Τρίτη, 7 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

Trasher's PKM airsoft project. A brief interview...

Well, I guess we all have been fascinated in the past by our dear John Rambo dwelling his M60 machine gun around with ease. Most probably because it’s an airsoft replica made by Top ,100% made out of plastic, so his fake muscle don’t even feel that… Has that movie affect you? Do you want to shoot your 7,62mm big ass machine gun? Well, then cowboy the fuck up and get a PKM. What? No airsoft company is making one? Hhhhmmm, if it ever comes out and it’s made by Inokatsu, it’s gonna cost a zillion euros? Well, then again, cowboy the fuck up and get a real one and convert it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once more, the man who does wonders has spoken. Mr. Trasher from the Scorpions team in Hungary is delivering lessons of airsoft mechanics and modding. Let’s see…

V: Trasher, it’s always good to have a chat with you. Especially when I wake up in the morning and I feel that my day is gonna be boring and I desperately need something to shake my water.
T: In this case, I got something for you. An airsoft version of the PKM, a real steel conversion.

V: Are we talking about the same «10+ kilos, big ass, huge, look at me I am fucking Spetsnaz shooting with one hand, PKM»?
T: Yes, more or less…

V: How the hell did you get your hands on something like that? Aren’t they supposed to be still used by the Military in the ex-Eastern Block?
T: PKMs are still heavily used all around the world, by regular or irregular armies, or private military contractors. Since these guns can take a lot more beating than the average AK, it’s quite diffucult to find deactivated ones, and typically they cost a fortune. Patience is the key.

V: Where did you acquire yours?
T: I bought it from a german company specialising in militaria and deactivated guns. It had all the proper proofmarks and paperwork.

V: Let me guess, it’s a little bit more pricey than the average Chinese clone out there, ugye? ( that means “right” in Hungarian, I am just purely showing off at this point…)
T: Basically, they come in different prices depending on condition. They can easily go as high as 1500 euros “new in the box”. I got mine for around 700 EUR, because some parts were damaged or missing.

V: So, one shinny day the mail man brought you a huge-mama package with the PKM inside. Then? I guess any kind of gearbox is not exactly “plug and play”.
T: Definitely not. I went to a friend of mine, a licensed gunsmith, and we gutted the whole thing. Receiver, trigger box, trunion, feeding tray was all cut, machined, irreversibly modified so this PKM now is more “dead” in real steel terms than ever before. The most difficult part was the barrel.

V: Ok, let’s start things from the rear to the front. What about the gear box?
T: We installed an A&K M249 gear box, which surprisingly fits with minor modifications and even more surprisingly, it was perfectly aligned with the bore. The internals of the gear box are now stock. Maybe in the future, I’ll upgrade it, but for the time being I am just trying to finish the project (which is still in progress at the time of this writing).

V: What about the hop up system?
T: Before installing a hop up, we had to work on the barrel. A special tool was made (for about 100 euros) and we bored out the barrel, removing the hard chrome plating and rifling altogether. Then the chamber was also destroyed, enlarged to fit the whole hopup unit inside. We retained the original quick barrel change feature, everything works like on the real steel counterpart.

V: So, you got the gear box and the barrel ready. Hop up? If you ever need one… The greatness of this piece is enough to spit out BBs at 700 FPS with a flat trajectory of 120 meters without a hop up system!!!!!!!!!!!!!
T: Come on, you are exaggerating all my AEGs are well under 400 fps these days… And I think the gearbox would crack under such a heavy spring. The hopup system is identical to the A&K M249 (with a Guarder 70 rubber inside) and is completely recessed in the outer barrel. We had to make an adapter from aluminium to feed the BBs, but the whole system is pretty consistent - the chrono showed 1-3 fps shot-to-shot variation when we first checked it. The ROF is satisfying, but nothing special.

V: I bet the inner barrel is quite long, right?’
T: Yes, we installed a 59cm long Gaurder tightbore (PSG length), it adds a little extra fps, but nothing special. The flash hider was also modified to take the barrel.

V: What about the magazine feeding system?
T: At this moment it uses the M249 system with some mods (like the adapter mentioned above). The metal tube is going from the left side of the receiver to the ammo box (manual or electric), it’s nothing special. With the modification of the hopup chamber, I can re-route the metal tube through the bottom of the receiver (through the drain-hole) to make the PKM look more realistic, but that’s something I’ll do later. Since I hate electric winding mags with a passion, the first boxmax was manual winding with the mech of an AK hi-cap inside. The capacity is around 4000-5000 BBs maybe? My electric boxmag uses MAG mini-SAW internals and runs on AA batteries.

V: I know that you have used the PKM in “The Borders War” in the Czech Republic. What do you think of it so far?
T: I used it as a support gun for day and night missions, but also for defense when rebels overran our understaffed base. With a handful of guys we managed to keep them at bay for about 30-45 minutes. I kept moving around the perimeter, the PKM worked flawlessly, cutting down flanking and rushing rebel elements. I was firing from the kneeling or standing position most of the time. It was a good fight… until the battery died. Then we all got killed…

Trasher with his PKM in The Border War last year in the Czech Republic...

V: Trasher, thank you for your time and your kindness once more. I really appreciate for all the information you shared with me about your build.
T: Don’t even mention it. It’s my pleasure.

PKM specs

Length: 116 cm
Weight: around 10-12 kilos (with boxmag and battery).
ROF: 750-800
FPS: 370-380
Effective range: 55-65 meters

Trasher's Hilux in the game. Notice the PKM sticking out the window...

As the weight of the PKM is a little more than the average AEG out there, the Scorpions team decided to make it easier to carry by adding a Toyota Hilux under it!!! Not a bad choice if you ask me… More on the Toyota is found here.

The whole photo set can be found here http://www.shooter.hu/pkm

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