Me and my Big Mouth!
Thumpy’s quest for the best-in-airsoft, and AIRSOFT INNOVATION, began with a forum thread on Arnie’s Airsoft in the winter of 2009. This was supposed to be “the dawn of a new age” in airsoft, as “blowback” came to AEG’s, and was soon-to-be-followed by the first new generation of “blowback” gas rifles.
Blowback could have been a great idea, if it added to the experience of making an airsoft gun more realistic in its basic touch-and-feel…but it seemed to Thumpy and lots of other players to be just another gimmick to sell guns that were far less capable than they could be. And, far less in their potential for realism, rugged reliability and added accuracy that players around the world have been begging for from manufacturers and retailers for years.
“ MANUFACTURERS: We do NOT want blow back!, Give us a break and make strong accurate weps! DARE YOU!”
The Winter of our Discontent
Thumpy’s gauntlet toss at the airsoft industry was simple: “I can’t think of anything LESS useful than the current crop of gas or electric guns with fakey blow-back bolt operation. The blowback is not strong enough to truly simulate recoil of a real-steel gun, unless your girly arms can’t hold one still…and its just one more thing to break that adds nothing to the actual skirmishability of a gun.”
And, he followed with four simple suggestions.
A) Solid, like a real gun
B) Accurate at a reasonable range
C) Innovative in a new design of mechanism to propel and guide the rounds/bb’s
D) Affordability, which will come with common-sense engineering.”
The thread, posted on Arnie’s on February 7th, 2009, touched a nerve with airsofters like few others. Thumpy and other Arnie’s ‘regulars’ linked to a prior thread, asking why airsoft gun owners were spending ever-growing sums of money for guns that were, frankly, no where near as durable or mechanically reliable as they could be. Some airsofters suggested that they were actually spending MORE on their airsoft guns that comparable real-steel rifles, carbines and pistols, yet they seems to be mired in technology from the 60’s and 70’s, that more-times-than-not broke just hours out-of-the-box.
In just days, the “Innovation” thread became a sounding board for what people liked…and did NOT like… in the current crop of weapons for sale in the airsoft market. And, by March, 2009, the thread totaled 460 posts…one of the most-read and responded-to threads of the year. And, who responded? Not just players with gripes or complaints, but some of the innovative thinkers who got “outside the box,” discussing alternative power sources, replacements and enhancements for mechboxes, new engineering and manufacturing ideas for improving reliability, durability, ease of maintenance, and accuracy…yet keeping safety at the center of any proposed innovations.
“The ideas behind the thread was to generate interest with manufacturers,” Thumpy said,” and, lo-and-behold, some responded.” One of the first was KWA-USA, which was already well on the way to establishing itself as a new force in airsoft. Long-known for their well-manufactured Gas Blow Back (GBB) pistols, they had just announced the KG36C Commando, and a new line of M4 & M16 variants, with rugged gearboxes, and “LiPo-ready” wiring in a stock gun. In the several months that followed, KWA USA announced more INNOVATIVE products, including GBB Sub Machine Guns (SMG’s), the most highly anticipated being a GBB MP-7, now on the scene.
Others stepped up to opine about the lack of durability, what they would like to see for realism, extended range and accuracy, and overall improvements.
You be the judge. Innovation in airsoft is our quest, and with even more manufacturers, importers, retailers and engineers and gun-plumbers working hard behind-the-scenes, we want to take you inside the newest, hottest, next-generation airsoft and MilSim gear, guns, guys and gals, and great sites….Here in America, and around The Globe.
Hang on, this is going to be a fun ride!