LAPCO Threaded timing rod for the Autococker
© Ravi Chopra, 1998
Threaded timing rods for the Autococker are one of the older upgrades that have still not been incorporated into the stock gun. They replace the stock slip-fit rod and collar that couple the trigger to the 3-way valve on the right side of the paintgun. Threaded rods have long been recognized as one of the least expensive and most effective reliability-enhancing upgrades available. As such, LAPCO is hardly original in producing their own. They do demonstrate, though, that all threaded timing rods are not created equal.
As with all threaded timing rods, the LAPCO product provides a threaded rod and tapped collar to replace the stock parts which are slip-fit and retained only by small allen screws. Having the rod screw into the collar takes much of the stress off of the allen screws which hold it place. It also makes the rod much less likely to back out (putting the Autococker out of time) if the retaining screw does come loose. Finally, the ability to screw the rod into and out of the collar in small increments makes it much easier to fine-tune the Autocockers timing. These features are common to all threaded timing rods.
LAPCO makes their threaded rods and collars entirely out of stainless steel. Many other competing products on the market have collars made from aluminum or, more commonly, brass.
LAPCO also manufactures the threaded rod and collar to extremely tight tolerances. With most other threaded rods, the rod fits loosely into the collar such that when the retaining screw is tightened down, it forces the rod to the side producing a kink where it enters the collar. This deviation from linearity can lead to 3-way valve leaks and trigger-binding problems on Autocockers with polished valves and high-end trigger-jobs. The LAPCO rod threads into the collar with no slack so it does not kink when the retaining nut is tightened down.
Design/Construction rating 
Ive tried a lot of different timing rods on a lot of different Autocockers. With a stock or nearly-stock Autococker, any threaded timing rod will do the job relatively effectively. It is highly modified Autocockers, particularly ones with extensive trigger work and polished or custom 3-way valves that really accentuate the differences between threaded rods. If you can not keep the rod and collar in good alignment with the 3-way, the valve shaft is pushed to the side, leading to uneven seal-wear and leaks. The rod itself can also wobble in and out during the trigger pull, potentially leading to binding and timing problems.
LAPCOs rod never suffers any of those problems due to its superior fit. Ive also found that this better fit makes it much less likely that the retaining screw will back out. The end result of this much tighter fit is that you will have much better reliability throughout the trigger-system.
As with all threaded timing rods, LAPCOs rod allows a full range of adjustability. The first production run of threaded rods from LAPCO were a bit too long and thus limited timing options unless they were cut down. This has been corrected and all current rods from LAPCO are of the correct length.
Performance/Versatility rating 
LAPCO does not set an MSRP for its products. Street prices for their timing rod vary from $8.00 to $15. This is low to average when compared to prices for other threaded timing rods. Given the superior materials and design of LAPCOs rod, this price is very good.
LAPCO also offers an excellent warranty. If you have any problems with one of their products, they will either replace it (if its defective) or refund your money. It doesnt get a whole lot better than that.
Price/Warranty rating 
In addition to offering a tremendous reliability improvement over the stock Autococker timing rod, LAPCOs threaded timing rod offers superior materials, design, and construction when compared to 99% of the threaded timing rods currently on the market.
If you have a stock Autococker with a stock timing rod, Ive found that its just a matter of time before the retaining screw comes loose and your gun goes out of time. LAPCOs rod is an investment you will not regret. If you have a customized Autococker that has periodic 3-way valve leaks that come and go when you wiggle the threaded timing rod, consider replacing it with LAPCOs excellent product. It very well could be the solution to your problems.
All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999