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Old 10-25-2009, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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z.bart undercocking kit review part 1 - pre-play

Z.Bart phantom undercocking kit

here are some pictures of the kit on my phantom: Picasa Web Albums - Bryce - z.bart underc...

Disclaimer z.bart sent me this kit to review and give him suggestions for a discount. He sent it to me for the cost of materials and shipping and is offering me a discount on a completed kit at a later date for my review.

Ill start with the negatives. Most of these are completely excusable this is a prototype kit afterall.

1. The fit and finish are a bit lacking. The guide rod isnt as smooth and as clean as it needs to be and this leads to a bit of grinding on the pump stroke.
2. There is a small gap between the mounting block and the front of the grip frame. Its minor, but I would hope that on a final product this curve would match better.
3. The return spring (internal on the pump handle (but thatll be mentioned in the positive stuff)) binds a bit but again, this is a prototype and z.bart said that hes got it solved.
4. There is a set of what I assume is vice marks on the side of the pump handle Im assuming this happened on the drilling or one of the later milling procedures and again, z.bart knows about it and is certainly aware that things like that cant be on a final product.

OK, on to the good stuff.
1. Price. This is a two part issue. With Wevo out of the game theres a real lack of options for undercocking kits for the phantoms. There are still some Wevo kits out there but they certainly wont last forever. Those kits will cost you $60 or more shipped while z.bart is looking at keeping his kits un the mid $40s shipped for these basic kits. Hes going to offer skulls and is talking about doing the ever popular 8-ball as well. Those will cost a bit more but I still expect those to be quite reasonably priced.
2. The kits look good. The one I have is a prototype but its certainly good enough looking to take to the field. Once the small finish problems are worked out these kits should look great.
3. The handle design is quite good. Its short but the finger grooves and thickness make it very comfortable. Many people think that the Wevo kit is too small these should be a bit more comfortable to those people. I love the side grooves Ive really enjoyed pump guns with handles like that since I first played with a PMP industries sniper kit.
4. He offers a skull! Come on, an off the shelf kit with a skull you gotta like that. This is one of the benefits in working with a single person. He can fill the niche requests. Hes talking about doing the pool ball handle as well as the skull.
5. Pump stroke. I'll admit it - I'm a sniper guy. I own and love playing with my phantom - but if asked what my favorite pump gun is - a stacked tube is going to win. This kit really evens the playing field. The pump stroke really cleans up when you move the handle. While not the best pump stroke I've ever felt - this really improves the phantom.
6. All the basics of an undercocking kit. You get a better feeling pump stroke, the handle isn't in your way to aim and the gun looks cool. This isn't specific to the z.bart kit - but hey, what options do you have on the market right now?

Things to keep in mind on this kit.
1. Youre buying from a guy. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Weve all seen the airsmith curve happen. Hopefully z.bart will keep this in mind and keep things in a good scale. Since its just him he can certainly be responsive and treat his customers well but if things expand quickly it can be a dangerous thing as well. We, as consumers, expect products were buying to be sent in a timely manner. As long as z.bart keeps this in mind then this will be a great entry to the phantom aftermarket.
2. The kit I reviewed is a work in process. Im interested to see the finished product. He certainly seems to have everything right as far as attachment and design. The only downsides are some minor machining issues which should resolve out just fine on the finished product.
3. The handle that I have with the partial side notches isnt the final design. Hes going to do a full x handle on the final run including grip tape. I think that the deisgn will offer a great mix between a fat handle and a skinny one. Additionally, the mounting block on the final product will be high strength plastic instead of the aluminum on my kit. This should both look good as well as be sure to avoid any scratching to the front of the grip frame.
4. This is a product made by a player for players. As long as the buyers keep this in mind then this should be a great product to have on the market.

here's a pic that z.bart sent - this is the new handle design:


I'll add a link to my video version of this review when it's done processing.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks, good. The only thing I don't agree with is the plastic mount. All it takes is a slide and you land on it. There's a good chance the block would break. Also, there is certain people who would like to have it anno-to-match options also. Just a thought before the plastic blocks. Over -all looks like a price worthy niche in the options market.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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here's my video - basically says the same thing for more visual types:
YouTube - zbart undercocking kit review - pre play
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintballmarshaltn View Post
Looks, good. The only thing I don't agree with is the plastic mount. All it takes is a slide and you land on it. There's a good chance the block would break. Also, there is certain people who would like to have it anno-to-match options also. Just a thought before the plastic blocks. Over -all looks like a price worthy niche in the options market.
Looking at his pics I would have to say that the mounting block looks to be aluminum.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RabidFuzzle View Post
Looking at his pics I would have to say that the mounting block looks to be aluminum.
yup, this one is - but as I said in my review - he's planning to do it out of plastic.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I cannot see a plastic mounting body, that doesn't wrap the frame, being sufficiently stable. Is there anything to prevent rotation of the entire kit?
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Notice the radius on the Aluminum kit that fits "snuge" I assume against the frame. That is the only thing I see that keeps it from twisting.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flyweightnate View Post
I cannot see a plastic mounting body, that doesn't wrap the frame, being sufficiently stable. Is there anything to prevent rotation of the entire kit?
the mounting block sits against the front curve of the grip frame. It's pinned in there pretty good. But yeah, the Wevo ones wrap around for that exact reason.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Very nice review !
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintballmarshaltn View Post
Looks, good. The only thing I don't agree with is the plastic mount. All it takes is a slide and you land on it. There's a good chance the block would break. Also, there is certain people who would like to have it anno-to-match options also. Just a thought before the plastic blocks. Over -all looks like a price worthy niche in the options market.
I am thinking of doing aluminum as well but it takes allot of machining time to get it to fit the frame tight like i want it to so there is no movement. I have never had or seen in person any of the other kits available, but from pictures i have seen i didn't like the tabs that wrap the sides of the frame to accomplish this. My goal is to be as minimal as possible to keep a clean look, like it was a factory option.

As far as breaking, i don't believe it will. I'm using High Density plastic which is lighter and harder than Delrin commonly called UHMW. The guide rod goes all the way through the block and the mounting bolt actually goes through the rod so the plastic wont flex in the case you described. Although if a person should happen to break one i will fully stand behind my product and replace it free.
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