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Illusion Brain Vomit

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    Illusion Brain Vomit

    Okay so I've been screwing around with my illusion to set it up low pressure and had a bunch of observations on how different adjustments affected the gun so here goes. First the setup:

    Action Markers Illusion (Pro? Red/black fade with the round front pump)
    Valves tested: stock, flyweightnate LP valve
    Poppets tested: Stock, Lapco spyder, AM Diadem (I think) high flow/LP
    Regulator: WGP Black Magic
    Barrels: CCM 12" w/ .681 sizer, Dye UL .680 back/14" front

    Final setup/tune:
    Stock valve
    Diadem poppet
    14" Dye UL .680
    WGP Black Magic HPR: 1 turn out from all the way in
    Front adjustment: 3ish turns out from all the way in. Just in far enough to hear the poppet bottom on the valve spring guide

    *I do not have a chronograph so all velocity observations are from relative distance of each shot on a standard distance target (a bucket in the back yard)*

    So right up front I'll say I didn't use the flyweightnate valve at all successfully. It's a wonderfully made valve and it's very possible I'm the only one having a problem but I can't get any of the valve stems to seal. Tried all 3 and even gently lapped the Diadem cup seal to the valve but again very gently with toothpaste as a lapping compound. Didn't get it to seal but it did slow the leak down the barrel. Also during all this I had the reg adjustment screw backed way off and it wasn't until swapping the stock valve back in that I realized that I needed the adjuster all the way in for the lower pressure adjustment so it was straight tank pressure or whatever the WGP top pressure is to the valve. Definitely part my fault and I'm going to circle back to that valve and try to possibly be a little more aggressive in my lapping to match the seal corner to the angle of the valve face. Flyweightnate has been super cool and helped me out several times to try and get this to seal including sending me the different cup seals to try out.

    On the poppets, the stock one is straight sided with a nylon cup seal and so is the Lapco spyder seal. The spyder seal has a cut in the side of the stem for blowback as does the Diadem cup seal. The diadem cup seal had an hourglass valve stem to have much better flow. In fact it's so skinny in the middle it reminds me of an AKA Tornado cup seal. The Diadem cup seal has a very noticeably higher flow/velocity than the stock or Lapco seals because of the stem shape. The one thing that concerned me was the blowback cuts on the Lapco and Diadem stems causing hammer bounce or blowback from the rear of the gun. The gun had a distinctive sputtering sort of "fart" shot with the pump handle held forward after being tuned in with the Diadem stem (with blowback cut). After re-installing the stock valve stem it had an equally noticeable fart if not maybe worse. A little fiddling with the adjustments can really reduce the farting and best results were with the Diadem poppet after some tuning.

    Tuning adjustments consist of the regulator adjustment and the clever little valve spring preload/valve chamber volume adjuster that the Illusion has when you adjust it with a wrench down the pump handle. Basically what this front adjuster does is adjust the valve spring tension instead of the hammer spring tension like in most snipers. The second and for this project very neat thing it does is move a piston that is also the spring seat either farther in or out of the valve chamber which affects the volume of the chamber. I started at 2 turns out from all the way in on the front adjusting screw which is a Redneck Sniper thing I remember from way back on his recommendations when installing a reg with the stock valve. This 2 turns out wasn't quite enough and when screwing the front adjuster out the valve sputter was reduced. I lost track of turns but my final adjustment was about 3 to 3.5 turns out from seated. On the HPR I have it set in the middle of it's range, probably about 300-350psi but impossible to tell without an inline pressure tester. This yielded a nice soft shot as opposed to the sharp high pressure one it had stock and very very minimal valve fart. If you don't hold the pump handle it sounds very slightly louder than my CCM S5 but very hard to tell.

    One major thing I noticed is that at least on my gun the valve spring guide actually is a travel limiter for the poppet. This seems to be kind of a 3rd way the front adjuster changes velocity aside from the volume and valve spring preload. I noticed this when the grip frame was off and I could see the hammer face push the valve in. It was clear to see that with the adjuster all the way in the valve could only open about half way. With everything back together and the gun with it's somewhat final tune I ended up running the front adjuster back in about 1 full turn to the point that when I pushed the cocking rod forward the hammer no longer made a metallic clank on the valve face but a soft plastic-on-plastic sound of the poppet bottoming on the valve spring guide. I think this is the reason why so many of the Illusions suffered from the valve face peening and dragging on the valve was owners would run this adjustment too far out and allow the hammer to bottom on the valve face rather than have it cushioned by the poppet and spring guide. After this adjustment of 1 full turn in from where it was about 285fps I expected to see a much lower velocity but without any HPR adjustment it was very close to where it was before but with even less to almost no valve fart. Just a nice crisp shot even with the pump held forward. The velocity couldn't have dropped more than 10fps and a little nudge of the HPR adjustment had it right back where it needed to be. I think I will leave the front adjustment at that where the valve can open fully but is stopped at its forward most travel by the spring guide and just adjust velocity through the HPR at this point.

    One massive improvement that was kind of a lark was the barrel swap. I noticed early on that I was struggling with velocity and the shot was very loud when using the 12" CCM barrel with the short back sizer and dug out a 14" Dye UL that I had mistakenly gotten with a .680 back when I wanted a .688 for one of my Matrices. The .680 was an excellent fit for the test paint I have and after putting that barrel on the velocity was a LOT higher than the CCM barrel and the shot signature was far better. This barrel allowed me to drop the HPR quite a bit lower and run the front adjustment further in. As a bonus the barrel matches the dust black and I have a matching .693 back and freedummy wedgits to try out later on. Plus I just really like the porting and shape of dye barrels and the 14" points much nicer.

    Overall I'm really happy with this setup. It had a great soft shot, shoots straight, and is much smaller/lighter than my nearest comparable gun (CCM Series 5).

    Next projects: Try aggressively lapping a poppet to the Flyweightnate valve body, try the .693 back/ Freedummy wedgits. Will try to post pictures of some of these things later but it's late and I don't feel like tearing the gun apart again for pictures.