Posted by Fox Airsoft on 1st Sep 2015
In this Airsoft Spotlight we are going to take a look at the ICS CXP-HOG, one of 8 guns we will be using at Operation Lion Claws Military Simulation Series (OLCMSS), more specifically their upcoming Tactical Challenge. The Tactical Challenge is something new from OLCMSS, it is going to be a 8 man team challenge against numerous companies in a number of scenarios to see who comes out on top! Fox Airsoft has been fortunate enough to be sponsored by ICS Airsoft, Taiwan to compete at the Tactical Challenge on Saturday, September 26th 20015 in the Mojave Desert. We will also be playing at Operation Irene on behalf of ICS in October 2015.
ICS Airsoft has been manufacturing airsoft in Taiwan since 1983. With over 30 years of airsoft Manufacturing experience, they have what I feel as some of the most reliable and innovative airsoft Guns available today. They are most famous for their Split Gearbox design, which has proven us well for quite a few of our 16 years of airsoft experience. Enough history, lets check out this awesome gat.
One of the guns we selected for use at this upcoming OLCMSS Tactical Challenge was the ICS CXP-HOG. We chose this model as it is sort of the best of both worlds. It is a Hybrid of sorts, taking the best of the ICS PAR Mk3 and the ICS UK1 Transform4. The gun will be used as configured at both the Tactical Challenge and Op: Irene. We will take a look in detail about the various features and accessories used below.
The Keymod handguard was chosen over the standard rail interface system to reduce bulk and weight from the front end of the weapon. To learn more about Keymod, please see my previous blog about Keymod History and Keymod Accessories by clicking this link.
The handguard is slightly different from that of the Transform4, it is hinged and is capable of fitting a Tenergy 9.6v 1600 Butteryfly battery as well as most 2 and 3 panel LiPo batteries. The batteries are much easier to change than the Transform4's six screws. The HOG uses a single push pin which allows for lightning fast battery changes.
As for attachments, we will be using the Speed Airsoft Offset Flashlight Mount coupled with the NcStar LED Flashlight and the Speed Airsoft QD Sling Socket along with a Hera Arms HFG Vertical grip. I believe this is a totally functional, minimalist setup, that manages to keep the weight of the front end to a minimum and offering maximum control and manipulation of the ancillary accessories and weapon system.
Another really nice feature about this gun is that ICS includes a Buffer Tube Rear Sling Plate. These are popular accessories for running various single point slings such as the Lancer Tactical Single Point Bungee as well as the Condor Single point sling. However we have chosen to not run a single point sling for this mission.
The Condor Speedy 2 Point sling is one of our all time favorite slings. It is an affordable quality solution made in the USA. It allows for unimpeded task to be accomplished without the gun dangling and hitting you in the shins or banging into things around you. The quick adjustable tab allows you to almost instantly tighten up the sling to keep it close to your body and out of the way or loosen it for aiming the weapon. Transitions are also a breeze by simply dropping your support side elbow through the sling while aiming and performing a transition to support side.
The stock is another favorite of ours, even though we love a Crane style stock as much as the next guy, the ICS MTR stock and its low profile, allow for easy aiming while wearing a Steel Mesh Face Mask and unimpeded aiming through various optics and sights. The rubber butt pad is an often overlooked feature as it prevents the butt of the gun from slipping off that pesky tactical nylon found on most plate carriers and tactical gear. It also features ambidextrous QD sling swivel sockets which we utilized in the picture above.
The CXP-HOG is also available in the QRS version, which I have pictured above. We will be using both versions at O.L.C.M.S.S. Tactical Challenge and Op Irene. The QRS version, is front wired for a battery and is why the new Keymod rail system is extremely nice. Also the QRS version features a nifty sling mount close to the receiver on the buffer tube. The tan version with the ICS MTR Stock we were focusing the review on is rear wired.
The CXP-HOG includes ICS's ambidextrous charging handle, while not a mandatory item for an AEG, it certainly doesn't hurt, especially for a left that wants to make quick hop up adjustments. Also visible is the rear back up sight from ICS, it is spring loaded and is quickly deployed and stowed. It is fully adjustable for windage and features two apertures to choose from.
The ICS Front Back-up Sight is also spring loaded and is operated very similar to the rear sight. It is also very easy to adjust the elevation of the sight by use of a dial which is clearly marked with the direction to turn the wheel for the desired shift in point of impact (POI).
Above is the ICS T-Mag which in this case is a 180 round, extremely well built mid capacity magazine. The fit in the mag well is perfect, not too loose, not too tight, and will drop free when the magazine catch button is depressed but not too lose where the mag wobbles around excessively. The magazines are serviceable and can be easily disassembled and cleaned should you end up with a bunch of dirt inside the magazine.
Now for the good stuff, the heart of the system, the awe-inspiring masterpiece of ingenuity that is the ICS Split Gearbox design. For some of you reading this article, it may be your first time seeing the inner bowels of an ICS M4 Variant. For others, it maybe a familiar happy place that provides peace of mind and frustration free teching. The split gearbox is what makes the system so great and which is why we all use ICS Airsoft guns at local games all the way up to national or even international operations. Instead of packing additional, large and cumber back up guns, we bring an extra lower gearbox as well as an upper gearbox in case our gun decides to go down at an event we are paying 100 to 200 dollars to attend as well as traveling hundreds or even 1000s of miles. We will be leaving the lower gearbox alone for the operation, as we find the ICS Gears to be extremely durable.
Some specs on the lower gearbox from the factory are as follows;
-Heat treated MIM Bevel and Spur Gear
-ICS Turbo 3000 Motor
-Heavy duty trigger contacts
Now to my favorite part of the ICS Split Gearbox System. The upper gearbox, which is wear the magic happens. Oddly enough these guns seem to have extremely good compression from the factory and are capable of making 400fps with a M100 spring and a 300mm inner barrel. Typically on a M120 spring they will shoot about 440fps to 460fps, far to hot for most field regulations, but its nice to know a gun can be efficient enough to still make 400fps with a .20g BB with a M100 spring, which reduces overall strain on the system and increases battery life instead of having to use burlier springs to achieve similar velocities. The upper gearbox can be swapped out in a matter of seconds for a back up unit should you experience some sort of failure, though failures are extremely rare with these guns, it is nice to be able to swap in your back up gearbox during a game and continue on with the mission. You are probably wondering about the pretty cylinder in the picture above. We opted to install a Fox Custom Single Piece CNC Stainless Steel Cylinder/Cylinder Head. We find it to work extremely well with the factory ICS ported piston head.
Like I was saying earlier, we installed the Fox Custom single piece CNC stainless steel cylinder because it works great with the factory supplied ICS POM Piston & Piston head, which was an upgrade for years for the legacy models. These guns come standard with our favorite piston. The teeth on the rack are heat treated MIM steel teeth also. We will also be using a 300mm Fox Custom 6.02mm Stainless Steel tightbore barrel attached to a metal, rotary, hop-up unit. We are able to engage man sized targets reliably at about 60 meters with this current setup.
Overall this gun seems to be an externally improved version of the Transform4 and a lighter version of the PAR Mk3. Combining the best of both worlds into only what can be described as the ICS CXP-HOG. It is a very practical gun packed full of useful features for the airsoft player. Stay tuned to see some more about the guns we are taking to the Ops as well as training footage and live updates and footage from the Ops coming up in September 2015.
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