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VLocity - Page 2
By Bill Mills - Photos by Dawn Mills - April 2006
All told, the VLocity not only improves upon the eVLution’s design, but adds new features, some not seen before on the loader market. Features are one thing, but the bottom line usually comes down to performance and reliability.
The VLocity used for review was tested with both rechargeable and alkaline batteries for field use. With a multiple paintguns, the battery type did not make a noticeable impact on performance. The VLocity exhibited no on-gun problems, and activation of the anti-jam feature was never noticed except when intentionally activated by blocking the arms of the impeller with a finger, or intentionally wedging a paintball between the impeller arm and the raceway roof. Even the intentionally created jams were automatically cleared in just a moment.
To get some hard performance data, the VLocity was set up on the WARPIG Ballistic Labs test stand, powered by a fresh set of Duracell alkaline batteries. All testing was performed with a standard load of 100 DraXxus Hellfire paintballs.
The first test performed was the traditional 10 shot burst test on an LCD Matrix receiver. It is important to note, that this test does not determine the maximum rate at which a loader is capable of loading (i.e. how close in time together two shots may be.)
It is a test to measure the maximum rate a at which a loader can sustain a string of 10 shots. While feed rates are affected not only by the loader, but the paintgun on which it is being used ( using different paintguns in the test can yield different maximum sustained rates) the 10 shot burst test performed on the same test configuration can provides a basis of comparison between different loaders.
microprocessor control, the Matrix receiver was fired in 10 shot bursts
at given rates of fire, with the paintballs collected in a padded ball
trap. The number of whole, unbroken paintballs were counted at the
end of each 10 shot burst. After three trials at a given rate of
fire, if the system successfully fed all 10 shots on at least two of the
bursts, three more trials were attempted at the next highest rate of fire.
With a tension setting of 1, the VLocity
fed flawlessly up through 12 balls per second. At 13 balls per second,
the first string only delivered 9 paintballs, while the second two delivered
all ten, indicating stable performance at that speed. At 14 balls
per second, the loader only delivered 8 paintballs out of every ten shot
This was not the end of the story however,
as the tension setting was increased for the next round of testing.
With a tension level of 5, the VLocity fed perfectly up through thirteen
balls per second. At fourteen balls per second, the first two trials
fed 10 paintballs, and the third missed a single ball. At 15 balls
per second it delivered 9, 8 and 8.
Then it was time to put the pedal to the metal. At a tension setting of eight, the VLocity emitted a slight hum, its motor keeping a steady tension on the stack of paintballs. This time, performance was perfect through 14 balls per second, and it even passed at the 15 ball per second rate, skipping one ball on the first trial, but delivering all ten on the second two. At 16 balls per second it fed eight balls for each of the first two trials, and nine ball for the third.
It was evident that the VLocity’s tension setting had a significant effect on its sustained feed rates over a 10 shot burst. In its highest performance mode, the VLocity scored a 15 on the Matrix LCD ten shot burst test. This compared very favorably to data from previous tests of other loaders.
To get a look at the VLocity’s capabilities from different perspectives, additional tests were performed.
A ramping burst test followed the same philosophy as the 10 shot burst, utilizing the Matrix LCD receiver (without anti-chop eyes) with a string of four shots fired at 10 shots per second immediately followed by 10 shots fired at the test rate.
This test mode was designed measure
the maximum sustained feed rate in a closer simulation of real world shooting
conditions. The use of true full-auto is not extremely common in
paintball. Typically semi-auto or ramping modes are used. In
either case, the first few shots of a string fired by a player are often
not as fast as the following shots. While it is more a function of
how a person uses a trigger than anything else. This ramping up of
the firing rate gives a loader a few shots to get moving before it is expected
to perform at full speed.
Following the same three-trials per rate format as the 10 shot burst, and testing at a tension setting of 8, the VLocity skipped a paintball on its third trial at 14 bps, but fed all shots at 15 balls per second, and all shots on the first two trials at 16 balls per second, skipping one ball on the third trial. At 17 balls per second, the first trial resulted in all shots fed, the second skipped one, and the third fed all 14 balls. At the final ramping level tested – strings of 4 shots at 10 balls per second, followed by 10 shots at 18 balls per second, feed errors became consistent, with 12 paintballs being fed during each of the three trials.
The third test performed was a one full-auto one second burst test. This test utilized a Nerve receiver with Virtue board and anti-chop eye. By using a microprocessor to send the Nerve a one second trigger pulse, it would fire each time the loader gave it a paintball. In theory this should achieve the highest possible feed rates. Instead of yielding results that show at what rate the loader could no longer feed to meet demand, it would show how fast the loader would feed when the paintgun was responding to what the loader supplied.
The Virtue board was set to its minimal dwell value to maximize cyclic rate. In full-automatic, with the eye deactivated, a microprocessor generated one second trigger pulse yielded 20 cycles of the bolt. This was recorded via a computer based data recorder measuring voltage at the Nerve’s solenoid valve. This indicated the potential maximum rate of fire to be achieved under this test configuration (a test reaching 20 balls per second would indicate that the test rig had been maxed out, and the loader may still be capable of higher rates.)
At a tension setting of 1, the VLocity fed 15 paintballs for each of three one-second trials.
At a setting of eight, it fed 17 balls on the first trial, 16 on the second, and 17 on the third, for an average of 16.5 balls per one second full auto burst.
This meant that over a one second sample, the VLocity was feeding 15 balls per second on average at tension setting 1, and 16.5 balls per second on average at tension setting 8.
Upon analyzing the data record of the full-auto strings made at a tension setting of 8, it was apparent the feed rate varied between shots. There were visible groupings of three or four shots each, timed 0.050 seconds apart, separated by larger time gaps. This meant that during the test the loader had reached peak rates of 20 balls per second. As that was the performance limit of the test set-up, higher on-gun rates may be possible.
The VLocity represents another evolutionary
step forward in loaders from VewLoader. Its already field proven
design is equipped with more features than previous models, and standardized
testing shows significant performance increases over previous models.
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