My initial idea was to go with something extremely inexpensive and mod the living crap out of it, so I bought this:
The PMI Trracer was very common back in the day, and a lot of the external components are made of plastic, so I thought it would make an ideal base for modding.
As it turns out, you simply cannot get nice barrels for it nowadays. I guess the Trracer was more of an entry level marker, and instead of upgrading it, people generally moved on to more expensive gear. Adding insult to injury, today's paint is so small it keeps rolling out, and the stock barrel is simply too thin to be Freak bored. So this project quickly went:
Shame, because I have 45 grips that fit it, with a duck bill and a GT-stock. And for those thinking that a Trracer isn't a worthy project, i beg to differ. I used to play with a guy that had a Trracer with an AA barrel and a home made diffuser mod in the bolt. You usually never noticed him until it was too late...
For now the Trracer stays in the box in the attic. It would be fun to use it for a lever-operated First Strike mod sometime later. You never know.
So, looking around for another pump project, I came across this:
The Sterling used to be the pump gun to have in Europe (next to the Phantom, of course). They had the smoothest pump stroke ever, and to get something smoother today, you'd have to go for a Phantom Revolution, or an MQ2 Sniper.
However, to be cool you had to have the Sterling STP. Not the cheaper "Silver" model, or the rental version pictured here. Yep, this is the lowest of the Sterlings - but although it is utterly lacking in bling, the internals are basically the same as in the more expensive models.
The plan I formulated for this project, was to make a really nice, super-smooth, open class pumper. That could shoot today's tiny paint. So, what am I going to change?
- The barrel. Because of the roll-outs, AND because I prefer a ported barrel. Woosh woosh.
- The grip. Those hollow plastic grips are horrible.
- The bolt. Although the stock bolt is very good as it is, it has nothing on a modern Delrin bolt when it comes to low friction. Since there are no delrin bolts currently available for the Sterling (as far as I know), this will have to be a home-made mod.
- The valve. The valve in this particular marker is made kinda goofy, since it sends the bulk of the blast down towards the grip frame. Not optimal - especially since there is a hole in the grip frame right there! The rest of the gas has to go around the valve body before it reaches the bolt. I can think of a more efficient design than that - i.e. How about sending the air blast UP into the bolt? Yeah.
- The pump handle. There's actually nothing wrong with the pump handle, but I would like to try and undercocking solution with dual arms and a Hitman mod. I think the Sterling would ROCK with such a setup.
- A dot sight. It's a pump - it needs a nice dot sight to facilitate snapshooting. Especially if we're going to be up against semis and dildo-guns.