Mingle with the airsoft industry and media during the Airsoft Meetup at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2017.
Ares Airsoft Amoeba AM-016 AEG Part 2
The Ares Airsoft Amoeba AM-016 has been with me for over three months now, bringing it to fields for tests and now t's time to have a closer look. Take down should be quite straight forward but this AEG has a built-in MOSFET that might make the gearbox a bit different from the standard AEG gearbox.
Of course, the first thing is to remove the external parts. I started with the buttstock as it simply just slides off. After that, take the battery compartment off by taking out an Allen screw. Once this is out of the way, you will notice that the backend of the gearbox can be removed to pull the spring out. So simply unscrew the backend off and take the spring out together with the spring guide. This will make splitting the gearbox easier. Also, this allows a quick spring change if you wish to change the power of the AEG.
Next to remove is the top receiver, the rear body pin put up a fight and I had to use an Allen wrench to use it as a pin to push it through. It is not possible to push it out with your fingers. You will need to hammer it out. I would suggest using a small rubber mallet to hit something that can push the body pin through. After a bit of persuasion, the pin came out and it does not look like a standard rear body pin. It is melded in a way it will lock in place which is good in a way as it keeps the gearbox solidly in place. The front pin still needed to be hammered out the same way as the rear one but it was a lot easier to push it out.
Once the pins are off, simply slide the top receiver forward and it should come off. The next job is to take to motor out. Two screws on the bottom of the pistol grip will have to come off. Try not to touch the big screw in the middle of the grip as this is the motor engagement screw. Disconnect the electrical wires from the motor and pull the motor out. I noticed that the motor has no brand markings on it.
With the motor out, there are four screws that hold the pistol grip in place. You will need to take these screws out because they are screwed to the bottom of the gearbox. The last pin that needs to come off before you can pull the gearbox out is the pin located just above the trigger. Once that's out, wiggle the gearbox out.
There is a blue plastic plate on the side of the gearbox which I think is the MOSFET. Four small screws hold this in place so those will need to come off. Before you take the gearbox screws out, locate the tamper proof sticker on the underside of the gearbox cut this with a sharp pocket knife to break it. Please note that breaking this seal may void any warranty you have on this product. Next is to take all the gearbox body screws off. These screws are of different length so it's good to remember where they were taken out from.
Once all the screws are out, slowly split the gearbox apart. Watch out for small flying parts. Some techs will advice you to do this inside a clear plastic back to avoid losing them flying bits. Next, I would advice to take a picture of the inside in case you will have problems reassembling it. Take out anything with a spring on them, like the trigger, the anti reversal latch and the tappet plate. These parts have the tendency to fly off and get lost.
The nozzle has a plastic sleeve but the nozzle itself is metal. The cylinder is metal and the piston if plastic with plastic teeth.
All gears are metal but again not branded. All gears also have a shim on each side and are connected to the gearbox with metal bushings.
The internal MOSFET is set with the use of an external programming box or EFCS that is sold separately. With the programming box, the AEG can be programmed to fire semi only, 3-round burst and full auto, or semi and 3 burst. This box makes it easier to program the MOSFET as other methods usually depend on a trigger pull sequence that is not easy to follow often.
Due to the materials used on the Amoeba AM-016, the AEG is pretty light compared to full metal M4 variants. Also, the sliding stock design makes it feel like the rear part of the AEG shorter than a standard M4 rear end which makes it very versatile and can be conveniently used on either outdoor or indoor/CQB skirmishes despite its long front end.
At full length, the stock feels very comfortable and makes it easy to aim for those long range shots. Unfortunately, the stock release is not spring loaded thus making me use both hands to adjust the stock. A single-point sling makes this a lot easier to do.
The gearbox sounds great and cycles really well. The trigger reset is very good and as the trigger pushes onto a micro switch, the trigger feels very responsive and crisp.
The front end is probably the best part of this AEG. The long Octarms Keymod system gives the handguard a small diameter making the profile smaller and slimmer, making it easy and comfortable to hold. It took me a while to figure out how the Keymod accessories attach properly to the handguard but once I did they all attached securely.
The package recommends that the use of 11.1v lipo batteries. This is good news as this serves as an insurance that the internal components are strong enough to withstand the power that this battery delivers. With an 11.1v battery, the ROF is very good and you can feel that the AEG can handle the power but from experience using a high voltage battery will surely hasten the wear and tear of the internal parts, thus I would still recommend the use of an 7.4v battery.
Shooting the AM-016, same as with the other Amoeba AEGs, is quite a nice experience. The micro switch trigger is very responsive and doesn't have a "lag" when fired. Range is decent at around 20-25metres on the spring that came with the AEG.
One good feature of this AEG is the ability to change the spring without taking the gearbox apart. That and the internal MOSFET allows the AEG to be programmed as a DMR.
The new Amoeba AM016 has its flaws which may not make it desirable players used to playing with high-end airsoft guns, but the quality of the Keymod accessories and the ability to set it up to suit both indoor and outdoor skirmish makes it a very good first primary weapon. The Keymod handguard is very impressive with its very good quality finish and Octarms have provided us with a choice of accessories to purchase.
All in all, I would give the AM016 a 7/10 rating. The only thing that I dislike with it is its receiver. Everything else, like the Keymod feature, accessories, internals and quick change spring feature all make up for it.