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King Arms TROY A3 CQC Compact full Review

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King Arms TROY A3 CQC Compact Review




Mark and the team at King Armswere kind enough to send us the new TROY A3 CQC Compact for review and I have to say that I’m extremely impressed with the package.


Now before I start I would like to point out that this is, in fact the first King Arms complete weapon I have seen up close. Normally non Japanese products are sold as kits in Japan to get around the copyright laws held by Tokyo Marui on certain gear box features.


The King Arms TROY A3 CQC was sent to us in kit form so players purchasing this product may find that theirs is fully assembled on delivery, this is a real benefit for me as a writer and reviewer as it gives me the opportunity to get a good look at the gearbox straight away.


But before we take a look at the King Arms TROY A3 CQC let’s take a look at who exactly TROY are!




Troy Industries, Inc. is a United States Government Contractor specializing in the design, manufacture and marketing of advanced small arms components, small arms accessories and complete upgrade and reutilization of existing arms.


We pride ourselves in providing technically superior, high value, hard use, utilitarian products that perform in the most extreme combat conditions. This is the reason that ninety percent of our business comes from Military, Government, Law Enforcement & deployed contractors.


Whether you're a Soldier, Federal Agent, Police Officer, Contractor, or Citizen you have come to the right place when terms like "low bid and good enough" are not acceptable for describing weapons designated to safeguard your life and others.

We are honored and proud to provide our products to those who protect our Nation both here and abroad.


So what makes the King Arms TROY A3 CQC Compact standout from all the rest?


Let’s take a look!


The Box.


As many of you know over the last part of 2007 I reviewed a lot of the replicas coming from China and having gotten used to the plain brown boxes arriving on my doorstep I was surprised to find the King Arms box.


I must say having such a well finished and sturdy box was a sight for sore eyes and straight away King Arms wants you to know they are serious about their product.




Now this box is sturdy and more than capable of taking the abuse that the beloved UK postal service can through at it…or it at. Fortunately the Japanese postal service is a little more delicate and mine arrived without a dent or knock.


Now as I mentioned before the King Arms TROY A3 CQC Compact was sent to me as a kit to bypass the copyright laws on certain features.


The layout of the box is impressive with high density foam holding everything securely in place with another layer over the top to prevent anything from working its way loose.




Now although the TROY A3 CQC came as a kit the box comes with everything you need to assemble the complete replica.

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What You Get.


After unpacking everything I was left with a very impressive arrangement of internal parts, external accessories and the main body of the weapon, all individually packed or wrapped.


• TROY A3 upper and lower receiver


• VLTOR replica 6 position battery stock

• Vertical fore grip

• 300 rd high capacity magazine

• 2x rail covers

• Troy rear flip up battle sights

• King Arms Custom 7mm reinforced gear box

• Inner barrel and Hop chamber




The Gear Box


Now as this came as a kit I have to say I was happy that I didn’t need to strip down the weapon and that everything was already disassembled. All I needed to do was crack open the gear box.




Apart from the King Arms logo embossed on the side, the gearbox isn’t very different from the generic version 2 gear boxes found in other replicas.




It’s only until you take a closer look at some of the external features that you start to realize that this isn’t your everyday run of the mill version 2. Now the first thing you notice about the King Arms gear box is the trademark bright red selector plate and just this alone gives you a hint at just how custom this gear box is.




Now I’m always skeptical about so called reinforced parts but in the case of the King Arms products these really are tough. For one they feature copper coated conductors that give a much improved conductor than that of generic plates. They are also made out of the same nylon found in real firearms. This gives them the added benefit of being heat resistant.


Another thing to look out for is the 7mm bearing that are used on the King Arms gear box, these are a huge improvement on plastic bushing and also the 6mm upgrades.





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The last thing to note on the external features viewable on the outside of the gear box is the way the two halves are connected. Rather than using a mix of Philip’s and Torx screws, King Arms has replaced them all with Hex bolts. This is a huge benefit to players just getting into the sport or doing field repairs on skirmish days as you no longer need 1 tool specific for one job. Instead you can rely upon a generic tool found pretty much in everyone’s tool box.






Upon opening the gearbox you are greeted with a very impressive sight, and without a doubt this has to be one of the best ‘Stock’ gear boxes I have seen as you can see King Arms has used the same red nylon throughout the gear box.




One of the other things to point out is the use of high quality gearbox grease and the amount used. As you can see they have applied the correct amount as not to swamp the gear box and cause grease to be fired into the air nozzle and eventually the hop unit and barrel. I was sorely tempted not to remove it for the images.




To the untrained eye the gears look like generic gears. In actual fact they are all made from steel and reinforced. The gears are well machined and mesh perfectly together.


Bevel gear



Spur gear



Sector gear



The other nice feature is that the sector gear comes standard with a sector gear clip (Cam). The benefit of this is that it delays the release of the tappet plate and prevents feeding issues.




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The anti-reversal latch is also reinforced steel and is no different to other generic latches on the market, apart from the fact that this has been designed and tested to work with the gears.




The tappet plate is again made from the reinforced nylon and for those of you not believing the amount of punishment these can take you should take a look here. The use of red is really adding to the feel of a custom finish.




The switch assembly of the King Arms version 2 gear box also uses the same nylon; this assembly is a huge improvement on the generic versions found in Tokyo Marui’s. Not only does it attach to the main housing of the gear box in a more secure manner. Not only that but the springs, and hinge points are of a far better quality and construction.




The soldering is also very good, which is a far improvement on all of the products making their way out of China.




The piston is of a generic 16 tooth design and I was a little disappointed to find that it did not have the gaps along the rail to distribute the grease evenly along the piston as the current design causes grease to build up at the front of the piston increasing the risk of it being blown through the barrel. Also the Piston head is also of standard design and featured none of the more common items on upgrade parts, such as thruster bearings.




The cylinder is also very simple, but I have to say the finish is extremely smooth; this is also of the standard design with no bore up vents. This is due to the length of the barrel not requiring it.




The cylinder head is made from nylon and although looks very plain is actually very well made. The o-ring creates an extremely tight seal between the cylinder and the head. The head though has very limited padding on the reverse side which makes this a little more noisy then certain third party cylinder heads.




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Now due to legal requirements for both the UK and Japan the King Arms TROY A3 CQC Compact was supplied with the King Arms M90 spring, although a 100M spring would have still obtained a power level within the law this weapon is designed for CQC/CQB engagements where targets can be as close as point blank.


As it stands the M90 produces velocities around 90mps, 295fps or 0.8 Joules


Which needless to say is perfectly fine for a CQC environment




The spring guide is well made but again lacking in features often seen in other 3rd party products, again no thruster bearings to aid in keeping the condition of the spring. It is however perfectly capable of doing the job and as I won’t be upgrading the spring or other parts in the gear box, this one will be staying where it belongs.




Having removed 90% of the internals from the gearbox shell you start to notice where it is reinforced. The obvious place being directly behind the spur gear on both sides of the gear box.






Another thing that is an improvement over the generic shell is the addition of several mounting points on the shell. These help secure the two halves together and enable a better seal.




Hop Unit.


The Hop-unit is perfect, it’s actually the exact same unit that I purchase when upgrading other weapons and has all the features that make this hop unit one of the best on the market. The sensitivity of the dial is perfect and operators will be able to dial in to their preferred settings with ease and in knowledge that it won’t slip after the first few hundred rounds past through it.




One of the key points to note is that on the opening to the hop unit for the air nozzle to enter there is another o-ring, this again provides an exceptionally good air seal preventing any loss in air pressure.


The barrel looks like a bog standard brass inner barrel but is actually a 6.04 mm tight bore. This is very good quality and for CQC use will not require changing. Players that need a weapon that can be used in both CQC environments and more open ground might feel the need to replace this for a 6.01mm. But to be honest I don’t think it’s needed.






Now there are certain pieces of the gear box that don’t meet to the high standards set by others, the Spring guide and Piston head for example could have been replaced with versions with more features. But on the other side the switch assembly is amazingly good.


But having searched the King Arms website and finally assembling the gun, I now know that A/. King Arms do not manufacture parts with those features and B/. The gun doesn't actually require them.


So what is my verdict on the King Arms gearbox? Without a doubt the King Arms 7mm gearbox has to be the best ‘Stock’ gear box I have worked on, just the stock parts alone come to a significant cost to those of us that upgrade gearboxes from other manufacturers and that’s not including the fact you get a 7mm shell as well. Needless to say anyone purchasing this can sleep easy at night that they won’t need to drop more money into this product.

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Needless to say after being very impressed with the King Arms 7mm gear box, I was looking to be just as impressed with the externals, if not more so.


Now as you are aware the King Arms TROY A3 CQC came as a kit, but I’m not going to give you a walkthrough on how to assemble it. King Arms supply a very in-depth guide on this and to be honest has done a far better job than I could.


Now the first thing to point out is that the King Arms TROY A3 CQC compact is a complete package, meaning that it is a weapon designed for a certain role. In this case Close Quarter Combat.






The flash hider is your basic A3 birdcage and the quality of the piece is very good. The wear to the finish is caused by testing conducted to see if quick release suppressors would fit, such as the Gemtech Halo and the likes. The flash hider attaches to the barrel with a counter clockwise thread. But unlike other products on the market is not locked into place using a grub screw, but relies on the appropriate amount of washes to be installed on the barrel.




Attached to the barrel is the standard M4 front sight, this is a generic type that has been on the market for sometime and to be honest I was a little disappointed that King Arms decided on these rather than one of the more appropriate CQC sights that they manufacturer.




The barrel is a solid one piece design that is locked into place where it enters the upper receiver and by the RIS. This makes the barrel an incredibly sturdy platform for the inner barrel and when everything is in place and locked down you will be surprised at how solid this weapon is, definitely no barrel wobble issues here!




Delta ring that locks the barrel in place is designed for the support of the RIS and again is incredibly sturdy and will require the correct tool when removing.




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The RIS is again incredibly sturdy so much in fact that we had to ask King Arms exactly how to remove it as we were worried about damaging the weapon if we forced it! To remove the RIS you first need to remove the four hex bolts. Then you will need to depress the silver, spring loaded locking pin.




Once you have done that, slide the lower part of the RIS towards the flash hider. Now this is what caught us out, the RIS is very well made and will require some brute force, I found that attaching the vertical fore grip and using that for leverage, plus a screwdriver really helped. I also suggest a little grease along the rails before reassembly.


The laser etching on the RIS is exceptionally done and the 20mm mounting will allow the operator to mount any real steel or replica accessories to it.




The upper and lower parts of the receiver are very different to those currently on the market and have some features that put them head and shoulders over the competition.


The first is the captive receiver pins, any operator using a generic M16 or M4 will have no doubt experienced another player approaching you and pointing out that you have lost one of your receiver pins, well no more!


On closer inspection of the front receiver pin you will notice that the pin has small semispherical indent to it.




This indent is what the spring pin locks into when the receiver pin is pushed fully into both halves of the receiver and prevents the pin from working it’s way loose.




Not only that the same spring pin prevents the receiver pin from fully leaving the lower receiver when disassembling the rifle. Absolutely brilliant!





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One of the other major differences between the King Arms and other generic M16/M4 bodies is the bolt release catch. At first glance the bolt release catch looks the same as any other. But it’s only until you break it down that you see any difference.




The major difference is that the bolt release catch now has an arm to it that passes underneath the gear box.




This then attaches to another modification to the generic lower receiver design and that is a spring loaded catch. This catch engages the fake bolt as it’s pulled back, locking it in the open position.




By pushing the bolt release catch this then drops the spring catch on the opposite side of the lower receiver thus allowing the bolt to spring back into place.


Likewise the upper receiver has some differences to when compared to generic metal bodies on the market. The first is that there is actually a channel now for the bolt to slide along, but also the bolt itself is very different.


As you can see the bolt is now spring loaded and when the charging handle is pulled back the bolt also moves back locking with the spring latch.




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Now yes, this is a gimmick and its only real use is to hold the fake bolt back without having to also manipulate the charging handle while adjusting the hop unit. But never the less, it’s still something that is useful and offers something a little more unique.


Remember though all that is being moved is that thin piece of steal, so don’t expect the clanks that the SCAR or MP5 ranges offer.


To see the bolt in action check out the video below:



The magazine release catch is identical to others on the market, but uses a hex bolt to assemble the pieces; this is an improvement on the ‘Philips’ head screws used on other manufacturers products.




The trades and serials on the receiver set are of the highest standard and again laser etched giving a long lasting finish. Also you might be happy to know that each weapon has a unique serial number although this does not appear anywhere else on the rifle.





Moving down the gun wee come to the pistol grip, this is a very nice shape and made from high quality nylon and is a far cry from the awful plastic used on the Tokyo Marui M4 range. The textured grip panel offers a very firm grip that won’t cause blistering from heavy use.




The grip is also reinforced and with the four mounting points on the King Arms 7mm gear box makes a very secure mount.




The base plate of the grip is metal and unlike other models is not vented, some of you might be disappointed but to be honest my personal opinion is that unless you are going for a high speed rate of fire and using it as a support weapon your M4 is not going to over heat. The other added benefit is that it also offers a more sound proof housing to the motor.




Also many of you will be happy to know that the motor adjustment plate is incorporated into the design, so you won’t need to worry about losing the small metal disk down the side of the motor or losing a ball bearing.




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The supplied motor was not branded but as you can see from the images is very nicely finished and with an 8.4v battery was able to fire 13 to 14 rounds a second and perfectly skirmishable for players looking for something with a more realistic rate of fire.






The final difference between the King Arms receiver set is the extension tube from the lower receiver to mount the buffer tube to. The design team has rethought the design process and has made some changes that are really a benefit.


Players who use a battery stock and have upgraded to a metal body will all know about the need to ‘Chop’ the extension tube to allow a battery to be fitted. King Arms has designed the length to the precise measurement and not only that added to it!




As you can see they have reinforced the sides to give a sturdier and stress tolerating extension also they have created a gully that allows the cables to run over the bolt that holds the buffer tube to the lower receiver, thus reducing the risk of the cables getting pinched or severed.




Now you might be wondering why the cable from the gear box terminates so early, this is due to the modular design. Players can now switch the extension from a Tamiya to Deans or a Tamiya to Tamiya, which is the version supplied with the weapon.




The other benefit of this is that if you do pinch or sever the wires you will only need to replace the modular cable rather than rewire the whole gear box.


The buffer tube features a locking ring rather than a replica cast on the buffer tube of other manufacturers. The tube also comes with laser etched position markers that signal what position the stock is at.




Another feature of the tube is that it has already had the ends modified to allow clearance for the cables leading to the battery as you slide the stock up and down the buffer tube.


These edges have been rounded off as much as possible to reduce the risk of pinching or severing the cables.




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The battery stock is modeled around the VLTOR club foot modular stock and has to be one of the best replicas on the market. This is also made from high quality nylon that is found on real steel parts.




It also breaks down in pretty much the same manner as the real one. As you can see from the image below the stock is ready to take a custom battery designed for stock and requires no further work by the operator.




Located on the top of the stock is a small circular window this allows you to see the numbers on the buffer tube indicating what position the stock is in. Most operators will know from feel what position the stock is in but it’s nice just to be able to slide the stock to the correct position visually before the game begins.




The release catch is very firm, not so firm that you are fighting with it to adjust the position of the stock, but just enough so that accidental slippages don’t happen.




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The rear iron sights are based very closely on the TROY battle sights and are replicated almost perfectly. The only difference being is the windage markers on the front of the sights. On the real steel version these reference markers are not present.




This sight is a flip up variant and can be laid flat when not in use and due to the low profile design give the operator and much better field of version compared to other products on the market.




The sights can be raised by pressing the button found on the left hand side of the unit to either uses as a stand alone aiming device or to co-witness red dot sights, but please note these are not spring loaded and need to be raised manually.




The windage is adjusted in exactly the same manner as the real TROY combat sights by twisting the dial on the unit either clock or anti-clockwise.






The RIS comes with some nylon covers that are designed to not only give the operator a non slip grip if used without the vertical fore grip but also to protect the rifle or kit when the weapon is slung. These aren’t made out of the cheap nylon that has a tendency to split after some wear and tear.




Also included in the package is the King Arms modular vertical fore grip. This happens to be one of my favorite designs on the market. Having spent considerable time and money looking at different shapes and sizes currently on the market I finally chose the King Arms, so it was nice to see this one supplied as part of the TROY A3 CQC package.




As I said this is a modular design and a panel on the side of the grip can be removed to allow the operator to install a pressure switch for either a combat light or laser. Also the body of the grip is able to store 3x 123A batteries.




Finally we have the 350rd magazine. This is pretty much identical to other generic models on the market apart from the embossed King Arms logo on the base plate. We fire over 2000 rounds though the magazine and rifle without misfire or double feed.




The winding mechanism is very smooth and over winding will not result in the spring releasing. Also again we tested inserting the magazine at all angles both gently and combat slap, again without the spring releasing.




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Score & Conclusion.


I’m going to give the King Arms TROY A3 CQC Compact 9/10, I just can’t give this amazing piece of engineering a perfect 10.




This is a CQC weapon and I feel that certain feature of the rifle were more of a generic feel. The standard A3 Birdcage flash hider could have been replaced by any number of specific CQC flash hiders that King Arms produce, specifically the TROY CQC flash hider or the TROY medieval muzzle brake.


Like wise I feel the front sight really shouldn’t have been the standard M4 version and although the TROY front sights would have looked very odd, one of the PRI flip up sights would have been perfect.


But don’t get me wrong, the King Arms TROY A3 CQC compact is an amazing bit of kit and the overall look works! The innovation that has gone in to the receiver set is outstanding and it’s nice to see companies willing to make a stand and develop new ideas in to functioning parts.


For me this will be my first choice when fighting in a CQC environment!


Many thanks again to Mark and the Team at King Arms for supplying us with this product.



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nice review, now I know how KA does their bolt catch thing, the spring loaded bolt is the same as VFC's, but the catch for the bolt is on the body instead of being installed on the gearbox, which allows the use of non-marui gearboxes. The execution of this function is superior to VFC...

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So. Would it be possible to ship this as two packages to the UK, one package with everything and the other with the Gearbox only?


Thus it isn't a RIF, merely an upgrade. A very nice upgrade too - the GB isn't that interesting but those little touches like the bolt catch and stock tube etc gave me a massive hardon.

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Darklite, yes but in order to assemble the gun legally you would have to have some way to be able to prove you're a skirmisher to avail yourself of the defence, and that would mean you could import it legally fully assembled - customs might even ask for proof you're a skirmisher when they get the package containing most of a realistic imitation in any case.

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Darklite, yes but in order to assemble the gun legally you would have to have some way to be able to prove you're a skirmisher to avail yourself of the defence, and that would mean you could import it legally fully assembled - customs might even ask for proof you're a skirmisher when they get the package containing most of a realistic imitation in any case.


Fair enough. So I'll just have to get my skirmishing license then.

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