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Old 08-09-2007, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wanting a mag, what do i look out for

I hear nothing but good about mags, which is making me very interested in one. I know essentially 0 about them so i have a ton of questions. There may be a post that answers all of these but i didnt see it and figured it would be sticky if it existed.

Before i start blasting questions out I should tell you what im looking for so you know where im coming from. I belong to a scenario ball team in washington. Im a back player so i need something that shoots decently quick (i consider a solid 3-5 bps good enough, more than that isnt often needed), and gets good gas efficiency and range. I'd like to stay away from electronics cause of the rain, but im not scared of them since i can seal them. Would a mag be good for me and why? how quiet are they?

I can start to see the difference in the types, like where the air input is, but what is the main difference between the Mini, pneu, classic, etc. Are there some that stand out as better? Does RT mean "response trigger" like the tippmann ones?

Whats the basic operation - Nelson, powertube, something ive never heard of? Its extremely small which is a big reason im into it.

I notice the there are different levels of bolts, valves, etc. Is the higher number always better? At what level is all around good achieved.

im not new to the sport or working on markers, just always had spyders and never held or looked at a Mag. I've never been completely satisfied with my MR3 and i want a sweet woodsball gun.

Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pro's for my Automag (68 Classic)which I just recently acquired...

It was VERY quiet compared to my 98's and Spyders.
They are very simple in design, and easy to take apart and clean.
Definitely the fastest NON RT mechanical I've ever shot.
If someone handed you all the parts to an Automag in a bag, you would probably be like....Thats it? lol. Anyways... Just find yourself a cheap 68 classic or something to see if you like them or not.

Hope this helps a little bit...
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll answer some questions, although I'm sure that someone here will correct me.

Operation is blow-forward, spring return. Imagine a cork that pops off of a champagne bottle and is pushed back into place by a spring. It has a built-in regulator and runs at between 400 and 600 psi (I think). The design gives it pretty good gas efficiency. There're no hammers striking any valves as in a spyder or most other mech semi-autos, so combined with its lower pressure operation, it's relatively quiet.

The level 10 bolt kit can prevent chopping paintballs but any other type of bolt (i.e., the level 7) make it very easy to chop a ball that is not all the way in the breach. This shouldn't be a problem if you shoot 3-5 bps, but if you shoot any faster, you'll probably chop a ball at one point or another.

Mags are well-built guns that are relatively easy to maintain (go check out the automag training video on youtube). because all the parts are inside the body, you can use this thing in the rain and mud and it should keep working.

Go over to Automags.org and read about mags to your hearts content. Then, post a WTB somewhere and you should be able to get a good used mag for $100-150.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Good notes sdawg. Just a quick clarification, Mags like HIGH pressure. You may not be able to run one very effectively at 600 psi and 400 is right out. Make sure you have a tank that pushes a good solid 800 psi for best results.

RT does stand for reactive trigger. On a side note, the higher you set your pressure the more reactive the trigger becomes. It's not as powerful, nor as tunable as the Tippmann RT effect, but it is nice and snappy.

Level 7 is the standard bolt on most Automags. If you would happen to trip across a level 5 system it would be like finding a copper 43 penny. There just aren't many out there at all. Lots of folks like the level 7 bolt. If 3 to 5 a second is all the faster you ever shoot you may never need to upgrade.

The level 10 bolt is about an 80 dollar upgrade. It provides pretty much infallible mechanical anti-chop. It also drops your efficiency a bit on gas consumption, and adds some complexity to an incredibly simple valve system. Some folks have real trouble getting theirs tuned. I've never really had any problems at all. However, I do know how to read English and follow simple written instructions, so I may have a head up on some paintballers.

Mags are incredibly modular. The guts from one can just about fit in any other, so the real differences in the models come in the valves.

The original Mag was the 68 Automag, now called the 68 classic. It's characterized by a stainless valve body. Its trigger is non-reactive and it comfortably cycles 8-10 bps with no shoot-down. Over that speed however, unless you are pushing a LOT of pressure to the valve you start dropping velocity.

To combat the drop off and address a few issues with engineering AGD next came out with the Automag RT. This is now known as the classic RT to help differentiate between the later RT Pro designation. The Automag RT had several engineering changes including an airpath that ran through the rail of the gun as opposed to externally. This option coupled with a gas through banjo bolt holding the valve in make the classic RT the only mag that you really can't mix and match with. The Classic RT valve is aluminum and steel, and will typically be black and silver. It is also restricted to compressed air only. CO2 use in an RT will cause uncontrollable velocity spikes with rapid fire.

Once the RT hit, it was a pretty big deal, and there were a lot of folks that wanted the RT functionality without giving up on their investment, (Mags were running something like $500.00 at the time.) so AGD came up with the ReTro valve, an RT platform valve that fit into the existing bodies/rails. The ReTro valve is nearly identical to the RT except that it does not have the banjo fitting, and is dark grey and silver as opposed to black and silver. Functionally, it is identical.

The RT Pro is basically the same thing as a ReTro valve. AGD cleaned up the non-modularity of the RT classic and released a mix and matchable RT. It maintains the grey/silver color scheme.

The X valve is the next step in the process. Very similar to the RT valve, the X valve body is made from high strength aluminum to cut down on the weight of the older stainless valves. The X valve also comes stock with a level 10 bolt. There were a few colors run, but the vast majority of these are black. All RT, ReTro, RT Pro, and X valved guns can shoot in excess of 26 bps with no shootdown.

As far as bodies are concerned, there are many available. In stainless steel, there are powerfeed right, powerfeed left, right feed and center feed. The MiniMag was the first mag to offer a vertical ASA in front of the trigger. This would allow you to screw in a bottle up front as opposed to the horizontal ASA at the rear of the gun using the bottle like a rifle stock. Hence the "Mini" designation to the body even though it was actually longer than the non-mini body. Mini bodies are characterized by a "shroud" cutout at the front of the body that resembles a heat shield on a machine gun.

In Aluminum, there are center feed, and warp left and warp right bodies available. The aluminum ULE (ultra light engineering) bodies came out in response to the market wanting pretty colors and lighter bodies on their markers. Instead of the standard AGD twist lock barrel design, they take the more industry standard Autococker threaded barrels.

So, with the modularity of mags, you could easily have an xvalved, stainless steel, powerfeed hopper left bodied mag. Just as easily you could have a classic valved, ULE bodied mag. All of the old components go with all of the new with the exception of the Classic RT guns.

They're great shooters. Low maintenance and good design. I still get kids asking me what kind of shocker I'm shooting.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have owned and played with some very nice mags, and the one bad thing about that is, I can honestly say I know nothing about them! They rarely had a problem, so I never had to take them apart, and never learned how they work.

-but- I can suction time an autococker with my eyes closed, and I wouldn't own another AC.


On the L7 vs. L10 side of things, I recenlty switched back to a level 7 bolt, because I use a force fed hopper (Halo), and have no problems with chopping.

I think the level 10 is a must if using a revvy or gravity hopper.

If you only have a revvy, $80 for a lv10 is cheaper than a fancy hopper.

I had recently sold off all my mags and parts, but my life just felt incomplete, so I picked up and RT mag for cheap and I couldn't be happier....
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would consider myself a bit of a mag guy at this point, owning an *old* Automag 68 (not a classic, but an original run Automag valve)

not to mention my baby...a Classic 68 valved Pneumag, set up to run on CO2.

So... to start you off....
Air Source!!! if you use HPA, you can use any automag valve you want, if you use CO2, you will want to use a 'Classic 68' or 'Automag 68 A.I.R.' valve.

To be perfectly honest, for scenario and so forth, i would *recommend* CO2 for your mag; it has a higher energy density than HPA if your tank gets the chance to warm up a bit after a lot of shooting. This is because CO2 is stored as a liquid (and there can be more of it in a tank) than HPA. To run CO2 on a mag, you really only need an angled drop and a decent expansion chamber, that's all I have on my pneumag, and i have yet to suck liquid CO2 into the valve; you can also run an anti-siphon on your tank for extra insurance.


Now, onto body choices... For scenario, any body will do, you can always paint it with camo patterns. If you want a light marker, or want to use cocker threaded barrels, the ULE bodies are rather nice; that being said, i personally like the stainless bodies; they are ultra-durable, and frankly, just damn cool with the twist-lock barrel system.

~barrels~

I have to point this out, twist lock barrels are getting harder to find; i was lucky enough to aquire a whole bunch with my mag, and even luckier to get my hands on a couple from the members here. however, if you can find a couple good twist-lock barrels, you will never need to buy another barrel again; look for J&J, Dye and AGD Crown Point barrels, in my experience, those all shoot really nice.


now... some of the above mentioned 'Warp Bodies', this is a very interesting topic of conversation; a warp body is intended for the warp feed system, a low profile hopper-based feed system that beats a q-loader hands down. what this really means is that you are able to play tighter and have a stunning feed rate in bursts;



I would highly advise going to Automags.Org Online Forums - powered by vBulletin and checking out the AGD picture thread; start at the last page and move backwards.

this will help you alot.


oh yes; my mags are the only markers that i've owned that i would not change a single thing about.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks

Thanks to all for your info. Starting to get an idea of what im looking for. I was lurking at AO last night and will post something over their after this.

So far this is what i have -

I aggree that woodsball gives CO2 the advantage unless your gun is really efficient. you dont want to hike back a half mile in a scenario event to get air. Prob going with a classic valve so i can run CO2, but i run a remote and it will have a palmers stab on it, so no CO2 worries there. Another thing I like about this is my quick disconnect can attach strait to the back of the gun instead of going past my hands. I have a female stab, so i was going to replace the normal on/off of my remote with the stab, set to full open, just to keep any trace of CO2 liquid out of the like. then let the mag reg do its job. I can set the palmers if need be. This sound doable?

I also have a full CCM kit, which is almost identical to the stiffi kit, in AC threads. Because of that I would like a ULE body. between the 2 its quality and quiet squared. Power feed left was interesting to me, maybe if the marker comes with a good barrel i would consider it. Theres also price to consider with the older power feed being likely cheaper. On that note i might just pick up a classic with a decent barrel to get started and spend the $200 max price for a tac one or Ule body. its still cheaper than a new one and i can switch.

this pretty much leaves the grip frame and trigger style. I use a reloader (one of the origionals, feeds at revy rate) so Im going to get a L10 bolt, even if it prevents one chop a year its worth it to me for the comfort. with a classic valve i think it takes away RT and UL tirgger correct? This leaves 3 options for me to research. electric, pneumatic, and mechanical adjusters. mech adjusters arent difficult to install just to get a little quicker response from the trigger. Do the electric frames work with a classic valve, and how durable/sealed are the boards (i live and play in the rain)? I've watched the video on doing the pneumatic but does it really help that much? Honestly at this point if the mech trigger is fairly smooth Im liking the simplicity of it. I just want to make sure that if the team needs me to fire i can spray a burst at a decent rate. And ill be honest i cant pull but barely 10 on my pm standing motionless and test walking the trigger, so im not asking more than 5 or so from the mag.

whew, sorry that was so long.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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as an owner of a pneumatic triggered Automag, i have to say, it kicks some serious rectum.

the trigger pull, although not as light as an electro for me (i have to adjust my lpr pressure though) is short, sweet and just beautiful; of course it has one major advantage over electronics - it's gas-powered so a little rain (or even total immersion) won't hurt it.

moreover, a pneumatic trigger conversion costs about $120-150, depending on where you locate the Low Pressure Regulator and what type of frame you use, if done by Rainman 229 (who i would wholly recommend!) vs. a hyperframe ($150, minimum) or other options which are even more expensive; yes you can do a spydermag conversion, but then you have a spyder frame on a mag, which i find really uncomfortable.


in addition, with pneumatic triggers, you can also do an electro-pneumatic trigger using something like a stock ion board, which is conveniently already set up to run an air-through solenoid valve.
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yah I also have a rainmaker so i know who rainman is, ill contact him for a quote. for any kind of parts for this im a palmers guy. I dont think anyone does it much better than they do. I think ill check his site, they might have packages already set up.

I have heard that you can short stroke a mag kind of like a AC. Is that true, and if so does the pneumatics make it more pronounced than stock or less?

thanks for the info
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if anything, pneumatics make it less likely to happen, as they actuate the sear fully (unless you have some ungodly slow pneumatics)

short stroking in a mag happens when the bolt re-sets, but the dump chamber doesn't fully pressurize, unlike with an autococker, this won't cause a chop, just a 'limp' shot that goes about a quarter or less the distance of a full power shot.

basically, to short stroke a mag, is pulling the trigger and not letting it reset far enough to open the on/off valve enough to fill your dump chamber.

pneumatics would not cause this, because unlike a human finger, they actuate all the way forewards and back automatially on a full trigger pull.
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