I've been in the game of paintball for quite a while now, and I've always been impressed by quality in the industry. One company that provides quality products is AKA (www.akalmp.com)
. I've shot a Viking before, and in fact, a friend of mine has a nice Red 03 Viking that I'm looking at buying from him.
I have some questions concerning the differences in the Viking and Excalibur markers from AKA.
The Viking is open bolt, and seems to perform identically to most electro-pneumatics. I've worked on my buddy's marker from time to time, and it is about as easy as my Intimidator to understand and setup.
The Excalibur is a closed-bolt marker, and although I've never fired one, let alone take one apart, I'm assuming that it performs similar to a Viking, with the ram operation reversed so that it is closed before the firing sequence begins.
There have been MANY arguments over time as to whether closed-bolt or open-bolt provides more accuracy in paintball, but I always argue that the PAINT makes the biggest difference, and that if you buy quality paint, have a properly tuned regulator (read: consistent), and use a decent barrel, your accuracy will be much the same as any other gun out there. If someone has conclusive scientific evidence to the contrary, I'd be happy to read it. Which leads me to my questions:
1) Why is the Excalibur more expensive? Even in stock configuration, they look unmilled (just like the Viking), and the only noted difference that I see is the method of operation, although it uses the same electronics.
2) Do Excaliburs come with two solenoids? I thought the original markers were only single solenoid, and that the newer ones MAY have a 2nd, but I'm unsure if that is true or not...
3) Is either marker faster than the other? I'd tend to think the Viking provides a higher rate of fire (instantaneous and sustained), but again I've never shot an Excalibur.
4) Are there any differences in accuracy or reliability? If the Excal in fact has 2 solenoids, I'd tend to think it would be less reliable, simply because it has more parts that could stop working.
Hopefully, someone who knows a bit about AKA markers will be able to answer these questions. I don't have access to PBN at work, and I know that the AKA forum is pretty extensive over there, but I'd be interested to know what PBC members think. If I do buy this Viking, I'll need to sell a few things (keep a lookout for a nice brass KP2 and a 99STO autococker...) Thanks in advance!