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Posts posted by Gigueand

  1. One of the key takeaways from that video is that the rifle they built used an Allen Engineering AEM5 suppressor on a 11.5" barrel. A LOT of people trying to replicate the Gordon carbine use this method because the overbarrel OPS suppressors for 14.5" are no longer commercially available. So, just keep in mind that Gordon's actual rifle was a 723 with a 14.5" barrel, not a 733 with a 11.5" barrel. The optic they use, the COMPM2 Aimpoint, is also incorrect for the event, although they were used in the movie. 

  2. By no means am I an expert on the Gothic Serpent ("Black Hawk Down") operation, but I'll chime in with what I recall and you can go from there.

    Gordon, like most of the rest of Delta, was armed with an M723 carbine. Shugart, the other Delta sniper, was, quite famously, armed with an M14.

    The M723 was a 14.5" carbine with a "C7" style upper receiver - basically fixed carry handle upper with an A1 style sight, but with the addition of a brass deflector. The barrels on these were either the standard what we call today "M4 profile" barrel with the cut-outs for the grenade launcher OR the slimmer "pencil" style barrel. In general, early M723s had the pencil barrel and later purchased ones came with the "M4 profile" although, again, because these pre-date the M4 they weren't called "M4 style" barrels at the time.

    The optic used by Delta during Gothic Serpent was the Aimpoint 5000 although Delta had been using the Aimpoint 2000 during the Gulf War "scud hunting" campaign and so the Aimpoint 2000 may also be correct. The light used was a Surefire 660 typically with an attached IR filter. These are sort of hard to find, but a Surefire 6P is similar and, I believe, was used by Delta at a later date.

    For night shooting, rifles were equipped with an AIM-1/D IR laser device. These are difficult to find and expensive although a few have been seen on eBay recently going for north of $500 - typically shipping from Turkey, oddly enough.

    Famously, Gordon had a long over-barrel suppressor on his rifle (see picture below). These type of suppressors were produced later by OPS Inc and had a few different model names ("1st Model", "3rd Model" etc). The one used by Shugart was, in my understanding, custom built prior to when OPS Inc became an actual company and started to commercially produce suppressors, so it doesn't have a specific designation. That said, a few companies make "OPS" style suppressors including JBU, G&P and VFC. The VFC one can be purchased through VFC's website and is of decent quality. These suppressors actually slide over the standard 14.5" barrel and so even though they look long, only a portion of the total length is working to provide sound suppression.

    The 723s used what we call today "CAR-15" style stocks. Virtually all models of these made today are plastic, but the early versions were actually all metal. 723s stocks were, from the factory, two position - either all the way in or all the way out. Delta armorers would drill the buffer tubes on the rifles to add a 3rd position that fit to the shooter's preference when they were wearing body armor.

    One thing to remember about these fancy, special forces type carbines is that they were COTS ("Commercial Off-the-Shelf") purchases from Colt. So while we sometimes refer to these guns as "M653", "M723", "M727", "M733" etc, they were not type designated by the U.S. military like the official M16A1, M16A2 and the later M4. The numbers ("653," "723" etc) usually came from Colt's catalogue - Colt usually referred to them as "RO723" or "RO727." In general, when orders came in from special units, Colt frequently just tossed whatever parts they had on hand onto the rifles - so even though a rifle might be a "723" it might have a pencil barrel or an "M4" barrel. So within a series of rifles ("723") you had small variations. Colt's "RO733" (famous from the movie "HEAT" as the M733 used by Val Kilmer) were sometimes produced with A1 style sights and sometimes with A2 style sights - again, minor variations between rifles that had the same designation.

    Something else to note about the U.S. troops in Mogadishu is that some of Rangers from the 75th who were present were equipped with COTS M727 carbines (A2 style sights). So NOT all photos of guys with carbines in Mogadishu are of Delta. If they guy has a 723 (A1 style sights) he's MOST LIKELY Delta, whereas if he has A2 style sights, he's a Ranger. 

    Phew, that's a long post. I'll rap up here and suggest you check out these FB groups for additional info:




    And if you're into using real steel parts in airsoft, take a look at my M723 retro HPA rifle build group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2332026353530975

    Former Delta operator Larry Vicker sat down with Ian from Forgotten Weapons to discuss the M723 that he carried.

    EDIT: ONE LAST THING! Due to the popularity of the Black Hawk Down (2001) movie, there are A LOT of guides/threads out there for this particular impression. Unfortunately, though the movie is pretty rad, the gear used wasn't always correct and so you frequently find guides that basically just reference the film. A ton of Blackhawk brand gear was used in the film, but, obviously wasn't in use during the actual events of 1993. The optics used on the Delta rifles in the film, the COMPM4 Aimpoint, also isn't correct. So you kinda gotta be careful about what guides you're using and see if they have reference pictures from the actual event itself.


    Delta operators in Mogadishu.


    Another photo of Delta guys in The Mog.


    The above image is not from Mogadishu, but gives you a good look at the carbines. The rifle on the left is a 723 with pencil barrel, the middle rifle is a 723 with the cuts for the grenade launcher on the barrel (i.e. "M4 profile" barrel) and the rifle on the right is a 653 (notice the lack of a brass deflector) with what looks to me like an "M4 profile" barrel.





    "Another tax-payer funded Delta safari!" - Here's a Delta operator with an M723 (notice the A1 sights and brass deflector). He's got an M203 and a Surefire 660 with filter mounted. You can also see, mostly obscured by the rifle, an AIM-1D mounted on the rifle's left side. He's wearing TG Faust body armor and has a chest rig mounted over it. AWS makes a replica of this style chest rig called the "Strike chest rig"


    Gordon is pictured center with no helmet. Note the OPS Inc suppressor on his rifle.



    My custom built M723 with the VFC Ops 3rd Model suppressor. It doesn't actually fit my barrel very well - it should be flush with the front sight post.



    Ranger John Belman. Notice that he's carrying an M727 - you can tell because the rifle has the A2 style rear sight.



    Another photo of Rangers with M727s. Also notice the difference in the body armor. Rangers used both the "Ranger Body Armor" RBA, the woodland body armor in the center and the black T.G. Faust body armor. Based on photos, it appears that Delta used primarily the T.G. Faust armor.

    • Like 6
  3. My gun wall over the years:


    From top to bottom:

    G&P M4A1 (Polarstar FE)

    Tippmann M4 Block II

    G&P M653 (Polarstar JACK)

    LCT AK-105


    From top to bottom:

    G&P M653 (Polarstar JACK)

    G&P M4A1 (Polarstar FE)

    VFC HK416C (Polarstar JACK)


    From top to bottom:

    G&P M653 (Polarstar JACK)

    G&P M4A1 BLOCK II (Polarstar FE)

    M723 Aero Precision "AR15-Airsoft Hybrid Thing" (Redline Hurricane)

    G&P M4A1 Upper Receiver with early GWOT accessories


    From top to bottom:

    Aero Precision BLOCK II upper receiver for the "AR15-Airsoft Hybrid Thing"

    Aero Precision M4A1 upper receiver for the "AR15-Airsoft Hybrid Thing"

    Doublestar M16A2 upper receiver for the "AR15-Airsoft Hybrid Thing"




    • Like 4
  4. Its pretty unbelievable the level to which many, fairly large groups of guys are going for MSW events here in the U.S. 

    Sure, there's your odd .MIL person here or there, but a lot of these are civilian dudes who are going above and beyond. Not only are they building very solid impressions, but they are also acquiring the appropriate sustainment gear plus the equipment needed for successful night antics (NVGs, IR devices, etc).

    I attended Ruins of Saratov in November and our platoon of 50(ish) dudes had 47 guys with NVGs, 1 guy with thermals only and only two guys who had nothing NVG-wise.

    • Like 1
  5. Speaking as someone who remembers the "old days" of both airsoft (at least in the U.S.) and Arnie's, there's definitely an evolution that longer term players go through. Definitely reminds me of this somewhat famous graphic from paintball.


    In general, most airsoft players are in the hobby for a season or two - just a couple of years. The primary demographic of airsofters, in my experience, is the 14 - 18 year old crowd. Kids who are old enough to afford the hobby and who are relatively immobile life-wise. They're usually living at home, finishing their undergraduate education and they drift away from airsoft once they leave home and go to university/college.

    The folks who survive this tend to stick around longer and go through several phases. 

    Speaking for myself, I came over from paintball and into airsoft nearly 15 years ago after having played a decade of paintball. I was, frankly, shocked by the amount of gear and other gucci nonsense people were carrying around (MICH 2000s, CIRAS vests, etc - you can guess the time period...) and I built purely lightweight, functional loadouts. Then as I got more into the hobby and more interested in kit I started buying more gucci stuff (Mayflower, Crye, ATS, TT, etc). Eventually transitioned into building impressions which didn't always work out very well. Nowadays I'm far more interested in having lightweight, functional kit that is comfortable to wear and let's me keep up with the kids. What I've got is still nice (Velocity Systems, PVS-14, etc), great for milsim events, but also totally fine for your average rec play with 12 year olds running to and fro.

    • Like 3
  6. Joined in 2006 and been playing somewhat regularly since then. It is too bad what Facebook has done to many of the great airsofting communities of old including Arnie's but also places like Airsoft Canada and my own local forum. Arnie's was truly a great community back in "the day" with all sorts of characters - TheCrunchBunny, Sledge, Stealthbomber, Magz, MasakariJoe, Titleist, DarkLite, CKinnerly - some of whom are still around. The days of the "Clone Wars" where a new replica was released every month and the forums were filled with people posting the latest build trends (Art of Tactical Carbine!) have sadly passed us by.

    There's a lot to be said for the convenience of Facebook and while the 101 airsoft groups on it are great for some niches (Gothic Serpent kit, early GWOT kit, Polarstar Owners Group, etc) there's a big hole when it comes to having one cohesive community.


    edit: Is it actually possible anymore to see a full members list for Arnie's?

    • Like 1
  7. I'm not sure it's the responsibility of the forum to police transactions between members. Yes, it is undesirable to know that potential scammers might join Arnie's to take advantage of people, but to what degree was scamming a problem in the past? Is the value gained by keeping out a minimal number of scammers worth more than value that would be gained by attracting new members via the commerce section?

    My local forum was forced to hop from (free) Proboards to a privately funded server due to Proboards' restrictive ToS and our current board has yet to recover. The commerce section is what brings people in, but it's the content that gets them to stay around. Arnie's has great content, but isn't incentivizing people to join by using a popular and active commerce section.

    • Like 1
  8. Ah nice, someone actually got one.


    Is the standard PALS front flap removable and can you take off the cummerbund and route other ones through the back as per the back panel of a 6094?


    The front flap is entirely removable.


    The cummerbund attaches through channels in the rear plate bag. It's not the same style of design as the EPC, 6094 or the like. 


    Here's my review

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