Airsoft Action - February 2021

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With Covid still running riot, you can depend on Airsoft Action to bring you the latest and best airsoft news, reviews and reports from around the world. This issue is no exception and with everything from the latest guns to a home-made ICBM launch station and from the "Gray Man" to "Chicago PD", we hope you enjoy reading each and every page!

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ISSUE 122 - FEBRUARY 2021 - FREE


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CONTENTS

08

TS FEBRUARY 2021

14

ISSUE 122 - FEBRUARY 2021 - FREE

ARMOURY:

EVOLUTION E-416

ARMOURY:

ARES L85A3

PROUD TO SUPPORT PILGRIM BANDITS CHARITY

24

34

Editor: Nigel Streeter

Graphic Design: Calibre Publishing

Ad Design: Deadshot Design

Publisher: Nigel Streeter

Wyche Innovation Centre,

Walwyn Road,

Upper Colwall,

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Tel: +44 (0) 1684 878 003

Web: www.airsoft-action.online

©Calibre Publishing Limited 2019

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without the express permission of the publisher in

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reflect those of the publisher. The editor reserves the

right to edit submissions prior to print.

KIT & GEAR:

CHOOSING A

CHEST RIG

38

EVENT:

TAIWAN CHARITY

GAME

LOCKDOWN

LOADOUT:

CHICAGO PD

KIT & GEAR:

GREY GEAR

58

FIND US ON…

64

76

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LETTER, IDEA OR

QUESTION?

Got something to say? A question for our

experts? An article or article idea?

Drop us a line and let us know. Either email the

Editor: nige@airsoft-action.co.uk, write to us at

the Calibre Publishing address above, or talk to

us on Twitter or Facebook.

FEATURE:

IMMERSIVE AIRSOFT

VORSK DIARY:

ENTER THE VP-X!


Contents

FEBRUARY 2021

8 ARMOURY: EVOLUTION E-416 DEVGRU ETS

A long-time fan of the HK416, Bill has had one in his

personal armoury since 2007 and it’s served him well through

skirmishes and ‘sims over the years but with technology

marching ever onwards, he takes a look at the very latest

E-416 DEVGRU ETS from Evolution Airsoft to see if “the only

easy day was yesterday”!

14 ARMOURY: ARES L85A3

Bill takes a look at a great new airsoft replica from ARES that

is now the “meat and veg” of UK Forces, the L85A3 and

makes a case as to why more UK airsofters - and those that

run a “Brit-inspired” loadout around the world - should be

looking at this model and how ARES have brought things fully

up to date!

20 ARMOURY: LCT LCK-16

This month Bill gets fully back to his OPFOR “roots” as he

finally gets his hands on the LCK-16 (RPK-16) from LCT

Airsoft. He’s been waiting for this support variant for some

considerable time as it’s already proving to be a popular

model, so has his wait been worth it?

24 KIT & GEAR: CHOOSING A CHEST RIG

Whilst the current trend is for the majority to be wearing

some form of plate carrier, Bill takes an “Old Skool” step

back to look at chest rigs - be they canvas concoctions or

thoroughly modern marvels of hi-tech nylon - and puts

forward a case that this is a piece of gear that suits every

airsoft need when it comes to load bearing!

30 KIT & GEAR: HARDSHELL MAINTENANCE

As some of us are still in our enforced “stay at home” time,

it really is a great opportunity to ensure that ALL your kit is

squared away and prepared for the day we can get back

out to our favourite sites again! Bill gives the benefit of his

many years as an outdoorsman to show you what you can be

achieving positively in your downtime.

34 KIT & GEAR: LOCKDOWN LOADOUTS

Some of the Airsoft Action crew are getting some serious

levels of “cabin fever”, with some awesome loadout ideas

following on from Bill’s take on “The Last Ship”. This time,

it’s Boycie’s turn, as he heads to “Chicago PD” to create a

loadout that could lead to giving “lockdown” a whole new

meaning!

38 EVENT: TAIWAN CHARITY GAME

As a complete airsoft addict, our “Legionnaire in Taiwan”,

Stewbacca, went straight from MOA in Taiwan to a game the

very next day – but it was all in a good cause.

40 RED CELL: FAVOURITE 2020 “ARs”

The Red Cell crew have been hit by the lockdown in the UK

and have been unable to meet this month. It’s been a big

disappointment but, as always, the resilience of the team has

come to the fore and this time they take a look at the AEGs

that have served them well during 2020!

48 FEATURE: NEW FROM VFC

Last November Bill and our “Legionnaire” in Taiwan, Stu

“Stewbacca” Mortimer, got a chance to “sit in” with Ray

from VegaForceCompany to take a look at the new models

that will be coming from them later this year. Now we pull

together a more detailed look at the new AEGs and GBBs to

show exactly what will be on offer!

52 ARMOURY: G&G CMF16

It is no secret that AA’s Legionnaire in Taiwan, Stewbacca, is

no great AEG fan, preferring instead the thunder and fire of

using a GBB, so what did he make of G&G’s CMF16? Read on

to find out…

56 RELOADED: KWA H&K MP7 GBB

As a self-confessed H&K fanboy, Stu “Stewbacca” Mortimer,

was delighted when he first got his hands on this iconic

replica. Now he looks back at how things have gone since

then.

58 KIT & GEAR: GREY MAN

The subject of a (yet to be released) film on Netflix, the “Grey

Man” has become widely (and wildly) popular across airsoft,

with many kit manufacturers producing their own version of

“grey gear”. Having checked out the rest of his kit, Bill turns

his attention to his own personal “grey”.

64 FEATURE: IMMERSIVE AIRSOFT

Amongst the Airsoft Action crew we’re lucky to have some

exceptionally talented people and not just for the obvious

reasons! Whilst everyone involved in AA is a solid player, they

also look at different elements of the game to see what can

really make a day of BB-slinging interesting and this month

Red Cell member, James, lets us in on his very latest project!

68 ARMOURY: WETECH G36C GBBR

Recent events in the “real” world prompted Stewbacca to

pen a long-term review of one of his all-time favourite airsoft

primaries.

72 THE CAGE: RESOLUTIONS

As we enter 2021 there are still challenges ahead of us due

to the ongoing dangers of the C-Virus situation and of this

we must all be mindful but, with hope on the horizon, we

can all start to look again to the future and to getting back

out on the fields and sites with our friends and fellow players.

Bill updates on the progress the magazine made in 2020 and

spoke to the AA Crew to see what Christmas brought them -

and what they’re hoping for in 2021!

76 VORSK DIARY: ENTER THE VP-X!

In his ongoing “Vorsk Diary”, this month Bill takes a long look

at the new VP-X pistol and gives it some “punishment”!

78 KIT & GEAR: MAXPEDITION HEAD-TO-HEAD

“Editorial inspiration” comes in many shapes, sizes and forms

and this month, while looking for a looking for something to

quiet his boisterous puppy, Frenchie spotted something that

got him thinking…

80 RETAIL ROUNDUP

2021 appears to be starting slowly, with our favourite shops

physically shut again for a while at least, and games for many

will be off for a while too, so what better time to invest that

money saved on some righteous gear in readiness for when

it’s time again to get “game on!”

84 LAST POST: LET’S GET RUGGED!

In-game “comms” often consist of a variety of radios systems

and/or “walkie talkies”, however, they are not the only

choice. Frenchie takes a look at an alternative that might just

fit the bill, without breaking the bank.


ULTIMA

JACKET

BLACK / DARK COYOTE / GREEN

/ SRP: £89.95



armoury

E-416 DEVGRU ETS

THE 416 EVOLVES!

A LONG-TIME FAN OF THE HK416, BILL HAS HAD ONE IN HIS PERSONAL

ARMOURY SINCE 2007 AND IT’S SERVED HIM WELL THROUGH

SKIRMISHES AND ‘SIMS OVER THE YEARS BUT WITH TECHNOLOGY

MARCHING EVER ONWARDS, HE TAKES A LOOK AT THE VERY LATEST

E-416 DEVGRU ETS FROM EVOLUTION AIRSOFT TO SEE IF “THE ONLY

EASY DAY WAS YESTERDAY”!

8

FEBRUARY 2021


armoury

E-416 DEVGRU ETS

It’s fair to say that I have a bit of history when it

comes to the HK416 in airsoft terms. Back in 2006

my wife and I had the chance to go and live in

Florida for a few years - and you’d better believe that

we jumped at the chance! We decided to sell up and

commit to the move, packing our household into a

container and waving goodbye to the majority of our

belongings for a while but sadly, the container didn’t

contain what was then already a reasonable collection

of AEGs and GBBs…

At that point the shippers were already wary of

what they could place into the container and I was

advised that including “RIFs” might cause problems

with US Customs and lead to our entire household

being delayed for additional checks, so I decided not

to go there! Initially I thought to leave my airsoft

collection behind but, in the end, the majority of it got

sold to friends and I left just a couple of AEGs in the

UK so that I’d be able to get out and play when I was

“home”.

What that did, of

course, was allow me

to arrive at my “new

home” with a good

few “airsoft bucks”

in the bank and after

playing locally for a

year or so in Florida

with some cheapend

CAs, I decided

it was high time to

treat myself and my

old friend John Lu

(of Lionclaws Airsoft

fame) kindly put me

in touch with Andrew

Ho at Airsoft Extreme

in California. Long story short… very soon there was a

Gen 1 VFC “416” on its way to me and that self-same

AEG has been with me ever since!

At the time the 416 was the golden child of the

special ops community, an improved version of the

M4 carbine with many changes, most notably a

short-stroke gas piston system originally dreamed

up for G36 (in truth it dated back to the AR-18 rifle

designed in 1963, but hey, who’s counting amongst

friends and major arms manufacturers!). It’s said that

Operational Detachment–Delta collaborated directly

with H&K to develop the new carbine and, allegedly,

Delta Force replaced its M4s with the HK416 in 2004

after tests revealed that the piston operating system

significantly reduced malfunctions while increasing the

life of parts. The project was originally called the “HK

M4” but this was changed in response to a trademark

infringement suit from Colt Defense!

The HK416 has subsequently been picked up by

numerous law enforcement agencies and special

operations units and, perhaps equally importantly, was

adopted as the standard service rifle of the Norwegian

Armed Forces and (more recently) the French Armed

Forces, replacing the aging FAMAS in 2016, so it’s

no high-falutin’ one-trick pony! However, there’s one

place that in my mind the 416 shines brighter than

ever and that’s in the hands of the USN SEALs.

Now I could mention “Geronimo” here but

that’s an old (yet historically important!) story now,

however, the fact is that the HK416 has become

interwoven in SEAL lore due to that piece of history.

That particular 416 was reported to be “a 10-inch

barrel with a typical Special Operations loadout for

this rifle including an AAC Suppressor, a Geissele

trigger, Remington RAHG handguard, a Surefire Scout

weapon light attached with an S&S Precision light

mount, an EOTech

optic with an EOTech

2x magnifier, and

an Advanced Target

Pointer Illuminator

Aiming Laser

(ATPIAL)” but, as with

many things SEAL,

we’ll probably never

know for sure.

The fact is though

that the HK416 is

seen in SEAL hands

pretty regularly, and

of course has become

“de riguer” for fans

of “SIX” and “SEAL

Team”. Therefore, for players with an “NSW bent” the

416 is a pretty obvious choice in airsoft form and now

quite widely available, so I find it unsurprising and

quite apt that Evolution Airsoft have christened their

new take on this as the “DEVGRU”.

“THAT PARTICULAR 416 WAS REPORTED TO

BE “A 10-INCH BARREL WITH A TYPICAL

SPECIAL OPERATIONS LOADOUT FOR THIS

RIFLE INCLUDING AN AAC SUPPRESSOR,

A GEISSELE TRIGGER, REMINGTON RAHG

HANDGUARD, A SUREFIRE SCOUT WEAPON

LIGHT ATTACHED WITH AN S&S PRECISION

LIGHT MOUNT, AN EOTECH OPTIC WITH AN

EOTECH 2X MAGNIFIER, AND AN ADVANCED

TARGET POINTER ILLUMINATOR AIMING LASER

(ATPIAL)” BUT, AS WITH MANY THINGS SEAL,

WE’LL PROBABLY NEVER KNOW FOR SURE.”

EVOLUTION, FORM AND FUNCTION

I’ve been dealing with the friendly team from

Evolution Airsoft in Italy for some considerable time,

having met them at IWA before I joined Airsoft Action.

I always enjoy visiting their stand at the German show

and there’s also a long association with Bjorn from

Klockar Airsoft, who has graced our Winter Cover a

few times now as well as appearing on Evolution’s

marketing materials. He’s a great friend of mine, a

www.airsoftaction.net 9


armoury

E-416 DEVGRU ETS

true “brother in (airsoft) arms” and

I’m proud that he’s become a part of

our Airsoft Action Legion. That’s not

to say there’s any nepotism going

on here though, as the new E-416

DEVGRU ETS, to give it the full title,

stands quite happily on its own two

feet as a solid, yet advanced, airsoft

design.

Evolution have come a LONG

way since I first met them and I’d

have to say that the DEVGRU is a

fabulous amalgam of everything that

they’ve learned about airsoft over

the years, handily placed into one

excellent, great looking package!

Externally, their full-metal take on

the 416 looks not only great but,

with the anodized CNC machined

aluminium “SF Bronze” rail, it’s drop-dead gorgeous

and everything, right down to the keyed-colouration

of the polymer parts, gives an overall impression of a

project where everyone involved has given their all.

I’ve worked a long while (and spent quite a few

bucks too) getting my own 416 properly “DEVGRU”

but apart from my paintjob, the Evolution version is

good to go from the box and whilst it looks super on

the outside, it’s inside where things get particularly

impressive. Internally you get 8mm bearings, a CNC

milled cylinder, reinforced cylinder head, a steel gear

set, a reinforced gearbox with integrated slot for

Mosfet and electronic E.T.S., a high torque motor,

rotary hop and 6.01 inner barrel as standard. Even the

“unseen” parts are cool, with an upgraded selector

plate, high grade metal spring guide, reinforced

tappet plate, and even high-flow wiring throughout.

Oh and I mentioned the E.T.S., right? The DEVGRU

actually features the new E.T.S. III system, but what

does this mean? We asked Evolution and they told us:

“The E.T.S. III is the most advanced

programmable electronic trigger ever installed in a

stock air soft gun and it is the easiest to use. While

other manufacturers install electronic units with

very limited basic functions and require you to buy

additional software to unlock the advanced functions

and use an external programming unit, PC or apps

to program them, the E.T.S. III have all the advanced

functions out of the box, and no need of extras to use

them, all you need is your finger as all functions, even

the most advanced ones, are programmed via trigger.

Fast and easy!”

Essentially what Evolution

have done is to push their

AEGs to the next level as

they see it, so they factoryinstall

their most powerful

programmable trigger system

in their new “Hardcore”

series. This system gives the

user endless possibilities

for different functions and

configurations with no

additional software, no

external programming unit,

and no PC connection or

Apps required. Basically, it’s

super-easy to program your

AEG just the way you like it

via the trigger!

10

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armoury

E-416 DEVGRU ETS

With the new system your AEG can benefit from:

• ADJUSTABLE TRIGGER RESPONSE

• PRE-COCKING

• RAMPING

• ACTIVE BRAKE

• FULL CYCLE CONTROL

• PWM ROF CONTROL

• SMART TRIGGER AUTO-BOOST

• AUTO LIPO, LIFE AND VOLTAGE DETECTION

• LOW BATTERY WARNING

• BATTERY FAILSAFE

If you’re not conversant with all these functions

then Evolution have done an excellent job of putting

all the information in one place, and you can find

everything by visiting their dedicated page: https://

www.evolutioninternational.it/our-products/air-softguns/evolution-hard-core/evolution-hard-core-e-t-s-iii.

There’s also a really good downloadable Instruction

Manual on the same page, although everything does

come printed in the box too.

short time! It has some classic and unique features

externally that I love, and internally it’s set up not

only to protect the tech and ensure its continued

operation, but to provide more than sufficient

operating choices to keep any user satisfied for some

time to come.

This seems to be getting to be a habit I could get

used to but I’ll say that I believe Evolution Airsoft

have done a superb job with the E-416 DEVGRU ETS

and my sincere thanks go to Sergio and Francesca

at Evolution Airsoft for the opportunity to check this

excellent AEG out. It may well be time now to retire

my old 416 to the armoury and go door-kicking with

the new DEVGRU!

Please do take a moment to visit the website

www.evolutioninternational.it to keep tabs on what

Evolution do next, as I’m sure it will be righteous! AA

THE ONLY EASY DAY…

So, the DEVGRU looks fabulous and feels just right!

Given the high-quality CNC Alloy rail the balance

point is pretty much centred, which is perfect for ease

of manipulation and given the short overall length

of 700mm (780mm stock extended) and weight of

2,900g it’s really easy to drive from target to target!

After establishing a user-friendly and consistent

chrono reading of exactly 1 Joule/329fps on .20g

RZRs (loaded into the very nicely made 130BB

polymer magazine that comes with the AEG), I was

really happy on my 30m range at just how good the

DEVGRU was from the box, hitting my small steels

each and every time just using the “H&K irons”

on .25g RZRs. I also took a stroll up to the “woods

range” with this AEG as I was keen to see what it was

like at longer ranges and even with the power level as

standard, it reached out happily to the 70m point.

After spending so many “easy yesterdays” with

my existing 416 I have to say that any contender for

the title was going to have to be exemplary from the

get go and I have to admit that after not touching an

AEG from Evolution for far too long, the new E-416

DEVGRU ETS has once again opened my eyes to how

far airsoft carbines and rifles have come in such a

“EVOLUTION HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE I FIRST MET THEM AND I’D HAVE TO SAY

THAT THE DEVGRU IS A FABULOUS AMALGAM OF EVERYTHING THAT THEY’VE LEARNED

ABOUT AIRSOFT OVER THE YEARS, HANDILY PLACED INTO ONE EXCELLENT, GREAT

LOOKING PACKAGE!”

www.airsoftaction.net 11



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armoury

ARES AIRSOFT L85A3

L85A3

KEEPING THINGS INTERNATIONALLY ROUNDED-OUT,

BILL TAKES A LOOK AT A GREAT NEW AIRSOFT REPLICA

FROM ARES THAT IS NOW THE “MEAT AND VEG” OF UK

FORCES, THE L85A3 AND MAKES A CASE AS TO WHY

MORE UK AIRSOFTERS - AND THOSE THAT RUN A “BRIT-

INSPIRED” LOADOUT AROUND THE WORLD - SHOULD

BE LOOKING AT THIS MODEL AND HOW ARES HAVE

BROUGHT THINGS FULLY UP TO DATE!

14

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armoury

ARES AIRSOFT L85A3

The SA80/L85 is what we in the airsoft world refer

to as a “marmite gun”, as just like the spread

you either love it or hate it! In airsoft terms, the

bullpup configuration gives little benefit over that of

any other AEG or GBB (albeit that it does have a long

inner barrel for its overall length) and, just like the real

thing, the airsoft versions of the L85 have suffered

from all manner of niggly problems over the years.

The fire selector is in an odd place, the magazine

release of the A1 could be activated just by knocking

it against a pouch resulting in a dropped magazine

(trust me, I know this to be true!) and the old EBB

versions were frankly atrocious, stripping their piston

almost unfailingly in the first game you took it to!

However, the L85 was the “future weapon” of my

childhood, with the EM1 and 2 and the 4.85x49mm

XL-series of bullpup rifles being seen in comic books

in the hands of the British soldier of the “year 2000”.

By the time the “SA80” came into service in 1985

many young men like me had grown up seeing this

configuration in both comic strips and movies, as

the Steyr AUG, another classic bullpup military rifle,

entered service in 1978 and was extremely popular

with film companies who wanted to appear modern

and up to date.

There’s actually an entire history of “matters

military” wrapped up in the L85 that I won’t go into

fully again but suffice to say, this rifle illustrates the

changing role of the infantry soldier on the “modern

battlefield” due to increased reliance on a high

mobility combined arms mindset, a change in British

Army doctrine away from semi-auto only battle rifles

for the regular soldier and, of course, the role of

politics and NATO standardisation in terms of the

5.56×45mm round. This is a rifle that had a troubled

early life but one that has gone on to actually be a

trustworthy service weapon and the advances for the

L85A3 continue to bring things bang up to date!

The “SA80A3” prototype was first seen at the

2016 DVD military show at Millbrook, as part of the

“Dismounted Soldier” exhibit, which featured some

of the ten prototype SA80A3s built for feasibility

testing. An A3 was next seen on Heckler & Koch’s

stand at the 2017 Defence and Security Equipment

International (DSEI) exposition in London, which is the

first time that we saw it “in the flesh”. As part of the

VIRTUS concept that aims to “address the negative

impacts on tactical mobility, survivability and muscular

skeletal injury caused by excessive load carriage by the

dismounted soldier, allowing users to ‘fight lighter”,

the L85A3 was integral.

Whilst the upgrades to the original L85A1 were

fairly major in the A2 program, the further refinement

of the A3 takes things forward in increments rather

than huge chunks! The rifle is clearly distinguished

from earlier A2s by its new Heckler & Koch “HKey”

attachment system and the front end which moves

everything further forward than the Daniel Defensedesigned

RIS handguard, housing a more freefloating

barrel and a truncated gas block. The gas

block mounting point for iron sights has gone, being

replaced by a full length Picatinny rail which allows for

the mounting of low interference back up iron sights.

The A3 upgrade also includes a modification to the

upper receiver and a full-length, contiguous top rail

and provides a weight saving of 100g. The rifle also

benefits from a new Flat Dark Earth coating offering

improved durability and better camouflage across

various environments, although the green cheek pad,

pistol grip and buttpad have been retained.

In terms of actual adoption, the first real sight of

the A3 of all things came by way of an online post by

the Grenadier Guards showing off the rifle with the

caption: “We are the first regiment in the British Army

to be equipped with the SA80A3. Newly upgraded

equipment helping us meet the varied and demanding

objectives around the world.” In the photograph the

new variant was pictured with an ELCAN SpecterOS

4x optic and Shield CQS Close Quarter Battlesight

mounted on top, along with a MK3 Laser Light

Module. Further images released showed that the

Grip-Pod seen on the A2 was also part of the package

but in FDE to further add to environmental blending.

AIRSOFT L85, FLYING THE FLAG

PROUDLY!

When it comes to airsoft, it has always troubled me a

little that so many UK airsofters ignore the mainstream

of UK Forces when it comes their loadouts. Whilst

there are numerous excellent “UKSF” impressions

that are particularly noteworthy for their almost living

“AS A FAN OF THE L85, I HAVE TO SAY STRAIGHT FROM THE START THAT I BELIEVE

ARES HAVE ONCE AGAIN CREATED A SUPERB-LOOKING REPLICA OF THE CURRENT

BRITISH ARMY ISSUE RIFLE! ARES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN GREAT AT THE FINISH WHEN

IT COMES TO THEIR AEGS AND THE A3 IS NO EXCEPTION; IT LOOKS ABSOLUTELY

BEAUTIFUL.”

www.airsoftaction.net 15


armoury

ARES AIRSOFT L85A3

history

standard,

the poor old British

Infantryman is sadly

neglected in the main,

even though there are

several manufacturers that

now make

half-way decent L85 replicas.

I’ve always been proud to “fly the flag” with my

personal loadouts and although I’ve probably covered

many units and many nationalities in the past, there

has always been a basic set of DPM, DDPM and

now MTP in my gear locker and the L85 has been

ever-present since my first year living and playing in

the USA, when the first STAR model was released.

Surrounded by guys in their Woodland loadouts

and with their tricked out “M4s” every which way

I turned, there was something almost perversely

enjoyable about being “the guy with the bullpup and

the SUSAT”! I discovered that DPM actually worked

superbly amongst the palmettos and mangroves and

that DDPM was totally at home in the drier inland

areas of Florida - and every time I rolled out in my

“Brit Gear” my L85 came with me.

I’ve owned a number of L85 AEGs over the years,

from that original slightly finicky STAR, through

the better in all-ways ARES L85A2, the original

(and downright dreadful when it first came out!)

ARMY R85 EBB, along with the first and subsequent

generations of the ICS model, which overall is a pretty

neat and trustworthy AEG. I’ve never owned a WE

GBB version, or indeed a G&G but every airsoft L85

I’ve personally owned has (admittedly after some

fettling of the R85!) given great service.

Of course, when the A3 variant was announced I

knew it was only a matter of time before an airsoft

version appeared and almost straight away new rail

systems appeared as aftermarket parts. However,

many of the manufacturers who currently make L85

AEGs seemed to be very slow off the mark for once

and, thus far, only ARES have gone the whole hog

and provided a fully realised A3 which is due for

release soon!

Thankfully, the guys at iWholesales were kind

enough to provide Airsoft Action with a sample of

this stunning new AEG, so we were able to get out

on the range with it during our “Xmas Downtime”

and give it some

beans, although

for obvious reasons I haven’t yet been able

to test it “in game”.

As a fan of the L85, I have to say straight from

the start that I believe ARES have once again created

a superb-looking replica of the current British Army

issue rifle! ARES have always been great at the

finish when it comes to their AEGs and the A3 is no

exception; it looks absolutely beautiful. Weighing in at

a hefty 5,500g (before you add optics and accessories)

it “feels” like the real deal and the component parts

are put together with huge attention to detail; it feels

absolutely solid as a rock! There’s a mix of stamped

steel and high-grade alloy in the overall construction,

and it really shows! The main change to the AEG is

the replication of the “HKey” rail system with the loprofile

(removable) iron sights and that is scrupulously

done, even down to the colour (I checked back on my

pictures from DSEI 2017!). Talking of colour, the new

FDE on the receivers are also spot on, and that finish is

definitely growing on me!

UNDER THE SKIN

Internally, the A3 is a bit of a peach too as it benefits

from the ARES Electronic Firing Control System

(E.F.C.S.) gearbox. With the development of E.F.C.S.

system (not only now in the AMOEBA Airsoft line)

ARES are now releasing many new products with the

E.F.C.S. Gearbox as standard and amongst them is

the A3. This programmable system (you do need an

external programmer sadly) allows you to set up your

AEG in different ways but ultimately lets it withstand

current to around 30A, enhances piston positioning

and allows it to put up with rapid semi-auto fire.

The Mosfet on the gearbox is the new generation

“Blue”, which ARES tell us is more resistant to

Amperage/Voltage fluctuations and spikes and allows

11V LiPo and LiFe type batteries to be happily used as

standard (more on this in a bit…). The gearbox is of

the highest build quality, coming with a quick release

spring guide, silver wiring and an electronic trigger.

Allied with a high-torque motor that sits beneath and

in line with the gearbox, it all equates to an efficient

and effective setup.

I mentioned above the position of the motor and,

as this fills the rear of the lower receiver and given the

fact that the new slimline HKey rail offers no storage

space for a battery, you might be wondering where

16

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armoury

ARES AIRSOFT L85A3

this resides …as did I! When the A3 first arrived with

me, as it was a pre-release model it came with zero

paperwork and as yet there’s very little online to refer

to either! After some head-scratching I finally got

round to checking inside the pistol grip (by way of the

little plate in the base) and lo and behold, there was

a mini-Tamiya connector! Yup, the battery lives in the

pistol grip and although this is an elegant solution to

keep things looking great, it also means that you’ll

need a specific battery and I would recommend that

you buy a couple when you buy the AEG, as it is a

VERY tight squeeze in there!

After trying all my batteries I came up short finding

one to fit, so I spoke to Tim at iWholesales about it

and he kindly shipped me down a choice of two LiPos,

a VP Airsoft 7.4V 850mAh 30C and a BIGFOOT 11.1V

850mAh 15C; of the two I found the BIGFOOT battery

the better fit. Of course, the A3 is perfectly happy on

an 11.1, so job done and I used this one for my range

testing.

The L85A3 with that battery fitted chrono’d at a

perfectly acceptable mean of 1.0J/330fps on .20g BBs,

with the provided polymer midcap magazine feeding

them unerringly. With targets out at 30 metres I was

able to get very reasonable groupings on semi-auto -

and have some real fun when I switched the selector

up to full! The thing for me that REALLY gives the

edge, is a combination of the sheer quality of this

AEG, the feel and the EBB function that sends the

“bolt” plate back and forth with each and every shot!

Squeeze the trigger and you get a BB away in a flash!

Squeeze again… crack! Then switch the selector up to

full auto and give it some beans and I defy you not to

have a HUGE sloppy grin on your face in short time!

I’ve used this lovely L85A3 AEG extensively on

the range since it arrived with me and have come to

love the model all over again. I feel that one of these

may be in my personal future and as ARES offer a

great package deal with optic, foregrip and an extra

magazine if you want to “one stop shop”! I’m hoping

to get to some international games again in the latter

part of this coming year and with the ARES I really feel

I could be flying the flag again. I’ve always wanted

to take a full British Infantry Section to a game

overseas and this latest iteration of the L85 would be

the ideal rifle for that, along with a Minimi for our

section gunner. The L85A3 finally looks properly cool,

performs flawlessly, and is built like a tank. When it

comes to loadouts it’s about the mindset but in this

case it’s also all about the right AEG too and the ARES

L85A3 is perfect for the job!

Our thanks go to the guys at www.iwholesales.

co.uk for providing the test AEG and the ARES L85A3

should be arriving in stores soon. AA

“THE L85A3 FINALLY LOOKS PROPERLY COOL, PERFORMS FLAWLESSLY, AND IS BUILT

LIKE A TANK. WHEN IT COMES TO LOADOUTS IT’S ABOUT THE MINDSET BUT IN THIS

CASE IT’S ALSO ALL ABOUT THE RIGHT AEG TOO AND THE ARES L85A3 IS PERFECT

FOR THE JOB!”

www.airsoftaction.net 17




armoury

LCT LCK-16

COLD

WAR

GOES

HOT!

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armoury

LCT LCK-16

THIS MONTH BILL GETS FULLY BACK TO HIS OPFOR “ROOTS” AS HE FINALLY GETS HIS HANDS ON

THE LCK-16 (RPK-16) FROM LCT AIRSOFT. HE’S BEEN WAITING FOR THIS SUPPORT VARIANT FOR SOME

CONSIDERABLE TIME AS IT’S ALREADY PROVING TO BE A POPULAR MODEL, SO HAS HIS WAIT BEEN

WORTH IT?

It seems only yesterday that I first started speaking

with LCT Airsoft about the RPK-16 and, as always,

development takes a while to complete - but their

little sneak-peeks during the process had me drooling!

Fast forward to MOA 2019 and there in all its glory

was the finished product, and I knew I had to get my

hands on one as soon as possible… But then came

“2020” and the supply chains slowed right down. The

initial stock of this much-anticipated AEG went superfast

and I needed to put my patient head fully on and

just bide my time…

Thankfully, although we are still not yet back to fullspeed

in terms of airsoft games, things are beginning

to speed up again and new stock of many models is

finally landing in the UK, so when I heard from Tom at

NUPROL that the LCK-16 was finally arriving (and that

one had my name on it for testing) I was overjoyed!

Sadly, with the backlog of containers at the ports right

now, even though the AEG was “officially” in the UK

there was yet another wait until the container was

released. However, just prior to Christmas the LCK-

16 was delivered to me and I knew that the festive

season was going to be a great one!

Why was I so excited about this AEG you

may ask?

It’s simple

really… Although I

own a very nice PKM for

“OPFOR Support Duties”

old beastie and if you like to

and aggressive in your style of

it’s quite the lump to drag

day. Even though it benefits

HUGE box magazine I

myself if this benefit

obvious negatives. Yes,

standard AK variant

magazine but that really

with me as a “purist”; a

it’s a BIG

be mobile

play, then

around all

from a

often ask

outweighs the

I could use a

with a drum

doesn’t sit well

support gun

should be quite obviously that, and indeed many

games, especially MilSims, will ask that a support gun

be true to the real deal.

Of course, with the old Russian doctrine where

offensive direct action using overwhelming firepower

was the key denominator of infantry tactics, for

general OPFOR “play” there are a number of

options that bring the weight of the support gun

down whilst still keeping things “real”. The RPD is a

physically smaller weapon that’s more manageable

than the PKM, but it’s still a bit of a heavyweight and

although the LCT Airsoft RPD is a thing of beauty, it’s

also expensive. That brings us neatly to the RPK, or

Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova, that’s been in service

since the 1960s and, with various upgrades and

re-chamberings, is still in use to this day by Russian

reserve and police units!

The RPK has really been the best choice for the

“OPFOR gunner on a budget” as they are cheap

(certainly in relation to many support AEGS!), easy to

work on and, as in the real world, can use virtually

any AK magazine as well as a dedicated high-capacity

drum. It is a great choice if you want a “Russian”

support gun that covers a LONG period of service and

will serve well for virtually any OPFOR scenario

but again, it’s now kind

of “old skool”, long,

heavy and slightly

unwieldy

with that longer

barrel.

These days we want a support

gun that, like the M249, is shorter and

lighter but still able to lay down a huge amount of

suppressive fire when needed. So, what’s the answer

to our OPFOR prayers? It has to be the RPK (or as LCT

“IN THEIR USUAL INIMITABLE STYLE, LCT HAVE REALLY PULLED IT OFF AGAIN WITH

THEIR LCK-16! I AM CERTAIN THAT THE “STITCH COUNTERS” OUT THERE WILL FIND

SOME MINUSCULE REASON WHY THIS DESIGN IS SOMEHOW “WRONG” BUT, TO

ME, THE FINISHED PRODUCT DOES THE JOB EXCELLENTLY AND REALLY GIVES A

TREMENDOUS “FEEL” THE MOMENT THAT YOU LIFT IT CLEAR OF THE BOX.”

www.airsoftaction.net 21


armoury

LCT LCK-16

Moscow Higher

Military Command

School and Russian Special Forces. Inevitably this

rollout is still in progress, with the RPK-16 now

heading toward “line units” in numbers.

call it, the LCK) 16!

With the easy availability now of good

standard “RATNIK” clothing and gear, in my

mind OPFOR has come out of the airsoft closet

and is loud and proud about how they go about

getting business done! The AK-12/15 models were

the first to arrive in airsoft form to fully support this

movement, and now it’s a much more common sight

to see Russian loadouts on site. OPFOR has moved

away from the “ragtag freedom fighter” vibe to a

degree, with all the gear to create a “main force”

look available in full! Some of the guys local to

me have adopted and embraced this loadout style

wholeheartedly, and their Digi Flora looks super-cool

in a sea of Multicam and MTP and along with their

VBKO uniforms, 6B46 plate carriers, and SMERSH load

carrying gear the guys are also rocking the AK-12, and

it is a righteous look indeed!

Like any good infantry unit though, these “Ratniks”

need their support gunner and the RPK-16 is the

perfect beast for the job. Online digging gives me

some history: In May 2011 the FKU NPO “StiS”

research division of the Russian Ministry of the Interior

announced the tender for the “Development of an

assault LMG with variable rate of fire” under the

name “Tokar”. According to the requirements, the

new light machine gun should have an overall length

of 35.4”/900 mm with the long barrel and 27.5”/700

mm with the short barrel at a weight of 14.33 lb/6.5

kg. Ammunition was to be fed from the newly

developed 60- and 90-round magazines as well as

from standard magazines. Only Degtyaryov came up

with anything even part-way decent at the time and

the program was mothballed.

In 2016, “Tokar-2” came along. The biggest

difference was the feeding system: either from a

60-round magazine or a 100- or 250-round belt

box. Degtyaryov took part again but an unexpected

competitor, Kalashnikov Concern, also expressed

interest and the winner was soon determined. The

RPK-16 (the number indicates the year 2016, when

the developments began) was issued to troops for

operational testing in February 2019 after preliminary

trials and amongst others, it was issued to the

LCT NAIL IT AGAIN

In their usual inimitable style, LCT have really

pulled it off again with their LCK-16! I am certain

that the “stitch counters” out there will find some

minuscule reason why this design is somehow

“wrong” but, to me, the finished product does the

job excellently and really gives a tremendous “feel”

the moment that you lift it clear of the box. The LCK-

16 is by no means a super-light AEG, as it’s pretty

much ALL made from steel, weighing in at 4,700g

plus fully loaded but it’s overall length of 825mm

(650mm with the stock folded, and 915mm with

the stock fully extended) means that it’s manageable

for smaller players - and for bigger guys like me it’s

perfectly shootable from the shoulder all day long.

Inside, the internal parts make further tuning and

upgrades straightforward if you want to take that

route, but the basic setup will give you issue-free

operation for a considerable time! As well as LCT’s

usual impeccable internal build, there’s a tried and

tested V3 gearbox married up to a powerful 2,2000

RPM motor and the AEG has a 400mm long brass

internal barrel. Overall, the LCK-16 is made from

components of superb quality, with great attention

to detail throughout to give it every semblance of the

real thing, even down to the distinctive steel 14mm

CCW flash-hider! As stated before, pretty much

everything is made of steel sheet, the only obvious

exceptions being the polymer ergonomic pistol grip,

adjustable stock, dedicated handguard and the drum

magazine. The top dust cover features a rail which

is ideal for flush-mounting optics of your choice, but

also has a removable flip-up ladder sight as standard.

The high-quality polymer handguard also features

mounting rails top and bottom so you can fit further

accessories, a foregrip, or a bipod. The classic “AKstyle”

fire selector features additional finger-rests to

improve ease of operation and the finger-grooveprofiled

pistol grip sits comfortably in the hand.

RATNIK’S REVENGE!

The well-finished self-winding drum on this AEG holds

a respectable 2,000 BBs, allowing you to bring down

“BB death” on BLUEFOR to your heart’s content, plus

22

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armoury

LCT LCK-16

“IN TERMS OF ACCURACY, I WAS MORE THAN HAPPY ON SEMI BUT THIS IS

SUPPOSED TO BE A “FULL-AUTO-SUPPORT-BEAST” AND BE ABLE TO SPIT OUT BBS

CONSISTENTLY AND GIVE AN AREA-DOMINATING EFFECT, RATHER THAN BEING NAIL-

ON-THE HEAD ACCURATE - AND IT DOES THIS WITH ALACRITY!”

the drum can be easily and swiftly filled by splitting

it at the rear. The drum also holds a box for three

AA batteries (pretty common for AK drum mags)

and the winding mech is easily activated using the

lever on the front face. Just like the original RPK you

can use standard AK magazines in the LCK-16 and I

tried a number of brands that all fed perfectly well.

This means that if you do go through your allotted

“2,000” in a firefight you can grab a mag from a

team-mate and get straight back in the game!

With an 11.1 LiPo fitted (you need to remove

the body pin at the front of the dust cover and

slide the whole thing off to fit one, and it’s a tight

squeeze so be careful!) you can easily have hails of

BBs howling downrange at a very respectable rate.

The “UK-Spec’d” test sample chrono’d very nicely

at 1.09J/343fps on .20g RZRs and I was very pleased

to find that the drum mag fed very evenly and

efficiently… it must be good old-fashioned “Soviet

Simplicity” even in airsoft form! In terms of accuracy, I

was more than happy on semi but this is supposed to

be a “full-auto-support-beast” and be able to spit out

BBs consistently and give an area-dominating effect,

rather than being nail-on-the head accurate - and it

does this with alacrity! I will tell you that it’s no slouch

when it comes to aimed fire though as, at 50m prone,

I was easily able to put all my BBs on target on semi,

and having semi is a bonus as you can still use the

LCK indoors without automatically having to resort

to a secondary. “Walking” the LCK-16 from target

to target with controlled bursts gave me a good idea

of what it’s capable of - and that’s a LOT - when it

comes down to suppressing your opponent’s fire and

movement capability, which is exactly what you want

from a support gun.

I said earlier, the LCK-16 is still a new model but

LCT have a great reputation for durability and longterm

performance (my personal AKs are still rocking

after years of use), so I’m thinking that things will

continue “as new” for some considerable time, even

when you’re talking about an AEG that’s going to be

used on full-auto the majority of the time. I’m seeing

the LCK-16 available around the UK£450-£470 mark

at the moment and for a thoroughly modern support

gun that oozes “OPFOR/Ratnik Cred” that’s a great

price! Having now had one in my hands and on the

range, I am most seriously considering adding one to

my own personal collection - and that’s the very best

recommendation I can give you!

My thanks as always go to UK LCT distributor

www.nuprol.com for providing the test sample, and

these super AEGs should now be appearing in your

favourite airsoft shops, so GET SUM! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 23


KIT & GEAR

CHEST RIGS

CHOOSING

A CHEST

RIG

WHILST THE CURRENT TREND IS FOR THE MAJORITY TO BE WEARING SOME FORM OF PLATE CARRIER,

BILL TAKES AN “OLD SKOOL” STEP BACK TO LOOK AT CHEST RIGS - BE THEY CANVAS CONCOCTIONS OR

THOROUGHLY MODERN MARVELS OF HI-TECH NYLON - AND PUTS FORWARD A CASE THAT THIS IS A PIECE

OF GEAR THAT SUITS EVERY AIRSOFT NEED WHEN IT COMES TO LOAD BEARING!

In my opinion, a decent chest rig (indeed more than

one!) should have permanent residence in any

self-respecting airsofter’s personal gear locker, as I

genuinely believe it’s one of the most useful bits of kit

you’ll ever own! Whether you’re a full-on skirmisher

or MilSim “opr8r”, then a chest rig will fulfil all that

you need in terms of load carriage or simple gearhauling.

There really is a model that will suit both your

budget and your style of play!

Whilst it is currently popular to lug around a darn

great plate carrier (even including plates if you’re

“doing it right” - and I’m as guilty as the next man for

doing this), I’ve personally always been a huge fan of

chest rigs. Even if you’re in a situation where you need

to use body armour (dubious really in an airsoft game

if you think about, unless it’s for “tacticool” points),

then a rig will allow you dump a lot of extraneous

weight quickly and easily whilst keeping your plates in

place. Over the years I’ve had numerous chest rigs as I

find them comfortable to wear and very easy to work

with if the design is right. All of mine have served me

very well indeed and I will admit to having a bit of a

collection of different models that I’ve built up over

the years. My first ARKTIS rig is now well beyond the

point of saving and I’ve had rigs to try from some of

the best companies in Europe and the USA and, quite

frankly, I love ‘em all!

I’ve long been a fan of the US brand Tactical Assault

Gear (TAG), which was set up by prior service USN

SEAL Chris Osman, and one model to me still shows

how “the rig” updated itself for what we need today.

TAG were right in the game from the very beginning

and as one of the first “nylon gear” companies to

take up (the then-new) ATACS patterns, they’ve got

lots of experience working with different fabrics.

Their gear has ALWAYS been really top notch and

the combination of a Phalanx Chest Rig and Combat

Sustainment Pack has given me more than enough

“MANY WILL RATTLE ON ABOUT THE RHODESIANS BEING THE “DADDY” OF THE TACTICAL

CHEST RIG STORY BUT, IN REALITY, THE “RIG” HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT OF A STAPLE

THROUGHOUT MILITARY HISTORY, OFTEN BEING WORN BY “SPECIAL UNITS”, OR AT THE VERY

LEAST THOSE THAT COULD BE CLASSED UNCONVENTIONAL.”

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FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

CHEST RIGS

space to carry both a fighting load for my primary and

a sustainment/survival load comfortably, and although

they’ve been with me for quite some time, both items

are still going strong.

I believe all of the above actually says a lot about

how airsoft itself has changed! When I first started

out playing and DPM was “de rigeur”, most guys I

knew used some form of belt-mounted load bearing

gear (usually ’58 pattern webbing), as it was cheap

and easily available. If, in those days, you wanted

to look all “ally” and “operator” (I don’t think that

phrase even existed back then…) then you’d go

for a chest rig over your SAS or RM pattern smock,

usually a Webtex model but if you were properly “into

things”, then an ARKTIS.

I was all set as I already had a classic ARKTIS rig

that I’d bought from a Royal Marine in Deal, but

in the years that followed the ante was upped as

folk started appearing with rigs from the likes of

BLACKHAWK! And then more esoteric models like

the original LBT models. Movies such as “Blackhawk

Down”, which showed DELTA wearing BLACKHAWK!

.223 Chest Rigs over PT body armour, sent things in

a new direction and soon airsoft fields were awash

with setups that would become “Slicks”, with the

load bearing element worn separately to the armour

carrier.

But even then the chest rig was nothing new! Many

will rattle on about the Rhodesians being the “daddy”

of the tactical chest rig story but, in reality, the “rig”

has been somewhat of a staple throughout military

history, often being worn by “special units”, or at the

very least those that could be classed unconventional.

If you look way back at pictures of pirates and Royal

Navy Boarding Parties you’ll quite regularly see

multiple black-powder one-shot pistols and numerous

knives being carried across

the chest and of course, the

humble canvas/webbing rifle

bandolier was also often

worn “crosswise” to aid

in accessing ammunition!

WWII gives us images of

bandoliers being worn

across the chest by both

allied and axis troops (the

USMC even had the M1918

grenade vest!) and when

you get into Vietnam, an

“in-country chest rig” was

fairly common practice - and

it wasn’t just bandoliers that

were used!

This was the heyday of the “ChiCom” rig for the

Type 56/AK47 rifle, and once the Americans cottoned

on to how useful this bit of kit was, certain units soon

started using them too! Not only the “ChiCom” was

used but also the rig for the SKS rifle, as 20-round

magazines for the M16 fitted this perfectly! Soon

certain units were fabricating their own “homegrown”

rigs, designed for the longer 30 round

magazines and the SEALs in particular were great fans

of this style, often operating in the chest-deep waters

of the Delta where such equipment kept magazines

and ammunition clear of the muck…

PICKING A STYLE

Suffice to say that the chest rig has been around in

one form or another for some considerable time, and

the choice of styles and load carrying options are now

considerable. In my mind though, you can break it

down into three distinct areas...

Range Rigs: Chest rigs are really having a comeback

moment when it comes to “training”. In the real

world a “training rig” harks back to that DELTA setup

where you wear it over (and in addition to) a low

volume body armour vest (LVBAV), as it’s easy to get

on and off when you’re on the range. An example

here would be the Haley DC3 family or the Direct

Action Hurricane Hybrid.

Recon Rigs: The first style is one that I’m very fond

of and this will include the original “ChiCom”, in

that the rig is designed to carry spare magazines

and very little else. Often used in conjunction with

a patrol pack, “the recon rig” gives you immediate

access to ammunition that could be restricted in a

conventional belt position by the straps/belt of your

pack. Although the “ChiCom” is the best example

here, more up-to-date designs are available from

numerous manufacturers and I have a couple of super

split-front versions from US brands “Head On Tactical”

and “Whiskey Two Four”.

Fighting Rigs: Upping the load carrying aspect of

the rig, the “Fighting” version takes its lead from

the “recon and training” and then adds additional

storage. A great example of this is the original ARKTIS,

the LBT 1961 or, coming up to date, the Helikon-

Tex Guardian and the Direct Action Thunderbolt. In

this category I’ll also include the multitude of MOLLE

platforms that can be configured to your liking.

LIGHT IS RIGHT!

If you prefer to run “Light is Right”, then a chest rig

of some description is going to fit the bill perfectly!

Chest rigs are minimalist and lightweight, don’t overly

www.airsoftaction.net 25


KIT & GEAR

CHEST RIGS

restrict movement and allow you to carry a good load

of magazines. The Competition Multigun Rig platform

from Helikon-Tex is one of the “keystones” of their

new system and is made of hard-wearing Cordura

500D, plus is compatible with magazine inserts

dependant of your chosen primary platform. There are

two front utility pockets, two pistol mag pouches on

the front and it’s MOLLE/PALS compatible. You also

get a stable and adjustable H-Harness system, loops

for hanging gloves and placing accessories and the

rear is part-lined with velour for comfort and moisture

management. I’ve been wearing this rig for range

sessions for a while now and not only is it superversatile

between platforms but also fits so snugly you

almost forget you’re wearing it …until you need to

“bomb up”!

VIPER know a thing or two about chest rigs but

I have to say that the Special Ops version is one of

the very best designs they’ve ever come up with,

especially if you’re tight on funds! With built in

quad mag capacity and numerous utility/pistol mag

pouches, the Special Ops Chest Rig is capable of

bearing a substantial load in a minimal design. The

low-profile setup allows the rig to be worn beneath

outer layers of clothing, like tactical jackets or

smocks and also allows

great manoeuvrability in

confined environments.

Once again, it’s a case of

“One Size Fits Most” as the

rig is fully adjustable. The

fitted pouch configuration

features a four-capacity

mag sleeve, a GPS or small

radio pouch, two pistol mag

pouches (which can also be

used to carry a multitool)

and a Velcro ID Panel. All

the straps are unpadded

but wide enough to be

comfortable even when under load, and durable

quick release buckles mean it’s easy to get on and off.

Although it’s made of super-durable 600D Cordura,

the Special Ops Chest Rig weighs in at just 670g. It’s

available in Green, Tan, Black and V-CAM, and with

an SRP in the region of just UK£30, this is an absolute

steal!

Going just a little heavier, the OneTigris Vulture still

follows the “Light is Right” design concept and is a

minimalist model that’s just perfect for your regular

range sessions or short skirmishes. Priced at around

US$60 it’s not going to break the bank either! Now

you might think that for 60 bucks you would end up

with something that’s not going to last but this rig is a

bit special. Currently available in 500D Cordura Nylon

Multicam fabric (I hope that they’ll do other plain

colourways in due course), the Vulture benefits from

solid construction throughout, along with genuine

UTX Buckles and YKK Zippers; the price might be

keen, but the components and build quality are great.

There are four magazine pockets that will hold the

majority of AR or AK-style magazines, along with

two flapped pistol magazine/tool/flashlight pockets

and a generous zipped admin pocket on the front.

The admin pocket features a velcro patch for unit/

names tapes, along with two further rows of MOLLE

webbing for additional items should you desire to

fit them. The main body of the rig has a full-width

breathable mesh backer (which is very comfortable)

and the whole thing is topped off with a simple

unpadded X-harness, a style I personally prefer as it

doesn’t catch up as easily on lo-pro body armour if

you’re wearing it.

LOADING FOR BEAR

The Helikon-Tex HTX Lines Project was created in 2016

as a whole new concept of product development

within the company and they’ve been slowly but

surely rolling it out since then. Initial concepts were

turned into pre-production samples, the final versions

of which are now available in stores worldwide. Their

assets are the right people combining to create one

of the most innovative design teams in the industry.

The Guardian Chest Rig is a universal carry platform

built to accommodate a basic ammunition load

and personal equipment. Designed to work along

with a backpack and belt kit, it can optimise the

configuration of your “shoot gear”. Depending on

the number and size of magazines the height of the

fixed pouch flaps can be adjusted (think STANAG v

AK) and exchangeable

magazine/handgun inserts

can be rearranged swiftly

and easily.

The Guardian has a

universal, removable and

adjustable X- or H-harness,

channels on straps for

wiring, antenna, hydration

tubes, exchangeable

inserts (included), double

pistol magazine pouches,

double rifle/carbine (AR/

AK) magazine pouches and

three fixed double rifle/carbine magazine pouches

(AK/AR). There are height-adjustable magazine pouch

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FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

CHEST RIGS

flaps, two spacious cargo pockets (USGI canteen

compatible) and multiple PALS/MOLLE panels for

additional pouches/accessories. All in all, it’s a well

thought out bit of kit and the bonus is that the

lightly padded shoulder harness actually makes it

comfortable for extended periods!

The Tasmanian Tiger Chest Rig MK II PC is another

fave of mine. This is a real quality chest rig made in

500D Cordura and it comes with four integrated

magazine pouches and two utility pouches and, on

top of that, you can attach an infinite number of

additional MOLLE compatible pouches to meet your

own personal requirements. The four integrated

magazine pouches with adjustable velcro flaps, can

hold the majority of magazines currently in use (I use

mine mostly with my “.308” ARs and DMRs) and the

two utility pouches on the sides can each handle a

one litre water bottle. The rig is designed with the

option to carry ballistic side plates and is covered

with MOLLE webbing for attaching extra pouches

(Tasmanian Tiger offer an extensive range of different

pouches to go with the rig). There’s a large map

pouch on the inside, a removable bib with a small

document pouch on the inside and the whole thing

is lined with 3D mesh. The H-style shoulder straps

feature quick release buckles on both ends and there’s

a generous amount of adjustment in both height and

width.

My “got to” though, is the Hurricane from the

guys at Direct Action in Poland. So what makes

the Hurricane so desirable in my eyes? Simply put,

it’s a low profile, adjustable rig made from lasercut

laminated 500D Cordura, so it’s tough enough

to endure an awful lot of abuse. It has a softshell

interior construction that makes it a comfortable rig

to wear for extended periods of time. The harness

is well constructed and feels sturdy even when the

rig is loaded up and it has a reinforced drag handle

incorporated into the design, along with the ability to

be attached to one of the Direct Action Body Armour

systems. The “Hurricane” has nine PALS slots on the

sides of the rig which are perfect for radio, medical,

utility pockets and horizontal PALS slots under the

ammo pouches for items such as tourniquets, pistol

mag pouches and 40mm pouches - so you aren’t just

limited to the pouches on the rig itself should you

wish to upgrade it. If you choose to run comms, the

fixed pouches are a great size for most radio PRRs and

the rig has routing channels to keep everything tidy

and to prevent wires getting caught.

Not only is it comfortable and solidly put together

but it comes as standard with integrated, adjustable

magazine pouches

with paracord

retention, that

adjust to fit a

combination of

eight AR, four

AK, or even

four 7.62mm

magazines. It also

features a number

of fixed external

pouches for other

essentials including

two adjustable pouches, a sealed zipper pouch and a

Velcro flap pouch for when you need to access items

quickly. The harness is completely adjustable thanks

to a secure harness design, and to keep the excess

material tidy it has Velcro wraparound “tidys”. It

has a split front- zipper design as well, so you don’t

need to adjust it every time you remove it, which

is very neat indeed. The Hurricane is available in

Adaptive (foliage/ranger) Green, Black, Coyote Brown,

MultiCam, Pencott Badlands, Pencott Greenzone

and Urban Grey so there is a camo option for every

environment. At €239 this isn’t the cheapest model of

chest rig on the market by a long shot, but if you’re

after excellent design along with superlative fabrics

and workmanship, then it’s really a bit of kit that you

should seriously consider parting with cash for!

This is a broad overview but it boils the designs

down to their essence. Super-light and basic, light yet

versatile and then full-on “I’m out for a rumble” style

…basically the choice is yours! I’ve listed a few of my

personal favourites to give an idea of what you can

be looking for if you’re in the market from your own

rig but as always, be sure to “try before you buy” to

make sure you get the one that fits right and suits

your style of play best. AA

www.airsoftaction.net 27


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KIT & GEAR

HARDSHELLS & MAINTENANCE

GOOD

GEAR

TO GO!

AS SOME OF US ARE STILL IN OUR

ENFORCED “STAY AT HOME” TIME,

IT REALLY IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

TO ENSURE THAT ALL YOUR KIT IS

SQUARED AWAY AND PREPARED FOR

THE DAY WE CAN GET BACK OUT TO

OUR FAVOURITE SITES AGAIN! BILL

GIVES THE BENEFIT OF HIS MANY

YEARS AS AN OUTDOORSMAN TO

SHOW YOU WHAT YOU CAN BE

ACHIEVING POSITIVELY IN YOUR

DOWNTIME.

If you’re spending a lot of money on your gear, then

you really want to get the best out of it don’t you?

Just like changing tyres or the oil in a car, all of your

gear will really, really benefit from some regular “TLC”

…a bit of a service if you like. Although the guidelines

for staying safe in “The Time of Covid” varies from

country to country - and indeed place to place - the

fact is that, like it or not, our normal activities have

been necessarily curtailed; but that doesn’t mean we

should be sitting on our hands, thumbs up behinds

and brains in reverse, now does it?

Whilst many of us are looking at new ways to

complete our routine training at home, and coming

up with some unique, interesting, and novel ways to

make that happen, there is ALWAYS something you

can be doing in “prep” for the change of seasons, so

I’ll try to give you an idea of what I’m up to personally

when it comes to looking after my tactical clothing

and kit.

First up is clothing. I truly believe that there is a

far better understanding of the fabric technology

used in our clothing systems than ever before, and

it’s a subject that is a bit of a “holy grail” for me. To

recap from a more detailed article I wrote on clothing

maintenance some while back, all too often I’m out

on the range with my mates and when we get back

in the car their “Gucci” waterproof shell gear just

gets dumped unceremoniously in a pile in the trunk

or even in the footwell underfoot! These are usually

the self-same people that I will see at a later date

bemoaning the fact that their expensive waterproof

jacket “isn’t working”, complaining to all and sundry

that somehow the technology has failed and that they

are wet and uncomfortable.

The most common gripe I hear is that “this funking

thing is leaking” when actually it’s still perfectly fine

and the fact is, it just isn’t “breathing” anymore!

Like all performance items, top-end shell gear needs

maintaining regularly to get the best from it. You

might only change the tyres on your car infrequently

(probably when the MOT or insurance inspection rolls

around!) but on a Formula One car they may change

the tyres during a single race (sometimes more then

once) to get the very best performance.

When you buy a Gore-Tex (or similar) jacket you’re

investing in a high-performance item and as such,

it needs treating like one! Over time things like the

hydrophobic (water-hating) Durable Water Repellent

(DWR, think a microscopic “film”) on the outer face

fabric of the garment will begin to wear and crack

“ALTHOUGH THE GUIDELINES FOR STAYING SAFE IN “THE TIME OF COVID” VARIES FROM

COUNTRY TO COUNTRY - AND INDEED PLACE TO PLACE - THE FACT IS THAT, LIKE IT OR NOT,

OUR NORMAL ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN NECESSARILY CURTAILED; BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE

SHOULD BE SITTING ON OUR HANDS, THUMBS UP BEHINDS AND BRAINS IN REVERSE, NOW

DOES IT?”

30

FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

HARDSHELLS & MAINTENANCE

and the fabric will start to hold the water that’s now

allowed through to it. As new, water droplets will be

held on the DWR layer, simply rolling off the fabric

before they penetrate. You’ll notice after a while that

this “beading” process will start to lessen and that

the water is being absorbed into the fabric itself; this

is usually noticeable first in areas like the shoulders

where pack straps or a plate carrier rub and abrade

the DWR, or on cuff ends where the fabric rubs

against itself.

Internally over time, body oils, grease and general

dirt will also build up and the net result is that

your jacket will stop “breathing” as well as it did

when it was new. You won’t really notice this until

it becomes obvious and water vapour that was

previously being transferred out of the system stays

inside and re-condenses. You’ll feel cold, clammy and

uncomfortable, put your hand inside your jacket, feel

“water” and of course your quite natural conclusion

will be that the jacket is leaking! A re-proofer will

restore the waterproof performance of your gear to

ensure it continues to keep you dry and protected.

To combat the degradation of performance you

simply need to give your jacket (or pants) a bit of

care and invest in a maintenance product. There are

many of them on the market these days and most

can be ordered easily online, so check out brands like

Grangers, Nikwax, Storm, Rockin’ Green and Gear

Aid.

These brands create environmentally sustainable

treatments used to clean, waterproof and care for

fabrics and the majority can be used in the same wash

cycle in your washing machine at home. You’ll also

find bespoke products for down, merino and base

layer care products to keep all of your gear tip-top.

These products offer high performance cleaning,

water proofing and after-care treatments that let you

refresh and restore the performance of your gear,

ensuring your kit delivers the same protection it did

when you bought it.

The first step is obviously to clean your garments

and to do this, you need to ensure that first and

foremost you follow the manufacturer’s care guidance

that’s given on the label you’ll no-doubt find inside

the garment. Most garments, including hard shell, can

be popped in the washing machine (check the care

label!) and by using a dedicated wash product you can

make certain that no harm is going to come to your

beloved gear, so it comes out all sparkly and fresh!

Once your garment has been cleaned, you should

clean out your washing machine’s detergent tray.

This is a similar step for washing but you’ll want to

clear out any remnants of your washing product. Get

yourself some wash-in proofer (unless your garment

has a hydrophilic (water-loving) lining which is used

sometimes to help transfer internal moisture, in

which case use a spray-on proofer to the outer face

as directed!), then simply follow the instructions for

volume and temperature settings before setting the

washer. Let the cycle run with the proofer and once

completed, allow the cycle to repeat and remove

excess moisture. Re-proofers usually activate with

heat so if your garment allows you to tumble dry it

the heat will help activate the replenished coating and

then you’re good to go all over again.

All of your clothing system will benefit from a

good wash and clean and again, cleaning products

like sock, base and mid-layer washes will help your

clothing system in its entirety. These wash products

are specially formulated to work with both natural

and synthetic “thermal layering and next to skin”

garments to retain and improve performance and aid

in effective moisture wicking, enhancing the overall

effectiveness of your entire clothing system.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND

There are places where you can skimp and save a bit

of money with your gear but footwear is NOT one

of them! Choosing the wrong boots, or failing to

maintain them properly, can make all the difference

to having a superb day on the range or going home

early!

Just like your clothing system, your footwear

choice is all-important year-round but especially so

when the weather turns wet, cold and even snowy!

A good desert boot will inherently be made with less

insulation than a winter, or indeed even a temperate

model, so as much as a good waterproof technology

will keep your feet dry, the boot overall will leave

you with cold feet, or worse! On an icy morning

waterproof socks can help if you have an unlined

summer boot but do bear in mind that these will fill

up the inner volume of the boot more than your usual

socks - and that can lead to heat loss via transmission

so your feet will be dry but still feel cold. Cuff height

may also differ, as in general a winter boot will have

a higher cuff to keep out snow and spindrift. I was

at a range just not so long ago where I stepped into

a water-filled pothole deeper than the height of my

desert boot cuff and although they’re membranelined,

water does tend to get in through the big hole

on the top where your foot goes in!

So why not just wear wellies or rubber boots?

Well, two things here really: Firstly, wellies are pretty

much always not going to be breathable, so although

www.airsoftaction.net 31


KIT & GEAR

HARDSHELLS & MAINTENANCE

they will keep water out and with specialist socks

be warm, they will also keep moisture in. Someone

once told me that we have more than 250,000 sweat

glands in each foot, making them the most perspiring

parts of your body. Your body can produce as much

as a pint of sweat per day per foot and if you’re

wearing wellies most of that will stay inside the boot!

Secondly, most basic wellies offer very little support.

You’ve also got to build into this equation that

boot manufacturers make different outsole units for

different conditions. This may not (on the face of it)

be a major concern but if the tread pattern of the

outsole has been designed for warm, dry conditions

how will it fare in wet grass, or on wet, leaf-covered

rock? Let me tell you… Not very well at all and you’re

seriously asking for a slip which could lead to a turned

ankle or worse.

A waterproof exterior or membrane is a crucial boot

feature to keep you protected from the elements.

By using breathable technologies, waterproof boots

prevent moisture from building up and potentially

forming harmful bacteria and blisters but also

allow for perspiration to get out. For even greater

protection in the winter months, look for boots that

are both waterproof and insulated. Insulated linings

keep warmth inside the boot so that you can stay

comfortable and protected during cold weather

activities.

Winter boots go through a lot. They are subjected

to rain, snow, mud, slush, salt and a whole range

of crud. By the end of a winter season, poorly cared

for boots will repay your lack of care by failing to

maintain waterproofness, looking like “sh1t” or even

falling apart completely! Even the best boots, leather

or synthetic, will put up with plenty of muck and

water during use but mud can ruin your boot’s outer

if it stays on too long, so when you get home stick

your boots under the tap and then scrub with a stiff

brush. Dry them with a boot dryer or in a warm room

but never put boots next to the fire or on top of a

radiator, as too much heat can crack the leather and

melt the soles!

Remove the insoles (if you can) at the same

time you scrub your boots clean (ish!). Insoles hold

moisture and will start to get soft and start to rot if

you leave them in for an extended period of time. The

same goes for boots made from synthetic materials;

wet insoles can also become smelly and full of

bacteria if they’re allowed to sit in the boot. Just let

them dry overnight and they should be fine again.

Water will ruin leather, so you’ll need to reapply a

Durable Water Repellant treatment once in a while

and you also want nylon and Cordura tactical models

to keep water out once the DWR coating wears off. I

use items from the Nikwax Footwear Care Kit because

it’s easy to use (and PFC-free). You should reapply a

waterproofing agent whenever you notice that the

outer materials, leather or synthetic, are becoming

saturated and holding water. You don’t need to use

much, just coat the entire boot with one thin layer,

let that dry and you’ll be good to go again in no

time. We may all face a range of weather conditions

through the year, so don’t let your boots hold you

back from getting the most out of your training time!

GOOD GEAR TO GO

Whilst at this time of year it’s 100% important to

ensure that your clothing and footwear is ready for

the Winter months, this “pause” we find ourselves

in is also a great time to give your fighting rig, load

bearing kit, and sustainment gear the once-over.

Belt setups, chest rigs and plate carriers are your allimportant

“tools of the trade” that you’re going to

be using whether you’re in short and sharp training

situation, or indeed something more serious, so it’s

important to make sure that all this kit is completely

ready for action! Empty your gear of all equipment,

remove comms setups and have a close look at seams,

straps and closures. Check them all thoroughly for

any signs of degradation or excessive wear and make

repairs where you need to! If closures like buckles are

starting to feel loose, then it’s worth replacing these.

If you’re using MOLLE/PALS then check the fitment of

all your pouches to make sure that the closures are

secure - and it may also be the time to make those

positioning changes you’ve been thinking about!

Packs and load carriers are just like your other

“nylon kit” and you need to go over your packs

carefully and once again check all the straps and

closures, replacing where necessary. Particularly

32

FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

HARDSHELLS & MAINTENANCE

important with packs is the main harness/carry straps.

One common point of failure on a load bearing pack

is the point where the bottom of the shoulder strap

meets the base of the pack body, and if you see that

starting to wear or separate, it’s time for a serious

repair to avoid your pack falling off you when you

most need it not to! Also check the water-tightness of

any dry-bags you use to store gear inside your pack,

paying attention to the seam-sealing tape runs!

When looking to what you carry for longer duration

training in the field, it’s worth spending some time on

your “snivel gear”! If you store your sleeping bag or

lofted (down or synthetic) jacket compressed in a stuff

bag, take them out, give them a wash (use a specialist

product for this, my favourites are

from the Nikwax range of cleaning

products) and then hang them

somewhere warm to dry naturally. If

possible leave them hanging or laid

out so that the fill doesn’t become

overly compressed during longer-term

storage. Do not store your sleeping

bag compressed in its stuff sack as

this will eventually damage the fill and

watertight storage bags are also a bad

idea as condensation can build up

inside and result in mildew. If you use

a bivvy bag, again it’s worth checking

all the seam tape and then giving

it a wash and re-proof like you would your other

waterproof gear and of course, if you carry a selfinflating

sleep-pad then also check this for wear and

punctures. If you use a foam version, ensure that this

is not completely compressed and if it is, replace it.

Clean and sterilise your hydration systems and/

or water bottles (most outdoor stores/outfitters

can sell you “steri-tabs” for this), especially paying

attention to the hoses if you use a Camelbak, Source,

or Platypus system. Pull out your cooking gear, mess

tins, plates, KFS and your stove and make sure that

these are all spotless! If you carry a gas cooker with a

hose connector then make sure that the connection

is sound, and

that the gas

tube itself is free

from wear and

cracks… Don’t

forget to check

gas canisters if

you use them, to

make sure these

are full! The same

goes for batteries for any flashlights you may carry.

If you store ration packs or long-life food items with

your sustainment kit, make sure that this is all in date!

Also, if you store your kit in a garage, outbuilding or

loft then make sure even pre-packed foodstuffs are in

sealed containers… It’s my experience that mice and

tree rats love a good ration pack (and bizarrely also

rubber hoses in your vehicle engine compartment…

Just sayin’…)!

Finally, check your personal First Aid Kit. Items

like disinfectant creams can go out of date and even

simple plasters and blister pads can lose their adhesive

properties over time. If you don’t carry a personal FAK

I would thoroughly recommend that you do and if

you’re unsure of what to include then you’ll find some

great articles about this over on the UF PRO Blog,

written by an SF medic, to give you some pointers

(https://ufpro.com/blog)!

Fact is we all (sadly) have time to really get all these

vital small jobs done at the moment, so use your time

wisely and prepare! Don’t be “that guy” that’s always

messing around with their kit when they should be

“eyes on”. Instead, be “THE GUY” that everyone

looks to as the one that always has their personal

admin dialled and is ready and good to go each and

every time! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 33


KIT & GEAR

LOCKDOWN LOADOUTS

©2021 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

AT LAST, WE’RE ALL SERIOUSLY LOOKING FORWARD TO HEADING OUT TO

GAMES AGAIN IN 2021 AND IT’S A GOOD THING THAT WE ARE, AS SOME

OF THE AIRSOFT ACTION CREW ARE GETTING SOME SERIOUS LEVELS OF

“CABIN FEVER”, WITH SOME AWESOME LOADOUT IDEAS FOLLOWING ON

FROM BILL’S TAKE ON “THE LAST SHIP”. THIS TIME, IT’S BOYCIE’S TURN,

AS HE HEADS TO “CHICAGO PD” TO CREATE A LOADOUT THAT COULD

LEAD TO GIVING “LOCKDOWN” A WHOLE NEW MEANING!

The chat group where we discuss all things

post-apocalypse has now grown into a whole

range of new directions, with the conversation

spreading even further afield, to encompass movies

and TV series that we could all watch while we had

a little enforced downtime. Inspiration came to me in

the form of another “LE Loadout”; NBC’s “Chicago

PD” TV show first aired in the USA on January 8th

2014 and the UK premier was 22nd October 2014.

It showed the uniformed officers of, and the Elite

Intelligence unit of, the fictional “21st District” of

the Chicago Police Department, headed by Sergeant

Henry “Hank” Voight.

THE BASICS

I’ve been a fan of the show since it first aired in the

UK and whilst we’ve been living under the Covid19

restrictions in one form or another, having got bored

with the “generic” Multicam setups out on sites, I

decided that I would, like Bill, put together a loadout

to mimic one of my favourite TV shows. Although in

a lot of the show the characters wear plain clothes,

©2021 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

sometimes, when they go on pre-planned raids

and operations, they wear the Chicago PD body

armour and also wear tactical black uniform on some

occasions. The plan would be to use the badges of

“Sgt Hank Voight”, my sidearm would be my Umarex/

VFC Glock 17, as used by three characters including

“Detective Jay Halstead”. Being a left hander, the only

left-handed character in the show is “Detective Haley

Upton”, so this would give me a good mix of parts of

each of the main characters.

The belt kit worn by the characters varies

depending on the “job” that they are going on but

essentials that are carried are their side arm (must

be worn on belt not on their vest), spare magazines

and cuffs. Usually, their radio will be worn on the

vest along with spare side arm, magazines and

ammunition for their rifle, usually an M4 variant or

shotgun, if needed.

To start with I would work on the armour vest. I’ve

been making vests and tactical equipment carriers for

about 8 years but for this I wanted to have something

authentic, so I got in touch with Fitore Duma, of

Fitore Uniforms, based in Chicago and one of the

official suppliers to officers of the Chicago PD. She is

also the mother of a serving Chicago PD Officer and

health care professional. The vest follows one of the

standard patterns used by Chicago PD and carries

the “officer’s” badge, name and unit on the front,

with “POLICE” across the back. Fitore makes her vest

covers with 500D Cordura. The armour pockets are

held closed by zips rather than velcro closures. The

lower part of the vest has 6 rows of 8 MOLLE loops

to allow the end user to customise the position of the

equipment that they carry. Also, on the top of the vest

34

FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

LOCKDOWN LOADOUTS

there are two pockets for pens and a notebook etc..

Fitore has been making and altering uniforms and

equipment for 20 years and on 12th April 2017 she

took the huge step of opening her own uniform and

equipment store, to service and support the Chicago

Police Department Officers. After passing on some

measurements of the genuine soft armour that I was

going to use to Fitore and a discussion about what I

needed, the manufacturing began in her store. Ten

days later Fitore contacted me to say that the vest

was ready to ship and would I like the “correct” radio

carrier for the vest? I added that to the order. On the

same day, after I had paid the invoice, the vest cover

was on its way over to the UK. I gave the shipment a

few days then started to check the tracking number

to see when it was due to arrive. A week later the

tracking check told me that it was in the UK and

being assessed by Customs for VAT charging. This

was completed and the vest was then held at my local

depot until the customs charge had been paid. Not

wanting to wait a few more days I went, in person, to

the depot and collected the carrier.

I was really happy to have my nickname and

“Intelligence” tabs already on the vest, to look as

close to the vest worn on the show. Obviously, as I

am not a serving Chicago PD officer, I wasn’t able to

buy the vest with all the appropriate patches but with

some careful searching I was able to find a replica

Chicago PD “Detective” star. These don’t come with

a badge number, which the real ones do, but that

wasn’t a problem for me at this point. Initially the vest

had a Chicago PD Bomb Squad star (with Explosives

Tech over the top) which I’ll be able to use as part of

my in-game pyrotechnics business. On the back of

the vest I would need a “POLICE” patch, which I was

made to my specifications, by Nicola and Simon at

Stitch Me Up.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

I grabbed a cup of coffee and began to fit my

soft armour and then checked the fit of the vest.

Considering that there were only basic measurements

given to Fitore on photos of the soft armour, the

panels slipped in and fitted perfectly. Of all the armour

vests and carriers I have worn over the years, this is

a fantastically comfortable vest to wear, as it would

have to be for those who have to wear one for a long

shift on duty. To see just how comfortable the vest

is to wear I wore it for a number of hours around

the house and it’s definitely easy to do all sorts of

domestic tasks in, so I am sure it would be great for

operational use. Now, on to the tactical clothing.

In some episodes the characters wear black tactical

clothing. For this I again got in touch with Fitore,

to get accurate information on what is used. The

current issue clothing to CPD is black and made by

Propper International, based in St Louis, Missouri.

They have been making clothing and equipment

for Military, Police and Civilians for over 50 years.

During that time, Propper International have made

over 120 million garments …and counting! What

started in 1967 as a single contract to make the

iconic white Dixie Cup hats for the Navy, turned into

five decades of dedication and hard work as they

grew to become one of the largest single providers

of US military apparel in the country. Along the way,

Propper branched out to serve the needs of the law

enforcement and public safety communities, as well.

Again, I sourced this tactical clothing from Fitore

so the kit build could be as accurate as possible. I

www.airsoftaction.net 35



KIT & GEAR

LOCKDOWN LOADOUTS

was also able to get the Sgt stripes, name tapes and

Chicago Flag from her. Understandably the sale of

official CPD Patches and shields is restricted to serving

members of the Police Department, so for the Chicago

PD shoulder/arm badge and a badge that was

accurate to that which Jason Beghe (Voight) wears in

the show, number 32419, I went to the internet and

I would like to say a huge thank you to Fitore, for

making the vest exactly how I wanted it from minimal

information and also for the amount of advice she

has given over the time I’ve been building this set up.

Her store is located at 527 North Ashland Avenue,

Chicago, IL 60622 and is well stocked with products.

The store can also order in specific items that the

Officers would use both on and off duty. If you need

to get in touch, Fitore’s store can be called on +1

(USA) 312-391-8569, or emailed on fitoreuniforms@

gmail.com, with their website at www.fitoreuniforms.

com. My thanks also go to Nicola and Simon at Stitch

Me Up for their ongoing help in making patches and

other bits to help me round off the look to a number

of kit set ups.

Unfortunately, at the time that the photos were

taken I was still waiting on the delivery of a couple of

pouches and the star (badge) for the belt. Due to all

the restrictions due to Covid, things have been taking

quite a bit longer to arrive! AA

found what I needed. Already I had a plain detective

badge without a number, so I got hold of a set of

name tapes to also match that under the character

Jay Halstead’s name and badge number of 51163.

Generally, the characters also wear a metal badge,

known as a “Star” on their belt or on a chain around

the neck. To get this part of the loadout I contacted

Coinsouvenir.com. They supply replica badges but

unfortunately I couldn’t get the badge with Voight’s

number on it, so I went for plain (no number) and I’ll

engrave and colour the number myself.

For the boots, a popular choice for CPD officers

is the Propper series 100(r) waterproof boot with

side zip, but officers are permitted to wear any black

“tactical” type boot. For my kit (and the photos in

this article) I am wearing my First Tactical Operator

boot. There are a number of options for holster and

belt that real officers use. For this particular set up

I chose to use my Safariland holster. For pouches

the “tactical” officers have more leeway on the

equipment that they can use and are usually in “plain

clothes” in normal duty. They are not restricted to

pouches with flaps like the majority of patrol officers.

They are known to use open top pouches, such

as the Taco and similar types. For this loadout, as

there are differences in each episode of the show,

I’ll be using open pouches and have taken my own

“artistic licence” with the belt kit as there is no

fixed requirement of what is used, that and I am not

replicating any one specific photo from the show.

Please Note: This photoshoot was carried out

in a controlled and Covid-secure environment

(thanks to my dear wife for taking the pictures!),

with batteries and BBs removed from RIFs, so

safety glasses are not worn to fit with the overall

“theme”. The vest itself is also only for use on

sites and for photography in suitable locations. If

you do wear a vest or clothing like this, make sure

you don’t wear any patches in public which could

lead to you being mistaken for a Police Officer.

While travelling to and from sites the vest is stored

in a bag with the patches kept out of sight in the

pockets and the patches on the clothing are also

kept in a bag so not on public display.

www.airsoftaction.net 37


EVENT REPORT

TAIWAN CHARITY GAME

REBELS

WITH

A CAUSE!

AS A COMPLETE AIRSOFT ADDICT, OUR “LEGIONNAIRE IN TAIWAN”, STEWBACCA, WENT STRAIGHT FROM

MOA IN TAIWAN TO A GAME THE VERY NEXT DAY – BUT IT WAS ALL IN A VERY GOOD CAUSE.

As a continued glutton for punishment and running

myself ragged in the name of my airsoft addiction (and

experiencing as much as I can) and having bumped into

our friend Steven Lin from Taichung while we were walking

around MOA2020 on the Saturday, who told us about an event

the next day, I decided to skip the last day of my planned MOA

coverage. I had managed to get all of the information and

photos required in the first day or so and realised I could travel

down to Taichung with my teammates the next day and share

news of another positive impact of airsoft in Taiwan - and Asia in

general.

Thus we awoke early on the morning of Sunday the 29th of

November and travelled down to Hill Fox Tactical Centre on the

hill tops overlooking the West side of Taichung - my first and

long overdue visit to this excellent outdoor airsoft site - to join

in with the Taiwan Pinoy Airsofters mass meetup game. This

was a chance for all the players in Taiwan who hail from the

Philippines to coalesce and enjoy a great day’s gaming, while also

making a huge positive impact for their compatriots back home.

The Philippines was recently blighted by the disruption and

destruction caused by Typhoon Ulysses passing through during

early November; a category four tropical cyclone that caused the

worst flooding in over a decade to Manila and Luzon, before

moving on to wreak further havoc in the likes of Vietnam.

Taiwan has very good relations with the Philippines and a

huge proportion of the very skilled technical workforce in Taiwan

- particularly in the microelectronics and machining related

industries that are core to the Taiwanese economy and global

microprocessor dominance - are composed of Filipinos. The same

is also true of the airsoft related demography here too. Airsoft is

wildly popular back in the Philippines as well with many people

enjoying it very seriously and spending a great deal of time and

money on their equipment and events.

ONE BIG FAMILY

Thus, teams from the major cities and their leadership saw an

opportunity to not only bring a large proportion of their locally

based players together – most likely for the first time - and

share in their own airsoft subculture (as well as the ubiquitous

awesome cuisine that accompanies any large gathering of this

extended family like group of very warm hearted folks), as well

as raise money and awareness to send support back to their

homeland during a time of crisis.

My TaiWan Anglophone Team-mates from the Philippines

drove down in convoy, along with me and my South African

colleague, Kiran (who I’ve indoctrinated into airsoft since my

arrival and working with him), to Taichung while players from

other cities or major teams organised multiple charter coaches

to bus well in excess of one hundred players, plus many of their

partners or family along to enjoy the event and contribute to the

efforts to help back home.

Arriving at the ridge-top Hill Fox site in the mid-morning, the

38

FEBRUARY 2021


EVENT REPORT

TAIWAN CHARITY GAME

sun was always already climbing overhead and the temperature

was a little higher than the chill we’d left in Taipei. The site has

an undeniably epic setting, when you are confronted with the

panoramic view of Taichung - Taiwan’s second and central city

- sprawling out to the East below and all the way to the distant

central mountain ranges of Taipei further away to its rear, while

the multiple structures and palm trees and shrubs provide a great

outdoor playing environment with lots of cover in the shadow of

the radar tower to the South end of it.

Players from the various teams - Task Force 141 (Hsinchu &

Taichung squads), Team SAF - Special Airsoft Force (Hsinchu/

Taoyuan), Team Changhua & Team RFAT - Ranging Force

Airsoft Team (Taichung) and PUTA - Philippines Untouchable

Team Airsoft (Tainan) as well as the Angels (a Filipina/all-female

airsoft team similar to Kelly’s efforts with the National Airsoft

Girls and Femme Fatale Airsoft in the UK to promote the hobby

with women) arrived in force and began debussing, registering

and preparing their equipment and readying themselves for the

afternoon heat and shooting.

Once all the formalities were dealt with, everyone amassed in

the open plan part of the safe zone for briefing and dividing the

players and teams into “North v South” squads by city of origin

and the map of the site was introduced, along with objectives

and structures in the middle ground to be fought over - all of

which are actually very helpfully spray paint tagged with the

same markers as the provided large format canvas map on the

site. That certainly helped direct fire or mark out enemy positions

or movements in the middle of a firefight!

With everyone familiarised with the layout and objectives we

all broke formation and got to the start points for each team and

readied ourselves for the starting air horn. Even with the teams

having in the region of fifty players aside, the topography of the

site allowed for everyone to find somewhere to effectively stalk

around or take cover and fight it out with the opposition force

without it feeling too crowded - although it often sounded like

equal enjoyment and chaos with the prevalence of gas blowback

guns hammering away at each other across the middle ground!

Everyone seemed to be giving it their all and working very

effectively in their squads as part of the larger teams, after the

first round it seemed that the Southern teams had managed to

hold more ground in the capture the flag/ king of the hill.

With that first massive firefight dealt with everyone broke

for lunch in the customary manner - thankfully the Filipino

players are well known for their appetites and cuisine as well as

their ferocity of play and as I was invited over to partake in the

substantial spread of their national dishes. I quipped that I’m

never sure whether I gain more friends or pounds when I attend

their games! There were a few birthdays to celebrate on site

and the feeling of a huge extended family atmosphere is always

prevalent at their games, it’s impossible to go away hungry or

feel left out with their continued hospitality and friendly nature.

With the harshest hour of the sunlight passed everyone

returned to gear up and no doubt had to loosen off their plate

carriers and tactical gear for the post lunch assault, with the

reversal of the divide and us Northern players taking the long

walk to the Southernmost spawn point. However, before that

we managed to get everyone into their city-based teams and

squads for a huge group photo with the rolling countryside and

Taichung cityscape providing a suitably awesome backdrop!

Back in “game mode”, I had elected to stretch the legs of

my recently purchased WE Tech T91 GBBR, a replica of the

current Taiwan national military service rifle that I purchased

back in October just before the local national day celebrations

but haven’t had much opportunity to use given my recent

commitments. Suffice to say, the ambient heat, longer barrel

length and five full magazines on my belt ensured I didn’t feel

too outgunned despite using a gas gun outdoors, with the

rounds finding their mark well enough and managing some

great actions with my squad-mates. The Northerners managed to

rally after a bit of a stalemate earlier in the round and eventually

displaced the Southerner team and took over the objectives

with a final mad push that saw us running our primary weapons

dry and charging the last few metres with pistols and colourful

language - albeit in good spirits - having been beaten back in the

initial round before the break for lunch.

After the dust settled and we returned to the safezone, I

unfortunately had to drop out and prepare for the return journey

back to Taipei. With some of us having evening commitments

and the traffic on a Sunday night being notorious in Taiwan,

as everyone tends to return to their families or hometowns at

the weekends, then commute back to their working environs

before the advent of a new week. In the aftermath of all the

photo and video editing, I was informed that together everyone

had managed to raise 22,000NT - around £600 British pounds

- from all the players and other donors, all of which was used

to buy essential supplies for those left worst off back home.

Videos surfaced a few weeks later of endless bag loads of goods

being delivered to those in need by vans sporting banners of

the game event and teams involved. It’s a really great feeling

to see our community locally and internationally raising the

game and giving back and hopefully espousing a more positive

connotation for an otherwise embattled past time. In particular

I’d like to thank Steven for inviting us along, Ryan and Rick for

providing transport for our convoy and Harumi and her team

for organising what will hopefully be the first of many excellent

events - everyone’s enthusiasm and efforts really paid off well.

Also, many thanks to the staff and photographers of Hill Fox

Tactical Centre for hosting and providing the drone footage and

action shots (I was too busy shooting behind a rifle to get behind

the camera!). AA

www.airsoftaction.net 39


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE

2020 “ARs”

JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE THE RED CELL CREW HAVE BEEN HIT BY THE LOCKDOWN IN THE UK AND

HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO MEET THIS MONTH. WITH A HUGE PILE OF PDW-STYLE AEGS WAITING FOR

EVALUATION IT’S BEEN A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT BUT, AS ALWAYS, THE RESILIENCE OF THE TEAM HAS

COME TO THE FORE AND THIS TIME THEY TAKE A LOOK AT THE AEGS THAT HAVE CAUGHT THEIR EYE

AND SERVED THEM WELL DURING 2020!

They say that even the best plan will fail to survive

first contact with the enemy, and in the last

month (again…) our “enemy” had been the

implacable coronavirus. As many of you reading this

have been waiting to get together at your local site,

so we have been waiting to head to “Warehouse 51”

to carry out our group shoot.

This month we had planned to bring you the

lowdown on the “PDW” models that thanks to the

support of both manufacturers and distributors we

had managed to bring together in one place, at one

time, but unfortunately the “C-Virus” had other plans

for us, and we ended up in “Tier 4” the day before

our meeting!

Although we could have easily called this “work” as

we prepare our reports for a commercial publication,

once again the Red Cell “Chinese Parliament” got

our heads together and on the afternoon of the

announcement, we jointly made the decision that it

was unwise, and morally wrong to meet as a group

to effectively “just shoot airsoft guns”, as much as

we would all have loved to do just that; meeting as a

big group could of course have the potential for us to

spread the virus to a much wider than just those that

gathered together, and this is something that in good

conscience we were unprepared to do, and we are

certain that you’ll understand why.

Such is the strength and flexibility of the group

though that we soon found a solution as to how

to bring you something interesting between us this

month! We decided that we’d take a look at the AR

AEG models that had really hit a chord with us, that

had excited us or been steadfast partners-in-crime

over the last year, be they new models, or rifles/

carbines that we’d had for a while.

In fairness 2020 was not a bad year at all for

new AEGs, and collectively we’ve seen and tested a

great number (some of course more than others!)

of different models, makes and variants, and it’s

been an interesting exercise to find out what is

important to who, and what makes a great AR AEG

for them. Therefore the selection from the team is

understandably diverse, as we all want something

different from our favourite “American Rifle”.

What of course we all truly want though is an AEG

that is reliable, robust, and performs well from the

get go, and all the models we’ve chosen have been

tried, tested, and found not to be wanting! We will

endeavour to get back to “business as usual” with

the PDWs next time, but that of course is largely out

of our hands if we are to fully embrace the current

health and safety guidelines as we should.

Once again sadly, our Red Cell “Christmas Dinner”

will have to wait as well, but we’re already talking

about a post-rangeday BBQ in the Summer… now

THAT is something for us all to look forward to!

RUNNING AND GUNNING 2020 STYLE!

So, without further ado let’s get straight into things

and see what came to the forefront for Red Cell

during 2020!

Boycie: For some time now I have been a huge fan

of the KWA 2.5 and 3.0 AR based rifles. With the

advent of the 3.0+ this really opened up options

40

FEBRUARY 2021


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

for those who wanted to be able to fit a Mosfet

internally to their rifle. Their 2.5 variant is the 3.0

version but without recoil, but that does have a really

good feature which is the VPS, or Variable Power

System. This is a variable length spring guide which

enables the user to accurately ‘tune’ their FPS which

is something you can’t do with the majority of other

AEGs on the market. The 2.5 also keeps the last round

bolt stop function which a lot of people who like to

be more realistic in their drills consider a “must have”.

The 3.0 variant is the type that carries the KWA KFS,

Kinetic Feedback System. This also has the last round

bolt stop function.

Recently KWA have updated their gearbox design

to be able to use a standard V2 trigger block, this now

means that the user can fit an internal Mosfet like the

Gate Titan, Jefftron Leviathan etc. The downside with

this change is that the last round bolt stop is now no

longer a feature of the system.

There is a lot that I really like about the KWAs.

Firstly they are solid, the designers have clearly taken

time to ensure that the rifles don’t rattle. When I

say rattle I mean when you hold a lot of AEGs by the

pistol grip and shake you get a rattle from the illfitting

upper to lower receiver interface. Secondly is

the weight; the KWAs are far from the lightest rifles

out there but due to their balance they don’t feel

unwieldy. Next is their robustness; a number of people

who I have sold ERGs to have commented on how

they’ve outlived other makes, this meaning that others

have broken or failed once, or more times, while their

KWA has kept on running. The majority of the KWA

2.5, 3.0 and 3.0+ systems are interchangeable other

than, in some cases, their upper and lower receivers.

They are also equally very happy running on 7.4v or

11.1v LiPo batteries.

The two biggest advantages, for me, of the KWAs

are that they don’t require ‘upgrades’ from the box.

Simply fit a battery and feed them BBs. In the UK

we find that the hop rubber compound is too hard

for our climate so a change to a 50 degree rubber is

usually advised to get top performance at usual UK

site FPS limits. The other thing is their cost. Compared

to some other brands which have a large and loyal

following, the KWA is substantially cheaper but to me

is superior due to the reasons I have mentioned. Also

the KWAs will use either their own types of magazines

but will also easily use a large number of other ‘off

the shelf’ magazines, when other brands either need

an adaptor or a quite expensive proprietary magazine.

Some feel that they have to throw £500 plus worth

of ‘upgrades’ onto other platforms to get them to

“perform properly”, this is just not needed with the

KWAs.

When I am asked what rifle I would recommend

to a new player, I tell them to look at what is

within their budget. There are a large number of

recommendations I make that will work within the

buyers budget but if you want an awesome AEG

for around UK£350, or less, then my go to choice is

one of the KWA range. For those looking at a lower

budget level then I would recommend that they look

at the KWA 2GX AEGs which can usually be found for

around UK£200.

Jon: 2020 has been a funny old year. Things are most

definitely not “normal” any more and that got me to

thinking about “normal”. There’s a plethora of M4/

AR variant rifles available from budget and beginner

www.airsoftaction.net 41


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

Model: KWA T6

Price: iro £340

Age: 1 year

Weight: 2700g

Length: Retracted 552mm,

Extended 673mm

Magazine Capacity: 120 BBs

Cold Chrono: 1.02J/332fps

Hot Chrono: 1.02J/330fps

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From: All KWA

stockists

Model: BO Dynamics LK595

CQB

Price: £180

Age: New

Weight: 2335g

Length: 775mm

Magazine Capacity: 120 BBs

Cold Chrono: 1.04 J/335fps

Hot Chrono: 1.04 J/335fps

Taclite Compatibility: M-LOK

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From:

www.targetzoneuk.simpl.com

Model: Valken ASL Kilo

Price: iro £150

Age: New

Weight: 2500g

Length: (stock collapsed) 67cm

Magazine Capacity: 300rnds

Cold Chrono: 337-356fps

Hot Chrono: 340-352fps

Taclite Compatibility: M-LOK

Suppressor Compatibility:

Comes with suppressor fitted,

14mm CCW

Available From: All Valken

stockists

Model: G&G Armament Cobalt

Kinetics BAMF

Price: iro £600

Age: 18 Months

Weight: 3690g

Length: 940mm

Magazine Capacity: 90 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95 J/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.92 J/315fps

Taclite Compatibility:M-LOK

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From: www.nuprol.

com

Model: KWA RM4 Scout

Price: iro £380

Age: 6years!

Weight: 3400g

Length: 90mm

Magazine Capacity: 30/60 BBs

Cold Chrono: 1.13J/350fps

Hot Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Taclite Compatibility: MOE as

Standard

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From: Originally from

J-Tac Custom

Model: CYMA 097 B

Price: iro £195

Age: 1 Year

Weight: 2770g

Length: 730mm (min)

Magazine Capacity: 160 BBs

Cold Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Hot Chrono: 1.07 J/340fps

Taclite Compatibility: M-LOK

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From:

www.taiwangun.com

42

FEBRUARY 2021


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

Model: CYMA 098A E-Edition

(.308)

Price: iro £198

Age: 1 Year

Weight: 3200g

Length: 880mm (min)

Magazine Capacity: 500 BBs

Cold Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Hot Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Taclite Compatibility: M-LOK

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From:

www.taiwangun.com

Model: BOLT B4 LRP

Price: iro £400

Age: New

Weight: 3100g

Length: 855mm (min)

Magazine Capacity: 300 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95J/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.89J/310fps

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From:

www.nuprol.com

Model: Specna Arms MK18 SA-

E19 EDGE

Price: iro £235

Age: New

Weight: 2675g

Length: 700mm (min)

Magazine Capacity: 190 BBs x 2

Cold Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Hot Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From:

www.gunfire.com

Model: Specna Arms RRA SA-

E14 EDGE (Aster V2 Eval Model)

Price: TBC!

Age: New

Weight: 2630g

Length: 800mm (min)

Magazine Capacity: 190 BBs x 2

Cold Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Hot Chrono: 1.07J/340fps

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm

CCW

Available From:

www.gunfire.com

friendly AEG’s to some top end offerings that cost

more than my car. The one thing they all have in

common is that they’re all a bit same/same.

Sure, internal and external components are often

better the higher (or deeper into your pocket) you

climb but add an optic, PEQ, fancy flash hider and

from 6 feet away they all look the same. This isn’t a

bad thing, it allows for folks to realize a vision where

budgets are tight, but what it does do is make the

market kinda vanilla. AK’s are the same too, classic or

tacticool. Nothing really stands out for me any more

apart from one offering in the AR family.

Enter the Cobalt Kinetics BAMF licensed by G&G!

It started making a bit of a buzz in 2018 when

it showcased at IWA and a somewhat excited BPT

reported back to me saying there was something I

would love brewing in the AR world. Cobalt Kinetics

are a passionate and meticulous company in the US

that focus on Race or Competition systems. I’m not

joking here, each component is inspected FIVE times

to ensure perfect fit and operation. FIVE TIMES... I

don’t do that when rebuilding my car’s brakes. The

pedigree comes from the competition shooting world

and it really shows.

Three things stand out from the crowd with the

CK/G&G collaboration from all other AR rifles. Firstly

the CNC machined upper, lower, M-LOK rail and solid

stock (honestly it’s a work of art - credit to the G&G

boffins for replicating this). It’s strangely ergonomic

too, everything being well within reach. Secondly

it’s non-military/law enforcement look. The bulk of

the rifle is a suave grey colour and highlighted with

accents of electric anodised blue. It really does stand

firmly and proudly away from the vanilla crew. The

www.airsoftaction.net 43


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

third and final part is the replication of the CARS

(Cobalt Advantage Reload System) that G&G have

renamed ADAM (Auto Drop Advanced Magazine).

There’s your clue to the best bit.

The BAMF ejects the magazine when it’s empty

and utilizing some clever trickery, it will stop firing

until a new magazine is loaded, thus eliminating dry

fire. I absolutely love this feature. Coupled with the

very flared magwell, it makes fast mag changes an

absolute breeze. Seriously, you’ve only got to have a

rough idea where the well and fresh magazine are,

and you’re off slinging plastic again in lightening time!

The system works with some clever engineering in

the proprietary magazine. Long story short, when the

follower ejects the last BB a spring loaded door pops

up (roughly where the fill cap would be on a High-

Cap) and sets it free from the rifle. With that in mind,

the “ejecto-seato” feature doesn’t work with standard

magazines but the rifle works just as well with them.

It’s a beautiful bit of engineering that I absolutely

adore. I love this as much as the APS Shell ejecting

shotguns.

There are a few drawbacks however.

I’ve a fair bit of experience with G&G

magazines and they DO NOT like meeting

the floor from a few feet high and these

mags are not cheap. Not cheap at all,

neither is the BAMF, rattling in still at circa

UK£600, although you can find them

cheaper if you’re lucky! All that aside the

wife and I would both run one happily on

the circuit and on the field in a Mr & Mrs

Smith-esque way!

Jase: So here in the UK Covid 2.0 has

hit us here in and our second cancelled

‘Cell’ meeting means I have to pull out

my trusted KWA RM4 for my review.

Now I’m not the typical airsofter that has

an arsenal that one doesn’t use, I own

two pistols and three AEG’s. More than

enough. I’ve owned this peach for SIX

years now and it has NEVER let me down,

which makes it a perfect example for a

Cell review.

I would often pop to Bill’s for a coffee,

chat and to see what’s new. On this

occasion there sat a KWA RM4 Scout.

At first I was very much, meh, another

AEG. This was until I fired off a mag,

recoil.....in an AEG......then it stopped.

As I handed it back to Bill in a sheepish

manner, he laughed loudly in my face. It

stopped working because it had a bolt

stop function. My tiny mind was blown, hahaha. Back

then Systema rifles where the only AEG on the market

that had this function, but they also had a hefty price

tag. This KWA was only UK£350. Magazines where

three for UK£45. I was sold! Within weeks I had my

very own with seven mags. I never looked back.

When my rifle turned up it was clad in the finest

Magpul furniture and the lower body had full Magpul

logo’s and serial number. Back then I was a slag for

Magpul kit. I used it in that guise for about a year

before I changed the front end for a quad rail to

mount my DBAL and taclite. The only upgrade is a 50’’

Maple Leaf rubber, as the standard one is a bit hard

for UK climates

Now even after all these years playing with this

AEG the FPS has only really dropped about 10fps; to

me, that’s impressive as it’s my go to faithful, and I’d

hate to think how many rounds have been through

it. My RM4 can easily hit a target at 45/50m, and that

for me is more than enough. If I had one negative it

would be that it’s a bit on the heavy side but because

44

FEBRUARY 2021


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

of its reliability, hard recoil and bolt stop function, I’ll

cut it some slack. The paintwork has been amazing,

no real wear marks or chips. It’s testimony to the

brands quality. The cherry on this cake are the

magazines. The earlier magazines where not only

great value but they’re changeable from either 30 or

60 BBs and now you can buy them in 30/120 rounds

and made from quality DuPont polymer.

Bill W-R: So, I have been airsofting for a fair few

years now and had a few wild and whacky RIF’s over

the years and as fellow team members will testify to

it’s usually a different AEG maxed to be the best it

can for a given role. So summer 2019 comes and my

eldest son MJ aka EAT-05 BOO, aged 12 comes down

to the glorious garden of England and decides he

wants to have a play with daddy’s pew pew toys…

So with gloves, eye pro and a tin-can alley style

set up on a table in the garden he is shown the basic

operation and trigger discipline. Within minutes he

is single shooting soft drink cans off the table with

ease. Mag empty he instinctively lifts up the rif with

his finger off the trigger, drops the mag and looks

round with the biggest grin imaginable. I have created

a monster…

Suffice to say I promised him his own AEG as a

Christmas present but this leaves dad with a quandary.

1. I need something that fits him. This is most

important as there is no point a 13yr old lumbering

around a m249. 2. It needs to look good (according

to him). 3. It must be reliable and in an ideal world 4.

must be good value as it may get easily broken or just

be a phase in his life. So what did I choose?

The Valken ASL Kilo. With an average bundle deal

price of UK£235 for the AEG, li-ion battery, charger

and a bag of BB’s it is priced at the entry level market

and comes with a 12 month no quibble guarantee.

We have on a standard M4 platform a good quality

V2 all metal gearbox with 6mm bushings and full

metal gears married to a 6.05mm barrel at 255mm

long. Full polymer/nylon fiber construction makes

it light yet robust, a 6 stage vented crane stock will

allow a multitude of battery options to be contained

and a 9” M-LOK front rail will accommodate a

majority of accessories you may desire to hang from

your rail. Fitted to MJ’s is a sloped front hand guard.

Suitable for righties and lefties alike you will find an

ambidextrous fire selector and mag release that will

make life easier whichever side you shoot from. It also

comes with front and rear hi-vis flip up sights which

work well even in lower light conditions. The trigger is

a flat match-style trigger giving accurate response for

a non mosfet system.

Now for the important numbers; The AEG was

tested on team-standard RZR 0.2g bb’s using a Nuprol

2000mAh Li-Ion 7.4v battery. Cold straight from box

over 20 rounds it ranged from 337fps to 356fps.

After a few magazines this then converted to a min

of 340fps and max 352. I am sure once it beds in

the fps will drop a little more over time. Rate of fire

was straight out the box an average of 11.2 rounds

per second. So we have found a reliable, reasonably

priced AEG.

Having spoken with my local stockists, it is

apparent that more and more people are choosing

Valken because of its value for money, reliability, the

bulletproof 12-month warranty and its upgradability,

with the ASL Tango, Kilo and Mod 0 being some of his

top sellers in 2020; however as with all things airsoft

in 2020 and into 2021 no one can rest on their laurels

with the likes of Specna and their core range now

snapping at their heels it won’t be long before they

are outgunned and Valken and other manufacturers

have to innovate to survive. As for MJ, well he is one

very happy boy and a new addition to the airsofting

family and I’m sure we all wish him the best in his

journey through our great sport, as he and thousands

like him are the future of airsoft!

Jimmy: The LK595 CQB (yes, my Christmas present!)

in Urban Grey is a new release from BO Manufacture

and certainly new to myself having never come

across them before until recently. At UK£180 it will

be thought of as a budget rifle, price-wise yes, but

what you get for your money says otherwise. This is

a cracking package and sports what I believe to be

some premium features such like a 6.02mm prescision

tight bore barrel, mock bolt lock, EBB (electric blow

back), solid rotary hop unit, and a full Lonex gearbox.

When I think Lonex I think aftermarket upgrades, so

the gearbox you know is already great quality and if

you look at the price of a complete Lonex gearbox you

are looking at well over UK£100 already! The main

body of the rifle is made from a very solid, quality

polymer and there is no flex or wobble between any

of the sections and it has a near perfect finish. The

pistol grip is an ergonomic style giving the user a firm

grip and is quite comfortable, fitting nicely in my large

hands. The UTG stock is exclusive to BO and I must

say it is a great stock; it allows you to use a selection

of batteries be it CRANE-style nunchuk or stick, the

rear plate swivels on a bolt which is loosened by a

small wheel making battery fitting very easy, which

shows thought when designing. Also, on the stock is

a metal QD sling attachment and on the buffer a sling

plate, giving you options…

He first test shoot left me highly impressed

especially with the fact it has an EBB function (I’m a

www.airsoftaction.net 45


RED CELL

OUR FAVOURITE 2020 “ARS”

big fan of EBB); using a 7.4v li-on battery it was very

responsive and was shooting a respectable power

at 335fps consistently while holding accuracy up to

around 60 meters, hopping a 0.30g RZR BB with ease.

At 13rps it isn’t the fastest ROF but it is very reliable

and using the polymer 120rd midcap magazine

supplied it didn’t miss oneshot.

The magazine fit is one of the best I’ve seen on an

AEG and I’ve seen a lot! It clicked in without the need

to force it and once clicked in, not one bit of wobble,

quite frankly a flawless fit (I wish I could say that

about more AEGs!). So if you are on the lookout for a

rifle with a budget price but which offers you so much

more, this would be one to have a look at; I wasn’t

even looking for a new rifle but at that price and the

fact it’s got a full Lonex gearbox I couldn’t resist and

I’m glad didn’t!

Bill P-T: So, you may wonder what I like from 2020

given the fact that I get to range test on average 5-10

AEGs a month, each and every month? You might

think that it would be some “uber-AR” with a Lamboesque

price-tag that you couldn’t access yourself, but

that whole “elite” bollocks “look at me” approach

has never been, and never will be, my way. Yes, I’m

quite happy to drop some of my hard-earned pennies

on something unique IF it is warranted (my G&P

Stoner for example), but when it comes to regular

use-at-a-skirmish AEG then I’m quite happy with the

exact same thing that most of you will be using!

So what really took my fancy in 2020? Four models

really made me sit up and take stock of just how far

the airsoft industry has come recently, and most of

them are sub-UK£250! The CYMA 097 and 098 series

prove that we really do need to put the past behind

us and look at what is in the here and now. Many

retailers are getting directly involved in producing

AEGs in collaboration with an established OEM, and

from what I’m seeing this is a very good thing as the

player is getting exactly what they are asking the

frontline retailers for. At the end of the day these

are models that you can currently buy for well under

UK£200 that look utterly superb, feel so solid that

you could use them to hammer nails, and are more

(way more!) than adequate in terms of performance.

If you’re in need of a cheeky new AR then the CYMA

097 and 098 models are most definitely worth a look

if you’re on a budget, and even if you aren’t!

BOLT had a great 2020 with a number of new

models hitting the stores, and amongst them was

the B4 LRP, which is the one more expensive model

I’ll include here, but it’s a proper “fighting AR” in my

mind, and all the better for that! I really do like this

mid-length carbine, and it strikes me that since I tried

my very first BOLT AR several years ago they really

have refined the BRSS recoil system as it functions

flawlessly and smoothly, and given the quality of

parts and finish overall it just feels “right”. Whilst a

BOLT AEG is never going to be the cheapest option

I can assure that in this case you are very much

getting what you pay for both in build quality and

performance with the B4 LRP, but then again I don’t

think that Tomy at BOLT would sell this to a fellow

airsofter if it wasn’t 100% fully up to the job!

With my “milsim brain” fully engaged then the

Specna Arms/EMG collaboration Daniel Defense

MK18 SA-E19 EDGE that I recently reviewed has to

be on my list! As I said in my review of this super

AEG, it has definitely rekindled my love for all things

NSW, and with a sub-£250 price tag here in the UK

it really provides some serious bang for your buck.

It looks great, feels great, and shoots excellently, so

as far as I can see Specna Arms and EMG have got

this very, very right. I really do like the E19 as it’s an

exceptionally tight package both inside and out, and

care has obviously been taken to provide something

in AEG form that’s fully worthy of carrying that Daniel

Defense name without breaking the bank!

Lastly it’s the Specna Arms RRA SA-E14 EDGE, but

specifically the new evaluation model I was sent with

the ESA-2, SOLAR Trigger, and the programmeable

ASTER V2 fitted; I have to say that as someone not

known for their love of “tech” that everything I have

found on and in this test model has been exemplary

and to me this MUST be included in my list (although

I feel this model may n up being a little over that

UK£250 mark when it becomes fully available!)

because it shows admirably the direction of the future

when it comes to what you will get as “standard” in

an affordable AEG in the not-so-distant future!

As always, our thanks go to Red Cell partners NUPROL

(www.nuprol.com), VIPER (www.viperkit.co.uk),

Attack Sense Smart Targets (www.attacksense.com)

and Invader Gear (www.invadergear.com).

46

FEBRUARY 2021



FEATURE

NEW MODELS FROM VEGAFORCECOMPANY

NEW YEAR...

NEW

MODELS!

ON NOVEMBER 28TH 2020, BILL AND OUR “LEGIONNAIRE” IN TAIWAN, STU “STEWBACCA”

MORTIMER, GOT A CHANCE TO “SIT IN” WITH RAY FROM VEGAFORCECOMPANY TO TAKE A LOOK AT

THE NEW MODELS THAT WILL BE COMING FROM THEM LATER THIS YEAR. NOW WE PULL TOGETHER A

MORE DETAILED LOOK AT THE NEW AEGS AND GBBS TO SHOW EXACTLY WHAT WILL BE ON OFFER!

It’s always very exciting to get a “heads up” on

new models of AEG and GBB that will be hitting

the market in the future and, thanks to the

excellent relationships Airsoft Action has with some

of the industry leaders in innovation, design and

manufacturing, it’s something we are pleased to

report is happening more and more!

We’ve worked long and hard to establish

partnerships with these industry giants, relationships

that are based on trust, integrity and a shared

passion for seeing new models emerge that are sure

to give players around that world that big “Wow!”

factor. Like many of you, we’re 100% fed up with

the “naysayers” out there, who immediately draw a

conclusion on every new model without having even

seen it for real and have absolutely no comprehension

of the development process that has gone into

creating a whole new design.

Luckily, WE actually speak direct to the great people

in the industry that create the wonderful pistols,

carbines and rifles that we take to the airsoft site

or field each weekend and they, in turn, trust us to

report accurately and factually on what they send us

for testing. Like any establishment of trust this takes

time, time that results not only in great business

relationships, but also in true and lasting individual

friendships.

If you watched the video presentation from MOA

in Taiwan last November, it’s patently clear that our

relationship with VegaForceCompany (VFC) (especially

between Ray and Bill) goes far beyond “business”

and there’s a friendship there that has grown over a

number of years based yes, on a shared passion for

airsoft but also in a much broader sense! Perhaps it’s

an example that many could learn from and take time

to develop similar friendly, trusting relationships with

others in our wonderful community, rather than being

so quick to find the negative.

That aside, we’re pleased to be able to bring you

the lowdown on these super new models from VFC

and it is fast looking like 2021 is going to hold some

real gems when it comes to new models!

FULLY LICENCED TO THRILL!

VFC have been making superb strides ahead with

the GBB platforms, both in pistols such as the “1911

Tactical” and rifles like the stunning SR25 ECC, so it

was great to see at MOA that they were flag-shipping

their 2021 line with a superb new licencing agreement

with Bravo Company USA (BCM)!

BCM started in the garage of a veteran United

States Marine in Hartland Wisconsin, shortly after

Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Founded to support

the needs of Private Security Professionals working

48

FEBRUARY 2021


FEATURE

NEW MODELS FROM VEGAFORCECOMPANY

in theatres where

military components

for their weapon

systems

were not readily

available,

BCM (Bravo Company

MFG,

Inc.) started to create

professional

grade weaponry manufactured, reinforced and

tested to meet the unforgiving needs of the

professional – and to be frank, they haven’t looked

back!

They’ve earned a great reputation amongst

professional users worldwide and it’s fabulous to

see VFC joining forces with them to create some

stunning looking airsoft carbines! The BCM MCMR

(GBBR) benefits from a World-First BCM Full License,

with a full authorised accessories setup that includes

the BCM MCMR (M-LOK®) handguard! Internally

the MCMR benefits from steel parts and a steel bolt

carrier, along with VFC’s own patented “GuideHOP”

adjusting design. This looks to be a VERY tight

package and specs are:

• Length: 716/790 mm

• Inner Barrel: 275 mm

• Weight: 1,958 g

• Energy: Max 2 Joule

• Material: Steel, Alloy, Polymer

• Magazine Capacity: 30 BBs

Next up is another great “US-driven” design in GBB

guise, the M110K1!

The Knight’s Armament website tells us: “Winner

of the U.S. Army award as one of the “Best 10

Inventions” of 2007, the M-110 Semi-Automatic

Sniper System (M-110 SASS) is a precision 7.62mm

NATO caliber, gas-operated rifle that is highly

acclaimed for its battlefield performance. The rifle’s

inherent accuracy, quick-change 20-round magazine,

ambidextrous controls, abundant MIL-STD-1913 rail

mounting capabilities, and highly effective sound

suppressor system all contribute to the system’s

combat success. Like the Mk11, the heart of the

M-110 system is a 20” Chromoly 5R Cut rifled barrel.

To meet Army requirements for service in the

current theater of operation, a durable flat dark

earth colored coating is applied over standard

protective finishes.”

This superb-looking GBBR is no doubt going

to please “NSW” players out there too, as we’ve

read that the Department of the Navy Office:

Naval Sea Systems Command is looking to buy

MK110K1 uppers from Knight’s Armament and

it’s said that Knights Armament Company has offered

them an improved, capability upgrade to the upper

receiver assembly for the M110K1 SASS. The new

upper receiver is for 6.5mm Creedmoor rather than

7.62mm and allegedly provides longer distance shots

and increased range. Benefitting from similar internal

features, VFC have done a bang-on job of replicating

this up-to-the-minute rifle, with the specs being:

• Length: 904/989 mm

• Inner Barrel: 420mm

• Weight: 3,614 g

• Energy: Max 2 Joule

• Material: Steel, Alloy, Polymer

• Magazine Capacity: 20 BBs

If you are more an AEG player though, then VFC

have you covered here too!

Their MK48 “Maximi” will no doubt become a firm

favourite with many players, as it offers something

different to the support gun area and benefits from

being a practical, ultra-lightweight design. It’s also

interesting in that it has an all-new AEG gearbox

design, feeding from either a detachable 5,500 BB

box mag OR an internal 1,000 BB reservoir! We think

this is an awesome advance for the airsoft support

gunner, offering great versatility while removing the

need to have an external box if you desire! Specs here

are:

• Length: 1,000 mm

• Inner Barrel: 465 mm

• Weight: 3690 g

• Energy: Max 2 Joule

• Material: Alloy, Polymer

• Magazine Capacity: 1,000 BBs (plus!)

Also on the AEG front is the striking Avalon SPR

“BCM STARTED IN THE GARAGE OF A VETERAN UNITED STATES MARINE IN HARTLAND

WISCONSIN, SHORTLY AFTER OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM IN 2003. FOUNDED TO

SUPPORT THE NEEDS OF PRIVATE SECURITY PROFESSIONALS WORKING IN THEATRES

WHERE MILITARY COMPONENTS FOR THEIR WEAPON SYSTEMS WERE NOT READILY

AVAILABLE…”

www.airsoftaction.net 49


COVERT

BOOT

BLACK / BROWN / TITANIUM

/ SRP: £49.95


FEATURE

NEW MODELS FROM VEGAFORCECOMPANY

which we’ll

be taking a look

at in detail soon

there’s more

“Old Skool”

GBB PSG-1!

This

but

to come for the

amongst us, in the form of a

stunning rifle, the

“Präzisionsschützengewehr”, or

precision shooting rifle was a semiautomatic

sniper rifle designed and produced

by Heckler & Koch and much beloved of special

police and military units during the 70’s and 80’s.

It holds a special place in hearts of many airsofters

and Stewbacca was obviously very taken with it “in

the flesh”! Its widely acknowledged that a certain

Japanese manufacturer dropped the ball for once

when they replicated this rifle in 6mm AEG form but,

knowing VFC as we do, there’s a lot to look forward

to with their version.

The VFC HK PSG-1 faithfully replicates the

appearance of the PSG-1, making use of steel

stamping in the upper and lower receivers, along with

a reinforced steel charging handle latch assembly. It

also replicates the PSG-1 Style adjustable cheek rest

stock, along with that unique PSG-1 style dedicated

pistol grip with adjustable palm shelf. Specs here are:

• Length: 1,220/1,280 mm

• Inner Barrel: 650 mm

• Weight: 5,200 g

• Energy: Max 2 Joule

• Material: Steel, Alloy, Polymer

• Magazine Capacity: 20 BBs

And sticking with “old skool”, there’s one more

GBBR that has been causing quite a stir, not only for

the rifle in question but for the many derivatives of

the original design (including the L1A1 SLR!) and, of

course, the rifle is the LAR, AKA “FN FAL” (GBBR)!

VFC have been teasing us with the LAR for some

considerable time and it is a thing of absolute

beauty that stuns all who see it. As the world’s first

“FAL” GBBR, the early model style is completely and

accurately reproduced, with steel front and rear sights,

steel gas

tube, steel

outer barrel

and of

course, steel lower and

top cover!

Inside there’s a steel

7.62 style realistic bolt carrier assembly, so for living

history/airsoft crossover this should take down in a

very similar fashion to the real deal! Specs are:

• Length: 1,095 mm

• Inner Barrel: 491 mm

• Weight: 3,949 g

• Energy: Max 2 Joule

• Material: Steel, Alloy, Polymer

• Capacity: 20 BBs

We understand that the LAR will come in two

“levels”, with a “collector” variant and one that is

more keenly priced for the skirmish market. We are

100% looking forward to seeing both soon!

Of course, this is not all that VFC have up their

sleeves for 2021, as undoubtedly their pistol program

will move on apace and the glimpse we were given of

the “1911 Ultra Carry” had a certain member of the

Airsoft Action team getting all a’flustered as soon as

it appeared at the end of the video presentation from

MOA! This super-short 1911 (we are told) is based on

their “1911 Tactical” that was released in 2020 - and

this was a pistol that we reviewed VERY positively - so

we have high hopes for its “little bro” too!

Undoubtedly there will be more from VFC as the

year progresses and we look forward to featuring as

many as possible of their new offerings in more detail

but for now, we’d like to express our sincere thanks to

Ray, both for the video presentation from MOA and

for providing more information to us for this article!

Do be sure to check out the VegaForceCompany

Youtube channel and www.vegaforce.com for the

latest updates as they appear. We are certainly looking

forward to working with them as things move on! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 51


armoury

G&G CMF16 AEG

AEG

TEMPTATION

IT IS NO SECRET THAT AA’S LEGIONNAIRE IN TAIWAN, STEWBACCA, IS NO GREAT AEG FAN,

PREFERRING INSTEAD THE THUNDER AND FIRE OF USING A GBB, SO WHAT DID HE MAKE OF G&G’S

CMF16? READ ON TO FIND OUT…

Since arriving in Taiwan most of my efforts have

focused on building my own Gas BlowBack

pistol, SMG/PDW and rifle collection, having

not had as much opportunity to do so in my previous

years in the UK, due to the much higher cost of

acquiring them there and the poorer weather

conditions for using them effectively in gaming

scenarios. I haven’t even bothered to acquire any

AEGs until very recently and still need to get my own

batteries and charger, as well as midcap magazines to

help me evaluate them when I get samples or access

to them.

Despite this aversion towards electric guns over

recent years and love for all things loud and heavily

recoiling, nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised when

I got to handle the CMF16 series during my visit to

G&G Armament in Changhua county, during the

research for my feature back in the September 2020

issue. I was even more pleased when Rick and Apple

sent me a shiny new model to evaluate following its

very recent release and addition to their product line.

The CMF16 and CMF16K are M-Lok foregrip

variants clearly modelled after the wildly popular

Heckler & Koch HK416 Armalite derivative, albeit

without claiming any officialdom or licensing in their

naming or markings. The CMF16K being the shorter

of the two variants with a CRS style telescopic CQB

stock and shortened fore-end and barrel assembly,

while the standard CMF16 I received is the slightly

longer of the two, with a more traditional Crane-style

stock and plenty of space for nunchuck batteries in

the rear.

Of course, being a total H&K fanboy I was more

than happy to add this to my collection and was

immediately impressed by the attention to detail.

Despite the Combat Machine series being aimed

at general users, or perhaps being viewed as the

“sportline” or more economical or conventional

range of AEGs, G&G have packed a lot of features in

as standard that you tend to find only in the higher

echelons of many of their competitor’s product

offerings.

AMBI-EVERYTHING

The CMF16 represents the latest HK416A5 incarnation

and accurately replicates the ambidextrous controls.

The fire selectors are very positive in their movement

and easily accessed and operated on both sides of

the receiver but do not cut into the trigger finger of

your firing hand (as can be the complaint with some

other platforms which make use of ambi-selectors),

while the magazine release is present not only in

its standard right trigger finger release position but

also with the typical left side flapper button setup,

allowing operation by either the trigger finger of your

52

FEBRUARY 2021


armoury

G&G CMF16 AEG

firing hand, or the thumb of the support

hand, regardless of which your strong hand

is. Similarly, the bolt release controls are also

faithful in their operation.

Even though this is an AEG and thus

the bolt catches have limited realistic use,

G&G took the time to make both releases

on either side operative and they allow the

release of the fake bolt carrier group in the

ejection port. Retracing the charging handle

locks this to the rear to open the ejection

port and allow access to the hop up unit

control wheel (in a fashion now typical

for AR AEGs) and actuating either release

than drops this fake bolt assembly or shell

forwards to close the ejection port and once

again conceal the hop unit control wheel.

The flip-up iron sights are also of

excellent quality, made of metal and with

the appropriate adjustment controls for

the rear peep sight which can be raised or lowered

for elevation shifts with the serrated sleeve around its

main body pillar, as well as featuring a windage dial

knob on the right side of its mounting base. The front

sight also has an adjustment wheel for elevation of

the central post and both the iron sights are bolted

onto the continuous picatinny accessory rail along

the top of the upper receiver and front handguard,

so can be easily removed if they are surplus to your

requirements. However, given the 400mm of rail space

available, they should be able to remain installed but

kept out of the way and deployed in the hopefully

unlikely case you have an optics failure. These are

perfect and the point of impact was smack bang in

the middle of the sight picture for my first tentative

shots straight out of the box! I was extremely happy

with this, given my past experiences of playing around

with both sights ad nauseum trying to set them.

COMFORT HANDLING

The general handling of the CMF16 is extremely

comfortable. It weighs in at exactly 2.5kg, with the

supplied high capacity magazine fitted but without

ammunition or a battery present. Given the size and

profile of the rifle, this is quite noticeable and makes

it very easy to wield. The overall extended length is

825mm, 300mm of which is taken up by the midlength

front handguard that replicates the popular

short-barreled rifle setups of many AR platforms. This

itself is a surprisingly strong and lightweight structure,

with 5 M-Lok bays on the sides and bottom and a

reasonably open skeletal structure of the intervening

faces. It also features QD Sling loop mount sockets

on both sides of its rear end, either side of the top

picatinny rail, allowing for lots of slinging options in

conjunction with the aforementioned wire style buffer

plate, as well as the more traditional sling slots present

in the Crane style buttstock.

The handguard is also very comfortable, especially

compared to the older quad rail style and without

the bulk or serrated edges of these more outdated

setups. The M-Lok stretches out to the perfect length

even for my considerably long arms; my hand just

reaches the end of the handguard itself and adding

a vertical foregrip or similar angle grip to the bottom

surface would make for a very easily controlled front

end, along with its light weight and relatively slender

profile. The pistol grip has a pleasantly bulbous profile

that fits in the palm of the hand nicely, giving a very

positive grip, as well as featuring ridges on the front

strap and a mottled surface on the side surfaces for

added controllability in both bare, or gloved hands,

while the downward bowed trigger guard also allows

more space for comfortably inserting a gloved trigger

finger too.

All of this adds up to a platform that just points

and shoots exactly where you want it to, with great

ease and negligible bulk or discomfort. But it’s what’s

inside that counts, right? On that front I was also very

pleasantly surprised!

Having never had anything to do with MOSFETs or

other electronics, given my departure from AEG use

just as these were becoming more of a normalised

trend and increasingly prevalent in stock guns out

of the box. G&G’s on board ETU gives an excellent

level of responsiveness and effortless and enjoyable

shooting, it allows for very rapid semi-auto followwww.airsoftaction.net

53



armoury

G&G CMF16 AEG

up shots. Having made use of it in-game a few times

recently at action bunker and their SpeedQB oriented

bottom floor setup; at my most recent game day

switching to using the CMF16 AEG immediately

levelled the playing field for me compared to the

previous rounds trying to use my HK416 GBB against

the more dedicated speedsoft players. The ability to

lay follow-up shots almost instantly led to me wiping

the field on the first round I employed it in - especially

with the accurate iron sights and the easy addition of

my tracer unit to the front muzzle thanks to its easily

removed birdcage flash hider and the thread under it.

BATTERY SPACE

The battery space is fairly reasonable, with both side

pods of the crane stock being accessible by twisting

the end caps inwards once the butt stock is removed

from the buffer tube. The ETU components also

reside in their heat shrink wrapping within the slightly

skeletonised buffer tube, with the side slots in it

allowing for the ETU and wiring to be maneuvered

and oriented for reassembly once the battery is

installed.

I recently took the CMF16 to the Police/SWAT team

training centre at Linkou CQB Club, where airsofters

make use of the same room entry and killing house

setup as the local security services (when the more

official guys with real guns aren’t training there!).

With a much wider space to play in I was able to

really stretch the legs of the AEG and was pleasantly

surprised by the overall effective range. Making use

of BLS 0.3g tracer rounds and the XCortech XT301

as usual, I was managing to consistently get rounds

through narrow gaps or windows with ease, all in the

same responsive double tap style I had used in the

more enclosed environments before.

Thus far I have been very happy with the

performance and sheer ease of handling and use

that the CMF16 presents, the only downfall I have

experienced is magazine related. The supplied highcapacity

manual winding wheel magazine seems to

feed fine on the initial winding but occasionally it will

jam up during more extended games, or on successive

windings of its mechanism. Likely due to the same

issues that plagued P90 high caps in the past, the flow

of pellets moving into the “bases” or spaces between

the teeth of the main feeding wheel likely gets

impacted or disrupted.

I’ve found the best remedy is to remove the

magazine from the gun, invert it to take the “load”

of the rounds in the main chamber off the feeding

wheel and give it a short, sharp whack on the spine

of the magazine against a wall or door to unseat

whatever loose BB round has jammed the wheel. You

can hear it freewheel a little and refill the front tube

that the rounds are pushed up from the reservoir. This

is the only issue I have encountered and judging by

the trends and shifts in the airsoft market these days,

the prevalence of increasingly high-capacity sprung

loaded/mid-cap style magazines that operate by a

simple spring and follower but offer nearly the same

capacity of a more conventional winding high-cap

mag, this problem can no doubt be entirely avoided

with the use of suitable mid-cap magazines without a

detriment to capacity.

Overall I’ve been really pleased to see the features

and performance G&G have managed to cram into

such a good value for money product. Despite never

owning one of their guns before, I’m more than

happy to recommend their latest products and their

clearly advanced features to new or experienced

players - and keep the CMF16 on hand for CQB or

SpeedQB gameplay alike.

I’d once again like to extend my thanks to G&G for

providing one of their latest releases - and particularly

for choosing a Heckler & Koch themed one which fits

nicely within my existing collection! I look forward to

seeing more from them in the future and what they

bring to market and offer to players. AA

www.airsoftaction.net 55


RELOADED

UMAREX KWA H&K MP7 GBB

THE OBERNDORF

TYPEWRITER

AS A SELF-CONFESSED H&K FANBOY, OUR “LEGIONNAIRE” IN TAIWAN, STU “STEWBACCA”

MORTIMER, WAS DELIGHTED WHEN HE FIRST GOT HIS HANDS ON THIS ICONIC REPLICA. NOW HE

LOOKS BACK AT HOW THINGS HAVE GONE SINCE THEN.

The MP7 has become somewhat of an iconic

firearm of its era - with very distinctive aesthetics

that make it seem like the natural progression

of the Uzi or other pistol grip magazine submachine

guns or true machine pistols. It has featured so

prevalently in video games, films and other media

as well as finding widespread adoption with many

security services - I’ve personally seen them in the

hands of train station police operatives while visiting

Europe after the Paris attacks, as well as their use by

the UK MoD Police for defending nuclear sites, among

countless other high profile deployments.

It truly is an all-round winning platform that

really defines the Personal Defence Weapon (PDW)

classification of weapon, as well as representing the

pinnacle of submachine guns or small calibre select

firepower in an ultra-compact form. Thompson

coined the original Submachine gun “SMG”

moniker to describe his creation, which later became

known as “The Chicago Typewriter” for its use in

the gangsterism of the US prohibition era and its

eponymous “rat-tat-tat-tat” muzzle report. Now the

MP7 must surely be its most modern successor to

the throne, “The Obendorf Typewriter” - a smooth

cycling, accurate, lower recoil, high capacity platform

that levels the playing field and squeezes so much into

such a small and handy package.

If I could only have just one of my guns, this would

probably be it!

KWA/KSC MP7 REPLICA

The KWA/KSC GBB replica of the MP7 is largely based

off the Tokyo Marui and thus suffers the same issue

regarding it being undersized compared to the real

steel version, at around 80% of real size. Basically,

Marui rushed to be first to market with an MP7

variant just as the real steel ones were being released

to market and were therefore still somewhat elusive

and very difficult to source reference material for.

Unfortunately, in their haste they (allegedly) scaled

their drawings and dimensions of the real gun to work

from, with a photo where it was being held by an

atypically large gent demonstrating it, so they ended

up with a somewhat mismatched weapon basing the

overall sizes on an incorrect dimension.

Despite this somewhat atypical inaccuracy on the

part of the Marui and this KWA offering with overall

dimensions, the MP7 GBB is nonetheless an excellent

replica in terms of its operation, out of the box

accuracy and consistency, reliability and aftermarket

optional extras or spares and availability. It is easily

field stripped and the bolt carrier group can be

maintained with relative simplicity. However, I have

avoided detail stripping my own wherever possible, as

having had to break down everything aside from the

fire control mechanism, as it looks like a pain in the

backside to deal with and is retained within the lower

section of the inner cassette that pulls out of the rear

of the main body once the trigger and selector levers

are removed.

IN USE

In terms of my usage thus far, having bought mine

second hand (albeit not so heavily used) from a

teammate back in early 2018, after running just my

KWA HK45 for my first few months of playing in

Taiwan. I have had exceedingly positive experiences

for the most part, the hop unit and internal barrel

coupled with the short stroke of the internal bolt

mechanism and large gas and ammunition capacity

56

FEBRUARY 2021


RELOADED

UMAREX KWA H&K MP7 GBB

magazines, make for a very sharp kicking action

that delivers very accurate fire within CQB distances

of up to 30m. I have run a clone Aimpoint T1 red/

green dot sight on mine since getting it and have

rarely had to re-zero the sight and it maintains the

ability to hit a 4-inch IPSC plate from 15-20 metres

with ease and repeatability. I’ve even managed single

shot eliminations in some games where all I could

see of the exposed opponent was an elbow! The

noise is pretty epic - although occasionally somewhat

deafening in prolonged usage - a distinctive ear

splitting “bark” that lets you know where and when

one is being fired in game. On some days at Action

Bunker in Taipei I’ve seen as many of eight players at

once running the KWA MP7, so its popularity must

extend beyond my praise for it!

LONGEVITY & WEAR

Over the time I have used the KWA MP7 I have put

countless magazine loads through it, carrying four

40 round real capacity magazines on my plate carrier

and sometimes managing to expend all 160 rounds

in some longer games. Even when using single or

double taps for eliminations, the gaming intensity in

Taiwan can ensure a real Agoge for any gun used.

Some of the earliest failures I encountered were the

typical sealing or maintenance issues regarding the

magazines.

This isn’t particularly detrimental or unexpected to

my mind and is somewhat par for the course for most

of my GBB pistols or PDWs, but it is something to be

aware of. In the longer term, the top edges of the

magazine followers and the bolt hold open arm they

interact with inside the main body of the gun, seem to

have all worn down to a point where they no longer

work to hold the bolt open on empty for three of my

magazines anymore. So I recently replaced these as

well as acquiring a spare bolt hold open arm, although

the follower replacements alone have resolved the

issue for the time being and all my magazines now

lock open again on empty.

In terms of internals, however, I have had the bolt

carrier out and apart a few times and had to replace

it entirely once already. The downside of such a short

and violent - but enjoyable - recoil action, is the stress

imparted on the piston and the front retaining face

of the bolt itself. The telescoping gas nozzle is held

in place with a front block, that is held into the main

bolt carrier unit with four small screws - two each side

– and this tends to be the main failure point for the

stock bolt carrier groups. The relatively thin front wall

sections tend to break away after a few thousand (or

maybe tens of thousands) rounds - I lose track of just

how much I put downrange at times! But even my

replacement bolt carrier is once again starting to show

signs of this wear and, although you can continue to

run the bolt in this state without too much trouble, it

obviously isn’t ideal.

One minor thing I would mention is perhaps the

left-hand side bolt release catch. Situated forward of

the trigger and fire selector (and in a similar manner as

with some ambidextrous Glock model issues I’ve heard

about), the whole unit seems to flex across the gun’s

axis too much. Trying to use the left-hand bolt release

when dropping the bolt with an empty magazine

fitted (if for some reason you want to, rather than

a fresh magazine with rounds in) is difficult (if at

all possible), as it doesn’t disengage as positively as

the right-handed one, which sits directly atop the

magazine follower and bolt release.

IN SUMMARY

These really are a perfect CQB weapons platform, with

all of the compact, “point-ability” and ease of carry of

something like a pistol but having the shoulder-firing

capability and inherent accuracy and repeatability that

brings, as well as plenty of real estate for mounting

optics.

To round things off, I really can’t recommend the

Umarex KWA H&K MP7 GBB enough to people! I

haven’t had a huge amount of experience (or heard

much about) the VFC or WE Tech GBB models thus far

but I’m very interested to run a comparison of them

all if I get the chance. Suffice to say other members of

my team and many other players at the sites I frequent

seem to be happy having invested in them. AA

www.airsoftaction.net 57


KIT & GEAR

THE GREY MAN

THE

GREY

MAN

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

THE SUBJECT OF A (YET TO BE

RELEASED) FILM ON NETFLIX,

THE “GREY MAN” HAS BECOME

WIDELY (AND WILDLY) POPULAR

ACROSS AIRSOFT, WITH MANY KIT

MANUFACTURERS PRODUCING THEIR

OWN VERSION OF “GREY GEAR”.

HAVING CHECKED OUT THE REST OF

HIS KIT, BILL TURNS HIS ATTENTION TO

HIS OWN PERSONAL “GREY”.

Being the “Grey Man” is all about operating in

a way that won’t draw attention to yourself,

blending into your environment and hiding

in plain sight. It allows you to move unnoticed and

combines, not only certain tactical skills but also kit

that will help you achieve your end! Combined with

a “direct action” mindset, “Grey Man” skills can

give you the edge in any setting but especially in the

modern-day urban maze!

One thing that being largely “off duty” has allowed

me to do is look at certain areas of my personal kit

and the money that I’ve saved by not getting out

to site, has now been invested in upgrading my old

“Grey Man” gear in readiness for the moment that I

can get back out to play in earnest again. Although

I do love a huge “woodland” site, like many of you I

also love a bit of fast and furious CQB/CQC action, so

as the rest of my kit is up to snuff, I decided to revisit

my personal “grey gear” for that setting.

Every so often something just catches your eye and

sends you in a completely different direction. A lot of

my friends have been heavily influenced recently by

LE/CTSFO loadouts, decked out in “grey kit”, with Ops

Core lids and some fancy tricked out SIG rifles and

carbines. Although I personally don’t want to head

down that specific route, the idea of bringing my

own gear bang up to date inspired by those loadouts

struck me as a good one.

The whole “Grey Thing” has been another of those

trends in the tactical world that has just caught on,

and virtually every manufacturer out there has their

“Wolf, Slate, Storm, Frost” or simply put, grey. This

has particularly come into focus in the UK, as our

CTSFO teams initially made grey their uniform “colour

of choice”.

The idea behind this is a straightforward one; in

today’s modern urban environment we have a LOT

of concrete and tarmac so grey is an obvious choice

to “blend in” to the background. Previously, tactical

teams would inevitably be drawn the traditional

“black gear” although, in reality, black actually sticks

out like a sore thumb in most urban situations as

black is not a naturally occurring colour. Are shadows

black? Is it black at night? You could argue that in

both cases the answer would be “yes” but in reality, if

you’ll pardon the expression, it’s all shades of grey.

Arc’teryx LEAF in fairness were probably the first

of the “Big Names” to drive this forward in any

meaningful way, but others were lightning fast to

follow their lead and numerous manufacturers came

together to create mutually supportive and compatible

clothing and tactical gear that all worked well

“NO CORNERS ARE CUT IN TERMS OF FABRICS, MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION, SO WHEN

YOU BUY INTO A BIG BRAND YOU REALLY ARE GETTING THE RIGHT STUFF, NOT A SUB-

STANDARD COPY THAT’S GOING TO COME APART JUST BECAUSE YOU LOOK AT IT!”

58

FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

THE GREY MAN

together. Many of the “names”, though, took their

time about things and the “big boys” of the tacticool

world are huge international companies that have the

luxury of being able to really work things through,

rather than just jumping on the bandwagon for the

sake of a quick buck. “Real deal” gear has always

been popular with airsofters, as manufacturers really

do build for the “real world” so every single thing that

they make has to be 100% fit for purpose. No corners

are cut in terms of fabrics, materials and construction,

so when you buy into a big brand you really are

getting the right stuff, not a sub-standard copy that’s

going to come apart just because you look at it! As I

always say, spend your money wisely! Yes, you’ll pay a

little more for gear from brands but in the long term it

will wear much, much better than cheap copies.

These days we are seeing brands that make gear

specifically for airsofters and whilst some of these

“airsoft brands” are not cheap, they’re not into

the big-buck territory and are actually 100% fit for

purpose and good to go every bit as much as those

“names”! Over the past year or so I’ve been working

more directly with the guys over at Invader Gear and

have come to both like and trust what they produce

in terms of clothing and gear. Invader Gear provide

tactical gear, clothing and accessories that are created

specifically for airsoft; providing a range of UBACs,

shirts and trouser models as well as gloves, pouches

and vests at competitive prices in a range of colours

and camouflage patterns they can pretty much give

you a full-spectrum gear solution without you having

to break the bank doing so!

FADE TO GREY

I wanted to create a modular set of kit based on one

“core” set of gear, so the first choice I had to make

was the basic uniform and it all had to be grey… in

this case Invader Gear “Wolf”. Invader Gear offer

a considerable range of shirts and trousers and

personally I wanted the option of both a “duty”

shirt and a UBACS and the Revenger shirt is a classic

Tactical Duty Uniform (TDU) top but with thoroughly

modern features. With two breast pockets, two

angled arm pockets, all of which feature “stress part”

reinforcement, plus there’s also a pencil pocket on left

forearm make the design complete. The shirt has a

velcro and button front closure, with a mandarin collar

that can be worn up or down to ventilate, or indeed

to protect the neck from BB strikes. The fabric here is

a tough-as-old-boots mix, 35/65 ripstop polycotton.

If you favour more of a UBACS style shirt, the

Invader Gear Combat Shirt features high quality

standard fabrics and components and, as the shirt

is usually worn under body armour, it is designed to

avoid pressure marks and to provide good moisture

wicking properties. The modern cut is well balanced

for a not too tight (but also not too loose) fit which

keeps it comfortable and the collar has a quality zip

by YKK, which can be worn open or closed to avoid

intrusion of debris. Large upper-arm pockets provide

quick and convenient storage and the elbows are

reinforced with an additional layer of fabric, which is

also intended as a compartment for elbow pads. The

sleeves, collar and shoulder area of this shirt are made

of a sturdy 65% cotton/35% polyester rip-stop woven

fabric for great comfort and fast drying properties,

www.airsoftaction.net 59


STRETCH

PANTS

BLACK / DARK COYOTE / GREEN

/ SRP: £69.95


KIT & GEAR

THE GREY MAN

whilst the torso is made of an incredibly comfortable

80% cotton/20% polyester knit fabric with good

moisture wicking performance. This specialised

proprietary blend of mechanical stretch polyester and

cotton material works brilliantly together!

In terms of pants, I decided to move away from

my normal “classic BDU” style, instead opting for

something a little more

“Hi Speed Lo Drag”, in

the form of the Predator

Combat Pant. Made of the

same rip-stop fabric, along

with durable stretch panels

and integrated (removable)

kneepads, the Predator

Combat pant is Invader’s

“take” on the modern

combat trouser and

matches up to the Combat

Shirt perfectly. If you fancy

a more traditionally-styled

pant though, you can

check out the Revenger

TDU Pant that matches the

shirt.

FULLY LOADED

With clothing options

sorted, now it was time to

get down to business.

First up, I wanted a simple belt system so that I

could carry a secondary and affix a dump pouch. The

PLB MOLLE Belt is a strong, durable and comfortable

multi-purpose belt, which makes it ideal for tactical

wear. It’s perfect to carry a holster and sidearm

without rolling or deforming and it features a sturdy

web inner belt with a MOLLE padded cover. Of course,

this means it’s ideal for loading up with more pouches

if you need to when worn as a standalone and Invader

Gear offer an entire range of magazine and utility

pouches exactly for this reason.

Talking of holsters, Invader Gear offer a number

of solutions for these too. As well as a well-made

yet simple Belt Holster, they also offer two models

of Dropleg platform, the SOF and straightforward

Dropleg, along with a MOLLE leg platform should you

wish to carry more than just a holster. All the holsters

are available for both lefties and righties, which makes

a pleasing change!

Wanting more? No problem, as Invader Gear offer

a multitude of solutions with several different types of

plate carrier and tactical vest in their line, along with

a MOLLE compatible Cargo Pack which can be direct

fitted. To finish things off you really only need to add

some boots, lightweight gloves (the Lightweight FR

Gloves look right to me) and shooting glasses and

you’ll be good to go!

One thing that Invader Gear have - and something

I’ve wanted for ages - is a combat shirt called the

“Flannel Combat Shirt”, which is a very cool beastie

indeed! With a main body made from a block-colour,

comfortable wicking stretch fabric and the shoulders

and sleeves from a plaid, heavy-duty, soft-touch

material (which both looks and feels great), plus the

high zip collar and upper arm pockets with Velcro

give it a real “tacticool” vibe. There’s even additional

“pockets” over the elbows if you want to add

additional pads. For this loadout I chose the black/grey

plaid but after some discussion with Red Cell, we’ve

adopted the red/black version as our “team strip”, so

expect to see more of these in the future! To finish off

I already have a favourite “lucky ballcap” but Invader

Gear also offer Helmet Covers in various colours and

patterns, so a FAST cover in Wolf Grey quite literally

tops things off for me!

So, my inspiration for this loadout came from

my friends and team-mates and then I let my mind

wander to create something a little different that

would work for me. All the gear is beautifully put

together from first rate materials and even though

this is not the cheapest setup I’ve ever put together,

it’s also by no means the most expensive and I know

everything is going to last for some considerable time

- and will work in virtually any urban environment. If

you find something that inspires you then follow your

heart and go for it, no matter what it may be but as

always, I’ll say do your research, buy right and buy

once!

My sincere thanks go to the guys at www.

invadergear.com for their kind co-operation in pulling

this article together and for providing some superb

images as (of course) I’m still stuck in lockdown like

many of you reading this and can’t do my own as I

usually would. Please visit their excellent website for

all your gear needs …and much, much more! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 61



Helikon-Tex®

MCDU® Combat Shirt

Unmatched Comfort on a Mission

• Two zippered bicep

pockets

• Sleeves made of NYCO®

fabric

• Torso made of TopCool®

fabric

#Journey to Perfection


FEATURE

MAKING AIRSOFT IMMERSIVE

MAKING

AIRSOFT

IMMERSIVE

AMONGST THE AIRSOFT ACTION CREW WE’RE LUCKY TO HAVE SOME EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED

PEOPLE AND NOT JUST FOR THE OBVIOUS REASONS! WHILST EVERYONE INVOLVED IN AA IS A SOLID

PLAYER, THEY ALSO LOOK AT DIFFERENT ELEMENTS OF THE GAME TO SEE WHAT CAN REALLY MAKE

A DAY OF BB-SLINGING INTERESTING AND THIS MONTH RED CELL MEMBER, JAMES, LETS US IN ON

HIS VERY LATEST PROJECT!

What makes an airsoft event great? A very

open question which I’m sure if you asked a

group of 50 players each would have their

own different answer! Airsoft comes in many shapes

and forms, from target and competition shooting,

speedsoft and skirmish days through to Milsim, with

many other genres in-between.

Recently, myself and a few other friends played at

a site local to us, Imperium Airsoft in Kent (reviewed

in the January 2021 Airsoft Action edition) and

although one event was a Battlesim and the other a

skirmish day, one common theme that stood out to

me was my immersion into the event. To have military

vehicles roaring by as you take cover behind Hescos,

the ricochet of incoming BBs and the occasional

incoming pyro mortar round going off, along with

comms buzzing away in your ear, all added to the

“fog of war”. This got me thinking again about the

role of props in airsoft, how they can add to the player

experience and turn an everyday event into something

more memorable.

We have all probably been to “that” event, where

you have to carry an old ammo tin with “Bomb”

painted on the side, from one edge of the site to

another without being shot, or seen the cardboard

missile tube making its way to a launcher - but props

can be so much more than that! What if they could

be interactive and drive along the narrative of the

event? With this in mind, myself and Mr Bill-P-T went

in search of all things “props” and I also headed to

the workshop for a few ideas of my own. Over the

next few articles we will show you in depth what we

came up with!

GO BIG OR GO HOME!

My first idea came to me on a rainy lockdown

afternoon sat in my workshop. “Start small” was my

intention but then I thought “We could launch an

ICBM… Okay, big it is then!” After a fair amount of

Cold War research, I decided upon the classic “missile

silo and launch post approach”. This wasn’t going to

be a mobile prop and would be a fixed installation on

an airsoft site. The only other (not so small) issue was

it wasn’t something I could build inside my workshop,

“THIS WASN’T GOING TO BE A MOBILE PROP AND WOULD BE A FIXED INSTALLATION

ON AN AIRSOFT SITE. THE ONLY OTHER (NOT SO SMALL) ISSUE WAS IT WASN’T

SOMETHING I COULD BUILD INSIDE MY WORKSHOP, SO QUEUE A CONVERSATION WITH

THE LONG-SUFFERING WIFE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW BUILDING IN THE

GARDEN BEGAN!”

64

FEBRUARY 2021


FEATURE

MAKING AIRSOFT IMMERSIVE

so queue a conversation with the long-suffering wife

and the construction of a new building in the garden

began!

That minor problem solved, it was on to the fitting

out stage.

The first task was the main launch control panel

and desk. The launch sequence is a multi-stage

process, with the controls wired in series, so one stage

of the process must be completed before the next is

powered and ready and so on, so that the operator

follows a linear route. Each stage operates various

controls, such as fuelling the missiles or opening the

silo blast doors ready for the final launch, which, of

course, is done by a big red button!

Although the launch position doesn’t conform to

any real-world system, I still wanted it to have that

“Cold War” era feel, which was achieved by working

period electronics and items collected. Some of the

original electronics did require rewiring or upgrading

to make them in line with today’s safety standards,

which of course has to be done by a qualified person.

Luckily/unluckily having studied electrical engineering

at college in my younger years, that person was me!

Some of the various stages require codes, or

physical tasks, to be done before the launch sequence

can be completed, which is where this system could

fit into an event. Missile fuel, launch codes and target

coordinates will have to be acquired from various

site locations and times during the event and either

radioed in via the comms system on a designated

channel, or physically brought to the launch site,

culminating (if successful) to the ICBM’s launch.

Once the launch button is pressed, a 12v signal is

sent from the position to the engine detonator, to

start the missile engine. So far, the system has been

tested with a model rocket using a C6-3 rocket motor,

which happily achieves an 800ft attitude in under two

seconds! However, after a quick chat with fellow AA

Red Cell member John “Boycie” Turrell, from Virtus

Training Systems, hopefully we will be able to come

up with something with a bit more bang!

The silo itself will be the next part to this project, so

I will update soon! AA

“SOME OF THE ORIGINAL ELECTRONICS DID REQUIRE REWIRING OR UPGRADING TO

MAKE THEM IN LINE WITH TODAY’S SAFETY STANDARDS, WHICH OF COURSE HAS TO

BE DONE BY A QUALIFIED PERSON. LUCKILY/UNLUCKILY HAVING STUDIED ELECTRICAL

ENGINEERING AT COLLEGE IN MY YOUNGER YEARS, THAT PERSON WAS ME! ”

www.airsoftaction.net 65



CHUVILLE

HOODIE// £25 .00

HOODIES & FLEECES

FALLBACK SHOOTER

HOODIE // £60 .00

ogv crew

FLEECE// £48 .00

FALLBACK crosshatch

HOODIE // £60 .00

NOW IN STOCK // ONLY AT TACTREE

VIEW ALL VIKTOS GEAR // SHOP NOW


armoury

WETECH G36C GBBR

GEWEHR’S

THE PARTY?

RECENT EVENTS IN THE “REAL” WORLD PROMPTED STEWBACCA TO PEN A

LONG-TERM REVIEW OF ONE OF HIS ALL-TIME FAVOURITE AIRSOFT PRIMARIES.

Given the recent furore in the real steel

community over the alleged replacement,

by the Haenel MK556, of the relatively longserving

Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle platform

as the individual weapon of the Bundeswehr - the

German armed forces - following controversy over its

alleged wandering zero when used in a manner not

originally intended by its design brief and in the desert

extremes of Afghanistan by German ISAF forces, I

figured this would be a good juncture to field my long

term review of one of my favourite airsoft guns of all

time. In this case, not the Marui G36C AEG that was

my first ever primary weapon, nor the JG AEG that I

bought a few years later having sold the other but the

WETech “G39” G36C GBBR I now have.

Having studied and worked in Nottingham for 14

years before I moved to Taiwan in late 2017, I’ve seen

real G36Cs up close, in the hands of the local ARUs

- Armed Response Units - of the Nottinghamshire

constabulary. This includes witnessing the “hard stop”

action of a suspect as I was passing by on a bus and

also in the hands of airport police at East Midlands

Airport, from where I would often fly to Northern

Ireland or Barcelona to see family and friends. I

wanted to create a setup in homage to the carbine

that the police carry, using an EOtech 552 replica and

at one point, a torch - although I removed that as the

bulb was shaken loose by the recoil!

I’ve always loved the somewhat aggressive aesthetic

of the G36C, with the floating upper picatinny rail

and its shark tooth zig zag underside profile, as well

as its all-round rails on the shortened handguard and

dark polymer finish.

PLASTIC FANTASTIC

Always having been a fan of plastic fantastic guns,

I was very happy to find the WETech G39 replica (of

course renumbered due to licensing - or lack thereof)

available here in Taiwan at such a ridiculously low cost.

Myself and about five other teammates have since

acquired one each for 3600NT, which is the cheapest

gun I’ve bought in all my time here, even compared

to all my pistols, working out at around £90GBP! An

absolute steal when I remember meeting some guys

at the Stan in Sheffield years back, who said they

had to drop £400GBP on their setups. The economy,

aesthetics, lightweight and ease of use, wielding, let

alone maintenance make it an ideal choice for a first

GBBR for those venturing into the field.

I purchased my own back in KUI Airsoft’s Zhubei

store back when I was still living and working there,

not long after acquiring my KWA MP7 second hand

from another teammate. I had been going through a

bit of a buying spree and saw this beauty at the knock

down price while a colleague and I were shopping

for his first GHK G5 GBBR late one night after work.

Suffice to say, we dropped around 20,000NT that

night between us in buying guns, magazines, optics

and other accessories and I happily walked away with

my first ever full size carbine in GBBR form.

As it is largely composed of reinforced polymer

throughout, just like the real steel rifle. The WETech

G39 weighs in at just 3.43g and that’s my current

setup fully accessorised with twin magazines clipped

together and fitted, an EOTech 552 replica on its

top rail, as well as a vertical foregrip installed on the

front underside rail. That’s around a kilogram lighter

than my WETech MP5k PDW with a similar setup, just

68

FEBRUARY 2021


armoury

WETECH G36C GBBR

because of its use of a steel receiver. It is much more

compact than the G36C but noticeably heavier and

more tiring to throw around all day in games, plus

the G39 is comfortable to handle with its chunkier

external dimensions.

The folding butt stock is very rigid when extended

and I’ve never experienced any wobble issues with

it. Collapsing and extending it practically every game

day to make it easier to fit into the secondary smaller

bay of my gun bag, while one of my ARs will usually

take up the main compartment due to only having

telescopic stocks and the associated rigid buffer

tubes. The stock also features a deep and comfortable

rubberised butt pad, that spreads the pretty significant

recoil force into the shoulder and prevents the stock

slipping during handling or movement, providing a

stable platform and very comfortable and repeatable

cheek weld - especially when using the likes of an

EOtech or similar optical sight instead of the irons.

The stock has a simple plastic sling loop in its rear

lower section, while a sturdier loop is integrated into

its locking lug that the control button latches into on

the left side of the rear receiver. I tend to run a single

point fastex buckle off this point that clips into my

plate carrier. The other sling points are at the very

front of the handguard on both sides underneath.

The stock itself also includes the customary holes for

keeping the body pins in during take-down.

The hollow pistol grip is built into the fire control

group section held into the main receiver boy with

two of the pins, along with the removable magazine

well which shares the front of these pins and also

latches onto the front of the receiver with its hooked

protrusions. The entire field stripping procedure is

basically identical to the real steel rifle in this respect…

Remove the magazine, cycle the action to cock the

hammer, then remove these two lower body pins

and remove the fire control group and magazine

well. The stock can then be folded to the right and

latched against the case deflector built into the side of

the receiver and the retainer plug beneath it levered

backward and down out of its retention slot, pulling

the captive recoil spring and rod with it, then allowing

the bolt carrier itself to be removed through the rear.

The magazines of the G39 snap together with

retention studs and ports in the same manner as

the real steel equivalents, however, I only ever use

them in pairs. Putting three or more together puts

too much torque on the magazine well and tends

to cause stoppages due to the slowing of the bolt

carrier movement, as well as making the whole setup

too cumbersome to handle or effectively reload.

These attachment studs also tend to shear off in use,

especially if the magazine pairs are dropped during

fumbled reloads or otherwise over-stressed. I have

resorted to gluing them back on and just duct taping

my magazine pairs together more rigidly, as well as tie

wrapping fastex buckles to the bases of them to allow

them to be attached to my rig (given the difficulty in

finding magazine pouches to suit). HSGI 556 tacos

are suitable for single G36 magazines, despite the

attachment studs, given their flexible nature and

retention chords.

The magazines themselves have large internal

gas reservoirs and provide ample gas supply for as

many as four full loads of 30 rounds before requiring

recharging. Using green gas (or “12kg”, as it is

known as over here), the G39 delivers in the region

of 125m/s (1.56J) using 0.2g BLS BBs, although I run

mine on 0.3g for improved consistency. The out of the

box performance and accuracy are also surprisingly

good despite the economy of the GBBR, I’ve been

easily able to attain shots on the typical 4” round

steel plates within 15-20m ranges at Action Bunker

and regularly achieve single shot, or double tap

eliminations in games using it in conjunction with the

EOtech replica.

The trigger unit has a very short and crisp break

and reset, allowing for rapid follow up shots, the

cycle time of the full stroke action being more of a

limiting factor. It presents a comfortable and intuitive

action in conjunction with the ambidextrous selector

levers. I tend to use mine on semi-automatic only due

to the game restrictions at most CQB sites here, as

well as my preference towards well-aimed shots and

ammunition conservation, or continuing my past real

steel marksmanship training from half a lifetime ago.

IN ACTION

Fully auto can be fun, however, I’ve found that’s

where most of my issues occur.

On my first outing with the G39 I managed to

shear off the loading protrusion on the bottom of

the bolt face by firing off all my magazines on full

auto in quick succession at the end of the game day.

Cool down can still be a thing in Taiwan, especially

given the large volume of gas used in each shot due

to the bulky bolt carrier group, long travel and thus

strong gas piston powered recoil impulse required to

get it moving. This makes for an excellent gameplay

experience, sending single or double tap shots

downrange and really shakes your shoulder well but

firing lots of full auto will nonetheless cool down the

bolt group and thus makes it increasingly likely some

of the plastic will break off in the process of rapid

fire. The long stroke also makes the nozzle inherently

www.airsoftaction.net 69


armoury

WETECH G36C GBBR

unstable in its travel within the bolt carrier, which

means it is much easier to use it for a longer period

using controlled shots or bursts and not overstressing

the whole assembly. I’ve had the same breakage issue

twice in all the time I’ve had the G39 and both times

were mag-dump related. You’d think I would have

learnt after the first instance, at least now I avoid it.

RATech in Taiwan make an array of CNC machined

aluminium replacement nozzles for a variety of GBBR

platforms to avoid this issue but I have thus far been

fine replacing the nozzle system with cheaper plastic

standard parts and avoiding using full auto as I have

no practical need for it anyway. I have, however, used

their replacement parts for the valve striker assembly

(that hits the back of the magazine valves to release

gas and fire the action off), having worn the original

units down twice due to the extreme amount of use I

put the G39 through. I regularly put as many as 20 full

magazine loads through it per week, just doing target

practise at KUI on their electronic range in Zhubei

after work when I still lived there. I put a hell of a lot

of rounds through it doing that - and wore down the

original trigger sears as well in the process.

I’ve replaced the whole fire control group with a

donor unit my teammate gave me from his project

gun and then recently made another Youtube video

of me transplanting the RATech valve striker into that

from the original to return it to normal performance.

As the front face of the original stock striker wears

down you start getting shorter stroke of the magazine

valves and thus “light strike” issues, with insufficient

gas escaping into the bolt and piston system, thereby

causing short stroking of the bolt and feeding issues.

Again, bear in mind this is after an extreme amount

of use given that my G39 was my go to fun gun for

a long time before my collection further grew when I

moved to Taipei.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Aside from this (fairly standard) mechanical wear

and tear and given the massive cost savings on the

much lower initial outlay of the original purchase,

I’m extremely happy with the performance and

serviceability of the WETech G39 GBBR during the

excess of three years I’ve had it and enjoyed fielding it

at various sites around Taiwan, as a dependable and

very predictable rifle that gives an awesome gameplay

experience with its accuracy and recoil noise and force

fun factor. For the most part, however, I rarely tend

to carry all four of my magazines in interconnected

pairs, due to the cumbersome nature of them and

related difficulty in handling and reloading. I tend to

carry the 60 rounds of the two magazines in the gun

and use them up, which is usually sufficient for most

close-range games. If I run that dry, I sling the G39

across my back and draw my sidearm, which serves as

a good way to close on opponents and still get some

pistol action. In short, the WETech G39 offers a great

value for money and performance out of the box,

whether you are an avid player, or a beginner, or new

entrant into GBBR ownership. AA

70

FEBRUARY 2021



THE CAGE

RESOLUTIONS

2021

NEW YEAR...

NEW RESOUTIONS

(AND NEW GUNS!)

AS WE ENTER 2021 THERE ARE STILL CHALLENGES AHEAD OF US DUE TO THE ONGOING DANGERS

OF THE C-VIRUS SITUATION AND OF THIS WE MUST ALL BE MINDFUL BUT, WITH HOPE ON THE

HORIZON, WE CAN ALL START TO LOOK AGAIN TO THE FUTURE AND TO GETTING BACK OUT ON THE

FIELDS AND SITES WITH OUR FRIENDS AND FELLOW PLAYERS. BILL UPDATES ON THE PROGRESS THE

MAGAZINE MADE IN 2020 AND SPOKE TO THE AA CREW TO SEE WHAT CHRISTMAS BROUGHT THEM

- AND WHAT THEY’RE HOPING FOR IN 2021!

2021 really has arrived with a complete and utter

mixed bag of emotions for me, if I‘m honest.

I’d hoped (both professionally and personally)

to be hitting a New Year firmly on the go, both in

terms of exciting new projects for Airsoft Action and

in being able to get out and get my game on with my

friends. Plans were in place for Red Cell (more on that

in this month’s Red Cell article) and in the run up to

Christmas I was having some great conversations with

members of our international “Legion” about games

and events for the coming year.

Sadly, everything ground to a shuddering (but not

wholly unexpected) halt, as the UK began to shut

down in response the latest strain of the virus that’s

ravaging many parts of the world - and our options

once again dwindled away before our very eyes…

It might seem that, in many ways, 2020 was an

absolute bust in airsoft terms and it’s all too easy to

concentrate on the negative. However, looking back

over what’s been achieved “in-house” over the last

twelve months, I can only give everyone involved with

Airsoft Action a hearty (virtual, of course!) high five

for a job very well done!

In incredibly adverse conditions the commitment of

the AA team has been unquestionable, with everyone

putting the job in hand in front of all else! It’s very

easy to slack off when things get hard, something

we see in many games if I’m honest but, as usual,

it’s those committed people who pick themselves up

and crack on; adapting, overcoming and ultimately

triumphing in spite of adversity! I’m righteously proud

of our entire team, for not only rising to the challenge

but kicking it out of the park!

Here at Airsoft Action we have not only cemented

our position at the forefront of global airsoft media

but have taken this forward with the regular, free-to-

“IT MIGHT SEEM THAT, IN MANY WAYS, 2020 WAS AN ABSOLUTE BUST IN AIRSOFT TERMS AND IT’S

ALL TOO EASY TO CONCENTRATE ON THE NEGATIVE. HOWEVER, LOOKING BACK OVER WHAT’S BEEN

ACHIEVED “IN-HOUSE” OVER THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS, I CAN ONLY GIVE EVERYONE INVOLVED WITH

AIRSOFT ACTION A HEARTY (VIRTUAL, OF COURSE!) HIGH FIVE FOR A JOB VERY WELL DONE!”

72

FEBRUARY 2021


THE CAGE

RESOLUTIONS

you-the-reader, monthly publication of the magazine

online! Not only that but with the daily updates to our

website, in the form of industry news, updates and

articles, we are now in a fabulous position to offer

even greater coverage for all our fellow players around

the world!

The decision to convert Airsoft Action into a

fully-digital publication was taken after more than

two years of planning and research, as our digital

readership continued to evolve and expand globally.

Based on this, we decided that the March, “post-

IWA 2020” edition would be our first digital-only

publication and that by going completely online,

we would also make the magazine free to read

for everyone and enable Airsoft Action to be read

anywhere, at any time!

At the heart of our decision was our “raison

d’être”… To positively and professionally promote

airsoft and provide the widest possible coverage as

efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, so that

readers, wherever they are in the world, would be

able to read every issue on any device, at any time.

But was our decision the right one?

Based on the fact that in the months from March

to December 2020 almost HALF A MILLION of you

dipped into Airsoft Action for your monthly “airsoft

fix”, I think we can say our decision was most

definitely the right one!

It strikes us that the importance of a trusted -

and trustworthy - media source who will actively

communicate with you to achieve the very best

reporting of new and existing products, bringing

clarity and honesty from us as players, to you as

players, in a professional and reliable way is now

greater than ever!

2021 may have started slow again for obvious

reasons but that “slowtime” is almost over. Until we

reach the point that we can all be together again

as one, united in our passion and love for all things

airsoft, then you can rely on Airsoft Action to be there

- and be there consistently, month in, month out - and

our thanks go out to every single one of you for your

continued support and faith in us to be “good to go”,

even when things are rough!

NEW YEAR, NEW RESOLUTIONS (AND

NEW GUNS!)

With hope in our hearts, the AA crew are champing

at the bit to get on with things, not only in terms of

what we do in the magazine but also, like you I’m

certain, in relation to our own “guns n’ gear”! So,

the CAGE question to the team to start the New Year

was an obvious one... “What airsoft goodies did you

actually get for Chrimbo? And what are your New

Year airsoft-related resolutions?”

Boycie: “Airsoft related goodies? Well, first off a

KWA T6 for the base of my “CMMG build”. I also

had the chance to do the deep laser engraving on

the lower receiver before it went off for Cerakote. I

did treat myself to a SIG Air RDS for my M17, which

is almost the same as the SIG Romeo 1 on the real

steel version, so that pretty nice. And resolution(s)?

To actually play more and to get a game day in with

fellow Red Cell members!”

Stewbacca: “I didn’t really do Xmas (as such) out

here in Taiwan but I guess you could say that I treated

myself to a bunch of bits on the leadup! I picked up

my own chrono, a bunch of MP5 mags and parts and

an EOTech 558 for my T91. As for resolutions... More

of the same in my case, I guess. I rounded out 2020

on my 50th IPSC training session, so hopefully I can at

least match that this year and get more competitions

and skirmishes done too!”

Bill W-R: “I got a British Army Deployment Bag that

was all airsoft related along with some new taclites,

a scope, a PEQ box and a gucci stainless steel bolt

handle for my Stryker, as it was also my birthday on

the 14th. Resolutions? To keep the weight loss going

for 2021!”

www.airsoftaction.net 73


Airsoft & MilSim News Blog

@AMNBOfficial

Airsoft & MilSim News Blog

@airsoftmilsimnewsblog

AWARD WINNER

WWW.AIRSOFT-MILSIM-NEWS.COM

If you have any old kit or gear tucked away in a

cupboard, garage or shed that you have thought about

sticking on eBay, or a forum to get rid of it, then why

not donate it to the Pilgrim Bandits instead and Tez will

make sure any money raised from its sale will go

towards helping even more people – and you can be

sure of the undying gratitude and thanks of those who it

helps to live again.

Please contact Tez on either his mobile: 07748 800 981

or email: terry.arnett@pilgrimbandits.org


THE CAGE

RESOLUTIONS OPTICS

Jimmy: “So, for Christmas my dear wife went all

out (chosen by me of course)! I got a BO Dynamics

LK595 CQB in a lovely shade of grey (grey is the new

black again, don’tchaknow?), a Wadsn DBAL A2, and

a Wadsn Scout Recon taclite. My New Year’s airsoft

for many reasons and a new Surefire X300 made an

appearance for my GBB pistols, along with a new

Theta Holosight/Magnifier Combo for the new MK18.

I finally got the internal upgrade parts for my “DMR

Project” (more on this in a future issue of AA!) and

I l also replaced my aging Under Armour with some

rather nifty “snakeskin” compression undergarments

for the winter months …but that’s probably just a

little too much information right there!

The overwhelming response though, from everyone

at Airsoft Action, is that we are all more than keen

to get back out and play again. In fact, like you, we

are gagging for a game! The good news is that we

only need be patient for a while longer until the

vaccination process kicks fully into gear and then it

will be full-steam-ahead once more!

With “big game” information both at home and

abroad beginning to filter in once again and with

manufacturers telling us that they have a LOT to

come in 2021, the middle and back-end of the year is

looking righteous and we are all truly looking forward

to seeing some of you at a game or event somewhere

sooner rather than later now.

Until then, keep safe, and keep it real …it’s in all

our best interests! AA

resolution is to try harder to expend less ammo…

Unless of course I’m rocking a drum mag …then I’m

bringing the heavy rain!”

Björn: “So far… Nada!”

Steve T: “Much like in every other area of life, this

chrimbo disappointed for airsoft gifts, i.e. nada! That

said, all my loved ones are still alive, so I’ll take that!

This year’s New Year’s resolution is easy… get back to

playing once the jab is more than jibber jabber…”

Bill P-T: For me it’s all about some choice little “gifts

to self” and so a “few” little goodies “may” have

made their way under the tiny tree that I have in my

home office… The biggie was the CYMA M16A1

www.airsoftaction.net 75


VORSK DIARY

ENTER HI-CAPA THE 5.1 VP-X! SPLIT SLIDE

ENTER

THE

VP-X!

REGULAR READERS OF AIRSOFT ACTION WILL KNOW THAT WE’VE BEEN INTIMATELY INVOLVED WITH THE VORSK

TEAM AND THEIR PASSIONATE DRIVE INTO THE WORLD OF GBB PISTOLS AND AS WE ENTER A NEW YEAR IT JUST

SEEMS THAT WHAT THEY’RE OFFERING US IS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER! IN HIS ONGOING “VORSK DIARY”, THIS

MONTH BILL TAKES A LONG LOOK AT THE NEW VP-X PISTOL AND GIVES IT SOME “PUNISHMENT”!

As a full-time airsoft writer and reviewer, I have to

admit that it’s very easy to become somewhat jaded

when yet another GBB or AEG is released! You may

find it hard to believe but being employed within the airsoft

industry I get to see literally hundreds of models each

and every year and sometimes, when you have a monthly

deadline it’s all too easy to receive a sample for testing and

simply place the box in the corner of the office (with all the

others), until it’s time to look at it in detail or take it to the

range.

I know, “first world airsoft privilege problems”, right?

However, I’m pleased to tell you that this is a rare

occurrence for me as I am a genuine “gun bunny” and,

much as I might have a personal preference for certain

styles, and indeed certain manufacturers, I treat each and

every model I receive to test with equal enthusiasm and

with respect for the people that have created it. There’s still

something truly wonderful about getting a package and

tearing open the wrapping to see what wonderful airsoft

magic has been delivered - and this is becoming increasingly

the case when a new model arrives with me from the guys

at Vorsk!

Since this new brand started rolling - and I’ve been

exceptionally privileged to have seen ALL the models from

the very first to arrive to the very latest to come out of

the shipping container - I’ve been consistently impressed

(as have thousands of you!) by both the high quality of

presentation and the level of “out of the box” performance

that is on offer. This is a range of pistols that started

superbly with those distinctive Hi Capas and EUs and has

continued to thrill me. In fact, I would go as far as saying

that Vorsk “1911s” have helped to rekindle my personal

love for that venerable platform, after many years of being

almost exclusively a user of “striker-fired” models.

Those initial Hi Capas and EUs are still very dear to me

but subsequent releases from Vorsk have taken things in

new and unique directions. There’s the increased efficiency

and shooting performance of the Split Slide, the “big boy”

Titan 7 is a real handful of airsoft fun to say the least, and

the sheer drop-dead gorgeousness of the VX-9 (that also

introduced that awesome extended inner barrel to the

range) showed that there was a “fun” element to Vorsk

that fully embraced one of the core tenets of airsoft itself,

that of “suspension of disbelief”.

Airsoft, to many of us, is an escape from the mundane;

a chance when gameday comes for us to shake off all

the troubles and woes of “real life” and become who we

dream of being. Over the years I’ve seen super-young “Nam

Grunts” and “Operators” who look to be fast approaching

retirement age but when “Saturday comes”, they enter the

gamezone where age, gender, colour and creed cease to

matter and itis all about the airsoft!

76

FEBRUARY 2021


VORSK DIARY

ENTER THE VP-X!

The VX-9 really played to that, with its cool “Hitman”

vibe, especially if (like me) you ended up with that superb

twin pack with the extended magazines! And the new

VP-X takes that exciting uniqueness forward, both in look

and lore! As with all their pistols, the Vorsk team don’t try

to give credence to their creations by adding any spurious

trademarks, leaving the superbly engineered bodies and

slides bare, apart from their individual serial numbers. In all

honesty, they don’t need to rely on any other name other

than their own, as the models stand up to testing and

scrutiny quite well enough, thank you.

PUNISHER LORE

The new VP-X builds on the “lore” side of things by being

quite unashamedly “Punisher”, without actually being

called that and with a twin pack available, it’s going to pick

up a huge fanbase for that reason alone!

From the mid 1970’s, the story told in Marvel

Comics (and also on-screen in both movie and serial

formats) of “Frank Castiglione AKA Castle AKA The

Punisher”, who wages a one-man war on crime using

various special weapons and tactics,

is

one that’s gripped generations of

readers and viewers. As a former Force

Recon “Nam” veteran, of course he’s

comfortable with a huge variety of

weapons and fighting styles and even

gets to use some pretty unusual ones,

but my personal vision of him is always

with an M16A1/M203 combo, an

Uzi and of undoubtedly his signature

custom black and silver 1911s!

The Vorsk VP-X nails that look

perfectly and in-house we’ve already

started calling them simply the

“Punisher Pistols”. However, looks are

not everything and as cool as the VP-X

undoubtedly looks, that’s backed up

by quality and performance.

Externally this 1911/MEU hybrid

features a bespoke Vorsk

compensator, stylised

pistol grips and a dualtone

colour scheme. As

usual with bespoke Vorsk

designs, the attention to

detail is great throughout

and little things like

the magwell

chamfer to properly accommodate a flat-baseplate singlestack

15 BB magazine, just goes to illustrate this.

Vorsk tell us regularly that “all of our pistol designs are

passion projects” and the VP-X is no exception to this rule.

A full metal construction with an anti-porous, electrostatic

finish means that the VP-X is going to put up with some

abuse and with a choice body colour complimented by a

secondary colour found on the moderator, trigger, magrelease,

hammer, slide-lock and other furniture, it’s going to

look great as it does so.

The slide features two 90° vertical slide grips, a fixed

Vorsk compensator and V-notch iron sights (standard

models), or a Vorsk RDS with a bespoke sight mounting

plate. The rear sight is one that is easy to acquire quickly

and it can be removed completely on the RDS model.

There’s also a cool-looking trigger, a uniquely flared

magwell incorporated into the backstrap assembly to aid

with quick reloads, a rounded hammer and serrations on

both the front and rear of slide. This is particularly useful

in relation to the twin-pack on offer, as you can rack the

slide against an hard surface if you’re dual-wielding! All

models have a chrome outer barrel and spring guide, while

new high-stipple pistol grips finish off

the strong look of this pistol. The small

touches of secondary colour result in a

very stylish “1911” indeed.

On the short 10m range the VP-X

performed flawlessly on NP 2.0 greenbottle

gas and using RZR .20g BBs it

chrono’d very nicely indeed with a pretty

darn consistent 0.94 Joule/319fps, even

on a chilly day! Accuracy is great too, as

it easily rang the steels at both 5 and 10

meters on .25g RZRs!

Overall, I believe that Vorsk have

another absolute winner on their

hands with the VP-X and if you need

a skirmish pistol that looks superb,

handles solidly and runs like a train,

to enable you to hand out some 6mm

“punishment” of your own, then

this is a model that you are

100% going to want in your

GBB handgun collection.

You can check out more

on the VP-X and the rest

of the extensive Vorsk GBB

pistol range by visiting

www.vorskairsoft.

com AA

www.airsoftaction.net 77


KIT & GEAR

MAXPEDITION HEAD-TO-HEAD

MAXPEDITION

HEAD-TO-HEAD

“EDITORIAL INSPIRATION” COMES IN MANY SHAPES, SIZES AND FORMS AND THIS MONTH, WHILE LOOKING

FOR A LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO QUIET HIS BOISTEROUS PUPPY, FRENCHIE SPOTTED SOMETHING THAT

GOT HIM THINKING…

The inspiration for this (and next month’s) piece

comes from Tucker Pringle. “Tucker” is a nineweek-old

Springer-Collie mix puppy with savage

little teeth! As I was casting desperately around for

something that he could chew, my attention alighted

on my Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack. “That’s tough” I

thought and let the wee bu**er loose on it.

From there it was but a short step to wondering

how cheap copies of this established bag measured

up to the original. I have both the Jumbo Versipack

and the Proteus from Maxpedition from reviews I did a

lifetime ago and both are widely copied designs. I hit

Amazon and eBay to find the cheapest copies of each,

with the only conditions being low price and that they

must replicate the function of the original as closely as

possible.

A word about pricing… At present you can get

the Jumbo Versipack from Maxpedition’s website for

$69.00. Normally they’re over $100 but that reduction

isn’t reflected here in the UK so expect to pay around

£90 GBP.

The competitor in this head-to-head is the

“Seibertron Multi-functional Tactical Assault Gear

Sling Pack Range Bag Heavy Duty Shoulder Strap

Hiking EDC Messenger Molle Bag Travel Camera

Compact Utility Military Bag”. Yes... A bit of catch-all

labelling there, I think. This style of bag isn’t in my

mind strictly “military” - they’re not bail-out bags with

magazine pouches - and I use them as, well, bags, or

if you want to roll with the lingo du jour, EDC (Every

Day Carry) bags. In the USA, the large, zipped pocket

is designed for concealed carry amongst other things,

in most of the rest of the world it’s just a pocket.

The Seibertron cost £22.99 new, so significantly

less that the Maxpedition. The question to be asked is

does the Maxpedition justify its additional cost?

The Seibertron is obviously based on the Versipack

design although there are a couple of notable

differences. The side-mounted bottle holder is mesh

instead of solid nylon, there is a small, secure pouch

mounted where the Versipack has none and it lacks

the external clip (key clip?) found on the original.

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KIT & GEAR

MAXPEDITION HEAD-TO-HEAD

The specifications differ considerably too, although

in fairness, the Seibertron specs could probably have

been “bigged up” a bit had the seller wished to do

so.

The nylon on both bags is PU backed to improve

water resistance. Both can be expected to shrug of

rain and mud but neither can be safely submerged!

Rather than use up acres of space describing each

design in detail I’ll add a couple of photos which show

the main features and discuss their differences in more

detail. However, I will give you a brief overview that

applies to both bags. There is a large, shaped back

panel with padded areas to cushion the wearer, to this

the main components are stitched. There is a spacious

main compartment covered by a secure top flap and

a drawstring. Beneath the top flap is a zip-secured

pouch with an internal divider and an open pocket on

the outside. The top flap is secured by a substantial

nylon clip and features a small, zipped pocket and a

larger pocket that sits atop the main section when

all is closed up. The flap can be tucked into either

the main compartment or the rear zipped pocket if

you need easy and repeated access to the pouches

beneath it.

There is a zipped pouch to the right (as you look at

the bag) and a bottle holder to the left. There is also

the zipped pocket mentioned above. The webbing

shoulder strap has a shoulder pad, on both bags I

have removed this. They work as they’re meant to; I

just don’t like them on any bag. The bag can be worn

on the left or right - if there is a “right” way I haven’t

found it!

It’s a solid utility bag and as player I went through

quite a long period of using bags rather than load

carrying equipment as I found it less encumbering and

more flexible. This wouldn’t be my main choice for a

game unless I was using a shotgun, in which case full

and empty cartridges went into pockets anyway. The

lack of quick access would be a problem in a firefight;

it’s much less of a problem on the high street and

Maxpedition always intended the Versipack as a utility

pouch. That said, with the main flap tucked out of the

way and relying on the drawstring to secure the main

compartment, it is conceivable that you could carry

several magazines and access them pretty quickly. I

think I would combine that with a separate dump

pouch for empties to avoid confusion.

Both bags have a means of securing them around

your waist. The Versipack has a 1” web belt attached

with clips, the Seibertron has a velcro’d belt loop on

the back. Since I dislike this on an EDC bag, both have

been removed.

In use, it’ll be no surprise that both bags function as

intended. I carry my prescription sunglasses in the top

pouch on the flap and small items such as business

cards, penknife, torch in the small pocket. If I were

gaming with either, I would probably leave the glasses

out and tuck the flap flat. In truth, while I understand

the pouch on top, I don’t really like it and may remove

it from the Seibertron once I have photographed it

for this piece. Both have plenty of MOLLE should

you want to add more function to an already well

specified bag.

CONCLUSIONS

I fear it will come as no surprise that there is truly

little to choose between the Maxpedition and the

Seibertron. The Maxpedition is made of heavier

nylon but the construction is similar, both are double

stitched around the seams but I question whether

the few differences that do exist are going to be

significant to most users. I actually find the slightly

lighter nylon of the Seibertron more forgiving; I’ve had

the Maxpedition for years and it is as stiff as it was

when I first got it. Now, the copy will probably wear

faster than the original but even if you had to replace

it once you are still saving money.

If you want the toughest version of this bag, go

the extra mile, and get the Maxpedition. If like me,

you want an equally useable bag, the Seibertron

is well worth the £23.00 being asked for it. Is the

Maxpedition worth £90.00? Honestly? No. I think it’s

overpriced for what it is. The current US retail price of

$69.00 if directly reflected here in the UK would give

us £51.00 and that would make the decision easier

– I would go for the Maxpedition. The truth is there

are many ‘tactical’ bags available from the £23.00

of the copy up to circa £60.00 which are great value

and well made. I have always had a suspicion that

Maxpedition trade hard on their American heritage

but their bags are made in either Taiwan or Vietnam,

just like so many others, so the price isn’t a reflection

of the cost of US labour. I have exactly zero issues with

where a product is made as long as it’s well made for

the price; for me however the Seibertron is a much

better value-for-money proposition. I really like good

quality gear and Maxpedition is definitely that but

were I buying either bag now, the copy would get my

hard-earned cash.

Next month, I’ll compare the Maxpedition Proteus

to the cheapest copy I could find on eBay! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 79


KIT & GEAR

SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

SHOP ‘TIL

YOU DROP!!

2021 APPEARS TO BE STARTING SLOWLY, WITH OUR FAVOURITE SHOPS PHYSICALLY SHUT AGAIN FOR

A WHILE AT LEAST, AND GAMES FOR MANY WILL BE OFF FOR A WHILE TOO, SO WHAT BETTER TIME TO

INVEST THAT MONEY SAVED ON SOME RIGHTEOUS GEAR IN READINESS FOR WHEN IT’S TIME AGAIN TO GET

“GAME ON!” NEW MODELS AND GEAR ARE GOING TO BE COMING THICK AND FAST IN THE NEXT COUPLE

OF MONTHS, AS AEGS AND GBBS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWN FIRST AT SHOT AND IWA WILL STILL BE

COMING, BUT IN A DIFFERENT WAY, AND WE’LL BE UPDATING AS SOON AS WE HEAR ABOUT THEM!

Newly arrived with our friends over at Gunfire are

two new AEG models (both in two colour options!)

that are going to please a lot of players that favour

a “modern SF” style in their looadouts in the shape of

the SA-H11 and SA-H12 ONE carbines! Both these superlooking

“416” style AEGs benefit from striking looks with

a choice of up-to-the-minute rail systems, and are solidly

made from a mix of Alloy, Steel, and Polymer parts. Inside

each of them is the Specna Arms spring release system

the main spring, so you can set your muzzle velocity

so as to guarantee an ideal compromise between

effectiveness of fire and safety for the user himself as

well as other participants, along with local legality.

The AEGs are fully compatible with LiPo and LiFe

batteries. Due to base muzzle velocity of 430FPS

provided by the main spring installed as default

at source, the H11/H12 is perfect for operating at

called “Enter & Convert”. With this system it is possible

to rapidly and quickly adapt the power of the AEG to the

conditions expected onsite without you needing access to

a workshop or a set of special tools; once the gearbox has

been taken out of the replica’s body, the process of spring

change lasts literally seconds.

The advantages of the Enter & Convert system are

hard to overstate. In the light of the current tendency

worldwide to use legal limitations regarding the

muzzle velocity of replicas or internal regulations

inside various groups, the system guarantees the user

a varied set of possibilities and much freedom. The

Enter & Convert system minimal downtime to change

medium range. The set also includes an M90 spring,

which allows to reduce the muzzle velocity to 310FPS

immediately so that the AEGs meet local guidelines

and are perfect for close-range and indoor use. The

gearbox (which is reinforced as standard) hides a

steel main spring guide which is the crucial element

of the Enter & Convert system, along with 8mm

bearings and steel thread-wheels which are placed

on spacers. The system is secured with the use of

four anti-reversals, and there is a type 2 cylinder and

steel breaker. The AEGs are factory-fitted with an

accurate, rotary type polymer Hop-Up unit that allows

very precise and stable regulation of BBs. So, not only

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FEBRUARY 2021


KIT & GEAR

SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

do the H11 and H12 look GREAT, but they’re also

setup to perform wherever you are in the world with

minimal fuss!

G&G Armament are also having a busy start to

the year as they are starting to drop some upgraded

models, as well as totally new ones! First up is a

new model in the GTP 9 pistol series, the Metal Slide

DST! The all-new GTP 9 MS DST features the usual

superb engineering we expect from G&G, along with

their patent-pending whirl cylinder valve which helps

reduce the frost built-up while firing and increasing

gas efficiency, an ambidextrous magazine release, and

a lower Picatinny rail to fit attachments. In addition, a

hop-up tool is located on the bottom of the backstrap

to easily adjust the hop-up inside the barrel, so as with

the other variants you will no longer need to remove

the slide to adjust. The GTP 9 MS DST comes in a

hard plastic case with a speed loader, and an extra

backstrap.

Next up is a re-release of their popular ARP 9, but

with a different twist! Now whilst it’s not a totally

new model, G&G Armament are bringing back their

Limited Edition ARP 9 Gold for 2021, but with a

couple of twists to keep things fresh and interesting!

Due to player demand, they’re bringing it back with

some changes that are sure to please even existing

owners; the all-new ARP 9 Stealth Gold Edition will

feature an SS-50 Mock Suppressor and be equipped

with a 60 round dummy round magazine.

By no means least though we’ve just been given

the “heads up” on the all-new PCC 45, and this looks

to be a cracker! This model has been talked about

online for a little while now, and many thought that

G&G would not be releasing it until much later in

2021, but they’ve just confirmed to us that a test

sample will be shipping to us direct from the factory

in Taiwan imminently for testing, so it would appear

that the wait will not be as long as expected! Whilst

there are few details as yet, what we can tell you is

that this distinctive AEG will come with a G2 Gearbox

with 8mm bearings, a Standard Motor (18000rpm/

Long), and will be a mix of metal and polymer in

construction. The G&G website is already showing

two magazine types for this new SMG, a “bulletfilled”

110 BB (the standard that will come with the

AEG by the looks of it) version, and a plain black 520

BB Hi Cap. We’re absolutely certain that this is just the

first of a whole heap of new models we’ll see from

G&G this coming year, but of course we’ll confirm

them as soon as we know!

Sticking with RIFs for now, there’s one final piece

of news that we can give you this months, and that’s

a “sneak peek” at the latest model to roll out from

VORSK! The Defender Pro is due for release soon

and looks to be VORSKs take on yet another famous

pistol, but as usual with their own distinctive styling

and unique touches thrown in. We’ve been following

this model during the development process so we

already know that there’s a few different things going

on with it (again!), and so far our favourite has to

be the black/black variant that had the development

name of “The Blackout”. Once again, we know

that this is just the tip of the iceberg in what we’re

expecting to see from Vorsk this year, and rest assured

we’ll keep you posted!

Moving on to accessories, our friends at Laylax

over in Japan have obviously been hard at it, and

they finished off 2020 with some righteous releases

including the new Picatinny Rear Stock Base for MP5

users! They tell us:

“Our newest line is aimed at changing not only the

way you attach stocks but also increasing the variety

www.airsoftaction.net 81



KIT & GEAR

SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

of stocks available. The new Picatinny Rear Stock Base

series has been developed to allow for 20mm stock

options including pistol type braces and compact rifle

stocks. The first of this series of new picatinny stock

bases is our MP5 stock base which enables a stockless

MP5k option for any of your full sized Tokyo Marui

based MP5s. Then later you can add our 20mm buffer

tube adapter if you wish to use a M4 stock. Not only

is installation much faster and easier than traditional

stocks, its much lighter, compact, and its height is fully

adjustable. This allows for maximum customization

when it comes to various eye protection solutions

so that you can have optimal sight lines for aiming.

Shooting glasses or Dye masks, adjust it to your

liking!”

This accessory is designed to make your favourite

MP5 even more compact and lightweight, and enables

even more interfacing options. The LayLax picatinny

20mm stock base brings the highly customizable

attachment 20mm platform to the rear of the gun

for a more modern look with a variety of 1913 style

stocks and braces. The included 20mm buffer tube

adapter allows for even more stock options to attach

your favourite stocks, and allows you to pick a stock

height for the best sight lines regardless of your eye

protection!

quick and easy use. Once you transform your stylish

looking backpack into a tabletop gear container,

there’s no going back to traditional gun cases! Try

various configurations and you can transform your

container gun case to best suit your transportation

needs.

Rounding things off though we’ll go back to more

traditional transport options with the S&T Semi Hard

Gun Case; from the outside it looks very nice indeed,

the exterior being a hard-wearing fabric, but it’s what

goes on beneath this that makes it a little bit special,

as sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of

fabric is a polymer framed box which greatly increases

its durability, and offers greater protection to the

contents. Coming in at 900mm long x 300mm wide x

100mm deep it’s sized to fit a carbine/mid-length rifle

and this can be held solidly in place during transit by

In terms of gear we’ll stick with Laylax for a

moment to introduce their new Container Gun Case!

The LayLax Container Gun Case brings you a less

tactical-looking and more stylish case for not only your

guns, but for all of your gear. The case unfolds into

a container keeping all of your gear in one place for

placing the padded internal inserts exactly where you

want them (the biggest of these can also double up

a range rest if you’re zeroing your favourite optic!).

The inserts are made from foam but covered by a

quality polyester fabric, and there’s enough of them

of differing sizes to comfortably secure your primary

and secondary along with a few magazines. On

the front of there’s a nicely embroidered S&T Airsoft

patch, along with a good-sized Velcro panel for your

nametapes/team patches, whilst on one end is a

plasticised sleeve for travel documents or paperwork

you may need to access quickly. His case arrived from

iWholesales containing the L85A3 you’ll see reviewed

this month, so they obviously trust it with their

“special guns”, so we believe you can too!

Once again, until next month, keep safe, where

possible keep shooting, and enjoy your airsoft to the

full! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 83


last post

LET’S GET RUGGED

LET’S GET

RUGGED!

MOST OF US HAVE PROBABLY BEEN IN A GAME WHERE “COMMS” CONSIST OF A VARIETY OF RADIOS

SYSTEMS AND/OR “WALKIE TALKIES”, HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY CHOICE. FRENCHIE TAKES A

LOOK AT AN ALTERNATIVE THAT MIGHT JUST FIT THE BILL, WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK.

There is much talk about the use of comms on

the airsoft field and I know I have contributed

a reasonable amount myself over the years.

Nearly all of this centres on radios, however, there

are those who prefer to utilise a communications

system they already own, namely the mobile phone.

On the face of it, this is an idea with many merits…

your comms cannot be intercepted (well, not by the

average airsofter!), you can conduct silent comms by

text, squad comms via messaging apps and you could

distribute photographic reconnaissance material with

your team.

There are downsides, however. Mobile phones lack

the immediacy of radio, so initiating that ambush

might not be quite so effective if you’re huddling in a

bush furiously typing into WhatsApp… They are also

fragile …and expensive. That’s a poor combination for

peace of mind and the sanity of your bank balance

but there may be a solution - the rugged mobile

phone.

These have become more available recently and,

more importantly, these are armoured smartphones,

not older feature phones or dumb phones with a bit

of rubber attached. So, if you accept that the mobile

phone can actually be a useful skirmish tool, is this

generation of tough phones worth considering?

I like gadgets, so it follows that I’m a bit of a phone

fan. I have always protected my phones with decent

cases and screen protectors where appropriate, so the

idea of a phone that comes pre-armoured is deeply

appealing. You also don’t have to spend a fortune

on these devices – courtesy of Amazon and others

you can pick up a perfectly decent device for around

£100, new. What does that buy you and should you

click on the “Buy Now” button? As ever, the answer is

“that depends”! If you’re a bit of a sad geek like me,

the answer is “yes” …twice! Once because it’s a tank

and twice because it’s not a tank - and this apparent

contradiction will become clear shortly.

BUILT LIKE A TANK!

The more you spend, the more you get. If you need

serious performance from your phone for gaming or

suchlike, the cheapest options won’t do it for you.

If, like me you actually make calls, do a reasonable

amount of social media and handle emails, the

lower cost options are simply fine. I have two rugged

phones: the

Ulefone X7

Armor Pro and

the Oukitel

WP5. Both

run Android

10, both

have 4Gb of

RAM, 32Gb

of internal

storage and

accept Micro

SD storage

up to Loads

of Gb. The

WP5 has an

8000Mah

battery, the

Ulefone X7 Armor Pro

84

FEBRUARY 2021


LAST POST

LET’S GET RUGGED

Oukitel WP5

X7 half that.

Both will

last a day

of full use

no problem

at all. Both

are rated at

IP68 (Ingress

Protection),

meaning

that they will

withstand

1.5m of

water

immersion for

30 minutes,

are mud and

dirt resistant

and are built to cope with drops from one to two

meters. Both have Gorilla glass screens – the WP5 is

5, the X7, 3. Both companies do great videos of their

products being abused, i.e. being run over by cars,

dropped, slung down concrete steps, dumped in liquid

mud, boiled, frozen, used to crack walnuts with the

screen or hammer in a nail – again with the screen.

Seriously impressive stuff!

I do not doubt that a heavy impact at the right

(or wrong) angle could damage the screen but I

watched a video on YouTube in which the reviewer,

having looked at the various features, fired up the

video camera and launched a WP5 out of a first-floor

window onto a slabbed patio. It was utterly unfazed.

They are definitely tougher than the average phone!

Or are they? One thing that is noticeably lacking

from these videos is a comparison with a “normal”

phone equipped with a decent case and similar screen

material. Leave out the water (I accept an unprotected

phone would fail there) but what about the other

tests? I wonder. Sadly, I don’t have the phones

available to try this out for you so I will simply suggest

that your common or garden mobile is a bit tougher

than we tend to give them credit for. I also suspect

that a BB hit from close range to the screen on any of

these phones would put a hurting on them.

Additionally, you could install an application like

“Zello” which allows you to use your mobile as a

walkie talkie and apparently can map hardware as a

PTT. I haven’t tried it, so I make no claim beyond that.

Also, there are some rugged phones out there which

combine both phone & walkie talkie hardware in the

one device. They are currently around the £500 mark

and are almost certainly not PMR compliant, although

they operate across the “right” frequencies.

That said, if you want a relatively cheap but

competent phone for daily use which can cope with

the rigours of the skirmish field, I think that either

of these could be recommended. There are others

available, Blackview, Dogee and even Land Rover,

amongst many others. They all hail from China and

while the manufacturers may be unfamiliar to some of

you, all are well made and problem free.

Of the two I own, the WP5 is a bit of a handful

courtesy of that big battery and some of you (me

included) might find it too much as a daily carry

phone. That’s why I also acquired the X7. It’s much

closer in weight and thickness to a normal mobile

and easier to use for it. Beyond that there is little to

choose between them and I do swap from one to the

other as the mood takes me.

There is definitely a feel-good factor to knowing

that if your phone ends up underwater in a muddy

ditch, it’ll take no more than a rinse with clean

water to restore it to pristine condition. Likewise,

carry it with the screen towards your body and it’ll

shrug off any passing hit it encounters. You could,

with confidence I suspect, crawl up to the edge of

an enemy held trench and toss it in while shouting

“GRENADE!!” at the top of your lungs. The enemy

should panic and your phone survive… but maybe

that’s taking it just a bit too far!

Silliness aside, if you are not overly precious about

your phone or you want something that can put up

with harsher environments at work or during leisure,

I’m happy to recommend either of the phones I own.

I have no doubt that some of the others are as good

or quite possibly better. It might be that freed from

concerns about damage and the associated costs, you

could find a more prominent role for your phone in

your gaming strategies – it’s not as if military forces

world-wide aren’t constantly looking to improve and

increase the flow of information on the battlefield.

Rugged phones may just prove to be the tool that

will help you and your team mates gain that extra

advantage - and before anyone suggests that they’re

not very “tacticool”, I recommend you seek out

photos of Royal Marines using crappy PMR radios

when fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan, when

they discovered that their expensive comms didn’t

function as well as hoped. Use what works! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 85


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