I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the first units to arrive in the UK of the new ARES Amoeba AM-013DE.
This is another very exclusive and unique gun brought from the real steel world, and probably as many of you might know made quite an appearance in Call of Duty Ghosts.
The original Honey Badger was made by AAC or Advance Armament Corporation, made its first public appearance back in 2012 and was initially created by request of the special operations community who was looking for a familiar gun system to effectively replace guns such as the Heckler&Koch MP5 and other similar PDW’s. This new system had to be lightweight, prepared for sub sonic round for suppressed sound and flash, reliable .30 caliber compatible, low recoil and have the ability to penetrate barriers with a high mass projectile. Hence the Honey Badger was born!
ARES Airsoft took the real Steel gun and created an Airsoft version which I have had the pleasure to test at the Sandpit in Kent where there is a mix of an open quarry and urban/industrial scenarios.
This gun comes in the line of their previous Amoeba series and inherited many of the great features of these guns such as the electronic gearbox, and other features, but with an entirely new design.
So let’s see what it is like to use the Airsoft version of the AAC Honey Badger.
Design and build
In a word, unique.
AAC have pushed the boundaries of the M4 platform system a bit further with the Honey Badger, and most of its uniqueness and DNA found its way through to the Airsoft version thanks to ARES Airsoft.
Similarities with the real steel are amazing, starting with the huge integrated suppressor that makes its way well into the 11 inch metal handguard, the uniquely designed body, created to accommodate the collapsible stock, and the awesome looking extendible butt stock itself which are spot on.
This futuristic looking PDW with straight lines and dark earth colour is extremely compact and lightweight: featuring a hybrid nylon fiber and metal construction (in the Airsoft version of course), this gun achieves an unparalleled level of mobility when compared to the normal M4 platform.
Excellent to breach doors, negotiate tight corners and provide low profile while shooting over and around objects and cover it’s the perfect weapon for CQB and urban scenarios.
Weighing a mere 2400 grams without battery it feels like you are holding a pistol, and one can easily use this gun with just one hand, which is perfect if you are going to breach through a door and want to be ready to shoot as soon as that door swings open. Since the weight of the real steel version is so far unknown to me, and one of the premises when designing this gun was that it would be lightweight, I suppose that the Airsoft version was quite successful accomplishing this by having a full Nylon Fiber body, with a CNC aluminium handguard and the Nylon Fiber stock. Other parts of the gun such as the charging handle, the suppressor the dust cover, the top rail, the stock arms and trigger are also aluminium. Whilst the sights, tab stops and remaining rails are made out of Nylon Fiber.
Don’t worry though when you see Nylon Fiber mentioned, as this is one of the sturdiest and most well manufactured Nylon Fiber guns I’ve come across. It won’t break easily. In fact it might be harder to break than many metal guns I’ve seen around, and the flexibility of the Nylon Fiber helps to achieve a lightweight and durable gun.
The extendible stock as only two positions: closed and fully extended and although compact in size even when its fully extended, it’s quite interesting the fact that when holding he gun it feels like a full length M4, transmitting a sense of comfort and security in terms of accuracy that usually you don’t get in some PDW’s. You really have to hold it to understand what I mean! So if you are get around the Sandpit and see me, just ask to hold the gun and shoot it, so you can witness for yourself what I meant.
When fully collapsed this gun is ridiculously small and deadly agile too! This is a gun that makes you want to make blind shots over corners, shoot from the hip constantly in hallways and have a blast!
Other noteworthy details are the very nice and well-designed trigger guard which is part of the lower receiver and the very nice to hold pistol grip.
And finally the CNC 6063 handguard has two rails and two tab stops that can be positioned in one of the several mounting options that the handguard has to offer. But here is where I would have liked to have a full rail running throughout the top, just like the real steel version.
Finally a not so good point that has to do with the included sights: these are not adjustable and although very nice to look at, will not be very useful since you cannot adjust windage or elevation or even change the peep hole from the long range to the close range.
Features and performance
One of the most impressive things in this gun is really is the electronic firing control, in two words: snappy and crisp.
When it comes to firing, this gun is leagues ahead from most out of the box AEG’s as it has electronic control, which means it fires every time at the same trigger position.
In fact if you listen closely to the trigger without having a battery connected, you will listen to a small click which kind of remembers me of a mouse click. This is the trigger sweet spot and it makes firing this gun a breeze. And thanks to the electronic control of the gearbox allied to a high torque motor, it cycles so fast that shooting in single shot is so fast it becomes a pleasure to use it instead of full auto.
But when the situation demands, you can rock full auto and get around 15 rounds per second down the barrel to your opponents at 300 feet per second, which is great for CQB games.
However in case you need it, and at the Sandpit you do, the 6.03 inner barrel not only makes shooting accurate as it also helps in getting those bb’s as far as possible, almost reaching the range that other AEG’s with longer barrel have.
The stock only allows the use of a square lipo battery, usually 7.4v, but I was able to run successfully a 9.9v Lithium ferrite with some imagination too J
I also liked the hop-up unit that ARES used on this gun, since perhaps I’m just getting too tired of the same hop-up design/adjustment, the bigger wheel feels to me easier and faster to adjust and get to that point where you get the most range out of the gun.
Also, just like its predecessors, the Honey Badger gearbox is programmable using a Electronic Gearbox Programmer, allowing you to decide on whether to use single fire or three round burst and the type of battery you are going to use.
The included magazine is a 300 round high cap, which feeds quite well. It does have a nice and futuristic design but the feature I really liked is the integrated pull tab that makes it very easy to pull out of my pouch whenever I want to use it. More mags should come with this!
In terms of internals, apart from the High Torque engine included by ARES, the whole gearbox has a techy look to it, with a mosfet sitting next to the trigger and if you look closely at the trigger, you can see the reason why I was saying I was listening to a mouse click, since it has a switch similar to some computer electronics. This is why the trigger response is so good and snappy. Furthermore the silver wiring shows the concern to have better components that will last longer and provide higher performance. I also liked the type of spring used on the trigger which doesn’t get loose when disassembling and reassembling the gearbox, as well as the 8mm metal bushings.
Also you can see clearly that the concern with using quality components that will last longer, such as the full metal teeth piston, with very well machined gears.
Apart from this it’s a very nice built gearbox with quality components, but where I really think this gearbox has a huge advantage is the fact that it’s electronic, programmable and has a quick change spring.
This means you don’t even have to open your gearbox in order to swap your spring with a more powerful one. Just pop out the stock, unscrew the spring guide that doubles as a screw, and you have instant access to the spring. Then just swap it, and put it back together again in under 2 minutes. Just genius.
Finally I’ve found the perfect M4 system for CQB!
Ultimately it’s a one of a kind AEG that will put many PDW’s to shame, thanks to its design and technology, and I am certain it will make many consider this as their new PDW platform.
To me, the new ARES Amoeba conquered me by its looks and performance and makes me crave for more CQB and urban scenarios where I can enjoy using it.
For more info on this gun, you can visit the new Amoeba Airsoft website, where you will see that this gun is available in Dark Earth and Black and ARES are also preparing a whole range of accessories for this gun.
- Lightweight hybrid construction
- Compact and low profile
- Perfect for CQB
- Unique design
- Great performance and built quality
- Love the trigger response
- Quick change spring system
- Handguard could have an integrated rail just like the real steel version
This review is brought to you in cooperation with our good friend Nuno of Operator7. Thanks for the write-up mate!