What You Need To Rapidfire
by Zak Vetter
Below I have listed the components you will need to rapid-fire your Automag as well as how they have to be set up. Clicking the links simply moves you down the page to the section you chose so you can just scroll down to read everything if you prefer.
Before you go read this, however, please understand that the hardware and information below will work if and ONLY IF you have a working Automag that is in factory spec. What the heck is factory spec? Click the link.

BlackVCG's Complete Automag Specs Thread on AO

IF YOU ASSUME THAT YOUR ON/OFF, YOUR BOLT SPRING, THE LVL 10 ARE ALL THE RIGHT LENGTH AND TUNED AND THIS GUID DOES NOT WORK...

GUESS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO?!

The most common problems are sear pins that are too far back or too far forward (often this happens when a new trigger frame is installed). You want the sear pin in spec according to BlackVCG's thread.

YOU WANT IT FACTORY SPEC.

If your sear pin is the correct length and it's way too far in/out for your trigger I bet you are using some 3rd party trigger or grip that is not set to AGD tolerances. You are on your own there buddy.


Stuff You MUST HAVE To Make This Work
1. An Automag With An RT Valve
2. A High Pressure, Adjustable, High-Flow Tank System
3. A Forcefeed Loading System
Nonessential (But Highly Recommended) Stuff
4. AGD's Level 10 Anti-Chop Bolt System
5. A Blade or 2 Finger Trigger Frame

1: An Automag With An RT Valve
You need an Automag with an RT valve. It does not matter if it's a Classic RT, a Minimag with a Retro Valve or a Logic ULE RT Pro. All that matters is that it has an RT valve. Various name of the RT valve include:
  • X-Valve
  • E-Mag Valve
  • RT Pro Valve
  • Classic RT Valve
  • Retro Valve
  • E-Max Valve

They all function the same and respond the same to input pressure changes.

(For a more detailed explanation of the valves click here)


2. A High Pressure, Adjustable, High-Flow Tank
This is the big one. The key to working with the RT valve and adjusting the reactivity of the trigger lies ENTIRELY in what pressure you have set the tank to put out and how well it is able to sustain that pressure at high flow rates (often referred to as the regulator's RECHARGE rate).

Many people make the mistake of assuming that 850psi on one tank reg behaves the same way as 850psi on another tank reg. However, all regs are NOT created equal.

Preset regulators often do not recharge as fast as adjustable systems and result in shoot down at higher rates of fire. A slower recharging reg also softens the trigger bounce on the RT valve and typically will NOT allow you to rapidfire your marker (even at 900psi). Remember that when you are shooting 20bps+ a second, its almost like opening the valve and venting air. Many regulators are just not able to keep the pressure up while raleasing that much air.

The higher the input pressure the RT valve gets, the harder it bounces back at you when you fire it. The bounce is caused by the air refilling the valve chamber and pushing the on/off pin back out resetting the valve.

A preset tank with a relatively slow recharging valve and set output pressure of 850psi will produce a softer, less crisp bounce than an adjustable, high flow tank set at 850psi.

People talk about 850psi and 900psi as the magic pressure to go for. While somewhat true, it’s really a case-by-case issue. Each regulator performs a bit differently. 900psi on a DynaFlow tank may work well, 900psi may not work with your 3K AGD Flatline system. You have to spend some time and learn your tank's charicteristics or you will just end up frustrated.

I currently run an 88ci 4500 Max-Flo tanks on my SFL and (my old RT Pro). At about 850-900psi I could start sweetspotting the trigger. However, my old 68ci 3000 Flatline did not get it going till around 950-1000psi. There are several tanks out there (that I am aware of) that will enable you to reach the pressures needed for rapidfire. A collection of tanks that I can vouch for is listed here.

The best way to test this is to raise the input pressure to the RT vavle in small steps, testing it out each time. Remember, the valve is rated for up to 3000psi direct input (it's lasered right on the valve)

When you get down to around 1000psi in your tank, you will notice that the rapidfire starts to wear off, which makes sense. You are just about at the output pressure you set your tank at and it's getting time to refill your tank.


3. A Forcefeed Loading System
Now that you have a RT Mag hooked up to some killer tank system you need one final thing: A loading system that can keep up with you. Contrary to all the hype you read, your brand new Revy complete with WAS board is NOT GOING TO KEEP UP!! (not even sorta keep up). As a matter of fact, nothing short of a forcefeed hopper is going to hold its own against the raw speed of rapid-fire.

Fortunately now there are many companies who make forcefeed loaders that are more than adequate. Some of the more common include:

  • The QLoader
  • The Halo B & Reloader B
  • The Magna Drive
  • The Dye Rotor
  • AGD's Warp Feed

The QLoader
Of the 3, the QLoader is going to be your most consistent and reliable in feeding 20bps+. It is also currently the fastest of the 3 systems listed, which is a bit ironic considering it is also the only one that operates without the need of batteries. I have done extensive testing with this system and very confident in it's ability to feed a continuous stream of balls from a full pod to the very last ball. It's combination of being unaffected by position and ability to feed all 100 rounds consistently from start to finish makes it ideal for hooking up to your Mag system. The only case against it is that it holds 100 rounds. Still, if you want THE fastest and most reliable, the QLoader holds that place uncontested today.

The Halo/Reloader B, Rotor, & Magna Loaders
Odyssey Paintball, Empire, Dye and Brass Eagle all produce the forcefeed hoppers that can handle 20bps+ for more than a second or so. With a range of upgrades for these systems like high performance boards, stronger drive cones and quick load covers. These hoppers do have some limitations though. Though it is a forcefeed system, you don't want to tilt it too far when rapidfiring. The balls will not fall into the drive cone and you will be shooting blanks in no time. Also, when you get down to the last 20 balls or so, the drive cone tends to bounce the balls about and not feed as fast so it's smarter to just reload the hopper.

The Warp Feed
AGD was the first to introduce "faster than gravity" feed systems onto the market. The warp feed is an interesting system because it has the ability to be the fastest loading system but requires some work to make it do what you want. The stock 9volt system is almost fast enough (but not quite) to keep up with rapidfire (it will run about 18bps). If you just tend to fire off little 5-10 round bursts now and then, the 9volt warp setup will be ok. However if you want to empty your hopper in 10 seconds or less you need to make some changes.
First, you will need to have the system modded for 12volt operation which will boost the speed to the upper 20bps range. This can be done by some of the AGD techs found on AO or by AGD directly.
Next, you will need a faster hopper to feed into the Warp and there is really only 1 choice for that: The Halo B. Basically, if you want the low profile of the QLoader and the extra paint capacity of the Halo B, this is the best system available. The Warp can also be linked to the trigger systems on the Mag either via an Intelliframe or the E-Mag board.

Optional Things To Make Rapidfire Easier

4. AGD's Level 10 Anti-Chop Bolt System
Although you don't need this upgrade to rapidfire, it is a very wise investment. Even if you don't plan on rapidfiring your Mag, you still run into the problem of chopping paint. The level 10 does exactly what it claims, it's soft enough that you can stick your finger in the breech and pull the trigger. In my rapidfire videos, any time you see my stop shooting, you may have caught a small hiss. That was the lvl 10 kicking in and avoiding a mess to clean up.

5. A Blade / Finger Trigger Frame
Again, not a must but I mention it as its very helpful. The double trigger offers you more control of the rapidfire and, (I think) general shooting and ROF. Since the trigger on the Automag is nothing more than pushing a pin in that opens a valve, how slowly you are able to push it in will dictate how easily you can hit that “sweet-spot” where the gun rapidfires.

Imagine if the trigger was 10 feet long and you were pulling it from the bottom slowly; you would have a HUGE degree of control over how far the pin was pushed in and you could hold that position with ease. Though an exaggeration, this is the case with the single vs. double trigger. Pulling the trigger the 'right' amount (and holding it) with a single trigger is much harder than with a longer blade or double trigger.

I found that holding the trigger at the corner above the bottom curve of the blade is the ideal place to pull from. I also suggest you try using 1 finger as you want to be consistent (and light) in your pressure. The higher the input pressure into the gun, the easier and stronger the rapidfire will feel. And of course all you have to do to stop (if you got on a nice long string) is to pull the rest of the way, or let go.


Control the Speed of Rapidfire
When you get your system working and you are familiar with its operation, you can move on to try a more challenging aspect of rapidfire. Depending on how hard you hold the trigger, the speed at which the valve cycles can be controlled. Since the pressure of the air refilling the valve is what pushes your finger back what it boils down to is this:

A lighter finger pressure = faster rapidfire

A harder finger pressure = slower rapidfire

The video on the right is an example of what I just described. When the trigger is held with a higher pressure the ROF slows; When it's lightened the ROF rises. Faster and slower based off nothing but finger pressure. You can get the gun to rapid-fire as slow as 11-12bps or as fast as 24-25bps solely based on this.

This site and all images property of Zak Vetter 2008 All rights reserved