In 21017 ICS launched its first pistol model, the BLE Alpha, and soon after announced its successor: the BLE XAE. A model that, based on the experience of the Alpha, had listened to the players, and so the XAE improved everything we loved about the first model. That is why once they launched the XFG model we had to have it and tell you in first person our experience with the latest gear by the Taiwanese manufacturer.
Although, at first glance, it might be difficult to find a resemblance between this replica and a real pistol model, from the brand itself they tell us that we will not have any problems with the CQC style holsters for USP. Unlike previous models that fitted into Glock holsters.
In this replica the slide is made of metal (aluminium) and the body made of polymer. The slide has been lightened by means of a hole in each side and a much bigger one in the top part that exposes the outer barrel.
In addition to the obvious awesomeness that makes the gun stand out from any of those previously on the market, this measure has another purpose. By reducing the mass of the slide, they manage to reduce gas consumption and maximise the blowback in each shot, as thanks to the lower weight the gun loses less force by pulling back the slide and so recoil is stronger.
It also follows the line of its predecessors with some branding on the side of the slide that will allow you to easily identify it. Only in this occasion, the engraving of the model’s name has been carried out using deep engraving that ensures that it will not be erased, while making the model more unique.
The frame or body of this model is made of polymer reinforced with nylon fibre. Like the XAE model, it has a rugged surface that mimics stippling, making the grip even more slip-resistant when wearing gloves. This is not limited to the grip, as the surfaces where the thumbs rest under the slide also enjoy this finish.
Although in this case, the treated surface has been carefully delineated to help provide a more attractive look to the model. As, for example, it can be seen when in the handle, the surface draws back leaving a space for the leopard head logo in homage to its name (Black Leopard Eye).
The model comes with replaceable grip panels that adjust the girth of the gun. Thus, whatever the size of our hand, it fits the gun perfectly. The rest of the frame is also adapted to the needs of the shooter as there is, for example, a resized trigger guard. This extra space helps regardless of the size of the hand or if you are wearing gloves, you can shoot comfortably. In the same line, the controls of the gun (both the slide and the magazine release) are ambidextrous.
The model has a Picatinny rail below the barrel (or MIL-STD-1913) similar to the Alpha or XAE models, to be able to fit flashlights, lasers or a mini grenade launcher. In the centre of the rail there is a piece that, when moved towards the front or towards the rear, activates or deactivates the safe in the style of some Glock airsoft replicas. This is one of the two safes featured on the model. The other is the two-stage trigger, which you must pull all the way in order to shoot, thus avoiding accidental firing.
Internally it has an 85.5 mm barrel in length that comes with a rubber compatible with Tokyo Marui, which makes finding spare parts easier. Although we talk more about spare parts than upgrades, since beyond personal tastes, this model provided an average of 295 FPS with 0.20 g BBs and green gas, in a room at 25 °C. In addition, to ensure the reliability of the model, ICS tells us that it has replaced the nozzle with another with thicker walls to improve performance.
What we liked most about the magazine of the three ICS pistols is that it is compatible and interchangeable in all its models. It works with gas although we do not rule out that ICS will soon surprises us with a CO2 version, something more stable to the temperature differences that exist in the European fields, where the presence of the brand is remarkable. Another detail of the magazine that we liked is how tightly it fits inside the gun, without virtually any gaps. And yet, when you press the release, it falls freely and you do not need to pull it out. Something to be thankful for in quick reloads.
It goes without saying that everybody has different tastes. However, ICS seems to have covered a wide range of possibilities to make sure this pistol convinces the vast majority of airsofters. We have just given you a great number of reasons why we liked the model, but we encourage you to hold it, cock it and fire it. In short, feel it in your hand and check everything we have just told you yourself.