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Old 08-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Running 'Cats on HPA?

OK, I've got two Thundercats that I bought, intending to hold onto them until my son (now 7) was old enough to play. The compact size and light weight seem like a perfect combo for a young player. Plus, I'm not sure what quality of gun will be available down the road, and I know these things are built like tanks.

So, I haven't played with either of them yet, just fiddled with them in the shop. It seems like both of them will cycle just fine on CO2, but neither reliably recocks on HPA. I've tried bumping up the recock jet as far as 2-1/2 turns, but not all the way to 3.

Due to a number of factors (CO2's lack of availability at some field, high cost of refills at local shops, and the fact that most folks actually check hydro dates on CO2 tanks these days), it seems most cost-effective and long-term solution is to just find a way to make these work with HPA.

So, is anyone else using their 'Cats on HPA reliably? If so, did you have to do anything special to make it work? Are my two just weird (which is a distinct possibility...I seem to attract guns with odd issues)?
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you firing them with or without paint? That makes a big difference if they'll recock or not. My Alley Cat is tuned (on co2) so it won't unless shooting paint.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HurtCow View Post
Are you firing them with or without paint? That makes a big difference if they'll recock or not. My Alley Cat is tuned (on co2) so it won't unless shooting paint.
Without paint. I need to set up an indoor range, I guess. That's what garages are for, right?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The velocity screw in the side of the gun is crucial to compressed air tuning. as you turn it in and block the air down the barrel it forces more air to the rear of the bolt.
Adjust the recock to flush with the side of the gun and turn the velocity down until it recocks properly(with paint).
you can increase your velocity with the rear adjuster, but you may just have to deal with low velocity using compressed air. mine maxes out around 275.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You think a regulator and a softer valve spring would help (lower pressure + increased dwell = more air through the system)? Efficiency would suffer, but air refills are usually free, and as long as it'll get through a couple games on a fill, it'll be good enough.

Also, in terms of velocity, maybe a tighter paint-barrel match would help?
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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these are fun to tune. just take the barrel off and put your thumb over the breech and fire with the velocity screw backed all the way out. fire the marker as you turn the screw in till it refuses to recock then turn up a notch. same as tuning a lpr.

i can shoot perfect 280s all day. oh and its a vertical valve with the spring being the perfect size. i could see lots of leaks from there if spring tention is reduced
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've found the higher pressure output tank you have, the better. If you don't have a high pressure output tank that can go up to 850psi, you might not get to velocity.

And yes, a tighter paint to barrel match will always help.

The last time I took my Cat out to the field, I couldn't get above 260 for whatever reason. I was using a Pure Energy high pressure output that delivered 850psi consistently. I didn't mess around with the rear adjuster, like capital said, but I think that might be the key. The rear adjuster works, in a sense, like a dwell setting, the stronger the spring tension that forces the bolt forward, the harder the impact on the valve and the longer it will stay open. (at least that's how I would think it would work)

You might try a lighter valve spring, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone messing around with that option. I'd be curious to see what you come up with.

Me, I have an adjustable Air America reg on one of my bottles. I pumped it up to 950psi and kept my settings the same. (I think velocity screw flush with the body and about 1.5 turns from closed on the recock and a couple turns on the rear adjuster) I took it out to the forest one day and found it was shooting at velocity (didn't have a chrono to test it however)
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My 68/45 tank has a Crossfire reg putting out about 800 PSI. With that tank, it barely pushed a ball out the barrel and didn't recock (granted, this was a quick test at the chrono range, I didn't fiddle much with the adjustments).

I also have a 13/3k tank with a Ninja reg that puts out a consistent 850 PSI. Unfortunately, I don't have any air in that tank to test with right now. But, since, even if it works, that 13 ci would be lucky to last about 100 shots, I just ordered a Ninja 48/3k. Since that has the same reg as the 13/3k, it seems like it should work.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've had four cats and they were all a little different.
They seem to like having something on the front ASA when you are trying to work on HPA. I don't think that long skinny passage through the body is very helpful for high flow. A blind gas thru grip seems to help.

Make sure the hammer/bolt is clean and lubed and the valve stem is not too long or the stem hole isn't worn oblong.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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correct for thundercats something must be in front of the chamber. alley cats will shoot ether way however....even though its almost the same gun
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