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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 Day 3

    Arriving a bit later than usual at the Nuremberg Messe, we had a quick breakfast at the Press room before I had Master Chief go to the Russian gear maker, Giena Tactics. I got left behind at the Press room to file the Day 2 AAR and upload over three hundred photos of Day 2 which of course you are already used to by now, us uploading too many photos. No time for me to select which ones, it’s always one big upload of photos per day whenever we are at an airsoft event.

    Luckily, my upload was faster this time that I was able to join Master Chief at the Giena Tactics booth in Hall 8. He was already wrapping up but I am curious of what the company has for airsoft players. I do like their ghillie stuff as well as their nicely made helmet covers. Their tactical trousers are heavily padded which for those who want to protect their knees, they can be rest assured that those knees will be comfortable with the Giena Tactics trousers.

    By around 1030H, we decided to drop by the Tippmann booth which was located in Hall 8 as well and relieved to find Andy Yoshida free to talk about the new offerings from his company. Whilst he was doing the video presentation to Master Chief, I checked out the Empire EVS “Smart Paintball Mask” which uses the Snow2 Heads Up Display from Recon Instruments. This allows you see the location of yourself and your friends whilst using the Recon Engagement App and you can control with a wrist-mounted remote.

    It was our first time to really see in person the products made by Acetech. Many are interested in their light and compact “Light” tracer and the iTracer product as well as their Chrono lineup. Ivan and Eric were there on hand to tell more about the products and these are elaborated upon in a video which will be uploaded later in the week.

    Star Rainbow Company (SRC) got their third generation SR8 Series on display. This generation uses 8mm bearings and is available in SR8-2, SR8-R, and SR8-CC variants with different colours to choose from. The SR8 Series is based on the XM8 rifle design from Heckler & Koch. If you plan on visiting Taiwan this year, SRC would surely love to welcome you to their new building located in New Taipei City.

    By 12noon, I met with Michael Grzybowski of Military1st. As he won’t be able to be at the Airsoft Meetup, we had a quick awarding ceremony in Hall 8 as Military1st is the winner of the Best Gear Retailer for Europe at the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards and they won in the category for the second time in a row.

    A quick lunch at the restaurant beside the Press room, we grab all the stuff we had in the Press locker and brought them to the Hong Kong room to setup for the Airsoft Meetup, which is already on its seventh year. We co-host this event with NLAirsoft.com and for this year, we expect this to be the largest gathering of the airsoft media and airsoft industry in one roof.

    Indeed, the Airsoft Meetup IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 opened as Standing Room Only (SRO) affair with more attendees than even before. Apart from the bigger number of attendees, it was also the liveliest. Slickaxe of NLAirsoft and Master Chief quickly opened the meetup a few minutes after 1400H to get the affair started.

    Marck and Tim from RedWolf Airsoft are the first up to present what RedWolf Airsoft has for airsoft players this year. They reiterated the brands that they are carrying and the licenses that they have bagged from real steel companies in the past year. The RWA line is of course, the most interesting as the products are proudly carried by RedWolf Airsoft being a venture of the Hong Kong company. The Agency Arms pistols, Nighthawk Custom, Avatar, Grenades, and airsoft versions of period guns were shown. Another interesting line-up are the new custom work from the Airsoft Surgeon which are always a treat to look at.

    Carlton Chong of Airsoft Innovations came up to give us the first look at his new baby, the 40 Mike. It was the first time to be demonstrated live and the reaction from the audience was one of amazement and surprise. It is a game changer in terms of having a really effective Moscart for use in airsoft games. It is more precise as well really, really fast. If you love the sound of the A-10 Warthog firing its guns, the Airsoft Innovations 40 Mike’s sound when being firing will endear itself to you.

    Gunfire always has a lot to tell and share to the audience at the Airsoft Meetup. Leszek and crew announced the new additions to the GF Point Series, the gruelling airsoft and orienteering challenge done in the dead of winter. They have a new line from Specna Arms as well new gear from Primal Gear. Also presented again at the Airsoft Meetup is the Gunfire Shooting Team which is a group of airsofters who are also top real steel shooters in Poland and very competitive in international matches.

    A new feature of the Airsoft Meetup is the Panel Discussion. For the first panel discussion we had Jonathan of Airsoftology, Bill of Airsoft Action, Kelly of Femme Fatale Airsoft, Mike of Border Wars, and Matt of Fury Airsoft/Airsoft Nation. The topics such as social media, like the YouTube debacle for airsoft channels as well as the HPA airsoft’s future were touched upon and went beyond the alloted 30 minutes, taking almost 1 hour.

    Returning to speak at the Airsoft Meetup is Ely of DM Diffusion, the family-owned airsoft business that just right outside of Paris. They carry Classic Army in Europe and he brought with him what was revealed by Classic Army in January, the DT4 double-barreled M4 AEG.

    Charlie Suarez of G&G Armament came up the stage as well as presented with G&G CQB World Cup Shooting Competition. Now a regular international event hosted by G&G Armament, the finals always take place in Taiwan. Teams from all over the world view for the top prize such as US$10,000 cash prize as well goodies that can be brought home by the competitors. The next finals will be held in June 2019.

    The final speaker for the Airsoft Meetup is Rob “Kaiju” Manore. An already established personality in the airsoft industry, he has joined the Valken Tactical Team last year. He talked about the various products the company has in store for the airsoft market this year but emphasised on the commitment ofValken to customer support, putting their reputation on the line such as fixing their airsoft guns by themselves rather than by other airsoft techs.

    By 1650, the final part of the show, the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards was led by Master Chief, handing off the shiny awards to the various category winners for the biggest online event in airsoft. Many are returning awardees and others having one for the first time such as PolarStar Airsoft and Femme Fatale Airsoft. The awarding was quick as we have to go to closing event of the third day of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018.

    Whilst the Airsoft Meetup was ongoing, RedWolf Airsoft celebrated 10 years of being at the IWA Outdoor Classics with a RedWolf Airsoft Happy Hour At IWA 2018. Drinks and food were served and most of the awardees, speakers, and presenters at the Airsoft Meetup were there too to celebrate with RedWolf Airsoft in Hall 8. We partied hard there until the Nuremberg Messe personnel came to tell us that they are shutting the place down as it was already 1830H.

    After a quick rest at the hotel, we met up with the NLAirsoft guys at the Australian restaurant in the city centre. Food was great but were just too tired to plan the evening. We decided to rest early tonight as we have to do some packing up before we officially end our coverage of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018.

    Photos of Day 3 of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 on the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 Day 4

    With the Airsoft Meetup being the peak of the airsoft experience at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018, the next day, the 12th of March, is when all the excitement start going down as people start saying goodbyes to new and old friends and for the exhibitors, the arduous task of taking down their booths and packing up all the products they had on display.

    I had to file my Day 3 report so Master Chief went to the RedWolf Airsoft booth to meet with the guys from TAGInn, also known as Airsoft Pyrotechnics. TAGInn have the more well known products in airsoft that are exported from Russia. Mark and Igor were there to explain their latest creation, the “Zero” project. It is their first complete HPA-powered rifle with a recoil system as well as an integrated TAG ML-36  launcher that is also powered by HPA. Other products that TAGInn are the pyro grenades that can be fired from existing launchers to good distances.

    After finishing my report. I went down to see the Gunfire people recording a video with Airsoftology. I got dragged into the video as well. Master Chief was at Evolution Airsoft checking out the display whilst I waited for the Dytac guys to discuss further cooperation in terms of providing readers of Popular Airsoft more regular updates from them. They finally arrived for our quick meeting.

    From there, it was a visit the HFC booth. I have reported the products on display during the MOA Exhibition 2017 in Taiwan last year so Sindy Hu wanted to focus on their very novel product, a pirate’s flintlock airsoft pistol. If you dig the Pirates of the Caribbean and want a pirate’s pistol, then grab one of these pistols from HFC. It is either good for Cosplays or for your personal collection. It can be used for a themed airsoft game, provided that it involves pirates… Arrrr!!!

    The past 3 days have been mainly roaming the halls to find the airsoft displays. On the fourth day, it is the turn of gear. We checked out the different halls, taking photos of the known brands in airsoft: Helikon-Tex, Direct Action, Pelican, Propper International, Magnum Boots, Lowa, etc. But there is one company that has some real tacticool products and should be a bigger blip in the radar of airsoft players --- Pentagon Gear. A Greek company, this company has been coming up with designs that combine form and function that can rival UF Pro. So if you want to look cool in the field with your clothing, then Pentagon should be part of your list.

    Having a quick lunch at the Press room, it was time to slowly put our things back into our packs. At 1400H it was time to finally say our slow goodbyes. Sad as it may seem we do have our regular lives to go back to once we all get back home.

    Is this the best IWA? In terms of airsoft it is. The airsoft community at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 has been more coherent and really fun-loving. There are many lighthearted moments that we’ll keep in our memories for years to come even as everyone did serious business (Yes! IWA is 80% business and 20% having fun, seriously). The Airsoft Meetup had its largest attendance and more companies are interested in presenting next year.  That means even more hard work for us

    Photos of Day 4 is on the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    Airsoft Innovations 40 Mike

    There is always a question that I get asked each time at the IWA Outdoor Classics that I always creatively avoid to answer as there was no really groundbreaking product that gets revealed each year at the event ever since we started covering it 10 years ago: “What is the best thing you have seen, so far?” Yes, you heard me right, no ground breaking revelation in terms of technology that can be considered a game changer in airsoft.

    But for this year, there is one that I am pretty much sure everyone at the Airsoft Meetup will agree with me, and it is in a small package that Toronto-based Airsoft Innovations will soon release into the airsoft market. Here is the real world demonstration as done by Airsoft Innovations’ Chief Genius, Carlton Chong, during the Airsoft Innovations and wowed the full-packed room and you really have to watch closely as it is a blur. Watch the video up to end as he demonstrates it twice:

    And yes my dear readers, that is the Airsoft Innovations 40 Mike, and when it is officially released, it will be the most powerful 40mm Gas Grenade Shell in the airsoft market.

    What the Canadian airsoft company brings to the table is real innovation. They first started with their reusable impact grenades a decade ago and now they changed the way how we look at the 40mm Gas Shell Grenades which for many years have seen no improvements that is worth writing about. For makers of launchers of 40mm MOSCARTS, they better be prepared if a new demand on their launchers such as the M203s, and standalone ones such as the ICS MGL takes place, all because of the 40 Mike.

    Here is a concise description of the 40 Mike from Airsoft Innovations:

    100ft Range

    Get a 10 feet spread at 100 feet! Unrivaled range! Experience how dominant you can be when you put ballistics first!

    150 BBs

    Hit 'em hard and hit em 150 times. The 40 Mike is easy to load and easy to fire, so you can put the maximum number of BBs downrange.

    Most Joules per Trigger Pull

    Fires 150 BBs in 1/3 of a second and hits with so much energy that we guarantee they'll call their hits!

    I will have to dust off my Tokyo Marui M320A1 Launcher now to prepare for this. 40 Mike Pre-Orders are now being taken at a cost of US$65.00.  For pre-orders, customers get the 40 Mike Shell, safety cap, grenade oil, a patch and a special edition skin. It is seen to be shipped out between the 1st of May and 1st of June 2018.

    Watch the official video below to be finally convinced:


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    FN FCU Mk3

    Belgian company FN Herstal got their MK3 Fire Control Unit selected for the Bundeswehr’s Infanterist der Zukunft - Erweitertes System (IdZ-ES) or the Infantry of the Future. This was announced last 27 February as we prepared for the Enforce Tac and IWA Outdoor Classics in Nuremberg, Germany.

    The FCU MK3 was developed to increase the hit probability of the 40mm grenade which is launched from either standalone launchers or launchers slung under rifles such as the FN SCAR EGLM. Using advanced electronics the FCU MK3 simplifies range finding and elevation corrections for the operator no matter how severe the combat conditions are.

    According to the Bundeswehr, the The IdZ-ES empowers infantry, armored infantry and even the infantry forces of the German Air Force and Navy to be able to perform their mission with significantly improved chances of success and reduced risk. In order to achieve these the required capabilities, the IdZ-ES is a modular system that have components that can be fully match and optimized to meet mission objectives and has the following subsystems:

    • Clothing, protective and carrying equipment (BST)
    • Weapons, Optics, Optronics (WOO)Command, Control, Computers, Comm
    • unications and Information (C4I)

    Overview of the IdZ-ES (Source: Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH)

    Press release from FN Herstal below:

    FN Herstal’s Fire Control Unit: Part of the Infanterist der Zukunft - Erweitertes System (IdZ-ES) for the German Army

    (Herstal, Belgium) – February 27, 2018. FN Herstal is pleased to announce that its FN® FCU Mk3 Fire Control Unit has been selected to be part of the Infanterist der Zukunft - Erweitertes System (IdZ-ES) program for the German Army. The FN® FCU Mk3 Fire Control Unit makes target engagement fast and very accurate , day or night - and dramatically increases the hit probability of the 40mm grenade system.

    The FN® FCU Mk3 takes into account a number of complex factors: the range to the target, slope angle, temperature, grenade type, cant and drift effect and automatically indicates the correct point of aim to the user. This is particularly helpful when faced with extreme stress situations in defense or security operations.

    Additionally, FN Herstal’s Fire Control Unit is easy to use, light and compact, and can be fitted onto a wide range of underbarrel and stand-alone launchers. Last but not least, the FN® FCU Mk3 has several laser safety features for enhanced training capability.

    FN HERSTAL: Over 125 Years of Technological Innovation, Unique Know-How, and Talented People FN HERSTAL, S.A., a subsidiary of the Herstal Group that also includes Browning (Hunting and Shooting), is based in Belgium and provides military, security, law enforcement and special forces customers over the globe with a complete range of state-of-theart, groundbreaking solutions developed around small caliber firearms and associated ammunition. FN HERSTAL product lines include portable firearms, less lethal systems, integrated weapon systems for air, land and sea applications, remote weapon stations, small caliber ammunition, as well as modern and cutting-edge solutions to provide enhanced combat, logistics, maintenance and communication capabilities. FN Herstal is the parent company of three fully owned entities: FN America in the USA, FNH UK in the UK and Noptel in Finland. For more information on FN HERSTAL, visit www.fnherstal.com.

     

    Top photo: FNH FCU MK3 (Source: FN Herstal)


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    US Marine with M320

    The Firearm Blog reports about the U.S. Marine Corps as ordering the initial M320 Grenade Launchers as based on the 2019 Budget Estimates Justification Book for the United States Marine Corps. The Corps wil start transitioning from the M203 launcher to the M320 by next year.

    Perhaps already known by airsoft players in the form of the Tokyo Marui M320A1 Gas Grenade Launcher, the M320 is based on the Heckler & Koch AG36/AG-C  though they are not identical with the M320 Launcher having a foregrip whereas the AGC36/AG-C does not. The U.S. Marine Corps started testing the M320 in June 2017 with Bravo Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion taking the launcher module through its paces in Camp Lejeune.

    The Marine Corps find the ability to use the launcher as a standalone launcher apart from being a rifle mounted launcher as a distinct advantage. With loading a 40 Mike Mike shell into the M320 from the side, it allows longer projectiles with even greater velocity.

    U.S. Marine wirh M320 At Camp Lejeune (USMC Photo By: Pfc. Taylor Cooper)

    In a report at the official Marines website on the June 2017 test, here is what they say about the M320:

    The weapon system offers a multitude of capabilities, superior to that of its predecessor, the M203. One of the most notable differences is the M320’sability to be fired as a separate weapon system, operating without being attached to a host weapon.

    “The M320 definitely provides our Marines with a more efficient weapon system,” said Cpl. Nelson Gay, a squad leader with 2nd CEB. “The M320 has an increased rate of fire, and also allows the operator to acquire their targets much faster; usedas either a standalone weapon or on a host weapon, it’s an accurate and efficient system.”

    One of the discrepancies with the M203 was the leaf sight interfering with the weapons optics, said Gay. The sights on the M320 are more user friendly and flexible, increasing the chances of the projectile landing on target with the first shot.The barrel of the M320 is loaded from the side, allowing for longer projectiles with increased velocity. This is different from the M203, which limits the size of projectiles the operator can use, due to the placement of the barrel on the bottom of the weapon system.

    “The compact system can be utilized by Marines in smaller areas,” said 1st Lt. Samuel Womack, a platoon commander with 2nd CEB. “This enables targets to be engaged in whatever position the operator needs.”The M320 can engage groups of enemy personnel, vehicles, bunkers, provide suppression and obscuration on objectives, and mark targets to assist in direct fire. From the defense, the M320 allows greater coverage in sectors of fire that direct-fire weapons cannot engage.

    “The Marines are out here getting a feel for the M320 and I think that it’s proving to be an effective weapon system,” said Womack. “If these weapon systems can be employed with cohesion, it will enable our Marines to have greater lethality.”

    The initial order worth US$810,00  which will is around 623 launchers at the cost of US$1,300 each.

     

    Top photo: US Marine prepares to fire M320 in Camp Lejeune last June 2017 (USMC Photo By: Pfc. Taylor Cooper)


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    Airsoft Meetup 2018 Panel Discussion

    One of the events that any discerning airsoft trade visitor at the IWA Outdoor Classics should be attending is the Airsoft Meetup. Started in 2011, the Airsoft Meetup has been growing over the years with airsoft industry, airsoft media, and the general airsoft community gather together to hear what the industry has to offer each year.

    There have been memorable moments at the Airsoft Meetup and has been strongly supported by the regular presenters such as RedWolf Airsoft, Gunfire, and Airsoft Innovations. Now, more and more companies and attendees are coming in and it may soon probably run out of speaking slots for the 3-hour event, or run out of space as the Hong Kong room is getting smaller for the number of participants.

    For this year, the Airsoft Meetup organisers, as it is co-hosted by NLAirsoft and Popular Airsoft, introduced the Panel Discussion for the first time. Sort of a “round table” discussion the guests for this year’s discussion are Bill Pryce-Thomas of PMCI and Airsoft Action, Kelly Louise Hardwick of Femme Fatale Airsoft, Mike Belousov of Border Wars, Matt Furey-King formerly of UKAPU and EAA, now Fury Airsoft, and Jonathan Higgs of Airsoftology.

    Whilst the allotted time for the Panel Discussion was 30 minutes, it went beyond and almost took an hour as participants asked some of the most pertinent questions related to the topics which are about Airsoft being pushed out of social media, the sustainability of HPA Airsoft in the future, and growth of the airsoft community. It was good that the audience took interest in the topic and not a boring moment which means it was healthy discussion for the whole duration.

    Watch the video below and you can always give your feedback by going to the YouTube page of this video. Overall, the feedback from the Airsoft Meetup audience was really good and they are looking forward to another discussion panel in 2019. These topics should be enough for you to ponder on for the weekend.

    Enjoy!


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    IMI 5.56mm APM

    It’s time to brush up again on our knowledge of real world bullets rather than just 6mm plastic BBs. We have been reading about the need of the U.S. Military to replace the 5.56mm round as it is inadequate to penetrate new body armour of potential enemies. They are looking into alternative rounds such as the 7.62mm which is the round used by existing enemies and potential enemies. This may mean a new rifle design that will use the new round that will be selected. But according to IMI Systems (Israel Military Industries), there might not be a need to change the round and rifles if their new 5.56mm APM can meet the requirements.

    Called as the “Razor Core” the 5.56mm APM (Armor Piercing Match), IMI Systems say that this round combines the advantages of 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds and it is now being evaluated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In a press release from the IMI Systems, it says:

    “There is no better place to assess the new operational requirements. There IDF has been fighting in all possible combat scenarios, including some that the world is experiencing” an Israel expert stated . In the modern battlefield where new armor are used by soldiers, the existing 5.56mm with different types such as the M193 and the M855 is sufficient anymore, and the new IMI 5.56APM is an excellent answer for the future battlefield.

    IMI Systems claim that new 5.56mm APM has better accuracy and penetration capabilities than the standard 5.56mm. It say that tests have proven the new round provides better accuracy than 7.62mm at ranges of up to 550 meters and better penetration at a range of 800 meters.

    What this means for the U.S. and its NATO allies is that they can still use existing weapon systems in their stockpiles such as assault rifles and support weapons that use the 5.56mm round. If the IMI Systems 5.56mm APM meet their needs to penetrate new generation body armor and performs better than the 7.62mm ammo in terms of accuracy and distance, then they may not need to do an immediate upgrade of their rifles such as the M4. With the new round, they can go toe to toe with an advantage in accuracy and penetration at longer ranges.

    That means that it can help save on costs of spending on a new weapons design for a new round.


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    U.S. Army M17 Pistol

    With the win of Sig Sauer of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS), now designated as the M17/XM17 pistol, the company can look forward to another big contract. According to Soldier Systems, they have looked into the 2019 Fiscal Year Budget Estimates Justification Book for United States Marine Corps and they plan to allocate US$6.3 million in 2019 to purchase 35,000 Modular Handgun Systems.

    The rationale for the adoption of the U.S. Army’s select pistol is seen in page 105 of the document, which states that:

    The Modular Handgun System will be purchased to replace the legacy M9, M9A1, M45A1, and M007 pistols with a more affordable and efficient pistol for maintenance. The MHS also provides modularity and greater shooter ergonomics over the current models which will allow for more accurate fire for military personnel of different sizes.

    The last pistol mentioned in that page, the M007 is the Glock 19M that the USMC recently adopted late last year for use by the CID (Criminal Investigation Division) and Marine One personnel. Now, it seems that Glock will have a smaller foothold in the USMC with the MARSOC being allowed to keep their Glock 19 pistols.

    While this may sound new to some readers, for those who have been following the Modular Handgun System, the USMC was a participant in the MHS program and other branches such as the Air Force and Navy are prepared to accept the MHS for service.

    The Firearm Blog, covering the same story, writes that the USMC may be more interested in the more compact version of the MHS, the M18/XM18 rather than full size M17/XM17. This can meet the need of some units of the USMC for a concealed carry to replace the Glock 19M/M007. Whatever the version the USMC selects, it is still a win for  Sig Sauer and its P320 pistol.

     

    Top Photo: XM17 Pistol (U.S. Army Photo)


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    Firearm Content Banned YouTube

    The love-hate relationship between the firearm-related Content Creators and the world’s largest online video sharing website continues. In recent months, especially in the light of mass shooting incidents in the U.S., YouTube has been very vigilant policing firearms video uploaded to its video sharing platform. Cases of channels being banned then unbanned have been reported and for those who rely on YouTube revenues as an income source, their livelihoods are in jeopardy.

    Even if this is more about real world firearms, even airsoft YouTube channels are affected when some known airsoft channels such as Airsoftology get swept up, especially of a blanket ban is instituted.

    Now, according to Josh of Funker350.com, YouTube has started to ban firearm-related content. Calling it a “dictatorial” policy, the website says that the new policy is not good for the firearms community. Checking the updated policy on content featuring firearms, YouTube has this to say:

    YouTube prohibits certain kinds of content featuring firearms. Specifically, we don’t allow content that:

    • Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) or links to sites that sell these items. These accessories include but may not be limited to accessories that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g., bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and high capacity magazines (i.e., magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds).
    • Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.
    • Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications.

    While the policy banning direct sales of firearms on YouTube and other social media platforms such as Facebook has been in place for some time now, the new policy prohibits content that show devices or accessories that will allow a semi-auto firearm to shoot or simulate full-auto firing. This is in response to the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting in which the shooter, 64-year old Stephen Paddock, using a vantage point from a hotel floor, shot at people who were at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, killing 58 people and injuring 851. The shooter used bump fire stocks on the semi-auto rifles he used in shooting. This led to calls  for the banning of bump stocks and also institute a ban of high capacity magazines.

    But beyond what is written as policy on YouTube, Josh writes that:

    At first, these rules and guidelines may seem reasonable to the average person who views them. When you dig a little deeper into the firearms YouTube community however, you see an entirely different picture. No longer are firearms content creators allowed to post videos where they are sponsored by members of the gun industry. Also, there is no retroactive protection for channels that have violated these rules before they existed. That means, any video that was ever sponsored by any ammunition company, or webpage that sells firearms or firearm accessories is now an offense the creator can be banned for. This means many creators like Hickok45, who have audibly mentioned their sponsors in every video, will have to remove substantial portions of their video library, just because they have directly mentioned these sponsors. Mention of those sponsors could be considered a violation of the guidelines, and result in a channel strike, even if the video was created in 2011. Three strikes and the creator loses access to the channel they have been working to create.

    Below is a video that is seen to be in violation of the YouTube policy according to the Funker350.com article:

    If true, that is indeed a big worry for those content creators who are making a living creating content for the firearms community. Other content creators are looking for other video sharing platforms that would allow them to post their content that YouTube is banning or perhaps create their own video sharing platform dedicated to the firearms community. They do have options, but to leave YouTube which has 1 billion active users each month, it will be hard decision to make.

    Will the airsoft channels be swept up again in this new policy? So far, we have not heard of Airsoft content creators being affected by it. Popular Airsoft has its own YouTube Channel and so far has not experience what other airsoft channels have experienced. Other than that, it’s time to back up all those videos in case there will be mass exodus of gun-related channels, including airsoft.


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    YouTube Spike's Tactical Suspension

    Firearms-related YouTube Channels are a bit a quandary with the new policies that YouTube has put into place as I have written here yesterday. Many are worried that their videos will get deleted, their channels get suspended, or the worst, their channels get banned.

    A brand that is familiar to airsofters through MadBull Airsoft, Spike’s Tactical, just got their channel suspended for violation of the Community Guidelines. Reading the message from YouTube to them, it looks like it is not about the Policies on content featuring firearms that was just updated recently, but about repeated violations of the Community Guidelines that covers harmful or dangerous content, hateful content, violent or graphic content, threats, cyberbullying, and the like.

    Below is the actual message by YouTube to Spike’s Tactical:

    We do not know what videos that Spike’s Tactical uploaded to their YouTube channel that caused this suspension. Though Spike’s Tactical has been known to issue controversial marketing materials, which the company admits but say they issue those materials across other platforms but not on YouTube.

    Will Spike’s Tactical get its YouTube Channel back? Perhaps, if it makes a successful appeal.

    Read their full press release below:

    YouTube bans, censors major gun manufacturer without warning

    APOPKA, Fla. – On Tuesday, YouTube banned the channel belonging to Spike’s Tactical, a well-known gun and AR-15 manufacturer, without prior notice or warning.

    When thousands of Spike’s Tactical followers now attempt to visit the company’s YouTube channel, a red banner says, “This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy against spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations.”

    However, according to representatives from Spike’s Tactical, they claim they have not received any prior warnings about the content of their channel and feel they are being targeted because they are a gun manufacturer and for their vocal support for conservative issues. 

    “This is without question an attack on free speech,” said Kit Cope, marketing director of Spike’s Tactical. “We feel strongly that after they get done going after guns, they’ll continue to ban and erase content that falls in line with conservative ideologies like they have already demonstrated with the deletion of anti-abortion videos and the like.”

    While Spike’s Tactical has been known for delivering controversial marketing materials across other mediums, their YouTube page has remained nearly entirely educational and served the purpose of demonstrating their products.

    “While we rarely believe in government intervention, with the recent exposure of Google, YouTube and Facebook’s power and their demonstrated manipulation of the masses, we believe something needs to be done to ensure the public is able to continue to be able to express themselves freely, even if it is something we don’t necessarily agree with, but especially when it is something that is constitutionally defined as a right,” said Cope.

    In addition to this recent issue with YouTube, Facebook has continually prohibited Spike’s Tactical for paying to boost their posts because they are a gun manufacturer, representatives from the company said. 

    About Spike’s Tactical

    Spike’s Tactical was founded the day before 9/11 by Mike and Angela Register and is headquartered in Apopka, Florida. The family-owned business employs around 40 people and all products are made exclusively in the USA and assembled in Florida. Spike’s Tactical is regarded as one of the premier AR-15 manufacturers in the world. Their mission is to build the highest quality products and offer them at the best possible price to the consumer. Spike’s Tactical weapons are designed to military specifications for civilian, law enforcement and military use. All products manufactured by Spike’s Tactical feature a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.


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    InRangeTV & PornHub

    We’re on the third day of reporting about firearms channels on YouTube being under fire especially with the latest policy on content featuring firearms or violations of the Community Guidelines. Spike’s Tactical got suspended due to the latter and now, another firearm channel on YouTube, InRange TV is now posting its videos on PornHub, which is basically the YouTube of porn.

    InRange TV is not solely posting videos on PornHub, but in also other platforms that allow for video sharing of their content and that includes Facebook, Full30, and Bitchute to ensure that their content remains to be found even if YouTube shuts their channel down. For InRange TV, Pornhub is a safe harbor.

    InRange TV posted their reply to Bloomberg on Facebook when they were contacted by the media organization on their move to PornHub:

    "Hello,

    Thank you for your interest in InRange and for looking into this issue deeper as it is obviously an important one that deals with far more than just our content on InRange, but touches at the core of social media’s control over what has become increasingly “the public sphere of conversation”.

    YouTube’s recent update on their policy towards firearm content is extremely poorly worded and open ended. It is unclear what their goals are directly, as well as what content is (or might be) actually effected. YouTube’s actions against firearms related, as well as some other, content over recent history has been increasingly arbitrary and capricious so there is little reason to believe that this new policy is not going to be used to hammer content creators into whatever corner they see fit. Over the last year or so we’ve seen our content be de-prioritized, flagged erroneously, demonetized by AI bots with little recourse, subscribers lose their notifications and subscription status without warning and more.

    InRange has taken a number of steps to partially mitigate this attack against our legal and responsible content: we deleted our AdSense account entirely and moved to a crowd sourced funding model wholly via Patreon, have posted a number of videos in regards to digital rights and issues above and beyond that of just firearms related content, and we’ve decentralized the distribution of content to multiple delivery networks. At this time we are currently publishing content simultaneously on YouTube, Full30, Facebook, BitChute and now PornHub. We will not be seeking any monetization from PornHub and do not know what their monetization policies are, we are merely looking for a safe harbor for our content and for our viewers.

    I would like to point out that a very simple search on YouTube for marijuana and bong reveals substantial results of people explaining, teaching the use of, advocation and actively using a Federally illegal schedule 1 substance:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=marijuana+bong

    While I personally believe that people should have autonomy over their own body and be allowed to make personal choices about what they intake into themselves, I can’t help but find it hypocritical and disturbing that clearly illegal activity is acceptable while clearly legal activity, such as the content we distribute via InRange, is being actively persecuted.

    In summary, we are looking for a safe harbor for our legal content and viewers, monetization aside. YouTube has the global dominance over the public narrative and it is unacceptable, in our opinion, for them to threaten livelihoods and legal content regardless of whatever current moral panic is in play.
    If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

    Sincerely,

    Karl Kasarda

    &

    Ian McCollum"

    We do not know if more firearm channels on YouTube will be following their move to PornHub. Some of their viewers might not agree with this move as they may be turned off by porn. Some are even calling for a new video sharing platform for firearms owners and call it GunHub. It’s not a bad idea at all if firearms enthusiasts want their own social media platform to use, then they better raise the funds to create their own video-sharing platform so they do not have to worry about their content other the mercy of YouTube and other social media sites.

    You might be wondering where airsoft now is in this issue, So far, no airsoft channel has been suspended or banned and heard reports that YouTube is taking down some airsoft videos. What we know is that YouTube considers airsoft as toys. It may happen to airsoft YouTube channels if they violate the Community Guidelines and that general goes to other channels too, even if they are not dealing on firearms.

    The story (and exodus?) continues…


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    Airsoft Meetup 2018 Opening Ceremonies

    Still too cold outside for you to play airsoft? The weather is really freezing still given that it is officially the Spring Season. But if you don’t want your balls frozen outside in the airsoft field, either you can go to an indoor field where it will be warm enough to play, or stay at home and watch all the presentations at the Airsoft Meetup IWA Outdoor Classics 2018.

    In a jam-packed place, the regular and returning presenters revealed their plans and product announcements for 2018.

    This started with Slickaxe of NLAirsoft.com and Master Chief of Popular Airsoft officially opening the Airsoft Meetup and introducing the first set of speakers, Marck and Tim of RedWolf Airsoft:

    Then Carlton Chong of Airsoft Innovations wowed the audience with a live demo of the 40 Mike Gas Grenade Shell and we have already posted this video last week:

    The Gunfire crew got some exciting new developments for certain brands they carry, especially Specna Arms, GF Custom Division, and the grueling GF Point:

    The main event of the Airsoft Meetup and which has been featured last weekend, the Panel Discussion:

    Charlie Suarez of G&G Armament comes up the stage to talk about the G&G CQB World Cup Tournament that will be held in Taiwan in 2019:

    He is followed by Ely Ajib of DM Diffusion who has some announcements of Classic Army products:

    The Kaiju himself, Rob Manore, talks about the strong commitment of Valken Tactical to customer service, emphasizing that their company will do repairs of the airsoft guns they sell:

    Lastly and we were already in a hurry to finish was the awarding ceremonies of the 8th Airsoft Players Choice Awards. Afterwards, we all dashed to the RedWolf Happy Hour At IWA 2018 as they celebrate 10 years of being an exhibitor at the trade fair:

    I guess that’s enough videos to last you this weekend. Hopefully, you get more bits of information apart from all the presentations done at the booths of the exhibitors.


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    U.S. Army MRE Pizza

    For those who prefer bringing MREs as their means of sustenance during Milsim events or long weekend airsoft games, their choices just became a bit better. The U.S. Army are now working on fielding an MRE Pizza this month. The scientists in the Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have made breakthroughs in having a shelf-stable pizza that can be included in the MRE menu.

    The challenge for the researchers at the Combat Feeding Director is to make sure that the pizza is shelf-stable for three years and be able to withstand temperatures of up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This was difficult to achieve when using traditional pizza ingredients. In the U.S. Army’s news release, in order to achieve this, the CFD used a combination of technologies involving water activity, pH levels and innovative packaging to a pizza that is shelf stable. Early prototypes of the pizza created in the lab were successful.

    Photo: MRE Pepperoni Pizza (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by David Kamm, NSRDEC)

    Problems arose when production by the commercial food industry was done for large scale production. With the help of the CFD, the production problems were resolved:

    Stephen Moody, director of the CFD said, "Partnership with industry is essential to ensure that what works in government laboratories is practical and achievable in a commercial full-scale production setting."

    The MRE pizza produced by the commercial sector was then tested with the troops, receiving positive feedback that led the CFD recommending it to be officially included to be in MRE menu. The first batch is supposed to have been produced this month and it will be pepperoni pizza.

    Now with the MRE pizza technology patted down and ready to feed the troops, will there be more choices of toppings apart from pepperoni? Perhaps the “Meat lovers” pizza next time?

     

    Top Photo: Soldier eating MRE Pizza (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Michael Stepien)


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    Remington Model 870 DM

    As expected, the largest firearms maker in the U.S., Remington Outdoor Co., has finally filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. The company announced in February 2018 that they intended to file for a Chapter 11 amidst flagging sales and a heavy debt burden.

    Apart from being the largest firearms maker in the U.S., Remington is also the oldest, having been in business for over 200 years. The company is owned by Cerberus Capital Management which also announced that it plans to let go of the company once the bankruptcy is complete. The company has its headquarters in North Carolina with seven factories and a total of 2,700 employees.

    Photo: Remington 870 DM Predator (Source: Remington)

    The company is said to be suffering from the “Trump Effect” in which firearms companies are experiencing lower sales because gun owners are not worried about a Republican administration enacting restrictive gun controls which they believe will only be imposed by a government headed by the Democrats. Affected firearms manufacturers have already laid off hundreds of employees due to this effect.In February, the company, which is burdened by debts of over US$900 million seeks to reduce its debt obligations. It is also facing a class action suit for the defects on their popular firearms such as the M700 and the Sandy Hook Massacre as the company produces the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that was used by the shooter.

    While under Bankruptcy Protection, Remington still plans on producing guns as the operations will not be disrupted during the restructuring process. Some of the creditors will be exchanging the debt they are holding for equity. There is no indication if the during the process they will be laying off employees or if creditors have changed their minds after the Parkland shootings which led to heavier pressure for gun control laws enacted.

    Perhaps, come mid-term elections in November 2018, firearms manufacturers will be rooting for Democrats to take control of Congress so that the gun control scare will again push gun owner to stock in guns again leading to increase sales to solve their sales and profitability problems.


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    Kalashnikov Concern At Army Day 2017

    In March 23, 2017, Kalashnikov Concern filed a lawsuit against Cybergun in the Arbitration Court of the Udmurt Republic in Russia, demanding that the French airsoft company recognize its rights to the labels "Калашников" and "Kalashnikov" as part of trademarks and brand names and right to use the name of M. T. Kalashnikov in economic activity as well as declare that Cybergun’s use of the Kalashnikov trademarks is illegal.

    According to RAPSI, the Russian Legal Information Agency, last March 5, 2018, the court decides to not continue with the lawsuit though it did not state the reason for the ruling. What we understand is that both companies intend to settle the dispute under mutually acceptable terms in April 2017. Kalashnikov Concern and Cybergun requested for more time to thresh out the details of the settlement, and it seems that they have finally come out with such that the Arbitration agrees with and ruled that lawsuit will not proceed.

    As to what the settlement is, there was no official news announcement from both companies. Will Cybergun continue to have exclusive license to use the name “Kalashnikov” in its airsoft products and merchandise, or will Kalashnikov Concern also reserves the right to license the name and weapon images to other companies around the world. Airsoft companies that may want to get a license from Kalashnikov Concern can inquire from the company if they will allow for this.

    Kalashnikov Concern has been working hard to protect its intellectual property, given that it is looking for more revenue areas as a business entity. Last year, the company and the Federation of the Military-Tactical Games (FMTG or ФВТИ in Russian), upon the initiative of the latter, have mutually agreed upon conditions in resolving disputes in the use of trademarks.

    The agreement also with the local airsoft and leisure shooting community is a fixed lump sum payment for royalties and will depend upon the turnover of a particular company. Royalty fee will be 20,000 Russian Rubles or around US$350 based on the exchange rate as of this writing. Many are happy with this settlement, in our discussions with the Russians during the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018n in Germany.

     

    Photo Source: Kalashnikov Concern


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    CatShit One Easter

    As always, we take our Easter Beak seriously. That means we’ll not be publishing news and stories for the next two days and rather spend time with our families. We hope you’ll do the same and take the opportunity to find some "me time" if your country observes Easter.

    We’ll be back on the Easter Sunday to start posting stories again. If you are wondering what we will be doing for the weekend with our families, it’s relaxing and watching our favourite bunnies apart from Bugs Bunny. For airsoft veterans, that will be Botasky and Packy  of Cat Shit One. If you want to watch them in action, better buy the DVD on Amazon.

    Enjoy and Happy Easter!


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    MealSim MRE

    A growing force in the Airsoft scene, the MealSim Group has decided to get into serious business after holding its First Assembly during the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 last 10 March in Nuremberg, Germany. The plans were unanimously approved by all attendees at the assembly.

    The first thing that the members immediately gave their thumbs-up was to go into the MRE business that was proposed by a member during preparations for the Assembly.

    “Any serious MealSimer would always adhere to have the highest standard of food whenever they go on a mission,” said Thomas Mikkelsen of ASG, one of the influential members of the group. “It is not only in airsoft, but in actual real world missions where the warfighter will need above average sustenance. Excellent food will always motivate the warfighter to exceed expectations in the field.”

    The MRE products that they have are ready to be shipped and they are now working to get military contracts far and wide. Also, some batches are now being delivered to airsoft shops and and tactical gear retailers in the U.S.A. and Europe with Asia to follow.

    “The MREs that will be released by the MealSim Group were made in the food labs of The Fat Duck and Noma, two of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world. The Fat Duck, which is located in the England, is owned by Heston Blumental whilst Noma is in Denmark where it is headed by Chef extraordinaire René Redzepi,” said Bill Pryce-Thomas of Airsoft Action Magazine, another founder of the MealSim Group.

    Photo: MealsSim tasters happy with the MREs at a secret labs somewhere in Europe. (Source: NLAirsoft.com)

    Chris Bravo from Airsoft &Milsim News Blog, who is part of the tasting group claimed that, “Not even the MRES being served to U.S. troops would come close to the taste of what we have. It is so heavenly that in our taste tests, soldiers would willingly accept highly dangerous missions without any question as long as our MREs are included in their packs.”

    Marck West of RedWolf Airsoft and Caroline Näslund (Airsoft Caroline), who are also part of the tasting group, agree with him, “The Military Committee of NATO are going to recommend to the member countries to make the MealSim MREs available only to NATO members and allied countries as a security measure. These MREs can give their armies an advantage over potential enemies.”

    Also, the MealSim Group approved a training program for potential MealSimers. In order to be a fully fledged MealSimer one has to attend the courses that were developed by Ben Webb of ASG for the MealSim Group Training Division, “Since MealSim is becoming a ‘thing’ we are inviting interested individuals in attending some training courses.

    The curriculum will cover Expedient Utensil Handling, Improvised Forks, Non-Permissive Serving Scenarios and Fundamental Eating.”

    He further adds, “An advanced course with a focus on Immediate Spillage Response and Condiment Care will follow. The instructors involved have a live-eating background and will be sharing their hard won experience to benefit your MealSim adventures.”

    Mikkelsen revealed further that, “These are just some of the initial programs of the group. Many ideas are being thrown around and many are workable. One idea I like is to develop advanced utensils that can be used in the field by MealSimers as food should be respected and therefore should be treated reverently with utensils that bring out the best in aroma and taste. Another is that Bill Pryce-Thomas will be writing a book called ‘The Art of Tactical Spork’ in cooperation with Leszek of Gunfire.”

    "Our motto is what Napoleon Bonaparte said and it is 'An army marches on its stomach'."

    Expect more from the MealSim Group as they march towards world domination.

    (Please do check the date of this story above)


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    Hyperdouraku HAW April Fools

    Perhaps many of you were on Holidays to monitor all the jokes for April fools as it has also become a tradition in the airsoft community. Each year, they are getting better and better with more jokers joining in. We have made a compilation of whatever April Fools prank airsofters and companies have hoisted on airsoft players yesterday for everyone to enjoy.

    Always our favourite for the amount of creativity put into their joke is Hyperdouraku’s “Hyper Airsoft Water (HAW)”, guaranteed to make you super stealthy:

    The RedWolf Airsoft TV crew got their own now and involves a lot of airsoft celebrities in “Airsoft, the Movie (Trailer)”:

    With 3D Printing becoming mainstream, how about 3D Printed BBs from Taktik Airsoft. No need to buy your ammo:

    Toronto Airsoft got the ultimate product to spray your airsoft troubles away called “SpraySoft Airsoft Spray”:

    Oh no! According to Lonewombat Airsoft, airsoft is dead!

    We’re back with another video from Japan with Laylax featuring their “Super Flexible Arm”:

    If you have not read it, Popular Airsoft also posted their own April Fools Story.

    Which one made you ROFL?


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    PLA QTS-11 Integrated Combat System

    A high tech weapons system developed locally is now being used by Chinese commandos. According to i-hls.com, the Sky Wolf Commandos of the Chinese Army’s Special Operations Forces in the Western Theater Command are now training with the QTS-11 Integrated Combat System.

    The QTS-11 Integrated Combat System is an air burst grenade launcher integrated with the QBZ-03 assault rifle and the training being conducted by the Sky Wolf unit is to "adapt to future informatised warfare" as reported by the State-owned newspaper, Global Times. China is the third country to develop this system following the problematic XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon and XM25 CDTE of the USA, and the S&T Daewoo K11 from South Korea.

    Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, was quoted by the paper saying that, “The QTS-11 system not only includes firearms but also a full digitalized integrated individual soldier combat system, including detection and communications."

    Photo: The QTS-11 with Chinese Marines (Source: Xinhua)

    Compared to the XM29 and K11, the integrated grenade launcher of the QTS-11 is single launch launcher which is manually loaded with one 20mm shell at a time as compared to the magazine-fed systems of the XM29 and K11. It is also the lightest airburst system as the laser range finder and the fire control system are the other components integrated, leaving the optics an optional accessory and part of the modular components.

    The U.S. had problems with the lethality of the 20mm rounds, making the switch to the 25mm.

    As for the type of 20mm rounds that can be used with the launcher, there are five types: available are impact detonation, airburst, armor-piercing, improved fragmentation, and shotgun-type rounds. According to Asia Times, mentioning the Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily, the 5.8mm rifles are capable of shooting targets within a radius of 200 meters in a strafe-like fashion.

    Apart from the Sky Wolf Commandos, the Chinese Marines use the QTS-11 in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations.

     

    Top Photo:QTS-11 (Source: PLA Daily)


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    US Army 101st Airborne with M17

    We have been expecting this to happen, it was just a matter of when. Now news in the last week of March 2018 report that the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy have finally adopted the M18 pistol after the U.S. Army has chosen as their new sidearm to be the M17 and M18 pistols to replace the M9 pistol. The M17 and the more compact M18 are based on the SIG P320 pistol, which won the Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition.

    In a report in Military.com’s Kit-Up blog, the U.S. Air Force will be ordering 130,000 of the M18 while the U.S. Navy are planning on fielding 60,000 pistols. The U.S. Marine Corps has already gone ahead of adopting the smaller M18 announcing that they will be getting the pistol in 2019, weeks before the two branches announced their plans. This makes the MHS the official sidearm of the whole U.S. Military, save for some special operations units that use their own sidearms that meet their mission specifications. According to Sig Sauer, the Coast Guard will also be adopting the MHS.

    Sig Sauer won the MHS competition last year, being awarded by the U.S. Army to a contract worth US$580 million. It beat competitors from reputable gun manufacturers such as FN America, Beretta and Glock. The U.S. Army wants to order 195,000 MHS mainly comprised of the M17.

    While the MHS is based on the Sig P320 pisto, it is still different from the civilian version or what the LEOs have ordered. The MHS has been customized the meet the specifications of the U.S. Army’s program. It is a striker fired pistol that can be equipped with suppressors and will have extended capacity magazines. It also has an under rail to fit a laser or a weaponlight.

    The U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division is the first unit to receive the M17 and M18 pistols.


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