Quake's Vertical Tank Mount
A modified version of Sid's Vertical Mount
|These instructions are presented here for informational purposes only. Any modifications you choose to do to your gun, you do so at your own risk. Be sure to REMOVE the CO2 or other gas source from any paintball marker before you attempt disassembly. Wear eye protection when using ANY power tools. If unsure about safely modifying your gun, consult a professional airsmith. Remember, safety must ALWAYS come first!|
When I first saw Sid's pics with his vertical mount, I slapped myself in the forehead and said "Duh!" What a clever, yet simple idea. Of course, being Quake, I couldn't leave well enough alone, and had to come up with my own version!
My version is very similar, with only a couple of changes - I didn't completely remove the "Stingray logos" near the trigger guard, and I used different tubing. Want to know how I did it? Read on...
This particular modification requires the use of a Dremel tool with a saw cutting bit. I can't imagine using any other tool for this. Of course, if any of you have any ideas for a different tool that would work, let me know.
This is my rather exorbitant collection of Dremel bits. The box and most of the bits were a gift from my brother-in-law, Bob (aka Grog), to which I've added a few of my own. (Thanks Bob!)
The Reducer has male ASA threads on one end, and female 1/8" NPT threads on the other. The Bottomline has a tang with two drilled and chamfered holes, female ASA threads with pin depressor, and a 1/8" NPT female port on the side.
|After removing the grip frame, I used my Dremel and saw cutter to make the initial cut. The plastic is fairly thick, but cuts quite easily. Go slow and easy. I cut in 1/8", to allow for the thickness of the side walls.|
|The blade didn't cut all the way through in some places, so I tapped it out with a hammer.|
|I cleaned up the rough edges with a round cutting bit. I also cut a slot in the front to allow for drilling and tapping the upper hole.|
|When drilling the upper hole, be careful to drill in the right place. Drill too high, and you'll drill into the trigger safety. Since I was going to use 10-32 machine screws, I used a 5/32" drill bit. I drilled and tapped the upper hole, and screwed the mount in place before I drilled the lower hole. This way, I could make sure the mount was straight. When I tapped the upper hole, I had a slight clearance challenge with the tap wrench, so I used a pair of pliers to run the tap through.|
|With the mount held in place with the upper screw, I drilled through the lower hole in the mount into the plastic, and then tapped it. I was able to use the tap wrench on the lower hole, since there wasn't the clearance problem.|
|The arrows indicate where the holes are. You can see the screw sticking through the upper hole, and the tap through the lower. At first, I tried a 1" long screw, but it was too long. I ended up using 3/4" long allen head machine screws, which were the perfect length.|
|The notch I cut in the trigger frame came in handy when I put in the upper screw. I left both screws slightly loose until I installed the brake line, then tightened them pretty snug.|
Variation: Instead of tapping the grip frame, you could drill the holes with a 3/16" bit, put pan head machine screws through the other direction, and use nuts and lockwashers. You would need 1" long screws, and you'd have to remove the trigger to put the screws through the holes.
The tubing I used is steel automotive brake line. It comes in standard lengths, pre-flared with nuts. I decided to try this, because it's very inexpensive and readily available. It is much stronger than copper, and is double flared. Warning: Do NOT use copper tubing - it can't handle the pressure.
Bending it to fit was a bit of a chore. I made a "form" with a piece of 14ga. solid copper wire the same length as the tube, bending it until both ends lined up with the brass adapter fittings. Using the form, I carefully bent the steel tubing with a small bending tool made for the purpose. You could probably bend it without the bending tool, but be very careful that you don't kink the tube.
|One other thing was brought to my attention by Sugar Ray - using the rigid steel line will make it difficult to field strip. You'd have to disconnect one end of the line to separate the grip frame from the top frame. Of course, you wouldn't have this problem with a flexible line, like in the pic to the left So I guess it's a trade-off. Save a few bucks, but it's harder to take apart. Or, spend a little more for a flexible hose like Sugar Ray's, and you get the convenience.|
Notes: Be sure to put teflon tape on the brass fittings before screwing them into the Bottomline and Reducer. Screw them in good and snug. When it came time to attach the tubing, I loosened the mount screws - the slight amount of movement made it a little easier to start threading the nuts into the adapters.
The Bottomline mount and the Reducer I used were both made by LAPCO Paintball, and are of the highest quality. G3 Paintball, Splat You're Out, Paintball Paradise, and Bullseye Paintball all carry LAPCO products. Any auto parts store should have the brake line, the brass adapters, and the teflon tape.
After I put everything back together, I attached a CO2 cylinder, and checked for leaks. One of the brass adapters was leaking, so I had to remove the cylinder, then the steel tube, and tighten the adapter another full revolution. After that, no problems. It turned out to be very strong, and looks really good.
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