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The AF-2011 A1 "Second Century" double-barrel semi-automatic pistol - the jewel and pride of the Arsenal Firearms Group of Companies headquartered in the northern Italian town of Gardone Val Trompia - is finally being shipped to these shooters who placed orders and pre-paid it first. About two years passed ever since it was first displayed, and the Company managed to obtain authorizations for global marketing only early in November 2013, almost 24 months after first applying for them - so much for bureaucracy. Nonetheless, the global hype caused by the first ever fully-operational double-barrel semi-automatic pistol meant for mass production was so high that the company was overwhelmed with pre-orders from all around the world months and months before the gun itself was ever available for delivery. Hence why the first batches will be reserved to selected customers only.
However, even when the gun will be more common, it will hardly be an everyman's product; and that's not just due to the laws and regulations of some Countries and jurisdictions that will ban it outright, when they haven't done it yet. With a manufacturer's suggested retail price ranging around 3500€ in the European Union and around 4000US$ in the United States, the Arsenal Firearms AF-2011 A1 "Second Century" will most probably remain a made-on-request only product, available only to a selected number of collectors around the globe.
Either way, a large group of shooters and gun enthusiasts worldwide who longed for the AF-2011 A1 "Second Century" double-barrel pistol ever since it was first showcased is going to be left without its piece of cake... and the folks at Arsenal Firearms are well aware of this.
That's why, during the 2014 SHOT Show - which took place in Las Vegas in January, 14 thru 17 - the Arsenal Firearms company announced to have struck a deal with the French Cybergun Group - one of the world's biggest and best known Airsoft manufacturing and distribution companies - to provide a licensing agreement for an Airsoft replica of the AF-2011 A1 "Second Century" double-barrel semi-automatic pistol.
Although this may seem a sad expedient solution to go for, being the "real deal" unavailable, that's actually a quite valid expedient solution, particularly for gun collectors and enthusiasts - and not just in strictly gun-controlled Countries such as Japan or the United Kingdom, where civilian ownership of handguns is totally banned.
As many Airsoft enthusiasts know, the Cybergun Group owns Inokatsu - one of Japan's premier custom and semi-custom Airsoft makers - and with the manufacturing capabilities of the company, and of the Cybergun conglomerate as a whole, the French-based group is capable to come out with some of the most realistic Airsoft replicas in the world.
As a matter of fact, the Cybergun handgun, shotgun and assault weapon replicas are used worldwide by countless military, law enforcement, private security and PMC forces for force-on-force training as an alternative to classic Simunitions or MILES systems. Cybergun replicas provide the authentic look, feel, and weight of real guns, without the drawbacks of the Simunition system, which itself comes at a lower price in short terms but represents a higher expense in long terms and tends to wear out guns with use, even when the entire conversion kit is employed.
We can thus expect the Arsenal Firearms AF-2011 A1 "Second Century" Airsoft replica to be extremely high-quality and realistic, even using some real gun parts like the company's own Gas and CO²-operated versions of the SIG-Sauer P226, P228 and Colt 1911-A1 pistols. It may come at a steep price for Airsoft standards, but it will still be cheaper than the Real McCoy AF-2011 A1, so that many enthusiast Airsoft and gun collectors may acquire it as a beautiful piece of conversation, if anything.
Not much else is known about the Arsenal Firearms AF-2011 A1 "Second Century" Airsoft replica by Cybergun. When will it hit the market, and what will be the price? What materials, what finishes, what furniture, what variants will it be available in? Will it be Gas-operated or CO²-operated? None of these questions has been answered as of today. But we may have further informations in March, at the 2014 IWA expo in Nuremberg, Germany... so, if you're an Airsoft enthusiast or a gun collector, keep an eye on ALL4SHOOTERS.COM for updates! We will be the first to tell you!