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Quoting Air Power:
One of the Vector's greatest strengths is that it is already
'tricked out' right out of the box Here is all you get without
paying the man at the shop a penny more:
PASSED THE TESTS
These are a few things that AP, myself, or someone else has done to
their Vector, (accidentally or on purpose) and what happened to their
gun: (don't try these unless you own a Vector!)
= Result: lots of paint in the barrel of course, but still firing away.
= Result: anti-pinch was 'tripped', owner kept his finger
= Result: Vector continued to cycle properly at pressures as low as 80 psi
= Result: big, big, BIG CO2 cloud, big increase in velocity. Frost was
noted on the Action/Power Unit, Regulator, and Adapter Body. Vel adjust
was then adjusted, cut the cloud down to size and returned to 300 fps.
No problems. Siphon it if you wish, for superior winter performance.
BOLT DESIGNS AND RANGE/ACCURACY
Many people have heard the P.R. about the Vector being very accurate and
long ranged, and assume that it must be a closed-bolt design. (closed-
bolt means that the gun's chamber is closed with the ball loaded _before_
you pull the trigger) The Vector is actually open-bolt. In addition,
the bolt does not even have an o-ring on it to seal the chamber. When
I discussed this with AP, I was told that the Vector's original design
called for a closed-bolt system to help save gas. ('93 Vectors were
total gashogs) AP found that by removing the o-ring, the Vector's
gas efficiency dropped only slightly, but the rate of fire was increased
by at least one shot per second. This was due to the pneumatics not
having to pull the bolt out of the barrel and getting dragged down by
the o-ring's friction with the barrel.
I have heard several people argue that a closed-bolt design introduces
less ball-deformation and turbulance during firing, and that this
deformation and turbulance are responsible for decreased accuracy and
range. No proof of either of these claims has been offered, and I
AIR POWER TOYS
OTHER AFTERMARKET PRODUCTS
Adding an external regulator can make velocity adjustment easier,
and also improve velocity stability. Vectors require far less
pressure than most markers though - 850psi is where you'd set
one for a 'mag, bug the Vector is looking for around 450psi.
Too much input pressure in cold weather may slip off a low
The Vectors were designed and tested using ProBall, but don't have
any "incompatibilities" with any brand of paint. All Vectors
come with a ball detent built into the barrel. Replacement barrels
may not come with ball detents - check when ordering.
ANTI-PINCH FEATURE EXPLAINED
Many people want to know more about the anti-pinch feature, so here is
how it works: You're firing away and a deformed ball drops down your
elbown and halfway into the chamber and stops. When you pull the
trigger, the bolt moves forward, powered by a 100psi burst from the
4-way. About 95% of the time the bolt will stop before breaking/
slicing the ball. The gun will not fire, and will appear to be
completely out of CO2.
With your index finger, just flip on the safety (a lever right above
and forward of the trigger, on the side of the gun) and you'll hear a
slight whoosh as the gun recocks and resets. Flip down the safety
(off) and fire again. When the gun recocked, the ball should have
fallen into the chamber. This resetting procedure takes about 1/2
second if you know what you are doing.
I have experienced some gator balls so badly deformed that they
actually got jammed in the port, and kept tripping the anti-
pinch. To clear this nasty jam, you've got to pull off the
hopper and push the ball into the chamber.
On an average day with average paint and high rate of fire, expect to
reset your Vector 4-5 times. Don't think of it as four resets;
think of it as zero ball chops, zero hooks/slices.
Oddly enough, this was not a design goal, but rather came as a
side effect when they dropped the regulated pressure to 100psi.
AP has never marketed the 'anti-pinch' feature, even though it
has really gotten around. Some Autococker mods lower the
regulated pressure down near that of the Vector, and with the
proper bolt, they too can have this anti-pinch feature.
The Vector limits its velocity by varying the distance the cup seal can
move from the valve seat, which effects how long the valve stays open.
Adustment is done by removing the tank, (bummer) and turning a set screw
in the adapter body with an allen wrench. The manual states you have
6-8 turns to work with. Mine has four and a half.
To set the Vector at maximum velocity it is not necessary to back the screw all
the way out. Back the screw out until it is flush with the adapter body. Now
slowly twist it in until you feel a slight resistance. (it will be several
turns) When you feel this resistance, you have just hit the piston. Turning
further will push the piston forward and compress the valve spring. When the
valve spring is fully compressed, the pin can barely move, and the cup
will not put any air in your barrel. This adjustment in no way affects
the air going to the regulator and its 100 psi for the action.
This in effect changes the spring size in your valve. Note when installing
a regulator, you need to fully open the valve system. Remove the set
screw and the piston, and put them in a bag with some oil in case you
need them later. Failure to remove these items will result in a
maximum velocity below 300 fps. This procedure is not covered in your
regulator booklet/manual unless you bought a Thruster. It may also be
necessary to replace the main spring, which is included with both
the Thruster and the parts kit. Vectors sold as "Thruster-Ready" have
already had the piston and set screw removed. Make sure you get them
with the gun though, or you'll have a "Thruster ONLY gun."
All Thrusters are shipped complete with a manual and a special
valve spring. If you did not get a manual and spring, AP will send
you replacements free of charge.
If you cannot get the velocity set to 300 fps, check:
(a) Piston or adjustment screw not removed from valve
(b) Valve spring not changed
(c) Main spring not changed
(d) Incorrect internal assembly of Thruster. Internal washers
should alternate like ()()(), not like ((((((, with the flat
washer nearest the outside.
(e) Adjustment nut tightened too far, washer(s) may be damaged
(full range of adjustment may be as little as one complete turn)
Velocity range is reported to be 0-320 fps. Adjustment of springs
may be necessary to get higher velocity. (lighter valve spring)
In case you bought someone else's regulator instead of a Thruster,
Thruster Manual Instructions
Remove the main spring from your Vector; refer to the General
Maintenance and Cleaning Disassembly section of you owners manual,
replace with the Thruster main spring.
Step 1: Unscrew the seat from the adapter body. Warning: do not scar
adapter body. Scratches can cause irreparable damage. Always
hold seat with a tool, not the adapter body to prevent damage.
Step 2: Remove the shaft form seat.
Step 3: Remove the spring from adapter body.
Step 4: Remove the velocity piston.
Step 5: Remove adjuster screw. The piston, adjuster screw, and return
spring can be stored for future use should you desire to shoot
the Vector on siphon without the Thruster.
Step 6: Install the Thruster valve shaft return spring.
Step 7: Install valve shaft into seat.
Step 8: Lubricate o-rings and interior of adapter body. Screw valve
seat into adapter body.
NOTE: be carful not to slice o-rings when assembling.
Step 9: Inspect o-rings for damage. Adapter body is now ready for
insertion into Vector.
The stock barrel for the Vector is reported to be the most accurate
produced so far. BoA makes a ported barrel that has about equal
accuracy, with a good silencing action. J&J makes a lower quality
barrel. Stock barrel's rate of fire is 7-8 shots per second. This barrel
has neither ports nor a brake; just a wildly polished tube.
The NRG barrel has the port moved to the top for increased rate of
feed. This required the raised site rail to be removed and replaced
with a side-mount scope rail. Rate of fire is tested at 8-10 shots
per second, depending on whose finger is on the trigger. Better
get a Shredder, too. The NRG barrel is tapped and the site rail
actually moved ONTO the barrel itself at about 45 degrees from
vertical. You pick the side.
AP also offers a shorter barrel, which lowers the effective length
from 13" to 8", and reduces the overhang of the barrel from 6" to 1".
Reduced accuracy is expected, but not confirmed. It is neither
ported nor braked. All AP barrels (regular, NRG, short) cost $75.
This is the stated price for all parts shown in the breakdown in the manual.
These items are included in the parts kit, $35 + $10 ship from AP:
All this comes in a very nice yellow parts case, with pleanty of room for
any other tools or extras you might want to throw in. I suggest requesting
several additional adapter body o-rings with your kit.
AP: "Only items prone to breakage or loss are included in the parts kit."
COMMON PROBLEMS AND ANSWERS
Some Vector owners would like a modification that would...
*** Ideas below have been done by individuals, with positive results ***
NOTE: '93 Vectors had a tendency to wear down the trigger arm and
make this happen for awhile (until at last it wore too much)
Here are the things I do when returning from the field:
"Twice yearly" maintenance:
NOTE: have a pair of AB o-rings on hand, replace 'em
The 4-way could probably use some lubrication, but it looks sealed
fairly well, and its price tag has (so far) kept my screwdriver
off it. Remember, the 4-way is *designed* to hiss just a tad while
powered up, so don't worry. If it hisses too much for your taste,
it may be just a hair off it's mark; try loosening it and re-placing
it. (see above about the 4-way "moving")
You may want to remove the adapter body (valve) well-after using the
Vector. If you don't give it a good 15 minutes of "cool down" time
after removing the CA, you increase the risk of damaging the adapter body
o-ring on removal of the adapter body. When removing, twist a lot, pull
a little, and oil well before re-insterting.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Things start with the Vector cocked:
Here is what happens when you pull the trigger:
Vector is now recocked and ready to fire again
If a ball stops the bolt from moving forward, the action stops. The
4-way is still open, therefore the Action Power Unit is still pulling
the ram, bolt, and hammer forward. Leaving the Vector in this state
for long could eventually pinch the ball in half. (and fire the gun)
Flipping the safety pivots the sear, (normally done by the ram just
as the hammer strikes the valve and fires the gun)
and causes the 4-way to close and the trigger sear to catch it.
When the 4-way closes, the ram just goes back to the valve along with
the hammer, and opens the bolt, and the ball should then drop into
the chamber. Don't forget to flip the safety off. In addition to
chopping the ball in time, the slider that the bolt is on is being
stressed quite a lot, and could eventually fail at the pin. This may
be a 'weak spot' in the design - bolt sliders typically look a bit
curved/bent after a month or so of use. (although they are confined in
a groove, which limits how much they may bend)
If the trigger is pulled with the safety on, the valve arm will not
pivot, and the gun will remain in its cocked state. There is very
little difference in the "feel" of the trigger pull of a Vector
on safety or not.
One of the reasons for the high rate of fire is that the gun does not
have to wait for the user to release the trigger to complete recocking.
The Vector relies on its own internal timing to complete the firing
cycle as fast as possible. No short stroking.
If the user pulls the trigger faster than the Vector cycles, (!)
the Vector will cycle normally except for the hammer, which
will not release from the ram, and will not fire the air charge.
Depending on how early the trigger was pulled, either it will just cycle,
trip the anti-pinch, or a second ball will be chambered. (the last
being the least-likely)
It is quite possible to pull the trigger faster than the BALLS can fall
into the chamber. (NRG barrels make this a lot more difficult to do)
If you do pull faster than they fall, you'll just trip the anti-pinch
more than usual.
Weight: 3 1/3 lbs
Length: 18 1/4" (15" w/o barrel)
Width: 2 1/2"
Color: jet/matte black
Length, total 15 1/2" \_this is for the "long" (standard) barrel
Length, effective 13" /
VERY well honed, no coating (just aluminum)
Plastic: handgrip, foregrip
Anodized aluminum: barrel, body, sight rail, CA adapter, cover plates,
trigger, power tube, body, valve body
Untreated aluminum: hammer (with steel striker imbedded)
Steel: action, pins/screws, valve mech, hammer striker, sear
Heat-treated TOOL steel: all internal trigger parts
(Apparently they aren't "tough as nails" -- they're tough as HAMMERS)
NEW from Air Power
On about September 1, 1995, AP will be shipping Vectors complete with
a minimal parts kit and a video!
Also, AP has responded to the problems of customer service, and is
in the process of re-vamping their computer tracking system,
installing a 1-800 customer service line, and....
LIFETIME WARRENTY on parts and servce! yea!
AP is also now "factory direct". i.e. order your Vector, parts,
or goodies directly from Air Power if you wish.
WHY TO BUY...
Another semi over a Vector:
A Vector over another semi:
THE BIG PICTURE
Out of the box it's big, heavy, fast, loud, accurate, reliable, and complete.
For the best info, call Nick Lotuaco, president of Air Power. Ask for him
at Air Power @ (804) 486-8114. (it's still a 'small business', but it's
nice to be able to talk to the big guy when you need answers)
You can also contact Air Power here on the internet:
AirPower@infi.Net (I have not had great success getting replies here)
Please let me know if I've missed anything here - I'm always trying to
improve and keep this FAQ current!