This week we have received a new Airsoft spring powered sniper rifle we have never had before, the Double Eagle - M50A.
Initially, we were not expecting great things from the rifle, the low price, the simplistic box design... But as soon as we opened it up and started to handle it, oh what a surprise.
In the box, you have the rifle itself, one magazine, butt plate extension pieces, a very basic sling and screw set to assemble the rifle's two parts together. So what shocked us? The weight and power! This is modelled directly off of the ASG - SSG 62 P2 quite clearly, but there are some slight upgrades.
The outer barrel is certainly a little more weight but it is not uncomfortable at all. The original SSG 62 P2 was too light, it was almost like handling a nerf gun sensation. The new Double Eagle - M50A was also firing 492fps consistently shot after shot whilst writing the original product description.
The rifle shares "VSR" like features too including an externally adjustable hop-up unit and a similar shaped trigger mechanism. This rifle makes a great budget entry-level option for those looking to experience the world of Airsoft sniping.
So what ammo should you use with this? Instantly do not go any lighter than a 0.36g BB, but we would recommend something heavier. You will be able to punch through foliage far easier, have a long straight flight, and your targets (enemies) will feel the hits more too. We have several options, but the top three are NUPROL - RZR 0.40g Precision BB x 1000, ASG - 0.40g Precision Ammunition 6mm BB x 1000 and the NUPROL - RZR 0.43g Precision BB x 1000.
But what about the usual issue with buying a new Airsoft gun... do we have spare magazines? Yes! Double Eagle - M50 26rnd magazines are available individually here. Alternatively, you can also purchase the ASG - Steyr SSG 69 P2 Magazine 2 pack.
Now onto the optics, we always advise spending a good amount on your glass as it can dramatically improve your sniping game. Where possible, go for a larger front glass, start off at 40mm. Anything smaller really is a waste of money. The larger the front glass, the more you can see. You can maintain aim on a target whilst reloading and seeing who may be approaching them to be mediced. The go-to budget yet excellent scope right now would have to be the NUPROL - 3-9x50 Scope which includes mounts too.
So what are you waiting for? Now's the time to get into backyard sniping or prep yourself for your next game day. Either enjoy it as it is straight out of the box with impressive power, range and consistency or have it as an affordable base to go to down with customising.
Today we're going to make an attempt at answering (or sidestepping) the eternally asked, and impossible to answer question; "What is the best Airsoft Gun?". There is, unfortunately, no real answer to this besides personal preference and purely comes down to the Airsoft replica that ticks the most amount of boxes for the price you're willing to pay. For some, it's all about cost. Cheap is good in some people's eyes, and there's nothing wrong with having just the right amount of kit to scrape by. Other Airsofters look for 'quality of life' features like Quick Change Springs, MOSFETs, Electronic Triggers and High Speed (Rate of Fire) in their purchases, whereas some want their RIF to be built as solidly as possible. Of course in an ideal world, you'd like to have the best of all that, but the world is far from perfect and we will sometimes have to make compromises.
The first question you need to ask yourself is 'what am I going to be doing with your Airsoft replica', as you're going to find that some guns are better in different situations. A Gas Blowback Pistol may be a fine choice in your local CQB Arena, but is going to be massively outgunned as soon as you want to take it to an outdoor/woodland Skirmish Site. The most useful style of replica for being effective in the field is an Airsoft Electric Gun (or AEG for short), especially if you're a beginner and this is your first RIF. These styles of gun just need a Battery and BBs to get working, and can happily churn through thousands of BBs in a day without skipping a beat. It would be easy to talk all day about this stuff so in the spirit of getting on with it, here's a breakdown of key features to look out for, and recommendations for each of these categories. Remember that these are my opinions, and may differ vastly from yours. The best way to make your mind up is to come and visit us to get your hands on some Airsoft Guns and get some impartial (commission-free) advice.
The absolute bread and butter of the Airsoft world, this style of replica is the most commonly seen type on the skirmish field, for the simple reason that they're easy to use, readily available and perform the most consistently out of the bunch. Because they're so popular there's a massive variety in price point, cheap/expensive, features they're supplied with, build quality and so on. The best thing to do is to go with a brand that you can trust, and thankfully we've done most of the hard work for you. We only stock brands/lines that we truly believe in such as CYMA, Specna Arms, G&G Armament, NUPROL, Tokyo Marui, ARES, Krytac, Bolt and ASG to name a select few. Let's break down what makes an AEG great:
The main thing on most peoples' mind, especially new players, is going to be how much is this hobby going to cost? There is a temptation to try and spend as little as possible, and I honestly can't fault that, especially if you're just dipping your toe into the Airsoft world. CYMA should be first on your list if you're looking to spend as little as possible, as they have a fantastic range of AEGs starting from £79.99. CYMA have been in the game of cloning popular designs since the dawn of Airsoft and are exceptionally good at it by now. Performance-wise you will hardly see any difference next to an AEG that costs £150+, however the externals are made to a cheaper standard which explains the low cost.
As you start to spend more on your AEG then you will see more features and quality of life improvements start to appear. By quality of life, we mean features that make your life easier as an Airsofter, or a feature that helps you to be as effective as possible in the field. A quick change spring is a great example of a quality of life improvement. Each system is slightly different, but the rough idea is that it allows you to change your Main Spring without having to disassemble the gearbox; sometimes taking less than 45 seconds to complete! This is an amazing feature for those who want to play at lots of fields with different power limits, or those who want to quickly switch between a ~350FPS standard role, or ~400FPS DMR/Sniper role. The Specna Arms series (especially those with the ESA™ quick-change system) are great for making quick spring changes, as you simply need to use a screwdriver in the buffer tube.
Electronic Triggers are starting to become more and more common on new releases, as they are a very pleasant feature to have and make for a quick/snappy trigger response. G&G Armament and ARES are well known for installing Electronic Trigger Units in their Airsoft replicas, and you will start to see them appear in the £164.95+ price point. Their replicas with the ETUs installed allow you to use 11.1v LiPos which makes for crazy high rates of fire, as well as incredibly fast trigger response to make sure that your BB leaves the barrel before your opponents' does, and to allow for rapid follow up shots to make sure that you hit. Their triggers also allow you to reprogram your Automatic function to give you 'Burst Fire' capabilities by simply holding the trigger down on Single Shot for ten seconds.
Build quality is yet again a matter of personal taste, and whether or not you think you need it. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a collector, you may well want an authentic 'Stamped Sheet Steel Receiver' (such as you might find on the E&L or Bolt series). You may also deem yourself as a hazard on the field who is prone to accidental damage, if so, you probably want a replica that is built to be tough and rigid in case you do go head over toe on the battlefield. Yet again Specna Arms will be appearing on this list as their replicas (with the exception of the CORE range) are all built from a mix of Aluminium/Zinc Alloy & Steel, weighing in at the 3kg area. The new range of BOLT replicas are all made to a tough standard with a mix of Aluminium & Steel (they need to be to handle the intense recoil).
So we've discussed some features that make an Airsoft gun 'good', but don't have an answer to what is the 'best'. I'm going to settle on a boring and non-committal answer that is unfortunately: you need to decide! Everyone has different tastes and what makes something great for me, might not be for you. Personally, I'm a man of balance, and like to get the best of all possible outcomes. In an attempt to keep the peace I will (begrudgingly) pick out what I consider to be a perfect balance of all the options.
The Specna Arms SA-H03 is, as far as I'm concerned, my ideal blend of quality and price. The externals are made to a delicious standard with Aluminium/Zinc Alloy and Steel, and high-density Nylon Fiber Polymers where appropriate. It is rock-solid in the shoulder and feels like a real quality piece of kit the minute that you lay hands on it. The quality continues inside the replica as it has a world of parts which would be considered an 'upgrade' in any other RIF. It does have a Quick Change Spring, however is a system that requires the gearbox to be pulled out of the body, so it isn't the fastest. As I don't need to quickly switch between power
If you fancy yourself the chance of winning a new Airsoft replica to play with this weekend why not book yourself in at Halo Mill Proving Grounds located in Selby, York, where to enter all you have to do is turn up! The prize up for grabs is a Specna Arms SA-S03 M40A5 CORE Sniper Rifle in Multicam!
If you're under 18 don't worry, you can nominate any other person and we will gift the replica to them, be it a parent or family member who has a valid defence!
The Sniper Rifle is built to an amazing standard as you would expect, using N-Core reinforced Polymers to create a body which is bulky and satisfying to shoulder, tough enough to go the extra mile and yet still lightweight enough to make this a manageable rifle. The upper receiver and all external trim components such as the cheek rest and trigger well are made from Alloy with a Nano Coating finish that protects the metalwork from scratches. The rifle comes included with a 20mm rail piece for the handguard, which allows you to attach laser/light accessories and requires fixing to the body via self-tapping screws. The upper receiver also features a 20mm rail which is ready for the included scope or any other optics you may have lying about. Just to the right of the bolt handle you will find the safety lever, which blocks off the trigger from use when it is in the rear position.
If you're looking for a sniper rifle which is built to a crazy high standard, has everything you need to go right out of the box, has smooth and consistent performance without too much setup, and is reasonably priced, the SA-S03 M40A5 is just the ticket.
For more information you can visit the Halo Mill: Proving Grounds Facebook page.
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