For the most part I've been thrilled with my new Empire Trracer, but there a few things I wanted to improve. For one, I wanted to make it easier to load First Strike rounds. The trouble is that because of the thickness of the pump arm and the size of the feedneck, it's not possible to move the neck out of the way without first holding the pump back, and even then the feedneck has to be slid back into place before the bolt can be closed again. My plan at first was to simply delete the right pump arm entirely, but I found that I could keep the arm as long as I dremeled off the plastic above the lowest portion of the arm. The result worked great! Now I can perch the direct feedneck on the front of the gun while the pump can move back and forth freely. Also, the increased clearance means that the feedneck can be easily replaced with the springfeed tube without having to remove the barrel, the pump, or anything else.
And when you're done loading FS rounds the feed adapter slides back into place.
Comparison of modified and unmodified pump handle:
As an added bonus, you can move the feed adapter out of the way to run a pull-through squeegee through the gun:
Oh, and I made a cheap cram-n'-jam adapter out of a PVC fitting and a sock dryer ring.
So that's it.
Thanks to Manike for designing such a neat gun!