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I think your best option is to just use the internals from another weapon and manufacture what will essentially be the "shell".

What type of gun were you thinking of replicating? In reality, there aren't all many sniper type rifles that haven't been imitated. For the most part, rifles fall into the Remington 700 model type or the Accuracy International model type, a Dragunov, or PSG-1. It's real easy for most guns to look alike simply by switching out a stock.

I'd like to see someone make a Walther WA-2000. This could pretty easily be done by converting a Steyr AUG, which have incredible accuracy. What I like about the Tokyo Marui version is that it primes the cylinder and loads a bb at the end of each cycle. This makes for a more realistic firing process as the bb goes when you squeeze the trigger. There's no hesitation as with other rifles. (I'm not sure if all TM's do this or just the Steyr AUG series).

If you're talking about making your own system from the ground up, I think the world is missing out on the 12gram CO2 advantages. As far as I know, it's not affected by temperature, but still doesn't need a whole spring or electrical assembly housed somewhere.

If you were to make your own system, and since you have a great deal of time on your hands, you could also think about making a rifle system that breaks down into a briefcase ala James Bond or whatever. I think there was a crappy (much worse than my Well Warrior to be sure ;) that broke down in half, but I haven't seen much about it anywhere.
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