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Old 06-06-2008, 03:30 PM #1
10-shot kid
 
 
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Downstate NY
Sergison semi K-frame review

NOTE: I'll begin with a overview of the process, or the story of how this gun was made and the small problems along the way and then I'll write the review. The subjects are bolded so if my bantering is obnoxious to you just skip to the bolded section title review after the Long Line of Great Justice(tm)

Well it was around a year ago at castle I decided that I wanted something new. At the same time though I didn't want to change guns as I have been shooting Draco for around a year. I was perplexed, what could I possibly change on my awesome pistol that would meaningfully impact the gun without drilling or permenantly changing it. After a lengthy search, and stripping my battlegrips because I'm retarded I found the segison K-frame. But it was only for pumps! Luckily I had far too much extra money at the time so I contacted sergison and he agreed to set off on a new endevor, making the first k-frame for a semi.

the plan

I gave sergison a rather flexable timeline to produce the truly custom work as it had never been done before. A great many airsmiths have quit the practice from people hassling them to have their gun ready for "game X" and I was going to try to not be one of them. At the same time though I was on the list for the first VIP game and I can't play for beans without my gun so I gave him just about a whole season to get the work done intime for that game, but if it wasn't done I wasn't going to pitch a fit or anything.

The original idea (in my head) was that it would be the same setup as the original grips. It would maintain it's backbottle ASA and the original 3-way would be housed in the grips. This wasn't paramount though, the only two rules I had was that he was not to drill the original body or modify it in anyway and it had to be reliable enough that I would never, ever, ever have to touch it.


version 9-1

Sergison suprised me, as he consistantly did throughout the process when in just a few months with his hard work and countless e-mails from myself (only a few where obnoxious I swear!) he produced version 9-1 right in time for me to sling it at last years ION. He literally took less time to custom fabricate a design that had never been done before than gruntball took to annodize the bloody frame. I digress,



Version 9-1 was an early release of sorts of the work so that I could test run the design at a game I didn't really care too much about. This way if there was anything I wanted changed it could be done in time for the VIP game at blanding. I also couldn't stand being away from my gun for so long.

Three original plans didn't work out. First the mockup of the backbottle ASA on the top of the grip looked like caca. It also would have made the grip unbelievably uncomfterable to hold. Under his advisement I agreed it was a horrible choice and instead said "well I only run remote anyways, can we put a nipple on like the bottom of the grips or something? Make hardline run to it because a hose would look like caca" which he did by fabricating a custom nipple into the butt of the gun shown here,



Also the original 3-way wouldn't fit so he built one directly into the frame as shown here,



I was shocked he had the ability to do this. The 3-way to me is the heart of the gun though and therefore I was worried over if it would work as well as the old heart which had served draco well for about 8 years or so. My worries where pushed aside when the gun performed flawlessly in that regard at ION.

Also he was not able to keep the original trigger shoe that Draco had. This bummed me out because I wanted to keep as many original parts of the gun as possible.

There where two problems with version 9-1. First the air fitting that connected the hardline to the internal regulator pictured below sucked balls.



This is the hazzard of getting something that no one has ever done before made, stupid little pieces. The fitting was a pressure fitting with two o-rings that the hardline slid into. Unfortunatly when a decent amount of pressure as applied to the side of the hardline it would bend rather easily and cause a leak. When I strained my left knee at ION while walking down the side of a hill I fell down and popped the hardline moving it a little. Latter the pressure of clicking the strap of my holster into it's fitting pushed the hardline enough for it to leak profusely.

This was against rule two, the rule that I would never, ever, ever have to mess around with the bloody gun. At first though I thought that the reason for the breaking of this rule was because of the body slam I inadvertantly pulled on it so I let it go.

The other problem was that the grips where way too small for my massive hands. This wasn't segisons fault but a problem that resided in the model itself. The round butt k-frame I found out is built for the purpose of having a concealed carry firearm. Unfortunatly sergison only builds k-frames and I wasn't about to ask for a whole new frame he had never built before. I figured I was boned.

So I sent the gun back to him to get anodized black by gruntball.

version 9-2

Version 9-2 was simply the gun anodized black with a fixed fitting. Unfortunatly gruntball changed it's policies forcing it's customers to have to order a minimum of 75 bucks of anodizing or something after sergison sent it. They failed to tell him this for a lengthy period of time which caused a ridiculous delay in the anodization process. Even after it was fixed they took a while to get the frame done.



Again though the problem with the bloody airfitting reared it's ugly head at a local tourny. The pressure of the carrying case my fiance bought for me, and I therefore had to use, made the hardline leak again. It was quite easy to dickup and then make worse for someone who has no idea of how to mess around with paintguns. Sergison said he could put a much more secure fitting on for like 20 bucks or something if I sent it in.

I decided to wait a bit. The grip problem was bigger than I thought as the tourny clearly showed me. Everytime I shot my aim would be off to the right or left because it was impossible to hold the gun correctly without pinching the skin of my middle finger. To partially solve this I had to hold the foregrip everytime I shot. This was still unacceptable to me and I lamented the possibility of scraping the project all together.

I searched all the smith and wesson forums and articles I could find trying to figure out how big handed individuals delt with the problem.

I found out four important pieces of information,

1. Stock S&W grips apparently suck balls
2. Most custom grip manufactures get insulted and give you the F-U price when you ask them to make custom grips for a paintgun
3. The locking device on new S&W guns randomly activates so someone is going to die and liberal goverment is the devil.
4. It's a PITA to find grips for dudes with big hands for the k-frame

In the end though I found the grips and version 10-1 was a complete sucess. After the first VIP game was cancled I told sergison to take his time. I don't remember how long it took him to install the new fitting and fit another pair of grips but I didn't care so I don't think it's fair to judge on that. Version 10-1 came just in time for the VIP game which is when I requested it for.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:32 PM #2
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Review (Version 10-1)

This review will cover the final version 10-1,


(sexy pants by Smart Parts)

It will first cover the grips and things I learned about the grips through my research on the subject in two parts. Part one will be general information about girps and paintball friendly companies I found that make grips for large handed people and part two will cover the grips I bought and sergisons work on them. It will then cover the trigger and functioning of the grips. I will then shortly dicuss how the new frame has changed the feel of the gun. Finally I will put in some final thoughts on the product.

Grips

I want to review the grips first as this is the part of the project I personally spent the most bloody mind numbing time on. The grips are one of the most important aspects of the frame as they are your direct link to the gun. I found through my ridiculously long research that the elements most important to the grips are as follows

1. The grips should move your hand bellow the trigger. In other words good grips have a curve on the top that fills the space between the trigger gaurd and the frame. This makes you not choke too far up on the grips which negativly effects your accuracy for some reason I forgot.

2. The grips should have a rear curve in the back. This will cause you to have better controll and accuracy. It will also make a heavy gun feel more comfterable and paintball pistols would deffiently fall into that catagory.

3. The grips should slightly bow out in the middle to accomidate for your palm swell. This can be done in an hourglass shape known as "coke style" or can simply bow out in the middle and continue down to the butt. Which is better for the shooter is greatly contested on the internet gun forums.

4. The grips should be long enough that when held comfterably only the front pad of your index finger after the last knuckle touch the trigger.

5. Thinner grips give better controll than wider grips but I don't know if this applies to paintguns. With the sergison k-frame being already slightly thinner than the normal k-frame and the nuematics needing to fit under the grip I decided to ignore this point. Nonetheless my grips are apparently thin enough by the real steel standards so I'm not worried about it.

6. Eagle grips used to be good but now they've outsourced so they suck.

7. Don't get target grips for a heavy paintball gun, ever.

In my search I found only three paintball friendly companies that make grips for people with larger hands. These companies all make round to sqaure butt conversion grips which accomidate the larger handed shooter. Out of these two compaines will custom make grips to your hand and one company that fabricates "cookie-cutter" grips.

KEITH BROWN GRIPS

Kieth Brown makes a wide range of custom k-frame grips by hand with intricate artistic carvings (checkering). You can choose full wrap-around grips known as the Roper style which cover the front and back strap or if you want just the front strap. They normally cost 250-300 dollars but the cost will most likely be more if you want him to fit them to your gun. He works with highgrade wood, most frequently Black, Claro and French walnut but will not work with any stabalized wood (think diamond wood).


kearsarge style


Roper style



Gun stocks by Herrett's Stocks, Inc.

Herret stocks is the most popular company for people with large hands to turn to. They work mainly with American Walnut but can make grips on request out of other wood. They make many models but the one for people with big hands is the Jordan Trooper grips. They will not checker the regular Jordan Trooper grips but will do so on the finger groove model. The Jordan Trooper is 100 bucks and they charge 50 to have them fitted to a gun. I contacted them and they said the fitting may cost a little bit more but they where willing to work with me.


Jordan Trooper Grips


Jordan Trooper Grips with finger grooves and checkering


Ahrends Grips : Home

Arhends is the company I finally decided on due to both cost and manufacturing time. Their grips cost 60 dollars but they are not made to your hand. While they said they might be able to fit them to the gun it would run more than 50 bucks. They make a variety of grips for the k-frame and are the only ones listed so far who will make round butt grips. The lower price is because their grips are "cookie cutter" and made by a cnc machine for the most part. Regardless I was happy with the final product.

The grips I ordered where made of cocobolo. The wood appears to be of medium grade to my untrained eye and has very small crevaces and pits that are not noticable without close scrutiny. Cocobolo is an "exotic" wood that is quite durable. The finish is nice and the grain is asthetically pleasing to the eye.

Grips Part II: Sergisons work

Sergison hollowed out and fitted the grips for me. The carving he did to make way for the hardline and hoses is quite minimal and looks professional. The carving for the air nipple at the butt of the grips has excess space in the rear. The top horn of the grips sits flush against the top part of the reciever with only a very slight protrusion on the right side which is negligable.

The fitting itself is a little off-set with the right panel protruding slightly father outward than the left pannel making a small ridge that slightly scrapes the skin when you run your fingers across it. At the very bottom of the rear strap the grips also do not line perfectly up to the k-frames downward slope, I don't know if this is because of sergison, the fact it's not a perfect replica of the S&W k-frame, or because of Arhends.

This slight offset is not noticable when playing nor is the unflush back. I just played 18 hours straight at the VIP game and the small flaw did not bother me at all. I don't think it would have been worth spending 50 or more dollars to have a company hold onto my gun for a lengthy period of time in which none of them garunteed they could pull it off to not have the ridge or offset. The negative is the offsets are not asthetically pleasing and are a PITA to clean when little things get in them like paintshells.

The bright orange paint used at the VIP game made very slight stains on the white parts of my pants but didn't stain the grips even though they had paint on them for 24 hours and a day before I cleaned them with a damp cloth. This leads me to believe the grips are finished in such a way that paintballs will not stain them easily. My hand sits very nicely in the grips and makes the gun point as a .45 grip would. I've found comfort, aiming, and controll to be better than the original palmers grips and latter battle grips.
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Last edited by 10-shot kid : 06-06-2008 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:35 PM #3
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trigger and functioning

The new trigger itself is a swing trigger like the original Palmers one. It is made of alluminum that has been polished. It is well crafted without any asthetic flaws from a dremel or something.

In the top relief of the trigger sergison drilled a hole for the screw which connects the trigger to the activation rod thingy for the 3-way. This little screw doesn't detract greatly from the asthetic beauty of the gun but I don't like how the very rear of it bites into the back of the trigger. I don't know if this had to be done or whatever but it doesn't take any points off so to speak.

The trigger is thinner than the old shoe and curves outward bellow the finger a little more sharply causing it to feel as if your finger is being cradled by the trigger. This in conjunction with it being a swing trigger causes my finger to feel like the strongest contact point is the bottom ridge of the pad of my index finger when I am holding the gun in close. This is opposite of the old trigger where the strongest contact point was the top ridge of my finger.

When my arm is fully extended though the strongest contact point is the middle of my index finger and it is not as sharp, spreading the pressure around the whole of the pad. In fact it's most comfterable to shoot the gun with my arm fully extended. The grips allow my thumb to nicely sit on the top ridge and the wieght to be correctly applied to my middle finger and the one below that.

The edges of the trigger are a little more sharp than the old trigger because its sides are not rounded. This was an issue with the orignal version when my finger was able to wrap around the whole thing but with the new grips it is not at all noticable.

The trigger pull is lighter and a little bit shorter but didn't have that obnoxious buttery feel that highend cockers have which I asked him not to give it. The timming is quite solid as it survived a trip on an airplane where I doubt the baggage handlers where friendly with my suitcase. After shooting a case and a half through the gun I've found it to not have changed at all and only short stroked when shooting wicked fast because I wasn't used to the trigger yet.It was easy to adabt to the new feel of the trigger and only took me one airtank full to get to a level of profeciency.

The hoses where another concern. I was worried it would look like poo and the original idea in my head was for them to go inside the frame to the 3-way. This didn't work out but he did this instead



Which looks nice and doesn't bother me at all.

How the feel of the gun has changed

The new frame has made the gun more front heavy. The wieght though was originally placed on my lower wrist, the entirety of my forearm, and my right shoulder. This caused me the fatique quite quickly.

After training my arm more frequently with a 10 pound wieght and getting the new grips this hasn't been an issue. The wieght is now placed squarely on the top portion of my forearm and upper wrist. After 16 hours of nearly continous play without a holster because I forgot it my wrist was fatigued and my forearm was begining to sore. My shoulder was also begining to feel a strain from the piece but my aim didn't faulter at all.

As I said before the new grips have caused the extended arm firing position to be more comfterable and accurate. My old favorite position of the half arm bend with a hand on the foregrip is no longer comfterable. This causes me to have a less compact target for the other side to hit but has caused my run and gun accuracy to increase for some reason.

Strangly the new frame has also made my old foregrip uncomfterable so I have removed it. I believe this is because both the length of the gun is more and my hand is lower than it was on the original frame.

A downside is that when I bring the gun in for a tight position shot I have to readjust my grip down more on the gun causing a slight delay. I have far less of a wrist bend when shooting with with this gun, my wrist is almost entirely straight. When I snap shoot I like to move my middle finger to the trigger with my index running along the barrle. This makes it so my wrist is not bent at all.

Overall my accuracy and comfort has gone up with the new frame. I find it easier to point with than ever before. It simply feels more comfterable when I bring it up on a target. While before when I brought it up my view would be over the top of the 10 round tube it is now directly into the bolt. This has not hurt my aiming at all but this could be because of my familiarity with the gun. Also regardless of how hard I yank the trigger I find the gun just about stays perfectly on target.


Final Thoughts

Performance wise I wouldn't be suprised if a .45 frame did the same thing for me bar snap shooting. Honestly this was never intended as a performance upgrade nor an asthetic one. I wanted something diffrent, I wanted a big paintball revolver without the mess and fuss of having 40 cylanders somehow strung to my body.

Yet again Segison suprised me. The gun is more comfterable and shoots more accuratly than it did before. Perhaps this is mainly because the trigger is much lighter than the extra heavy one it had before. Perhaps it's just my mind messing with me because this is something new. In the end I don't give a hoot because I got what I wanted, a big arse revolver grip that lets me pretend in my head I'm dirty harry.

Sergison was a great airsmith to work with and is the best kind or airmsith. He does it as a side job, not for a living, so he isn't getting burnt out from stupidity and he can make truly custom work. Sure the grip frame ended up costing a little bit more (not sergisons fault) and taking a bit longer than expected (damn gruntball) but in the end I'm thrilled with the project. Sergison has made something great and I'll be going to him again in the future when I want something unique and awesome built.

Now for random pictures



Yes those are the poop grips but I want you to instead look at the milling job he did for the hoses to slide under the grips. This crevace is not as noticable with the new grips which cover about half of it. It's nice and smooth and doesn't have any flaws (even though you can't see most of it now )



This is a comparison of the old grip frame and 3-way to the new one. I think it really shows the huge diffrence between the two settups and how inovative sergisons work really is. Instead of copying the Palmers design or any other existing one I know of he made something totally new.



Since my little brother took his PGP back this is the only comparison pic I have of the original model this gun was and what it is now. I think it's really cool looking but it also shows how much longer and taller the gun is now v. when I first had it more accuratly than a picture with the new grips would.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:47 PM #4
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Great review, thanks!
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