Thanks for looking at my first review, I hope you'll find it helpful.
Finding a deal on the forums for the Shooters Design chamber and barrel set, I decided to swap out the weak link in the looks department on my vanilla TM HiCapa 5.1 - the chromed plastic outer barrel, complete with horrid seam.
The Shooters Design outer barrel and chamber are machined metal and are significantly heavier than the original plastic part or what aluminum would weigh. The final feel seemed top heavy at first, until the mag was replaced into the gun and the new weight seemed to give a sense of added durability and realism to the piece. After a fairly pedestrian installation (aside from a Guarder hammer spring I also installed at the same time, another story) I placed everthing back together and manually operated the slide a few times to test the fit. The first thing I noticed was how easily the new parts seemed to take a scuff. I'll update as time passes if this is something that is problematic; it would be a drawback to something which is primarily a cosmetic upgrade.
Shooters Design bored the outer barrel deeper in the front than the original part, leaving the inner barrel hanging slightly into the front of the outer barrel when the gun is idle (see below). I didn't personally consider this a problem and the fit between the outer and inner barrel is snug but it is worth a mention.
I have no gas at the moment to test fire with the components, but there doesn't appear to be any reason to suspect they would affect the shooting performance of the HiCapa in any significant way. These are mainly cosmetic, but with the added benefits of reinforcing this portion of the internals to brace them for higher gas and/or springs.
The SD parts - with their classy and robust milled worksmanship - have a natural steel finish that causes the original metal guide rod and hammer to appear cheapened in their presence. Though I hadn't considered replacing the decent original metal components on the HiCapa, I just might seek out a matching hammer and guide rod to finish the look. Though it would be impossible to expect it not to happen at all, I just hope the SDs don't get TOO scuffed with time.
Overall, these parts replace a weakness with a center piece of quality to the look of the gun, as well as added robustness, realism and weight. I would recommend them to those who enjoy their weapon to simulate reality more closely through to those who may have had problems with their existing outer barrel and/or chamber or who wish to reinforce their weapon for performance upgrades. All in all, they are a quality set (sold seperately) and a worthwhile purchase.
- Inner barrel overhang on Shooters Design outer... not too bothersome really, but there you have it. Note the new silver Nineball tightbore inner barrel as well - its the exact same length as the original.
- Real steel lustre. Pretty isn't it?
- "Callin', heavy metal!" Note the conical shape to the outer barrel, its not an optical illusion. It tapers slightly as it meets the chamber.
- See the scuffs? haven't even fired a mag yet, lol. ABS slide as well. Still looks tight ;0)
- Dec31/05 - After firing the gun through several mags, it seems the SC chamber has worn the inside of the lip on the front of the chamber area on the stock ABS slide just slightly enough to have found a nice fit and no further scuffing seems to be occuring. Touching my finger there left it with fine black 'rubbings' almost like a soft eraser was rubbed once along the inside of the lip where the plastic shaved away. It was a tiny amount overall. I am pleased it seems to have worked itself out. How this would pan out using a metal or aluminum slide would be interesting though. I would suggest test firing once with a bit of grease on the top of the chamber just to see where its making contact if at all.
- Jan15/06 - Gun took a nasty spill and landed hard straight on its snout. After passing a disapproving glare at careless friend (grr) I inspected the gun to find fitment and function normal. Examining the internals proved more interesting. It seems the combination of the metal chamber, 150% recoil spring and use of green gas have begun to leave their collective mark on the ABS slides internal fittings. Pics:
I've contrasted the damaged areas to highlight the wear. Note the ABS is wearing away, taking the shape of the metal chamber. This is approximately 300-400 shots since application of metal chamber set and recoil spring.
The chamber has worn the metal area on the slide as well. There is a mild symptom from this: pressing the protruding end of the outer barrel inwards causes the out barrel/ chamber to 'pop' slightly forward into the gun, out of position. This does not effect performance, its just possible now that the metal has given way. I'm sure this upgrade will eventually be the death of this poor ABS slide ;0)