When the G&G ARP9 and ARP56 were released in the spring of 2017, they were a big hit with airsofters around the world but could they get any better? At SHOT Show in January 2018 G&G revealed two new colourways – the ‘Battleship Grey’ and the one that REALLY caught my eye, the limited edition ‘Black Orchid’. The team over at G&G and Nuprol (the UK distributors for G&G) kindly sent one over from the States so I could have a play and here are my thoughts:

The G&G Black Orchid ARP9 is a PDW style AEG airsoft gun that features a high-quality polymer billet style receiver which features the anodised pink parts we’ve seen in the previous ‘Black Rose’ models and metal M-LOK rail system. It is limited to just 1,000 pieces worldwide and has proven to be a big hit amongst airsofters that like a pop of colour in their loadouts. It has a GOS-V5 PDW stock and a 9mm style magazine. Usually, it comes with a pink crown amplifier, as mine is from the US stock it had an orange crown amplifier to conform to California regulations – I wasn’t overly keen on the orange so Tom from Airsoft Action TV kindly helped me dremmel it off and we installed a new flash hider. What about the internals? It has a version 2 gearbox, the G&G electric Trigger Unit and a preinstalled mosfet. It has a rotary style hop up dial that makes changing the hop up quick and easy just in case you need a little tweak during a game. It has a semi-auto and full-auto fire function with a really snappy fire selector. The straight, speed style trigger is snappy.

On a 0.20g 6mm BB the ARP9 Black Orchid is expected to chrono in at around 330 FPS, when I chrono’d mine for the first time it was around 310FPS, which is lower than the advertised FPS but means that straight out of the box it is UK site ready, even for sites that run a lower limit.

So how is it to use? The Black Orchid is as easy to use any other AEG out of the box. Pop the battery in, fill the mags, lock and load. The hopup is easy to adjust and when set right the groupings are pretty good. For such a compact little gun, the range is great and I had no issues using it in an urban environment where the engagement distances are typically a little further than what you would expect in CQB. One thing I really like about the ARP9 is just how compact it is! With a maximum length of 580mm when the stock is extended and weighing in at just 2.3kg it is a weapon that screams CQB. Even without the crown amplifier it is a loud little gun – sounding very snappy and aggressive which I love – not as loud as the firehawk but close. Its mag release reminds me of the AK platform mag release and it is easy to use and reload. I like that fact the mags are the 9mm style, and the extra length helps with reloading for sure! At the minute there are 3 mags available: 1,500 round drum mag, a hi-cap mag and the new midcaps which are 70 rounds – my preferred mag is the midcap and I usually carry around 3-4 per game just in case things get a bit lairy. With the drum mag attached the ARP9 looks a little crazy, but the ammo count would be great for an extended skirmish that didn’t have an ammo limit imposed. 

Is there anything that I don’t like about it? Honestly my only gripe with the ARP9 line of AEGs is the lack of battery space in the stock and the amount of wiring. The GOS-V5 PDW stock only has a small amount of battery space in the compartment, which is reduced by the excess wiring. Companies have made 3D printed extensions to combat this. In the future, I will definitely be looking at getting the wiring shortened, an M4 buffer tube and PTS syndicate stock installed to give me more battery space and give me more options of stock length as the current stock only has two locking positions. The stock is where the sling point is, so if you do decide to ever change the stock be sure to pop on another sling plate. I did also find that the hicap mag included was quite difficult to open when filling because of my long nails – user issue not a design issue.

These are mostly out of stock in the UK now because of how limited they are so it would be a wee bit of a scramble to get one but they retail anywhere between £187.95 from Zero One Airsoft up to £249.99 from JD Airsoft so they are affordable. They are also readily available in the black and battleship grey at airsoft retailers up and down the country.

Overall, I’m really happy with the ARP9 – especially in the Black Orchid colourway because it adds a fun pop of colour to my loadout! It’s a compact and lightweight SMG weapon that is perfect for CQB. The internal specs are good and it is easy to use and has good range and groupings straight out of the box. Although I think the battery space in the stock could be improved by either getting rid of the excess wiring or installing an M4 stock – the GOS-V5 stock itself is a pretty cool design and does look mean and goes well with the modern looking M-LOK rail system. The price point is extremely affordable. G&G really have done a great job on the ARP9.

Hardwick, K. (2018). ARMOURY: G&G BLACK ORCHID. Airsoft Action. 92 (October), 62-63.
Photography thanks to L Sibley Photography

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