ICS Galil ICAR MRS AEG Review by Booligan
Table of Contents:
Basic Gun Information
The Galil is the Israeli produced, modernized update to the AK platform, and boy is it awesome! Seriously, it adds to the rugged utility of the AK platform with better sights, ergonomic features, a folding stock, and the 5.56 mm round. There have been a few different companies to make Galil replicas, but today, we're looking at the ICS version, called the ICAR, which combines a moderate price with a great feature list. Let's go through this gun inside and out and see what it brings to the table!
I was sent this AEG by Airsoft Megastore who has it available HERE, priced currently at $359. The package does not include a battery or charger, so you will need to provide your own before you're able to use the gun. It was sent out, well packaged, and arrived a few days later without any damage.
Basic Gun Information:
The ICAR is a full sized rifle with a metal body, ambidextrous selector assembly, 18" barrel, and a side folding stock. This specific model features a modular polymer handguard, extended top rail, and an adjustable cheek rest to modernize things a bit. The overall build quality is fantastic, aside from one point so far: the wobbly fit of the included magazine.
Cracking open the well designed box, I was greeted by the high quality finish of the gun held within. I lifted it from the box and was surprised with how heavy it was. The thing weighs a LOT, however, it is well balanced with no major front or rear weight imbalance to speak of. It does lean towards being front heavy, but not overly so.
Click on the individual thumbnails to see the full size photos
Along with the rifle itself, ICS includes a single hi-cap magazine, a thorough manual, front sight adjustment tool, and a cleaning/unjamming rod. It's kind of strange that they didn't include 2 magazines as ICS generally does, but it appears they made that exception with the ICAR series. Regardless, toss in a battery and some high quality ammo and you'll be good to go!
Exploded parts diagrams
Weight: 8.4 lbs
Length: 30" - 38.75"
Length of Pull: 14.2"
The ICAR is a full metal, extremely well built replica. The receiver appears to be made of aluminum which features a satin black finish that matches well with the matte black polymer furniture. The gun is heavy but is fairly well balanced, only a bit front heavy due to its long barrel and heavy gas tube.
Externals, right side
Externals, left side
The stock is a full metal side folding setup with an add-on polymer adjustable cheek rest. You can easily fold the stock to the right by pressing down on it unlock the hinge, followed by swinging it to the right side of the receiver. It will lock securely in place in either position, requiring you to push down on the hinge to unlock it either way. The cheek rest adjusts to several heights by sliding the locking plate to the rear and lifting or pressing the cheek rest itself down.
Cheek rest locking plate
The receiver is metal and has many features similar to AK pattern rifles, just tweaked a bit into the Galil specific design. The right sided selector switch is a standard AK design, however, this model has a functional selector on the left side of the pistol grip that actuates the right side switch. The pistol grip is an ergonomic design that is quite large and comfortable for someone like me with big hands. The magazine release has a large metal shield to prevent accidental activation but has an extended bit on the right side so you can easily reach it. The charging handle is vertical for easy manipulation by reaching over the top of the receiver.
Receiver, right side
Left side of receiver
Ergonomic pistol grip
Left side selector switch
It's a bit of a reach, but you can fully manipulate it with your thumb
Shielded magazine release
Charging handle pulled back
The handguard is a modular two part unit that is made of a high strength polymer, featuring 20mm rails at four positions. You can remove the upper portion and still have the bottom be securely mounted. The handguard fits securely without any wobble or free play.
The outer barrel is metal and is quite long, about 18" long. It is fitted with a metal front trunion with an adjustable iron sight and large sling loop. I believe the muzzle is threaded 14mm-, however, the flashhider is on there damn tight and I haven't been able to remove it yet without damaging it.
The ICAR features the correct front sight which is adjustable for windage and elevation and features a flip up faux night sight. The rear sight is extremely rudimentary, a simple plastic flip up unit that's integrated into the rail on the top cover. For mounting optics, you have plenty of space along the handguard rail and the railed top cover.
Flip up large white dot
Lots of rail space
Rear sight flipped up
The ICAR doesn't have any licensed trademarks, however, it does feature some molded-in Hebrew markings on the receiver as well as a unique serial number.
Selector and caliber markings
Unique serial number
ICS marking on stock
The included hi-cap magazine is made of steel and holds 400 rounds. It has a standard bottom winding wheel and will empty almost the entire magazine with one wind. The magazine is one of my main complaints, specifically, the way that it locks into the receiver quite loosely. There's a fair bit of side to side free play with the included magazine that unfortunately detracts bit from the otherwise rock solid gun.
Interestingly enough, the Galil works quite well with aftermarket AK47 type magazines, however, 5.45 type AK74 magazine will not lock in place.
PTS US Palm mag fitted
Performance after a 500 round break-in, using ASG .20g ammo is as follows:
High FPS: 451.6 FPS
Low FPS: 444.2 FPS
Average FPS: 448.9 FPS
Given the high velocity, I expected some decent range out of this thing, and I wasn't disappointed. After loading up the magazine with some ASG .28g BBs and adjusting the hop-up, I was easily hitting my torso sized target out to 175'. Past that, it seems that the hop-up doesn't have enough spin to keep the round afloat.
Rate of fire was surprisingly good considering the high velocity, however, it'll depend on what battery you choose to use in your gun. In my testing, as is tradition, I'm using my Tenergy 11.1v 1000 mAh 20C LiPo. Using Audacity, I got a solid 18 RPS, which is on the high end of this power level/battery combo.
Accessing the gearbox of the ICAR is an absolute piece of cake. Unscrew the screw at the base of the grip and remove the pistol grip. Take off the top cover and undo the bolt guide rod. Pop the plastic cap off of the selector switch, unscrew the screw, and remove the switch. Pull the hop-up unit forward and the gearbox will pop right out. I LOVE AK based AEGs.
Once you get the gearbox out, you'll find that it's a pretty standard V3 unit with 6mm steel bushings and a custom selector plate to let the ambidextrous selector switch function. Nothing too crazy here.
Gearbox, right side
Gearbox, left side
6mm steel bushings
Funky selector plate
Inside, you'll find a steel cylinder, polymer cylinder head and short nozzle, polymer piston with great air seal from the ported piston head, and a plastic spring guide. The gears are, I believe, ICS's new metal injection molded units, and they seem to be quite well made. A minimal amount of grease and a decent shim job round out the internals. Again, nothing too crazy in here.
Clean and well put together gearbox
The hop-up unit uses a standard AK type slider and is fitted to the 509mm long 6.06mm ID inner barrel. Standard stuff here, so if you want to upgrade, you'll have a very easy time doing it. Electrically, the gun is fitted with a Turbo 3000 motor, mini auto type fuse, and a small Tamiya plug with plenty of space for extended stick packs in the gas tube and under the dust cover.
Modifying the Galil is a fairly easy task, internally at least. It utilizes a relatively standard V3 gearbox, so your internal upgrades are as simple as it comes. Externally, you're going to have a bit of a rougher time, because even though the Galil appears to be AK based, it has enough differences that you can't just swap on AK external parts. ICS makes a few accessories and external options for their Galil series, however, this gun already comes with pretty much all of them.
Unique rifle platform - Not many Galil's on the field
Full metal construction
Largely ambidextrous controls
Functional left sided selector switch
Modular handguard allows for easy accessory installation
Side folding stock for easy storage
Compatible with most AK47 style magazines
Plenty of battery space for stick type packs
Shoots quite hot - 450 FPS
Magazine is very wobbly
Quite heavy, albeit fairly well balanced
Doesn't have a very long list of special features compared to other ICS offerings
ICS is generally known for putting out some of the more technologically innovative airsoft replicas, however, the ICAR is a bit lacking compared to some of those other options. It's a solid, full metal, high quality AEG with a nice ambidextrous selector switch system, but it doesn't have a split gearbox, spring decompression feature, quick change spring, or other things that you generally see from ICS. All things considered, for the price, it's certainly one of the nicest Galil type replicas you can purchase, but if you're looking for ICS's normal technological laundry list of features, you may find the ICAR a little lacking.
Many thanks again to Airsoft Megastore, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!