Late 1980s – early 1990s Ranger(ish) reconnaissance photoshoot

A while back I did a photoshoot with the theme of old school reconnaissance. Here are some of the images that came out that day. For more, please head out to my Facebook page. Link below. In addition, please check out my Instagram and Youtube sites as well and like and subscribe!

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Nuprol BOCCA 12″ Rail System – Review

A while ago I made a video about the Nuprol BOCCA 12″ Rail System that I bought from Gunfire. Now that I have had a chance to play with the rail, I have released another video about it. The first video concentrated on the installation of the rail to my G&P upper receiver and the second video is a follow-up video of the small issues that I have faced with the rail since I have been using it. Both videos are available at my Youtube channel or you can view them straight from this post as well, just look below.

The outer finish is bronze or brown and it mimics the Daniel Defense rails that Madbull also makes. This rail does not have the real marking on it, thus having a little more affordable prize tag. The construction is aluminum and the rail feels really sturdy when handling it.

The installation was a real pain. To get the rail to fit to my G&P upper receiver I had to do a lot of filing and re-threading to make it sit and attach properly. While I was researching this, I found mentions that this rail will fit WE, G&G and small modification required with ICS replicas. G&P, at least the upper receiver that I had, required quite a bit of modification before installation was complete. With the mods though, the rail sits very well with the upper receiver without any wobble or play between the parts.

I also encountered some problems with accessories. While I was visiting Milgear, an airsoft store located in Oulu, we tried on several different rail covers for the rail. The only one that fit, with minor modification, was a DBoys modular rail cover, that you can see on the second video. The Eotech and AFG attach without any problems, as their attachment system is different from the Dboys rails. The rails attach with sliding them in place and attaching the last part, which has a small lever that locks the covers in place. The lever attaches to one of the grooves on the rail. These grooves seem to have their own specifications that are different from other rail brands. Nuprol makes their own rail covers as well, but I have not tried them. You would assume that they fit to the rails without problems. Other rail covers from different manufacturers seemed to have some problems and required slight modification when attaching them.

The rail has held up really well in use. I have been using it for a little over  a month now and there are no signs of it failing. All in all, I am really happy with the purchase. Although the installation was difficult, it “brought me closer” to the rail and I like it even more having spent a lot of time installing it. Below are the two videos I have made about the rail. Take a look at them and place, like and subscribe to the Youtube channel. It helps me out a lot!

The Lawmaker – Berget BAVS launcher

I have made yet another video for the YouTube channel. This time I am talking a bit more about the LAW launcher that I use at Berget games. It is an inert LAW which has been fitted with the Berget Anti-Vehicle System, or BAVS. It is custom made by Berget Events and it functions really close if not completely like its real world counterpart. It is one of those things that can bring something a little extra to games. On the video I am talking more about how it works. I love the system and as a milsim player it is an excellent addition to my equipment.

M653 and M727 carbines

Earlier this week I uploaded a new video to my Youtube channel. On the video I am talking about my two AEGs that I have, the M653 and the M727. It is not an in depth video about the two different carbines but rather an overview of them. I do point out the most obvious differences between these rifles on the video.

The M653 was an “as is” purchase from a local airsoft retailer here in Finland. I have done some small upgrades to the replica along the way, most notably the hop up. It’s a G&P and from what I have learned from them, the hop up is something that needs to be changed right off the bat to get better results. The replica will shoot, but shot consistency when taking range and accuracy into account will be a lot better when you change the hop up. On the M653 I have a Prowin rotary hopup and a Madbull hop up bucking. These work really well and the replica shoots better than it did out of the box. Some small internal tuning has also been done to it, but nothing ground breaking. Just enough to make it run smooth and be reliable.

The M727 on the other hand is not an “as is” purchase. The receiver is G&P as well as some of the other parts on the replica, but I also used random parts that I had around when building it. There were some G&P made M727 carbines for sale at an airsoft retailer online, but they were all out of stock at the time when I was looking at them. Nevertheless, making something yourself will make you have a deeper bond to it, right? It took me a while to source all the parts for the replica but when I finally finished it, I was using it in almost every game I went to. It has been my main replica for a long time now. There is just something cool about this specific carbine that pleases me aesthetically.

Here is a link to the video on my Youtube channel. I have another video on the pipeline as well and it should be released in the next few days. Stay tuned, like and subscribe!

Specna Arms SA-B02 Carbine Review

This is something that I have not done in a while for the blog, but decided to go along with it anyway. I bought a Specna Arms “CQB­R” last winter to be used as a loaner gun and also in winter games. Neither of those two options came true and I have mostly been using the gun myself. I had no idea about the brand and decided to look into them a bit more. They are a Hong Kong based company and their aim is to make quality airsoft replicas at a decent price. Sound familiar? It does, doesn’t it. Nevertheless, this company has done something better than the rest who offer the same. In my books, they have combined the best of both worlds and then a little bit more. Read through to see what I mean.

First off, I would like to point out that this is not the average review you find on the internet. My aim is to keep things interesting and if this goes well, these reviews will keep coming. No unboxing reviews or reviews 10 minutes after receiving the gun. I will use the product for a while and test it to see how it performs and where it falls short, and then write an honest review. I’m not an airsoft tech, and probably never will be. I do maintenance to my replicas but if it is something more grandeur than lubricating the gears or changing the piston, I give it to someone else. Usually the tech guy in our airsoft group. I’ve added a few of his ideas in this review as well, when he opened the gun in question here in this review. He knows his gearboxes, and he is rarely wrong.

 

The Gun

All external parts are made of “metal”, as far as the real deal weapons go. Plastic/polymer grip and stock, with the rest being what feels like very sturdy aluminum. The pins seem to be metal. The stock can house a crane type part 9.6v battery or a 7.4/11.1v lipo battery, depending on their style (nunchuck style works well naturally). Personally I run a 7.4v LiPo battery on mine and it runs smooth. I did some internal work on the gearbox after I bought it but more on that later on in the review. My AEG came with mini­-tamiya connectors, which were promptly replaced with Deans connectors as that is what I use in all my replicas and batteries.

Being a “CQB­R” replica, the length is ideal for close quarters battles. I used this gun for a weekend CQB game we did with our team and it performed extremely well. The length is ideal for storming small rooms and covering corners and the RAS system at the front makes placing attachments easy. We all love our tactical accessories, right? I ran a SureFire LED light and a laser on mine, which made it a bit front heavy. Nevertheless, I found that these two were useful in the game area and playstyle we had. Without them, the gun is very well balanced. It is still front heavy as you would expect, but it is not bad.

There is some play between the upper and lower receivers, the stock and just a little bit with the front rails, but nothing earth shattering. It is better than what you would expect from a replica inside this price range. There are some laser engraved trademarks on the gun, including the usual safe, semi and auto markings on the fire selector and “Marine Env M4” text with a USMC style logo and “556mm NATO” marking and serial number below it. The other side of the replica also has the selector switch marking and “Specna Arms Industries” text just next to the magazine release.

Overall the external quality of the replica is average to above average for this price. I see nothing breaking in normal airsoft use. You cannot abuse these replicas as you could real firearms anyway.

 

Deeper Look

Specna Arms have, in some of their models, a quick spring change system that they have branded “Enter & Convert”. My replica has a spring change feature but it is not the same as their enter and convert system. According to the Specna Arms webpage, spring change should take around 30 seconds and can be done by minimal dismantle of the replica. I have to disassemble most of the weapon to change the spring. I like the feature to remove and change the spring, of course, but it is a bit tedious. Apparently the feature for a quicker spring change is not for all of their models. I recommend contacting the shop you are getting yours from and asking before purchasing if it is something that you are looking for as a feature. Nevertheless, the option to remove the spring is very handy when it comes to opening the gearbox. What makes it even better, is that this replica comes with a 90ms spring as well as the stronger spring that is already pre­installed into the weapon. Very cool in my books.

Something that I usually find lacking in most replicas I buy is the hop up rubber. As it was the case, I changed the original from this replica as well to another one. The original was not bad but I knew it could be better with the right one. Since I changed the stronger spring to the weaker one I also wanted to change the hop up rubber to a softer one which would work better with the less powerful spring. This would be my CQB weapon after all. Changing the hop up was no different from the usual replicas that you can find.

The gearbox. This left the tech guy I was talking about a bit puzzled. For the price of the gun, these are his words, the gearbox was not half bad. It had metal bearings (nice addition!) and the air tightness of the nozzle/cylinder/piston was not bad either. I cannot speak for all of their model range as I have only owned one, but it was better than we expected. Shimming was something that the tech in question had to redo, but he is a bit like that. He always, _always_, re­shims his replicas. Not necessarily a bad option, but for me, if it works, I won’t open it until it breaks! He also changed the AoE for the piston and sector gear (this was done by adding sorbothane to the cylinder head) and filed the gearbox at the front of the cylinder to prevent cracks. Not that they would be that big of a problem for a low powered replica, but these are something to consider. You also need to consider the fact that if you do the mentioned modifications, you loose your warranty on the replica. Bear this in mind before opening your replica. I recommend asking the shop if they can do these modifications. If not, everything is at your own risk. After the magic was done to the gearbox (very much grease on the gears, had to redo that as well) the running sound changed to the better and it was ready.

 

Conclusions and field report

As I wrote before, I never write reviews until I am satisfied that I have tested the replica as much as possible in order to write a good review. I have owned this replica for about 7 months now and it has seen quite a few games. I am happy at how it performs. I use regular 90 capacity metal magazines from various brands and every one of them has worked in this replica so far.Some are a bit more loose than the others but every one of them holds and do not fall without releasing them.

I have ran about 10 000 BB’s through the replica without problems. No sign of anything breaking or anything towards that end. I did do some changes to the gearbox but no parts were changed, they are all original. They were just modified (AoE, sorbothane, filing to prevent cracks, shimjob, grease). These are something that are recommended by many airsoft techs for players, if they want their replicas to last. Naturally, if you have no idea what you are doing, get someone else to do it for you. And also keep in mind that you loose your warranty for the replica. Some replicas even have these done to them at the factory, but this is rare and is usually only found on higher end replicas.

Final thoughts? I can recommend this gun. For the price that it carries, it is very well built. It can perform well right out of the box and with some small fine tuning, it can perform even better and will last you a long time. If these guys come out with some interesting “old school” models, I would be more than willing to give them a try as well. If you’re on a budget, take a look at Specna Arms. It could be the one you are looking for!

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Berget 13 kit

Decided to do something different this time around. Last post was  way too long ago and the blog needed an update. I have another idea for a photoshoot but I want everything to get a bit greener before I go ahead with that. Instead, I am doing a post about my kit which I will use at Berget 13 this year. Our airsoft team does the trip to Berget every year and we have had some very interesting roles there so far. We’ve been reconnaissance troops for NAF 3rd Rangers, bodyguards for a ruthless war lord Rico and this year, we will return to reconnaissance, enlisted with the Cerberus faction.

My kit is built around the kit that you have seen in the past posts, with some small modifications. I have acquired a few more LBV’s (now ranging from LBV-88 to LBV-E, along with some ALICE Load Bearing Harness’) and I have built one of them for Berget. Been spending most of my effort on that particular LBV and I love it. Always being a fan of that particular piece of kit, the choice was a no brainier when deciding for a base vest for Berget.

In the pics you might notice that my rucksack is missing. This was intentional, as it is basically the same (Medium ALICE) that you have seen in the past pictures. It will definitely be on my back if we do some longer recon missions that require longer stays in the boonies. On other occasions, my LBV is more than capable of sustaining me for longer missions as well. The buttpack holds two MRE’s, some spare clothing and other essential items (batteries, snivel gear etc…) plus my poncho and poncho liner rolled and attached to the bottom. I am not planning on using a Camelbak, since I have a straw system for my canteens that I will be using. Noise from the canteens? So far I have not had this problem in such an extent that it has proven to be a problem. I have about two liters of water on me plus I can add a third 1Qt canteen to the buttpack or go larger with a 2Qt canteen. An ideal solution would be to source a 5qt water bladder and store it in the buttpack or rucksack. I do not own one, though. Not yet, anyway.

My weapon is the G&P M653 with a G&P M203 Long Type grenade launcher. According to my research, this is the correct “old school” launcher for the gun, as used by, for example, by Army Delta’s during the first Gulf War. Not as heavy as I anticipated, and it certainly adds that cool factor for the gun. Though the grenades used in airsoft as not as effective as their real life counterparts, this launcher will be useful during Berget with their BAVS grenades. Taking out enemy vehicles will be fun! My sidearm is my Co2 powered KWC M1911, which has proven to be reliable as hell. My KJW M9 and WE P226 are both still in action as well, but the newly installed wood grips on the 1911 make it my current sidearm choice.

In addition to all this gear, I will have a two piece ghillie with me. Going with just the boonie with ghillie material added to it (with some AO natural vegetation) is also and option as it breaks the form, but using them both is always better. They go over my rucksack and cover it well and the bottom half is open from the front so reaching my magazines is not a problem, and neither is going prone. They are not present in these pictures since they were drying up after the weathering process I gave to them earlier.

Now that summer is coming along, I will do (I will try at least!) better with posting new content for the blog.

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1980’s – 1990’s US Army

Keeping it old-school again with this new setup. Winter is coming and the weather is getting colder, so I need to get some warmer stuff. Here are a couple of images that I took during the weekend while testing the stuff in a non-airsoft environment. Hence the lack of eye protection. I have a PASGT helmet in the mail to replace the MICH2000. The LBV is the same as I had on the previous post and the BDU has been switched for a “winter version” without ripstop. Gloves are nomex pilot gloves and my sidearm has been changed to an M9, thanks to someone special for getting it for my for my birthday. Boots are all-leather Finnish Army M05 boots. Have not found USGI ICW (Intermediate Cold/Wet) boots in my sizes since I have a wide foot. These boots are a compromise which in my opinion works well. Main armament is M16A2.

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