Since its release in 2011, Dye has released a slew of bolts to help move the marker forward. While there is no perfect bolt for every situation, the list below will outline the differences and changes made as they evolved. We will also look at a third party bolt released by Tech T (The L7) and how it stacks up against the Dye bolts.
Gen 1 Dye Bolt
The Gen 1 Dye was originally shipped with the dam upon its release. It is easily identifiable due to its all silver polished body, and wide oval holes in the bird cage. This bolt has been known to have performance issues when users attempted to turn up their FPS beyond 275 FPS. Some users experienced leaks, but this may have been attributed to the fact that users were using HPA tanks whose regulators outputs were set to well above the ideal operating pressures for the Dam. For example, the Dams ideal operating pressure is between 500-600 PSI. Users hooking up 800+ PSI tanks reported having leaks with this bolt.
Gen 2 Dye Bolt
This bolt was released as a replacement for the sometimes troublesome Gen 1 bolt. It remedied issues reported by some users pertaining to possible leaking when trying to achieve speeds greater than 265FPS. The visual characteristics that make this bolt identifiable are the line etched around the circumference of the can, and the additional holes added to the cage. The holes are now in the pattern of circles and ovals.
Iron Men Bolt
This bolt was released in late 2013. This green anodized and polished bolt boasted less friction between the bolt and the can, and a newly added rubber tip which was designed to be more forgiving on softer shelled paint and brittle paint as a whole. This bolt is meant for use in Magfed and Rotor applications, but not advised for use with First Strike Rounds as the protruding rubber tip may sometimes flip the round as it enters the breech.
Gen 3 - (The Box Rotor Bolt)
This bolt was released in around 2014/15. This bolt originally shipped with the Dye Box rotor. This bolt featured a tapered bolt tip which prevented paintballs from being scalped when using the box rotor. Because of the addition of the milled tapered red tip, it was no longer possible to remove the bolt through the can, and as a result the tip is now threaded and removable. This bolt now ships as a standard bolt for the Dye Dam (2016). It no longer comes with the box rotor in box. This bolt has become one of the preferred bolts for FSR users as it doesn't have a rubber tip which might interfere with FSR feeding.
Tactical Iron Man Bolt
This bolt was released with the intention of being an upgrade. It features all the best features of its predecessors, namely; Green anodized polished finish, rubber tip, tapered bolt tip, and upgraded boost tube(Cage). This bolt has been said to be your best option for magfed, fsr, hopper, and box rotor usage.
Tech T - L7
This third party bolt by Tech T was designed as an attempt to increase the Dams overall efficiency and lower its sound signature. The producers of this bolt claim that because of its lower operating pressure requirements and lower dwell, it produces less kick, and a decreased sound signature, which in turn provide better accuracy due to the decrease in kick. This bolt has received mixed reviews in the community. Its major drawbacks are that it greatly suffers from FSBS (First Shot Bolt Stick), meaning, your first shot will sometimes fail to engage the bolt, but the following shots will fire successfully. But if you dont shoot your marker again for 3-4 minutes you experience FSBS again. Some have said that a finer lubricant rectifies this issue, others have yet to replicate these results. The bolt itself only comes with the bolt and buffer tube, you must provide your own can.
Originally the Dye Dam shipped with an orange detent (Right in photo). This mode
Orange Detent VS Red Detent
Originally the Dye Dam shipped with an orange detent (Right in photo). This model detent was silently upgraded 2 years after release after users reported that they quickly lost their form and allowed for multiple balls to feed. The new red version (Left in photo) are more rigid, and hold their form for longer periods of time. They also feature a small hole as seen in the photo to easier differentiate them.