Words: Rich Norman
I’d planned to test my new KDM hop this weekend, but with one thing or another that will have to wait. I’ll explain the delay when I’m able to report back.
It got me thinking, though. I’ve written very little about Tackleberry’s Super Hop and I’ve been using it for nearly two years. With zero issues. And I’ve put more rounds through it than the OEM hop. And it’s only a prototype.
After the first game using it, I wrote this and I still feel the same way about it:
I remember posting this and people asking me what sort of range I was getting. Back in my pre-PTW days, I tried all sorts of rubbers and nubs in Marui style hops and never saw any decisive gains.
As long as your Marui-style hop is working properly and your airseal is optimised, your range will be up there with pretty much everyone else.
When I first moved to PTWs I had a bit of a shock. Despite using a Tac’d OEM hop, before fully bedding in I found the PTW hop a little inconsistent in comparison with those in the Real Sword and ICS AEGs I’d been using latterly. Everything else that happened in the PTW, up to the point at which the BB got to the hop, was miles better than standard AEGs. But after the BB hit the hop? It took a while to bed in.
So about these Super Hop range questions. It doesn’t actually re-write the laws of physics. It’s more about correcting the areas where the OEM hop is lacking. It’s about how it adjusts (without having to drop the mag and fiddle about with an Allen key which you will then lose) and it’s about off the shelf consistency.
Very often, the next reply would proclaim, “But my OEM hop is like a laser!” OK – some OEM hops are better than others. The Tac’d OEM hop I got with my 2012 PTW *is* like a laser. But they are not all like that – even the Tac’d ones – and it is still a PITA to adjust.
But this is a PTW, right? With leet range and accuracy?
Well, the thing about the OEM hop is that it may not have been designed so much as an improvement over the Marui style hop, but out of necessity. It’s alleged that Marui stopped Systema using their classic hop design in PTWs. So instead we got an alternative and, I think, inferior design. It’s certainly inferior straight out of the box – otherwise there wouldn’t be an industry in mods to make the OEM hop shoot…like a Marui one.
So there are no gains using the Super Hop over a Marui hop? What’s super about that?
What’s super is the blending of the gold standard in AEGs (the PTW), with the gold standard in hops (Marui style). So you have the consistency, airseal and reliability of the PTW…matched with the consistency and predictability of the Marui style hop and its ease of use. I’m not just talking about adjustment here, but the use of Marui style rubbers. And yes – if you want to you can use your favourites from AEG-world (I hear from my friend Alan that there are marginal gains to be aggregated using the PDI W Hold).
There are also a number of areas which the Super Hop improves upon. Most notably for me is the way the barrel attaches to the hop. Gone is the difficult PTW barrel key, banished is the annoying Marui c-clip. The Super Hop uses hex bolts. The only downside is that the Super Hop requires a proprietary barrel. But I think Tac has been clever here, because he is now able to specify the exact barrel he chooses – and this stops bodges with alternative barrel choices, which would be a user support nightmare.
So the big question is, when will the Super Hop be commercially available? I really don’t know. But Tac has been collecting feedback from testers, in different territories, using different FPS, for some time. My role in this has been to give long term feedback – to tell Tac how this thing performs over years, not days or weeks.
I’m looking forward to the finished product.