When I got back to airsoft, I kept hearing about this guy in Portugal called Bruno. I had no idea who this was.
Rozh, who’s blaster I blogged recently, let me know that this Bruno character wanted to get in touch with TRHB, about his blaster. I said get him to ping me and we’ll see. It took a while to click, but it turned out that Bruno’s better known name is diips…who I used to speak to regularly, before my self-imposed exile.
So that’s one reason why this interview is special to me, because I’ve reconnected with an old friend.
Secondly, it’s my first UKSF-themed loadout interview and I like the fact that a whole team in Portugal have chosen to interpret the look of our guys, over any other Tier 1 unit.
TRH: Welcome, diips!
Hello Rich! First of all thank you for opening your door to me, so I can share my story 🙂
You’re very welcome. Now, tell me about the team.
Well, we started almost seven years ago. A group of airsoft friends and I were ex-members of local teams. We all took (and still take) airsoft very seriously, so we formed our own team: RATS.
We were all Renegades from other teams, in a sense, so we decided on Renegades Airsoft Team. But the name has another meaning. We all agreed that we play like rats. If there’s a dirty tunnel, brimming with waste – if that gives us the advantage – we use it. We improvise, adapt to the situation, climb, jump and do whatever to get that to get that tasty piece of cheese 🙂
We have a Facebook page:
We also have a YouTube channel. This is footage from my camera, together with three other members. We four are the A-Squadron inside the team of eight:
As a Brit, it really heartens me when guys from outside the UK choose to follow UKSF. Why did you choose UKSF?
First of all I like the way UKSF uses equipment; especially the SAS. They mix all kinds of patterns and pouches, and they don’t mind if it’s dirty or not; if it’s fancy or not. It just needs to be functional to get the job done. And that is exactly the way I and the other RATS see things. I just want to make things functional, rather than fancy. In that way of thinking, UKSF fits perfectly.
Apart from that they are, arguably, the best special forces in the world. They set the benchmark for all others. Most of the modern Tier 1 outfits are based on the SAS.
Obviously I agree 🙂
Also, I really feel a connection to the UK. In 2006 I joined the Portuguese Navy, where I attended a three-week Marine Corps course. I’m not a Marine, but there are many in my family who are. I really enjoyed myself on the course. I was later told by my drill seargent that it was adapted from 1950’s UKSF training.
I also attended FOST in Plymouth, UK. It’s an intensive course for warships, to get a certificate in combat. I learned a lot through contact with UK Armed Forces.
One day, while walking around Plymouth, I went in to an airsoft shop and bought my very first airsoft gun. It was 2007.
So I can say that I started out in airsoft because of the UK 🙂
Is there a particular period in UKSF history which guides your impression?
I’m mainly guided by the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The RAVS, the general ops, the DPM (I really don’t like Multicam, and in my country almost everyone uses it), etc. However, I’ve recently started to add some more modern gear to my kit, because of its functionality or just because some 90’s gear is getting harder to source; or just because it isn’t optimum to use it anymore.
What’s your favourite piece of gear in your loadout – what works well?
Well that’s a hard question. To be honest I’m now putting more effort in to my blasters. The L119A1 the MP5A5 and lastly, for the CQB environments, the M870. And, of course, the P226. My loadout is stable and I’m really adapted to it; I like it all.
I know a lot of UKSF impressionistas in the UK who are desperate to get their hands on an Airsoft L119A2; others feel disappointed that the upper is so 21st Century. How do you like the new A2?
I respect those who like it, but I feel the A2 will be just one more Magpul airsoft rifle. That modern slick upper…it’s really not my thing. It makes me think of pretty USSOF builds. I’m more into the ugly, simple and unique stuff.
Honestly the most recent UKSF acquisitions are not my kind of thing. The vests…the Multicam…the A2..etc… Its all so similar to the equipment of the airsoft masses and I don’t like to be a fancy boy 🙂
It’s interesting what you’ve implied about loss of identity. I do wonder if it has something to do with better funding in recent years?
Anyway, I absolutely love your L119A1. I don’t see many which haven’t been painted and it’s a nice change. Why did you choose not to paint yours?
The law in my country already insists on enough paint as it is! Just kidding 🙂
I like to see other guys’guns painted, but I like to keep mine clean. One reason is because I’m trying to make the most accurate L119A1 that I can. That means I’ve used laser engravings in the places that airsoft manufacturers missed. Paint would obscure all that.
Apart from that, I do like to see battle wear and a used patina. Not forced, but authentic wear and tear. Every scratch brings out a memory 🙂
RS Colt stock
Warlord Tactical rubber pad
2013 milspec Systema buffer tube
RS castle nut
RS QD steel Magpul end plate
G&P modded storm grip
Prime upper and lower, with correct markings
RS take down pins
RS mag catch
Rs trigger guard
RS Trijicon red dot
RS Wilcox mini red dot mount
RS Magpul rear MBUS
RS Magpul QD RSA
RS KAC RAS kit
RS charging handle
Z Parts outer barrel, length milled to UKSF spec
RS Surefire m600 Scout with angle mount
RS modded front sight and pins
Perr_mike Surefire can replica, with all correct markings
Functional selector indicator
RS forward assist
Custom motor rewind
Mix of 490 and Kumi motor parts
2016 MAX gearbox
2016 moisture proofed electronics
PDI 6.01 tightbore barrels
2016 hopup unit
Orga flat hop
FCC cushion spring
Out of the RS parts you’ve selected for your A1, what do you like best and why?
Well, I like them all. They all have a purpose, but fundamentally I use RS for two reasons: 1. Weight. The RS parts are lighter than clone ones. 2. Strength. RS parts are stronger and handle more abuse; they also don’t rust as much…and I’m not the type of guy who leaves a milsim event because it’s raining. I invested in the best stuff available, so I don’t have to worry about failures and the damage the elements can do.
However, I think the most useful RS part is the the Trijicon red dot on top of the ACOG. The battery lasts forever. It can handle the rain, it can hit the floor and always hold zero.
I’d also select the Surefire M600. It’s never failed on me in any conditions. I think those two are the ones I love most.
What is it you like best about the PTW?
Once tuned, the PTW is a consistent performer with great accuracy and reliability. The PTW also wins in 99% 1:1 RS compatibility.
It really is a superb platform, if tuned up by someone who knows what they’re doing 😉
Tell me about the fluorescent barrel and stock which Portuguese law dictates.
The law says that the guns must be painted in fluorescent yellow or red in the following areas: the entire stock and 10cm of the barrel for carbines and snipers etc. Or, 5cm of the barrel and complete grip for pistols etc. We can’t swap the parts out but we’ve won a petition to change the law. The law now allows us to cover all of the fluorescent parts in game – with tape, cloth etc.
We have players in the UK who must use brightly coloured ‘two tone’ RIFs. I hate to say it, but in woodland it’s great for the opposing force’s target acquisition. Given that you’re allowed to cover the fluorescent parts, I’m guessing it doesn’t affect games too much?
It does not affect the ones who take camouflage seriously 🙂 For the ones who don’t care, it’s sometimes hard to know who’s friendly and who’s not when the teams are separated by yellow and red arm bands.
Tell me about your other passion, Graffiti art.
Graffiti has defined everything in my life. It has taken me to spectacular places and it gave me the nickname I use in airsoft: “diips”. I got the opportunity to paint in the UK in all of my visits there 😉
It is something that really drives me. Without it, my life would be different. I’ve done Graffiti in stores and clubs, etc, but what I enjoy most is getting with my boys to some place, drinking some beers and having some fun with ink. For me, its like going to the pub. It helps me out when I’m feeling down. It acts like therapy. All the awesome people I’ve met in my life. Almost all my best friends come from the Graffiti scene.
Lastly: ballcap or helmet?
Well that depends on the kit. Greenside – ballcap or boonie. Direct action – ballcap or helmet. If it’s a CQB environment, definitely a helmet; or abseiling operations. If it’s a game with no buildings or very few – or if it’s very hot – ball cap for sure 🙂