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    Call of Duty E-Sports World League

    It looks like the Call of Duty Championships just went global with the announcement of the Call of Duty World League by Activision. This means that the commitment by the company to support e-sports just got even more serious with the World League. With e-sports growing, including the prizes at stake, game publishers are putting up their own e-sports leagues to further market their game titles to more professional gamers.

    Before the Call of Duty Championship had a total of US$1 million in prizes, for the Call of Duty World League, a total of US$3 million has been committed by Activision. The Call of Duty World League will have teams from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand (looks like Asia, where e-sports is big, has been left out) vie for the top prizes.

    The Call of Duty World League is expected to kick off on the 16th of January 2016, two months after the release of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and it will have two divisions. The Pro Division, as its name says, will be the regular competition for the pro-gamers. The other division, the Challenge Division, is aimed at amateur gamers wanting to have a shot in the pro-leagues. The top gamers will then move on to the finals which will the Call of Duty Championships which will take place in Spring 2016.

    Call of Duty World League is expected to have tough competition in getting the attention of pro-gamers as the bigger leagues such as CounterStrike, Dota, StarCraft, and League of Legends have big followings in the e-sports community. The Dota 2 International Competition 2015 which took place last August 2015 had a prize pool of over US$18 million, which is far much bigger than what Call of Duty World League offers.

    With the even bigger cash prizes and even bigger following, mainstream sports media have started supporting e-sports with ESPN and Turner now on board. Live streaming of e-sports have always been the realm of Twitch.com and with the big names coming on board, has made it a very ripe target for acquisition. Professional gamers are also now under the intense spotlight and with such further scrutiny such as testing for use of performance enhancing drugs with the governing body, Electronic Sports League, leading the charge after the Adderall scandal.


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    GoPro Hero+ Wifi

    It looks like prices of entry level action cameras from GoPro are going lower and lower at each announcements. For the first time since the GoPro Hero was introduced, we see a GoPro action cam go sub-US$200 with the release of the GoPro Hero+ Wifi. It is rather a surprise since we usually see action cameras below US$200 usually lacking the Wifi feature. With the GoPro Hero+ with Wifi, it means that GoPro can also take the pricing war strategy given there are GoPro wannabes (yes, you can call them Chinese clones) flooding the market with cheap copies these days at very much low prices.

    If you are an airsoft player who just wants some simple video capture and sharing of airsoft gameplays, then the GoPro Hero+ with Wifi should do more than enough for you. The more expensive models have the LCD back option, but since it comes with Wifi and Bluetooth, having the LCD back is not really a setback since you can use the GoPro app to do some playback and changing settings with your smartphone. As compared the Hero+ LCD, it is US$100 cheaper.

    Another thing that we welcome with this new entry level action cam is that video capture is 1080p at 60 frames per second and 720p at 60fps. It also comes with the user-friendly modes like QuikCapture, SuperView and Auto Low Light for better video capture results. Unfortunately, there is no slo-mo capture which means you have limited options in editing the 60fps video for a slow motion. As for still photos, it can do 8 megapixels, timelapse, 5 photo frames burst, and go under water to a depth of 40 metres.

    Set to be released by the 4th of October, the introduction of the GoPro Hero+ Wifi will also have some new pricing arrangements for the rest of the GoPro Action Camera lineup:

    • HERO4 Black: $499.99
    • HERO4 Silver: $399.99
    • HERO4 Session: $299.99
    • HERO+ LCD: $299.99
    • HERO+ Wifi: $199.99
    • HERO: $129.99

    We're liking the way GoPro are putting out products that meet certain budgets and requirements. This means that they are meeting their competitors head-on on price points and features that it is hard to compete against the company unless the competing product is really ground breaking. With that GoPro remains on top of the Action Cam world.


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    Janulus Trinity Portable Wind Turbine Power Station

    One of the things that we always prepare for when going for a long weekend or a multiday airsoft event is the availability of power to charge our mobile devices and to provide lighting in our camps and inside tents. These days, we come well prepared either bringing generators, lots of batteries, powerbanks, or even solar chargers.

    All of these come with their own problems such running out of petrol for the generator, batteries and powerbanks running out of juice, and solar chargers unable to generate power at night or low light conditions. Thus, some innovators turn to other sources of renewable energy that can provide power when other options cannot. In this case, one project on Kickstarter is betting on wind for the portable power generator to charge devices.

    Janulus is raising US$50,000 on Kickstarter for its Trinity Portable Wind Turbine Power Stations, but already have raised over US$105,000 with over 20 days to go before the funding pledges end. The Trinity Portable Wind Turbine Power Station is very much portable, looking like a simple white cylinder when not in use and turns into a mini-windmill when fully deployed. Available in different sizes and capacity, what are being made available at Kickstarter are the Trinity 50, 400, 1000, and 2,500.

    Each Trinity Turbine Power Station has a different capacity with the Trinity 50 being 50 watt version with 7,500 power storage capacity. The higher the version number, the higher capacity  and power generation it can do and you can charge your mobile phone several times or power up your home without relying on the power grid. All are portable and the table below shows what each Trinity version can do and you can select which meets your needs:

    The batteries to store power when not in use are Li-ion which are in use in today's electric-powered vehicles. The larger Trinities, the 1000 and 2,500 have their own inverters that can be made to synch with the power supply of your house or mobile home. They can even allow you to sell your excess power into the power grid if possible in your location. The beauty of the Trinity is that you can set the turbine blades into two type of settings, horizontal for low wind and vertical for high wind and it can generate power even with 4mph of wind.

    With the mobile phone app, you can turn on or turn off the operation of Trinity which is safer rather than pushing a button on the wind turbine with its blades turning.

    Overall, having one of the bigger Trinities can help you offset costs of powering your home. Depending on your power consumption, a Trinity 2,500 which costs US$5,600 at the Janulus website, can pay for itself in 5 to 10 years. For the Trinity 50 and 400, they will be useful when you're always in the  outdoors or at airsoft events that require you to be living in tents and will go on for several days.


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    U.S. Army M4

    In a deal that many would consider to be a lifeline for Colt Defense LLC. after filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in June this year, it was able to win together with FN America a US$212 million contract to supply M4s to the U.S. Army. This contract, good up to September 2020, is to supply M4 and M4A1 rifles as part of program to replace ageing rifles. In 2013, FN America was able to win a contract worth US$77 million over Colt and others, to supply the U.S. Army M4A1s.

    However, it is still unclear how much will be Colt's share in the US$212 contract as it shares it with FN America. Details are still a bit sparse since Colt just issued a short notice about the bid:

    "Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut (15QKN-15-D-0102); and FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina (W15QKN-15-D-0072), were awarded a $212,000,000 firm-fixed-price multi-year contract for M4 and M4A1 carbines for the Army and others, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 24, 2020.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received.  Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity."

    This means that the issue of getting out its bankruptcy status is still very much in question given that its share may not be enough to wipe out its debt to creditors. For now filing for Chapter 11 protects it from creditors whilst it sorts the mess out as it is burdened with a US$250 million debt.

    According to Guns.com, The contract also means that the M4 rifle won't be replaced anytime soon by the U.S. Army even as it contemplated on having a new design to replace the rifle. What the U.S. Army us doing right now is to improve the rifle through the Product Improvement Program and M4A1-plus. The Product Improvement Program is enhancing the existing M4 and M4A1 with improved fire control groups whilst the M4A1-plus is upgrading the rifle using the enhancements done in the civilian sector that would make still effective in the years to come.


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    Nexo Group Python Thermal Mask

    Something interesting appeared on the Popular Airsoft radar screen yesterday. Whether it will take airsoft gaming to the next level or not, that's something that we'll leave to airsoft players to find out. But for now, we are curious about what this product prototype promises it can do that was announced by the Nexo Group on the 1st of October 2015.

    Called the Python Thermal Mask, it is what Nexo Group claims to be "The Greatest Airsoft Innovation Ever", though that's pushing it too far since it is not related to the actual development of a new airsoft gun technology, as the airsoft gun is the core of airsoft and without it there will be no airsoft in the first place.

    One feature of the Python is that it can also used with Augmented Reality and with the use of voice commands, the airsoft player can interact with the information displayed on the screen. Another feature is field communications as it allows you to conduct live voice chats with your team allowing you to coordinate actions better.

    As for monitoring your team mates and other airsoft players, it also has real-time GPS-radar mapping that shows the location of the players in the field and I assume that all players are wearing the Python in order to use this feature.

    What's more is that it is also capable of taking still photos and record the airsoft gameplay on video. No specifications yet have been mention such as resolution, pixels, frame rate, and storage type (eg, SD, MicroSD).

    But the one feature of the Python touted by Nexo Group is the inclusion of a micro thermal camera which of course gives the airsoft player thermal imaging ready to go with the Python. With thermal imaging, one can see through smoke, darkness, and fog, negating the cover that smoke grenades and low light conditions provide. With the Python a player can be ready for night airsoft games.

    That's a lot of features in one goggle: thermal imaging, GPS, voice communications, augmented reality, and video camera, and I wonder if there is a smartphone and smartphone app requirement for all of these to work.

    Curious about this product, Optimus Prime contacted Nexo Group, as the company is located in London, if there is a possibility of checking the Python out first hand. According to Francesca Giussani, the New Press and Media Marketing Manager for the Nexo Group, they are still working of the final working prototype so it's not yet available for viewing and testing. But there is a possibility of the product being inspected by Optimus Prime before it gets released which is seen to be in the first half of 2016.

    As for pricing it will be between €550 and €650. It can be purchased online or via authorised resellers when it gets released. Nexo Group sees its application not limited to airsoft as its features can be used for life saving purposes and announced that it will be offered also to firefighters and perhaps other first responders. At least if it won't be a success in airsoft, it might be used as an essential gear to organisations that are in the business of saving lives and property.


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    2nd Tokyo Marui Festival Photo

    A month ago, the 2nd Tokyo Marui Festival was held at the same venue where the first festival took place, at the Belle Salle Akihabara. Just like the 1st Tokyo Marui Festival, it was a gathering of fans and customers of the company to find out what's up, what’s new, and what's coming up last 5th to 6th of September 2015.

    The 1st Tokyo Marui Festival was held at the height of summer (26 - 27 July 2014) and as based on our report, it was hot at the venue during those days, that most customers and staff were already sweating even before the doors were opened. They even had to put strict control of admissions to ensure that there was no overcrowding to avoid heat issues. But for this year, it was held in September, with the weather cooler and it was the onset of the Autumn season.

    The setup looks almost the same just as like last year, albeit with newer and upcoming products on display. Here, fans were able to get their hands of the products of the company has in production and finally holding the AA-12 AES and test it at the firing range that was put up at the venue.

    There were three products announced at the Festival with two more of a variation of existing products whilst the third one being totally new:

    1. The Tokyo Marui M870 Gas Shotgun Wood-Type (though this is not actually real wood)
    2. The Tokyo Marui MP7A1 Electric Compact Machine Gun in Tan
    3. The Tokyo Marui Glock 34 Gas Blowback Pistol

    The Tokyo Marui Glock 34 GBB still uses the Tokyo Marui Glock 17 mechanism with the inner barrel longer than the Glock 17. For those who have been doing custom Glock 34 GBB Pistols, this means that they don’t have to buy kits to convert their Tokyo Marui Glock17s to achieve this, as an actual Glock 34 from the company will be available.

    The AA-12 AES was a much sought after product at the Festival with people queuing up to try and shoot the Shotgun. Much has been said about the AA-12 though there are now updates to product and the only thing that needs to be done is to release it to the market as it is probably the most anticipated airsoft gun product for this year.

    The real news at the 2nd Tokyo Marui Festival is the update to the Tokyo Marui M4A1 MWS (Modular Weapon System) Gas Blowback Rifle. It is also a much anticipated product having been revealed last year and we were looking forward to it being released last year. However, the product engineers at Tokyo Marui were not satisfied with the durability and decided to do further improvements on it before  they release it to the market.

    The result is the Z Endurance System (ZET System) which Hyperdouraku assumes, and we agree with him, is probably called due to the Z-shape of the mechanism. The blowback function was optimised and the recoil even more powerful with a system that has impact mitigation, or shock absorption, to avoid damage to the bolt catch.

    According to the company, they subjected the M4A1 MWS with the ZET System to endurance tests, going through 10,000 shots and can handle it well. This durability is comparable to the NEGs or the New Generation Blowback and Recoil AEGs of the company such as the HK416 DEVGRU Custom NEG. The shot cycle doesn't decline even after shooting a full 30-round magazine. The feedback was that it was fun to shoot with the recoil being sharp and heavy. The plan is to release first the M4A1 MWS before the AA-12 AES and hopefully they get released one after another late this year. Fingers crossed, as many airsoft players want to get hold either of these airsoft guns or both by Christmas.

    With Akihabara being the centre of the Otaku universe, fans of anime and video games are also interested in guns that many of them came to attend the Festival and also watch a survival game anime shown at the event. It actually was popular for the Cosplay girls and they also checked out the airsoft guns especially the Desert Eagle .50AE Gas Blowback Pistol which is used by popular anime characters.

    The Express Gun or the "Train Gun" that is being marketed to children is also popular amongst airsoft players and many adults bought it for their own use. Some are actually planning airsoft skirmishes using the Express Gun.

    Again, it's another smashing success for the company. Holding the Tokyo Marui Festival is a good move for the company to find its footing in the airsoft industry annually and draw inspiration from their customers and fans who came in throngs to visit them in Akihabara for two days in Autumn of this year. Seeing the happy and amazed faces of the people who touched and tried the products they had on display should be more than enough motivation to spur them to create even more innovative products which they have been doing for 50 years.

    More photos of the 2nd Tokyo Marui Festival at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    Dutch Open 2015

    Another competitive airsoft practical shooting event is coming up in Europe, and it's going to be in the Netherlands this time. The Nederlandse Airsoft Belangen Vereniging (NABV or the Dutch Airsoft Association) are set to hold the Dutch Open 2015 at the Dutch National Sports Centre Papendal in Arnhem on the 21st to the 22nd of November 2015.

    For two days, competitive shooters, which will be limited to a number of 80 shooters at the maximum, will be going through various shooting stages with different levels of difficulty. If you and your airsoft practical shooting club intend to join in this competition, better register now as the number of shooters as of this writing has already reached 60+ registrants which means just less than 20 slots are left for those who haven’t registered yet. New competitors will have to be reviewed first before their registration gets approved. For the pre-match a total of 15 shooters will be accepted.

    As for the stages, there is a total of 18 which are evenly allocated on both days (9 on the 1st day and 9 on the second day). All of these stages are broken up to the following: 6 Long, 10 Medium and 2 Short, with a minimum of 456 rounds. The organisers will using 180 barricades, 120 Targetholders, 99 Poppers, 64 no-shoots, 10 barricades with windows, one seesaw, 5 moving targets, 5 tables with chairs, 1 bed, 1 Crocodile, 1 (small) swimming pool, 10 oildrums and over 250m of faultlines.

    For registration fees, Non-NABV members will be €65 and for NABV members, it will be  €40. Upon confirmation of registration, shooters will then select which squad they will be playing in for the Dutch Open.

    You can now register at the Shoot'n Score It online registration page where you need to sign-up for an account first before registering for the event. As for the discussion of the Dutch Open 2015 with the organisers, you can visit them at International Airsoft Practical Shooting Facebook Page.

    Popular Airsoft will be there to cover the event so expect the reports from the Dutch Open, including photos and videos from us.


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    The Hammer Bottle Opener

    We have written about bottle openers that are made to be handy on rifles or beer mugs made from billets used to create firearms before, but here's another bottle opener that any firearm enthusiast or even an airsoft player would like to own. Martin American Designs have put on Kickstarter The Hammer Bottle Opener that is actually made from an AR15 Hammer.

    We've seen other firearm parts and bullets used for other purposes, whether ornamental or useful, but this is the first time that the AR15 hammer has been used converted for another purpose, that is opening beer bottles. But before you take your AR15/M4/M16 hammers to open a bottle, please do take note that The Hammer is a converted hammer for the purpose of opening beer bottles. Your existing AR hammer will need to be modded to do the same. But why waste such a good hammer when you can already get a converted one in the form of The Hammer?

    Though it seems that the Kickstarter crowdfunding project might not be able to raise the US$15,000 funding goal as it has only been able to raise over US$4,000 with just a week to go. But don't you worry, can still actually purchase The Hammer via the Martin American Designs website. The Kickstarter campaign was put up in order to produce The Hammer faster, in larger quantities, and cheaper if it meets its funding objectives. But if it does not, Martin American Designs would be slower to fulfill orders and it will be more expensive to make.

    The Hammer is available in Black Nitride Coating; and Powder-Coated Blue, OD Green and Orange. The first colour is cheaper whilst the powder-coated versions will be more expensive by just a bit.

    If you want to own The Hammer, it's best to move quickly and help Martin American Designs raise the funding it requires for it to be affordable and widely available. With just a week to go, and still far from its funding goals, you will need to share the information and convince your mates to pledge too as quickly as you can.


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    CCS/MED Airsoft Electronic Wound System

    As the quest for more realism in the airsoft and milsim battlefield continues, we see different ways how innovators in airsoft gaming make the game very much immersive. From midcap magazines to vehicles; the use of smoke grenades, aerial gun runs, and even amphibious assault crafts, we never had it really so good these days unlike before where it is just our gear and airsoft guns and that's enough. Now we have a lot of ingredients to put together to satisfy that ever demanding airsoft player would love even more realism in the game.

    One area that many events organisers are looking into is the wound, bleedout, and medic rules. We see in some milsim events that players will need to be dragged before they get "revived" by a medic via a bandage system. Some medic rules require for the medic to stay with the wounded for a certain amount of time to revive the player. Another pressure for the Medic is the time window in which the player bleeds out and considered "KIA" if the Medic fails to reach him/her within a certain time frame.

    But now, an innovation in airsoft wound, bleedout and medic rules may just make it more realistic. For serious milsim organisers, they may want to invest in this system developed by Monopolovvy of Poland.

    The system is what he calls the "CCS/MED Airsoft Electronic Wound System". This system is composed of two parts. The first part is the CCS which is a PCB board that is worn by the player. The CCS board contains 6 switches that pertain to the different body parts, head, torso, two arms, and two legs.  There are LED lights with three (green, yellow, and red) for each body part and the player then pushes the button of the body part when he gets hit or "wounded". There are three wound levels for each body part: light, medium, and heavy and the player has 3 chances of drawing a light wound; 3 chances of drawing a medium wound, 1 chance of a heavy wound, and 1 chance of getting killed.

    After drawing or indicating the wound with the CCS system, the player or medic (depending on the event rules) will need to press down on the button of the body part for a minute in which the "bleeding" gets stopped. Failing to do will result into a more serious wound after 15 minutes.

    Now, the second part of the system is where the Medic really plays a heavy part as he/she will be crucial in preventing a bleedout of the player with this kit, which is called the MED System. If milsim event organisers say that The MED system will be used by the Medic, then it is going to be a lot of hard work for the designated Medic. The MED System is actually med kit that has a Blood Bag and an AED which are connected by the Medic via USB to the CCS System.

    The Blood Bag is to there to simulate blood transfusion to "replenish" the lost blood of the wounded player. The Blood Bag will turn a medium wound into a light wound, but the Medic will need to stop the bleeding on the CCS System first before connecting the Blood Bag to it.  The Medic will have to position the Blood Bag correctly in a vertical position (it has a sensor to detect proper use) for 5 minutes to turn the medium wound into a light wound.

    The AED or Automated External Defibrillator or "Defibrillator" is a part of the MED System that makes the role of a Combat Medic more interesting. With the AED, the Medic can turn a heavy wound into a medium wound but the Medic will need to do go through a process to achieve that. After turning the AED on and connecting it to the CCS System of the "wounded" player,  the Medic waits until the AED flashes a yellow light, which he/she can then charge the AED by sticking the paddles together for 3 seconds until it shows green. This means that the AED is charged and the Medic can then apply the paddles to the wounded player. The Medic will need to repeat this 5 times for the heavy wound to become a medium wound.

    Interesting? Well, if you're asking for realism in an airsoft event, then make the Medic role even more realistic with this system. It surely makes the Medic a more important player given that he/she actually has to use an actual MED kit to act the role effectively. It also makes good video or photo for the airsoft media when going over an "wounded" player being attended to by the Medic.

    If you think you have better process to make the CCS/MED Airsoft Electronic Wound System even better, get in touch with Monopolovvy to give your suggestions so he can make the necessary improvements that would make it more compelling for event organisers to use the system.

    Surely, the CCS/MED Airsoft Electronic Wound System is a system that has a place in a big milsim event. Now, it is a matter for the inventor of the system to prove that airsoft event organisers and players welcome such an innovation. I hope to see more videos of the system in actual field use. It will be a wait and see situation for now.


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    Macgyver with Missile

    The 1980s, I have to say, surely saw some of the most memorable TV shows and many have been turned into movies. Many of the stars in these shows have become some of the biggest celebrities until now. Surely you would agree me that the top TV shows from that decade are the Knight Rider, Miami Vice, The A-Team, Tour of Duty and of course, MacGyver (did I hear somebody shout Airwolf?). Even there opening theme songs are very much ingrained in my memory.

    The last one, MacGyver, is always memorable as Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson,  always figures out a way to wiggle himself out of tight spots or subdue the bad guys with his ingenuity. I can't really recall if he used guns, but I surely recall he can make weapons and traps with whatever is available on the scene. Every episode is almost like a science class for boys like me.  For 139 episodes, MacGyver was the man almost every young man wanted to be until it finished in 1992. I know some guys who were actually inspired by the TV series to be engineers, and they actually turned into excellent ones.

    OptimusPrime fondly recalls that before an airsoft game starts in the late 1980s, the topic among the players was about the latest episodes of Tour of Duty and MacGyver.

    The good news is that, entertainment news sites have been reporting that the show will be rebooted by CBS. According to the Hollywood Reporter, CBS have ordered a pilot that is based on a 20-something MacGyver as he gets recruited by a secret organization that requires his uncanny ability to solve problems.

    R. Scott Gemmill, the script writer for NCIS: Los Angeles is tasked to write the script and also be an executive producer. Also as executive producer, is the executive producer of the original series, Henry Wrinkler. James Wan of Furious 7 will be directing the pilot  and if a green light is given for a full season, will then transition to directing the TV series. It was also reported that Wan was supposed to direct a MacGyver movie in 2012 for New Line but was already committed to do Furious 7

    I am looking forward to the new MacGyver series come to life with more tips and tricks that can be useful in real life. Given how well researched the episodes of many of the best TV shows nowadays, I surely hope that new MacGyver series would continue the tradition of the original one.

    For those who grew up watching MacGyver and perhaps already have their own families and kids, they may just want to encourage their sons and daughters to spend some quality and education watching it rather than spend their time mostly on snapchat and Facebook.


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    China Multicam

    Combat & Survival has this interesting story about the PLA soldiers wearing something similar to the Multicam Pattern two days ago. This sighting was during the "Military Parade Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War" which is their celebration of the defeat of Japan in World World II. For the meantime, they call it the Chinacam, since there is not much information on this type of pattern:

    "On the combat uniform side a significant number of troops were wearing the new MultiCam-like camouflage pattern - ChinaCam seems like a sensible name for it until we learn its official designation - but close inspection reveals that although it appears to use broadly the same colour pallette as MultiCam (and UK MTP) the actual pattern is distinctly different with more 'jellybean' and 'twiglet' elements."

    Indeed on a closer look, there is nothing that denotes it is a uniquely designed camouflage pattern and it is very similar to the Multicam pattern which is adopted by the U.S. and allied armed forces around the world. This observation was not lost to a Chinese netizen who posted about the "American Style #Multicam Suits":

    A posting on YouTube also shows the portion of these PLA units who are either mounted or dismounted wearing which the YouTube user, Zerwoo Lee, calls as the "PLA Multi Environment Camouflage":

    There is really nothing unusual about the PLA using camo patterns based on designs adopted by militaries around the countries throughout the years. Usually, they draw their camo design inspiration from German, British and American camo patterns, sometimes producing poor copies or very close copies.

    As to what China PLA military unit is using the "PLA Multi Environment Camouflage” remains to be discovered as Chinese Military observers have not mentioned about this save for the Camopedia.com where they mentioned that some PLA units were reportedly have adopted the Multicam Pattern. Many units of the PLA use different sets of camo patterns.

    Will Crye Precision demand royalties from the PLA for using its Multicam pattern? I doubt it will be able to do demand such given the rampant disregard of intellectual properties by Chinese companies. Even the Chinese defense companies are known for blatantly copying designs made by defense companies in the USA and Europe and getting away with it.


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    Tokyo Marui Display Area 55th All Japan Model & Hobby Show

    September 2015 was the busiest month in Tokyo Marui's calendar in terms of meeting and greeting customers and fans. The first weekend of September saw them having their 2nd Tokyo Marui Festival where they get to be more up close and even intimate with their fan base. The next one is even the more massive Tokyo Game Show 2015 last 17-20 September where they showed up in support of their partners in the video game industry, especially showing their products based on the designs from video games. The last one was their big booth at the 55th All Japan Model & Hobby Show that took place from the 25th to the 27th of September.

    At the 55th All Japan Model & Hobby Show, whilst they didn't announce a new product category like the AA-12 Automatic Shotgun, they did not disappoint at all in terms of announcing new products. With their products fully on display at the show, the feedback from their customers was very positive.

    The unveiling of the Tokyo Marui HK416C NEG (New Generation Blowback and Recoil AEG) was well received by the customers and fans who visited the show. According to them their NEG AEGs based on the Heckler & Koch (HK) are loved by their customers and there is proof with this. Their Tokyo Marui HK416D NEG won the Best Airsoft Electric Airsoft Gun Category of the Airsoft Players' Choice Awards twice in a row. 

    Many customers still think until now that the company does not produce airsoft guns that do not store the battery in the stock or handguard. The HK416C NEG proved otherwise and storing the battery it is done in two ways --- connect the battery via magazine or via a PEQ box with the wire connecting by removing a rail cover to reveal a wire connector for the battery.

    The company says that the design of the HK416C NEG showing that the NEG technology can be implemented in compact AR-type of airsoft guns made many customers hopeful that they will put out more compact AR NEGs. An example of what customers want to see is the .300 AAC Honey Badger NEG.

    Another compact design is the release of the Tokyo Marui M4 Patriot HC (High Cycle). The High Cycle series are favourites of players for CQB games where full auto is allowed due to its higher rate of fire. There were some customers and fans at the show who were a bit disappointed that the M4 Patriot HC is not based on the "The Patriot" used by the Boss (and the Big Boss) in Metal Gear Solid 3 which is based on a modified XM16E1 and comes with a drum magazine. Many "Patriot" -style AR pistols are also M4 based and they don't come with a buffer tube. But overall, the people who were at the show were more indifferent to the fact it's not based on the Metal Gear "The Patriot" and are happy to have another compact HC AEG to use in the airsoft field.

    Now, for those who have been waiting for more information such as specs, pricing, and release dates of the newly announced products at the 2nd Tokyo Marui Festival and 55th All Japan Model & Hobby Show, I finally have the initial date sheets that were given to me by the company.

    MODEL: HK416C CUSTOM version
    SERIES: Next Generation Automatic Electric Gun
    PRICE: Undetermined
    ON-SALEP: 2016 Spring
    Target Age: For ages 18 and up

    Features:

    • The same product performance as Next-AEG HK416D model.
    • Newly short buffer tube, wire stock parts, short rail equipped.
    • Battery built-in magazine (30 rounds)
    • Selectable 2 way battery connection. Connect the battery inside of the magazine. Or enable to connect with battery connecter beside the handguard with AN/PEQ-16.
    • NEG M4/ SCAR/ HK416D magazine can be used when battery is connected with handguard side.
    • Knight’s Type Flip-up Sight.
    • TD Type Grip.
    • Adjustable two-step wire stock.
    • 230mm Barrel length. Variable Hop-Up system.
    • Attached HK type fore grip.
    • Shoot and recoil engine function.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 571 / 693 mm
    • Weight: 2,904 g
    • Magazine Size: 30 Rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: 8.4V 1,300mAh Ni-MH Battery

    MODEL: M4 PATRIOT HC
    SERIES: Automatic Electric Hi-Cycle Gun
    PRICE: Undetermined   
    ON-SALE: 2016 spring
    Target Age: For ages 18 and up

    Features:

    • Hi-Cycle custom mechanism (25 shots/ second).
    • Light-weight pistol type M4.
    • Short stroke gas piston style, compact body.
    • Reduced weight, 20mm handguard with rail, upper frame, lower frame are made of resin.
    • Sling swivel is attached the frame end.
    • TD Type Grip.
    • Trigger guard is enlarged to pull the trigger with gloves easily.
    • 8.4V mini S battery can be stored in hand guard.
    • Flip-up Front and Rear Sight. Possible siting with closing site.
    • M16 common 190 round magazine.
    • Twin drum magazine (1,200 rounds) can be used as an optional parts. (Undetermined the release date and price)
    • Twin drum magazine is used for AEG M4/M16. (unable to use NEG)

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 463 mm
    • Weight:    1,800g
    • Magazine Size: 190 Rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: 8.4V 1,300mAh Ni-MH Battery

    MODEL: M4 MWS (Updated Information)
    Series: Gas Blowback Machinegun
    Price: 50,000 – 60,000JPY
    On-Sale: End of October at the earliest (undetermined)
    Target Age: Over 18 years old

    Features:

    • Postponed the release date, we are improving durability thoroughly.
    • Modification change from last prototype.
      • Modified internal parts and mechanism to improve durability.
      • Changed Hop adjustment method (to adjust after takedown.)
      • Change the actuation of fore assist knob as real gun, due to the change of Hop adjustment method.
    • Breakage prevention “Z system” installed.
      • Bolt is stopped at the rear once BB bullet is empty, then bolt catch makes bolt stopped forward. Catching the bolt gives huge impact to bolt catch. Lessen the shock, another parts receive the impact instead of bolt catch and coupled parts absorb the shock, this is Z system.
      • *This Z system is only to stop the bolt. This system doesn’t make recoil system weak.
    • Newly installed Bolt Assist.
      • The largest 19mm cylinder.
      • Piston absorber absorbs the shock of piston impact.
      • Rear 2 piece structure adjust the weight balance.
      • Friction relief bolt roller equipped. When moving the bolt back and forth, it reduces the shock of trigger sheer located under the bolt.
    • Barrel clamp maintain the barrel center position.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 777 mm / 854 mm(Undetermined)
    • Inner Barrel Length": Undetermined
    • Weight: 3,740 g
    • Magazine Size: 30 – 40 rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a Gas

    MODEL NAME: M870 WOOD STOCK TYPE
    Series: GAS SHOT GUN
    Price: Undetermined
    Target Age: Over 18 years old

    This model is the “M870 Tactical” Wood stock version. Improved reproduction --- wood grain and texture are reproduced as real wood.

    The “AIR SHOTGUN” SERIES” could shoot 3 round BBs at the same time. On the other hand, “GAS SHOTGUN” SERIES can select “3rounds shot” or “6rounds shot”. The fire type is selectable to fit the situation. For example, in a long distance, 3round shot mode. In a short distance, 6rounds shot mode.

    The features of M870 Wood stock type:

    • Attached simple front site match shotgun.
    • A grain pattern painting of fore end and stock are highly reproduced more than ever before. 
    • Without rear site orthodox style. Add the serration with receiver to prevent the reflection of light.
    • You can select the fire type mode “3rounds shot mode” or “6rounds shot mode” by moving the selector lever which exists in the ejection port (patent-pending)
    • The “Rapid fire” function is installed that enables you to shoot one after another with operating the fore end and keeping the trigger pulled.
    • “Double Hop-Up System” was newly developed. It can make BBs hopping-up 3rounds or 6 rounds (patent-pending)
    • Removable large GAS tank is equipped in the inside of stock. It can shot 100 shots more by 1Gas charge. (Gas Tank is also planned to sell as an optional parts.)
    • Fore end was measured from real gun. The newly round shape is for this model.こ• Metal parts are adopted for primal parts (ex. Outer barrel, Receiver, Trigger plate). The high stiffness and realistic texture was achieved by using such parts.

    Production Specifications:

    • The length: 945 mm (undetermined)
    • The length of inner barrel: 260 mm (undetermined)
    • The weight: Undetermined
    • Capacity: 30 rounds
    • Caliber: 6mm BB
    • Power source: HFC134a

    MODEL: Glock 34
    SERIES: Gas Blowback
    Price: Undetermined
    ON-SALE: Undetermined
    Target Age: For ages 18 and up

    Features:

    • The longest inner barrel installed in the Glock series.
    • Safety-integrated trigger.
    • 25 + 1 rounds die-casting magazine.
    • Light weight long slide improves blowback speed.
    • Adjustable rear sight (from side to side).
    • Long slide stop.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 222 mm
    • Weight: 710 g
    • Magazine Size: 25 + 1 Rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a Gas

    More photos of Tokyo Marui at the 55th All Japan Model & Hobby Show at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    DJI Osmo

    We probably now know what OptimusPrime will be saving up for as his gift to himself this Christmas. A gadget freak, but a very discerning one at that as he doesn't have a big budget, he prefers a device that can help him capture the action better without really spending so much. With the reveal of the new DJI Osmo Handheld 4K Camera with a 3-axis stabilization, here is something that he can use that is comparable to what an aerial camera drone can capture whilst in flight.

    For the airsoft media, and perhaps this goes even for sports media people, having a really stable video footage to capture the action is really important. Smooth videos can provide better screenshots and at the same time easier for editing showing the breathtaking action happening right before our eyes. Airsoft events, especially the Milsim ones, are so compelling to document on video, that having a very ergonomic but highly capable camera would enhance how these events are recorded.

    But for those who are thinking that this is a camera in the likes of the 4K camcorders from giant electronics companies the likes of Sony, Canon, or Panasonic, they will be disappointed. Their products that are at the price range of the DJI Osmo would be probably do more as they have more recording features but they would probably not match the DJI Osmo in terms of being used by someone embedded in a group of airsoft players storming rooms or running from objective to another. The way the DJI Osmo can be held with the especially designed pistol grip makes it easier for the camera man to follow an airsoft milsim team go through a mission.

    The 4K footage recording is at 120 frames per second (fps) allowing the editing of the video for slow motion scenes. With the hyperlapse feature, first person photography can be enhanced when going through various scenes and timelapse photography can do some dramatic effect on taking photos of the AO.

    Just like controlling the DJI camera drones such as the Phantoms and Inspire One, you will need a smartphone to be able to change the settings, controls, and monitor the footage. But the pistol grip has the basic controls for it to get footage without the smartphone. Even with the pistol grip, the DJI Osmo can be mounted on a tripod to do panaromic, group shots, and timelapse photography. Most importantly it can do that must have selfie with ease. There are more mounting accessories for DJI Cosmo for certain vehicles and situations.

    The DJI Cosmo is expected to be released on the 15th of October at a price of US$650.00. The release date will be the same as the UK and the price will be £550.


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    Vecna Robotics Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR)

    Last 22 September 2015, Army.mil reported that Maj. Gen. Steve Jones of  the U.S. Army spoke at a U.S. Army-sponsored medical conference about being the retrieve wounded soldiers and other casualties from the battlefield in future. Using robots is an obvious solution to ensure the safety of skilled military medics who are relied upon to check on the conditions and revive injured soldiers under fire.

    "We already use robots on the battlefield today to examine IEDs, to detonate them," he said. "With some minor adaptation, we could take that same technology and use it to extract casualties that are under fire. How many medics have we lost, or other Soldiers, because they have gone in under fire to retrieve a casualty? We can use a robotics device for that."

    With the increasing use of autonomous vehicles for doing the more dangerous work, it is indeed imperative that armored battlefield retrieval robots would be important to lessen the number of battlefield deaths and injuries. Army medics and other soldiers can control the robots from the safety of cover and can treat the wounded soldiers better once they are brought to safety.

    Over five years ago, the U.S. Army has been testing the Vecna Robotics Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR). The BEAR can be controlled with a remote control grip or using hand gestures with the AnthroTronix iGlove motion glove. It can handle up to 500lbs (227 kg) and has a "teddy bear" face that they say would be a more reassuring look to the casualty being lifted off the battlefield.

    We don't know the results of the testing of the BEAR in simulations and battlefield exercises. Most probably the results will be used as a basis of an even better battlefield retrieval robot which can do more than retrieving wounded soldiers and bringing them to the medics. Such a robot, if it can protect a wounded soldier, can also be used to assist other soldiers who need more ammunition, going up and down the battlefield carrying ammo, delivering medical supplies, retrieving casualties, and even laying down suppressing fire to retrieve trapped soldiers for them to escape.

    If there are strong objections in using robots as offensive weapons in war due to the debate of how they are managed and controlled without posing a danger to their own personnel, then using them in supporting roles such as what the BEAR was designed for would make them more palatable.


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    Glock 34 Gen 4

    Yesterday, friends in the airsoft community got excited about the news of Cybergun getting a Glock Licence. Initially, the understanding was that this licence will pave the way for truly licensed airsoft Glock pistols hitting the consumer market. But after some further research as the press release was in French, and of course, tweeting Cybergun, it is not what it was thought to be, unfortunately.

    Here's the query done by Slickaxe of NLAirsoft.com to Cybergun via Twitter with Cybergun replying:

    Still, there is hope in that reply as Cybergun mentioned that it is for the "time being" and that means there is a possibility that Glock would finally relent on allowing licensed airsoft Glock pistols available for the general airsoft market in the future, however distant it may be.

    But you may wonder what this agreement is all about between Cybergun and Glock. This is a licence agreement between the two companies wherein Cybergun will develop airsoft replicas aimed at the military training market. The first Glock airsoft replicas that will be released will be the Glock 17 and Glock 19 and they will be presented during MILIPOL Paris on the 17th to the 20th of November 2015 and Cybergun is also expected to deliver airsoft Glocks to the French of Ministry of Interior. It is with this large order from the French government that finally clinched the deal for Cybergun to bag the Glock airsoft licence for the military and law enforcement training market.

    Cybergun's planned increased in capitalisation will allow the company to devote a portion of this capital to develop their newly announced Military Markets Department through the "Spartan Imports Military Department" as Spartan Imports is the big airsoft distributor that they acquired early this decade. The new department will then focus on Military and Law Enforcement training markets given the contacts that Cybergun has developed over the years in the military and law enforcement communities. It was mentioned in the press release that they already have several government agencies and forces as customers.

    Also to be revealed during the MILIPOL Paris 2015 apart from the airsoft MIL/LE Airsoft Glock 17 and 19, Cybergun will be the SIG SAUER SP2022 TRAIN and MOSSBERG TRAIN 590 which are specially designed for the military market.

    Press Release below (in French):


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    Call of Duty: Black Ops III Screenshot

    It looks like you can enjoy the Campaign Mode of the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 in any way you like. Treyarch, the game developer of the latest title in the Call of Duty video game franchise, announced that they are leaving all the missions unlocked. This means that you can even go to the final mission/level even without going through the first mission. Confused? But I actually welcome this change even if it takes the excitement of unlocking weapons and levels just like we have been in doing in the past game titles.

    If you are a subscriber to Netflix, then you will be familiar with this as they released all the episodes of their own House of Cards at the same time.

    This was confirmed by Jason Blundell director of the campaign and the Zombie mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, in an interview with Eurogamer, that they intend to give the players more choice in how they want to play the Campaign Mode, saying that, "It gives them the flexibility to consume the content how they want."

    Blundell acknowledges that this is aimed at players who are mature who want to do the campaign missions on their own time:

    "Consumers and game players in general are far more mature these days. There are so many things vying for our interests today. It's about, how do they want to consume it? Maybe they put it down on level two, and then they're in work the next day, and some guy says, 'dude, you've got to check out level four!' And he's like, 'okay, I'll have a quick look.' That's totally fine. I think it's their choice."

    I would rather play the Campaign Mode the old way, and then come back to the different missions after accomplishing the whole Campaign and with a focus on the missions that will be come my favourite.  Still, with the way the missions will be left unlock, it's all up to the players to decide on how they are going to play this mode.

    Also last week the released the Official Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Cybercore: Chaos video where the Chaos Cybercore abilties are shown as part of the cybernetic modifications that can be accessed during the campaign.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is set to be released on the 6th of November 2015 and will be available for the XBox, Playstation, and PC. But for owners of XBox 360 and Playstation 3, the Campaign Mode won't be available.


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    XM25 CDTE

    A most anticipated grenade launcher, the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System will soon start acceptance testing by the U.S. Army in early 2016. Designed by Orbital ATK, the XM25 is a next generation, semi-automatic airburst system that can take out enemies who are behind walls, foxholes, or in hard to reach places.

    Looking futuristic alright, the XM25 CDTE is years in the making and is derived from XM29 OICW. It was initially used in Afghanistan in 2010 and malfunctions and budget cuts pushed the target fielding of the XM25 to 2017 instead of 2015. According to Orbital ATK, the XM25 "provides the soldier with a 300 percent to 500 percent increase in hit probability to defeat point, area and defilade targets out to 500 meters. The weapon features revolutionary high-explosive, airburst ammunition programmed by the weapon's target acquisition/fire control system (TA/FC)."

    With the TA/FC, any soldier that has basic infantry rifleman skills can operate the XM25. All the soldier has to do is point to a target and the laser rangefinder will then decide when the airburst grenade explodes. If trying to dislodge enemy troops behind cover, they can set the grenade to detonate over their heads rather than on impact. What's even better is that soldiers don't have to expose themselves to have a proper shot. As for the projectiles that can be used with the XM25, it can be thermobaric, flechette, training, high-explosive airbursting and nonlethal.

    An update with the XM25 before it undergoes testing next year is that it will be using a better, more powerful and streamlined optic. According to Military.com's Kit-Up! It is a more compact optic based on the feedback from soldiers who used it in Afghanistan. The streamlined design probably have removed some weight from an already bulky weapon system. With such improvement, the XM25 design has become different from what was originally used by the troops in Afghanistan.

    (Photo Credit: Military.com)

    Watch the XM25 in action in this promotional video from Orbital ATK two years ago:


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    Airsoft Surgeon European Championship 2015 Awarding Ceremonies

    Well, not all really since it was hard to follow over a hundred airsoft practical shooters at the Airsoft Surgeon Championship 2015 that took place last month in Gloucester, United Kingdom. Still, with a slow upload connection at home (why don't ISPs improve their upload speeds?), I finally managed to upload all the 74 clear videos of the event. Yes! 74 videos for your viewing pleasure.

    But first, I'll have to get the Awarding and Closing Ceremonies out of the way so better prepare some food and drinks, this is a blockbuster video which is about 1 hour and 11 minutes long. Don’t worry, you can always use the controls of your YouTube player in case you want to fast forward and watch what you think are scenes relevant to you:

    Now, here are the videos (screenshots, actually) of the competitive shooters going through the 16 stages of the tournament. If you are looking into trying your hand in airsoft practical shooting, the videos would be helpful as you can see how the shooters prepare, conduct themselves and of course shoot as fast and as smart as they can. The important part really is smart shooting where they create in their minds what they think is the fastest way and accurate way to go shoot through the stage after they check the course and the targets within it.  Some are like Zen masters when they shoot.

    Still, the best way is to practice at home and at the shooting range if you there's an airsoft practical shooting club near you. If you dedicate to practicing regularly and joining in practical shooting competitions such as the Airsoft Surgeon European Championship, you might be the one holding one of those trophies in the future.

    Click here to watch all the Airsoft Surgeon European Championship 2015 Videos.


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    Battelle Drone Defender

    Previously, we posted about the story of a company promoting their ammo that can be used to shoot down drones. The product was produced as a response to the growing concerns of unregulated civilian drones flying overhead that can pose danger to people on the ground and aircraft up in the air. Even more concerns for people is the invasion of privacy as drones are usually equipped with high definition cameras just like what one father did to a drone with his shotgun.

    The problem with taking down pesky drones the old way of using guns is that they also would pose danger to people and properties below. Apart from that, if one misses a drone, a stray bullet would be fatal to an unwary pedestrian on the ground.

    Now, there is one way to bring down drones in a safe and even non-intimidating manner. Batelle Innovations, based in Columbus, Ohio, have announced an anti-drone device that can be used safely without destroying the drone and prevent people from getting hurt from a falling drone.

    Called the Drone Defender, the photo above looks like an AR at first glance but with the additional contraptions such as what looks more like an antenna, you wouldn't blame people if they call it a ray-gun, as that description is not exactly far from it.

    The DroneDefender shoots radio waves at flying drones up to distances of 400 meters and tuned to the common GPS and ISM frequencies. If you can call this jamming, it may well be. Drones nowadays have their safety features and once communications from their remote control/owner gets disrupted, the drone either lands on its own or goes on automatic mode and returns from what it knows to be its point or origin.  The disruption of communications also would prevent remote detonation of the drone in case it was designed to be more of a weapon rather than a privacy nuisance.

    Weighing 10lbs., the DroneDefender has a start time of  <0.1 seconds and can operator continuously for five hours. It can be set on different configurations, from a handheld high-tech rifle option, to being mounted on fix emplacements or vehicles for VIP/convoy protection. It will be offered for government use, mainly military and law enforcement organizations, no idea if civilians would get their own drone zappers with this.


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    NSA_Lisbot Portable Railgun

    Whenever somebody mentions "Railgun" there are two things that would come to our minds. The first one is the Railgun in the Quake video game. The second one, we would think about the massive Railguns being tested by the U.S. Navy that can  shoot 23-pound projectile at over 5,000 miles per hour or something like Mach 7. If you still have no idea about the second one, here's a concept of the navy railgun as imagined by Michael Bay for "Transformers 2":

    So far, portable railguns have been imagined for video games and movies, just like the Chem Railgun used by Matt Damon in the movie "Elysium":

    Now, the railgun may just really get portable as it is proven it can be done by one tinkerer who used 3D printing technology and capacitors to create his own railgun. According to Kotaku, NSA_listbot posted on Reddit  Portable 3D-Printed Railgun that can fire graphite or aluminium projectiles at over 250 meters per second. As he explains, the railgun he created "uses 6 300J, 350V, 5500uF capacitors which combined weigh 20lbs and can deliver >1050V and 1.8kJ of energy to the projectile." He added an Arduino Uno R3 with which he can monitor the capacitor voltage, amperage, temperature and battery voltage to ensure even charging and operation.

    Here are two quick videos that shows it firing graphite and aluminium projectiles:

    The Portable RailGun can also fire tungsten, carbon and teflon/plasma.

    Looking at the whole railgun, even if it does look portable, it still is a bulky weapon that you would rather mount on a vehicle rather than carry around on foot. I guess he needs either to call DARPA or wait for some men in suits to show up and gets forcibly recruited to improve his design to make it even more portable or mobile. Such a concept can be incorporated for small unit use or even enlarged to be used as long range artillery or for armoured fighting vehicles such as tanks.

    Is the weapon legal to manufacture? The Portable Raygun is developed in the USA, which allows one to manufacture his/her own firearm for personal use as long as there is no intention to distribute or sell and the person is allowed to receive or possess a firearm. Most probably the ATF would ask the owner to register the portable raygun if it gets an NFA classiciation of "any other weapon".

    If it can fire projectiles at full auto, the term "AEG" might just get a whole new meaning.


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