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calendar   Friday - March 12, 2010

Airsoft Update: A Post For B3

If the parts don’t fit, you must acquit!



Consider this the final update to my original post on the subject. I would have called this story over and done with nearly a week ago, but the pro-gun side of the internet leads the rest of the digital world by several days on these kind of stories, and the digital world leads the MSM by an equal or even greater amount. So like a bad penny, this one keeps turning up. Let’s put it to sleep forever then, if we can.


Note: To be fair to reader B3 he did come around to agree that the current toy gun receiver under question was sufficiently different from a real one that a functional weapon could be based on it. But he didn’t have one of the original versions of the toy gun receiver and had to posit that the design could have changed. Has it? I don’t know. Were the seized toys of that “original” design? I don’t know. I do know that design changes take some time to put in place, especially when your manufacturer is overseas.

Quoth B3:

I do not have an original WE receiver that I can compare to, as the first version of the gun was really buggy and didn’t work very good at all. However, unlike real steel, Airsoft can change on a dime by changing the castings for the upper and lower. And it appears that if they are off in size from the RS major components, they have changed.

So, I will stand corrected, the current version of the WE M4 is NOT dimensionally equal to a real steel M4 or AR rifle system. And is as dimensionally in-accurate as other airsoft replicas available.

So this post is for B3, but NOT to bring him to task. No way; he did the RIGHT thing passing along what he’d heard, and he’s the man on the inside of the Airsoft game world. But for those other folks out there - that means YOU BATFE - here is the email chain I’ve had going with the Airsplat company and pics of their attempts to make one of the WE M4 toy gun receivers mate up with real AR-15 gun parts. It doesn’t work.

Gosh, but what about modifying them, wouldn’t that do it? Looks like a big NO to me. There isn’t enough metal on the toy receiver to re-drill the holes without leaving a mess. You’d have to weld on or glue on extra plates on the outside, which would then force you to build your own longer pins. And moving the pins, especially the rear one, could cause all sorts of interference internally. The magazine catch isn’t right either, nor do the internal areas line up for use with the real gun’s internal parts. You’d have to do a tremendous amount of very careful fabrication - casting, welding, machining - just to make that happen. And in the end you MIGHT get things to function - you might NOT is more likely - but the toy gun’s metal is of such low quality - compared to a real firearm!! - that it would likely break.

And that is the big rub about this whole story. The toy gun parts look like the real ones, but they aren’t usable for actual firearms. And it would take tremendous amounts of work by a fully equipped precision machinist to make the necessary modifications, if that is even possible. (and one willing to knowingly skirt the law!) And after all that, on the slight chance you could do all that, you’d still have a dangerously weak receiver. So BATFE’s claim that the toy parts can be “easily modified” for fully automatic fire seems to be rather false. Nearly the same amount of work would be required to mill a real one out of proper bar stock in the first place. So why bother?

Now, let’s lay this one to rest. The modification can’t be done easily. It can’t be done safely. It probably can’t be done at all, even by a skilled professional. These things are toys, not actual firearms parts.

And a big thanks to Airsplat for giving it the old college try, and then some. I edited the emails down to the core concepts, thus the [snip][snip][snip] stuff.

image



From: Drew458
To: airsplat.com
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 8:31 AM
Subject: corporate response wanted on ATF seizure

Dear AirSplat

News item: ATF seizes shipment of Airsoft toy guns imported from Taiwan , says they can be easily converted to fully automatic lethal weapons.
[snip]
This claim by the ATF seems preposterous, but if your toys are made from parts that are fundamentally identical then they may have a valid point. Even if only AR15 parts can be fit to it, devices like the Lightning Link can be used to allow full-auto fire.

Just how close to real life are your parts?

image

From: AirSplat
To: Drew458
Sent: Thursday, March 4, 2010, 10:00 PM
Subject: RE: corporate response wanted on ATF seizure

Drew,

It’s great to hear from you about this. We’ve actually been following this for quite some time now. And seen many of the articles and blogs posting about it.
[snip]
We did catch word of the possible usage of it being so realistic that it could be modified to fire real bullets. One version we heard was that a real steal upper could be used with this lower. So, just out of curiosity, several personnel here brought in several of their AR’s to work to test with.
[snip]
Synopsis: It doesn’t work.

image

From: Drew458
To: airsplat
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: corporate response wanted on ATF seizure

Again, my thanks for your great response. I posted your letter and gave you kudos for your research and good business decisions. Unfortunately I have a reader who says it can be done with the one particular model of receiver. [snip]

image

From: AirSplat
To: Drew458
Sent: Monday, March 8, 2010, 6:19 PM
Subject: RE: corporate response wanted on ATF seizure

Drew,

I have to say, I’m surprised to hear someone saying they are so confident it’s possible. [snip] Fair enough, [snip] we will take it upon ourselves to do so, just to prove a point or just to humor everyone.

I’ll have one of the techs pull out the sample and some people to bring in their guns and we’ll take some pictures for you. Keep you posted!

image

From: AirSplat
To: Drew458
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010, 1:44 PM
Subject: RE: corporate response wanted on ATF seizure

Drew,

Here are the images.

In general, you’ll notice many parts including upper and lower all seem very close to the naked eye. But on closer examination you’ll see the lower is 1/8” shorter, the upper doesn’t even fit on the lower, the pins are different sizes, lots of minor changes that are really noticeable, but when put side by side, become blatantly obvious.

Hope this helps. Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions.

AirSplat.com



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More pics below the fold if you still aren’t convinced yet.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/12/2010 at 02:14 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentGuns and Gun ControlJack Booted Thugs •  
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