Nuprol M4 Delta Recon Alpha
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- Last updated: 28/02/2017
I’m very privileged in many ways, as I really get to see what goes on behind the scenes with many airsoft manufacturers, and the guys at NUPROL always make sure I’m kept fully up to date with what they have in the pipeline. So it was last year, when I was paying one of my quarterly visits to the NUPROL HQ in the south of England that my old friend Ross (Tucker) quite literally shocked the hell out of me, when he announced that NUPROL would be launching their own DELTA AEGs, not just one model but an entire range. He did have a couple of pre-production samples to show me, and what I got my hands on at that stage was a very tasty looking CQB model, and a longer ‘KeyMod’ equipped field model. Up until now I was sworn to silence.
As Ross and I are friends outside of work, as well as in, I knew for a fact that he was clocking up the air miles travelling back and forth to factories in the Far East. Many of you may not know but Ross started out as a player and gun tech, so he knows darn well what needs to go into an AEG to make it perform; if he, and the team at NUPROL were going to put their reputations behind a line of models they had to be the very best that they could produce, and I’ll tell you right now that they put their heart and soul into every single step of creating the DELTAs.
Ross had asked me in advance if I could spend a day with him when the production models arrived, and so it was with some excitement that I set off to spend time with him. Our intent was to strip some of the DELTAs back to component parts, so that I could really see what made them tick. Ross commented at the time; “The heart of the Delta series is the gearbox; here at NUPROL, we have taken a different approach to crafting the ‘perfect’ gearbox. The idea of these gearboxes is for them to be long lasting and high-quality to a point of quality and reliability that they do not need to be ‘upgraded’. We did not want to use the saying ‘pre-upgraded’, as we feel that’s misleading because a product should never come ‘pre-upgraded’, it should be the best it can be from the start!
The Delta gearbox comes complete with reinforced gearbox shell, high quality full steel toothed piston, strong and durable steel gear-set, microswitch trigger for a satisfying ‘click’ and added durability, steel selector plate, and finally a piece of art in the form of the Delta QPQ Steel 6.03mm barrel. Put all these things together and you have the ultimate retail package for new and old players at a price to quality point that is unmatched at the time of me saying this.”
With the scene well and truly set, we worked our way steadily through the new range, which starts at £130 with the DELTA M4 Pioneer Defender, the DELTA M4 SOPMOD at £215, DELTA M4 Freedom Fighter for CQB use at £250, and at £280 the top of the line DELTA AK21; this last model is absolutely unique in that it’s an AR/AK crossover and I’ll come back to this at a later date with a separate review.
Also retailing at £215 is my personal favourite of the new models though, the DELTA M4 Recon Alpha, which features a 480mm tightbore ‘QPQ’ steel inner barrel and an absolutely stunning 310mm ‘KeyMod’ accessory attachment system as standard. Ergonomically, this is a superb AEG, and is right up to the minute in terms of style and design; obviously with great internals and an inner ‘QPQ’ barrel this long the Recon Alpha is going to be no slouch! This model also comes with a removable unique front and rear sight, and a singlepoint sling plate, so it’s good to go from the box.
You might well be wondering about the term ‘QPQ’; to the best of my knowledge this is the first time the process been used in relation to airsoft replicas. Salt bath nitriding, or Quench- Polish-Quench, (QPQ) is particularly important when it comes to metal parts that operate for extended periods in highly corrosive environments or are subject to high levels of friction. QPQ is based on a sequence of process events that occur directly following a nitro-carburising cycle. It begins with a cycle of nitro-carburising (a variation of the nitriding process), a salt bath quench, which produces a layer of epsilon iron nitride.
The next step is a mechanical polish of the nitride layer, thus restoring the original surface finish. This may be accomplished by vibratory polishing, lapping, centerless polishing, or by other similar means. Finally, to optimise the corrosion resistance, the component is then re-immersed in the KQ5OO salt quench bath for 20-30-minutes, rinsed and oil dipped. The overall process gives the part a cosmetically appealing finish and extremely high levels of durability; to say that NUPROL have done their homework here is just a massive understatement!
Thanks to CNC machining, externally the DELTA M4 Recon Alpha is absolutely first rate; this model is available in black or tan and the finish actually looks and feels much like Cerakote, and this is standard out of the box. The furniture is perfectly colourmatched, so everything melds superbly together. I chose the tan model to test, and the juxtaposition of black and tan just works serenely together. The KeyMod system is slim-line and elegant and of course is bang on trend at the moment; the system comes with a contiguous top rail, and three short rail sections that can be quickly and easily placed exactly where you want them.
The rifle is finished out with tone-ontone accessories, which include an A2 style pistol grip and CRANE style stock (CRANE /SOCOM/LMT stocks are all in use on the specialist ‘Recon Rifles’ built for the US Navy SEAL teams!) which can help conceal a larger battery if you so desire; I chose to just run an 11.1V LiPo in the buffer tube, which works very well indeed, as I intend to fit one of the new NUPROL A.X.E. stocks when the tan version arrives.
Internally, things are just as good, as the Recon Alpha comes with a 6.03mm QPQ steel tightbore barrel, a quick change spring capability, reinforced V2 metal gearbox, full steel toothed piston and gears, a metal reinforced selector plate, and all the models are LiPo ready with high quality wiring throughout. NUPROL already have a great reputation for their upgrade parts, so why would they not use the best they can in the new AEGs? Short M100 springs are used throughout to give the DELTAs some real ‘pop’ and keep them 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 details has gone on everywhere. Each DELTA comes with a metal STANAG-style Hi-Cap magazine, spare steel body pins, and a model specific instruction manual; no ‘Chinglish’ or pictures of the wrong models here!
In action, the Delta Recon Alpha is an absolute beast, chronoing at 1.12-Joule/347fps absolutely consistently using NUPROLs new RZR .20g BBs. Moving it up to slightly heavier .25g RZRs, the range was extremely consistent too, sending the BBs right to the extent of the 30-metre range; on semi, I was able to achieve a 50mm grouping at that distance, and switching up to full-auto delivered a stream of BBs straight to target. The Delta series carbines and rifles all come with a perfectly solid 370 BB HiCap, which fed happily and unerringly throughout testing; I also had chance to try NUPROLs new N-Mags (HiCap, Flash, and adjustable Mid/Lo) which are absolutely excellent, and I’ll report back on these fully very soon.
I’ve come away from my first proper look at the NUPROL DELTA Series feeling massively impressed, and I can’t help also feeling insanely proud of what my friends, a great British company, have achieved here. There really is something for everyone to look at, and with such keen pricing there are lots of options to play with. All the uppers and lowers are compatible, so if you wish you could happily make up some interesting combinations!
I believe that NUPROL have created a superb new range that will make a lot of airsofters very happy indeed. They look great, feel great, and thus far I can tell you that out of the box they perform pretty darn well too. You can’t ask for much more than what’s on offer here and I truly believe that once again NUPROL have brought something very, very special that we as players can really benefit from; top marks again NUPROL, top marks indeed!