WHICH AK IS BETTER THE LCT OR E&L?
The age old question of is that rifle worth my hard earned money and going to be the best. For many years the LCT Airsoft AK’s have been known for their most realistic design and solid construction but things have changed in the world and a new company called E&L Airsoft is about to take the top spot. The two rifles that we will compare will be the E&L AK A107 AK74MN versus the LCT AK74 MN NV since they are very close in looks and might help if you are stuck on which one to get. We got both of these rifles from Airsplat from their walk in store in Irwindale. Take note of the items both rifles come with. The LCT AK74 MN will come with the nice glossy manual and catalog and the hicap magazine. The catalog has an email for info if needed. The E&L A107 AK74MN will come with much more. You will find in the box a steel flash hider, oli kit, small blade fuse as an extra, midcap magazine and the manual with warranty card and QC check sheet from the factory and a second time from JAG Precision which handles all the warranty work that is location in California. Neither come with a battery or charger. These rifles are for experienced players and you will already have those or can buy at the store.
The orange tips are quite different as you can see. The E&L has the correct legal tip while the LCT has an orange option to pass customs import. The main difference between the two is that the LCT uses the 14mm CCW threading for just about any aftermarket flash hider and the E&L uses the larger 21mm CCW threading which is just for “AK” flash hiders and suppressors. The larger threading limits the options.
The bodies are just about the same when it comes down to the parts and options but the little things that most reviews miss will be covered. The LCT comes with a hicap and the E&L comes with a midcap. The rifles can use other mags being hicaps or midcaps or a drum most likely. For aftermarket mags you might have to cut, sand or mod the mags to make them fit.
The rear sights are very close but a minor change in painting but both still are good.
The bodies and markings. The LCT has a very clean and uniformed finish for the steel body. It does not seem to be painted. The E&L is a little more rustic with the blued finish. Check the video here on the blued finish. The selector markings are deeper on the E&L in case that matters to you.
The hand guards are just about the same. Slight difference on the gas tubes. I noticed the sight block on the LCT has a nice finish like it was sanded and made uniform before the final finish while the E&L is just smooth and finished. You can see this when you move in the light.
The gas tubes were tight to remove. The E&L comes off like a real AK and you notice the cut section. Notice the hole drilled in the outer barrel. Demilled most likely. The LCT tube was quite tight and I had to loosen the allen screw to help remove. The LCT comes with a heat shield which is a nice touch and the gas tube is not cut nor the outer barrel.
The outer barrels and the parts are made out of steel and very solid. The LCT uses allen grub screws with pins to hold in place while the E&L just uses the pins. Real AK’s do not use grub screws to secure. The E&L airsoft AK74 MN wins for realism.
The charging handles are very different, both made of steel. The LCT has the dust cover button captured in the gearbox like a TM while the E&L has the slide out option like a VFC. Both dust cover buttons have the options to secure the rod with a grub screw.
Want to take your rifle apart like a real one? Not this time. Both use a double grub screw system to lock the barrels in place. Fifteen minutes of quarter turns to get them loose. The trunion pins are not in use like you would find on VFC or Echo1. Both front pins on the sight block are pressed in and a simple punch and hammer was not able to remove.
The hop up units are standard AK types. The LCT is like the TM and the E&L is like the Prowin design and how it bolts into the gearbox front. You can use other hop up units if you like since they both have standard nozzles. The LCT is using a plastic unit and the E&L is using a metal unit.
The outer barrels and housing for the inner barrels are very important. The E&L is a snug fit and a smooth bore for the brass barrel to slid in with no wiggle room. The LCT is wider and then at the end it has a stabilizing collar. The larger ID of the LCT barrel gives wiggle room and decrease in accuracy. Look closely at the picture to see the gap.
Aggressive mag changes could be a problem later on for the LCT since the mag release is screwed in and the E&L is held in by rivets. Red loctite on the LCT and you would be fine.
Nice view of the inside body. Steel and more steel plating.
The bodies at reinforced and solid. Oh fancy. The scope mounts are both using rivets to secure which is perfect.
The gearboxes are standard V3 so the upgrade options are endless. You will notice the LCT is a solid 6mm bushing while the E&L uses a 7mm bushing and bearing combo. Much talk about bearing failure but shooting at 400 fps they will be fine. If you want to upgrade to a higher FPS you can switch to all solids but with the bearings you do have less friction and a slightly higher cycle rate. The LCT AK74 uses a standard non torque motor and the E&L uses a super torque motor for a better trigger response.
The hearts of the beasts. Check out the parts. The gears are greased just right on the LCT and shimmed decently. The E&L is very light grease and shimmed decently as well. Check out our other blog on the E&L AKM here to see more of the parts in detail.
The spring guides are key to that backdoor action and your tool. The LCT uses a plastic spring guide with a single washer but it offers that hole in the back for your tool when you pry the gearbox open. The E&L does not offer any hole but it is made out of steel with bearings. The shaft is a pressed on plastic part.
The cylinder in the LCT is very nice with the ribbed full cylinder, aluminum double Oring cylinder head and the plastic nozzle has an Oring as well. This is a a solid set and great air seal for the LCT and I do not see a need to buy new parts to replace. The E&L set is very basic. It has the full cylinder out of brass and stock silent cylinder head with a nozzle that does not have the Oring. The airseal is good but the LCT wins in this round for sure.
The pistons are now forming sides in the airsoft world on which is better and why. The traditional polycarb piston in the E&L is just like the G&P products and using a silent piston head. And the LCT uses a full steel rack and aluminum piston head. I cannot say which is best but you will have to decide that yourself. I am a fan of the E&L polycarb piston on how it is polycarb teeth at the pick up which give a bit more. The metal teeth can break and cause more damage to the gears. I would rather buy a new piston than a new piston and gearset.
The triggers are both great and assembled with care. Nice clean trigger response. Looking at the picture the LCT looks bent in too much but it was the wire being flexed while being held. both are good and angled just right.
The AoE for the rifles is very different. The E&L is ok and has the second tooth removed. You can add a sorbo pad if you like and call it a day. The LCT does not have the best setup for AoE. LCT AoE thoughts. To fix you will have to cut the second and trim the third tooth with a dremel and then add a sorbo pad. The E&L is already done and ready out of the box and the delayer or sector clip is added for lipo use which is a plus.
The gearbox shells have their own key traits. The LCT reminds me of a fancy TM and atention to detail and the shell is molded with their logo which is a nice touch. The E&L is a simple but workhorse shell. The shell has extra material on the front and radiused cylinder windows to keep the shell intact for many years.
If you are looking for the “best AK” you will have to factor in all the things shown in this blog review and what others have shown and not just hearsay. The LCT costs one hundred dollars more and has a better cylinder set but the E&L has a more realistic build. The rifles have the pros and cons and are really close.
I will say the E&L is the winner due to the lower cost and giving you a realistic built AK and you just get more with the purchase.
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