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Bad Boyz Toyz
17913 Torrence Ave.
Lansing, IL 60438
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Shocktech RAT II Autococker valve

© Ravi Chopra, 1999

RAT valve IIBad Boyz Toyz’s original RAT valve was the first big-time aftermarket valve for the Autococker. Before that, people mostly just drilled the stock valve out to a larger air path for reduced resistance to flow. The original RAT (which stands for Rapid Air Transfer) was designed by Danny Love with the expressed purpose, not only of providing better flow, but also of reducing air losses around the valve stem. The overnight, huge popularity of the RAT valve spawned a glut of "me too" aftermarket valves for the Autococker which grows larger every day.

In response to the growing competition and some ideas he had to improve on his original design, Danny Love returned to the drawing board to redesign his famous valve. The result: the RAT II, from Bad Boyz Toyz.

Design

The original RAT valve improved on the stock valve in a variety of ways. First, it implemented the opened gas path that people had been modifying stock valves with by narrowing the stem of the exhaust valve and opening up the inside of the valve body. It took things further by eliminating the annular channel around the stock valve, and instead featured only a central valve chamber and a hole leading up to the bolt. This way, air was directed in and up to the bolt directly. To reduce gas loss, the valve body only had the top hole that led to the bolt, eliminating the bottom hole that the retention screw fit into in the stock valve. Most notably, an o-ring was situated in a groove at the back end of the valve stem where it fit into the back of the valve body. This o-ring was designed to stop gas from venting around the stem back into the ’gun body.

The RAT II has all of those innovations plus a few more to up the ante. Now, rather than just a hole in the top of the valve body, the entire top of the valve is opened up to provide a large, restriction-free airspace for free flow up into the bolt. Cooler yet was the change to the cup seal. Up to this point, the seal on every valve was in the cup seal, a rubber or plastic ring at the end of the stem that sealed against the front of the valve body. If this seal failed, the whole part, stem and all had to be replaced, often at significant expense (usually $15-$20). Bad Boyz Toyz moved the seal material from the cup-end of the stem, and put it in the front of the valve body. In fact, the seal is now just a thin ring of plastic. It seals just as well as other valves, but adds the distinct advantage of being cheap to replace ($2.99), and reversible! That’s right, even if your seal starts to leak, take it out of the ’gun, flip the seal ring over, and you’re back in business.

The RAT II offers distinct design improvements over both the stock valve and the original RAT valve. Its design is clever, original, and complete in that it addresses all aspects of valve design — not just performance. Other valve manufacturers are now copying parts of its design.

Design rating [4]

Construction

The original RAT valve (as well as the stock valve and several other aftermarket valves) was made from brass. The RAT II ups the ante by providing all stainless steel construction. The parts are beautifully manufactured and polished. There are no rough edges, burrs or defects of any kind. It is properly dimensioned to drop quickly and easily (for a valve) into any Autococker with no incompatibilities.

Construction rating [4]

Performance & Versatility

Raw performance of the RAT II as dropped into a stock ’98 Autococker is very good. Bad Boyz Toyz claims 1000 shots from a 68 ci, 3000 psi nitrogen system. I found this to be accurate. With a tight-bore barrel, good quality paint, and a free-flowing aftermarket bolt, I could even get it as many as 1200 shots from the same tank.

One thing that players will appreciate is that this valve is very ’gun agnostic. It’s as easy to install and get running in just about any Autococker, regardless of the year and ancillary components. The RAT II provided the same performance installed in a stock pre-’96 Autococker as it does in a new ’98 stock ’cocker, as it does in a tricked-to-the-hilt Autococker with cutting-edge aftermarket parts. The only thing that will differ significantly is operating pressure. With the large valve chambers found on ’98 Autocockers and on some aftermarket Autocockers, you will be able to get good velocity at 300-350 psi (or as low as 250 if you spring the hammer more heavily). Older Autocockers with narrower gas-paths to the valve require higher operating pressures — up to 500 psi on pre-’96 Autocockers — but the efficiency improvements are about the same.

Velocity consistency, as always was more a function of paint-quality and paint-barrel fit than the valve. I typically found velocity to fall within a 5-7 fps range — almost identical to what I’ve found with other valves.

Performance rating [3.5]

Price/Warranty

The RAT II absolutely dominates in this area. The RAT II retails at $49.99. There are cheaper valves out there, but none of them feature all stainless steel construction.

The RAT II also has a lifetime warranty on everything but parts that fail from regular wear and tear (o-rings and the valve seat). The valve seat is $2.99 to replace, but Rennick (owner of Bad Boyz Toyz) says that if you say "please" and return your old worn out seat with a note explaining why Bad Boyz Toyz is cool (I SWEAR that I’m not making this up) they’ll send you a free replacement. I don’t expect this to be an issue, though. When I called to find out what the warranty was, Pat (Bad Boyz Toyz’s store manager) had to go ask someone else. In the two years this valve has been on the market, she has never had anyone call about a bad valve or for a valve seat replacement.

Price/Warranty rating [4]

Conclusion

The RAT II valve offers neither the lowest pressure (something that Bad Boyz Toyz regards as a gimmick of little genuine value) nor the absolute highest efficiency of any valve setup available. It does, though, offer 80-90% of the very best efficiency available at a small fraction of the ultimate cost required to squeeze out that last 10-20%.

Ultimately, the RAT valve II offers lower price, innovative design, superb performance, unmatched ease-of-installation and use, and comes with the thoroughbred Bad Boyz Toyz/Danny Love pedigree. If you’re looking for a fairly priced way to improve your Autococker’s efficiency, or just want to spend more money on a cool upgrade for your ’gun (admit it, a lot of you do it!), this valve is a proven performer that should not disappoint.

All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999