An interview with the guys at AirsoftDynamics #1
(written Jan '04) By Mike of Team T.W.A.T.S.
We have managed to secure an interview with our favourite retailer, Airsoft Dynamics (AD). It was really nice of the guys to take the time to answer our questions, considering how busy they are. It goes to show that they are willing to take time to help the little guy and they are dedicated to support the airsoft community that they have helped to build. Below you can read the full transcript, which has some interesting and responses:
T.W.A.T.S. – How did the idea and name for Airsoft Dynamics (AD) come about?
- Paul - Sort of by accident Yuki and I were trying to come up with names and this was one of the very first; Yuki suggested it, nothing else we could think of beat it, so we stuck with.
- Yuki - I’d like to take credit for coming up with the name. We were trying to come up with the name and I was thinking in the lines of a name that would separate us from the rest. A new and dynamic company that sells Airsoft…Airsoft Dynamics!!!
- James - Obviously the word “Airsoft had to be in the company name somewhere, The word “Dynamics” not only explains our company very well but it is also an excellent name to use for an internet company, search engines just love the word “dynamic”.
Has AD been more successful than you had original thought, or are the goals you set out to achieve still on the horizon?
- Paul - It has been far more successful than we had originally hoped for, within our first year we had achieved what we set out to achieve in 3 years!
- Yuki - I guess it has done quite well, but as I don’t really limit myself with goals, there are unlimited things to look forward to.
- Mark - Yes it has become more successful than we first thought and is growing at an amazing rate.
- James - There is still a long way to go, although AD has achieved a massive amount in just a short space of time and with very little starting capital I will be happy when AD has become a trusted supplier for the entire UK Airsoft community.
In previous years AD has been voted retailer of the year, by airsoft players themselves what has this meant and felt for you?
- Paul - Its very important to us, it means a lot to us that people take the time and effort to vote for us. It means we must be doing something right.
- Yuki - It’s nice to have some of your hard work recognised, but we don’t particularly do what we do to gain “awards”.
- Mark - This is a great achievement for us and it makes me proud to be apart of something that people think is great.
- James - In a word. ”Everything” one of the things we have a problem with is people selling Airsoft products with little to no knowledge of what they do. Every single employee of AD has more than a passion for Airsofting, we are all regular players and understand the needs of other like-minded Airsofters. Our customers appreciate the service we provide, it’s a hell of a lot more than just selling guns.
How have new laws effected business this year and what do you think of the current laws governing airsoft?
- Paul - To be honest the new laws are still less than the restrictions we impose on ourselves. The clarification of the home office guidelines on Sniper rifles has made an impact, but the fact that higher powered sniper rifles are not illegal to own, just illegal to use in games has meant that the impact is relatively small.
From a gaming point of view the lower power levels mean that the games are now a whole lot fairer. It no longer comes down to who can upgrade a gun to the highest power or who has the deepest wallet. It becomes more about the skill of the individual user.
- Mark - There should be a real enforcement of rules concerning Airsoft, this will stamp out the idiots doing silly things with their guns and make peoples opinions of Airsoft better. As for the new law affecting business, the sales of sniper rifles are down. But when the law recognises Airsoft for what it is, then there will be a provision for higher powered single action rifles. The law hasn’t really affected us as a whole.
- James - The new ASB laws regarding guns haven’t affected us a great deal, obviously the sniper rifle restrictions are a slight pain and Airsoft has lost a bit of realism because of this. However AD has always enforced our own strict policies regarding the distribution of Airsoft weapons, so the other changes have made no difference whatsoever.
What would you like seen done to the laws, do the ideas of painting parts of the guns or licence seem reasonable to you?
- Paul - Painting parts of the guns will just lead to real criminals painting parts of there real guns to get the drop on the ARU’s (Armed Response Unit) … exactly the same thing happened in the USA.I’d like to see gun laws changed to target real gun crime, rather than the pretty policies that grab headlines and votes and actually effect law abiding citizens rather than criminals that we have in place at the moment. I’d also like to see Airsoft recognised as a sport with its own legal position and I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to an actual law restricting the sale of Airsoft Guns to those of 17 years of age or older.
- Yuki - I would like a proper set of laws established specifically for the Airsoft. Painting parts is a bit naff and licence is too strict. How does over 18 to own an Airsoft gun him/herself and over 15 to own with parents consent sound?
- Mark - Just making it a legal requirement to be at least 17 to purchase or own an Airsoft gun, will stop a lot of problems. But painting the fronts wont help. It was tried in America and failed due to criminals painting the fronts of their guns so they looked like replicas.
- James - Painting guns is a waste of time and money, the US tried it and it failed. I would like to see licensed outlets for the purchase of Airsoft products and a total ban of all of these money-grabbing market traders who think its OK to put replica guns in the hands of young children.
What would be you dream upgrade for a weapon and what airsoft weapon would you most like to own or use, that’s not all ready in your current armoury?
- Paul - I’d like a Tanaka Browning HP or the Asahi Bull barrelled L96 Hmmmmmmm…As for dream upgrade… shell ejecting pistols would be kinda kewl!
- Yuki - Gears that doesn’t strip!! Is there anything that isn’t in our armoury??
- Mark - I would like to see support weapons fire at a greater range than the std AEG’s, to add to the realism of games. I would like and Airsoft GPMG.
- James - Although I am one of Ad’s technicians I don’t really like power upgrades. Simple furniture upgrades and bolt-on parts are great, so I would like to see more high quality furniture parts and conversion kits. I don’t yet own a BAR, my WWII kit is complete with a Thompson, but I feel I need something a little more exotic.
What are you favourite weapons available at the moment and what real fire arms would you like seen made into airsoft weapons?
- Paul - Favourite gun available right now… well I have a very tasty Sherriff custom Springfield and WA2000. As for real guns that I’d like to see in Airsoft – no contest the HK UMP and the FN Fiveseven. I’d also like to see the Browning HP made by KSC, WA or TM.
- Yuki - Sig552 is my current favourite. I’d like to see IMI TAVOR systems made into Airsoft.
- Mark - Well I’d like a GPMG for my collection, but my favourite would probably be something from the M16 range or possibly the M14. I do like the M249 too, oh and the SA80’s. I like most things.
- James - Nothing beats my trusty M727 (M4 Conversion). It might look a little beaten in some places, but it has served me well for many years now. No one has made a good British rifle yet, I would like to see a mass produced FN FAL or SA80.
I know you guys are keen gamers, so what fantasy weapons from a game would you most like to own?
- Paul - Wow tricky one!!! See the thing is I only like to play PC games that accurately represent real steal guns so tough question… I think I’d go with the Smart Gun from Aliens.
- Yuki - SEBURO weapons designed by Shiro Masamune.
- Mark - I'm not to into computer game weapons. I like what's already available.
- James - Most of the games we play are realistic first person shooters that don’t have fantasy guns. However from sci-fi films, the M40A1 Pulse rifle from Aliens, and maybe the flashy dual Ingram's from Blade. Both are good fantasy weapons.
What’s the future for AD?
- Paul - Well we plan to get some premise’s pretty soon and then who knows!
- Yuki - Hopefully there is one.
- Mark - We’ll take over the world……...Seriously though I think we’ll just keep growing and branch out with maybe more shops.
- James - We will continue to grow until we can provide all of our customers with everything they require, delivered to their door within 24 hours. We have also talked about possible game-site ownership and retail premises.
Do you guys one day dream of having your own skirmish site, or would you rather not have the hassle?
- Paul - A skirmish site would be kinda kewl, but then we are already working 7 days a week, for 85 hour’s. Man that’s harsh!! So right now no. We have a great thing going with Ambush Wargames so there is no need for us to go for a site.
- Yuki - Not a dream, we will have one.
- Mark - I’d really like to own a site, it’s a good source of business for our retail side of things. Plus I’d make it more interesting with a real military feel to it. I’d have more structured games too. Maybe a cool idea would be to have a shop with a site on the premises, like an indoor arena or something.
- James - Having our own site would be great, however I don’t think we would enjoy the day-to-day running of a games site. We are all die-hard gamers you see and there would be just too much temptation to throw down our marshals vests, grab a gun and start wasting people.
Airsoft has really taken off in the land of the rising sun; do you expect airsoft in the UK to become as big?
- Paul - They have a huge head start on us, but yes there no reason why with good sensible representatives pushing the sport forward that we cannot get to a stage similar to Japan right now.
- Yuki - Probably not, but we’ll try.
- Mark - I'm not sure if it will be as big here as it is there but it will become more widespread. I mean I can remember when just a few people would turn up at a game and just make do, but now its all organised. We also have paintball here which is banned in Japan, so we’ll have to share the interest in wargaming with them unfortunately.
- James - Yes, why? Well its simple, the laws of real guns are roughly to same in Japan as they are in the UK and if people cant play with real guns they will take the next best thing and Airsoft is the way forward!
Most people haven’t heard of airsoft, but have heard of paintball (which has been shown on TV), what can be done to get the word out about airsoft (besides airsoft weapons being in the news for the wrong reasons!)? Recently a new publication (Safezone magazine) was published, do you think this is going to help?
- Paul - Positive reporting, people behaving sensibly, Word of Mouth and the new mag (available from us for £4 with free P&P).
- Yuki - As mentioned above, properly organised publicity is ideal. Safezone is a good idea and I hope to see it on sale in WH Smiths.
- Mark - With all things it takes time to get going, the Safezone mag will help, but its not widely available to everyone. Word of mouth is a good thing and has helped Airsoft grow from its early days. Obviously the internet is the key now to making Airsoft big.
- James - The Safezone magazine will help send the right message to the public, however too much publicity is a bad thing. I like things the way they are at the moment, people don’t need to have things shoved down their throat. If they want to find out about it, then the internet and the Safezone magazine provide the necessary information. Don’t try and force people to understand Airsoft, they will just end up hating it even more.
Being airsoft retailers, you guys are very busy. But you still find time to play at skirmish sites, what makes airsoft so appealing and exciting for you?
- Paul - The thrill of combat and the all round good eggs that tend to play the game. Airsoft relies on honesty as I mentioned before, so the guys involved in general, are all honest guys - making a good crowd!
- Yuki - The killin’…… No seriously, I guess I like all the aspects of Airsoft, the guns, the equipment , and the tactics.
- Mark - I Love the thrill of the whole thing, I have always been into military stuff so Airsoft allows me to dress in all the gear and play with guns I wouldn’t be able to normally. It also keeps you fit with all the running about with all the gear on. Its all good.
- James - The partners of AD have all been playing Airsoft for over 15 years, we started in the days of LS spring powered rifles when Electric guns and Hop-up were not even heard of. We share a passion for playing the games and will continue to play for many years to come.
You guys work together all week, how do you put up with seeing each other on the weekend to? What keeps the team together?
- Paul - We live together as well… so Glue.
- Yuki - Don’t know, it just works.
- Mark - I just ignore them all week.
- James - 3 of the partners also live together, but its our teamwork and understanding of each other that keeps everyone happy and determined to succeed.
What are your most memorable moments playing airsoft and what’s your favourite kill?
- Paul - There’s just too many to list….. But I was once knocked unconscious whilst trying to grab a flag (by Mark the guy who sits next to me at work). When I came round they restarted the game from the start and still concussed I made the flag run again and got it! And got it back to base… I spent the night in hospital.
- Yuki - I don’t really regurgitate and re-enjoy what’s already been done. However, taking out an AD team member, if they happen to be in the opposing team, is somewhat satisfactory…..you think that means something?
(Maybe because you live with them, their annoying habits (we all have them) have gotten to you. Good way to relieve it though - ed)
- Mark - Years ago I played a game with Paul. We were the last two on our team and there was a bunker about 100m down a hill from our position occupied by about four or five of the enemy. We had run out of most ideas so we decided to just walk straight for it firing as we went. We managed to get to it and eliminate all of the enemy without getting hit ourselves.
I do like to take prisoners too.
I’ve killed so many during games I cant remember individual kills.
- James - I cant remember what happened yesterday.
There are some really good up coming events in the skirmish calendar, which events are you most excited about and planning to attend?
- Paul - I’m happy to play at any event!
- Yuki - Not really interested massive games personally.
- Mark - We are quite busy with the business and the weekly games we support, so we don’t get much opportunity to visit these big events. The biggest thing for me in our calendar is The War and Peace show that we attend.
- James - Beltring 2004, every single Beltring event has been great.
What advice do you offer to new players coming into the sport?
- Paul - 2 things, no hold on 3 things….
1 Always wear eye protection.
2 Don’t scrimp on footwear along with the Eyewear it’s the most important bit of kit you can own.
And finally… take your hits!
- Yuki - Ask around for advice, don’t upgrade your guns straight away and stay away from Green Gas. And take some pride in what you wear into combat!!
- Mark - Enjoy it for what it is, oh and buy your goods from us. (Nice and subtle plug Mark - ed)
- James - Don’t buy metal bodies and don’t cheat
As we have already mentioned you guys are gamers, what are you most looking forward to playing this year, that hasn’t all ready been released?
- Paul - Another good question! Err probably Counter strike zero and Battlefield Vietnam.
- Yuki - I don’t know, I don’t really look it up. If it’s out and good, I’ll play it.
- Mark - I’m crap at all computer games, so I don’t look forward to any because I get my ass kicked every time. (Bless, you guys should go easy on him, or buy him Barbie’s Horse Adventure for the Xbox. I hear it’s as simple as they come! - ed)
Again thanks to the guys for their time and I can’t recommend them enough. Their service is phenomenal and as you can see from the interview they are great guys who are dedicated to airsoft and the community around it. Being airsoft players themselves, means they understand your needs better than most other retailers. They have a great range of products, all competitively priced. So why not try them out?
Hopefully the guys will do an interview with us again, sometime in future. So we can see how they are progressing.