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Does the material of the Hop-Up bucking matter?

2024-02-13

How to choose a hop-up bucking for airsoft gun?

Probably the best way to tune an airsoft gun at the beginning is to change its hop-up bucking. This is a relatively simple upgrade that usually does not even require us to break the service seal of the replica, which does not deprive us of any warranty. Of course, the details vary depending on the specific case, so it's hard to speak generally here. However, there is no doubt that even novice service technicians start with this system.

The problem arises at the stage of selecting the right part for our requirements. Hop-up bucking are built in different standards depending on whether they are dedicated to AEG or gas-powered replicas. Apart from these two standards, there are basically no others, because even sniper replicas use one of these solutions. Generally, it can be said that these two types of bucking coincide with the corresponding types of inner barrels. Paradoxically, those for GBB replicas are more often found in sniper spring replicas, but that's a topic for another article. In addition to the shape of the rubber, its other parameters are also important.

Briefly about the hardness of hop-up bucking

Before we delve into why manufacturers use different types of materials to produce the described elements, it is worth answering the question why they should do it at all. In fact, when it comes to spinning the BB, it probably doesn't matter what we do it with. Well, not necessary. It matters quite a lot. When choosing the right hardness of our rubber, we must answer a few questions.

How heavy BBs will we be using? Basically, the heavier ones require a harder compound from which the hop-up bucking are made. These are not very high requirements. It's not that slightly heavier BBs will require a much harder spinner. But the general rule is just that. This is mainly to minimize the wear of our rubber. Heavier BBs put more pressure on it and can wear it faster. Personally, though, I don't pay too much attention to it. This is important, but in times when the rubber itself is not too expensive and its replacement is not complicated, shopping aimed only at extending its life is pointless. Besides, I haven't managed to get the BB booster completely yet. I replace these parts more often because I want to try something new. But that may be my special case.

tweezers and red hop-up bucking at airsoft workshop

Above: Eraser HU THO-R for AEG / HPA / GBLS replicas


What is the power of our airsoft gun? As with the weight of the BBs, the higher it is, the harder the rubber we will need. This time, in my opinion, it is worth taking it more into account and not using bucking dedicated to weaker replicas to the stronger ones. This is where the gradual descriptions of the rubbers used by the manufacturers come to our aid. As a general rule, the higher the value, the harder the rubber. For assault airsoft guns of a kind, the golden mean is those with a hardness of 60 degrees. It doesn't hurt to go a little higher or lower than this rule sometimes, depending on our needs.

Under what conditions do we use our airsoft gun? In winter or generally at lower temperatures, we will need a softer BB. The material from which they are made most often hardens as a result of low temperature. For replicas that we use in winter, it is worth considering using a softer compound.

So, what are hop-up bucking made of?

Once we know what our requirements for the hop-up bucking are, we can think about what material to look for this part. Basically, in airsoft we have two main raw materials that are used for production. The first are various types of rubber compounds and the second is silicone. Both of these materials have their advantages, but they are also not free from disadvantages. Depending on what we care about, we can choose one of them.

Silicone rubbers of their time were very popular. They were a hot novelty that everyone wanted to test after years of working with boring solutions based on rubber compounds. Their indisputable advantages include resistance to cold and softness. Even in sub-zero temperatures, they can retain their properties and spin the BBs well. They are also, one might say, stickier. The point is that even soft rubbers spin up heavier BBs well. This builds their universality. Unfortunately, they are not very durable. They don't last as long as other solutions. What's probably the worst is that they are very delicate to assemble. I ripped the first few silicone rubbers just trying to install them in the replica. I know I'm not the only one who has done this. They are certainly a good proposition for people shooting in colder climates and for snipers who need a good, strong spin even for heavy BBs. They will not appeal to people who expect durability.

blue hop-up bucking at the airsoft workshop

Above: hop-up bucking included in R-Hop N24 Gen 2 kit

The second group consists of rubbers based on rubber compounds. And here, in principle, one could venture into far-reaching distinctions. Each manufacturer has its own special blend. This is more emphasized than in the case of moulded silicone parts, because here sometimes you can see the differences even with the naked eye. For example, the company Psionic, already described on the Gunfire blog, uses a mixture of polyurethane materials, which makes their rubbers transparent. As if they were made of silicone. Other manufacturers experiment with different hardness of the material. The biggest disadvantage of these rubbers is that they are often simply too hard. They are not suitable for weaker replicas or lighter BBs or become completely unusable in winter. Hence the popularity of models that, despite being made of rubber, are relatively soft. Their greatest advantage, in turn, is their resistance to both assembly stress and the ability to withstand high mileage.

How to choose a hop-up bucking for yourself?

Choosing the right hop-up bucking is not an easy task. It is difficult to point to one universal part that will serve everyone. It is therefore worth seeking the opinion of people who have tried before us and can talk about their experiences. Additional points if such a person has the same airsoft gun, inner barrel and hop-up chamber as us.

If you don't know where to start and the advice found on the Internet doesn't convince you, then unfortunately you can look for it yourself. It is worth starting with a rubber made of polyurethane plastic with a hardness of around 60 degrees. We can try several different producers. If we are not satisfied with the parameters, it is worth considering why. If the overclocking is too weak, you should look for a softer mixture. If it's too strong, you can think about a harder one. Over time, like many players and servicemen, we will come to a favourite solution.

 

Author: Boreq

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