Category Archives: Random Airsoft Musings

Random Airsoft Musings: The Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock HK416, and leaving well enough alone.

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Whenever you acquire a new AEG, you usually have to answer a series of questions. Many are basic:

  • what role will it play in my armoury, and does it fill a gap in said armoury or does it’s role overlap with other AEGs in my collection?
  • What optics and other external accessories will I add to it, if any?
  • Do I have the batteries and magazines I want to run with it?

For those of us who like to indulge in airsoft gunsmithing (and I would guess the majority of those who are reading this fall into this category), we have the following question:

  • What is my aim in terms of internal mods? High FPS DMR? Low FPS/High RPS bullet hose? Somewhere in-between? Am I looking purely for enduance/reliability mods, or am I willing to sacrifice long term reliability in my pursuit for the absolute best performance?

But for those that are lucky enough to acquire a Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock AEG, we must also answer the following:

  • Should I bother touching the internals at all?

More on my thoughts on the unique conundrum posed by the Recoil Shock series 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.

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.


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Random Airsoft Musings: the airsoft hiatus, and why it’s a good thing.

(above pic taken from the inside of one of the buildings at Operation: Iceback)

(above pic taken from the inside of one of the buildings at Operation: Iceback)

Firstly, my apologies for the lack of entries from yours truly in the past months – I’ve moved house and been thrown some new responsibilities at work, on top of the usual juggling of social life/girlfriend/family/personal health that we all deal with. But I’m still here, and no, I haven’t quit airsoft.

This particular entry is more of a reflection piece, so feel free to skip if it ain’t your cup of tea. More random musings after the break.

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Upgrades – Part 2

A month ago, I wrote about how an “upgraded” gun may not mean the same thing from one person to the next. I’ve been doing some more thinking about all the different things under this topic, and figured I would tackle my take on this part next:

I get this question quite often at work, “how do I make my gun shoot fast?” This is actually an excellent question… Depending on who is asking and what answer they are looking for, however, results may vary. There are two different rates that are discussed at which an Airsoft gun can shoot – muzzle velocity and rate of fire. Let me preface this by clearing up my take on these matters, right off the bat: neither muzzle velocity, nor rate of fire are your be all/end all answer(s) to all your upgrading needs.

And so let’s begin…

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Upgrades – Part 1

Seeing as how I work in a retail store where aftermarket upgrades and services to install those upgrades is a thing, I’ve been thinking about how each individual player’s definition of an “upgraded” gun may actually differ.

At work, I’ve had a few customers come in over the past few weeks asking for their gun to be upgraded – often on a budget. If given a budget, we have been working up to this budget to get things done and out of the way starting with the most effective upgrades to that customer’s gun (not nearly as many as I myself would have liked to do)… however, this doesn’t always pan out as expected with the occasional customers who get back their gun and who feel that the work done to their gun greatly exceeds their expectations, or are totally let down by how their gun doesn’t shoot as far/fast/hurt as much as they had expected.

This lead me to do some reflecting about what it means to tune an Airsoft AEG, in my books, and what that definition of “upgraded” really means to me.

Begin rant:

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Why Play Airsoft?

I’ve been struggling to find any reasons to want to go play the game days that are happening around my area lately.

I mean, I started playing Airsoft in the first place to get that Mil-Sim experience that is quite literally military simulation – both it be pretending to be a special forces door kicking Tier 1 operator as well as being sent out there on grunt patrols. I’m finding that over the past few years (and notably over the past few years), the games being run tend towards the Call of Duty video game style of game play that is just purely about the run-and-gun aspect of getting kills. There are no objectives that are worth mentioning, nor are there any game mechanics that even hint at any degree of scenario.

Its hard to find interest in your sport when your sport just isn’t offering something that is interesting to you.

Here’s hoping that I can find reason(s) to stay interested, as this has been my work and my play (read: my life) for the past couple of years.

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