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The Oconee Leader

Feb 01st
M1 Garand Airsoft rifle makes older brother grateful Print E-mail
Written by Rob Peecher   
Wednesday, 28 January 2009

ImageWhenever he can, Harrison likes to play Airsoft. He’s been through a dozen Airsoft guns – single shot pistols, single shot rifles, automatic rifles that spit out 10,000 Airsoft pellets a minute.


What Jean and I have learned about Airsoft is that it gets to be an expensive hobby. The guns appear to be built for a single use only. Always getting dropped or stepped on, it seems that the most vital pieces are made out of the flimsiest of plastics.


So when Harrison was invited to his friend Graham’s Airsoft birthday party this weekend, I wasn’t too surprised when he announced to me that he needed a new gun.


His last gun was an automatic rifle where the pellets were poured into a piece mounted to the top of the gun made to look like the gun’s scope. I was impressed that this rifle lasted through the first few plays and not at all shocked when Harrison brought it out of the woods one day with the “scope” in one hand and that rifle in the other and in his pocket was the critical – yet flimsy – piece that connects the two, broken in half.


We glued it and, to my surprise, the rifle was able to be put back into service.


“We fixed that gun,” I told Harrison, when he announced that he needed new weaponry for Graham’s party.


He offered some lame excuse as to why it wasn’t working, but I realized that I was seeing a Pavlovian response to being invited to an Airsoft party. Because he’s always gone through guns so quickly, Harrison was accustomed to getting to buy a new gun each time he was going to play.


In the past, we tried to do Airsoft on the cheap, buying plastic guns made in China. But now I was determined to buy Harrison one last Airsoft gun and then to never have to buy him another, so we went to Georgia Airsoft’s store instead of one of the big box sporting goods stores.


What we came away with wasn’t cheap, but it’s made largely of metal and is nearly as tall as Harrison. It’s designed to look like an old M1 Garand rifle and, I swear, weighs the same as one without its clip. Set on automatic, it fires a gazillion pellets a minute, and this one stings worse than any of the previous guns Harrison has owned.


I steered Harrison toward the M1 rifle because I’m currently reading Stephen Ambrose’s “D-Day.” But Harrison is a good kid, and a lot like his dad, so it didn’t take much to divert his drooling stare away from the more modern guns back to this classic.


Its sturdy build convinced me that quite possibly this Airsoft rifle would survive more than one run through the woods.


Harrison took the gun to Graham’s party Saturday where it was a tremendous success: He brought the new gun home intact and, best of all, the referee at the party wouldn’t let him fire it on automatic because it fires a gazillion rounds a minute and at the Airsoft field they only let you use automatic guns that fire half a gazillion rounds a minute.


But, a purist would never set his M1 Garand Airsoft rifle to automatic anyway.


But it was before Graham’s party, before Harrison had even fired his new rifle, that I received the highest praise a father can get, letting me know far more than a simple “thank you” that Harrison truly appreciated the new rifle. In the car on the way home, Harrison was examining his new weapon.


“Nathan and Robert are going to be so jealous,” he said.


When we got home, his little brothers rushed to see the new gun (expecting that when it breaks and gets glued back together, it will be handed down to them as all the rest have been).


Nathan, who is a fiend for World War II Game Box games and plays them like he’s in training to charge a bluff in Normandy, jumped up from the World War II Game Box game he was playing, eyes wide as saucers.


“Oooooooo!” Nate exclaimed. “That’s an M1 Garand!”


Robert, too, rushed forward to see the gun. “Uh!” he said, stomping his foot. “No fair! Harrison gets all the good stuff.”


Harrison, the sin of pride gleaming in his eyes, smiled a sideways smile at me: “See.”


Rob Peecher is editor of The Oconee Leader. Now, thanks to limited foresight, he’s saving up to buy two more Airsoft M1 Garands.

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