*The pictures are thumbnails to avoid obnoxious sizing...let me know if they don't work.
I took my new toy out for its first game the other weekend. The weather was right around freezing but dry the whole day. Paint was Nelson "Special Forces".
Post game results:
...those picatinny rails hold a lot of paint
Overall the gun performed well considering the circumstances. The paint was crap, and very cold, so it was breaking for everyone. I got mostly barrel breaks and probably should have given up on trying to size the barrel to the paint. Next time I'll just run loose if I can't get decent paint.
I did get one breach break at the start of the day with my old halo. I'd read about soft detent springs and was gun shy there so I switched to an agitated hopper instead. The eyes performed flawlessly from there on out. In hind sight the breach break may have had more to do with the paint than the detents. I'll try the halo again soon with real paint.
Since there was so much paint getting smeared everywhere this will mostly be a cleaning saga....
Stripping off the hopper adapter:
...as you can see paint got everywhere. The gun did keep shooting quite well though. The eye pipe system more or less worked as advertised. A straight shot to sweep the barrel, a couple of clearing shots and I was back in business, despite the pre-game breach break.
Pulling out the breach:
Notice the nub on top of the breach? That's where you have to jam a setscrew down to retain it. That and the two little wings on the bottom are all that hold your barrel in. Makes me nervous. Don't go smashing this barrel into bunkers. And don't jam that set screw down TOO hard else you risk deforming the breach and your barrel.
Looking down the breach slot:
...that's where the breach slides. The two wings keep in oreiented in the lower grooves, and the set screw comes down from above to lock everything in.
Next up, removing the receiver, if you can, look at the eye wires:
..the plastic magazine receiver is a very close fit with the body of the gun, and the eye wires are not totally sub-flush. This means that on my gun each time I pull the reciever I take a little bit of eye wire with me. I'm waiting to see what dye says about this when it inevitably needs to go in for eye repair. I mentioned it several times in the process of trying to get my warranty info returned and their tech seemed un-interested.
After removing the metallic, barrel carrying portion of the breach and the receiver I pulled the eye-pipe portion of the breach for cleaning:
...really not too difficult. Easy enough to orient back correctly, very easy to clean once it's out.
Lastly, I pulled the bolt.
It was easy, and was pointless beyond cleaning up the bolt tip. The breach as already out of the gun. I didn't have any trouble unscrewing the bolt, some folks in the videos seemed to think it was too tight...not my experience.
All in all the gun took me the better part of 30 minutes to clean. Most of that was spent with a toothbrush and water scrubbing paint out of crevices. My automag took all of 5 minutes. I can't say I was un-happy about the time spent though. The automag is easy to work on, to the point of being unsatisfying. This seems a lot more like owning an autococker. Do it, "just because"
Moral of the story, breach breaks suck.
In terms of general performance:
- Consistency was good, probably +/-5 fps despite the weather and paint
- The gun handled well, ie its reasonably well balanced and I enjoyed using it for some moderately tight bunker play
- I REALLY like that it has single trigger and a clear sight path
- The 3 round burst is actually perfect for rec ball (a good answer to ramping)
- The first strikes were not terribly useful during bunker play, but that's the reason I got this gun instead of the less flexible first strike compatible options.
- It is new enough and expensive enough that it gets attention if that's what you're after
Next up, I'm going to try to get a downward/forward facing powerfeed cobbled together so I can mount a q-loader up front and feed paint in from the foregrip region. Anyone have a hopper adapter they want to sell me? Otherwise I'll have to get much more creative.
After that...I need to figure out some optics that let me use both first strike and conventional effectively. That seems like the real challenge to using this gun properly.
It's a fun toy.