Life is full of little coincidences isn't it? Having recently written a post about tactical AKs in which I mentioned the Robinson Armament XCR up pops a news item in all the major airsoft portals that US company Echo1 is to release an AEG version of this wonderful assault rifle.
The Real Steel XCR
Before you say 'oh no, not another Armalite' let me put you straight - the Robinson Armamant XCR is NOT an Armalite derivative! Cosmetically it is influenced by this American design, but the XCR is actually built around the Kalashnikov AK47 gas system!
Link to Wikipedia entry for the Robinson Armamanet XCRIn effect the XCR has all modern conveniences that contemporary Western military users want in an assault rifle, plus better quality control, a better calibre (*) and a slightly more economic features than the AK47/74 range. In short - or in theory - the XCR gives you the best of both worlds, Russian ruged reliability and American firearms quality.
The airsoft XCR
This replica is 'made' by US company Echo1 - now I say it's 'made' by them, but of course - as we all know - Echo1 has in the past simply rebranded various Chinese AEGs for the American market. At this point I am not sure if this new AEG represents a real attempt at a truly American AEG or whether it is simply the latest offering from a company like DBoys which has the Echo1 logo pasted onto it.
I guess we will find out what the real crack is about who really makes this AEG when the XCR becomes available here in the UK, as we may find it arrives under the name DBoys - in which case, mystery solved!
But in terms of what the XCR offers airsofters this new AEG does give those of discerning tastes a chance to ditch the common and garden M4/SCAR/Masada formats and go with something a little more edgy. This is THE gun for the hardened 'operator' loadout - it's just a shame Echo1 hadn't had the balls to replicate a Russian 7.62x39 (AK) firing XCR, that really would have been something!
Above: The Robinson Armament XCR in 7.62x39mm. This does not seem to be a standard AK mag configeration though, so I suspect custom magazines must be used.
[*] The real XCR is available not only in 5.56x45 NATO, but also the amazing 6.8 SPR and even the good old Russian 7.62x39mm! However, in this airsoft flavour it is featured in the 5.56mm calibre so that you can use the abundantly available M4 magazines!
> Link to Echo1 USA - Robinson Armament XCR web page
> Link to the REAL Robinson Armament XCR web site
> Link to the Wikipedia entry for the XCR and it's development
> Link to the World Guns web encyclopedia entry for the XCR