Tactical Shorts? Why These Are A Real Option for Tactical Apparel

Tactical Shorts | AirsoftWarrior.net
(Sponsored by Military 1st)

When Military 1st shipped me a pair of tactical shorts, I was curious to see how they would stack up against my normal BDU pants or a pair of shorts from the store downtown. After using them over the past month (and currently using them while writing this article), I have to say that I am both impressed and enlightened when it comes to the use of tactical shorts. In this post, we’ll dive into what I think this underrepresented section of tactical apparel is for and how they can fit into your gear bag when you head out to the field.

 

TAW Tactical Shorts1 | AirsoftWarrior.net

The Long and Short of Tactical Shorts

Shorts are not my normal attire on, or off, the field. I prefer the added protection of a solid pair of jeans or BDU pants. I was curious to find out what a pair of shorts (particularly ones branded as “tactical”) have to offer to operators throughout their day.

The first thing I noticed about these tactical shorts from Helikon, was the build quality. The material is 2-way elastic Ripstop (comprised of 60% Cotton, 37% Polyester, and 3% Spandex, for those of you who like details). This sturdy material ensures that these shorts are going to last for a very long time with no issues. The Ripstop has already come in handy when some random sharp object put a small hole in one of the cargo pockets. It’s really nice to not have to worry about that rip causing a major issue down the road.

One of the weakest points on any pair of pants is seams and zippers, and these shorts deliver high quality in both. The seams are reinforced and have additional stitching where it matters most. The zippers are YKK brand (known for quality and longevity) and feel solid with no snags or hang ups. I will note that the stitching on one of the cargo pocket’s cloth zipper tabs did come undone, but this is such an easy fix that I don’t think it will have any lasting impact on durability.

 

Shorts Zipper | AirsoftWarrior.net

Design:

After using them for a while, I realized that the design on these shorts is very, very well thought out. Besides the pockets designed for M4 magazines and the zippered pouches on the thigh, the portion of the shorts around the knees have been cut to prevent them from riding up or reducing mobility. There is a nice, small elastic band in the back for additional flexibility. Also, the traditional button to secure the shorts around the waist has been replaced with Velcro to allow for better adjustment and manipulation when your manual dexterity is non-existent.  It’s details like these that take the Helikon tactical shorts above and beyond ones you would normally purchase.

 

TAW Shorts3 | AirsoftWarrior.net

Comfort:

Comfort has been superb overall. Although I had a moment of concern when I pulled them out of the package and felt the relatively rough Ripstop material they had used, I quickly forgot about that upon wearing them. They do not have a significant lack of comfort over any other pair of shorts I have owned. In fact, I would consider these almost more comfortable due to the solid durability I notice when wearing them. Due to the cotton/spandex, they do wick moisture effectively and I haven’t noticed any comfort issues due to the Ripstop construction.

 

 

 

Where Should You Use Them

Now this is where I call into question the claims of “tactical” shorts. I would not use these in normal, tactical scenarios I find myself in at the field. Shorts do not offer the level of protection I require when crawling through the brush, kneeling to take that stabilized shot, or sliding across the concrete floors of a warehouse for style points. 😉

That said, here are the applications I would use them in over full length pants:

  • Extreme heat environments (kind of a no-brainer)
  • At the shooting range when you just need something comfortable to practice in that has enough pockets to carry everything on you
  • Everyday wear (which I won’t use my normal combat pants for)
  • When you’re relaxing after a day of work, but still want to feel operator. 😉

 

Better than Pants?

Overall, I think tactical shorts are a real option for anyone who wants quality and smart design. Helikon has achieved the goal of creating a pair of shorts that feels good, is going to hold up, and has those extra features that someone using them in a more tactical environment will appreciate. The design, feel, and build was clearly created with the operator in mind, while keeping it simple so you can wear them everyday. There are plenty of color options to fit any loadout (I personally went with Coyote). I would highly recommend picking up a pair of these tactical shorts and trying them out. After you do, let me know what you think in the comments!

 

TAW Shorts | AirsoftWarrior.net

 

Prime Day Tactical Deals!

Prime Day Tactical Deals | AirsoftWarrior.net
(affiliate links included)

Prime Day is here and it’s looking like there are a lot of fantastic gear on sale for top-notch operators such as yourself. I’ve listed a few deals below to get you started-

 

Tactical Storage:

Plano Mil-Spec Long Gun Case
Plano is making it easy to protect your valuable (and awesome looking) investments in a solid, hard sided, gun case. It’s important to make sure you have one to keep you safe and legal when hauling your weapons to the field.


 Mercury Deployment Duffle Bag
A big duffle bag like this one will give you the extra storage you need to haul BBs, green gas, extra mags, and some tactical noms to the field. Like a proper deployment duffle bag, it has shoulder straps so you can carry it around like a backpack if needed.

 

Gear:

 

 BLACKHAWK! Advanced Tactical Knee Pads V.2
Once you get used to a good pair of knee pads, you’ll never go back. The extra protection when kneeling (or doing a sweet tactical slide) makes them totally worth it.

BLACKHAWK! Tactical Holsters
Tons and tons of these holsters are on sale right now. With a hard case you’ll reduce your draw time while still keeping your sidearm secure when you don’t need it. Check them all out HERE.

 

Accessories:

Sightmark Ultra Shot QD Sight
I personally use a Sightmark red dot and they are perfect for an airsofter’s needs. Target acquisition is faster; and you can be more confident that your BBs will mow down enemy operators no matter what shooting angle you use.

 

Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA Tactical Flashlight (350 Lumens)
Streamlight is known for producing some of the best tactical lights on the market. Here is a chance to pick up one for a super reasonable price and start strobing your enemies for the victory!

 

Bonus Gear

 

Oculus Rift + Touch Controllers Bundle
Though not typically considered a tactical piece of gear, with so much immersion and fast paced action, the Rift can help you with situational awareness and dealing with high stress situations (try out Robo Recall and you’ll know what I mean).  The price has been reduced by over 30% currently. Make sure you have a PC or laptop that can handle it by checking the recommended specs HERE.

 

Hope you all enjoy Prime Day and get some great gear to enhance your airsoft load outs! Let me know what awesome deals you score in the comments below.

Average Budgets for Airsoft (Beginner, Casual, and Pro)

Average Budgets for Airsoft | AirsoftWarrior.net
(affiliate links included)

This post is brought to you by OutdoorEmpire.com. Your One-Stop Destination for Outdoor Gear Talk.

With all of the fantastic gear, guns, and equipment you can get for airsoft, it can be difficult to figure out what a good budget is for your level of airsoft experience. There are a lot of things out there that the beginner or casual player doesn’t need to consider purchasing because they won’t be necessary for the average amount of time they play. In this post, we are going to dive into some easy breakdowns of what a good budget looks like and what you need to buy, no matter how often you play airsoft.

 

Beginner Airsoft Budget:

Beginner airsoft players are players who have almost no time invested in the sport of airsoft yet. They may have played in a few games and borrowed gear from friends for those games. When beginner players decide they want to start playing more regularly, there are some basic items they are going to need. Most of the items listed below are the bare minimum you need in order to figure out if you actually like the sport while also having a safe, fun time on the field.

Paintball Full Face Mask ($20-$30)
Gun ($20-$50)
Quality BBs (4000 rounds for $15-$20)

Total = $55-$100

In Depth:

For a gun, just a basic springer or CO2 pistol will be fine. No need to spend any more money than you have to at this stage. I recommend a Crosman P311 or Air Mag C11. If you want to spend a little extra, check out the Umarex H&K USP. Keep in mind that I recommend investing in the metal mag for it due to the plastic ones having a high failure rate (You can see my review for the H&K USP HERE). If you want to see more reviews on some of the best airsoft guns, no matter your budget, check out Outdoor Empire’s post on finding the best airsoft gun HERE.

A paintball mask is easy to find and will give you the protection you need to keep your eyes, teeth, and face safe in battle. For BBs, I recommend finding some quality ones at an official airsoft shop, or buying them online. Cheap BBs are known to shatter on impact, creating plastic shrapnel that can be dangerous. Also, many fields have rules preventing you from playing if you use cheap BBs. I use inexpensive, quality Lancer Tactical 0.20g Bio BBs and they work great!

You may notice that I did not list any specific kind of clothing. As a beginner airsofter, there is no need to play dress up on the field (not yet anyway 😉 ). I use a uniform for blending into my environment and for team recognition. If you have some good pants, boots or light hiking shoes for stability and protection, and a shirt that isn’t neon yellow, you can play airsoft just fine. There is no need to invest in a set of BDUs at this stage. Save your money for when you know you really enjoy airsoft and want to play more.

Casual Airsoft Budget:

At this point in your airsoft career, you know you enjoy the sport and want to play it more often. Maybe you host games for your friends on a regular basis and want to start playing at official fields. In addition to the beginner airsofter budget, here is what I recommend you invest in:

Good Primary Weapon ($100-$150)
Extra Battery for Primary Weapon ($20)
Smart Charger for Battery ($20)
Set of BDUs (Pants and Top for $50-$75)
Cyclone Mike Fan ($35)
Half Finger Gloves ($15)

Total = $240-$265

In Depth:

Since you are playing airsoft more often, you will need a gun that not only performs better, but will last longer. Guns like the CYMA AK47 and G&G Combat Machine have excellent durability and performance for this budget level and can last for 2+ years of regular games with no problem. They perform well in CQB (Close Quarters Battles) and outdoor fields, and will keep you effective in battle. When shopping around, keep in mind that many of the fancy cosmetic features like intricate rail systems, and blow back slides will just cost you more and have almost no positive effect on performance.

At this stage, I recommend getting some form of BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform) for games. Most fields will have a tan and green camo system for teams, and a set of BDUs will allow you to be easily identified so you don’t get shot at by your own team. The half finger gloves will provide you with additional protection, especially at CQB games. Half finger gloves are also allow you to have full dexterity compared to full finger.

I recommend the Cyclone Mike for a casual airsofter’s budget because it does a fantastic job of keeping your goggles or facemask from fogging during a game. Nothing is worse in airsoft than not being able to see what is going on because your goggles are fogged over. The Cyclone Mike is super versatile and works with almost any eye protection system you can buy (You can see my full review of the Cyclone Mike HERE).

Pro Airsoft Budget | AirsoftWarrior.net

Pro Airsoft Budget:

By the time you reach this point in airsoft, you probably don’t need a whole lot of help deciding what you need to add to your airsoft loadout. You have been in many battles, tested out gear, and probably even know a bit about upgrading your own airsoft guns. Here are a few things I would recommend for your budget if you don’t have them already:

Helmet or Other System for Protection and Camera Mounting ($50-$75)
Action Camera ($100-$400)
High Quality Primary and Backup Gun ($500+)
Extra Batteries and Tactical Accessories for Guns ($100+)
MOLLE Chest Harness or Plate Carrier ($100-$200)
Gear to Complete Your Loadout’s “Look” ($100+)

Total= $1000+

In Depth:

At this stage, you treat airsoft as a hobby or sport and you should want to invest in it. The items on this list do not need to be acquired all at once, and cost will change based on your personal airsoft style and gear needs.

I recommend getting some kind of system for recording your games. Even if you don’t post footage to YouTube, the ability to see how you play is invaluable in making you a better player. By watching footage after a game, you can figure out exactly what went right or wrong, and use that to become a better player. If you are unsure of which camera to get, I recommend the SJ4000. It is budget friendly and one of the best in its price range. Make sure you check out my review, and do your research so you don’t get one of the low quality knockoffs.

A backup gun is a great idea just in case your primary malfunctions. Having an extra gun also allows you to loan it out to friends so they can come to games and play with you. There are so many great brands and weapons out there in the $250+ range that will serve you well and are great for competitive gameplay.

At the pro level, you’ll need a way to carry extra mags, airsoft grenades, and other necessary items for long airsoft games. A good harness or plate carrier with customized MOLLE pouches will allow you to create a system that fits your needs.

You may also want to complete a certain “look” for a loadout. Maybe you are into a “blackout” look and need all black gear. Perhaps you want to replicate a specific military unit or country with your gear. Make sure to budget in the funds to make that a reality so you can look the part on the field.

 

A special thank you to OutdoorEmpire.com for collaborating with me to produce today’s post. Be sure to check out their website for posts with tips and information on airsoft and outdoor gear. They have a great, in-depth article on how to pick a quality airsoft gun that will fit your needs and combat style that I recommend checking out HERE. If you have any questions about airsoft budgets or recommendations for gear that really helped you in your airsoft career, post them down in the comments!

The Pentagon Philon Backpack: Get Organized

The Pentagon Philon Backpack: Get Organized | AirsoftWarrior.net
(This post is sponsored by Military 1st)

One of the things I struggle with when prepping for an airsoft game is organization. I love organizing and keeping my gear safe while I travel, but most of the time it’s not as easy as I want it to be. Sometimes I don’t have enough room to pack what I want (and I tend to have a lot of “extra” things in my pack that I have convinced myself I need). It is also hard to find a storage solution that allows me to keep everything separated. Without a good amount of internal pouches and compression straps, everything in my pack often ends up looking like it got thrown in a blender by the end of the day. Another thing I have noticed about most backpacks and cases I buy for my gear is that they just can’t stand up to going to games, getting tossed in the back of a car, or dragged along the ground as I crawl through the brush.

Just before I went crazy trying to figure out how I was going to keep my old gear functional, Military 1st (winners of the 7th Popular Airsoft Players Choice Award for Best Gear Retailer for Europe) stepped in and offered to let me test out the Pentagon Philon backpack. Let me just start out by saying this pack has blown me away with its quality, features, and overall feel. Everyone else I have shown it to has the same reaction. But, before I get ahead of myself, let me explain just why organization is so important for airsoft and any other activity you would use this pack for.

Pentagon Philon White Background | AirsoftWarrior.net

Keeping Sane

I have been to enough games to know the stress of not being able to find that one thing I need to be ready for the game. I end up digging through every pack, case, and duffle bag I brought trying to find that bag of 0.25g BBs, an extra battery I just know is in there, or the repair kit I need to fix that simple issue I meant to take care of last week.

This is where the power of organization and having a plan on how you want to keep your gear together will pay massive dividends. When I go to pack my gear, I make sure that everything has a place and that I organize items in a way that I can easily pull out exactly what I need, when I need it. Using the Philon’s awesome assortment of pouches, I can keep a mini repair kit in one pouch, a pair of goggles in another, and keep that extra energy bar where I can grab it before the next round. This is one feature of this pack that I was instantly impressed by. I’ve been enjoying how well thought out everything is when it comes to keeping things separate and easy to get to.

Pentagon Philon Mag Pouches | AirsoftWarrior.net

Keep Your Gear Protected

By organizing your gear, you can insure that nothing gets crushed or left behind when you head out for the day. I enjoy going on backpacking trips and it is necessary to have things packed in a way that makes sense, in case you fall or drop the pack just a bit too hard on a rock. This also applies to airsoft. Keep your softer or more flexible gear (i.e. BDUs, bags of BBs, etc.) on the outside or near the bottom of the pack so you have a buffer to protect the items inside. Also, pack some softer items near your back so you have that extra padding.

With the Philon, I was able to keep my gear protected even better with the addition of the compression straps and solid, 600D Polyester construction. I have used the pack on an almost daily basis for weeks and never had an issue with something falling apart or the gear inside getting damaged. Pentagon did a lot of smart things to make sure that once you get the pack configured, it stays that way. Quality Velcro straps are everywhere you need them to keep gear secure inside, and the zippers are super beefy. If any of you have used a normal backpack, or tried to use a typical school backpack for games, you know that sooner or later those flimsy zippers are going to fall apart. Not going to happen with these zipper warlords having your back 😉 .

Pentagon Philon Collage | AirsoftWarrior.net

Help Others Out

There are a lot of times at a game when a fellow airsofter needs a screwdriver to fix their gun, an extra bottle of water, or some other general purpose item. Quite frequently I have been able to whip out what they need from my backpack. In turn I get to know them a bit better and we have a great time on the field. By keeping your stuff organized, you can help out your team and the other airsofters around you. If you’ve read the blog for any time at all, you’ve come to find that I am a big supporter of doing my part to make the airsoft community a better place and expand it whenever possible. Although it may seem like a small thing, organization can help you do the same and insure that you have a better experience. You can be the person who quickly steps up to help other people out when they need it, if you organize. By doing this, you can grow the community and make airsoft a better experience for everyone.

 

I want to finish out this post by talking just a bit more about Military 1st and the Pentagon Philon tactical backpack:

In case you couldn’t tell by this post, I really, REALLY like this backpack. It has all the features you need to keep everything together, it’s comfortable, and it is an awesome-looking pack. From the laser cut MOLLE on the back to the well placed hydration pouch that allows you to carry water on the field (it runs the hydration tube through these sweet holes on either side of the shoulders that you can see in the photos below), it is truly a great pack for those of you who want to upgrade your gear and have a better time at every game you go to. It is hard to find a pack that has this quality and can be used for just about anything. For more information, you can see the impressive list of specs on this pack HERE.

Pentagon Philon Hydration Holes | AirsoftWarrior.net
Pentagon Philon Hydration Pouch | AirsoftWarrior.net

As a small note, if there is one thing I would change about the pack, it would be some minor changes to the shoulder strap adjustments. I noticed after a week or two of daily use that the straps loosened up just a bit due to the Velcro and elastic retention loops having trouble keeping them in one place. Nothing that can’t be fixed in a couple of seconds but it is worth noting. Of course, if you are really concerned about it, just slap some duct tape on there and those straps won’t be moving anytime soon.

I also want to say that Military 1st has been fantastic to work with through this process. They are a company that knows how to work with blogs and is actively seeking out bloggers to help spread the news about their awesome products. I just want to finish up by giving them a big shoutout and encouraging all of you to go check out their website HERE when you are searching around for some new gear to upgrade your airsoft kit with. If you guys have any further questions, just leave them in the comments below!

 

(Special Thanks to Diverse Reflections Photography)

Airsoft Warrior Christmas List 2016

Airsoft Warrior Christmas List | AirsoftWarrior.net
(affiliate links included)

We are coming up on that time of year again. Time to put up the tree, hang the stockings, and put together an airsoft wish list! This year, I have complied some of my favorite picks from a variety of airsoft gear. Feel free to check them out and add them to your list.  Also, make sure you let me know if there are any specific items you have on your airsoft wish list this year!

 

Airsoft Guns:

ICS CXP16L Full Metal – I personally own the ICS CXP16S (Sportline). Basically just a shorter version of this CXP16L. I have found mine to be an excellent performer on the field with a great rate of fire. The 16L version features a longer barrel, higher FPS, a full metal body, and a longer rail system for all of those tactical accessories we are convinced we need. 😉

The best part of ICS guns is the unique split gearbox that allows you to easily tech on the gun and change out compression components on the fly. If you do pick up an ICS gun, make sure to grab an extra upper gearbox so you can take full advantage of this truly amazing system!

 

Elite Force 1911 TAC – I know I have probably told you all about Elite Force pistols before, but I’ll do it again. Elite Force is known for making some of the best airsoft sidearms on the market (and BBs if you haven’t tried them yet). I have seen them in action many a time, and they just seem to work in every way you want a sidearm to. The classic 1911 style is hard to beat, and it will be easy to find accessories and holsters to fit it. Combine that with a realistic blow back system and an “oh-so-operator” two-tone paint job, and you have a pistol that will enhance any load out.

 

Accessories:

 

 

Airsoft Innovations Cyclone Grenade – Airsoft Innovations essentially owned the impact airsoft grenade industry with their top notch Tornado grenade. Earlier this year, they outdid themselves by releasing the Cyclone. The Cyclone still features the impact tech found in the tornado, but in a smaller, easier to manage size.  They also ramped up the FPS for a wider BB spread and better coverage. After using one, it was hard to deny that this could be one of the most valuable items to have in your airsoft kit.

Magpul Original Mag Assist – These may not seem like the most amazing thing to ask for this Christmas season, but being able to reload quicker on the field is one thing every airsofter needs. Magpul is known for making some of the highest quality polymer gear for weapons. These mag assist loops slip onto the bottom of a magazine, and give you a handy way to grab it in the middle of fight. It is important to note that they do not work on all mags, so be sure to check if they’ll work with yours before buying a bunch.

 

Airsoft Parts:

(Warning: Bit of technical jargon to follow.)

Black Talons Concepts MOSFET – Christmas is the time for dreaming. Why not throw one of the best, most expensive, and almost never in-stock MOSFETS on your wish list? This MOSFET is known throughout the airsoft world as the best of the best. You get more features then a normal human will ever need, the ability to run your airsoft gun off a car battery without damaging it (so much for all the other parts), and increased reliability (you actually don’t even need the cut off lever anymore). And now, the MK. II comes with built in Bluetooth to allow you to adapt the gun at any time to fit your needs! So, throw it on the list and hope that you have been REALLY good this year.

Flat Hop – If you are the tech type (and don’t feel bad if you aren’t), then trying out a flat hop may be a great way to ramp up the performance of your current guns for the new year. A flat hop essentially gives the hop up in your gun more stability and better consistency, which equals more accurate shots and better range. To get started, all you need is a flat hop nub.  I would recommend picking up a new bucking as well (the Prometheus Purple Bucking is recommended for flat hopped guns with an FPS under 400).  Below is a great video on flat hopping from Amped Airsoft:

 

Well, that will do it for my top picks for this year. There are a ton of other great options out there, so be sure to check around and see what catches your eye. Hope you all have a great Christmas season this year, and don’t forget the real reason for the season!

(Need some more ideas?  Check out my 2015 Christmas list.)

 

Airsoft Gloves: Your Options

Airsoft Gloves: Your Options | AirsoftWarrior.net

(affiliate links included)

If you spend some time on an airsoft field, you’ll quickly realize that every airsofter has an opinion on what kind of gear to wear.  Some airsofters have a one-kit-fits-all approach and do amazing.  Others buy individual gear to best match every environment they play in.  With all the plate carriers, combat belts, bump helmets, and knee pads, a somewhat overlooked piece of gear is the humble glove.  In this post, let’s take a look at what options airsoft players have in the realm of hand protection and which option is best for you!

 

Airsofters have essentially 3 options when it comes to hand protection, no protection, half finger gloves, and full finger gloves.

 

No Protection:

One of the best things about not having gloves on at a game, is the freedom of movement and maximum dexterity you keep.  You can easily manipulate the trigger, switch the fire selector, and grab out gear from pouches.

Obviously, not wearing gloves leaves you open to receiving a dreaded “knuckle shot” as well as getting splinters and cuts.  No hand protection is not a good idea if you are attending a field or playing in an environment that may have hazards in it.  Only ditch the gloves if you’re doing target practice or the like (but why would you if you have sweet pair?!).

 

Half Finger Gloves:

I use half finger gloves a lot on the field.  They give you a good level of protection, while still allowing you to access gear and maintain a high level of dexterity.

The pair I use is by Lancer Tactical.  THESE of gloves are dirt cheap (I got them under $5) and have lasted me around a year and a half (I just started to get a hole in one of them).  Are they the “best” out there?  Probably not.  But they do the job really well and give you the extra protection you need to get your job done on the field.  Just goes to show that good deals can be had on great gear.

One thing to note is that this style of glove does leave you open to some shots on the hand, especially depending on how you hold/grip your weapon.  Personally, I’ve had minimal issues with getting hit in the hand while wearing them.  Having a basic first aid kit with band-aids in it will be plenty to take care fixing up any shots your hands take.

 

Full Finger Gloves:

This style of glove will give you maximum protection during games.  They are also the choice of many MilSim airsoft players because of the environments they play in.

Full Finger gloves can get expensive depending on what type, style, and color you choose.  One of the popular options among airsofters is Mechanix brand.  You can get THIS basic pair of Mechanix for under $20.  Other options in the Mechanix line include the Fast Fit and Tactical M-Pact.  Most styles come in a variety of colors and camouflage options to fit your load out.  I would highly recommend trying on a few pairs at a local store to see what size and variation fits you best.

Before you head the Mechanix route, make sure to do some research into other brands.  For example, 5.11 makes a pair of tactical gloves with a special finger tip construction that claims to increase dexterity (a major issue with some full finger gloves).  Although, most unique features come at an increased price.

 

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to let me know in the comments, and subscribe to get updates from The Airsoft Warrior.  Be sure to let me know what style of glove you prefer in the comments or on The Airsoft Warrior Facebook page.

Airsoft Discoveries: Camera Edition

Airsoft Discoveries Camera Edition | AirsoftWarrior.net

(affiliate links included)

After searching around the action camera market for some gun cameras that won’t break the bank, I am now prepared to compile some of my findings into an edition of Airsoft Discoveries.  Here are three of the best options I found for filming all those sweet kills on the field!

 

 

ATN Trak HD Action Gun Camera:

This little action camera could be a great option for airsofters who want to film their airsoft kills, but don’t like the wide, zoomed out footage that standard action cameras provide.  It delivers 1080p full HD video with 5X magnification for getting every detail of those long-range sniping missions.  Unlike a lot of action cameras out there, it already has the mounting hardware for standard gun rails so you can start rocking it right out of the box.  The Trak is powered by a single CR123A battery and accepts up to a 32GB micro SD card (HERE are the ones I use in my action camera), which will get you a maximum of 420 minutes of recording.  Retail is just over $100.

Here are links to the official ATN product page and the Trak HD Users Guide (PDF) if you want a bit more information on the specifications.  You can also purchase it with a built-in laser if you’re in need of one, although I don’t recommend them for airsoft due to safety factors.

 

 

 

I.C.U. 2.0:

Another camera option for airsofters is the I.C.U. 2.0 from Plan Beta.  Although it can also be mounted to a gun rail right out of the box, it differs from the ATN Trak by offering a smaller package for easy mounting to sidearms, and an integrated pressure switch to make getting the camera running a lot easier in the field.  The 2.0 version has several advantages over the 1.0, including an upgrade to 720p HD video and a 5.0 Megapixel picture mode with burst function for capturing selfies on the field.  Retail for the 2.0 is $80 with the 1.0 version selling for about $40.

Here is a great video from RedWolf Airsoft showing the I.C.U. 2.0 in action-

 

Mobius Action Camera:

The Mobius is another option for airsofters who are looking for an under $100 action camera (in this case $90) to film games.  It is advertised to film for 4.5 hours on a 32 GB micro SD card although some 128 GB cards may work!  One of the great things about the Mobius platform is the ability to customize the lens to fit what you’re filming on the field, although this may require a bit of modification and refocusing.  BrainExploder offers 3D printed mounts for making the Mobius easy to mount to rails or for dual mounting the cameras inside of a custom PEQ box.

As with a lot of cameras less than $100, there are a ton of knockoffs that don’t perform nearly as well as the real deal.  With that in mind, it may be best to purchase the Mobius from the official website HERE.  You can also check out the Mobius camera FAQ HERE.

 

Below is a video from BrainExploder about his Mobius PEQ box-

 

This is just a small idea of all of the action camera options out there.  For example, the SJ4000 is a great action camera for under $100, with tons of mounting options, and great video quality.  You can see my full SJ4000 review in this post.

Change of Mind: The Airsoft Warrior’s Opinion

Change of Mind: The Airsoft Warrior's Opinion | AirsoftWarrior.net
(affilate links included)

As I learn more about airsoft, research, talk to players, and test new gear, I find that my opinion occasionally changes on what I prefer to play with or how I like to airsoft.  Some of the things I think are useless pieces of gear, designed to suck money from players, may suddenly become a functional item that I enjoy using.  I try to never express a negative (or overly positive) opinion on gear, tactics, or events that I mention on the blog until I have a chance to do some through testing to decide whether I think it would benefit you guys and work for me.  Here are a few examples of gear that I have changed my mind on over the years to demonsrate this point-

 

Mid Cap Magazines

When I first started airsofting, I was an avid high cap mag user.  After all, it was the only one that came with my AEG and it got the job done.  Later I heard about these new fangled things (even though they weren’t so new of things 😉 ) called mid caps.  I considered mid caps (short for mid capacity magazines) to be for the elitists of the airsoft community that played in those events called MilSim.  I never though I would be able to understand the concept of carrying 2 or 3 magazines extra when I could carry one high cap and get the job done.

But….

After playing with high caps for an extended amount of time, I began to get tired of winding the wheel on the bottom, not knowing for sure if the mag was empty, and rattling around the field like a one man band.  I decided to give mid caps a try when I purchased my SR7 and picked up some K120 magazines.  After using them for several months, I came to appreciate the better quality, zero winding, and reduced noise that came from using them.  Although mid caps due require a bit more care, and a longer loading time if you don’t have one of the advanced speed loaders, my personal opinion is that they are worth the effort if you desire increased realism, less fiddling with the mag itself on the field, and like to practice your epic reload skills. 😉

If you want more of my opinions on mid caps, check out THIS post.

Note: I have yet to get in some testing with “flash mags” (a high cap with a rip cord that reduces winding time).  I’ll be sure to let you guys know my opinion of them once I do!

 

0.25g BBs

Earlier on in my airsoft career, I wasn’t sure I needed any other BBs than the standard 0.20g variety you find at your local sporting goods store.  I also didn’t buy the whole “BBs are bad unless you buy them from a real store” plug.

But….

After doing some more research into BB weights, and not wanting to void the warranty on a new gun I was purchasing by using the “bad BBs”, I decided to pick up some Lancer Tactical Bio degradable 0.20g and 0.25g BBs.

Although I have never personally had BBs from a sporting goods store wreck one of my guns yet, I am liking the extra peace of mind and improved effective range I am getting from my BBs now.  I would recommend getting some quality BBs the next time you order, especially if you’re picking up a new piece of weaponry and want to keep that warranty intact.

If you want to know more about what 0.25g BBs can do for you, check out THIS post.

If you need to know what BB weight you should get for your gun, check out THIS post.

 

These are just a couple of ways that my opinions have change on different elements of airsoft as I’ve gained more knowledge of the sport, had a chance to try new things, and read your comments on the blog.  Don’t let your personal opinion influence other players or even prevent you from trying new things if you haven’t done the necessary research to back them up.  Let me know what airsoft opinions you have change your mind about in the comments! Also, feel free to ask other airsoft related questions and use the search box on the sidebar to find more posts about airsoft!

 

 

Airsoft Discoveries: SHOT SHOW 2016 Edition

Airsoft Discoveries: SHOT SHOW 2016 Edition | AirsoftWarrior.net

With another SHOT SHOW completed, it’s time for the general public to find out about all the cool, new gear and weapons being released in the near future!  In this edition of “Airsoft Discoveries”, I’ll show you some of the best airsoft videos and gear I found from SHOT SHOW 2016!  Please feel free to share your favorite releases in the comments!

 

Skyway Airsoft Bomb Prop

The Spain based Skyways Airsoft (you can see their website HERE) brought a lot of cool innovations to SHOT SHOW this year.  Among the most interesting were a motion detector Claymore with an authentic trigger system, a series of new airsoft grenade systems (my personal favorite was the sound grenade with an optional “Bouncy Betty” mod!), and of course a new airsoft bomb prop for MilSim!  With an accelerometer, control panel with remote detonation via mobile devices, ability to activate a fog machine, and intense detonation sequence, this is bound to be one of the best and most adrenaline pumping replicas on the market!

Here is a video of it from Evike.com

 

Krytac/KRISS Vector SMG!

Yes, that’s right.  The beloved Vector SMG will be available in the near future from Krytac (a KRISS owned airsoft company).  This new AEG version of the popular weapon is still in the prototype stage, with the planned release being around the end of the year.

Here’s a video from the Airsoftdb channel including a demo firing test-

Krytac also announced their “Alpha” line of AEGs.  This appears to be composed of “sport line” weaponry aimed at airsofters that don’t want to spend $300 for a “competition grade” Krytac but still want the Krytac brand.  Main changes from the competition line include a new rail system (not Keymod) and some “downgraded” internals (likely reducing FPS).  I’ll share a test video with you guys when the Alpha line hits the market.

 

Airsoft Innovations Cyclone Grenade

The Cyclone grenade looks like it will be a great addition to the Airsoft Innovations line of grenades.  All BBs now fire at a consistent, and higher FPS (rather than the quite variable FPS the Tornado line had).  It also adds a spoon system to prevent accidental detonations, and they have simplified the reloading process to make it easier to do in-game.  HERE is a link to Evike.com’s product page which includes a description of the Cyclone.

You can also check out this SHOT SHOW video from Airsoft Atlanta for more information on the Cyclone and some tips on how to make it even more effective!-


Let the Airsoft Warrior community know about your favorite airsoft discoveries from SHOT SHOW 2016 in the comments.  Also, since this post barely scratches the surface of all the awesome new products announced at SHOT SHOW, do yourself a favor and search around for more release videos!

 

Tac Shack: TAW’s Tan Head Loadout

Tac Shack: TAW's Tan Head Loadout | AirsoftWarrior.net

(affiliate links included)

In this Tac Shack video, I’ll show you guys how I set up my tan head loadout for games.  This is a great set up that finds a nice balance between comfort and function.  Hopefully this video gives you some ideas for your own head loadout!

Gear Used for Tan Head Loadout:

(Note: All prices are approximate and subject to change.)

 

Condor Multi Wrap (Tan)– $9
Comfortable, light, moisture wicking, and still protects you from BBs going down your ear canal!  What more could you ask for $9!

Gen 1 Striker Lower Metal Mesh Mask– $10
Great mesh mask for airsofters that like to be able to aim down their sights!  Easy to modify to fit a variaty of googles and full seal shooting glasses.  For a modification tutorial, go HERE.

Lancer Tactical Deluxe Ventalation Goggles (with 3 lens set)– $18
Great googles for the money.  The three lenses make it easy to adapt the googles to work well in almost any environment or weather conditions.  They do have a tendency to fog, so be sure to get a Cyclone Mike!

Bungee Modification- FREE!
This has been one of the best modifications I’ve made to my head loadout! Easy to get on and off at a game and also increases the comfort of the head loadout!

Metal NVG Mount (for mounting my SJ4000 action camera)- $20
An NVG mount is the easiest way I’ve found to mount and stabilize an action camera for filming airsoft games.  Nothings worse than super shaking and bouncy airsoft footage, so be sure to get one if you can use it with your helmet!

Cyclone Mike (from ActionFans)– $40
One of the best defogging systems on the market in my opinion.  Long battery life, easy to set up, and very user friendly! You can see my full review of the Cyclone Mike, HERE.

6400 mAh Easy Acc Battery Pack– $13
Super cheap way to fuel your action camera for HOURS at a game!  Fits nice on a helmet and has LED indicator lights for checking the battery level on the fly!

Lancer Tactical PJ F.A.S.T. Helmet (Navy Seal Tan)– $65 
This helmet may seem a bit overpriced when compared to the $35, basic helmets from Lancer Tactical, but this helmet really is a step up in comfort and functionality when you’re on the field.  The adjustment band and padding on the inside make it easy to fit to your head and will accommodate even a monster noggin! 🙂

 

Let me know what gear you use for your head loadout in the comments!