I’ve known Rob for some years – pre-PTW, in fact. We both ended up getting into The One True Airsoft Platform at around the same time and we’ve continued to spur each other on, in our collective refinement of build and kit choices – sometimes with hilarious (and expensive) consequences. However, Rob has actually been playing airsoft since 1999; so he’s one of the longest serving skirmishers I’m in regular contact with.
Rob approaches research into new or alternative gear in a way which I can only describe as academically rigorous. He approaches evaluation and testing in the same way. I work at a University, so I don’t say this lightly. At the end of the day, both Rob and I agree that if it works, it stays. And very often something which works does its job seamlessly and without being noticed. The form which Rob’s primary blaster has evolved into is one such bit of kit.
In the title of this piece, I’ve called Rob’s blaster KISS and I’ve called it Milciv. It’s undoubtedly as simple and stripped down as it can be, but the Milciv comparison is mine. Rob hasn’t looked at pics of SOF In The Wild to shape this blaster. Its a simultaneous narrative. What works for Rob, works for the many SOF who are choosing to ditch their RIS IIs in favour of tube rails – with a large proportion of supportive In The Wild pics displaying Troy or VTAC TRX or Alpha tubes.
Over to Rob:
“This gat started out life with a Daniel Defence MK18 RIS II and not much else on it, bar a Magpul AFG2. On paper the DD MK18 equipped blaster seemed like a solid addition to my Block I CQBR, which brought something new to the tool box. Assembled, it’s a lovely bit of kit and a great rail, but something just didn’t click with me.
To be honest I only fielded that gat a couple of times, and really found the extra weight and rail space of the DD MK18 a little redundant, given most of the rails were covered with ladders, bar the AFG2.”
“Anyone who knows me, either online or in real life, can probably confirm I’m a little OCD with regards to optimisation of gear for weight and performance, and the DD rail just wasn’t cutting it. At the time Rich [The Reptile House] had already been through several tube systems in the continued evolution of his kit – these seemed to give a low-profile lightweight solution to my problem.
We bashed it out for a while, him flagging up options, and that it was possible to go too slim in a rail, something he’d picked up from past experience. This lead me two systems; the Troy Battle Rail Alpha range, or the Midwest Industries Gen 2 SS One-Piece free float. The Troy having a textured grip surface as standard, the MI having panels that could be attached without removal of the tube. Given I was going low profile, the panel attachment wasn’t that attractive – so the Troy rail was chosen.”
“You’ve got two main options with the Troy Battle Rail Alpha range; standard – with circular holes, or VTAC – with slots. From further research, speaking to existing users, I learnt that the standard circular holes had a bit of a cheese grater effect on your hands, which is no doubt why Troy released their ‘Squid Grips’. Whilst I’m sure the aggressive grip the standard rail affords the user is great with gloves, the slick slotted VTAC Alpha rail was chosen; after all, if I’m going as low profile as possible, having to fix rail covers to it seemed somewhat counter productive.
Rich fitted the rail for me, and hooked it up to be modified to fit the receiver. All in all it’s a tidy package.”
In the wild…of Ground Zero:
“The rest of the gear fitted is pretty standard fair these days. The CTR stock is pretty much a must have for me. Absolutely solid and very little to snag on your kit. It was honestly surprising how much of a difference it made switching to these from the Crane type stocks. Magpul MOE pistol grip I could take or leave, but feels comfortable and does the job nicely.
All in all I’m really happy with it. With a Lipo in the stock it’s well balanced, solid and lightweight. The coating of krylon, my badge that it’s not getting flogged any time soon.
That said, as with all gear there’s always something you can tweak. I’ve just fitted a Magpul RSA (in addition to the ASAP) to try out an MS3 sling, primarily to use when clambering through windows with a pistol. The SKD PIG Drop Slider is an awesome single point sling, but it’s always good to try new kit out to get a first hand opinion for yourself.”
Tackleberry dragon milk and troll cough
Troy VTAC Battlerail Alpha 9″
King Arms Troy folding BUIS*
Magpul RSA front sling point
Magpul MOE trigger guard
Magpul MOE grip – Tackleberry modded
Magpul ASAP sling plate
Magpul CTR stock