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Review

Deep Fire Samson Evolution Carbine Rainier Arms Deluxe Edition
  • Manufacturer 
     Deep Fire
  • Model 
     Deep Fire Samson Evolution (12.37 inch Rail) Carbine - Deluxe Version
  • Capacity 
     330 BBs
  • Weight 
     2630 Unloaded
  • Power 
     350 fps with 0.2g BB
  • Motor 
     Deep Fire
  • Hop-up 
     PTW-style Adjustable
  • Battery 
     11.1v LiPo
  • Shooting Mode 
     Safe, Semi, Full Auto
  • Construction 
     Aluminum with ABS furiture

Pros

+ Extremely Durable
+ Extremely Durable
+ Extremely Durable
+ Solid as a Rock
+ Lightweight
+ Did I Mention: Extremely Durable?
 

Cons

- Finish on receiver could be better
- Plastic furniture feels cheap
 

Verdict

While cheap plastics used on some of the external parts let this airsoft gun down somewhat, the top marks on durability and build quality make this one of the most durable AEGs available today.

 

When I first put hands upon the Deep Fire Samson Evolution Carbine Deluxe edition, I was far from impressed. Maybe it was my jaded attitude towards M4/M16 platforms, maybe it was the dull powder-coat finish and the rough looking receiver joint pins, but perhaps I'm just a shallow airsofter, judging the books I see right from the glance at the cover. When I saw the Samson Evolution Carbine, apart from the rail set (which I will get to later), nothing much stood out to me. "Just another iteration of the same thing again", I thought. Oh boy was I wrong.

You see, the beauty of the Deep Fire Samson Evolution Carbine Deluxe Edition (what a mouthful. Let's just call it the Deep Fire Carbine DX from now) is not apparent the first time you lay eyes on it. It only becomes apparent once you've handled it for more than a brief period, and had the opportunity to use it, and use it, and use it. Deep Fire's emphasis in the design of their Deluxe Edition rifles is durability. You get a hint of this when first handling a Deep Fire M4, there are only five things I can count (sans accessories) that move on the Deep Fire Carbine DX; the trigger, the fire selector, the mag release, the sliding stock and the trigger guard. The first four on that list are supposed to move anyway, and the trigger guard is inconsequential to the durability of the rifle. On closer inspection the charging handle and functioning bolt catch move too, but are stiff enough that I didn't notice the first time around the gun.

Pulling back the charging handle to open the dust cover and retract the dummy bolt reveals an unfamiliar sight. Instead of the standard hop-up housing and adjustment dial there is a solid block of metal. This is due to the PTW-style hop-Up unit that the Deep Fire's Deluxe Versions come with. The design of the hop-up is extremely resistant to slipping from gearbox vibrations, and will hold its position of adjustment even after thousands of gearbox cycles and the passing of fired BBs. The downside to this is that the method of adjustment is difficult to reach, located in the magazine well and requiring a hex key to adjust. A small price to pay for the consistency and accuracy it provides, as it sits firmly in the upper receiver, exhibiting no play or wobble whatsoever.

The receiver halves on the Deep Fire Carbine DX may as well be one piece. To say that there is no play between the upper and lower is to understate the solidity of the assembly. "Hewn from a single block of obsidian" more aptly describes the Deep Fire's body. This description remains to apply for the rest of the non-moveable pieces of the rifle. The Tango Down battle-grip housing the motor is just as rigid as the metal receivers, and the stock-tube feels (I'm running out of words to describe the solidity here) fused to the body's rear-end. To top it all off, the rail system is designed in such a way that it applies a deathly grip upon the threads of the receiver while alignment blocks on its point of contact ensure it never slips. The grip upon the receiver is strong to such an extent, that even with leverage of a free floated barrel, the most flex I can get from it is 1, maybe 2 millimeters an any direction.

All this structural integrity usually comes at the expense of maneuverability and the ability to be lightweight. Here, on this rifle, the case is not so. Thanks to the official Rainier Arms 12.37" fore-grip, the frontal weight is kept to a minimum. The truss-like design of the lightening holes cut into the rail system, plus the inner fluted design of the construction means rock solid structural integrity while keeping the weight of the aluminum fore-end down to a minimum. As another weight-saving feature, instead of running rails along the entire length of the fore-grip, threaded holes are present to facilitate the placement of rails only where they are needed, trimming down excess metal to sustain the rifle's maneuverability.

The point is made, the Deep Fire Carbine DX is solid enough to beat something to a pulp, so what are its shortcomings? There are a few to mention. The stock is made from ABS and, in stark contrast to the rest of the gun, can feel rather flimsy. The finish on the metal receiver pieces doesn't give the impression you paid too much for the rifle and there is some flash along the mold lines of the pistol-grip and (only 4 position) sliding stock. To the more practically inclined, these are minor issues to solve. A simple file or edge of a blade can rid the plastic furniture of their imperfections. The stock, being a standard crane stock, is usually one of the first things to be replaced, and if you must, a camouflage paint-job can cover any hint of unappealing surface finish.

The receiver halves are solidly put together.
The barrel is one-piece metal, free-floated, and does not flex.
The Rainier arms rail system is the key to the AEG's balance.

Beneath the rough surface appearance of the Deep Fire Carbine DX, there slumbers a monster of a gearbox. Deep Fire has long been a manufacturer of internals built to last, with full tune-up kits and gears to replace inferior, weaker counterparts, and while they may not offer the highest performance, they are built to last. Much like a supercar would require more maintenance than a jeep, this is the reliable off-roader. You can run this gearbox continuously for more than 1000 rounds, and providing you don't blow a battery or fuse in the process, it would still run.

Admittedly, Deep Fire airsoft guns are not for everybody. To beginners, it's simply out of the budget, and even experience players may prefer something with a lighter touch. To those who are looking to avoid spending on parts every few months repairing a stripped piston or torn hop-rubber, the Deep Fire is the higher end choice, and will endure through the fire and the flames of the worst abuse that even rougher airsofters dish out.