Black Magic STO Autococker
All we can say is two words: SWEET and NESS. The Black Magic Autococker is absolute "sweetness".
To the football world, the late Walter Payton came to be known as 'Sweetness' and anyone talking football immediately conjures up images of Payton running and diving when one inadvertently says 'Sweetness'.
Like Payton, the Black Magic ought to be called 'Sweetness'. Payton broke records and set new standards for running backs all around the NFL. The Black Magic will now set higher standards for the paintball industry.
No other marker, since the WDP Angel first came out, has ever elicited such a response from our staff.
It is here. The Black Magic Autococker is finally here. The paintball industry has been waiting for quite sometime, but the wait is now over. The Paintball Times is the only place you will see this information.
The marker that has proven itself worthy of a Noble Prize has now evolved even further. The Black Magic has undergone some basic testing and the results are in. Look for future updates wherein the Black Magic will be compared to other aftermarket autocockers.
The review is broken up into four separate sections; basic information, a detailed overview, a review of how the marker shoots in actual paintball situations, and how various upgrades affect the marker.
Special thanks to Bud Orr of WGP for sending us this work of art, to Erich Garber from Action Enterprises for allowing us to test the marker at his facilities, Toledo Indoor Paintball and Toledo Action Games, to Mike Gomez of Michigan Paintball for testing the marker and offering some of his opinions.
Black Magic Autococker Basics
The Black Magic Autococker has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $850. Here are some basic pictures and a quick overview of the specifications.
What does it come with?
The Black Magic Autococker comes in a standard 2001 autococker box, except for a "BM" and serial number printed on the side. Click for a picture of all the parts that came with the gun.
In the box:
-expertly milled and anodized autococker body with vertical feed and angled air supply adapter (ASA)
-STO front block pneumatics all chrome plated
-custom high flow bolt with venturi style face
-non-sloted trigger plate
-J&J custom two piece barrel anodized to match
-WGP barrel plug
-extra high flow front block banjo retaining screw
-Shocktech 45 grip frame, chrome plated
-Hogue wrap around rubber grips
-custom WGP regulator
-one hex wrench and other odd parts
-custom drop forward with screws
-beavertail, chrome plated
Take a look at the back block. It is similar to the standard 2000 autococker's block, but is anodized to match the rest of the body.
Take a closer look at the custom milling and Black Magic logo on the autococker side. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see the milling below the cocking arm. The body is completely drilled through. This makes the gun very light. We hope to have a better picture later.
Take a look at the front pneumatics.
The full gun all parts attached.
Firstly, we are into functionality, not looks. With that in mind, please delve yourself further.
The Black Magic has a uniquely milled body. There are no corners, all the edges are rounded off. The body is milled on both sides for a cocking arm. Only the crucial parts are left, there are very wide open holes in the body, but the bolt and internals are not exposed. That is excellent. There is a flame pattern of milling along the side, which adds a special 'Black Magic' pizzazz to the marker.
Although we are not particular for anodized and splashed markers, the blue anodizing on this marker looks just right. We were terrified when all the STOs started coming in all sorts of fade anodizing, but we are happy to announce that this blue actually looks very good.
It has a vertical feed and a sight rail. Right underneath the sight rail there is milling so you can see right through it. The rail, for some odd reason, is right behind the vertical feed. Perhaps some day they will make sights that hang off to the side. The vertical feed was very tight. We had considerable trouble getting a VL Revolution into the vertical feed, but we eventually got it in. Once we got it in, it was easy to reinsert and remove. The vertical feed adapter does unscrew and can be replaced. The air supply adapter is angled forward and provided an excellent foregrip when the regulator was attached..
We have newfound respect for the 10.75 inch J&J barrel that came with the Black Magic. The barrel is a two piece J&J stainless steel back and aluminum front. The front is anodized to match the blue of the marker. We don't like two-piece barrels, but the J&J worked very well. We will probably end up changing the barrel, but we trust Bud Orr, and hence did not second guess his decision in our testing process. In the shooting segment you will learn how this barrel worked.
One difficulty we had was with the removal of the barrel. When trying to remove it, the front blue end detached from the back. The stainless steel back portion was very difficult to take off since the end of it did not pass the front pneumatics. You almost had to get a set of pliers to grab it and remove it. That really irks!
It was very lightweight and chrome plated. It looks very nice, but as long as it works, we don't care much for looks. We never attached it to the marker for testing.
The grip is a Shocktech .45 standard grip. It is chrome plated and feels very solid. We really prefer the metal grip frames as opposed to carbon fiber. We feel that the trigger plate slides better through a chrome plated frame. Besides, it would really be a tragedy if the frame broke off somehow. The frame is wrapped in wrap around Hogue rubber grips. We really like the way the grips fit in your hand.
Perhaps this is the mechanism that concerns the majority of paintball players. The trigger and grip is the most crucial part of any paintball marker. It is the connection that turns a human being into a paintball player. Without a proper fit or feel, there wouldn't be anything to write about.
With that in mind, the trigger was very smooth, like a hot knife through butter. But this shouldn't be a surprise, triggers are supposed to be like that. The Black Magic trigger is no different. The length of the trigger pull came out to be about 3.0 to 3.5mm, not the shortest ever, but very acceptable. I am sure after some tinkering it can be shortened.
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