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.