By Mike Burchett
I began looking into airsoft when a suggestion was made by a friend. I had no idea there was such a large following. I also had no idea there was such a vast equipment offering. I always thought airsoft were those “toys” you see for about $20 in the sporting goods section of your favorite store. I’m here to tell you this is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to what’s out there.
In the late 1990s, a company began building precision racing parts. This engineering company saw the need for engineered airsoft upgrade parts. PolarStar Engineering and Machine launched PolarStar Precision AirSoft Components or PPAC. PolarStar uses compressed air to propel the airsoft bb’s by way of their Fusion Engine. The PolarStar system addresses the shortcomings of the electric gun and created a high performance, reliable system which could take its place. Unlike an AEG (Automatic Electric Gun) which has four gears, a piston, a couple spring-loaded latches and disconnects to make the thing run, this system only has two moving parts: The air nozzle and a poppet valve. The nozzle is what moves back and forth like a bolt on a firearm to chamber each BB. The poppet valve is what makes it go bang.
Each part is controlled by an electronic solenoid, which is in turn controlled by a small computer called the Fire Control Unit (FCU). The FCU basically just tells the solenoids how long to stay on to allow the correct amount of air through for proper function. You can make adjustments in the FCU to adjust the timing of the engine in order to optimize performance, whether it be to allow rounds to feed smoother, or to change the cyclic rate, or how many rounds it shoots in burst mode. Yes, this all sounds very complex and overwhelming. It’s ok. They have it all figured out for us. They even have a smart phone app to help you set up your rifle.
I received my test rifle and couldn’t believe the quality. It felt like a real AR-15. It handled like a real AR-15. The magazine even felt like an AR-15. All metal and familiar controls makes you quickly forget the aisle at WalMart. I took the Cross Fire air tank to a local store where they fill for paintball. For just a few bucks I was ready to go. I connected the regulator, a Redline Firebase by Redline Airsoft out of Salem, Wis., coupled the hose using the provided quick disconnects, and was set. After filling the magazine, I did what we have always done with a new airsoft product. I test fired and then walked out and allowed my 15-year old daughter to shoot me. This time I walked out a little farther in the back yard. I stepped off 35 yards and told her to let me have it. She did three quick shots in semi-auto and worked up my body. In less than a second, she hit me in the leg, back and back of the head. To say she was thrilled is an understatement.
We switched to full auto and let her rip. At double digit rounds per second we were all grins. Accuracy was unbelievable and adjusting the hop up was simple. Pull the charging handle and the dust cover opens, exposing a small knob. Adjust this knob to move the point of impact of the BB.
To say I was impressed with the system would be an understatement. To say I want one is pointless. As soon as it arrived, my wife reminded me I couldn’t keep it and had to send it back. That was one of the worst feelings I’ve had in a long time; watching it board the brown truck on its way home.
If you are looking to delve into the world of airsoft, take a really hard look at PolarStar. The product is sound and the service is great. Working with their staff was effortless. Like them on Facebook and find a dealer to check one out. You won’t be disappointed with their product.