Common Airsoft Misconceptions: Cheaters

Everyone who has played airsoft for more than a couple games has experienced cheaters. These Supermen of the Sphere run around the field seemingly invulnerable. Were it not for constant twitching, recoiling, and convulsions, as their bodies react to being pelted with plastic from every direction, you could mistake them for a Kryptonian. Everyone knows the frustration of firing at a cheater. You may be tempted to yell, “Call your hit!”, try to flag down a ref or even pull out a cheater mag or gun to let the sucker feel it next time. But what if they’re not actually cheating?

“My BBs were flying straight! Of course I hit him”

Far less common an experience, but not so far as to be unheard of, is being called a cheater simply because you’re good, and they’re not. Most BBs will have a fairly visible flight path for about 150-200 feet, depending on the shooters eyesight, background and the use of optics. In some situations, the BB may be visible reliably over a much shorter distance. I, for instance, have terrible eyesight, and will have trouble seeing my BBs at about 80-100 feet without a magnified optic.

The issue comes in to play as the part of the BB’s flight path most visible is also when the BB is carrying the most kinetic energy. As the BBs reaches the end of its path, it flies with far less energy. This makes it far more susceptible to outside effects. It is possible for a BB to fly straight for 200 feet, and veer off significantly in the last few feet causing the shot to miss.

Older, more experienced players tend to own and build guns that have increased range, and also understand the ranges they’ll be effective from. Likewise, younger, less experienced players tend to use guns which achieve less range. This is a consequence of both more affordable guns and less knowledge about how to tune a hop up unit. Also, novice players tend to engage everything they see. That guy who’s 200 yards away? Yep, the new guy is shooting at him, too. As far as he can see, the BBs are heading straight for him. He doesn’t see that BBs striking the ground 100 yards in front of his target.

The Bottom Line

You may be able to see a BB hit the target, but that tends not to be reliable. The best barometer is the flinch response. People naturally flinch away from pain, and it is largely an involuntary reflex. If the person didn’t flinch, he or she may not have been hit, or may not have felt it. It may be frustrating, but it also isn’t cheating. If the person flinches away, and then continues playing call a ref. Cheaters are a natural byproduct of a competitive sport. To stop the behavior, an authority may need to be involved. The player will learn or be removed from the field.

Common Airsoft Misconceptions: Orange Tips and Safety

Airsoft has many incorrect assumptions, beliefs and internet rumors. In this series we will explore some of the most common and most influential. Starting off, we have a notable and dangerous safety assumption about airsoft: that having an orange tip on your gun will keep police officers from mistaking an airsoft gun for a real firearm. It is a sad fact that people have lost their lives for carrying or playing with airsoft guns in public. We always make sure customers are informed to not brandish their guns in unsafe ways. Surprisingly often, we get a response like, “But it has an orange tip.”

According to United States Federal Law, “each [airsoft gun] shall have as an integral part, permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel.” The original purpose of the law was to help law enforcement officers to distinguish between real firearms, and “toy” guns. Like many laws, however, it does not take into account the reality of dealing with a potentially armed adversary in a fast-paced situation.

A study conducted by the FBI found that the individuals fired at the marked gun 95% of the time when forced to quickly identify a real firearm between marked and not marked guns. Another study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics quoted Police Officers saying that the requirement that orange tips be permanently affixed to airsoft guns as being “ineffective”, “ridiculous”, and that it “won’t make any difference.”

Officers have fractions of seconds to determine whether or not to employ deadly force when presented with what appears to be an armed threat. Especially one in low light conditions. In that period of time, it is highly doubtful that they can be reliably expected to spot the orange tip. Especially at the speed which “use of force” encounters occur. It is also not difficult to modify a real firearm to appear as an airsoft gun. There are well documented cases of criminals marking their guns to look like toys to fool law enforcement officers. It is typically police department protocol to treat anything that looks like a firearm as a firearm, until checked.

The Bottom Line.

Airsoft guns look like firearms. Airsoft guns have all of the distinguishing characteristics one would associate with a firearm. Most players will eventually remove the orange tips from their guns. The marking is legally required, so we don’t recommend this. However, even if you keep the orange tip on the gun, it will be mistaken as a firearm. Don’t take your airsoft gun out into public view, unless it is properly stowed inside of a gun bag.

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The Author:
Hello, inter-webs. Tyler, here, the Customer Service Manager at Airsoft GI. I’ve been playing airsoft for almost 15 years, and have been working in the industry for over 10 years.

New Product Spotlight – Lancer Tactical Gen 2 M4

Hey Guys,
Here’s a quick review of the updates on the newly released Gen 2 LT19 M4s from Lancer Tactical. These guns are made from a quite robust reinforced polymer, and are a major upgrade from the previous generation, though still sitting in the “budget / beginner” price range (low $100 or so, depending on the model). Here’s a link to check them out: www.airsoftgi.com/LTGen2models

 

a big improvement over previous generation, this 8mm gearbox features a quick change spring guide

Full internals set from Gen 2 LT m4

External Review

The biggest improvement here is the change in the material from the cheaper plastic parts on previous LT models. The updated polymer portions have the feel and coloration similar to that of G&G Combat Machine or VFC M4s. As such, they have an overall sturdiness generally not found on rifles in this price range. Additionally, metal has been used instead of plastic on many key parts. Including: the fire selector, bolt release, trigger guard, motor grip plate, magazine catch, charging handle and front end assembly. The Upper receiver and barrel are standard dimension too! This means you will be able to change out for your favorite front end accessories and configurations.

I would like to note that the buffer tube is also made from polymer, but it still seems pretty sturdy due to the part’s thickness and I don’t suspect it would be easy to damage. All of the externals are standard size, so it is able to accept any aftermarket grips and stocks you may want to add.

Internal Review

The hop up now utilizes a rotary design very similar to the Prowin Hopups, aside from the chamber itself being made from plastic. The inner barrel is a Brass 6.03mm tight-bore.The superior design leads to some pretty impressive trajectory, especially given the gun’s price point!

review of hopup

Rotary Hopup is similar to the Prowin design but made from plastic

They have updated the mechbox as well. It now features 8mm steel bushings, XYT gears, a full metal rack piston, and a quick change spring which seems to be becoming an industry standard.

XYT have a good reputation of durability and are featured in many different models of airsoft guns

XYT Gears and Silver plated wiring

The other parts in the mechbox are typical of China-made guns. The piston head and air nozzle don’t seal very well in their stock configuration. This could potentially lead to air compression inefficiency. Good news though, the mechbox will accept any standard V2 internal mechbox components!

the piston head is lacking in proper air seal but the piston itself is robust in durability

Front mounted polymer piston head on full metal rack piston

Overall
This new line of LT19 M4s from Lancer Tactical is a substantial improvement from their previous production models.  Also included is a battery and charger. So, as a beginner you’re almost ready to get out and play straight out of the box. The price point is very competitive for the quality, especially when compared with competitors in the same range. There are some shortcomings as far as tuning goes, as you might expect, but there isn’t anything that effects overall function or that can’t be upgraded. This gun definitely falls in with the trend of all manufacturers steadily improving performance and price point on all models over the years. Check it out!

 

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