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Old 07-08-2020, 12:43 AM #1
g35x
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Empire Sniper - pump handle binding fixes

So I'm trying to dust off my old Empire Sniper and get it ready to play again. I don't play often these days, so I'd like to spend as little money as possible, however part of the reason I play pump so because I want my marker to "just work", so I'm willing to spend more money if it means a smoother marker and not having issues.

Options:

1.) Follow this ANSGear video and use a drill to shave some material out of the inside of the pump handle. Most would probably consider this the cheapest option, but I'm not a guy who has a lot of tools so I would have to invest in a drill. I have a cheap dremel but I don't think that would be able to reach far enough. Many people report that they have had to do this to their sniper multiple times, and I don't want to keep having to bore material out of my pump handle as a maintenance task.

2.) The Inception Designs Empire Sniper Upgrade- includes a fluted pump guide. Would using the fluted guide with the stock pump handle resolve the issue? I'm thinking that if my stock pump handle is already swollen, I may still have the binding issue even with the fluted guide rod? Can anyone with the fluted guide rod confirm?

3.) Should I just get rid of the stock kit entirely and throw on the Inception Designs Drift Kit? It's the most expensive option and it feels like a waste since I do like the dual guide-rod setup on the stock Empire kit. Plus it requires replacing the whole front assembly where the regulator screws in and I would lose my pressure gauge.
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:55 PM #2
sokopath
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If you're serious about the marker, I'd go with the new kit. The inception kit has a guide rod on the VASA like a CCM kit does. it doesn't have play. Also, I've never liked the gauges on the VASA. I always plugged the screw hole since I have a Reg pressure tester. The fluted guide rod would be a less expensive option to get a better fetter for sure, even with the pump handle drilled (granted you didn't create a rough surface)
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:33 PM #3
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You can also just buy a replacement stock handle for cheap (they cost around $6). As long as you wipe all of that nasty stock grease off and do not re-apply any grease or oil on the pump guide you will be just fine.

Last edited by Mr. Stealthy : 07-08-2020 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:15 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Stealthy View Post
You can also just buy a replacement stock handle for cheap (they cost around $6). As long as you wipe all of that nasty stock grease off and do not re-apply any grease or oil on the pump guide you will be just fine.
I think this is the real answer right here. Thank you sir.

I honestly didn't realize that I could still just go on ANS Gear and buy every single part of an Empire Sniper individually. I'm going to get the $60 Inception kit because the fixed hammer and shorter guide rod should really improve things. Then I'll throw on a new stock pump handle and call it a day.

Although I have to wonder - when you say do not apply any grease or oil, I wonder if even just left over paint from when the marker gets blasted on the field would cause that stock pump handle to swell, since some paint is kind of oily

Last edited by g35x : 07-10-2020 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:04 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g35x View Post
I think this is the real answer right here. Thank you sir.

I honestly didn't realize that I could still just go on ANS Gear and buy every single part of an Empire Sniper individually. I'm going to get the $60 Inception kit because the fixed hammer and shorter guide rod should really improve things. Then I'll throw on a new stock pump handle and call it a day.

Although I have to wonder - when you say do not apply any grease or oil, I wonder if even just left over paint from when the marker gets blasted on the field would cause that stock pump handle to swell, since some paint is kind of oily
It certainly could. Ive seen this with bolts on older guns that have sat a long time depending on the bolt material used. Id recommend removing the handle from time to time anyway to keep the guide rod clean of debris. The main issue is that nasty grease though. Once I had that off and a new pump handle, I didn’t experience any binding issues with moderate moderate cleaning.

There are also some aftermarket handles out there that are made of better materials but they are definitely going to cost you more money.

Last edited by Mr. Stealthy : 07-17-2020 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:26 AM #6
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If you do not have a drill handy, No problem. 1/4” wooden dowel. Glue aome sandpaper (one end) and wrap the sheet until it’s just slightly mallee in diameter. When you insert it into the handle and let go it’ll unravel slightly.

Just turn a dozen times. You don’t need to take off much.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:55 PM #7
g35x
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Got the Inception Designs guide rod/hammer kit installed, and replaced the stock pump handle. My Sniper is up and running again, thanks all!

I also realized when I disassembled it that the little bumper inside of the pump handle was missing. I bought it used so it seems the previous owner had disassembled the marker at some point and lost it. Maybe not having the bumper in there was why the pump handle got as messed up inside as it did. I ordered a replacement bumper from ANS Gear when I bought the pump handle and made sure to install it, so hopefully I'll be all good from now on!
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:06 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g35x View Post
Got the Inception Designs guide rod/hammer kit installed, and replaced the stock pump handle. My Sniper is up and running again, thanks all!

I also realized when I disassembled it that the little bumper inside of the pump handle was missing. I bought it used so it seems the previous owner had disassembled the marker at some point and lost it. Maybe not having the bumper in there was why the pump handle got as messed up inside as it did. I ordered a replacement bumper from ANS Gear when I bought the pump handle and made sure to install it, so hopefully I'll be all good from now on!
I've seen that bumper missing out of the box a few times. Honestly assembly issues are pretty much what gives these guns a bad rep. Once you get those ironed out, the guns are really solid.

Assembly was also lot better on these before GI acquired Empire IMO.
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