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    Ideal Conceal

    Smartphones are now essential tools in our everyday lives that it is unimaginable not to carry one with you. Smartphones are not only made to make phone calls, but you can do a lot of stuff that was once the realm of PCs and laptop computers. They have come indispensable that the world is now awash in smartphones, from cheap ones to the really expensive ones.

    With the abundance of smartphones, someone had the idea of designing a concealed carry weapon made to look like a smartphone and thus, making it harder to spot and often ignored. If this gun is finally brought to market, you might think twice that the next person you encounter might be carrying a gun rather than an innocent-looking smartphone.

    Ideal Conceal is a Double Barreled .380 Caliber pistol that folds to look like a smartphone. One needs to just click on the safety and it is ready to fire. Since it is compact, it can be neatly put inside a purse, a pocket, or clipped to the side, always ready to go when needed. With its hammerless operation, its makers say it is easy and safe to use (though not safe for the person at the receiving end).

    And for quick aiming, it also comes with a laser to make it sure it is dead on target. It might not be something that you want to bring to a gun fight, but it is something that would make someone who is up to no good think twice, or realize too late that you have a gun with you.

    At a price of US$395, it is expected to be available in Mid-2016. But availability in the USA is subject to local laws as other states do not allowed for concealed carry.

    The idea is not new, as there have been designs for concealed carry over the years. But the Ideal Conceal design as a concealed carry weapon looks is a reflection of the times due to prevalence of smartphones, since designing to look like a smartphone makes it hidden in plain sight. As the designers say:

    "Smartphones are EVERYWHERE, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment.  In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight.”

    There are concerns about Ideal Conceal in terms of home safety. Children and teenagers are attracted to smartphones, being heavy users of such. Leaving Ideal Conceal lying around the house within easy reach of young kids will put them in danger. Thus, for potential owners of the Ideal Conceal, if it ever gets to production and then to the stores, they have to keep in mind this potential hazard at home.

    I don’t know if someone will take this idea and make an airsoft version and I would not even recommend it. Just like those smartphone cases that are designed to look like pistols, an airsoft version of Ideal Conceal may just put the owner in danger if he/she thinks it is a toy to be played with in public.


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    Royal Marine 43 Commando With L119

    The Canadian Diemaco C8 Rifle has been approved for use for the Royal Marine 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group. This unit, part of 3 Commando Brigade and is based at HMNB Clyde, Faslane, Scotland, has one of its important tasks of protecting the Trident nuclear programme.

    The Diemaco C8 Rifle is not exactly a new rifle in use in the British Armed Forces, since it is already in use in special forces units and replacing the M16, the news marks the first regular British armed forces unit to use a rifle other than L85A2/SA80 bullpup rifle. The Diemaco C8 Rifle is designated as the L119 in the British Armed Forces.

    According to Janes, the roll out of the weapon to the 790-strong commando group has been completed by the end of 2015. Also, in July 2013 the Ministry of Defence contracted Colt Canada for a £2.8 million upgrade for the L119A1 giving it a designation of L119A2.

    The unit has been equipped with the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns and has already been using the L119 in limited use, but with the news, the L119 will be the primary weapon. It uses the standard 5.56x45mm round and was chosen as it has "reduced ricochet, limited collateral damage" features. The other protection unit that uses the rifle is the Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit.

    The 43 Commando, apart from fleet protection, is also tasked to in deploying recapture tactics teams and ship boarding specialist teams. This means that the unit usually operates in close quarters environment, thus needing a low velocity rounds and the L119 can handle such rounds better than the SA80.

    For airsoft players wanting to use an airsoft Diemaco C8, they will need to make a custom build one using any available airsoft M4s in the market and they will mainly need to change the receiver by using the G&P Canada C8 Metal Body. There is also a complete custom G&P C8 AEG that can be purchases from eHobby Asia for US$278.00.

     


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    Nike SFB Mountain Men's Boot & HyperAdapt 1.0

    If there is something I hate doing every day, it is lacing my shoes. I love my sneakers, I love my trainers, and I love my combat boots that I use in airsoft. But honestly yes, I do hate lacing my shoes, and hate laces even more when they unravel without you knowing about until your shoe comes off you or somebody steps on the lace. Just imagine those times you need to tie your laces again in the middle of an airsoft firefight.

    While Nike actually traces its roots to World War II, whose co-founder Bill Bowerman was part the 10th Mountain Division in Italy before coaching track and field athletes at the University of Oregon where he started creating sporting shoes, Nike was not really known for combat boots.

    Nike has a line of boots, called the Special Forces Boots (SFB). Those who have worn them (I have not tried them yet) find them comfortable and light. But in terms of durability to handle the wear and tear caused by soldiering and actual combat, they were a disappointment. Nike has not given up on the SFB line as they have been releasing improved versions of the SFB over the years, but still have not achieved the reputation of respect that Lowa, Danner, Magnum Boots, and host of other specialized boot and outdoor footwear makers have amongst servicemen, and also airsoft players.

    But if there is one thing that I like about Nike apart from their sport shoes, it is about their technology that could make lacing your shoes a thing of the past. First introduced in Back to the Future II in 1989, the self-lacing sneakers (or power-lacing sneakers) is one of the holy grails in the shoe technology. Nike then announced on the 21st of October 2015 that they have a prototype of the shoes worn by Marty MacFly  and just this week, they unveiled the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 which will be released in the Holiday season and exclusive to Nike+ members.

    HyperAdapt 1.0 power-lacing technology works like this. When you insert your foot to the shoe and your heel strikes a sensor, it will start lacing. You can then press buttons to tighten or loosen the fit until you are comfortable, which is faster and more convenient than just untying the laces and try to make a better tightness with the laces.

    With such a technology, will Nike just have a limited run and exclusive shoe? By the looks of it, the HyperAdapt 1.0 would be the most sought after shoe by the end of 2016 and many would just want the power/self-lacing feature in other future models too.

    This brings me to their FSB line-up. Combat footwear have the problem of laces too, just like in sport shoes and combat boots have longer laces that you have to deal with. If Nike can adapt their power-lacing technology to their future FSBs, then I want to be one of the first to try it. Think about it: it is easier to wear combat boots with the technology and faster too, saving a few seconds that can be vital when soldiers are reacting to an attack when they are inside the barracks.  For geardos, there is a coolness factor of just having the most high-tech combat footwear in the airsoft field.

    Am I wishful thinking? I hope not since I am lazy to tie my shoes. If Nike puts this feature into their FSB boot, then they will make me a happy airsofter. I am sure there are others who will agree with me.

    Mark Parker, I hope you are reading this. Make it happen… please.


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    Airborne Airsoft Blitz CQB

    I was quite knackered from the 4 intense hours of close quarters combat experienced at the Blitz CQB London which I wrote a review about last week. Intense is the exact word to describe the experience and it was very positive. I thoroughly appreciated the effort put into the venue and game modes that I had the opportunity to play.

    All the players were also quite polite and responsible and the marshalling was up to standard and I was very well and felt welcome and was very well taken care of by Steve.

    I really enjoyed looking at the control room from where the games are orchestrated and monitored.

    All in all, it was a great experience.

    I want to learn more about Blitz CQB and how Airborne Airsoft were able to put this facility up which is no easy feat to do in London where rent is expensive  and there are many new property developments happening. I emailed Kenny with my questions, and here are his answers:

    Me: Upon arrival I had a hard time to find the venue, since there are absolutely no signs outside and people inside the building weren’t very helpful. A mobile sign on the sidewalk or a simple banner or poster would do wonders for first timers like myself as I went around the block on foot carrying all my gear at least once before asking twice inside the building.

    Kenny: We are aware of this and operate under restrictions with regards to the use of signage at the venue. I do take on board to need for a small foldable sign to go out front in absence of a large banner as the landlord won’t let us put one up on the outside of the building, sadly.

    How hard is it to secure a Venue like this in London?

    It’s VERY difficult to find affordable, useable space in London to do what we did with Blitz. Blitz is a project I was approached to design and help project manage by Dave Jones of Ultimate Creations, who wanted to build an airsoft site called Ultimate Airsoft, London and asked us to come on board with what was a groundbreaking airsoft project and the first purpose built highly detailed airsoft arena of its kind outside of the US. Blitz CQB is the title of our sessions at the venue. It was designed to resemble bombed out London during the second world war hence the name of the site.

    The project was something which we jumped at the chance to be involved in as we are passionate about bringing good airsoft out into the airsoft community and it’s a site that not only caters for experienced airsofters but also private parties and corporate events. It was a really exciting project to be involved in from grass roots upwards and to still be operating from today.

    How did it take you to fully build this amazing and picturesque scenario?

    The build took about 3 months from the initial phone call from Dave to me and a planning recce, then a few weeks to design and then about 2 months solid of building, blood sweat and tears from the guys at UA, the Airborne Airsoft Directing Staff and quite a few volunteers that got roped into helping as well. Was hard work but great to be involved in. I learnt a lot over the course of the project too which is a result!

    How often do you make changes to the scenario/environment to refresh the game experience even for return players?

    We always listen to players and are currently working on new games and scenarios and are in fact making more site changes tomorrow so watch this space for new lanes of fire and site content!

    I would love to see the first CQB Airsoft site in London open more than 2 days, with a café/pub a shop and a small tech area. Am I asking too much?

    We are an Airsoft business, not a community centre and as much as I would like to have an airsoft ‘Mecca’ available, it’s not economically viable to Blitz to be available for a few airsofters to use to hang out in but the idea is a nice one… Next year Rodney…

    Have you considered a membership where players would pay a monthly fee to play whenever they wanted?

    Yes, we are working on a loyalty scheme where we will be offering a sixth game free and its currently in development so watch this space.

    Have you thought about having games more days of the week of for instance on Saturdays?

    Yes, it’s a shared site and both partner businesses have slots to use for bookable games, private parties and corporate events. About a third of the slots go to airsofters at peak times, as there are other revenue streams out there, often more lucrative than typical airsoft events, we have to cater for all business needs. We have tried evenings but bookings have been slow but still operate every other Wednesday, as long as sufficient people book in advance.

    I understand that a lot of work went into building this site and that it’s only secured by Airborne Airsoft for a limited amount of time. In case it closes, can we expect you guys to open the same type of venue in London?

    When Blitz closes we are constantly looking for new sites and venues. As it stands, it’s impossible to guess whether this venue will rise again once the building gets demolished, which is on the cards. All I can say is that we are constantly looking for new projects and have a lot of stuff in the pipeline already to run later into the year… How does ZombieSim sound?

    Why do you think there are so limited and few Airsoft CQB sites in London?

    Cost most likely and also people having the desire to get involved in exciting new projects which may look like too much of a challenge. We take new challenges head on and When Ultimate Airsoft approached us, we were only too pleased to be involved from the word go.

    What are you main suggestions/advice for new players that would like to play in Blitz CQB?

    Turn up, get involved and wear long sleeves. Arrive earlier than the session by a few minutes so we can chrono your gun and allow more time in the arena. It’s a bookable venue only so book in advance to ensure you get to have a shoot.

    How many events do you do in a month and how often?

    We have 8 sites at present and should be at around 11 by June if all goes to plan and we have multiple sites operating at any given time and also out MilSim campaign running every six or so weeks and also training Wing airsoft training sessions running monthly. And did I mention ZombieSim? :)

    We are also working on a tournament so teams of ‘operators’ can go up against the best out there and compete for the Pegasus Cup and we are also planning an ‘all girls’ event to encourage more girls into the sport so what’s not to love? There is plenty going on behind the scenes, but the most important thing to us as a business is to have great customer service as we value our customers and try and take on board feedback within reason. We know we can’t please everyone all the time but try and please the majority of the people most of the time and I feel we get there as we get amazing feedback and genuinely do care about our customers.

    Thank you very much!


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    Nozipp

    There are two things that I always about sleeping bags. The first one is how to get the comfortable temperature for me to get any semblance of good sleep at night. The second one is getting in and out the sleeping bag, which is not easy and when the zipper snags, then it makes it worse. Just think about trying to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night and you cannot get out your sleeping bag quickly.

    There are sleeping bags that do not come with zippers, but the NOZIPP Sleeping Bag project on Kickstarter is a rethinking of the sleeping bag. It looks like a good number of people agree with the NOZIPP approach that they have decided to fund it. It has more than achieved its funding goal of US$10,000 with just a week to go before the crowdfunding effort ends.

    The design inspiration for NOZIPP is the bat, with how it folds or stretches its wings. With strong rare earth magnets used instead of zippers, it makes getting in and out of the sleeping bag faster and much less noise as compared to using a zipper. The less noise is an added bonus for your camp mates who are sleeping beside you. The magnets make a tight closure after getting in but easy for you when you need to break out.

    I like the concept, just imagine in an airsoft game where your camp is in play. This means that the game rules allow for your camp to be attacked even if you are sleeping. You need to get out of your sleeping bag quickly and grab your rifle when the alarm is sounded off that your camp is under attack. NOZIPP solves this problem.

    Another is temperature control. The design of NOZIPP, “Comfortable Temperature Range boils down to a sleeping bag’s ability to keep you comfortable in the widest range of weather conditions. Think of a 0°F bag an hour after sunup on a summer trip. It gets hot mighty fast. If you wake up because you’re hot and sweaty, that puts you outside that system’s CTR. Or if you’re trying to sleep near a bags extreme limit; you might not die (which is good), but you’re not going to be happy about it (which is bad).” The NOZIPP has a venting system that allows you to use the bag at a wider range of temperatures.

    With the multiple row of magnets, it allows you to adjust the sleeping bag for a better comfort level, as compared to using zippers which can constrict the way you can adjust. You can adjust from the mummy mode (for colder temperature), to roomy mode, to open mode for hotter weather.

    Convinced that the NOZIPP bag is the sleeping bag you need for that next long weekend airsoft event? Well, we do not know yet if NOZIPP will go into the retail market after fulfilling the pre-orders done on Kickstarter. You can update yourself via their website or Facebook page so that when they announce that they will be doing retail sales via resellers, you can just ask your nearest outdoor good store if they can get one for you.


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    Triton

    Triton, the World's First Artificial Gills Re-breather, which has got a lot backers of Indiegogo, achieving almost a thousand percent of its original funding goals, is not exactly new news. Ethan Wolff-Mann wrote on Thrillist in 2014 that it is a product that is not gonna happen. But with almost half a million dollars pledged by over a thousand backers believing it works, the inventors better make sure that it does work as promised.

    This concept is not exactly new, though it is more a product of imagination by the props guys for James Bond in Thunderball and Die Another Day. But if you want some waterborne airsoft without using scuba equipment, then Triton may just be the device to use to make it a sneak attack on the enemy. Just make sure your airsoft gun can go underwater and be able to fire soaking wet when you surface.

    So what really is Triton? According to its makers, is a “state-of-the-art oxygen respirator, that allows you to breathe underwater by utilizing our ‘artificial gills’ technology.” It does not intend to replace the scuba gear as you can only go underwater with it to a depth of 15 feet. If you want something better than a snorkel when swimming underwater with the fishes and checking out coral reefs, the Triton can keep you underwater far longer without going to surface to get air. With a fully-charged battery, you can go and check marine life for 45 minutes.

    The heart of Triton’s technology is a powerful modified micro compressor which compresses oxygen and stores in a storage tank. The micro processer extracts the oxygen that has been let in with the Microporous Hollow Fiber which also keeps water out. Overall, Triton is 11 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. Not exactly as small as the breather of James Bond, but then the Triton is not a movie prop.

    If you go down further below the 15 feet maximum, the device will start to vibrate and an LED light will blink. It will also make it harder for you to breather and thus force to go up further near the surface for the Triton to function normally.

    With the funding goal achieved, the only thing remaining for the Triton team is to wait for the money to be released to them by Indiegogo and deliver the product to backers  by December 2016.


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    Taller Stories TANK - Simon Jameson’s Story

    The last time we gave an update on the fundraising project of Simon “Tank” Jameson to upgrade to a better mobility chair to do all-terrain airsoft, it  was over a month ago and that his target funding goal has reached the half-way mark. It looks like that it slowed down somehow as €13,957 has been raised so far as of this writing. The amount is already substantial but still €6,000 off the mark.

    This means that another big push is needed to push the needle to “funding goal” achieved on GoFundme.com. With already 313 individuals pledging their support in whatever amount they can, Tank needs a bit more from the airsoft community and other individuals who want to see him succeed.

    With this, Taller Stories have come up with a new video in support of Project Tank 2.0. putting up "TANK - Simon Jameson’s Story" on Vimeo and Facebook (already shared over 3,000 times):

    Some stories deserve to be told. The story of Simon Jameson is one of them.

    Simon Jameson is not a normal 27 year old. Not because he suffers a terminal condition and is wheelchair bound, but because he doesn't let that stop him from running his life and holds more optimism and enthusiasm than most people I've ever met.

    I wanted to make this documentary to shine light on his Warrior persona, and how one sport has brought him through all the hardships he's faced in life.

    Help support Simon's Project Tank 2.0 by visiting: https://www.gofundme.com/cqj26f4k

    As we go into our Easter Break, the release of the video is apt to make us contemplate on how lucky we are to be able to play an honourable game we call airsoft.  For Tank, it is not as simple as that as he has fewer faculties to effectively play than we do. The mobility chair, the support of his team and the Irish airsoft community are all that get him to play. So just imagine and put yourselves in his shoes, or in this case, on his wheelchair and try to play airsoft. I am pretty sure you will get to understand his frustration even better than you do now.

    Let’s all work to help Tank get Tank 2.0.


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    COD Ghosts

    Looks like the last week of March, or if you want to call it, the week after Easter 2016, is starting slowly. We do not have some significant news on the airsoft and tactical community front, and OptimusPrime says that he is still slowly uploading the videos taken during the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016. If you are all still having the Monday sickness from the Easter Break, I’ll just tell you what we may expect in 2016 from the biggest franchise in the first person shooter genre --- Call of Duty.

    We are expecting to hear some news in late of first quarter of the year, or early part of April, about initial details of what Activision are planning to release for the Call of Duty Franchise in November 2016, which is their tradition in releasing Call of Duty Titles. So far, I can say that details emerging are either rumours or if mentioned to be “confirmed sources”, it has not been corroborated by other reliable gaming news sites.

    But the talk about the Call of Duty 2016 is around “Ghosts”, one the titles in the franchise that does not have a sequel yet. Released in 2013, it was praised for “Extinction” and multiplayer modes whilst criticized for the single player campaign which critics say is not innovative or just a rehash of features of previous COD titles. Even if it had earned over US$1 billion, “Ghosts” was underwhelming in sales when compared to “Black Ops 2” which was released in the previous year.

    So now we have some news outlets reporting that “Ghosts 2” will be the COD 2016.  According to Fraghero, UK magazine Games TM has leaked “Ghosts 2”. The screenshot they provided shows a short but authoritative-sounding report that “Ghosts 2” will be what Infinity Ward will be working for the year, although so far it is only Games TM reporting that it will be a sequel of “Ghosts”.

    Or will it “Bloodlines” in which other games news sites are reporting about? According to DualPixels and other sites, Activision will be developing for the Nintendo NX “Skylanders” and along with it “Call of Duty: Bloodlines”. “Bloodlines” as replacement for Ghosts still is iffy for me, if this means it still picks up from where “Ghosts” left off, and it is about the story of a family in one legendary unit.

    Details are still sketchy, so until Activision or Infinity War will reveal some details later this week, others may see it an opportunity to write April Fools stories about. If they do, I just hope they will be really hilarious.

    “Call of Duty: Ghosts 2” or “Call of Duty: Bloodlines”? For now, I’ll file this as “unconfirmed.”


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    AirSplat Gavel

    The AirSplat saga continues. But before I go on with the story, I’m a confused. If you remember last January, AirSplat announced a closing down sale as they said they have been acquired by a distributor and will be a subsidiary instead. Until now, I do not know yet details of the new owners of AirSplat.com. If somebody can contact us with more information, then I am all ears.

    Now, we have been sent a link of a company named “The Wuster” suing the following the companies in the Georgia Northern District Court:

    • Apex Global Trading Co., Ltd.
    • Jia Dyi Enterprise Co., Ltd.
    • KWA Performance Industries, Inc.
    • Lone Wolf Distributors, Inc.
    • Palco Marketing, Inc.
    • Spartan Imports
    • WE Tactical Training Ltd., Co.
    • Ye Kai Enterprise Co., Ltd.

    The Wuster, is represented by Wellborn & Wallace, LLC and the case is about Diversity-Breach of Contract. This means that those involved in the lawsuit are from different states with the amount involved to be over US$75,000.00. There are no further details that can be gleamed from the link as we need a PACER account to access the court document, which unfortunately, we don’t have.

    The last time we encounter the name “The Wuster”, is that the company is a defendant in lawsuit filed by Glock against AirSplat in 2014 in the same district which we also reported. This is still ongoing and according to Georgia IP Litigation the case filed by Glock shows the following names all known to be related to AirSplat.

    On February 26, Glock, Inc. (“Glock”) filed a 44-page complaint against Kent De-Hui a/k/a Kent Wu a/k/a Keat D. Wu a/k/a Kenneth Wilson, May-Fong Chu, a/k/a May Chu a/k/a May Fun Chu, a/k/a Mian Chu a/k/a Mary Schwarz, The Wuster, Da Wuster, Inc., Da Wuster Corp., Wuster & Chewy LLC (California), Wuster & Chewy LLC (Washington), The Wuster Inc., XYZ Corporations 1-10, and ABC Limited Liability Companies 1-10 (collectively “AirSplat”), alleging patent infringement, federal trade dress infringement, federal trademark infringement, federal false designation of origin and false advertising, federal dilution, common law trade dress and trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, and unjust enrichment, disgorgement and constructive trust for Airsplat's manufacture, importation, and sale of unauthorized replica airsoft guns.  Glock seeks injunctive relief, damages, treble damages, and attorneys’ fees.

    Is the case against the companies related to the Glock case? This is what I can speculate about, as these companies have airsoft products that are based on the Glock design. In case The Wuster/AirSplat loses the case and coughs up payment for the damages that will be determined, this lawsuit might be a way to cover the losses somehow.

    Please do take note that this is all speculation. We will try to find out more about this. This time, we find that Cybergun is at the receiving end of this lawsuit as it owns two companies that are being sued: Spartan Imports and Palco Marketing Inc. Also Cybergun now has a license the manufacture airsoft Glocks but only for the MIL/LE training sector.

    Stay tuned...


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    SCAMP Drone

    Watching the video on Stanford’s SCAMP project reminds me of Frenzy, the small Decepticon in Transformers. More of a surveillance rather than a combat Decepticon, what Frenzy does can be exactly what SCAMP can do in the future, albeit it would be cool if it can transform itself into a boombox.

    What is SCAMP? The Stanford Climbing and Aerial Maneuvering Platform present a new form of an unmanned vehicle that is becoming flexible. Other drone projects show these robots getting the ability to lurk underwater and they fly up the surface, but the SCAMP is even more versatile. It can fly, perch, and climb walls.

    Such versatility means lots of applications from military to rescue. The team behind the SCAMP already has experience in robot projects and is leveraging the technologies they have developed in SCAMP. They used their experience in developing their wall-climbing robot, the Stickybot and giving it flying abilities. With the ability to perch, the SCAMP can readily stick to walls at any point, rather than starting to climb up from the bottom or down from the top.

    The leg design reminds you of insects that can stick to walls such as the Praying Mantis or Daddy Longlegs, showing that nature can be inspiration to functions needed to develop future technologies.

    The perching and climbing capabilities of flying drones as seen in the SCAMP allow them do more than when doing surveillance or search. Thus, they are able to reach into areas where no flying drones can do, land and walk into crevices in disaster stricken areas, whether man-made or natural. For military and law enforcement applications, they can sneak up by climbing walls to reconnoiter and take videos or snap shots to transmit back to the command center.

    If commercial or hobby camera drones get to have these features in the future, it would be great to see production companies covering airsoft events to be able to use them for even better footage. Rather than have fixed cameras along the way, they can just fly these drones to various points and have them stick to the wall to capture the action below then move to a new spot to get a better angle. That way, lesser camera units are needed, especially if the production crew is running on a tight budget.

    Still, the thought of having something like Frenzy in drones in the future unnerves me.


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    James Edition AK47 Chair

    Perhaps this is the closest thing to owning a throne similar to that one in Game of Thrones. Though this one features the most iconic rifle in history and has killed more people than all the swords used in the Game of Thrones throne. So some respect can also be given to this chair given that it has the AK-47 as the main feature.

    The AK-47 Chair was designed after Austrian designer, Rainer Weber read a book about Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-47 rifle. The rifles, 4 stb AK-47 with fixed stocks and 2 more AK-47 with folding stocks, are real ones, though they have been deactivated, completely dismantled and welded back together by mans of 4L sections and 3 round sections. They were then chrome-plated before assembled again.

    As for the seat and backrest, they incorporate fine fabrics from well-respected Backhausen in Vienna and are handwoven by the Italian company, Luigi Bevilacqua which is based in Venice. The pistol grips were coloured in black whilst he wooden stocks were treated with a special varnish. You may wonder about the cartridge belt but it was placed there to hold the original chrome-plated AK-47 cartridges.

    The L-sections and details of the gun barrels are leather-coated, and the same was done with the included Russian helmet which is chrome plated on the outside and leather-coated in the inside.

    Already ready to whip out your cheque books or pull out your credit cards to own one? Not so fast as pricing is upon request. You can go to James Edition, claimed to the world’s smartest luxury market place and contact Rainer Weber. James Edition connects buyers and sellers and they also say that they do not take commissions from sales.

    If you wouldn’t bat an eyelid when a price quote is sent to you by Weber, then you would probably one of the few to own one of these. But to really enjoy owning one of these, you should be ready to also employ an army ready to conquer the world. That means you should be in the league of villains that are found in James Bond movies. Joffrey Baratheon would cry like a baby seeing you sitting in a more luxurious throne.


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    EOTech Model 618 HWS (1 April)

    EOTech and their parent company L3 got their share of negative publicity in the last few months. All their Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS) are affected by extreme temperature fluctuations. Such adverse changes in temperature can cause Point Of Impact (POI) shift bigger than advertised which might not affect the casual range goers and competition shooters but Military and Law Enforcement users have something to worry about.

    L3 settled with the US government for 25.6 million USD and started a refund campaign where you can send your sights back to them and you get your money back no questions asked which is kind of fair game if you ask me.

    First, I thought HWS sights will be so cheap after the bad news that every airsofter would be able to buy a real one but this refund program kept HWS prices on the same level, there is no noticeable drop in price because whoever wanted to sell was able to get their full price back.

    It was recently announced that a civil legal campaign was launched against EOTech and people can join in to share legal expenses, probably this is for all the people who want to keep their sights and they want some kind of compensation. I own a pre-L3 552 HWS (made in 2002) and an EXPS3 but I have no intention of returning them even if they're bulky and thirsty of battery juice. Rumors say that early models and the Bushnells aren't affected by the issue but so far I couldn't find any confirmation on that.

    To be fair every weapon sight will experience POI shift after extreme temperature changes, just recently Trijicon published how much their new MRO sight is affected. EOTech (and L3) allegedly knew about the issue but they hoped that no one will notice.

    Until now, there was no comment about what's next for EOTech, not counting the announcement of their rifle scope line, because those aren't HWS units that are affected by the POI shift issue. EOTech thought they won't give up without a fight and they will try to save the HWS line with a refresh of their successful 518 with what they have been developing in secret giving it a project code of HWS040116AFD. The new sight is called the 618, which signals a generation change that might arrive just at the right time for EOTech. There are very few pictures of the actual sight only a few prototypes were caught on camera during range events and gun shows. It's going to be an uphill battle for EOTech and I hope HWS sights won't be discontinued.

    Here now is what EOTech thinks will be the product to redeem their HWS line, the EOTech Model 618:

    The best just got better! The all new 618 runs on easy to find and cheap CR123A batteries and offers all the features of the EXPS sights and then some. We listened to our customers’ suggestion and designed an extended battery compartment for the 618.

    It now runs on six (6) CR123A batteries and the user can decide how the power is distributed. With the help of the side buttons user can select either extended runtime function or Anti-POI Shift (APS) function. The new APS function keeps the sight on constant temperature so you never lose your zero in case you leave your rifle in the trunk of your car overnight. The APS system remembers the temperature when zero was set and maintains it for a 24hr period after which the 618 resumes normal operation and it can be used for another 60 minutes.

    With the help of the cheap and easy to find CR123A batteries you can maintain your zero no matter the temperature. After careful consideration we added a low battery indicator which can be either set to blink or beep. The unit also compatible with the latest Gen6 night vision goggles.

    No pricing was provided in the press release and for interested buyers they can contact resellers who still carry their products, whoever they are. The design is also a departure from their XPS designs which are compact versions of their HWS, famous of which are their special Zombie Killer and the Model 300 Blackout. Users will be happy that with the longer battery compartment, they can use the HWS for a longer duration as they have been complaining about battery life.

    With the new APS, owners of the Model 618 will never lose their zero; and for EOTech, they are now crossing their fingers that this model will not leave them zero at the bank.

     

    Update:Happy April 1st! :)


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    Colin Furze The Thermite Launcher

    British serial tinkerer and inventor Colin Furze just built what is the closest thing to having a real Fallout Fat Man and he has posted on YouTube to show you that it works. And damn it works great. For those who love pyros and explosions, The Thermite Launcher is a work of art.

    While not exactly the Fat Man Launcher (it is a mini nuke launcher)  as the design is more a Victorian-inspired steam punk pneumatic launcher, it is something that I would not recommend to anyone who does not have the proper skill to build one. As for the projectile, thermite is a pyro made of metal oxide and metal powder fuel. While it does not exactly give an explosive effect, it burns at a high temperature over 4,000 degrees F in a small area that it can burn through many objects such as the disabling artillery pieces with thermite grenades.  If not handled properly, just imagine that gaping hole on your table, or might just ignite combustible materials inside your house or workshop.

    Colin Furze’s design has safety features to prevent any prevent any premature ignition of the thermite canister payload through the use of switches that need are activated in a sequence. Furthermore, it is a polished design rather than a haphazard contraption of pipes and metal bits.

    Lobbing the thermite canister at a farther distance is the best thing to keep one away from the hot burning material. And the effect of the materials hit by the thermite shows how hot it is, with the fireworks giving a more dramatic effect to what his Thermite Launcher can do.

    For educational purposes, he included videos on how he made the thermite shells and the launcher. Again, please do remember not to do this at home or make one without professional supervision and safety precautions.

    Too bad we can’t use this for airsoft. We don’t want seeing milsimers lying around with big burn holes in them.


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    The Champagne Gun

    If Marie Antoinette were alive today, she would approve of the Champagne Gun. Because if there is something better than eating cake, it is shooting a stream of champagne across 23 feet. Just fill up a bar with bottles of Moët & Chandons or Krugs; or if you’re richer than Bill Gates, bring in crates of Gout de Diamants and have the ultimate party warfare with your friends who are probably decked in gold and diamonds as well.

    Made by the French company, Extra Night, the Champagne Gun itself is not that expensive to purchase from King of Sparklers as you can order it for US$459, a pittance for the jet setting and yacht-owning class. For such a price, a trust fund baby can arm an army of party people and have logistics people of bartenders or butlers to keep them supplied with all the champagne in Magnum (1.5L) sizes to last the whole night long.

    As for color choices, it comes in colors that would always attract the 1%: Rose Gold, Chrome, and Plain Gold. So far, there is no diamond-studded version of the Champagne Gun. Probably they would make one if requested by a member of the les gens riches.

    According to King of Sparklers, it has 3 uses:

    1. Champagne Showers: 16 to 23 feet spray for 45 seconds.
    2. Champagne Service: An original accessory, elegant and exuberant to serve champagne
    3. Champagne Display: Beautiful and stylish decoration, to display any magnum of champagne on a bar or dining table, or can be use a a centerpiece

    I am pretty sure there are more uses than what has been enumerated. If you have the money, you can hire people to think of more uses of the Champagne Gun, just ask Donald Trump.

    So if you’re bored, loaded (with cash) and have an itchy trigger finger, organize an all-night party and arm your guests with the Champaign Gun. Just don’t get hoity-toity and let the hoi polloi see you.


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    Revl Arc

    Image stabilization is an important feature that we always look in cameras. This feature helps in getting clear and sharp photos, especially when there is no tripod available. When capturing the action, it becomes more obvious for video taking, since it gives a smoother video footage that. For action cameras, image stabilization is always an afterthought that we have to purchase a separate device for stabilization. For airsoft players a stabilized action camera is a god-send.

    Even the GoPro will need a Gimbal, usually the Gimbals from Feiyu and that will increase the cost of owning an action camera. Even competitors such as those from DJI OSMO will still come with a Gimbal for stabilization.

    This year, a start-company is now raising funds on Indiegogo to finally realize the stabilized 4K action camera called the Revl Arc.  Revl  Arcas its makers claim, is the smartest 4K Action Camera. Stabilization is just one feature, though. It has Bluetooth hear rate monitor, Wifi connectivity, waterproof without the need for a separate case and it is lighter than the GoPro Hero 4 mounted on a Feiyu Gimbal.

    Now with the Wifi connectivity, that means you can connect it to a mobile device, in this case your smartphone. With the Revl Arc App it is able to identify the best moments in the video and can create a shareable video so your friends and family can see the action as soon as you upload it.

    The crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo has already exceeded the funding goals for the project. Which means after the end of the campaign, the Revl Arc team  can proceed on working on a production version of the action camera and they are expecting to start delivering the action camera in December 2016. Now, I don’t know if the bigger competitors will be releasing their own stabilized 4K action cameras before them.

    The value proposition of the Revl Arc action camera is good, as you save in costs on getting a separate gimbal for stabilization. Since stabilization is available in-camera, you get a compact action camera that you can easily mount on your helmet or vest to capture smoother videos of the airsoft action.

    If you can wait for December 2016, then you can pledge funding support for the project or you can wait for a similar product that may just be released this year. With how fast technology evolves nowadays,  I won’t be surprised if a competitor may just beat them to releasing a stabilized 4K action camera.


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    ProxDynamics UAS PD-100 Black Hornet (BSS Holland)

    The U.S. Army has finally decided to equip its soldiers with small drones by 2018 according to Army Times. In a Request For Information released on FOB.gov, the U.S. Army wants to have the drone small and light enough (less than a pound) that it is not much an added burden to the already heavy load that soldiers carry when doing their missions.

    Calling it the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS), the drone should be easily deployable, cost effective, and can be readily be acquired by the military when needed.

    The British military are already using the Black Hornet Nano-UAV by ProxDynamics  but it is an expensive system and individually handmade. There are many affordable RC toys in the civilian market that are small as the Black Hornet, and it is a matter of building something similar to these toys with better capabilities such as faster charging, light enough at 150 grams, and of course can be controlled  to a range 1,200 metres. The camera should be very capable and can also go to heights of up to 50 to 70 feet with a flight time of at least 15 minutes.

    The use of nano-drones at the squad level is important as bigger UAVs can only cover what they see from the air. The nano-drones can enter buildings or go around at almost ground level to give real time intelligence to the squad --- entering buildings that need to be cleared, spotting IEDs or scouting ahead to see if there is an enemy waiting in ambush.

    Commercial drone companies can join in the development of this project, which means companies such as Parrot can potentially supply the U.S. Army with the nano-UAV. The SBS project will be coordinated by Product Manager Soldier Maneuver Sensors (PM SMS).  The U.S. Army intends to buy in small quantities in the next two years to test them with bigger purchases to be made in 2018.


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    Suunto Traverse Alpha

    If you are in search of a new outdoor watch, then you might want to check out the new Suunto Traverse Alpha Watches.  Apart from the usual outdoor tools that come improved in the Suunto Traverse Alpha, the company has included a Shot Detection feature that should attract tactical consumers, hunters and anglers.

    Using the integrated accelerometer, the feature automatically creates a point of interest (POI) based on the location of the shot. It just makes me wonder if it would be able to detect a shot made with an airsoft gun.

    It has GPS/GLOSNASS for navigation and also includes unique POI types that record important locations such as animal prints, signs of bedding, and tree stand or fishing locations to allow for easy navigation back to relevant areas. It has functions such as compass with tilt compensation, breadcrumb trail and the trademarked FusedAlti which is a combination GPS and barometric altitude—assist in navigating through unknown territory.

    Made in Finland, the Suunto Traverse Alpha meets the MIL-STD- 819G and offers robust hunting and fishing specific features. The durability is further enhanced by the use knurled stainless steel bezel, water-repellent nylon strap and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass.

    “Seeing the popularity of Suunto watches among anglers and hunters and noting that very few watches in the market address their specific needs, we decided to reach out to them with a dedicated product,” explains Petteri Hernelahti, Suunto’s outdoor business line manager. “True to Suunto’s heritage, the Traverse Alpha watches combine rugged design with unique features such as shot recognition to create the most advanced watch for fishing and hunting.”

    Users can use the Movescount, Suunto’s online platform that is also an app that can be used on Android and Apple iOS mobile devices. With this tool, sportsmen can utilize detailed topographic maps featuring elevation data to accurately track shot distance and elevation, and create altitude profiles and waypoints.

    Here are the full product features of the Traverse Alpha:

    • Hiking, Fishing and Hunting modes
    • Sunrise-sunset times and alerts
    • Fishing and hunting specific POI types
    • Moon phases and moon rise/set times
    • Automatic Shot detection
    • Red backlight, Night Vision Goggle compatible
    • GPS and GLONASS for route and POI navigation
    • Real-time breadcrumb view of the recorded track
    • Tracking for speed, distance and altitude
    • Route planning in Suunto's Movescount.com with topographic maps
    • Route preview and route altitude profile on the watch
    • 100 m/330 ft water resistance
    • Altitude (FusedAlti™)
    • Weather trend and storm alarm
    • Compass
    • Backlight in flashlight mode
    • Vibration alarm
    • GPS time update
    • Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activity tracking of steps and calories
    • Mobile notifications
    • Compatible with Suunto Movescount App (iOS and Android)

    The Suunto Traverse Alpha will be available in two versions: Traverse Alpha Stealth, and Traverse Alpha Foliage. The U.S. release will be on the 19th of April 2016 with a global release on the 29th of April. As for the suggested retail price, it will be US$569.00.


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    TacticalWalls RFID

    TacticalWalls, the company that makes discreet but easy to reach gun storage solutions (or what they call “Hidden In Plain Sight” firearms concealment solutions), have announced Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) models for this year. What this means that opening the Tactical Walls to store or retrieve a firearm is more convenient, faster and at the same time more secure.

    RFID is now being implemented in a lot of devices such as those used for road tolls, pet ID, anti-theft, keycards, and contactless payment cards (e.g. credit cards).

    To access an RFID-equipped TacticalWalls, one has to have a credit card-sized RFID card. In the video included here, the demo of the RFID lock shows that it uses a low-frequency, which means the card will have to be really near the RFID reader for the TacticalWall to open. The cards can be customized such as having one card to open all or just certain TacticalWalls installed in the house or place of work, or have several cards programmed to be given to household members old enough to handle a firearm.

    A Tattle Tale function is also a feature of the TacticalWalls RFID lock in which the TacticalWalls will beep if left opened for a certain period, reminding the owner to close the unit. This also serves as a reminder for the owner to store the firearm or can alert him/her that a TacticalWalls is open and check who has accessed it.

    In case the battery runs out juice, the TacticalWalls is unlocked but remains in a closed position.
    According to the company, the RFID locking mechanism will be offered as an optional alternative to the existing magnetic lock on select TacticalWalls models, including:

    1450M Bundle – MSRP’s range $630-760
    1420M Bundle – MSRP’s range $500-660
    825 Pistol Length Shelf (PLS) – MSRP’s range $435-495
    812 Pistol Length Shelf (PLS) – MSRP’s range $219-349

    For now, the RFID option is on pre-sale and orders will need to allow up to 4 weeks for delivery. For airsoft owners who have some extra cash and prefer a more aesthetically-pleasing airsoft gun storage solution at home, they can look at TacticalWalls.


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    Tom Clancy's The Division Characters

    It has been sometime since I last played these online multiplayer shooters and I found it helped improved my health and sanity. I remember those episodes of wanting to scream in the middle of the night when I got fragged by some cheater who can has a wall hack or have a too powerful weapon. I was hoping that with all the experiences and lessons learned from the past online multiplayer shooter games that by now game developers already anticipate what cheats that players would try to do to gain an unfair advantage over others.

    Unfortunately, the problem remains the same and it’s always a race to fix or patch the game with an update to prevent cheating. The latest multiplayer game to be afflicted by cheating problems is Ubisoft’s“Tom Clancy’s The Division” and here is a video of one player from the Philippines showing the cheating problem:

    Apart from fixing the game glitches and improvements in playing experience, Ubisoft will finally provide tools for players to help in preventing cheating. As part of the software update 1.1 that will be rolled out on the 12th of April 2016, Ubisoft will patch game issues such as the exploit where players could shoot through corners of covers and an exploit where players could ignore the fire rate of certain weapons.

    For players reported cheating, a two strikes you’re out policy will be taken by Ubisoft. For PC players, they can use "/report [username]" to flag a possible offender for the company to look into. If determined that the reported player/username is up to no good, a 3-day ban suspension will be issued to the offending player. For repeat offenders, a permanent ban will of course lock them out of the game and most probably won’t get refunds.

    Update 1.1 is a massive one and has a lot of game changes aimed at improving player experience and even a “hard” setting for all incursions, which is similar to the “Challenge” setting, the hardest difficulty. More gear sets will be added and the first of the four gear sets will be released in this update that are made for marksman, assault or tank builds, and there are specifically designed gear sets for solo Dark Zone players. As for weapons, new high end weapons will be introduced such as the Warlord assault rifle, Historian marksman rifle and the Valkyria submachine gun.

    With all these updates, many players are looking forward to cheating to be minimised in the game, as well as new stuff and game difficulties to work hard. Perhaps I will change my mind and try my hand of playing the game as well.


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    Tammy Grace Barnett

    The U.S. Military already employ thousands of women, albeit most of them in support roles rather than actual frontline duties. But on January 2016, they opened up all roles, including combat roles to women as announced by Defense Secretary Ash Carter in December 2015. There are no exceptions at all, and thus women have the same opportunities as men to the various roles in the U.S. military.

    This means also that the U.S. Army will have to open infantry roles to women and now they have their first female infantry recruit after they opened a series of MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) last April 1. Tammy Grace Barnett, a 25-year old police officer from Louisiana, took the oath of enlistment Thursday at Military Entrance Processing Station Shreveport, Louisiana.

    Barnett will report in June 2017 to Fort Benning, Georgia. According to Army Times, the 14-month delay is to allow the U.S. Army to prepare female officers and non-commissioned officers to take on the role of training the female infantry recruits.

    (Tammy Grace Barnett. Photo by the U.S. Army)

    Barnett said that she has been meeting with Army recruiters since November 2015 and finally decided to sign-up when the infantry role was opened up for women. She initially wanted to enter the Military Police, but decided to go infantry citing her law enforcement experience as making her want to be in the frontlines.

    Another video and story by KSLA News on this can be found here.

    The United States is not the first country to allow women in combat roles. Other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia have already done at various degrees with some countries still not allowing in certain roles. The U.S. joins a few countries in lifting restrictions to women in all roles in the military.

    Last April 4, the U.S. Army already made a call for women already serving in the branch who are interested in infantry and armor roles. They are opening 14 previously closed combat roles for those interested:

    • 11B (infantryman)
    • 11C (indirect fire infantryman)
    • 12B (combat engineer)
    • 13B (cannon crewmember)
    • 13D (field artillery automated tactical data system specialist)
    • 13F (fire support specialist)
    • 13M (MLRS crewmember)
    • 13P (MLRS operational dire direction specialist)
    • 13R (field artillery Firefinder radar operator)
    • 19D (cavalry scout)
    • 19K (M1 tank crewmember)
    • 91A (M1 tank system maintainer)
    • 91M (track vehicle repairer)
    • 91P (artillery mechanic)

    (Source Army Times)

    In the next few years, we’ll soon be seeing women operating Main Battle Tanks, MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems), artillery, recon vehicles, fire support, and actual infantry roles. There will be resistance in the male-dominated military, but then things should change for the better.

    Should we see an increase in the number of women playing airsoft as well when they see women in combat roles as role models too? Perhaps, with few women playing airsoft, for them to see their gender doing equal roles in the military should inspire them to also emulate them in airsoft.


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