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Airsofters of the UK - I Need you :)

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Hey folks I'm after some info from some fellow airsofters if at all possible.


I have been playing airsoft for a few years now, and play regularly at Spartan in Bristol with my team the VC (Valley Commandos).


I am currently studying towards a degree in design and am working on a project centred around airsoft. As part of the project I have to carry out some market research and the most important aspect of that is to get the perspectives of you guys. With that in mind I would appreciate it if you could pleas get back to me with some information about any frustrations or issues, any room for improvement in your experience of the game / sport of airsoft. This can be equipment, game-play related, or just anything that has frustrated or annoyed you during your experiences with airsoft.


I really appreciate any input, and a massive thanks to anyone who takes the time to reply.




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One thing that frustrates me is that Outdoor sites all seem to operate on Sundays starting early in the morning. For example in Bristol there is Spartan operating every other Sunday and Black ops Cribbs and Portishead alternating Sundays. On Sundays it's harder to get public transport and if like me you don't get weekends off work I might be able to play on a Saturday some weeks and a Sunday on others. If I get a Saturday off it's no use to me. If I get a Sunday off I either get the choice of 2 sites (spartan and black ops cribbs) or 1 site (black ops Portishead). If it's Portishead I cannot get there very easily so I don't go.

Why do sites not start after public transport starts running? Why do 2 sites close together run on the same day?


Also why are there half a dozen different Kar98's available but only one viable but stupidly expensive Lee Enfield? The same applies to lots of different guns. M4 internals would fit inside HK416 externals so why do all the manufacturers not make cheap HK416's?

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^^Good points, Russ. Why, for that matter, do they bother putting V2 gearboxes in anything? V3 are superior and there are further refinements in other types.


Here's my main gearbox whinge though: why hasn't someone come up with a way to tension the main spring after the shell has been closed? I want to be able to get my gears and bits all nicely lubed and placed and then be able to fit the top/right hand shell half on without some finger contorting knack that works for some manufacturers' boxes but not others, or leaving the trigger out and using the other knack which runs the risk of damaging bearings, but is fine for bushings.


I forget which box and manufacturer, but i vaguely remember reading someone say that there was an anti-reversal latch that could be tensioned from outside, which is such an obvious idea that doing without it is sooooooooooo annoying!


I also want to shoot hotter guns at people, like in the USA, or Russia even. But I don't want to injure anyone or get injured, so I want foolproof face and eye protection that is modular so it can fit anybody, doesn't fog up at all, no matter how much of an unfit sweaty bastard I may become, but also allows easy access to my mouth so I can drink from a canteen/bottle or hydration bladder tube, eat sweets, or smoke without compromising eye safety or taking ages fiddling with straps. It also needs to be airy so it doesn't make you sweat more just by wearing it, like neoprene does. There must be the option to remove either lower cheek piece without weakening it or making the part which covers the mouth loose, so that those who are welded to the way of shooting which requires 'cheek-weld' to the butt stock of rifles can do so without issue. There should be a standard fitting for prescription lenses and the forehead section/s need/s to have options to allow it to be used with military helmets. Finally it must look cool.


In my mind's eye I'm seeing something with an underlying scaffold built from modular arms which lock onto a central triangle. There are small pads, about 1cm round with a peg that fits into tracks in the scaffold parts and lock in place, so that there are very few points of contact with the face - a choice of harnesses, like gas mask strappage to attach to the scaffold to hold it on. Exterior parts made from pre-stressed tempered steel wire (stainless or anodised, but resistant to corrosion even if paint chips) </=0.71mm (inc any coating) #8 mesh*, with pegs that lock into the scaffold. There would have to be polycarbonate lens options as well as mesh eyepieces.


Actually, the best way would be to market the basic parts and invite other companies to create their own ranges of options which would have to pass your standards of safety and reliability to be listed as approved for use with...



*This is the approximate threshold beyond which mesh becomes difficult to ignore when looking through.** The trouble is that the available SS304 and SS316 meshes of this wire diameter and per inch count are not sufficiently stiff to resist BB's at the muzzle energies we already use, as they come from the factory anyway. I have some replacements for the polycarb lenses in my ESS Advancer V12's which I made from SS316 0.71mm #8 mesh and by curling each strand back around a perimeter wire and forming the flat sheet into a convex lens shape I have increased the standard resistance to shots, but nevertheless, although I happily wear them in woodland games, I don't trust them for CQB where there is a considerable (as opposed to so unlikely it's not worth considering) risk of a fair few BB's fired full auto hitting exactly the same spot on the mesh - truthfully they would resist even that up to about 10-11, but there's a chance that further hits could penetrate before I could reach the safe zone. I haven't got around to oil quench tempering them, but I suspect this is the way forward. So much better to have an expert design a machine to do it neatly and insurably consistently though...



**What matters is the diagonal dimension across a crossover between individual wires and past 1mm [√(0.71mm² x 2) = 1.004mm] it seems increasingly difficult for the eye to stay focussed beyond it, especially if it moves relative to the face (which is another reason why the whole thing needs to be able to be worn both very tight on the face, but comfortably so you don't keep shifting it), but trust me, these replacement inserts I have are like wearing nothing for seeing through, which is particularly good for sniping, but imo worth pursuing for all airsoft. To my mind even better would be something like 0.5mm wire #9 mesh or finer (to reduce the maximum dimension of any BB fragment which could possibly pass through), if it could be made stiff enough to resist deforming permanently as a result of BB hits.

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