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Airsoft Action - June 2022

Wow! How fast a month can go by, and just how much can we cram into it if we really try! Once again the team at Airsoft Action has got well and truly into the industry to bring you not only reviews, articles and reports of the latest and best in the airsoft market, but once again we delve further, getting "under the hood" of the industry as our "Man in Taiwan", Stewbacca lands a very special report from inside LCT! If you've ever wondered what a cutting-edge airsoft manufacturer looks like, and what their future plans may be then you need to check this one out! Alongside that we've got our usual pages full of airsoft goodness to offer you as Bill looks at the new E&L Essentials AK-12 and the state of the market in relation to all thing "Kalshnikov" in light of current world events, lands his reports of the just-released 1911 Ultra Carry from VegaForceCompany and R9 from RAVEN, and looks back in RELOADED at his iconic Winchester from A&K Airsoft! Dan in the USA gets his hands on a thing of rare beauty in the form of the KWA KO:EVE-ICE Limited Edition whilst Jimmy enters "comp territory" with the APS Mantis GBB! Red Cell are again on point with their update on the "OTHER GBB PISTOLS" that they've been testing over a significant period (no "first look at that's it from AA!), at times to destruction, and the Legion turn their attention to the taclites and LAMs that they favour for "Low Light/No Light" encounters... add to that two full but very different game reports that go "Zero Dark Thirty" heavy, and that's already a whole heap of 6mm righteousness to go at right there! But WAIT... there's MORE as Frenchie takes a look at the T4E crossover kit from Umarex and poses the question of whether airsoft and "the other thing" are actually moving closer together. Add to this our usual spread of updates, articles and opinions and Issue 138 is a "must read" on many, many levels. We hope you enjoy reading it just as much as we've enjoyed creating it!

Wow! How fast a month can go by, and just how much can we cram into it if we really try!
Once again the team at Airsoft Action has got well and truly into the industry to bring you not only reviews, articles and reports of the latest and best in the airsoft market, but once again we delve further, getting "under the hood" of the industry as our "Man in Taiwan", Stewbacca lands a very special report from inside LCT! If you've ever wondered what a cutting-edge airsoft manufacturer looks like, and what their future plans may be then you need to check this one out!
Alongside that we've got our usual pages full of airsoft goodness to offer you as Bill looks at the new E&L Essentials AK-12 and the state of the market in relation to all thing "Kalshnikov" in light of current world events, lands his reports of the just-released 1911 Ultra Carry from VegaForceCompany and R9 from RAVEN, and looks back in RELOADED at his iconic Winchester from A&K Airsoft! Dan in the USA gets his hands on a thing of rare beauty in the form of the KWA KO:EVE-ICE Limited Edition whilst Jimmy enters "comp territory" with the APS Mantis GBB!
Red Cell are again on point with their update on the "OTHER GBB PISTOLS" that they've been testing over a significant period (no "first look at that's it from AA!), at times to destruction, and the Legion turn their attention to the taclites and LAMs that they favour for "Low Light/No Light" encounters... add to that two full but very different game reports that go "Zero Dark Thirty" heavy, and that's already a whole heap of 6mm righteousness to go at right there!
But WAIT... there's MORE as Frenchie takes a look at the T4E crossover kit from Umarex and poses the question of whether airsoft and "the other thing" are actually moving closer together. Add to this our usual spread of updates, articles and opinions and Issue 138 is a "must read" on many, many levels.
We hope you enjoy reading it just as much as we've enjoyed creating it!

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WINNER BEST AIRSOFT MAGAZINE

ISSUE 138

JUNE 2022

ISSN 2634-9515


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CONTENTS

8 ARMOURY: E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

You may be wondering why this month we have chosen to have

a Russian Military AEG replica on the cover of Airsoft Action. The

AK-12 is purported to be the current pinnacle of the AK family, and

one that currently might be shunned by many players who want

nothing whatsoever to do with anything even vaguely Russian; Bill

has a few words to say about this, and not what you might expect!

WINNER BEST AIRSOFT MAGAZINE

ISSUE 138

JUNE 2022

ISSN 2634-9515

Editorial Director: Bill Thomas

Graphic Design: Calibre Publishing

Ad Design: Deadshot Design

Publisher: Calibre Publishing

18 ARMOURY: VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

The industry surrounding the famous M1911 pistol is a huge one,

with all kinds of variations and methods of accessorisation to fit

all tastes. Known to most as a fairly large frame handgun, even

the mighty “Colt .45” has its smaller siblings, and Bill takes a look

at a new model from our good friends at VFC that’s a right little

firecracker!

Wyche Innovation Centre,

Walwyn Road,

Upper Colwall,

Malvern,

Worcestershire,

WR13 6PL, UK.

Tel: +44 (0) 1684 878 003

Web: www.airsoftaction.net

©Calibre Publishing Limited 2021

All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be

reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted

in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical,

photocopying, recording or otherwise without the

express permission of the publisher in writing. The

opinion of the writers do not necessarily reflect those

of the publisher. The editor reserves the right to edit

submissions prior to publication.

FIND US ON…

24 ARMOURY: KWA EVE-ICE

In early 2021 KWA teased us with a sneak peak at one of their

newest series of all-polymer AEGs that were due for release that

year. With the pandemic still raging, production delays became an

acute reality and the release date had to be pushed back. We are

beginning to see these new rifles hitting the market – first with the

KO:EVE-ICE Limited Edition, AND Dan has a LOT to say about this!

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

Editorial Director: bill@airsoft-action.co.uk, write to

us at the Calibre Publishing address above, or talk to

us on Twitter or Facebook.

60 ARMOURY: RAVEN R9

Always keen to hunt out something just a little different Bill takes a

look at the latest RAVEN pistol model in the shape of the R9 which

may just give players an affordable “M9” style handgun, one that

performs reliably, and that could be the answer for many players

that love this now-venerable platform!


Contents

JUNE 2022

JUNE 2022

32 FEATURE: UMAREX T4E

Umarex have been looking to an area

where “bigger balls” are the thing,

and with their T4E range they may

just have found the perfect crossover

from paintball to airsoft, with a

healthy margin of “training platform”

thrown in! Frenchie investigates

further…

64 ARMOURY: APS MANTIS X

Jimmy is a “pistol fanatic” with an

ever-deepening understanding of the

technical side of airsoft though, we

thought he’d be just the man to take

a look at the new MANTIS X RMR

pistol, put it through its paces, and

take a good long look “under the

hood”!

36 TOD: PLANNING AHEAD

It may seem odd to be talking about

gear for Autumn and Winter as we

get into shorts and Tees, but planning

ahead is a HUGE part of dealing with

what Old Ma Nature can throw at

you! Bill takes a look at how you can

start setting up now to be prepared

for when the weather changes again!

68 INSIDE AIRSOFT: LCT

Stewbacca organised a visit to LCT

Airsoft’s manufacturing facility down

in the Southwest of Taiwan’s central

Taichung city, having taken some

extra time off work following a show

to deal with the usual admin and

aftermath, as well as spend some

more time on airsoft related things!

40 RELOADED: A&K WINCHESTER

Seven years ago Bill treated himself to

one of the original A&K Winchester

Lever Action rifles, and it truly fuelled

all of his dreams of airsoft on the

“wide open range”; he now returns

to this western classic to give his

overview on how it has performed…

and continues to perform to this day!

78 GAME REPORT: UK

It’s all about “operations again”

at last, and with games large and

small most definitely “back on” our

resident MilSimmer Jase brings in a

report of “OP CABRIT” run by his

friends from SEO… an Op that both

James and Jimmy may have had a

little bit of a hand in too!

44 CAGE: TACLITES/ILLUMINATORS

The Legion looks at an “illuminating

topic” this month! There’s nothing

better than a good urban game, and

if that’s after dark it’s more enjoyable;

here the crew takes a look at the

taclites and IR illuminators that they

run regularly!

86 GAME REPORT: TAIWAN

With things opening up again in

Taiwan, Stewbacca continues his

personal airsoft drive forward as he

heads to the 6 Highlands Airsoft

site for a unique game with old

mates and run by an old friend, ably

supported by Acetech!

48 RED CELL: GBB PISTOLS

It’s time again to look back at some

of the models that Red Cell checked

out first in Issue 121, and time has

really flown by since then, so it’s time

for the crew to get together virtually

to update their findings, this time

including some of our newer “Cell”

members in the mix as well!

94 LAST POST

While writing the T4E piece, Frenchie

was aware of the limited range

available compared to the vast range

of airsoft guns that there are, or

have been. That got him thinking

about some of the models that were

available and have since disappeared.



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ARMOURY

E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

SPOILS

OF WAR

8

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ARMOURY

E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

SOME OF YOU MAY BE WONDERING WHY THIS MONTH WE HAVE CHOSEN TO HAVE A RUSSIAN

MILITARY AEG REPLICA ON THE COVER OF AIRSOFT ACTION AS WE ARE OBVIOUSLY AND OPENLY

VEHEMENT SUPPORTERS OF THE PEOPLE AND FIGHTERS OF UKRAINE. THE AK-12 IS A RIFLE THAT IS

PURPORTED TO BE THE CURRENT PINNACLE OF THE AK FAMILY, AND ONE THAT CURRENTLY MIGHT

BE SHUNNED BY MANY PLAYERS WHO WANT NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH ANYTHING

EVEN VAGUELY RUSSIAN. BILL HAS A FEW WORDS TO SAY ABOUT THIS - AND NOT WHAT YOU MIGHT

EXPECT!

Whilst I make no bones about my love for

the AK platform in all its many shapes

and forms as a piece of engineering art,

I, like many of you out there have packed away

my Kalashnikovs and my Russian OPFOR gear and I

have no intention of bringing them out of the gear

locker any time soon. And it would seem that I’m

not alone as this has actually been reflected in the

sales of AK airsoft replicas as I’m hearing from many

manufacturers and distributors that “AKs are a hard

sell right now”, and justifiably so.

Whilst we strive to keep politics, and to a degree

real life itself out of airsoft it’s a fact that must be

recognised that, certainly for UK players, that our

Defence in Law for ownership of Realistic Imitation

Firearms (airsoft guns!) is actually intrinsically tied

to the “re-enactment of military operations”. It

cannot be avoided that as I write there is a “military

operation”, or call it what you like but it’s a WAR,

going on in Europe and it’s a bit too close to home

both literally and metaphorically.

We have to be honest and admit that there is a

high degree of “suspension of disbelief” in airsoft;

we dress up as often elite-level “operators” and play

out our dreams of glory at the weekend. Let us be

under no illusion though, as much as we invest in

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ARMOURY

E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

“real deal Gucci” most of us are actually nowhere

close to being real soldiers, let alone “operators” even

if some have actually served in the military. Part of this

“suspension” is that we have the luxury of “degrees

of separation” as the tragic and horrific (more horrific

by the day right now!) war in Ukraine continues to

play out, but for me those “degrees” have worn very,

very thin.

Airsoft encompasses themed games and events

are often driven, and sometimes sold to us as

“inspired by real world events”, and even historicallythemed

games and scenarios are often driven by real

operations of the past. Many of those operations have

taken place far, far away from us geographically and

there is often a “cultural disconnect” that comes into

the equation. People in most of the recent conflict

zones look very different from us; their style of dress,

environment, houses and cars look different, so

somehow they have become less “real” to us. But

here is a war that is taking place where people look

exactly the same as

us, they dress the

same, they drive the

same cars and use

the self-same phones

to document the hell

that has become their

everyday life.

There suddenly

is no discernible

“disconnect”.

Should this

matter to us? War

is war, right? But

somehow it does,

and it SHOULD

matter to us, and

perhaps we should

take this opportunity

to re-evaluate how we view everything through

that “disconnected lens” and realise that people

are people wherever they may live. Although there

will always be extremists I’m willing to bet that most

folk in those troubled areas are fundamentally “Mk I

human beings” just like us, that they have hopes and

dreams like us, and that they live, work hard and love

just as we do.

I grew up in what many view as the coldest part

of the Cold War, that being the 1970s and 1980s

and the threat of WWIII hung over all of us as we

went through our teens and into early adulthood.

Everything that went on had a tinge of “impending

doom” as the real threat of a nuclear war, either a

strategic global one that was truly MAD or a more

tactically-based European one hung over us like some

technological Sword of Damocles. Even our music

reflected this, with songs like “99 Red Balloons” and

“Two Tribes” topping the charts of the day. I rejoiced

when it seemed those days were over, and I genuinely

hang my head now not just for the brave men and

women of Ukraine but for the entire human race

that now has to begin to think about this terrifying

eventuality again… it IS utter madness.

But what does this all have to do with the new E&L

Essentials AK-12 RAF AEG you may ask? Let me tell

you…

THE BEST AK EVER?

The AK-12 is a current issue Russian military rifle; to

recap once again on the history and development of

the AK-12, in May 2010 following a Russian Ministry

of Defence statement we learnt that the AK-12

rifle was to be tested in 2011. The early prototype

model (AK-200),

was presented by

“IT CANNOT BE AVOIDED THAT AS I WRITE

THERE IS A “MILITARY OPERATION”, OR

CALL IT WHAT YOU LIKE BUT IT’S A WAR,

GOING ON IN EUROPE AND IT’S A BIT TOO

CLOSE TO HOME BOTH LITERALLY AND

METAPHORICALLY... ALTHOUGH THERE WILL

ALWAYS BE EXTREMISTS I’M WILLING TO BET

THAT MOST FOLK IN THOSE TROUBLED AREAS

ARE FUNDAMENTALLY “MK I HUMAN BEINGS”

JUST LIKE US, THAT THEY HAVE HOPES AND

DREAMS LIKE US, AND THAT THEY LIVE, WORK

HARD AND LOVE JUST AS WE DO”

the Izhmash arms

manufacturing plant

in Izhevsk, but this

was apparently a

basic AK-74 with a

few “twiddly bits”

added, although the

Izhmash prototype

was fitted with

a large-capacity

60-round casket

magazine.

After much toing

and fro-ing both

developmentally

and politically,

on 6 September

2016 it was reported that Kalashnikov Concern had

introduced the final production model of the AK-12,

which was derived from the proven AK-400. There

were to be two base models that were introduced, the

AK-12 which was chambered in 5.45×39mm cartridge

and the AK-15 which was chambered in 7.62×39mm

cartridge. Kalashnikov Concern also introduced a new

squad automatic weapon that was chambered in the

5.45×39mm cartridge, the RPK-16 which was based

on the traditional Kalashnikov layout and design and

had a number of technical and ergonomic features

derived from the AK-12 program.

We were told that the AK-12 (Glavnoye raketnoartilleriyskoye

upravleniye (GRAU, designation 6P70),

10

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E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

www.airsoftaction.net 11


ARMOURY

E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

alongside the AK-15 (6P71), was accepted into service

in January 2018, and the first deliveries of 2,500 AK-

12 assault rifles began in December 2018. The Russian

Ministry of Defence signed a three-year contract with

Kalashnikov Concern for 150,000 AK-12 and AK-15

assault rifles to be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

We were also told that the AK-12 had also entered

service with the military subdivisions of the National

Guard of Russia.

But in light of everything we’ve seen so graphically

recently, are these dates, numbers, and the true

dispersal of the AK-12 everything we’ve been led to

believe, or is it more spurious “fact” coming from the

Russian “propaganda machine”? I would certainly

ask the question about the veracity of these “facts”,

as in 2022 we are still seeing very few (in real terms)

AK-12s in what has become one of the most actively

and immediately documented wars I have ever seen.

Yes, we have seen the AK-12, but certainly not in the

numbers suggested…

I would also ask the question, and here I go back to

that heavily-mired “development process”, if the AK-

12 is actually the “best AK ever” as we’ve also been

led to believe? Reports coming from Ukraine have

indicated that the rifle has been beset by problems,

with some gruesome images hitting the interwebz of

dead Russian officers and NCOs where the selector

lever of their AK-12 has moved past the low, semiauto

point of operation which effectively makes the

weapon inoperable, soon to be followed by its user.

I’ve also read on various firearms resources that there

have also been feed issues, once again rendering what

should be a robust battle rifle useless. Quite apart

from the fact that the more motivated, more mobile,

and undoubtedly to date more effective Ukranian

fighters have been kicking butt, lack of confidence in

what they have been told is a reliable and effective

combat firearm must be having an impact on the

morale of those that have actually, really, been issued

with one too.

And to round things out, it is often said that “one

man’s tool of oppression is another man’s tool of

freedom” and this most certainly seems to be the case

with the AK-12; this is supposed to be the weapon

of Russia’s elite, but taken as a “spoil of war” it has

become a symbol of the robust and tenacious nature

of the fighters of Ukraine! I’ve been following the

numerous articles online about “captured AK-12s”

and many images now show them as trophies in the

hands of the Ukranians, symbols that they have faced

the best that Russia can throw at them and come

out on top… and I am going to bet that those “AK-

12 trophies” have also now been privy to the tender

ministrations of the Ukranian “armourers” and are

now working better than when they left the factory!

A REPLICA IS A REPLICA

So, with all this in mind I suppose the fundamental

question here is “should I by an airsoft AK, especially

“...IT IS A FABULOUS AEG IN ALL WAYS, AND THE AK-12 FEELS LIKE IT’S LITERALLY

JUST COME OUT OF THE ARMOURER’S HANDS, AS IT ARRIVES VERY LIGHTLY OILED SO

YOU EVEN GET “THAT FACTORY FRESH SMELL”! AS I SAID WHEN I FIRST LOOKED AT

ESSENTIALS AKM, JUST LIKE THAT VENERABLE AEG REPLICA THE AK-12 IS ONE HELL

OF A PERFORMER”

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ARMOURY

E&L ESSENTIALS AK12 RAF

an AK-12 right now?”, and my personal response to

this is that a replica is indeed just that, a replica and it

is a question to be answered by you and you alone as

to which replica you may wish to spend your money

on. What I have to say though is that by buying an

airsoft AK-12 you can have a clear conscience that in

no way are you supporting any Russian business as

obviously your AEG is, in the case of the excellent E&L

AK12 RAF, coming from E&L in China.

And it is a fabulous AEG in all ways, and the AK-12

feels like it’s literally just come out of the armourer’s

hands, as it arrives very lightly oiled so you even get

“that factory fresh smell”! As I said when I first looked

at Essentials AKM, just like that venerable AEG replica

the AK-12 is one hell of a performer; okay, I am

biased because I love all the AK family so much, but

this electric version is very, very pleasing indeed. The

externals are absolutely perfect (read stunning!) with

lots of steel and high-grade polymer, the internals

are the very best they can be, and the performance is

right up there with the best of them.

In terms of internals E&L “Essentials” replicas are

equipped with a workmanlike and durable gearbox

that has a quick spring change system, along with

a stainless steel cylinder, polycarbonate piston with

one steel tooth, abrasion-resistant POM tappet plate,

a set of 9mm steel bearings, and durable powder

steel gears. In operation-terms there’s a steel trigger

(AK alloy triggers are actually a failure point, and I

speak from experience!), the usual “AK-stick” space

for the battery under the dust cover, a metal hop-up

chamber, a useful magwell spacer insert to aid in swift

magazine changes, and the AEG comes with a steel

120 BB mid-cap magazine. Once again, correctly, the

rear latch has gone, and the dust cover is released

instead by rotating the retained front locking arm

above the cocking handle and sliding the entire cover

back, up and off to access the battery compartment.

So, fully up to spec inside and out, and given

my experience with other E&L models to date, the

test sample did indeed come in at a tidily consistent

mean of 1.12 Joule/348fps using .20g RZR BBs; with

chrono’ing out of the way I reset to .28g and set

up my plates at 10, 20, and 30 metres to see what

the “12” was capable of. After correctly setting the

hop on semi-auto using RZR .28BBs and using just

the stock iron sights, the rifle performed excellently

straight out of the box; with a 410mm inner barrel

it was definitely a case of “see target, hit target” at

20m, and moving out to 30m I switched the safety

lever to its full-auto mid-point (the replica AK-12

still works just as the real thing does in this respect)

and I was soon knocking over those plates on easilycontrolled

three-round bursts; the snappy steel trigger

works REALLY well. Out to the extent of the range

beyond the 30m backstop mark but still with a safe

run-out, shooting prone and back on semi I was still

hitting the plates happily each and every time.

As I said early in this review I do try very hard to

keep my personal politics out of any review that I

write, and indeed out of my “airsoft life” as a whole.

However, I viewed writing about the superb E&K

AK-12 as an opportunity to look at things within our

game that have been bothering me for quite a while,

and that’s how we sometimes become desensitized to

real events in what we actually do when we play.

The real world, as we’re seeing so tragically and

graphically at the moment in Ukraine is both filled

with horror and full of those that would take by force

what they cannot take by rational negotiation. It is

filled with those that would by force of arms take

away the lives, freedoms, and very soul of a nation

whilst vaingloriously trying to bolster their own. Please

remember this when you take up whatever style of

AEG (and the E&L IS a great choice) or GBB you favour

to play our beloved game of airsoft… it’s not about

what model of RIF you choose, it’s about respecting

your fellow human beings, about honesty, integrity,

fair play, and honour, and obviously these are things

that we need far more of in this world right now, not

less.

My thanks as always go to www.nuprol.com for

the loan of the test sample, and you can expect to

see E&L Airsoft “Essentials” models in all good airsoft

retailers soon! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 13


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ARMOURY

VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

SIZE

MATTERS!

THE INDUSTRY SURROUNDING THE FAMOUS M1911 PISTOL IS A HUGE ONE, WITH ALL

KINDS OF VARIATIONS AND METHODS OF ACCESSORISATION TO FIT ALL TASTES.

KNOWN TO MOST AS A FAIRLY LARGE FRAME HANDGUN, EVEN THE MIGHTY

“COLT .45” HAS ITS SMALLER SIBLINGS, AND BILL TAKES A LOOK AT A NEW

MODEL FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS AT VFC THAT’S A RIGHT LITTLE

FIRECRACKER!

VegaForceCompany, or simply “VFC”, are in

my mind really one of the real innovators

right now when it comes to GBB pistols,

carbines and rifles. As their range, sadly sometimes

only for the Asian market due to licencing issues,

has grown VFC for me has become an international

benchmark for GBBs both in pistol and rifle/carbine

form. Although VFC have a hand in many GBB pistol

“branded projects” I have to admit that I’m a huge

fan of their own 1911 TACTICAL CUSTOM pistol;

over the years have owned a few different models

of airsoft “.45s” from different manufacturers, but

there was one replica that VFC had shown that I’d

been waiting for expectantly until it’s release last

month, namely the compact 1911 ULTRA CARRY

(UC).

Now the 1911 TACTICAL CUSTOM, as I said in my

review way back in Issue 120 (available in Back Issues

on the website);

“The “1911 Tactical Custom”, just like the real

deal, is a striking looking pistol! It aims to break a

few moulds in both looks and performance, and

to my mind it does both very well indeed! The new

pistol is beautifully finished in every respect, living

up to the “Kimber” feel although thankfully VFC

haven’t included trademarks; VFC are one of the

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ARMOURY

VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

airsoft companies that understand the licencing

game well and hold a number of good ones, and to

be frank I would have been slightly disappointed had

they added spurious ones to this pistol model. I all

honesty this 1911 doesn’t need any dodgy trades to

help it sell, as it’s good enough, WAY good enough,

without them; the VFC 1911 is totally unmarked,

making it a completely blank canvas for you to place

your own custom markings on it”.

I’m pleased to say that now I have the 1911

ULTRA CARRY (UC) “in hand” thanks to my very

good buddy Ray, once again VFC have dome a

fabulous job of recreating another truly excellent

“Kimber-style” design. However, before you go

down the route that this is just a shorter version

of their original full-size tactical pistol, please let

me disabuse you of that… the UC, although still

strikingly “Kimber” and bearing some similarities,

is actually completely new, not just in terms of a

shorter slide and barrel, but also in terms of the

resized fame and magazine!

As a lover of compact “concealed carry” style

1911 pistols the UC really ticks all my boxes!

Although some might say that there is little need

for “concealed carry” in an airsoft game, where

you want your beloved AEG or GBB to be seen by

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ARMOURY

VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

EVERYONE! For certain scenarios though, especially

when you’re acting as a player character in a storyline

scenario, having a neat little handgun tucked away

somewhere under your shirt or jacket can really give

those on the other team a nasty shock!

REALISM AT THE CORE

When it comes to “Mr Colt’s Baby” many believe

that Kimber build some of the world’s finest 1911’s.

The Mighty 1911”, with many years service to back

up its provenance, is, quite simply, an engineering

masterpiece that has undoubtedly stood the test of

time, and there are many, many veterans both from

the military and from law enforcement agencies that

swear by this trusted handgun; the simple fact that

shooters still rate this design that has been with us for

over a hundred years speaks volumes about the gun

that has become a true American Icon!

When it comes to a Kimber, virtually every critical

component on each and every pistol is manufactured

inside their own factory. Only the finest raw materials

come through the front gate, and Kimber takes care

of the rest, and this ensures every component, ad

indeed the finished handgun, meets unprecedented

standards. In the case of the real Kimber Ultra Carry

II .45 ACP it starts with a 3” barrel paired with a

compact satin silver-finished frame and a satin silverfinished

slide. The slide and lightweight frame are

married up to extremely tight tolerances and therefore

function perfectly together as you might expect… no

“1911 slide slop” here!

A match grade barrel delivers superb accuracy, and

a low profile fibre optic front and blocked rear sight

sit on top of the slide and provide a consistent target

picture. The Ultra Carry comes with a single stage,

match grade aluminium trigger; again I’m told by

friends in the USA that the 4.5lb pull is steady and

smooth, while the reset is short and crisp. In fact,

the Kimber Ultra Carry II reportedly has one of the

smoothest trigger pulls of any production 1911 on

the market. Other features include a clean, singlesided

thumb safety, and to further minimize felt recoil,

the grip safety is a high-ride designed beavertail that

quickly establishes a positive grip for maximum control

in stress fire situations.

Although I’m sad to say that I’ve never had the

opportunity to shoot one myself (note to self…

remedy this!) I’m told that the recoil on the Ultra Carry

feels significantly less than that of other compact

designs. This is due in part to this pistols lower centre

of gravity, which is slightly below mid-slide, and very

close to where your hand grips the pistol. Although

the shorter single-stack magazine means that the

Kimber’s capacity is only seven rounds, the relatively

small diameter of the 1911’s frame still allows you to

create a secure two-handed grip.

Size DOES matter in a concealed carry pistol!

Physically smaller dimensions and light weight are

as important as magazine capacity and power when

you need to tuck your pistol away from sight and

obvious “bulge”. Kimber Ultra Carry pistols in .45

ACP (and 9 mm) appear to have it all, and put it

together in a 1911 package that simply “outperforms

the competition”. The Ultra Carry II is a real testament

to the Kimber 1911 heritage, combining the obvious

advantages of the venerable 1911 platform with the

power of the .45 ACP cartridge in one small, tidy,

superbly efficient package!

COMPACT COOL

In the real 1911 UC we have a compact pistol that

is quite unique, and VFC do a great job in nailing it

in replica form! Weighing in at 711g, it’s not exactly

a heavyweight, and what weight there is comes

pretty much from the magazine and solid metal

construction, However, with that reduced slide and

frame it’s physically smaller and 129g lighter than the

full-size tactical version, which of course means it’s the

ideal “.45” for smaller players or those with smaller

hands although it’s still eminently usable by bigger

fellows like me.

As with the “big brother 1911” the frame and slide

are reproduced in a high grade alloy, and as usual with

VFC the finish is absolutely impeccable, even though

there are (correctly in licence terms again) no markings

at all on the slide, and the overall finish is a consistent

and very attractive satin black overall rather than the

satin silver of the “real deal”… I however prefer the

satin black as it definitely gives it a more “broody and

“IN THE CASE OF THE REAL KIMBER ULTRA CARRY II .45 ACP IT STARTS WITH A

3” BARREL PAIRED WITH A COMPACT SATIN SILVER-FINISHED FRAME AND A SATIN

SILVER- FINISHED SLIDE. THE SLIDE AND LIGHTWEIGHT FRAME ARE MARRIED UP TO

EXTREMELY TIGHT TOLERANCES AND THEREFORE FUNCTION PERFECTLY TOGETHER AS

YOU MIGHT EXPECT… NO “1911 SLIDE SLOP” HERE!”

18

JUNE 2022


ARMOURY

VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

www.airsoftaction.net 19


ARMOURY

VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

menacing” character.

The UC feels very, very solid in the hand and has

neat black-checkered grip panels to ensure good

retention; there are also some lovely finishing touches

like the silvered and fluted outer barrel, hammer,

and trigger. The 18 BB (rear-gassing) magazine of

the replica is slightly shorter than that of the GBB

Tactical 1911, but the larger magazine will fit and

function in the UC although it does protrude slightly

from the shorter, compact grip. If you’re used to

a regular 1911, the controls of the UC are pretty

much identical. The rear safety catch is placed on

the left-hand side of the frame, and the hammer

can be dropped to ‘Condition1’ with this applied.

The magazine release is also located on the left, just

behind the trigger.

BANG ON!

For testing I ran the pistol on NUPROL 2 gas and

made use of RZR .20g BBs, and a string of ten gave

an average through the chrono of 0.68 Joule/271fps

which is perfect for a “compact” and slightly more

powerful than some of the others out there like the

TM and ARMY “Detonics Combatmaster” replicas.

The UC really is deceptive though as this little beauty

goes off with a real crack and the recoil impulse is

really cool. The trigger is light and responsive (like the

real deal!) and as there’s little weight to the reducedlength

alloy slide it cycles really well; you can get shots

away as quick as you can pull the trigger and VFC’s

GUIDE HOP, front-end adjustable system means that

it’s simplicity itself to make fine adjustments. Even

though the barrel is obviously short (the whole pistol

is only 176mm long after all, with a 65mm inner

barrel!) it sends BBs out nice and flat; at ten metres on

my usual “in game” .28g this is as accurate as I could

wish for, and then some!

I ran the UC in one of my matched Bianchi 105 loprofile

leather belt holsters and it was if the VFC had

been made for it! These are super-little holsters that

are ideal for “concealed” use and although they are

“OWB” or Outside The Waistband models they are

super-slim and disappear beneath something like a

5.11 Covert Carry shirt; I prefer this style of shirt when

I’m playing “sneaky gangsta” in a Cartel game or the

like, as the “tearaway” nature of the design means

that you can get to the sidearm underneath REALLY

fast with no hangups… just sayin’ that if you’re going

to buy a 1911 UC then do it right, and go the whole

hog with your holster and clothing...

Overall the 1911 ULTRA CARRY is everything that

I’d hoped it would be from the first time I saw it in

that MOA video so long ago! VFC have taken their

time with the UC, and as such the pistol is superbly

built, functions perfectly, easy to dial in thanks to

that GUIDE HOP, and is super fun to shoot! If you

want a really gas-efficient, compact little handgun to

tuck away sneakily under your clothing or in your kit

somewhere and you like a “1911” then trust me, this

is the one for you.

Most airsoft retailers worth their salt will stock VFC,

but mine came direct from my friend Ray in Taiwan.

For more information on the 1911 ULTRA CARRY

pistol and other excellent replicas from VFC please visit

them at www.vegaforce.com/1911UC. AA

“...THIS LITTLE BEAUTY GOES OFF WITH A REAL CRACK AND THE RECOIL IMPULSE IS

REALLY COOL. THE TRIGGER IS LIGHT AND RESPONSIVE (LIKE THE REAL DEAL!) AND AS

THERE’S LITTLE WEIGHT TO THE REDUCED-LENGTH ALLOY SLIDE IT CYCLES REALLY

WELL; YOU CAN GET SHOTS AWAY AS QUICK AS YOU CAN PULL THE TRIGGER”

20

JUNE 2022


ARMOURY

VFC 1911 ULTRA CARRY

www.airsoftaction.net 21


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TAP/CLICK IMAGES FOR MORE INFORMATION


ARMOURY

KWA EVE-ICE

COOL

AS ICE!

24

JUNE 2022


ARMOURY

KWA EVE-ICE

BACK IN EARLY 2021, KWA TEASED US WITH A SNEAK PEAK AT ONE OF THEIR

NEWEST SERIES OF ALL-POLYMER AEGS THAT WERE PLANNED FOR A RELEASE

THAT YEAR. UNFORTUNATELY, WITH THE PANDEMIC STILL RAGING, PRODUCTION

DELAYS BECAME AN ACUTE REALITY AND THE RELEASE DATE HAD TO BE

PUSHED BACK. FINALLY, AFTER MUCH ANTICIPATORY WAITING, WE ARE NOW AT

LAST BEGINNING TO SEE THESE NEW RIFLES HITTING THE MARKET – FIRST WITH

THE KO:EVE-ICE LIMITED EDITION, AND DAN HAS A LOT TO SAY ABOUT THIS!

For those unaware, the “KO” in the name stands

for “KWA Originals.” These are all-new designs

from KWA that draw inspiration from existing

platforms, but are wholly original design concepts

unique to KWA. In layman’s terms, this means they

aren’t really based on a real steel analogue. The keen

eye will note that the EVE series borrows some visual

cues from the venerable H&K MP5, the CZ Scorpion

EVO and the Beretta PMX and fuses these designs

together into an attractive and compact rifle that

uses commonly available M4 magazines.

One of the fundamental design features for the

new KO series is that these will use an all-polymer

body design. The approach here is twofold: this

both reduces costs to the end user and reduces

overall weight of the platform. KWA’s proprietary

polymer blend is used throughout the construction

of the body, and I must say, it is solid. This is an

exceptionally balanced and light rifle, weighing

just 2.08 kg. (4.6 lbs), yet there is nary a wobble or

creak in sight here. The screws and hardware are all

high quality steel and well finished, which further

compliments the aesthetics of this rifle.

Following in the same footsteps as KWA’s past

releases, the KO:EVE series maintain KWA’s emphasis

on modularity and utilizing standardized components

across their generational lineup. As is found on the

Ronin T6 and QRF series, the EVE also uses the same

www.airsoftaction.net 25


ARMOURY

KWA EVE-ICE

adjustable FPS Variable Performance System (VPS),

hop up design and gearbox, with only minor changes

here and there to accommodate the unique body.

For all intents and purposes, the EVE-ICE is the same

gun as the EVE-4, which is releasing later this year.

What sets the EVE-ICE apart from its mainstream

counterparts is the unique color scheme, which has

been offered only to a few select KWA dealers and is

limited to the numbers respectively ordered. As of this

time, I do not know how many were exactly made,

but I would speculate it is probably less than 100…

EXTERNALLY SOUND

The upper receiver of the KO:EVE-ICE is a pseudomonolithic

design that features a continuous length

picatinny rail at the 12 o’clock and a “KORE 4”

101mm (4.4 in.) hand guard that can be easily

removed, but is itself very securely mounted and quite

rigid. This hand guard sports the now-ubiquitous

M-LOK mounting interface and KWA have also

included a bespoke vertical grip and two 1913

picatinny rail sections for optional attachment. I have

heard rumor that alternative hand guard lengths may

also be offered in the future.

Keeping with prior releases, a set of PTS Syndicate

backup iron sights are included as standard. Lastly,

KWA have also included a set of steel QD sling swivel

sockets that can be added to the rifle. These are not

rotationally limited designs, but it is pleasing to see

that they have elected to use steel sockets instead of

inferior cast or aluminum components. Bottom line,

you can rest assured these sling points will not be

failing anytime soon.

Just above the handguard rests our charging

handle, which is found in a position that will be

familiar to anyone who’s spent time on the MP5 or CZ

Scorpion EVO. This has an interesting little feature that

allows one to easily flip the charging handle to the left

or right side depending on the user’s preference, and

it can all be done without tools.

Beneath the handguard is full metal outer barrel,

which is threaded for standard 14mm CCW muzzle

devices. The EVE’s are sporting a new anodized

orange metal muzzle brake, which is probably among

the coolest looking of the new muzzle designs KWA

has made. At this time, black versions are not yet

available, but should be releasing later on. I was

happy that KWA have opted to stick with a metal

outer barrel, even if it is slightly heavier. Having seen

many an ICS CXP pistol have its plastic muzzle threads

stripped away, a metal outer barrel is a good thing

indeed. In another nice design touch, KWA have

also squared off the sides of the mock gas block and

forward portion of the outer barrel so as to allow for

clearances when mounting MLOK accessories.

The lower receiver is a one-piece unit, with the

motor grip integrated into the same frame as the

magazine well. The grip itself is very much in the

shape and form as the excellent PTS EPG-C motor

grip, right down to the details of the motor plate

itself. So much so, that I found one could use an

EPG-C to mock up the shimming and it comes out

perfect when using the grip frame on the EVE. On

an aside, I was amused to find KWA opted to use

conventional metric hardware on the motor plate -

unlike PTS’s tiny screw that inevitably strips out and

requires medieval persuasion to remove.

Ambidextrous controls round out the lower, with

the selector switches, magazine release and bolt

release lever all being operable from either side.

The latter two components are full metal, with the

magazine release having a large button for easy

tabbing with the finger. The trigger is a nice flat style

design with a decent little hook at the bottom to

prevent slippage. I was delighted to find that KWA

incorporated a threaded metal insert for the VPS

guide, which also functions as the receiver extension.

This will offer superior strength than just relying on

something threaded directly into polymer. Especially

as the VPS guide housing acts as both the retainer for

the main gearbox spring and the receiver extension

for the stock.

Moving to the rear of the rifle, we find the same

PDW “tanker style” stock as used on the hugely

popular Ronin T6. This offers two-positions for length

and has a decent sized battery compartment that can

easily house up to a 1500 or 1600mah 11.1v LiPo.

It also allows for quick access to the VPS system,

which can be accessed by removing a single screw.

Extensions are available from Airtech Studios to

further increase capacity if so desired.

INTERNALLY DIFFERENT

The disassembly process is nearly the same as found

“KWA’S PROPRIETARY POLYMER BLEND IS USED THROUGHOUT THE CONSTRUCTION

OF THE BODY, AND I MUST SAY, IT IS SOLID. THIS IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY BALANCED

AND LIGHT RIFLE, WEIGHING JUST 2.08 KG. (4.6 LBS), YET THERE IS NARY A WOBBLE

OR CREAK IN SIGHT HERE.”

26

JUNE 2022


ARMOURY

KWA EVE-ICE

“THE DISASSEMBLY PROCESS IS NEARLY THE SAME AS FOUND IN EVERY OTHER KWA

AEG 2.5 AND 2.5+ SERIES RIFLE, AND THUS IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO REMOVE THE

MAGAZINE RELEASE OR SELECTOR LEVERS TO ACCESS THE GEARBOX.”

www.airsoftaction.net 27


ARMOURY

KWA EVE-ICE

KWA EVE-ICE

in every other

KWA AEG

2.5 and

2.5+

series

rifle,

and

thus

it is

not

necessary to

remove

the magazine release

or selector

levers to access the gearbox.

There’s one additional screw to remove, but conversely

there is no motor grip to remove as it’s integrated

into the frame. For us Airsoft Tech’s that are in and

out of guns seven days a week, any kind of

reduction in disassembly steps is always

appreciated!

Starting from the nose of the

gun, we have a 6.05 diameter

200mm inner barrel

mounted in KWA’s

standard rotary hop up

chamber. This uses the

same split style nub bucking

as the rest of KWA’s lineup.

The bucking and outer barrel

are compatible with aftermarket

alternatives.

From there we arrive at the

gearbox, which is essentially an AEG 2.5+

series gearbox that is designed to accommodate a

drop-in ETU, but with a couple of minor changes

made to work with the new polymer body. Aside from

some support fins and an additional screw mount and

a different method of attaching the mock bolt cover,

this is a near 1:1 identical gearbox to the standard

2.5+ gearbox. In fact, it would not very hard to adapt

an AEG 2.5 gearbox to fit this rifle and enjoy the last

round cutoff feature (with the appropriate magazines,

of course). Nor would it be hard to outfit it with

an ERG recoil system for that matter, either. Aside

from the shell itself, the rest of the gearbox internals

are identical to those used in every other current

generation KWA gearbox. So with the exception of

the tappet plate, air nozzle, cutoff lever, trigger switch

and selector plate, the internals are V2 compatible

and easily upgradeable.

The piston is KWA’s universal nylon-fiber design

with a metal release tooth. This is affixed to a billet

aluminum un-ported piston head that’s pretty much

guaranteed

to never break.

Rounding it out is the

usual nylon-fiber cylinder

head with rubber

backer and a brass

ported air cylinder.

The tappet plate

is of course the

newest design

that fits a

polymer air

nozzle with

an o-ring.

For the

curious,

the older

Gen. 2

tappet

plate can

be dropped in

which will allow the use

of aftermarket air nozzles.

As mentioned, the trigger switch

is

proprietary to these guns, but is generally quite

durable. High quality 16AWG wiring with a 25A

28

JUNE 2022


ARMOURY

KWA EVE-ICE

inline fuse makes up the wiring loom. Thankfully,

KWA have climbed aboard the Deans plug train

and left the infamous mini-Tamiya behind, and all

current production guns feature these as standard

now. Moving a little deeper, we have our 18.65:1

ratio gears which are mounted in 9mm bearings.

Incidentally, I have personally found that KWA’s gear

set remains one of the strongest OEM sets offered by

any company, and I rarely, if ever, see these break.

The motor is KWA’s standard long type 19 TPA

setup, albeit without the Switch Life Extender (SLE)

as found on their more expensive guns. The SLE is

basically a schottky diode that partially suppresses the

arcing between the trigger contacts; a sort of

pseudo-MOSFET, if you will. As inexpensive

as these are, it’s a bit curious that the

EVE is not equipped with this

device like the full metal

KWA’s are. But on the

other hand, most

users will

likely be

upgrading

to something like

a Gate TITAN down the

road, so in that respect

the SLE becomes a

redundancy.

Out of the box,

these rifles will

typically turn

in around 19

RPS with an 11.1v

LiPo, while

the VPS

guide

can be

adjusted

between

1.01 – 1.38J/330 to

380 fps to allow for use at the

majority of sites with

either CQB or

field power limits. Power consistency on

these has been quite good for a stock gun,

averaging around 2 – 3 FPS variance or less between

shots, which is largely thanks to the o-ring air nozzle

design tightening things up.

If I were to have any gripes about the current

system, it is that KWA still use an un-ported piston

head design and the G2X bucking generally does not

perform well in the North American (read generally

temperate) climate. I also feel that KWA would gain a

huge leg up if they started outfitting their rifles with

brushless motors or at least adopted Neodymium

magnet designs, as this would create a far more

responsive and snappy rifle, but obviously, such

changes would have a downstream effect on the final

price point. Some might also argue that KWA should

have long moved to offering their own ETU design like

many competitor brands have. But if comparing brass

tacks, none of those factory designs really compare in

features or quality to commercially available premium

ETU’s such as the Gate TITAN or Perun Hybrid. Indeed,

they are often themselves a bit of an anachronism

encumbered by obsolete or inelegant design. So that

KWA does not have an OEM ETU is not really a point

of negativity in my book.

Aside from these very minor quibbles, KWA

has really made a spectacular first entry into

the lightweight

a very

polymer gun market, with

attractive price point to

boot. The gun is lithe, but

remarkably solid in the

hands, and the build quality

elevates it above similar

polymer entries from

other companies. There

are many well-thought

out and executed

design features to be

found here, while

also leveraging the

tried and true

AEG 2.5+

system as a core foundation for the

rifle. This would be a fantastic base for

a “speedsoft” build or even as a field capable gun.

Builders will enjoy that it can be easily upgraded and I

daresay field owners would be remiss to not consider

this as a durable option for a rental fleet. All in all, I

think KWA have hit it out of the park with their first

“KWA Originals” entry! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 29



TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION


FEATURE

UMAREX T4E

BIGGER

BALLS?

32

JUNE 2022


FEATURE

UMAREX T4E

NEW PLAYERS CONTINUE TO FLOOD INTO AIRSOFT, AND LONG MAY THIS CONTINUE! HOWEVER, UMAREX

HAVE BEEN LOOKING TO ANOTHER AREA WHERE “BIGGER BALLS” ARE THE THING, AND WITH THEIR T4E

RANGE THEY MAY JUST HAVE FOUND THE PERFECT CROSSOVER FROM PAINTBALL TO AIRSOFT, WITH A

HEALTHY MARGIN OF “TRAINING PLATFORM” THROWN IN! AIRSOFT INDUSTRY VETERAN AND OUR IN-

HOUSE “LEGAL BEAGLE” FRENCHIE INVESTIGATES FURTHER…

During my recent visit to Landwarrior Airsoft

(LWA) I spent a fair bit of time discussing the

T4E range from Umarex with them, and mainly

the discussion revolved around business aspects of

the product range, but the T4E range itself is rather

interesting and worth taking a look at in relation to

effective training and the legal position!

Essentially it is a range of paintball markers...

No, it’s a self-defence system...

Sorry! It’s a training aid, hence the name “Training

4 Engagement”...

Actually, it’s an airgun!

In truth, it’s all of these things, but exactly

which seems to be a bit context sensitive. In the

UK, suggesting that anything might be designed

specifically for self-defence is seen as somehow

improper, and in fairness the idea that the T4E range

is intended for this role comes mainly from online

reviewers and the manufacturer, Umarex, which does

appear to tout the range by leaning heavily on the

‘defence’ angle. Their range of revolvers, the HDRs,

stands for “Home Defence Revolver” according to

their website… there is no doubt that at short range

and with reusable ammo, getting on the wrong end

of one of these would be unpleasant.

Other platforms in the range are clearly offered as

training aids being 1:1 reproductions of the originals,

with noticeable recoil, and features and controls

which exactly mimic the handling of the “real”. These

can be used to develop handling skills and for forceon-force

training using suitable calibre paintballs

offering a cheaper and safer alternative to Simunition

systems. Images on the dedicated www.t4eguns.com

website would appear to show this market as, if you’ll

excuse the pun, a target for Umarex.

Mechanically, the T4E range ARE paintball markers,

and are widely sold as such. For airsofters, now

used to the VRCA, this puts them in an interesting

legal position within the UK, as every website I

have checked which sells them insists only that the

purchaser be over the age of 18 years, with zero

defence in law for ownership required. Like airguns it

seems, the fact that they are replicas is of secondary

importance to their being “paintball markers”

intended to use frangible ammunition.

Personally, the mention of markers conjures up a

vision of plumbing with a hopper and a trigger, but

I have never been a paintballer and they probably

view airsofters with similar disdain! The T4E markers

are about as far removed from that stereotype as is

www.airsoftaction.net 33


FEATURE

UMAREX T4E

possible. While the range is nowhere near as extensive

as the current range of airsoft guns, there is a good

selection of pistols and long arms available already

and given their popularity, it is within the bounds of

reason that we will see more added over time.

Qualitatively, the guns are on a par with most

good quality airsoft guns, making use of highstrength

polymers and metal castings and Umarex

make mention of their ability to deal with rugged

use. I noted on LWA’s website that service kits were

actually a thing so that you can keep both markers

and magazines in top condition. I wish that had been

the case when I was struggling to obtain the parts

necessary to repair gas blowback pistols!

MODELS FOR TRAINING

• Heckler & Koch SFP9: Striker Fired Pistol 9,

internationally also known as the VP9

• Heckler & Koch HK416 D T4E

• Smith & Wesson M&P 9

• M4 RIS – no prizes for guessing! .43 Calibre M4

with a RIS front end.

• Walther PPQ M2. A Walther training pistol in .43

calibre

• Glock 17 Gen.5 pistol in .43 calibre

MODELS FOR “HOME DEFENCE”

• HDR 50 and HDR 68 – the Home Defence Revolver

in both .50 and .68 calibre

• Home Defence Pistol 50 (HDP 50)

• Home Defence Shotgun 68 (HDS 68) – a .68 calibre

double-barrelled shotgun

• Home Defence Blaster 68 (HDB 68) – a doubleaction

shotgun-styled marker in .68 calibre

• HDX 68 – a fully functioning pump action marker in

.68 calibre.

As with many

airsoft GBBs and

GBBRs all the models

are powered by CO2, either 12g

capsules or the larger 88g bottles

which can be used with a couple

of the long arms. The HD-X series

all feature a ‘quick pierce’ feature

which allows the CO2 capsule to

be loaded, but not pierced until

the user chooses to do so by hitting the

specially designed cap. This means these

models can be stored ready for action over

an extended period without putting undue

stress on seals and the running the danger

of gas pressure slowly leaking away. The

HDR models also tend not to be designed

to emphasise recoil, unlike the training

arms, all of which feature blowback to

increase their realism when used for

weapon handling drills or for force-onforce

training.

Regardless of the designations

applied by Umarex, all of these models

are suitable for use at paintball sites!

It is possible to obtain some of these

models at higher power ratings,

however over 16 joules of muzzle

energy (for ‘rifles’) owners would

be required to obtain a Firearms

Certificate in the UK, and while I’m

in no way a definitive guide to UK

firearms law, I’d lay a small wager

that the

granting

of a

certificate

would not be

forthcoming!

WHY?

I find this

interesting;

obviously at

Airsoft Action,

we do have a bit

of a tendency to think of airsoft first and

foremost, but thanks to the restrictions

of the VCRA RIFs aren’t available to

everyone. If you want a decent back

garden plinker in the UK, your

choice is limited to airguns (not

easily obtained here in Scotland

sadly) or... as a result, the option

to buy a high-quality, blowback

replica which fires either

frangible ammo or reusable

solid ammo is quite

attractive. All the models

in the range look and feel

great, and as mentioned

34

JUNE 2022


FEATURE

UMAREX T4E

above, Umarex makes service kits available to ensure

that you can keep them running smoothly for years.

As gaming markers I can see their value and

attraction, although it seems to me that with limited

ammo capacity compared to ‘traditional’ hopperfed

markers, they will be better suited to a more

tactical ‘airsoft-like’ form of gameplay. I have already

confessed to an ignorance of the paintball scene

here in the UK; it may well be that this already exists

and that the Umarex range slots very nicely in here.

The concept of paintball markers as replicas is hardly

new as I used to sell RAM markers years ago.

As a training aid, especially using chalk-based

ammo these could be a really cost-effective tool.

Weight and feel of the training platforms are

excellent and like all markers they deliver sufficient

impact to ensure that participants know that they

have been hit. I did an exercise with a branch of the

UK military some time back who were looking to find

a training aid to use in sensitive areas. Airsoft fitted

the bill well, but there concerns that a fully geared

up soldier might not feel some of the hits. Not a

problem here! Granted there isn’t an L85A3 variant

available but given that AR platforms seem to be

cropping up more and more often in the hands of

British soldiers, I doubt that’s a major issue!

It’s an interesting range and its future may well be

interesting too. As products they sit across a number

of interests, paintball, training, casual plinking.

They also carry an interest in these previously

separate fields with them, so you will continue to

see companies who previously only sold paintball

equipment dabbling in airsoft. Likewise, some

retailers of airsoft replicas and gear, who have long

had broader interests, are now to be found carry a

range of markers. May we live in interesting times

indeed…

Whether this cross-fertilisation will extend to the

playing fields remains to be seen; would airsofters

be more likely to try another discipline if they could

use an AR with limited amounts of ammo but in

more tactical or Mil-Sim scenarios? Might exposure

to airsoft gear tempt some current paintballers to

venture a foot into the world of full-auto and nonfrangible

ammo? Attributing such things to a range

of replicas is probably going too far, but anything

that closes the perceived gaps between sports

is a good thing as it strengthens all of us should

governments decide to meddle as they have done in

the past.

Those thoughts aside, if you get the opportunity,

check out the T4E range. They’re high-quality, very

cool in their own right and may just spark your

curiosity.

For more information please go to www.

t4eguns.com and my sincere thanks to www.

landwarriorairsoft.com (LWA) for supplying product

images; you can also buy T4E products direct from

LWA if you fancy checking them out for yourself.. AA

www.airsoftaction.net 35


OUTDOOR

TACTICAL OUTDOOR DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING

AHEAD...

IT MAY SEEM ODD TO BE TALKING ABOUT SPECIFIC GEAR FOR AUTUMN AND WINTER AS MOST OF US

ARE THINKING OF MOVING INTO SHORTS AND TEES FOR SUMMER RANGE DAYS, BUT PLANNING AHEAD

IS A HUGE PART OF YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY INTO DEALING WITH WHAT OLD MA NATURE CAN THROW

AT YOU! BILL TAKES A LOOK AT HOW YOU CAN START SETTING UP NOW TO BE PREPARED FOR WHEN THE

WEATHER CHANGES AGAIN!

Yup, that’s right, it’s June and I’m going to

talk about gear for colder weather! That may

seem a strange thing to be doing, but it’s at

this point each year that my Gear Locker hits the

changeover point; the majority of my cold and wet

weather gear will be cleaned, repaired if necessary,

and be put safely into storage ready for the end of

the year, whilst my lighter-weight gear will come

out of the boxes ready for some summer airsoft

adventures… and I fully intend to get out and ingame

this Summer as the last couple have been a bit

of a bust!

I’m lucky that I’ve been able to amass my personal

kit over many years of playing airsoft, and I fully

appreciate that many of you may just be starting

your own journeys and will need to build-up your kit

options accordingly; however, this article isn’t just

here to help you make some ideas and informed

“I’M LUCKY THAT I’VE BEEN ABLE TO AMASS MY PERSONAL KIT OVER MANY YEARS OF

PLAYING AIRSOFT, AND I FULLY APPRECIATE THAT MANY OF YOU MAY JUST BE STARTING

YOUR OWN JOURNEYS AND WILL NEED TO BUILD-UP YOUR KIT OPTIONS ACCORDINGLY”

36

JUNE 2022


OUTDOOR

TACTICAL OUTDOOR DEVELOPMENT

choices, but also to remind more seasoned players

that planning does indeed affect performance, and

that being prepared will benefit everyone, not just

those starting out!

This time of year is actually a brilliant time to

be looking at cold weather gear as it’s the end of

“winter sale season” with many of the outdoor

shops and outfitters. All the “big names” out

there will be offering end-of-line deals on fleeces

and insulated garments, and picking up a good

shell jacket right now can save you some serious

bucks; depending on your left-over-after-the-latest-

AEG-buy-money then shopping around now will

get you something in your price range. Although

camouflage gear is available think about where you’ll

be wearing it. If you buy a simple block colour rather

than a camo then you’re also going to end up with

something you can wear every day which makes it

even better value for money.

But if you do decide that you want to buy into a

“camo solution” then planning really is the thing! I

made this decision some years back, and I’m pleased

to say that I’ve followed the rollout of A-TACS AU

from the very start, and have slowly but surely built

up different loadouts based on its unique design.

It does perform exceptionally well in its intended

arid environment but I’ve also found that when it

comes to Autumn and Winter in the UK it also has a

great application for that time of year. Where I play

normally in the South the undergrowth, grasses, and

brackens all “brown out” to mottled hues of tan and

brown as the temperature starts to drop and AU has

proved to work very well when this happens. Going

even further into the full Winter months things are

still quite brown, and when the snow falls (just gear

up and get out there, “snow airsoft is BRILLIANT!)

the light background colour used in AU still helps to

keep you concealed, especially at the start of the end

of the day when the light is flat.

All that said, I choose AU for my Autumn/Winter

pattern as between a number of manufacturers you

can now create a full range of performance clothing

and sleeping gear in it, and that leads me on to

the question of wearing the right kit to deal with

whatever the weather may throw at us on any given

skirmish day. To me it’s really a matter of looking

at my role within the game; my choice of role will

really dictate which way I go with my kit for the day

as a Sunday run-out will need one set whilst a full

weekender will mean that you need to stay more

flexible in your choices. What do I mean by this?

Well, if you are going to be mostly static in a forward

obs post then you’ll need to stay well insulated. If

however you’re going to be involved in a little light

“door kicking” then things are going to be a whole

lot more dynamic and you’ll heat up fast!

From a purely physiological perspective your

clothing, accessories and footwear choices will be

ruled by your activity levels. If you are going to be

static for long periods of time, especially on “stag”

overnight in the Winter months then your body

is going to be mostly dormant, and keeping your

crucial body core temperature balanced is going to

call for a serious level of insulation and protection. If

however you’re going to be hooning around like a

tactical banshee then you need to dump body heat

fast and deal with moisture transfer effectively. It’s

all a bit of a balancing act when it comes down to it;

too cold and you risk hypothermia, too hot and your

can fall foul of heat exhaustion even on the coldest

day of the year.

CHOICES, CHOICES!

The first thing you will need in the Autumn and

Winter months is a bigger pack because you’re going

to need to haul extra water and rations, along with

more clothing layers and a winter weight sleeping

and bivvy bag if you’re going to be overnighting.

Now it would be lovely to have different sized packs

in all the different camouflage patterns you might

own but the fact of the matter is that this is one area

where “buying right and buying once” really comes

into play. I tend to buy my packs or specific roles, this

tome for Winter use; I still really like the 5:11 Tactical

RUSH packs, and the 72 is perfect for a Winter

hauler and luckily my old friend Sean at 0241 Tactical

in the USA made some great adjustable pack covers

in A-TACS AU (along with many other patterns)

which not only add to my overall scheme but also

add some additional weather-proofing.

My base uniform for everything is a simple BDU

shirt/pant from Propper International or some

“C-style” pants with kneepads from Emerson, worn

in full winter with a base layer “2nd Skinz” Shirt

“IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE MOSTLY STATIC IN A FORWARD OBS POST THEN YOU’LL NEED

TO STAY WELL INSULATED. IF HOWEVER YOU’RE GOING TO BE INVOLVED IN A LITTLE LIGHT

“DOOR KICKING” THEN THINGS ARE GOING TO BE A WHOLE LOT MORE DYNAMIC AND YOU’LL

HEAT UP FAST!”

www.airsoftaction.net 37


OUTDOOR

TACTICAL OUTDOOR DEVELOPMENT

and Long John set from Snugpak underneath. The

“2nd Skinz” have been designed specifically for use

in high energy pursuits and the Coolmax element

in the fabric really helps to let you keep your core

temperature stable; in the cold they trap air which

adds as an insulator, and when you warm up the

tiny fibres in the structure actively “wick” moisture

away from your skin allowing it to be transferred

out of your clothing system, adding to the natural

cooling effect of evaporation. The “2nd Skinz” are a

comfortable, relaxed fit, and feel great against your

skin, but they’re low profile enough not to bunch

or inhibit

movement when you’re

wearing multiple layers

over them.

You can

achieve your

insulation and

protection from

the elements

(and here I am

discounting

wet-weather

hardshell which

is a separate

beast) in two

very distinct

ways; usually I

would always

champion a

layered

approach as this is

superbly versatile, but in this instance

I’m going to just use a couple of standalone pieces

from the Snugpak range of lofted garments. The

absolutely classic Sleeka jacket, which many of

you will know of or already own and love as I do,

uses Snugpaks very own Softie Premier synthetic

insulation along with a Paratex Light shell fabric

which shrugs off all but the heaviest rainfall; a

synthetic fill in my mind is better than down as it

retains a much larger proportion of its insulative

properties even when wet. In my pack I’ll also carry

a pair of the matching Sleeka salopettes, also in AU

and made especially for me by the Snugpak guys,

which are really the ultimate in “snivel gear” but so

worth their weight! Even in size XL they only come

in at 840g and pack down small into their own

stuff sack; believe me, if you’re on “stag” at zero

dark thirty you’re really going to appreciate carrying

these. If you REALLY feel the cold then check out

the hooded SJ9 jacket as this is the “flagship” of

Snugpak’s insulated tactical range; add this to the

salopettes instead of the Sleeka and you’re not going

to get cold any time soon!

For footwear here I’ve chosen a pair of MOD

Brown, Gore Tex lined High Liability

boots from HAIX married up with

some Smartwool socks. The High

Liability model is great for the

wet weather months. It’s sturdy,

supportive, high in the ankle,

and most importantly for the

UK it’s a fully waterproof

model. In relation to

accessories I’m

going to come

back again to

0241 Tactical as

their fleece neck

gaiter is perfect, and their fleece watch cap works

very well over an AU ballcap to give great insulation.

Gloves are doubled up with a micro thin pair of

“Thinnies” from outdoor brand Extremities (you’ll

find these in all good outdoor stores) under a pair of

Oakley SI outers; for the Winter I have a pair of the

Oakleys one size up from my usual to accommodate

the extra layer when needed. I’ve also thrown in

a pair of standalone ALTA kneepads which can be

worn over the salopettes if needed to give protection

to them, and my poor old knees!

IN GAME GEAR

Airsoft, especially day skirmishing, is all about

moving fast, and even in full Winter conditions

38

JUNE 2022


OUTDOOR

TACTICAL OUTDOOR DEVELOPMENT

carrying a combat load is really going to get your

pulse racing and have you heating up fast! It could

be argued that dealing effectively with moisture

management in your clothing system is even more

important during cold weather as if your clothing is

wet when you stop moving and your activity levels

drop you are going to chill down extremely fast.

I usually tend in this scenario to look for clothing

that is going to perform to the maximum, and sadly

this doesn’t come cheap. You can use all your usual

gear for “in game”, but given the time of year I

intend to use it I’m going to need a little extra to see

me through, so it’s back to the Snugpak range where

two garments really stand out. What I’m looking for

is basic protection from wind, sleet, and even snow,

but I still want to maintain maximum performance

and breathability. Snugpak have taken their Paratex

fabric and put it into a “Micro” version of their

Vapour Active Wind Top, creating a minimalist

garment weighing just 260g in size XL that is perfect

for this role; when not needed it scrunches down to

about the size of a phone and can easily be stored in

a pouch or cargo pocket. I have one that is slightly

oversized as I can just throw it on over all

my kit if

needed, and there’s even a

rollaway

hood should things turn

foul.

The

other garment really

worthy

of consideration for

your

game loadout ups the

ante

you

slightly and is ideal if

really feel the cold. The

Vapour Active Soft Shell

takes the Wind Top

and adds a TS1

Thermal Suede

Lining. It still

stays protective

and minimalist,

weighing 440g

in size XL, but

it adds an

extra thermal

boost to your

setup. Both

garments

are available

in multiple

colours and

patterns

should AU

not be your

thing, and neither are going to break the bank!

Something you may wish to consider for the

Winter months is a set of full seal goggles, especially

if you’re going to be working from vehicles; these

will keep dust and the elements out of your eyes,

but please ensure that you buy a pair with a proper

ballistic rating, preferably from your local airsoft

store! To these I’ve added an AU Goggle Cover

from 0241 Tactical, and to complete my headgear a

lightweight jersey Neck Gaiter. A minimalist beanie

hat is also good to stuff into a pouch or pocket for

when the lid comes off, and a Coyote Tan watch cap

from Outdoor Research Tactical (ORT) fits this Bill

nicely. To round out the loadout I’ve again gone to

ORT for gloves, choosing the lightweight “Ironsight”

model which fit snugly and give high levels of

protection.

A TOTAL SOLUTION

Rather than rushing at the “latest and greatest” I’ve

spent an extended period researching exactly what I

need and what I want it to do. All of the items that

I’ve featured this month are easily available but are

not cheap; if you intend to have an “airsoft career”

as long as mine then they should be viewed under

the heading “investment” though. Whether you

decide to follow the A-TACS route like me is totally

YOUR choice, but I believe this article may give you

some “pointers” in what to look for.

The last word this time however is going to be

about that crucial maintenance; spend some time

and really research what is out there to help you

keep your kit performing to the optimum standard

and deal with it NOW before you store it away.

Grangers and Nikwax in Europe both have a superb

range of maintenance products so you can keep

cleanliness, waterproofness and breathability up to

their very highest levels, and all of their treatments,

whether it be for boots, gloves, fleeces, soft shells,

insulated garments, or hard shells, can be carried out

easily and swiftly at home.

Be the “prepared player”; choose your kit carefully

and maintain it well. If you do this you’ll be able to

stay comfortable in the most extreme conditions and

even on the grimmest of Winter days be an absolute

asset to your fellow players, your team, or any Site

you are a member of… and have a lot of fun too! AA

www.airsoftaction.net 39


RELOADED

A&K WINCHESTER 1892

STILL

SHOWDOWN

READY!

SEVEN YEARS AGO BILL TREATED HIMSELF TO ONE OF THE ORIGINAL A&K WINCHESTER LEVER

ACTION RIFLES, AND IT TRULY FUELLED ALL OF HIS DREAMS OF AIRSOFT ON THE “WIDE OPEN

RANGE”; HE NOW RETURNS TO THIS WESTERN CLASSIC TO GIVE HIS OVERVIEW ON HOW IT HAS

PERFORMED… AND CONTINUES TO PERFORM TO THIS DAY!

Over the many years I’ve been playing I’ve had

the pleasure of trying most forms of airsoft,

but one that I STILL want to give a go is “6mm

Wild West”; sadly my fight with “The Big C” over

the last few years has put a bit of a dent in my airsoft

adventures, but now I’m thankfully in recovery mode

it’s time to look again to the future!

Our old mate Josh and his great crew at Gunman

Airsoft run regular western themed games under the

“Flying Lead” banner, and from what I’ve heard, and

seen in post-game pictures, they are very, very good.

There are some excellent airsoft “Western” revolvers

out there from manufacturers like Hartford, Tanaka,

Marushin, and now King Arms which have been, and

are, superb; manufacturers like KTW and Marushin

have built Winchester and Randall rifles they have

traditionally been very expensive, and in many cases

didn’t perform very well from what I’ve been told.

And of course if you want a sawn-off double-barrelled

shotgun… they are out there!

I have been lucky enough to shoot real Winchester

lever action rifles and “clones”, most recently a lovely

Uberti “1873” chambered in .45 Colt, and they are a

part of the western “legend”. I really wanted to put

together a “cowboy” airsoft loadout so a Winchester

was high on my list of priorities, along with a brace

of Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers; the rifle I now

have and have loved for some time, but the pistols

sadly still elude me. I spoke to a number of the guys

involved in the “Cowboy Airsoft” scene way back

“I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO SHOOT REAL WINCHESTER LEVER ACTION RIFLES

AND “CLONES”, MOST RECENTLY A LOVELY UBERTI “1873” CHAMBERED IN .45 COLT,

AND THEY ARE A PART OF THE WESTERN “LEGEND”. I REALLY WANTED TO PUT

TOGETHER A “COWBOY” AIRSOFT LOADOUT SO A WINCHESTER WAS HIGH ON MY LIST

OF PRIORITIES”

40

JUNE 2022


RELOADED

A&K WINCHESTER 1892

and almost everyone told me not to bother with any

of the older Winchester models unless I was going

to put “some serious money” into getting one that

worked properly and reliably so you can imagine

I was overjoyed when I managed to snag a rather

nifty looking lever action from A&K. This was the

then-new, UK friendly replica, and to see a classic yet

affordable Western themed rifle from them was a joy;

those “Saturday Afternoon Westerns” of my dim and

distant youth came flooding back to me!

The real Winchester 1892 was actually first

manufactured after the “golden age” of the American

frontier, and the true “Guns that Won the West”

were the earlier Models 1866 and 1873. That said

the 1892 became an icon of the Western through

its use in hundreds of cowboy films and television

shows, standing in for the older models. Hollywood

movies studio bought up literally hundreds of the

1892 because it was in regular production during the

silver screen cowboy heyday but looked sufficiently

like “Old West” Winchesters to substitute for valuable

antiques, and because in calibres .44-40 and .38-40 it

could fire, together with the Colt Single Action Army

“Peacemaker” revolver, the standard

blank cartridge.

made by Winchester, and although the company

phased them out in 1945, they are still being made

by companies like Rossi, Chiappa, Uberti, and by

Browning in Japan. In its modern form, using updated

materials and production techniques, the Model

1892’s action is strong enough to chamber high

pressure handgun rounds, such as .357 Magnum, .44

Magnum, and .454 Casull!

A&K NAILED IT!

With this absolute wealth of history and cinematic

provenance in hand I was truly impressed by how

the A&K Winchester performed out of the box when

I bought it, and it has not missed a beat since then

(although it has now been stripped and serviced

a couple of times!); A&K really did nail it! They

offer two “1892 Western” models in their range,

the “1892” which comes with faux-wood plastic

furniture and the “1892A” which has real wood,

albeit somewhat “Chinese Orange”; this wood finish

is okay, but a little sanding down and re-staining

have this looking “just so”, so to me it’s not a

problem. Alongside this A&K now offer that supersweet

“Mare’s Leg” and the “tacticool (why not?)

“1873RS”. All the models are

predominantly full

metal in their

construction

including a

rather nice brass

buttplate for

the “1892”

This mirrored

the way that real cowboys found it convenient

to carry a rifle and a revolver chambered with the

same ammunition. John Wayne famously carried

1892s in dozens of his films and owned several

personally, some with the distinctive oversized “loop”

lever that is seen “filling his hand” in “True Grit”;

Steve McQueen was also a fan, famously using his

“Mare’s Leg” (so named because it kicked like one,

and also now available from A&K!!!) in the show

“Wanted: Dead or Alive”.

It is believed that some 1,007,608 1892 rifles were

variants.

In terms of

dimensions and

weight A&K have

done very well

as the real 1892

measured 953mm

and weighed 453.4g,

and the replica comes in at

955mm/360g.

The finish on all the metal

“WITH THIS ABSOLUTE WEALTH OF HISTORY AND CINEMATIC PROVENANCE IN HAND

I WAS TRULY IMPRESSED BY HOW THE A&K WINCHESTER PERFORMED OUT OF THE

BOX WHEN I BOUGHT IT, AND IT HAS NOT MISSED A BEAT SINCE THEN (ALTHOUGH IT

HAS NOW BEEN STRIPPED AND SERVICED A COUPLE OF TIMES!) A&K REALLY DID NAIL

IT!”

www.airsoftaction.net 41


RELOADED

A&K WINCHESTER 1892

42

JUNE 2022


RELOADED

A&K WINCHESTER 1892

parts is very, very tidy indeed, a nice matte black

throughout which has stood up to wear well. In the

hands, if you’re used to modern firearm models, the

Winchester feels almost diminutive given its slender

and elegant profile, but it shoulders well and is easy

to move around. There’s next to no “fluff” about the

1892; there’s a small ring on the left hand side for

securing it into a saddle holster, and sights are simple

yet effective with a blade at the sharp end and a

ladder sight adjustable for windage and elevation (Mrs

Langdon!). The 1892 has no controls and no safety

catch, but once cocked the hammer can be released

forward by easing the trigger so the rifle can be safely

carried when loaded; when you’re ready to fire it’s just

a case of cocking the hammer back with your thumb

and pulling the trigger.

The A&K is gas powered and gas is charged into

the chamber by removing a small plate on the front

of what would be the magazine on the real thing;

this is quickly and easily achieved and the small plate

resembling a screw head is held securely in place by

a tiny spring-loaded ball. Just like the real thing the

replica 1892 is loaded via a small port on the right

hand side just above the front of the trigger guard;

a special loading tool consisting of a tube, plunger,

and angled plate is provided with the replica as the

BBs actually load in at an angle which you’d be hard

pressed to achieve with a normal speed loader.

This performance, with regular servicing, has

remained constant over the time I’ve owned the 1892,

and I have to say that I still find it utterly charming,

and it’s proved to be no slouch in terms of build

quality or performance either. I will go as far as saying

that this is a replica I have genuinely loved owning,

and as it cost just £179.00 when I bought it (they

seem to be even cheaper now!) I’d say that’s money

well spent!

Would you use this as a skirmish rifle on a

weekend? I’d have to say no, but if you’re thinking of

dabbling in “Wild West Airsoft” as one day I intend

still to do now that I’m healthy again, then this is a

rifle that will let you do just that at a sensible price,

and you’ll have a lot of fun doing so!

Fill your hands you SOAB!!!

For further information on the A&K Winchester

1892, the “Mare’s Leg”, and the 1892RS, and many,

many more fine airsoft replicas please do visit www.

nuprol.com, and all models should be hitting your

favourite airsoft stores again right now. AA

HOME ON THE RANGE

As new the Winchester loaded up with its full

complement of 24 0.20g RZR BBs and charged with

NUPROL 2.0 gas fully lived up to my expectations.

Through the chrono the rifle delivers a consistent

average of 332fps over a string of 10 BBs which is

perfect for all sites. With the hop set (this is situated

on top of the barrel and accessed by cocking the rife,

and easily adjusted using a small Allen key which is

provided) at 10m unsupported I’m able to group 10

BBs within 25mm, and I can easily hit my “sandbag”

at 30m. The rate of fire is of course governed by how

fast you can work the lever action, but this is very

smooth in operation; you do need to ensure however

that you cycle the action fully as internally there is a

small plate which lifts the next BB into place and if

you don’t work the lever completely you’ll be left “dry

firing”!

“THIS PERFORMANCE, WITH REGULAR SERVICING, HAS REMAINED CONSTANT OVER

THE TIME I’VE OWNED THE 1892, AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT I STILL FIND IT UTTERLY

CHARMING, AND IT’S PROVED TO BE NO SLOUCH IN TERMS OF BUILD QUALITY OR

PERFORMANCE EITHER.”

www.airsoftaction.net 43


THE CAGE

TACLITES & IR ILLUMINATORS

THE CAGE:

CREATURES OF

THE NIGHT

CONTINUING ON THE THEME OF HOW WE SET UP OUR INDIVIDUAL RIFLES, CARBINES AND SMGS

THE LEGION LOOKS AT AN “ILLUMINATING TOPIC” THIS MONTH! THERE’S NOTHING BETTER

THAN A GOOD URBAN GAME, AND IF THAT’S AFTER DARK IT’S MORE ENJOYABLE; HERE THE

CREW TAKES A LOOK AT THE TACLITES AND IR ILLUMINATORS THAT THEY RUN REGULARLY!

46

JUNE 2022


THE CAGE

TACLITES & IR ILLUMINATORS

Airsoft is a fast paced, dynamic game to play

but there’s a side of it that really gets my

pulse racing and that’s a good night game,

especially if that’s also in an urban environment.

Not all sites get to grips with this type of game

as obviously there are inherent dangers that not

everyone is comfortable with, but if you get an

experienced site operator that knows what they’re

up to not only in terms of controlling the flow of play

but also in relation to lighting and pyrotechnics then

playing after dark can be absolutely exhilarating!

I’ve been lucky enough over the years to play on

both urban and woodland sites after darkness falls

and have to say that I absolutely love it, preferring

the “grey out” of the urban setting if truth be

known; everything slows down, movement becomes

more considered and both situational awareness

and tactical skills have to be at their sharpest edge.

Sound carries further in the still of the night so

patrolling and ambush drills need to be spot on.

It’s when things “kick off” though that the

adrenaline really kicks in; suddenly an explosion lights

up the night and you find yourself in the middle of a

firefight with BBs whizzing everywhere! Flames burn

brightly from “artillery” strikes and taclites pop on

and off all around, strobe-lighting up dark corners

momentarily to ensure that everything is clear. It’s a

joy when you get it right… and can be painful if you

get it wrong!

Add to this some night vision gear, thankfully

options for which seem to be getting more

affordable if this is your bag, and as Jase puts it so

succinctly later you’ll be “owning the night” and

loving it. Kick in a tracer and some tracer BBs and

you’ve got it all going on! Some of the very best

games I’ve had the pleasure to play in have been

www.airsoftaction.net 47


THE CAGE

TACLITES & IR ILLUMINATORS

“overnighters”, and it’s an element that I, like many of

you, simply adore.

But what of the “right kit” I hear you ask, and my

simple response to this is that the “right kit” is what

you like and what works for you; however, when I got

into it with the Legion there seemed to be an awful

lot of overlap to what we’ve come to use and trust

over the years, and we hope that this information will

help you when you come to set up your own AEG or

GBB for low-light, no0light Ops!

TEAM TALK

So, as always I posed my question to the members

of the AA Legion, and this month it was: “Do you

use a taclite or laser module on your AEGs and GBBs

(both pistols and “longs”)? Do you use an IR unit with

NVGs? Which models do you use, and do you run

them full-time or for specific games?”

Boycie: For me it really depends on my mood. I

swap between M300, M600, Streamlight HL-1, X200,

X300 and Inforce WML but also I use a black Element

PEQ-15, mostly for the illumination but occasionally I

use the laser too. The Inforce WML, X200, X300 and

HL-1 are also used on my pistols depending on the

holster I use.

Miguel: NVG? I wish... They are a bit over my price

range (sad face)! During night events I use my trusty

Olight M2T Warrior and I must make do!

Jase: (Whispers) Owning the night.. So I personally

use a G&P DBal and a Wadsn DBal, both with IR

functioning laser and flood. The G&P is better when

it comes to the flood. If I’m heading down the white

light route, my pistol torch is a Surefire x300 and on

my longs, it’s a very old SolarForce with an LM Cree

bulb; I have a few different options, they are a bit

unsightly nowadays but work so well. I do have a

Wadsn SF copy, its ok, but no comparison to the Solar

Force.

Robbie: I have a variety of illumination tools. They

only go on when needed. I have 1080+ IR illuminator

and laser set (usually only Gen 4 and above can see

it), and I have several clone white illuminators that

are a good as any premium. I still run always thumb

button style, no pressure switch as they always fail on

me. I have a cheap knock off potato light Bill gave me

ages ago that I replaced the module in and still use

for indoor games. It’s perfect, lightweight, safe, works

flawlessly!

Dan: I use a variety of Surefire: M640V, M600DF

and X300UA’s. There’s a few structures at local fields

that are quite dark inside (even in direct daylight) due

to absence of windows or other illumination, which

is where having a nice white light comes in handy for

poking into the dark corners.

On the “night guns”, those will be using the

M640V and the IR illuminator mode for those

situations where I might need a little extra punch for

my NVG’s. It’s used sparingly: just a momentary blast,

then shoot and scoot. I’ve used much more powerful

Modlite IR heads in the past, but found them to be

absolutely overwhelming for our environment; 9 times

out of 10 they’d cause my night vision to autogate.

The 640V sits in the Goldilocks zone for being “just

right”, especially for the contact distances we see in

Airsoft.

My general preference for switches is for the small

Modlite Modbuttons so I can activate the light from

either hand. And for light mounts, I’m a diehard

Arisaka fan! I’ve been stepping back from the IR lasers

as night vision use has started to really proliferate and

passive aiming solutions have become more optimal.

Stewbacca: Aside from my LA5 replica unit that I

purchased for the AW Colt Canada L119A2 “Obi Wan

Nairobi” getup last year and have barely used, I only

have the integral torch foregrip for my WE MP5 GBB

that I got off a teammate with the gun.

For the most part we play outdoors these days

and there’s little need for illumination, although

we have a MilSim camping weekend coming up in

June so I should probably consider that. I did have a

combination laser and taclite unit on the front of my

G36C but rarely used that even in CQB and the bulb

shook itself off the PCB due to recoil after a while

anyway!

Bill: I first came across the KLARUS brand of

flashlights and tactical torches many years ago and

have had a couple of models from them in my gear

pile ever since. My most regularly used flashlight,

whether it has been for everyday use in my pocket

or rifle-mounted for lowlight situations, is an original

grey bodied KLARUS XT11; this wonderful taclite has

given great service all over the world and is still going

strong!

Although I do own a number of “real deal”

Surefires, for airsoft I make use of dedicated lighting

solutions; the NUPROL NX300 is a light designed to be

48

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TACLITES & IR ILLUMINATORS

fitted to a range of railed handguns, giving the ability

to quickly acquire targets in low light conditions whilst

allowing you to keep both hands on your pistol. The

torch is constructed with an alloy body and head, a

solid polymer toggle switch at the rear, and features

a high power 200 Lumens Genuine CREE LED Bulb.

The lights rear switch features an Ambidextrous

Textured Toggle, allowing activation by both left and

right handed shooters. This is perfect for any night

game or CQB situation, as you can light up an entire

corridor or sweep out corners in any room with added

accuracy and visibility.

On my “longs” I use the NX600 series; the two

models, available in Black or Tan, are Long (L) and

Short (S) variants. They follow the trend towards small,

bright “scout” type tactical lights that affix solidly

to the rail of your RIF; designed specifically as rifle

lights they are made of quality alloy and tough as old

boots. Measuring 90mm the S variant takes 1xCR123

battery and gives out a clear white light. The L variant

is 125mm long and takes 2xCR123. Both lights have

a very slim, low profile, and the single bolt clamp

is equally minimalist. The two lights come superbly

packaged with both a “rats tail” remote pressure

switch and standard tailcap which makes them very

versatile; NUPROL even include the velcro strip to

attach the pressure switch so they really have thought

of everything!

Although I don’t often use any form of NVGs I

recently finished setting up my Mk18 and for that I

decided that it REALLY needed a functional IR unit; I

decided upon a tan PEQ-15 module and even sought

out proper stickers for it! As a standalone Laser/Light

Module you also get an IR laser built in, and although

it’s mainly polymer-bodied, it does have an alloy rail

mount, lens housing and battery cover. The torch

itself is nothing to write home about, so I have a red

filter over that for “admin and searches”; the red laser

though is bright enough to see up to about 30m in

daylight, and further out in the dark, and the IR laser

works well with NVGs. The module can be activated

in all settings either by using the large rubber button

on the top of the module, or via the included “rats

tail, although Jimmy kindly gave me a brilliant WADSN

combi pressure switch recently that lets me activate

both the NX600 and the PEQ-15 from one railmounted

source… SWEET!

Jimmy: When it comes to illumination or target

markers you’re pretty spoilt for choice but ultimately a

lot of airsofters will barely use them for the intended

purpose. A lot are merely to make your RIF look extra

tacticool and they certainly do. For me a platform

without any attachments is like chips with no salt and

vinegar, very plain and boring. I love the look of a fully

kitted out AR. RIS, RAS, handguard whichever it is has

been designed for modular use, so use it I say! Any

of these items though if put to use should be fitted

correctly to gain the most out of them and to give

the user an advantage which can sometimes be more

difficult than you think.

My set up tends to stay the same if the rifle/pistol

allows for such setup. DBAL A2 way up front, torch

as far forward as possible on the right (furthest point

forward as to not cast shadows) switches mid-rif

on top of the handguard and T1, Eotech, Cmore,

Aimpoint M2 whichever I’m running slap bang in the

middle. Thus setup I find to be the best for me. I’m no

hardcore milsimmer so I don’t require the use of high

end real equipment and quite frankly I can’t afford it

so I have compiled over time what I believe to be the

best clones a small budget can buy.

Wadsn make some great DBALS and they are priced

incredibly well and offer several variants from an

empty battery box to a fully functioning device which

even a milsimmer would be happy to use. There are

heaps of manufacturers presenting us with a very vast

selection of torches all offering what are good quality

clones again Wadsn being one of them. I have several

torches and they are all on par with each other, and

all work equally well; Nuprol x600, Tomtac Scout,

Wadsn Scout and all come in roughly the same cost.

I really rate Wadsn as they offer so many items for

any airsofter. When it comes to pistols I don’t really

use a torch if I’m honest while for the look cool I

actually prefer to use just a tracer unit if said pistol

allows for one to be fitted although I do like the look

of a Surefire x300 which I think is probably the most

popular pistol torch style. AA

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RED CELL

OTHER GBB PISTOLS

RED CELL

COMIN’

AROUND

AGAIN!

IT’S TIME AGAIN TO LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE MODELS THAT RED CELL CHECKED OUT FIRST

IN ISSUE 121, AND TIME HAS REALLY FLOWN BY SINCE THEN, SO IT’S TIME FOR THE CREW TO GET

TOGETHER VIRTUALLY TO UPDATE THEIR FINDINGS, THIS TIME INCLUDING SOME OF OUR NEWER

“CELL” MEMBERS IN THE MIX AS WELL!

Time it does fly on by and I can’t believe that it

was way back in 2020 when we first looked

at the “OTHER GBB PISTOLS” category! The

Red Cell program had really flourished during that

time, with all members having triple figures of AEGs

and GBBs to reference, and in turn passing that

information on to you!

It is a rolling program, and as we promised at the

outset we will continue to document the performance

and durability of those models we first looked at,

whilst continually adding new, globally popular

models to the mix… sadly, as you’ll read when you get

into the meat of things, not all of them have stood up

to the pace of testing, and it’s sending the AA Tech’ers

down some real rabbit holes in search of solutions…

some say that “we break ‘em so you don’t have to”

whereas WE say “we break ‘em and find a fix so

you can keep on using ‘em!”

“Replica military models” are still amongst the

most popular AEGs and GBBs that we all buy, but it’s

incredibly interesting to see new designs hitting the

market, concepts drawn up by airsoft manufacturers

themselves. Models like the G&G Armament Piranha

Mk1, the AAP-01, and the WE Galaxy are far from

“military” but that’s not to say that they’re not

righteous 6mm creations!

I don’t know about all of you but I’ve certainly

been spending more time than usual with my

handgun collection in the past couple of years, and

even while stuck at home I made good use of my

“home range”; you only need about 20-30 feet, your

eyepro, some BBs and gas, and some targets set into

a solid backstop, and you’re good to go! I do have

neighbours, but they’re all used to seeing me “out

back” with AEGs and GBBs as I’ve taken time to

speak with them and “educate” them that what they

see me shooting are “6mm BB replicas, and indeed

these days, especially with some of the new “non-

“IT IS A ROLLING PROGRAM, AND AS WE PROMISED AT THE OUTSET WE WILL

CONTINUE TO DOCUMENT THE PERFORMANCE AND DURABILITY OF THOSE MODELS

WE FIRST LOOKED AT, WHILST CONTINUALLY ADDING NEW, GLOBALLY POPULAR

MODELS TO THE MIX… ”

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OTHER GBB PISTOLS

mil” models they’re actually very interested, and I’m

pleased now that I can invite them over to have a

shoot!

I’ve actually been continuing to enjoy spending

more time with my GBB handguns overall on the

“home range”, and although I have my favourites it’s

always nice to try something new isn’t it? Recently

I’ve had new models through that I’ll be adding to

the “OTHERS” test pool in the form of the VORSK

OSORIS and the RAVEN R9 that you’ll see reviewed

in this very issue, and as things are picking up again

and shipments apparently back to full flow, I’m sure

that I’ll be adding more for the guys of “The Cell” to

test in due course. But with all the stats in the bag

once again, it’s time to hand over now to the Red Cell

crew themselves to give you an idea of how the pistol

models they had to test initially have fared since we

first got them together!

Boycie: The M17 is getting equal use alongside

my other pistols. It’s also being a big hit at the local

range where we use airsoft to allow everyone to take

part in two gun

competitions. It’s

proving to be a really

nice pistol. A number of friends

have given it a run out and then

said that they intend on buying one

for themselves. They’d been worried

about some comments in groups that

they are made of cheese and that is far

from the truth. I love that I can use my

Glock holster for the M17 which has saved me a lot

in not needing to invest in a further holster, especially

as I prefer Safariland holsters. Reloading is swift and

I spend a bit of time each week in reload drills, now

that I have 3 spare mags for it. I’m mainly using

Nuprol 3.0 or V8 gas and Valken .28’s. I also like that

I can use my weapon mounted lights and still holster

it, this means I can sling my primary and go to my side

arm when in close quarters. It’s also been a good back

up sidearm when running the Steyr Scout (reviewed in

a previous AA issue alongside “Little Stu”).

Bill: As much as I love the M17 I have to admit

I’m still a sucker for another “SIG” as I’ve had it so

long and played with it so much and that’s the “SEAL

Mk25If pressed I would have to say that the WE

pistol does look an awful lot like a Mk25 , which is

going to please a lot of “Team Six” players no end!

Online research

tells me that

after extensive

environmental trials that

simulated the operating

environment of SEAL units,

including immersion in sand, salt

water and mud, along with a

thirty-thousand-round endurance test, USN SEALs

adopted the Mk25 as their sidearm of choice over

every other model out there!

Now my “Mk25” has been with me a LONG time

and has put up[ with all kinds of abuse, so much

like the real deal I can honestly say that this old

campaigner will be running hard when others start to

fail! . The original finish is still excellent, having stood

up to countless “Kydex draws” which will test the

best paintjobs out there, and it still goes through the

chrono at 295fps, emptying two mags out of one fill

of Nuprol’s finest “green”. I still want to find some

rubberised “combat grips” for it as the “SEAL Team”

grips do feel a bit “plastic” as Jase noted in our

original roundup, but I also have to agree with him

that this 226 does indeed have the tightest fitting

slide by miles, it literally has no wobble to it, and

when it comes to hitting the steel it makes light work

of the task!

And to keep me in line with my love for the

“226”, although there are no (absolutely none,

nada!) “trades” on the RAVEN R226 other than that

nomenclature on the handgrips it undoubtedly is one,

and in my opinion is one of the very nicest handguns

that RAVEN have produced to date (although their

“THE M17 IS GETTING EQUAL USE ALONGSIDE MY OTHER PISTOLS. IT’S ALSO BEING A

BIG HIT AT THE LOCAL RANGE WHERE WE USE AIRSOFT TO ALLOW EVERYONE TO TAKE

PART IN TWO GUN COMPETITIONS. IT’S PROVING TO BE A REALLY NICE PISTOL.”

www.airsoftaction.net 49


RED CELL

OTHER GBB PISTOLS

new R9 is pretty darn close!), and even with the love

I have for the Hi Capa 4.3 as a “fighting gun” I truly

believe that this new model has the potential to be

one of the best “fighting GBBs” on the market for the

money.

With an overall length of 190mm, and weight of

845g the “feel” of the R226 is superb, and this is

further enhanced by the almost-rubberised-in-texture

pistol grip that’s wrapped around the rear; it gives

you confidence that once you have the R226 in your

hand it’s going to stay there, whatever the weather,

whatever the situation. I’ve been running the R226 on

NUPROL 2.0 gas, using .20g RZR BBs for testing, and

the chrono settles consistently at 0.83 Joule/300fps

on that weight, with little variance from new. The

pistol has now had about 75 mags worth down the

barrel (a mix of .20 and .25g RZRs), and to date I’ve

experienced no issues. Accuracy is actually getting

better the more I run it, and at 10m I’m now down

to regular 75mm groupings when I try; consistently at

10m it’s a breeze hitting steels each and every time,

even when I’m on the move!

Chris: (cracks knuckles, right..) If I could sum up

the WE Browning Mk3 in three words I would say, A

beautiful disappointment. Externally my Mk3 is solid

with no rattle, and the finish is thin but looks great…

and that sadly is all the good points. Internally it’s a

letdown with the

whole barrel and

“hop” assembly being so

loose from new it was no wonder I

was having consistency issues. After

tightening the barrel parts and

adjusting the “hop” it has been very

good with range and consistency.

That said, the Hop up is a major let down, its just

a small rubber patch that is topped with the weakest

brass screw known to man; if you’ve ever owned

the WE Mauser 712 you’ll know what I mean. I’m

waiting for this to just give up the ghost any second,

talking of giving up leads me nicely onto another main

disappointment. The mags; not only do you have to

be extremely careful of a small spring in the magwell,

(so careful in fact you have to insert and extract with

the hammer back or it will bend and render the replica

useless) the mag gas capacity/consumption is so bad

you barely get through a whole mag before it runs out

of puff, not very helpful if you’re depending on it as a

reliable secondary. In conclusion, great to look at, hold

and fill a pouch, awful to use. My only hope is that

WE release a Gen2 with proper innards.

Stewbacca: The WE Luger is very much the same

story, basically copied off the old Japanese system

(Marushin or Maruzen, can’t remember which)

and also has the mag insertion problem and poor

efficiency. Knowing how good some of WEs kit is

despite being economical I feel they have little excuse.

Bill: Yup, I had high hopes for the Mk3 as it’s

basically one of my Cold War era “holy grail guns”,

and I SO wanted it to be right, as good as the Mk25

has proved to be… sadly it’s not, for all of the reasons

that Chris has mentioned before. The operation

moves no further onward from WE’s “Canadian” and

apparently if suffers from all the same weaknesses

both internally and in relation to the magazine.

Externally it looks exactly like I’d wished for (the real

Hi Power was a bit of dog finish-wise if I’m honest),

but I’m not sure how the finish will live up to hard

use as it does indeed feel very “thin”. I’ve passed

mine over to Jimmy to see what he can make of the

internals, so we’ll have a look at that in due course to

see if there are any “fixes” he can come up with…

Dan: The WE Browning is one I took in to repair

for a friend. Externally it’s pretty, but the internals are

certainly lackluster and our example suffered a sear

failure after the owner had only put 3 magazines

through it. As it was brand new to the market at the

time, replacement parts were not available in the US

and it took nearly 2 1/2 months to get a new sear

from some obscure shop out of Hong Kong. Rather

disappointingly, the new sear immediately died within

a few pulls of the trigger. At that point, we binned

it and sold it as a boneyard special. Aside from that,

I concur with all of the points Chris brought up

regarding this platform.

I’ve run a good few mags through an AAP01 and

mucked about in the internals some. Overall, I found

it technically interesting, it not a little derivative to

its influences, and slightly cheap feeling. I came

“IF I COULD SUM UP THE WE BROWNING MK3 IN THREE WORDS I WOULD SAY, A

BEAUTIFUL DISAPPOINTMENT. EXTERNALLY MY MK3 IS SOLID WITH NO RATTLE, AND

THE FINISH IS THIN BUT LOOKS GREAT… AND THAT SADLY IS ALL THE GOOD POINTS.”

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OTHER GBB PISTOLS

away with the impression that the designers knew

this pistol would be an instant hit, and therefore did

the minimum amount possible to refine the parts,

knowing most of the meaty bits were just standing

in as “place holders” for latter upgrades. And maybe

that’s fine, owing to intention of the platform; that is

after all why many builders purchase the JG VSR-10

over the Tokyo Marui VSR-10. If you’re going to gut

absolutely everything, why start out with the more

expensive product first?

Stewbacca: With

regards to the Action

Army AAP01, you

can find my full review in April

2021’s back issues, but for the

short version; it’s clearly a winning

formula given the fact it took the

Airsoft arena by storm, an economical,

highly adaptable or customisable

reimagining of the Ruger, its fixed inner barrel gave it

surprising out of the box accuracy for me, especially

with mid-weight ammunition such as the 0.3g region,

especially useful is its integral threaded barrel muzzle

section and protector, enabling you to whack a tracer

on it from the get go, which I did, with great results.

It’s clearly left an impression in skirmish and

speedsoft communities alike and I’ve seen countless

players in Taiwan favouring it for the sheer plethora

of functional and aesthetic components available

to really make it your own, while the fact it takes

practically any Glock mags and is also compatible with

their internals no doubt lends further to its appeal.

It took Redwolf Airsoft’s top spot in terms of gas

pistols, and with clear reason. I always recommend

them - if you can find them - to people who want

something that just shoots well, accurately, and

reliably out of the box and allows you to grow the

platform in future. I have numerous gas pistols and

have owned countless others in the past, but few can

be depended on to fire first time, every time, without

many if any failures to speak of.

Jimmy: Reliability out of the box… hmm, I kinda

have to disagree sorry to say Stu. They are renowned

for braking hammers and disconnectors and the BBU

wears thin incredibly fast. I have worked on many all

suffering the same symptoms. I have a brand new

one sat in a box; it had one burst of full chat and

pretty much obliterated itself! They are good after

fitting some choice upgrades but as for out of the

box I personally wouldn’t rate them. I agree that the

market has been taken by storm and the imagination

of the AAP community has pretty much exploded and

it is a platform that lends itself well for performance

enhancing upgrades. I think regarding custom builds

it is up there with the Hi Capa if not in front.

Stewbacca: Jimmy, I do wonder if there was a

downturn in quality after they saturated the local

market? I see loads of guys running them here

without seeing anywhere near as many problems, and

from what I hear their lead design guy recently split

off to become the head guy of TTI, so I’m not sure if

it is a case of “too big, too fast” and they dropped

quality to get the insane bulk of them out the door...

Concerning the Shadow SP01, my full review of the

KJW is available in the August 2021 in back issues! I

used this for a good six months in Action Air,- which

is an intensive run for any gas pistol compared to

the usual holster filling role or occasional up close

and panicking sidearm, and it didn’t disappoint

given the beating it endured. A

hefty all metal

frame and slide

construction does

make it somewhat from another era

for many - including myself - who

prefer the plastic fantastic polymer

framed wonder-nines and other such

mid to late eighties arrivals. But that

makes it ideal for competition use

and steady, flat shooting, with the weight eating up

a lot of the already much lesser recoil impulse of an

airsoft gun, which along with its very short, light and

crisp single action trigger mode lead to me stacking

double alphas in short order.

“IT’S CLEARLY LEFT AN IMPRESSION IN SKIRMISH AND SPEEDSOFT COMMUNITIES

ALIKE AND I’VE SEEN COUNTLESS PLAYERS IN TAIWAN FAVOURING IT FOR THE SHEER

PLETHORA OF FUNCTIONAL AND AESTHETIC COMPONENTS AVAILABLE TO REALLY

MAKE IT YOUR OWN...”

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OTHER GBB PISTOLS

G&G GTP-9

Model: G&G GTP-9

Price: iro £110.00

Age: 18 Months

Weight: 755g

Length: 21.6cm

Magazine Capacity: 27 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95 Joule/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.75 Joule/284fps

Holster Compatibility: Only tested with Amomax Universal Holster

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: 12mm CCW

Supplied By: www.nuprol.com

G&G PIRANHA MK1

Price: iro £150.00

Age: 18 months

Weight: 670g

Length: 195mm

Magazine Capacity: 25 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.72 Joule/280fps

Hot Chrono: 0.53 Joule/240fps

Holster Compatibility: Good

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: Adapter Required

Supplied By: www.nuprol.com

ASG SHADOW SP-01

Price: iro £110.00

Age: 4 Years

Weight: 1079g

Length: 225mm

Magazine Capacity: 26 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.77 Joule/288fps

Hot Chrono: 0.72 Joule/280fps

Holster Compatibility: Good

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: N/A

Supplied By: www.actionsportgames.com

ASG CZ75 CLASSIC

Price: iro £125.00

Age: 5 Years

Weight: 980g

Length: 206mm

Magazine Capacity: 24 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.89 Joule/310fps

Hot Chrono: 0.80 Joule/295fps

Holster Compatibility: Good

Taclite Compatibility: N/A

Suppressor Compatibility: N/A

Supplied By: www.actionsportgames.com

RAVEN R226

Price: iro £100.00

Age: 18 months

Weight: 845g

Length: 190mm

Magazine Capacity: 20 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.78 Joule/290fps

Hot Chrono: 0.72 Joule/280fps

Holster Compatibility: Good

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: Good

Supplied By: www.rvnairsoft.com

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OTHER GBB PISTOLS

WE MK25

Price: iro £130.00

Age: 5+ Years

Weight: 100g

Length: 195mm

Magazine Capacity: 24 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.80 Joule/295fps

Hot Chrono: 0.78 Joule/290fps

Holster Compatibility: Good

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: Adapter Required

Supplied By: www.weairsoft.com

SIG PROFORCE M17

Price: iro £160.00

Age: 18 months

Weight: 769g

Length: 203mm

Magazine Capacity: 28 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95 Joule/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.86 Joule/305fps

Holster Compatibility: Good

Taclite Compatibility: Good

Suppressor Compatibility: N/A

Supplied By: www.fire-support.co.uk

WE BROWNING MK3

Price: iro £120.00

Age: 20 Months

Weight: 819g

Length: 218mm

Magazine Capacity: 20 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95 Joule/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.75 Joule/284fps

Holster Compatibility: Great in a ’58 pattern version!

Taclite Compatibility: No

Suppressor Compatibility: No

Supplied By: www.nuprol.com

WE GALAXY G-SERIES

Price: iro £130.00

Age: New

Weight: 901g

Length: 220mm

Magazine Capacity: 23 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95 Joule/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.75 Joule/284fps

Holster Compatibility: Bespoke

Taclite Compatibility: Railed

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm CCW

Supplied By: www.iwholesales.co.uk

ARMY AAP-01

Price: iro £90.00

Age: 15 Months

Weight: 655g

Length: 230mm

Magazine Capacity: 27 BBs

Cold Chrono: 0.95 Joule/320fps

Hot Chrono: 0.75 Joule/284fps

Holster Compatibility: Bespoke

Taclite Compatibility: No

Suppressor Compatibility: 14mm CCW

Supplied By: Stewbacca

www.airsoftaction.net 53



FRONTIER JACKET

■ Chin guard

■ Full length two-way front zip

■ Zipped pockets

■ Hook and loop ID patch on left arm

■ Fully adjustable hood with elastic draw cords

■ Vented mesh underarm panels

■ Elasticated waist band / cuffs

■ Stow bag

Sizes: S-XXXL

Black / Dark Coyote / V-Cam / SRP: £69 .95


RED CELL

OTHER GBB PISTOLS

Eventually I supplanted it with my current Shadow 2

which has served for a year and a half and is currently

in bits awaiting a major overhaul as it’s seen even

more intense abuse, but that was mainly an aesthetic

and handling reason, I found the Shadow 2 points

and shoots a little better and fits my bear paws more

comfortably, but nonetheless there’s nothing wrong

with the SP01 if you want the classic lines of a Beretta

like form factor in a legendary Czech package. The

high side walls of the dust cover and inverted rails

make for great controllability and hand placement

even with tactical gloves on, and even the double

action is relatively light and easy if you prefer to carry

one hammer down.

Bill: As I’ve said before in use the ASG version of

the SP-01 is flawless, although I have had a few issues

now with magazine floorplates, thankfully easily

remedied by buying some 3D printed versions “off

of t’interwebz”!. The action is still very crisp indeed,

although the old gal is starting to show some signs of

slide wobble… not bad though after the hammering

it’s taken! When cocked the safety still clicks into

place firmly and solidly. The pistol uses a gas magazine

with extended floorplate as standard (now replaced

as mentioned) which is still positive and easy to load,

and this continues to snap into place with a reassuring

“clack”. Overall this is a really satisfying airsoft pistol

and continues to live up to its initial promise. It still

looks and feels great, shoots beautifully after a couple

of services, and continues to cycle perfectly on both

green gas and CO2.

Jimmy: Before any shooting commenced I wanted

to chrono test the GTP9 and the first ten shots out of

the box were quite impressive on the power output;

using RZR 0.20g BBs the power was better than a

lot of other pistols I’ve tested with a high fps of 302

and a low fps of 294. I proceeded to the range and

released a whole magazine with fifteen at a slow

pace and the remaining eight rapid fire and it happily

emptied all of them with equal power.

With a slight adjustment to the hop up I had the

BBs shooting nice and straight and hitting centre

mass on the target every time at a distance of 10

metres. I managed to get through three magazines

before having to re-gas, as on the fourth mag the

slide wasn’t travelling far enough back to reset for a

follow up shot. After putting 100 BBs down range

I went back to the chrono and found that the fps

had dropped slightly, highest fps 290 and the lowest

fps was 284 so if we look at the earlier readings to

the recent readings we are looking at an average of

around the 290 mark. Performance wise it performed

much better than I had imagined it would and I

actually expected it to fall flat on its face!

So now that we

have covered all of the

good stuff let’s take a look at the

little niggles I have after a while. The

trigger is very Glock-like, but it has a

fair amount of take up with a massive

12mm before anything happens, then it

has a reset of about 6mm. It’s not a heavy pull

but it’s not what I’m used to. The magazine itself isn’t

a problem and can accommodate 27 BBs at a push,

the problem is in the loading. It is quite stiff on the

feed lips and the mag follower has to be pulled fully

down and locked in place in order to make loading

somewhat easier, and should you forget to unlock

it (like I did several times) it will render it useless

especially when you need it most but to be honest

that’s more a user error than a mag problem. I’m sure

that after a fashion you will remember to unlock it

without giving it a thought. I must admit I have been

proven wrong, and yes, I did have to eat the whole

humble pie. Out of everything regarding the GTP9 I

could only really find those three little niggles which

are from a personal perspective, so it’s a win for G&G

at the end of the day.

Bill: Sticking with the G&Gs, and I’ll get this out

of the way first; the Piranha is most definitely not a

replica of a “military or police” pistol, but something

far more interesting! It’s a unique design that G&G

have created in house, and in my opinion it shows the

very best of the current drive for airsoft manufacturers

to play with their own concepts, ones that feature all

their latest technology all wrapped up in a pleasing

and ultimately very usable finished product! I’ve set

the Piranha up with .20g RZR BBs for chrono and

“BEFORE ANY SHOOTING COMMENCED I WANTED TO CHRONO TEST THE GTP9 AND

THE FIRST TEN SHOTS OUT OF THE BOX WERE QUITE IMPRESSIVE ON THE POWER

OUTPUT; USING RZR 0.20G BBS THE POWER WAS BETTER THAN A LOT OF OTHER

PISTOLS I’VE TESTED WITH A HIGH FPS OF 302 AND A LOW FPS OF 294.”

56

JUNE 2022


RED CELL

OTHER GBB PISTOLS

.28g for normal shooting, and the 24 BB magazine is

slightly larger than the magazine of the GTP-9, and

sadly not compatible… I get a pleasingly consistent

and perfectly playable 0.8 Joule/295fps on .20g over

the course of the magazine on NUPROL 2.0 “Green”.

And as much as the Piranha is a very attractive,

lightweight modern design, and a lovely thing to

behold, at the end of the day it’s how it performs

and if anything it shoots even better than it looks!

As I’ve stated many times before, for me a handgun

is a backup, and certainly one that needs to excel on

the 10m range, and as I’d hoped, at this distance the

Piranha has proved to have some serious bite! Once

you’ve set the “muzzle hop” with the sweet little

“bullet tool” to your chosen weight of BBs (0.28g

worked well for me over testing to date), at 10m it’s

deadly accurate; where the accuracy of many of my

pistol collection would start to fade a little beyond

that distance though, the Piranha is still bang on the

button. Upping to 20m using the classic three-dot

sights I’m still happily hitting sandbags!

To conclude this month I’ll finish off with one of

my all-time favourite pistols, both real and airsoft!

As much as I’d had high hopes for the WE Browning

Mk3, if you want a great, classic-lines airsoft handgun

then I believe you’d be hard-pressed to find an

historical model much better than the CZ75 from

ASG, which shows that licencing works perfectly as

you’d be hard pressed to distinguish the replica from

very comfortably in the hand. The angle of the pistol

grip (which is slightly longer than the Hi-Power and

1911) is nigh on perfect, and even the chequered

plastic grips featured the embossed CZ logo. The

controls are all quite similar to those of the Hi-Power

and the 1911 as well so if you own one of those

models the 75 will feel pretty instinctive. In use the

ASG CZ75 is equally flawless. The action is very crisp

indeed, the slide easily moved to the rear thanks to

some deep serrations on either side of the slide at the

rear. When cocked the safety clicks into place firmly

and solidly. The pistol comes with a 24 round gas

magazine as standard which is swift and easy to load,

and this snaps into place with a reassuring “clack”.

Loaded up with .20g NUPROL BBs and gas the

CZ75 send BBs downrange with astonishing accuracy

giving excellent groupings at 10 metres. The pistol

does have an adjustable hop-up which is accessed by

removing the slide, and this is very well explained in

the full colour instruction manual supplied with the

pistol. On .20g ammo it has chrono’d consistently

around the 300fps mark over several thousand BBs;

ASG do offer a CO2 magazine as an accessory, and

this works equally as well. Overall this is a really

superb airsoft pistol and is worthy of a place in

anyone’s collection. It looks and feels great, shoots

consistently and extremely accurately, and cycles

perfectly on both green gas and CO2! AA

the real thing! All

the dimensions are

pretty spot on with

the replica coming in at 206.3mm

long as opposed to the 206mm of

the current 75B; in terms of weight

the real thing tips the scales at

1000g and the replica when loaded

with its full complement of 24, .20g

BBs is pretty darn close at 984.8g.

The ergonomics of the replica also mimic those of

the real thing and this is a pistol that really does sit

“IF YOU WANT A GREAT, CLASSIC-LINES AIRSOFT HANDGUN THEN I BELIEVE YOU’D

BE HARD-PRESSED TO FIND AN HISTORICAL MODEL MUCH BETTER THAN THE CZ75

FROM ASG, WHICH SHOWS THAT LICENCING WORKS PERFECTLY AS YOU’D BE HARD

PRESSED TO DISTINGUISH THE REPLICA FROM THE REAL THING!”

www.airsoftaction.net 57


RED CELL

OTHER GBB PISTOLS

58

JUNE 2022


RED CELL

OTHER GBB PISTOLS

www.airsoftaction.net 59


ARMOURY

RAVEN R9

INSPIRED

MAGIC

ALWAYS KEEN TO HUNT OUT SOMETHING

JUST A LITTLE DIFFERENT BILL TAKES

A LOOK AT THE LATEST RAVEN PISTOL

MODEL IN THE SHAPE OF THE R9 WHICH

MAY JUST GIVE PLAYERS AN AFFORDABLE

“M9” STYLE HANDGUN, ONE THAT

PERFORMS RELIABLY, AND THAT COULD BE

THE ANSWER FOR MANY PLAYERS THAT

LOVE THIS NOW-VENERABLE PLATFORM!

60

JUNE 2022


ARMOURY

RAVEN R9

RAVEN really seem to be rolling hot when

it comes to affordable skirmish pistols,

and they’re slowly but surely covering off

some absolutely classic designs with their usual

performance twists; slow in the case of bringing a

durable and reliable airsoft pistol with great levels of

performance out of the box is a good thing to me,

as it indicates that some thought has been given

to rectifying the performance issues in “models

gone by”. RAVEN seem to be especially good at

looking back to models that we all love (and have

found wanting from other manufacturers) and

reinvigorating them with parts-redesigns and tweaks,

new moulds and fresh manufacturing processes!

I’ve been running a number of RAVEN models for

some considerable time now, and I absolutely adore

the RAVEN Hi Capa family when it comes to sound

skirmish performance. Sometimes though you need

a specific model for a specific loadout so I was very,

very pleased when I saw that they’d added the R9 (a

“Beretta M9” inspired model in anyone’s book!) to

their range. Most will be aware that the Beretta M92

pistol served the majority of the US Forces during the

Gulf War and the Afghanistan years, and if you’re

creating a loadout for this period (I’m revisiting it in

my BLOCK 1 M4 builds at the moment, more on this

next month!) then a serviceable “Beretta” is exactly

what you’re going to need!

Beretta is a

name that is

rightly known

throughout

the world of

shooting, from

the mighty claybusting

shotguns, through

sporting rifles, to out and

out fighting machines, and

bizarrely it’s in the military

world where Beretta

started, and Fabbrica

d’Armi Pietro Beretta, literally,

Pietro Beretta Arms Factory, was founded

in the 16th century making it the oldest

active manufacturer of military firearm components

in the world. With models used throughout the ages

Beretta has a strong military history, and the Model

12 sub-machinegun has served it’s users well over

through the years; I mention the Model 12 as it’s

a little known fact that its debut in combat came

during the TET Offensive in 1968 when the Marines

guarding the U.S. embassy in Saigon repelled an

assault by the Viet Cong using the smalle-buteffective

Beretta SMG!

What makes the Beretta interesting to me as much

as the “military role” though is its role as a “cultural

change model” thanks to its inclusion in two movies

that changed the way firearms were portrayed in

“LE-use” and in the movie-goers psyche; in 1987

“Lethal Weapon” came out, and firearms in the

movie were actually very carefully chosen to tie into

the characters that were using them, and rather

cleverly showed another cultural trend in the change

from the wheelguns of old to more modern semiautomatic

handguns. Martin Riggs choice of the

Beretta (92F) over the revolvers used by most of

the cops, including his long-suffering partner Roger

“I’m too old for this…” Murtaugh, showed a new

approach to reliability and “superiority through

firepower”, or as Murtaugh states “Nine millimeter

Beretta, takes fifteen in the mag, one up the pipe,

wide ejection port, no feed jams.” Riggs is also

highly proficient with the Beretta, able to “draw”

“RAVEN REALLY SEEM TO BE ROLLING HOT WHEN IT COMES TO AFFORDABLE

SKIRMISH PISTOLS, AND THEY’RE SLOWLY BUT SURELY COVERING OFF SOME

ABSOLUTELY CLASSIC DESIGNS WITH THEIR USUAL PERFORMANCE TWISTS; SLOW

IN THE CASE OF BRINGING A DURABLE AND RELIABLE AIRSOFT PISTOL WITH GREAT

LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE OUT OF THE BOX IS A GOOD THING TO ME”

www.airsoftaction.net 61


ARMOURY

RAVEN R9

a smiley face on a silhouette target at several dozen

yards with it, much to the bewilderment of Murtaugh

in one memorable scene!

In 1988’s “Die Hard” (probably one of Red

Cell’s favourite movies as you may well know!),

the handgun used by John McClane was his trusty

Beretta (again a 92F to be clear). This at the time was

a handgun that would not have been on the issue

list of the NYPD, but it doesn’t shock me greatly that

McClane carried this model, especially a customised

version with an extended magazine and slide release.

I’m proud to know a number of serving and former LE

guys in the USA and believe me when I tell you that

many of them carry a handgun concealed when offduty

that is far from their issued “service pistol”. Bear

in mind that McClane is going to see his family and

is not at work during the film, but from the very first

moment it’s glimpsed under his jacket when he’s still

on the plane it establishes him as a police officer, one

of the “good guys”. Interestingly (to me at least!) the

live-firing handgun that was used in both movies has

since been retired to a glass museum case and is now

part of movie lore.

SOLID AND SOUND

Okay, so as a “generic M9” is the RAVEN going to tick

all my boxes? I’ve had numerous airsoft “Berettas”

over the years, mainly when I lived in the USA and was

running an American loadout with a SOPMOD BLOCK

1 M4! Sadly I’ve retained exactly ZERO in the armoury

as for numerous reasons they’ve all been thoroughly

underwhelming as a skirmish pistol, if not downright

bad. The reason that I’m so pleased that RAVEN have

entered this territory is that I’ve been running quite a

few of their existing models on a regular basis on the

range during lockdowns, and they’ve all performed,

and more importantly CONTINUE TO PERFORM,

superbly, so I have high hopes for the R9!

What you immediately feel when you lift the R9

from its box is the sheer solid heft of this full-metal

handgun, as it weighs in just over 600g; it’s a big,

215mm-long chunk of fully-functional metalwork

that, if you’re anything like me, will put a big old

grin on your face! The R9 has a 20mm rail on the

lower front of the frame, so it’s a snap to fit a taclite

for those “TORA BORA” moments. The controls will

be familiar if you’ve ever had an airsoft “Beretta”,

and everything is on the left side of the pistol. The

magazine release is a button-style where the trigger

guard meets the frame, and the slide release can be

found just above easily within reach of the stronghand

thumb, and in front of this is take-down pin for

slide removal, maintenance and for adjustment of the

Hop.

You also get an ambidextrous decocking/safety

lever at the rear of the pistol; with the action cocked,

a simple movement of the safety catch down will

decock the hammer, allowing you to carry the R9 in

“Condition1” like a 1911. However, the R9 can be

fired from “Condition 1” without having to re-engage

with the lo-profile hammer, as with the safety off it

has an SA/DA trigger. Sure enough, the first shot will

have a long pull with follow-ups being significantly

shorter as the gas-efficient system comes into its own!

Other nice finishing touches include functional nonadjustable

sights, angled serrations on either side of

the slide to give a positive handle when cocking the

pistol, and diamond checked pistol grips which offer,

in combination with the backstrap, solid retention.

There’s also a threaded outer barrel as standard (for

use in conjunction with a RAVEN thread adaptor) that

will allow you to run a suppressor should you wish to

do so.

And now to the all-important shooty bit!

DOWNRANGE

Loaded up with .20g RZR BBs and NP2.0 greenbottle

gas the R9 sends a full magazine of 25 BBs

downrange with astonishing accuracy thanks to the

113mm 6.03 inner barrel, giving excellent groupings

at 10 metres; the sights are a simple front blade/rear

notch affair although you could potentially upgrade

these to “fibre dot” sights should you wish as the

real-deal M9 after-market is awash with these.

On the .20g ammo it chrono’s consistently around

the 0.83 Joule/300fps mark. RAVEN do tend to

offer a CO2 magazine as an accessory (this is yet to

be confirmed for the R9 though) and this will raise

the power a little; I hope they do offer a C02 mag

eventually as this as a positive and will give greater

consistency in the colder months of the year for those

of us in “temperate” climates.

Overall this is a really first-rate airsoft pistol and

is worthy of a place in anyone’s armoury. It looks

“WHAT YOU IMMEDIATELY FEEL WHEN YOU LIFT THE R9 FROM ITS BOX IS THE SHEER

SOLID HEFT OF THIS FULL-METAL HANDGUN, AS IT WEIGHS IN JUST OVER 600G; IT’S

A BIG, 215MM-LONG CHUNK OF FULLY-FUNCTIONAL METALWORK THAT, IF YOU’RE

ANYTHING LIKE ME, WILL PUT A BIG OLD GRIN ON YOUR FACE!”

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ARMOURY

RAVEN R9

and feels great, shoots consistently and accurately,

and cycles perfectly on “green-bottle” gas. Whether

you buy an R9 as a simple, solid skirmish pistol, as a

loadout-specific military model, or indeed just as a

part of silver screen history the fact is that RAVEN’s

take is going to serve you well, and as it sits at that

magic UK£100 mark it is most definitely NOT going

to break the bank of pocket money! I’ve wanted a

replica of this iconic model for many years, one that

would offer me reliability and durability, and now

thanks to RAVEN I believe I’ve finally found the one

I’ve been looking for!

My thanks as always go to the guys at RAVEN for

letting me check out the new R9, and you can get

more information on all the models they offer by

simply heading over to www.rvnairsoft.com AA

www.airsoftaction.net 63


ARMOURY

APS MANTIS X RMR

COMP

READY!

JIMMY IS, BY HIS OWN ADMISSION, AN OUT-AND-OUT SKIRMISHER, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN HE

WON’T TURN HIS HAND TO ANY KIND OF AIRSOFT GIVEN THE CHANCE! AS A “PISTOL FANATIC” WITH

AN EVER-DEEPENING UNDERSTANDING OF THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF AIRSOFT THOUGH, WE THOUGHT

HE’D BE JUST THE MAN TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEW MANTIS X RMR PISTOL, PUT IT THROUGH ITS

PACES, AND TAKE A GOOD LONG LOOK “UNDER THE HOOD”!

APS is a name I have heard of but alas to date

I have had very little experience with their

products and up until very recently had never

seen an APS pistol, so for me this is virgin territory. I

purchased a used RIF a couple of years back which

was chock full of issues; having never seen an APS

rifle from new and served any time with it I couldn’t

say whether it was a result of the user or if in fact

it was a result of bad quality (probably the former);

however I fixed it up and sold it on so that is the

extent of my experience which actually makes my

life a bit easier making this review more factual and

unbiased.

APS Limited, formerly known as APS Airgun Ltd was

established in 2001. APS specialize in designing and

building Simulation Training Equipment (Real Action

Markers and Powder Balls for training simulation). APS

– the three letters stand for Accuracy - Pneumatics –

Shooting; with the knowledge and experience that

has been gained from making Real Action Markers

and Projectiles, APS launched new lines of Electronic

Blow Back (EBB) products to meet the demands of the

“APS – THE THREE LETTERS STAND FOR ACCURACY - PNEUMATICS – SHOOTING;

WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE THAT HAS BEEN GAINED FROM MAKING REAL

ACTION MARKERS AND PROJECTILES, APS LAUNCHED NEW LINES OF ELECTRONIC

BLOW BACK (EBB) PRODUCTS TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF THE AIRSOFT MARKET.”

64

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ARMOURY

APS MANTIS X RMR

airsoft market. Even though their products are made

in China, all the designs, quality control and Board of

Directors are managed by Hong Kong Staff.

That means their clients (us!) can purchase

airsoft products at a low price (China made) but are

also guaranteed a high quality item (Hong Kong

production). Alongside the line of EBB products

there is a stunning new line of pistols to match every

airsofters needs whether it be plinking in the garden

or the rigours of competition.

Back to the matter in hand we have received from

the lovely people of iWholesales a fantastic looking

bit of kit in the form of a pistol but not just any old

pistol, a pistol designed with purpose and a pistol

aimed at the competition market or IPSC shooters to

be specific, although it would also be at home on the

skirmish field (not in the UK sadly due to power limits,

more on this later!). For those looking to make the

transition from regular skirmish days to competition

shooting there is a chance that you have done some

research or even attended a meeting of sorts only to

discover that these people take it very seriously and

you will instantly notice that the equipment they use

to be far different to that you will see at a skirmish!

PRACTICAL USAGE

I remember last year myself and fellow Legionnaire

Jon “Posh” Mills attended a little club meeting as

Jon was covering a series regarding the transition

into competition shooting, so naturally we needed

to experience it for ourselves at the sharp end. One

of the first things I noticed was the tools of the trade

being used, heavily modified and sometimes highly

expensive fully customised pistols. Now before I go

any further I want to put this out there, you do not

need to go and spend upward of UK£1500 to go

and have fun and enjoy competition level shooting

as a regular out of the box pistol will suffice, trust

me, and ask Posh! As you progress through such a

sport you will no doubt start looking to make that

out of the box pistol operate better to be a little more

competitive.

The club we attended, Xsite practical shooting club

is organised and run by Tim Wyborn and his son Paul

Wyborn, Paul being the UK’s #1 in his discipline! The

equipment these chaps are using is phenomenally

good and is hand fettled by themselves; these guys

know their onions and I was gobsmacked when I

learnt that you can put almost THREE GRAND into

competition pistols! That said as I mentioned you

don’t need to go that far down the proverbial rabbit

hole to get started, and this is where APS come into

it as they have produced an entry level pistol with

competition in mind at a reasonably respectable price

coming in at around UK£220 and it is my opinion that

there is a lot of pistol here for your money!

When I first pulled it from the box my first thought

was that it resembled a G34 on ‘roids and it does

carry a few “Glocky” characteristics. However

although it looks fantastic I did find a few little

problems one of which is the heavy trigger at over

4lbs with around 7mm of travel before breaking

point; it is hardly going to allow the user to get quick

follow up shots and after a fashion a heavy trigger will

fatigue the user which will result in slower reaction

times, not something a competitive shooter needs,

though no doubt though this can be fine-tuned in

order to make it lighter. It would have been a nice

idea to make it adjustable.

They have incorporated a manual safety just above

the trigger on the

lower frame which

is ambidextrous

and can be

operated by both

trigger finger or

thumb, but having

compared it to a

Hi Capa (still the

favoured choice

of the “comp

shooter”) it is too

low profile to be

effective. I can

draw a Hi Cap,

remove the safety

and get a shot

off and acquire

the next target

faster than with the Mantis tbh. I feel the safety on

the Mantis needs to be a bit wider so you could get

a better purchase on it. This thing is gas hungry, and

due to the C02-driven operating system you get an

incredibly prominent recoil effect and a snappy slide…

but try and rapid fire and the Mantis just goes very

weak. This I believe to be down to the aluminium jet

nozzle getting too cold, so maybe a hard polymer jet

would solve this. If left for a few seconds it will pick

up again and operate as normal but the problem will

persist.

There is a need also for a tad of loctite on the RMR

plate as due to the impressive recoil it shakes itself

loose an easy fix; niggly, but still easily dealt with

during personal setup These are the only problems

I see and could be remedied no doubt, but for a

relatively expensive pistol it is a little disappointing,

www.airsoftaction.net 65


ARMOURY

APS MANTIS X RMR

so maybe a little contradictive of my initial ‘a lot of

pistol for your money’ statement but then many

pistols come with small flaws, don’t they so perhaps

I’m being overly harsh; what one shooter sees as a

problem another may not.

SHOOTER READY

Out of the box the Mantis looks exceptional I must

admit, with the RMR, cut-lightened slide, gold

accents, stippling and laser etching it looks very

“custom” and most would think it to be aftermarket,

but the fact is APS have done a wonderful job with

the aesthetics. The addition of the RMR is a nice touch

and it isn’t a part still commonly seen with an out of

the box pistol; it is a well-constructed red-dot utilising

a 3.25 MOA dot which has adjustable brightness

and the ability to power down for storage. Made of

aluminium it is a durable piece which is perched on

an aluminium plate so must add to the “build cost”

of the pistol in production; with fibre optic irons

included which sit high enough should the red dot

stop working for whatever reason you have a backup,

so this is well thought through… we like “sight

redundancy”!

The rear irons line up perfectly with the front fibre

optic iron. I prefer iron sights to be honest, as it makes

it easy to find your target. All this sits very nicely on

top of the CNC metal cut-lightened slide which is of

alloy construction and it appears to be very strong,

ensuring longevity and resilience against the powerful

recoil. Coming in at 220mm it is quite a long slide

with serrated details for extra grip when cocking the

pistol. Encapsulated inside the slide is a 150mm gold

metal threaded outer barrel which houses a 125mm

steel inner barrel for added precision. This all sits very

snugly on the polymer ergonomic frame which is very,

VERY “glock-esque”.

The grip is very comfortable and gives you the

choice to swap out the back strap depending on

feel and size of your grip. Sporting some well placed

stippling where needed it leaves room for quite

unique laser etching and the etched APS logo. As

standard you get a flared magwell for easy, fast

reloads. To reload you will need to release the mag

and this is made incredibly easy by way of the

extended mag catch which isn’t too long to present

any problems. Talking of reloads the C02 mag has

quite a hefty weight to it; on the bottom of the mag

you will find a base plate which is easily removed by

way of a nice thumb tab, giving good access to the

C02 housing .via a large brass cap which seems to

have an adjustable inner section; whether this allows

you to adjust the output, I didn’t see any difference

after adjusting.

Coming in at around 1.33 Joule/380fps this soon

drops off after about 10 shots and sits around the 1.2

Joule/360fps mark on a .20g. On the range this pistol

has no problem lifting a 0.30g but that is the hop

unit maxed out to the limit, but for simple, entry level

competition use you don’t need to go crazy and run

heavier BBs than that in my honest opinion. Shooting

at around 10mtrs on a recognised size IPSC target the

hits were a tad scattered and grouping could have

been better but I would put that down to human

error and not enough time to master the recoil effect,

so I do believe the accuracy would come together

with time served.

My overall thought on this new platform is that it’s

a great concept, and a lovely looking pistol! Would I

buy one? I’m still on the bench with that. Do I think

it worthy of the price tag? Possibly, maybe, given that

you do get the RMR included, but it is certainly step in

the right direction when it comes to having a “compready”

handgun from the box. Bottom line though,

would I be comfortable using it in a competition

environment? I most certainly would give it a run out!

My thanks as always go to the guys at www.

iwholesales.co.uk for letting me have this striking

pistol to test, and please do check out their website

to have a look at all the models and accessories they

provide! AA

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HAVING ONLY JUST MET THEM ONCE AGAIN AT THE MOA CAMPFEST 2022 THE WEEKEND PRIOR,

STEWBACCA ORGANISED TO FINALLY GET AROUND TO VISITING LCT AIRSOFT’S MANUFACTURING FACILITY

DOWN IN CHANGHUA, TO THE SOUTHWEST OF TAIWAN’S CENTRAL TAICHUNG CITY, HAVING TAKEN SOME

EXTRA TIME OFF WORK FOLLOWING THE SHOW TO DEAL WITH THE USUAL ADMIN AND AFTERMATH, AS

WELL AS SPEND SOME MORE TIME ON AIRSOFT RELATED THINGS!

While I was at the MOA Campfest I managed

to get hands on with some of their latest

releases and do some obligatory posing

in front of their LCT Airsoft branded backdrop

emblazoned with an array of pictures of their products

as well as their slogan; “We sell not only guns, but

dreams”! So, off to see where they made these

dreams I went.

Once again I found myself making use of the

Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR, our version of Japan’s

bullet train… well actually purchased from them in

fact!) to make a rapid exit from Taipei and move South

to the typically even warmer climes of the midlands

around Taichung. Arriving at the station I was greeted

by the boss man himself Kevin, as well as Bella

andBenita and treated to my first ride in a very nicely

decked out Maserati; business is evidently going well,

and no doubt with good reasons we’ll get to later.

Their hospitality only intensified with discussions

of our personal histories as well as the general airsoft

industry and scenes in Taiwan and back in the UK, and

majorly players and issues in distribution as well as

the usual comparison of firearms culture and relevant

legislation as well as my own playing and competitive

activities and history, all over an excellent Teppanyaki

dining experience which meant the team nearly had

to roll me back to the car Charlie and the chocolate

factory style; the introduction to the team somewhat

reflected the entrance in style that the company itself

made to the airsoft market.

OLD EXPERIENCE, NEW DIRECTION

LCT (Li Cheng Technology) originally started out

way back in 1982, producing more typical lifestyle

implements the likes of cutlery or other household

wares from metals by way of stampings and

machined castings; this in itself is somewhat a

specialised industry and manufacturing process that

typically requires a great deal of experimentation

and experience in order to turn ideas into completed

products, using heavy machinery to physically fold or

pound sheet metal stock into sometimes very complex

shapes. This was certainly something which early

modern-era real steel firearms manufacturers came to

realise, with the Germans being masters of the trade

and spearheading the use of sheet metal for use in

more economical, lightweight and industrial scale

production of small arms, with the likes of the rise

of Heckler & Koch in the post-world WWII era in the

remnants of the industrial heartlands of Germany with

their increasing use of these methods to produce their

world beating modern firearms such as the G3 and

MP5; those may become relevant shortly.

With this long serving expertise in a niche

manufacturing capability that few other airsoft

producers had access or experience in making use

of, LCT initially made a foray into subcontracting for

other manufacturers as well as eventually producing

a full steel construction Kalashnikov kit intended to

build off a Marui platform in 2004.

This pivot towards our arguably somewhat

contentious industry of ‘selling guns’ from more

typical household implements was undoubtedly the

result of Mr Lin’s own personal interest in firearms and

toy replicas. With this initial success into an already

competitive industry, especially here in Taiwan, airsoft

increasingly became the focus of LCT’s activities to the

point where the LCT Airsoft brand was generated as

a separate entity a few years later in 2007, following

some internal product development and integration

of processes and components to enable LCT Airsoft to

manufacture an increasing array of replica weapons

along a similar theme, those with complex or

predominantly stamped steel constructions.

This is where LCT Airsoft really began to make a

name for itself and carve out a niche where others

before would struggle to; given their own extensive

competence with stamping and die technology they

“WITH THIS LONG SERVING EXPERTISE IN A NICHE MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY THAT

FEW OTHER AIRSOFT PRODUCERS HAD ACCESS OR EXPERIENCE IN MAKING USE OF, LCT

INITIALLY MADE A FORAY INTO SUBCONTRACTING FOR OTHER MANUFACTURERS AS WELL

AS EVENTUALLY PRODUCING A FULL STEEL CONSTRUCTION KALASHNIKOV KIT INTENDED TO

BUILD OFF A MARUI PLATFORM IN 2004.”

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could progress with product

development apace without the need to

engage external expertise or sub-contractors

for the majority of the essential structure

of their replica guns, and with a deeper

understanding of the capabilities of their

own equipment and processes began to

make inroads into varying families of real

steel equivalents rifles, particularly focusing on

ComBloc / OpFor / Cold War platforms.

The LCK series was a great initial success, and

already extends to over sixty separate products in the

line, with an ever increasing completion of replication

of the whole family of real world examples of myriad

different national origins and modifications; not

just from the offering of the full steel ultra-realistic

incarnation of the ubiquitous Soviet/Russian origin

AKM many others produce replicas of, but increasingly

niche versions such as the Hungarian AMD-65 with its

forward canted vertical grip, or the AKMSU specialist

carbine with its distinctive thumb hole foregrip, the

real world equivalent of which still remains apparently

mysterious in its true origins, nonetheless faithfully

replicated among its numerous other family members.

LCT Airsoft tend to follow this mentality with their

product lines and direction, an all-out assault on a

chosen family of real world weapons, with diligent

research into existing real world variants; products,

additional option components or support equipment,

as well as lots of hard work behind the scenes to

ensure that their replica firearms are so close to the

real thing in external appearance, build quality and

dimensions that they can not only remain compatible

with real steel accessories or furniture, but have

indeed fooled some into thinking they are their real

steel counterparts.

While I was visiting the TWAAA headquarters for a

previous article on their activities, their current front

man Mr Zhang and I were appreciating the limited

edition LCT M60 AEG LMG which forms a centrepiece

of their one of their displays. He was relaying to me

how an American enthusiast and buyer at one of the

shows

it was being exhibited

at was

chatting at great length

with their

sales team all with the

intent of purchasing an array of what he was

convinced were real steel machine guns until he was

informed they were replicas; evidently they are doing

an excellent job of making their airsoft guns true to

form!

WHATEVER YOU WANT!

With the vast majority of all Kalashnikov-based

firearms already recreated in such detail, from the

earliest 7.62x39 AKM rifles, as well as carbine

and light machine gun derivatives, 5.45x39 AK74

equivalents and even more recently the AK9 / PP19

9mm carbine and SMG variations, the hefty PK/PKM

general purpose machine gun, and now their newest

addition is an excellently produced replica of the

SVD sniper rifle, being made available in traditional

wooden grips, modernised polymer furniture, and

even soon to be joined by the SVDS side folding stock

variant! They are ensuring no stone is left unturned,

and basically anything you might come across in the

real steel world will be available in faithful replica

format from themselves.

Aside from this near obsessive provision for all

existing products which enable OpFor players to

find something to go with basically any loadout

or historical period you can possibly imagine, LCT

Airsoft are also seeking to build their brand on the

cornerstone of user choice. Along with the existing

standard product lines available off their shelves,

an extensive and ever-growing array of support

components are also available to allow end users to

heavily customise the appearance and handling of

their own LCT products.

With various sizes and internal capacities of

magazine, standard, extended, drum even ‘jungle

style’ interconnected pairs, there are numerous

“...AN AMERICAN ENTHUSIAST AND BUYER AT ONE OF THE SHOWS IT WAS BEING EXHIBITED

AT WAS CHATTING AT GREAT LENGTH WITH THEIR SALES TEAM ALL WITH THE INTENT OF

PURCHASING AN ARRAY OF WHAT HE WAS CONVINCED WERE REAL STEEL MACHINE GUNS

UNTIL HE WAS INFORMED THEY WERE REPLICAS”

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ways to set up the feed system and user’s own

load bearing gear to suit their play style or chosen

loadout. Furthermore pistol grips, front handguards,

rail interface systems, gas tubes, stocks and even full

‘Zenitco’ equivalent systems enable owners to really

make their gun their own with exactly the look, feel

and function that suits them and espouses their own

play style or personal identity.

More recently LCT Airsoft’s product lines have

diversified towards those aforementioned pioneers

of the real world stamped steel firearms; Heckler &

Koch’s products are a mainstay of airsoft the world

over, and numerous media from films, TV and video

games recount stories of their use in the hands of

myriad counter terrorist or military forces, and LCT

have turned their attention

to answering the call of their

fans and customers. Following

a similar arc to H&K’s own

releases, they furnished the

airsoft community with the

LC-3 to begin with, the largest

and earliest rifle of the real

world roller-delayed blowback

series that followed work done

on the Spanish CETME rifles

prior to H&K’s rise in 1960s

Germany. Soon further, shorter

and intermediate calibre family

members joined such as the

HK33 (LK33), HK53 (LK53)

while even their most recent

LCT Fresh YouTube video

alluded to the club foot stock

and box magazine of the

HK21 belt fed machine gun in

production design drawings

and 3D CAD models on screen;

I imagine it’s purely a matter

of time before they turn their

attention to the MP5 and

taking that market by storm

with near indestructible replicas

lovingly crafted in stamped,

rolled and welded steel

fabrications.

As well as already producing

a further family of AR derivatives (with twelve

different models adorning the same wall as their

growing H&K variants) opposite the other already full

wall of AKs in their upstairs show room, LCT Airsoft

are always looking to the longer term, and during our

meeting their team relayed to me how most entirely

new products or the first in each family tends to take

a year or more to complete; thus new product lines

tend to be planned on a two or three year upstream

basis to account for development and testing time

prior to release. Having seen for myself the extensive

on-site library of dies and stamping tooling I can

imagine it takes a great deal of time and effort from

their engineering team to work out all the kinks, or

perhaps put them into the metal itself.

“AS WELL AS ALREADY PRODUCING A FURTHER FAMILY OF AR DERIVATIVES (WITH TWELVE

DIFFERENT MODELS ADORNING THE SAME WALL AS THEIR GROWING H&K VARIANTS)

OPPOSITE THE OTHER ALREADY FULL WALL OF AKS IN THEIR UPSTAIRS SHOW ROOM, LCT

AIRSOFT ARE ALWAYS LOOKING TO THE LONGER TERM..”

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STAMPING THEIR NAME WORLDWIDE

This continuing theme of focusing on their strengths

through their product lineage has evidently created

a world-beating formula in terms of sheer variety

and completeness of each different platform they

turn their attention to, and they were all too happy

to show me around their own manufacturing

environment and let me see for myself the people

and processes behind the products that come out the

other end.

While precision machined and plastic components

have to be outsourced to other specialists (due in no

small part to the sheer vibration in their factory floor

environment from all the drop stamping equipment

and constant beating of metal into intricate shapes

which would no doubt upset the precision of CNC

machines) the vast majority of their products and key

components are made in-house, from flat sheet metal

stock, all the way through stamping, grinding, riveting

and spot welding of parts into whole sub assembly

components such as receivers, folding stocks, top

covers, gas tubes, magazine bodies. Even the internal

gears are stamped out of a sheet and

then precision ground to thickness,

while most competitors would resort

to metal injection moulding or CNC

production processes.

Of course electrical components such

as motors, battery connectors, wiring

looms and other such off the shelf parts

are bought in, and the few cast or CNC

machined or polymer components are

supplied from outside, but the bulk of

production and testing still occurs on

site, with a dedicated and experienced

team of technicians. We followed the

process and products through the

factory floor and upstairs all the way

to final platform assembly, testing and

packaging (with three individual layers

of quality control present during the

whole process to ensure that what goes

into the box and comes out the other

end to the hands of a waiting end user!)

is stringently controlled and guaranteed

to please, and last.

This strive for repeatability and quality was also

accented by LCT’s employment of the latest robotic

arm welding system which has not only improved

their output in terms of sheer numbers made, but

ensured a consistent finish and aesthetic quality to all

of their welded products. I saw their operator jigging

and clamping up H&K front assemblies comprising

the previously spot-welded receivers along with

outer barrel, cocking handle tube, and sight block,

then retreat and press the go button for the robot

to go to work, putting all the welds in the places it’s

needed, and none where it isn’t. Having come from

a background in both heavy structural and hydraulic

equipment manufacturing in the UK, I could certainly

appreciate the quality control and reduced human

fatigue this kind of system affords them!

A CALL TO ARMS

With an ever-growing ecosystem of turnkey solutions

as well as wide arrays of customisable components

already produced, LCT Airsoft have some long term

thoughts of moving towards the pistol market as

“THIS STRIVE FOR REPEATABILITY AND QUALITY WAS ALSO ACCENTED BY LCT’S

EMPLOYMENT OF THE LATEST ROBOTIC ARM WELDING SYSTEM WHICH HAS NOT ONLY

IMPROVED THEIR OUTPUT IN TERMS OF SHEER NUMBERS MADE, BUT ENSURED A

CONSISTENT FINISH AND AESTHETIC QUALITY TO ALL OF THEIR WELDED PRODUCTS.”

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well, but I imagine given the sheer workload and

development cycle time they’re already undertaking

it might be some time yet before they take the leap.

They’re already doing a sterling job of attacking the

niche and complicated platforms that many other

manufacturers seem to shy away from, personally I’ve

spent the last few years chewing Bella’s ear about

one model in particular, in no small part due to end

users in the UK and elsewhere cajoling me to ask LCT

to furnish them with a replica that does the original

adequate justice and would no doubt live up to the

real steel durability.

For fans of the L1A1, the commonwealth service

variant pattern of the FAL, LCT Airsoft are very

much interested in producing a replica at some

point; however to do it justice, and their usual due

diligence, has been difficult thus far; trying to get hold

of genuine components can be not only an issue in

terms of legal pitfalls in Taiwan, but also in terms of

them being somewhat rare these days, certainly in

the kinds of permissive environments where civilians

could purchase one and help with the required data

package for reverse engineering.

Thus, along with their call for photographs or

videos of end user’s exploits with their existing

products for their community outreach and calendar

and video feature competitions, LCT could also use

feedback in terms of anyone who can help them

source the appropriate information to help realise this

particular dream, one that many seem to share, of

an LCT Airsoft-produced true to scale L1A1 SLR AEG;

if you have a deactivated or functional real one, or

components thereof, perhaps you can contact them

and help bring the product to realisation as laser

scans or other data packages would no doubt be of

assistance to them.

With the shop floor tour completed I was taken

to the aforementioned showroom and got an

appreciation for the sheer scale of the products and

the range of them, as well as experiencing the latest

in LCT Electric Blow Back (EBB) optional add-on kits

in an array of their HK and PP19 platforms, getting

a chance to test out and compare them on camera

for an upcoming episode of LCT Fresh on YouTube,

so keep your eyes peeled for that. I also had the

chance to try out their second generation SVD replica;

the first batch of a thousand or so have already

been completed, but their next variant will also

include a MOSFET enabled electronic trigger. Having

owned the Real Sword SVD back in the UK, the LCT

offering definitely felt familiar in the hands, but the

responsiveness of the gearbox, even with a high rated

spring installed, was definitely a marked improvement,

and no doubt the realistic production methodology of

forged steel receiver billets which are then extensively

machined removing the vast majority of their weight

will please the engineering and gun geeks among you

all as much as it does me.

Finally I was introduced to some of the further

upcoming releases; with an innovative ergonomic grip

that can be fitted under the front handguard tactical

rail and removed with two push pins that allows for

rapid access to (and changing out of) the battery

powering the host LK74 gun, as well as a limited

edition highly polished hand finished stainless steel

AKM that you can literally see your own reflection

in, and even an L3K carbine variant of the full sized

7.62x51 G3 replica with a shortened front handguard

making it much handier.

Having had a very productive and insightful day on

site with LCT Airsoft we went over my notes one last

time and ensured I’d got all the in depth pictures I

needed to before they saw me off at the THSR station

and I headed off into the sunset, somewhat literally,

back to Taipei as the day’s light faded, and I felt

somewhat drowsy from the adventure and large lunch

I’d been treated to, nearly drifting off on the train to

some of LCT’s dreams.

I’d like to sincerely thank Mr Lin, Bella and Benita

for their very much appreciated hospitality and great

openness and access to their facilities, procedures

and plans that’s allowed me to share with you in such

depth the work going on behind their products. AA

www.airsoftaction.net 75


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Sizes: 7-12

Black / Dark Coyote / SRP: £89 .95



GAME REPORT

OP CABRIT - UK

ACTION

THIS DAY…

AND NIGHT!

IT’S ALL ABOUT “OPERATIONS AGAIN” AT LAST, AND WITH GAMES LARGE AND SMALL MOST DEFINITELY

“BACK ON” OUR RESIDENT MILSIMMER JASE BRINGS IN A REPORT OF “OP CABRIT” RUN BY HIS FRIENDS

FROM SEO… AN OP THAT BOTH JAMES AND JIMMY MAY HAVE HAD A LITTLE BIT OF A HAND IN TOO!

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OP CABRIT - UK

So Christmas and New Year has been and gone

and the only thing left on the calendar worth

noting other than my eldest’s birthday was

SEO’s OP Cabrit. The gang at SEO are a great bunch,

and I’m lucky to say are good friends and teammates

of mine; not only this but James and Jimmy from

Airsoft Actions own ranks were running the

pyrotechnics for this OP with the help of Ben. Things

were looking pretty good!

This OP was being played out at Dogtag Airsoft’s

site near Gatwick; now this site is about an hour and

a half away from my home so I chose to travel up the

night before and camp out with my boys in callsign

“Spartan 2”. So with the car prepped (and yes, for

the avid readers who read my article ‘’When it all

goes wrong’ will be happy to know that nothing was

lost, misplaced or broken!) I set off to Dogtag’s site.

With the tunes banging out some 90’s classics I rolled

up at about 2100 with my pitch all ready for me next

to my Welsh wingman Spencer. While I unpacked the

car Spencer got the stove on and rustled up some

homemade pulled pork with the most amazing sticky

BBQ sauce! This is one of the things I adore about

our sport, the camaraderie. I’m lucky if I see my

teammates three/four times a year of late but when I

do, it’s brilliant! I also relish making new friends and

this OP didn’t fail me there either.

After a good shuteye, 06:30 came around way too

soon and bodies started moving around me; about

time I got out of my pit! Now Spencer knows I’m not

a morning person, so by the time my feet had hit the

floor a coffee was placed in my hand… he knows me

too well! Suited and booted and with a well-known

fast food chain breakfast in my belly I was ready for a

full-on 24hrs of naughtiness.

WARNING ORDER

SITUATION

Hostilities between an E-Bloc country and the local

Government have been escalating for the last few

months. A Private military contracting company

known as Aegis Defence Ltd have been working in

the Peski region to support the training of the local

defence force (LDF) for around nine months.

The E-Bloc has increased the volume of sporadic

rocket attacks from home soil, firing medium range

Missiles from launchers at targets of military value

around likely points of infiltration.

G2 intelligence indicates that a confidential

contract between Aegis and The Bloc’s FSB has been

signed and recently leaked by a trusted source. This

leads to concerns of a supported invasion over the

border.

Aegis Defence Ltd employ prior-service personnel

with military service from UK and Australian Special

Forces who are renowned for their professionalism.

This is a highly proficient unit that will conduct

similar land warfare tactics and techniques to current

Special Forces doctrine.

PRIMARY MISSION

Meet and negotiate a deal with the team leader

of the company known as Aegis Defence to leave

the country. This will include ground exploitation

of the area of operations via Recce Patrols, Covert

Observation posts and Close target Recce.

Possible escalation to Deliberate Ambushes, Night

raids, Full Ground War.

Sam (Havoc 1) and Liam (Havoc 2) were running

the Task Force side and Terry and Mikey the OPFOR.

We were called in for our briefing. I find the SEO’s

briefings are really well thought out and I know

Sam puts a lot of work into getting this right, not

only looking good but to give you the players the

immersive feel we look for in an OP. Our call sign

was Spartan 2 and consisted of G (TL), Noodles (2IC),

James, Steven, Ryan, Harry, Spencer and myself,

some new faces and some old.

With all this out of the way, we set our squad

up for the first STAG of the event. My role within

Spartan 2 was the team Medic, so for the first couple

of hours I was making sure the welfare of the squad

was ok, basically the tea bitch, ha ha! Once all our

boys were squared away I took 5 minutes for myself

and sat down next to Spencer. Within seconds of

my butt hitting the bench our FOBs Air Raid siren

went off, the air was filled with the sound of a Cold

War siren (Red Cell James, Strike One!); a chill raced

through me, we were under attack and rockets were

inbound. Luckily for us the base had an active Sky

Saber system and within seconds it fired off a load of

rockets to intercept the incoming missiles from the

“AFTER A GOOD SHUTEYE, 06:30 CAME AROUND WAY TOO SOON AND BODIES STARTED

MOVING AROUND ME; ABOUT TIME I GOT OUT OF MY PIT! NOW SPENCER KNOWS I’M NOT A

MORNING PERSON, SO BY THE TIME MY FEET HAD HIT THE FLOOR A COFFEE WAS PLACED IN

MY HAND… HE KNOWS ME TOO WELL! ”

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GAME REPORT

OP CABRIT - UK

E-Bloc. Emergency averted (and James, Strike Two!)!

With various other scenarios playing out it kept us

on our toes with the dynamic playing environment we

were in. Somewhere in the 150 acre site Task Forces

own negotiator Captain Saunders (Ben) had been

taken hostage and his position was unknown!

ON MISSION

Shortly after things had calmed down Spartan 2

were called in for a briefing, the rescue of Captain

Saunders. With new INTEL from ground call signs and

drones, Sam briefed us on how our call sign and other

elements were going to INFIL to the area, position up

and attack directions. With notes taken and routes

confirmed, we geared up and moved out on our first

mission of the day. Movement to target was slow and

methodical as we had no idea what was waiting for

us and to what tactics the “soldiers of fortune” would

be using. We had been blessed with the weather as

it was sunny and HOT for a day in mid-March. Silence

was our friend as we skulked up to our holding

position and waited for go time.

Once all elements were in position a line was

formed and all call signs started to push up to the

target building where Captain Saunders was being

held. After about 100m the loud booming voice of

Havoc1 broke the silence ‘Contact front, weapons

free, push up’. It was well and truly GO time! Spencer

and I bounced our way up the right hand side to

the target area. As we got closer to the fire fight, it

intensified and a few of our boys

had gone down and yours truly

was staged with medic duties. On

my third revive, my mouth was dry,

heart racing as I jumped from player

to player. ‘JASE, on me’ came out

of the smoke, Havoc 1 had secured

Captain Saunders and I had been

tasked with getting him onto the

stretcher and hauling him back to

base. Once the HVT was loaded

and strapped in, we were off like

a scalded cat, all of about FIFTEEN

feet before we were all taken out by

a well-placed bang! I was gutted,

hanging, hot and thirsty, and we had

failed. We had well and truly lost the

Captain…

With that, we waited for our

bleed out time and moved back to

our holding area where we received

the info that the mission had failed.

As we readied our call signs for

a retaliation attack from Aegis,

nothing came, so we were RTB. I

was so glad to get back to the FOB

and get some liquids down me,

having used up what water I had on

the mission.

After a short spot of down time

it was business as usual, back to

the Ops tent for another briefing by

Havoc 1; this time our mission was

“ONCE THE HVT WAS LOADED AND STRAPPED IN, WE WERE OFF LIKE A SCALDED CAT, ALL

OF ABOUT FIFTEEN FEET BEFORE WE WERE ALL TAKEN OUT BY A WELL-PLACED BANG! I WAS

GUTTED, HANGING, HOT AND THIRSTY, AND WE HAD FAILED. WE HAD WELL AND TRULY LOST

THE CAPTAIN…”

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GAME REPORT

OP CABRIT - UK

to head out with Havoc3 and recce a building that

could possibly contain some long-range comms kit. If

our mission was successful, we were to deploy IR glow

sticks to mark our infil and exfil route for what would

be the second half to this mission, destruction of said

equipment after dark.

NIGHT OPS

As the spring sun started to tail off, we headed out of

our FOB under complete silence and under the lead of

Havoc 3. Once again our movements were slow and

methodical and the only communication was done by

hand signals because our intended route brought us

very close to enemy lines. Down hills, through streams

and up hills we finally reached our intended location,

just out of sight of the objective area. Once we had

set up a secure perimeter, the TL was tasked with

taking some covert photos of the base. Unfortunately

for us, Mother Nature was not playing ball and the

setting sun was causing issues for the photographer.

After hanging on for some time the TL managed

to get the photo he was after, confirmation of the

equipment, that could only mean one thing, some

night time antics, my favourite!

Our EXFIL route took us back the same way with

Havoc 3 dropping IR markers in strategic places ready

to light our way come the night. Once back and INTEL

was given to Havoc 1, we were stood down and

told to rest up until we went back out to destroy the

comms equipment. Quick spot of dinner courtesy of

an MRE (stew if you were wondering!), then it was

time to get a spot of shut eye.

When I awoke, the inky dark night sky greeted me

with open arms!! G, our TL had woken me up to say

that we had a briefing to attend. Once out of my pit,

I headed to the Ops tent. Havoc 1 informed us that

Icom chatter had been intercepted and it was very

likely that Aegis were going to hit us very soon and

that an ambush on a known route would be the best

course of action. This was the part of the Op I was

looking forward to as I had a new toy to play with, a

shiny Tokyo Marui MP7 with mags stuffed with Nuprol

Tracer rounds to light up the battlefield.

Once all call signs were ready, we headed out into

the night to take up positions along the ambush

route, and with my NV on it made for easier

movement through the woodland. Once at our

position, we hunkered down into the foliage ready for

the enemy. For once on the Op nature was my friend

as I was joined by a spiky little friend who I named

Horris; Horris the hedgehog. This little fellow was

having a good old sniff around me as I waited for the

action to kick off. Thankfully, Horris had enough of my

stinky boots and scooted off into the woods, it was a

nice little distraction to pass the time.

Through the murk of the night, figures started to

appear into the clearing and walk into the ambush

area. Moments passed when ‘BANG’ the claymores

went off and ambush lights went on (James again,

Strike Three!), the Aegis mercs were like rabbits in the

headlights; no one knew what was going on, I started

to thump BBs into targets as ‘HIT’ filled the night

air!! Within moments it was all over and the ambush

“AS THE SPRING SUN STARTED TO TAIL OFF, WE HEADED OUT OF OUR FOB UNDER COMPLETE

SILENCE AND UNDER THE LEAD OF HAVOC 3. ONCE AGAIN OUR MOVEMENTS WERE SLOW AND

METHODICAL AND THE ONLY COMMUNICATION WAS DONE BY HAND SIGNALS BECAUSE OUR

INTENDED ROUTE BROUGHT US VERY CLOSE TO ENEMY LINES.”

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lighting showed the aftermath of guys with hands

held high, not a single OPFOR soul remained in game,

amazing play by all. Task force call signs returned to

base as excited chat filled the air of the ambush, and

yet we still had another sexy night op to come! Time

to get some food down me… and prep for more

“night action”!

Not long after I managed to get something hot

into my belly ‘Stand To’ was blasted into the air,

cutting it like a knife. Helmet on, plate carrier donned

and MP7 in hand, I darted off to the rear of the FOB

with Spencer as we tried to make head or tail of

what was going on; a counter attack was well and

truly on! Tracer filled the darkness as it rained down

into the FOB, orders pierced the air as shouts of

acknowledgment rang about. From our new position,

front left of the base we could hear all of the battle

raging on, but oddly nothing came to greet us, and

we even got the nod as part of a four man group

to venture out to the area in front of the base to

see what was about… but nothing, everything was

happening to the rear of the base. So

we stood our ground and waited for

the battle to subside as the enemy’s

assault tailed off. I chalked that down

as a solid win.

Once all call signs had bombed up

and sorted out their kit, it was time for

Spartan 2 and Havoc 2 to head out on

foot to take out the comms equipment

we had located in our previous

afternoons op. We took the same route

as before. The advance to the location

was very slow but well executed with

not a single word being spoken; it was

again a great feeling to know that we

had managed to make it all the way to

the staging area without a peep. Once

in position, we waited for Havoc 1 to

give the op the go ahead. As we sat

there in the dark of the night waiting,

the sweat on back started to get cold

and the heat from within my clothing

started to rise up and mist up my safety

glasses and NV, not ideal when poised

for go time!

Thankfully for me, by the time Havoc

1 called for the assault to commence

my vision was clear. Spartan 2 moved downhill

towards the building we were set to assault, as we

reached the bottom of the hill the enemy fire started

to rain in on our position and a few of Spartan 2

called out hit. At this point for me, a human stoppage

took place as one of my contact lenses had decided

to leave its place on the front of my eye and take up

position under my eyelid, which was very handy, now

with my NV up, I couldn’t see anything as I battled to

straighten out my issue! With that, I heard Noodles

creep up on my left, I filled him in on my situation

and he took my right arm and lead me to some cover

so I could address the situation. Now from this point

on, Spartan 2 consisted of three elements, Noodles,

Havoc2 and myself as we could not ID the position of

the remaining Spartan members.

AT CLOSE RANGE

We pushed up to the objective building with the odd

exchange of small arms fire as Havoc 1 and Spartan

“HAVOC 2 SET THE CHARGE TO BLOW THE COMMS EQUIPMENT. WHILE UNDER THE DIM LIGHT

FROM THE BUILDING, THE CHARGE WAS SET OFF AND WITHIN SECONDS A BRIGHT BURNING

LIGHT FILLED THE COMPOUND (YUP, YOU GUESSED IT… OUR MAN JAMES AGAIN!) AS THE

COMMS EQUIPMENT WAS DESTROYED. OBJECTIVE COMPLETED.”

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1 moved into the building securing it. Unknown to

us James of Spartan 2 had pushed around further to

our right securing that flank and now giving us a nice

tight perimeter while Havoc 2 set the charge to blow

the comms equipment. While under the dim light

from the building, the charge was set off and within

seconds a bright burning light filled the compound

(yup, you guessed it… our man James again!) as

the comms equipment was destroyed. Objective

completed. Now it was time to head back to the FOB

and get some shut eye and boy was I ready for it.

0600 arrived and a gentle wake up from Havoc 1

but no coffee this morning, it was up and straight into

a briefing as Task Forces drone had gone down and

surveillance had shown that OPFOR were making a

move for it. Spartan 1 to 4 were to head to the area

and provide a 360’ perimeter while Havoc 1 and 3

retrieved SSD and destroyed what remained of the

drone.

Fast track to the drone site, under a cover of smoke,

Spartan 1 to 4 took up position to move onto the

drone. It had crashed in an area full of trenches and

it was up to us to move uphill to secure it. As all the

callsigns moved up, the enemy opened up and within

minutes most of the call signs had been wiped out,

and even after a strong second push towards the

target it had been confirmed as lost, the OPFOR had

well and truly fought hard to keep it, fair play!

Was it all too early in the morning to be doing this?

Never, because not long after we had returned to

the FOB and had got some breakfast into us, a recce

patrol radioed in to report that Aegis were massing

not far from our base and that an all-out attack was

on the cards. I spotted the first of the Aegis mercs

making their way to the FOB as a TAG round hurtled

into the base; simultaneously the FOB was under

attack from three directions and it was getting hit

hard! Rounds pinged off the metal roof and the sound

of ‘New Rain’ deafened the surroundings as we had to

shout to one another to relay messages!!

The order was given to evacuate the FOB and that

a Helo was inbound to our landing position to exfil

the group. Spartan 2 were then tasked with finding

a secure route to the HeliPad and to make it safe!

Grabbing what gear we needed, we set off through

the dense shrubs. On our way we did encounter some

resistance from the off but Spartan 2 moved like a

well-oiled machine pushing up and forcing our way to

the HeliPad.

As we reached the pad we encountered a small

group of Aegis fighters and a small fight took place.

As I peered through the foliage I noticed some

movement opposite my position, with my MP7 raised,

I waited to ID the target; it was a member of Aegis

alright, and the poor soul got a double tap from my

MP7 clearing the way for Spartan 2 to move and

secure the Helipad ready for extraction. Not long after

this all remaining call signs RV’d with us and with the

clock counting down for Endex, the end of the Op

was called and I felt very satisfied with how things had

gone!

SEO’s hard efforts had paid off; Terry, Mikey, Sam,

Liam and the rest of the staff, along with our very own

James and Jimmy did an amazing job, getting up at all

hours to set pyro, plan missions and give us what we

wanted in an immersive experience. I had a blast and

will definitely be heading to another of their Op’s in

the future. From what I could tell, both teams played

with dignity and fairness, and it’s great to experience

sportsmanship like this. Big shout to all of Spartan 2,

it’s always a pleasure to run alongside you guys and

the new friends made!

Until next time, Ciao! AA

“I NOTICED SOME MOVEMENT OPPOSITE MY POSITION, WITH MY MP7 RAISED, I WAITED TO

ID THE TARGET; IT WAS A MEMBER OF AEGIS ALRIGHT, AND THE POOR SOUL GOT A DOUBLE

TAP FROM MY MP7 CLEARING THE WAY FOR SPARTAN 2 TO MOVE AND SECURE THE HELIPAD

READY FOR EXTRACTION.”

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GAME REPORT

GOING DARK - TAIWAN

GOING

DARK

WITH THINGS OPENING UP AGAIN IN TAIWAN IT SEEMS THAT NOT ONLY IS THE AIRSOFT INDUSTRY

BUSY THERE, BUT THE PLAYERS ARE TOO AS THE GAME TEMPO QUITE LITERALLY LIGHTS UP AFTER THE

PANDEMIC! STEWBACCA CONTINUES HIS PERSONAL AIRSOFT DRIVE FORWARD AS HE HEADS TO THE 6

HIGHLANDS AIRSOFT SITE FOR A UNIQUE GAME WITH OLD MATES AND RUN BY AN OLD FRIEND, ABLY

SUPPORTED BY ACETECH!

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As I cast my eyes back across my spreadsheet

recording the games I’ve attended here in

Taiwan (yes, I’m that much of a nerd!) it

seems it had been nearly a whole two years since

my previous outing to the 6 Highlands Airsoft site

down in the East of Hsinchu near my initial stomping

ground from when I first arrived in Taiwan. As it

happens photos from that previous event were used

in my article way back in issue 116, “Tropic Thunder:

Playing Hot” as I was describing the sheer difference

in playing in the local environment, or more so

climate, here in the tropics… time flies, so it seems!

Once again I was in attendance for an event

organised by my old friend Khann (n00b_soft) who

has been focusing his efforts over the last few years

towards growing the culture of Speedsoft/SpeedQB

and competitive force on force, also organising the

events I reported on at Action Bunker in East Taipei

among others. This time I didn’t have to worry

quite so much about the scorching heat of the day,

because this event, ‘Going Dark’ was, as the name

suggests, to be held in the fading evening light and

into the night, with an emphasis on small squad

force on force gameplay, one on one duels, and the

extensive use of full-auto firepower and tracer units

and relevant ammunition.

Direct support was given by local tracer

manufacturer Acetech who provided numerous

different models of tracer units for rent

and trial by those players who have

not yet acquired their own examples,

a good excuse for both marketing,

testing and public relations, not that

their products don’t sell themselves!

With the primary focus of the

evening being aimed towards a 3

Vs 3 small team, short-round, fastaction

structure, a total of sixteen

squads originally signed up, with a

final turnout of 12 groups on site,

many of them being squads derived

from larger teams, with one group

fielding 3 separate squads of 3 to the

competition. Some split off from larger

teams they had since joined to revive

old team names and aesthetics to

differentiate themselves for a friendly

night of teamwork and high intensity

action.

Myself and my old colleague and

teammate Kiran were driven down

to the site from our northern abodes

thanks to Harry who usually runs with OPS (On

Point Squad) the SpeedQB-centric offshoot of our

older skirmishing TaiWan Anglophone Team (TWAT,

which the three of us reprised our role in for this

event) going up against old friends and teammates

in OPS, KSJV who have a reputation for their vibrant

uniforms and equipment, and rolling in fast and

using excellent teamwork to win out over other

competitors in past events. There were also two

squads from our Filipino friends of Special Airsoft

Force (SAF), as well as reprised roles from 77 Free

Soul and NKVS, as well as being joined by Sa B, DEW

and Soland who are up and coming teams new to

the scene since Khann’s work has developed interest

all over the island with his events in the north such

as Taipei and Hsinchu. Add to this further south in

Kaohsiung where an old shopping centre has served

as a great proving ground for SpeedQB and new

practitioners, as well as Tainan where a purpose built

arena has recently been secured, all giving players

more space to practise their game style.

As we’re all no doubt aware of in various countries

there’s inevitable pushback against Speedsoft /

SpeedQB and the game style and sub-culture; it’s

especially prevalent in Taiwan due to the heavy

emphasis on outdoor tropical forest or jungle

gaming, MilSim and uniformed team tactics style

games using more realistic loadouts. Despite the

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entrenched or somewhat hostile environment, and

the obvious lack of mixing for the most part of the

game styles perhaps arguably with good reason;

Khann and his friends new brand ‘PewLogic’ has

sought to develop events and support the movement

in isolation from more traditional MilSim, and try to

avoid the culture clashes and issues when people try

to force the two styles to co-exist on the same fields

or at the same times with obvious problems.

At least with the growing interest and number of

active teams throughout the island, as well as more

purpose built or outfitted arenas and allocated times

or places with which to promote the competitive and

high speed close-in action as its own separate entity,

it’s clearly developing some interest despite the initial

malaise. While I’m an old guard and an old dog type

of guy myself, and cut my teeth doing woodland

and CQB skirmishing as well as hardcore weekender

MilSim gaming in the UK and Spain before moving

here, I’m nonetheless intrigued by all things shooting

related, and likewise have taken up Action Air AIPSC

and dabbled in IDPA pending more time to focus on

both those competitive styles when time permits (as

always, build that longer table, instead of that higher

fence!) I’m sure we can all learn to co-exist within

shooting sports regardless of your chosen poison.

With that in mind I rolled up with Kiran and

we chose to run gas guns all night, despite being

somewhat outgunned by the HPA powered DYE

mask full-face clad or dual-sector- gear- AEG running

squads, it was a change of pace and scenery,

and after such a long absence from that site in

particular, and with COVID related shutdowns or

event cancellations in mind, it was nice just to get

out of my usual scene and reconnect with people

I hadn’t seen in a long time. As always, the people

and friendships make the events and community

what they are, the fact we were all having an

excellent time partaking in the typical Taiwanese

tradition of communally barbecuing large packs of

meat and milling around taking photos, conversing

and catching up as well as making new friends and

taking a look at new equipment we’ve acquired or

discussing issues we’d had with certain things.

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3X3 ACTION!

As the event progressed we started out with the 3 v

3 squad games in the daylight before it faded; having

drawn bingo balls from a bag to determine our team

ID numbers which were then used in conjunction

with the huge pre-fabricated game scheduling board

to determine which teams would face off in each

bout and ensure that everyone played everyone (66

planned bouts in all!( prior to the final scores being

tallied, with points awarded for each opposition team

eliminated, each team member remaining on your

own side, and bonuses for collection tokens littered

around the game arena if possible during gameplay.

I had no such chance myself throughout any of our

rounds… just staying in the game was somewhat

of a task given our opposition and trying to run gas

blowback guns against them, a familiar problem from

when I first dabbled in SpeedQB competitions for “live

and let DYE” in issue 112, my first article following

the official formation of the Airsoft Action Legion.

Harry, Kiran and myself nonetheless managed to

hold our own against some of the less experienced

teams, or other players who were dabbling in it from

a more conventional background, relying on our

marksmanship and teamwork in the face of typically

much heavier firepower. I started off using my

Archwick Glock USW carbine kit with the VFC Glock

18C inside and replica ACRO red dot atop as well

as a vertical foregrip and a bunch of long and short

magazines filling every pouch I could muster to ensure

I had enough ammunition on me to at least match the

250 rounds limit which everyone else’s single mid-cap

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magazines they started each with probably held… I’m

always playing hard mode, it seems.

The first round saw us starting at alternating

positions distributed around the arena so everyone

had two opposing team players one either side, and

starting with guns unloaded and our magazines on

the floor in front of us; I had just enough time at the

game on signal to retrieve my mag, load my USW

and charge it, emerge from cover and fire a burst

into Hank of 77FS just as he broke cover and opened

up on me too, we eliminated each other, but he

managed to draw blood due to my lower mesh mask

being seated a little too low and presenting part of

my nose between it and my ballistic glasses, sod’s

law eh, But certainly not the first time it’s happened.

We retired to the safe zone to tend our wounds and

reload our magazines, not that we’d had chance to

spend many BBs!

The second round saw us go up against another

squad from 77FS, this time we were entirely

triumphant with no losses and the opposition entirely

wiped. Through no action of my own, this time, in the

time it took for me to try and retrieve my magazine,

load my USW, encounter a stoppage and clear it to

emerge from cover Harry and Kiran had done all the

work, with the A10 Warthog like ‘BRRRT’ of his set

up signalling the few bursts that ended the match

in seconds, then we emerged sights on each other

and accidentally engaged before we had chance to

ID each other, I guess running out of opponents is no

bad thing…

Up next we were up against team Soland; the

young up and coming team I’d been following on

Instagram through their formation and development

at Khann’s other events previously, this round seemed

to last a lot longer, again with the familiar ‘BRRT’ of

DSG setups in the background and me managing

to get off enough rounds keeping some opponents

at bay to need to reload, and then suffer another

stoppage and get eliminated. I retired again to reload

and sink some more barbecue down my gullet in

the brief lull before our next round; by this time the

light was really fading and we started donning our

flashing team LED lit armbands which would be solid

during gameplay and then be switched to flashing

mode upon our elimination to avoid overkill as best as

possible. They did add a certain TRON legacy vibe to

the whole affair, along with the green beams of high

rate of fire tracers.

A MODIFY’D APPROACH

Next we went up against KSJV, having switched to

my trusty AAP-01 with my Acetech Lighter S tracer

unit affixed and the same Glock magazine loadout

having emptied my magazines and refilled them with

tracer rounds to prepare for the whole ‘Going Dark’

part of the gameplay. I managed to hold out at the

rear for the most time, but could hear the continued

bursts of ‘BRRT’ closing on me as the guys eliminated

Kiran and Harry and

then moved on me;

last man standing I did

what I could to empty

magazines into the

windows of the cover

provided and keep

them at bay as long as

I could, but of course

I succumbed to their

speed and firepower

a short time later. It

certainly made for

exciting gameplay and

videos with the tracers

spewing everywhere at

least!

For the next bout we

were up against our

fast moving and stout

Filipino death squad

friends from Special

Airsoft Force, I switched to using my Modify PP2K

having recently solved the magazine reliability issues

with the help of the team at the Modify booth at

MOA campfest the weekend before. Toting all three

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long magazines with 56 rounds each and a great rate

of fire, range and accuracy, as well as the T1 replica up

top to allow ease of getting sights on in the otherwise

darkened environment, I was ‘cooking on gas’ as they

say, I managed to dump all my rounds from that in

one of the more prolonged firefights of the evening

before finally getting taken out as I switched to my

AAP-01 again which was now serving as my sidearm.

Next we faced off against our old teammates

from On Point Squad, OPS, who usually battle with

KSJV over who will prevail in the finals of most such

competitions. Suffice to say this round did not last

long, and did not go so well for us! Finally, some luck

and/or skill won out and in our next round against

newcomers DEW I managed to hold my ground and

eliminate two of the opponents in short order despite

their use of cover and torches to try and dissuade me;

finally I managed to survive a whole round, and did

something useful!

Similarly in the next round against other newcomer

team Sa B I managed to get at least one elimination

as well as once again surviving the whole round. This

would as it happens mark the last round our squad

played, finishing on a high note at least; we had a

break having managed to get through nearly 50 of

the 66 originally planned 3 Vs 3 bouts, but the night

was drawing on and the decision was made to switch

it up to the one on one duels for those interested

and begin totalling up the scores in the meantime as

there just wouldn’t be the opportunity to complete

all the rounds with the time remaining. I managed

to fare reasonably well, surviving to my third “round

robin” one on one duel, with most of our group of

volunteers surviving each engagement to the point

where they split us up to balance the groups… at

which point I got eliminated on my next round, must

have been the bad side of the arena, clearly!

AARS AND MEMORIES OF GLORY!

With all the action dealt with people began retiring

to the safe zone as their rounds were finished, and

we all focused on after action reports and war stories,

squaring away our equipment ready to make a quick

exit, and ensuring that all the delicious barbecue meat

was consumed to the best of our abilities!

The PewLogic team rounded off their tallying of

each squads points to determine the winner and

runners up, with Khann announcing that newcomers

Soland had in fact triumphed and beaten KSJV and

OPS to the first place; by this point it seemed that

the winning was however very much secondary to

the sportsmanship, and spirits were high all round

as players had their fill of fast paced fun and food,

another great event done, we helped tidy up our

admin area and then Harry dropped me and Kiran

off to get the late night high speed rail back to

Taipei… I arrived home around midnight in the

end, just in time to unpack my night shoot setup

and repack for the 0700 start for my usual Sunday

Skirmish shoot in the great outdoors with Team TaiJi –

#EatShootSleepRepeat – out here it never ends!

Many thanks to Khann, his wife, John and the rest

of the PewLogic crowd for putting on such a great

event, and for everyone that participated, it was great

to see familiar faces again that I hadn’t for a good

long while! AA

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last post

THIS IS MY RIFLE…

THIS IS

...OR WAS

MY RIFLE…

WHILE HE WAS WRITING THE T4E PIECE, FRENCHIE WAS AWARE OF THE LIMITED RANGE AVAILABLE

COMPARED TO THE VAST RANGE OF AIRSOFT GUNS THAT THERE ARE, OR HAVE BEEN. THAT GOT HIM

THINKING ABOUT SOME OF THE MODELS THAT WERE AVAILABLE AND HAVE SINCE DISAPPEARED, EITHER

BECAUSE THEIR TIME HAS COME, OR BECAUSE THEY HAD A SOMEWHAT LIMITED APPEAL.

Some guns are just too niche to prosper where

it is more difficult to acquire them purely as

collector pieces and others were frankly not

brilliant, even if they have done relatively well despite

themselves. So, for this month’s Last Post I’m going

to trawl my unreliable memories of guns that came

and went, or didn’t really do well despite decent

availability. It is inevitable that this will not be an

exhaustive list, so if there is something that fits here

which I’ve missed, forgive me!

I’ll begin with a couple of favourites of mine, the

Sten gun and the M41 rifle from Aliens.

The Chinese-made Sten was solid, affordable and

worked really well. It was built around a Marui M14

gearbox with all the troublesome selective fire bits

removed. The original version, with the fixed hop,

shot brilliantly, especially if you changed the hop

rubber. I ran mine on 0.3s at 328 fps and it truly

shot for miles. Downsides; It’s a crude gun with the

ergonomics of an unwieldy pipe. Magazines could be

hard to get and were limited to 50 BBs, you couldn’t

run a hi-cap sideways sadly. It was never going to

challenge ARs in terms of use-ability and really only

“SOME GUNS ARE JUST TOO NICHE TO PROSPER WHERE IT IS MORE DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE THEM

PURELY AS COLLECTOR PIECES AND OTHERS WERE FRANKLY NOT BRILLIANT, EVEN IF THEY HAVE

DONE RELATIVELY WELL DESPITE THEMSELVES.”

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THIS IS MY RIFLE…

appealed to gun-nerds and re-enactors. I wish I still

had mine just as a wall-hanger though.

This limited appeal has affected a fair number of

airsoft replicas. MP40s, PPSH 41s, the Mosin Nagant

and Kar 98s have less than universal appeal and I

doubt the manufacturers expected to sell millions of

them. Some were produced by small businesses and

support or spares were pretty much non-existent.

They also only really work with certain loadouts

and the truth is that enough airsofters care about

appearances to mean that Multicam and Sten guns

never really became a thing.

The M41 on the other hand is wonderful, right

up to the point it isn’t? There’s a Thompson M1A1

inside it which is a great gun with a solid gearbox. It

looks fantastic and it is properly iconic. As a gun that

you actually have to use however, it’s sh*t. I built a

few from kits for customers many years ago and later

worked on a number of the Snow Wolf versions. One

was fundamentally a copy of the other and therefore

they all suffered from similar issues to the historical

airsoft models.

Handling left a lot to be desired. Balance was

non-existent, the shoulder stock was rotten, the

sights were as crude as you can get (even the Sten

had better sights), the plate that covered the end of

the magazine tended to disappear with depressing

regularity and overall it is a clumsy, uncomfortable bit

of kit. It’s a film prop after all, so it was designed to

look great (which it does) not to be a practical firearm.

Like the Sten, I wish I had one, but only enthusiasts

and Aliens fans would buy and use them.

Again, this is true of a number of futuristic looking

airsoft guns. Many were either silly or not very good,

but there were a couple which handled and worked

well. Their Achilles heel was the fact that they were

different and just didn’t fit into an overall look for the

vast majority of players. Anyone else remember the

‘Thundermaul’?! I loved that gun! Looked awful but

handled and worked really well if you didn’t mind

carrying a strange silver fish-shaped thing about!

HAULING A PIG!

Another class of platforms I’m going to include here

might be a bit more divisive - support guns. As a

preface to my comments, I owned, used and loved

a PKM for a while - that’s a proper gun - and I have

used a number of 249s in game over the years. The

thing about support guns is that in the UK there is

no appreciable difference in performance between

them and their much more portable siblings. If you

are willing to carry a slew of hi-cap magazines for

your M4 or similar, you can perform exactly the same

role as with a 249 or an M60. While most support

weapons have fairly solid and reliable gearboxes,

speaking as one who spent years working on airsoft

guns, they aren’t inherently more reliable than most

other AEG gearboxes.

If you are a ‘Namsofter I completely understand

why you might want an M60, likewise if your thing

is to reproduce the look of the old Eastern bloc the

PKM or RPK is clearly for you. But truthfully? With

no difference in performance there is zero mechanical

advantage to lugging around twice the weight of a

standard AEG, so you

do it because you

like it, which is totally

fine, indeed part

of the attraction of

airsoft is you can use

whatever platform

you want. There

was a period when

thanks to Chinese

production, support

guns were hardly any

more expensive than

rifles, and although

I have sold many of

them over the years,

you don’t see many

of them on the field.

LiPo batteries have

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox overcome the ‘big

www.airsoftaction.net 95


last post

THIS IS MY RIFLE…

battery’ argument that used to be in their favour and

while they are impressive bits of kit their success has

always relied on some players being willing to carry

a lot of extra weight compared to their teammates,

essentially to look badass.

A DYING BREED

Finally there are guns which have just disappeared

because the manufacturer has decided to either

discontinue them or they now make so few that they

never seem to make it to the UK. Foremost in my

thoughts are my old faithful, the Marui FAMAS. I

appreciate that the French army has now adopted

the HK416F, but with all respect, the 416 is just

a pimped AR and nothing to write home about,

whereas the FAMAS was iconic.

Even I have to concede that

compared to every modern AEG

out there, the performance of

the FAMAS is pretty woeful and

I never managed to upgrade one

to my satisfaction but it was still

a wonderful gun of which I have

many happy memories. I suppose

it’s time has come. For reasons

I won’t bore you with, I own a

1989 two-stroke East German

Trabant; I could argue that it does

all the basics required of a car, but

would I honestly choose to take it

on long journeys? No, of course

not. It’s not particularly reliable,

it’s uncomfortable after a couple

of hours and it really only does 50 mph. This is sadly

true of guns like the FAMAS which were the first wave

of electric guns many years ago. They were far better

than what was around at the time, but technology

has moved on apace and with regret they have been

left behind.

Airsofters often complain that our little world is full

of ARs and AKs, and they’re not wrong. There is a

huge variety of weaponry out there to choose from,

but the simple truth, in airsoft as in the real world, is

that the guns which make it easiest to do the job and

which have the flexibility to tackle new challenges are

the ones which will ultimately find favour. And for

anyone out there, running around every week with

multicam and a Mk II Sten, I say, well done and Vive la

difference! AA

Photo: hyperdouraku.com

96

JUNE 2022


COMING

IN EARLY

2022!


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