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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Here are some new videos from Brian Holt from Echo1 USA, featuring not only myself, but some new Echo1 Airsoft Guns.  Brian Holt & I attended the Black Polo Operator Day at Code Red Airsoft Park, organized by our good friend & fellow gearwhore, Guillermo Lopez.

This is video footage of Brian & I, along with the rest of our Black Polo Operator Team, collectively known as the Backstreet Boys, doing some work at Code Red.  Brian is using his Echo1 PKM machine gun, not currently available on the market, and I am using the Echo1 M240 Bravo machine gun

http://youtu.be/pQAM5wB2bRU

Here is another one, this time featuring Brian shooting the new Echo1 AMD-65 Hungarian AK AEG and myself, shooting the KWA LM4 Gas Blowback Rifle.

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If you're done browsing here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, would you mind sharing this blog with friends on Facebook? Perhaps even on your favorite Airsoft forum?

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-
In this final video of the four-part series, Team Tomination & Team Threat made quick work of Team Rainbow Airsoft & Team Infidel. As with the rest of the games in the series, I was using the incredible Echo1 M240 Bravo airsoft machine gun and Trent F. Warren was using the extremely awesome KWA M4 CQR AEG. Here is the footage.

http://youtu.be/1fHXn4kI_g4

Here are the other three games, in case you missed them:
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I thought for today's post on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, I would cover one of my favorite topics.  Airsoft machine guns.  For a long time, all I could think about was designated marksman rifle (DMR) platforms and was all about that role when playing games, but over the last year or two, I've really become attached to the support gunner role and all the fun & excitement it provides.  So for those of you who have been considering the acquisition of an Airsoft machine gun to play a "supporting role" in your Airsoft squad or fire team but weren't sure on just exactly which platform suited you best, allow me to highlight some of the differences between some of the more well-known options out there.

M249 MkII Para Machine Gun
M249 MkII Machine Gun
Perhaps the most common Airsoft machine gun you will encounter on the field in the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, commonly referred to as the Airsoft SAW.

These guys come in several different configurations, but the two primary base models are the M249 Para (top) and the M249 MkII (middle).  There is also the M249 MkI (bottom), which I believe is, or was, commonly used by U.S. Army Rangers at one point in time.  This one, for whatever reason, is much less common than the first two I mentioned.  At least around the various parts of California that I've played.  Most people that have them are true support weapon fanatics, like my brother, who loves them even more than I do, and I love them A LOT.
M249 MkI Machine Gun - Image: world.guns.ru

Click here to read more about Airsoft machine guns after the jump...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Airsoft Trigger Switch vs. LiPo Battery

Ever wondered what the inside of those Airsoft trigger switches in many of our beloved Airsoft machine guns looks like?

Yea, me neither, until I had to pull one apart to see what it's freakin' problem was.

Airsoft trigger switch, M249 trigger switch, SAW trigger switch, M60 trigger switch, mk43 trigger switch, M240 Bravo trigger switch, Elite Force trigger switch, Ares trigger switch, lever switch, electrical lever switch, Airsoft MOSFET, electrical circuit switch, lithium polymer battery packs, Li-Po battery packs, LiPo battery packs, Li-Poly battery packs, LiPo battery packs, C-Rating, Discharge rate, rate of discharge, Airsoft Machine guns, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft guns, Tom Harris Media, Tominator,
You might recall from my A&K M60VN Review that I was having some trouble inside the gun, likely because I was using an 11.1V Li-Po battery pack that had too high of a C-Rating (rate of discharge).

Here is the link to that series of blogs to catch you up to speed. 


Check out the rest of the Airsoft trigger switch photos after the jump...

Help Me Help YOU win an Echo1 ER-16
Echo1 ER-16 Photo Contest, Team Blacksheep, Echo1 M240 Bravo, BF3, Battlefield 3 M240 Bravo, MW3 M240 Bravo, Epic Beard, Epic Tactical Beard, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Tom Harris Media, Tominator, Costa Ludus, Costa Leaving Magpul, Magpul Dynamics
Tominator, with his epic beard and Echo1 M240 Bravo Medium Machine Gun
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

If I win Echo1's Team BLACKSHEEP ER-16 Photo Contest, I will raffle off the Echo1 USA ER-16 AEG to one of the people who has liked my photo on the official contest page.  If I win, I will then announce the winner of the prize that I just won either here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog and/or on the new Pyramyd Airsoft Facebook Page.  I'm sure some of you might want to know what the point is of me winning the contest if I'm just going to give the prize away as soon as I win it.  Simple.  Bragging rights.  AEGs will come and go.  But bragging rights will live forever.  Like the time I ate three (yes, THREE) Chipotle burritos in under 45 minutes.  There were many witnesses. 

Liking my photo anywhere else other than on Team BLACKSHEEP's official gallery will NOT count towards your entry.   

Just (1) follow the link (either the picture above, or the link below) to the official picture entry on Echo1's Team BLACKSHEEP page, (2) hit the like button, then (3) leave.

Don't even look at the other photos.  To be completely honest, while mine may not be that great either, some of the other entries are pretty bad. 

This plan won't work if you like my photo, but then you go through the rest of the galley and like everyone else's.

Can't we be monogamous just this once?


Speaking of epic beards, have you heard the news about Costa leaving Magpul?
Chris Costa Leaves Magpul, Costa Ludus, Stickman Photos, Stickgunner, Military Times, Gear Scout Blog, Magpul Dynamics, Art of the Tactical Carbine, Costa Beard, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Tom Harris Media, Tominator
Chris Costa Resigns as President of Magpul Dynamics to Begin Costa Ludus.  Photo by Stickman, used with permission.
Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that looks better, is built better, AND performs better than the Echo1 M240 Bravo Airsoft Medium Machine Gun RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Notice that I used the word "and" instead of "or," so before you trolls get on here and start rattling off your various contentions for a better AEG, make sure that it has ALL of those three attributes I mentioned (beauty, build quality & performance), not just one or two of them.

Peep the video of me dominating with the Echo1 M240 Bravo after the jump...

ECHO1 M240B - HILL559 - FRESNO, CA 19FEB2011
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That's me on base defense with the Echo1 M240 Bravo.  Photo credit: Scotty Asai


HOLY CRAP.

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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography

Last Saturday was like a Trifecta of Airsoft game days. 

Number one, I got to play up at my old hometown field, Hill559, in Fresno, CA with my brother, Todd, and other assorted best friends & teammates.  Number two, I had my new Echo1 M240 Bravo with me and I absolutely destroyed the OPFOR with it.  And finally, Numero Tres, there were several photographers out there that day to document my incredible Airsoft machine gun killing spree. 
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography  Gaze upon her beauty and behold!  Like a grizzly bear hunting for salmon along the river below, the Echo1 M240 Bravo waits patiently for its next meal of delicious Tango fish. 

Speaking of which, hear comes one now! (See below tip of arrow). < Here
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography He's on the RUN!!! (behind the little tree, moving right to left)
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
Like a true professional, I accidentally engaged the safety when I switched from right to left hand, with a Magpul Dynamics-style weapon transition.  On top of that, the index finger of my glove got stuck on the trigger guard somehow and cost me some time in getting it loose. I'm not sure Costa & Haley had a 240 Bravo in mind when they were designing their weapons manipulation techniques though.  If I had made the transition to my left side a bit more coolly and calmly, it would not have been a problem, but I saw a bad guy and got a little too moist.  I'm the first to admit, I need more training on maintaining a stable state of mind.  I also haven't gotten to know all the little nuances of the gun, since it was my maiden voyage with it.  I should be able to work out these little things as I spend more time with the gun.  Anyway, just below, is one of my unfortunate victims on the run. 
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography Not to ruin the story here, but let's just say that he died tired.  

Trying to lead him, but he's movin' fast!!!
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography He almost gets behind the cover of that big tree...
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
But I've got the upper hand instead (and my upper hand, I mean the Echo1 M240 Bravo)...
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography My 240's now had the taste of blood and it's all she can think about.

There were a couple things I had some trouble with and I do feel like I need to mention them.  Number one, I'm not crazy about the heat guard on the top half of the outer barrel and the fact that it just pops right off, without having to remove a bolt or latch.  I had a little bit of trouble with it because there were several occasions where I was in need of a place to grip the gun to move it in some fashion.  I kept wanting to pick the gun up by gripping that top plate, but it would just pull right off.  It wasn't a huge issue or anything, just kind of a annoying to have to deal with once or twice.

The second issue I had was gripping the gun in such a way that was comfortable, but also one that allowed me to effectively operate the CRAP out of this gun. When I was holding the gun left-handed, like I am in the photo above, or when I switched to normal and held it right-handed, I had trouble keeping the bipod locked into its tucked-away postion underneath the front end of the gun.  This one, I have good reason to believe, was actually more user error than the fault of the manufacturer because there IS a locking latch that was designed to keep the bipod locked in place and I DID get it to lock securely for the first half of the game, but at one point in time, I squeezed the it in a moment of haste, and it came loose (T.W.S.S.).  Still haven't had a chance to look it over and see how to get that thing to cooperate.  Again, not a deal-breaker by any means.  I'm just bein' nit-picky.

And the third one is more of a personal problem than that of the M240 Bravo's: It's so freakin' heavy!  (and long, too).  Two of my own attributes that my wife is very familiar with.  Just sayin'.  I will warn you all now: just because you can pick the 240 up and hold it for several minutes while you're checking it out in a store or a friends house, doesn't mean that you'll be able to run the it in a game for an extended period of time without feeling a significant amount of fatigue.  Near the end of the game, my hands, arms and back were seriously fatigued.  Again, not the gun's fault.  I just need to man up and deal with it. If you're 4'10" WITH shoes on and have not been working out on a regular basis, you might reconsider the purchasing of this particular Airsoft weapon.  I realize that it might not look so large next to me in the photos, but you'll need to keep in mind that I'm 6'6" tall and I, therefore, am able to make larger items look like they're more of an average size when compared next to me. 

I would also like to urge anyone lucky enough to own one of these things, that you need to exercise great care and caution when attaching your stock back onto the receiver after you've installed your battery. Pay attention to the wires and connectors that attached to the trigger switch. Like the great Johnny Cochran said during OJ's mock trial, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."  DO NOT FORCE IT. You will break stuff.

Overall, these are really minor issues.  I had no trouble with performance and fired the first shots ever through this gun on the field last Saturday.  One very positive attribute I will tell you about is that hop-up.  It's pretty easy to get to (just pop the feed tray up, like you would do if you were attached or detaching the box mag, and at the front of the gearbox, there it sits!  Just waiting to be adjusted.  Aside from easy access (which I'm ALWAYS a fan of *wink*), it actually held up extremely well and sent LITERALLY thousands of my BBs down-range in a very accurate manner.  But let's get back to more action, shall we?  I'll save more of the technical details for another day. 

While others fall all around me, the Echo1 M240 Bravo & I remain calm in the face of danger, patiently stalking our prey with calculated precision.  We lick our chops, hungrily anticipating our next meal...
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
CONTACT, 12 O'CLOCK!!!
Airsoft Guns, Echo1 USA, Hill559, Fresno Airsoft, Central California Airsoft Fields, Places to play airsoft near fresno, places to play airsoft in central california, Shot Show 2011 Coverage, Las Vegas, Jag Precision, MadBull, SOCOM Gear,Echo1 M240B, M240 Bravo, KAC LMG, PWS AEG, Surefire Suppressor, Robinson Arms XCR, XCR by VFC, Lonewolf, MadBull Kel-Tec GBB Pistol Prototype, M28 Sniper Rifle,Airsoft Automatic Electric Gun, Airsoft SAW, Airsoft light machine gun, Airsoft support weapon, Airsoft Heavy Machine Gun,M240B, AEG, VFC, GBB, LMG, Airsoft Minigun, Airsoft CheyTac M200 Invervention Rifle,Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography
Son of a buck: I love Airsoft (and the Echo1 M240 Bravo)!!!
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Photo credit: Bakholdin Photography

Seriously, Echo1. You guys have really outdone yourselves on this one.

To give you readers an idea of how much fun I had, in case you somehow haven't gotten the hint by now, I will be honest with you: I wasn't able to play for very long. In fact, I was only able to play for about an hour before I had to leave to be a groomsman in one of my best friend's wedding.

However, within that solid hour of Airsoft and while using the Echo1 M240 Bravo, I had more fun than I've had attending games where I played all day. 

That's an honest-to-God, no B.S. assessment. Nobody's paying me to say that.  I will admit that being back on my home turf with my teammates certainly played a big part in my overall awesome experience, but even if I was out by myself, lone-wolfing it, I still would have blown my own mind at how much fun I had because of the terror-inducing performance of Echo1's newest Airsoft machine gun.

Airsoft Guns, Air Venturi .20g BBs, Echo1 USA, Hill559, Fresno Airsoft, Shot Show 2011 Coverage, Las Vegas, Jag Precision, MadBull, SOCOM Gear,Echo1 M240B, KAC LMG, PWS AEG, Surefire Suppressor, Robinson Arms XCR, XCR by VFC, Lonewolf, MadBull Kel-Tec GBB Pistol Prototype, M28 Sniper Rifle,Rice Bag of Airsoft BBs, Airsoft rice bag, rice bag of BBs, Airsoft Automatic Electric Gun, Airsoft SAW, Airsoft light machine gun, support weapon,M240B, AEG, VFC, GBB, LMG, Airsoft Minigun, Airsoft CheyTac M200 Invervention Rifle,Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,Remember earlier, when I mentioned briefly that I sent literally thousands of BBs down-range?  Well let me get a bit more specific.  Using an 11.1v 2100mah 30C (yea, you read that right.  THIRTY) Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) battery pack to power my 240 Bravo, and taking into consideration the fact that I only played for an hour, 
I went through at least 6,000 rounds of Air Venturi .20g BBs.

SIX THOUSAND BBs, many of which found their intended target, sometimes on more than one occasion. I know it was around six because the box mag is a 4000-rounder, and I emptied it once, fully, about 40 minutes into the game. Since I KNEW I was probably going to do that because I love to pull the trigger, I brought a bag of BBs with me, stored in a pouch on my 5.11 battle belt rig that I'm wearing in the photos, to refuel the beast during the game (which I did).  When I ended the game, I checked my box mag again and saw that I had about half the box mag left. Half of 4000 is 2000. Did you know that? So one full box mag at 4000 BBs plus a half of a box mag at around 2000 BBs makes 6000 BBs. In an hour. Did I mention that I had a decently good time?  If you're going to run the Echo1 M240 Bravo or really, any other Airsoft SAW (squad automatic weapon), then I HIGHLY recommend grabbing a rice bag of Air Venturi BBs from Pyramyd Air.  You can get them in .20g or .25g weights in quantities of 125,000 and 100,000, respectively.

A very special thanks to Scotty Asai of Backyard Photography and Dave Bakholdin of Bakholdin Photography for capturing my essence so well in all the photos they each took of me winning hard.  Even with their fantastic photo imagery skills, the high res photos do the Echo1 M240 Bravo no justice.  You really need to see the 240 in person to believe.  It's downright awe-inspiring, bordering on magical. 

So now my question to all of you is this: what kind of optic would be sexy and appropriate to put on Echo1 M240 Bravo? Holosight/Eotech-style? Aimpoint? ACOG? ELCAN? I'm open to suggestions, as long as they don't suck. Post 'em up if you got 'em!

Also, if you've got any questions on the 240 Bravo, feel free to send them my direction.

Until next time, stay out of gang violence.

Airsoft.