Before we get started... We'd just like to say we're glad to be back! Certain life-altering world crisis events forced us into hiding for all of 2020, but we're back, better than ever, and can't wait to share more awesome Airsoft products with you! Make sure you're following on social media to stay up to date on everything new coming your way in 2021!
Every now and then, something truly unique enters the airsoft sphere. In a see of bland M4 rifles, derivative AK’s and the odd HK replica, G&G has made a name for themselves putting out weird, unique, or otherwise ignored replicas. Today, we’re going to take a dive into one of those replicas with the G&G PRK9L, and see if it’s a must buy for your collection!
What is it?
The G&G PRK9L is a unique take on the ergonomics of the AK platform, with the magazine of an SMG, but all of the barrel length and accessory space you want in a carbine sized platform. Its closest real world comparison would be the PP19-a1 Vityaz, however, the Vityaz is generally a smaller rifle, designed for intense CQB, and while G&G does have a variant of the PRK9 to cater to those people, the PRK9L fills a totally different niche.
This rifle was designed to clearly give the firepower of a traditional AK carbine, but utilize the smaller footprint of the SMG style magazine. Since we are all just LARPers in the woods wearing camo and playing with toy guns, we aren’t limited by real world constraints like “caliber” or “ballistics” in any way. Our guns all shoot the same type of ammunition, regardless of what they are designed to replicate. This leads to a few unique features.
Right off the bat, you are struck with a weird almost alien aesthetic choice to utilize a very skinny magazine on a very large rifle. This produces a functional benefit however, of being able to carry significantly more magazines for reloads in less space than you could with the traditionally bulky AK style banana magazines. The magazine is not without its flaws however, as reloading this thing takes some practice. I found that during testing, you had to swing the magazine much further forward than felt natural, or else the magazine wouldn’t seat. If you pick one of these up, it’ll become second nature quickly, and won’t be a problem after a little use.
The PRK9L also unabashedly covers itself in accessory space. You’ll find three different sections of Picatinny rail along the top of the rifle, as well as MLOK slights on the left, right, and underside of the hand guard. You’ll find picatinny on the dust cover, and the top of the handguard both infront of and behind the mock gas tube, where the battery is located. The stepped down section of picatinny rail would be an excellent location for a low profile or offset light, keeping the rifle sleek and maneuverable with added functionality. The MLOK slots provide all of the usual customization solutions, and would be ideal for any players making use of grips or more traditional accessories, just make sure you leave room to swing that magazine in for a reload.
It’s not all sunshine though. The pistol grip on the PRK9L leaves a lot to be desired. It’s very aesthetically pleasing, but it comes at the cost of the ergonomics and feel. A quality pistol grip is a must have on a high end airsoft gun. It’s the part your hand touches first, and has the most direct contact with. For this pistol grip to feel as cheap, bloated and obviously toy-quality as it does really undermines a lot of the cooler design elements present on the rifle.
The rear of the rifle features a folding stock to round out the package. It was very stable and locked into place maybe a little too tightly. The stock was certainly a little tougher to disengage than others I’ve used, and while an adult should have no issues operating it as needed, younger players (or those of you equipped with the “noodle arms” perk) may struggle.
We’ve covered the outside of the rifle, but what makes this thing tick on the interior? The PRK9L is equipped with all of the luxury features found on most G&G rifles these days. That means you will get an exquisitely crafted gearbox, a built in mosfet, and a programmable trigger, giving you the option to change your full auto position into a three round burst option.
G&G has really stepped up the quality of what were already fantastic airsoft guns in recent years, and the gun doesn’t disappoint when it comes to shooting. It comes pre-equipped with a dean’s plug if you so choose (the best plug) giving you some better options for safer, higher performance batteries. Rate of fire is right where you expect a G&G to be as well, not too slow, not hilariously fast either. Accuracy landed right where I wanted it to be at 200 feet. I had no problem landing hits on torso-sized targets, my gold standard for stock gun accuracy.
Surprisingly, the PRK9L was astonishingly flat shooting. Perhaps it was just my unit, but it was noticeably superior to many of the stock AEG’s we’ve tested on this channel. It definitely had accuracy in line with the likes of the VFC 416 we’ve reviewed in the past.
As far as velocity is concerned, this PRK9L we received for testing clocked in at a very useful 375 FPS, measured with a .20g BB. This puts the rifle firmly in the “outdoor” camp, but like most G&G rifles these days, it’s very easy to modify the spring to lower it for indoor play. Despite being the longer variant, with the stock folded, you can definitely make this gun work in CQB situations if you need to.
Should you buy it?
Now, the pro’s and cons of this rifle are pretty straight forward. The rifle shoots like a dream. The PRK9L has a unique aesthetic and is comfortable to hold (for the most part). It’s very well built and feels like it would have no problem taking a beating on the field.
On the flip side, the magazine loading process is kind of a pain. The magazines are proprietary, and the pistol grip’s “ergonomics” leave a little to be desired if you have bear paws for hands. It’s usable, but I would have picked something akin to the US Palm SAW style grips myself.
Unless you have a massive aversion to either proprietary magazines, or expensive guns (this rifle clocks in at $410 on Airsoft GI), then I’d say this is one to consider. I’m not a huge AK fan (though many of you know, I loved the LCT AK12, despite it's lofty price tag at the time... and that's gotten better) and even I’m considering adding one of these to my personal collection. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if it strikes your fancy, it’s definitely got the performance to back up its very interesting style.
You can pick up your very own HERE from our friends at Airsoft GI.