Hoppers are simple, powerful, and reliable, but ball valves take forever to reload. Instead of feeding darts one by one like an asshole, replace the entire hopper like a magazine - a Mackazine.
This uses a 3D-printed part, which you should print at crappy resolution with 15% infill. If you're not a member of the glorious 3D printer master race, you could mold one out of epoxy putty or ShapeLock or even carve it out of wood.
- A hopper's worth of PVC pipe
- An endcap or plug
- Heavy-duty tape like Gorilla Tape
- One tape measure, to be sacrificed for the greater good
- One 3D printed / handmade retainer (STL attached)
- Two spare self-tapping screws (about 1/8")
STEP 1: Glue your endcap or plug into the hopper. Blasphemy.
STEP 2: Cut a 5 3/4" segment of tape measure. Drill 1/8" holes 1/4" and 1/2" from one end. These measurements are easier than usual because you're cutting a tape measure.
STEP 3: Cut a strip of tape long enough to cover the tape measure. Fold it over the tape measure. Use heavy-duty tape - the glue on electrical or duct tape can soften in heat and expose the razor-sharp metal.
STEP 4: Use two screws to fasten the retainer to the strip, right through the tape.
STEP 5: Tape the retainer assembly to the hopper. Your Mackazine is done!
STEP 6: Optional: Sand the edge off your blaster's wye to make reloading easier.
To fill a Mackazine, just shove darts into the pipe, heavy side up. You don't even need to hold the retainer open.
To load a Mackazine, align the retainer with the wye and swing the mag into place. The tape measure will give way with an audible snap and release the darts.
You can carry them in a magazine pouch - one AR15 pouch will hold two. The pictured rig is a Voodoo Tactical Six-Mag Drop-Leg Shingle
purchased from Amazon. Note that one magazine pouch is deliberately not loaded with Mackazines - mags in that pouch could jab my lower body if I jumped too aggressively. Gotta be safe!
TACTICOOL CONSIDERATIONS: The main advantage that Mackazines hold over a dart-by-dart system (ball valve, Hole Door, breech) is that the darts don't need to be oriented as they're inserted. You don't need to pull a handful of darts from a dump bag and turn them around as you insert them, which improves situational awareness while reloading.
The main downside is the weight of the Mackazines. The pictured 10x10 loadout didn't affect my agility, but it was heavy and fatiguing over time. For extended wars like Apoc, I plan to carry just four extra Mackazines and retreat to reload if necessary.
Edited by Zack the Mack, 30 July 2016 - 04:06 PM.