Having trouble keeping a constant velocity? Using an Air America nitro system and keep coming up hot? Going with an external regulator is the way to go. Not only does it feed your gun a much more consistent velocity, but it also keeps out liquid CO2 (no need for expansion chamber). Due to increasing popularity, many more of these types of regulators have entered the market, some at extremely good prices.
- W'Orr Games In-Line Regulator
The W'Orr Games In-Line reg. is a beefed up version of the Sledgehammer regulator used in the autococking system. Like the Sledge, it has to be degassed and disassembled to be adjusted. It comes as stock equipment on all Autocockers and Minicockers now. If you don't need to adjust your input pressure regularly, there's no reason to change it. It works just as well as any other reg on the market.
- W'Orr Games "Ergo" In-Line Regulator
W'Orr Games has come up with a new regulator that comes as stock equipment on STO Autocockers. It is finger-groove milled for superior comfort and has an adjustment screw in the bottom so it's easy to adjust. I suspect that they're just rebadging the Belsales Angry regulator forgrip, but that's fine with me. It's better than the WGP in-line, works well, and feels comfortable.
- Air America Uni-Reg Violator (stainless steel)/Black Ice (aluminum)
Air America's most expensive, but also the industry standard regulator. The price on these has come down significantly in the past couple years. It's rugged, reliable, and looks totally stylish. The Uni-Reg uses the exact same parts and system as the Automag A.I.R. valve and the regs on Air America nitrogen systems. This makes the reg very easy to service if you have problems with it. It also requires a tourney-cap for tournament play. For those with unlimited funds (or a nice sponsorship), this is the standard way to go. Keep in mind that, while it will keep out small amounts of liquid CO2, running a bottom-line CO2 almost always results in quite a lot of liquid passing through.
- Air America Uni-Reg Vigilante
This is Air America's answer to the other "low pressure" regs on the market. At low output pressures, I've found it to actually be more consistent than the Violator/Black Ice reg. Big and goofy looking, but offers excellent performance (particularly at low pressure) at a budget price.
- AKA adjuster cap for the WGP In-Line Regulator
Like the Twister kit for the Sledgehammer, the AKA adjuster cap screws onto the end of the WGP In-Line reg and allows external adjustment with an allen wrench. AKA claims that the WGP reg has about the highest flow rate of all the regs currently available and that this cap makes it a viable, good option for the Autococker. In fact, they recommend it for use with their very demanding low pressure Tornado valve. I have not yet had the chance to try it out, so I can't comment on it's performance. Since many people probably have loose WGP regs in their gear-boxes, this is an inexpensive way to turn it into something useable.
- ANS Gen-X regulator
This Air America Violator/Black-Ice knock-off actually comes with a few nice features not available on the Air America regs. It has an aluminum top (anodized in a variety of colors) and stainless bottom, is milled out for superior flow, includes an output pressure gauge, and includes a locking, finger-adjustable screw. It comes as stock equipment with the ANS Gen-X Autococker. I haven't tested it yet, but it should perform identically to the Air America equivalent.
- Palmer´s Stabilizer
Like all of Palmer's products, it's well priced ($75-$95 depending on setup) and a functional workhorse. In my experience, the Stabilizer works better than any other regulator on the market, offering superior output pressure stability. Unfortunately, the Stabilizer is not meant to be serviced by the player, so in the unlikely event that you have problems (the Stabilizer is about as reliable as Palmers' Rock reg), you'll have to send it in to Palmers' for warranty work. Responding to players' begging and pleading, Palmers' has finally released a version of the Stabilizer that can go into an Autococker's vertical ASA. As always, it can also be mounted bottom-line or as the base for a remote system. Adjusting is easy and it does not require a tournament cap. Since you can have 2 of these with bottom-line mounts for the price of a Uni-Reg., this is what I recommend to most people who ask my advice on selecting a regulator.
I have evidence that this may just be the best reg for CO2 users. At a tournament where the morning weather was rather cold, everyone on my team running anti-siphon, bottom-line CO2 through Uni-Regs had major liquid-related problems (snow blowing out of every hole). The two people running bottom-line Stabilizers with 20 oz. anti-siphon tanks had no problems all day and kept velocity within +/-5fps. The Stabilizer seems to be the current champ at keeping liquid out of the 'gun.
Since I've never tried this $100 regulator under the "No-Hot-Shots" name, I'll only review it under it's old "Southport" nomenclature. While I know a couple of people who successfully used this regulator on their Autocockers, the just as many (including myself) who have tried them on both Autococker and Automag have had nothing but trouble getting sufficient pressure and flow through them. While it may be worth trying if you can get a good price or can return it, I can't recommend it when the exceptional Stabilizer is out there for $25 less.
This regulator appears to be exactly the same design as the Southport/No Hot Shots regulators, but with slightly different cosmetics and a c-clip to hold the valve in from the top (unlike the Southport which blows it's internals all over the landscape if you gas it up without it being screwed into something else). Additionally, it is considerably cheaper than the KC valve at ~$75 (I've even seen it on sale from I & I for as little as $60). I've only seen it dry fired on a stock Autococker in a store once, so I can't say anything specific about it's performance except to say that it seemed to work fine under those conditions. From all I've heard about them though, they work quite well.
- All the others
Yes, I know there are a lot of other regs out there. They haven't found their way into my hands yet so I can't make a judgment on them one way or the other.