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    Novritsch Airsoft Pistol Squad

    Sometimes, it’s nice to have some controversy to spice things up in the airsoft community when the days and weeks were mainly more about airsoft guns, gears, and games. When things get boring, surprisingly, an issue comes out in the open that will have almost everybody forming an opinion for or against the main subject of the issue.

    If you have been glum in the past days after hearing that the Angelina Jolie is divorcing Brad Pitt, ending one of the most famous power couples in the world, perhaps you might want to check Facebook, YouTube, and even Reddit as the world’s most famous airsoft celebrity right now, Novritsch, has his own hot story moment and got the airsoft community buzzing.

    Last 22 September, Airsoft Park Tirol, an airsoft game site in Austria where Novritsch usually plays, posted on Facebook a statement that they are issuing a temporary ban on Team Novristch for site rule violations:

    Offizielle Stellungnahme zum Mehrmaligen Fehlverhalten vom Team Novritsch im Airsoftpark Tirol:

    Ich und mein Team haben uns zu diesem und anderen Vorfällen beraten und EINSTIMMIG beschlossen das Team NOVRITSCH bis auf weiteres Spielverbot im Airsoftpark Tirol zu erteilen!!!

    Da es schon öfters vorgekommen ist dass das Team Novritsch gegen div. Regeln verstoßen hat oder einfach die Geländekante Irgnoriert und somit Nachbarsgrund betreten hat, wie eindeutig auf dem letzten Video zu sehen ist, ist damit entgültig Schluss!

    Ich Persönlich lege auch allen anderen Spielfeldbetreibern, Vereinen usw. die ein Game Veranstalten ans Herz, schaut dass div. Regeln eingehalten werden damit wir endlich allen Cheatern das Handwerk legen und dass ein Reibungsloser toller Spieltag von statten gehen kann!! So bleibt der Spielspass erhalten und es entstehen keine Probleme am Feld!

    Wir haben uns für die Zukunft auch ein paar Neuerungen einfallen Lassen die ihr am Spieltag in der früh bei der Ansprache erklärt bekommt!!!

    Sorry Jungs (Team Novritsch) aber dass habt ihr euch selbst zuzuschreiben!!!!

    No way for cheaters!!!!

    Lg Manu

    Here is the translation of the statement, with thanks to Chris Bravo of Airsoft Milsim and News Blog:

    "Official statement regarding the repeated misconduct of Team Novritsch at the Airsoftpark Tirol:

    My team and I discussed this as well as prior incidents and unanimously decided to ban Team Novritsch from the site until the ban is lifted.
    Team Novritsch repeatedly violated the rules or left the game area and entered private property - as it can be seen in his latest video, that will now come to an end.

    I personally prompt all site owners and clubs to make sure that people observe the rules and make sure that the players can enjoy a safe and fun game day and that we can put a stop to the cheater’s game.

    We’ve come up with a few alterations, that will get explained to you at the beginning of each upcoming game day.

    Sorry guys (Team Novrtisch), but this is your own fault!!!!

    No way for cheaters!!!!

    Best regards,

    Manu"

    Here is the video that led Airsoft Park Tirol to finally decide on issuing the temporary ban so you do not need to leave this page:

    In the following day, Novritsch posted a video from a hotel room In Moscow, as he was about to join Russian airsoft event, explaining his side that the rule was not clear and that he would not upload a video of himself cheating:

    As to who is wrong or right in this issue that is not what this article will go into. It is more likely that this will not be resolved at all and serve more of a lesson for both sides (for the game site owners to be more explicitly clear about their rules to avoid confusion and for Team Novritsch to perhaps clarify with game organisers about what exact meaning of “boundaries”).

    Being an airsoft celebrity, or being a celebrity in general, the biggest tradeoff is being under the intense glare of the spotlight and in this Internet age the glare will be even more intense that even the smallest mistake will be magnified. Some disdain YouTube celebrities thinking that they will do even the damnedest things just to rack up views and subscribers to the point that they accuse them of cheating just for the ratings. For those who appreciate what they do, they recognise that they push the limits on what they can do and being unofficial ambassadors for airsoft.

    Making these videos take dedication and resources and thus, if there is an objective to profit from creating such videos, then by all means, they should do whatever they can to earn as long as it is done within bounds. But then, in trying to be a celebrity these days, someone has to blur the boundaries if not pushing the limits. It is easy to create a YouTube channel and upload a video, but to stand out amongst tens of thousands of videos being uploaded everyday will take a great deal of creativity, craziness, and sometimes, controversy. In doing so, some will pushback, especially if it is done at their own expense.

    We’ll let Georaga Airsoft have his say in this video:

    It’s just another day in airsoft, and controversies also happen in our sport. All’s well.


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    French Air Force Commandos with HK416

    September is a very good month for Heckler & Koch. In the past years, the company has been experiencing problems such as in 2013, when it was first reported to be having financial problems due to delayed deliveries and then in 2015 problems with the G36 rifle used by the Bundeswehr came out in the open. On September 2, a German court cleared the company of any fault in the G36 issue and does not need to pay the government any compensation. Then last September 23, it won the tender for the the Arme Individuelle du Futur – Future Individual Weapon project of the French Armed Forces that was confirmed by the French procurement office, Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA).

    Photo:The French FAMAS Bullpup Rifle

    The HK416 will replace the French-made FAMAS rifle that has been in service in the French Army since 1977, the first Army in the world to adopt a bullpup rifle. Production of the FAMAS rifle has stopped in the 1990s after having fully met the requirements of the French Armed Forces, with no further orders and plants have closed down. No effort has been made by the French to have an indigenous design to replace the rifle in the 21st Century, leading them to look elsewhere for its replacement.

    Five companies answered when the French DGA issued the first tender for the FAMAS replacement with the FN Herstal SCAR-L and the HK416 chosen as the finalists. The first tender will award an order of 100,000 units that will delivered for a period of over 10 years. Eventually, the French chose the HK416 to be their new mainstay rifle which is already in use by Paratroop units such as the Commando Parachutiste de l'Air n°20 of the French Air Force and the 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment or 13ème RDP of the French Army.

    This makes France as the second country to have the HK416 as the main assault rifle for its armed forces after Norway. The HK416 is mainly in use in special operations forces around the world.

    The estimated value of the 15-year contract is said to be around €300 million ($336 million). Official press release from Heckler & Koch below:

    France selects the HK416 as its new assault rifle
    26.09.2016

    After an extensive evaluation lasting more than one year, the French Direction Générale de l’Armement has selected the HK416 as the successor of the famous "FAMAS" assault rifle.

    Heckler & Koch GmbH is honored and proud to announce that it has been officially awarded last week by the French Direction Générale de l’Armement the contract for the supply of the future French assault rifle. Known initially as the "Arme Individuelle Future" (AIF), the selected weapon is a variant of the battle-proven HK416A5 assault rifle.

    The HK416 will replace the well-known "FAMAS" assault rifle which is no longer produced, bringing modularity and flexibility to the needs of the French military.

    The contract calls for the supply over a period of 15 years of up to 102,000 5.56 x 45 mm NATO rifles, 10,767 40 x 46 mm grenade launchers, ammunition, spare parts, support services and accessories. The weapon will be available in two versions with different barrel lengths depending on the user mission and will equip all Army, Navy and Air Force personnel.

    After a technical evaluation which pushed all competitors to their technical limits, the HK416 was a top performer and the cornerstone of a high performance and fully integrated weapon system.

    The HK416 is a robust, reliable and accurate weapon produced in Oberndorf am Neckar, in Germany’s Black Forest region, using the finest materials including the best French steels which provide its legendary robustness. It is a user-friendly weapon that has proven its capabilities on military operations in numerous occasions.

    Photo teaser: French Air Force Commandos with HK416 (Credit: Armée de l'Air - Ministère de la Défense)


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    DJI Mavic Pro Drone

    The spotlight on GoPro’s revelation of the Karma Drone, its first product in the drone market, gets taken away as DJI, the leader in commercial drones, quickly responds with the release of their Mavic Pro that also is much portable and lighter than their highly successful Phantom series.

    And just like the Karma Drone, the Mavic Pro also has foldable rotor arms that go to the side of the body and ready to be quickly stowed away. It looks like fold-up drones, started by Yuneec, are the rage this year. Whilst you can put the Karma Drone in a backpack, the Mavic Pro is much slimmer that you can even jam it into a purse.

    Surely, there are compromises that DJI had to do in order to come out with a sleeker, lighter, and foldable drone. Actually, the compromise is really nothing compared to the overall features that the Mavic Pro offers --- the camera at true 4K resolution at 30fps (1080p HD at 96fps), 27 minutes of battery life on a single charge, livestream video up to 4.3 miles, and stream this video to Facebook, YouTube and other online video services at 1080p HD which the latest DJI Phantom can only offer at 720p. The only advantage of the DJI Phantom is a faster speed of 45mph (Mavic Pro is 40mph) and wider FOV of 92 degrees as compared to the 78 degrees for the Mavic Pro.

    It also has the obstacle avoidance feature and now comes with gesture control, make a gesture at the drone for it take a selfie with the drone camera, according to the company.  But the feature we like is Active Track, all the drone pilot has to do is tell the Mavic Pro who to track and it can Trace (follow behind, follow in front, or circle around the subject), Profile (fly alongside the subject), and Spotlight where the camera stays on the subject as the drone flies in different directions. For even slower and precise movements, there is a Tripod mode and a Terrain Follow mode where it can follow the subject at a set altitude from the ground (from 1 foot to 10 meters).

    For the controller, it comes with a controller that is as small as a game consoler’s controller and you can also clip a smartphone to it so you can see a real time feed as the drone flies. Apart from piloting the drone with the controller, the camera can be controlled independently. With the OcuSync, you can view the flight with VR goggles. You can also fly the Mavic Pro without the controller and just by tapping the screen the drone can take off, fly, return, and land.

    With the geofencing tools that DJI provides, drone pilots will be able to avoid restricted areas as based on guidelines set by authorities such as the FAA. But if you get permission to fly in a restricted area, the geofencing feature can be overridden.

    How much will it cost, you say? The basic package is at US$999 or US$749 without the remote control. This is still cheaper than the GoPro Karma Drone which retails at US$800 and still does not come with the GoPro Hero Camera whereas the Mavic Pro comes with the 4K camera. The only feature that the GoPro Karma has over Mavic Pro is the Karma Grip will can then be used as a grip as a handheld gimbal for the GoPro Hero. DJI has an equivalent version called the OSMO Plus but cannot be used with the Mavic Pro.

    DJI is now taking pre-orders for the Mavic Pro with the earliest shipping of orders in mid-October.


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    Battlefield 1 Single Player Trailer

    The title of the story perhaps will make you scratch your head in confusion. That’s understandable since we have been used to playing single player campaigns that have a linear story usually revolving around a single character. In creating the single player campaign, the creators of Battlefield 1 decided on having an anthology in which a set of characters with their own stories.  As written on the Battlefield 1 Blog:

    “In Battlefield 1 you’ll experience a series of what we call War Stories: personal stories focusing on different protagonists with unique backgrounds and skills. While our characters are at war, the stories in Battlefield 1 are personal. They’re about people rather than history or battles.”

    The characters in the story will have their stories to tell such as the young crew member of a British Mark V Tank who has to learn how to operate the tank fast and also needs to earn the trust of the crew. What is also exciting in this game as that you’ll get to meet some of the most famous people of World War II such as Lawrence of Arabia or the Red Baron. With Lawrence of Arabia, the character plays a right hand role and act as the scout. As to how to accomplish the mission at hand, it’s up to the player and doing so will create his/her own story to tell.

    Let’s go back to the blogpost:

    “In previous Battlefield iterations we’ve experienced the story through the eyes of one main character, and it was very rare that the camera cut anywhere. But in Battlefield 1 we decided we wanted stronger characters instead of just telling players “you are the character”. One way to do this was to invoke classic cinematics that lets you see your character more than in first-person-theater. We wanted the player to see and feel what the characters are going through, rather than just experiencing it from behind their eyes. That has really payed off for us not just in storytelling ability, but in emotional engagement.”

    All of these are designed to encourage the players to play the game according to how they would want to play it a multiplayer environment. This means that the player is given options on how to accomplish a mission/level rather than following an already predetermined path seen in single player campaigns.

    Battlefield 1 is due to be released on the 21st of October and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


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    CAA Micro Roni Pistol Carbine Kit

    There is no need to introduce you to CAA as it is already a familiar brand in the airsoft market, with the establishment of the CAA Airsoft Division (CAAD) with VProductions, the same company behind King Arms which is now based in Taiwan. For many airsoft players, the first things that come to mind amongst the products of CAA are the RONI Carbine Kits and have been good sellers in both real steel and airsoft markets.

    The CAA RONI (this goes also for the CAAAD RONI) kits have been in the market for years now and are in need of a new member in the family. For shooters who want a more streamlined, more compact, and lightweight pistol carbine kit, CAA have introduced the Micro RONI in January of this year and looking at its design, we prefer the look and compactness of this version.

    For now, the design is made for Glock 17 and 19 models which should make owners of airsoft versions of these happy though they have to wait for the airsoft version from CAAAD. 

    Even with a more compact look, the Micro RONI does not compromise in terms of rails to accommodate weapons accessories from optics to weapon lights. It actually looks good with the MH1 - Hartman Reflex Sight, which is also a recently released product from another Israeli company. It is easy to setup as there is no need to disassemble to pistol to drop it into the kit, just drop the whole pistol and it’s ready to go. With ambidextrous control it is easy to operate whether you are a left and right handed shooter though the full-auto ambidextrous charging handle is an optional feature.

    Photo:CAA Micro RONI Stock Folded

    From a carbine look, it can be made even more compact with its folding stock, making it easier to conceal the weapon inside a coat, making it a good choice for close-in security and VIP protection. The right and left serrated thumb-rests allow for better control on recoil and muzzle-rise thus, shooting more accurately. Even more convenient is the magazine carrier at the front area for faster magazine reloads and also acts as the front grip.

    Photo: CAA Micro RONI Stabilizer

    For now, the Micro RONI and the Micro RONI Stabilizer (equipped with a right-folding stabilizing brace for single-handed shooting and fits Glocks 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 31, and 32) are on pre-order with an expected release by the end of October. Hopefully the airsoft versions will not be far behind.


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    IDF Microsoft HoloLens

    With an increasing proliferation of augmented reality and virtual reality devices nowadays, different sectors and industries are now finding ways to use these devices to develop technologies to get more efficiency and strategic advantage, especially in terms on handling timely information. In the case of the military, they are now looking into using these devices for battlefield situational awareness and for training of soldiers by using virtual battlefields.

    Last September 27, the Israel Defense Forces Facebook page posted a video about the IDF using Microsoft HoloLens to bring augment reality to the battlefield. The difference between augmented and virtual reality is that in augmented reality, applications bring information such as images that are blended or imposed in a real world environment while virtual reality is being more immersed in a totally virtual world that can be distinguished from the real world. In using augmented reality, the IDF will be able to bring information to commanders in a real battlefield or assist in saving an injured soldier’s life.

    In a report from Bloomberg last August, Major Rotem Bashi of the IDF C2 Systems Department said there are many practical applications for augmented reality that can be used for training and improvement of strategy. With two HoloLens bought from Microsoft, his team developed an application that provides an interactive overlay of battlefield maps on a terrain that can be controlled via sight, voice, and hand gestures. What’s more with this capability is that commanders can view troop movements from the vantage point of the enemy, allowing them to develop counteractions and development approaches that take away the enemy’s advantage. Furthermore, they are also looking into an application that will send a soldier’s physiology while in the field to HQ.

    The team is also looking into battlefield medicine, where medics will be able to treat wounded soldiers with assistance from doctors who are outside of the battle zone, sending instructions in situations that medics cannot handle themselves. Soldiers can call in a manual or expert assistance in case they need to fix a vehicle that has broken down.

    Developing the applications will require them to fast track, deploying the software will need a “minimal viable product” and make improvements along the way. This sounds similar to the what game developers call as “Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation” or RITE, developing a prototype then sending it out for testing by users then improved until it reaches maturity.

    The Microsoft HoloLens is still in development with only the Development Edition out since March 2016 for software developers to explore what they can do with it and there is no announcement when the Consumer version will be out. The IDF team are sending feedback on the HoloLens to Microsoft for them to do improvements that can meet their needs.

    There are more ideas that the team of Bashi wants to explore, which means that with how the IDF encourages creativity and innovation within their ranks, these will be put into development. That’s how IDF embraces technology which in turn makes them the most powerful military in the Middle East.

     

    Top photo:Microsoft HoloLens at IDF (Source: IDF)


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    COD Modern Warfare Remastered Trailer

    What probably is the best Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Call of Duty 4), as many have already heard, will be re-released again as a Remastered edition 9 years after it was released and set the bar for FPS games even higher. It will be released together with theCall of Duty: Infinite Warfarecome December 2016.

    For those who are looking into playing Modern Warfare Remastered as a standalone game after downloading it when their purchase of Infinite Warfare has been activated, they will come disappointed, especially for those who want to sell their Infinite Warfare disc. Gaming websites have been reporting about an observation done by Charlie Intel, regarding the fine print seen at the Modern Warfare Remastered page:

    “Modern Warfare Remastered is a full game download (game disc must be inserted to play Modern Warfare Remastered).”

    Image: Screenshot of Modern Warfare page. Fine print in the red box.

    This also means that those who intend to purchase Infinite Warfare as a digital download, such as purchasing on Steam, then they won’t be able to play Modern Warfare Remastered as a physical disc is needed. For those who now are more dependent on using downloads to get their games, which many are,  ditching their Blu-Ray/DVD optical drives, this will be a problem. Since ActiVision has not said that Modern Warfare Remastered  cannot be purchased separately, then this is a possibility. But they may have to find a way to allow those who purchase their games via downloads to be able to get their own copy without the disc requirement or else they might be turning a big number of players who are looking forward to playing Modern Warfare again as a remastered edition. Trailer for the new edition was just released last week:

    For those who have pre-ordered the Digital Deluxe or Digital Legacy edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on the PlayStation 4, they get the first dibs in playing the campaign for Modern Warfare Remastered on October 5.

    Many airsoft players also trace the influence of Modern Warfare for them to get into airsoft as they get to have put on the loadout and try their hands of simulated combat away from their keyboards and gaming consoles. The follow-up of Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2 (2009) even drove many crazy going for their loadout, with Ghost being the character that they based their loadout on.

    Raven Software is working on Modern Warfare Remastered, whilst Infinity Ward is building Infinite Warfare. The game arrives on November 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The Remastered edition will come with the orgiginal single player campaign with 10 maps for multiplayer. The remaining 6 original multiplayer maps will be available as DLCs after release with no dates mentioned.

    We're looking forward to be playing with Captain Price and Soap again with the remastered edition which we hope would would be a more immersive experience with the newer graphics cards and video resolutions available for computers these days. Personally, I want to play the Pripyat mission again.


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    Chevy Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell Truck

    Humvee? Hummer? What are those? Sorry if my memory went blank when those words were mentioned when I saw reports of the Chevrolet’s Colorado ZH2 as the U.S. Army’s fuel cell test truck. This is the latest story in which already commercially available vehicles are being considered for use in the U.S. Army, and in this case Chevrolet’s offering a fuel cell version of its Colorado midsize pickup truck.

    Working with the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), General Motors had the Chevrolet’s Colorado ZH2 modified with a reinforced frame for all-terrain use while the engine has been modified to accommodate the fuel cell power train. According to GM, using fuel cells can provide certain advantages for the U.S. Army.

    Just like electric-powered vehicles, fuel cells offer near-silent operation as the hydrogen burning generator actually powers an electric motor and also provides “high wheel torque at all speeds”. Furthermore, its byproduct, or emission if you want to call it that way, is water instead of exhaust fumes and can be used for other purposes, such as being a power unit in the field.

    The images used here show a badass truck that is in agreement with vehicle design trends with more curves than corners. The ZH2 is 6.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide, camo paint job, slotted headlights, and flared wheel arches. If this is offered at a dealership, people loaded with money and have a thing for Offroaders would form a beeline to get this one. But if you are in the service and your unit gets to use one of these, many would probably volunteer for missions if this vehicle will be used just for the joy of riding on one.

    Apart from near-silent operation it is cooler to use making it harder to detect with thermal imaging devices that many armies use nowadays. For operations that require speed and stealth, the ZH2 can be a choice for special operations forces.
    According to GM the ZH2 is scheduled to finish calibration at its Milford Proving Ground in early 2017, after that, it will be handed off to the Army for a year of field testing.

    For airsoft players who own a Chevy Colorado, they might want to look into the designs of the ZH2 and have theirs modded to look like one, including its camo paint job. It should look really cool when it gets brought to a milsim event. If you want a model closer the ZH2, look into the Chevy Colorado Xtreme Concept Truck.


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    Facebook Mobile App

    If you have unwanted airsoft gear at home and you want to sell them online, there are different marketplaces that you can such as those specialty airsoft classifieds, or buy and sell sections of online airsoft forums. For the more enterprising, they can check airsoft Facebook groups if they allow buy and sell postings. But if you want a more convenient way to use social media to sell and look for gear that you want, Facebook have unveiled a mobile marketplace to allow you just to do that.

    Called the Facebook Marketplace, it is a mobile based e-commerce hub and would rather have you forget your PC to buy and sell products. Looking at it, it is obvious that Facebook is targeting Craiglist, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook buy and sell groups.  Apart from personal sales, it can also handle other classified postings as the biggest social media network expects business to post job openings as well.

    Since it is a mobile e-commerce hub, access to the Facebook Marketplace is done via the Facebook app that can be installed on Android and Apple iOS devices. The Marketplace icon will replace the Messenger icon on the lower menu tray and some say it will be replacing Messenger. Tap that icon and you are then brought into the Marketplace.

    Now, if you intend to sell on the Markeplace, just choose the Sell option. You will need to upload photo, description, asking price, and location. If you are already a savvy online seller, you know the drill --- good photos, proper description including state of the product, and perhaps allow interested buyers to negotiate the final price. Once you have posted your item for sale, just wait for buyers. The location is important as Facebook will prioritise those nearby to see your item for sale.

    Facebook can recommend items for sale to interested buyers indicating the distance/location of the item for sale. Buyers can bid for the product and if an offer is accepted, payment terms can be discussed outside the Marketplace.  Payment is still a problem and that means you have to decide with the buyer/seller which payment facility to use for transactions as compared to other marketplaces that have online payments already in place.

    As to what can be sold on the Facebook Marketplace, you must be aware that the following items are not allowed: drugs, adult services, and firearms (airsoft included). But then the Marketplace is still full of loopholes that such banned items were able to flood Marketplace when it was first announced, and the company is trying to correct this.

    Just to be on the safe side, sell airsoft gear only rather than airsoft guns and weapons accessories on the Facebook Marketplace. With most airsoft players in your location probably having a Facebook account, there is a big chance that your wanted to sell post will be noticed.

    The Facebook Marketplace is still in the early stages so there will be issues to be found as it grows. As always, we advise a “caveat emptor” for now as there might be some Facebook users who might not be up to no good and take your money without any product to show for. Check the profile of the user always and if there are mutual friends, ask the mutual friends if the buyer or seller is someone to be trusted.

    For now, the Facebook Marketplace will be rolled out in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand for users 18 years above. Other users in other countries will need to wait for it to be opened to them.


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    U.S. Marine With Glock Pistol

    Early this year, the U.S. Marine Corps allowed MARSOC operators to use the Glock 19 as their sidearm apart from the MARSOC M45 railed 1911 Pistols (designated as M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol or CQBP) that they bought in 2012. This was allowed as the operators prefer the 9mm pistol over the official issue. In late September 2016, they finally made an official switch over from the 1911 pistol to the Glock 19, making the latter the official sidearm for the MARSOC.

    In a report by the Marine Corps Times, the 9mm pistol will be the only pistol that Raiders can bring with them on their missions:

    “We put our money behind the 9mm round fired by an extremely well-trained marksman carrying a Glock 19,” Mannweiler told Marine Corps Times.

    Since last year, MARSOC has purchased and fielded 1,654 Glock 19s because Raiders needed a reliable secondary weapon “that could be used for both a concealed carry profile and a low-visibility profile,” and having one approved pistol for all special operators saves money, he said. 

    Apart from being mentioned as a preferred pistol by the Raiders, the Glock 19 was chosen due to problems in handling of the custom 1911 railed pistol. In a Military.com report last February:

    Young operators have had trouble with the 1911's beavertail grip safety, according to one former Marine weapons instructor who trained MARSOC members.

    Many shooters wearing gloves tend to grip the 1911 too high and do not properly disengage the beavertail grip safety, so the pistol won't fire, he said. A lot of professional shooters who run custom 1911s will disable that beavertail grip safety to avoid this problem, he added.

    The 1911 design is also known for feed-way stoppages, a malfunction caused when a round gets stuck feeding into the chamber, experts said. Horizontal and vertical stovepipes – types of malfunctions that occur when an empty shell casing gets caught in the ejection port – are also a problem with the 1911 design.

    Photo:MARSOC Operator with M45A1 CQBP (Source: U.S. Marine Corps)

    While the debate will continue on what is the more superior pistol or round for handguns, the MARSOC Raiders now can go into battle knowing that their preferred pistol to use, is now their official sidearm.

     

    Top Photo: Marine with Glock Pistol (Source: Glock)


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    Claymore Airsoft TV A&K PKM on Spooky

    The A&K PKM has awful wiring from the factory but this complete rework will give you huge improvements in functionality and reduce resistance. I've rewired it once before but still wasn't happy with the circuit or wire quality, so I started over. This is version 2 of my circuit that has implemented the lessons learned first time around. The big bonus for me is that I have a single, durable, easy to work connector running from mag to gun, single button mag winding and the battery is now connected directly to the mag. That way, when a battery goes down mid firefight you just swap mags to get back online and deal with the dead mag/battery when convenient.

    Wiring Diagram

    Dont forget to utilise the diode that comes in your PKM mag, or else the mag wind will make the gun fire!

    It's worth soldering on the motor wiring as the spade connectors tend to fall off (they do in mine anyway, likely a result of vehicle mounting).

    Mechbox wiring. If you dont want to use the original 3 pin connector (say you are concerned about resistance or you have changed it for an M249 box) you could use another MR30 connector and lay the loom to the left of the mechbox.

    Firestorm MOSFET in the receiver

    Mag wiring. It's now 1 push to make switch which makes it wind (for the initial loading) and it also auto winds as the trigger is depressed. The other winding options provided by the original wiring are entire useless.

    The gun connection wiring goes through the BB compartment to keep the battery compartment tidy.

    Here you can see the single connector to the gun and the battery plugged into the mag. I use XT60 connectors on all my guns (find them much easier to pull apart) but you'll probably use deans.

    Et viola! Single, easy to handle, durable, weather resistant connector to the gun, easily camouflaged by the belt of inert rounds.

     

    You can follow Claymore Airsoft TV on Facebook and on YouTube.


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    Tokyo Marui 56th All Japan Model & Hobby Show

    With the 56th All Japan Model & Hobby Show now two weeks in the past, many of you have been wondering why there was no major announcement from Tokyo Marui regarding upcoming products during the show. Whilst we are all used to the company surprising us about product developments at two events every year: the Shizuoka Hobby Show and the All Japan Model & Hobby Show, for this year, they decided to do things differently.

    But before that, we know that there will still be some products that are expected to be released late this as based on our previous story on the event: M405 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle, M4 CQB-R Block 1 Gas Blowback, the Samurai Edge Variation Color, and the HK45 Tactical. So far, the Tokyo Marui KSG Gas Shotgun and the Glock 22 Gas Blowback Pistol have been released for this year.

    The Tokyo Marui display area, big as it was, was designed for visitors, trade and public visitors, to be able to have their hands on the products for them to try for feel or for those who want to pull the trigger, be able to shoot them. For this year, visitors who have not tried their hands in airsoft many were able to do so as the shooting range covered more than half the display area. They were able to shoot the AA-12 AES, the DEVGRU Custom HK416D NEG, and the Glock 22 GBB Pistol. Guides from Tokyo Marui carried colour-coded cards to indicate which airsoft gun is available to shoot so that visitors will be able to decide quickly which airsoft gun they would like to try.

    The main product in the show that is still “a new animal” is the M40A5 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle. Totally a new design, its parts are not compatible with the best selling VSR-10  Series, and the L96 Sniper Rifle. Visitors milled around as there were shooters demonstrating the accuracy of the M40A5. In this case, the targets placed at 10 metres were an alumnium target 2.5cm in diameter, a .45ACP dummy cartridge, and a stick 2mm in diameter. The visitors were impressed that the shooter was able to targets though they were not able to try the rifle out themselves until it gets released later this year.

    For those who collect miniature gun plastic models, Tokyo Marui have cooperated with TomyTec, which is a world famous Japanese company for known for its small scale models. In this case TomyTec made a 1/12 scale MP5SD6 based on the designs from Tokyo Marui which was on display at their booth.

    Now, back to the question of why there were no new product announcements from the company for this year’s Model & Hobby Show?  As per tradition, they may announcements in May (Shizuoka) and September (Model & Hobby Show), which means an interval of just four months for customers to wait but from September to May of next year, customers will have to wait 8 monts. A new recommendation was to space their new product announcements that customers will wait for 6 months.

    Thus, if you have noticed, the Tokyo Marui Festival did not take place during the Summer season of 2016 and instead they will be holding it in November where they will be making new product announcements. So expect new product announcements from the company in May, during the Shizuoka Hobby Show, and November during the Tokyo Marui Festival. As to what new airsoft guns they will be producing, we do not know and we all hope to be surprised again come November 2016.

    Photos of the 56th All Japan Model & Hobby Show at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    Gears of War

    Finally, after years of talk of making a Gears of War movie which mainly went nowhere, Microsoft and Universal have agreed that a Gears of War will be produced. Both parties announced the project during livestream of the upcoming sequel, Gears of War 4, which is set to be released for the Xbox One gaming console later this month.

    In the livestream event, Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson announced that the movie is already in pre-production and will be produced by Scott Stuber, who was behind “Ted”, and Dylan Clark of Bluegrass Films, who produced the “Rise of the Planet of Apes”. According to Ferguson, they still need to come out with a compelling story that will appeal to the general audience. 

    In a story in Variety, Fergusson said, “As a way to support the franchise, the next logical step was to make the movie. We’d done comics and novels in the past but the opportunity to work with Universal to bring the movie to life was perfect.”

    Members of the Gears of the War Forums have been speculating how the story will be, with one saying that based on the news stories it will be set in the Locust

    War but would not be totally based on one of the game plots. But the general consensus is that players are excited how the production will be conducted and just like other game fans would probably subject the production under intense scrutiny.

    It’s still in the early stages and thus, there are no announcements of production targets, especially planned release dates. For now, all eyes will be on the release of Gears of War 4 which will be released by October 11, 2016 for the Xbox One and Windows PC.


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    Kalashnikov with AK Rifle

    In what may be an unprecedented in firearms history, a country will be holding grand celebrations for a firearms designer. Last 3 October 2016, President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order to establish an executive committee to organise the 100th birthday celebrations of the father of the AK-47, Mikhail Kalashnikov.

    Kalashnikov, who died on 23 December 2013, was born on 10 November 1919 in the Kurya, Kuryinsky District, Altai Krai, Russia. Thus, we see the celebrations of his 100th birthday to take place in November 2019, with regional celebrations or preparatory events taking place before the 10th of November.

    In a report in Newsweek last 4 October 2016:

    Putin has described the products of rifle manufacturer Kalashnikov as “modern art” and Tuesday ordered that the man behind the famous brand should be given an honor usually only bequeathed to poets and laureats.

    The 100th birthday of Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose company invented arguably the most iconic Soviet gun, the AK-47 assault rifle, will be planned by state officials from local and federal agencies, according to a request from the Kremlin.

    Before becoming a weapons designer, Kalashnikov was a tank commander in World War II where he suffered a shoulder injury in the Battle of Bryansk. He decided to design reliable rifles when overheard Soviet soldiers complaining about the quality of their rifles when he was at the hospital. The first AK-47 was released in 1947, earning him Stalin Prize and the Order of the Red Star.

    The AK-47 is the most widely produced rifle in the world. According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are more than 100 million Kalashnikovs in use in many countries. It is the most iconic rifle in the world with instant recognition by many people around the world. Some have said it is probably the deadliest weapon the world due to the number of deaths caused by the use of the weapon throughout history.

    In August 2013, just a few months before his death, Izhmash Concern renamed itself as Kalashnikov Concern after 206 years in honour of its most famous employee after Kalashnikov turned over the rights to the “Kalashnikov” name to the new Concern. The AK-47 trademark was owned by his family until Kalashnilov Concern won the use of the name in a lawsuit.


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    Clown With Gun

    A sad trend is taking place right now and spread via the internet that other people are starting to copy in other parts of the world. Called “Creepy Clown Spotting” these are pranks played by people on others wearing creepy clown masks and holding some weapon prop to scare them off.

    Many of these pranks have already been put on YouTube and just kike the scary clowns seen in horror movies are having an effect on people:

    But some people rather than be scared, are starting to fight back with people shooting the pranksters, finding them not funny at all. Police have admonished citizens not to shoot them, especially those who do not have weapons. In one case, a man in a clown costume was shot in the head in Newark, New Jersey.

    For three teens in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they were lucky they were not shot and killed by the Police in the area as they tried to pull of  a creepy clown prank near the Babies R Us store. Responding police were called by citizens thinking it was a robbery in progress and they gave chase to the three teens and tried to escape from the police and cross the I-40.

    The teens, two 13 year olds and one 14 year old were detained by the police and found to be high on marijuana in a report by KOB 4. The police said they were following the Creepy Clown Spotting trend, but they dropped charges as they did not raise the airsoft gun, which is a replica Beretta Pistol, at the police and had no intention of pulling off a robbery.

    Indeed, they were fortunate that responding police did not quickly draw and shoot them when they were seen to be with the airsoft gun. But the police have warned that those who are doing the Creepy Crown Prank on the public with weapons, replica or not, will elicit a police respond that may just result into injury or death for them.


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    Battlefield 1 Domination

    Console gamers will soon be having what PC Gamers have been able to do for some time now, the ability to make professional looking movies with the tools included in their game copies. Gamers have been able to do such work with the custom tool, creating videos and screenshots of the game, and with the Enhanced Spectator Mode in Battlefield 1, these same tools will put the console gamers on the same creative level with PC gamers, provided that they’ve got an eye to capture great footage.

    For gamers using Xbox and Playstation, the Enhanced Spectator Mode are given extensive control of the camera, they can control the field of view, depth of field and use an array of visual filters that include Noir and Battlefield 3's signature bluish tones.  Here is an example of the work done by Berdu, who was one the artists given early access to the Spectator Mode:

    The video shows that you can lock onto a player’s movement using the “director’s camera” following the player as an in-game character or in a vehicle whilst you can still control the camera’s positioning. What’s even better is that you can place multiple free cameras across the map allowing you to switch view anytime you want and each camera settings can be adjusted as well.

    Berdu explains it further as quoted in the Battlefield 1 Blog:

    I’m very excited to see the Spectator Mode being implemented in Battlefield 1 for all users. For the first time in franchise history, console players can join in on the PC fun and create cool cinematic videos and screenshots.

    To start capturing your own cinematic shots, just join a match as Spectator. Once in-game, you can follow individual soldiers and vehicles using the Director Camera. In this mode, the camera will be locked on to the player’s movement, but you still have total control over its positioning. Explore the camera options to change its behavior.

    To really express yourself, I’d recommend trying out the Free Camera. You can set up multiple free cameras around the map, and adjust settings for each individually. At any given time, you can switch over to the free camera of your choice and have total control over it. If needed, adjust the sensitivity and speed to your liking from the camera options.

    For a nice cinematic look, play around with the field of view (FOV) and depth of field (DOF) options. For example, a low FOV value of 30 is a good choice for close-up action shots. By adjusting the DOF values, you can control the camera blur and the focus point of your shot.

    You can also enable various filters to spice up your footage. Try adjusting the filter strength – for example choose the Noir filter with 30% strength to get a less saturated, film-like look on a map like Sinai Desert.

    When you’re good to go, hide the HUD and film away!

    For EA/Origin Access members, they can play a portion of Battlefield 1 starting on the 13th of October and for those who ordered the US$80 special edition will have a three-day headstart to play the game.


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    Tokyo Marui Festival 2015

    It may have been a letdown for those who are keenly following developments at Tokyo Marui when at the 56th All Japan Model & Hobby Show, the company did not announce any new product that will excite airsoft players as tradition dictates. It is more of them showing products that have been previously announced during the Shizuoka Hobby Show that took place last May.

    But worry no more, we can be in for a big surprise in November or perhaps be excited about the products that they will release before the next Shizuoka Hobby Show.

    The 3rd Tokyo Marui Festival has been moved from Summer to the Autumn Season. This festival is a sole showcase show for the company where they put open displays of their products and invite the Japanese public try them, especially for those who have not yet tried their hands on airsoft. For this Festival it will be held at the same place, Belle Salle Akihabara, in the area that is considered to be the centre of the Otaku world. It is apt to hold it in the autumn season as Akihabara is a shortened version of the Japanese word “Akibagahara” which means “"autumn leaf field".

    We will be expecting that latest product release such as the KSG Gas Shotgun, the Glock 22, the Samurai Edge Variation Color Edition,  and the M4A1 CQB-R Block 1 MWS GBB will be on full display together with other products that will just be released before the end of the year: the M40A5 Bolt Action Rifle and HK45 Tactical Gas Blowback Pistol.

    One of the main reasons that the Tokyo Marui Festival was moved to the November was to make product announcements properly spaced. The interval between the Shizuoka Hobby Show and the All Japan Model & Hobby Show is just four months and with decision to make the second product announcements in November with the Tokyo Marui Festival, they now have an interval of 6 months.

    What will the company announce come November? We don’t know as the company has always been tight-lipped when it comes to revealing their plans. They do sometimes make some teasers, but it will just be a few days before the big reveal. But what thing for sure, they always surprise the airsoft community with their product announcements, especially in the recent years and actually made the shotgun segment of the airsoft market exciting.

    If you want to be at the 3rd Tokyo Marui Festival, it will be on the 26th to the 27th of November 2016 at on the 1st Floor Belle Salle Akihabara, just a few minutes’ walk from the Akihabara Station. We shall be reporting about the event a week after it has taken place.


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    Megabots "How to Destroy a Giant Robot"

    For those who have been waiting for a battle of mech warriors between Japan and the USA, you may have to wait more as the Megabots Team are scrapping the MK2 and will proceed to building a MK3 Obviously, the reason is that the pilot in the Megabots MK3 will suffer injuries (or may not survive) the beating that be taken by the iron giant such as projectiles or metal punches from the Japanese Kuratas robot (whose original design has it firing an airsoft mini-gun as a weapon).

    In a story in Digital Trends (there is a similar story on Engadget, but we’re getting an Error 404 accessing it), the tests conducted by the team on the MK2 the human pilot will suffer injuries that may just be life threatening. We do not know which tests were done, but I suspect the video in Megabots Season 1 video is the tests that the story is pertaining to:

    As shown in the video, the dummy pilot inside of the MK2 took punishment that a human body cannot.  The plan now is to build a better Megabots MK3 that will be able to handle the punishments of a robot hand-to-hand combat that is required by the Japanese makers of the Kuratas in order for them to accept the challenge that was issued out by the Americans last year.

    The MK3 will be designed to have a"safer cockpit, improved controls, and modular arms" (the last thing may mean easy to discard the arms for faster replacement when damaged or an arm attached weapon is needed).

    Too bad that the fight planned will be an old school hand-to-hand combat with perhaps some melee weapons allowed but not high-tech weaponry included (I still stand on using the Hellfire missiles). But then high-tech weaponry may not make this a spectator sport with fans on the stands watching these robots battle it out live or else there will be some carnage out there. So for now, just metal knuckles and metal clubs will be used in the battle.

    But as to when the fight will be, we do not know now. The Megabots team will need new funding to build the MK3 as it is going to be more expensive as pilot protection is not cheap. I would recommend such fighting done via remote control like those in Robot Wars, and if technology allows, like that in the movie “Real Steel”, that way, the pilots are not inside the robots and they can safely fight from a distance using perhaps FPV to issue commands and execute their tactics.

    For now, all those who are interested in the fight can follow the progress by watching Season 1 of Megabots, if they will be able to design and build a MK3.


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    Hobby Quadcopter

    With commercially available hobby drones having more capabilities in terms  of imaging, range, and controls, it is inevitable that they will be used by armed organizations that do not have access to military grade drones. Rebels and terrorists alike, have been resorting to using drones to do reconnaissance work for them, which can then give them valuable intelligence whilst operating these at a distance.

    But now, these hobby drones have taken a deadly form, as affordable smart bombs from the air.

    In a report in the New York Times, Kurdish guerillas were able to shoot down a small drone that was operated by the Islamic State in Northern Iraq. They brought it to their outpost for examination and when they taking it apart, it blew up, killing two of their comrades. This is probably the first recorded incident of a hobby drone that has successfully exploded and killed enemy troops.

    Furthermore into the New York Times report, the Islamic State has attempted in using such drones for attacks on Coalition forces, prompting U.S. Military commanders in Iraq to issue orders to treat small flying drones as potential bomb threats.

    The use of these drones by the Islamic State has made the war take another dimension. In what was an exclusive domain in militaries due to their resources is no more as terrorists have access to widely available drones and some are cheap enough to be bought in big quantities. All they have to do is reconfigure them to be able to carry enough explosives that can be used in taking out important targets rather than being used as indiscriminately as kamikaze drones. They just need to identify a crucial target and direct the bomb-laden drone there. With GPS and FPV, they can do precision bombing just like those missiles fired by military jets that have cameras.

    The U.S. Military has been slow in anticipating the use of drones by militants to delivery bombs and is now working on counters with Eric Fanning, Secretary of the Army, assigning a special office to study how to stop these. Stopping these drones may sound easy if they are in open spaces when shot down with small arms fire, but in concentrated areas such towns and cities with civilians below, shooting down a drone that may explode upon crashing into a market or a house full of innocent civilians, the response should always take into consideration avoiding civilian injuries, deaths, and even destruction of property.

    This may also alarm countries that are targets of terrorists on the potential of hobby drones being used in their own cities to sow terror. A lone wolf terrorist can buy a drone from a hobby shop and with some instructional videos that other terrorists post online, can turn it into a suicide drone. It may not be as dramatic as a suicide car or truck, but it will still achieve the same effect.

    Governments and security agencies will then develop new policies on ownership of hobby drones so they are used by civilians for harmless purposes. This may mean registration and background checks of drones and their owners. One effect by these acts of terrorists using drones will get people paranoid and may just take things into their own hands when they see a drone even if it is being used for commercial filming and just a hobbyist enjoying his/her flying toy.


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    CTRL XC

    I have been wishing for a  pair of sunglasses that can change tint quickly to the changing light conditions. I tried photochromic sunglasses before and while they do the trick of changing tint, they are not as quick as I wanted that I still need to slowdown for my eyes to adjust when the light conditions change.

    CTRL Eyewear have been making smart eyewear for the consumer market based on technologies of their mother company, Alpha Micron Inc., which developed a rapid tint change technology when they were working on liquid crystal technologies, “giving the warfighter electronic control over the tint of their eyewear.” This tint-on-demand technology is the only technology available to address varying lighting conditions and is in use by the U.S. Special Forces.

    CTRL Eyewear already have their products marketed to extreme sports such as biking, mountain climbing, and as well as for leisure. But with their new CTRL XC, they now have an eyewear that can change tint in 0.1 seconds, making it blazing fast. And changing the tint can be done automatically or manually, depending on user preference.

    For airsoft players, there is no need to change the lenses manually of their eyewear if they get the CTRL XC and the good thing is that this eyewear is ANSI 787.1 rated for impact protection, which is more than adequate for use in airsoft.

    The company went on Indiegogo for funding of the CTRL XC and they were able to raise of their target funding by 1,274% by the end of their crowdfunding campaign last 29 August 2016.

    If you are interested in getting one they still have early bird perks on Indiegogo by ordering 1 CTRL XC sunglasses which will cost you US$165, shipping not included yet.  They have estimated delivery to be in January 2017, which is not really a long wait.


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