Tonight started like any other night.
Eat dinner, put the kids to bed, open the mail.
License plate renewal, bills, junk mail and a priority mail box. Inside was something I've been anticipating for quite a while.
The mag scene is great - there's always people making new stuff. Sometimes it doesn't always turn out like you expect but there's always something brewing and something to look forward to. The downside is that sometimes the projects never come to fruition (hAir), sometimes they do and leave you disappointed (G-Force) and sometimes they are done in such short runs that you end up having to spend hundreds of dollars to try to get one (Dallara).
I've sort've grown used to being mildly disappointed when I get aftermarket mag stuff. Not that a lot of the time it isn't great quality but it often arrives in a box filled with newspaper and not much else. Sometimes the piece itself is great but you end up having to order a bunch of other little pieces to really make it complete. Sometimes it's about 75% of what you were expecting and you just have to deal with it.
So, onto what I found inside that box.
People were asking what came with this frame. I was expecting a couple of screws. I was quite happily surprised.
Before I talk about the frame itself, take a look at what was shipped along with it. A diagram showing where everything goes - useless to some but I was very happy. Not only does it show where the screws go but it shows the intended use of each mounting location. The attention to detail made me pretty happy.
It also came with a few bags of bits - screws to mount all the parts you might want to use, some e-mag trigger magnets which slot right into the frame (which is awesome!), trigger stops and some allen wrenches.
I was also really pleasantly surprised by this. When I ordered the frame, I asked Tuna 'how much to get it without the parts kit?' and he said '$8 less, but trust me, you'll want it.'
I'm glad I listened. The fact that it came with the magnets stock made me pretty happy but not having to go hunting for trigger stops and all the little pieces to mount any pneumag parts inside was definitely worth a measly $8.
The first thing I did was drop in the e-mag magnets.
I'd never shot an emag and I was always curious about how much different the magnets made. My frame isn't currently pneu'ed and, to be honest, when I gassed it up, it wasn't really noticable. I think once I get my Cheater and the trigger pull is shortened, it'll be more noticable though. You can definitely feel them just fiddling with the trigger when it's not gassed up. The picture above shows all 3 magnets in place.
One thing I didn't mention was that I was really expecting to receive a dust black frame with a gloss black trigger in it. Tuna had mentioned there were only a couple of dust black frames made so I figured there weren't triggers in every style to match but I was wrong! No need to pull my viperblade out of my old Intelli.
As you can see above, the anodization is perfect and looks great. The grips also feel pretty nice and didn't look as bad as I expected. I'll probably still replace them with Luke's aluminum grips but they are comfortable and look pretty good alongside the black.
The frame is very light and has space milled into the trigger guard - partly ULE and partly aesthetics I guess but it looks great all over.
So, I threw it on my gun. I really need my Venomous rail - the AM/MM rail looks terrible and really squashes the frame/ASA together but still, I think it looks pretty awesome overall.
To be perfectly honest, 75% of the reason I bought this frame was because I really, really wanted a sleeper pneumag and I knew this was one of the easiest routes to get there. When Tuna told me the frames were $240, I almost didn't buy one.
After holding it and shooting it I would do it again in a heartbeat. I've never shot a vert frame before but it is amazingly comfortable. I have always thought they were form over function but I completely take that back. It's MUCH more comfortable than my Intelliframe and I love the feeling of it. I can tell it's going to be way easier to walk for me than my Intelli is once I get my Cheater.
I had a bit of buyers remorse while I waited for it to get here - I mean, you can buy a whole new marker for what I paid for it but now I have it in my hands, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Once I get a chance to pneu it up, I'll post my thoughts on how it works in that regard but, for now, I can't wait to get out this weekend and shoot it.