View Full Version : Otter's - EM1 Upgrades - F.A.Q.

10-13-2008, 03:13 PM
EM1 Upgrades - F.A.Q.

The EM1 is a very nice marker right out of the box. You may be happy with it's performance. There are a few things that you can do to improve the operation of the marker.

I have been seeing posts in the many forums I visit (and get a lot of emails) about what to upgrade first. I have done this type of FAQ for the Spyder. It is about time that I did one for the Emmie. I tried to place things in a certain order of acquisition that will slowly improve the performance of your EM1. This doesn't mean that it must be acquired in that order that I list. I will also suggest some name brand items, but I am not saying that these are THE must have equipment. There is a continual flow of aftermarket parts that have been produced by manufacturers. But, because the EM1 is a short lived marker, not much has been done with it. Many of the items that you can get are from shops that do custom work. Because of this, the price tag may be higher than possibly if the EM1 stuck around.

I have put these upgrades into the following categories.

Basic Upgrades
Advanced Upgrades
Cosmetic Upgrades

I do not expect you to go hog wild on upgrading your marker. I do ask the you head the first 3 items as being priority. These are almost a must have.

Also, look at the EM1 works article to get a basic understanding on how your EM1 operates.

Basic Upgrades

1. Nitro/HPA Tank - The EM1 was built to use HPA/Nitro. Do not use CO2 if possible. You will extend the life of the o-rings and the electronic valve (the solenoid). This will also give you a more stable gas which in turn will provide better shots. Check out my CO2 and Nitro/HPA - F.A.Q. for a further explanation between the 2 gases and there associated tanks.

2. New Barrel - Refer to my Barrel - F.A.Q. for tips on choosing a new barrel. This should be the next thing to get before anything else. The stock EM1 barrel is fine, but could be better. Try it out. You may be satisfied with it. There is no ONE barrel that is more accurate than another. I cringe when I see somebody say that "XYZ" barrel is the very best. That is false! The best way to have accuracy is to make sure you match the paint you use often with a barrel of matching bore size. I have compiled pretty accurate charts for paints and barrels. A good paint to barrel match will help give you accuracy and cuts down on wasting air. A new barrel with lot's of porting will be quieter than the stock in most cases. Sometimes, breaking paint is a problem. I offer some suggestions in my Troubleshooting - F.A.Q.. A new barrel will help in this. And get a barrel between 8-14". Actual studies on paintball have shown that it takes a minimum 8" for a paintball to get up to speed. Another 2-4" is a guide for the paintball. The remaining barrel is just friction on the ball, causing you to use more gas. Good companies to look at are CP, Dye, J&J, Lapco, and Smart Parts. You can get quality barrels for under $60. A longer barrel will not increase range or accuracy.

3. Agitating Ball Hopper - Breaking paintballs? It may not be the bolt, as many manufacturers will claim. It very well can be the speed of the balls feeding into you marker. In a non-agitating hopper, the balls tend to get stuck before entering the hopper neck. When they do find there way down the neck, it could be the same time that the bolt is traveling forward. You have the BE eVolution, and the 9v and 12v Revi's to choose from. Their is also the Ricochet and Halo. A little more in price, but the performance is slightly better. There are other hoppers that you can consider. But the above mentioned have been proven. These special hoppers will increase the feed by agitating the paintballs in the hopper with rotating paddles. Keeping the balls moving will help prevent the bottleneck that happens with non-agitating hoppers. There is also the AGD Warp Feed. This requires a Revi (or any other hopper mentioned above) along with the Warp Feed. So, why get the Warp Feed when I also need a Revi for it. A good reason is that the hopper is moved from the top of your marker to the side. This is a much lower profile, enables you to shoot your marker sideways, and increases the feed into your marker. To see a viewpoint of a marker with a WF, click here. The only draw back is the feed is dictated by how the Revi feeds it. Sideways shooting, your probably good for 15 to 20 shots. Then you need to right side it up to refill the Warp. See my review on the Warp Feed. Another way to speeding up the rate of fire is to get a different feed neck. Getting an Angel high-rise will increase the stack of paintballs and enable a fast feeding. The disadvantage to this is that it makes your hopper sit higher.

4. Regulator - A good addition. The stock regulator is not bad. It is actually pretty good. Kingman has done some good work on them lately. I just do not like regulators on the grips. Slows down the recharge. Getting a better regulator will make your marker more consistent which will give your marker potentially better accuracy. Any regulator will do. You do get what you pay for. I suggest the Palmer Male Stabilizer, the Bob Long line of regs, and the Air America line of regs. With one of these regs, you will need to get a new air line fitting to connect the stock macroline to the reg. Though, the later models of Emmies use standard threads so that you can screw them into the reg. Be prepared to get a new air line as the stock may be short. Another side note is that you will need to get a new VA to screw on the regulator. The ones for the ICD Bushmaster fits nicely.

4. Drop Forward or Bottomline - While your getting a regulator, look into getting a drop forward or a bottomline. Stock, the EM1 will use metric threads. Including the hoses. Adding US threaded pieces will make adding aftermarket items easier. Drop forwards come in all shapes and sizes. Get one you like. Drop forwards with an on/off feature on the ASA are nice. No more gas escaping from your tank while you unscrew the tank. Just turn off the air, shoot the maker (without paint) until it no longer re-cocks. And don't forget about new fittings and air lines.

5. Gun Case - Invest in a sturdy case. This will help carry your marker and protect it from being scratched up. Several routes that you can take that range from inexpensive to expensive. Visit a Wal-Mart or Target and get a large duffle bag. Either one that can carry all of your gear or just your tank. Next, I have heard people visiting a hardware store and get an aluminum case used for tools. Some are big enough to carry your tank and marker in a padded area. The last thing I suggest is an actual gun case. They come in a large variety of sizes and price range. The latter two, try and get one that can have a pad lock added. That extra security is worth it.

10-13-2008, 03:14 PM
Advanced Upgrades

* Thes items are from paintball shops that do good work that also enhance the performance. Not important, but nice to have. This will also empty your wallet depending what you get done.

6. Bolt - The stock bolt is nice. Really no need to change it. Bandit Bolts makes one for the EM1. It does provide slightly better air flow. Something to look into when tweeking the operating pressure.

7. Valve - Again, no real need to upgrade this bolt. But, it could be better flowing. Fear Factory offers the Gold Valve.

8. LPR Regulator - Another specialty of Fear Factory is the ability to mount a pneumatic regulator like the AutoCocker. Vaporworks also offers a similar attachment.

9. Trigger Frame - Fear Factory has done some unique things with the EM1. Want an Angel Grip or Bushmaster grip... with an LCD? They can do it. Then again, the stock isn't so bad. Just another option to upgrading the EM1.

Cosmetic Upgrades

I added the remaining items, as these are not important upgrades. Some not really performance enhancing stuff, but will give your EM1 a new look.

10. Grips. .45 grip. There are some Spyders that use the M-16 grip. This is preference, but look into the .45 frames with Hogue grips. It may feel nicer to you. G3 Paintball has just the grip with in-line holes for $10 that can replace the M-16 grip only. No need to replace the entire trigger frame for the .45 feel unless you want to.

11. Anodizing and Powdercoat. Sick of the color that your Spyder has? Get it anodized to a color or design that you want. Anodizing works great on aluminum. For steel, you may need to paint. I list a few custom shops in my Stock Class article. Fear Factory also offers this service.

12. Sight. Many will ask why I do not have a sight on any of my markers. I say I know where the paintballs are going with my Spyder. But, for the first few times I played with the Spyder, I used one. Paintballs are not accurate. Even with a regulator and the proper paint to bore match. A sight is only as accurate as a paintball. Use one until you get used to the characteristics of your marker and the paintballs. Or, sight down the side of the marker.

j) Remote. Some like to have a really light gun. A gun with a tank mounted on it is bulky and heavy. And a drop forward doesn't appeal to you. The use of a remote will lighten your gun by moving your tank to a butt pack. These packs, depending on what you get, will carry a gas bottle and extra paintballs.

Not so great upgrades

The following list is items not needed. Basically, a waste of money as far as performance wise. I suggest saving up for something more worthwhile like what is mentioned above....

a) Valves - For general use, the stock valve is good. You are fine with the stock.

b) Bolts - The stock bolt is also good for general use.

c) Remote. This is preference. But, the loose hose from the marker to your tank on your back can get tangled up and slow you down. A drop forward is best to have a well balanced marker with a tank.

I did not cover ALL the things that you can do to your EM1. I just wanted to cover the more common upgrades. I do hope this helps some.