So as I said After a day or so playing with my new 4B Kit here are my impressions. Let me preface this by saying overall I do enjoy the kit and will be using it in my Quest from now on. Also I really do appreciate the work and research that went into this product. I want to apologize for the image quality. Had to use a webcam as my digital camera is not behaving. Will update with better pics when available. So let's dig in.
First Impressions. In package:
The postman's little box held the bolt, guide and spare orings in a nice little zip-top bag. The spare orings are in a separate bag for storage. So cudos there, always good to have matching orings set aside in a tackle box set up for multiple guns. The cardboard label stapled to the bag bares the Thin Air Sports logo, website, and mailing address on both the front and back. The back also has a warning that this product is not a toy, and to not eat while playing. Both good pieces of advice.
Compared to the stock bolt and guide the differences are instantly noticeable. The 4B bolt has a lighter feel, and a different oring layout. The 4B bolt guide comes in two pieces with a hollow chamber, and an extending nose cone. I enjoy the blue anno on the bolt as it matches my blue quest quite well.
The bolt guide has tool-less installation and in fact does not have any socket for an allen wrench. While this made installation very quick and easy, I personally would have liked to also had an option for an allen wrench for those cold days where everything sticks. However during testing had no issues with removing the bolt guide after use or sitting.
Again this image isn't so great but you can make out the biggest concern I did have with the kit. This is the first image I will update when I can. The ports on the bolt themselves have jagged edges. while the outer and inner surface of the bolt feels smooth and did not damage any orings during my tests I still have some concerns for long term usage. This is something I will have to wait and see about. But as the bolt worked and did not eat orings for breakfast I will give it a pass for being a limited first run, and these things are a reality of machine work.
Second Impression: (aka How'd it work?)
So the setup I was using to test was my recently reborn Gen 3 Quest, stock reg and stock board (WAS). Both HPR and LPR have had the vent holes drilled as per Juit's cheap mod thread. Tank is a new style Crossfire HP reg 4500 45ci. Barrel kit is an Evil Pipe and ammo was Reball. The chronograph used was the hand held X-crono(the gray one.) The only other bolt and guide I had to compare were the stock ones.
Compared to the stock bolt kit the 4B kit did show improved performance in the 3 key areas Thin Air Sports claims on their site. Firstly the kit is lighter and smoother allowing for a lower overall LPR setting. I found I could move from about 80ish to as low as 70 psi and get consistent cycling. Though at that low of an LPR setting the shots were not very consistent velocity wise. Second, consistency. At the 80 psi LPR setting, I was able to lower my dwell from 10.5ms stock to 8.25ms for the 4B kit. At that dwell shots were +/- 3 fps for the 4B kit. Stock at the 85psi and 10.5ms dwell experienced +/- 5 fps shot velocities. So lower psi, dwell and higher shot to shot consistency. Third, efficiency. Well as you can probably guess if I used a lower LPR, a lower dwell, I should get a higher overall efficiency with the new 4B kit. And you would be right. For my smaller 45ci tank I got an extra 1 - 2.5 pods on a full 4500 fill. My guess is first, my settings for the stock bolt kit could have been better, and I freely admit that. But with the relative inconsistency compared to the 4B kit I am not sure that more efficiency would beneficial in real world play.
Overall the 4B Kit does exactly what it says it will. I saw lower operating pressures, smoother cycling, and increased consistency and efficiency. One thing I hope to test soon during some of this winter's cold weather is paint breakage and roll back. Sadly that will probably wait until after New Years. If you ask me the $110 price tag is worth the product you get. It brings a new level of performance to a beloved platform that can still hold its own. There are a few changes I personally would like to see in a second run (allen socket along with tool-less grip, and higher level of polish on the bolt ports.) Despite those minor details I have no problem recommending this for anyone who wants to take there Quest as high as it can go.