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    NCRPO COMELEC Checkpoint

    For the airsoft community in the Philippines, it’s time to stow their airsoft guns away as they will be in for a period of an election gun ban in preparation for the National and Local elections that will take place on the May 13. The gun ban, which will also cover airsoft as defined by the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. 10446, will take effect on January 13 and ends on June 12, 2019. That’s five months of no airsoft for players in the country.

    The gun ban usually takes a toll on airsoft as airsofters take up other hobbies while the gun is in effect and sometimes a number of them don’t go back to airsoft after the ban is lifted, preferring to stick with their newfound hobbies.

    In the Definition of Terms in the COMELEC Resolution No. 10446, airsoft is covered in the Firearm definition:

    p. Firearm, as defined in R. A. No. 10591, refers to any handheld or portable weapon, whether a small arm or light weapon, that expels or is designed to expel a bullet, shot, slug, missile or any projectile, which is discharged by means of expansive force of gases from burning gunpowder or other form of combustion or any similar instrument or implement, wherein the barrel, frame or receiver is considered a firearm.

    The term shall include airguns, airsoft guns, and replicas/imitations of firearms in whatever form that can cause an ordinary person to believe that they are real, including the parts thereof, as defined under pertinent laws.

    Imitation firearm, as defined under the same Act and as used herein, refers to a replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to believe that such imitation firearm is a real firearm. The term shall include airsoft guns.

    Thus, during the period of the Election Gun Ban, airsoft players are advised not to transport their airsoft guns as they may get caught in checkpoint. Doing so shall result into an election offense as based on Section 43 of the resolution, and the penalty is severe as provided for in Section 44:

    SECTION 44. Penalty for Election Offenses. -- Any person found guilty of any election offense described in this Resolution shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation. In addition, the guilty party shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage. If he is a foreigner, he shall be sentenced to deportation which shall be enforced after the prison term has been served.

    Is there a work around so that airsoft players can play? Players in the Philippines will need to verify first with the local Police and COMELEC office before doing this. There are airsoft game sites that allow for players to store their airsoft guns and gear during the gun ban period. Players can play in such sites being private properties and since their airsoft guns and gear are prepositioned there is no need to transport these and be caught in a checkpoint. I will have to reiterate that they will need to confirm first with the local authorities if they allow for this before doing so.

    Overall, it’s time to hunker down again for airsoft players in the Philippines, it’s going to be a long five months of watching and listening to politicians making promises, doing sing and dance, and kissing babies. Another political circus is about to begin.


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    Kantanka Group Exoskeletons (Trends GH Screenshot)

    The race of the first combat-ready exoskeletons just got a bit more crowded. Whilst we expect such developments from developed countries and the big three (U.S., Russia, and China), sometimes we get surprised by developments from where we least expect it. In this case, from the country of Ghana a middle income country in Africa, also a football powerhouse in the continent.

    According to Graphic Online, during the 38th annual Technology Exhibition of the Kantanka Group in Accra last 6 January, the group paraded what looks like to be the largest and perhaps the tallest armoured vehicle in the world and is equipped with a laser rangefinder.  But what is more interesting is a trio of troopers that are wearing what look like to be Iron Man suits.

    These suits, or more  known as exoskeletons, are designed to augment the capabilities of their wearers, allowing them to carry heavier loads and go to longer distances without causing any injury and protect the body. The Kantanka Group “Exoskeletons” show more heavily armoured men as compared to the exoskeleton projects in other countries such as the U.S. wherein the exoskeletons are more contraptions to augment rather than act as armour for the soldiers.

    The soldiers in the video fromm Trends GH can sure walk with the load but they are not as agile as expected for soldiers to go into combat. They raise further questions about the armour qualities and armament as we see rifles slung to their backs. They also have helmets though they may not have HUDs (Heads Up Displays) much less have Jarvis as their personal digital assistant. Apart from the parade, there is not much information about these exoskeletons.

    It’ll be interesting to know about their capabilities and if they are as formidable as they look, they can be game changers in the battlefield. But for now, Tony Stark can rest easy.

    The armoured vehicle in the background is just massive, like a land battleship. It is cavernous inside that it might be able to squeeze in a platoon of fully armed soldiers. It is fully airconditioned though it does not have a turret so a gunner can safely fire from the inside.

    It’s profile may not make it tactically viable when military vehicle designers always opt to go for a lower profile look. It might just be a magnet for RPGs and anti-tank weapons as it can be easily spotted from afar.

    Nevertheless, it is interesting to see efforts of countries such as Ghana to develop their own local military industries. Their designs may not meet NATO requirements but they may just be more than enough for their local requirements, which is usually going against insurgents, terrorists, and coup plotters.


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    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

    Of all the Call of Duty titles, for me, the Modern Warfare series is the most epic given the scale, story, and characters. It is the series where we saw airsofters and gamers immersed themselves, bringing the characters’ loadouts to the airsoft field and the callsigns Soap and Ghost  were popular in airsoft forums. But the most compelling character is Captain Price who has survived through all the titles, watching Soap die in his arms in Modern Warfare 3.

    With Ghost and Soap gone, will Captain Price be back with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 which is rumored to be the COD title for 2019? It will surely bring back a lot of excitement especially with the older lot of COD players who were engrossed with the Modern Warfare story arc.

    Infinity Ward will be the lead developer for this year’s Call of Duty title, and it is the same outfit that was behind the Modern Warfare until there were differences between their directors and Activision which bought Infinity Ward in 2003.

    Infinity Ward senior communication manager Ashton Williams tweeted a skull leading fans to speculate that the next title will be Ghosts 2. But others point out the skull is the signature of the original Ghost in the COD franchise, Lieutenant Simon Riley, famous for the balaclava with a skull print and who died in Modern Warfare 2 with Gary “Roach” Sanderson.

    For Activision to revive the sales of the COD Series, as the sales have been on a downward trend, is to fallback to Modern Warfare with Modern Warfare 3 being the best selling COD title of all time, and hope that it will turn back the flagging sales even if Black Ops 4 was the best selling title in 2018.

    Other rumor tidbits is that Modern Warfare 2 will be having a Battle Royale mode just like Black Ops 4 and may not have a single player campaign too. For those who want to Modern Warfare story to still continue this will be a big disappointment as the storyline is what we think to be what made the Modern Warfare still very much fresh in the minds of older COD players the strongest selling point of the series.

    Gaming Intel was first to report about Modern Warfare 4 to be the 2019 title in May 2018 and if what their exclusive sources say that it will have campaign, multiplayer, and zombie modes, then we can rest easy. But we won’t mind a Battle Royale like the Black Ops 4 Blackout is also added to the mix if that’s what gamers nowadays want.


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    9 APCA Voting Week 2

    When we were expecting that this Voting/Finals period of the 9th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards will the number of votes will be the lower than the previous year, it looks like we were mistaken for now as it’s still too early to say. Thousands of votes have been cast in the first week, so it’s looking good that airsoft players from around the world are active in casting their votes.

    That makes the job of the finalists in each of the 25 categories even harder as they are not sure if their names are in most of those of thousands of votes or the competition. But for you our dear reader, if you have not cast your vote, then better click on the button below to start voting now:

    The task for the finalists in the awards is simple: get as many votes as possible and top the votes in their categories to win. But then, they will have to utilise a number of tools: social media, videos, email, newsletter, and the old fashioned cajoling. Whatever tools in the arsenal, they better utilise them.

    We have been monitoring social networks and the efforts of some finalists to rally their supporters and vote for them is tremendous. Such efforts usually ensure the possibility of winning as compared to doing nothing at all.  We appreciate these as they means that thus Players’ Choice Awards is taken very seriously by the community and industry, making it the most sought after recognition in the airsoft world.

    But of course, the awards got its motivational tools as well to make the readers and airsoft players cast their votes: RAFFLE PRIZES! And they are listed below:

    Airsoft guns from Tokyo Marui:

    TOKYO MARUI MTR16 GAS BLOWBACK RIFLE

    TOKYO MARUI JGSDF TYPE 89 GAS BLOWBACK RIFLE

    TOKYO MARUI M&P9L PC PORTED GAS BLOWBACK PISTOL

    For the Europe-based airsoft player, raffle prize sets from Gunfire and Specna Arms:

    SET 1

    SA-V26 Assault Rifle Replica Specna Arms - RED EDITION
    Buff Armored Claw
    Patch Specna Arms RED GUN
    Patch Gunfire

    SET 2:

    Carabine Replika Specna Arms SA-C09 CORE - HALF-TAN
    Buff Armored Claw
    Patch Specna Arms RED GUN
    Patch Gunfire

    SET 3:

    Blast Plate Carrier Tactical Vest Primal Gear
    Buff Armored Claw
    Patch Specna Arms Carbine - tan
    Patch Gunfire

    Military 1st also sent in two raffle prizes:

    HELIKON RATEL MK2 BACKPACK SHADOW GREY

    PENTAGON KYLER BACKPACK WOLF GREY

    Please always take time to visit our sponsors as their support is very much valuable in making the awards possible:

    Bettere get those votes coming in and help us find the winners of the 9th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards.


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    Airsoft Surgeon 2018 Shield Cup

    The largest airsoft practical pistol shooting tournament in Europe is finally back after a one year hiatus. The Airsoft Surgeon Practical Shooting Championships will be held once again in the United Kingdom, and for will be held at a different venue this year.

    Started in 2013, the Airsoft Surgeon tournament has been at the forefront of promoting airsoft practical shooting. Starting at The Grange in Balsall Common, Solihull near Conventry, the tournament has grown over the years attracting airsoft shooters not only from Europe but from Asia and South America as well.

    Only in 2018 that the tournament was not held to give way to the first Action Air World Shoot that was held in Hong Kong in June. It also allowed RedWolf Airsoft UK, the main backer of the tournament a respite after their HQ in Tewkesbury was hit by fire just a few weeks before the 2017 Airsoft Surgeon European Championship took place.

    For this year, the tournament will be moving to the Isle of Wight, to the home of the First Person Shooter (FPS) Shooting range in Newport.  According to tournament organiser, Chris Kong of RedWolf Airsoft UK the main sponsor is Shield Sights and thus, this year’s tournament is called the Airsoft Surgeon 2019 Shield Cup and it will be held on the 3rd to the 4th of August 2019.

    FPS are the largest organised airsoft practical shooting group in the UK and they always have the biggest contingent at each Airsoft Surgeon tournament. Their organisation will be prove valuable as they will finally be the hosts this year.

    Now, for the details of the tournament. For two days, there will be a total of 16 stages: 8 Short, 6 Medium, 2 Long with a Minimum Round Count of 304. There will be a Shoot Off competition as well. Individual Registration Fee is at  £70 whilst teams of four shooters pay a registration fee of £40 per team member.
    The Divisions for this shoot will be Open with a Max 28 rounds BB in each magazine; Standard (Max 18 rounds BB in each magazine); Classic (Max 10 rounds BB in each magazine – single stack only); Production (Max 15 rounds BB in each magazine) – Pistols currently approved on Production Division List); and Production Optic (Max 15 rounds BB in each magazine). Categories are Super Senior, Senior, Lady, Male, and Junior (17 years old & under).

    For this year, a “Team Challenge” will be introduced. A team is defined as four shooters even if they are shooting in different squads. To determine the winning team of the tournament, team members should work on accruing the most points for their team. This “Team Challenge” will proceed as soon as five teams have indicated interest.

    Interested teams and shooters can start signing up for the event with the last day for registration on the 31st of August 2019. The Pre-Match for ROs will be on the 1st to the 2nd of August whilst the Main Match will take place on the 3rd to the 4th of August 2019.

    As always, ever since it started in 2013, we will be covering the event. So expect us to be there and hopefully film the action live so you can follow the tournament via social media.


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    U.S. Army eSports

    In 2018, the U.S. Army has missed its annual recruitment target of 6,500 for the for the first time. With low employment in the overall U.S. economy, the attraction of the service is not compelling as potential recruits have more options in the job market. The Army decided to tweak its recruitment process and implementing new approaches.

    One such approach that may help meet recruitment goals is eSports.

    A big number of Americans play video games. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 60% of the population play video games everyday with 35% of this market are American males ages 21 to 35. With this big portion of the population into video games and eSports getting bigger with lucrative competitive leagues not having global following, it is hard for the Army to ignore eSports.

    Thus, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command  since September 2018 is forming an eSports team comprised of active soldiers and this program has attracted over 4,000 applications which makes it an attractive option for soldiers to help boost recruitment.

    In a news post a the Army.mil website, Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commanding general for U.S. Army Recruiting Command said that, "If we are going to be successful in recruiting, then we need to be where young people are -- and they are operating in the digital world. There are already thousands of current Soldiers who are competitive online gamers. Now we are giving them a chance to use their talents to help us relate to and connect with other young gamers.

    They will have the ability to start a dialogue about what it is like to serve in our Army and see if they are interested in joining."

    As explained by the Army Recruitment Command eSports Page:

    The United States Army eSports Team is a competition team of the U.S. Army. Its members are drawn from the Regular Army and Army Reserves.

    This team will be part of the Marketing and Engagement Brigade based at Fort Knox. They will operate much like the Golden Knights and the Army Marksmanship Unit to create awareness about the Army and the opportunities it provides.

    This team will represent the Army in competitions and events across the nation.

    Soldiers have expressed a strong desire to represent the Army in competitive gaming. They have shown Army leaders how gaming can help us connect to young people and show them a side of Soldiers they may not expect. This initiative will help make our Soldiers more visible and relatable to today's youth.
    Members of the eSports outreach teams are not recruiters. They will be in a support role to help young people see Soldiers in a different light and understand the many different roles people can have in the Army. They will help the Army address the growing disconnect with society.

    Competitive online gaming will be part of the duties of the eSports team. Soldiers on this team will travel to various events and compete for the Army.

    The outreach team members will receive the same pay and benefits as other Soldiers of equal rank across the Army. All expenses associated with certifications, competitions and other requirements of the job will be paid by the Army.

    It can also be a lucrative endeavor for the members of the Army eSports team if they are competitive enough to go against the best in the various eSports leagues such as Call of Duty, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, and more. These leagues offer millions in total cash prizes with members of leading eSports teams accorded rock star status.

    Once the eSports team of Army gets formed, they will start competing by Summer 2019.

     

    Photo Source: US Army eSports Facebook Page


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    Black The Web Series Coming Back

    Too cold to play outside this weekend? Then you might want to stay in doors and binge watch on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram of Black The Web Series. The series started in 2013 as a Kickstarter project by award-winning writer/director Frank T. Ziede and he contacted us during the crowdfunding campaign about this.

    The series heavily uses airsoft guns as props for the series.

    The series follows Agent Carnahan, a CIA Operative who began his career with the US Navy SEALs and later DEVGRU, it was initially planned as six-episode project but with plans to expand further depending on the reception and demand by the viewers. Upon completion of the first six episodes, a 6-episode Season 2 followed and went online in 2015.

    With the release of all episodes for both seasons for people to watch online for free does not mean it is the end of the web series and it looks like there will still be another season or project. Ziede has partnered up with the Emmy award winning production team from Legion of Creatives and have released a promo on YouTube:

    They also further confirm about future plans with this announcement on Facebook:

    No further details yet on Season 3 and if it will continue as a web series or will it be snapped by the giant web streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or even YouTube Red? We hope that it’s an even better production with a bigger budget.

    For now, stay tuned.


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    SHOT Show 2019

    The first big trade event that the airsoft industry will be showcasing its products will be in Las Vegas, at the annual SHOT Show hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Whilst it’s mainly known as a show for the real steel industry, over the years, Airsoft has built a sizeable presence, albeit their mainly spreadout in the sprawling Sands Convention Center, rather than in one location.

    But hey! Who’s complaining? This helps visitors mainly looking for airsoft exhibitors to take a look at other exhibitors such as real steel manufacturers and gear makers so they can appreciate the trade show overall.

    As always, we’ll be seeing the various airsoft YouTube channels, especially those run by those based in North America, in full force bringing to our screens whatever they see on the exhibition floor. Will there be groundbreaking products? Or new and improved ones? Or will there be drama just like in the past years?

    The event starts on the 22nd and ends on the 25th January 2019. But before the doors to the exhibition floor open there will be preliminary events such as the NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic which is a charity event to raise funds for disabled combat veterans on Sunday, the 20th. Monday the 21st is something many in airsoft media look forward to as they can get their hands and able to shoot real steel guns, especially those that have airsoft versions at the Industry Day at the Range which is made for the media.

    The SHOT Show 2019 is not open to the public as it is only for the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade and commercial buyers and sellers of military, law enforcement and tactical products and services. If you intend to attend the show, you will have to meet their requirements as a trade visitor or media representative.

    We will not be there physically but we’ll do monitoring of the various airsoft media groups, bloggers, and YouTube celebrities as they report from exhibition flooring. As always, feature the most interesting bits from the airsoft industry as well as the overall firearms and tactical gear industry. Hopefully, this year will reveal a bunch of goodies that we all want to have in airsoft.


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    Tokyo Marui MK46 MOD0 5th TM Festival

    The star of the show at the 5th Tokyo Marui Festival was the MK46 MOD.0 NGRS (New Generation Recoil Shock) AEG. Whilst the Japanese airsoft company is the leading manufacturer of airsoft guns ever since it introduced the FAMAS AEG in 1991, releasing airsoft models of some of the iconic and popular real world guns, it has never released an airsoft support weapon, which was a wonder by many over the years. Other companies have taken the lead in developing airsoft LMG foremost are Classic Army and A&K.

    But before that, let’s go back again to the 5th Tokyo Marui Festival which took place last 17-18 November 2018. As for the recap of the products that were revealed during the festival, please do refer to this story when we posted the product revelations.

    As it is their own party, Tokyo Marui pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable event for their visitors. Initially held during the summer season, the event was moved to November, in which cooler weather allowed for more comfortable visits for curious airsoft players and the general public. It was too hot during the summer season and cooling the place was an issue.

    It was a surprise that the company took the effort of having an MH-6 greeting the visitors to look at and take photos of. This is the light attack chopper used by the U.S. Special Operations, especially by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers). Another vehicle that was on display was the Tokyo Marui PRSV-02 which comes in a black matte colour scheme.  This is a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 AX which has a 1 UR-FE V8 Engine and is 4-wheel drive. No one was allowed to ride it but you can watch it in action in the video presentation of the MK46 Mod 0 NGRS on YouTube wherein Decca makes an entrance driving it.

    Anson “Hollywood” Beck of the Falcon Operations Group graced the show to talk about the Tokyo Marui MTR16 Gas Blowback Rifle. He was consulted by the company in the development of the real steel prototype of the MTR16 to find if the design has the ergonomics to be used in a real steel version. There will be no full production of the real steel MTR16 as the prototype was a proof of concept that its design can be implemented in the real world. He also gets to pose withh the MK46 MOD.0 NGRS.

    Apart from looking at the new products revealed, visitors were able to shoot airsoft guns at the Shooting Experience Corner, have their photos taken at the Resident Evil RE: 2 Photo Spot. Buy Marui merchandise at the Merchandise Corner and treat themselves to coffee and Crepes, the first time we saw a food van installed at the venue.

    Now back to the story of the MK46 MOD.0 NGRS.  According to Tokyo Marui’s Yuki Maeda, the decision to make an LMG was not a new decision. In fact, the made a prototype M249 NGRS a year or two after the release of the first Tokyo Marui NGRS, the AK74MN, and that was 11 years ago. In fact, the prototype was briefly featured in page 116 of “The Complete Book Of Tokyo Marui” released in 2017 in Japan by World Photo Press.

    But with the prototype M249 NGRS, why did they not bring it to production? They surmised that it was going to be pretty expensive when it gets released during that decade and it also that players might find it heavy. Over the years, they eventually released expensive and heavy NGRS models such as the HK417 NGRS, SGR-12, and Thor’s Hammer, airsoft players bought them, not minding the price and weight of these models. Thus, they decided that an airsoft LMG like the M249 can now be released.

    But instead of officially announcing an M249 NGRS, they revealed a MK46 MOD.0 model. Maeda said that there were several reasons why though she declined to reveal all of them as she cannot disclose them. However, there are two primary reasons why a MK46 MOD.0 NGRS over an M249 NGRS. First, the M249 is already an old design. Second, the MK46 MOD 0 design has picatinny rails, allowing airsoft players to install weapons accessories such as optics and other aiming devices making it more attractive than the M249.

    The belt-link feeding simulation seen in the MK46 MOD.0 NGRS was already in the M249 prototype, but other improvements based on their experience in developing the prototype that were implemented in the MK46 MOD.0 were not mentioned.

    Other features are the unique battery installation procedure. You can install the battery using an Ni-MH AK-type battery, which means it is a stick battery, by doing the procedure on barrel change done in the real gone, making it a more realistic operation. Many players find this a very thoughtful and nice touch.

    Operating it requires pulling the handle to set the BBS and the LMG stops when the magazine is empty.  The magazine is electric feeding with 1,000 rounds capacity; the flash hider is detachable and you can install a 14mm CCW suppressor. It also comes with a folding bipod for a more stable shooting platform.

    Here is a video from Sakataku TV where the operations and features are explained.

    If you want to become an owner of the Tokyo Marui MK46 MOD.0 NGRS, better start saving up now as you have been warned that is going to be expensive though the pricing has not been announced yet. The planned release will be in Spring 2019 so better be ready with your cash when it get released.

    Personally, I would like Tokyo Marui to immediately follow up the MK46 MOD.0 with an M249 Para version with the cover that seen in the MK46 as it has a top RIS rail for mounting optics.

    Will the Tokyo Marui MK46 MOD.0 usher in a family of LMGs from the company? We sure hope so, for decades we have been wishing for the company to release their own airsoft support weapons. Finally, there is one.


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    9 APCA Voting Week 3

    If you have not cast your votes you this far in the voting period of the 9th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards, where have you been? But don’t worry, there is still enough time for you to cast your vote. Just don’t cast your vote when it’s already too late. So better get the vote in as well as invite your airsoft team mates to do the same.

    Click the button below to start voting:

    For the finalists in the 25 categories, it’s time to start revving up the campaign for votes as there’s no time to waste if they want to win. The remaining two weeks should be devoted to getting those votes in to have a better chance of winning. So if there’s a video, a poster, or a banner to get their attention, then it’s time to deploy them.

    Remember, just two weeks to go and voting also gets you the chance to enter in the raffle draw and win one of these lovely raffle prizes:

    Airsoft guns from Tokyo Marui:

    TOKYO MARUI MTR16 GAS BLOWBACK RIFLE

    TOKYO MARUI JGSDF TYPE 89 GAS BLOWBACK RIFLE

    TOKYO MARUI M&P9L PC PORTED GAS BLOWBACK PISTOL

    For the Europe-based airsoft player, raffle prize sets from Gunfire and Specna Arms:

    SET 1

    SA-V26 Assault Rifle Replica Specna Arms - RED EDITION
    Buff Armored Claw
    Patch Specna Arms RED GUN
    Patch Gunfire

    SET 2:

    Carabine Replika Specna Arms SA-C09 CORE - HALF-TAN
    Buff Armored Claw
    Patch Specna Arms RED GUN
    Patch Gunfire

    SET 3:

    Blast Plate Carrier Tactical Vest Primal Gear
    Buff Armored Claw
    Patch Specna Arms Carbine - tan
    Patch Gunfire

    Military 1st also sent in two raffle prizes:

    HELIKON RATEL MK2 BACKPACK SHADOW GREY

    PENTAGON KYLER BACKPACK WOLF GREY

    Please always take time to visit our sponsors as their support is very much valuable in making the awards possible:

    Bettere get those votes coming in and help us find the winners of the 9th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards.