Version 1.5 (4/9/96)
Maintained by: Steve Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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The Automag is an open bolt, blow-forward, true semi-automatic paintball gun designed and manufactured by AirGun Designs. It is considered one of the best paintball guns made today. It is known for its high rate of fire, its elegant, simple design, and its dislike for liquid CO2.
AirGun Designs 804 Seton Court Wheeling, Illinois 60090 (708) 520-7507 Fax: (708) 520-7848
The Automag has two major design features that differentiate it from most other paintball guns. One, the Automag has an integrated pressure regulator in the gun. This feature was incorporated to provided the gun's internals with an energy source of constant pressure, no matter what the pressure in the CA bottle.
Second, the gun's action is blow-forward rather than blow-back. A blow-back design has several problems that the blow-forward design resolves. First, while the heavy bolt being blown back was necessary to slow the action down, it reduced efficiency. The heavier the bolt, the more energy it consumed; lightening the bolt made it harder for the bolt to open the valve far enough. The second problem was in allocating how much energy went to blow back the bolt (requiring a fixed amount) versus propelling the ball (variable with tank pressure and velocity setting).
"[The gun's] function can be broken down into three independent stages: regulation, chamber fill, and chamber dump. Stage one occurs when an air sources is connected to the paintball gun and the system builds up pressure. At a predetermined pressure, set by the velocity adjusting nut, the regulator valve closes thus sealing off the tank from the rest of the paintball gun. The pressures inside the paintball gun is now approximately 400 psi even though the tank pressure may vary from 600-1000 psi under different temperatures. Stage two happens when the trigger is released, opening the ON/OFF VALVE and allowing the air chamber to fill to a regulated pressure of 400 psi.
Stage three is where everything happens. The air chamber is
designed like a champagne bottle with a cork (the bolt) stuck in
the opening. The cork (or bolt, in this case) wants to pop out,
but is held in place by the sear. When you pull the trigger the
sear first closes the ON/OFF VALVE (just before releasing the bolt)
shutting off the air chamber from the regulator. This gives the
paintball gun a precise amount of regulated air charge. Next the
sear releases the bolt and, like the cork, it starts moving forward
out of the bottle. At some point after the ball has been pushed
into the barrel, the cork leaves the end of the bottle and all air
rushes out. Once the air is gone the MAIN SPRING which has been
collapsed from e bolt moving forward pushes the BOLT back into the
now empty air chamber. The process starts over when the trigger is
-- From the Automag Manual
"The standard good street price [for a 'tournament' model Automag]
that I've seen is right around $400. I got my Mini-Mag for $465
and the usual price for that is $500-$525 so you can probably find
those 'tournament' Auto-Mags for something around $375. Basically,
just get the latest issue of a couple paintball magazines and start
--John D. Mitchell (johnm@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU)
The Minimag is an improved version of the standard Automag. It comes stock with many of the modifications that are considered necessary on the Automag. These are a vertical bottle adaptor and a PowerFeed. The only other difference between the Automag and the Minimag is a cosmetic change to the gun's main body. The Minimag also comes with a shorter barrel.
The vertical bottle adaptor allows the owner to operate the gun with the CA bottle mounted vertically, in front of the trigger guard, rather than horizontally behind the gun. Mounting the bottle vertically aids in preventing liquid from entering the system. However some people believe mounting the bottle this way is unsafe, as you could fall and break the bottle off at its valve. [But this is probably true for any gun-mounted bottle setup, with a remote setup being in a separate class.]
The PowerFeed is a modification to the gun's feed tube. On the stock Automag, the feed tube runs directly from the feeder to the chamber, with the balls following a straight line between those two points. The PowerFeed offsets the feed tube so that the balls must make a 90 degree turn just before they enter the chamber. This design is intended to increase feeding speeds by preventing CO2 escaping from the chamber from bobbling the balls back up towards the feeder. AirGun Designs also claims that the balls "bounce off the backside of the PowerFeed" and actually bounce into the chamber at the appropriate time. For a complete description of the PowerFeed and how it works, see the Automag Video that comes with the gun.
The AutoCocker vs. Automag debate will rage for some time to come. Many 'Mag owners will say their gun is best, while many 'Cocker owners will claim they've got the better gun..
The facts are that both guns are in the same class. They are both used by top professional teams. They are both high performance guns and they both tend to cost their owners lots of money.
The 'Mag is known for its simplicity of design and maintenance, its very high rate of fire, and its dislike for liquid CO2. The 'Cocker is known for its complexity of design, occasional severe maintenance problems, tedious normal maintenance, and its long effective range.
Both camps claim that their guns can be modified to operate as well as the others. The 'Mag biggots (automaggots) claim that the Black Box modification from SmartParts (see below) can increase the effective range of the Automag to compete with that of the AutoCocker. The AutoCocker biggots claim that the AutoCocker can be made to shoot just as fast as an Automag with some professional trigger customization work.
"They're both right given well worked guns in the hands of someone who can use them to their fullest. It's a lot simpler to utilize the 'mags much closer to the limit by normal people than a 'cocker. Trigger pulling especially is definitely an area where each individuals shooting style makes a big difference." --John D. Mitchell (johnm@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU)
With enough money, either gun can be made into a lethal, professional quality paintball gun. Either gun will likely outperform its owner for many years -- by which time he will probably own one of each anyway.
Stock, out of the box, the Automag is an excellent gun. However, it can benefit from a few accessories. The following is a list of accessories, roughly ordered by importance, that most Automag owners end up with eventually:
The ViewLoader 2000 is a motorized agitating feeder which is designed to insure that balls constantly find their way into the gun's feed tube. The ViewLoader 2000 is considered a requirement by most Automag owners for two reasons. One, the gun shoots so fast that many non-agitating feeders cannot keep up. Two, because the gun is a blow-forward design, it is too smooth to agitate the balls in the feeder with its natural "recoil" as many other guns do.
If you ever shoot more than twice a second then you must get a motorized loader.
The VL-2000 is available through most paintball retailers for roughly $65.
AirGun Designs offers three different barrels with their Automags. The standard barrel, a Crown Point barrel, and a shorty aluminum barrel for the Minimag. Most Automag owners agree that the gun can be made more accurate with the replacement of the stock barrel (the Crown Point barrel is not highly received by most Automag owners). The SmartParts barrel is highly recommended, as are the J&J Brass and HardChrome barrels. The author prefers the J&J barrels, as the SmartParts barrels tend to suffer when balls break and are also more difficult to clean.
Note that ported barrels in general do not make the 'Mag all that much quieter than non-ported barrels. The Automag's design makes for a gun that is already exceptionally quiet.
SmartParts [412-539-2660] and J&J barrels are available through most paintball retailers for $90-$100.
In-line CO2 filters are highly recommended. These filters keep dirt (which can originate in your bulk CO2 tanks) from entering the gun's CO2 system. The Automag has a very sophisticated and sensitive CO2 regulator and valve body assembly. Keeping this area clean should be a high priority of any 'Mag owner.
In-line filters are available from SmartParts and most paintball retailers for about $10.
If your bottle is to be mounted on your 'Mag horizontally, an anti-siphon bottle or liquid control valve (LCV) can aid in preventing CO2 from entering the Automag. The Automag will not function well if liquid enters the system. It can shoot hot, shoot with inconsistent velocities, and even refuse to function altogether. More on liquid CO2 later in this file.
Anti-Siphon and liquid control valve bottles are available through most paintball retailers. Anti-Siphon tanks costs roughly $60. LCV bottles cost roughly $80. It should be noted, however, that LCV bottles have a fairly bad reputation as far as effectiveness and general operational problems are concerned. Also note that an Anti-Siphon tank should not be used used in a vertical mounted setup. Use a regular tank in these situations.
Installing a remote CO2 setup enables the gun's operator to solve many problems at once. First, a remote's hose acts as an expansion chamber (see below) which will aid in preventing liquid CO2 from entering the system. The remote system provides many places for the installation of liquid control valves and CO2 filters. A remote mounted bottle can be mounted vertically (also decreasing the chance of CO2 entering the system), without adding bulkiness to the gun itself. The remote mounted bottle is also an ideal place for the installation of an expansion chamber.
Simple remotes are available through most paintball retailers and start at about $40. SmartParts makes an excellent remote called the Smart Remote which includes quick disconnect, shut off valve with bleed and an Air America expansion chamber (see below) for $110. The SmartParts Mega Remote includes the Smart Remote plus an in-line filter and bottom line for $160.
Expansion chambers work by providing the CO2 going from the bottle to the gun with a place to evaporate before entering the system. An expansion chamber can be a 4' section of hose, a converted 3.5oz bottle, or a product specifically designed for the purpose. Expansion chambers can be added directly to the gun, or used inline between the gun and bottle. An expansion chamber is useful for keeping liquid out of the Automag. Air America makes an excellent expansion chamber for the Automag called the Whispering Death costing about $150.
A number of secondary regulators are available for all paintball guns. The Automag already has an excellent high pressure regulator on the gun. A second regulator, while redundant, can help smooth out spikes in velocity caused by temperature changes in the CO2 source.
The AutoResponse Trigger is a two stage trigger replacement for the Automag and is made by Pro-Line. The AutoResponse allows your 'Mag to fire once when the trigger is pulled, then to fire again when the trigger is released. The 'Mag, even in the hands of a newbie, can achieve amazing rates of fire with an AutoResponse installed. But note that an experienced 'Mag operator with a normal trigger can pretty much match and AutoResponse for speed and outshoot it for accuracy.
The AutoResponse has a few drawbacks. One, the trigger pull is extremely long with this trigger. While the stock Automag trigger only requires that it be pulled approx. 1/8" of an inch, the AutoResponse must be pulled through 3/4" to operate. In addition, the trigger design requires that full strokes be used when operating the trigger. If the trigger is not pulled completely and released completely each time, the gun will chop balls. Second, the long trigger pull is heavy and causes the shooter to wave the muzzle of the gun entirely too much for accurate fire.
Some fields (and even tournaments) do not allow play with the AutoResponse. But if you want the fastest gun on your block, and you don't want to practice enough to make your finger faster, certainly add an AutoResponse to your 'Mag.
Pro-Line can be reached at [803-458-9662]. The AutoResponse costs roughly $150.
Like most paintball guns, the 'Mag has many aftermarket accessories to solve (or sometimes introduce) every conceivable problem. Accessories such as scope mounts, shoulder stocks, UK tournament caps (to prevent accidental velocity adjustment changes), and replacement grips are available, to name a few. In addition, AirGun Designs has started shipping 'Mags with different color body parts. SmartParts is a good source for Automag accessories.
An Automag, like an AutoCocker, is almost never found in professional or amateur tournaments without first having been highly modified inside and out.
SmartParts does all of the below mentioned modifications. You can also have your 'Mag worked on through Paintball Checkpoint [510-686-6249].
Some of the most common modifications:
The gun's regulator feeds an air chamber via two holes in the front of the regulator. This area is often drilled out with four or even eight holes. This increases the gun's ability to refill the air chamber during rapid fire. Without this modification, 'Mags tend to "starve" during rapid fire. The result being a velocity drop after several shots.
The On/Off valve also facilitates the transfer of CO2 from the regulator to the air chamber. A brass part in this assembly is often cut down to increase flow through the valve.
This mod costs about $80 and usually includes the Trigger Stop mod below.
The stock Automag comes with one of the best triggers in the business. However some people improve on this by adding a stop that takes up the slack on the trigger, making it even crisper and easier to operate fast.
In late '93 SmartParts came up with a modification to the Automag that they claimed increased range by up to 15 yards. The modification was immediately controversial, with various rumors regarding its function, its performance, its legality in tournament play, and its safety all being questioned.
An initial review on the modification by Paintball Consumer Reports International was not favorable. The jury is still out on the modification's actual level of performance, but most people agree that using a low pressure, high volume mod like this *does* increase the gun's effective range.
The Magic Box mod costs about $150 through SmartParts.
Below are some extensive net.opinions on this modification.
"The black box essentially expands the air chamber capacity in front of the on/off valve by about 50%. This allows the Mag to use a greater volume of air at a lower pressure. The result is that the gun is quieter and shoots farther at lower FPS. I shot a lot of paint in rapid fire bursts the day I tried it out and observed no spikes in velocity." --Bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org) "First, let me quell the rumors that it will increase the velocity in rapid fire beyond what the gun was chrono'ed at in "single shot" mode. It don't see any way this mod could possibly increase the velocity above the chrono'ed point unless the gun sucked liquid. This mod should reduce the chance of sucking liquid over the stock gun, however. It will reduce the starvation (and thus velocity/range loss) that the automag suffers from in rapid fire. In addition, the lower pressure should result in a "smoother" push, so the accuracy at the same velocity should increase. [...] Now to the "Magic Box". I would call it an expansion air chamber, with a few unrelated mods thrown in for good measure. It is a piece of aluminum, approximately 1.25*1.5*.5 inches. It is hollowed out into two separate sections that *do not* connect. Each of these sections attaches to the gun through a standard 1/4" threaded fitting. The expansion chamber section connects through a newly machined hole into the air chamber, in line with the existing CO2 fitting in the valve body, which is the other attachment point. The second section of the "magic box" contains a replaceable CO2 filter element, held in place by an O-ring. The CO2 to the gun flows through this part of the magic box. Again, it does not connect to the expansion chamber. The left side of the main body is machined to allow the expansion air chamber to slide in." --Dave Rotheroe (email@example.com) "[PCRI did evaluate the Magic Box mod]. I've got it in my hot little hands now. Out of 4 stars, they gave it only 1 star. They bench mounted the mag at 4 feet above the ground, and put a piece of wood 20 feet away. This piece of wood had a hole cut in it that was about 8 inches in diameters. When they shot the gun, if the ball didn't go through the hole, then they didn't count it. With each shot, they got the chrono speed, and measured distance. Here is my "cheap chart":
Black Box on Mag Normal Mag Speed |--------------------------------------- 275-279fps | 130.5 feet | 125.5 feet 280-284fps | 132.2 feet | 130.8 feet 285-289fps | 133.0 feet | 129.0 feet |--------------------------------------- So overall it increased about 4 feet or so. With the Magic Box they ended up getting 161 shots out of 200 that fell between 275fps and 288fps (not 289, ok my typing sucks...:) And the standard mag shot 175 out of 200 between 275fps and 288 fps. And I'll use this quote to sum up this section: "The decrease in CO2 pressure hitting the paintball will definitely dimish ball breakage in the gun, especially in temps below freezing when paintballs are most fragile. Also, another by-product of the lower pressure system is a slightly [in italics] slower moving bolt. In a 10-second burst using the stock Automag we are able to consistently fire 63 to 69 shots. Using the modified Automag that number was reduced to 52 to 55." [Feb '94 PCRI page 21] Conclusion of the Magic Box was that it didn't increase the velocity, no safety problems were evident, "However, the Box does not increase the range of the Automag by the advertised 15 yards." And you guys can see that. One Star for it." --Rob Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"[Paintball] Checkpoint very definitely does have their own version
of this modification which Greg endearingly calls his 'distance
enhancer' modification. It is basically a tap done into the air
chamber, a 90 degree elbow and a custom drilled expansion tube that
sits against the body of the gun rather than sticking straight out
like the black box. At least as good as the SP mod and a whole lot
cheaper! ... The modification lowers the pressure in the air
chamber so the ball get's spiked less so ball breakage decreases.
... This definitely does *not* in any way raise the velocity of the
--John D. Mitchell (johnm@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU)
"Other news, I was speaking to Sparky at AGD, and he basically said that the 8 hole mod was basically useless since there is only one hole leading to the on/off valve. [...] "Also a larger air chamber theoritcally should yield a slower moving bolt. Since Force = Pressure * Area, a reduced pressure will result in a reduced force on the bolt if the area of the power tube piston remains the same. Then since Force = Mass * Acceleration, the acceleration of the bolt will be less at the instant the sear is released (i.e. the point at which the spring counterforce is a minimum). Thus although the overall power is the same, the time over which it happens may not be." --cptung@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Charles P Tung)
Automags are famous for their liquid CO2 problems and poor performance in cold weather. What follows is a little discussion on liquid CO2 and your Automag.
If your gun is shooting hot (that is, at higher than expected velocities), is emitting CO2 clouds out the barrel, functioning erratically, or stops working altogether, there is a possibility that these problems are being caused by liquid CO2 in the system.
Your Automag's internal operation is dependent on a gas regulator delivering gas CO2 to the valve body at a certain pressure. When liquid enters the system it enters at, say 400 PSI, then evaporates or partially evaporates inside the gun, it might increase in pressure to, say 800 PSI. This causes hot shots and erratic operation of the gun's internals.
Expanding and evaporating gases have a tendency to cool materials they come in contact with. When this happens inside your 'Mag you will experience "lock ups" where the gun fails to function at all. Your gun can literally freeze.
The valve body of the 'Mag has many different seals and o-rings that can be damaged if they are frozen by liquid CO2. The introduction of liquid into the system may cause problems later on due to damage done to seals and o-rings.
Now for the good news. There are several ways to keep liquid CO2 out of your 'Mag.
One obvious solution is to only play in warm weather, and to not shoot fast. This not always being practical, almost any of the liquid control accessories mentioned in the sections above will aid in preventing liquid from getting into your gun. Specifically anti-siphon bottles, remote setups, expansion chambers, and liquid control valves and filters.
A recent posting in rec.sport.paintball summarized these methods. It is included below:
"There is a ton of stuff that can be done to a Auto/MiniMAG that can improve its winter performance ranging from the cheap to the expensive. Just remember that automags are sensitive to liquid, thus, in cold weather its easier for the valve to 'freeze' up in cold weather. Below is a list of things my teamates use (we live in MAINE, gets real cold). Some real cheap things you could do is get a IN-LINE filter $15,they reduce winter freeze up a little bit. Also, a verticle C/A adapter keeps liquid out rather well $10. But for true cold winter play, you need either an expansion chamber or a remote (or both). I have seen expansion units from Taso, Proline, and Direct Connect for around $30, and I have never seen an automag freeze up with these. The Air American units are SWEET, they will give you at lease 20% more shots than the cheeper expansion units, but the prices are around $130 - $155, I don't think this is worth the price, since the others work just fine. If you really want the Air America unit, buy it from SMart Parts, and they will throw in a remote system and disconnect for $105 (nice). The Guantlet from Smart Parts works very much like the LIQUID CONTROL VALVE, but I haven't seen one (I think they are around $150). If you have an OLD 3.5oz laying around, COOPER-T makes a special valve that will turn them into an expasnsion unit, and from what I here, they give more shots pers oz than the Air America units (around $25). If you have $100 bucks, go for the Smart Remote system. If you have $40, go for the pro-line expansion system. If you have only $5, buy one of those heating pads that hunters use to keep there hands warm, and tape it to your valve (This really works!). If you have nothing, rub your left hand quickly over the valve to warm it up (I've seen people do this)" --Nick Brassard (Brassard@puffin.usmcs.maine.edu)
First of all, if you own an Automag you should also own the video and manual. This video and manual are the best in the industry. In most cases they tell you more than you need to know, unlike some of the skimpy leaflets that come with other guns. If you do not have this material you should call AirGun Designs today, and they will probably send them to you for free. If you bought your 'Mag used and are re-registering the gun, they will send you anything you tell them you didn't get with the gun (parts kit, bumper sticker, manual, video, etc.) all free of charge. Hint: tell them you didn't get any of this stuff with the gun.
If you do not own an Automag, but would like a copy of the Video, send a blank video tape, along with a stamped, self addressed, padded return envelope to:
Steve Mitchell 1099 Sylmar #176 Clovis, CA 93612
You will receive a copy of the AirGun Designs video, but with no guarantees that it will a) be returned on the same videotape that you supplied or b) be returned in a timely manner. Do not worry, AirGun Designs encourages the copying and re-distribution of their video.
Maintenance is covered in detail in the video and manual. Automag maintenance is simple when compared to other high performance guns like the AutoCocker, but is somewhat more complicated when compared to lower-end guns like the Tippmann Pro/Lite. However, AirGun Designs designed the gun with ease of maintenance in mind, so even a newbie need not feel intimidated by the job.
A couple of tips regarding maintenance:
Complete parts kits are available from Airgun Designs and most large paintball retailers (I&I Sports, for example). These kits cost about $20 and include at least one of every o-ring and seal in the gun, a mainspring, a powertube spring, replacement nubins and foamies, AutoLube and (in some cases) a pick for removing seals.
When replacing the foamie, be sure to scrape all of the big chunks of the old foamie off but don't scrape every last little bit off. The left over chunks provide some nice roughness to the surface so that the new one can really get a good hold. Of course, make sure you spread the superglue over all of the contact surface.
"I have found something that works A LOT better than Super Glue for holding foamies on. It is a two-part Epoxy called Duro Brand "Master Mend" Epoxy. The only problem is that it takes several hours to dry. The advantage is that if you put the foamie on crooked, you have plenty of time to move it before it is dry, unlike Super Glue. Another tip is to buy a spare front bolt, with a foamie. It should cost $20 or less. That way, if you loose a foamie during a good day of paintball, you can just go to your parts kit, put the new bolt on, and screw with the old bolt when you get home." --Adrian Higginbotham (alh7396%utarlg.uta.edu)
"Use isopropyl alcohol to clean all of the parts and then use KC Trouble Free oil on the appropriate parts as that makes for a very sweet shooting 'mag" --John D. Mitchell (johnm@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU)
The Automag video spends about 45 minutes just discussing trouble-shooting the gun. The video explains that the gun can be broken up into three sections, with each section responsible for a certain aspect of the gun's performance. It is a good idea to understand these three sections of your gun and the aspects of the gun's performance that they are responsible for.
The most common problems that arise with the Automag are related to liquid in the system, or with dirty or worn out o-rings and seals in the gun's valve body. The issues relating to liquid are covered earlier in this file. Here are some other problems that have popped up in rec.sport.paintball.
Q. The MM would frequently seem to lose power, that is, a shot or several shots would just bloop out of the gun and fall far short of anything I was aiming at. They sounded noticeably weak also.
A. There are 3 areas that could be causing your problem:
Q. I can't seem to get anything close to consistent speed out of it, after two rapid shots the balls just start dropping out of the barrel (about half the distance of the first two shots).
A. I had a similar problem....called the factory and told me to look
at the valve seal, that little round disk into which the spring
and pin inserts. It was slightly convex and replacing it seems
to have fixed the problem."
[From: email@example.com (Bruce Leary)]
Q. I'm having a problem with my new automag. It has a whispering death expansion chamber in the vertical bottle adaptor and I'm running a remote to a 20 oz tank. The problem is that after I play for a few games, the velocity starts going up and down. If I fire about twice per second, one shot is fast, the next slow, the next fast, etc. If anyone has any ideas on whats going on and / or how best to get this fixed, please let me know - Paul Reiser -
A. Probably the flat washer with the hole in it between the regulator and chamber. Unscrew the valve and clean the surface on either side of the washer, and the washer itself. If that fails, replace the washer.
Less likely, but also possible: take out your velocity adjuster. Behind it is a piston with a hex fitting showing. It isn't screwed in, just put the right size hex wrench in it and wobble it out. On this piston is an o-ring, which probably needs replacing. [Also try cleaning everything well, then..] When all else fails, fork out the $20 for the parts kit and replace everything..." [From: firstname.lastname@example.org (East Bay Municipal Utility District)]
Q. "With the first 250 shots out of my 12oz, I get serious velocity drop if I shoot faster than 2-3 times a sec. after 250 shots I get a velocity drop no matter how slow I shoot."
A. "A little while back I posted that I was having velocity problems.
Today I called Airgun Designs and found out my problem was that my
on/off top was upside down."
[From: cptung@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Charles P Tung)]
"The Automag is NOT a cold weather gun without some sort of modification such as AA Whispering Death, or a 4' hoseline to keep liquid out of the chamber." --HenryC@Panix.Com
"Smart Parts "short" barrel is good improvement. Smart Parts inline gas filter mandatory to keep little bits of bulk tank crud out of valve body. Anti-syphon tank mandatory. The rest is personal preference and the kind of use the marker will see. [...]
"Mega-Remote or vertical Whispering Death, yes, guarenteed Automag performance. Even gets rid of Dan Abernethy's complaint about velocity variance during intense firing bursts (hosing). PowerFeed IS worth the 70 bucks it costs (when purchased with the marker), and with a motor loader (VL2000 ViewLoader), is bulletproof. The Crown-Point barrel is a dog compared to the Smart Parts barrel. It barks, too.
Whispering Death or DCG's surge valve chamber both connect to the vertical bottle adapter (option for automag, standard on minimag) and run a line from the expansion chamber to a a bottom line adapter, thence to your bottle. With either unit, an anti-syphon tank is still recommended to improve their efficiency. Your LCV will suffice until you get good with the 'mag and get your rate of fire up, then it will freeze inside the bottle unless you never put more than about 9 oz. in the 12 oz. bottle you mention." --John Hamilton (john@kennel.FIDONET.ORG)
"For what it's worth the recent PCRI review gave the minimag the highest accuracy of any semi they've ever tested. (There numbers did look impressive)." --mas@skinner (Marc A. Sullivan)
"It's always wise to go with a remote/expansion chamber setup with the Automag. If your friend is in the mood to spend a lot more money, a new Smart Parts barrel will make the gun a lot quieter and more accurate. Also, the new Auto-Response double trigger job is marvelous. I got one a couple weeks ago, and although I run out of paint faster, I love it to death. However, you absolutely have to have an anti-siphon or preferably a remote for the Auto-Response because of the firing rate." --Robert G. Hearn (email@example.com)
"I would highly recommend getting the motorized loader because of the rate of fire and stability of the automag. Because the 'mag is relatively stable while firing, the balls aren't aggitated in the hopper. Many times an ordinary loader just can't keep up during rapid fire, when a jam is most likely. Granted, you don't use rapid fire all the time (well, some of us don't :-) ), but for the times you do, the motorized loader is definitely a bonus. It also prevents jamming at other times, which, although less common, does occur." -- Michael Edwin Sheldrick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"'Mags... Excellent paintguns. Obviously designed and built by serious, real engineers (AirGun Designs). AGD has excellent reputation, great service. The guns are on the expensive side but the quality, warranty and service are worth it even if the gun wasn't as good as it is. :-) The various models are easy to use and take care of. They are definitely high performance guns. The things that can bug the monster gun folks are: the gun's extreme dislke for liquid C02; and that the stock versions of the guns are outranged by slick, tricked out 'cockers & Typhoons. Going to things like remote setups with expansion chambers takes care of the liquid problem and getting something like SmartParts' magic box modification pretty much takes care of the range thing (though of course, this point will probably be debated for years :-). [...]
A must have nowadays is to get the guns internals worked on. SmartParts does some mods and they seem okay. I got my gun worked on at Paintball Checkpoint in Pacheco, CA and they did, IMO, better work for a lot less. This includes stuff like drilling the regulator body, valve work, a 'distance enhancer' (enlarging the air chamber to produce a higher gas volume but lower pressure delivery) all for less than $100. It works great. Get a (couple of) good barrels. I've got a Mini-Mag and I really like the short aluminum barrel for most play but don't quite have the range/accuracy. Switching to a chromed J&J takes care of that. I personally stay away from heavily ported barrels just because they are a pain in the butt too clean but YMMV. In the next couple of months I'll be getting a stainless steel barrel and we'll see." --johnm@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (John D. Mitchell)
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