In my recent Blaster Build Doctrines article, which was an attempt to model the various approaches taken in the cloning of military rifles, I coined the term ‘The Extrapolator’.
The Extrapolator is a replica builder who selects a minimal subset of one or two parts, according to what they reasonably expect could be in use in the wild – with no hard evidence required.
Why would they do this?
There are many and varied valid reasons, but the one I’m going to look at in this article is functional personalisation.
I was inspired to write about this after seeing Dean’s blaster (1. below), which he posted in response to another article I published that touched on the same subject.
So, this article is a case study which underpins the theory. I’ve chosen four builds I like which ‘Extrapolate’ for reasons of functional personalisation. The fifth is my own, which is currently being built.
Now, as with all things, Extrapolation must be used with restraint – a little goes a long way. Too much personalisation makes a build unrecognisable as that which the builder seeks to replicate.
1. Dean’s Magpul RVG-enhanced L119A2
Dean has selected a Magpul item to enhance the ergonomics of his L119A2. This looks great and makes perfect sense, because UKSF seem to love Magpul.
I particularly liked the beginning of this Reptile House article, where the personalisation of builds was talked about; fitting something because it works for the user – even if there’s no hard evidence reference pics.
I’ve recently moved away from the ubiquitous Magpul AFG in favour of a stubby Magpul RVG and really like the purchase pulling the weapon in to the shoulder.
And I think it looks pretty neat too!
2. Dave’s L119A2 with Magpul Enhanced Magazine Release
Getting one to try out, I appreciated how it made it more intuitive to operate the magazine catch on the A2, especially after a couple of years of being more used to the ‘Tonka Toy’ aesthetics of the HK417.
It’s not reference picture legit as far as I know, but it fulfils all the requirements for my ‘reasonable exception’ rule; it’s cheap, widely available commercially, and nothing similar is issued that would make an A2 user loathe to shell out beer money on it.
These are the three general points I use when considering all non-kosher laser light or optic options.
Plus I was already familiar with, and use, the Magpul BAD lever, which has been seen in use on A1s, and it matches that ‘suite’ of accessories along with the enhanced trigger guard, which is also A2 legit. So it’s a very tiny leap in imagination to pick one up.
3. John Danter’s BCM Gunfighter MOD3 Vertical Grip-enhanced L119A2
Whilst I like the issued Magpul AFG, I realised that I really do prefer the ergonomics of a vert grip.
I selected the BCM Gunfighter MOD3 Vertical Grip after reading about it in The Geardo Crow’s blaster article for The Reptile House. Rich kindly sourced it for me and bought one himself – you can read his review here.
Now, this item is technically legit because The Geardo Crow has himself seen it on a cool guy gun.
However, for my substantive A2 build doctrine (read about that here) I’m quite strictly sticking to parts that I’ve seen in pics. So for me it’s an extrapolation.
It really suits me in terms of ergonomics and I think it looks great on the build!
4. Andy J’s Railscales Leaf PEQ BUIS-enhanced L119A2
DISCLAIMER: this is absolutely NOT legit!! (but it should be!😉)
My Airsoft Artisan Leaf front BUIS – designed to integrate seamlessly with the LA5 – exceeds all my expectations. It’s nothing short of brilliant and it’s staying right where it is, on the L119A2.
As you’ll see from the bad picture through my Comp M4 below, it’s almost perfectly co-witnessed with the red dot. It can definitely be used for reasonably accurate shooting with a dead battery in the optic.
What can I say? I like clever design, and that’s exactly what this is. Not cheap as far as Airsoft clones go, but way better manufacturing than most out there.
The RS is eye wateringly expensive at $249USD, but if I was an operator it’s the sort of clever design I’d spend my own money on. So this is my little piece of extrapolation, on what is an otherwise textbook L119A2 replica.
5. The Reptile House Magpul MOE K2 Grip-enhanced L119A2
Truthfully, I’d prefer to use the issued Original Ergo Grip on my L119A2. However, between tendonosis, a bit of nerve damage and other progressive aches and pains I just don’t find the angle of a standard grip very comfortable anymore.
A few months back I tried out a Magpul MOE K2 grip, which has a steeper angle. It led to a complete reassessment of my gun’s ergonomics. If you’ve ever had one of those VDU user workplace assessments, you’ll know what I mean.
The stock changed position, as did the AFG, LA5, light and optic. After that, everything felt more comfortable and a lot more natural – with dramatically reduced pain and fatigue.
Let’s be clear: to my knowledge the K2 is not legit for an A2. But in the spirit of extrapolation, is it reasonable to assume that it could be used?
I’d say yes, for these reasons:
- It’s a Magpul product and everything points to Magpul products being popular with UKSF
- It’s significantly different in terms of its functional qualities compared to the Original Ergo
- In the RS it’s really easy to fit, as all grips are
- It’s easily sourced
- Lastly, it’s inexpensive.
What Dave said above about his extrapolation choice rings true for me about the K2:
Nothing similar is issued that would make an A2 user loathe to shell out beer money on it.