PRC Type 97 (5'56mm Norinco QBZ-97) AEG
Okay, that's Airsoft and not strictly "Paintball", but I think that in this "Paintball" thread we should be able to also talk about Airsoft and Airguns (posted 'bout the "DROZD" some time ago).
And here it comes:
REAL SWORD (official sales page)
A Hong-Kong based company is marketing an Airsoft replica of the Chinese QBZ-97 export rifle. I am particularly fond with Airsoft; it will always have a place in my heart and in my hobbies. For a handful of reasons:
- For affective, emotional matters: Airsoft is how I started to develop my enthusiasm on guns. I have a spring-operated Glock 17 replica which I "clandestinely" bought about 10 years ago (secretly from my parents and desperately saving over my kid's weekly money), and which will always have an honour place on the shelf over my working desk.
- For practical and economic reasons. Airsoft are toys, them are relatively cheap, don't need a license to be purchased, the number of samples and "ammunitions" that can be owned is not subject to restrictions, and so their custody (this mean that I can set up an entire wall with Airsoft on exposition for my visitor's viewing pleasure; while if I do this with real guns, and some of them gets stolen, I am penally liable for "Careless custody of firearms"). Plus, owning an airsoft replica gives to the gun enthusiast and collector a possibility to display in his rack something that he might never own for real, because that particular gun is illegal in his Country or because it has never been imported or made for civilian sales.
- For safety reasons. In a nice, hot summer day, you can spend time from dawn till dusk setting up a real last blood battle with your friends at the country ranch, and when the shooting is over, nobody is dead (well, maybe some bruise, but hey, we are men!). Airsoft sporting is fun, wholesome and healthy, and Airsoft handling is what I'd start with if it was about to teach firearms use to a kid.
This said... would I buy a Type 97 replica for my collection?
Probably. I mean, if they'll ever import it here and if I won't be saving money for some REAL thing that goes "Boom".
Furthermore, the thing still is to see, if NORINCO is interested to make civilian-grade semi-autos of them. I'll be going at the IWA with the DIANA ARMI "Mission" this month, from Thursday the 8th to Tuesday the 13th, and since we will do the entire work in 3 days and save the last day for our personal viewing pleasure, I'll approach the NORINCO booth and ask them specifically about. I mean, displaying a cool airsoft on your wall is nice (I do it with an L85-A1 rifle and a Glock 18C machine-pistol, between the others), but knowing that under your bed is the thing that does the REAL work, and that will make a home intruder bite the dust, well, it's a whole another matter... ;)
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