I find that is rare these days to come across anything in airsoft that is a truly innovative product. To find a new take on a subject, rather than a warmed over rehash is quite something. Often, the new product is a brazen out and out copy of an existing product. So to say that I was surprised when I heard about this Xcortech product would be an understatement. I hadn’t heard of the company before, so I was quite naturally steeling myself for another copycat item.
How wrong I was!
Firestorm Distribution had kindly offered to give me hands on time with one of the early prototype units from Xcortech, which they have been putting through its paces. Once I had been briefed on the features, I was hooked. This is a clever concept and it has great potential.
The Xcortech package consists of three constituents; an XC3300MF suppressor, XC3300CC PEQ box, and an XC3300SCU a shot control unit. The latter is optional, as we shall see.
So, what does this package actually do?
The suppressor screws onto most AEGs by way of the now (almost) universal negative 14mm thread, although G&P, Magpul Masada and Systema users will need a negative to positive 14mm adaptor, which is easily sourced. The suppressor takes four AAA batteries, in a similar fashion to the various tracer units out there and this is a functional tracer unit, right here. Nothing innovative so far, but putting it through a series of tests, I found that it was able to keep up with some quite ridiculous rates of fire – at 1,100 rounds per minute it wasn’t missing a beat, or a round.
Next, the X3300CC (Control Console) or mock PEQ is added. Fitting is simply a case of screwing it onto a RIS rail. The unit communicates wirelessly with the suppressor and facilitates several functions. First of all, the velocity of the BBs through the suppressor can be displayed on the control unit screen. Using two light gates in the suppressor, full chronograph functionality is available on the fly, and units of velocity can be selected on the control centre. Not only is FPS measured, but rate of fire as well.
In a touch reminiscent of the eponymous M41A Pulse Rifle of Aliens fame, the control unit has a shot count facility. This is user selectable, to count up from zero, or down from an inputted amount. Know how many bbs in your magazine? Input that number into the control unit and watch as it counts down with every trigger pull. No more dead man’s click with this baby! I was becoming seriously impressed as I watched this thing cheerfully counting down to an empty magazine – and it was bang on the money each time we did this. I think for many potential customers, this facility alone makes it a winner.
Each function is programmable using a pair of rotating switches; one on the control centre top, and one alongside the small but easily readable screen and I can add that the control unit is small (less than the size of a PEQ 15 battery box) and robust. I saw one take bb strikes from a matter of a few feet away and shrug it off with no damage. Stout injection moulded plastic is the order here and it’s tough enough. Being small, it’s also lightweight. I didn’t notice the addition of both the suppressor and the control unit to a standard M4 and MP5. The addition of barrel length is inescapable but the suppressor is no longer than a PTS AAC M4-2000 suppressor at about 175mm.
Finally the XC3300 SCU or shot control unit is the third part of the system. It is designed to simply wire into the AEG between battery and AEG itself. There will be issues with space in some cases but the circuit board on the SCU is barely 60mm long. Many users will find fitting it straightforward. It squeezed in nicely in the front wired PTS Masada I used, with no issue.
The shot control unit, as the name suggests, allows the user to set the number of rounds that each trigger pull will fire, from one to ten. Again, interfacing is by the control unit and control is accomplished wirelessly, with the SCU interrupting the battery when the required number of rounds have been counted by the suppressor. Of course, this allows the user to control the burst setting on the fly, just like the other functions on the control unit. As long as the control unit is within around 1.5m of the suppressor and SCU, it works perfectly. Don’t want a PEQ on your AEG? Shove the control unit into a pouch, wear in on your wrist, whatever works. This thing brings a new meaning to the word ‘versatile’.
There is a great deal of potential in the Xcortech 3300 and I can see it being the next ‘must have’ bolt on. Performance was exceptional on a variety of AEGs, and the ease of set up was refreshing. If I had to level criticism, it would primarily be at the instructions, which are just a bit ‘Google translate’ in places. Granted, the units I saw were prototype, so it may be a tad unfair to expect polished instructions. Also, the control unit bears only a passing resemblance to a PEQ box and the suppressor is a metal sleeved version.
This is a bolt on that’s very hard to fault indeed. Highly recommended.
What it does:
1. Controls your shot burst at the touch of a button, 1,2,3,4,5,-10
2. Displays how many BB’s are left in your magazine.
3. Displays your battery level
4. Displays Your ROF, and FPS
5. Has one of the fastest Tracer round rates on the market.
6. Auto power off
7. See how much mileage your gun has done with its Total BB counter
In stock now in Black or TAN – available from www.xcortech.co.uk
Andy Bourne BSc(Hons) MCOptom is an ophthalmic optician, former reserve forces officer, and keen milsim airsofter. He is associate optometrist with the Vision Surgery & Research Centre, UK, and has written widely on the latest advances in optics & refractive surgery, and his research has been presented worldwide. He currently divides his time between hospital, general practice and airsoft, although not necessarily in that order. You can contact him at www.Facebook.com/AirsoftOptician or firstname.lastname@example.org