There seems to be a lot of confusion about all the different variants of maple leaf buckings, which one is the best, what do you need to use one, what's the difference, etc.
So, I've made a video to explain it once and for all 😁
For those who don't like the audiovisual explanation, here's the write-up containing pretty much the same info.
Maple leaf buckings have a concave contact patch rather than a traditional hopup mound. This is the same principle as an R-hop, more contact surface = more backspin + more consistency.
I'm going to cover VSR buckings first, as the whole story mostly applies to VSR buckings. Maple leaf essentially makes two types of buckings: the delta variant and the diamond variant. To further complicate things, there are the old buckings (called diamond & delta buckings) and there are the new buckings (called autobot and decepticon). This image basically covers them all:
The difference is in the shape of the contact patch. While they are all concave, the delta patches have a triangle shape which ends in a single point. So the last contact with the bb is a single point. The diamond is split in the end and therefore has two contact points, which is more consistent and thus more accurate (theoretically). My personal experience also tells me the same. However, the delta has more contact area than the diamond because the patch is not split, so it could lift heavier bb's with the same fps. That being said, they both have concave patches and both can produce plenty enough lift, so I would say the diamond version is the best one :tup:
The difference between the old and the new buckings is not that great. The new ones have an anti-blow ring and are made of a different rubber, that's pretty much it. However, the new ones seem to wear a lot faster from what I've seen. I don't know if that's due to the different rubber, but I personally prefer the old one (the diamond one). If that's not available, then I would opt for the autobot instead.
Things to keep in mind
Now that we've discussed buckings, I should mention something you need to use this bucking (any of the VSR ML buckings): you will need an open, non-bridged barrel window. Which looks like this:
This is because the patch runs all the way to the back of the bucking, so it won't fit over a bridged barrel. If you have a bridged barrel, you can always file it off. If you don't have a barrel yet, I would recommend buying an action army VSR barrel, those are unbridged :tup:
The next thing you'll need along with any maple leaf bucking is a concave nub. M-nubs and flat nubs also work, but the concave is best since it applies the most even pressure. Maple leaf makes concave nubs. When used in a VSR however, this is a problem, as the VSR chamber won't accept aftermarket nubs. This can be solved by buying an AA chamber (one of the many advantages) which simply accepts aftermarket nubs.
If you don't want an AA chamber for whatever silly reason, then you can also opt for the special arm ML makes for the VSR chamber. This replaces the stock arm. They do suffer from poor quality control though, so it's a bit of a gamble whether you get a good arm. The AA chamber really is the best option (as usual) :hehe:
If you don't have a VSR however, then you can't use a VSR AA chamber. If you have a type 96, then you can get the type 96 AA chamber, but that one takes AEG barrels and buckings. Fortunately, maple leaf also makes AEG buckings!
Unfortunately, for some silly reason, they only make AEG buckings in the "delta" variant. So you can't get the diamond patch if you're using an AEG ML. The delta is not as good as the diamond, it's more like a flat hop while a diamond is more like an R-hop. That being said, it's still pretty darn good, and your best bet if you're not going to do an actual R-hop.
The AEG ML bucking obviously also requires the ML concave nub. What it does not need however, is an unbridged barrel. The AEG ML bucking does fit on a bridged barrel. There aren't even any non-bridged AEG barrels for as far as I know anyway. So you don't need to worry about that if you're using the AEG version in a type 96.
If you're installing this in a DMR (with an AEG chamber) then it is pretty much the same case :tup:
If you have an L96 AWS instead, then you can also install the maple leaf. The L96 AWS takes VSR barrels/buckings, so you can use the diamond bucking along with a VSR barrel. Along with the ML nub, of course. I have described how to install that in the stock L96 AWS chamber here (it's pretty straightforward):
Upgrading an L96 AWS platform
The last common platform these can be installed into is the KJW M700. These also take VSR barrels and buckings, but not the nub (and chamber, obviously). Fortunately, the stock M700 nub is already concave, and works pretty well so far in the setup I'm currently using, so I would recommend just using the stock nub along with the ML bucking here :hehe:
You can even install the ML in TM-style pistols. Maple leaf makes a "key" which fits into the TM-style GBB chamber, allowing you to use these buckings in GBB pistols as well! Gotta love this company 🙇
The last factor is the hardness of the bucking, measured in degrees. The lower the number, the softer the rubber, the higher the harder. Generally, for some reason, manufacturers recommend extremely hard buckings for high fps guns like the sniper rifles we use on this forum, such as 80 degrees. That is however, way too hard. I would personally never use any harder than 70 degree. Any harder, and you're really suffering accuracy, because the harder the rubber, the less grip you will have and the less consistent it will be. If you go softer than 70 degrees however, your bucking will start to wear out faster. 70 degrees last for a very long time however. Compare it to racing tyres, harder rubber = less grip but more durability. Softer rubber = more grip but wears out faster.
You can also go softer than 70 degrees. I personally like 60 degrees nowadays. You can expect a 60 degree maple leaf to last about 10k shots, which is still a lot. It's a tad more accurate than 70 degrees and has a bit more grip, but they will both work just fine. I would not however put 50 in a 500 fps gun as it will wear very quick and you may get airseal issues due to the soft rubber :hehe:
I think that covers everything! If you have any questions or remarks, be sure to post them here or just shoot me a PM :yup: