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ECHO1 M240B - HILL559 - FRESNO, CA 19FEB2011
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That's me on base defense with the Echo1 M240 Bravo.  Photo credit: Scotty Asai


HOLY CRAP.

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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography

Last Saturday was like a Trifecta of Airsoft game days. 

Number one, I got to play up at my old hometown field, Hill559, in Fresno, CA with my brother, Todd, and other assorted best friends & teammates.  Number two, I had my new Echo1 M240 Bravo with me and I absolutely destroyed the OPFOR with it.  And finally, Numero Tres, there were several photographers out there that day to document my incredible Airsoft machine gun killing spree. 
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography  Gaze upon her beauty and behold!  Like a grizzly bear hunting for salmon along the river below, the Echo1 M240 Bravo waits patiently for its next meal of delicious Tango fish. 

Speaking of which, hear comes one now! (See below tip of arrow). < Here
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography He's on the RUN!!! (behind the little tree, moving right to left)
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
Like a true professional, I accidentally engaged the safety when I switched from right to left hand, with a Magpul Dynamics-style weapon transition.  On top of that, the index finger of my glove got stuck on the trigger guard somehow and cost me some time in getting it loose. I'm not sure Costa & Haley had a 240 Bravo in mind when they were designing their weapons manipulation techniques though.  If I had made the transition to my left side a bit more coolly and calmly, it would not have been a problem, but I saw a bad guy and got a little too moist.  I'm the first to admit, I need more training on maintaining a stable state of mind.  I also haven't gotten to know all the little nuances of the gun, since it was my maiden voyage with it.  I should be able to work out these little things as I spend more time with the gun.  Anyway, just below, is one of my unfortunate victims on the run. 
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography Not to ruin the story here, but let's just say that he died tired.  

Trying to lead him, but he's movin' fast!!!
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography He almost gets behind the cover of that big tree...
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
But I've got the upper hand instead (and my upper hand, I mean the Echo1 M240 Bravo)...
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography My 240's now had the taste of blood and it's all she can think about.

There were a couple things I had some trouble with and I do feel like I need to mention them.  Number one, I'm not crazy about the heat guard on the top half of the outer barrel and the fact that it just pops right off, without having to remove a bolt or latch.  I had a little bit of trouble with it because there were several occasions where I was in need of a place to grip the gun to move it in some fashion.  I kept wanting to pick the gun up by gripping that top plate, but it would just pull right off.  It wasn't a huge issue or anything, just kind of a annoying to have to deal with once or twice.

The second issue I had was gripping the gun in such a way that was comfortable, but also one that allowed me to effectively operate the CRAP out of this gun. When I was holding the gun left-handed, like I am in the photo above, or when I switched to normal and held it right-handed, I had trouble keeping the bipod locked into its tucked-away postion underneath the front end of the gun.  This one, I have good reason to believe, was actually more user error than the fault of the manufacturer because there IS a locking latch that was designed to keep the bipod locked in place and I DID get it to lock securely for the first half of the game, but at one point in time, I squeezed the it in a moment of haste, and it came loose (T.W.S.S.).  Still haven't had a chance to look it over and see how to get that thing to cooperate.  Again, not a deal-breaker by any means.  I'm just bein' nit-picky.

And the third one is more of a personal problem than that of the M240 Bravo's: It's so freakin' heavy!  (and long, too).  Two of my own attributes that my wife is very familiar with.  Just sayin'.  I will warn you all now: just because you can pick the 240 up and hold it for several minutes while you're checking it out in a store or a friends house, doesn't mean that you'll be able to run the it in a game for an extended period of time without feeling a significant amount of fatigue.  Near the end of the game, my hands, arms and back were seriously fatigued.  Again, not the gun's fault.  I just need to man up and deal with it. If you're 4'10" WITH shoes on and have not been working out on a regular basis, you might reconsider the purchasing of this particular Airsoft weapon.  I realize that it might not look so large next to me in the photos, but you'll need to keep in mind that I'm 6'6" tall and I, therefore, am able to make larger items look like they're more of an average size when compared next to me. 

I would also like to urge anyone lucky enough to own one of these things, that you need to exercise great care and caution when attaching your stock back onto the receiver after you've installed your battery. Pay attention to the wires and connectors that attached to the trigger switch. Like the great Johnny Cochran said during OJ's mock trial, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."  DO NOT FORCE IT. You will break stuff.

Overall, these are really minor issues.  I had no trouble with performance and fired the first shots ever through this gun on the field last Saturday.  One very positive attribute I will tell you about is that hop-up.  It's pretty easy to get to (just pop the feed tray up, like you would do if you were attached or detaching the box mag, and at the front of the gearbox, there it sits!  Just waiting to be adjusted.  Aside from easy access (which I'm ALWAYS a fan of *wink*), it actually held up extremely well and sent LITERALLY thousands of my BBs down-range in a very accurate manner.  But let's get back to more action, shall we?  I'll save more of the technical details for another day. 

While others fall all around me, the Echo1 M240 Bravo & I remain calm in the face of danger, patiently stalking our prey with calculated precision.  We lick our chops, hungrily anticipating our next meal...
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
CONTACT, 12 O'CLOCK!!!
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
Son of a buck: I love Airsoft (and the Echo1 M240 Bravo)!!!
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography

Seriously, Echo1. You guys have really outdone yourselves on this one.

To give you readers an idea of how much fun I had, in case you somehow haven't gotten the hint by now, I will be honest with you: I wasn't able to play for very long. In fact, I was only able to play for about an hour before I had to leave to be a groomsman in one of my best friend's wedding.

However, within that solid hour of Airsoft and while using the Echo1 M240 Bravo, I had more fun than I've had attending games where I played all day. 

That's an honest-to-God, no B.S. assessment. Nobody's paying me to say that.  I will admit that being back on my home turf with my teammates certainly played a big part in my overall awesome experience, but even if I was out by myself, lone-wolfing it, I still would have blown my own mind at how much fun I had because of the terror-inducing performance of Echo1's newest Airsoft machine gun.

Airsoft Guns, Air Venturi .20g BBs, Echo1 USA, Hill559, Fresno Airsoft, Shot Show 2011 Coverage, Las Vegas, Jag Precision, MadBull, SOCOM Gear,Echo1 M240B, KAC LMG, PWS AEG, Surefire Suppressor, Robinson Arms XCR, XCR by VFC, Lonewolf, MadBull Kel-Tec GBB Pistol Prototype, M28 Sniper Rifle,Rice Bag of Airsoft BBs, Airsoft rice bag, rice bag of BBs, Airsoft Automatic Electric Gun, Airsoft SAW, Airsoft light machine gun, support weapon,M240B, AEG, VFC, GBB, LMG, Airsoft Minigun, Airsoft CheyTac M200 Invervention Rifle,Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,Remember earlier, when I mentioned briefly that I sent literally thousands of BBs down-range?  Well let me get a bit more specific.  Using an 11.1v 2100mah 30C (yea, you read that right.  THIRTY) Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) battery pack to power my 240 Bravo, and taking into consideration the fact that I only played for an hour, 
I went through at least 6,000 rounds of Air Venturi .20g BBs.

SIX THOUSAND BBs, many of which found their intended target, sometimes on more than one occasion. I know it was around six because the box mag is a 4000-rounder, and I emptied it once, fully, about 40 minutes into the game. Since I KNEW I was probably going to do that because I love to pull the trigger, I brought a bag of BBs with me, stored in a pouch on my 5.11 battle belt rig that I'm wearing in the photos, to refuel the beast during the game (which I did).  When I ended the game, I checked my box mag again and saw that I had about half the box mag left. Half of 4000 is 2000. Did you know that? So one full box mag at 4000 BBs plus a half of a box mag at around 2000 BBs makes 6000 BBs. In an hour. Did I mention that I had a decently good time?  If you're going to run the Echo1 M240 Bravo or really, any other Airsoft SAW (squad automatic weapon), then I HIGHLY recommend grabbing a rice bag of Air Venturi BBs from www.PyramydAir.com.  You can get them in .20g or .25g weights in quantities of 125,000 and 100,000, respectively.

A very special thanks to Scotty Asai of Backyard Photography and Dave Bakholdin of Bakholdin Photography for capturing my essence so well in all the photos they each took of me winning hard.  Even with their fantastic photo imagery skills, the high res photos do the Echo1 M240 Bravo no justice.  You really need to see the 240 in person to believe.  It's downright awe-inspiring, bordering on magical. 

So now my question to all of you is this: what kind of optic would be sexy and appropriate to put on Echo1 M240 Bravo? Holosight/Eotech-style? Aimpoint? ACOG? ELCAN? I'm open to suggestions, as long as they don't suck. Post 'em up if you got 'em!

Also, if you've got any questions on the 240 Bravo, feel free to send them my direction.

Until next time, stay out of gang violence.

Airsoft.

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