(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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Repost on High Ready from SKD Blog

The following is a relatively easy-to-read article from Jeff Gurwitch, a contributing author to the blog at skdtac.com. Informative, technical, all while remaining concise – the complete post gives a good explanation on why US Army SF adopted high ready techniques for CQB (body mechanics): http://blog.skdtac.com/2014/12/27/high-ready-or-not-here-i-come/.

From SKDtac Blog: “U.S. Army photo by Spc. Connor Mendez. Photo courtesy of http://www.defense.gov.”;

“When it comes to techniques and methods employed in tactical shooting there are, in many cases, certain developed solutions to very specific tactical problems. Unfortunately, when passing on these techniques to others, sometimes the “why” of something being done a certain way is poorly explained or left out altogether. As a result, all too often you see techniques being taught or employed incorrectly or being adopted as an all-around shooting method instead of as an answer to a specific problem.

One such technique that is very misunderstood within the tactical shooting community is the High Ready method of holding the rifle. What has been lost, or not understood about the High Ready, is that it is an answer to a very specific problem within CQB. Often it’s explained that you’re automatically in the ready position to muzzle strike someone or be able to run faster with the gun (both are true), but these are not the main reasons behind the use of the High Ready.”

I’m no professional doorkicker myself, much less an adept/experienced CQB airsofter in the make-believe BBwarz world that I find myself in, hence why I find this a great answer to the “why” behind high ready, which I never really understood.


Operation: Iceback 2.0 Footage

My footage from UCSG’s Operation: Iceback 2.0 from August 22-24, 2014.

Some occasional foul language. If you happen to have children around, I recommend the technique of “earmuffs” (as per the movie Old School):

But without further ado, onto the part that you’re actually here for:

Part 1: “Chasing Ghosts”

Part 2: (I haven’t thought of a cool name for this yet, since this was mostly those of us BC players screwing around)

Part 3:  “Come Get Us”

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The British Bulldog: ICS L85A2

You’ll notice a growing trend within my collection (I’m sure Dizzy, Juicy, and Tak have even taken this into account), that I don’t collect American style rifles as much as the rest of the writers on here do. Maybe it was habit developed after having long chats with a mutual friend of all the writers here, Loops (who is now considering buying an M4… this is an edit after the fact), but either case, the closest I’ve ever come to collecting Western Rifles have been those of the European Variety.

You sexy little man peach.

You sexy little man peach.

I did own a King Arms M4A1, a VFC 416, and an ARES M4 rifle. The King Arms got good use as a Night Game Rifle, and the VFC was my workhorse for a while, but the STANAG rifles built after the Armalite design, for some reason, just don’t interest me as much as other European rifle designs. Maybe it has something to do with the prevalence of them on the field, or maybe it’s just personal taste. Either way, I distance myself away from the STANAG (Armalite-Esque) design and often go with something Russian, or strictly European. And in this article, I’m here to discuss my personal favourite of them all.

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Collection: Part 1

Since Facebook’s privacy settings suck, I decided not to share this one to a public group that my buddy “Loops” runs (Airsoft Photography), due to not wanting to freak out my non-airsoft friends with this small arsenal. Now that I’ve already set up for the photo & taken it, I might as well share it somewhere.

And so, may I present to you: my (gaming) AEG collection.

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This does not include GBB, NBB, springers, or AEG that are either in pieces or strictly for collection purposes. They just wouldn’t all fit on my table if I crammed in all my pistols too, so this will have to suffice for part #1. Continue reading


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