A compact AEG for vehicle crew use!
WHO MAKES IT: Classic Army USA
GUN NAME: VCW – Vehicle Crew Weapon
TYPE: Field Use (CQB with spring change)
WHO IT’S FOR: Mid-high level player
HOW MUCH: $279.00
FPS: 365 w/ .20g BBs
Classic Army USA’s latest and greatest guns have been a pretty steady feature on our pages over the last year, and that’s because they keep spitting out high quality, affordable, and well performing replicas. For this issue, we’re looking at an M4 variant that is designed for use by vehicle crews due to its short length and easy handling. Now, most players won’t exactly be shooting this out the door of an MRAP, but its stubby, yet still realistic design makes it a great option for CQB use. Let’s go through the long list of features of this AEG to see if it deserves a place on your gun truck rack.
BUILD RIS (RAIL INTEGRATED SYSTEM): T-marked 20mm railed handguard
STOCK: Crane style unit with battery storage
BARREL LENGTH: 7 in.
TRIGGER GUARD: Standard metal unit
MAG RELEASE: Standard M4 style unit, screw retained
OPTIC SPACE: 20mm top rail
MAGAZINE: 2×300 round capacity metal hi-caps
WEIGHT: 6 lbs.
HEIGHT: 10.5 in.
LENGTH OF PULL: 11.25″ – 14.75″
BUILD GEARBOX VERSION: V2
MOTOR: Standard power longlength
GEARS: Wire cut steel 21:1 ratio
BUSHINGS/BEARINGS: 9mm steel bushings
WIRING HARNESS: Rear wired, MOSFET and Deans plug equipped
PISTON & HEAD: Polymer piston with bore up head
SPRING: Feels like M110 Strength
ANTI-REVERSAL LATCH: Standard
SPRING GUIDE: Ball bearing equipped – quick change design
INNER BARREL: 6.03mm tightbore
HOP-UP UNIT: Rotary adjustable
CONTROL OPERATION: 3 position switch, safe-semi-auto
BATTERY STORAGE: Stock, nunchuck style
RANGE/ ACCURACY: 145 ft. “Torso” accurate
ROF 11.1V – 21 RPS
CHRONO .20g- 364.7 FPS .25g- 329.1 FPS
BATTERIES: 11.1v 20C 1100 mAh G&G LiPo
CHARGER: G&G LiPo Balance Charger
BB’S: .20/.25g Elite Force BBs
At first glance, the VCW is pretty much a standard M4 with some nice external parts chosen in its construction. The whole package, however, makes for one cool looking little gun. Classic Army has finished it in a high quality matte black color with nicely textured polymer furniture.
The stock is a Crane style polymer unit on a six position metal buffer tube. The butt
pad is removable to access the two battery channels which hold the battery powering your gun. Normally, you can use a buffer tube LiPo, however, the MOSFET limits your space drastically. Where the buffer tube meets the receiver, you’ll find a dual sided sling mounting point for single point slings.
A standard forged style receiver has controls located in all the normal places, no fancy ambidextrous controls here. The upper receiver fits without any wobbles or free play and gives the whole gun a very professional and realistic look. The pistol grip is a TD style unit with texturing on the sides to help keep your hand in place. A heat sink, flat head adjustable motor base lets you fine tune the motor height for peak performance. You can lock the bolt carrier back by pressing down on the bolt catch while pulling back the charging handle.
A CNC machined free float handguard gives you plenty of real estate for accessories. Unlike most current guns from manufacturers, this has some classic 20mm rails instead of Keymod or MLOK. I’ve always been a sucker for standard rails, so I like this small touch. On the sides of the handguard, you’ll find QD sling mounting ports, however, there are no included sling points to install in them. CA threw in a stubby polymer vertical grip to help you keep a handle on things.
The outer barrel is metal and is about 7” long, ending right around the end of the rail. From the factory, the VCW is fitted with an orange plastic flashhider, but CA USA includes a full metal sound amplifier that is easily installed once you remove the old one. The muzzle is 14mm-, so you can install pretty much any muzzle device you’d like.
Aiming the VCW is accomplished using the included flip up iron sights. They are made of metal and lock very solidly in place once lifted into position. The rear is adjustable for windage, while the front can be tweaked for elevation. You have plenty of rail space for adding optics such as a red dot or reflex sight.
No fancy PMAG lookalikes here, Classic Army USA includes two standard style STANAG magazines in the package. They are full metal, hi-cap designs that hold 300 rounds each. A standard bottom mounted winding wheel is immediately familiar for anyone who has used an M4 AEG before. The magwell is quite forgiving and allows for a wide range of aftermarket magazine compatibility, without suffering from wobbles.
Like all M4 replicas, this gun is fitted with a V2 gearbox. Unlike most M4s, that gearbox is filled with some super sexy Gucci parts from the factory. 9mm ball bearings, wire cut steel 21:1 ratio gears, a bore up cylinder made out of stainless steel, a quick change spring system with a metal spring guide, and an aluminum cylinder head. This setup will run some pretty powerful springs without issue, so feel free to run it high or low velocity, depending on the field.
Like all recent CA USA AEGs, the VCW comes with a simple MOSFET designed to protect your trigger contacts with high voltage battery use. This gun is certainly “LiPo Ready”, a marketing term that I’m not a fan of, but hey, it works. While the MOSFET doesn’t have any fancy features like burst mode or shot completion, it is a proper MOSFET that will keep your gun running smoothly. The wiring is a silver low resistance setup terminated in a Deans plug for peak performance. If you don’t run a Deans equipped battery, the kit does come with a Tamiya adapter.
What good is a sexy gearbox filled with great components if the hop-up and barrel is crap. Luckily, this AEG comes equipped with a 6.03mm tightbore barrel fitted in a metal one-piece rotary style hop-up. Accessing the hop-up is easy to do thanks to the functional bolt catch that holds the faux bolt carrier until you press the release. You can use any sort of TM compatible hop-up/barrel components you’d like if you like to tweak your gun a bit.
- Full metal, high quality body
- 9mm ball bearing gearbox
- Quick change spring system for easy velocity adjustments
- Full MOSFET system for LiPo use
- Deans plugs installed from the factory
- Includes accessories such as the stubby foregrip and muzzle device
- CNC Machined free-float rail system
- Comes with two mags and Tamiya plug adapter
- Has plenty of old school charm
- Shoots a little hot in stock form, but the velocity can be easily adjusted with a new spring
- Doesn’t have much visual “presence”
- Standard AR controls – I’d love to see ambidextrous units like CA has spoiled us with on other models
An M4 like this is a blank canvas for a customizer like myself, and I can see some fun ideas in my head with it. Externally, this gun has some delicious old school charm, so I think I’ll be jumping head first into that look. Period correct optic and rail mounted accessories will complete the look nicely. Inside, I’ll be dropping in a lower velocity spring to get this running right under 300 FPS, with a noticeable bump in rate of fire.
THE LAST WORD
While the VCW may not turn any heads with its somewhat plain design, its performance and quality go a long way towards making this a real contender on the field. It does have a look like a stubby MK18, and the ability to trick it out a bit with the included accessories is a very nice touch. The body has gorgeous molded-in trademarks and the furniture is made of high quality polymer material. While the VCW doesn’t really bring anything new or flashy to the table, what it does do is present a very well made, somewhat old-school design with some excellent internal components. The small details like the markings on the dust cover just add to the package.