Review - EMG Seekins Precision AR-15 SP223
Updated: May 8
History of Seekins Precision
Seekins Precision was founded in 2004 and was borne originally from a simple need to
manufacture quality scope rings. Over the past 16 years Seekins Precision has expanded to over ten major product lines including their own complete rifle sets. Home is in Lewiston, Idaho in a 25k ft facility. Seekins Precision prides itself on design, manufacturing and testing to provide extremely high quality equipment and rifles. They currently cater for US military, Law Enforcement, Firearms industry, hunting, shooting sports and outdoor recreation.
For more info - visit Seekins Precision website.
History of EMG
EMG sourced text;
The EMG vision was to manufacture products the world has never seen before; products they could put their name on. EMG (Evike Manufacturing Group) originated when Evike took 16 years of knowledge as the airsoft markets' lead retailer, their network of 300+ superior manufacturers, to work with inspiring top innovators in the firearms industry. That combined with the vision to invest into the Airsoft industry, an industry they believed in, EMG was born.
For more info - visit EMG on the Evike website.
History of G&G
Established in Taiwan in 1986, G&G has always made the highest quality Airsoft products. G&G continues to find new designs, better materials, and innovative systems to make our products stronger and more competitive. G&G focus on customer's needs and believe that a high-quality product is the best sales pitch. It is their continual goal that customers enjoy the best possible experience using their products, and they strive to deliver the best quality product as the key to they success.
For more info - visit G&G Armament website.
Why Seekins Precision?
The Walking Dead is my all time favourite shows and through the seasons, like characters that come and go, weapons do also come and go. One of the favoured rifles used by Sasha in The Walking Dead was the Seekins Precision .223 rifle. Used in several episodes to great effect, the rifle was fitted with a Yankee Hill Machine Phantom suppressor, Nikon P-223 scope, a Spike Tactical 9" BAR Rail and a Magpul UBR stock. This was a rifle that stood out from the standard M4s, it was CQB'esque without the suppressor, and with the suppressor was certainly a rifle that caught eyes. The other stand out feature for me was the shell ejection and spring release shield, it was an acute set of right angles and fitted with the larger curved trigger guard it stood apart from the M4 ilk.
Undertaking some research into Seekins Precision, it was hugely apparent that quality and reliability was at the forefront of their leading business. The collaboration between Seekins Precision, EMG and G&G (the Big 3) was only going to be positive!
Evike I knew well, having purchased from them over a number of years. With Evike holding the only pre-orders anywhere in 2017 I put down the deposit. It took nearly a year and a half of waiting before the rifle was actually manufactured and shipped. It was one of the first EMG SP 223s into the UK.
Herein lies the product description from the website;
Length: 880mm / 970mm Adjustable
Weight: 4100g (9.04lbs)
Inner Barrel: ~445mm
Magazine Capacity: 90rd G2 midcap. Also compatible with standard Tokyo Marui spec M4 magazines
Muzzle Velocity: 370 - 400 FPS (Measured with 0.20g BBs)
Thread Direction: 14mm Negative
Gearbox: Ver 2 Full Metal with inline MOSFET
Motor: Long Type 25,000 RPM
Fire Modes: Semi/Full-Auto, Safety
Battery: 9.6v Small Butterfly Type recommended (Battery not included. Wired to stock with small Tamiya connector)
Hopup: Yes, Adjustable
Package Includes: Gun, Magazine
In addition to the above description, there were also another set of features worth highlighting;
50% smaller MOSFET
G2 gearbox will have 16 AWG wires installed and a redesigned bevel gear to reduce heat and spikes
Trigger leaf spring will be installed to absorb the pressure from the trigger
Power cutoff when magazine is empty (with proprietary G2 magazines)
Power cutoff when magazine is removed (works with all magazines which fit in the magwell)
Built-in micro speaker for MOSFET
5-round burst control
Quick change spring feature
Functional bolt catch
With the SP223 being a pre-order, Evike shipped the rifle and ancillaries in an Evike branded padded foam rifle case. At this point in time, no packaging had been designed as due to the manufacturing and shipping delay, the Big 3 likely thought it best to actually ship the rifle out as speedily as possible to customers. The case is fairly robust and features two locking loops to fit miniature padlocks to. In addition to this, it also features 4x hook clips, 1x on each end and 2x along the top to keep the case securely closed. In my opinion this case was preferable over a card and polystyrene box that other than used for shipping, isn't really of any use.
The rifle case is padded in both halves using traditional 'dragons teeth' style foam, although no fasteners are used to hold the rifle and ancillaries in place. The foam at adequate depth prevented the rifle and ancillaries moving during transit. The length of the rifle when the buttstock is fully collapsed, allows approx 2" space at each end of the rifle, creating a tight fit. All of the below ancillaries were also shipped inside the case;
Rifle (flip-up sights fitted)
Certificate of Authentication
With the SP223 being a pre-order, a manual was essential and the manual provided was in US English allowing users to fully understand what was contained within. As per standard manuals, it shows how to adjust the hop, troubleshooting and basic operation. After much feedback from customers, EMG finally produced the manual in an electronic format.
EMG Seekins SP223 instructional video can be found HERE
EMG Arms Basic AEG instructional video can be found HERE
In addition to the operators manual, the rifle was also shipped with a 'Certificate of Authentication' on which was the manufacturers logos, a Universal Product Code and a hologram with the rifles unique serial number marked.
The magazine provided was a standard 90 round G&G Armament matte grey magazine. Of note is that the magazine provided is a tight fit into the magwell, and over time there has been some superficial damage caused to the top of the magazine.
The rifle was marketed as an out of the box milsim /skirm ready rifle and with the backing of EMG and G&G it held true. Straight out of the box it was usable on the field with zero adjustment immediately required other than on the hop.
The SP223 is equipped with a G&G G2 Gearbox which had been designed to reduce heat build up and fluctuations in performance. Notably the G2 Gearbox enables; a quick spring change, provides double sealed pneumatic system providing better seals and consistency and finally the actual gears used are not standard cheap ones.
The SP223 also features a built in MOSFET and ETU (Electronic Trigger Unit) which enables a few features; it enables the rifle to be setup / programmed to fire 3-5 round bursts, warns about damage occurring to the gearbox and emits an audible sound if the battery is low. Additionally the ETU disables the power after the last BB in a magazine has been fired, reducing any damage caused by dry firing the weapon. The electro micro switch trigger adds further snap to trigger response and the trigger pull is 2-3mm.
The hop up is adjusted using a standard rotary style hop-up which is accessed through the ejection port cover.
The rifle is matte black anodized metal (variant named 'Armourer Black') and the 4100g (9.04lbs) weight gives the rifle a solid feel. Externally the rifle is near flawless in regards to mould lines and sometimes the standard manufacturing processes. The rifle measures in at 89.5cm with the stock collapsed at position 1, and 98.5cm with the stock fully extended at position 6. These measurements are slightly larger than what was advertised. It is a long rifle though the lightweight rail is offset by the heavier receiver. The mid balance point is the magwell area, which is the point at which both the rail and receivers are roughly balanced and when used for long periods of time, a central balancing point in the middle reduces fatigue in the arms.
The rifle comes with the Seekins Precision licensed 38.5cm long SBR8 keymod rail. The rail has 38 teeth on the top rail, with the left, right and underneath sides of the rail utilising keymod attachment points. On both sides at the receiver end, the rail is stamped with the SP logo. Underneath the rail is stamped 'FOR AIRSOFT TRAINING USE ONLY'. The rail certainly does provide more than enough real estate for any accessories such as PEQ, foregrips etc. Keymod is either loved or hated by users, however this can be remedied by switching out the rail for another. The rail as shown in the 2nd picture below is attached via a barrel nut which is screwed onto the upper receiver. The rail is threaded onto the nut and is held in place by 8x hex screws. Finally the rail utilises 'Seekins Precision Integrated Rail Mounting Technology (iRMT) which integrates the rail mounting points into the upper receiver', this is more easily seen in the 3rd and 4th picture below. Simplistically on each side of the rail at the rear are two wings which sit either side of the upper receiver connection point, thus ensuring the rail doesn't rotate, holding it firmly in place.
The body of the rifle is manufactured using CNC machined aluminium alloy which has again been black anodized 'Armorer black' making it more resistant to superficial scratches. The rifle itself is made up of two parts called 'receivers', the 'upper receiver' and the 'lower receiver'. Both upper and lower receivers are SP223 licensed and feature a number of markings / stamps.
On the left hand side of the lower receiver between the safety and the magazine release catch (other side of) is the stamped SP logo. Above the logo is stamped (1st picture);
BY EMG / G&G
On the right hand side of the lower receiver between the safety and the magazine release catch is stamped (2nd picture);
CA IBER 6MM
MODE :E ECTRIC
The above is correct and is not a typo. It appears that when stamping the receivers, the letter L was missed (as seen in the 2nd picture below).
On the right hand side of the magwell is another larger stamped SP logo. The magwell is one feature again that stood out, with it's curved underside and gripped front (3rd picture).
As already mentioned, the rail has a SP stamp on both the left and right hand side.
In wanting to incorporate as much of the original Seekins Precision .223 design as possible in this rifle, the fire selector switch (ambidextrous), magazine release catch and bolt release catch are all SP designed, licensed and manufactured. The crafted receivers and fine machined edges ensure a tight fitting of the rail and stock which further ensures that there is absolutely no wobble. The build quality of the rifle body was on par with a Tokyo Marui rifle. The charging handle fitted was a standard G&G Charge Handle (which can be replaced). At the rear of the upper receiver is the ambidextrous sling plate which is curved instead of the standard flat plate.
The stock attached to the rifle is a standard 6 point adjustable polymer crane stock. Removal of the butt-pad provides access to the battery connections, MOSFET and the fuse. As seen in the 3rd picture, on top of the stock is a small window which shows the numbered stock position it currently sits in. '1' is closest to the receiver, '6' is the furthest away, a useful reference if collapsing the stock for CQB and changing to DMR role.
The fitted flash hider was a US compliant bright orange tipped plastic flash hider. Removal required heating the thread to dissolve the glue. The rifle was shipped with a black aluminium alloy flash hider to replace it.
Flip up sights are also included as standard and these are the official G&G Armament sights. Both are marked with the G&G Armament logo as well as with the P/N (Part Number) - P/N G03158
The pistol grip the Big 3 decided to incorporate on the SP223 is generally found on AKs and whilst comfortable and ergonomic it does look slightly odd on this rifle.
My intention behind purchasing this rifle was to recreate the Seekins Precision .223 rifle used by Sasha in The Walking Dead and to do so required me to purchase a number of other parts which have been detailed below to make it as screen accurate as possible.
MadBull Spike Tactical 9" BAR Rail
Nikon P-223 Precision AR Optic (3-9x40)
Nikon M223 Mount
7" 5KU CQB Barrel
YHM suppressor Phantom .223 (Titanium Quicksilver Madbull suppressor / Standard 9" suppressor)
Magpul UBR stock
Magpul MOE+ grip
This rifle is currently being constructed and I'll be writing a short blog about the finished article as soon as possible.
The rifle was taken to the range to provide an accurate review of the firing capabilities of the SP223 and what the associated upgrades enables the rifle to achieve. The weather on the range;
Nuprol RZR bbs were used solely for all weights testing.
An XCortech X3200 MK3 chrono was used.
The below table includes results for semi auto only using both FPS / Joules. It can be seen that the FPS flux differs across 10 shots minimally for all weights. From the results the SP223 performed best with the least FPS flux using .28s.
The below table includes results for burst only (3-5 rounds) using both FPS / Joules. As with single shots, FPS flux is minimal between weights, apart from .2s which appeared to be the largest flux.
The average 8mph wind seen on the range, blew from left to right and therefore the SP223 was not shot in a stable weather environment. Any results returned from the range in these conditions would not be a true reflection of the SP223s capabilities as a base measurement. This test will be retaken soon and blog updated.
Thoughts and opinion
The Seekins Precision AR-15 SP223 is an example of how the collaboration between three companies (SP, EMG and G&G) can produce fantastic results. Out of the box it is ready to go with little - to no adjustments required, useful if you have no interest in forking out additional money to upgrade it straight away. There are likely to be some differences between the latest variants compared to my rifle, one of the originals. The weight, build quality and uniqueness of this rifle puts it in my opinion nearly at the same level as rifles produced by Tokyo Marui. I only have minor negatives for this rifle. First observation is the silver outer barrel, I'm unsure as to why this was chosen, as I guarantee the majority of users will be wanting a low profile black outer. Second observation is the magazine choice, I've still not found one M4 variant magazine that fits correctly (either too tight or too loose), including the included G&G magazine.
The SP223 is in mid price range, however for that money you are purchasing quality and reliability. I would recommend it to newer players as ready to go, and with time and investment building up the potential upgrades, this would be a rifle worth storing in the armoury for the day you want to use something slightly different.
I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.