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    AirSplat.com Warehouse

    This is something that each airsoft player and shopper along the U.S. West Coast and other affected areas should pray that it would not come to a head by Thanskgiving and the Christmas Holidays when the level of orders and shipments are at their peak.  In this link sent to us by Ravishing Rick Dude, SCPR blogs about the building congestion and delays in shipping all along the cost from Tacoma, Washington in the North to Long Beach, California in the South. These are important ports as it affects commerce in the Pacific Rim, where some of the biggest markets and economies in the world located.

    The Blog reports that this situation is costing AirSplat.com time and money as shipments to other business and individual customers get delayed. Some, if not many customers will not understand what happened to their orders. According to the owner of AirSplat.com owner,Kenneth Wu, explains that usually shipments from China and Taiwan are released to them within 24-48 hours upon arrival at the port, but these days, it's taking almost two weeks.  The longer the containers sit at the port, the more fees that AirSplat has to pay.

    Two reasons for the delays are the tensions between the shipping companies and dockworkers' union blaming each other for the slowdown while they are negotiating a new contract and also the lack of the "trucks drivers, truck chassis, and rail car capacity to haul cargo away". The latter reason is also one cause the union, ILWU, is refusing to release qualified workers until employers deal with the problem.

    The delays have been building up since October as retailers placed orders early in anticipation that the West Coast ports may shutdown due to labor issues, and if gets worse, will affect shipments to retailers and customers all over the U.S. The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach California handle 40% of all the shipping arriving via the Pacific Ocean.

    Kenneth Wu explains further that as compared to other big box retailers such as Walmart, he has more breathing room. Still, in case that deliveries from AirSplat and other airsoft retailers get delayed, airsoft players will have to understand that the delay in their orders is caused by factors beyond the control of the retailers.


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    HomeLESS Open Source Dry Fire Game and Target Simulator OpenAlt 2014

    Aaaahhhh! The wonders of Open Source. What we love about Open Source is the community of sharing in which airsoft itself has benefitted from. Many forums and websites related to airsoft use open source web applications such as content management systems. But an Open Source Project wants to bring airsoft front and center, in a way.

    Called HomeLESS (Home LASER Shooting Simulator), it is a Bullet Free Shooting System which is basically a laser-based target simulator system that you can build yourself. If you want to practice some target shooting with the use of your airsoft gun and do it within the confines of your home, especially when it's cold outside, then building HomeLESS could help you improve your shooting skills in a safe and cost-efficient way. Apart from that, you can also improve your DIY and programming skills by building the system.

    How did the project start?  Well, here's what the project owners say:

    "The project started for need of training shooting according to the rules ISSF air rifle and air pistol. Of course it is possible to use the simulator for purposes other than training according to ISSF rules. The aim was, among other things save time required to visit the shooting range. With the simulator you can shoot almost anywhere, anytime. You can train at home on the corridor or even in the living room. Hit Analyzer allows you to adjust the shooting conditions to match the distances in the real shooting range. For example, shooting at 25 meters you can train at 5 meters. One of the users using simulator Hit Analyzer to train shooting at 300 meters in the living room. [sic] He using a target size of 16mm."

    To build a HomeLESS System, there are four components:

    Hit Analyzer. This is the most important part of the HomeLESS as this the freely downloadable cross-platform (Linux and MS Windows) software. You can set the settings, the shooting conditions, and also serve as the shooting log.  Since it is open source, if you have some programming skills, you can modify or improve on it. But since it is open source, you should provide the source code showing the changes you made when you start sharing it others.

    LaBr Gun (Laser Brander Gun). This is a laser gun that build yourself using the Laser Module installed on an airsoft gun (or any 1:1 scale replica of the gun you want to use). Putting together and configuring a LaBr gun is included in the link.

    Paper Targets.  In order for the Hit Analyzer to work, it will need the special target files that that have the "tgt" suffix. Each target file contains the dimensions, target type, and name of target. Users can easily add their own targets.

    Web Cam. This should be a webcam attached to the computer in which the Hit Analyzer is installed. It requires a minimum resolution 640 x 480 resolution and 30 frames per second. The  Hit Analyzer uses the Web Cam to record the target shooting for it to analyze the shot and show a report.

    It’s a project indeed but anyone is free to use this system without paying the HomeLESS project owners (though they will appreciate a donation so they can be motivated further to work on the project).  Also, the sharing of modifications and improvements on the code will help the HomeLESS project evolve, especially the Hit Analyzer software.

    So if you have a lot of time in your hands when the snow starts falling and you want to have some trigger time whilst being in the warmth comfort of home, then why not build a HomeLESS system for yourself? It is a safe way of shooting targets at home, and you can invite your airsoft team mates to join you and do some shooting competitions.


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    Delft University of Technology 3D Metal Printer Project

    Since we've started talking about Open Source projects that can be used for the airsoft market, here is another one --- a 3D Metal Printer. It's not yet commercially viable since it's still a university project. But this makes me excited, for airsoft and for any emergency fixes where metal parts are needed quickly. The 3D Metal Printer can provide more quick real world solutions as compared to existing 3D Printers which presently use plastic.

    We have previously written about the benefits of 3D printing for rapid prototyping of airsoft products and for instant creation of plastic parts needed for airsoft guns and even tactical accessories. But I've been really looking forward to a 3D Metal Printer since many airsoft guns require metal parts and sometimes some parts are hard to come by that a 3D Metal Printer would be such a handy tool for any airsoft shop or serious airsoft gunsmith (or any repair shop that works on metal).

    The project, made by students from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, takes inspiration from the 3D Metal Printer Project by students from Michigan Tech. The TU Delft Project is more based on the Prusa 3D Printer, feeding spools of wire to a welder which is then laid down layer by layer.

    The 3D Metal Printer is still slow one as compared to existing 3D Plastic Printers. But the good thing about the 3D Metal Printer project is that it is an open source one. You can download the source code and other library files for you to make your own 3D Metal Printer by looking at the BOM here. You can improve further on this project, perhaps making it faster and more energy efficient. With other 3D printing enthusiasts, they can collaborate on making a more commercially viable 3D Metal Printer or a much more improved "Build Your Own 3D Metal Printer."

    It is still a long way to go and some concerns will be raised along the way. With the controversies about 3D printed firearms, all the more will the issue will heighten when a 3D Metal Printer becomes a reality. Just download the 3D files to make one, especially if people start sharing the files online.

    But for me, the ability to print out metal parts to fix or upgrade an airsoft gun on the fly is what 3D Metal Printing is all about. That my friend, makes the future bright.


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    Cyalume HG1 Training Explosion Simulator

    I always have a thing for stuff that go loud, really loud. Unfortunately, I can't work with explosives since I am not in the military. Pyros are good alternatives but I cannot use them at most places. There are safe alternatives for use in airsoft games, and they are really good. But after watching this video from Cyalume Technologies, I was like a child who just came from a candy store --- I want them all:

    Many of you would be familiar with Cyalume Technologies, as they produce the ChemLight lightsticks which are very much in use in the U.S. Military and NATO allies. Before those glowsticks became very common at parties and airsoft events, the ChemLights were pretty much the glow in the dark things that can be used in the outdoors for pretty long periods.

    Since 2011, the company has been looking into training devices and focused on the non-pyrotechnic explosion simulators.  What they designed are devices that can mimic explosives for various types of scenarios such as IED attacks, suicide bombings, booby traps, and grenade attacks. All of these are safe to handle that for military and law enforcement trainers, their jobs at creating such scenarios that require some explosions just got better and safer.

    But looking at those devices, we just hope that Cyalume is not focusing marketing and sales efforts to only to military organizations and also look a potential civilian tactical training purposes. In this case, airsoft game organizers and commercial security training groups can use this for their own purposes. Airsoft is a good market with more military simulation events happening almost every week and game organizers want their scenarios realistic as much as possible without sacrificing safety.

    Now, if only Santa would receive my Christmas list and stuff all the big stockings that I plan to put up by chimney with all these cool toys from Cyalume. I can greet the New year with a bang and some scared-shit airsoft players.


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    Colt 6920

    One of the most familiar names in the gun industry, as well as in the airsoft industry, Colt Defense LLC, has gotten a deal to make it avoid going into default. Earlier, the company said it might not be able to make at bond interest payment of US$10.9 million which was due last Monday, November 17 according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

    In 2013, Colt Defense acquired Colt Manufacturing Co. for US$60.5 million after a decade of doing business separately. This merger also carried a US$250 million worth of debt.

    The company just had a deal with Morgan Stanley, in which the company gets a loan of US$70 million which will mature in 2018. The 178-year old firearms maker which has been hit with lower sales of sporting rifles and handguns in the past year coupled with less orders from the U.S. government, will be able to make the US$10.9 million bond payment with the fresh cash injection and also help pay off an existing US$50 million term loan.

    As some might say, Colt just "dodged a bullet" on this one.

    Initially known as the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company in New Jersey with its 1836 patent for the revolving cylinder, it became as the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in 1855. The company is well known over the years for the iconic firearms, such as the Single Action Army, the Colt Python, the Colt 1911 and also for the production of the AR-15, M16, Colt Commando, and the M4.


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    After Action Report: The Costa Contract 2014

    Shouts of "Medic!" and gunfire echoed in the dark, punctuated by the random explosion of a grenade. A 100m in the distance, the limp body of a young man was being dragged to safety into an office building by two of his cohorts braving sniper fire from an unknown quarter. Silhouettes of friends or possibly foes darted from car to car.

    Looking up into the darkened sky, there were no stars to be seen. Instead, there was just the dull orange lights of the warehouse. A huge, cavernous warehouse of what was once a Corning Glass factory, just outside of San Francisco.

    For a last few years, The Tantalum Contract has been one of NYCAirsoft's largest MilSim games. And now, with NYCAirsoft's events expanding to California, we wanted our first West Coast Tantalum game (The Costa Contract) to be epic. And what better place than the largest indoor, airsoft arena in the country?

    Gamepod Combat Zone, in Antioch, California, is a real world tactical training facility, with over 40,000sq meters of full-sized streets, cars, buildings, and even the forward-half of a Boeing 737 parked next to a simulated airport. Long-duration MilSim style games were often talked about but never attempted here. Bay Area players were used to CQB games that lasted 30 minutes with fast respawns, long breaks between rounds, and teams assigned by arm bands.

    What I was envisioning was something different, an indoor version of an outdoor MOUT game with uniform defined teams and long duration missions, with medic and respawn rules that were based on reality not video games. What we had planned was something new --- a 4-hour CQB game that wouldn't stop for reload breaks but would continue non-stop until the end of the day.

    In typical CQB games, teams started from known locations with fixed respawn zones. This created a very linear experience with very little variation, except when teams swap sides. If a team overran another team's spawn, play would be called to a halt.

    To change this dynamic, I introduced a third team, and instead of fixed spawn points, all dead players returned to a common staging area where Refs would organize them into squads, simulating reinforcements that would be inserted into the arena at unexpected locations via external entrances. Teams now had to contend with contacts from any direction and players had to maneuver and adapt.

    We also introduced the players to MilSim-style body armor and medic rules. Simulated plate carriers and hard helmets could provide an extra bit of protection by absorbing a single BB hit. When they were hit by fire, Medics didn't magically "heal" players like in video games or RPGs. They 'treated' the wounded player allowing them to be "evacuated" to a staging/field hospital where they could return to play much faster than untreated players waiting out their full bleedout time.

    We took the players through a short set of introductory mini-games to familiarize themselves with these new rules. To their credit, their maturity, experience, and honor allowed them to pick up the new play style rather quickly. In less than 30 minutes we started the game which wouldn't end until four hours later.

    Angle-Sino Security (A.S.S.) had the smallest team. The strategy of their CO, "Bait", was to keep his smaller team together as one force focused on the bonus missions rather than attempting to get the game's primary objective (taking and defending the refinery's Control Server.) The other teams had the luxury of dividing their larger forces into smaller squads. "Soap", the CO of Global Resource Defense Enterprises (GRDe) took on double bonus missions after bonus mission, which would prove too ambitious, as the incomplete missions left his team in negative point standings at the end of the game. Kiev Afrikaner Secure Holdings (K.A.S.H.) had the largest team, nearly double the size of A.S.S. Their numbers allowed their CO "Delta Jay" to send troops to dominate the Control Server for most of the day. But their forces were often too dispersed causing them to fail to achieve bonus missions within the required time. 

    After 4 exhausting hours, the Costa Contract was finally called to an end. The teams retired to the staging area (which is as large as some CQB arenas). We raffled off two M4 AEG's and prizes donated by event sponsor, Evike.com. And as a bonus event, we held the first Steel Balls tournament, an unorthodox, pistol dueling competition where players line up to face each other with targets between their legs. Soap redeemed himself by winning the competition.

    After all the mission points were tallied, A.S.S. emerged as the victor with 300 points vs. K.A.S.H with 200 points. The winning team usually earns the largest game donation for their designated charity but this time, the CO chose to help a local charity. BNK3R, the leader of an airsoft team from Santa Cruz, CA, had recently had part of a leg amputated due to a road accident. The donated funds would go to help him buy a prosthetic leg and return to playing the sport we all love, airsoft.

    Watch the game and competition highlights:

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    About NYC Airsoft and Moondog Industries

    NYCAirsoft.com is a website portal about airsoft, tactical sports and entertainment and cultural events, in New York and around the nation. Featuring the NYC Airsoft forum and Facebook group, it facilitates social networking among airsoft players and teams.

    Moondog Industries LLC. is a boutique developer of tactical products created for airsoft, paintball, law-enforcement, and the military. Moondog Industries produces airsoft games benefitting such charities as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Wounded Warrior Project, the USO and the American Diabetes Society.


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    COFFEEBOXX

    It's not every day that we get to write about tough gear and durable airsoft guns as we also want to bring with us some tough appliances to the field. Previously, we wrote about the Coolest Cooler, a tough cooler that almost does everything you need to feed and entertain a small crowd during camping trips, festivals, and airsoft events. However, it does not do one important fuel we also need a lot of at airsoft events, coffee.

    COFFEEBOXX, claimed by its designers to be the world's toughest coffee maker, is here to take on the punishment of the outdoors, construction sites and milsim events. Rather than bring an expensive coffee maker that breaks once it's exposed to the elements, why not make COFFEEBOXX part of your wishlist of tough gear to own this Christmas? The catch  is you'll have to pledge on Kickstarter to help fund this project and become a reality.

    Designed to be rush-proof, dust-proof, spill-proof, rust-proof, water resistant, impact resistant, COFFEEBOXX uses single-serve technology anywhere you go. Construction workers, lumberjacks, military units, and airsoft event organisers would love to have this in their tents to serve up the perfect fuel for their people in the mornings, or when they need their next caffeine hit.

    Even for its toughness, it weighs 11lbs or almost 5kg empty. But with its 2.5 liter capacity leak-proof water tank, it can readily serve coffee to a small group. Apart from brewing coffee, the COFFEEBOXX can also provide hot water so you can have tea or an oatmeal too without leaving coffee residue when you pour hot water into a cup of instant noodles.

    The COFFEEBOXX has already raised over US$20,000 with a target funding goal of US$50,000 with over 30 days still to go. The problem for those outside the USA is that OXX, the makers behind COFFEEBOXX, will only ship to the U.S.  Thus, international backers will have to think twice before pledging to fund this project as they are not guaranteed that they’ll get a COFFEEBOXX once it achieves its goals and goes into production.  But if you want to support this project without expecting a COFFEEBOXX then feel free to select especially the pledges below US$200 and you still get some merchandize such as the OXX Thermos or Work Jacket.

    Now, if only OXX can make the COFFEEBOXX available in different colors (the Coolest Cooler has 6 colors), or offer some custom colors, then I just wish they can have it available in other colors apart from Lime or the Limited Edition Black such as Olive Drab, or any color that can be considered "tactical" like the way airsofters want their gear to be.

    The COFFEEBOXX crowdfunding project ends on the 29th of December 2014 at Kickstarter.


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    Tamir Rice

    It's another day when airsoft communities around the world collectively sighed in utter sadness as another young life gets snuffed out for carrying an airsoft gun in public. In Cleveland, Ohio, 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot by responding police officers acting on reports of a person pointing a gun at people at a playground. Rice was shot last Saturday and died from his wounds on Sunday morning.

    The police said that they asked Rice to raise his hands, but then pulled the gun from his waist, resulting into the police shooting him. The police were said to be not informed by the 911 dispatcher that the person who called in to report on Rice mentioned that it was "probably a fake."

    Upon investigation, the firearm that was found on Rice is an airsoft pistol with the orange tip removed. The officers involved in the shooting were put on administrative leave pending further investigation.

    After the discovery that the firearm is an airsoft gun, a lawmaker in Ohio, State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati), is proposing a law that would require all BB guns, air rifles and 'airsoft' guns sold in Ohio to be brightly coloured or have prominent fluorescent strips. Called the "John Crawford" Law, named after John Crawford who was shot inside a Walmart Store in Beavercreek, Ohio by police, for carrying an air rifle he picked from the store.

    In the airsoft community, there have been some calls that airsoft guns should not be sold to minors like Rice  or that minors should not be allowed to carry airsoft guns without adult supervision. This requires some more soul searching, especially in the U.S. airsoft communities. It is ironic that in Ohio, which is an open carry state, a young boy gets shot by the police for carrying one even if it's a replica.

    The story is still fresh as there are reports that a video shows that Rice was not pointing the gun at the responding police officers.  Once investigation is complete, it will be presented to a Grand Jury which will decide if a criminal case will be brought forward.


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    Blood Sport

    It's a Kickstarter project that got suspended by Kickstarter. If this project really comes true, any video gaming convention may just consider giving this contraption its own booth so blood donations can be collected if they want to do some socially responsible activity. Why? This game controller actually draws real blood from the gamer holding the controller when he/she gets hit during a game!

    Called the Blood Sport: The Ultimate In Immersive Gaming, it gives more fun to the boring, and sometimes painful way of donating blood. Donors can donate blood by playing a video game that when they're hit blood is drawn from them until they are able to fill-up a bag (no sense of draining all the blood from them).

    The set-up is a Nintendo Rumble Pak gaming controller with an Arduino brain. The developers, Taran Chadha and Jamie Umpherson, rerouted the signal that when the gamer holding the Blood Sport Controller gets hit, the Arduino board keeps the signal going to the Blood Collector and also monitor how much blood has been pulled so that it can power the collector down before the donor faints from lack of blood. Before a gaming blood collection takes place, they will input factors such as weight, age, and medical conditions.

    Why such a project? Well, there's always a purpose which others might not subscribe to, but for those gamers with bleeding hearts, they can relate to the purpose of the Blood Sport Controller project:

    Our goal is to develop a refined multi-player unit that can be taken across the country for blood donation gaming events. We are not a charity and we are not a game manufacturer. We are simply creating the gaming hardware that will allow us to get gamers thinking about more important issues while still doing what they love. From there, we’ll partner with the appropriate organizations in both the gaming and medical communities to bring it all to life.

    Their funding goal is to raise CAD$250,000 to create a two-player controller as what they have developed for now is only for a single player. But why such a big amount? Apart from the controller, there are also medical devices and staff to manage the Blood Sport Controller project to bring across the country, which is Canada in this case , thus the amount is way higher than one would expect in buying a video game controller.

    We don’t know the reason why Kickstarter suspended the project as they have not put out a statement. Before it was suspended, it has already raised CAD$3,390, but with the suspension, it might not be able to meet its target of going on a summer tour visiting gaming events.

    Just imagine if something like this was made for airsoft, a portable blood collector and an arduino board connected to a vest with a BB hit sensor? That will surely make a lot of organisations that collect blood donations for emergencies happy with all those airsoft gamers donating their blood whenever they get hit.


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    Concern Kalashnikov Izhmek Plant

    With the sanctions from Western Countries in place against Russia due to its support to rebels in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea early this year, Concern Kalashnikov has suspended deliveries to certain countries, in this case the U.S. and Canada. The problem for the company is that without government sales, the company is shutout from its largest market in North America.

    With that in the background, the company has announced that they will introduce a new brand and concept development next week, on the 2nd of December specifically. According to the company, they will be using their own funds and without any government support.

    This will be more a rebranding including visuals to promote the company as the leader in the Russian Arms industry, unifying approach to their internal and external markets. This will also include the development of a new line of handheld weapons.

    Formed last year after Mikhail Kalashnikov, the father of the AK-47, turned over the rights of the "Kalashnikov" name to the new Concern, before his death last 23 December. With the basis of the Izhmash and Izhmekh plants, the Concern has unified state-run small arms manufacturers. Now, it is Russia's larger manufacturer of firearms which also include firearms for the civilian market such as shotguns, industrial tools and sporting rifles.

    The presence of Concern Kalashnikov is in 27 countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Norway, Italy, Kazakhstan and Thailand with income in 2013 exceeding 2 billion rubles. But we don't know how its performing this year in terms of revenues with the sanctions in place given.

    Last year, ROSTEC (Russian Technologies), the state company sold 49% of its stake in Concern Kalashnikov to a group of private investors whilst maintaining a controlling stake in the company. It also was awarded by the Russian government a US$400 million contract to to produce Vikhr anti-armor missiles.

    We are actually curious about what happened to their plans to introduce products for the airsoft market. Given the new information, it looks like it's not a priority.


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    DJI Phantom with the GoPro Hero3

    A familiar name in airsoft that will soon be known for building what is now part of documenting airsoft events --- drones. GoPro, the world's leader in action camera, is said to be building a line of consumer drones aimed at surfers and other sports. They are not going to build just one drone, but a line of consumer drones designed to fit the budget of enthusiasts according to the Wall Street Journal.

    With many companies, especially the world's biggest electronic brands, jumping into the action camera market, that market is turning to be a tight one for GoPro. Expanding into the consumer drone business is a logical move given that the company can leverage its expertise in action cameras and mating these to their upcoming line of drones would make a compelling proposition. Outdoor and sports videographers are resorting to drones as these are cheaper, controllable, and can go into tight aerial shots, as compared to chartering really expensive helicopters or airplanes to take aerial videos or photos.

    Rather than buy the action camera and the drone separately, why not buy from just one supplier? It makes sense right? GoPro is awash in cash right now, given the infusion of money from its IPO. Rather than partnering with a drone maker, the company plans to use the money at its disposal to develop a unified brand of action cameras and drones. Apart from that, GoPro plans to be a media company, drawing from its experience supplying action cameras to media and movie companies. Having all the equipment at one place rather than depending on another supplier would also make it easier to support media projects logistically.

    (Hexo+ is a drone that follows its owner with a mounted GoPro camera)

    GoPro's action cameras are the most used in consumer drones, from already pre-built packages to those built by enthusiasts using their own camera cages to attach to their home-made drones. The other makers that will be threatened by GoPro's entry into the action camera + drone market will be DJI, which is already making a name for itself in the market, especially with the introduction with their nicely designed Inspire 1, and Parrot's Ar.Drone series.

    As the Wall Street Journal reports, these drones are multi-rotor ones that are already equipped with high definition action cameras which we hope have well-developed stabilization systems that are much needed for providing smoother videos whilst on the move.

    Pricing for the GoPro Drones, which will be released late next year, will be between the US$500 to US$1,000.00. Hopefully, it would be at a price range affordable for the serious enthusiasts.


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    Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Official Teaser Trailer

    I guess you can forgive me for writing about the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII "The Force Awakens"trailer this weekend rather than putting an after action report or posting the latest and bestest airsoft gun in the market these days. With all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales happening, even outside of the USA, airsoft players sure got their hands full clicking or visiting airsoft shops to get the best deals rather than worry about the weekend skirmish. These super duper deals happen just once a year.

    The spoiler: this is not a full trailer but still the first teaser of a series leading up to release of Episode VII which is the first Star Wars movie that is done under Walt Disney Pictures after the company bought the rights to the film series for over US$4 Billion in October 2012. Set for release in December 2015, the production of the movie is being done in the United Kingdom.

    What we welcome about Episode VII is that the original team (and their original) is now back: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Hans Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca the Wookiee (played by Peter Mayhew),  C-3PO (played by Anthony Daniels), and R2-D2 (played by Kenny Baker) will be appearing

    J.J. Abrams gets the honour of being the director of two of the most influential sci-fi series of all time, as he gets to direct Stars Wars Episode VII after directing the last two Star Trek Movies: Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

    Watching the trailer, even it's just 88 seconds of it is really good and we're all looking forward to its release late next year. The filming has already been wrapped up, but the production is just halfway through where the magic begins, putting the special effects which are now even better than before. As for the story, it's still very much kept under wraps. But if you really want some unconfirmed tidbits, better head off to Screenrant as they have some compelling guesses about Episode VII.

    Here’s the trailer, and may the force be with us next year.


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    Lego Soldiers 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Nomination Period

    The biggest online airsoft event is now on (need we say it's also the longest?)! The 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Nomination Period has now started. This is the first phase of the awards where the top 5 nominees in the various categories will then advance into the Final and Voting round to determine who are the best in the categories.

    Also, we announce the "Hall of Fame" in which those who have won their categories 5 times get the "Hall of Fame Award", there are a two or three (or more?) who are in the running for the Hall of Fame Award but we mention these names until we go into the Voting Period to find out if they have made it to the final voting round of the 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards.

    CLICK HERE TO START SUBMITTING YOUR NOMINEES!

    (Nomination Period: 1 December to 29 December 2014)

    Some other changes also. For the raffle prizes, which are some of the most coveted by airsoft players, will be announced later this month. But in order to be able to be part of the raffle, airsoft players must submit their nominees during the Nominations Period AND vote during the Voting Period.  Previously, we only drew winners from the list of those who voted during the Voting Period.

    Good luck to all the voters and potential nominees! You will need all the luck to be chosen the winner by tens of thousands of airsoft players around the world. We won't waste your time we a longer post, so get on moving an nominate your favourites!

    Also, please take time to click on the logos of our sponsors and visit their websites. Without them, the Awards won't be a reality and there will be no cool raffle prizes to give away:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

    GENERAL SPONSORS


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    Chris Costa LVOA Winter 2014

    In what should be a blast for survival game enthusiasts in Japan by the start of 2015, Chris Costa of Costa Ludus will be appearing at the Peace Combat Fes 2015. In  coordination with ATTUSA, Costa Ludus will be there for this event, with Jimmy Hendrix also being one of the special guests. For those in Asia and wanting to meet Chris Costa and get a taste of the Costa Ludus services, then Japan Peace Combat Fes 2015 should be high in their calendars in January.

    From the 7th of January up to the 12th of January, you can find Chris Costa and Jimmy Hendrix at the following places:

    2015.01.07 (Wednesday) Welcome Party @ Shibuya O-EAST

    A custom gun announcement, exhibition, installation & reservation sales of Chris Costa talk show  and installation Japan commemorative model. Plus some tactical fashion with SG-FASHION-SNAP.COM which means you get to see those lovely Japanese ladies in tactical gear.

    2015.01.10 (Saturday) Survival Game @ Tokyo Survival Game Park Premium Urban Warfare

    Shooting course installation and a shooting demonstration from Chris Costa. Further signing and photo shooting with him and Jimmy Hendrix plus local Japanese guests and talents such as Iwasa Mayuko, Haruna Yabuki, Impulse Itakura, Incense Sakai, Peace Combat Girl, and many more.

    2015.01.11 & 12 (Sunday & Monday) Survival Game @  CAMP SEAL Team Six - Large battle & Flea Market

    A flea market sale of airsoft and tactical gear will be place. Also installed is a shooting course designed by Chris Costa and of course another shooting demonstration. Further signing, photo ops and a Golgo 13 Sniper Contest. The guests and talents from the other dates will also be appearing on these dates.

    You can check schedule, transportation arrangements and entry fees at the ATTUSA website. With just a bit over a month to go, better book your tickets and transport fares. Chris Costa will be waiting for you.


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    U.S. Army Drone

    Drones are getting to be part of everyday life with many companies looking into the various uses of drones for profit. For us airsoft players, it's more of covering the airsoft action for after action videos, or actual use of drones for intelligence gathering in airsoft milsim events. With drones starting to go more frequently in the air, there are concerns that unregulated use of these small flying machines will cause some accidents or pause more dangers to aircraft carrying passengers and precious cargo.

    In the USA, there are already some protocols in place in order to prevent such accidents from happening: not within 5 miles of airports, not above 400 feet, keeping it always in sight, must not cause damage to property, and must not be in populated areas. However, it seems that some drone operators are now heeding this safety advice.

    The FAA reported that there is a big increase in drone-related incidents, with about 175 documented reported incidents with 25 of these drones almost colliding with either a helicopter or a plane.

    Other countries are also taking notice and proposals to regulate use of drones are being put in the legislatures or agencies tasked to regulating civil aviation. Some are proposing the drone operators should also get pilots' licenses before allowed to be using drones. It is understandable since the concerns are valid and pose dangers to aircraft which are carrying human passengers.

    For airsoft event organizers, they should factor in the use of drones in their house rules, especially at airsoft sites that are near airfields. It's best to be proactive so we can still preserve the use of drones as we deem fit for use in airsoft rather than wait for drones to be banned for civilian use due to operators who have total disregard for safety in the pursuit of their hobbies.

    It's best really to learn more about using drones safely to be able to enjoy flying these without being potential dangers to others.


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    U.S. Army Female Body Armour

    In Materials Science, scientists are excited about the myriad of potential uses of Graphene. From lighter but sturdier products to even being effective water filters, Graphene promises a lot. For those developing body protection, Graphene poses a far better solution than what Kevlar does and does it in a thinner way, and of course double the stopping power.

    According to Gizmag, researchers Edwin Thomas of Rice University and assistant professor Jae-Hwang Lee of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, put 300 layers of Graphene together that provided 10 times the strength of steel. You might say that it's a lot of layers to achieve that strenght, but since Graphene is so thin and light that the sheets were 10 to 100 nanometers thick. That means it's a very light material to be used in layers and still won't add much to the weight of a vest.

    They then focused a laser on a gold filament, vaporizing it into a projectile flying at 3,000 meters per second. They found out that the Graphene layers provided a stopping power twice that of Kevlar.

    With such new purposes, the scientists see developing full body armor that can cover much of a soldier's body with lesser weight to worry about. They also see protection for space vehicles as they can be coated by graphene which can then protect them from space debris.

    More military applications of Graphene can mean more applications for airsoft. If it becomes readily available in the future, who knows? We see airsoft guns that durable and light weight protection without compromising the load that we carry to the field.


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    RWA Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version Pistol

    Just when we thought that the premium of airsoft pistols comes from a company in Taiwan that was recently bought by Cybergun, Hong Kong comes out to deliver what can be considered the most realistic airsoft pistol ever. We are privileged to get initial information on the RWA Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version, which is more "premium" than the 1911 Pistol made by Inokatsu, and of course comes with a premium price.

    According to Paul Chu of the RWA Group, RWA spent over 18 months to design, test, examine the internal and external details before finally sending it for production. Here is what he says:

    "It was a grueling process but we are proud of the results.  I truly believe that this is the most realistic Airsoft pistol on the market today, and that it is commensurately as desired by customers in Airsoft as those in the real steel world desire a real Nighthawk Custom.   The gun feels real just holding it in your hands, and we have tuned the system to generate strong recoil while using a relatively stiff recoil spring for realistic cocking.  The whole gun is made from CNC steel.

    It is based on a Marui design, but we modified the system for optimal CO2 performance and also greater stress resistance from all the stiffer springs and heavy components.  None of the components come from Marui or any other OEM factory for that matter.  We manufactured every single component from the ground up.  So you can say that the system was inspired by Marui, but it’s not a Marui.

    Having said that, it can still take Marui single stack magazines and Green Gas /Red Gas will barely cycle the slide for a few rounds (not much more though due to the super heavy slide and stiff recoil spring and hammer)."


    Such a pistol has set the bar high for other manufacturers to follow and of course the, expectations in terms of build quality and performance amongst airsoft players. Indeed, RWA are confident that it will exceed the most premium from Inokatsu in terms of build and performance.

    We first saw the prototype of this pistol early this year, at the IWA & Outdoor Classics 2014 in Nuremberg, Germany. This is a full CNC'd airsoft pistol though we weren't able to test the blowback function of this pistol, we have been assured that the it has the strongest blowback, and "sharp lines that may cut you if you are not careful (like a real gun), and very stiff switch-ware."

    This will be initially available at the RedWolf Airsoft store on the 12th of December and this is a limited edition pistol. As for pricing, the retail price is set at US$1,280.00. If you have the money to splurge on airsoft gun this Christmas, then the RWA Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version should be high in your list of stuff to buy.

    Press release below:

    RWA RELEASES MOST REALISTIC AIRSOFT PISTOL EVER : THE NIGHTHAWK GRP RECON STEEL VERSION

    December 4, 2014
    United Kingdom

    RWA is proud to announce the release of their most coveted airsoft replica to date; the Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version.  Following the past release of the skirmish-focused Nighthawk Custom Recon CO2 pistol, and the collectible Nighthawk Custom GRP and Talon CNC aluminium Deluxe models, RWA pushes the envelope further with this new full steel offering that combines beauty and performance.  In the works for over 18 months to perfect the overall design, exterior fittings, surface texture, color, ergonomics, and shooting performance, RWA will be releasing this much anticipated pistol on December 12, 2014.  Touted by some who have had an inside glimpse at this new model as the most realistic experience they have had with an airsoft gun, the new pistol impresses from the moment you pick it up.  Feeling like it was carved out of one piece of metal thanks to precision CNC steel construction with no shakes, wobbles, or gaps, the performance also delivers impressive range and accuracy.  The color, texture, high density checkering on the grips, and the sharply cut switches all closely echo that of the real thing.  The new Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version truly achieves its mark, and is commensurately desired by customers in Airsoft as real steel operators desire a Nighthawk Custom.  Real Nighthawk Custom GRP pistols retail at over USD 3000 and are considered one of the best 1911’s in the world.  The GRP Recon in particular was favored by both Chris Costa and Travis Haley when they served as instructors for Magpul Dynamics.

    The frame, slide and switches are precision made from CNC steel, while the grips were also carved using a CNC process and hand finished for a unique texture.  RWA chose to follow the Marui-based standard, which is arguably the best gas blowback platform by far.  Doing so also keeps the gun open to customization options through the large accessory market available for Marui pistols.  However, RWA did not borrow any components from Marui.  Instead, the company engineered numerous modifications to the original design to optimize it for CO2, and to also deal with the greater stress from stiffer springs and much heavier components.  Every single component was manufactured from the ground up, choosing steel and other strong materials to ensure reliability throughout the internal mechanism.  Despite these changes, the Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version is still compatible with Marui single stack magazines, although the performance pales in comparison to using the included CO2 magazine.  For those who desire to use Green Gas or Red Gas to run the Nighthawk, changing to a weaker recoil spring would allow increased shots per charge, but there would be a tradeoff in realism.  And realism is what the Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version is all about.

    Balancing a stiff recoil and hammer spring for realism against gas efficiency was also a major challenge, and RWA tilted in favor of delivering a more exhilarating and realistic experience.  The stiff recoil spring and hammer tells you the GRP means business when you cycle it back.  A newly inserted CO2 cartridge is good for approximately 2 full magazines worth of shooting, delivering an average of 340fps+ of power while still cycling in a powerful and snappy fashion.  The result surpasses any airsoft gun on the market today.  Thanks to the Marui hop-up design, the Nighthawk GRP Recon Steel Version also shoots very straight and far, making it a very practical gun for both target practice and games.  However, many of these pistols will likely enjoy more time being presented to friends or simply being adored within it’s beautiful piano wood box than seeing much action on the field.

    A lot of attention was also paid to the lines of the gun to ensure that the sights are mounted flush atop the slide, and the curving lines continue from the main body of the gun onto the protruding beaver tail.  RWA also deliberately engineered the magazine to only drop halfway as opposed to dropping completely out of the gun, which might damage the magazine.  The extremely stiff magazine release button also mimics that of its real counterpart and will take getting used to.  Much attention was paid to ensure the accessory rail is precisely cut to specification to accept real steel weapons lights snugly.

    At a loaded weight of 1.2Kg, the RWA Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon Steel Version closely matches that of a loaded real steel Nighthawk Custom GRP Recon.  Each piece is individually serial numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.  All spare parts are readily available for repair and service from RWA.

    About Nighthawk Custom

    Nighthawk Custom is an American firearms company based in Berryville, Arkansas, USA, and was founded in 2003 by experienced gunsmiths who left Wilson Combat to focus exclusively on ultra high precision custom pistols.  Nighthawk Custom specializes in military, law enforcement, civilian and competition pistols.  The company has a long standing partnership with Richard Heinie, a respected figure in the M1911 community, in developing premium 1911 pistols.  Nighthawk Custom also works with Chris Costa to create a tactical line of pistols.  Learn more about Nighthawk Custom at www.nighthawkcustom.com.

    About RWA

    RWA was founded in 2011 and focuses on manufacturing and distribution of premium quality Airsoft.  The company was founded by the same people who founded RedWolf Airsoft, the oldest international airsoft retailer founded in 1998.  Following the launch of their flagship product, the airsoft MG34 machinegun, RWA continues to innovate high quality products for the Airsoft and training market.  RWA is the exclusive worldwide license holder for Nighthawk Custom, SPS, Samson Manufacturing, and CMT.   RWA is the exclusive distributor for many premium brands like Madbull, Systema, Socom Gear, Inokatsu, Airsoft Surgeon, IMI Defense, Airsoft Innovations, PDI, E&L, Pantac, Wiley X, LBX, and many other brands in multiple countries worldwide.  The company also offers several other models of Nighthawk Custom Airsoft pistols, and a line of accessories including high quality BB pellets, gas and batteries.  RWA is also scheduled to launch a PTW based KG9 in early 2015.  Learn more about RWA at www.rwa-group.com.


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    5APCA TM HK417 Early Variant Prize

    Yes! You are seeing right what you think you're seeing. Be one of the first to win this Tokyo Marui HK417 Early Variant With The Blowback and Recoil Engine if you participate in the 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards. The AEG will be released this month, making it on time before the Christmas shopping season to be in full force. This means that many airsoft players are saving up in one of the most anticipated AEGs in 2014.

    In order to win the Tokyo Marui HK417 Early Variant and the other raffle prize you will need to do the following:

    1. Submit your nominees in the various awards categories (ongoing); and
    2. Vote for the finalist of the 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards during the Voting and Final Period.

    It's that simple!

    CLICK HERE TO START SUBMITTING YOUR NOMINEES!

    (Nomination Period: 1 December to 29 December 2014)

    So what are the prizes that will be waiting for the lucky raffle winners? Here is the initial list and there will be more:

    From Tokyo Marui:

    Tokyo Marui HK417 Early Variant

    Tokyo Marui M870 Breacher Gas Powered Shotgun


    Tokyo Marui HK45 Gas Blowback Pistol


    Tokyo Marui M&P9 Gas Blowback Pistol

    From Gun-Fire which is mainly for European airsoft players:

    E&L Airsoft EL-104 AEG

    Specna Arms SA-V01 AEG

    Three sets of Rockets BBs, Flashlight, Gloves, & Promotional Gadgets.

    From SpecShop.pl:

    ESS - Profile TurboFan Goggles - Foliage Green

    Don't you love participating at the 5th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards? Start nominating and vote in the final round!

    Please take time to click on the logos of our sponsors and visit their websites. Without them, the Awards won't be a reality and there will be no cool raffle prizes to give away:

    MAIN PRESENTER

    GOLD SPONSORS

    GENERAL SPONSORS


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    Terminator Genisys Trailer

    It's a bit of a throwback with this trailer of the Terminator Genisys. The robots have now launcha global war to finally subjugate the human race and you will be a even a bit confused. For a movie franchise which is already 30 years old, the story is still fresh, even if Arnold Schwarzenegger has already taken in lots of years in age.

    For airsofters, especially the veterans during the early days of the hobby, The Terminator is one of those movies which marked the 1980s culture, a decade which airsoft took root. Thus, many of the oldies in the airsoft community can be nostalgic about the first Terminator movie.

    For avid followers of the Terminator. Genisys will be a treat to them as it looks like it is an amalgamation of the first two Terminator Movies with Kyle Reese being sent back to save Sarah O'Connor and the appearance of another shape-shifting T1000 robot.

    Most of those seen in the first two films are seen again in Genisys, albeit their shown in a different way this time. But while taking a lot from the older movies, it seems to be managing in giving it a fresh reboot of the movie franchise, especially since it is the first movie of a new Terminator trilogy.

    Watch the trailer below, it’s something to look forward to in 2015.


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    Tac-Con "241" And "Raptor" Trigger Systems

    Thanks to one our readers from Japan, who sent us this link about the release of new products from Tac-Con (Tactical Fire Control, Inc) which incorporate their 3MR trigger which has been talked about by firearms enthusiasts since the release of their well-made video last year.

    To understand what the Tac-Con 3MR Trigger is all about, here is what the company says:

    The 3MR is a drop-in 3-mode fire control system with Safe, Semi-Automatic, and Tac-Con™'s patented 3rd Mode. The 3rd mode has a positive reset that dramatically reduces the split times between shots. The positive reset characteristic is achieved by transferring the force from the bolt carrier through the trigger assembly to assist the trigger back onto the front sear. As a result, this gives the firearm the fastest reset possible. Both semi and 3rd mode positions exhibit a non-adjustable 4.5 pound trigger pull weight.


    With the development of their 3MR Trigger Technology, Tac-Con soon released 3MR Triggers for the AR-15, AR-10, and AK Rifles. For the AR platform, they have the "241" and for the AK platform, they released the "Raptor". The 214, apart from the assisted reset, also has a two-stage trigger mode. For the Raptor, it comes with the safe, and assisted reset semi auto which still makes it one of the fastest AK triggers in the market. It should not be mistaken for a bump-fire system which those civilian shooters use for rapid fire shooting with semi rifles.

    The 241 Triggers are available in Left, Right, and Ambidextrous Selectors whilst the AK-47 Raptor Trigger only has one model available. Prices range from US$395.00 to US$415.00 for the 241s, whilst the Raptor is at US$349.00.


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