Now over a month ago, and OP Red Dawn has come and gone… First things first, the AO itself was awesome. I got to play with and against players primarily from other parts of BC and from AB, some of whom were extremely skilled players with awesome equipment. Got to see some old friends from airsoft that attended this game that I haven’t seen in years. I more or less forgot how much fun airsoft can be – especially when compared to the dreary reality that “Drop In” game days have become at my (public) local field – and I had an absolute blast running around a ghost town with friends.
Photo credits to “Loops”
While most of my playing time was in the middle of the night, the following sequence was cut together & shows what was probably my most adrenaline-fueled daytime offensive during the weekend:
My loadout looked a little something like this, with only minor changes the night before:
A friend and I made a small order from HAO in late July, from which I got something simple myself – a HAO aluminum 14.5″ SOCOM Profile outer barrel. Not particularly photo worthy beyond the photos HAO has already posted to their social media – but I was pleased to find that fit and finish is exactly as one would expect. HAO used a properly sized steel knock pin, as The Reptile House has mentioned before in a previous post over on his blog. Prior to ordering, I did confirm with HAO that their barrel is spec’ed for a Systema chamber & barrel. As with my previous purchase with HAO, he was extremely responsive and helpful via PM. I didn’t think to check for this before, but to my surprise the HAO 14.5 SOCOM barrel is threaded for 14 x 1 mm CCW flash hiders like a Marui – not 14 x 1 mm CW as on a factory Systema steel barrel. Bottom line – I would readily recommend this to any Systema user looking to shave significant weight off a 14.5″ upper and gain cool points for that SOCOM profile, without sacrificing the tolerances of a Systema steel outer barrel.
But… the really cool (and expensive) part that “Seacrest” (or the handle he actually goes by: “Southpaw19”) bought was a HAO “Colt” M4A1 kit! Markings galore!
Fit and finish is excellent. Systema components actually drop in, unlike most of the experiences I’ve had with metal body kit installations before… I.E. the not-so-great GBB kits from Guarder (supposedly) for Tokyo Marui – just, ugh. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had a previous fitment issue with my HAO SMR for TM HK416 NGRS (that HAO was quick to solve), but this kit went together without a single hitch!
Without going into fit and finish (both outstanding), the markings alone make me wish I could buy one of these kits to call my own:
Note: I’ve left out any photos of the assembled TW before it left my hands, as Southpaw had only requested that I transfer the innards from his Systema for him. Check out his photos for the completed TW – he’s on Instagram… somewhere. Unfortunately, I’m a social media noob and have no idea how Instagram works (I’ll grab a link from him eventually and will edit it in when I do). Edit: see his Instagram here for more photos: http://instagram.com/southpawairsoft
So this month I had the pleasure of attending OP: Red Dawn. A multi-day Milsim run by the Aces and Eights out at the Tranquille Sanatorium in Kamloops BC.
Photo courtesy of my teammate Loops (Jon) who played the part of a press photographer throughout the weekend. He makes us look badass.
Read on below for details on the event and my experiences.
Recently I have been bit by the AOR1 bug again; being on a budget I looked for some decent replicas out there. After some searching I found a small and newer company named Hellfire Development. I picked up a MMAC and an assortment of pouches. Though I already have a LBT 6094 slick and a Toy Soldier 6094, I have always wanted a MMAC because of a few photos used by SEALs in the wild. I was able to ask a buddy to lend me his Eagle MMAC to do a comparison to see the accuracy of their work.
While I’ve been kind of quiet on here as of late, I have certainly not stopped buying.
This item at least wasn’t a week (or two or three or four) of Kraft Dinner’s worth of saving those (now-obsolete) pennies for – the “real steel” mount would have been – but this mail order (and accompanying pictures) showed up a couple of months ago.
Those of you who are keen on American AK parts may recognize this as resembling one of the most highly regarded side mount designs on the (US) market.
With an upcoming game here in BC in a pretty cool 100-acre venue (and only a few hours drive from home) coming up this weekend, the following is a rough draft of my WIP packing list:
Note this is not a complete packing list yet – one intentional omission is the clothing that I’ll be wearing. I’m primarily missing a day pack (TBD) to carry the secondary hydro reservoir and some of the smaller non-essentials – or so my plan goes.
Additionally, I will have a larger bag of back-ups, tools, additional supplies & water that I will not be carrying with me onto the field. As this game is being advertised as a “scenario,” players are being allowed to walk off the area in play if they so desire for sleep breaks & the like; as such, items stored outside of the game are still somewhat accessible. Players are also allowed to play for as long as they would like – which is what I’m planning for.
Irregardless, it should be fun to run around & sling plastic in what is more or less a ghost town – I’m interested to see what this organizer may be capable of on a much larger scale of game.
It cost me an arm and a leg to purchase, from a dealer I had never dealt with before in Russia who frequently sold things within the Rushing Russians Facebook group. But 600 dollars later, and running around town trying to find a Western Union outlet in Downtown Vancouver, I have finally found the rig that I have been searching for years on end. The legendary SSO Partizan Harness.