the safety button was installed backwards and did not work. We re-installed it correctly but it felt a bit loose. We doubt that this would be a problem with the production guns.

We did not physically check if some of the aftermarket parts will fit (such as the GnG M249RAS and the Prime RAS) but do not see why they shouldn’t.

Overall:

In conclusion, the CA249 is solid as a rock and just like their other line of CA AEGs, it is another true complete solution out of the box. Pricing is not known at this time but should be extremely competitive against a similarly equipped Top M249. The only downside to this prototype would be the problem with the weak ABS stock cracking off the body. Other considerations are the hopup not secured to the outer barrel and the cast gearbox shell with potential stress points. Overall, there are too many pros and improvements over the Top M249 that really outweigh the fairly insignificant cons which makes this CA249 a superb value!

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