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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How well are you wired?

Airsoft Guns, KWA Airsoft AEG, Silver-Plated Wiring
If the wiring that comes with your Airsoft AEG either sucks or simply needs replacement for whatever reason, here are some helpful pieces of info to help guide you with selecting the optimal wiring for your Airsoft AEG.

Let us discuss some of the important characteristics or attributes that you need to know about when it comes to selecting wiring for your AEG.

Wire Gauge

The gauge (pronounced "gage") of a wire refers to its thickness or diameter.  The two most common gauges for Airsoft AEG wiring are 16 awg and 18 awg.  "AWG" is the unit of measurement for wire gauge and it stands for "American Wire Gauge."  An important item to note is that on the scale of different wire gauges, the larger the awg number means the smaller the wire's thickness or diameter.  So of the two I just mentioned, 16 awg is the thicker wire, and generally the gauge that you'll want to use in your AEG.  I have yet to see the inside of an AEG gearbox that will fit anything larger than 16 awg, but that doesn't mean it's not possible.  Bear in mind though, that I have seen inside a respectable number of gearboxes though.  The reason you'll want to go with the larger, 16 awg wiring is to allow more signal flow from the AEG's battery to the Airsoft AEG, itself.  Think of gauge like the thickness of a water hose.  The larger the diameter (or gauge) of the hose, the more volume of water (or power) will be allowed to pass through without resistance.  Minimizing resistance is usually recommended. 

Recommended Attributes for High-Quality Airsoft AEG Wiring


  The Conductor (and no, I'm not talking about orchestras, you band geeks).

For those that don't do their homework, the precious metal we all know as Silver is generally regarded as being an excellent, if not one of the best, conductors of electricity.  Copper is also respected in the electrician's community, though not as much as Silver.  So naturally, if you can get your hands on some Silver-plated copper wiring for your Airsoft AEG (which is actually very easy to do), I'd say you're not making a bad move whatsoever.  Now, before you cheapskates freak out.  Yes, Silver is expensive, however, buying a couple feet of Silver-plated wiring will NOT break your bank account, unless you either don't have a bank account at all or if you do have a bank account but it's already over-drafted and you get hit with a $35 dollar overdraft fee for making a $6 purchase.  In fact, the stuff I use is not only Silver-plated, Mil-Spec-rated copper wiring but it goes for $.90 a foot.  If you're only rewiring one Airsoft AEG, you'll generally need no more than 2 or 3 feet of red and 2 or 3 fee of black unless you're doing some kinda of crazy MOSFET wiring configuration.  So that'll cost you that 6 bucks I just mentioned, plus maybe a little tax and shipping for premium grade wiring that you will then install in your AEG and enjoy the advantages of having excellent electrical flow in your weapon. You can also say that you use Mil-Spec parts on your AEG, which automatically adds length and girth to your "cylinder shaft."

  The Insulation (and I'm not talking about asbestos here).

So, if you've been reading any of my recent blogs about the Airsoft AEG upgrades and tuning I did, you'll most certainly have heard me rave about Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), or better known as Dupont's Teflon material.  PTFE is so versatile, it just tickles me.  I really love it!  Sometimes, when I've had a rough day, I like to put a little in my hair (what little is left of it).  It seals, lubricates and insulates different things extremely well.  One of the items it acts as an excellent insulation for is wiring.  According to NASA's Parts Selection List (NPSL), wherein the well-known space agency details a list of approved materials for use on spacecraft equipment.  PTFE insulation not only makes NASA's cut, but is at the top of their list of recommendations for exhibiting the following advantages:

  • Excellent high temperature properties.  PTFE Teflon is preferred for solder applications
    (e.g. solder applications like maybe installing in an Airsoft AEG?!  BOOM.  Nuff said, NASA.  I'm sold).   
  • Non-flammable (Always Nice)
  • Good outgassing characteristics
    (My 5-Month-Old Baby Boy has already learned to "outgas" his father, which is quite a feat!)
  • Most flexible of all insulations (Ideal for weaving through one's AEG gearbox)
  • Good weatherability, resists moisture absorption and atomic oxygen erosion (Cool).  
Now, in order to be fair and unbiased, not unlike Fox News (*wink*), NASA does list a few disadvantages, but none of which are bad enough to deter me from saying that PTFE rocks face.  Here they are: 
  • Susceptible to cold flow when stressed (bent) over tight radius or when laced too tightly
    (This will probably be the biggest item to watch out for when installing your new PTFE-insulated, Silver-plated Mil-Spec wiring in your Airsoft AEG.  Don't bend it too much!)
  • Degraded by solar radiation above 5 x 105 RADS
    (Not quite sure that's gonna be an issue for our Airsoft AEGs, but I've been wrong before).
  • Heaviest insulation (Not an issue for us Airsofters).

Basically, if it's good enough for NASA, it's good enough for your TOY Airsoft Gun.

One last item before I pop smoke.  I've seen various Airsoft manufacturers selling Silicon wire replacement sets for Airsoft AEGs.  Don't go there.  For two reasons: (1) It's over priced.  I've seen it as high as $40. (2) NASA pretty much says it sucks (in more or less words)...
Advantages:
  • Excellent flexibility at low temperatures (who cares)
  • Excellent high voltage corona resistance (Corona isn't that great of a beer anyway)
  • Good radiation resistance (to 108 RADS) (Not relevant to AEGs)
  • Good cold flow resistance (Only useful if trying to conduct electricity while the wire is pretty much bent in half.  If you have to bend your wire in half to operate the AEG, for whatever reason, you might want to rethink who is tuning your guns).
Disadvantages:
  • Poor cut through resistance, mechanical toughness, and fluid resistance (Yea, I don't even need to see the rest of the list.  Item #1 kills it right out of the gate). 
  • Must be processed for outgassing control (Don't care.  See Disadvantage #1)
  • Flammable (Don't care.  See Disadvantage #1)
  • No standard silicon rubber insulated wire or cable (Don't care.  See Disadvantage #1)
So in short: 

- Use Silver-Plated Copper Wiring with PTFE insulation in your Airsoft AEG, especially if it's a Classic Army M14 EBR (Extra Beautiful Rifle) from PyramydAir.com.

Airsoft Guns, Classic Army M14 EBR Scout AEG, Custom M14 Airsoft Gun, Pyramyd Air 
- Do NOT spend a ton of money on Silicone Poop Wiring for use in your Airsoft AEG.  Remember, NASA says it smells like rotten beef and moldy cheese.  


Don't thank me for the info.  Thank the astronauts.  But on their behalf, "You're welcome."

Airsoft.


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Hello Everyone.

So it's Monday. Which means the weekend is now behind us. I hope upon all hopes that you were all able to get out to your favorite venue to throw some 6mm plastic downrange on either Saturday or Sunday or both days, if you're hardcore and/or try hard.

But let's get on topic here.

Airsoft SAW,Airsoft M249Today we're going to talk about Squad Automatic Weapons (aka SAWs).

Squad Automatic Weapons are also known as light machine guns. They are designed to put prolonged, fully-automatic fire down on the enemy's position to keep their heads pinned down while your infantry squad advances upon their position. This type of firing is also referred to as suppressive fire. SAWs generally utilize a bipod and a high-capacity box or drum mag. The role of the SAW or support gunner is not necessarily to rack up a bunch of kills in game, but to assist the assaulting infantrymen in gaining a clear shot. Basically, the SAW gunner sets 'em up, and the rest of the squad knocks 'em down. Does this mean one cannot shoot to kill with a support weapon? Absolutely not. It just means that even if you don't have a perfectly clear shot, you can still be of assistance to your teammates by providing suppressive fire to allow them into a position to get the kill. While Airsoft is (dare I say it?) just a game and therefore you may do as you darn well please, it would be advisable to stick with at least one other squad mate to be truly effective as a support gunner.

Now, there is one issue I need to be clear about: Adding a bi-pod of any sort and a box mag to your M4 or MP5 does NOT make it a SAW in the realm of military simulation. Examples of typical squad weapons available in the 6mm world include:


The LMG from Knight's Armament

Airsoft KAC LMG

The Shrike
(Although this is heavily flirting with the line between SAW and an M4 with Box Mag)
Airsoft Shrike

This is my transitioning sentence into the issue of cost.

Due to the prolonged firing on full auto, one can expect to burn through a ton of BBs during the course of an Airsoft game day. This WILL raise your cost of ammunition to very expensive levels. I suggest buying in bulk (for example, check out the TSD BBs Bulk Pack or the AirVenturi BBs Bulk Pack).  Notice the significant discount offered on a per bag/bottle basis. I do not recommend you put an expensive tight-bore barrel in your gun that will require you to run premium grade BBs. This is relatively pointless in a SAW (in my opinion) and will REALLY run your cost of BBs up. When it comes to your SAW's accuracy, I am of the school of thought that it's actually better to have a little bit looser shot grouping than what would be required of a designated marksman or sniper rifle. I'm not talking about just shooting random fliers everywhere and having no consistency at all, but i don't think you need to have the thing shooting quarter-sized groupings at 50 yards with a 6.01mm inner barrel. Basically, I like a little bit of spread on my SAW groupings.

Another item of importance is what type of battery to use.  The general rule is that the higher the voltage, the higher the rate of fire (ROF).  So I would recommend at least a 9.6V battery with a high storage capacity (mAh), like this one.  You'll want a higher ROF in your SAW because that will allow it to spit out more BBs in a short amount of time at your opponents.  Battery voltages in Airsoft can go as high as 14.8V, but that's at the very extreme end of things.  Most people don't use anything higher than an 11.1V Lithium-Polymer (Li-Po) or 12V Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery for their high-ROF setups.  

So those are some of the basics to getting started with a squad automatic weapon.  If you're interested in picking one up, but aren't quite sure if you want to go through with it, ask yourself, "What would an Operator do?"  And then do it! 

Airsoft.



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Boy, I don't know what's going on at KWA, but they sure seem to be stepping on some toes.  Flashbang Magazine, the tactical world's newest publication featuring some of the worlds elite law enforcement unit & special forces, has announced that they're terminating their distribution agreement with KWA.  This, of course, comes on the heels of the announcement from KRISS that they will be cancelling their licensing agreement for the KRISS Vector and any other projects that were in the works.  Hopefully the hits do not keep coming for KWA.  I'd like to see a few more of their products get released, particularly those incredible ERGs (electric recoil guns).  




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I don't know, really. I'm not a mind reader. What I do know is that KWA is still alive and kicking. For those of you that don't know, at the beginning of this year, Umarex took over the distribution responsibilities for all licensed HK products manufactured by KWA. I don't know the exact details, but what I do know is that it wasn't good for KWA. Then, just the other day, there was a flurry of Facebook posts from several key KWA employees announcing their departure from the US-based division of the company, followed a few days shortly thereafter by the press release from KRISS stating the company has decided to terminate its licensing agreement with KWA for the KRISS Vector and any future projects they may or may not have been working on. Another huge blow and not the good kind either.

So after a week or two of speculating among friends, I finally called KWA and demanded answers about just what the actual was going on and whether or not we'd seen the last or KWA or not. I was assured that it's all good in the hood. KWA is gonna keep on truckin' and has plans to release a few guns very soon.

The first one set for release is said to be the KWA ATP Auto. That's right. A full auto version of the original Adaptive Training Pistol. This one could hit your faces as early as next month.

Next on the priority list is said to be the KWA AKG74 GBBR. This one I'm particularly interested in because I love me some KWA gas blowback rifles, and the AKG74 will mark the first AK gas blowback rifle in their line-up. I've spent quite a bit of time with the various prototypes along the life of their development and I'm certain this will be another fine piece from their product line.

I did, of course, ask about the status of the KWA ERGs ( Electric Recoil Guns), which appeared as if they were about to be launched soon after Shot Show this year, but it does not appear that they're going to be here within the next few months, sadly.

As far as any other guns they're working on, I'm sure they've got stuff they're working on behind closed doors.

For now, just know that they may be staying quiet about all this legal mumbo jumbo, but they haven't gone dark.

As for the KWA KRISS Vector. It sounds as if it may have just become a limited edition item, so you may want to expedite the purchase of yours before they go the way of the Dodo Bird (extinct, you Dodo).

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy 417 Day

So I had my buddy Dave snap a few shots of the limited edition Elite Force HK417 350C that he got a hold of so that I could share them with you here on the blog. And what's a more fitting day to share them than today, 4/17? Yep, I can't think of a better day either.

Did you know that the 350 in 350C refers to the fact that there were only 350 of these things made in the whole world.  True story.  Pyramyd Air still has one or two left in stock, if you happen to be in the market for one.  Just click on any of the images for a direct link.
I love the detail they put in the 417 mid cap mags.  Realism x1000000
Peep that giant magwell.
This particular setup was rigged with not only that sweet magnified scope, but also has a little baby holo sight mounted to a 45-degree offset rail mount for close-quarter engagements where use of the magnified scope would be impractical.

Here's a big brother, little brother shot with the Elite Force HK416 CQB just for funsies.


So there you have it.  Thanks again to Dave for the pics.  I hope you had a phenomenal 417 Day!
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Well. That is actually a bit of a complicated question because it depends on a few things.

Things like whether the gun is an airsoft rifle or an airsoft pistol.

If it's a rifle, at what velocity does it shoot?

Do you plan on engaging the OPFOR at close range with it all the time, or do you need something more versatile that can handle longer range engagements in an outdoor environment where weather conditions like the wind can come into play?

See what I mean? There's probably a few other factors that I'm forgetting at the moment.

Allow me to provide you with a few recommendations for weights & which platforms I've found they go best with that come straight from my heart, based on the experiences I've had over the years.

To read the full post, click here.

See what the world famous MilSim Junkie has to say about the KWA KRISS Vector, available from PyramydAir.com, after he takes it for a spin at CQB City in his latest Airsoft war video.


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While hanging out in Georgia over the weekend for the SS Airsoft CQB Field's 3-year anniversary party, I managed to get Phil & Big Silva from MilSim Mechanix & American MilSim to demonstrate a very useful and effective technique for minimizing the risk of being shot while engaging your targets in an Airosft CQB environment.

Featuring custom Elite Force/Umarex HK 416 CQB AEG rifles...


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Monday, April 1, 2013

King Arms Colt M4 GBBR Video Rundown

Here is the latest video I put together of the King Arms Colt M4 GBBR (Gas Blowback Rifle).



I will be unloading a large batch of performance tests soon here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog.  Being a one-man show and technical difficulties during the testing/filming process are the bane of my very existence.  Thank you for your patience.  I love you.  Subscribe below. 
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