So this might normally be a little out of place here, but I've been having some fun with Ego's lately:
They say that the only upgrade to an Ego is a new owner. That statement was true until today. The Techt Kush bolt. This bolt improves all areas of your Ego’s performance without detracting anything. In the past there have been a lot of different arguments about the benefits of changing the stock bolt on your ego to aftermarket bolts, and I have traditionally believed that Planet Eclipse always provided the best options for their guns. To this day the Kush bolt is the only upgrade to my Ego that I have successfully made that has not caused me to lose performance in another area. A bold statement? True. To back this statement up we need to take a look at the bolt itself.
The first thing I noticed when I received the bolt initially was the superb quality of the bolt itself. The delrin used is of the highest quality; the precision milling removed all unnecessary aspects of the bolt while maintaining its full integrity; & the o-rings are sized to fit snuggly inside your ego (they even send a spare pair slightly larger in case your breach a bit in the large side). As for the cushion itself, it fits on the end of the bolt just like a front o-ring and acts as such, sealing the chamber on the front end of the bolt. The rubbery material of the cushion provides just enough flexibility to be soft on paint while remaining firm enough to push past the detents and maintain consistent shape. The air inlet is very similar to the Venturi design of the Hush bolt series, but has five airways leading into the bolt instead of six. From there it opens into a single chamber to the end of the bolt.
As any baller with a new gadget I was eager to get out and use my new Kush bolt. The first opportunity I had was at a local speedball field. First thing I needed to do when I swapped my Kush bolt in was rechrono my Ego 11. It was shooting 15 FPS over what it was shooting with my Cure 3+. When I got onto the field and started playing the first difference I noticed was in the sound signature of the gun. It wasn’t necessarily quieter, but the sound of it firing was definitely less of a crack than with my stock bolt, muting the sharpness enough that it felt easier for me to hear and communicate with my teammates. This is a huge benefit, as the sound signature of the Ego line was one of my few complaints when I first started using them. After a few more games I began to notice something else as well; the groupings on my shots were a little tighter than normal, I couldn't begin to tell you why, but needless to say I was hooked on the Kush bolt from that day forward.
Fast forward a few months to today & I have relied on my Kush bolt at UWL finals in Chicago, at a big game scenario, & dozens of practices & rec games. I have also learned a few more things about the Kush: 1. I was getting better efficiency out of my marker (80-100 balls per fill) & 2. My Kush bolt was not chopping a single paintball. I’ve recommended this bolt to a dozen of my teammates which I’m assuming has led to me being asked to write this review.
Once charged with reviewing the Kush bolt, I was determined to compare actual empirical evidence on the bolt’s performance:
Desert Edge Ego 11
All board settings at factory
LPR two turns in from flush
Shaft 4 Barrel kit sized at .685 (bore matched with paint)
Ninja HP 68/4500 CA tank
4 cases of fresh Valken Redemption paint from the same skiff.
FPS and Consistency (100 shots per bolt removing top & bottom five as anomalies)
Cure 3+: 275-287
Kush bolt*: 290-298
*unadjusted between bolts
Accuracy at 30 yards adjusted to 285fps (100 shots per bolt removing outermost five as anomalies)
Cure 3+: 14 inch spread
Kush: 11 inch spread
The results surprised me at first, I wasn't expecting this large of a disparity between the two. I expected a little better efficiency, sound, & protection against chopping; but I never expected such a significant improvement on my accuracy. The tighter range of FPS consistency on the Kush explains why I was experiencing tighter groupings. It wasn’t shooting the paint any more accurately, just more consistently which none the less improved the overall accuracy of my Ego. A very pleasant surprise.
As for the bolts protection against chopping paint, After 10 cases of paint through my Kush bolt I have yet to chop a single paintball, even at 20bps.
In summary, this simple upgrade to your ego will protect you against breach breaks; improve your efficiency, consistency, & the sound signature of your gun. It will however, not make you a better player or win your next tourney for you. So if you are looking to drastically improve your game, get out and actually PRACTICE.
Our team at UWL finals in chicago.
EDIT: Planet Eclipse has been kind enough to respond to my review & I'm happy to include their input.
With regard to the Cure bolts ability to shoot fragile paint, the Deftek feed of the body combines with the advanced Geometry of the bolt face and body to be as delicate as possible with the ball. The Cure3 and Cure3+ are shaped so that there is zero roll-back of the ball, matching the balls incoming trajectory from the Deftek, and cupping the ball gently in the face of the bolt. The Cure4 has a very soft cushioned and ramped face and dual o-rings that produce minimum impact stress on the ball during loading and reduced chance of clipping the second ball in the feed stack.
We believe that nobody has done as extensive research using HD high speed video recording equipment with special clear and windowed guns as us to try and understand the causes of paint breakages both in the feed, the breech and the barrel. Our tooltip designs haven't come about through accident. They are designed based on extensive and ongoing research using the latest techniques and equipment.
Planet Eclipse Ltd
I agree with their statement. I've never had chopping issues with Cure3 bolts. I've also never had chopping issues with the Kush bolts. I would be interested to get my hands on a Cure4 to compare to the Kush bolt since they utilize a similar philosophy regarding using a cushion at the end of the bolt to soften it's impact on paint in the feedstack.
Otherwise, we all know why Eclipse doesn't use orings throughout the bolt. If you are the type of player who doesn't regularly clean your gun then I wouldn't recommend a bolt with more orings. However, if you take apart and clean your breach/bolt each time you play, you shouldn't have any issues with the Kush bolt.