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Old 06-04-2008, 08:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My Nit picking review of the Redux R018

My Nit picking review of the Redux R018


It’s hard to know what criteria on which to evaluate a marker like the Redux. It is in many ways a reproduction of the famous Desert Duck, yet some necessary redesigns have been made. The hard part about beginning to redesign something is knowing where to stop. Style has always comes first with the Duck and the changes made should not compromise that sense of style. I appreciate Mongo’s loyalty to the original but there are some parts of the original Duck that have been carried over unnecessarily in my mind.

First, I want to make it clear that I love this piece. As established by the recent ebay auction, Mongo is undercharging for his work. This is the best bargain for a hand-built marker I have ever run across. The fit and finish are superb, certainly on par with the original Ducks. Some details really struck me as above and beyond what you might expect even in a high-end stockgun such as the forward and rear stops on the slide trigger, which I have never seen standard on any comparable marker, included what Carter is currently producing. I know the Redux started as a quest to make a more easily mass produced Duck. In doing someone might expect that some corners would be cut to simplify production. Instead the Redux is probably more work to make than the original Ducks were. The Redux isn’t a reproduction of the Duck so much as an update.

The most notable refinements include the freak-sleeved barrel and bolt-on feed tube. The addition of a freak compatible barrel insures that the Redux won’t suffer from bad paint-match like Ducks often do. This alone makes the Redux a markedly more playable marker than the Duck.

The updated feedtube is more of a mixed bag in my opinion. Old SC Ducks typically had one piece feed tubes wielded in place. These looked nice because they did little to disrupt the lines of the gun aside from an ugly weld bead. Personally, while fitted parts are certainly an improvement over a wielding job, I don’t think the Redux’s feed is quite as aesthetically pleasing because of the bulk it adds. It certainly is easier to maintain however. The three-piece system it uses is much easier to clean, which makes a big difference if you are unfortunate enough to be hit on the feed tube and stuck trying to clean out paint in between games like I was. I would have to say that the easy of maintenance is a fair trade for aesthetics in this case. I have to say that the redesigned feedtube that Carter appears to be using now looks superior to what the Redux uses.


The real trouble that I have with it is that I found that the feedtube sits too far off the marker, allowing two paintballs to stack above the bolt if you aren’t careful. In addition to not being technically stock legal, the way the Redux feeds with the feedtube moving across the body leads to these two balls being compressed against each other making the action difficult. All of this can be avoided by a practicing the quick deliberate pump stroke necessary for playing Stock Class ball well. If you are already an experienced player you might not ever notice but pump n00bs beware.
Playing with a stockgun in the modern paintball environment requires good paint and a good barrel match. The freak inserts make this possible, though I was saddled with sub-par field paint that made it difficult. A ten round tube of paint would contain 6 good balls, two rollouts and two balls too large to chamber properly on the first try. Even with those tightly packed balls I never had a break. I attribute this to the addition of a Phantom style TCP, another useful addition to the Duck. It’s interesting to note that the Redux barrel is about an inch longer than the Freak insert, meaning that you could conceivably shorten up the Redux a little, which might be a good project for some up and coming machinist.

Internally the Redux is a Phantom Bolt and Hammer with a Lapco #4 powertube. This certainly works, though I have always found Lapco internals to be smoother if more difficult to obtain. If I get the chance I’ll probably put a #6 tube and fluted hammer in.

The Redux uses a slider trigger that just plain looks badass. The pull is smooth and the trigger is well fitted but the release is quite heavy and late in the pull. This is characteristic of the Carter slide frames I’ve used and is carried over into the Redux. Like some of the Carter slides, a slow pull won’t engage the trigger. I think that using a Lapco style sear that engages well behind the hammer could solve this since it would allow for much more leverage. A notable improvement over most other nelson slide triggers is the use of a stainless steel pin to trip the sear; this harder metal is unlikely to wear out against the steel of the sear like aluminum does.

For a certain population of paintball players, being able to sight down the top of their barrel is incredibly helpful. Like the original ducks, the Redux has iron sights to help that. They aren't adjustable but you hardly need them to be. I've found sights on paintball markers only helpful for hitting small targets at close range and that is what the Redux is sighted for. A strip of day-glow paint would be useful on the front sight but this is an easy fix.

The Redux is a Duck. All pretentious humility aside, in building these markers Steve Brett has joined the ranks of the old time airsmiths who crafted paintball markers with the same care that gunsmiths use in their craft. Whatever the old Desert Ducks were, the Redux is. I can only hope that there will be those out there who further customize them in the spirit of the early Ducks. The Redux is no technical marvel; ultimately it’s just a glorified nelspot just like the Ducks were. Fully tuned the Redux will throw darts with the best of them and the craftsmanship of the piece is second to none. This is functional art and in light of what Carter Machine is asking for their version of the Duck, its an absolute steal. I believe that the recent Redux ebay auction pretty accurately reflects what the fair value of a Duck is. With Steve Brett undercharging and Earon Carter overcharging the market for these markers is in a very strange place. Carter clearly doesn't want to make them all that badly and I can't help but think that Mongo won't be able to sustain production, at least not at this price point. Those of us who have been around the custom paintball world for a while have seen this sort of happen over and over again. An airsmith comes, does awesome work, but burns out after a few years because he can't make enough money off of the work he is doing. I've seen it before and I'm worried it'll happen again here. So get one while you can. Steve Brett has been honorable beyond what anyone could hope for and he isn't taking pre-order money, which puts him a notch above just about any other operation but who knows what the future holds. If you get one, consider yourself lucky, no opportunity this good can last forever.

What’s Awesome:
The Solid Build, It will be around for your grandkids
The looks you get at the field
The freak compatible barrel
The price
Everything cool about the Duck is here

Room for Improvement:
The feed really should sit closer to the body on a SC marker
A sear re-design would really help the trigger pull
The sights need to be better marked

Last edited by The Long Ranger; 06-19-2008 at 06:47 PM. Reason: edited to add pics and updated to reflect the re-release of the Carter Duck
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great review. The feed tube initially bugged me as well, but I got over that quickly.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great Review. Throw a photo in between each of your well written paragraphs to keep people interested. Nice to hear.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Anything you would like pictures of specifically?
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Long Ranger View Post
Anything you would like pictures of specifically?
Multi Angles and broken down?
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A lower profile feddtube wouldnt be hard to do. Im sure the existing one could be profiled down to make the tube sit closer to the body.

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Old 06-05-2008, 08:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lone Ranger - I meant just any pictures to break up the read. I dont think most people read whole articles all at once like that :P

Picture of the feedtube after the feed tube paragraph, picture of the gun at the beginning, and a picture of the broken down gun at the end. It isnt neccesary but it would just make it nicer I think.

Great read, and that is the kind of thing that would bother me too.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Very good read, very good breakdown. I wont be getting one of these guns either way, but I enjoyed reading that. Very objective.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Updated with pictures and some added thoughts in light of Carter's re-release of the Duck.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just received my Redux from Mongo. I'll have a very in depth review of my marker up soon as well.

TLR - GREAT photos. The SC feed doesn't look nearly as off set after seeing he way it mounts up.
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