[REVIEW] ICS - CXP UK1 CAPTAIN review



ICS has added a new gun to its CXP UK1 serie.

This time is about a very short and light EBB (Electric Blowback rifle), called UK1 Captain.

It comes in 4 different versions, which differ in color (black or Dark Earth) and in being stockless (front wired with external battery box) or equipped with the MTR stock (rear wired).

Like the other Uk1 serie rifles, the UK1 Captain has the well known split gearbox, a blowback feature and a spring release mechanism.


Externals:

The UK1C is a short, extremely compact full-metal EBB (grip and MTR stock are the only external parts which are made of polymer).

On the top receiver you have a 20 mm rail and a detachable metal rear sight, whereas the handguard is equipped with a keymod system and an integrated metal front sight; both the rear and front sights have a flip-up system.

There is a useful ambidextrous sling mount and sling swivel attachments, which are integrated in the MTR stock (for the UK1 Captain MTR version), or in the back of the buffer tube (UK1 Captain stockless version).

On the front of the gun you will find a metal steel crown flash hider, which can be easily removed (14 mm c.c. thread).

All the externals (upper and lower receiver, handguard, grip, buffer tube, stock, outer barrel, flash hider) are removable and, depending on compatibility*, replaceable.

*most external parts are built upon the M4 system, anyway, some important parts are replaceable with ICS parts only (like upper/lower receiver, as well as the buffer tube; in regard to the ICS buffer tube please note that non-ICS stocks could present some compatibility issues).


Internals:

The UK1 Captain has a split gearbox, that is: upper and lower gearbox are separated; in the lower gearbox you have gears and electrical components, whereas the upper gearbox includes the spring, piston and nozzle.

The “rotary” hop up unit is full metal and the steel inner barrel has a 6.04 mm diameter.

In the grip you can find a Turbo 3000 high torque/speed motor.


Special features and extras:

By switching the fire selector on safe, the spring tension will be automatically released; it is a good feature that keeps the spring performant for a very long time.

A blow-back feature is also equipped, something nice, but in the end it doesn’t add a kick when shooting.

As extras you have a 300 rounds hi-cap magazine, spare fuses and some BBs. The good thing about the magazine is the side window: you can see how many BBs are in the magazine.


Good and bad things about the UK1 Captain:

Good:

  • Weight: a resistant and solid full-metal gun with a weight of only 2600 g (2800 g for the MTR version). 
  • Split gearbox: this is a common advantage of ICS guns; you just have to open the upper gearbox in order to change the spring or make some modifications. 
  • Precision: despite a short inner barrel (184 mm), the gun shoot straight and precise! 
  • Customization option: it is about an M4 platform, hence it will be very easy to modify it and find parts.
  • Power: as it is equipped with a M120 spring, the gun shoots hard (1,5 J out of the box) and with an impressive range. You can employ the gun even in wide fields and on long distances.
  • Stockless version: it won’t be straightforward to play with a stockless gun, anyway, you will have something between a rifle and a gun, with all the advantages of an EBB rifle (full-auto fire, 20 mm rail and keymod for accessories, battery instead of CO2 or Green Gas). Sure you can use the UK1 Captain as a secondary weapon!
  • Receiver pins: when you extract the pins you will notice that they can’t be removed (they remain attached to the receiver): this is good, as you won’t risk to loose them.

Bad:
  • Keymod handguard: sure it is good looking, but it is not “ready to use” as a 20 mm rail system, as you need Keymod slots (sold separately*) in order to attach accessories…
  • There is no sling swivel in the package* (UK1 Captain stockless version): the buffer tube results useless without a sling swivel to attach on it…
  • Battery compartment: in order to use the UK1 Captain stockless version you have to employ an external battery case (included) that can hold a battery of max. 110 mm (L) x 20 mm (H) x 15 mm (W) dimensions. I have bought 7.4V Lipo batteries from WE Airsoft. With the UK1 MTR versions things are a bit better, as the buffer tube can hold a longer battery. Anyway, in order to have much more room for bigger batteries I suggest to employ a crane stock or the MTR S1 from ICS (sold separately).
  • Steel crown flash hider: it is very heavy and, in case you use the UK1C stockless version, you will have too much weight on the front of the gun (furthermore you also employ an external battery case!).
  • Trigger response: you have to pull the trigger up to the end before the gun shoots.

*the gun I have tested is a sample provided by ICS; maybe the final version could be equipped with keymod slots and sling swivel.


Conclusion:

The UK1 Captain is the perfect gun for people looking for their first airsoft weapon: price is fair (USD 300) and sure for this price you cannot find a weapon with all those good features (split gearbox in particular) and an high-end full-metal construction.

It is a very versatile weapon, light and compact as it is required for CQB, powerful and precise as it is needed on wide airsoft fields.

People looking for a side weapon should really take the stockless version into consideration: such power in a small EBB is a great advantage for a side weapon.


Personally, I really like the customization options that this weapon offers: sure you cannot create a good custom gun if you have a mediocre weapon as basis, but with the UK1 Captain you have a great weapon that can only get better.