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ICS AK-74M Review

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ICS AK-74M Review




The AK-74 assault rifle is the modernized version of the AK-47 developed in 1974, chambered in a smaller cartridge (5.45 x 39 mm vs. 7.62 x 39 mm). The weapon went into mass-production in 1976. The newest variant, the AK-74M, is the main service rifle for the Russian Federation armed forces and has been since the early 1990's. When it first appeared, the AK-74 was assumed to be a limited-production version to equip special forces. In reality, the Soviet Union was to mass-produce this rifle to replace their inventory of AKM weapons en masse.

Like its parent AK-47 and AKM weapons, the AK-74 is a magazine-fed, selective-fire, intermediate caliber assault rifle with a rigid piston gas system and rotating bolt locking mechanism. The stamped sheet metal receiver is borrowed from the earlier AKM. The AK-74 has other differences from the AKM, notably the distinctive muzzle brake. This muzzle brake drastically cuts the already mild recoil and muzzle climb of the AK-74 but has the negative effect of increasing noise and muzzle blast. Current production versions also employ a mounting rail on the left side of the receiver for fixing a telescopic or night vision sight. Besides the Soviet Union and its successor states, the AK-74 was widely adopted by many Soviet client states and other nations, in particular users of the AK-47 and the AKM, although not nearly as extensively as those rifles. Like the AK-47 and the AKM, the AK-74 was copied both illicitly and under license by many of its operators. Yugoslavia license built the weapon as the M80, and it was featured prominently among many of the armed forces operating in the country during the 1990s. It remains the service weapon for many of the former Yugoslav republics. Semi-automatic variants of the AK-74 have gained in popularity with gun owners in the United States due to laws there restricting ownership of machineguns. Civilian rifles (and pistols) based on the Kalashnikov include a hodgepodge of features from various countries even in caliber 5.56 x 45 mm. Captured AK-74s and several variants thereof have also been used by the Taliban, Al-Quaeda, and Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and by Osama Bin Laden and his subordinates in videos and interviews.


Company Background


I Chih Shivan Enterprise ( ICS ) was founded in 1983, in the early stage mainly concentrated in airgun and gas-pistol development and production. Until recent years, AEG undoubtly will be the market main stream, the related products in the current market mainly imported from Japan, therefore, the pricing is extremely high but also after sales services and spare part also poses a difficulty to airsoft lovers. In 1998, ICS decided to devote totally into the research and development of AEG, with best quality and pricing to airsoft lover as their main objective. However, their first MP5 Series fared horribly, but soon they corrected the problems, and ICS soared. Recently they innovated the M4 series by designing a split gearbox and spring decompression button.




Gear Box - Ver.3

Motor – ICS Turbo 3000

Magazine – 550 (2 included)

Length – 960mm

Barrel Length – N/A

Weight – 3,000 grams

Battery – 8.4v Large Battery

Muzzle Velocity – 300 fps


Initial Impressions


Upon opening the box I was stunned. Unlike normal AEGs, this particular AEG was packed as if meant for a king. The beautifully crafted gun lies in a sea of maroon cloth, accompanied by two 550 round high capacity magazines (a really nice treat compared to other AEGs). After the visual treat you receive upon opening this box, your first reaction is to pick it up. The gun is incredibly solid and packs a hefty weight out of the box. You will also notice the gun is a bit long, in my opinion this is great for picking off long distance targets.


Lets move on, the magazines are built well, there is a “door” that opens up which allows you to pour BBs inside. Each magazine (2 are included) have a maximum capacity of 550 BBs. They fit in like any standard “AK-type” rifle. The front notch fits into the mag well, and the back simply clicks in. I have also tried CA, G&G, VFC, and TM mags, they all fit fairly well, and have no major feeding problems that I have encountered.


Next, the battery is loaded into the stock, by simply pushing down on the butt plate, the plate will then detach, and will allow you to slip the battery into the hollow stock, after connecting the wire. Simply take the butt plate and reverse the process to attach it back on. Unlike regular AK-47, the advantage of this gun is that the butt plate is textured, which allows it to grip easily to your body, without slipping during times of combat.


Adjusting the sights are simple. To adjust the rear, push on the the 2 "buttons" on the rear sight, and while holding them down, slide it up or down. To adjust the front sight, a device is included to adjust the height.


The flashider is also quite simple to remove. Depress the "pin/button" which locks the flashider, then while holding it down with your fingertip, unscrew the flashider. The flashider is 14mm CCW thread, which is pretty much standard, and can take most silencers, for that sleek look or longer barrel you might be looking for.


Now, down to my favorite part of this gun, the cocking handle. It is probably the first instinct you get when you lift this beauty out of the box. The movement is extremley smooth, and just like the real gun it can be pulled all the way back. Upon releasing the handle, you will feel the momentum of the solid chunk of metal moving forward and smacking the inside of the gun. The sound is very satisfying. The top cover can be removed and so can the spring. The gearbox is colored black, and the motor is the extremley high torque ICS Turbo-3000.


Build Quality


As soon as you take the gun out of the box, you can feel the weight of this rock solid gun. Unlike Tokyo Marui guns you can feel absolutely no flexing in this weapons, thanks to the full metal construction. Even during combat you will not have to worry if you might accidentally snap or crack a part on this weapon. The quality of the ICS AK-74M, in my opinion, is one of their most well constructed airsoft replicas so far.


What's So Special?


One of the best features of this gun is that it includes a pre-mounted side mount plate. The side mount plate/rail, enables the user to attach a scope mount or picatinny rail over the top of the gun. The furniture on this weapon is also very nice, it is flat black, and appears to be made out of high density plastic. The front grip has a grip, and the stock has a sling loop (doesn't look very sturdy though).


Concluding Notes


Even though I did not purchase this gun, and it is a sample at the time of my writing, it is a joy to have the gun in my hands. Overall, the gun is extremley satisfying to hold and shoot. The weapon also adds a bit more flavor to the airsoft matches, since most people have Armalite-type weapons.


Note: I will be updating this!


Pictures will be posted seperately.

Edited by david3558
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Butt plate on the stock, note the texture.



Butt plate removed, note the battery connecter, large Tamiya head.



A peek at the monster's mouth.



Another image of the buisness end.



Safety on.



Full auto fury.



Last setting is semi-automatic.

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Take a careful look at that small lever, that is what's used to remove the bottom handguard.



With lever flipped forward, simply push the "collar" forward.



With both handguards removed, note the position of the "collar".



Field strip image 1 (note all the parts).



Field strip image 2.

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Take a look at the massive flashider.



Flashider removed, note the pin/button that secures the flashider, this must be depressed while removing the flashider.



Licensed trademarks!!!



Sweet, its got the mount plate pre-attached!



A full view of the awesome gun.



Thanks guys, hope you liked the pictures and the review. Also, all the pics are by me :)


I would like to thank James and Julie at Airsoft Elite for the chance to review this gun.



Cheap, 2 magazines included, nice box, heavy, solid build and quality.



A little too long for some people and CQB, a little heavy for some people.

Edited by david3558
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Can I advise?



I have bought this gun, and it is incredible, by far my faveourite AEG.



Chronos at 313fps consistantly.



My only niggle,


The stock


The connections into the body are plastic, and mine have begun to bend after skirmishes. And i treat my weapon with a lot of love.


So I would definatly not sling it from there


The butt plate also has a very annoyign tendancy to come off. I uses electrical tape to keep mine on now. (I lost it in the woods one time, took me 10mins under fire to find it)



Apart from that, incredible gun, I get lots of people admiring it and askign questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so I just got this gun, and almost started an argument in the AK Picture thread by just posting a picture.


Anyways, here's what I have to say about this gun so far. On the box, there's a sticker says, "New Generation Pre-upgrade AEG" with a list of things that are supposed to have been upgraded, and evidently, "steel" means "Harden Silicon Alloy" to ICS in big letters. <_< I've been told that the box with this sticker means this AK is Ver. 2, or maybe just the second batch, but I don't know.


What I do know is that the handguard wasn't installed correctly out of the box, the handguard lock pin wasn't in place, but that was easy to put in place. Just make sure you check that when you get your gun, so you don't accidentally drop that pin and loose it.


The gun is really long, in fact, about 3cm longer than the real steel according to world guns data on the real steel, but feels pretty solid and balanced. It's quite heavy at around 3kg, heavier than the CA AK copy.


The ejection port cover makes a nice metallic sound when racked. The plastic used on the stock is ok, just ok.


The fire mode selector has a small click on auto, and no click on semi, but works fine.


Both mags (comes with the gun as standard) fit the mag well very well, with not rattle.


I charged a 8.4v large battery, and loaded up both mags (500 BBs each). The stock is more roomy than that of ICS MP5A4's, but the battery is still a tight fit with no movement after the buttplace is closed. Not sure if a 9.6v large battery would fit.


With 8.4v, the ROF is good, accuracy is good, but nothing exceptional. Didn't get to test range or power yet. The ICS guns tends to make a slightly high pitched screeching noise with shooting, and the AK is no exception, but it's not a big deal.


Each of the mags required two full windings to empty 500 BBs. No misfeed or jam or lock up happened during the two mags shooting both on auto and semi. So far so good.


The next morning, however, when I pick up the gun again, and shot a short burst on auto, then switched to semi, pulled the trigger, the fuse was blown. I put in a new fuse, pulled the trigger on semi, the new fuse was blown again. I removed the motor and tested the motor still worked fine. The gears seemed to have locked up. I put in another fuse, and instead of shooting on semi, I shot in auto, and everything worked again. Incidentally, the motor is 3000, not as shown in the older above picture. I'll have to play with this gun some more to see if the fuse still breaks easily.

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