View Single Post
Old 11-08-2012, 11:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
Mad Science of Paintball
DocsMachine's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011

Originally Posted by idkfa View Post
Is it possible to have a magnet retained barrel that can be pulled straight out?
-No reason why not. It'd be kind of a trick to find magnets of the right shape, and I'm not sure how you could reliably retain them to the barrel breech (which would be kind of thin) but really, there's very little pressure on the barrel when the gun fires.

I remember reading somewhere that when Doc was doing research for his 'Mag adaptor, he had grabbed a handful of different WGP barrels that were made over the years and found some variances in THEIR cocker threading.
-Yep. I had, back then, at least two dozen different 'Cocker barrels, if not three. (Closer to four now. ) And I sat down to measure 'em, and got a huge- relatively speaking- range of sizes.

Some were easy to explain- the J&J Hardchrome, for example, was handmade. J&J made almost all of their brass, hardchromed brass, and early stainless barrels by hand, turned and single-point threaded on manual lathes, so some variation was to be expected.

Others, not so much- a DAC Tulip, a production CNC made barrel by a Brit maker, which was horribly oversize. To this day I've only seen one or two stock 'Cocker bodies that it'd screw into. I've always suspected the maker probably measured a used/worn 'Cocker body to get their dimensions. That or skipped a decimal when doing an inch-to-millimeter conversion. )

Another is my original, early-run stainless AutoSpirit, the famous 304 stainless, mostly-full-diameter model that by itself outweighs a complete first-gen Ego. The threads are very close to dimensionally perfect, but the thread peaks come to a sharp point. Thus, it won't screw in to anything but the loosest or most-worn bodies. I've had to run a tap down a couple of markers just to get it to fit- the tap doesn't necessarily recut the threads, but mostly just digs out the "points" of the thread grooves so it'll fit.

Doc, please write a book. Please? Seriously. Before the primary sources die off, someone needs to do it.
-I'd love to, but really, I know very little compared to people like Tom Kaye, Bud himself, Glenn Palmer, etc. I could write what I know, but that'd be a very thin book. You just read virtually everything I know about the genesis of the 'Cocker barrel, and a chunk of that is speculation.

Dunno what SP's excuse was. Gonna guess it was something similar.
-Several of the "other" barrel threads were done, as the OP hinted, to make it faster to remove the barrel.

As I said, Bud's original plan was very different. Most markers didn't even have removable barrels at the time (PGP's and PMI-1's, Phantoms with the original "unibody", Grey Ghosts, WinTecs, Nel-Spots, etc.) so just being able to remove it at all was a new idea, regardless of how fast it could be unscrewed.

And, most of the reason Bud went with a removable barrel anyway, wasn't to change bores or even just lengths, but calibers. The original Snipers were advertised as being able to switch, depending on what paint the field had available (distribution then wasn't what it is today) or what you preferred.

So you could remove the .68 caliber barrel and bolt, and switch over to a .62 or even a .50 cal if you wanted.

'Course, that as an option died out at about the same time as those latter calibers did anyway- the .68 always outranged the others, so anyone with the choice used it. It then became, why offer an option nobody bought?

So by the time the Sniper II came out (basically the production version, the original Snipers were made from bar stock in Bud's garage) the caliber-swap option was long gone and quietly forgotten.

But, the point was, who cared how long it took to unscrew the barrel? You generally only did it between games, or even just first thing in the morning, not out on the field- pull through squeegees wouldn't be invented for another six or eight years.

Now, for later markers, this obviously changed. As semiautos rose, and then electros arrived, as well as tourneys where big money was on the line, it became important to be able to clean a goopy barrel quickly. So various manufacturers tried other ideas.

The original Shocker duplicated the 'Cocker breech end, but gave it a slightly coarser double lead thread so it'd unscrew faster. WDP did more or less the same thing with the Angel- a coarse (albeit normal single-lead) thread so it'd unscrew faster. ICD stepped up even further and made a quad lead thread which unscrews completely in about a turn and a half.

SP improved on the Shocker by making the thread coarser still- and still double lead. An Ion barrel pops out in about two turns.

As mentioned, Tippmann went with the extremely coarse Model 98 thread simply because they were die-casting the threads directly into the body shells. If they'd tried anything much finer, they'd likely have had a huge scrap rate where thread peaks didn't properly fill in during casting.

The only problem with all of those, however, gets back to the corporate inertia- there's already a huge market of, and existing supply of, 'Cocker barrels, and if you're developing a new gun, why make it take your competitor's barrel threads, rather than the ones everyone already owns?

Doc's Machine. Fixing, fiddling and transmogrifying markers since 1998.
The Whiteboard. Vaguely paintball-related absurdity every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Doc's Online Store! Doc's eBay Store!
The Definitive Guide to Paintball in the Movies!
DocsMachine is offline   Reply With Quote