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Old 12-19-2010, 08:35 PM #1
sleeplessmonkey
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Post SleeplessMonkey's quick and dirty 4B Kit review

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.

Final Thoughts: 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.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:37 PM #2
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Have you shot the Critical bolt before? Wondering how it compares to that.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:43 PM #3
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Very nice, honest review. Reballs make any testing difficult due to the ridiculously tiny diameter, but I was most impressed by the attention to detail that some might overlook.

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Old 12-20-2010, 12:44 PM #4
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yea thats gonna be the real test. But thanks for the review, makes me want mine even more
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:47 PM #5
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good job man,good detail, but a review comparing the gm&rsf too would be good!
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:57 PM #6
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thanks for the feedback. I do hope to get a hold of RSF bolt soon. But at this time only have the stock for comparison
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:11 PM #7
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If I ever get the chance, I have stock, GM, RSF, and 4B in my case.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:32 PM #8
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just got and installed mine. not sure whats up, but ittakes a lot of force to slide the bolt over the pin. Like a lot. Swapped some orings and its a little less, but still. dam. but, aired it up and shot in the garage, had one spot of bolt stick te first time but after that it was sweet. Even let it sit for 5 minutes aired up to see if it would stick again and nothing. cant wait to shoot it with paint
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:11 AM #9
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^^Yeah, that's how both of mine are. As in I had to YANK to get them apart out of the bag. After a good lubing it was a little easier, and I figure it'll break in as I play with it.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:25 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatafetus View Post
just got and installed mine. not sure whats up, but ittakes a lot of force to slide the bolt over the pin. Like a lot. Swapped some orings and its a little less, but still. dam. but, aired it up and shot in the garage, had one spot of bolt stick te first time but after that it was sweet. Even let it sit for 5 minutes aired up to see if it would stick again and nothing. cant wait to shoot it with paint
I found the RSF to be like that. Am really thinking about hooking my Quest up to a Scuba and cycling it 2000-3000 times to break in the bolt.

Great reveiw BTW.

Last edited by xceolite : 12-21-2010 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:05 PM #11
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You should just do it naturally.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:04 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xceolite View Post
I found the RSF to be like that. Am really thinking about hooking my Quest up to a Scuba and cycling it 2000-3000 times to break in the bolt.

Great reveiw BTW.
Make sure to lower the pressure and remove the detents. No need to put unnecessary stress on the aluminum nor the detents.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:49 PM #13
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I have never been a fan of unnecessary dry firing, let alone thousands of cycles of dry fire. The orings will break in very quickly, and in a spool valve there isn't alot more breaking after that for a bolt or guide. Sure the aluminum will wear alittle into a more 'familiar' fit, but not enough to notice. All that firing is really accomplishing is wearing out your orings, using your air, and putting excess stress on the system. In a system with more springs, such as a blow back popit, or a fasor popit, there is alot more settling of parts. But even then the 'consistancy' from breaking in came at the cost of wear and tear to the system. Honestly in my very humble opinion 'breaking' in guns does not take as long as most people seem to think, and even then the difference tends to be so marginal that it is easy to miss. Besides, even if you did get the benefits you hope, that is alot of extra cycles for that poor solenoid.
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Last edited by sleeplessmonkey : 12-22-2010 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:38 PM #14
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alrighty, i have a semi-retarded question. are all of the bolts blue?
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:39 PM #15
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To my knowledge, yes.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:03 PM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatafetus View Post
just got and installed mine. not sure whats up, but ittakes a lot of force to slide the bolt over the pin. Like a lot. Swapped some orings and its a little less, but still. dam. but, aired it up and shot in the garage, had one spot of bolt stick te first time but after that it was sweet. Even let it sit for 5 minutes aired up to see if it would stick again and nothing. cant wait to shoot it with paint
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmiller View Post
^^Yeah, that's how both of mine are. As in I had to YANK to get them apart out of the bag. After a good lubing it was a little easier, and I figure it'll break in as I play with it.
from TAS's site:

Why is the bolt so kit so tight? It's not easy to move the bolt over the bolt pin!
That's how it's designed. The tighter tollerances we use aren't new to paintball, but just not used a lot in todays gear. Looser tollerances equals cheaper to make. Tighter tollerances equals longer oring life, less leaks, and a more consistant gun shot to shot. Lube it up like you normally would, and drop it in.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:04 AM #17
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I retract my statement.

Disclaimer:
No quests will be harmed in the installation of my 4B kit via dry firing. I swear I will just use it as intended.
Thanks
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:20 AM #18
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cant wait to shoot mine.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:32 AM #19
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Yep, waiting on a 4B myself..... Although with international shipping and Customs, I'll probably be waiting a deal longer than you guys.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:40 AM #20
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heheheh......

out through customs and over the pond, to uziels house it goes.......
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:14 PM #21
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Hey man thanks for the review and suggestions! To everyone! I meant to post a thread asking for feedback but I forgot to do it last week.

The rough ports/slots issue is something we noticed immediately. The machining process was rougher than it should have been due to how it was done. But as you noticed the inside of the bolts are honed smooth and we cleaned up the critical edges so they'd be acceptable and not deadly to the seals.

I personally disagree with the bolts having came assembled, since the grease is obviously a requirement for the proper fit. But once the o-rings are greased and set things should be good.

A design feature that I don't believe was mentioned anywhere is a slight undercut located on the inside of the bolt. That's why you can feel the o-rings slip on and off of "something" when you move it by hand. The transitions were purposely honed down so they wouldn't damage o-rings as they moved across (so the undercut might not be visible by eye). But also as you've no doubt deduced, the exact "friction" fit between the o-rings and the bolt doesn't have much to do with performance. The bolt's speed is limited by venting instead of physical friction...so we made the o-ring fit purposely tighter to ENSURE the o-rings wouldn't leak mid-firing from one part of the gun to another.

Anyway, I doubt we will be able to incorporate an allen wrench onto the back of the bolt pin, but I can say that myself I would like to make the system a little easier to unscrew by hand. It'll make things easier to get out when the pin is overly tight, but it'll also just be easier during regular maintenance too.
The allen wrench hex is more of a cost issue. Ideally I'd like to have one in there but it would increase the cost by quite a bit, especially since there doesn't need to be a hole in the back anymore. You never know what'll happen though.

We have some changes in plan for the next batch but virtually all of them are production issues that don't effect things much if at all. The next batch will look different but everyone that uses one of these first-run bolts will have the same performance. There isn't much else we can do to make it better (save for the suggestions in this thread)
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