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DP3 Drop Forward
By Bill Mills - August 2003

When Tippmann Pneumatics brought screw-in CO2 bottles to paintball, they were first mounted on the back of the paintgun.  Backbottle style set-ups acted as a stock, and that became a trend that quickly spread to most paintgun manufacturers.  Then Colin Thompson of LAPCO moved the ASA connection on his Grey Ghost pumps to the bottom of the grip, running a hose from there to the paintgun receiver.  The bottom-line arrangement took off and became the new standard.  Bottom-line arrangements could still act as a stock, but gave clearance to sight down the gun while wearing face protection which became popular in the late 80s and mandatory in the late 1990s.  With the rise of compressed air systems in the mid 1990s another mounting scheme stepped in – the drop-forward.  

Drop forwards allow a compressed air or CO2 tank to be mounted a bit lower, and further forward when compared to a bottom-line arrangement.  This allows the heavier HPA tanks to balance out the paintgun, rather than make it back heavy.

Different air systems mount differently.  Many HPA systems either mount to a 3/8” dovetail rail introduced by Air America, or fit into a cradle that mounts to that rail.  Others have adapters which can screw into a pair of screw holes found at the bottom of the paintgun’s grip.  CO2 tanks and screw in air systems are designed to screw into an ASA, or Air System Adapter.  ASA adapters are available with twin hole mounts, or dovetail mounts to finish out a drop forward system.

One of the problems with compressed air systems on drop forwards is that unless it is a screw-in system, tools will be needed to take the assembly apart to pack the paintgun for travel.  For the casual recreational player this might not be a big deal, but for the serious tournament or scenario player who is flying regularly the less time spent breaking down and reassembling their gear the better.

The DataPimp Paintball Products drop forward is built with the player who travels frequently, or swaps their air system between different paintguns regularly in mind.  The drop itself is billet machined from solid aluminum alloy, with a series of lightening holes drilled through it.  All of the outside edges are chamfered to give a smooth feel that won’t snag or cut.  At the bottom end of the drop is a standard dovetail mount as well as a pair of threaded bottom-line style mounting holes.  When used with a dovetail cradle or air system the forward of these two holes holds a hex screw to lock the dovetail in place.  

DataPimp draws its name from owner Will Kaufman’s online username at the Automags.org forum, and this is reflected in the DPPP drop forwards.  A second style is available with side threaded holes to accept the mounting band used in AirGun Designs’ Flatline compressed air systems.  Both styles of the drop forward are available with one less lightening hole, and the Automags.org hexagonal cell logo engraved in its place.

The significant feature that sets the DPPP drop apart from the rest is its mounting block.  The top end of the drop forward is a mounting block which screws into the paintgun’s grip.  The drop forward slides into the block with a T-rail arrangement – one that is more sturdy than the narrow edges of a dovetail rail.  An aluminum thumbscrew, anodized to match the drop forward locks the drop securely in place.  Each drop forward ships with two mounts.  With a mount on each of a pair of paintguns, the drop forward and air system can be quickly switched between paintguns at home or in the field, as well as broken down fast for travel.

On the field, the DPPP drop has proved to be reliable and performed without issue. One item of note: the drop forward’s lock screw squeaks as the anodized threaded surfaces rub when it is screwed in.  It can be tempting to lubricate it with grease or oil, but the higher surface friction serves to keep the screw from backing out in the field, and surprisingly, there were no problems with it working loose, when just thumb tight.  

 


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