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Airsoft-Ed

Pistol upgrades - What's available? What can be done to them?

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It's been a while since I've written an essay, so if you're technically minded and like tinkering with stuff, maybe you'll be able to help me, or be intrigued enough to want to read into it a bit and offer your own insights.

 

So, I'm thinking of upgrading my Glock, just because pistols are fun to tinker with and having seen all this crazy stuff Airsoft Surgeon makes, it strikes me that there must be a lot of potential for pistols to perform better than they do.

Ideally I want to know what aspects of pistol performance and handling characteristics you can build on with purchasable parts. I'm not interested in external add ons like slides and frames, unless they're necessary, aesthetically identical parts, that allow me to fit certain internal parts that perhaps the stock part can't fit the upgrade into or something.

So, questions:

 

Range & Accuracy - What could you do to make it better? Is there anything beyond just a hop and barrel?

 

Gas efficiency - Is there any way to make it use less gas per shot, for the same performance? Make it perform better in the cold?

 

FPS consistency - I don't think it matters so much on pistols, and mine is certainly accurate enough from shot to shot to still hit targets out to a decent 30 or so metres, but is there anything to buy to increase consistency?

Recoil - Can the felt effects be increased? Does increasing or decreasing the recoil come with any added benefits or drawbacks?

Now, I have various assumptions about what could be done to help in these areas, but I want to know whether I'm using broken logic to come to these conclusions, or if I'm right.

I've seen various parts available to upgrade pistols, obviously there are tightbore barrels and hop rubbers, but I've also seen high flow valves; I assume these put more gas into the mechanism per shot, which presumably increases fps and/or felt recoil/kick, but with a loss of gas efficiency? Could high flow valves make accuracy better or worse by some extension I'm not seeing?

I've also seen recoil springs, so I'm thinking, if I got some high flow valves, I could also get a higher tension recoil spring; my thought being that a harder recoil spring will require more gas to function, so a high flow valve could help get the gas into the mechanism faster, add to the kick even more, but potentially cancel out the fps boost? Because more gas will go to pushing against the recoil spring? Am I right there? Or would there still be an fps boost?

Additionally, I've seen upgraded gas outlet thingies, that also seem to include new feed lips for your magazines. I'm guessing they more efficiently direct gas flow and maybe make a better air seal against the gas piston thingy? So they ought to increase gas efficiency, maybe getting you more shots per mag by maybe 5 or so? So I could get high flow valves to spit more gas out in a shorter time, which would up kick and fps, then a recoil spring to aid the heavier kick at a possible loss of the fps boost and a drop in efficiency (potentially recouped by the gas router/feed lip thingies) so I'm sort of increasing the kick whilst maintaining my existing range and accuracy, but potentially upping my shot consistency with enhanced gas flow and increased volume.

Lastly, I've seen upgrade nozzle/piston/cylinder sets? What benefit can they have? Do they come as an all in one drop in replacement for the existing slide fitted mech of the pistol? I don't really get what they're for or what they can offer me.

Can anyone fill me in? Correct anywhere I've gone wrong with my assumptions and let me know if there are other things I can upgrade that would help with anything I might've missed or overlooked?

I know it's a long post, but hopefully if you're technically minded and like tinkering with things, you'll have held on out of personal interest? Fingers crossed lol.

Cheers if you read it all and respond, whether it be helpful or just to clarify something I've said, or whatever!

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Can't help specifically with Glock upgrades, but I've put hi-flow valves in a couple of my TM Glock mags and it definitely ups the FPS. I've not tested the Glock in the same way as I did my old HFC M92, but in that the hi-flow valve boosted the FPS from around 260 to 310-320, depending on temperature, and on a 50 yards outdoor rifle range the BBs were flying past the front edge of the butts with quite good accuracy for something using about a 12cm inner barrel and only really started to dip at about 60 yards. It even out-shot one of my AEGs at the time for sheer range.

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My Glock is already matching the range of my L85 despite being around 20fps less powerful and that's without even adding any upgrades to it! Accuracy is nothing close but I think that could just be down to it not being a very stable shooting platform compared to a rifle.

 

Did you notice any sort of drop in the number of shots you could get off per mag once you'd fitted high flow valves? As it stands now, there's roughly enough gas in the mags to fire each shot 3 times, so I figure, so long as the gas efficiency doesn't drop by 66%, which seems highly unlikely, then I ought to be fine with it.

It's supposedly 100% TM compatible, so I've got my fingers crossed this might actually be a simple gun to upgrade. I just hope that if I don't see positive results, swapping everything back to the stock parts will give me the same performance I had, back. 'Cos I have a bad history with gas guns packing in on me for seemingly no reason...

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Where's the fun in that though?

I'm the sort of person that would go on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and just risk risk risk in a bid to reach the full £1mil.

I figure, I'm either no worse off, or massively better off. Same goes for this pistol, I'd rather risk making it worse, if there's a chance it might get massively better.

 

Though I guess I would be worse off if it ended up going wrong, but I could buy a new one for £90ish and sell the old one's parts to recoup some money, so it wouldn't be that bad if it all went arse over tit.

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Fair enough, I think I'm probably a bit prissy about my guns, I get them set up to work how I want them to (able to reliably hit a man sized target at 60-70m) which with a marui normally means; 'put in a tightbore, leave the gearbox and hop well alone!'. Outside of that I like to avoid tinkering, I mucked about with my old M4 and as a result it's much less reliable now than it used to be which is a bit of a bummer!

 

Saying that though, from seeing the performance you've got going on with your L85 you clearly know what you're doing with an AEG so it shouldn't be a massive leap to learn how gas guns tick and do the same.

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unfortunately anything that makes it cooler (fps/kick etc) is gunna cost you in gas efficency.

 

i should imagine a high flow valve will give a noticeable increase in fps and kick

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I can see I'm going to have to do a lot of reading around this before committing to buy anything.

Though I'll probably read up and find that it's all shite and then just buy it anyway because I'm a moron like that... I'd like to know more about the cylinder set thingies and what they're meant for, as well as the gas flow feed lip thingies.

 

Has anyone on here ever actually extensively upgraded a pistol to anyone's knowledge?

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Ed, call the guy from the site I sent you the link to earlier, it's Mike Cripps' shop so he'll probably be able to explain it all very easily.

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You can get lightweight blow back units, with matching cylinder etc. Used to obviously lighten the slide so more crisp recoil.

Most of these upgrades are not noticeable in a skirmish pistol though.

Its when you're running timed courses that trigger response, shot delay etc all counts for overall time.

 

I would just reccomend a tightbore for your pistol and leave it pretty much as that. Buffer kit possibly if you want to lower the time between blowback.

Although getting a smaller tightbore at the same length will actually lower your fps, as you have less room for the gas to expand into. If you want more FPS, you have to get a longer barrel, or a wider one.

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I'll start at the top for your reading pleasure.

 

Range & Accuracy - Hop and barrel. It's the same as any other airsoft weapon. thankfully, as barrels are much shorter, you can get a PDI or similar for a pistol as you can a madbul for an AEG for a similar price.

Gas efficiency - Is there any way to make it use less gas per shot, for the same performance?no. Less gas, less fps. Simple as that. You can fuck around with high flow valves and all that stuff but you'll loose a huge chunk of your gas reserves.

FPS consistency - It's a gas weapon, what are you talking about? consistency? pfftt no chance. very hard to achieve, make sure every seal is bomb proof, everything is well looked after and you're using a TM as a base. Plastic is better than metal by a LONG way for this.


Recoil - Can the felt effects be increased?Yes, heavier slide and/or a bigger recoil spring (150% etc)

Does increasing or decreasing the recoil come with any added benefits or drawbacks? benefits - WHEEEE RECOIL!!!!! drawback, gas efficiency and follow up shots are harder to place.

 

For skirmishing you want: Accuracy, gas efficiency. Both available in far more abundance in a stock TM than fecking around with something else.

 

almost all of the parts you see around are for 'race pistols' for Practical shooting. For this you want: Accuracy, speed - all of this can be gained by taking a TM Hi capa and bolting all of those little shiny things you see on ehobbyasia/redwolf/eliteshootingcentre to teh pistol.

efficiency doesn't matter shit, you can only put 18 rounds in a mag and you have spares on you so you can use what would usually be 3 mags worth of gas to a skirmisher to propel 18 rounds if you want.

Most of the parts exist for good reason, but almost all 'upgrades' will cause problems for skirmishing.

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The grange do a whole lot of AIPSC stuff. However most of it is suited to hicapas.

The guy who runs it would also tell you that its not really worth it for a WE glock. Might as well just buy the TM version if you want to be playing around with it.

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I think that, despite it all being largely pointless, which I knew anyway, if there's any gain to be had, I'd like to have it. I'm more one for wanting a harder kick even if it does give me a disadvantage when it comes to making follow up shots. Especially considering how much I miss the mental kick my CO2 MEU had.

I always look at sports and wonder why the people who do it professionally, train with all the highest end equipment available, which is just going to make it easier. Like olympic cyclists using high tech drag resistent coatings and shapes and shaving their legs and all that bollocks. Why not make it as hard as possible and use the crappest equipment ever? Then, when you train to the point where you can out perform the people using that high tech equipment and you dump your crap stuff for good stuff, you'll be that much better.

I also think there's a lot of satisfaction to be had from using what is essentially inferior equipment and still getting one up on someone. Like wearing 90 tons of gear and still out running a hire gunner in a jump suit lol.

Essentially, I just want to try my hand at modding pistols, maybe I'll gain some insights from it so I'll be able to help other people out, or advise people on building race guns if they're new to it or something. I don't want to be an expert, I just like to get a look at stuff and truly figure out how it works, first hand.

I've had my assumptions corrected, the tightbore barrel decreasing fps thing was quite surprising news... Though it does make sense if you think about it, or does it? =/ Despite more air getting around the BB, it takes longer for it to get pushed out, leaving more time for more gas to get in behind it to push it out... More gas used per shot because more gets around the edge of the BB...

I'm going to have to test that first hand at some point. In my head it seems like they'd work out about the same. Do you reckon pistol tbb are produced just because they know people will buy them? Or because they actually offer an improvement over stock ones? Seems a bit daft to make them to such a high quality if using them if negligible.

What about CO2 and green gas chambers in pistols? Like when they're red or blue? Could they better handle green gas or are they just made of something more rigid? I might see if there's a CO2 strength one available and at least swap that out, Iain at MilSpec told someone that WE were releasing CO2 mags for their Glock line before the end of the month, so I'm guessing mine might need some reinforcing doing to it before it can take CO2.

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we have released a C02 mag for the G17/g18 pistols ;) ....... now they just have to get from twain or where ever to the uk!!!

 

edit :- My WE 5.1 hi capa dragon didnt need any reforcement, just use good c02 like crossman (i think its called that, its cross*** something) as it has lube, and the mags drop the pressure so its still skirmish able etc :)

 

edit 2:- i use we c02 mags on my dragon, i can get double the bb's through my gun before it needs replacing .... which is 2 mags lol on green gas i get 1 mag before it needs recharging

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Yep, co2 mags already released.

 

Mil spec will order them in around the 15 th from Taiwan then a further 3 days to arrive, so should be in around the 18th.

 

WE G18C Gen 4- here I come!

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we have released a C02 mag for the G17/g18 pistols ;) ....... now they just have to get from twain or where ever to the uk!!!

 

edit :- My WE 5.1 hi capa dragon didnt need any reforcement, just use good c02 like crossman (i think its called that, its cross*** something) as it has lube, and the mags drop the pressure so its still skirmish able etc :)

 

edit 2:- i use we c02 mags on my dragon, i can get double the bb's through my gun before it needs replacing .... which is 2 mags lol on green gas i get 1 mag before it needs recharging

So hang on, those mags won't put anymore strain on the gun?

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Ed asked me the same question. But I don't think anyone is sure till there in stock.

 

Best thing to do is give Iain at milspec at ring once there in stock and ask him the exact same question.

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"Did you notice any sort of drop in the number of shots you could get off per mag once you'd fitted high flow valves? As it stands now, there's roughly enough gas in the mags to fire each shot 3 times, so I figure, so long as the gas efficiency doesn't drop by 66%, which seems highly unlikely, then I ought to be fine with it."

 


Not really, as I don't tend to use the pistol much, just as a backup, or if inside a building in CQB games. If I need to reload then I usually re-gas the mags at the same time to ensure the gun works when I need it to

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Further good news on the CO2 mags chaps,

 

Asked Iain @ milspec if any extra strain would be put on the gun and if any modifications would be needed, or if it would be good to go out of the packet, his reply was:

 

 

"They should be good to go out of the packet but we will know for sure when they arrive this week."

 

:D

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Sweet, are they listed on the site yet? I hope they're not too expensive.

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Hopefully around the £30 or under mark :/

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