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ICS L86A2 LSW


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#1
Hubert

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Model: L86A2 LSW (Light Support weapon)

The Bren Gun of our time...

Now updated with more technical information - 10 month ownership

Just remember - I'm like Oddball from Kelly's Heroes - I only play with 'em, I don't know how they work...

Manufacturer: ICS. It's just their L85, with a longer barrel (610mm), bipod+outrigger combo, rear grip and folding shoulder support.
FPS: Variable. Has adjustable spring guide. Lowest setting (with stock spring) is 315-320 fps. Highest setting 390fps. Should have M120 spring
Hop-up : Adjustable. Slide back the charging handle to see it. Has a philips 'X' screw-head, meaning you can use a screwdriver to adjust it, if you, like me, have huge fingers. A big problem with ICS Sayties is the hop-up arms. Mine (and a few other owners I've talked to) have had their hop-up arms too long by a few MM - meaning that even when turned 'off' completely, the arm is still putting hop on the rounds causing them to sky-rocket. You may wish to replace the stock rubber for a stronger one too.
SpringM120
Piston Described to me as 'standard'. Can take standard 0 type cylinder heads.
GearsStandard V2/3 gears. However, the tappet plate is unique to the ICS SA80 family.
Magazines:Supplied with 2 470 round hicaps. These are bigger than Armalite mags (IRL, both Armalites and SA80s use STANAGS) so that the magazine will fit properlly in the ICS SA80 family.
Battery: Not supplied. Most LSWs have small-type adaptors. Not much room for batteries - I use 'nun-chuck' style batteries (1 is 1600 mAH, the other is 2000 mAh)
Metal/Plastic: Like the Real Steel, the majority of the externals are, well, steel. Plastic parts are the foreguard, pistol grip, cheek rest, butt-pad and rear grip. Quite a hefty beast, weighng just a tad over 13lbs (if ICS are right)

Optics: Comes with the standard Iron Sights/carry handle. They do their job, but I'm not a fan. As standard, it has the 19mm 'dovetail' rail mount. This is like the real SA80s. It fits 2 things - a SUSAT, and the iron sights. ATM, I don't believe there are that many SUSAT replicas on the market, and those that are avaliable, aren't very good. You can buy a 20mm RiS rail to replace the 19mm, and then mount whatever you like - I've got the rail, just need to find a suitable optic. To be completely honest, I've run it in for 2 game days without any sort of optics/sights - and it shoots fine, the mounting block for the front iron sight is good enough. Just looks weird...

Appearances - well, it's an L86. I love them, have done since I saw one when I was 6 :lol:. ICS have gone for reliability over looks, so this isn't a 100% accurate, 1:1 scale replica of an L86. If you want that, go to STAR/Ares. If you've handled the real thing, you will notice the colour difference of the plastics. It is a little hard to describe, but the plastics are either too bright, or too brown. However, even if you are a hard-core MilSimmer/re-enactor, I doubt many people will actually say "the colour's wrong, its a fake"...

Comments:
There are a few problems - some are due to the RS design, others seem to be ICS problems. Deploying the bipod is a juggling act, a 3rd hand is needed(but, unlike the ARES version, the bipod does not fall out of position/down whenever you move, as this has a locking system on it).
The fire selector switch is in possibly the worst place possible, as you can knock it with your body. This causes a problem with the piston - if you accidentally knock the gun into semi whilst you're shooting in fully automatic, you will shred the piston. Be very careful.
And the weight. Why, after Steyr had released (10 years previously) the almost all plastic AUG family, RSF made the SA80 out of steel, I don't know. A sling isn't just reccomended, its downright needed (but that isn't to say you can't do a 'Try Again' Bragg or Rambo with it)

The ICS problems -
The hop-up. Sometimes, the gun comes supplied with the arm is too long, it needs to be trimmed (by 1mm, possibly 2). Very serious case of overhop. BUT - this isn't always the case - it's the main problem I've found with ICS, some hopups are superb, others are... not so great.
The trigger link. This is a small plastic thing. Should you get semi-lock up, don't yank the trigger. Infact, just stop shooting all together. Because the link is plastic - yep, you guessed it, yanking it will snap it. This is a very small plastic part. The fix? Buy a new trigger set, for 35... The solution to semi-lock - switch to full, blast a few rounds off, then switch back to semi.
Don't go mental in semi. Long, drawn out and careful trigger pulls will avoid lock up. Quick, rapid yanks of the trigger in an attempt to put up a wall of fire ["blam-blam-blam-blam-blam-blam-etc"] (use fully automatic muppet!) will cause semi-lock up.

Overall comments/Disclaimer (I don't want to get sued!)I can't say that this is the best airsoft gun, nor can I say it is the best L86LSW airsoft. Simply because I have only used a select few weapons - I have used the AA and G&G R85/L85, a STAR L85 and (very briefly) an ARES L86. Personally, I prefer ICS's SA80 family to STAR/Ares - ICS is much lower on the maintenance front, and easier to take-down - very simple and basic (but me being a technophobe, it's still something I don't enjoy doing) - S/A has an near-endless ammount of screws and bolts to undo, and miles of cables to move - ICS has few cables. However, there are trade-offs - S/A look far better, more realistic. ICS are also cheaper (than S/A. Still pretty pricey, especially after the price increase last summer). I can't comment on G&G anymore, as they've had a re-release, so may have solved any problems.

I'd give it 8/10. There are problems, but they're mostly due to the RS SA80s. I think the LSW is like marmite - you'll either love it, or hate it. I, am firmly in the 'love it' camp. I really enjoy using this. You can wield it as either a big assault rifle (you have longer barrel, but shorter overall length than an M16), or you can sit back, deploy the bipod, and give covering fire. Or, you can do as I plan, and put a tightbore and new hop-up nub in play marksman, and watch as you out-range nearly everything.

Hope you've enjoyed reading this, feel free to Q&C.

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#2
Matt!

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how do you find the grip on the stock? I always thought it looked akward :P

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#3
Hubert

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You only need it when you're down prone, or in a firing position. It's the LSW's equivilant of someone pressing their hand down flat against the top of the reciever on an M60 - try that on the real LSW, and the charging handle will slice your fingers off.

And, the grip has another use - if you take the mag out, you can rest the gun over your legs, the pistol grip and rear grip keeping it over you.
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#4
Hubert

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Sorry for the double post, but I thought I really should add this -

Whilst ICS's design (L85 and L86) is far easier to open and maintain than Star/ARES - it is still a nightmare! Dave and I spent the afternoon tinkering in it, and trust me, you need 6 hands to open/close it. Not you need 2 other people with you, you specifically need 6 arms (the 2 other bodies do get in the way)

That said - it is still a walk in the park compared to the previous G&G L85 design.

We'll see in a few weeks whether the tightbore and hop-up mods Dave gave it do much to improve it.
Tightbores - the real barrel length is 610 - however, as of yet, no-one makes (affordable atleast) 610mm tightbores. I've gone for 590, however I know a guy who runs a 550 (you can try 650 and cut it down if you want, but that leaves you with 40mm of cut off barrel...)
When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt: run in little circles, wave your arms and shout
- Parody of the Litany of Command, popular with Commissar cadets.

#5
Tristan Orr

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Hi, I got a ICS L86A2 LSW. Its a great gun I'm the same as you I've loved the gun since I was 4! I was born into a army/RAF background family.

So far I have put a Madbull hop-up rubber in, and I'm looking at putting a tightbore barrel in, my question is why is it so bad to cut down a 650mm tightbore to make it fit in the gun?

I work for BMW as a maintenance engineer so I could easily cut the barrel down and de-bur it all at work. But is there any company looking into manufacturing a 610mm tightbore or is this always going to be a custom job.

Loved the review btw, some I agree with so I don't. But each to there own :)

Regards

Tristan

#6
craig

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yeah thay are a real pain to take apart watch out for the spring when changing the fps you get hit in the head with that and you'll know about it :rolleyes:

if i hide maybe the stupid people will go away
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#7
Hubert

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Hahaha Craig, when I attempted to change the spring setting I had the motor clamped between my legs, whilst I firmly pushed the spring into the right place, in fear of seeing the thing launch itself under the sofa, to never be seen again :lol:

Thanks for the comments Tristan Orr. I find LSW lovers few and far between, its nice to meet someone else who enjoys them. Can I ask which bits you disagree with? Just curious

Also - my reasons for not cutting a barrel - I lack the skills or tools to do so, and don't want to ruin a 50 barrel. If you have the tools and know-how (and it sounds like you do) then go ahead and try it.
I'm not sure if anyone is or will make a 610 tightbore. I can't think of many real steal firearms (that are avaliable in airsoft) that have a 610 barrel

Cheers again
When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt: run in little circles, wave your arms and shout
- Parody of the Litany of Command, popular with Commissar cadets.

#8
M_P

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I love the lsw, tempted to make a lsw DMR although I personally would use the star/ares one.
I've also heard many stories about the barrel bending on ICS versions..... is this true?

#9
Hubert

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Nope not at all. Pretty sturdy, I've (so far) never seen or had any bend.

It does happen on the S/A version(s), as the barrel and bipod outrigger are only very loosely connected to the gun. The result is that as soon as you deploy the LSW on it's bipod, the weight of the gun causes the barrel to bend upwards - this creates a noticable change in the curve of your ammunition.
On the ICS LSW, the barrel and outrigger are connected via 6 very large screws/bolts, and the barrel has 4 more connections inside the reicever. I wouldn't say rock solid, but I have NEVER had any barrel bend.
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#10
Tristan Orr

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Well, the only real gripe I had was with the hop up system, now for me as its not upgradable as a whole system (like the M4/M16) it just gives the gun that much less potential. And with the odd length barrel it just seems that ICS haven't put a lot of thought into the future of the gun, compared to over makes. Thats it really.

Over all I love the gun, its a great piece of kit and I really enjoy playing with it. Btw, there are lots of susats on the market these days some or good some are very bad. But like I said I'm a maintenance engineer so I can fix most things.

#11
Hubert

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Well, the only real gripe I had was with the hop up system, now for me as its not upgradable as a whole system (like the M4/M16) it just gives the gun that much less potential. And with the odd length barrel it just seems that ICS haven't put a lot of thought into the future of the gun, compared to over makes. Thats it really.
Over all I love the gun, its a great piece of kit and I really enjoy playing with it. Btw, there are lots of susats on the market these days some or good some are very bad. But like I said I'm a maintenance engineer so I can fix most things.


Yeah, the hop does indeed have disadvantages. I meant that in theory it was a great design (easy to adjust in game) In practice...
Over-hop. (The following info has been collected by me whilst talking to a gun smith, and 4 ICS IW/LSW owners and a F&O marshal/shop guy)

It seems that most of the ICS Sayties (IW and LSWs) are supplied with thier hop-arms being too long (anywhere from 0.5 - 4mm to long), meaning that even when it is fully off it can still be applied pretty strong - which results in your rounds sky rocketing after a certain distance.
I have that problem, and hopefully its being sorted out.

And pistons. ICS seem to have a thing with leaky pistons, and mine dropped in FPS from 380 to 240... Again, hopefully thats being sorted out.

That said, I love my LSW. I honestly cannot think of any other firearm I'd replace it with. I can't wait to get it back from the overhaul :D

As for SUSATs - I know that RSOV sells a SUSAT clone that is apparently quite good. I do know that the G&G and S/A versions aren't too good, as the eye relief is pretty poor (unless you don't wear eye protection, which I wouldn't recommend)
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#12
Tristan Orr

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I'm looking at selling my SUSAT, I had it on today and it was more in the way and blocking my view then making my gun better, sure it looked better but just didn't like it, so I ran with nothing on the gun for the rest of the, no iron sights nout! It was fine, put the iron sights back on tho now they need adjusting but ya, I'll stick to nice simple supper gunner for not on :)

#13
old and slow

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Great review but can anyone give me a definative answer as to what spring ICS fit as standard to the l85/6 range?
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#14
Tristan Orr

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From what I've been told its a M120 as standard. Either that or its a M90/100. But its got a top end of about 390FPS.

#15
old and slow

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From what I've been told its a M120 as standard. Either that or its a M90/100. But its got a top end of about 390FPS.


M120 but could be a M90/100. Thanks for that Tristan.

Still wanting a definative answer, if at all possible.
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#16
Devastator

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From the original review.......

FPS: Variable. Has adjustable spring guide. Lowest setting (with stock spring) is 315-320 fps. Highest setting 390fps



#17
old and slow

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Thank you Devastator, I have read the review fully.

I asked........"Great review but can anyone give me a definative answer as to what spring ICS fit as standard to the l85/6 range?"

Thank you all very much, your answers are all very helpful but I am trying to establish what the stock spring is, not what the output is............

for example - when the gun is at its highest output (circa 390fps) is the spring

an M120 at its normal compression

OR

is it an M100 compressed to buggery

Before someone tells me how the spring guide works I KNOW, IVE HAD A LOOK
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#18
Hubert

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I've responded to your PM, but I might as well post this here for everyone else.

The actual spring put in by the factory as of 2009 (when the L86 was released, and ICS slightly changed the design of the L85) should be an M120.

Some people with the very first generation L85s say they have M100s.
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#19
old and slow

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Hubert has taken the time to find the info I couldn't for which I am grateful.

Cheers for the help.
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#20
Matt!

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well played hubert

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