If you didn’t know already, there’s a new player in town. Actually, they are THE ONLY player in town – when it comes to browsing airsoft guns and parts online. For mere mortals, there’s Google, but for airsofter players, there is none other than AirsoftDB.com.
Today, I had a pleasure to chat with a great guy, Fredrik from AirsoftDB, also known as Senchoo.
How did you get involved in Airsoft in the first place?
We all played as kids with those spring guns. But in 2005, my friends called me up and said: “Dude, you wanna go play airsoft?” And I was like : “What, the springers in the woods? Aren’t we a little too old for that?” And then they told me that there was actually a place that was indoors that has an Airsoft Arena and we can rent guns there. So, I had to see for myself how far has Airsoft gone since the springer days. When I got there, it was a place called US Airsoft which stood for Unreal Steal Airsoft. They had some vests, with sawed on pouches like SWAT, but, when I saw the wall with AKs and M4s, I was amazed. I remember thinking to myself “They look like real guns now!”. When I entered the arena, I expected plywood, but actually, they had a real bunker made of concrete, two story high buildings made of wood and they also had a basement and you could go up on the roof. Entire city indoors. So I got hooked straight away.
After your humble beginnings, how did your airsoft “career” develop?
The first team I entered was NWI, also known as New World Industries. We were playing as Russians right then, but we realized pretty fast that we can do this in a completely new way. So we started off with the worst camo for the woods ever. We had blue uniforms for the Russian loadout which we later found out was for their Political Police but that is a story for later. And we started going to different milsims and you can imagine, green woods and blue uniforms, we were the Smurfs of every game. If we had played next to the water, we would’ve had at least some chance of not being noticed. But during those times we grew as airsofters. We bought a team car. I remember it was some Chevy. The idea was that going to big milsims and having to walk to a respawn or an FOB that is an hour walk is something we would like to avoid. And also, we are definitely a LARP team. So that drove us to go to events that had some kind of role playing part to them.
Now, regular airsofters can’t act. They get really stuck if you throw them a curve ball. “Those people said that you had a plan to murder the president!” “Ah no, we, what, how?” And you get fights going on between different fractions without even knowing that you were lying to them. Since there was only 3 of us at one point, and it was difficult playing like that, we decided that we needed to find another team to play with. So we met another team called Locox. They were also 3 people, but they were more arcade type of players, so it was two different worlds colliding. Still, we made it work for a couple of years until everyone developed into their niche again.
Where did the entire idea for the AirsoftDB come from?
We were talking a little about it in 2014. Usually, an airsofter needs to go through every store to find some small part or a gun, but we realized that these stores usually have web API that allows us to search directly, so why not just build something around that? So we started with the Swedish stores but then friends started saying “I kinda like the Hong Kong store better because they usually have stuff that we don’t see in Sweden.” So we added that in, and we just kept adding and adding. Later on, we realized that this could be a lot bigger and we didn’t want it to be associated only with Swedish news sites so we decided to put it up as AirsoftDB and run it completely by itself. Then, in 2015 on April 1st , we launched our first Beta.
Are you satisfied with your progress as of right now?
I really like where AirsoftDB is going, because, right now, we have a great response from the industry. It feels like we are building something that is really helping the community – not only players but also stores in their chase to find potential customers. Now we were at both Shot Show and IWA in 2015 where we presented the idea and people were a little skeptical, because most countries don’t have these types of search engines. Then, last year, when people had enough time to check it out, we got a lot more questions about stores that want to be added and some new features people wanted to see. We are just very happy to see that it is a growing trend among airsofters and stores.
What are your future ideas and what can you share about future projects?
Since we released the widget during IWA2017, the widget itself has gone through some changes that are supposed to be a lot more helpful for people that are running blogs and news sites. But we don’t want to spoil the surprise, yet. The only thing I can say is that it will be out very soon.
The important thing to mention is that we love when people contact us with ideas of which stores should be added but when stores contact us it makes the process a lot easier and help us increase our data base. And I know that we are not best in sending out information about what we are doing and things like that, but everybody should know that we are working a lot behind the scenes. We are putting new shops, new functionalities and making improvements. It’s just that we do not write about them. So even if it seems that we are standing still, we are moving and we are doing a lot in the background. And I will try to update our blog even more just so people know we are not just standing around hoping something better happens. We are actually adding stuff all the time.
Interesting story – we presented AirsoftDB to Dayton, from the House Gamers, the Canadian Sniper or “apologetic sniper”, as he called himself, just before Shot Show. Then at Shot, when we saw him again, he was so happy. He said that he was looking for a specific part for his mk23, and he found it in Asia directly via AirsoftDB.
Top three milsims?
My favorite milsim, the one that really stuck with me was Road To Bockaby 2. I remember playing a Taliban with my friend who was my cousin in game. Went to the local hospital and he started sweeping some rooms and I asked the boss “Ok, we are cleaning, do you have money for that?” and because my friend was hungover from the day before we got him to clean the streets, and streets were all sand. So he was standing there sweeping and everyone was looking like “What the hell is going on?”. Great LARP game and one of the first with NWI, so I have some great memories from it. Second place was a game called Hearts and Minds. And in 3rd place is Berget, the game where I was really happy to have a team car.
What was your first Airsoft gun and which one do you use now?
The first gun I had was TM AK Specnaz. It was amazing that the only thing I had to do is scroll the high cap. I remember that it was a pretty cool feeling that now there was force on force shooting instead of one guy having a AEG and the rest only springers. So realistic and full of adrenaline.
Right now, I use Systema PTW. Many people say that is is very expensive, but it is a very simple system to maintain. But one of my favorite guns I had was Classic Army G36. That gun just kept rolling and rolling and took whatever I’ve done to it. That was an excellent gun and I actually regret selling it because it brought me many memories.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did talking to Senchoo. If you have any questions, suggestions or just wanna stalk him, do it @senchoomilsim.
Keep shootin’, keep playin’, see you next time!