No problem J. I know you have a passion for your BBQ and you obviously do well where you compete. I can't say that the product you turn in wouldn't win anywhere. Good BBQ is good BBQ. On that we agree.
Now back to the OP. I've cooked on the vault for over a year now and have done really well with brisket in competitions with it. Because of the moist environment, I have found that if I use water the vault settles in right at 250 for me. I used a Guru for the first 6 months and I quit using it because there were a few cooks in there without it that didn't seem to change either the length of the cook or the ability to hold the temperature. I get right at 6 hours on my cooks with a load of lump and a couple of small logs for the smoke.
I have also found that when I cook with water in the pan, I actually don't see the bark and color set where I want it until around 175 internal...if I wrap. I see that same bark around 160-165 when I cook briskets on my big green egg. I have wrapped and have done without. Both were moist finishes but the bark obviously stayed crustier on the unwrapped. I can get a great bark with the vault either way.
Trying to do a hot and fast with the water pan full takes a lot of fuel and a raging inferno down below to get the smoker up to 300-325. I may not be experienced enough to figure it out, but it just seems to want to stay right at 250 with the water pan full. Without water in the pan I can get it to settle down around 300 and not much lower if there is any fuel whatsoever in the basket. So when I do hot and fast on the vault, I don't use water.
I've not cooked on the sniper but it looks cool. I do like my vault but I was expecting longer cook times on a load. My big green egg spoiled me on that...so, when I cook at home overnight it is on the egg. At comps, I pull the vault because the egg is too heavy to lug around.
LBGE, Traeger 075, Pitmaker Vault on LT-1 Trailer