Barrels - stock, Flatline, Ceramic, All American
Response Trigger - set to fire 2-3 round bursts
Shockteck Drop Forward
Pure Energy Regulator
Lapco Offset sight rail
Optical (4x10) and red dot sight combo
ScenerioDream T-Board with Multifunction chip
Sceptre barrel system
Sidekick stock class marker - no upgrades - few available
Ariakon Pistol - no upgades
The "inserts" are the two muzzle breaks supplied with the marker. These are not really inserts like my sceptre system. They do add about 2" and have an effect on accuracy. The barrel is threaded for Autococker and can take any cocker barrel.
Accuracy, rate of fire, steady, nice feel & balance. Lighter than many semi pistols.
UPDATE - NONE! Initial issue with gas efficiency. Suspectedbreak-in issue as it has improved significantly.
I have been interested in a semi-auto pistol sidearm for some time. Why? I play what is commonly referred to as a "floater". Depending on the game and situation I can be found almost anywhere on the field. I have found a pistol to be an excellent augment to the A-5. Particularly as it is fairly quiet while the A-5 tends to be LOUD.
I also have a Sidekick stock marker. I will use it as a point of comparison.
Overall - I found the ACP to be well made. No issues with the magazine being loose, and I have a very early production model - if the serial number is any indication - #000008.
UPDATE - 7/15/05 - Lost the penetration pin. Called Ariakon and they sent me a new pin assembly - no cost no hassle.
Magazine - Other reviews suggest loose mag is a bona fide issue. Possibly a tolerance problem or poor quality control or just coming loose during shipment. At any rate my magazine is rock solid. The flush to the barrell design makes it less likely to break or come off if impacted. The steel mounts are also a big plus. Spare mags are now available but are rather pricey at $35.
The loading cap at the end of the magazine has a ramp that can be turned upside down to prevent balls falling into the barrel while running. Its normal position helps guide balls into the barrel. This small addition is a plus as pistol owners know that when you run with pistol holstered balls can slip past the detent.
Magazine feed spring - is very (extraordinarily) weak. I have to assume this is intentional on Ariakons' part, perhaps too strong a spring interfers with the ball feed. At any rate I have had no problem with ball feed whatsoever. Nor any problems with chopping or ball breaks. Have not had one break or misfeed/double feed yet, 1,000+ balls fired, but all are premium paint. (Mostly marbs, RPS Menace & evil). BTW, the Sidekick is strictly gravity feed, so I would not make too much about the spring strength.
Accuracy - is exceptionally accurate for a pistol - period. Freehand (military grip) groupings of 15 inches or less at 60 feet. On a par with what I can get with the stock marker though I can get similar groupings with it out to about 80 feet. Very impressive even though I am shooting small bore paintballs (Evil seems to work best but I have had good results with Marbs) I will update when I find a larger bore paintball that isn't junk.
UPDATE - Forget the larger caliber paintballs and stick with premium paint.
Caveat: I have military experience and am an expert pistol shot, but with practice I think most users would be as impressed with accuracy as I was. At typical close pistol ranges (50 feet and usually much less) even better. I was able to hit a 10" flower pot 10/10 at 30 feet.
Sight - the ACP has a dovetailed sight rail on the top of the magazine (so if if is loose & wiggly you have a problem). Very narrow. Given my use of the pistol I don't expect I'll try to mount a sight. But looking down the dovetail works for me and I found it to be right on boresight.
Trigger Guard & Grip - I have no problems with the big trigger guard. I did have to modify my holster (911) for fit but it was a minor mod. I always wear fingertip open paintball gloves (if you've ever been hit on the back of the hand you'll know why). You can avoid the heavy glove problem by using same or flip back hunter's mittens if its really cold. Although the guard is large the trigger is typical (not blade) so it's pointer finger on the trigger, index finger inside the grip against the handgrip. If you look at the picture, you can see that the grip is designed for this type of hold.
Is this a safety issue? I don't think so. As a secondary weapon I keep it on safety until I'm ready to shoot. This is typical procedure for a holstered weapon.
The grip is comfortable and solid. Fits my (relatively small) hands well.
Gas efficiency - I can get 30 plus rounds off with the sidekick pump. I don't expect a semi to be as efficient, but I'm having a hard time getting more that 15-20 rounds off one 12 gram depending on rate of fire. So I get stuck in middle of second clip out of gas or manually cocking at low velocity. On the other hand, I use the pistols for emergencies, stealth and bunker busting vs MilSim, so its rare that I would go through a full clip in a game. To be fair keep in mind the barrel is fairly large bore, 70 caliber - which may explain why my gas efficiency is only fair.
UPDATE - My gas efficiency has improved significantly to where I now get about 25 good honest shots at field maximum velocity. There is a definate break-in period. The ACP also needs to be cleaned and lubricated regularly. Take down and reassembly are easy to do and explained in the manual.
REGARDING BUNKER BUSTING & STUFF - I often don't need to fire any rounds to get a surrender (very intimidating) and have yet to gas out in a game. It has saved my butt on a couple of occasions when I would have had to expose myself to fire my main gun when I could get a shot into the enema with the pistol without revealing myself.
The ACP has enough firepower and accuracy to stop a rush on your position by 2-3 enemy, which can happen if you are out of air (never happens) or have a gun problem. It also makes you a very small target as there isn't much marker exposed. Rate of fire is comparable with military sidearms. As with all pistols quick fire will exhaust gas faster than slow fire and will also degrade accuracy.
BY THE WAY - if you are carrying a sidearm, which your opponents cannot help but notice, you will tend to avoid this type of attack. Because they know you have a backup, and with pistol can be very tight, they will think twice before advancing on your position. Also, any pistol has a WOW factor that is well worth the 2.2 pounds.
The manual is now available on the Ariakon web site.
A decent semi-auto pistol that is worthwhile for someone who has the money and whose style of play makes a sidearm an advantage. Accuracy out to 50 feet or so on a par with my stock marker, which is exceptional for a semi-auto pistol.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, August 4th, 2005 at 4:04 am PST