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    Taipei 101

    We are now in Taipei for the Military, Airsoft & Outdoor (MOA) Exhibition which will take place on the 1st to the 3rd December 2017 in Taiwan. It’s our first time to cover an event in Taiwan unlike before when it was more visiting airsoft manufacturers in New Taipei City and Taichung. We arrived here yesterday and already had a taste of the excellent Xialongbao.

    But will we taste something better tomorrow? We sure hope so.

    QRF Magazine are hosting the event which will be held at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City. Over 80 companies are setting up shop for three days, including some of the big names in airsoft such as Vega Force Company (VFC), ASG, BOLT Airsoft, APS Concept, Krytac, Modify, and SRC.

    Shall we expect new products from the manufacturers? You bet as some have mentioned there will be products unveiled there.  What’s more? There will be a lot of door prizes, as they will be raffling off tactical gear and airsoft guns during the show.

    Our friends from Modify will be holding a shooting contest with prizes available for players as well as discounts are their booth.

    QRF Magazine wants the MOA to be the equivalent of the SHOT Show and IWA Outdoor Classics in Asia. With Taiwan turning to be the centre of the airsoft universe and tactical stuff, they may just pull it off and we’ll be joining other media to be making a pilgrimage to Taipei every year.

    If you are going tomorrow, just wave at us. We’ll be the blokes with cameras in the show you might find yourself published.

    We’ll give a full report as well photos and videos of the MOA Exhibition.


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    MOA Exhibition 2017 Day 1

    The Military, Airsoft & Outdoor (MOA) Exhibition 2017 is finally open. Planned to be equivalent of the SHOT Show and IWA Outdoor Classics and organised by QRF Magazine, the event opened not to much fanfare. The first day mainly caters to the VIP, Press and Trade Exhibitors whilst the next two days it will be finally opened to the public. You can say that we have attention of the exhibitors for today as tomorrow and Sunday, they will be occupied with members of the public.

    There are exciting products from VFC and BOLT Airsoft as they showed to us some of these. We’ll be doing the videos later on so for now, expect the photos at our Facebook Page. For those waiting for information about the Cybergun SIG MCX OEM’d by VFC, it was not on display. Nevertheless,  we will be posting more information as days go by.

    For the first day, it is mainly mingling around with the exhibitors and getting familiar with the layout of the venue, which is at the Xinzhuang  Gymnasium. We’ll zero in in the more interesting products in the folllowing days.

    Enjoy the photos at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    MOA Exhibition 2017 Day 2

    The crowds grow bigger on the second day of the Military, Airsoft & Outdoor (MOA) Exhibition in Taipei as the airsoft players take their weekend off looking for the latest and greatest that the airsoft industry can offer in Taiwan.  There are a lot of interesting tough to check out, far more than we can find in other airsoft trade fairs. Whilst there are are big events such as the SHOT Show and IWA Outdoor Classics, the MOA Exhibition offers the smaller airsoft companies to show their wares as compared to these big events as the logistics can be a headache for them if they want to join the overseas trade fairs.

    Arriving at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium by around 1000H, already people are inside checking out the products on display. I quickly unpacked my staff and headed to Bolt Airsoft where Wilson talked about their SWAT series or their MP5-style airsoft guns that feature their Bolt Recoil Shock System (BRSS). Also, they are working on another lines of BRSS AEGs, the AK series. They already have the parts prepared to make it working and once they release the AK BRSS, they will be the second company that will have an Electric Blowback and Recoil AK AEG after Tokyo Marui. Like the SWAT, you have the option to disable and enable the recoil and blowback to save on battery energy.

    Wilson also explained about their new project called the AR, which basically is their Augmented Reality mobile app that can work with their guns. Once released, you can connect a Bolt BRSS to your AR mobile and be able to shoot at targets projected on your camera screen with your app. It is available for iOS and Android devices.

    RA-Tech showed their Pop Cork Gun which is fun to shoot and reminds some of our readers their childhood. Also, they show their own M4 gas blowback rifle with its receiver showing RA-Tech Markings as well as their gold-coloured SAI bolt for the M4 gas blowback rifles such as those from WE Airsoft, GHK, and Western Arms.

    Light Lam showed us the new products from WE Airsoft, showing the upcoming WE Gas Blowback Rifle that is made of steel and real wood. They also have their 1911 Gas Blowback Pistols with the honeycomb look or for those who want to call it, Hexcut then Hexcut it is. With the release of the Cybergun Magnum Reasearch Desert Eagle .50AE GBB Pistol in black, they are following it up with the Chrome version.

    We take a closer look at the upcoming Northeast Airsoft Sten Gas Blowbacks as they will be releasing two variants of the gun. We’ll just need fix the video and upload in on YouTube for you to learn  more.

    Sindy of showed us the HFC gas blowbacks, non gas blowbacks and spring powered airsoft guns. They will be releasing their own sniper rifle that has interchangeable bolt. You can convert to be powered with a spring, gas, or CO2, they have the bolts ready for the power you want. And for those who want to be pirates, they will be releasing a line of Pirate pistols and you can imagine yourself as Captain Jack Sparrow when wielding one.

    These are just some of the interesting items that we saw at the MOA Exhibition. Photos are now posted on the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. More to follow...


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    MOA Exhibition 2017 Day 3

    Arriving a little bit late on the final day of the Military, Airsoft & Outdoor (MOA) Exhibition 2017, waking up later than usual. On the final day of the Exhibition, it’s more on taking videos than taking photos as most of the photos of the items that our readers will be interested in have already been posted.

    I immediately dropped by at the Centurion Options booth as I already had an appointment with Larry Cheung,  who did a really comprehensive presentation of the products they carry such as Fobus, CAA, FAB Defense, Tru Glo, and Claw Gear. Assisting him was the amazing Annie Wu who was very knowledgeable about the products. Annie Wu was our first featured woman when Popular Airsoft launched its newly redesigned website in 2010.

    Up next was Poseidon with their new upgrades for gas blowback pistols and rifles. What gas blowback shooters should take note that their upgrade can help their GBB guns perform under cold conditions which is usually a problem for GBBs. Once the video is up, we’ll post news about it so you can watch the gas blowbacks work after being dipped in ice.

    Modify have setup a shooting area wherein visitors that clock the fastest times win a prize. One has two shoot a popper using the new Mod 24x sniper rifle and then run to the next stage and shoot a few more poppers with the XTC AEG.

    Another video that you should look forward to is the short presentation of the M249 Gas Blowback MG by A&K which for those who are looking for a gas blowback support weapon should be heaven sent. They also revealed that they are going to release an improved PKM AEG with improvements in the internals such as the gearbox.

    I dropped by the Xcortech booth where they demonstrated the X3300W MK2 Advance BB Control System with Ultra Bright UV Light Tracer Unit amongst the other chrono products they have which are already popular amongst airsoft players. The product has multiple functions and a sample unit has been issued to me so expect a review of the X3300W MK2. They have a small shooting range where they installed their Xcortech XTS-105 Auto Target System. You may have a video of this taken during the Hooha show but they added something new. It can also be coin operated. A shooter just drops in a coin then presses the button to start shooting the random targets and do the fastest time.

    I went back again to the WE Airsoft booth where Light Lam shows the upcoming WE Thompson M1A1. According to him, it will be released next month though final pricing still has to be determined. It has full markings and comes with faux wood. A video of it being tested in semi and full auto will follow soon.

    VFC are showcasing their upcoming Virgo M4 Conversion System. They consider the AR platform as a “Lego” and as such as promoting the Virgo as way mix and match your M4 AEG. The system also confirms that VFC have started implementing their own electronics in their gearbox with their ECS Gearbox with the Digital Firing Control System. Programmable and you can set how many rounds a burst mode should be, it also has an active braking system that properly sets the spring.  They will be working with PTS Syndicate, as airsoft players can incorporate external parts from PTS to fit with the Virgo.

    There are still many things to say about three-day event but for now these are the highlights of Day 3. Soon an overall report of the MOA Exhibit 2017 will be posted.

    Photos of Day 3 at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    8 APCA Nominations 2nd Week

    We’ll keep on reminding our readers that the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards Nomination Period is ongoing and we’ll be doing the reminders every week. So if you haven’t submitted your list of nominations, now is the time before the period ends on the 29th of December 2017. Especially if you intend to submit a complete list of nominees, it’s best to do it early as the list is going to be long.

    If you cannot read further on and would like to nominate immediately, click here.

    For this awards period we are supported by the following:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

    ASG APS Gunfire

    Laylax RedWolf Airsoft Military 1st Evike.com

    REGULAR SPONSORS

    Specna Arms Airsoft Atlanta Low Speed Gear Airsoftjunkiez WGC Shop

    Copy and paste the list of categories to your word processor or notepad so you can add your list. From there, you can then just copy and paste nominees at the nomination form provided at the Awards website.

    Good luck and we’ll remind you again next week!


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    Condition One Energy Bar

    An energy food bar developed by a former Marine turned entrepreneur is now getting to be choice of athletes. The Condition One by US Marine SGT Matthew DeMaio. Initially developed for use by  combat operators and military organizations, the Condition One energy bar is now getting into mainstream, according to blog post at Military.com’s Kit Up!

    The idea to make the Condition One came to DeMaio while on deployment in Mozambique: “ The practicality of the military MRE was simply not in sync with the needs of the operators.  Freedom Fighters have long relied on multiple sources to supply optimum ratios of the nutrients required to perform over extended periods of time. Accessing adequate protein, fats, and carbohydrates on the go was a problem this SGT set out to solve.”

    When he returned back home, he decided to make start experimenting with food that can meet the needs of those in the field and cooperated with a naval special warfare nutritionist who developed that diets for the Navy SEALs.  After years of research to get the needed ratios of proteins, carbohydrate and fats need of those in the field, they finally got to release the Condition One energy bar.

    Now, DeMaio is supplying one NFL team and has reached out to other professional sports teams if they want their players to fuelled by Condition One.  DeMaio makes the bar himself after not getting satisfied with the samples of a company he wanted to partner with to mass produce the energy bars, making the bars when orders come in.

    According to Kit-Up, Condition One is now scaling up production of the energy bars as they are producing 2,000 to 3,000 bars a month. Also, another NFL teams is interested in their product and with the word getting around, it looks like they will be getting more attention from various athletes from different sports disciplines.

    Airsoft players who want to try the energy bar, especially those who do regular 24, 48, 72 hour non-stop Milsim events, they visit the website at http://goconditionone.com.

     

    All photos from Condition One Facebook Page.


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    101 Airborne Test Firing the M17 & M18 Pistols

    The Screaming Eagles are the first unit to officially receive the new M17 and M18 pistols. Known commercially as the SIG Sauer P320 pistols, the company won the bidding for the Modular Handgun System (MHS) contract of the U.S. Army beating Glock, FN America and  Beretta USA in the process.

    "What a great day,” Colonel Derek K. Thomson, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Divisions said in a press release from Sig Sauer. “To witness modernization firsthand as my soldiers became the first in the Army and this storied division to fire the new pistol is an absolute honor.”

    The 101st Division received the first batch of the M17 and M18 pistols with 2,000 units delivered at Fort Campbell last November 17. After being inventoried, the pistols were then test fired last November 27 and 28.

    In the same press release, Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER, Inc., said “We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG SAUER employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most accurate and reliable firearms in the world.”

    The M18 is the more compact version of the M17 and the contract, which is worth US$580 million, stipulates that the company will supply the U.S. Army the new pistols over a 10-year period. The M17 replaces the M9 pistol from Beretta, which was the official sidearm of the Army since 1986.

    “That’s pretty dated technology,” said Lt. Col. Steven Power, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, individual weapons product manager, talking about the M9 pistol. “The specific performance improvements of the MHS over the M9 include better accuracy, tighter dispersion, and better ergonomics, which when combined, result in a far more lethal pistol.”

    “The world has changed since the strength and resilience of this division was forged during the maelstrom of World War II,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) commander. “In order to maintain our decisive edge, we must continue to outpace our potential adversaries with more lethal capabilities, from the modular handgun system we fielded today to the innovative and adaptive air assault concepts, equipment and training the 101st continues to perfect.”

     

    All photos from 101st Airborme.


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    Surefire 2211 Signature

    When Surefire launched their 2211 series way back, they finally made their world class lighting solution available for the wrist. They even made the series even more desirable when they released the Surefire 2211 Luminox Wristlight, a combination of two brands that have built a reputation in the Military and LE communities for quality and dependability. It allows the shooter to to automatically align light to where the handgun is pointing at.

    However, the 2211 Luminox Wristlight is expensive. Available at around US$700.00  that some may just think twice before buying. I sure did like the product, but the price made me think that buying a separate tactical torch and watch such as Casio G-Shock would still be cheaper than getting the 2211 Luminox.

    But with the release of the Surefire 2211 Signature, the company has made the Wristlight and Watch combination more affordable as it costs US$199.00 or about US$500 cheaper than the 2211 Luminox. 

    At first glance, you’ll think of the 2211 Signature the same as the 2211 Luminox, but upon closer look, the 2211 Signature does not show the Luminox brand. This means that this is not a partnership with Luminox and that Surefire either makes the watch on their own or have a no-name company supplying the watch components. This way, the company was able to shave on costs and come up with a more affordable 2211 Wristlight and Watch.

    The 2211 Luminox is still available for those who prefer that model and can afford it. But for those who want the 2211 Signature for Christmas, it is now available to order at the Surefire website. Product information from the company below:

    The rechargeable SureFire 2211® Signature WristLight provides hands-free tactical illumination for a broad range of low-light scenarios—including use with a handgun—and also features a fully integrated quality timepiece. When strapped to your support-side wrist, the 2211 Signature automatically aligns with a handgun when the weapon is held with a standard two-handed grip, projecting sufficient light for threat identification at close to medium range in low light and darkness. Its broad MaxVision Beam™, created by a precision faceted reflector that shapes the LED’s output into a seamless wall of white light, is generated at three output levels: 300, 60, and 15 lumens. The first two levels are bright enough to overwhelm an aggressor’s dark-adapted vision, providing a tactical advantage, and the lowest output level is perfect for tasks that don’t require so much light, such as loading gear. There’s even an optional 2211 WristLight Conversion Headstrap accessory (sold separately) that allows you to convert the WristLight into a headlamp, for tasks where you need both hands and the light source a bit farther back, such as working on an engine.

    The virtually indestructible LED’s output is controlled via either of two ambidextrous switches found on the WristLight’s rugged, hard-anodized aluminum body. The LED is powered by a rechargeable lithium- ion battery that’s easily charged using an included micro-USB cable—there’s even an integral LED fuel gauge that lets you know when the WristLight needs charging. Just like our 2211® Luminox® WristLight, the Signature model features a fully integrated watch. For a go-anywhere tactical light with a fully integrated timepiece—at an attractive price point to boot—you can’t go wrong with a SureFire 2211 Signature WristLight.

    Features

    • Straps to support-hand wrist, via its adjustable nylon strap, for instant access to 300 lumens and automatic alignment with handgun
    • Precision faceted reflector creates perfect MaxVision Beam™. that’s wide and evenly dispersed
    • Ambidextrous switching activates three levels of useful light: 300, 60, and 15 lumens
    • A quality timepiece is fully integrated into the body for added functionality
    • Fuel gauge indicates remaining battery power
    • Powered by a single rechargeable lithium-ion battery
    • Backed by SureFire’s No-Hassle Guarantee


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    Patreon

    With the experience of airsoft YouTubers of having their revenues getting smaller with the changes in policy on YouTube affecting creators of gun and related stuff, they look for other ways in which they can earn more revenues as they have staked their livelihood in creating content on YouTube.

    One way for them is to use Patreon, which many content creators, including some airsoft YouTubers, are happy with as they can have their subscribers put in some small pledges. If they have tens of thousands of subscribers, even having a small percentage of these giving small amounts via Patreon will amount to something significant. Subscribers can pledge a small amount via Patreon with a minimum of US$1.00 required which is then deducted monthly. Patreon takes a cut from the payment and the payment processor takes a bite further which the content creator has to carry.

    But with the changes Patreon made to its fees policy, content creators have been starting to lose supporters. What the new fees are is that they are passing on the costs such as processing to the supporters. By December 18, the new service fee is 2.9 percent plus 35 cents per new pledge and on January 1 for existing pledges. This takes the burden off the content creators and passes it on to their supporters.

    This actually sounds good for the content creators, as the take home pay will be bigger. But with the supporters having to think twice of paying a bit extra, they’d started to close their wallets, figuratively.

    As explained by Swapna Krishna of Endgaget:

    Now, this may not seem like a lot, but from anecdotal and personal experience, $1 pledges make up the backbone of Patreon. Generally speaking, people have a limited amount they're able to pledge, and rather than send $10 to one thing, they will often send $1 to 10 different projects they want to support. This new fee structure will wreak havoc on that system. Every $1 pledge will cost patrons $1.38 under this new model. Small donors are, in essence, going to pay 38 percent more under this new system. This change incentivizes bigger individual pledges. One $10 pledge will now cost a supporter $10.64 per month, while ten $1 pledges will be $13.80. This change will gut the $1, and perhaps the $5, economy on Patreon.

    Patreon clarified this new change by saying that it is a better process as compared to the old one as it was said to confusing, getting more support tickets due to the confusion. Still, the backlash is something for content creators as Gizmodo and Engadget have been reporting about content creators losing their supporters with the changes. We do not know if the airsoft content creators have totally left Patreon before, but with the changes, they might just think twice on depending on the service for their revenues.

    Perhaps the exodus is brought about by the confusion in the fee changes and will eventually result into what Patreon promised, a bigger take home pay for the content creators. Supporters may just realize that they too will lose the entertainment they get by supporting the content creator and may just shell out a bit more to cover the fees. So if the reaction is harsh, let’s find out how Patreon rides this out until the new policy becomes effective later this month.


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    8th APCA Nominations Period 3rd Week Reminder

    It’s the third week for the Nomimations  Period of the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards. Over 10,000 readers of Popular Airsoft as well as fans and friends of prospective nominees have already submitted their partial or complete list (all are not required to submit a full list). We expect more to be submitted from airsoft players around the world as we go into the latter half of the Nominations Period.

    f you cannot read further on and would like to nominate immediately, click here.

    For the prospective nominees aiming to be in the top 5 finalists per category, it’s time to up the ante to ensure that they get on the list. Some have already making their campaigns via social media, making campaign videos, as well as spreading the word around on why they should be nominated. By being more active rather than passively watch the nomination period go by passively, their chances of making it to the finals/voting period gets better.

    For this awards period we are supported by the following:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

    ASG APS Gunfire

    Laylax RedWolf Airsoft Military 1st Evike.com

    REGULAR SPONSORS

    Specna Arms Airsoft Atlanta Low Speed Gear Airsoftjunkiez WGC Shop

    Copy and paste the list of categories to your word processor or notepad so you can add your list. From there, you can then just copy and paste nominees at the nomination form provided at the Awards website.

    Good luck and we’ll remind you again next week!


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    MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

    It’s quiet in the airsoft front as the flurry of announcements from the airsoft industry was done during the MOA Exhibition 2017 in Taiwan. Surely, there are a lot to look forward to in airsoft next year. But save for the expected product releases this month, we have nothing exciting to report for this week. So might as well go back to something we like second best --- video games.

    I don’t know, but many airsoft players I know play MechWarrior. The BattleTech series game has gone through several transformations since it was first released in 1988, with its latest reincarnation being the MechWarrior Online that is playable on Microsoft Windows. But for the in-universe timeline, the latest title in the MechWarrior that will be released in 2018 has been a long time coming. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries follows the release of MechWarrior 4: Vengeance in 2000 which had an expansion pack called MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries in 2002.

    Slated to be released in December 2018, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will have cooperative gameplay as its central feature. With up to four players for a coop game, your mates can stand in for the AI player so you can have chance blasting away mechs whilst engaging in friendly banter.

    Players had a chance to try MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries during the MechCon last 7 December 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. This was the first opportunity for them to try the game after a year-long teasing from Piranha Games.

    As for the campaign which begins in the year 3015, the player takes command of mercenary crew, accepting missions across different planets whilst improving the team. It has a full mod system in which the player can customise their own missions, planetary systems, contracts, and more.

    MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is the first MechWarrior game with a single player campaign in over 15 years.


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    Ewan McGregor Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi

    With the reviews of the advance screening of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi just heaping praises on the movie, we might as well jump in Star Wars bandwagon. 

    I suppose you’ll forgive me for something not really airsoft related and you can blame it on the Star Wars effect. But I’m sure you’ll like the story as the title says it all.Disney is expanding the Star Wars universe and that means creating spin-off movies based on the individual characters from the main Star Wars saga. So far, the spin-offs are about Boba Fett and Han Solo with the first spin-off being Rogue One, which was not based on a major Star Wars character but rather to serve as the bridge between Episodes III (Revenge of the Sith) and IV (A New Hope).

    Now, for those who prefer Jedi characters, then brace yourselves as it is said that an Obi-Wan Kenobi is rumoured to be in the works, having been given signal by the powers-that-be at Disney to start filming in 2019.  Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the story of the planned movie last August.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi is the master and friend of Anakin Skywalker, and eventually the mentor of Luke Skywalker. The character was played by Sir Alec Guinness in the original trilogy and by Ewan McGregor in the Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I to III). The story will be a Trilogy of the separate character from the Skywalker story and will introduce new characters.

    As to whom the movie will be given to direct, news source Gamespot reports that it will be Billy Elliot director, Stephen Daldry and production will start at the Pinewood Studios in London in January 2019. There is no report yet who will play the role of the Jedi master but it is said the Ewan McGregor wants to reprise the role in the new trilogy.

    Also, Gamespot reports of a new trilogy after Episode XI. It will be developed by Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi and will the direct the first movie. Will it be the continuation of the Skywalker saga?


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    101st Airborne with M17

    As long as you are in the U.S. and eligible to own one, you may have the chance to own the M17 pistol, the newest handgun of the U.S. Army. It is based on the SIG Sauer P320 modified to meet the requirements of the Modular Handgun System program. The M17 and its more compact variant, the M18 are now being delivered with the 101st Airborne being the first unit to receive the pistols.

    According to Military.com’s Kit Up!Blog, Sig Sauer isplanning a special release to the civilian commercial market:

    “We are planning to do a limited release of about 5,000 of the Army variant of the M17 for the commercial market,” Tom Taylor, Sig Sauer’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president for commercial sales, told Military.com. “The timing is not finalized yet, but it looks to be late spring.”

    Each commercial MHS will be serialized and have serialized matching coin as well as a letter of authenticity from the CEO of Sig Sauer, Taylor said.

    Sig Sauer would likely be able to sell more than 5,000 of these pistols, but Taylor said, “we just wanted to make it really special. … And once they are out there, the owners will be privileged to own the actual gun.”

    The commercial version will be almost identical to the Army-issue, full-size MHS, except it will not have the anti-tamper mechanism for the striker action, nor will it have the special coatings on some of the internal parts that help it maintain lubricity under harsh conditions, Taylor said.

    There is no information on how the allocation of the planned 5,000 units. We’re pretty that there will be a good demand for it and will be snapped up in no time. Sig Sauer might take pre-orders for it to anticipate the demand or to assure itself that sales will be solid as planned.

    Now, we just hope Cybergun is working on having an airsoft version of the M17 and M18 ready too. With their case settled with Sig Sauer and that they can continue producing fully licensed Sig Sauer airsoft guns, the opportunity of releasing an airsoft M17 and M18 can prove to be irresistible.


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    Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Not A Hero DLC

    CAPCOM finally drops the “Not A Hero” DLC for the Resident Evil 7 and the reviews are good. It is a free DLC that takes the player, playing as Chris Redfield, through a gauntlet battling the BOWs (Bio Organic Weapons) as he goes after Lucas Baker and bring him to custody and is the first part of the epilogue to the mainResident Evil 7 campaign. Many players are happy that such a freebie would be really good to play.

    By this time, airsoft players know that the main BOW counter weapon that was used by Chris Redfield in “Not A Hero” and aware that it is for the first time that a weapon originally designed as an airsoft shotgun gets adopted for a video game. The “Thor’s Hammer” or the Albert .W. Model 02 is based on the SGR-12 Automatic Electric Shotgun (AES) designed by Tokyo Marui. The SGR-12 is already released in the market with the “Thor’s Hammer” slated to be available in January 2018. The SGR-12 uses the AES airsoft tech that was first used in the Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES, the same tech goes for “Thor’s Hammer”.

    Since the “Thor’s Hammer” is based on the SGR-12, there are still some differences between it and the SGR-12 externally:

    • It is bigger than the SGR-12 as it is 800mm long (SGR-12 is 730mm)
    • It is slightly heavier than the SGR-12 at 4.8kg when magazine is empty (SGR-12 is 4.4kg)
    • It has the Albert .W. Model 02 markings as well as the Umbrella Corporation logo on the butt plate
    • It is a limited edition release (no exact quantity mentioned though)
    • It comes in a hard case

    According to the marketing material at the website of Tokyo Marui, shooting at full auto can have a tremendous effect on the attacking BOWs, “Once you pull the trigger, it will exactly be like a hammer manipulated by the god of thunder, Thor.”

    If you intend on getting the Thor’s Hammer, we recommend that you get the Samurai Edge Albert. W. Model 01 as your side arm to complete your Resident Evil 7 airsoft guns. It is already at end of production so better check with your retailers if they still have in stock.

    Tokyo Marui also created a Biohazard collaboration page at their website and from there you’ll find the full line-up of the Biohazard airsoft guns they have created since their collaboration with CAPCOM for the Resident Evil/Biohazard started.


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    Matt Wyborn Dutch Open 2017

    How about that? We just made a huge drop of videos at the Popular Airsoft YouTube Channel ---- all 166  videos of Action Air/Airsoft Practical Shooting that took place at the Dutch Open 2017 last 11-12 November. 120 shooters from Europe competed in this prestigious event and one of the high priority events for airsoft practical shooters in Europe every year.

    It took us longer to post these videos as we are extremely busy in this period with events in Taiwan and the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards that also demanded or still demanding our attention. Nevertheless, we endeavoured to upload whatever action video we took so shooters who participated in the Dutch Open can see how they performed and shot their way through the Courses of Fire (COFs) and can make adjustments or improve their shooting skills.

    For those who are new to Action Air or airsoft practical shooting, they follow the same rules as laid down by the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC)  and Action Air is the official designation of airsoft practical shooting for IPSC. They can watch the various shooters, young and not-so-young, compete in the various divisions and categories to be won during the Dutch Open.

    So grab your popcorn and drinks you have. It will be a while for you to go through each video this weekend. If it’s freezing outside, might as well watch the videos.

    Click here to watch all the Dutch Open 2017 Videos.


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    8th APCA 4th Week Reminder

    It’s simple really. You or your friends can submit your name to the category you are eyeing for at the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards. It can be one or more categories, depending on how many awards you want to win. But the more important question that you really want answered is: how do you get to be in the top 5 nominees and make it into the voting/finals period?

    But before that, if you have not submitted your nominees yet, better do so now:

    So, back to the important question on how to make it into the voting/finals period. Only the top 5 nominees per category will move into into the finals and that means the 5 nominees with the most number of nominations per category. You may have a lot of followers on social media or subscribers to your YouTube channel but that is not a guarantee of making it into the finals, much more winning an award. If they do not know about the awards, then they won’t move at all and nominate you.

    For those who have been consistently winning awards over the years, or those who have a more concrete plan for getting the award. What they do is mobilise their fan bases by doing their own Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards campaigns. It is not just a mere announcing that they get nominated on their Facebook Pages, but it’s more of being creative and constantly reminding them to nominate you as their favourite. Here are some examples:

    Airsoft Milsim News Blog

    Mach Sakai

    Peanuts Airsoft

    Gunfire

    Is it a lot of effort then? You betcha! The more competitive a category is, the more creative or intensive a campaign should be.

    If you are having a Players Choice Awards campaign, drop us a note to tell us what you are doing.

    Will doing such a campaign be an absolute guarantee to get into the finals and win an award? It does not, but the chances are greater if you do. So better get those asses moving and do your best to get everyone nominate you. Good luck!

    For this awards period we are supported by the following:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

    ASG APS Gunfire

    Laylax RedWolf Airsoft Military 1st Evike.com

    REGULAR SPONSORS

    Specna Arms Airsoft Atlanta Low Speed Gear Airsoftjunkiez WGC Shop

     

    There are still days remaining for the Nominations Period and we’ll remind you again next week!



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    Facebook Engagament Bait

    Facebook has grown to occupy a big part of our online lives, as more and more people tend to interact and share their moments to others with this social networking platform. Even for us airsofters, Facebook, even for its recent banning of airsoft gun sales, we still cling to Facebook to get in touch with other airsofters, to the detriment of other online airsoft forums which in the past have been the primary tool for interactions of members of the airsoft communities worldwide.

    A good number of airsofters or airsoft media companies who want to build a following have invested1 100% on a Facebook presence rather than drive traffic to their own websites or blogs.

    For Popular Airsoft, having a Facebook presence is important, but not essential for its growth as visits from Social Media is 15% of its traffic whilst 80% is from search (100% organic keywords) and direct visits according to OptimusPrime.

    But then, Facebook is also a minefield that we need to carefully tread. Just one mistake can be amplified quickly; others abuse it by buying likes just to increase their fan base; and what we really do dread, the proliferation of “Clickbaits” or the use of eye-catching headlines or titles just to make users to “like” or “share” a story or post. Many are exaggerated ones and some even go to fraudulent activities such as fake “giveaways” or “raffles” just to amass a good number of likes that can then be monetized or to collect personal information that there is a backlash against these nowadays. Even airsoft is not immune to this as we see the usual tricks in Clickbaiting also used by airsofters on YouTube and Facebook.

    “Top 10 (or insert no. here)” lists are a mild form of clickbaits. Digg has a story of the top Clickbait headline phrases so you can find the most used ones though it is not a complete list.

    Now for those who always resort to clickbaiting to get more likes, they better watch out as Facebook will start to crackdown on “engagement baits” which it calls clickbaits on it social network:

    People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. So, starting this week, we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.

    With that said, it means that posts using the “engagement bait” tactics will be seen less and less in the news feed of users. Over the following weeks, they will roll out page demotion over the weeks to allow publishers to adapt to the new rules and at the same time work on avoiding the use of “engagement baits”.
    And how will this impact publishers and businesses? Here is what Facebook says:

    Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach. Page Admins should continue to focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories that do not use engagement bait tactics. Learn more about engagement bait and how to avoid using it here.

    Hopefully that this roll out will be without mishaps as even those who do not resort to “engagement baits” or innocently used a phrase or title that is in the list of whatever algorithm that Facebook will use will get caught in dragnet.

    Will this minimize the Clickbaits on Facebook? We sure hope so and once this will roll out it will be a bloodbath as many users who resort to Clickbaits will see their reach and engagement go down if it is rolled out properly.


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    Rifle Dynamics New Look Announcement

    In March 2017, the firearms community and even the airsoft community were surprised when Jim Fuller, the owner of Rifle Dynamics decided to sell his company, the Las Vegas-based company is popular for their work on the Kalashnikov rifles  and Fuller is considered to be the King of custom Kalashnikovs.

    Fuller said in a video posted on the Rifle Dynamics Facebook Page, “A few months ago some good people approached us and wanted to buy this company. And I decided to sell." He stated that did not want to do the business end of Rifle Dynamics and would rather just focus on the thing he loves most --- creating custom guns.

    Hank Strange visited Jim Fuller a month after the announcement to hear more from him:

    Fuller got his wish as the Rifle Dynamics now gets fully relaunched sporting a new website and the logo redesigned while maintaining the angel with the sword which Rifle Dynamics is associated with:

    WELCOME TO THE NEW RIFLE DYNAMICS

    We are proud to share with you the new Rifle Dynamics. With the pursuit of improvement in our craft, comes change. We have poured our passion over the years into creating our rifles, and people noticed. Rifle Dynamics has the honor of being the benchmark for the AK platform, and we are excited for what's to come.

    With a new look, a new assembly line, and a fantastic team we are primed to deliver the future of RD.  The new logo will still feature our iconic angel logo, but with a refined and polished look to match the rifles, we create. Jim is the soul of RD and is now able to work on his dream projects which means, more advances and cutting-edge ideas delivered by the man behind the angel. Jim will also be working on signature rifle projects, leading build classes, and sharing with you his build process with some inspiring individuals and organizations.

    They are now fully back in business and Fuller gets to work on what he loves doing. We still do not have an idea who will be handling the helm at the business part of the company. If they will be at the SHOT Show 2018, then for those who are visiting Las Vegas for the show, they might get to meet the new team.

    Rifle Dynamics in airsoft is carried by Echo1 USA Airsoft and they have two models available, the AK700 and the HMG, a customized version of the PKM.


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    FAA Photo Green Laser Shone At Pilot

    British authorities got a lot of tougher on those who shine green lasers at planes with the publication of the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill yesterday as reported by the Gov.uk website. Apart from planes, the bill expands the coverage the number of vehicles, with the inclusion of trains, buses, boats, and hovercrafts.  Also, the bill will make it easier to prosecute offenders as the need to prove intention to endanger a vehicle is removed.

    Once found guilty, the offender faces a jail time of five years and the cap on the amount of fines that offenders will have to pay has been removed. Existing rules cap the fines at £2,500 and with the removal of the cap, can pave the way for more substantial fines which can be used alone or alongside jail time.

    According to the Civil Aviation Authority, they have received 1,258 laser incidents with Heathrow Airport being the location where more incidents were reported. Heathrow Airport is the second busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest airport in Europe.  If a pilot loses control of a plane when blinded by laser especially during take-off and landing it can have catastrophic consequences.

    Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg said, “Lasers can dazzle, distract or blind those in control of a vehicle, with serious and potentially even fatal consequences. The government is determined to protect pilots, captains, drivers and their passengers and take action against those who threaten their safety.”

    National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Lasers, Commander Simon Bray, welcomes the powers the bill affords to law enforcement saying that, “Recklessly shining a laser at an aircraft or another moving vehicle is deeply irresponsible and dangerous. By causing a distraction or, in some cases, short or long-term eye damage, laser attacks can lead to catastrophic incidents. These new and robust measures send a clear message to perpetrators: laser attacks are a crime and serious consequences will follow from committing this offence.

    Bray further added that, “It is essential that the police have the powers required to support these measures and we will continue to work with the government to ensure that these powers are in place.”

    Airsofters in the UK will have to take note of the changes in the law and be aware of the severe penalties in place. Using lasers in airsoft games is not banned in the UK but airsofters will have to be more responsible in their use, preventing them used for malicious purposes such as shining them at vehicles.

    Top photo source:FAA (U.S.)


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    TimeGhost Docu

    The host of the “Great War” YouTube Channel, Indy Neidell, is looking forward to other historical projects as Armistice Day 2018 will mark the end of The Great War (World War I). This time, the project called “TimeGhost” that will not only cover World War II topics, but other historical projects as well. It will be a week by week history telling and it is more ambitious with 10 famous YouTube channels will be collaborating on this project.

    Indy Neidell is no stranger to collaborating with other channels such as C&Rsenal. But for the TimeGhost project, Neidell is basically giving what his fans have been requesting, to make a project on World War II similar to The Great War. Thus, it is a more ambitious 6-year project and the following YouTube channels have joined in:

    They are raising funds on Kickstarter to get the project going (as well as it gives them an idea how committed their fans are to this project by pledging funding) and have already reached the first goal but they have a bigger goal of raising €500,000 so they can do the weekly World War II docus. Even if they do not reach that amount they will continue with the “TimeGhost” and use the initial funding to put together additional funding in the following months.

    Depending on what they raise, they planned on making the documentaries in stages with the first stage being the Weekly Content and Quarterly Chronological Documentary Series that patrons and fans get to choose amongst ideas the community proposes which their Cuban Missile Crisis documentary as example. The second stage is the Korean War documentary and if the half a million euro funding goal is achieved, the third stage kicks in, making the weekly World War II documentaries.

    But there is a stage 4 if they can reach €650K and they will be doing a weekly series covering WWII and The Korean War.

    They have prepared all the perks apart from getting the documentaries you want to watch with the funding they will raise. Now it’s up to their fans to get the ball rolling, and that means help achieve the funding they want on Kickstarter.


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