Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Noveske

Avalon BCM4 14.5"

Recommended Posts

Before I get started, I have to say that I'm not one to write many reviews on AEGs since I build most of mine from scratch, so please forgive me if you have no idea what I'm talking about after reading this, but feel free to ask questions!

 

From what I know, VFC is the OEM for Avalon and on this occasion Avalon has surprised us by collaborating with another, newer, Taiwanese manufacturer Crusader as well as Magpul PTS to bring us the BCM4 series. Bravo Company Manufacturing or BCM is known in the RS world for their quality precision parts for the AR platform and apparently Travis Haley also swears by BCM (LOL).

 

First Impressions

 

My first impression, when the box was presented to me was, “Where’s the polymer rifle case?” Avalon did not include the VFC polymer rifle case as they did with their previous releases (MK18Mod0, M4RIS, etc.) this time. The BCM4 comes in a shabby cardboard box with an Avalon sticker on the outside. Contents of the box were the BCM4, a PTS EMAG and….nothing else. No manual, no catalogues, nothing. But as soon as I picked up the BCM4, my frown turned upside-down. The first thing I noticed was that the rifle was relatively light and well balanced. I also noticed that it was very tightly put together, meaning, nothing loose or rattling inside. Then the next thing I noticed were trademarks, trademarks, trademarks!

 

Key Features:

- MAGPUL PTS MOE Hand Guard Mid Length

- MAGPUL PTS EMag Mid Cap

- MAGPUL PTS MOE Trigger Guard

- MAGPUL PTS MOE Pistol Grip

- MAGPUL PTS ASAP Ambidextrous Sling Attachment Point

- MAGPUL PTS MOE Carbine Stock

- Crusader MB556K Muzzle Brake

- Crusader Bcmgfh Mod 3 Charging Handle

- Crusader M4 AEG 14.5" CNC Aluminum Barrel for MOE 9"

- Crusader M4 AEG Anti-Rotation Links

- Crusader BAD-CASS-3P M4 AEG Selector Levers

 

IMG_7883.jpg

IMG_7885.jpg

 

 

 

 

Externals

 

Barrel Assembly/Front Sight

Starting from the tip, the BCM4 sports a steel Crusader replica Surefire MB556K muzzle-brake/flashider. Although the flashider did not have any trademarks, I was impressed by the quality and finishing. I’m guessing it was casted then finished with some CNC work.

 

IMG_7901.jpg

 

The Crusader outer barrel is made of aluminum which, along with the polymer MOE Mid-length hand guard, keeps the longer 14.5” fore-end rather light. Crusader spared no details with their outer barrel with stamped trademarks. The 14.5” BCM4 sports a standard M4 front sight post (KAC Flip style on the 16”).

 

IMG_7914.jpg

 

Handguard

 

Magpul PTS MOE Midlength on the 14.5” (Riflelength on the 16”). As mentioned before, this keeps the front assembly rather light and the entire rifle well balanced. Personally, I’m not a fan of the MOE handguards. I prefer free float rail systems which is more versatile with accessories (without having to tack on another rail) and front BUIS options.

 

IMG_7913.jpg

IMG_7903.jpg

 

Upper Receiver/Fake Bolt Carrier

 

BCM Trademarks! Both on the fake bolt carrier and the rear of the upper receiver. The fake bolt carrier mechanism is the VFC system which enables you to charge and lock the bolt plate back for easy adjustment of the hop-up.

 

IMG_7898.jpg

IMG_7897.jpg

 

Charging Handle and Rear BUIS

 

Avalon used Crusader’s BCM Gunfighter Mod 3 charging handle which has an extended large lever as well as, yes, trademarks on the top surface of the handle and on the bottom of the lever. It is a pity, however, that AEG charging handles don’t go all that far back so you can’t actually see that much of the trademark.

 

IMG_7896.jpg

IMG_7892.jpg

IMG_7907.jpg

 

The rear BUIS is a replica of the popular Troy style BUIS with BCM’s logo engraved on the front. Once locked in the up position, the BUIS seems quite solid, however, the flip mechanism seems slightly loose when the lock is disengaged and the sight is flipped down, especially when I compare it with Bomber replicas. Nonetheless, it’s one of the better replica Troy sights I’ve seen to date.

 

IMG_7895.jpg

IMG_7894.jpg

 

Lower Receiver/Selector/Anti-Rotation Pins

 

BCM Trades on the receiver, MOE Pistol grip and trigger guard. Standard mag catch. Need I say more?

 

IMG_7891.jpg

 

The Crusader BAD-CASS-3P M4 AEG Selector Lever is my favorite feature on the entire BCM4. This is probably because I’ve been plagued by many years of shifty selectors on my AEG ARs. The Crusader BAD-CASS-3P levers are tight and they snap into place perfectly. The only comparison I can make is that it feels close to a GBBR/RS selector. It’s a pity they did not add an ambidextrous selector feature as Avalon did with all their other ARs.

 

IMG_7890.jpg

 

Another cool detail Avalon added was the Crusader Anti-Rotation links (ARL) for AEG. The pseudo trigger pin that is used in most AEGs to secure the gear box into the receiver are known to get loose, shift and fall out over time, especially with a lot of rifle disassembly. The Crusader ARLs are a good alternative to eliminate the chance of losing that pin, not to mention they look cool too

 

Sling Plate/Stock

 

The Avalon BCM4 sports the newer generation Magpul PTS ASAP sling plate with the Magpul logo on the left side and the PTS logo on the right. Dynamics anyone?

 

IMG_7888.jpg

 

The stock on the 14.5” is a PTS MOE Carbine stock (PTS ACS on the 16”). I have to note that Avalon used a VFC stock tube which is not to spec at all. The PTS MOE stock is loose on it. I also tried a RS CTR and it was also loose on the tube.

 

IMG_7912.jpg

 

Internals Quick Overview

 

I hadn’t had time last night to dissect the internals of the BCM4, but I expect that they will be similar to VFC internals. I will post more details about the internals and performance later. But I did do a quick take down and found the following:

 

Hop-Up (Shocked!)

 

This was a huge shocker to me, but I expected the standard VFC clear plastic hop up chamber, but to my surprise, I did not find one. Instead, there was a different style hop up which resembled the Pro-Win dial-style enhanced chamber, but made of polymer. Tested a few shots and it held its straightness very well! Will post more about the performance later.

 

IMG_7904.jpg

 

Gearbox (Quick Overview)

 

Looks like a VFC standard V2. I’ll post more about it later when I dissect it.

 

IMG_7909.jpg

 

 

Conclusion on First Impressions

 

I am impressed, though I expected nothing less than excellence from Avalon. They came through, yet again with another great product. At the price of USD369, one may think it’s on the pricier side, but when I compared the BCM4 to similar MOE AEG carbines, it’s actually quite a good value considering what you are getting (there are some cheaper G&P alternatives and some more expensive KA ones). I believe the only other MOE midlength carbine available now is the Beta Project which is USD40 less than the Avalon (I believe the BP uses ACM internals?).

 

Pros:

-Avalon/VFC build quality

-Trademarks!

-New enhanced hop-up chamber

-Functional bolt catch

-Great sturdy selector

-Anti-rotation links

-Well-balanced weight (light)

-More trademarks!

 

Cons:

-Cheapo packaging (lack of polymer case/no instruction manuals/catalogues)

-Stock tube not to spec / stock a bit loose

-No ambidextrous controls

-Only 1 color (black) available

 

I will post more on the internals/performance later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... the gun looks good. I was interested in one of these or the longer 16 inch version. Looking forward to your performance review. Another question, can you only get these from WGC shop in HK right now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I know, only WGC is carrying them right now in HK, as they are the exclusive distributor for AVALON & VFC. All HK retailers get them from WGC. I think you'll see some other distributors carry them soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review, and this is very tempting.

 

At US$369, it's actually quite a bargain with the amount of Magpul furniture it comes with.

Noveske, do you have plans to change the rail? and also, how much are WGC charging for this in HKD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review man; Good pictures 'n all. It really is a nice looking piece, the markings are awesome. Wonder if they've got any plans on a GBBR version...

 

Based off the VFC system? That would be interesting, but don't know if Avalon will jump on the GBBR bandwagon. And I'm thinking there aren't and EMAG/PMAGs out for the VFC yet.

 

Noveske, do you have plans to change the rail? and also, how much are WGC charging for this in HKD?

 

Oh yes, most definately! As usual, this is just a base gun for me. WGC's local HKD price is HKD2750.

 

Good review. Guess you'll get rid of the PTS stuff....LOL.

 

You know it!

 

Very smallish gripe, but a BCM upper would not have a Colt "C" forge mark.

 

Good catch! I guess they used the same cast as all of the AR receivers! LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a chance to give it a few runs through the chrono today. I used KSC 0.25g 6mm bbs. Results are as follows:

 

Result #1: 250.2FPS / 0.72J

c0fa9313.jpg

Result #2: 245.3FPS / 0.70J

66d02dfc.jpg

Result #3: 248.4FPS / 0.71J

433202e5.jpg

Result #4: 248.5FPS / 0.71J

e1669794.jpg

Result #5: 250.9FPS / 0.73J

9c00f117.jpg

 

AVERAGE: 248.84FPS / 0.714J

 

This is quite a suprise as most of my VFC come stock with about 1.2J. I'm guessing these may have been tuned down for the Japanese market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am surprised by this, my previous two VFC's came in at 360-370 fps on 0.2g's. I'm guessing it's 270-280 fps on 0.2's then?

 

I am seriously contemplating this with a Dytac Invader 9" front end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some photos of the internals. Most of it was pretty standard VFC stuff including the piston, chamber, nozzle, gears, lots of nasty grease, etc. What did suprise me was the aluminum piston-head. I recall my last VFC having a polymer one.

 

19f4537a.jpg

dd277a9b.jpg

665356dc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's that star shaped pattern on the gear there? Grease, corrosion, cracking..?

 

 

Grease combined with centrifugal force, I've seen that on a few G&P's I've stripped down that were a bit over-lubed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like it's quite a nice piece, though with VFC internals I'd be wary - those gears are fond of loosing teeth quickly.

 

Does it still use plastic 7mm bushings like the last few VFC M4s I've had open?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's that star shaped pattern on the gear there? Grease, corrosion, cracking..?

 

Centrifugally splattered grease.

 

Seems like it's quite a nice piece, though with VFC internals I'd be wary - those gears are fond of loosing teeth quickly.

 

Does it still use plastic 7mm bushings like the last few VFC M4s I've had open?

 

Nope, 7mm metal bushings.

 

 

I"d like to add that after installing a M110 spring in to it, I'm still only getting <280FPS (<1J) with 0.25g bbs. I'm trying to pin down what Avalon/VFC did to make it so weak. I suspect that they used some sort of way to vent some of the air pressure via the piston head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The seal between the air nozzle and hop bucking.in the chamber is suspect. New type hop might be off spec. That's happened to my magpul pts masada akm. I ended up filing away the face of the tappet plate for the nozzle to go farther forward. Originally, my masada was shooting close to 350 fps with the stock spring. After adjustment to the tappet/nozzle assembly....I was getting up to 379 fps with the same spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The seal between the air nozzle and hop bucking.in the chamber is suspect. New type hop might be off spec. That's happened to my magpul pts masada akm. I ended up filing away the face of the tappet plate for the nozzle to go farther forward. Originally, my masada was shooting close to 350 fps with the stock spring. After adjustment to the tappet/nozzle assembly....I was getting up to 379 fps with the same spring.

 

sacairsoftsn00py, you are a genius! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I must've been blind to not notice that the Avalon/VFC gearbox has a tiny hexscrew on the front to adjust the distance of the tappet plate. And that's EXACTLY what the issue was! I have to say in all my years of airsofting, I've never had a gearbox with this feature.

 

I adjusted the hex screw to give the maximum travel distance forward for the tappet plate and voila, 370fps /1.6XJ with a M110 spring using 0.25g bbs. Nifty lil feature I must say!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A screw that adjusts the travel of the tappet plate? Wow....

 

A bit off topic, I had to sand down an area1000 tappet plate to work with my ca m249 para. Originally, it kept the air nozzle from making a seal with the hop bucking. Now its air tight :) just gotta wait for a few more parts then I put it together and shoot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I adjusted the hex screw to give the maximum travel distance forward for the tappet plate and voila, 370fps /1.6XJ with a M110 spring using 0.25g bbs. Nifty lil feature I must say!

 

Over 100 FPS gained just from that? Very interesting feature.

 

Can it be accessed just be removing the upper or does the GB need to come out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over 100 FPS gained just from that? Very interesting feature.

 

Can it be accessed just be removing the upper or does the GB need to come out?

 

All you need to do is remove the upper and the screw is accessible without the GB coming out (sorry, it's a tiny flat head screw not a hex.. lol!) I'll take some photos and post them later tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review =) Did you happen to take pictures of this screw?

Also, LiPo in the buffertube I suspect? (I'm used to AK's, so a bit noobish when it comes to AR's)

 

Planning on getting myself one of these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, it seems like I'm the only other person on the planet who has this rifle so I'll add to Ben's review.

 

As Ben mentioned, this is a new VFC model that has 2 unique features that I suspect will be standard on all new models:

 

1. G36 style radial dial hopup

2. Tappet plate screw to lower FPS by creating an airleak

 

Ben had told me about the 2nd feature right after I got the gun and after I took out the screw, the FPS was around 360-370 with 0.20g... not enough for me. I took it apart to try a M120 spring but it didn't raise the FPS much at all.

 

To make a long story short, I brought it to a professional airsoft-smith and just told him to go nuts with it and put in a "REAPS" hopup which was all the rage at the time. He basically gutted the internals and replaced everything with SHS parts (which he swears by) then made a few mods like:

 

* Filing down the face of the tappet plate so that the air nozzle can ride deeper into the hopup chamber

* Replacing the M4/16 nozzle with a M14 one (he claims this improves feeding)

* Replaced the traditional hopup chamber spring with one that wraps around the barrel and is MUCH stronger than the original.

 

He put in a REAPS 60 degree.

 

After I got it back, the thing purred like a Ferrari. Only thing wrong was the FPS. It was very unstable going between 380 to 430. He said this may be due to the REAPS which at the time even he was not familiar with.

 

I took it home and did some minor mods on the barrel with teflon tape so it wobbles less in the outer barrel. Then after reading some really bad news on the REAPS, I decided to swap it out for:

 

ProWin M4 Hopup chamber

Systema bucking

Firefly soft (black) flat bucking

 

I was using a 407mm Prommy ASH barrel. On a M120 spring I got EXCELLENT performance both in terms of FPS stability and accuracy.

 

Soooooo.....................

 

What this means for you all is:

 

* Take out the tappet plat screw, it's a horrible way to lower FPS

* The original hopup chamber is VERY tight, I was basically only able to fit the somewhat thin bucking the came with the gun and a KWA G2 bucking. All other buckings, especially Guarder clear didn't fit at all.

* If you experience air leaks, it's likely the tappet plate is to blame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was so looking forward to this as my next AEG, but it looks as if WGC is sold out. Does anybody know of any other retailers or when they might be in stock? (I couldn't find any) I emailed WGC but to no answer.

 

Also it is Li-Po right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and the use of session cookies.