There's recently been talk of a brand new semiauto paintball pistol sold by NPS-NJ called the PT Enforcer. Although semiauto pistols aren't new, they haven't seen widespread use for one reason or another. Brass Eagle had the Eagle .68 available for a time, but the gun is now discontinued and has had many reports of problems. AGD has the Sydarm, but the gun is expensive and only available to law enforcement personnel. The Wolfpack and Sidekick Semi are relatively new semiauto pistols as well, but little end-user information is available so far. There have also been numerous custom PGPs ranging from the Cooper-T 'Imp' kit to the beautifully sculpted masterpieces from Palmer and Sam Tussing. But what's been missing is a semiauto sidearm that's solid, reliable and inexpensive. The PT Enforcer may finally be the gun that we've been hoping for.
I picked mine up last night as the local store had just gotten in a shipment of them. I was joined by the other 6 fellows that had pre-ordered the guns, and we eagerly tore open the packages to inspect our new toys. Straight away, the gun has a great solid feel to it (exactly 2 pounds when empty), thanks to the milled aluminum body. The layout is that of a standard stacked blowback, with the bottom tube housing the 12-gram and valve, midlle tube for the bolt and barrel, and finally a spring-loaded removable ammo tube on top. Rather like a PGP, actually. In fact, the PT Enforcer just fits into Sheridan's PGP holsters if you loosen the strap all the way. Sam Tussing's PGP holsters don't hold the PT Enforcer quite as securely (the trigger guard can't fit into the holster like the PGP), but I'm sure Sam will be able to make custom holsters for the gun once he gets his hands on one.
Chipley Custom Machine modified PGP and PT Enforcer
The quick change knob at the front of the gun fits somewhat loosely, and it can be rather difficult to remove with a half-full powerlet inside. A slot has been thoughtfully cut into the front of the knob to let you use a screwdriver or coin, however. The gun even has a thumb velocity adjuster at the rear, although it does not have a set screw to lock it in place, instead relying on an o-ring to keep the knob from turning. Another nice feature is that the gun has both rear and side cocking knobs, allowing the user to use whichever method they prefer. Personally, I took off the rear cocking knob right away, as the extended rod (no beavertail) is simply out of place on a small gun, especially if carried around cocked while holstered. The top ammo tube fits rather loosely, but a small bit of scotch tape to help shim it in place works wonders. Unfortunately, extra ammo tubes are not available as spare parts. We may have to wait a little while before it's possible to carry a few extra 'clips' around.
Rear cocking knob and velocity adjuster
Although the grip frame is plastic, it looks to be easily replaced with an aftermarket Spyder frame (the stock frame even has the silly staggered bottomline holes found on Kingman's guns). Since the frame is already in the popular .45 style, I suspect that many people will leave it as is (perhaps opting to toss on some nice comfy Hogue wraparound grips). Although I don't own a Spyder (and have never really taken apart one), I'm guessing that many parts on the PT Enforcer can by upgraded with Spyder parts (especially given the rumor that many of the PT Enforcer parts are from the Bruizer guns. The only clue as to the origin of the gun, however, is 'Made in Taiwan' on the outside of the box). In fact, modifying the gun into a direct-fed, bottomline version looks to be a rather straightforward task (though it would be rather silly to do this to a pistol, I'm sure many will perform the mod anyway).
The barrel of the gun is nothing to scream about, as it is simply a hole bored through the aluminum body. The surface finish is decent, and is anodized throughout the interior. What's odd about the barrel is that the bore size is monstrous - I measured it to be a whopping .710"!! I'm guessing that the manufacturer used an 18mm reamer to finish the bore (18mm equates to .708"). Yes, there most certainly is a ball detent on the gun (a hard rubber nubbin plate held by allen screws on the right side of the gun. Although the top of the body is milled with a 3/8" dovetail, adding a sight is impossible with the ammo tube in place. Still, it should come in handy should anyone wish to do a direct feed modification to the gun. Doc Nickel also noted that the bottom of the body is milled as a 1" Weaver-style accessory mounting rail for attaching flashlights, laser sights, etc.
The business end
Although the manual says to use the included 'alien wrenches' for disassembly, there are no tools included with the gun (alien or otherwise). As the gun is indeed an offshore product, you'll need a set of metric allen wrenches to strip it. Disassembly is very straightforward, and the manual does include an exploded diagram. Note in the photo below that although the ammo tube receiver is still attached to the body, it's very easy to remove (I just couldn't find a phillips screwdriver small enough during a brief hunt through the shop).
Exploded view of gun (click for a full-size image)
The only thing that I found odd was that helicoil inserts were used in the threads that receive the frame screws (pointed to by the yellow triangles in the below picture). I'm guessing that this was done to avoid stripping the threads in the expensive body if the frame screws are overtightened by the user - a very thoughtful addition!
Helicoil inserts in the body
One other nice feature is that the valve assembly is a single, integrated brass unit very much like those used in newer PGPs. The valve is held in place with a small brass screw in the bottom of the body, just like an Autococker. Unlike the Sheridan valves, however, the powerlet is pierced when the quick change knob is screwed in - no 'priming shot' is needed.
Brass valve assembly - a great idea borrowed from the PGP!
Since the bolt needs to be very short and placed as far back as possible for the gun to be kept a managable pistol size, the valve exhaust is actually forward of the bolt inlet hole by about 1.5 inches. To get the air from the valve to the bolt, a channel has been milled in the left side of the body, which is then covered by a gasket and plate secured by two allen screws.
Air channel in the left side of the gun
That's about all the 'at a glance' info on the gun so far. There will be 6 of us with PT Enforcers on the field tomorrow - stay tuned for news of how this little beauty actually performs!
(26 Jun 2000) Well, the gun had to come up short somewhere, and performance is where it is lacking. The gun's velocity out of the box is pretty abyssmal - even with the velocity adjuster turned all the way in, the gun shoots well under 200 fps. Removing the adjuster entirely and replacing it with a M6 set screw allows you to crank in only about a turn or two more before the hammer can't return back far enough for the sear to catch it. A heavier mainspring looks to be about the easiest solution to the problem, and I'll be looking for one the next time I go to the store. Still, for close quarters, a low velocity is appreciated by those receiving your fire - you don't need 280 fps when your target is only 15 feet away!
Something that cropped up on my gun was the hammer becoming wedged fully forward. A few gentle taps with a mallet freed it, however - I wouldn't expect to see this problem again once the gun is broken in. Another problem that I've seen on my gun and one other is double-feeding. The rubber nubbin can be positioned somewhat within the retaining plastic cover, but it's still rather easy for the ammo tube spring to feed a second ball into the chamber (sending the first ball rolling down the barrel thanks to the massive bore). Replacement with a wire-nubbin detent or a rubber detent more like those found on Tippmann guns would probably help.
One of the guys with a PT Enforcer had the end plug on the ammo tube come loose and fall out, hence loosing the spring as well. Since the end plug is simply press-fit into place, it would be wise to drill and tap a hole for a screw to keep the plug from falling out. Fortunately, NPS-NJ is expected to begin offering spare ammo tubes soon.
A very nice discovery is that 10-round tubes fit beautifully in the ammo tube receiver. It's possible to shoot quite fast with a 10 round tube in place by rocking the gun back between shots (a reflex that should be second nature to PGP users!)
Doc Nickel surmised that one of the culprits that is providing low velocity is the air channel that runs from the valve to the bolt - he wisely noted that its length is likely providing an appreciable delay before the bolt receives any air. It's quite possible that the bolt has partially opened before the air burst hits, venting gas that should have been used to propel the ball. Not only that, but if the inlet hole in the bolt is not centered over the feed hole in the body, power will be lost to turbulence around the thin metal lip of the bolt.
Additionally, the large barrel bore is a detriment to the gun's performance - any air that sneaks past the ball in the barrel is air that hasn't helped propel the ball. Boring out the barrel to a slightly larger size and then sleeving it back down to a more reasonable .688" or so should help boost velocity slightly.
I'll start in on modifying the gun in a few days to see what can be done to improve the performance. Stay tuned for more!
(29 Jun 2000) Talked with Dan Hurda last night, who runs the local store (shameless plug - visit the best paintball store in SE Wisconsin here!). Dan discovered several interesting things about the gun from his own tinkering and talks with NPS-NJ:
Oh, and we now have a forum for discussion of the PT Enforcer!
Have a look at http://network54.com/Hide/Forum/68872
Sam Tussing says he can certainly do custom holsters for the PT Enforcer.
Any interested people would have to send him their gun, as he does not
have a PT of his own and doesn't plan on getting one. (C'mon, Sam!
All the cool people have them! :-)
Switching to a clipped Pro-Lite spring appears to boost velocity on
the PT slightly - I was able to get 220 fps or so for the first few shots
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