Manta Weapon Accessories

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I have been using Manta weapon accessories as far back as two years ago when I acquired a Manta rail cover at Shot Show 2012. I had already been having issues mounting a few of my pressure switches so when I stopped by the Manta booth I was immediately interested. Since then, I have taken my Manta rail cover all over the United States, both to operations and recreational gameplay and I am happy to report that not only did it never fail me but that it utterly exceeded my expectations. Not only that but I have recently learned that Manta rail covers are being issued for use with the M27 IAR!

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Manta rail cover with pressure switch compartment

Manta weapon accessories work like any other commercially available rail covers do, they snap on over existing rails with one exception, they come with a compartment that can either hold a pressure switch or allow you to route cables connected to your accessories through them. This can take care of a lot of cables jumbling around on the outside of your gun without having to use electrical tape or zip ties. I actually used to wrap excess cables around my gun in order to keep them from flopping around which did work, most of the time, but it made my gun look absolutely hideous.

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My KWA LM4 PTS with a Manta rail cover mounted on the left side

I have even used my Manta rail cover to add a pressure switch to my Tokyo Marui AK. This was a last minute modification I used for Tim VS Bob 5 in order to add both a pressure switch as well as a flashlight and to be honest it worked out spectacularly. It may have looked a bit off but I thought it was completely in line with how my rebel forces operate. We don’t have to look good as long as we get the job done!

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My Tokyo Marui AK with Manta rail cover duct-tape-mounted on the top of the handguard

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M27 IAR Controversy

Named after the 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, the M27 Infantry Assault Rifle is a rather new addition to the United States Marine Corps arsenal to replace a portion of the m249 light machine guns used by automatic rifleman.

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The M27 Infantry Assault Rifle isĀ  the USMC designated for a H&K416D with an 11″ Free Float Rail with a 16.5″ barrel, and an ambidextrous charging handle. This firearm is standardly kitted out with a Trigicon SAW Day Optic with 3.5x magnification. The IAR is mostly compatible with 30 Round STANAG magazines and each automatic rifleman is expected to be loaded with up to 27 magazines on hand.

Controversy

The immediate reaction to this decision by the USMC has very mixed. Some opponents to the swap feel that it is unwise to go from a belt fed 200 round suppressive fire weapon to a platform that is designed around a 30 round box magazine. Proponents of the change feel that the benefits to having a more reliable, lighter platform outweighs the loss in firepower.

Whether you are for or against the decision it can’t be denied that the switch to the M27 IAR means that infantry tactics will need to be altered. Since the 1980’s infantry rifleman tactics involve the use a SAW platform to put direct fire on the target, and going from the M249 to the M27 changes that dynamic. By having a more lightweight platform, the automatic rifleman will be able participate more effectively in urban terrain direct action and thus increasing the effectiveness of a Marine stack. The loss in firepower cannot be denied however, which mean that the conventional suppressive capabilities of the automatic rifleman will be lost. However, proponents of the M27 IAR argue that having a very accurate weapon will in fact provide a degree of suppressive capability to the automatic rifleman, as accurate shots are just as likely to keep an opponent’s head down is a flurry of shots.

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The byproduct of the infantry tactics seeing a change means that their training will also need to be updated to accommodate the strengths and weaknesses of the M27. One main advantage regarding training is that the ergonomics of the M27 is very similar to the standard M16A4 and M4A1’s currently in use, which means that training for the IAR will be shorter and easier.

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The adoption of the M27 IAR started in 2006, when contracts were issued for for various IARs from FN Herstal, H&K, and Colt. So, the decision to go to a 30 round STANAG magazine fed automatic weapon had been decided quite some time ago. This decision in 2006 reflects a shift in the USMC infantry doctrine to turn the marines into a more high speed and maneuverable fighting force.

This doesn’t mean that the M249 will not see any use, as nine M249 SAW’s will still be kept in each rifle company, but they’ll be set up in reserve to be used at each commander’s discretion.

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How Does this Affect Airsoft?

In reality, this change doesn’t affect airsoft tactics much at all. Each airsoft gun is quite capable of accurate suppressive fire with a box magazine capable of holding up to 800 rounds. In a sense, the average airsoft game is very similar to players firing light machine guns at one another. Nonetheless, those interested in replicating a USMC automatic rifleman build will no longer have to invest in a very heavy SAW platform.

Airsoft IAR

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– Darren

M27 IAR Airsoft Gun

Thankfully, we got our hands on a very limited edition, unique M27 IAR. Elite Force and Umarex have decided to release only 500 of these rifles nation wide, meaning that when you purchase this gun, you are getting a super rare piece. However, additionally, this gun is cheaper than most regular IARs, meaning you can save money and still be awesome. This gun is scheduled to be released in October, so be sure to stay tuned to our website for more!

Preorder it here!

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