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by Arnie

Complete Castor Troy Page 2

Face/Off Tribute

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Aside – Holsters and Mag Pouches, section I –

course, with such a dedication to Woo’s film must come
proper housing for the GBBs.

character in Face/Off – a suave and affluent international
terrorist – wasn’t shy on this critical issue, and the
camera work highlighted a dual-gun top-grain leather holster
at the small of his back. Also highly sought after by
akimbo-GBB enthusiasts, such a piece of kit has been cited
to be available through both Bell Charter Oak (BCO) Holsters
and Black Hills Leather – with even the suggestion that
Castor Troy may have been supplied with a simple custom
stitched set of left and right-handed standard hip/belt-slide

as with the GBBs themselves, I also wanted to be a bit
more unique in my dedication project. Instead of a set
of hip holsters, I wanted to go with a set of under-the-shoulder
holsters; with the choice between that and a set of thigh
rigs being made easy by the stated “Suite Battle” needs
for concealed carry.

this end, there are also many options available.

Mikes (a division of GunMate), BagMaster, as well as many
“generic” makes of modular ballistic nylon holsters typically
have shoulder rigs available. These can either be specifically
configured for a dual-gun setup or have its off-side accessory
purchased separately by the end-user – and can readily
accommodate an ambidextrous or left-side-specific holster.
Such affordable rigs have even been seen on the Sliver
Screen, with the latest and most memorable example being
in Denzel’s Oscar-winning Training Day. Cost should range
between $40 to $80.

those who prefer leather, Galco International, a well-known
and well-respected maker of leather holsters and police
duty accessories (they are the innovators of the world-famous
Miami Classic rig), can be contracted through various
authorized retail outlets to build a dual-pistol shoulder
holster system to your tastes. Typical cost should be
in the $150 range.

in much the same manner, many custom leatherworkers also
offer such systems. In the UK, fellow enthusiast Mulder
has had such a system built by Holsters International
— also offering some very interesting rigs for shotguns
and even SMGs ), custom-to-order for around £130,
for a pair of M9/92F-type GBB replicas, which is quite

took the latter route, with my desire for a true high-end
leather rig taking me to Mernickle Custom Holsters of
Mission, BC, Canada.

competitive Cowboy Action/Western Fast
gear fame (their rigs for such events are some
of the world record-holders’ favorites), Mernickle’s SH9
Dual-Gun Dual-Mag Carry System retails at $200 for plain
black-dyed natural leather, $350 fully hand-carved. A
6 to 8 week lead-time, being that these are custom-built
rigs, is absolutely necessary, and should go into your
planning. It’s an exceptionally well-crafted modern shoulder
rig, and is featured in Guns Magazine, February, 2003.

adjustable using chrome hardware, this rig should fit
everyone and anyone between 5 ft. 9 inches tall to well
over 6 ft. 3 inches – provided that the individual is
of a reasonable frame. Being of comparatively lower riding
position than a typical horizontal-carry shoulder rig
due to the interposition of the twin friction-fit magazine
pouches, this rig actually carries the pistols more at
the bottom of the ribcage rather than truly under the
shoulder. With a cross-draw technique being the most effective
and quickest manner of extracting the GBBs (the thumb-snaps
are designed and reinforced to disengage in a one-motion
during draw, suitable for real-world use), it is essential
for the user to practice, practice, and practice his or
her draw motion for a smooth and menacing presentation.

is excellent – even with a full-sized Government Model
such as the Springfields, a sports jacket is all that’s
required to keep this rig out-of-view, making for an excellent
“Suit Battle” piece of kit. Thanks to the weight of the
magazines in the rig as well as its vest-wear design,
this item is relatively shift-free under most normal non-gravity-defying
circumstances. For those requiring a more secure hold
of their rig, an adjustable leather tie-down is provided,
standard, on each side, which can easily be removed via
the same adjustment mechanism seen on the rest of the
rig’s hardware. Of course, two full-sized 1911-.45s with
two spare mags is definitely no lightweight set to tote
around. Fortunately, the ultra soft leather of the SH9
rig, combined with its wide load-bearing straps, easily
distributes this weight evenly and comfortably along the
user’s shoulders and chest.

two spare mags, the single-stacker, 15-round (each) BB-capacity
WA 1911s are basically up to the “firepower” level of
just about any of the current skirmish-capable GBB pistols.
But unfortunately, since I am not as sure of a shot as
Dirty Harry and as I do not enjoy a perpetual supply of
rounds as in the case of Rambo, I’m rather forced into
the awkward situation of trying to compensate for the
relatively low BB capacity of the WA single-stackers in
terms of a viable skirmish load-out.

this respect, the Uncle Mike’s Quad Case is perhaps the
WA single-stacker user’s best friend.

a 2×2 formation of mags that are securely retained via
a polymer plastic insert and height-adjustable retaining
flaps, this item essentially becomes the equalizer that
WA single-stacker users can rely on to even the skirmish
field. With two of these Quad Cases giving the single-stacker
user a viable carry option for 8 spare mags, the specter
of meeting up with someone toting 4 spare mags for their
high-capacity WA double stacker or KSC Glock 17/18C is
no longer something to be dreaded.

to this stack a set of two Mernickle Performance Series
Concealed Carry PS23 High-Ride Double Magazine Pouches,
all mounted on their own 1 and ¾ inch PB1 Double-Thickness
Dress Belt (reinforced for concealed carry so as to be
completely twist/flex free) – all in plain black leather
– and the result is the ability to carry (with the shoulder
holster’s mag pouches included) a total of fourteen spare
single-stacker 15-round mags both in style and with a
definite eye towards practicality. And that should be
enough of a load-out for just about any skirmish situation…..

now got more than enough ammo to feed the two hand cannons
at my side.

what’s not satisfied, as it turned out, was my thirst
for bringing this project truly over the top.

screen-characters are known to literally ditch their pistols
when they run out of ammo – otherwise known as “the New
York Reload.” This is something that’s been picked up
not only by Hollywood as a quick reload method (i.e. The
Matrix) but is also something that even videogame characters
such as Jack Slate in Namco’s Dead to Rights has figured
out. When the going gets tough, the tough simply pulls
out more pistols. Reloading is for beat cops on the Department’s
budget – and is almost gauche for the bullet-dodging hero
or the swinging international terrorist!

seeing as I’m not filthy rich, I could not afford to simply
ditch my $1,400 set of GBBs out of the need to quick reload
in a desperate situation.

what’s a boy to do but to get more GBBs?


the above consideration in-mind, I thought it would be
more fitting to pay tribute to Face/Off in a more traditional
sense. No, no golden pistols, but definitely, something
that’s more true to the over-the-top look of the Springfields
in that film, and definitely something that’s carried
at the small-of-the-back.

before I even started looking for another set of pistols,
I wanted to be sure that an appropriately fancy and high-quality
holster could be found for them. Luckily for me, a fellow
GBB enthusiast, fluffybunny, had been clued-in on a custom
leatherworker out in Savage, Montana, by the name of JC

and Mag Pouches, redux –
After initial contact and
numerous detailed e-mails firming up specific requirements
for the rig, Rankin delivered an absolutely stunningly
beautiful rendition of his mh-11 Spec-Ops Double Back-Draw
holster in hand dyed black leather. A full custom handmade
piece, this holster also required a lead-time of about
4 weeks for construction and delivery. But trust me, patience
is indeed a virtue, and definitely, the wait was well
worth the final product. Beautifully cut and assembled,
this piece has all the visceral appeal that climbing into
the cockpit of a baseball-stitched Audi TT holds. The
aroma from simply opening the package was intoxicating,
and the feel of the leather can only be said to be heavenly.
For some two-hundred and fifty odd dollars, this is, IMHO,
the most distinctive and best looking double behind-the-back
holster that you can purchase.

me, had the armorer of Woo’s film known about this piece
he definitely would have called upon Rankin to dress Castor
Troy. Even my wife, who’s usually put off by my airsoft
gear, marveled at the beauty of this exquisite holster.

only consideration to be had is one of sizing. This isn’t
something that can be worn by everyone. Rankin himself
cautioned that if I’m less than 5’8” tall, and less than
about 28-30 inches wide at the waist, this rig may not
fit comfortably or properly. This is due to the design
of the holster, which gives a higher ride than that is
seen with the on-screen Castor Troy piece. Rankin’s use
of the traditional “pancake” design allows the GBBs in
this holster to ride much closer to the body – increasing
concealability under that thousand-dollar Armani jacket
you have on. Long known to be of benefit for such purposes
in the real-steel world of undercover detectives and vice-squad
officers, it’s no surprise that “the pancake” is king
in terms of offering a body-hugging fit.

Rankin mh-11 allows for better concealability for real-world
carry-use, but more importantly, it also allows the wearer
to actually sit down without cracking his tailbone, as
would have undoubtedly happened with Castor’s low-slung
pouches…. For those individuals meeting the minimum measurements,
a pair of full-sized Government .45s will come to rest
next to one’s kidneys, offering a secure and low-profile
nest for your hand-cannons. If you’re shorter or slimmer,
Rankin kindly suggests pairing this holster with a set
of smaller pistols – at least considering the move down
to a 4-inch, “Officer’s”-sized 1911.

Castor’s rig may look nicely low-slung and sexy, but practicality
will demand otherwise, and Rankin’s mh-11 is designed
for real-world use, instead of just Hollywood fanfare.
That, of course, is just fine for skirmish-play purposes.

better to fit into this holster than a set of true high-end,
custom-build GBBs?

14 spare mags? Where’s the war?

that’s precisely the third option for creating a Face/Off
tribute…getting a professional airsoft gunsmith to undertake
your commission.

Option Three – The Contract Killer –
Since my
patron-artist interaction was so memorable for the
“DumboRAT Special” BB-IPSC Open Class race-gun,
I again turned to Clarence Lai, the master airsoft
gunsmith of www.AirsoftSurgeon.com , to craft something
that’s the equal of Woo’s Face/Off Springfields.

Twins” – Dexter and Sinister – are ground-up custom-built
single-stacker 1911s made in the pattern of Castor
Troy’s Springfield Custom “Distinguished Limited
Movie” pieces.

the traditional Western Arms 1911-.45 single stacker
chassis as a starting point, Clarence and I worked
to nail together a set of aesthetic and functional
parameters. Unlike with the “DumboRAT Special,”
where I gave Clarence near free-reign over the cosmetic
interpretation of that piece within only a broad
general framework, this particular set of twins
were commissioned with a rigid set of cosmetic parameters
which I had already conceived.

the inception of this project, I had always envisioned
a pair of twins distinguished only by their unique
markings – of which, importantly, are a set differential
scrimshaw grip panels that personify the character
of each GBB.

known for his custom engraving and scrimshaw work,
a commission for two sets of faux-ivory modern-scrimshaw
grip panels was given to Sid Ryan. Dexter, from
the Latin meaning “right-handed” was paired with
the inscription of a tiger on the prow. Born in
the Year of the Tiger, this was to be my primary
pistol. Meanwhile, Sinister, derived from the Latin
for “left-handed,” came to be the oriental-themed
dragon and alluded to my Chinese-horoscope nemesis
sign, the dragon – perfect for the opposing hand.

I made the choice of a such specialized grips, Clarence
immediately suggested that the pair of GBBs should
be silver in color scheme, including major control
surfaces, to offset both the ink of the scrimshaw
as well as to highlight the ivory-colored panels.
As with his previous work on the “DumboRAT Special”
and his brilliant help in picking out the CarbonCreations
grips for my Springfields above, this proved to
be a masterful stroke.

with the slide, we both agreed that a PGC Springfield
Custom slide with both front and rear cocking serrations
would fit our criteria for cosmetic flair as well
as the need for high-use durability. Combined with
inscribing the side of each to denote the proper
“handedness” of the otherwise identical twins and
further cuts at the muzzle to accommodate faux Springfield
V-porting of the outer barrel, this detail work
makes-up in-part for the more subdued finish of
these pieces as compared to those of Castor Troy’s.

further distinguish The Twins and to lend additional
heft, a set of aftermarket metal outer barrels where
chosen for installation, with drilling of an unconventional
set of eight “V” hybrid ports to match that of the
slide cuts.

standard 1911-.45 outer barrels were chosen to maintain
the classic look of this genre and to again set
it apart from their film counterparts – as well
as in order to take advantage of their faux bore
rifling, which is not present on similar aftermarket
parts from other makes.

with a pair of accurately hand-matched and detail-fitted
Sheriff steel barrel bushings and all high-polished
to match that of the two-piece full-length mirror-finished
metal guide rods, the overall look is delicate without
appearing feminine or fragile, and nicely offsets
the macho character that is typical of 1911-.45s.

an added and totally unexpected detail touch – befitting
his constant striving for “a head above the rest” customer
service – Clarence also inscribed the names of each Twin
into their polished barrel bushings, letting not only
the close-range opponent know from whence their demise
originated, but also adding a distinctive profile to possibly
the only boring angle of these pistols.

top, a matte bead-blasted treatment was given to the slides
to minimize reflected glare. Adjustable BoMar three-dot
sights were fitted, which, along with my later revision
to the “Combat Pyramid” rear blade as well as highlight
of the front dot, allowed for both a better sight picture
as well as maintains congruence and continuity between
the two pairs of GBBs. A high-polished metal chamber cover
adds a bit of shine to this area and again lends the detail
touch to tie-up the whole of the GBB with the proper .45
caliber, hybrid exhaust warning text. As with most modern
combat autos of the 1911-.45 genre, the ejection port
is cut low and flared back.

frame itself was not overlooked either cosmetically or
functionally. Patience and expert skill were lovingly
blended together for these frames, which took Clarence
a labored 6+ hours to complete, each, just for the re-checkering.
For those horror stories I’ve heard of claimed “tuners”
who couldn’t take the time to even properly adjust sear
spring tension, this truly shows the disparity of dedication
and workmanship……..

with a traditional round trigger guard Sheriff metal frame,
Clarence cross-drilled the grip chassis and polished its
sides to match the finish of the slide’s profile. Meanwhile,
a bead-blasted finish was preserved to match the underbelly
of the dustcover and trigger guard to the finish seen
above the slide. And just atop the trigger on the right
is inscribed a variant of the traditional Springfield
Armory stamping, with custom matching serial numbers of
“DR 0001” for Sinister, and “DR 0002” for Dexter. As with
the barrel bushing lettering, this was a detail that Clarence
“gifted” me as an extra and unexpected personal touch.

around the bottom is a Sheriff replica Wilson Combat “Speed
Chute” type mainspring housing integrated full flared
magwell. High-polished to match the main control surfaces,
this part also was expertly fitted to minimize any gaps
or other incongruous mating. The level of fit is so highly
detailed that it even puts the work of high-dollar custom
shops, such as Sheriff’s own full-build pieces – which
has been known to occasionally show large gaps in this
area – to shame. Along the mainspring housing, Clarence
also saw fit to re-checker the flat backstrap at 30 LPI
to further insure a high-friction grip which, as you could
see in a previous photo, really allows a fine “bite” into
your hands regardless if you’re wearing a velvet glove
or a leather gauntlet.

control surfaces, including both the high recurve beavertail
grip safety and the ambidextrous “tactical narrow” thumb
safeties were each high-polished to a mirror finish. Of
note are the special “squared” nature of the thumb safeties’
leading edges, which was a profile that was thoughtfully
carried over to the CL-special bead-blasted extended narrow
slide stop and was further aesthetically reinforced by
a unique “squared” plunger-tube. Even the Springfield-type,
bearing steel hammer did not escape Clarence’s careful
eye, with both side profiles high-polished, maintaining
only its blued surface on the upper and rear aspects to
tie-in with the necessarily black sight assembly.

magazine release button also did not escape overhaul.
A bead-blasted finish extended mag release was drafted
for use, and the surface was deeply checkered to insure
positive engagement. Meanwhile, the trigger itself remained
a typical Sheriff replica of the Wilson Combat/Videki
3-hole type, with Clarence’s magical trigger job giving
this piece almost no pull, and literally hair-trigger

spicing up the internals are an increased rate mainspring
and reinforced hammer strut, which in combination with
the highly skeletonized and lightened bearing steel hammer,
works in concert with the expert trigger job to drastically
decrease lock time and increase overall cyclic rate. Helping
even more to insure a positive cycle is a custom increased-rate
recoil spring, set to 130%, that positively returns each
cycle to-lock. Shock absorption, meanwhile, is handled
by Clarence’s custom-fitted proprietary buffer.

escapes the eye of a master artist – the hammer
is select to preserve the Springfield Armory theme,
and is blued over the length of the rear contour
to tie-in with the rear sight assembly while the
sides are high-polished to match controls. Note
the Clarence Lai signature AirsoftSurgeon Acc-U-Rails,
just visible at the slide-to-frame junction points
and the matched Wilson Combat “Combat Pyramid”-type
rear BoMar sight blades.
uses a combination of WA’s proprietary “skirmish-use”
double-sprung system (as evident by the rear most
“suspended” stack) combined with a thick stack of
urethane up front to offer not only protection,
but also to pre-tension the recoil spring and to
achieve a “just long enough” slide travel in order
to shorten cycle time.

increase power output, in addition to a high-rate mainspring,
Clarence installed his typical super-extended polished
steel firing pin and mated that to a Sheriff floating/rocket
valve. Combined with the set recoil spring rate, this
system is capable of producing again near WA double-stacker
levels of objective power output (using higher-powered
Taiwanese “Green Gas” or true H[C]FC22) while still maintaining
sufficient gas efficiency to finish off a full mag’s worth
of BBs and provide positive last-round lock-open.

Meanwhile, accuracy is guaranteed by a pair of Guarder/IS
6.03 mm bore stainless steel inner-barrels with retention
of WA’s stock Hop assembly for skirmish viability. A set
of Guarder/IS metal outer-to-inner barrel bushings were
later installed to further reinforce coupling in this
area. To this assembly Clarence added a tension-spring
that lent a bit more increased stability of the inner-barrel-to
chamber interface (this, though, is only a side-benefit
and serves as only a minor-contribution to this device’s
true intent, which is to serve as an unlocking assist
by consistently holding and displacing the faux outer
chamber assembly away from the locking lugs and helping
to clear the slide, thus saving on wear of the chamber
cover – thanks go out to Mobius Strip for hammering through
this one with me!). Further up front, with expert fitting
of the barrel bushing to the outer barrel, the entire
barrel assembly is absolutely rock-solid at-lock, with
no evidence whatsoever of any play between the critical
components. As a final touch, Clarence’s Acc-U-Rail work
completely eliminated the widely known variance and uneven
frame rails that’s often problematic of Sheriff’s single-stacker
metal frames. The Acc-U-Rail job also insured a completely
individual and ultimately precision-tight fit between
the unique frames and slides of each Twin.

assist spring. Once only found on high-dollar custom-jobs
such as these pieces, the technique and practice
has now trickled down to even mass-market (albeit
high-end “Limited Edition”) pieces such as the WA
SVI Xcelerator.
you can see Sinister’s left frame Acc-U-Rail in-situ,
while the right has been removed to show construct.
Looks easy to do, but the true level of skill cannot
be appreciated until one realizes that both the
slide and frame must be precision matched during
milling/cutting in order to get an appropriate fit.
One mistake here, and it’s hello to both a new frame
and/or new slide!
photo demonstrates the milled guide groove
in the frame (look at the “gutter” right under
the left frame rail) into which the removed
Acc-U-Rail rests. A matched groove is present
in the slide rail. This makes each such Acc-U-Rail
job completely and uniquely the property of
the GBB for which it was originally intended.
Even a cross-fit between The Twins is impossible.

internal durability of the critical loading components,
a PGC reinforced loading nozzle/”muzzle” was our
mutually agreed choice.

it is unfortunately impossible for even these highly
tuned replicas to escape the laws of physics. Just
as with a Porsche GT3 or a Bentley Turbo, while
such excellent hardware borders on the edge of being
able to defy the bounds of gravity and drag, they
must still ultimately bow to Sir Isaac Newton’s
observations of the natural universe.

this respect, it can only be said that The Twins
perform as admirably as any tuned-to-the-edge single-stacker
WA 1911 is capable of in terms of absolute power
output. While nowhere the match of a sporting BB-IPSC
competition-tuned WA double-stacker, it certainly
remains competitive with any other GBB that’s likely
to present itself on a skirmish field.

honestly, who’d want to shoot their friends, or
for that matter, get shot by a race-gun spitting
out 0.20 gram BBs traveling at 400+ fps., at CQB-type
ranges? With performance that’s again at the 1.2
Joule level (appx. 350 fps. with 0.20 gram BBs –
as proven by current testing with indoor range temperatures
barely crawling above 50 deg. F., where The Twins
still managed consistent 320 fps. velocities with
0.20 gram BBs), as with any other highly-upgraded
WA single-stacker, this piece maintains not only
a definitely viable skirmish-use power output, but
also will not be the cause of safety/hot-gun complaint
for most skirmish organizers, either.

although its effective-range is not much better
than with the pair of highly-tuned WA single-stacker
that I constructed above, it is in the area of trigger
feel and cyclic speed that Clarence’s Twins really
shows their true “custom built” colors.

with even just the 130%-tension recoil springs,
their cycles are still lightening fast and easily
keeps pace with the 150% recoil spring fitted Springfields
that I dressed-up myself. But where The Twins overtake
amateur-level tuning attempts is with its outstanding
trigger job – as with the “DumboRAT Special,” the
trigger has virtually no travel and definitely no
slop. With the only concession that I had Clarence
make to this piece being a higher pull weight for
“tactical” skirmish-field use, the trigger of The
Twins remain at a “hard wish” level for near telepathic
actuation. Combined with the drastically lowered
lock-time that Clarence’s skill was able to achieve,
this is where the cyclic rate of The Twins exceeds
that of any conventional amateur tuning. At full-force,
twin gunning, The Twins produce sonic chaos akin
to that from a full-auto, select-fire machine pistol
such as the KSC Glock 18C or Beretta M93R.

such furious cyclic rates, aluminum soda can shredding
at 40 ft. becomes not a game of chance, but a game
of skill – knocking off a 12-ounce soda can from
a 5-ft. tall perch and trying to hit it multiple
times before it hits the ground is rather easily
done with The Twins in-hand.

course, cost is going to be an issue with such custom-crafted

again, as with the “DumboRAT Special,” I have no
intention to disclose how much money passed-hands
between me and my artisan for this set of wonderful
GBBs. Suffice it to say that with such custom-work,
it is vital for you and your custom-crafter to be
totally honest. It would be just as improper for
you lie about your ability to finance the work as
it would be if he/she lied about their skills at
getting the job done to your satisfaction. I won’t
beleaguer the point here, as I’ve already said plenty
about this type of custom-commission project on
my “BB-IPSC” full-write up, which you can reference
with the URL links provided below – but honestly,
have a look around at the typical price-range for
this kind of work before you start, just so that
you know what’s “fair market price.” All that I
will say about Clarence is that his prices were
VERY competitive.

you idiot, now you have four pistols but only 2 hands……
one begs the question – with such a high-quality set of
GBBs at the small of my back, why even bother with the
set under my arms?

anyone who has skirmished with me can readily report,
I hate to get caught with my pants down. Even for my regular
skirmishes, I pack no less than 3 sidearms on my person.

considering that The Twins are necessarily tuned to a
knife’s edge, and further sports within their metal bodies
an exacting and demanding set of 6.03 mm tightbore inner-barrels,
one’s got to take some practical precautions in case the
errant malformed BB or some dirt and grime manages to
jam-up the low-tolerance, precision-mated parts. And that’s
where the Springfields under my arms come in to play.
They serve as a pair of imminently ready and ultimately
reliable (due to their less rigorous performance tuning)
backups. And although I do not ever plan to “movie ditch”
The Twins, the real-world consideration of possibly having
one or both of them fail during a skirmish is one that
neither I or Clarence can ignore or deny as practical
skirmish gamers. Sure, holstering The Twins and transitioning
to the Springfields under my arms may take a bit of time
– but that’s still better than field-stripping the GBB
to clear a hard-jam during the heat of a skirmish battle.
After all, GBB 1911s aren’t exactly always responsive
to “tap-rack-bang.”

black-and-chrome Springfields under my arm are like the
AK47s of the assault-rifle world – their looser tolerances
confer to them the ability to function regardless of the
situation. And that in and of itself lends them significant
value when the going gets really tough.

Would Castor Troy be proud to carry
this load-out?

stylish and totally fitting, the constraint of actually
having to carry so many magazines’ worth of ammo
would certainly cramp his style. While we’ve all
seen him reload in Face/Off, I can well tell you
– the casual reader – that Woo’s characters aren’t
typically shown to reload on-screen unless it is
to add to some cinematic effect.

me, my thesis paper on this while at Johns Hopkins,
as an undergrad, earned an “A” – LOL!.

then again, I guess I have to trade-off a part of
reality when I play his role in an airsoft skirmish
game, too…..I sure don’t think that bringing my
Cold Steel push-dagger would be appropriate for
safe skirmish gaming “knife kills” (although it
does add wonderfully to the photographic atmosphere,
doesn’t it?).

like I’ll just have to settle for chewing on some
Chiclets instead. =)
come to think of it, where’s that wad of Benjamins
to pay off my goons for the month?


on left-handed shooting.

“Clothing and Gear” Forum thread
regarding double
shoulder holster rigs.

“Custom Guns” Forum thread
on the topic of the Face/Off

BB-IPSC review
, with the all-important “Additional
References” section in the third sub-post. If you’re looking
for information on upgrading your WA 1911-type GBB, please
do not overlook the references cited within that post.
Take the time to read them, it’ll be well worth it. There’s
a virtual treasure chest of information there from many
of the leading names in the GBB enthusiast community,
not reading through these references is to, IMHO, elect

and fellow enthusiast MMZ_Cee’s excellent rear-of-frame
disassembly guide
. He just started on this route 2
months ago (as of 02/2003), and look at what he can already
achieve! This is a fine example of just how simple and
elegant the WA 1911s/2011s are to work on – don’t be afraid
to try! Best used in conjunction with the three other
resources listed below….

the GoIAO hobbyist website, an article by JPNet, friend
and noted fellow enthusiast
. Covers, IN DETAIL through
five (5) picture-filled pages, the complete assembly and
re-assembly details of a WA double-stacker. This article,
combined with the references listed in the above BB-IPSC
full-review as well as the following set of URL links,
should be more than sufficient to serve as a complete
guide to the assembly/disassembly as well as tuning and
maintenance of your WA 1911-type GBB of either single
or double-stacker genre. Also, combine with the two posts
immediately following (as well as MMZ_Cee’s guide above)
for best help in troubleshooting the critical rear-of-frame

of the rear-of-frame mechanicals
. Sear/hammer strut/trigger
bow inter-relationship. Taken from an AirsoftPlayers Forum
thread. Combine with above JPNet GoIAO article and MMZ_Cee’s
guide for best effect.

post, in which I helped Booya dissect the finer aspects
of mainspring housing removal and mainspring replacement
Combine with above JPNet GoIAO article, plus the above-referenced
AirsoftPlayers thread and MMZ_Cee’s guide for best effect.

UK airsoft Forum, post regarding how to remove the WA
rear main blowback assembly from the slide
. Also,
it details how to properly match slides for the different
replicas for fit and function. Critical read.

Forum post
, regarding nozzle replacement detail steps,
along with a picture-linked guide for rear sight assembly

another AirsoftZone Forum post addressing the issue of
grip and grip plate retrofitting
on stock WA single
and double-stacker 1911 clones.

to clarify the issue of slide profile and dust-cover length
with regard to slide fit
, an AirsoftRetreat Forum

enthusiast jbl/JBL’s excellent dissection of the WA GBB
gas-evolution cycle
. Highly recommended read!

as above, but with parts-number references
. Still
an excellent read and an alternative-format presentation.
Taken from the AirsoftPlayers Forums by fellow enthusiast


excellent two-gunning article.

Strip’s three-part Western Arms 1911-type GBB tuning and
maintenance guide
. With this guide-in hand and combined
with the references I’ve given in the above “External
Links” as well as those resident in the “BB-IPSC” review
that I cited, it’s easy for just about anyone to not only
properly maintain, but also troubleshoot and even upgrade
and tune their WA 1911s. This has been recently updated
(essentially re-written) by Mobius Strip, and is well-worth
revisiting and re-reading!

Strip’s famous and now classic “A Tribute to Face/Off”

screencaptures form Face/Off


– Clarence Lai’s masterpiece clinic in the Airsoft Mecca
of Hong Kong. Custom work on GBB pistols (and more) at
its best.

Custom Holsters, British Columbia, Canada.
of my excellent SH-9 Dual Gun, Dual Mag shoulder rig carry
system as well as the outstanding dress pistol belt and
beautifully decorative magazine pouches. High-end true
custom leatherworkers.

Saddlery & Leatherworks, Savage, Montana, USA.

JC Rankin, Sr., hand crafts each piece of high end leather
accessory with unequaled beauty. Home of my mh-11 Spec-Ops
double Back-Draw holster. IMHO, there’s no comparison
between his true custom work and the lesser double-backdraw
holsters out there (i.e. Black Hills Leather and Bell
Charter Oak). This is the holster that had “Castor Troy
known about, he would have undoubtedly chosen due to its
ultra-high quality and superior cosmetics.

John Cato’s patented carbon-fiber woven grip panels for
pistols. Custom made to-order, anything from traditional
1911-.45s to Berettas; silver, red, blue, gold/yellow
and even nickel-interweaves are possible with a number
of different surface finishes, as are custom settings
of trademark medallions.

L. Ryan
, custom engraving and scrimshaw. Combines
modern techniques with a traditional look to give quality
artwork at affordable prices.

retailers –

USA: – AirsoftToys (Ohio) –

Hong Kong: – DEN Trinity – http://www.dentrinityshop.com/
Hong Kong: – Wargamers’ Club Shop – http://www.wargameclub.com/WGC_Shop/

Armory, USA.
If you want the real-steel, this is the
place to go to start your research and shopping.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank my mate, Mobius
of the UK. Without his inspiration and undying
love for the gold Face/Off pistols, I would most likely
have never undertaken this project – and who, without
his teaching, guidance, and friendship, I would likely
have never stepped down the road of WA 1911/2011 modifications.
Also not to be forgotten are my good friends Tony and
JPNet, without whose often very long letters discussing
our beloved WA 1911s – and even real-steel – I would not
otherwise have come to appreciate these pieces so much.
And certainly, within this first section, I should thank
my lovely wife, Sara, who tolerated the infiltration of
many pieces of hardware into our modest living areas.

to thank is my friend The Alchemist (ex-cmcodeking) of
AirsoftOhio, who first seriously proposed the idea of
a street-dress “Suit Battle”-scenario airsoft skirmish,
which finally served the impetus to kick me into action.
Hopefully, sometime this coming year, we’ll get such a
scenario going!

the retail front, the guys at
(US) and Wargamers’
(HK) both deserve a shout-out for their most
timely and most professional handling of some issues I
had with the GBBs serving as donors to my duo-tone Springfields;
the same thanks go out to the guys at DEN
(HK) who worked with me to locate alternatives
to certain parts that were not available. And, of course,
a warm “thank you” goes to fellow hobbyist fluffybunny
of AirsoftOhio,
who introduced me to the works of JC Rankin, Sr, the custom
leatherworker who in turn deserves his own special note
here in making the stunning double behind-the-back holster;
JC, your level of service borders on that only my clothiers
and tailor comes even remotely close to. Sid Ryan and
John Cato also both receive my thanks for their finely
crafted custom grip panels – Sid specifically for his
wonderful ink work on The Twins’ scrimshaw panels, and
John for his working so carefully for me to make the custom
cuts that I specified.

but not least, a big thanks go out to my good friend and
artisan, Clarence
, who so finely crafted Dexter and Sinister to
my exacting specifications and countless demands.

and the represented characters are copyrights of: Paramount
/ Touchstone Pictures

Last modified:
Thursday, February 27, 2003 10:11 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft


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