Tuesday Thinkings #8 – Novritsch and reality

It’s been an eventful week this week. I’ll get the big news out of the way first. Novritsch has finally released his new rifle, the SSG10/SSG-10, and it looks like sales are going through the roof. Nice one Novritsc. Finally coming back to the platform he once correctly pointed out was the best, the VSR, Nov has created an upgraded version of the JG Bar10 VSR clone, featuring an amazing new hop system (it’s actually really clever), a trigger designed by Bulltrigger (but not actually a bulltrigger), reinforced internals to take more than three times the legal limit of power, and a tightbore barrel. It even comes in a hard rifle case and its adorned with the Novritsch logo so you can look just like him. He’s roped in a host of famous YouTubers to help promote and push this rifle to the masses. For £300, it’s an incredibly good deal and for a couple of hundred more, you can get it dressed up in a fancy stock and pimp the externals to look tacticool as hell. Unexpectedly, it doesn’t use his “revolutionary” full thrust system, which may be an admittance that that doesn’t work…

Wow. I almost bought one myself. But I thought I’d wait for the first customers to unbox, test and review first, as is wise with any Novritsch product.

And it lives up to the name unfortunately. The owners groups are now being heavily moderated to filter out all the bad reviews, but I’ve been keenly following…

Most are arriving with cases bashed to hell and broken. Inside, it gets worse – I’ve seen plenty of pictures and it’s horrific. The hop unit is very badly machined and has burrs and lumps all over it. The cylinder isn’t much better either. Nor the extremely budget barrel (but it had to be for the price of the rifle). The trigger is very good, but unfortunately that doesn’t help the rest of the rifle. Nothing is properly finished, and doesn’t seem to fit together properly. There’s a HUGE amount of wobble in the bolt, resulting in it catching as it misses the hop unit it’s supposed to go into. The bolt pull itself is awful, and a lot of users report that it’s scraping against something when being pulled back and pushed forward. Ordinarily on the VSR, there’s a plastic guide ring at the front to help guide the bolt smoothly, but it’s bizarrely been omitted and replaced with…a rubber ring?

Novritsch may well have actually created the worst airsoft gun in history. And I’d say you’d be better off with a £50 WELL MB03 instead, which as you’d imagine for that price needs some work, but it’s better stock and you’ll have plenty of spare cash. I’m baffled by the whole thing to be honest, it’s an absolute disaster but well marketed,  it’ands clear to see how easily some YouTubers are “bought” to push a crap product. I guess influence is power these days.

It’s rare that I swear on the blog, actually think this is a first. But I’m not anti-Novritsch. I’m anti-shit products that are misleading and falsely advertised to players. I think it’s all being covered over now on social media though so that might be the end of the bad reviews for now, and some customers are being easily pacified by a few videos where their hero shows how to go about fixing PROBLEMS THAT SHOULDN’T BE THERE IN THE FUCKING FIRST PLACE.

Also the moderators are going to make it difficult to get this meme out that Lauri Heinonen made for me…

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Anyway, onto the good stuff. I welcomed sniper buddy Aiden round this week to tune up his VSR. It’s pretty old and used and was in desperate need of a good clean, and once sorted, we broke out the silent VSR guide and went about making it quiet, to help him with his stealthy shooting. Same mods were done as my rifle, but it was still quite loud, so we had a play about with a few silencers. I recently changed mine to a Swiss Arms Goob silencer, which fits half over  is the barrel and is massive, but remains unmodified internally. Eventually after trying a few different silencers out in the name of science, I got my old one out featured in the silencer blog post, and it made both guns noticeably quieter. After a full afternoon testing and making notes, seeing what changed sound the most, I conclude;

The best thing to quieten your rifle is indeed a good silencer, ahead of anything else. 

Groundbreaking. There’s clearly more work to be done on that.

The other thing I finally got on the go with was my long awaited new suit. I hesitate to call it a ghillie. After seeing far too many problems with leaf suits, I decided I needed to create the ultimate sniper suit from the ground up, fixing all the issues I’ve had with other platforms and immediately looked to Haloscreen for the decoration, inspired by the work of Theyma, Le Covert Sartorialist, Oni Onyomi and a few others. It allows much more flexibility in a range of environments but I needed a base to build on first. Something of really good quality, with a fairly plain pattern that I can customise. Loose fitting, and with a wired hood to help disguise the shape. And pockets. So I don’t always need load bearing, unless I need to bear some loads.

Cue a Desert DPM Smock (£10) and some very durable Desert DPM Windproof trousers (£12) from eBay. Both in new condition, these being surplus are properly milspec, rather than replica “milspec” commercial crap, and the quality shows.

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YESSSSS. Bravo Two Zero loadout time! 

As a kid, I watched and took a huge interest in the 1991 Gulf War. SAS hunting targets in the desert, classic aircraft like the Tornado, Buccaneer and F4 Phantoms. Massive ground assaults. And two WW2 US battleships. Epic. I love Desert DPM although its becoming rare now, and it’s taken weeks to find stuff in my (larger) size. It’s all height. Mainly. It’s been very difficult to look at this beautiful kit though and realise I’m going to ruin it.

The dark brown pattern I figure will be great for adding a slight pattern, that will break up shapes really well. Obviously the colour is a bit bright, but my plan is to dye it brown, and then have the darker brown pattern still underneath. First comment I got was, “you’ll be way too hot in that”. Well, if you don’t know what a smock feels like, it’s not a padded coat. It’s barely a coat at all – the material is about the same thickness as a BDU shirt which you’d be wearing anyway, just a bit longer. Additionally, I’ll be poking lots of holes through to zip tie camouflage onto. Although I may heed the advice of Sniper Mechanic Dan and cut a couple of holes in for ventilation, covered by mesh. 

So I went and got some Dylon for my project. Additionally, I’m going to be dyeing cotton shears to cut up into leaves, hence the extra colours.

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I decided to hand dye in a bucket, rather than in a washing machine, because I’d rather it was patchy and inconsistent rather than a smooth flat colour. So in it went. After only 5 minutes, the smock (left) looked like it was taking it really well but the trousers (right) were a bit too synthetic and weren’t working – it’s not a lighting issue. Damn.

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After the time was up, I rinsed with cold water and yes, the trousers didn’t take much colour. So I created a darker brown pot just for the trousers and did them again. After an hour, they looked like they’d matched the smock. Result, I thought.

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As per instructions, both went in the washing machine and the dryer. Once dried out though, they were back to the same damn colour they went in as. The dye hadn’t taken at all. They’re actually both classed as synthetic, although the smock certainly doesn’t feel like it and I did fancy my chances on the pants. So, first attempt was a failure but I thought I’d talk about it anyway, because this is reality. I was recommended Idye poly, which is specifically designed for synthetic fabrics but requires a very big steel pan to cook it in, or in the washing machine. Both will result in flat, even colouration though and a risk to my kitchen, so I wasn’t keen.

The I remembered a DPM rig I made and darkened the colour down with by using acrylic inks like these in a spray bottle. The inks are waterproof, and stain really well, whereas using krylon may wear off. Also, I can mix a few shades of brown up so I can add variation to the suit not possible with dye. For a suitable, small spray bottle I went to the supermarket and bought a travel sized hairspray, which helped sort my hair out and then was emptied and washed. Bear in mind ink bottles are small and a bit expensive, so you don’t want to waste any sloshing around in a big spray bottle. It’s superb stuff for colouring most of our sniper stuff, synthetic or natural, and definitely something I’d recommend people have in their kit.

Will update progress on the next Thinkings.

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