Monday, September 12, 2005

CCM Series 5 Autococker

I'd been thinking about picking up an autococker (paintball marker) for quite some time. Not really for the want of another semiautomatic marker, but so I could invite more people along. An impediment had been that everyone complains about their autocockers. They're complex pieces of equipment, which lends them to failure. Though many will argue that once an autococker is timed it needs little attention, I've found this to be true.

The autococker internals consists of a sear, hammer, and valve just as other markers do. To cock bolt back and forth the use of gas pressure and a ram is used. In normal cocked and gassed position, the hammer waits to be released into the valve whereupon the air will be released into the hollow bolt which blows the air and paintball out the barrel. The trigger releases the hammer and actuates an arm which controls a valve which controls where the air goes to the ram. When the trigger is pulled back all the way, the valve directs the air to the back of the ram which is attached to a rod which runs down the body and "cocks" the back block which sets the hammer, and pulls the bolt back letting another paintball in the breach. When the trigger is released, the ram pulls the rod forward and pulls the back block forward, now the bolt is set forward with a new ball in front of it, and the hammer can be released.

As you can (or even can't) understand there are quite a few things that need to happen exactly as timed or you have yourself a patented 'cocker problem! Getting your cocker retimed is usually a pain if you don't know an airsmith (and sometimes even if you do!). Autocockers have a reputation for being a handfull.

In just looking for autocockers one really seemed to stand out the ones made by Chipley Custom Machine (CCM). One of the major deciding factors was their great support (said to be second only to CCI). Knowing I could just send it in and have them fix it (if I got overzealous and screwed it up :-> ). The fact that they had one of the smoothest pump conversions on the market was also helpful :-D. I looked for a long time and finally found one for what I thought was a good price. I picked up the marker from a friend from the PHoG for $290 shipped, timed, and drop-forward-ed(?).

When I picked it up for the first time I was so suprised at how slick it looked. It has a very plain body and most paintballers would fault them for that, it didn't have any creative milling (funky/cool lines cut into the body), nor did it have some crazy anno. I liked black, and I liked simple. At the time I did not notice the weight but I later realized that it was quite light. I also picked up my first hpa tank (68/4500) for a good price from a friend.

Not being used to playing with a full hopper or a tank more than 3.5oz my first play with it was kind of a trial. Man, all that stuff is bloody heavy! I got a few eliminations on my first few games out with it, but I didn't intend on playing a full day with it (and I was only out for a half day that time anyways!).

So, satisfied that it worked I left it in the corner until I invited someone else along who would need to use it.

Some weeks later, I played a *single* game with a sniper2 pump that belonged to a friend of mine. I was blown away with the comfort and ease of motion. Sure, it wasn't that light, but different pumps for different games. My intrest was piqued.

About a week ago, I picked up the CCM (just because it looks-a soo good!) and started to wonder what I should do with it. I already knew it could be a mean speedball machine, but what else could it do? I've never been a fan of slinging paint, so the need for a gi-normous 20bps hopper seemed silly to me. I picked up a brass eagle 50 round hopper to keep the weight down, and keep me from overusing that lovely electro-style double trigger! I also picked up a 12oz CO2 tank for it's slim, long shape. I began to fiddle with different configurations, and in the process put my old tippmann back-bottle ASA on the grip (has about a 15 degree downward angle), when I picked it up, I was stunned at how much it felt like my phantom! Since my phantom has the T-stock at about the same angle it felt perfect. Even with the huge hpa tank sticking way out like that, it felt better than being hunched up on the marker. Putting the marker farther from my body gave it more stability, and with the back-bottle replacement stock I could do all the tricks I'd done with my phantom's stock for increased stability in wierd positions!

With all this fiddling though I couldn't help but take the marker completely apart. I did all but remove the valve, and disassemble the pneumatics (I'm not stupid!). I put it back together with a better mechanical understanding of how it worked and knowledge on how shorten the trigger pull, back block motion (faster cycling), and generally how to get maximum speed out of it (theoretically of course! I had no reason or desire to fux with it then). I appreciated the simple-yet-complex design for a bit, and then put it back together. (it still worked of course :-> )

I think I've decided on a configuration; back bottle with a 15(?) degree drop, running hpa (if the co2 sucks) in a 33ci tank ($37 from, delrin pump kit, and smoked 50 round hopper. I'd also run the same configuration as an autococker, and hopefully one-ball as long as the situation would allow. I like the double trigger, so I plan on keeping it on both configurations. I don't have much intrest in an autotrigger or an 86 degree frame for some reason. Perhaps I'm too used to the phantom feel, and need to be weened onto possibly better alternative configurations (shoulder stock, 45 grip frame, light weight, maximum consistency) slowly, but only if the desired configuration has shortcomings! (if it ain't broke...)

My pump kit should arrive today.

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