I like to change my replicas frequently and it’s very hard for me to settle down like a man. After a whole year of using my most pimped up replica, I’ve decided to get an AR instead of HK. The one almost hated nowadays modern AR that can be spotted in every single corner of the field. Why? Because it’s the most popular and standardized airsoft platform out there. It is going (as always) to stay with me for a while. This time my weapon of choice was the E&L ELAR SOPMOD II.
Why the E&L?
Because I like to test every new thing that is freshly available on the market. The E&L is a new player there, where it comes to the AR family. Their AKs turned out to be pretty decent guns, so why not the AR? Their price is acceptable and they also have one great characteristic that makes them stand out from the rest of premium ARs – the full steel outer barrel. Also, the tests from guys from SCDTV have shown that the E&L ARs are compatible with most of the magazines available on the market, which can’t be said about my previous gun – WE 416. There was also the Block II alike model available with B5 stock, so why not?
What’s my configuration?
My ELAR SOPMOD II set is contains:
- short dot style scope Visionking 1,25-5x
- MOE style stock
- functional Element PEQ-15 Copy
- Element M952V Flashlight
- hand stop grip
- DEVSIX tactical sling with fast adjustment system
The whole package weighs about 4,8 kilograms, but this configuration is suitable for most of my needs: close and short range fights, observation of the terrain, playing during day and night and… it just looks freaking cool and operatorish ;).
Currently, the heart of my E&L M4 is the stock gearbox with GATE Titan Controller inside. If you use it properly (which unfortunately means leaving the gun in a home during the rain) the whole packet works just perfectly smooth. The second upgrade that I have made was replacing the stock hop up rubber with the Modify Flat Hop. The internal parts are quite good in the E&Ls – there are reinforced gears, high torque motor, and gearbox with rounded corners near the cylinder. However, there is one issue with the stock gun – the spring is very noisy. Fortunately, the replacement of the spring takes like a minute.
The external quality – is the E&L really that good?
The E&L got famous for their quality in full steel AKs, so the expectations are high with their M4s. Are they fulfilled?
My model is crafted almost perfectly. The fitting is rock solid and there is no gap between the lower and upper receiver, nor any wobbling. The copy of Daniel Defense RIS also sits firmly and cannot be moved for a single millimeter.
The fire selector works properly with all the clicks and a good amount of pressure needed to change the fire mode. A nice feature for the user (but not for the service ;)) is the working selector on the right side of the gun. It is not an obvious feature in other premium M4 AEGs. The bolt catch works properly and the dummy slide requires a proper force to be released. The dust cover looks nice but doesn’t work properly. It can open at any moment when the replica is touched.
The painting looks great – the dark grey finish is attractive to the eye. The paint is quite resistant to scratches, but after a long time it is possible to wear it down – I’ve managed to do it ;). It is true that E&L takes most of the magazines available on the market. I’ve tried Specna, BOYI, CYMA, G&P, Castellan, Beta Project, Battle Axe, Airsoft Systems, ASG, AMOEBA, and PTS.
GATE TITAN – what’s this thing and why is it so cool?
It is an advanced controller that manages work of the gearbox mechanism. The whole magic happens thanks to a lot of light sensors placed on the trigger, fire selector etc. The advantage of the sensors is fact that they’re less vulnerable to mechanical damages than classic AEG contacts. The other great thing is that the TITAN suits perfectly inside the gearbox, so there is still a lot of battery compartment available in the buffer tube for the 11.1 V LiPo.
Let’s talk about the functionality of this gizmo, to understand better its uniqueness. With this little computer, we also get a special card for programming and USB cable for computer app programming. In future, there will also be an Android app.
There is a lot of options available to adjust for the user. For me, the most interesting and useful are:
- rate of fire
- trigger sensitivity
- AUG mode
- shots counter
- failure codes for service
- shots limit in one burst
My favorite option is the 2 round burst, which is great for an efficient, but economic fire and allows you to save up the ammunition for later.
GATE TITAN – the electronics have their cons
Like almost every complicated electronic unit – the Titan isn’t flawless. It’s the biggest enemy is the rain. Keep in head that with the Titan gun there also should be a backup gun in the trunk, because harsh weather conditions could (not exactly will) affect the performance of the unit. I’ve experienced this once by myself when during the rain my gun started to make an alarm sound. In result, I had to beat the world record in removing the battery and dry my replica but ultimately everything ended well. The optic sensors don’t like water. A few days after the incident I have ordered the second E&L – a classic one without any electronic upgrades.
Performance – what should be replaced in the E&L?
I wouldn’t be myself without any complains, even about the fresh new gun. The E&L is a good airsoft gun, but for the maximum performance, it requires some upgrades (more information about upgrades can be found here). I would say it needs:
- a reinforced piston with metal teeth
- a sealed nozzle
- longer spring
- new wiring
- new hop up rubber
- for more demanding people – precise inner barrel
For my gun, I have the PDI barrel in plans and set of parts that will cooperate with m130 or m140 springs for different uses in the field.