The Shining Star: Arcturus AR01CB Review
The Arcturus is a red giant star, and one of the brightest in the Northern Hemisphere. It was mighty bold to name a company after such a bright hot figure in the night sky. Will the Arcturus AR01 CB become a shining star or fade into obscurity as just another M4?
Arcturus the airsoft gun brand is a relative unknown, unlike it's namesake. They recently released a very large range of airsoft guns to the market boasting top of the line performance well below common top of the line price tags. Let's find out if this new starlet really has the kind of star power you need for such an iconic namesake.
The outer components to the AR01 CB can be a little easy to mistake for several other brands. It bears a striking resemblance to the Wolverine MTW we reviewed previously, as well as several other common M-Lok rail equipped offerings from other manufacturers.
What looks don't s how you is a level of quality that can't be measured by appearance. There was absolutely zero rattle to any of the components and everything felt snug and as tight as it should be. The Arcturus rifle's level of craftsmanship is definitely in league with offerings from the likes of VFC and Krytac, externally. We can't fault Arcturus for the more common design choices here either, as their line up of guns is otherwise very eccentric and topped with some interesting design choices, especially in their Centaur line, which we may have to take a closer look at in the future.
Running through some basic drills, the overall performance and tactile feel of the rifle was satisfactory. We chronographed our demo unit at 365 FPS average on a .20g BB. Trigger response never felt sluggish to the point that I could outrun the rifle with a standard 11.1v LiPO battery either. This is an important factor in a brand new stock gun, especially in a price point more appealing to younger players or new players who don't know all the ins and outs of not hammering a trigger at maximum speed in full auto.
Clicking the selector switch felt like flipping the on switch on a large amplifier. It was a very positive click and you felt and heard it both. It was definitely noticeable, but never felt like it was trying to fight you as you clicked between safe, semi-auto, and fully automatic modes. The magazine release was on-par with the standard fare from other guns, but magazine compatibility was fine. It certainly had no issues holding onto both of the includeded magazines.
Moving to the interior of the AR01CB, we found what sets Arcturus apart from other brands. The microswitch trigger included in a rifle at this price point is really only rivaled by Lancer Tactical's pro-line guns. What appears to be an SHS motor does an admirable job of pulling the gears and cycling the gun. Craftsmanship seems very similar to the Lancer Tactical offerings as well overall.
A 6.02 MM tightbore barrel sits in the outerbarrel with what appears to be a standard bucking. We were able to close shots in the 200 foot distance with ease and minimal hop up tuning as well. This gun definitely punches above its weight class making for a stand out intermediate priced option.
A quick change spring and otherwise standard parts save for a slightly odd fire selector make for a great bed for upgrade parts. This rifle should have no problem becoming the perfect base for your next project gun. Save for the micro switch trigger, which we honestly wouldn't change anyway, everything inside looks to be replaceable with most off the shelf upgrade parts as well.
We have to look at the whole package when we decide if something is worth your hard earned dollars. If we break down the value of the Arcturus AR01 CB, here's what you get: - A Full Metal Receiver - Microswitch Trigger
- Two Magazines
- Quick Change Spring
- Higher than average performance
The AR01 CB clocks in at $235 on Airsoft GI, making it significantly cheaper than the guns it was clearly inspired by. Craftsmanship was higher than we expected in the price range too. While the brand is too new to fully determine how reliable these guns will be over time, nothing we saw inside let us think that something might be amiss and cause issue down the road. If you take care of this gun, it should take care of you on the field.
We have to give the Arcturus AR01 CB the Airsoft Rifle seal of approval. This gun, and it's cousins in the rest of the Arcturus line up will definitely be worth your time to check out, which you can do HERE.