Review by Andy
December 2nd, 2010
For a semi-serious player looking for a backup to my backup weapon, the Dboys RK-12 seemed an attractive choice. The price was right (typical retail is around $155), and I’d seen Dboys AKs in action; I’ve yet to see one break or even need to be taken apart. While I wasn’t crazy about the black polymer furniture, it is an accurate facsimile of the SLR-105 platform being used by the Russian Federation today. By accounts I’ve read, however, these rifles have been recently replaced by the even more shadowy AK-200 series, about which people seem to be saying very little.
Initial Impressions (4/5)
This gun arrived in the smallest AEG box I’ve ever seen:A feat achievable thanks to the short barrel and folding full stock. The accessories included were forgettable with two exceptions: a NiMH battery that seems to be of decent quality, and a pretty darn nice sling:
Cosmetic Appearance (3/5)
The body of the gun is very nice overall. The folding buttstock is very well made, and very solid, perhaps the equal of my real steel folder.The receiver is a sort of powder coated steel, it appears, and is pretty good quality. It could almost pass for a real AK receiver, but not quite. While decent, it is not the equal of the CYMA receivers currently being produced, in my opinion. The fold-up receiver cover is a little flimsy for my taste, the first weakness I noticed.
The RK-12 includes a relatively new innovation in airsoft replicas, an included sound amplifying flashhider:The plastic adjustment ring is, naturally, blaze orange, and I immediately began plotting its color change. As I considered different methods for removal, I discovered the second, and by far most alarming flaw of the RK-12: the barrel will flex when twisted!
I could scarcely believe the amount of flex in the front assembly, especially in the handguards. They weren’t merely loose, they are made of such a soft plastic, and so poorly anchored, that twisting them will twist the entire front assembly, barrel, sight and all. This is a drastic quality issue that I’ve never seen in any other AK replica at any price.
Next, I noticed that windage adjustment on the front sight was so loose, the front sight peg moved freely back and forth between the front aperture. It’s one thing not to get real-steel quality sights — I mean, we don’t use them anyway, but this was a bit ridiculous. There are some pretty obvious corners being cut with some of the metal parts, most of which seem to be in the front assembly.
It’s very hard to rate this gun’s cosmetic appearance. In some areas, it is exceptional, the best folding stock I’ve ever seen for instance. In others, it’s pretty marginal. Assuming I can devise some easy fixes, I’m comfortable giving it three out of five.
After charging the battery for a few hours (which got it nice and warm, I might add), it was time to see if this baby had it where it counts, because the hit or miss aesthetics hadn’t exactly blown me away. I noticed right away that the mag catch/release lever sits awfully high, and I could barely jam my Betamag midcap into the magwell. The lever wouldn’t snap locked. This sort of thing happens, but it is still annoying. The included factory hicap fit just fine.
I have seen better selector levers on AKs. It seemed a bit soft, without the definitive clicks between semi and full auto that I prefer. But the lever is workable and after setting it to full auto, I fired a few bursts into the crawlspace in my basement. Even from the shooter’s perspective, the gun is loud, as one would expect with an amplifier. The gearbox seems smooth and powerful. The rate of fire wasn’t hellacious with the included 8.4v battery, but it seemed about right to me. Even though my Beta mag wasn’t locked securely in place, it fed the gun flawlessly on full and semi auto.
I put this gun to the most grueling field test ever devised — I gave it to my tween quasi-stepson, airsofting for his second time, and told him to go nuts. Up and down the fields at Dragonman’s, the gun performed flawlessly for over five hours. I noticed the distinctive bark produced by the amplifier, which definitely kicked up the volume considerably. About 1500 rounds went through this baby on Day 1, and no problems. The 1500 mAh battery I had hooked up for him lasted all day without a hint of quitting. After the game, the “Dragonchrono” clocked it at 350 fps with .20g bbs. Perfect out of the box performance, if you ask me.
Overall Rating (4/5)
This appears to be a pretty dang good clone straight out of the box. Dboys stands alone as a Chinese manufacturer that is respectful of standard field fps limits, and by extension the skin and teeth of the residents of their most important trade partner. As far as I’m concerned, gearboxes shooting much over 400 fps are just waiting to blow apart, and not having to open it up to make it field legal is a major plus.
My only complaints about this gun are the twisty front barrel, cheapy front handguards, and front sight. The barrel may be unique to my replica, and not a widespread problem, hard to say. I can’t imagine any of these issues will be too difficult to fix, but still they are annoying.
Still, this gun’s positives greatly outweigh its negatives, and it deserves a 4/5 rating. It appears to be a durable, excellent performing clone and is not a bad looking bb slinger. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up, either as a good beginner gun needing no work out of the box, or a no-muss, no-fuss backup or CQB weapon.