In this section of the site you will find all my airsoft equipment reviews and any news on items that catch my eye on other airsoft retail stores or web sites. I try my best to put some sort of review of any new kit that I buy, but inevitably there is always a backlog. Here is an index of the equipment I have managed to review so far:-
Milgeek's Airsoft Electric (AEG/AEP) & gas guns
> CYMA CM.030 AEP (replica of Glock 18C)
- (Follow-on) Airsoft Glock 18C 'Assassin' replica
> Kalash AK105 Milgeek 60-second video review
> BE Type 89 review part one
- BE Type 89 review part two - field test
> Classic Army's DSA SA58 - first impressions
- Classic Army's DSA SA58 - field test
> Kalash AKS74U (first version)
- Kalash AKS74U (first version) - follow up
> CYMA CM.031 AK74
> KJW Sig Sauer P229 GBB pistol
> ASG CZ 75D Co2 pistol
Milgeek's AEG accessories and upgrades
> Classic Army SA58 cocking lever repair (YouTube movie)
> Type 89 AEG Laylax RIS upgrade - Part Two (YouTube movie)
> Type 89 AEG Laylax RIS upgrade - Part One
> Element all steel PSB-1 suppressor
> ACM replica of the Russian KOBRA red dot
> Classic Army Russian GP-30 grenade launcher replica
> MAG brand AK74 mid-cap magazines
Milgeek's uniform and loadout kit
> Russian 'Tiger' Spring season loadout
> Russian 'Flecktar-D' Summer season loadout
> German Flecktarn Autumn season loadout (part one)
> Action Navy SEAL holster
> Russian SPLAV M23 Pioneer chest rig
Description: (ASG's bumf) The blowback version of the popular fully licensed CZ 75D Compact dual tone. The metal slide and BB’s are powered by a 12g Co2 capsule stored in the magazine. The power of this pistol is very high, 105 m/s (345fps), despite the blowback function. The adjustable Hop-up of the CZ 75D makes this pistol a very accurate choice.
OK, apologies - I am obviously very rusty at doing this sort of thing...But hope it's of some interest IF you can bear with me! LOL
A very big thank you goes out to Spider.
Link to ASG's product page: CZ75D Compact metal slide
Link to the Wikipedia entry for the real steel CZ 75 - Interestingly, according to this information my 'CZ 75D' is actually termed a CZ P-01 and was the new weapon of choice for the Czech National Police since 2001.
Having sorted out my headdress for my Flecktarn loadout its time to turn to the other area of this get-up that annoyed me in my game last month - my knee pads.
Knee pads - like face protection - seem to be one of those holy grail type things in airsoft. It is a veritable quest to find the set that suits you, I've been through three different types before I settled on my last pair - a paintballing set by NXE. These, in common with most knee protection pads, are an elasticated set where the straps of the pad fasten around the knee with velcro.
Left: The NXe Techna-Flex Knee Pads. Not very military looking.
I don't need to tell anyone who has used a similar system for knee pads the disadvantages. We all bemoan the constant slipping down if you don't tighten the straps tight enough, or the feet turning blue if you have! But the NXe pads have been the best of the bunch so far - including several 'military type' knee pads - and seem to stay up better than most. The down side is that they don't look very military and I find it best if you wear them next to your skin - for extra grip - so I wear them under my combat trousers (but then if they do fall down they are a pig to get back up again)!
However, it's the restriction to circulation that annoys me most about these and other pads. Every time I finish a days airsofting I have those marks on my legs where the elastic has cut into my skin. So when I saw the Dexter Meadows' Clip-on Knee Pads about two years ago I thought they would be worth a try and I bought a pair as soon as I knew I was going to return to airsoft.
Doctor Airsoft takes up the story...
As you can see the Dexter Meadows pads are designed to get around the two main problems with conventional knee pads, plus I like the idea you can simply remove your trousers (not that I do that often in the field) and the pads stay attached to them. No horsing around before every game trying to relocate the pads back in that comfy position that you had the last time you played.
Only downside with these pads are that they aren't available in the UK at all as far as I can see. I got mine for Redwolf Airsoft in Hong Kong, they cost $29.99 plus shipping (but at least managed to avoid our HM Customs mugging me this time). I'm surprised there are no distributers in the UK because as far as I can see this product is something that would sell like hot cakes here.
As I have to skip airsoft this month due to family stuff I thought I would use the time to tweak my Flecktarn loadout based on the problems I had during last month's skirmish at Centurian. There were a few things that annoyed me during the game because of certain bits of gear that just weren't quite right - so here's the first post in a short series where I hopefully rectify some of the glitches.
Part One is all about my headgear. At Centurian I wore my my Army of Two skull mask (with mesh eye protection) but had a couple of major problems with it, it greatly restricted my peripheral vision and also squashed my nose and so made it hard for me to breath properly. Not good.
The other things that niggled me were that I wore a hoodie with the hood up for protection and to camo my big pink baldy head! This wasn't ideal as it kept slipping down and was also quite hot and made me sweat even more than I usually do. And finally, I was still a little nervous about using mesh for eye protection on it's own - with the increase in use of biodegradable BBs (I was using them myself) there is always the possibility of splintering and eye injuries.
Flecktern headgear Mk. II
So to get around these annoyances I bought myself a copy of the Black Bear Rampage full-face mesh mask made by TMC. This is something like a fencing mask with wire mesh that allows for good circulation of air and a wide and unobstructed view.
Peripheral vision is so important in airsoft, not only does it – obviously – help you spot possible targets but also is an aid to your spacial and environmental awareness. Sure footing when navigation rough and uneven woodland is so much harder when you don’t have a wide field of vision, as I found out – painfully – at Centurian with my Skull mask’s very limited mesh eye sockets.
However, as I said this mask is the WIRE mesh type, rather than the perforated steel sheet type, so I do have some safety concerns. But the good news is that I can fit a pair of low profile Bolle safety glasses underneath the mask, it’s a tight squeeze but they do provide a second layer of protection. I’m also looking into whether I can cut a thin sheet of Lexan plastic to attach to the inside of the mask so I don’t have to squeeze the glasses in.
Aside from the mask itself I have a few other items to complete my Flecktern headgear. I have bought a Flecktern Boonie hat to help break up the outline shape of my head and provide some shade, as well as finish off the look of the loadout. It’s not the standard German Army boonie – with the wide brim – but a special version cut in the British ’95 boonie fashion , the Helikon-Tex Soldier 95 Hat - Flecktarn (Ripstop). Ideal for recon.
Underneath the mask I wear two more items. First is a bog standard black sweat band, absolutely necessary with my bald head as – having no hair – the sweat tends to run straight into my eyes and as I cannot lift the mask to wipe away sweat the headband is a must. As well as this I have also bought a Milspec Flecktern snood, just to hide my exposed head for extra camouflage.
Above: Yep, it's just a bog standard sweat band, but a must have piece of kit if you are a slap head like myself. I swear sweat on a hot day stings like acid when it gets in your eyes - but you mustn't remove your mask to wipe it away! This just cost a quid or so from Amazon.
Above: The distinctive curved shape of these low profile Bolles means that they can fit underneath the TMC full-face mesh mask, Belt and braces I know but these wire mesh masks have been shown to be less safe than their perforated steel plate mesh counterparts.
Now I know I have done this all arse-about-face (having posted up part 2 of this upgrade video series), but I actually wasn't going to publish these videos at all. In reality I made these videos so I could keep tabs on how I took the darn thing to bits so I could put it back together again!
Even though the production quality is quite low and I wasn't working from a script I decided that it would be a shame to just bin this footage after I had finished the work and thought that they might be of some use to someone somewhere (maybe)!
So here's part one of my Type 89 RIS upgrade. Please forgive the sound quality, my shaky camera work and my stuttering narrative (and the over use of 'OK')! LOL
Link to the next part in this series: Type 89 AEG - Laylax RIS upgrade - Part 2
The very first loadout I planned when I started airsoft was a generic SWAT type CQB kit impression. The loadout was centered around my first AEG, the Classic Army replica of the DSA SA58 tactical carbine. But no sooner had I started to play airsoft than my friends and I decided to adopt a Russian military theme for our games, so my SWAT loadout idea was put on the back-burner.
Well, after three years I have decided that it's time that I dust off the idea and have a go at some of the new CQB sites that have sprung up in the region.
Luckily for me the items required for this impression are widely available, SWAT based impressions are hugely popular, but I decided not to go with the usual black BDU look and instead wanted an olive drab scheme so that if I had to use the kit in a woodland area I wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb!
Kit collection so far...
Aside from the center-piece - the DSA SA58 - I have already gathered together some of the uniform kit required, a big part of which is the distinctive load carrying rig. I went for a pretty standard looking tactical vest for that classic SWAT look, but while there are plenty of cheap tac-vests out there I found a pretty cool one in the J-Tech M7.
The M7 is a Taiwanese product and while it is similar to budget vests made by the likes of Viper it does have one very unique property, the front MOLLE panels are removable and so you can quickly change over your pouch layout without the usual unthreading of MOLLE straps. This makes the vest very flexible, enabling you to easily outfit yourself with different ammo and equipment stowage for different missions - between games!
One downside of this type of vest is that if you are tall - I am 6' 4" - the shoulder straps tend not to extend enough so the overall length of the vest is a bit on the short side. I got around this by having it customized by a UK based tactical tailor, lengthening the shoulder straps to accommodate my height.
Additionally, despite the excellent flexibility afforded by the removable MOLLE panels the rest of the pouches on the vest are fixed, which is a pity. You have a shotgun shell pouch and a rifle but pad on the right and a set of pistol mag pouches and small compass pouch on the right. I wish these had been made removable too so you could further customize your loadout.
I have bought several alternative pouch panels to go with the rig, plus different types of MOLLE pouches for the various mags and equipment I will be using. Aside from all this I have collected together some smaller items like gloves, protective knee and elbow pads and duty belt and holster.
An important part of any CQB loadout is the face protection. Up close engagements means choosing your headgear carefully, a full face mask of some sort should be mandatory. I had already bought a Rainbow 6 style helmet made by Alpine which I sprayed with Krylon olive drab paint (it was black). This helmet provides full coverage for the side of the face and ears, but is open faced.
To protect my eyes I wanted to use standard goggles - not mesh because of the growing use of bio-degradable BBs - and the set I found most successful in combating fogging was my Bolle X800s, but this still left my mouth and chin venerable. I have tried several types of neoprene mouth guards and balaclava combinations, but found them restrictive and actually aggravated fogging because of the condensation which built up due to having to breath heavily.
Quite by chance I discovered that a full face mask which I bought for another loadout actually fitted quite snuggly beneath the Alpine helmet! And with the Bolle goggles placed on top of the mask I had the perfect (perhaps!) face protection that was also least likely to fog. I will probably spray the face mask with the same OD Krylon paint - it should look quite intimidating!
Right: The face mask is a Chinese copy of the Matrix Soldier mask available from Ebaybanned.com for $36. It is made of very solid glass-fibre.
I am toying with the idea of adding a pair of ESS Turbofan goggle to help fight the fogging problem and I also want to add a fake night vision mount to the helmet to finish off that SWAT look.
in the next part of this mini-series I will look at the choice of uniform and boots and trying on the kit I have so far...