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Updating A Classic: Elite Force Mk18 by VFC Review

In the world of airsoft guns, the M4 model is ubiquitous. Everyone has owned one. Everyone knows some body who has owned one. Within the microcosm of just M4's the Mk18 variant is just as ubiquitous. Gaining popularity for it's use with American special operators, it has become a very popular build style for M4 users due in part to it's popularity but also it's utilitarian features.

Why would anyone be excited about a new model of Mk18? What makes this one so worthy of note that it's worth talking about in 2019 when there is a literal deluge of cool unique guns to open up and review instead?

Sometimes, a product comes along that is so exquisitely put together you can't help but take notice. This Elite Force Mk18 was firmly off of our radar here at HQ until a few short weeks ago. We had the opportunity to check this gun out in person at Airsoft GI's BB Wars: The Rise of Darth Cisco, where Elite Force was a sponsor, and brought one to check out for the players at the event. While we still had to wait for the final model to arrive before we could begin our review, what we saw at the game enticed us enough to get excited for many of the same reasons it's cousin in the 416A5 that we reviewed earlier this year did.

VFC is a legendary manufacturer in the airsoft business. Their reputation stems from a long lineage of highly crafted external parts and construction, and even more recently innovative ideas inside of the gearbox to get performance up to par with looks.

The Avalon series has been a gold standard for airsoft guns for quite a while, having it's operating system find it's way into other popular VFC AEG's including the 416A5 and several MP5's. The VFC mk18 being distributed by Elite Force continues this trend.

While it doesn't do anything new or unique, what it does do is get almost every detail right, with a few minor gripes that bother a strict clone-building purist. The trademarks on the rail match it's real world counterpart. The combination of colors on the polymer furniture also allude to real-world special forces units operating in the Middle-East. VFC even has the correct sights to make everything line up properly and keep you on target. Fire controls feel flawless, and even lose the spongy-ness we disliked on the 416.

We have one minor complaint with the rifle, and that has to do with receiver trademarks. For a rifle so close to a perfect recreation, seeing the "Avalon" markings on the receiver instead of licensing the rights to a Daniel Defense or Colt branded lower are a misstep, however licensing issues likely prevented this from ever being a real possibility. Ultimately, we can't fault the gun for it, especially in light of all it gets right.

The 416A5 gearbox, nearly identical to the Mk18

We were not surprised at all by the performance of this rifle.

That statement sounds exceptionally bold when you read it out loud, but truthfully the pedigree of this rifle meant we knew exactly what to expect. That expectation was met in spades. Featuring the Avalon internal components that put VFC at the top of the proverbial chart, this gun has an intelligently designed and manufactured gearbox that pushes serious performance.

Trigger response in semi-auto was superb, keeping up with my trigger finger on an 11.1v battery. We didn't even run into the double-tapping and over-cycling issues present on earlier models of the Avalon, making this one of the best models yet. Every shot broke out past the 200 foot mark, and FPS settled in the high 380's on the production model we ran through the chronograph. This rifle performed the way an Avalon should, and that's absolutely a good thing.

It's geared for field play, but it would be quite a simple endeavor to swap to a lower powered spring, and build your personal Mk18 out for close quarters game play. Consider a suppressor and an extended barrel to make a pocket sized rifle capable of DMR like performance. This rifle can really do it all, depending on how you build it out.

Let's break down the value of this Mk18.

It costs $400 right now, the same as the VFC Mp7, which we thought wasn't worth the cash.

It has the performance of the more expensive 416A5, which we loved and called effectively perfect.

It is ALSO "just another M4" albeit an exquisitely made one.

Does that make this rifle a good value? Is it something you should consider buying?

Let's look at it another way. A standard Avalon costs $365 to $385, then plus it up a bit for the inclusion of a licensed and authentic rail over the stock Avalon. Buying those separate would push cost well over $500. Couple this now $100 savings with the stellar performance (our chief complaint of the MP7) and you have another win from VFC.

The Mk18 gets a firm win from us at Airsoft Rifle. It may be a bit boring for many players with more exotic tastes, but if you're down with the OG airsoft classic, this should be a no-brainer buy for your next performance rifle.

If you'd like to grab your own, click HERE.

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