in the United States hoping to continue skirmishing, but obviously
I would be without any equipment. The US Customs Service is not
exactly keen on people bringing Airsoft replicas with them into
the country (due to the recent political climate), no matter how
well documented they are. I found myself in an unfamiliar environment.
I have only ever really bought one AEG (I am a poor student) which
is my ancient third hand M4A1, I had never actually bought a brand
new shiny AEG from a retailer. I considered all the options and
checked out a number of the US retailers before making any kind
of decision. Obviously, I thought about buying direct from HK,
but it turned out that it was going to cost me just as much to
get it bought and shipped as it would just to buy direct from
a US retailer.
the United States is not a big thing. It mostly takes place on
the West Coast in places like California and in the South in Florida.
The main reason for this is paintball; paintball and Airsoft do
not get on well here at all. Paintball is a very commercial and
politically acceptable sport over here, where as Airsoft is not.
Paintballers here are very stuck in their ways and anti Airsoft.
I have spoken to a number of them and a lot of them accept that
Airsoft is superior in many ways, but they are unwilling to change.
This hampers the growth of Airsoft in the States.
is the lack of decent Airsoft suppliers. There are only a very
small handful of competent retailers in the US, less than the
UK. Most of them are massively over-charging the community as
they have a monopoly in the sport, this is something that will
change as the sport develops over here. For instance, one company
I looked at was charging $450 for a FAMAS F1!! Enter Airsoft
I found Airsoft
Tactical whilst looking for suppliers on the net, the
website caught my attention.
Background The shops founder,
J (he doesn’t give his name out too often), is a former SWAT instructor.
This is to say that he has “trained several tactical units
in close quarter combat, explosive entry, building searches, and
rescue deployment” to quote the site. This caught my attention
straight away. I am a sucker for people who know what they are
talking about when it comes to real-steel. AT is supplying a number
of US Government agencies with Airsoft equipment for training
purposes; this caught my attention as well. To enable the shop
to do this, they have to be a certified supplier by the US Government
which means they have all the appropriate permits etc, basically
making them official. Airsoft dealers in the US tend to be unprofessional
bodies running an internet shop out of their bedrooms. They are
often unreliable, over priced and generally unprofessional. AT
is the exact opposite, they sum up what an Airsoft supplier should
be: reliable, affordable and most of all knowledgeable. J knows
what he is talking about.
Website and Service The
site is crisp, clean and easy to use. One of the few US retailers
with a decent site. Ordering the products is easy and efficient
with an option to become a member of the site to save your shipping
information. Online Credit Card transfers are quick and authorization
comes quickly, receipts sent to your e-mail account. My only criticism
of payment stuff would be the lack of PayPal, which is something
they should definitely consider. Product wise, AT is supplying
the usual Mauri, TOP and Classic Army series of guns and usually
has most of them actually in stock. Shops in the US do not tend
to keep anything in stock, so this is a refreshing change.
of service I have received from AT has been impeccable, J was
available on e-mail to answer my many questions right the way
through my orders and went out of his way to help me out. I have
now ordered two AEGs (a CA MP5SD5 and FAMAS F1) from AT and I
have been most impressed with the quality of service I have received.
The AEGs both came double packed i.e. the AEG box within another
larger box, with half a tonne of packing to keep the products
safe and sound. Orders can be shipped using a variety of mechanisms
including UPS, who as usual, offer superior service.
Lines While the current product lines in areas like pistols
are limited, J is able to get whatever you need on demand that
you can’t find on the site. No complaints there. He has the usual
HK wholesale contacts so getting the products shipped quickly
is not really an issue. Spare parts wise, the majority are aimed
at the CA line of AEGs, but J promises he is able to get the whole
selection of Mauri spares as well.
Probably the best value Airsoft dealer in the US with superior
service and knowledge. I cannot fault Airsoft
Tactical in any way. Everything was pretty much perfect
with my orders. J is well and truly switched on and sets you straight
on issues quickly and efficiently. I only hope that US retailers
take a page from ATs book.
– good GUI, easy to use
– no complaints at all, swift and efficient
– seriously, I am well happy with the service I received
– limited in some areas but expanding, more needed to cater
for Marui internal parts, once they do, this score can rise