I've been seeing many of the same questions come up over and over and over again, and despite the reaction of many of us to "use the search button", I think we all have to agree it would be nice to have some of these frequently asked questions all together in a nice little thread. So here's my attempt, please inform me if you think there's more I should add to items, or if you I missed anything!
1. #1 FAQ!!! AGD is still in business as we are all proof of that!
//oh, and never say "AGD is dead". If Tom Kaye wants your opinion, he'll give it to you.
2. Why should I buy a mag?
I see threads like this once in a while. Someone new comes to the forum wondering about automags and why they are so great. The question of "Why should I buy one" comes up often so I thought I'd go ahead and list some reasons why exactly mags are so great.
Automags are synonymous with reliability. The very simplicity of the mag is the reason why. Mags are simple by nature, the design is simple and upkeep is even simpler. A few drops of oil in the ASA can keep a mag running for a long time. Ask any mag user and they'll tell you that their mag never gives them problems. This makes mags perfect for a backup gun or a primary. When the gun works perfect, you days will go by much easier.
This goes along with reliability. Mags are a simple design. Look at an xvalve or classic valve and you see pretty much the whole assembly of moving parts neccesary to fire (not counting the sear or body). Check out the mag animation here and compare it to the others on the page. The simplicity of the design aids in its reliability and the abiltiy to customize easily.
Customizability(is that a word?)
Mags are freakishly customizable. There are so many parts and upgrades on the market today that it will make your head spin. Whether they be from private dealers or straight from AGD, you are sure to find something to make your mag even better. If you want to build a gun from the ground up, a mag is a perfect alternative to the custom cocker.
WIth all those custom parts out there, mags have become a breed of their own. These days its come to the point where no two mags look the same. Theres vert grips, custom bodies, y grips, z grips, custom rails, foregrips, feednecks, you name it. If you want to stand out at the field instead of blending in with another bland generic gun, a custom mag is for you. You can build something totally unique or contact a private dealer to aid in the creation of your badass machine. Today, the only thing relating the custom mags out there is the valve.
I know that accuracy is based on paint to barrel match blah blah blah but i must say mags can be pretty damn accurate. They never let you down and with a properly tuned level 10 bolt, you'll never worry about chops again. This all translates to a fun and worry free day of paintball for you.
Not much. The mag has about 1oz of recipricating mass (love that level 10 bolt) which ends up translating to less kick. Way way less than a cocker but a tad bit more than say a timmy or a matrix.
Xvalved mags are capable of 26bps which in no way means that you can pull that fast but still its there if you need it. You wont be outshooting a mag anytime soon. Theres videos out there of mags clearing 30bps (not legally of course) so they are definately capable of great things. Mech triggers on mags are somewhat heavy but fast firing rates can easily be acheived with a little practice. That not your thing? The ULT drops the wieght of the pull down drastically. Still too much? Your mag can be turned into an pneumatic, electro-pneumatic, or straight electro mowing machine. Mags can definately still rip with the best out there.
Got girly arms? Not enough meat on yer bones? Mags got you covered. Yeah some people say mags are heavy but those people are living in the past. Its called ULE. Ultra light engineering. Mags are wicked light when properly set up with ULE bodies, rails, etc. Just as light as an 03 shocker when ULE'd.
Well resale value has gone a bit down lately, which translates to cheaper mags. You can pick up used mags for under 200 if you have a keen eye. Also, AGD offers great packages, as do the private dealers on AO. You can build your dream mag without emptying your pocketbook.
I built a custom mag to fit my needs over the summer. You'd be suprised what a comfortable setup can do for your playing skills. If you are comfortable with your gun, you'll feel a lot better on the field. A custom mag can be made to fit you like a glove.
3. Where can I get stock and aftermarket parts for my mag?
AGD's official website here , Tunamart (or contact Tunaman here on AO) here , The Magsmith (sells RPG aftermarket products for mags, or contact Roguefactor here on AO) here , Logic Paintball here (Coolhand here on AO, although most of Logic products for mags have been discontinued), and Luke's Customs (contact Luke here on AO for price quotes and custom work) here .
Rogue, Tunaman, and Luke are dealers of mag products, both stock and aftermarket. Luke and Tunaman both do custom work for mags. Although I can't personally attest to the quality of Tunaman's work, I have seen plenty of it around AO and he does an AMAZING job. Luke also does incredible work, whether it be milling, spydermag mods (discussed later), etc.; and his turnaround time is GREAT!
Another name that should be included in aftermarket dealers is much more recent to the scene; jay8541 here on AO. Creator of Cerebrus Innovations aftermarket parts for mags, most notably the Airwalk and the soon to be released Stormwalk trigger frames, he is a great guy to deal with, and does some amazing work as well.
Another VERY commonly asked question. A pneumag is essentially a mechanical mag with a pneumatic 3-way behind the trigger that actuates a small piston in front of the sear. This allows minimal trigger pull for true "walking" of a purely mechanical marker. Step-by-step video on how to build your own is right here (large version): http://www.fusionowners.org/pneumag/...w_to_large.wmv or here (small version): http://www.fusionowners.org/pneumag/...w_to_small.wmv . Don't want to do it yourself? Several people on AO can do it for you; Cyberave68, Pneumagger to name a couple.
5. How to make my mag electronic?
You have several options here. Centerflag Hyperframes can be found floating around the BST section of the forum, along with Booyah LCD frames (the contemporary to the Hyperframe, although quality/resale is not as good as the Hyperframe).
Another option is to add E/X-mag lowers to your existing mag; an easy, bolt-on option.
Also, Spyderframes can be modded to fit automags. Use of aftermarket boards in spyder frames will allow the use of eyes, as well; an advantage over the Hyperframe or Booyah. I don't currently have a how-to link for this, but I will edit this post as I find one. If you don't want to do this mod yourself, check out Luke's Customs, who will do the mod for you. Website is here: http://www.lukescustoms.com/index.htm . In order to request Luke's services, simply PM him here on AO.
Other ways to make your mag electronic include the electropneumatic option http://putstuff.putfile.com/57166/5272200/3 (the how-to example here is done using an Ion board and aftermarket solenoid from Air Soldier Products http://www.airsoldier.com:8080/cgi-b...Code=SOLENOIDS ), or modding other aftermarket frames to fit your mag, such as the ego-mag shown here: http://www.automags.org/forums/showthread.php?t=211255
6. Custom milling:
Best bet is to contact Luke or Tunaman from AO, although I believe Rogue also does some ULE milling on rails and such (please correct me if I'm wrong).
7. What's the best barrel for my mag?
This is almost purely a personal opinion/preference question. One of the most popular single bore barrels for older mags is the J&J ceramic. MANN here on AO has done extensive work on testing of different barrels, and the results should be around soon, this post will be edited when I get them.
8. Level 10 problems/questions?
GT's quick guide to lvl 10, see post # 32.
For the more info, go here: http://www.automags.org/forums/showthread.php?t=43538
9. Warp-feed problems/questions?
Go here: http://www.automags.org/forums/showthread.php?t=50487
10. ULT problems/questions?
Go here: http://www.automags.org/forums/showthread.php?t=96538
11. What are aftermarket body options for my mag?
See thread here: http://www.automags.org/forums/showt...16#post2216516
12. Where can I get it anno'd?
Gruntbull does some amazing work and has an account on AO; website is here: http://gruntbull.com/ . Also, thefool (can be contacted here on AO) does some pretty good anno work as well.
13. What is the difference between all of the Mag valves?
-Classic valves: AKA: 68Automag, Automag Classic, Minimag, Micromag, Smart Mag, Centerfire Mag, and many other are made of stainless steel. During the time these were created, they were run on CO2 (although running a setup on CO2 is greatly benefitted by adding an expansion chamber, anti-siphon tank, stabilizer, or any combination of the 3), but later AGD paved the way for for HPA by starting the use of Nitrogen air systems. All classic valves can run on CO2 and/or HPA. Classic valves came stock with a level 7 bolt system and these may be upgrade to a level 10 system to prevent ball chopping. The ULE trigger kit (ULT) is not recommended for use in the classic valves. Although they can be installed and made to work, the end result may include excessive shoot down and frequent short stroking as well as other possible side effects. It is best to NOT install the ULT on a classic valve.
-Rental mag valves: Most rental Mags use a classic style valve with RENTAL stamped on the side of them. The powertube is restricted so you can't exceed 300 fps, and they do not allow the use of a level 10.
-RT Pro/Retro valve: is a half stainless steel and half aluminum valve, which was the predecessor to the X-valve. It has a much higher recharge rate than the Classic valves. It is recommended that only HPA be used on these valve as CO2 will cause damage to the internals of the valve. Some accept ULT and some don't. The easiest way to check is by looking at the on/off to see if the "top" (the piece that goes into the valve first) has one or two orings. If there are two, then it will accept a ULT.
-E-mag valve: is the same as an RT Pro/Retro Valve, but will always accept a ULT on/off
-X-valve: is the same as an RT/E-mag valve, but the entire valve body is all aluminum, so it is much lighter and generally anodized in a variety of colors. This valve always accepts ULT and generally comes stock with a level 10 bolt system.
-Original/Classic RT valves: These generally just have an "RT" on the very back portion of the valve body. The body of the valve is smaller in diameter than all other mag valves (due to the bodies they were originally placed in, which had an extended shroud at the rear which covered most of the valve), and do NOT have an air input on the side of the valve. Rather, the air was routed through any of 3 holes on the sides of the Classic RT's rail, through the rear thumbscrew/field-strip bolt (a sort of banjo bolt), and into the valve. As such, the Classic RT valves were not listed with the RT Pro/Retro valves because it will NOT fit on mags other than the Classic RT for which it was designed.
-All valves are compatible with the level 10 bolt system sans the rental classic valves, as mention above.
14. How can I walk the trigger on my mag?
Many think that by simply adding a ULT on/off to a mag valve will make it walkable. However, this is not necessarily true. While it is true that the ULT does greatly reduce the force required to trip the sear, the ULT has more of an "RT effect" than it does truly making the trigger walkable. Some will attest that having a perfectly tuned ULT installed does make the trigger walkable, although it is hard to acheive this, and difficult to maintain for any period of time.
Add enough shims in your ULT, and you will get uncontrolled trigger bounce; essentially full-auto mode. This uncontrolled bounce, or "runaway", can also be acheived by increasing the input pressure in your valve via an adjustable tank. The higher the pressure, the faster the rebound rate. See Zak Vetter's famous vids here to get the full effect of this. To the tune of 32 bps.
Another option to lightening the trigger pull on your mag is to have a sear mod done (Luke on AO does them). This process places the sear clevis slightly higher up on the sear leg, requiring less distance to trip the sear (while still keeping the force to activate the sear relatively low). This mod, done in combination with a well-tuned ULT seems to produce fairly good results at making a mag trigger truly walkable.
Personally, I still stand by the good ol' pneumag method or any of the electronic frame options as discussed above, in the pursuit of an easily walkable trigger on a mag.
15. What is the ideal input pressure for my mag?
AGD recommends a tank with an output of 850psi, though 800psi is fine and success has been reported with pressures down to 700psi. Any tank with a high pressure regulator will work. Low pressure regulators will not work. Tanks with adjustable regs are commonly used with RT style valves (the greater the input pressure, the greater the trigger reactivity. See #13).
16. How to build a mechanical Automag [Automag parts basics]
See GT's guide on post #31 (page 2).
17. More info?
Parts/upgrades thread on PBN here: http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=1632449
Have more questions that should be added? Post them and I'll put them up.