While I can’t expect everyone to have the same affinity for M4/ARs as myself, I am sure that there are a few things many of you and I will have in common. We probably both like guns and we probably both like video games and/or science fiction, right?
During IWA 2018, ASG teased us with something that had a little bit of both (video game flare and sci-fi). The gun in question is the marriage of tight, geometric lines and curved ergonomics. However, as our hobby grows and evolves, today’s Airsoft players are not that shallow, and seek for more than just superficial looks. But does ASG’s latest AEG offering have internal substance worthy of its unique externals?
Like in pretty much every review, I get to spend a good amount of time playing and holding the gun and every time I hold this gun I just can’t help but feel like I am in my favorite video game or science fiction movie of some kind! I mean, if I was a movie director looking for a modern day firemarm to modify into a space gun, this would be high on my list.
Lets take a look at the real steel gun that our airsoft variant is based on. The HERA Arms CQR is a
very unique rifle that comes from Germany! The unique design of the CQR came from HERA’s decision on making advanced ergonomics and superior handling of the weapon their top priority. And you can see this “Designed in Germany” or "Made in Germany" engraving proudly.
When I think of Germany, I think of Bauhaus design – probably the most notable design schools-of-thought that have ever emerged from Germany, whose style propagated far and wide after World War 2. Bauhaus design embraces much of what German’s do today, with their minimalism and straight lines that give that “German Look”.
Some might say that the design here on the CQR is a bit busy and that there’s more going on here than necessary. The rear portion of the gun surely looks like something seen from German design philosophy but the front feels more akin to most other modern design concepts that favors comfort, curves, and a more organic look.
For a gun that is designed to be used in “Close Quarters”, the decision to have a more or less fixed
length of pull is an interesting one but you are able to tuck the gun in quite well. The thumb hole fore grip also allows for several different style of hold, from a traditional style, to facilitating a more modern style, to even whatever style you feel like. If you really think about it, it almost feels like an overgrown P90! While the gun feels great to aim and point, there are a few minor issues I do have with the thumb hole grip. While it looks great and provides a lot of shooting stability, it does inhibit some wrist movement, especially if you need to do some tight maneuvering or even at times during low ready. When shooting, as mentioned, its a very different story. The gun actually offers substantial wrist support for steadier aim as its angled in a certain position where it provides a lot bottom palm stability. The curved thumb hole fore grip is a great compliment to the stock when it comes to shooting stability but you can remove it to reveal a full length lower rail so that you can install other hand-stops or grips of your choice. As a final touch, the rubberized texture of the pistol grip helps A LOT, especially when your palms start to get a bit sweaty.
This is a fully licensed product from our friends ASG. Being a fully licensed gun, you can expect all the correct markings and an assurance of quality - a little something about the markings, the “15th” marking on the side is actually a tribute to the “AR15” . Other than those things, you can also note that the rail and muzzle break are made with blueprints provided from HERA. The style and contours of the rail looks very closely to the Fortis designs making it look very handsome and its "HERA" name engraved on the rail is a great subtle touch.
Internally the gun runs off the PTW-inspired ICS split gear box system and the gun we have here also features their S3 electronic trigger. The claim to fame with this style of system is that each part of the gearbox can be worked on individually. This makes repairs, cleaning, and changing of parts much easier than traditional gear boxes seen on other AEGs. As an added bonus, the gun also features a quick change spring that is easy to access and replace.
The S3 electronic trigger is the latest coming from ICS and it gives some added performance. The trigger can facilitate half cocking for fast shooting and can be programmed to different firing modes such as burst. The gun also automatically decocks itself if you put the gun on safe, much like what you see on the Krytac Kriss Vector, this will drastically increase the life span of your gun.
Finally the gun comes with very nice polymer flip up front and rear sights. They can easily be adjusted and they are one of the nicer sets of sights to use. They also have some pistol style low profile notches for you use to if you so choose but its quite difficult to see which sadly render them pretty much useless. While we are on this note, the controls and trigger are the standard ones you see on regular ol' ARs. While this is exactly like that of the real gun, my complaint here is that for a gun that looks this good, the generic controls kind of give it a bit of a downer. Imagine a beautiful lady, wearing a beautiful evening gown, but she is wearing flats. Nothing wrong with flats but won't a nice pair of heels look better? I guess you will have to be the judge.
On the down side, the magazine does take away from the overall look and feel of the gun. On one side, I can say we are all happy its not a boring, generic looking GI magazine, yet on the flip side in an era where great looking, high quality mid-caps are basically an industry standard, the 300rd hi-cap is slightly disappointing. Great job to ICS for making it look like the 20rd-ers used with the real steel gun and the window where you can see your BB level is great! But the design does just look a little dated and the rattling of the 300rds in your magazine should be a "thing of the past:.
When you actually take this gun shooting, everything previously mentioned becomes very apparent, the gun shoots exceptionally well and the trigger responds very well and the ergonomics add to the shooting experience of the gun. You can also remove the small cover towards the rear of the stock to reveal a small picatinny rail section which allows you to mount a monopod on it for longer range shots. The muzzle break is threaded on to a 14mm CCW outer barrel and you can change it out for tracers or mock suppressors of your liking. You will also be pleased to know that there is some added realism to the gun as its an electric blow back gun, while little impulse, its still a little non the less.
As a whole, I think the HERA Arms CQR is a great addition to the line up of airsoft guns out there for people that are tired of the same “operator, special forces, solider” load out. Though at its core its still an AR, I think there’s just enough done to it where you can appreciate its futuristic looks without it feeling cheesy.
While there may be a short comings such as the fore grip might get in the way of faster reloads or pistol grip might hinder a tighter range of motion, the HERA ARMS CQR definitely brings something new to the market. With that said, you can be assured that you can get a gun that has the looks AND performance to back it up, not to mention that you can get a budget version of this AEG, making it potentially a great choice for players just getting into airsoft!
But what do you guys think? It is more Call of Duty Black Ops or Halo? And what kind of loadout would you build around this gun? Let's get the conversation going! If you want to learn more, you can check out the product HERE on our online store!