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Tacitus

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Everything posted by Tacitus

  1. Tacitus

    A Magpul Masada project

    I've been tinkering with my Masada again recently. Seeing as my review is hidden somehere within the gargantuan almost-100 page Magpul PTS Masada ACR review thread, I thought I'd make an article here for people to bookmark and easily keep track of any updates I add. I'll put updates at the bottom, so if you've read it before you won't have to skim through to find new information: Review Received my UK-spec Masada last week, with 1 free Pmag kindly thrown in from Dingodogs. I'm extremely impressed with the material and build quality. The polymer is gorgeous stuff, seemingly better quality than the Pmags with a slightly more shiny or 'waxy' appearance, and a more complex, deeper texture. The polymer seems very tough and has a nice, dense feel to it. Yes there are mold lines visible, but they're not excessive or ugly and don't detract from the quality at all. They certainly can't be felt when shouldering the gun with bare hands. The CNC upper is one very solid piece of metal. It's clearly been made to tight tolarances. I think the fact that it's been painted slightly reduces the precise appearance of the upper, but only when you look very closely. It's a very nice part of the gun and gives the whole thing a beautifully solid structure. The outer barrel is a beautiful part too. Very solid, very high quality work. Not sure what process has been used to colour the outer barrel and gas tube, but it has a gorgeous satin finish. Some people have said the gun is light, but personally I think the weight is perfect. It's light enough that I'm be able to skirmish it all day, but heavy enough to make it feel solid and sturdy. Certainly lighter than some other guns, but this is also due to the way the weight is petfectly balanced. It's very ergonomic and feels completely natural to shoulder. Lucky for me the fixed stock is the perfect length, and feels very solid. Mine came with a sling point already attached, although the design is different to the separately sold Mapgul PTS sling point (which is a bizarre and hugely overpriced accessory). As a showpiece it's stunning, but I bought this gun as an upgrade platform so the crucial test for me is whether it can be elevated to high performance. There's room for an internal tracer unit, as well as the extra electronics I've installed. I found that the barrel lever is removable, so there's actually plenty of room in the handguard for electronics etc. Upon disassembly, it becomes clear that a lot of work is needed to gain serious performance from this gun. I have no interest in running a stock gun, and wanted to take out the motor brushes to put into my own motor, so I never fired it in it's stock form. Even though I can't comment on the performance out of the box, visually inspecting the internals is very revealing. Wiring The soldering was ok, but not great. Tamiya connector is disappointing but not surprising. The gearbox has been designed so that the wires run through the gearbox shell itself. This makes the installation of a mosfet quite tricky, as there isn't much room for extra wires. The major obstacle that the wires must avoid is the magazine release. I ended up making some plastic blocks to glue onto each side of the gearbox to keep the wires out of the way, allowing the mag release to function normally. Another obstacle to overcome when installing extra wires is the fact that the gearbox can be pushed out of alignment by the wires themselves. So unless you're careful when re-assembling the gun, the gearbox might sit in the wrong position, causing the bolt release to bind on top of the gearbox. Microswitch/Trigger The microswitch says it's rated for only 15A which is quite low, so it wouldn't last long if used with a high performance battery and motor combination without a mosfet. So while the microswitch is a nice idea, it's a half-baked one and something of a liability when upgrading the gun. It doesn't provide much physical resistance, so you can't feel a nice, crisp click (although you can hear it). In fact, the design of the trigger is such that a trigger pull actually releases the switch, so installing a stronger microswitch wouldn't improve it. The trigger itself is let down hugely by the fire selector design becasue when reassembling the gun, it's very difficult to correctly align the selector gears with the lower receiver. This is a part which actually requires some 'tuning' to get right, which could have been so easily avoided with a better design. The trigger does seem to be very sensitive to slight fire-selector movement, bizzarely requiring a stronger trigger pull in certain positions. Definitely needs some learning to get right. Motor The motor doesn't use the strong neodymium magnets found in high performance motors, so this would be one of the first things to replace. The best motors can be bought cheap, so it's a disappointment that the gun doesn't include one. Anti-Reversal Latch I had problems with the stock ARL. I'm not sure exactly what was wrong with it, as it didn't appear to be binding on anything, but there was audible backspin until I replaced it. Gears I reaplaced the stock gears immediately, so I can't comment on their performance or durability. It was disappointing to see that the bevel gear only has 4 ARL teeth. Tappet Plate The gun did not feed at first. Not at all. When manually inserting a BB into the barrel, the power was awful. It turned out to be a malformed tappet plate not allowing the nozzle to make contact with the bucking. I had to shave off a little material from the tappet plate. Feeding improved slightly, but I had to install a sector clip to allow the gun to feed reliably. Air Nozzle The air nozzle has no o-ring, meaning it does not form a proper air seal with the cylinder head nozzle. This affects power and consistency, which is disappointing for such an expensive gun. It wouldn't be a problem if the nozzle itself was a standard part, but as far as I know it's a unique length. At 25.4cm long it's enormous. Piston/Piston head I haven't tested it, but there's an air bubble visible inside the pickup tooth so I wouldn't want to put any strain on the piston. The piston came with a huge metal weight inside it (which is of course the opposite of what we want), and of course the angle of engagement hadn't been corrected. The O-ring was too big, causing excess friction on the back stroke so it had to be replaced. Cylinder/Cylinder head The cylinder isn't ported, but power is good enough so I haven't spent time/money on perfecting the barrel/cylinder volume. The cylinder itself seems great, and forms a perfect air seal. The cylinder head is proprietary due to the longer nozzle, but can be made good with teflon tape and sorbo. Spring guide This part is another major disappointment along with the air nozzle. It has no bearing, just a simple metal washer. Again this would be fine if it weren't a unique design. And again, if anyone knows of an aftermarket bearing spring guide which will fit please let me know. The quick spring change feature itself is very nice. Quickly changing springs isn't something I plan on doing, but it makes assembly and disassembly much easier, as you never have to fight against the main spring tension. For this reason, installing a high power spring would be trivial. Everything in the gearbox was severley overlubed with some sort of very thick gunge, as with most stock AEGs. I forgot to check the shimming so I can't comment on it. I immediately replaced the bushings/bearings so I can't comment on them either. I haven't done extensive range testing so I can't yet tell if the hopup design or stock barrel are good enough, but the integrated nub does concern me. Self-retaining body pins A small detail, but the little clips holding in the body pins makes working on this gun an absolute pleasure. They snap into position with a really satisfying click, and having 4 less things to keep track of is awesome. Although the clips can come loose so be careful! Iron sights The integrated front sight is strange, as it eats into the paintwork if allowed to spring into position. Otherwise it's a nice, solid sight which is adjustable. The rear sight is really beautiful. Sling mounts The multitude of sling mount points is a very nice feature. The gun comes with 3 quick detach mount points, which can all be mounted on one side of the gun if you choose. Proprietary parts: Gearbox shell, motor cage, cut-off lever, spring guide, cylinder head, nozzle, hopup arm/nub/mechanism, trigger assembly, selector plate, selector gears. As an upgrade platform this guns is fine, but the proprietary spring guide and air nozzle are the 2 major problems. The ability to use most other standard parts makes it good enough, and if a decent air nozzle and spring guide are made available then nothing inside the gearbox could hold it back. There's a lot to be desired from the gearbox in it's stock form, and there are a couple of irritating design choices, but I'm really happy with it. I haven't been able to put it down since I got it, it just handles so well. If anyone wants more info, feel free to get in touch. Update 4/25/11 I bought some Modify 8mm Ceramic Bearings, having been impressed with them on another build (Airsoft World is a good place to buy them). It seems that the Masada gearbox is slightly thinner than the standard V2/3, because a disturbingly small number of shims are needed. None at all on the sector gear! I'm using Siegetek gears which are slightly elevated around the axles, so there won't be any excess friction because of the lack of shims. But it's way better to have more space for shims. So for the Magpul Masada I'd avoid these particular bearings. I haven't tested any others, but I'll report back when I do! I was able to commission a custom air seal nozzle from AirsoftPro.cz for my Masada. They used the original air nozzle I sent them, and made me an aluminium one with an O-ring inside to minimise air leakage. It's very nicely made, and they now sell them. So, as is normal in airsoft, a major design flaw has been overcome by the end user and a small scale manufacturer! I've just noticed that the air nozzle on that website is marked as an A&K Masada nozzle. I don't know if it would fit the A&K version, but I can assure you that 25.4mm is the correct length for the Magpul PTS Masada. I've just emailed them about it so hopefully they'll change it... I've developed an internal tracer system which requires an extra microswitch to be fitted to the trigger. The idea is that a partial trigger pull illuminates the LEDs, so that the tracer BBs are exposed to light before the gun is actually fired. This is crucial if you want consistently bright BBs from an internal tracer. The thing is that the Masada really has no room for extra switches to be simply put in place, unlike the G36. But I have a MOSFET installed, so I was able to use a much, much smaller microswitch to actually fire the gun. This freed up enough room to put in a second microswitch to illuminate the tracer It took an awful lot of fine tuning, and it really doesn't look pretty, but now I have a trigger which activates two microswitches, one after the other. I haven't finished this current upgrade project yet, so there'll be more to come before too long. Thanks for reading!
  2. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    http://www.airsoftworld.net/ They have a bunch of Modify parts.
  3. Tacitus

    A Magpul Masada project

    As in retailers? I don't think so, but AirsoftPro.cz should be willing to ship to you. It just takes patience, anyone can do it.
  4. Tacitus

    A Magpul Masada project

    Oh wow, somehow I didn't get notified when you posted your reply. Sorry about that! I just had another go at logging into the registry and it worked fine. I must have had caps lock on or something last time. Thanks for letting me know about the Kanzens. They were going to be the next bearings I tried. I can't remember anything specific about those Modify gears, but I know they're prone to failure. When it comes to gears, SHS are just as reliable as other gearsets bar Siegetek. So either buy SHS or Siegetek, because anything in between is uneconomical.
  5. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Woops, somehow I missed your post. Sorry about that. I also totally forgot about my promise to measure pistons, so I'll get on with that shortly. Thanks for reminding me. Thanks for sharing your list, it's good to know of a few more parts which work. I'd be cautious of using those bushings though, because RiotSC only recommends Modify tempered stainless steel bushings, or ceramic bearings. The gear axles are so hard that they will wear down other bushings over time. Unfortunately I can confirm that neither of Modify's 8mm offerings are compatible with Siegetek gears in the Masada gearbox. My next try would be Kanzen ceramic bearings, but they are known to be fragile so I wouldn't run them hard, if they even fit. But let us know how the 5KU bearings look after a few thousand rounds.
  6. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    I'm sorry if you got that impression. All I've been trying to do is clarify what you've been telling us. We are all trying to get the best out of our Masadas, so we need accurate information. Aaaah ok. That's interesting, because my stock bushings worked fine with those gears. However, in the past I received a Siegetek bevel gear with an axle that was slightly too thick to fit into any bushing. Apparently there can be imperfections in the coating process. RiotSC is very good about replacing faulty gears though, so manufacturing defects aren't a concern. Other users have reported no problems with Siegetek gears and stock bushings, so yours might be another case of slight manufacturing imperfection from Ares, Siegetek or both. Sorry, it's been a while and I don't remember what problems you were experiencing. Are you saying you've had gearbox lockups with certain spring/piston combinations? Nobody has mentioned solid spring length, which is the only measurement you need to think about if you're concerned about spring length causing lockups. Extended spring length tells us little, because different springs are made with different wire thickness. You have to accurately measure the wire diameter, then multiply that by the number of coils to get the solid spring length. Then put your piston of choice into the gearbox along with the sector gear and spring guide. Move the piston to the release position, then measure the distance between the spring guide base and the front inside wall of the piston. There's plenty of room for the PDI and Guarder springs I've tried (PD1 120/130, Guarder 110-130), but of course I wasn't using the ridiculous weight that came with the stock piston. Why on earth would an airsoft tech try other bushings if the ones he's using seem too tight? Sarcasm over, RiotSC told me the only 8mm bushings you should use with his gears are Modify 8mm tempered stainless steel. His gears are so hard that over time they will wear down softer bushings, so I would regularly inspect the bushing holes to make sure you're not about to destroy something in there.
  7. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    I guess some people are just not technically minded and don't understand the need for clarity. When it comes to technical matters, I stand by my previous statement: Vague descriptions are useless. Describing technical details in vague terms, the way you continue to do, is a waste of everyone's time. Your guy is not unique in his pursuit of perfection. All good professional technicians focus in on the smallest details in order to make everything work as well as possible. This is exactly what we're trying to do right now with the Masada, and you claim to have some helpful information about it, but you are unable to communicate it properly. So now you're suggesting that the gears didn't actually need any modification at all, but your tech decided to sand them anyway?
  8. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Ok, now I know you've completely failed to understand everything I've been trying to tell you: VAGUE DESCRIPTIONS ARE USELESS.
  9. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Sounds like he's being intentionally vague. I hate it when professionals try to hide stuff from their clients. It happens all the time unfortunately... People try to make the job sound more complicated in order to justify a higher fee. I guess the 'gear modification' thing is BS. Besides "maybe just some work here and there with sandpaper" is about as useless as you can get.
  10. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    ASM is about sharing information accurately. Everything has to be scrutinised, it's nothing personal. If you try to present misleading or vague statements as facts, it will get noticed. For that reason, it contains a goldmine of useful information which you can read. Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing about what your tech did to your gears!
  11. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    For people skimming or just recently picking up the thread, it's confusing. You have to be clear in your posts otherwise they can be misinterpreted! BTW you haven't replied to the thread on ASM.
  12. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Me too I don't think spares are available, which is a shame because it's been out for a while now. Lol! So why did you include the piston in your parts list?
  13. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Thanks! Good to be able to add some more parts to the compatible list. I have a few questions: Did the piston go in at all? If so, specifically what modification was needed? If not, why is it on the list? Also, you mentioned over on ASM that the gears required modification. Can you specify what needed doing exactly?
  14. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    That would be wonderful! So where did 32 RPS at 410 FPS come from? Finally someone with some useful information! What else have you got running in your Masada? How's the performance?
  15. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Yeah, it's *suitcase*. But I made my own which works nicely.
  16. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    I'm not heated up, I'm just keen to keep useless information out of this thread. There are many problems that are unique to this gun only, and we need to figure out with as much accuracy as possible how to get the most out of it.
  17. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    You appear to be suggesting that upgrading the Masada is as easy as any other AEG. What you don't seem to have understood is that the Masada is off the standard TM spec. This means that most aftermarket parts need careful selection and/or modification in order to become compatible. If you had worked on your gun personally, you would have realised this.
  18. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    The only reason anyone is talking about AEG tuning in this thread is that the PTS Masada is off-spec enough to introduce problems unique to this gun. Claiming you personally built yourself a great Masada doesn't help anyone figure out how to overcome these unique problems, because you didn't actually build it yourself and therefore don't know exactly what has gone into making it run nicely. I posted a reply to your post over on ASM by the way.
  19. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    That sounds about normal. Although it was your tech that actually did the work, right?
  20. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    First, set you hopup to minimum. Then remove the outer barrel, then from that take out the inner barrel. At one end of the inner barrel there's a rubber cylinder that fits over the barrel, this is called the bucking. Inside the bucking there is a mound which is supposed to sit inside the barrel (there is a window cut into the barrel for this purpose). As a BB is fired, the mount is the thing which causes the BB to spin, so the mound must be aligned with the exact top of the barrel. But if the mound is somehow malformed you will need a new bucking, so take a good look at the mound to make sure it looks even. If it looks okay, you can put it back on the barrel, making sure it's at the exact top of the barrel, then carefully re-assemble the rest of the gun. If the problem persists, you will need to disassemble the hopup chamber using a roll pin punch to inspect and possibly modify it. Although if you're unfamiliar with tuning AEG hopups I'd just take it to a tech who knows their way around a Masada.
  21. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    Higher torque equals lower speed. Higher speed equals lower torque. There's no changing that.
  22. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    All modern airsoft motor designs use neodymium magnets. Ferrite motors are obsolete and to compare the two makes no sense. Yes you can achieve good ROF with a torque motor, but at medium power levels you can use a HS motor with no loss of trigger response. All neo motors give relatively high torque.
  23. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    As with all high performance builds there is less margin for error when tuning. But if you're good at tuning and you use the right parts, you can happily run a gun at high speed for a very long time.
  24. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    The only reason for using one at that power level would be if you wanted to deliberately keep the ROF down, but that goal would be better achieved using a lower voltage battery or a computerized mosfet with ROF control. Modern neodymium magnet high speed motors can provide plenty of speed AND torque at the mild power levels being discussed.
  25. Tacitus

    MagPul PTS MASADA ACR

    It really isn't needed to pull an M120.
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