Today we want to give focus on the ICS CXP MMR series of guns. We'll be focusing on the Carbine, but there is an SBR and DMR length gun available as well.
ICS is a highly underrated brand in my opinion and for those that have heard about them, they really enjoy what ICS has to offer. ICS is a name that has been around for a very long time in the world of airsoft. It was also one of the first legitimate non-Japan imported guns that we could get in the USA that were full metal and pre-upgraded at a more than reasonable price.
Currently the ICS rifle lineup for their M4 style guns consists of sportline and proline models made for players with different needs. The CXP series is a proline model which features a metal body and ICS's renown split gearbox design and electric blowback. The MMR lineup features three models of various lengths utilizing a free-floating MLOK rail system and many ergonomic enhancements.
First, let's go over the most important feature: the split gearbox. The majority of the parts inside ICS M4 style guns are common version 2 parts. That means no need to search for special order proprietary parts as far as the standard gearbox components go. That also means that for most upgrades, they should work with the ICS gearbox too. The main parts that are different are the hopup and nozzle. The hopup is already a metal chamber dial type, so upgrading that is not necessary. The nozzle is a different type than a normal M4 version 2 style. The shell itself will be where the major differences lie. The split design allows you to open up your ICS rifle like a real AR/M4 pattern rifle. The upper gearbox occupies what would be where a real bolt is located, and is removed exactly the same way. From there, all your upper gearbox components are isolated, allowing you to work on them independently of the lower gearbox.
The upper gearbox contains the cylinder components, piston, spring, and spring guide. In addition to that, the spring guide is quick-change, meaning you can pop out the spring and swap in another one in just a few seconds. This is the fastest gun to upgrade or downgrade out there, and very handy if you are a player who hits all types of fields.
The lower gearbox contains your electrical components and gears. You can check the health of your trigger contacts and you can check your gears for tolerances as well as damage with just a quick peak into the lower. If you add up all the time it would take to tear down a gearbox on a typical M4 which requires some lengthy disassembly, you would probably be spending an hour or more. With this type of gun, you can isolate in sections what you need to look at and do it all in half the time.
Now there is some other unique features built into the gearbox that translates to features on the outside. There is a fake bolt connected to the upper gearbox that moves as you cycle the gun. This is known as electric blowback and gives you simulated bolt movement. The selector also does more than put your gun on safe-semi-full auto. The selector, when put in the safe position, releases the spring tension in your gearbox. Decompressing the spring when not in use is good for keeping longevity of the spring which is one of the main components in delivering velocity. You will also have to do this before you open the receiver up otherwise your components will be under stress/load when you do that. For new players who bought a high end ICS as their first guns, we often see damage associated with people not understanding this.Now because releasing the tension does cycle some nozzle movement, your gun, if loaded, will probably chamber 2 rounds on your next shot. That is a quirk of the system, but overall harmless. This will happen when you are in the middle of battle so don't worry too much if you see it, otherwise don't use this function during a game if it bothers you.
For external features, the gun features a metal MLOK rail system. You get folding backup iron sights, nicely textured grip, and the stock is a comfortable and easy to manipulate design (though it will only fit a short buffer tube Lipo battery). The gun has a fuse and MOSFET so you can run a Lipo battery without problems. The best type to run is a 7.4 volt battery. The gun is very efficient with the motor and gearing so you have great rate of fire with this battery. If you try an 11.1v battery, the gun will cycle very quickly and the magazine may have trouble keeping up.
The magazine catch has an enlarged button to make it easier to reach. The magazine is an ICS TMAG 300-round high cap. This has a nice window so you can see how much ammo you have left. TMAGs also come in mid cap form.
Shooting this gun at our field, we got great range out of the stock barrel setup. If you want a bit more precision and a boost in FPS, try upgrading to a 6.03mm or 6.01mm and see how these ICS guns really wake up. The stock gun shoots around 400fps with .20g BBs which is suitable for the majority of the outdoor fields out there. If you upgrade to a tight bore, it will push the gun over that so be aware that you might be shooting too hot for the field you intend to play (unless there are special DMR rules). You can take advantage of the quick-change spring and put a weaker spring to compensate and get you under the limit. With the barrel providing that FPS boost and less spring tension, your gun will be more efficient and use less battery to deliver the same power. Semi-auto only players will probably enjoy this gun and see better trigger response as a result.
The carbine sized rifle itself is the perfect blend for outdoor use with some CQB use. It is comparable to your normal M4 length gun but with a longer handguard for control and extra space for accessories. If you play more CQB or like small guns, the SBR model would be the better choice. If you like the look and feel of the longer guns, the DMR is perfect for that. There are no internal differences to note between the three models other than barrel length. If I had to choose between these three models a gun that could fulfill most if not all my needs for the many places I might play at, the carbine would be my choice.