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    U.S ARL "Third Arm" Project

    Almost a year ago, we reported that the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) have been looking into a “third arm” the augment the capabilities of soldiers in the field. Three arms are still better than two and having an artificial third arm can help reduce muscle fatigue on the soldier’s normal arms. The third arm can help carry a soldier’s weapon and frees up exhausted arms as well as help carry other equipment.

    The third arm aims to spread the weight that soldiers are carrying from their arms and shoulders to the abdomen. The third arm is attached to the soldier’s back hip in this case. Last summer, 6 soldiers volunteered to be part of the pilot study.

    In an article at the website, ARL researchers are going to test the third arm this spring on 15 soldiers. ARL Mechanical Engineer Dan Beachle said that, “Right now we have a prototype that's essentially a research platform that we're using to investigate different types of materials -- how materials and structures can stabilize a weapon or a shield, reduce fatigue on the Soldiers' arms, but also improve accuracy."

    The current prototype can carry an M249 and they are looking into improvements such as an extendable hinge so they can develop a single plate that can accommodate different sizes.

    Whilst it was intended for helping soldiers in carrying weapons, the researchers are also looking into mounting defensive devices into the third arm, in this case a shield. A soldier can hold his/her weapon with both arms and fire with the third arm carrying a shield. This will allow a soldier carry a heavier weapon whilst using a shield unlike before that only one hand is free and usually wields a pistol while the other hand holds the shield.

    The results have been positive but the researches have to make adjustments such as making it more comfortable for the soldiers to wear the third arm. Another adjustment is in helping soldiers fire more accurately with the third arm, especially with the weapons that fire bigger rounds, which usually translates into more recoil.

    Will the U.S. Army field hordes of Doctor Octopuses in the future when the third arm project is deemed to be success and viable for deployment? You bet, they can carry more load and be more lethal in the field with their augmented bodies.


    Photo credit:U.S. Army photos by Joe Lacdan

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    IWA Mealsim & Meetup 2018

    The doors of Nurembeg Messe open today to thousands of trade visitors who will be checking out the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 and find out what will be on display in the next four days as well as strike up deals with other business as the show. As for the airsoft community, it is also the biggest gathering where you get to see a good portion of the airsoft industry under one roof, far more than the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

    If you are monitoring the happenings at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018, always visit the Popular Airsoft website and other airsoft media outlets, including vloggers and bloggers. We will be posting everything we see and hear at the event so better be prepared for a deluge of photos and videos. You can also visit our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter to follow what is happening at the event.

    Photo Source:NürnbergMesse

    We will be featuring products on display at the show from the known airsoft companies that have become mainstays at the show as well as post our daily recap each day. If bandwidth permits, we’ll be posting videos, but expect more of the videos to come after the show.

    If you are an airsoft trade visitor to the IWA Outdoor Classics, we invite you to join us in the following airsoft activities in conjunction with the trade show:

    MEALSIM IWA 2018

    To be held for the first time this year, the airsoft community at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 will be trooping to the Burgerista burger joint in the city centre. We are expecting around 40-50 people to be joining us in this what will become a new tradition for airsoft. If you are free, join us in this man-on-meat activity. There are no table reservations so just come and grab your table as the Burgerista crew are ready for the airsoft horde.

    MEALSIM IWA 2018
    10 March 2018
    2000 – 2200H
    Königstraße 55,
    90402 Nürnberg


    The biggest annual gathering exclusively for the airsoft media and industry, the Airsoft Meetup is on its 7th year. For three hours, you get to hear from the airsoft industry their plans and products for the year. Also, it is where the winners of the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards get to receive their awards. As this takes place inside Nuremberg Messe, you will need to have an IWA trade visitors pass to attend this event. Proceedings will be posted after the trade show has concluded.

    11 March 2018
    1400 - 1700H
    Hong Kong Room
    Nuremberg Messe

    There will be enough airsoft news reporting for the weekend, so keep your eyes open and watch the Popular Airsoft website.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 Day 1

    The big event for the airsoft community and industry has finally arrived, the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. Whilst it is about outdoors, hunting, leisure, and security, for the airsoft community, it is all about airsoft industry and what the airsoft companies are going to offer for the year. Whilst the SHOT Show is a big event with a good representation of the airsoft industry, it is the IWA Outdoor Classics where you get to see airsoft in full force.

    Master Chief and I arrived on Thursday, still a day when everybody was still setting up their displays at the Nuremberg Messe. The only event that mattered for us was a dinner with the Gunfire   guys for some catching up and personal banter. But on Friday, the first day of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018, we decided to come in early at around 0730H hoping to avoid the long queue for our badges. We indeed arrived early and waited for 30 minutes for our Press badges only to be informed that we did not need to. We just have to go to the entrance scanners and have our Press tickets scanned and the our badges will be automatically be printed out.

    Having started our day awkwardly, we proceeded to the Press room located in the NCC Ost (East). A quick breakfast and some updates on the Popular Airsoft website, we finally were about to do our job for the day. In had Master Chief familiarise himself with the new video camera we brought, and hopefully would make his life easier covering the booths.

    Charlie Suarez of G&G said he is ready anytime in the morning so we immediately went to to G&G booth. We said our hellos to the father and daughter team of company, Gerry and Amanda Liao, and Master Chief started his video work with Charlie. I checked out the items on display, such as the upcoming CM16 LMGs (Light Machine Guns) and  I can say that G&G got a hot seller. The price was not available yet and hopefully they get released in Summer during the height of airsoft season. There are more pistols and the collaboration between G&G and PolarStar Airsoft, the PR-15 PRO HPA-powered airsoft rifle.

    By 1100H, our appointment with ASG came up and whilst Master Chief filmed the company’s famous Thomas “Deadpool” Mikkelsen, for me it was a meeting with Jacob Thomsen who head the International Sales and Marketing and Ben Webb, Media Relations. We talked about what the company are planning to do as they do have a lot to share to the airsoft media and community. Expect more information and content from ASG in the following months as Ben Webb will start turning on the faucet for more announcements and stories from the Danish company.

    Right after ASG, we went to Hall 8 to find out the airsoft exhibitors there. RedWolf Airsoft was there, as well as Valken Tactical and Xcortech. We first set the schedules for video ops with Max Lai and from there headed back to Press Room for our lunch break. It has to be quick as we have to meet the APS team by 1300H on the other side of Nuremberg Messe, in Hall 3 to be exact.

    APS, under the management of Mr. Frog Lee and Joe Lau doing the product development, has been aggressively releasing new iterations of their Phantom Extremis Rifle (PER) Series. Last year, we had our hands on the MK2, but for IWA 2018, they gave more information to us the upcoming MK7. This has a PDW stock which is generous with its battery compartment, which is big enough to accommodate 20C Lipo batteries and can be quickly deployed. We also get to have a closer look at the new Shark B a CO2-powered blowback pistol that can go full auto, and offers an improvement over the Black Hornet, which was already a beast.

    The discussions with APS was very much animated that we almost lost track of time. It was almost 1400H and we had to rush to the RedWolf Airsoft booth. Max Lai had Marck West do the video with Master Chief. Whilst I had to take photos on what was on display, it was also the first time that gorgeous ladies helped man the booth. Marck presented the different products that RedWolf carries and you will see them once we get to post the videos on YouTube after we get back from the event as the bandwidth at the hotel as well as at the Nuremberg Messe was slow and we cannot just wait uploading the videos whilst there are a lot to see at the event.

    Right after Marck, Rich of Wolverine Airsoft was also present at the RedWolf to talk about the upcoming MTW or the Modular Training Weapon which is the first complete HPA-powered airsoft rifle that they will be releasing. They are also developing an HPA buffer tube as well according to Master Chief.

    ICS was up next for the day and we were curious about the Hera Arms CQR a collaboration between ICS and ASG and it is fully licensed from Hera Arms of Germany. There are some photos of real deal Hera Arms in the Facebook album of the first day and we sure like what we see and hopefully ICS would be making the full line-up. As for the ICS CXP series, we were curious about the new additions such as the CXP-YAK and the CXP-MMR. Luis of ICS was more than happy to oblige and talked about these products.

    By 1600H were already done for the day. Mike of Border Wars told us that he planned to leave early as he wanted to avoid the traffic at the venue, especially the traffic at the parking area where sometimes it will take an hour just to get out. We agreed to leave by 1700H as I am already tired, having slept for just a few minutes rather than getting a good rest Thursday night. Mike dropped us at our hotel and we checked the footage of the videos. To our disappointment, whilst the videos were good, the audio capture was so bad that the videos turned out to be unusable. We had to do a retake of the videos so that means Master Chief has to work doubly hard on the second day so we can recover from the audio debacle of Day 1.

    It was a Mexican night for us for our annual dinner with NLAirsoft and Border War with Laylax as represented by Masaki now a regular member of this Friday night dinner group of IWA. From there, we proceeded to Finnegans, the watering hole for the airsoft community during the IWA Outdoor Classics. After around three pints, my eyes and mind can’t help it anymore that we decided to call it a night by 2300H. Finally, I get to grab a few hours of sleep Friday night, and be in better shape today.

    Day 1 Album of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 on the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 Day 1

    Finally, I was able to get about 5 hours of sleep making me more alert and energised for the second day of the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018. Saturday is when we expect more people coming to visit the trade fair as there is work and of course, it is Saturday.

    I got up early to write the first day’s AAR and was able to finish it around 15 minutes before 0800H. We have to be at the Nuremberg Messe early so we can have our breakfast early and also post the update at the website. As for Master Chief, it’s to get an early start as he had to do a retake of the videos due to poor audio capture yesterday. Whilst I uploaded the first day photos at the Press Room, he went ahead of me to the exhibit halls to start the doing the videos.

    Good thing I was able to finish the upload by around 1000H and had to rush to help him out. Luckily he mad quick work of the take so I just need to bring him to our day’s appointments starting with Gunfire. Bartosz was already there waiting for us and had Patryk ready to present some of the nice stuff the company has such as those from Specna Arms and the GFC Custom Division. There are improvements in the Specna Arms line including the addition of the G Series. For the Custom Division, we saw for the first time a double-barreled M14 which basically a custom work of welding two M14 EBRs together and building a contraption to fire them together as one. Cool job.

    We dropped by Classic Army and DM Diffusion after to look into another double-barreled M4, the DT-4. First announced at the SHOT    Show 2018, it was also on display at the event. We’ll try to get more information either today and tomorrow as we needed to rush to the ICS booth and have Luis do a retake of the first day video before we go for a lunch break by 1200H.

    Right after lunch we immediately went to our next appointment which was the LCT Airsoft in Hall 7. Bella Chen together with their CEO, Kevin Lin, were there on hand to greet us and his sister was ready as well to present the product they are pressing hard to promote, the LCT Airsoft LC-3 series. Already a famous amongst players for the build quality and attention to detail, it is becoming one of the company’s best sellers.

    If you are wondering about the LCT AK blowback series, there is no release date announced for the complete EBB. But for existing owners of LCT AK AEGs, including the other LCT airsoft rifles based on the Russian weapons design, they will be able to get the EBB kit for them to install ahead of the release of the complete EBB.

    We went back to Hall 8 to be ready for our next appointment which was with Valken Tactical. But we were too early and tried to see of Silverback Airsoft was available to present their products. Luckily they were and Nishal and Dennis talked about their upcoming products such as the DesertTech SRS and MDR airsoft replicas with the latter having a really nice looking gearbox with 10mm bearings.

    The Kaiju was ready when we got to the Valken Tactical booth and he stressed on the customer support that Valken is proudly promoting. Players can ship to them for free, units with problems or defects and they will fix them. He also goes over the ASL and Alloy Series which are the latest in the AEG offerings from Valken. He also introduces their Lithium Ion batteries that are much safer to use the Lipos as well as have enough capacity to power AEGs at optimum levels.

    King Arms are heavy into promoting their TWS series, which are nicely made series of AEGs. They now have a PDW/SBR in the mix as this is the trend for this year. Also, the CAA Airsoft Division Micro Roni kit, a more compact and lighter version of the famous RONI Carbine Conversion Kit was on display as well.
    Modify-Tech are introducing the latest member of their XTC family, the XTC AEG which has a generous and easily adjustable PDW stock and improvements from its bigger brothers, the XTC and and the XTC-CQB. They will also be introducing their own shotgun very soon and they say it gives better performance over the competition. For the MOD24 owners, there are new parts and accessories that they can now purchase.

    Angel Muro of Airsoft Megastore has brought in the Lancer Tactical AEGs and for the first time outside of the U.S. we get to see them. There are the second generation of Lancer Tactical AEGs as well as unique AEGs that they will releasing soon such as the LT-29 and LT-30. Lancer Tactical are now getting more traction in the U.S. for their improving line of AEGs that give better performance at a price point that even the most budget-conscious airsoft player cannot refuse.

    Eleonora and Luigi of FreeShot SRL, the Milan-based airsoft vendor made ready for us to check out the prototype version of the upcoming Bolt Airsoft AK74SU with the BRSS. We first saw this in Taiwan during the MOA Exhibition 2017 but it was mainly an “exploded” version with all the bits and pieces shown rather than one complete AEG. The blowback and recoil is impressive indeed.

    For the last part of our appointments was the cocktails at ASG where everyone in the airsoft community at IWA 2018 converged at around 1600H.   We compared notes and kept each other updated on what we have spotted and seen on the second day.  We called it a day at around 1730H as we need to get back to the hotel to transfer videos and photos and prepare for the biggest moment of IWA Outdoor Classics 2018…

    … MEALSIM 2018. Over 50-strong airsoft players and vendors thronged to the Burgerista in the Nuremberg City Centre. It is the first MealSim event in the world and it is an international one with more players coming from all the four corners of world. Burgerista did not disappoint, though service was a bit slow,  but their burgers more than made up for the wait we had to endure. Thomas Mikkelsen of ASG did an excellent job coordinating the man-on-meat event and by 2130H we went to Finnegan’s which was just two doors away from Burgerista for more MealSim Action.

    With everyone tired after a long second day, the MealSim was a weclome respite. The burgers of Burgerista and drinks at Finnegan’s surely made the end of Day 2 a memorable one.

    There are talks that a MealSim USA will be organised too. Excellent!

    Oh by the way, Femme Fatale Airsoft got a tattoo at the event, courtesy of Umarex.

    Day 2 Photos on the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 Day 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 Day 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Airsoft Innovations 40 Mike

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

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

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

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

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

    100ft Range

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

    150 BBs

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

    Most Joules per Trigger Pull

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

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

    Watch the official video below to be finally convinced:

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    FN FCU Mk3

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

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

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

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

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

    Press release from FN Herstal below:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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    US Marine with M320

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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    Airsoft Meetup 2018 Panel Discussion

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

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

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

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

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