Technical Information -> TIPS -> MODS  
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Table of Contents:
 
MOD #1:  How do I modify my forward loader to get better flow from loader to magazine?
For PDF of this MOD click here.
     
The oval opening in all ATS magazines that allows balls to flow from the forward loader into the magazine used to be round.  A while back ATS altered the design of the magazine to make the opening on the magazine oval.  The increased size of the whole meant the magazine could more easily accepted balls through that opening.  Unfortunately, the round whole on the forward loader has not yet been changed to match.  In other words, if you are loading magazines by hand you can enjoy the benefit of the oval magazine opening that will allow you to load faster, but, if you are using forward loaders, you don't get the benefit of the increased size of the magazine's opening.  This means that when using the forward loader-to-magazine setup of the AT-85, there is no improved feeding if you are using an unmodified forward loader.  Fortunately there is an easy fix.

This mod requires a Dremel rotary tool, or similar rotary tool, a pair of sharp scissors, and a fine toothed bastard file.

STEP 1:  Disassemble the three parts of the forward loader.  Part 1 is called the forward magazine.  Part 2 is called the forward magazine cap.  And part 3 is called the forward magazine gate (see exploded views).  Once the parts are disassembled use the scissors to cut the half circle shape off the bottom of the forward magazine gate.  The amount you should removed can be seen in red by clicking here.

For the next two steps you will need to use the drum sander attachment for your rotary tool.  You can use the smaller number 430 or the larger number 440 sander.  I used the 440 because it was easier to cut nice smooth curves.

STEP 2:  READ THIS NEXT PART COMPLETELY BEFORE PROCEEDING.  Using the sander, begin enlarging the semicircle at the bottom of the forward magazine cap.  Be extremely careful to leave enough material on the edges of the cap to act as guides for the gate.  After slightly enlarging the semicircle, reassemble the forward magazine and slide the gate to the fully open position.  You want to make the semicircle just big enough so that the bottom of the gate is flush with the top of the semicircle when the gate is in fully opened.  Check to see if this is the case.  If this is the case go to step 3.  If this is not the case, disassemble the pieces and repeat the entire process until you have achieved this goal.  By clicking here, you can see how much material I had to remove (shown in red) in order to finish this step.

STEP 3:  READ THIS NEXT PART COMPLETELY BEFORE PROCEEDING.  Reassemble the loader without the gate.  Using the cap as a guide, make the opening in the forward magazine the same size as the one on the cap.  Be careful not to remove any extra material from the cap.  Remove the cap from the forward magazine and use the bastard file to smooth the inside of the forward magazine (be careful not to file through the sidewall).  Click here to see how much material (outlined in red) I removed from my forward magazine. Clean the inside of the forward magazine to remove all filings and bits of plastic or they will end up in your gun.  Reassemble the three pieces and you are finished.

NOTE: If you follow the steps above you will end up with an opening in the forward loader that is slightly smaller than the one in the magazine.  While it is true that you could make the opening in the forward loader bigger, doing so would require that more material be removed from the gate.  This would make it impossible for the gate to retain paintballs in the forward loader even in the full closed position.

WARNING: When sanding the plastic hot globs of plastic will be expelled from the sanding location.  Please take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your eyes.

 
 
MOD #2: How to make a tactical flashlight for under $35.
For PDF of this MOD click here.
     

Please red this entire document before buying any supplies or beginning this project.

All of the parts listed below will be available at your local hobby shop, auto parts store, hardware store, etc.  The only part that you might have trouble locating (and getting a fare price for) is the Universal Barrel Mount.

Parts List:                               Price:     Commercial Source:        Alt. Source:
Sheet of 20 lb paper                 $0.01      Office Supply Store            Your Printer
Sheet of Brass (.005” thick)      $2.00      Hobby Shop                       Same
Wire                                         $2.00      Radio Shack                       IDE Computer Cable
Heat Shrink Tubing                   $2.00      Radio Shack                       Hobby Store
2 cell AA Maglite                     $9.00      Target                                Online
Velcro                                      $2.00      Fabric Store                       Hardware Store
1” Weather Stripping                $2.50      Hardware Store                  Same
Universal Barrel Mount             $14.00    Online                                Airsoft Supplier
TOTAL:                                  $33.51
 
The barrel mount shown in this document was purchased from www.uncompany.com (search for “Barrel Mount”).  This supplier offered the best price.  Shipping was an additional $5.00.  This website only sells one of the four available models of Barrel Mounts.  The four models available differ in the size of cylinder that each side of the mount can handle.  The one used in this document is model UBM 2.  If you are not planning on using any weather stripping to protect your barrel from being scratched use model UBM 1.  UBM 2 works well because it is small enough at one end to hold the flashlight but large enough at the other end to accommodate the weather stripping that will protect your barrel.  The four models of Barrel Mounts are:
 

Model

Barrel Size

Flashlight Size

UBM 1

½ “ - ¾ “

¾”

UBM 2

½ “ - ¾ “

1”

UBM 3

¾” – 1”

¾”

UBM 4

¾” – 1”

1”

 

The tools needed to do this mod should be a part of everyone’s tool box.  However, some people still don’t own a Dremel or other rotary tool.  If you do not own a Dremel you can still make this flashlight with a hand drill and a round or semi-circular bastard file.

Tools Needed:
Dremel or other rotary tool
                        -#540 Cutting Disk
                        -#440 Sanding Drum
                        -#660 Drill Bit
                        -#115 Engraving Bit
Soldering Iron
Utility Scissors
Utility Knife
Heat Gun / Blow Dryer
Super Glue

WARNING: Always wear proper eye protection when using a rotary tool and a soldering iron.  Please take the proper precautions to avoid burns.  Metal parts will get hot while being soldered, cut and sanded.

STEP 1:  Remove Flange and Drill Hole
The first step in making your tactical flash light is to cut off the part of the flashlight that is designed to have a wrist-strap attached to it.  Using a Dremel cutting disk (#540) make two cuts from the edge of the material to the hole in the flange.  This will mostly remove the flange.

Using a Dremel sanding drum (#440) sand the remaining edge of the flange off the end of the flashlight until it is smooth.  Sand until the entire surface turns silver.

If you do not own a Dremel but have a circular bastard file, use the file to remove and smooth this surface.  Now, remove the battery cap from the flashlight.  Using a gentle pull remove the spring and the spare bulb store beneath it.  Using a Dremel drill bit (#660) drill a hole in the center of the newly sanded surface.

Once again, if you do not own a Dremel use a standard hand drill and drill bit to drill this hole.

STEP 2:  Insulating the Spring
There is more than one way to do this step so feel free to experiment.  The idea is to be able to put the spring back in the battery cap without any metal from the spring contacting the metal on the cap.  One way to do this is to thread the smallest size heat shrink tubing onto the spring.  It helps the tubing to slide into place if you spray the inside of it with PAM cooking spray.  If you choose to insulate the spring using heat shrink tubing you will need to tread the tubing over the first three coils of the spring (this is not an easy task).  The picture only shows the first two coils as being covered, but it is a good idea to do the first three coils.

Once the tubing is in place use a heat gun to shrink the tubing.  If you do not own a heat gun a blow dryer can be used in the following manner.  Set the blow dryer to high and then place a hand towel over the air intake of the blow dryer.  Only do this for short periods of time or your blow dryer will overheat.

STEP 3: Preparing the Battery Cap
With the insulation in place the spring no longer fits into the battery cap.  To allow the spring to fit back into the cap the size of the lip into which the spring fits must be widened.  Use a Dremel engraving bit (#115) to widen the circular lip in the cap.  This widening does not need to look good because it will never be seen by anyone but you.  The rough edge of the widened lip is visible here.
 
STEP 4:  Making the Pressure Switch
Cut two rectangular pieces of brass that measure ½” x ¾”.  Because the brass is only .005” think scissors can be used to cut it.  Cut two pieces of paper the same size.  Using the scissors round the corners of the brass and the paper.  Using a utility knife cut out the center of the paper rectangles and throw them away.

Cut a length of wire (make sure it is long enough to reach from the flashlight to the desired mounting location of the switch with a little to spare), split the wires a few inches from the end and strip the insulation from the last ¼”.  A good source of wire, and the type used I this document, is an old IDE cable from a computer.  Solder one stripped end of the wire to each of the pieces of brass.

Place the two pieces of paper in between the two pieces of brass, slide a ¾” piece of heat shrink tubing onto the wire and shirk in place.  Cut a 1.75” length of the biggest piece of heat shrink tubing and slide it over the brass and paper assembly and shrink in place.  This will leave you with a covered switch that has an oval opening at each end (visible here).  Place a small amount of super glue in each end and pinch shut until dry.  Notice here that the switch is now sealed to the ¾” piece of heat shrink tubing that was originally placed around the wire previously in this step.

STEP 5:  Preparing the Wire

If you have black wire or are happy with the color of your wire then you do not need to perform this step.   However, if you want a coiled wire but didn’t buy coiled wire you must perform this step.  See the section of this document entitled “Finished Coiled Switch” to see a picture of a coiled wire.

Thread the remaining wire through overlapping pieces of heat shrink tubing until there is approximately 2” left uncovered.  Be sure that each piece of tubing overlaps the next by at least ¼ of an inch.  To make it easier to over lap each piece, thread one piece of tubing onto the wire, shrink it and then thread the next piece.  Repeat until the wire is covered.

If you want a straight wire (no coils) cut a ½” piece of tubing and slide it onto the wire.  Do not shrink this piece at this time.  Proceed to step 6.

If you want coiled wire wrap your newly covered wire tightly around a pencil.  Heat the wire with a heat gun and let it cool.  Repeat twice.  Remove the pencil and inspect the results.  If they are unsatisfactory, rewrap and reheat until the desired result is achieved.  Once you have achieved the desired result place a ½” piece of tubing on the wire and proceed to step 6.  Do not shrink this piece of tubing at this time.

STEP 6: Assembly of Cap and Switch
The first rime reading this step it might be confusing.  Please read it several times and refer to this picture.

Thread the free ends of the wire through the hole drilled in the battery cap in Step 1.  Cut one of the free ends of wire so that there is only ½” exposed beyond the heat shrink tubing.  Cut the other wire so that 1.75” are exposed beyond the end of the heat shrink tubing.  Using pliers, bend the end of the spring so that it points in towards the middle of the coils.  Using a utility knife cut away a small portion of heat shrink tubing to expose the very end of the spring.  Solder the shorted of the two wires to the end of the spring.  Strip the last 1.5” of insulation of the longer of the two wires.  Wrap this exposed wire around the heat shrink tubing on the last coil of the spring.

Pull the wire back through the hole in the battery cap until the spring fits snuggly in place.  Slide the loose piece of heat shrink tubing up the wire until it sits flush against the bottom of the battery cap and shrink in place.

Step 7:  Preparing the Mount
Depending upon the type of barrel mount you purchased you might not need to perform this step.

Cut two pieces of weather stripping that are big enough to cover the insides of the larger end of the barrel mount.  Remove backing and stick in place.

Step 8:  Final Assembly
Screw the battery cap into the bottom of the flashlight.  Place the flashlight in the small end of the barrel mount.  Cut a piece of self adhering Velcro and stick it to the back of your switch.  Be sure to stick the rough piece of Velcro on your switch so that the soft side, when left uncovered on your gun, will not scratch you.  View here.
 
Additional Pictures:
Finished Switch
Finished Coiled Switch
Stored Finished Coiled Switch
Mounted 1
Mounted 2
 
                             
 
MOD #3: How do I mount a hopper on the right side of my magazine?
For PDF of this MOD click here.
 
Written by Clinton Lum
Edited by Matt Strong

Although the current SAW (ViewLoader) magazine modification is an easy "bolt-on" accessory to increase the firepower on your gun, mounting the hopper on the right side of the gun might get in your way when sighting down the left side of your gun.  This can result in the need to tilt the gun at a weird angle to clear your sight lines for firing.  Unfortunately, tilting the gun can result in balls not entering the clip, which causes empty spots on the chain drive (defeating the purpose of the SAW magazine).

Parts List:                                                                   Price:              Source:  
5 minute fast setting epoxy                                            $4 .00              Hardware Store
3/4" PVC Pipe (schedule 40 - thick walled                    $1.00 for 10’    Hardware Store
45 degree PVC elbow for 3/4" pipe                              $0.50               Hardware Store
TOTAL:                                                                      $6.50
 
Tools Needed:
Dremel Rotary Tool
            -660 Drill Bit
            -440 Sanding drum
            -115 Engraving bit
Hack Saw

Because of the nature of this modification it is hard to provide step-by-step instructions for two reasons.  One, there are not many steps to explain.  And two, the biggest step requires some judgment on your part. The hardest part of this modification is cutting the hole in the black half of the magazine.  Use your best judgment and cut only a little at a time. If you mess up, all is not lost.  You can buy just the black half (right half) of the magazine for less than $10 from ATS.  However, keep in mind that ATS has a $30 minimum order.

Follow these eight steps and look at the pictures below for guidance and you will have your own right side SAW magazine.

1)      Cut a small starter hole in the back half of the magazine (660 Drill Bit)
2)      Cut a 7 inch piece of pipe (Hack Saw)
3)      Enlarge the hole slightly (115 or 440 Dremel attachment)
4)      Check the fit of the pipe
(Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you are satisfied with the fit)
5)      Shape the end of the pipe that is inside the magazine as shown in the pictures below (440 Sanding Drum)
6)      Cut the pipe to the appropriate length (this will vary depending on the hopper you are using (Hack Saw)
7)      Glue the pipe in place using epoxy
8)      Glue the elbow in place

Note:  For added strength, or to fix a hole that is slightly too big, you might consider attaching a thick piece of plastic to the outside of the black magazine half (like ATS does on the clear half of a standard SAW magazine).  Also, feel free to paint the pipe black when finished or wrap with black electrical tape.  If you are lucky, you might even be able to find a piece of heat shrink tubing big enough to fit over the pipe (this is the best looking option in my opinion).

Pictures:
Inside of Magazine
Outside of Magazine
Finished #1
Finished #2