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Cold War: Explore Historical Airsoft Guns

2024-03-13

Cold War - A conflict of two ideologies, fought around the world divided by the Berlin Wall of military powers. A conflict of technology, strategy and character, the escalation of which could have ended in the destruction of the entire world. It is a very interesting period that shaped the basis of current military technology. On the one hand, the precise and modern armaments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries and on the other, the crude and heavy technology of the Warsaw Pact. Two radically different doctrines clashed around the world on economic, technological and military grounds. Through espionage, special operations to regular armed conflicts supported by conductors from Washington and the Kremlin. In the world of airsoft there are many replicas from this period and the atmosphere of simple ordnance, crude and very thought out weapons and the jungles of Vietnam, the sandy peaks of Afghanistan, the roasting sun of Africa and the chill of the Falklands is still present in many computer games and movies.

The Birth of Prototypes of Modern Firearms

Having learned from the demanding combat trail in Eastern Europe, Berlin and the Manchurian War, the Soviets decided that every soldier should be armed with a versatile weapon possessing good accuracy, high firepower and durability that would perform well in both the Siberian cold, the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and the jungles of Southeast Asia. In 1947, the design of a young tank crewman from the Altai country met the previously mentioned requirements and found its way into the hands of the first Soviet soldiers under the name of the Avtamat Kalashnikova, or AK for short. Shortly after, to all the allies of the USSR fighting from Europe, through Asia, the Arabian Peninsula to Africa and South America.

ELAKM Essential airsoft carbine

ELAKM Essential Carbine Replica

 

Technological Advantage Battle: NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

Both sides of the conflict of those years were characterized by high ingenuity and clever designs, created for the toughest combat conditions. However, it was NATO technology that was always a step ahead of their eastern adversaries.

Before the birth of the AR-15 family, the main assault carbine of the American Armed Forces was the M14 rifle manufactured by Springfield Armory. The successor to the legendary M1 Garand, a heavy rifle endowed with very high accuracy and knock-down energy that served as the issued armament of riflemen and even snipers.

M1A airsoft gun

M1A Replica

 

The 1960s brought with it the Vietnam War, in which soldiers had to cover dozens of kilometers on foot, through jungles and wilderness. The US opponent was very fast, able to attack at the least expected moment and from a completely unexpected place. Because of this, the Americans had to move quickly to respond to enemy attacks. For this they needed lighter weapons for which they could carry more ammunition, then the AR-15 family of rifles was born, along with its oldest members, the M16A1 and CAR-15.

CM009C airsoft Carbine

CM009C Carbine Replica

CM009E airsoft Carbine

CM009E Carbine Replica

 

Evolution of Armament

Learning from their American adversaries, the Soviets appreciated the lightweight and high-performance 5.56mm ammunition of the AR-15 series of carbines and decided to design their own answer. That's how the 5.45mm cartridge was created, and with it the AK-74 series of carbines, which to this day, long after the collapse of the USSR, serves as the main caliber of the broader Eastern Bloc.

SA-J02 EDGE™ airsoft gun

SA-J02 EDGE™ ASTER V3 Version Carbine Replica

 

The Cold War was not only a time of great battles, with aviation, artillery and hundreds of soldiers and tanks playing the first fiddle, but also of precision special operations carried out deep in enemy territory. The success of the missions of well-trained agents and commandos from both sides of the Iron Curtain depended on the innovation of their weaponry. Responsible for intelligence service contracts, constructors stood on their heads designing ever more clever and innovative armaments ahead of their time. Proof of this, are the silenced special carbines of the Soviet Special Forces: AS VAL and VSS Vintorez.

Airsoft assault rifle LCT LCKM

Airsoft Assault Rifle LCT LCKM

Airsoft assault rifle LCT MRK-VAL

Airsoft Assault Rifle LCT MRK-VAL

 

Snipers in the Cold War Era

Since World War II, the concept of sniper operations has changed significantly. During the Cold War, much more was expected of snipers; they were expected to shoot farther, more accurately and more intensively. This was also when the SVD sniper rifle was developed. Equipped with an PSO-1 sight with a simple optical rangefinder, it was the first DMR-class rifle to close the gap in range between assault rifles, machine guns and heavy weapons. In addition, it was intended to replace the machine gun's suppresive fire with precision fire, if necessary.

SVD airsoft sniper

SVD Sniper Rifle Replica

Replica sight Vector Optics PSO-1 4x24 FFP / OPSL34

Replica sight Vector Optics PSO-1 4x24 FFP / OPSL34

 

The West, however, went a step further, and this time European designers, coming from the design of sporting rifles, created designs intended for the military and special forces but equal in accuracy and range to top-of-the-line sporting rifles.

WA2000 airoft sniper rifle

WA2000 Sniper Rifle Replica

Heckler&Koch PSG-1 GBB airsoft Rifle

Heckler&Koch PSG-1 GBB Rifle Replica

Warrior I airsoft sniper rifle

Warrior I Sniper Rifle Replica

 

German designers at Heckler & Koch also designed a submachine gun of legend during the Cold War. The MP5 is still a standard among special forces operatives, anti-terrorists and police officers around the world today, even on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

SR5-A5 airsoft Submachine

SR5-A5 Submachine Gun Replica

 

The Cold War was the driving force behind the birth of light machine guns, the best friends of infantry soldiers. The M249 and PK and PKM still sow terror on battlefields today, pressing down on opponents with a hail of bullets.

AK-PKM machinegun replica

AK-PKM machinegun replica

SA-249 MK2 EDGE™ Machine Airsoft Gun

SA-249 MK2 EDGE™ Machine Gun Replica

 

Cold War in games and movies

Half a century of local conflicts and a nuclear apocalypse hanging in the balance could not pass by pop culture. In the 1980s-90s', many films were made about past conflicts, which were often propaganda tools carefully supervised by the security services. But as the new millennium approached, the services had less and less influence over the media. Then a number of films were made, capturing the gray, unfiltered reality of young, enlisted soldiers fighting in the jungles of Vietnam and the wastelands of Afghanistan. Among such works are Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, We Were Soldiers, 9th Company (9 рота), Afghan Breakdown (Афганский излом) or Leaving Afghanistan (Братство). The climate of the Cold War was captured by the games Operation Flashpoint Cold War Crisis (and the Ressistance add-on!), World in Conflict, Conflict Vietnam, Call Of Duty Black Ops and Cold War, Vietcong and many others.

The years 1945-1991 were a very interesting period. These were times when new technologies and inventions were created every year, new heroes emerged from the conflicts taking place on virtually every continent, glorified on the battlefield, or those less official, far beyond it. Replicas from those times will allow you to enter this interesting period. When holding an M16A1 or AK-74 replica in your hands, it's worth recalling Eugene Stoner or Mikhail Kalashnikov, who, with no modern designer programs at their disposal, armed only with sketching paper and drafting tools, created immortal designs on which most current small arms are based. It's worth going back to the days when there were no red dot sights (or they were reserved only for the elite) and all tactical add-ons, and soldiers had to rely on what the manufacturer of their weapons envisioned. Cold War replicas also a great introduction to the topic of historical reconstruction. Especially because the equipment and uniforms of that era are still available.

 

Author: David Armstrong

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