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Aea problems

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Rich71

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Nov 23, 2021
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    I have bought 3 aea's and have buyers regret.
    The first-357 hpmax blew up in my face with a fill pressure of 3500 psi.that cost me 25$ to replace magazine, I was able to shoot 45 more slugs threw it when I had problems with the bottle.I adjusted the screw in the neck as recommended to no avail so I purchased then 700cc carbon fiber bottle kit that came on the market and was able to shoot 20 more rounds before the orings failed and the gauge.I filled bottle to 4500psi as indicated on rifle. Almost $900 + wasted.
    The second - 30 cal challenger bullpup with 32" barrel. Magazine again blew up in my face cutting my cheek. Again 25$ more for magazine.500$+ wasted.
    The third- 357 challenger big bore with moderator exploded in my face sending me to hospital cutting my eye and cheek with a shiner later on.600$+ wasted
    I contacted Ben to try and resolve this issue somehow.I have invested over 2000$ and wish I bought a different brand,any one is better than aea.
    Be careful I almost lost a eye and don't like to load the slugs one by one.I didn't by a single shot!!!! AEA garbage

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    • Wow
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    Sucks about your eye!

    I've owned a Challenger 357, HP SS 30+ and now Terminator 30. So, more or less familiar with the platforms you've had issues with. Are you failing to fully close the bolt on the Challenger? I've never blown up a mag with an AEA, but I have had the bolt blow back from not closing it carefully. Curious how the magazines are blowing up in your face.

    I have heard the HP Max has some magazine issues and other complaints. I'll be looking to see what improvements they make for version 2 of something similar.

    The Challenger 30 and 357 are very reliable and serviceable by anyone. It is dangerous to fire without the bolt being closed fully, and safety glasses are a good idea even if you're being careful.

    I'm aware there are occasional lemons (and probably more HP Max lemons than other models), but the vast majority of issues are user error and most of the other issues can be easily serviced. There's no reason an AEA gun can't last a lifetime if taken care of. My last gun purchase was an AEA and my next purchase probably will be as well.
     
    I’ve had one magazine blow up on .357 max (difficult gun to keep in shooting order) and it was my fault for leaving the bolt open. they are not meant to contain high pressure air. I do think it’s a pretty big design flaw that an oversight like this (which is going to happen) leads to an explosion right in your face - I don’t have any other guns like that lol.

    The HP max is probably the worst consumer product I have purchased in terms of being a lemon and unreliable. I’ve said this before so people are probably sick of hearing this but I had two guns neither of which could be made to hold a seal I was also told that internal part (valve seat) only has a life of 200 rounds before needing to be replaced. Owning this gun will mean replacing your valve seat every 200 shots is what a VENDOR told me, Encouraged me to swap it for a different AEA

    I like the carbine which I got as a replacement but I am currently no AEA fan being one for three on guns tried so far, in terms of something that will actually shoot as specified. My instinct tells me that the issue was just the ridiculous power in the small package of the HP max but time will tell as I put a few more tins through the carbine.
     
    I mean a company that puts a new model out on a weekly basis is highly sus. I’m especially shocked they have entered the 1500 to 2k price point and people are paying it. 🤦‍♂️

    It's pretty awesome. A lot of the guns are semi modular and the new models tend to share some updated parts. There's a lot of upgrades available for various AEA guns when the new ones come out. Like all the Challengers can now get a moderator kit added. I'm told there will soon be a carbon fiber bottle upgrade for my Terminator, for example.

    The most expensive AEA is the Zeus @ $1199 or so. BinTac designed a limited edition 45 caliber semi auto that goes for $1499.

    All these AEA dealers have proven to be legit and customer oriented. I can see being suspicious a couple years ago but there's a reason so many people are buying AEAs now. The guns simply outperform for most applications.
     
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    ctshooter

    Member
    Oct 30, 2018
    2,838
    71
    CT, United States
      I'm glad you're OK, but I'm not buying your story. These things rarely "blow up in your face" let alone 3 times. I'm guessing user error. What did Ben say after each of your 3 failures?

      PK
      I second this - 3 guns blowing up seems like user is doing something very wrong. We may never really know the full facts here.
       

      qball

      Member
      Apr 13, 2020
      5,559
      167
      CA, United States
        Glad you aren't hurt beyond recovery and hope you fully recover quickly. High power airguns in general are not child's play with any brand purely because of the amount of power involved. Curious on the cause of all of your issues, I had no issues beside mags do suck with my AEA guns but they weren't big bore/really high power.
         
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        Hi Majority of the issues you mentioned has to do with the bolt not being fully closed. We usually see magazine plastics being shattered due to the bolt not fully closed down on the max. The 32" mode also uses a high tensioned spring and would yield the same result if the bolt not fully closed down. On the challenger .357 if you're referring to regular bolt action model, it uses the same high tension spring and the same result can happen if the bolt isn't fully locked down.
         
        AEA Ben in his YOU TUBE video's always cautions or is shown pushing the bolt forward or seating it on semi auto models.
        I purchased an early AEA one of the first off the boat carbines. At first had some minor QC problems and then later the weak magazine spring feed problem. I found Ben to be a very stand up guy, truly a dealer who stood behind his sale. I still own that carbine which is now a back packer and have had no further problems.
         
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        Can't speak for anyone else, but the fascination for me is a $500 airgun of such brilliantly SIMPLE and SERVICEABLE design that I was able to take it to a higher level of performance than any of over 500 airguns I've owned and tested in the last 60+ years. That includes the highest "state-of-the-art" Wunder-PCPs costing as much as $3000 PLUS! Matter of fact I'm boxing up a(nother) $3000 Wunder-PCP today for return, that won't shoot hold 2 MOA accuracy!

        AEA .81 at 100.jpg


        Lest anyone write-off the target above as an isolated anomaly, and to hammer home my point in no uncertain terms-
        AEA .85 at 100.jpg


        AEA MOA X4.jpg


        AEA 30 and target.jpg


        AEA sear adjuster.jpg


        AEA crown.jpg


        AEA record at 100.jpg
         
        Last edited:
        I am excited for the carbine. There are way too many positive stories for my experience with the HP Max to be typical.

        I come to state the obvious: I don’t know how typical my perspective is but I’m very glad these relatively inexpensive guns with easy access and simple design exist. They are appealing for those like me who like to tinker and try new things and experiment. You can afford to screw up, and you have a decent chance at making things a little smoother / quieter / more consistent / more powerful and so on.

        For me the mechanism and tuning and modifying is what makes the hobby appealing, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable digging into a $1500 gun (especially knowing the odds are I’d just make it worse).

        So I hope they keep cranking these out and refining them and that this business model is supported along with the amazing FX / Taipan / Edgun type guns.

        The more I shoot the more I appreciate the airforce line. They are so simple and easy to tinker with productively, and mine have been as reliable as a hammer
         
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        It's pretty awesome. A lot of the guns are semi modular and the new models tend to share some updated parts. There's a lot of upgrades available for various AEA guns when the new ones come out. Like all the Challengers can now get a moderator kit added. I'm told there will soon be a carbon fiber bottle upgrade for my Terminator, for example.

        The most expensive AEA is the Zeus @ $1199 or so. BinTac designed a limited edition 45 caliber semi auto that goes for $1499.

        All these AEA dealers have proven to be legit and customer oriented. I can see being suspicious a couple years ago but there's a reason so many people are buying AEAs now. The guns simply outperform for most applications.
        Magazine problems are well documented with AEA. User error or not this shouldn’t happen to someone it’s flat out scary. As far as price yes most of their guns are a flat out bargain, maybe not if this can happen to you, but that new 45 auto and Bin offers it upgraded to a 700cc carbon bottle which is where the 2k price point is. I just can’t imagine choosing aea if I’m spending 2 grand. No way. I was just saying that aea has pushed out a TON of gun models super fast which makes me stop and go hmmm. To each their own it’s just my opinion and I do not own one.
         
        Can't speak for anyone else, but the fascination for me is a $500 airgun of such brilliantly SIMPLE and SERVICEABLE design that I was able to take it to a higher level of performance than any of over 500 airguns I've owned and tested in the last 60+ years. That includes the highest "state-of-the-art" Wunder-PCPs costing as much as $3000 PLUS! Matter of fact I'm boxing up a(nother) $3000 Wunder-PCP today for return, that won't shoot hold 2 MOA accuracy!

        View attachment 270544

        Lest anyone write-off the target above as an isolated anomaly, and to hammer home my point in no uncertain terms-
        View attachment 270551

        View attachment 270552

        View attachment 270555

        View attachment 270557

        View attachment 270558

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        I didn’t see any aea shooters on the RMAC winners list 🤔🤔🤔🤔
         
        I do have a very hard time believing that after owning 500 airguns the aea challenger is the top dog. I just don't see it happening.

        I think in the world of pcp they're priced appropriately up to the , I don't know I'd say 800 dollar mark. After that I am not so sure but I've never owned one.

        I have a hard time believing that if I owned that rifle and my alpha that I would shoot a better group with that aea.
         
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