Airsoft, the outdoor action game of military simulation combat, is fast growing in popularity. Similar to the much-played game of paintball, airsoft differs in that players use realistic-looking weapons that fire plastic bbs, not paintballs. Airsoft also has a much greater focus on realism, something that most paintball tournaments and professional level play ignores. I played a lot of airsoft several years ago and purchased many different airsoft guns. One of my favorites, for a short time, was Steyr Aug produced by the Chinese company, Both Elephant (BE). BE is an absolutely hilarious name for an airsoft company and the boxes they ship their guns in come with a picture of two cartoon elephants (hence the “Both Elephant?”). They make fairly reliable guns but the Steyr Aug I purchased did not stand the test of time very well.
The Steyr Aug is a bullpup-style airsoft gun and is thus very different in shape from the usual M4 or M16 version popular with most American players. I purchased my Steyr Aug airsoft gun from the popular airsoft gear website, Airsplat.com. It only cost roughly $30, had automatic and semi-automatic modes, came with a battery and charger, goggles, plus the obligatory poor quality airsoft bbs so many guns come with. The battery is a 9.6 v, and is much larger than most airsoft batteries I have used, including the ones for my Tokyo Marui M4 airsoft electric gun (AEG).
The gun itself worked excellently when I first got it. It didn’t shoot anywhere as far as my TM M4, but it was accurate, packed a punch, and had an excellent “feel” to it when shooting. I really, really enjoyed using it. The entire design of the gun, while somewhat cheap (mostly plastic parts) was very solid and inspired a lot of confidence on the airsoft field, even when going against more expensive, fancier weapons.
However, after 2 years of somewhat high use, the BE Steyr Aug started falling apart on me. No, not literally falling apart, but the quality and performance dropped off drastically. It is now basically unusable, except as a wall hanger. The Steyr Aug airsoft gun now only shoots half the distance it used to, often misfeeds bullets and has probably dropped by 50-60% in FPS. It is sad how quickly this occurred, a fate all too common with some cheaper airsoft guns. I have had several airsoft fanatics disassemble the gun and try and fix it, only to scratch their heads in puzzlement. Some have said that the gearbox is probably shot, something I find pretty likely (plastic gearbox, not metal like some of the newer version of the BE).
I had a blast using the BE Steyr Aug airsoft gun when it did work. However, those days have past and until I can get it fixed it will remain a wall hanger, pretty but useless in airsoft games.