I’ve been holding off for quite some time on getting a Li-Po battery for my Airsoft guns, namely out of fear of the li-po. You hear stories of catastrophic failure involving fiery blazes and explosions. Tales of wanton destruction and havoc across fair lands. Yarns about people being dismembered and mutilated to the point of being disowned by the Member’s Only Club and having their jackets repossessed. With my somewhat recent purchase of a Triton 2 charger, and the need for more power in my M14 and my M249, this was a chance to face my fears and increase the capabilities of my armory!
In figuring out what li-po battery I needed, I sought out help from the Airsoft community at Airsoft Mechanics, and Arnies Airsoft. The responses I received from Airsoft Mechanics were very helpful in making my decision, whereas I found a mix of information and misinformation at Arnies Airsoft. Be careful who gives you advice and information, because advice without experience or wisdom may be nothing more than a lie.
For making my final decision and purchase, I talked with Pat @ RCLipos.Com. Now here’s a helpful individual. Don’t let people tell you that customer service is dead. I couldn’t be more pleased with the customer service I received from Pat… and I hadn’t even bought a thing from him yet. He was ready to answer my questions, didn’t put a bunch of “smoke and mirrors” in front of me trying to push a product on me. He was honest about delivery times, even letting me know that my first choice would be cutting it close and maybe delivered too late for the operation that I was buying these for. In the end, I got exactly the li-po I needed at a great price and it was delivered on time!
It’s a battery right? Construction isn’t that important. Or is it? Li-polymer batteries are sensitive. They just aren’t built for the abuse that NiCad or NiMH batteries can receive without failing or becoming hazardous. To that end, the construction of the pack is important. The pack I purchased is a 3S pack; meaning it has 3 cells and they are wired in series. The wires for the balance plug are neatly run under the protective heat shrink, down the side and out the end without adding to the bulk of the battery pack.
The balance connector is a typical ThunderPower tap, and will require an adaptor to work other types of plugs on balancers.
The power wire and ground wire coming off the battery pack is 13 gauge and very flexible. I am really impressed at the quality of this wire. The heavy gauge will allow as much current as needed to flow through it, and the high flexibility of the insulation keeps the wire from getting in the way when you’re trying to cram it in place.
After being correctly charged and balanced using my Triton 2 and Equinox setup, I was ready to try this sweet battery out. The first test would be in my M14. Up until now, I had been using a 1500mAh 9.6v NiMH battery. Being that this gun is setup to be a sniper rifle and modified to be semi-auto only, trigger response is my greatest concern. My current setup had been decent, but there was a definite lag to the trigger. This being due to the 500 fps spring in there (even with a high torque motor). Honestly, I didn’t have much to complain about, but I’m all about pushing things to the bleeding edge of what they can do.
Now, making the jump to an 11.1v 2200mAh li-po battery, I’m eager to see what it does. With the gun on target I flick the safety off, and give the trigger a gentle squeeze. Before I could comprehend that I pulled the trigger the gun let out a quick “wizz,thunk” from the gearbox winding the spring back and then letting it go. I was amazed at the non-existent trigger lag. It was as if through sheer telekinesis that the gun fired! Oh, I’m going to love this. Unfortunately (no fault of the battery), my M14 died several shots later.
Oh well, let’s move on to the M249 as the M14 lay in the sick bay. Knowing that I’m shooting about 22 RPS @ 320 FPS on my 9.6v NiMH 1500 mAh battery, I knew changes had to be made to the gun to make it reliable. In went a 400 fps spring to increase the spring rate and slow down the cycling action. In went the li-po battery. Up to the chronograph I went and to the floor went my jaw. I was amazed. With a 80 fps increase I didn’t expect such a gain in the ROF, but the switch over to an 11.1 li-po yielded 28 RPS @ 400 FPS!!!! Not only did I increase by ROF by 27% but pulling the heavier spring was easy as pie.
The ThunderPower brand Li-Po battery back has been a staple of the RC world for quite some time. They’ve proven themselves there, and now finally, the airsoft world is catching on. With manufacturers beginning to make AEG’s that are “Li-Po ready” out of the box, we need to know what Li-Po batteries will do us justice. Luckily for us we have people like Pat @ RCLipos.Com to help us with the decisions.
The ThunderPower RC 2200mAh 11.1v battery pack proved itself at OP: Darkstar where I used it exclusively in my M249. I figured my M249 robust and well built. The gun chronographed at a screaming ROF and FPS, and yet by the end of the operation, I realized that the battery had more to give than my gun was using up. Guess I need to keep upgrading my M249… and I thought it was a beast already.
Following the recommendations for charging, storage, and usage, I didn’t run into the catastrophic failures that seem to circle camp fires and shady chatrooms. In fact, I had a pleasant experience without much of a hassle at all! In the end, I can highly recommend the ThunderPower RC eXtreme V2 batteries from RCLipos.Com to anyone looking to make the switch from NiMh or NiCad’s in their AEG’s.