Face Off --- Cyma 035 Vs. Boyi Kalash RK01
05 Nov 2007
Editor's Note: FilAK Airsoft, a Philippine-based airsoft community devoted to the use of Kalashnikov airsoft replicas presents to you their review and comparison of two of the recently released AK clones --- the CYMA 035 and the Kalash (DBoys/BOYI) RK01. Previously, AKS kits were expensive to acquire, and with the release of two low-cost ACMs, have made collecting for avid AK lovers more affordable. This review is very comprehensive and loaded with pictures. Our thanks to Sir Jegs for submitting this FACE OFF article to us. Article starts below:
Much discussion is still going on about which ACM Krinkov clone is better – the Cyma 035 or the Boyi Kalash. Let's catalog the similarities and differences of these two Krinkov clones and see which one is the best fit for you and your play style.
To make for easier reading, the discussion will be divided into:
- the business end -- muzzle brake and front sight block
- rear sight block
- receiver: fire selector lever, side scope mount plate, pistol grip
- receiver: mechbox, hopup assembly, bolt carrier & guide rod
- folding stock
- issues & concerns
- overall impressions
Let's start with the usual -- the unboxing.
The Cyma comes in a plain brown cardboard box:
In the box are the NiMh 8.4v 2/3A 1100mAh batt, the charger, a pack of .2g bbs, a cleaning rod, and one hicap mag. no manual. no sight adjustment tool.
The Kalash definitely wins in this area with its arresting packaging.
In the Kalash box, aside from what Cyma has, Boyi includes a gorgeous black sling. Could have been another plus point for Boyi if the sling were a khaki or an OD sling that fits the Krinkov.
The Kalash comes with a good manual which i forgot to include in the pic. The manual, however, omits a plastic part that positions the hopup chamber in the receiver. Minus points for Boyi here.
BUSINESS END: Muzzle Brake and Front Sight Block
The Kalash muzzle brake assembly (top) has three parts.
The TM-style Cyma front sight base, on the other hand, is secured onto the outer barrel by a screw.
The Cyma muzzle brake is also done TM-style and goes CCW onto the outer barrel. It is not properly clocked by the clocking bolt that goes into the front sight base in the usual TM style.
Although Cyma (as of this writing) has released a wood-handguard version of the 035 with handguards very similar to the Kalash and Boyi has released a plastic-handguard version of the Kalash with handguards very similar to the 035, we will look at the handguards of the initial versions from the two manufacturers. The next three pics show (in sequence) handguard internals, handguard externals, and hanguard rear fitting.
The red arrow shows where the upper handguard locking bolt in the Cyma notches into the upper handguard rear retainer ring. This prevent upper handguard rattling. The upper handguard, btw, of the Kalash unit I looked at was very loose -- it could be revolved around the gas tube axis by about 15 degrees each to the left and to the right around the gas tube axis.
The Cyma lower handguard (left) tab is a wee bit higher and a tad larger than the standard TM-style AK lower handguard.
Just like the RS, both the Kalash and the 035 have lower handguard locking levers.
REAR SIGHT BLOCK
Another main difference between the two replicas is the way the front end is secured to the receiver (stamped steel in the Kalash and pot metal in the Cyma). The 035 secures the front end to the receiver in the usual 4-screw TM-style. Is Boyi trying to say something with the white "QC" label it sticks in rear part of the Kalash magwell?
The Kalash, on the other hand, mimics the RS with its two pins.
Punching out the rear sight pin is not necessary to separating the front end from the receiver. Remove the rear sight block pin first. Removing the rear sight block will then uncover the outer barrel grub screw (red arrow). Unscrewing this grub screw will release the outer barrel after the outer barrel pin is punched out.
Reminder: punch out the pins from the right and reinstall them from the left with the ridged end toward you.
RECEIVER: Fire Selector Lever, Side Scope Mount Plate, Pistol Grip
There are fewer parts in the Kalash fire selector lever assembly than there are in the corresponding 035 assembly. The 035 (top) has a plastic screw cap while the Kalash dispenses with the cap with its two-tiered flat screw. It also has a single alloy lug taking the place of a lug, a brass guide and a lock washer used in the 035.
During assembly, the Kalash selector lever must be pressed firmly into the alloy lug until you hear a click. Fire selection will otherwise be mushy and the lever will operate loosely.
Going around to the left we get to the side mounted scope plates. No real difference here except a few minor variations in shape and build. Both are pot metal. The Kalash side plate is more sharply molded and is riveted to the receiver while the 035 side plate is attached by two hex screws.
Some players have expressed a preference for the material used in the Kalash pistol grip (on the left) which looks and feels like synthetic composite. They cannot be interchanged since they have different attachment tab configurations.
RECEIVER: mechbox, hopup assembly, bolt carrier & guide rod
The mechboxes of the two replicas are essentially similar V3s. The Kalash uses 7mm bushings and a reinforced shell.
and the 035 has the usual CM02 AK mechbox.
pic courtesy komrad rampage.
The Cyma mechbox is supposed to come with metal bushings although some units had plastic bushings. Both use relatively short but stiffer springs and gear.net spur gears and XYT sector gears although a unit bought in Manila and shipped to Davao had unmarked gears. Both use Type 2 brass cylinders. Both also have plastic spring guides and ported plastic pistons but the Kalash has an aluminium piston head.
picture courtesy komrad todoink.
The Kalash hopup assembly has more parts than the 035 and is attached to the receiver in a different way.
Another main difference between the Kalash and the 035 is their implementation of the bolt carrier guide rod and charging handle. Cyma uses a slightly revised TM-style guide rod kept in place by a tab on the mekbx top retaining plate while Boyi uses a shorter guide rod and a bolt carrier 1/2 the size of the standard TM-style bolt carrier. Both, however, have relatively weak guide rod springs -- accidental nudging on the receiver lock has resulted in surprise leaps of the receiver cover.
To keep the guide rod and charging handle in place, Cyma uses the right receiver edge as a rail for tabs on the carrier handle.
Boyi uses a downward extension of its shorter carrier handle to keep the shorter guide rod in place.
This extension slots into the receiver (red brackets) near the right side of the mekbx. This method does not seem sufficient – a definite rattling can be felt when you try to move the charging handle without pulling it backwards.
Another nice touch in the Kalash is the ridged receiver lock -- verrryy RS.
Both the Kalash and the 035 have stamped steel folding stocks and pot metal stock trunnions. There is a minor difference the way Boyi and Cyma made their stock strut plates. The Kalash is nearer the RS with its welding mark but is a bit sloppy with the way the sling swivel is made.
The Kalash is also nearer RS in the way the folding stock locks into the stock trunnion.
Yellow arrow shows the ridged receiver lock which attaches to the top rear of the mechbox in a different way.
The tabs on the receiver lock are only half that of the standard TM-style locks and slides into appropriate slots at the rear top of the mechbox. Red arrow shows the lock ridge which in the RS helps prevent unlocking during RS bolt cycling but is just nice to have in our replicas.
The 035 averages 370fps out of the box while the Kalash chronoes at 390-400 stock. With minimal upgrades such as good shimming, an air seal nozzle, and a bearing spring guide the 035 I tested equaled the Kalash. Using the poor man’s chrono, both pierced both sides and the bottom of a Coke Light can but only dented the center top.
All users of the two replicas reported satisfying accuracy for both. To see for myself I did a test with .2g ICS bbs from 12’ in a sitting position (I have no backyard and my room is quite small he he he ) with unzeroed iron sights.
The Kalash posted consistent and good groupings in both semi and auto.
But the 035 registered even better groupings.
Three 10-round auto bursts with the 035 produced very consistent groupings with all eight rounds in the third burst hitting the bullseye. The two flyers in the third burst (red arrows) were very close. The longer inner barrel of the 035 certainly made a difference.
It seems that Cyma is learning its lessons well. This kind of accuracy tops the accuracy results registered by two of its recent products – the M14 and the Thompson. Two 035 filAKas users (team mates, iirc) reported 3 out of 4 hits at 150ft and 3-4 inch groupings at 40 meters. No definite data from filAKas Kalash users except that they were surprised at the range and accuracy they were getting from the short barreled Kalash.
ISSUES & CONCERNS
1. Several users of both replicas reported bb flight stability problems that were later traced to dirty/oily barrels and/or hopup buckings. One 035 user, however, is still trying to find the cause of bb flight instability in his unit and thinks it is due to muzzle brake/outer barrel misalignment.
A related issue is the misaligned front sight due to improper placement of the front sight block retaining screw in the 035 reported by a couple of players.
2. Some folding stock play due to loose-fitting stock hinges. Also some stock wobble due to a loose fit with the stock trunnion for both replicas.
3. Over-hinging in receiver cover for both replicas due mainly to the very narrow overlap between the rear sight detent tabs and top edges of the rear sight block.
The stiff spring activating the upper handguard locking bolt doesn’t help those players who are not used to the Krinkov. If you just unlock the receiver, it leaps up and pretty soon a rut is scratched on top of the receiver block that allows the receiver cover to fold beyond 90 degrees over the sight block. This often allows the locking bolt to escape and the spring to be lost.
There are also, AFAIK, two documented cases of receiver cover push tabs breakings. However, these may due to players being new to the upper handguard locking mechanism of the Krinkov.
4. The filAKas 035 test unit suffered a breakdown after running through 10 hicap mags in stock configuration and 10 hicap mags with a PDI 190 and an 11.1v lipoly battery.
When disassembled, three bbs were found blocking the inner barrel near the hop up chamber of the test unit so this was probably due to user fault rather than gear failure. Some will probably argue that the gears should have withstood bb jamming situation.
5. The Cyma accepts Boyi, JG, and CA mags including the HLK drum mag and the Boyi Quad mag. The Kalash can only use its own brand mag and JG mags without some shaving. This is mainly due to the difference in mag catch widths of the different mags.
In shaving the mag catch, one also has to follow the standard slope angle of the Boy mag catch. This allows easy mag release. Pic below shows the 035 hicap mag sandwiched between two Boyi hicap mags.
6. There are gaps between the Kalash receiver cover, the top of the rear sight block, and upper handguard rear retainer ring that allows the batt to peep through.
7. As mentioned before, the upper handguard of the Kalash is so loose in fit it can rotate around its horizontal axis by about 15 degrees left and right.
8. The mag lock spring on the 035 is weaker than that on the Kalash. A 035 user reported dropping his mag thrice because he accidentally nudged the mag relese lever while moving around.
Filipino players, especially those who have not experienced using shorty AKs, have been very happy with the functionality, playability and robustness of the Kalash and the 035. They have found that the maneuverability and pointability of both make target acquisition easy and the stock ergonomics suited to local physiques. The 035 feels a little bit more pointable because of its metal outer barrel while the metal receiver of the Kalash biases the weight a little bit more into the palm of the hand.
Here’s a summary of what we've looked at:
Material: point goes to Kalash for its wood handguards and metal receiver although its finish needs improving to bring out the beauty and strenght of the materials; consolation to the 035 for its metal outer barrel
Build quality: point goes to the 035 for its generally very good build; pat on the back to Kalash for its RS features.
BIG demerit for Kalash for sloppy tolerances. One player experienced his barrel pin slipping out while his unit rested on the bed. Could be an isolated case but it should not happen at all -- especially since that pin is the main attaching point between the fore end and the receiver.
Stock fps: slight edge to Kalash for its 390-400 fps versus the 035's 370 fps.
Accuracy: Kalash has good groupings but the 035 has better groupings.
Functionality and Playability: slight edge to the 035, IMO; another pat on the back to Boyi for including a stock battery that gives significantly better ROF than the Cyma stock batt. Especially when used in the 035.
Overall, then, the 035 and the Kalash come out almost even with the Kalash topping the looks department and the 035 having a little bit of an edge in playability due to its longer inner barrel, metal outer barrel, and more structurally rigid feel.
Many players will argue this conclusion and that is expected. The majority of airsofters, as is usual, get and play their preferred weapons – no matter what other players say.
The debate about which clone Krinkov should get hotter when the JG Krink is released, although by that time it may well be known as the Vector. Such a pity that Cyma did let go of the opportunity to brand the 035 by its deserved label -- THE ACM KRINKOV.