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    Hunter Killer Movie

    Moviegoers who are looking for the next big military movie that would rival all the explosions of a Michael Bay movie should look forward to the release of “Hunter Killer.” Directed by Donovan Marsh, this stars Gerard Butler of “300” and “Olympus Has Fallen” and Academy Award Winner Gary Oldman.

    Watching the 2-minute trailer of “Hunter Killer” I can’t be help but notice the appearance of the TrackingPoint Smart Rifle or Precision Guided Firearm (PGF) in which it makes even a lightly trained shooter make accurate shots in which the rifle, once the trigger is squeezed, only shoots once the pip of the TrackingPoints XACT System is aligned with the crosshair which means a high probability of a hit. This means it is hard to miss with the TrackingPoint.

    The TrackingPoint PGF is used in the movie by the SEAL Team tasked to rescue the Russian President. Does this mean that the rifle is in use by the real Navy SEALS since movie directors always want accuracy of details these days and usually hire former SEALs as consultants to help them in the SEAL scenes. Who knows? “Hunter Killer” is military fiction, so it might not be true.

    Now what is “Hunter Killer” all about? The movie is based on the book “Firing Point” written by George Wallace and Don Keith in which a state of the art U.S. submarine was sent to answer a distress call from another U.S. submarine in the Arctic Ocean. But then the sub commander Joe Glass, played by Butler was ordered to go on a mission to rescue the Russian president as there is a coup that is brewing in that country that may just plunge the world into World War III.

    If you miss the military thrillers of  the Tom Clancy kind, such as the “Hunt for Red October” then just hope “Hunter Killer” would be in that league. The movie will be released on the 26th of October 2018.


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    Linda Hamilton Terminator 6

    The internet lit-up when Paramount Pictures released a first look photo for the another “Terminator” movie. What everyone is excited about is that the photo includes Linda Hamilton, the original Sarah Connor and one of the two real badass female action stars that I know of, the other being Sigourney Weaver of Aliens.

    The other two actresses in the photo are Mackenzie Davis ("Blade Runner 2049"), and Colombian Natalia Reyes ("Birds of Passage").

    Linda Hamilton appeared in the first two movies in the movie franchise, “Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” while she did voice only in “Terminator: Salvation.” This will be the third time for her to appear in the in this latest “Terminator” which remains untitled and is colloquially called “Terminator 6.”

    Production was supposed to have started in March 2018 but due to casting issues, it was delayed and actual production started in June 2018.

    In the photo, Hamilton still looks fit just like in the iconic image of her in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” albeit older this time.

    Photo:Linda Hamilton in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991)

    Whilst the story line is still hazy this time, it seems another young person needs protection this time. Davis is said to be playing the character tasked to protecting a teenage girl which is played by Reyes with Hamilton playing her role again as Sarah Connor.  And yes, the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be playing his role again and has started filming in Budapest last 30 July. Other actors in the cast are Diego Boneta ("Rock of Ages"), and Gabriel Luna ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.").

    James Cameron who will regain the rights to the Terminator series in 2019 will be producing the film. “Deadpool” director Timothy Miller will be directing the film this time. If all goes according to plan the movie will be released on the 22nd of November 2019 by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox.


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    Historycon 2018 SIX Airsoft Tournament

    The History Channel’s History Con 2018 Manila in the Philippines is fast approaching, and many are looking forward to an event that is full of activities. It is not only about History Channel’s own celebrities who are coming to meet their fans, but also for their fans to converge in various shows and gimmicks that the organizers have come up with.

    Airsoft, surprisingly, has a big presence in History Con Manila. With the SIX series, History Con organizers had the airsoft community in the Philippines to participate in the event, offering to host an airsoft tournament in 2017. It was a resounding success that for this year, they decided to expand the airsoft tournaments into Milsim, Speedball, and Practical Shooting giving airsofters more choices which airsoft event to participate in.

    Apart from the tournaments, two Taiwan-based companies that are supporting History Con 2018, Bolt Airsoft will be present and Xcortech will be having their own shooting competition at their booth for those who want try their products such as chromos, tracer units, and electronic shooting targets. If this continues, more airsoft companies might want to set up shop. Even the real steel community will be there with Association of Firearms & Ammunition Dealers of the Philippines (AFAD) will be there as well.

    As for celebrities, appearing at the History Con 2018 Manila Diego Loyzaga and Xian Lim of "Celebrity Car Wars", Jaime Dempsey of "Ride N'Seek", Giorgio Tsoukalos of "Ancient Aliens", Katheryn Winnick of "Vikings", Simon Yin of "The History Hustle", and Mong Chin of "Who Runs The World."

    The History Con 2018 in Manila will be on the 10th to the 12th of August 2018 at the World Trade Center Manila. For airsoft teams and airsoft practical shooters interested in joining the tournaments, they can visit the History Con 2018 SIX Airsoft Tournament Facebook Page for more information.

    Even with the SIX TV Series has finished its run, it will be alive in the History Con’s SIX Airsoft Tournament.


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    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

    Whoever said the airsoft players are such whiners? If they are not video gamers, then they are in for a surprise. Video gamers are some of the nosiest bunch when it comes to complaining about a issues and features in a video game. The historical list of complaints is long but here is one of the latest ones, coming right after the complaints of the powerful Compact SMG in the Fortnite Battle Royale Game.

    Now, it’s another upcoming Battle Royale Game from one of the biggest shooter game titles, Call of Duty. Ditching the single player campaign and opting for a Battle Royale mode, ActiVision intends to release the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 with is said will set itself apart from the present crop of Battle Royale games.

    With the release of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for the Playstation 4, (for PC owners, it will be on the 11th of August), whilst it is expected that there will be issues during Beta period, players using the Sony game console are up in arms with a particular feature. The body armour, which is one of the upgrades in the game when a player achieves a certain level, has the players complaining that it offers too much protection.

    Players say, that if they encounter a player with the body armour, they’d rather run away from it than confront it. This reminds us of the Juggernaut in the COD Modern Warfare multiplayer. It is tough to beat a player doing a Juggernaut and everyone in the opposing team will either avoid it or try to focus their firepower whilst praying that they won’t get mowed down first.

    There are options to counter someone with body armour. Go for a headshot which is easier said than done, or some armour piercing rounds with the latter said to be ineffective and can only be used in certain guns. Well, if there are bigger and more explosive weapons to use, then better put those to full bear on the player with the body armour.

    So, are Treyarch, the development studio for Black Ops 4, listening to the complaints? They are but their response on the Reddit /r/Blackops4 may just disappoint the players in the Beta period as it seems there are no plans for now. As it is the Beta period, they want how players will be able to cope with features such a defeating body armour when they get to unlock more gear and weapons. In short, watch and observe before they decide on removing the body armour feature or make adjustments to it before the game gets officially released. Here is what they said:

    We hear what you’re saying about Armor. We want to proceed thoughtfully and carefully here. We’re less than 24 hours into the Beta at this point, and not all content has been earned or had enough time to settle into the meta of the game. We know that the Gear category is new and has a lot of content that sits above the normal power band of Perks. Because of that, it’s really important that we see the full range of Create-a-Class content in play with a lot of data about player performance with this content before we rush into any changes with it. From our stats so far, other pieces of Gear are showing up as more effective than Armor. That said, we know that it can feel frustrating to fight against, and that feel is where we want to start. But let’s give this one a few more days to breathe.

    PC owners raring to get into the Black Ops 4 Beta action and have pre-ordered can start playing by the 10th of August, Pacific Time. The rest of PC owners can join in the action if they have pre-ordered after the 10th of August the next day.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be released on the 12th of October 2018 and will be available Microsoft Windows, Sony PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One.


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    U.S. Army Soldier with Suppressed M4A1 Rifle

    If everything goes according to plan, an upgrade for the M4A1 in use  the US Special Operations Forces will make them more stealthy as it involves the use of integrated suppressors for their weapon. Last 27 July SIG Sauer was awarded a contract for the M4A1 Suppressed Upper Receiver Groups (SURG) as announced by Defense.gov:

    Sig Sauer Inc., Newington, New Hampshire, was awarded a $48,000,000 five-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for the acquisition of the Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG).  The SURG weapon is an upgrade of the M4A1 lower receiver group in support of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Procurement Division.  Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $24,620 are being obligated at the time of award.  The majority of the work will be performed in Newington, New Hampshire, and is expected to be completed by July 2023.  This contract was awarded through full and open competition.  USSOCOM headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (H92430-18-D-0005).

    Previously, SIG Sauer won a contract for the MCX Rattler PDW for close quarters combat for use by the USSOCOM.  Whilst the MCX Rattler PDW uses the .300 Blackout round, it can be readily converted to fire the 5.56mm round.

    The SURG program was first identified in 2015 but was abandoned in 2016 and was later restarted. The requirements of the USSOCOM are a 5.56 NATO upper receiver group with an integrated suppressor rather than having a separate suppressor. According to Soldier Systems, which also revealed a photo giving us a first look of the SURG, it should be able use M855A1 and the MK318 MOD0 / MOD1 cartridges and be able to fire at least 1,200 rounds without lubrication.

    First Look: SURG mounted to a regular M4 lower (Source: Soldier Systems)

    Further information from Soldier Systems indicate a requirement for a more compact SURG, preferring  a full length of 21 inches but could go not more than 25.5 inches with the barrel being 11.5 inches in length. Ideal weight is 4.5lbs but not more than 7lbs. Color should be Coyote 498.

    One thing which I think is a very much thoughtful add-on to the requirements apart from the all important sound suppression, is that the SURG should be able to prevent sustained burns due to contact between the suppressor and operator through 1 layer of clothing. Cans go hot due to sustained firing and preventing burns is one thing that is to be considered when designing the front end of a weapon.

    The U.S. Marines and the Army are also looking into expanded use suppressors realizing the benefits of investing in suppressors such as minimize hearing loss and long term hearing damage apart from the tactical benefits in terms of better communications, muzzle flash suppression and lower sound signature makes them harder to spot.

     

    Top photo:U.S. Soldier from 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) with suppressed M4 in Germany (Source: DVIDSHub.net)


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    Swedish Police Stockholm

    An unfortunate incident happened in Stockholm, Sweden when police responding to calls shot dead a man with Down syndrome who was carrying a plastic replica gun in the Vaastra district of Sweden’s capital. The incident happened in the morning of Thursday, the 2nd of August 2018.

    In a report from the Expressen tabloid, the man, identified as 20 year old Eric Torrell, left his home carrying a toy gun which was taken from a pile of toys. He is said to be showing to his neighbours who have mistakenly thought that it was a real gun and called the police.

    Upon arriving at the scene, the police repeatedly called out Torrell to put the purported weapon down. They then deemed the situation to be “threatening” before three police officers opened fire and hitting Torrell in stomach. He was brought to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

    His mother, Katarina Söderberg, said her son is “loving” and the “world’s kindest person.” She added that Torrell had Down syndrome and also suffered from autism, having the mental age of a three-year old. He was mainly able non-verbal and usually able to say the word “mum” with his limited vocabulary.

    His family is furious, accusing the police of lying as how can a man with a mental age of a very young child be threatening. They claim that they are in a state of shock after the incident.

    Whilst none of the police officers have been suspected of a crime, the special prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation for possible misconduct. The police spokesperson said this is usually standard procedure when someone in the police force discharges a firearm.

    There is no confirmation if the replica toy gun is a an airsoft gun, since airsoft is legal in Sweden. It could be just a gun-shaped toy that may have just looked like a real gun to the police. But it is always a stark reminder to everyone, especially to airsoft players, to be careful about carrying replica guns in public.

     

    Top photo: Swedish Police vehicles at Stockholm Central Station (Source: Wikimedia)


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    Coolbox: Entertainment Cooler

    Remember that Coolbox Smart Toolbox? We featured it here over three years ago and we highly recommend it to airsoft gun techs who want a smart portable toolbox that can help them in their airsoft gun repairs and designing airsoft guns or products. IIt looks like the same makers, have decided to party and came up with an entertainment version that retains some of the features of the Smart Toolbox.

    What is called? Well, it’s called Coolbox™: The Entertainment Cooler™ and it is designed to keep you entertained, charged, and your drinks cold whilst in the outdoors or at the beach. Bring it with you for an outdoor party and if you are an airsofter or milsimer, then this is a very handy cooler to bring with you to the game field.

    Firstly, this new Coolbox is a cooler. Secondly, it is a boom box. Thirdly, it is a charger. It can cool drinks and when out on the field (for five days!), and in between games or in the safe zone, it can blare out loud music by a Bluetooth connected smartphone or tablet and there is a stand for the devices. It can charge mobile devices, and has an LED clock display for keeping track of time.

    The speakers are Marine grade ones, so they are durable for any climate. It can be carried with the carry handle or dragged with the telescopic handle and heavy duty wheels. Another small but important feature which makes it true cooler is a bottle opener since what else is the use of bringing cold bottled drinks when you don’t have anything to open them with?

    Another nice touch is a small storage compartment to store your keys and other belongings when you’re out there swimming by the lake.

    If interested in one, you can get a Coolbox Special when you pledge US$169. As of this writing, the Coolbox has already raised US$38,123 with a US$50,000 goal and 30 days to go. As always, you have to evaluate for yourself if it is a project that is worth supporting given than some crowdfunding projects, even if they get fully funded, fail to deliver or are heavily delayed in delivering what they promised.

    But if you feel underwhelmed by the features of the Coolbox, there is always the Coolest Cooler that comes with even more features.


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    Avatar Universe Hydra-8 Airsoft Shotgun

    The makers of Avatar Grenade are expanding their product development. The company, which is based in France, are taking a very much radical approach to the airsoft market, releasing their own designs rather than taking inspiration from existing real world weapons. Their third product after the Avatar Grenade and Hornet M-25 Kit for the G17/G18 GBB and AEPs, the Hydra-8 is what we think to be their most interesting product to date.

    Just like the Avatar-Grenade and the Hornet M-25, the Avatar Hydra-8 Airsoft Shotgun is an in-house design. It is a compact shell ejecting airsoft shotgun that can fire off 8 shells in quick succession. The design will remind you of guns from a video game and can fire more shotgun shells than the Crye Precision SIX12, which is limited to 6 rounds. Both can outgun any shotgun, with the exception of the AA-12 auto shotgun.

    The Hydra-8 is of Nylon Fibre construction and uses the M-Lok rail system to open design system from Magpul. To attach weapons accessories, especially weaponlights, it has an integrated under rail. Internally, the parts are CNC-machined steel.

    As previously mentioned, it can be loaded up to 8-shells and each shell can be filled with 6 6mm BBs. As for propellant, it uses CO2 or Green Gas and each shell, which look like it is a 12-gauge style and is to be filled up with gas, similar to how the APS CAM870 shells are loaded though the valve are on the side rather than at the bottom as shown in the photos.

    It is very much a compact airsoft shotgun, it is a very handy backup especially for CQB games and we can call it to be a “Room Sweeper” since it is very much manoeuvrable to bring to bear in any room. We wonder if a holster can be made for it since its compact enough or perhaps a special clip to a battle belt or MOLLE vest for easy draw when needed in room sweeping.

    Avatar Universe are already taking pre-orders and for those interested, be ready to shell out €170.00 for a special price and limited stock release. It will be available in Obsidian Black giving it a more metallic look. It is not mentioned if it will be coming with 8 shells or if you have to buy them separately.

    They are looking into an October 2018 release, which hopefully they can fulfill given that release schedules in airsoft are rarely followed with the exception of Tokyo Marui which is really specific in release dates.


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    Hiroto Ikeuchi’s “Ready Made”

    As part of Tokyo Marui’s cooperation with other companies and individuals outside of the airsoft industry, they have one of their products featured in an art exhibit that showcases the work of Hiroto Ikeuchi. Called “Ready Made”, his work combines with models and gadgets that are available off the shelf into works of art.

    In this case, a custom Tokyo Marui L96 AWS Airsoft Sniper Rifle is part of the art work installed for “Ready Made.” Mr. Ikeuchi is a 17th Japan Media Arts Festival Entertainment Division Excellence Award Winner.

    You may say that his work reminds you of Cyberpunk and indeed they are Cyberpunk-style art. But each art work, combining plastic, circuits, and the like are actually functional. Cyberpunk is in Japanese culture and he himself has been influenced by “Blade Runner.”

    In the photos below, you will notice that Mr. Ikeuchi also has a Tokyo Marui MP5 Kurz that he has customised just like his other works. However, it is not part of the official display according to Tokyo Marui and he brought it along for the photo session for Tokyo Marui.

    Curious about his other works in “Ready Made”? The exhibit has been ongoing since the 1st of August and will end on the 19th of August 2018. You can visit the 8th floor of Seibu Shibuya in 21-1 Udagawa cho Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

    You can also learn more by visiting Hiroto Ikeuchi on Tumbler.

    All photos are taken by Tokyo Marui.


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    USMC First Lieutenant Marina Hier

    One of the first two women who graduated from the Marines’ Infantry Officer Course, again has made history in the Marine Corps, becoming a Platoon Leader. According to the New York Times, First Lieutenant Marina Hierl, became the first woman to lead a Marine infantry platoon.

    The U.S. Marines is a very much a male-dominated organization, and the most opposed to having women perform combat roles. This development means the Marines are now adjusting to changes that that were announced by the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during President Obama’s time, when they opened more roles in the military for women to take, including combat roles.

    Her platoon belongs to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines' Echo Company which is currently in training in Australia.

    The Infantry Office Course that she went through in Quantico is a grueling course as officer candidates went through 13 weeks of evaluation and long hikes that require carrying heavy loads. There were 37 women who applied for the course, and tw, including Hierl, made it through. The other female graduate was slated for intelligence school.

    Hierl grew up in Bethlehem, Pa. where she worked on a horse farm while in high school.  She decided on joining the Marines upon meeting a recruiter, but her recruiter advised her to go to college which will make her a good candidate as an officer in the Marine Corps. She said she wanted to lead a platoon all this time.

    Women are making strides in the various branches of the U.S. Military. There are already female graduates of the Ranger School, and the first female infantry officer. There are already female pilots in the Army and Air Force.

    As for airsoft, we are seeing more participation of women. We just hope there will be more of them taking even more active roles in promoting the hobby and that these women in combat roles in the military should inspire them more.

     

    All photos in this story by Sgt. Gregory Boyd, USMC.