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