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kit - Raptors Airsoft

Archive for the ‘kit’ Category

As part of this years fashion upgrade I was pointed in the direction of a nice piece of kit from everyone’s favourite Gucci supplier UK Tactical. Renowned for being a bit pricey, their service and quality justify this price in my mind. Yes I’m a geardo and yes you can get 5.62 pouches from China but that’s not why I do the Airsoft.

The holster is relatively low profile, ATACS all over and importantly adjustable for lots of different frame sizes. It has overlapping Velcro panels that allow you to get the fit and retention you want. A neat thumb action unlock allows for a smooth draw. Very happy.

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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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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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Back again for some more!

Just a mere 2 weeks since our last visit we were once again at the still new NSC Site, East Boldon.

Another warm day, this time we brought a couple of buddies along to give NSCs new site another bash – and hopefully not get lost this time!

A familiar format started the day off.

Good briefs and chronos all round then off to a limited site game over quite a short range. Plenty of respawns to encourage players to get stuck in and get moving. Simple shoot and scoot also lets new players, of which there were plenty, get used to the AEGs and to getting shot!

Knock Knock?....

Knock Knock?… shortly before the gearbox gave out.

The next game was similar to the sequential fall back game we had on our last visit. On the defence to start with on this occasion. The lack of breeze let us rack up some pleasing long shots into the surrounding long grass as the attackers tried to flank us, but with everyone making good use of pyro on this game day it was a lot harder to maintain a defensive line.

Defending the bunkers especially became more difficult. We had to work hard to keep the attackers away from the breach point into each bunker, sometimes with some judicious use of flashbangs ourselves! It certainly made the game flow a lot faster.

Bugger…

It was during this game that sod’s law cam into full effect. After finding a great low key position to unleash some particularly sneaky shots into the backs of the opfor my Cyma AK105 gearbox gave up (see video!). I cannot really complain about it too much, except over it’s sense of timing. It has weathered much abuse over the last few years, all with a stock gearbox and run on 11v lipo, albeit mainly on semi-auto fire. So my next job before my next game day is decided for me, I suspect a new piston is due, and maybe a mosfet. We will have to see…

To cheer myself up I unleashed a trip mine as we fell back. A quick couple of minutes supported by buddies and the rear of the Garage had a lovely surprise for the attackers in store. Must admit to chuckling quite a bit as one unsuspecting player bimbled obligingly into it – all caught on the gopro for a change as well!

A quick spot of lunch and we were back out for our next game. This time a locate and rescue the hostage type scenario. Heat and post lunch laziness meant we really just spread out as a long straggly line and started covering the site trying to find the opposition. The hostage takers had helpfully clustered together, so once a firefight broke it didn’t take too long for our team to converge on that spot and drive them back towards their spawn. Once there it was pretty much impossible for them to get back into the fight. Hostage rescued, medals all round!

The next game was our turn to attack the fall back scenario. By this point the heat was taking its toil. Rather unimaginatively we resorted to copious amounts of pyro to dislodge dogged defenders. Sometimes it’s the only way…

It was good to get back again. The guys at NSC had done some work clearing out the passageways around the bunkers making progress more certain under foot and therefore a lot faster. It was also obvious players were getting to grips with the site and learning the best ways into areas.

The numbers were well up as well. Probably double that of a couple of weeks ago as word gets out about the new site. Some new young players getting into airsoft for the first time which can only be good for it, and well played to them as well as they got stuck in.

Only things I can think of suggesting from this game day?
It will be great when the large factory building gets brought into play more. No idea what structures could be placed in there, but seems such a shame it’s not utilised more (yet!).

Whilst I appreciate the marshals are learning the site as much as the players, some different games (already promised when we chatted) would be great. Maybe some domination type stuff with opposing team trying to gain control of bunkers? My own preference is for long duration site wide games to sneak about in, but I appreciate that not everyone goes for that – and it was great to hear the plans for night games are already under way, the site should be fantastic for that.

Does my arm look big in this?

One final comment on the game day. Arm bands. With so many new players, and players who don’t know each other pink tape armbands were dished out for one team. I understand why, I really do. I just don’t like them. I love the chaos of players having to check their targets and being able to bluff someone with a wave. Having a bright pink thing on my arm really can make hiding quite difficult. If arm bands are to be used on one team then maybe black? or both teams to wear them if bright? It’s a small niggle I know. But for a self confessed sneaky sod it does feel like it hampers me. It’s not like it even stops my own team shooting me.. Does it Derka? Well? Does it?….

Overall?

Great day, hot, tiring, bust a gearbox, and still enjoyed myself immensely

Intel

For those of you heading to NSC Urban we’ve knocked together a quick map.

And for those awkward situations…

Last comment! We placed a pyro order with a new supplier of all things boom in the north east, Jack Rabbit paintball and airsoft. If you fancy a bulk purchase, maybe you’re playing as a team and want to club together, or you just through pyro as fast as Swampy then get in touch with them. They looked after us well and after blowing almost all of this in one game day I’m sure we’ll be back for more – and they didn’t even have to bribe us for the mention!

Things that maek you go

Things that make you go boom!…

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After a bit of a strip down and a clean my 96 was playing up a bit. The symptoms were the bolt was very stiff going forwards and backwards, sometimes jamming up.

After carefully checking the grub screws in the otherwise excellent pdi hop unit which can protrude into the nozzle grove if not careful and obstruct the last 20mm of movement in the bolt, I managed to eventually pin down the issue.

Essentially a grub screw which secures the outer barrel to breech block needed to be so tight that it was deforming the outer barrel. This was because over time the thread had worn and the screw needed to be really wound in to get purchase.

The remedy!

First up, a slightly larger grub screw (M3 in this case) fitted (see below) tapping the hole out to receive it. You could probably do this by just winding the screw in carefully to the block as it’s fairly soft metal. (remember to keep backing off and use lubricant – ooer missus!). Then simply cut the grub screw to length required.
breech block
Next up, you can see the damage done to the outer barrel here. This was evident inside as well with a pimple forming that was preventing bolt movement. Bit of patient use with a dremel or round file sorts this (and if you can be bothered a polishing wheel on the dremel to finish off the inside and make it slide smoothly in and out… No this is not scripted by Frankie Howard)
barrel thread

That should do it…

Whilst it was apart I grabbed a photo of the set pin mod. This failed a while ago when a stronger spring was fitted. (Originally a Well MB01, about 6 years ago!). Rather than payout £150+ for a laylax trigger block I found a piece of key steel (the part between door handles works well) followed by a bit of measuring, a hacksaw and some finishing off on a grinding wheel (a file would do just as well) and voila, you have a bomb proof set pin for about an hours work and about 2.5% of the cost!
set pin

Hope this helps at some point!

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We don’t really do much in the way of kit reviews as we only talk about kit we actually own and use, and obviously nobody sends us free stuff to comment on and review (although if you are manufacturer or retailer and are looking for a mention we have negotiable morals depending on the size of the freebies!…)

But saw this via Popular Airsoft. It is actually the first Airsoft Weapon in a long while that made me think “I want one now!”… Now all that remains is to find the price and eta!

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Interesting article on Popular Airsoft about the motorola tx 700 tactical comms system, a ruggedised mobile smartphone style handset that provides first resposnders with comms, both mobile network and PTT radio and position data and availability.

Wonder what tarriff they're on?


The article has plenty of comments on how the milsim players will love it, I guess satisfying both the “real steel” obsession and the geardo inside us all.

A large percentage of airsofters already use comms of varying degrees of sophistication (see Swampys post), and I think positional and tactical data may well be the next level of softing. I use positioning a lot in my life outside of airsoft, so it was with interest I came across this website. Battletac Milsim GPS tracking.

First impressions are quite good, running from a browser on most smartphones or PDAs it requires a gps if you wish to broadcast your position, although you can see other units with that. It does require a data connection. You are required to create a login, although it is free at this stage there are addons and dedicated hardware available for purchase, and unit security is provided via a user created password you can distribute amongst your allies.

So what do you get?

There he is...


The map screen (above) is a screenshot example. You get a fully zoomable google map with your allied units overlaid. You can pan and examine areas, or go straight to your location. You can go into the menu and there is a whole host of settings for you to screw about with…

Settings


SF for me obviously...

Two more functions which may prove useful are the message function which allows you to broadcast message over virtual radio channels, which automatically appears on any screen logged in to your channel.

Listen to me!

and the unit status, which then removes dead units from the display, ensuring anyone making tactical decision is doing so from available allies.

Is he dead yet?

There are of course a stack of other functions available, and the website shows it in use for a base commander with a very nice setup of course.

Will I use it? well, it is only of any use if several of you agree to use it and it does have that magic price tag of free! I can see it being of some use on big games such as the Ground Zero weekender where I always seem to lose buddies. It does eat battery power as it requires a data connection, screen on and gps to be running all the time, but this can be compensated for a little by slowing the update rate – in tests a HTC Desire (android OS) and a iPhone (not mine I hasten to add) lasted 3-4 hours without too much trouble. So team this up with an external power pack such as these and you should be set for a full day at least.

Word of caution; I have no idea what amount of data is used. If you have a restrictive tariff it may well be worth checking first! If anyone does give it a bash please let us know, it would be very interesting to hear some views on whether it enhanced your airsoft or just proved a pain and got turned off after 5 mins…

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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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New stuff is always good. So I’m looking forward to trying out some new mags for the AK105. So far the gun has been simply awesome (probably the kiss of death I know…) But my AK magazines are getting a bit tired and unreliable. So, to try and calm down my trigger finger now I’m using 11v LiPo batteries I thought some mid caps would be in order. Hence a new box of ten Star 105 round mags and a molle pouch capable of holding 6.

Also arrived this week, I’m sure everyone will be glad to hear, a re-supply of the Raptors favourite sniping ammo.

I’m at NSC this week, so an update on their effectiveness to follow!

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