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Thread: LX'less mags still chop?

  1. #1
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    LX'less mags still chop?

    Hoppers are pretty freaking fast these days compared to revvies back when mags were at their peak. Have modern force feed hoppers made the Level 10 a little less of a necessity? For those still running level 7, how often are you chopping and breaking paint when you're using something like a Rotor or Spire.

    I just bought an RT Pro thats Level 7, and haven't had a Level 7 valve for 15'ish years. I would like to keep it as mint as possible (at least for now) so I'm trying to figure out what I'm in for as far as chopping/breaks. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    As far as I know, in terms of chops. You shouldn't have any issues, today's force feed hoppers are more than fast enough. Lvl X should still help with brittle paint. If I remember right, lvl 7 bolts discharge the air at 90 psi when firing. Lvl X drops this down to about 65 psi, if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct me. Point is lvl X still has its uses, but I dont think it's a necessity anymore like it was when it was first introduced. Having said that though, there is something that I wish to mention. I noticed that my halo too doesn't like to work with my powerfeed mag all that much. Yet it works flawlessly in my ULE vertical feed mag just fine.

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  3. #3
    I’ve definitely noticed that L10 bolts handle brittle paint much better than L7 bolts regardless of the rate of fire. But L10 bolts still don’t do great with the most brittle of paint, such as Evil and HK Supreme.

    I think there’s more to why mags don’t do particularly well with brittle paint, though. My hypothesis is that the top front of AGD bolts (L7 or L10) have a tendency to clip the bottom of the ball that is next in the stack when firing the ball in the chamber, especially if the ball diameter is small. This has the potential to weaken or crack the shell of the paintball in the stack. When that compromised ball falls into the breech, it is primed to explode the next time the trigger is pulled regardless of the how slowly the user is shooting.

    Though this hypothesis is not confirmed with roundball, I found that while testing First Strikes in the magfed Automags I build, an unmodded L7 bolt had the tendency to snag onto the skirt of the next FSR in the stack about 1 in every 20 shots, resulting in damage to the plastic skirt and/or capsule of the next FSR in the stack, and sometimes even flipping it before it entered the breech.

    My solution was to taper/round off the bolt tip to prevent it from snagging onto the following FSR’s skirt and instead help the bolt smoothly glide over it. Think of a bicycle tire riding up a crosswalk ramp vs. riding straight into a curb. Same idea.
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    This modification worked extremely well; FSRs shoot flawlessly now. I can’t help but wonder whether this same approach would help hopper fed automags handle extremely brittle roundball better, too. If I ever get around to dropping what little coin I have on a box of uber brittle tournament paint just to test this, I’ll post my results here... if anyone is interested.
    Last edited by ghost flanker; 01-08-2019 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    I'm definitely interested in knowing the results.

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    i think ghost flanker is correct about it seems more that the first ball in the stack sticks into the breach too far and gets fractured by the bolt passing by. if you have problems you could try one of the older foamie level 7 bolts.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam V View Post
    I'm definitely interested in knowing the results.

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    I'd like to see Tunaman and Bigevil weigh in on this with their thoughts/past experience. Interesting concept for sure.
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  7. #7
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    I have gotten chops with the lvl10, but only when there's a few balls remaining in my rotor and they come out sparsely. I would watch for that when using a rotor and instead just go for the reload.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobsterboy View Post
    I'd like to see Tunaman and Bigevil weigh in on this with their thoughts/past experience. Interesting concept for sure.
    Just resurrected a lvl7 Devilmag with eyes for a customer. They don't 'chop', but the hard nose bolt is really tough on paint. (Foamy lvl 7 much better). Still nothing better out there then a lvl 10 on almost any gun.

  9. #9
    LVL X bolts handle brittle paint far better because it doesn't move as quickly as the LVL 7 bolt. Your slowed down bolt is where you see the gains. While I have not had many problems ever with running a lvl7 bolt on a mag with a rotor with field and better paint. I have seen some really brittle tourney paint get cracked in guns with a lvl 7 bolt. These were barrel breaks mostly too and not breach.

  10. #10
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    Great comments so far. Exactly what I would say. I used an old Halo on a Level 7 mag for probably five years (right feed, not powerfeed), and I rarely had barrel breaks. At least no more than my Level 10 mag. But I tend to use cheap, hard paint. If you're using more brittle paint, Level 10 is slightly better.

    Still, I have a hard time justifying the upgrade. You can get a nice force-feeding loader for less than $50 used. You can't buy a Level 10 for that much. Also, you usually need to buy a new reg piston to go with the Level 10, and there's more to maintain and trouble-shoot if something breaks. If you have the time and money, it's not too bad, but if you just want to keep things cheap and simple, stick with the Level 7.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbutter View Post
    Great comments so far. Exactly what I would say. I used an old Halo on a Level 7 mag for probably five years (right feed, not powerfeed), and I rarely had barrel breaks. At least no more than my Level 10 mag. But I tend to use cheap, hard paint. If you're using more brittle paint, Level 10 is slightly better.

    Still, I have a hard time justifying the upgrade. You can get a nice force-feeding loader for less than $50 used. You can't buy a Level 10 for that much. Also, you usually need to buy a new reg piston to go with the Level 10, and there's more to maintain and trouble-shoot if something breaks. If you have the time and money, it's not too bad, but if you just want to keep things cheap and simple, stick with the Level 7.
    Are you in Va? Big weather difference between there and where I am in the N.E. Paint sucks here this time of the year

  12. #12
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    I'm in Northern Indiana, I would use my CVO in the winter, my mag would be for days over 50'ish F probably, unless I knew I was running some thick shelled stock.

  13. #13
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    Level 7 bolts will do fine with the fast hoppers we have now. The problem comes when you run the hopper low. Then the level 7 can't compensate for that bouncing ball in the stack. That is where the level 10 comes in.

    The operating pressure behind the ball isn't the issue with breaking balls. If that was the case, then some of the other guns on the market would blow the balls all to pieces, because most of them have much larger breach pressures than even a mag has.

    The gentle hit in the first 1/4" of travel is why the level 10 works to prevent chopping. After that distance, the push force increases dramatically so that it is back up to levels of the level 7 or even higher because the chamber pressure is higher than a level 7 mag. Most level 10 breaks come from trying to push tight fitting balls into a barrel that is a bit tight, or at least not loose fitting. Almost all guns with gentle bolts have the same light push for the entire bolt movement, so as long as they can move the ball, it will get gently pushed into the barrel. The mag level 10 bolt only does that at the beginning of the cycle. After that it will try to cram that ball into any crevis it can. So, a level 10 bolt will prevent chops, but not barrel breaks.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobsterboy View Post
    I'd like to see Tunaman and Bigevil weigh in on this with their thoughts/past experience. Interesting concept for sure.
    I would think grinding that much off would result in in lower velocity. How high can you crank it up now that you modified the bolt?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbutter View Post
    Great comments so far. Exactly what I would say. I used an old Halo on a Level 7 mag for probably five years (right feed, not powerfeed), and I rarely had barrel breaks. At least no more than my Level 10 mag. But I tend to use cheap, hard paint. If you're using more brittle paint, Level 10 is slightly better.

    Still, I have a hard time justifying the upgrade. You can get a nice force-feeding loader for less than $50 used. You can't buy a Level 10 for that much. Also, you usually need to buy a new reg piston to go with the Level 10, and there's more to maintain and trouble-shoot if something breaks. If you have the time and money, it's not too bad, but if you just want to keep things cheap and simple, stick with the Level 7.
    We have found that once the L10 is set up correctly the mag will run for thouands and thousands and more thousands without a hiccup. I have never seen a more reliable gun than a mag with l10.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tunaman View Post
    We have found that once the L10 is set up correctly the mag will run for thouands and thousands and more thousands without a hiccup. I have never seen a more reliable gun than a mag with l10.
    I wholeheartedly agree once you get it right, but I’ve been really hit and miss with getting it to that sweet spot.

    Right when I think I have it, I get bolt stick/fsdo, i move a carrier up and it leaks. Frustrating.

    Occasionally I hit the right oringr/carrier combo and its a beautiful thing and i never touch it again, getting there is just a PITA for me.


    Thanks for the replies, lots of wisdom and interesting knowledge in here.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoeb View Post
    Hoppers are pretty freaking fast these days compared to revvies back when mags were at their peak. Have modern force feed hoppers made the Level 10 a little less of a necessity? For those still running level 7, how often are you chopping and breaking paint when you're using something like a Rotor or Spire.

    I just bought an RT Pro thats Level 7, and haven't had a Level 7 valve for 15'ish years. I would like to keep it as mint as possible (at least for now) so I'm trying to figure out what I'm in for as far as chopping/breaks. Thanks.
    Chopping paint has not been an issue for me when using a force feed hopper on powerfeed or centerfeed bodies.

    I've been playing tournaments, scenarios, and recreationally on a monthly frequency for the past year using various lvl7 Automags.

    However, anytime I'm not using a force feed hopper I switch to a lvl10 valve out of habit.

    I no longer own a force feed hopper or lvl10. Glad the feedneck on this body hasn't been cut

    See you on the field!

  18. #18
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    Well, i went out in 25F weather, blasted out 2 straight hoppers of Valken paint, no breaks. I havent used a LX’less mag since it was released 15 or 16 years ago, so that certainly does a lot for my confidence! Cant way to get this thing out to the field!

  19. #19
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    Idk, I've used a spire, rotor, and an HK hopper on my mag and have had the lvl10 save a few balls each day I play. Nothing major but one or two through out the day. The minimal decrease in efficiency is worth not having a chop IMO.

  20. #20
    For barrel breakage....no one has mentioned anything about detents or nubbins. Detents/nubbins are one of the biggest reasons guns break paint. A bad detent either on a ULE body or a bad nubbin in a barrel can wreak havoc and has nothing to do with the bolt. I could write an entire essay on the physics of ball breakage....but there can be no discussion about ball breakage without addressing detents/nubbins. I can say there is probably more importance to the position of the ball in the breach over what material the bolt is made of or what tip that is on it. Although, the style of the bolt itself can improve or worsen the balls firing position.
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    Interesting, so does one ball detent create less breaks then two?

  22. #22
    I haven’t tried cranking it up much past 300 fps, but I did swap out the modified bolt with an unmodified but otherwise identical bolt. Velocity increased from about 280 fps with the modified bolt to about 290 fps with the unmodified bolt (a classic RT barrel and Valken Graffiti were used). So yeah, there is a decrease in air efficiency with the modification, but it’s nothing drastic.

    Also, I got ahold of some HK Tournament that was reliably breaking at a drop of 18-36 inches onto flat concrete. I tested both bolts with velocity adjusted to 280 FPS with about 50 shots each, but to my surprise, I could not induce a single barrel break using either bolt. More testing at a local paintball field may be needed.
    Last edited by ghost flanker; 03-09-2019 at 02:39 PM.

  23. #23
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    Played a full day today in rainy, windy, 37F weather.... shot about 1.5 cases with my Level 7 RT Pro, not a single break in the breach or barrel. Granted, I was using a "winter blend" of GI paint, but the results are still promising.

  24. #24
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    Wow.

    It was 85 here, started with a mag, it was a blender with the GI 5 star paint.

    I don't work on guns at the field, switched to a CS2, no more issues.

    Probably the missing foamy , or maybe detents not adjusted adequately.
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  25. #25
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    Not too surprising before lvl10 came out mags shot just fine. Lvl 10 just made it better by eliminating chops and being more gentle on brittle paint. Lvl 7 bolt works great, lvl 10 just made it better.

    Going Home, isn't GI 5 star relatively brittle paint that would benefit from lvl 10 usage?

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    Last edited by Gundam V; 03-09-2019 at 06:03 PM.

  26. #26
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    Yes very brittle.

    Now that I think about that mag has never done well with brittle paint.

  27. #27
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    So it's a case of using the wrong iteration of the mag. In essence, using the wrong tool for the wrong job.

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  28. #28
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    My game play today.....mag shot pretty well.


  29. #29
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    after my experimenting with LVL7 i had lots of chops and fund out that a small piece of mousepad rubber glued on to the tipp of my bolt i got rid of roleback and a tendency for the next ball in line to get choped so ther is one other thing to look for rolebacks.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWE HooK View Post
    after my experimenting with LVL7 i had lots of chops and fund out that a small piece of mousepad rubber glued on to the tipp of my bolt i got rid of roleback and a tendency for the next ball in line to get choped so ther is one other thing to look for rolebacks.
    How did you look for roleback? I've never thought of doing that. Do you like put a couple paintballs down the feedneck over and over to see it?

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