The Echo 1 M4 was my first higher quality airsoft rifle. Before, I was always using pistols and spring guns. After deciding to get back into airsoft, I walked into the shop looking for a gun. The owner instantly asked for my price range, and i told him “whatever is cheapest but will allow me to compete with the pros”. Right away he pointed at a few different rifles. I picked up a G3, but the owner pointed at some M4′s. He sold me on the M4′s upgrade capabilities, and ease of replacing parts compared to other guns.
As soon as I returned home, I charged up my battery and placed it on the gun. I didn’t like the bulky external battery box, but I knew it could be replaced with a smaller box and better battery when I had more money. Though a lot of the gun is plastic, it felt sturdy and durable. The gun shot between 350 and 400 fps right out of the box, with good groupings.
The first time I brought it on the field, I performed great against the other players. The M4 could be used forever without any upgrades whatsoever. But the 8.4 volt stock battery wasn’t as responsive as I liked, so I replaced it with an 11.1 volt Lipo battery from King Arms. The battery came with a smaller, sleeker battery box. Next I replaced the 6.04mm inner barrel with a smaller 6.01mm. The shorter inner barrel allowed me to shorten the outer barrel by 4 inches. Soon I replaced the gearbox with reinforced internals. Thanks to Evike.com, They dialed in my gun to exactly 395fps.
Numerous external upgrades are available for the gun as well (especially because of the extensive rails on the gun). I purchased a Noveske flash hider/sound amplifier, a Leapers Red Dot sight, and a vertical hand grip.
You may ask why I didn’t buy a more expensive gun to start out with, since I put so much money in upgrades on the gun. When I first started airsoft, I didn’t have the money to buy an expensive gun. Even if I did, I had no idea if i would continue to play for a long time. That makes the Echo 1 M4 a perfect weapon to start with if you are on a budget, but want to keep up with the pros. After all my upgrades, the gun is 10 times better. It operates no different than a top quality gun, except for the cheaper plastic shell.
- Reasonably priced
- Keep up with the pros right out of the box
- Looks cool
- Endless upgrade options
- Plastic frame (don’t drop it!)
- Stock internals may not last as long as a better gun
- Bulky and ugly external battery box