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Muzungu_Mbaya Friday, May 9th, 2003
Period of
Product Use:
2 years6 of 8 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Stock Bushmaster regs, Spyder reg, MaxFlo, Conquest, Sonic LPR
Marker Setup: 4th Gen BM2K with custom body work
Sonic Grip Frame
Sonic ASA Adapter
Sonic Ball Detent
Sonic RED valve
Sonic LPR
Low Rise adapter
Mac Dev Gladiator reg
Custom-fitted Teflon-filled Delrin bolt
Custom-made ergonomic drop
SP All-American barrel
Evo 2 hopper
Mac Dev Conquest
Strengths: High flow
Fast recharge
Simple design, easy teardown
Tough as nails
Weaknesses: Inconsistent (fixable)
Spiking (fixable)
Highly sensitive to adjustments
Review: (Note: this review refers to the 2002 Gladiator reg) When I first got my Gladiator, it worked horribly. It would spike the pressure so that my valve was being held under by 850 PSI (screw-in tank pressure), and when it wasn't doing that, it would never offer consistency. Even my stock reg was better, and that's saying a lot, since the ICD regs are worth more as scrap than as finished product. Mac Dev gave the usual song and dance about a damaged or dirty seat, which didn't fly with me, since under magnified inspection, I couldn't find anything wrong with it or the needle.

After further inspection, I noticed that the valve needle had nothing to guide it to dead center at the piston head, and wear marks were forming on the piston that proved this. I mentioned this on the Mac Dev forum, and they told me I was wrong.

That was a mistake.

So, I fired up the lathe and machined my own piston with a little divot at dead center to ensure that the valve needle was always in perfect alignment with the valve seat, and voila: no more valve leaks. I posted again in the now defunct Mac Dev forum, and they unceremoniously told me that my fix wouldn't work, that my seat was still the problem even though the reg never worked before my revision, and hasn't failed since.

I switched back the old piston recently, and sure enough, it returned to its evil ways. It has since been modified with the same divot I put in my custom piston, and it works fine.

Inconsistency problems were fixed by lubing the piston and the seat o-ring with Dow 33. No other grease did anything for it, but as soon as I put that in there, it worked like a champ. Every so often, I put two drops of gun oil into the bottom to ensure a good seal at the valve seat.

Other Stuff: Don't overtighten the lower half of the reg or at the ASA, or you will have a bear of a time getting it open. Screw it in/together until it stops, and then leave it. It won't come undone, even with Dow 33 in the threads.
Conclusion: Well, it works NOW, but most p-ballers don't have access to a machine shop and an engineering background, and therefore can't be expected to compensate for someone else's bad design.

One little fix though, has turned this reg into an extremely reliable piece of equipment. I never clean it, never adjust it, and I'm sure it has had plenty of dirt run through it since my gun often looks like it was dragged behind a plow after tournaments. It is more resilient to impure air being run through it than you've been led to believe. This thing's problem is elsewhere, and it ain't that big of a deal to fix. For liability reasons, I no longer offer advice on airsystem modifications.

I'm giving this reg a 7 due to the hassles I experienced with it.
Rating:
7 out of 10Last edited on Friday, March 23rd, 2007 at 12:03 pm PST
 

Review Comments
addictiontolax Sunday, July 25th, 2004 | 9:32 am PST
kudos to you, I recentlly did a very similar mod to a shot dragun regulator, and then I stumbled across this review when I bought my gladiator. Good review, using a lathe brings good times.
   

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