VALKEN ENERGY LIPO CHARGER REVIEW!

Hey everyone!

We’re back with another review from Valken, and this time we’re looking at their LiPo charging solution – the Valken Energy LiPo compact balancing charger.


The charger is an affordable, lightweight, portable and compact charging solution for 2 cell or 3 cell LiPo battery packs that has separate charging ports for each. The unit is a small black polymer box with 3 LED lights and the Valken branding. It is a really compact, simple design that isn’t overly complicated – because of this It is super easy to use - simply plug the power cord/UK adapter into the unit, plug the battery into the charger and then lastly turn on the AC wall power. It sounds really obvious but be absolutely SURE to plug the battery in BEFORE turning on the wall power otherwise you risk damaging the charging unit!



The charging unit has 3 bi-colour LEDs to indicate the status of the battery  – once charging begins the LEDs on the unit turn red and once the charging of one cell is completed its corresponding LED changes to green. When all the cells are green the battery is fully charged. One of my favourite things about the charger is its plug and play usability and accessibility even to players who are new to airsoft. It takes around an hour to fully charge an 11.1 LiPo, which is pretty good from my experience of using various chargers in the past. The charger does have all of the important information printed on the unit including the maximum charge current etc and a warning label to ensure the unit is used correctly.


As the charger is compact it can easily be stored into a pouch or range bag for storage, but also it is small enough to take to weekender games if you require some extra juice. I keep mine in my range bag during game days with a spare battery just in case so I can keep myself in the game.
It is worth noting that if you are in the UK you will need the US to UK adapter for the power cord. The charger is available directly from Valken, here and retails at $21.99 which is around £16.95 at the current exchange rate, which is really affordable and competitive compared with other similar charging units. It also has a 90 day manufacturer warranty.

I firmly believe that all airsofters should have their own battery charging solution (as we can’t always expect the sites to do it for us) and the Valken Energy LiPo compact balancing charger is a handy and affordable piece of kit that is easy to use even for new players. Even if this is just used as an intro to lipo charging equipment this is a great choice. 

Photography thanks to Liam Sibley Photography.
Post sponsored by Valken Tactical.
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VALKEN BATTLE MACHINE AEG 2.0 TRG-L REVIEW!

Hey everyone!

We’re back with another Valken review and this time we’re looking at the Valken Battle Machine 2.0 TRG-L. The Valken Battle Machine 2.0 TRG-L is a full polymer AEG that is lightweight and has a cool look to it.


I’m really loving the aesthetics of this AEG as it has a sweet keymod handguard with a near flush muzzle brake which gives it a sleek, almost futuristic look. It also comes with Valkens new dual profile hi-viz flip up sights which add to the overall look of the gun. It has a retractable 6-postion crane stock that houses the battery, the stock is roomy and has an easy to remove butt plate that you don’t need tools to open. The pistol grip has the new shim-less ventilated motor plate with a larger adjusting screw meaning improved ventilation for the motor and it also has an improved sling attachment plate design.



Looking at the internals , rather than a brass inner barrel, Valken has opted for a 6.05mm anodised aluminium barrel with an improved barrel/hopup retention, which compliments an improved gear set, an upgraded shuttle switch and trigger assembly. One cool aspect of the internals of the Battle Machine TRG-L is that the hopup is one piece – the arm has a nub moulded onto it so there are less moving parts (and therefore less to go wrong). The hopup rubber is also bigger to increase contact, along with the O-ring on the nozzle and the two O-rings on the cylinder head mean that this AEG is designed to give the user great consistent shooting. We ran our Battle Machine on a 7.4 1300 mAh stick lipo and it chrono’d at a pretty consistent 330 FPS on 0.20g 6mm BBs which is a great FPS for indoor CQB. The hopup is easy to set and on semi-automatic it shot consistently and smoothly. On full auto it was really fun to shoot with a good rate of fire.


Was there anything I didn’t like about it? The only issue that I had was that the mag release was a little sticky during its first outing on the field but this is just down to it being brand spanking new out of the box. A little silicone lube and this was remedied.

Finally the most important question, what is the price? Depending on what retailer you use, it’ll set you back around £189.95, which I feel is a really good price point especially for those just joining the sport, it also comes with a 1 year warranty.


Overall, I really like the aesthetics of the gun – it has a sleek, futuristic look and its full polymer body means it’s really lightweight and I can run it easily for an entire game day without feeling like I’ve done arm day at the gym. The internals give the user a really consistent shooting experience and my first game day experience running it was really positive, I am looking forward to seeing how this AEG withstands the test of time. Nice one Valken!

Photography thanks to Liam Sibley Photography.
Post sponsored by Valken Tactical.
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VALKEN TACTICAL ZULU GOGGLE REVIEW!

Hey everyone!

So as many of you will know we’ve teamed up with Valken to bring you some great content in the form of videos and reviews! The first of our Valken reviews is here and we are starting with their range of eye pro, more specifically the Zulu Tactical goggles.


The Valken Zulu Tactical Goggles are a lightweight pair of full seal eyepro that is designed to offer the user maximum safety without the bulkiness of a goggle. They have a bunch of awesome features including a vented foam carriage that provides maximum dust protection, as well as enough airflow to release heat. The thermal system provides the user with great anti-fog protection even in the worst weather conditions, making them a solid choice for airsofters whether you play indoor or outdoor.

What I like most about these goggles is the versatility of hinge and pivot joint that connects the frame of the glasses to the quick release temples/elastic strap. Not only can you swap the temples out with the elastic strap for a super secure fit but you can adjust the goggle angle for a better fit around the eye/nose area. Although I usually run shooting glasses without a retention strap, I actually prefer the goggles with the using the elastic strap rather than the temples as this eliminates any gaps around the edges of the goggles – perfect for super close CQB.


The goggles meet ANSI/SEA Z87.1 high impact requirements, MCEP GI-PD 10-12 ballistic standards and CAN/CSA z94.3-07 standards so we tested the Zulu goggles in our controlled test environment to see how they hold up in airsoft using an AEG (measuring in at 364 FPS on 0.2g 6mm BBs) with 0.2g, 0.25g and 0.3g BBs. We shot the lenses at various distances, 5m, 2m and point blank – pleasantly there was no damage to report on the 5m and 2m shots, and only a slight mark at point blank – being satisfied with the impact tests, we took them to one of our favourite airsoft haunts to try them out in game.

Upon wearing them for the test game I found that fogging issues were very minimal, I did notice a little misting in the right hand corner when I was wearing my half mesh face shield but apart from that, there were no fogging issues of note. They were comfy to wear thanks to the padded foam so that gets them a thumbs up!

Depending on what retailer you purchase them from they retail for around £28.95 and are available in 3 different lens options: clear, grey or yellow. In the packet you get a retention strap that clips into the temples and also a sports strap which is super easy to install – just unclip the temples and clip the strap hinges in, which I am big fan of especially when wearing my helmet for CQB.



Overall, I am pretty impressed with the Valken Zulu goggles, I really like the hinge and pivot joint and the versatility of the strap options. They are a comfy addition to wear under my helmet in CQB and offer the ANSI safety rating – I would definitely like to try these in the grey tinted lenses for a more ‘tactical’ look on bright game days!  



Photography: Liam Sibley Photography
Post sponsored by Valken Sports
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LEEDS AIRSOFT, THE FOUNDRY CQB REVIEW!

On the opening weekend of The Foundry CQB in Leeds I was invited by Leeds Airsoft to head over with some friends to review their newest Airsoft CQB site. The Foundry CQB is located in Stourton, Leeds just off the M1. It was a really easy drive from my home in the East Midlands, just hop on the A42 onto the M1 and follow it all the way up, the site is at the very end of Haigh Park Road and is signposted so it is easy to find. On arrival there was ample car parking space in the car park and around the venue itself. The drive in total took me an hour and 40 minutes, which isn’t unusual for me to travel to get to a game day. When I arrived I was warmly greeted by Stuart and his team of marshals who were very welcoming.


The site itself was previously used for industrial purposes and definitely has that raw, industrial vibe throughout the site. When you walk into the safe zone, it is a relatively small room but there are plenty of tables/stations and chairs for players to organise and set up their kit for the day. The site has a small on site shop that sells BBs, gas, pyro, a variety of RIFs and other gubbins that you would need during the day, it also sells a variety of snacks including drinks. We can definitely expect to see more stock rolling into the shop during the coming months. Unfortunately lunch isn’t included in the walk on fee so it is advisable to bring food with you but as the site is pretty close to the centre there are plenty of places nearby to get lunch including good ol’ maccies, KFC and supermarkets if you’d prefer to grab a meal deal sarnie. In regards to toilet facilities, there is a portaloo on site.

The walk on fees for The Foundry I feel are really reasonable, £20 for 4 hours and £25 for 8 hours with members enjoying rates of £15 for 4 hours and £20 for 8 hours, these are cheaper than a lot of other CQB sites up and down the country. They also supply rental packages for £10 for 4 hours and £15 for all 8 hours. They are open for private hire between 10am-5pm Monday to Friday and 6pm-10pm for night games if you wanted to enjoy a skirmish with your mates mid-week. On the weekends they are open 10-5pm both days for play.



The Foundry’s FPS limits are in line with other sites, at 350 FPS and single shot only. They also allow the use of pyrotechnics up to 9mm which is pretty standard and although players aren’t allowed to deploy smoke in game, the marshals do deploy smoke during certain games to add a curveball into play. It definitely adds to the feel of the site. The site has a mixture of close dark spaces, light filled mazes and also open areas to fight through. My favourite aspects of the site are the bar room (which has a red sofa and animal print throw Austin Powers vibe going on), the almost pitch black ‘street’ area which requires torches and pyro to gain access to and also the maze at the far end of the site which is the perfect place to use pistols and BFGs to get the drop on people. The site has loads of interesting props scattered around the site to make it as unique as possible.

We played a variety of game modes during the day, from an all-out team death match to start the day and get everyone familiar with the site to 2 vs 2 elimination games where 2 players from each team went head to head over the whole site. My favourite games that we played were definitely the attack and defend game where one team dug in and the enemy team cleared them out of the site and the bomb placement game where each team started with a fake explosive and had to get it to the enemies control point and destroy it. I think the games worked well, especially the team death match/elimination games but there were a few issues on site which I feel are to be expected for a brand spanking new site. There was a couple of incidences of none hit taking, and blind firing which were addressed by the staff in a swift manner. Overshooting was an issue during the day but as the site is so close it is bound to happen especially when dead players are returning to spawn when players are rushing out to get back into the game.

The staff on site were very friendly and welcoming yet fair, my only criticism is that one of the marshals shouted at players a fair bit, which is isn’t really necessary for a skirmish day in my honest opinion – if I wanted to be shouted at like a recruit I would have joined the military. I think that is best saved for MilSim ops rather than skirmish days but I appreciate that the marshal was only trying to make the day run smoothly.




For their opening weekend, Leeds Airsoft also had a special guest in attendance – Big Phil Campion, former 22 SAS. Phil was there on the day handing out patches from his brand Born Fearless and answering any questions players have about what life is like as Special Forces. He gave a brief talk on his career and talking about his new Airsoft training that he will be running at The Foundry. I was lucky enough to sit down with him for half an hour and interview him about his career and experiences of 22 SAS so be sure to keep an eye out for that in Airsoft Action!

Would I make any improvements? Well when Stuart took me on a tour of the rest of the building during lunch he explained to me that they will be opening up other, larger rooms in the site to give players more play options in regards to flanking and attacking – this will transform it into a truly awesome site. My only other improvement would be to put a limit on the number of players on site up until the site is expanded, as it is a fairly small space having too many players makes it difficult to move around the site without stale mates or getting bottle necked.



I spoke to some other players on the day and here’s what they said:

Adam Fletcher: ‘Starting off it surprised me how close the site actually is, we were on top of each other straight out of spawn. Although there was still plenty of avenues to flank and get around, it is definitely at the moment a limited number site. Having 10 vs 10 would be close to what I’d max the players at to allow games to flow smoothly, until they open up the other rooms on site to make the site larger. If you are a well-co-ordinated team you can really dominate key parts of the site and make it difficult for the enemy team to move. Overall, I had a good day and enjoyed the face paced close action. I would definitely head back once the whole site is opened up!’

Chris Tibbott: ‘I’m quite a fan of the layout of the Foundry, there’s plenty of room to move without being locked into a stalemate with the opposition, but due to its infancy there are a couple of places that create an unfair advantage for one team. Things like long unobstructed corridors down to regen allow for one team to be trapped at one end of said corridor. With age though, barriers could be placed which will minimise this aspect of the site. There’s plenty of variation amongst the Foundry’s cover, something I like to see with room to room, killhouse style sites is just a room with a door, or maybe a window if you’re lucky. With the Foundry you have obstacles within rooms such as large boxes and even a bar. What I like about this is that you can’t just frag any room you get to and expect it to be clear as there’s a large chance that someone else could be hiding in cover through there’

Jay Fitzpatrick: ‘My overall experience of the Foundry was positive. The site itself is extremely small as it stands which makes it perfect for small team action. On the day it was approximately 11 v 11 which I thought was slightly too many players – however upon expansion that should change. The Foundry is extremely close quarters and very chaotic due to the angles you can fire and receive fire from. The marshals were loud, precise and offered no sympathy towards players who believe bang bang kills have a place there. Upon meeting Stuart you can tell he is extremely enthusiastic about building his site and constantly asked myself and teammates for feedback on if we were enjoying the day. I look forward to seeing what they do with available space in the future’

Overall, I had a really good day at The Foundry and will definitely be back when the whole site is in play. The day was full of intense, close and fast paced CQB carnage which is exactly how I like my CQB games but there were a few issues on the day in regards to none hit taking/blind firing - this isn’t the sites fault, unfortunately these issues occur at most sites. I was impressed with the level of effort that had gone into the building of the site, it has some really interesting features and the games played were enjoyable! For £25 walk on fee, you can’t grumble!

Site Details:
Vulcan Foundry
Haigh Park Road
Stourton
Leeds
LS10 1RX
01132777707
07968258952

Hardwick, K. (2017). The Foundry CQB. Airsoft Action. 77 (August), 26-29.
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KRYTAC KRISS VECTOR AEG REVIEW!

Hey everyone!

So here is the review you’ve been waiting for, a review of the most highly anticipated airsoft AEG over the last couple of years – the Krytac KRISS Vector AEG! When Pro Airsoft Supplies contacted me about reviewing a highly anticipated AEG I jumped at the chance (having a feeling that it was indeed the Vector) the next thing I know, the Vector was delivered to my door in time for Paintfest 2017/Diamond Wars. I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally get my hands on the final version of this RIF, I’d seen/shot the pre-production model whilst I was in the States but nothing quite prepared me for the excitement of getting to use one – you can check out my reaction in the unboxing video here.


So let’s get down to the review and first talk through the externals. So this is the production model and is identical to the real KRISS Vector, it has a polymer body (that has all the KRISS/Krytac/Vector markings that you would expect to see on its real steel counterpart) with metal pins that are easy to remove, a full length metal top rail suitable for any sights/scopes – on mine I ran the Shield CQS sight.


The Vector comes with the Defiance style 14mm CCW flash hider that is found on the Krytac Trident series and the Defiance flip up sights, which have a dual aperture on the rear sight which makes them perfect for long range and CQB shooting. Moving along to the stock we have a reinforced polymer stock with a metal sling point underneath that does fit a whole range of slings, it is worth noting that the buttpad on the stock is adjustable – but only by an inch or so. One really cool aspect of the stock is that it folds and locks into place so you can use the vector in its compact form – making it a perfect CQB weapon.




It has a metal rail on front which can be swapped to either side via the pins. The bolt release is entirely cosmetic but the functioning bolt opens the hop up chamber – I found that there’s actually no need to use the bolt for this as you can just open the door yourself and it stays open – a feature that I really like, it makes changing the numbered, rotary style hop up super quick and easy. It has semi, two round burst and full auto firing modes on an ambidextrous selector and an ambidextrous safety switch – the safety switch prevents the trigger being pulled and also disconnects the battery and releases the spring to take the stress off the internals when on safe.

Moving onto the internals, what are we looking at? We’ll start with the pistol grip where the battery is housed – it has a mini tamiya connection and takes a small stock tube lipo (11.1 1100 mAh 20C Nuprol stock tube lipo is what I ran) The metal plate on the bottom near the pistol grip reveals the spring guide for a quick change spring (no tools are needed). It has a really unique internal build and most of the components are V2 compatible for those who want to upgrade theirs, it is worth noting however that the only two parts internally that are not compatible are the tappet plate and cylinder head. It has a polymer piston of which the first 5 teeth are metal. It also features a polymer cylinder head, an Aluminium mech box, 8mm steel bushings, a similar motor to the motor found in the trident series and an electronic control system that is powered by microswitches - two of which handle the fire selection, one for the trigger and one for the cut off leverage system. Overall a very solid internal build out of the box.


How did it fair on the chrono? It was pretty consistent at 330 FPS on 0.2g BBs with a ROF of around 21. 330 FPS is perfect for using this gun in CQB. Now all the features and specs are out of the way, let’s get into what you REALLY want to know: how does it perform and what are my thoughts on it? The Vector is without a doubt one of the best out of the box AEGs I have used in my entire 3 years of airsoft. The terrain for Diamond Wars 2017 was a dense woodland site called Fireball Squadron, and as most of you know I am mainly a CQB player due to preferring close range but the range on the Vector is phenomenal, once the hopup was set I was outranging players using LMGs. The trigger response is snappy, the hopup is easy to adjust and the two round burst is awesome. In regards to aesthetics, I am absolutely in love with how the Vector looks. At the moment, only 95 rd midcaps are available for the Vector, of which I had 3 and this was enough for each mission I took on during Diamond Wars, although I did need to carry a speedloader on the field in case anything got too hairy or I got a little trigger happy (which is easy to do when you're having that much fun)

Is there anything I think could be improved? Yes. Krytac have spent a long time getting the Vector just right and as close to the real steel counterpart as possible but there are still a couple of things that would make this an even better AEG in my opinion. My first gripe is with the mag release, although it is matched to the position on the real version I feel it is too high up for me personally – as I have tiny hands it’s difficult for me to hold the mag and press the release at the same time, I countered this by pressing the release then catching the mag as it was ejected. My only other gripe is the sling point, although it fit my sling attachment in with no issues I would prefer it to be in a different location, perhaps on the body? Or on the top side of the stock. Apart from those tiny things, I found it very hard to find anything that I didn’t like about it.




Huge thank you to Pro Airsoft Supplies for letting me run/review this awesome piece of kit. Krytac have done a great job on the Vector, it’s a thumbs up from me!

Photography thanks to Henry Nicholson.
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