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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey y’all! I recently picked up the CQB variant of this from Guges, and now that my parts have finally come in, I’ll be doing an internal review as I upgrade and modify!

The review will be divided into three parts. The first will be my thoughts on the gun, review of the externals and overall design, and the OOTB performance. The second will be the review of the stock internals. And the third will be my modification and tuning process.

Feel free to post any questions, comments, or anything else y’all come up with on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part 1: The Basics

First, the exact model I bought is the Arcturus Sword Mod 1 CQB, or the AT-NY06-CQ-ME, available for about $240 from a retailer, or $200 from Guges. Notable features included a 9.55” aluminum rail, micro switch trigger, 3034 MOSFET, and a 23T 24K Neo motor paired with 18:1 gears.

Externals:

I’m really not an externals guy, so for this portion I’ll just be touching on the features I found relevant, and my thoughts on their practicality.

Here’s a pic after some mild accessorising.

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The rifle comes OOTB with a metal flash hider to replace the orange plastic one, which I unfortunately do not have a picture of, which I thought was a really cool feature.

The receiver set is polymer, and feels really good, with none of the flex I hate in my Lancer receiver.

I really like the new stock design… but they made the buffer tube/stock tube nonstandard. :mad: Meaning, I couldn’t use my Krytac stock on this, or this stock on my Krytac if I wanted to.

The buffer tube is a different design than normal, and screws directly into the lower receiver, held in place by the castle nut. This was a pain, given that I have long screwdrivers and not armorers wrenches on my workbench. The buffer tube is metal and not plastic.

The ambidextrous selector and functional bolt catch are cool features, though the bolt window won’t stay closed…

Arcturus, if you’re reading this, your battery cable needs to be way longer! The cable can hardly poke out of the stock even on the shortest setting—I’ll post a pic later.

Overall, all of the externals feel really solid, and even held up to me accidentally throwing the rifle with no scuffs, creaks, or issues. The grip was very comfortable, and the rifle felt like it maneuvered really well.

The mag is nice. Extended follower is cool.

Gameplay and Performance:

Now I have more thoughts!

The gun chronoes consistently in the mid 380s, perfect for outdoors, and I ran the gun all day on a 5K mah 11.1v Turnigy nano tech battery. I probably put around 3,000 rounds through it, since I used semi only for the vast majority of the day.

First, the OOTB performance is really dang good, especially for this price point. The trigger response isn’t transcendent, but it beats out stock Krytacs and such without much trouble, and for a $200 replica that’s more than I could ask for. It was easily workable for the limited CQB I encountered on my local field, and I never felt underpowered or outsped by anyone.

At 20 RPS with an 11.1v, the full auto was also comfortably speedy for a stock gun, giving me decent burst capabilities to go along with the snappy semi-auto, though I stuck to semi for the vast majority of the day.

When the YouTube video of the stock shooting test loads I’ll post it here.


The stock barrel group was very consistent, but the packing was a little harder than I would’ve liked (felt like 75ish), and had trouble putting .25s past 50 yards, even with slight overhop. This resulted in me switching out the packing even though I’d sworn to myself I wouldn’t touch it before the first game day.

Sorry, Arcturus, I have to have my 60 yards. ;)

With the new addition of a PDI W-hold 50 degree packing (everything else stock), the accuracy seems exceptional for the amount of work I put into it (three minutes?), and I was definitely outranging the majority of the field. I got into a casual shooting contest with a fellow who did have an upgraded replica, and the amount of times I hit that skinny little pole compared to him was incredible. For once, I don’t want to touch the barrel group any more! The FPS also went up by 10 with .25s when I switched the packings, betraying a light air leak with the original.

I did notice that the motor got a little warmer than I felt it should, and I’m now convinced that it’s because of the extremely tight shimming on the spur and sector gear, something I’ll elaborate more on in the next post.

I like this invention called micro switch.


Summary:

I like it. I like it a lot. This is easily the best stock gun I’ve personally played with, and the only one that I felt never limited my playstyle or hindered my trigger habits. Every time I touch it it makes me regret buying a Lancer as my first gun, and from here on out this will take my top recommendation as a beginner gun for new players.

Despite the couple of flaws, this will be what I pick up for my next game day. The only question is what can I do to the gearbox until then? Find out next. :devilish:
 

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Hopefully you have a better experience than I did. I bought one when Arcturus first came out. I had semi lock up pretty often and then the shell cracked. They just came out and it was impossible to get a new shell. A regular v2 gearbox would not fit, so I made one fit. The VFC gearbox worked and has the same bolt catch mechanism. So ambi selectors and bolt catch still function. Took some grinding on the lower, and had to cut a new wire exit in the gearbox. I still have it. Although it is apart and getting painted..
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They have a habit of making immediate improvements if they discover/learn of an issue.

The Semi-Issue was more common with a weak battery. It was a lob profile issue on the cut-off level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
if it breaks, this thread will be the first place I talk about it! I must say though, the gearbox was not on my list of parts I thought would break… we’ll find out though.

After 2800ish rounds in semi even with overly tight shimming I don’t think semi lockup is going to be an issue here. The one mistake I know I’m not making is using a weak battery. ;) I’ll keep y’all posted though.
 

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There’s a few out there. The VFC 416a5 has a screw on/off buffer, but it is definitely not mil spec. The advantage of the this type of mil spec buffer is when building an HPA rig with an airstock; it makes it easier to put a UGS regulator on the gun. The UGS comes in a TM style receiver, and a mil spec threaded style.

Mil spec threads:
1 3/16 (16 tpi)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’m working on the build right now, but there’s a slight issue—for some reason I’m getting dramatic FPS loss on a higher voltage battery, without using full auto. Semi is dropping from 340 w/ .25g to 270 with a .25g. I suspect tappet PME, but I won’t be able to confirm until later. Any suggestions welcome.

Current setup: reshimmed 18:1 gears, 33K T238 brushless motor. M120 spring. (the motor has so much torque it acts more like a 40K—I’m still getting 30 RPS.
 

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Check tappet angle to nozzle...make sure it's 90 degrees.

Check for compression leak at feed tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've already checked Tappet/nozzle angle. The nozzle is also tight on the cylinder tube, so no wobbling around there.

I know I'm losing air between the nozzle and packing--the extra pop is audible. The question is why only on an 11.1v (feeds flawlessly on 7.4v).

Quick update: I got inside the gearbox last night and did some tests. The piston and the tappet both slide freely, but the nozzle is pretty snug to the cylinder tube, and may have been causing some nozzle drag, which could be the issue. There were no signs of piston PME, so I'm making the assumption that it's something with the tappet system.

I also investigated the tappet plate and spring. The tappet spring is actually very strong (as strong or stronger than the "aftermarket" spring I had on hand), but the tappet plate was a little weird. The design at first glance is fairly generic, but actually works with the selector chip in interesting ways. I switched it with a Guarder tappet that pulls the nozzle back about a millimeter further but didn't have the time last night to reassemble and test.

After I get off work today I'll be back with an update and hopefully a fix!
 

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If nozzle drags....pick out the oring inside the nozzle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quick update before I post the internal review. I fixed the tappet timing issues by lubing the nozzle tube and replacing with a Guarder tappet, which gives about an extra half millimeter of nozzle clearance.

However, now that semi auto with an 11.1v is fine, it brings to light the slight PME it seems I’m getting, since FPS still drops in full auto. Since I don’t want to make the spring heavier (I’d have to short-stroke to keep my current MED) I’ll be Swiss cheesing the piston further, trying to get the assembly under 20g. If I can’t get the piston light enough, I’ll probably have to go with an aftermarket replacement, but I would prefer to stick with the stock one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Internal Review

I’ll be going item by item with this one, just giving my basic thoughts on each item and how they fit.

Engineering Wood Bumper Gas Auto part

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Finger Air gun Trigger Engineering Gun barrel


First off, we have some decent radiusing and front end reinforcement. Overall the shell feels very sturdy. It comes stock with bushings on the spur and sector, and bearings on the bevel, which is fine by me, no need to replace. The selector is proprietary, as is the trigger portion of the shell, which seems to have been designed specifically to accommodate their micro switch. I have no issues with their wiring harness and trigger assembly, but I still dislike that they made it the only proprietary thing here. There is also plenty of room to shim properly, which I appreciate.

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The piston is pretty darn beefy, and feels like nylon polymer. The rack is metal, and gives perfect AOE OOTB, which I really like. There is also plenty of rack support, and I didn’t feel the need to epoxy as it’s in there extremely well. It fits very well on the gearbox rails with no wobble. The only issue I have is that most of that 27 grams is the piston itself—the bearings are a couple of Gs, and the head is only 3g, leaving you with a 22g piston. Not a bad thing necessarily, but I’m slightly worried about the amount of Swiss cheesing I’ll need to get it down to 16 or 17 grams. Here‘s a pic of it cheesed down to 18g:

*continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Here’s pics of the SC’ed piston, down to 18g. Yeah, I know the holes don’t look super professional—I did this with a $20 cordless DIY tool—but I think it’ll stand up. The only question is whether it’ll continue to do okay as I remove even more material to get ahead of PME!

Finger Wood Gas Tool Engineering

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The nozzle is CNC’ed POM with a single o-ring inside. Fits great on the nozzle tube, and aside from needing some lube, has no issues and works great. I would rate it as equivalent to any of the “upgrade” nozzles I’ve used, albeit lacking the utility of an adjustable. The tappet appears to be nylon fiber like the piston, and is a little bit abnormal, mainly thanks to that weird little curve on the pickup side that interfaces with the sector delay chip. (I’m putting a pic up with the gears) The only other note is that I experienced issues past about 25 RPS, possibly related to how far back it pulled the nozzle, which were fixed by replacing with a Guarder V2, as I’ve already noted. The tappet spring itself is incredibly strong, far more so than any stock spring I’ve touched.

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And here’s our gears. They’re completely ordinary 18:1s. Not much to write home about. The one note I have is that the spur and sector were shimmed extremely tightly OOTB, resulting in above average motor heat for the setup, which should’ve run almost completely cool. However, I simply removed three extremely small shims and it resolved to excellent. It appears that Arcturus shims all the gears to each other in a half shell, adds one large shim to the “top” of each gears, and then adds small shims to taste. Maybe someone forgot to test this particular replica with the GB shell screwed together? Who knows. In any case this was easily fixed.

The motor is a pretty decent 23TPA 24K neo magnet motor that I absolutely forgot to take a picture of. it was getting 20 RPS on an 11.1v, even with the bad shimming, so I’ll say performance is pretty good, and the good motor OOTB was one of the main reasons this was my base gun of choice. Even though I’m upgrading the motor, this one will go to good use and not the trash or experiment pile!

*More to come in the next post
 

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I would epoxy the rack regardless, it provides support for the bottom of the piston and it will spread the load out over more surface if glued.

Shame to see the unnecessary internal 'reinforcement' still present on these gearbox shells
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Aside from the proprietary nature of it, here’s why I really like this micro switch trigger and wiring harness. It’s super simple. I can’t lose any little trigger bits and mess myself up. It’s cheap to replace if I do break it—folks charge tons for stock ETUs, even if they’re not great and/or proprietary, so I like that I can get a $15 replacement part that already comes with a MOSFET built in. Seeing deans prewired is great. And not a crappy deans either. The wiring also looks and feels very durable, which is great, since I’ve ruined like three wiring harnesses in the last two months. I know, I’m a goober. I really, really like having a simple MOSFET OOTB. It’s something that I can check off my tech list.

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Nothing special to write home about on the compression, but I think it’s worth noting that I would happily put this compression system in any of my upgraded AEGs. There’s just nothing wrong with it… (perfect when tested with no nozzle) and the sorbo makes for perfect AOE OOTB.

That almost completes my internal review. As I complete my work on this replica, I’ll fill out the final small details. I’m waiting on a part or two to complete the barrel group, as I launched my hop arm into infinity and beyond, since I forgot there was a spring underneath it.

I’ll covering the packing, barrel, and hop unit in the future, but for now, back to working on my PME fun!

As a final note for now, I’m waiting for Guges to get back to me on when we might see availability for some of these parts, as I think a lot of these internals are really good, and have the potential to go far when combined with a few choice upgrades and replacements, which I’ll cover in the next portion.
 
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