Featured Forum Users, What Do You Want to See Out of a Custom-Built Rifle?

Discussion in 'General Airsoft Discussion' started by danerd, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago I was tossing around the idea of making a small line of hand-built rifles for the discerning consumer. This was put on the back burner and forgotten until now. I am re-visiting this idea and looking into it more closely as of late and am working on formulating a game plan. The real challenges are the sourcing of parts, setting performance specifications, and most importantly setting a price point for things.

    The platform would be the ubiquitous AR/M4/M16 platform as it is by far the most widely supported and popular platform here in the States. (insert “ugh, it’s another M4” comments here). The end result of all of this is to deliver a high-quality, high-performance product to the end user.

    I’d like any and all feedback from everyone on this forum regarding this question:


    What features would you like to see or expect from such a product?



    Let’s assume price is not a factor.

    I want to hear it all, everything from the rational to the insane. I have my own ideas on what I’d like to see, but that doesn’t matter as much as what the general market wants.
     
  2. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Tienly driven G&P's with hop-ups tuned with Maple Leaf MR Packings.
     

  3. BeansOnToast

    BeansOnToast Member

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  4. OutlawAirsoft

    OutlawAirsoft Member

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    Anything that shoots as far, straight, and close to 400 FPS as possible.
    There is no chance you could do ak's as well? A while ago I was in the market for an ak style gun that incorporated real wood furniture AND rails. There is nothing like that on the market. I ended up buying an ICS with real wood and getting an ak foregrip set and installing it on top. It took some modifying and can still use some cleaning up, but it looks amazing: DSCF2311.JPG
    All that to say, if you provided custom exterior options, that would greatly increase the appeal (at least to me).
     
  5. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    That is kind of vague...care to define the parameter a bit more?
     
  6. Squad144

    Squad144 New Member

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    I am with Guges on the Tienly driven g&p, but add trigger response, 30rps, and the ability to swap to a lower or higher spring without causing gearbox malfuncions. Do a lonex compression set and a prommy purple bucking flathopped. You should do a dsg version and a ssg version. The gun should also have a 10" rail. If customers want longer, than just add a outer barrel extension to cover the longer inner barrel. This, in my option, is the perfect gun that I feel anyone would be comfortable using.
     
  7. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far everyone! Nobody has yet mentioned what sort of front end they would want to see: quad rail, MLOK, or traditional handguard(s). @Squad144 mentioned a rail no shorter than 10". FWIW, Keymod is out of the question. Im not taking the time to discern what rail has what Keymod spec, no to mention its been out of favor for a while now. Also regarding traditional handguards, Magpul's MOE line of products support MLOK accessories.

    If a railed front end, would a monolithic rail or non-monolithic be wanted? Think the KAC URX and DD MK18 for monolithic, and LaRue and the KAC M5 for non-monolithic. Pics below for reference: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  8. Guges Mk3

    Guges Mk3 Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    To help danard, he needs "details".

    Again...how does one "define" or "interpret" trigger response? That is like saying the car has to be quick in acceleration, how quick? 7 seconds? 5 seconds? 3.1 seconds?

    Flat hopping is a destructive mod to hop-ups. They went away about 8 years ago when Maple Leaf developed a slip on system that doesn't require destructive mods to the hop-up unit. Yet, it maintains a broad range of use in bb weight flexibility.
     
  9. Squad144

    Squad144 New Member

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    Where was I when they made that! Do what @Guges Mk3 said for the hop up.

    For the rail, go with a 10" m-lok rail. I know that I was being broad when I said trigger response. What I ment was a gun that does not take 3 seconds to complete a cycle.

    I forgot to mention, the mosfet. Do a levaiathan because of the similarities to a gate titan, but with the ease of a bluetooth app and the many trigger choices. It is also cheaper I believe.

    I had an idea. What if you made an interface so that the customer would get to choose one of the 3 classes of guns that you would make. Like a dropdown appears and it has cqb, realistic, and outdoor. (Except do not actually call the last one outdoor, that would be pretty broad) The user would then be given the stats of the gun type he choose, with a video for a visual of the preformance. There should be a basic and advanced version of each type of gun, with the basic version considerably cheaper due to using cheaper internals and possessing less features (by cheaper, I mean less money). Sorry, but this idea you have come up with is just too cool! I see it selling fast.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  10. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    Im a bit hesitant with the Leviathan for two reasons:
    1: The cycle detection cam is a known weak point and can mess with shimming due to the sector gear cam having to hit it. Not saying it happens all the time, but that cam will wear out sooner rather than later.
    2: The selector microswitches are known weak points as well and have a tendency to break with violent mode switches or ill-fitting selector plates

    The BTC Spectre Mk1 and Mk2 have these same faults, of which the Leviathan is a (near) direct copy.

    I'm trying to keep things simple for now. Not that this is a bad idea...Keep in mind that I am only one person and potentially offering upwards of six different options with different specifications all while keeping a high level of quality is not an easy undertaking.
     
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  11. aotsukisho

    aotsukisho Well-Known Member

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    As Danerd said, it is cheaper for a reason. I go exclusively with Titans because I do not like having a mechanical switch detection for something cycled that rapidly and impacting that abruptly on them. These devices have to be optical for any kind of long-term reliability.

    It's like slamming your credit card into readers 20-30 times a second, how long will the card last? In theory, you can easily do 20-30 "contactless" RFID/NFC payments a second (or at the very least go through the motions) for however long with no detriment to the card's physical integrity.

    From what it sounds like you're trying to enter the market that Umbrella etc currently occupy just with less garbage customer service. If cost does not matter, then perhaps your business model could just be an assembler/tuner so the customer can provide or have you source things as-needed for them. If there's demand for Airsoft Surgeon replicas then I don't see that as being far fetched especially if you can find local customers.

    Apologies as I cannot provide answers to your original questions as what I want to see, anything I do to my AEGs often changes based on whim and ranges from military impression to civilian flash. Examples below if anyone wants to see

    G&G GR15, near stock internals, M4A1 Block I 14.5" externals
    TM NGRS, near stock internals, M4A1 Block II 14.5" externals
    G&G CM16, reworked ARP9 1.5J gearbox, "Mk18" 10.5" blackout externals
    G&G ARP9, Titan/Siegetek SSG 1.6J gearbox, "UTG black/red" 6" externals
    KWA TK.45c, Titan/Siegetek DSG 1.1J gearbox, black/red PDW 7" style externals
    CA AR-10, Titan/RA/Siegetek SSG 2.7J gearbox, "ArmaLite SuperSASS" 20" externals
     
  12. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    The idea is to fill the niche between factory rifles and those that are top-tier. Of course UA will occupy the top-tier slot. What is nice are most of the performance specs I have laid out thus far don't necessitate the use of high-end parts. Are Retro Arms gearboxes, Seigetek gears, and Advanced Gate Titans needed? Absolutely not. A good paring of gears, motor and lipo battery with a 3034 FET will do that all day long. Would I go that route? No. I want to bridge the gap between each with something that will not be an arm and a leg; and be able to keep up with most of the higher-performance AEGs and HPA platforms one may come across, and most importantly, will be reliable given the specs I have outlined.

    My ideas of keeping costs down are as follows:

    - using similar external parts across each given platform.
    - using the same internal parts across all platforms, with minor alterations as needed per my specs.
    - not using top-tier parts as needed
    - keeping supply chains streamlined; less logistics costs = lower upfront price.
    - keeping specifications realistic. the less time I have to spend building things or having to use more expensive parts, the lower the labor costs.
    - not having overhead or employees to compensate.

    As for performance, I have two (2) models planned, an "Outdoor" model and a "CQB" model
    (I know, how original...:rolleyes:)

    The "Outdoor" model is looking to have:
    -metal receiver set
    -adjustable stock
    - 14-16" barrel
    - front rail
    - included iron sights
    - metal flash hider
    - midcap magazine(s)
    - manual
    - ambidextrous features
    - metal hop up unit
    - steel TBB
    - optical mosfet unit
    ~ 380-400 fps @ ~30 rps

    The "CQB" model is looking to have:
    -metal receiver set
    -adjustable stock
    - 10.5" barrel
    - front rail
    - included iron sights
    - metal flash hider
    - midcap magazine(s)
    - manual
    - ambidextrous features
    - metal hop up unit
    - steel TBB
    - optical mosfet unit
    ~ 330-350 fps @ ~30 rps
     
  13. aotsukisho

    aotsukisho Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused since in the OP you stated

    I was under the impression you were testing the waters regarding demand for sky's-the-limit turnkey AEGs. If this is the case, then in fact I do have some suggestions.

    For outdoors, I think majority of the furniture are more user preference so I'd either go middle of the road and do something popular like DD or KAC or even Geissele with option for customization. If you're just basing it off of a popular platform then Krytac or VFC seems to be a safe choice. Everyone seems to love crane stocks so that's a simple option although the VFC/PTS stocks are popular for bigger battery storage. 30rps seems a little high for outdoors but if the demand is there then build it that way. FPS target between 388-390 for ~3% headroom to 400fps limits. I noticed most "outdoors" builds I've seen are not gucci'd out so you probably don't have to worry too much about accessorizing them beyond maybe an LPVO or another appropriate optic.

    Your CQB configuration is targeting 10.5" barrels when the most successful CQB AEG I've seen released in the past couple of years is the ARP9 which is opposite to most of your requirements. 5" barrel, plastic body, plastic hop unit, 128x6.08mm aluminum inner barrel, non-ambi fire selector, non-optical ETU. Majority of the ARP9 builds I see in the wild are optic, suppressor, battery extender, drum mag, flashlight, and foregrip. Are iron sights really necessary in CQB? Details like rearward weight bias for maneuverability are worth looking into as well. FPS target should be 339-340fps as that gives you ~3% headroom for 350fps limits. Probably will need a precocking MOSFET controller or ETU, and possibly bump up the RPS slightly to appeal to more people interested in the extremes that a custom build can bring them.

    I know this goes against your ideal of using similar externals, but I think the game types are different enough to prefer or even require completely different setups. I feel like outdoors demand will be more mil-sim and indoors demand will be for people who are being out-shot and don't want to HPA.
     
  14. BeansOnToast

    BeansOnToast Member

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    Maybe an aster for the optical, I haven't researched them so that's up to you. You should also include an option for a shorter barrel on the cqb one but that's just me.
     
  15. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    That is the case. I find I get more, and better quality feedback when people are are under the impression that the sky-is-the-limit. On my end I have to take all of the feedback, compile it and see what commonalities appear and figure out a way to make them work. At the end of the day I need to specify some sort of price point where it will fit into the market. I suspect that most players would turn the other way at an AEG with a ~$2000+ price tag comign from some Joe Blow Nobody; items from UA notwithstanding.

    That is what I suspect as well. I have personally always liked the look of KAC, Geissele and LaRue. There is nothing wrong with DD, I just find it too mainstream. Crane Stocks are definitely an option, as are the PTS. Im not a fan of the VFC ones. They don't seem to like too many buffer tubes; either fitting too snug or too loose. I have also found they don't hold as large of a battery as one would think. The PTS has far more room for those, albeit it is more expensive than comparable crane stocks. I have also been looking at the VLTOR patterns of stocks. My question with those is if they can even hold a battery as that information is seemingly hard to come by.

    Most popular factory rifles on a good 11.1 lipo will give anywhere between 24-28 rps. Im thinking of ~30 to set it apart from the factory rifles and as a selling point. Not to mention 30 rps is mostly considered "acceptable" by most players and fields. IMO, its not too fast where you will chewed out (as bad) but not too slow where you can have players run between your BB stream at extended ranges. Agreed ~390 FPS is more realistic. I forgot to account for variances between chronos.

    As for accessorizing, that will be up to the end-user. I am tossing around the idea of maybe including some sort of rail segments if I go the MLOK route and rail cover(s) irregardless if I go MLOK or quad rail.

    Good to know. I'm not a presence in the local CQB fields as its never been my cup of tea. It was entertaining to see the local CQB crowds come to The Rock and play outdoors with ARP 9's and CA X9's. They made for good cannon fodder.:p


    Perhaps something a bit more here? Nothing wrong with metal (or plastic). Its just my preference of metal over plastic in most areas.

    When I would venture into the CQB depths, this is what I saw as well. If the average length of a suppressor is anywhere between 3-5", that brings overall barrel length to 8-10"; which is close to what I am proposing initially. Red dots or some sort of holo sight seem most popular combined with an AFG, stubby VG or hand stop, usually in some sort of neon/bright color. I've never been a fan of drum mags. They are heavy, bulky and tend to have issues feeding at higher RPS counts without modification. Although Im not too familiar with the drum offerings for either the ARP-9 or X-9 (or other 9mm-based PCC's/SMG's on the airsoft market)


    No, but they are nice to have when you need them. I equate buying a gun without sights is akin to buying a car that is missing a tire or two...

    Rear-wired setups with offerings for large(r) battery space should be sufficient for the weight offset when combined with a shorter front end. See my comment above regarding the FPS. I am looking at precocking offerings. I have seen on the social medias that there are in fact units of the Optical Mk3 Spectre from BTC coming to market. Depending on price point, it may be a serious contender as it has Bluetooth programming without the need for UBS cables. It should prove an excellent unit to work off of if they are practical.

    I think I may still be able to have each model share internal and external parts, but to what extent is some thing I need to look more closely at.

    @Squad144 These would be designed to run on 11.1v lipo batteries. No NiMH or LI-on garbage. Though if one is feeling daring, they could try one of those and see what doesn't happen when they pull the trigger.

    One thing at a time there tiger. You are proposing 4 different platforms with 4 different sets of performance characteristics. Im looking at prototyping 1 of each initially, putting them through the gauntlet and going from there.
     
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  16. aotsukisho

    aotsukisho Well-Known Member

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    Very good, I like where you're going with this.

    DD rails seem to be a minor fad right now, if this project is going to be in the works soon I suggest following the trend for maximum customer interest.

    Agreed on the VFC stock, the one I have I got for dirt cheap cause the original owner had gotten it stuck on a buffer tube too tight for it lol
     
  17. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on following the current trend. Im still looking at options for things, but I have been able to narrow things down on my build lists.
     
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