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A Paintgun Best Served Cold…

Splat Attack’s REVENGE V2

© Ravi Chopra 2001

It seems that every article I write is destined to upset somebody. Being a reasonably honest person in this business and sport makes that pretty much inevitable. This article in particular is almost certain to anger Budd Orr and the rest of the WGP crew. The reason for that is because this paintgun bears more than a passing resemblance to an Autococker in both form and function, but is definitely not WGP approved. The name of this paintgun is "Revenge", Splat Attack’s all-AKA entry into the auto-pumping paintgun market.

Now, it would be all too easy to look at this paintgun and call it an Autococker-clone. It works just like an Autococker. It takes Autococker-compatible parts. But both AKALMP and Splat Attack insist that it’s no Autococker. They’ll cite differences in the body’s inside dimensions. With this, the second iteration of the Revenge, their claim becomes a little stronger as they change the coupler between the trigger and 4-way valve and shift around some of the front-end pneumatics. None the less, this paintgun is so obviously Autococker-inspired that no one outside of AKA or Splat Attack will blame you if you refer to it as a Cocker.

Whatever you call it, the Revenge has built up a solid following of dedicated players who are not shy about singing its praises. I’ve been eager to get my hands on one to see what the fuss was all about. Splat Attack was finally generous enough to loan me a brand new Revenge V2. In thanks, I kept it far longer than I told them I would. Let me tell you why.

TRIGGER

The trigger on the Revenge is similar to that found on an Autococker, but does have some notable differences. To start, it does use the same sort of sliding trigger and rocking sear arrangment. Both trigger plate and sear are AKA-manufactured parts made from solid steel and with an AKA claim that they’ll never "wear out". Both drop into an AKA .45-style trigger frame that (thankfully) does away with the safety hole that no one ever uses outside of the stock Autococker anyhow.

In the first major difference from the Autococker, the trigger is not coupled to the 4-way valve by an external timing rod that runs along the right side of the trigger frame. Instead, a small plate engages a slot in the top of the trigger and runs through the front of the custom grip frame. The front of the plate is threaded to fit into a standard timing collar that attaches to the 4-way centered in the front block. This clever arrangement encloses most of the system and eliminates problems with bent or poorly aligned rods. The end result is a dramatic reduction in the potential for problems with 4-way binding and leaks.

As with all Autococker-compatible grip frames, the Revenge’s frame has both front and back trigger-guide screws to eliminate most vertical slack in the trigger. The plates are cut wide enough to eliminate lateral slack entirely.

The trigger and sear springing are on the soft-side and the trigger’s action is a wonderfully smooth as that of any Autococker I’ve shot. The hammer release, on the other hand is relatively sharp, giving the trigger a snappy feel despite it’s moderate 4 mm pull length. The timing is more old-school Autococker. Thankfully they’ve cut the slot for the timing plate in the top of the trigger wider so it acts like one of the old Autococker trigger plates, allowing you to properly time in a gap between the firing and cocking stages of the trigger pull. This makes for a more reliable paintgun and much less potential for blowback.

On the whole, this trigger is smooth and light, but still has a snappy feel due to a hard hammer release. Personally, I’d prefer stiffer trigger return springing, but that’s personal preference. It’s an exceptional trigger very cleverly implemented.

PNEUMATICS

The Revenge uses all the same front-end pneumatic components that the Autococker uses, but arranges them a bit differently. The Revenge uses Splat Attack’s "inline design". The inline design refers to the way they line up the barrel, low pressure reg (LPR), and 4-way in a vertical line rather than having them staggered around the front block like you see in the stock Autococker. A few things allow them to pull this cool look off.

The first thing is the timing rod that allows them to line up the 4-way directly in front of the trigger plate. This centers the 4-way valve. They also use a custom front block made for them by AKA. This front block goes specifically with the AKA Merlin body that Splat Attack uses for this paintgun. An extra-large screw couples the front block to the body. This screw is hollowed and tapped clear through. The LPR threads into this screw rather than into the front block. This centers the reg as well. The ram is positioned to the left as you typically see on an Autococker with the pump rod running down the side of the gun to the back block.

Splat Attack uses an all-Palmer front-end on the Revenge sent to me. The regulator that QB’s the cocking system is Palmer’s excellent Micro-Rock with an adjusting knob. In the past they’ve used MAC Development’s Sonic reg which I’ve had good luck with on other guns but which they felt required a higher output pressure to run their paintgun.

The 4-way is Palmer’s ultra-smooth QuickSwitch. For a while, there were a lot of problems with QuickSwitches either leaking persistently or requiring very high pressures to seal up. Those problems appear to have been corrected as I had no problems with this valve. It sealed well at normal operating pressures, switched over a very short length (second only to Shocktech’s cutting-edge "Bomb" valve), and was extremely smooth.

The pneumatic cylinder that actually drives the pump rod and back block is Palmer’s superb QuickRam, an ultra-durable ram that promises 1 million trouble-free cycles. A great, smooth ram that can keep up with the fastest shooters.

INTERNALS

The Revenge’s internals are all AKA in origin. The velocity adjuster and hammer are an old-style kit. They do use the larger lugs, but the gun body is not tapped for one of the new velocity screws, so a full adjuster with guide is installed. As is expected, it takes Nelson springs and it is sprung to take full advantage of the low pressure Tornado valve. Since velocity is set with input pressure rather than adjusting spring tension, you should never have to touch this.

The valve is, no surprise here, the AKA Tornado valve. This is one of the best performing valves on the market for both low pressure and (more importantly) high efficiency. With this valve properly installed, the gun runs perfectly in the 180-200 psi range and gets better efficiency than any other valve on the market. Expect 1500+ shots from a 68 ci 3000 psi air system, and well over a case if it is a 4500 psi system. Don’t believe the garbage some will try to feed you about better range or accuracy - the only real advantage of low pressure is improved efficiency when properly implemented. In this gun it is properly done and the performance is superb.

AKA’s Lightning bolt with Evolution-style push-pin rounds out the air-delivery package. This bolt has a ramped inlet and an outlet that cones open as a single hole (no "venturi" design here). This is an all-plastic bolt now rather than hard-coated aluminum, making for a lighter-weight, though less durable design.

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS

The body used in the Revenge is AKA’s Merlin VLM center-feed, P-block body. This body differs significantly from the WGP Autococker body in a few ways. This body is built with gigantic air chambers to allow very low pressure operation. As a result, it is not compatible with standard Autococker front blocks. An AKA front block and screw are required. The valve is also installed differently. Rather than going in through the back of the gun as with Autocockers you removing the front block and drop it in through the front just like in Spyders and other blowback paintguns. The ball-detent is also Spyder-like, using the same small rubber nubbin hidden under a small plate.

The front block is a custom AKA part that I’ve talked about at some length already. It is custom made to fit the Merlin body and work with the Revenge’s "inline design". It also includes a built-in vertical ASA that is slightly offset to the left to allow room for the timing rod to pass through to the centered 4-way valve.

The pressure regulator that comes with this gun is the AKA Sidewinder. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this reg. When I set up and chronographed the Revenge V2, the velocity was all over the place. When I took it out on the field, shots started very low and climbed up in velocity with rapid fire. This is a classic symptom of a bad regulator seat. I confirmed this later by gauging the reg. It was allowing full tank pressure through to the gun rather than providing regulation. I was able to complete my test of the Revenge by replacing the Sidewinder with MAC Development’s superb Gladiator reg. The Gladiator is a pressure regulator that provides high flow and ruler-flat low pressure consistency – perfect for a low pressure paintgun like this. With Gladiator in place and fed by my Conquest air system (also from MAC Dev – look for a full review in an upcoming issue), velocity consistency was +/- 3 fps over the chrono and rock steady on the field with rapid-fire.

The cocking rod, pump rod, and beavertail are also – surprise! – from AKA. The cocking rod is grooved to match the back of the bolt and pull pin. The AKA straight pump arm rod has a slightly different design that prevents it from rotating around out of the pump rod slot in the side of the gun body.

It seems that Hogue is losing ground these days. This is the 3rd gun in a row to come to me with DYE sticky-grips rather than the Hogues which were popular for so long.

The barrel is just about the only part AKA makes that Splat Attack has not included on the Revenge V2. I’m not surprised about that, though. When I tested the AKA low pressure system a couple years back their Javelin barrel was the only disappointing part, providing poor accuracy and a lot of barrel breaks. Splat Attack has gone the popular route by including a DYE 14" Titanium Boomstick. This is currently THE choice barrel for the fashion-conscious player. It looks cool, is very light, and shoots as well as any DYE barrel.

Finally, the Revenge V2 comes in a very cool padded carrying case. The case is large enough to hold the entire paintgun with barrel and air system installed. One side of the case is equipped with a small pocket for tools while the other holds three sleeves for barrels. The addition of this case to the package is an extremely nice touch that players will undoubtedly appreciate.

COSMETICS

The looks of this paintgun are the only area where I am really rather disappointed. The Merlin body is big, blocky, and very plain. It is embellished with an Evolution-like P-block and a few check-mark-shaped grooves cut in each side, but neither does much to displace the impression that this paintgun is shaped very much like a brick. Come on Splat Attack! Everyone has access to CNC mills now. You can do better than this.

On the positive side, the anodizing is fabulous. It faded from a purple on black splash to blue splash-marble to purple marble at the front of the barrel. The quality of the anodizing is extremely nice - even, glossy, and unmarred from tip to tail.

The fit and finish of the paintgun are excellent as well. All non-anodized parts are either stainless steel or chrome for a consistent look. I also realy liked the look of the in-line low pressure pneumatics at the front of the gun and the tight cluster of hoses that the rearrangement allows.

CONCLUSIONS

So is it an Autococker? No. Though clearly Autococker-inspired, the Revenge doesn’t share a single part with the guns that come from WGP. The parts are predominantly AKA in origin and many of them won’t fit a standard Autococker.

As a paintgun, the Revenge 2 is impressive. It is clear that a lot of care went into the construction of the paintgun they sent me. The trigger was perfectly timed and tuned for no blowback, smooth action, a snappy feel, and a soft pull. Efficiency, as expected from a Tornado-valve driven paintgun, is best-in the business and still unmatched by other manufacturers.

Revenge V2s currently coming from Splat Attack can be expected to work even more impressively. They’ve increased the size of the bolt a tiny bit for better fit with the gun body and resprung the hammer and valve to lower the operating pressure another 20 psi and allow for a softer hammer release.

The price of the Revenge V2 I reviewed here is $1250. Not cheap, but not mind-bendingly expensive either given that many of the parts on this paintgun are made specifically for the Revenge and that it includes the most expensive barrel on the market.

For those who want to save a few bucks, Splat Attack also sells a basic model for $999 that does not include a barrel and comes in single color anodizing. If you’re looking for a bit more flash you can have the Limited Edition Revenge V2 for $1350 which is essentially the same gun but with more radical milling.



All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 2001