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||Brass Eagle Rainmaker FAQ
V1.03 By Bill Mills All content, except where noted, Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.
Contributors: "Ronin", Dave Brisco, Aaron Alexander
The Brass Eagle Rainmaker was
unveiled at the 1997 Zap International Amateur Open and represents Brass
Eagle's move into the upgradeable tournament level paintgun market.
Prior to the Rainmaker the Brass Eagle line included the Raptor, which
fell short of most tournament player's needs, and the high end Angel, imported
from England's WDP - priced out of the reach of many players. The
Rainmaker entered the market competitively priced with paintguns like the
WGP Autcocker and the Airgun Designs Automag.
The Rainmaker is electropneumatic, that means that it uses electronics
to control gas powered operation. From the factory, the Rainmaker is capable
of high rates of semi-automatic fire. Early 1999, Rainmakers were
manufactured select fire allowing the user to access full automatic and
3 round burst modes. In Summer 1999, select fire was discontinued
in favor of a return to semi-automatic. It features a bottom line
gas connection and operates on CO2 or compressed air.
The main regulator is adjustable and controls the Rainmaker's velocity.
The pneumatics regulator features a fixed output, and is used to power
the Rainmaker's cocking ram. Some people have mistakenly stated that
the Rainmaker is a "double regulated" design. It is not. Only
the main regulator adjusts the pressure of the gas used to propel the paintball.
Double regulating the Rainmaker requires adding an external regulator,
or using a compressed air system (which has a regulator built in).
The Rainmaker fires from an open bolt position. The electronic timing
of the Rainmaker allows the bolt to remain closed for a precisely determined
amount of time. The The Rainmaker has little to no blow back (it
won't even blow a business card off of its feed port when the barrel has
a barrel plug in it). Also, due to the low pressure of the operating
ram, and the short time duration it is activated, the Rainmaker rarely
breaks paintballs. If a paintball partly feeds into the chamber,
it often is bounced in by a tap of the bolt, and then fired on the next
Is the Rainmaker really an electric Autococker?
No. While the Rainmaker features the same barrel threading as
a WGP Autococker, in order to allow the use of popular aftermarket barrels,
these two paintguns are of rather different designs.
Yes and no. The Rainmaker does use the basic operational design
of the Vector, however it improves upon it with electronic timing, and
also has other many other advantages, the chief amongst which is interchangeable
parts. The Vector had several parts which had to be custom machined
for each individual Vector, where all of the Rainmaker's parts are fully
interchangeable. Initially, Brass Eagle representatives stated that
the Rainmaker was developed completely "in house", independent of the Vector.
However the Rainmaker patent, which is public record, is filed under the
name of Nick Lotacko. Lotacko was the designer of the Vector for
The Rainmaker features a two chamber design. The upper chamber
consists of the bolt, breech and barrel, while the lower chamber consists
of the valve, ram, lower bolt, and hammer. At rest, the pneumatic
ram is pushing the lower bolt toward the back of the paintgun. The
upper bolt is connected to the lower bolt by link pin, and thus is also
in its rearmost position, allowing a ball to fall into the breech, where
it will await a firing action. A spring wire detent, or "nubbin",
keeps the ball from rolling forward into the barrel. At this point,
the lower bolt is compressing the mainspring against the hammer, the sear
(which is attached to the hammer, and pivots to latch or unlatch from the
lower bolt) is latched to the lower bolt. When the user pulls the
trigger, they close an electrical circuit, which sends a signal (a trigger
event) to the electronics board inside the grip frame. The electronics
board then activates the 4 way solenoid valve. Under electronic control,
this valve releases gas from the front of the ram, and applies gas to the
rear of the ram. The ram contracts, pulling the lower bolt, upper
bolt, and hammer forward. At the forward end of the stroke, the bolt
is closed and sealed, and the sear hits on a pin which releases it from
the lower bolt. The mainspring pushes the hammer back into the valve,
releasing enough gas to fire a shot. The velocity of the shot is
not adjusted by changing spring pressures, but rather by changing gas pressure
from the main regulator. After a pre-determined delay, (long enough for
the ball to exit the barrel), the control circuit resets the electric 4
way, returning it to its rest state. This vents pressure from the
rear of the ram, and applies it to the front, pushing the lower bolt to
the rear, re-compressing the hammer spring, and moving the bolt back to
accept the next ball.
While Brass Eagle does not recommend submersing the Rainmaker in water,
it is not bothered by dampness or water that a paintgun is likely to run
into during normal use. While reviewing the Rainmaker for Action
Pursuit Games magazine, the author directed a stream of water from
a garden hose at it for a full 5 minutes with no ill effect.
No. The Rainmaker will operate on CO2. It will,
however have better shot-to-shot velocity consistency, and more immunity
to temperature changes when running on compressed air or double regulated
In normal semi-automatic mode, Brass Eagle claims that the Rainmaker
is capable of firing at up to 14 shots per second. In real world
use, rates of 10 or more shots per second, are not uncommon, but depend
of course on the capabilities of the player behind the trigger, and trigger
In the summer of 1998, Brass Eagle released a number of pre production
select fire boards. These boards feature 3 modes of fire, semi-automatic,
3 round burst, and full automatic. The three round burst fires a
series of three shots, regardless of how long the trigger is held back.
The full automatic mode fires when the trigger is pulled, and continues
to fire shot after shot until the trigger is released (or until the gas
supply runs out). The delay between the shots in 3 shot and full
auto mode is adjusted by dialing a variable resistor which adjusts from
4 to 10 shots per second. The mode is selected by removing two screws
and pulling back the grip, then setting a switch inside the grip frame.
Because a tool is required to change modes, these boards can easily be
locked into semi auto in order to be field legal where full auto is not
allowed. The drawback to this selection method is that where 3 round
burst and full auto are allowed, the user must stay in one mode for a whole
game, rather than have the luxury of switching modes during play.
The select fire board was produced on early 1999 Rainmakers. With
the advent of the two finger trigger (mid-1999 model) the Rainmaker returned
to semi-automatic only. Because the Rainmaker is electropneumatic,
select fire conversions are practical as an aftermarket upgrade, and a
number are expected to come to market in the year 2000. It is important
to note that as of spring 1999 the use of full auto and burst modes is
under discussion by the ASTM, and insurance companies. These modes
may not be allowed at many or most paintball fields, so any select fire
conversions should include a "field lock" so that they may not be changed
out of semi-auto mode without the use of tools.
The early 1999 Rainmaker can be immediately identified by its compact
black rubberized pneumatics shroud. Unlike the older plastic shroud
which required the removal of several screws to open, the new shroud simply
slides on and off. It consists of a rubber grip material on an aluminum
frame. The new shroud is possible because of the new power supply.
The select fire boards (standard on the 1999 model) are voltage regulated
to operate on a single 9 volt battery, rather than 4 "AA" batteries like
the original Rainmaker. The select fire board also adds a small red
LED (light emitting diode) in the rear of the grip which lights each time
the Rainmaker fires. This serves as a trouble shooting aid ("Am I
out of gas or are my batteries dead?") and could potentially be tapped
to operate an "on demand" agitating loader like the Turbo Viewloaders used
with the Smart Parts Shocker. The select fire board The early 1999
model also features a "sleep" mode. It does not draw power when it
is not in use, so the power switch has been eliminated from the design.
Some see this as a drawback, as the power switch acted as an additional
safety device. The remaining major difference of the early 1999 model
is the newer barrel. No longer just a straight tube, the stock Rainmaker
barrel features porting to reduce turbulence and sound, as well as cosmetic
milling. It is based on the Jacko Infinity series barrel design.
Also, the new models feature a full size gas line from the bottom-line
to the regulator, replacing the microline. The late 1999 model lacks
the select fire feature of its predecessor, but adds a cast metal (rather
than plastic) two finger trigger with a full hand trigger guard.
This feature makes it readily identifiable as a late 1999 model.
Internally, the trigger activated a push-button similar to the original
Rainmaker (the early 1999 model had a lever switch that left extra slop
in the trigger pull).
The Rainmaker uses the same barrel threads as WGP Autocockers and Snipers.
You can go to pretty much any paintball store, and get aftermarket autococker
barrels that will fit and work great on the Rainmaker.
While there is not a plethora of products built specifically for the Rainmaker, many "generic" products will work with it.
Who Builds Custom Rainmakers?
While undoubtedly many airsmiths can and will build custom Rainmakers,
the first to build a real reputation for it is "Rhino" Joe Turner.
Rhino Joe's Extreme Rainmakers come with a variety of options including
low pressure springs, double triggers, no shrouds, custom bolts, splash
anodizing, cocker shrouds, select fire, and inverted foregrip cradles.
Drop Zone Paintball has
started building custom Rainmakers designed by Galen Adams and Ken Farris.
Xodus Paintball has also developed a
leading name in the Rainmaker world with both accessories, and "Painmaker"
Yes, changing from 5 AA batteries to a single 9 volt is a common modification,
especially for players who have removed the stock foregrip and or replaced
it with an Autococker pneumatics shroud. Neither the stock electronics
board, or the early Brass Eagle select fire boards (pre 1999) are
designed for 9 volt use, and will not function properly on 9 volts.
A common solution to this problem is for players to only use 9 volt batteries
that are slightly used, and thus not putting out their full capacity.
A more professional approach, is to install a fixed output voltage regulator
in-line with the battery. Radio Shack carries a 6 volt fixed output
voltage regulator as a special order item (RSU 11392008). This voltage
regulator is very inexpensive (about $1.50 plus shipping) and requires
only minor electronics experience (some soldering) to install, as does
a 9 volt battery clip. Howard "Heretic" Allen has written a tech
guide on how to install this voltage regulator. To read it, click
Because of the Rainmaker's electronic firing system, the options for
trigger jobs are as varied as the types of electrical switches that exist.
Any single pole, normally open, momentary switch can be used to replace
the switch that sits behind the Rainmaker's trigger. Lever type micro
switches are quite popular as they provide a positive "click" feel when
activated, and provide very little physical resistance. Rainmakers
with the select fire board feature a lever action micro switch as a component
of the board. Replacing this switch requires a bit more experience
with soldering and de-soldering printed circuit board components.
Because of the similarity between the Rainmaker's trigger frame, and the
trigger frame of a Brass Eagle Raptor, 2 finger triggers built for the
Raptor can be installed on the Rainmaker with a minimum of modification.
This information is included in the FAQ not to assist cheaters, but to inform field staff and referees. Increasing paintball velocity past field limits is not only unethical (cheating to gain an advantage) but it is hazardous. Beyond 300 feet per second the risk of subcuateneous injection (paint, dirt, and bacteria being pushed under the skin through pores and tears) increases, as does the chance of goggle lens failure (paintball goggles are designed for use with paintguns firing at or below 300 fps). The Rainmaker, like all paintguns must be chronographed multiple times per day during use. Some "renegade" paintball players on private land do not use chronographs citing the expense (they are available for under $100). A chronograph costs much less than a glass eye.
Turning the Rainmaker's main regulator body counter-clockwise will decrease
its velocity. A player could potentially "cheat the chrono" by setting
their Rainmaker for a high velocity with the velocity screw, then turning
it down by twisting the regulator body 1/4 turn before chronoing on or
off the field. On field, a twist of the regulator body would result
in a velocity boost. It is imparative, when chronographing the Rainmaker
that the regulator body be screwed completely into place. If the
regulator body is screwed completely into place, the only thing a player
can do by unscrewing it on the field is to decrease velocity.
What is the future of the Rainmaker?
In 2000, Brass Eagle dropped production of the Rainmaker. Several dealers, including Drop Zone, still actively support the Rainmaker, and spare parts are available, making used Rainmakers still a cost effective option for players to get into an electropneumatic paintgum.
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