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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:08   #1
makinitbig
 
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Much has changed

So, I've been on a two year hiatus from airsoft, and it seems a lot has changed...

I started playing with two of my friends in the Vancouver area playing at Panther, and Bigfoot. My two friends left for the military, and I lost motivation to to get out and play. When I did play it seems I got into it at the worst possible time. Coming from paintball, the Canadian airsoft scene looked grim with no new guns coming into Canada, and a lack of new players coming into the sport. I payed for what seems like a premium now for a second hand Tokyo marui M4 off craigslist as my first gun being told no new guns could make it into Canada? I even remember when Warcraft games was raided by the RCMP, and had they're guns seized...

So I sold my airsoft gun to fund my firearms addiction. Now two years later I was around Mission and decided to walk into Warcraft games and to my surprise there was a wall full of guns, at good prices too! GGBs, full metal, and non-tined plastic. Talking to the guy at the counter he said they could pretty much import any gun I wanted. Now it seems airsoft is on the up, and up, and I'm considering getting back into it.

My only question is what changed? Laws? the CBSA? Canadian firearms act? I re-read the FAQs and understand you personally can not import a airsoft gun.

I posted this in the newbie section because airsoft is pretty all new to me again. Also what are the reputable brands of guns these days? Some of the companies I never heard of... Socom gear?

Also. Do ALL replica eotechs still suck? I have two real ones, dunno if I want to risk a smashed piece of glass.

Last edited by makinitbig; November 4th, 2011 at 02:21..
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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:22   #2
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relations with the actually companies making the guns... more clear/tinted receivers, and a CBSA fps loophole with the full metal guns ... it's still not "easy" for the retailers... but it's a HELL of alot easier then it was even a couple years ago.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:34   #3
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Not all replica EOTech's suck. Hurricane ones are the best clone version out their, but the price reflects it. Their not as expensive as a real EOTech but their still pretty expensive. Ive seen a lot of the cheap clone red dot ones that have no adjustment in brightness or aiming and those are the worst. Personally i would only ever buy a Hurricane one. Their are peices of lexan that clip onto the sight to prevent it from shattering.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:42   #4
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Considering a Hurricane EOTech is around $200, I would rather pay double and get a Real EOTech. They are still replicas, they are still china made and have no warranty or support.

I had a Hurricane one, it was great, it like all Replicas it crapped out on me, and it was nothing more than a $200 paper weight.

Get a killflash, or one of these and your good to go. Buy cheap, buy twice. I use my Real Steel Optics on my AS Guns all the time, no issues.

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Old November 4th, 2011, 11:50   #5
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As Reckless said, companies are now working with Canadian importers to build guns specifically for the Canadian market. That means that guns either have clear or tinted receivers / frames, or they're built with powerful enough springs so that they pass the muzzle energy limit prescribed in the Firearms Act to classify them as air guns / uncontrolled firearms rather than replicas which they were previously classified as. Most GBBRs already shoot hot enough out of the box to put them in that classification, so nothing needed to be done there.

Importing is still a pain in the ass, as restrictions and regulations are tight. It's not easy for importers, and even more difficult for individuals, which makes it not worthwhile ordering from abroad yourself. But at least now airsoft guns being imported and sold legally for what they are, rather than the previous shady practice of being imported by BFL holders for "film and TV production" purposes and then "falling off the truck" and being sold to airsoft players and collectors.

As for EOTech replicas, you can get Hurricane EOTech models for good prices used. I paid about $150 for mine used, and that's really not a whole lot more than one of the cheap crappy ones. For the most part, the EOTech replicas have gotten a lot better in the last couple of years. All but the cheapest ones are fully adjustable for elevation and windage as well as brightness. And their build quality have improved significantly over the original ones that came out a couple of years ago. Some will still not be bright enough for outdoor use in bright, sunny conditions. That's the biggest complaint I have about them.

That being said, I have a real EOTech and that's my preference. However, I don't really see the need to buy a $500 sight for an airsoft gun. I got mine used for a pretty reasonable price (not a whole lot more than a new Hurricane), so I went for it. But Hurricane is definitely the way to go for an AEG.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 01:37   #6
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Originally Posted by makinitbig View Post
Some of the companies I never heard of... Socom gear?
SOCOM Gear is a subsidiary/sister company of Madbull, which is based in Taiwan.

Madbull produces many accessories and parts, tons of Marui-compatible stuff. Pistons, hopups, inner barrels, front sets, handguards, stocks, many assorted gearbox parts, lubricant, grips, lithium polymer batteries -- you name it. Just like G&G, they have very slick marketing and are getting very good at media production (video, graphics, catalogues, logos / typography / etc).

These guys get social media:



Most of SOCOM Gear's products are rebadged and remixed airsoft products from the other Taiwanese airsoft companies, VFC and G&G. For example, the SOCOM Gear PWS Diablo I have is a G&G GR-16 gearbox + hopup with a bunch of Madbull upgrades, namely the front set, Diablo flash hider, body, etc. Upgrading it with Madbull components is a snap, so it seems that the Taiwan partners are building a bit of an ecosystem.

I'm not sure what the exact nature of Madbull's relationship is with G&G and VFC, but they're obviously close. From my observations as a person with experience in the marketing industry, it's striking how much the Taiwanese airsoft companies resemble each other in terms of marketing strategies, slickness of media output (some of their videos are outstanding), graphics, branding and sub-branding, etc.

If you follow American airsoft culture and forums, you will quickly find that mainland Chinese airsoft companies are successfully capturing the hearts and minds of US airsoft enthusiasts, especially people who like to build and upgrade their own guns on a budget. If you do an archeological dig into the ancient-vintage FAQs on ASC, brands like SHS and JG are shat as if they're terrible poop, but as you look at more recent discussion, these guys are catching up bigtime (it helps to read what the gun doctors are saying). Chinese airsoft companies marketing sucks ass though. SHS's packaging has cheesy pictures of wolves. Jing Gong doesn't even have a website. Taiwanese airsoft companies are well-spoken of quality-wise here and elsewhere on the net, but today this may not be enough to grab the attention of customers in light of the improved quality of Chinese guns... especially in the US market where you can buy a great Chinese airsoft gun for under 200 bucks.

Therefore, Madbull/SOCOM, G&G, etc, are engaging in "differentiation" with high-production YouTube videos, fancy logos, clever product names, close partnerships with big retail chains like Evike, global media contests (video contests and photography contests... most of their current catalog was photographed by fans), fancy licensing partnerships (PWS, Daniel Defense, Stag Arms, Noveske, ACE, etc..), blowback gimmicks, vast catalogs of products (the G&G catalog is dazzling in variety.. check out their 2011 products and accessories catalogues in PDF format here: http://guay2.com/web/download.php?lang=en )... etc

Canadian players may scoff at it, but in a market like the US where airsoft is very inexpensive, this sort of spectacle helps move product.. Up here in Canada, I am observing people swearing by higher-priced brands like G&P, King Arms, etc, for the simple reason that gear is so much more expensive up here ($350 - 500) that when we make a purchase we want a platform that will last a bit longer. Makes sense. In the very short time I've observed this market, prices have dropped dramatically already, though. Having regular discussions with a Toronto retailer it seems that prices will continue to drop and higher quality guns will continue to come into the market. Same story as any market where demand rises and supply is ample.

I suspect that the wisdom of this forum will prevail and the rule of you get what you pay for will continue to rule, but I'm excited about being able to build a collection of reliable guns which don't break the bank and are easy to upgrade with a huge variety of aftermarket parts. So far my experience has been pretty rocky with most of my high cost guns (G&G, G&P, etc) breaking down in their very first game, so we're definitely not there yet.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 14:53   #7
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I recently bought a used eotech replica for 50. I don't know the manufacture but it is fully adjustable 5 levels of brightness (haven't had a chance to try in the sun yet since Calgary doesn't get Sun) seems bright though. Parallax isn't bad holds position well enough. Radical disappears when it drops too low though. Considering the price and that its for airsoft I'm happy with it.

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Old November 5th, 2011, 16:33   #8
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Just an FYI makinitbig it depends on what you mean by "suck". If you have real EOTechs like you mentioned, pretty much nothing will hold a candle to it.

That being said, there are good replicas out there with good dollar/function value but if you're used to a real holo sight it doesn't compete. I've compared G&P, Hurricane and the Huang ones side by side to a real 551 and externally they're almost identical (Hoods/accessories can swap) but the reticle (obviously) doesn't even come close to real steel.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 21:00   #9
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Thanks for all the info guys!

I owned two replicas back in the day. One failed on me within a week, my other one still works, but has a sh**** reticle (choppy at best.) The only thing that really bugged me about the replicas were the reflective like glass on the back, making them unusable outside on sunny days. I've never seen those sacrificial lenses before, will probably pick a few up a few up for my beater 553, since L3 doesn't really have the best customer service for they're US customers, let alone Canada, and a broken piece of glass would be a hassle to say the least.

Think I'm going gun shopping next week at either warcraft games, or Richmond airsoft. Any good new brands I should look for (outside systema lol), and brands I should stay away from?
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Old November 5th, 2011, 21:19   #10
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I used a real eotech like 2 years ago, an CF member, won't name him!, let me use his C7A2, with him watching over me, of course! And it had an EoTech, compared to the clones I had, they are good, some very, but hey, some Eotechs are worth more than some of my guns!!! So, if you have the $$$ and want a real one, get it, but for airsoft, it's all the same to me!
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Old November 6th, 2011, 00:05   #11
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You can find used eotech in the 300$ anyway that what i paid for my 3 used ones
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Old November 6th, 2011, 01:03   #12
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Originally Posted by makinitbig View Post
Think I'm going gun shopping next week at either warcraft games, or Richmond airsoft. Any good new brands I should look for (outside systema lol), and brands I should stay away from?
I'm sure others will throw in some names but I will say that you can almost certainly trust King Arms, G&P, Real Sword, VFC, and for the most part, G&G if you know what details to look at internally.

Regarding Systema, you've asked how things have "changed", well, I'm pretty new to the sport and I hear far more snickering and grumbling about Systema than accolades. The only PTW I've seen regularly in person is one which constantly was in a non-working state (immediately after being purchased too), so maybe they're not all they're cracked up to be.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 01:25   #13
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IMO

G&G, JG, SRC, CYMA, etc. are good entry and intermediate level brands for their decent quality and easy to swallow price (they're like the Tippmann 98/A5 of the airsoft world). If that's what you're looking for then great. If you want something a bit more "ferrari-ish" then you get get brands like Inokatsu, SystemA, Real Sword etc.

Sounds to me however you want something more in the mid end in which case G&P, VFC, KA, CA, ARES etc. fit the bill and you can't really go wrong with any of them (except the G&P which pretty much requires a gear swap and shimming out of the box.... ಠ_ಠ).

I own a G&P myself and it's awesome, don't get me wrong, but for some reason they can't seem to figure out how to make gears that don't suck when their bodies and externals are in the upper level in terms of quality craftsmanship. Whats the deal with that?
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Old November 6th, 2011, 13:07   #14
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I'm sure others will throw in some names but I will say that you can almost certainly trust King Arms, G&P, Real Sword, VFC, and for the most part, G&G if you know what details to look at internally.

Regarding Systema, you've asked how things have "changed", well, I'm pretty new to the sport and I hear far more snickering and grumbling about Systema than accolades. The only PTW I've seen regularly in person is one which constantly was in a non-working state (immediately after being purchased too), so maybe they're not all they're cracked up to be.
I'v been running my PTW since 2007 as my main gun very few issues if any! I havent used my ICS or G&P's in a game since buying it. It's usally not so much the gun as the person that does not take care of it.

On a side note,I'v used my EoTech (Real steel) since 07/08 as well,Just put a poly-carb cover on it and your good to go! Put one on my EoTech 3x flip to side as well.
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