Sunday, December 12, 2004

KSC Glock 17

Since its release, the KSC Glock 17 has been a benchmark of cost-efficiency and performance. Like it real weapon it modeled, it was reliable, accurate, inexpensive, and very popular. It is therefore no great surprise that the Glock 19, the logical progression of the G17, also made its way into airsoft form. The KSC G19 retains all the positive aspects of the older model and adds an attractive heavyweight frame and a more proportional profile. Building onto this strong base is the overwhelming current availability of metal slide and barrel sets as part of both factory import-friendly KWA guns and airsoft shop “custom” packages. Certainly by now, the majority of KSC or KWA G19s in the United States are equipped with metal slides. These aspects add up to what is arguably the best airsoft gas blowback gun for the money on the market today. This review is partially an analysis of a single “custom” Glock 19 (or rather, two essentially identical Glock 19s) assembled in Hong Kong. However, since the differences between that model and other similar models available are arguably negligible, the review also covers both the KWA G19 and original KSC factory model.

Specific Unit Specifications and History

The model under scrutiny here is a “custom” gun produced by UN Company of Hong Kong, consisting of the KSC Glock 19, a TW metal slide and barrel set, and the HurricanE Glock 19 upgrade spring kit (hammer spring, floating valve, high-flow valve, and recoil spring and guide rod). “Custom” has been mentioned in quotations previously for the reason that none of the upgrade parts have been original products of UN Company and that the product shipped without the upgrade hammer spring or floating valve installed. Therefore, while it is sold as “custom,” it also serves as a fairly accurate representation for the entire G19 line. After this, it will be referred to as the “UNC custom” model, by reason of specific model name rather than strict description.
My first UNC custom G19 was purchased in October of 2002 (assuming the timestamps on my photos are correct). The HurricanE floating valve was replaced by a Firefly Rocket Valve a few weeks later. The original magazine was lost in the field by a friend and replaced by a new magazine with a KM high flow valve. The second was purchased by my friend sometime in early spring of 2003, subsequently to be completely destroyed by said friend, and then somehow wound up in my possession. It was the exact twin to first G19, with the exception that the silver HuricanE recoil spring guide rod assembly had been switched to the black Guarder one at UNC for unknown reasons. The upgraded hammer spring has since been installed on both Glock 19s, though the second retains the stock floating valve. Both have also had polishing work done to their barrel/chamber and slide surfaces, which will be discussed later. The package deal from UNCompany is still available at the time of publication - $175 with overseas shipping included, a very good deal considering the parts. Both guns have never had orange paint on their barrels, since both were shipped with a red plastic G17 barrel installed, with the metal barrel packaged separately in the box.

My two UNC Custom Glocks 19

Though there are several points of contention regarding the nature of KWA guns as differentiated from KSC ones, I have seen little evidence that the two are very dissimilar. I will write only of the undeniable external differences and leave the rest up to the reader to decide for him or herself.

Design and Appearance
First, I will say that the G19 box is pretty gaudy. It’s got these bright lights and “G19” written in some cheesy Photoshop purple chrome gradient. Certainly not up to the level of simplicity and elegance as, say, a Western Arms box. Proceeding beyond the lid, the box is made of styrofoam and contains a loading tool, hop-up adjustment tool, the typical manual/safety card/target combo common to most airsoft pistols, and the case of the UNC custom, the aforementioned metal barrel and a foam insert holding the stock valve, upgraded hammer spring, and upgraded floating valve. And of course, the Glock 19 itself.

KSC G19 Box Left side

Right Slide locked back

The design of the G19 is essentially the same as previous KSC Glock models, just shorter. 17mm shorter, to be exact. The most obvious feature of the UNC custom models and the KWA import models is certainly the metal slide and barrel assembly. These are made of fairly decent quality aluminum and painted in semi-matte black. The metal used is noticeably better than the “pot metal” typically used in airsoft internal components, but there are still minor cosmetic flaws. The right side of the slide on the first G19 I purchased has a small and shallow scar running along the right side. It is visible in pictures above. This scar is not present on the second Glock I purchased and the rest of the slide and barrel on both guns are generally homogenous in texture. It is not really a great problem. Both guns have full trademarks on the slides as is typical of non-export distribution slides – the Glock insignia, the model number 19, “Austria,” and the chamber caliber 9x19 on the right side. The left side is imprinted with the serial number “COP471” below the chamber cut which is duplicated on the side of the chamber itself. The top of the chamber is marked with “9x19.” The slide trademarks seem to be generally well cut. The Glock logo is quite crisp and deep - very satisfactory to the eye. On the other hand, the “A” in Austria is cut deeper than the rest, enough to slightly distort the letter very slightly. This is evident on both of my guns, which supports the conclusion that it is a collective production error. Regardless, it really is very much nitpicking – it isn’t even visible from more than a foot away. The fit of the slide to the frame is fairly loose for both guns, but it is not a great annoyance. It is firm enough not to be generally noticeable and cannot be felt while the slide is in motion. The chamber recesses as the slide moves backwards and locks back into position when it returns. This action is very smooth without any lockup (such as on the KJW USP, for instance). The opening at the front of the slide is not cut exceptionally well and leaves a bit of a gap around the barrel. But this fact is only evident upon close inspection and does not really affect the overall aesthetics of the gun. I’m merely being picky. I believe that these properties hold true for the KWA G19 as well, though their import-friendly nature of course precludes the inclusion of Glock trademarks. The black paint covering the slide and barrel is quite smooth and attractive, but scratches off fairly quickly. After moderate use, the sides of the barrel and the top of the chamber will quickly show signs of wear. Under the paint, the aluminum is capable of being polished to a fairly high gloss (for aluminum) with minimum effort. After a few months, I polished the chamber of the first UNC custom G19 to a silver sheen, as seen in pictures below. The same process was applied to the second G19, but to the entire slide as well. Manually cycling the slide creates a very satisfactory metallic noise, a much more pleasing sound than the plastic thud of the original KSC ABS slide, which also lacks all trademarks save a stylized “G” where the Glock logo is on the metal slide. Compared with G19 and G17 OEM plastic slides, the metal slide of the custom and KWA guns are an exceptional improvement for aesthetics, especially with a little polishing work on the chamber or slide.

Slide Trademarks, Left Slide Trademarks, Right

The frame itself is also a great improvement over past models. The original KSC G17 frame was fairly shiny black textured ABS plastic. The “heavyweight” material that the G19 frame is made of is far more convincing. It is a dull dark gray, reported produced with plastic mixed with metallic powder. It is more receptive to temperature changes than conventional plastics, which gives it a very nice tactile coolness. It is also very matte in color and texture and is very pleasing to the touch. The frame design is very comfortable – the finger grooves are very naturally placed and do not bite into the hand and the thumb rests comfortably on the intended groove. Grooves on the backstrap and texturing on the sides allow a firm grip on the gun. The controls are easily within reach by a primary hand and ejecting the magazine and pushing down the slide stop lever is far more natural than on some other guns. Mold lines are present down the middle of the frame, but again, it is not quite as bad as on other guns. The thickness of the material to an extent helps disguise the lines and maintains the image of sturdiness – that is, even with the lines, there is not the typical associated notion of a mere flimsy toy. And indeed, the material seems to be quite hard and resilient, and the aforementioned thickness brings with it a solidity that is lacking in almost any other stock gas or spring gun. The rails are of the same frame material and I feel the utmost confidence when forcefully attaching a tight-fitting Insight M3 light, even given its metal attachment components. The frame of this gun inspires an assurance in its toughness that my KSC M9 or Western Arms 1911 does not quite achieve. The frames of all factory KSC/KWA Glock 19s share the complete lack of real trademarks, unlike the older KSC Glock models. The Glock logo is missing from both the magazine baseplate and the lower side of the grips. Instead, on the rear top right side of the frame, “MIL SPEC STANDARD” is inscribed, along with an NSN number, continuing the same theme as the factory KSC slide trademarks. At the bottom of the grip on the same side is some sort of US lot or item number, a meaningless placeholder. As mentioned before, the front of the slide contains a rail allowing the attachment of optical sighting or illumination accessories. On the underside of that is a stainless metal serial number plate with the same serial number as on the slide and chamber. Although the color of the frame is slightly lighter than the color of the real Glocks, it is not such a significant departure. The overwhelming positive aspects of the new frame material over that of the older KCS G17 and to a somewhat lesser extent over the Marui Glock entries makes such minor foibles like this or the mold lines essentially inconsequential. That is, I cannot over-emphasize how nice the frame is.

Left side frame Right side grip, markings

The magazine is of nice weight, completely black in color and metal. The baseplate is matte black plastic and is latched in place by a plug pushed down by the main spring. To fill the magazine, the latch needs to be lifted by the fingernail from the front of the magazine so the baseplate can then be slid forward to reveal the fill valve. The fill valve works like any other average Japanese airsoft gun fill valve – no better and no worse. The back of the magazine has two columns of indentions and markings that on the real magazine would be holes to indicate the number of rounds remaining in the magazine – from 4 to 15. The maximum capacity of the airsoft magazine is 20 BBs. The magazine itself has a fair heft, which gives a good impression of a real loaded 9mm mag and allows more confident reloads than with cheaper and lighter mags. The magazine follower locks at the bottom and allows the pouring of BBs into the mag, so instead of a loading tool, a plastic funnel is provided.

G19 Magazine w/ Huricane High Flow Valve

The sights are exact dimension duplicates of real factory Glock front and rear sights. This means that replacement of both front and rear sights with OEM Glock or aftermarket night and adjustable target sights should be painless. There was not a problem at all at the very least with the factory Glock sights. My friend, in his period of ownership of the second Glock 19, apparently inadvertently melted the original rear sight, which is why I had to replace it. The front sight is held in place by the same method, with split arms pushed against the top of the slide by a plastic wedge. The actual design of the rear sight is a bit different. On the KSC OEM part, the rear sight seems to be one piece of plastic with the sight markings painted on in white. On the real steel sight, there is a metal sheet of unknown purpose embedded inside and the sight markings at least seem to be a thin sheet of a slightly off-white plastic. The front sight seems to be set in place very firmly. I believe that a typical amount of normal wear from drawing from a well-fitting holder would not dislodge it. The rear sight is attached by friction very firmly from the factory, but if it is pushed out of place it can quickly become loose. Because of this, it is generally standard operating procedure to glue the sight down in place with a small drop superglue or Loctite. There have been many stories of lost Glock rear sights, especially since the KSC/KWA design sight is not screwed in place like on the KJW/Marui Glock designs.

OEM KSC Glock sights

The KSC G19 is equipped with adjustable hop-up of similar design to their Beretta series. In my experience, this is a very well designed system, allowing for a very consistent spin. Given the performance disparities of various types of BB weights, adjustable hop-up is quite a nice feature to have. Unlike most Western Arms designs, the KSC hop-up here is adjustable by simply pulling back the slide and inserting the provided key to the adjustment groves inside the chamber. The original G17 had two grooves on which a metal key with two teeth provided leverage for adjustment through rotation. The new G19 design provides rather a set of indentions all around and a similarly designed key. This minor modification allows a bit easier and faster access to the hop-up. Though it has been suggested that adjustable hop-up in this manner is undependable and liable to shift in the long run, I have not seen it happen on either Glock or on my KSC Beretta M9, which has probably gone through more than 7000 cycles.
The internal design of the Glock is an elegantly simple one. Unfortunately, this also means that the parts are there and do their job, but are really quite annoying to take apart and mess with. The vast majority of internal parts are metal and seem to be well designed. The springs are well positioned and designed; all of them are quite strong and resilient with the exception perhaps of the one that keeps the slide stop lever down. But that’s hardly a high stress area. The otherwise excellent Beretta M9 design comparatively has a myriad of strangely shaped weak springs that range in ease of replacement. It does not appear that the problems especially plaguing the trigger spring are prevalent in the Glock. The internal hammer assembly cycles very crisply, as on the Marui/KJW design. The recoil spring and guide rod assembly is especially well designed. It is one self-contained all-metal assembly, which means that unlike the majority of other guns I’ve taken apart, the recoil spring is contained within the guide rod and does not fly out at the slightest diversion of attention. This is very useful in the quick disassembly and reassembly of the gun. The blowback chamber is held in place by a screw, which must be tightened from time to time or else the gun will cease to cycle properly. The blowback chamber contains a cylinder and two redundant springs that help cycle it. This is especially helpful as spring can easily be caught on the blowback chamber and bent when re-assembling the gun if not careful since the gun will cycle on only one spring. The cylinder is lightweight black plastic and contains the floating valve to direct gas towards either propelling the BB out of the barrel or towards cycling the slide. The stock floating valve is plastic, with the upgrade HuricanE and Firefly valves being metal. These plastic parts have no important bearing on the durability of the gun. It is hard to imagine the floating valve breaking, for instance. There is an internal metal skeleton along much of the frame which holds the internal assemblies together and no doubt helps provide strength and heft for the frame.
The KSC G19 retains the unique Glock trigger safety duplicated on the KSC G17, which prevents the trigger from being pulled without the central safety lever being also depressed. Due to the patented nature of this mechanism, the import-friendly KWA version lacks this Glock safety trigger – there is simply no central bar. The only other two parts of note are the magazine release switch and the slide stop lever. The mag release is of a plastic material like the frame and is more than adequate for the task. I can hardly imagine it wearing out. However, it simply does not provide the satisfying metallic click of a metal switch, which I had installed on my old Marui G26. Aftermarket parts are widely available, but removing the OEM switch is quite a bit of a pain. The slide stop lever is very well designed. The low profile design is attractive and will not allow it to be snagged on anything and the positioning makes its manipulation quite easy. The paint on it wears off very easily – looking through some pictures of the gun taken only a day out of the box, wear is already evident on the lever. Additionally, the ledge inside of the switch, which connects with the magazine follower that pushes the lever into position to lock the slide back, occasionally gets bent, requiring minor adjustment with a pair of pliers to straighten out. Without this small adjustment, catching the slide upon an empty mag becomes increasingly inconsistent.

The ubiquitous Glock "safe action" trigger

Overall, the gun is very comfortable to shoot. It points fairly naturally, allowing fast reaction shots. The lack of a “real” safety is a bit disconcerting, but not pressingly so. The grip is thin enough without grip panels to easily allow a wide range of hand sizes to comfortably grasp it. Tactical gloves are no problem and will not typically make the controls any less accessible. Magazine reloads are generally very fast given the fat size of the mags and also the smooth design of the inside of the magazine well. It is much easier to push in a new magazine in the middle of a firefight than, say, with a Marui Mk.23 NBB, which has a few problems with it. As mentioned before, the magazine release switch is very well positioned, but it is a bit of a problem that it protrudes from an otherwise flat frame. Thus, it is quite easy on most holsters to depress the switch and unknowingly lose the mag, especially when crawling. Given the expense of a Glock mag with high flow valve, I began to tape my magazine in with a strip of duct tape, which works fairly well. The sights are well designed and functional, but I do still prefer the tri-dot snowman sights of the Beretta over these.

Size comparison - KSC's Glock 19 and Beretta M9

The listed weight for the stock gun is 750 grams. With the metal slide and barrel, overall weight with magazine is raised to around 850 grams. This is about the exact weight of a real G19 with a fully loaded standard magazine according to the Glock website. Given the relatively small size of the gun, it is very satisfactory and feels much denser and more solid than any of the current generation Marui gas guns.


As mentioned before, my Glocks are upgraded with a variety of internal parts. With only the high flow valve (and the upgraded recoil spring guide rod, which should not affect muzzle velocity), the gun shoots about 300-304 ft/s on green gas if memory serves, which is about the same or marginally higher than a completely stock gun, if my friend’s Glock 17 is a good point of comparison. With the addition of the upgraded hammer spring and a consistent floating valve like the Firefly Rocket Valve, typical muzzle velocity is boosted to around 310, about the same or marginally lower than the stock KSC M9. With .2g BBs and hop-up adjusted to a fairly liberal level to encourage a slight spin upwards, this translates to a maximum effective range of around 120 feet. In its stock form, performance would likely only be slightly than with the high flow valve, in the neighborhood of 300, perhaps slightly less. This figure would be consistent with out-of-the-box KWA guns as well. The muzzle velocity difference with the upgrade parts is not very important unless one really wants to have the most out of the gun without resorting to higher pressure gasses or custom hackjobs.
Accuracy is notoriously difficult to judge, given inconsistent variables modifying BB trajectory, especially with the additional considerations of the various parts I’ve installed. I will merely say that the Glock 19 is sufficiently accurate if tuned correctly for the range within which it can launch a BB. In my experience, I’ve found that both HuricanE floating valves which came with my Glocks produced extremely inconsistent muzzle velocities and thus by association extremely inconsistent accuracy. The Firefly rocket valve remedies this, but the original part does just about as good a job. The KM high flow valve produces somewhat less power than the HuricanE valve, but not by too much. It will also occasionally have a single shot significantly more powerful or less power than the average, which hurts accuracy.
The relatively small velocity advantage of having a high flow valve is made more palatable by the significant increase in recoil and cycling speed. That is, it makes the gun a hell of a lot more fun to shoot, the HuricanE valve especially. Cycle speed is not a problem regardless, even with the metal slide. I can’t exactly say the exact force exerted in Newtons over the exact time, but it is considerably crisper than the KJW USP with metal slide. Cycle speed is faster than on the somewhat sluggish KSC M9, but the perceived recoil is slightly less. However, it is still considerable, especially given the smaller size of the gun.
The G19 magazine holds 20 BBs, but the G19 itself can take any Glock magazine made, from the 49 round extended Glock 18 magazine to the 23 round G17 mag, both of which will protrude from the mag well. Presumably, the G19 should also fit the smaller 15 round KSC G26 mags, provided that the magazine baseplate is removed. Given the variety of models of KSC Glock pistols on the market, it is quite nice to be able to exchange magazines between them. For a standard stock G19, the magazine should be able to fit enough gas for at least 40 shots if spaced out. However, both the high flow valve and the hammer spring severely reduce this figure. With the two parts installed, barely one magazine-full of BBs is able to be shot off before no gas remains. The price of power and recoil is quite high, and I would likely have chosen to remove the upgraded hammer spring if the damn thing wasn’t so annoying to install in the first place.


The gun is extremely easy to field strip. Simply pull down on the takedown latch on the frame to the front of the trigger and pull off the slide while the magazine is removed. The gun field strips to five parts – the slide assembly, frame, outer barrel inner barrel, and recoil spring guide rod. In the slide, the blowback chamber is held in place by a single spring. When that is removed, the chamber slides out and allows the removal of the cylinder. The cylinder has a pin through it which keeps the floating valve in place. Removing this pin and swapping out the valve is a fairly simple procedure. On the other hand, the hammer assembly is a much more annoying nut to crack. Unconventional Airsoft has a guide to changing the hammer spring of a KSC Glock 18C, which is similar enough to be used as a tutorial on the G19. It involves the removal of several hard-to-remove pins that scratch very easily and a veritable bevy of springs which, once released, want to go back in as much as a prison riot at Attica. Needless to say, unpleasant work. Continue at your discretion. Aside from the expected lubrication required for any airsoft gas pistol, the only KSC Glock specific issue in sporadic maintenance is the checking and tightening of the screw which holds the blowback chamber in place. This screw will become loose quite easily, Left unchecked, it will prevent the gun from cycling fully.

Field-stripped G19

After-Market Parts

Aside from the TW metal slide present on my Glocks, GRS produces several metal slide and barrel sets with Caspian trademarks. These are available in black, side-polished, and full polished stainless sets and contain the wreathed “C” Caspian logo at the rear. Shooter’s Design also makes a variety of G19 metal slides and barrels, from “Signature” series slides with race gun style lines and different types of ported G19C slides/barrels to their own line of Caspian sets and compensated Hybrid designs, which looks especially interesting. Both Guarder/Intruder Shop and G&G make metal slide catches to replace the OEM plastic part. SD and G&G both make 14mm threaded barrels (Click for ASR Shooter's Design threaded barrel review) for the attachment of mock sound suppressors, though the G&G reported has some problems cycling with even a moderately weighing silencer. Quite a few manufacturers produce scope mounts for the Glock series which attach to the front rail and allow a huge assortment of extraneous accessories to be attached. The popularity of the KSC Glock 19 has prompted KM to produce a TN-coated tightbore barrel for it, though it may be of fairly limited utility in a combat sidearm, a role which perhaps places absolute dependability rather than a slight increase in muzzle velocity and accuracy. Freedom Art makes high visibility fiber-optic replacement sights compatible with the entire KSC Glock series, which may be a somewhat cheaper option than tritium night sights.
The front rail can accommodate a wide array of optical sighting units. Insight Technologies makes the M3 Tactical Illuminator (click here for my ASR review), designed specifically for the Glock. It works very well and G&G, Guarder, and G&P have all made copies of the general design to varying successes, but all for a similar price as the original. Given that case, the original Insight/Streamlight unit is probably the best, as it is still quite a good deal even for airsoft use. There are other lights in the series, including the M6 (which includes a high powered laser) and the M3X, with a deeper reflector for a brighter and longer-throwing beam.

Insight M3 on Glock 17 (Insight Tech. photo)

G&P makes a large laser suitable for the Glock series, but there are many other smaller laser sights out now designed for use with either the real Glock or the KSC replica. Most notably, LaserLyte has a QD mount which fits the Glock and can be used with both their normal and super-bright (635nm) laser models. Finally, of course there are a variety of holsters designed for the Glock 19, from Kydex and Fobus molded models to tactical drop-legs from Blackhawk and Eagle. It is obvious that given the popularity of the real Glock, these would be far too many and varied to get into in this review.

Conclusion / Reviewer’s Perspective

In recent months, much of the forum populace have essentially began to collectively tout, for the most part, the KSC Glock 19 in one form or another as a universal recommendation. For newbie, collector, or serious player alike, the G19 offers reliability, attractive looks and customization potential, and performance for a very reasonable price. It is indeed difficult to find fault in this recommendation or in fact in the gun itself. There are small points of criticism – the mold lines and the lack of trademarks on the frame, the loose fit of the rear sights. But there are simply too many positive aspects of the G19 that the flaws disappear like a Chinaman at a basketball player’s convention. I’m Chinese, so I can use racial stereotypes like that. I stray from my point. The KSC Glock 19 is a great airsoft gun, especially for the price. But with a metal slide and barrel (the domestically-available KWA model or an overseas “custom” gun, if you’re willing to pay for the trademarks and the upgrades), the gun is absolutely sublime. Absolutely sublime. To look upon it is to be blinded by the glare of perfection. If God was going to buy an airsoft gun… but I begin to exaggerate. But I have no doubt that the metal-slide equipped KSC design Glock 19 is one of the best airsoft guns for skirmishing available for the price. I have owned my Glock 19 for more than a year and it has replaced my KSC Beretta M9 as my sidearm of choice, something that I would never have foreseen when I bought it. When it was my backup for my upgraded 550 ft/s APS-2, I would get more kills with it than the rifle. I trust it to shoot then I pull the trigger, and to always bring a slight, vaguely megalomaniacal smirk to my face.

Appendix I: Why Your Glock Isn’t As Cool Looking As Mine
and how to get it there)

Polished KSC G19 slide

Okay, so as should have been very obvious, my Glocks are polished to a stainless finish on various surfaces. This is actually becoming quite a popular way now to attain an attractive and different look without spending any money. That’s right - forget that shiny silver Caspian slide. You can be Will Smith for a lot cheaper. There are several different techniques, but I’ll detail what’s worked best for me without resorting to power tools or polishing compounds.
First, of course remove the slide from the gun and everything from the slide – blowback chamber, blowback chamber, and especially the front and rear sights. Wet sanding is key. It produces a much smoother finish than dry sanding with higher grit sandpapers. Most of the exterior black paint can be quickly removed by the use of a fine grit sanding sponge. The sponge is softer than sandpaper is much faster than using sandpaper. Just apply a bit of water and the paint comes right off.
Then, I use 600 grit waterproof sandpaper to remove any paint still remaining and to begin to work it up to a shine. This will actually achieve a nice finish, so it’s entirely possible to stop there. I continued on wet sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper to refine the finish a bit. Finally, I completely dried out the frame with heat and dry-sanded with 1200 grit paper so that there would be no danger of oxidization.
Voila! An instant improvement to your style and charisma.
When I sanded down the slide of the second Glock, I decided that it was missing a bit of something. So, taking a hint from my friend and his stainless Glock 17, I painted the rear slide indentions in black for a slightly greater emphasis to the two-tone scheme. Another variation is to keep the chamber and barrel black with a stainless slide. Whatever works for you, I guess. The stainless barrel with black configuration is especially neat with a ported slide and barrel set.

Appendix II: Media

I took a few pictures of my Glocks a while back and after a few hours in Photoshop, what do you know? They look good now! Take a look at this semi-pro photo gallery of my first Glock that I’m fairly proud of.

Photo Gallery

And a short video from our video archive from Fremont of a KSC Glock 17. Not a G19, but still pretty cool. You get the idea…

Appendix III: Quick Reference Data Table

KSC Glock 19
Type Gas Blow-Back
Fire Modes Semi-Automatic
Magazine capacity 20
Overall Length 185mm
Barrel Length 90mm
Height 132mm
Stock weight 750g / 850g with metal slide
Hop-up Adjustable
Stock Velocity (Green) 300ft/s
Stock Metal Parts Recoil spring guide rod
Internal parts (Various)
Slide catch lever
Inner barrel
Serial number plate
Take-down switch
Slide / Barrel (KWA & Custom)

Accessory Rail 20mm Glock, Weaver-compatable

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Yet even more airsoft information to handle

Huh.. i'm looking over my blog and it seems to have too much information in an unorganized manner. i should organize it somehow. don't know how. i've seen some other bloggers pages now. seems like they're all just as disorganized. A couple that I've seen are (this guy is clueless), (likes airsoft too), (he has some cool pictures, almost like consumptionjunction), (this guy has lots of time), (cool pictures).

Anyway, i'll figure out what I need to do to have this more organized. too bad I can't create pages like on geocities or something like that.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Western Arms ProKiller Airsoft Gun

I have always been very found of gas blowbacks, although they do tend to be a little unreliable. Then again, they are a back up, so they don't need to work all the time. And while I have owned and toyed around with several, I have never really had one that suited me or that I liked enough to hang on to. Western Arms guns have been spoken of highly for quite some time, and the amount of accessories (slides, frames, grips, hammers, triggers, mag wells, etc.) and upgrades available are almost mind boggling. With that in mind, I decided it was time to take a look at another one and hopefully find a suitable GBB that I liked and enjoyed. I did quite a bit of research into the WA line of guns, and found that the Prokiller MK II hasn't seemed to get a lot of coverage. The Prokiller Limited 2000 has been reviewed a few times, but not this newer and still available version. So why not take a look a look at it now and spark a bit more coverage of it.

When the Prokiller arrived, I was immediately aware of why people rave about WA GBBs. The Prokiller truly is a beast of a gun. While the slide slide and grip (including the trigger and trigger guard) are composed of ABS, the lower rail and trigger/safety/fire selector assembly are made of metal. This adds a good bit of weight to the gun and also balances it perfect for my hand. I don't care for the grips too much. The raised pyramid affect tends to snag the fabric of my gloves (just some cheap SpandoFlage gloves), and doesn't feel all
that great when bare handed. It does, however, make it so that the gun doesn't slip or move around during firing.

After looking over the gun for quite some time I was almost convinced that the slide was metal. After much consideration and disassembly I did finally realize that it is indeed ABS, but it looks and feels incredibly robust. On the left side of the gun, the slide bears the Prokiller Mark II markings, and on the right it has "Infinity .45 ACP" on the bolt cover and "Law Enforcement Only" on the slide. The metal lower frame also has the SV Logo to the upper left of the trigger assembly.

Left side: Prokiller Mark II
Western Arms Factory Right side: Law Enforcement Only
Infinity .45 ACP & the SV Logo and WA ASGK stamp on the metal lower frame.

Unfortunately the gun comes with standard front and rear sights. I say unfortunately cause the rear sights can't be adjusted all that much. I'll probably look at replace these with a Bo-mar Rear Sight in the future (probably when I get around to adding a metal slide).

The Prokiller MK II has the added benefit of Full and Semi Auto over it's SV Infinity 5" Semi-Only counterpart. This functionality was one of the main reasons why I chose to go with the Prokiller MK II. I have owned a Glock 17, and a friend had a Glock 18, and I wasn't overly impressed with them. I have always been less then impressed with the G18c; including its track record and their fickleness. Not to mention they just seemed a bit too small to me. I guess I'm not a Glock person. I'm hoping the Prokiller doesn't succumb to the same problems as other full auto GBBs. When fired on Semi-Auto the blowback is very nice and crisp. And when fired on Full Auto, the blowback is just as nice. It doesn't cycle quite as fast as the 3.9" SV Infinity but that was to be expected with the larger and heavier slide. The fire selection switch is located on the right side of the gun, just above your thumb. The placement stuck me as being pretty cool, as it tends to look just like a gun that has dovetail safety. The downside to this is that if you don't keep a solid grip during firing the recoil can (and I have) cause you to push the selector switch from full to semi while firing the gun. The safety is on the left side of the gun, just opposite of the fire select switch, and only functions when the hammer is cocked back.

Fire Selection
Up = Semi
Down = Full (shown) Safety

Disassembly of the gun is rather quick (well, slide disassembly at least). Just pull the slide back to free up the slide catch and push the catch out (make sure the mag is not in the gun). Once the slide catch has been removed, just push the slide assembly forward and off it slides right off. To remove the slide internals just push the barrel assembly forward a little to expose both the outer barrel and the recoil guide rod. Unscrew both of those and gently slide the barrel assembly back being careful not to bend or let the spring pop out. At this point, just take out the spring and lift the inner barrel assembly from the slide.

The inner barrel assembly is an area that concerns me to some degree. The threaded end that the outer barrel connects to is just plastic and from the few times that I have disassembled this gun, it already shows a good bit of wear and tear. Also make sure that you don't mis-thread the barrel on or you'll end up stripping the threads, which also seems to be happening a little even when threaded on correctly.

Inner barrel assembly threads

The Prokiller Mark II does have an adjustable hopup, and while that may cause several GBB purists to cringe, I think it is pretty cool. After all, I doubt this piece was designed for accuracy or target shooting. As a skirmish worthy GBB, the adjustable hopup is a welcome addition. Adjustment of the hopup on the other hand is definitely not cool. In order to adjust the hopup, you must disassemble the slide as mentioned above. On the back of the inner barrel assembly, there is a very small hole in which you insert a small allen wrench (included with the gun) in and adjust the hopup. One thing I noticed is that the hopup adjustment is not overly touchy (as opposed to what I've read concerning other WA guns). Also something that struck me as odd and maybe some of the other GBB Experts out there can shed some light on this, is that the Inner Barrel seems to have 2 HopUps. The lower part of the inner barrel looks to have what appears to be a fixed hopup, while on the other side of the inner barrel is the location of the adjustable hopup. I tried to get a decent picture that would show it, but I couldn't get any of them to turn out. Maybe I'm just seeing things? (Anyone who can answer this definitively, please post in the forum below and I'll be sure to edit this section). Maybe if I take the entire inner barrel assembly apart I'd be able to tell for sure, but I haven't attempted complete disassembly at this point. Nor do I really want to unless it's completely necessary - which it's not right now. As it stands using .2g BBs (and HFC134a) I didn't have to adjust the HopUp at all and was able to get fairly decent accuracy in regards to hitting a man size target.

HopUp Adjustment Hole

The bolt assembly in the rear of the slide is also an area that I didn't attempt to disassemble. Several springs and parts are there that I don't want to mess with at this point. That can wait until later when it's necessary or when I get to the metal slide. As you can see by picture, there is already a bit of wear showing up on the bottom of the assembly and I haven't used the gun all that much (maybe 10 - 12 mags total). This section is also where a lot of the slide weight comes from as from what I can tell, the whole (or at least a majority of it) thing is metal.

Slide - Rear Internals Rear Hammer Assembly

The magazine for the Prokiller is WA's current R-Type Double Stack Mag. The standard magazine holds 31 rounds, which is a pretty good amount of ammo for a backup. A 52 round hicap is also available, but will extend a good bit out from the base of the grip. I don't really care for the look of that, so I doubt if I'll ever have one of them. The gas fill valve is at the base of the magazine, and of course make sure to push the valve-lock down to free up the gas release button.

Full Mag
(31 Rounds) Double Stacking BBs Valve Lock and
Gas Release

On to performance and the one thing that I was not impressed with right out of box. As with all WA GBBs it is highly recommended that you use HFC134a gas as the slide and internals aren't made to support the use of the stronger HFC22 Green Gas. Using HFC 134a I was a bit disappointed. The slide movement and recoil of the gun when fired seemed a bit anemic and weak, quite unimpressive for what I was expecting from a gun that looks and feels like a beast. (Ever honk the horn of a truck or SUV only to hear a pathetic little squeak and wonder why they took the horn out of a Geo and didn't use a larger more ominous horn? That's sort of the same feeling.) Of course, I couldn't stand it and just had to try it out with something a bit more powerful. Having a can of Green Gas I promptly filled the mag and hoped for a more impressive report. Luckily, I got just what I wanted. The recoil, report, and blowback was much much stronger and much more impressive then the previous use with HFC 134a. At this point, I started looking around and trying to find out just how back it would be using the more powerful gas instead of what was recommended. As usual I found several differing opinions. From reports of other users who have been using HFC 22 exclusively in their WA guns with no ill affects, to others that have blown internal components from using HFC 22. At this point I even tried using a combination of each gas. Filling the mag a little with 134a and then add a bit of Green Gas after it. The mixture of gasses didn't exhibit a remarkable impact and in fact managed to be quite inconsistent with some shots having more power then others. Due to the inconsistency, I have chosen to just go ahead and use Green Gas, and while I know it's not "recommended", I'll just be content to use it as is and at least prepare myself until such a time as something does to go wrong. When I'll take the steps and upgrade whatever is needed at that time.

I managed to forget to chrono the gun with HFC134a, but did get it chrono'd with HFC 22. With HFC 22 (Green Gas) and .2g TM BBs, the gun performed at an impressive 331 FPS (High of 340 FPS, low of 318 FPS). As soon as I get my new chrono in (about two weeks) I will chrono the gun again and update these readings (or lack thereof).

From my experience with the WA Prokiller Mark II so far, I am quite pleased and impressed. As mentioned the gun is rather large, which was a good thing for me; but may prove to be a bit bulky or cumbersome for some users.

I have now seen first hand why the WA line of GBBs receives as much praise as it does. This gun has earned a permanent spot as my sidearm. Now to get a good thigh holster or cross draw vest.. and a slew of other accessories. Now comes the joy of customizing the gun and fitting it in with the rest of you gear. The fun never ends. Purchase yours overseas in Hong Kong or in the US at

Monday, November 15, 2004

Airsoft Elite MP5

With all the hype and discussions floating about on the Airsoft Elite MP5s, a lot of which I have taken part in (usually on the negative side), the topic is still quite heated and brought up constantly. What better way to get to the bottom of it then to take a first hand look at the newest release from Airsoft Elite.

In this review I will take an in depth look at the Version 3 BPAG and compare it to an earlier Version 2 model. It is no secret that I have been a pretty loud critic of the AE series (bad experiences tend to do that to a person). I accepted the offer to review this gun because of that reason and give it one more shot.

First off, let’s take a look at the Version 3 MP5 that is being reviewed. The specific model in this review is the A4 (solid stock and navy style trigger grouping). And yes – of course – I prefer the solid stock considerably more so then the retractable stock (large battery, larger size, and more stable stock).

The first thing we’ll do is take a look at the external features of the gun.

This may be a little repetitive to those of you familiar to the Version 2 as the Version 3 has very little cosmetic changes. The most and only visible difference is the rear site, which now sports a large V-shape cutout and three identical size holes (see picture). The body (metal, with a reinforced front cocking tube), stock, foregrip, and receiver have not changed. For a more detailed look at these parts check out the Version 2 review.

Rear Site (HK33/53 Style)Side shot showing one of the 3 holes.

As promised the Version 3 guns do come with some upgraded internals that not only increase durability but also provide a good boost in FPS. The following results were received using my ProChrono Digital Chronograph using AE .2s in an outdoor environment:

With HopUp Off (.2s)

With HopUp On (.2s)

FPS with .25s averaged 355 FPS.

Personal Note: I have to admit I was very pleased with these readings and after a few shots the readings were quite consistent.

About a dozen mags worth of ammo have been passed through the gun with no problems (save a dryfire every now and then). Others have reported some problems with the fire selector (semi quits working – to fix you have to switch to full auto and back to semi), but I didn’t experience any problems with changing between semi and full auto.

Now that we know that the gun works and fires well, let’s get into the mechbox and take a deeper look at the Version 3. Along the way I will show several pictures and show the differences between my current version 2 and the new version 3.

Take Down:
The Version 3 sports the same quick takedown feature of the previous versions; however I’m going to take the time to go through the entire procedure.

Start out by removing the stock pin that holds the stock to the receiver. Pull the stock back and disconnect the battery wire and set the stock aside. Once removed, take out the lower receiver pin (located in behind the magazine well) as well. At the rear of the gun where you have removed the stock, you will also need to remove the rear cap. This can be removed after taking the lower receiver out as well but since we are here we might as well do it now.

Old (V2)on left and New (V3) on right

The rear cap has been changed slightly from the version 2. If you look at the front of the cap (the side towards the mechbox) you will notice a plastic ring on the new version 3 cap while the old version 2 cap has a rectangular cutout. It is my understanding that this was done to help slightly nudge the mechbox forward to reduce a small gap that existed between the air nozzle and the hopup unit (which resulted in lower FPS readings and upgrade problems in the version 2s). This gap could also explain the difficulty associated with changing out the stock air nozzle for other after market nozzles.

Continuing with these two pins removed pull the lower receiver straight backwards and the entire lower receiver will slide out. We now have our first look at the mechbox for the version 3. Two differences stand out just from looking at it but we’ll look at those in just a moment.

Once you have removed the lower receiver you then need to remove it from the mechbox. To do this, flip it over and remove the two screws on the bottom of the grip. There is no need to adjust the hex screw in the center of the grip as this is for motor height adjustments (which you shouldn’t have to make).

Once you have removed the metal cap on the grip you will expose the motor. Disconnect the wires and remove the motor and the little metal disk (don’t lose it!). It’s not over yet though, as you also have to remove two screws that are set inside in the grip.

After removing these two screws your last step is to remove the selector switch. To do this, simply remove the small screw located on the left side of the switch and then slide the selector switch out. After all this is done just slide the mechbox up and out of the plastic receiver.

Version 3 Mechbox:

As mentioned the mechbox in the version 3 has been changed a bit from the version 2. The version 3 is still equipped with a reinforced mechbox, but while the version 2 had a hole in the rear of the mechbox and the version 3 is now solid all the way to the back.

Version 2 (upper left) and Version 3 (lower right)
(the ver2 in this picture has had the cylinder changed – the stock cylinder can be seen in the next picture)

Another noticeable change is the cylinder type. The version 2 cylinder was a Type 0 (no hole) and the version 3 is a Type 2 (tear drop hole towards the rear – this is the cylinder used in the TM MP5). As per Airsoft Elite the following upgrades have been done:
  • Reinforced Gear Box,
  • Reinforced Gears,
  • Metal Bushings,
  • Aluminum Piston,
  • Upgraded Spring (curious to know PDI/System equivalence?),
  • Metal Spring Guide w/ Bearings
  • Turbo 2000 Motor

Version 2 (upper left), Version 3 (lower right)
Note the stock cylinder

Close up of gears

Of particular interest inside the mechbox is the upgrade of the tappet plate that has been replaced with a newer / better part. This specific part was the root of several complaints of the version 2. The new tappet plate doesn’t seem as brittle as the old one, however performance over time will need to be verified over time to make sure of it’s improvement. This new one seems to have a good bit more flexibility than the old one (and yes – I did take it out and bend it along with my old version 2).

Metal (Brass?) Bushings
Unsure of exactly what other brands are made from,
but am not quite sure about brass bushings and long term performance and durability

Metal bushings have been installed as well, and seem to made of brass instead of the metal used by other manufacturers. As noted by the picture, I’m not quite sure what to think about brass bushings, as I’m not sure how brass bushings will perform and wear after time. I may be worrying too much on this one, but until I know for sure I felt I should mention it.

An upgraded spring is installed and generates the FPS values reported previously in this review (approx. 380 – 390 w/ .2s and 350-360 w/ .25s).

Ver. 2 (top) / Ver. 3 (bottom)

Top: PDI 140 Spring / Bottom: Ver. 3 Spring?

An aluminum piston is also installed. Having little exposure to the use of aluminum pistons, I can’t comment too much on it except to note that fact that it is there. Of interest to me is the amount of rubbing of the piston, which of course leads to wear. In just the short amount of time that I used the gun and the amount of rounds passed through it I did notice a bit of wear at the rear of the piston and of course the silver noticeable in the picture below shows where the rubbing occurs.

The piston head itself while not claimed to be modified, does seem at least slightly different. Maybe it’s just a bigger o-ring to compensate for air compression problems reported with the version 2s. Then again maybe it’s just me. :)

Ver. 2 (top) / Ver. 3 (bottom)
Top: plastic piston (original piston head above it)
Bottom: Aluminum Piston

Other Important Notes:
The Version 3 now sports a 180 day warranty on “Internal Parts” from manufacturer defects and doesn’t cover external or cosmetic parts. This is slightly different (more restrictive) then the 90 day warranty that was offered on the version 2 guns. Another stipulation to this warranty is the catch that you must use “AE Certified” BBs. As many people have complained about this some clarification is needed in regards to what is considered to be AE Certified. Obviously all AE BBs are but so are Excel, Tokyo Marui, Maruzen, and KSC brands. The concept of this caveat was to try and eliminate and stress that cheap quality BBs should not be used in AE BPAGs. I personally don’t feel this is a viable solutions as there is no way that one can prove which BBs were used except by claiming they used “Brand X”. And also give the company a way to claim otherwise and not cover any damage. I’m not saying that it will happen, but merely stating my concerns (which is why I’m writing this review isn’t it?).

The warranty is void if any cosmetic changes have been done to the gun including removing the orange from the flash hider. Yes – You read that correctly – Removing the orange from your flash hider will VOID your warranty! It is also void if the seal of the mechbox is broken this is noticeable by the AE Sticker which is still prevalent on the under side of the mechbox which is viewable through the magazine well. Lack of an AE sticker is proof that the gun is not an Airsoft Elite version and is instead is an ICS version.

Instead of stopping here with just looking at the mechbox and breakdown of the gun to get this far, why not continue with breaking the gun down to reveal the location and offer some pictures of the rest of the gun.

Complete Takedown:
To completely disassemble the MP5 to get access to the inner barrel and hopup units remove the rubber o-ring from the back (right side) of the hopup lever and slide the hopup lever out.

Then remove the screw (left arrow below). Once removed you will be able to slide the front cocking tube forward. To open the main body you will need to remove two screws: (1) behind the magazine well (visible once the lower receiver has been removed), and (2) body screw located on the top of the gun behind the rear sights. After these have been removed you will be able to split the two halves of the body. Take care as there is a long spring running through the cocking tube and into the metal body.

left arrow: screw / right arrow: hopup adjustment lever

Main body after taking two halves apart

Front of main body:
Note the long spring and access to the hopup

Close up of Hopup

Rear sight
Held in place via a large screw in the rear of the assembly

Overall "Opinion":
While I still have a good bit of resentment (disgust, or whatever you want to call it) in regards to the version 2 series (mainly because mine is still in pieces), I can honestly say that I am pleased with version 3.
I am impressed by the improvements of the gun and have a much better regard for the version 3.

Would I recommend them to new players? Not at this time or at the very least not without warning.

I will qualify that by saying that time and experience have to play a role in my decision before I will say that I “fully” endorse and recommend these guns especially in regards to new / first time AEG buyers. Time and performance will show the true strength and durability of the new series.

One gun that has been fired like this one is a good thing, but there are several people that swear by the version 2 as they managed to get a “good quality” gun. But more over, the number of reports of “bad” version 2s outweighed the good (in my opinion). And since the Version 3 is extremely new on the market, the amount of them in circulation and the longevity of the gun is still a bit unknown.

Would I recommend this gun to “educated / experienced” players? Yes.

More experienced players may find more satisfaction with these guns and be able to spot and guard against signs of problems (not claiming any will appear). More experienced users will also be able to better gauge the guns use in skirmishes as I still think that the power of the gun is too high to be used in CQB environments (based on several CQB field FPS regulations). This is strictly a personal opinion, but one I feel strongly about as I have a few scars from getting shot with an upgraded gun at extreme close range.

In closing: As it stands with me right now – Yes – I do like the Version 3. And – Yes - I wouldn’t mind owning one.

Special thanks go out to Airsoft Elite for providing the gun for review. If you want to purchase them please visit AirSplat for the Airsoft Elite MP5 A4 and MP5 A5 for ONLY $249.95 or the MP5 SD5 or MP5 SD6

Friday, November 12, 2004

Trip to Hong Kong

I'm going to Hong Kong next month with my parents. I can't wait! It'll be so cool. I'm definitely going to visit all those airsoft dealers and retailers over there: like RedWolf, WGC, etc... I heard it's like crazy over there. Everyone plays airsoft. Wow, I can't wait. Maybe I can buy some stuff. But then what? Do I ship it back to me? I'll have to figure it out later.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

General Airsoft Info

What is Airsoft? The term "Airsoft" (sometimes referred to as SoftAir) has two common use meanings:
1. Models: Airsoft replicas are non-lethal "look-a-like" models of real life firearms. These toys project inert round plastic balls (referred to as BBs) at safe speeds. Airsoft models typically have muzzle energies of 0.2-0.8 Joule and are non-lethal. Airsoft models use 6mm BBs as consumables, however 8mm BBs are available but less popular.
2. Game/sport: Airsoft is also commonly used to describe a team based wargame/battle simulation game played using the models described in (1). The game is played in a series of game scenarios run in a similar style to those in paintball with opposing teams competing against each other. A player is considered "hit" and therefore out of play when a BB touches them when projected from an opponents Airsoft model. The winning team is normally either the one with players still in play, or the one which achieves the scenario's goal first.
1 Joule? Under United Kingdom (UK) law Airsoft models are non-lethal, anything that is considered lethal (i.e. over 1 Joule) is under UK law not "Airsoft". A replica or model from an Airsoft manufacturer over 1 Joule would be considered a lethal barrelled weapon from which a shot could be discharged, and therefore a Firearm - most likely to be classified as an Airgun.
Two classifications of model are available from the mainstream Japanese manufacturers, one is marked ASGK, the other JASG. Unmodified ASGK models should all be below 1 Joule in muzzle energy and should therefore be suitable for gaming use at any site in the UK. JASG models are more than likely over 1 Joule in energy and in the UK suitable for target use only - other countries may have different rules. Whilst this is not a definitive rule, it can be helpful in some circumstances.
Whilst low powered Airweapons may be legal to own, under certain restrictions, anything over 1 Joule in muzzle energy is unsuitable for use in a gaming environment in the UK.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Airsoft Replicas

Airsoft guns are full size 1:1 scale replicas of real world firearms. They shoot small plastic balls, 6mm in diameter with approximately 1 Joule of energy. This energy level is very low when compared to most other shooting genres and is a safe energy for use with both paper and human targets (i.e. you can be hit by a BB fired from one of these guns and barely notice it, but it can usually still put a small hole in a paper target).
These replicas are commonly made entirely from plastic with only a few metal parts inside to increase the reliability and durability of moving parts. Construction quality varies wildly from model to model, as does the use of materials. For example, a Marui made MP5 replica has a well made, but creaky plastic body, where as the ICS MP5 has more detailed full-metal body parts installed and is a far more rigid overall structure. This makes the ICS a better and stronger replica, although it does cost slightly more.
Airsoft guns can be powered by electricity (from a battery pack inside the gun), by spring (the user manually compresses the spring before each shot) or using an expanding gas (refrigerant gas is commonly used from a reservoir either inside or outside the gun).
It is important to note that Airsoft replicas CANNOT in any way be converted to fire live ammunition! The only thing airsoft replicas have in common with real firearms is their external size and shape. Inside, these models have totally different workings to the internal mechanism of a firearm, and the materials used for construction could not possibly withstand the explosive forces of a bullet that real weapons are designed to take.
Below are diagrams of the shooting mechanism for an Airsoft AEG, and a real firearm. As you can see, the two bear no similarity and any attempted conversion from airsoft replica to real weapon, would result in throwing away every airsoft part.

Collectors enjoy airsoft because of the excellent level of realism in the replica models. Airsoft also represents the only available legal way that the general public can enjoy owning and using these small objects of desire.
Military fans enjoy airsoft because the replicas look identical to the guns used by Armed Forces.
Law Enforcement groups around the world now use airsoft replicas to improve their training scenarios. Airsoft provides them with a reliable weapon that is safe to use for training, while providing a level of realism not found using any other training device. The comparatively low cost of using Airsoft for training purposes also helps to ensure that the officers have as much training time as they need, without financial restraints kicking in.
Airsoft - the gameA new sport is rising throughout the UK, the US and Europe. Commonly known as 'Airsoft Skirmishing' or 'Airsoft Wargaming' and similar in essence to paintball, two or more teams are pitched against each other in a game of skill, speed, accuracy and tactics. Originally designed to simulate a war zone with far more realism than can be achieved with paintball, these games are played on privately owned and insured sites dotted around the country. Normal Airsoft replicas are used and strict safety limits are imposed in order to make sure that everyone has fun and no one gets injured.
A days play will usually cost you about £15 to £20 (about $25 to $40). This normally includes all games during the day and hire of eye & face protection. Some sites will even provide lunch. Airsoft Skirmishing is generally far cheaper than paintball. For example, 100 paintball shots will usually cost around £6 (approx US$10). 100 Airsoft shots costs about 15 pence (about 25c in the US). Put simply paintball ammunition is about 40 times more expensive than airsoft ammunition.
Airsoft games can have many scenarios that are unworkable in paintball, but there are some old favourites that bridge the gap. "Capture the flag", "hostage rescue" and "last man standing" are popular paintball games that have been adapted for airsoft, but as airsoft has more flexibility, games such as "Pistol duel", "Close Quarters Combat" and true 'Re-Gen' simulations (games where getting hit means that you are only considered 'out' for a few seconds before rejoining the action) become possible.
To play airsoft, you must be wearing the correct protective clothing. As with many other sports (fencing, motor-sport, horse racing, cricket, etc...) you're only safe if you are properly dressed. After all, you wouldn't expect to see Michael Schumacher getting in to his formula 1 racing car wearing his favourite t-shirt and no helmet! An Airsoft BB hit on bare skin will leave a small mark on the surface of the skin that will look and feel like a bee-sting. The more powerful the airsoft gun, the more it will hurt if you get hit, but with site energy limits in the UK being largely 1 Joule, there is no possibility of a BB causing a penetrative injury. With this in mind, airsofters wear eye & face protection, sturdy boots and tough clothing. For extra protection gloves and a scarf can be worn to give cover for your hands, neck and ears.

What is Airsoft (Variation)

What is Airsoft? The term "Airsoft" (sometimes referred to as SoftAir) has two common use meanings:
1. Models: Airsoft replicas are non-lethal "look-a-like" models of real life firearms. These toys project inert round plastic balls (referred to as BBs) at safe speeds. Airsoft models typically have muzzle energies of 0.2-0.8 Joule and are non-lethal. Airsoft models use 6mm BBs as consumables, however 8mm BBs are available but less popular.
2. Game/sport: Airsoft is also commonly used to describe a team based wargame/battle simulation game played using the models described in (1). The game is played in a series of game scenarios run in a similar style to those in paintball with opposing teams competing against each other. A player is considered "hit" and therefore out of play when a BB touches them when projected from an opponents Airsoft model. The winning team is normally either the one with players still in play, or the one which achieves the scenario's goal first.

1 Joule? Under United Kingdom (UK) law Airsoft models are non-lethal, anything that is considered lethal (i.e. over 1 Joule) is under UK law not "Airsoft". A replica or model from an Airsoft manufacturer over 1 Joule would be considered a lethal barrelled weapon from which a shot could be discharged, and therefore a Firearm - most likely to be classified as an Airgun.
Two classifications of model are available from the mainstream Japanese manufacturers, one is marked ASGK, the other JASG. Unmodified ASGK models should all be below 1 Joule in muzzle energy and should therefore be suitable for gaming use at any site in the UK. JASG models are more than likely over 1 Joule in energy and in the UK suitable for target use only - other countries may have different rules. Whilst this is not a definitive rule, it can be helpful in some circumstances.
Whilst low powered Airweapons may be legal to own, under certain restrictions, anything over 1 Joule in muzzle energy is unsuitable for use in a gaming environment in the UK.
Please remember that international laws differ from UK law.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Playing Airsoft

· What are the main ways of playing?
I would say there are three kinds of ways of playing:
CQB stands for close quarters battle, others prefer to call it CQC for close quarters combat. This is a very exciting, quick, and effective way of playing airsoft. Since CQB is usually played in relatively small areas, and indoors, you get to the heat of the battle very quickly. It is necessary to be carrying a smaller gun in CQB, so you can manuever in the small areas, and you have to be able to move your gun where necessary very quickly. The most popular guns for CQB are the MP5's.
The MP5a4 AEG
If you're the kind of guy who enjoys SWAT type simulations, and/or special forces making raids, etc. CQB is for you. There is a lot you can do with CQB, all kinds of realistic scenarios such as disarm the bomb, rescue the hostages, etc. The only difficulty is it is hard to find CQB arenas to play in, with out paying a signifficant amount of money to build, or acquire one. But you would be surprise how many lucky people are out there.

Probably the most common airsoft arena is the outdoors, and the woods. Very simple and efficient, it requires no money in most cases, and no work to get it set up, you just go out there and your set. The woodland provides only natural cover, which makes it fun, and adds a lot of strategy, since it is quite difficult to manuever close to the enemy with out being seen, or heard. The woods is also a favorite destination by snipers everywhere. It is where the ghille suits work, and where they can have the natural cover they are looking for. Snipers may also get a good distance away from the enemy, while keeping the ability to hit them.
Woodlands takes a lot more time for actual firing to start, but there is a lot more natural feel, and when the battles do get started, they are a blast. It is a lot better to hear pellets ripping through leaves and brush, then bouncing off a wall. You also can get dressed up in camoflouge, and get your face painted, etc. The woods allow for a lot more creativity, and realism if your going from a military standpoint. Not saying there isn't CQB in real wars, but when it is played in airsoft it more simulates SWAT teams then the army. But there is good special forces simulation in CQB. In the woods its you using your surroundings, and trying to out smart the enemy, all natural, and in some cases dozens of acres to spare.
Close Quarters, and woodland
I know it is kind of cheesy that the third way is the first two combined but what are you going to do. Prime examples of this are a CQB building surrounded by woods, or just open ground. A town, or village, with signifficant space in between buildings, or surrounded by open space. Or there is scattered bunkers in the woods, or open ground. The possibilities are infinite, but those are the most likely.
This is a example, you can see empty space at the end of the tunnel, and there is another building in the background.

· What kind of Scenarios are there?
Scenarios is what Airsoft is all about. You don't just get two teams together and shoot until everyone's dead (at least not most of the time) you make things a little more fun, complicated, and realistic by using a realistic scenario. Whether it be rescue the hostage, defuse the bomb, find the downed pilot, etc. they have scenarios, some more complicated than others. Here we will just give you some ideas for scenarios and it will be updated over time.

· Scenario: Assissination / Body Guard
Assissination / Body Guards
Team A: Has their team start on one end of the field, and wait there. They choose a speciffic guy, give him no weapons, or arm him lightly. He must stick out from the rest of the group in some way, and the other team must be told before hand who it's going to be.
They must transport this person from one end of the field to another, with out him getting killed. Everyone can get killed but him, but he has to make it to the pre-determined point.
Optional: If you have some kind of road/path on the playing field that goes pretty far, you can make a rule so that Team A can only stay on the determined path. This makes it so the other team has an idea of where they'll be which is quite common in real life situations. If someone was trying to be assassinated like in this scenario, the opposing force usually knows where the guy will be.
You also could make it so they have a couple different paths to choose from, to make it more difficult for the opposing force.
Team B: must set up somewhere between Team A's starting point, and objective point (place where specified person needs to get to). They will hide, camp, ambush, and do what ever they like when the enemy comes, they just need to take down the one guy. Everyone else they kill does not matter to the scenario, they can't win unless the one guy gets hit.
Both Teams: If you get hit by a BB from either team you are out and must get out of the battles way, and may in no way interfere with the game. You are out until the scenario is over. You may in no way act like you are dead, or alive if it is not true.

· Is there organized airsoft?
Yes. Airsoft can be just as organized, as any sport, depending on where you live. In places where airsoft is popular, you are likely to find many fields, and organizations where airsofters will get together and play, with numbers ranging from 10-200 people participating. More than likely there are places in your area where you can go, and play with a bunch of people, for a field fee, and they will divide up into teams, and play scenarios.
Most organizations for playing can be found online, and others can be found through talking to other people that play airsoft in your area. So that is probably the best way to find out about such games. So airsoft is very organized in most cases and areas. If you don't have any knowledge of airsoft in your area, then simply search for players in your area, and organize them yourself! With such a great sport, it shouldn't be too hard to convince people to play.

· Where should I not play?
The sport of airsoft is very sensitive, and is in danger due to people doing stupid things with these realistic looking gun replicas. That is why you must be very careful where you play this sport, and where you use/take these guns.
First off, NEVER aim or weild these guns at someone who doesn't know what they are (of course never aim at someone without a mask too). They don't know it is a fake gun, and they may react in a dangerous way to you, or others if they think the gun is real. Also never ever take the gun into public. You can get yourself killed by a police officer, you can get arrested, and you can get the sport of airsoft banned. No matter how cheap your airsoft gun is, or how unrealistic it is to you, someone not knowing much about guns, and from a distance may assume it real. Especially at these times in the world, with people worrying about terrorist, walking around with a realistic looking gun, is a VERY bad idea.
Okay, now your wondering where would be a safe place to play? Well first off, the best place is on a playing field, designed for airsoft or paintball, and you usually have to pay a small fee to get on the field. These are the safest, since everyone there knows what you are doing, you have full permission, and no one gets any surprises. Now a lot of people in the airsoft world like to play on private property since it is more convenient, cheaper, and maybe thats all they can play on. You have to be positive that you own the property or you have full permission of the owner to use it and they know you are there. If there is land by you where you assume no one is, don't just use it. This could cause several problems, such as if someone happens to be back there, it could be a place for hunters or something, etc. and this can lead to all sorts of legal problems, as well as life threatening situations. If you have a small yard that is surrounded by other houses, or with in plain view of a public road, you should not play there. Neighbors, people walking by, and people driving by may see you, causing obvious problems.
A few rules of thumb are that you have full permission to play at this place, anyone who can possibly see you knows you and exactly what you are doing, no one is with in range of being shot by the pellets, you have complete ownership of the land, or have full permission by who owns it.
You may think that I'm taking this too far, and jumping too far, but your wrong. These things have happened, and they can happen to you quite easily, and quickly. Plus, it is not worth risking yourself, others, and the sport of airsoft just for one place to play. There is always somewhere to play.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Gas Airsoft & Airsoft Accessories

You know what, I'll just keep writing this until I have all the information then I'll organize it one of these days. It's like when I write my essays for school. I'll just brainstorm and gather information, then later on start to orgazine and proof read all the stuff.

· What do you mean accessories?

Some newer members to airsoft don't really understand, or realize what is meant by accessories. Well most higher quality guns will have aftermarket parts for the external part of the gun, that help improve the gun's performance, looks, etc. There are all kinds of accessories for guns, going from as simple as extra magazines, to grenade launchers to mount to your rifle, or carbine.

The most common accessory is probably the want to improve aiming abilities. You can purchase lasers, flashlights, scopes, red dots, etc. to mount where appropriate on your gun. These can allow for close range quick aiming, long range magnification, and everywhere in between.

A lot of people like to add on parts to make their gun look better. Someone may get a silencer for looks alone, or to hide an extended barrel. To get more range on smaller barreled guns, you can purchase an after market barrel, and use a silencer to hide the section of the barrel, sticking out of the end of the gun. Silencers can silence the gun, but the difference is not all that much, and it can't make them "silent". Airsofters may get new flashhiders, handguards, stocks, grips etc. to give the gun a better feel, or just make it look better.

There are tons of accessories for every kind of gun. Whether it be a pistol, assault rifle, carbine, machine pistol, sniper rifle, or support weapon... there are accessories for all of them...

· What is a grenade launcher?

This is a common question for newbies, since the grenade launchers not only look so cool, but idea of an actual grenade launcher is pretty awesome in airsoft... But it does not launch anykind of grenade, but rather shoots out multiple BB's. There are a few different kinds... There are the gas powered ones that shoot more BB's, and then the spring powered ones made by Marui that act as a shotgun mounted underneath of your gun. They shoot three BB's per shot, and take Marui shot gun shells.

The main type is the M203 for the colt series, and there are others like the mosquito molds launcher, that will mount on any weaver rail, that you may have. The mosquito molds launcher will shoot the gas operated shells mentioned above. The gas M203's are made by Sun Project. These gas operated launchers take shells that can shoot up to 165 rounds, and shoot all the BB's at once. Pretty awesome, but it also is quite expensive. You can buy extra shells, as well as different size shells to shoot the massive amount of BB's.

Grenade launchers aren't the most popular thing around... They usually just serve as a gun mounted side arm, or something that can be useful on rare occasions. They are quite big, bulky and expensive, for the most part. The exception to that is the Mosquito Molds mini launcher which is smaller, but still expensive.

· How to mount things?
The most common method of mounting accessories on AEGs is the weaver rails. They are about 20mm across, and will commonly go by the simple name of weaver rails, or weaver type. Anything that mounts on weavers, usually can some how be put onto an airsoft gun. Almost every single airsoft gun, has weaver rails, and mounts that you can purchase and attach to your gun, very easily. some guns such as the M4 RIS, SR-16, MP5 RAS, SG 552, G36c, Ak spetsnaz, M4a1, and others already come with weaver rails to mount accessories. For guns that don't come with rails, it usually is only another $20 maximum to buy a mount to put on your gun. Some guns however don't have rail options available, but they are rail.

With these mounts all you need is rings, and you can mount a red dot or scope. You just need rings for the weaver base, and they need to be able to tighten around the scope or red dot, and secure it so it won't move. The size of the rings depend on the size of the scope, and they have to be able to slide onto the weaver mounts. With the right mounts it is quite easy to mount lasers, lights, battery boxs, vertical grips, grenade launchers, and more as long as you get the right mounts. Most airsoft stores will stock these type of products, especially the larger retailers, so these won't be too hard to find at airsoft stores, even if you have never heard of any of this.

To find retailers go to the Airsoft Core Links section.
Some guns have other methods of mounting things. With guns like the MP5's you can mount things to special handguards, like flashlights. Some lasers and flashlights mount to the end of the gun, and outer barrels. Pistols usually have accessories that will mount to the trigger guard, and allow for lasers.

These are the basic ways of mounting... there are others, but these are the mainstream ways.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Too much airsoft information

Huh.. i'm looking over my blog and it seems to have too much information in an unorganized manner. i should organize it somehow. don't know how. i've seen some other bloggers pages now. seems like they're all just as disorganized. A couple that I've seen are (this guy is clueless), (likes airsoft too), (he has some cool pictures, almost like consumptionjunction), (this guy has lots of time), (cool pictures).

Anyway, i'll figure out what I need to do to have this more organized. too bad I can't create pages like on geocities or something like that.

Spring Airsoft

· What are spring guns?

Spring guns are guns that are operated by a spring, which is manually cocked by the person operating the gun. The think you pull back, would be the same thing that releases the dust cover on the real version of the gun. For example, the M16's are charged by the "T" charging handle, in the middle, on the top. On pistols, you pull back the top slide. If you aren't familiar with the termanology above then just make sure you understand that you pull back a lever, release it, then fire, then repeat the process for each shot.

Some may ask why all the work and the time? Well its very economically sound, you do not need any extra power source, such as a battery, gas, or CO2. It is also easy for manufacturers to develop, making it cheaper for you to buy. Another thing making them cheap is you use a lot less ammo since it takes awhile to shoot. With the cheaper spring guns, they use .12 gram BB's which are also cheaper.

There are however very nice, and expensive spring guns, that demonstrate excellent, range, and accuracy. Examples are Tokyo Marui spring guns, as well as some spring sniper rifles. So when someone says spring gun, don't assume they are refering to a "cheap" gun. For the most part though spring guns, are of less quality then the more expensive guns.

Why are they called spring guns? Well when you pull back you are cocking a spring. Pulling the trigger, releases the spring into a chamber, which pushes air out a little hole. At the end of that little hole is the BB, and the BB is forced out the barrel. This is a very basic spring gun construction.

· How do they operate?

Well if you read above you already know. I'll detail fully below:

1. You cock the gun using the charging lever, handle, or slide. This cocks the spring inside the gun back.

2. Pull the trigger. This releases that spring.

3. The spring goes into a chamber, and forces the air in the chamber out a small hole.

4. At the end of the hole is the BB, and it is forced down the barrel.

5. You must repeat this process for every shot.

If you want to know how the magazines work, its rather simple. There is a think single file line on the end of the magazines, there is a spring inside. You pull down the spring, and pour BB's in side. Release the spring, and the spring will provide the pressure to push the BB's up into the gun. There are exceptions, but they are all pretty simple...

· How much fun are they to play with?

This does depend on a couple of factors, but overall, yes. You will have a great time having springer battles, they are simple, cheap, and long. The exceptions to this are people who have spring guns that is not a sniper rifle, and are facing AEGs. That will not be fun, you will have minimal success and a lot of welts. If you are used to rapid fire, in either airsoft or paintball, you may be a bit disappointed, but you can still have a good time.

I remember the good old springer days, you just load up your magazines, put them in the gun, and you go out in the woods, and have battles that could last for hours. Partly because you can't really pin someone down, and because they aren't the most accurate of guns. Battles are still a blast... The only problem is if where you play is spread out, you can not shoot too far, so its no fun to play at long distances. My favorite time to play was night, it opened up the hiding places to an extreme, and made everything more exciting.

If this will be your first military simulation game, and you are playing against other spring guns, you will have a blast. They will be fun, and they will be exciting.

· Can you upgrade them?

In short, the answer is no, you can not use any traditional upgrades on a springer. When saying springer I mean the cheaper side spring operated airsoft guns. This does not include sniper rifles, since they can be upgraded quite a bit to improve their performances for sniping.

There are however, unconventional methods of upgrading guns, but you are not likely to find any guides, or parts speciffically for your gun. The only upgrades that you could do, would be upgrades that you yourself make yourself on the gun, or something that you find from another member in a message board system, such as Airsoft Core's Forums. Overall, these unconventional upgrading jobs usually end up in disaster, if you don't know what you are doing. But if you feel confident that you can handle the spring guns internals, then it is quite possible that you could make modifications to the gun in order to imrpove performance. But your looking at a hard job, with very little technical support out there from others in the airsoft community.

If you plan to attempt in upgrading your weapon, then good luck! Your going to need it! =)

4Got my password

Today, stupid me, I forgot my password already and it took me all day to try and figure it out!

What hell... first it rains and we can't play anymore and then i'm so bored i wanted to make more posts and i forgot my password. it's bee a long day.

since, I have nothing else to do, I'm just going to make more posts about airsoft!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Too Much Information

So, that's a lot of info, I'll come back to it later on since there is probably too much for anyone to digest in one sitting. See you next time

Airsoft AEG

You know I think this would be perfect for newbies to come read, it woudl be a complete collection of airsoft information so that they can start playing. I should tell my friends to come read this.
Well, here's information on the expensive stuff, AEG's!!!! I love them. I want one so bad.

What are AEGs?
AEG stands for Automatic Electric Guns. These are fully automatic, and semi automatic airsoft guns, which can shoot between 260 and 500 fps depending on upgrades. They are the most popular airsoft guns. There are a lot of reasons behind them being the most popular, I'll list them below:- Run on rechargable batteries, cheaper and easier. - Easy and not complicated to operate.- Last a long time if you make the right buy. - Most realistic; all popular real assault rifles, submachine guns, etc. have airsoft replicas.- Can easily be upgraded and modified; you can make the gun shoot faster, farther, and last longer by upgrading the internals. You also can add accessories like scopes, lasers, red dots, flash lights, etc. - among other reasons...
If you plan on playing with a local airsoft community, and in real games, most likely you will need an AEG. Other things that would be accepted are some gas guns, and sniper rifles.
Most AEG's have the selector switch, that allows you to switch your gun from fully automatic, to semi, and also to the safety mode. Some Marui guns do offer a 3 round burst, and I'm pretty sure it is only the SG's.
· How do they perform?
The first thing a newbie will say when seeing the gun, and the price tag is, "why is it so much?" or "Is it worth the money?". This helps answer these questions in part but I will not go into detail, there are sections in this guide designated for those questions.
When I first switched from spring weapons to AEG's I thought through the same questions. My biggest concern was durability... The durability on Tokyo Marui stock AEG's is amazing. It is very rare for them to have malfunctions, and the guns never become completely broken or "worthless". If a gun ever broke, you could have it repaired, and you would be able to replace every single part on it, with minimal problems. If you did not want to go throught the trouble, you could sell your gun in parts, and get a lot of your money back. But I would say that it probably will never happen to you if you do the following:- Oil your gun, every 5,000 to 10,000 shots. - Take care of your gun, don't be rought on it (things can come loose and un done). - Never go into the internals unless necessary.
Marui's will last a LONG time... Classic Army, and Airsoft Elite MP5's are pretty decent too, but nothing can compare to a Marui. If you don't plan on upgrading, and you get a Marui, chances are you'll have it at least a few years.
Now enough on their durability, how will they shoot? I'm going to describe stock firing, and you can imagine how it will be if you upgrade it. Stock firing is pretty decent, with high quality BB's the guns can be adjusted to be almost dead on accurate everytime, from 50- 75 feet (depending on barrel size, the longer the better). You can have skirmishes in decent whether from a maximum of 125 feet, which is a pretty good distance. In woods you won't have to worry about range, since over 125 feet is impossible to skirmish in with all the obstacles (assuming the woods is your everyday woods, and kind of dense).
Stock guns are fine with their rate of fire (ROF) it will most likely amaze you at first, but later you will get used to it, and enjoy it. They shoot probably about 10 a second, if not more on full auto. It may not seem like its that many, but if you ever count the amount of BB's that come out, and how long it took, it will make sense.
You always have to remember that the performance is infinite, you can put another $100-200 into a gun, and make it shoot farther, more accurately, greater ROF, and still keep a strong durability. If you are accustomed to spring weapons, you will be greatly impressed (at least I was). Your best spring rifle, does not compare to AEG's. AEG's shoot much farther, faster, and more accurately, not to mention with full-auto capabilities.
· How do they operate?
This is a very simple to answer question. I'm not going to say the movement for movement from motor, to gears, to BB, but I'm just going to say how you will get your AEG to fire.
First you have to plug in your battery. Of course it has to be the right size, and each gun has a designated place for the batteries to go. The guns with solid stocks like the M16's, G3a3, and MP5a4 will take large batteries in their stocks. There will be a way to open the stock, and put in the battery, and securely lock it back into place. Guns with out solid stocks like the M4a1, XM-177, MP5a5, and SG-550 will have smaller batteries in the front hanguard. Again you will be able to open the handguard, put the battery in and securely close the handguard.
Now that the battery is properly installed, you will have to load a magazine. Standard magazines will load from the loading tool (included with the gun). You pour bb's down the tube, and push them into the magazine with a long rod. You also may use a electric feeder, that you hook up, and it pushes the BB's down for you. Hi-cap magazines will load by you pour BB's into the magazine (open a hatch, and pour them in any way you like) then you wind the magazine from the bottom. This usually takes awhile. Once you hear the Ker-plunk from the magazine, your done.
Next insert the magazine into its proper place. If you don't know where the proper place is, don't tell anyone because they will only laugh and point (myself included). Do the smart thing, and figure it out on your own. If you can't figure it out please leave this site now. The only exception to this is the P-90 since where the magazine goes in on that thing is kind of confusing. But every other gun, refer to the process above.
Now that the battery is in, and the magazine is in you can fire the gun! Switch the selector switch from safe to semi-automatic (or full if your'e daring) and begin to fire. Now if the BB's go straight and sail well through the air, then your good to go. If they go up, or go down, then you have to adjust the hop-up. Hop-up is where you put a bump in the top of the inner barrel, to put back spin on the bb's to give them more distance.
The hop up is a knob that you rotate to make the BB go up or down. You can figure this one out on your own. The way to access your hop up is usually through the dust cover. You pull back the cocking lever, which releases the dust cover, and the place where the shells would come out on a real gun, is where your hop-up knob will be located.
· What all do you need to get started?
You need the following: - Gun- Appropriately sized battery. - High quality ammo (Tokyo Marui, Excel, Airsoft Elite) - Charger - Discharger (yes, you need one, the gun will not completely drain your battery, and if it is not completely discharged before being charged, it will lower its life)- Oil (not needed right away, but would not hurt)
Thats it, please keep in mind this is only to use the AEG and not to skirmish with it. You would obviously need a mask, spare mags, proper clothes, etc. if you wanted to skirmish.
· Are they worth the price?
If you go into the forums, and ask this question, you will get all yes, from everyone. Me however, I am going to provide a few no answers.
If you have a local airsoft community that is willing to accept you into their community, then absolutely. You will have people to play with, places to play, and you will have a blast. If you buy a AEG, you'll really have the "cool" factor. Running through the woods, under heavy fire, dressed as your favorite military guy, as you return fire... Doesn't get any better. You will have scenarios being played on a regular basis, and you can go when convenient.
If you do not know of a community, then look for one, you may be surprised. I'm sure you could find someone local who wants to play, and you may even be able to get friends, or family involved, and develop your own community. If you plan on starting your own community, you may want to start your friends off with springers, and they can work their way up to AEG's, you may be more successful this way. Anyway, if you can get you and 5 others to play, its worth it so buy one.
If there is no community, and you either don't have friends, or don't want to bother making one, then there is not too much of a point. A good Gas blow back will suit you better if you want to plink around. Also if you're in a place where airsoft is illegal, or in a urban area, then again I don't see the point. You would never get to play, and its not worth $300 to shoot here and there at targets, and site under your bed. If you want to hang it up as a display thats your choice. They look nice and real, and if thats worth the money to you, thats fine by me.
Now that I have dealt with situations, I'll talk about the acutal guns. If you buy a Tokyo Marui, and don't do anything stupid with it, then you will be satisfied, and it will be worth the money. This is also true with Classic Army and Airsoft Elite version 3 MP5's, for the most part. They just have a larger chance of you getting a bad egg, but you do get a pre-upgraded gun, that is full-metal for a fair price. But since you're a newbie I would say play it safe and go Marui. But the others are not bad choices. Any AEG company thats not those three is not any good, they are basically scammers, and are crap, no exceptions. Such companies are Y&P, and Academy.
Durability is discussed in detail in the how they perform section above, but basically they will last a few years with minimal problems. If you run into any problems they can be repaired pretty easily, and your gun can never really be worthless if you buy from one of the three above companies, especially Tokyo Marui.
· What about the companies?
Here are the top three companies and their descriptions:
Tokyo Marui, out of Japan, their website can be reached here: They are the most trusted, and reliable company with the largest selection of AEGs. They sell very durable, and realistic guns, and are constantly coming out with new models. They however make very little effort to meet the United States demand, they mainly focus on Japan (understandably). This cause a slightly higher price since the people selling the guns wholesale to US retailers, are Japanese retailers such as Wargame Club. So here is what happens. Marui sells to local retailers, for profit, and those retailers sell to the US for profit. So two people get profit rather then one. If Marui sold straight to the US, prices could probably be lowered $20. So not too big of a deal there. They are the best company though either way. Or you can visit, they have many of the high end AEG's that are manufactured in Asia.
Classic Army is another Japanese company, and their site can be found at They make a complete MP5 series, and released a armalite (Colt) series in the summer of 2002. The MP5's are considered to be good if they are a version 3, and the version 1 Colt series was problematic, and a new version is set to be released soon. All their guns come upgraded, and with full metal bodies. They also all come with Hi-capacity magazines. A company that I believe will soon be just as reliable as any.
Airsoft Elite or ICS is the third of the top three companies and their site can be found at Not because of quality, but because they have the lowest amount of products. They do however sell high quality BB's, something that Classic Army does not do. Airsoft Elite as of now only has MP5's, and they are regarded as good, as long as they are version 3's. They too all come with metal bodies and upgrades, and hi-cap magazines. They are set to release a M4a1 at the end of the summer of 2003, with a unique two piece gearbox. Something I look forward to seeing, and I hope the company expands.
· How do you load it? Which Magazine? What kinds of magazines are there?
Automatic Electric Airsoft guns will be loading with removable magazines, similar to the magazines used with the guns in real life. Currently there are three general types of magazines for airsoft guns; standard magazines, Hi-capacity magazines, and electric/motorized magazines.
Standard Magazines
Standard magazines come with all Tokyo Marui guns, and usually hald between 40 and 70 BB's. However G&P recently released their own standard magazine series, that is being called the mid-cap, since it holds more BBs (100 BBs in MP5's, 130 rounds in M16's, and 150 rounds in AK's). The G&P magazines are a popular choice since they are high quality, hold twice as many BB's as other standards, and are the same price if not cheaper. So far G&P magazines have proven themselves, and you can see some reviews for them in the Reviews Section here at Airsoft Core. Another fantastic advantage to standard magazines is that they are easy to load, and are silent in combat. The BB's are lined single file, so there fore, they can not move around and make noise like in hi-capacity magazines.
Magazines are loading usually by the loading rod. You pour BB's down a hollow tube, and connect the tube to the top of the magazine. Then you take a rod and jam the BB's down into the gun. You also have the electric loader, that you used to electronically push the BB's into the magazine. The newest option to load standard magazines is the new loader that comes with the SG-552. You fill it up, and repeatedly hit the top button, to repeatedly jam BB's in.
Here is the loading rod that comes with the SG 552, recently developed by Tokyo Marui. You push down the thing on the right, and it pushes BBs into the magazine.
Hi-Capacity Magazines
Hi-cap mags will hold many more BB's than standards. They will hold anywhere between 200, and 600, and most guns will shoot a good amount of them right out of the magazine. These magazines are powered my a winding mechanism. There is a wheel at the bottom of the magazines, and you wind them by spinning them, and you'll know that it is full when you hear the "kur-plunk" sound from the magazine.
Here is a good example of a winding wheel on the magazine. This is on the Airsoft Elite 300 round M16 hi-cap magazine.
A few things to keep in mind with hi-caps is that they won't shoot all the BB's. They will leave some in there, since the mechanism is just not strong enough to shoot them all. Also when you wind some of the larger hi-caps, it may take a second full wind, to shoot the BB's out of the gun. So in some cases with the large hi-caps, you should wind when ever you get a chance in skirmishes. But you'll know if it is necessary once you use your gun for awhile. Another tip is that if you are winding, and no BB's are coming up, then you have to tap the back of the magazine to unjam the mechanism. This won't happen much, but its good to know when it does happen. Also try not to leave magazines wound, since it will wear them out faster.
Some may be wondering.... "Why would anyone buy standards when you have these for only $10 more??" The answer is that the standard magazines are more realistic in performance, and they are quiet. Some groups want people to use only standards to increase how many times you have to reload, and to make things more realistic with reloads. Using standard magazines, also makes you a more conservative shooter, if that is what you want.
Motorized/Electric Magazines
These magazines are the most rare, since they are quite expensive, and very unrealistic (most of the time in looks as well as operation). They are basically large hi-capacity magazines, but are powered my motors, instead of manually wound by hand. These are also hard to find, and not all guns have this option.
· Which charger/discharger?
A common question of someone new to airsoft is what kind of charger to get. They are usually stuck between putting out the cash to get a nice fast charger, or just putting out the money to get the standard wall trickle charger. They both have their advantages, and it comes down to personal preference, and your situation.
First off, wall chargers cost $10 roughly, and a nice charger is usually at least $40+ in most cases more. So the price is a big difference. However, a lot of nice chargers will have dischargers built into them, which is quite convenient, and saves you money from having to buy a discharger. The fast chargers will vary in how fast they charge, you would need to ask about speciffic chargers to find out exactly how fast. Most will have dials to adjust the speed of the charge, so if you have the time to wait, you can make it go slow, and if you need it charged asap, that can be done also. Some nice chargers also come equipped with an auto-cut function, so that your battery will not be overcharged. This is a great feature to have (especially if you're forgetful) since a lot of people will wall chargers or any charger, will forget about it, and leave their battery to be ruined or just overcharged. Overcharging on a side note is bad for the battery, but doesn't always kill it. It usually just lowers its overall life. These chargers come with tons of features, so just look for charger with the features that you want.
The slow chargers aren't too bad of an option. They are cheap, only $10 and are a common choice for a lot of airsofters. Slow chargers are measured in mAh, the same mAh (milliamp hours) as your battery is measured in. The mAh on the charger tells how many it can charge per hour. Therefore, you take the mAh of your battery, and divide it by the mAh of your charger and you know how long it takes to charge.
For example: 200 mAh wall charger, 1500 mAh battery.
1500 / 200 = 7.5 hours
Simple enough? The trickle charger is very healthy for your battery, more so than the quick charger, since slowly charging your battery, is better than charging it quickly. However, the wall charger is not as healthy if you forget to unplug your battery after the amount of time for it to charge. =)
Overall, the quick charger obviously has more options, and features and such, but it is considerably more money than the wall charger. If you need your batteries charged quickly in order to get into late notice games, or get back into games, then put out the money for a fast charger. If you have exra batteries, plenty of notice for all your games, or just don't want to spend that much money. The wall charger is for you.
As for dischargers, there are many options out there on the market. The Tokyo Marui discharger is obviously a popular one, since it is made for airsoft, and sold at most airsoft shops, but anything that drains the battery works. Some people just hook them up to light bulbs, and when the bulb goes out, they know their battery is · Do I really need a discharger?
Yes, you need a discharger if you plan to use AEGs. The only possible exception is if you use NiMH batteries, since they can be recharged with out being discharged... Even with them it would be a good idea to discharger them just to make sure you get a full charge, or for storage of any sort.
Most batteries are NiCads, and so you will need a discharger, since they can not be recharged, until they are completely discharged. It is bad for the batteries to be charged, unless the battery is completely discharged, and it will damage the battery, causing it to have a shorter life span. You can not charge a battery, shoot it a few times, and then charge it back up again. You also should not plan on running your battery dry with your gun either. For one it is bad for your gun, and two your gun can't completely discharge the battery... The battery will still have power, even when it can't power the gun. So you definately need a discharger. I also want to make clear that you should NEVER discharge your battery by dry firing. Dry firing is VERY bad for your gun, it makes all the internal parts slam harder, since there is no BB for resistance. This causes things to break.

Oh, and I can't forget to give credit to the publisher, or else it's plagerism. :-(