Lonex L4-A1 BAW
Bill Thomas feels that any new M4 style variant has to be just a little bit special to compete these days. To this end, he gets to grips with the very latest model from Lonex Technology…
Many of you out there might not be familiar with the name ‘Lonex’ when it comes to airsoft, as the brand has always been a little low-key in terms of a UK presence. However, seasoned players will know that Lonex Technology have been around for quite some time, specialising in high-quality internal upgrade parts for AEGs and doing OEM work for other manufacturers. A few years ago though Lonex began to offer their own M4 replicas to the market and these soon gained a reputation for quality, performance, and longevity.
Lonex brought their own initial electric blowback ‘recoil’ M4 to retailers a few years ago now, and certainly in the USA this was a big success for them; on mainland Europe, based in France, BO Manufacture, a custom shop which specialises in making high end custom airsoft replicas and collectibles, teamed up with Lonex to give some serious competition to other manufacturers, and I’ve always scratched my head as to why you just don’t see many of them in the UK. Each BO Manufacture replica is individually hand built, tuned, and then thoroughly QC checked to make sure each gun meets the highest of standards, which using Lonex parts, they most certainly do!
Lonex Technology Co. was actually established back in 1980 in Taipei, Taiwan, and from the outset they supplied plastic injection moulds and injection moulding OEM Services. Their injection moulding and plastic injection moulded parts were widely used in automotive accessories, electronics, household appliances, medical devices, game consoles, and computer display fields.
They are certified to ISO9000 and TL-9000, so do everything to very high standards. They consistently have earned customer recognition and loyalty by making high-quality products, with a quick response to market forces, on-time delivery, and a state of the art technology service; the Lonex Team make use of advanced CAD/ CAM/CAE design methods, an integrated manufacturing system, and some special parts are even created with computer assisted design tools such as the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) turning operation to ensure top notch precision and quality.
In addition to the design and manufacture of high quality airsoft guns, Lonex also offers OEM and ODM service for airsoft and firearms manufacturers. Lonex supplies a wide range of replacement and upgrade components to their distributors, as well as dealers. Lonex are constantly researching new ways to innovate in designs and materials to ensure the best quality of their products, and are committed to the best service support for our customers.
So when there are so many great ‘M4’ style replicas already established in the airsoft world, what does the Lonex L4-A1 10.5-inch Blowback Adaptive Weapon system (BAW) carbine bring to the table? Visually, this full metal airsoft replica looks almost identical to the ‘real deal’, Lonex replicating it with almost identical black anodised coatings; a real M4A1 weighs in at 7.74lb (3.51kg), whilst the replica sits at 6.17lbs (2.80kg), although it actually feels more than that, and is certainly sturdily built. The L4 line does come with variants featuring different barrel lengths, but aside from the inner and outer barrels, there is very little separating the models. I was sent the SBR length model to check out which features a short and to the point 10.5-inch barrel, removable carry handle and a standard two-piece handguard.
With their latest models, Lonex have put a lot of effort into maintaining their reputation for quality and performance internally. The replica features a reinforced 8mm, steel bearings, a steel gear set and cylinder, steel piston teeth, a V2 high performance motor, 6.03mm inner barrel as standard and a radial nylon hop-up unit. Additionally, the guns feature high-grade alloy bodies and outer barrels, with a durable nylon fibre handguard, grip, and ‘LE’ style stock; it’s an impressive replica, both externally and internally.
In terms of out-of-the box performance, these features serve the carbine well. Through the chrono on .20g BBs, I averaged 1.07joule/340fps, which is VERY respectable. Lonex also claim that that the recoil replica is capable of handling just about any LiPo battery you can throw at it, and indeed I had no issues running an 11.1v NUPROL powerpack; the battery is easily accessed and changed, as it sits within the split front handguard, and on the 11.1v it had great trigger response, which is always a bonus with a stock model.
The replica does come with a cleaning rod as well as a 360 BB Lonex metal ‘Flashmag’ magazine; if these are new to you, the ‘Flashmag’ uses a wire pull housed under a hinged magazine floorplate to wind its spring, as opposed to the neverending winding wheel that standard hicap magazines use. There are several companies working with ‘Flashmag’ designs now, but the Lonex versions are very nicely put together and cost iro £20 apiece.
With the mag ‘flashed’ and topped off and the rotary hop-up set, of course it was off to the 30-metre range to check out performance, and the Lonex certainly didn’t disappoint in this respect either. Ten-metre spinners were easily dispatched using the fully adjustable rear sight incorporated into the removable carrying handle combined with the standard front ‘A post’, and BBs were still happily ‘thwacking’ the sandbag at the furthest extent; Lonex conservatively claim that the carbine has an effective range out to 55-metres, and personally I think you’d get further still.
Again I’d say that these days most ‘M4’ replicas offer performance like this out of the box, but what lifts the Lonex is the quality of the internal parts and the super finish of the externals combined with their Blowback Adaptive Weapon system; this generates a strong recoil effect by way of an additional piston located in the stock tube; when you pull that trigger everything snaps back and generates a goodly kick in the shoulder! This really is where electric airsoft is heading these days, and the Lonex version is every bit as nice as that seen on much more expensive replicas on the market.
Overall, the Lonex M4A1 L4-01 BAW recoil AEG is a fine choice for players desiring high performance and dependability from the moment it comes out of its box, and expecting durability and longevity from the internals. Lonex have long been known for their craftsmanship and high standards and this model is no different; if you’re in the market for a new recoil ‘M4’, then I certainly recommend that you check out the BAW system from Lonex Technology.
My sincere thanks go to www.iwholesales. co.uk for the loan of the review sample; please check out their website for further details on Lonex replicas and stockist details; at the time of going to print a finalised retail price was not available, but the L4A1 BAW should be hitting shops soon!
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates