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- Last updated: 26/04/2019
ICS Airsoft are best known to airsoft players worldwide for their build-quality, their innovation, and their unique split gearbox design. Up until now their AEGs have always had a solid price tag but as the ‘war of the Sportline’ rages, even they are getting in on the act.
If you had asked me about ‘Sportline AEGs’, even a couple of years ago, I would have advised you to stay well-clear of the ‘budget’ end of the airsoft market, and even to this day there are certain brands offering models in the £140- £200 price range that are best avoided. Recently though, as airsoft continues to grow and grow on a global basis, I’ve been seeing some of the major players on the manufacturing side of things bringing some fabulous models to market; oh, to be a new airsofter right now, the choice is amazing!
Although there are some manufacturers out there that will be largely ambivalent to the ‘new player’ market, I am very pleased to see that I Chi Shivan, or ICS as we all know them, are not amongst this group. I’ve always given a positive nod to ICS split gearboxes, which are reliable and easy to work on, and to this day I’ve never had an AEG from them that has been anything other than field-ready from the box. ICS have pretty much always provided sturdy, full-metal performance replicas of some of the most iconic firearms out there, with first-rate internal parts and mechanisms.
Not only do ICS create their own internal systems, but they tend to also take their own direction, especially in terms of design in relation to upper and lower receivers, rail systems, flash hiders/muzzle brakes, and stocks. These are super designs, which follow the trend away from ‘military’ models, instead following the creation of lightweight, slimline, ergonomic rifles and carbines for the airsoft player.
With the introduction of the Peleador (which translates from Spanish as ‘Warrior’ or ‘Brawler’ - I like ‘Brawler’ best!) series of AEGs, they’ve now made owning an ICS rifle or carbine even easier for the newer, younger, or cash-strapped player; These ‘Sportline’ ICS AEGs are different from other Sportline models from other companies, in that you get all the features of their expensive Proline models but in a polymer body. Most other companies will use lower grade internal parts to hit a price, but not ICS!
Internally, the CXP series of AEGs are all made from the same components and feature the split gearbox, an Infinite long pin motor, an M100 spring, and a factory-fitted MOSFET. With some solid internals, things are just as solid on the outside of the Peleador models though, as the receivers are made from a very, very solid polymer; the fit between upper and lower is still incredibly tight and precise with no gaps or wobble in evidence.
The M-LOK rail system on the Peleador models follows that modern design trend and comes pre-fitted with a ‘CFS’ nylon fibre flip-up foresight; there’s also a flip-up rear sight that comes fitted as standard. The tough ABS Plastic six position adjustable MTR stock provides lots of adjustability, comfort and stability, and simply sliding this all the way off lets you access the battery compartment.
Other than that, the Peleador features a comfortable pistol grip of ICS design, along with their own T-Mag, which is an innovative 300 round high capacity model with the clear ‘windows’; this is really neat, as you can, at a glance, tell how many BBs you have expended.
Recapping from other ICS models that I’ve tested, of course these days we all need to be careful with the power levels of our RIFs, as the new PCA clearly outlines these. All ICS Guns (except their M1 Garand) are downgraded in the ICS factory to UK legal specifications before shipping, so this means that the guns will chrono between 0.78-Joule/290fps and 1.13-Joule/350fps on a .20g BB, dependant on barrel length and model. ICS also install an M100 spring instead of their standard M120 and an Infinite 2500 motor instead of a Turbo 3000 motor. The reason for the spring change, is to get the velocity below the new UK legal limit, and the motor change is to minimise motor overspin that causes two BBs being fired from one pull of the trigger on sub 1.48-Joule/400fps replicas.
Being legally compliant from the get go though doesn’t mean a degradation in performance, and that of the Peleador came as little surprise to me. Loaded up with .20g RZR BBs and with a NUPROL LiPo fitted, it was time to take the carbine to the chrono, and again given the M100 spring fitted, it was no shock when it racked up a consistent and site-friendly 0.78-Joule/290fps. Accuracy was again as I expected, that being excellent, once the rotary hop was securely set. Shots out to 25m were absolutely spot-on!
You can pick up a CXP Peleador Sportline in one of two barrel lengths from Fire Support for £189.00, and again I have to say that ICS are providing tremendous value for money; they make AEGs that you can rely on, that you can simply take out of the box, fit a battery, load up with BBs and take straight out onto the range or skirmish field.
I am very proud of my historical relationship with the ICS brand, and deeply honoured to be ranked as one of their ‘Captains’, even though in my case this is purely a recognition of my years in airsoft, rather than an indication of any active role with them. As I write, I’m just getting set to head to IWA in Germany, where I’ll be getting together with some of the current ‘Captains’ like my old friend Bjorn from Klockar Airsoft, and I’ll certainly be picking his brains for ‘what’s next’ from ICS!
For more information on the Peleador, the other models in the CXP line and the rest of the extensive range of ICS AEGs and accessories please do pay a visit to fire-support.co.uk.
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