Tippmann 98 Custom
Flatline Barrel System
PMI Pure Energy Coiled Remote
High quality, small bore size paint
I use Draxxus, myself
Fluctuation in shots
First, I have only used the Flatline for 2 months, not 3, but there was no "2 months" to select from. Don't judge on that, though...I've used it plenty of times within those two months.
Allow me to start with some strengths:
Range: It shoots far. Like, really far. Well, what more did you expect? It claims to do it, and it does. The balls are capable of going over 200 feet, easy, and can travel much farther.
Looks/Feel: It looks cool, no doubt. Some don't like the shroud, but I think it adds a nice extra place to hold the gun if need be, and makes it much more realistic looking. It is a bit heavy, but not to the degree it will affect your game.
Trajectory: You see this a lot, too. It shoots in a line, with no noticeable dip in the shot. This is great for long shots, and shooting in brush. Thusly why this is a superb woodsball tool. It fires much more like a real firearm than a paintball marker.
Control: Zone control, that is. This thing is a great addition to a back player, or someone who like to keep people down behind their bunkers. The paint will be whizzing past them, and they are unable to return fire, or even move.
Some random stuff:
Installation: You don't have to be an airsmith to get this thing on your Tippmann. Follow the instructions, and you'll be fine.
Don't let people put you down because you own a Flatline. It is more than capable of eliminating players and doing something for the team in woodsball.
Recoil: It adds a bit, nothing to worry about, it won't affect your game...it actually feels good, like shooting a real weapon.
Busts: People often say that the Flatline doesn't always bust balls when it hits, which is true. Then again, balls don't bust all the time anyways. But, Flatline owners often counter by saying "Well, a chance of hitting is better than not, with or without bust", which is again, true. Point is, yeah, the balls don't bust all the time, but when you lob paint with a normal barrel, it doesn't have good chances of breaking, either.
Now, some bad:
Price: $120, roughly...that's a lot of money. If you are hardcore about paintball, it might not be, but it is for casual players, like myself. There are many barrels for cheaper which can improve your gun...while I'm on the topic, I suggest buying/keeping another aftermarket barrel. You may want to switch in between games, it isn't hard to get the Flatline off of your gun.
Upkeep: Well, you know have to take out an extra bolt when stripping your gun...whoo. But, the barrel is picky. Dry firing to get out paint and dirt is ineffective, due to the rough surface and curved shape. Solution? Carry a wire squeegee. Duck down, press the hopper release button, and swab through the barrel a few times. When a ball does break in there, and you can't get a squeegee, you are in trouble. The extra paint and bits off shell cause your shots to go all over. So can a lot of wind, so this is again best used in the woods.
Fluctuation: The thing isn't as accurate as people say it is. At close range, yeah, but what happens when you are shooting in excess of 150'? The balls are round, liquid filled projectiles that are SPINNING. Chances are, it may take an odd twist or turn. Also, if you are not holding the gun fairly straight, the balls can curve in odd directions. Some say you can use this to shoot around corners; I've yet to be able to hit someone like this.
I suggest doing something about Co2...whether it be an anti-siphon, remote line, expansion chamber, regulator, using HPA/Nitrogen, whatever. Co2 is inconsistent, and can make the velocity fluctuate on your marker. With the Flatline, this is bad. It happens to have a "sweet spot" over the chronograph, and can have some pretty inaccurate shots if you don't shoot in this "sweet spot". Make sure to test your marker over the day, for both safety and your Flatline.
You can't fire as fast while using a Flatline. The balls will chop while they are in your barrel, due to the curve. This, again, is bad. I've been able to turn out some decent BPS, but it breaks balls, every now and then. Not all the time, you can spray, and it may not break, but chances are, it will. You might get into situations where you have to spray, and this is where the Flatline falters. It is not good for close snapshooting, fast shooting, excessive movement, or anything like this. It will shoot under these conditions, and it may hit, but there will be...complications.
Don't get me wrong, this review might seem negative and everything, but I love my Flatline. Care for yours, and it will care for you. Disregard the simple, common rules for it everyone sets down, and you might as well be shooting a stock Stingray. Hope you enjoy your Flatline as much as I do...nothings better than marking people right at the break.
As for the rating, I don't think anything deserves a 10, and the Flatline has several problems, but so long as you use it right, it scores an easy 9.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, June 12th, 2004 at 2:03 pm PST