When one thinks about where the top airsoft replicas are manufactured, only 2 countries come to mind and whether you like it or not, Japan and Taiwan have been and will always, probably, be the top dogs. We’re almost always satisfied with their products, but us Airsofters are… greedy, and always hunger for more authenticity.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the real steel firearm and its airsoft replica were designed and made in the same country under similar conditions? Imagine if the airsoft version of ‘that pistol’ (Glock) was made in ‘that country’ (Austria), like the crowds at a Black Friday sale, people would go ballistic. Though, it’ll be more likely for you to win the lottery twice before that would ever happen.
You may be wondering where I’m going with this. Well, I’m going to try and break this down as simply as I can. Let’s use the Kalashnikov as an example, a Russian made masterpiece with as many variants. China opened up a factory and decided to make a variant of their own, the type 56. This is where the Airsoft companies come in.
Real Sword used external components from real steel factories but was made specifically for Airsoft, and then fit their own internals. E&L did the exact same thing but they went one step further and got the factories to make both the externals and internals all in house. This is the reason as to why Real Sword and E&L replicas looked so realistic, because they were in a way. The unfortunate thing is, both Real Sword and E&L have somewhat dwindled off into the abyss leaving AK aficionados hungry for more knowing that, and I’m sorry to say this and as amazing as they are, maybe even LCT isn’t realistic enough.
This is where NPOAEG stepped in. I say stepped because they actually formed half a decade ago. They are a company in a secret location, in a rural town called Magnitogorsk within the large expanse of Mother Russia that has made a very, very realistic looking VSS Vintorez AEG. Now, will this be enough to please the previously mentioned aficionados? Did I just put the VSS on a very high pedestal? Does it even deserve to be up there? I guess we’ll find out.
The first thing I notice when I took it out of its box is how raw it looks.
The issue with most airsoft manufactures is that they’re so used to having their guns looking so brand spanking new not realizing that real guns like these had a little more grit to it. Sure, the wood on this is varnished but it doesn’t feel smooth. There’s still texture there. Still not a fan of the size of the grip, but I can’t complain since it’s the housing for the motor. That textured butt pad is made out of rubber. They, being NPO, also say that it is full steel, but they only mean the parts that are metallic, so everything on and in the receiver as well as the integral suppressor is made out of steel and if you take a closer look at it, you can see all its little imperfections. There are bumps and bruises all over the place which gives the VSS personality. The 75 round mid cap magazine and the hand guard is made out of plastic.
If you don’t remember this, I’ve reviewed the VSS Vintorez twice before. King Arms made one three years back and G&G released their GSS a year after. If you’d like to watch these reviews, clicks on the cards up here. I don’t expect the way it functions to be any different than those two. Magazine release is behind the magazine, the safety lever is still on the right, selector is still right behind the trigger, scope mount can still be found on the left side and the charging handle still reveals the hop. It’s all really that simple. Sure this VSS is probably the best looking version out there but what if I want something different, something… a little more tactical.
Please welcome the VSS-M. This is the modern variant of the VSS. There are a few noticeable differences, as you can see; there is now a railed silencer clamp for any additional accessories, a rail on top of the dust cover for different kinds of scope and a skeletal stock made out of plastic, steel and wood. The design is so simple. You can raise the cheek rest and adjust the butt stock to different lengths. That is if these knobs weren’t tighter than the butthole of a prisoner in the showers. One other thing has change though, the placement of the hop up adjustment lever is now very difficult to reach as you will have to adjust it under the hand guard meaning you will have to remove the suppressor and hand guard before you can adjust it. The suppressor is also the housing for a battery with deans connectors. Adjusting the hop doesn’t bother me since it’ll be adjusting it till it’s perfect before I put everything back on.
Maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to run a DMR / Assault Rifle, maybe you want to run an assault
rifle / PDW instead. In that case, you could always go for the VAL. Everything looks and functions pretty much the same as the VSS except now it comes with an 120 round mid cap magazine than can also fit in the VSS, a plastic grip that isn’t attached to the folding stock with a sling point on the right side.
There is something really cool about these 3 when it comes to its internals but I’m going to let Max explain that. To find out, click HERE! Moving on. I think we’re pretty much done with the different looking triplets. I guess that means it’s time to Chrono the thing.
All 3 are very much the same internally so you can expect the other 2 to be just as accurate and chrono the same as well. All it comes down to is the style you prefer. Are you the type to live in a cabin in the woods overlooking a lake, mahogany furniture, back to basics, keeping it real. Would you prefer a modern high rise apartment where all the furniture is from IKEA? Or, a house in the suburbs with your own garage and garden.
You’d visit all of them wishing you could afford all 3 and travel back and forth depending on season, but we’re not all that lucky. You only have enough cash for one so you’d have to choose where you’d spend your future. But fellow airsofters, what would you choose? The VSS, VSS-M or the VAL and why? Let me know in the comments section below. For these cool products and many more, go to our online store at www.redwolfairsoft.com.