Airsoft and My Cold Steel Leatherneck, by M.A.

A LITTLE WORD ABOUT AIRSOFT IN THE WORLD

Airsoft is some kind of joke for any serious military or firearms enthusiast, and for many good reasons. Airsoft ‘guns’ – even the most expensive ones – are nothing more than toys for kids, or movie props at best: unreliable, lightweight replicas, very cool to grab and shoot, but without any value for any serious shooting-range enthusiast. Airsoft ammunitions also lacks any marking system, so airsoft skirmishing should never be considered a real sport, but a game for ‘old aged kids’ trying to feel ‘inside movies’ or – in the worst ‘human cases’ – inside computer games.

THE ITALIAN AIRSOFT CHAMPIONSHIP

Despite that sad basic truths, Italy got crazy for airsoft and in a few years we found ‘our’ way to transform it in something REALLY serious. The most doesn’t know but here in Italy there is a well established (around 20 years) italian airsoft championship that solved the problem of the marking system using only one very smart rule.  Teams DON’T play against each other (as in football, soccer, Formula One, etc) but fight against arbitrators. In simple words, arbitrators act as the ‘bad guys’ and set up the very same mission for every playing team, and the one that accomplish this very same mission better than any other, is the final winner of that event.

Each championship run is made by five events in two years and I personally play my region’s championship from more years than I want to admit to myself (fifteen…. Yep).
In the nineties – when the championship was still ‘young’ – the events were short and simple, they weren’t physical demanding and didn’t required any land navigation skill.
But year after year, the championship always got harder and harder, to the point that nowadays the average difficulty sounds crazy to the most.
The hardest events usually require players to march up to 60 kilometers in 30 hours, without any real pause to sleep and under ANY weather (rain, snow, etc).
No matter how tired, cold, wet, sleepy you are… You have to never give up with both mind and body, because when you are too tired/wet/cold/sleep, fighting well is much more difficult.
My team’s best result ever, was 28th on 260 teams from all Italy in 2009.

THE BLADEOPS STORY

Cold Steel Tanto Leatherneck
Cold Steel Tanto Leatherneck

What I am going to tell you didn’t happen during one of those hardcore championship events, but during a ‘movie inspired’ non-sporting event, mostly made to entertain people and without any final classification at all. Anyway, most players were coming from the local championship, and I finally had the pleasure to have the italian champions right on my side during a couple of missions (the ‘Blackhawks’ of Pastrengo, really funny guys I am a friend of from a long time).

Most of the fun of the event came from the fact that every player had his own fictional character and had to act accordingly, so to create a fictional, movie-like world.. So, here’s what happened.

My four men patrol was radio-ordered from headquarter to go on certain coordinates on the field, to check some ‘unknown movements’.

It was night, and when we reached the place, we found two relaxed, armed guardsmen talking aloud, as if they had nothing to do. Thinking they weren’t enemies and dangerous neither, we didn’t opened up fire and approached them peacefully, saying we were army regulars. They told us that they were guards of a nearby bank and that we kindly had to ‘back off’, which we did. We then hide back in the woods and radioed our headquarter who the guys were, and what they were doing.

“Stay in place, team 7” was the reply.
“We are going to give you a mission”

After a couple of minutes the orders arrived: we had to conquer the bank with ‘extreme prejudice’, but first we had to try to convince the two guards to simply go away.
Then I had an idea, so I offered myself to my team to talk again with the guards.

I pulled out my Cold Steel ‘leatherneck’ training (hard rubber) knife from its sheath, then I reverse gripped it, covering it with my wrist and forearm.  Since the pockets of my woodland-BDU pants are very large, I also put half of it inside my pocket.
From the front point of view, it was invisible. My plan was to put my rifle on the ground and go to talk with the guards, but with the hidden knife at the ready. Then, I realized I was making a bad mistake.

My rifle has a three points sling and I was wearing it around my neck, so there was no way I could put my rifle down on the ground using one hand only. And using two, I would have surely exposed the knife in the pocket. So I took the sling out from my neck and hold the rifle with one hand only. When I was ready, my team mates hide themselves in the woods while I stayed in plain sight, waiting for the guards to return.

A couple of minutes later, they were back in place. This time they were silent and their rifle were at the ready. Anyway, seeing me on the open and right in front of them with the rifle pointed muzzle down, they thought I had no bad intentions.

“Can I talk with you again?” I said but they didn’t reply.
So I added: “I put my rifle down on the ground. You see? I leave it here and come to you”
“Okay then. Come here”

Seeing I left the rifle far away, the two guards relaxed a lot, and lowered their weapons from at-the-ready to down on their slings. I walked to them than I started to talk:

“The army told me to stay on guard in this sector but they didn’t talk me about any bank”
“Anyway, here there’s a bank for sure, and it’s our duty to watch it. Regular army or not, you can’t stay here”
“It probably is just a map misunderstanding, but we have a job to do. Can you please simply get away?”
“Of course we can’t. That’s a problem of yours, not ours”
“I don’t know how to say that to you guys. So I will put it plain and simple: you should really get the XXX away from here”
“We are not going anyway you stupid –

With a single movement, I slid my rubber knife under both the necks in front of me.
Cold Steel’s training rubber is quite hard, so for safety reasons I slid it a little lower than the real throats were and before the talking guard could end his phrase, everything was already over. A little while of silence followed up.

“I just slit both of your throats” I said.
“You did it for sure” said one guard.
“I don’t know if rubber knives are covered in our rules” said the other.
“As you wish – I said – but my team is hidden right behind you. You see? And they are ready to fire”

The guards turned themselves and saw the rest of my team coming out from the darkness of the nearby trees.

“It doesn’t matter – said one guard to the other -, I liked the way he did it and his acting too. Go on with your mission right now, guys. Time is clicking”

IN THE PHOTO:
Me just a few minutes before the events told here.
I wear a woodland BDU with an english ARKTIS ‘long range’ chest.
My airsoft weapons weapons were:
+ a PANTHER ARMS short barrel version of the M4
+ a WILSON COMBAT CQB (1911 clone in the inner holster of the ARKTIS, not visible)
+ a Cold Steel Leatherneck training knife (near the neck, barely visible)
+ an ATN NVM-14 night vision monocular

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Freedom Isn’t Free, by W.H.

Freedom Isn't Free
Freedom Isn’t Free

This is my Cold Steel Ti-Lite. I own many knives that are far more extravagant looking, made of better materials, and carry a heavier price tag, but this knife is truly my favorite. It has not to do with its capabilities as a blade, or what utilitarian function it serves, but the memory of my dear friend Matt Smith, or as some in his battalion knew him as ” Lance Cpl. Mathew Smith”.

Matt was my good friend all through high school. We played football together, we fished together, we hunted together, we talked about guns and knives together. We were two peas in a pod. After we graduated high school, Matt immediately enlisted in the Marines. As a joke referring to a YouTuber known as ParkourDude91, I got Matt a Kabar knife with ” Semper Fi ” written on the side of it in silver sharpie marker. On the day that Matt left for his deployment, he gave me a Cold Steel Ti-Lite knowing how much I disliked Cold Steel. On May 10, 2003, Matt’s mother called me and told me something that I was not ready for. At the young age of 21, and only 8 days before returning home, Matt’s Humvee was involved in a non-hostile accident which took his life.

Other than the missing thumb stud, the knife is mint condition. I’m afraid to carry it, afraid to use it, afraid to lose or break the one thing I have left of Matt. I keep it on my desk along with a picture of him and I standing on the banks of Lake Erie right before we set out to go Walleye fishing.

Freedom isn’t free, and he will not be forgotten.

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Cold Steel Swords Have Arrived at BladeOps.com

Cold Steel Katana Warrior Series
Cold Steel Katana Warrior Series

We have started, due to the huge demand, to carry a limited selection of Cold Steel Swords.  Cold Steel has a long tradition of creating battle ready swords that aren’t just pretty on a wall.  These swords are built to exacting specifications and are real performance swords that are made for actual battles. They are most often based on historical patterns with modern materials for even greater strength and reliability.  If you want a great sword–get a Cold Steel.  Over the next few weeks, you will see various swords appear in our New Products section.  If there is a specific sword you would like to order–shoot us a message and we will get one ordered in for you.

 

 

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Cold Steel Marauder

Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder
Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder

Just in, the new Cold Steel Marauder fixed blade knife.  This battle ready combat knife got inspiration from the formidable combat knives or World War II.  Merrill’s Marauders worked deep penetration missions during WWII in the China-Burma-India region.  This knife is named in honor of Merrill and his men.  This bowie style knife features a huge blade that is extra broad.  The Japanese AUS8A blade can handle chopping, slashing, cutting, piercing, slicing, shearing, and pretty much anything else you ask it to do.  It is built for heavy duty use.  The full tang blade is encased in a double quillion sub hilt Kray Ex handle that can handle any type of weather conditions.  Plus it is comfortable in your hand.  Check out this new Cold Steel knife and see why it is taking the market by storm.

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Cold Steel Tokyo Spike

Cold Steel Tokyo Spike
Cold Steel Tokyo Spike, CS53NHS

Cold Steel re-engineered their entire Spike series for 2013.  The new Tokyo Spike has a unique blade shape.  The full tang zero ground blade is incredibly thin and light, and yet it still is amazingly tough.  Throw in totally new textured and scalloped handle scales and you have a kick butt neck knife that gives you a comfortable and secure grip.  The handle even has integral quillons that provide a safe stop for your thumb and forefinger.  The handles are a faux G-10 called G-10 Griv Ex.  They give you all the traction you need.  Comes with a Secure-Ex sheath that can be neck carried or thrown in your bag or pocket.  Since the knife only weighs 3 ounces, you almost won’t notice it wherever you decide to carry it.  You can find the Tokyo Spike here or you can check out all the new Cold Steel Spike knives here.

Item Number: 53NHS
Name: Tokyo Spike
Blade Length: 4″
Overall Length: 8″
Steel: German 4116 Stainless
Weight: 2.3 oz
Blade Thickness: 3 mm
Handle: 4″ Long G-10 Griv-Ex™ Style
Sheath: Secure-Ex® Neck Sheath With Bead Chain Lanyard

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