For more visit Part 2, and sort of Part 3.
To the left is my bottom line answer to that question. It's something I've given a lot of thought to over the years but never really found a concrete enough solution to move the answer to "yes". Before everything that drove the political climate toward stricter gun control, which then drove a wave of fear buying through the firearm community - in my opinion - ammunition was already far too expensive. I don't want to turn this into an opinion piece on the "ammunition shortage" or anything like that, but let me just say I personally have no driving reason to let whoever it is in the supply chain screw me the way gasoline/oil companies have the rest of the nation. I want to be supportive and I want to be prepared, but at the end of the day it boils down to money, regardless of how you or anyone else feels about the Second Amendment. Bottom line; extra coin is going into someone's pocket whether it is the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer, while the cost of production hasn't changed. Cut it however you like, that seems wrong to me and all while riding on the deaths of children and the election (re) of an unpopular president. All that aside, airsoft replicas and .22 kits for, or variants of, popular handguns and rifles have recently grown in popularity and legitimacy in both training and recreational shooting. The expense of ammunition was already unreasonable and getting trigger time with something was better than none or less than before. Factor in this new ammunition situation and well, I personally haven't fired or purchased a single round in 2013.
-External accuracy to the firearm equivalent.
-External controls identical to the firearm equivalent.
-Magazine dimensions as close to identical as possible.
-Blowback (last round hold open firstly AND some kind of inertia which moves the gun and forces user to realign sights, however minimal)
-Weight similar to that of a firearm.
-Wouldn't hurt if it was at least relatively well made.
-I prefer steel BBs over airsoft - this is a significant limitation presently.
|A typical little detail found on airguns - the red dot.|
|I am used to black sights but these are workable and easily blackened. The gun is very accurate in any case.|
|There are some goofy issues like the sight gap seen here. No big deal.|
|Poor finish coverage seen here. It is obviously some kind of sprayed on paint and probably done in a single coat. I smell a project in my future.|
So it's cheap, and it easily fulfills the recreational shooting half of the equation. What is the next step? We've got a handful of attractive airguns that offer a lot for very little money but this one isn't perfect, and I suspect the others aren't either. The next step is for the people making them to realize the new group of buyers interested in something like this. They are going to be people who want more action in their recreational shooting. They are competitors. And they are tactical shooters getting additional trigger time. These people all overlap but unless the gun offers enough features that it's useful for all of them, then it probably won't be interesting to any of them. That means, if you make a 1911, it has to have magazine base pads. That's just a given today. In fact, all of the magazines are going to have to be designed to take a fall regardless of the gun. The aspects of the gun that interface with the hand have to be accurate to the firearm counterpart, however the rest of the gun should be made to be a good airgun. Replica on the outside, airgun on the inside. Make guns people actually want. This might be obvious but I look at the airguns, especially the steel BB versions, and wonder why in the world they choose that model. Airsoft has it covered but I think the plastic BBs and "green gas" have certain disadvantages for this specific market. The people making them are going to have to get into the Glocks, M&Ps, XDs, and so on. The only way they are going to get traction is by replicating guns people compete with, guns cops carry, guns people enjoy shooting - modern pistols. And lastly, create some kind of standards. The guts should probably all be the same and be built in such a way that they can be repaired, modified or enhanced. This kind of thing creates an aftermarket and the aftermarket can build momentum for popularity. Don't get hung up on replicating every aspect of the firearm equivalent. The parts that interface with the hand are vital, the rest is free game as far as I'm concerned. Do something that allows people to customize and tweak, and do it in their living room.
And that's it for Part 1 - another epic post. Part 2 is just going to really be my thoughts on the subject after I've had time to really shoot the gun. The other two guns I've had for a couple years now and they just didn't do it for me. I am hopeful that this gun has enough of the right stuff to start a trend toward accurate replica CO2 powered steel BB airguns for the shooting sports community.