Grey Ghost 2006
Reviewed By: M. Carter Brown - aka - Painthappy
The long wait was finally over. I went to the post office, and noticed a card in my PO box. A package was there for me to pick up. Upon seeing the large box, I knew this was the Grey Ghost I've been waiting patiently for. (It was shipped quick, I just wanted to badly see this gun for myself).
Opening the box, I gazed inside at an extremely unique anno on the Grey Ghost 2006. It is hard to describe, but it is a silver-grey with a touch of purple?
Serial # 204, the 4th gun of the "Prototype" pre-production models.
"What?" You say... Here's a brief history lesson. Team Blowfish won four of these guns as part of a deal/sponsorship/tournament. The four guns given were serial #'s 201, 202, 203, and 204. Serial numbers 202, and 203 were sold on ebay already. I now have 204. According to LAPCO: These guns were not supposed to be sold or released to the general public. They were loaners until the production guns were ready, and these would be traded in for the final production model. LAPCO wanted their feedback on these guns for improvements to be made prior to the final release.
Blowfish denies all this, and says that it is absurd to demand this. Needless to say, the guns were sold despite LAPCO asking them not to, or maybe demanding them not to. I'm not here to take sides, just that is what I've read on/off the boards.
------------ First Impressions:
The gun is very clean. Nice anno job. The first thing that struck me was the patented smoothness of the trigger, and the lightness of the overall gun. So much so, I've been debating whether or not the stock class feed was titanium or not.. it isn't, but overall very light. I do not have an official weight yet, but will in the future.
The standard brass quick strips are a nice touch and remind me of class and the older ghosts. These could possibly be old stock brass left over as they were not as shiny as you would think, but I can not be certain. Either way, I love seeing them on the gun.
What I didn't love seeing on this gun, was that everything was TM'd, or trademarked. Grey Ghost (tm) and LAPCO (tm) are on the gun. I don't mind someone Trade Marking their name, this is expected, but I don't need to see it on the gun. Seemed to take away from the gun.
I quickly noticed that the stock class feed was held in by and allen bolt
This is a key feature to me, as it means that the feed is removable, and can be replaced with a direct feed... The bolt on feature also means that the direct feed can easily be right, left, or center feed with the same gun. A key selling point for both LAPCO and aftermarket makers.
The "sight rail" on top I found to not be very useful, as it is too low, and the plastic feed cap widget is higher then the sight rail. But, I don't see them making the sight rail higher as that would probably look funny.
Adding on a Ghost sight/ring would make a world of a difference, and might be something they could have as an addition down the road.
Another downside is that the feed/sight rail is made out of plastic. While this keeps the weight and price down, since a bolt does go through it, I see this as a breaking point and downside to this gun.
Another negative is the un-godly amount of threads on the feed tube, and how many turns it took for me to get it in there, and how difficult it was to thread it into the plastic. Not sure how the plastic threads will hold up over the long run.
Last negative is that the feed retaining cap is too loose. It quickly came off by accident for me, and this was without use. I'll have to use some black electricians tape under it, or drill a hole for a nylon set retaining screw.
----------- Taking the gun apart
The dropout changer looks like a phantom drop out to me, but not being a phantom expert, I can not be sure. I personally do like the placement of the vertical 12 gram changer. It gives the gun a tighter look and feel. It also kept the changer well out of my way when pumping.
The braided line did give it that old school look, but an easily removed hard line would have made for a better product.
The grip frame is taped for a stock.
The ASA is longer, but that did not bother me, and I think will make for a better gun.
There are two holes for air to pass through into the valve area, which goes around the allen bolt hole. Definately 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, but were still not tapered like the Carter Machine power tubes.
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. Not sure how much this would be needed, but can see a use for it.
The hammer is the LAPCO hammer that we have all come to know and look forward to using.
You can see on the hammer sear where it has been heat treated and ground.
The velocity adjusting rod that came with the gun is not a down the barrel adjusting rod. To use this rod, the barrel must be removed first, as the rod is far too short.
Thankfully, you can remove this barrel without having to remove the pump arm, which is an improvement above the LAPCO Daystar's removable barrel, but the fitting is still a tad bit too tight.
The pump arm itself is plastic, not unlike its prior models. The pump arm does have improvement with it being more refined and ergonomic. I do prefer this newer pump handle.
The pump arm still has the ability to scratch this nice anno. The simpilest remedy is to put some sort of nylon spacer between the pump arm and bolt to keep the arm just slightly off the body to prevent scratching. Simple and easy, yet still not there.
The barrel is one of LAPCO's best, and also includes an o-ring at it's base for a nice fit. These are Autococker threads from what I can tell, I will have to verify this later.
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. PRO / CON Break Down
Nice Anno Job
Removable Feed - Direct Feed (left, right, or center) Possible
Adjustable Sliding Trigger
Comfortable Pump Arm
LAPCO Power Tube, and Valve Seat
Adjustable Bolt w/ Nylon set screw
Great Overall Feel and Grip
Smooth Pump and Quick Return Spring
15 round stock class feed Con:
Pump arm still scratches body
Too many threads in stock class feed tube
Sight rail needs a ghost sight (too low for usage)
Feed retaining cap too loose.
ASA not quick strip. (possibly can not be avoided though)
Velocity adjusting rod is not a down the barrel type, barrel must be removed
Single Pump Arm
TM's - Everything is trademarked and it makes sure it says so. Overall
I give this gun a 7 out of 10 for looks, the braided line knocks it down 1 for me, and the plasic feed drops it down another.
Mechanically, I give this a 7 out of 10. Lack of a down the barrel velocity adjuster, plastic parts, and feed tube (a highly abused part) not being ready for the job.
Upgradable, this gun deserves a 10 out of 10 for being nelson based, instead of changing bodys, you can change feeds, allowing for more durable aftermarket feed systems and multiple direct feed options.
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. OVERALL: 8 out of 10 Suggested improvements:
LAPCO, if you are listening. While I don't care for the platic feed portion, you've made it ok by having it removable. Add in a ghost sight/ring, and it will be made 100% better.
Hardline. Enough said. It will just improve the looks.
Please drop the (tm's) on the gun. Just makes if feel like a gun that should be used by a Lawyer, and not a paintball player. I feel like we've lost the love to legaleze. Maybe that's the reality now-a-days, and I'm just naive, but the simplicity is best.
Double pump arm. Just because it is the new ghost, doesn't mean we can't think out of the box. The Grey Spirit was perfect with the double pump arm. It gave the pump action more stability.
Clean up the brass. The cut off nubs were still there, just a little more grinding would have made these perfect.
Nylon spacer between the bolt and pump arm to avoid the scratching.
Make sure the plastic feed retaining cap has a tighter fit. TO BE CONTINUED:
As soon as I get a chrono.