During IWA 2023, we had the pleasure of getting acquainted with one of the hottest brands entering the market in the form of licensed B&T Air products from Archwick. Thanks to their hospitality, we thoroughly checked their offer of spring-loaded, gas-powered and AEG replicas that will be available in the future.
Another upcoming replica warmly welcomed by players is the ACP9. The manufacturer immediately developed a gas-powered replica (which is closer to appearing on the market) and a more conceptual AEG design.
With the gas-powered replica, 1:1 scale was key. The design is identical to the original, with the lower made of polymer and the upper made of milled T6061 aluminum. As in the case of the real firearm, the replica also has such details as double-sided manipulators (selector switch, magazine release, bolt catch, charging handle), a sliding stock and an AR-15 grip.
The muzzle device used is factory-adapted for quick installation of silencers. Single slots of the M-LOK system on the handguard and a long top rail are provided for accessories. The magazines for the replica are made of aluminum, have a capacity of 30 and 50 BBs and can be powered by either Green Gas, CO2, HPA or the new system of one magazine for Green Gas and CO2 with the need to replace only the valve. Unfortunately, magazines from other manufacturers will not fit the replica due to theirs dedicated design.
The Hop-Up chamber will be made in the Tokyo Marui MWS standard, offering TDC.
The bolt is made of aluminum (although the manufacturer does not rule out a steel version at a later date) and the nozzles used will be adjustable.
The inner barrel is 105 mm long, the whole thing weighs 2.4 kg. Its length is 323 mm (folded) and 531 mm (unfolded).
For the AEG version, as the manufacturer himself points out, we will have to wait a little longer due to the great interest in the gas-powered version. The AEG replica itself is not such an exact copy. Due to the need to use a gearbox (V.2 with a LONG motor was selected), the replica is a few millimeters wider, and the length of the mechanism itself resulted in a different approach to magazines. Instead of the familiar top-feed solution, this time the BBs are fed from the front. Nothing more can be said about this version at the moment.
Some may already know the SPR 300 replica, which we wrote about in 2022 (MOA Camping Fest 2022), but this time we also looked inside.
It is not a VSR platform, however some parts of this standard were used during the creation of the replica. The dimensions of the cylinder were changed, increasing its capacity to 45 cubic centimeters. In addition, both the cylinder, the reloading handle and the trigger mechanism are made of steel.
The whole works with an aluminum piston and a steel spring guide. The trigger mechanism itself works with a 90-degree latch, has a trigger adjustment and introduces an additional safety next to the standard one, which prevents firing before the charging handle is completely lowered. Removing the bolt is easy. It is done by disassembling one blocking element in front of the trigger.
Another element is the Hop-Up chamber in the VSR standard. Unlike ordinary chambers, some changes were made in the form of additional stoppers in the chamber and a bumper placed at it's front, which is also to act as an additional seal. The chamber itself is made in the TDC system with adjustment placed under the top rail.
The BB feeding itself will take place from ordinary VSR magazines placed in the front part of the stock or from dedicated magazines placed in the same place as in the real rifle (this requires the use of a dedicated ramp attached in place of the VSR magazine).
The replica uses a barrel "only" 300 mm long, but as the manufacturer himself indicates, this allows the use of an integral silencer or one of the Acetech illuminators (which fits perfectly inside).
For fans of longer ranges, additional silencer extensions have been presented, which will fit longer barrels (430 mm with the shorter version and over 500 mm with the longer version of the extension, and over 600 mm when combined).
For owners of large amounts of accessories, there will also be plenty of mounting space thanks to an additional stock with sections of mounting rails. There are also mounting holes for the M-LOK system on the stock itself. Metal elements (silencer, handguard, bolt chamber with top rail) are protected by a hard coating, the durability of which should not be a problem.
As a curiosity, we can add that Archwick paid a visit to the B&T stand at IWA 2023 and visited its headquarters in Switzerland. We will closely follow further developments.