On Plans for Airsoft – March 2013

After writing about the Pot Factory trip and having looked at the lessons learnt from it, its worth looking ahead to the future for my airsofting seeing as the next few months are going to see some big things happening.

The big thing is that I’m having the next two months off airsoft. This is primarily to give myself plenty of time to work on my Final Year Project and the rest of the work I have to do to finish off my university course. I find airsoft open days take out more than just one days worth of time – you have the day before kitting up, the day of the manshoots and then the next day collapsed somewhere as your limbs attempt to function again. I might potentially go along to one of Northern Airsoft Alliance’s training days, as they are only half days and a lot cheaper as well. You also don’t use quite the same amount of ammo either.

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At the moment, my LR300 is at a friend of mine’s getting all the upgraded parts I bought over the last term installed (photo above was sent as proof of life). By the sounds of it, its a bit of a mess inside which was not helped by the trip to Manchester. But its got a few things to be done

So what’s on the possible buy list:

  • Helmet mounted goggles – as my ESS glasses and mask combination don’t work with my helmet, I though I might as well replace them with a helmet mounted set
  • Helmet mounted face protection – as above, these will fit via velcro into the helmet and with a cover of EVA so I don’t have hard mesh against my face. It also looks a little like something the ghosts would be wearing
  • Tactical Torch – my current torch is a little weedy and lacks a pressure switch. This one is 200 lumens and has an attached switch which will be mounted on my AFG.
  • Eotech mounted laser – Lasers are pretty handy when in CQB (and they look cool) so I really want to keep this functionality. Mounting it on the Eotech allows me to easily align it using the sight’s adjustment keeping it accurate and useful
  • 45 degree iron sights – These things look hilarious. There is just enough rail space under the magnifier to fit and as an aesthetic thing the look sweet.
  • Wrist strap for GoPro remote – I’m still trying to find the perfect place to mount this and I thinking using the underside of my wrist is probably the best. If I need to, I can hide the screen under my glove to give it a little bit of cover
  • Rail sets – The LR300 has no rails on it except the sight rail. For now, this has been fine but with the purchase of a cheap AFG and from looking into a gun mounted camera to bring something a little extra to my footage.
  • Cheap camera and rail mount – Watching the videos of KhanSeb (especially the one below) have shown me how having a different camera angle can really improve the footage, adding in a little difference to the monotony of all the footage pointing down at the ground. This isn’t my no.1 priority – its a fair amount of money to drop. However, I am chatting to a friend of mine so more on this at some point

I may be having two months off but that just means I’ll be raring for action come. The plan is to go to the two TSUAirsoft games in May, then do the Rejunion and depending on what my finance is over the Summer, I may be doing quite a few games alongside going to Ground Zero 2013. The aim is to go to every site within a two hour drive of Middlesbrough (the maximum at TSU trip can do) and then give the future chair a book of all the sites nearby that are any good.

Those are the plans, lets see how many will happen.

On Lessons Learned – March 2013

The trip to the Pot Factory was among other things a real test of my kit. Everything from guns down to the boots I was wearing – all of it was being tested to see. Most of it met what it was required to do, some was lacking and a few more bits are required to be bought before the end of the year. I’m going to split this into sections.

483732_10151449170474523_1925244608_n The only picture of me. God I have a leer.

Clothing

  • Border Guard camo is a great cover layer. Its way too thin to be worn as a standard layer but over my ABU trousers it works fine. The top can be worn with just a base layer underneath but in winter works with a hoodie or ABU jacket
  • My WW2 jump boots are great – really comfy, stood up well to the scrapes and scratches of the site. Need to work on walking in them as I kept moving around loudly due to the bottom of the boot clanging around.
  • Shemagh is still comfy while even worn under the helmet. Also helps to tie the look together

Tac and Safety Gear

  • Helmet – nice stable platform for the go pro and it saved my head from a couple of close range hits. The addition of the motto on the back brought a few smiles and makes be recognisable in a crowd. Paintwork seems to hold up to a few hits. Need to glue in the interior pads to stop them falling out.

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  • Gloves – They are starting to look really scraggy. I need to seal up the cut sections. I could replace them with mechanix gloves but its seems a bit much
  • Eye and face protection – My current combination is not working. To be honest, it hasn’t for a while. Both parts are fantastic in themselves (the ESS ICE glasses are some of the best I’ve ever used) but I need to modify them to work together. I’m going to look into getting a google and facemask set designed to work together and keeping my glasses as rentals/when I’m not using my helmet
  • Vest – Happy with the current arrangement of pouches on my vest, especially for the M4 mag using LR300. Might need to tighten it slightly. Rear radio pouch also need tightening up.
  • Dump pouch – some of the best money I’ve spent. Able to store everything from used mags to gas cans (especially for the Garand). Also folds up inside the vest for storage
  • Drop leg – This needs sorting. Kept moving around and being uncomfortable. Sadly I’ve got limited options due to the size of the MK23. Going to tighten the drop leg so it holds in place.
  • Radio – I forgot to lock the keypad so it turned itself on and off. However, it worked fine when I was talking to people – just now need more people on the other end.
  • MK23 – used only a little bit due to conditions. Heavy slide made a huge racket in an enclosed space giving it an edge, got a few good kills. Need a torch mount on it – the Harris technique only gets you so far.

LR300

I’m going to cover each attachment separately  as there is a fair bit for each. This was really a trial by fire for my setup and sadly a few parts were found lacking.

  • Silencer/Tracer unit – Looked cool, worked like magic. Due to the site, I was using a full load of tracer which meant every shot was a trail of green through the air before bouncing around (often off people). Only issue is that it needs taping up – its very easy for the cap on the end to twist off by accident.
  • Torch/Laser – This didn’t work. Not having a pressure switch made it hard to use, while the laser was useless as I couldn’t align it properly to my sights. The torch could also have been brighter
  • Eotech – The battery was dead. Ended up making good use of the front sight post. Need to remove batteries when in transit in the future.
  • Magnifier – The sight relief is a bit crap to use it while fighting. However, it is pretty good for long range spotting (which it wasn’t used for much in CQB) but primarily it looks cool. Mount is a little temperamental
  • Tactical latch – looked cool, had some comments on it, many of which were not just “this is dumb”

Overall the gun performed great. It was a little under-powered and the hop was in need of adjustment. But the rate of fire worked really well and all my mags worked fine. I also really loved the shape of it – it fit perfectly in my hands and shoulder. Also being able to fold the stock was very helpful.

Tactics

  • Chemlights – need to buy a big bag for CQB and drop them at room edges when moving around the site to make it easier to get around without requiring a torch. The light cast by used molotovs saved my life repeatedly in the pitch black corridor
  • I need to get used to carrying a large number of mags – its tiring but being able to not have to reload after every game yet still being able to suppress people with tons of ammo is great
  • Tracers are great distractions – got a few group of enemies to back off just by bouncing tracer rounds at them.
  • Need to work on my cornering. I kept revealing too much of my body when clearing corridors.

GoPro

The GoPro does not work well at all under low light conditions. I still got some footage but not much of it is useable. I have also learnt I need to disable protune mode in the dark as it stresses the sensor a little too much.

 

I’m going to include the things I need to buy in the next post but that’s all from this one. Keep your eyes open that last part of this set soon.

On University Work and the Forthcoming Holiday

Hi everyone. I’m cranking on with university. In a weeks time, I’ve have completed one module (the advanced games development group project), be three weeks away from another hand-in and just over 2 months until my final year project hand in. Its actually terrifying to think that in 2 months I will have finished university and be out in the bleak post education world. All going well, I’ll not be leaving education, instead going up to Abertay to do my masters. I am currently on track for this but I there is still a good deal of work to go.

I mentioned the advanced games dev project earlier on. Overall I’ve enjoyed this project – its taught me some vital skills I’ll use a fair bit in industry. One of the main things its taught me is letting projects be in the hands of others. Before now I have hardly had a project where I’ve worked in a group and had a leader, upon whom my grade stands. With this project, I’ve put the final control of what the project is to the developers. It’s frightening, soul crushing (especially when they cut something out) but at the end of the day something I have to get used to.

My FYP is going really well – I’ve got two of my three apps up and running and now just need to polish them all, continue with the write up and get the last app sorted. I’m excited about it but very conscious about the amount of work I’m putting into it. I want it to be the best it can be and my tutor seems to be happy with it.

Over Easter I have four projects to finish off. A java multiplayer framework for the first day back, a profiler for C++, my online business site which I’m getting close to finished with and of course my final project. This will mean my “holiday” will instead be work, work, work but seeing as I have so little time left before a summer hopefully full of airsoft and fun, I might as well go pedal to the metal on all this stuff.

I’m aiming to produce lots of smaller blog posts rather than the huge ones which take me hours to write as there is a lot more to think about. Come back soon for some more stuff on airsoft