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Entries in Airsoft news (43)
One of the reasons I don't post a lot on this blog these days is simply because I have come to find the airsoft industry very, very dull at the moment. In fact it's been very dull for nearly three years now.
By now I had expected us to be using AEGs run on nuclear power, with lights and sound and realistic recoil and electronic BBs that would take the cheating out of the game. But there just does not seem to be much appetite for real technical innovation in the game. (Maybe something to do with the recession and manufacturers wanting to stick with what they know works.)
They have even stoppd trying to be imaginative about which firearms to make into replicas and returned to the old 'bang out more M16 clones' days...
So, anyway, nothing much has had me sit up and think 'Wow, I really want that'. Well, I happened to get a query on my YouTube account about a video I made yonks ago about repairing my CA SA58, the guy wanted to know if it was compatible with his new JG Mk. 58.
A what? (I said.)
A quick search revealed a very very happy bit of news - Jing Gong have made a clone of the Classic Army DSA SA58! This means - FINALLY! - there is a cheap variant of the FN FAL on the airsoft market.
Above: My beloved - but now bust - CA DSA SA58 in it's original form, but with a nifty
Razor Workz Beowulf flash hider attached. This is effectively what Jing Gong have cloned
with thier new Mk. 58.
For me it is very exciting because my SA58 has lain bust for ages because various airsoft repair shops were quoting me a small fortune to replace my fooked mech and hop-up. If JG has cloned the CA SA58 as closely as it did Mauri's G3 then it will be as cheap for e to buy one of these to swap out the whole innards of my beloved AEG. With the added advantage that my experience has been that JG - for all that it is a 'cheapsoft' brand - is more reliable than Classic Army!
(If that doesn't illicite a flame from someone nothing will!)
Also, it means I can have an affordable back-up for my SA58 - one which I can convert into a longer barrel version of the SA58 Carbine I have.
So far I haven't been able to track down any retailer who is selling the JG Mk. 58 - but as soon as someone does I will be snapping up a couple (even if I have to have them painted with that hideous lime green as my UKARA has now lapsed).
I am a very happy fella at the moment.
So far I have only found it here: Airsoft Megastore (USA) - JG Full Metal MK58 Carbine Fully Automatic AEG Rifle w/ Optics Rail - NEW 2013 MODEL
Now, I love FN. I think I have made that clear in the past - in fact, if I hadn't been overtaken by my obsession with AKs my armoury would be all FNs (I just have one FN based design, my DSA SA58). Anyhoo...
I saw this today and I have to say that I did throw up in the back of my throat a little bit...This is hideous. To give you an idea how I feel about it, to me this looks how a 'tacticool' AK looks to an AK purist. It is just not right.
Obviously what G&G have done is realise that their FNC replica GF-85 - which joined their range this year - is a pretty ugly duckling and defiantly an acquired taste. So in an attempt to ship some more units it has dressed it up with these 'cool' looking accessories...Along with the stinkiest green paint job (I wonder if it actually qualifies as a non-RIF now)!
As you can tell, I am not impressed. But then I wasn't impressed with their take on the FNC as they decided to dump the 3-round burst feature which must be one of it's main attractions in the first place.
Actually, I have to add that I feel a bit bad writing such a negative response to this new AEG as normally I would applaud an airsoft manufacturer taking a chance and making something that's a bit different...
But really, there's different and then off the bleeding scale!
(I do note, however, that this may be a worrying trend towards completely fictional 'replicas' simply for the sake of being different. ISC have come out with it's fictional 'G33' range, again attempting to cool-up a familiar design. This has one advantage over actually coming out with a brand new design - they can use the same parts from existing models in their range and so cut costs.)
No sooner had I got my new iPhone home than I had SureFire's free Shot Timer app downloading. As I'm getting into practical airsoft pistol (or Action Air as the governing body - IPSC - calls it) I wanted to have a way to time my draw and fire routines. Obviously you could do so the good old fashioned way by having a mate time you with a stop watch, but as I am practicing on my own I wanted something that would automatically time my scores without my having to activate it in any way.
The SureFire Shot Timer is a free app for the iPhone which uses the smart phones built-in microphone to listen out for shots fired and so records your shot times based on that. And that's about all it does, it's a very simple tool - but that's all I need at this point. So this is a good cheap way to start your Action Air practise.
I should mention that there are other similar apps available out there - including an official and very sophisticated 'Pro' one done by UPSC themselves. But you should make sure that the one you try is meant for airsoft (the IPSC one is made for center fire shooting really) and costs $9.99. The two free ones I have encountered are suitable for airsoft - those being the SureFire one and another called 'Free Shot Timer' by Innovative Applications.
I am testing both the free ones at the moment, but my initial look at them has favoured the Innovative Applications one simply because it gives you a shot total time, which is important for IPAS and Practical Pistol (the SureFire one just lists you times and you have to do some maths for a total).
All these apps are available from the Apps Store. Links to reviews here...
Above: Would you call this a 'desecration' of an American classic? Or just beautiful?
The blog world has been a funny one today. As I just finish my lunch and my regular trawl through my favourite blogs (not all military btw) - a sort of pattern has emerged regarding Americans and their adherence to traditions and reverence of 'the way things used to be done'.
For example, I just read an interesting argument over at a blog where an American Eagle Scout modified his Eagle Scout Award medal ribbon. The young guy happens to be a homosexual - and as there is a big uproar in the US about whether gays should be allowed to be Scouts this young chap made a point by changing his red, white and blue ribbon on his scouting medal to one that has the rainbow colours of the Gay Pride movement.
OK - it's a bit of a stunt. But the lad has a right to make his point. After all the US Military have officially accepted that some people are gay, why not the scouts? But, boy oh boy, has this caused a rumpus, with some people actually accusing the guy of 'desecration'! Anyway...
This brings me onto my tenuously related point about Americans and their conservative views.
The other article I read was about an American gunsmith who now offers America's favourite rifle - the M1 Garand - in a customised variant with shortened barrel and M14 style box magazine. It actually is very much like the Italian M1 variant called the MB59 and is a very beautiful - IMHO - take on the venerable Garand.
But, oh boy! Did that open up a can of worms...Accusations of ruining of a 'Masterpiece' and people taking sides for and against such a conversion.
OK, I get the iconic role the classic Garand M1 has among American gun enthusiasts and veterans, but please guys it's just a gun! It's a product of America's industrial ingenuity and production lines - it's not the Mona Lisa!
The irony is, what the Italians did - and the Americans themselves with the M14 - by adding a box magazine was to cure one of the greatest faults with the M1. A fault that cost the lives of many US troops!
In case you don't know the story - the M1 makes a resounding 'DING!' when the 8 round clip is emptied and German troops during WW2 learned to recognize this as a hint that the GI's rifle was now empty. Not something you want your enemy to know really.
So it's funny really. All that hoo-ha about 'desecrating' American icons - it all smacks of King Canute trying to hold back the sea. Still, I suppose we Brits are just the same, I still haven't forgiven 'them' for changing 'Marathon' to 'Snickers'!
...The more I look at the Mini-G with the M14 mag the more I think that if it had a bayonet lug then that would be my ideal Zombie rifle!
I don't think it's possible to be a Milgeek and not love 'The Gunny'...Since his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket he has carved out a career playing himself really! This included the excellent 'Lock n' Load' series that he did for the History Channel, which annoyingly only ran for one season (you can see it on YouTube).
Here's a short clip of Gunny Ermey trying out a M16 replica airsort gun...
Now, it might just be me but I think his comment about there being no difference between the AEG and a real M16 is somewhat ironic - being as he is a staunch M14 man - but I think that went right over the head of the very pleased airsoft host! But having said that I think he was genuinely impressed with the general realism of the replica...
On a safety note, however, he didn't wear shooting glasses - perhaps regarding the AEG as a 'toy' - and there was some noticeable BB bounce back when he went full auto. Naughty Gunny!
Yesterday I featured a beautiful airsoft replica of the infamous Russian AS VAL special forces silenced 'rifle', well this morning I tracked this product down to a Russian online store and to my surprise it offered a wider range of these AEGs - all mouth wateringly desirable.
The site - Soviet Propaganda, a fantastic resource for Russian surplus gear - not only has the AS VAL replica but the classic wooden stocked VSS Vintorez (see above) and a new design I haven't seen before called the SR-3M. This new AEG is even sexier than the AS VAL. What I love about this is that teh scilencer can be removed to give you a fantastic looking SMG (but this does mean that the inner barrel is a relatively short one)...
The advanced VAL - the SR-3M...
And, by removing the long scilencer, you have an amazing looking Russian SMG...
The bad news? This would be the price - the SR-3M will set you back $1,2500! But man, how cool is this SMG?
A very mean friend of mine forwarded me (...knowing as he does my inability to resist stuff like this...) a link to a Russian web site that is advertising a beautify airsoft replica of the infamous VAL silenced Special Forces rifle.
I've been toying with making my own VAL (or closly related VSS Vintorez) out of a SRC Beta Spetz AEG, but this incredible replica just blows this idea away. How much it is and whether it will even be available in the UK I do not know, but I will be keeping a eye out for this.
Co-incidentaly I did actually buy the ideal BDU outfit that would go amazingly well with this sort of gun - a superb set of Russian made Splav BEKAS in GOROD camo...
And I have been working on a nice fake Russian style helmet to go with this outfit.
The airsoft VAL seems to have been created with a level of precision craftsmanship that will no doubt come with a premium price tag, but for the Russian loadout fan this would make a very welcome alternative to the AK as a primary AEG.
Link: The AS VAL 'Airsoft Machine' (in Russian)
The Bizon is one of those more unusual Russian (Soviet) designs that deserves a airsoft replica, but at the same time is so niche that not many companies would take it on. Luckily Silverback (no, never heard of them) have taken a chance and have made a Bison that looks quite nice...
I suspect that this is a low-run 'Frankenstien' based on something like a Kalash or CYMA (or similar) AKS-74U, but there's nothing wrong with that (my Kalash AKS-74U was fantastic).
At $330 it's a wee bit steep, but if you actually recognise a Bizon when you see one then I'm guessing you are a person of superior tastes and would be willing to purchase this in order to have something a little different. :)
Link: Tokyo Model Company - Silverback PP-19 Bizon-2 AEG
I guarantee that there are huge numbers of airsoft AK fans - myself included - who have wet themselves with excitement at the news that Izhmash has made an airsoft version of their AK74. Izhmash are - in case you didn't know, in which case you are a heathen - the company who makes the real Russian AK firearms range...
Now, despite the rumours that Izhmash was going bust, ironically I think these AEGs will probably sell so many they will probably save the real AK! :)
Original post on Fire Arm Blog
OK, I have a thing for LMGs - but just how practical they actually are in the field, given their weight and unwieldiness, I don't know, but they do look the dog's danglies! And this replica of the famous Czech ZB-26 is no exception.
On a historical note - and the gun fans among you may have already have spotted the family resemblance - this is the LMG which inspired the legendary British Bren Gun.