Nuprol Delta AK21 CQB
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- Last updated: 16/11/2017
Let’s face it, whichever way you look at it NUPROL have really set the airsoft world alight and they keep on doing so, time and again! Just when I think that there’s going to be a lull in what they release… BOOM! More new airsoft goodness hits the market. The fact of the matter though, is that they continue to do things right; where they have had a product that doesn’t perform to their liking then they make the brave decision to pull it from the market, and I can’t fault them in any way for this approach.
The whole NUPROL team have become great friends of mine, and I’m insanely proud of my good mate Ross Tucker; Ross started out as a player and gun tech and has gone on to become a major part of the NUPROL team; along with his colleagues, who all work their behinds off to bring us the best that they possibly can; he’s gone up in the world but somehow maintains his easy-going nature and sincerity. Back in mid-2016, when I was paying one of my regular visits to the NUPROL HQ, he shocked the hell out of me when he announced that NUPROL would be launching their own DELTA AEGs. Even as pre-production samples, the DELTA AEGs felt surprisingly, yet reassuringly sturdy and solid.
The reality of the new range though is that it has been an absolutely enormous success for our very own British airsoft brand, and if you visit pretty much any UK airsoft shop or website then you’re going to find the DELTA series stocked in abundance, and retailers have reported back to me that the NUPROL guns are selling very well, with very few returns, if any. I’ve personally been running a RECON ALPHA model for a good while now and I have to report back that it’s a thoroughly sound airsoft rifle that I have no qualms in recommending.
NUPROL continue to go from strength to strength and all power to them, and with the addition of new ‘M4’ models sporting some tasty new ‘railspace’, I’m certain they will continue this trend.
In the initial run of the DELTA series of AEGs, there was one model that really got my attention; if you REALLY fancy something a bit different, and this vies with the RECON ALPHA in my affections, the DELTA AK21 fits the bill perfectly. With an ‘AR’ style lower and a monolithic ‘AK’ style upper, this ‘ARAK’ really is one of a kind; this variant mimics the real world trend of producing AR style rifles that make use of AK magazines (allegedly the design concept from this was driven by USSF to give them a firearms that could use the rounds fired by their adversaries!) the AK21 turns this idea on its head; what you get is an AK style carbine that uses STANAG 5.56mm magazines or similar, and I have to say that NUPROL have pulled their take on this off with gusto!
Now, the original AK21 with the longer barrel, was a really tasty looking AEG, but in my heart of hearts I have a love affair with what my American friends refer to as an ‘SBR’, or Short Barrelled Rifle. Not only does this ring true when it comes to AR styles, but in my mind also carries through to AKs, as the 74SU has always been my absolute favourite of Mr Kalashnikov’s designs. The latest design to join the ‘AK21’ model is the CQB version. with a much shortened inner and outer barrel, and I’ve got to admit that as much as I love the original, this little beastie ticks all the boxes for me, and with masses of rail-space and offset front and rear sights as standard this really is a stunner visually and is just crying out for a magnified optic. At £280 this is bang on the money too!
Features of the DELTA AK21CQB are:
Internally, the AK21 CQB makes use of the same high-quality NUPROL parts as its sibling, and as NUPROL already have a name for their upgrade parts why would they not use the best they can in the new AEG? A short M100 spring is used to give the AEG some real ‘pop’ and keep it happily UK compliant too. Ross has specifically chosen the plastic hop unit and rubber to give the most versatility, and in fact this attention to detail has gone on everywhere.
Given that the internals are of the finest quality, I had no doubt that out-of-the-box performance would be right up with the best of them, and I wasn’t to be disappointed! Using .20g RZR BBs, the CQB delivered a massively consistent chrono reading of 1.03-Joule/335fps, which is absolutely perfect for its intended ‘close in’ use. NUPROL were not joking in any way when they told me that every AEG they produce will be CE Approved and fully UK compliant.
With things nice and workmanlike internally, I’ll turn to the externals, and this is where the CQB proves that it is most definitely NOT just another M4 variant! It would have been extremely easy just to throw on a sliding stock and pistol grip; the CQB boasts that lovely monolithic AK upper, along with a colour-matched CRANE style six position stock and pistol grip. Rear-wired for ease of battery storage and changing, the buffer tube also means that you can use any style of AR sliding stock, and I’ve upgraded the standard one to NUPROL’s excellent, up to the minute A.X.E. The flash hider as standard is ‘M4 norm’ but again, is easily changed to something more esoteric should you desire.
Whilst iron sights are included as part of the deal with the CQB, the sheer expanse of contiguous top rail just screams out for an optic, and NUPROL’s 887 Red Dot in FDE fits the bill perfectly; with windage and elevation adjustment, reticle colour change (green/red), and simply powered by two easily sourced AA batteries (included) this is a ‘two eyes open’ holosight, which is absolutely ideal for CQB environments where you need all your senses on overdrive. The CQB does come with a foregrip, but in this instance, I opted to do away with that and fit the test model with some tan V1 NUPROL Rail Covers that make it a little more ‘tactile’.
The CQB comes with a 10.3-inch inner barrel; even with a relatively short inner barrel, airsoft SBRs are perfectly capable of delivering superb accuracy at the engagement distances we work with, and the CQB is no exception. With the 150BB mid-cap N-Mag topped off, it was time to set the hop, and the adjuster is easily accessed by simply pulling back the charging handle, which is situated on the upper left of the upper receiver. If you’re used to an AR style setup, then the CQB will be intuitive for you, as the controls are all pretty standard on the lower. With ‘semi’ engaged, the CQB went off smoothly, sending BBs steadily to target at 30m, time and again, and switching things up to full-auto just increased the number of BBs going downrange with equal alacrity.
Therefore, I’ve come away from my first proper look at the NUPROL AK21 CQB feeling hugely happy, and I can’t help also feeling insanely proud of what my friends, a great British company, continue to achieve. The ‘CQB’ looks great, feels great, and thus far I can tell you that out of the box it performs superbly too; if you want something that’s a little bit unusual, will work perfectly as an OPFOR carbine, and deliver the goods for sensible money, then the DELTA AK21CQB is most certainly worth a serious look.
Each AK21 CQB comes with a metal STANAG-style 370BB Hi-Cap magazine, offset folding iron sights, and a model specific instruction manual; no ‘Chinglish’ or pictures of the wrong model here folks!
You can’t ask for much more than what’s on offer here and I truly believe that once again NUPROL will have a storming success on their hands; GO NUPROL!