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Old 11-02-2009, 10:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
Just One Bad Day
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: IN

Reviews of the prototypes:

Originally Posted by jk_6109 View Post
Let me start off by saying that I do not personally know z.bart, so this is my honest opinion of the product. I posted in his thread saying that I wanted to test his pump kit, and he decided to would make a good tester.
This is his undercocking kit for phantoms that is currently in the testing phase, so it may not be exactly what the finished product will be like.

The box i recieved came with:
Mounting block
and a screw.

The first thing i noticed was the spring was awful for this pump kit. The way he designed it was for the spring to go inside the handle, but the width of the spring was too big which caused internal rubbing making the kit not smooth. I was fortunate and had an extra spring that fit over the guide rod which helped out tremendously.
Luckily for z.bart, that is the only real flaw i could find with this kit (i wouldnt even really call it a flaw because its a $1 fix...).

Everything else about this kit i loved.
The shape and construction of the kit is great. I took off the stock pump kit and compared them side to side. Both of their heights are about the same, but z.bart's kit is slightly wider which makes it feel great (especially for people with bigger hands). The little indents on the side remind my of the PMP pump kits for autocockers. This little indent provides great grip and really helps the handle conform to your hand.
The material that it is made out of is some composite. It is nice and light, but also feels very durable. The only downside i see with the material right now is that it leaves machine marks, but maybe a light sanding with fine grit paper will do the trick. This is probably going to be something that z.bart takes care of in the production models.
The guide rod is pretty standard. It bolts onto the body right where the front screw would go. It was somewhat tricky to get it on when trying to assemble the gun, but i found that using electrical tape to hold it in place make installation a breeze.
The most important part, and probably most impressive, is the stroke. After installing this pump kit my stroke went from being a typical phantom stroke to an almost sniper stroke (lets call it a heavily sprung sniper stroke). It is extremely smooth, yet has a nice snappy action to it. The only problem with the stroke is that it can twist since there is no guide rod. But as long as you can pump a sniper without a guide rod, you can pump this easily. This is actually easier than pumping a sniper without a secondary guide rod. Usually if you twist a handle as hard as you can and then try to pump it is very difficult, but with this you cant tell a difference. So in that sense it has a leg up on a snipers pump stroke.
That is pretty much my review for this kit. Aside from the little spring issue there is little that i would change. The only thing that i might think of adding would be a secondary guide rod, but in reality it doesnt even need one. I look forward to seeing the finished product!

As a little disclaimer, i have not had a chance to try many other undercocking kit for the phantom. I have tried the wevo kit, which seems to be one of the more common ones, and this one feels much better than wevo's kit.


Feels great in hand

Needs a different spring

I will post up what i think when i have had more time to use this and if anything changes.
Originally Posted by splattttttt View Post

The return spring... When I first installed mine, I quickly notice it was catching enough to know that it was going to bug me, but when I reversed it back in the other way around, and it handled flawlessly.
0% friction now. And I expect that with a slight breaking in period, this will get smoother still, if you decide to put yours back inside the handle for a cleaner look.
Try reversing it, and see if it works better that way.

All in all, for the money, there is no better kit out there. :tup: :tup:
Originally Posted by brycelarson View Post
Z.Bart phantom undercocking kit

here are some pictures of the kit on my phantom: Picasa Web Albums - Bryce - z.bart underc...

Disclaimer – z.bart sent me this kit to review and give him suggestions for a discount. He sent it to me for the cost of materials and shipping and is offering me a discount on a completed kit at a later date for my review.

I’ll start with the negatives. Most of these are completely excusable – this is a prototype kit afterall.

1. The fit and finish are a bit lacking. The guide rod isn’t as smooth and as clean as it needs to be – and this leads to a bit of grinding on the pump stroke.
2. There is a small gap between the mounting block and the front of the grip frame. It’s minor, but I would hope that on a final product this curve would match better.
3. The return spring (internal on the pump handle (but that’ll be mentioned in the positive stuff)) binds a bit – but again, this is a prototype and z.bart said that he’s got it solved.
4. There is a set of what I assume is vice marks on the side of the pump handle – I’m assuming this happened on the drilling or one of the later milling procedures – and again, z.bart knows about it and is certainly aware that things like that can’t be on a final product.

OK, on to the good stuff.
1. Price. This is a two part issue. With Wevo out of the game there’s a real lack of options for undercocking kits for the phantoms. There are still some Wevo kits out there – but they certainly won’t last forever. Those kits will cost you $60 or more shipped – while z.bart is looking at keeping his kits un the mid $40s shipped for these basic kits. He’s going to offer skulls and is talking about doing the ever popular 8-ball as well. Those will cost a bit more – but I still expect those to be quite reasonably priced.
2. The kits look good. The one I have is a prototype – but it’s certainly good enough looking to take to the field. Once the small finish problems are worked out these kits should look great.
3. The handle design is quite good. It’s short – but the finger grooves and thickness make it very comfortable. Many people think that the Wevo kit is too small – these should be a bit more comfortable to those people. I love the side grooves – I’ve really enjoyed pump guns with handles like that since I first played with a PMP industries sniper kit.
4. He offers a skull! Come on, an off the shelf kit with a skull – you gotta like that. This is one of the benefits in working with a single person. He can fill the niche requests. He’s talking about doing the pool ball handle as well as the skull.
5. Pump stroke. I'll admit it - I'm a sniper guy. I own and love playing with my phantom - but if asked what my favorite pump gun is - a stacked tube is going to win. This kit really evens the playing field. The pump stroke really cleans up when you move the handle. While not the best pump stroke I've ever felt - this really improves the phantom.
6. All the basics of an undercocking kit. You get a better feeling pump stroke, the handle isn't in your way to aim and the gun looks cool. This isn't specific to the z.bart kit - but hey, what options do you have on the market right now?

Things to keep in mind on this kit.
1. You’re buying from a guy. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. We’ve all seen the airsmith curve happen. Hopefully z.bart will keep this in mind and keep things in a good scale. Since it’s just him he can certainly be responsive and treat his customers well – but if things expand quickly it can be a dangerous thing as well. We, as consumers, expect products we’re buying to be sent in a timely manner. As long as z.bart keeps this in mind – then this will be a great entry to the phantom aftermarket.
2. The kit I reviewed is a work in process. I’m interested to see the finished product. He certainly seems to have everything right as far as attachment and design. The only downsides are some minor machining issues – which should resolve out just fine on the finished product.
3. The handle that I have with the partial side notches isn’t the final design. He’s going to do a full “x” handle on the final run – including grip tape. I think that the deisgn will offer a great mix between a fat handle and a skinny one. Additionally, the mounting block on the final product will be high strength plastic – instead of the aluminum on my kit. This should both look good as well as be sure to avoid any scratching to the front of the grip frame.
4. This is a product made by a player for players. As long as the buyers keep this in mind – then this should be a great product to have on the market.
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Last edited by z.bart; 11-03-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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