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Do you just mean "people in general"? Cause literally no one on this thread has made that case.
People in general seem to think that. I have people say stuff like that to me often.

You said -
"Most dudes that have built finely tuned DSGs have spent as much or more on their sports car AEG. It just death by a thousand cuts instead of eating the cost all at once."

I get the point you are trying to make. I'm not talking about your comment specifically. AEG people will talk about how expensive HPA is, but then have over a $1000 in their AEG. Hypocrisy... I was just pointing out that I'm a dude with a finely tuned DSG with $300 into it. It can be done cheaply, and be reliable. I do see other people make the argument that HPA is expensive, but to get an AEG to perform similarly, you need to go DSG, and that costs similar money as HPA.
 

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You can certainly build a low budget DSG that will function great. But if you spend any time on the Facebook, Reddit, etc Airsoft Tech and DSG groups that's not what a majority of builds will be. The build lists for these DSGs will be all Gucci and start something like this:

Retro Arms Split V2 gear box
Kratos Piston
Siegetek Gearset
FLT bushings or high end bearings
Gate Titan advanced
Brushless or other high end motor

and we haven't even got into the body, barrel, hop, etc. That's probably where the misconception comes from that a well built DSG needs to be high end. So don't see too many folks on those groups showing off their Combat Machine/SHS Gearset DSG, though they do pop up from time to time.
 

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Well from the "people" that you see selling their DSG or complaining about how it sucks or it's busted, you'd think that they're harder to do or easier to break. Never built one nor do I want to, but usually higher power springs are harder on gearbox shells, motors, and gears.
 

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Well from the "people" that you see selling their DSG or complaining about how it sucks or it's busted, you'd think that they're harder to do or easier to break. Never built one nor do I want to, but usually higher power springs are harder on gearbox shells, motors, and gears.
I have found when correctly built, DSGs are just as, or if not more reliable than SSGs. Yea you have a heavier spring but the piston is only going half the distance. People blindly follow reddit suggestions, blind leading the blind. Of course people build SSGs wrong too. 35k motor with 12:1 SSG and a 1000mah lipo in a PDW stock. Yea, you are going to have problems. Saw one guy put a 45k brushless motor on 14:1 DSG and 11.1v lipo wondering why it broke. Like, who told you to do that? lol...
 

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I wanna do a 9:1 brushless setup on 14.8 80C batteries. Whatever motor will move the gears fastest on an M90 or an M230 spring.
Make that on a QSG too...
 

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7075 is probably better for a gearbox vs titanium. I do wish there were more titanium parts in airsoft due to how easy titanium is to anodize. I've made some really cool anodized titanium knives. Just need a good power supply and some nail polish.
 

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Yeah, selective anodizing is sick, there's some guy in IG doing it with aluminum on Hi-Capas. There's some titanium AEG gears on Evike for pretty cheap, might be a cool thing.
Green Product Gesture Font Line
 

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Aluminum anodizing is annoying. God bless the people that do it. It just annoys me, just like this nickel plating I'm trying out. Nickel plating airsoft crap metal has its issues. I'm just going to stick to KG GunKote application.
 

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There's some titanium AEG gears on Evike for pretty cheap, might be a cool thing.
Unfortunately, a forum member tested those and they were unusable—too weak. Which is sad anyways.

Quick summary of my long rambling: HPA will always perform better, but the entry cost of HPA is always higher than AEGs (I’m talking entry level stuff here, not Krytacs and crap).

I understand why people think HPA costs more. The upfront costs for the expensive engines (obviously Polarstars cost tons more than the mechanical versions), regulators, tanks, etc, makes your Evike shopping cart look pretty big… until you get sucked into AEG upgrades.

There are two kinds of upgraded AEG: budget and fancy. I can’t in any way claim to be some sort of AEG martyr—$800 worth of HPA will absolutely perform better than $800 worth of Krytac LVOA and parts. However, I find there is still something to be said for cheaper AEGs. For max performance, HPA will always win, because of the very high limits of the platform, but if we start talking about performance for the money than AEGs start to have a chance.

The issue with DSG ime is that the low cylinder volume hurts you playing outdoors. If you play indoors, ignore this section, but for me as an outdoor player it does matter, so that limits my choice of primary to SSG. I have built a DSG (albeit a slow one), and to throw in my own two cents, it wasn’t harder than an SSG, though I didn’t explore the full difficulty level. Some of the parts were absolutely under more stress though. For example, I changed the build from SSG to DSG and kept the piston, a supercore 3/4 metal rack piston. Despite holding up beautifully to my 37 RPS SSG, the piston failed almost instantly in the 37 RPS DSG, thanks to the stronger spring stripping the plastic pickup.

But, sticking with SSG; you can never achieve the pure level of trigger response and full auto speed that HPA and DSGs have, without some ungodly teching, so going for equal performance is out of the question. However, I can take a $150-200 stock AEG, put ~$100 of parts in it, and bring the (outdoors) competitive functionality up to 85% of HPA. Some guns may only take a couple of choice parts. Diminishing returns kicks in strongly after this, but with a good base gun and some decent teching you can have an excellent replica for ~$300. Say $40 for a quality battery and digital smart charger. So for $340 ish, give or take a wide margin, you can put yourself together a really good AEG setup that can probably have some nice elements to it. For example, I can take a stock Arcturus M4 variant for $200, put 13:1 gears, a PDI W-hold hop rubber, and still have enough money out of my $100 for a Perun Hybrid.

The question then becomes, how much do the cheapest HPA setups cost? Along with tank, line, and reg, is it even possible to buy a new gun and engine along with everything you need? Obviously used items are an option, but I thought I’d keep my comparison to new replicas and parts.

I know a guy who uses a ~$100 Cyma M4 as his primary. Aside from the outsides feeling like a toy, the thing is really good for the price. It’s well shimmed, does 20 RPS on an 11.1v (excellent idea, right??), and after a half hour of labor to do my ”flathop” mod, it floats BBs as good as anything. His battery and charger cost $25, so for $125 and some work he has a decent replica. There are certainly some downsides, but could you ever build an HPA setup for under $125? Even if you were machining parts yourself?

I don’t go HPA myself for two reasons; first I love tinkering, as Jimps said, specifically with motors and gears and nozzles and such. Second, I don’t have anywhere in the vicinity where I could fill my tanks, so unless I want to own my own compressor, I couldn’t economically make it work anyways. :p
 

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unless I want to own my own compressor
I recently purchased a compressor marketed to air guns for ~$200 USD on Black Friday and it works well. Takes ~10 mins to fill 26/3k.

I know that everyone's financial situation is different but this probably fits into the budget that you are dropping for AEG upgrade parts.

couldn’t economically make it work anyways
I used a bicycle style pump and elbow grease for years. Side benefit was I got a pretty good arm/shoulder workout and a little cardio too 😉.
 

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Air compressor would definitely fit into the budgets for some of those fancy AEGs out there. But at this point I truly can’t justify buying the compressor + whatever an HPA rig would cost, compared to the fun I’ll have with an AEG that costs the same as the compressor.

Bicycle pump—now there’s an idea! I didn’t know bicycles pumps did that much pressure! :p I could definitely get behind that.
 

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I recently purchased a compressor marketed to air guns for ~$200 USD on Black Friday and it works well. Takes ~10 mins to fill 26/3k.

I know that everyone's financial situation is different but this probably fits into the budget that you are dropping for AEG upgrade parts.



I used a bicycle style pump and elbow grease for years. Side benefit was I got a pretty good arm/shoulder workout and a little cardio too 😉.
I started with an handpump. But then the pump broke, so I purchased an air gun compressor.


Unfortunately, a forum member tested those and they were unusable—too weak. Which is sad anyways.

Quick summary of my long rambling: HPA will always perform better, but the entry cost of HPA is always higher than AEGs (I’m talking entry level stuff here, not Krytacs and crap).

I understand why people think HPA costs more. The upfront costs for the expensive engines (obviously Polarstars cost tons more than the mechanical versions), regulators, tanks, etc, makes your Evike shopping cart look pretty big… until you get sucked into AEG upgrades.

There are two kinds of upgraded AEG: budget and fancy. I can’t in any way claim to be some sort of AEG martyr—$800 worth of HPA will absolutely perform better than $800 worth of Krytac LVOA and parts. However, I find there is still something to be said for cheaper AEGs. For max performance, HPA will always win, because of the very high limits of the platform, but if we start talking about performance for the money than AEGs start to have a chance.

The issue with DSG ime is that the low cylinder volume hurts you playing outdoors. If you play indoors, ignore this section, but for me as an outdoor player it does matter, so that limits my choice of primary to SSG. I have built a DSG (albeit a slow one), and to throw in my own two cents, it wasn’t harder than an SSG, though I didn’t explore the full difficulty level. Some of the parts were absolutely under more stress though. For example, I changed the build from SSG to DSG and kept the piston, a supercore 3/4 metal rack piston. Despite holding up beautifully to my 37 RPS SSG, the piston failed almost instantly in the 37 RPS DSG, thanks to the stronger spring stripping the plastic pickup.

But, sticking with SSG; you can never achieve the pure level of trigger response and full auto speed that HPA and DSGs have, without some ungodly teching, so going for equal performance is out of the question. However, I can take a $150-200 stock AEG, put ~$100 of parts in it, and bring the (outdoors) competitive functionality up to 85% of HPA. Some guns may only take a couple of choice parts. Diminishing returns kicks in strongly after this, but with a good base gun and some decent teching you can have an excellent replica for ~$300. Say $40 for a quality battery and digital smart charger. So for $340 ish, give or take a wide margin, you can put yourself together a really good AEG setup that can probably have some nice elements to it. For example, I can take a stock Arcturus M4 variant for $200, put 13:1 gears, a PDI W-hold hop rubber, and still have enough money out of my $100 for a Perun Hybrid.

The question then becomes, how much do the cheapest HPA setups cost? Along with tank, line, and reg, is it even possible to buy a new gun and engine along with everything you need? Obviously used items are an option, but I thought I’d keep my comparison to new replicas and parts.

I know a guy who uses a ~$100 Cyma M4 as his primary. Aside from the outsides feeling like a toy, the thing is really good for the price. It’s well shimmed, does 20 RPS on an 11.1v (excellent idea, right??), and after a half hour of labor to do my ”flathop” mod, it floats BBs as good as anything. His battery and charger cost $25, so for $125 and some work he has a decent replica. There are certainly some downsides, but could you ever build an HPA setup for under $125? Even if you were machining parts yourself?

I don’t go HPA myself for two reasons; first I love tinkering, as Jimps said, specifically with motors and gears and nozzles and such. Second, I don’t have anywhere in the vicinity where I could fill my tanks, so unless I want to own my own compressor, I couldn’t economically make it work anyways. :p

The last build was VFC 416a5($450), P* F2($440), P* UGS($275), Brownells Milspec buffer tube tap($65). Total $1165.
(RHopped with a spare barrel and hop chamber I have)
 

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Heavy BBs, Feel Good Farms
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I like that hand pump quite a lot, I take it with me when I go play, but I use my 6 year old Yong Heng compressor to fill beforehand as it's easy and a little faster.

You can get into HPA if you use an AliExpress regulator, make an air line out of AliExpress HPA fittings and air line, and don't get a dumb engine. The N7 and Mancraft engines are good and cheap, with the Jack being the next best engine. The Wolverine engines, F1, F2, and Fusion aren't really worth it unless you can get them cheap, but buying a used engine can be a bit of a gamble sometimes, especially when you get it from a younger person who plays speedsoft, as their engines tend to have been bought used a couple times before you do. But yeah, say $250 for a Mancraft shipped, don't remember the exact price, but close. Air line can be had for $15 or so if you just use normal line and cheap fittings, and an okay tank can be had for $60. Get aluminum, definitely don't get steel. Regulator is another $45 on AliExpress, and there you are, HPA setup for $370 without buying used. You won't have full auto, but that's really not a big con when your trigger isn't connected to a motor. Compare that to a decent MOSFET, gears, piston, motor, cylinder, cylinder head, nozzle, batteries, charger, and whatever else, and you're not far, or maybe even over depending on what you get. You can pay $500 for a setup all at once, or $500 over a longer period of time, and have a $500 AEG that will very likely not be as good as the HPA gun.

As for high end builds, you can max out both, but the HPA may actually be cheaper if you have your senses about you and don't buy a Fusion Engine or Wolverine engine, and don't get a Retro Arms gearbox to hold your engine.

I've come to realize that it's difficult to get into airsoft and have a good time for less than $400 after helping my friend start, as there's so many bad guns and batteries you can buy, and most guns I've used just kind of suck to use. Not saying HPA is better, but airsoft isn't as cheap as people make it out to be if you need to buy mags, gear, charger, batteries, BBs, field fee, gas, and all that. May be hard to hear for some, but it's better than spending $150 on a sniper and then never playing again, and having wasted $150 plus whatever else you spent.
 
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