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    Ian Patrick Bivens (Killbuckets)

    In what has been shocking news to friends, relatives, and airsoft players who knew Ian Patrick Bivens, more popular known as “Killbuckets”. His Facebook Page has been inundated with condolences and wishes of a better place after he took his own life last 12 February 2016 at the age of 53, according to his sister who posted the news on his Facebook page.

    As to why he took his own life, we are not privy to any information and we would rather allow his friends and family mourn in private.

    Neither I nor any of the contributors of Popular Airsoft personally know Killbuckets, but we are very much aware of what he does for airsoft as many others are. He is well known for his airsoft gun and gun prop designs, especially the hard to own heavy weapons type such as the M1919, the M2Hb, ANM2 Stinger, and the M134 Minigun, hence he was also known as Mr. Minigun with a website to go with it. He also shared his design patterns to those who want to build their own airsoft support weapons but would be happy if they commission him to make one for them. In fact he built over 450 custom airsoft Brownings for his customers worldwide via the now defunct

    In January 2011, Killbuckets contacted Popular Airsoft to announce that he will be leaving airsoft after his wife survived cancer in the previous year and “to take it easy and live the good life”. He decided to call it quits when in Christmas 2010, he decided to dropped everything for the holiday season and found out he liked it. He also announced the he was leaving his patterns for those who wanted to make their own airsoft or dummy Brownings, explaining that the patterns he made already paid for themselves many times. As a hobby, he will still own airsoft guns to use for plinking and devote some time to 3-channel indoor helicopters and hobby robotics.

    But even with that announcement, he never seemed to have gotten over tinkering with designs and patterns of heavy airsoft and dummy guns (for use as gun props). He still found time to build monster airsoft/prop guns that are thoroughly unique. One of his major projects right before the announcement of his death was the Triple Monster Gun. Indeed it was a monster as he put together 3 minigun barrels in one gun. Just imagine if he turned it into a fully working airsoft gun and bringing to the field. The OPFOR will surrender even if before you press the trigger.

    It was always a treat whenever he posts photos on his Facebook Page of his latest projects. We always looked forward to his new designs.

    With his passing, we don’t know if his patterns will have lives of their own with other tinkerers building on his patterns and sharing them around. He will be missed, especially by the people he made happy with his well crafted miniguns and machine guns. He will be remembered for his work and the patterns he shared.

    Here was a man who made things and willingly shared them to others. Killbuckets, may you rest in peace.

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    U.S. Army Support Gunner

    In the quest in minimizing collateral damage, especially in terms of civilian casualties, three researchers at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center were awarded a patent for the concept of patent a limited range, self-destructing projectile.  The patent was filed on the 7th of May 2013 and was eventually approved last September 1, 2015 according to

    The concept of the limited range projectile states that it will have pyrotechnics built in the bullet. When fired, the bullets explode after a short period of time, stopping to bullet in its flight. The pyro built in is immediately ignited when fired, just like the concept of fireworks and will ignite the reactive material after achieving a curtained determined range and will render the bullet “into an aerodynamically unstable object.”

    U.S. Patent 9,121,679 B1, "Limited Range Projectile"

    This means that civilian bystanders standing further away from the actual target will potentially not get hit by the bullet, and that means lesser civilian casualties especially in built-up areas such as urban centers. A stray bullet or a missed shot can spell life and death those who are not the intended recipients of the bullet.

    According to Stephen McFarlane, one of the researchers, "The biggest advantage is reduced risk of collateral damage." He also added that, "In today's urban environments others could become significantly hurt or killed, especially by a round the size of a .50 caliber, if it goes too far."

    So with the patent, will the project go forward? Unfortunately, it may not for the meantime as funding for the project has dried up. But McFarlane is unfazed, "This was the first patent we applied for that has been approved. That in itself is an accomplishment." They hope that the project will be revived when more technology is needed by soldiers to make them more effective in the battlefield with less collateral damage.

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    Facebook Unlike Keyboard

    We are getting some Facebook posts by airsofters that some airsoft buy and sell groups are getting banned or having themselves renamed. There are some that still remain to be functioning normally and have their names still intact, maybe not for long. Firearms groups and other related groups are also experiencing the same.

    Facebook announced in late January 2016 that they will not be allowing firearms trades publicly and privately on the social media network, and will only allow licensed firearms dealers to put up advertisements as long as transactions are not conducted within Facebook and other web properties that it owns such as Instagram.

    Initially we thought that this covers real firearms but it looks like Facebook have made it across the board. If you think your group is not covered since it might be legal in your own country, Facebook will be implementing its new policy throughout the whole Facebook community:

    What is considered a firearm in the list of regulated goods in Facebook’s Community Standards?

    The Facebook Community Standards don’t allow attempts by unauthorized dealers to buy, sell or trade firearms. This includes:

    • Rifles
    • Shotguns
    • Machine guns
    • Handguns
    • Pistols
    • Revolvers
    • Firearm receivers
    • Antique guns
    • Black powder firearms
    • Muzzle-loading firearms
    • BB guns
    • Airsoft guns
    • Air guns
    • Air rifles
    • Paintball markers
    • Firearm replicas
    • Non-functioning firearms
    • Curios and relics
    • Destructive devices such as bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles or mines

    We understand that some of these items may not be legally regulated everywhere people use Facebook. In order to enforce our policies as fairly and consistently as possible, we use one broad set of standards for the entire Facebook community.

    The problem with existing Facebook airsoft buy and sell groups changing the names in order to remain on the good side, it may just be a futile hide and seek game as Facebook can shutdown groups anytime it wants to (a disgruntled member might just report your group anytime). Even appealing will take longer that sometimes it is futile to appeal to lift the ban on their group.

    So what now if Facebook shuts down airsoft buy and sell groups? It’s time to go back to the good old airsoft forums.

    Many airsoft forums have seen a decline in members and activity as more and more airsoft players are now depending on Facebook to interact with each other since the social network is turning into a massive network of various interests in one place. Rather than logging into different websites of different interests, on Facebook, you need to login once and immediately you can interact with friends, family, team mates and follow different fields of interests, from airsoft to celebrities, to photos of cute cats.

    But with such a development, perhaps it is time for airsoft players to go back to their favorite airsoft forums since without them, the growth of airsoft would not have been possible without them. Even before Facebook, MySpace or Friendster started, the airsoft forums have been actively promoting the airsoft --- providing support to newbies and discussing different topics from legal to airsoft gun maintenance to airsoft gun and accessories trade.

    Airsoft forums have been very helpful in facilitating trades of unwanted airsoft guns, accessories and tactical gear. Most follow the local laws regulating such trades (if such laws exist), and are important venues for the secondhand airsoft market.

    And the best thing about airsoft forums? They really care about airsoft as they are run by airsoft players themselves. As for Facebook, well it is run by people who care more about shareholders rather than their users. So in the end, airsoft forums are still the best refuge for airsoft players who want to connect to other airsoft players and eventually do legal trades of airsoft items.

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    Ricoh WG-M2 Action Camera

    The war of action cameras continues, and that’s a good thing. That means competitors will have to work harder on producing feature-packed, more rugged, and more affordable action cameras. I just remember a few years back when just one or two in an airsoft game has an action camera. But now almost everyone in the field has an action camera, and some have more than one --- mounted on the helmet, two mounted rear and front on the airsoft gun, and one even on the wrist!

    With the new WG-M2 from Ricoh (or Pentax for others), now you can have a wider field of view with its fast F2 240-degree ultra wide angle lens. As for video recording it can capture the action at 30fps in 4K resolution, 60/30fps at 1080p and 120fps at 720p.  Still photos are taken at 8 megapixels. But with the 4K resolution, you can just capture a frame in case you want to take have a still photo of the scene.

    What’s more? It is shock resistant as it can withstand a fall from up to 2 metres, waterproof up to 20 metres without needing a special case, and is cold resistant a 14° Fahrenheit (-10° Celsius).  It these specs are not impressive enough for you take your wallet, then there are even more features.

    The 1.5-inch LCD screen on top can help you in framing your shots and there is a screen orientation where you can view the footage at an upright position regardless of the camera’s position.  It vibrates to indicate either the start or end of a recording which is also convenient if you can’t hear a beep when you push the record button. With Wifi connectivity, you can share photos and videos wireless with your mobile phone or tablet.

    Convinced that the Ricoh WG-M2 is the action camera for you? The caveat for now is that the colours are something that you don’t want mounted on your helmet as these are in bright colours. You can repaint or just wait until they come out with more subdued colours.

    The Ricoh WG-M2 Action Camera will be released in April 2016 with an introductory price of US$299.00.

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    Scar Inc. Training as a Team

    Yeah? Do you? This question came to my mind as I am curious how many airsoft teams around the world actually do some basic training exercises. When I mean about basic training exercise, it is about calisthenics, doing runs, and going through obstacle courses as a unit, whether as a squad or as a platoon. Usually, when airsoft teams train or practice, if they do, they practice more about squad tactics made for firefights or skirmishes.

    Here is an example from the Danish airsoft team, SCAR Inc., going through an actual army obstacle course in this video:

    Well, they could do away with some of the gear they had on them in this video so they can focus more on doing better times going through the obstacle course. But they do provide an example on what airsoft teams, especially those who go on competitions and milsim events, should be doing in between these activities --- making themselves physically fit that they can go over and around obstacles that the AO of any airsoft event puts on the way to mission objectives.

    Even if not on a team basis, how many airsofters make themselves physically fit for airsoft games?

    I always have this belief that having a nice loadout and airsoft gun do not make you an effective airsoft player. Even if you have the best equipment and airsoft guns, they will not make you the best airsoft player in the field, perhaps the best looking for photo ops.  I have seen players with bare bones equipment doing more effective airsoft ops because of their basic training. For those who are or who were in the service, they understand this well and always make sure they keep themselves physically and mentally fit through exercise for any eventuality.

    Thus, to be an effective airsoft player, you need to do two basic things before you even think about being proficient with using airsoft guns:

    1. Exercise and be fit as an individual player
    2. Exercise and be fit as part of an airsoft team

    I know that this is not everyone’s cup of tea as many airsoft players around the world are more of the leisure type --- going to the usual weekend skirmishes to let off some steam and socialize (they maybe are the majority) and not straining themselves to go through some tough army obstacle courses or the morning 5-mile run before they actually start shooting each other with airsoft guns.

    But for those who put more serious effort on being better airsoft players and being part of better airsoft teams, they should consider putting more time doing the basic exercises. From there, they can move on to doing more awesome things that will emulated by other airsoft teams.

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    SlickAxe NLAirsoft Airsoft Meetup 2015

    We are now deep in our preparations for the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 that will take place from the 4th to the 7th of March 2016, we are excited to see the airsoft community in one room when the Airsoft Meetup, now on its 5th year, which is scheduled on the 6th of March at the Hong Kong Room inside the Nuremberg Messe.

    Familiar faces and new faces will be at the Airsoft Meetup where some of the leading and most innovative airsoft companies in the world will be presenting. For this year, we are excited that the list will be showing the latest and what is to come for airsoft in 2016.

    As to what these new stuff are, we really do not know all, but some have already been announced at the SHOT Show 2016 in Las Vegas, or at the 19th Hooha Show in Taipei early this month. In a few days’ time it is the turn of Europe to see up close and personal the Airsoft Innovations Cyclone Impact Grenade, new products for Europe from Gunfire, the Python Thermal Mask from the Nexo Group, the Precision Targets from the DaVinci Dynamics and what’s new for airsoft from Tippmann. Regulars such as RedWolf Airsoft and Action Sport Games will be there as well.

    If you have not registered yet for the Airsoft Meetup, better do so right now so you will have a reserve seat. From there you get to meet the airsoft media mainly from Europe, but also other airsoft media from other parts of the world.

    Hmmm, I would suggest bringing some eye protection to the Airsoft Meetup just in case some of the demos will have BBs scattering but we do trust the presenters do their demos in the safest way possible.Remember, just a few days from today to IWA Outdoor Classics 2016, and for the Airsoft Meetup.

    See you in Germany this week!

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    Slingshot Guy Full Auto Nerf Gun Firing Scalpel Darts

    JoergSprave, the man from Burgkunstadt, Germany known as the Slingshot Guy in his YouTube “Slingshot Channel”, just made the Nerf Gun dangerous by modifying one the shoots Nerf Darts with scalpels. Just the thought of a scalpel will make you cringe after remembering those emergency room dramas on TV such as “Code Black.”

    A scalpel is clean and sharp and a valuable surgeon’s tool. In the wrong hands, it becomes a dangerous weapon, and a Nerf Gun that fires scalpel darts? Now, that is really, really, dangerous.

    What worries me is that one of the safest and fun toy guns in the market might become marked to be banned through legislation by politicians who will seize upon the videos of JoergSprave as an example that Nerf Guns can be dangerous weapons too. Airsoft in itself is safe, but it is a favorite punching bag by politicians who want to score points on gun violence, though banning airsoft guns will not actually solve gun violence since gun injuries and deaths are usually caused by people with real steel guns.

    As to how he was able to create Nerf Scalpel Darts, he used the No. 25 scalpel and shorten the darts to make them fit the drum. As to go through the barrel, making them able to fly straight and true to a target, he removed the guiding pins. Here is the video on how it was done:

    Not content with what has been achieved, he went to modify Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 Blaster to be able to shoot the Nerf Scalpel Darts on full auto. He just had to embed the scalpel deeper into the shortened darts so that they can be fed into the magazine and shot out of the barrel. He also changed the batteries with more powerful ones to give it more kick and power to do damage:

    The examples are educational, albeit dangerous and we strongly recommend to you not to try this at home. Nerf Blasters, Nerf Darts, and scalpels? What can possibly go wrong that combination?

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    Soldier of Fortune Magazine Covers

    In the mid-to-late 1980s, as airsoft was slowly spreading its wings, and the airsoft community was mainly an underground one, there was one thing that many of the players always brought with them apart from the airsoft guns and hodge-podge gear they had put together --- a copy of an old or latest issue of the  Soldier of Fortune (SOF) Magazine. Yes, it was something that we took time to read together and go over the loadouts and stories of those featured in the magazine. At that time, there were no tablets or the World Wide Web to grab our attention and we lovingly read each issue of the magazine that we had in between games.

    The 1980s was when the SOF was at its height, spawning other rival publications such as Special Weapons and Tactics, Combat Ready, Combat Illustrated, and more.  What made SOF special is that most of its stories were written by or about those who have “been there, done that.” These were the guys that you may not like in the first place, but you will admire them for being in the thick of the action and even incredible stories. It was also controversial as it got embroiled in lawsuits by families of victims killed by hitmen who were hired via ads placed on the magazine.

    But after over 40 years of print, SOF management has decided to close down the print magazine and will continue publications online.

    As its name says, SOF is the ultimate mercenary magazine with a lot of stories on low intensity conflict, unconventional warfare, and counterterrorism. Founded in 1975 by a former Green Beret who served in Vietnam, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve, (Ret.) Robert K. Brown, the SOF was initially a circular which was mainly about mercenary deployment in the mid to late 1970s. Many of its readers were Vietnam War vets, and even among us airsofters in the 1980s, our topic on airsoft was mainly about Vietnam, influenced in part by SOF, the critically acclaimed Vietnam war movies (Platoon, Hamburger Hill, Full Metal Jacket, Born On the Fourth of July, etc.), and the Tour of Duty TV Series in that decade.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, this readership of largely Vietnam War vets who are ageing and coupled with changes in the freelancer warfare had affected circulation and ad placements. From a staff of 50 and magazine sales of around 150,000 a month in the 1980s, Col. Brown now runs it with just a handful of people and not disclosing actual circulation. With the focus on being an online publication, it may try to harness revenues by tapping on its nearly a million followers on Facebook.

    The last print issue will be for April 2016, and features are “The Myths of Long Distance Combat Shooting” and “Holy War Combat Tour.” For those who follow SOF, this will be a collector’s item and if you are one, better grab yourself one to keep for posterity.

    Print magazines and newspapers in the developed world are struggling with declining print readership and ad revenues even if they have big online readerships. The online competition though is very fierce and online advertisers are very demanding of metrics and lower ad prices. In the same Wall Street Journal story about SOF, there are examples of firearms and military magazines experiencing declines.

    The only consolation with the sad news is that SOF will continue to publish online, but will it be able to get the attention of a new generation of readers who have many sources to get similar stories like what SOF offers online? That’s something to find out in the next few years.

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    DJI Phantom 4

    DJI just released perhaps the most advanced civilian hobbyist drone in the market today --- the DJI Phantom 4. For those who use camera drones to record the airsoft action the two main features of this new drone are what will make them save up to get one: the ability to avoid obstacles and can track humans.

    It is hard to crash the Phantom 4. If you try to intentionally collide it against a tree or a wall, it will brake to stop crashing into it.  If something can’t be avoided, it will stop and and will wait for your next command.  So what is the secret sauce of this new drone?

    The answer is more cameras. Apart from the 4K main camera that is used for capturing the action, there are four more: two are front facing and two are bottom facing. With the front cameras it can sense up to 50 feet away while it can sense up to 30 feet beneath it. DJI calls this magic the Obstacle Sensing System.

    As for the 4K camera, while it is the same as last year’s DJI top of the line models, the Phantom 4 has a new lens and gimbal system. It is also prepositioned to make sure that the propellers don’t get in the camera’s line of sight so it won’t ruin the footage. According to the company it has better corner sharpness and less chromatic aberration. All the better as apart from features of the drone to fly better and avoid obstacles, the actual result of better video and image quality is what will matter in the end.

    For the drone pilots who will trust the Phantom 4 will do its job with minimum control, they can use the Tapfly feature. With the controls, one just needs to push button for the drone to take off and once it is airborne, set the distance for it to travel, tap the live video feed and the drone will follow the what has been set. It will also return home smartly.

    The other cool feature is the ActiveTrack, with the DJI Mobile app, the drone owner can tap on what the camera will follow. Re-selecting a subject for a different frame shot can also be done, giving even better camera controls when covering an event. For airsoft videographers, this feature is a godsend as they can change the subject for the camera to follow.

    With the Sport Mode, the Phantom 4 can fly up to 45mph, making it a speedy drone in the market. Overall flight time is 28 minutes and a maximum range of 5 kilometers.

    If you want, the DJI Phantom 4 drone is now on pre-oder at the DJI website and Apple Store. As for the price it will retailed at US$1,400 upon release.

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    EnforceTac 2016

    Enforce Tac started as a preliminary event for the IWA Outdoor Classics organised for law enforcement, military and other security organisations to provide the venue where they can meet potential suppliers for their needs. As it grew over the years, Enforce Tac became a separate restricted exhibition and conference and for this year was held from the 2nd to the 3rd of March 2016.

    There are no airsoft exhibitors for this event, lest those airsoft companies offering the “training weapons” would be interested in showing up for this event. Nevertheless, there are interesting stuff that airsoft players can take notice. I can report this now before these get buried in the reports and airsoft guns and tactical gear in the next few days as Popular Airsoft starts its IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 coverage.

    Seeing Holosun at EnforceTac was a big surprise. It looks like they've had enough of being the OEM manufacturer they're mostly remembered from. I have never seen their full product line on one stand so I spent quite a lot of time here. They had the regular dot, circle dot and cross reticle sights on display plus a very interesting weapon mounted flashlight which has visible green laser built into the bezel of the flashlight. Their circle dot reticle is very similar to the one used by EOTech but the projection is not holographic. Laserluchs will carry the Holosun brand in the EU and they are already selling a few sights on, though unfortunately, is not the full product line.

    It's great to see that H&K knows different colours other than the RAL8000. The pictured 417-A2 is mostly anodized instead of painted but almost every part is coloured differently, and it still looks amazing with the skinnier handguard (but the damned thing is heavier than Kelsey's burger!) and the behold the beauty of the Hensoldt sight!

    I like nice optics so next I went to the Hensoldt booth to check out the good stuff, I know it's basically Zeiss quality but still a bit expensive to stick it on an airsoft replica, although it is by far the sexiest fixed magnification scope out there.

    Next up was the Aimpoint display at their distributor's booth. Here, I thought I will check out the new 3x and 6x magnifiers but I found something more interesting: a SPUHR mount for the Comp M4 and its magnifier. The mount raises the dot 30mm above rail. and as you can see it has an adjusting knob on each side to provide elevation adjustments without messing with the sight itself. The SPUHR mount's adjusting knob has a different adjusting knob on each side, one side for 5.56 and the other for 7.62. Me want one now! Of course the magnifiers are nice as well but still no pictures on the final version, the optics are still covered with that 3D printed rubbery substance.

    More photos of the optics on display at Enforce Tac can be found at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

    That's my quick report on Enforce Tac 2016, now on to the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 where all the airsoft and tactical goodness that we can find willbe reported here.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Day 1

    One of the things I dread when going to the Nuremberg Messe for the IWA Outdoor Classics is the traffic--- vehicular and foot traffic. The IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 is no exception, as when we thought we arrived early just to beat the morning traffic, there were already people already lined-up to get their visitor badges and long queues of cars waiting to get inside the parking areas.  But at least for the press visitors, the line was the shortest than the rest.

    But of course, more cars and more people means a big event, so that means its good for the organisers of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 and the exhibitors inside the cavernous halls of Nuremberg Messe.

    After quick update of the website and checking of emails at the Press Room, Dom and I were ready to start the first day  of IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 and the first exhibition area the we hit was the RedWolf Airsoft booth and it was already busy on the first hour of the event. Already, there were people checking all the products on display.

    Paul Chu, the CEO of RedWolf Airsoft, greeted us and led us to the rest of the RedWolf Airsoft team, such as Chris Kong, Danny Lau, Tim Shelby, Max, Lai, and more. As always, the tireless Clarence “The Airsoft Surgeon” was there as well. Max Lai quickly brought us to the RWA display to bring us up to date on their to be released offering, the RWA Agency Arms pistols and kits. The Agency Arms pistols were good looking ones and airsoft players would be in for a treat with one of the pistols on display. But we'll let Max tell you why and that means you'll have to wait for the video which we shall upload next week. From there we checked once again the great performing RWA Nighthawk blowback pistols that Dom like so much.

    Soon after we checked out the latest in the Tokyo Marui line-up, the M4A1 MWS and the AA-12. As we have already reviewed the MWS, we were more keen to have a closer look at the AA-12 as it was our first time to see up close and personal. Just like what Tokyo Marui promised before they released the AA-12, it is a good looking shotgun with its triple barrel, triple hop-up, and FET features.

    Tim Shelby of RWTV showed us the upcoming GHK Steyr AUG gas blowback bullpup and the display unit was impressive and really go to hold. Take down is easy and just like the real steel firearm. Charging handle sounds good when tested. Too bad we cannot do a test fire of the rifle inside the venue.

    It was already 1100H as the means that it was up for our next appointment, which was Action Sport Games (ASG). Thomas Mikkelsen was there on hand to talk about the upcoming ASG EVO Inferno, which is the HPA-powered ASG CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 using the Wolverine Airsoft Inferno HPA engine. It will be the first fully HPA-powered airsoft gun from ASG and should gert HPA airsoft fans worked up with this. Interesting stuff also is the ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow blowback pistol that airsoft practical shooters can consider as their race gun with accessories available for the purpose of Airsoft IPSC.  The anticipated ASG Bren 805 is on display as well and we cannot wait for it to be released. They also have the Devil AEG series made specifically for airsoft players who play like devils. As for the Dan Wesson 715 Revolvers, they were on display in full glory.

    After ASG, we visited more booths to set up appointments and rushed to the Press Room for a quick lunch and do some website updates. So far, our day is just really beginning.

    After lunch, up next was Modify-Tech, where Jane Liu and her crew were there waiting for to tell more about the XTC-G1 Carbine AEG. Finally released, the XTC-G1 is getting raves from many serious airsoft players with the thought that went into its design, externally and internally. They will also be releasing CQB version for players wanting a more compact XTC-G1.

    Right after Modify-Tech, it's another Taiwanese airsoft company to visit – Star Rainbow Company (SRC). On display are some interesting airsoft carbines with the Wirecutter/LVOA type rail and they do look good. SRC still are using their tried and tested Gen III gearboxes as seen  in their SR4 AEG series.  For those familiar with the Valken Tactical Battle Machines or own of them, those are made by SRC for Valken.

    The last booth we visited for the day, was at Gunfire booth which is teeming with visitors checking out what they have on display and have their photos taken with the Gunfire ladies, also known as the GFC Calendar Girls. But we got busy quickly with Maroc being helpful enough to give us a guided tour of their booth. The SPECNA Arms, especially known for their SAEC quick spring release system were on display and another demo of the SAEC was done. Also on display were E&L Airsoft Gen 2 AK AEGs and a sample of the E&L Airsoft AR AEG. APS products designed for 3-Gun shooting such as the BOAR and the APS EMG SAI 870 Shotgun looked really good when inspected closely as well as the shotguns from PPX such as the XM-26 which can be used as a Masterkey. Chargers from Electro River, Claw Gear Gloves, and Black Mountain Tactical Gear were also on display.

    It was already 5pm when we were done with out video taking and getting out of the Messe was hellish due to traffic with visitors on their way home or back to their hotels. After being dropped off by Mike Belousov of Border War, and just making sure my room was cleaned up, the next date was dinner and a night out with Mike, Dom, Ronald and Luuk of NLAirsoft, and aRick of BunnyWorkshop. I think I forgot how I got back to the hotel as around 2 in the morning on a belly full of German beer,

    More photos of the Day 1 at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Day 2

    One of the hardest part of being in the airsoft media (and would also be relevant to other media people) is sleeping in the early hours of the morning and waking up in an hour or two. That's how it was for us on the second day of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 and Day 2 is always the longest day in the four-day event.

    ICS was the first booth we went two, as we always make sure we get to see the latest in the Transform4- CXP series. For this year, it's the ICS CXP Captain and it's made with CQB in mind, and just like its bigger brothers, it has the Transform4 split gearbox and electric blowback. ICS are also going into the airsoft pistol business, announcing the BLE line with the Non-Blowback Makarov and the BLE Alpha Pistol which has some similarity with M&P9 pistol that Cybergun demanded that they remove it from display.

    Without an appointment, we showed up the VFC booth and Richard, Ken, and Joy were there busy taking care of customers and visitors. They have on display the latest in their Avalon premium line series, the SR-25 Gas Blowback Rifle, and soon to be released FABARM Shotguns which we posted news about last month, The FABARM STF/12 Shotgun series will be released later this year. If you are thinking why there no H&K VFC rifles on display at their booth, it's because these are on display at the big Umarex display area in Hall 7-A.

    Another unexpected visit that we made was at iWholesales who are distributors of A&K, Bolt Airsoft, WE Airsoft, Ares Airsoft/Amoeba Airsoft, FMA, and many more. We finally got to have on our hands the double barrel series from WE Airsoft such as their 1911 and G Series. Dom have developed a liking for the stainless steel double barrel 1911 on display and is planning to get one. As for Ares Airsoft, they put on display an airsoft prototype of the Otto Repa Mod SOC .308 rifle. At first glance, it looks like a 21st century version of the Walther WA 2000. We were looking for the WE TA-2015, or an airsoft gas blowback that looks like the FN P90. However, it was not on display due to demands of Cybergun which sent a representative accompanied by the police according to Jacky Singh, the owner of iWholesales.

    Next up was DAGRECKER which we first mentioned during IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 and it ,may not be tactical for many airsoft fans, they are a fun company to consider especially when you want to have an airsoft party. They provide fun electronic airsoft targets which can be used on or off the field --- even at home! According to Hans Krielen, the DAGRECKER CEO, they will be opening an entertainment centre in Mönchengladbach later this year. They are developing an HPA-powered double-barrelled airsoft machine gun for this purpose, to make shooting their targets more fun. They also have smaller versions of their electronic shooting targets that can be used at home and these are all available right now on

    It was lunch for me and I had to work on finishing the Day 1 report so Dom had to go as the Lone Ranger to visit other booths and he has the following to report:

    At Cabot Guns I saw some of the best 1911s of the show. Imagine the blue frame with a white pearl handle, an airsoft version would be serious collector's item.

    UF Pro is a company from Slovenia making garments for tactical applications. Their Striker HT combat pants is full of interesting ideas like an extra vertical zipper on the side pockets which becomes the horizontal pockets when you're in a sitting position, this way providing easy access to your gadgets. The side pockets also include internal organizers so smaller items like a flashlight for example won't dangle around in a huge side pocket. Ventilation slots are also added right above the knee and the abdomen area. They offer two different knee protectors that can be combined together to feel comfort and safety at the same time. The first optional layer can be a memory-foam like pad which looks a lot like the one comes from other brands but this forms around your knees and hardens up on pressure. The second knee protection layer is a hard but flexible polymer plate and to cover the two layers you have a Cordura  reinforced pocket. The material is polycotton so the pants are a bit on the heavy side but to fight the relative rigidness of the heavier materials UF Pro changed the material at the rear to Schoeller Dynamic stretchy fabric and they also added loops on the bottom of each legs that you can attach to your boots keeping the pants at the same place the whole time. The Striker HT also includes a zipper along the waistline where you can attach UF Pro's Windstopper layer, which is basically a breathable jacket for your legs but here you wear it in the inside instead of the outside like other systems on the market.

    At Helikon-Tex, I've checked out the shooter's mat and their other new stuff. I know they always have some great stuff and you can't really beat their prices and get better quality although recently I had to send back some of their garments because of missing threads in some areas, so make sure you do the QA for Helikon-Tex before you tear the tags off your freshly purchased UTPs. Their Hybrid Tactical Pants should give you a lower / more casual profile while keeping some key features of tactical pants. The HTP was paired with a prototype combat shirt. They also recently released internal organizers called Packcells in different sizes and some pouches for all the gadgets and medical supplies. Their Urban Tactical Hoodie was also on display.

    Texar is a company from Poland, their waterproof Hardshell Comodo jacket deserves some attention. They also sell backpacks and pouches among other thins so make sure to check out their website which is and download their catalog.

    At around 1300H, we get our first chance to see the Black Rain Ordnance airsoft versions being made by King Arms. There was a unit on display at the Black Rain Ordnance booth at the SHOT Show 2016 but here, they have more versions on display and we do like to sporty look of these rifles. A new line of King Arms airsoft rifles, the TWS or Training Weapons System, and the pistols licensed by Predator Tactical were on display as well and a more detailed presentation will be posted on our YouTube Channel. Also the MDT Sniper rifle was on display.

    At 1400H, we visited the Classic Army booth that was located in Hall 7 too and for this year they have a bigger presence. All the popular Classic Arm AEGs such as their AK, M4, and SR-25 rifles were on display but for the purpose of this visit, we were more interested in the Scarab and Nemesis  AEGs which are their original designs with KeyMod and M-LOK handguards together with a PDW-style skeletal stock. Christopher Ng explained more about these AEGs having more features such as a MOSFET.

    I was a bit late the ASG reception where I get to see familiar faces from UK airsoft community and the airsoft media,. From there, I had a quick chit-chat with Piotor and Lukasz of Gunfire, Chris of Airsoft Innovations, and Paul Chu of RedWolf Airsoft. By 1830H Ijoined Ronald of NLAirsoft and Luuk of NABV back to the Nuremberg City Centre and went to a nice steakhouse there. Mike and Peter of Border Wars also joined us where we have a hearty dinner, laughter, and light fun. We didn't plan on getting drunk that night and by 2230H, we called it a night.

    More photos of IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Day 3

    Our second night at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 was a bit of an improvement. A tiring second day where we did our gruesome job and trying to visit as many companies and exhibitors as possible plus nursing a hangover from all that beer on the first night, we decided to have a lighter evening over steaks, wine and beer. With Luuk of NABV, Ronald of NLAirsoft, Petr and Mike from Border War, it was still a riot and perhaps we were the most boisterous bunch inside the steakhouse. It is always funny to go with these guys and as we after we called it night, we all went back to our hotels still in stitches.

    The third day, Dom and I had to split responsibilities and I still need to update stories as I was not able to retrieve my laptop and other equipment when the Messe Press Room closed yesterday with us still in the halls.

    Dom checked out optics companies such as Vixen of Japan where he is impressed with the quality of lenses they use in their products as they are clear and with less chromatic aberration. From there he checked what new footwear from the AKU, known for their alpine and multi-terrain boots. The AKU AKU Pilgrim MK2 DS is in use by special forces units around the world.

    Tilak is a Czech company that does some well-made outdoor clothing. For airsoft players, they can check out the their Odin Anorak and Trousers which are made of Ventile, a cotton material developed in World War II by the British Shirley Institute for pilots and it is weatherproof.  Even with its long history, it is widely used by outdoors clothing companies and military clothing suppliers with survivalist preferring to using it due to burning and tearing resistance.

    There are airsoft manufacturers in Hall 3 as well, though most were concentrated in Hall 7 and 7A which are on the opposite side of the Messe. Here, Dom was able to visit Qian An Precision, which is more known as Double Eagle Airsoft, and LI CHENG Technique Business Company, which actually translates into LCT Airsoft.

    Most, if not all, HPA-airsoft companies, had a presence at IWA Outdoor Classics 2016, and it is the first time that we see PolarStar Airsoft as well. Other HPA-airsoft companies that had their products on display were Wolverine Airsoft, Tippmann, and Valken Tactical.

    Planet Beta are establishing their name in the guncam segment, and for the airsoft market, they have released the ICU gun cam/tacticam that can be mounted to under rail of most airsoft pistols that have that feature. The ICU records at 720p HD, which is good enough though we hope it could go to at least 1080p even if most compact/action camera makers are trying to introduce 4K to their products.

    By 1100H, it was time for our appointment with the Nexo Group. Popular Airsoft readers have been aware of this company since October 2015 when we posted a story about the Nexo Group Python Thermal Mask. At their booth were Sandro and Alessio Bua, the father and son team who created the Python Mask which can be used by airsoft players, first responders, law enforcement, and military (they are creating a version to meet the LE/MIL standards). The Python thermal mask is indeed interesting and we shall be following this up with another story of our meetup with Nexo Group at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016.

    By 12 noon, we had to have a quick lunch as we’ll have to prepare for the Airsoft Meetup, the main airsoft event at the IWA Outdoor Classics where airsoft companies are able to meet the airsoft media and community in one room.

    After a quick introduction and welcoming of participants by Ronald of NLAirsoft to the Airsoft Meetup, Eric Gautier, the CEO of BO Manufacture came up to give us a briefing on their upcoming technology for airsoft, the MTO Phantom, an AEG that promises to work for a million rounds without the need for constant maintenance and a responsive trigger. Its noise emission is low that for those who want a stealthy AEG, then they should wait for this to be released.

    Up next was RedWolf Airsoft, with Paul Chu, the CEO introducing two of their presenters, Tim Selby of RWTV and Max Lai.  They started with the introduction of the latest license partner they have RWA, Agency Arms, which they will be releasing their Glock Kit and complete Agency Arms pistol that even owners of RWA Agency Arms pistols can get Agency Arms support. Just as we have mentioned in our first day report, the new products that RedWolf Airsoft have available such as the Marui AA-12 and MWS; the GHK Steyr AUG Gas Blowback; and their upcoming Blank Firing Grenades (BFG).

    Chris Punnett of Airsoft Innovations came up the stage without Carlton Chong this time as Carlton had to stay behind as another member of his family is about to join them. Chris talks about their new product, the Cyclone Impact Grenade, as he is happy to announce that there is a huge demand for the Cyclone and they are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

    Gunfire is always colorful with their presentations, and they do have a lot to say, that even managing to stay within the 15-minute limit for presentations is surprise for the audience. They start about the unique GF Point event series, to the products they carry, especially the Specna Arms with the SAEC technology, E&L Airsoft, Armoured Claw, GFC Tactical, and Black Mountain Gear. They did demo about the strength of the E&L Airsoft AR-15 and the anti-tear properties of the Claw Gear gloves.

    After Gunfire came the Nexo Group, and it was the first time for them to present at the Airsoft Meetup that made them an interesting company to listen given that their Python Thermal Airsoft Mask is getting some attention from trader visitors.  Sandro Bua gave the introduction on the technology they are using the Python, starting first of using their Thermal security cameras and then shrinking the technology to fit into an airsoft mask. Alessio took over from his father to explain more about Python Thermal Airsoft Mask, which whilst the main feature is its thermal imaging capability, actually offers quite more than that for the airsoft players to become effective in their teams.

    Nico Westerhof of Da Vinci Dynamics came up the stage to present their wireless/wifi targets that are in use in airsoft practical shooting. You might be familiar with their products as we have reviewed one of them before.  What made his presentation even more interesting was demonstrating its capabilities at recording shots/hits by having Clarence Lai, the Airsoft Surgeon himself, test the wireless target and Clarence was impressed by it.

    Mr. Johnny Pedersen and Thomas Mikkelsen of Action Sport Games (ASG) gave a briefing of their company and its experience in the airsoft business and partnerships with firearms manufacturers to provide airsoft players with products. They also enumerated the compliance of their products to various international standards in terms of health and safety. Of course, they also mentioned their products such as the Wolverine EVO, the Devil AEGs, CZ P0-1 Shadow, and their award winning ASG CZ P-09 Gas Blowback Pistol.

    It was the turn of Tippmann’s Sean Alford to present what the company has to offer. The Tippmann Airsoft M4 Carbine as many already know by now can be powered with CO2 that comes with the 80-round magazine or via the built-in remote line  that can use standard airsoft M4 airsoft magazines (read: Marui compatible) in the market.  After him came Jacek Kaźmierczak of SpecShop of Poland and appearing at the Airsoft Meetup for the first time. He gave a briefing on what the company has to offer such as the various brands they carry and their own Arma Airsoft technology that has a product line of upgrade parts for airsoft guns.

    Last of the presenters was Josh of Valken Tactical and he presents the various offerings of Valken in the airsoft market, which now includes complete airsoft guns such as the Battle Machine AEGs and the HPA-powered airsoft guns that are powered via remote line to an external tank or via a built-in line with air tank in the stock.

    After all the presents came the awarding of the winners of the 6th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards. Always a highlight of the event winners present at the IWA Outdoor Classics. The awardees present to get their awards were the following:

    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe: Gunfire
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia: RedWolf Airsoft
    • Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website: Red Army Airsoft
    • Best Airsoft Blog: Airsoft & Military News Blog
    • Best Online Airsoft Community/Forum:
    • Best Airsoft Event (with over 500 players): Border War 7 - Skylance
    • Best Airsoft Pistol (regardless of power source): ASG - CZ P-09
    • Best Airsoft Kaboom! Manufacturer (Grenades, Pyros): Airsoft Innovations

    Right after the awards, Valken hosted a small beer party inside the Hong Kong room.  It was a quick party where a big cooler full of beer was brought into the room. For those who remained in the room, we treated ourselves to different types of cold German Beer.

    The Airsoft Meetup was the biggest so far with more presenters taking time to brief the airsoft media and community with their offerings and upcoming technologies.  Hopefully next year, it gets bigger again.

    More photos at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. The videos to follow.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Day 4

    Every year since we have been covering the IWA Outdoor Classics, the first three days have always been wet and cold, and the fourth day is always dry, sunny and mild (or sometimes warm). Perhaps it is how the event says farewell to its visitors and exhibitors by having the final day always a nice  bright day. The fourth day is also the day with less pressure as it is easier to talk to exhibitors given that there are fewer visitors. The IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 was no exception.

    For me, it was about filing stories and saying goodbyes whilst also trying to find time to cover some companies we failed to visit in the past three days. After finishing a report at the Press Room, I had to go to the Gunfire booth to drop off some stuff and say my goodbyes to Piotr and Łukasz. I also found Tim Selby and Mark Lai of RedWolf Airsoft with the Gunfire ladies, with Max Lai showing his card tricks to impress the ladies and looked like he was making a fine impression.

    Since the RedWolf Airsoft booth was just right across Gunfire, I was able to send my hasty goodbyes and thanks, especially to Paul Chu who has been so helpful to me pre-IWA (I still have to find a way to repay him). The VFC management was there as well which means a quick photo session as Mr. Vega was there too.

    After RedWolf Airsoft, I had a quick chat with the Nuprol crew headed by Rossco Tucker. From there, I dropped by Evolution Airsoft. The Italian airsoft community is known for the ZM LR-300 airsoft and Lone Star Airsoft Series. If you have not been following developments at Evolution Airsoft, they do have the Phantom Series of airsoft guns, weapons accessories and tactical gear. And coming soon from Evolution Airsoft are TangoDown ECR-4 and the Turkish Sarsilmaz SAR 223C airsoft rifles with prototypes on display. As to when they will be released, we have no idea yet and we’ll post news about them once we get more information from Evolution Airsoft.

    Skyway Technologies, the Spanish/Basque company that made an impact at the SHOT Show 2016 had a big presence at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 as well. With their Dual Code line-up, they had a big number of visitors lining up to check their offerings such as the big bad Duel Code Bomb Simulator Version 3.  Ruben Pomar explained that if you are CounterStrike player who loves the De Dust map, then this Bomb Simulator is what you want for a De Dust airsoft version. Either defuse or plant the bomb, this is an interesting contraption that can do a lot of “explosive” things to spice up your airsoft game. It can wail to give out a loud noise when armed and pressure the team to rush and disarm it. It can be made to work with smoke machines to give a more dramatic effect to a game.

    Another interesting product is Zoxna Mini Launcher. Mount it to your pistol or rifle, the Mini Launcher is a weapon of last resort when you are out of ammo, or when you can’t find time to quickly reload. Just pull the ring and fire away. 40 BBs can be launched that you can take out a two or three man team with it.

    Speaking of launchers, they have a more efficient and affordable 40mm gas grenade shell and has fewer flaws than the competition. It is easier to maintain leading to a lower cost ownership. More grenades were on display: a BFG that uses 9mm shells, the Kimera Sound Grenade, and the Nuke Frag Grenade.
    Back to Duel Code, there are tactical gear under the brand and also complete airsoft guns that looked like they were designed with a lot of thought put into them. We’ll get more information especially about the Duel Code airsoft guns that come with unique Iberian names.

    On my way back to the Press Room, I checked out Freeshot SRL, an Italian airsoft company that carries many products, more prominent is Bolt Airsoft known for their Bolt Recoil Shock System (BRSS). Eleonora toured me around their booth showing the product offerings including a shoot test of the Bolt Airsoft MB5 BRSS (an airsoft MP5 with the BRSS) prototype. The blowback and recoil look are enough to make you drop your money on this once it gets released though the prototype on display was not yet that pleasing aesthetically.

    Eleonora also showed me the various upgrade products under the Synthesis name it is a brand directly under FreeeShot and they have tappet plates, inner barrels, piston heads that uses a better and longer lasting material, more pistons, nozzles, etc. More will be heard from this company in the near future.

    The last of my visit before heading back to Press Room to pack up and head for the airport was Umarex. Umarex always has a large presence at the IWA Outdoor Classics with sections divided to their market segments. The Airsoft section was in a smaller container and at the end of the display unlike last year where it was near the main entrance to the Umarex display area. As always, we see the Heckler & Koch and Oberland Arms offerings, as well as pistols and a shotgun. Also spotted at the booth was crude pre-prototype of an airsoft IWI X95.

    It took me around three more hours as I have to have some further chats with individuals inside the press room since I was in no hurry to go as my flight was at 1900 and it was still around 1400H at the Nuremberg Messe. I also did further work on my reports and occasionally interrupted by other airsoft media guys saying their goodbyes. By 4pm, it was time for me to go to the airport and hopefully avoid the rush hour. I thanked the crew who has been kind enough to reserve a press locker for me to use. They were still staying until Tueday and they are one of the most hardworking airsoft press groups at the IWA Outdoor Classics.

    I did get caught in traffic after boarding the taxi as the taxi took a longer and busier route.  Rather than be annoyed by it, I tried to get a few winks since I was confident that the taxi driver can bring me to the airport on time. He did, with more than enough time to spare. So I got off the cab a bit recharged and ready for the long queues at the check-in counter and security checkpoint. This time, it was faster so that means more time to rest and grab a beer at the airport’s departure lounge.

    Time flew fast and it was already boarding time. As we were boarding I saw ASG CEO, Johnny Pederson and had a selfie with Nicola Bandini of Arsenal Firearms, the designer of the double barreled 1911 pistol, the AF-2011. That was a nice way for me to end my visit to Nuremberg and the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016.

    More photos at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

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    No On Maryland Senate Bill 742 Rally During Senate Hearing

    The Maryland airsoft community is now showing the way on how to effectively block legislation that will ban imitation firearms, airsoft guns included. In what is said to be a victory last March 9, 2016 during the hearing on Senate Bill 742 (Public Safety - Imitation Firearms – Prohibition) sponsored by Senators Muse, Benson, Conway, Nathan-Pulliam, and Waugh, the Bill was withdrawn to the glee of the protestors against SB742 who massed at the Lawyers Mall.

    We still do not have the transcript on the Senate hearing that led to the withdrawal of SB742, once it gets published, we’ll post it here.

    While it is indeed a victory, the campaign against the proposed prohibition of imitation firearms is still far from over.  A bill in the lower house, House Bill 879 (HB879) filed by Delegate Jill Carter (D, 41st District Baltimore) is still going through the process and is up for a hearing on March 15, 2016 at 1300H. HB879 is the more prohibitive of the two bills since it proposes criminal penalties which means a fine and jail time while SB742 proposed civil penalties.

    With SB742 now out of the way, the community can now focus their efforts of preventing HB879 from turning into a law and thus prepare for another rally when the House Judiciary Committee convenes on March 15, which is next week.

    Many are against the proposed bills since they do not really solve the problem of gun violence at all that even the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association are opposing the bills. HB879 now needs the attention of every airsofter in Maryland, including airsoft businesses and related services should start contacting the members of the House Judiciary Committee to state their opposition to the bill.

    The “STOP the MD Airsoft & BB Gun Bans” Facebook Page is the main group opposing the bills. For those who want to state their opposition and show their support to the campaign can go to the page to check for information and talking points in order to have one unified voice against HB879.

    If the community in Maryland stops HB879 next week, then there might be hope for other similar bills in other states, such as in Massachusetts to be stopped as well.

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    Tokyo Marui Carl Gustav Airsoft Recoilless Rifle

    Aaaahh!!! The wonderful powers of the internet! Before there was the internet, news spread fast via word of mouth. But with the internet and mobile broadband, word of mouth nowadays means that news or information, whether true or not, moves fast at the speed of light, or depending on the bandwidth one has.

    In this case, something came up this week on Facebook. An graphic work of what is supposedly a marketing material for a Tokyo Marui 84mm Airsoft Gas Launcher was being shared around and no one knows its origins. This Gas Launcher is based on the Carl Gustav 84mm Man Portable and Reusable Recoilless Rifle with the “airsoft version” having the capacity to launch a shower of 1,200 BBs, if our translation is right.

    Unfortunately, and to the let down of airsofters who welcome the production of an airsoft Carl Gustav, the image is a fake and there is no Tokyo Marui 84mm Airsoft Gas Launcher in the works.

    When we first sighted this image on Facebook, we were actually excited about it. But with the mention that those who shared the graphic work cannot identify the source, something just was not right. Our experience with Tokyo Marui is that they rarely announce a product long before a major event such as the All Japan Model & Hobby Show, or the Shizuoka Hobby Show; or a video game launch, especially with their cooperation with CAPCOM on the Biohazard/Resident Evil Series.  And during an event, they give hints of what is to come such as plastic molds gas blowback pistols.

    So, the best thing was to ask Tokyo Marui if this graphic work is theirs. And their reply was quick and short: they have not announced that they are making this product, nor they have plans in making one in the future.

    But they were helpful to find out the source of the graphic and someone has photoshopped it out of this image of a blogpost on Yahoo! Japan. The post is already dated as it was posted on the 30th of November 2009 but the photo itself is even more dated as it was taken on the 7th of October 2004 at a JSDF shooting event at the Hachinohe garrison in Aomori Prefecture.

    This indicates more of a Tokyo Marui fan making a concept artwork in case the company decides to make an airsoft Carl Gustav.

    Don’t get your hopes down yet. Who knows? A company other than Tokyo Marui may build a Carl Gustva for airsoft so if any representative of airsoft manufacturers is reading this, its can be something to add in making a new annual airsoft product lineup.

    For now, treat yourself to a video of the real Carl Gustav in action:

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    OpenWorks SkyWall100

    The threat of drones being used for activities that can be considered illegal is increasing due to easy access to civilian drones. Whilst authorities are not banning the use of drones for commercial and hobby activities, they are putting limits on where drones can be used lest they pose a hazard to the public, fly in restricted areas, or used for nefarious activities.

    There are various offered solutions to taking down rogue drones: shotguns, radio interference, drones with nets, eagles, and now bazookas. I do like the sound of the last one, bazookas, as it means business, though blasting a drone out of the sky is not exactly a safe way of doing it when there are crowds below or aircraft flying nearby.

    The good thing is that the bazooka in this story is actually safe to use and does not explode at all. The SkyWall100 is an anti-drone device that fires a projectile that then automatically casts a net on the drone effectively capturing it.  With a parachute deployed after the capture, the drone is then brought slowly back to the ground.

    The SkyWall100 by OpenWorks Emgineering is an easy to use man-portable drone defence requiring minimal skills from its operator. The operator uses the OpenWorks Laser-Equipped SmartScope when aiming the SkyWall100 and the onboard laser range finder and Inertial Measurement Unit will then allow the onboard computer the calculate launch vector and muzzle velocity required to intercept the drone.

    Using compressed gas, a programmable projectile is launched from the SkyWall100 which then releases a net when it approaches the target drone to capture it. The range of the SkyWall100 is 100 metres LOS (Line of Sight).

    OpenWorks are offering the SkyWall system for security organizations, especially those tasked to securing VIPs, (when a drone entered the White House air space), events (where rogue drones can stop midair and land into the crowd below), and airports (drones entering restricted airport air space have caused suspension of airport operations or near collision with passenger planes).

    Can the SkyWall100 be used for airsoft games? It is a possibility since airsoft players are not allowed to shoot at drones used for recon by the opposing team so as not to damage or destroy an expensive asset and can also cause injuries to players on the ground. With the SkyWall100, the drones are then considered valid targets and can be taken safely without their owners getting worried about damage.

    With the SkyWall100, drone defense is getting better. It also avoids using majestic raptors as drone catchers or some reckless shotgun owner blowing the drones to bits.

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    Asshole Merit Badge Morale Patch

    A bit of talk about veterans in airsoft and veteran privilege since it's a hot topic floating around. I'll keep it short.

    To the vets, be proud of what you did and proud to tell people. It may have been a brief period of your life or a whole career but either way, it was significant. You decide how important that is to you and your life after as a civilian. Don't let anyone tell you how important it is or isn't. You can choose to keep it in the back humbly and be that quiet professional. Or you can wear that vet hat proudly telling guys every day that you feel very much still connected to that life even as a civilian. You earned that right to be as quiet or as loud as you want about it.

    Here's where things go wrong. It's not when you're too much of a veteran that it annoys people. It's when you decide to be a dick human being that you're messing up. Nothing to do with being a vet, a shitty person is going to be shitty, whether a vet or not. I'm not saying you need to fucking hold hands with everyone and be friends, but let people have their fun in airsoft. Bust some balls and joke around sure. It's what people do and no one will fault you for being a vet that does that. Society has become soft enough and needs some ball busting to keep it real.

    But no need to get wound up because a kid is wearing some surplus uniform with old rank and patches on it. As long as he's not trying to be a poser, who really cares? Don't discard the new kids at the field because they have no training. Teach them something and make them better. Don't hate the gear whore that wants to look as you did at war. Bust his balls like you would bust the balls of the new troop but you never hated them. Remember they admire you and the world you were a part of. So don't get so sensitive when you see guys that want to look and play the part a bit.

    To the civilians out there that never served or couldn't serve, the military culture is made up by a bunch of type A personalities. Their favorite past time is busting each other’s balls because there's a lot of stupid down time and waiting. So don't be so sensitive when vets sometimes give you shit. It's less about being dicks or bad people and more about the culture. You want to dress up and look the part. Hurt feelings every few minutes when vets open their mouth doesn't bring you closer to your impression folks. It doesn't endear you with the group you’re emulating.

    Everyone just needs to check that sensitivity thing at the door, vets and civilian players alike. Vets playing aren't better for having served. They are different but not better. It's why we enlisted, for the preservation of the idea that we are all created equal. Civilians, remember you're playing a game that can't compare to the utter bull crap many vets have been through. No one would pay for that experience.

    Being a shitty human being is universal and everyone can work on that. So is being a sensitive hurt feelings weakling. Since the world isn't going to all of a sudden declare universal love and understanding, you should learn to accept a happy medium.

    Sorry, that wasn't short.

    Just one grunt's opinion,

    Javier "Darkhorse"



    About The Author

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

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    Constitution Arms Palm Pistol

    It looks like the disabled and the seniors, as long as they have at least one working hand, would be able to defend themselves with a firearm with the introduction of the Palm Pistol. Made by Constitution Arms, it is billed to be the “World’s First Production Firearms For The Disabled.” While it is indeed designed for the disabled and senior citizens in mind, it is now actually a unique or original design as over the years there have been various designs of pistols that are similar to the Palm Pistol.

    According to Constitution Arms, the Palm Pistol was inspired by the design of the T-handle screw driver to help students learn how to shoot. The principle here is that the thumb is used to press the button to shoot rather than pull trigger. The designer of the Palm Pistol is Matthew Carmel who is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. He also has a formal background in regulatory compliance, industrial hygiene, safety, environmental laboratory and expert witness testimony. It is a single shot pistol and uses the .38 special.

    The zero bore axis of the pistol eliminates muzzle rise when fired with the recoil directed forces directly into the palm. It can be fired using the thumb or combinations of other fingers which for those unable use a regular pistol or firearm, is very much needed convenience to own a firearm for protection. As for the safety, the Palm Pistol has two independent safeties and they must be pressed to close the chamber to make the pistol ready to fire. When firing, you will need to flip-up the cover to reveal the button, which is the “trigger” and push it to fire the weapon.

    The Palm Pistol looks simple and innocuous enough that discovering it is a weapon held by someone who looks defenseless will always be too late. Even if it is small and simple, it can be enhanced by adding some accessories such as a picatinny rail for adding laser or a small weaponlight, extended barrel, a thread protector and even a suppressor.

    Constitution Arms plan an initial production of 200 units and a .22LR version is also being developed. If a pistol version is not enough, there is a Palm Carbine that still uses the same principle, fires the same ammo and is designed for target shooting, plinking and small game hunting. Women who also need a defensive weapon that they can put into their purses and which doesn’t look like a gun can consider getting a Palm Pistol rather than the compact pistols available in the market.

    I wonder if someone would also experiment an airsoft version, especially the Palm Carbine one.

    0 0


    On Friday UK Airsoft Players Union, UK Airsoft Retailers Association and Airsoft Trade Body were invited to the Home Office HQ in Westminster to discuss the Police and Crime Bill and the airsoft exception. UKARA also brought along Police Chief Adrian Whiting, whose extensive political and legal experience was very helpful indeed.

    All 3 bodies are on the same page and we have very similar concerns with the current draft of the bill which is primarily that:

    1. 8mm airsoft replicas will not be defined as airsoft.
    2. Airsoft replicas are defined as a device which can ‘only’ fire plastic BBs.
    3. Fully automatic airsoft replicas could be defined as ‘readily convertible’ as you can push most of them over 1.3J easily enough.
    4. Anyone importing or in possession of fully automatic replica that is found to be over 1.3J will be deemed to be in possession of a Section 5 firearm (5 year prison sentence for most of us). This is of course very relevant to owners and traders of HPA and GBB models, whose equipment would be tested on the strongest gas pressure available.

    Although this Bill is designed to clear up firearms law (amongst other things) we are now fully involved with Westminster politics. As such, there are a lot of factors in play, such as party politics and also the anti-airsoft lobby (who are in staunch opposition to the airsoft exception). People will be watching what we airsofters say in public over the coming months. So things are pretty complicated and little can be taken at face value.

    We presented some proposals to Government representatives and (without pre-empting the minutes) very little was accepted or rejected outright. This meeting was really the starting point for the process. What seems clear is that they will hold us to the 1.3J/2.5J recommendations of the ACPO testing. We will have more meetings with them over the next year, and if we present an amendment that the Home Office finds favourable they could present it to Parliament.

    However, there’s still a fair chance that this won’t happen but we live in a democracy and the airsoft community may need to write to their MPs and the House of Lords in order to get our amendments sponsored and voted in.

    If you've looked at the PCB you’ll notice that airsoft and lethality make up a very small part of it which is why we won’t be permitted the opportunity to submit evidence to the parliamentary committee.

    So what’s the next phase? We need to all agree on the amendments that we are going to push for. We need to collect some more evidence. And we need to bolster support for the airsoft associations. The only viable option is for us all to work together and be one strong voice asking for the same thing through representatives and a well-coordinated lobbying campaign. Anything less will be fruitless. If we fail to clear this Bill up, airsoft players and traders could end up in prison in the future for holding normal airsoft equipment.

    The Bill is in the committee stage of the House of Commons and the Home Office project it will be enacted in law before the end of the year.
    Players should like UKAPUs Facebook page and then we can keep you in the loop.

    If you are in the airsoft industry you should keep in touch with ATB and UKARA.

    Matt Furey-King

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