Most of the airsoft world is inundated with M4 pattern rifles or AK style replicas. These airsoft guns are perfectly serviceable and there is nothing wrong with them on the virtue of their appearance alone, but what if you wanted something more unique?
Enter the GHK SG 553.
This exquisite piece of airsoft excellence stands a cut above the rest of the gas blowback rifles we've covered in the past or had the chance to play with in our years of airsofting. Let's take a glance through the SG553 and see what makes it special.
Electric rifles are all well and good, but there is something surreal about getting to sling plastic with actual felt recoil.
Sure, it's not even comparable to a real gun (most of the time) but it's definitely a game changer to have an immersive level of kinetic feedback while you shoot.
The recoil on the GHK SG553 is impressive, even for an airsoft gun. Where many airsoft guns tend to feel a bit sluggish, with a kind of delay to the sensation of shooting versus a firearm, the GHK is very immediate. Since the recoil system sits in the receiver and handguard, and not in a buffer tube like an AR, it gives a bit more of a sense of muzzle flip, though it's still significantly more controllable than a real firearm. It is every bit as hard as the LM4 from KWA that we reviewed last year.
Performance is great. After some time to adjust the hop up, we were able to consecutively hit a torso sized target at our 200 foot tester target. We chronographed our first few shots at 390 FPS, and by the end of the magazine, we had settled closer to 365-370 FPS each time. This is remarkably consistent for a gas rifle, and will help you maintain accuracy long term.
We fired several magazines through the rifle, even in cold outdoor air here in January in Texas, and didn't find the GHK struggling to keep up like some gas guns from brands like WE tech have a tendency to do. Overall performance was at our level of expectation.
Where the GHK SG553 sets itself apart from the pack of Gas Blowback Rifles available on the market is in it's external construction.
We'll be blunt.
This is one of the most high quality external builds we've ever handled.
The combination of metals and plastics that make up the composition of this rifle feel identical to the firearm it aims to replicate. This is important. 553 style rifles are very difficult to acquire in the United States, and border on cost-prohibitive for many shooters. This rifle needed to not only be a solid shooter, it needed to be a collectors piece capable of resting on the wall of devout collectors of unique rifles and their replicas. It withstands the test and passes with flying colors.
It exceeds as a practical shooting piece too.
The feel and click of the controls on the SG553 is robust. There is a tangible feeling you can't miss when you slide the selector switch into place, or press the trigger. The feeling of racking the charging handle on this rifle is second only to firing the real thing. It all feels so immersive and realistic, that were it not for the obvious lack of sound and flash, you could close your eyes and be fooled into thinking it was the real deal.
It's time for the hard left turn.
This rifle is very expensive at $530 on Airsoft GI. It is one of the most expensive products we have ever reviewed on this blog.
That makes it hard to recommend to anyone who wants to play with it.
We did get a rough time with the magazines, and actually cracked a feed lip on one in testing. It was easy enough to clean back up and fix, but it's still a point of concern. I'd also be worried about breaking such a sizeable investment.
If you're the kind of collector who just has to have some of the coolest gear in your collection, this might be worth it. If you're the absolute mad lad who cares not for the numbers in your bank account at the expense of running rare and unique rifles, this is worth it.
If you're an average every day airsofter like me? Nope. Hard pass.