Model: L86A2 LSW (Light Support weapon)
The Bren Gun of our time...
Now updated with more technical information - 10 month ownershipJust 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.
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 . 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"...
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.