No, seriously.  I'm going to tell you how I cleaned my KWA HK45 Gas Blowback Pistol today.   
 I can't say that this is the most exciting topic you could be reading about, but here are the cold, hard, ugly, boring facts, my friend: A dirty gun is a dirty no-good-so-and-so.  Sorry, for the offensive language, but a dirty gun is a bad story.  All that fancy Crye, LBT, and/or otherwise AOR1 gear won't mean a whole lot during the game if your gun is too dirty to function.  It will mean a lot in the parking lot and/or staging area of your favorite field though.  

Don't tell Allen over at KWA, but I dropped my KWA HK45 in the worst kind of dirt you can drop an amazing gas blowback gun in.  That fine, almost-silky kind that gets everywhere, in every crevice.  If Allen was reading this right now, he would simply be shaking his head in quiet disgust, his face: expressionless.  So I figured it would be best to clean this beauty up as best as possible. 

If you're curious to know how I went about cleaning my favorite Airsoft pistol, then check it out after the jump.  If you're not interested or even remotely curious, then I apologize, but just know that you have hurt my feelings.

Solving the Echo1 M240 Bravo Trigger Switch Contact Issue

As some of you Echo1 M240 Bravo owners may already know, there is a bit of a design flaw with the position of the trigger switch inside the gun.

The wires that connect to the switch's contact plates stick out a bit too in the back, making it difficult to install the stock after inserting a battery or putting the gun away for storage or transportation in a case.  

When installing the stock onto the back of the gun's receiver, the bottom portion of the stock would catch on the wires attached to the thin, metal contact plates of the trigger switch, causing the plates to bend back & forth, which weakens the metal each time it is bent.  Eventually, I broke one of the plates off and had to spring for a whole new trigger switch.  
So I installed the new trigger switch, but the problem was not resolved, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be replacing it again if I didn't figure something out.  
First, I thought about bending the wire terminals into more of a 90-degree angle to try and get them out of the way, but the jackets used by the manufacturer were a bit too thick to allow them to bend completely out of the way and I wasn't sure that replacing them with smaller shrink tubing was going to do a whole lot more good either.
 So I took a more drastic route that worked marvelously.
I cut that SOB.  I cut it hard...with a Dremel.

 I noticed, upon initial examination of the stock that there was quite a bit of unnecessary material at the exact point where the stock was snagging on the wire terminals.  I, therefore, removed most of the material, leaving enough to keep the stock's spring-loaded latch in place.  When I tried installing the stock with the excess material removed, it went on like butter, as they say.  Threat neutralized.

I will add that the material I removed is part of a metal adapter on the stock, so while I suppose you could use a hand file set if you didn't have a rotary tool like a Dremel, it will likely take you quite a bit longer to complete this task.  Fair warning.
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Wassup? During my time last weekend tearing it up at SC Viper, I did some serious work with the A&K M60VN machine gun.  But it wasn't all fun & games.  I had trouble throughout the day with my battery pack, which is stored inside the box mag, because it kept toggling the switch on the side of the box mag either into the "Off" position or the "Continuous" feed position, which caused the magazine to continually try and feed BBs into the gun, even though the gun wasn't firing.  
A&K M60VN Machine Gun Box Magazine
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

If you've had the privilege of owning a PolarStar Fusion Engine, you will undoubtedly be aware that the trigger response is lightening quick and distance required for the actual trigger to travel in order to fire the weapon is very small. However, since they use the standard AEG triggers, which are made with a rather long trigger pull, there is a lot of unneeded travel time before the trigger actually hits the button inside the engine which begins the firing process.

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How to Shorten the Trigger Pull on a PolarStar Fusion Engine
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
The solution to this is insanely easy, makes a HUGE difference and many of you may already know about it.

Find out how to do it after the jump...

In case you didn't catch the title of this blog, today I'll be illustrating how to modify your Airsoft M4 buffer tube to allow you to install a MOSFET in your Airsoft M4. This tutorial is for M4 operators whose gun is wired to the back through the buffer tube, rather than wired to the front handguard like the other half of the Airsoft M4s out there.

The problem is that with the heavy gauged, silver-plated Mil-Spec wiring that I use, I have to sacrifice flexibility for improved electrical conductivity, which I'm fine with. So, it doesn't really make it feasible to just install the MOSFET and then just shove it into the buffer tube so that you can get the stock back on because the wire is not very flexible and I don't want to jeopardize having one or more of the wires come loose from the MOSFET.  They are a huge PITA to deal with since they are just slightly too large for the screw clamp connectors that this MOSFET uses and if not connected properly, they will easily come loose which is an obviously less-than-optimal situation. After a bit of brainstorming, I came to the conclusion that if I just carved out a piece of that buffer tube so that I could connect it or disconnect it while it was still technically inside the tube, I would essentially have solved the problem at hand.

The first step was to trace the exterior of the MOSFET on the buffer tube so that I would know how much material I would need to remove from the buffer tube.

Here, you can see the result.  Enough to access the MOSFET but not enough to jeopardize the structural integrity of the buffer tube and/or render it otherwise unusable with a stock mounted on it. 
Below, you can see some of the tools I used to make this thing happen.  Number one, please note the safety gear I have pictured on the right.  Yes, I know those are ESS Profile Turbofan goggles and are not your typical power tool eye pro, but think about it.  They're ANSI-rated to take a shotgun blast at close range.  Why wouldn't they make for good power-tool eye pro as well?  Riddle me that, my dear trolls. 

You can see well enough in the photo above and to the left that I've got the Dremel setup at an angle, which I later adjusted to just being vertical (straight up/down) after to took the photo, plus I've got the buffer tube secured in a vise.  You really don't want that thing flying out of your hands or getting squirrelly on you while you're dealing with a cutting device circulating at 15,000+ RPMs. 


Then I cut that biyatch. 

Here is the result.  Boom.
Nice and neat.  I can still access all the screw clamps to connect or disconnect the wires from the MOSFET and I'll still be able to put my stock back on and collapse it down to at least the 2nd to last position.  If you'd like to be able to collapse it all the way down for whatever reason, then I would recommend cutting a bit further into the tube (to the left, in the photo above) to allow yourself a bit more room on the right side of the MOSFET (in the photo above) because you need to take the wires on that side and how much room they'll take up into consideration.  While I don't have it pictured there, I am just going to keep the wires that connect to the battery on the right side there super short.  Like, basically, I would terminate them right about where the right edge of that photo starts and the wires go out of frame. That should be plenty, assuming you've got a little bit of length in the wire on your battery as well so that you can keep that battery in a crane stock tube, if you have one, or however else you store your battery while connected to your gun (e.g. battery pouch, electrical tape, etc.)
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-
This is the second installment in my series on how to build a workbench for your airsoft custom gun upgrades.  Part I addressed the basics of tools needed and how to frame the tabletops.

Today, we'll be covering the attachment of the workbench legs, as well as my method for attaching the two 4'x8' framed tabletops together to form an "L" shaped surface area. 

X marks the spot in which I drill one of three holes along the 4' side of tabletop #1.  I will actually drill all the way through the 8' foot side of tabletop #2 as well so that I can insert a 5/8" diameter lag bolt to secure the two tabletops together.
See?  That's a 5/8" drill bit designed to bore holes in stuff. 
I used a standard drill and there you can see what the lag bolt with nut and washer look like. 
I actually had to drill through from the other side I had initially planned on going through first, so I missed my mark by a smidge, but luckily this procedure did not require precision craftsmanship. 
I'm sure the pros would tell you that you need a washer on this side of the wood, but I failed to buy enough washers when I was at the hardware store and after close examination, the head of that bolt has a circumference that is sufficiently larger than the circumference of the hole I just drilled in the wood, so chances are, since this table is stationary, I probably won't run into an issue with this. 
Below, I also bought the wrong length lag bolts, so I ended up cutting three spacers out of excess 2x4s that I've now accumulated from this project to use up the extra length of the lag bolt.  I attached each of the three new 2x4 spacers to the inside of the 8' side of tabletop #2.  This proved to be a relatively perfect solution to an otherwise annoying issue. 

I did have one washer left from the small batch I purchased, so this is probably closer to the textbook way to doing this. 
Pardon my shallow depth of field, but you can kind of make out the other two lag bolts that are helping to secure the two frames.

Attaching the Legs:

First I had to do some measuring while sitting in my chair to determine how tall I want this space.  I opted to go for a height in between the level at which most people would find comfortable while sitting, and the level at which most people might care to stand at the workbench.  Perfect for me because I can comfortably sit at this desk, but can also stand at it without having to bend very far over to deal with parts & tools.

Anyway, so I took my 4"x4" sticks and cut them up (after measuring, of course) and attached them to the framed tabletops.  In the photo below, you can see one of the corners where I have screws going all over the place.  The two screws on the very left are helping to secure the short side of the frame.  The two srews that are on the right are what's securing the leg to the inside of the table frame.  There are two more screws going into this leg, just like the side we're currently looking at.                                                                                                              
I also put one screw  down into the top of the 4x4 post where you see that super sweet black oval looking thing. 


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Tominator's Airsoft Tech Tools - Rubber Mallet or Mini Hammer Thing and a Punch
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
I know that my little title there might make some of you tool geeks cringe because I'm not using the official name of that little hammer underneath the rubber mallet.  Well I'm sorry, but that's the hand you were dealt.

So for today's tech tool tip, I thought I'd highlight two tools that I find myself constantly using when I'm working on guns at my Airsoft Man Cave Workbench.


A perfect example of why having a rubber mallet or mini hammer and a punch tool is handy would be when you need to take down your Airsoft M4 AEG.  I recently featured a takedown tutorial for the Elite Force M4 Competition Series guns wherein I used the rubber mallet and punch tool to gently tap out several body pins in the lower receiver, like the one you see me pointing to in the picture below.
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Elite Force M4 Competition Series Receiver - Rubber Mallet & Punch Tool
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Check out more handy Airsoft tech tools for Airsoft gun upgrades and repairs.

 Check out some of my other Airsoft Tutorials on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog


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Here's my tutorial on how to make a 550 paracord sling attachment point for your M4 rifle. Ask and ye shall receive (sometimes).

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How to make a 550 paracord sling attachment point adapter for your M4 Rifle.
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

Today's post on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog was created after receiving numerous requests from viewers of this video:

...to make this video:

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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Sup Airsoft Playas?  Today I'ma show y'all how to build a workbench for working on your Airsoft guns out in your Man Cave.  Oh, you don't have a Man Cave?  Well, you best get one right quick.  They are crucial for your sanity when you share your house with other humans.

Tools needed for this project:
Wood
Wood Screws, or Drywall Screws
Tools
Brain
Apple Rings Candy
Vitamin Water XXX flavor

Just kidding, I'll get more specific.

But before I do that I would like to point out that this was essentially my first official woodworking project in my entire life that I physically built completely on my own.  I had to seek the professional guidance of three different individuals during the planning phase, otherwise this project would have probably never gotten off the ground, and even if did, it would have likely gone to Hell in a handbasket.  So a special thanks goes out to my wonderful father, my good friend, Airsoft teammate & expert "woodworkerist," Ben Holley, of Lighting Resources in Clovis, CA, and lastly, to my mother-in-law, who is actually quite experienced in these types of personal home projects, plus she's a Marine (honorably discharged) so watch your mouth. 

Soooo...since I'm not an expert here, you're going to see some "discrepancies" in my methods and execution and consequently desire to troll me for it, but unless you'd like to offer constructive criticism on ways to do this better, I probably won't be approving your comments for posting.  Just sayin'. 

For this project, I used:

- Two (2) 4'x8' sheets of big-ass plywood for my table top surfaces.  I used two of those beasts because I wanted a workbench made for a beast.  Yup.   

64 SQUARE FEET OF WORKSPACE for bossin' it hard.

However, this tutorial will also apply to more reasonably sized workbenches as well.

- 8 foot 2"x4" sticks, quantity of about 16 or so.  Probably more than I needed.  This stuff was used to frame the table tops and to provide bracing for the legs. 

- 8 foot 4"x4" sticks, quantity of three.  For the table legs.

- Three 6" long, 5/8" diameter lag bolts to attach my two table tops together to form a big "L" shape.  Don't forget the corresponding washers and nuts to go with these guys.

- Box of 3" drywall screws (aka wood screws)
- Box of 2" drywall screws

- Tape measure

- Pencil for marking measurements

- I had to use a hand-held circular SAW to cut the 2x4s & 4x4s because it was all I had at the time, but a Mitre saw would be a much better choice.  That circular saw made it tough to make clean cuts on the wood without making clean cuts in my flesh.  Exercise caution when using saws.  I hear they can cut through bone.

- Black & Decker FireStorm cordless power drill - This thing is a torque-boss.  I didn't have any other option for a drill either and was skeptical whether or not it would have enough balls to drive those 3" screws all the way into the wood, but the FireStorm pwned those screws.  Pwned 'em hard.

- 3M Peltor Hearing protection for working with the circular saw.  That thing gets really loud and even louder when you start cutting the wood.

- Apple Rings chewy candy.  Cuz it was right by the checkout stand at the hardware store.  (See photo up top)

- Vitamin Water XXX Flavor.  Also right by the checkout stand.  Also delicious.

First step that I took.  Framing the big table top.  Framing, I learned is pretty handy for creating a super sturdy, super beast, Airsoft workbench.  It will allow you to place a lot of weight on that table and not have to lose any sleep over the table breaking.  So start with your blank sheet of plywood.
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
I chose to add the long-side rails first since both the plywood and the 2x4s were already cut in 8-foot lengths.  So I just attached them with the 2-inch screws from the top of the table.  I spread the screws out about 8" apart from each other going down the line.

Pictured below is a view of the bottom side of the table, with the two 8' 2x4s mounted. Some of you might notice that I didn't place the top 2x4 flush with the edge of the plywood.
How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
That's because I wanted to add a reinforced lip to the front of the tabletop so that I could attach things like vices & stuff that need to be able to clamp down on the side of the table.  Some of the stuff I have doesn't open more than 4 inches, so I couldn't just use the framed edge.  So to reinforce the lip, I just added a third 2x4 in the 8-foot length and just laid it flat, using the 2" wood screws again, spaced 8" apart, driven through the top of the table (the side opposite to the one visible in the photo below).
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Here's a shot from different POV so that you can see that I also attached the frame to the lip reinforcement to help keep that lip solid.  Whether or not this was necessary is unknown to me because I'm not a master woodsmith.  But at the time it made sense and I was having fun driving those screws in with my cordless power drill, so I said,  "What the hell? Why not?"
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
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Not the greatest shot, but if you look closely, you can see the two screws (black dots) where I attached the inner frame bars to the side rails.
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

Here's what the frame looks like without the plywood tabletop attached.  I spaced the short 2x4s about 13 inches apart, measuring from the center of each piece.  
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

Here it is finished, standing on its side.  8 feet, my friends.  My camera lens wasn't actually wide enough to get the whole thing in frame, but you get the idea.   
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
So obviously, while the tabletop is finished, it's only one of the two that I made and it also needs the legs and bracing.  But we'll get to that next week.

If you'd like to build your own workbench for working on your Airsoft guns, but you don't have a big enough room for 64 square feet of workbench space, fret not.  This model can be scaled down, if you didn't already come to that realization.  Total cost for all the wood & materials was mind-blowingly cheaper than I expect.  I think the total for everything only came out to roughly about $70.  Those 2x4s are only like 2 bucks a piece and the plywood might have only been about $15 or so.  So pretty reasonable for a massive setup like this.  So stay tuned for the next installment. 
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