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In-Box Review
135
US Navy SEAL Mk.18 (CQBR)
US Navy SEAL Mk.18 Rifle (Close Quarters Battle Receiver)
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by: Mario Krajinovic [ MARIO_HR ]

Introduction

Close Quarters Combat (CQC) or Close Quarters Battle (CQB) is defined as a short-duration, high-intensity conflict, characterized by sudden violence at close range. CQC demands a rapid assault and a precise application of lethal force. The operators need great proficiency with their weapons, but also the ability to make split-second decisions in order to avoid or limit friendly casualties.
Running around in tight corners and hallways requires a specific weapon which can be brought up to targets quickly and efficiently. One such weapon is the US Navy SEAL Mk.18 rifle (CQBR).

The Mk.18 is developed and built by NSWC (Navy Surface Warfare Center) Crane as a complete weapon: lower/upper receiver, barrel, stock, etc - these came in the Mod 0 configuration. The roots of this came out of the M4 CQBR, which has been in development probably since the Viet Nam War.

Lots of similarities exist between the M4 CQBR, the Mk.18 and the Mk.18 CQBR and to show the amount of confusion related to these weapons hereís a quick history rundown: the Mk.18 was originally envisioned as the Mk.18 CQBR, specifically to fill a gap in the SEAL armory between the Mp5 and the full length M4 - but when it evolved into its own weapon system with its own basis of issue, the Mk.18 component and CQBR (Close Quarters Battle Receiver) component were de-coupled. The Mk.18 weapon system became the Mk.18 Mod 0 Close Quarters Battle Rifle (unfortunately - also shortened to "CQBR") while the M4 CQBR accessory upper receiver group became a different entity. Both are made by different companies, but look nearly identical.

The regular Mk.18 is used by VBSS units while the Mk.18 CQBRís are used by NSW units; mainly the SEAL teams. The biggest difference is that the CQBR is built on a Colt M4A1 lower, whereas the Mk.18 uses an M16A1 - styled lower; (you can tell because the cut near the front receiver pin is not rounded but cut out with a harder edge). Mk.18ís have CRANE laser engraving markings on the right side of the lower receiver while the CQBRís donít have any.

Review

This is a review of Live Resinís U.S. Navy SEALs Weapon Mk.18 rifle (CQBR) weapon kit [set LRE-35039]. Live Resin products come in a standard zip-lock plastic bag clamped in a cardboard 3D box-art. The front image is showing the parts layout, while the back image illustrates the optional resin accessories for this specific gun system like various scopes, lights, laser designators, fore-grips etc.

The set includes 6 different Mk.18 weapon options: Mk.18 CQBR assault rifle with a 10.3Ē barrel (2x), Mk.18 CQBR assault rifle with a 10.3Ē barrel and the Knightís Armament Co. suppressor (2x), Mk.18 CQBR assault rifle with a longer rail system (2x) and a single casting block with 8 different magazines (also available separately in the LRE 35009 M-4/M-16 magazine set). Each weapon is located on a separate casting block and each block is enumerated with the product serial number and option lettering (in this case LRE35039A through LRE35039G). The weapons are molded in light gray resin that allows every detail to be visible, and the casting itself is astonishing. There are no imperfections, bubbles or any other types of defects in this sample, with only minute traces of flash present. The molding stubs are the thinnest I have ever seen which should facilitate cleaning of the pieces; however caution will be required not to break off the weapon barrels or suppressors which are very delicate.

The level of customization allowed to NSW units is astonishing, but this set follows it to the letter. Shorter variants feature standard Crane buttstocks, Daniel Defense Mk.18 Rail Interface System II (RIS II) and the Knightís Armament Company quick disconnect NT4 sound suppressor or a flash hider for the un-suppressed variant. The longer barreled weapons also sport Magpul CTR buttstock and the FAB Defenseís AG-43 ergonomic pistol grip.

Lewis Machine & Tool Co. SOPMOD buttstock (more familiar as the Crane buttstock) is an adjustable buttstock that can be fixed in up to six positions to ensure the most accurate and efficient positioning for the shooter and features enhanced cheek weld for a better shooting position, rubber butt plate that reduces felt recoil and provides no-slip surface against web gear and body armor, dual quick-detach sling swivel mounting locations and a convenient watertight battery access storage tubes Ė (up to 66 feet).

This buttstock is designed and casted to the exact same level of quality we have now come to expect from Live Resin and by visually comparing it to the real deal, one can see that every unique curve and shape is almost identical to the real world counterpart.

The Magpul CTR (Compact/Type Restricted)is a drop-in replacement buttstock for AR15/M16 carbines using mil-spec sized receiver extension tubes. Designed for light, fast action the streamlined A-frame profile avoids snagging and shields the release latch to prevent accidental activation. The CTR also features a supplemental friction lock system that minimizes excessive stock movement for enhanced weapon stability and an ambidextrous QD sling mount that will accept any push-button sling swivel. The Mil-Spec Model includes a standard 0.30" rubber butt-pad which provides positive shoulder purchase to prevent slippage even with body armor or modular gear.

Everything said about the Magpul buttstock in earlier review (such as the HK416) is true to the letter in this set.

Iíve been looking at the photos and some schematics of the real thing and every single line, opening and indentation is present. This may not seem like a big deal but when you are dealing with a 1/35 scale weapon, the buttstock is only 4-5 mm in length and that says much about the level of detail. There are no shortcuts taken here with the design. The beauty of this set is that it comes with each weapon type with both extended and contracted telescoping buffer tube (thus giving 6 different weapon setups) and will add much variety to your SEAL operators.

FAB Defense AG-43 Pistol Grip enhances grip control, reduces slipping and wrist fatigue, improving overall control during firing sequences. It features finger swelts and a backstrap shape designed to enhance grip (even when wet), extended beavertail for better control, allowing a higher firmer hold readily accessible storage area with securely sealed hinged door, made from mil-spec reinforced polymer composite material. Basically, what you see in the real thing is what you get in the resin model. Only thing I could find lacking is the FAB Defense inscription but that would probably need a microscope to be seen.

Shorter variants retain the standard A2 pistol grip which is very sharply cast and is visually very distinct from the FAB Defense one.

The upper/lower receiver assemblyis where the real distinction happens. The lower receiver is common to all types and is visually correct for the M4A1 that can be checked by the front edge of the receiver following a smooth curve. Everything else is very well represented, the charging handle, fire selector switch, forward assist button, mag release button, itís all there and in very sharp detail.

The lower receiver, as before, features an aperture for the magazine itself. It may not be much, but the way itís designed you just need to slide in the magazine (included in the set) almost like the real thing! This ensures proper alignment and reducing the chance of gluing your fingers with CA glue trying to manhandle these tiny parts. A welcome innovation on 1/35 weapons indeed.

The suppressed uppers differ by having rear flip-up backup iron sights (BUIS). As far as I could tell to be perfectly accurate, the original rear BUIS are made by LMT, and these look more like the standard A2 version by having a lower profile, so itís not working out entirely for a perfect Mk.18 CQBR but Iím far from knowledgeable in this aspect and I may be wrong on this one.

TheDaniel Defense MK18 RIS II is designed to work specifically on the Mk.18 CQBR. The DD RIS II free-floating Picatinny (MIL-STD 1913) rail systems are precision CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum and military specification type II hard coat anodized, featuring uninterrupted upper rail platform that is designed to allow individual operator to quickly, and without special tools, precisely mount SOPMOD accessories to host weapon without effecting point of impact. This is a very different thing to a regular M4 design and is very precisely made and is almost identical to the real thing. The rails are very sharp and can be easily prepared to receive any of the myriad of weapon accessories available from Live Resin. The longer version has rail systems extending beyond the front sight, probably used to mount small lights, pointers etc.

The KAC NT4 quick disconnect suppressor is also perfect in detail. With weight just under 2 lbs and length of 6,6Ē it provides reduction of 28 dB without any significant disadvantages to the weapon system. The main visual feature of this suppressor is the round perforations in the outer layer. There are a million of these and they are lined up and spaced perfectly. With a simple wash these will pop out and bring a great visual detail to this gun. As with all Live Resin weapons, the pouring stub is going directly to the barrel, so it will require careful drilling out.

Unfortunately, I have been looking at various suppressor manufacturing companies such as SureFire, Advanced Armament Co., KAC, Yankee Hill Machine, Ops Inc., Gemtec, and several others usually used by armed forces but could not properly ID the muzzle device on the longer weapon system.

The magazines included on the last block are: 2x standard M4 mags, single Magpul PMAG, single mag with the original Magpul tab, single PMAG with a Magpul Ranger Plate, single M4 mag with a Magpul Ranger Plate, standard dual M4 mag with double mag coupler and dual M4 mag with double mag coupler and Magpul Ranger Plate. Every mag also has a locating tab that inserts right into the receiver opening. These parts are tiny so take care when removing them from the casting block.

The best thing about these weapons they can be upgraded with a number of already released Live Resin accessory sets with ease and without any doubt about proper fitting. A nice multi-color paint job will do these weapons the real justice they deserve.

Conclusion

This 1/35 scale weapon set includes 6 different Mk.18 assault rifles: 2 in the short barrel version, 2 in the short barrel suppressed version and 2 full length rail suppressed version. Each version group has individual weapons with both extended and retracted buffer tubes. The cast is absolutely perfect with a lot of intricate weapon details, especially the rails. Another extra that will be very useful is the addition of the magazine block.

Mk.18 CQBR weapon systems are designed exclusively for US NSW units and are somewhat of a rare commodity in the armed forces. If youíre interested in SEAL figures, and using something newer than the M-4, this weapon set is a great asset. As for the quality of the Live Resin products, this one is a no-brainer. Get it if you want to detail your figures with a first class resin modern weapon.

References

Magpul CTR stock
FAB Defense pistol grip
Kightís Armament Company NT4 suppressor
Daniel Defense RIS II
Lewis Machine Tool Co.
SUMMARY
Highs: Perfect casting, extraordinary details.
Lows: None noted
Verdict: Highly recommended if youíre interested in adding weapon variety to your modern figures.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LRE-35039
  PUBLISHED: Feb 03, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.72%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.95%

Our Thanks to Live Resin!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Krajinovic (Mario_HR)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

Copyright ©2017 text by Mario Krajinovic [ MARIO_HR ]. All rights reserved.


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