Grey Ghost 2006 Reviewed
Reviewed by: M. Carter Brown - aka - Painthappy
Last week I received the new production run Grey Ghost sent to me by LAPCO for a thorough review.
I was very excited to see this at my door for two reasons: It meant that there was a new pump gun on the market, and two, I really wanted to see what differences and improvements there were over the prototype Ghost I had reviewed late last year. I would like to thank LAPCO and Sergey specifically for giving me this opportunity.
Serial number 211 on this gun. First Impressions
I noticed some distinct improvements immediately upon opening the box. The first thing that caught my eye was the shortened pump arm. This shorter pump arm gave the gun a tighter feel, and felt comfortable in the shooting position. The improved stability with the shorter pump arm was also noticeable. I sort of miss the LAPCO name being on the pump arm, but it's a small price to pay for the large improvement in feel and stability... That and it just looks good. It's really grown on me. I also enjoy the feel of the pump itself. This allows a firm grip on the pump even when I wear my gloves. A great improvement over the old ghosts.
The feed block on this gun is a very interesting piece. Made from aluminum, it is very well built and thought out. More on that later.
The stock on this gun is a must. I put it on and wondered how I had played all these years with out one.
The gun is very clean looking. The anodizing is very original and makes the gun a pleasure to look at. It has the gray, as did the original ghosts, but they've added a purple hue, or pewter touch to it making the gun come alive in your hands. The trigger is an extremely smooth sliding trigger. The original LAPCO Grey Ghost's were known for this, and very little has changed.
I also noticed that the gun still says 2006 on the side. I don't know if they will all say this, or just some of the ones from the early run. While not a huge draw back, I wonder what they will do for future runs? Will 2007 or 2008 be on the side, or will be see a return to just the plain "Grey Ghost" on the side? I like the idea that there is a different saying as to stand out from the older models, but it is 2007 on my calendar. Taking the Gun Apart
The Grey Ghost has this seemingly old fashioned braided hose with quick release system on the right hand side of the gun.
To be honest, I didn't care for it, but after taking this gun apart numerous times, I've really come to appreciate having it. I'm unsure the effect it will have on 12 gram efficiency and most likely could be made to be more efficient, but that will be a test for another day.
After removing the barrel and pump arm, I look inside the gun and notice this most curious piece. Right away I recognize this as being the ball detente, but it was the location and ingenuity of it all that put this Cheshire cat grin on my face.
So I quickly took off the feed block to get a better look at it.
The feed tube was a little loose when I received it. It seems as if the threads are tapered a bit? So if it isn't screwed all the way in it moved a little. Not a big deal. It did bother me at first, but after cleaning it up on a brush it the tube screwed all the way into the feed block and never budged. Most likely just a simple issue with the one I received as it was off the early run.
Take note of the black Gnob.
(Pronounced like Knob, but with a silent G instead since it's a Grey Ghost. Yes I just made up the word).
This little gnob works as it is intended. I put it some small bore paint and it didn't even budge, and the gun fired as it should. The downside is that this piece isn't held in by anything and can easily come out when taking the gun apart. This little black gnob or gnub would easily be lost if the gun was stripped down at the field or test range. I strongly suggest that folks put a dab of super glue on theirs to help keep it in place and from being lost. Don't over do it. Just enough to keep it in place.
The retaining cap was a piece that easily came off on the prototype Ghost that I reviewed late last year. This one stayed on thanks to the help of some scotch tape by the looks.
The body of the Ghost itself lets us see a little more into LAPCO's thought process. I was very happy to see the following:
There are two threaded holes surrounding the ball feed hole. We are currently only using one of them for the stock class feed tube. It would probably be safe to assume that there will be a direct feed adapter in the near future available for this gun. Not just any direct feed adapter, but one that includes our gnobby ball detente?
There are two holes for air to pass through into the valve area, which goes around the bolt hole. Definitely to give a smoother air flow into the valve spring area. Everything on the gun was quick strip, except for the ASA. The old ghosts had the ASA quick strip also, but that was because there was no issue of the stock class feed tube. I found this to be a slight pain when needing to adjust the gun. Luckily the hammer can be removed without removing the ASA, and so can't the power tube and springs.
The power tube was a #6, the most requested one. The main spring was a Yellow spring, while the valve spring is unknown. The clear LAPCO valve seat was there, as it is still one of the best on the market today. Standard threads, and aluminum hex valve retaining cap. The tube had the standard 3 air ports to allow air to flow into the tube.
The bolt was fully adjustable, and had a nylon set screw so you could lock the adjuster in place once you had it exactly where you wanted it.
The hammer is the LAPCO hammer that we have all come to know and look forward to using.
The barrel is one of LAPCO's best, and also includes an o-ring at it's base for a nice fit. The Grey Ghost accepts Spyder threaded barrels.
The sliding trigger is still fully adjustable, for those of us that love to tweak every aspect of our guns. This new trigger also has more of a curve to it, then the older Grey Ghosts. This is an improvement that will be greatly overlooked, but one that adds to the overall feel of this gun more then they will know. I'm glad to see it. Test Firing
I didn't get to play with it at the field as I had hoped over the weekend. Cold weather moved in (30 degree F weather that is) and figured I wasn't going to get a good feel on paint performance and 12 gram efficiency.
I fired a few shots out back, and at my test range with no breakage and great success.
[ this spot reserved for the field and chronograph test ] Pro/Con Breakdown Pro:
Nice Anno Job
Ball detente (aka the Gnob)
Removable Feed with a possible direct feed in the works?
Adjustable Sliding Trigger
Comfortable Pump Arm
LAPCO Power Tube, and Valve Seat
Adjustable Bolt w/ Nylon set screw
Tight Overall Feel and Grip
Smooth Pump and Quick Return Spring
15 round stock class feed Con:
Pump arm still scratches body
stock class feed tube moves when not positioned correctly
ASA not quick strip. (can't be avoided in stock class mode)
Braided Line (could be in either category really)
Ball detente that can fall out Overall
LAPCO has really hit it out of the park with this gun. The clean look and feel of this new pump gun will give hope to all the pump players out there.
Mechanically, I give this an 8 out of 10. I loved the ball detente, (as if you couldn't tell), and the braided line's reason for being dawned on me with my multiple breakdowns. The velocity was easy to change, and I found the overall feel of the gun, especially the pump arm and the stock, to be just right.
Upgrades: This gun deserves a 10 out of 10 for being nelson based, instead of changing bodies, it looks like you can just change a feed. Plenty of nelson based parts, both old and new.... There is a lot of potential.
Price, (Using the Suggested $350.00 MSRP) is a 9 out of 10. With the next best nelson based gun being the Carter Buzzard (for twice the money) you are getting an amazing amount of gun for your money. Final Words / Suggestions
Keeping price in mind, players are getting a very good gun for their money. I'm looking forward to a direct feed add-on, maybe with an integrated sight rail? A direct feed will also allow the rear of the gun to be field stripped, so selling a brass bolt with that would be a great addition also.
I'm still on the fence about the braided line. I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the line as it looks too bulky, but I can whine all I want... It's just a easy for me to change it over to a hard line. Also, a hard line would definitely impede my progress in taking the gun apart. The braided line makes it fast and easy, so it's a toss-up and a personal preference.
Body upgrades and then dual pump arms could also be a reality someday too. Of course it would no longer be a "Ghost", but I'm just thinking out loud.
Many people have been waiting patiently for this gun, and their expectations are going to be high. I feel this gun meets most of those expectations. There are a few minor drawbacks, but then again, this isn't an $800.00 gun. With that in mind, you are really getting your money's worth here.
I'm looking forward to these being released and sold to the general public, and watching a new generation of paintball players using and enjoying the Grey Ghost once again.
Will I buy this gun? Yes.