Quite recently we have been testing the new Phantoma Extremis Mk9 replica by APS, powered by the eSilver Edge gearbox with the SDU electronic control system. The new Noveske replica is powered by the same mechanism, but has a newer, programmable SDU 2.0 module.
In the set with the replica we get:
- a hi-cap magazine made of plastic and holding 300 BBs;
- an zero check up sheet with muzzle velocity results and a paper target;
- a plastic cleaning rod.
It is a rather modest set and also we do not get any sights.
Basic technical parameters:
- length: 717 mm - 800 mm (collapsed/extended stock);
- weight: 2300 g;
- inner barrel length: 285 mm;
- inner barrel diameter: 6.03 mm;
- magazine capacity: 300 BBs;
- muzzle velocity: about 350 fps.
Appearance and external design
Like the Phantom Mk9, the replica looks very good. It's well-fitted, stiff, free from any annoying slack.
The carbine is visually very similar to the original firearm, i.e. the Noveske Gen 4 N4 Pistol (10.5 " variant). Of course there are minor deviations, like the pistol grip or the buttstock, but these details can be "improved". The receiver is made of aluminum alloy and is a faithful copy of the Noveske 4th generation receiver with double-sided manipulators, deep-molded markings and the characteristic changed angle of inclination of the magwell edge - 13.6 degrees.
The upper and lower receiver fit tightly and without play. The connection method is the same as in most replicas. upper receiver slides over the lower receiver and is held in place with the front pin. As in the original, the pins do not have any screws. But they have, as you can see in the photo above, characteristic Noveske markings.
What is important, both pins are secured. They do not slide completely out of the holes, which protects them from being lost.The protection of the rear pin is especially noteworthy. In terms of design, it is made in the same way as in the real carbine (most replicas simply have a "cotter pin" on the inside of the receiver).
I mentioned earlier about the two-sided manipulators. In fact, the 4th generation Noveske N4 has ALL its manipulators on both sides: the safety/selector switch, the magazine release button, the bolt catch and the charging handle. Particularly noteworthy are the differing lengths of the safety/selector switches. The longer one is factory mounted on the left side, but you can swap the m easily and quickly without disassembling the replica. Just watch out for the bearing balls and springs that are under each switch.The branded charging handle and its enlarged and double-sided latches.
Speaking of the handle... It is functional, i.e. pulling it backwards moves the dummy bolt carrier giving access to the Hop-Up system adjustment. It works as it probably does in all APS replicas, i.e. it does not have its own spring and does not automatically lock the dummy bolt carrier in the rear position.
Only by pressing and holding the lower part of the left bolt catch button with the handle retracted will the dummy bolt catch be locked in place. The release is done by a "normal" press of the bolt catch button (right or left).
The replica's handguard consists of a nearly 10-inch (9.75") long, made of aluminum and equipped with the M-LOK standard mounting points. This is an exact copy of the Noveske NSR 9.75 handguard.The low-profile handguard has an octagonal shape. The upper part of the guard is, of course, a standard Picatinny rail running through its entire length and it connects with the upper receiver's rail.
The connection is almost perfect - the level difference hardly exists here.
As you can see in the photos, the method of mounting the handguard is not complicated. Six bolts holds it to the barrel mounting ring: two on the right, two on the left and two at the bottom. Unfortunately, after removing the handguard from the outer barrel we will not find a dummy gas block and gas pipe.
The barrel ends with a massive flash hider with three slots. It is mounted on a 14 mm CCW (left-handed) thread.
The pistol grip
The pistol grip used in the replica is one of the deviations from the looks of the real carbine.
It has the EMG markings and fits very well with the lower receiver. The plastic bottom plate is secured in a rather non-standard way, with only one screw.You can't see it in the photos, but the grip is attached to the lower receiver with four screws, and not just two as in most replicas.
The six-position stock is made from plastic. It is the second significant deviation from the original.This is the same stock that APS used in many of its replicas. It has an integrated QD socket and access to the battery compartment is gained by opening the back plate. The Phantom Extremis Mk9, mentioned above, has exactly the same stock.
Just like in the Phantom, the space for the battery is provided in the stock guide, therefore, the space is rather limited. During testing, we used an 11.1V 1100 mAh battery.
Main spring change
The replica has the feature of replacing the main spring from the outside, without removing the gearbox from the receiver. To do this, one has to remove the stock guide, which can be difficult without tools. We used a dedicated wrench. The photos also show the upper receiver but, of course, it has nothing to do with the spring replacement.
The pictures above also show some structural weakness of this solution. If you look closely, you will see slight mechanical wear of the insulation of the wires in the place where they pass through the hole in the receiver. You can avoid this by tightening the stock guide by one less turn and eliminate any slack with the crown nut.
The magazine that comes with the replica is a standard plastic hi-cap holding 300 BBs. It has a classic design with a winding wheel at the bottom. APS calls these magazines U-Mags. Stylistically, they resemble Magpul's products a bit, but they are not a copy of anything in particular. Evike (EMG) states that the magazine's capacity is 480 BBs, bu we will stick to information from APS.
The eSilver Edge gearbox
We've already dealt with the configuration called the eSilver Egde while testing the Phantom Mk9. But, as it turns out, APS is constantly developing its products and the Noveske replica's mechanism is significantly different from Phantom's. This difference is the use of the second generation SDU (Super Dynamic Unit) control module in Noveske. The first generation is primarily an extended protective circuit, a microswitch and simple mosfet. The current generation (2.0) is a much more advanced system with programmable firing modes.
The programming button is hidden in the magwell and can be accessed without disassembling the replica. Programming is carried out by simply pressing the button. The system confirms the saving of the setting by flashing an LED. It should be noted that after disconnecting the power supply the SDU 2.0 returns to the default settings. Programming is very easy and during our tests we did it many times "in the field". There were no problems. The arrow below indicates the location of the programming button.
A video presenting programming and operation of the SDU 2.0
Other features of the eSilver Egde gearbox:
- a polished ver. 2 frame protected against corrosion and modified to accommodate the installation of the SDU;
- a quick spring change system without the need to take the mechanism out of the carbine;
- steel (sintered) gears mounted on 8 mm ball bearings with a delayer mounted on the sector gear;
- a chromed cylinder;
- a spring guide and a piston head with a bearing;
- a piston with a all steel teeth;
- an aluminum sealed nozzle.
The use of SDU has forced far-reaching modifications to the frame itself therefore, as in Phantom, the Marui standard only concerns the complete cylinder assembly with the guide, the spring, the piston and the tappet plate as well as the gears with their bearings and the anti-return latch. The frame, the trigger and the selector plate are completely different. The cut-off lever is used at all. This means that in the event of a failure, if you want to keep the replica's factory functionality, you will need to look for dedicated parts.
Wrapping up the section dedicated to the replica's mechanism, just like the Phantom Mk9, the Noveske does not have an EBB (blowback) system, which we know from other APS replicas. However, it seems that this is a matter of the dummy bolt carrier used (the AER128 Non Blow Back Recoil Plate). You could probably enjoy a blowback function in this replica after replacing this part with a one dedicated for an EBB replica.
Muzzle velocity measurement and target shooting tests
The test was carried out on our own enclosed shooting range, at an ambient temperature of 25°C, the Hop-Up was set to zero.
The muzzle velocity measurement were made with the XCORTECH X3500 chronograph using 0.2 g Open Blaster BBs.
Average: 351.35 fps.
Spread: 5.1 - very good.
Measured rate of fire (using a LiPo 11.1V 1100 mAh battery, 20 C): 16 BBs/s
Target shooting test
We used 0.25 g G&G BBs for the test. The distance to the target was 25 m. Shooting was made using the K-Zone shooting rest.
During the test, we noticed a clearly better response to the trigger when compared to the Phantom powered by the same battery.
10 shots were fired from the replica taken straight from the box.
All shots hit the target.
Single fire shooting
The maximum distance between BB holes - 11 cm.
Full -auto shooting
The maximum distance between BB holes - 8 cm.
The EMG/APS product is probably the first licensed replica of a Noveske weapon in this price range, which for many players will be an argument in itself. In our opinion, the performance and replication of the looks of the original are at a high level. However, purists will have to stomach the wrong buttstock and the pistol grip or look for something more suitable on the accessories market. It will also be worth looking for iron sights, because they are not supplied with the replica (the original Noveske uses Magpul MBUS Pro sights).
During the shooting tests, the replica did not surprise at all with nothing in particular. It shoots exactly like the vast majority of replicas taken straight out of the box. However, we noticed a comfortable and secure grip with the left hand (for right-handed shooters), which is due to the shape and small dimensions of the NSR handguard.
Another argument for buying it is the efficient and trouble-free SDU 2.0 circuit, but only for those who need such functionality.
At the time of closing the test, we did not yet know the price of the replica at Taiwangun, which has provided us with it for testing. In the Internet, as a pre-order, the carbine costs 368 USD.
On the next page, technical details for those interested in them.