I discovered airsoft by accident in the autumn of 2002,
stumbling over a picture thread in the hobbies forum at tech site
[H]ardOCP. I'd built a fair few of what are now called "springers"
from plastic kits in my early teens (one of them is still in the display
cabinet here, even now), but although I'd occasionally noticed replicas in
model shops over the intervening years I'd had no idea that the technology
had advanced so much! In fact, even as a some-time aficionado of the real
thing I was extremely impressed by how realistic the best of the replicas
were. A few minutes into the thread I opened extra windows to search for
reviews and UK suppliers - it was already obvious that I was going to buy
something, the only question was what...
It was immediately apparent that the big name in
assault rifles was Tokyo
Marui, but that for handguns
Western Arms were the
most highly regarded for authenticity, quality and finish. I had a
hankering for an automatic, and the recently launched Beretta M92 "Perfect
Version" appeared to be the most realistic yet. Four months and five guns
later, it's becoming quite a collection. Future acquisitions could be a
sniper rifle, possibly the Eastern Bloc's marvellous
SVD Dragunov, and a support machine gun along the lines of the
M249. We shall see...