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    Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 (Wikimedia)

    We're back to drones again this week and it's something for airsoft players who use camera equipped drones to capture airsoft game play to know about. U.S-based drone owners will have to take note that soon they may have to register their drones with the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as a response to growing concerns about the dangers of unhampered use of drones in the civilian sector. With more and more drones going up in the air for commercial and recreational purposes, the skies will soon get crowded, and the risks of accident to people on the ground and planes in the air will be greater.

    Last Monday the US Department of Transportation and the FAA held a press conference announcing that some consumer drones will need to be registered even if they are used for medical, commercial, rescue, or recreational purposes. Registering the drones would allow officials to investigate the owners in case of any accident involving a drone.

    With the upcoming Holiday Season, drones are said to be one of the desired gifts by those who like gadgets, the government are in a hurry to have the guidelines for registration in place by then. According to the press conference, plane pilots have seen drones twice more frequently than in 2014 and drone ownership is growing at a fast rate.

    For owners of drones that are deemed to be "low safety risk"" such as those toy drones that can land on the palm of your hand may not need to be registered. But so far, the authorities will still need to establish what type or classification of drones will have to be registered. Once those are established and guidelines for registration have been released, it will become retroactive and drones already purchased before the registration requirements took effect will need to be registered too.

    The Department has partnered with the industry and modeling community to initiate "Know Before You Fly" outreach campaign which will provide information to owners on how to fly their safely. The FAA also has an ongoing "No Drone Zone" campaign and testing an app that owners can use if there are restrictions or requirements in locations where they want to fly drones.

    The U.S. government is the latest amongst governments around the world that is coming to terms on the need to regulate civilian drones due to safety concerns.


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    One Life FPS Game

    Now, there is a video game where airsoft  and video game players will have to get used to and even getting used to it would be impossible. One Life, which just made it to Steam Greenlight where Valve helps a game concept voted by players to reach the Steam marketplace, is an online first person shooter multiplayer that when you are dead, you are really dead, in the video game that is.

    To really stress that you're dead in the video game, your Steam account will be locked out and unable to play One Life again with your existing account. For airsoft and video game players used to respawn and regen, One Life is probably one game that they should shun. But for those who are adventurous enough to try their luck and find out how long they can survive in the game, they can plunk down US$10 into the video game and jump into the unknown. In the video game, every step you take, every move you take, it might be your last.

    "If you die in this game, you can never play again."

    But first things first, when a player gets shot, he/she is not dead immediately. You have the following choices with the defeated player:

    When the enemy is defeated, you decide his fate. Forgive, humiliate, finish off, take everything he has – it’s your choice. Saved life of some loser? Take them captive and make them work off. They will do everything to be free again. No other game will give you this feeling of power over other people.

    How you are going to play One Life is entirely up to you. I'm pretty sure you don't want your US$10 go to waste the second you step into the game. The developers say you have full control of how you will play the game, be the hunter or be the hunted. Move around or camp in one place you think you have the highest probability you will survive long and those who try to dislodge you won't.

    The only way that you can play the game again is wasting another US$10 and creating a new Steam account. But with all the uncertainties in the game, you might just get yourself US$10 poorer every time you go back into game that you may never realise that you have already shelled out US$100 and just have barely advanced.

    If that does not deter you and curiosity has got the better of you, you can pre-order the game now on Steam where you get an exclusive gun, beta access, and custom skin. Just remember, you only have one life in One Life.


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    Chris Costa Survival Game Japan Tour 2016

    #Costagate2015 or not, the Japanese airsoft and community wants Chris Costa back, and they want him badly. With that said, Chris Costa will oblige and thus, Chris Costa Survival Game Japan Tour 2016 is all set to take place in January. Just like the 2015 event, Peace Combat Magazine will be hosting the event again.

    For those who want to see Christ Costa, especially those in East Asia, tickets will be available for sale on the 27th of October at this website: http://costa.jpn.com/ which is not yet live as of this writing and will be online on the Saturday. Tickets per event will cost differently, but with the impact that Costa made on the community before, most probably the tickets will get snapped up quickly so better watch the website and be one of the first to get tickets when it goes live.

    From the 7th to the 13th of January 2016, Chris Costa and Jimi Hendrix have a full schedule which is divided into the following:

    Day 1: January 7 - Platinum Secret Game at Asobiba
    Days 2 & 3: January 9 & 10 - Costa Fes Tokyo Sabage Park
    Day 4: January 11 - Costa Regular Game at SEALs
    Day 5: January 13 - Costa Fes at Rock Field Sendai

    We don't know if the other events such as custom gun contest, tactical fashion show, and of course Costa himself going down the runway with his signature C-Clamp Grip will be the same. The last one was the cause of the famous #costagate2015 and which Costa had deftly swatted away.

    More sponsors now for this event with American brands ESS, Vertx, Knights Armament, London Bridge Trading, Milspec Monkey, Raven Holster, and Krytac on board apart from the Japanese sponsors which so far were not yet mentioned in the announcement.

    Expect Hyperdouraku to be reporting about this event so that means it will also be reported here on Popular Airsoft.


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    Fallout Beer

    If you  are in the United Kingdom and missed out on the Fallout 4 Pip Boy, there's the next best thing to getting out of the Fallout video game that you can touch and even taster in real --- A Fallout Beer! I know it's not related to airsoft, but then it's about beer, and that's a good thing, isn't it?

    Bethesda and Carlsberg UK have actually teamed up to come up with the Fallout Beer, which I think is better than the Nuka Cola that Fallout players are familiar with. According to Bruce Ray, Corporate Affairs Director at Carlsberg UK,"This is something of a world-first. Adult participation in video gaming is a truly social activity, on a par with cinema and music. We’re proud to work with Bethesda to produce a beer Fallout fans can enjoy."


    To be made available on the 5th of November, fans in the UK can order cases of 12 x 330ml bottles at Amazon.co.uk at a cost of £29.99 with free standard delivery as long as they are 18 years old and above. It is described as "…brewed using a unique blend of malted barleys combined with selected hops, to produce a light coloured lager with a fruity aroma and a crisp bitter finish."

    If you get to order a case, you'll just have to keep the beer chilled until the 10th of November as that's the day when Fallout 4 gets released for the XBox One, Playstation 4, and the PC. If you bought a copy of the game,  treat yourself to the Fallout Beer as you start to play the game that's probably the best beer in the Vault.


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    Marines At  Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.

    It's official and final, the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant has approved the M4 as the standard issue rifle for the U.S. Marines. According to the Marine Corps Times, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller has signed off to the use of the rifle, with all infantry battalions, training schools, and security units moving to use the rifle by the 30th of September 2016, and being completed by the end of fiscal 2016.

    As we have previously reported here last July, the USMC leaders have endorsed the switch to having the M4 as the universal rifle with the approval of the Commandant seen more of a formality. Also, the decision to adopt the M4 came after extensive testing and also the combat experience with the M4 showing that it outperformed the M16A4 which is the standard rifle of the Marine Corps.

    The USMC M4 will be using the 5.56mm AB49 Special Operations Science and Technology cartridge, with which it outshot the M16A4 at all ranges out to 600 meters according to Lt. Col.  Chris Woodburn (ret.), the deputy Maneuver Branch head for the Fires and Maneuver Integration Division of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

    Another advantage of the M4 over the M16A is that is compact enough to be used effectively in Close Quarters Combat, weighs less, and can work be handled better with body armor.

    Almost half of the Corp has had an experience in handling the M4, perhaps through inter-branch operations and cooperation, making the switch the M4 easier. Even more is that since M4 and M16A4 have the same roots, orientation for the Marines to the M4 will not be hard.

    There are already 17,000 M4 rifles in the inventory ready to be distributed to the Marines, the remaining can be supplied by the existing supplier. With the adoption of the M4, the USMC has joined the U.S. Army which has been using the M4 as standard rifle since the mid-1990s.


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    SALT Non-Lethal Handgun

    There are several ways to keep our homes and families safe from intruders. From fire alarms to baseball bats, or calling 911 for immediate police assistance, but there are those who prefer to use  guns which they see as the ultimate home defense weapons. But not everyone wants to have a gun at home since they are wary that children might find it and accidentally shoot themselves; and in other countries, people can't even own guns.

    Now, a Chicago-based startup company wants to raise funds for their invention. Called SALT, it is a non-lethal pneumatic pistol that fires a powder that temporarily incapacitates an intruder. Since it's also non-lethal it's safer to have it home it addresses the problem of deaths and suicides with handguns at home.

    SALT can be easily mistaken for a firearm, as its designed to be like  a pistol but fires a non-lethal spherical  round made of oleoresin capsicum and other ingredients. If you think it's like pepper spray, then you probably not far off the mark. The advantage of the SALT over a pepper spray is that you can use the former a longer distances whereas a pepper spray needs to be applied at a close distance to the intruder and poses more risks. The toxin gets released upon impact, bursting into a cloud of powder that can cause an extreme burning sensation and temporarily blinds the target.

    What's more, the SALT shooter doesn't have to hit the target to incapacitate the intruder. All he or she has to do is shoot the floor, ceiling, or wall where the attacker is, fire a couple of rounds of the SALT balls and create a cloud that can envelope that intruder. No need for accuracy or precision needed, just fire in the general direction and hope that round hits within the proximity of the target.

    According to inventors, here are the key features of SALT:

    Non-lethal: The number one design goal was to have SALT stop an intruder without adding danger to one’s family in case of an accidental shooting. SALT rounds explode on impact in a cloud that causes crippling temporarily symptoms, but no one in your family is in lethal danger if an accident happens or if someone in your family unintentionally finds and fires it. SALT rounds are made with a powerful powdered toxin instead of lead bullets.

    Effective: SALT’s unique powder round has been designed with maximum stopping power specially formulated for home defense applications. In most instances, the SALT formulation exceeds the potency of that commonly used in military and law enforcement applications. Generally the response time is within seconds and the effects gradually diminish over 15-30 minutes depending on the exposure time and amount. Effects can last up to 50 minutes.

    Offense & Defense: The best home invasion is one that never happens. SALT was designed to provide the offense of a firearm, but more importantly, the defensive power to never have to be directly in harm’s way. So if an intruder is kicking down your door, SALT allows you to shoot the area around it, creating a chemical barrier between you and the intruder before the danger is ever a threat.

    User Friendly: The people who need protecting the most are often too scared to use the power of a traditional firearm because black powder is an incredibly loud and violent propellant. SALT was designed to be easy to use by replacing the bang of black powder with the power of compressed air. The result is a fear-free user experience, because the best weapon is the one that gets used.

    Unique: SALT provides a unique solution between a traditional firearm and short-range pepper spray and tasers. Firearms are not ideal for the home environment, as they kill more people than they save. Tasers and pepper sprays only work when the danger is right in front of the victim. SALT provides a safe, effective and long-range alternative.

    The makers of SALT, Adam Kennedy and Andy McIntosh, have put up an Indiegogo page to start taking orders for the SALT, and of course raising money to fund the production of SALT which they see a release in December 2015, if they achieve their funding goals.

    UPDATE: The SALT Indiegogo page is inaccessible and is currently "DRAFT" and not viewable by the public.


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    No Airsoft On Halloween 2015

    Many of you would find it ironic that Halloween, of all days, is when you find the airsoft community band together to put out a message of "No Airsoft For Halloween". They admonish each and every airsoft player not to wear tactical gear and bring airsoft guns whether for trick-or-treating or attending Halloween costume parties. But it's all for your personal safety.

    There are lots of ways to dress up and have fun during Halloween. Whilst you may be disappointed on being asked not to wear airsoft gear and guns on Halloween, you have many opportunities to use them during airsoft events and games (even Cosplay events too) for the rest of the year.

    As Brian Holt of Echo1 USA says on his Facebook Page:

    Oh it's Halloween and that means get in your Airsoft gear that you wear every weekend and 'dress up' as Ghost or a Army Ranger and bring your guns out in public or to a party. Do not do that!

    BE CREATIVE and ORIGINAL and not an Airsofter or anything related to that this Halloween.

    Every year it is a battle of "what ifs" and other B*LL SH*T reasons. Just leave your Airsoft guns at home, not used for costumes or props. Airsoft is always in hot water and we don't need anymore marks against our sport/hobby.

    I actually care about this sport. I could just be a sales guy and try to sell or not mention this and voice my concerns but I don't want anything bad to happen to you or your friends that will affect the rest of 'US'

    Avengers Squad of everybody else saying the same thing!

    What's worse is it could be fatal for anyone who will bring a realistic looking toy gun (doesn't necessarily be an airsoft gun) like what happened to Actor Anthony Dwain who was shot and killed by LAPD officers when he brought a fake gun to a Halloween Party. Sometimes police and other people would have no way of knowing if a gun prop is real or not and they usually err on the side of caution by considering it to be real.

    So No Airsoft Halloween please! Enjoy Halloween in many ways apart from being an airsofter.

    Happy Halloween! Here are some Halloween PSA videos from airsoft personalities over the years for your viewing pleasure before going out into the night:


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    6th APCA Announcement

    It's now time that we announce that for the airsoft industry and airsoft communities to start preparing for: the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards. In less than a month the biggest online airsoft event is will start and we hope the time between now and the official Awards period means those who want to win in the various categories make their plans of action and go all out when the Nominations period start.

    For the 6th Awards Period, the following categories will be open for nomination and voting:

    • Best Airsoft Retailer for North America
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia
    • Best Airsoft Magazine (Print or Digital)
    • Best English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Airsoft Blog
    • Best Online Airsoft Community/Forum
    • Best Airsoft Video (Posted Online in 2015)
    • Best Airsoft Event (with over 500 players)
    • Best Airsoft Podcast or Video Channel
    • Best Tactical Gear Manufacturer
    • Best Eye/Face Protection Manufacturer
    • Best Airsoft Kaboom! Manufacturer (Grenades, Pyros)
    • Best Airsoft Pistol (regardless of power source)
    • Best Airsoft Gas Rifle
    • Best Airsoft Electric Airsoft Gun
    • Best Airsoft Gun Manufacturer
    • Best Airsoft Upgrade/Parts Maker
    • Special Airsoft Players’ Award
    • Special Popular Airsoft Award

    Nomination Period (30 November to 30 December 2015)

    Airsoft players worldwide get to nominate their favourites for the various categories for a period of one month. They can either nominate in all categories or in categories they are familiar in.

    The top five nominees (or less, depending on the number of nominees), based on the number of nominations garnered, will then proceed to the Voting Period (Finals). The finalists per category will be announced one week after the Nomination Period closes.

    Nominees can be nominated in one or more categories, provided that they meet the criteria.

    Voting Period (04 January to 01 February 2016)

    The Voting Period allows the finalists to campaign that they get voted. They can post at their news section and forums; create vlog/blog, or a podcast; post Vote Badges at their websites; announce at social media sites to mobilise players to vote for them.

    Finalists who have garnered the most number of votes in the categories win an award in the categories where they are selected as finalists. Airsoft players who cast their votes are included in a raffle draw where they get to win various prizes.

    The winners will be announced one (1) week after the closing of the Voting Period. They will then be notified via email that they won. Airsoft players who won a raffle prize will also be informed via email.

    For both the Nomination and Voting Periods, all of these are cast at the Popular Airsoft’s Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards Page (playerschoice.popularairsoft.com).

    It's now time for you to make the list of nominees and from there vote for the best. There will be fantastic prizes that will await the lucky airsoft players who will nominate and vote in the Awards process.

    Interested sponsors for the awards can contact us right now for sponsosrhip details.


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    Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum

    For Fallout fans in the U.S. grumbling about missing out on the soon to be released Fallout Beer in the United Kingdom, they will have something to look forward. Ok, it's the second next best drink from Fallout, since admittedly, beer is much better, don't you agree?  For fans in the U.S.A. they can wait a little bit more for the Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum drink.

    But before you get apprehensive in getting the drink when it gets released, don't worry, it is not radioactive so it's safe to drink.

    Bethesda Softworks and Jones Soda Company have teamed up to produce the Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum, where in the video game, the bottle caps serve as currency though we do not recommend that you try using the real word  Nuka Cola bottle caps  in purchasing coffee at your nearest Starbucks coffee shop as it won't be worth any lest someone wants to barter it with something else.

    The Nuka Cola Quantum made by Jones Soda Company Jones Soda's Berry Lemonade flavor so it sorta comes with the bluish glow when light hits in. In the video game, the drink's bluish glow comes from a very small amount of radioactive strontium.

    First featured in Fallout 3, the Nuka Cola is the most famous drink in the U.S.A. in Fallout's post-apocalyptic world. It comes in different flavors according Gamepedia, with the original one having the following ingredients: carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (to protect taste), natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine. Nuka Cola Quantum was released in 2077 and "it had twice the calories, twice the carbohydrates, twice the caffeine and twice the taste. To make it stand out more on the shelves and to give it an extra kick, the Quantum included a mild radioactive strontium isotope (and an eighteenth fruit flavor - pomegranate). The effect was a drink that not only boosted your energy, but also glowed with a bright blue light. While no ill effects were recorded by the Food and Drug Administration, the isotope also caused the drinker's urine to glow."

    The Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum will be released on the 10th of November, which is also the official release date of Fallout 4 and will be exclusively available at Target Stores. In case they run out of supplies with most of the gamers hoarding them for their long late night game sessions, you can just make your own Nuka Cola:


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    Black Hops III

    If there's a trend amongst biggest game titles in the video game industry, it is about have their own drinks made for them before their latest versions get released. In the case of Fallout 4, they will be releasing the Fallout Beer in the United Kingdom and the Fallout Nuka Cola Quantum Drink in the U.S.A. The biggest FPS franchise of them all, the Call of Duty Series, doesn't want to be left behind and announced a brew called the Call of Duty: Black Hops III Midnight Pale Ale.

    Launched last 2 November, it is unfortunate that it will only be available in Australia as it is brewed by a brand new craft beer company there called Black Hops Brewing established by Michael "Govs" McGovern, Eddie Oldfield and Dan Norris which also celebrated its first year of business on the same date.

    The beer is black in colour, but light and refreshing like a traditional pale ale, perfect for the Aussie summer. It’s made with an ingredient new to the market from the U.S. called “midnight wheat” a roasted de-husked wheat grain that provides a rich dark colour without the bitterness you would expect from a dark beer. It messes with your mind, a bit like the Black Ops storyline I guess.” Said Govs.

    The owners mentioned that this is a project that has been kept secret for 6 months even if they are not used to doing some covert projects they agreed to the request Activision:

    “When Activision first contacted us we thought it was a hoax and had no idea that would turn into this amazing partnership. We love beer and we love video games, especially Call of Duty, so when the opportunity to create Black Hops III to celebrate the launch of the new game came up, we jumped at it” said Michael ‘Govs’ McGovern, Head Brewer and Co-Founder of Black Hops Brewing.

    The Black Hops Brewing Company are said to be making waves in Australia, even if they have just been in business for a year. Through their clever use of social media, they have been able to generate a following and it is also a coincidence that their company name also sounds familiar with the Call of Duty: Black Ops video game title which probably got Activision's attention.

    Lucky Aussies, they get to have their Call of Duty: Black Hops III. If you live in the Land Down Under, the Black Hops III Midnight Pale Hale is available in limited quantities so better hurry before the supplies run out. The beer can be ordered in 6-packs or 24 bottle cartons at Beerbud.

    The Call of Duty: Black Ops III is being developed by Treyarch and will be on the 6th of November 2015. It can be played for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.


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    The Battle Buddy Foundation

    Let's do some good this November. This month OGO patches are $10 and I think I have at least 50 still. That means if I sell them all I'll have $500. Well for every patch bought I will donate $10 to the Battle Buddy Foundation. Simple enough. Pay $10 and I donate $10, that means 100% of the sales will be donated to an organization providing service dogs and other care to disabled vets. The goal is to sell the 50 and give $500 but as close as we can get will do.

    If you want to donate on top of the $10 that's cool too. On December 1st I'll tally up how many patches sold in November and submit a donation with the names of all those who donated. I'll even keep this post pinned at the top of the page all month and put the donors in the comments so you can see the progress. Just PayPal to Onegruntsopinion@gmail.com and send me your address in the notes.

    Get your OGO Patches here

    The Battle Buddy Foundation doesn't know I'm raising money for them and it'll just be cool to hand over the donations on December 1st. So let's see if I can help do some good and you can join in too.

    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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    SIG SAUER P225

    One of the pistols that I have ever wanted to be available in the airsoft market is the P225, but not one manufacturer, as far as I know, has ever made an airsoft version, with most focusing on the P226 Series. A popular concealed carry handgun in the USA, it was also a hit product of SIG SAUER in Europe where the West German/Federal Republic of Germany Police had a version of it done for them in the 1970s, and it was called the P6 (Pistole 6).

    Originally designed for use by the Swiss military (Pist 75), it is the original SIG single-stack 9mm pistol. It was widely use by many European police organizations and militaries, including the Canadian Army in North America. Both the P225 and P6 became available in the U.S. after the German police decommissioned the P6. The difference between the P225 and the P6 is that the former has a lighter pull compared to the P6 which has a heavier trigger pull.

    The P225 according to Guns.com was discontinued with the release of the P239 which made it redundant and was taken off from the catalog. But in the same Guns.com story, which was published last  June 4, 2015, SIG SAUER was quietly working on reintroducing the P225. The company have brought it up to date with their latest manufacturing methods at their state-of-the-art of facility.

    Released as of yesterday, the 5th of November The P225, or the P225-A1, comes with an enhanced trigger while the design is still maintained to make it look like the original, which is still what makes it endearing in the U.S. civilian arms market. While the P226 is more popular nowadays, real steel or airsoft, it is a full blown handgun design, and for those who need a more compact, Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA) pistol, the P225-A1 is said to surely meet such requirement, just like what the original P225 did.

    With the new and improved SIG P225-A1 now shipping to firearms dealers in the U.S., I am hoping that an airsoft version gets released too, as it truly deserves its own place in airsoft.


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    Dutch Open 2015 02

    With just two weeks to go before the Dutch Open 2015 International Airsoft Practical Shooting Tournament, the Nederlandse Airsoft Belangen Vereniging (NABV or the Dutch Airsoft Association), have been busy as hell preparing the venue to ensure a great shooting experience and put up a very competitive atmosphere.

    80 airsoft practical shooters will be converging at the National Sports Centre Papendal in Arnhem, on the 21st to the 22nd of November. As such the organisers have designed courses of fire that are grouped into 4 zones/sections to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament.

    For the shooters, it is imperative that they study the 18 courses of fire or stages even before arriving in Papendal. This will help them develop in their minds on how to effectively go through a course at the fastest time possible, whilst getting the most number of points through more accurate shooting of targets.

    The shooters will go through 10 COFs/ Stages on the first day (21 November) and the remaining 8 on the 2nd day (22 November). All shooters will receive their match booklets with all the information of the stages on Wednesday next week. That will give them at least more than week to study and prepare for the tournament.

    Whilst below are the sections/zones showing all the courses of fire. For registered shooters who want to study each and every detail of the courses of fire can go to ShootnScoreit website to download the PDF file containing all the 18 courses of fire.


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    Andy Stumpf Wing Suit Jump For Navy SEAL Foundation

    Seeing people jumping out of planes to fly for a few minutes and several miles in a wing suit is always an awesome thing to watch. But for a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who wanted to funds and awareness for the Navy SEAL Foundation, he had to set the world record, flying 18.257 miles with his wing suit, starting from a height of 36,000 feet. He beat the previous world record that was set at 17.83 miles.

    It may not be about airsoft, but for someone who goes to great lengths to raise funds for the families of fallen SEALS, then it's something worth writing about.

    Andy Stampf is decorated retired U.S. Navy SEAL who put up the "Man On A Mission" On GoFundMe to raise US$1 million for the Navy Seal Foundation Survivor Support Program for 2016. For the world record attempt, they started working on the project, partnering with Skullcandy since January of this year.

    Andy Stampf's own story is one of patriotism and dedication, spending 17 years as active duty Navy SEAL, then after retiring was training para-rescuers and jumps for fun nowadays.

    There are interesting stories written about him and his world-record flight. The first is on Wired.com and the second is one Skullcandy. Both are really interesting to read. Press release on the flight is below the video.

    Skullcandy Partners with Expert Skydiver Andy Stumpf in World Record Breaking Jump
    Man On Mission to Raise 1 Million Dollars for Charity

    PARK CITY, Utah, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Skullcandy, Inc., (NASDAQ: SKUL) the original performance and lifestyle audio brand, announced today the successful completion of a World Record jump by expert skydiver and former United States Navy Lieutenant and SEAL Operator, Andy Stumpf. Stumpf exited a plane from over 36,000 feet in an attempt to exceed the current record of 17.83 miles absolute distance traveled in a wing suit, successfully accomplishing 18.257 miles and setting a new World Record.

    Prior to becoming an expert skydiver, Andy was told he may never walk again after a combat injury. He dedicated himself to a tough rehab regimen and recovered the ability to walk. Now retired, Stumpf is considered a world-class skydiver and skydive instructor. Andy Stumpf's "Man on a Mission" jump broke the World Record in order to raise awareness and funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation that supports the families of fallen SEALs.

    "Behind every soldier serving in our military is a family whose love and support makes their complete and unwavering commitment to this country possible," said Andy Stumpf. "The Navy SEAL Foundation exists to support the families of fallen SEALs through counseling, community and education. My goal is to raise one million dollars to fund their Survivor Support Program for 2016 to help these families."

    This type of long distance wing suit flight required a rigid isometric hold for over 7:00 minutes at a free fall speed sometimes exceeding 140 mph. At an exit altitude of over 36,000 feet, oxygen was limited, and temperatures ranged from -54° F at plane exit to 100° F at landing. Skullcandy Human Potential Labs helped Andy with the physical and mental preparation required to set the world record.

    "Andy embodies Skullcandy's mission to inspire life at full volume, and the complexities of his world record attempt made it a perfect initiative for Skullcandy's new Human Potential Labs," said Skullcandy Chief Executive Officer, Hoby Darling. "It is an honor to support and shine a light on a person like Andy.  Someone who pushes his own limits in order to give back to a cause he cares about deeply.  That inspires all of us."

    Donate directly to the Man On A Mission goal at Andy's GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/NSFmanonamission. To learn more about the World Record jump, visit http://bit.ly/ManOnAMission_Ref.

    About Skullcandy, Inc.

    Skullcandy is the original lifestyle and performance audio brand inspired by the creativity and irreverence of youth culture. Skullcandy designs, markets and distributes audio and gaming headphones and other accessory related products under the Skullcandy, Astro Gaming and 2XL brands. Skullcandy was launched in 2003 and quickly became one of the world's most distinct audio brands by bringing unique technology, color, character and performance to an otherwise monochromatic space, helping to revolutionize the audio arena by introducing headphones, earbuds and other audio and wireless lifestyle products that possess unmistakable style and exceptional performance. The Company's products are sold and distributed through a variety of channels in the U.S. and approximately 80 countries worldwide, including the company's website at http://www.skullcandy.com.

    About Andy Stumpf

    Andy Stumpf is a veteran United States Navy Lieutenant and SEAL Operator with an extensive background of training and service. He served 10 tours of duty and has a record of merit, including five Bronze Star Medals (four with Valor), a Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal (with Valor), Army Commendation Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, and Presidential Unit Citation.  He has been a skydiver for 16 years.


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    Biohazard The Stage

    The Resident Evil/Biohazard video game series are popular in Japan and around the world that these have spawned movies, merchandising, and even airsoft guns as evidenced by those Biohazard airsoft pistol series made by Tokyo Marui. What's even more a testament to is cultural impact is the creation of the Biohazard The Stage, which is the stage adoption of the game and had its premiere last 22 October 15 at the Roppongi  Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. It was a limited, one week run as the last show took place last 1st of November.If you want to watch this, a DVD release of the play will be released in 2016. We're not sure if there will be English subtitles, but most likely that it will.

    Biohazard The Stage is not the first stageplay related the Biohazard Series. According to the Resident Evil Wiki, Biohazard: Year One (Biohazard Zero-Nen), which was produced in 2000,  was a musical horror-comedy and taken from the zombified civilians' point of view.

    Biohazard The Stage reveals the story between  “Biohazard/ Resident Evil 5” and “6” with the original game characters Chris Redfield, Piers Nivans and Rebecca Chambers as part of the story. Redfield and Nivans, who are part of the BSAA's anti-bioterrorism unit, were sent out to join Chambers of S.T.A.R.S. to investigate a bioterrorism incident in Australia. In the course of the investigation, they meet a mysterious young man named Tyler Howard and revealing the real reason behind the incident.

    Mat Smith of Engadget was able to watch the show and finds it better than expected, writing, "In the end, it all came together truer to the games than the movie adaptations, but it's also much, much lower on the spectacle, explosions and death count. Biohazard still manages to wrap itself up in the most Resident Evil of ways: a rocket launcher confrontation with a heavily mutated monster. It's unfortunate that the finale involves projected-CGI, but then a live stage play has its limits. Biohazard: The Stage feels faithful to the series. And, despite my misgivings, I got to see a play based on a game that's about surviving a zombie infestation -- that's pretty special."

    That's more than enough to make you interested in getting a DVD copy next year. But will they bring it to Broadway or the West End even if for just a limited run?


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    Ziggy Zee with 250-Pound DIY Railgun

    Last month, we posted a story about a man with the username NSA_lisbot who put together a portable DIY Railgun that fires 1050V and 1.8kJ of enegy to propel its projectile using 3D printing. But this time, though not exactly a very portable DIY Gun, YouTube user Ziggy Zee, built his own and much powerful Railgun, a crude contraption as compared to the one made by NSA_lisbot, as it was done without the aid of 3D printing. Still it is an impressive creation that of course entailed a lot of creativity, and draining of his bank account.

    The build is impressive as this DIY Railgun is a big 27,000 joule gun that comes in two parts: 1) a 50-pound barrel with the firing mechanism; 2) a 200-pound bank of 56 400-volt, 6000-microfarad capacitors.  It is a two-year project according to Ziggy Zee as it took time to acquire 56 capacitors capacitor  with two more capacitors were purchased to serve as backup. The total cost was $2,600.

    He describes his project as "This is the most powerful mobile electromagnetic railgun built by a non-government." Indeed so far, the development of railguns was seen to be exclusive realm of the military and academic research groups with massive budgets. But with this development, Railgun development is now officially a realm of civilian hobbyists. In a way, this is a beneficial for a military which usually goes into massive budget overruns over weapons projects, and such research from the civilian sector, even if done by hobbyists, can be helpful in bringing the costs down.

    Not really being a techie writer, I'd rather have Ziggy Zee explain this, as he posts on Imgur.com:

    This railgun operates with a pre-accelerator. The trigger is pulled and CO2 accelerates the projectile to approximately 50 mph (not very fast).

    The aluminum projectile enters two parallel, copper rails. After contact, the aluminum melts and provides excellent contact and lubricity. Without electricity, the rails have enough friction to stop the projectile from leaving.

    The current flows in a C-shape through the device. This C-shape produces outward force in all directions, like water flowing through a bent rubber hose. Because the rails are held firm, the projectile experiences an forward force.

    What Ziggy Zee and friends have created is a home-made Railgun that really packs a punch. If what has been the stuff of science fiction and military research is readily built by civilians (though we won't recommend that you try this at home), this means that we shall be seeing even more portable and energy efficient rail guns available in the future.

    Here are more videos of the DIY Railgun:


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    ARL Energy Harvesting Backpack

    One of the big challenges facing the 21st Century Warfighter is power, power needed by all the devices and gadgets he/she needs to fight effectively such as radios, GPS, night vision, sighting equipment, and whatever devices that the military equipment researches think will help in the accomplishing mission. That means that more batteries are needed and that also means a heavier load for the soldier to carry especially if these batteries are of different shapes and sizes.

    Now, the U.S. Army are looking into developing a backpack that will be able to recharge the batteries for the devices. Led by Courtney Webster from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the backpack is called the "Energy Harvesting Backpack" which they are now testing at the Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research, Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

    According to Webber The backpack consists of a frame mounted to a standard-issue assault pack that contains a two-spring, rack-and-pinion suspension system that allows it to gently glide up and down as the Soldier is walking or running. The mechanical energy produced by the motion of the backpack recharges the battery.

    With the design of having a suspension with the backpack, the motion of the backpack is also controlled as compared to regular backpacks full of books that slam into the back when running.

    The test had subjects walking for 10 minutes on a treadmill where they are tested at different speeds, different loads, walking or running, at inclines. At some instances, the walked with the assault pack without the Energy Harvesting Backpack, or with it. Maximal oxygen uptake that is designed to calculate fatigue are measured by another device. Most important of the test is measuring the charge of the battery to find out if the backpack is really effective in generating energy.

    One of the problems in the development of the Energy Harvesting Backpack is that it already weighs 15 pounds which already is already significant given that there are other equipment that will be added to the load, depending on the mission. But then if fewer batteries will be carried when it is deemed effective enough to carry on to the field, and with technological breakthroughs in battery technologies, the weight of the batteries will be lessened in future versions. Still, the project will have to go through various hurdles and tests for it to be accepted by the U.S. Army.

    All the data generated by the tests done by the ARL will be submitted to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). The CERDEC requested ARL to do the testing of the Energy Harvesting Backpack which is a design done in partnership with  Lightning Packs, LLC.

    Just imagine a backpack that recharges the batteries that you can use for your AEG while in long weekend Milsim events. You can just lengthen the wire from your AEG to the backpack and all you need to worry is how long your BB supply will last. No need on getting back to the safe zone to have your battery recharged.


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    Star Wars Battlefront Gameplay Launch Trailer

    Whilst the most anticipated movie of the year is a month away, millions await to do battle in distant planets next week. Around 9 million have already tested the multiplayer beta, and that means, even millions more will soon be joining them when the Star Wars: Battlefront reboot gets released next week.

    Players in North America will get their copies on the 17th of November, Australians on the 19th and players in Europe on the 20th. With the weather getting colder in the Northern Hemisphere, this means that many airsoft players who are FPS gamers themselves can find a lot of time in winter to play the video game when it gets too cold outside to play airsoft. It's just a matter of which they will prioritise as some of the biggest FPS titles have already been released such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Fallout 4. Star Wars: Battlefront faces tough competition, but it carries with it the influence of the Star Wars movie franchise which has an even bigger impact on popular culture as compared to these video games.

    Though not having a Single Player Mode, just like Titanfall, many are looking forward to play the famous Star Wars characters such as Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader (and more are said to be coming), or would just be pilots in the X Wing Fighters of Rouge Squadron or Tie Fighters. But if it those are not enough, there are Walkers, and even Millennium Falcon to put into play.

    The multiplayer mode will have a maximum of 40 players, with split-screen features for the game consoles such as Xbox One and Playstation 4, but none for the PC players (though we PC players won't really mind as we've got better gaming stations).

    The excitement is really building up for the game, and even more so for the movie. But the good thing about Star Wars: Battlefront, it has more trailers to show than the movie. Watch the latest trailers days prior to next week's release below, and may the Force with you. See you on Tatooine, or Hoth, or Endor, or Jakku.


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    Alex Smyth Electromagnetic Plasma Rifle

    It looks like many home tinkerers of weapons are turning their sights into rail guns. This is perhaps the third story of railgun that we have posted in less than a month. Just three days ago, we posted about a powerful homemade railgun, and for this weekend, it's another rail gun. But this time, it is sleeker and very much portable railgun that what was before a stuff of science fiction such as the Chem Railgun in the movie "Elysium" is now fast becoming a reality.

    What's even more fascinating about these portable railguns is that they are being designed by civilians on their time and money, not some defense contractor that always gobbles up millions, if not billions, of taxpayer money for expensive military hardware.

    In this case, the railgun made by Alex Smyth, or what he call the "Electromagnetic Plasma Rifle" as it fires rounds filled with ionized plasma, instead of regular projectiles, which in the previous DIY railgun projects we posted about, were mainly made up of small slabs of metal. The theory is that these ionized plasma rounds explode upon impact.

    He also had another approach as where he built a double-helix from a pair of rails instead of using just straight rails which is what the other DIY railgun projects and even the U.S. Navy's Railgun project use. This is akin to rifling a railgun where the spin provides flight stability. According to Foxtrot Alpha, the projectiles are made of a glass tubes filled with neon gas with a copper sleeve. With these rounds ionized when they are fired, they emit a bright red glow. These rounds can penetrate thick metal plates and can make quick work of pumpkins.

    To power the railgun, it can be plugged in to a 220 volt outlet which is just the problem as it is a battery or a high capacity portable power source that can maintain the same charged for sustained use that is a big hindrance that will make it portable.

    But what this DIY project also promises as explained by Foxtrot Alpha is that soldiers or law enforcement officers can adjust the power of the railgun. They can dial it down to make it less lethal if it is more for crowd control or less threatening situations, or turn it up bit more if they are up against armored targets or in shoot to kill missions.

    These DIY railgun projects are showing the future of weapons. While these are not feasible yet as weapons that can be used in the field or in the streets as they're still too big and power sources to make them truly portable still inadequate, future technological advances would further shrink them and make them more energy efficient. Also, tinkerers such as Alex Smyth (who also previously built a steampunk gatling gun) show innovative ways to make portable railguns a reality.


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    Tokyo Marui 50 Year History Part 1

    This year, Tokyo Marui hit a milestone in its history. As of late April 2015, Tokyo Marui officially turned 50 years old. But not much fanfare happened in that month, as the company planned on officially celebrating 50 years of business last 9 June 2015 which we reported about here.

    50 years is such a long time, and even with fierce competition in the airsoft market, the company still has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, innovating constantly. It's still pretty much nimble, raising the bar often that makes it hard for other airsoft companies to follow. Just the recent announcement of the AA-12 Automatic Electric Shotgun during the 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show is proof that the company is still not yet done in innovating and definitely plans of continuing to do so further into the future.

    Tokyo Marui, whilst known as the most respected airsoft company in the world, did not start as an airsoft company. Since its founding, Tokyo Marui established itself as a comprehensive hobby maker that includes toy design and production. Airsoft came in 20 years later, with the introduction of the Tokyo Marui Luger P-08 Pistol.

    It started as a company that makes small toys such as a plane that is made of PVC for the Japanese market in 1965 with the introduction of the "Astro Boy Glider" which 2 million pieces of it were sold and was then followed by the "Zero Fighter Glider" which was an even bigger hit, selling a mind-boggling total of 300 million. Not a bad start for a company making toys for children to play with. Unfortunately, there are no photos of these gliders in the archives of the company that we can post here.

    But before we continue on, many of you would wonder how the company became known as "Tokyo Marui." Well, as many would say, Google is your friend, and a quick search leads us to a story at Airsoft Hawaii. In an interview with Mr. Masaru Shimamura who handles Tokyo Marui's Public Relations (and you see him do most of the demonstration of the company's products at shows), explains about the company name and logo in that article and further expounded by him in our correspondence with them:

    How to decide the name of “Tokyo Marui (東京マルイ)”? There is an old custom called “yagou” in Japan. This is similar to a signboard, and is normally combined with a mark. The founder, Mr. Iwasawa, picked “I” (イkatakana) from his surname “IWASAWA” and  mark “○ (MARU)”, and combined “イ (I)” and “○ (MARU)” to make  “㋑  (MARUI)”.  The company started as “Tokyo Marui Toys” at Yanagihara, Adachi-ku, Tokyo, and relocated the company to Ayase near Arakawa river in 1966. The Marui Logo shows two overlapping circle as Marui was initially established by brothers, with the logo showing each of their circle ○.

    The initial years for the company was that of making small toys that are based on Japanese popular culture. After toy gliders, the company moved to producing its first plastic model, a walking Dinosaur model in 1966 then followed by the plastic model of Japanese baseball legend, Sadaharu Oh who played for the Yomiuri Giants at the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) from 1959 until his retirement in 1981. Even now, no one has exceeded his national record of 861 hits.

    In 1969, the Apollo Space Missions were at their height with the Apollo 11 moon landing, they produced the Apollo and Lunar Lander series. In the same year, they established the mould factory. The factory had the latest equipment installed and from there, the factory engineers created the moulds to support the production of high quality products of the company. Tokyo Marui is always proud of all the engineers at the mould factory as they do the best work and consider them as key players in the company.

    (Photo: Inside Tokyo Marui's mould factory)

    They went back to baseball the next year after, though this time, they created plastic figures based on the Japanese Sports Manga written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Noburo Kawasaki called the "Star of the Giants - Hoshihiyu-ma" based on  the Yomiuri Giants but using fictional characters.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui "Star of the Giants" toy)

    They also had  an occult-themed line of toys called the "Thriller Series" that were released before 1970 as these ghost or horror toys were popular in Japan from that period  up to the first half of 1970. The  first product they released was the "Walking Hand" then followed by the Walking Neck. They are wind-up toys and are made of luminous materials that make them glow in the dark. The packaging of the "Thriller Series" had different colour packaging, with black in 1970 and in their fourth production in 1973, they changed it into red.

    Mr. Shimamura has interesting anecdotes about the "Thriller Series". The current Executive Director of Tokyo Marui, Shigeru Iwasawa, went to visit the old headquarters as a child, when his father, Tatsuo Iwasaw was the Executive Director. He was afraid to step into the warehouse because of the Walking Necks and Walking Hands that were stockpiled inside. Another is when the Walking Hand was being developed, the Chairman's wife fell down and broke her wrist and then Executive Director Tatsuo Iwasawa cut his wrist whilst gardening. They thought that those accidents occurred due to the "Thriller Series" curse that they decided to exorcise the curse which was done in accordance with the Shinto religion. This is a purification ceremony held at a Shinto shrine which they felt relieved after the ceremony.

    Nowadays, the "Thriller Series" are expensive collector's items if they are kept in perfect condition, including packaging and they can fetch around JPY200,000 to 300,000 (around US$1,600 to US$2,500). The "Walking Hand" and "Walking Neck". Featured in this episode of "Tamori Club" you can see both toys at the 11 minute mark.

    By 1971, they created the plastic model of the MAT Arrow 1 used by the Monster Attack Team in "The Return of Ultraman" which aired in April 1971 up to March 1972. This plastic model was such a big hit with its capability to fly due to its wind-up power, stretching a string that is then released to power the flight of the Mat Arrow 1. It was also in 1971 that they opened their first distribution centre at Yashio, Ukizuka in the Saitama Prefecture.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui MAT Arrow 1 toy)

    The company often made toys that are licensed from popular movies and cartoon shows. But once the films or shows ended their run, toy sales plummeted. Depending on the popularity of the film or show, these toys don't usually sustain the company so they produced other ideas based on their strong “plamodel” (plastic model kits), and focused on creating breakthrough products that competitors didn't have.


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