Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shelf Watch Late July'15 and Superstock Randoms

The reddits have been doing a great job of watching the various stores and vendors lately, so just a few local sightings:

Buzzbee Tyrant at Wal-Mart Lakeland, FL

The larger model of Buzzbee's breakout magfed 20mm products, this thing is huge, and retails for about $20 and comes with a 12 round magazine. You can check out the reviews and internals on reddit.

The lack of a stock and pump grip are inexplicable, and my only real issue with Buzzbee's design decisions. This particular gun is close to being a market segment dominator. If it were to have a stock and a pump grip, it would easily throw all of Nerf's current and likely future (since they closed the door on magfed, idiots they are) Mega offerings into the junk pile of obsolescence.

If you ask me, the smaller version (Boss) should have remained a purpose-made pistol with a top slide, and this, instead of being simply the same functional thing with extra empty space, should have had a stock, and a pump grip.

Oh, if you haven't heard, this gear - mags, guns, ammo - are all compatible with Nerf stuff and other aftermarket products intended to be compatible with Nerf. The industry standards are forged. Bring on the competition.

And now we have Crossbolts at a TRU, same city:

Nuff said, they are out there if you want them.

Now here's the story behind the last post. T3.1 flywheel cage. Nice buildup, and those Rayven flywheels did shoot real nice...

...but the shaft fit troubles continue. You can see that bottom fly has backed off the shaft.

And left a nice witness mark in the cage.

Consider that a failed experiment. Rayven flywheels are NOT suitable for 180 service. The torque is probably to blame, every hard start makes the fly creep a bit on the shaft until it loses too much engagement and the imbalance starts levering it around until it comes off.

I might try coatings on the shafts to tighten the fits. You can't bond to Delrin so anaerobic assembly compounds (Loctite and bearing lockers) are off the board but the shaft could be pre-coated with something to tighten the press fit. CA glue, likely candidate.

Shaft fit problems are one of the biggest headaches with flywheel guns. I have seen what should be solid setups spin flies off with no rhyme or reason. It's half the reason I carry a secondary. I have high hopes for the current T3.1 setup, it is the same as the T2.1 that has been going without any movement of the flies since day one well over a year ago.

While I had it apart, this is the modular cage unplugged. 14AWG Teflon main leads and 16 jumpers, genuine Deans. This is a place where Deans is the only real choice because...

...this is where the connector pair goes when installed. OldNoob, this might give you ideas for how to not have any under-cage space in a build and keep cage modularity. Wire straddles the screw bosses.

Now, after this happened, I quickly snagged some Rapid Reds in trade for stuff, and popped a fly set in. I was planning on going to UGA '15 and I would have run these for that, but people flaked and it didn't happen.

Rapid Red flywheels are decent. Good tight shaft fits, good quality and balance, similar rim thickness and inertia to Stryfe flies. They can work, and work reliably, but I noticed a bothersome issue with them.

They have a real hard time developing the normal buildup layer. This was after cleaning with IPA and then 400+ rounds of breakin! There was a lot of dart material in the receiver and handguards near the cage and not that much on the flywheels.

Cause is definitely the surface finish on these. It is a fine blast or pebble type texture, like you would find on some ABS parts as a finished exterior surface.

Apparently the mirror polish on older type flywheels is critical to the buildup development. A bit counterintuitive but definitely an important bit of flywheel engineering.

Without buildup established more than ~20% on these, they were missing 5-10 fps versus Stryfe/Rayven flies.

Stryfe (shiny) on left, Rapidred (dull) on right. Note it appears they shot blasted the entire mold for these things for reason unknown, and it is clearly a different tool based on the position of gate marks.

I find this quite strange about Hasbro. They will manufacture 2, 5, 10... guns that share functionally identical parts, but it's almost like the designers operate in total isolation. Sometimes there are parts that are functionally identcial, but not mechanically identical and not interchangeable. Other times, as with the whole streamline flywheel lineup, parts will be mechanically more or less identical, and interchangeable, but are different, each designed from scratch and manufactured differently. Such is the case here.

Why do all these guns have their own unique flywheels made on unique tooling? How can this possibly be efficient or cost effective?

In any case Stryfe flies went in and breakin shoot commenced as usual. Buildup is returning and is about 75% and it is back on the ready line. Left the 1600mAh battery in there for now because it's big enough, I will probably put the 2500mAh in something new to test.

The WASP was also fielded a couple days back, along with its Blastersmiths UK Mk4 holster:

This combo did extremely well. Had zero issues with comfort or rotation.

I also switched my dump pouch to its final location, and played my first game ever without sending a single magazine to the deck. Things are finally, 5 years later, starting to fall into place with gear. For the sort of player I am, I never have been on the bleeding edge in that regard.

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