Bird of Prey: Lancer Tactical Pro Line Battlehawk PDW Airsoft Gun Review
Lancer Tactical has one of the most varied selection of airsoft guns on the market. In fact, the mad lads at Lancer Tactical don't really seem to respond to the notion that airsoft guns should replicate real rifles, or be only suited for outdoor milsim or strictly indoor spread. We've reviewed a few other Lancer Tactical Guns here on the Airsoft Rifle blog over the last few months and have always been impressed, even if the design of the guns wasn't for us. We received this Battlehawk PDW in though, and finally found one we think fits our needs.
This rifle is small.
We mean REALLY small.
It's a compact rifle, made more compact by the addition of a PDW stock, making you think this rifle is built for indoor play. If you had a low power model that might be true, but at the whopping 380 FPS our model shot, this is 100% meant for big outdoor games.
It's also very customizable, which these small guns often are not. The hand guard has a monolithic rail; something we prefer over the longer Blackbird models that delete some rail space on the top of their hand guards. This gives you the ability to add longer optics, sight protectors or other accessories like a PEQ-15 to the top of your rail. The bottom and sides feature picatinny rail in the front and back, with some Mlok sections in the middle where you traditionally would pass on accessories. It's nice to have the inclusion of MLok though, so that you can still utilize that real estate if needed.
The rear of the stock if where the magic happens. The stock pad is insanely comfortable, which is contrary to it's appearance. We usually don't care for PDW stocks as they often don't give a good purchase to your shoulder or adjust to a good length. This stock has plenty of adjustment range to combat those fears and the pad is comfortable.
In fact, we only have two main gripes about the stock that are more personal preference in one case, and mild frustration in the other. The rifle stores its battery in the stock tube, but the tube is not threaded. Instead, it is just pressure fit in place with a rubber gasket. This is pretty secure, admittedly, but I couldn't shake the feeling that a hard fall would knock it loose and send your battery careening into the void. Our second complaint is the space. It's very compact and your battery selection is limited. While the attempt to rear wire the rifle is welcome, front wiring may have been the more practical option. Lancer has even done ready-mag style battery holders on older PDW's and that would have been nice here as well for some more space.
Thankfully, Lancer Tactical included a Dean's Plug, which makes up for how much space the MOSFET takes up. It is possible to fit batteries inside, we actually found the dean's wired version of Elite Force's MP7 batteries to fit reasonably well.
inside of this rifle's full metal exterior hides some wonderful internals though. Let's take a deeper dive.
These rifles all include Lancer's Pro-Line gearbox which is for the best. This is one of the better gear boxes we've seen in a brand new airsoft gun in recent years, with a great "fast trigger" microswitch system, quality gears, and a phenomenal quick change spring.
We found the gear box to be shimmed well, not TOO caked in grease (though our model could have used a bit extra if we're being picky) and the flat trigger it housed was comfortable and traveled smoothly.
While it's not made out of unobtainium or anything top secret, it is constructed sturdily and din't give us any reason to believe it would crack or fail under typical use. We got consistent FPS with only a +/- deviation of about 3 FPS or so around that 380 FPS mark we mentioned earlier.
All of the work put into this gearbox, combined with the included tight bore barrel and quality hop up set up gave us some great results when it came time to shoot it.
We tapped the distance out on this guy just shy of 200 feet, which for how small it is was certainly farther than expected. Groupings were tight, and would have no problem hitting a typical torso at those distances. With the quick change spring, you could drop the gun to 350 FPS, which we tried with an m100 spring, and range still kept up, only losing maybe an additional 10 feet with heavy BBs but still maintaining accuracy and group tightness.
So that begs the penultimate question we ask of every gun here....
This gun is clearly built to satisfy outdoor needs in a small package. If that's you, and you don't mind that it's not a bit more MILSPEC the way an MP5 or AK74u might be, this is definitely something you should consider.
Is it worth the money?
Airsoft GI has it listed for $229.90, and we'd consider that a pretty fair price. This gun shoots above most mid-range priced guns, and it does what it says on the tin. While the stock isn't perfect, performance saves the day here. If you can tolerate the small battery space, we'd say yes. If the price justifies swapping the stock for something like Classic Army's BAS PDW stock, then we'd also say yes.
Ultimately, this gun is very conditional. It serves a specific purpose very well. It can be easily modified to fit a few others, so we're going to give it a firm "Yes, You should buy this" but you need to ask yourself some of the same questions we did, before you pull the trigger.
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