Review:
RA-Tech WE AK PMC

ak47-coverAfter waiting unbearable 2 weeks to receive my ordered RA-Tech WE AK PMC, I finally can hold it in my hands and call it mine. It does quite a great impression and feels rugged and sturdy.

To be honest, an AK 47 in the “PMC” look is quite ugly – but that is just my personal opinion. None the less, I think WE did a pretty good job to get the PMC look right and showed courage to bring a “western” AK to the GBBR Market. Variation is always good.

This particular WE AK PMC model is a customized one by RA-Tech and officially called “RA-Tech Custom Works WE AK-PMC Level 1”. In optical terms there is no difference from the regular WE AK PMC.

The Main differnce are in the upgraded internals and are as follows:

  • RA WE AK steel CNC trigger
  • RA WE AK steel CNC hammer
  • RA WE AK steel CNC sear
  • RA WE AK steel CNC firing pin
  • RA WE AK steel CNC Valve Locker
  • RA NPAS Kit
  • RA WE AK steel CNC inner select lever
  • RA Precision inner barrel 6.01mm
  • RA Hop Up Rubber
The GBBR was in a (usual for Airsoft Guns) Cardboard Box in a plastic bag. With it came a Magazine and a “Speedloader” (more like a Slow loader – I have no clue what WE drank or smoked to come up with that idea of a “Speedloader”) Funny though – It came with an Instruction Manual! I don’t know if that is a problem of my local supplier or if it is in general – however here I got one and it has a intresting Cover. Also useful and intresting ist the explosion drawing on the last page – sadly everything is on chinese/taiwanese 🙁
         

The first thing I did after taking it out of the box and aiming a few time down the sight and charging (while grinning like a moron), was to dismount the “reload help” also known as “magwell”.

  

Unscrewing the 2 screws which were holding the magwell was quite a fight, since WE drizzled a drop of blue Locktite on each screw. After 2-3 minutes it was done and the AK  was free of that “dead weight”.

Another thing that I noticed while unscrewing the magwell was, that the Buffer Tube was loose. After screwing the flat-head socket head cap screw (ah…I love those long english technical terms) the tube was tight – for now. After shooting a few dry shots it got loose again. I have no Idea why WE didn’t drizzle another drop of Locktite here. Would’ve been definitley more useful then on the magwell screws…

However, the Buttstock over all is quite nice, since the cheek rest ist comfortable – until you mount a reddot and intend to use it. It is really low but for what it was intended –  for iron-sight aiming – it is perfect in its height. But this is just a small setback for me, since I already ordered a new buttstock – more  ALFA ANTITERROR style.

The Buttstock is M4/CAR15 like and has 6 positions – each 1 cm in difference to each other. Downside – if you want to mount another style Buttstock (realwood or underfolder, etc.), you will need to drill out the rivets holding the Buffer Tube.

  

WE did a good job in the little details, that I personally really like. The Buttstock has 2 seperate chambers for storing for e.g. battery’s, skittles or even the original AK47 cleaning kit. Also the buffer tube has a hidden and even with a O-ring sealed chamber (if waterproof, I can’t confirm for now, but I will soon check this matter an add it to the review). Both are only reachable if the Buttstock is taken off from the Buffer Tube.

Another lovely detail is the intergrated Swing Swivel QD (quick detach) for your Sling of your choice. Just press the button in the middle and take it off or switch it to the other side.

Love it and saves me the bucks for getting one!

What I really like are the cyrillic leters on the Fire-selector – (автоматический огонь) for Full-Auto (Automatic-Fire) and  (одиночный огонь) for Semi-Auto (Single-Fire) – just like the real deal. The Fire-selector itself is also “westernized” and has a “Bolt-Catch” or “Bolt-Lock” – you can charge the Bolt back and put the selector on safe and  lock it (see picture above) – so you can engange quicker in a possible “fire-fight scenario”. Switch it to to Full or Semi and you are ready to shoot – since the bolt automaticly feeds the first round. Quite cool, but quite useless.

The extra little handle on the fire selector is a great addition, because you can easily reach it with the tip of your index finger and even switch it from safe to semi and backwards.

  

My favorite part of this GBBR is the Full-Travel-Bolt. Full Travel in terms of that you can charge the bolt the full way back like you can on an real AK – total of 12cm!! Thanks to WE’s open-bolt system you have also the optical pleasure of shooting an real AK – not to mention the amazing blowback. The WE AK-series has an amazing kickback – it feels like shooting a real 9mm gas-operated Rifle.

On this picture you can see the easy accessible Hop-Up unit. Turning the serrated wheel to the right increases the Hop-up (bb’s shooting up) and turning it to the left does the contrary (bb’s shooting down). As mentioned before, this custom worked version from RA-Tech has already the RA-Tech Hop-Up Rubber implemented.

For me as a russian gear and weapon fetichist the debossed Star and the (same as on every other WE AK, even the shorter WE AK74UN) “ongoing” serial number is a straightforwarded slap to the face. But to stay impartial – it does not effect the GBBR’s function in any way – thankfully!

Since I live in germany and we need the “F” in a pentagon symbol on our “GBB’s and other compressed air guns” by law (to indicate to the public that this is a “Free weapon” – Free in terms of you can buy it at the age of 18 and it has max. muzzle energy of 7,5 Joule), I am quite happy that the importer did the “Law” markings decently.

The lower Receiver and the Top Cover are – again- just like the real deal made out of stamped steel. They look, feel and sound also like the same.

  

On the left picture you can see the Rear Sight and the Block Assembly. The Rear Sight can be modified from 100m-1000m – like you can on an real AK. The Block Assembly has strangely a rough surface – not to mention hat it is made out of an alloy casting o0 – well at least it is metal and not some polymer/plastic stuff.

The Gas-Tube lever works just like the real counterpart – push it up to be able to disassamble the Gas-Tube.

Lower and upper Handguard seem likely, but are made out of 2 different materials. Whereas the lower Handguard is made out of a (very durable) polymer (including the lower rails – excepting the side rails, those are steel), the upper Handguard is completely made out of an alloy casting (sadly the same goes for the bolt – maybe RA-Tech will deliver later a steel CNC one).

Front Sight and outer Barrel are also made out of an alloy casting – intrestingly the Muzzle, cleaning Rod, Front Sight Rivet and the Front Sight Bead are made out of Steel. Again – thankfully it is “metal” and not some chinese plastic.

The Muzzle can be unscrewn after pushing the safety pin in (on top) – If an real steel AK74 or other Muzzle can be attached without modification, I can’t say – for now – since I don’t have any lying around (I will check and add later to the review)

Cleaning Rod can also be detached and even used like a real one! Just fiddle some cloth on the lower opening and ready you are for some barrel cleaning – but Caution! Be gentle and try not to scratch the inner barrel! (could probably harm your precision). The Front Sight Bead can be unscrewn like on an real AK and painted or even exchange with colored or even glowing (tritium) aftermarket beads.

  

Another cool thing and beside the full-travel bolt and hard blowback the reason why I decided to buy this GBBR, is the way how to dissasemble this Rifle. I know, I know, I said it already a million times – but again – its just like the real deal!

  1. Press the holding button.
  2. Take Top Cover away.
  3. Take the recoil Spring out.
  4. Slide the Bolt with Piston to the back of the Rifle
  5. Take Bolt and Piston out.
  6. Done!

Of course you could disassemble the triggerunit and so on – but for cleaning purposes or maintenance this is perfect, since you can reach everything important from this initial position.

On the right picture you can see the difference of the Piston length from the WE AK PMC and the (the lower one) WE AK74UN.

Sadly the recoil/blowback does not really work like a gas-powered Rifle does in real life.

Here you can see really good the Trigger Unit and the “naked innards” of this beauty. As mentioned in the beginning – most parts (the importan ones) are made out of steel (not casted!)

  

The Magazine which is included is a AK47 7.62×39 stamped steel style magazin. There is no technical difference between the PMC Magazines and the AK74UN (5.45×39) – both fit in the WE AK PMC and vice versa. This gives the buyer the advantage to “decide” whether you want an 7.62×39 or an 5.45×39 “Poison Bullet” style AK. My personal decision is the latter one.

But there is a major difference between both Magazine types, which you will notice after a long period of using and abusing this GBBR. The AK74UN (5.45×39) Magazine are completel made out of plastic – even the hook lips and the nose (sorry, I have no idea what the correct english terms are) of the mag. You will significantly see that it wears off after time and soon or later you will have problems inserting the Magazines without any wobble or other difficulties. The 7.62×39 style Magazines have those important parts made out of Steel, like the rest of the Magazine. I don’t know why WE decided to save again on the wrong things (like the drizzle of Locktite for the Buffer tube – Oh well…)

To prevent this, I decided to buy some real steel Magazines and exchange the hull with the WE Magazines (after some modifications) – A Tutorial will shortly follow.

  

On the left you can see the Gas Valve and the 2 switches which are used to change the shooting state of the Magazine. If you want to dry fire (without any bb’s), put the top switch to the back (in direction to the Gas Valve) – if not, do the other way around and you will here a classical metal “click” when you are out of “bullets”.

On the right side you can see the Gas output and the feeding lips for the bb’s. Both Magazines types hold a maximum of 50 bb’s per Magazine. (For my Taste to much, since I am a MilSim type of player – but thats ok, since I can easily load only 30 bb’s)

 

To be Honest, I didn’t had the time to properly test the shooting ability, but using only Green Gas (Brand: UltraAir) and KingArms Platinum Series 0.25g bb’s, shooting at ~30m with a Temperature of 12-15 degree Celsius and high humidity (after Raining) and using only Iron Sights, the GBBR shoots without any Cooldown problems (around 100 shots rapidly) pretty good. I shot at a McDonalds Coffee cup with the Size of around 11cm x 6cm (upside down on a stick) and hit around 80% of the time while standing. But this is not enough to say whether its amazing, good or something. The time will tell how good it is and I will continously update the “longtime stresstest”

I tried one mag of Devils Blaster Diamond Grade Precision 0.40g bb’s in grey – and I can already tell that those are not compatible with the WE AK series. I got heavily feeding problems with the Magazine. They kept stucking in the mag and didn’t even reached the feeding lips.

 

Overall this is as real as it gets if you want an AK for your Airsoft pleasures.

The Ra-Tech custom worked version of the WE AK PMC costs around 498,- Euros – thanks to some discount it set me only back to 448,20 Euros – “only”. Don’t forget that this rifle is already tuned to the max! There is actually nothing else (except for cosmetic issues) you can add.

I am quite happy, and fell totally in love with it – even with those stupid, unnecessary failures from WE (saving on the wrong parts, markings, etc.) – time will tell how good it really is, since everything you were anticipated for makes you feel good and looks good.

Real Contractor somewehere in Afghanistan or Iraq with an EOTech Holographic Sight.

23.12.2012 – by Logisticz for Gruppa L

28 thoughts on “Review:
RA-Tech WE AK PMC

  1. hey there,

    Do you have a video of the pmc shooting? I want to see if theres any difference between this or the standard version. Also you say that the 47 mags are full metal (no plastic lips) where did you get extra 47 mags from? I can only find the mags for the 74u.

    cheers

  2. Great review. I would like to change the crane stock on mine as well, but I don’t know which stocks would be compatible. Could you recommend any?

    Also, you mentioned a tutorial on how to modify the AK74un magazines to have steel parts where necessary. Can you link that tutorial?

    Looking very forward to a response.

    • Hi!
      The AK47 PMC has a M4/M16 style buffer tube adapter, so pretty much any stock will fit. I can recommend some, but I don’t want to post the links public for legal reasons. Just write me a mail and I will send them to you (see Contact us)

      About the magazines: There are no tutorials yet. When I get my camera working again I will post one.

      • Thanks for the email regarding the stock. I am deeply appreciative!

        I’d really like to know how to convert my 74un plastic magazines to the metal-cased style that you were able to achieve. Please let me know if you ever post that tutorial.

        If you do not anticipate posting a video of this conversion, I would really appreciate it if you could email me the model and website that you purchased your real steel 74 mags from. That way, I can buy the right ones and have a go at it myself!

        Cheers! Hope to hear back from you 🙂

        • Oh, now I got what you are talking about. The steel mags are genuine WE mags!They offer the 74 style plastic mags and the 47 style steel mags.
          However both will fit in any of their AKs.

          I thought you were talking about upgrading the ‘high stress’ parts on the 74 mags 🙂

  3. Hey buddy can you send me a link to a website that has all those RA parts? i live in canada and cant find a already custom ra we ak pmc just the regular we ak pmc so ima have to buy all that shit myself haha but w.e if its worth it and gonna make the gun preform better and last longer then i dont give a fuck ill buy it, why not right!?

    also have u seen anything or heard and good stuff about the we 416 the hk416 is my fav and i cant decide between the we ak pmc or the we 416 haha too tough tand theres not a lot of good tutorials telling you all your options for upgrades n shit, sorry if im bugging u im just really new to this and could use some guidance lol peace

  4. Still waiting for any guidance on changing the plastic 74un plastic hulls with real steel magazine hulls! A tutorial is highly anticipated!! Really hoping for one 🙂

  5. Hallo logisticz,

    ich hätte mehrere Fragen bezüglich der WE AK PMC:
    – Passen Realsteel parts? (wollte RS-Magpul-Teile verbauen, z.B. Magpul AK 47 Grip, Magpul CTR Stock, etc.)
    – Spiele mit dem Gedanken RS-Magpul AK-PMAGs für die WE-Magazine zu benutzen.

    Danke für deine Antworten!
    Diesel

  6. Hey i was wondering any malfunction yet?
    I was going to get this or the ghk Ak, and i was wondering if the full travel bolt was killing durability. Thanks

  7. Hello! Im really wondering if the short AK74un piston can be placed in the PMC and still funtion?

    I want to buy the recoil piston from Ra-Tech or Team GBB and install it in my PMC, but they have the same lenght as the 74UN piston.

    Awesome review by the way. Thanks. The follow up you did a couple of years later made me and a friend by a pair of Ra-Tech upgraded PMC.

    • Hi Lucas,
      Yes it works just fine. We upgraded the gaspiston on all of our PMCs with the RA-Tech one.
      It also adds a bit or reliability, since the addition mass eliminates most feeding problems.
      Are you from Sweden? I think I might still have a spare one here for 19€ if you are interested. (if I can actually find it…)

      • Guten Abend!
        Vielen dank for the very fast reply!
        Yes, I’m from Sweden 😉

        Thank you very much for the kind offer sir, thing is, i have already ordered two Team GBB Ultra Shock Kit for me and my friends PMC’s. But i haven’t paid for them yet, because just when i was about to, i remembered this fine review where you showed the two different length of the pistons. So i figured there might be a compatibility issue. Thank you so much for the awesomely good news!

        I was looking around American, Canadian, British and Swedish airsoft forums to see what different tweaks and upgrades i can do to a Ra-Tech LVL1 AK74 PMC.
        The different recoil increasing mechanisms that was out on the market for the WE AK was a must and i found the “Team GBB” to be especially interesting.
        http://www8.wgcshop.com/WGC_Shop/images/tgbb_weakusk_l.jpg

        Especially since we still wanted the full length blowback and the extra frontal force at the same time.
        The “Team GBB Ultra Shock Kit for WE AK GBB” package is prefect with both a recoil buffer steel piston -and- it’s small extra steel spring at the back.
        Compared to the “Ra-Tech Dynamic Spring System” for $39 and RA-Tech Recoil Buffer for $27.
        The Ra-Tech kit costs a total of $66.
        The Team GBB kit sets you up with both for $38.

        So i looked more closely and when i saw this review of the Team GBB Kit i just had to get it: “The recoil felt by the stock setup was good, but in semi would start to be inconsistent if the trigger was pulled too quickly and in auto would start off well and then change to an inconsistent cycle rate. But with this kit the recoil is extremely hard and crisp, the semi fire response is excellent and the auto fire is completely free of inconsistency. I highly recommend this”.

        I’m just gonna go ahead and pay them now.
        I have also ordered a real Wood front handguard for my PMC that im gonna weather harshly. Im on the lookout for a genuine “Vented Upper Handguard” as well, but i think i can make my own if i dont get my hands on any. Then im gonna craft an ergonomic wooden pistol grip myself. When the gun arrive i want to see if i can install a genuine underfold stock on it as well. If there is enough space at the back under the small recoil spring, this will happen (Im a craftsman on metalworking and woodworking).

        I’m also gonna weather the whole gun badly as hell so it looks like its gone thru an Apocalypse, haha.
        Im gonna upload the whole process on an English-speaking forum when im done.

        Thank you again for the 2 beautiful reviews of this gun. Especially the last one, two years later. It made me and a couple a guys buy them from… http://www.airsofttaiwan.com/shop/goods.php?id=1296 …now that there is a spring sale with free shipping and all.
        So thank you!
        Tschüss!
        Hej då!

        • Tack så mycket!
          The little back-plate with the spring form Team GBB is extremely useful, much better then the Ra-Tech Dynamic Spring System.
          I maybe should add this as an advice to the review.

  8. Great review, this made my mind up between WE and GHK and I now have the WE PMC 🙂 I was wondering how you removed the original gas piston to install the heavy recoil piston, as it appears to be screwed on with loctite.

    Thanks

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