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ICS CXP ARK - AK Evolved

Posted by Matthew Meraz on 8th Mar 2021

ICS CXP ARK - AK Evolved

Hey everyone, welcome back to our blog and today I want to talk about the ICS CXP ARK which is ICS's rendition of what a modernized AK should be.

ICS is a top tier manufacturer and a majority of their lineup is pro line guns. 

I would stack them up there with VFC or Krytac if not better. Their M4 style guns are beloved by anyone running them due to their use of the split gearbox design that allows easy maintenance, upgrades, and repairs to be performed on the airsoft gun. 



So let's talk about this AK. The official name is the ICS CXP ARK, and with their funky naming convention, it always makes it a tongue twister for me to talk about their guns without throwing a fit, so from here on I'm just going to call it the ICS AK.

ICS ARK High Cap Mags

ICS ARK Mid Cap Mags

The ICS AK is a full metal gun and is priced in the $400 range. Starting with the inside of the gun, you have a nice and beefy gearbox which ICS is always known for. Their gearbox shells are thicker and more robust which means they are plenty durable, even when you play in freezing cold weather. 

Thinner gearbox shells can crack from it being too cold which is not ideal for any airsoft gun no matter how expensive, but we've run our ICS M4 variants without a hiccup in the same conditions. The gearbox is a version 3 and has a quick change spring guide in the back. 

This feature is accessible by taking the gearbox out of the body so there is still some work to be done to change springs, but not nearly as bad as a full teardown. The gun has a metal hopup chamber and a black aluminum barrel that is a standard bore just like other ICS guns. Take note that ICS guns have great compression and efficiency despite a fairly wide bore barrel for a stock gun. If you change the barrel to a tight bore you should see a noticeable increase in FPS.

The gearbox is supplemented with a MOSFET which is wired to the rear. Under the top cover of this AK is a mock bolt assembly so you do not run the typical stick batteries that you would for any other AK. Instead, you have a generous space in the Masada/SCAR-like stock in the back which can fit a butterfly battery. I recommend an 11.1v or 7.4v Lipo with this gun. There is a fuse block which can be bypassed simply by unplugging it and taking it out. It is all connected by simple Tamiya-type connectors. This is an odd choice here and I think you are better off removing it altogether and lengthening the wires to make life easier while converting it to a Deans/T-plug. That's my opinion anyway.

The gun shoots as well as any ICS really so it's going to be very dependable and reliable and most of all consistent. One feature to note that you will not find in other AKs is the decocking function. ICS has built in a decock function which decompresses the spring in your gearbox once you put the gun on safe. This keeps tension off the gearbox spring when you put the gun away and should keep that component from wearing out as quickly and still maintaining the level of performance longer. It's a very slick feature to say the least.

How The CXP ARK Looks

The outside of the gun looks gorgeous to say the least. The quality of the polymers used on the furniture is fantastic and have a great texture. The metal parts feature a black semi-gloss to matte kind of finish and it all feels very sturdy and well put together. AKs no matter what furniture do tend to be heavier than M4s and this is no different. This feels like a 9lb rifle before you put anything on it.

The looks to me are fantastic and it comes in all black or black with ranger green furniture. I believe they list the green as OD green but to me it is more like sage or ranger green so I'm sticking to that. This is the only look they have to their ARK AKs so far so purists might be turned off at the lack of a classic AK option.

The top cover features a rail so you can add an optic to it as you please. The right handed selector lever has extended portions to make it easier for you to manipulate. The stock as mentioned looks like something you find on a SCAR or Masada. It can extend and also you can raise the cheek piece. The stock is easily removed for battery compartment access but it is secure.

ICS Guns and Accessories

ICS has also designed a lineup of mags for the ARK AKs that follow the TMAG aesthetic that they had previously established on their CXP (M4) series. These mags come in black or ranger green. 

What else is included?

Beyond the colors you get two flavors of magazine: a 540-round high cap or a mid-cap. The high cap features a window so you can see how much ammo you have left and has metal reinforced tabs so they don't suffer the same breakage that cheap airsoft AK mags might have.

The mid cap is sort of an oddity to me as it is a 50/80 round capacity. What I mean by that is that you can toggle how much you wish to hold. It's not a feature I see too many players demand and for a mid cap, this is kind of a low amount of ammo even on the 80-round setting. This features an extended follower to make sure it feeds every last shot, whereas almost all other mags lose about 4 rounds. The mags themselves perform great but the odd capacity choices are the only flaws I could point out. The TMAGs and ARK AK mags always feel robust and well worth the money for any ICS owner.

The Fox Airsoft Conclusion 

If you are a huge ICS fan and want to try their offerings in a non M4 platform, this gun demands a good look. If you are shopping for a proline level AK and want something from a high end maker that looks really awesome, this gun might demand a look too. I hate to bring up comparisons but a lot of people tout CYMA AKs as being great. They are, for the money. 

But on their more expensive guns, it's a very basic machine in a metal body. That might appeal to many but when you shoot a true proline level gun beside it, you will feel the consistency, trigger, response, and smoothness that a well put together gun will get you. 

Pick your AK based on your budget and priority and what your true wants out of it are. If you want something robust, reliable, and very very well put together, the ICS CXP AK checks all those boxes.

Interested in buying one? Buy a ICS CXP-ARK now

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