Dont get me wrong, there are lots of things that a marker needs to have/ be in order to be considered good. The only thing is that other markers have achieved them. We want markers to be small and light, so there are markers like the SFL autococker, FLY Angel, and X-MAG. We want markers to be able to shoot fast without chopping so we get ACEs and, in the case of mags, level 10. There is also a lot of work that has gone into markers that allow them to shoot at certain bps speeds with minimal or nonexistant dropoff. Mag valves can shoot up to 26 bps without dropoff if what i have read online is correct. But there are still areas that all markers need to improve in. I thought this forum would be the perfect place to get opinions on whether other people agree with me and how they think that the improvements can be made-
Two areas that I think that markers need to improve on are (1) consistency and (2) their triggers.
1: I consider accuracy and consistency in paintball as 2 different things- accuracy is determined by having a good barrel, good paint, and a good paint/barrel match. Consistancy is mostly having the same pressure and volume of propellant push the paintball each time the marker is fired in order to achieve a consistant velocity in order to achieve tighter groupings of shots. From some reading i found that +/- 5 fps is a good consistency, and +/- 2 to 3 fps is a great, tournament quality consistency. But I have to ask: Over, say 100 ft, what difference would 10 fps make in inches?(the complete difference of +/- 5fps) How about even 5 or 6 fps? Probably more than enough for the player to miss a target that he may have been aiming perfectly towards.
How much more "accurate" would markers be if they fired with a consistency of +/- .5 to 1 fps? Is this even possible with the paint we use today, or is the paint itself too inconsitent in size, shape, and mass? What could be done to the next generation automag in order to achieve this level of consistency? How would internal regulators and LPRs (Low Pressure Regulators) apply to possibly seeing this in a mag? Would building a reg into the next gen bolt help in any way? What CAN BE DONE?! For mags, I think that the first step is stopping the trend of having the monstrous ginormous battery in front of the trigger where the there should be an adapter for a vertical regualtor. I can see why the decision was made to put it there when the E-MAG was being designed, its pretty much you can fit a huge battery capable of using over about 20,000 shots, but I think that in future renditions you should have a space for a rechargeable 9 or 9.6 volt battery in the trigger frame along with the rest of the electronics. Smart parts has accomplished this with its 2k3 shocker, and if samrt parts can do it then in my opinion AGD can too. Yes, the battery wont get as many shots, but they are pretty cheap and it wouldn't be expensive to buy two and a double charger. Hell, chances are you use the same batteries in your hopper anyway, so why not buy 4 and a quad charger. Anyway, being able to have a secondary reg will help to increase the consistancy of the air moving in to the marker, but I think that internals can be designed that will be able to really make a consistant marker.
2: Today there are many markers that say that they will shoot 20 bps. One coming out soon says that it will do 30. There are even elctro boards for markers that allow the markers to do 66.6 bps, whether the internals will be able to keep up or not is another story. My point is, can anyon really pull the trigger 30 times in one second? Is there anyone that can outshoot a HALO B on a current trigger found on any marker? What will have to be done to triggers in order to allow people to achieve this level of paint volume? I think that a very advanced trigger has to be made in order to keep up with these very high rates of fire. I think that the new magnetic triggers are a step in the right direction- they dont need springs, which will eventually wear down, and they use a beam of light to detetct when the trigger has reached the fire point. But I think more has to be done. The hybrid mode on E-MAGS is good, it provides a mode for people used to firing mags or non-electric markers a mode in which they can get a good ROF, but people who were used to super small electro trigger pulls liked the electro mode better because the hybrid mode meant that a longer pull was needed.
I think that next generation needs to combine a super short 1 to 1.5mm trigger pull with the blast of the reactive valve. Here's how I envision it: first you need an amazingly light trigger (i mean the actual part that you pull, the stem-like object that you move with your finger(s)-just so there is no confuson). I'm talking space-age light, would practically float in the air light. Why? First, because this means that you have move less mass with each trigger pull, which in itself puts less strain on your hand and would probably let you get a slightly better ROF, but the main reason is so that you would only need a really weak magnet in order to hold the trigger in a forward position. I'm talking so light that you feel as if there is no resistance at all in your trigger pull. Then, right as you start to cross the beam that actuates the firing, the reactive valve rockets the trigger back. All of this would have to be heavily adjustable to suit each owners favorite settings. Basically, I think that a design like this would improve a lot on current designs because right now if you want a super light pull you'll get a super light return, a heavier return will get you a heavier pull. What i described could pobably be achieved more easily. This would allow the user to easily program the amount of weight in the pull and return. However, i doubt that you would be able to generate enough return force with electromagnets without a ginormous battery that I am trying to avoid. Is any of this possible? Is it better than the current setup that markers have? Tom, what visions have you had for future MAG triggers?
Also, i have one last idea that I think is perticularily good. Opposite of the magnet that keeps the trigger from moving unless it is touched, there should another "return-assist" magnet that acts upon the trigger on the opposite direction. When the trigger is at rest it in in an equalibrium between the two magnets, at the starting position. However, the trigger can be moved in either direction, back or forward. The idea behind this is that as the reactive valve heavily and quickly but smoothly blasts the trigger back after a fired shot, the "return assist magnet fluidly but quickly slows then reverses the direction of the movement of the trigger. For example, if from the starting position the trigger was pulled back to the firing point but the firers finger quickly left the trigger, the tigger would bounce back slightly passed the starting point and then back to the starting point, again in equalibrium between the two magnets. The idea of this is, even though the firee will pull a slightly greater distance, he will already have a momentum moving the trigger back towards the firing point to much more rapidly fire his marker. I would think that this is much better than having the trigger just hit a pieve of metal and stick there, requiring the firee to start the pull with no momentum. How would the tournaments feel about this? In my opinion it would be fine since the trigger could never without the assistance of the firee get past the starting point. However, I dont know any of the rules and regs so I really wouldnt be able to say.
Tom, I would really appreciate a response from you. I really admire your dedication to the sport, the company, and the fans. I feel like I have some valid suggestions and deserve a valid response. Oh, and I live in Illinois too, in a 'burb about 20 miles north of chicago. Where are the AGD offices? Dont worry, i wont come and bother you at work.
I also have to say one more thing, and be aware I AM NOT SAYING ANY OF THIS TO "BURN" AGD, IM SAYING THIS SO THAT IF SOMEONE AT AGD IS READING THEY KNOW WHY AT LEAST ONE PERSON ISNT BUYING THEIR PRODUCT. I HOPE THEY TAKE IT THE RIGHT WAY, AS ADVICE FROM AN ADMIRING FAN: As a prospective buyer of a high level gun, i have to say that I cannot consider an AGD product. I wont buy an E-MAG for four reasons: A)its heavy. B) The battery thing. C) its ugly, just a plain unattractive marker, and D) with the semi-availability of the X-MAG, I cant buy the E-MAG because i would be putting myself out of top tier of technology in months, and for $900+ its not worth it. Even if the X-MAG was available for, say, $1000 in America (i wont buy from Europe because of the tech support issues of having to send a package to Europe whenever something happensd that i dont know how to fix) , i wouldnt buy it because even though it fixed the heaviness issue and it fixed the ugliness issue (the X-MAG is actaully the most attractive marker in my opinion, simple and elegant, small and compact), there is still the battery issue and the fact that other markers have better trigger pulls. I really like the level 10 and the 26 bps without shootdown, but other good companies seem to achieve high rates without breaks using ACEs and they also seem to be able to shoot fast without shootdown. Get producing a mag that exceeds every other gun out there in every aspect of what players want from there guns and youll see who still plays with cockers, angels, and timmys.