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  1. For pictures view this article on my site at http://jonkraatz.com/?p=109 The history of project Blue Ghost This was my very first airsoft gun, it started out as a well loved AK-74M manufactured by a Chinese company called CYMA. Sure it was cheap and poorly made but it was a portal into the wonderful sport of Airsoft. For me this is where it all began. This is where my love for tech and modifications was born. Encased in a cast zinc shell laid a set of greasy gears and dirty plastics, but I didn't care. This was a masterpeice in the making. For the next year and a half I would save up my hard earned money to buy shiny new parts for my rifle. I would make numerous mistakes and errors, but in the end I would learn my trade. The story of project Blue Ghost is the story of my path to becoming a Benchtech. Laying the groundwork When I first received my rifle in its generic cardboard box the first thing I did was tear it apart (much to the dismay of my parents). After closely examining each and every part and seeing how it interacted I had a rough understanding of the workings. I was able to put it back together with the exception of the hopup unit and took it to my local field for the first time. After the whirlwind of action and adrenaline which every airsofter experiences their first time I came to the conclusion that my beloved rifle needed some serious improvment. After much reaserch and learning valuble information on modifications such as shimming and AOE correction, I set to work on what would be soon known as Blue Ghost. Before I could start upgrading I had to improve what already existed. I stripped down the internals and grabbed an old toothbrush and some denatured alcohol. After I had scrubbed every part clean of grim I started the long and frustating process of leaning to shim. It took me half the day but I finally got the gears to satifactory levels. When I had completed every modification recommended on the online forums I religiously studied, I started onto the next step. . . upgrades. The long path of upgrades Finally the time had come, the moment that I had waited months for. Now that I had the groundwork laid and the money saved up I could finally start investing in some upgrades that would lead to real performance. After comparing nearly every brand of motor I settled on a set of SHS 13:1 gears, a Lonex A-1 (Balanced) motor, and a BAAL piston. Combined with a 11.1v Turnigy LiPo I had a seriously capable rifle. . . until it started screaching. Turns out a M90 spring isn't strong enough to propel the piston fast enough to keep it from crashing into the sector gear. Thankfully I didn't see the need to expoxy in the piston rack so it was ripped off and the sector gear was saved. Three pistons, five springs, one motor, and six months later I had a winning combo. With a Lonex HT motor, M110, and a SHS blue piston my build was looking promising. While the HT motor decreased ROF the trigger response and efficiency were very notably increased. I took this setup many times to my local field D14 but I was still not satisfied. Current setup and performance Blue Ghost has come along way, with it's polished gearbox and black oxide treated gears only the stock cylinder head hints of it's origin. The blue glass-fiber nylon piston along with being dead silent gives project Blue Ghost it's name. In the end I decided to keep the Lonex A-2 motor dispite having issues with Lonex motors in the past. To replace the deteriorating stock shell I decided to go with a polished zinc shell by Lonex. Along with the shell came a dark blue nylon fiber tappet plate and 8mm steel bearings. I also kept the SHS 13:1 gears although I plan to replace them with Siegetek 10:1 gears in the future. For the piston I chose the iconic SHS blue which is a favorite among techs. The piston came pre-swiss cheesed from a drillpress. All of the compression parts except the cylinder are stock CYMA, they haven't failed yet. To save the trigger contacts from arcing is a GATE Warfet 1.1 which has proved to be an invaluable upgrade. For range and accuracy at a decent price I chose a 455mm ZCI 6.03mm barrel, coupled with Maple Leaf bucking and H-hop nub. The ZCI barrel can hurl .28g bb's up to 400ft (at 400fps with .20g) but effective range is closer to 300ft. The rate of fire is about 28-30 rounds/sec maximum though I have it dialed down to 20 as I feel anything higher is unnecessary for skirmishes. In all this build cost far more than I care to think about but it was well worth it for the knowledge and experience. The countless hours and frustration put into this build gives this rifle special meaning. It's a well tuned piece of tech that never fails to turn heads, but more importantly it's somthing I can be proud of.
  2. Hey everyone, I'm new here in the forums but I started airsofting about six years ago. I stopped for the past two because it can get pricey but now that I'm out of school and working a decent job, I figured now is the best time to get into it. I have a VFC HK416c and I'm planning to do a relatively high speed build. (I ain't goin near a dsg build anytime soon) I would consider myself fairly advanced when it comes to working on aeg's as I've always been the go-to for my friends to fix or upgrade their guns including my own guns. I know my way around an AEG quite well and have spent countless hours researching and obsessing over this topic, however I am always looking for advice to continue learning and improving my skills as it's greatly appreciated! I'll start off with what I have and plan to use as the base to install my new parts into. -GB shell is the stock VFC shell it came with. I know those are fairly strong and it has 8mm steel bushings, not to mention I'm fairly proud of my radius(ing?) job. -Motor is a Lonex Orange high torque which I'm assuming will be great for ~400 fps and high rof. -Metal bearing spring guide, and stock cylinder from VFC. Now the parts I plan on purchasing as follows; -SHS 12.65:1 gears -SHS pinion gear -SHS lightweight 14t piston (with sorbo pads for aoe) -Lonex Pom piston head -Lonex aluminum cylinder head w/double o-rings -Lonex Pom nozzle -SHS nylon tappet plate -Prommy m110 -SHS ARL -Annnnd the cherry on top, a Gate Titan mosfet which I know have been proven to work on 50+rps dsg builds. I chose SHS for a lot of parts because they aren't pricey and are very widely used and accepted for similar builds along with the Lonex components I've picked. (Hopefully I'm not missing anything in the list) I feel confident in these parts, but I also feel like I've gravely over-looked something or that something in the list won't hold up to what I should expect. Also running an 11.1 lipo at 20c and 1100 MAh which I assume I should get one with a higher MAh rating, any recommendations are welcome. Again, any advice is greatly appreciated including parts that may cost a bit more but would be better in the long run, thank you! Edit: Grammar, formatting
  3. For picture and more check out my site at Jonkraatz.com What exactly is a High Speed Build? In airsoft a high speed build refers to a upgraded platform (usually PDW or PBR) capable of a fearsome rate of fire (30-50 rounds/sec). High speed builds are typically medium to high stress and require moderate tech skills and basic knowledge of the inner workings of your rifle. What gives your rifle a high ROF? The ROF (rate of fire) is determined by three things: The battery, the motor, and the gear ratio. Ultimately the battery affects the ROF the most but motor and gear ratio are equally important. Even with a powerful 11.1v LiPo your guns ROF will be heavily restricted by its stock motor and gears. Upgrading your motor and gears will allow you to use the full power of your battery and greatly increase efficiency and trigger response. To handle the high stresses that these new parts will put on your system you will need to upgrade parts such as the piston and spring. Modifications such as radiusing and short-stroking may not be essential but are highly recommended. Shimming and motor height tuning should be done on ALL builds and is a must for stress builds of any sort. Understanding what parts to buy Battery: First things first, throw away every Ni-cad/NiMh battery you own, you wont be needing them anymore. . . Choosing the right battery can be complicated and even frustrating at times. To find the right battery you must keep following factors in mind. How much battery space do you have? Can you mount an external battery? How long will you be out on the field? All of these things matter when shopping. That aside you must also match the performance of the battery to your build. To do this you must understand the battery ratings. On each battery you will find three things; the voltage, C rating, and Mah. This stuff gets very complicated very fast so lets put it into simpler terms. Imagine a river flowing out of a lake, The Mah is the size of the lake (capacity) and the C rating is how wide the river is or how much water flows out at one time (Discharge rate). To calculate how powerful the battery is you have to multiply the C rating by the mAh. In other words a battery with 2500mAh and a 50C discharge rate will be less powerful than a battery with 9000mAh and a 25C discharge rate. Also a battery with 5000mAh and 25C will last longer than one with the same mAh and 50C, though the later will be more powerful. And then you have the voltage which ranges from 3.7v, 7.4v, 11.1v, to 14.8v (the most common in airsoft are 7.4 and 11.1). Imagine the voltage as power levels or the speed of the current though the river, as rule of thumb a 11.1v will always be more powerful than a 7.4v regardless of mAh or C. For high speed builds 11.1v LiPos are a essential. I personally use 11.1v 3000mAh 30C brick type LiPos. A 11.1v at 25-50C with around 1500 Mah would be a good place to start. Motor: Airsoft motors come in three flavors; High Torque (HT), Balanced, and High Speed (HS). Contrary to popular belief HS motors are actually the worst type for high speed builds. Its also good to note at this point that most stock motors are absolute garbage (with the exception of KWA and JG) since they use ceramic based magnets. Most aftermarket motors come with neodymium or rare earth magnets, these are a must have in any decent motor. Motors are also rated by TPA or turns per armature, In basic concept the higher the TPA the more powerful the motor is. The lower the TPA the faster the motor is. In the old days you used to have to choose between RPMs and torque (ROF vs trigger response). Now with the implementation of neo magnets HT motors are powerful enough to pull super low ratio gears to get a fearsome ROF and a crisp trigger response. Most HS motors are useless these days, HT will be your friend. Although some balanced motors can increase your ROF much higher than any HT can they tend to burn out and wear much, much faster. HT motors are my go to for any build for their reliablilty, effeciency and trigger response. Gears: This is one of the more simple parts to understand. Most stock gears come in a 18:1 ratio, this means that the motor has to turn the bevel gear 18 times to fire the gun. Gears like motors are rated from HT to HS, 32:1-20:1 are considered HT, 18:1 and 16:1 are considered balanced. HS gears are where its at, the most common are 13:1 and 12:1 and some companies even make 10:1. Gears themselves will make the smallest difference in performance but paired with the right motor will make a fearsome build. That being considered, gears are subjected to the most about of stress out of all the parts in your gearbox. Gear failure is the most catastrophic failure that can happen and is often quite violent not to mention expensive. NEVER skimp out on quality with gears, although they might be expensive up front it is far cheaper in the long run. This guide is primariy geared towards (no pun intended) meduim stress builds so unless your an expert mechenic ,in which case you would not be reading this, stay away from DSGs. I will make a DSG guide in the future or at very least cover the concept. What brands make the best parts? All the parts on Brill Armory are very high quality and are fairly reputable. We reccomend you do as much shoping off of there as I can as all the parts are hand selected by Brill himself. Batteries: DO NOT BUY AIRSOFT BRANDED BATTERIES! Buy batteries from hobby stores or in bulk from distributers as they are far cheaper than the airsoft branded ones. Tenergy, Turnigy, and Floureon all make great batteries. Motors: ZCI and SHS motors are by far my favorite because of their powerful magnets, high quality and competitive price. Action army although very pricy make good high quality motors and undergo strict QC. ASG motors are also a good choice with their high TPA and CNC machining. I'd personally steer clear of Lonex as their motor brushes are extremly soft and wear quickly, they also don't mesh well with SHS gears which are my favorite for Meduim stress builds. Gears: As I said before never skimp on your gears. If you are going to make any investment in a build then buy a set of Siegetek gears. Siegetek makes the best gears hands down nuff said. . . seriously if you can afford them go buy some. SHS Also makes good gears, SHS makes the best gears for their price range I use them in most of my builds. Super Shooter gears are also reccomended, I've heard they are SHS's "premium" line whatever that means, they also have ball bearing shafts. countinued. . .
  4. Budget: $270 Very maximum Model Preference: Love me some o' dat m4 goodness Where you play: I play in both CQB and field, and in the long run I want to be taking this gun to both. Role: I want to be able to fit into any role, although more of an assault role if you will - although I mean, an airsoft gun is an airsoft gun and doesn't really make the role. I am currently considering: The ICS CXP UK1 CAPTAIN AIRSOFT GUN - https://www.foxairsoft.com/airsoft-guns/ics-cxp-uk1-captain/ The Evike Custom Madbull Licensed Troy Industries M7A1 Custom Airsoft AEG - http://www.evike.com/products/54707/ I want to end up shoving a bunch of upgrades in the gun, it will be my first experience with teching. Basically I just need a solid gun thats inexpensive, nice and short (max 7" rails) and has a lot of upgrade potential. I can share more details on my upgrade map later but out of the box I am looking at adding: Battery (I will get stock mag pouch thingy for storage)- https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-nano-tech-4000mah-3s-35-70c-lipo-pack.html MOSFET - NukeFet Barrel - Whatever really, looking at a prommy for the ICS. Bucking - Flat-hopped lonex 50d or 70d (don't know which) Nub - Prommy flat nub (I'm lazy) Thanks! P.s. The $270 figure doesn't include the upgrades, it's just for the gun. Edit - Details and formatting
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