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Missing Links in Airsoft?


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Airsoft is a funny old game. I got into it purely by accident. I'm a model and prop maker by trade and picked up a couple for projects well before the vcra. It was a way to get hold of otherwise unobtainable firearm replicas or certainly much cheaper than deactivated weapons. Over the years they have covered most of the mainstream weapons but there are quite a few missing links in the chain. Now with a sea of armalite derivatives and G&G's campaign of 9mm everything its looking like the mainstream manufacturers are perhaps tightening their focus. But in a world of so many guns I wonder why some have been ignored. Examples... 

 

Modernised FA-MAS, or at least a stanag version. 

 

Any HK machine gun

 

British Gpmg or bren

 

Now I'm not suggesting that Marui start turning out calico's by the thousands but how about a TM makarov or PPK? Would these not sell? I have perhaps a bias to historic weapons but I'm sure there are other modern weapons that are ripe for replicating. So what's missing? 

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tbh it's a wonder there's as much variety as there is in airsoft, but there are plenty of guns that aren't catered to.

 

the bren is a good example (although afaik there is a zb26 out there) and the sks.

 

the makarov at least has a decent offering in the WE version, doesn't like the cold but with a little tweaking it's a very passable gat as a holster-filler.

 

not just guns either, optics, especially russian ones (that aren't a PSO) are quite poorly covered with only a couple of decent clones for the likes of the PK-A or Kobra. fortunately this is balanced by the real ones being both available and not insanely expensive as RS optics go.

 

i think the problem is it's just so easy to do AR variants, mill out a worn-out mould to a chunkier style, change the handguard/stock and bam you have a "new" gun (psst, it's still an AR....)

 

also how has nobody done a G11? that must surely be one of the easiest wacky aeg's you could make.....

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2 hours ago, Adolf Hamster said:

tbh it's a wonder there's as much variety as there is in airsoft, but there are plenty of guns that aren't catered to.

 

the bren is a good example (although afaik there is a zb26 out there) and the sks.

 

the makarov at least has a decent offering in the WE version, doesn't like the cold but with a little tweaking it's a very passable gat as a holster-filler.

 

not just guns either, optics, especially russian ones (that aren't a PSO) are quite poorly covered with only a couple of decent clones for the likes of the PK-A or Kobra. fortunately this is balanced by the real ones being both available and not insanely expensive as RS optics go.

 

i think the problem is it's just so easy to do AR variants, mill out a worn-out mould to a chunkier style, change the handguard/stock and bam you have a "new" gun (psst, it's still an AR....)

 

also how has nobody done a G11? that must surely be one of the easiest wacky aeg's you could make.....

 

Asahi made at least one G11 in the late 90s.

Obviously there was no interest. Black ops hadn't been released.

There's lots of cool guns out there. 

The Japanese market where most designs originate is a little different to ours. The Japanese don't really care what someone in Europe or the US want.

Also Tokyo Marui is the equivalent in Japan of JG or Cyma. Budget entry level.

It does appear there are fewer options out there now. I started Raresoft and honestly we can't get the stuff in quick enough, there's blatantly a demand for it.

 

However... as a community I feel people have  become very accustomed to "raven glock price tags" and it's almost become a race to the bottom with some retailers/manufacturers.

 

There are some things that should be made as they would sell.

 

AR18s, a gas spas 12 with more metal parts, a metal micro uzi pistol, FG42.

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Cromulon1994 said:

Asahi made at least one G11 in the late 90s.

Obviously there was no interest. Black ops hadn't been released.

 

yeah, this is my thinking with the g11, prominently featured in a mainstream video game is enough to get a lot of guns made (eg the ww1 surge after bf1 released) but despite the g11 being surely an easy gun to mass produce being literally a plastic box it hasn't happened.

 

45 minutes ago, Cromulon1994 said:

However... as a community I feel people have  become very accustomed to "raven glock price tags" and it's almost become a race to the bottom with some retailers/manufacturers.

 

i do agree there, the budget end is extremely well catered for but it seems the higher end stuff can have quite the limitations.

 

but then i suppose what premium stuff is on the market (like the higher end gbbr's and systema's) proves the market really doesn't want to support such things.

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I'm surprised there aren't more type 56's around, I believe it was just the real sword available. 

 

There are some truly iconic gun missing. It's a pity no one cloned the TM uzi. I know there is a gas one coming at some point but AEG's will always sell better. 

 

A newly tooled gas spas would be lovely!

 

Im thinking more along the lines of mass produced weapons like the sks rather than a G11 or AN94. 

 

I was rather hoping after marui gave the MP7 the gas treatment they would do the same for the mac10. But there appears to be no interest in it. 

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JAC made an AR18.

 

I'd love an SKS, and the Type 56 would be great as an AEG.  I suppose that an AK47 passes the 'close enough to do' test for many though.  

 

I'd love an M44 Mosin. Not sure that anyone does an airsoft version.  

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+1 on the mini 14, I'd be all over that.

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I want more:

- retro handguns - Jericho 941, S&W 4506, more slab sided revolvers.

- LMGs - decent m240's, mk48s

- Gas shotties that aren't just a m870 with rails - spas12, M3, M4

 

The fact there's now a GBB PSG1 gives me a glimmer of hope

 

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For me it's a general lack of S&W pistols besides the really rare WA ones... Something like the 5906 for example... 

 

But it's unlikely to ever happen unfortunately.

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10 hours ago, PopRocket123 said:

What I wouldn't give for a Ruger mini 14. And if GHK could make a GBBR FAMAS that'd be great. 

 

Yeh, but it's got to be finished in silver, a folding stock, and come with a cigar in the box.

 

image.png.db023604e423e07a71a3f2be533dcd78.png

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On 09/03/2021 at 23:41, Tactical Pith Helmet said:

JAC made an AR18.

 

I'd love an SKS, and the Type 56 would be great as an AEG.  I suppose that an AK47 passes the 'close enough to do' test for many though.  

 

I'd love an M44 Mosin. Not sure that anyone does an airsoft version.  

 

I know JAC made an AR18... I have one, but an AEG version is needed. The JAC is plastic whereas a stamped steel one would be nice.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 09/03/2021 at 15:31, THE CHIEF said:

Any HK machine gun

 

VFC have just announced an MG4.

 

On 09/03/2021 at 15:31, THE CHIEF said:

British Gpmg or bren

 

On 09/03/2021 at 15:45, GenuineGerman said:

I would love to see a GMPG/FN MAG 

 

There is obviously the gorgeous, albeit very elderly, Inokatsu FN MAG and M240. You can still easily get the significantly less expensive "Echo1" M240.

 

On 10/03/2021 at 22:35, PopRocket123 said:

What I wouldn't give for a Ruger mini 14. And if GHK could make a GBBR FAMAS that'd be great. 

 

I'd kill for a GBB Mini-14. If GHK's quality control and manufacturing departments could get their f***ing act together that'd be great too.

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On 09/03/2021 at 23:41, Tactical Pith Helmet said:

JAC made an AR18.

 

I'd love an SKS, and the Type 56 would be great as an AEG.  I suppose that an AK47 passes the 'close enough to do' test for many though.  

 

I'd love an M44 Mosin. Not sure that anyone does an airsoft version.  

 Wingun do a M44 Mosin in Co2 - its actually quite good but has a fixed hop up - Google for retailers.  Costs around £250

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***Warning - SciFi geek alert***

 

-The Snow Wolf M41A is crying out for a functional MOSCART launcher (relocate battery elsewhere - block/crane instead). It's just not the same without one... plus more ergonomic and practical mags! Current ones are a faff which puts me off getting what's probably my dream rifle (stocks non-existent anywhere anyway).

 

-MG42-based M56 Smartgun. With articulated arm & breastplate of course.

 

-Generally more sci-fi stuff. Was watching Deep Space 9 the other night, some tasty looking laser rifles in use. Crying out for airsoft versions. As nice as they are, there's just too many M4/16/AR15s and AKs!

 

 

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Wishlist.

 

At the moment I'd love to see a return of a decent line of FAL's, specifically an L1A1 SLR. If the Ares was half the price then I'd probably grab it simply due to a lack of options but given the plethora of known issues it's a firm pass.

 

Admittedly I wouldn't mind picking up an M-16A2 but these seem nigh impossible to find, especially with trades.

 

I'd love to see a GPMG/FN Mag but if I'm being completely honest I probably wouldn't buy one myself.

 

I'd like to see a decent Browning Hi-Power but based on the most recent WE Hi-Power Mk.3 I suspect it's another case of keep on dreaming.

 

I can think of a few other hand guns I wouldn't mind seeing (be it due to them not being produced or due to wanting to see it from a better manufacturer) such as a Tokyo Marui Sig P228 or P229.

 

Beyond that the main stuff on my wishlist would be accessories such as an LLM 03 (maybe we'll see one from Element in the not so distant future?) or the accessories required to throw together late 80's to early 2000's impression kits. That's not to say that these accessories can't be found, at least the early 2000's stuff, but it is very challenging to find at times.

 

I'd also like to see the UGL front end for the L85 re-released, even if it came from Angry Gun (think it's AG) who currently make the RIS for the L85 platform.

 

The boring stuff.

I think part of the issue is that as soon as you start to stray out of the immediate realms of your average Nato/Russian grunt or "Tier 1" Operator then options start to diminish rather rapidly.

 

While there is certainly a demand for airsoft kit that falls outside of the last 10 - 20 years of usage, this demand seems to diminish rapidly as you move further back across the years and/or as you move progressively further away from the big NATO countries and Russia in terms of armaments. Thus creating products outside of this range gradually increases the likelihood of incurring a loss.

 

I think some other major issues worth considering are clashes in terms of trademarks, design copyright, import/export issues and distributors. Another growing trend in recent years is the seeming increase in various unnamed companies pursuing the purchase of licensing rights which in turn only further hampers things, be it through companies facing potential lawsuits or due to inferior products at a premium price all for the sake of a name.

 

I'd also argue companies such as Nuprol are a major issue in the UK/Euro market at the moment as they seem to be causing significant price hikes while simultaneously throttling supply.

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8 hours ago, FreeFrag.UK said:

Wishlist.

 

At the moment I'd love to see a return of a decent line of FAL's, specifically an L1A1 SLR. If the Ares was half the price then I'd probably grab it simply due to a lack of options but given the plethora of known issues it's a firm pass.

 

Admittedly I wouldn't mind picking up an M-16A2 but these seem nigh impossible to find, especially with trades.

 

I'd love to see a GPMG/FN Mag but if I'm being completely honest I probably wouldn't buy one myself.

 

I'd like to see a decent Browning Hi-Power but based on the most recent WE Hi-Power Mk.3 I suspect it's another case of keep on dreaming.

 

I can think of a few other hand guns I wouldn't mind seeing (be it due to them not being produced or due to wanting to see it from a better manufacturer) such as a Tokyo Marui Sig P228 or P229.

 

Beyond that the main stuff on my wishlist would be accessories such as an LLM 03 (maybe we'll see one from Element in the not so distant future?) or the accessories required to throw together late 80's to early 2000's impression kits. That's not to say that these accessories can't be found, at least the early 2000's stuff, but it is very challenging to find at times.

 

I'd also like to see the UGL front end for the L85 re-released, even if it came from Angry Gun (think it's AG) who currently make the RIS for the L85 platform.

 

The boring stuff.

I think part of the issue is that as soon as you start to stray out of the immediate realms of your average Nato/Russian grunt or "Tier 1" Operator then options start to diminish rather rapidly.

 

While there is certainly a demand for airsoft kit that falls outside of the last 10 - 20 years of usage, this demand seems to diminish rapidly as you move further back across the years and/or as you move progressively further away from the big NATO countries and Russia in terms of armaments. Thus creating products outside of this range gradually increases the likelihood of incurring a loss.

 

I think some other major issues worth considering are clashes in terms of trademarks, design copyright, import/export issues and distributors. Another growing trend in recent years is the seeming increase in various unnamed companies pursuing the purchase of licensing rights which in turn only further hampers things, be it through companies facing potential lawsuits or due to inferior products at a premium price all for the sake of a name.

 

I'd also argue companies such as Nuprol are a major issue in the UK/Euro market at the moment as they seem to be causing significant price hikes while simultaneously throttling supply.

 

Great post, and sums up the frustrations many feel I think.

 

Firstly, forgive the rant - currently stuck on a very remote wet and windy Scottish island (key worker for my sins) and rather hacked off with Corona and our beloved Scottish and UK Governments trying to out-North Korea North Korea in terms of continual removal of freedoms...

 

I'm a total newcomer to airsoft, so I'm not sure how many of these issues are due to Corona/Brexit. Considering a large bulk of airsoft gear is Made In Covidland and much is probably imported via the EU I'd imagine there is some impact. However, as a newcomer I'm genuinely shocked at the total lack of availability of stock generally among airsoft retailers in the UK.

 

Without wanting to brag I have a number of very niche hobbies - aviation, motorcycling, music, assorted outdoor stuff like kayaking/fishing/hillwalking/camping), airsoft also being very niche, however none seem to have the ongoing chronic supply issues that airsoft retailers have. Various retailer websites are filled with good-looking RIFs, most of which (well over 50%) are continuously labelled "Out Of Stock". Interesting stuff (i.e anything non-M4 - AKs, G36s, Sci-Fi, other platforms like bullpups, G3s etc.) is utterly non-existent. Electric Pistols are particularly badly affected, there's a glut of gas stuff but the electric models are never in-stock, ever.

 

I'm fully aware that the laws of supply and demand are at play here, the MTP-clad M4 or AK wielder being almost an airsoft cliche (not having a go at anyone, purely an observation - wear/use what you want IMO!) however the supply of airsoft RIFs is, to quote a popular Scots expression, pish-poor.

 

So, to sum up, my wish would either be 1) acceptable and accessible stock availability, or 2) airsoft retailers stop tempting us with non-existent stock... if its OOS then remove it from the site!

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@125cc - Thank you for the compliment, it's greatly appreciated.

 

Supply has been an issue for some time but previously retailers would get restocks, varying in size, throughout the year. While this often resulted in products being unavailable for significant lengths of time, it was understandable when considering minimum order requirements set out by some suppliers, stock availability at a supplier/distributor level and other considerations such as how long will item x sit on the shelf as dead money.

 

The majority of airsoft goods come out of South East Asia (be it China, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc.) which have clearly been heavily effected by Covid. This issue has been exacerbated by closures and restrictions applied to postage/logistics routes which have even gone so far as to extend to no shipments to the UK (and various other countries).

 

Further to the Covid-19 problems you have to take into consideration the wide ranging and significant number of issues as a direct result of Brexit. This has negatively impacted import and export across a huge array of sectors and it's worth noting that we're still to fully implement all required checks/procedures required, as we are still within the grace period.  This impact doesn't just effect availability of RIF's but also availability of accessories, clothing and other items associated with the hobby. It's also worth noting that distributors in many sectors have switched from using ports based in the UK to ports in EU.

 

The final major issue, at least off of the top of my head, are companies such as Nuprol who end up taking on the role of middle-man between the manufacturer and distributor. Nuprol have stuck their fingers in many pies and as a result there have been steep price hikes across a number of product lines with availability being severely hampered well before covid-19 became a factor. The easiest reference for this being when Nuprol became involved with dictating price and availability of LCT in the UK. Following Nuprol signing the deal with LCT availability quickly dried up and LCT products were out of stock for many months. LCT products then became available after a lengthy absence but supply was short and prices had risen by an average of 50% with increases of over 100% in some cases.

 

edit: Just thought I'd throw in a quick clarification here. The above is my interpretation of the current situation. Stock has always been an issue due to batch manufacturing and business decisions. This is something others have stated following my post but I thought it worth clarifying.

Edited by FreeFrag.UK
clarification
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The out of stock thing i dont think is corona related, i think its mostly a combination of lazy updating of sites and the desire to make a small business look bigger by listing a wide array of stock.

 

Its been that way since before the 'rona

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Its nothing to do with Corona or Brexit.  It's everything to do with batch manufacturing and being at the end of a very long supply line for what is relative to SE Asia a very small market.  Add into this the nonsense that Nuprol and others get upto and you have our situation.  It will always be cheaper to produce another M4 than something more exotic and hence that's what you get.

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I love interesting sci fi guns but all of the non-rif Airsoft guns all look pretty terrible to me. There's that thing that looks like a G36 let itself go, the anime M4, Ares SOC and the pulse rifle and that's kind of it. So I've resolved to make my own stuff from now on since I have a printer, a bunch of spare parts and no disposable income to spend on new guns. I've already started work on a sci Uzi AEG and I've got plans for a rifle, bullpup and l96 stock. 

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