It was another year in Nuremberg Germany where the Redwolf team gathered from around Europe, Russia, and Hong Kong to show off some of our latest products. IWA is pretty much the biggest trade show we participate in and its always during this show we pull out all the stops and get a chance to put the cool stuff in as many people's hands as possible. 2019 was no different where we proudly put on display some pretty kick-butt items such as our latest licensed offerings from Battle Arms Development, Nighthawk Custom, and Agency Arms.
The journey to IWA started for us on the 5th of March where we boarded a flight at 11:45PM bound for Frankfurt Germany. Its a long standing Redwolf/RWA tradition where we spend the early parts of the morning waiting for the rest of the team to arrive at the airport and drive to Nuremberg together. While the wait can be long, the team building experience is what most stands out for all of us. Getting to see colleagues from across different countries once a year brings back not only fond memories but charges all of us with a general sense of excitement!
There was a different feeling this year, there was a feeling of higher expectation, a "hype" if you may say so. This year was the 20th anniversary of Redwolf Airsoft and the excitement to start the show combined with a sense of celebration was palpable.
Set up usually lasts two days. The first day as we arrived, we all got situated in our respective hotels or BnBs then made our way down to the exhibition hall or Messe. First order of business was to inspect the booth and upon seeing it was all set up we left and enjoyed dinner and some beverages before the starting of the next day. Day two is where we do our big set up. We hang guns, make sure displays were done right, etc. This is the day where we make sure what people see is up to standard and most importantly, nothing was broken.
Being our biggest trade show, there's a lot of preparation that I personally make to ensure a great experience is had by people who come visit and for trade customers or media members to enjoy while at our booth. This year I took on the task of arranging all the necessary media coverages with our media partners/friends as well as made sure we had steady posts on the Redwolf/RWA Facebook Pages.
This year we also had a shooting range to test some of the products such as the Wolverine MTW, Airsoft Systems ASAR, and our B.A.D. AEG production sample! You would imagine with all of this, everyone would be going crazy running around but everyone really worked like a team to ensure optimal flow for every visitor to our booth. A huge shout out to our sponsored athlete Airsoft Caroline and Channel Airsoft that came to support us, they really helped smooth things out!
The star attractions of our booth were the B.A.D. rifles, the Nighthawk Custom x Agency Arms Agent 1 and 2 pistols, and some very unique pieces from Show Guns. Our Battle Arms Development offerings came on 2 platforms, gas blowback AND AEG!
The gas blowback guns are built upon the Tokyo Marui MWS system as we were trying to ensure optimal gas efficiency and consistency. Other than these points, there is a wide array of replacement and upgrade parts for the MWS system which ensures that if your product broke or you want to upgrade further, you have easy access to the parts. Two versions will be offered, a carbine length and a PDW, one with keymod rail one with M-LOK. These are no longer going to be just kits but actually
full guns if you didn't realize. There was one special one though, the Tanker. The Tanker is a built-to-order GBBR that is actually made by Battle Arms Development themselves where they transform your "generic" B.A.D. GBBR into a functional replica of their real steel, iconic, Tanker. Everything is custom fit on that gun from their real steel rigid rail, the French walnut wood furniture, and EVEN their real steel RACK charging handle. All of this is built into a compact rifle inspired by the old tank guns (used by tank crews) of WWII.
Not to be out shone by the rifles, our pistol line up was not too shabby. The line up kicks off with the Agent 1 and 2. Both guns are extremely well made and attention to detail is absolutely superb. The real steel slide work for both guns are designed by Agency Arms and the frames are fitted and finished by Nighthawk Custom. While the Agent 1 is a knock out but the Agent 2 takes it to another level as Nighhawk Custom even patterned the frame after the Agency Arms Glocks. The internal system of these airsoft versions are based off the Tokyo Marui MEU and has some part compatibility. The guns are green gas based and feel extremely smooth when racking the slide. To add a final touch, both guns are Cerakoted in a pattern that is called NHC (Nighthawk Custom) Smoke. Along with these awesome pistols we also had some budget friend options that were a standout in the current airsoft 1911 space. The gun we are talking about is the Nighthawk Custom War Hawk.
The War Hawk is really a modern take on the classic 1911. It employs a unique design from Nighthawk Custom called the "Tri-Cut". The Tri-Cut slide take the excess materials off the sides and top of the slide, making it for an angular look. The lessened materials also make for easier drawing and stowing in and out of holsters as well. Other than looking good, the gun is also designed with performance in mind. The top of the slide has serrations or lines that direct your eyes towards the front sight and helps defuse some of the light's glare. The front sight features fiber and the rear sight is blacked out you also have an option to have a railed or non-railed model. All of this combines for an extremely attractive pistol, but its not only skin deep. The War Hawk is a duel system pistol, meaning it can take both Co2 AND green gas magazines. Like the Agent 1 and 2, the War Hawk is also based off of the Tokyo Marui MEU pistol so it can take MEU green gas magazines (or Tokyo Marui spec green gas 1911 magazines).
If we would have just displayed those two things in our booth it would have been a win but it won't be a Redwolf/RWA booth without cool stuff that will just "WOW" you. This year we partnered with Show Guns to bring out some really unique pieces. We had an Ion blaster that the Jawas used and a heavy blaster from Star Wars, we had the Terminator 3 1919, and as an amazing homage to Redwolf's Asian heritage there was a porcelain edition RWA KG9 with all the art hand painted on the gun itself.
As we took on the days and showed off our booth to probably hundreds of people everyday, there was one thing that made this IWA special. Being our 20th anniversary gave everyone a general feeling excitement and as part of this Redwolf and RWTV won awards for Best Retailer in Asia and Best Video once again.
The IWA experience is truly special, even for myself who has been a regular trade show attendee since my previous corporate career. At this trade show you see so many people passionate about what they do and what they represent, from small accessories to some of the biggest players in the fire arms and outdoors industries. Its a place where the atmosphere is welcoming, laid back, yet professional. Its probably the only trade show I have ever been to where someone can be drinking a beer while looking at a real steel FN SCAR-H. Being familiar with some of the American gun culture and have seen SHOT Show, IWA is something very different, its hard to put a finger on it but what can be said is our European brethren are just as passionate about their fire arms and outdoors life as anyone.
As IWA 2019 came to a close, you look back over its long 4 days. When you are in the thick of it, you never realize how fast those days end until you are packing guns back in boxes and tearing down your booth. This year was really special as I have probably said many times but from every aspect it felt refined, fun, and hype all the way through.