What's the deal with Mags?
Can someone tell me about the mags? I know absolutely nothing about them, but see them for sale here all the time. Kind of like Tippmann 98s and A5s. Are these guns similar to 98s and A5s in respect to reliability, and ease of use, and durability?
I would like to add something new to my arsenal and have been considering a mag. What would one look for when buying a used mag?
just about the only thing that can go wrong with them is orings
What are you looking to use it for?
There are quite a few different types of mags out there, or at least different parts that can change the way the marker performs significantly.
Depending on how much you want to spend & how you plan on using it you can go from a pump mag up to an emag for speedball.
They are gloriously simple, built like brick outhouses, and by the very nature of their operation are some of the most accurate markers available.
They are also extremely modular, so if you buy a less expensive model, you can swap parts until you have their flagship gun.
The only downside I can find to them is that they prefer air over CO2 (Some of them aren't rated to work with CO2 at all). However that's not NEARLY the issue that it used to be.
I think 'Mags are great and they're my favorite type of marker. As far as reliability and durability goes, the old "Classic" Automags (I think) are a notch above Tippmanns. I don't think you can get a better mechanical marker.
The basic marker consists of a rail (backbone), trigger frame, body, barrel, and valve. Older 'Mags took a unique twist lock barrel, and newer ones take an Autococker barrel.
Originally you had what is now called a "Classic" Automag. The ones that were made back in the day were only labled .68Automag, and it was after they started making different valve designs that the older style became known as a Classic. The classic Automag's primary differences from newer Automags are the stainless steel body and valve, a twist lock barrel, and the valve design (they work well with CO2).
The next step was the original "RT" automag. These have a reactive trigger. These worked with compressed air only, and all later valve designs also only work with compressed air or nitrogen. The original RT valve is an oddball, in all other cases valves and bodies are (mostly) interchangeable.
Pretty much all the newer valve designs are based on the RT design. What you see today is an "X" valve, which is simply the same valve but in aluminum.
You also had a run of "E-Mags". These are desireable but also costly compared to other electronic markers. Personally if I was looking for an electronic gun I wouldn't go this route. They're still cool though, and they can go from electro to mechanical.
There are different variations of all these basic designs, such as the MicroMag, and a very popular modification called a Pneumag. You can get more details if you visit www.automags.org which is the forum for Automag owners. You can also find a ton of pictures at www.jayloo.com.
If you want a nice reliable marker to work with CO2, get a Classic Automag. You should be able to get one for around $100.
If you have any questions or want to see photos of any of the various types of mags, just drop me a line. My team has pretty much one of every kind of mag you can own. :)
The valve in a mag is also a good regulator, so even the lowliest working mag comes equipped with a regulator included. I can't think of any other marker that can make that claim.
Mags are just lots of fun, from their unique feel when shooting them to the noise they make gassing up. If any marker deserves the "spacegun" title, it's these. They feel like something out of a sci-fi movie.
They're also an amazingly compact design considering their age -- I run a Ricochet AK (on an elbow) and a steel tank on a drop forward. It looks quirky as it's much taller than it is long. :D
It's amazing for close-quarters shooting, though.
custar- a $20 sheridan equalizer :P
But that's also a blow forward...
To add something useful, the ORings are the only part that fails, you do need to replace your bolt return spring once in a blue moon.
Now I have a question, I will never leave CO2, should I really shoot for a classic mag, or would a proclassic work just as well?
The ProClassic Automag is a slightly updated version of the Classic Automag. Both utilize the "Classic" valve and will take CO2. Take precautions to keep liquid out - I use an anti-siphon tank on bottomline and an expansion chamber and it shoots wonderfully in warmer temps. I generally switch to HPA in colder weather as liquid CO2 is the 'Mags nemesis.
Either way, you can't lose. I love my Automag and my only regret is that I didn't get one sooner than two years ago!
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