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    GalacTac Ballistic Armor Project

    Ryan Flowers'project surely got the attention of the internet, after showing his work on the Mandalorian-Style Combat Suit, there have been many orders for him to produce for use in Cosplay and even airsoft. With the release of the Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens also helped, as everyone dusted off their Star Wars knowledge, and surely Boba Fett, the famous Mandalorian mercenary, is one of the favourites.

    Whilst Flowers brough the Boba Fett look to contemporary use, albeit in a non-armour form, nevertheless he attracted the interest of some of the big names in the firearms and tactical accessories industry. Teaming up with AR500 Armor, Heckler & Koch, SOG Knives & Tools, SureFire, LLC, Team Wendy,Armasight, Inc., Wilcox Industries Corp., and TEA Headsets, he has released a ballistic armour version of his work.

    You gotta hand it to him, as the design is pretty badass and even without the ballistic armor component, many have already ordered from him. The armour is made of steel plates mounted on the Guardian plate carrier made by AR500 Armor and the flip-down night vision scope mounted on the Helmet is by Armasight, Inc.

    No information yet if this will be turned into an actual commercial product since Flowers et al will have to deal with Disney, the new owners of Lucas Film and the Star Wars Franchise.  Knowing how this company will push hard on any of its designs from being used by other entities without its input, this can be subject to litigation. So far, no word yet from the company.

    More photos of the Galac-Tac Ballistic Armor Project below. Photos were taken by Metalhead Photography.


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    6th APCA Voting Final Day Reminder

    It’s the final day of the Voting Period of the 6th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards! The only thing that we can say now is that it is the final chance for our readers who have not vote yet to cast their votes and for the finalists in all the categories to make their final push and appeal to their fans to vote for them.

    So what you have to do today? Vote! For your airsoft team mates? Vote! For your Facebook fans? Vote! For your YouTube, Twitter and Instagram followers? Vote!

    It’s vote, vote, and vote for today. The Voting Period of the 6th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards ends at 2400H PST. Winners will be announced on the 8th of February 2016.

    CLICK HERE TO START VOTING FOR YOUR FAVOURITES!

    Just remember! There are prizes waiting for the lucky voters and below are the raffle prizes from oru sponsors:

    Tokyo Marui M4A1 MWS Real Gas Blowback Rifle (2 Winners)

    APS CAM870 Shell Ejecting Co2 Shotgun (1 Winner)
    Also includes an 8-shell Pouch Set

    Tokyo Marui M870 Tactical Gas Shotgun Wood Style (1 Winner)

    Tokyo Marui M9 Gas Blowback Pistol (1 Winner)

    PRIZES FOR EUROPEAN VOTERS

    EL 74MN by E&L Airsoft + Promotional Gadgets (1 Winner)

    Specna Arms SA-B14 KeyMod 12” Carbine + Promotional Gadgets (1 Winner)

    Armored Claw Gloves + Rockets .25 Platinum BBs  Package (3 Winners)

    More stuff to win:

    Profile TurboFan Goggles - Foliage Green

    SpecShop TactiCool Multi-Wrap

    SOCOM Gear Patch - Tan

    We'll post more if new raffle prizes come online.

    Go now! Vote for your favourites and have fun seeing them go through the Awards process. Also, don't forget to visit the sponsors of the awards who have made it possible to make this more exciting, with their contributions and raffle prizes:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

     

     

    SPONSORS


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    Facebook Unlike Firearm

    Last Friday, Facebook announced that they are taking a more strict stance on gun sales on their site, banning private gun sales altogether. This comes as more pressure was applied to the world’s biggest social media site by organizations such as the Moms Demand for Gun Sense in America which in 2014, put out a policy on gun sales, which was more an advisory rather than an outright ban. This also comes with the initiative by the White House that those who want to sell firearms online or offline should register to become a firearms dealer and do a background check on those making purchases.

    This ban also covers Instagram, a Facebook web property. Facebook will still allow licensed firearms dealers to advertise what they are selling provided that any transaction should be done outside of the social media site and other web properties it owns.

    They will remove messages that they consider to skirting the law or advertisements that announce no background checks.

    If you are a firearms owner, you cannot sell firearms on Facebook, even if done via private messaging as you may get reported. There are other websites that are an existence or being put up to facilitate transactions, but they may also require that dealers/seller should have licenses or not.

    Now, on Facebook some airsoft players and groups are concerned if airsoft gun sales will be affected by the policy by the company. So far, there is no indication that the ban covers airsoft gun sales as there is no requirement for airsoft guns to be sold with a firearms dealer’s license. There are some Facebook airsoft sales groups that are still operating normally.

    But if you do intend to sell airsoft guns on Facebook, you will have to abide with the local laws that govern airsoft, such as California’s SB 199 and the Federal orange tip requirement in the U.S.. In the UK, you have to ensure that the buyer has a valid VCRA defence.  It is still best to be on the good side of the law and as they usually say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    If you know of an instance where Facebook prevented an airsoft gun sale, please do drop us a message with the information.


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    Rainbow Six Siege ESL Pro League

    Have you been spending a lot of time with your airsoft team mates playing Tom Clancy’s Rainbox Six Siege (RB6 Siege) when not on the airsoft field? I know some who do, since they prefer Rainbox Six Siege match-up games over the multiplayer modes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. For those who have been RB6 fans ever since Rogue Spear, then RB6 Siege is really up their alley, and with more challenges and ways to take down the OPFOR.

    If you think that you have what it takes to be a great RB6 Siege team, then why not prove this on the world stage? Ubisoft has partnered with ESL, one of the biggest eSports organizations, and Microsoft Xbox to launch the Rainbow 6 Siege Pro League for the Xbox One and PC Gaming.

    “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege was built from the ground up with competition in mind. We’re excited to partner with ESL, one of the biggest names in esports, to deliver a league for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege fans to compete and enjoy the game they love,” said Xavier Marquis, Rainbow Six Creative Director at Ubisoft.

    For now the RB6 Siege Pro League will be open to North American and European teams. Starting in March 2016, the best teams from these regions will be invited to compete in their respective regions for a seven week season. A total of 8 teams in each region will compete in the regionals.  The top two teams from each region will then join in the finals to battle it out to become the Pro League Season Champion.

    A prize pool with a total of US$100,000 will be split amongst the competing teams in the Finals for Xbox One and PC.  This prize pool is quite small as compared to the Call of Duty World League where the prize pool s is a total of US$3 million. Nevertheless, it is something to start with when more and more teams will be joining in the future and the Pro League opened up to more regions.

    “ESL Pro Leagues have become synonymous with professional gaming across the esports industry. We are delighted to add Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege to the line-up of games, and are excited for what is sure to be a great opening season of play. Our online ESL Play community has rallied around Rainbow Six Siege competition, and we’re sure that with our partners at Ubisoft and Microsoft, we can take the Pro League to the next level,” said David Hiltscher, VP Gaming Communities at ESL.

    If interested, there are two ways to join the Pro League, provided the players are 18 years old and above:

    • Option 1: Be among the top teams in Go4R6 monthly rankings on February the 22nd on the European and North American Servers on Xbox One or PC
    • Option 2: Join some of the local competitions with access to the Pro League.

    For live coverage of the games, it will be streamed on twitch.tv/rainbow6 and then will be available on their YouTube page.


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    Hamas DIY Tank

    A few days ago, Hamas unveiled their latest weapon to use their enemies, which in this case, to make the Israelis think twice before attacking them again. During the memorial of 7 militants of the Al-Qassam Brigade who died when a tunnel collapsed on them in Gaza, they rolled out their own super tank which they say was from a captured Israeli Merkava tank.

    However many in the internet, upon closer inspection of photos available online, quickly pointed out the problem of the tank: the tracks don’t touch the ground, it is running on four wheels and looks like to be made of wood:

    Now, they became a butt of online jokes, especially on Twitter, that even Israell Prime Minister Netanyahu's spokesperson joined in the fun:

    But hey! Hamas can do something productive about it so they can recover the investment. Why not rent it out or sell it to some airsoft event organizer? That would be better than having their super tank blown up quickly by a real IDF Merkava tank. Airsoft players would welcome something resembling a tank from the IDF to use in Milsim events, even if it just runs on four wheels.


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    This War of Mine The Little Ones

    The highly acclaimed video game “This War of Mine”, that was released about two years ago, gets a special edition wherein your emotions will be tested. Made for mature gamers, “This War of Mine: The Little Ones” whilst it is about civilians trying to survive in a war zone, takes another perspective, from that of a child.

    11 Bit Studios, the game developer behind the brilliant, but harrowing video game just made it even more reflective for the gamer when going through the game. The gamer is put in charge of adults and children stuck in a war ravaged city. All are struggling with hunger, lack of medicine, and danger from all sides. What will he/she (the gamer) do in order that they will survive for another day?

    We appreciate this game as it treads a different path in giving an immersive game in a war setting. Many of us would rush to snap up the latest releases of Call of Duty, Battlefield, HALO, and many first person or real time strategy games, and blast away against the enemies, without really thinking of the ramifications of war, no matter the storylines of these games tell us.  With “This War of Mine: The Little Ones”, there will be many difficult choices to make just to survive that sometimes you will have to sacrifice someone.

    Kids will be kids, even in conflict, the developers say. If you watch current world affairs, and watch footage of children in war zones, such as Syria, you will agree it is true. Kids will still find time to play when there is a lull or it is free to go outside, but for the gamer, he/she will have to need to understand the children in order to protect them.

    War, for combatants and non-combatants alike, will bring out both the worst and the best of humanity. For the gamer in “This War of Mine: The Little Ones” will see this happen, in his/her decisions or encounters with game characters in the quest to survive the war with the little ones. It will be cruel and cold, but when it comes to survival, there will be many gray areas of morality.

    This game is highly recommended to airsoft players as it gives them another perspective and understanding of war. War is not always about soldiers in battle, there are others involved and they usually are cold, hungry, sick, and unarmed. They are the real victims of war.


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    Airsoft Meetup IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Nuremberg Messe

    With the 6th Airsoft Players Choice Awards Voting Period over and the winners announcement just remaining (we’ll announce the winners on Monday and raffle prize winners on Tuesday), we now focus our attention on getting you to sign-up for the next big thing for the airsoft media, airsoft industry, and the airsoft community in the world ---- the annual Airsoft Meetup that will take place at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016.

    One of the biggest outdoor, hunting, and firearms trade events in the world, the IWA Outdoor Classics attracts tens of thousands trade visitors around the world with 41,748 visitors and 1,376 exhibitors last year. The airsoft industry has a significant presence at the IWA Outdoor Classics, in fact there are more airsoft exhibitors at the IWA Outdoor Classics than the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

    The Airsoft Meetup, initially organised by NLAirsoft and Popular Airsoft, now has become a larger event in the calendar of must attend events in the airsoft world. With the European airsoft media supporting this, over the years, more attendees have attracted more industry presenters.

    If you will be at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016, whether as an airsoft exhibitor, tactical gear exhibitor, or even as a real steel firearm exhibitor, you might want to attend the Airsoft Meetup to meet the airsoft media, mingle with the airsoft community, and know the latest in airsoft technologies. If you are a trade visitor curious about developments in airsoft, then the Airsoft Meetup is for you.

    In just one room, you get to meet many of airsoft who’s who, whether as presenters or attendees whom you can talk to up close and personal during breaks or in-between presentations. There will be actual demos of products that will be released for the year or announcements of the latest airsoft and gear for the airsoft market.

    Also, the awarding ceremonies for the winners of 6th the Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards will also take place after the presentations and you get to see and know some of the best in the industry and community.

    Sounds like an event you have to be in? Of course it is!

    However, slots are limited so it is best that you get your tickets at the Airsoft Meetup website. All you need to do is register where you are then directed to NLAirsoft.com’s website so you can fill up the registration form.

    Just remember:

    AIRSOFT MEETUP
    IWA Outdoor Classics 2016
    1300H – 1630H
    06 March 2016
    Hong Kong Room
    Nuremberg Messe
    Nuremberg, Germany

    See you there!


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    6 APCA Winner Announcement

    The moment that the finalists of the 6th Airsoft Players Choice Awards and their fans have been waiting for, the announcement of the Awards winners. The awards had some close calls and some new winners in the various categories.  But that’s how airsoft players and readers of Popular Airsoft, they can be loyal to some and will award those they think deserve to receive the awards.

    It has been a long two months to find out who the winners, but that makes it exciting, and the longer period also ensures that a good number of airsoft players from around  the world get to nominate and vote for their favourites. As we always say, the more, the merrier.

    We would like to thank all the voters, the nominees, finalists, and sponsors of the awards. Without their participation, we would not have reached the 6th year of the awards, considered to be most prestigious online in the airsoft world. It is always an honour to have players, communities, and companies supporting this event so there will be recognition to the effort of those who are helping bring airsoft to where it is right now.

    For the awards winners, please do get in touch with us as soon as you can if you will want to have your award shipped to you or you will receive it in person at the Awarding Ceremonies during the Airsoft Meetup at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 in Nuremberg, Germany. The Airsoft Meetup will be on the 6th of March 2016.

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    Best Airsoft Retailer for North America

    Evike.com

    Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe

    Gunfire

    Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia

    RedWolf Airsoft

    Best Airsoft Magazine (Print or Digital)

    Arms Magazine

    Best English Language Airsoft News Website

    Arnies Airsoft

    Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website

    Red Army Airsoft

    Best Airsoft Blog

    Airsoft & Military News Blog

    Best Online Airsoft Community/Forum

    WMASG.pl

    Best Airsoft Video (Posted Online In 2015)

    BORDER WAR 7 - Airsoft Sniper Gameplay - Operation Skylance 2015

    Best Airsoft Event (with over 500 players)

    Border War 7 - Skylance

    Best Airsoft Podcast or Video Channel

    Airsoftology

    Best Tactical Gear Manufacturer

    Condor Outdoor

    Best Eye/Face Protection Manufacturer

    ESS

    Best Airsoft Upgrade/Parts Maker

    LayLax

    Best Airsoft Kaboom! Manufacturer (Grenades, Pyros)

    Airsoft Innovations

    Best Airsoft Pistol (regardless of power source)

    ASG - CZ P-09

    Best Airsoft Gas Rifle

    Tokyo Marui M4A1 MWS

    Best Airsoft Electric Airsoft Gun

    Tokyo Marui HK416D DEVGRU Custom

    Best Airsoft Gun Manufacturer

    Tokyo Marui

    Special Airsoft Player's Award

    Novritsch (Austria)

    Please don't forget to visit the sponsors of the awards who have made it possible to make this more exciting, with their contributions and raffle prizes:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

     

     

    SPONSORS

     


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    6 APCA Raffle Winner Announcement

    If we could only give prizes to all the voters for the 6th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards, then we would. But we have a very limited number of prizes so all the names and email addresses submitted during the Nomination and Voting Periods will have to go into a raffle and we’ll leave it all up to luck.

    As always, we will give an advisory the raffle winners.  Please do take note that customs charges for the delivery of the raffle prizes are borne by the winners. If you are based in the United Kingdom, and have won an airsoft gun, please do furnish us with your VCRA Valid Defence such as your UKARA Number. If you are based in the USA, then we shall paint your airsoft gun with an orange muzzle. If you cannot furnish us, then your prize will be forfeited and the award will be raffled off again.  If you are below 18 years and win an airsoft gun but your local laws do not allow people below 18 years of age to own airsoft guns, then your prize will be forfeited and the award will be raffled off again.

    You have 180 days from today to claim your raffle prize. After 180 days, we shall assume that you have forfeited your raffle prize.

    Just like before, we post the list of the raffle prize winners and their corresponding prizes. We have blotted some portions of their email address for privacy (and anti-spam) purposes and we shall be emailing them shortly that they have won a raffle prize.

    Congratulations to the raffle winners. We hope you love the prizes!

    Tokyo Marui M4A1 MWS Real Gas Blowback Rifle (2 Winners)

    Luis <lmar*****@hotmail.es> (Spain)
    Adam <*******shooter@gmail.com> (United Kingdom)

    APS CAM870 Shell Ejecting Co2 Shotgun(1 Winner)
    Also includes an 8-shell Pouch Set

    Zoltan <zoltan******@freemail.hu> (Hungary)

    Tokyo Marui M870 Tactical Gas Shotgun Wood Style(1 Winner)

    Andreas <serafin***@o2.pl> (Poland)

    King Arms M4A1 AEG (Courtesy of Airsoft Atlanta) (1 Winner)

    Aidan <app****@aol.com> (United States)

    Tokyo Marui M9 Gas Blowback Pistol (1 Winner)

    Victor <victorfr****@orange.fr> (France)

    PRIZES FOR EUROPEAN VOTERS

    E&L 74MN by E&L Airsoft + Promotional Gadgets (1 Winner)

    Michael <******md@gmail.com> (Germany)

    Specna Arms SA-B14 KeyMod 12” Carbine + Promotional Gadgets (1 Winner)

    Martin <martin*********@btinternet.com> (United Kingdom)

    Armored Claw Gloves + Rockets .25 Platinum BBs  Package (3 Winners)

    Ricardo  <Agent-*****@sapo.pt> (Portugal)
    Konstantin  <zubov***@inbox.ru> (Russia)
    Anders <anders**********@live.se> (Sweden)

    More stuff to win:

    Profile TurboFan Goggles - Foliage Green

    Horia <Horia_**************@yahoo.com> (Romania)

    SpecShop TactiCool Multi-Wrap

    Adam <tymc**********@gmail.com> (Poland)

    SOCOM Gear Patch - Tan

    Tanaka <arctech***@docomo.ne.jp> (Japan)

    Please don't forget to visit the sponsors of the awards who have made it possible to make this more exciting, with their contributions and raffle prizes:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

     

     

    SPONSORS


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    Dutch Police Drone Catching Eagle

    If you are a drone owner and live in the Netherlands, be wary when your drone is up in the sky and flies into areas where it is not allowed such as airports, government buildings, when there are crowds below, eagles may swoop down and snatch them. That’s the plan of Dutch police to keep such pesky drones out of the sky according to the Guardian.

    They have partnered with a raptor training company called Guard From Above to look into training such magnificent birds if they can safely snatch drones.

    In a way, it makes sense since it is a low-tech solution to a problem of rogue private drones going to places they should not be. But the concern if the Bald eagles’ talons can handle the spinning rotors which some are made of carbon fiber without injuring themselves. The video below shows that the eagle seems to know where to strike a DJI Phantom drone and even retrieve it without getting hurt. The ability to retrieve it and bring it to another location (just hope it is not food for eaglets) is remarkable. This way, eagles are able to take down drones without letting it fall to the ground, especially in crowded areas.

    And it looks like that this idea is getting some attention. The London Metropolitan Police are interested and will be monitoring how the Dutch police will proceed with the program. Police and private companies from around the world are trying out different ways to take out rogue drones safely. Japan plans to capture drones using drones with nets; others are looking into a more high-techs solutions such as radio guns that disrupt the communications between the drone and the owner making the drone land safely or go back to the last location of the owner.

    But not everyone’s convinced that eagles are a good solution to the drone menace. Nicholas Lund writes in National Geographic, “The biggest problem is the very obvious danger to the eagles. As demonstrated by the Mythbusters crew, who are among the preeminent scientific experimenters of our time, drone blades, especially carbon fiber ones, can cause serious damage to an animal. If an eagle were to midjudge its attack, or if the drone operator were to take evasive or defense maneuvers, a bird could be struck by the blades and seriously injured or killed.”

    Whether you go low-tech or high-tech in answering the drone problem, the answer does not lie on drone catching tools alone. A combination of regulations, public education, and even more safety features in civilian drones would probably be a better answer. As for the eagles, they can always fly high and just watch the humans below solve the problem they created.


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    GAM HB0742

    While most U.S.-based airsofters have their attention on Massachusetts as there is a bill filed in the House of Representatives that may ban airsoft in the state, another front opened and this time it’s in the State of Maryland. Two bills, filed in the Senate and the House of Delegates, if passed and signed by Governor Larry Hogan, will outright ban airsoft in the state.

    House Bill 879 (HB879) sponsored by Delegate Jill Carter (D, 41st District Baltimore) and Senate Bill 742 (SB742) sponsored by State Senator C. Anthony Muse (D, 26th District Prince George’s County) “AN ACT concerning, Public Safety – Imitation Firearms – Prohibition.”

    There are just very minor differences in terms of text in these bills and can be reconciled later on if they go through the state legislative process.  Both propose the prohibition of manufacture, sale, offer of sale, or commercial transfer of a certain imitation firearm with HB0879 proposing to establish criminal penalties while SB0742 proposes civil penalties.

    Both bills have the following definition of an “Imitation Firearm”:

    (E) (1) “IMITATION FIREARM” MEANS A TOY, A DEVICE, OR AN OBJECT THAT SUBSTANTIALLY DUPLICATES OR CAN REASONABLY BE PERCEIVED TO BE A FIREARM OR A HANDGUN.

    (2) “IMITATION FIREARM” DOES NOT INCLUDE A TOY, A DEVICE, OR AN OBJECT THAT:

    (I) HAS AN ENTIRE EXTERIOR SURFACE AREA COLOR OF BRIGHT RED, BRIGHT ORANGE, BRIGHT YELLOW, BRIGHT GREEN, BRIGHT BLUE, BRIGHT PINK, OR BRIGHT PURPLE, EITHER SINGLY OR AS THE PREDOMINANT COLOR IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER COLORS IN ANY PATTERN;

    (II) HAS A BARREL THAT IS CLOSED FOR A DISTANCE OF NOT LESS THAN ONE–HALF INCH FROM THE FRONT END OF THE BARREL WITH THE SAME MATERIAL OF WHICH THE TOY, DEVICE, OR OBJECT IS MADE;

    (III) HAS LEGIBLY STAMPED ON THE EXTERIOR THE NAME OF THE MANUFACTURER OR SOME TRADE NAME, MARK, OR BRAND BY WHICH THE MANUFACTURER CAN BE READILY IDENTIFIED;

    OR

    (IV) IS A NONFIRING COLLECTOR REPLICA OF AN ANTIQUE FIREARM

    It is obvious that airsoft and other related firearm replicas would be banned by these bills. For now, the Bills have gone through the First Reading which is just a formality to kick things off. From the First Reading, the bills are then remanded to a Committee which is in charge of Public Safety bills. For airsoft players in Maryland, this is the opportunity for them to air their concerns and how it will affect their hobby and even local businesses that cater to airsoft. They can send their representatives together to state their case why they oppose the bills and perhaps try to propose changes in the text that will answer public safety concerns while airsoft remains a legal thing in the state.

    For those who want to help in the campaign and lobby against the bills, they can join “STOP the MD Airsoft & BB Gun Bans” on Facebook where the campaign is being coordinated. There, they can find information on progress of the bills and how to contact their local legislators to state their opposition.

    This is turning into a game of whack-a-mole and airsoft players in the USA are not organized to effectively counter such proposals to ban airsoft. With two states right now proposing to ban airsoft, the attention is now divided.  The best approach will be a national organization of airsoft players that will work on protecting the hobby, just like other sports and companies do. But so far, no attempts have been made; even the airsoft industry in the USA does not encourage or support the formation of one. If you have heard of the saying “United we stand. Divided we fall” then you know that the airsoft community in the USA has to do. Facebook groups or online forums can only go so far, a real long-term airsoft organization is what is really needed in the country.


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    Titanfall Pilot Ejecting

    It looks there are more resources available to development studio of Titanfall that they have confirmed a Single Player Campaign for the upcoming Titanfall 2. In an interview with Forbes, head writer Jesse Stern reveals that Titanfall 2 will have its own Singe Player Campaign. The first release of Titanfall, an acclaimed FPS-Mech game, was online multiplayer game alone in the tradition of other FPS multiplayer games such as CounterStrike.

    Respawn Entertainment, the game development studio behind Titanfall is said to plan on releasing Titanfall 2 before March 2017 and will not be exclusive to Xbox One. The hiring of Jesse Sterns, whose writing credits include Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare , Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and NCIS means that there is more to the Titanfall than the video game. In the interview, he also said that his working with Lionsgate TV for the TV series. Last July Respawn Entertainment revealed that there are plans with Lionsgate to have a sci-fi series for TV although there is no formal commitment if production will be a go.

    It will be interesting if there will be an introduction on how the single player campaign story will play out in Titanfall 2 if this will be a continuing saga of the conflict between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) and the Militia, or will there be another party to the conflict.

    Titanfall, even if its initial release, was sparse in terms of story, AI, and lack of community features, was still a very much well received game with its Mech and Pilot concept. Both can be used together or separately, with the Pilot able to go through missions without Titans or can request for a Titan to use when more firepower and heft is needed.

    Another announcement for Titanfall 2 is that MacFarlane Toys will be releasing action figure toys based on the video game in Winter 2016:

    In the 2014 smash-hit Titanfall, players wage war against their rival factions as both agile pilots, and armored 20-foot mechs known as Titans. The hotly anticipated Titanfall 2 will deliver the frantic action fans have come to love, plus dramatically charged cinematic moments through all-new memorable characters.

    McFarlane Toys is well known for delivering top quality figures for the gaming genre including: Halo, Assassin’s Creed and Metal Gear franchises. The upcoming Titanfall figures will be a part of McFarlane’s bold new 2016 Collector Box Program. Each figure will stand seven inches tall, have an average of fifteen points of articulation for incredible poses and play action and feature screen accurate accessories and weapons.  The figures will boast the same meticulous level of detail that McFarlane has become known for over the last two decades.

    “This is a perfect fit.  McFarlane [Toys] was created so I could make cool stuff just like this,” said Todd McFarlane, Owner and CEO of McFarlane Toys. “Without saying too much about the new game…  You’re not going to believe where we can take this.”

    The McFarlane Toys action figures will be released in conjunction with the highly anticipated launch of Titanfall 2! Fans can visit mcfarlane.com and the McFarlane Toys social media channels for all the latest toy news and visit respawn.com for all the latest upcoming game announcements.

    Everything’s rosy for Respawn Entertainment, more resources to develop a single player campaign for Titanfall2, a planned TV series, and action figures base do the video game characters, Hopefully, everything rolls out well for Respawn Entertainment as Titanfall as a video game still has a lot of promise and may just turn out to be a video game juggernaut like Call of Duty or Battlefield.


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    Palace of Westminster

    Last Wednesday, the 10th of February 2016, British Home Secretary Theresa May, introduced to the Parliament a new Policing and Crime Bill. Bill Policing and Crime 2015-16 (or Bill 134 2015-16) has already gone through the First Reading in the House of Commons, though there is no date set for Second Reading yet.

    The Bill is 220 pages long and in terms of firearms it proposes that ownership of "tools" that could convert imitation firearms (e.g. deactivated firearms) into real firearms will be a criminal offence:

    4A Possession of articles for use in connection with conversion

    (1) A person, other than a registered firearms dealer, commits an offence if—

    (a) the person has in his or her possession or under his or her control an article that is capable of being used (whether by itself or with other articles) to convert an imitation firearm into a firearm, and

    (b) the person intends to use the article (whether by itself or with other articles) to convert an imitation firearm into a firearm.

    According to UK Shooting News, this provision does not define what these tools are:

    Including “with other articles” is particularly dangerous. You don’t even need to own (say) a complete chamber reamer, just the tool for making one. Better get rid of your Dremel tout suite.

    Penalties for owning such “tools”, when convicted will be a jail term. Many sports shooters also own imitation firearms or deactivated firearms and in the case of search by overzealous police, this lack of definition of tools would subject such owners to harassment. You may never know what "tools" in your toolbox or garden shed can be used to prosecute you. It can even be that handy sanding paper.

    Airsoft gun owners should be concerned about this provision too since there are airsoft guns, especially gas blowback rifles that operate and have similar looking parts to real steel guns though. If you remember in 2010, the U.S. ATF asserted that AR gas blowbacks can be converted into real steel guns by changing some parts so they can fire real bullets. Whilst proven to be untrue, certain airsoft manufacturers had to coordinate with the ATF to get an “ATF approval” for these to be sold as airsoft guns in the U.S. Airsoft gunsmithing tools can be misconstrued as tools for converting imitation firearms into real firearms, whether airsoft gas blowbacks or deactivated firearms.

    There are other provisions in the bill concerning firearms which the UK Shooting News covered and it’s best to check their story to learn more about the effects of the proposed Bill to firearms enthusiasts in the UK.

    If you remember in the report of the UKAPU regarding the recommendations by the Law Commission last December of the “creation of an exempting provision in the Act exempting airsoft guns", here is what Matt Furey-King, UKAPU Chairman says about the proposed bill and that there are still concerns that can still affect airsoft guns:

    Although the law commission firearms law report was released only two months ago, the Policing and Crime Bill 2015-16 has had its first reading in the UK parliament.

    In simple terms, this bill will (amongst many other things) specify the muzzle energy threshold which defines an airsoft gun from an air rifle. In a way it sets legal power limits for airsoft (1.3J, or 375fps with a .20g BB, for fully automatics. 2.5J, or 520fps with a .20g BB, for semi and single action). Previously this was a grey area in UK law. Local legislation will still apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    From Parliament.uk

    “This Government Bill was presented to Parliament on Wednesday 10 February 2016. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

    The date for this Bill's second reading debate has yet to be announced.

    If the bill passes second reading and is committed to a public bill committee the membership of the committee will be published in Votes and Proceedings and posted on this page under 'Commons Public Bill Committee'. The soonest this can be is the Thursday following second reading of the bill, but it may be later.”

    Whilst we welcome legislation which clears up the legal position of airsoft, we are sceptical of some of the wording of the bill. No airsoft replica is ‘only’ capable of discharging plastic projectiles. All of them can fire steel and glass BBs. This fact could arguably make the airsoft exception worthless as no airsoft replica could meet the requirements.

    Contrary to the law commission report (based on our feedback), they have also ruled 8mm airsoft out of the exception.

    We are still seeking clarification of the position of variable power devices such as HPA driven replicas, which can well exceed the specified 1.3J threshold if desired.

    UK Airsoft Players Union intends to, at a minimum, submit evidence during the committee stage of the process. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates https://www.facebook.com/UKAPU/.

    Matt Furey-King, Chairman

    Relevant sections of the bill:

    Firearms Act 1968: meaning of “firearm” etc.

    (1)The Firearms Act 1968 is amended as follows.

    (2)In section 57 (interpretation), in subsection (1), for the words from the beginning to the end of paragraph (c) substitute—

    "(1)In this Act, the expression “firearm” means—

    (a)a lethal barrelled weapon (see subsection (1B));

    (b)a prohibited weapon;

    (c)a relevant component part in relation to a lethal barrelled weapon or a prohibited weapon (see subsection (1C));

    (d)an accessory to a lethal barrelled weapon or a prohibited weapon where the accessory is designed or adapted to diminish the noise or flash caused by firing the weapon;”.

    (3)In that section, before subsection (2) insert—

    “(1B)In subsection (1)(a), “lethal barrelled weapon” means a barrelled weapon of any description from which a shot, bullet or other missile, with kinetic energy of more than one joule at the muzzle of the weapon, can be discharged.

    (1C)Subsection (1) is subject to section 57A (exception for airsoft guns).”

    (4)In that section, after subsection (1C) (as inserted by subsection (3) above)
    insert—

    “(1D)For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), each of the following items is a relevant component part in relation to a lethal barrelled weapon or a prohibited weapon—

    (a)a barrel, chamber or cylinder,

    (b)a frame, body or receiver,

    (c)a breech block, bolt or other mechanism for containing the pressure of discharge at the rear of a chamber, but only where the item is capable of being used as a part of a lethal barrelled weapon or a prohibited weapon.”

    (5)After section 57 insert—

    “57AException for airsoft guns

    (1)An “airsoft gun” is not to be regarded as a firearm for the purposes of this Act.

    (2)An “airsoft gun” is a barrelled weapon of any description from which only a small plastic missile, with kinetic energy at the muzzle of the weapon that doesn't exceed the permitted level, can be discharged.

    (3)“Small plastic missile” means a missile that—

    (a)is made wholly or partly from plastics, and

    (b)does not exceed 6 millimetres in diameter.

    (4)The permitted kinetic energy level is—

    (a)in the case of a weapon which is designed or adapted so that two or more missiles can be discharged successively without repeated pressure on the trigger, 1.3 joules;

    (b)in any other case, 2.5 joules.”

    Whilst exempting airsoft guns in the Bill will mean the law will be clear cut on the limits on FPS for full auto and single shot firing airsoft guns and can be taken as a positive thing, there are still provisions in the Bill that may need to be looked at closely even if they do not mention airsoft. These may just affect airsoft and render the exemptions for airsoft useless. It is time again to for UK airsoft community and industry to comb the documents to find what provisions in the different pages of the document that can endanger airsoft as a hobby or come in conflict to the exceptions provided; and engage the government to come up with provisions that will not put airsoft as a hobby, sport, and business in jeopardy.


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    3D Printing (Wikimedia)

    3D Printing is becoming very much an indispensable tool in our everyday lives. We can develop products that can be used immediately or used as prototypes for an even better product. From aerospace to medicine, to military, 3D printing is being used to improve our lives. In airsoft, product developers have resorted to 3D printers for rapid prototyping of airsoft guns and accessories; and in some cases have designed products made specifically for airsoft players and available at 3D print markets.

    But sometimes a good thing can have a bad thing. In this case, researchers have advised that those doing 3D printing should be in well-ventilated places or use an enclosed 3D printer with a vent as the fumes can be bad for their health.

    In a study by French and US researchers published in Environmental Science & Technology, the filaments used in 3D printing emit styrene, which is a possible carcinogen and at levels above the limits set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. These filaments are ABS, Nylon, PLA, PC, PVA, and similar materials are said to be emitting styrene when the particles emitted by five 3D printers when tested. 

    But for those who PLA for 3D Printing, they do not have to worry as this emit lactide which is considered to be non-toxic. Perhaps users should look into using more PLA just on the safe side, especially for initial product designs.

    The 3D printers do not matter as the fume levels do not vary much from different printer models.

    The recommendations by the researchers are not exactly hard to follow. It is best to have some kind of a ventilation system when doing 3D printing whether as a hobby or for commercial purposes. For airsoft product developers, who are increasing as 3D printing is now widely available and affordable; this should be something that they should do when doing product development.


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    DARPA FLA Drone

    Holy Moly! We need one of these quick! If you need someone to do some quick reconnaissance, then you’ll rather have some-thing, rather than some-one, as this new toy from DARPA can do it really fast for you.  If you ask how fast, that’s 45mph and that speed can be maintained indoors without much human input.

    DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy program (FLA) produced a small quadcopter drone that can fly really fast and autonomously with the goal of the program is to develop and test algorithms “that could enable a new class of algorithms for minimalistic high-speed navigation in cluttered environments. With such a capability to handle low-level tasks on its own, it frees up the drone operator to focus on higher level coordination of various manned and unmanned drones that can collaborate to achieve an objective as a single system.

    Loaded with a bunch of sensors, the FLA drone can navigate on its own around obstacles whilst flying at high speeds.

    The FLA drone uses a commercial DJI Flamewheel 450 airframe, E600 motors with 12" propellers, and 3DR Pixhawk autopilot—is capable of achieving a flight speed of 20 meters per second. At the same time, this small drone can carry high-definition onboard cameras and other sensors, such as LIDAR, sonar and inertial measurement units.

    “We’re excited that we were able to validate the airspeed goal during this first-flight data collection,” said Mark Micire, DARPA program manager adding that, “The fact that some teams also demonstrated basic autonomous flight ahead of schedule was an added bonus. The challenge for the teams now is to advance the algorithms and onboard computational efficiency to extend the UAVs’ perception range and compensate for the vehicles’ mass to make extremely tight turns and abrupt maneuvers at high speeds.”

    The DARPA FLA drone as is, already has valuable uses, especially for first responders and squad-level infantry. For first responders, they can use the drone in disaster-stricken areas, whether indoors and outdoors; and its speed and ability to skirt obstacles and its onboard cameras can mean a life and death for survivors as it can reach into areas that may initially be unsafe for responders. For infantry squads, using this small speed demon to do some quick recon in built-up areas can help them plan their approach with lesser risks. If this can be done by civilian drone hobbyists, having a quick and agile drone can be used for airsoft games.


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    Tank 2.0 02

    Project Tank 2.0 has hit the halfway mark. As of this writing, the Project Tank 2.0 GoFundMe Page shows that over €11,600 has been raised. Still it's some ways to go to hit its €20k funding goal so it’s time to put out another shout out to our very dear Popular Airsoft readers to help him achieve his all-terrain upgrade.

    Project Tank 2.0 also shows  how an airsoft community takes up the cudgels for Simon “Tank” Jameson, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare form of muscular dystrophy that has made him wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. But his condition does not deter him from playing airsoft, a game he loves playing and has Tank 2.0 enhanced airsoft wheelchair to go toe to toe (or wheel to toe) against airsoft players in Ireland and wherever his wheelchair will take him. With a very helpful airsoft community behind him, he is determined to raise funds so he can make an upgrade to an all-terrain wheelchair that can take him where his present wheelchair cannot.

    Airsoft players have put out calls to help raise the funds. Matt Furey-King of the United Kingdom Airsoft Players’ Union (UKAPU) and Claymore Airsoft TV also put out a call to action to help Tank:

    Hi Gents,

    I'm just trying to spread the word about Simon Jameson's crowd funding project. Simon is a well known airsoft player from Ireland who fights from a wheelchair due to a degenerative disability. Regardless, Simon is a proper airsoft player, like many of us airsoft is something he's thrown himself into heart and soul. Unfortunately his current wheelchair is on its last legs and was never capable over rough terrain, so he's crowdfunding to enable him to buy and modify a HexHog off-road wheelchair. He's one of us so please donate and we can get him back out there in the field and laying rounds down.

    Tank has had some great support so far, and even got on the radio, so crowdfunding has gone really well (half way there) but airsoft is still a small community so we need help from all over the world to get up to the final amount required.

    Every little donation will help.

    Many Thanks,

    Matt Furey-King

    Bodgeups Airsoft also invited their Facebook Page to go and make donation to the GoFundMe Page and also promoted a T-Shirt designed by HiWez and proceeds of the shirt will go to the fundraiser:

    If you haven't heard about Project Tank yet, where have you been?!

    Simon Jameson is exactly the kind of guy who personifies the good side of Airsoft. There's been a lot of negativity floating around recently, and learning Simon's story is inspirational. Airsoft means a lot to all of us, none more so than him.

    Please please please check out his Youtube channel & Facebook page, and leave a donation so we can keep this fantastic guy in the hobby we all love.

    You can purchase the “I Support Project Tank 2.0” Shirt by Hiwez on RedBubble.

    Sim-Tac Airsoft, located in Gibstown, Meath, Ireland will be hosting “Project Tank - Fundraiser for Simon Jameson” event on the 13th of March 2016. Interested players in Ireland can book their slots now:

    Ladies & Airsofters:

    This Event has being put together to help and Support Simon (Tank 2.0),In Order for him to be able to Fight in all types of terrain, he has found a Company in the UK, that build these types of ATV's for Wheelchair User's His goal is €20,000.00 we know this event will not make that kind of Money, However it will contribute to the Figure he need, We plan to hold an Day of Airsofting with a Percentage of the gate going to Simons fund.

    Its €25 Per Head for whoever's going, weather your playing a full or half day, with a Raffle featuring Airsoft Prizes during Lunch.

    If you have been doing something to help Project Tank 2.0, drop us a message about what your activity is all about. But it is also better if you inform Tank himself about it so he can personally thank and post an acknowledgement on his Facebook Page.

    More hands (and funds) are needed, let’s get Tank the upgrade he deserves!


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    BE Meyer GLARE® MOUT

    It looks like we are back to the debate of banning lasers pointers, whether in airsoft or for general use due to hazard they pose to the human eye, especially with the case of green lasers. In the latest news about the misuse of green laser, a Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK was forced to go back and land on Heathrow after being illuminated with a green laser about six to seven miles west of the airport according to The Register.

    Whilst the pilot was checked by a paramedic, he/she was fortunate that the eyes did not require further hospital treatment. A damaged eye to a pilot is like the end of life, as it will immediately mean a loss of career. The worst thing that could have happened had the laser been powerful enough when it hit the pilot’s eye was to blind the pilot and perhaps the co-pilot, and putting in grave danger hundreds of passengers on the plane.

    In 2014 alone, there were around 1,440 incidents of lasers being used on aircraft flying in and out of British airports according to the Civil Aviation Authority. That number is worryingly high and luckily no fatal accidents have not happened.

    There have been many incidents of lasers, especially green lasers, being used to disorient people. The military have their own version of green lasers designed to stop people from driving their cars into checkpoints, as the Dazzlers, as they are called, were used in Iraq to good effect. In airsoft, there have been discussions on whether to ban green lasers, even the military ones.

    But are all lasers bad? Dr. Airsoft has this to say about lasers:

    The use of lasers in airsoft is surrounded by controversy and contradictory information. I have spoken on lasers on CQB Radio, Episode 12.

    Most laser sights are under 5mW in power.  This can injure the eye with prolonged exposure, but the human eye has a protective reflex when exposed to such bright lights.  You naturally blink or look away before much damage can be done.  There are class 2/II lasers which are used in laser pointers and low-power gun sights which would not be expected to cause accidental injury.  I wish all laser sights used in airsoft were limited to class 2 (or class II).  Many real steel sights are class IIIa or class 3R which means up to 5 mW.  This is unnecessary in the distances involved in airsoft and there is minor risk of accidental injury.  It really takes purposely staring into the light to cause a significant effect on vision.  The effects of accidental exposure to under 5 mW of energy rarely if ever result in permanent injury.

    I have yet to find data in the medical literature which supports the idea that green lasers are more harmful than red.  It would be safe to avoid class III/3R green lasers.  You should be fine with any color of class II/2 laser.  Use with caution class III/3R lasers and never look at them through a magnifying scope.  The scope can magnify the light and increase the damage done by a low-power laser.

    I encourage airsoft retailers to prominently display "Class 2" or the power rating in milliwatts on appropriate laser sights that are low powered so that we can feel safe playing with them. I would feel completely comfortable playing against other players using "Class 2" lasers.

    Dr. Airsoft Recommendation: Use and play only with Class 2 or Class II (<1mw) lasers.

    However in airsoft, many airsoft players tend to purchase cheap PEQ replicas that come equipped with green lasers or laser sights that are made in China. Many of these can be purchased via eBay which is said to be the biggest source for such lasers. These cheap Chinese-made lasers may not be properly labeled with their true power nor do not come with IR filters to remove that block Infrared Light which is invisible to the human eye.

    For now, laws on misuse or banning of lasers are on a country to country basis, so it is best to check local laws before using airsoft. For the airsoft player to avoid mishaps such with lasers, he/she should do the following:

    • Only buy lasers that are truly within safe levels of power and also come with IR filters.
    • Try to use protective eyewear with Laser Protective Lens (LPL)
    • Avoid pointing the laser to the eyes of opposing airsoft players. Aim center mass.
    • Never aim laser at aircraft or moving vehicles
    • Do not lend your lasers to people you think are up to no good.

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    HAENEL Rifle System 8/9

    In February 2014, the Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) or the German Army's Purchasing, Information Technology and Support Operations Office, put out a tender for the purchase of medium range sniper rifles chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum that will get the Bundeswehr designation as the G29 (Scharfschutzenwaffe mittlere Reichweite Gewehr G29).

    The contract was estimated to be 2.29 million euros and the winning rifle will supplement and eventually replace the G28 sniper rifle which is based on the Accuracy International AWM Sniper Rifle.

    After numerous delays and legal wrangling, CG Haenel Suhl GmbH’s, with their offering, the Haenel RS9, won the contract early this month. According to all4shooters.com, the contract entails the company to supply 115 rifles, equipped with Steiner Military riflescope 5-25x56 and B&T Rotex silencers.

    The Haenel RS9 which is the magnum version of the Haenel RS8. is a bolt action rifle and chambered with the .338 Lapua Magnum only but gives it a maximum range of 1,500 metres.  It is a heavy rifle at 7.54 kilograms and has a folding stock, which is useful for storing in a gun bag and it comes with a specially designed muzzle break to reduce recoil, jump, and flash. Accordingly, the RS 9, or the G29 Medium Range Sniper Rifle as its official Bundeswher designation, will be having the RAL8000 colour, which is the same colour as the G28 DMR in use in the Bundeswehr and supplied by Heckler & Koch.

    If airsoft players want a  new sniper rifle in the market, then perhaps they should clamor for airsoft manufacturers to consider the Haenel RS9.

    C.G. Haenel, located in Suhl/Germany, offers a sniper rifle system developed especially for the use by police and military forces. The bolt-action concept sets a standard in ergonometrics and modularity. The rifle can easily be adapted to the needs of the shooter and the situation – without using any tools.

    The RS8/9 system is a “state of the art rifle” with high functionality. The developers only used the best available materials and production technologies – without any compromises. Experienced weapon designers developed the rifle in cooperation with experienced police officers.

    C.G. Haenel uses powerful production facilities in Suhl with the possibility to produce cold-hammered barrels and to apply CNC technologies. The production process meets the industrial standard ISO 9001 and NATO standards.


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    DevTac Airsoft Mask In Action

    One of the most asked questions by Popular Airsoft readers is where they can order the DevTac RONIN Airsoft Mask. Developed by Wesley Shibata of Japan-based Devtac Designs, it is a sought after airsoft mask and perhaps is the coolest, most comfortable and durable airsoft mask in the market today.

    The Ronin Airsoft Mask is designed with good aesthetics and practicality without compromising protection in mind. It is so far the airsoft mask that we know that has the option to use Kevlar which most probably know as the material that is used for bulletproof vests. When Wesley first contacted Popular Airsoft about the mask in 2012, the helmet was not ballistic tested yet, and we never thought he would seriously follow through with making sure that it will have ballistic protection.

    But he persevered in giving the RONIN another level of protection. By December 2014, Wesley announced the Devtac RONIN Kevlar Level IIIA Tactical Ballistic Helmet. Level IIIA is the highest level in soft body armour, and with it the helmet has ballistic protection with the ability to stop bullets up to .357 SIG and .44 Magnum.  From an airsoft helmet, it is now a serious ballistic helmet that can be used for real tactical situations and perhaps the coolest-looking ballistic helmet that should attract the attention of real world operators.

    With this development, Devtac Designs got the attention of Armour Wear, a company based in the USA that use Carbon Nano Tubes in their armour protection products allowing to reduce the use of Kevlar and other ballistic materials in their products, making them lightweight. We are not sure if they are going to use the Carbon Nano Tubes for the removal ballistic plates in the Devtac RONIN Ballistic Helmet.

    Here is a video of the helmet on display at the Armour Wear booth during the SHOT Show 2016 as taken by Milspec Monkey:

    As mentioned in the video, the RONIN Ballistic Helmet provides 70% premium ballistic protection, which is better than no protection at all. There are tweaks to the design but overall, the most of the original design is maintained, including the Neodymium N52 magnets that allow one to put on or remove the cheek plates. It is recommended that users of the helmet install higher scope mounts so they can aim properly. The easy removal of the cheek plates allows for the user to pick up and use another person’s rifle but with sights/optics not configured with the RONIN Ballistic Helmet.

    The helmet is ventilated, preventing fogging of the lenses with a built-in fan. The lens was initially designed with the help of a Suzuki aerodynamic engineer and we are not sure if this remains to be the case with the ballistic version. We assume that that since this is a ballistic helmet; even the lenses provide ballistic protection that either meets or exceeds MIL-PRF-31013.

    Armour Wear aims to market the RONIN Ballistic Helmet to SWAT teams especially to the breachers who go in first when clearing rooms. They are in the most risky position that body protection is not enough and face/head protection is much required. The RONIN Ballistic Helmet would surely give that shock or intimidating effect apart from the fact that it is an actual protective wear system.

    While Armour Wear did not mention the pricing for the helmet for the US market, Devtac Designs at their website have priced the Level IIA protection version at US$1,350 and the Level IIIA protection at US$1,480 with 7mm plates. A backplate is sold separately for US$450.00.

    Will Devtac Designs maintain the airsoft RONIN Mask or focus on delivering the ballistic helmet? So far, the website does not mention the RONIN Airsoft Mask and more on the ballistic version. But it would great if Wesley would like to clarify these as many airsoft players actually want to own a mask.


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    CAT FLIR S60 Smartphone

    How fast technology really evolves nowadays. It looks like it was just very recent that thermal imaging accessories for smartphones were released, allowing anyone to use their smartphones to act as thermal cameras whereas before this tool was mainly available to the military and first responders.

    But now, with the recent announcement by Caterpillar and FLIR, there is no need to buy a thermal camera separately to use with a smartphone. With the CAT S60, the thermal camera is already integrated with the smartphone.

    To be unveiled today at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, the S60 is a smartphone built by the Bullitt Group, the company that makes the phones for Caterpillar. At the back of the CAT S60 are two camera lenses. The first one is with the Lepton Thermal Imaging Sensor developed by FLIR while the second camera lens 13 megapixel camera that you can use as the main camera for everyday use and has dual flash.  The front camera is a 5 megapixel camera since what is the use of smartphone nowadays when it does not have a front-facing camera to take selfies with?

    The thermal camera can detect heat and measure surface temperature at distances of 50 to 100 feet. For first responders, outdoors people, utility people, and even airsoft players can find practical uses for the CAT S60 with thermal camera.

    Since it carries the Caterpillar brand known for machineries used in tough areas such as construction and mining, it is expected that the S60 is a tough and rugged smartphone. The screen is a Gorilla Glass 4 display that can withstand drops from up to five and half feet and meets MIL-STD-810 milspec standard. You can also use the 4.7" touch screen display even while wearing gloves.

    As for its smartphone specifications, it uses the Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor, 4G LTE/Wifi/Bluetooth/NFC connectivity, 32GB on-board storage, and 3GB RAM. For location services it uses the GPS, the Russian GLOSNASS, and the Chinese Beidou networks.

    For airsoft players wanting to use this as their thermal imager for airsoft games, while it is a tough smartphone, it would still need a rifle mount and protective screen to protect from incoming BBs. For third party airsoft gun accessories makers, they can check on the S60 dimensions to develop a rifle mount and protective case for it.

    According to Caterpillar’s press release, the CAT S60 will be released later this year with a retail price of €649/£419/US$599.


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