Howdy MCB. Figured I'd put this together since there is a lot of interest in the new Spyder Hammer 7. I just got this and took some pics of the gun during the unboxing and wanted to share my initial impressions and thoughts about it. Without further adieu, away we go.
Front of the box:
Back of the box (sorry for the glare):
First Strike sample: First impression out of the box:
It is important to keep in mind the price point of this gun and the target market that Spyder is going for. To keep the costs down to an entry level range, materials need to be less expensive and easier to mass produce. The pump handle and pump arms on the Hammer 7 are made of plastic but feel pretty solid. The lower receiver is also plastic but feels very solid. The pump stroke is a little heavy and feels a little heavier than a phantom. (Lou from Kingman said that there are mods to make it smoother). The barrel has spyder threads and a mock flash suppresor front end with an orange band on it. Not sure if this was an insurance thing as I've never seen a paintball gun with an orange tip. Maybe it had something to do with the looks of the hammer 7 without a hopper on it. At any rate, it feels like its made of plastic or rubber and could easily be cut off.
Here are some more pics:
Removing the barrel you can see the pump return spring in there. You can also get a good view of the thickness of the pump arms in this pic:
The mags seem pretty well built, with the easily recognized D shaped First Strike slot in them.. I've read about a few people having problems with them not dropping out when released but mine falls right out. There is a small issue to note here though due to the design. The mags and the corresponding mag well have a stair step built into them (seen at the top right edge of the mag in the pic below) and if you don't insert them just right you can jam the tip of the mag into the edge of the stair step in the mag well, and not get the mag in right. After some practice with it, this shouldn't be an issue, but I wanted to point it out as I saw it in several youtube videos of guys changing the mags. It helped me to use the leading flat edge of the mag against the mag well to make sure it was in position before locking the mag home. This could get dicey in a firefight a first.
Another small issue to note on the mags is the little pin on the follower isn't very long. I could get ahold of it ok with my fingers, but with gloves on it may be another small issue if you were reloading mags on the field.
Mag well (you can see the stair step here):
The feed neck seems solid enough and it is a clamping one so it should fit any hopper out there.
The Hammer 7 has a thin 45 style frame with wrap around grips that don't quite sit flush on the frame. The frame is also a little thinner than most guns I've used but its ok. Its tapped for a bottom line if you want to add one. The trigger is metal and has a nice shape and feel to it. Looks like mine has an RFID chip under the grip.
Grips: The Good
For the price you pay, you honestly get a lot of gun. The ability to shoot first strikes out of a mag fed nelson is pretty awesome and the Hammer 7 is a win all around in its price range. The weight of the gun is decent. Definitely heavier than I thought but its still a lighter than most marker. Still heavier than a phantom. The dual loading capability of the gun is very nice too. This would allow an entry level player to try out mag fed and switch back to hopper fed if it didn't work out for them. Big win here. The Bad(ish)
Keeping in mind the price you pay for the gun there are only a few gripes I'd have with it. I'm ok with the amount of plastic used on the gun, but am a little skeptical of the plastic pump arms. It seems this part would get a lot of stress and I wonder how long they will last. I think Lou posted that they'd been through a serious amount of pumps through testing and they held up fine so this shouldn't be a problem, but if I had to pick one concern this is where I'd be keeping an eye on. The grips are too thin for my liking but I have pretty large hands (I can palm a basketball off the dribble) so they may be fine for you more slender handed fellows. The aforementioned mag well and mag design will take some getting used to but its not a huge deal. The method of switching from mag fed to hopper fed isn't something that would be easily done on the field, but its not a huge deal. You would pretty much just decide which you were going to run for that game and stick with it. Wrap up
I'm impressed with the Hammer 7. For the entry level price, I don't think anything comes close in terms of the features you get with it. If you haven't been following the news thread on it, Lou (lmartin) is a rep for Kingman and great guy. He has been posting up several tidbits along the way and it's been pretty cool to have him here on MCB.
I did not take the gun apart and won't be airing it up or firing it because....
I'm a filthy gun whore and will be selling it.
(Is there an unlock at this level or whoredom?)
I'm cutting down on guns now and have decided on a sweet Retro 7 with a mag slide that will get all my attention going forward.