Nursing A Sick Spyder Back To Health
Common Spyder Complaints and Reccomended Treatment
by Dave Read
Created April 9,1996
Updated January 12, 1999
- GRIPE: The 'Manual' Leaves Much To The Imagination.
- That's one of the reasons why S.O.G. was formed. You've come to the right place!
- GRIPE: The Powerfeed Tube Interferes With Sighting.
- Sight down the side of the barrel instead of over the top.
(A drawback to this is that the body of the gun then blocks
much of your field of vision.)
- 'Walk' your shots onto the target. (Or "Spray And Pray!")
- Purchase a high-mounted sight, or raised sight rail. (The
problem with using a raised sight rail alone is that it's too
short to provide any real accuracy.) Add-on sights that are
known to work with the Spyder include:
- Adco Champ (View slightly obscured by powerfeed.)
- Adco Square Shooter
- Mount a sight on the side of the gun. (This would require
some reworking of the gun to attach securely, and will obscure
a large portion of your field of vision, as in A.) Many SOGgers go this route, and there are several discussions in the Forum,
Articles and the Info links on the main SOG page.
- GRIPE: Various Parts Loosen During Use, Specifically the Bolt-Cocking Knob
(Which is easily lost,) and the Barrel (Which can cause
Kingman has addressed each of these problems in
recent models. The Bolt (Striker) Knob has been made shorter so
that it's less likely to catch on things, but it still gets loose.
- After cocking, remove the knob and store it in a zippered pocket.
- During use, occassionally reach over and re-tighten the knob.
- Remove the knob, wrap the threads with a small amount of teflon tape (Available in the plumbing supply section of any hardware store), then re-attach the knob..
- Remove the knob, apply a drop or two of thread-setting solution (Such as LocTite) and re-attach the knob. Avoid using the permanent variety as this will interfere with routine maintenance and cleaning of your Spyder!
For the barrel, Kingman added a groove near the threads and stretched
an O-ring into the groove. The O-ring is located so that it provides
a little friction and tension at the outer joint between the barrel
and the body of the gun. This is an effective solution.
- For older barrels, it's possible to stretch a black
rubber O-ring over the threads of the non-grooved barrel to
achieve the same effect as the factory mod. (This won't
work with a less-elastic style of O-ring, as it will be
stretched pretty tightly. By the way, this O-ring technique can be used on any barrel, not just the stock one.)
- GRIPE: My Spyder Is Too Loud.
- Buy a replacement barrel with porting. A long series of ports
has the best noise-reducing effect. (Be aware however that this
can reduce efficiency, and that cleaning paint out of the ports
can be a real chore.) The quietest barrels I've tried are the TASO Nickel-plated Eliminator and the Smart Parts All-American. (Eliminator is slightly quieter.)
- Find/buy/make a silencer. Be aware that any device that can be
used as a silencer on an actual firearm is prohibited by the
US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Info is available at WARPIG.
- Install a Bob Long Cyclone bolt. This unit is known to slightly reduce the noise level.
- Convert to Low-Pressure operation. Several SOG members who have tried this say that it reduces noise levels dramatically.
- GRIPE: The Handgrip Sucks.
- Some Spyder Compact owners have reported an improved feel by
grinding off the finger knob from the plastic grip.
- Hogue and Pachmeyr manufacture flexible rubber slip-on grips designed to
fit over most handgun grips. These can be made to work with some Spyder grips.
- Kingman sells the aluminum M16 grip and receiver for the Compact-A
separately. Compact owners might find the replacement an improvement.
- Kingman also now sells a variety of 45-style grips.
- Other manufacturers sell aftermarket grips of various types and styles. Note that the stock grips on all models of Spyders are unique. The Compact has a one-piece composite plastic trigger-frame and grip, the Compact-A has an aluminum trigger frame with a separate plastic grip, and the standard Spyder has an aluminum frame with a seperate plastic bottom-line grip. The Spyder SE and Elite have a metal-framed 45-style grip, while the Spyder One has a new style composite plastic 45-style grip. For Compact owners, the entire trigger frame and grip assembly must be replaced. TASO makes a nice, but expensive all-aluminum 45-style replacement that accepts standard 45-style grip pads like the rubber Hogue Wraparound. Diamond Labs and some others also make complete replacement trigger / grip frames. Owners of Standard Spyders should be aware that the bottomline mounting is unique and will not fit many standard aftermarket replacement grips. Some manufacturers of bottom lines for Spyders now include both sets of mounting holes.
- GRIPE: The Bolt Jams On A Fragment Of Paintball.
- LUBRICATE your Spyder before first using it, and frequently
thereafter. You've probably heard it before, but Spyders ship bone-dry.
(Do not use a petroleum-based lubricant.) Many bolt-jamming problems
are the result of insufficient lubing. Note that several members have
warned that over-lubrication of the O-rings can cause swelling, and
make things worse, so take it easy.
- Install an aftermarket bolt like the Pro-Line Starfire or the Bob Long Cyclone. Many SOG members use these bolts and
we've heard almost nothing but good comments about them. Several members have reported no noticable improvement in performance over the stock bolt. Also, be advised that the Spyder SE and Elite come with a "true venturi"-style bolt, which is reported to have similar performance to the Cyclone.
- Polish the internals: bolt, striker, upper and lower receiver tubes.
- If the jamming only happens during rapid-firing, consider getting an agitated loader, which will help speed the feeding of paintballs into the breech. Sometimes jamming occurs because a paintball has not fully loaded into the 'gun before the bolt moves forward, so it gets chopped and jams.
- Once your bolt jams, you need to do three things:
- Get it unstuck. Many people use a nearby tree, or pick up
a rock to do the job. Try using your hands alone first, to
avoid damaging the 'gun. In most cases, it will be best to try to
push the bolt toward the rear of the Spyder... If you can wait
'til you get to the staging area, there are a couple of better
alternatives. Most fields have picnic tables, and the nice squared-off
edges make for nice, controllable pushing. Finally, a velocity-adjusting
rod (Remember those, pump-gunners?) is perfect for pushing (Gently!)
against the bolt.
- Clean the innards. Several members reccomend pouring water into
the chamber to soften up the shell fragments. If you've got a lot
of water and patience, this method may enable you to avoid forcing
the bolt back.
- GRIPE: Can't Get Enough Velocity.
- If your striker spring is old, replace it. They do wear out. (Don't throw it away though...)
- On older models, a weaker spring was used behind the striker bolt.
Kingman offers a heavier replacement.
- Add washers between the velocity adjusting screw and the plastic
spring guide rod.
- (Regular Spyders only:) Adjust the valve reservoir screw to set
it farther into the body.
- Paintball Consumer Reports International' April '96 issue has a
technical article on this. The author suggests that the main
striker spring weakens with use, and reccomends replacing it
with one for an F2 Illustrator. Since the F2's spring is smaller
in diameter, the ribs on the plastic spring guide rod need to be
shaved off in order for the spring to fit.
- Minimize drag inside the 'gun: Polish the internals & replace the O-rings. If the bolt assembly doesn't slide freely within the receiver, then there's too much drag. Those O-rings may look fine, but if there's sliding resistance, they're swollen and should be replaced.
- Some people claim that a "turbo" valve can help in this area. Personally, I'm skeptical. I installed an I&I Turbo Valve in my Compact and noticed no changes whatsoever.
- You may be experiencing problems due to cold or liquid CO2. An immediate, but expensive, solution is to convert to High Pressure Air or Nitrogen. This requires the purchase of a tank and regulator assembly made specifically for HPA/Nitro. Prices are coming down however, and fixed-regulator systems can be obtained for well under $200US.
Other remedies for cold or liquid CO2 include: regulators, expansion chambers, remote systems, and even just getting partial CO2 fills. (Ask for 9oz in a 12oz tank. This leaves room in the tank for some pre-expansion of the CO2 before it gets to the paintgun.) For bottom-line systems, get an anti-siphon tube installed in your tank.
- GRIPE: Can't get the velocity low enough.
- This is especially a problem at indoor facilities or fields with low velocity limits. A quick solution is to cut off some coils from your striker spring. Unfortunately, you'll never get the velocity back.
- A better solution is to let your striker spring wear a bit. As they age, they lose their springiness. Many folks with old springs can't get their velocity high enough. If you've got an old spring, try it. Maybe a fellow Spyder user at the field will trade their old spring for your new one. (This happened to me once.) In any case, it's a good idea to have a spare spring on hand. You can accellerate weakening of the spring by storing your Spyder in the cocked position (Minus gas and paint, please!).
- This may or may not work, but some SOGgers have been able to remove the plastic spring guide rod and still operate their Spyder properly. Your mileage may vary.
- Get an adjustable regulator. This will increase velocity consistency bewteen shots, and also most likely allow you to get within a legal velocity range.
- GRIPE: Gas is leaking down the barrel.
- The cup seal may be worn or damaged. Replace it. You might be surprised at how easily these things can get scratched... Also the mating surface on the valve body can get scratched, which has the same effect. (If you've been
firing rapidly a lot, or if your tank is cold for some other
reason, the cup seal may not be seating properly due to accumulated
water ice or dry (CO2) ice buildup. Let the 'gun warm up.
Get a soft cup seal from LAPCO. These units are less susceptible to the problems seen with nylon seals. They can even provide a decent seal when the mating surface of the valve is slightly nicked.
- CO2 pressure is low. (Easily remedied, eh? Fill 'er up!)
- Maybe it's time to replace the valve body O-rings. (Yeah they have to be changed too!)
- Valve body is bad. (Bad news... See your airsmith!)
- Some Spyders leak whenever the bolt is in the uncocked position and gas is applied, because the striker is pressing against the valve pin enough to create a gap at the input to the valve. Cock the paintgun, and the striker will no longer be exerting pressure on the valve pin.
- GRIPE: I want more range! Guys are tapping me and I can't even reach them!
- One solution to this that I've found that works is to get a LAPCO barrel. Of all the barrels I've used this is the only one that had a noticable increase in range over the stock one. If you're using a quiet, ported barrel like the Smart Parts All-American or the TASO Eliminator, then you can probably get more range by switching to any number of louder barrels. Seems like a direct trade: Stealth for reach! Also, be sure that you have a good barrel / paint match. (Be advised that this recommendation is fairly controversial. Many people believe that it is impossible for a barrel to improve range, and that it is strictly dependent upon velocity.)
- Get an adjustable regulator. This won't actually increase your range, but because your shot-to-shot velocity will be much more stable, you can turn up your velocity a bit without worrying about exceeding the field limit. Velocity is the primary factor in achieving range, so this provides an effective range increase.
NOTE: A lot of complaints and treatments are covered in cjSchaff's excellent
Spyder FAQ. We're trying not to duplicate that here.
Also, see the SOG Forum for even more info.
Hey! Send us your complaints or treatments!
You can use the Online Feedback Form or email:
Dave Read (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Back to S.O.G. Basepage
Amoeba - Dave Read 1999