© Ravi Chopra and Mark Welter, 1996
This document was prepared together by Shooter of Carnage Inc. and myself (Ravi) in response to the flood of questions that periodically inundate the rec.sports.paintball newsgroup regarding this popular custom marker from Palmers Pursuit shop.
The first part (the FAQ) focuses on the common questions asked about the Typhoon.
The second part (the Infosheet) is more of a technical writeup. It includes just about everything I've learned over the last three years during which the Typhoon has been one of my mainstays. I've had every part of the gun apart and together numerous times (except the regulator - the only part that's ever gone bad on me).
All black & white photos taken by Barton Brown, courtesy of Glenn Palmer. All other pictures and graphics by me (Ravi).
Table of Contents
What is a
All of the above are hand-built semi-automatic paintguns from Palmers Pursuit Shop. They are all closed-bolt designs based on the old Sheridan pump-guns, but use an automated cocking system to re-cock the bolt for each shot which is similar to the system used on the Autococker. They all also have a very characteristic (and not too surprising) "Sheridan Pump-Gun" look to them.
Most Palmer semi-autos feature a fixed precision elliptical-honed brass barrel (only ones sold through Bad Boyz Toyz are available with removable barrels), Ultra Quikstrip field-strip system, velocity adjuster, ball detent, sight-rail, molded grips, and soft (not mirror-polished) nickle-plate finish.
How do they differ?
Probably the most common question is: "What's the difference between them? Is one better than the other?" Well, here's a summary:
Word is that Palmer's can now convert the PGP to semi-auto, but that it can only be set up for back-bottle or remote, and is quite costly at ~$350. Therefore, there has been little interest in this option compared to the other Palmer guns.
- Typhoon: A pistol that uses the same valve & barrel arrangement found on the Sheridan KP series of rifles but with a pistol-grip substituted for the rifle-stock. Most are built new from scratch, but you can have one made by converting an existing KP rifle.
- Stroker: A converted PMI/Sheridan pump pistol, and is similar in appearance and performance to the Typhoon. The significant differences are that the hammer-stroke is a bit shorter, and barrel length varies with the starting pump gun. The hammer-stroke difference leads to a slightly reduced efficiency with respect to the Typhoon. Other than that, they perform essentially identically. Strokers can be made from: PMI I or Annihilator, PMI DF or P12, PMI-2 or 68 Magnum, and Piranha LB or P68 AT.
- Hurricane: Like the Typhoon, the Hurricane is based on the KP series of rifles, but it retains the wooden stock. Range/accuracy/efficiency are essentially identical to that of the Typhoon. Trigger feel is significantly different due to the stock and rifle-type trigger. Hurricanes can be built new or converted from a KP, KP2, KP2 DF, or KP3.
What options/upgrades/accessories are available?
The only real options on these paintguns as offered by Palmers Pursuit Shop relate to the barrel and gas-delivery systems:
Palmers is now offering a host of cosmetic upgrades and a trigger job. The result is one sweet-looking, fast-shooting paintgun.
- The barrel on any Palmers paintgun can be ordered with or without spiral-end-venting (similar to Smart Parts, but over a shorter length of barrel). While Glenn Palmer is a great proponent of barrel-venting and it certainly does do a lot to quiet the 'gun down, I personally find very little-additional benefit from venting the Typhoon.
- If you're just not happy with the amount of the paint you can throw with a regular old Typhoon, or you feel the need for a bit more of an intimidation edge, you can get a double-barrel version of the Typhoon.
- While the Hurricane is only available with a canted-back ASA in front of the trigger, the Typhoon and Stroker can both be ordered with back-bottle, bottom-line, vertical, or dual-bottle ASA's.
Being that Palmer's semi-autos are "done 'guns" with most performance features built into the design, there is very little for them in the way of an upgrade path once they leave the shop. There are a few things you'll probably want to consider if you buy one, though.
- Given the system's lack of blowback, a motorized loader is essential to loader jams and ball-chopping, especially at high rates of fire.
- There is also the trigger job you can do yourself to radically reduce trigger pull-force. It is explicitly described at Ravi's Typhoon Trigger Job Page.
How do Palmers paintguns handle liquid CO2?
They do not seem to be as liquid-sensitive as AutoMags and will take liquid in small doses, but Palmer recommends the use of an anti-siphon tank for best results to maintain consistent velocities.
Dumping large amounts of liquid through the Typhoon will cause the gun, quite naturally, to go hot. There has been some speculation that this ready ability to take liquid without puking out is one of the primary reasons that Aftershock used this gun over the Autococker.
Will I need an expansion chamber or secondary regulator?
Palmer expressly warns against using an expansion chamber with his markers, especially at temps below 32 degrees. From the manual: "Over expansion of the CO2 greatly reduces its natural potential energy and you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain effective and consistent velocities.
I do have a friend, though, who has always run an expansion chamber on his Typhoon which he has used with impressive results. I can't say whether it's improved the gun or not, but he likes it and the marker works well.
Glenn doesn't like external regs on the Typhoon either. This is basically because they have a simiar effect on the gas flow as an expansion chamber - expands the gas, drops the pressure, and most importantly strips the CO2 vapor from the gas flow.
But again, there are players who use secondary regulators with their Typhoons and have very good luck with them.
Are Palmers markers suitable for tournaments?
Certainly. Palmer's paintguns are the oldest and most proven semi's in use. Glenn's first semi, Camille, is reportedly still running and in regular use. In the 1990 Bay City Open (where the Tippmann 68 Special and Sheridan PMI III prototypes first appeared), four 10-man teams using production Palmer semi- autos went through the tourney without a single equipment failure or repair of any kind. In more recent times, AFTERSHOCK used Typhoons in tournament play for a couple of years until becoming a Bud Orr factory team.
How do Palmers paintguns stack up against other tournament- grade semi-autos, (AutoMag, Autococker, etc.)?
IMHO, the Typhoon is the best of the lot for the money. Its closed-bolt design is commonly felt to give better range and accuracy than the Mag. Additionally it sacrifices little in rate of fire once the shooter learns the trigger and the gun is broken in. It sacrifices nothing after a simple trigger job.
The Typhoon's automation system was the basis for the Autococker, so the performance of these two is very similar. However, the Typhoon has the edge in that it comes standard with many things the Cocker lacks, such as a ball detent, excellent barrel, special finish (nickel plating), and Rock regulator. Plus, Typhoons do not have the maintenance headaches (perceived or real) that seem to plague some Autocockers. As long as you leave it set up the way Glenn sends it out, you shouldn't have to do anything beyond routine cleaning and occasionally adjusting the regulator.
How much do these markers cost?
Palmer's semi-autos are quite reasonable, considering you're getting a hand-built, tournament-ready system. Prices will vary with options and extras, but a guideline is:
Hurricane: $669 new/$300-330 for conversion
- Vertical Bottle: $480 new/$350-380 conversion
- Back Bottle: $508 new/$375-405 conversion
- California Style: $550 new
Stroker: $260-$330 for conversion (depends on base gun converted).
What else does Palmers offer?
A few of the more interesting but little known products out of Glenn's shop are:
Additionally, Palmer's does repair and upgrade work on all airguns.
- The Tornado, a semi-auto conversion for Nelson-based equipement. This is a bolt-on kit rather than an integral system.
- The Stabilizer, a low-priced, high-quality secondary regulator available in remote, bottomline or vertical-mount configuration (vertical mount Stabilizer can only be used on the Automag).
- The Rock replacement regulator for Autocockers. This is the most popular replacement regulator for custom and tournament Autocockers. It offers easier adjustment and more consistent pressure delivery than other regs.
- Custom brass Barrels for the AutoMag and Autococker (or, presumably, any other 'gun you'd like). A variety of options are available in their construction, including spiral venting and nickle-plating.
- They also make a line of custom pump-guns. Much like everything else out of the Palmer's shop, these are hand-built to order with any of a variety of options.
What is the Blazer, and when will it be released?
Good news! The Blazer is now available in large numbers from Palmer's Pursuit Shop. Glenn has promised a wide distriubiton network for the new Palmer's semi!
The Blazer is the next-generation Palmer semi-auto and is an entirely new closed-bolt design. Machined from a solid block of aluminum, the Blazer has no external hoses or fittings and will has half the parts of a Typhoon. Here's a picture of the prototype. You can read my article about the Blazer here.
Where can I reach Palmers Pursuit Shop?
E-mail Glenn Palmer
Palmers Pursuit Shop web site
3951 Development Drive #3
Sacramento, CA 95834
* When you call, it is best to talk to Glenn himself about estimates or options. If he is not available, his receptionists seem to have done their homework in most cases.
The Typhoon has several parts, the knowledge and understanding of which makes maintenance and tuning of the gun much easier.
The obvious parts are: Barrel, Feed Port, Bolt (quick-strip - very cool), Trigger Frame, Vertical/Back-Bottle ASA.
The parts you might not be so familiar with are:
- Regulator/Valve Housing (R/V housing)
- I'm defining this for ease of description. It is the tube between the barrel and trigger frame that holds the valve, hammer, and regulator.
- This sits in a tube on the left side of the gun between the barrel and the R/V housing. It is connected at the back to the bolt which it is responsible for pumping back and forth while firing (mechanism described in 2 below).
- The regulator is housed in the front of the R/V housing. It is used to lower the pressure into the Autococking system which would be blown out under full tank pressure. On older guns it is adjusted with a largish knob. Newer guns have an allen screw for adjustment.
- 4-way Valve
- This is a brass cylinder with 3 nipples housed in the trigger frame and is responsible for delivering gas from the regulator alternately to the front and back of the ram.
- If you take off the trigger frame, you will see this sticking up out of it, normally protruding into the R/V housing where it engages the hammer.
- If you take off the trigger frame and look up into the R/V housing, you'll see the hammer which moves freely in that tube. There is a spring behind it (the mainspring) which is responsible for throwing it forward into the valve.
- Valve Assembly
- You need a Sheridan valve tool and a good amount of knowledge before you even consider messing with this. If you don't already know it, don't touch it.
How it Works
When you pull the trigger two things happen:
- First, the sear is tripped, exactly as it would have been in the stock pump gun. This releases the hammer and the paintball is subsequently fired.
- The special part comes in the second part of the pull. If you open up the handle (take off the grips and bottom line if you've got one) you'll see a small rod going from the back of the trigger to the vertical leg of an an "L" shaped arm that can rock freely. The horizontal leg goes to a 4-way valve (yes, it is a 4-way: 2 inputs, 1 output, and exhaust) which is moved with trigger action. Upon completion of the trigger pull, the 4-way is pushed down, sending gas from the regulator (the hose that comes from the bottom of the gun, forward of the grip frame, and goes to the middle of the 4-way) to the front of the ram, blowing the bolt back.
When you release the trigger:
- The sear is allowed to return up where it can catch the hammer.
- The 4-way is moved back up, sending gas to the back of the ram blowing the bolt forward.
Setting the Regulator
What you want to do with the regulator is set it to such a level that you've got enough pressure to work the autococking system reliably, yet not so much that you're reducing your gas efficiency and overworking the system (making trigger effort significantly higher).
Turning the reg knob/screw clockwise increases pressure. Counterclockwise decreases pressure.
First, turn the reg down to the point where it will no longer blow the bolt back enough to catch the sear and fire the gun. Then while repeatedly pulling the trigger, turn the pressure up until the gun is just starting to cycle correctly (you'll hear a loud snap with each pull, signifying that the hammer is correctly engaging the sear), then give the knob/screw an extra 1/4-1/2 turn to be safe.
You're really not going to have much trouble with this gun unless you mess around with it (something I'm absolutely notorious for), but here are a few problems you could encounter and how to deal with them.
- Gas leaking down the barrel
- Your cup seal is leaking. You want to hope that the seal is just dry and not faulty. First put ~10 drops of oil into the ASA, gas it up, and dry fire the gun 10-20 times. If the leak stops, you're set. Just remember to keep your gun well oiled. If that doesn't fix the problem, you're cup seal is bad and needs to be replaced. For this you need a new seal, a valve tool, and some knowledge. You could just send the gun back to Palmer's for a fix, but I'd advise you find someone locally who knows Sheridan pumps and enlist his/her help.
- The bolt moves back and forth, but the gun doesn't fire.
- There are a couple of potential problems that can cause this.
The first is that you've under-regulated the Autococking system and you're not feeding it enough pressure to catch the sear. Re-regulate it as described in C above.
The less pleasant problem is that the gun is out of time. That is to say, the time at which the gun cocks with respect to the time at which it fires is incorrectly set. The timing is set by adjusting the length of the rod between the trigger and the "L" shaped arm that works the 4-way. You will notice that there is a small screw that holds the rod in place. First, cock the gun manually (move the bolt back and forth to it's extremes by hand, without pulling the trigger). Then slowly pull the trigger. If the gun fires long before the bolt blows back, you're timed late. Loosen the screw and move the "L" arm back along the rod to make the cocking part of the cycle earlier in the pull. If the bolt blows back without the gun firing, you're timed early. Loosen the screw and move the "L" arm forward on the rod to make the gun cock later in the pull. Getting the timing just right takes time, patience, experimentation, and experience. If you don't know the gun well and don't feel confident, you should probably just send the gun back to Palmers for adjustment.
- Gas leaks out the front of the regulator.
- Your regulator is turned to far up and is venting off extra pressure to keep from blowing out the autococking system. Turn the regulator down until it stops venting out the front.
If that doesn't work, the regulator valve seal has probably gone bad. Send it back to Palmers for a repair.
- Regulator does not appear to be passing any gas to the autococking system.
- This one happened to me. Like the above it involves a bad reg valve seal. Unfortunately the fix is very complex. Send the gun with a problem description back to Palmers for repairs.
- A final tip.
- Always keep your gun, especially the barrel, clean. I always scrub mine out after a day of play with soap and a barrel brush. While the Typhoon is a real workhorse that will work almost no matter what, optimal perfomance always comes from a well cared-for paintgun. Keep your Typhoon clean and well oiled and it will shoot it's 100th case of paint as well as (or better than) it does it's first.
This FAQ is not endorsed by Palmer's Pursuit Products.
All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999