So I picked up a couple screwless epee tips from Blade, I think they might made by X-fencing. Not really sure since they don't list the manufacturer, but on the front page they are selling X-fencing blades with these tips.
I haven't yet fenced with it (just put it on today), but here's my first impressions. I've also only wired the one so far. I have another one which I'll do later, so maybe that one will help me decide if I like them or not. That's why this is a first impressions post. I'm curious if anyone else has tried these yet and your thoughts.
Some concerns I have so far:
-Does not use a standard epee wire. Also, not sure where to buy more wires, Blade doesn't seem to sell them alone (I haven't looked through the other vendor sites for them yet). Instead of two contacts side-by-side that get bridged by the contact spring, it has a single post in the center and a ring around it for the two connections. The weight spring sits on the outer ring and bridges that connector to the tip. The tip then has a small pin in the center that meets the post on the wire when the tip is depressed.
-The wire did not seat into the barrel smoothly. I had to really coax it to get it set in the barrel.
-Also seems to use a proprietary spring, that's ever so slightly narrower than standard weight springs. This spring was also really soft, had to stretch it quite a bit to pass a weight test reliably.
-The wires had a thin coating on them (under the cloth sheathing) that had to be scraped off to actually make connection with the socket. Took me a bit to figure out why I wasn't getting any connectivity at first.
-It is occasionally grounding the B connector to the C. No clue why. The way I wired it, B is the center pin.
-It came with a tiny copper washer that I can't figure out what it's for *shrug*.
-It has a screw on the end which looks like it is for an external shim adjust, but it doesn't seem to do much. I can turn it all the way in or all the way out and it passes shims no problem. Also, just the design of it doesn't quite seem like that's what it is for. It's hard to explain in text, but it doesn't seem to actually affect the depth of the contact tab (not a contact spring, which is due to the special wire). It's like it controls the pressure to push in this little tab, although the weapon registers a touch as soon as it makes contact.