This is Part II of my Airsoft MOSFET Custom Installation Guide for an M4 AEG.  In this particular case, I'm working on an Elite Force HK416 CQB AEG, but this guide is good for pretty much any standard M4 AEG that uses a buffer tube.

I left off my MOSFET Custom Installation Guide - Part I once I had pretty much covered the process of rewiring for the motor & grip.  So now, we will take more of a look at the back-end of the gun, which is where things really get fun.

Check out Part II after the jump...

Ah yes.  We will be revisiting my beloved Elite Force HK416 CQB by VFC this week with a guide on how to install a MOSFET unit inside your rear-wired M4 Airsoft AEG.   
She has been in pieces for far too long now (for the better part of a year, I'm ashamed to admit).  It all stemmed from a stripped piston last year during the Association of Competitive Airsoft Expo that I participated in with a few fellow members from my Airsoft team, Level X. 
Since I had to open up the gearbox anyway, something I had refrained from doing unnecessarily since tuning my HK416 a year or more prior to that, I decided to take a thorough assessment of the wear & tear on the internal parts of the gearbox to see if anything else needed repair or replacement.  Eventually, when I got to the trigger switch, or wire harness as some call it, I found that one of my copper contact plates had burnt up pretty good over time, undoubtedly due to the fact that I had been running 11.1V Li-Po battery packs exclusively in that gun for over a year and had used it quite often (the Elite Force HK416 CQB makes for a phenomenal workhorse primary).
While I don't pretend to be a true expert here, I'm of the opinion that the best way to prevent this wear and tear on the trigger contacts while still being able to run Li-Po battery packs is to install a MOSFET computer unit in your AEG.  So since this was, and still is, my favorite of the M4 variants in my little collection, I felt it deserved a MOSFET and was worth the effort to install one.  I will preface the rest of this blog by saying that this installation process has turned into a much more complicated project than I had originally anticipated, but I plan to see it through until I can get my HK416 back up and running because, like I said, it's worth it. 

This isn't my first rodeo with installing a MOSFET, but in the past, I've done it on guns using a full, fixed stock, like my Marui M14 or Classic Army SR25.  When I initially made the decision to take on this project, I failed to take the HK416's buffer tube into account, since this Airsoft AEG is wired to the back.  Oh well.  Adapt and overcome.  Otherwise you will lose.  Since I have an allergy to losing, I wasn't about to give up.  

So, initially, I wrote this blog about my MOSFET-in-the-buffer-tube mod.  Keep in mind that it only covers what I did to fit the MOSFET in the buffer tube and still allow for you to be able to connect all the wires and secure the buffer tube to the back of the receiver.


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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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
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
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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Today I'm going to show you how to upgrade your Airsoft AEG for quite possibly only a fraction of a cent (one penny). Two words:

Teflon Tape


Also known as Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, Teflon Tape ain't just for plumbers. It's great for anyone who loves air-sealing stuff and/or materials with a low coefficient of friction.  For the purposes of this little Airsoft upgrade mod, it's nice to work with something having both of those characteristics.  A roll of Teflon or PTFE tape or "Thread-Seal Tape" will run you between $1 - $2 at your local hardware store.  This mod only require a very small percentage of that entire roll, hence my assertion that this may only cost you a fraction of a penny.  I could be underestimating by a cent or two, but my point is, IT'S FREAKIN' CHEAP!!!

Special note, the beauty of this Airsoft upgrade mod is that it doesn't matter what type of Airsoft AEG that you are wanting to work on.  This trick will work for most of the AEGs you're going to find at a MilSim-type game.  Technically, although usually a different configuration, this will similarly on many gas blowback guns (rifles and pistols) out there as well.  

So let's get right to it.  First, you'll need to disassemble your Airsoft AEG to the point that you have your tight-bore inner barrel and rubber hop-up bucking separated from the rest of the gun.  There is no reason I can think of that you would need to open up your gearbox for this particular mod, so if you've gone that far, STOP.  The inner barrel and hop-up assembly is located inside the upper receiver and handguard for the average AEG like the M4/M16 models, as well as the AK47s.  This should cover most everyone.

Once you have the inner barrel and hop-up bucking by themselves, (IMPORTANT) you'll want to verify that your hop-up bucking is seated properly over the the inner barrel so that the ridge inside the hop-up window on the barrel looks to be perpendicular with the vertical axis.  Below is an example of what I'm referring to.  Ignore the A&K M60VN Hop-up Assembly, just look inside the barrel at how the hop-up bucking is situated.  The inside of your inner barrel should look like this when the hop-up bucking is no matter what hop-up assembly you have. 
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  You don't need to have the hop-up assembled to press down on the bucking.  You can just use your finger, or what I do is use the shaft of a screw driver.

The importance of that little maneuver is almost unfathomable.  Without your hop-up bucking being seated in the most up-right positions, your Airsoft gun will not be as accurate as it could (all other things being perfect).  

Anyway, once you've established that your hop-up bucking seated properly.  Carefully wrap your Teflon Tape around the point where your inner barrel meets the end of the bucking.  Three to four circumnavigations is all you'll need.  Anymore than that and you're going increase the already difficult process of getting the hop-up assembly back over the bucking without pulling the bucking off axis. 
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 You'll want to wrap it firmly, but I said "carefully wrap" because when you first start the wrap, if you're NOT careful, you can disorient the bucking and you'll have to reset it.

Once you've got the bucking wrapped, you're ready to slide that hop-up unit back on.  I personally add one or two droplets to the outside of the bucking to make this process quite a bit easier.  I've seen that some assemblies just slide right on, while others are extremely snug even with a bit of lubrication. 
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Here again, you'll need to exercise patience and care in sliding that hop-up unit back on as you may mess up the alignment of the bucking.  Once you get your hop-up unit back on and reassembled, you are probably OK to put the gun back together and get the Airsoft party started. 

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However, in the same exact manner that we wrapped the rubber bucking, I like to wrap the hop-up assembly three or four times as well.  This does a couple things:

1) Helps to keep the inner barrel from sliding around too much inside the bucking and hop-up assembly, especially if you've got a hop-up unit that slides over the bucking fairly easily.

2) Adds a 2nd line of defense against any possible air leaks out of that end of the hop-up.  Some of my engineering buddies tell me that this is sort of pointless for this purpose, but what the hell do engineers know about anything?  Plus, I'm a creature of habit and I'm used to doing it this way.  It makes me feel better.


3) In some of the M4/M16 AEGs that I've dealt with, it actually helps seat the assembly more snugly inside the outer barrel and enhances the seal between the Air Nozzle's entrance into the assembly and the gearbox, which is another potential point of leakage inherent in most AEGs.

In fairness, there are more ways to skin this metaphorical cat (don't actually skin your cat or anyone else's).  This is just my preferred method, which has netted some very consistent results on the chronograph.  

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Allen Wrench Tool Set - How to Upgrade Your Airsoft Guns - Tominator's Tech Tool Tips
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Today's post on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog is gonna keep it real.  Real simple, that is.  There are many Airsoft players out there who not only love to play, but love to upgrade the performance of their beloved Airsoft Guns, which requires certain tools in order to do so.  So today I thought I would highlight one particularly important set of tools that you really can't do without if you want to handle your own Airsoft upgrades.  That set would be the Allen wrenches you see above.  Some people call them "hex tools"or "hex keys" as well.  Whether or not that is correct is beyond me, but it does make sense because these Allen wrenches have six sides, hence the name hex being relevant.

I don't know who this Allen guy was, but he sure invented a handy tool.  I highly recommend a set like you see above, where there are different sizes.  I hate to sound like a treasonous traitor, but I also recommend you get the Metric (SI) sizes, which come in millimeters (mm) rather the U.S. Imperial sizes, which come in fractions of an inch.  Most Airsoft guns that I've worked on have been more compatible with the metric-sized allen keys.  

I feel the need to specify that these allen keys will not only be compatible with your Airsoft AEGs,
but also your spring-powered Airsoft Sniper Rifles, CO2 & Green Gas Blowback Airsoft Rifles & SMGs, Gas Blowback Pistols as well.  So yes, they ooze versatility and they're very inexpensive for a nice little set.  You can get them at pretty much any local hardware store. 
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GAMEFACE CLASSIC ARMY AK47 INTERNALS ASSESSMENT

Gameface Classic Army AK-47 Photo: Bakholdin Photography. 
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Gameface Classic Army AK-47 Photo: Bakholdin Photography. 
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Some of you may recall my little synopsis on the Gameface Classic Army AK-47 AEG a little itty bit ago, where I said some nice things about it in general, so I thought I'd follow up with a little write-up about the internals I found therein.










Check out the good, the bad & the ugly after the jump...

In case you missed my last blog, which is Part I of my Hair Trigger Mod Tutorial Series for the WE Hi-Capa Gas Blowback Pistol Series, peep it out here:


Now that you're up to speed on where we're at, put your barber's hat on, cuz these triggers is 'bout to get hairy after the jump...  

Some of you may have noticed that I skipped a few steps. You know, the part where I show you how to disassemble the WE Hi-Capa GBB Pistol up to this point...

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How to shorten the WE Hi-Capa Airsoft Gas Blowback Pistol trigger
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Well, as it turns out, if you are to the point where you care about the distance you have to pull the trigger before it releases the hammer and causes the gun to cycle, then you already know how to take down your Hi-Capa. You probably also know that this modification works for not only WE Hi-Capa Pistols (7.1, 5.1, 4.3, 3.8), but also the Tokyo Marui & Socom Gear versions as well.

So yea, one of the issues with WE pistols, if you want to get real super picky, is that there is a lot of excess distance between the point the trigger sits at rest and the point it must reach in order to start cycling the pistol.  As you can see below, in the space on the right, in between the metallic silver trigger band and the green Hi-Capa grip, that is a general approximation of the amount unnecessary distance traveled by the trigger on a stock WE Hi-Capa 5.1.  I should note that there is much less of this excess on Tokyo Marui pistols, but that is....of course...why Tokyo Marui pistols own it 9 out of 7 days of the week.
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How to shorten the WE Hi-Capa Airsoft Gas Blowback Pistol trigger
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

Find out how to shorten your Hi-Capa GBB pistol's trigger pull after the jump...