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Articles on this Page
- 08/09/16--22:43: _Striker VR’s Arena ...
- 08/10/16--22:57: _Kyocera's DuraForce...
- 08/11/16--22:36: _It’s The Airsoft Su...
- 08/12/16--22:31: _Bodyhacker Builds W...
- 08/15/16--00:49: _Just For Kicks: RC ...
- 08/15/16--23:47: _U.S. Army Looking I...
- 08/16/16--23:45: _Cybergun Launches D...
- 08/17/16--23:30: _Konami Announces Th...
- 08/18/16--23:23: _U.S. Marines To Get...
- 08/20/16--01:13: _The KRISS Vector AE...
- 08/21/16--23:43: _Over 150 Shooters S...
- 08/22/16--23:04: _“No Easy Day” Autho...
- 08/23/16--23:04: _Tantalum Contract 6...
- 08/24/16--22:55: _Dexta Robotics Dexm...
- 08/25/16--22:49: _It’s The Ground Zer...
- 08/26/16--22:25: _Airsoft Surgeon Eur...
- 08/29/16--00:10: _"Ghost Recon Phanto...
- 08/29/16--23:19: _One Grunt’s Opinion...
- 08/30/16--23:42: _Parrot’s Mambo Dron...
- 08/31/16--23:12: _KRISS USA To Block ...
- 08/10/16--22:57: Kyocera's DuraForce PRO Smartphone Can Also Be Used As An Action Cam
- 08/11/16--22:36: It’s The Airsoft Surgeon European Championship 2016 Weekend!
- 08/12/16--22:31: Bodyhacker Builds World's First Implant-Activated Smart Gun
- 08/15/16--00:49: Just For Kicks: RC A-10 Warthog Fires Nerf Balls In Strafing Runs
- 08/16/16--23:45: Cybergun Launches Direct Online Airsoft Sales In Europe And U.S.A.
- 08/17/16--23:30: Konami Announces The "Metal Gear Survive" Video Game Post Kojima
- 08/18/16--23:23: U.S. Marines To Get A Lighter & More Accurate Intrusion Detector
- 08/20/16--01:13: The KRISS Vector AEG Is Finally Made Real --- By A&K?
- 08/22/16--23:04: “No Easy Day” Author To Pay Authorities $6.6 Million Over Book
- 08/25/16--22:49: It’s The Ground Zero National Airsoft Festival 2016 Weekender!
- 08/26/16--22:25: Airsoft Surgeon European Championship 2016 Videos Are Now Online
- 08/29/16--23:19: One Grunt’s Opinion: "Death To The Respawn"
- 08/31/16--23:12: KRISS USA To Block Sales Of Unauthorised KRISS Vector AEG From A&K
Virtual Reality (VR) is all the rage these days, and the race is on for tech companies to produce the most immersive VR experience. Whilst there are VR goggles that are expensive such as those from Oculus Rift and HTC, VR goggles are very much affordable nowadays with Google Cardboard. In fact, you can make one yourself if you follow Google Cardboard.
VR gives you a 360 degree virtual environment and companies are trying to exploit this such as museums that give you’re a 360 virtual tour before you decide to visit them. YouTube allows you to upload your VR video too and we have seen an airsoft shop do it as well giving a virtual tour of their brick and mortar store. But the money is on video games and does game developers are now releasing left and right video games made for VR goggles.
First person shooters should benefit from VR with the immersive qualities of this technology. It can just get too real an experience such as this example of a woman playing a zombie shooter game:
Now one company wants to bring the VR shooter games to another level by introducing a VR gun that gives haptic feedback. Striker VR show off their prototype of the ARENA Infinity, a wireless VR gun that uses a linear actuator for haptic feedback. This gives a powerful kick for simulating recoil. For first person shooters that feedback should provide a better experience when playing games such as Call of Duty, The Division, or Battlefield, if they have VR versions.
The ARENA Infinity VR Gun, according to Road To VR, can have single, burst, and full auto firing modes. It can also be used for other types of firing effects such as rail gun or perhaps laser blasters. The company is planning to support location tracking systems for VR firms to choose which tracking system is best for their use such as the PhaseSpace and Sixense STEM tracking. They are also aiming to integrate the Valve Lighthouse, Oculus Constellation, and the PlayStation Move tracking systems.
An SDK kit for VR developers will be released in the 4th Quarter of 2016.
In between weekend airsoft games, airsofters can get one of these VR guns when they get released which they can use at home when not playing airsoft. Or they can influence Striker VR to design a more realistic-looking VR gun that uses the same haptic feedback tech like an M4 or AK which should make airsoft and firearms enthusiasts happy and would make them embrace VR with wide open arms. This also opens for possible VR training simulators that are cheaper as compared to existing virtual tactical training simulators being used by military organisations.
I can just imagine how it would be playing an FPS game in VR with a realistic looking VR gun with simulated recoil. It would be really a blast.
Why buy a separate action camera to capture the airsoft action when you can use your mobile phone? In this case, if you get the Kyocera DuraForce Pro Smartphone which will be released later this year, you get the benefits of a rugged smartphone and action camera in just one package.
Kyocera is known for making rugged, military-spec smartphones and they may just have thought of airsoft players when they designed the DuraForce Pro. The smartphone itself has a Military Standard 810G rating, which means it is shockproof, dustproof, can withstand extreme vibrations, and extreme temperatures. It has an IP68 case making it waterproof up to 30 minutes under 2 meter deep water.
It is an android phone, using Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the interals having a Snapdragon 617 octacore CPU, 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, 3,240 mAh QuickCharge 2.0 battery, and USB 2.0. Also included are NFC, barometer and Bluetooth 4.2 host of sensors, including NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and a barometer. For connectivity it has Wifi and 4G LTE. Like other high-end smartphone, it has a fingerprint sensor for security. Its 5-inch screen makes it a midsize smartphone as other companies have smartphones going into the phablet territory.
Now, in terms of taking photos and videos, the DuraForce PRO 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras but also has a separate "Super Wide View" 1080p action camera, though this is a bit underwhelming as action cameras being released nowadays are capable of 4K videos. This has a 135 degree field of view like many action cameras in the market and with its own image processor has slow motion, action, sports and underwater modes.
Kyocera plans to release a case that will support GoPro mounts and this means that you can have a lot of mounting options for the smartphone for taking videos --- such as head/helmet mounted, using handlebars of bikes, and many more.
No pricing has been mentioned and for those who want to own the DuraForce PRO when it gets released, it will be available in North America through carriers such as AT&T, U.S. Cellular, Bell, and Telus. It will also be made available in Latin America.
It’s the event of the year that many of the best airsoft practical shooters in the world to show their skills in one location. Clarence Lai, the Airsoft Surgeon, flew in early this week to oversee the preparations and setup of the Courses of Fire (COF) for the Airsoft Surgeon Practical Shooting European Championship 2016 that will take place on the 13th and 14th of August 2016.
This is already the fourth year of the Airsoft Surgeon Airsoft Surgeon Practical Shooting European Championship and it will be the second year for StrikeForce CQB in Gloucester to be the proud hosts of this event. Already, some of the UK-based shooters are already at StrikeForce CQB to help in the construction of the COFs which will be tested by Range Officers during the RO Pre-Match that will take place today. RedWolf Airsoft UK will be hosting a BBQ night at their HQ in Tewkesbury according to Chris Kong, RedWolf UK boss.
Overall, there are 153 confirmed shooters for this event. This is the biggest number so far since it started.
Speaking of COFs, there are 16 stages of varying levels of difficulty that will test the skills, speed, and patience of the airsoft practical shooters. If you are curious on how these COFs are designed, check the document as provided here:
Now, there is a special stage that you will notice if you scrolled down to the end of the COF document. Called the “Clarence vs Lars Knock Out stage” this is a single stage showdown between the Airsoft Surgeon and IPSC Shooter of Team CZ, Lars Hagemann of Denmark who will be representing Team ASG for airsoft practical shooting. Many are looking forward to see how this will come out and since it is just a single stage showdown, there is no room for error at all.
It is expected to be a warm weekend, but in Gloucester the heat it is on as airsoft practical shooters vie for the honours of being the best in Europe. Popular Airsoft will be there to cover the event.
These days, the human body gets even more enhanced with technologies designed for it to do more than it was originally designed to do, even for those who have lost a limb or two. We see great strides in prosthetics and exoskeletons that can give humans the super human strength, carrying much heavier loads and moving faster. But what is interesting these days are those in the body augmentation sector, technologies designed for even more capabilities for humans and these are actually body implants rather than being external tools that can be easily removed when not needed.
In short, to get more capabilities and enhancements, your body gets modified. You might think of cosmetic surgery and you’re not far from it. Mostly, you get chips like sensor chips for the hearing impaired, but some of the more extreme experiments in body augmentation are chip implants designed to make it more convenient and secure for people to open doors, manage controls, and even do transactions.
In this story, an example of such body augmentation is the implant-activated smart gun.
Vice.com sent us a heads up of a Motherboard story of the world’s first implant-activated smart gun. Whilst there are already smart guns activated via biometrics or proximity RFID devices, one goes more extreme. Amal Graafstra, a veteran biohacker has thought of gun safety can be done better via RFID implants.
In a way, he makes a point. Guns in homes can be dangerous to children when left unsecured and there many cases of children able to get hold of guns and shoot themselves. A criminal who manages to get hold of a gun may be unable to use it since the gun would need the RFID signal from the real owner for it to work. So from the point of safety, it can be a compelling technology to reduce injuries or deaths caused by firearm accidents.
Motherboard was given an exclusive look of what Graafastra has been making in his garage in Washington State. He says that he is looking into gun safety more reliability as there are inherent problems in biometric and proximity device approaches to gun handling and the best approach can be the use RFID implant. The gun won’t fire without the implant and so the real owner of the gun is needed to use it.
There are still questions in making it a fail-safe system, like the RFID, even if being such a low-powered chip, will still run out of power after years in the body. What will happen to gun if the RFID is out of power? Will it remain locked or will it unlock? It was not indicated if the RFID chip is a passive one which will not rely on its power source and will be powered by electromagnetic energy radiating from an RFIDreader. For others, especially for gun owners in the U.S.A. who are very much wary of government intervention, this might provide an opportunity for the government to require gun owners to have RFID implants all in the name of gun safety.
It is still an interesting technology, especially if you are not averse to the “Mark of the Beast” that some religious people are saying that RFID or other sensor implants will be. Just like the smart gun before, this will be subject to a lot of debate amongst firearms enthusiasts.
It’s Monday and it’s another “Just for Kicks” story. In this case, our story is about the airplane most loved by soldiers at the frontlines and behind enemy lines, the A-10 Warthog. It makes noise soldiers needing air support would find to be the sweetest music to their ears--- BRRRRTTTTTTTT!!! The sound of the GAU-8 seven barrel gun that the A-10 was built around to pop tanks and provide close air support.
Even as the U.S. Air Force plans to retire the A-10 in favor of the F-35, there is strong opposition as the A-10 is proven to be the a very effective plane in supporting troops on the ground. Built like a tank that it was designed to defeat, the A-10 can take a beating and still make it to base even with holes in the wings caused by enemy ground fire. It can be patched up quickly and will be up in the air in no time to support friendly troops.
In airsoft, especially in milsim events, organizers try to provide all the heavy hardware that they can throw to a game to provide their customers the realism they need, from armored vehicles to tanks to even helicopter gun runs, the more of these elements the better. The only thing is that it is extremely rare to see fixed wing aircraft used for airsoft games.
Perhaps the closest thing that can deployed for milsim is the use of RC planes. There are massive RC planes based on famous aircraft that can look like real planes when they are up in the air, and they even sound like the real one. If this video by ajw61185 on YouTube (shared by Jalopnik) of an RC A-10 Warthog firing Nerf balls at targets, then why not build an airsoft gun that to it to do some close air support with and fire a stream of BBs to the exposed enemy airsoft players on the ground?
Watch the video here and the RC pilot uses FPV to do a better strafing run:
ajw61185 modded an old FreeWing A-10 RC plane to install a Zeus Nerf Blaster. It can blast off 12 Nerf foam balls in half a second when it approaches a target, and it is fired using from the transmitter used to fly the FreeWing A-10. If an airsoft player who also does RC planes as another hobby, this should be a good idea.
It would be such a blast to see a big A-10 RC plane firing BBs and it adds another dimension for airsoft milsim events. But check first with local authorities about arming RC planes with a contraption that fires BB guns, as there will safety concerns. Though this won’t be a problem if it used for purposes of airsoft games where players are required to wear safety gear, especially protective eyewear, all the time while in the field.
If your mother tells you to eat your fish served during meals, better listen to her, as she might be on something to make you a better warfighter when you grow up. The U.S. Army is studying how Omega 3 would be able to boost the cognitive process of soldiers in cooperation with the Medical University of South Carolina.
The study, which started last August 1, 2016 and will last until the Spring of 2018, a voluntary, double-blind placebo trial to see if it indeed Omega 3 fatty acids can help in the brain functions of soldiers. The study’s protocol specifically targets young soldiers going through Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course or Ranger School will be clearly under stress when going through these programs.
"We're assessing cognitive processes. Specifically, we are studying concepts such as decision-making and attention and impulsivity, and we're doing this with computer-based cognitive tests," said Bernadette Marriott, Ph.D., professor and director of the Nutrition Section, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at MUSC.
"We're hoping to learn if we can improve cognitive performances under stress, because these young people, who are going through (the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course) and Ranger (school), are clearly under stress during specific times in their programs. We're testing them during those times."
Photo: U.S. Army Soldiers during a Ranger Course at Fort Benning, GA.
Those in the study will either be given capsules with Macadamia nut oil, which does not have Omega 3 or Krill oil which is in Omega 3. The participants will then be assessed that will measure inhibition and rule-monitoring, attention and information processing speed, psychological resiliency, working memory, reasoning, vigilance, focused visual attention, anxiety and mood state.
The results will be published in scientific journals and will be made available to interested organizations that are also researching into benefits of Omega 3.
If there is indeed improvements in the cognitive processed of soldiers in the study, even if it is a small one, then airsoft players might want to plan on having diets with food that are rich in Omega 3. Apart from Krill Oil, sources of Omega 3 are fish such as Salmon and Tuna, walnuts, flaxseed oil, egg oil squid oil, edible seeds, and more. There are many commercially available Omega 3 capsules that can bought over the counter at groceries, pharmacies, and nutrition centers.
If many in the airsoft community have not heard about this move by Cybergun to conduct direct online international airsoft sales, well, we cannot totally blame them. Cybergun usually makes announcements to financial news outlets rather than to their actual customers given that they are the only airsoft company that is public traded. Any disclosure in company plans, including earnings announcement, are made to financial markets and government regulators.
Popular Airsoft reader Jim Mcgee sent us a link about the plans of Cybergun in the USA, but following the link, it is a plan to do direct online sales with their latest acquisitions on both sides of the Pond, Shorty USA and AD1 Airsoft in France.
Here is the rough translation using online tools of the press release by Cybergun last 9 June 2016:
EUROPE: THE INTEGRATION OF THE VALUE CHAIN IN ADDITION TO THE CURRENT DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS
The European strategy of direct sales on the Internet, which will revolve around the site AD1 now available in France and gradually deployed on the target countries, aims to control the value chain, especially for the sake of better control of the sale price . This policy must be twofold effect improved margins while supporting current product distribution networks by creating a uniform price reference for the group's products.
In parallel, the new version of AD1 website will create an experience "phygitale" by combining online purchase and delivery shops. CYBERGUN be able to strengthen traffic in the Group's customer distribution networks. These partners may include offering service benefits and thus retain their level of end customers increasingly demanding in terms of price and service.
The new version of AD1, ergonomics and design completely redesigned to optimize the user experience and translated into several languages will be available during summer 2016.
Hugo BRUGIERE, Vice President and CYBERGUN CEO, said: " With the acquisition of AD1, CYBERGUN stepped into the digital age that should have been at the heart of its strategy for 10 years. Part of the delay is being filled. Now, we move forward on this new playground and go compete live those who do us harm us but to all our customers for many years. It is indeed for us to support our network of existing customers who also suffer enormously face to sites for dumping of Airsoft. A regular working contact with our customers to adjust the strategy and ensure that everyone is a winner!"
UNITED STATES: A POSITION TO PROMOTE AGGRESSIVE COMMERCIAL OFFERS
Regarding the strategy in the United States, CYBERGUN group intends to use the site SHORTY USA including a 100 000 fans on Facebook and present client portfolio in all United States. Again, CYBERGUN fills a gap by becoming a full player in the market of online sales.
On this market, besides the strategy deployed in Europe (new price reference system, integrating margin distribution and support network of distribution partners), the Group also provides for the establishment of an offer OUTLET popular locally. This offer will accelerate inventory turns on some end of life products.
Alongside this announcement, Beatrice BOLLING, Director of Marketing CYBERGUN group, said: " We now have a powerful tool to facilitate the destocking operations while preserving our margins on the one hand and to actually take the place of ours on the second web. This strategy is obviously a more global vision of conquest social networks and viral communication. "
TWO NEW REVENUE SOURCES OF 2016
The two websites - already operational - were recently bought by CYBERGUN and contribute to the turnover of the Group on year just to open on 1 st April 2016 .
CYBERGUN redeemed Dolomède, publisher of the site AD1, based on an enterprise value of EUR 600 000 paid mainly by conversion of debts.
Hugo BRUGIERE concludes: " With both, our internal resources and our external partners, we are passing a new milestone. Having on our side to Dominique Board ROMANO, whose knowledge of the keys to success on the Internet is well established, has a real chance. It is also the administrator in charge of monitoring the case and we are delighted."
The big question is if this strategy by Cybergun will be welcome with open arms by their resellers in North America and Europe given that they will be in direct competition with them (most probably not). This usually creates some tensions between manufacturers and their distributors or resellers that some may just drop Cybergun products from their shelves and would rather deal with other airsoft companies that are not in direct competition with their retail sales.
With setbacks in previous years such as dwindling revenues and losses in their previous attempt in the video game market, Cybergun, under its new leadership, will need to find revenue sources to make their shareholders happy.
What is the Metal Gear series without its creator, Hideo Kojima? It is really hard to imagine how the series will continue without Kojima as he moves out of Konami to put out his own studios. With the divorce, Konami are announcing a new title under the Metal Gear franchise post-Kojima. Called the “Metal Gear Survive” and players will have to survive fighting what looks like to be zombies in this game.
Metal Gear Survive takes place after Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes with a group soldiers from soldiers from Militaires Sans Frontières getting sucked into an alternate universe through a wormhole when these started appearing in the sky. Being put into an unfamiliar place, the characters will have to fight their way back home, with droves of zombie-like creatures out to get them.
Sounds interesting as zombie shooter games are always popular among video gamers. Even the Call of Duty franchise has a zombie mode. But a letdown for players, apart from being not a Kojima creation, is that Solid Snake is not in this game.
Four players will need to cooperate to survive in the game and in keeping with Metal Gear tradition; stealth will play an important tactic with covert operations needed to be done in order to escape biological threats. As said in their press release, they have a “brand new co-op, Stealth game that takes a divergent look at familiar Metal Gear themes and pursues a fresh spirit of exploration in unique gameplay mechanics.” Apart from pistols and rifles, a bow and arrow is now introduced in the game, which is much better to use if you are talking about using stealth weapons.
Will players bite with this game that does not have the signature of Kojima? It remains to be seen and perhaps is just a way for Konami to wring whatever revenue they can still get from the Metal Gear franchise, which may have written off with the departure of its creator.
Metal Gear Survive will be released to Windows PC, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One in 2017.
The U.S. Marines are going to get new gear that Milsim players would wish they could have in long range and long weekend milsim events, a new and improved intrusion detector. The Magnetic Intrusion Detector II (MAGID II), can detect vehicles and rifle-sized targets that are within its electromagnetic fields.
Easier for the Marines to use and harder for the enemy to spot, the MAGID II gets fielded six months ahead of schedule. It is multi-directional, meaning that it can detect movements in all directions, unlike the previous gear which was only unidirectional, or only able to detect movements in its line of sight. Also, it is much lighter to carry as it is half the size, about one-third lighter, and more energy efficient than its predecessor, in this news report posted at the Marine Corps website:
“We fielded the MAGID II early to Marine Corps intelligence squadrons,” said John Covington, project officer for the Tactical Remote Sensor System in MCSC’s Marine Intelligence program office. MAGID II is part of the Corps’ Unattended Ground Sensor Set, a Tactical Remote Sensor System component. “The new device is 50 percent smaller, 33 percent lighter and uses 32 percent less energy than its predecessor. The modernized MAGID provides not only target detection and direction information, but also magnetic disturbance readout, indicating the size of the target.”
Photo: Preparing the ground sernsors by a radio operator from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit ground sensor platoon
Covington also added that the MAGID II works with other USGS devices such that detect seismic, acoustic and infrared activity. These devices allow continuous surveillance and giving better situational awareness for operational leaders with lesser personnel as compared to the previous system.
With less people to man the more accurate intrusion detection system, this means that Marines will be able to avoid fair fights, and making it more an unequal battles with them having an advantage with the information they have on enemy movements.
Whilst we are waiting for an AEG version of the KRISS Vector that is being developed under the Krytac brand, it looks like they will be beaten to reach the market by the Chinese airsoft manufacturer, A&K. In this unboxing video made by Taiwan Gun posted last week, we get to see for the first time A&K’s take on the KRISS Vector AEG:
We have reached out to Krytac, which is the airsoft division of KRISS Group, to enquire if they have fully licensed this AEG to A&K, or perhaps are having A&K as the OEM for the Krytac KRISS Vector AEG. Once we hear from them, we’ll post their reply here on Popular Airsoft.
If you can still recall, KRISS Group took away the license for KWA in 2013 to produce the KRISS Vector for the airsoft market for reasons that they will not publicly reveal. Before that, KRISS was happy to have KWA as their partner in the airsoft market, but with disputes between the two, KRISS decided that they had to create an airsoft division, and thus, KRYTAC was born with some key KWA USA personnel joining them. They announced the plans for a KRISS Vector AEG in 2015 and here is a prototype version shown at the SHOT Show 2016 in Las Vegas:
(Update 21 August 2016) An interview with Allen Lau of Krytac on the Krytac KRISS Vector AEG by AirsoftDB and Airsoft.nu during the SHOT Show 2016. Airsoft.nu also posted an earlier story on the A&K KRISS Vector AEG:
If there is no licence taken by A&K to produce the KRISS Vector AEG, it is not the first time they did this. Previously, they produced the Magpul Masada ACR AEG without a licence from Magpul PTS (now PTS Syndicate), and were stopped from further releasing without until they took a licence from PTS. We do expect the KRISS/Krytac will take action on this even if there are no trademarks used by A&K on the KRISS Vector airsoft replica.
In this case, the trade dress of the Vector is distinctly identified with the brand of the KRISS Group, and that means they have a strong case to demand that A&K can cease and desist from making a replica, especially in the USA.
Just like the case of the A&K Masada ACR, A&K will release this until it is legally not allowed to in the markets that their KRISS Vector AEG will be sold. For airsoft players wanting to own a KRISS Vector AEG without waiting for the official Krytac version, this will be a small window of opportunity until the lawyers and courts take over.
Two days of some of the most competitive airsoft practical pistol shooting action took place last 13-14 August at the StrikeForce CQB in Gloucester, United Kingdom. The Airsoft Surgeon Practical Pistol European Championship 2016, the fourth in the series, saw over 150 shooters in the various divisions and categories. This makes it the largest international airsoft practical shooting event in this part of the world, if not the whole world.
I arrived on Friday, the 12th of August, taking care of work concerns and totally missed the RO Pre-match which was handled by the ROs in the UK, led by Justin Cooper of the Watford Practical Pistol Club (WPPC). They came in early in the week together with the Airsoft Surgeon himself and RedWolf Airsoft UK to set up the courses of fire and ensure that shooters get a nice welcome when registration opens on the 13th.
It was already early evening when I checked in at the hotel. I had barely set my bags down when Luuk van Hulten, a member of the Dutch shooters and of the NABV, sent a text message informing me that they had reserved a table at TGI Fridays in Gloucester Quays, the place to go to for a night out when you are in the city. After a quick shower, I rushed to join them there. Also joining us were Paul Wignell of Team ASG and Lars Hagemann of the CZ IPSC Team who flew in from Denmark for ASG to try competing in Action Air for the first time and at the same time had a scheduled knockout single stage competition against the Airsoft Surgeon himself.
It was a pleasure to see the Dutch shooters after being with them during the Dutch Open 2015 where they were magnificent hosts for those who competed in the event and will do so again late this year. As always, it was always a racket whenever I join them, and taking advantage of the reputation of Fridays whenever somebody celebrates a birthday, the whole restaurant staff come in full force to greet the celebrant a happy birthday. And our group had two celebrants for that night (sorta) and it was a riot.
Too bad the night was just starting but we had to call it early since the big day’s tomorrow and all the shooters will need to be rested. By 2200H, we said our goodnights with me walking back to my hotel as others went back to Travelodge or Ibis as most were billeted there.
Arriving at the StrikeForce CQB at the Morelands Trading Estate the next day, I saw the shooters all geared up and ready to go. It was around 0900H when Chris Kong and Clarence Lai, the Airsoft Surgeon, called the shooters for the final briefing before the competition officially opened, with Justin Cooper, the Chief Range Officer, setting the rules of the Championship. Also for the first time in the European Championship, a 9-year old boy in the form of Kiko, will be competing in the Junior Category. The Hong Kong shooters were in attendance as well and they have been sweeping the awards in the past three years, and they were expected to do so again this year.
16 Stages were prepared for this year, with 10 needed to be accomplished on the first day, and the remaining 6 for Sunday. The Courses of Fire (COFs) were of various degrees of difficulty. Some will be quick to do go through, others will need shooters to move fast on their feet, and some will test their ability to balance themselves whilst trying to do accurate shooting. All courses have been designed by the organizers to ensure that they will challenge and bring the best out of the shooters.
Since it was a warm summer weekend, it was somehow even warmer inside StrikeForce CQB, heated up some more by the intensity of the shooting competition as shooters try to best the times of their competitors as well as their own. Even for me, who was not a competitor, felt the need to rehydrate always, as I needed to follow the shooters with my cameras at the various COFs.
By 1600H, most the shooters have gone through the stages and those who were done for the day were already at the fun shoot area, which was the knockout stage in the “Airsoft Surgeon vs Lars Hagemann” bout. Before 1700H, the single-stage shootout took place and all of those present were treated to some of the best airsoft practical shooting skills shown by two legends. The stage had revolving targets, making it harder for the shooters to hit them quickly as the rotation will surely confuse the shooter. The audience were held in suspense as the results were not announced and instead Chris Kong of RedWolf Airsoft UK, invited everyone to join them for a BBQ night at the RedWolf Airsoft UK HQ in Tewkesbury.
For those who still had energy, which fortunately, were most of the shooters, found their way to Tewkesbury. I rode shotgun in the car of Surawoot “OB” Tanasen of Airsoft Media Ops and already found some already there by 1800H. More cars arrived with Chris Kong and Clarence Lai firing up the grill to start the burgers and ribs as hungry shooters arrived and started queuing up for food and drinks. The night was spent talking about what transpired during the day and anything about airsoft. For those who haven’t visited the RedWolf Airsoft UK store, they were inside admiring what was on display and even doing some evening airsoft shopping.
By past 2100H, the tiredness started to set in, which means we had to call it a night since it’s going to be another long day on Sunday, even if it is the last 6 remaining stages. Though for the Dutch, they had a night cap at TGI Fridays again, going for a round of their beloved Long Island Iced Tea before their day was finally complete.
I came in a bit later than the rest the next day. I had to check on some online stuff that delayed my going back to StrikeForce CQB. I was an almost an hour later, as the shooting resumed before 0900H and I arrived around 0930H. Good thing I was not missed so I quickly got my “shooting gear” on, meaning my cameras and do what was expected of me for the weekend, cover the event and show all the shooters at their best.
The day actually went fast and past 1300H most shooters were already done with all the stages, although there was a bottleneck at Stage 6, delaying the closing ceremonies. Oh well, the shooters who were already done tried their luck to best others at the fun shoot, going through the Knockout stage course used yesterday to win a CZ P-09 airsoft pistol, courtesy of ASG.
Finally, by 1530H the closing and awarding ceremonies started, with the Airsoft Surgeon and Chris King being the masters of ceremonies. They first congratulated and thanked all the shooters who came and making it another successful year; and they then thanked and showed their appreciation to the sponsors such as MadBull Airsoft, RWA, ASG, Airsoft Action, Shield Sights, Viper, and PTS Syndicate and also their partner sponsors such as the various shooting clubs, Airsoft Media Ops, and StrikeForce CBQ.
From there, a long period of raffle announcements and giveaways followed; ensuring that most, if not all, of those present were be able to go home with something, a raffle prize, a giveaway, or even better, an award in the shooting divisions and categories. Even Popular Airsoft got to get home with a glass appreciation award.
After some waiting since it took more time to calculate all the scores, Justin Cooper was able to submit the final scores and winners for the emcees to announce. Trophies were given out though I have lost track the names of the winners. I will be posting the list of winners as soon as Chris Kong sends me the list as an update to this report.
The winners were ecstatic for having won in their divisions and categories. For them it is much deserved for giving their very best and being better than others. For those who did not win, commiserations to them, and for them to work even harder for next year’s championships. There are preparations for the Inaugural IPSC Action Air World Shoot that will be hosted by Hungary in 2017. So far we have not received much information regarding preparations for this world shoot which will be the highest level Action Air match.
The Airsoft Surgeon European Championship's growth over the years has been constant, with this year having over 150 shooters joining, shows that more and more airsoft players are trying their hand in airsoft practical shooting. Of all the various types of competitions in Airsoft, only airsoft practical shooting or Action Air (which is the official designation by the IPSC), is the most mature and institutionalized competition. With clear cut rules, matches, levels, and even schedules, Action Air competition shows a lot of potential for even further expansion in Europe. If you are a competitive airsoft player, you better look into Action Air if you want to start bringing home medals and trophies.
Hopefully, as Nigel Streeter of Airsoft Action Magazine puts it, the Airsoft Surgeon European Championships will soon have a change in name and be called the “Airsoft Surgeon World Championships”. It does have a nice ring to it and hopefully gets organised before the decade is over.
Photos of the Airsoft Surgeon Practical Shooting European Championship 2016 are now online at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. Videos of the event will be posted on the Popular Airsoft YouTube Channel.
Congratulations to all the shooters, winners, ROs, supports, and organisers of the event!
The death of Osama Bin Laden was one of the biggest news in 2011, and further etched the US Navy Team SEAL Six into military history for the daring raid in Abbottabad. One of the members of this team, Matt Bissonnette, writing his account of raid under the name of Mark Owen, released the “No Easy Day” book in 2012 and became a New York Times Best Seller.
However, according to Federal court documents, Bissonette violated non-disclosure agreements by not submitting the manuscript to the Defense Department for clearance. In a settlement agreement with authorities, he will be giving to the government all the profits and royalties derived from the book and movie rights, totaling around US$6.6 million which he has to pay the bulk of it within four years.
The purpose on why Bissonette would need to submit to the Defense Department for clearance of his book is to check if he will be revealing classified information given the sensitive nature of his work being part of a special operations unit tasked with executing highly classified missions. However, Pentagon never brought charges against Bissonette after opening an investigation if he revealed classified information or not.
Also part of the settlement, Bissonette will apologize for not following rules on disclosure procedures of the Department of Defense. For the U.S. government, it will dismiss other liability claims for its part of the settlement.
“No Easy Day” is about Bissonette’s service and his experiences in action in Iraq and Afghanistan including his involvement in the rescue of the crew of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 from pirates off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean. This rescue mission became the basis of a Tom Hanks movie, “Captain Phillips” released in 2013.
With the loss of profits from “No Easy Day”, Bissonette still has an opportunity to earn with the release of another book that has been cleared by the proper channels. “No Hero: the Evolution of a Navy SEAL” is also written under the Mark Owen pseudonym that was first published in November 2014.
The organisers of the Tantalum Contract 6 surely have some surprises leading to the event this weekend. The first one is that it is the first airsoft event that will be played on two continents --- North America and Africa. The second one is that an injured airsoft player unable to join them will be able to play remotely, from the comfort of his bedroom (or game room perhaps?).
On its 6th edition, the Tantalum Contract will have Scarlet Tactical organising the South Africa part of the event. For those who have not heard of the group, whilst they organize recreational airsoft games and airsoft force on force training for the military and law enforcement agencies, they have an even more noble objective, it is a company on a mission to save South Africa's endangered rhinoceros species. And to use airsoft as part of the training to help rangers in the protection of the rhinos is very much notable.
You might wonder how an injured player will be able to join in the Tantalum Contract 6 game remotely, with the first thing coming to your mind about some software or mobile application that has been specifically made for use in airsoft games, and there are already existing apps available. But in this case, Ronaldo Fourie of Scarlet Tactical, mentioned that their solution is simple.
But before we get into that, Fourie explained that they have an injured player though the the injury is not airsoft related. In this case, the “disabled/injured” player figured in a motorcycle accident and is unable to play airsoft for at least 6 months. Fourie said that their player misses airsoft so much that and I assume that he would be gutted if he won’t be able to play in the first Tantalum Contract event in South Africa. With that predicament, Fourier and Scarlet Tactical decided to use a very popular app to help him join in the action.
As Fourie further explains:
Tech is amazingly simple (As fixing problems the simple way is what we do in SA) --- Smart phone and Whats App. Also used Google earth for sat maps, etc. for the command and control of players. All comms was done via Whats App Voice Notes, Text, Video and photo. Command gave orders via text or voice note. Team comms with command via text or voice note and intel or objectives achieved was sent via video or photo for conformation.
It’s amazing simple as they use already existing and free applications for some sort of a Command & Control System to allow their injured player act as the coordinator of the action of one group. Also, they have already tested the adhoc system in an event that they call “Block Lockdown” which was a night airsoft operation.
Photo: The General ready for game to command and control the SF team 70km away from his bed.
It will be interesting to find out how this pans out this weekend. But what Scarlet Tactical has proven that there are already existing tools online that many airsoft players around the world are familiar with that can be used for airsoft. No need to spend on other software or applications if you are on a budget, and just being creative about using these free applications for airsoft.
The Tantalum Contract 6 will take place on the on the 27th of August 2015 and will be held at the EMR Paintball in Pennsylvania for the U.S. part and at in KwaZulu-Natal for the South Africa portion. We are curious on how both took place once we get their AARs.
I’m back to writing about Virtual Reality again. If you remember before, I wrote about Striker VR’s Arena Infinity VR Gun that gives haptic feedback to simulate recoil. It looks like something even much better will be soon available in the real world for Virtual Reality fans to use than just simulating recoil. This device actually helps you touch and feel objects in the virtual world.
Enter the Dexmo Glove from Dexta Robotics. This is a mechanical exoskeleton glove that can capture the full range of your hands’ motion and gives feedback when you try to touch and feel virtual objects. And this means you can feel the size, shape and stiffness of the object you are touching virtually. Sounds kinky, isn’t it?
Dexmo is really a cool technology that helps you immerse in the VR that apart from a 360-degree view of your digital world, since the ability to touch makes the experience even more interactive than ever before.
As an example for airsoft players, they will be able to feel a virtual gun, they can feel it firing when they pull the virtual trigger and allows them to virtually do some reloads. The can do pump action with a virtual shotgun or even draw a virtual pistol from a virtual holster. Now, it is up to the games developer to take advantage of this software development tools that Dexta Robotics will make available for those who intend to develop applications for the Dexmo Glove.
Apart from gaming, there are a lot of possibilities for using the Dexmo Glove, be it in education, training, and medicine. In medicine, doctors can simulate a surgical procedure on a virtual patient with the Dexmo Glove, especially for a very sensitive procedure before doing it on the real patient. This can help surgical teams to learn about potential problems that may arise and develop responses before the actual surgery takes place.
The Dexmo Glove is a light device so it can be powered by battery and work wirelessly. With precise motor control, variable stiffness is achieved.
Road to VR has a good story of Dexta Robotics, including an interview with Aler Gu, the CEO of Dexta Robotics.
With Virtual Reality goggles/headsets are much affordable and more developers working on content and applications to work with Virtual Reality, just imagine playing the first person shooter games that many airsoft players engross themselves when not out playing airsoft. Perhaps, from a mechanical exoskeleton glove that can help players touch digital objects, a full exoskeleton that can be plugged in to the virtual world and that will give a full body virtual experience.
Not much for me to really write about this event since it’s just about to start today. In what is the biggest airsoft event in the UK and one of the biggest airsoft events in the world, the Ground Zero National Airsoft Festival 2016 (more affectionately called as the Ground Zero Weekender by veterans), over two thousand players will be converging again at the Ground Zero Woodland in the Somerley Estate, Ringwood, Hampshire.
It should be a weekend of fun, fierce airsoft firefights and wild nights as it has always been all through the years. Many veterans would say that it is 60% socials and 40% airsoft, and that we can agree with. What makes airsoft players keep on coming back is the camaraderie and of course the offerings of the Ground Zero Weekender for the different types of airsoft players, from laid back ones to the serious milsimers.
And oh! Did I forget to mention about the hundreds of prizes that will be given away to lucky participants? From airsoft guns to gear, it is probably the only airsoft event that has tons of prizes to give away in the UK, if not in the whole world.
Rain or shine, muddy or dusty, nothing will stop the players who have booked their slots from going to this annual event. For newbie airsoft players in the UK, the Ground Zero Weekender is pilgrimage they have to make in their lifetimes.
Looking at the NAE Facebook Page, the final touches by the organizers, led by the H himself, have already been put into place. The Ground Zero guys are ready for the arrival of players today.
This weekend, all roads lead to Ringwood for the National Airsoft Festival and we’ll be there to cover the event again as we have done all through the years.
See you there and be prepared to exchange BBs with us!
While we are on the ground right now at the Ground Zero National Weekender 2016, as promised here are all the videos of the shooters in action at the Airsoft Surgeon Practical Pistol European Championship 2016 that took place at the StrikeForce CQB in Gloucester, United Kingdom.
These are over 80 videos to watch which means it will be tough to watch them in one sitting. You can book mark the page so you can come back and watch the videos in batches.
We have uploaded these videos with very minor editing for the purpose of the shooters and those who are interested in airsoft practical shooting/Action Air to review their runs. For the shooters, to see their mistakes and improve their shooting skills as they prepare for the next match; and for the uninitiated, to watch how airsoft practical shooters practice their art of rapid and accurate shooting.
You can read out report of the event here.
Ubisoft’s “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” is one of the most widely successful shooter video games, but not all is such a big hit. In an announcement that they have posted on the GR Forums last 23 August, they will be shutting down “Ghost Recon Phantoms”, originally known as “Ghost Recon Online”, on the 1st of December 2016.
Free-to-play games usually earn money from in-game purchases for players to advance in their powers or weapons or skill levels. So rather than buying the video game upfront to get to play it, players get to play the video game without the need to pony up some cash and those who need the advance faster in the game can then make purchases for weapons and power-ups.
“Ghost Recon Phantoms” debuted as “Ghost Recon Online” in early 2012 then was named as “Ghost Recon Phantoms” in 2014. Over the years, it has experienced a decline in users, now just averaging around 800 concurrent users at any given time in recent months.
With just over 3 months to play the game, the Ghost Recon shop will remain open. However, Ghost Coins will not be available anymore to purchase. If a player has any Ghost Coins left, it is best that he/she uses them as soon as possible before the game goes offline. Players will not be able to convert these back to cash or move these to use in another free-to-play game in Ubisoft.
Here is the announcement as posted by the Ghost Recon Phantoms Team:
After more than four years of battles, fights, deaths and a lot of fun, we have made the difficult decision to close Ghost Recon Phantoms. It’s a tough day for our studio and indeed the team, some of whom have been working on this project since its inception some 7 years ago.
GR Phantoms has been a tremendous undertaking and we really relished the opportunity to bring to you a different take on the GR franchise. We are proud of what we have achieved but of course, a game like this would be nothing without its community. We’d like to sincerely thank you for your support, enthusiasm, patience and above all, your loyalty. For the hours played, the fun in your company, the never ending deaths at Balaklava Sub-Pen, the fights to control Tomsk-9, the sounds of shotguns and the fear of the P90 SD WAR, we are grateful.
We would like to thank you for all this great moments and fun we shared with you. GRP has been a great adventure for us, with you.
The shutdown of the game will take place on December the 1st. The game will stay available until then, and we wish you a lot of fights until the end. The in game shop will remain available, but you won’t have any more the possibility to purchase Ghost Coins.
We encourage you to use this time to use any Ghost Coins you have – as well as settle any scores you may have with opposing teams!
In line with our terms of sale, we hereby inform you that there will be no refund of any virtual currency you have spent in the game or for any resources you still may own on shutdown date, nor any conversion of any remaining virtual currency to another game.
Once again, thank you for your support and loyalty and we hope you have enjoyed the ride as much as we have. This is the end for one chapter of the Ghost Recon story, but for sure it won’t be the last. Thanks to your reports, your feedbacks, we are building every day better games, greater stories you will live in our company.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to visit our FAQ.
So this is not a goodbye. We’ll see you soon, in another adventure!
Your GR Phantoms Team
Respawn, talk about an antiquated term in airsoft that just needs to die already. With Milsim ruling the airsoft universe we should evolve past this word and how getting hit in this game is handled. Respawns are for speedsofters and video games, not a community driving toward realism and an atmosphere of simulation over just competition. The first step is taking a simple term/system and looking for a better one that fits the more common form of gameplay at events. It does not end there though because you have to be able to scale up and down for the scenario or size of a given event. Will respawn ever truly go away? No, not at all. But at least we can start to enjoy a better alternative more in line with the direction of the larger community.
Now before I go into how I would reshape the whole respawn concept I have to say that it looks like a few op producers have noticed the need for change too. Some like minds have done some of what I am going to talk about. I do not think anyone has embraced or taken the full package as far as I am going to talk about. I am not reinventing the wheel here guys, I am just looking to put on the right tires for the terrain. That way we move beyond an outdated simplistic concept that only makes sense to me at the earliest levels of play.
Let's go full-scale national event with hundreds of players with multiple sides outlined by an event producer and medic rules. Then we can work our way down in scaling back to how we use the alternative to a simple respawn.
Photo:Respawn point, Ground Zero NAE 2012
Before I can talk about medics, casualty card, casualty collection points and aid stations we need to look at higher level event organizer interaction with the player command. In order to help facilitate better event fluidity and organization, the staff must become the theater or AO command that views the battle from an overhead perspective feeding information and helping make command choices for the player command. You may say that already happens and they pass down fragos or orders based of intel or objectives you reach but, you have to ask yourself if the staff truly knows the flow of battle and how it is unfolding. I have been at plenty of games where the staff does not really know the big picture. They are just waiting for the right message then send out info they planned for. There is no reacting to the actual battle, in order to do that they would need to be in a TOC (Tactical Operation Center) looking at a map knowing where all the elements are. That is just not happening most of the time.
This higher level of command establishes your FOB (Forward Operating Base) or CP (Command Post). That is already happening at plenty of events, nothing new there. Now the purpose of these assets on the map is what is always up in the air. You keep extra supplies there, you go there when you die and it is a bit of a rallying point. It is the good old respawn that we all can just not seem to shake. Now imagine if there was a dedicated command element there actually controlling the movements and actions of your side in a battle. Let's also imagine that you had to defend this asset in order to maintain that command and control. It changes dramatically how you allocate troops and where you leave supplies. It is not a foreign concept, there are op producers doing something like it.
Let's add something very important to your FOB or CP. Let's add an aid station or field hospital. So within this position is now a troop/player management system. You should be looking at players as assets or as a resource that is not just constantly recycling in. There is nothing realistic or gameplay driving about walking back to a building and now just walking back out with a random group to find another random fight. The FOB and field hospital within it can control this flow and allocation of battle winning resources. How does a participant end up back at the FOB or field hospital? Well, as you run out of fighting resources like ammo and water’ you have to withdraw back as it would be needed in real life, unless you can get a resupply mission to keep you in the field. This is a critical movement that command at the FOB would facilitate. The other way to end up back is if you die in battle and are sent to the aid station for a designated time period or until the organization of a command decided appropriate element. But there is a stop for you if you get hit before you end up having to go back to the field hospital.
Here is where the CCP (Casualty Collection Point) comes into play in keeping the battlefield organized and the flow of battle more structured for the chain of command. This is where we start to redefine the way casualties work during an event. Each player receives a casualty card showing some kind of wound for when they are hit. So when you get hit your squad medic hops into action to secure you (the casualty) and move you to the CCP to be assessed. A medic will not just be slapping on a bandage while shots are firing. They will secure you and move you to the CCP. This means that the CCP cannot be far away from the front lines in a random corner of the battlefield. Each platoon gets their own CCP to collect and assess their wounded. The location is established by command at the FOB based on where they feel it is best to keep the troops in it, and the higher level staff command decides if that location requested is best for the event.
Photo: CCS/MED Airsoft Electronic Wound System
Your CCP is a highly mobile asset that can be lost and relocated as needed. Each platoon gets one so that the troops are kept together better during battle. If you are in first platoon you need to fight and stay near first platoon to use your CCP if you get hit. You cannot use another platoon CCP or you have to go all the way back to the FOB for aid. This forces platoon and squad integrity and forces wiser choices when sending small elements on far or isolated missions away from the rest of their team.
At the CCP you present your card to the medic or platoon leader in charge and the card will dictate what comes next based on how serious your wound is. It can be a simple flesh wound meaning you get a bandage and are sent right back into the battle. You could have a clean non-life threatening wound and after a period of time in the CCP, you can return to the battle. Time off the field is to simulate time the troop would be down and unable to fight because he is being treated. Or you could have a serious sucking chest wound that requires immediate movement to the field hospital for a longer time out of battle. The casualty cards would be handed out randomly because in a real battle you never know what will happen. If you get treated at the CCP or field hospital, you are given a new random card before you head back into battle after having been treated. This system now creates a drastic change in how the game flows.
You no longer just get hit and head back to a respawn to then reenter the game. You fall back to your CCP to be treated and reenter within your platoon staying together, or you fall back to your aid station in the FOB for a longer period out before returning back in through your platoons CCP to rejoin your actual team.
Placement of your CCP and how you defend the aid station at your FOB are more realistic command decisions. Place your CCP to close to the fighting and it could be lost forcing all casualties back to the FOB until you win the CCP back, don't secure your FOB and the aid station could be lost preventing you from redeploying troops. Disruption in these key elements will change the whole battle in your favor or against you, and now you can't just throw random groups of guys at a problem. You have to be careful with what you use and how you use it because the individual has now become a much more valuable resource that must be managed.
That is it at the highest possible level. Now let's scale it down for smaller events. Start at the front line with simpler casualty cards and simply timeouts at the CCP or a flat out death card sending you back to the FOB. It is still random but simple. In smaller game play organizers might also nix the CCP and just use the cards and FOB. Still there should always be a time period off the field forcing the slow down of game flow and there be an actual feeling of hurt to command knowing they have troops out of action that they have to wait to use again.
So that is my idea when it comes to reapawning. Add or take away elements to make it fit your backyard battle or your 500 player battle, but let's move beyond just a respawn where there is no command organizing troops, where there is no designated out of action time and where you touch the wall just to walk back into the fray with no real plan. There is room to work with what I have laid out and the more intricate you go with it the more immersive your event will become. Isn't that what everyone wants, more emersion. Let's leave respawn for the video games and update that part of airsoft just like we have updated so many other elements.
Just one grunt's opinion,
About The Author
Javier "Darkhorse" Franco, formerly from This Week In Airsoft, runs his own Airsoft Blog on Facebook called "One Grunt's Opinion." This article has been posted here with the author's permission.
Teaser Photo: "No respawn past this point." Australian soldier at a FOB in Afghanistan. Photo Source: Reddit.
Can’t find and take out that airsoft sniper shooting at your team on your way to an objective? That’s one of the difficult things when you just get pinned down by a single sniper --- finding, fixing and finishing the enemy who is very well concealed with and armed with a silent long range airsoft sniper rifle.
Perhaps a small drone can help you with that.Parrot will be releasing this month their small “Mambo” drone and the best part of it is that it also can shoot pellets! That’s right, so apart from using it to spot that airsoft sniper, you can also you use it to take him/her out as well. That’s what I find to be cool about this tiny drone when I first learned about it.
At a cost of the US$199.99, the Parrot Mambo Drone is 2.2 ounce drone that comes with two accessories: the Grabber and a Cannon. The Grabber is a claw that lets you grab small objects with the drone and drop them wherever you like. The Cannon is much more interesting for airsoft players; it can carry a load of 6 pellets that can be fired up to six feet. A bit of a letdown for its capacity and range and most probably there is no room for upgrading it. But with perhaps with a little bit more of drone flying skills, you can get it up closer to an unsuspecting airsoft sniper to fire those pellets and make them count.
Since it is small and light, you can carry it with you to an airsoft game with your team and be the designated counter-sniper. Now, if you can have a good pouch for it to attach it your MOLLE vest or backpack, then you have a unique way of dealing with airsoft snipers.
The Mambo has a speed of 18mph and with its 3-axis gyro and accelerometer it can do flips and aerobatics. It has a vertical camera that lets it snap photos and for speed measurement. You can control the Mambo with the FreeFlight Mini App with your smartphone up to 65 feet with Bluetooth LE. Another neat feature is its "throw to take-off" where you toss it in the air and its engines quickly engage rather than crash to the ground. This means you can quickly deploy the Mambo for some airsoft sniper hunting. You can also a separate controller if you find using a smartphone for controls uncomfortable.
Since it is small, you can use it for room clearing. Fly it through a window and you take out the OPFOR inside with it. Especially in game sites where you are not allowed to user airsoft grenades for room clearing, this can be the next best thing to do it if the game sites will allow for its use. The biggest let down is that there is no realtime video stream from the camera to the smartphone app, which means you will have to do some guess work if your target is in sight and in range.
Still, it is something to start with until improved versions or similar drones will be produced with built-in video cameras that can stream what they see to the pilot’s smartphones. I see the future uses of such drones in airsoft apart from just using them for reconnaissance tasks into actual game changers. The only worry is when the targets also shoot back at the drones and it might damage them.
Also to be released together with the Mambo Drone is the Parrot Swing which should make Star Wars fans happy as it will remind them with an X-wing. It can take off vertically and fly like a fixed wing mini-drone.
We finally get to hear an official statement from KRISS USA, the outfit behind Krytac, on the A&K KRISS Vector AEG as they emailed to us their press statement. As we have been unsure if the A&K airsoft version is officially licensed after learning about its existence in early August 2016, we reached out to KRISS USA to find out if it is indeed authorised or if not, what their plans are to stop its production.
Here is the video about the A&K KRISS Vector AEG as presented by Taiwan Gun, an airsoft seller based in Poland:
KRISS USA, in their press release, are aware of the A&K KRISS Vector AEG, and have in fact notified them on several occasions to cease and desist from the project. But it looks like A&K will still continue to release their version. This means that KRISS USA will have to resort to legal means to prevent its sale in airsoft market when it gets released.
Apart from going after A&K Airsoft itself, they intend to pursue importers, distributors and retailers who will carry the unlicensed KRISS Vector AEG to the fullest extent of the law.
Will KRISS USA be able to block such sale? It is possible since the trade dress of the Vector is distinctly identified with the KRISS brand, just like Glocks. Furthermore, KRISS USA and Krytac have cultivated relationships with many retailers, especially in the USA that they can request their partner retailers not to carry the specific model.
Once this goes to the court or when lawyers act on this, will A&K still pursue the release of their Vector AEG? Perhaps release it in countries where KRISS Arms does not have a presence, but then it will be blocked from the biggest airsoft markets which are the USA and Europe that it might have to take a licence from KRISS USA. But I am not sure if KRISS USA will be in the mood to allow them unlike Magpul PTS (now PTS Syndicate) which allowed A&K to produce licensed airsoft replicas of the Masada ACR after they successfully blocked further sales of the unlicensed replicas.
The story does not end here yet. We’ll find out soon enough if A&K will still persist in releasing their KRISS Vector AEG. If A&K Airsoft would like to state their position on this, they can contact us and we will post their official statement here.
Here is the full press release from KRISS USA:
KRISS USA Responds to Unauthorized Reproduction of Vector AEG
KRISS USA will use all available means to protect worldwide patents and trademarks.
August 31, 2016 – Chesapeake, Virginia, USA– KRISS USA, developer and manufacturer of the KRISS Vector family of firearms, has been made aware of an unauthorized and unlicensed reproduction of its KRISS Vector SMG in the form of an AEG replica by A&K Airsoft. Despite several official notifications, A&K Airsoft has pursued into the continuation of this project, and is planning release of this unlicensed product.
KRISS USA is an innovation leader in firearms technology, revolutionizing firearms operating systems and designs with the KRISS Vector Submachine Gun.
KRISS USA is heavily invested in the technology and design of the KRISS Vector, including non-lethal, training and recreational shooting models through its brand KRYTAC, in order to deliver to its customers an uncompromised level of quality and performance to reflect its brand values. KRISS USA is prepared to take all necessary actions to aggressively protect those investments and commitments.
KRISS USA will be actively pursuing manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, to the fullest extent of the applicable laws, for any infringements on its patents, designs, trademarks and rights in the United States, Europe, and Asia for the unauthorized manufacturing and distribution of KRISS product replicas. Furthermore, KRISS USA is actively preparing its actions in the countries of Poland, Russia, UK, Italy, Taiwan and Japan.
For more information about KRISS USA and the KRISS Vector visit www.kriss-usa.com.
About KRISS USA
KRISS USA is a leading manufacturer, distributor and provider of small arms, training replicas and accessories for commercial, military and law enforcement users worldwide. KRISS USA is part of a group of companies that focus on delivering proprietary technologies to the firearms industry, enabling more efficient solutions and corresponding to the 21st century security requirements.
KRISS USA Inc.
565 W. Lambert Rd. Suite F
Brea, CA 92821, USA
Phone: +1 714 333 1988