Seasons in the Abyss – Ai500 ‘The Gathering’ S23 Gear Spotlight

Seasons in the Abyss – Ai500 ‘The Gathering’ S23 Gear Spotlight

Ai500 – The Gathering



So in less than five or so weeks we’ll be locked in combat, Plastic Deth – as we attend Airsoft International’s inaugural Ai500 – this year, held at a disused Theme Park, in the North of England …

‘The Gathering’
The eerie, disused site will be, for two days at least be our home, and host a new form of ‘entertainment’ – Airsoft
As I’m sure, I – like you have been preparing kit, gears and blasters, feverish in anticipation to once again, wage combat on a truly epic scale …

In fact, this year will see not just players from Great Britain descend on the site, but players from all over Europe to, 400 of you to be precise …
So, before I finish up the admin, and last minute briefings on the Viper teams page, for the seventh time no less I’ll lead 200 players, not as daunting as it sounds – I thought I’ll do a run through of gears, kit and blasters I’ll be using exclusively at the event …

… the AO …

Blasters

Nearly over ten years old, my Systema ’08 PTW will, once again be wheeled out as my primary blaster.
Opinions and controversy aside, I’ve had the good fortune to use, own a variety of AEG’s, GBBR’s, NGRS‘ and subsequently settled for the PTW


All of these have been, individually fun, reliable and during their employ, given my level of expectation on what they can or can’t do, understanding each ones limitations makes them no worse or better than this blaster.
It’s just this PTW, meets all of my expectations with regards to desired performance and optimal operability – consistency, range, accuracy, durability and above all, reliability – that however, goes out the window if your a poor shot …


Still, shooting skill and lightning fast reflexes aside, it all comes down to the very core ethos of Airsoft, honor and honesty – and, perhaps bizarrely take just as much pride in being struck out as I do scoring a hit. It means the opposition is either a sure shot, or just got the drop on you.

To make things a little easier, this PTW has a few little accessories, an Aimpoint CCO for faster target acquisition, Surefire IR M951 Torch, LA5 DBAL for illuminating targets under the auspices of NVG’s, and of course a Troy Industries sling. 

As I’ll discuss later, I’ll be carrying eleven magazines, averaging at just over 30 Rnds, this will put me well under the in game limit of 600 Rnds at any time, but I’ll admit I get a kick out of reloads.

I invariably carry a secondary, in this instance’ – WE’s Gen 4 AWS Glock 17.


With up to seven magazines of 17 Rnds, if I get pinned down or can’t reload my primary I’ve got enough to still stay in the fight, or battle my way back to friendly lines …

First Line

Whilst not strictly true to the ethos behind 1st, 2nd and 3rd Lines, this Crye MRB ‘belt’ acts as my first line.

Essentially, equipment carried upon your person, and or belt line. Whilst essentially being essential, or equipment carried at all times, this can and invariably will carry other items, perhaps not immediately of high priority.

… 1st Line …

Here, this belt carries four magazines for my primary, and my ‘first’ admin reload for my secondary. The belt also has my dump pouch, multi tool, two ‘frag’ pouches, and of course holsters and carries my ‘secondary’ …

At the very least, with my primary, I’ve got four magazines, without, at a minimum I’ve got two pistol magazines, one loaded naturally, and two ‘frags’ to use to fight back.

Second Line

Essentially, my ‘battle gear’ – here an LV-MBAV which, also houses the attached Haley Strategic D3CR.

… Heavy Metal …

The MBAV on its own houses, not only my plates and soft armor, but additional pistol magazines, flash bangs and of course my communications systems, here a TRI PRC 152 MBITR. 

… pistol magazines …


… flash bangs …


… 152 PRC MBITR …

… more ‘Beer’ …
Whilst the MBAV carries four magazines on its own, another four if the D3CR is attached, if I’m expecting heavy resistance, in a dug defensive posture I can add a further three magazines, attaching to the MBAV’s Velcro’d front attachment point an LBT kangaroo pouch. This can be either removed and stowed in my day sack, used in conjunction with the D3CR or on its own if I’m doing light patrol or reconnaissance structured tasks. Alternatively empty of magazines, it can be left flat on the plate carrier.

There’s a lot of conjecture on the reality of Plate Carriers and their practically in Airsoft. Regardless, whatever you prefer, is up to you.

Sure, real plates and soft armor really rack up the weight, can restrict mobility and induce fatigue, but for me it adds to the authenticity of a load out, the suspension of disbelief and immersion. Plus, it’s a great work out !!!


Other items, carried here include, a neck gaiter, or face wrap – be it keeping the early evening chill out, absorbing sweat or sun off your neck it’s always at hand, as is the watch cap.


Gloves, are somewhat self explanatory. Airsoft, vicariously by nature – is a high speed past time, and therefore not with out its knocks and scrapes, plus terrain is often less than hospitable – these will afford you a level of protection for unwanted cuts, grazes, dust and dirt.

Due to the fairly complex role of running, five separate call signs, as well as an additional QRF, command cell including the five sub commanders I’ll be carrying a spare comm’s set attached to my day sack.

… send it …

Where ever I’am – be it our ‘command cell’ or out in the middle of a fire fight I can direct all five teams onto their objectives and into the action.

Keeping my head protected, supporting communications systems, mitigating low light as well as supporting other ancillary equipment -here, I’ve opted to use an Aramid Fibre Ops Core. Aside from practical applications, it offers, again an element of protection from the elements and action all generated from ‘Plastic Deth‘.

In the interim when not using this PPE I use a stand alone headset with soft head wear.

Third Line


Essentially, this is my day sack, here Hill People GearsTarahumara‘ single pocket cargo pack. This houses a hydration bladder, spare munitions, soft shell, MRE’s, batteries and water bottles, torch and of course everything I need to make a hot cup of joe …

… snivel gear …
In the unlikely event of inclement weather a soft shell, is packed away too.

Uniform

… Crye or Die !!!

I’ve opted again for this event for a Multicam Set, the shirts lightweight and moisture wicking, preventing heat built up from wearing a heavy plate carrier and the pants, with their generous cargo pockets and integral knee pads prove to be invaluable as they are indispensable. 

Here, also – a good fitting, comfortable boot. This time out, due to varied terrain and topography I’ve opted for AKU’s GTX Pilgrims. Lightweight, breathable, waterproof offering a sure footed grip.

Last but not least, eye pro and ‘cool guy’ patches.

Whilst by no means exhaustive, or mandatory – hopefully this overview will give you a comprehensive idea, or at the very least put you in the mindset of what do or don’t need for the event – either way, I’m already starting to get ready in anticipation for what undoubtedly will be another exhilarating unique large scale ‘Plastic Deth‘ event – S23

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride … S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322506771568

s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/

British Steel – Mike B’s UK Inspired Armory

British Steel – Mike B’s UK Inspired Armory

It’s one of those ‘not so’ rare moments, where I honestly have to defer, and quite frankly bow to someone else’s encyclopedic knowledge and passion for their professed subject matter.

​​
Mike B, has been an encouraging and supportive reader cheering on the blog for a few years now.


Well, despite my DIY ‘Punk Rock Hardcore’ ramblings gaining no end of notoriety, I’m always blown away at just how good you guys are – point in case, I recently reached out upon spotting his superb collection of UKSF inspired Plastic Deth weaponry laid out as a collective. I’ve suggested that this very ‘phot’ could in fact be reshot and released as a poster …


Mike has intermittently kept us informed and kept in the loop on his stunning GPMG build – there’s even page dedicated to it, and I’d highly recommend you take a look – absolutely brimming with detail, research, history and passion it’s worth several cups of coffee whilst reading f’sure …

This is the very same L7A2 that’s graced our FB page several times already …



GET THE COFFEE ON, YOU NEED TO READ THIS !!!

You can read all about Mike B’s L7A2 GPMG build right here, I’d truly urge you to do so as this is undoubtedly fascinating and insightful stuff, and documents the incredible journey from start to finish: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QbM00YlyN5j-hO4jVmtVFYpBed-y6nXuSeQspjawYBg/mobilebasic

CONTACT, WAIT OUT !!!

Wait, there’s more – Mike has kindly given us a run through of his armory. Here he’s exclusively photographed the remainder of his collection and detailed custom work, real steel parts and work still yet to do …

Take a look over these stunning portrayals of UKSF weaponry, be the holster worn distress on the L1505A2 sidearm, the range markings on the L115A3, armorers marks on the L1A1 or the detailing and remarks on L85A2 including ‘weld marks’ to be added … 


L1A1 SLR (King Arms)

Mike’s L1A1 looks incredibly authentic, paying a fitting visual tribute to the venerable British Service Rifle, the L1A1 SLR. It’s the little details, which finish this – such as the yellow taped armory inventory number, as well a fair amount of real steel parts …



Features

•Real stock

•Real foregrip

•Real carry handle

•Real top cover

•Real rear sight

•Real cocking lever (knob only for now)

•Real sling swivels and sling
Still to Complete

•Fit real release latch

•Fit real mag release catch

•Stamp right side of receiver and bolt with serial number

•Steel barrel and flasher to be made

•Steel gas block to be made (only because it is extremely weak to skirmish with)
L85A2 (ICS)

Whilst originally criticized and deluged with technical issues, here, seen in its most modern incarnation- the L85A2 is still going strong today.

Upgraded with its own proprietary Daniel Defense System Rail, LM01 and ACOG its future service is ensured for quite some time yet …

Mike references some interesting details, such as weld marks, serial numbers and corrector positioning of the selector plate. It’s passion for details like this that really bring alive a project …



Features

•Real gripod

•Real tan rail covers

•Madbull DD rail

•Element LLM01

•Replica Surefire flash hider

•Acog riser

Unknown make ACOG (but has correct markings, working reticle and correct rear mount for wing mount)

Wing mount and red dot
Still to Complete

•Laser engrave ‘IW/LSW’ on to both sides of the acog (only drawn on for now)

•Laser engrave ‘HK A2’ on to back end of receiver

•Rear body pin to be made and stamp ‘HK’ on to it.

•Steel barrel to be made

•Dirty weld added

•Black plastic bit on the left side by selector to be moved to correct position.
L115A3 (ARES AW338)

I initially mistook this as being either painted or manufactured in a ‘sand’ colorway – better yet, it’s been ‘taped up’ cleanly replicating its real steel iteration, including ‘range’ markings penned on the side …



Features

•Custom made accurate AW338 flash hider

•Real Harris bipod with quick release lever

•Guarder scope (for now)

 

Still to Complete

•Source adjustable hand stop with QD sling swivel

•Source Cosine indicator

•Night sight base to be made for scope mount

•Scope base to be altered

•Night/Thermal sight side mount to be made

•source a Schmidt & Bender PMII clone (Tac Vector Siegfried 6-25×50)

•stamp last 4 digits of serial number on bolt and bolt lever
L105A2 (Tokyo Marui P226)

Tokyo Marui, possibly one of the best producers of GBB sidearms, here has been given an upgrade with Guarders ‘frame and slide’ set. Incidentally this has naturally attracted a really natural wear and patina from being drawn and holstered …



Features

•Full Guarder P226R kit

•Guarder steel upgrade parts

•Real Sig-Lite night sights
L119A1 (G&P base)

Last but not least based of a G&P M4Mike has turned in solid representation of UKSF’s iconic CQBR – the Diemaco (Colt Canada if you prefer) L119A1.

Nothing really more to be said, but this piece is a balanced visually stunning piece, but more to come as the ‘devils in the details’ – S23



Features

•Real DIS carry handle

•Real Matech BUIS

•Real sling plate

•Real buffer tube

•Real stock

•Real stock pad

•Real KAC rail

•Real rail end plate (without the M203 cut outs)

•Real delta ring parts

•Real SA80 sling

•Real sling swivel

•Real front sight parts

•G&P Storm grip (to be changed to the Guarder one)

•G&P AN/PEQ2

•Guarder real stock to AEG adaptor

•Army Code Steel front sight

•Replica steel barrel collar

•Mabull steel 16″ barrel

•G&P steel parts I.E trigger, selector lever, mag release, forward assist, bolt release, dust cover and body pins

•Replica TA01 ACOG
Still to Complete

•Steel barrel to be turned down to accept barrel collar

•Barrel to be stamped and also engraved with Diemaco symbol

•front sight to have a small groove machined across the underside

•G&P body to have full L119 engravings done including cast marks on upper right side.

•Rear of upper rail to have a ledge milled off

•Extra rail slot to be milled on the back of the upper receiver

•hole drilled to accept receiver pin retaining spring

•Get receiver cerakoted

•Last 3 digits of serial number to be stamped on left side of the upper receiver

•Fit the G&P steel parts

•Alter and fit the Guarder storm grip

•Source genuine Surefire M600C

Huge thanks to Mike for what, I’m sure you’ll agree is a stunning tour of his ‘active’ Plastic Deth museum, I can tell you he’s already working on a new project – an  L110A2 Minimi build going on as we speak using a G&P M249 as the base – S23

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride … S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322506771568
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/
S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

Take by Force – MoeGuns Face Wrap Spotlight 

Take by Force – MoeGuns Face Wrap Spotlight 

You may well heard of MoeGuns.Com, I certainly have and as 51k will testify they have too …

Based in Colorado, the United States, as simply stated they are dedicated to creating the coolest products of all time. This is no idle boast, trawling through their back catalogue – they surely have an impressive catalogue of cool patches and apparel, for real steel shooters, military, law enforcement and of course fans of ‘Plastic Deth’ (Airsoft/MilSim).


By way of thank you, for our recent review of Strike Force Energy, our very good friends over at Allied Risk Equipment Consulting have sent down two of MoeGuns face wraps to try out and naturally give you an overview …


We’ve got the UK ‘Arid’ variant – made in Colorado, extremely comfortable moisture wicking fabric UPF 50+ Sun Protection One size fits all Extremely awesome Not welcome in the EU !!!
As they go onto explain, for our brothers in arms across the pond! Drink tea, curbstomp Nazi’s, and pour vinegar on everything in style!  


I’ve long been a proponent of the face wrap, regardless of the weather, which here in the UK is more often inclement, and as such often have one in my pocket or day sack, always.
Great for the biting cold and frost of winter, and as moisture wicking neck gaiter during sunnier climes.
I’ll confess, patriotic as the next man, purely out of personal choice – large items adorned with our countries flag have always struck me as a little cliched. However, here the distressed patterning, subdued mottled tones of the chosen color ways selected – here make for a more subdued and sublime affair, complimenting any other camouflage worn.

It’s always the little details that please me, and here MoeGuns have delivered in style with a concealed label print replete with US flag printed just short of the seam, a nice touch f’sure.


Both ends of the wrap are double stitched, opposed to most wraps which are just cut, and prone to becoming frayed or rolling up on themselves, this with its scissor stitched seam, helps retain its shape, form and height.


 Besides, if anyone gets too close to recognize the iconic bars of the ‘Union Jack‘ flag it’s either too late for them or they’re a friend …


These are also, available in ‘Betsy Ross‘ and ‘Blue Line‘ variants, as well as Australian and Canadian patterns – the latter with its oversized Maple Leaf looks really bad ass !!!


Comprised of 82% polyester, 8% spandex these are a lightweight, breathable option for those looking for a functional alternative to solid block colors which have traditionally dominated the market for years. Better yet, with a little added patriotic morale.
These are of course available from MoeGun’s web store (see link below) but, for those based in the UK or for that matter Europe, these are available exclusively from Huey’s Military Tactical Outdoor store. 


Huey’s deserves a special mention here, along with MoeGun’s wraps these guys are truly an overwhelmingly stocked online emporium of military, outdoor and tactical gear and equipment. Often all offered at incredibly competitive pricing supported by second to none customer service – check em’ out for yourselves.

This Union Jack variant is exclusively through Allied Risk Equipment, and available from Huey’s MTO
So, to summarize – MoeGun’s have, much to my initial chagrin, produced here a face wrap which has to my own surprise become an instant firm favorite and now sits securely in my day sack as part of Every Day Carry – in part, it’s design is actually after all quite appealing and more importantly comfortable and with plenty of stretch and give makes for an easy wear – S23

**COMPETITION**


We have an MOE face wrap and three boxes of Strike Force to give away, simply head on over to our Facebook page to enter: https://m.facebook.com/S23GolfMike75/

**GET EM’ BEFORE THERE GONE** Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322503518954

Check out more from MoeGuns here: https://www.moeguns.com/

Check out Huey’s MTO here: http://www.hueys.co.uk/epages/es151784.mobile/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es151784

https://www.facebook.com/alliedriskequipment/

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/

Ai500 The Gathering – An Introduction

Ai500 The Gathering – An Introduction


Welcome to the first official Viper Team post. Here, the first Ai500 of 2017, ‘The Gathering‘ looms large upon us. This is my seventh outing leading the Viper Task Force out against the ‘Green Team‘ AKA ‘Mongoose‘. This has seen hundreds of Airsoft Players, from all over the United Kingdom and from across the globe wage a campaign of attrition across innumerable sites and locations, showcasing some of the finest large scale game play our community has to offer. 
This time out, at our largest event yet, will see over 400 players from both teams wage Plastic Deth within the confines of an eerily disused ‘theme park’.
Led by Airsoft International magazine, and accompanied by sponsors Enola Gaye, Airsoft World, Viper, Action Sports Games, Abbey International, Intelligent Armor it promises to be a truly explosive Airsoft event in this years gaming calendar.

Task Force Viper 
The team at present, will see the entire Task Force, led by myself and longstanding second in command Ben Dickie, as well as sub commanders leading the six call signs, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo and Foxtrot into the front lines of the action.
Wether you are attending as a small group of friends, individually, or as team you’ll be allotted prior to gameplay to one of the above six call signs. We will not be splitting up any teams, respecting the very fact you collectively wish to remain together throughout. Smaller groups and individuals will be allotted to callsigns to bring them up to full strength.
This allows, the overall command to equally share various tasking, missions and objectives equally out to you all via your sub commanders.
This worked exceptionally well at the last event. Keeping everyone abreast of objectives as they unfolded, and amazingly everyone in the action. 
This also allows us to manage each callsign, and respectively withdraw them from the action, allowing them to rearm and reload as well as collecting ‘wounded and dead players’ and thus preparing them, at full strength to go back into the action. This ultimately puts you in the position to get maximum time out in the Area of Operations (AO) – and, experience to the fullest extent, the scenario and combat as it unfolds.
Essentially, all I require from each and everyone one of you is to bring your ‘A Game’ as well as an abundance of positive enthusiasm, honorable play and honest hit taking. Approaching each tasking and objective with cheery enthusiasm will only further our position to achieve victory.
It may at times seem like you’ve been given a less than glamorous tasking or objective, however as was often proved, as we often moved callsigns around the AO they often clashed with the opposition and found each and every objective and strategic position hotly contested. So, have faith and bear in mind throughout whilst it may appear that your purpose appears to be either a little vague or the overall objective seems distant and obscure it often serves the greater overall picture unfolding elsewhere.
What I can absolutely promise is you will all be in the thick of the action, fighting in and throughout a varied urban and CQB environment.


Comm’s Check



We will be again running the Command Net on PMR Channel Five, sun channel one. In simple terms, for those with Pre Programmed radios, that’s Channel Five. Here, for those that require to pre program their comm’s here are the frequencies and a few tips to optimize clear comm’s.


We invite all of you to use, and utilize the command channel, but, whilst this caused zero issues on our last deployment I ask only that you do so responsibly.
In simple terms, at the request of command to standby and clear the channel please do so. This is often to allow us to either brief out via the command channel new missions, objectives and intelligence on enemy positions, and additionally to direct each callsign into position and into action.
You can use the command net to offer new intelligence, requests for support and reinforcements and of course, inform command you’ve completed and objective or mission as well as requesting new updated missions and objectives.
For inter team comm’s please use channels six and above.
You’ll more than likely find, that each sub commander either has already a nominated a Radio Control Operator (RCO) or if you are up to the task with reliable communications equipment, please present your self to your sub commander on a voluntary basis.
This is a vital task, often seeing you deliver up to date intel to your sub commanders, often under fire in the thick of the action …

Getting Squared Away – Gears, Camouflage, Kit and Equipment
 


Here’s the fun part of the event, something which to a lesser or greater degree we all enjoy and enthuse over.
Whilst, we’ve covered how best to prepare for a event, AO’s and climates elsewhere on this blog, and in exclusive content for Airsoft International, here we will look at gears and load outs within the frame work of this event and the rules as they apply to our Task Force.

Camouflage
 
Traditionally, we have the option of a myriad of patterns that best fall under the simple description of ‘arid or desert’ color ways. This includes, Multicam, and Pattern (MTP), Desert MARPAT, DCU Tri-Color, No.5 Pattern (Desert DPM), Tan, Coyote Brown (CB), Flat Dark Earth (FDE) even UCP (Universal Camo Pattern) etc …
You get the idea, or rather the theme. This is quite simply is to assist with the distinct definition that we are not on the Green Team. Who will naturally be running the darker North European patterns and solid greens and blacks.
It further serves the purpose, that we do not have to ruin the suspension of disbelief, by using brightly colored tape or armbands to define which force we are operating under. In lieu of armbands, and this will be covered more succinctly and in detail upon the full release of the event rules, we will be operating a patch based medic rule, which if you don’t have them from previous attendance, will be issued prior to the commencing of combat operations.
You can mix and match colors from the colors and camouflages we’ve been allocated, but you cannot use any of the patterns allotted to the Green Team.

Plate Carriers & LBE



Now, you’ll naturally need something to carry your magazines, pyro, communication systems, hydration and all other ancillary equipment you may feel you require whilst out on operations undertaking your objectives and takings.
These can be any color. 


Naturally, if your Chest Rig, Plate Carrier or Load Bearing Equipment (LBE) matches the above colors, you are already at a distinct advantage.


 However, if your equipment is of any other color or pattern, do not despair, you can use it as long as your upper and lower clothing meets the required Camouflage and Colors as outlined above.
A question often asked, is with reference to jackets for foul or inclement weather, unlikely as it is to either rain or be particularly cold, this is the British Isles and at best weather is, as you well know, unpredictable. Both teams have used a variety of jackets, in neutral colors, or in camouflage patterns which reflect which side they fight for.


I’d avoid using a Camouflage jacket which uses the oppositions colors as your likely to be mistaken either by them or your own team mates. A hit is a hit, and blue on blue will require you to take the appropriate action under the medic rules, or return to your ‘medical facility’ before being returned to the front lines.


I’ve included here, several options of Chest Rigs, Plate Carriers and combined LBE – which dependent on either the AO, tempo of operations and duration spent in the field as well as required equipment, dictates which I’ll use.

High Speed, Low Drag 



A Chest Rig is an ideal solution to carry at least a minimum of Primary and Secondary magazines for your blasters. Ideal for short Direct Action (DA), Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and Reconnaissance style missions. You’ve got enough munitions, including grenades, smoke and flash bangs to complete your objective, either eliminate or defend yourself against any OpFor encountered and break contact back to the safety of friendly lines. This will invariably allow you to carry communication systems, hydration and any other mission essential equipment.

Heavy Metal



Plate Carriers, whilst, perhaps within the remit of Airsoft are quite possibly redundant, as we really don’t need ballistic and fragmentation projection, but they do offer a broader load bearing capability due to their expanded real estate of MOLLE. Using a well set up Plate Carrier, can allow you to carry more ammunition, hydration, complex communication systems as well as more grenades, smokes and flash bangs. It’s need to be duly reflected, that we all enjoy looking the part, and why not. That’s half the fun and adds to the sheer escapism and suspension of disbelief. 


But, bear in mind, more kit carried equates to weight and this over time, if not conditioned to it, or overloaded will in some instances cause fatigue, in the best case spoil your enjoyment of the event at worse cause exhaustion, dehydration and leave you tired and aching. That aside, some say, that if your not tired and aching after a full days Plastic Deth then you’ve been doing it all wrong …

Infiltration



LBE combined with lighter options, as seen here with a slick LV-MBAV meets a happy middle ground. Where form meets function, and can be further combined with a belt load. Perhaps and ideal compromise, maintaining an aesthetic appearance whilst keeping a high speed, low drag functionality could possibly be a good direction to consider. 


Here, this simple premise allows you to undertake quick and fast missions, and if ammunition and supplies hold another one or hold a position until reinforcements arrive before having to withdraw and rearm …

Headwear



Ball caps, Beanies and Boonies are all favored soft head borne apparel. If you choose to prefer the above options, or not as the case may be, the choice is yours. I often have all of the above, or a selection of at my disposal. Wether it be for prepping kit, briefing out callsigns, or light patrol of the front lines to see how the battle progresses these are all options, particularly when the weather draws in and it gets a little darker and colder.


However, and this is personal choice, when I’m in the thick of the action, particularly in CQB or Urban environments, my chosen PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) is invariably some form of helmet, ballistic or not, most high end replicas will afford protecting you not only the bumps, knocks and scrapes all too generously collected mid firefight but allow the carriage and application of other equipment. This can be anything from communication headsets and ear protection, lights, strobes and even NVG’s.

Boots



Boots are an expansive subject in their own right. One that can and has not only filled the venerable pages on here, but across the global web, magazines and no end of experts will tell you what you should expect, need and demand from your foot wear.


I’m happy to solicit questions on advice on particular boots, and what you can expect from certain brands and models.
However, I’ll say this much in advance. I’d advise wearing a boot you’ve already pre worn and are comfortable in, confident it won’t injure your feet or ankles. There is nothing worse than sore or blistered feet, or a twisted or sprained ankle to put you out of the fight. A little baby powder and wet wipes to clean your feet is no bad thing, as are several pairs of clean good quality socks.



Gloves



Recommended kit is a pair of gloves, the choice is yours, but it’ll save you from scrapes and scratches and your tear through the AO assailing obstacles and rough terrain. Invariably at one point or another it’ll offer some respite from the inevitable painful shot to hand – it’s a good idea to look after those trigger fingers.
I’ve amassed a varied collection, from the near indestructible Mechanix, the Classic Sage Green ‘Flight Gloves’ to PIG’s FDT shooters gloves, Mountain Hardwear for cold weather and the up armored Oakley SI Assault Gloves.

Eye Pro



Whilst ultimately we recommend full seal goggles or safety glasses with either a full face, or lower face mesh mask, one things for sure they must meet the correct ballistic safety specifications of ANSI Z87.1 – this by definition is a rating specific to high impact velocity projectiles traveling at speed, therefore creating mass. Eye Protection, giving a snug full seal offers in general terms a level of confidence with regards to protecting your eye sight with the risk we are subjecting ourselves too.
I use, personally as it offers a good fit and seal to the form and shape around my eyes, either Oakley Gascan’s or Monster Dog’s. Other brands such as Smith, Bolle, Revision are, if safety relevant all trusted brands.  

Blasters



Without these, we’d be really out of the game. As long as they are reliably and consistently functioning, with in the agreed site/event limits measured in Feet Per Second (FPS) with a 0.20g BB you are good to go. Naturally, I’d ensure you bring at least one weapons platform that you confidently and reliably trust to perform. Good trigger respond, charged spare batteries, or plentiful gas to operate is a must, with a reliable Hop giving you a consistent shot to shot accuracy will ensure you can throw down in a firefight with the best of them.



Primary



Other things to consider, but by no means essential, include a weapon mounted torch, useful for the gloom and murk of unlit interiors, and of course low light as the day draws to a close. A sling, ensures weapon retention and allows for easy transition to your secondary platform without it clattering to the floor. 


Vert or Angle Fore-grips allow for a steadier manipulation of your platform, and not only assist with a shooting form making for easier sight acquisition but a steady platform keeping shot to shot on target.


If your running NVG’s, a DBAL or PEQ with an IR capability allows you discreetly paint unwitting targets, and if accurately zeroed put out an accurate shot from under shadowy cloak of darkness.


Scopes, Red Dots and Holo Sights are all great additions to assist either shooting at range, quickly bringing your blaster onto target or transitioning from target to target. 


But, remember – they need to be zeroed to accurately reflect your guns range and shot to shot consistency.

Secondary



A secondary can take many forms, dependent on your role within in a team or style of play. Invariably this is commonly a pistol, with a minimum of one or two magazines. Great for drawing when there’s insufficient time to reload and the threat is still present. 


Aside from being cleaned, lubricated and serviceable – checking your secondary’s Hop is consistent and gives you shot to shot consistency at any given moment, will give you the confidence to take the fight head on to the OpFor.
Other options, may comprise of Shotguns, popular amongst breachers and point men, first through the door, or as an extra little punch in CQB conditions particularly when running an SMG such as an MP7
In certain instances, an SMG serves as a great secondary, such as players running support weapons or DMR’s which are inoperable inside building and confined spaces.
One is none, two is one …

Support Weapons & DMR’s



A recent conversation threw out the question, can Airsoft, specifically blasters, truly mimic their Real Steel Counterparts.
Whilst range, accuracy and rates of fire may not be indirectly comparable, I’d wager with the spectrum of their optimal range and accuracy – yes they can.
Support Weapons, such as M249’s, Mk48’s and the like can be to great effect, a superb addition to any teams arsenal, put down voluminous rates of fire, and spread to an area effect. Scoring multiple OpFor ‘casualties’ at best. Even in worst case scenario, thwarting an enemies movement, progress or their ability to even return fire. Well positioned support weaponry can, really alter the flow and outcome of any firefight.
Likewise, an effective and accurate DMR or Sniper platform offers that ability to reach out a little farther. Pushing back the OpFor, making certain routes and areas contested for dominancy a no go, all down to an accurate and skilled marksman.
Conversely, these can be defeated by drawing us into the tight confines of an urban area, or within the CQB chaos of interiors, it’s all about using the right tool for the right job, employing a strategy best suited to your chosen weapons platform. 

Summary

So, aside from personal admin gear, sufficient water and food (although catering and local amenities are available) sleeping systems, repair kits, batteries, batteries and more batteries this essentially should serve as introduction to the new or initiated on their first big event, and for the experienced veteran a simple reminder and food for thought.
So, herein is a brief overview of preparing, planning and getting on the same page, to put us within good reach of a strong victory. Teamwork, patience, enthusiasm and a cheery can do attitude go a long way to ensuring not only your teammates have a good event, but your opposition too, and most of all, more importantly you. I’m looking forward to catching up with you all, old and new faces alike. I’ll be on hand throughout, not only steering us in a positive direction, but to answer your question, trouble shoot any problems or worries. Who’s with me – S23


S23
is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/


s23
is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/


Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/

S23 RANGER DIAMOND Mk III PATCHES 

Celebrating our third anniversary of the blog, we have created our third Mk III patch – the S23 patch.


**GET EM’ BEFORE THEY’RE GONE- LAST FEW LEFT**

Thank you to all that have preordered, we are due to start shipping imminently – however we a have a few left.

Whilst meant as surprise, these patches will not only come with a ‘S23 Diamond‘ stickers, but a limited oversized ‘S23 Diamond Bumper Size’ sticker too – by way of thank you for support and patience.

Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ Here:    **GET EM’ BEFORE THERE GONE** Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322503518954

Planet Caravan – Airsoft International Exclusive Content

Planet Caravan – Airsoft International Exclusive Content

Each and every month we produce exclusive content for the venerable pages of Airsoft International. Often commentary based, a social conjecture on the scene, or overview on its myriad of genres, to reviews, load outs and more …

Vol 12 Issue 11 http://www.ai-mag.com/product/airsoft-international-magazine-volume-12-issue-11/?v=79cba1185463

Just short of our third anniversary we penned this piece originally printed in Vol 12 Issue 11, a return to our skirmishing roots – and as such, to give you the chance to see what we produce each month for Airsoft International I’ve reprinted it in long form.
Territory – Elite Action Games Site Visit


Roots



Every Sunday thousands of players, in the UK descend upon their local Airsoft sites. Regardless of weather, rain or shine – they turn out to once again wage ‘War’ and make much ‘Plastic Deth’ …


It’s with this very enthusiastic approach to our beloved past time that I and very good friend Jon A descended upon what not only was my home site for many years, but also significant in that this was where my very first skirmish took place.

Inside Knowledge



Often overlooked, the genre of Airsoft commonly known as Skirmishing is for many not only as good as it gets, but perhaps a commonality amongst most most if not all players. Undoubtedly I’d wager, most MilSim gods, Speed Soft fanatics, and even RealSim re-enactors where born on your venerable skirmish field.


It’s this ethos that drove us to get out of the office, not only to re live the glory days of our origins, but to see what thousands of you, our readers religiously follow week in week out.

Furthermore, we thought it only fair, whilst revisiting old haunts we’d also review one of the UK’s best and most established Airsoft sites, the Airsoft International award winning Elite Action Games in Surrey.
Biased or not, many years before officially coming onboard I penned the very review that accompanied their site award way back in 2009.
Regardless, I’m keen to find out not only how the site has evolved, and more relevantly, why after all these years the buzz for Skirmishing has not waned, but grown exponentially.
A little history, not long formed before I actually started playing ‘Plastic Deth’ EAG Dorking (or Delta Kilo as I later affectionally coined it after its popular Nam based games). Was the sister site to both EAG Worthing, and the now sadly lamented CQB mayhem that was EAG Epsom, popularly known as ‘The Tunnels’.

Return to Strength



Anyhow, virtually almost exclusively for two and a half years, I cut my teeth and virtually every other weekend saw me descend upon EAG Dorking, ever refining my load out and more importantly my skill set. 


Woodland based sites are not always to everyone’s taste, preferring either CQB based arenas or more urban style sites. However, here’s where EAG excels, it utilizes its extensive undulating terrain, eerie forestry and existing fauna and foliage not only to its advantage. They’ve considerably added to its vast size with buildings, fire bases and entrenched positions to best facilitate not only game play, but to create a tactically complex AO for you as player to operate within. 


This allows for any given scenario run over the course of their walk on days, any number of options and solutions to approach your opposing force.


Yes, it’s skirmishing, but they’ve cleverly disguised it and embellished not only the site, but the game play to provide a far more immersive atmosphere be it the casual passing player, young gun or veteran MilSim aficionado. 
So, it’s this premise that only furthers what is aside from a truly natural beauty spot, but lends an atmosphere of suspense and terror that would easily lead you to believe your fighting across the Mekong Delta, in the height of summer an Ecuadorian jungle or in winter, Cold War Northern Europe.

This is all bolstered by friendly, amenable and professional staff, who as enthusiasts of the hobby themselves work long and hard to deliver a top day to all present. 

Safety Brief


So, back here after few years absence whilst crossing the country playing at a whole slew of sites, and event. It appeared whilst much had changed and been improved upon it was reassuringly familiar. I must confess, I’ve missed the relaxed atmosphere and pre game amble as people gear up over a hot drink.
Safety briefing was succinctly informative, detailing the rules and site regulations without sending everyone to sleep, but more importantly reiterated EAG’s long standing commitment to safety, fair play and honest hit taking. This ultimately set the tone for the day, that we are all here to have fun. 


Martin, head marshall admirably picked up the slack whilst John recuperates from recent surgery – was keen to iterate and explain to us that the sites key ambition, as it always has, is to ensure varied and different styles of objective gameplay. This, is because whilst the site attracts a large number of new and old players who descend upon the site, they are keen to offer something that entices more veteran players from other genres of the past time.

Assaulters Up


First game of the day was, whilst a simple premise, was an attack based scenario. Here, including my accompanying photographer and two other long standing players – simply put, we took on the remaining sixty players who took up defensive positions with the labyrinthine FOB.


As we assaulted from two flanking positions, fallen players joined our side and increased our attacking force until only a few remained.
Here, the newly built FOB, built upon the remains of the old ‘Paintball’ fort really shone. Once inside its newly increased size is broken down into maze of corridors and doorways with elevated fortifications and watchtowers. 

It’s really cool to transition for woodland assault to interior CQB and this scenario allowed for a great start to the day.

Ammo Dump


Despite the weather being absolutely diabolical, much of the earlier snowfall still being present. The site despite being swamped in huge knee deep pools of rain and slick mud over sixty players had braced the cold and wet to break the post New Year blues.
To be fair, all credit to the site the mud and rain only added to its character, and fighting through the slimy muddy undulating undergrowth for me just made it all the more immersive.
So, everyone freshly warmed up from the first bout, we broke into a very simple domination game fighting over munitions in the middle of the Cable Reel field. This was essentially a good excuse to get into a good old firefight. I’d lost none of my enthusiasm as I and my buddy soon managed to find a well concealed fighting position overlooking the munitions we’d been tasked to retrieve. Despite scoring an incredible number of hits against the OPFOR, they clearly had determination on their side, despite heavy casualties they retrieved far more ammo than we did.

The Sands of Time



Before we departed, an old favorite of mine, was wheeled out. An old military crate, armed with a switch to reverse the lights between red and green was situated in the dead ground between the Cable Reel field and the old Fire Base.
Simply, teams had to fight across these two positions, switch the crate to their designated color, the device recording the time spent on either red or green, the longest accumulated time being the winner.
Whilst this may sound a rudimentary and basic affair it’s designed to, and works very well at encouraging both teams to utilize the expansive natural terrain and constructed cover and defensive positions to flank and block each other, all the whilst under a withering hail of fire. 
All credit to the players who braved the obnoxious weather and biting cold, we all became so immersed in the firefights we nearly forgot about the box altogether. So intent on moving and firing between cover and flanking positions, people where having just too much fun.
It’s this which perhaps one of EAG’s strongest assets in its armory. It’s commitment and longstanding experience amongst it organizers and experienced marshals to ensure attending players have fun.  

FOB Delta Kilo


Whilst the remainder of the site set off to explore the remainder of the site and play out several scenarios before lunch, I and Jon set about taking a really good look at the new FOB. A formidable four walked structure, it poses as an intimidating presence in what is an already expansive and varied site. With its watchtowers elevated fighting positions not just along its walls but across the FOB as well, it gives defenders a 360 degree defensive view.


Once inside, here transitioning to a pistol is the way forward, it’s breaks down in a confusingly good warren of passage and walkways. This allows for some superb, frenetic CQB action. The walkways too, add to the 3D combat as they allow defenders elevation with which to pour down fire on would be invaders.

EndEx



So, a welcome return to the skirmish field. Possibly in today’s generation of players who pursue ultra realism within MilSim, or the thrills and spills of frenetic paced Speed Soft, the skirmish genre has possibly become overlooked, forgotten maybe even neglected. It’s was a very welcome reminder what I’d been missing. Good old fashioned action, getting gears and kit dirty and muddy whilst slinging plastic in long and hard fought gun fights was an exhilarating and refreshing change of pace. 


Hey, at the worst I got a great days exercise and much needed opportunity to refresh my skill set.
Better yet I got spend my day in the company of some truly superb Airsofters, who’s hit taking, honesty and integrity towards gameplay is truly commendable. All bolstered by enthusiastic marshall’s who only seek to further drive the days games to ensure they long continue to reach heady heights of excitement and action.
A Snipers View



Longstanding friend, and today my photographer Jon A wheeled out his formidable PTW in the guise of a Mk 12 Mod 0.



Jon’s
been a longstanding player for over a decade, and like me, has branched out into the more immersive world of MilSim. Today he too was keen to explore his skirmish roots, and get back to basics.
(Here he us through hit taking, being behind the long gun and how the site best lends its self to taking long shots)

As Andy S23 said, I’ve been playing for over ten years, in such time I’ve drifted over to the more immersive MilSim structured events.
After a brief hiatus, I returned to the scene – complete with tuned and superbly accurate PTW in the guise of a Mk 12 Mod 0 SPR.
Returning to not only a site I frequented but to return to the skirmish scene was an intriguing proposition.
That said, the terrain, foliage and heavy tree line really allowed me
to move around, get some good line of sight on the opposition putting down either accurate sustained fire, or even suppressing the opposition to allow team mates to move up.
As much as he’ll hate me for saying it, I prefer to run a far lighter load out, allowing to carrying enough magazines to stay in the fight without getting snagged on branches and bushes.
This, ultimately assists with just getting down on the ground, prone, comfortable and behind my blaster to take the shot I’ve spent ages getting into position with out compromising concealment.


Despite the poor weather, like S23 a good soft shell, with a warm under layer proved more than adequate to keep me warm and dry. Boots were coupled with Seal Skin socks, I just wish I’d brought my gaiters.


Hit taking was fantastic, and reassuringly gives confidence to just relax and enjoy skirmishing – a friendly well run site, varied terrain, all made for a fun day out. Jon A



Skirmish Gear

So, as the weather was so inclement, a segue on from my previous article on cold and wet weather gear, here’s a quick run down on the gears and kit I assembled for the day at EAG in the pouring rain.


As I knew beforehand that it’d be bitterly cold, sitting only just above minus temperatures I ran my Lightweight Thermal PCS smock, this not only kept me warm but over laid with my Patagonia Lvl 5 Soft Shell, dry too.


As previously discussed a few issues back, it doesn’t have to be bank balance breaking, but some good quality apparel that’s well maintained can make all the difference between sitting on the sofa watching television or really getting out and into the mix with the best of em’ – regardless of just how bad the weather gets.


However, I’d decided that as today was going to involve a lot of running around, even in the cold this may cause core temperatures to rise. So, to mitigate that I ran ToySoldiers MBAV, with only training plates to reduce weight, and naturally give some modicum of reference to visually sporting, aesthetically at least my usual load out. This was ably coupled with Haley Strategics D3 Chest Rig, which gave me an ample supply of four magazines upfront, two secondary magazines and the ability to carry flash bangs and munitions to reload. This coupled with Crye’s MRB belt which supported my dump pouch, admin reload for my pistol also carried an additional four magazines if I really got pinned down in any heavy firefights. Initially feeling somewhat lost and bewildered without all the usual trappings of gear carried, but this proved to be a very successful happy medium. I satiated the inner gear fiend whilst keeping low drag and high speed with the best em’ …


I gave the new Patrol Incident Gear FDT gloves a good run out, whilst soon soaking wet and slick with mud the held up well and dried exceptionally fast. I’m keen to keep punishing these, purely just to see what they’re really made of and can they withstand the rigors of aggressive gaming.


Likewise, the AKU Pilgrim GTX boots, often submerged whilst crashing through puddles and slick mud kept my feet dry and gave a reassuring sure footed grip throughout.


This, really worked out well – it was a lightweight low drag load out, even with the obligatory helmet (better safe than sorry, as I’ve a predisposition to bashing my head). It also gave me the option, had the rain subsided to either ditch the soft shell, or if I’d started to overheat remove the lightweight thermal pullover. 
All this aside, Jet Boil and Aeropress was on hand to make up a fresh cup of coffee.

However, as it stood Mother Nature did her best to freeze and drench us all off site. Nonetheless, despite such poor weather I remained, otherwise dry, comfortable and in the fight. A testament to modularity and layering the right technical clothing can ensure fun can be had skirmishing despite what the weather sends your way – S23


You can catch with all the up to date news, game dates and information for Elite Action Games here:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EAG.Admin/

Web: http://www.eliteactiongames.co.uk/


** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here **

Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride …

S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23

You can get your Mk II patch right here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322506771568


Celebrating our third anniversary of the blog, we have created our third Mk III patch – the S23 patch.

Measuring 5.6 cm by 3 cm in ‘burnt orange’ with black embroidered 23 – our S23 ‘Ranger Diamond’ celebrates the very best of the S23 Familia ethos.
This is a pre order limited to only 50 pieces – delivery takes 2-3 weeks – S23

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322503518954

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/
s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
S23 proudly supports Allied Risk Equipment Consulting https://www.facebook.com/alliedriskequipment/

Nothing to Prove – GWA spotlight, Mechanix Fast Fit and Nalgene Bottle Review

Nothing to Prove – GWA spotlight, Mechanix Fast Fit and Nalgene Bottle Review

Okay, after a fairly busy month with a slew of interviews we are back with a little three part spotlight and review piece.

Firstly, a quick shout out to our very good friends over at GWA, fresh off of the back of this years Shot Show he’s opened up business with an incredible set of gear review informercials and to boot, some brand new patches.

Inspired by these we’ve done a little review of our own, on Mechanix Fast Fit MC gloves, accidentally bought (I didn’t check my basket) when purchasing Superjoints new CD and Bill +Phils ‘Songs of Darkness + Despair’ – if you don’t already know these are from Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records, the latter featuring Bill Moseley of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame …

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgeared

He’s been far too busy a man, unfortunately for us, to sit down at this time for an interview. But, as in part a key inspiration for this very blogs inception it’s only fair we give our very good friend over at Gear Whores Anonymous a well deserved shout out.

Notably, whilst not preoccupied with work at this time, he’s recently put out a slew of video shorts on several pieces of kit and gear. 

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=yGAix2sTsms
Short, to the point, almost like infomercials but nonetheless less crammed with solid experience based opinion you’d truly missing a trick not subscribing to these.


GWA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gearanonymous/
GWA Instagram: http://instagram.com/gearwhoresanonymous
GWA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/gearwhoresanonymous

GWA Web: http://www.gearwhoresanonymous.com/


Additionally, GWA’s back with two new patches, one of ‘Pepe the Frog’ and the inimitable ‘General Mattis’ – no more needs to be said than those that know … 

… I come in peace …
… triggered …

Don’t get butt hurt, these are ‘morale’ patches after all. Head on over to NextGen Warfighter, where you can pick these up and many of GWA’s Baseball series patches, and a few of his other designs which are in stock in very limited numbers …


NextGen Warfighter: http://nextgenwarfighter.com/


Mechanix Fast Fit Gloves MC Review 

We’ve picked up a nasty habit, or rather a penchant for Gloves. Perhaps moreover a need for a variety of different tools for different jobs and or, mission specifics. Earlier this year we reviewed Mountain Hardwear’s Stimulus gloves, which have been great in the depths of winter whilst at work, keeping my hands warm but still allowing the manipulation of equipment, comm’s, touch screen technology and administrative paperwork and writing whilst out doors …

We also reviewed the PIG FDT gloves in MC which, having been recently punished in torrential rain, slick mud, ice and snow – whilst skirmishing – despite some minor wear and tear they are still going strong. As ably explained, by GWA, we need to manage our expectations of kit and gear, in particular gloves, in as such, much like socks and other under garments, these will wear quicker, distress more readily with heavy use, ultimately taking the brunt of what we are protecting our hands and fingers from …


​​So,​​ as earlier explained, whilst picking up our latest fix of Heavy Metal, Hardcore from Housecore Records (shameless plug), I hadn’t checked the basket on my Amazon account and a pair of Mechanix gloves I’d had sitting in their also got purchased (laughs) …

Mechanix Fast Fit MC gloves, paid with my own blood, sweat and tears …

It’s here I should perhaps iterate that yes, I buy and pay for all my own gear. So, as I’m fully aware, all the lazy keyboard commandos who think we say everything is amazing, thinking we get everything for free – well, to put it politely, your sorely mistaken …

One is none, two is … ah – we’ve got loads …

Straight out of the packet, Mechanix’s Fast Fit gloves aesthetically look and feel the business.

First impressions – naturally, in authentic Multicam, they look great.


The Fast Fit, as they quite aptly are so named are designed to be quickly donned and doffed, as opposed to their sleeker more form fitting counterparts within the Mechanix catalogue. However, they are assisted in retention, and seat correctly due to the elasicated ‘mitten style’ cuff, which here has replaced the standardized Velcro closure tab.

Initially, I was a little dismayed at the overly generously cut gusset between fore finger and thumb. However, it occurred to me, that whilst my hands sit between a large and extra large sizing, this is probably to give some range in each size to accommodate varying hand size. After all they are meant to be a slightly looser, more generously cut glove. Despite this slight webbing between finger and thumb, after a small amount of wear, they’ve shaped a little closer to my own hand shape.


Double stitching lines the gloves upper side, ensuring a double strength and reinforcement where it meets with the gloves lower suede palm. Of note, as opposed to the FDT’s more orange palm, this is a more subdued flat color, but that’s purely semantics on my part …

The cuff is ably assisted with a oversized pull tab to assist pulling on and off the glove with ease, and whilst you can use the loops for hooking through a caribineer, Mechanix have included the mini loop too. Either threading these with a mini D-Ring or paracord for mating these for storage and preventing separation when in your kit bag etc …


The near side knuckle has been treated, coated with a clear vinyl lacquer. This is, quite frankly sound testament to Mechanix’s generous over engineering, and again at £15 a great example of their value. This is an obvious stress point, particularly when operating machinery, particularly manipulating firearms as the most immediate external contact point exposed to wear, this, thusly should increase their longevity no end.

The fingers are  separated by a heavier weight stretch tweave, allowing for ample dexterity. The fingers ends are seamed, and naturally this reduces a little of their tactile sense of feel and touch, and perhaps this is where FDT’s gloves overlapped fourchettes excel, but then every glove has its place.

I’d commend this entry as welcome addition to addition to the gear locker, and the kit bag. It’s ability to be quickly donned or doffed makes ideal for quickly grabbing when the need arises to ‘do work’ or the weather draws a little more inclement.

Nalgene Bottles

I’m late to the party, again – having only picked up my first a few weeks back, in transparent ‘burnt orange’.


Nalgene’s bottle has quite simply proved already a welcome companion on the several mile hike to the train station, carrying a liter of water, my preferred juice or hydration solution – and as they encourage has made even the most mundane of strolls into a more compelling adventure.

It’s this inclusive culture that Nalgene have cleverly propagated as part of their marketing campaign, that makes these such an alluring purchase. Plus the exterior has plenty of dead space for cool guy stickers, personalizing your collection has never been so fun.


Better yet, the broadly sized opening makes for an easy drink, and as such gulping down that ‘Kool-Aid‘ has never been easier.

It’s hard wearing plastic has already seen some abuse, knocks and scrapes leaving nary a scant mark or scratch. This, when against their incredibly economical price point, a must have for any outdoors, hiking and trekking enthusiast or sportsman for that matter.


These are all bolstered by a wide array of accessories and supplies, such as alternative drinking apertures, quick open lids and more.

Now, my younger brother extolled  that the ‘self cleansing – anti bacterial’ properties are mythically purported to turn urine into a drinkable solution. Still, I’m skeptical of this, being fully conversant of ‘Bootnecks’ bizarrely warped sense of humor, I’ve eye browsingly raised an eyebrow to this theory in true ‘Commando’ style …


One is none, two is one …

So, thusly impressed with my first – Nalgene quickly convinced me to pick up a second, easily encouraged by offering the same bottle in their standardized BPA free plastic, but as a glow in the dark variant.


At under £6 – I took no more convincing, and besides I needed more sticker space …

Dimensions

The original. The trailblazer. The Sir Edmund of water bottles.

If you’re looking for a water bottle that will keep you well hydrated, hold up against bangs, bumps, and drops, and not leak a single drop ever, then the iconic 32-ounce wide mouth is your water bottle. There’s a reason why we haven’t changed its design in decades—because it works (extremely well).

Measuring 8.5″ tall, 3.5″ wide with a cap diameter of 63mm – as stated it’ll hold 32 oz’s (1210 ml) – these are available in 16 oz, 20 oz, 22, oz 24 oz, 36 oz and 48 oz in a staggering variety of color ways and configurations.


 I’m a huge fan of these, durable – and despite depth, size and volume take little to no space in my day sack. Particularly cool is the broad aperture which allows easy addition of ice to your drink, get on these – S23

For Your Everyday Adventures

A little history, Nalgene makes a wide range of BPA free reusable water bottles and containers to suit your personal preferences, needs and lifestyle. So whether you’re looking for a virtually indestructible water bottle for a backcountry adventure, or you want a clean, green way of storing your dry pasta, you’ll find a Nalgene product that gets the job done.

1940s ROCHESTER NEW YORK

Chemist Emanuel Goldberg developed the first plastic pipette jars. He went on to found the Nalge Company, which Goldberg named using his wife’s initials: Natalie Levey Goldberg.

https://www.nalgene.com/

Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/

**GET EM’ BEFORE THERE GONE** Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322503518954


s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

Gravity – Airsoft Today Spotlight

Gravity – Airsoft Today Spotlight

It’s always good to see others adopt, promote and inspire others to represent the very best of Plastic Deth.


New Jack on the block Airsoft Today are an excellent example of that ethos, and in a short space of time, having made all the right moves has already gained considerable traction and ground swell.


He reached out to us for an interview, and as such I’m always happy to support the scene and gave it a shot.

You can read it all here: 

Hopefully, we’ll turn the tables very soon and get him in the interview chair … S23

Check out more from Airsoft Today here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AirsoftToday/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/airsoft.today

s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: emperionstore.com
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/