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[Product Advisory] - Counterfeit Prometheus Barrels

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Old August 2nd, 2013, 12:09   #1
Stealth
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Join Date: Dec 2001
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Arrow [Product Advisory] - Counterfeit Prometheus Barrels

It has come to our attention that there have been counterfeit Prometheus barrels floating around for some time.

More info here:



Prometheus barrels are mildly magnetic, and counterfeit barrels are noticeably more magnetic. Using a telescoping pointer with a (some sort of rare earth) magnet at the end, the real Prometheus barrel can not be picked up entirely from the magnetic attraction. The counterfeit can be fully supported, even through the side of the packaging. Possibly a few more pictures to come showing some of the slight physical differences in the barrel.

The crowning in the outer end of the prommy is shallower and the barrel also has a nice bevel around the outer edge, where the counterfeit does not. Likewise, on the Prommy, the feeding end of the barrel has both a shallow crowning as well as a beveled and smoothed outer edge, neither of which the counterfeit has.


Genuine 363mm Prometheus barrel muzzle and chamber crowning



This is just an advisory that there are counterfeit Prometheus barrels out and about in the market. When buying "new in packaging" barrels, watch out for some of the following. Once they have "left" their packaging, identifying them is a little harder, especially if you can't compare it in person side-by-side with a barrel you know to be a genuine. Keep reading to the end.


Some Prometheus barrels come with the length on a sticker in some lengths. The 247mm and 363mm lengths appear to be printed directly on the backing, but other lengths have stickers.

The stickers on the genuine Prometheus barrels (when applicable) is rounded, where the counterfeits are square.
NEW UPDATED 2013 photos, top is a genuine 455mm and bottom is a genuine 363mm







Note the characteristics of the printing of the packaging. Notice the large difference between the genuine and counterfeit. Also, while maybe it will be hard to notice without having them side-by-side, but the genuine packaging is more of a yellow-orange than the counterfeit, which has much more red-orange. That dot-pattern effect is called "moire" and it happens during traditional 4-color printing on a press where you have separate plates for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, and you are printing at the equivalent of "low resolution," that is at less than 1270 resolution or 133 lpi. I'm guessing this was printed somewhere around 65lpi, which is not unusual when printing directly on inexpensive cardboard which tends to soak up ink and bleed (called dot gain). So instead of having many tiny, microscopic dots of color mixed together giving the impression of a smooth color, you have much larger dots which are clearly visible to the human eye. The dots are offset at different angles so as not to land directly on one another (because then you'd get black-ish), and all of this creates the moire pattern.

The counterfeit is smooth because more than likely they are using a modern digital printer which is capable of producing smoother tones easier than an old, traditional press.


And again, note the printing, though excuse the slightly different lighting in this picture from the previous one. The glare and reflections off the plastic were a little different. There is more "detail" in the flames, with more of a range of darkness in the genuine. The counterfeit is more solid colored.



When I was looking at the Japanese text and holding them side-by-side, I thought they seemed different, but when I was trying to overlay two images with the printing from each having scaled the images be be as close to the same size and orientation as I could without too much work, they actually lined up much more than it seemed like when just holding them. I don't really notice too much of a difference in that block of text.



Notice the change in the grid of barrel lengths and the corresponding guns. The counterfeit packaging has a blank line in the second column at the end. It's possible Prometheus has changed this grid since I purchased the genuine one (see the disclaimer at the bottom). Maybe someone else who has purchased one recently can verify. I'm not really familiar with which Marui models may have come out since 2009 that use a barrel length that did not exist previously.



The counterfeit does not have the same warning area. If you note the color in the background as well, that coloring is not the same on all genuine Prometheus packaging. Different lengths of Prometheus barrels have the pattern lined up in different locations. The faint coloring in the counterfeit is in the same location relative to the text, on the varying lengths of packaging.



Here you'll note that genuine barrels have all the bar codes with a marker through the unapplicable lengths crossed out.
NEW 2013 photo, note 363mm has its own packaging now.



These pictures are comparing the 363mm lengths. For something like the 247mm length, that first block of text (the one I mentioned is actually very similar, if not identical) is not on the packaging for the 247mm length. Because it is much smaller, it also has a slightly different table, though the 247mm lengths I have, I believe, was bought at a similar time as my longer (363mm, 509mm, 550mm) barrels as well (within a month). The table on the 247mm length's packaging leaves out the 185mm M4-P.M.C. length, so it has a blank row, but there is nothing in either cell, unlike the counterfeit ones that have the "mm" in one cell.

New packaging has "ridges" on the plastic sheath, unchanged is the little rubber straw they have included to help the barrel from floating around longitudinally:


Disclaimer: These are pictures that were taken comparing the packaging of a 363mm Prometheus barrel purchased in Nov 2009 and a 363mm "Prometheus" barrel purchased from Weapon Blender in Apr 2011. It is possible the packaging of genuine Prometheus barrels has changed, but there is no real need for them to have changed things this much, especially given that the Prometheish barrels are known to be counterfeits.

Last edited by Stealth; August 3rd, 2013 at 12:11..
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 15:35   #2
Styrak
 
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Wow.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 15:59   #3
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Darn... I'm checking mine when I get home!
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 19:19   #4
Darklen
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I just received a large order from Redwolf and the packaging has changed a bit on some of the newer barrels. There aren't as many bar codes and many of my barrel came with just the one bar code with that barrel. Some others have up to six different bar codes. Everything else, including the orange warning box, appears to be the same.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 19:53   #5
lurkingknight
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if you paid less than expected and you got a phony, don't be alarmed.. the phony one is actually still a reasonably good barrel (least last time they were checked)

if you paid MORE ie... full retail for an EG expecting an EG and got a phony... well then.. that sucks.

Buyer beware. Too good to be true is too good to be true :P
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 19:57   #6
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That's why always buy from a reputable seller if buying overseas IE Redwolf, Ehobby, WGC
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:11   #7
Stealth
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Updated original post with more recent pictures. Unfortunately we don't own any counterfeits so no new comparison shots.
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