The Lancer Tactical Blackbird AEG is a rifle that seeks to please many masters. It has a general design that screams practical outdoor rifle, but the embellishments and aesthetic choices belt "Speedsoft!" from the rooftops as loud as they can. Does this gun succeed at pleasing either master? Is it a gun constantly struggling to compete in either arena? Let's see if this gun is truly worth the money.
Our model for testing fired at a brisk 390 FPS, when chronographed with our standard .20g bbs. Trigger response was standard for a gun of this nature, and while not extreme enough to be noteworthy, was more than functional. Rate of fire posted in the reasonable teens with an 11.1v battery as well. We noted accuracy to be the standout performance metric for this gun, easily eclipsing a 200 foot shot with hop up adjusted and heavier bbs.
We noted the ergonomics of the rifle to be a bit odd at first. The Alpha stock this model is equipped with, while great for storage, and ease of battery access, definitely fought my wrist as I tried to maneuver through some basic weapon handling fundamentals. However, this was overcome by adjusting how I thought about this rifle. It was not designed for the MILSIM enthusiast like myself, this gun was designed for the Supreme T-shirt wearing, hi-capa sporting speedsofter hell bent on running around corners at mach 2 pre-firing everything in sight.
When I started to treat this gun as a CQB player would, it began to make sense. The extra magazine storage allows you to run lighter on gear. The slim handguard is lightweight, but still allows you to attach critical accessories like the flashlight you need for checking your shots indoors. The skeletonized receivers and blue accents (or red, if that's your fancy) scream style and cool factor. None of these features make the gun a great outdoor gun, but they do make it a phenomenal choice for indoor play.
Nestled in the buffer tube of this rifle is a MOSFET allowing for most of the fast precision shots without strain on your battery or motor. It is easily accessed by removing the rear section of the alpha stock, via the length-of-pull adjustment. It was very easy, and a welcome relief from the sea of Pistol Caliber Carbines and PDW's with difficult and small compartments. The buffer tube easily fits a LiPO battery and doesn't fuss with you too much.
This gun also contains a true quick change spring system, accessed via the rear of the buffer tube. It is made a bit more difficult by the Alpha Stock, but is still much easier than ever having to remove a gearbox and open it. This means if you really wanted to run this flashy gun outdoors, or in this case, lower the spring for indoor play, you could do it quickly and easily the night before a game and have one gun for multiple play styles. While I think this gun is often at odds with it's versatile design, it is a welcome feature we wish more guns entertained. While on the subject of the Alpha Stock, this design features an integrated magazine holder. It's release button is easy to hit without looking for it, the magazine is free enough to remove, but does not eject, preventing some accidental loss of gear. With practice, we found it efficicent, and easy to remove either of the two included mid cap magazines from the compartment in the rear.
Is this gun worth it? This is easily the most difficult one to answer for yet. I do not believe this gun is meant for outdoors. It is honestly limited by the skeletonized receiver in what it will or will not tolerate from the elements. The dusty and debris of outdoor playing will sneak in, and rip this gun apart. If you play indoors, this gun is 100% a fantastic option, but know that you will need to downgrade the spring before it is usable. For Me, this gun is a hard pass at $260, but if you are an avid indoor player, this is one to keep an eye on. It certainly shoots well, it just does not meet my needs as a player. For me, I'll keep an eye out for the other Lancer Pro-Line models, that maybe trend a bit more to the subdued and not the flashier models like this Blackbird.
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