Sunday, June 28, 2009

HK Hates Airsofters

Apparently Heckler and Koch is now suing every manufacturer of Airsoft guns for copyright infringement…

Oh, you have no idea the delicious irony of this moment. See, when I wrote my “HK, because you suck, and we hate you” rant a couple of years ago, I did it as somebody in the gun business who didn’t like the way they did business. As a store owner and NFA guy, HK was a pain in the rear to deal with. Since that time, that one rant has gotten more hits than anything that I’ve ever written, and I get constant hate mail from people who tell me I’m a big-stupid-mean-jerk-face for not worshipping at the altar of Teutonic superiority.

Ironically, most of that hate mail has come from Airsofters. My rant has shown up on every airsoft gun forum you can think of, including ones in German, French, and Slovokian (I think). I can always tell when those links get posted because then I then get fifty e-mails telling me how stupid and poor I am, and that I need to go play with my Rugers because I must be too poor to appreciate real guns.

Oh, wait, Ruger makes a piston AR now too… So how are you guys enjoying those HK 416s that you all swore to me would be available TWO YEARS ago? Oh, yes, I know, Delta Force uses the 416… It really is that awesome. I’m sure it is the finest killing machine ever forged by the hand of man or god, but you just can’t have one, because you still suck, and they still hate you.

One day I’m sure that HK will make 416s available for civilians for twice as much money as their competitors, and then I’ll get a couple thousand e-mails telling me how stupid and wrong I was several years after I posted the rant… The internet is timeless in its own way. So you guys just keep your fingers crossed, and I’m sure your 416 will be delivered by a magic leprechaun riding a pegasus, and it will only be years after every other gun company in the world has already been selling thousands of copies of whatever their assault rifle is in the US for less money.

Heck, I’m waiting for the Marlin Advanced Combat Rifle to come out the same time as the Perazzi forward-ejecting Battle Bullpup.

Oh, man, I’m laughing out loud as I type this. Because all those Airsofters who’ve given me crap are now getting sued by HK! Not only do they not want you to have their real guns, they don’t want you to own airsoft guns that look like their weapons. That’s a whole new level of hate.

Ironically, this is about the stupidest thing they could have done from a business perspective. So either the Airsoft manufacturers will pay them a tiny royalty, or more likely they will just alter the design enough not to be a trademark violation. If HK was a normal company, they would realize that they’re kicking their fan base and their stalwart internet defenders in the crotch, but you’ve got to remember that actually hating the people who purchase their products is standard operating procedure there.

It seems like every other gun company I’ve dealt with actually encourages Airsoft companies to make guns of theirs available to the public, because that just increases brand awareness. It is just like getting their gun put into a movie as a prop. It doesn’t hurt their overall sales. What… you were totally going to buy that USP .45, but went with the one that shot plastic BBs instead because of the cost?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:57 AM

    As an airsoft retailer, I kind of understand H and K's position with having their name associated with plastic guns. Some of the airsoft guns are low quality and would not represent their brand well. I had a listing on ebay for a cheap pistol and because the model was based on H and K, ebay delisted the auction. I did not use the H and K name, but the model was their pistol model. MK23 They have worked hard to build their brand and they have the right to protect it however they want.

    That being said, I do agree with you that this heavy handed approach might back fire on them. Airsoft allows the gun culture to grow which should be a good thing. Perhaps the airsofters can vote with their wallet and not buy any H and K related stuff. Great info on what is going on behind the scenes, keep up the good work.