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    Santa A-10 Warthog

    (Advisory: No news and stories on Popular Airsoft from the 24th to the 26th of December as we take a Christmas break.) It’s going to be a long weekend of festivities and we envision our airsoft readers spending this weekend with their families, friends and other loved ones. Whether under thick snow or sweating it out in the tropics, there will be long days of merriment and happy thoughts.

    We hope everyone got home safe and sound this weekend so they can spend the holidays with the people who mean most to them. Forget the guns and gear for this weekend, just devote the time with them as there will be a lot of time for thinking of airsoft after.

    Now a shameless plug from us, during lulls in festivities, you may want to fire up your internet browser and perhaps visit the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards website and submit your nominations as a few days are left remaining before the Nominations Period closes. We need those nominations dearly so we can have an exciting Awards cycle.

    As we smell the sumptuous food, hear the clinking of wine glasses, and ripping off of gift wraps, just think for all the troubles in the world, there are people who really matter, and they are all around you for the Holiday Season.

    Happy Holidays!

    Photo Sources:

    • Top Photo: Wikipedia
    • Bottom Photo: Airsoft GI

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    La Monalisa

    As YouTubers want to get as many eyeballs as possible to their videos, some go to great lengths. Whilst there is nothing really wrong of really working hard to get as many as viewers as possible, what is wrong is when they do stunts that they are not well-prepared for. And if these stunts go awry, then they lead to consequence that can be fatal.

    This was the case of Mona Lisa Perez, who is behind the La Monalisa YouTube Channel, where she fatally shot her boyfriend last June 2017 when they were making a video in which she shot with a Desert Eagle .50 AE handgun at a book the her boyfriend was holding thinking that bullet will be stopped by the book. It was a haphazard stunt and she got charged with manslaughter.

    The Pioneer Press reported last 19 December 2017 that Perez pleaded guilty in Norman County District Court to second-degree manslaughter. The plea agreement would see Perez 180 days in prison and 10 years of supervised provision though the judge will do the final sentencing in February 2018. She won’t be able to make money off the video of the shooting and will be barred from owning a firearm for the rest of her life.

    She does not need to spend 180 days in jail in one go. She will be spending 30 days in jail each year for three years and will be then serve the remainder on home electronic monitoring according to the Minneapolis Tribune.

    According to Perez, she initially resisted using the gun but her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz, persuaded her by showing a book that he shot earlier and the bullet hadn’t gone through. She tweeted before they did the video that:

    She then called the 911 after the incident where responders found Ruiz at their home in Minnesota with a gunshot wound and tried to revive him. Ruiz died at the scene.


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    Unit 13 Outdoor Adventures

    CQB or Close Quarter Battle is probably one of the most intense battles you can have in airsoft. There is always that fear of the unknown of what’s lurking behind a wall or are there enemies around the next corner waiting to pounce on you. It is also probably the game that is most painful when it comes to getting hit with BBs at close ranges.

    The company that built Unit 13 Outdoor Adventures started years ago by setting up airsoft games in Belgium when airsoft was not yet legal during those years. When the law changed, they began building Unit 13 which not only offers airsoft games but also Laser Tag events.

    CQB sites are not the easiest to set up and maintain. Unlike outdoor sites, these sites need to be built from the ground up. Careful and clever planning of the site lay out is very important as any mistake in the building process can either make the site unplayable or too easy to play in. Building an airsoft CQB site also needs quite a bit of financial back up. On the other hand, if the site is built right, it can give the players the ultimate battle that they are craving for.

    I have played in a few CQB sites. Some are purpose built and some are abandoned or unused buildings. Either way I enjoy close quarter battles as they get my adrenaline pumping more.

    During our recent trip to the Netherlands, we were invited by Janek of Valken Tactical Europe to play at a CQB site and to try out some of their airsoft products.

    Janek came to pick us up at Maastricht and we headed to Sittard where UNIT 13 Airsoft is located.

    We arrived at an industrial area in Sittard just before 4 pm. The place is located in what looks like a massive warehouse. As you enter the building, the first place you will go into is the Unit 13 café and gear shop. This is not your typical airsoft site eating area, this is a proper cafe with a purpose built kitchen. At the far end of the massive room is a shop which sells tactical gears and other airsoft essentials. The shop is fully stocked with some of the well known airsoft brands such as Valken, ASG and G&G. On the first floor (second floor for others) is a viewing deck for friends and family to watch the action safely and at the far end of the hallway is the Unit 13 gun shop where on display are various brands of airsoft replicas, air guns and real steel firearms.

    The entrance to the game area is located in the downstairs shop. The entrance doors are controlled and will open at a press of the button. As we went through we were taken straight into the safe zone where we prepared all our gears. There is a shooting range which also serves as a chrono area for players who bring their own airsoft replicas.

    We were split into two teams and each team was taken into separate briefing rooms where the safety speech and game scenarios were explained. This was all done through a video projected onto a giant screen.

    When the safety brief was done we were told to enter the main game area where another short safety talk was done by a marshal. Then we were told to wait for the start of the game within our respawn rooms and with the countdown was started, the light in the room turned green it was game on.

    Next Level Airsoft Gaming

    The main game area is massive. Probably the biggest purpose built indoor game site that I have seen in Europe. The layout of the place makes you feel like you’re at street level with cars and shops all around. The streets have markings and streetlights. The shops are purpose built room but unlike your typical CQB site, the rooms are fully furnished like a gun shop with guns hanging on the walls and a Nerf shop with Nerf guns;  McDonalds with  all the decors; a Hospital and a chapel; and there was a bank with a functioning vault and many more.

    The game started with the place quite bright so we could clearly see where we were going. The objective was to raise the flags into your team’s colour and the team with the most flags at the end wins.

    When I was talking to the one of the marshals of the place, he said that Unit 13 is different as it provides the next level in airsoft CQB gaming and he was right. Everything is controlled by a main control system. The special effects were great and the ambient background music makes you feel like you’re in a video game. As the game went on I noticed that the place was becoming darker and the street lights started turning on. This also made the game a bit more tense as visibility became slightly more difficult. I also realised that the game scene was being simulated as going from daylight to nighttime which i would say is pretty awesome. In the last few minutes of the game, all the lights went out and only a search light was lighting up the place with a more intense background music making the scene more intense.

    The game ended with my team winning.

    There was never a dull moment during the game. This was helped by all the special effects that were in put into play, from the lighting effects to the smoke and the background music. They all change to help with increasing the tempo of the game and get the adrenaline pumping.

    So what I really think about the place?

    All l can say about this place is WOW!

    Unit 13 is not one of your typical run down derelict abandoned building or a CQB site made out of old tyres and wooden walls. This is the next level of airsoft gaming. This place is your one stop shop when it comes to airsoft CQB. It has its own cafe, two shops (gear and airsoft and firearms shop) and a massive airsoft and laser tag game area.

    This is the best CQB game site that I have seen in Europe and probably one of the best in the world. The guys of Unit 13 left no stone unturned and made sure they had everything covered and well thought of. But being the best didn’t happen over night. Unit 13 is the result of years of planning, building and spending a lot of money to make sure they give the one of the best CQB airsoft experiences ever.

    This place is the perfect example of what an airsoft site can be. This is airsoft game site planning at its finest.

    Our trip here was well worth it and now I can understand why our friend Janek has been so eager for us to see this place. It is simply amazing.

    So if by any chance you are anywhere in the Netherlands, especially near border with Belgium and Germany, I would say go and visit Unit 13 and I guarantee that you will have a blast.

    Many thanks to all the staff of Unit 13 for the warm welcome and to Janek and Valken Tactical Europe for taking us to the place and for kitting us up complete from our camo clothing, tactical vests, eye and face protection and most important the airsoft guns that we used.


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    8APCA Nomination Period Final Reminder

    Yes, today is last the day for those who have not submitted their nominees to the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards to submit them. There will be no extensions as we have a schedule to follow. If you have not done so, better do so now before the door closes later. It’s now or never.

    For the nominees, it’s also the final day for them to make their case to their fans and friends to go all out and ensure that they make it to the top 5 nominees in the category they want to win. But even if they make it to the top 5, it’s only half of the journey and they will have to work even harder when the Voting/Finals Period starts.

    The Nomination Period ends at 2400H PST. The finalists will be announced on the 8th of January 2018 when the Voting/Finals Period officially starts.

    Please do take time to visit the sponsors of the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards as without them, the awards cannot move forward:

    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

    Just one day remaining, let's end the Nomination Period on a high note.


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    2018

    (Advisory: No news and stories on the 31st of December and the 1st of January. We'll resume publishing on the 2nd) Whenever a new year arrives, we all welcome it with the hope that everything will be better than before. With the onset of 2018, we fervently wish for the better and more. I have to say in all honesty, that this decade is not exactly a decade that we can be proud of. Given the past and current events happening around the world, it seems that things are getting worse. The world looks more divided and we see despair in many parts of the world.

    In airsoft, things are moving steadily. We see many improvements in terms of airsoft technology designed to improve our playing experience. HPA power is here to stay though there are some wrinkles that need to be ironed out, and smaller airsoft companies are bringing out more innovation in terms of design and upgrades. So things are just brighter as we see upcoming companies bringing their ideas to table and it is up to airsoft players to decide which will become winners. We hope to see more of these next year.

    We’ll not try to predict what will happen in airsoft next year as others have done as we love surprises. Let’s just hope that we these surprises are will really wow us.

    So as 2017 closes we thank all sponsors and partners for being their supporting Popular Airsoft in the past 10 years. We hope it they will be there for another 10 years.

    We thank the readers of Popular Airsoft and their families, without them we wouldn’t have lasted this long. We wish them good health and great blessings in the next year.

    Happy New Year to all!


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    USMC M38 DMR

    Customise the Heckler & Koch HK416 Rifle for the U.S. Marines and you get the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). Now what if you add a scope to the M27 IAR? You get the new M38 Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) for the USMC.

    The M27 IAR is getting more uses for the Marine Corps, already replacing the M249 as a support weapon and now it gets a to be a DMR. The Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines tested the newly configured DMR at a live-fire exercise at Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina last 8 December 2017. According to Soldier Systems the optic used on the M38 DMR is identified the Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T 2.5-8x36mm with a tuned Mk262 77gr turret which was used for the Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle and would probably the standard scope for the M28 DMR. It also uses the Harris Bipod like the M27 IAR.

    Soldier Systems also have reported that the USMC have been planning to field the M27 IARs equipped with 3-9x scopes as DMRs last May 2017.

    The use of the HK416 as a DMR is not entirely new. The Norwegian Army, which is one of the first to adopt the HK416 as a service rifle in the form of the HK416N also fields it in DMR form.

    All photos taken by U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michaela R. Gregory (DVIDS)


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    Glock 19X Teaser

    The firearms world is alive with the announcement of the Glock 19X, the name given to the Glock’s entry in the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) that it will be released on the 22nd of January 2018. The MHS was eventually won by the Sig Sauer’s P320 and called the M17 and the M18 (Compact Version). But for those wanting to have what Glock offered in the MHS competition, then the Glock 19X is the most awaited pistol in early 2018.

    “The G19X was developed for the military and is a practical everyday pistol that will do what you need it to do, when you need it to; every time, in every condition,” says GLOCK VP Josh Dorsey in a press release.

    Dorsey further added that, “The pistol was developed for the military using GLOCK’s combat proven experience with consideration to efficiency, dependability and durability. Through rigorous testing, the G19X stands out above the competition and has the ability to function in all situations with ultimate reliability and accuracy. Our goal was to meet the demanding needs of the military while maintaining our standard of perfection. With proven results, the G19X delivers maximum efficiency and trustworthiness.”

    This is also the first time that we see a Glock pistol in a Coyote colour scheme in their first ever factory coloured slide. The Glock 19X’S nPVD slide coating was done to prevent corrosion, resist chemicals, and stand up against the elements, especially to meet the demands of the U.S. Army during the MHS competition. The pistol also includes the GLOCK Marksman Barrel (GMB) with enhanced polygonal rifling and an improved barrel crown for increased accuracy. Other features are the mbidextrous slide stop levers and no finger grooves as seen in Glock’s Gen 5 models, which, according to the company is for better versatility, and a lanyard loop. The pistol will come in a coyote-colored pistol case, a standard 17-round magazine and two 17+2-round extended magazines.

    Other competitors for the MHS, such as FN Herstal and Beretta, have already marketed their pistols made for the competition and Sig Sauer are also planning a limited release of the M17 pistol for the civilian market. Glock’s move to offer their MHS entry as the Glock 19x is just a natural decision for any right thinking company rather than leave their design gathering dust inside company ffices.

    No pricing yet announced and the Glock 19x 22 January release will be at select dealers.


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    Springfield Armory Evolution of the AR-15

    One of the most iconic rifles in the history of weapons and warfare, the AR-15 has gone through many changes over the years and its variants remain to be the weapons of choice for the U.S.A. and many of its allies. Tracing its roots to the late 50s, the CAR-15 was introduced in 1963 as designed by Eugene Stoner, the M16A1 entered service in the U.S. military afterwards and seen widespread use during the Vietnam War.

    Considered to the “Lego” of firearms, the AR-15, or just called the AR for many, is a very versatile rifle in terms of configuration. With the introduction of modularity to the rifle such as rail systems and approaches in the designs of its receiver, it is the most configurable allowing users to customize the rifle according to their preferences. In recent years, many firearms companies have built their businesses around the AR, offering different designs for use in combat, civilian and sporting uses. Springfield Armory, the company behind the infographic below, is just one of the latest companies to offer an AR product, the SAINT AR-15, even if it has been business since 1974 (the government arsena, Springfield Armory, was closed in 1968).

    In airsoft, the AR design remains to be most popular platform that airsoft players go for so they can configure it to their own uses reflecting the how the real steel version is also used in the firearms design. Even if many of us have already been numbed by the myriad offerings from airsoft companies on AR-based airsoft guns, such as the M4s, still we are comfortable with it, as many companies build accessories and upgrades for the AR platform. Thus, it can also be considered to be the “Toyota” of weapons due to sheer breadth of products that can be used with it.

    Thus, as airsoft players, we also need to know how the airsoft guns that we used evolved to what they are now, as most of them are based on real world guns. In this case Springfield Armory have put together this infographic for us to have a quick read on the history and evolution of the AR-15.


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    DHS EDGE VR

    It is something that any teacher, parent, and first responder in the U.S. dread, the news of a school shooting. Some of the worst mass shootings in recent U.S. history took place at schools --- Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Columbine and it is sad reading news about innocent and young lives snuffed out at places of learning.

    Authorities have implemented various measures to prevent such shootings to happen, actual first responder training with teachers and students, arming teachers, metal detectors in schools, and more. While the subject on gun control to help prevent such incidents is mired in heated debates, with no end in sight, Gizmodo reports of another tool that will be used in helping teachers and it is a high tech one using Virtual Reality that was developed by the U.S. Army and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    Called Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment or EDGE, it was developed as a simulation training tool for emergency services and law enforcement agencies to help them react properly in active shooter situations, which includes school shootings. Here is what the DHS says about the application:

    EDGE is a game-based software training application that emphasizes flexibility and ease-of-use. EDGE’s First Responder Sandbox (FRS) is designed to allow responders to train for coordinated response to various types of emergency events (e.g., active shooter, hostage, fire, mayhem) both in a virtual environment via the Internet or locally in a classroom environment. Available training roles in FRS v1.2.1 include: law enforcement, firefighter, EMS, dispatcher, unified command, civilians, and suspect. Instructors and role players may enhance training by participating as armed suspects or unarmed civilians.

    EDGE is a training environment that is intended to be a group tool where multiple trainees can assume any of the roles above to execute the desired training. It is not intended to be a single-trainee environment. EDGE is not a training course in the traditional sense, but rather it is a tool instructors use to train their first responder teams in a safe environment, where scenarios can be changed or re-run as many times as necessary to provide a wide range of training possibilities. EDGE also has an after-action review capability where training sessions can be replayed with full pause, rewind, and fast-forward controls to highlight key training points.

    As described above, EDGE has been developed for first responders. Now, an update will be made to help train teachers in an active shooter situation. With the update, according to Gizmodo, there will be three playable: teacher, shooter and police officer. As a teacher, the trainee will have to bring students in panic to a safer place; as a shooter, the trainee has to roam the school to find targets; and as a police officer, the trainee will have to find and kill the shooter as soon as possible.

    The team that developed the EDGE incorporated some of the grim realities that took place in the real world shootings to make the training grimmer and for the trainees to realize what is at stake when such an incident happens. Also included in the simulation are the best practices in surviving an active shooter incident such as putting up barricades, locking doors, staying away from windows, etc.

    As the Gizmodo article also notes, violent computer games were blamed for the Columbine incident, now computer simulations are being used to prevent such incident. What we hope really is that teachers do not need to use this training at all, but then such is the reality of school shootings in the U.S. that they may just have to reach deep into their training to keep their students safe.


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    U.S. Army Spc. Robert Irwin in Paktya Province Afghanistan

    Brrrr!!! It is really cold outside in the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and for those who planned on going outside and do some airsofting in fields blanketed by snow, it might not be really advisable to that. But if there is a game on a somewhere, then airsoft players might want to take note of what the U.S. Army recommends to the soldiers when taking their weapons during winter.

    Just like airsoft, cold weather can affect the guns of soldiers and will make them either not firing or not working properly. In airsoft we have issues with gas blowbacks and batteries as gas blowbacks don’t perform well in cold weather, battery juice usually run out faster and metal gets brittle especially if temperature goes below freezing. But there is always a common enemy to both real world weapons and airsoft guns: condensation. Here is what the U.S. Army advises in their press release last 2 January:

    It is very important that you never let condensation form on your weapon. Condensation often referred to as sweating, forms on weapons when they're moved from extreme cold conditions to any type of heated environment. When the weapon is reintroduced to the extreme cold, the moisture refreezes and causes the internal mechanisms to freeze together, causing stoppages. For this reason, it's best to leave weapons outside during freezing temperatures.

    When left outside, weapons should be readily accessible, guarded and sheltered to keep ice and snow from accumulating in the working mechanisms, sights or barrel. Because the condensation process will continue for about an hour after bringing it into a warmer environment, wait until the sweating stops before attempting to clean the weapon. Once you're inside the shelter, keep your weapon near the floor to minimize condensation. In addition, keeping the interior of the shelter close to 32 F will minimize condensation.

    Once you move back into the cold, operate your weapon manually by pulling the charging handle to prevent the internal parts from freezing. Drop the magazine, ensure the weapon is clear and then charge the handle several times during the first five minutes after leaving a warm shelter.

    Photo: New York Air National Guard in training exercise (Photo: By Master Sgt. Eric Miller)

    Thus, you have to keep in mind that airsoft guns will also be affected by condensation so following the advice above can also help. Also do not forget to have enough layers of clothing to keep yourself warm in the field, but you might not just feel a BB hit you. But if the weather is just really too cold outside, and if you are not a soldier in the military, the best advice is to stay at home and keep yourself warm. You can play another day when the weather is warm enough and just play with Call of Duty or any shooter video games airsoft players these days.

    Top photo: U.S. Army Spc. Robert Irwin in Afghanistan's Paktya Prrovince (Photo by: Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson, U.S. Army)


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    8th APCA Voting Period 1st Week

    The second and final part of the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards, the Voting Period, is now on. After a month of frenzied nominations for 25 awards categories, it’s time to determine who or what will be the winners by casting your votes. The awards winners are determined by readers of Popular Airsoft and as such, it is you will be helping select the winners. Who gets the most number of votes in their respective categories, wins.

    We know that you would like to get this done and over with by voting right now. But first, it’s best to know the top 5 nominees in each category that have made it into the finals:

    1. Best Airsoft Retailer for North America

    2. Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe

    3. Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia

    4. Best Gear Retailer for North America

    5. Best Gear Retailer for Europe

    6. Best Gear Retailer for Asia

    7. Best Airsoft Magazine (Print or Digital)

    8. Best English Language Airsoft News Website

    9. Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website

    10. Best Airsoft Blog (Regardless of Language)

    11. Best Airsoft Community/Forum

    12. Best Airsoft Video Posted Online in 2017

    13. Best Airsoft Event (Over 500 Players)

    14. Best Airsoft Podcast or Video Channel

    15. Best Airsoft Upgrade/Parts Maker

    16. Best Airsoft KABOOM (Grenade/Mine/Mortar/Rocket/Pyro) Maker

    17. Best HPA Airsoft Engine

    18. Best Airsoft Pistol (Regardless of Power Source)

    19. Best Airsoft Gas Blowback Rifle

    20. Best Airsoft Shotgun (Regardless of Power Source)

    21. Best Airsoft Sniper Rifle

    22. Best Airsoft Automatic Electric Gun (AEG)

    23. Best Airsoft Manufacturer

    24. Special Airsoft Player Award (Male)

    25. Special Airsoft Player Award (Female)

    Now, you can start voting by clicking the image below:

    Whilst we really want to say congratulations to the finalist, there are still a few weeks of hard work for the finalists. As they say, it’s now over until it’s over and they have to cajole their fans to vote for them in the following days.

    The Voting Period ends on the 5th of February 2018. Now let’s get this done and over with. Vote for whom you think deserves to be the winner.

    Don’t forget to visit the sponsors for the awards, without them, there won’t be raffle prizes and shiny stuff for the winners:

     

    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

    Make your vote count. Cast them now!


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    8 APCA Raffle Prize Announcement

    We’re now on the second day of voting of the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards and the votes are steadily coming in. With 25 categories to be won, all the finalists in these categories will be working hard to get as many votes in the days leading to the 5th of February 2018, the final day for the Voting Period.

    If you want to vote right now, just click on the image below to start immediately:

    We won’t let the finalists work on their own to get the votes out. We’ll be helping them out get out the vote by having this really nice raffle prizes that some of our sponsors kindly offer to the lucky voters.

    PRIZES FROM TOKYO MARUI

    SGR-12 AES

    AK-47 Type 3 New Generation AEG

    USP Gas Blowback Pistol

    RAFFLE PRIZES FROM MILITARY 1ST

    First Tactical Tactix Half-Day Backpack OD Green

    Helikon Raider Backpack Shadow Grey

    PRIZE FOR EUROPEAN VOTERS FROM GUNFIRE

    SET 1

    Specna Arms SA-A03 Chaos Grey
    Gunfire Patch
    Specna Patch
    Specna 0.25 BBs - 1000 pcs

    SET 2

    Specna Arms SA-C04 Half-Tan
    Gunfire Patch
    Specna Patch
    Specna 0.25 BBs - 1000 pcs

    Set 3

    Rush Plate Carrier
    Waist Bag
    Gunfire Patch
    Specna Patch
    Specna 0.25 BBs - 1000 pcs

    We hope you like the prizes and motivate you to vote now.

    Also, please take time to visit the sponsors for without them, running the awards won't be as big as this over the years:

     

     

    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

    Don't forget to cast that vote! :)


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    GoPro Karma Drone

    GoPro is off to a bad start this 2018 with the announcement that it will be closing its Drone Division, shedding around 250 – 300 jobs, reduced the price of the GoPro Hero Black, and is said to have hired JP Morgan to help it find a potential buyer. Here are the highlights of the press release on preliminary 4th Quarter 2017 results from the company last 8 January 2018:

    “In 2018, GoPro will continue to innovate with several new products aimed at new and existing customers. GoPro's sharper focus will enable an $80 million reduction in operating expenses compared to 2017 levels, resulting in a target operating expense level of below $400 million for 2018 on a non-GAAP basis.

    The lower non-GAAP operating expense target will be achieved through a variety of strategies, including:

    • GoPro is reducing its global workforce from 1,254 employees as of September 30, 2017 to fewer than 1,000 employees worldwide.
    • GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1.
    • Although Karma reached the #2 market position in its price band in 2017, the product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market. Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead. These factors make the aerial market untenable and GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory. GoPro will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers.”

    The Hero 6 Black’s pricing has been reduced by US$100, from US$499 to US$399 as of Sunday, 7 January 2018.

    GoPro is having a hard time in the market as sales have gone down, even if the company has been in black. In 2016, it released its first drone offering, the Karma drone, and it was plagued with problems that it is crashing that the company initiated a recall of the drone. In that year, the company lost 373 million according to The Verge. Its main rival in the drone market, the China-based DJI, has been going from strength to strength releasing models to negate the impact of the Karma drone on its market share, such as the release of the Mavic Pro and the Spark giving drone users two price points in owning camera drones.

    Whilst GoPro has a strong following in the action camera market, especially amongst adrenalin junkiez and airsofters, the market is highly competitive. Most of the biggest electronics companies such as Sony and Olympus are now in the market, competing at the high-end price areas and Chinese companies offering affordable and capable action cameras that can readily use the mounts and accessories made for GoPro action cameras. Thus, there are more choices and prices for consumers in the action cam market that may make GoPro’s position as market leader, untenable.

    The question is, if GoPro puts itself up for sale, which company will be interested. Will the electronic giants be interested or a company in Silicon Valley be interested in the tech the company has. If you are to ask me, DJI will be the company that will have the most to gain in partnering or acquiring GoPro.

    It’s early 2018, so it’s still too early to say if GoPro will forge ahead on its own or with a new owner later the year. Stay tuned.


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    Classic Army Double Barrel DT-4

    We’re getting closer and closer to the SHOT Show 2018 where the greatest and bestest in the firearms industry will be on display at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the first major event in the airsoft industry as well as they will be represented as well. One airsoft company is ready to show its wares at the event, and it is Hong Kong’s Classic Army.

    Classic Army is a strong player in the airsoft market, especially in the first decade of the 21st Century. But in this decade it was silent for a few years, with no new significant releases from the company. Only in the last few years did we see the company becoming more active again, with the introduction of the Scarab and Nemesis Lines in 2016. The Scarab being an original in-house design reflects the trend of airsoft companies coming out with their own gun designs and also, Classic Army introduced their Electronic Control System or ECS (originally called the ECU) which is what their call their MOSFET.

    Though what really put Classic Army again in the radar of many airsoft players is their M132 Hybrid Powered Micro-gun which is a smaller and more portable version of their airsoft Vulcan Minigun. It is also very affordable making owning an airsoft minigun within the reach of more airsoft players.

    Now, Classic Army has come well prepared for the SHOT Show 2018 and we like what they are going to put on display. On the Facebook page of Classic Army USA, they posted teaser images of the DT-4 which will be the first double-barreled M4 airsoft gun in the market. Not much details yet, though we expect this to be using the ECS too given that the company is putting the ECS in their other lines that are being re-released.

    So what else will be on display? Another photo they revealed are two SBRs though they did not reveal their actual model names. One is an SBR that uses the 9mm-style magazine that airsoft players can’t help but compare it with G&G’s ARP9. The other SBR uses the regular M4-style magazine.

    But if you are looking for a long rifle, one that will be on display is an updated version of the M-110, the Classic Army M-110 ECS DMR (CA110).  This is part of their Professional Line and it is RIS Full Metal AEG and uses the CA-25/SR-25 magazine.

    So, if you are on the lookout for some of the latest in airsoft for 2018, then better visit Classic Army at their booth during the SHOT Show.

    The SHOT Show 2018 will take place on the 23rd to the 26th of January.


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    PITTA Camera Drone

    Imagine going to an airsoft game with a drone to get aerial shots of your game, an action cam to get a first person view of the action, and a selfie cam to take shots of yourself with your mates? That’s about two to three devices that you will carry together with your airsoft guns and gear. But how about if you get to have all those things in just one package?

    On Kickstarter is a project called PITTA. The name itself makes want to get some Houmous and treat myself to a nice meal. Kidding aside, PITTA is, as what its makers say, a modular transformative drone:

    It’s not just aerial, not just handheld, not just wearable or mountable, it’s all of these. It’s a complete system packed into a single device.

    The PITTA package comes with the Camera body and the Drone and Action Cam Modules. To charge PITTA, a charging cradle also comes with the package. You can interchange the drone and action cam modes by using the snap and twist-to-lock design, which means you just move the camera body from either modules depending on your video capture needs.

    In Drone mode, PITTA is terrain aware as well as the “Follow Me” feature in case you want the drone to follow you in action from the air. It orbits around the a target, come back home, and lands automatically:

    In Action Cam mode, it captures video at 60fps, does burst modes, time lapse, live streaming, and sharing it via social media.

    Once at home you can put it on its charging cradle and if placed in a strategic location in your house, can also act as security cam. It will be able to stream footage of your house via IP-Wifi via your mobile phone wherever you are.

    As for the footage, it shoots 4K at 60fps, allowing you to do some slow-mo editing.

    With the funding goal already met, the PITTA is seen to be ready for delivery by May 2018, if all goes well. There are still some pledge packages available if you want to be one for the first to receive it with the lowest being the US$289 which is the Kickstarter Exclusive Basic Kit and from there the packages get more expensive.

    A three-in-one product, PITTA can be that drone and action camera that you might want to bring to the airsoft field if ever it gets released to market.


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    Fight! Piccholina "Survival"

    One of the famous Miridorus (Hot Gun Girls) in Japan, Fight! Piccholina, finally got her wish come true. According to Yas of Hyperdouraku, Piccholina wanted to become an action movie star so they put her through a three-stage program to prepare her for one:

    Stage 1: Airsoft Tactical Training in Japan
    Stage 2: Real Gun Shooting in Guam
    Final Stage: Produce a music video with her as the star!

    Japanese personalities on social media got involved in the project. Umi-Kuun, a famous singer and song writer on YouTube put together the lyrics and music for “Survival” (he also appears in the video); and Zoezimax (or Soezimax), is a famous director on YouTube, who we have featured here for his “SGS9R” project, directed the music video.

    Photos: Umi-Kuun (left) and Zoezimax (right)

    For the production, it was held at the Airsoft Zone Delta Survival Game Field in Chiba Prefecture. The airsoft guns used in the video are from Western Arms, Top Japan, and Tokyo Marui.

    As “Survival” is how airsoft gaming is called in Japan (also known as “Sabage game”), the music video is for every airsoft player and also being the expression of Piccholina’s will. Too bad Yas did not give us the lyrics and English translation of the song. But surely Piccholina did well in the video, perhaps showing that she can do the John Wick moves that Keanu Reeves would surely approve. It may not be a full movie that Piccholina wanted, but a music video is a start.

    So here it is, the music video “Survival” featuring Fight! Piccholina on the Hyperdouraku YouTube Channel:

    You can also download the song "Survival" from iTunes if you want to have a copy on your smartphone.

    You can read more about the story on Hyperdouraku. Both Hyperdouraku and Piccholina are finalists at the 8th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards.


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    8 APCA Voting Period 2nd Week

    This looks like an interesting awards period! Votes are pouring in for the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards. We noticed that in several categories, finalists are working hard to bring in the votes --- making appeals with videos, posts, and special pages just to get votes for them in. This should be a wake-up call to other finalists to work harder still, if they want to win an award.

    Not much for us to say here but for the finalists, there is still a lot of time to work on getting the votes But we do suggest that they do get even more creative. Sometimes voters can be fickle-minded. Even if they nominated for them during the Nomination Period, they may just change their minds during the Voting Period and vote for the other way. So they better make sure the voters are still on their side.

    As for our valuable voters, if you have not cast your votes yet, it’s time to do so now:

    Remember, there are prizes for you to win when you vote as you get entered into the raffle promo to help readers of Popular Airsoft to vote. So here they are:

    PRIZES FROM TOKYO MARUI

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    We hope you like the prizes and motivate you to vote now.

    Also, please take time to visit the sponsors for without them, running the awards won't be as big as this over the years:

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    USMC M27 IAR Island Warriors

    The M27 IAR is already a mainstay weapon in the U.S. Marines, with each squad being issued the IAR as the automatic squad weapon to replace the M249. Recently, the M27 IAR is also designated as the M38 DMR as it gets kitted out with optics. Now, it looks like they are going ahead with the plans they have been contemplating on for some time now --- deploy it even more to the infantry.

    According to Kit-Up! The USMC’s Commandant Gen. Robert Neller confirmed the plan when he was interviewed by Military.com last December. This is based on the recommendations that were drawn up after the deployment 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines in which every grunt was issued an M27.

    According to Neeler, not everyone will be able to receive the M27 IAR still, such as the Javelin and the Mortar guys. Other potential candidates for having the M27 IAR are the artillery forward observers, fire support teams, and even engineers might be good candidates for the weapon. The USMC have already issued a pre-solicitation of 50,000 IARS in August 2017 and this is in-line with the plans.

    Photo: M27 IAR during a Designated Marksman Course (by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz)

    With the need for more IARs, the competition and economies of scale have pushed the cost of the rifle down from US$3,000, which is more expensive to the US$1,000 M4 rifle which is the standard service rifle in the U.S. Military. The Kit-Up blogpost though failed to mention the actual cost of the IAR as of the moment.

    What is more interesting in the blogpost, is that they plan to kit each grunt in the Corps “from head to toe” with some of the latest gear and weapon accessories. This includes more special operations gear for the grunts, suppressors, hearing enhancement, ear protection, and communications equipment.

    We’ll be hearing more what the new equipment upgrades the Marines will have in the near future.

     

    Top photo:  Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment training with the M27 IAR (by Lance Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson)


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    ICS CXP-MMR

    Amongst the bigger airsoft manufacturers operating out of Taiwan, ICS Airsoft always approaches its own way. Whilst it is known with its split gearbox technology, the use of MOSFETS , the Transform4 with electric blowback, what is also more radical about ICS is that they were the first one to do their own gun designs not necessarily based on a real world weapon with the introduction of the CXP-08 Concept Rifle in 2008.

    Now a decade since the introduction of the CXP-08, ICS has expanded their CXP line which first carried the Transform4 and the KeyMod rail system before these enhancements were implemented throughout the AR-style AEGs of ICS.

    Also in recent years, ICS Airsoft also introduced their line of airsoft pistols, starting with the Black Leopard Eye line. It looks like ICS Airsoft likes the pistol segment of the airsoft market that for 2018, they will be introducing more pistols which are licensed.

    With the release of their 2018 Catalogue, we see that ICS are introducing the use M-Lok with in the CXP line the announcement of the CXP-MMR with Magpul full authorization to use the M-Lok:

    In 2007, Magpul introduced the first negative space attachment system for firearms with what became the MOE slot system. No longer was it necessary to use a Picatinny rail as an intermediate, and accessories could be direct-mounted to hand guards and other surfaces.

    Fast forward a few years. Other direct attachment systems came to market where access to the backside of the mounting surface was no longer needed…an improvement in usability.

    After shaker table testing, thousands upon thousands of rounds of live fire testing, drop testing, pullout testing, and manufacturing time and material studies, Magpul developed and moved forward with the M-LOK slot system as a better solution in every metric studied.

    M-LOK is stronger, easier and faster to machine, has no sharp corners, has full four way recoil lug support, is adjustable in small increments for position, is repeatable, and is generally considered visually appealing.

    Now ICS has been officially authorized by Magpul to use M-LOK standard, allowing us to provide more reliable products for the future of the airsoft industry.

    For KeyMod fans, no need for them to worry as ICS Airsoft are still producing AEGs with the KeyMod rail with the introduction of the CXP-YAK that company says that it sports hard-anodized coating and CNC milling for a unique design that retains the lightness of the Keymod system.

    As for the pistols, they have lined-up the fully licensed Sarsilmaz SAR9; the Korth from PTW Korth together with Begadi of Germany; and PM2 Makarov.

    Other planned pistols under the BLE line are the XFG, XPD and XCP.

    You can browse and download the 2018 Catalogue below. We’ll be seeing more of these in the following weeks and we’ll do a hands on these during the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 in March:


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    IWI Tavor TS12

    With just a few days to go before the SHOT Show 2018 opens in Las Vegas, there is a flurry of announcements from firearms and airsoft manufacturers on what visitors to the show should look for. These advance announcements are done to get the maximum attention to generate traffic to their booths during the SHOT Show as visitors are aware of what to look for before arriving.

    One that the airsoft media should look during the show apart from the airsoft displays, is the new Tavor TS12 from IWI as it is a new bullpup shotgun that sports the familiar Tavor signature look. It is also the first shotgun from IWI more known for their Tavor family, Jericho Pistols, Galil and the iconic Uzi machine pistol.

    The Tavor TS12 is a 12 GA shotgun and has a capacity of 15+1 shells that are fed with three tubular magazines. It has an ambidextrous design making it friendly to operate for left-handed shooters. It uses the M-Lok System for attaching weapons accessories as well as top rail for optics. With its bullpup design, it gives a more compact profile makes it more handy to use in close quarters. The other compact shotgun that we can think of is the Crye Precision SIX12, a 6-round cylinder-fed compact shotgun.

    Once released, it will be initially be available in black with OD and FDE colors to follow. It will have an MSRP of US$1,399.00. Press released from IWI below the image:

    IWI US, Inc., a subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd., brings innovation to the tactical shotgun market with their first bullpup shotgun: the TAVOR® TS12. This 12 GA gas regulated, smoothbore semi-auto shotgun feeds from one of three magazine tubes, each capable of holding four three-inch shotgun shells or five two-inch shotgun shells, for a total potential magazine capacity of 15 +1 rounds. The TS12 can be fed and unloaded from either side and configured for either right or left side ejection or operation.

    “The TAVOR TS12 is our first entry into the home defense shotgun market and we held off until we had something unique and desirable that held the same characteristic quality and performance of the entire TAVOR line,” Casey Flack, CEO of IWI US commented. “The TS12 is it; compact, easy to use and maintain, and with a large magazine capacity, it is ideal for home defense, as well as a sporting shotgun.”

    The TAVOR TS12 features a unique patented “Bullhead” bolt locking system, specific to the TS12. The 18.5-inch smoothbore barrel with a three-inch chamber is fed rounds through a tubular magazine system that automatically loads the next round when the tube is rotated in position. The muzzle threads are internal and compatible with Benelli®/Beretta choke tubes. One choke tube is included with the TAVOR TS12.

    Compact in length at only 28.34-inches, the TS12 has a one-piece, full-length 1913 Picatinny top rail with M-LOK receptacles integral in each side of the forearm of the shotgun body, allowing multiple placement possibilities for the addition of accessories.

    Available initially in a black finish, later versions will be offered in OD and FDE. The MSRP is $1399.00.

    TAVOR® TS12 Specifications:

    • Gauge: 12GA/ 3” chamber
    • Weight: 3.6 kg (mag empty) / 8 lbs.
    • Barrel Length: 47 cm / 18.5”
    • Overall Length: 720 cm (not including choke) / 28.34”
    • Height: 260 mm / 10.23” (from pistol grip to top)
    • Magazine: Tubular system, 15-rounds total capacity (five 2.75” or four 3”)
    • Choke: Internal muzzle threads / Benelli / Beretta Type (one choke included)
    • Picatinny Rail: one-piece, full-length 1913 standard top rail
    • Safety: cross bolt safety

    To learn more about IWI US, please visit www.iwi.us.

    About IWI US, Inc.

    IWI US, Inc. is the USA based subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd. of Ramat Hasharon, Israel and a member of the SK Group, a leading defense and security group of companies that operate in the global Defense and Law Enforcement markets. The IWI US line of products includes several configurations of the TAVOR® X95™, TAVOR® TS12, Jericho® 941™ pistol, UZI® PRO pistol, Galil ACE® rifles and pistols and the DAN.338™.


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