The Pro-Ducer from Pro-Team Products
© Ravi Chopra, 1997
There are countless small accessories commonly used in paintball which have such simple function, and which do their job well enough that nobody really thinks about improving them. Most "new" versions of such small products have little more to differentiate them from the pack than a new anodizing pattern or color.
The reducer is just such a product. A reducer is the adapter that allows you to attach a hose (such as a remote hose) to an air source adapter (ASA) which threaded to take a CO2 tank. The typical reducer is an aluminum piece with an o-ring and threading on one side to seal it in the ASA, and tapped on the other side to accept a 1/8" hose fitting. Sometimes they are hexagonally cut to make it easier to install and remove the hose. It's simple, straightforward, and works just fine as is.
But is the reducer perfect? There are small annoyances associated with the typical reducer that we simply live with because we haven't had any other options. The Pro-Ducer addresses these small problems and even adds a couple of nice features.
One minor annoyance of reducers that I'm sure many players have run into at one time or another is that the hose can not twist once screwed into the reducer. This becomes a problem if you want remove (or attach) a reducer from a vertical ASA when the hose is attached at the other end to a bottom-line adapter. When you try to screw it in or out, the hose gets twisted up and stops you from completely removing the reducer. The Pro-Ducer, on the other hand, is made from two parts which allows it to avoid this problem. It has a central tube, tapped on one end to accept a hose and with an o-ring on the other end to seal it in the ASA. It also has an outer sleeve which fits over the central tube and has the threading to screw into the ASA. This outer sleeve can rotate independently around the inner sleeve. This way, you can attach or remove the reducer without twisting the hose. Another advantage of this is that the o-ring does not twist when you screw in the reducer resulting in less wear and longer o-ring life.
Another annoyance of reducers appears when you have to attach or remove a hose. Since hoses must be tightly attached, you often have to clamp down on the reducer with pliers or a wrench to hold it in place for installation or removal of the hose. This often results in scarring the anodizing or plating of the reducer. The Pro-Ducer eliminates this problem by cutting the hole in the ASA end of the reducer hexagonally to take an allen wrench. Now, to hold the reducer steady while changing hoses, all you have to do is insert an allen wrench into the back of the Pro-Ducer.
The final feature of the Pro-Ducer is that it has an integrated in-line filter. Pro-Team has taken the same filtering element used in their in-line filter and fitted it into the Pro-Ducer. As with the stand-alone in-line filter, this filter does an excellent job of keeping dirt and other debris in your air supply out of your 'gun, extending the lifespan of your 'gun's internal seals. Extra filter elements are available and are easy to install.
The Pro-Ducer is available in both black-anodized aluminum and stainless steel. Both versions are very well constructed and work perfectly as advertized. In the Pro-Ducer, Pro-Team has taken a simple paintball accessory and improved it considerably.
All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999