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    AEWE 2017 40mm Door Breaching Grenade

    During the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) 2017 Live Fire held in Fort Benning, the U.S. Army tested a 40mm grenade for breaching doors.  The 40mm grenades are made by Florida Company Chemring Ordnance and showed the test doors are not much of a problem for it.

    At the Maneuver Center of Excellence, the grenade is launched from 40mm grenade launchers such as the Heckler & Koch M320 Grenade Launcher Module, ground units can do door breaching remotely, allowing them to safely make openings in buildings rather than getting close to entrance ways to plant explosives or use firearms to open them. Even metal doors can be breached using the 40mm grenades.

    Whilst door breaching is always the easiest point of entry room clearing, the door is always the most watched part in the room and thus, there will always be someone with a gun pointed at it, or if not, will be booby-trapped. The other way around it was the technique adopted by the IDF in which they breach walls rather than doors. The use of a 40mm grenade for door breaching minimizes the risk for soldiers before entering a room as the blast of the grenade can trigger off the explosive used for the booby trap or disorient or even injure the enemy behind the door.

    Chemring Ordnance makes ordnance, pryos and other munitions for military and first responder use. The company makes many types of 40mm low and high grenades that are used as actual ammunition, for tactical illumination, battlefield effects simulators, pyro marking, and signaling.

    For this year AEWE event, they focused on five areas identified under the Army’s warfighting challenges such as prototype capabilities and experimental concepts; provide solutions that address enhanced small unit situational understanding; sustainment in austere environments; effective mission command; and soldier protection and mobility.

     

    All photos taken by Photos by Angie DePuydt, U.S. Army (via AEWE Facebook Page).


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    HSP Tricking Your Stick

    This should probably what every airsoft player should do when moving from beginner to intermediate or advanced --- how to properly setup his/her rifle in the most comfortable and efficient way that using the rifle is almost like having an extended arm. Haley Strategic Partners (HSP) has a video series on YouTube where Travis and Nate show you how to “trick your stick”. In this case, it is setting up your AR.

    Your airsoft AR should be fine to play with out of the box, though many airsoft players would start personalizing their rifles immediately by mounting weapons accessories and doing some upgrades. Whilst these are steps in the right direction, the caveat is that a good number of airsoft players are influenced in their purchase of such accessories and parts based on their looks or as seen in some photos of operators and soldiers who have been made popular in culture such as movies and mass media and may just regret their purchases.

    For those who have learned, they will make their purchase decisions based on more practical terms --- ergonomics and convenience/comfort. One pistol grip can be great to hold for one airsoft player and awful for a different player. Thus, there is no actual one-size-fits-all solution in the accessories and also in handling the weapon. A rifle will be effective to use if the shooter is comfortable with it, which means the shooter has found the right balance for all the attachments to the basic rifle.

    The HSP series are much helpful in explaining why one should go through the hassle of setting up a rifle and we do encourage that the videos be shared amongst airsoft and real steel shooters. They have covered setting up the buttstock, pistol grip, foregrip, triggers, weapon lights, and optics. A series of six short videos, these should not be a long watch just to do the setup.

    Since it’s a weekend and if you have no plans for an airsoft game with friends, why not watch these videos? They’re instructive, easily followed, and should help you improve your understanding of setting up your rifle. Enjoy!


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    Limpid Armor MS HoloLens

    Earlier, we reported that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been developing applications with the Microsoft HoloLens for the battlefield, using Augmented Reality that allows commanders to process information as seen through the HoloLens as well as for soldiers on the ground to be able to act on information projected on the HoloLens.

    For Ukrainian tank commanders, if all goes to plan, they can be charging in the battlefield having 360-degree awareness with HoloLens as Limpid Armor is developing a unique omnidirectional review system that can be used by tanks and perhaps other vehicles, in a posting at Defence-blog.com.

    The whole system consists of the Microsoft HoloLens for projecting the information seen from outside of the tank, a box cameras with optical and thermal modes that are mounted on the sides of the armored vehicle, and the Limpid Armor software develop to stream the videos taken by the cameras as well as other information that will be needed for the crew as the move about towards their objectives.

    Limpid Armor demonstrated their technology during the XIII International Arms and Security Show 2016 that took place in Kiev last 11-14 October 2016. According to the company, the system can provide a 360 degree review up to a distance of 300 meters, no delay streaming video, ability to highlight enemy and friendly positions, look-launch system, automatic target locking, and to target designation as streamed from a UAV or another source.

    What Limpid Armor demonstrates that Augmented Reality through the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens or any similar technology is for use in non-military vehicles. Even in driving cars, such technology can be helpful as it may help eliminate blind spots and provide better situational awareness for drivers, making it safer and easier to drive vehicles (as well as parking them, which usually is a problem for many drivers).

    As to when Limpid Armor’s technology will be deployed by the Ukranian military, no information yet, but surely other countries’ militaries would be interested in knowing more, given the potentials of Augmented Reality for use in the battlefield.

     

    All photos used here are from Limpid Armor.


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    UKAPU Patches

    For UK-based airsoft players who believe in the power of organisation, they have one right now under the United Kingdom Airsoft Players Union (UKAPU) and working hard to ensure that their rights are protected and expanded; airsoft is promoted; and the encourage cooperation and camaraderie amongst members.

    As part of their activities, the UKAPU will be holding their Annual General Meeting where members get to meet other members, voice their concerns, offer suggestions, and overall set the tone and direction of what UKAPU will take for 2017. Apart from that, they also get to play in a private game for UKAPU members at the StrikeForce CQB.

    If interested, and which we highly recommend, interested airsoft players in the UK who are not yet members can go to their website and sign-up. After signing up, they can then join in the annual AGM so their voices can be heard and this will take place on Saturday, the 19th of November 2016, from 0900H to 1600H.

    More information of the event on Facebook and below the poster is the official press release:

    UKAPU Annual General Meeting at StrikeForce CQB

    United Kingdom: Matthew Furey-King, Chairman of United Kingdom Airsoft Players Union (UKAPU) and Vice-Chairman David Weston, today announced that UKAPU will host a private game open to all UKAPU members and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at StrikeForce CQB.

    The AGM will be an opportunity for all UKAPU members to raise subjects for the agenda, elect committee members, and shape the future of UKAPU for airsoft in the UK.

    “The UKAPU AGM is the event we hold every year, at which we sit own with members and talk about the future direction of the association, and airsoft,” explained Chairman Matthew Furey-King “Many airsoft associations have come and gone but UKAPU has been the only one to hold an AGM every single year. That’s something I’m very proud of. It’s a very important part of maintaining transparency and democracy. It’s one of the reasons we are able to call ourselves representatives. “

    “All committee positions are open for election, and anyone can raise a discussion point. We actually have some positions with no nominated candidates, so email our secretary if you are interested in helping us push UKAPU forward. This year we decided to combine the AGM with a private members’ day at StrikeForce CQB site in Gloucester. All UK airsoft players are welcome to join UKAPU for free on our website. We’ll hold the AGM in the safe zone. It’s looking like a really friendly fun game is shaping up, with a few airsoft celebrities coming too. I look forward to seeing you there.”

    Any and all members of UKAPU can add an amendment to the AGM and put themselves forward to become a member of the committee, please submit any questions to secretary@ukapu.org.uk.

    StrikeForce CQB, hosts of the private game, are located at:

    Morelands Trading Estate
    Bristol Road
    Gloucester, Gloucestershire
    GL1 5RZ

    About UKAPU: UKAPU is an unincorporated non-profit association formed by a dedicated group of airsoft skirmishers to help protect and strengthen our hobby. By providing a united and official organisation that represents players, we can far more effectively engage in discussion with the government, other organisations, and the press when skirmishing comes under threat.


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    U.S.M.C. Smoke Screen

    The U.S. Marines and also the sailors of the U.S. Navy will soon be using flame-retardant uniforms in an upgrade that was announced at the U.S. Marine Corps website last November 9, 2016. These uniforms come with new material making them less susceptible to severe burns.

    The upgrade, called the Enhanced Fire Resistant Combat Ensemble (EFRCE), was developed in cooperation with the Navy and will be initially issued to Marines and Sailors assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and Naval Special Warfare Command as they deploy according to the website.

    While the fabric of the upgrade will be the same as the material presently being used, it is said to be more durable and can self-extinguish flames to reduce incidence and severity of burns. Fire is said to be the most dangerous thing that can happen to a ship and the new uniform material can help prevent or minimize burn injuries to any Marine or sailor on board a ship as well dealing with fires in the battlefield.

    As for the overall EFRCE, here is the explanation by the news article:

    The EFRCE is part of the Marine Corps’ Flame Resistant Organizational Gear system which consists of a combat shirt and trousers, gloves, inclement weather combat shirt--worn over the EFRCE blouse during inclement weather-- and balaclavas that work together to protect the wearer from head-to-toe. The EFRCE comes in four camouflage patterns: Woodland and Desert, Navy Working Uniform Type II and NWU Type III. The new fabric is a blend of nylon, cotton and meta-aramid fibers—a material highly resistant to high temperatures, chemical degradation and abrasion.

    (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell)

    Meta-aramid is the same material that is used in Nomex, the flame-retardant material developed by Dupont in the early 1960s and it is used for firefighters’ uniforms.

    Overall, the new uniforms will be issued to the Marines when the current supply of uniforms run out while for the sailors, they get their own upgraded uniforms when they deploy. For the Marines the design of the EFRCE has been improved to make it fit better when used under the Plate Carrier Generation III body armor.

    The EFRCE is now in production, with an expected 70,000 systems scheduled for release in 2017.

     

    Top photo: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Bobbie A. Curtis


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    Gorilla Airsoft Store

    Local airsoft stores play a frontline role in promoting airsoft in the communities where they are located. They are the most visible in the communities and are the first point of contact for airsoft players who want to replenish their BBs, get equipment, or have their airsoft guns repaired. They are also in danger as many players make their purchases via online airsoft retails stores which have lesser overhead  as usually they do not need to be prime locations to do business, and thus, less rent to worry about.

    With the competition, local stores live on a day to day basis, unless they are in location where they are easily visited by a high number of airsoft players. But since they are usually small businesses, any disruption to their business such as calamities and crime can really wobble them that it might take time for their recover, or just close shop rather than bear more losses in trying to recover.

    This is the case for Gorilla Airsoft & Paintball in Bakersfield, California. Last 12 November 2016, the store got burglarised and vandalised. This is the second time that this happened to the store, and for a small business owner, this is just too much. Repairs take money and replacing lost merchandise will also cost even more.

    Tammy Lively has put up a “Gorilla Airsoft Recovery Fund” on GoFundMe to help raise some funds for the business to be back in business soon and support the local airsoft players. Here is what she says:

    On Saturday November 12, 2016 Gorilla Airsoft & Paintball was vandalized & burglarized.

    Beast aka Jerry is a critical part of the Airsoft & Paintball community not only locally but internationally. Including doing a bi-weekly podcast on Gorilla Airsoft Radio . As well as donating to local charities in Bakersfield such as The VDay Project & Pinups For Patriots..

    Beast needs help!! We know $ is tight for everyone but the cost to repair the damage & replace the stolen merchandise is an extreme hardship on a small business owner. Not to mention supporting a family on top of that!

    Please donate & help get Beast/Jerry & Gorilla back on their feet! No donation is too small or too big!

    Thank You! Your donation is greatly appreciated!

    Tammy the Uninterested Listener

    The amount is not that big, as she is targeting US$3,000 that she thinks could help Gorilla Airsoft get going again. But no one is stopping anyone from sending more funds to push it above the amount she specified since the more resources available, even better for a fast recovery.

    It is in the interest of airsoft community that airsoft businesses stay in business so that local players get supported for what they need. Airsoft thrives in communities where there is a central business, either a skirmish site or an airsoft shop, or both and thus, they play a vital role in the overall scheme of things in airsoft.

    Go to GoFundMe if you believe that Gorilla Airsoft plays that vital role.


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    Aviation Week Raytheon’s High-Power Microwave Weapon Downs Drones

    Since 2013, the U.S. Army have been testing a technology that they have been quiet about and have only recently declassified information for public consumption. The U.S. Army has revealed that they have a “Phaser” system that can be used to knock down a swarm of flying drones at the push of a button.

    Apart from that, other vehicles that have integrated circuits can be disabled including cars and electronic devices. Other aerial vehicles are also much under threat with the Phaser.

    Star Trek fans will be disappointed that this is not like the “Phaser” that they are used to watching and will not emit a “pew-pew-pew” sound. The Phaser is a high powered microwave radiation mounted on a 20-foot trailer and accompanied by radars such as the MPQ-64 Sentinel or Close Combat Tactical Radar that can detect and track targets and hand over the targeting data to the Phaser. When fired, the Phaser will emit microwave energy to the incoming threat, in this case, drones, frying their electronics and causing them to crash.

    Unlike a laser which needs to be directed to one target at time, the Phaser can take down targets in one shot when they are in the path of the microwave energy beam, making quick work of multiple targets and thus drone swarms can be rendered ineffective quickly and turned to scrap heap.

    It can be used against vehicles and as such checkpoints can find it useful in stopping cars without shooting its occupants or prevent a suicide car from reaching a checkpoint or its target. In terms of drones, the U.S. Army has tested this against some commercially available drones which can be acquired by terrorists. In the battle against ISIS, the terrorists have resorted to launching suicide drones that have already claimed casualties. The Phaser is the first line of defense to protect the troops on the ground against fast flying and small suicide drones.

    There are still information kept secret such as its maximum power and range. Apart from taking down small drones and stopping cars, will it also be an effective air defense weapon that can take down military aircraft and even missiles?

    Now, if you fly your DJI Phantom or any other cool drone near a military base, better watch out. It might get fried.

    More on this at Aviation Week (subscription required).


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    DJI Inspire 2

    The march of what probably is the one of the most innovative Chinese companies, DJI, for world domination in the hobby and commercial drones continues. After the release of the handy Mavic Pro Camera Drone, they follow up with new versions of their mainstays, the Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro drones. If one very capable drone is not enough, they offer two more drones aimed at professionals just to ensure that the competition is kept at bay.

    “Professional filmmakers and photographers always push to create images that have never been seen before, and DJI never stops trying to give them the tools to achieve their vision,” is what DJI CEO and Founder Frank Wang said in a statement issued by the company. He further adds that, “Our newest flight platforms and stabilized aerial cameras are smarter, faster and more powerful than ever before.”

    In case you have been saving up anticipating the release of these drones and you know that they are serious investments, let’s find out what these two drones offer:

    INSPIRE 2

    The Inspire 2 is what DJI offers to the serious filmmaker; in this case, big budget film and TV production companies can consider Inspire 2 a godsend as it actually helps them save on budget getting a helicopter crew for aerial shots and as it has a ceiling of 16,400 feet above sea level. The Inspire 1 has been game changer and the Inspire 2 pushes the envelope further with features to delight the filmmaker.

    In terms of material, its shell is made of magnesium – aluminium which according to the company, provides more stiffness and at the same time reducing weight. It comes with two camera as it is meant for a 2-person operation. The main one, mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, rotates 360 degrees giving a view of the scenery below and can be operated by the camera man and the rotors can be raised giving the camera an unobstructed view. The other camera is used by the drone pilot so that he/she can always know where the drone is going.

    The camera processing will definitely impress filmmakers. Called the CineCore 2.0, it can capture 5.2K video at a jaw dropping 4.2Gbps bitrate and the Inspire 2 owner can use the either the new Zenmuse X4S or the X5S camera with the latter support 10 different lenses including zoom lenses. For stills, it can provide 30mp in DNG RAW format.

    For covering a live event, the Inspire 2 can provide broadcast quality footage that news crews would love to have in the field as they quickly deploy a drone rather than wait for a news chopper. The top speed has increased, from 50mph with the Inspire 1 to 67mph with a descent speed of 5m/s and it has a dual battery system that can prolong the flight to 27 minutes. It has obstacle avoidance features with FlightAutonomy.

    The Inspire 2 is now on pre-order with a price of US$2,999 and will be shipping in January 2017.

    DJI PHANTOM 4 PRO

    Obviously, this is the Professional edition of the already capable Phantom 4 and it comes just 8 months after its release, to give an option for professionals to have a more affordable professional camera drone of the Inspire 2’s price is still too much to bear.

    The camera has a 1-inch 20 megapixel sensor that can capture 4K footage at 60 frames per second and also burst mode of 14 frames per second for still photos. For its body, they have resorted to titanium alloy and magnesium alloy to increase the airframe’s rigidity whilst reducing its weight and thus weight still remains almost the same as the Phantom 4.

    Back to the camera, it now uses a mechanical shutter to avoid the rolling Jell-O effect that drones get when capturing footage when panning or high speed chase. With the added aperture adjustments, the filmmaker can now adjust the depth of field when taking photos or capturing video.

    With FlightAutonomy, the Phantom 4 Pro can avoid obstacles at all sides as it has dual rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems allowing it to have a total of 4-directions of obstacle avoidance whereas before obstacle avoidance was when just in flying forward. As for speed it now has a top speed of 31mph from the previous 22mph with the Phantom 4 with a flight time of 30 minutes.

    Now, the Phantom 4 Pro comes with a remote that it has its own display. Unlike before, DJI usually designs the remote with your smartphone or tablet as your display to control and track the drone’s flight. You can pocket your smartphone now and use the remote with is brighter display, allowing you take calls or check emails when needed.

    The Phantom 4 Pro is now available at a price of US$1,499 with free shipping.


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    7APCA Pre-Nominations Reminnder

    Brrrrrr!!! What a cold weekend that was and it’s going to be colder still. As the airsoft season comes to close in the Northern Hemisphere as we’ll see lesser big outdoor airsoft events and mostly indoor events. More airsoft players will be spending their time pulling triggers with their game consoles playing Call of Duty, Battlefield, or whatever big name first person shooter that has been released for the Winter season. This means that more airsoft players have more online time than actual trigger time.

    A part of that online time is devoted to the biggest online event in airsoft, the 7th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards. It is the period that airsoft players show their appreciation to airsoft companies, retailers, game organizers, airsoft players, publications, and services by nominating their favourites and voting for the finalists.

    For the 7th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards that has more categories, tens of thousands of airsoft players will nominate their favourites in these categories; and for those who want to win an award, will mobilise their friends, customers, and fans via social media so they can go through the whole process of clinching nominations and eventually winning a category in the Voting/Finals Period.

    Now, they have only a week to prepare for the Awards process as the Nominations Period for the 7th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards opens on the 28th of November 2016. As to the categories, here they are again:

    • 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

    We suggest that airsoft players copy the list of categories above and from there form their lists of nominees ahead of time so they won’t spend long at the Nominations form and just get on to quickly submit their nominees.

    And to motivate you, there will be raffle prizes that will be revealed soon. For those who nominate and vote during the whole Awards process, they get the chance to have their names picked twice for a raffle prize as our appreciation for actively participating in both periods.

    Remember, the Nominations Period opens on the 28th November and be ready with your lists!


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    Baltimore City Hall (Wikimedia)

    Airsoft is in danger in Baltimore as the City Council have initially approved a city-wide ban of replica guns. Proposed Ordinance 16-0761 which was filed by Councilman Kraft in September 2016 was a reaction to an incident in which a teen died of gunshot wounds when he was shot by Ohio Police for holding a replica firearm and also to an incident that happened in Baltimore in April where a 14-year old boy carrying a spring-BB gun was shot and injured by the police.

    In a report in Baltimore Sun, City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young says that replica guns are contributing to the increase in violence in the city’s streets. Baltimore has a high homicide rate with more than 800 shootings reported for the year and replica guns are also used in robberies. Children also put themselves in danger when they think these replica guns are like other toys that can be brandished in public.

    Councilman Kraft says that his proposed ordinance will be the easiest way to get replica guns off the streets. A first offense will result into a fine of US$250 with second the second offense rising to a US$1,000 fine with possible jail time for repeat offenses.

    It remains to be seen that the proposed ban, which is expected to be passed next month, will contribute to the decrease in crime and gun violence to the city though replica guns, even if used in crime, do not result into the injury or loss of life of a victim, only the wielder of the replica gun is in danger when confronted by responding police.

    For those who want to oppose the approval of 16-0761, they can coordinate with the STOP the MD Airsoft & BB Gun Bans on Facebook. The group has been successful in opposing the HB879 and SB742 bills that could have led to banning of airsoft in the State of Maryland and are now working on preventing it to happen in Baltimore.

     

    Top Photo: Baltimore City Hall (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


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    GekkoGum

    You’re all set for that big airsoft game. You got your airsoft gun ready to rock and roll and all geared up. But then you take your action camera such as the GoPro and realise that you forgot your helmet or gun mount for it. Now, how you are going to take awesome footages of the game when you have nothing to mount your camera on?

    Now, there is a quick and sticky mount that you can use with your action cam or smartphone. If you hate chewing gums that were stuck on a seat or wall, there is a gum that you will love as it will save the day for you and it is called the GekkoGum.

    It is a very neat idea by TheGearCrew that it is a wonder why no one had thought about it before. The idea is just simple, create something that really sticks on surfaces, hold tight your GoPro or smartphone and does not fall off even with sudden and jerky movements. 

    The GekkoGum is a malleable adhesive ball that has a retaining force just like the lizard that it is named after, the Gecko. The Gecko’s feet does not need any liquid or surface tension to make it stick and the GekkoGum can stick to almost any surface and when handling it, it won’t stick to your fingers. Just take it out its wrapping, find a surface it you can stick to and place your action camera or smartphone on it and you’re ready to take videos or photos. You may not even need a selfie stick to take selfies as long as there is something for the GekkoGum to stick to.

    When not in use, you just put it back into its wrapping and put it into your pocket. According to its makers, it can last for years without ageing or embrittlement.

    I like this mounting solution for my smartphone or action camera. In airsoft you will need to purchase different types of mounts just for your action camera --- a mount for the helmet, a strap for your cap, a rail mount, and even a shoulder mount. The GekkoGum is your near-universal mounting solution and helping you save money purchasing different types of mounts. Nowadays, there are too many mounts that you can purchase for every possible angle or position, the GekkoGum will help you lessen the number of mounts you will need.

    Where to get one? Right now, you can order via Kickstarter where it was able to meet its needed funds of €2,500, having already blew past that and now has received pledges of over €17,500 before its crowdfunding campaign ends this week. Better hurry so that you will be one of the first to have one before it can be made available commercially.


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    US Marine with M27 IAR

    With the French Army adopting the Heckler & Koch’s HK416 as a replacement for the FAMAS assault rifle, the German company may just notch up another big win on the other side of the Atlantic. The USMC is evaluating the M27 IAR as a possible standard issue rifle for all the battalions, which means the M4 rifle, which they decided to be the standard issue rifle last year, might be dislodged by M27 IAR.

    The M27 IAR, which is the USMC variant of the HK416, was adopted by as a replacement for the M249 support weapon which allowed those in a SAW role to have a lesser load and still be able to provide suppressive fire at short ranges and more precise shooting at longer ranges. In this setup, a Marine fire team is equipped with just one M27 IAR and carried by the support gunner.

    According to Military.com, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, has been conducting pre-deployment exercises with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle to evaluate it as a potential mainstay rifle for the infantry battalions. The battalion used the IAR during the 28-day Integrated Training Exercise that took place earlier this month at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, California.

    For the Marines to transition from the M4 to the M27 IAR is not the issue as they have similarities though the M27 IAR is a superior rifle in terms of range, operation, and reliability. However, the Marines are also concerned about the rate of fire which according to the commander of 1st Marine Division, Maj. Gen. Daniel O'Donohue in the Military.com report:

    "One of the things we're looking at is the rate of fire. You can burn off too much ammo, potentially, with the IAR. We have a selector, a regulator [showing] how many rounds the Marines shoot. So that's one area we're examining with experimentation."

    With budget cutbacks, the Marines will still have to deal with the costs of equipping all the battalions as an M27 IAR costs US$3,000 a piece and it might be a daunting task to accomplish that. Chief Warrant Officer Christian Wade, the gunner, or infantry weapons officer, for 2nd Marine Division, recommends a smaller rollout if they decide to expand the use of the M27 IAR given the budget constraints.

    The evaluation will continue as the 3/5  proceed with their exercises and deployment and that decision about whether to have the M27 IAR as the standard weapon will be based on the information that will be collected by the Commandant, Gen. Robert Neller.

    If the M27 IAR becomes the mainstay weapon of the USMC, it will provide a more solid case for Heckler & Koch to sell the HK416 to other military organizations in the world, especially in NATO where two its members, the Norwegians and the French, have adopted it as their standard rifle.

    As the for airsoft, there is an M27 IAR version as sold by Umarex with VFC as the OEM.


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    Boba Fett (StarWars.com)

    Last year, we wrote about the possibility of Boba Fett having his own movie in the galaxy of movies that are being planned for the Star Wars franchise ever since Disney purchased Lucas Films. Apart from the main Star Wars movies, it was said that there were more offshoot movies that were planned --- the first one is about Rogue One, which will be released next month as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; a young Han Solo movie; and the other one is about most famous fictional space-faring bounty hunter with the Mandalorian armour, Boba Fett.

    In a report in Entertainment Weekly (EW), in preparation for the Star Wars Celebration in 2015, a teaser reel was supposedly have been prepared, but Director Josh Trank dropped out of the project, splitting from Disney that was caused by the massive flop of the Fantastic Four film that he directed.

    The question now is, will a Boba Fett Star Wars movie be ever made? So far, there has not much movement for this character after the split between Trank and Disney and there was no mention of it by Luca Films president, Kathleen Kennedy in the EW report:

    “There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about,” Kennedy says. “But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”

    Indeed, the Star Wars universe is full of potential movie offshoots that Disney will be willing to explore to make the most out of its purchase of Lucas Films. It can be about the Wedge Antilles, or the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, or even the origins of Yoda, which I would love to know more (did I hear someone interested in Jabba the Hutt’s rise as a one of the most powerful gangsters in the galaxy?). For Disney, the purchase of Disney is like finding the mother lode.

    So far this December, in 2017 and 2018, three movies will be released. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to be released in 15 December; Star Wars Episode VIII in December 2017; and the Han Solo film (with his buddy, Lando Carlrissian) said to be set for a May 2018 release. That’s three movies to keep our minds off Boba Fett for the next two years.

     

    Top photo: Boba Fett (Source: Starwars.com)


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    Dutch Open 2016 01

    On the 10th of November, while on the train travelling from King’s Cross St. Pancras to Brussels (to grab some Belgian Beer and Waffles along the way), then Brussels to Amsterdam, I wondered how the Dutch Airsoft Players Association (NABV) and its International Airsoft Practical Shooting group (IAPS) would be able to pull an even more successful Dutch Open 2016 International Airsoft Practical Shooting given that last year’s Dutch Open was a big success on its own.

    The Dutch Open 2015, the first to be hosted by the NABV, was hard to criticize as it was an excellent in so many areas, from organization to venue, from officiating to people, from being efficient to being a great airsoft event overall.

    I was pretty much sure that the NABV had a few more tricks up their sleeves and will provide an even better Dutch Open 2016. In Amsterdam, I met up with Owen/MasterChief to brief him further on what to expect at the Dutch Open. Over beer and some stuff that I would rather not write here somewhere along Amsterdam’s world-famous Red Light District, we talked about who will do what and what he can expect being as it was his first time to be at the event, and curious how far has airsoft practical shooting in Europe has gone.

    The next day, after spending going through the usual sights and sounds of the Amsterdam, we met up with a good friend, NABV’s Luuk van Hulten at Schiphol Airport where he picked up Lars Hagemann, the Danish Champion shooter in real steel and who is now going to airsoft practical shooting competitions. He will be representing Action Sport Games (ASG) as the company was a major sponsor of the event. I first met Lars during the Airsoft Surgeon Practical Shooting European Championship 2016 in Gloucester and he is such a great chap to be with. In the car on our way to Papendal Sports Centrum, the same venue as last year, the conversation was very much animated that we never noticed the travel time and thought it was short ride though the ride took over an hour.

    Dropping off our bags in our hotel rooms, we met up with the organizers and competitors at Restaurant 20 28 for dinner, which is a pretty good restaurant inside the hotel. Many have already arrived, including the shooters from the UK who have driven all the way, crossing the Channel loaded with airsoft guns to compete at the Dutch Open. The food, as always, was excellent.

    After dinner, we made our way down to the Dug Out bar, always the watering hole for the shooters and athletes at the Sports Centrum after a long day. There, we saw Nigel Streeter of Airsoft Action Magazine together with his wife and daughter. It was the first time for the magazine to cover the event, which was a welcome thing as airsoft practical shooting needs more media coverage.  Other shooters were having a glass or two before calling it a night as they needed to rest for a long Saturday.  By around 2300H we decided to call it a night as we all needed to prepare for the weekend’s big event.

    Saturday, the 12th of November, saw us quickly moving as it was the first day of the Dutch Open 2016. After a quick breakfast, Master Chief and I hurried to the range where Chief RO Bart Verwijst was already doing the briefing to the shooters. For this year, we saw shooters from Germany and Slovakia competing for the first time and apart from them, the shooters came from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, and the host country, The Netherlands. Bart made quick work of his briefing on the rules and courses for the Dutch Open 2016 as he wanted to get going right away given that there are around a hundred shooters going through 24 stages for 2 days, divided equally into 12 stages for each day.

    Just like any other practical shooting competition, the shooters started slowly as they got to see the layout of the stages and seeing how other shooters cope with the obstacles and surprises designed by the organizers. As the first day of the Dutch Open 2016 got underway, it got warmer inside the venue as competitors try to better their times and bets others’ times even if the temperature outside was 2 degrees below freezing.

    Last year, the stages were compartmentalized or grouped together where shooters had to go out into the main corridor just get into the other stages. This year, the dividers to the stages were removed and it was easier to move up and down the venue, easier also for me and Master Chief to go around and cover the action.

    The first day was very much straightforward as the squads and range officers went about their tasks of shooting and officiating like clockwork. Everything that is needed by those inside the venue is there, no need to go somewhere else such as getting food and drinks. The IAPS-NABV staff was always on hand to take care of whatever is needed by the Range Officers and Players. As for us in the media, we were free to go up and down the stages to get the best angles that we can provided that we don’t get in the way of the shooters.

    Now, about the stages, they were designed to different degrees of difficulty and duration, from short to long which means that the shooters had to adapt to the layout of the stage and to shoot at the targets in the fastest or efficient way and prepare their ammo accordingly.  The Cow stage, which was introduced last year was still there but the crocodile stage was replaced by a cute yellow duck. Other stages forced shooters to shoot with their non-dominant hand, or do single-handed shooting while carrying a bag or a package. Whatever the organizers can think of and squeeze into 24 stages, the stages were either easy to go through or extremely frustrating. Only the most competitive airsoft practical shooters will not be fazed by the challenges.

    By around 1800H most of the shooters were able to go through the first 12 stages of the first day. They could still go for more, but even 12 stages will take a toll on the energies of everyone, including us. The first day was then concluded and after resting for about two hours, we were then treated by the NABV with a buffet dinner at the hotel restaurant. Everybody looked fresh, none of the shooting smell (if ever there is such) remained, and we enjoyed the food with much gusto. From that special dinner, it was time again to go through the day’s highlights at the Dug Out bar, ordering drinks until we decided to call it a day as there was still another day of competitive shooting.

    On the second day, the shooting action continued as the shooters remaining (there were already 10 disqualifications the day before), worked through the remaining stages. It was the second day on which they will have to work harder to go increase their scores and go up the leaderboard as there won’t be another day. Bart had to take out a stage when there was confusion on the layout where a gap in the wall was disputed if shooters can shoot through it or not, to make it fair for all the shooters who went through that stage. Of course, the second day, the shooters were tenser as they all want to take home a trophy or two.
    In terms of scoring, the scorers and Range Officers went high tech as they have been equipped with tablets so they can input the scores to the Shoot and Score it web application for quick tallying of scores. The players themselves can see their scores and progress but they won’t see the scores of others and leaderboard tallies. It was the first time that such a system is being implemented and for the organizers it is a great tool to use as time won’t be wasted doing manual scoring.

    Even if there were 12 stages left for the day, by 1600H most of the squads were already done with all the stages. By around 1615 the awarding ceremonies commenced with Gerard, the Match Director, as the emcee of the awarding ceremonies, starting with a Remembrance Day observance led by Tim Wyborn. Appreciation for the staff and sponsors were announced and raffle prizes from the sponsors such as RedWolf Airsoft, Gunfire, ASG, Cybergun, Valken Tactical Europe, Ghost, B-501, Armorer Works, and Action Army were given away. Then came the most awaited part of the afternoon, the announcement of winners in the various divisions and categories of the Dutch Open 2016, including the Dutch Champions.

    By 1700H, the Dutch Open 2016 was officially concluded. As for those who live nearby made their way back to their homes, the other shooters stayed for another night to have some dinner and unwind in Arnhem. For me and Master Chief, we treated ourselves to Indonesian food in the Arnhem city centre.
    The next day, the 14th of November, we checked out together with Lars Hagemann and made our way back to Schiphol airport by train as we finally take our journey back to our own homes.

    What is there to say about the Dutch Open? It’s hard to really find fault with the event as everything was just excellent. If the Dutch Open 2015 was already a benchmark in organising an airsoft practical shooting tournament, the Dutch Open 2016 raised the bar even higher. Of course, there were minor hiccups, and not everything is perfect, but given how the IAPS-NABV delivered the Dutch Open 2016 is worth the time and money that all the shooters put into it. With more participants and more countries participating, the Dutch Open is getting to be a must-attend event for airsoft practical shooters in Europe and hopefully other non-European shooters will check the event out.

    We can’t just recommend it enough and if you are a shooter looking for exciting airsoft practical shooting, the Dutch Open experience is something that you should have in your airsoft practical shooting bucket list.

    Will the Dutch Open 2017 be even better? We do hope so and it might be held at a new venue. Stay tuned on this until the NABV formally announce the new venue.

    Here are the winners of the Dutch Open 2017:

    Super Senior Open Division

    1. Paul van den Bosch (GBR)
    2. Stephen Birtwhistle (GBR)
    3. Trevor Sinclair (GBR)

    Super Senior Standard Division

    1. Marcel Smeers (BEL)
    2. Guy De Backer (BEL)
    3. Mark Van Den Bosch (GBR)

    Senior Open Division

    1. Tim Wyborn (GBR)
    2. Steve Tailor (GBR)
    3. Chi Hong Ho (NLD)

    Senior Standard Division

    1. Lars Hagemann (DNK)
    2. Rene Hoeck (BEL)
    3. Kervin Orinx (BEL)

    Junior Standard Division

    1. Matthew Wyborn (GBR)
    2. Alex Jakubko (SVK)
    3. Paul Wyborn (GBR)

    Ladies Division

    1. Dionne Reugebrink (NLD)
    2. Maria Christina Palmones (GBR)
    3. Jolanda Wigger (NLD)

    Production Division

    • Marc Cauchies (BEL)

    Open Division

    1. Jurgen Ronsse (BEL)
    2. David Meuken (NLD)
    3. Justin Cooper (GBR)

    Standard Division

    1. Pavol Babenský (SVK)
    2. Joeri De Haes (BEL)
    3. Matthew Wyborn (GBR)

    Nederlands kampioenschap Open Divisie:

    1. David Meuken
    2. Chi Hong Ho
    3. Richard Van Der Wel

    Nederlands kampioenschap Standaard Divisie:

    1. Harry Ter Borg
    2. Marco Van Der Meulen
    3. Ingemar Bouwhuis

    Photos of the event can be found at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page with the videos just being uploaded at the Popular Airsoft YouTube Channel


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    7APCA Nominations 1st Week

    The biggest online airsoft event is now on! The Nominations Period of the 7th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards is now open and readers of Popular Airsoft can nominate their favourites in 23 categories. For this edition, there are more categories than ever giving the chance for airsoft companies and players to be nominated in more categories.

    The Nomination Period is from the 28th of November to the 30th of December 2016 giving everyone 4 weeks to submit their nominations. From there the top 5 nominees per category will move on to the Voting/Finals Period in January 2017 to determine the winners for the various categories.

    Apart from the motivation that your favourite airsoft manufacturer, reseller, event organizer, airsoft player we are also putting even more motivation for you to participate in both the Nominations and Voting Periods.

    There will be raffle prizes that will be awarded after the winners have been announced and that means that if you nominate and vote during the awards period, you get two chances of your name entered into the raffle! Just like before, we won't announce what these raffle prizes are yet as we usually unveil them during the Voting Period and that will be for the period of 9 January to 6 February 20167. Some of the raffle prizes are some of the most sought after in the airsoft market.

    So what are you waiting for?! Submit your nominees and savour the moment seeing your favourites go through the Awards process. The Players Choice Awards is giving recognition by those who work hard for the hobby by those who matter most, and that is the airsoft player.

    Don't forget to visit the sponsors of the awards who have made it possible to make this more exciting, with their contributions and raffle prizes:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

    GENERAL SPONSORS


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    3rd Tokyo Marui Festival Press Event

    A new revelation about Tokyo Marui shows that the company is now willing to come out with new airsoft gun designs as reflected during the press event of the 3rd Tokyo Marui Festival that took place last Friday.  The actual Tokyo Marui Festival took place last 26-27th of November 2016 at the Belle Salle Akihabara and we shall be reporting about the main event in the following days, but for now we shall focus on the products revealed during the press event.

    As I have explained before, Tokyo Marui have decided to move their Tokyo Marui Festival to November, instead of the summer season to recalibrate their product announcements. Thus, for the major product announcements of the company, it will be at two events. The first will be at the annual Shizuoka Hobby Show that takes place in May, and the second will be the Tokyo Marui Festival. Before the changes, the second event for product announcements was at the All Japan Model & Hobby Show that takes place in September.

    The press event was the first to be held at the Tokyo Marui festival to ensure that friends in the Japanese media will be able to have a closer look at the products unveiled before the public get to see them on the next day. Of the products announced, the most significant is the SGR-12 AES, the second in their Automatic Electric Shotgun Series that started with the much well-received AA-12 AES. The SGR-12 maintains the same technology as the AA-12, but that is not real point in the story of this new Tokyo Marui AES.

    The Tokyo Marui SGR-12 AES is a totally new design from the company, and shows that the company is willing to do an in-house design and test how the market shall react to this. So far, there are precedents to this such as ICS of Taiwan that do a lot of in-house designs for their new AEGs and they are not punished by their customers for releasing something that does not take inspiration from a real world firearms design.

    Since the SGR-12 AES shares the same airsoft shotgun tech as the AA-12 AES, it is able to use the AA-12’s drum magazine and standard magazine as well. The internals can be interchangeable as well though the SGR-12 is a more compact AES and thus comes with three shorter inner barrels.  It also takes in the M-Lok system as shown in its handguard, but overall is a distinctly a new airsoft gun that has no equivalent in the real steel world. And it looks like the company is mighty proud of itself coming out its own design.

    The other airsoft gun to be released and the fourth in the HK416 series, the HK416 Delta Custom NEG is designed after the custom HK416 that is used in the U.S. Army Delta Force. The hanguard is lighter than the regular HK416 and since it is a NEG, it features the electric blowback and simulated recoil. Just like the HK416 DEVGRU Custom NEG, it has a SOPMOD stock where you can also install the Tokyo Marui 8.4 SOPMOD battery.

    As you have noticed in the photos released earlier, there are more gas blowback pistols  in the works and here they are as mentioned by the company during the press event:

    • SIG P226E2 silver model (planned to be ready in March.  Finishing is painting, not plating.
    • DETONICS .45 silver model (planned to be
    • ready in March.  Finishing is painting, not plating.
    • USP (Price and release date is not decided)M45 (Price and release date is not decided)
    • G19 (Price and release date is not decided)
    • V10 (Price and release date is not decided)

    That’s a good number of gas blowback pistols for 2017 but there are two more:

    A 37-round long magazine for the P226 Gas Blowback Pistol though price and release date also not decided yet. A high scope mount was also revealed and it is called the “Mount Ring H” that can be used to mount optics on MP5s and G3s.

    Other products on display were the recently released M40A5 sniper rifle, the M4A1 CQB-R Block 1 MWS GBB, and other products that are already in market.

    We’ll give our full report on the 3rd Tokyo Marui Festival soon, but for the meantime you  can see more photos of the Press event at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    Heckler & Koch Signage at Oberndorf HQ

    News coming out of Germany regarding to the new tack in exporting firearms by the renowned German firearms manufacturer, Heckler & Koch, has a lot industry circles and firearms communities buzzing. We do not know if this change of heart means that the company has developed a conscience, or is more just falling in line with the policies of the German government.

    In a report in the DW.com (Deutsche Welle), an unnamed employee of the company has told the German Press Agency or DPA, that there will be a change in direction to how the company will sell firearms:

    "We only want to deliver to solid countries - that means unequivocally democratic, definitely not corrupt, and in NATO or close to NATO," the employee, described as a "manager," was quoted as saying. He said such countries would now be considered "green," while others, including Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Turkey (ironically a NATO member), and India were "yellow" and therefore taboo.

    The company’s firearms are in the arms of NATO members, police forces around the world, special operations forces, dictatorships, criminals, and even terrorists as these are some of the most sought after in the world. The killing of Osama Bin Laden by SEAL Team Six involved the use of the Heckler & Koch HK416 Assault Rifle.

    Furthermore in the DW.com report, the change can also be attributed to a stricter German arms exports policy as well as bad press. Germany sells firearms to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and its main rival for influence in region, Iran, have acquired licenses to locally manufacture the H&K G3 and G36 assault rifles.

    Some sectors are skeptical with the news since the source is anonymous and there has been no official announcement from the HQ in Oberndorf. Also, there is no indication if this will cover its U.S. subsidiary, Heckler & Koch Defense USA.  Also, the company has suffered a big drop in revenues with the stricter government policy compounding its already serious financial problems that it had to take a loan and a capital infusion from majority shareholder. However, recent developments saw the company winning big orders such as the French military adopting the HK416 and a big order from Lithuania for G36 rifles.

    If indeed it is true, will the new policy be able to cover lost revenues by the company? Some of the biggest clients of the Heckler & Koch deemed corrupt or undemocratic are countries with large militaries or have big defense budgets. That remains to be seen as for now since the company will have to officially announce the news.

    Will this also include the sales of licensed airsoft guns to undemocratic or corrupt countries through Umarex? That will be doubtful since airsoft guns cannot be used to enforce authoritarian rule and or ineffective for use in corrupt criminal activities.


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    Mark Rasmussen Airsoft Denmark

    With the passing of the CEO & Founder of Airsoft Denmark, Mark Rasmussen, the airsoft community sees another bright light in our hobby/sport extinguished. What is more shocking for us is that Mark Rasmussen left this world at such a young age of 22.

    People are lending a helping hand to get him back home to Espergærde, north of Copenhagen. Rasmussen was based in Oxford, United Kingdom when he was running Airsoft Denmark, living with his girlfriend Andra, and was much a respected airsoft player in the UK. He was very active, attending airsoft events and interacting with a lot of airsoft players. Before his death, he attended the Blue Fox 2 and the UKAPU AGM; and many of the people he met at these events were very surprised at his passing away.

    According to Tobias Thiim, who is part of the Airsoft Denmark team, there is still some difficulty in getting Mark home to Denmark. There are logistical implications such as bringing his body and effects home.  This means that there will be costs incurred in bring him home that the Airsoft Denmark team have launched an appeal to help raise funds:

    Upon reading the appeal, we got in touch with Tobias via Facebook to get more updates. He told us that the mother of Mark Rasmussen is in the UK and will have him cremated before bring him back home to the Denmark. But the cost of cremation is around 10,000 -12.000 Danish Kroner or 1,150 to 1,400 GBP (US$1,430 - US$1,720/EUR1,350 - EUR1,620) at prevailing exchange rates . Money has already been spent on bringing his things back home including his airsoft guns, with Action Sport Games (ASG), the Danish airsoft company, already helping out in this area.

    Thus, the only thing remaining is for Rasmussen to be cremated and his ashes brought home by his mother. His remains lie in state at a hospital in the UK, waiting for the go-signal from his her to release his body for cremation.

    The faster the amount for cremation is raised, the faster that Rasmussen can be brought home and finally be laid in peace in his beloved country. We are joining in fundraising effort and we appeal to our readers to help raise the funds to help the friends and family of Mark Rasmussen to finally bring him home.

    Help bring a fallen comrade, who had much to offer to airsoft, get home. Click here to send whatever amount you can.

    Thank you.


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    U.S. Marine with Silencer

    I am back again with another story about the U.S. Marines who are always looking for ways to better combat effectiveness. From weapons to tactics, the U.S. Marines are always working hard to better themselves through innovation and constant training. Being the first to hit the beaches or to arrive at a hotspot to keep the peace, the Marines need to be on top of their game.

    Now, they are looking into noise reduction. In a recent report at Military.com, the 2nd Marine Division is putting silencers on every weapon in an infantry battalion, from their M4 assault rifles to their support weapons that can take in a suppressor for a series of experiments. Major General John Love, the commanding officer of the 2nd Marine Division explains what they have found out so far:

    "What we've found so far is it revolutionizes the way we fight," Love told Military.com. "It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn't really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons. Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control and effectively direct those fires."

    The benefits of reduced noise are much obvious --- easier communication, lesser sound distractions, and the ability of the marines to focus on their fire as the sound distraction is minimized. There is also a another  benefit, as the hearing impairment threats get reduced. Since they need to make sure that they are shooting effectively under a less noisy firing environment, the Marines will need to look out to see the effect on the enemy and thus, pushing them to shoot better.

    The weapons that will have suppressors include the M4 assault rifles, the M27 IARs, and they are working on equipping the M249 and M240G support weapons with suppressors from the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Also, another goal is finding a suppressor for the .50 heavy caliber machine gun.

    U.S. Marine Corps Photo, by Sarah N. Petrock

    With the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab to collect and aggregate data with the 2nd Marine Division to determine if it will be a good investment to go all in with suppressors, it is just a matter of costs. Adding such equipment will mean additional costs and according to the report that it will cost almost US$700,000 to equip an infantry battalion and not forgetting that these will also require time for cleaning and maintenance.

    Will we see a whole Marine Corps equipped with suppressors? It is still early to say depending on the outcome of the experiments. But the benefits are really obvious that it just a matter of developing tactics with more units equipped with cans. A big silent group of marines would surely be a big surprise for the enemy.

    Top photo by Joseph Scanlan, U.S.M.C.


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    DroneGun

    While there is a rush of new drones to the market, there is also a rush from governments to find ways to enable the use of drones without endangering the public such as the crowds on the ground, passenger planes in the sky, and trespassing on restricted areas as well as private residences. Another rush is how to ensure that the drones don’t pose a danger such as apps to show restricted airspace for drones and if they do violate rules, tools that can take them down from birds of prey, to nets, to shotguns, and to ray-guns.

    Yes, ray-guns, sorta.

    Last year, the Battelle Drone Defender was featured here showing a safer way on how to bring down using radio waves. Using radio waves, it brings the drones safely to the ground by jamming the frequencies triggering the drone’s built-in safety systems when they detect that contact with the drone pilot is lost will then initiate a soft landing sequence, protected location is safe, and an expensive drone saved too for its pilot to retrieve or for authorities to investigate the footage it took if it trespassed a restricted area. The Drone Defender has an effective range of 400 meters.

    Now, there is a new competitor to the Drone Defender in this area. A company called DroneShield that offers drone protection solutions to companies worldwide, unveiled their own version of an anti-drone ray-gun. Called the “DroneGun”, the design is similar to the Drone Defender as it is like a firearm for better aiming as radio waves need to be directed to a target. The advantage of DroneGun is that it has an effective range of 2 kilometers, 5 times more than the Drone Defender.

    That range can be a good selling point for the DroneGun, especially for security agencies worried that terrorists might intensify their building of bomb-laden affordable commercial drones that stopping such drones far from their intended targets is imperative. If combined with DroneShield’s drone detection solutions, then an effective anti-drone system can be created at a cheaper costs rather than using expensive military hardware just to knock down small and nimble drones.

    Commercial drones are small that they cannot carry enough explosives to deliver massive destruction as compared to car bombs. But they can cause enough terror if used in crowded public places such as concerts and sporting events, especially if they are used in a swarm that they can deliver the same effect. Security personnel armed with Drone Guns or similar systems such as the Drone Defender can prevent such from happening.

    For now, the Drone Gun is not being offered to private commercial organizations but rather to government. It has not received approval from the FCC as jamming devices are illegal in the USA and thus, Drone Shield is focusing sales on the Federal government and related agencies until it gets authorization from the FCC.


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