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Watcher-45

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Sunday, December 21st 2014, 10:24pm

I don't get the point of those HPA gearboxes, it's like combining only the bad parts of gas (worse reliability, doesn't like low temperature, and in this case an external tank) with the lack of mechanical realism of electric guns.
Easily tunable (especially in the case of the Polar Star Fusion engine), blistering fire rate without having to be an airsoft DSG tech god, and they can take AEG mags whereas other gas systems usually need proprietary mags.



HPA is something we have in the paintball universe, and is actually quite different than CO2 or propane/green-gas. It doesn't have the same issues in the cold as more common gasses because it's not stored as a liquid in the tank and forced to phase change to power the gun, which requires heat and thus falls off in cold weather. It's literally just High Pressure Air.

While a CO2 tank stores volume in weight and might have a peak pressure around 1000psi or so, HPA stores volume in cubic inches and often has a peak pressure around 5000 PSI depending on the tank. It is not effected by temperature (at least not in the same way CO2/Propane is and definitely not in a realm on Earth in which you'd actually be playing), it is less destructive to the gun than CO2/Propane by way of seals freezing, and it is more consistent due to regulated output (usually around 850psi in paintball applications).


It is a tad expensive in start-up, though. The most common size tank to use in paintball is a 68ci/4500psi tank with an 850psi regulated output. That'll run you around $150, and for an airsoft setup you'd need a remote-line which would be another $30-50 depending. But considering that HPA is cheap to fill and can be recharged as many times as you like within a 5 year period, it would sort of pay for itself compared to Propane/Green-Gas. Plus you'd have a badass gun!


Plus in my experience guns that are made to run on HPA and HPA only are some of the more reliable guns you can get, and an electronic fire control system that operates the mechanism with a solenoid and runs off something like a 9V also has it's own advantages. Batteries are plentiful, cheap, and last a long time, and you can get some blistering rates of fire!
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Watcher-45" (Dec 21st 2014, 10:29pm)


CobaltRose

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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 4:30am

@Watcher-45

In airsoft applications, HPA systems don't run off of 9V batteries. They usually run off of small (like 500mAh, which is really small for an airsoft battery) 7.4V Li-Poly's. IMO I prefer Ni-MH batteries, but that's only because I don't have the equipment to support a Li-Po (li-po charger, fireproof container because Li-Po's are volatile, mosfets for my AEG's since trigger contacts can't handle high amperage rates). So, that's kinda one of the other barriers to HPA use: finding a good charger and a surplus ammo can or some shit.
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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 6:37am

Paintballer here, and specifically I only play what is known as "woodsball" which is essentially airsoft but I guess our suppression fire can occur at longer ranges.

I do find it somewhat interesting that the new "thing" in airsoft is to run HPA-powered, with tanks on your back and remote line to your marker... something that paintball has done since forever. The advantages of HPA over CO2 has been well noted already by Watcher-45, so I won't re-hash them. I will note that I had a friend who brought me into woodsballing, so I went right to HPA + remote and never looked back. You can definitely make your marker look a lot more "mil-sim" without having to deal with an attached tank, too.

My marker is indeed electric, but it is not a necessity. Once the marker is air-ed up, you technically just need to trip the "sear" to activate the valve and send the round downrange. So, with a spring-loaded magazine (like my setup), gravity feed (usual setup) or Tippmann's "Cyclone" (gas-operated feed) and mechanical trigger, you don't need any battery for your marker to work. So, some are purely mechanical, some are electric only...

...and my Tippman X7 Phenom has both. It has a mechanical trigger when set to semi-automatic so no battery is needed in that mode. Flip the switch to full-automatic and only then electric board is activated, and uses a "Hall Effect" magnet to trip the sear automatically. It runs off 9V and I'm using a couple of Li-Ion rechargeable 500mAh. Since it only needs the battery for automatic firing though, and local fields usually frown upon rock n' roll against the drop-in rental folks, the same battery has lasted me over a year now.

Re: bore matching, yes paintball sizing varies from brand to brand and box to box and even temperature. My barrel takes bore-sizing "inserts" about 3in in length, and is inserted into the back end of the barrel before attaching the barrel to the marker. It makes a HUGE difference in both efficiency and accuracy, so I swear by such a system now.

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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 7:01am

Paintballer here

Re: bore matching, yes paintball sizing varies from brand to brand and box to box and even temperature. My barrel takes bore-sizing "inserts" about 3in in length, and is inserted into the back end of the barrel before attaching the barrel to the marker. It makes a HUGE difference in both efficiency and accuracy, so I swear by such a system now.



Hey, another one! Lets try not to hijack this thread, though. I made a paintball thread ages ago and it died, sadly, but I'll necro it if you wanna chit chat!
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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 7:05am

but I'll necro it if you wanna chit chat!

Nah, I'm just more interested in learning about the HPA system in airsoft markers (are they markers if they don't really, um, "mark"?), and the other cross-over technologies between the 2.

Obviously the weather is not really cooperating (though we only got rain so far), so I haven't been out for a couple of months and don't expect to for a couple more :(

Watcher-45

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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 7:08am

but I'll necro it if you wanna chit chat!

Nah, I'm just more interested in learning about the HPA system in airsoft markers (are they markers if they don't really, um, "mark"?), and the other cross-over technologies between the 2.

Obviously the weather is not really cooperating (though we only got rain so far), so I haven't been out for a couple of months and don't expect to for a couple more :(



Well, I quoted you in the paintball thread anyway. Maybe you and I can get it going again.

I haven't played in years, don't plan on any time soon, but I miss it on occasion and still like to keep my feet a little wet, so to speak.


Sounds like you have cold but no snow yet, sounds a lot like my area, where are you from?
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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 7:23am

where are you from?

Pacific Northwest, where it has been rain rain rain but especially on weekends :P Paintball is usually played outdoors, because it tends to be a bit messy indoors :P As for going to play in the rain... I don't fancy having to clean my kit for hours afterwards, not to mention having to pay for the privilege to slog through the mud? No thanks :P

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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 7:37am

where are you from?

Pacific Northwest, where it has been rain rain rain but especially on weekends :P Paintball is usually played outdoors, because it tends to be a bit messy indoors :P As for going to play in the rain... I don't fancy having to clean my kit for hours afterwards, not to mention having to pay for the privilege to slog through the mud? No thanks :P


I could take it or leave it. Depending on the rain it stays nice and cool, and the rain cleans your gun and gear for you (no dried on paint stains after a rain game!), but the mud is kind of a turn off.

One of my most memorable experiences playing was a rain game. Aside from the action, the rain really set the mood. It was amazing!



I'd imagine rain would be a bad idea when it comes to airsoft. So many electrical systems, can't be good to have water exposure...
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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 8:44am

I'd imagine rain would be a bad idea when it comes to airsoft. So many electrical systems, can't be good to have water exposure...


It's a non-issue, you would have to drop your gun in a puddle. A little rain won't do anything, even when the wire that connects to the battery is on the outside, like mine.
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Monday, December 22nd 2014, 9:43am

So I just did some reading/watching about the Tippmann M4 rifle, and if I finally get around to getting into airsoft I'm getting one for sure.

After handling it I was impressed with the build quality and how much it mimicked the real steel M4 in design, but I didn't realize how far they took it. Apparently the receiver extension is mil-spec and will take any standard AR stock, and the barrel nut is mil-spec size and future versions are being manufactured to accept AR rail systems.
The front sight-base/gas-block is also removable to allow mid-length and full-length rails, so I could set it up EXACTLY like my Smith!

Runs CO2 in 12 grams, CO2 in remote, or HPA in remote. I still have my HPA tank from paintball. All I'd need to do is get it hydro tested and pick up a remote line.

Runs standard AEG magazines if you are not running 12 grams, and from what I could deduce runs standard airsoft parts where applicable. So barrels and hopups are replaceable. The flash hider is threaded M14x1.0 CCW for aftermarket muzzle devices.

It's a GBB so it has a pop and feedback, and it is also 100% mechanical AND has a method of adjustable rate of fire!

Also, Tippmann has a reputation of going WAY above and beyond their stated 1-year manufacturer's warranty. If they treat the airsfot gun like their paintball guns you'll easily get 5 years out of them, maybe even more. Tippmann stands behind their products, which are made in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, USA.

That $450 price tag keeps getting more and more reasonable if you ask me.
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