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I featured James’s awesome 416 recently:

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While we were chatting, I mentioned I was interested in featuring teams in the blog, who standardise on PTWs. I was in luck, because not only is the PTW the single most popular platform in use with The Blackhawk Rangers (BHR), James (R01) was eager to answer my questions and provide pics.

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So, to kick off the Principal Team Weapon series, over to James:

“We were founded back around 2008-ish, but it only started as a very casual thing. At the time we were only skirmishing at a local site.

There were three of us to start with, of which myself and Chris have continued to be very active member. We currently have 6 BHR and 2 RSG (Ranger Support Group – which I’ll get to later). All play on a regular basis.”

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The Blackhawk Rangers have a sensible angle on how they choose their kit:

“We don’t do ‘impressions’. We describe our kit as ‘inspired by’ USSOF and we try to remain true where we can, but we make sacrifices in accuracy for effectiveness in airsoft.”

It’s not surprising BHR has chosen to roll in the spirit of USSOF. For many, these units represent the cutting edge of industrialised special operations; their kit honed by long rotations, frequent missions and, of course, intimidating financial resources.

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“We have been asked why we don’t take the extra step and get a spot on accurate kit, like Task Force Valkyrie or Gray Fox. We’ve found that to optimise effectiveness, a small change here or there works better for us.

I’m certainly not knocking the teams that have gone down the impressionist route, as I’ll spend hours looking at their kit and discussing different aspects with them (and lets be fair, Valkyrie and Gray Fox do it properly!) but it just doesn’t work for us.

Our favorite game style is FIBUA milsim. We all have a massive passion for the sport and we rarely go a couple of weeks without a milsim, training day or skirmish but 24/36 hour milsim games is where we love to be.”

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So, how so you go about the recruitment process?

“In terms of recruitment, we have a secondary callsign: Ranger Support Group. Players can apply to join, then we’ll have a meet and greet and if they like the sound of things, they join the RSG for one year before becoming a full BHR member. We currently have two guys working through their RSG year and we have lots of training days. So, come the end of that year, they’ll play seamlessly with the rest of the guys.”

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When did the team decide to switch to PTWs?

“I got my PTW just over three years ago and the other guys have bought theirs since then, as funds have allowed. I love guns and like most players I’d built up quite an armoury, but my real passion was for the M4.

Now, without sounding big headed, with all the hours on the field I’d become a very effective airsoft player. So to give myself a challenge, I started using my milsim midcaps at skirmish games. This obviously forced me to change my playing style and it got the the point where I wanted to act quicker than my AEG could react.

I looked into high speed setups, GBB and PTWs…well, I think we all know which to choose! Plus if you milsim often enough, the PTW route is the only real option due to reliability, robustness and consistency.

Is there anything else the team would like to get out there?

“Check us out on Facebook and Instagram @blackhawkrangers”

Both are well worth a like. Cheers to James, BHR and RSG.

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