Airsoft summary of 2022
Airsoft in 2022
For many reasons, the described year can be a source of very strong emotions for many of us. Already at the beginning, due to the political situation, at least in Europe, we could see a decrease in airsoft activity. At this point, it is worth mentioning the excellent involvement of the community related to our hobby in supporting both refugees and soldiers at the front. This shows that in difficult times we do not forget that our common passion can be a platform for positive change.
However, despite the difficult situation, I have the impression that airsoft has revived after a period of struggling with the pandemic. Finally, on the wave of abolishing subsequent restrictions of social life, we had the opportunity to test the equipment that we bought and tuned during subsequent lockdowns. And there were plenty of opportunities to do so. Once again, the biggest European events that attract players from many countries took place. The organizers of events such as Berget and Borderwar did not disappoint. The organization of such large rallies is almost a full-time job for the organizing team, so it is not surprising that they meet the expectations of the players.
On the international arena, we also had to deal with the return of trade fair events. Among them, my favourite IWA, which took place in a slightly reduced formula due to the small number of exhibitors. However, I think this is the result of both the international situation and the fact that companies needed a little more time to prepare their presentations after a two-year period of stagnation. Although there is a lot of talk about the fact that the trade fair formula should change, in my opinion there is still something special about the fact that we can approach a given manufacturer's stand, talk to its representatives and check the presented products with our own eyes. That is why I also remember the 2nd Krakow Airsoft Convention well. I have already described the event on the Gunfire blog, so for a detailed description, I invite you to that article. However, it is worth mentioning here that at this event organized by ASG Kraków Arena we had the opportunity to check, for example, new products presented by such manufacturers as GATE or Specna Arms.
The most interesting new airsoft products
I regret a bit that airsoft producers do not yet have a production cycle similar to that of companies that create smartphones or, for example, computer components. Then we would have one, maybe two big launches from a given company a year and our attention would be focused on them. On the other hand, the fact that airsoft gun models once introduced to the market stay there for quite a long time means that the materials created about them do not get old so quickly and we can return to them more easily. Nevertheless, we had some interesting new products on the market that caught my personal attention.
The first product I would like to highlight here are the new Specna Arms receivers and external parts. In autumn 2022, models with bodies designed entirely by this company were introduced to the offer. They have double-sided manipulators and a really interesting design. In addition, they offer the same as other Edge series products, so their operation should not disappoint us. However, what caught my attention the most were the new stocks. Yes, these inconspicuous parts are made here in a very interesting way. Again, care was taken to make them look very good and, additionally, they offer a lot of space for the battery, which is very important in replicas where the power source is kept in this place.
Speaking of the new Specnas, it is impossible not to mention the X series. These are new models that follow the trend of replicas that simulate feeding from 9mm magazines. This is a construction I've been waiting for a long time and I can't wait to see how the service community will turn them into machines for CQB games. At the time of this writing, little is known about them. We will definitely find them in the Edge versions, so we can be sure of decent performance straight from the box. Staying in the trend of replicas for fighting in buildings, I also wanted to mention the representative of the other side of the price spectrum, which is WELL WE01A. It's a budget airsoft gun. Compared to the aforementioned Specna X, made of metal, it will have a plastic body. It is rather an introduction to fun, but thanks to its compact dimensions and affordable price, it may turn out to be a great market success.
The last group of products that aroused my interest this year are new products from GATE. So far, this company has been associated mainly with the production of high-quality optical systems for our airsoft guns. TITAN has been a kind of market indicator of quality in this field so far. Using less advanced ASTER systems myself, I was interested in the news that their manufacturer is entering the market of internal parts. And I have to admit that the bag of new hi-end components for replicas got loose here and some interesting products spilled out. Among them we will find piston and cylinder heads, gearbox shells, a tappet plate and soon also complete hop-up chambers. The plans of this Krakow-based company include the release of a complete gearbox in the drop-in style. In addition, a refreshed version of the TITAN system is on the horizon, and the line is complemented by the conversion of HPA to AEG replicas. As you can see, the line has developed and I am extremely curious what their new products will be next year.
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