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    Border War 8: The Warchief Feature

    It was our first time to attend Border War, considered to be the best airsoft event in the world according to airsoft players as it won the Best Airsoft Event Award at the Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards four times in a row.  Most of our interactions with Border War was with Mike Von Bulow, the man behind the event, as we communicated and met up at the IWA Outdoor Classics each year or whenever he is London if his other job tells him to. But for Border War 8: The Warchief, we made sure that we have to see for ourselves what makes this event tick.

    Whilst Border War 8: The Warchief was slated to for the 22nd to the 24th of April 2016, the activities started on the 21st of April, where players started arriving and setting up camp. Before the action started the next day, the 21st is really about festivities where players get to meet up with veterans of the event, check the parade grounds where the Czech Army had on display some of the hardware they have such as the Pandur II APC. We did get some photos and videos from those who attended the event showing them inside the Pandur II, as an export version is manufactured in the Czech Republic.

    Players, organizers and sponsors were on a party mood on the 21st with goodies given away, photo ops with the role players such as the cowboys and indians. The weather was very much cooperative, with the sun fully out shining brightly on the crowds below. Non-alcoholic beer was served, which will disappoint some who were used to flowing beer at other airsoft events, but nevertheless the beer tasted good, and the famous sausages were flying off the grill as players kept on coming back to order them. The food being served by the caterer was the best we’ve tried in all these years we’ve been going to airsoft events. But of course, we haven’t been to all the airsoft events in the world.

    At the safe zone the sponsors who set up booths steadied themselves for the needs of the airsoft players. Valken Tactical’s eye protection were already depleted when we talked to Janek, good thing there are other vendors there such as Bohemia Airsoft ready to provide the ammo they needed. Also having their displays were Gunfire, Action Sport Games, Tippmann (who were able to sell their HPA M4 units), Jackets To Go, Tactical Pro, Voodoo Tactical Europe, KHS Tactical Watches, and Military Gear and Adventure Food. Other sponsors of the event were G&G Armament, RedWolf Airsoft, Airsoft & Military News Blog, and Military1st.co.uk.

    The 22nd of April was the start of hostilities, but before the shooting started, all players and groups were in formations on the parade ground in the morning, with Mike Von Bulow atop the Pandur II giving a briefing to all players on how the game shall be conducted. The groups were all given their mission packs and tasks for the weekend, and were all commanded by experienced veterans of Border War.  Sparco of the Task Force - 225 was in a Drill Sergeant getup before changing into his loadout for the game.

    Just like any airsoft event held over the a large area, in this case around 10 square kilometres of woodland and hills, that even if you’ve got over 2,000 fully armed airsoft players, contact does not come easy. In this case, having advanced units searching for enemy positions and calling in the main body for any contact would always make sense. It is not always rock and roll, and when contact happens, it will be always be quick. But there are also some large scale frontal attacks that ensure to pump the adrenalin in players.

    What also makes this game significant is the air mobile feature, where players get heli insertion missions on the first day of the game.  This way, they did not have to march all the way to their mission objectives their camps and besides, choppers are always cool to have in any big airsoft event.

    Master Chief and I went around to check the camps, starting first with the Task Force, then going to the PMC camp and the Village. You’ll find an assortment of interactions --- the Task Force troops doing road patrols; the PMCs waiting for the highest bidder before they move into action; going to the Shamans to get some predictions; and of course the cowboys who have put a poster of Chuck Norris in one of the salons.

    Up the road, we see a group of troops from the Task Force trying to get up a hill but they are just being mowed down by militia troops hidden in the trees and have vantage view. They were well hidden that we were not able to see them shooting on the Task Force patrol, with their medic being kept busy as he tried to revive wounded troops.

    Along the way, we got to meet some troops who were given the task to tell their war stories to journalists. In this case, we were the obvious journalists with our cameras and hi-viz jackets.  That means that we were also part of the game, rather than just mere spectators or passive recorders of the event.

    Our first impression of the first day was that a lot of things were happening all at once, not exactly in terms of firefights, but in the various scenes that players need to contend with in the pursuit of their tasks and missions. They may seem to be unrelated to each other but if you look at the big picture, you get to understand that these are all parts of the same story. And it is about the civil war in the state of Tacas with a rebellion being led by a billionaire cowboy with his militia and Eagle warriors, demanding that they secede from Tacas for the unpatriotic reason of avoiding taxes.  But you know how the plot goes, the powers-that-be in Tacas sent in their powerful Task Force to quell the rebellion, though they were given a beating by the insurrectionists in the beginning as they were very much familiar with their territory.

    On the 23rd, it was our turn to do some airborne reconnoitering. Mike Von Bulow arranged for us to have the helicopter bring us around the whole game area and for me and Master Chief to mark out the areas where we have not covered yet. The whole AO (area of operations) is a combination of a off road racing facility, a natural park, and a military reservation area. Mike explained that the area housed nuclear missiles during the time the Czech Republic was part of the Warsaw Pact. Bunkers and pillboxes dotted the area, and there are hardened tunnels that protected the mobile missile launchers from the air attacks. From afar, we saw the Bezděz Castle, an imposing and hard to access castle (tactically) by land when it was founded in 1264.

    After the chopper ride, we immediately went further into the AO, now getting caught into more firefights as the commanders intensified their attacks on the various factions involved in the civil war. In one instance, we saw members of the Movement of the Holy Purge taking hostage some TF-225 troopers but were then under attack by a platoon from the Task Force determined to rescue their own. The religious fanatics were then reinforced, and an intense firefight took place than even us, “journalists” were caught in the crossfire. I got hit, and became a casualty of war.

    Getting from one camp to another will tax you, especially if you are not fit and if you do not familiarize yourself with the map provided. To walk from the safe zone to the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the militias will take around a distance of 4 kilometres. We trudged to ensure that we get to cover most of the AO for our report. After doing some of the walking for the rest of the morning, we got back to the safe zone for some lunch as the afternoon will be another round of checking out the factions together with Von Bulow and Slavek of the organizing group. But this time, we will be using the ATVs.

    We again went back to the FOB of the Militias, finding the leaders directing the action from there and monitoring troop movements on the map. So far in the afternoon, the militias were doing some actions to repel any attacks from the Task Force and their allies (if they were able to get the PMC’s services) and pressing on to other objectives in the day. From there we moved to the main HQ of the militias where the commander is high spirits as reports of the militia units putting the FOB of the Task Force under extreme pressure. Also, we were given a tour of the HQ where various militia units, in a hodge podge of uniforms, were resting and preparing for the next missions.

    Moving on, we were able to get to the Task Force FOB that was under attack and it was bloody. We saw a lot of hi-viz jackets out, which means, a lot of casualties on both sides. But it we were at the right moment as the remaining militia units made the final push to capture the FOB, and finally succeeding this time. Celebratory gunfire ensued and we were able to talk to Commander Sparco of the Task Force, giving credit to all the players, especially to the Militias’ determined effort to put the FOB out of action.

    From there, we checked out the medical facility that was setup by Medevac.cz. Border War is so far the most well-equipped game in terms of medical facilities, as it has to meet the Role 2 medical preparedness as require by Czech authorities, and that preparedness is the ability to handle a 25,000 person event such as concert. Border War may not have 25,000, but for any airsoft player, that capability to handle such numbers, as they have ambulances, paramedics, surgeons, internists, and quad bikes ready to respond to any medical emergency and they have makeshift beds to provide first aid and immediate care to any airsoft player needing medical attention.

    The 24th of April also means that most of the players were already packing up. But for those who still have some action left into them, Mike Von Bulow whipped them into a formidable force. Now taking command of the Task Force and commanding an armoured vehicle, he was still able to put together around 300 Task Force and supporting units to overrun the village and take the fight against the militias. Just like a dictator of a Banana Republic (his own description, not ours), he just mowed down anyone on the way. What a way to end the game, with an iron fist.

    By 12 noon, the vehicles have mainly streamed out of the AO, with players on their way back to respective countries in the AO.  Apart from European players, there were players representing Brazil, the Philippines, and the USA and thus, giving it a more international outlook.

    Overall, what fascinated us is the level of organization of Border War. Mike Von Bulow is fiercely proud of the Border War Crew. The crew is relaxed but well prepared for any eventuality, with over 200 members of the organizers ready to meet the needs of the airsoft players and put order and sanity to over 2,000 players who wanted to see the action quick. In our experience over the years of going massive airsoft events, either as media, players, or both, the Border War Crew was very much on top of everything. I am sure there were complaints since not everyone can be pleased, but overall it is very much a very well-oiled machine. From the moment we entered the AO, the parking was quickly sorted out, food was not a problem, medical facilities were excellent, and AO security strictly enforced (we experienced this first hand on our attempt to enter the dead zone without our bands).

    Such an organization is crucial to the success of any airsoft event, big or small and the Border War Crew just made it seem easy. If you are looking into organizing an event similar to Border War, or Berget, or Ground Zero, we highly recommend to you to attend Border War, you will learn a lot.

    As we drove back towards Prague for some quick R&R before flying back home, Master Chief and I decided that for next year, we’ll be back as media and at the same time as players immersed in the game to give you a first-hand account of the battles that will take place for Border War 9.

    If you have been wondering why Border Wars has been voted the Best Airsoft Event four times in a row by airsoft players, the secret is out of the open --- an excellent and well-prepared organization.

    See you next year!


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    Battlefield 1 Reveal Trailer

    Last week, the reveal of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare shows it going much further into the future, and it the future is shown to be in Space. For EA and Dice, the latest title of their Battlefield series is to take it back into the past. In this case, the setting is World War I, or an alternate World War 1 history, and going the opposite way, Battlefield 1 may have something over COD’s Infinite Warfare.

    There has been some clamor amongst first person shooters in gaming forums of the need for another period FPS, though what they indicated was another World War II FPS, which Call of Duty was known for. But for Battlefield 1 going even further into the past, picking up a World War I theme, is such a surprise and actually got good reception from the media and players.

    In the battle for likes and dislikes reveal trailers, as of this writing, COD Infinite Warfare has gathered 242,991  like and 967,322 dislikes with over 12 million views while Battlefield 1 has 881,571  likes and 16,539 dislikes with over 16 million views. It looks like Battlefield 1 will pull one over Infinite Warfare for the battle of the top FPS game this year.

    The reveal trailer shows that the battles over land, sea, and air. For a change, players will get to pilot biplanes and battle against German triplanes, and over sea, do classic sea battles with dreadnoughts. The first generation tanks will be seen in battle as players experience trench warfare digitally, and perhaps some chemical or gas attacks. Zeppelins will also make their presence felt in the game, and making us more nostalgic about Red Alert where we last saw these massive dirigibles in action.

    With the many first person shooter games being released being set in the future, such as Halo, Titanfall, Destiny, and now Call of Duty, the decision to have Battlefield 1 have a World War 1 theme is a master stroke. 

    Well know more information about Battlefield 1’s plot and gameplay over the months. One thing that Battlefield did not break from tradition is releasing earlier than Call of Duty. Battlefield 1 will be released on the 21st of October while Infinite Warfare will be on the 4th of November.

    One thing we wish is that Dice has already ironed out the problems that affected the previous Battlefield titles and if they do, then they may have a better seller this time and better than Call of Duty’s offering.


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    Tokyo Marui 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show Announcement

    It’s that time of the year when Tokyo Marui shows up with a big announcement on what to expect from them at this year’s 55th Shizouka Hobby Show. Last year was a significant one, as they revealed the AA-12 AES to the glee of many airsoft players around the world. The AA-12 AES is a feat in itself as it fires rounds from three barrels, making it a unique airsoft shotgun.

    For this year, we still do not have a clue on what they will release for the year as by this time they should have released teaser images on what they will unveil this year. But so far, there was no official teaser yet. Hyperdouraku is imagining that they will unveil a Kel-Tec KSG Gas Shotgun, though that is wishful thinking for Yas. But it’s not a bad idea at all as there is there has been no update on the SOCOM Gear Kel-Tec KSG ever since it was announced in January 2014 via RedWolf Airsoft’s Facebook Page.

    (Please, please make that airsoft Kel-Tec KSG real!)

    But what we have instead is a special page on the 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show at the Tokyo Marui website. What they announced are the following:

    1. Product reveal and they want you to be at their booth during the show to see first hand what the product(s) will be;
    2. Shooting range will also be installed at the venue and visitors ages 18 and up can try their hands on the airsoft guns that they will make available at the range;
    3. More than 30 models will be on display. Unfortunately for those ages 10 and below, there will be no airsoft guns on display for them like the Toy Gun train last year; and
    4. Original Tokyo Marui merchandise will be on display as well. For those who want to buy something from the Tokyo Marui web shop, the same merchandise will be available at the show.

    If you are in Japan, or planning to be at the Shizuoka Hobby Show, the trade visitors only event will be on the 12th to the 13th of May 2016 and the show will then be open to general visitors from the 14th to the 15th of May 2016.

    We will get a post-55th Shizuoka Show Report together with photos as soon as we can. Here’s hoping that we are in a big surprise.


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    Long Beach Police Department

    Another story of the lethal consequences of carrying an airsoft in public has come up. Last Saturday, the 7th of May 2016, Long Beach Police shot and killed a man who was said to be carrying “an Uzi style gun”. It turned out that the gun in question is an airsoft gun.

    The man shot was identified to be 21-year-old Lionel Gibson of Long Beach, California. He was said to be talking to three persons who were in a car, when the police arrived to respond to the call. According to ABC7.com, “Officers gave several commands to place hands up, but when the suspect did not comply and reached his hand toward the butt of the gun in his waistband, police opened fire, according to the LBPD.”

    People in the area heard around 8 to 10 shots. There was no shootout that ensued as the Gibson was carrying an airsoft rifle, and was dead at the scene. The men inside the car were arrested, and one was found to be carrying a handgun.

    Looking at the screenshot shown by the media of the airsoft gun, it is not an “Uzi-style gun” and it is looks closer to the AK74U series, in this case the AK Beta Spetsnaz airsoft gun by the looks of the magazine.  The stock and the orange color muzzle have been removed, making it easily mistaken as real gun by the police.

    With or without the orange muzzle flash, it is not safe to carry an airsoft gun in public. This has been emphasized over and over again since not heeding such strong advice will lead to being arrested, shot, injured, or killed by the police. We don’t know what were Gibson’s motives were for carrying an airsoft gun that can be seen in public, but what we know is that he died for carrying one.

    As for us in the airsoft community, the campaign to educate airsoft players or airsoft gun owners on the airsoft safety continues…


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    Hyperdouraku TM Kel-Tec KSG 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show

    I owe Yas of Hyperdouraku an apology. When he posted about a Marui Kel-Tec KSG last 4 May 2016, saying the image is what he imagines the product to be,  I thought he was joking all along (or misunderstood the translation. Oh boy was I wrong! Today, on the opening day of the 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show, Tokyo Marui unveiled what many airsoft players have been wishing for, an airsoft Kel-Tec KSG Gas Shotgun.

    We now have initial details and specifications of the new products they will be releasing in the following months such as the M4 CQB-R Gas Blowback, M40A5 Sniper Rifle, and the Glock 22 Gas Blowback Pistol.

    More photos and details of Tokyo Marui at the 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show will follow.

    Name: KSG
    Series:mGAS SHOT GUN
    Price: Undetermined
    On-Sale: In summer
    Target Age: Over 18 years old

    Features:

    • Reproduced the reality of KSG characteristic figure by real gun measurement.
    • Selectable fire type mode “3 rounds shot” or”6 rounds shot” by switching the slide switch located beneath the heat shield.
    • The tubular magazine of real gun KSG is used for spare shell holder. There are a pair of spaces horizontally inside of loading/ejection port. The spaces are connected with chamber and spare shell holder respectively.
    • Conventional shot shell magazine can be used.
    • As same as real guns, metal parts are made of aluminum die cast or zinc die cast.
    • Resin made parts are also made of resin and they have realistic texture. *The texture is not totally same as real guns. Eg. Resin made…fore end, grip, stock etc. Metal made: outer barrel, cheek piece, heat shield, upper rail etc.
    • Use inner frame made of zinc die-cast for enough strength.
    • Picatinny standard rails are attached on the top of barrel and beneath the fore end.
    • Attachable gas tank is set inside of stock.

    * Rapid fire function is not installed.
    *Rapid fire function- When pull the trigger, possible to shoot continuously by pulling the fore end.

     

    Production Specifications:

    • Length: 663 mm (undetermined)
    • Inner Barrel Length: 340 mm
    • Weight: 2,900 g (undetermined)
    • Capacity: 30 rounds
    • Caliber: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a

    Name: CQB-R
    Series: Gas Blowback Machinegun
    Price: Undetermined
    On-Sale: In fall (Undetermined)
    Target Age: Over 18 years old

    Features:

    • Variation model of M4A1 MWS. The mechanism and shooting performance are the same as M4A1 MWS.
    • 10.3 inch short barrel.
    • Adjustable six-phased crane type stock. CQD type rear sling hook on the stock base.
    • Adjustable front site elevation.
    • LMT type rear site is adjustable for elevation and windage.
    • KAC type QD flash hider and vertical fore grip are equipped.

    Production Specifications:

    • Length: 698 / 780 mm (Undetermined)
    • Inner Barrel Length: 250 mm (Undetermined)
    • Weight: 3,111 g (Undetermined)
    • Capacity: 35 rounds
    • Caliber: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a

    Name: M40A5 (Black/O.D.)
    Series: Bolt Action Air Rifle
    Price: Undetermined
    On-Sale: In summer(Undetermined)
    Target Age: Over 18 years old

    Features:

    • Main parts are made of metal and have high rigidity. (Main parts: taper barrel, muzzle brake, night/ thermal vision mount and receiver etc.)
    • To reproduce the reality, taken measurement of real gun stock.
    • The distance of bolt stroke is shortened to 68mm (real gun is 100mm). This is able to shorten the time a lot from cocking to fire.
    • Cocking indicator is equipped at the rear of the bolt.(PAT.P)
    • Bolt handle lock system is installed to avoid going down the bolt handle while cocking.
    • Newly trigger system is developed. When pulling the trigger, it is easy to know where the sheer is released.(PAT.P)
    • Adjustable cheek piece up and down. Enable to adjust the stock length by adding the spacer between stock and butt plate.
    • Reproduced real gun magazine can be installed 5 bullets. Magazine capacity is 30 - 35rounds.
    • The stock will be released O.D and Black color at a time.

    *Front site and rear site are not attached.

    Production Specifications:

    • Length: 1,200 mm
    • Inner Barrel Length: Undetermined
    • Weight: Undetermined
    • Capacity: 30 – 35 rounds (Undetermined)
    • Caliber: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: Air (Bolt Action)

    Name: GLOCK22
    Series: Gas Blowback
    Price: 15,800 JPY
    On-Sale: Coming soon
    Target Age: Over 18 years old

    Features:

    • 3rd Generation style Railed Frame。
    • Blowback engine is the same as GLOCK17.
    • Cocking indicator equipped.
    • Reproduce Glock new model magazine is engraved Glock mark magazine of 40 caliber model.
    • Possible to change magazine bumper with finger rest into flat magazine plate.

    Production Specifications:

    • Length: 202 mm
    • Inner Barrel Length: 97 mm
    • Weight: 705 g
    • Capacity: 25 + 1 rounds
    • Caliber: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a

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    LG Action CAM LTE

    The Action Camera market just got a bit more crowded again with another electronics giant joining in. LG , announced the LG Action CAM LTE and for the airsoft YouTube celebrities, this might be a good tool to show the airsoft action live by streaming it to YouTube via LTE.

    Now, you might think that you will need a LTE smartphone from LG or any Android smartphone manufacturer to use the LG Action CAM LTE. It does not as the action cam has LTE already built-in for its compact size. Apart from LTE built-in, it has GPS, a gyroscope and an accelerometer.

    Curious about the camera? The camera can record UHD (30 fps), FHD (60 fps), and HD (120 fps) video so you can select how the footage’s quality will be when you go into action. For livestreaming on YouTube, you will be limited to 30 fps HD (720p). For stills, the camera can 12.3 mp photos with its 150-degree wide angle lens.

    With its ability to record on UHD (Ultra High Definition/4K), you will be worried about storage. The LG Action CAM LTE will allow you to store video with a microSD card up to 2 TB. Full HD recording will be about 4 hours while livestreaming will be 2 hours with its 1,400mAh battery.

    The LG Action CAM LTE will be launched in South Korea next month and will be followed by European and North America markets after. Pricing has not been mentioned in the press release,  with the remote access and waterproof housing being released later this year. Press release can be read right below the image:

    LG INTRODUCES ACTIVE LIFESTYLE CAMERA WITH LIVE STREAMING OVER 4G
    Action Camera with LTE is the Latest Addition to the LG Friend Ecosystem

    SEOUL, May 12, 2016― The newest addition to LG Electronics’ (LG) Friend ecosystem is the first action camera to be available globally with LTE connectivity built-in, allowing for users to stream directly to sites such as YouTube Live without a smartphone. The device, LG Action CAMLTE, will launch in South Korea next month followed by key markets worldwide including North America and Europe.

    In addition to its live streaming feature, LG Action CAMLTE will offer remote access* functionality via 3G and LTE which will enable the device to be used as a CCTV camera for home monitoring or as an automobile dash camera. Action CAMLTE users can download recorded images and videos on their paired smartphones.

    With a rating of IP67, the LG Action CAMLTE is completely protected from dust, sand and can be immersed in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. A completely waterproof case (available in the third quarter) will enable the camera to participate in more vigorous activities such as surfing and scuba diving. With the optional mount, the LG Action CAMLTE can capture smooth videos while attached to helmets, bicycles, cars and other fast moving objects. With a generous 1,400mAh battery the camera boasts an industry-leading Full HD recording time of up to four hours.

    “We are committed to expanding the LG Playground ecosystem with both modules and standalone accessories and Action CAMLTE is one of many more that we plan to announce this year,” said Juno Cho, LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company president. “Action CAMLTE is an example of the kind of innovation we will be bringing to market, devices that offer features unavailable in other competing products.”

    Prices, specifications and carrier details will be announced locally at the time of launch.

    Key Specifications:

    • Camera: 1/2.3-inch 12.3MP / 1.55 x 1.55㎛pixels
    • Connectivity: LTE / 3G / Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / USB Type-C 2.0 / Bluetooth 4.1
    • Video Recording: UHD 30fps / FHD 60fps / HD 120fps
    • Video Live Streaming: HD 30fps
    • Memory: 2GB RAM / 4GB ROM (OS only) / microSD (up to 2TB)
    • Size: 35 x 35 x 77.9mm
    • Weight: 95g
    • Battery: 1,400mAh
    • Others: IP67 / GPS / Accelerometer / Gyroscope
    • Color: Light Gray

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    Australian Army HQ AAS Reaper Weapon Support System

    Last 5 May 2016, the Australian Army HQ YouTube Channel posted a video showing their soldiers training with the Reaper Weapon Support System. This system, developed by Advanced Accuracy Solutions, is designed to provide weapons carrying support and effective direct fire for soldiers armed with medium to heavy support weapons such as the M249.

    Does it look familiar? It does if you are a professional videographer, the Reaper Weapon Support System will remind you of the Easy Rig for video cameras that does the same purpose as the Reaper --- support the photographer in handholding and stable shooting with a video camera (or DSLR) camera for video taking) that packs a weight.

    According to the Australian Army, the Reaper is being trialed for 6 months by frontline battalions to evaluate its suitability.

    The Reaper Weapon Support System is based on existing engineering concepts that have been repurposed for tactical use.  The contraption can give the shooter stability in shooting, especially when handholding a support weapon, and easier adjustment when shifting in shooting position. The design can be a blessing to the support gunner in the squad, given that it gives relief in load-bearing and the stability provides better shooting with a support weapon.

    The system is designed to be easily configured with body armour and other tactical gear with MOLLE attachment support. The weapon can be easily detached if need be, such as if the operator goes prone and will deploy the bipod for shooting stability.  If not needed, its easy fold design, gets it out of the way.

    One common concern is that the Reaper will be prone to snags, especially in woodland areas where branches and vines get in the way. But then, a good number of equipment we usually bring with us to the woodland games are prone to snag, so what else is another one if it provides more benefits that problems to the support gunner?

    For airsoft support gunners, the Reaper Weapon Support System is something that they may want to bring with their M249s or other airsoft support weapons available in the market. Like us who find such support weapons too heavy to carry, a version for airsoft can make us want to carry one again. I won’t be surprised if someone in the Far East starts going over the designs of Advanced Accuracy Solutions to make for airsoft use.


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    Tommie Lukowski

    It is with sadness that we announce that Tommie Lukowski has passed away last week. We know the news have gutted his friends and mates at NYCAirsoft, the airsoft community in the area, and his colleagues at the East Brunswick Fire District 1. Tommie had a long bout with cancer and that battle was fought hard that he inspired a good number of people to have a good outlook in life no matter the odds.

    In 2007, months after his father’s passing, he was diagnosed osteosarcoma which is a rare form of bone cancer—in his right elbow. Even with such a condition, he volunteered for the East Brunswick Fire District 1, one of the fire districts that serve the Township of East Brunswick, New Jersey. In April 2009, he was diagnosed with Leukemia.

    He was also an avid airsofter, being an active player in the area. Over the years, the airsoft community, spearheaded by NYCAirsoft, Moondog Industries, and Evike.com, have been holding the fundraisers to help him with battle his medical problems as he was unable to work given his conditions and such events helped in paying for the bills. The event Op: Tommy Gun started first as a fundraiser for him and then also became a fundraiser for the MSK Cancer Treatment Centers.

    Here are some of the postings from the airsoft players and colleagues of Tommie:

    Our condolences to the family and friends of Tommie. May he rest in peace.


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    Amazon Video Direct

    YouTube may have a tough competitor in the battle of for video content and it’s one the Internet’s institutions --- Amazon.com, one of the original dotcoms that have managed to withstand to test of times and competition from many start ups. From books to being the Internet’s biggest shopping site, Amazon has expended to video to compete against Netflix and audio to compete against the likes of Spotify with its Prime Service.

    But now, Amazon is setting its sights on YouTube and wants content creators to upload their videos on Amazon Video Direct.

    What’s more? Content creators can choose how to earn royalties based on the hours their video is streamed by Prime members, who pay a premium to avail of this special service from Amazon. It can be based on rentals, monthly subscriptions, purchases, or ad impressions or a combination of these. OptimusPrime is one member and he is excited what content airsofters may upload in this service.

    It is no joke to produce some good content for online viewing. It is not always mounting your GoPro and then start running around with your airsoft gun to tally all the hits you’ve made on the field. The more serious airsoft channels do make some planning to do, storyboard, multiple cameras, video editing, sound editing, and of course the bandwidth to upload the video on a video content service such as YouTube and Vimeo. It takes time and money to come up with good content, even in airsoft. Having a revenue stream or streams to help pay for production and put some money into their pockets will be a great help.

    For airsoft video makers looking for other sources of revenue apart from sponsorships and ad revenues from YouTube, Amazon Video Direct can offer attractive proposition:

    “Amazon will distribute a share of $1,000,000 per month as a bonus to the Top 100 titles included with Prime through Amazon Video Direct. This bonus—based on global customer engagement—is incremental to revenue earned from hours streamed, rentals, purchases, monthly subscriptions, and ad impressions. All of your titles included with Prime are automatically eligible.”

    It can be tough to break into the Top 100 if more professional video makers join in this service and even PewDiePie might want to have his videos on Amazon Video Direct. So if you think your airsoft video is something worthwile for Amazon Prime members to watch, then why not give it a go?

    With YouTube being the dominant platform for user generated video content, Amazon Direct will have to work hard and may need to focus on quality video content creators to get some traction, or adopt the same free-for-all approach of YouTube. At least Amazon.com has the infrastructure to match YouTube.

    Amazon Video Direct will be initially available in the U.S., Germany, Austria, UK and Japan. It can be accessed by Amazon Prime members on all supported devices—Fire TV, phones, tablets, game consoles, Smart TVs and from the Web.


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    DOGO Tactical Combat Robot

    Drones are now at the frontlines, be it in the air, on water, or over land. They all come in shapes and sizes and either are armed with cameras or armed with things that can kill. As the drone technology development grows leaps and bounds, the latest in offerings comes from a likely country that is at the forefront of such technology --- Israel.

    If you don’t know it yet, Israeli drones are in demand in the defense market, and probably Israel is second only to the U.S. in drone technology. Though they do not have the massive and more sophisticated ones that the U.S. military uses, their drones are effective that other countries have being using theirs. One drone, the Harop drone, is known to be a suicide drone that loiters around and once it spots its target, crashes into it to destroy it. Another is the Harpy, which does the same thing (and reminds you of the Sons of Harpy in Game of Thrones).

    Now, a seemingly harmless reconnaissance robot that can be used by small units now gets deadly. General Robotics Ltd. have developed the DOGO Tactical Combat Robot that can scout ahead and since it is armed with a 9mm Glock 26 Pistol, can be ordered to eliminate targets that it sees, reducing the number of threats that can be encountered by the team.

    Named after the Dogo Argentino, a big game-hunting breed of mastiffs (also called Argentinian Mastiff), the, the DOGO is a 26-pound robot that can be carried by one member of the team. It has 8 cameras for 360-degree view and 5 virtual channels. To control the DOGO, the operator uses the Ranger remote control unit so it can be controlled at a distance and has a point and shoot interface. To aim and fire the pistol, it has two boresight cameras.

    It is multi-terrain and can climb stairs or clear obstacles that it can push aside. It moves quietly that it can surprise the enemy. The DOGO can be armed with non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray and a 2 way audio remote negotiation module for hostage negotiations, that SWAT team around the world can get interested in the DOGO.

    The DOGO will be on display at the Eurosatory 2016 from the 13th to the 17th of June in Paris, France.


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    PKP "Pecheneg" By Vitaly Kuzmin

    The Russian military’s march into the 21st Century as they beef up the capabilities of their forces with better equipment continues. So far, they have unveiled the Armata Tank, working on a 5th generation stealth fighter, and improving the equipment of their Army, such as adopting the AK-12 as the new assault rifle and more investment in warfighting equipment.

    As part of the ongoing modernization they announced that they will be replacing upgrading their infantry support weapons, in this case replacing the venerable PKM with the more modern PKP “Pecheneg”. Not exactly a weapon designed in the 21st Century as it was developed at the end of the 20th Century. As an improved version of the PK Machine Gun, the Pecheneg has already seen action in various wars that the Russian Army or surrogates of Russia have been involved in since the Second Chechen War.

    Army Recognition reports about this planned upgrade:

    Russian Armed Forces will have Kalashnikov 7.62mm PKM machine gun replaced by modern PKP Pecheneg (Russian designation: 6P45) machineguns, according to a source in Russian defense industry.

    “Kalashnikov PKM machinegun is one of the best machineguns in the world available for both dismounted soldiers and various armoured vehicles, including main battle tanks (MBT). It uses widespread and extremely effective Soviet 7.62x54R mm cartridge and has reliable belt-feeding system. As of early 2016, PKM remains the organic machinegun of Russian Armed Forces in both bipod and tank configuration. At the same time, TSNIITochMash scientific-research institute has developed PKP Pecheneg machinegun intended to replace the ageing PKM,” the source said.

    He pointed out that PKM issued to Soviet/Russian Armed Forces in huge quantities would remain the main machinegun in the year to come. “We suppose that the process of PKM by Pecheneg replacement will be finished in the early 2020 to full extent,” he pointed out.

    For those who remained attached to the PKM, which entered service in 1969, the PKM will still be around whilst the process of upgrade is ongoing. Most probably, the PKM will be in stockpiles to be used in reserve in case the Motherland has to go war again and the whole population is called upon for its defense.

    As for an airsoft version of the PKP “Pecheneg”, airsoft players will have to wait until 2017 when LCT Airsoft finally release their airsoft version of the automatic support weapon.  LCT Airsoft announced that they are working on it in April 2016 as reported here.

    PKP "Pecheneg" photos in this article are owned by Vitaly Kuzmin.


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    Airsoft Games App

    How many airsoft games can you think of? We’re pretty sure you can think around 10 to 20 types of airsoft games at any given time. But even those games will soon pretty much bore you after playing them over and over again. Whether you are an owner of an airsoft game site or someone who likes organizing airsoft games for the weekend, you would want to have a booklet of airsoft games you can look up to keep things lively.

    Or better yet, a mobile app that has a list of many airsoft games.

    That’s the idea for the Airsoft Games App that will be released by the Airsoft-BAT airsoft team of Argentina. They have compiled about over a hundred airsoft games in one neat mobile app. These are organised by duration, number of players required, terrain, time of day, strategy level. With 100 games, and perhaps more when the app gets update over time, you will not have to worry about game variety nor having bored airsoft players.

    Here is what Juan Sardoy of Airsoft-BAT says how their team came up with the idea of the app:

    The App was developed by me (Juan Sardoy) my two brothers (Pedro Sardoy and Agustín Sardoy) and Diego Quinteros (Brother in law).

    I think we started as any airsofter: Me and my brothers have played soldiers, cowboys and indians since we where kids, using wood and nails to make our guns.

    And one day my brothers and I were (apparently) adults, and almost accidentally we discovered airsoft. We fell in love with the markers! And suddenly we were 5 years old again. We started recruiting cousins and brothers in law. Now, a family reunion is an excuse to plan and execute a new battle. We live in different cities, so it is not easy to gather the team! And maybe because we didn't have the opportunity to play often, we invested a lot of time thinking and planning the games...

    In any kind of activity, if you always do the same, sooner or later you get tired of it. What is needed is variety. And if there are only 4 players in the field, you must also get very, very creative!

    At first we copied the games we found on the Internet. But we wanted more, and some ideas arose. New game variations; games to play when we are short of time; games to play when we are in a small area; games for plain terrain; games for dense forest; games to use that machine gun we bought; games to play at night when nobody can interrupt us; and games to use those grenades we invented...

    We started writing a list of games. Since I am a Systems Engineer, we thought "well, wouldn't be practical if all the information is in our phones?" And then we realized: "Hey guys, there is NO mobile app such as the one we are planning..."

    So, putting together some creativity, a little Internet and some programming, we developed the first Android app with a compilation of more than 100 airsoft games, most of them suitable for reduced number of players.

    The games are categorized by duration, amount of players, daytime, terrain, strategy level and much more, so the user can find the game which adapts to his particular situation.

    This app allows the players to explore new games, new variations, renew the excitement and eagerness to get back to the field and try new possibilities.

    In a word, the App motivates players challenging them with new ideas.

    The rest...is history!

    Photo: The Team - Airsoft BAT

    The enthusiasm is there and the idea is actually neat. It has been a wonder why nobody thought about it ahead of them ever since Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, sparking the smartphone revolution. This is a nifty app to have around and if we run out of ideas for airsoft games, the Airsoft Games App within easy reach to get that airsoft party going.

    Airsoft companies, such as manufacturers and retailers who like this idea can support the Airsoft Games App by being sponsors. If airsoft players download this, the exposure to their brands and products in the form of banner ads in the app ensure that airsoft players can get to see them when they search the app for the game they want. Since the app will be free to download by airsoft players, Airsoft Bat plans to support the maintenance and further versions of the app with advertising revenues.

    Here is a review of the app by Airsoft Argentina. You will need to turn on the language caption as the review is in Spanish:

    Now you won’t have a valid excuse if you forget to think about the next game. All you need to do is whip out your smartphone and tap of the Airsoft Games App and presto, an airsoft game that your players may want to try. It will be hard to get bored with the variety of games that you can tap on and the only thing that will your players end the day is when they get bone tired from the airsoft fun.


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    Navy Lt. Daniel Glenn

    What Navy Lieutenant Daniel Glenn did just to raise funds for the EOD Warrior Foundation was inspiring. Instead of wearing a regular marathoner’s loadout --- runner's attire and shoes, he decided to do the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in an 85-pound EOD bomb disposal suit.

    That’s no joke really, running in an 85-pound  Bomb Suit for 21 Kilometers/13.1 Miles is grueling. Many airsoft players are not be able to run a full kilometer’s distance with an M249 AEG (including me). But for Lt. Glenn, raising US$10,000 for the foundation, the effort was worth it.

    According to him, finishing the half-marathon was not a race, but an endurance event. He describes his run as being more a “forced march” rather than an actual run, given the weight he was carrying. He sometimes needs to take small steps to go up inclines and sometimes need to remove parts of the suit so that ice packs would be applied as the suit does not have air conditioning.

    For those who have not been trained wearing a bomb disposal suit, wearing one would make them get off it within 10 minutes. Lt. Glenn not only has to carry a heavy load, but also be disciplined enough to control his body temperature so that he would not overheat. He had a team with him accompanying him to apply the ice packs to keep him cool.

    He went over the time limit expected for most runners to complete, but officials and spectators let him finish the race course, even if they were anticipating that he would not be able to finish it. But then, people and officials began dedicating support to him such a medical support to ensure that he gets out of the race as a finisher or not, in good shape.

    After reaching the finish line, he was not done yet. He got off the bomb suit and dropped to do some pushups. A good number of Marines also dropped down to accompany him and did pushups too.

    As to how tough it is for Lt Glenn, the Navy Times reports this:

    And after he crossed the finish line he was asked what was tougher for him — finishing an Ironman triathlon or this race.

    “Are you kidding? This was WAY harder than the Ironman,” Glenn recalls saying. “This definitely ranks up there as one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever done.”

    The Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon took place in Fredericksburg, Virginia last May 15, 2016. Lt. Glenn also wants the Guinness Book of Records to recognize is feat. Video below is from Navy Times:


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    Polaris Defense MRZR 4 ATV

    Polaris Defense is fast getting traction for military uses now and in airsoft we are also seeing more and more of their ATVs in use in events, a testament to their usability in different terrains. In use in special operations units, Polaris Defense may soon be seen in widespread use in the U.S. Army.

    Not exactly armoured as the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) that is set to replace the Humvee,  the Polaris Defense MRZR will be tested as an added fast mobility vehicle to supplement the foot-soldier, especially when there is a need to immediately transport troops in areas where they will ne unexpected  by the enemy. This means fast moving troop movements especially when the situation gets fluid. A commander can immediately move troops to outflank the enemy or pull out soldiers quickly to safety if need be.

    The Polaris Defense MRZR ATV (in this case the MRZR 4) is a gas-powered On-Demand True All Wheel Drive (AWD) with an 88 hp 875 cc Polaris Prostar engine that can give it a speed of around 62 mph/100 kmh. It has a 6 person capacity with an overall loading capacity of 680kg. It’s not a heavy vehicle that its occupants can lift it in case it gets stuck or needs to be quickly moved aside from the road.

    A diesel version, called the MRZR-D was also announced by the company.

    Next month, 10 of these MRZRs will be accompanying the quick reaction force of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Poland. According to Bloomberg, "Exercise Swift Response” is a “joint, forcible-entry exercise,” and will have these MRZRs air-dropped from C-17 Cargo Planes to accompany 600 paratroopers. The contingent will take off on the 6th of June, the date of the Normandy Landings for the liberation of Europe in World War II, and will drop into Poland after a 10-hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean.

    “These vehicles significantly enhance what would otherwise be foot mobility,” Brigadier General Brian Winski, deputy commander of the 82nd, added in an e-mail Thursday. “They change the dynamic and turn what would have been a 3 mile-per-hour operation into a 50 mile-per-hour operation,” which would let the troops strike “at a pace and in locations the enemy would not expect.” The vehicles can carry as many as six soldiers at 60 miles per hour.

    They will be joining around 1,000 Polish and British paratroopers in the exercise.

    The 82nd Airborne already have bought 30 MRZRs for evaluation with the testing being it in its “pilot year” and they will make a recommendation on how many more to buy after doing their evaluation.


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    Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker Action Cam

    Having a hard time choosing your newest action camera to record your airsoft gameplay? It has indeed become tough nowadays with many various offerings from many electronics companies and they all come with lots of features and can take the rough and tumble game of airsoft. They can be cheap wannabe GoPro look-alikes made in China, or the king itself, GoPro, or the bigger electronics companies such as Sony and Ricoh. Oh choices, choices…

    Another imaging giant, Olympus, would like to make that choice easier for you, and they will be offering their feature-packed and rugged Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker Action Cam.

    The first thing we looked into when the TG-Tracker was announced, was the feature list and indeed it is impressive:

    For the action junkie, airsoft players included, the TG-Tracker ticks many of the boxes that we wish in an action camera. The only things lacking to make this the almost-perfect action camera is remote control that we can be mounted on the wrist and connects to the camera via Bluetooth and LTE connectivity to allow for livestreaming which only the LG Action Cam LTE offers right now.

    With its WiFi connectivity, you can connect it to your mobile device and you can share, videos, images, track and log activities with the apps the Olympus have include: OI.Share and OI.Track. 

    Video recording can be done at 4K 30fps, 1080 60p/30p, 720 240p/120p/60p/30p and 480 240p/120p/60p/30p. The lower resolution, the faster framerates you can have that you can edit the footage for slow-mo video. In this case, we would rather suggest you stick to the 720p HD at 240 frames per second to have good video quality. For photos, image capture is at 8MP and you can do time-lapse video with it at 4K/FHD/HD/480 quality.

    Now to assist you with getting good footage is the 5-axis image stabilization for smoother videos. For illumination in low-light conditions or if you need a fill light, it has an LED light effective to 10 feet. To properly frame the scene, it has a 1.5" Tilt-Out LCD Display which is a big plus. The f2.0 lens is fast enough and has 204° wide angle view (though when you hit the water it will be 156° or 126° with IS on when over water and 94° underwater).

    The TG-Tracker is indeed tough and durable and without any housing is waterproof up to 30 metres/100 feet; freezeproof up to -10°C/14°F; shockproof as it can withstand drops from 2.1 metres/7 feet; and it is crushproof at 100kgf/220lbf.  It is also dustproof.

    As for sensors it the TG-Tracker has the goods: GPS, e.Compass, Accelerometer, Barometric Pressure Sensor, Temperature Sensor, and Water Sensor --- all useful tool on their own. Another good thing is that you can set recording to start when it hits a set altitude or speed, it is indeed a nice touch and you can use the map interface included in the Olympus mobile app to navigate your footage.

    Happy with what has been crammed into the camera and managing to weigh 180grams? Well, there is more. Olympus throws in the some extra bits with such as lens protectors (standard and underwater), a steady grip, and a selfies mirror.

    The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker will be available next month with a retail price of US$350. For the UK, it will retail at for £280.

    Many thanks to Ted Colegrove for the photo of the helmet mounted TG-Tracker


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    RevMedX XSTAT Rapid Hemostasis System Simulation

    Last year, I wrote about a device that promises to plug a gunshot wound and stop bleeding in 15 seconds. And a few days ago, it did what is supposed to do. RevMedx XSTAT, a non-absorbable, expandable, hemostatic sponge for temporary internal use was finally used in the field. Medics who were trying to stop bleeding of a wounded Coalition soldier using regular methods, and after seven hours of surgery, resorted to using the XStat to plug the wound and stop the bleeding. Upon stabilizing the soldier, he was brought to the a more proper medical facility for further treatment and recovery.

    First approved for battlefield for battlefield use in 2014 and also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Agency in late 2015 for civilian use, the XSTAT is a sponge-filled device that is then applied like a syringe to a wound.  Upon contact with blood, the sponges (around 90 of them in one device) then expand to absorb the blood with one sponge able to absorb a pint of blood. They also provide a surface for the blood to clot providing a sealant after the bleeding had been stopped. However, the XSTAT cannot be used in certain parts of the chest, abdomen, pelvis or tissue above the collarbone.

    Since the sponges are temporary, allowing up to four hours for transport of the wounded soldier to more definitive medical facility, they are to be removed and thus they have markers that can be spotted by xray and properly removed.

    Here is the press release from RevMedx on the XTAT’s first success in the field:

    RevMedx™ Announces First Field Use of  XSTAT®

    RevMedx, Inc. today announced that the XSTAT hemostatic device has been successfully deployed on a patient in a field setting.  The use of XSTAT on a soldier was the first documented clinical use of the product since its release. After failing to staunch severe bleeding in the patient using standard hemostatic technologies, a United States forward surgical team (FST) used XSTAT to achieve almost immediate hemostasis.

    Based on information released from the US Military, a coalition forces soldier was wounded in action with a gunshot wound to the left thigh.  The femoral artery and vein were transected and damage to the femur and soft tissue left a sizable cavity in the leg.  After a self-applied tourniquet stopped the bleeding, the patient was transferred to an FST for evaluation and treatment.  After proximal and distal control of the vessel was achieved, several hours were spent by the team trying to control residual bleeding from the bone and accessory vessels.  Throughout the course of the roughly 7-hour surgery, multiple attempts at using bone wax and cautery on the bleeding sites were unsuccessful and the patient received multiple units of blood and plasma.  Eventually, the FST team opted to use XSTAT and applied a single XSTAT device to the femoral cavity— resulting in nearly immediate hemostasis. The patient was stabilized and eventually transported to a definitive care facility.

    XSTAT is a first-in-kind hemostatic device for the treatment of severe bleeding in the axilla or groin area (known as junctional wounds). XSTAT works by injecting a group of small, rapidly-expanding sponges into a wound cavity using a syringe-like applicator.  In a wound, the sponges rapidly expand and exert hemostatic pressure.  Each sponge contains an x-ray detectable marker to confirm complete surgical removal when definitive surgery is performed.

    "The first-in-human experience with XSTAT is the culmination of tremendous effort on the part of both RevMedx and our military collaborators,” said Andrew Barofsky, president and CEO of RevMedx.  "We are pleased to see XSTAT play a critical role in saving a patient’s life and hope to see significant advancement toward further adoption of XSTAT as a standard of care for severe hemorrhage in pre-hospital settings” said Barofsky.

    About RevMedx

    Based in Wilsonville, Oregon, RevMedx is a privately held medical device company whose goal is to design, develop, and manufacture innovative medical products that save lives. Our product line includes XSTAT, XGAUZE, AIRWRAP, PARABELT, and TX Series Ratcheting Tourniquets.  Additional information about RevMedx and our products can be found at www.revmedx.com.


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    Avatar Grenade

    The airsoft grenade market segment is one segment that is not yet saturated by manufacturers and products. Within this segment are different types: Pyro Grenades, Blank Firing Grenades (BFG), Sound Grenades, and Impact Grenades. Of the four, two are reusable: the BFGs and the Impact Grenades. Of the two, the Impact Grenades are considered to be the safer option if you want to avoid some temporary ear damage. Furthermore, some countries restrict the BFGs for use only by LEOs and military organizations.

    Airsoft Impact Grenades are convenient to use, you can fill them up with BBs (whether used BBs or not), fill `em up with gas and then they’re ready to be thrown. Since they are reusable, the total cost of ownership goes down over time. They are also safer to use as airsoft players will only need eye protection, which of course is mandatory when handling airsoft guns and devices.

    So far only two companies are known for their Impact Grenades: Zoxna of Spain that makes the GM1 Grenade and the more famous Airsoft Innovations known for their Tornado and Cyclone Impact Grenades.

    Now, another group will be releasing an Airsoft Impact Grenade to compete against the offerings of Zoxna and Airsoft Innovations. Avatar Grenade is a French-made airsoft impact grenade and has one thing that both Zoxna and Airsoft Innovations don’t have --- the ability to customize the Avatar Grenade with what the makers call “Skinz”. Whether this is a unique selling point (USP) that will make the Avatar Grenade something that airsoft players will queue up to buy or would stick to the known brands remains to be seen.

    Remy Nguyen of Avatar Grenade got in touch with us to tell what the Avatar Grenade is all about. He explains that the Avatar Grenade is comprised of two components: the “Core” and the “Skinz”. Now, the Core is made of steel and it is the main component of the Avatar Grenade. This is where the gas to propel the BBs out upon impact is contained. To arm the Avatar Grenade, the airsoft player needs to turn the Core’s switch counter-clockwise and it’s ready to be thrown; to disarm, turn it clockwise.

    The Core has been tested to work with different gases, including Green Gas and works perfectly. They do not recommend the use of CO2 and they have designed the Core to be easily maintained with the steel parts being precision-machined.

    The Skinz is what makes the Avatar Grenade different from other airsoft impact grenades. This is an external housing that is made of aluminium, ABS, and PC (Polycarbonate). This is where the BBs are also stored and ready to be expelled from the grenade upon impact. This is the intended design to safely put BBs into the Skinz separate from the Core and thus, avoiding any accidental discharge when the grenade is dropped to the ground during the process of loading BBs and there is gas in the grenade. A regular Skinz has a capacity of 60 BBs though the plan is to release different Skinz designs that may have more capacity.

    I’m pretty much sure that your understanding of Skinz is correct. You can easily change the Skinz of the Avatar-Grenade according to your liking. Nguyen stated that players can have different designs for their Skinz such as those seen in video games (The Division, COD, Battlefield, etc.) and movies (Elysium, Marvel movies, etc.) as they see fit. This way, the airsoft players can personalize their own Avatar Grenades though he did not mention if customers can submit their own designs that can be printed on the Skinz.

    He also mentioned that they will be releasing a version with Spoon and Pin kit for milsim players, making the operation of the Avatar Grenade closer to how a real grenade is thrown. Also, an Avatar Grenade with a timer is also on the drawing table.

    Avatar Grenade is planned to be released in the second half of 2016 and pricing has not yet been determined as they still need to decide which Skinz designs they will initially release. They have already tested various prototypes and satisfied that they can soon go into production.

    Interested parties can contact them here.


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    Tokyo Marui 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show

    It has been two weeks since the 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show has passed. Just like last year, Tokyo Marui have pulled off a surprise, unveiling the KSG Gas-Powered Airsoft Shotgun and it looks like these past few year, the company is devoting much effort into improving airsoft shotgun technology. So far, the airsoft shotgun products they have revealed have been really good sellers such as the M870 Gas Shotgun Series and last year’s surprise, the AA-12 AES.

    The KSG Gas Shotgun is expected to be a good seller, as it is a shotgun that many airsoft players have been wanting to own for years now and it looks like Tokyo Marui have listened. Many were looking forward to the MadBull Airsoft’s version of the shotgun ever since it was announced in 2012. Four years have passed, and KSG will be actually released, though it is Tokyo Marui fulfilling the wishes of airsoft players.

    The promo of Tokyo Marui for the KSG is based on the movie of John Wick, where Keanu Reeves used the shotgun to take down the bad guys. In their video promo they released prior to the show, they had Mr. Deka Shimamura (the spokesperson of Tokyo Marui) in a John Wick impression, long hair and all, that people were guessing a KSG or the H&K P30L will be announced. He appeared at the show in the same get-up and another video of him in action with the KSG was also released.

    According to the company, the KSG is not a perfect reproduction of the real KSG, since they were not able to faithfully reproduce the function of the tubular magazine as there is not enough space for the mechanism.  Even though they can install the loading function through tubular magazine, it is very difficult to fire a 3-round shot properly with this function. If they chose single shot instead of 3 and 6 round shots, then they can reproduce the loading function properly through tubular magazine. But then it won’t be a proper airsoft shotgun if they did that.

    With a projected summer release, airsoft players wanting own this should start saving up. Just hope that there will be no unforeseen delays just like what happened to the Tokyo Marui M4A1 MWS GBB.

    Another significant development is the announcement of the M40A5 Sniper Rifle which many got excited about too. What makes this significant is that it is the first bolt-action sniper that the company announced that is not part of the highly successful VSR-10 series, which many consider to be the best selling airsoft sniper rifle ever. The expectations are high for this rifle since the VSR-10 has set the standard and hopefully the M40A5 will be breaking new grounds. What we surely will expect is that airsoft players will be planning on doing some upgrades when it gets released, just like what they did to their VSR-10s.

    It has been mistaken to be one of the favourite rifles of the American Sniper, the late Chris Kyle, but the rifle he actually used for his longest distance kill was the MacMillan TAC-338 which of course almost looks like the M40A5 and is made by MacMillan too. The TAC-338 is the rifle used in the cover for the American Sniper book. But for those who want to have MARSOC sniper loadout, then this rifle is it.

    When the Marui M4A1 MWS GBB was released, many were expecting a short-barreled version will follow. They were right as the company announced the CQB-R version and I suspect more M4A1 MWS variants will be released in the future.  The MWS was on display where visitors were able to try the gas blowback rifle without any BB (dry fire). For four days straight and at temperatures of 25-27℃ inside the venue, the MWS was dry-fired by many people and did not break down. Even if there were several MWS units readied for display, one was actually used for use by visitors.

    The HK45 Tactical GBB Pistol was very much well-received by the visitors and this the first time that they are releasing a GBB Pistol with a silencer. The pricing has not been determined yet and they plan to release the pistol in the Fall season.

    Also seen on display during the show were the 1/12 scale plastic gun models called “Little Armory.” Made by Tommy Tech they will be releasing soon the AA-12 and M870CS.  They have cooperated with them on Twitter a few years back and now they have been cooperating for their Events Posing where the small scale models posing with the 1/12 scale plastic gun models such as those seen in favourite shows and movies. Tokyo Marui sends them the airsoft guns for Tommy Tech to follow the design and turn them into the 1/12 scale models.

    After the AA-12 and M870CS are released, the Type 86 rifle will be next and one of the photos show a Booth Bunny at Tommy Tech with the Tokyo Marui Type 86.

    For those waiting for the 3,000-round Drum Magazine for the Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES, it will be ready soon. Owners of the AA-12 AES wanting to own the drum magazine took time to closely look at it as it was on display.

    More photos of the Tokyo Marui booth area at the 55th Shizuoka Hobby Show at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    Bionic Power PowerWalk

    In what can be the future of “power on the go” in the U.S. Military, the U.S. Army & Marine Corps will soon start doing trial tests of the Bionic Power PowerWalk Wearable Kinetic Energy Harvester. Bionic Power was awarded US$1.25 Million by the U.S. Office of the Defense Secretary to start trials under the Joint Infantry Company Prototype (JIC-P) programme.

    A lightweight device worn around the knee, the PowerWalk can recharge batteries carried by the soldier by harvesting kinetic energy when the soldier walks or runs. This lessens the need to carry more batteries to power the various devices of present day soldiers, and thus lessening the load they carry or can be devoted to carrying other essential gear needed for a mission. In a 72-hour mission, a soldier carries around 7 to 9 kg of batteries so imagine the space or weight savings that the PowerWalk can provide if proven to deliver what it promises during the trials.

    According to the company, the PowerWalk enables wearers to produce 10-12 watts as they walk and within one hour of walking at a comfortable walk, can produce enough energy to charge four smartphones. This is done through the PowerWalk’s gearbox that mechanically converts the knee's rotation speed into a higher speed efficiently to generate energy and turn into a electric power ready to be delivered the batteries of the tactical devices.

    For a more efficient way to harvest kinetic energy, on board sensors analyse the gait of the user with Bionic Power’s proprietary control software and determine when PowerWalk can generate the maximum energy with the least amount of effort. Another added benefit when using the PowerWalk is that it helps reduce muscle fatigue when walking downhill, minimizing the potential for injuries and easing metabolic effort.

    Trials by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps is start in early to mid-2017 according to Bionic Power.


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    Airsoft Showcase 2016 04

    Well, if you haven’t then better get your tickets as soon as you can as the Airsoft Showcase 2016 will be taking place in three weeks time and tickets are limited. For those who intend to exhibit at the Showcase, they better contact RedWolf Airsoft UK if there are still places available for booths and stands as they are also limited.

    For this year, the Airsoft Showcase will be held at StrikeForce CQB at the Morelands Trading Estate in Gloucester on the 18th of June 2016. And also for the second year, more exhibitors will be showing up and that means more choices for airsoft players to find their airsoft guns and gear all in one roof.

    Apart from UK-based airsoft companies, services, and organizations, Gunfire from Poland and Valken Tactical Europe which is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands will be showing up as well. This bodes well as the Airsoft Showcase is turning into a Pan-European affair. For airsoft companies based in mainland Europe, perhaps they will start considering having a presence for this event.

    Below is the poster showing exhibitors, but it is not the complete list and according to Chris Kong of RedWolf Airsoft UK, there are over 40 companies and organizations participating. If you want to know more who will be exhibiting, it’s best that you like the Airsoft Showcase Facebook Page.

    Will there be other activities apart from airsoft guns and gear on display and on sale at the show? The answer is affirmative, especially if you have itchy trigger fingers. StrikeForce CQB will be holding half-hour mini-games so if you have friends curious about what airsoft is about, then they can try a short game. If curious how 3-Gun Nation Airsoft works, then X-Site Airsoft will be setting up a 3-Gun race course at the site. With these two options, we suggest that you better bring some eyewear protection just in case.

    We suggest that you better be in your Sunday-best, airsoft speaking, as there will be media roaming around the halls and booths. Airsoft Action Magazine, Airsoft Media Ops and of course us, Popular Airsoft will be there so we are looking forward to catch you with our camera lenses.

    Better block off the 18th of June 2016. It’s a date with us and the rest of the UK airsoft community at the Airsoft Showcase 2016.


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