ICS M4 M4A1 Electric Airsoft Rifle Sport AEG
- 330 fps (0.2 g BB) / Range 180-200 feet
- Barrel Length: 14.5 inches / 37 cm
- Magazine Capacity: 400 Rounds
- Removable Carry Handle
- ABS Body and Metal Gearbox
- Battery and Charger sold Separately
- Accuracy Proven
- Made in Taiwan
ICS M4 Plastic Electric Rifle Manual
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The ICS M4A1 Sport is a cost effective version of their regular M4s. The only difference is the ABS Plastic receiver. Otherwise, the internals are identical. Along with the reduced price, you get reduced weight as well. This would come in handy for extended operations. Comes with two Thermold style magazines as well.
These ICS M4's are top of the line.
- Includes Newly Designed Gear Box with Upper and Lower Mech Box
- Full Metal Front and Rear sights
- ABS Receiver and Body
- Identical Internally Upgraded Mechbox
- Completely Reinforced
- Battery and charger NOT included with gun
Table of Contents:
Real Steel History
Basic Gun Information
Here we are again with another Booligan review. One of these days, you
guys will be sick of my writing and I‘ll be out of a job. That'll be a
sad day, if only for me, because I love the perks of the job.
the gun being reviewed today is the latest entry into the “Sportline”
arena, this time by the Taiwanese company ICS. Now, ICS has been an
innovator in the airsoft AR department, by creating their own gearbox
design utilizing a split configuration, making spring and piston swaps
super easy. They would have been foolish to sit on their laurels while
almost every other high end company releases plastic bodied versions of
their normally metal bodied guns, so they made their own in order to
keep up with the competition. Unlike some other companies' Sportline
guns, the internals of the ICS one is identical to the metal bodied
Real Steel History:
5.56 mm Carbine is a gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed, selective
fire, shoulder-fired weapon with a telescoping stock. A shortened
variant of the M16A2 rifle with a 14.5 inch (368mm) barrel, the M4
provides the individual soldier operating in close quarters the
capability to engage targets at extended range with accurate, lethal
fire. The original M4 Carbine has semi-automatic and three-round burst
fire modes, while the M4A1 has "semi" and "full auto", with no
three-round burst. The M4 Carbine achieves over 80% commonality with
the M16A2 rifle and was intended to replace the .45 ACP M3 submachine
guns and selected M9 pistols and M16 rifle series with most Army units
(this plan was thought to be changed with the development of the XM29
OICW and the XM8 carbine. However, both projects were canceled). The M4 Carbine is also capable of mounting the M203 grenade launcher, the
M203A1 with a 9-inch barrel as opposed to the standard 12-inch barrel
of the M203 used on the M16 series of rifle.
The ICS Model reviewed today is identical to a normal M4, only with a full
stock instead of the retractable stock. ICS does have a sportline M4
with a retractable LE stock though.
My specific gun that I'm reviewing today was provided courtesy of Airsplat in order to review for the fine folks here at Airsoft Retreat. It is
priced at $176.00, with free shipping for either the traditional LE
retractable stock, or the full stock model. This puts is slightly above
the cost of the ubiquitous JG or Echo 1 M4s of a similar style,
but the quality level both inside and out is night and day, with the
ICS coming out on top by a mile, which I'll elaborate on further on in
the review. It is currently available at Airsplat and will also be at pretty much any other major Airsoft retailer in the next few months.
Basic Gun Information
ICS M4 Tactical is the full stocked version of the venerable M4, which
allows for the use of large type batteries in the stock, and also
delivers a somewhat unique look in a sea of 6 position LE stocks. I
personally have a thing for full stock guns, which is why I went with
The gun arrived 2 days after ordering it from Airsplat via UPS, in good condition, with no box damage visible. Upon opening the outer brown shipping box, I was greeted by the ICS box, which is brown in color and has red and black printing showcasing the model that may lie within. The box is universal as to hold the full stock, retractable stock, and full stock commando variants, and the metal and plastic versions; a smart financial
decision on ICS' part which reduces overhead manufacturing costs.
ICS included a nice little feature on the box; an integrated carry handle.
The gun is set in a vacuum formed plastic base with compartments for all the bits and baubles showcased in the next section.
Everything tucked away in the oddly purple plastic base
with the gun itself are two “Thermold” style high capacity magazines, a
cleaning/unjamming rod, plastic front sight adjustment tool, a bottle
of about 1000 ICS brand yellow BBs, and a manual, complete with DVD
showing the basics of maintaining your new toy. There is no battery or
charger included, so you must purchase that on your own.
Everything freed from its plastic and cardboard prison
BBs, look to be fairly high quality
Height (Sight to mag):
As is par with the traditional “Sportline” model specifications, the ICS
features a plastic receiver; the major reason for the large drop in
price over the “Proline” model. The metal parts include the outer
barrel and flash hider, front and rear sling mounts, front sight, delta
ring, dust cover, all switch gear, top rail, body pins, and butt plate.
Basically, with the exception of the receiver, if it should be metal on
the real gun, it's metal on the ICS.
The full stock is
plastic, with a visible but not easily felt seam line, and is the same
stock as would be on an M16 variant. There is a metal sling mount on
the back, which feels plenty strong enough to hoist the weight of this
thing. The butt plate is metal and opens to allow for battery
installation. ICS stock compatibility is a bit of an issue, as they use
a special mounting system due to the split gearbox, so the stock tube
must modified to fit aftermarket non-ICS stocks using methodology
demonstrated in the numerous guides here on ASR, most of which are
written/compiled by XavierMace.
Mild seam line
Stock attachment point
receiver is, obviously, plastic. It doesn't feel like cheap ABS at all,
and the composition makes it look like it could be a nylon polymer
blend, but I don't know for sure. You cannot compress the magwell at
all, which shows overall strength both in the polymer mixture and the
mold design. There are no noticeable seam lines or mold marks on the
receiver at all. The fire mode selector settings are molded into the
receiver, so there's no paint to wear off after use. There are some
trademarks that look like they were screen printed on the left side of
the receiver, but they are done without any bleed out or overspray.
Note: The ICS Sportline is NOT COMPATIBLE with normal aftermarket AEG metal bodies. It IS compatible with ICS metal bodies.
back the cocking handle doesn't open the dust cover, but it can be
opened easily. There is a mock bolt carrier underneath the cover, which
is pulled back by the cocking handle, exposing the hop-up adjustment
Dust cover opened
Mock bolt carrier pulled back
switchgear all operate smoothly and freely, and feel good during
operation. The trigger pull is smooth and fairly light, as would be
expected on an AEG, and it returns firmly after release. The selector
switch clicks positively into its three settings with ease with no
binding or other hiccups. The magazine release does its job just fine;
releasing the magazine when pushed. One unique bits about ICS is the
uses of the forward assist to decompress the spring. The button is
connected to a lever that is attached to the anti-reverse lever, which
releases spring tension when pushed. Doing this before storing the gun
will prevent gearbox strain and spring degradation from leaving
the spring compressed. Why more AEG manufacturers don't do similar
systems is beyond me (aside from my assumption of ICS having their
The grip is a normal plastic M4 grip, and
has some fairly visible seam lines, but is far from uncomfortable . The
motor base is not ventilated, but features a flat head motor height
outer barrel assembly is fully metal, and is extremely solid for a
plastic bodied gun. The delta ring assembly appears to be compatible
with normal AEG handguards and RIS systems. The flash hider is metal and
only has the very tip painted orange. There are 14mm- threads
underneath for attaching different flashhiders or mock silencers.
Outer barrel (handguards removed)
handguards themselves are plastic, and feel a hair on the cheap side.
They stay together quite well and don't move around too much, but the
actual plastic blend used feels kind of light and thin.
front sight/gas block assembly is metal and is attached very solidly to
the barrel. There is a side mounted front sling mount, also metal,
which can be switched to work for left or right handed operators.
sights themselves are metal and are fully adjustable for windage and
elevation. The rear is mounted into a removable carry handle, which is
made of plastic and is attached via two metal thumbscrews. The 20mm
rail underneath is made of metal secured to the plastic receiver.
really not much more that I could ask for personally from a plastic
bodied AR replica, externally at least, but the review is young, and
there is much to discover with this gun.
are, unfortunately, no “real” manufacturer trademarks on the gun;
instead ICS opted to just put their logo on the side. There is a serial
number, but I don't believe they are unique to each gun.
There is one last ICS trademark hidden on the inner portion of the trigger guard:
gun includes two plastic “Thermold” style high capacity magazines, and
it is compatible with Tokyo Marui compatible magazines as well. The
included mags click in solidly with a minimum of wobble, although some
is still present like most other AR replicas. The magazines seem to
hold more than the normal 300 rounds that most AR mags hold, but not as
many as the longer metal M4 mags made by ICS. I may do an accurate
count of the capacity, but only if I really feel like it. The mags feed
well, as can be expected from a high end manufacturer.
Sportline M4 series features the same tried and true split V2 gearbox
setup, of which I am certainly no expert. There are multiple threads on
the boards about them, so I won’t bore you with the gory details, but I
will go over some highlights.
You access the gearbox by first
decompressing the spring by pushing the forward assist button, then
remove the rear receiver pin by simply tapping it out with a tool
of some sort. I have a blunt punch that’s the right size, and it works
well for me. After punching that pin out, the receiver will tilt
forwards, like a real M4, and you can slide the upper portion of the
gearbox right out. This makes spring and cylinder changes a breeze.
Shot of the gears
upper gearbox is easily opened up, exposing an assortment of well
greased parts, including a plastic piston with non-ported piston head,
plastic cylinder head, plastic spring guide, and ported cylinder. The
air seal is very good, even with a non-ported piston head.
Various upper gearbox parts
gun uses the Turbo 3000 motor, which is, overall, a good motor. It
seems to pull the stock spring with ease and doesn’t get too hot while
operating at stock power levels. It uses normal long type AEG motors,
so feel free to upgrade to your heart’s content.
It’s an M4. I really don’t need to say anymore do I?
I will, however, list the problem spots that you’ll run into, being that it’s an ICS:
1. Stock attachment is different, so you won’t be able to mount non-ICS stocks without modifying the stock attachment point.
Hop-up is different then normal TM compatible hop-ups. You can use
normal buckings and nubs in it, but if you want to switch to a normal
TM style hop-up you must modify it to fit.
3. Standard TM compatible metal bodies will not fit.
Other then that, you should be good to go to crank this thing into the M4 of your dreams.
Price to Quality ratio is astounding
Strong split V2 gearbox
Great shimming, wiring, etc…
Plastic body quite strong
Spring decompression button
ICS’ normal use of some non-compatible parts
No battery/charger (normally not an issue, but this is aimed at entry level players who like “ready to run” packages)
Non ported piston head, plastic spring guide
I’ve never been a fan of ICS guns personally, but this is a good gun
for people who may be apprehensive about them to ease into seeing the
ICS side of things. It certainly helped me see the light. They really
do build some pretty innovative stuff, and the addition of “Sportline”
models into their lineup makes them available to the masses. All in
all, it’s a quality piece of equipment for an affordable price.
Review by Booligan from Airsoft Retreat
Use & Function of Forward Assist Knob
In Semi-Auto mode, after each shot, the piston can stop at these two positions seen below. It will vary depending on the strength and length of the spring, as well as the power of the motor.
In Automatic Mode, after each string of shots, the pistol can stop at position 1 and 2, but may also land on position 3 or 4. Clearly, in positions 3 and 4, the spring will be much more compressed.
When using the forward assist button to release spring tension, follow the steps below:
1. Unload the airsoft gun by removing the magazine.
Switch the airsoft gun into semi-auto mode and fire 2-3 times to reset the piston into position 1 or 2 and to clear the barrel of any remaining BBs.
2. Staying in semi-auto mode, press the forward assist knob to release spring tension.
3. Pushing the forward assist knob in full auto mode may damage your gun! As seen in position 3 or 4, the spring will be extremely compressed. Releasing this spring tension may cause the entire sector gear to make a full rotation and slam into the rear of the piston, causing it to crack, chip, strip or fracture. Only press the forward assist knob in semi-auto modes.
Airsoft ICS M4 Gearbox Assembly Guide
Airsoft AEG ICS M4 Gearbox Disassembly Guide
Airsoft AEG ICS M4 Disassembly Guide
Airsoft AEG ICS M4 Assembly Guide
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This airsoft gun is not to be misrepresented as a real firearm or gun that is manufactured by Colt and is merely an airsoft gun that fires 6mm pellets. The manufacturer of this airsoft gun is ICS.
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