You don't need that many shims bro (none usually) and you want the largest carrier in there that doesn't leak so go back up to the last one you had in there. Keep going till you get a barrel leak then go back down one. Only reason you'd need to put shims in is if the lvl 10 isn't resetting after it's been tripped. Too many shims will cause a leak. If you want the bolt to be easier on paint, go with one of the longer bolt springs. You'll have to adj the pressure up some more when you change out the spring to get it to fire again FYI.
I echo what Ando said. For optimum performance always use the largest carrier that doesn't produce a leak without any shims installed. Are you using level 10 shims or ULT shims? I'm actually surprised that your setup doesn't leak with 5 shims installed so I am assuming they are thinner ULT shims and not the thicker level 10 shims.
When testing the effectiveness of the level 10 with your finger, make sure you hold it against the bolt face. If you hold it more than 1/4" from the bolt face, the bolt will hit with full, level 7 force and it could hurt.
Changing to a longer stiffer bolt spring makes the level 10 softer on paint. You should be using the bolt spring that allows you to shoot at a velocity that is about 20fps above the lowest velocity that the gun will shoot using the same bolt spring.
Are you getting chops or barrel breaks. Check the inside diameter (id) of your barrel and also the balls at their seams. You should be using a barrel id that just touches the balls on two sides opposite each other at the seams. If the balls are brittle and the barrel id is too tight, then you can have random breaks when shooting. A level 10 bolt won't help with that.
For most people the setup outlined above will make every paintball day a great experience. For those looking to get maximum anti chop with fragile tourney paint we offer the following suggestions. The O-ring friction can be used to additionally slow the bolt down. By going to the next smaller carrier you add an additional layer of protection at the expense of risking bolt stick. You must keep your marker oiled daily to keep it working reliably. The long mainspring can be trimmed to further fine tune the performance. The best performance comes when the marker just starts firing at 270 fps and works reliably at 290 fps.
The penalty for over tuning is the fact that the marker may occasionally refuse to fire. This is because the main spring combined with the power tub O-ring has too much sticktion to let the bolt go forward. Try at your own risk.
Thatís it! Your new Level 10 marker is ready to go!!
....That's right out of the directions. They suggest more friction from the carrier and less from the spring. All in all I think we're talking the same thing, weather its (less friction from the carrier more resistance from the spring) or (more friction from the carrier less from the spring). Not sure about the shimes, they are the ones Tuna provided me in the level 10 kit. But in the directions it states they control when the pressure vents from the bolt, and if you keep adding them it will eventually leak all the time. I've got 5 and still no air leak. But I'll try all suggestions in the morning and post my results. Thanks!
Those directions were proven to be partially incorrect a long time ago.
The friction of the oring is greater before it starts moving than when it is moving. It is also greater after it sits for a while than if it moves more frequently. The inconsistency of the changing friction makes it difficult to accurately adjust the level 10 so that it shoots reliably. By using the largest carrier that does not leak, you remove the inconsistency so that you are relying solely on force differential between the chamber pressure and the bolt spring.
The shims do change the distance that bolt needs to move before it can vent air. The fact is, that if the bolt moves at all, it always moves far enough to vent air. There are some rare exceptions if aftermarket parts are used. But then the shims will allow it to be corrected. If the bolt fires, chuffs, or vents air in any way during a shot, then shims will not correct the problem. It may be a temporary bandaid, but the real problem would still exist and eventually happen again, usually at the most inappropriate time. Sometimes too many shims cause leaking that is masked by using a carrier that is too tight. This occurs when you squeeze the carrier tight against the edge of the vent hole and it seals the air passage when it normally would leak if the carrier was the correct size.
The bottom line at all times, is to use the largest carrier that does not produce a leak when using no shims. Adjust the force on the bolt by changing springs. If you want to fine tune this, use a stiffer spring than you really need and start clipping coils off of one end until you reach the force you need. Only clip one end and use the cut end against the bolt. If you want to install shims after that, then go ahead, but you really don't need them if everything is properly tuned.
You are absolutely correct. I think this setup is gonna give me more consistency over the long haul. Took me a while to dial in the velocity with the new longer spring. No breaks as of yet.
.712 Pin w/ Quad O ring
Level 10 Bolt w/ #3 carrier (1 tightest 6 loosest)
Red Bolt Spring
1100psi Ninja SHP Regulator
Halo B v35 board