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No Airsoft Distribution Batteries in the USA are "good". Mediocre at best.

CA Mechboxes are not that proprietary...and their springs are quite surprisingly good.

But swapping a "known" spring and still only getting 290 indicates more issues.

Who is the maker of the spring?
 

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I am surmising that the piston head o-ring may have given away...thus your fps drop. Don't buy anything else until you can confirm.
 

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Not needed...
 

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It depends.

Your 12:1 should be a set. How that set matches up to another set depends.
 

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You mean this:
Gear Automotive tire Bicycle part Rim Font


Working with this:
Rectangle Cylinder Office supplies Magenta Tints and shades

Yes it will.

as well as the 12:1 set.

White Gear Bicycle part Rim Bicycle drivetrain part
 

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There is no need to change the stock Cylinder. What would you change your stock bearings too? Bushing? Sure...but it depends.
 

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If you are referencing the pad being chewed and it being rubber (with grease softening it up and allowing the piston head to imprint on it).

That is not a variable in air leaks. Air leak issue would be the o-ring that is around the cylinder head. If the same rubber is used and the same grease that touched the head is on those seals...yes it can cause an air leak.
 

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That sector is in a less than ideal position.

With AR latch in a notch on the bevel gear to prevent rotation. Sector notch should have the tappet at rest.
Like this:
Auto part Electronic device Engineering Gun accessory Machine


Just pull out your sector and rotate it by 2-3 teeth position and put it back in so the tappet isn't flexed. Plus having it flexed like that makes it harder to snap the box back together.
 

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AOE is only measured when the sector picks up the piston.
Automotive tire Rim Metal Spoke Engineering


At final assembly, the gear should not be contacting the piston...otherwise as mentioned...you are not going to be able to close the box very easily.
 
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