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Old 04-22-2012, 02:57 AM #1
incognito-z
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Arrow Upgrade List for Mini/Axe Pics/Links/Reviews

Hey all. I've been working on this for a while for all those new Mini/Axe owners who aren't sure what upgrades they should buy. It is divided into two sections: performance and cosmetic upgrades. Hope you guys like it!

PERFORMANCE
Barrel/Barrel Kits- A barrel is often a player's first upgrade. They're easy to replace and some can be quite inexpensive. Most people assume that a new barrel improves accuracy, but accuracy is most directly tied to the paint that you use. A new barrel will not drastically change your accuracy. The most noticeable changes you will notice are to a guns' sound signature and look. This YouTube video explains it quite nicely. Blak Katalyst started up an Axe specific barrel comparison thread and Mann did a great job in this barrel comparison experiment here. It's a great source for people who are looking for a little more info on barrels; there's some pretty sick pics on there too! Because there are so many barrels, I can't go into detail about every single option. Here are some of the most popular choices.
-CP One Piece Barrel. This is one of the most popular and cheapest barrels out there. It come in dozens of colors - for an average rec-baller, this is the perfect choice. They retail for 30$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Reviews
-Invert Nightstick. This is, again, one of the most popular barrels in the medium price range. It is made of carbon fiber, meaning it weighs much less than a normal barrel does. It also decreases the sound signature of the marker. However, it only comes in one color: black with a silver bottom. Because it is made of carbon fiber, it retails for slightly higher than the CP barrel does: 54$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Reviews
-Freak Barrel Kit. The best (IMO) barrel kit out there. Period. I've used mine for a year and a half now, and have never had a problem. It comes in a multitude of color combinations and can be mixed and matched. It comes with a carrying case, eight inserts, and the barrel itself. It's wonderful. Sadly, the price reflects that; a Freak kit retails for 150$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Reviews
-Lurker Eigenbarrel. If you're looking to underbore (using a barrel that is slightly smaller than your paint size), look into getting the Eigenbarrel. It was rated the best underbore barrel on the "Underbore Battle Royale" (Results Here) and is a quality barrel for a great price. It comes only in black and retails for 39$. Links for Purchase: Factory Site -- Reviews

Bolt- Upgrading your bolt is kind of like upgrading your transmission in your car; if you don't know what to look for, you'll never notice it. I know people who have upgraded their bolt, never tuned it, and swear it was all a waste of money. Well, we're here to help. There are two popular bolts and both pride themselves in power and efficiency: the Lurker Eigenbolt (Official Thread) and the Boss Bolt. Both are great, but it's not my place to decide which is better. There is a thread dedicated to that here and they've hashed out the pro's and con's quite nicely. Both SnakeSniper and IronyUSA have written up incredible reviews on the differences between the bolts. From the poll, it's about neck and neck between the two; it's up to you to decide. There are a few other options; for example, the TechT bolt and the NDZ Tru-Flo. The TechT bolt and NDZ bolt aren't quite as popular as the Lurker and Boss bolts, but it's worth mentioning them. And for those who need help tuning their gun once they've purchased the bolt, MacOC made a great tuning guide (here). Both retail for around 30$. Lurker: Factory Site -- Reviews Boss: Factory Site -- No reviews available.

Spring Kit- Similar to the bolt in that unless the owner knows how to tune the gun, it can be difficult to feel the difference. Here's the link to a great tuning guide. Most spring kits come with a harder (harder to condense), a medium, and a softer (easier to condense) spring. It's a tossup; some people prefer to be softer on paint and use the softer spring, while others prefer the harder spring so they can increase their BPS.
-TectT Spring Kit. Like I said before, it comes with three springs: hard, medium, and soft. They work fine and retail for 15$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- No reviews available.
-NDZ Spring Kit. They're exactly the same as the TectT kits. Nothing different. They retail for 20$, 5$ more than the TechT kit. Links for Purchase: SakWorld -- Reviews
-Boss Spring Kit. Again, another spring kit. These come in a package deal with the Boss Bolt, so it's sometimes easier to purchase these. The entire package (Boss Bolt+spring kit) retails for 30$. You can also purchase the kit by itself for 8$. Much, much cheaper than the other options. AND if you have a Boss Bolt already, you'll get a rebate. Links for Purchase: Factory Site Factory Site2 PunishersPB -- No reviews available.

Poppit- To date, a poppit upgrade has not been released. Most believe polishing your poppit improves performance, but that's just a simple do-it-yourself job. However, Lurker is working on a prototype, but nobody knows when it is going to be released. There is a thread here discussing it. No prices have been released yet.

Sensor Board/Eyes- Upgrading your eyes is one of the first things most users upgrade. It's simple and cheap. There is one type of upgrade sensor board by Virtue called Virtue Laser Eyes. One of the main perks of having these is that, unlike the stock eyes, there is an actual LED that allows you to make sure your eyes are working. With the stock eyes, it's all guess and check, but with laser eyes a quick glance down the feedneck and you're set. They also come with a lifetime warranty, which doesn't hurt either. They come in three different LED colors: blue, green, and red. All retail for 30$. They recently released a new version for the Axe, so make sure you are purchasing the right version. The Virtue board for the Axe also has a lighter microswitch. Links for purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Reviews

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Old 04-22-2012, 02:57 AM #2
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On/Off ASA- Another upgrade that is almost automatically purchased by first time Mini owners. For all of you Axe owners out there, you don't even have to worry; the Axe comes stock with one. However, for Mini owners, it's an expensive upgrade. I, personally, do not own one nor will I ever. They're nice to have, sure, but at the price that they're set at it seems unreasonable. The only difference between the On/Off and the stock regulator is, well, there is an on/off lever that allows you to unscrew your tank easier. It retails for 80$ and comes in black, red, and blue. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- No reviews available.

NDZ Threadsaver- Like the On/Off ASA, this makes unscrewing your tank easier at the end of the day. The only difference is that this goes inbetween your tank and ASA and acts as a junction between the two. They are much cheaper than the On/Off, and because of this, many people use this. They retail for 30$ and come in black, blue, and red. Links for Purchase: ANS Amazon -- No reviews available.

Axtenze- This is an Axe specific upgrade. The Axtenze fits in between the trigger frame and ASA and moves your tank back 3/4 of an inch for all of you who feel the Axe is too small or who want a more stable set-up. It comes in black and retails for 45$. Links for Purchase: PB Delivery -- No reviews available.

Trigger- Most pro-ballers agree that the stock Mini trigger is not good enough. They find that the side to side (the trigger moving side to side, not up and down like it should) room screws up their fingering and slows down the rate they can shoot semi. But lets be honest; it's all personal preference. I can't sit here and give you advice on which trigger to get because it's a different choice for every person. However, what I can do is give you the list. Here it is.
-CP Rake Trigger. This trigger is shaped differently than the stock trigger; it's shaped like a large C. See the links for pics. It comes in a multitude of colors and retails for 30$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB CP ANS -- No reviews available.
-CP Sling Trigger. This trigger is shaped the same way as the stock trigger, just without the side to side movement. See the links for pics. It comes in multitude of colors and retails for 30$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB CP ANS -- No reviews available.
-Violent Mini Trigger. It is shaped almost identically to the CP sling trigger. I have never tried a violent trigger out, so I have no idea whether the side to side movement was fixed. They come in black and silver and retail for 38$. Links for Purchase: ANS Amazon - Reviews
-Critical Axiom Trigger for Axe. Another trigger that removes the side to side movement, but just for the Axe. It's shaped the same way as the stock trigger. They also strengthened and repositioned the trigger magnet. See links for more pics. Factory Site -- Reviews
-Element Trigger for Axe. I have no experience with this trigger. It comes in two styles: dragon and scythe. See the links for some pics, it looks pretty cool if you ask me. Links for Purchase: Factory Site -- Reviews (Scythe)
-ACiD C/P Trigger. These triggers, according to acidcustom (their Manufacturer Rep on PBN), "increase your BPS and make offhand shooting more easier for your marker". I have not found an online store that sells them so I cannot include a retail price or color list, but they look great. PM acidcustom for more details.

Main Board- A main board replacement may seem unnecessary in the beginning, but when you start competing in tournaments the stock board loses it's almost god-like connotation and turns into a instrument of torture for those who need to program it or change modes quickly and efficiently. Luckily for us, there are many board replacements. All mainly do the same thing, the deal breaker is usually customer service. These boards have a connotation of easily breaking and you want a board whose manufacturer will stand by it, 100%. Here is a list of the best boards with the best customer service.
-APE Rampage Board. This board is great; changing your mode is quick and simple; one press of the main power button and your set. Also, APE has some of the best customer service out there. You can't go wrong with an APE board. They retail for 90$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Official Thread -- Reviews
-Virtue OLED Board. This is another top quality board. What sets this one apart is the fact it has a screen that fits in the replacement battery plate it comes with. This screen allows you to program your board in a much easier way and helps with overall performance. However, the screens are notorious for breaking. Lucky for us, Virtue has some of the best customer service out there and will replace any broken screen for free. However, the screen comes at a price; the board retails for 180$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Reviews (for the non OLED version)
-Redline Grip. This is a recently released board straight from Empire. Instead of replacing the board, they replace the entire foregrip and install a screen. I have not tested one out yet, but I have heard they're great. They come in a bunch of cool colors too. However, they're pretty expensive; they retail for anywhere between 185$ and 255$. Links for Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- Reviews
-7th Element Board. This is made for the more "economical" ballers. It is one of the cheaper boards and is usually on sale on one site or another. The board itself is fine, but the customer service isn't as good as some of the other companies and the price reflects that. It retails for 35$. Links for Purchase: ANS -- Reviews
-Shockwave Board. This is a relatively new board, it was only released a few months ago. It's similar to the other upgrade boards; however, it's extremely cheap. If you recently purchased a brand new Mini/Axe and it came with an Optimus board, email KEE and they'll send you one for free. It retails for only 27$. Links For Purchase: Hustle PB ANS -- No reviews available.

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Old 04-22-2012, 02:57 AM #3
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Nummech Foregrip Extender- This is a fairly new upgrade, but in my personal opinion, one of the best. It creates a bridge between your foregrip and body and moves the foregrip forward about an inch. I have one on my personal Mini and can't complain; it completely changes the way the gun feels. It's reasonably priced too; only 35$. It comes in black, red, blue, and silver. Links for Purchase: PM Incognito-Z -- Official Thread -- Reviews

Nummech Snatch Grip- The snatch grip is not a new idea; one was released years ago but fell out of production. A recent push for a new version caused Nummech to release one. I was part of the production process, and boy, did they nail it. I've been using mine ever since the prototype came in the mail. They come in black, blue, red, and silver. Sadly, these only fit the Mini. Links for Purchase: PM Incognito-Z -- Reviews

Nummech Drop Forward- It's pretty self explanatory. The Mini/Axe, because of the way the compressed air is moved through the grip and not the foregrip has to have a modified drop forward in which the air moves through it. They work great. Links for Purchase: PM Incognito-Z -- Reviews

Nummech VL Trigger Frame- Andy really outdid himself on these. The new Nummech VL Trigger frames for both the Mini and Axe feature an integrated snatch grip (like a Geo), a spring loaded rail mount (no more female air transfer tube!) and enhanced ergonomics. I absolutely adore mine, definitely check them out if you're really looking to turn your Mini or Axe into a truly great gun. The Mini frame comes in gloss black, dust black, and dust green and retails for 106$. The Axe frame comes in dust black (for now) and retails for 110$. Links for Purchase: PM Incognito-Z -- Reviews

Thumb Screw- This upgrade is not specifically designed for the Mini/Axe, or any other paintball gun. This is simply a screw that replaces the battery plate screw and allows you to access your board/battery much quicker and without an allen key. There are no specific companies that make these; they can be found pretty much everywhere. They're arguably one of the best (and cheapest!) upgrades for your Mini/Axe. Links for Purchase: eBay -- No reviews available.

COSMETIC
Feedneck- I, personally, don't care for these. The stock feedneck works great, but if you don't like the how it feels or works or simply want to look different, there are many options, none of which are very popular. It is important to say that a few of these upgraded feednecks will lower the hopper, which in turn gives you a smaller profile on the field. If you're worried about taking off the stock feedneck, here are a few suggestions on how to remove it. There is a thread comparing sizes of feednecks here and a thread discussing them here,
-CP Feedneck. It's one of the lever style feednecks (like the stock). It comes in a bunch of colors, and it looks pretty cool. It retails for 30$. KappY! wrote a very detailed review here that compares the CP Feedneck to the out of production Empire Nano. Links for purchase: ANS -- Reviews
-Shocktech Feedneck. Like the Mini/Axe, these also have a lever. The only reason to purchase this is if you simply don't like the look of the stock feedneck. They slightly lower the hopper, which in turn lowers your profile on the field. They measure in at 2.3cm (stock is 4cm). They come in a few colors, and retail for 20$. Links for purchase: ANS Amazon -- No reviews available.
-Warrior High Rise. Again, another feedneck with a lever. However, this feedneck raises your hopper slightly. They come in a few different colors, and retail for 13$. Their low price makes them a very practical and economical choice. Links for purchase: ANS Amazon -- No reviews available.
-Warrior Low Rise. The exact same as the high rise (see above), but they are lower than the stock one. This lowers your hopper slightly, giving it a smaller profile. They measure in at 3.5cm (stock is 4cm). It retails for 18$. Links for purchase: ANS -- No reviews available.
-Empire Nano Feedneck. This is a lot like many of the feednecks out there, except it greatly lowers your hopper in relationship to your gun. It works great with Rotors (or so I have heard). They measure in at 1.7cm (stock is 4cm). Sadly, this feedneck has been discontinued by Empire and is a rare find. BUT!! Empire has just announced that they are going to start making them again! Woohoo! Link is here. It retailed for 35$, but have been sold on eBay recently for as much as 85$. The new ones are supposed to retail for 35$, but we'll see. Links for Purchase: PB Gateway (out of stock) Factory Site -- No reviews available.
-Sanchez Axe Feedneck. Very similar to the Empire Nano feedneck, except they actually have these in stock. They come in four colors (gloss black, dust black, blue, and red) and can even use your stock feedneck lever, which is nice for those of us who have specially colored guns. They retail for 35$. Links for Purchase: PB Gateway -- No reviews available.
-Violent Low-Pro Axe/Mini Clamping Feedneck. Also designed similarly to the Empire Nano feedneck, the Violent Low-Pro measures in at only 1.78cm. They look great, and definitely aren't as expensive as a Nano. Credit goes to ChaseJax for finding them. They come in dust black and retail for 34$. Links for Purchase: ANS -- No reviews available.

Grips- These honestly just make your gun look awesome. If you're looking for a way to customize your gun and make it one of a kind, look no further. Grips are a simple and affordable way to make your gun yours. Links for Purchase: ANS PbGateway DBD Grips (Custom) -- No reviews available.

Color Kits- These are a more expensive, but yet perfectly viable way to accent your gun even more. They come with a bolt guide+cap, feedneck lever and detents. They are simply colored stock parts. They make your gun look accented and cool. Paired with grips, they look sick. They come in blue, silver, olive, and red and retail for 26$. Links for Purchase: ANS -- No reviews available.

Detents- I'm honestly not sure where to put these. The theory is that by having magnetic detents, it makes them less likely to fall out/ break, but I've been using my stock ones my entire life and they haven't broken yet.
-Kila Magnetic Detents. Again, these are magnetic. And they look cool. Who wouldn't want them? They retail for 25$. Links for Purchase: PunisherPB -- No reviews available.
-NDZ Spinners. Once more, these are magnetic. And, once more, they look cool. That's pretty much it (IMO). They retail for 16$. Links for Purchase: ePaintball -- No reviews available.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:35 AM #4
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NDZ Spinner Back Cap- These are simply replacement back caps. If you don't like look of yours or you stripped the back, these are for you. They come in black, red, silver and blue and retail for 16$. Links for Purchase: PunishersPB -- No reviews available.

Lube- This isn't an upgrade, but it's worth listing solely to end all the "What lube to use?" threads in here. The official lubricant for the Axe/Mini is Dow33 or any Dow33 based lubricant. Here are some of the most popular lubes for the Mini/Axe, along with some reviews from people on the forum. Also, here's a link to a thread dedicated to finding the best lube for the Axe.
-Hater Marmalade. I, personally, have not used this brand; however, according to ewagnerd9311, it was "really, crazy thick" and he couldn't "seem to get the amount right for my Mini." Based on reviews, this is not recommended for the Mini. Links for Purchase: NewEgg
-TechT Lube. Again, I have not used this brand; but according to ewagnerd9311, it was "sick, really slick, but it reeked". Again, not recommended unless you don't mind the smell. Factory Site
-Fluoroelastomer Thickened Lube. According to Lurker27, it works great, but it smelled very strong and toxic. "I feel more comfortable selling something less toxic (smelling, at least, i don't want to speculate)". Links for Purchase: McMaster #1243K31.
-Monkey Poo. It comes highly recommended by sameagol26. It even smells like bananas! You can't go wrong. Links for Purchase: PbGateway
-Lurker Lube. According to Teahouser, it "stays on the parts and is a bit slicker than Dow33". Another highly recommended lube for the Axe/Mini. Links for Purchase: Factory Site

WHICH UPGRADES SHOULD I GET?
If you are thinking about posting a "Which upgrades should I get" thread, take a look at some of these before posting.
Axe General Upgrades #1 - Axe General Upgrades #2 - Axe General Upgrades #3 - Axe General Upgrades #4 - Mini General Upgrades #1 - Best OLED Board - Smoothest Bolt - OLED or not to OLED, That is the Question - Boss or TechT Bolt - Tadao vs. Virtue

Thanks for looking guys! If you have any questions, feel free to post up!
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:42 AM #5
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I think a better word for "enhancive" would be "performance". nice write up tho!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:08 AM #6
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A couple nitpicking items. You put way too much emphasis on a barrel increasing "accuracy" which is a myth. Get a new one for looks, sound signature or length. Accuracy impact is minimal.

And the redlines come in one color unfortunately. Ans customizes them but Empire only makes black.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:03 AM #7
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Nice job, but I do think there are a few things you could change. Here's my input, and I don't mean this in a flame-type way or what not. Just constructive criticism from a writer/journalist

I'd stick to marker specific upgrades and not talk about barrels though. There are too many barrels out there which most people choose by personal preference, and there's the whole debate about accuracy/underboring/consistency,etc. In my mind, barrels, hoppers and tanks fall into the category of non-marker specific accessories if that makes sense.

Two things you could add are that the Virtue eye board for the Axe also has a lighter micro switch and the Virtue grips are thinner than stock which some would consider a performance upgrade.

You also didn't mention the Element triggers and the Element trigger pin, or the TechT bolts. I know most people aren't fans of the TechT bolts but it would help your information to be less biased.

Overall good work, I think this could be sticky material.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:07 AM #8
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Accuracy impact with a barrel is actually proven to be nearly non existent.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:39 AM #9
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I think this should be stickied to remove the mass of questions amongst this thread!
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:28 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geryfung View Post
I think a better word for "enhancive" would be "performance". nice write up tho!
Changed. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenit View Post
A couple nitpicking items. You put way too much emphasis on a barrel increasing "accuracy" which is a myth. Get a new one for looks, sound signature or length. Accuracy impact is minimal.

And the redlines come in one color unfortunately. Ans customizes them but Empire only makes black.
I'll put that in; however, since I began using my kit and sizing my bores I have seen a massive improvement in accuracy, even with bad paint.

I know... but they look so cool! I'll leave them, don't think people mind whether it's made by ANS or Empire. I'll put in a little blurb that the aftermarket ones are colored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxFactor View Post
Nice job, but I do think there are a few things you could change. Here's my input, and I don't mean this in a flame-type way or what not. Just constructive criticism from a writer/journalist

I'd stick to marker specific upgrades and not talk about barrels though. There are too many barrels out there which most people choose by personal preference, and there's the whole debate about accuracy/underboring/consistency,etc. In my mind, barrels, hoppers and tanks fall into the category of non-marker specific accessories if that makes sense.

Two things you could add are that the Virtue eye board for the Axe also has a lighter micro switch and the Virtue grips are thinner than stock which some would consider a performance upgrade.

You also didn't mention the Element triggers and the Element trigger pin, or the TechT bolts. I know most people aren't fans of the TechT bolts but it would help your information to be less biased.

Overall good work, I think this could be sticky material.
Thanks for the tips! I'll change them right now- I want this to be a collaborative thread, not just me doing something and then fighting with everybody. Please guys, post up!

Oh, and about the barrels: I put them in because people always come in and ask "Whats the best barrel for the Mini" and I was trying to eliminate all of those barrel upgrade threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanie08 View Post
I think this should be stickied to remove the mass of questions amongst this thread!
Thanks
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:42 PM #11
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Critical makes the Axiom trigger, not CP.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:44 PM #12
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Quote:
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Critical makes the Axiom trigger, not CP.
Uf. Fixed
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:56 PM #13
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Nice write up!
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:02 PM #14
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Nice write up!
Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:19 PM #15
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Great write up!

-I didn't see the nano under feednecks.
-Axiom- worth mentioning the repositioned and stronger magnet
-Should add the Element triggers, Element trigger pin, and Axtenze
-I've seen a lot of people running ultralite and furious barrels on their axes
-Boss and lurker bolts should have seperate topics, they work quite differently

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:33 PM #16
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I put them in as soon as I get home. Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:42 PM #17
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I'll put that in; however, since I began using my kit and sizing my bores I have seen a massive improvement in accuracy, even with bad paint.
I know people feel that way and want to feel that way because they've already bought into the theory. In testing it just doesn't hold up. Take a few minutes and watch this video on the Punkworks combined knowledge on barrels. Paint matching is the least consistent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=197yZ...eature=related

I just hate seeing this myth perpetuated.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:44 PM #18
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I know people feel that way and want to feel that way because they've already bought into the theory. In testing it just doesn't hold up. Take a few minutes and watch this video on the Punkworks combined knowledge on barrels. Paint matching is the least consistent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=197yZ...eature=related

I just hate seeing this myth perpetuated.
Hmm. Very interesting... I'll put this in the explanation for the barrels.

*Note all the mistakes/missing product info has been updated.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:42 PM #19
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Boss needs adding to this list as well
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:34 PM #20
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Hmm. Very interesting... I'll put this in the explanation for the barrels.

*Note all the mistakes/missing product info has been updated.
While you're there, I'd appreciate you noting that the Eigenbarrel tested out best in the Punkworks "Underbore Battle Royale".


Also, I'd add polishing the poppet as a mod to improve performance.

Other than that, GREAT job, and a lot of information to type up. I'll add it to the stickies, if you'll definitely keep it up to date!
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:44 PM #21
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While you're there, I'd appreciate you noting that the Eigenbarrel tested out best in the Punkworks "Underbore Battle Royale".


Also, I'd add polishing the poppet as a mod to improve performance.

Other than that, GREAT job, and a lot of information to type up. I'll add it to the stickies, if you'll definitely keep it up to date!
Your wish is my command I wanted to put one more barrel in there, just didn't know which one to put.

That would be great, and yes, I'll keep it up to date. Thank you so much!
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