Saturday, January 29, 2005
Hi, I just wanted to give some extra information about the new things from IWA. I saw that Airsoft Freaks had put some info on the web already but here is some of the information I have gathered myself through a little chat with the guys at ASG and CA.
So first the Ak74 type its a prototype. That will be out by June/July 2005 and there'll be three models, one with a folding para stock, one with a full stock and another with a wire type. The AEG uses a 7mm bearing gearbox with their new (reinforced) internals.
The G36k will come out in many variants, the major advantage is the lower price than StarAirsoft's for a now very good finish and price. They are preparing a new handguard like the new one from Star for the G36 with red dot and 3.5 scope. There's not much to say about the G3 ...ha yes ....outer body is in aluminium and a nice finish.
The Steyr AUG - they are preparing 3 models and the stocks should be made out of PA66 which is the same material used on the real AUG. They will make a military and civilian version AND a Aug P version.
Now news on the M249. It simply uses a replica PGC gearbox and is almost entirely made out of steel and aluminium The PGC look-a-like gearbox allows you to change the spring in a matter of seconds and most important now it realy looks like the REAL thing and almost weighs like it ^_^. The internals will be a new generation that includes a new gear tappet plate ,nozzle and a few other items. It should be out in mid April.
At the HFC stand there is the Hi-Capa version from HFC ... with metal frame AND metal slide. The new model will work on either green gas or CO2 depending on the hammer spring installed. I tried it and honestly this is going to be a big hit!
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Reading through this thing took some time and some significant noodling. I should warn you that this isn't some lightweight fluff piece-- it reads a bit more like a college thesis. Not that this is any surprise: the author reports that, in additon to being a member of The Covert of Canton airsoft team, he holds a BS in Engineering and works in the Aeronautics industry.
Curious? Take a look at what he's got to say on the subject of FPS, Weight and Velocity.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Airsoft Elite v2
The CA is very heavy, due to just the metal composition I suppose. Deck out a CA with a scope and scope mount, and you will have yourself a very robust gun. You KNOW you have a metal gun.
The AE is surprisingly light, considering it has just as many metal parts as the CA. At first you may even doubt it has all of the metal parts they claim. But it does.
Metal Body Quality
I have toyed with the G3 and MP5 metal bodies by CA, and neither really impressed me much. I had a part break during a simple manipulation on the G3, but no such problems with the MP5. The pieces fit together very well, and friction is the main adhesive that holds the gun together. Don't count on the screw underneath the barrel by the receiver to actually stay in place.
The metal body on the AE is certainly cleaner, and looked much more refined, especially on the inside, but the metal quality is the same. Certainly feels like a different metal, but no more or less sturdy than the metal used for the CA. Also fits together well, friction is still employed but perhaps less so.
I consider both guns to be the same high (low?) quality.
Metal Body Finish
The CA has a 'cool' dark black matte finish, no shine at all. The guns do not come with the groupings on the receiver painted on. They are in the metal so you can paint them yourself if you so desire.
The AE has a glossier finish than the CA, but it is not glossy at all. Looks more like metal, in my opinion. All groupings are painted on the gun.
This again is personal preference. From what I have heard and seen, the AE finish is technically more realistic, if that matters.
Metal Body Takedown
The CA takes down just like the TM does. You have to take apart the upper receiver in order to get to the mechbox. Pretty tricky to get the lower receiver back on with the fire selector in its proper place. Once you do it a few times it's not that bad.
The AE comes apart like the TM G3 series. Pull two retention pins out, remove the stock, and then pull on the handle, and the mechbox slides out the back of the gun. Can't beat it. Wonderful feature. This also means you can hook up the motor to the mechbox and test it on a battery without having to reassemble the entire gun.
If you EVER plan on doing work on your own gun, take this into consideration.
The CA comes with a 200 round hicap mag. It's quality does not seem to differ much from the TM guns. The CA's mag locks in VERY tightly into the gun, really no mag wobble to speak of. TM mags don't seem to lock in as well. Remember, the metal body doesn't flex like the plastic ones do, so it you ever mis-shape the mag, you will have trouble keeping the mag in properly.
The AE comes with a 200 round hicap mag. It's quality does not seem to differ much from the TM guns. The AE's mag locks in VERY tightly into the gun, really no mag wobble to speak of. TM mags don't seem to lock in as well. Remember, the metal body doesn't flex like the plastic ones do, so it you ever mis-shape the mag, you will have trouble keeping the mag in properly.
I didn't just copy and paste these cause I am lazy. They are for all practical purposes, identical.
The CA guns only come with the G3 style receiver, which is more useful to a right handed shooter. The fire selector is very strong, and much better feeling than the one on the TM G3 line.
You can get the AE in both receiver styles, the G3 style and the newer Navy style. The fire selector on the Navy is better than the one on the stock TM, and the selector on the G3 style is about the same as the TM G3 line. The AE has a 'motor heatsink' on the bottom of the grip, but I am not sure how effective or even necessary that part is.
If you want the Navy style, then AE is your only option.
The CA, out of the box, because of the lack of markings on the receiver, does not strike you as being a real MP5, but the weight does lend a hand to the realism aspect. The CA does have proper MP5 markings on it.
The AE, aside from the receiver markings, has made other changes, such as the size of the cocking handle and the holes in the stock, to make the gun a closer replica to a real MP5. The AE, however, is an AE5, not MP5, for they do not have a license to use 'MP5.' As such, you will not find any MP5 markings on the gun.
If you just have to have the trademarks, CA is the only one that has them. AE offers an overall more realistic gun.
The CA comes in a box very similar to the TM guns, except that there is an extra layer of Styrofoam on the top surface of the gun, so the whole gun is surrounded by Styrofoam inside the box. Very well done. Best packaged AEG I have seen to date.
The AE came in a plain cardboard box, with the gun mounted to an elevated piece of cardboard by nylon ties. It won't shift in shipping, but also has minimal protection. Some bubble wrap is tossed in for peace of mind. This is the biggest area where the AE guns are lacking.
In all fairness, I have not had an AE gun messed up in shipping. Yet.
The CA is 100% compatible with TM accessories. Unless you are blind, you will also observe that the CA A series also comes with the tac light. Can't ignore that.
The AE is also 100% compatible with TM accessories. No tac light.
I should also note you can, for example, install a CA SD front end onto an AE gun. Finishes won't match, but it can be done no problem.
The CA line of mechboxes have been out for a while, and are well known for their durability. You should just do some research on these mechboxes to find out more. There has been skepticism on the quality of the internals of the gun, which is why some retailers (AirsoftExtreme) perform upgrades on the gun to shore things up before they sell it, and why some other retailers (WGC) even have a disclaimer before you view the page with the CA guns on it. But if you buy a CA from a retailer that does upgrade it and tests it ahead of time, the risk is minimized.
AE also has a separate mechbox, it sold before the line of guns came out. The mechbox in the new AE guns is VERY strong, and the gears are reinforced. The piston/piston head is perhaps the weakest point in the AE mechbox. The AE also comes with a metal spring guide with bearing, which is nice as well. The AE has not been out as long as CA, so not as much is known, and the V2 AE has just recently become available for purchase.
Neither model has been out as long as TM, so neither has a proven track record like TM. If you are capable of doing mechbox work, either gun would be fine.
This is based totally one what you want, and where you get it from. Keep all of the above information in mind, and just make sure that when assessing which is the 'better value' you take everything into account.
You will find that both guns will serve their purpose, and you will find people that love and hate both lines of guns.
I, Pikachoad, personally would take the AE primarily because of the quick take down feature. I always tinker with my guns, and having the quick take down feature is invaluable.
Original review at http://www.airsoft-guide.com/default.asp?view=52&ad=1
Pic of the Glock 18c from website PART I: KWA vs KSC So my next question was, what is the deal with KWA? The thing that is odd is that the box the gun came it, while labeled KWA, still had KSC written on it as well. The instruction manuals on the inside were stamped with 'KSC G18c', so obviously there is a link. While I am not sure anyone knows FOR SURE, the research I have done has indicated that KWA is the company that KSC had make their g18c's for them. KWA then made a version, without trademarks and with the solid orange inner barrel, intended for sale directly in the United States.So what does that mean? For all practical purposes, the KWA g18c is identical to the KSC version. Which is a good thing. My intent when getting the g18c was to upgrade it with a metal slide and barrel, which would be black anyway, so the orange was not a problem for me.First, here is the metal kit I installed on the glock. It consists of just a metal inner barrel, and a metal slide. As I noted before, the stock slide that came with the gun did not have any trademarks on it. That is to allow easy importation. Well, now that it is in my hands, I wanted the trades, so I got them though the metal slide. In the picture below, the bottom piece in the inner barrel, and that is the piece that was made out of solid orange plastic in the stock gun.
The metal slide and metal inner barrelThe inner barrel already has some scuff marks on the top of it in the back, as you can see. That is from normal use. The front site, if you can tell, is also missing from the gun now. I have found that this seems to be a common problem that occurs with these guns in general, especially when you have the metal slide installed.Let me explain the picture below. It is confusing. My friend has a glock18c, and his slide cracked where the slide catch is- also another common problem with the g18c when used on auto fire a lot with the stock plastic slide. So I let him use my KWA slide and inner barrel on his KSC glock 18c. That gun is the top gun in the picture. The lower gun is my gun, the KWA gun with the metal slide and metal inner barrel.
The two glocks- KSC body/KWA top above, KWA body/metal top belowAll of the differences between the KWA and KSC can be gleemed from the picture above. First, look at the slides. The KWA slide (top one) does not have any trademarks- just the word Viper, the chief importer and supplier of the KWA glocks. The metal slide (bottom one) is NOT the KSC slide, but it does have the same markings, and as you can clearly see in the picture, it has the proper trademarks.Next, look at the lower halves. The KSC grip (top one) hasthe Glock emblem on the grip, in the square towards the bottom. The KWA grip (lower one) has nothing in that square- it is blank.
Same two glocks, back sideSame two Glocks, just on the flip side. Again, you will find the same differences as explained before. The KWA slide (top) and the KWA grip (bottom) are devoid of all trademarks, while the KSC grip(top) and the metal slide(bottom) have the proper trademarks.And that, my good people, is the only difference between the two brands. EVERYTHING else is the same. Magazines are identical, mechanisms are identical. In fact, We easily just swapped the slides on the two above guns back and forth at will, each retaining full functionality. Based on what I have seen, I have every reason to believe that the theories online are true. The KWA gun is exactly the same, in every way, to the KSC version, save the trademarks.PART II: Evaluating the Glock 18cWith that cleared up, we can move on to the g18c itself. This is my Glock 18c below.
My metal Glock 18cThis is the KWA g18c I received, with a standard metal slide/barrel kit installed. As you can see, this can perhaps be described as your generic handgun. Just like the MP5A4 is your generic sub machine gun. Now when I say generic, please dont think I am making an implication about the quality of the gun. Just as the MP6 is an excellent airsoft gun, so is the g18c.While the gun doesn't look too special, it is. For those that dont know, the g18c is the handgun of choice for so many airsoft enthusiasts because of one thing- full automatic firing. Right now, only three guns really offer that feature in a gas blowback handgun- the M93R, the Prokiller Mk. II, and the g18c. Of those guns, the g18c is by far the most common, and has the most aftermarket parts available for it (the Pro Mk. II is a relatively new gun, it should be noted). You can easily track down almost any part that needs to be replaced on this gun with little effort.On the rear of the gun, as seen in the picture above, is the fire selector mechanism. Up is semi auto firing, which is just like any other GBB pistol, middle is maintenance mode (for taking the slide off) which double as a safety for the most part, and down is fully automatic.
My metal Glock 18c, part twoThe only true safety on the gun is built into the trigger mechanism, and you can maybe see it in the picture above. It is hardly useful- maybe it would stop the gun from firing if you drop it or if your finger is the thickness of a drinking straw, but if you pull the tigger, it goes back. So to avoid any accidental firing, just keep the mode selector in the middle.The g18c is also sometimes tricky to set the firing mode. You have to push the slide backwards slightly to get the switch to change positions. Like so many other quirks, that is normal. Another quirk is the rattling of the metal inner barrel. The stock gun, all plastic, does not have this rattle. So again, another quirk. But if it makes you feel any better about your gun, the real steel Glocks have that rattle as well, so you can even rationalize it as being "more realistic" that way... :) The g18c in size is about what most would consider 'normal.' It is designed to fit comfortably in both he left and right hand, and is contoured fairly well. Below is a picture showing its size compared to the WA SVI 6" Standard, which most would consider a large handgun.
The Western Arms SV Infinity 6" Standard, and the KWA Glock 18c As you can see, the guns do not differ drastically in size. The SVI is longer, but the main difference is the girth of the grp. If you look in the picture, you can see that the g18c has a much more narrow grip- I have big hands, and in my opinion, the grip on the g18c is more comfortable.The metal g18c is a heavy gun. Stock, it is much lighter. But with the metal slide and inner barrel installed, then gun weighs just about as much as the SVI in the picture above, and that gun is a heavy handgun.The weight on the g18c, as with most GBBs, is centralized in the magazine. There are two magazines available for the g18c:
The standard 23 round magazine and the hi-capacity 50 round magazine The standard magazine the gun comes with holds 23 rounds. The magazine is actually nicer than some of the magazines coming on the more expensive guns, such as the SVI, in that the fill valve on the bottom is hidden under a sliding cover on the bottom of the magazine, which also server to keep the valve clean. Another nice feature is the fact you can lock the spring in the down position for filling the magazine. This may sound petty, but when you have to load a GBB magazine 1 bb at a time, this comes in real handy.Another one of the big appeals of the g18c is the 50 round magazine available for it. While many people do not like this magazine because of the way the gun looks with the magazine in place:
Glock 18c with 50 round magazine While this magazine may look goofy or out of place, it makes the g18c such a practical sidearm. Think about it. 50 rounds, fully automatic, and semi automatic. Remember that initial comparison I made to the MP5??? Exactly.The KSC/KWA g18c is also known to readily take green gas, which ups the ante on this gun even higher. My g18c with metal slide, with green gas, clocks in at 310fps.The only thing stopping this gun from outpacing an MP5 performance wise is the accuracy. The g18c in semi shoots about as well as any other GBB I have shot to date. Nothing special, and nothing any worse than any other gun. Fully automatic, however, brings new meaning to the term 'spray and pray.' Odds are you will still be able to hit what you are aiming for- it just wont be with the precision of an AEG. The gun, whether stock or metal, has a great kick to it, ESPECIALLY in fully automatic, and ESPECIALY with green gas. You want a gun that will scare people based on just the sound it makes, the g18c is the gun for you. Stock, with a plastic slide, on green gas, this gun has a rate of fire MUCH higher than any standard AEG. It can empty the 23 round normal magazine in a second or two if you want it to. That is even perhaps a complaint people have about the gun- it goes through bbs so fast on fully automatic. Since I have installed the metal slide and inner barrel, and an Airsoft Elite reinforced spring guide, my rate of fire has slowed compared to how it was stock. And in this case, that is a good thing.The g18c also has a rail on which you can mount a number of accessories, located in front of the trigger, under the barrel. Probably the most popular attachment would be a laser. Other accessories you can get are high optic sights and a threaded barrel for silencer attachment.The KWA g18c is an excellent overall gun for any level of airsofter. It is a fairly simple, easy to work on, comfortable gun, with plenty of replacement and upgrade parts available, and heck, fully automatic. While I consider the WA SVI 6" to have perhaps more flair and style than the g18c, it is the g18c that I carry into battle when I carry a handgun.Its functionality for outweighs any minor quirks the gun may have. If you are looking for a reliable and practical gun, then I can recommend the g18c. And please dont think I am saying this as some sort of hot news item. Tons of people know about this gun, and tons of people use this gun already. If you are looking for news, then perhaps you can take from this that the KWA g18c is for all practical purposes identical to its more well known brother, the KSC.Let me conclude by saying that off all airsoft guns on the planet, this one is perhaps the best you can use to try and get someone interested in airsoft that has never played before. The way this gun feels on full auto borders on magical. Give it a try.
Original review can be found at www.airsoft-guide.com/default.asp?view=51&ad=1
Sunday, January 02, 2005
This month's Wired Magazine cover story,
"The New Diamond
Age" is quite a read, merging Wired's standard breathless
technology-is-changing-everything fare with James Bond-style meetings and
secret labs complete with Russian scientists. At the root of the story are two
labs that make synthetic diamonds. These aren't simulated gemstones like
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) but real diamond gemstones that have been created in
the laboratory rather than mined from the Earth. Gemesis, based in Florida, uses high
pressure and temperature chambers that mimic how diamonds are created in
the Earth. Apollo Diamond,
based near Boston, uses chemical vapor deposition to grow diamonds.
These labs, Wired hints, might just bankrupt the diamond industry.
To those within the jewelry industry, however, synthetic diamonds are
business-as-usual. Gemesis and now synthetic gemstone-maker Chatham have been producing synthetic
diamonds for several years, and the process was even the subject of a Nova back in
2000. Apollo's technique has produced some recent advances, but to hear Jeweler's
Circular Keystone report it this is all just steady technological
progress. It would seem the only important point to jewelers is whether
gemologists can scientifically distinguish synthetics from natural
gemstones, not whether the synthetics are "as good as" diamonds in any
other way. And according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), it
straightforward to identify even the new Apollo diamonds. They also
note that Apollo is working with the GIA "to ensure that these CVD
laboratory-grown diamonds are correctly identified before being introduced
into the market."
The key is that the price of diamonds, and gemstones in general, are
governed by the laws of fashion rather than some objective
standard. Certainly diamonds are pretty, but then so is Cubic
Zirconia. There are two things that keep diamonds in high demand over
substitutes like CZ. First, the De
Beers cartel goes to great lengths to remind us that the only way for a
man to prove his love to a woman is by giving her diamonds, and you
can bet that De Beers won't let synthetics in on that little bit of
spin. As Jef Van Royen, a senior scientist at the Diamond High Council put it to
Wired: "If people really love each other, then they give each other the
real stone. It is not a symbol of eternal love if it is something that was
created last week." The second reason reaches the heart of fashion:
diamonds and natural gemstones are expensive. This is why people will still
buy natural emeralds, even though they are some 300 times more expensive than synthetic emeralds. Or more
accurately, they buy natural emeralds because they are 300
times more expensive than synthetics. Like luxury cars and designer-brand clothing, the
point is not the product itself so much as the ability to say "I can afford
this and you can't." As long as people can still say "happy birthday, Honey
— it's a natural diamond" I don't see synthetics destroying
the diamond market anytime soon.
New Diamond Age (Joshua Davis, Wired 11.09, September 2003)
- The Diamond
Deception (NOVA, originally broadcast 1 February 2000)
synthetic diamond is now gemmy and cuttable (Gary Roskin, Jewler's
Circular Keystone, 15 August 2003)
Gems & Gemology: Facetable Laboratory-Created Diamonds Grown by
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) (GIA Insider, Vol. 5, Issue 14, 8
- Chatham FAQ