^ @ Brian D.
RE: Browning Hi-Power replicas -
Like I said before, I'm embarrassingly out-of-date regarding the last decade's worth of airsoft advancements (and there actually have been plenty!)
- but I do remember this one from when I was active in the hobby/sport:http://www.dentrinity.com/Topics/Taiwan.htm
^ Taken from the Hong Kong airsoft retailer Den Trininty
, the Tanaka Works (Japanese airsoft manufacturer) Browning Hi-Power, "Taiwanese Government Model," which uses a licensed copy of the (at-that-time) highly successful Western Arms (another Japanese airsoft manufacturer - a *very* highly respected one; my WA Hi-Cap Series "CQB Special" 2011 replica, bought new in 1999 by me as my main skirmish gaming sidearm, is now easily older than many airsoft skirmish gamers
, but it's still performing admirably) Magna BlowBack GBB mechanism and Type-R magazine valve technologies, is a copy of what the Taiwanese government issued long ago. My grandfather probably had one (he retired a one-star General in the Taiwanese Army), and I had desperately wanted one at the time.
From that article, it's clear that there have been older Hi-Power replicas of varying mechanics (external propellant tanks, as the article mentioned of one of the earliest replicas, was still popular in supporting serious BB-IPSC replicas even during the time I was active in the hobby: as with paintball markers, the external reservoirs allowed for better gas pressure regulation as well as a larger supply). However, as I just confessed, I've been out of the hobby so long I honestly don't know if there've been more recent, modern, attempts, too.
@ Brian D.
RE: magazine changes -
Yep, this is an area that's much better done with our real firearms, either with or without snap-caps/dummy-rounds. There's just too much risk involved in ditching an airsoft magazine like that...not just in terms of damaging the magazines (which ain't cheap), but also in terms of damaging either your floor surface or smashing your feet/toes!
and Brian D.
RE: propellant technology -Brian D.
is right-on regarding the fact that the gas is only used as propellant.
Electric guns - where a "Mechbox" drives an air-piston (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlW11m5d4Uk
- one type of which is detailed in this YouTube video) were at one point only "skirmish viable" in the long-gun format, with electric pistol replicas relegated to the role of true "kids toys," even in the Far East. By the time I got out of the hobby in the mid-'00s, there were a few electric-driven pistols that were starting to become near-skirmish-capable, but I'm not sure how far that actually went, nor am I up-to-date on their current status.
While gas-guns usually utilized the removable magazine to also store and supply propellant gas (thus insuring that every incoming magazine - be it a tactical reload or an emergency one - would also come with a fresh supply of critically necessary propellant for its load of BBs), battery-operated long-guns usually utilized either the buttstock or the foregrip to store a compact rechargeable power-pack to drive the Mechbox. Some even utilized mock-ups (or even "functional") rail attached accessory replicas (i.e. a fake AN/PEQ2) to house the battery pack. Batteries were either direct take-offs of other rechargeable hobby items/toys (RC cars) or were even custom-made to fit more specialized setups (say, an ACE Skeleton Stock or the battery compartments of a VLTOR Modstock for the M4-type replicas). Service life of these NiCd or NiMH (again, I've lost touch with current technology
) would be the same as that of the RC hobby setup. I usually traveled to regional "big games" with a car-charger and several battery packs for each replica that utilized such.
As with the fact that the metal pressure-vehicle magazine is often the most massive component of an airsoft GBB pistol - thus shifting its balance as compared to its real-steel counterpart - the battery pack can well be the heaviest component of an electric airsoft long-gun replica, and thus can also shift the weight in a less-than-realistic manner and affecting handling/manipulations practice.
I've not yet had experience with a modern gas-propelled fully-automatic airsoft long-gun, though. My gas-operated long-guns include a Maruzen "sawed-off" M870 replica that uses a refillable-vessel gas-propellent cartridge that goes in the pistol-stock, a semi-auto airsoft Remington 1100 replica (this one is tons of fun, it ejects spent shells just like its real-steel counterpart) which held gas in a similar cartridge that occupied is entire full buttstock, a Tanio Koba 10/22 replica (that cost $700 !!! imagine that!!! ) that uses a detachable magazine in the way of the pistols, and a gorgeous old Asahi Walther WA2000 replica that can either feed externally or internally. Oh, and then there's also the Craft Apple Works 40mm RGL.....
Japan and other areas of the Far East also see collectors of replica guns that cycle/eject specialty inert (non-projectile) "replica rounds" with a loud muzzle report and even muzzle blast.
RE: SIRT -
I was introduced to the SIRT by a local trainer up here in NE-Ohio, and they seemed to have gained in popularity over the last two years. It's really a very cool tool, especially if you shoot Glocks (where you can get pretty close to the trigger feel/function for most - 1911s, S&W, XD? sadly, not so much) or the AR.
It's been quite a while since I've played with one...I don't remember if it's firing "click" is loud enough to trigger a shot-timer or the iPhone/iPOD shot-timer app.....
I keep wondering if you can pair it with a LaserLyte trainer in the manner that Lenny Magill did with his Glock Self Resetting Trigger and the LaserLyte targets. In his concealed-carry videos, he used a shot-timer paired with the above setup for indoor practice.
Mike71 wrote:Good stuff Allen. I've been naturally steered away from air soft due to how it's presented and marketed. It's easy to not look past the surface of the adolescent zombie crap that seems to be attached to a lot of products. They always seemed like toys to me. After reading what you wrote its nice to see that there's far more beyond what's on the package of an air soft gun.
Glad to hear it.
Airsoft really has been one of just a very limited number of ways many of our overseas brothers and sisters are able to enjoy the shooting sports. I think the American Gun Culture and how many of us have grown up as kids with BB guns and pellet guns really forced us into viewing airsoft with a bit of understandable "cultural displacement."