WE P226 – Thoughts

This next post is not a review per-se, but more of a ‘personal opinion’ of the GBB in questions. The WE P226 has been on the marker for a while now and it has been getting some really good reviews around the internet forums. The price is really good and it seems to be made of good quality materials. I have had mine for a little over a year now and I feel that I have enough experience with the weapon to be able to write something about it.

A good British airsoft set requires a P226, if going for a more modern setup, or a Browning. I like the looks of both of these pistols but since I was aiming for a more modern setup I wanted to get a P226. After reading and doing some research about the possible models out there, I went for the WE. To me, it was getting good reviews and the price range was within my budget at the time. I also ordered an extra magazine (should have got two of them buggers, but oh well…) for the weapon from ebairsoft.com (always had a good experience with them though some people seem to have not been so lucky with them) and it was shipped through customs. The price was good (I will not list it here as it was such a long time ago and they have changed) and I was happy with my purchase. Since the weapon uses Green Gas magazines, and it was winter in Finland (December 2012) I had to wait for warmer times to really put the weapon to test in the field.

Lets begin with the magazines. As noted before, the pistol runs with Green Gas or HFC134a Duster gas or Top / Green / Propane gas, whatever you want to call it. It is not CO2. For us living in colder climates this can cause a bit of a problem, since our summers are short as one night stands. We usually need to get sidearms that are CO2 compatible, but I did not in this case. WE has not rolled out any magazines of the CO2 variant for their P226 but rumors have it that there are some in the making. This rumor was heard through a local retailer when I asked after them a while back. I have one spare magazine which I orders when I got the gun and I have had zero leaking problems with it. I use silicone after every use on the gun and the weapons and I clean the weapon every other time I use it. This has serviced me well so far with this gun and the gas guns that I have had in the past. I also leave a little bit of gas inside the magazine after every use, which also helps preventing the magazines leaking. Some might advice against this, but for me it has worked very well. Naturally, the sealing will deteriorate after time and you might need to replace some air seal parts. These “tools” are utility articles and do not last forever even with the best use.

The performance of the gun in the field is acceptable, though I found the hop-up on mine to be a small disappointment. I can hit targets on the range that I usually use the weapon for but it could perform better. Currently I am on the lookout for a better and it seems that A+ make some new hop-up rubbers for this and I need to take a look at them and see if they work better than the old one. Nevertheless, it works. The hop “problems” that I have with it could also have to do with the fact that I use 0.28g BB’s on the gun. They are the same weight I use for me AEG’s and could be a bit on the heavy side for sidearms. Still, I find them to be good and it also means that I do not need to carry two weights of BB’s around.

The finish of the gun is excellent in my opinion. There are plenty of aftermarket parts available for the weapon if you wish to upgrade but I have not found the need for these so far. It performs well out of the box and replacements have not yet been needed. For those interested, I have used this for two or three longer events and many weekend games. The gun has cycled through about 2000 rounds so far and I have not had any problems with it, if you don’t count the hop-up issues I mentioned earlier. The paint wears off though, but mine has not lost all of its paint. The edges that rub on my Blackhawk SERPA have lost some and also some transportation damage is visible but nothing major. I have to note that if you use a SERPA, be prepared to either file the holster or do some major repetition in holstering and drawing the weapon. It is a bit tight but once it loosens/wears off, it works very well and will not fall off. I also use a Bianchi leg holster for it and it is also a bit tight on my black version but not as much on the green version. Go figure, but leaving it in the holster for a few days loosens the holster up and it works well. It is rock solid and drawing the weapon is easy when it comes down to it.

 

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SBS in Afghanistan, Qala-i-Janghi, circa 2001

The opportunity for another photoshoot came last weekend. This time I decided to go with a setup for which I originally started my L119 build for. The 2001 era SBS operators in Afghanistan. I have taken some liberties at places, like the PLCE webbing instead of the OPS vest, since I like it better. Otherwise the gear is about the same as seen in pictures. DPM boonie because… I like it and I need to hide my blonde hair. I’ve been trying to source an Arktis Stowaway jacket that has been reported on some pics of the SBS but so far I have not had any luck. Instead I am using a Trakker downpour jacket. Boots are Lowa hiking boots, trousers are Craghoppers mass grey ones. For gloves I use my ever so great Mechanix M-Pact gloves, shirt under the jacket is an issue Norgie and on my neck I have a camo scarf. US Claymore bags have also been spotted on the SBS troopers. Personally I use this for my radio (not in picture this time) and as a dump pouch for empty magazines. Works well, and radios have also been seen carried in these bags by the SBS.

I have switched the RIS rails on my L119 for the slim hand guards that have been sometimes spotted, but not in the SBS images. I like these better personally and they are not accurate, I know. For my P226, I have my trusty Bianchi holster with the leg extender. Absolutely in love with that thing!

Without further ado, here are some pics. Scenery is hoped to at least somehow fit the scenery of Afghanistan but this being Finland, it is hard to find a good location for this theme.

The Conclusion of Project L119A1

When I started this AEG project about one and a half years ago, I did not anticipate it taking this long. The sourcing of parts for this projects proved to be quite difficult, and even still, there are some small details that are missing. One is the correct rademarks in the weapon. There are no receivers, that I know of, that would be correct for the L119A1. Mine is painted anyway, so I do not mind that much. If there ever will be a correct receiver for the weapon, I will buy one, of course.

Nevertheless, here it is. The “finished” L119A1. I will go through all the external parts of the weapon and not concentrate that much on the internals, as that is not the main idea behind this post. The idea is to show-off my L119A1 that I take pretty much pride in having finished.

Starting from the front towards the back, we have the Pro Arms L119A1 AEG barrel. This is not an extension but a full length barrel. The barrel is the correct length, so if you want to make a the shorter version, you can just unscrew the “extension” that starts after the front sight. then you would have a CQB version of the weapon. I always run my gun with the longer barrel, as I have a 363 length inner barrel in there. Though I think that the silencer would still fit though the barrel is a 363. Still, since I have the reinforced front sight, it would not be correct. Attached to the barrel is a regular bird cage flash hider. You can also use a Surefire FH556-F216A flash hider if you wish. These seem to be used in the more current L119A1 systems. I prefer the birdcage, to keep my L119A1 a bit more on the early Afghanistan setting for the SBS, since that is the main impression this weapon was originally built around.

Second up is the front sight. Sourcing this proved almost impossible, so I attempted to make one from a regular M4 front sight, using chemical metal. Outcome was horrible, so I binned the idea and decided to wait for a real one to come along. Through a forum, which I cannot remember, I read about a retailer that operates only through Facebook, called Warlord Tactical (you can find them by doing a Facebook search). They make a lot of parts for the L119A1, including the correct reinforced front sight. They also make the barrel for the L119A1, also in WE version, if you are sporting a GBBR. This sight is the correct one if you are doing the longer version of the weapon. If you run the CQB, you are better off using a regular M4 sight with the bayonet attachment slug filed off. From what I understand, the reinforced front sight is used in the longer once, because of the option of attaching a grenade launcher to the weapon. This is not needed on the CQB version. The sight is of high quality and it installed onto the Pro Arms barrel without any modifications needed. I can highly recommend these sights for anyone making an L119A1.

Next up, moving towards the end, is the RIS. I use a regular DBoys RIS, which has markings through 1-15. This is said to be the correct version for the L119A1. You can get another one as well, I just had this laying around at my bunker. There is some wobble on the RIS, but this seems to be the eternal problem with this weapon system. Can of course be fixed to be more solid, but I prefer not to use any big exterior mods to fix it as I like to keep this one as true to the original as possible. Attached to the RIS I have a Gripod. It is not an issued one but they also come up on Ebay quite ofter, for a very good price. So grabbing a bargain on those is not difficult. All kinds of grips seem to be used on the L119A1, but since this seems to be the “issued” one to other troops as well, I used it. I have also seen Knights Armament grips and Tango Down grips being used on the L119A1. I do not think that you can go very wrong with these.

Next up, the receiver. This is a G&P receiver without the correct trades. G&P also makes a C8 receiver from what I have heard, which is semi-correct for this weapon. I bought the receiver on a sale in WGC Shop, and it came with a gearbox. I have not done anything to the receiver other than paint it and it is solid. It takes my Cyma metal magazines of which I am very greateful. Nothing more painful than buying more magazines just because one weapon, which in real life takes the same ones, does not work well with the old ones. I do not have the DIS handle for the weapon. Not yet at least. I run an ACOG instead. The correct model for the L119A1 is the ACOG sight which does not have the illuminated reticle. I have made my L119A1 circa 2007 SAS/SBS style, and from pictures this is the correct. I have not looked into more modern variations, so this might not be true to the impression you are building. Always make sure before buying something or you might look back later, regretting that you did not research. My ACOG is a chinese clone which so far has performed as it should. The model is TA01, and is usually ran with the iron sights on top or with “wings” protecting a smaller red dot sight.

Still at the receiver, but lets move a bit downwards, to the grip. The grip on the L119A1 is different from the regular M4 grip. The L119A1 grip is thicker and it is often called the ‘Storm grip’ or ‘Stowaway grip’. Using these words on Google search will find you airsoft equivalents as well. Since my receiver is G&P, I bought the G&P grip. Guarder makes a copy as well though. The grip did not require any modification to fit into the receiver. There is plenty of room in the grip and I actually like this better than the regular M4 grip. It feels better and you get a better ‘grip’ with it as well. Really good!

You will also need a different sling attachment for your L119A1. Using anything else than the one “issued” with the weapon is deemed wrong in the internet world. If you strive to get an authentic look, you will need one that resembles or is the real one. Again, Warlord Tactical delivers. They make reproduction sling mounts for AEG and GBBR versions. The one that I have is not from them, unfortunately, but it is custom made. The specs on the one I have are not the exact ones, and I recommend getting the one Warlord Tactical has. Mine works but down the road, I will also upgrade to the Warlord one. I have not handeled one myself but they seem of good quality in pictures and reports are good so far.

Next up is the stock. The stock I use is again a G&P one, which is specifically made to accomodate a small LiPo battery inside it. In my old DBoys receiver, I had to cut down the end of the receiver where the stock tube attaches. On the G&P version this was already short enough, leaving room for the LiPo. There is also a end cap which can be screwed on at the end, to seal the tube. I have not had enough room to screw it on so I do not use it. I run a 7.4v 20C LiPo and it fits in well. The stock is an old CAR-15 type one. This is the correct model for the L119A1. Some have said to have seen Crane stocks and even Magpul stocks, but I would advice against them. The old style stock is usually a dead giveaway along with the reinforced barrel that the weapon is a L119A1. Of course the person identifying it should know something about the gun to know that it is something else than an M4. Along with the stock, you will beed a rubber stock pad. The only solution, if you are striving for authenticity, is to get the real one (hard, trust me) or buy one from Warlord Tactical (recommended!). They make reproduction rubber stock pads for the L119A1. Again, you need to search for them on Facebook and send them a message asking for pricing and shipping. I have not had problems with them, they always answer within 24 hours (for me at least) and ship fast and reliable. I used to have a Guarder Recoil Buttpad, which was close but not enough for me. Many will not notice the difference though. In any case, getting the repro one from Warlord is the best option.

A rather long post, but necessary. There is no short way of telling how to build an L119A1. Well, there is actually. You will need money and patience. Sourcing the parts for this project were the most time consuming elements. Building the weapon was not as tedious, as I bought parts here and there and then attached them to the weapon. I went through a few evolutions and my current form you can see below. I still need to paint the front sight to match the rest of the weapon but other than that, it is finished. Warlord Tactical (I know I am mentioning them quite a lot in this post, but for the L119A1 builder they are a must visit!) helped me finish this project off and I recommend checking them out on Facebook if you are building an L119A1. To finish this long post off, here are a few shots of the current form my L119A1 has taken.

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UKSF inspired airsoft

I guess it is time for a ‘small’ update. I’ve been building this kit for some time now and I feel that it is ready for the public. First shots were taken during the holidays and to my eye, they look really good. I will remind you all that this is airsoft and I have taken INSPIRATION from UKSF pictures, ranging from the old-school stuff to more modern stuff. With the aid of these images (which I will not add to this post since they are plentiful and readily available for people on the internet) I have built a set that suits my needs and gets the job done, so to speak. Without further ado, here it is. Kit list is at the end of this posting.

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Let’s start with a more detailed description first, and then move on to a proper kit list.

I’m wearing a regular black beanie, which I have had for sometime. I have yet to buy a full-face pull down mask which would, in my opinion, be more fitting for the setup. Then again, it would be rather impractical for airsoft with the protective glasses that I use (note that I am not wearing any here as it was not ingame). Considering getting one but so far it has not materialized itself into my gearbunker.

My vest is a Arkits ‘Jungle Ops Vest’, also known as ‘Patrol Vest’ and more commonly sold as Arktis 1601 vest. I got it off from ebay a while back and I love this vest. I know some people frown when they hear the word Arktis but I have nothing bad to say about this vest. It performs well and it can carry a lot of stuff. It is probably the best vest I have owned and I like fixed-pouch vests more than I do MOLLE vests now-a-days. According to the seller this vest was used in Afghanistan by a PARA, but I am always skeptical about these claims. Nevertheless, I love it and it does its job well. The integrated belt loops inside the vest can take a regular PLCE belt, which I also use to keep the vest balanced. The pouches can take 6 STANAG mags with another 4 that can be fitted on the right side of the zipper (when looking down with the vest on). The smaller pouch next to it can be used as a small accessory pouch. I have my medical accessories, Letherman and other bits inside it, and also my cooking kit. The larger accessory pouch, when moving further right, can just about hold a 58 Pat Canteen. I use a US made canteen since it fits in better. This pouch will be modded to better accommodate the 58 canteen. There is one more pouch of this size on the left side, next to the ammo pouches. I use that for my rain poncho for the time being.

The smaller top pockets, from left to right (again with the vest on, looking down), I have my radio (not used in the pics) as well as my bowman replica. On the other pocket I have my field dressing. On the right side of the zipper I have my spare pistol mag, a flip-knife and a small penlight. On the larger zipper pockets both side of the main zipper I have some waterproof writing material and soft markers for making notes. I usually carry my compass tied to my smock jackets left pocket, through the button hole. I also have a carabiner for keeping stuff, like gloves, in the middle of the FA pockets. In these pictures I have my watch attached to my vest. I usually have it on my wrist, naturally, but this time it was left hanging on the vest. It’s not military issue, but it has served me well for the past 7 years while airsofting and it has sentimental value. Looks the part, though, in my opinion.

At the back, the vest has a mesh pouch which can hold a Camelback. This is a REALLY helpful bit of ingenuity as you can carry the Camelback inside your vest without any other means of carry needed. Naturally it will stick out from the mesh (if you use just the bladder, like I do) but a bit of DPM fabric will fix this right up. I use a olive dump pouch for my magazines, because this is airsoft. I do not have the money to throw away used mags and I have found that this is the most convenient way to place used mags in a fast manner. The black holster is a Bianchi with the ‘leg extender’, fitted onto my belt on my windproofs. Love that holster!

Under the vest, I have a ‘old style’ SAS Smock. I got a real deal out of this one on ebay and I honestly think it is the best smock I own. I own a total of 3, with the other two being the current issue DPM smocks. They are also great, but this old school smock has the ‘ally’ in it so I like it better. The cuffs have been but in to make the sleeves a bit longer, as they are a bit short to begin with. I have seen this being done so I considered it ‘issue’. The pockets on my smock will be filled with mission specific and personal items once I receive them. I try to keep it as real as possible.

The gloves I am wearing are NI gloves. I also have some thicker DPM ‘no-can-do’s’ but handling anything with those is, well, a no can do. These gloves are the best bet for winter and other cold times of the year. I do recommend them and they look great. Original issue S95 leather gloves will also suffice, but I recommend getting some mittens to be worn inside of them if it gets colder.

Under my smock I have a Norgie shirt and under that a green long-sleeved t-shirt. Worked really well for the weather we had during the photoshoot.

Trousers are Arctic Windproof Combat trousers from the 80’s. Another excellent piece of kit that I love! Thicker in material than the newer stuff and absolutely bullet-proof. Not really of course, just an expression. With some long johns under these you will be set.

My boots are not British issue as I have not yet located a pair for a decent price or a pair that is not worn down. They are black Finnish army M91 boots which I like a lot and they fit my rather wide feet well. For socks I use thinner moisture wicking socks at the skin and thicker boot socks on top of those. Never had problems with cold feet during the winter. I also have a pair of Merrel hiking boots that I use during the summer. Those along with gaiters (same goes for the boots that I have on in the pictures) when it gets colder and wet, very much recommended!

The ruck that I have is a Karrimor SF Sabre 30L patrol/day sack. It has one large main compartment that can also fit a Camelback (not used in these pictures) and also holds my basha with bungee cords, paracord, rain jacket (I use either a DPM GoreTex one or a OD Trakker Downpour jacket) and food. The smaller lid compartment is for my cam cream, flashlight (I also have on on my vest), batteries, ballistic goggles and everything mission specific and depending on the duration of the event, some spare socks etc. All this is tailored to the needs of the mission at hand. If resupply is done at base, I have some extra socks and maybe another t-shirt. If resupply is not available, I switch to my larger DPM Bergen which can hold all the stuff I need for any duration of an airsoft event (for example Berget, which is about 4 days).

I think that covers just about everything that I have on in the picture. Lastly, a few words about the weapons.

I have a G&P base M4 with parts from a lot of different manufacturers. I will make a seperate post about the L119A1 once I receive the correct front sight for it. I made one earlier, but that one is outdated and most of the parts described in that post are no longer relevant. Please stay tuned for the new one as I will list all the parts and take better images as well. I will not go into detail about the internals of the weapon as that is up to the player to decide. I run mine on about 123 (m/s) level and it works just fine.

My sidearm is a WE P226. In my personal opinion it is the best P226 on the market. Good solid internals and nice trigger pull and blowback. I can warmly recommend this to anyone. Mine is stock, I have not changed anything in it. I have used it for about 5-6 months now, and will be writing a review of it later on down the line.

I think that covers the main explanation about the kit. Below is a kit list.

Black beanie
SAS Smock
–Norgie Shirt
–Green T-shirt
NI Gloves
Arctic Windproof Trousers
–Green British Long Johns
M91 boots
Arktis 1601 Vest
–PLCE belt
–Bianchi Holster
Karrimor SF Sabre 30L Patrol/Day Pack

L119A1
P226

Updates…

Been testing my PLCE set for the past few weekend games. Noticed that I need to get a roll-pin belt to replace the regular fastex clip, as it tends to open while crawling through the woods. Got a few pics taken as well this Sunday. Once I get a few bits together there will be a better listing of the stuff used in the picture. L119A1 received an IR-hop with some Prometheus hop-up bucking and tensioner goodness. Head size grouping at 55m and able to hit a man-size target at 63m. Quite happy with it. Still need to paint the rail covers and get an ACOG. Already have parts coming in for the shorter L119A1 as well. It will be a G&P build. More info and pictures coming at a later date once I get it done.

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L119A1 barrel extension from Begadi

When I posted about the L119A1 D.I.S. last time, I forgot to mention that Begadi actually makes the L119A1 barrel extensions as well. This allows the player to turn, for example, a M733 rifle into a long barreled L119A1. Making the SD version of the said weapon is not, however, possible with this extension. The silencer needs to go all the way to the front sight to be realistic. Either way, this extension is a good way to make a L119A1 long barreled version. You can locate the barrel here:

Begadi L119A1 barrel extension