Valken ASL Tango
- 6 Comments
- Last updated: 21/08/2019
Not so very long ago, getting an AEG that was completely ‘field ready from the box’ was in the lap of the BB-gods and, even ten years ago, you were just as likely to get a lemon, as you were the full cookiebased lemon cheesecake!
Right now, with so many manufacturers happy to lure you into the game though, you can be pretty much assured that you’re going to get something solid, serviceable, and with a more than reasonable level of performance each and every time you purchase a new AEG.
With a competitive market, the manufacturers need to ensure that what they offer you is not just attractive in terms of the price (which seems to be settling now around the £140- £150 mark for a decent ‘starter’) but also in terms of look, feel and performance. Things that even a couple of years ago wouldn’t have had a look in for with an entry-level AEG, like unique receivers, fancy stocks, bespoke rail systems and ergonomic pistol grips, now come as standard, and the old ‘you can have it in any colour, as longs as it’s black’ has most definitely been consigned to the history books of airsoft.
Such a beast is the latest ASL (which stands for ‘Accelerate Sports Line’!) TANGO from Valken; out of the box, it’s certainly not your average electric ‘AR’. Before I get into the carbine itself though, I’m going to pause for a moment and recap on Valken themselves. Valken are no stranger to ‘combative sports’, as they are one of the ‘veterans’ of the paintball world and, although ‘Valken Sports’ and indeed ‘Valken Tactical’ is a more recent addition to the portfolio, the team behind it all have a rich and long history.
Valken Tactical products (and remember here that they make protective items, clothing, gear, and a huge range of accessories!) are of sound quality and, due to their in-depth knowledge of other markets Valken Tactical products cover a wide range of prices, so that anyone can find something to fit their budget. The brand is well-known for durability, reliability, and good design of their paintball (there, I said it!) products, and this ethos appears to have continued over to their airsoft RIFs and gear. All their AEGs, accessories and equipment are built with quality and durability in mind.
And Valken in the UK now have a ‘new gun’ themselves, in the form of Chris Young. Many players local to me in Kent know Chris well already, as he runs the popular ‘.308 Sniper’ airsoft shop in Medway. Many more will have seen his site shop and stand at the War & Peace Show, where he has flown the airsoft flag very capably indeed and now Chris is looking after Valken. At last Valken have a guy in place that I believe will do great things for the brand; first and foremost, Chris is a shooter, but equally importantly, he is a retailer that understands exactly what players want and of course intimately what other retailers need!
The Valken ASL Tango features a mid- length barrel, billet-style nylon-fibre receivers, a unique handguard/rail system, promatch trigger, ambidextrous mag release and fire selector, and has both standard rails and M-Lok slots, so that you can jig it up with a variety of accessories, flip-up front/ rear sights, and a rather nifty sliding stock. Inside, you get a V2 metal gearbox and a high-torque motor, good quality, low-resistance wiring, a 6.05mm anodized inner barrel, and easy access to the antireversal latch. So far, so good!
With solid ‘tried and tested’ internals, what makes it stand out from the crowd for me though, is the design, as there really are some lovely little features. I am loving the fact that many manufacturers are doing their own thing when it comes to ‘AR Design’, as what this brings to the marketplace are some truly stunning looks, and some great user-friendly ergonomics; it’s as if the manufacturers have looked at the ‘Mil-Style’ AEG and simply said, “nah, let’s do our own thing” and the Tango is a perfect example of this!
At the front end, the forestock is beautifully designed and works well. The receivers, made from a high-strength, very well finished nylon-fibre material, are up to the minute in the ‘look’ with a blocky ‘billet’ feel to them and the magwell in the lower has the very attractive cutaway that seems all the rage at the moment! The sliding stock is also a Valken design, with a pop-off stock pad that makes in the field battery changes a snap.
All the furniture on the test models were of a uniform ‘flat dark earth’ which looks splendid, or ‘Model T Black’, which still looks good, but not as good as the FDE, which really makes the features pop! The iron sights are of course also nylon-fibre, but they work very well and an added, well-thought out feature are some green Hi-Vis inserts that mean you have a sight really close to the barrel-bore for basic use. All of which means that on the range, the Tango is actually a lovely carbine to use; it’s light weight (2.5kg!) and clever design tweaks make it easy to manoeuvre and shoulder and it’s an AEG that even the smallest player could carry all day long.
Power-wise, the Tango I received is a properly certified ‘EU’ model, so it sits happily and consistently at 1.02 Joule/332fps on a .20g RZR BB. Accuracy at 30m was also more than acceptable and of course this was without the hop being ‘bedded in’ fully, so further enhancement is certainly probable. The metal 300BB Hi Cap fed perfectly throughout testing.
Overall, I have to say that with the ASL Tango Valken appear to have got everything right. The design is unique and very fetching, the performance way more than adequate for your average skirmish and pricing seems to be spot on in the target bracket for AEGs of this type. I can only wish Chris great success with the Valken brand and I sincerely hope that we’ll be seeing some of their fullmetal AEG models in the UK in the not too distant future!
For more information on the ASL Tango and more from Valken tactical lease do pay a visit to valken.com.