Saturday, September 5, 2009

ARES FNC Shorty Review

So, after all the waiting and teeth gnashing, it's finally here. The one you have been waiting for, the one, the only. the FNC Shorty by ARES.
Let's jump right in. I did not do a picture of the un-boxing because I could not wait to open the box. Besides, it was a boring cardboard colored box.
There will be no pictures of the manual, and that is because, there is no manual with the gun! That's right, no huge pullout telling you not to shoot at living things either, you need to go online, to the Ares website to download your manual.
The gun ships with a cleaning rod, 130rd midcap mag, metal flash hider and the gun itself. Thats what you get
Time for some stats, 8.5lbs, loaded. This is one heavy aeg. This is because the only thing not metal on this beauty is the forend and the grip.
All the rest is black painted metal. Length with the stock deployed is 35", 26" folded. Selector switch has 4 postions, safe, semi, 3 rd burst and full auto.
You will also notice the winter trigger guard, for glove usage. Also notice that there are no trademarks at all, none, which means that there are none that had to be defaced, I guess, might be a good thing.
The folding stock is solid, so solid that you need a dog team to help you pull it down the 1st time you fold it. It has gotten a little easier as I have done it a few times, but I doubt it will ever be a smooth folding stock
One point is when the stock is folded, it folds to the left of the receiver, you can not get to the mag release. Because this is a rifle, you should never shoot it with the stock folded anyway, it just makes it a pain to remove the mag.
The AEG is shipped with a red plastic flash hider, of course it was immediately replaced with the black steel hider that came with it, 14mm ccw threads. any 14mm ccw suppressor should work.It also has the "real steel" flip up grenade front sight, serves no purpose in airsoft, but it looks cool.
The fore end is a fairly light black plastic, under it is where you mini battery lives.
To remove you have to pull back on the delta style ring at the front of the receiver. It is tough, I broke a nail doing it the first time!
It seems to be getting easier with usage. The plastic is very thin, I could see this part breaking along the seam with use. I will keep a watch on it and report back.

The bolt pulls back to expose the hop up, just like most other aeg's now. The FNC uses m-16 mags, a huge plus as they are cheap and easy to find
I did find an issue with the G&P mags I have, for some reason they would not work in the rifle at all. I tried other mags I had, TM, Star and some mag brand and they all worked fine.
Not sure why the G&P did not work, but I can live with it.

Now to shooting. I first put three mags thru it to settle everything in, then cleaned the barrel and shot though the crono, to say I was disappointed is an understatement.
Average FPS on three 6 rd tests came in at a paltry 285 fps. Shooting for range saw the .25g bb's dropping at a measured 80 foot mark.Not very impressive.
What was impressive was a 6 shot group inside of a two inch circle at 50 foot. that I liked.
Another issue that came up was the novel three rd burst feature.Firing in this mode got you between two to three bursts before the gun would lock up and not fire at all.
Although it was easy to reset, you have to use a teeny tinny allen wrench and push it into a small hole under the receiver behind the pistol grip, it was still a pain in the ass.
This prompted a call to ARES USA customer service. Now it was time to be amazed. The phone was answered on the third ring by a person who spoke English, the Kings English it was, but still I could understand every word.
The issue with the low FPS's was dealt with quickly, I had received a gun that was meant for Japan, with their low FPS restrictions. Popping in a 120 should bring it right up to the 380 fps range, just what I am looking for.
The ARES rep explained on the phone how easy it was to change the spring, all you do is remove the stock and turn a bolt, the spring sprogs right out the back, don't even have to touch the gearbox. That I like.
The three rd burst problem is another plate of fish altogether, one that he had to contact the factory about. I will let you know when I hear back on that fix.
As it's now two am and the flying monkeys here at the compound have still not been fed, it's time to sum it up

Looks 10/10

Functionality  5/10--- This should go way up with the new spring and burst fix

Customer service 12/10--- best so far in the airsoft market.

Should you buy it-no, I want the only one out there. Just kidding, yes, its a great gun so far.

It looks great on the wall, until you pull the mag or the bolt you cannot distinguish this from a real FNC.
It uses M-4 mags, so if you have an M-4, you already have mags for it.
It's not an M-4, that's the best part I think.
It was used very prominently in the movie Heat.

I was going to a game with it tomorrow, low power and all, so I could give my intrepid readers a report.
But, alas, the bathroom floor needs replaced this weekend, and the only rapid fire I will hear Saturday is a sawzall. Like the title of the blog says, no airsoft for old men.  has them listed at 310.00 out of stock has them for 289.00  In stock?

www.xcalibertactical has them for 299.00 1 in stock today

These are the only companies I could find today that list them.

Next up, the KWA new model Mac-11, stay tuned.


  1. Nice review, quite funny, interesting about the spring change, I just got mine today and if the FPS is that low when I test it on site this Sunday I will amaze all by changing the spring on site.

  2. Thanks, I do like the gun, as I have a few others laying around I have not fielded it, but that is coming, after I go all 1800's with my KTW 1873 Winchester and my Single action Tanakas at the next game.