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Ricochet Development

Ricochet 2K review

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Ricochet AK
by Bill Mills

The Ricochet 2K loader broke boundaries for paintball.  In the US, it was the first agitating loader to be mass marketed by any company other than Viewloader.  With its “deflection engineering” shape designed to minimize loader hits, game timer, ball counter and 9 volt agitation system, it has been well received.  WARPIG Ballistic Labs’ Loader Lineup test showed the Ricochet 2K to provide quality performance in a head to head face-off with its market competitors.

When getting feedback from players, Ricochet designer Ennis Rushton learned that he’d built a loader with more features than some people were interested in.  Enter the Ricochet AK.  With a lower price tag, the AK has the bells and whistles of the 2K stripped out, but still provides exactly the same consistent anti-jam feeding. 

Both Ricochet models have undergone an evolution in their necks in order to fit different vertical feed neck paintguns.  Early units were built oversize and meant to be sanded for a proper fit.  The present version has a ridged shape, and comes with a small plastic shim that is shaped like a small ladder.  The shim wraps around the loader’s neck and the ladder rungs fit in the grooves between its ridges.  The whole assembly wedges snugly into most feednecks, and will need some sanding to fit into others, but will still snug tight with the shim.  At the 2002 LA Open, Rushton showed WARPIG.com some design sketches of the next generation neck which should come on the market before the 2002 season is over, and it looks like an innovative solution to the loader fit problem.

Instead of a control panel and LCD, a single button in the back of the Ricochet AK turns the loader on and off.  A bicolor LED blinks green to show that the power is on, or red to indicate a low battery condition.  The AK is molded in black with a clear window in the left side.  Since the AK lacks the ball counter found on the 2K, the window serves to give immediate feedback as to how much paint is left inside.  Early model AKs featured a window glued in place at the top and bottom, but Rushton states that he is experimenting with different mounting methods to seal around the sides as well.

As it is a potential weak point, WARPIG.com torture tested the window with a dozen point blank shots to its base.  These shots left absolutely no damage, but a small amount of paint was able to splatter in through the sides.  Ricochet AK users may wish to seal their window with silicone caulk for additional rain and humidity protection if they have an early model that has any gap at the window seam.

With a lower price tag, and all of the performance offered by its predecessor the Ricochet AK gives players yet another option in the rapidly expanding loader market. 

 


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