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    Black Hawk Down Movie (2001)

    Airsoft in a big way is no longer just a game, mainly because of the culture that now exists around it. To the young boy or girl jumping into airsoft, the hobby won't stay just a game once he/she gets into the social media part of the sport or start doing larger national events. The connectivity of social media takes folks from their corner of the world and lets them see right into the larger community. So that means our culture is always in transition.

    Today, we are thirsty for more realistic combat simulations. Tomorrow we want high speed tournament play. Next week we want goofy personalities that remind us it's all just for good fun. The next month we want to idealize the newest personalities who market themselves well. It's hard to keep up with the constant shifting sands that are the airsoft world. Especially when it seems like it's all happening at the same time.

    These constant shifts and changes create friction in the community of many cultures, that is airsoft. "Drama", has become the blanketing phrase now to describe all this tension. Now airsoft like any community does have a lot of "Drama", but to label all issues in the community as "drama" is dangerous. To do this closes us off to a wider perspective that might make us smarter. We want the community to be about simple fun and game, so we want everything simplified. That means how we look at issues too, by simply calling it all drama.

    This could lead to problems because we may miss important issues and allow those under justified scrutiny to get away with wrong because they have you believing it's all just part of the drama. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of flat out drama created by those talking to simply be heard. Right or wrong, what Dbag Airsoft did created a large dramatic backlash. One of the three people insulted lashed back at him, the one insulted the least in his video. But people's need to latch onto drama created this wave of hate against Dbag Airsoft.

    We say we want a "drama-free sport", but we latched on to that and road it hard. Ironically enough, the two most insulted people mentioned in that video shrugged it off and in quick poll taken of over 130 people after it all happened, overwhelmingly 70% of those voting didn't really see the harm, and they too saw it blown out of proportion. It's safe to say that the whole ordeal falls well within the realm of drama as we all can agree. Pointless and no one on either side really wins.

    (Tom Cruise, A Few Good Men. 1992)

    Now, let's look at Blacksheep and his PTSD-Milsim Challenge. Here's a cause that says it is for raising PTSD awareness, collecting donations and raising funds to help vets. There are serious questions in the community about how funds are being spent. Questions about statements that Blacksheep has made. Questions about the intent of a cause a year into life, but yet to really give back to those with PTSD. Who's asking these questions? Concerned veterans in the sport, former employees that quit because the air of impropriety this cause felt like it was started under, and civilian players that want to be sure the money they hand over is going to those you are raising awareness for. Are these haters or people just looking to make drama? Well, those like Blacksheep himself would like you to believe so, because, if it is just drama or hating then it can't be taken seriously, and those asking questions can keep being ignored.

    In this exact scenario lies the danger of seeing all the friction in our community as nothing more than drama or hating. Two very different scenarios and situations but labeled under the same umbrella term by many because they want Airsoft to just be simple. This is a slippery slope that lets serious issues and concerns slip by that may have an impact beyond our community. The community as a whole has to stop its knee jerk reacting and look at everything happening before just overreacting or shrugging off serious issues. Because Airsoft is not just a game anymore we have a responsibility to care enough to know what's happening and then decide what's worth the uproar or not. A community that cares is involved and acts with careful thought is one that lasts longer than one complacent or impulsive.

    I know this can be a tall order in a community filled with a lot of young people. But, there are enough older players and celebrities sitting on the sidelines avoiding anything negative that could do more. I know that tough issues and conflict don't equal to more fans, more likes, and subscribers. It does equal a more cohesive leadership in the community that polices itself and defends its rights from an always threatening government.

    More to follow on Blacksheep's PTSD-Milsim Challenge controversy in my next opinion.

    Just one grunt's opinion,

    Javier "Darkhorse"

    -------------------------------------------------

    About The Author

    Javier "Darkhorse" Franco, formerly from This Week In Airsoft, runs his own Airsoft Blog on Facebook called "One Grunt's Opinion." This article has been posted here with the author's permission.


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    Tokyo Marui Samurai Edge Barry Burton Model Ver. II Archives

    Last 23 February 2015, Tokyo Marui put up a"Special Archives" Page at their website. This "Special Archives" page is  about the untold story of the birth of the Samurai Edge Barry Burton Model Ver.II pistol, it's background story which also influenced the development of the limited edition airsoft gas blowback model. The development of the story is cooperation with CAPCOM and not shown in Biohazard/Resident Evil Revelations 2.

    Having survived the Mansion Incident, Barry Burton is back in Revelations 2 as an advisor to the bioterrorism troops of the BSAA or the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance and his Samurai Edge Model Version I was badly damaged from the incident This is where the story starts on how the Version II model was made.

    In the "Special Archives" the reader is led to two sections. The important one is the first section, which is about the story the BSAA and the development of the Samurai Edge Models, a comparison of the first and second versions of the Samurai Edge Barry Burton Model, and something that will be revealed in the near future, which for now is "Under Construction."

    The story about the BSAA starts with Quint Cetcham, who is an early member of the BSAA and known for the callsign "Jackass". He is the biggest nerd in the organisation and the recognisable with the headset. In the inception of the BSAA, Cetham preached about the need to develop a dedicated equipment that can be used in both special and normal combat which bioterrorism does. The development of the Samurai Edge A1 is based on a customised M92F pistol whilst Jill Valentine's model is based on the M9A1. The M92F is a standard issue in the Raccoon City Police Department, with the STARS group having their customised "Samurai Edge" M92Fs that reflect their personalities .

    Before the Mansion Incident, Barry Burton felt the 9mm lacks power and asked his friend, Robert Kendo, to make him his own custom Samurai Edge. The base gun was the M96F which fires the .40SW round. This gives the Samurai Edge Barry Burton Version 1 model more stopping power than the Samurai Edge A1.  It has a long magazine and a large compensator to reduce recoil.

    Now, as Barry Burton was sent back to the U.S. as advisor for the BSAA (and hence the start of the Revelations 2 in which Claire Redfield is the main protagonist with Barry Burton's daughter, Moira, in a supporting role, Barry Burton is also the other major character in the game) he communicated with Cetcham on the need for a new Samurai Edge. Together with Cetcham, they worked on a new Samurai Edge Model in the laboratory of Cetcham from which the new Samurai Barry Burton Model Version II emerged.

    For a full comparison of Samurai Edge Barry Burton Model Versions 1 and 2 click here.

    The second section is the downloads section is for those who want the artwork of the Tokyo Marui Samurai Edge Barry Burton Model Version II to use on their desktop computers, laptops and smartphones. But we are indeed curious about another subsection which is "Under Construction."

    The Limited Edition Tokyo Marui Samurai Barry Burton Model Version II Gas Blowback Pistol is still under pre-order, but there is pent-up demand from airsofters who are also fans of the Biohazard/Resident Evil franchise. Just a little bit more of waiting from them as its release will be in March 2015.


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    Operation Blacksheep Camp Shelby 2015

    These are Oliver Love's words, his account of events being John of Blacksheep Milsim's right hand man and what led to him leaving the company he loved when his boss started on his current path with the PTSD-Milsim Challenge. Not as a disgruntled ex employee but as a concerned friend.

    Here's the side of this controversy the community hasn't heard yet:

    To whom it may concern,

    There are a great many reasons why I have chosen to speak out against Blacksheep Milsim's PTSD campaign they are currently running. First and foremost, I was raised to always tell the truth. I am a proud Eagle Scout, and while I have never served my country, I work in a public school as a teacher, which at times should warrant combat pay. If my students learn nothing else from me, they are instilled with the concept of honesty and truth. I teach them to never cheat, lie or steal. Sometimes I fail them, but they are 18 year olds and have a long time to really learn a hard lesson. The same cannot be said about Blacksheep Milsim.

    To better understand how all this came to be, let’s go back to the Pine Plains event series at Ft. Drum, NY(2009). I started working for John B and his cousin Tom after attending Pine Plains 2 when they realized that for Frago’s to work, they need opposition. My team was then hired to work the rest of the events, and when MSATO and Blacksheep split my team and I decided to work for Blacksheep. I ran the Opfor for John for a number of events and was heavily involved with planning and executing the events. It was at this point I decided that I really wanted to get more involved and be a stake holder in the company. Three of us sat down in 2013, restructured the company, wrote up a business plan, and put together 5 year projections for the company. Pedr Seymour and I were labeled as Vice Presidents of the company in 2013, with a number of our Opfor teammates labeled as employees and future stakeholders. We were told that we would hold 49% of the company, while John retained ownership with 51%. It turns out that he never actually changed the articles of incorporation, and so we weren’t actually officers of the company nor owned anything.

    Winter 2013/14 we were frustrated with the lack of player turnout at events. We were unsure about our marketing strategies, and were looking at everything under a microscope from the pricing structure to the Wall concept. John had the idea that to really break out and get the events going on a National level that we wanted we needed a pretty large injection of cash. So using the business plan we had created, we started to approach banks and lenders looking for a small business loan. We were asking for a loan in excess of $100k. There were a number of loans available to Veterans that John applied for, both on the Federal level and on the State level. We were turned down over and over again based on the fact that there were no other companies that had done what we were trying to do, and when the banks looked at the money we had made in the past they just didn’t see us as a solid investment. Also, none of us were willing to put up our houses/cars as collateral for the loan.

    We were so low on funds that we had to take the event trailer and truck off of his insurance because we didn’t have the money to pay the bill. Our web hosting bill was months overdue and we had no way to pay it. So we were stuck. We wanted to expand, but we didn’t have any money.

    It was late one night when my phone rang and John was really excited. Over the next hour or so he outlined a plan that would have Blacksheep start a campaign that would collect funds for PTSD awareness. The general idea was that the Blacksheep events were already helping soldiers that had PTSD, and for the weekend they were with us, they felt better. A guy named John Flunkinger was working on a graduate thesis talking about his experiences with PTSD and Milsim and how it was helping him. This one paper was all John felt he needed as validation for what he wanted to do.

    John felt that as a result of a handful of veterans in the past saying that his events had helped them, he could collect money for it and say that it was going to help more vets. The way it would help more vets, was by funding the company and he could continue to run events and expand, thus creating more opportunities for vets to come and treat their PTSD. Neither Pedr nor I agreed with the plan and voiced to him that it felt like fraud, and that as civilians we had no experience with PTSD and felt we were not credible on the topic.

    The Indiegogo campaign was created shortly thereafter, but didn’t go live for a few weeks. He ran the concept by over a 100 people with mixed results. Originally the goal was set at $250k with the majority of the money going to buy equipment for the company (over $200k). If you look at the Indiegogo page, anyone that is listed was someone that he ran the idea by. Many of them were not supporters, but are still listed.


    I told John a number of times that if he pushed forward with the plan that I would be forced to quit, as I refused to be involved with a program I didn’t agree with. I had a number of issues with the plan. First and foremost I was concerned that the VA didn’t recognize action sports (paintball, airsoft, etc) as a valid treatment for PTSD. Also, John contacted a number of therapists that worked with PTSD patients, and none of them would sign off on the program or participate. I was concerned, if we started to pull veterans with serious issues the events looking for relief what might happen. Worst case scenario someone has a flashback or an episode and they freak out. Who is going to treat that and talk them down? John? What happens when they hurt another player? John felt that he had the ability to use his knowledge of post-traumatic stress and he would help the veteran work through whatever was happening.

    He then went and told some of our player base that Pedr and I were scared of PTSD and didn’t understand it, trying to undermine the validity of our argument.

    It was at this point we all decided to leave the company. It was clear he was going to move ahead fleecing the community under the guise of helping veterans with PTSD to fund the company regardless of what we said, and I was done. It was at this point that Pedr, myself and my Opfor quit the company. Everyone was given the option to stay, but unanimously we voted and quit.

    If there is no real medical support at the events to treat and coach veterans, then there is no legitimate program.

    As a sidebar – I want everyone reading this to realize that I looked at BS6 as a role model. If you have met the man he is an amazing guy to be around. He is charismatic, outgoing, loving, and opened his home to myself and countless staff that needed a place to crash before or after events. I know he is HEAVILY involved with his local church and does some pretty extreme mission work during the summers. I trusted him blindly for years, I had no reason to doubt him, which is what made this so hard. Even as I write this I have hesitation because I fear it will hurt a man I respected for so long. Someone way smarter than I said ‘the truth will set you free’, and so here it is.

    I sincerely hope at the end of this Blacksheep Milsim is alive as a company, as they have run some of the best no bullshit Ops in the country, but its time as a community to say enough is enough.

    -------------------------------------------------

    About The Author

    Javier "Darkhorse" Franco, formerly from This Week In Airsoft, runs his own Airsoft Blog on Facebook called "One Grunt's Opinion."  John Love submitted this article to him for posting. This story does not reflect an official position of Popular Airsoft and is the author's opinion only.


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    1st Inductees Hall of Fame Airsoft Players' Choice Awards

    One of the highlights of the Annual Airsoft Meetup during the IWA & Outdoor Classics in Nuremberg, Germany is the awarding ceremony of the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards. The awarding usually takes place at the end of the presentations and talks. Nothing really fancy like the Oscars or the Grammy Awards, but at least the airsoft community also has an awards show.

    We advise those who are winners of the recently concluded 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards to contact us if they will be attending the Airsoft Meetup. We only bring the Awards plates for those who have confirmed attendance whilst for those who are not able to make it, we will be shipping their awards to them.

    For this year's Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Ceremony, we are announcing the 1st inductees to the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Hall of Fame which is an award for companies, individuals, organisations, and products which have made a significant achievement in the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards.

    The criteria in being inducted into the Hall of Fame is simple, but it's not an easy thing to do --- win in the same awards category for five times. This also means that you, the readers of Popular Airsoft, have chosen them to be in the Hall of Fame. The blokes from Popular Airsoft just make the criteria, rules and count the votes, but never chose who gets to win in the categories, except for one, the Special Popular Airsoft Award.

    The 1st inductees are a special batch. They not only won 5 times in their categories, but they won 5 times in a row! They are winners on their right even without the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards, being some of the most well known airsoft names.

    Let us welcome and congratulate the First Inductees of the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Hall of Fame.

    Hall of Famer RedWolf Airsoft: Best Airsoft Retailer For Asia

    Founded in 1998, we are the first, largest and most reliable international retailer specializing in airsoft and wargame equipment. We also carry the most diverse product line (with over 15,000 individual products) with virtually every quality airsoft product available on the market today. Our team of expert tuners and technicians also provide a full range of upgrade and customization options for every need. Our resident expert gunsmith, world-reknowned Airsoft Surgeon, is able to create unique and personalized guns for the discerning collector and player!

    Our international management team provides us with the ability to serve customers worldwide very effectively. We have offices in the UK and Hong Kong. We have been in this business for a long time and put our customers first! A full team of pre-sales and customer service representatives are here to answer your questions, and help you with any problems. Shopping with RedWolf is a hassle-free experience. We stand behind our products 100%!

    Hall of Famer Gunfire: Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe

    We are a group of enthusiasts, who a few years ago, when hardly anyone has heard of something like airsoft, decided to propagate the sport in Poland. The beginnings were as tough as always - most people have only seen airsoft as nothing more than BB guns themselves, but we knew right from the beginning that there was more to it, we knew that airsoft is a way of life, a passion and a great way to spend your time. That's why our motto is "Airsoft & more"™.

    Our strength lies in experience. We deal with airsoft for as long as we can remember. None of us is here by coincidence - the majority are active players who know well the equipment we sell because we use it on a daily basis. This allows us to give good advice and find an optimal solution to any problem, as well as help to choose just the right equipment. We are part of the airsoft community.

    Despite such extensive knowledge and experience we are constantly focused on our own development, constantly expanding our offer with cutting-edge airsoft replicas, in the meantime not forgetting about the more economy-level guns. Gunfire's offer also includes airsoft accessories - among them a wide variety of batteries for airsoft replicas, tuning parts, tactical equipment and 6 mm BBs. An airsoft store is so much more than just the products. We are constantly raising our standards and improving the quality of our customer service.

    Hall of Famer Arnie's Airsoft: Best English Language Airsoft News Website

    Arnies Airsoft (AA) is a British website based in the UK that aims to bring you the lighter side of Airsoft. Although sited in England the news is submitted from all around the world, and aimed to appeal to ’softers from any country.

    AA features news, reviews, projects, articles, comprehensive links and a whole heap more all written with an appealing British jovial spin.

    Hall of Famer Tokyo Marui: Best Airsoft Manufacturer

    Tokyo Marui was founded in 1965 as a hobby toy manufacturer.  The company entered the airsoft business releasing their first airsoft gun in 1985, the Luger P-08. In 1986, they released the first airsoft gas blowback, the S&W 59. They introduced the first airsoft automatic electric gun in 1991 in the form of the FAMAS AEG. The company has been moving from strength to strength, being the biggest airsoft manufacturer in Japan and setting the de facto standards in airsoft development such as the electric blowback and recoil new generation AEGs.


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    Fogo

    I guess many of you would be wide-eyed to learn about a device that does more than just being a flashlight. For many of us in airsoft, we always look for ways to lessen the amount of devices and gear that we carry to any airsoft event, and having devices that do more than just a single function usually gets our attention.

    Fogo which its makers call as the "Ultimate Adventure Gadget" or the "Digital Swiss Army Knife" is now called to be the Smart Flashlight. Fogo is a Walkie, Talkie, Charger, GPS, Bluetooth, Flashlight, and more rolled into one. Whether you are an outdoorsy type or the airsoft player who always goes for the long weekend airsoft events you  may want this device to be in your kit list.  Just imagine how many tools and devices that that you can leave at home, or strike off from your shopping list with Fogo.

    It’s also a fitness tracker that it tracks your steps with its built-in pedometer when you're in the trails and able to track your heart rate. For bikers, the Fogo can track speed, distance and elevation.

    The GPS can be loaded with points of interest from your smartphone via bluetooth.  Since it will always be a device that will work with your smartphone, Fogo has the USB charger to put more juice to your phone with its 6800mah rechargeable battery.

    When it becomes dark, then its flashlight feature can illuminate an area with its 1000 lumens LED light.

    The Digital Walkie Talkie does both voice and text messaging which for an airsoft team, the text messaging can be a stealth feature for team communications as there is no provision for a PTT headset with this. The voice is both realtime and message-based with the latter a good feature for leaving a voice message when the receiver cannot immediately answer a voice call or hail.

    The Digital Walkie Talkie uses the SmartCap interface which is the USB port that is expandable to add hardware to it. The Digital Walkie Talkie is the first to be released  with the Fogo and to follow are a Satellite Modem, Avalanche Beacon, and a Laser Rangefinder. That's pretty neat and it may give you an idea on what add-on you may want to request the developers to work on in the future.

    So, how would you be able to get hold of one? Well, there's none yet available for you to purchase. As of this writing, its makers are raising US$125,000 on Kickstarter for it to get into production with around US$40,000 already raised with 21 days left. To get at least one Fogo, you can pledge US$175 and add US$50 to include the Digital Walkie Talkie SmartCap.

    There are still more functions that the Fogo can do which are mentioned at the Kickstarter page and the perhaps that only thing it can't do is gather firewood to make a campfire. Fogo might just be the ultimate adventure device you can bring with you anytime, anywhere.


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    MuzzleShot Middy Tactical Rocks Glass

    Remember the Battle Mug? Sadly, I still have to order to order one of these. It's one of the must have tacticool products for any grunt or even an airsoft player (and even has an ACM clone). If you're making a collection of tactical drinking mugs, glasses, and openers, why not check out the new Middy Tactical Rocks Glass from MuzzleShot? Take those shots with a Flash Hider!

    The Original MuzzleShot is based on the A2 Flash Hider and is a mil-spec hardcoat anodized, aluminum shot glass. The Middy Tactical Rocks Glass is its brother that is a 10fl oz bigger! So if you think you can't get that hit from the Original MuzzleShots 1.5fl Oz capacity, then the Middy will make sure you get to be happy with its bigger capacity.

    That also means more fun doing some cocktails with it after a hard and long day at the range or on  the  airsoft skirmish field. Just bring several of these along and if you have a mobile mini-bar, you’re ready to start to party when the staccato airsoft gunfire dies down and the players are up to a night of swigging mugs, throwing bottles and gulping down shots.

    What’s more? You get tacticool points with carrying something more appropriate for drinking, tactically speaking. Honestly, you get more points with the Battle Mug but still the  Middy Tactical Rocks Glass will have its fine place in the bar with it. Now if you get the pack of 4 Original MuzzleShots as a gift idea, then you'll make everyone in the airsoft team more by giving them MuzzleShots to take home.

    If you want to personalise it, then you have to shell out extra for some custom engraving. That'll amount to a US$40.00 set-up fee on top of the US $52.50 price of the Middy Tactical Rocks Glass.  Though you might get charged more depending on the design time.

    Now, we'll just need to make some shots that is befitting of the operator in you. How about "SEALS on the Beach"  or  "50 Caliber Headshot" or "Double Tap" Shot? The only limit is your imagination.


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    Savox Thor

    This should be a good day for geardos as a new helmet on the block has been announced and has many features to make any geardo happy, save for having a coffee maker. Called the "Thor Tactical Headgear System", it comes with fully integrated for sensors, communications, protection, and situational awareness. Launched during last week's IDEX 2015 in the United Arab Emirates, its maker, Savox, announced that the Finnish Defence Forces have adopted it as their next generation combat headgear system.

    Savox partnered with the Millog and FY-Composites to develop the Thor to meet changing operational requirements. Whilst its main purpose is head protection, the Thor has been developed to fit different technologies and accessories into one shell, lessening the need for a soldier to strap on other devices to achieve the same thing as what the Thor does. These are what Savox have listed as the key benefits of the Thor:

    • State of the art ballistic protection thanks to boltless helmet shell based on the latest Dyneema® material technology
    • Revolutionary design for superior ergonomics resulting in ultimate comfort and stability
    • High level of integration as the main sub systems and components have been specifically designed for the system
    • Modular structure that allows the user to choose the best set-up in a mission-specific way
    • Helmet shell is an individual module that can be varied according needs of an individual unit or mission
    • The shell can be removed while maintaining all other features, which is practical in training use
    • Mono/dual NVG with wide 60° field of view Flexibility by direct compatibility with standard rail mounted accessories: cameras, illuminators, beacons etc.
    • Long system lifecycle thanks to modular structure

    Since it's modular, the capabilities of the Thor can be further enhanced by adding accessories needed to meet mission requirements with the Flex Family of Technology. For mounting devices, the FlexRail shall handle such and are innovative powered rails with software defined IR and microphone buttons that draw from a common source of power, called as FlexPower, rather than carry different types of batteries adding to weight and incompatibility of power sources.  The level of ballistic protection can be adjusted with FlexFit and to meet the size and shape of the user whilst delivering BUMP protection.

    For easy adjustment of the NVG, FlexAdjust is the solution that is based upon a multi-axis and multi leverage fixation points for a personalised fitting. The FlexNet is the routing of data through the cables inside the helmet connects the Thor to external data routers and radios.

    With all these features, you might think you'll need a thick and sturdy neck, expecting a heavy helmet.  The Thor has been designed with all its features carefully integrated and balanced that it doesn’t require any counterweight at all, so it looks like it's a comfortable helmet system to wear.

    This is probably overkill for airsoft players and the best thing really is for someone to make a replica emulating the functions of the Thor, just like the L-3 GPNVG-18s seen in the Zero Dark Thirty movie. Many airsoft players purchased the replicas that come with night glow of the NVG. But for the real world tactical applications, the Savox Thor represents the new generation of integrated and high-tech tactical helmets that were previously seen in sci-fi movies only.


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    IWA 2014 EnforceTac

    The next red letter day in the calendar of events for airsoft community is the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015. Whilst the USA and North American have their SHOT Show, for Europe, it's the IWA & Outdoor Classics. Both events is participated in heavily by the airsoft industry in recent years and thus for the European airsoft community, it’s also an event where they get to meet with the industry and update each other on what is happening in airsoft.

    The IWA & Outdoor Classics (the organisers are now calling it the IWA Outdoor Classics) is over 40 years old now. It started in 1973 with just over 100 exhibitors, which was already a lot for any starting project. Now, there are over 1,300 exhibitors that even in our schedule of visiting the various companies, airsoft or not, just writing about 30 of these can already fill up 5 days' worth of reporting. How much more if over 1,000? Well, we'll just focus on airsoft, airsoft-related and tactical gear whilst we exhaust ourselves going around today until Monday, the 9th of March.

    As always, there are new releases that we want to see and we hope to be surprised by some announcements from the vendors or  manufacturers. Will Krytac, ASG, King Arms, ICS, G&G, Cybergun, Modify and others we have failed to mention have something on display today that we haven't learned about prior to coming to Nuremberg? We sure hope so as we like surprises of the airsoft kind.

    But what is also important for the Airsoft Community is the annual Airsoft Meetup. If you are coming and haven't signed up yet. You still have until Sunday to get your tickets. Meet both the community and industry coming together in the same room where we get updates through formal presentations.  It is growing each year and we hope it will become a tradition and institution.

    So expect reports and photos from us as we give coverage the event. Not all photos can be posted here, but do follow us on Facebook, you'll get tons of IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 photos there. The videos will then be posted at our YouTube Channel next week.

    See you there!


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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 Day 2

    On the second day for the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015, vehicle traffic was not worrying as it seemed that the organisers were able to sort out improving traffic flow. I was a bit late coming to Nuremberg Messe as uploading reports and especially photos from my hotel was too slow. At least at the venue the upload is faster but I'd rather not upload the videos yet since it will take really long. Please bear with me that the videos will be available when I get back to the UK.

    Morning is more of checking the news reports and making sure that they get posted since they always get priority before we moved on the Exhibit halls. With most of the airsoft companies and related ones in Halls 7 and 7A, an airsoft media guy can spend around two days just in this hall. Thus, in the morning, one that is turning into a tradition for airsoft is the G&G Presentation and Awarding Ceremony.

    Before I went off for the Halls, I had some juicy chit chat with Maree-Louise and Keith Slater who are now based in Nevada. The couple have IWA 2015 stories and photos for Popular Airsoft readers which we shall be posting later on, and we give our heartfelt thanks to them.

    G&G Armament comes in full force when attending the IWA & Outdoor Classics, and for Saturday's mini-event, it becomes well attended with people waiting to hear about the new products from the company. The product showcases for this year was about the G&G GMG42, their AEG version of the MG42 machine gun, and their 2015 Combat Machine with their G Box System. The Airsoft.nu and AirsoftDB  guys got lucky winning two of the G&G AEGs that were up for raffle.

    With the G&G Greatest Glory Video Contest, the winner for this year is a woman from Spain, Sylvia Vivanco from Spain produced the winning video called "Cadence." She was flown in and given the VIP treatment by the G&G Team in Nuremberg. But of course, the biggest news is the cash prize that she won, and it is the biggest cash prize any individual can win from airsoft, US$10,000!

    By 12 noon, I decided to attempt at uploading the Day 1 photos on Facebook whilst having my lunch at the press room. It was a good decision that I was able to upload over a hundred photos with just a few minutes to spare before my next appointment at 1300H.

    That appointment is with Sarah Hong, the marketing manager of King Arms and CAA Airsoft Division who thoughtfully texted me at 6 am that the CAAAD Premium M4 Gas Blowback Rifle is now on display at the booth. One thing that our dear readers should note is that King Arms is now based in Taiwan where they are now doing most of their manufacturing. From Chai Wan in Hong Kong to Taiwan.

    Sarah talked about the various licenses that King Arms has as of this year which has a forged aluminium receiver, steel outer barrels, stainless gas tube, aluminium stock tube, steel internal parts, and metal magazine. As for its actual release date, it still remains to be confirmed. We then proceeded to check the MDT Tac 21 and the MDT LSS which are the sniper rifle chassis that is a fruit of a licensing agreement with MDT which was announced at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2014.

    Also on display at the King Arms section of the booth are the King Arms Training Weapons Systems (TWS). This series was actually released in November 2014, with the 7" and 9" Alpha TWS Elite as being the first of this series which are full metal AEGs. Sarah pointed out that a new 13" version is now available and interested dealers can contact them for bulk orders.

    Next up was my appointment was with Thomas Mikkelsen at the Action Sport Games (ASG) booth which is a well laid out booth with less clutter and it was nice going around and checking their products out. We know that you have been overloaded with much of the ASG CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 AEG which is their flasgship AEG that they made in Europe which he explained that is already on its 4th version with more improvements and fixes. He talked mainly about the Dan Wesson D715 Revolver models which actually has an air gun version too. This is CO2-powered with a rubberised grip, hop-up system, and a beefier build. For those who want to try their hand on airsoft sniper rifles, they have the affordable spring powered ASG Tac 6 which is mainly for backyard plinking, though they don't recommend it for wargaming, it's still up to you to try and find out if it can do its job in the skirmish field.

    What airsoft players should expect from ASG which hopefully gets released this year is the CZ Bren 805. Initially announced at the SHOT Show 2015. There are two variants of this AEG, the A1 and A2 model, and they are coming out with Black and a two-tone colour versions though they haven't decided yet on what colours to use for the two-tone one. What is most definite with 805 is that an 805 Airsoft Grenade Launcher will also be released though you will have to buy that separately when they all get released. Released date hasn't been determined yet.

    Just right beside the ASG booth is Classic Army, where Peter Ho showed me the Apex AEG line up. The Apex airsoft AEGs are now available in various AR models such as the R5 Series (M8, M10, M12, and M14 models), Carbine RIS and CQB-R, and the MK13 Series (Mod 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10 models). These are full metal AEGs, with steel sling swivels, flip-up sights, and battery stock that can handle 9.6v batteries. Colours are black and the popular dark bronze. For 2015, the Apex Gearboxes will come with integrated MOSFETs, which is attached to wiring of the gearbox rather than embedded on the gearbox shell and heat resistant polymer tappet plate and trigger switch, the configuration which Peter explains helps prevent trigger burn brought about by firing often in semi-auto, or high discharge rate Lipo batteries.

    Many airsoft players looked forward to visiting the booth of KRISS/KRYTAC, though they are not located in Hall 7, instead they are in Hall 9 where most of the tactical gear makers are. Greeting me immediately was Jean-Paul Dinh, the Communications Manager, whom we have been in contact with every since KRISS Group decided to have an airsoft venture. Tim Seargeant, the Marketing Manager, was there as well and of course, we had a video of him doing presentations of the KRYTAC AEGs, especially the soon to be released KRYTAC LMG Enhanced and the Trident 47.  Also on display are the KRYTAC Trident Family which many of are familiar with including the Trident SPR in OD Green.

    At the Krytac Booth, I also bumped into Jim Septhon from The Grange  who perhaps stock most of the HPA-powered airsoft guns and engines in the United Kingdom.

    By 1600H I went to Hall 7A where B.O. Manufacture and Vega Force Company are co-exhibitors. Eric Gautier and he has on display the B.O. M9 Custom Gas Blowback Pistol. If you remember that well praised and received B.O. Gothic Serpent Operation (GSO) GBB Pistol with that weathered look and unique engraving? Same care and attention were also done to this M9 pistol. For those looking for a new Avalon Premium AEG, the Avalon Mod Saber will be released with the new VFC QRS stock.

    Around 1615 I went off to the RedWolf Airsoft booth to rest my legs and watched a K9 try on the Pantac K9 harness which he immediately developed a liking for it that his own immediately got it and modeling it on the IWA exhibit floors. The shotgun system of Airsoft Innovations is now in a working shotgun model where there is heavy interest amongst visitors as Carlton demoed for everyone. You've seen this in bare bones form last year, but for the Airsoft Meetup it will be shown as a realistic looking shotgun.

    By 1645 it was time for me to wrap up the day at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 with a get together at the ASG booth where food, wine and beer were being served. It was already full when I got there and most of the airsoft media was there. I finally get to see the major UK airsoft retailers as well such as Frank Bothamley of Firesupport and Scott Allan of Landwarrior Airsoft. Also there were the Airsoft & Military News team led by Chris, the Belousov couple from the Border Wars, and Airsoft.nu guys as well.

    By 1830 it was time for to be at the Gunfire booth where I met up with Lukasz and Peter, as they planned to host a dinner for me. They chose a really good Greek restaurant in the center. Over beer and food, we traded stories about the airsoft business, the dynamics of dealing with suppliers in the Far East, discussed the future of airsoft, and Polish airsoft. Time flew fast that we realised it was almost midnight and we decided to go back to our hotels. Walking back to the car, a basket filled with Polish goodies greeted me, and I was surprised by this kind and thoughtful gesture from them.

    They dropped me off at my hotel by midnight and for me the day wasn't over yet as I needed to check news submissions from the news teams and sponsors. I wasn't disappointed as in my Inbox there were several updates and emails which I immediately made sure they are prepared for today's news update.

    By 0200H of Sunday, I hit the sack even there was some loud Reggae party going in a building beside the hotel. Not even the a canon blast will wake me up until 6am.

    As always, check the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page for photos and videos will be up later this week.


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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 Day 3

    As each day passed by at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 for our friends at the exhibit booths and the airsoft media, waking up each morning is something we do dread. We have been standing on our feet for two straight days that we'd rather stay in bed longer. But then, there is work to do, clients to talk to and for us, stories to file and photos and videos to upload.

    The third day of the event is more about the airsoft community in Europe gathering together to listen to various the airsoft manufacturers and vendors talk about what they do and what is new with them for this year. Some may say that what they will say is what they've been talking about at their booths and in a way they are right. However, for the Airsoft Meetup which every right thinking airsoft media group should consider a good thing, you get to listen to them in one single room with more proper slides, demos, and even better information. Just imagine all the distractions of people milling around when you do interview of an airsoft present at their exhibit booths, the Airsoft Meetup removes that distraction for the airsoft media reporter.

    The line-up for the Airsoft Meetup for this year has the mainstays over the years. After Slickaxe of NLAirsoft welcomed the attendees and did the introductions, the Airsoft Meetup was opened by Paul Chu of RedWolf Airsoft who talked about the efforts of RedWolf Airsoft and the build up for the RWA brand. He also explained the difference of RedWolf Airsoft and RWA. Rob Manore who is the manager for RedWolf Airsoft USA took over from Paul to discuss about the products of RWA. Tim from RedWolf TV also briefly talked about upcoming 3rd Airsoft Surgeon European Airsoft Practical Shooting Championships which will take place in the United Kingdom in September 2015.

    Airsoft Innovations came next with Chris doing the introductions about the company and its popular airsoft products such as the Tornado Impact Grenades and Propane Adaptor.  But the highlight for Airsoft Innovations is the airsoft shotgun technology that Carlton has been working. Last year, during the SHOT Show and IWA Outdoor Classics, he demonstrated the basic shotgun without it in an actual shotgun body to show that it does work. For this year, he has a working prototype that is built into a shotgun body. This shotgun shoots a 16-BB round blast at 350fps,  it is also shell ejecting and can be a very useful primary weapon airsoft skirmishes. Since it's still a prototype, it does still have bugs but Carlton was able to shoot a blast as he intended and shows the effects on the cardboard box he brought for the demo.

    Gunfire has always been one of the biggest supporters of the Airsoft Meetup and they send a whole team to ensure that their presentation goes well and provide the participants something to drink as they watched the presentations. Mark started off with the GF Point 2015 which is their annual winter event and it's not the usual airsoft event. It's more of an orienteering event where contestants go to various waypoints and objectives under cold weather conditions and tough terrain. From there they talked about what is new with their Specna Arms brand emphasizing on the affordability and performance of their various airsoft gun models. They also did an on the spot quick spring change which allows anyone without any training to do spring change without any training or technical knowledge. They also introduced Rasputin Tactical which is a tactical gear brand they announced last year, bringing with them a sample vest made under the brand and mentioned other products such as the ElectroRiver Lipoly batteries that airsoft players can look forward to.

    Next up was Krytac, with Tim Seargeant, the Marketing Manager, doing the presentation for the second straight year. He brought news that it is most definite that the Krytac European Sales and Distribution will finally open next month, bringing the various AEGs under the Trident family to European airsoft players. He also went over the new products that will be released this year such as the KRYTAC LMG Enhanced version.

    There were two new presentors for the Airsoft Meetup this year, and both of them came all the way from USA and can be considered healthy competitors for the HPA segment of the airsoft guns market:

    Dennis Tippmann Jr. himself showed up to talk about the venture of Tippmann Sports in the airsoft market.  Most of you know that Tippmann Sports is the biggest manufacturers of Paintball markers but since last year, the company has been busy promoting their Tippmann M4 Airsoft Carbine. Leveraging their expertise in making Paintball markers, what they have developed is an airsoft gun which is a gas blowback with strong recoil kick. It also has multiple power inputs such as the remote line for an external HPA tank or CO2 cartridges, adjustable ROF, anti Jam technology, and even more features which are impressive for a first airsoft offering.

    Josh of Valken Tactical came up next to explain their offering for airsoft. Also known for their Paintball products, Valken Tactical released their V12 HPA engine which can be dropped on airsoft AEG bodies, giving airsoft players another way of playing with their airsoft guns with another power source and as I have mentioned about last Friday, is their AR-1 complete airsoft gun which is their first full airsoft gun offering in the market.

    Thomas Mikkelsen did the presentation for Action Sport Games (ASG). Just like in my last report, he talked about the EVO 3 A1, the affordable Tac 6 airsoft sniper rifle, the CZ Bren 805, and the new Dan Wesson 715 Revolver Series.

    Jane Liu of Modify puts a female face in the airsoft industry as she's the only female presenter at the Airsoft Meetup for two straight years now.  In a male-dominated industry and sport, Jane will always ba fresh face for us. She talks about their upcoming Modify XTC carbine which we hope will be definitely released in May 2015.

    After Jane's presentation was the 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards and there were four winners present at the Airsoft Meetup: Gunfire, the Best Retailer for Europe; RedWolf Airsoft, the Best Retailer for Asia; Airsoft Innovations, the Best Airsoft Kaboom Winner; and Border Wars, the Best Airsoft Event.

    For this year, we opened the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Hall Of Fame and two Hall Famers received their awards: RedWolf Airsoft as represented by Rob Manore to receive their award, the Gunfire with the whole IWA 2015 Gunfire crew led by Peter Janisuv, their CEO, accepting the award.

    In a last minute update, Gearskin was allowed to briefly present their products which are camo or colour  wraps for airsoft guns and other gadgets you want to put their products on.

    The Airsoft Meetup broke-up around 15 minutes before 1600H which gave me some time to rest my feet and check a few booths.
    We checked the Dag Recker shooting booth in Hall 7A where they are co-exhibitors with the dealer of Wolverine Airsoft products. Dag Recker from Big Whiskey GmBH, have some interesting targets system that airsoft players can be interested in. They got paper targets with printed characters which are fun to shoot at, including playing cards which you can turn into targets if you think they are not giving you a good hand in a poker game. But what was fun for me was the shooting booth which Silke Reutershan explained has three standard themes such as Western, Military, and Zombie. You are allowed to give a custom order for a theme you want for an extra fee.  I tried the Random Shooting mode where some zombie targets pop up from different places and my job was to hit as many as possible in 30 seconds. I got lucky for hitting 24 targets. Yey!

    They also have a mobile range which can be rented for festivals, parties and airsoft events. The mobile range is custom van that has a full range inside and the package comes with the targets, ammo, airsoft guns to shoot with and a staff to help customers out and fix any technical problems.

    I also dropped by the iWholesales which is a UK-based company that does wholesales on Ares and Bolt Airsoft Guns.

    By 1545 I went to meetup again with Ronald and Luuk at the KRISS/KRYTAC booth. Treating ourselves to some Swiss Chocolates, Cheese, and Beer, were winded down Day 3 of the IWA & Outdoor Classics. But the day wasn't over for as we still have a date with JP and Tim of Krytac for the evening. It was a fun and laughter filled night and for me the day really ended around 0200H the next day.

    More photos at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 Day 4

    Waking up was tough on the last day of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015. I had to write about Day 3 by 0700H and I kept on dozing off trying to fire off a few words just to get my story going. I finished the Day 3 story by 1000H, which means I was really slow. Apart from that, I had to pack my things up which apart from my clothes, laptop and photography equipment, has grown into a high pile of brochures, catalogs, flyers. I had to sort this pile and decide which gets brought home and which gets thrown the bin.

    Having trimmed it down a manageable level, I was able to move faster packing things up, showered, checked out, hailed a cab, and rushed to Nuremberg Messe. Even if it's the last day of the event, my work is still not yet done.

    I arrived at the Messe by 1130H. After doing some updates to the Popular Airsoft, it was time for me to go and spend more time on Hall 9. Hall 9 is mainly comprised of Tactical Gear vendors and many are familiar names to most of you but some are new players.

    Lawrence Holsworth of Hyde Definition was at the Tactical Trim booth, all decked in PenCott GreenZone. The Tactical Trim has some interesting gear which I suggest that you check out, but since most of the Tactical Trim guys were busy talking to other visitors so I just took photos of the products.

    Direct Action has interesting pouches, vests and rigs. This company is a venture of Helikon-Tex focusing more on tactical gear with the aim of becoming a major player especially in the US. Their magazine pouches are versatile, able to take in several types magazines. The vest is light and nice to hold (how I wish I could bring it home). For those who want to order their products, they may have to wait longer as they are still testing these with the Polish SpecOps Troops, GROM, and getting feedback from them to improve their products.

    Going around Hall 9 is a wet dream for any geardo as many are mouth-watering stuff and if they can take my money, whatever is left of it after our night out, I could've filled up my bag with all the gear that I fancied in Hall 9, which is basically most of what was on display. You will find Team Wendy, 5.11 Tactical, Revision Military, Mechanix Wear, Helikon-Tex, Arc'teryx LEAF, Bates, Surefire, Warrior Assault Systems, and many, many more.

    Hall 9 is the final area for me before I ended my IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 coverage, but I still have to go back to Hall 7 to give my thanks to those who have accommodated me. Paul Chu  of RedWolf Airsoft wasn't done with me and insisted that I test fire the RWA Nighthawk GRP Recon CO2 Pistol, which Dom likes a lot. The firing is really crisp and the kick was awesome. My shot grouping was good and all 7 rounds that Paul put into the magazine were so close to each other. Definitely I'm impressed, though I will need around US$1,200 to really impress myself on getting one.

    I almost forgot to visit the Umarex Booth and in the past days, it was full of people checking their products and they do have probably the biggest exhibit floor space of the event as far as I am concerned. Other airsoft news outlets have already posted news about the upcoming Umarex/VFC HK G28 DMR Rifle and I do have a personal liking for that rifle. It was on display in with the now familiar RAL8000 colour. Bjorn of Umarex explained to me that they will coming up with the semi as the real steel one is semi-auto but if the airsoft market demands it, a full auto version will be coming out. This is the designated marksman rifle by the German Military and it's based on the MR308 which is a competition rifle that is being sold in the civilian market, especially in the US. It is really a sight to behold and looks like that Umarex/VFC/Elite Force Guns have something that will surely be a good seller this year.

    It was almost 1445 when I went back to the Press Room to file certain reports and upload the photos taken from Day 3.  The results for the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 has been impressive and is getting bigger and more international each year. For this year, there were 1,383 exhibitors and over 41,000 visitors from all over the world.

    Past 1600 it was off to the Nuremberg Airport for me. Just like last year, I always leave this city with a smile as it was a warm and sunny day which signals that Spring is around the corner. Whilst I looked forward to resting getting back to London, I realised that rest may have to wait a little longer as there still some individual news posts from the IWA 2015 to be filed and videos to edit and upload.

    Airsoft's presence is definitely much bigger at the IWA & Outdoor Classics with manufacturers, especially from Taiwan are now putting the event in their calendars of events to attend to. We hope that even more vendors and manufacturers in the industry will be having their presence next year.

    See you Nuremberg next year.

    More Day 4 photos at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    A-TACS Camo Patterns

    The NAM (National Airsoft Magazine) was quick to take up an invitation to visit the A-TACS booth at the 2015 IWA Show, as there have been rumors and some announcements in relation to the future direction of A-TACS for some time. At the A-TACS booth, we were lucky enough to have the pleasure of Mr. Clint Hoover, a 25-year veteran of the US Special Forces, who now spends a lot of time at Fort Bragg training mainly Canadian, but also other nations' elite forces, and meeting with foreign military and civilian forces who are keen to take up A-TACS as a uniform resource. Clint is also now the director of Black Skull Tactical and a well-known consultant and trainer in Special Forces operations.

    Our time with Clint was interesting in several ways. Firstly, the number of specialist forces, military and civilian, that are taking up A-TACS is growing by the month. Clint had just returned from spending time with the Ukrainian Special Forces, who had just taken on A-TACS for operations. Interesting to note in the current climate was the fact that Russian Spetsnaz had taken the same camouflage!

    Further to this, Clint also informed us that A-TACS had also just secured contracts in relation to their new ATX, (Arctic Tundra camouflage) recently seen at the SHOT Show, which will be seen on Norwegian and Swedish forces in the near future.
    The second interesting point to come from our interview with Clint was how he, and A-TACS, see Airsoft as a hobby and sport, and how they view specifically Airsofters. Clint informed us that A-TACS has a lot of respect for those who play Airsoft and had given some thought to the costs that Airsofters expend on getting the look of their uniforms or impression right. They felt that the decisions they have taken on the future direction of A-TACS camouflage perfectly align with the needs of Airsofters, and are always keen for feedback from players.

    So, what is the future direction of A-TACS camouflage? In short, A-TACS is changing! A-TACS, which is currently produced in the AU (desert) and FG (forest green) smudge style pattern, that has become a popular choice with Airsofters, is about to go through a transition to, for want of a better term, a tiger stripe transitional pattern that is designed to be mixed and matched, for the immediate future, with the current line-up. Clint pointed out to us, that when worn, the pattern almost presents itself as a 3d image on the body of the wearer.

    He told us that in testing, the pattern was seen as extremely effective, and several Special Forces had shown interest due to this. In short, the new pattern, known as IX, is designed to bridge the current patterns in a way that increases effectiveness but also allows the current and IX patterns to be mix and match to suit the wearer.

    The plan to transition A-TACS over the next four years has already started with the production of the IX and ATX patterns to meet market needs during 2015, then add the production of the new AU variant starting in 2016, then add the FG variant in the new pattern, starting in 2017. They will then finish the transition period with LE in the new pattern during 2018. Uniforms and accessories will transition at the same time. Therefore, by the end of 2018, A-TACS would have transitioned to the new pattern, but in a way where the new and the old pattern will work well together. As stated, IX and ATX patterns are now in production and purchase interest is already high. For Airsofters, this transition, and how the new and old patterns will work well together, is good news, and help contain spending on replacing the entire uniform and accessories. Any combination of A-TACS will work well and will be able to be mixed and matched to suit the environment and player budget.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHORS

    Keith and Maree-Louise Slater covered the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 for NAM: National Airsoft Magazine - the underground magazine for airsofters by airsofters.


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    Evolution Airsoft IWA Outdoor Classics 2015

    Evolution Airsoft is an Italian Manufacturer, European Union importer and a distributor of Airsoft rifles and accessories. Three years ago we spent a day with the director of Evolution Airsoft, Sergio, discussed the ethos and corporate goals of Evolution, and their recent entry and quick expansion in the European Union Airsoft market. At that time we were impressed by the honesty of Sergio and his staff in relation to hiccups they had experienced in their distribution chain, as well as his guarantee that any fault with any product would be resolved by the large Evolution technical team, regardless of cost or time spent in rectifying the issue, and at no cost to the purchaser. We published the guarantee and as far as we are aware, Evolution has stuck by it.

    What initially attracted our attention to Evolution was their entry into the European Airsoft scene with some electric blowback rifles that had the look and functions to turn heads and attract player cash. These AEGs formed part of the Lone Star Tactical series of Evolution products, and had quickly found favour with European players. In short they were an M4 tactical style platform, full metal with a crisp blowback function. Retail they were priced at around the $300 or so mark. Over the past three years Evolution has expanded to include three AEG platforms, from beginner or economy versions to a new professional series of AEG’s. They have expanded further into gas blowback pistols and into a full range of accessories, such as scopes.

    Revisiting Evolution now, we have found the organisation poised ready to take the next step in their corporate development, and that is where it gets interesting for US players! Evolution have told us that they, or at least their product range, will be seen in the US Airsoft market! Furthermore, Evolution informed us that they had developed, and are developing, worldwide licensing agreements, and working with major US market players to release some very interesting Airsoft guns, some of which have already proven to be popular with European players. It is interesting to note that Evolution have gained the right to release previously popular Airsoft guns that disappeared from the market through their worldwide brand, and developing distribution partners. A clue to the sourcing of such guns can be seen in the Evolution line-up that is likely to be seen in the US sometime soon. For example, the M700 take down gas rifle, which was a very popular gas sniper rifle during my first few years in Airsoft. A recent and very interesting rifle Evolution has worldwide rights to is the DSR1 Co2 sniper rifle. We recently saw this rifle at the SHOT Show 2015 on display with a large well known US distributor and retailer, so expect this to be seen soon.

    Evolution has a solid current line of license agreements for their AEG and sniper line which includes ZM Weapons, DSR Precision, ADC Dallera Custom Tactical, Lone Star Tactical and the latest license acquisition is the Tango Down brand. Evolution informed us to expect their release of the entire Tango Down line.

    Finally, one of the most interesting new releases from Evolution Airsoft, and we hope one that will make its release in the US as soon as possible, is the new line of Biodegradable BBs. These BBs immediately caught our eye, as they were camo BBs in a two-colour, very effective styled, on a green base. In addition to this aspect, the BBs are guaranteed not to breakdown for six months, and not until soil microbes start to eat at them after this point. This means that they will not breakdown whilst in the possession of players, or whilst being played in harsh environments. The BBs will be available in weights up to .30, and are high precision. The feel and packaging was that of a high quality BB, contained in modern, re-sealable packaging, and plastic bottles.

    Sergio and the Evolution Team has supplied The NAM with the new Bio BBs for our testing. With the growing need for biodegradable BBs nationwide, and the additional field options that open up for Bio BBs to be adopted, we are sure this will end in a product that the big boys such as Evike and Airsoft GI will or should show a lot of interest in. We will fully test the Bio BBs and the test results will appear on The NAM in the coming months.

    The current Evolution Airsoft line can be viewed on their internet site, located at www.evolution-airsoft.com.

    ----------------------------------------

    ABOUT THE AUTHORS

    Keith and Maree-Louise Slater covered the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 for NAM: National Airsoft Magazine - the underground magazine for airsofters by airsofters.


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    Vickers Tactical/Tac TV Miniature Guns that Actually Shoot

    We're still not done with our reports of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015, but we're giving ourselves a one day break of feature stories and post something that would fascinate gun enthusiasts, whether airsoft or real steel. A link to a story posted by the famous Japanese Blog, Militaryblog.jp, by one of our readers from Japan, Heisuke, shows Larry Vickers having fun with miniature firearms that actually shoot real bullets!

    Vickers Tactical/Tac TV went to Russia to check out the tactical scene there. He also went to visit Arsenal Firearms, which nowadays is famous for the double-barreled AF2011-a1 pistol. He was more curious about the miniature firearms that they have. He thought they were paperweights when he was showed the catalog by Dimitri of Arsenal Firearms at the SHOT Show 2013; but he was informed that they were actually working firearms that he wanted to try them out when they visit Russia.

    The miniature firearms are made up of some of the famous firearms such as Suppressed AKM, 1911, Thompson, a VSS Vintorez, and a good number of pistols. They all work, with the same mechanical action like the full 1:1 scale firearms that they were based on, even the magazines.

    Still can’t believe it? Watch the four-part episode of Tac TV on miniature firearms below. If you are in a hurry, you can skip the first three parts and go straight to the fourth part where Larry Vickers gets to fire all the miniatures that were on display at Arsenal Firearms. Now, would something like this be made in airsoft too? It might be expensive to collect since collecting miniature firearms is a luxury hobby in Russia. Just imagine the details and patience that will entail when putting a miniature gearbox together.


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    "Gun Grill" M16 Bacon Cooker

    We have good news and bad news for this weekend and we'll start with the bad news first. Optimus Prime says he is not done yet uploading the Airsoft Meetup Report which he planned to post this weekend as this will be complete with the video footages of the presentations of the various speakers at the 4th Airsoft Meetup during the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015.

    His uploads are taking longer than usual and even the 43-minute G&G Saturday presentation which is posted in the news section took over 14 hours to upload. How much more for an almost 3-hour event? I guess we'll have to scramble for something that would make your weekend visiting the Popular Airsoft more worthwhile.

    How about bacon?

    Unless you’re a vegetarian or your religion prevents you from eating pork, one of the best things waking up in the morning is the smell of bacon. I really don’t care if they’re cooked crispy or juicy, I always love my bacon. For a three-day weekend airsoft event, any right thinking airsoft player would always have a pack of bacon in his list to ensure that weekend camping out is all worth it.

    And speaking of going out for a weekend camping at the range, a real steel shooting range that is? What's the worst thing to happen if you forgot your cooking utensils to cook that bacon you brought for your mates? Not to worry, as someone just showed us that you can actually cook bacon with a suppressor.

    In this case, Dustin Ellermann used a Gemtech Trek Suppressor, 90 rounds of 5.56 ammo, and a pre-ban M16 lower (before the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act in the U.S.). The result, nice tasting cooked bacon according to him:

    That's the good news by the way. Too bad that we can't do the same with airsoft. Now enjoy the weekend.


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    Battlefield Hardline American Dream Sofa

    Already doing some hardcore cops and robber game with Battlefield Hardline via EA Access? So far Optimus Prime hasn't tried his hands on the video game yet and neither do I due to our bad experience with the glitches of the last Battlefield title. Thus, in all honesty, we haven't paid much attention to this FPS video game just like with other FPS video games before, knowing that airsoft players being avid FPS video gamers.

    But one thing caught my attention by this video game as reported by various video game websites: the American Dream.

    Well, the American Dream is what every man, woman, and child wants to live in the U.S.A. which, and again in all honesty, is becoming a pipe dream right now for reasons that I'd rather leave to political scientists, economists, and sociologist to explain (nope, not politicians please). But in Battlefield Hardline, it's, it's, it's a sofa!

    Yes, the sofa which the American couch potato or perhaps for the game console player can perhaps relate to. It's an Easter Egg placed by the video game developers which is always something funny or weird or has a certain message. In Battlefield Hardline, you get to drive the American Dream Sofa.

    It's a fast vehicle, the sofa that is, and everytime you run over someone, `Merica' appears on the screen showing it be the cause of death of that player. It seems it can carry up to four, so players will have to hide when they get to see the American Dream coming up to them with four players on it with their guns blazing. It doesn’t come with its own built-in weapons so its main weapon is its speed, and the weapon of the driver.

    Battlefield Hardline is initially set for release tomorrow, March 17, 2015.


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    North Versus South

    What was one of the biggest airsoft events in the Philippines in the early aughts of this century, the North Versus South Series, got revived in 2013. Before this revival, this event series, organised by the United Airsoft Alliance,  can easily gather over a thousand players in just a short notice. But over the years, the airsoft population in the Philippines dwindled, especially since 2010, as airsoft players moved on to other past times, such as going into cycling, marathons, and other extreme sports.

    With the revival of the North versus South series, which is now hosted in a round robin fashion by Northern and Southern teams around the Greater Metro Manila, slowly, they are inching to get back what was the old glory of the North versus South games. Now on its third chapter, the North Versus South III Op: Repatriation aims to do better than the recent North Versus South II, which means more players and a better gaming. For this event, it is now a 2-day event and will take place on the 28th to 29th of March 2015 at  the old airsoft stomping grounds in Quezon City --- Camp Malauak ("Expansive").

    The major sponsors of this event are RedBull and Jagermiester with local airsoft shops and the world famous Takap Lupa Masks supporting this event. Registration is now ongoing and many airsoft teams are gearing up to participate in this event even as the summer heat in the Philippines is increasing in intensity.

    We'll let Marnol “Merdoc” Roxas tell more about the storyline and scenario for OP: Repatriation:

    OP: REPATRIATION
    CAMP MALAUAK 1
    NWSA HOUSING PROJECT, Quirino Hiway
    Greater Lagro, Quezon City

    Future time: After an agonizing war exploded around the world, remaining factions are still fighting each other despite the call for peace by majority of the remaining nations. The war has been ongoing for almost 15 years.

    Meanwhile, In the capital region of the Philippine Islands,  the revolution is almost at its end. Warring factions being helped by foreign countries whose interest is to gain the friendship of the winning faction. They are putting their countries on the line in helping what they think could win and could protect their interests.

    The socialist faction of the South is gunning for the demolition of the democratic faction of the North and they will be fighting each other in what could be the end of the revolution. The Socialist faction headed by the current leadership before the war started and the democratic faction headed by a former General of the Republic.

    Both sides are not standing down or backing out of the fight that would decide the fate of the Philippines as a country. General Diosdado Paster is a former ally and friend of the recent President Alejandro Bilis; both are now going to battle it out in the last remaining land that will bear witness to a bloody battle that will take place and warring factions will succumb to the clash of arms.

    The countries helping the two factions are hoping that the revolution will soon end and repatriation of their troops can begin and peace will soon be achieved.

    On the Northern side of the land of Camp Malauak 1, the former stronghold and training ground of the elite forces of the Army stands the faction of General Disodado Paster (North). On the Southern Portion of Camp Malauak 1 stands the faction of President Alejandro Bilis (South). They will be doing their best to destroy the other and reign supreme in the land.

    Proposed Missions

    Mission 1: Send Recon forces to locate targets. Once the targets are located, give the grid coordinates of the targets to the assault teams to capture and setup forward bases. Forward bases and fire bases are strategically located all over site. Each represented by a flag pole with 2 flags. Once the assault teams reach the target locations they must raise the color and setup a defensive position to anticipate the possible assault of enemy forces. (The side with the most number of captured and defended bases wins mission 1)

    Mission 2: Locate the Base camps of the opposing team by sending recon patrols. Once the enemy base is located, relay the grid coordinates to the base commander to send assault forces, capture it and eliminate the base commander and those guarding the base. Once the base is captured and the base commander or team commander is assassinated mission 2 is over.


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    4th Airsoft Meetup IWA Outdoor Classics 2015

    Sorry folks for the delay in posting the proceedings of the 4th Airsoft Meetup that took place last 8 March 2015 at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 in Nuremberg, Germany. I just finished the uploading of all the videos just last night. Finally, all the presentations of speakers who comprised the line-up for the Airsoft Meetup is now available and hosted by Slickaxe of NLAirsoft.com.

    The first question you will ask is that, "What's the difference with the presentations done by the speakers at their exhibit booths?"If you just speed through the video presentations, you may or may not notice it. But if you watch and listen carefully, there are more information revealed by the presenters that were not mentioned during the quick video presentations at their own booths. With more time and slides prepared by the each presenter, you will get more information from airsoft and airsoft -related companies in three hours, in one room, and where most of the airsoft media in Europe and even from Asia were also gathered to listen and learn more.

    One example is the Krytac KRISS Vector AEG was formally announced by Tim Seargeant. Another is the President of Tippmann Sports, Dennis Tippman Jr., took time from his business meetings to do the presentation himself. We get to learn more about the plans of RedWolf Airsoft, apart from the announcement of the RWA product line-up, as they cement their reputation as one of the best airsoft companies in the world. 

    Gunfire was in full force at the Airsoft Meetup, including the Specna Arms women, and their presence and support are always a welcome thing at the Meetup. Airsoft Innovations' Carlton Chong also had his "Bill Gates" moment, encountering problems with his Quantum Engine Demo, as the shotgun didn't fire as initially expected. But when it did work, the result was really impressive for a realistic, shell-ejecting, and skirmishable airsoft gun.

    Valken Tactical presented other products apart from their AR-1 and Valken V12 Engine, but I'd rather not mention them here and prefer you watch Josh's presentation. Thomas Mikkelsen of Action Sport Games (ASG) emphasized on their upcoming offerings and their flagship offering: the ASG Scorpion EVO 3 A1 AEG.  Always a welcome speaker at the Airsoft Meetup was Jane Liu of Modify-Tech and those who attended listened intently as she presented their upcoming Xtreme Tactical Carbine or XTC which made me hum "Dear God" and "Senses Working Overtime" as the initials of the airsoft gun reminded me of the highly acclaimed new wave band from Swindon.

    Now a part of the Airsoft Meetup is the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Awarding Ceremony where those who won in this year's Awards and present at the IWA Outdoor Classics get to receive their awards. For this year, RedWolf Airsoft, Airsoft Innovations, Gunfire, and Border War Milsim, were present to receive the awards. It was sweeter for RedWolf Airsoft and Gunfire as both are in the first group of inductees in the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Hall Of Fame.

    The guys from Gearskin EU were the last minute addition to speak at the Airsoft Meetup and they presented their self adhesive fabric you can use for you gear and airsoft guns.

    Each video embedded below are in the same sequence on how they speakers presented at the actual meetup. Get a headset if you want to listen carefully as there are many useful information you can get from each speaker. Enjoy!


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    AMS AK Gun Builder Feature

    A month ago, we featured here the Airsoft Megastore (AMS) Gun Builder, an interactive airsoft gun builder which allows you to put together various airsoft gun components in stock at Airsoft Megastore before placing an order for a complete airsoft gun. It is a very innovative approach to airsoft shopping as airsoft players can put together an airsoft gun that fits their budgets and seeing how the costs total-up in real time.

    The only thing that limits the first version of the AMS Gun Builder is that you can only put together an M4 airsoft gun which means it leaves out a good number of airsoft players wanting an AK airsoft gun. Ross Collins of Airsoft Megastore informed us that they are continuing the building of new features to the AMS Gun Builder and that their next priority is indeed the AK Gun Builder.

    And as promised and to the joy of AK-lovers, it is now online. You're totally in control of your budget and how your airsoft AK will look like. The only limit you have is what Airsoft Megastore has in its inventory of airsoft AK parts and accessories that you can put together to build your dream airsoft AK AEG.

    The process of customising your own AK AEG is the same as the process of the M4 Gun Builder, just mix and match and watch the costs pile-up. You can remove a part or accessory; start all over again if you’re not satisfied or over the budget.

    As to tips in making sure you build the right custom AK airsoft gun, Airsoft Megastore has written about three ways you can set up your airsoft gun with the AK Gun Builder.

    Here's Jon to explain more about the AMS AK Gun Builder in a one easy to watch video:

    You may be disappointed that other gun platforms such as those from Heckler & Koch, SIG, and FN Herstal are not included in the AMS Gun Builder. We don't know if they are in the roadmap of future feature releases but for now a good number of airsoft players will be happy with the AMS Gun Builder's M4 and AK platforms as these are the most widely used amongst airsoft players. Also, developing the AMS Gun Builder with all the features and gun platforms do not really happen overnight, just like how software and web applications are built. What is important really is that the AMS Gun Builder works seamlessly and with less bugs with each improvement or release.

    Well, the only thing to do now is give the Airsoft Megastore Gun Builder a try and see for yourself if it is a helpful system for putting your own airsoft gun. Watch Jon, Ross and Jonathan of Airsoftology go into action with their custom AK airsoft guns built with the Gun Builder:


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    Airsoft Absolution AA-12 Airsoft Auto 12 GBB

    Almost two years ago, we got teased with a video of the Airsoft AA-12 AEG Shotgun on YouTube. In a way, the airsoft community got excited about this project, and looked forward to seeing it hit the market. Since then, we never heard much about the project; and we wondered if it was just another "vaporware", not being able to see the light of the day and disappointed airsoft players anticipating its release.

    Earlier this week, we get an email from Airsoft Absolution, the French group behind this project. This email revealed two important things:

    1. The Airsoft AA-12 Shotgun is now a CO2-powered Blowback Airsoft Shotgun; and
    2. They are now raising €200,000 on Indiegogo so they can proceed with production.

    The description on the project reveals to us that this AA-12 Airsoft Shotgun has been initially conceived by Sylvain Bertrand in 2008, though actual execution of the project was in 2011 when he met Stephane Jacquemin and shared the objective of building the AA-12.  Together they put up Airsoft Absolution and used their savings for the project.

    As mentioned earlier, the AA-12 was initially conceived as an AEG and below is the video of the prototype that caught the interest of the airsoft community in June 2013:

    However, they encountered difficulties in acquiring the Gearbox (a bit vague here) in quantities and they decided to build a gas-powered AA-12 instead and that they will control the manufacture of all elements for this product. With the funding that you will provide they intend to have the shotgun body on a stainless steel base with reinforced polycarbonate hull. They also mentioned of a "future store" where you can customise the shotgun to your liking.

    Each shot will be able to fire off 3 BBs as shown in the demo in the fundraising video just like their original AEG design. Initial muzzle velocity is around 300-350fps and pricing is seen around €400 to €500.

    Now, speaking of pricing. I noticed that pledging amounts on the Indiegogo page range from €1 to €1,000.00. The first thing I checked is the €500 which for the pledge, doesn't indicate you get to have one of the first AA-12 GBB Shotguns as based on their proposed retail price. Once you pledge between €750 and €1,000 then you can read clearly that you get to have a Limited Edition AA-12 GBB Shotgun. I just hope the project owners can clarify at what pledging amount can supporters acquire the product. Also, there's no mention of ETA for the product if the minimum amount required to start production is met.

    Oh well, the birthing pains of trying to put out a product that no one has done before. The AA-12 is a dream shotgun for a good number of airsoft players who are limited to pump actions for now. If you want one, be prepared to help raise some smacking two hundred thousand euros for Airsoft Absolution to start production.


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