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By Bill Mills - Oct 2004
Field Testing by Clint Marshall
Bob Longís Intimidator ranks as one of the more popular paintguns used at the professional level of tournament paintball. That track record has given it popularity at all levels of play. Amongst the Intimidatorís features is ease of field-stripping, even down to removal of the pneumatic ram.
By simply pulling a link pin the Intimidatorís bolt can be slid out the back. With the bolt out, the Intimidatorís ram cap can be removed, and the ram simply slides out the back of the receiver.
The Intimidatorís ram is the driving force behind its operation. A solenoid valve directs air to move the ram forward or back. That motion is what opens and closes the bolt, as well as impacting the exhaust valve to release the burst of gas, which propels the paintball.
The front end of the stock Intimidator ram is simply a hard steel surface, designed to hit the stem of the exhaust valve. The rear face features a mushroom shaped rubber bumper. The stem of the bumper fits in the back of the ram, while the mushroom cap sits on the outside to soften the blow when the ram strikes the ram cap. If the bumper becomes damaged enough the ram can slide back further than it is designed to go. This will place the bolt too far back in its open position, and can cause a paintball to partially feed on top of an already chambered ball, leading to a chop.
Unfortunately the stock bumper arrangement is not well protected and can suffer from wear rather quickly, especially with some aftermarket ram caps that may have a smaller diameter surface to stop the ram.
Randy Marchetti has taken the experience of using Intimidators while playing on Team RM, and combined this with his experience making high end racing parts to bring out Intimidator accessories under the name of RMR Paintball. One of RMRís first products is the RamRod, RMRís replacement for the Intimidator ram.
On first glance, the main difference between the RamRod and stock ram is a series of grooves. These grooves cut down on the ramís mass. Closer inspection reveals the difference in how the RamRod addresses bumper wear. Its rear face is cupped, and contains a Vitron rubber bumper with only a flat surface exposed to the outside.
By containing the bumper, the ramp prevents it from facing much distortion under impact. Additionally the design of RMRís bumper does not have the weak shape of the mushroom stem connecting to its cap, rather it is simply cylindrical, keeping its diameter greater over its entire length.
Installation of the RamRod was extremely simple. After lightly lubricating it, the RamRod was simply dropped into the back of the Intimidator, bumper facing out. The ram cap was screwed into place, and bolt slid into the upper tube. That was all that was needed.
The Intimidator used for testing had already chewed through multiple stock bumpers on the stock ram. In fact, in its first day of use while still stock, debris from a damaged bumper found its way into the solenoid valve and jammed it to the point that it needed to be replaced.
After multiple days of use on the field the RamRod bumper showed no signs of wear. The variance in weight from stock and the change in bumper gave the Intimidator a reduced feel of recoil, though this may also have been affected by trying out different bolts at the same time.
Not only is the RamRod easy to install, but it offers a significant design improvement over the stock design to reduce wear and tear on a performance critical component.
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