THE BEST BUDGET AIRSOFT M4? ECHO1 GENESIS VS BRAVO M4 RIS
Getting into the fun and costly game of airsoft with your friends can be stressful since you don’t know what to buy or if you do you may not know if it is really worth it. Your hard earned money needs to go into the best rifle you can get and that will last. The term airsoft budget rifle is a broad term and most stores tell you this or that but they don’t know why the rifle is good unless it has good margins. Lets compare two rifles that fit into this budget category. There has been a lot of people talking about the Bravo M4 RIS and the new Echo1 Genesis M4 so we decided to compare them. We were able to get the review rifles from JAG Precision.
The top box contains the Echo1 Genesis M4 and in the box you will get a 300 round hicap, wall charger, 9.6v 1000mah numchuck battery, jamming rod and 30 day warranty card. This rifle retails for around $135 on the Echo1 Parts shop.
The bottom box contains the Bravo M4 RIS in Tan color and the following items: 300 round hicap mag, wall charger, 8.4v 1200 mah numchuck battery, vertical grip, 1.5 allen tool, jamming rod and some questionable bbs. You can find this rifle for around $100 on the Evike website. So
Lets take a look at the rifles with the furniture removed. Standard looking M4 rifles here. You are able to attach optics to the provided top rail.
The front of the rifles have the legal orange plastic tip. The Bravo has the standard A2 like many others while the Echo1 Genesis has a plastic flash hider like the MK1 so you can attach the Echo1 MK1 mock suppressor over the end. Cool feature but the mock suppressor is sold separate.
The front section of the rifle which is the barrel and parts are important when it comes into using the rifle and keeping it later on and upgrading. The Genesis M4 uses a metal outer barrel that is a two piece like a VFC or MadBull with a set screw on the top and bottom. Just like a VFC you have to make sure these are tight once it a while with general maintenance. The Bravo M4 uses a plastic outer barrel that is a three piece set. Both barrel assemblies use a fake gas tube to add some rigidity to the area. The Genesis M4 does use a plastic hang guard cap while the Bravo uses a metal cap. Back yard can carnage the Bravo will be fine but for long term playing the Genesis will be a little better. With both rifles you can buy aftermarket parts to upgrade if you like.
Both rifles are able to use a VFC M4A1 hand guard. This shows they are the same dimension as a VFC in this regards and they use the newer delta ring which mimics the real rifles and not the older Tokyo Marui style.
Both rifles use a plastic buffer tubes which is not terribly bad but might need to be upgraded with a MadBull buffer tube later on. They use a standard plate so you can swap that out with a sling plate if you like. Many people say the rifle will break if you drop it. Buy a sling or don’t drop the rifle… We covered the Full Metal Guns in our WTF video and how all guns can break. If the buffer tubes you will find the wires and no fuse options. The Genesis has a nice wire section and then plugs into the gearbox wires. The washers used by both the Genesis and Bravo to secure the buffer tube to the receiver are made of plastic. Do not over tighten and you should be fine.
The Genesis M4 was able to fit a real Magpul stock with no wiggle. The Bravo rifle was able to fit as well but too tight for comfort when using force to position on the plastic tube.
The removable carry handle of the Genesis M4 uses the small nut and screw for a cheap look while the Bravo M4 uses the more standard secured nut setup. Both are adjustable but wanted to show this.
The motor grips and base plates are a standard design and can be changed if needed. Both grips are made or plastic like many others but the base plates are both plastic. The Bravo base plate uses a 1.5mm screw for the motor height adjustment and the Genesis M4 uses a 2mm screw and has heat sink or vents. Heat sinks on plastic wont really work but you get air into your motor to cool it. The Genesis M4 has a better setup since the smaller 1.5mm screw in plastic threading and heat will back out. The 2mm option will not have that issue. Both motors are ok and nothing fancy, they work, lets move on.
The uppers are like a regular metal body but plastic. The Bravo M4 has more material for the joining of the upper and lower. Both bodies firm and wiggle free which is pretty good for being plastic bodies. The body pins are using a screw and pin setup which is better than the push pin that can fall out.
With the uppers removed the gearboxes are able to be inspected and the Genesis M4 looks shiny with the chrome cylinder while the Bravo M4 has a brass cylinder. The cylinder appearance does not mean that much for the performance but it looks nice. The most important feature is that the Genesis M4 gearbox is overly re inforced with extra material along the cylinder window on the top and bottom. There is no radius but with all this extra material inside and out that is not needed.
Here are the lowers of the rifles. Just about the same but you will notice the Genesis M4 uses a metal selector(grey in color) while the Bravo is plastic. This saves you money if you were going to buy a G&P selector.
The one piece hop up units are plastic. You can replace with another if you like. The Bravo M4 hop up unit does have play in the rifle when it assembled. Check out a similar video of ours here. D-Boy MK18. With some spacers you can stabilize the hop up unit. The Genesis unit is rock solid.
The Echo1 Genesis M4 has the MadBull Airsoft hop up bucking already installed which boosts the fps and gives you better accuracy as well. The traditional brass collar has been replaced with a plastic ring that wedges into the hop up unit and locks it in place so the barrel and hop up unit do not wiggle.
Looking at the selector plates and outside of the gearboxes you will see the Genesis uses the selector plate with the electrical plate that is the older style and the Bravo does not and it more like a VFC. Both of these options are ok but take this in account if you buy a new wire harness. The Genesis also has a small port to pull the anti-reversal latch as well which is a nice feature when working on the gearbox.
Opening up the gearboxes you will find some standard parts and grease! Lets compare some of the key parts that will hopefully help you decide which rifle you will get.
The springs are shorter than the aftermarket springs you will buy. The Bravo is very short. The Bravo spring gives you around 390 fps and the Genesis gives you a little over 400 fps.
The spring guides are bearing which is an upgrade. The Genesis is using a steel shaft and the Bravo uses a plastic shaft. Both are good but the winning part will be the Genesis one due to the fact the V3 spring guide uses wider tabs that wont break years later. Minor win but not a deal breaking.
The gears are made out of steel and shimmed and extra greased. The Genesis gears were shimmed a tiny bit better and had less wear. The Bravo gears have a larger delayer for feeding and higher rof. Tie on what wins.
The 8mm steel ball bearings in the Genesis M4 are great. Packed with grease but able to spin great. The Bravo uses a basic 7mm roller bearing. Both reduce friction and increase ROF but the Genesis M4 wins this round.
The pistons both have a single steel tooth, ported piston head. the Bravo does have the second tooth removed and cut outs on the guide rails to reduce friction. The Bravo M4 piston wins this round. Both rifles have decent AoE but can be improved. Shooting three hicaps before testing I did not see any odd wear or damage.
Both tappet plates are a flexible material from a poly carb and being V2 you can use others if you like. There a tie on the winner on which is better. The Genesis has a cut out section in the front. This cut out is for the thicker gearbox shell similar to the Modify Torus shell.
Here is the front of the gearbox of the Bravo M4. Standard M4 or V2 tappet plate can be used. The gearbox is decent but will break with time.
The Echo1 Genesis M4 gearbox is truly a tank, not like a Sherman but a Tiger when it comes to the strength and abuse the front will be able to take. Look closely to see how the tappet plate is cut to fit into the gearbox that has extra material on the inside and remember the outside reinforcement? This gearbox is unbelievable and it is in a ‘budget gun’ but it is better than most ‘professional’ rifles. The Genesis M4 is great for just the gearbox and build options you can do with it.
All that reading and now the power rating that usually makes the gun cool or good.
The Bravo M4 has a nice rate of fire (ROF) with the lipo and is under the 400 fps and ready for most fields. The very short spring gives you the lower fps. If you install a M120 you would get well over 400 fps.
The Genesis M4 has a higher fps and a little slower ROF and that is due to the longer spring. The over 400 fps might be an issue when you have the new rifle and go play if they have the same chrono but the spring will settle and the fps will drop a little and should be right at 400 fps which is good.
In conclusion of which is better.
It depends on what you are going to be doing with the gun and in your airsoft campaign. If you are going to buy a gun to play once or twice and not upgrade or modify it then the Bravo M4 RIS will be what you want. The RIS is ok but plastic.
If you want to get into airsoft and play many times during the season and upgrade later on then the Genesis M4 will be what you want to get. Yes it costs a little more but get that difference in price in the parts installed and ready for you. The MadBull bucking, 8mm steel bearings and the super gearbox that can be upgraded with the crazy parts you want to use.
Thanks for reading and hope you know which one suits you best.
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