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Thread: What is in here?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    29th May 2004
    Athens, Greece, Earth
    Posts liked by others
    Blog Entries

    What is in here?

    In July 2005, M1911.ORG started a project called "Project Airsoft", the purpose of which was to prove the value of Airsoft pistols in shooter's training and practice. We all know that, except for all those fortunate enough to have a shooting range within their property, the rest of us mortal souls have to travel in order to visit a firing range, to practice our hobby. The only firing range in Athens is located in the west part of the city, while I live in the eastern one. Thus, whenever I want to shoot, I have to travel through the worst of Athens traffic to visit the range. I am sure others face similar conditions.

    In June 2005, I got intrigued by a member of our forums asking information on some real gun parts (guide rods) that he wanted to fit in an airsoft gun! I started looking into this issue and I was soon faced with a whole new world of "firearms." Firearms that looked exactly like the real ones, and which even had reciprocating slides (the pistols), just like the real ones. Some further investigation showed that there are people out there who organize full battles, between players who use Airsoft guns to .... hunt each other. Much like paintball, but on a much more realistic level, since the Airsoft guns are close replicas of the originals. And we are not talking about handguns only. Airsoft replicas exist of the most interesting assault rifles, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, sub-machineguns and even machineguns.

    I immediately wondered if those guns could be used by shooters, to practice in the convenience of your back yard, or even within one's house. Since I never had any experience with these guns, I had to find some for testing. So, I approached some companies which sell these guns, and two of them responded with great enthusiasm. These were Airsplat and Airsoft Extreme. These two companies were kind enough to send me several Airsoft guns for testing.

    Of course, since the subject of this board is the 1911 pistol, my initial request to them was for replicas of our beloved, old slabside. Both Airsplat and Airsoft Extreme responded with a bunch of 1911s, and yours truly and our friend Hawkmoon took over the task of testing them out, with our mind focused on the initial goal of the Airsoft Project: To prove if those guns had any value for the average 1911 shooter, as a training and practicing aid.

    In order for a replica to be a training tool, it has to cover the followings:

    - be of similar dimensions and weight as your real firearm.
    - operate exactly like the real firearm.
    - throw a projectile with enough accuracy to imitate the real firearm, within shorter distances (no, you can not use an airsoft pistol at 50 meters).
    - offer as much as possible, a realistic feel, when operated (blow-back).
    - fit existing gear, like holsters, and magazine pouches.

    With these in mind, Hawkmoon and I approached the Airsoft Project by coming up with a "Test Strategy" and started out on testing the guns that Airsplat and Airsoft Extreme had send us. We were both nicely surprised to find that these are no toys (at least most of them).

    In this forum, you can read detailed reviews of all the guns we tried. The reviews follow a (more or less) similar pattern. We start with a detailed description of the gun we review, following by its disassembly and finally the results of our shooting tests.

    As the Airsoft Project was moving along, we decided that it would not be fair to test only 1911 replicas. So, with the kind contribution of our sponsors Airsplat and Airsoft Extreme, we also got some non-1911 guns to try out. We couldn't leave out the famous Tupperwares (Glocks) and we could not leave out revolvers so both Hawkmoon and I invested in some guns, in order to present to you a more balanced view (OK, we liked them too!). So some non-1911 firearms are included in our tests as well.

    Conclusions from these reviews are already being posted elsewhere in the Airsoft Guns Forums Category, but a more detailed analysis will be presented to you, when our tests are completed, which is expected to be somewhere near the end of January 2006.

    One final thing: we fully understand that in some countries, like USA, an airsoft gun may initially sound like a bad investment. Some of those guns cost as much as a real gun (not the same real gun they imitate). So a user may be tempted to skip them, as an unnecessary expense. We believe however, that for those who don't have a shooting range close by, an Airsoft replica is the next best thing to dry-firing your real gun. Personally, I am tempted to consider them better than dry-firing, but that's a personal opinion. (NOTE: I agree on this. Actually launching a projectile of any kind "downrange" is better practice than dry firing. - Hawkmoon)

    We sincerely hope that you enjoy our reviews. I know that both Hawkmoon and I enjoyed our involvement with Airsoft. We also hope that you will see the benefit of using an Airsoft gun in training and practicing, within the convenience of your own home. Finally, we hope that you share with us your experience with Airsoft, just like you do for the real guns here.

    October 2007 Update: The airsofts have grown onto me. Now that I have my own yard (500 square meters of it), I can practice shooting them in my own yard. So on October 2007, I added a few more pistols to my collection, whose reviews you can also read here. Several new pistols have entered the market in those two years, so I decided to try some out and let you know how I liked them. I plan to continue adding more samples to my collection, as the time and money permit me. I hope you enjoy reading those reviews.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    Last edited by John; 19th October 2008 at 05:30.

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