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1066 Airsoft

1066 Airsoft

At IWA 2017, it was my great pleasure to spend some time with Brent Cooper from 1066 Airsoft. Brent is an airsoft enthusiast and has been involved in the sport for a number of years now. Because of his passion for the sport, Brent decided to set up 1066 AIRSOFT Ltd. to bring the sport that he loves to his part of the UK. As many of the airsoft community are aware, the sport of Airsoft gets a lot of negative publicity from people who are not involved in the sport. So, Brent has now started to show people within his local community the massive positives that the sport of Airsoft can bring to people of all ages, and it was my great pleasure to catch up with him again recently.

GM: Hiya! Before we launch into the main body of questions, we thought we’d let you introduce yourselves!

Now, don’t get too excited but as far as my daily routine goes, due to the wonderful technological advantages we have these days i.e. smart phones, my day starts even before I leave the house, replying to all those lovely people who send us messages over night and early hours. From there, I head to the shop; once in here, the most important job of all get the tea urn on, after that we make sure the front of shop is looking good, all faced up nicely, and I think one of the main things is for the shop to look inviting; apart from that, the joys of paperwork orders, also getting things ready for are next skirmish, as the shop is not just a retail shop but the main hub for 1066 Airsoft.

GM: Could you tell me more about the website and shop?

We do have a website, which is www.1066airsoft.com. With regards to the website, its mainly used for providing information to people new to airsoft and also people who haven’t been to our site before, and to book our events. We do have an online shop being created as we speak.

With regards to the shop; yes, it’s a retail shop, but at the same time we also have a social area with a sofa, and the reason behind the sofa area is for people to feel, no matter who you are, if you interested in finding out what 1066 airsoft is about or just airsoft is about in general, people can just pop in without feeling intimidated and with the warm welcome people receive form us. We also have a small testing range in the shop for people to try out different guns.

GM: What are the most frequent questions people ask?

In my experience, the most asked question for us, and others I’m sure, is, “is airsoft the same as paintball and does it hurt the same as paintball and how much is it?” “What’s the best gun on the market?” is another.

GM: What’s the best thing about your job?

In all honesty, everything! Yes, the hours are long and its tough sometimes, but on the plus side, when you get such positive feedback we get from our customers, its just shows that all the demanding work myself, and most importantly, my team, put in is not in vain.

Also, the way we at 1066 airsoft look at airsoft compared to some other shops and sites is the fact we are not all about the money; its more what can we at 1066 Airsoft do for the local community, like for instance we had a young man (15-years old) with his mum come into the shop sixweeks ago. The mum was extremely worried about what airsoft was about, as all she saw was the equipment looking like real guns, so after we sat down with her gave her a nice cup of tea and explained that airsoft is much more then just running around and shooting each other. She then explained that her son has high-intensity Asperger’s and she has tried other things to get him out and socialising. He has been attending now once a week for the last six-weeks, and she came in last week and gave all of us a big hug and said that since he has been coming down to our events, he now feels accepted and this is the first time in his life he has felt like that; also, his school work and attendance has improved massively. To me, when we hear things like this, it makes me feel amazing and proves the positives to being involved with the airsoft world/community.

GM: What’s the worst thing about your job?

I would say, for me personally, the worst thing about my job is the negativity the sport of airsoft gets when in all honesty maybe people should open their eyes and see the amazing benefits that airsoft can bring to individuals. Also, the number of doors that are closed in your face due to the misunderstood perception of what airsoft is about. I say in my little corner of the UK we are changing the opinion of airsoft slowly; I mean, Rome was not built in a day, after all.

GM: Do you sell just gear and clothing, or do you sell the whole package?

We mostly sell the guns, batteries, consumables, and the basics to get people out on the field; with regards to clothing, we have a few bits but we normally work with another small business down the road from us, who is a little army surplus store, but being the first and only specialised airsoft shop in the area, if anyone is after anything specific, then we are very happy to help and acquire the items for them.

GM: Do you have any main brands that you stock? if so, what are your favourites?

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We do try and stock many of the main brands, but I think its very hard these days to stock everything being a small business and there’s lots of great equipment on the market. At the same time, I like to have in G&G, TM, NUPROL, LCT, VFC, all of these have impressed me with the build quality and the performance also some of the brand’s value of money.

GM: Do you support local airsoft sites?

In East Sussex, there is only us at 1066 Airsoft, but if people do ask, we try and get players to experience lots of different sites, as every site runs things slightly differently; also, a lot of players want something different, for example, some players want a standard skirmish, some like the battle sim, and a few would like to get into the milsim side of airsoft. I believe this is positive for the sport to keep growing.

GM: Now, you do some work with schools and the local community; can you tell me about that?

Yes, in 2017 we had a trial run with one of our local schools, as it’s my personal belief that airsoft for an educational platform is brilliant, and with the points below:

  • Fitness
  • Socialising
  • Self-discipline / self-control
  • Confidence building
  • Personal development
  • Team work/Team building
  • Communication skills
  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Decision making/decision making under pressure
  • Good practice
  • Honesty/integrity
  • The main thing – to have fun

Since last year, myself and my team have been working on the education side of the business, and there is a lot we are working on, so please keep an eye open as the next 12-18-months is a very exciting time for us. I’m always happy to keep you updated Bill!

GM: Do you offer a customisation or repair service, if so what kind of jobs can you carry out?

We do offer these services, from the basic service to full upgrades, and if there is anything we can’t do, I can normally source a tech who can complete the job at hand.

GM: What’s the single most commonplace repair/custom gear job you carry out?

In all honesty, apart from changing the connectors from mini Tamiya to Deans, we seem to trend down this way for the installation of the Gate Titan, mainly in good old G&G combat machines.

GM: Do you carry out your own product testing?

We are looking into the manufacturing of our own products but it’s a long way off at this present moment in time. But we do product test, yes. With regards to the testing of other products/ upgrades, we do this on a daily basis.

GM: What do you enjoy most about testing gear?

To be honest, it’s nice to see what’s out there and being a bigger person it’s nice to see what’s out there for the bigger person and how well it holds up out in the joys of the British weather!

GM: What bugs you most about the airsoft gear market.

If I’m honest, I think a lot of the stuff is overpriced and a lot of the gear that is mass-produced, so the build quality does not meet the price tag.

GM: My thanks to you for putting up with my questions, Brent, and I do look forward to hearing more about your work with the schools, and to reporting back on that in due course!

Company profile

Address: 1066 Airsoft. 109 Sedlescombe Road North, Hastings, Saint Leonards-on-Sea. TN37 7EJ.
T: 01424 440 211
E: [email protected] www.1066airsoft.com
Opening hours: Tuesday-10-4. Wednesday-10-6. Thursday 10- 6. Friday 10-8. Saturday. 10-6.

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  • 1066 Airsoft - image {image:count}

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  • Popped in to the shop the other week ,purely out of curiosity as I’m a paintballer and we don’t get manypaintball shops other than on sites or miles away

    I surprised how friendly and inviting the shop was ,no questions were treated as silly ,everything was explained about the different types of guns ,ammo etc that I asked
    I am tempted to have a go as they are so passionate about the sport it makes you want to have a go
    Especially with a site right on our doorstep

    Thank you again 1066 Airsoft for a very interesting and enjoyable few hours

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