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Orange Wargame Striker 12 / Street Sweeper


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I got this ostensible gel blaster from Eagle Airsoft & Hobby for a pretty hefty sum. It took longer than they advertised for it to ship, and communication was spotty, but it did get here.

The gun shipped in a large paint bucket.

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Despite the exterior dents, the gun itself was securely packaged:

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Out of the foam, I had the receiver assembly, barrel assembly, anodized aluminum muzzle nut, six shells, and a pack of spare parts.

First impressions: All the metal on the gun is phosphated steel with clean welds, with the selector and trigger parts being nicely CNC machined. It's really quite impressive build quality for an airsoft replica, and at odds with the chintzy orange furniture and red polycarbonate barrel (visible sticking out the back of the shroud below).

The drum clicks authoritatively as it winds, and unloads with a very distinctive click-clack on each shot. It sounds and feels great.

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The shells are PPS clones. At first I thought they were for gel balls, but they appear to be 6mm apertures and hold BBs just fine, so I guess not. I have no intention of using these, though, we'll get to that in a bit.

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The gun also came with this bag of spare parts. I believe these are all spares for the shells.

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And one last note on the contents, which I found interesting, is that it shipped to me with a blaze orange 3D printed muzzle device to comply with US import law. That was a smart move; I'm assuming it was done by Eagle.

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So, assembling the gun- the front of the receiver is threaded, and the barrel screws into it.

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Once the barrel is threaded in, the shroud slides over it and slots onto the receiver, and then the muzzle nut screws onto the barrel and holds it in place.

Despite the barrel being made of polycarbonate, the receiver seems to provide enough support for the shroud to resist breakage. I applied as much force as I felt comfortable with and it didn't noticeably bend.

That got me here. At this point I realized that this is a tiny gun- in the below configuration it's 18.5" long. Google says the real one should be 20", so I assumed it's slightly undersized, but with the stock unfolded it remains 1.5" shorter than its real counterpart. The barrel, as it turns out, is about 10.8", while on the real one it's nominally 12", so that might explain the discrepancy.

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Well, obviously the furniture had to change, so I took the whole thing apart. The only frustrating bit was disassembling the drum. Unscrewing the central pin starts to forcibly unwind the drum, which builds tension. I made the mistake of thinking I'm just supposed to keep unscrewing it. It turns out the right way to do it is to repeatedly pull the trigger while unscrewing the central pin, so that it doesn't build up any significant tension.

Taking the furniture off revealed the trigger mechanism. While the real one is hammer-fired, this gun just uses a simple push-pin striker design. That's not optimal for performance- it means a soft or slow pull can result in a weaker shot- but it is reliable and doesn't damage valves the way a spring-loaded firing pin can.

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Once I got the drum fully disassembled, it became clear how the advancing mechanism works. And for how crude the gun is in many ways, this revolver mechanism is downright elegant.

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The last two pictures above show at rest, and with the trigger pulled (with the safety on).

So basically, what's going on is this:

1. At rest, the indexing pin in the center of the receiver stops the next incoming cylinder pin, keeping the cylinder just shy of in battery.

2. When the trigger is pulled, the indexing pin retracts, allowing the cylinder pin to move into its space (caught by that C-shaped mound) and aligning the cylinder. On safe, the trigger then stops, while on fire the striker can continue traveling forward to fire the shell.

3. When the trigger is released, the indexing pin pushes the cylinder pin forwards (you can see in the second photo that the cylinder pins are spring-loaded), allowing it to clear the C-shaped mound and thus allowing the cylinder to rotate.

4. When the drum is wound up while loading, the cylinder pins just glide up that ramp, popping back out once they clear the indexing pin.

I know this isn't directly relevant to the review, but what a clever system. It reduces the complexity of timing the cylinder, uses all simple compression springs rather than torsion or leaf springs, and only needs one moving part on the receiver. This is, to my knowledge, how the original worked as well- Hilton Walker clearly was not an incompetent designer; it's a shame the rest of the gun is so crude.

Anyways, back to the review.

Orange parts could not be tolerated. So I heated up some water and added a ton of black Rit Dye to it.

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And that did a pretty good job of coloring the plastic:

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While reassembling, I stopped to take some photos at this intermediate configuration. The gun is fully functional in this state- it'd make for one rude sidearm.

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Anyways the rest of the bits then went back on.

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Okay, so now what you probably want to know: How does it shoot?

Well, with the shells that come with it, it's pretty pathetic. They don't get any substantial power. I wouldn't bother.

However! APS CAM870 shells fit perfectly. They slot into the cylinder easily, but just tightly enough that the ejector needs to be run to kick them out.

On top of that, the gun is capable of shooting them with no modification, with consistent and clean triggering of the valves. The only problem is that there is a little bit of cylinder gap, which reduces the potential power and increases the risk of wads or other packing materials getting caught in the barrel.

It feels great in the hand. It's significantly lighter than the real deal, and I think that's entirely because the cylinder is plastic rather than an enormous chunk of steel. The rest of it looks and feels spot on for the real thing, with the slightly rough grey phosphate of the steel and the nylon furniture. This was clearly a passion project for whoever made it.

And it's just fun to shoot. I can feel the torque of the cylinder with every shot, and the ka-CHUNK-BOOM as it indexes into position and fires is exquisite. Sure, it takes almost as long to reload as it does to load twelve APS shells, but it also won't spit empties out into the wilderness. I finally have a shotgun that I can take outdoors without needing an awkward shell catcher.

(By the way- the videos I've seen of this online don't show the correct manual of arms. After shooting it isn't necessary to re-wind the drum, set it to safe, and cycle it down again while punching the empties. Just index one position, eject the empty shell, load a new one, index, eject, load, and so on. With this method it is also possible to top it off, since the last fired shell is under the loading gate)

Now, the kicker. It cost me $570 shipped, and it's unclear how many actually exist (one estimate said < 50) or whether they'll be produced in the future. Phoenix Suzuki of Octagon Airsoft apparently expressed interest in making them, but in plastic to keep the cost down.

Next steps: I'm going to investigate how hard it would be to make my own out barrel of aluminum or steel. If I can make a barrel with a longer threaded section on the receiver end, it should be possible to thread it until the barrel just grazes the cylinder and stake it in place, which will mean negligible cylinder gap and thus greater power (on top of not having the front section attached via a polycarbonate barrel). Worst case I can grind out the threading in the receiver and epoxy in a barrel, but that's an ugly solution and absolute last resort.

FWIW, the barrel is ~275mm long and has a diameter of 25mm. The receiver end threading is M24x1, and the muzzle end threading is M22x1.

To sum it all up in one sentence: I'm in love. Now time to see what other weird configurations I can shove it into. Pancor Jackhammer? Masterkey it onto a rifle? Underslung M11? I don't know where I'm going but I'm excited.

Edited by CatgutViolin
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Excellent write up.  Thanks.  That has to be the most odd airsoft packaging I've ever seen.

Could you briefly explain how the drum rotation is powered?  I see the key winder at the front of the drum but I can't work out how that is translated to rotational spring power.

Also, please can we get a video of you mag dumping it, sans stock and barrel?

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This is a thing of beauty. Now that you know how to remove the cylinder, how hard do you think it will be to fit the OEG?

Are you sure the factory cylinder is steel? The one in the Forgotten Weapons is very shiny - maybe aluminium, or stainless? How underweight is it?

ETA: Watched another Forgotten Weapons video:



At 02:13 he says it has an aluminium cylinder. It’s a slightly different model but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true of the earlier guns too.
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3 hours ago, hitmanNo2 said:

Excellent write up.  Thanks.  That has to be the most odd airsoft packaging I've ever seen.

Could you briefly explain how the drum rotation is powered?  I see the key winder at the front of the drum but I can't work out how that is translated to rotational spring power.

Also, please can we get a video of you mag dumping it, sans stock and barrel?

In the core of the drum there's a spring- not a torsion spring, but actually a pretty stout compression spring. At the rear it attaches to a cap with a rectangular hole that keeps it indexed to a rectangular notch on the cylinder pin, and at the front it is secured to the drum itself. Once the cylinder pin is fully tightened in the gun it solidly anchors the rear of the spring in place. Cranking the winding key turns the cylinder, which turns the front end of the compression spring, which forces it to coil up. It does NOT feel like it is struggling to turn that cylinder; there is some substantial force there.

It's full configuration, and the shells are gassed but not loaded, but here's a magdump:

https://streamable.com/2wcyyc

I'm waiting on my CO2 tanks to come back from hydro to test it properly. The 12g fill wand sucks and underpowers the shells. I'm thinking in 'pistol' configuration I'll want at least a 4" barrel anyways, as the APS shells really benefit from having some kind of barrel when filled with liquid CO2, and if it's timed properly to the shells then the reduced cylinder gap will also help.

Oh yeah, that reminds me: I've ordered 22x1 and 24x1 dies, and intend to try using 0.75"ID/1.0"OD aluminum pipe for the barrel. Should be reasonably easy to cut, and has the right dimensions to mate to the APS shells. Strictly speaking a 0.7" ID is a perfect fit for the APS shells, but I'm erring on the side of just slightly loose to ensure friction doesn't cause packing material to get stuck in the barrel.

57 minutes ago, PureSilver said:

This is a thing of beauty. Now that you know how to remove the cylinder, how hard do you think it will be to fit the OEG?

Are you sure the factory cylinder is steel? The one in the Forgotten Weapons is very shiny - maybe aluminium, or stainless? How underweight is it?

 

It's been a long time since I handled a real Striker so it's very possible the real one was an aluminum cylinder. The real Striker should be about 7-8lbs empty (the 4.2kg/9.2lb figure I see online is the Cobray knockoff with a longer and incredibly overbuilt barrel), this one is 4.6lbs. It'll be a bit heavier with a metal barrel, and I wager the trigger group is a bit lighter on the airsoft one, but the bulk of the difference has to be the cylinder.

As for the OEG- dead simple if they got the dimensions right. The holes in the top of the receiver are just unthreaded holes, so provided they line up correctly with the Armson it should just be a matter of disassembling the gun and bolting it on. I've gone ahead and ordered an OEG so I'll let you know soon enough.

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Posted (edited)

Quick update as I go.

Six hours in a cup of Greased Lightning stripped all the anodization off the muzzle nut, then I sprayed it black. Piece of cake, and coupled with the furniture being dyed rather than painted means there's no chance of black rubbing off to reveal orange/bright red.

I did some measurements on the barrel. It turns out that it's the same internal diameter (~0.68") as the APS hulls themselves, which is great for gas efficiency- but with the APS shells it also has a full 3mm of cylinder gap between the front of the shell and the barrel. Frankly I'm surprised the wads make it out the barrel at all with that much empty space bleeding out its power.

So the simple move would be to shave down the shelf of the barrel so that it can seat more deeply in the receiver, and since the inner diameter is already good to go that would optimize power. That's my fallback plan.

The better alternative as mentioned before is to produce a metal barrel sized to minimize the cylinder gap. To avoid an extremely expensive milling run, I'm going to see if I can fabricate an aluminum barrel via interference fit sleeved tubing like I've done on some projects in the past. If this works out, I'll be able to manufacture barrels of arbitrary length and offer them for sale.

Edited by CatgutViolin
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Why would it need a milling run? It sounds like a quick lathe job: get an appropriate length +5mm of pipe, thread it at the breech end +3mm, and then trim the end in hundredths until it will cycle without touching the breech touching the drum?

If you can't get the pipe in the right OD, honing/gun-drilling companies are remarkably affordable for what they are. I'm contemplating having the gouge I put in my DM870 barrel honed out, provided it doesn't mess with the ID too much.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PureSilver said:

Why would it need a milling run? It sounds like a quick lathe job: get an appropriate length +5mm of pipe, thread it at the breech end +3mm, and then trim the end in hundredths until it will cycle without touching the breech touching the drum?

As far as I can tell, the pipe size that I'd want to use (11/16" ID, 15/16" OD, 1/8" wall) doesn't exist as a COTS product, so something would have to be custom made. I'm open to suggestions but from some cursory inspection it looked cost-prohibitive. I could probably settle for 3/4" ID, 1" OD, turned down at both ends, and then threaded (the thread sizes are highly atypical though; not sure what impact that might have), but that's a backup plan.

Unrelated, but I found another source of missing weight: While the shroud, stock, and drum are all steel, the actual frame/receiver itself is non-ferrous, suggesting aluminum or an alloy. It sure fooled me, because however it's been treated mimics the finish of the steel parts perfectly.

I also found that the cylinder stop- the C-shaped mound- is aluminum as well. There is potential there for peening over time as the cylinder pins hit it, eventually causing the cylinder to misalign with the barrel. It doesn't show signs of damage so far, but I'll be keeping an eye on that. For the sake of longevity I think it's probably best not to wind the drum more than needed to reliably function.

Edited by CatgutViolin
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Posted (edited)

Got the Armson. The mount holes are spaced improperly, a little too small, and need to be countersunk to fit the screws, but I worked it out. It's actually working for me, surprisingly, with no phoria, because it's such a slim optic positioned far enough forward that it takes up very little of my field of view.

Incidentally, I found another source of missing length: judging by how the sight aligns, I believe the receiver is a little bit shorter than the real thing.

vsjCVjJ.jpg

Edited by CatgutViolin
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Posted (edited)

Alright, I got the barrel done. The sizes of pipe I chose worked out perfectly, aside from the innermost size of pipe needing a bunch of sanding to reduce its outer diameter.

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A bit of paint finished it off. Here it is next to the original.

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And here it is installed in the gun, from the business end:

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Notice how the shell appears ever so slightly off center? Yeah, those concerns about the indexing face peening are coming back. Fortunately it seems to work in testing, but I could see this causing significant problems if it gets worse. Luckily it's not an insurmountable problem if it turns out it is peening; I'll just have to shim the surface.

Anyways, here's a video:

There's one misfire in the sequence that was caused by one of the hulls being slightly unscrewed- the barrel is that tightly toleranced against the cylinder now, so I'll have to make sure all the hulls are fully secured. I tightened it down about a quarter turn further and it then fed and fired fine.

Each shell is loaded with 11x 0.25g BBs sandwiched between a pair of 0.75" disks of 140lb watercolor paper (the things flying everywhere as it shoots), my go-to for CQB, and it's easily reaching the trees at 100ft. Next is experimenting with shot cups to see how much more range I can coax from it.

Edited by CatgutViolin
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On 3/15/2021 at 10:19 AM, Gunnman said:

This looks prime for an aftermarket if they go into larger production.

For sure, but that larger production is really the question at the moment. I really, really hope that Octagon follows through with producing more. Best case would be if they can reproduce the original design, with all the same steel parts, and with black furniture and metal barrel. The current price is hard to justify with those caveats involved.

In related news, I tweaked the barrel design from my prototype a bit (swapped one size so much less sanding needed), and got some quotes from two local machine shops. Both were prohibitively expensive for the volume involved, so I'm going ahead with the handmade solution. The design I've settled on is extremely tough (aluminum barrel with a steel reinforcement sleeve), has the same ID as the shells themselves so forms a perfect gas seal on APS wads, and reduces the 3mm cylinder gap of the polycarbonate barrel to about 0.5mm, so much less leakage. I'm targeting a price of $75 USD.

Left to right is original, first prototype (in above video), revised version.

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Posted (edited)

And just a quick double post before I forget: After further examination, I believe the misalignment is not indicative of peening, but rather just the result of things not being quite perfectly aligned during manufacturing.

Close inspection of the indexing pin and the stop surface shows that the two are mated perfectly, whereas if the stop surface were peening I would expect to see a gap, and the curvature that I thought looked like distortion of the material is just where a circular channel (for the indexing pin) was drilled in the middle of a longer curved face. So it looks like the sort of indent that is the result of peening, but by design.

It wouldn't surprise me if perfect alignment wasn't a critical design goal, considering the barrel has zero effect on the ballistics when used with the original shells.

In fact, I can't see any wear and tear at all, either on the stop surface or the cylinder pins. Given that these are the only components sustaining any kind of repeated stress, I have high hopes for the long term durability of the gun.

But, what this does mean is that, to account for possible variations in other guns, I'm going to be generous with the chamfering on the receiver side of the homemade barrels, so that a misaligned cylinder doesn't cause a stoppage. This is analogous to the forcing cone on a traditional revolver, really.

If anyone happening upon this post owns a Striker of their own, I'd be really curious to see a photo of down the barrel with the trigger pulled, and see how ours compare.

Well, I'm about halfway done with the first batch of seven barrels, and have sixteen (!) pledged so far- and with all that, I'm going to bed.

Edited by CatgutViolin
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Posted (edited)

First batch is done and the process has been ironed out, so I can confidently say that this deficiency in the base design has been addressed, and these guns are now 100% good to go. I can keep making these as long as people want them, so if anyone's interested shoot me a PM or contact my team through Facebook.

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Mods, I apologize if this is veering into a commercial post- just figured this is the most relevant place, since the plastic barrel is really the only glaring weakness of the original gun.

Edited by CatgutViolin
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No issues here on the commercial side of things. 
 

The commercial rule is to stop people simply arriving on the forums for one thing abs then going. Anyone that engages in the forum with people constructively (or asks us direct for permission) is here for the right reasons. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had the opportunity to put the Striker through its paces last weekend.

(Striker footage starts about two minutes in)

For ammunition, I used APS X-Power shells, filled with gaseous CO2, and loaded with 11x 0.2s sandwiched between a pair of 0.75" cards made from 140lb watercolor paper. FPS was measured at 210-250.

My impression is that the gun is excellent for CQB. Twelve shots is plenty high capacity (to the point where I never reloaded 'in the field', only in the safe room), it fires as quickly as I can pull the trigger. There are a couple of double-taps in there on hard targets, but for the most part each shot is a hit. The gun is compact, lightweight, and easy to aim and maneuver. Even the OEG turned out to be surprisingly useful.

The only problem I ran into is that the spread is a bit too tight for the typical 15-50ft engagement distances at this field. There are a couple of times I pulled out my pistol to avoid slugging someone at point blank, or outright whiffed a snap-shot because the spread was narrower than I'm used to with the old Hwa San. I'm going to experiment to see what I can do to open up the pattern a bit.

All in all I'm very happy with the purchase and really hope we see more of these for sale outside of HK.

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/22/2021 at 7:21 PM, Mike 8-{&gt; said:

Love the "Rock Paper Scissors" to call the hit. Striker looks awesome in action. Thanks for sharing.

Hey thanks, I appreciate it. Convenient timing, I also finished recording a review and disassembly video with my team.

 

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