Table of contents
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E1 - Introduction
E2 - First Impressions
E3 - Stock
E4 - Grips
E5 - Sights
E6 - Receiver
E7 - Hop up
E8 - RIS, RAS, or Rails
E9 - Trigger
E10 - Muzzle
E11 - Magazine
E12 - Battery
G1 - Break Down
G2 - Motor
G3 - Piston and Piston Head
G4 - Spring and Spring Guide
G5 - Air Nozzle
G6 - Bucking and Bearing
G7 - Wiring
P1 - Basic Performance
S1 - Skirmish Reports
C1 - Conclusion and Ending NotesICS Mp5a5 Sportline ReviewBy: Sgt. HartwigE1 - Introduction
This as a review of the ICS Mp5a5 Sportline (or Plastic body version). ICS is a well known AEG manfacturer. Their fame is mainly due to their Split gearbox design on their M4/M16 series AEG. They were also the first to implement a quick take down body for Mp5s. The quick take down design will be covered in this review as well as all matters of their V2 gearbox. It is stated by ICS themselves that all internals are the same as those in their full metal AEGs, and that the only difference is the plastic body.
I purchased mine from Airsplat.com for the price of $154.95 which is currently the best price for this model anywhere. Shipping was nice. It came in a large brown cardboard box, nothing fancy about it. Inside the packaging was insulated with packing paper, similar in color to that of the cardboard. I had mine shipped by regular ground mail which is free at Airsplat for orders over $150 when the coupon “freeshipping” is used. So far so good.E2 - First Impressions
Upon opening the box i was expecting the red velvety covered plastic mold like that of ICS’s AK and M4 lines. Sadly i was greeted with a faded plum colored plastic mold. Everything was in its place. ICS included with it 2 hicap Mp5 mags, 1000bbs (0.2g), an instruction manual, and surprisingly a DVD. The DVD simply being a compilation of ICS’s Disassembly/Reassembly videos which can all be found on Youtube.com. The DVD being extremely useful for someone new to AEGs and their gun.
So then it was time to lift and inspect my new AEG. I first noticed the weight, it was heavier than i expected. But for the size and materials used im not surprised by it. The weight for the most part is contributed to the V2 gearbox inside it.
The finish was interesting. All the metal parts were a nice black color. The upper reciever is a matte black color (due to its material i’m assuming, it will be discussed later). With the lower reciever along with the end of the stock being the color of good old black ABS plastic. Which is slightly shiny under regular house lighting, but not so much that during play it would give off your position. Their are visible seem lines through out the gun due to plastic molds, but none of which make it hard to look at or unbearable to hold without gloves. So far not extremely impressed but nothing truly bad to say about the gun yet.
One of the many seam lines, this one happens to be on the back of the lower receiver grip.E3 - Stock
I bought the Mp5a5, which basiclly means its an Mp5 with a retractable stock. ICS’s retractable stock has 3 positions: the first fully collapsed, the second half way retracted, and third full retracted. The gun’s length when collapsed is 19.75 inches (50.2cm), 21.5 inches (54.6cm) when half way retracted, and 25.5 inches (64.8cm) when fully retracted.
The rails of the stock are metal, and the end, the butt of the stock, is ABS plastic. This design however allows wobble... In the fully retracted position it wobbles in every direction, but no more than a millimeter or two. In the half retracted position there is no wobble, this is the same for the fully collapsed position as well. In the end does it do its job? Yes and no. It allows for better aim with the sights, but if not held tightly against the chest it could cause you to aim off target. I have yet to look into any ways to fix the stock wobble.
Stock fully extended
Stock half way extended
Stock fully collapsedE4 - Grips
The Mp5a5 comes standard with the Navy style grip. The Navy stlye grip is accustomed to fit with most hand sizes and is constructed of ABS plastic. The front grip which is standard for most Mp5s is where the battery is stored. When the battery is not inside the front grip there is a fair amount of squeaking, but after the battery is in place the squeaking goes away. The front grip is nicely textured and constructed of what seems to be Nylon fiber, but is stated by ICS to be “reinforced Industrial plastic.”
Nicely textured gripE5 - Sights
The Sportline Mp5a5 is outfitted with the latest Mp5 sights. Those being the rotating rear sights with 4 different apertures which are easily changed by rotating the round “drum” in the back and the front hooded sight. The 3 circles in the rotating rear sight increase in height as they are rotated, the lowest setting being the V shaped cut out in the sight. The only fault with Mp5 sights is that there is no way to quickly adjust for wind, but if you have the time you can slighty un-screw the “Phillips” screw in the rear of the back sights to adjust it left or right.
I’ve had only one problem with the sights, and that was when my friend was using the gun. The design of the back sights is like a screw itself. When you rotate it the “drum” (the rotating peice), is set on a screw and clicks into place when the circle aligns with the front hooded sight. If you twist the “drum” too far left the spring is released (the spring that causes it to click into place) and gets caught under the “drum” ultimately disabling the “drum”. I know it sounds confusing, just be aware that if you twist it to many times to the left you will mess up the rear sight. Fortunately it can be fixed pretty easily, in fact i fixed it myself and it works just as when it was new. I used a diagram in the manual to see how it was put together, so i didnt have to go looking for a guide on the net. Overall the sights work great! Just be careful...
V cut close range rear sight
Circle cut longer range sightE6 - Receiver
ICS outfitted the Mp5 Sportline with a “reinforced Industrial plastic” receiver, or what i believe to be Nylon fiber. The plastic is nicely molded with rather realistic welding marks. There are seem lines but nothing major. My only gripe is that theres is a rather noticeable gap between the outer barrel and the top reciever, otherwise its quite nice. The only trades you will find on this gun are that of the caliber and ICS, ICS’s trades being very discreet. Infact the only ICS trades or trade i could find was on the bottom of the charging handle. Again nothing overly fancy, but compared to my old Galaxy Mp5-PDW its quite nice.
The noticeable gap between the outer barrel and receiver. Also notice the faux welding marks.
ICS's trades on the under side of the charging handle.
Caliber markings in German.E7 - Hop-Up
ICS’s copy of the TM design hop-up is the guns downfall. Needless to say it works great and is easily adjusted during a skirmish. As usual ICS’s stock bucking is of good quality. The hop-up unit itself is plastic, and is controlled by a lever on the outside of the gun behind the charging handle. The problem with the lever is that it gets bumped easily. Everytime I put in the battery and put the front grip back on I bump the lever. This is mainly due to the difficulty of putting in the battery. In the end i have to adjust the lever often back to its desired position.
Hop-up adjustment leverE8 - RIS, RAS, Rails
No rails... But it has the Mp5 latches for low profile mounts or an Mp5 style RDS.E9 - Trigger
The ICS Mp5 like most Mp5 airsoft guns has a metal trigger, and plastic trigger guard which is part of the lower reciever. Trigger response is normal. The selector switch is nice. It clicks into each setting, those being Safe, single fire, and fully automatic. The markings for the selector are molded into the plastic and then are painted in white or red. It looks very well done, the paint is inside (no messy paint outside the lines) the molded parts and it hasnt faded or flaked at all.
Nicely painted selector switch and markings.E10 - Muzzle
The ICS Mp5 is flash hider-less. What it does have is the tri-lug muzzle so that the Mp5 PDW flash hider can be attached. Though of course the flash hider is sold separatley and at a pretty penny as well, it retails at average for about $30.
ICS does not specify the diameter of the inner barrel. I assume it’s a standard 6.08mm barrel, nothing special. The barrel’s length is a standard Mp5 barrel, 229mm.
Also a quick note. The Gas tube cap can be removed and replaced by an ICS laser, which is also sold separately...
Gas tube cap removed, notice the threads inside.
The tri-lugged, flash hider-less and thread-less muzzle.E11 - Magazine
ICS includes to full metal hi-cap magazines. Each holding about 250 bbs, so you start off with acapacity of 500 bbs ready for shooting when you skirmish. The magazines feed perfectly, but when wound all the way they will not feed all of the bbs inside the magazine. Expect a bit of winding while skirmishing.
My only problem with the magazines provided are that that they are a pain to put in and take out. I believe this is due to a flaw in the magazine (the dimensions may be off) or the plastic lid on the magazine is not seated correctly (see pictures below). So far the only other mags i’ve checked for compatability are my old Galaxy magazines (both the low cap and hi-cap). They work just as well as the ICS magazines so I wouldnt be surprised if others such as JG or MAG magazines worked as well.
Strange mag defect, the gap between the metal and plastic top.E12 - Battery
ICS does not include a battery with their Mp5 Sportline guns. You must buy your own, so i did. The battery compartment is located inside the front grip. It is easily accessed by sliding out the pin at the front of the grip and simply removing the grip itself. There is ony room enough for a small type battery, this means nothing bigger than 2/3A cells and no more than 8.4 volts. I bought my battery off Cheapbatterypacks.com, and I must say I am once again happy to see the outstanding quality in their products. My battery uses Elite 1500mah 2/3A cells. It gives me a ROF of about 16rps.
The down fall of this gun is the space in the grip. It’s small, very small, and even with the recommended battery its extremely snug. Placing the battery inside the grip and getting the wires down inside it as well, is tough. This is the main reason the hop-up lever is bumped. You must apply alot of pressure to get the pin back in, and even then the side tabs that keep the grip in place will pop out, though just sliding them back nto place will get them to stick. It’s hard to explain and even harder to do. I will demonstrate how annoying it is in a video below.