Friday, October 17, 2008

Airsoft: For Passionate Geeks, Like Me

It has always been one of greatest fascinations: firearms. Yes, you may say that I watched to many movies, I've played too many games and I've dreamed one too many dreams. How can a mechanism that sends small projectiles flying through the air at high speeds be interesting? I don't know. What I do know is boys like me are often fascinated by technology and the mechanics of how particular machinery works. I don't even know what I'm talking about.

What do you do, when you're a guy like me, who love firearms but do not want to hurt anyone in the process of collecting them?

The Answer is : AIRSOFT

Airsofts are replicas of firearms that actually shoots (not bullets, but little pellets called BBs). These guns come in two flavors: battery powered and gas blowbacks. I can't tell the actual difference in performance of the two. What amazes me is the striking resemblances of the airsofts with its real life counterparts. The magazine is loaded the same way. Every little details are crafted to near perfection. Its like they're made by the same mold. There are differences, though, from the real ones:

1. They're made of plastic.
2. They're lighter.
3. When fired, no muzzle flash, no recoil.
4. Most noticeable, the tip of the barrel is marked red or orange - I assume its a part of regulations to enable law enforcers to identify them as non-lethal replicas.

Here's one of my favourites, which costs USD 21.95 (USD 19.50 on sale):

This is what I believe to be the replica of G36 from German's H&K. Its a spring airsoft, which requires you to cock for every shot. Spring airsofts are the most low cost and easy maintenance of all airsofts due to the absence of the need to replace batteries and gases, also there's few parts to disassemble.

Here is the real life model - A G36C (A C variation because the barrel length is reduced for close quarters operations). This one has a 30mm launcher attachment below the barrel.

My second favourite is the M249 SAW, with this one pricing at USD 499 (USD 375 on discount, GOSH!):

This airsoft has a large portion of metal parts, which explains the price. Here's a little background: the M249 SAW (small automatic weapon) is a light machinegun meant to be portable and flexible for the infantry to carry into combat. Fires 5.56 mm rounds, weighing around 5.1 kg (w/o ammunition), touted as SAW because it is believed to be able to cut a man in two when fired fully auto. Currently by US Marines as a part of infantry (used to suppress enemy infantry).

Below is the real M249. Looks pretty much the same, isn't it?

This is also on my wishlist, the FN F2000 (USD 139.00):

For those of you who are familiar with splinter cell, the FS2000 could be a familiar face. Its a Belgian made 5.56mm bullpup (a bullpup is a rifle that has its mag and action behind the trigger). The airsoft model is actually the basic model. It is bulky but it looks like one of those futuristic sci-fi rifles, straight outta Halo.

This is the real thing. The FN FS2000 (with an "S") . This one has a mounted scope sight and an underslung 40mm launcher.

I think I could afford the price, given that I'd save enough money for months (and not just a few months, say I'll have to get a PT job). However, there is always a catch for all things good - spoiling the fun and joy. Malaysia has a strict policy against firearms and its replicas (even the non-firing ones too). So, it means attempting to own, transport, and sell one of these will have them consfiscated and you facing legal consequences.

I have thought of smuggling one of these babies but the risk is just too big. I really really wanted these for a long long long time. Maybe I should work hard for paintballing equipment. I heard there are modification that can make your paintball gun to look like an MP5 or an M4.

The Belgian P90 PDW. The most awesome modern SMG, ever.

The unrequited love that I know will never work. I am heartbroken.

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