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VM Empire Where the VM-68's and PMI-3 Come out to play

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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VM querry for a 1st timer

Hey guys, I have an interest in the VM series, but have never owned one before. I've only seen one once the very first time I played in 1995 and never since. During that time in highschool I was seriously considering buying a VMEXC but went with a Tippmann Prolite instead for my first gun. Since then I've only been into Automags and Tippmanns.

Fast foward many years and I'm interested in learning more about them. From viewing a parts diagram and reading some old player FAQ's about them, they actually seem more complicated than I thought in terms of parts and tuning. With them being out of production for many years, how hard is it to keep these beast running? I know its Nelson based, so are parts like cup seals, etc, easy to come by, or substituted with parts from other guns?

Thanks for any info!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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VM's are a stacked tube blowback semis . . . most definitely not nelson based. they can use cocker cupseals, the only tricky bits are the hammer o-ring, but they can be found and they tend to last damn near forever, and the ball feed fingers - but they can also be had with a little searching.

tuning is simple - set valve to largest gas port hole, then use the bolt screw to restrict flow to get ideal velocity. Oh, and run them either with a siphon tube - tuned for it - or setup to prevent liquid into the valve, and also tuned thusly. that is my opinion on them. don't bother with HPA. it can be done, but is not worth it in my opinion. also, throw away the valve spring. gas pressure will close the valve just fine.

my junk parts VM with a vertical tank, expansion chamber, and decent paint tends to have a 10fps spread over the chrono, run on CO2

VM's are heavy, with recoil, and a slow rate of fire for a semi. *puts on firesuit* there are oodles of far superior paintguns out there, at least on paper when matching specs. but VM's are also fun, damn near indestructible, and rewarding. I love them, and when I tend to play semi the VM has been my go to first choice for a long time.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, see I obviously dont know much about them! I read about those finger ball detents being really hard to find and that ProTeam was supposed to make a new one.

I can make my peace with being heavy and outdated, I only own mags and a Tippy Pro Carbine, as long as it has that certain something, magic if you will, when you fire it on the field!

Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey man,

I just got into VM's by accident. I bought a big box of paintball stuff which included two VM-68's. Here is what I've learned in the past week. These are by far the most heavy duty, well built paintball guns I've ever delt with. They are NOT hard to take apart or work on. Once you figure out how they go together its easy. I personally think a cheap Tippmann 98 is a lot harder to work on and more complicated.

I got one of my guns up and running and it is really fun to shoot. Ill be using it the next time I go out. Mine has a bottom line, it also came with a cool stock. Unfortunatly, I cant fit anything bigger than a 9oz on the gun with out taking the stock off. So, I'm using a remote line and HPA. This makes the gun lighter and easier to handle.

As far as parts, O-rings are my biggest problem. Everyone here seems to push a $30 o-ring kit.....I have no idea why. You would think that the guys here would want to find the rings and would want to pay the $1.25 that they are worth, but apparently only one guy on earth knows the proper sizes and price gouges the hell out of everyone else. All I need are the 4 bolt o-rings to get my second VM running, but there is absoultely no way I'm paying $30 for $.75 worth of rubber. The other part that is problematic is the ball detent. Again they sell this part for like $10....unbelievable... There is a parts kit that includes the ball detent and the entire kit is on sale now for like $1.75. I bought a couple of them and that ball detent that is included fits and works PERFECTLY. I'm about to order several more of these kits to stock up on the part.

The last issue that seems to come up alot is valve removal. The proper way to remove the valve is with the valve tool. You can also blow it out with air. I had no problem getting mine out by pounding the completely stripped gun frame straight down on the work bench. After a couple hits it popped out.

I've learned alot about this gun on this forum an some other internet resources. I can't wait to get my second one running as soon as I can figure out where to get the o-rings for a decent price.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tip for making the ball feed fingers last longer - take the feedblock off when not in use
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It would probobly be trivial to drill a hole and add a ball detent. It would have to be a dual.

The orings were always a headache.. even when they were new. The big attraction of aftermarket bolts were that most used no orings at all. You could even get aftermarket hammers without an oring!

Yes, I've tried the generic ones at the hardware store, but they would swell, and jam up the bolt.

But thats all minor stuff. The VM is great because nothing else on the market really looks like it. The aftermarket scene was really massive in the mid 90s. and unlike other early era semis, it was mostly bullet-proof.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Are the specific o-ring sizes known, as well as their material, durometer, etc?

I wonder if they use the expensive 90 durometer urethane kind like mags, if they do then bluh... However, I have plenty of mag parts kits if they use any compatible o-rings, I'm just stingy about using them!
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just don't take the trigger assembly apart. Or if you do be careful and pay attention to how it goes together.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just don't take the trigger assembly apart. Or if you do be careful and pay attention to how it goes together.
Didn't someone make a video of him taking it apart and back together? I'm sure that could help.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Guys, the main thing about the o rings that need to be considered is that they are made out of high durometers or urethane. Those are the correct ones to use. The rubber ones swell and shread. That's why they are more expensive.

Capital Paintball will say that you don't need bolt orings, and that they in fact interupt the recocking by creating too much bolt drag. His group of VM-68ers don't use bolt orings.

On the other hand, I argue the if the right type of o ring is used wth grease, no drag will occur, and not CO2 exhaust is wasted and is properly channeled out the barrel. You don't have to crank the velocity just to get enough co2 behind the ball.

Bolts with out orings do work, BUT they can jam out a ball chop because the tolerances are tighter.


The one thing that has not been made yet is the hammer oring. They oring quite "o rings" but more of a molded washer.

Ball detents? Ron asp and Proteam has a ton of them.
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