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Purchases - Raptors Airsoft

Archive for the ‘Purchases’ Category

Well it seems this last year has seen the Raptors once again go all vain and interesting. Not content with Flecktarn pattern as the BDU of choice, I finally decided to get some ATACS FG kit now that it’s available over here and not silly money. I like MTP, Multicam types but never enough to buy it. That and most airsofters  use it nowadays so the raptors obviously avoid it like the fashion faux pas that it is.
Looking at images of FG on the net it looks deceptively woolly and vague which I really like. So the plunge was plunged. New BDUs and a rig with, for once matching pouches, bladder carrier and holster. Oooooh go on sir. Suits you.


What’s it like in the field? Well I bought Propper BDUs as I’ve always liked them. Spider bought cheaper stuff, went all stunt man and ripped the arse out of his. Not a bad repair to do but still having the two sets up close I’m glad I splashed out a bit as I don’t imagine we’ll be changing pattern for a bit so it needs to last.

In terms of colour fastness if you know the raptors you’ll know the BDUs never get washed. [yeah but seriously mate, those pants are starting to reek…. spider] Ever. It’s just bad juju and shouldn’t be done. That’s right. We generally stink but are all the more awesome for it. Also keeps the foxholes clear when needed, prevents aegs from failing and keeps peasants away.

I’m alone in the team for this next part. Painting aegs. I have a penchant for skinning my guns with a paint job to match. Did it with my systema and the Marpat I wore at the time (pain in the arse to stencil and paint) and it worked out well. This time I’ve done my M4, ASP2 and will be doing my CO2 VSR when I get round to getting it off Milgeek. Might even do the ASG Scorpion. Might.

So how did I do it. Well Milgeek will be along shortly I would imagine to show you how a proper modeller does it with an airbrush and skill. Me? I got half a dozen shades of Tamiya acrylic paints approximating my boonie hat in shade and had a bash. Good place for cheap Tamiya paints and small natural sponges is hobbycraft by the way.

I Started by spraying some heavy weight notepad paper with krylon Khaki as a base to test on. It seems ATACS FG runs light to dark as far as my eyes are concerned so this will be the base coat for everything, and krylon is  excellent for Airsoft needs. After that it’s daubing time with various bits of sponge and redaubing with a sponge with thinners on to lift colour off and give the watercolour effect ATACS has. Works quite well if a little less defined than the actual thing.

Repeating through increasingly darker shades finally to brown seems to fit nicely. The key seems to be working relatively quickly on partially dry previous layers to allow a little bleed between colours. Also repeating a few patches of previous colours here and there adds a bit of complexity.

A pleasant evenings work.

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So I’ve used trip mines on and off for a few years. Had some great laughs usually with misfires whilst setting…. Spider.  Never owned any myself always used spiders 12g spring loaded affairs. Very effective but arsey to set. Well for me anyway so never thought to buy any for the sake of them sitting in a drawer and not being used.

Roll on to a recent game day and Jamieraptor pulls a small cylinder and trip line out and twirls it around like a nunchuck. Always interested in shiny new stuff Jamie let me have a go.


The dynatex Scaremonger is small, very easy to set yet easy to trigger , runs on 9mm blanks, is loud and has a built in safe mechanism. Bit pricey should it go missing as people have had happen but worth it all the same I think. Should be fun at the next skirmish. Sprayed mine up green as its a bit shiny and visible.

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To balance out todays previous bad news it occured to me that we did not say cheers to Stitch me up for their excellent patches we took delivery of at christmas.

Coveted & sexy...

Coveted & sexy…

They do loads of work for airsoft teams and I’ve yet to hear a single bad word about them. Our’s was certainly delivered promptly and in great packaging protecting the patches – at a very reasonable price! You can check out their facebook page for loads of examples of their work and they’ll do batches large and small…
Well done Swamps for picking them!
BZ

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Off I went…
Not often I get to buy new gear at the moment, so after first having had a few goes on Derkas Ares Vz58 I made the trip south to Patrol Base to make the purchase. I know if you’re prepared to hunt around you can probably knock a tenner off, but there is still something I like about going to a shop, picking out the one I want and leaving with it.

Everyone loves a new gun!

Everyone loves a new gun!

Some comments on Patrol Base. It’s easy enough to find and we had no trouble parking up. Once inside its a spacious shop with plenty of stock. The guys were very enthusiastic even letting me shoot off a few rounds on the display model they had on show in their test range. My only proviso was they tried to sell me a battery they insisted fitted, and only the fact that I had experience of actually using a VZ58 made me cautious. When I said fine if they could fit it for me I’d buy 2 did they concede (after much trying) that none of their batteries in stock fitted. More of the batteries later though…

Almost fresh out of the box...

Almost fresh out of the box…

As the Ares website highlights, the VZ58 series comes with a propriety mag which are about £30 each at the moment, and you can see I went for the compact version. For those who like to read up on the real world counterparts there’s some info here.

Also in the box were cleaning rods, mag loader, and some reasonably decent instructions. Read them! No batteries of any kind, which I don’t mind as they’re usually inferior and never get used in any case.

Read them! You never know...

Read them! You never know…

I added a few modifications to my initial purchase. First up and probably most pragmatic was the magazine adapter to allow the VZ58 to accommodate M4 type mags. This gives you access to a far wider variety and they tend to be cheaper!

Mag well adapter for all those M4 mags you already have!

Mag well adapter for all those M4 mags you already have!

Next up was a suppressor, reasonably short and simple dual ended type. Primarily because I liked the look of it, but having skirmished the VZ58 now it definitely mutes the noise of the gearbox taking a lot of the sharpness out of it. It turns it into a satisyingly solid thump rather than a crack and seems to be harder to position from any sort of distance.

extra sneakiness fitted....

extra sneakiness fitted….

Lastly for now was the quick release sidemount attachment that allows me to use the QR sidemount from my AK105. Fitting was a matter of minutes allowing the VZ to mount a toprail for scope and sights. This top rail does make fitting the battery more fiddly so be warned!

QR sidemount ready!

QR sidemount ready!

The ring for attaching sligs is definitely robust and feels secure. After the somewhat flimsy affairs on the side of some CYMA AK’s this was a welcome find.

Why aren't all guns fitted with one of these?

Why aren’t all guns fitted with one of these?

..and of course it has a folding stock, with the stock folding to the right so you can still make use of the QR sidemount and access the selector switch with ease.

Even shorter...

Even shorter…

However!
This brings me to a definite gripe. The folding stock relies on a screwcap retaining a small spring over the pin in the hinge. I was warned by other owners this would be loose and to get some threadlock on it immediately. Like an idiot I hadn’t got round to it before I skirmished it the first time. The VZ didn’t even make it past the safety brief before this pinged it’s way across the carpark. Why they seem unable to secure this I have no idea. Sheer dogged luck and some very helpful friends enable me to find the escaped parts (and they go a long way) and it was replaced having been smothered in threadlock. I may look into a more permanent securing pin mod at a later date.

PAY ATTENTION! THREADLOCK THIS BIT!

PAY ATTENTION! THREADLOCK THIS BIT!

Power it up!
Right. Batteries. The only batteries I can find that currently fit the recived space are G&P 7.4v lipo at the moment. You can get them on the usual popular auction site from overseas, but I also recommend checking out our pyro supplier Jack Rabbit who have supply at wholesale prices here in Blighty. Replacing them can be fraught so here’s my best method so far…

Step 1 slide pin to unsecure rear of top receiver

Battery step 1

Battery step 1

Step 2 remove the receiver top completely.

Battery step 2

Battery step 2

Step 3 move the cocking handle rearwards

Battery Step 3

Battery Step 3

Step 4 remove the cocking handle reciever section as well to permit access to the battery with ease.

Battery Step 4

Battery Step 4

I find it easiest to lay the new battery in position carefully and essentially go through all the above procedures in reverse to fit. BE WARNED it remains a tight fit, be wary of trapping wires and damaging LiPo batteries when doing so!

But having done all this you are presented with a tidy tight and refreshingly rattle free AEG. Having skirmished it once I can assure that the electronic programmable gearbox seems to work well. using 7.4v LiPo gives it more than fast enough rate of fire, although I tend to leave it in semi. (see our video from the last game day report. I intend to program this to either a 3 shot burst or semi auto only at a later date, so I’ll update the performance then.

In action I found it beautifully nimble and accurate for it’s size. Power was dead on 326 fps out of the box (1 Joule) so no need to be using the quick access for the spring just yet that the current Ares AEG come fitted with.

Pros
Solid
Small size makes it agile (ideal CQB)
Good range on stock hop set up
Perfectly powered out of box
Can take standard mags with adapter

Cons
Make sure stock hinge is secured properly!
Battery compartment is small and fiddly

Overall? A cracking little AEG. I mean, just look at it...

Admit it, you want one now don't you?...

Admit it, you want one now don’t you?…

Costs…
VZ58 Compact £192
Mag Adapter £29.99
Suppressor £10
plus I went for some additional Ares Amoeba mid cap 140rd M4 magazines at £9.99
G&P 7.4v LiPo batteries £25

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A quick review.

Those of you who have visited our ramblings before may be aware that we picked up a pair of Cyma MP5 PDW last year from Action hobbies.

Great shop, very friendly when we visited, and good service, and the AEGs perform well, although wildly different fps when first chrono’d! (330 and 400!)

One think we both mamanged to accomplish was to snap the muzzle break in the first few months. Something neither of us had done with any other airsoft weapon.

This weekend whilst enjoying a cracking day out at NSC I ran into a group of 3 guys, all sporting either MP5 PDW or Ks, and ALL THREE had done the same. Everyone I have met who has one has snapped the same part.

So, what to do?

Well first up is to warn you if you buy one you will probably break it. After all 5 experienced airsofters all managed to.

Second, how to fix or prevent it?

Well, I fixed mine with 2 part metal epoxy resin which seems to have done the trick

Then to stop it happening in the future a new front end such as this from RSOV which protects the vulnerable part (and looks awesome into the bargain)

I still think it’s a great little weapon. Perfect sniper secondary or CQB gun. Just be aware what you’re letting yourself in for.

********** 28/08/2012***********

Swampy edit….

After playing with the PDW in a couple of open woodland and semi woodland games it was good to get to use the MP5 in a full on CQB game setting at the Stan in Sheffield. With 6 mags and a recently added reflex sight (v cheap imports) it was a cracking little gun for the tight corners and limited space at the Stan. Saw people with M4’s and AK’s struggling in the corridors and stairwells and for me (and I think spider too although haven’t asked him) it was a dream. Collapsible stock was a boon too allowing for side swaps at short notice and never felt encumbered by the rig that I used with it. Looking forward to the next CQB site…

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So its a week to go till GZ for the Raps after a two year hiatus (thankfully thursday camping is back on). The itinerary is set and the tour begins 25/08 with a trip to [REDACTED– Won’t be much of a surprise if we tell them now will it? – Spider] and possibly perhaps maybe a trip to an Airsoft store. Who knows hehehe

In honour of the trip and the fact I have broken 4 cheap radio headsets i decided to get a new throat mic.

Iasus Concepts NT3 Black Ops system. Bought and shipped from Hong Kong for under a ton (including adaptor for my motorola) it took only 36 hours to reach the UK and then the usual 8 days to get from ‘The International Hub’ of stupidity to Rotherham Depot. Still its here and in one peice and looks the Mutts. Tried throat mics before with some success but they were the cheaper wired kind that form a C shape around the throat. This is a full belt deal and fits perfectly and is comfy. Comes with optional ear pieces (not at extra cost!) and the acoustic tubing is adjustable by trimming and using a spacer which is secure and works a treat. Testing to follow shortly.

Soooooo had some time in the months leading up to GZ to sort out all of the Airsoft related jobs that get forgotten about and they are nearly done.  List was getting silly so got stuck into a new Ghillie Suit first.  Ive had some Jack Pycke Netting (like net curtain netting) for some time and thought it would make a decen t base for a suit.  SO using a boiler suit as a template a new one has duly been cerated.  Its the last of my old batch of camo scraps so its been bulked with torn up flecky material which isnt ideal but will do.  Looks the biz so the MKIV suit to be started this winter will definitely be on this theme as far as a base goes.  As for the hessian (dont like jute it tends to clump) Im not going to go down the route of using upholsterers webbing as it is messy and takes a shit load of time to unravel for the fibres.  Instead its gonna be natural hessian thread / twine home dyed in my choice of shades.  More to come later…

Finally in swamp at the minute has been my rather dissapointing ( in terms of performance) CO2 powered Umarex USP.  Sold as having a variable hop (which it doesnt) has lead to me not skirmishing it and sitting looking at it longingly and contemplating another purchase I decided to try and mod it.  After all if I knack it then theres no option but to buy a new one.

So after handing it around half a dozen people finally figured out how to field strip it.  Very simple if not given to a bunch of bozo’s.  Simply depress the breech cover ( mine is NBB by the way) and slide the slide back and lift from the rear.  Confronted with an alloy block holding the inner barrel, which was disassembled it allowed me to drill and tap a small grub screw into said block which sits neatly over the tiny hop ring inside (it does have a hop ring…) once done variable hop.  Pics to follow if I can be arsed.

H&K USP CO2 Airsoft

Anyhooooooooo thats all for now and for those that are bothered…. 160 odd hours to go.

Link to there throat mic here

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Well I took the better half up on the offer of an early Christmas present in time for the Anzio trip so I ordered the SRC M4 SR933 VerIII.

Bit of a mouthful but basically a CQB length (not one of the Micro jobbies) m4 extendable stock.  Also got three lipo batts and a new charger.  After my last foray into lipo which left me angry with a broken gun and batt, i decided to tame it down so went for 7.4v 20c 1200 mah batts plus balancing charger.

All at a very good rate from the store that shall not be mentioned….

Will write up when it gets here.

Oh… resisted the urge to Magpul it up the cahooney after ribbing Spider all sunday for looking elite.  And tan.  And like a wookie. ….. / teddy bear……./shit stain.

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