Checking In

So it’s been a while since I’ve written any articles and I have no excuse as to why. Is life considered a valid excuse? Regardless, I have been knee deep in airsoft lately and thought that instead of writing a lengthy article on each subject (disclaimer, I still might do in-depth write ups on the interesting/informative items), I would just give a quick list of stuff that has been going on:

  • Recently sold Project POS 90 to a local player/shop owner.
  • Picked up a used G&G L85A1.
  • Picked up a used CA M249 MKII (thought it was an Echo 1 but the internals tell the tale!).
  • Started a milsim airsoft community for Buffalo, NY; Detachment 61.
  • Starting a new team, DET61 Wrecking Crew.
  • Picked up a used KWA 1911 MKII.
  • Found almost 2 complete TM AUGs worth of parts in a random box.
  • Playing with Kydex to create Tornado Grenade holsters.

See, lot’s of fun things going on that I’ve been keeping you out of the loop on. Unintentionally of course. I will do my best to start snapping photos and doing write ups in the very near future.

Posted in Quick Update

Project: POS90

As with most older airsoft enthusiasts, I’m finding myself having more bench-time than field-time these days. Work, family, house.. as the responsibility stack up, the less time I seem to have to hit the field. So the next best thing is bench time; upgrading, repairing, tweaking, testing… I have no shortage of airsoft related projects and doubt I ever will.

For a while now I have been wanting to pick up a complete waste of a gun and see if I could successfully rehab it back to a field-worthy condition. I have done upgrades in the past, even complete mechbox rebuilds, but this time I wanted a real challenge. My requirements were basic:

1) Find a gun I have never owned before.
2) It must contain a mechbox I have never worked on before which at the date of the search, were versions 5 (TM UZI),6 (P90, Thompson SMG),7 (M14).
3) It must cost less than $100.
4) It must be a Tokyo Marui.
5) It must be in relatively poor condition.

A real challenge, but not impossible. Like I said, I have a ton of projects on my bench so I wasn’t actively looking to start this one until I saw a posting on a local airsoft forum for a Tokyo Marui P90. The P90 never really appealed to me. The funky mags, the short inner barrel, limited size battery compartment, lack of accessories and the list just keeps growing. This P90 looked beat.. I mean, border line abused. Being that it fit all 5 points of my project requirements and that I can’t stand to see a Marui in this condition, I decided to pull the trigger and make this P90 my project.

When the P90 got to my door, the first thing I did was shoulder it and just get a feel for it. It’s extremely ergonomic though I can’t say I care for how close my hands are when gripping the forward area. I can deal as I’m sure it will just take time to get use to the feel. After a complete once-over, I found the following problems outside of the gearbox:

- Trigger: The trigger pull is hard, muddy and does not return to neutral once released.

- Red dot: The red dot does not turn on and is extremely loose in the receiver housing.

- Flash hider: Sporting a lovely orange painted metal birdcage M4 flash hider.

- Butt plate: The stock butt plate was replaced with an extender for larger batteries.

- Mechbox bracket: Non-existent! The mechbox was being held in by a plastic shard with a screw.

Left: What was holding the mechbox in.
Right: What SHOULD HAVE BEEN holding the mechbox in.

I have already started triaging and discovered that the missing mechbox bracket was causing the mechbox to slide back in the body when the trigger was pulled, which caused the muddy trigger issue. Once I replaced the mechbox bracket, the trigger tightened up. I still have a ways to go and until the mechbox is in working order I have no definitive way of being positive, but at this early in the project every little victory motivates me to press on.

With a list like the above, I was already starting to fear the conditions of the mechbox and internals. I was right to be worried:

- Mechbox shell: Missing a screw, other screws were loose buy 4-5 revolutions.
- Slide/Lock plate: Missing.
- Cut off lever: Broken & spring missing.
- Wiring: Half-assed wired to large Tamyia.
- Bushings: Plastic and worn.
- Bevel gear: Stripped teeth which sent metal shavings throughout the entire mechbox.
- Lube: The gears are bone dry and crusty, gear grease used in the cylinder/piston.
- Shimming: The gears move in a big way, not a single shim found.



Ugh, what a mess… PERFECT!

I have shopped what I consider the essential parts to get the AEG back to field worthy status and to my surprise it wasn’t nearly as expensive as I thought:

1 x Tokyo Marui P90 Mechbox Bracket
1 x Echo1 P90 / E90 Mech Box Lock/Slide Plate
1 x Echo1 / Matrix Factory Cut Off Lever for P90
1 x G&P Ultra Precision Gun Smith Gearbox Shim Set
1 x Echo1 P90 / E90 Mech Box Screw set
1 x Guarder / Element 6mm Steel Bushing for Ver. 6
1 x Replacement OEM P90 Stock Butt Plate

That totals to about $60 USD before shipping. I already have a stock bevel gear so no need to order another.

To Do:
- Hop-up: I tested the hop up and have visually confirmed that it is engaging. Whether or not it will hold up in the field is another can of worms that I will have to wait for field trials to confirm.

- Inner Barrel: Currently stock, but I do rock Prometheus tight bores in almost all my AEGS.

- Flash hider: I have a few options here. Standard P90 flash hider or go with a longer and run a faux suppressor or the PS90 outer barrel extension. I’m leaning more towards the flash hider and keeping the stock config.

- Mags & Pouches: No doubt I will want a grip of mid-caps as I currently only have 1 stock TM low-cap. To carry the new mags, I have been eye-balling the Bulle P90 mag pouches and am seriously considering giving them a go.

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Posted in Projects

Review: Hatch XTAK Knee Pads

Package: 1x pair of knee pads.
Type: Gear / Protection
Rating: 5/5
Cost: $13-18 USD

I hate knee pads. They are hot, uncomfortable, and slide off the knee at the first hint of movement. While I do see the value and safety offered by knee pads in airsoft, I still hate them with the fire of 10,000 suns… which accounts for my many knee injuries while playing airsoft. To combat these injuries, I decided to bite the bullet and suck up the fact that knee pads are essential safety gear, second only to the eye-pro. I dusted off my old Blackhawk kneepads put them on, and shed a tear, remembering what a hassle/PITA they are. I told this tale of woe to a pal in SoCal and he sung the praises of the XTAK line from Hatch, suggesting I give it a go.

Hatch describes the XTAK as follows:

Extremely light and flexible, yet this all-new design provides superior protection and shock absorption with the flexibility to move the way your body moves. XTAK is the lightest, strongest product of its kind ever created.

  • Unique X-shaped thermal plastic urethane (TPU) shell
  • EVA high-density foam for superior shock absorption
  • Lightweight TPU and Cordura® nylon construction
  • Forceful spring-back action that gives you the protection you need
  • Cool Max™ inner surface for wicking moisture away
  • Anti-skid inner surface to keep pad secured
  • Spandex adjustable straps with Hatch Rapid Deployment Clips and hook & loop closure for secure fit
  • Available in black, desert tan, digitized camo and OD

 


I picked up my pair from a random Amazon vendor for $16 and two days later they were on my door step. My first impression was the XTAK were much smaller than my old Blackhawk pair but once I didn’t really care. Inside the pad, there is an anti-skid layer of what feels like neoprene that offers extra impact cushioning and keeps the pad from traveling.

Natually, the classic and beloved QD buckle system keeps the pad tight against the knee. I did a few jumping jacks, ran a few times up and down my 120′ driveway and to my surprise, the pads actually stayed in place! Also inside the pad is a Cool Max layer that is designed to wisk away moisture that I have yet to try out.

The front of the kneed pad is made of Cordura nylon wth a “Unique X-shaped thermal plastic urethane (TPU) shell” attached. When I took a knee, I was a little unstable at first but now I can definitely see the increase in mobility and movement the TPU shell gives the pad. The TPU shell is riveted onto the pad itself which gives me a sense of durability and longevity.

In conclusion, the Hatch XTAK might be the knee pad that wins me over. With its rugged design, comfortable padding and innovative TPU shell, this pad far exceeds any expectation I had when ordering. The only real con I can speak of is when standing and locking my knees, I feel like I’m going to teeter forward. This might just be me and without a significant field trial to really put the XTAK though the ringer, I’ll chalk this con up to being a concern more than a negative. I’ll update this review again once they have had some field time so I can answer a few of the lingering questions and concerns.

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Posted in Reviews

Review: Marushin Derringer 8mm

Manufacturer: Marushin
Package: 1x pistol, 1x manual, 1x bag of 8mm BBs.
Type: Weapon
Rating: 4/5
Cost: $49.00 USD

Sigh… I’m almost ashamed to even be posting this review, but alas, here I am. The Marushin Derringer came into my possession the same time the X Factor V2 Metal Mesh Mask did but I have been sitting on the review as I have very mixed feelings towards the little derringer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it but I’m far from in love with it. It’s not the gun, it’s me. I wanted so bad the derringer to be a backup for my backup’s backup, but I’m afraid it will forever be relegated as a sneaky/scenario role… which… is exactly what it’s billed as.

The Marushin Derringer has been around for ages but not stocked state-side in any real quantity. When I saw its resurgence on the AEX online store, I made the bold move to pick it up as I had visions of NPC kills and bragging about how I zapped some player with it (like bragging about how you got a knife kill or a took out a squad using a FAMAS). I had seen a team mate outfit his girlfriend with one during a hostage situation and used it with great success. Seeing as I will volunteer for almost any NPC role, I thought it was perfect. I forked over my $50 and in the post it went.

When it arrived, I was surprised at how small it actually was (insert ‘wang’ joke here). Fitting in the palm of my hand, it was perfect for concealed use. The gas reservoir is located in the grip and you only need the smallest of amount of gas to get quite a few shots out of it. To load it, flip the lever on the side of the frame 180 degrees then flip the barrels up. Once up, you simply place one BB into the breech of each barrel, lock the barrels back into place and you’re ready to fire. Accuracy counts as you only have a 2-shot capacity!

The pistol is single action so you will need to cock the hammer for each shot. As an interesting footnote, the bottom barrel fires first, then the top. I tested with 0.34g 8mm Marushin BBs at a range of about 20 feet. All my shots easily hit a man-size target with quiet a resounding slap. Unfortunately my chrono was down so I don’t have an FPS report, but it was hard enough where if you were on the receiving end, you would feel the BB hit. The sights are fixed, the trigger is lack luster.. its just a very simple design that does exactly the job it was designed to do: take down players at close range.

In conclusion, the gun performs exactly as it should. The accuracy needed to reload makes the process time consuming. Add in only having two shots, short range and mediocre accuracy, the Marushin Derringer falls into a very narrow category of skirmishability: NPC, VIP, Civilian, etc rolls that don’t require the user to be combat effective. So, if you are looking for a concealable scenario piece, a wall hanger, or just a fun plinker, the Derringer is right up your alley.

Wait, I almost forgot! During Op: Lightning Strike II at Fort Drum NY, I loaned the Derringer to a fellow staffer to play the night game. When he returned it after the game, he proudly walked up and claimed 2 Derringer kills! The look on his face was enough proof that even with it’s short comings, the Derringer can hold it’s own during a pistol game… in the dark… in the right hands.

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Posted in Reviews

Review: Tactical Tailor 40mm Belt 12rd

Manufacturer: Tactical Tailor
Package: 1x belt.
Type: Gear
Rating: 5/5
Cost: $38.75 USD

In case you haven’t read any of my previous articles, I’m a die-hard Tactical Tailor fan-boy. I don’t have any connection or affiliation to the company, I just really dig the quality products they put out. During my “Pilgrimage to Tactical Tailor“, I picked up a 40mm Belt 12rd in coyote brown to haul my plethora of Madbull and Mosquito Molds gas grenades. I had seen one in use a few years ago at Op: Irene 3 and was determined to get my hands on one eventually but, over time, it had fallen off my radar. When I was in Seattle visiting family, I made it a point to head down to the factory store and finally snag one.

The build quality is amazing. The belt is adjustable and will fit almost every body type out there, be it around the waist or slung bandoleer style over the body. I prefer the ladder for easy accessibility. The rounds are held in place by a loop of elastic and secured by a hook and loop velcro flap. At first I wasn’t sure how secure this would be or if I even trusted my $50+ rounds to make it through a day of play, but all doubts were set aside after a few hours. I ran, dove, crawled and jumped throughout the day with not a single round becoming dislodged.

Overall, I can’t say enough positive things about this belt. While I still will use my HSGI 40mm pouches when less firepower is needed, the 40mm Belt 12rd scratches a very specific itch when quantity is required.. say when you are running the RPG and need to have a grip of 40mm rounds available, or running a revolver launcher like the ICS GLM. If you have the means and are a 40mm hoarder like me, you can pick up a Tactical Tailor 40mm Belt 12rd on the TT website or at a store where quality gear is sold.

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Posted in Reviews