WW2 Airsoft

Developed in Japan in the 1970s, Airsoft is a sport similar to paintball where teams ‘shoot’ each other with BB guns during objective based games. WW2 themed airsoft merges re-enactment with the sport.

Video of Operation Haggard

This video of the WW2 Airsoft game Operation Haggard will give a feel of what to expect.

Operation Haggard was a WW2 airsoft event at Ground Zero, Hampshire, UK in 2008.

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The Cyma Thompson

I love my Cyma Thompson. It is a great CQB weapon, and also out-ranges most M14s in long-range battles.

The 470rd magazine goes on forever, although now I tend to use the 190rd versions so as to include a mag change.

The basic Late War US paratrooper uniform and equipment

There is however a weak point. The joint between the barrel and the body is relatively weak and can break.

This can be repaired by forming a metal bar and bolting this in place to effect the repair.

It`s reliable and easy to work on. For the price, you can`t beat it!

Cyma Thompson in action

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M2 Carbine in action

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Stripping the WE Colt 1911

The WE Colt 1911

There`s various makes of GBB Colt 1911s on the market, with very little price difference between them.

In my opinion the plastic slide Tokyo Mauri is the best for actually shooting with, although as a holster filler for reenactment, the WE version is hard to beat.

The only reason that it isn`t so good to use as the TM version is, in common with all other metal slide GBB pistols, that the gas cools due to the metal slide and reduces the pressure.

Here`s a very good how to guide to strip one for cleaning.

About Airsoft

Games are based on either actual WW2 battles or WW2 movies, such as ‘The Eagle has landed’.

Each side dresses and equips themselves in the appropriate kit for their side - be they Allied or Axis. The kit used comes from the same sources as re-enactors kit, although generally reproduction gear is used as it gets more of a bashing, and it is a shame to damage genuine historical items in this manner.

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WW2 Airsoft guns

There is a growing range of WW2 cheapsoft guns available, which are either Automatic Electric Guns (AEGs) or Gas Operated.

The Gas Operated guns tend to be more expensive, although a good WW2 AEG ( for example: a Thompson) can be bought for around £150. In the UK you need to be over 18 and prove that you are an ‘airsoft skirmisher’ to legally buy airsoft guns.

To further enhance the period feel of WW2 Airsoft events many invite military vehicle enthusiasts. Some events use ‘Partisans’, which makes starting WW2 airsoft a lot cheaper as most clothes can be found in charity shops.

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Allied Weapons

Tokuo Mauri and Cyma make two versions of the Thompson ( great range and about 350fps) and the M14 is often used as a BAR or Garand.

Most companies produce M1911 pistols although revolvers and bolt action weapons are less available. A BAR is also available, but is expensive.

Lovers of British weapons will be happy to learn that AGM now produce an all metal Sten MK1, which actually looks better made than the real-steel version.

Gas operated Garands and gas-operated M1/M2 Carbines are available from Marushin. The M1 is a single shot and needs to be cocked for each shot, while the M2 is semi-automatic or full-auto, with the bolt cycling. This gives a very realistic feel to the gun.

Airsoft M1 Carbine and Colt 1911

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Axis Weapons

A popular choice is the AGM MP40, which costs around £130 but only has a 40rd magazine as standard. 100 round magazines are now available.

AGM have recently released an all metal and wood MP44, which is proving popular and reliable. This uses the Version 2 gearbox as fitted to M4s and MP5s. These retail at around £200

Tanaka make very good KAR98 gas operated rifles, and D-Boys have recently released a KAR98 that uses 'bullets', that you load each bb into before inserting them into the magazine. This is available in a plastic stock version or a wood stock version.

The AGM MP40 in action

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Marushin M1 & M2 Carbines

The basic Late War US paratrooper uniform and equipment

I am lucky enough to have both a 6mm M1 (single shot) and an 8mm M2 Marushin Carbine, and I love them both.

However; they are FRAGILE. I bought both secondhand. The single shot (you have to cock it every time) needs to use heavy BBs, as at about 50m .25g BBs turn skywards. Using .40g BBs you will outrange EVERYTHING on the field.

The M2 Carbine is the most fun I have had with a BB gun ever!

Those BIG BBs really make a thud, and bl..dy hurt when they hit you. With every shot the cocking handle comes back, and makes it feel like a real gun. I know; as I`ve fired the REAL steel version, and the BB one has almost the same kick. ie: bugger all.

However; there is a catch. The bolt is subjected to far more stress than it can take, and is fragile BEYOND BELIEF. I bought my M2 with a broken bolt. It is IMPOSSIBLE to source a new one - so I had a steel one made. Be warned.

A LOT of FUN, but fragile.