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Tippmann: A5 vs ION Barrel Adapters


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#1 Lord Odin

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 05:18 PM

I'd like to give credit to Scoreshot for this one. He came up with the idea initially and I happen to find an intermediate solution that has big benefits.

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If you look at the inside of the gun, you will notice that when the front bolt is in its most forward position, it goes into the barrel adapter before the gas is expelled. If the valve pin were fully compressed to the point the hammer hits the face of the valve (this usually doesn't happen), the front bolt will actually go into the barrel very slightly. The Freak kit has straight tubular inserts that resemble cannoli forms and can be quite small in bore size. Most front bolts aren't that small, so there is no risk of the front bolt damaging the insert. However, their outer o-rings are usually larger than the inserts, so the front bolt may get stuck depending on the insert and front bolt used. Most barrels don't have to worry about this because the breach end of the barrel tapers down to the control bore after a short distance. To avoid this problem, Smart Parts added extra length to the breach end of the barrel back.

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If we compare the ION barrel back to the A5 barrel back from the end the barrel front connects to, you can see the difference in length. Both backs have the insert butt up against the front, so the distance is the same. On the ION barrel back, the insert sits flush against the breach end of the back and is exposed, as you can see below.

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Now keeping that in mind, take a look at the A5 barrel back. All of the extra barrel length is what was added. If you look at the inside of the A5 barrel adapter, there is a small amount of bore that the front bolt passes over that prevents the barrel from screwing completely through it. Where the two meet creates a lip and the bore is too large for the ball before it even gets to the control bore.

If you look at Scoreshot's picture, you can see the point at which the ball enters the control bore of different barrels. The barrels from left to right are the Freak, Hammerhead, and Palmer's.

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As you can see, the ball doesn't create a good fit until later on in the barrel and at different points depending on the barrel. Scoreshot's idea of bringing the control bore as close as possible helped me find Lapco's ION to A5 barrel adapter. It lets you connect ION threaded barrels to the A5. I would post a link but it appears that they have just recently removed the link.

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As you can see, Lapco also made their adapter longer to avoid the front bolts entering the inserts. This is what it looks like on the gun installed.

A5
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ION
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Although the barrel adapter is longer, the overall barrel length is reduced when installed.

I took the stock setup to the chrono and then swapped them out and here's the data I got:

http://www.mediafire.com/?kjnozmjojtd

As you can see, the difference in performance is staggering! It improved in all areas. The velocity increased, it's range and standard deviation were cut in half, the barrel was made shorter, and the sound was more crisp.

What this barrel adapter does is remove the extra step that the barrel back creates before the ball reaches the control bore. It also brings the control bore closer to the ball and helps eliminate blow-by gases.

I don't know how it will perform with breaks or accuracy as of right now, but as soon as I try it out, I will let you guys know.

EDIT: There is an update to this post later in the thread here: http://www.techpb.co...w...st&p=453213

Edited by Lord Odin, 03 July 2009 - 09:15 PM.


#2 LieutenantDan

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 09:13 PM

Wow Odin, this is a very cool test! Never would have crossed my mind. I assume that this bolt entering the barrel stuff is not applicable to higher end guns though. It seems to be an odd configuration.
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#3 Kidneys

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 09:27 PM

I would never have thought about that. Good thing I don't have a freak barrel, or is that a bad thing. It's a bad thing. :angry:
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#4 Troy

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 08:18 AM

Okay, that's enough for me to get an adapter...

I'm assuming this will work the same for cocker threads as well?

Edited by Troy, 14 February 2009 - 08:19 AM.

\m/

#5 Lord Odin

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 08:53 AM

Okay, that's enough for me to get an adapter...

I'm assuming this will work the same for cocker threads as well?

I would assume so as long as the Freak back that is cocker threaded has the insert flush with the end like the ION.

#6 brycelarson

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 05:20 PM

Okay, that's enough for me to get an adapter...

I'm assuming this will work the same for cocker threads as well?

I would assume so as long as the Freak back that is cocker threaded has the insert flush with the end like the ION.


it does.

#7 Lord Odin

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:14 AM

I did a little more testing. Before I even began, I noticed that the ION back doesn't screw completely into the Lapco adapter because of the attached o-ring. I felt the insert and sure enough, there is a gap and the insert wiggles. You can almost sheer the o-ring while tightening it but I just removed it. I tried wiggling the insert and it didn't move when I did that. I did a comparison of both with and without the o-ring and here was my results.

http://spreadsheets....b40FcWDOhPH4gAA

There is definitely a relationship in how far the insert/back is in the adapter and it's performance. I think I screwed it in pretty far before and that's why I got similar numbers. So make sure you remove that o-ring when using this adapter because it doesn't have a groove for it.

I did some other testing on the side but its irrelevant to this discussion. So you can just ignore the rest of the data.

Edited by Lord Odin, 16 February 2009 - 08:16 AM.


#8 Tucan9999

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

So it would be better for me to just buy a Spyder to cocker adaptor then to buy a new cocker back?
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#9 Lord Odin

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:18 PM

So it would be better for me to just buy a Spyder to cocker adaptor then to buy a new cocker back?

I'm assuming you already have a Spyder and a Freak kit for it. Are you looking to put cocker threaded barrels on it? Also, is the Spyder back similar to the A5', where it has an extension or is it closer to the ION's and Cocker's, where the insert is flush?

#10 Tucan9999

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:22 PM

So it would be better for me to just buy a Spyder to cocker adaptor then to buy a new cocker back?

I'm assuming you already have a Spyder and a Freak kit for it. Are you looking to put cocker threaded barrels on it? Also, is the Spyder back similar to the A5', where it has an extension or is it closer to the ION's and Cocker's, where the insert is flush?



Yeah I have the Freak kit with a Spyder back and I want to use my Freak kit on my Vice so I need a Cocker back. But yeah its almost flush, there is a little bit of space
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#11 Lord Odin

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 06:54 PM

So it would be better for me to just buy a Spyder to cocker adaptor then to buy a new cocker back?

I'm assuming you already have a Spyder and a Freak kit for it. Are you looking to put cocker threaded barrels on it? Also, is the Spyder back similar to the A5', where it has an extension or is it closer to the ION's and Cocker's, where the insert is flush?



Yeah I have the Freak kit with a Spyder back and I want to use my Freak kit on my Vice so I need a Cocker back. But yeah its almost flush, there is a little bit of space

I can't guarantee similar results as the A5 but I would think that the closer the insert (control bore) is to the bolt, the quicker the ball will be inserted and performance will increase. If the Spyder is similar to the A5, then I would swap out the backs to a Cocker so that its flush. Adding parts in between the insert and the barrel adapter would make things worse. Like going from the ION back to the A5 back in my example. Hope that helps.

#12 Leafy

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:40 PM

So it would be better for me to just buy a Spyder to cocker adaptor then to buy a new cocker back?

I'm assuming you already have a Spyder and a Freak kit for it. Are you looking to put cocker threaded barrels on it? Also, is the Spyder back similar to the A5', where it has an extension or is it closer to the ION's and Cocker's, where the insert is flush?



Yeah I have the Freak kit with a Spyder back and I want to use my Freak kit on my Vice so I need a Cocker back. But yeah its almost flush, there is a little bit of space


and thats the best part about a freak kit. you have all the bore sizes already and you only have to spend 40 bucks to get a new back instead of having to spend hundreds to get all new control bores.

#13 wubbachicken

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 07:46 PM

exceptional work and attention to detail! my hat goes off to you LO for the test and scoreshot for the idea. i was fixin to buy a powerlyte scepter kit in A-5 threads, but will now buy it cocker threaded. anyways, in case i ever "cross over" ill already have an uograded barrel. it takes me a long long time to decide what i want. i research every detail in depth. just a quick thank you to you and all the other contributers here at PW

#14 codymt

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:01 PM

I kinda new so sry if i not understanding this right but i just bought an a-5 and was going to get a cp14" barrle, but if a got a cp barrle for an ion and this adapter it would probably have the same performance increase right?
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#15 Lord Odin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:23 PM

I kinda new so sry if i not understanding this right but i just bought an a-5 and was going to get a cp14" barrle, but if a got a cp barrle for an ion and this adapter it would probably have the same performance increase right?


I don't think so. I think this is a Freak-specific issue. Just in case you don't know how the Freak system works, I'll explain. There is the front half of the barrel referred to as a Front and the back half, which is referred to as the Back. Inside of the back, there are inserts that slide into it. When the Front and Back and screwed together, the insert butts up against the front bore. They don't match because each insert has a different size bore.

With the A5 Freak back, there is a piece of barrel that is added to the end, closest to the gun and farthest from the Front. Smart Parts added this length because the front bolt of the gun actually slightly goes beyond the barrel adapter and into whatever barrel it is touching. Since the front bolt would get stuck in some of the inserts, they added the extra length as a precautionary measure.

With the ION Freak back, you don't have that extra length. The insert goes right to the end of the Back. What Lapco did with their barrel adapter was extended it longer so that the front bolt doesn't go inside of the insert.

They both attacked the same problem through two different ways but there is a huge difference in performance.

So back to your original question, I don't think it will help you because 1 piece barrels usually don't have the bore too small right at the end. They usually are bored too big to worry about it or they taper from the end over a short distance into the barrel. So you would be just fine with your barrel, IMO. Hope that explains it a little better for you.

#16 codymt

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:12 PM

thanks that makes it a lot more clear for me i was picturing it as a problem with a-5 barrles in general.
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