Which Version should I get?
The Zinc is an amazing blaster. Powerful, accurate, compact, super ergonomic, fun mag ejection, and pretty solid, it’s the hobby’s go-to high-power secondary.
The Zinc has gone through a few versions over the years. Frontline Foam has produced over 1,000 Zincs to date (Oct 2023) and here’s some stuff you may not have known about it.
The Original Zinc 1.0 was released January 2021. Not too long ago!
The Zinc 1.0 was a first of its kind blaster. The original high-power pistol.
In a community poll we did in March 2021, the Zinc was voted the BEST secondary. Beating out other blasters such as revolvers and offerings from Dart Zone.
The 1.0 achieved around 140 FPS performance.
It featured a completely open slide and used some exotic hardware. It also had to be printed out of PETG or stronger material.
The mag release was a small lever, and assembly was known to be difficult due to the tight print tolerances required.
The Original 2.0 was released September 2021 by 118.design and Frontline Foam in partnership.
It boosted performance up to 175+ FPS and significantly lowered the hardware requirements.
In addition, it solved several of the initial problems the 1.0 faced in ease of assembly. having been redesigned with printability specifically in mind.
It replaced the open slide design with a more real-steel look, which some did not prefer.
It also featured a button mag release which was significantly more reliable and easier to assemble.
Frontline Foam and the Current Zinc 2.0
Fast forward a little bit, and Frontline Foam is the exclusive authorized seller of the Zinc.
Making a few design tweaks, assembly and tolerances were streamlined to take the standard build time of a Zinc down from 60min+ to 30min.
The hobby has also make several different add-ons and variantions of their own, such as different slide designs to honor the original 1.0 profile, additional features, and greater slide strength.
Some of the common assembly issues found and improved from the 1,000+ Zincs Frontline Foam has built are:
- Pulling the trigger doesn’t release the catch
- Rapid priming pre-maturely fires the blaster
- Stiff forward prime
- Thin slide walls resulting in broken slides
- Trigger printing with insufficient plateau shape
- Mag release requiring significant filing
- Slide not properly resetting
- Use of specific pin sizes instead of generic screws
- Widened clearance on the inside of the Top Slide Cover and Catch so that Catch has more range of motion which helps prevent the “Pulling the trigger doesn’t release the catch” problem
- Thickened Catch spring fingers to help prevent the “Rapid priming pre-maturely fires the blaster” issue
- and more
The most common variants are the Short Znc and Long Ziiiinc. Originally conceived by EricHelpDesk on Thingiverse, the Zinc has been pushed to further its limits with these variants. Boasting performance of over 200FPS with increased accuracy.
Metric sized pins
Standard Zinc 2.0
Imperial sized pins
Easier printing tolerances
~175 FPS performance standard
Short Nose Znc
Shorter barrel and plunger tube
Same main spring as standard
Capable of 160+ FPS performance
Long Nose Ziiiinc
Longer barrel and plunger tube
Full size K25 spring
Capable of 200+ FPS performance