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    OmniWear Arc

    The video gaming season is upon us as the cold weather starts setting in and more airsoft players would rather play at home with their video games rather than freezing their nuts out in the cold. With big titles releasing starting this month up to the next, the more serious video gamers would be looking for ways to gain advantages especially with online multiplayer FPS games and at the same time get a better gaming experience.

    Haptic feedback technology for video games have been with us since the 1990s but not much developments have happened until recently, when Virtual Reality has made a bigger comeback as the technology to develop content for VR has become more viable with more powerful and affordable processors that can be made more compact that they even mobile devices can give a VR experience. Many game companies are now working on titles that can take advantage of the advances in VR and other device developers are making better haptic devices to make the gaming experience more complete.

    The latest that we find in haptic feedback technology is now raising funds on Kickstarter and reading through the page, it makes me think that this gives you the power of Spider-Man’s “Spider Sense” when playing video games with it. The OmniWear Arc works just like the “Spider Sense” as it buzzes on your neck when it detects enemies nearby whilst the Spider-Man gets a tingling sense at the base of his skull to warn of dangers.

    The OmniWear Arc gives the gamer a 360 degree awareness of enemies through the use of haptic feedback with 8 vibration motors placed around the band to give the buzz. So when it detects enemies behind you, it gives a buzz on the back on your neck, buzz on your left side when it detects enemies at your 9 o’clock… you get the drift.

    Simply said, the gamer gets a second pair of eyes whilst playing, which is a big advantage in itself as it minimizes surprises of being outflanked or jumped from behind. But if you want to call it a “Wingman” or a “Guardian Angel” then, so be it.

    How does it work in detecting enemies in the video game? Surprisingly, it is not connected to your PC or gamer console and instead it connects to your mobile phone via a mobile app that watches the screen when you are playing the game and that means you will need to clip the phone with its camera facing the game screen. Point the camera to the mini-map which many FPS video games have and the app interprets the data it sees and sends haptic feedback to the user.

    This means that gamers do not need to get separate devices to use for the PC or the gaming console so they can shift to whatever gaming platform they want to use. OmniWear Haptics, the group behind the OmniWear Arc will be releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) for game developers to incorporate the OmniWear arc for their games.

    For now the OmniWear Arc can be used for CounterStrike Global Offensive (CS GO) and League of Legends with more titles to be added next year. But the most important thing is that it needs to raise funds first to have the first generation OmniWear Arc become a reality via Kickstarter. As of this writing, it has already raised almost US$3,000 with a funding goal of US$75,000, with about 28 days to go.

    Apart from video gaming, the team behind the device is looking into other uses such as for bike and motorbike blind spot monitoring and workplace safety.

    But for now, they will need to prove the concept by making it a success in their first target market – video games.

    You can support the OmniWear Arc Haptic Neckband on Kickstarter right now.

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    U.S. Navy Corpsmen

    For this week, the most significant thing that we have read about that can be put to great use in the battlefield is in the area of battlefield medicine. Do you still remember Battelle, the company behind the DroneDefender, a technology that can bring down stray drones safely by using radio waves that we wrote about before? Now, they are back and are working with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in developing new ways to save injured limbs.

    Treating limb injury quickly after a blast is a highly urgent matter.  In the seconds and minutes after a blast incident, it is crucial to protect the limb as blood is lost, risk of infection high due to dirt and bacteria, and the tissue will start to dry and deteriorate. Failure to quickly administer first aid treatment to the injured limb can lead to loss of such and even death.

    The ONR awarded a US$14.4 million, 4-year contract to Battelle and Halyard Health which “calls for the development of a conformal cover that protects the injured limb while providing a therapeutic cocktail that mitigates damage and promotes tissue survival.” This bandage can be administered by medics and corpsmen at the point of injury in the battlefield. It should be lightweight and will be able to keep the wound fresh and maintain the condition of the tissue for up to three days allowing time for the injured soldier to be brought to a proper medical facility for further treatment that can lead to saving the affected limb.

    The solution is the Acute Care Cover for the Severely Injured Limb (ACCSIL) which is a bandage wrap that is comprised of two layers. The outer layer is the conformal wrap that is able to be wrapped to the shape of the wounded limb, be able to stop bleeding and prevent bacteria and dirt from coming in. The second layer is the “bioactive” inner layer that has a concoction of chemical designed to deliver antibiotics, pain relief, keep the wound moist, and prevent fungal and bacterial growth.

    Image:Two possible designs of the ACCSIL (Source: Battelle)

    “Successful development of this system will provide military medics a solution currently unavailable to them,” said Kelly Jenkins, a Director of Battelle’s Advanced Materials group. “Current bandages aren’t very good at keeping out bacteria, so a lot of medics improvise by using plastic wrap and lots of tape — which is actually really good at keeping the wound moist but not protecting or preserving tissue. ACCSIL will function much better.”

    Image: Early concepts of how ACCSIL bandaging may look like

    The ACCSIL project will be working on the concepts being developed for this medical solution and the progress to the prototype stage is seen in 2017. If the ACCSIL project is deemed fit for use in the battlefield, it is seen to be used further beyond battlefield medicine application, such as for use by first responders in emergency and rescue situations.


    Top photo: U.S. Navy Corpsmen applying first aid to a dummy in a field exercise. (U.S. Marine photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Young)

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    World War Nerf

    Yeah sure, airsoft guns are the best gun props nowadays as they are cheaper, easier to access and they look like real guns with real gun action, especially those with blowback features. With computer FX software any studio can add smoke and gunfire, which also lessens the danger for actors and extras when they use blank firing rifles.

    But a little more imagination can bring an action/war movie come to life even without the use of airsoft guns. Five years ago, we featured here on Popular Airsoft, the hit YouTube short called “Cardboard Warfare” in which the filmmakers used cardboard for almost everything, guns and including transport planes to do a World War II themed war short movie. It was such a big hit with almost 7 million views.

    For the Nukazooka Crew, they did something that many would love to see, a live action Nerf Warfare. With World War Nerf, they got a hit action short, using Nerf Guns as well as Nerf Tiger Tank. We are not sure if the setting is World War II, but it does get some inspiration from the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan”.

    So far, it has gotten over 2 million views ever since it was released last 11 October. It may not be as elaborate as Cardboard Warfare, but it has achieved what it was made to do, to entertain Netizens on YouTube.

    Now, if we get to see some airsoft YouTube channels try to do something like this (which we believe, Spartan117gw and BirnyX/Johny Deadline Picture Productions are leading the way) rather than just gameplay videos that always the maker of the video making hits/kills all the time with their scopecams, then airsoft filmmaking may just go to another level. It is only when there are contests such as the G&G video contests when we get to watch gems in airsoft filmmaking (though the problem with such is that is centered in G&G). So hopefully, we get to see some airsoft players with creative minds make some awesome videos.

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    Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR Modular Tactical Rifle

    Early this month, a relatively new firearms manufacturer from Austria has introduced a rifle in the United States that was designed with modularity as its main consideration. The Ritter & Stark SX-1 MTR Modular Tactical Rifle can be converted from one caliber to another to meet mission requirements.

    The company says that SX-1 MTR can be quickly and easily interchanged between a .308 Win, .300 Win Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum and furthermore, the ability to incorporate aftermarket magazines and drop-in upgrades with AR15/M16/M4 pistol grips and buttstocks. Indeed, it looks like a versatile rifle with such options afforded to the shooter.

    Ritter & Stark claims that it is the most advanced and accurate tactical rifle in the world. Apart from that, it is reliable and comfortable allowing the shooter to focus on each shot with every rifle proof-shot tested for safety and accuracy in their state-of-the-art shooting range in their factory. To achieve this, the SX-1 uses a bolt that locked directly into the monolithic barrel breech for better shots on target with accuracy said to be up to 5,000 rounds for the .308 Win and .338LM, and 2,000 rounds for .300WM which translates into.05 MOA with three round groups using factory match grade ammo.  The rifling is processed using CNC to avoid transmission of thermal effects and mechanical stress to the material used in the producing the barrel.

    The patented barrel conversion system allows the shooter to change the barrel for another caliber witin minutes in field conditions. The receiver was produced from an aluminum billet that was machined designed to give exact positioning for the barrel to fit quickly.

    Pricing in the U.S. for the SX-1 is initially set at US$5,555.00 for the .308 and US$6,555.00 for the .300 and .388 with no information on actual release date. For airsoft companies looking for a new rifle design to make for the airsoft market, the SX-1 MTR should be a good candidate especially the ability to swap aftermarket parts is very much appealing to airsoft players, so they better work on getting a licensing agreement from Ritter & Stark soon.

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    ARDEC AimLock

    What is a regular feature in the stills and video cameras will soon may have its equivalent in weapons. The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) is developing the “AimLock” system that was demonstrated during the AEWE 2017 Live Fire in Fort Benning, Georgia. This weapon stabilization aims to give the shooter a higher probability of a hit.

    In cameras, the stabilization feature is either found in the lens or in camera, depending on the manufacturer. This minimizes jitters or vibrations when shooting photos or videos, leading to better quality shot. Though other ways of giving smoother photo or video taking can be done with third-party products such as 3-axis gimbals found in camera drones and handheld camera rigs and selfie sticks.

    How does this work for a rifle? Here is what the paper on the AimLock or its original project name, “Advanced Small Unit Small Arms Technology Research (ASUSAT) Program” as presented by Terence Right, the Project Manager for the Program:

    "Barrel and receiver are articulated independently from the shooter-interface components of the system:

    • Grips, stocks, and optics, each of which are mounted to a “carriage” that envelops the moving parts of the weapon system.
    • Separation of the projectile-launching components of the weapon system from the user-interface components is controlled via target tracking software and embedded mobile processing hardware that optically monitor target position relative to point of aim.
    • Electromechanical actuators are activated to rapidly redirect the LOS of the barrel and receiver, separately from the standard LOS of the carriage, to actively stabilize the weapon-direction relative to the target."

    The AimLock is being developed with the Rocky Mountain Scientific Labs (RMSL) based in Littleton, Colorado and they have already gone through Phase III of the program in 2015. This phase shows how the system can used in shooting at stationary or moving targets from a moving platform. For shooters in vehicles and aerial platforms such as a helicopter, the AimLock can be a god-send since the higher probability of a hit means they can conserve their ammo better as sometimes they need to fire at a higher rate or give a sustained fire just to increase chances of a hit. According to Rice’s RDECOM presentation, these are the list of benefits that the system provides:

    • Minimizes almost all shooter errors
    • Mitigates gap of moving target engagement
    • Ability to engage while moving in vehicle or advancing on foot
    • Decreased training time to same level of skill
      • Less costs and more time to teach advanced TTPs
    • Improved P(hit) on stationary targets for both skilled and unskilled shooters with decreased engagement times
    • Increased effectiveness of system in standing unsupported position to almost match prone
      supported system results.
      • NOTE: Shooter in loop standing nearly matched system accuracy in bench rest on multiple occasions.
    • Can execute with a “hot” trigger and/or a tag and mark fire mission
    • Can receive/use multiple inputs = wind, facial recognition, prioritized targets
    • Can be optimized within purpose built weapon system for form/function/SWAP

    That is a good list benefits that a shooter can derive from the AimLock, however, the prototypes show bulkier rifles being tested and we do not know if there will be a phase in which they will need the stabilization system more compact for easier and compact rifles for the soldiers to carry.

    As to when the AimLock will be used in issued-rifles, there is no information for now. But if indeed, it gets deployed, then soldiers in the field can have a better way at aiming even when under fire.

    Read more about this program in the PDF file below:

    All photos in this story are by Angie DePuydt, U.S. Army.

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    DJI Phantom With Camera Facing Down

    If you are planning to go to Sweden with a plan to take some aerial footages with a camera drone, better leave it at home as it has just been banned unless a permission has been given for surveillance purposes. The local drone hobbyists and even journalists are up in arms with the ruling that was just issued by the country’s Supreme Administrative Court.

    According to Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s leading newspapers, the only permission for the use of camera of drones is for crime prevention or accidents, putting the use of camera drones in the country as the sole area for police or first responders. The paper also quotes the president of the UAS Sweden, Gustave Gerdes, the trade industry organization for unmanned aerial systems, that the ruling “will kill an entire industry in one stroke.”

    Aftonbladet also mentions that it is a very strange ruling as it will also hit media companies in the conduct of their daily business in covering news events, especially events that would pose a dangers to their journalists or photojournalists such as harsh weather conditions or crime incidents. These situations would make a camera drone very useful for media organisations without exposing their people to dangers.

    Furthermore, the paper notes that the ruling does not make sense in light of existing laws, as it is legal for people to take photos or videos in public places and thus, questions why it is wrong to use a quadcopter with a camera attached to it. At the DJI Forums, Swedish drone enthusiasts lament the court’s ruling, with people robbed of their hobby, and drone manufacturers having lost a market. The discussion thread also gives further background on the ruling as the Swedish members have made translations to English.

    Aftonbladet says that this ruling may be hard to enforce, and it is up to County boards to report to the police of any camera drone sightings, though they may just make mistakes in case a drone in flight might not have a camera on board such as those RC planes. Drone enthusiasts may just ignore the ruling, but for media companies doing their jobs, the ruling poses a big challenge.

    It is a wonder then for a progressive country like Sweden that a ruling such as this can happen. An open society allows for a free press and nowadays, free press nowadays will need tools such as camera drones to bring the news as it happens.

    And for airsoft? Expect no aerial footages of airsoft events in Sweden for now.

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    Dutch Open 2016

    One of the bigger airsoft practical shooting events in Europe, the Dutch Open 2016 International Airsoft Practical Shooting hosted by the NABV, is making its final call for interested airsoft practical shooters to register for the event. Set on the 12th to the 13th of November 2016 at the National Sports Centre Papendal near Arnhem, this year promises to be even bigger and better as compared to its inaugural event last year.

    For this year, the organizers are readying 24 stages and will be expecting a maximum of 100 shooters for the main match with 93 currently registered and approved. In the previous year, there were 18 stages with 56 approved shooters from the different parts of Europe. As for sponsors, they now have Action Sport Games (ASG), Cybergun, AW Custom, RedWolf Airsoft, Gunfire, Valken, Action Army, Ghost, and B-501 Airsoft Center. With this bigger number of sponsors, participants can expect more raffle prizes to be given away.

    Lars Hagemann from Team ASG and Denmark’s most active practical shooter who is a Grand Master in the IPSC Production Division as well as Champion in that division during the Airsoft Surgeon Practical Pistol Shooting European Championship 2016 will be attending the event, participating in the same division.

    The Dutch Open 2016 is an unsanctioned Level III Action Air Match with Divisions being Standard, Open, Custom, and Production. With the 24 stages being readied, there are 4 Long stages, 8 Medium stages, and 12Short stages with a 464 minimum rounds. Shooters and interested readers can peruse the stages as embedded here with the famous “Cow” stage being put back and called “Return of the Cow” though the “Crocodile” stage might not be in play this year.

    Just like last year, registration fees for Non-NABV members will be €65 and for  NABV members, it will be €40. Upon confirmation of registration, shooters will then select which squad they will be playing in for the Dutch Open. Registration ends on the 31s of October 2016.

    Interested shooters can register at the Shoot'n Score It online registration page where you need to sign-up for an account first before registering for the event. For further discussions about the event, shooters can go to the IAPS Facebook Page to get updates.

    We will be there to cover the event again so expect the full report from us, including photos and videos.


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    Optics Planet Z.E.R.O. Kit

    With the Walking Dead Season 7’s premiere shocking almost every fan as Negan murders Glenn and Abraham and also it’s going to be Halloween next week, you know what will be main topic for airsofters and preppers --- Zombies! Just a few years back there were a lot products unveiled to prepare everyone for the living dead such as the Chainsaw Zombie Killer and Model XPS2-Z2 holosight.

    But these are all inadequate as weapons are just some of the stuff that one needs to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where one needs to tools to eat, be sheltered, treated, and of course be able to overcome the enemies which are either zombies or humans who want your stuff and will kill just for the tools.

    In 2012, OpticsPlanet unveiled their Z.E.R.O. (Zombie Extermination, Research and Operations) Kit to the glee of those who have the cash to afford the kit. The US$23,999.00 kit is a formidable assortment of tools that turns one into a zombie-killer, survivalist, scientist, and healer. It is a wholistic approach to overcoming the zombie problem and provides hope for the survival of the human race. So far, four years since its release, the Z.E.R.O. Kit, Optics Planet’s customers have rated this as one of the best rated products in the Survival Gear category.

    For that price, you get a whole lot of stuff to carry on foot since you will need to carry food, clothing, and firearms too. It’s either you have a pick-up truck to bring these along along or you already have scouted a place that will serve as your fort that is easily protected, hard to access by the living and the undead and allows you to grow your own food. The fort also becomes your staging place to forage the countryside for food and tools, find potential allies, and drag an interesting zombie back to the fort for you to study and find ways to prevent them from eating humans or how to exterminate them quickly.

    If indeed the Z.E.R.O. Kit interests you, here is what your money will get you:

    Weapon Accessories

    • OPMOD PVS-14 Monocular Gen 3 PINNACLE Night Vision Scope 64 lp/mm GNVPVS14-OPMODFLIR Systems HM-224Pro First Mate Thermal
    • Image Camera-240x180, FOV 24x18SureFire Benelli M1-M2 Dedicated 6V Shotgun Forend FlashlightWeaver KASPA-Z Tactical Zombie Scope 1.56-6x32mm Z-CIRT Reticle Black 849843Plano Moulding Zombie Ammo Can
    • Champion Zombie Target 6-Pack, Attack
    • Streamlight TLR-1 HP Long Range Rail Mounted Flashlight, Standard Switch w/ Rail Locating Keys for Glock Style,1913 Picatinny, S&W 99/TSW &
    • Beretta 90two & Lithium Batteries, Box 69217
    • Safariland 6305 ALS Tactical Holster w/ Quick Release Leg Harness - STX TAC Black, Right Hand, Hood Guard Sentry Protection 6305-7742-131-SH
    • Steiner 10x50 Military Binoculars Laser Rangefinder
    • Leupold Mark 4 20-60x80mm, Black Spotting Scope, TMR Reticle 110826
    • Laser Devices DBAL-I2 Dual Beam Laser, Visible Green Laser
    • Mako Group Fab Defense Handguard w/Rails For Remington Model 870 PR870
    • Trijicon ACOG 6x48 Dual Ill Riflescope w/Mount, Green Chevron .308 Reticle
    • Vero Vellini Premium Padded Leather Rifle Sling, Brown V17228
    • Viridian Universal Mount Green Laser Pistol Sight w/ Tactical flashlight
    • EOTech EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight w/ QD Lever


    • KA-BAR Zombie Kharon Tanto Folder KnifeSOG Bowie 2.0 Knife
    • SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Kiku Straight-Edge Fixed Steel Blade Drop Point Knife, Linen Micarta Handle, Black TiNi Finish, Large, 5.6 in
    • Cases and Backpacks
    • Eberlestock G4 Operator Backpack – Unicam
    • OPMOD PRB Professional Range Bag w/ Pullout Bag and Brass Bag
    • Camelbak BFM Hydration Pack - 100 oz/3.0L MultiCam 61763
    • OPMOD ERC Limited Edition Extreme Rifle Case / Gun Bag for MSRs
    • Reloading and Gunsmithing Equipment
    • Otis Technology Zombie Gun Cleaning System FG-753-Z
    • RCBS Pro-Melt Furnace, 240 V-ac Europe – 81200
    • RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive Press – 88875
    • Lyman Gen 5 Digital Powder System 115/230V 7750600


    • Pelican 0450 Mobile Tool Chest with Drawers
    • Brunton Solaris 26 Watt Foldable Solar Array
    • Leatherman MUT Black Multi Tool w/ Black Molle Sheath 850122
    • Night Armor Tactical Pen w/FREE 1AA CREE Flashlight NA800CBO
    • Battle Mug PMUG Polymer Edition
    • Cammenga S.W.A.T.Black Tritium Lensatic Compass 166748
    • 5.11 Tactical Field Ops Waterproof Uni-Directional Bezel Watch, Black 59245-019
    • Streamlight E-Spot FireBox LED Lantern, Light Only w/ No Charger, Orange 45882

    Protective Gear

    • Tactical Assault Gear Rampage Releasable Armor Carrier, Small/Medium, Ranger Green 812451
    • BlackHawk S.T.R.I.K.E. Cutaway Plate Carrier Armor
    • Oakley Commit SQ Sunglasses, Brown Sugar Frame, VR28 Black Irid Lens 03-786
    • Stanley Large First Aid Kit RST-60001
    • Blackhawk S.O.L.A.G. HD with Kevlar, Color - Black, Size - Medium, 8151MDBK
    • ESS Profile TurboFan Military/Tactical Goggles - Black Frame, Clear & Smoke Gray Lenses
    • Specter Gear M-2 Mk-3 Rapid Reload Chest Carrier for AK-47 Magazines - MultiCam 595 MULT

    Laboratory Equipment

    • Qorpak Bottle Beakers, Medium Rounds, Wide Mouth, Qorpak 7550 With Pulp/Vinyl-Lined Black Phenolic Cap
    • Labnet Labpette R Repeating Pipette P3000
    • Samco Disposable Transfer Pipets, Fine Tip, Samco Scientific 234 Fine Tip, Large Bulb, Case
    • UNICO Shake-It Pipette Shaker, for 6 pipettes, 15 min. timer, 110 V L-P600T
    • Celestron Professional Stereo Microscope Zoom Lens Halogen Lamp

    That’s an extensive list, but you will find that there are no firearms included --- no rifle, no shotgun, not even a sidearm. Either you set another budget for these, and make sure they come with lots of ammo.

    You can either buy them one buy one if you do not have the budget or get them as soon as you have saved enough to buy them in one go.  It’s a long list but then, these are all the things that you will need to survive the zombie apocalypse, according to Optics Planet.

    It’s a nice thing to think about when watching the Walking Dead.

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    U.S. M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle

    As we wait for new developments in airsoft, which probably will be announced next month, let’s get into stuff that apart from firearms that will interest airsoft players and it is about military vehicles. Now, what is interesting is that laser technology is getting more mature for military applications that the U.S. Army may just equip their vehicles come next year.

    In a report from Scout Warrior, the U.S. Army and General Dynamics are developing a laser system that can be installed on the Stryker Interim Armored Vehicles (IAV). The Strykers are fast moving 8-wheeled armored vehicles produced by General Dynamics Land Systems for the U.S. Army.  The Stryker has different variants, from being an infantry carrier, to reconnaissance, mobile guns system, and even a mortar carrier.

    The laser system is a vehicle protection system in which it scans the immediate area of the vehicle and if there is an incoming threat coming from the air, will be able to destroy it. It can protect the vehicle and soldiers from incoming missiles, mortars and artillery rounds. It’s not exactly a force field system, which is a more passive one, but a more active defensive system that quickly reacts to incoming aerial threats.

    If everything goes to plan, the laser system will be installed in 11 months on the M1131 Stryker Fire Support Vehicle (FSV). The FSV can conduct target acquisition/identification/tracking/designation and transmits this to other units and has surveillance and communications facilities.

    In case other sensors in the vehicle go down, the system can operate its own radar for target acquisition and jammers to jam signals of enemy drones. In the same Scout Warrior story, the laser has been tested and shot down 21 of 23 drone targets. The laser system can also be integrated with air defense and artillery networks.

    The developers are looking into being able to develop an 18-kilowatt laser by 2018 which means more power to be able to quickly melt and damage or destroy components of the incoming threat. The one thing that they will need to solve is the power source to power the system that can be carried by the vehicle while on the move.

    Using laser systems instead or missiles or rounds to defend vehicles and other units will be more cost effective. Missiles can run from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars and thus, lasers provide more value on a shot-per-kill basis.

    If you are thinking of Star Wars, then you might not be far off. Lasers are in play for now, but X-Wings, Tie Fighters, and Imperial Star Destroyers are still too far in the future.

    Top photo: M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel N. Woods, U.S. Navy.

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    7th APCA First Announcements

    The most anticipated airsoft event online, the Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards, is about to start its 7th edition. For the 7th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards, Popular Airsoft readers will have a long list to prepare as we have removed some categories but added even more just to make the awards even more special and competitive.

    You may wonder what the new categories are right now, and you will like theme as some have been clamoring for certain categories to be included for this year. Here is the list and if we highly recommend that you start making your list this early so you will come prepared once the Awards process start in less than a month’s time:

    • Best Airsoft Retailer for North America
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia
    • Best Gear Retailer for North America
    • Best Gear Retailer for Europe
    • Best Gear Retailer for Asia
    • Best Airsoft Magazine (Print or Digital)
    • Best English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Airsoft Blog
    • Best Online Airsoft Community/Forum
    • Best Airsoft Video (Posted Online In 2016)
    • Best Airsoft Event (with over 500 players)
    • Best Airsoft Podcast or Video Channel
    • Best Airsoft Upgrade/Parts Maker
    • Best Airsoft Kaboom! Manufacturer (Grenades, Pyros)
    • Best Airsoft Pistol (regardless of power source)
    • Best Airsoft Gas Blowback Rifle
    • Best Airsoft Shotgun (regardless of power source)
    • Best Airsoft Sniper Rifle (regardless of power source)
    • Best Airsoft Electric Airsoft Gun
    • Best Airsoft Gun Manufacturer
    • Special Airsoft Player's Award

    Photo:Winners of the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards during the Airsoft Meetup at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 in Nuremberg, Germany

    Nomination Period (28 November to 30 December 2016)

    Airsoft players worldwide get to nominate their favourites for the various categories for a period of one month. They can either nominate in all categories or in categories they are familiar in.

    The top five nominees (or less, depending on the number of nominees) per category, based on the number of nominations garnered, will then proceed to the Voting Period (Finals). The finalists per category will be announced one week after the Nomination Period closes.

    Nominees can be nominated in one or more categories, provided that they meet the criteria.

    Voting Period (09 January to 06 February 2017)

    The Voting Period allows the finalists to campaign that they get voted. They can post at their news section and forums; create vlog/blog, or a podcast; post Vote Badges at their websites; announce at social media sites to mobilise players to vote for them.

    Finalists who have garnered the most number of votes in the categories win an award in the categories where they are selected as finalists. Airsoft players who cast their votes are included in a raffle draw where they get to win various prizes.

    The winners will be announced one (1) week after the closing of the Voting Period. They will then be notified via email that they won. Airsoft players who won a raffle prize will also be informed via email.

    For both the Nomination and Voting Periods, all of these are cast at the Popular Airsoft’s Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards Page (

    Get ready and make the list of nominees and from there vote for the best. Once done, you are allowed to share your list publicly if you want your favourites to go through the nominations and eventually become the awardees. There will be fantastic prizes that will await the lucky airsoft players who will nominate and vote in the Awards process.

    Interested sponsors can get in touch with us.

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    Halloween 2016

    It’s Halloween and perhaps many of you have already planned on what you will wear for that Halloween party with other ghouls, witches, and zombies. Surely, you have your airsoft tactical gear and airsoft guns and they look cool to bring when trick or treatin’, just like those airsofters and cosplayers who show up in public events such as Comic Con.

    However, we and the rest of the airsoft community would admonish you to leave your gear and airsoft guns at home for your own safety.

    It’s not a good thing to show airsoft guns in public. Nowadays, people are on the edge with all these real and imagine threats such as terrorism that the mere sight of a firearm, even if it is a replica, will make people report to law enforcement and this will elicit an armed response. And you know what this results, it is either a serious injury or death for the person carrying the replica.

    By now, you probably have watched or read PSAs from various airsoft vendors, celebrities and communities. So it is best that you listen and follow their instructions to make your Halloween hassle free and fun.

    There are many opportunities for you to wear your gear and carry your airsoft guns such as at airsoft games and Cosplay events that allow the use of replica firearms. Halloween is just one day that you won’t miss your airsoft guns and there are many fantastic costumes that can be worn apart from tactical gear.

    Below are some airsoft PSAs over the years, so enjoy the day, and be safe. Happy Halloween from the scary crew of Popular Airsoft!



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    FAB Defense Podium Bi-Pod

    If you are not familiar with the brand FAB Defense in airsoft, don’t worry, you may have already encountered their products in airsoft games. Their T-Pod Quick Release Foregrip-Bipod got some unauthorized copies made in China that were available to airsoft players. I did try this cheap replica though it was not comfortable to use and when retracting it back to a foregrip profile, it was not that easy that it takes time to do it right when it was designed to be quick thing to do. I gave it away and just went for the real deal and was happy with it.

    In their quest for making products that can make weapons platforms stable when being used, they thought of creating a new bipod design that is unique and does away with the conventional way of installing the bipod --- at the front-end of the rifle. What they did is design the Podium Bi-Pod that is installed using the pistol grip and magwell areas for the rifle and is available for the Tavor, AR, and AK platforms.

    According to FAB Defense, the Podium Bi-Pod “enables the operator to install a steady and durable bi-pod platform without adding front-end weight and saving valuable rail space.” Deploying the Podium is easier as it allows the shooter use the shooting hand without altering the grip and still maintains sight of the target when going prone with to get a more stable shooting position with the Podium.

    To operate the Podium, the shooter just pushes a button at the pistol grip to deploy the legs of the Podium and when not in use can easily be retracted. Here is a quick video demo:

    Indeed, the Podium looks a more convenient way to get a stable shooting position using a bipod and though noticing in the video about the magazine reload, the shooter will need to get used to putting a fresh magazine with the bipod legs deployed as it looks like a leg will get in the way for a quick reload so some adjustment in the style may be required.

    As for the compatibility here are the models:

    • AR-Podium- The model includes the AGR-43 pistol grip and the Podium bi-pod. Compatible with -16/AR-15, 5.56x45 lower receiver variants, with a standard magazine well.
    • AK-Podium- The model includes the AGR-47 pistol grip and the Podium bi-pod. Compatible with AK-47/AKM standard models. (Coming soon)
    • TAR-Podium- TAR 21 rifles including CTAR 21 / GTAR 21 and STAR 21 (not compatible with the X95).

    While the Podium is easy to install, with no professional gunsmith help required, airsoft players may be able to install this in AR or AK Gas Blowback Rifles which are usually have the same dimensions of the real steel ones. But for AEG use, it may require some modifications to fit unless an airsoft weapons accessories maker takes a license to make one for AEGs.

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    U.S. Army PowerWalk

    I first wrote about the plans of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to trial the PowerWalk, a kinetic energy harvesting device that can help power the various devices a soldier will need for the mission last 30 May. Now we get an update the plans for trials of the PowerWalk will go as planned next year.

    The PowerWalk is being developed by Bionic Power and this is a device that is strapped to the upper and lower parts of the leg. It is lightweight enough and can adjust to the gait of the soldiers that they will not even mind wearing it. As to harvesting power, the PowerWalk stores the energy generated when the soldier moves, especially when walking and running. With the power harvested, it can then used to power devices such as radios, navigational aids, and sighting devices, eliminating or minimising the need to carry more batteries that and lessen the load of soldiers.

    "Just by walking, Soldiers could generate power," said Noel Soto, a project engineer at the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC as quoted in a news report at the U.S.  Army website. "We are converting the movement of the knees when you walk into useful power."

    The same news report it mentions studies that a present day warfighter carries around 6 to 12 pounds of batteries for a 72-hour mission. Carrying heavy loads can cause injuries especially for prolonged periods and it is imperative that they look into areas where they can make weight reductions that can help improve mission performance and still be able to provide power to devices just like before.

    The goal is to have a device that weighs one pound and be able to generate 3.5 watts and a two pound device that can deliver 10 watts. 

    Apart from that power generation, it is also an augmentation device for the soldier as it can serve to support the soldier when going downhill, acting as a brake that can prevent sudden movements on the slope. Too bad, it is not exactly an exoskeleton that can augment the soldier in load carrying though it would be ideal too.

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    Adam Savage with his Zorg ZF-1 Replica

    I am pretty much sure that many of you would have the Fifth Element film up there in their list of movies that they would watch over and over again. Luc Besson’s sci-fi flick was a quirky one, albeit it was 12 years in the making, as he started writing about the film when he was 16 and the film was first shown when he turned 38.  One of the most expensive European films, it was a big success, earning over US$260 million on a budget of US$90 million.

    But for airsoft enthusiasts that most memorable thing there is the Zorg ZF-1 Pod Weapon. Developed by Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, played by Gary Oldman, the Zorg ZF-1 is a devastating weapon with a number of deadly and not-so-deadly features as listed by the Fifth Element Wikia:

    The ZF-1 is an ambidextrous assault weapon incapable of being detected by X-Rays featuring a titanium recharger, 3000 round clip with a burst of 3 or 300. It is also designed so that the first round fired will send the following shots to the same location. It also features a variety of other fire modes as well.

    • Rocket Launcher: The ZF-1 features a small yellow rocket which packs a nasty punch at any target it hits.
    • Arrow Launcher: Zorg demonstrated that from the sides of the ZF-1 were two launchers with a total of 10 arrows, 5 in each launcher. Each arrow is also poison tipped.
    • Net Launcher: For non-lethal take downs, the ZF-1 is also known to have a net launcher to capture, rather than kill the target.
    • Flamethrower: Zorg's personal favorite, the ZF-1 features a long ranged flamethrower.
    • Ice Cube System: A new device the ZF-1 possesses is a weapon able to freeze people.

    It also has a self-destruct system that when activated will kill all those within its blast radius as learned by the Mangalores in the movie.

    Now the Zorg ZF-1 is now a reality, albeit a replica that took 17 years to make by Myth Buster’s Adam Savage. He has done several versions of the replica but what we see in the video is the most faithful rendition of the weapon when someone in the RPF forums was able to get the measurements of the actual prop and get a German version of the film that shows the prop weapon being dismantled in the Behind the Scenes footage.

    Savage’s replica does some of the bells of the whistles of the ZF-1 and thankfully, it is not a working weapon that can do all the things as shown in the movie (though the Pentagon would come knocking if he is able to do that).  Too bad it is a replica prop.

    If someone is ambitious enough to make an airsoft replica of the ZF-1, then here is a tip: the Zorg ZF-1 prop was built around the AKS-74U compact rifle. Now that should get him/her started.

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    Nike Special Field Air Force 1

    Whilst many of us are looking to own the self lacing Back To The Future Nike Mag shoes that raised US$6.75 million for Parkinson’s research (Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s Disease), Nike also unveiled the Special Field Air Force 1 that will be released tomorrow, the 5th of November 2016.

    The Nike Air Force 1 was originally released in 1982 for basketball and it is the first shoe to feature the Nike Air design. It now becomes updated, which according to Nike, “to deliver urban utility in a military-inspired design.”

    We’re all for that military inspiration as the Nike Special Field Air Force 1 (SF AF1) is stylishly good that it feels at home either in the high street or the airsoft field, in this case, for CQB games where speed is always of the essence. Now speaking of speed, perhaps Speedsimers will want a pair of SF AF1s.

    The shoe has a ballistic nylon upper that is tough for all conditions with dual removable ankle straps with one that you may call a “paracord anklet” though there is no confirmation if the paracord can be unraveled when needed for survival situations.  One unique feature is an “espionage pocket” built at the shoe tongue where you can hide money and perhaps other small bits which looks like a nod to the paranoid who wants a secret pocket to hide the money in case they go into areas where he/she can be robbed or victimized by pickpockets.

    Still, it shows its basketball roots so if you are up for some hoops, then the street is yours to shoot that ball wearing it.

    Back to its military-inspired design, the SF AF1 comes with its own tote bag that comes with MOLLE straps. Perhaps you can weave in some magazine pouches or IFAK somewhere there. It would have been perfect it they have also designed some military-inspired Nike Wear clothing to go along with it.

    The SF AF1 will be available in Faded Olive/Gum and Black/Gum for men and priced at US$200 and Light Bone/Sail and Golden Beige/Linen for women at US$185.

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    Starship Troopers (1997)

    The airsoft news vine moves fast as before the news broke in the mainstream, many in airsoft have already heard about it. Starship Troopers, will be having another movie for 21st Century. This is not exactly a reboot of the 1997 movie that was directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier as many 1990s movies are being rebooted. The 1997 Starship Troopers was based on the novel sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein first released in 1959 about a military force fighting aliens and Johnny Rico, the son of a wealthy Filipino family who joins the Terran Mobile Infantry.

    Whilst the film was critically acclaimed, money wise, it was not huge success as it only earned over US$121 million worldwide with a production budget of around US$105 million. It has spawned several sequels such as Hero of the Federation and Marauder.

    For the new Starship Troopers, the Columbia Pictures will be tapping Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, the writers behind the upcoming Zac Efron-Dwayne Johnson Baywatch movie. The mention of Baywatch may give you ideas of beach bods though most likely you won’t see much of these as the battles will be on alien planets. As for producers, Fast & Furious’ Neal H. Moritz and will be working with Tobe Jaffe as they had experience working together in the remake of another 1990s hit, Total Recall.

    According to Hollywood Reporter, the main source for the remake will not be the 1997 movie but more from the original source, which is Heinlein’s novel and may divert from how the 1997 and many are apprehensive that it would be a rather more serious production. Verhoeven, whilst taking the themes from the movel, had the 1997 movie playing satirically with the images of fascism, militarism, and propaganda films. Initially misinterpreted as a neo-nazi, fascistic movie, it was a movie that says"Let's all go to war and let's all die"in an interview with the AV Club in 2007. The movie has a cult following, which depending on one’s own interpretation, many airsoft players can be counted in as fans.

    Many fans are dreading a serious, non-satirical version of Starship Troopers, according to The Wrap, reporting on the reaction of fans in social media when it was revealed that it is not an actual remake of the 1997 film but rather would be getting more from the novel itself.

    So far no production details have been revealed, apart from the producers and writers. Expect announcements of crew, cast, and production schedules in the future.

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    Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands Vehicle Shot

    Now, with the major First Person Shooter (FPS) video game titles now out and probably a lot of airsoft players occupied playing the multiplayer modes or debating in forums which title s better, it’s time to look at another Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon video game, “Wildlands” an expansive “Open World” video game that was announced last year.

    With choosing the “Open World” gaming concept, players are allowed to when and how to approach mission objectives in massive virtual gaming environment. With persistent character progressions, players can team up with in squads of four to accomplish missions. However, many are confused on how the game will pan out, with some asking if it is like “The Division” or some other video game.

    Thus, the Ubisoft announced that they will be having open and closed betas with the first open beta to be released in the first quarter of 2017 according to VG24/7, where they quote Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who said, ““It can be a revolutionary game, and to compare with The Division last year, it’s in the same trend actually.”

    Furthermore, Guillemot also explained why the planned release of open and closed betas, “We expect in the next quarter to do some open betas and closed betas that will help a lot [for] players to actually know what the game is and what it can become.”

    Guillemot further said that it’s in the same trend if compared to “The Division” and that feedback has been excellent so far. Though we are  a bit confused on the last part if the feedback is about players welcoming “Wildlands” as more of  an open countryside version of “The Division” or that planned open and closed betas is something that players will welcome for understanding the game.

    Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands has a planned official release date of 7 March 2017. It will be available for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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    Aaron "Rad"Radl

    Remembrance Day will be on the 13th November, but before that we get to be treated with Ex British SAS going up against former U.S. Navy Seals in an exciting line-up of boxing matches called Remembrance Rumble that will take place on the 11th November 2016 in London, United Kingdom.

    The best operators in the field during their time in service, they will take up gloves for a charity event to bring awareness for the Global Coalition of Veterans that is the brainchild of “Big” Phil Campion, formerly of SAS D Squadron. The boxing event will take place at the prestigious York Hall Boxing Venue in Bethnal Green.

    The SAS veterans will be going up against ex U.S. Navy SEALs who have been tapped by Brandon Webb, famed author of “The Red Circle” and who trained American Sniper, the late Chris Kyle. At present, Webb is the CEO of Force12 Media Group that runs the website.

    SOFREP TV will be covering the event and Utah Airsofter, the one and only Aaron "Rad" Radl,  will be invading London to host the Remembrance Rumble together with the SOFREP team of Brandon Webb (Navy SEAL), Eric Davis (Navy SEAL), Jason Delgado (USMC Force Recon), John Bates (USAF CCT), Jon Schneider (4th USMC), and Ajax (Black Ops Elite Airsoft).

    Rad is a hardcore Airsoft Brand Ambassador joining Force12 Media to help open the doors for our veterans who deserve the spotlight on their respected charities that will help bring awareness to concerns of veteran service members.

    As Brand Ambassdor, Rad is part of a prestigious list of Brand Ambassadors for the company such as Medal of Honor Recipient, Dakota Meyer, Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, former U.S. Army Ranger Nick Irving, former Navy SEAL and CEO of Average Frog Eric Davis, Canadian Brent Burns who plays for the San Jose Sharks in the NHL, and photographer and bartender extraordinaire John Bush.

    Rad is also co-owner of Tactical Airsoft Supply with Ajax and the “BoE Warmachine”.

    Remembrance Rumble is fully sold out and you can still keep track of the slugfest of operators by going to SOFREP TV. Here is the fight card and below is the official release from

    Remembrance Rumble: Ex-U.S. Special Ops Soldiers vs. Former U.K. SAS

    Force12 Media Co-Sponsors First-Ever Special Forces Boxing Event To Benefit Military Vets on Both Sides of the Pond

    London, Novermber 3, 2015. In the first-ever U.S. vs. U.K. special forces boxing event, the world’s most famous special forces regiments will battle from opposing corners at the Remembrance Rumble in London’s York Hall on November 11, 2016. London’s Sun News and SOFREP will livestream the event to their Facebook audiences on November 11th.


    “We’re excited to own the U.S. rights to this event which was sold out weeks ago, and we anticipate doing an event in America next year,” says Brandon Webb, event co-sponsor, former U.S. Navy Seal, and founder/CEO of Force12 Media. “Presenting Remembrance Rumble on the day that we both honor veterans shines a light on the people who have served our countries and allows us to give back to that community.”

    Showdown Across the Pond

    The ten soldiers–with an average of 17 years of service to their respective countries–will fight in matches ranging from Lightweight to Super Heavyweight. Twenty-two year SAS soldier Phil Campion and founder of the Remembrance Rumble, tops the bill as Super Heavyweight “Hampshire Hammer” named after his first regiment The Royal Hampshires.

    “We staged an SAS boxing event earlier this year and it sold out,” says Campion. As reported in London’s Daily Express, Campion says. “We thought it would be nice if we could fight some geezers from over the pond. I got in touch with Brandon Webb and that was it. It was on.”

    Benefitting Vets

    Proceeds from the event will benefit Talking2Minds—a U.K. charity that helps those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), The Pilgrim Bandits—a U.K. charity that coordinates motivating activities for injured service personnel—and The Red Circle Foundation–which benefits the families of the U.S. special operations community.

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    Merrell Moab FST Ice + Thermo Boots

    With the weather getting colder, we expect wet and slippery conditions, especially with ice formations that would make our walk treacherous that we start wearing boots designed for better grip on the ice. Even in airsoft, we worry if our tactical boots can provide enough grip during winter given that we will be running on different surfaces that would probably covered by ice, especially hard to see ice on the pavement.

    I have experienced such that I try to be more cautious when playing airsoft in winter. After too many slips, and luckily no broken bones, I am always in search of footwear that can provide me such good grip that I will not worry about slipping when moving from position to another on ice.

    Vibram has an answer to such problem and I hope this will finally answer an airsofter’s need to play on ice --- the Arctic Grip.

    Introduced early this year, Vibram’s Arctic Grip is a new sole technology and weather gripping system specifically designed for slippery ice. The company says that it provides three times the grip than any other existing Vibram sole designed for wet ice surfaces.

    Vibram has not revealed the exact technology behind Arctic Grip, but you will notice that soles are equipped with special lugs that provide unprecedented traction on ice, so that you will be walking or running like on normal surfaces rather than the usual wobbly and unstable cautious walking on ice.

    If conditions go 32 ºF (0 ºC), the lugs change color to indicate the conditions maybe slippery. So how strong is the grip? Watch this video posted in January 2016 where people were asked to try to soles:

    Convinced that the Vibram Arctic Grip is just what you need for your winter airsoft needs? Merrel has the Moab FST Ice + Thermo Boots that you can wear for airsoft games. It comes with the Arctic Grip and has M Select DRY that seals out water and lets moisture escape so your remains dry when you are on the move.

    It is now available in the market as well as other footwear that use the same sole from CAT, Wolverine, Sperry, Saucony, and Hush Puppies to meet your lifestyle/fashion needs.

    Be safe playing airsoft in the cold, and less worries slipping on ice with the Vibram’s Arctic Grip.

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    Rainbow Six: Siege Season 3 Pro League

    All Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege Season 3 Pro League player eyes will be on Poland as the finals of Season 3 will take place this weekend, the 12th and 13th of November 2016. The finalists will be fighting for the US$150,000 total prize pool at the ESL Studio in Katowice, Poland.

    The top two teams from North America and Europe will be going for the top prize and for e-Sports watchers, this is one of the big ones to watch for. For airsoft players, it will be interesting to watch how the e-Sports players will do their tactics as many in airsoft are also gamers of Rainbow Six: Siege.

    Nowadays, many airsoft players, not going out for the cold weather airsoft, would probably be playing newly released games such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1, and Titanfall 2. But they will surely be interested in the finals.

    In the Xbox League, for the European Pro League, the top team is Supremacy and they will be joined by team Vitality. For the North American Pro League, team eXcellence is the top team and will be accompanied by second-seed, Onslaught.

    For the PC League, it will be GiFu and Playing Ducks for the Europeans with GiFu said to be the most experienced team in Pro League history. For the North Americans, it will be Orgless and Continuum leading the charge

    Whilst the total prize pool is US$150,00 this is broken down as US$75,000 for the Xbox Pro League and US$75,000 to the PC Pro League and they are further broken as follows:

    1. $30 000
    2. $15 000
    3 - 4. $8 750
    5 - 6. (3rd teams from EU&NA standings) $4 500
    7 - 8. (4th teams from EU&NA standings) $1 750

    The event will start at 0900H GMT on the 12th November. It will be open to the public so those who want to watch the event (for those with tickets). For those who want to watch online can go to Twitch for online video streaming of the game.

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