ARES M110 Project (Part 3): Setbacks and Lube

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That was a hilarious title for a post, I know.

Anyway, following the fixes detailed in my last post that involved swapping the V3 tappet plate for a V2 one, I took the M110 to the field this past weekend, and during lunchtime, gave it a shot. I had not one, but two new issues pop up.

Issue one: feeding issues.

Thankfully, I was able to chalk this one up to the BBs I was using – Tamashi brand 0.30s. I’ve had good luck with the Tamashi 0.25s I’ve used in the past, which fed perfectly in my IAR and yielded impressive results accuracy and range wise. I switched to 0.25s and the feeding issues largely disappeared, so I’m satisfied with just calling it a BB issue and leaving it at that. Some guns just inexplicably like certain weights/brands of BBs. The good news is it fed pretty reliably once I switched to the Tamashi 0.25s, so the feeding issues of the past couple of entries have been solved, at least for now.

The second issue is a little more concerning: the M110 is double cycling on semi-auto, which is obviously no bueno for an AEG shooting at DMR fps levels.

I opened up the box when I got home and cleaned then re-lubed (lol, lube) the entirety of the gearbox. I discovered that the likely culprit for the double cycling is the cut-off lever, which looks a little worse for wear. The previous owner of the gearbox warned me that this particular part was a little worn out, so I’m likely going to have to salvage the part from the new V2 box I ordered and toss that into the M110 box.

Sigh. The project continues…


ARES M110 Project (Part 2): Setbacks and Fixes

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I didn’t play this past weekend, but I did get the chance to get out to the field and try out some AEGs in preparation for an upcoming sim. With a mixture of trepidation and anticipation, I brought out the M110, loaded a mag, connected a battery, and pulled the trigger.

It cycled fine. It didn’t shoot, though.

More on my fix and the ridiculous source of the problem after the break.

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ARES M110 Project (Part 1): Building The Thing

hooray portrait orientation pic!

hooray portrait orientation pic!

I must apologize to the FN SCAR-H; I think I’m falling for a another 7.62 FDE DMR. I’ve gotten to know her pretty well over the past couple of months, and, well, for the first time in my airsoft career, I wasn’t afraid to be inside her.

Read of my love affair after the break.

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Random Airsoft Musings: Saving Those Chiclets

No, it's not forehead protection. I was wore it eventually for the CQB games...

No, it’s not forehead protection. I put it on when it came to the CQB engagement distances…

When I first started playing airsoft, I wore (as most of us newbies did) a full JT paintball face mask that was integrated into my goggles. After a couple of games I began to notice that none of the uber-cool-elite-hard-as-fuck vets were wearing masks, so I ditched the mask and ran with the paintball goggles alone. I did this for about a year or two, dismissing mouth/lower face protection as being strictly the domain of the noob, together with a G&G clearsoft M4 and a Condor chest rig.

I had a few close calls along the way – over the years I took a couple of shots to the face that left bruises that had to be covered up with a band-aid and dismissed as a “hockey high-sticking bruise/cut” at work the next day (because explaining what airsoft is to your supervisor isn’t always easy or worth it). But I had never sustained any permanent damage. No teeth knocked out or embedded BBs to mar my (not really) perfect complexion.

But lately I’ve started wearing a mask again; specifically, one of the lower face mesh masks that are designed for just this purpose. Perhaps it’s the close calls and full-on accidents that fellow players and teammates have had (and the accompanying medical/dental bills) that has led to me donning the mask. Perhaps it’s the growth of the sport and the accompanying noobs, with a spray-and-pray attitude and blatant disregard for MEDs taught to them by hours fighting digital terrorists in Battlefield 4.

But I think mostly it’s because I’ve realized that all it takes is a split-second of crappy luck to ruin your day and a good chunk of days to come. Your teeth, like your eyes, don’t grow back, and you wouldn’t dream of stepping onto the field without a good set of googles protecting your peepers. And in the end, taking that risk to look uber-cool-elite-hard-as-fuck just isn’t worth it.


(BB) War and Peace

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Above is a pic of yours truly taken by sonykun.com at this past week’s Operation Overlord sim at Panther Paintball. Not the most challenging sim I’ve been to, but good times were had flinging BBs downrange with my buds – and these days, that’s all that matters. It was nice to see the majority of the team out there rocking team colors and playing as a unit.

I also won a new AEG (secret for now – look for an initial impressions/review in a couple of months after I’ve gamed it), so that certainly made it worthwhile. :) Many thanks to Paul from the Suicide Kings for generously donating that AEG to the raffle!

The airsoft bug is back…


Longer is better: a Umarex/VFC M27 IAR Review

Longer is indeed better.

Longer is indeed better.

I haven’t been playing as much airsoft as I used to; ironically, this has only served to reignite my interest in the game and I decided recently (after getting my finances in order) that the best way to take advantage of this newfound interest was with a new AEG. A trip to a local airsoft store later (and thanks to a great deal via Overhoppers editor-in-chief, Juicy, who works at said store – thanks bud!) and I am now the proud owner of a Umarex/VFC M27 IAR. I’ve wanted to get my hands on one for awhile, but was debating the wisdom of such a decision now that I wasn’t playing as much as I used to.

Turns out I made a pretty good call, because I love this thing. More deets after the break.

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Upgrades – Part 3

In addition to the aforementioned questions in my rants about upgrades, a topic that has come up rather repeatedly from customers at work is: which part to upgrade first?

Simply put, an upgraded airsoft gun is a sum of its parts to achieve a specific result.

No single part will give you amazing performance, but rather it is tuning of every part that will result in awesome performance. While specific results can be addressed by tuning different part groups of said BB blaster, generally speaking installation of a single part in most platforms out of the box won’t give you laser straight performance as is. Having an idea of the exact results you want helps, though for most new players they haven’t yet realized the marginal improvements that can be made, nor the limitations imposed by field rules (generally around muzzle energy for minimizing injuries). In this case, I find that finding a specific performance aspect that could use improvement to be the easiest way to evaluate what to upgrade next.

Moving on from the topic of teching individual parts, there are other factors that come into play for consistency, accuracy & range. I myself am happy with imperfect ammo, as acquiring the “perfect” heavy weight BB has proven to be a long drawn out process, and at a premium price. Finding a BB that is “good enough” and feeds in all my guns without drastic changes in performance due to BB size has proven to be my own personal solution to the ammunition factor.

My preferred muzzle velocity also has become a factor when considering BB weight – I find that constant air volume guns such as AEG and PTW give the most stable flight path when muzzle velocity with said BB remains below a given muzzle velocity, while being able to travel fast enough to still be able to hit a moving target. On the other hand, I have avoided remaining at “original power” due to slight increase in range (up to a point) by increased energy alone… and sufficient impact for my targets to realize they’ve been hit. As such, this generally translates to most of my AEG muzzle velocities being tuned up to match the BB weight that I have selected to match range of hop up adjustment, so on so forth. An important thing to keep in mind here, as best worded by a variety of tech minded local guys – maximum FPS at a field is a limit, not a goal.

Budget – while spending thousands on a PTW and high end parts that sucker is an easier way towards achieving high performance with high reliability and fewer hassles, this path is not always feasible for all airsoft players, including myself. Hence why having an idea of what exactly you want improved in performance & then determining what parts will need to be improved is the way that I usually tackle my personal projects. If I had an unlimited budget and time, perhaps all my guns would be fully tuned up with high end Japanese quality parts and done by infinitely more professional, knowledgeable and precise gun docs than my own ability affords, but the harsh reality that I face more often than I care to admit is that I’m not that rich and that I have to spend time working towards every purchase… if only, right?

Finally, sure, I’ve done this enough by now that I have preset formulas in my mind of the “basic” upgrades I do to my V2/V3 AEG & TM pattern GBB pistols – but fine tuning from there is what gives each of my guns its own unique personality that defines the role I use each one for. High ROF AEG with big battery packs to compensate for higher drain for run and gun lazy days with high caps in pockets, GBB rifles and bags of mags for those days when I want extreme realism, guns tuned for a balance of long range/tighter groups for days when I want to really reach out and touch someone, and AEG with simpler internal work because they will just run when I’ve got nothing else left that is in working condition in my arsenal. Each is built for a specific result in mind, even though my personal expectations of what a tuned airsoft gun can achieve have resulted in some similarities between my AEG tuning jobs… not to mention the accessories, related kit, and overall look that each is built for – but that’s a topic for another time.

In conclusion, there’s a reason why an upgraded airsoft gun is said to be “tuned” by the tech for the end user. Unfortunately, there is not one PERFECT build that offers high end, high performance, low budget, high ROF, high FPS, high reliability, hard kick, long range, and tight grouping AND that will fit the wants (and needs) of every single airsofter out there – not everyone wants everything out of their airsoft gun.

In my opinion, the best place to start is? Upgrade the player first, then upgrade the gun.

/rant.

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