Only the Halo fed faster; Apache fed AT LEAST as fast as the Egg. It was as light as a 12v Revvy and had NO problems with forcing balls past detents, like the Halo does on some setups.
2K3 JMJ Crusader Viking w/ WAS, Mac Dev Conquest 68/4500 at 450psi output, stock feed neck, one wire detent, AND
2K3 Evil Omen, PMI 68/3000, stock feed neck, no detent.
Both tested with 2 brands of Diablo paint ranging from .685-.689 ID.
Can work as a gravity-feeder in emergencies
Loading is a PITA;
Slows w/low on ammo.
Bad fit in screw-collar feednecks.
I. DESCRIPTION OF TESTING:
Bought the Ricochet 2K2 Apache recently, tested it out in the shop on my Viking and a buddy's Omen. I was very impressed.
We used some Diablo field paints, (Diablo Heat and a Diablo generic-box type), that had been sitting for a couple months; one was fragile and had a lot of variation in size, the other was larger, more consistent in size and less prone to breaks. We tested on both markers in single-shot style over a chron, and at rapid fire in both burst and empty-the-hopper style. We used about 1000 rounds total.
I can get the Viking going pretty fast, and my buddy's Omen has rather sick bounce. We can't calculate the BPS, as neither marker has a readout of it. Tried an X-boarded 12v Revvy w/ JMJ impeller, and both markers easily outshot it at least 1 in every 7 balls or so.
SPEED: This is the most important facet of any loader. Neither marker EVER outshot the Apache, even at the highest speed we could get them to when firing to empty a full hopper. I can't remember when I had to come close to doing that on the field, so I believe we tested it in speed conditions it won't have to deal with in real life. There was no jamming, overfeeding or other problems. The bend sensor in the neck caused the Apache to feed when necessary, without problem. I have had problems with my Halo forcing balls past my detents; this was not a problem here.
SIZE/WEIGHT: Apache sits low on the marker, (when in appropriate feedneck, see Weaknesses, below), is light and takes 2 9v batteries that are placed in a clip then inserted into the loader body. It is much lighter than a Halo, and about the same weight as a 12v Revvy.
DURABILITY: It is made of lightweight plastic that appears to be stronger than the thin-shelled Brass Eagle Eggolution plastic. Reports indicate it is durable; based on my review of the Apache, I will take them at face value until proven otherwise.
ON/OFF: Very easy on/off switch with LED display that beeps loudly when it turns on, and a game timer. The display seems to be a little overkill; I'd have been happy with just an on/off. Game timer is nice touch; makes that one less thing I have to take with me on the field.
DESIGN: No force-feed means my Crusader won't have problems with balls being forced past the detent, messing up the eyes. O-Rings on the feed neck will help it fit snug in most feed necks, however, it was a little loose in a feed neck that my unsanded Halo is a little loose in. It was VERY tight in all other feednecks we tried. I'm not sure I buy the hype about the angled body deflecting shots - I think that's prolly just marketing at work.
PRICE: $85 isn't a bad price, when you consider that it's cheaper than a Halo and only $10 more than an Egg, and will be cheaper to keep fed with batteries than the Halo, and possibly the Egg. I've heard some horror stories about Egg shells and feednecks breaking and cracking, and if the Apache's plastic proves more durable, the extra $10 is more than worth it. It's a tad expensive for most woods-ballers, who don't generally need the Apache's kind of speed.
LOADING: The top-loading was a PITA, until we had a little experience with it. Still, you have to tip the marker sideways to make sure you don't lose balls when you load it. That can lead to having a bottle or arm exposed and you in the deadbox. A little basic skills and attention to detail should prevent this.
SLOWDOWN: I've edited this review to address the slowdown in feed speed the Apache has when about 20 or fewer paintballs are in the hopper. The paddles are very flexible rubber rods; they seem to catapult the balls about when there aren't too many in the hopper, which prevents them from going down the feedneck. I have noticed slowdown due to this effect, as well as some blank shots while the Apache tried to catch and feed the stray balls.
FIT TO NECK: I've edited this review to address the issue the Apache has with fitting into collar-style clamping fee necks. While the Apache fits just fine in normal and screw-clamp necks (like the popular CCM model), it has a problem in the collar-style neck. First, the Apache's neck, especially with the o-rings, is too wide to fit in a collar-style neck unless the collar is screwed all the way out; it also seems to stop most collars before they screw all the way down, leaving the Apache a few eighths of an inch higher than it needs to be. Second, the o-rings on the Apache's neck get ripped up by the tightening screw collar. Finally, the supporting plastic flanges on the Apache's feed neck cause the Apache to sit up a little higher than I'd like.
Edits: Added analysis of fit to collar-style clamping feed necks; 2-4-05. Corrected BPS feed rate error from 18 to 15, responded to comments. I will try Apache out on 17 BPS marker and post finding; 1-26-05. Added comments on bend sensor and bolding; 4-8-05.
I can't reach the 22+ BPS the Halo claims, but I can come close to 15, and the Apache fed our markers every ball we needed. No missed shots, low profile, less expensive than comparable loaders, appears to be durable, easy to use, no forcing balls past your detents. Unless you actually NEED to shoot more than 15 BPS on the field, there's no reason to get a Halo; get the Apache. If you play mostly woodsball, use a mechanical marker or can't get your marker going more than 12 BPS, all you need is a 12v X-Board Revolution at best.
This hopper loses one point due to the top loading issues and problems feeding when only a few balls are left. It loses another for the feed neck issues and lower ROF than the highest-end loaders.. It is still the best value in a high-end loader (as of 5-19-04)
8 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, April 8th, 2005 at 6:52 am PST
It's paddle system is actually two stick things, 1 high, and one low, that create 4 slots for balls to fall into. They look really cheap, but they somehow work very well. The cup that they fall into reminds me of the cyclone on the a-5. I haven't had a misfeed yet! The only problem - it will not always work as a gravity feed during a malfunction because the stick (paddle) can block the feedneck hole.
Does the ball deflection on the ricochet line of loaders actually work or is it just another marketing scheme. The design looks like it would work but only if the position of the hopper when hit was in a correct position. Thanks.
It hasnt worked for me yet. When you do get hit, it just splatters everywhere on one side of the hopper but nowhere else. I've been hit head on but have had no bounces off the hopper. The only thing that I think would work would be a padded hopper or something.
I tested one and I out shot it with my gx-4 cocker. I honestly believe that my revy is faster. For the price they want I wouldnt buy it. The egg sits higher but if I had to pick any of them I would get the halo. If you need something that shoots fast.
Haven't paid attention to this review, so haven't gotten to answering comments.
18 BPS was incorrect; it should have read 15. I've never hit 18, 17 is highest I've gotten (w/ E2'd Karnivor).
No problems feeding at angles, and no problems feeding while running. However, if you have only a few balls left, don't run OR tilt; refill instead to avoid having the paddles throw the balls around instead of feed them.
It's not a true force feed, but more of a hybrid force/gravity. The feed neck is open if the batteries die so it can be gravity feed, but the paddles push the balls a little around the cup that acts as a funnel to the neck.
It' faster than any Revvy. Period.
The feed neck is longer than a Halo's or a Revvy's, and it can sit a little high.
Last edited on Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 at 7:55 am PST
ok off the break do balls move around in the feedneck or are they in their tight enough then you can fire quickly. cuz when ur using revys and u swing around off the break it takes like half a second for the eyes to find a ball
Hamster dude: I was talking about the Apache, but I may not have been clear. There are three basic loader designs; hollow gravity loader (VL200), loaders that have paddles to agitate the balls so that they feed more quickly into the feedneck (Revolution), and force-feed loaders that push the balls through the feedneck (Halo). The Apache is an agitating-style loader that has some force-feed aspects, like the Cyclone feed on an A5 is a force-feed loader with agitating aspects. The loader is not a true force-feed loacer, however. For example, if you turn it upside down, it won't fee more than a ball or two. If you turn the Halo upside down, it will spit many balls out into the air.
BE basher: I have not noticed any problem with the Apache's bend sensor having any delay off the break or otherwise. I will pay attention to this issue and update the review if necessary.
Last edited on Monday, April 25th, 2005 at 2:52 pm PST
tantan72292: I don't have hard data on battery life; however, I haven't replaced the batteries in mine yet. Battery use seems comparable to a Revvy, and much better than a Halo.
By popping balls, do you mean breaking paint or popping a ball upin the hopper when it's low on paint? If the former, the sensor works extremely well; I've never broken a ball in my Apache. If the latter, out of 20 balls left, it'll skip 3-6 times. Gotta keep the thing fed or it has trouble feeding the last few . . .
Last edited on Thursday, April 14th, 2005 at 10:37 am PST
Bokuwakakera: I suppose it would fix the problem, but you'd have two more problems. First, it wouldn't feed as fast and you might get chops, and second, turning it off and then back on would take about as much time as loading it up again - so it's probably not worth it.
quote:Originally posted by SocraticB BE basher: I have not noticed any problem with the Apache's eyes having any delay off the break or otherwise. I will pay attention to this issue and update the review if necessary.
The apache uses a tab sensor, so every time a ball moves the sensor will signal motor to turn. Good review.
BTW: I had problems with the feed neck as well. I have the lapco clamping feed neck, and it somehow cracked the plastic. I called Ricochet about this, and they told me to send it to them. Also, I asked about getting the new gear box for it, instead they just gave me a new apache for replacement. Rico has real good customer service.