Reviews

RS Type 56: It’s as REAL as it gets…

Master Chief

During the period in world history when the West and the East were divided by the so-called “Cold War”, an assault rifle was born in China, the Type 56 7.62mm assault rifle. The Type 56 is a Chinese version of the Soviet AK 47. It can be said that the Type 56 belongs to the Soviet AK47 family as it was designed from small arms documents supplied by the former Soviet Union to China. Most of the advantages of the AK47 can be seen in the Type 56, especially its strong adaptability in very harsh conditions. Also, the Type 56 remains effective in any weather condition, be it rain or snow.

The Type 56 has been the standard issue of the Chinese military from the late 1950s until the 1980s. During the “Cold War”, the Type 56 was exported to other Third World countries loyal to China and was used alongside the AK47.

During the Vietnam War, especially before the mid-1960s, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam gained support from the Chinese, which meant that the American soldiers frequently encountered the Type 56. It was said that the Type 56 was discovered in enemy hands far more often than the Russian AK47. The use of the Type 56 was also seen during other conflicts such as the Sino-Vietnamese War in the 1970s, which saw the Type 56 armed Peoples Liberation Army versus the Type 56 armed Vietnamese army.

THE REAL SWORD TYPE 56

The RS Type 56 was a product of dedication and hard work from the people of RS. The dream was to create an accurate and stable Type 56 AEG with firm appearance and solid function as the real steel. Just like its real steel counterpart, the RS Type 56 AEG is a perfect combination of steel and wood giving the players the chance to experience the harmony between these two materials.

RS was able to fulfil its dream design for the Type 56. All materials and manufacturing techniques are very faithful to its real steel counterpart including the front sight, bayonet handle, hand-guard, rear sight and gun body. Its outer appearance, size, scale and the combination of most parts, according to RS, are identical to the real steel. In order to achieve this 100% original size configuration, RS had to develop a new gearbox to fit on the very limited space of the real steel dimensions. This, RS said, is a complete opposite to the traditional way of manufacturing an AEG, which is the “gearbox first, frame size second” method.

The following are the features of the RS Type 56, which makes it so much like the real steel Type 56 according to RS:

  • Steel one-piece barrel, fixed with frame by barrel extension, stable and reliable.
  • Steel front sight, made up of sight, sight base and sight slide base as real ones, adjustable up-down or left-right.
  • Sight base combined firmly with barrel by adopting interference fit technique, no wobble.
  • Other parts on the barrel, such as gas tube, are identical to military parts.
  • Same under folding bayonet mount as real steel, with dummy plastic spike bayonet.
  • Hand guard, stock and grips are all made of real steel factory standard wood. Steel parts, like frame, are made of real steel factory standard steel, and produced in the same method.
  • Steel hand guard pin in the rear sight base, same disassembly of upper hand guard as real steel after upward circumrotation.
  • The 260.3mm-stamped steel frame has same size with real steel. All rivets and welding points are in compliance with the real steel and the surface is processed with oxidation treatment. All these features bring great satisfaction to airsofters and collectors. Large batteries can be installed after opening receiver top.
  • The newly developed 7mm bearing metal gearbox is equipped with special high strength gear set, air seal nozzle and spring lease device, for easy care and maintenance.
  • Pulling steel charging handle backwards allows convenient adjustment to the Hop-up.
  • For the 150rds steel magazine, magazine box, front and rear catch and reinforced board applied the same spot-welding technique and material as real steel. Surface finish is also same and lacquer free. The more the steel magazine is used, the more charming it is.
  • Unique serial number, worthy of collection.


OUT OF THE BOX

The RS Type 56 is package in the same impressive way RS does with all its products. The box is a normal brown cardboard box with the picture of the rifle, its name and the usual specifications and warnings. But what caught my attention straight ways is a small sticker placed on the upper right hand side of the front of the box, which says “M120”. Surely, I said to myself, that this pertains to the spring installed, and if it is, I could just visualize the readings that we will get from the chrono when we test fire this baby. For now, we’ll save that for later.





Off went the box lid and as expected, a very well packaged Type 56 lies there wedged within carved-out soft foam. This style of packaging that so far I have only seen with RS has impressed me a lot especially knowing that the package will have to travel a great distance to reach the UK, you can almost be 100% sure that the product will get to in one piece and in pristine condition.

Together with the rifle, you will get all the usual high standard accessories from RS, such as a metal tube containing special tools needed to takedown the rifle, a special spanner-like tool used for removing the front sight, a plastic gun oil bottle, a loading rod, and a metal 130 round mid-cap AK type magazine.



The pack also contains the very useful user manual and a takedown poster, which gives you step-by-step procedure on how to take the rifle apart for repairs and maintenance purposes.

When I first held to gun, I was surprised that it felt light considering how heavy and solid it appears to be. Both the wood and metal parts are mode of real steel factory standards. And as RS claims, the rifle is externally 100% similar to the real Type 56.



EXTERNALS

Aside from the plastic spike bayonet, the external parts of this rifle are purely metal and wood. The RS Type 56 at first glance appears to have no flash hider, in fact, it does not. The tip of the outer barrel has a small adapter that can be screwed off and appears to just be a mere extension of the outer barrel rather than a flash hider.

The rifle package came with a screw adapter to enable a silencer to be attached.



The halo style front sight is adjustable similar to the same adjusting method as the real steel Type 56.


Underneath the front sight is the foldable bayonet holder and plastic bayonet assembly. The bayonet is folded and tucked in neatly beneath the lower wood hand guard. It can be extended by pulling the spring-loaded handle and rotating the entire assembly to make the bayonet point towards to front. The plastic bayonet is soft
enough to make it safe to use for those sneaky knife kills.



Midway along the one piece outer barrel is the steel gas block and gas tube, which is the same size as its real steel counterpart. The front sling point is also located as part of the gas block assembly.



The front wooden hand guard is made of machine-processed-formed wood and feels strong and very stable. This material is the same with the stock and handgrip.


Behind the top front handgrip is the rear sight assembly. The rear sight is very similar to the normal AK47 rear sight with clearly etched markings. On the right side of the rear sight base is the functioning hand guard pin, which allows the disassembly of the hand guards, again, similar to the real thing. At first glance, the steel metal receiver appears to be just the same as the normal AK47 AEG receiver but on closer inspection, it is noticeably thinner.



The metal charging handle and dust cover located on the right side of the receiver can be pulled back to reveal the hopup adjustment. The fire selector lever, as with the AK 47, slides downward to automatic and semi-automatic modes. Its only difference with the Russian AK47 is the markings. On the AK47 the markings are Russian symbols for full auto and semi auto mode while on the Type 56, the marking are “L” for the full auto mode and “D” for the semi auto mode.



The top receiver cover detaches the same way as the AK47 and is the same size as the real Type 56. I have read that the actual top cover of the real Type 56 can be swapped and fit in to the RS Type 56. Once the top cover is removed, this will reveal the battery connections and the fuse. A stick type battery is needed to fit in this space.



Underneath the receiver is the magazine well. The RS metal 130 round AK type magazine fits well without any wobbles. The trigger is firm and responds well.



The wooden pistol grip is comfortable to hold but when detached, I had a concern regarding its durability, as it had to be hollow enough inside to accommodate the motor and motor frame but still maintaining the accurate external diameters. The wooden stock is very beautifully made with the metal butt plate resting comfortably on the shoulder. One thing I noticed is that the stock feels short or small for my size. This could be due to the fact that although the Type 56 is designed against the AK47, the overall finish product was customized to fit the smaller body built of the Chinese people compared to the taller Russians. On the underside of the stock is the rear sling mount.



On closer inspection, I noticed a small, finger-sized hole on the middle of the steel butt plate. As I poked my finger through seems like another battery connection so I removed the two screws holding the plate and detached it. To my  surprise, there was another battery compartment on the rear. To create a connection, RS cleverly placed a male end of the battery connector with a wire connecting both ends. Sadly, it is not possible to install two batteries at the same time and switch between both when one has drained out. The stock compartment is also very tight and I was not even able to fit a mini 8.4v battery.


INTERNALS

Takedown to access the gearbox is made easy by the step-by-step takedown guide poster that came with the user manual. But it still entails the disassembly of the entire front end to create enough space to pull the gearbox out.

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The gearbox is RS’ original and special T2 Gearbox, which, as RS claims, is designed specifically to fit into the Type 56 frame to maintain the 100% real steel external dimensions. The RS T2 Gearbox looks very similar to the ordinary AK Version 3 gearbox with the motor attached to the frame with frame housing. The wiring is very well made. The motor connections are soldered for durability. Even the connection that creates the two battery ports is also well made. The gearbox shell is stamped with the RS trademark on the right side. The gearbox uses 7mm ball bearings, which relieves stress on the motor and gears when pulling the M120 spring the RS installed on this rifle. Splitting the gearbox is simple and the spring does not shoot out of the shell when exposed.

All the gears have the RS trademark stamped and shimming is very good. The anti reversal latch also stays in place when the gears are removed making an easy and simple re-assembly procedure. The sector gear has a pre-installed sector chip, which helps in loading the BBs within the hop-up chamber and avoids misfires. The wires connected to the trigger are also soldered.



The short type motor is RS made and is classified as “high torque”, which gives it the power needed to pull a more rigid spring. The spring as identified on the box lid is an M120 (spring shown in comparison with an M140). The lubrication on the gears is just right and allows smooth movement of the internals. The piston and the spring guide are made of very durable plastic with the inner two teeth of the piston made of metal.





TEST FIRE

With the RS parcel getting stuck in UK Customs for more that a week, I was not able to take the RS Type 56 out in the field for skirmish testing. Handling it around the house gave me the impression that this rifle would be easy to use in the field as it is not as heavy as other AK AEGs that I have handled before.

Installing a mini 8.4v battery, it is amazing how good the ROF is despite the M120 spring. This would be due to the highquality RS high-torque motor and ball bearings. Thanks to the M120 spring the rifle fired an averaged of 435 to 440 fps out of 5 shots. This means that it cannot be used here in the UK but will definitely be perfect for skirmishing in countries where they allow a higher muzzle velocity such as the Philippines.

The 10-meter shooting distance was very good as well with very tight grouping and straight trajectory with the hop-up open. Both front and rear sights align perfectly.

CONCLUSION

Pros:

  • 100% accurate similarity with the real steel Type 56
  • Light weight. Weighing at around 3.5 kg without the magazine
  • Comes with metal mid-cap magazine
  • Real steel standard real wood furniture
  • Pre-upgraded internals with M120 spring
  • Choice between two battery ports
  • Easy and simple takedown procedure


Cons:

  • At the moment, I can’t think of any



As a non-AK fan, this RS Type 56 has swooped me off my feet. The quality of the craftsmanship shows the dedication and love that RS placed to create this very beautiful AEG. I don’t care if you like AK looking rifles or not but this AEG is a must to add either to your replica collection or to your airsoft arsenal.

True worth for the money you pay for I give this AEG my first 10 out of 10 score.

References:
www.realsword.com.hk
www.wikipedia.com

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