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Replacing UTM with Airsoft / Milsim?

Home Forums The Armory – Gear and Equipment Weapons Replacing UTM with Airsoft / Milsim?

This topic contains 73 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of ST4T3S ST4T3S 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #62814
    Profile photo of Mike Q
    Mike Q
    Participant

    I like the idea of team coyote as OPFOR. My concern with respawning is the exercises will drag on and they become games instead of teaching tactics. Unless your intent is to teach the milsim guys the advantages of a well trained small unit versus a gaggle of individuals?

    There never seems to be enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it twice.

    CRM Sept. 2014, CTT 1505, CTT July 2015, RC-Rifleman 1502, CP Nov. 2015, FoF March 2016, CCW May 2016, FoF Oct. 2016, FoF Nov. 2016, CLC April 2017, FoF Nov. 2017, Alumni weekend Aug. 2018, CQB Dec. 2018

    #62818
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    Max-
    TC also has a good comment.

    I could go on for another page about the pros and cons, I could get more into the battery/motor issues with AEGs, and I’m confident most of what I’d tell you would be correct. However, I admit, I have been out of the market for a couple years, and I’m sure there have been some changes.
    I think talking to a tech with current market knowledge would be the best way to go, if you’re serious about this level of investment. Maybe give KWA a call since they seem to be the top couple options currently?
    Here’s the GBB rifle I had in mind from them:

    KWA LM4 PTR


    Obviously, do bear in mind that KWA may or may not be the “best” brand out there for either GBB or AEG guns. They’re just a good “bang for buck” option.

    Like I said before, I’m not trying to stop you from going the AEG route if you find that better then GBB. There are unique issues with both- neither are a perfect solution. I’m sure you will be suitably underwhelmed with whichever option you choose….haha
    However, I think you will find the operation, setup, and potential maintenance a little simpler with the GBB guns, and you won’t have to worry about batteries.
    Further, in my own opinion, I feel the temp issues with GBB can be mitigated by simply not holding FOF classes during winter, which, I assume, would be hard to fill in such weather anyway… :unsure:

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62819
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    It’s a bit older, but here is a good review of one of the KWA GBB rifles. This actually does a pretty good job showing some of what I was talking about in regards to the hop-up, chrono, and BB weight issues.
    A gun running high 300’s to 400’s might be a bit hot for CQB…
    As you can see, it’s pretty much like a real M4 internally.

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62820
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    For the exact same gun in the above review, here are a couple techs explaining why the above reviewer likely broke his hop-up, as well as covering what I was talking about before with gas valve issues and maintenance. Pretty simple stuff…

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62821
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    Finally here is a good video demo-ing what you can expect in extreme cold with a GBB. Yes it sucks- hence my previous comment on potential class scheduling.
    Although granted, I would say this is pretty severe weather to even try to run an airsoft event in, in the first place, regardless of if you had GBB or AEG guns.

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62822
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    I highly recommend you watch this entire 30 minute video- this is the “shim your gears or break your gun” primary maintenance event I was referring to with an AEG… He does a good job spending some time at the beginning explaining WHY this is important and why gears in AEGs can/will strip and break.
    Covers both gear and motor adjustments.
    There’s plenty of other videos covering this out there as well, if this doesn’t have enough info, or good enough angles to understand it.

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62823
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    Also, a detail strip of a similar KWA AEG. Pretty much all Electric guns have more or less the same internals and takedown procedure (with some slight variations). Don’t have to watch all 40 minutes- the first 10 minutes or so will suffice.

    As a side note, as I mentioned before about “battery issues”, notice the wires coming out the front of the gun, and the battery taped to the barrel. This type of AEG uses a forward-wired battery that goes under the handguard. This is going to potentially limit the type of batteries you can use (which will determine how long the gun can shoot, as well as how fast the motor will run, which= how responsive the trigger is as well), as it’s limited to what you can stuff under that limited space. If you are not going to use Lithium batteries (which have their own potential issues, like catching fire if you don’t handle them right, or set the gun up for them), the gun will have a lower performance.

    The other type has the battery wires going through the buffer tube. This can also be limiting (same reasons), *but* is generally considerd a little better option, as fit issues can be mitigated with a “crane” type stock upgrade which is like a Magpul ACS/STR stock and has the battery tubes open on the inside to allow more or larger batteries to be used. If you do not want to switch to Lithium batteries, this can be an easy and cheap way to get more power from standard-type airsoft batteries. Some performance issues also have to do with how good the drive motor is as well- it’s not *just* “put a bigger battery in to make it run better”.

    Most “serious” airsofters with upgraded guns do run Lithium because of their increased performance.

    Further, you must make sure you have batteries with connector types that match the connector type the gun’s wiring uses. There are two main different versions.

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62852
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    JARG: your input is appreciated.

    I had a conversation with KWA today and it steered me towards the KWA LM4 Gas gun. This gun operates just like an M4. No batteries. There are 40 rounds in a mag and you gas up each mag with green gas. There is a very useful video which I will post below. You can change the rubber seal on the mags when they wear out over time.

    If we move towards airsoft for 2019 then potentially we can run a lot of FOF without huge expense. I can’t afford to buy maybe 18 LM4’s but there is another way where I can operate with less of an airsoft armory: KWA can set me up as a dealer to get cheaper prices but also people can buy through me and KWA can drop ship. This could potentially mean that motivated students can drop $400 one time, less than most UTM cost, and have a training rifle they can trick out with optics etc. See the video below for the fully operational bolt etc.

    In the video he compares to simunition, not UTM, and I did pick UTM for the longer range. But he takes 2 shots to hit at 50 meters, and the airsoft range is actually longer than that, and we all know how UTM drops off at 50.

    This may be an exciting development.

    #62859
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    This may be an exciting development.

    I agree, if the equipment has indeed progressed to this level. It’s been awhile since I had look seriously at airsoft as I stated, at that time even the reviews weren’t looking good for rifle options. Gas pistols were a good training option.

    I like the idea of having my own rifle set up to replicate my real AR setup.

    Though if allowing student owned rifles I would have a chronograph to verify what FPS they are firing at and have a acceptable VTC standard velocity range as part of check-in.

    Some kids at my Church did this for their rather serious to them paintball games. It avoided injuries and lost tempers due to overgassed guns.

    Look forward to some reviews by you and alumni, in addition to JARG.

    I would rather die with my ideals intact, than be victorious by becoming all that I oppose!

    This why I can never be truly defeated!

    #62862
    Profile photo of JohnnyMac
    JohnnyMac
    Participant

    acceptable VTC standard velocity

    This is probably a good idea, although, the more the better in my book (outside of cqb range)

    #62870
    Profile photo of Darkrivers
    Darkrivers
    Participant

    That’s interesting. Looks more effective than I would have expected.

    If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas

    #62883
    Profile photo of Trailman
    trailman
    Participant

    Rather than doing what we do by splitting the attendees into two teams, with the exception of Sunday morning where we run the assault cycle exercise against a smaller OPFOR, how about this:

    Theme: Hunter-Killer: Team Coyote

    That’s a great idea, the one thing we kept asking 1Sgt last year was when can we maneuver. After about day 3 we wanted to go a little offensive. The last ambush where 1/2 of us got away was instructive and fun.

    CRM, CTT 1501, CP11/15, CTT5/16, FoF, DCH, CLC Opfor, Team Minion

    Just remember, Anne Frank was a criminal because the government made her one and she died because she broke the law.

    #62888
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    Though if allowing student owned rifles I would have a chronograph to verify what FPS they are firing at and have a acceptable VTC standard velocity range as part of check-in.

    Some kids at my Church did this for their rather serious to them paintball games. It avoided injuries and lost tempers due to overgassed guns.

    Look forward to some reviews by you and alumni, in addition to JARG.

    Second the Chrono.
    One of the other nice side benefits of airsoft is the users can wear significantly less protective gear. But like I mentioned before, there will be damage to protective gear/injuries if you get people shooting hot at CQB distance.

    As far as reviews on my side, I regret to say you’ll be disappointed. As much as it may seem otherwise right now, I’m not an airsofter. ;-)
    I never ended up using the equipment I had for training or social fun as much as I thought I would, so I got out of it. Like I said before- I’ve been out of the market for a couple years, and due to monetary issues, I don’t think I’ll be getting back in anytime soon.
    I’m just trying to add some relevant experience/info here to help a good decision be made, like I would with any other guns or equipment.
    :unsure:

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #62890
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    A plan is forming. After another conversation with KWA I am going to purchase a complete kit for a PTS MEGA ARMS MKM AR-15. This is a gas gun replica AR15.

    I suspect the range and accuracy is better than UTM. I will make a video of that if it works out. I will also get listed as a dealer so I can buy school guns cheaper, and also facilitate students buying their own.

    Now, this has depth. If all goes according to plan andnis reliable and accurate, I will proceed with this, looking to invest in school guns for 2019. We have to get past some prejudice first….

    If we remain on track, I can look 5o changing all FoF and CLC classes to airsoft, with greater range and accuracy, and no limits on ammo, considerably cheaper than UTM.

    But it gets better. I am going to encourage you guys to invest $400 in one of these rifles. It can then be tricked out to spec qnd become your FoF rifle.

    What will that do? It will pay dividends for you if you plan to train seriously and come to more than one FoF class. It will also give you a FoF training rifle that replicates your AR. This can be used for your own individual and group training, unlike restricted and expensive UTM.

    I am even visualizing a youth class with these rifles. There is so much potential here.

    #62893
    Profile photo of Robert
    Robert
    Participant

    3rd recommendation on the chrono. Bought a used paintball gun one time that at 20 yards went through the thin wood slats on a privacy fence and dented the living crap out of a quarter panel of a car… You want a chrono to make sure if people bring something it’s not crazy stupid.

    www.jrhenterprises.com
    RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18

    #62894
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Yes, chrono is a given as a component of standard safety gear at a professional school.

    #62909
    Profile photo of Greg W
    gregw
    Participant

    My department uses air soft handguns for FoF. The guns run on green gas and run exactly like our duty weapon. Same amount of ammo (BBs) and all the controls work the same. Same basic weight and slide locks on an empty mag.

    We have an armorer who maintains them and says the biggest problem guys with their personal airsoft versions have is not properly maintaining them. They do need to be cleaned and absolutely positively never use a petroleum lube on them. The airsoft specific silicon lube only.

    I can’t help with an M4 copy as I don’t know enough about the manufacturers, but I like the idea. Cost can be a hurdle for a lot of guys and it’s more dollars to spend on more training.

    Once you decide on a standard, let us know and I suspect many will buy one of our own to use at home and for classes.

    #62987
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    I’m running a corporate team building force on force event these 2 days. We are seeing more problems than we have ever seen with UTM.

    We have had some ammunition failures with primer blowout, which is a quality issue for UTM.

    The main problem is stuck cases and stuck projectiles due to dirty chambers and dirty barrels. The two alumni have had no problem. The corporate attendees in the main lack weapons training and experience.

    So UTM has not in fact been awesome.

    Yesterday I ordered my trial AR-sim BB rifle. It makes more and more sense.

    #63004
    Profile photo of Dave37
    dave37
    Participant

    In 2017 I attended a Force on Force training where the students had UTM weapons and the OPFOR had airsoft M4s. Maximum range was about 50 yards. The OPFOR was not at a disadvantage at all, and frequently tuned us up with airsoft. FWIW.

    Texas CTT/Mobility 2017, Missouri 1 Day CQB 2017, Texas HEAT 2 2018

    #63005
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Well, UTM just died a death for me on the last two days at the corporate event. They hsve changed the projectile design from aluminum to all-plastic. It’s a longer story than I ca tap out here, but numerous problems from primer blow-outs, stuck cases, mashed projectiles. It lost its reputation with me as a reliable training aid.

    Worst, three rifles had multiple stuck rounds in the barrel. In the past, we get those out as UTM suggests with rod and hammer, maybe using boiling water. 2 student rifles and one of my loaners went home still blocked up. Because the rounds / projectiles are all plastic with wax, they do not tap out like the aluminum used to.

    After soaking the upper on my laoner fully submerged for 20 minutes this morning, I was able to tap the rounds out.

    So many stoppages happened it lost a lot of training time for attendees. This means I am assessing my options and bringing the change to airsim guns forward. More to follow.

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    #63007
    Profile photo of JohnnyMac
    JohnnyMac
    Participant

    airsim guns forward

    Damn shame that UTM has decided to reduce component cost, at the expense of reliability, all while price gouging the customer. I don’t blame you in the least, and it’s beginning to make sense to me too. Winter will likely see me experiment with either a Tippmann or high quality AEG airsoft.

    #63008
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Winter will likely see me experiment with either a Tippmann or high quality AEG airsoft.

    You may be ‘experimenting’ a lot sooner than you think….. :yahoo:

    #63011
    Profile photo of JohnnyMac
    JohnnyMac
    Participant

    sooner

    Sure, I’m down.

    Edit: It would be very cool to have rules, with only one man per fireteam allowed to use select fire, to simulate a belt fed, tactics wise

    #63013
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    …have rules…

    I would lean towards if you don’t have a NFA Tax Stamp you don’t get to use fullauto.

    I would rather die with my ideals intact, than be victorious by becoming all that I oppose!

    This why I can never be truly defeated!

    #63014
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Full auto verboten.

    #63015
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    You can apply to me for an ‘in-scenario’ tax stamp to use full auto, and it will cost you $200… :yahoo:

    #63016
    Profile photo of JohnnyMac
    JohnnyMac
    Participant

    ‘in-scenario’ tax stamp t

    HAHAHAHA!

    What’s next, piss tube tax?

    #63017
    Profile photo of Mike Q
    Mike Q
    Participant

    My opinion is no full auto. This is supposed to be about training not playing a game.

    There never seems to be enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it twice.

    CRM Sept. 2014, CTT 1505, CTT July 2015, RC-Rifleman 1502, CP Nov. 2015, FoF March 2016, CCW May 2016, FoF Oct. 2016, FoF Nov. 2016, CLC April 2017, FoF Nov. 2017, Alumni weekend Aug. 2018, CQB Dec. 2018

    #63055
    Profile photo of Dmitriy
    dg
    Participant

    Once you decide on a standard, let us know and I suspect many will buy one of our own to use at home and for classes.

    I support this request/suggestion.

    Dmitriy G.
    CRS/NF Nov 2016; CTT/Mobility May 2017

    "We must never allow the low standards of others, nor their incessant quest for mediocrity and marginal adequacy to limit our climb toward excellence." -- Gabe Suarez

    #63094
    Profile photo of Idaho Cajun
    idahocajun
    Participant

    For what it’s worth:

    Our small group in Idaho has decided to utilize airsoft purely for CQB training. Inside the distances we utilize, there’s not much of an issue. The KWA GBB pistols offer some good training feedback with reloads, etc. the same for the rifle. I have a KWA LW GBB Rifle. The weight is equal to my AR plus you have to run the bolt, reload, etc. Something the electric guns don’t really have (own 2 of those as well). They make a gas for cold weather utilization, not pricy at all. It’s as close to practicing with the AR and hurts like hell when you get hit. Happy to answer any specifics, but I’m happy so far.

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