Anyone who knows me through the forums will know I run the JustPistols website.
One interesting aspect of doing so is that it gives me an insight (to a degree) into which pistols people are interested in reading about.
Although the free web stats system I use (addfreestats) is a little flawed, the following are the top 11 reviews so far this year (end of May) based on page visits.
TM Glock 17
Tanaka Super Redhawk (Suspicious)
TM Desert Eagle Hardkick
Tanaka Colt SAA
TM SIG P226
Tanaka Browning Hi-Power
KWA Glock 19
Tanaka S&W M500
The Super Redhawk's prominence seems odd to me and I suspect someone has it set up as their homepage...
The prevelance of TM guns is no surprise, but the popularity of Tanaka guns is more surprising, given their relative rarity, cost and unpopularity amongst skirmishers.
It may simply be that there are few reviews out there on the web aside from those on JustPistols, but it may just be there's a lot of people interested in the less common models that Tanaka produce, even if they don't buy one themselves.
The TM Glock 17 has had around 3200 views according to my stats, beating the nearest reliable looking review (the TM 1911A1) by almost double (1757).
Interestingly, the guns just outside the top 10 are more varied.
The TM Hi-Capa is number 11 and the KSC Glock 17/18C at 12(not that surprising), but a review of Elite's Custom Hi-Capas is no 13 with the Walther P99 from Maruzen at 14 and the Mk23 comparison at 15.
Number 16 is WA's vintage JatiMatic, which features a gas NBB system to fire BBs and batteries in the magazine to cycle the gun.
Obviously, there's a taste for the obscure as well as the mainstream amongst Airsofters.
Well, we now have a definitive date for the introduction of the part of the Violent Crime Reduction Act that will forbid the import, manufacture or sale of airsoft replicas (As RIFs) to anyone without a valid defence.
There is a suggestion of a defence for skirmishers, although how it will applied (in terms of will you get an ARU raid and THEN have to spend months getting your stuff back by PROVING you are a skirmisher?) and how it will be defined (Exactly what do the LAW see as a skirmisher?) remain to be seen.
Sadly, whatever the aftermath of this legislation for regular skirmishers, it will mark the end of my involvement in airsoft.
I won't take to the weeds in camouflage every weekend (or even once a month), just to risk an ARU on my doorstep when I fancy trying out the latest GBB from WA or TM.
It's a ######, but frankly I'd rather bid farewell than have that kind of hassle, which (of course) is exactly what the Government want.
They're not stupid enough to believe this stupid piece of legislation will prevent gangs in London, Manchester and Nottingham killing each other, but it makes the Daily Mail readers think they are safe in their beds (which they always were, of course). No, the kind of person who wants to kill someone for looking at them the wrong way is beyond the reach (or at least will) of the law and the gun crime stats will continue to rise, because gun culture is engrained in some groups (Banning Gangsta Rap CDs and refusing tossers like 50P entry to the country would have done more to reduce gun crime, but that would be persecuting a minority - Too true! A minority of wankers who think having a gun and using it makes you a man - By definition this cannot be true...)
Anyway, the truth is that this point marks the beginning of the end for me.
I won't disappear overnight, but I'll probably never know how good the TM FN 5-7 is or get to experience the first Chinese made GBB with better QC than a WA, but that's OK, because some retarded chav in Manchester won't wave a toy gun in someone's face to frighten them...
No, they'll get a proper bloody knife and stab them instead....
VCRA - The law IS an *albatross*!
My recent real-steel experience inspired a bit of a revival in my enthusiasm for airsoft and I've picked up a few new items to review.
First off, I got a Tanaka SIG P226 - Having just fired a real SIG P226 and having seen one of these beauties only once before, it seemed more than coincidence when this appeared for sale on the forum and just down the road from my home, so I had to have it. With a WA Magna Blowback system and HW material, it makes the stock TM gun look rather ordinary, but I'm sure most skirmishers wouldn't give it a second look.
Next up, I saw a Marushin Automag GBB lingering, without interest, on the forum - I succumbed although I suspect this will become a millstone should I decide to move it on. Great looking gun, though and the unusual bolt action is a hoot in GBB form.
I stopped by Elite Airsoft's busy stand (plenty of interest in airsoft still) at Bisley over the weekend, too, and came away with a couple of WE Hi-Capas and a HFC Glock 17 to review as well!
If a deal I have going on comes to fruition (as it should, I've paid) I've also got an AEP M93R coming, but that's for an AI article.
So, if you follow JustPistols at all, you'll find a few new reviews over the coming months, if nothing like the flood that used to follow a batch of WAs from Elite.
Those days are unlikely to ever return, it seems, as WA won't supply Elite (or anyone else outside Japan officially - I guess the HK supplies are grey imports) anymore.
One gun I will definitely be reviewing some time is the TM FN 5-7 GBB - Can't wait for that one - Just hope it's as good as the 1911A1.
I was recently in the US and went to a shooting range.
Last time I did this, some years ago, I hadn't even heard of airsoft, so it was interesting to compare real steel with airsoft.
I fired a SIG P226, which I've also handled in airsoft form.
My experience of handling airsoft handguns was pretty useful in terms of handling, operation, grip and general confidence with the gun.
There were, however, a few notable areas where the real thing deviated greatly from airsoft.
1) Feel - Steel doesn't feel like zine or alloy even. Real steel guns have a cold feel to them that no all-metal airsoft gun I've encountered has ever replicated (I'm sure someone will tell me the SIG's frame is actually alloy - Whatever, it still felt quite different to an airsoft gun).
The weight of the SIG wasn't noticably heavier than a decent GBB, though and the grip and overall feel of the gun in the hand was remarkably similar.
2) Magazines - Obviously you put real bullets in a real gun, rather than BBs, but the effort required of the thumb to push in more than 6 or 7 rounds was noticable. Reloading under pressure must be virtually impossible and, of course, a real steel magazine weighs virtually nothing empty.
3) Trigger Pull - Airsoft guns have incredibly light triggers as a rule. I was aware of that beforehand, but, even though I found the SIG's pull smooth, the pressure required to fire the gun was much, much greater than 99.9%+ of airsoft guns I've fired. The other controls, like the decoker, were similarly harder to operate than their airsoft equivalents.
4) Noise - Yowch!!!! Even with ear defenders AND ear plugs these things are bloody loud.
I actually found myself tensing up as I took up the trigger pressure, in anticipation of the noise - I had to consciously overcome it...
I live quite close to Army ranges, but the mild cracks drifting across the range in no way prepare you for the sound of even a 9mm in a firing range.
5) Kick - Next time I read someone saying that the TM Hi-Capa has a hard kick, I'm going to cry. The Hi-Capa's a weedy kicker in airsoft form, but even a 9mm (quite controllable compared with a .44 Magnum, which I've fired in the past, or other big-bore pistols) kicks about 10-20 times harder than the hardest kicking airsoft guns I've encountered. Even TM's Desert Eagle only flinches compared with a 9mm, no surprise, really, when you consider the relative forces involved.
I did find that I felt quite comfortable and confident handling the SIG this time, whilst I'd been quite nervous with the guns I'd fired before. They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but I welcomed the knowledge airsoft had given me and felt I was a safer shooter for it.
Likewise, the feel (aside from the gun's coldness) and sights of the gun were familar and I found it easy to place the majority of my shots in the target centre, albeit not as tightly grouped as I can do it with an airsoft pistol.
As before, the ease with which an inexperienced shooter (me) could place shots consistently in a target was a little disconcerting. It's not hard to see how high-school students can easily kill large numbers of their colleagues with these things.
In their own right, airsoft handguns are great fun (and, not least importantly, incredibly safe) and I can see how airsoft practice would be good for real-steel shooters in terms of handling of the gun and use of the sights (say for practical pistol or real-life CQB situations), but don't be fooled into believing they are a realistic substitute for shooting the real thing.
Having been mooching around the forums now for a few years, I notice a definite pattern.
Some people are extremely active on a forum for some length of time and then vanish.
Some, like HissingSid, go involuntarily, but others just seem to fade away.
GhostRider and HardcoreMitsuko fall into this category. There was a time where a day didn't pass without a flurry of postings (usually quite interesting - A feminine view, especially, was a novelty), but they seem to have moved onto other things.
Antagon was another - I still have a WA Jati-Matic of his in my loft, but I've not heard from him in over a year.
So, where do they go? Do they just grow weary of airsofting, get real jobs, take up crochet or just lose interest in reading the same old threads over and over again?
Who knows, but if you know, tell me!
Is it me or is it much quieter on Arnies this time of year?
It's not just Arnies either, I mooch around ASCUK and AirsoftRetreat a fair bit, too, and they seem very quiet.
I guess airsofters aren't that hardy a bunch, they're all waiting for it to warm up before getting out their kit and going off skirmishing or maybe it's something to do with the VCR (Violent Crime pR stunt) Act?
I've noticed a lot of big sell offs recently, always with seemingly good reasons, but I wonder if these people would be selling up if the Act wasn't looming?
From my perspective, a new job is keeping me pretty busy and GBBs don't much like the cold anyway.
If it wasn't for a commitment to write an article a month for AI, I don't suppose I would have looked at an airsoft pistol in months now.
Still, once this warm spell's past (and my very late skiing holiday is out of the way - Perhaps I'm the only one praying for more cold weather?), I'm sure the forums will be more active and maybe I'll find a bit more motivation to write something truly relevant in my Blog...
I was looking for a laptop PC.
I wanted something that I'd use occassionally, not a full blooded desktop replacement or (God forbid) an 'Entertainment Laptop'!
What's that about? I want a laptop to be TINY - Sony's little Vaios would be ideal, but they're insanely expensive (£1799 for the new one - When an equivalently specced bigger laptop's about £799 and a desktop about fourpence and a bag of chips!) - but no, some loony thinks I want it to weigh about 4KG, have a 17" Widescreen display and built in hi-fi speakers.
Some people might I suppose (Don't know why really), but I don't so I went off looking for a little PC at an affordable price and, you know what, I couldn't find ANYTHING!
All Laptop PCs these days seem to have 15"+ screens, great big keyboards, DVD burners, etc, etc, etc
So I went looking for those tiny Dells I'd seen people with a couple of years ago and found a refurbished 12" screened C400 for about £200! Just the ticket!
It's not got a built in CD player (I can get one off eBay, use a USB DVD RW unit or not bother) or surround sound Dolby speakers and the disk drive's only 20GB, but it weighs less than 1.6Kg and will run Office, etc, etc, etc and has wifi and wired lan for installing software (the odd document I want to move on and off without a network, I can use a USB key for).
(Hopefully it will live up to expectation - I should get it next Monday... YEP it did - Great little laptop )
I don't understand the fad for big, heavy, cumbersome laptops - I've had jobs for ages where I had to carry one to meetings and I don't want to carry something akin to a flatscreen TV!
Seems like someone should make a competitor to Sony's Vaio at a sensible price - I reckon they'd clean up!
What is it with this obsession with power?
In particular, why are so many people messsing their boxers over this, admittedly quite nice sounding, Chinese L96 replica?
For some, sure, it's the fact it's an L96 replica (sort of), but many are saying "Cor, it does 540 fps for sure", "No, no, it's 560!", "I heard it was 750 with .12gs!".
OK in some places in the States, you're duty bound by the Constitution to hurt your fellow airsofter ("I'm gonna make you squeal like a pig. Weeeeeeee.
" - No, wait, that's something else, isn't it...? ), but here in the UK, you CANNOT shoot at someone with anything more powerful than 1J without (at least potentially) incurring the wrath of the law.
As this thing is now teetering up towards VSR-10 prices, once you factor in shipping from HK and VAT/Duty and PF charges, will it really be that good?
For me, this all sounds like a game of "Airsoft Sniper Rifle" Top Trumps, where the person who shouts the silliest FPS figure wins!
I'd be interested in seeing one (I've always rather liked Bolt Actions and the L96 in particular), but I won't be buying one unless they can figure out a way to get the power down to around 350fps, where it can be used in the UK.
If I want an air-rifle, I'll buy a proper one!
... I got to chatting with James Kenton, the Technical Editor of Airsoft International and a man who knows his way around a skirmish field (which I'll make no pretence to do so myself).
I was saying to him how the seemingly unlimited amount of ammunition made the whole event rather dull.
Someone had said to me beforehand that they'd been paintballing and had to attack fort over open ground. They sent in a wave of attackers (they said) as sacrificial lambs and then waited until the defenders were reloading - Well, I don't know what or where he was playing, but with 200 paintballs in the hopper and a dozen defenders (or more) a lull whilst reloading was never an event that occurred in my experience!
This led me to muse that it must be like that in airsoft skirmishes, too, where 300+ round hi-cap magazines are commonplace - James commented that, indeed it was, and that it made the experience frustrating.
Another aspect I commented on was the total disorganisation of our 'team' - When we did discuss 'tactics', two-thirds of the people just ran away and did their thing when the attack began... Seems that's something that happens in airsoft skirmishing too, from James's comments and from some threads I've seen recently on the forum.
To be honest, I suppose I should give airsoft skirmishing a try sometime, just to say I have, but if the experience of paintballing was to be repeated, I'm not sure I'm inclined to do so.
James reckons I'm a mil-sim-er at heart and I'm sure I would enjoy that more, although my fear there is that mil-sim-ers take it all rather too seriously...
A common thread that arises on the forums is "Can my Wakahashi Beretta M92BP take Green gas safely?"
The answer is always "YES" and "No"...
Let's start with "NO" - No gas gun, especially a GBB can use any gas without causing wear - All metal, TM, whatever, if you want a pristine GBB in a year's time, just plain don't use it...
Certainly SOME GBBs seem to have less problem with higher pressure gasses (and that pretty much means all the Propane based ones, regardless of how they are branded - So, include Abbey Ultra, HFC Green, pure Propane and Ultrair gasses of all sorts!), but using these gasses in any gun will (as well as giving better FPS) increase the wear that they suffer.
Moving onto "YES" - Yes is true because gasses don't always behave the same. Ever wondered why American Eagle/Cybergun gas always used to come in Summer and Winter (Ultrair's Summer gas is scarily powerful, in my experience, which leads me to believe it's Propane based)? The reason is simple, gasses expand differently, giving different pressures at different ambient temperatures.
So, everyone pretty much accepts that pretty much any GBB will work safely on 134a gas at 70F (20C) - Look away now if you can't agree with that. You might hanker for more fps, but I've never encountered any gun which couldn't COPE with this.
Looking at the graph below, you will see that that really means that most GBBs are safe with 85 PSI of pressure.
Now, if you use a Propane based gas at the same temperature, you're actually upping the pressure to 125 PSI - Plenty of scope for increasing damage.
What happens though, if we look further down the scale to see when Propane produces 85 PSI?
See? Around 50F (10C), Propane is producing the same pressure that 134a produced at 70F (20C), so you are quite safe using Propane in pretty much any gun, IF THE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE IS 50F (10C).
Flipping that round, if your gun is happy with a little more pressure (say 120 PSI), then you can use Propane safely up to 65F (18C), at which point it would be prudent to use 134a.
All the macho talk of "Real men don't use 134a" and "I only use Green because I'm not a girl" is tongue in cheek. In reality, there are times when only a wild gambler would use green and plenty of times when even the guns with the worst reputation for fragility really NEED Propane!
My rule of thumb (and bear in mind I don't fire off hundreds of rounds at a go on a skirmish) is Green up to 20C is OK and anything over needs 134a.
Where parts are hard to find, I might stick to 134a at lower temps, but I have fired (supposedly fragile) all plastic guns at 30C with Propane, although I would NOT make a habit of it!
I never cease to be amazed how the next gun from company X is 'gonna be the best airsoft eva!'.
Sure things evolve and the TM 1911 WAS a big step forward for quality and price, but was their rather lukewarm Hi-Capa? Or the SIG P226?
Don't get me wrong, neither's a bad gun and the market was crying out for a good P226 (I can't see there's a huge demand for another Glock 17, though, TM-san...), but they really weren't THAT great.
However, for months before (and for months after) the forum was full of people espousing how they'd shoot 350fps for sure and be able to take the eye out of a ladybird at 400m.
The M14 AEG was similar - There were dozens of people saying "I'm getting one", but how many really did? You don't read many threads about them - Maybe they were so good, there's nothing to say?
What about the AEPs? People were predicting GBBs would disappear when they were launched, but TM seem to have back-pedalled on them since the M93R received a cool response...
You rarely, though, read people recommending the TM SIG P226 these days, but only a few months back it was THE gun to have and where are all the threads on pimping your Hi-Capa?
Lest you think I'm beating up on TM here, it's the same with WA's bewildering releases of SCW, SCW2 and SCW3 1911s - The new Kimson BLT will be the best 1911 eva, until the Ted Baker Custom FBI Hormone Replacement Therapy model is launched with wombat skin grips and the optional infra-red, Hofmeister sights. When's that? Oh, a week after the BLT!
Clearly, there's a big 'fad' element in airsoft - The next thing coming (usually from the biggest manufacturers - A bit like everyone eagerly awaiting the new Ford Mondeo...) seems to shade out everything that already exists or more interesting products from smaller manufacturers until a couple of months after it arrives, when it's pretty much ignored and the market predicts the NEXT gun will be the best EVA!
I suppose my real frustration with this is the rose-tinted view many have. They seem to be expecting something sensational, when really (with a few exceptions) all that's really likely to be delivered is more of the same or a small step forward in some way, but they have a religious zeal to convince the unbelievers amongst us of the 'truth' and sigh, exasperatedly at us when we ask for some evidence.
Anyone know the exact date the Jehovah's Witnesses KNEW the world would end..?
Still, that Glock 17 from TM's going to be the best GBB EVA!!!!!!!!
OK - Back from Paintballing.
Went to the Fort Bravo complex near the M25/A3 junction run by Delta Force.
Most things were run quite well and the complex seemed reasonably well set out, although a number of very cool things on the website didn't seem to be there when we arrived (A Bus, for instance), but that might have been our confusuion.
8 of us went and we ended up spending £265 on EXTRA paintballs (which I thought was quite a lot, but wasn't horrendous).
You don't really get much idea how you should go about Paintballing and the first couple of games were almost a complete waste as I just shuffled about or hid until I got hit. Our team (they split our group up to join two separate teams of about 20-25) was frankly hopeless - Even when we (late in the day) discussed what could be laughingly called 'tactics', 80% of them just buggered off to do their own thing (although we DID manage to win one of those games) - Our opposing team was made up of a lot of 'veterans' and they slaughtered us.
I've got some truly horrible bruises and it was pretty obvious that a number of people were cheating wildly, which the marshals didn't seem to do much about it, with lots of close shooting and rubbing off of paint.
We played a 'capture the flag' game first, then a lucrative (you waste hundreds of paintballs to no effect), but rather pointless (I thought) speedball game (and another which I completely forget - All felt a bit like an armed version of the Crystal Maze, but the comperes weren't as entertaining as Richard O'Brien) and then went into the Village (reaching opponents 'bases' from two huts in the centre, with lots of man made cover around) after lunch, which was one of the largest areas and was definitely the best game of the day (we pretty much all agreed).
We finished on two very similar attack and defend games, one with a two storey fort and one with a simpler, so-called Jungle fort, which was actually better, I thought, because of the cover and landscape and because there was room to move around the fort.
The markers seemed pretty inaccurate, with shots going all over the place, even with the marker resting on a solid rest (logs, etc). On the other hand, aside from intermittent misfeeds (not as easy to recognise as with airsoft, I thought, but maybe the excitement just made it seem that way) they seemed pretty reliable, although a couple of others had problems with their markers.
Most people seemed quite sensible - One twot shot me in the arm from about 2 feet, but I shot him back twice in the chest, so fair does and I suspect he was just surprised to see me - strictly he could have ordered me to surrender.
There were a few 'wannabe' saddos around, notably the plump couple who insisted on holding their guns in the crook of their arms (when they were supposed to be holding them by the front grip) - The woman also couldn't keep her finger off the trigger even in the collection area - Silly cow... (If that was you, no apology, everyone thought you looked an *albartroth*...)
I had fun, but I won't be rushing back, to be honest. As my wife said, it was fun, but Go-Karting's a lot more fun and it's not like I do that regularly...
Tomorrow I'm going...PAINTBALLING!
We originally bought the day for my Daughter's 14th Birthday party, but she wimped out and is having a 'hot tub' party tonight instead...
Everyone tells me it'll be fun, but to expect lots of bruises.
As I've come down with a stinking cold today, I'm not sure I'm really looking forward to it as much as I might, but it'll be an experience, no doubt.
I'll post back tomorrow to let you know how I got on - assuming I can type!
A week or so back I posted in exaspertion at the reliability of GBBs.
The Tanaka Browning Hi-Power mag had sprung a massive leak, the MGC Glock was double feeding like mad and the Beretta Tactical Elite wouldn't cycle with the buffered mag it comes with.
First step was to disassemble the Tanaka HP mag and soak the big seal between the mag base and the mag walls in Power Assisted Steering fluid - Buy some of this stuff (Any brand!), it's fantastic for reviving dead O-Rings, etc. After a week long soak I rebuilt the mag and 'hey-presto' one gas tight and full operational magazine! Woo hoo!
Second step was to fix the Beretta - Someone reckoned the mag rubber may be dead and John Reddington kindly sent me through a couple, but in fact, whilst looking at the rubber on the mag, I realised it could move back and forth. Turned out the hex-bolt on the back of the valve was loose - I've never seen this on a WA mag before (I checked all my other mags, but it was just loose on this one). Once tightened, the gun was shooting like a WA Beretta always does, with lots of power and kick!
Finally, to the MGC Glock - Turns out you have to play games with these. If you hold the trigger down, it doesn't properly disengage the valve. So you need to pull and release the trigger quickly. After a bit of practice I had no further problems with 'double feeding'.
I got out and tested all these on my normal 5m accuracy test (along with my Luger and Colt 1911 US Army for an upcoming Ai article) today with no problems.
So, today I feel a bit happier about GBBs
Everyone's very excited about the 'exemption' that is being granted to airsofters, but I can't help but err on the side of caution.
The wording of the letter seems positive and it's hard to imagine that there was any need to offer an olive branch of hope, only to whip it away later - the airsoft community really doesn't have that much influence, I fear.
However, the proposal that the bill will be passed and then airsofters will be offered a regulatory get-out deal does mean that we will have to wait and see what the government really are prepared to offer. At that point, the chance to prevent the bill will be gone, it will already be law.
Perhaps pistols won't be allowed, perhaps RIFs will need to be dayglo pink, perhaps we will have to submit to daily searches and confiscations by armed police (An extreme case, I admit). Perhaps only sites will be allowed to buy new guns and rent them out. We just don't know.
On the positive side, I never believed the ABA would eke any concessions from the government so I applaud and thank them for their unremitting efforts.
However, that bottle of champagne will stay on ice for a while...
There are a few topics that crop up over and over which are guaranteed to strain my usual inexhaustable patience
These usually follow one of the following trends :
1)I hate f*ing Customs - This whine always comes from someone who's strayed into WGC or Den Trinity and wet themselves with excitement over the prices. They think they have a bargain and then get annoyed because they have to pay more than £5 for postage from Hong Kong (If they work out it IS Hong Kong). Then they go into whine mode when they realise they have to pay VAT and duty - "Why me?!?!" they whine on and on... Because we live in a country where there's a purchase tax system which pays for keeping income tax (relatively) low and for services.
If you don't like that, fine - vote for a party that wants to scrap it all at the next election (hint - You won't find one), but quit whining that the Customs people are persecuting you - You'll pay the same (and a bit more) from a UK supplier, but YOU chose to buy from overseas, so you simply get to pay the charges more transparently. Basically, STFU, you're boring!
2) People who spend money on WA guns (or now TM AEGs) are rich, stupid people, coz my bro says the Cyma spring gun/P90 from the market is the dogs, init? - WA are a waste of money because a TM has greater range and is cheaper - Anyone who disagrees is an idiot (so the theory goes) - Of course as even cheaper airsoft products appear, the criticism (equally falacious) is applied to TM's overpriced rubbish which isn't even all metal (even if the metal in question is crudely cast recycled SE Asian cooking pots and the internals are 1/10th the quality of the dearer products...)
3) People who don't skirmish don't have valid opinions about airsoft - Anyone who dares to see the virtues of a gun that doesn't have 500m range (and most of these people are talking twaddle, of course) is an idiot - Everyone knows that only people who run around the woods shooting at other people dressed up in camouflage can have a valid opinion on the qualities of airsoft products, right?
4) Why are GunsNGuys prices so dear? It says $HK1,000! Thats $1,000 US!!!!! After all, the Americans invented money and airsoft and air and water and... - Why is it so many Americans believe the world ends at the edge of their country?I know it's a BIG, BIG place and you could spend your life travelling it and never cover it all, but this is the 21st century - You would have thought the inexhaustable supply of information that is the internet would have opened some minds... Perhaps I just long for the day when Arnie's was a 'very British' place, which discouraged the 'little-Americans' from venturing in and (for the most) the American contingent were knowledgable people who added to the community.
5) I need a full metal gun, coz all plastic guns are rubbish - Oh, but I only want to spend $50... - Now, I understand most of these posts are from 13 year olds with no real concept of quality, but it's the arrogance of it that annoys me. They actually know NOTHING, but refuse to listen to the experience of those who do know a little.
I don't pretend to be a real steel expert, but I have handled a few real guns in my time and I've not encountered a single 'all-metal' airsoft gun that felt anything like a real gun. What is true, is that some of the most convincing airsoft guns I've seen have been all plastic.
Still, I expect I knew it all when I was 13, too...
6) What are the best duel(sic - These people don't understand English - despite it being their, supposed, first language) guns to get? - I'm going to be so good at airsoft (if I ever try it) that I'll be able to fly through the air in slow motion, John Woo-style and slot all my enemies - Oh and they must be all metal and cost less than $50... - The whole two gun thing is just plain 'ghey' - Too much watching ###### John Woo films rots your brains... Back to the 13 year olds I guess, in brain development, at least... If you think it'll be fun, do it, but don't expect gun X or Y to make you any more likely to hit anything (BTW, to spoil your fun, John Woo does it all with wires...)
Some people send me PMs or emails asking about this or that gun, clearly under the impression that I still own everything I have ever reviewed.
Obviously lots of the guns were mine (or still are), but many WAs were loaned to me by Elite Airsoft and Airsoftmart loaned me the HFC M9 for review. Others have been loaned by individuals or by Airsoft International magazine for review. Thanks go to everyone who's ever helped out in this respect.
People sometimes ask what I currently own. So here's the current run down for anyone's who's interested (BTW, I'll update it as it changes)
WA SVI Hybrid Comp 6" - fitted with a SD metal slide and Guarder chamber. I tried loads of different SVIs before finding this one, but this was what I really wanted - I just didn't know it
WA Colt 1911 US Army - the very heavy, original style SCW gun - Really nice 'blued' finish - Having seen a good percentage of WA's 1911s this one stands out - Now bearing some real wood grips - Lost some weight, but looks much better.
WA Beretta M92FS - a standard gun - Bought it cheap and it has some issues, but it looks great.
WA Beretta M92FS Tactical Elite - a standard gun - My favourite looking Beretta - I'm a sucker for black guns with silver detailing.
WA Beretta M92FS Elite 1A - Another spares gun that was too good to break - Trigger arm was broken, by Mike Cripps at Elite got me a replacement and it's working now!
Hartford (HWS) Remington New Model Army .44 - Real wood grips, Tanaka PEGASUS gas system and nearly identical parts to the real thing, make this a very cool American West revolver - I thnk it's cooler (certainly rarer) than the Tanaka Colt SAA.
Tanaka S&W M29 6.5" in midnight blue - fitted with real steel target grips. For that total Dirty Harry look - I've not fired a lot of real pistols, but did fire one of these in California once, so it brings back good memories
Tanaka Luger P08 Artillery - the recent heavyweight model. The only airsoft gun that always makes me smile - That toggle action is just brilliant.
Tanaka Browning Hi-Power - the recent silver model. I always liked the Hi-Power design and this is the only current one, but it's a bit so-so.
Tanaka SIG P226 - Without doubt the best looking SIG P226 out of the box, but this is the HW version, not the (apparently) cheap looking (dare I say TM looking?) ABS one. How's it shoot? I don't really know yet as I've only recently acquired it.
Marushin Automag GBB - A monster of a gun, but being a Marushin GBB, not that powerful and rather poor accuracy wise. Still - Nice bolt action and it looks pretty good.
KSC Beretta M93R II - fitted with the metal slide and barrel and I have the Omega folding stock, too. Best sounding airsoft gun I've ever heard.
KSC H&K Mk23 - Heavyweight pre-2005 model, but with the 2005 blowback unit. It also has a Phase 3 SD slide and barrel. Mk23s get slagged off left right and centre, but most of the criticisms are hogwash in my view. Overall, I reckon this is one of the greats.
SIIS Desert Eagle - a standard 10" barreled gun in black. Would be a great gun, if TM's Desert Eagle didn't exist...
Tokyo Marui S&W PC356 springer - Everyone needs one decent springer and this is mine.
ICS MP5SD5 AEG - a standard gun. I'm not really an AEG person (I don't skirmish and my interest has always been handguns), but I like the solidity of the all metal ICS MP5.
As always, you can find pictures of most of them at my website (http://www.justpistols.co.uk) or (if I've not written the review yet) there's a good chance there's an image in my gallery - Click over there somewhere ----->
Notable by their absence is anything (bar my PC356) by Tokyo Marui or Maruzen. I did own a hardkick Desert Eagle for a while (and a much older one, too), but, those aside, I've never really felt the desire to own anything by TM. I must admit that I think the new 1911A1 is great, but my WA 1911 is still better in all the areas that matter to me. I've had a few Maruzen guns and, generally, found them nicely made, but with a feeling of fragility that, to be fair, has never manifested itself (except with a worn mag catch on a P99).
There are a few items in my collection which I'd happily part with, but the SVI Hybrid Comp and Tanaka S&W M29 aren't in that category and I do like the Mk23 (a bit of a shame that the previous owner was such a heavy smoker, though, it STILL smells of cigarettes...).
So, now you know that my extensive collection isn't really any more extensive than a lot of others, I've just moved a lot of pistols through it at various times
Decided to test shoot some guns I've got but haven't yet reviewed.
First off was my WA Beretta Tactical Elite - Damn thing wouldn't cycle with its Elite mag (I later found it was fine with another, standard, mag I have, so obviously a wierd mag fault of some sort).
Second up was my MGC Glock 18C - Seemed OK, but then started double feeding... Oh well... I'll come back to that - Maybe try it with more BBs in the mag or try the long mag I have.
Finally I gassed up my Tanaka Browning Hi-Power - I've fired this quite a bit since getting it, but hadn't fired it at any targets - Filled it with 134a, turned the mag over and...all the gas fizzed out of the joint between the base and the body... Supposedly a common Tanaka fault, but one I'd not encountered with my Luger.
So, 100% failure rate - The Browning's mag is stripped down and the seal is now soaking in PAS fluid for a few days to see if it'll revitalise...
Don't you just love GBBs?!?!?
For a while now I've been including Rate of Fire (ROF) as Rounds Per Minute
figures on the reviews I do of select fire guns.
The way I do this is documented somewhere on the forum, but I can't find it, so I'll describe it.
Basically, I connect a microphone to my PC and fire up the excellent freeware program Audacity, which is available on Linux and Windows (probably Mac, too, if you must ).
I then load up the gun and, holding the slide lock down, rattle out a few seconds of shots.
Audacity produces an output very like that of an Oscilloscope (some clever bods going to tell me it isn't, but to a simple soul like me, that's what it looks like - See image below..)
With this, it's pretty easy to count the number of shots (as peaks) per second and extrapolate that up to Rounds Per Minute (RPM).
Through testing, I found that the dry firing doesn't make any significant difference to the ROF (as I feared it may) and I've listed ROF figures for quite a few guns on my website.
What's provoked this blog post (besides it being idle for a while) is my acquisition of a 'classic' MGC Glock 18.
My experience of 'classics' is that they tend to look good, but be a bit of a disappointment performance wise.
FPS wise the Glock's nothing special, but my testing produced figures of 24 shots per second, around 1450 rpm!
This is WAY above anything I've tested before (AEP, AEG or GBB - the chart above shows the GBB Skorpion at 870rpm) and that's just with 134a gas!
I've not yet written the review, but if you want to hear it, you can download a WAV file at : http://www.justpistols.co.uk/g18mgc_short.mp3 and compare it to my ICS MP5 http://www.justpistols.co.uk/mp5sd5_short.mp3.
It amazed me, but it seems that some of the old dogs can teach new tricks...
Pretty warm recently and, as my collection and most of my testing gear resides in my penthouse suite (That's a loft to you and me), I've not really been doing a lot of airsofting recently.
How you lot running around in combat fatigues and coveralls are coping when it's 30C+, I can't imagine... I'm a Deckchairsofter at the moment!
Recently I picked up a Crown S&W M29 springer revolver, an Academy P08 Luger springer, a Maruzen VZ61 (after trying one out at the Phoenix meeting at Bisley and which is already under offer from a number of people if I ever decide to sell it!) and, just a day or so ago, an HFC Box Cannon (which is really an all metal copy of Marushin's Mauser M712 broomhandle). All those are awaiting review to one degree or another...
Mmmm...so much for slimming the collection down!
I also bought a WA US Army 1911 from Elite (For a very reasonable price!), which I reckon is the best 1911 anyone builds, bar none, but I'm sure the newly announched TM 1911A1 will outsell it 100 times over and I must admit it looks excellent in the photos I've seen. The WA 1911 US Army is already reviewed on my website, by the way.
I hope to get one of the TMs and a KSC 1911A1, soon, for a group test with a WA one, but, if I do, you'll have to buy a copy of AI to read it
Whilst on that subject, I've a new article in the next edition (Vol2 Iss3) of Airsfoft International, which should please the people who moan that all the reviews are overly positive (which I don't think is borne out by the articles themselves, btw).
I've also bought a few bits and pieces, including a tightbore barrel out of a WA Delta Elite (the most accurate gun I've ever shot, at 5m anyway) - This was out of Candyman2's Delta Elite which was horribly butchered to serve in his, frankly astonishing, Walther WA2000 scratchbuild rifle - What he managed to build with some basic tools, some vision and huge amounts of patience is amazing , no other word - We're not worthy!
The barrel MIGHT go into my bitsa 5" Wilson Combat Hicap, if I can get it to fit the Magna R breech. The 6" stainless barrel I bought for my SVI Hybrid didn't really work out as the original barrel has a big hole so that you can see the inner barrel through the ports in the outer, so if anyone wants a brand new 6" Stainless outer barrel for a WA SVI, let me know.
Overall, though, not a lot to report (aside from that I hope Germany win the 3rd place playoff in the World Cup tomorrow, as I have them in the sweepstake at work!), but watch the website as I will be posting up some more reviews in the weeks ahead.
Lots of my toys have found new homes (Hope you're all happy with them, sure you will be) and I'm left with the hardcore (sorry Mitsuko!) of faves and unwanteds.
On the fave front, my WA SVI 6" Hybrid Comp , with an SD slide and Guarder stainless chamber, takes pride of place. Twig's sending me a 6" stainless barrel and hammer for it (just got to work out how to fit the compensator block to the new barrel, now... ), which will make it even more of a glorious money pit
Others in this category are my KSC Mk23 with the Phase 3 SD slide, my Tanaka Luger Artillery and my Tanaka S&W m29 in midnight blue with those real steel S&W wood grips (Go ahead...).
Others I've kept, but may still part with in the future, include a WA Beretta Elite and a KSC Beretta M93R II.
On the 'unwanted' side are my Wilson Hi-Capa and my WA SVI 6" single stacker . These aren't unwanted by me (although they're not keepers the way the above items are), but, seemingly, by everyone else.
The Wilson, I suspect, is unwanted because of its non-hop barrel (The Sheriff LRB it was fitted with found a home all on its own), but is a lovely bit of kit with the two tone Caspian slide and it'll soon have a stainless barrel to go with it (thanks again to Twig's clear out of parts). I can never really undestand why this attracts so little interest, but looks like it'll stay with me now.
The SVI 6" single stacker amazes me even more. This was a very limited edition SCW special (when SCW meant something, like AMG does to Mercs) and is a great performing single stacker. It'll fit in a open ended 1911 leather belt holster, too, unlike the double stackers or the long framed single stackers, but it just doesn't get any interest when I've offered it for sale - Oddly, there are a few around, from time to time, new and they seem to be sold relatively cheaply, too, so maybe it's just not a popular model, but I've never really understood why - Would make a great CQB gun, I suspect.
I've not entirely stopped acquiring, either, as I have just bought another S&W M29 and another Luger - Admittedly these are a Crown springer (about as good as the Python...) and an Academy springer (much better) and I keep my eyes peeled for anything really interesting, although nothing's caught my eye recently.
If you think you have something interesting, which is for sale, or you'd loan me to review for my website, drop me a PM.
Some of you have probably noticed I've got a big sale of some of my airsoft possessions going on (If you haven't, try this link...) )
I was getting a degree of grief at home at having these dangerous guns around the house (actually they're always kept hidden safely away in the loft, but that's beside the point) and I decided that, with the looming threat of the VCR Bill (much as I hope it doesn't happen, I fear it will), there was really not much sense keeping so much money tied up in toy guns...
More worrying, as someone who likes to personalise my handguns a bit, mainly with aftermarket grips, was the post from someone who had 7 policemen on his doorstep for importing some Hogue grips for a SIG - This seems like harassment to me, but I certainly wouldn't want that experience...
So, I sat down and listed out all my current collection and put an asterisk by the few I really couldn't bear to be parted with (My midnight blue Tanaka S&W M29, my WA SVI Hybrid Comp 6" and my Tanaka Luger Artillery notably, although there were a few others) and then discounted the ones which have serious, can't sell on, problems (like the lovely WA Beretta M92FS that randomly shoots at about 100fps...it's not the one I have for sale, btw).
What was left is now up for sale and I must say that packing the ones sold so far and posting them off to their new owners is actually quite an enjoyable experience.
Sure, I'm converting them into cash, but it's mainly that the ones for sale have been sitting in the cupboard for months (sometimes 12+) waiting to be shot and digging them out for one last test fire (I don't like to post off things that I' m not 100% sure work!) has been fun.
I've always been more interested in trying the guns out, running them through my review process and then getting some others to try, so hopefully someone else will have some fun with these guns and there are still some for sale.
I won't be abandoning airsoft altogether (collective sigh of disappointment?) and, if the VCR Bill is in some way diluted, I may even start collecting and reviewing again, but as things stand, I shall be winding things down as I stop obtaining different guns to review.
But ... that silver Tanaka Colt Python on GunsNGuys looks very tempting!
Been in the States again, but this time for a skiing holiday in New Hampshire.
Some nice skiing there (Attitash, Shawnee Peak, Wildcat, Bretton Woods, Cannon and Sunday River to name the ones we tried and a few others, notably Loon, looked very good as we passed), but the snow wasn't great (which meant no tree skiing and limited the number of really tough runs open, but at least it wasn't totally absent) and the temperatures were a tad raw at times (-1F at one time during the day!).
American cars are pretty duff still (with one or two exceptions) and vegetables are not an ALTERNATIVE to fries, people!!!!! I ate far too much meat - My bowels are in the process of exacting their revenge!
Some very friendly people run the Lodge at Jackson Village - If you want to ski in New England, give them a try. In fact, I found the majority of people in NH and Maine were very friendly, in contrast to the NYers I encountered in Killington some years ago. I'm usually a bit irritated by the fake 'Have a nice day'ness of American servers, but they are obviously better at it in NH or maybe they mean it?
Didn't get to do anything overtly airsoft related, but Walmart had a bewildering array of clear bodied LAEGs and springers. Solely clear bodied - Is this a NH thing or a Walmart one?
The prominent sign declaring the illegality of fireworks in Maine, followed swiftly by two gun shops struck me as slightly absurd, though. Also why must 'Boaters remove all plants' on entering Maine from NH? Someone MUST know!!!!
During my holiday I missed the 'Sid incident' so I can't comment on the rights and wrongs at all (If Arnie says it was right, I guess there must have been just cause. He doesn't seem prone to rash actions), but all I'll say on the subject is that Hissing Sid will be sorely missed from these forums and I hope all can find a way to welcome him back into the fold in the near future.
It remains cold and difficult to test airsoft, but that's not stopped me posting up a few new reviews on the justpistols website.
I've also been photographing some of my current guns (some for review, some for fun as they're already reviewed) with my lovely new digital SLR and you'll find a lot of these shots are in the picture threads and/or my gallery.
One of the guns not yet reviewed is my ICS MP5 SD5 AEG. As I don't skirmish, an AEG is an indulgence, but I've been enjoying the AEG (all metal goodness ) experience (especially in the cold weather, when it doesn't vent freezing gas all over my hands!) and I've been attracted to the idea of another AEG.
The particular model that's taken my fancy is the G&P SPR Armalite style sniper rifle. I've read some mixed reviews and it is quite expensive, but I'm tempted by the mixture of Assault rifle and long barrelled sniper rifle. Another, very similar rifle I'm considering is the G&G SR25, but that's semi-auto only - realistic, but a little dull for an AEG...
If anyone's got any experience with either of these AEGs, drop me a PM or add a comment to this thread.
One thing that my investigation into AEGs has highlighted is that realism seems less important to the AEG buyer than it does to many GBB owners, but it might explain why some threads on GBBs divide into people decrying lack of realism and those thinking the details are unimportant.
Most AEGs seem to feature fake markings, which would (IMO, and those of many others) be laughable on a GBB, but cause few raised eyebrows on an AEG. Even some guns with 'accurate' markings only feature them as transfers or painted-on markings, where the real thing has engraved markings.
I guess this really indicates that few AEG buyers are collectors and that they, fairly obviously, don't value high levels of realism that highly. It also makes sense that those same people can't understand the GBB collector's value of realism on gas guns.
PS Does anyone ever read these blogs?
I've bought a few bits and pieces over the last few days.
First off was a KSC STi 5.5 Hybrid, which will be interesting to compare with the WA SVIs I'm more familiar with. It certainly look good and seems a fair bit heavier (at nearly a kilo) than the older (but broken) STi, I've owned for a while.
If anyone has a KSC STi scope mount (or knows of a retailer with one), I'd be very interested in it.
Next was a set of Hogue finger grips for a Colt 1911. I've not decided which of my single stacker 1911s these will go on, but it'll probably be my Wilson Combat CQB, rather than the 6" single stacker SVI.
Finally, I bought a CA open red dot scope, with a view to fitting it to my Marushin Ruger Super Blackhawk and, hopefully (see above!), to my new KSC STi.
The STi came from Elite who seem to be having a very good, but poorly promoted, sale on. The other bits came off the forums.
I'm in the process of reviewing the Super Blackhawk and will soon set to work on a review of a WA Magna Tech 1911A1. This came my way courtesy of Big Al, who'd bought it, but not yet had it delivered from Elite.
Initial thoughts are that the crys of 'Looks like a cheap springer' are harsh. It's certainly more plasticky and lighter than a full price WA 1911 (and getting on for half the price, remember), but there's not a seam mark in sight. The moulding is exceptionally good, as you'd expect of WA - Certainly better than anything TM seem to be able to put out... It also shoots (in terms of power and feel) as well as any WA single stack 1911 I've handled, which is the important bit, n'est pas? I've yet to try it out against some targets.
On the downside, the trademarks, whilst accurate in placement and content, almost look stencilled one (although they are, albeit very slightly, cast into the plastic) - quite odd and a bit of a disappointment.
So - That's it, not totally disillusioned with airsoft just yet, after all!