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INSIDE THE TIPPMANN
Submitted by Rudy Sloup

This article is designed to help you understand how a tippmann semiautomatic paintball gun works. Here is a diagram of some of the major parts of tippmann paintball guns. Not all of the parts are listed so if you are unsure of a part I have referred to go here, and look for it on the diagram of one of the paintball guns. I have made animations to help you understand more easily, they are spread out over the article. The last two have been slowed down to make them easier to study.

PARTS DIAGRAM

COLOR KEY

The shooting of a paintball from a tippmann paintball gun starts with pulling the trigger. When you pull the trigger it rotates so that the rear area of the trigger moves upward pushing up on the front of the sear. The sear holds the rear bolt in place. When the front of the sear is pushed up by the trigger the sear rotates around the sear pin and the rear area of the sear moves down. As the rear of the sear moves downward it disengages the ridge on the rear bolt. This releases the rear bolt, allowing the drive spring to push the rear bolt forward toward the valve. After the rear section of the sear disengages the rear bolt, the front section of the sear slips off the back of the trigger. Then the sear spring pulls the sear which slides along a slot in the middle of the sear that the sear pin goes through toward the back of the gun. At the same time the sear rotates on the sear pin so the rear of the sear travels up into the upper receiver of the gun. The sear is now ready to engage the rear bolt when it returns to the rear of the gun. The slot the sear pin goes through is what allows your gun to be semiautomatic by making the sear disengage the trigger. 

PROLITE

The rear bolt is connected to the front bolt by the linkage arm. The front bolt is a tube that slides over the power tube. The power tube is a guide it guides the front bolt in its travel and directs the gas to the front bolt. As the rear bolt moves forward the front bolt moves forward pushing the chambered paintball by the ball detent, and into the barrel. The front bolt also serves to close off the ball feeding and direct the gas that will be released down the barrel. While the balls is being bushed into the barrel the rear bolt strikes the valve plunger. A plunger is a small metal rod that is connected to a base, that either is a seal or has a seal on it. When you push a plunger in it pushes the seal away from the metal the seal makes its seal with. Then gas is allowed to escape from the valve. At this point the Prolite and all previous tippmann semi auto models, and the CVX style guns (Carbine, Model 98, Procarbine) are different. 

CARBINE

When the rear bolt strikes the Prolite valve it moves the entire valve forward a couple millimeters or so until it comes in contact with the power tube pin. Then the momentum of the rear bolt continues to push forward with enough force to overcome the pressure of the gas in the valve and the valve spring. The valve has two plungers one on the front and one on the back. They are both pushed open as the rear bolt pushes on the rear plunger and the power tube pin holds the front plunger in place while the valve continues to move forward. This depresses both plungers opening the two sides of the valve to release high pressure gas. That was very wordy in effect both plungers are depressed releasing gas out both sides of the valve. The gas released to the front of the valve travels into the power tube, and the gas released to the rear of the valve pushes on the rear bolt. 

PROLITE VALVE

The CVX valve is a stationary valve with one plunger at the rear of the valve. The rear bolt hits the plunger with enough force to over come the pressure of the high pressure gas in the valve and the valve spring opening the valve and releasing gas into two slots cut near the back of the valve. The two slots direct the gas to the sides of the valve where passages have been machined on the outside of the valve allowing gas to travel between the valve and the main body of the gun to the front of the valve and then into the power tube. While the gas is going to the power tube the plunger is being pushed further down. A small section of the plunger with an increased diameter that is used to block the leading gas from going out the rear of the valve clears the passage it blocks releasing more gas through the passage at the back of the valve and pushing on the rear bolt. 

CVX VALVE

The gas that is traveling to the power tube enters the power tube and the travels around the velocity adjusting screw. The velocity adjusting screw chokes the gas. So when you screw the velocity screw into the valve you are restricting more airflow by putting more of the velocity screw in the power tube and lowering the velocity. Conversely when you back the velocity screw out you are opening up the power tube for increased flow increasing the velocity. The gas then travels down the main stretch of the power tube and through the front bolt forcing the ball down the barrel. 

[Editor's note: The CVX valve structure is also used in the Tippmann Model 98 and 98 Custom.]

PROLITE

The gas released to the rear of the valve pushes on the rear bolt with enough force to overcome the force of the drive spring and push the rear bolt back, at the same time the front bolt is being pulled back by the linkage arm. As the rear bolt travels to the back of the gun it pushes the sear out of its way and hits the bumper at the back of the gun. At this time the gas that was forcing it back has vented through either the slot on the top of the paintball gun that the linkage arm slides in or the slot for the cocking knob. Then the rear bolt bounces off the bumper and travels forward until the sear catches the ridge on the bottom of the rear bolt. The rear bolt then pushes the sear forward until the sear pin stops the sear at the end of the slot it goes through. Then when you release the trigger the trigger spring returns the trigger dropping the rear of the trigger so the front of the sear can slide back onto the rear of the trigger. And at some point after the front bolt moved far enough back a ball dropped into the breech and the paintball gun has completed one cycle, and is ready to start another cycle. 

CARBINE

Quesions or comments email Rudy Sloup
 


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