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Old 09-25-2003, 09:37 AM   #2
Calebd2
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Brass Eagle Rainmaker FAQ
V1.03 By Bill Mills All content, except where noted, Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.
Contributors: "Ronin", Dave Brisco, Aaron Alexander

Introduction

The Brass Eagle Rainmaker was unveiled at the 1997 Zap International Amateur Open and represents Brass Eagle's move into the upgradeable tournament level paintgun market. Prior to the Rainmaker the Brass Eagle line included the Raptor, which fell short of most tournament player's needs, and the high end Angel, imported from England's WDP - priced out of the reach of many players. The Rainmaker entered the market competitively priced with paintguns like the WGP Autcocker and the Airgun Designs Automag.

What are the key features of the Rainmaker?

The Rainmaker is electropneumatic, that means that it uses electronics to control gas powered operation. From the factory, the Rainmaker is capable of high rates of semi-automatic fire. Early 1999, Rainmakers were manufactured select fire allowing the user to access full automatic and 3 round burst modes. In Summer 1999, select fire was discontinued in favor of a return to semi-automatic. It features a bottom line gas connection and operates on CO2 or compressed air. The main regulator is adjustable and controls the Rainmaker's velocity. The pneumatics regulator features a fixed output, and is used to power the Rainmaker's cocking ram. Some people have mistakenly stated that the Rainmaker is a "double regulated" design. It is not. Only the main regulator adjusts the pressure of the gas used to propel the paintball. Double regulating the Rainmaker requires adding an external regulator, or using a compressed air system (which has a regulator built in). The Rainmaker fires from an open bolt position. The electronic timing of the Rainmaker allows the bolt to remain closed for a precisely determined amount of time. The The Rainmaker has little to no blow back (it won't even blow a business card off of its feed port when the barrel has a barrel plug in it). Also, due to the low pressure of the operating ram, and the short time duration it is activated, the Rainmaker rarely breaks paintballs. If a paintball partly feeds into the chamber, it often is bounced in by a tap of the bolt, and then fired on the next trigger pull.

What are some of the pros and cons of the Rainmaker?

Pros:

Electro pneumatic operation means precise timing control.
Low cost compared to other electropneumatic paintguns.
Uses readily available batteries rather than expensive custom battery packs.
Accepts WGP Autococker style barrels.
Light, crisp trigger pull.
Low pressure cocking is gentle on fragile, thin shelled paint.
Vertical feed design for fast rates of fire.
Cons:
Loud compared to other paintguns.
Limited availability of after market components.
Many airsmiths not yet familiar with Rainmaker.
Maximum rate of fire not as high as some other electropneumatic paintguns.
The "look" of the rainmaker is unappealing to some.
Convertible to select fire.

Is the Rainmaker really an electric Autococker?
No. While the Rainmaker features the same barrel threading as a WGP Autococker, in order to allow the use of popular aftermarket barrels, these two paintguns are of rather different designs.

Is the Rainmaker really an electric Vector?

Yes and no. The Rainmaker does use the basic operational design of the Vector, however it improves upon it with electronic timing, and also has other many other advantages, the chief amongst which is interchangeable parts. The Vector had several parts which had to be custom machined for each individual Vector, where all of the Rainmaker's parts are fully interchangeable. Initially, Brass Eagle representatives stated that the Rainmaker was developed completely "in house", independent of the Vector. However the Rainmaker patent, which is public record, is filed under the name of Nick Lotacko. Lotacko was the designer of the Vector for Air Power.

How does the Rainmaker Operate?

The Rainmaker features a two chamber design. The upper chamber consists of the bolt, breech and barrel, while the lower chamber consists of the valve, ram, lower bolt, and hammer. At rest, the pneumatic ram is pushing the lower bolt toward the back of the paintgun. The upper bolt is connected to the lower bolt by link pin, and thus is also in its rearmost position, allowing a ball to fall into the breech, where it will await a firing action. A spring wire detent, or "nubbin", keeps the ball from rolling forward into the barrel. At this point, the lower bolt is compressing the mainspring against the hammer, the sear (which is attached to the hammer, and pivots to latch or unlatch from the lower bolt) is latched to the lower bolt. When the user pulls the trigger, they close an electrical circuit, which sends a signal (a trigger event) to the electronics board inside the grip frame. The electronics board then activates the 4 way solenoid valve. Under electronic control, this valve releases gas from the front of the ram, and applies gas to the rear of the ram. The ram contracts, pulling the lower bolt, upper bolt, and hammer forward. At the forward end of the stroke, the bolt is closed and sealed, and the sear hits on a pin which releases it from the lower bolt. The mainspring pushes the hammer back into the valve, releasing enough gas to fire a shot. The velocity of the shot is not adjusted by changing spring pressures, but rather by changing gas pressure from the main regulator. After a pre-determined delay, (long enough for the ball to exit the barrel), the control circuit resets the electric 4 way, returning it to its rest state. This vents pressure from the rear of the ram, and applies it to the front, pushing the lower bolt to the rear, re-compressing the hammer spring, and moving the bolt back to accept the next ball.

If the Rainmaker is electronic, is it vulnerable to water damage?

While Brass Eagle does not recommend submersing the Rainmaker in water, it is not bothered by dampness or water that a paintgun is likely to run into during normal use. While reviewing the Rainmaker for Action Pursuit Games magazine, the author directed a stream of water from a garden hose at it for a full 5 minutes with no ill effect.

Does the Rainmaker require compressed air?

No. The Rainmaker will operate on CO2. It will, however have better shot-to-shot velocity consistency, and more immunity to temperature changes when running on compressed air or double regulated CO2

How many shots per second does the Rainmaker fire?

In normal semi-automatic mode, Brass Eagle claims that the Rainmaker is capable of firing at up to 14 shots per second. In real world use, rates of 10 or more shots per second, are not uncommon, but depend of course on the capabilities of the player behind the trigger, and trigger adjustment.

What about full automatic?

In the summer of 1998, Brass Eagle released a number of pre production select fire boards. These boards feature 3 modes of fire, semi-automatic, 3 round burst, and full automatic. The three round burst fires a series of three shots, regardless of how long the trigger is held back. The full automatic mode fires when the trigger is pulled, and continues to fire shot after shot until the trigger is released (or until the gas supply runs out). The delay between the shots in 3 shot and full auto mode is adjusted by dialing a variable resistor which adjusts from 4 to 10 shots per second. The mode is selected by removing two screws and pulling back the grip, then setting a switch inside the grip frame. Because a tool is required to change modes, these boards can easily be locked into semi auto in order to be field legal where full auto is not allowed. The drawback to this selection method is that where 3 round burst and full auto are allowed, the user must stay in one mode for a whole game, rather than have the luxury of switching modes during play. The select fire board was produced on early 1999 Rainmakers. With the advent of the two finger trigger (mid-1999 model) the Rainmaker returned to semi-automatic only. Because the Rainmaker is electropneumatic, select fire conversions are practical as an aftermarket upgrade, and a number are expected to come to market in the year 2000. It is important to note that as of spring 1999 the use of full auto and burst modes is under discussion by the ASTM, and insurance companies. These modes may not be allowed at many or most paintball fields, so any select fire conversions should include a "field lock" so that they may not be changed out of semi-auto mode without the use of tools.

Last edited by Calebd2 : 09-25-2003 at 09:44 AM.
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