[ENG]Review: ICS BLE XFG
Review of the GBB pistol ICS BLE XFG from ICS Airsoft.
Before we start, I'd like to make a comment on my own behalf - I'm ICS Captain 2019, but that doesn't affect my honest opinion about the strengths and weaknesses of the product.
Let's start with an overview of the content in this review:
After having tested the ICS BLE XAE and recently the ICS Korth PRS at the beginning of the year, I am now happy to take a closer look at the ICS BLE XFG from ICS Airsoft.
The GBB pistol is available at Begadi in three colors: Black, Tan and Hairline Bicolor. The price for all versions is 129 EUR (November 2019). On the international market, there are also two color combinations in black and tan available.
The frame is made of polymer and the slide is made of aluminum. The energy is between 0.7 - 0.9 Joule, depending on the gas. The pistol holds 19+1 BBs and spare magazines are available at Begadi for 38.90 EUR (November 2019).
Like the ICS BLE XAE, the XFG also has interchangeable Backstraps and 3-dot Luminous Sights. The Mag Release and Slide Catch can be operated from both sides so that the pistol could be used by both left- and right-handed shooters.
The pistol comes in a very compact black box with some red and white graphical highlights. On the side, you can find the model name and on the bottom warnings in several languages.
Inside the box, the top and bottom are lined with foam and everything is additionally protected by bubble wrap. The following materials are included in the box:
ICS BLE XFG
Adapter to 14 mm
Chrono protocol from Begadi (optional for 1 EUR)
My model for the review is the Tan version and I am very happy with the choice as it brings some variety into my collection. And the color matches great to every camouflage! The polymer body is in a brighter tan than the slide and the controls and the barrel are in black, which looks awesome in that combination.
I used the rounder grip directly, which suits my hand very well, combined with the great stippling and the notches for the fingers.
It looks compact and at the same time aggressive. This is mainly due to the width and the massive aluminium slide with cutouts on the sides and on top. Due to its construction, the outer barrel rattles a bit that owners of a Glock probably know. But the workmanship is otherwise flawless without any burrs and all components fit well together.
Let's start with a detailed look at the externals with the markings. As this is a proprietary development of ICS, there are no licensed markings. Overall, I find the markings to be rather discreet, but this is also due to the color combination of tan and white, as the markings are less noticeable there compared to a black model.
The following markings are on the pistol:
The caliber "Cal. 6mm/.24 BB" is placed on the front of the slide and "XFG" stands out as a kind of 3D lettering.
On the slide is written "MADE IN TAIWAN BY ICS" with a small picture of the leopard and on the front of the frame a serial number.
Under the trigger guard, there is the F in the pentagon and in 2 lines the information about the importer plus the caliber "BEGADI Cal. 6mm BB". This marking is mandatory, if you want to use the pistol in Germany.
A portrait of the leopard is attached to both sides of the grip.
In terms of usability, there are some similarities to the BLE XAE, both can be operated from both sides. There is a magazine release and a slide catch on both sides.
The magazine locks in well and the release is very smooth, so you can change it very quickly.
I criticized the slide catch of the XAE because it was too small for me and I couldn't reach it easily. The XFG has exactly the same slide catch, but I can reach it much better. This is because the grip is different and I can reach it directly with my thumb without having to adjust my hand position.
On the left side, you can find the disassembly handle for disassembling the pistol. To pull the slide off you have to pull it all the way back and then you can fold the handle down and pull the slide off to the front.
The safety mechanism is located in front of the trigger guard. If you see the small red dot, the weapon is unsecured and if you pull the safety towards the grip, the trigger is blocked and you can't see the dot anymore. Fortunately, the mechanism is quite smooth, so that you don't break a nail. Basically, the XFG also has a trigger safety, but since the safety option is very marginal, I wouldn't call it a real safety.
The XFG comes with two interchangeable backstraps for the grip. They could be easily changed by loosen the small screw on the back and pull the handle downwards. I clearly prefer the more bulbous version and as I said at the beginning, the good piece is then damn good in the hand. At the bottom of the grip, there is also a small whole so that you can use a lanyard.
At the front, the XFG has a 20 mm rail if someone wants to attach a lamp or laser dummy (please note the legal situation in Germany). The rail has a length of 5 cm and offers 4 positions.
The aluminum slide offers a few cutouts that give a view of the outer barrel. The coating seems to me to be excellent so far. I have already tested the pistol during one matchday and it has not suffered any scratches.
The 3-point luminous sights support sighting in darker environments.
Threaded outer barrel and adapter
The metal outer barrel has a thread at the front, so that you can attach a silencer dummy or a tracer with the supplied 14 mm adapter.
Anyone familiar with my reviews knows that I'm not a big friend of it. The barrel isn't fixed so only light silencers or tracers can be used, or the barrel will be pulled down to a certain degree that might affect the precision. My prefered choice would be an 11 mm thread to use tracers like the XCortechs or Acetechs directly.
The magazine capacity is 19+1 BBs, so that you easy play just with the pistol, if you have an additional magazine. The magazine can be filled very quickly with BBs and the filling level can be checked from the side.
As described above, simply use the disassembly handle to open the gun and you have access to the internals in a few seconds. With a few simple steps, you can remove the Recoil Spring with the Spring Guide and then the inner barrel with the Hop-up Unit.
The quick disassembly allows easy maintenance and care of the interior. ICS has greased the most important parts. The grease does its job, but could also attract dirt over time, so I recommend more intensive cleaning after the first games. Then I would rather use some silicone oil on the Blowback Unit and Nozzle instead of grease, as it seems that the grease unnecessarily slows down the movement.
The Recoil Spring makes sure that the slide returns to its starting position after each shot. It works really well and in combination with the aluminum slide, it creates a crisp metallic sound when loading. I also like the strong recoil.
When you reassemble the pistol you have to make sure that the small nose on the Spring Guide is plugged back into the whole in the hop-up unit.
With the slide removed, you have direct access to the hop-up wheel to adjust the spin of the BBs. The wheel works really smooth, but it's firm enough not to move unwanted.
If required, the usual GBB buckings can be used. If you want to make a change here, I recommend the buckings from Maple Leaf.
The nozzle is a weak part of many GBBs and breaks from time to time. The one in the XFG looks really tough, but I can't say anything about the durability yet.
In any case, the seal to the hop-up unit is good, which you can see when you load the gun and the nozzle gets stuck in the unit or bucking for a millisecond. Like I already mentioned, I only recommend the use of silicone oil instead of grease, so that it can run even smoother.
A 6.03 mm precision barrel with a length of 93 mm is installed by default. Begadi also offers tighter barrels, which usually leads to a small increase in energy and it might improve the precision. From my point of view, this is not necessary with the XFG, over time I would only change the bucking when it's worn-out.
Before I started to write the review I tested the XFG on a matchday and it didn't disappoint me. The trigger has a good pressure point and even faster shots were possible without a noticeable cooldown.
At the end of the day, the energy always depends on the temperature and the gas used. In the Begadi measurement report it was between 0.7 - 0.8 Joule.
In my personal chrono results the performance was constant between 0.8 - 0.9 Joule. Here are my results in detail (Gas: Swiss Arms Xtreme / BBs: 0.25gr / Temperature: 21 degrees):
At room temperature, I could shoot two magazines with one gas filling. The power decreases and I had about 0.6 Joule when I shot the last BB.
Begadi has all spare parts available in case something should break. Compatible with parts of other manufacturers are the barrel and the bucking. All other parts are not compatible.
Unfortunately, no other magazines are compatible.
Unfortunately none of my holsters fit. Begadi recommends the following holsters as suitable, but recommends some additional work so that the pistol fits perfectly:
Begadi offers some tuning options. You can get a few percents more power and precision out of the XFG by using a tighter barrel and changing the bucking. From my point of view, this is not necessary.
As always, I recommend heavier BBs like 0.25 - 0.28 grams for playing. Compared to light 0.20s, this provides a more stable trajectory.
Please pay attention to the legal situation regarding tuning in Germany!
I especially like the crisp recoil and the design. Although it is not a licensed model, I really like the design and especially the Tan color scheme. I also want to highlight the aluminum slide, the luminous sights, and the interchangeable backstrap.
A disadvantage is the compatibility of the magazine and the holster, because there might be additional costs if you want more magazines and don't already have the right holster. The mounting of the tracer is always a very special topic based on my requirements and will not bother everyone.
If you are looking for a GBB pistol with a very good price/performance ratio, you should take a look at the ICS BLE XFG.
+ Stock performance and accessories
+ Magazine capacity
+ Slide made of aluminium
+ Metal outer barrel with thread and adapter included
+ Luminous sights
+ Interchangeable backstrap
+ Stippling at the grip
+ Spare part availability at Begadi/ICS Airsoft
- Adapter necessary to use a common tracer
- Magazines not compatible
- Selection of matching holsters
Price: 129 EUR (available at Begadi - November 2019)
Magazine capacity: 19 + 1 BBs
Energy: approx. 0.7 - 0.9 Joule
Total length: approx. 185 mm
Weight: approx. 433 g / 643 g - without / with magazine
Barrel length: 93 mm
Material Frame: Polymer
Slide material: Aluminium
Outer barrel: Made of metal with thread (adapter to 14mm included in delivery)
Sight: 3-point, luminous
And last but not least thanks again for the support to Begadi and ICS Airsoft!