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pbkiller69 11-18-2002 12:26 PM

Black Dragon Upgrade Thread
Upgrade list
Aftermarket Barrels Ė If your stock BD barrel just isnít accurate enough for you, an aftermarket barrel should be your first upgrade. The Custom Products 1-piece, Lapco Bigshot, Smart Parts Progressive and Tear Drop, and the Dye Excel are all very good barrels for the money, running anywhere between $40 and $60. If you have the money, buying a more expensive barrel like the Dye Boomstick or Smart Parts Freak System is definitely worth it. Check out the barrel/paint charts in the Barrels Forum and try to get a barrel that matches the paint you usually use.

Regulators Ė A good regulator will improve consistency over the chrono, make your marker more efficient, and greatly increase your accuracy. If you use CO2, the Palmer Stabilizer ($85) and the Smart Parts max-flow ($110) are the absolute best. These regulators will provide chronograph readings as tight as many preset compressed air systems. Some other regulators that work great on co2 are the PMI Piranha regs ($40) and WGP regs, which can be bought used from Auto-cocker owners for very cheap. Any of these regs will also work even better on nitro or CA. Some very consistent regs that I would only recommend for nitro or CA are the AKA sidewinder ($80), considered to be one of the best on the market, the Messiah, ANS Gen-X, Gladiator, and the vigilante.

Air Hoses Ė All Black Dragons except for the Compact and the High Compact come with bottom-line air hoses and fittings, but if you buy a new regulator, expansion chamber, fore-grip, drop forward, or ASA you will need to buy new hoses. I would suggest macro-line hoses, because they are cheap, high flowing, easily fitted and adjusted, and can be easily taken on and off. Steel braided hose is just as good, and stronger, but you canít cut it and it doesnít bend as easy as macro-line, so you have to buy the right length. Stay away from micro-line, because it has been known to leak and restrict airflow.
Aftermarket Triggers- They are primarily used to replace the cheap plastic stock trigger with a tougher aluminum one. I believe that the Check-It Triggers are adjustable.

Bottom-line converter Ė If you want to buy a new bottom-line or drop forward, you will most likely have to buy a bottom-line converter. Spyder and Black Dragon bottom-line holes are offset, so most drops donít fit on them. On BD compacts, the holes are different then offset, so the only adapter is the one at For all other BDís, there is the Planet Eclipse adapter at

Compressed air - If you have yet to be using compressed air as an air source, I recommend that you make the switch. Due to the regulator on the tank, consistency and accuracy will increase drastically . Not only that, but compressed air is a cleaner air source and will never freeze up the way CO2 does. It is not as easily affected by temperature either, which makes it safe to use throughout the day as long as you chronograph your gun once, unless you're running on a low tank. Compressed air tanks can run anywhere from $70-$500, depending what brand, size, and where you're buying from. The Crossfire pre-set 68/3000 at $120 is a great deal if youíre on a budget. If you have about $190, you can buy a 68/4500, which is considered by many the most desirable size. There are a few different classifications on nitro tanks. First, preset and ajustable. This simply describes whether the on-tank regulator's output pressure can be ajusted. Generally, ajustable tanks will be more expensive. Preset tanks come with the regulator locked at a certain output pressure. You can buy either high-pressure output tanks (800psi) or low pressure output tanks (450psi). For the Black Dragon you will need the high-pressure tank, because the BD is a high pressure marker. The second classification of hpa tanks is steel and fiber wrapped. Some people believe that you can get a slightly better fill into a fiber-wrapped tank, but both tanks will perform exactly the same. The only difference is that the steel tank is alot heavier than a fiber tank, and the steel tank is tougher. The third classification is how much pressure the tank can hold. 5000psi, 4500psi, and 3000psi are the different abilities. The higher the psi rating, the more shots you can get out of a tank. Also, tanks with higher psi ratings cost more. The last classification is the actually size of the tank, which is messured in cubic inches (ci). The different sizes you can get are 45ci, 51ci, 68ci, 88ci, 90ci, and 114ci. The more cubic inches a tank has, the more shots you get. Below is a chart of estimated shots per fill. Rememder, these are only estimates. Shots per fill could increase greatly with certain upgrades, and could plunge if your marker has a problem.

3000psi (tanks get around 10 shots per ci)

47ci= 470
68ci= 680
88ci= 880
114ci= 1140

4500psi (tanks get around 15 shots per ci)

47ci= 705
68ci= 1020
88ci= 1320
114ci= 1720

Bolt - Buying an aftermarket bolt will help increase airflow and efficiency, and will be easier on paint. It will also allow you to lower your operating pressure. Unless you spring for an expensive bolt like the AKA, Tarantula, or White Wolf, a modified stock bolt will be just as good as most aftermarket bolts. If you remove the venturi from the stock bolt, it will be as high flowing as any bolt on the market besides the ones stated above. To remove the venturi from the bolt, heat the threads of the venturi right where air goes up and through the bolt. It is sealed there tightly with Loc Tite, or some sort of adhesive for metal to metal threads. This type needs heat to loosen the seal. After heating the threads for a while, take a good pair of pliers, get a good grip on the venturi from the face of it, and turn counter clockwise. If you have the option of how many holes you want in the boltís face, choose the one hole design because itís the most high flowing.

Vertical adapters and LPCís Ė Aftermarket or modified VAís will greatly increase the amount of air that can flow into your marker at once, allowing you to lower your OP. If you want to modify your VA, I suggest you go to for instrucitions. The AKALMP Compact Mitey-Max vertical adapters are the highest flowing you can get. Some other high flowing VAís are the Bob Long and the 32*. LPCís (low pressure chambers), donít do much for performance, but some of the aftermarket ones add a really nice look to the front of your marker.

Turbo valve Ė Aftermarket valves will increase your markers efficiency and lower the operating pressure more than any other upgrade you can buy. A good rule of thumb for bolts and valves is: Higher flowing=Better. The AKA tornado valve is by far the best valve out there. If it is too expensive for you, any other turbo valve like the Taso or 32* will do good, just not like the Tornado.

Internals Ė Polishing the striker, body tubes, and bolt (if its not derlin) will slightly increase efficiency for those of you who demand every drop of performance.

Hopper- There is absolutely no question, you have to have an electronic hopper if you have a BD. The VL12v Revy is great and only costs $50. Do not get the 9v Revy, it wonít keep up. The Halo-B, Ricochet, Warp-feed, and Evolution-2 are all even faster than the 12v Revy, but they cost more.
Drop Forwards- These will allow you to reposition your air tank, and make your marker shorter. They vary in sizes up to seven inches forward. It is all personal preference. A big drop is the Psych-Ballistics drop, a smaller one is the System-X drop.
Grips- As of now, I donít think there are any aftermarket grip panels for the BD, so youíll have to put up with the cheesy stock grips until Dye makes some BD stickies. If you find that the grips are too slick, you can wear gloves with tacky palm grips.
Interchangeable Upgrades- Most parts of the BD can be switched out for spyder upgrades except for: grips, sights, triggers, trigger frame components. Bolts are interchangeable if they have 10;32 threading, but you will lose the flush cocking.
Websites- Most of the upgrades I talked about can be found at good prices at the following websites:

firstcall paintball

paintball gateway

Big thanks to Hsuve, I used his Spyder Upgrades thread as a basis for this. Also, questions comments, and additional information are welcome. Just post them or pm me.

CaustikSpecies 11-18-2002 01:57 PM

get this thing stickied...some good information for people who always post threads on good upgrades and ish. also about that compressed thing and towards the bottom where u said 68/4500 is the most desirable, mayb this is so but make sure that your proshop will even fill 4500, 4500 is a lot and a lot of proshops do not fill it completely, i know mine doesnt, so it might just be a waste of some money to some people unless they do fill it



TorchedLH 11-18-2002 03:44 PM

are these in any particular order?? woudlnt' you suggest a faster hopper before a better bolt/valve/vertical adapters/internals?

pbkiller69 11-18-2002 04:45 PM

Sorry, they are out of order. The right order would be something like this.
1) electric hopper
2) barrel
3) compressed air
4) regulator
5) valve
6) bolt
7) drop forward
8) VA and LPC

Thanks for the help and suggestions guys, keep it coming. Also if anybody has a question feel free to ask.:)

TorchedLH 11-18-2002 04:52 PM

i know that man people get frustrated dealing with m3' metric gas fittings..
i found a standard to metric converter fitting:

tonysk83 11-18-2002 06:08 PM

i have a few suggestions, so just a few things to add what kind of aftermarket triggers are there the cip stick and the cip 2 finger, u can find both at paintballgateway, also a really good compressed air reg is the bob long torpedo. only 57 bucks at paintballgateway, probably the best reg for the price, also try to go into more detail about compressed air tanks, this is the most part where a newbie looking to upgrade gets confused, so go into teh pros and cons of steel tanks, and samll 48 3000 psi tanks, also go into how the more expensive hoppers are better, like feed rate etc. also get rid of your second post, and combined it with the first one:D

commandman10 11-18-2002 06:33 PM

Hey good list Nice to see someone take the time to make something like that.

pbkiller69 11-19-2002 04:26 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have everything fixed by tonight. Keep it coming. And I will soon be adding an LP faq

Black_Dragun_TD 11-20-2002 07:18 AM

i have a ? does the hopper help you out that much..i was wondering if you think i should buy one...i am woodsball player i dont think i need one but then again i have never seen one in action. let me know what you think

2-Cool-4-Life 11-20-2002 07:20 AM

the blackdragun is meant to fire fast, so, if u really want to utilize its speed, you'll need a new hopper, probably a rico or a revvy will cover it...

pbkiller69 11-20-2002 11:50 AM

The Black Dragon is so fast that YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN ELECTRIC HOPPER, or you will chop balls like crazy. One kind of electric hopper is gravity fed. This means that a small paddle inside the hopper "agitates" the balls into the feedneck, and gravity pulls them down. The 12v Revy is a great electric-gravity hopper. At about $50, it is also one of the cheapest. The Richochet is a bit more expensive, but it comes with a few convienent features, and has a design that promotes ball bouncing. Another kind of electric-hopper is a force fed hopper, which doesn't rely on gravity, it actually pushes the balls into the gun. These hoppers can feed much faster than electric hoppers that use gravity. The Evolution 2, HALO, and Warpfeed are all force fed. The Evo-2 is a great deal, at only $65. The Warp and HALO will run you around $110. For more information about electric hoppers, check out the Hoppers Forum.

Gastric 11-20-2002 12:34 PM

Here is a great website that details a variety of Spyder upgrades, many of which you can do yourself if you're handy with tools.

Note that the articles are written for a Spyder but that most of the info should directly apply to a Black Dragun as the markers are nearly identical.

pbkiller69 11-21-2002 04:25 AM

Thanks Gastric. That is one of the best websites for upgrade info. I mentioned it in the first post, but forgot to hyperlink it.

HeadShot 11-21-2002 09:49 AM

I have a question about bolts, will all spyder bolts work in a BD LCD or do they have to have 10-32 threads? because on the site it says the AKA Lightning worked the best so that's what I want but will it work in a BD?

Also, does the CIP 15 degree VA work as well as the 32degrees one mentioned on that site?.

And, one last thing for now, I can't find the Mothers Mag polish mentioned on that site for polishing the internals so what's another polish that will work just as good?

Gastric 11-21-2002 10:44 AM

I am unsure about the bolts.

From what I can tell all of the Spyder front blocks will work on the Black Dragun. They simply press fit in and are held on with a single screw.

Any aluminium polish will work well. I use Cameo on my stainless steel pots and pans and it polishes well without scratching. Unsure if it has the grit to remove paint/coatings though. Barkeepers Friend is another polish, however it doesn't shine my pots and pans as well as Cameo.

HeadShot 11-21-2002 12:20 PM

ok any aluminum polish, and I'll look for cameo. The store I went to had like a hundred different polishes (literally) and I had no idea what to get cuz they didn't have mothers mag polish.

pbkiller69 11-21-2002 12:43 PM

When I polished my internals on my 98 I just used regular oil. That seemed to work nicely. I'm sure polish will work great but don't worry if you can't find any. Oil works fine, Just make sure you clean all the metal and paint shavings real well before you lube.
As for the bolt, any rear-cocking spyder bolt with 10-32 threads will work, you'll just lose your flush cocking feature.
And about the CIP vert. adapter, buy it and try it. You can always drill the holes if it isn't high flowing enough.

pbkiller69 11-21-2002 12:47 PM

Also, I would like to ask that people who have aftermarket pieces on their dragon to give a short review on what you think of it. I think that would be very helpful.

Last, would anybody be interested in an LP thread, or any other kind of thread like a user testimonials thread or a Q&A thread. I would be glad to set one up.

HeadShot 11-22-2002 07:45 AM

like normal lube oil?

and what's flush cocking?

pbkiller69 11-22-2002 09:59 AM

Yes, normal Hoppes gun oil. And flush cocking is a feature on the BD that when the bolt cycles there is no external motion. As opposed to a cocking rod or something that goes back and forth everytime you shoot. Its really a nice little feature.

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