(24 May Update: I tested this in the war yesterday, and it worked very well. See the bottom of this post for details.)
I mostly use high-powered blasters, so I rarely have problems feeding silicone domes in my hoppers. However, out of all my blasters, the ESLT has the highest sustained rate of fire, and so I'd like to be able to use it more often during wars. Unfortunately, it is not as high-volume or as powerful as the +bows, Big Blasts, whatever else, so it doesn't always fire a silicone dome dart. What I've noticed is that the silicone sticks against the bottom of the wye, rather than sliding forward as a felt-tipped dart does.
Zorn's solution in this thread is really good; from what I've seen, it works perfectly. However, I don't have access to a lathe, and I would prefer to not use power tools where it's not necessary. I ordered a 6"x6" sheet of 1/32" thick teflon-PTFE from McMaster, part 8711K93
, which I figured would be smooth enough that the silicone dome would just slip along and seat itself, rather than have to deal with any plastic machining. I can cut this sheet with scissors (which is exactly what I did).
At the left, the piece that I install in the wye is visible. It is 1" wide and 1-3/8" long. The sheet is backed with material that is adhesive-ready (that is, it binds to glue, which teflon does not do), but so far, I haven't had to glue it in place on any of my wyes. It is very easy to install, even on blasters (like the ESLT) where the wye is fixed and it isn't easy to get direct access to the inside.
If the wye is detachable, just roll the sheet into a U-shape and slip it into the base of the wye. 1-3/8" is the length from input to input so it should fit end-to-end from the barrel to the stub that attaches to the blaster. 1" wide is enough that it sits comfortably in the wye and covers all the places where the dart might sit. As I said, I haven't found adhesives to be necessary so far. The sheet holds its shape very well and doesn't seem to attempt to flatten out or otherwise misbehave.
If the wye is not easily detachable, it's still fine. I took one of my cut pieces and pushed it into place in my ESLT via the dart tube input. It takes a little bit of force, but the sheet is sufficiently deformable that the eraser end of a pencil was able to get it inside the wye. Here's a photo.
It's not super easy to photograph. Here's an attempt to see inside the back of a wye (the teflon sheet has a sort of blue glow in this photo); this is the wye that I use on my Maximizer. It's apparent that the sheet is barely impacting airflow in the system, there's a tiny lip visible through the stem that sticks up. I could probably mash the edge of the teflon sheet down and get it to stay that way if I put in a little bit more effort with a pencil or something.
I put about 100 shots through my Maximizer and ESLT with silicone dome darts (approximately fifty per blaster). I had three total misfires: two darts just kind of squirted out of the Maximizer barrel, and one dart just squirted out of the ESLT barrel. Most importantly, I never had a mis-feed on either blaster, and these darts were a mixture of good shape to not-so-good shape darts. I would like to test this in a war before making any kind of declarative statements of its effectiveness, but in this limited testing environment it seems to be a pretty good inclusion. There's a war on Saturday so I'll give it a try then and see if I have any additions to this post after that.
This solution is easiest if you have a bunch of blasters that need hopper clips. I'm sure Ryan and Kane would like to be able to include a little stub of this in their blasters since it would negate the need for cornstarching darts, which is a distinctly suboptimal practice and I don't like it. One 6"x6" sheet of this stuff should be enough for about eighteen wyes; if you're already making a McMaster order (that is, discounting shipping), that's roughly $0.61 plus a minute of almost no effort per wye. It probably wouldn't be very much added difficulty to glue them in place, but I haven't tried using glues with this material yet.
I exclusively used wyes with teflon in their basin at the war yesterday. In particular, I used the ESLT about half of the day; I had about three total misfires during the day, and I was exclusively using silicone dome darts that had already been used (which usually makes them a little bit worse). This is a really low misfire rate, for the hundreds of shots that I put through the blaster. I'm very happy with this.
I was also getting some double-fires out of a few of my blasters (QEV homemade, Sceptor) but that was probably more due to barrel length/type than it was the wye, especially since the QEV blaster has an eight inch barrel.
Edited by Ice Nine, 24 May 2015 - 03:42 PM.