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bafrank@att.net Wednesday, April 6th, 2005
Period of
Product Use:
1 year14 of 14 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
Angel
Marker Setup: Tippmann 98 Custom, Have used Apex, Hammerhead Pro, Stone Cold II and Flatline barrels. 90/4500 HPA, , Stainless screw kit (removed the soft Lapco screw kit), BSA Red Dot sight, Dead on Drop, Rufus Dawg bolt, Palmer Stabilizer, Modified GTA LPK
Strengths: Eliminates the mass of the heavy hammer through the firing/re-cocking cycle. .
Weaknesses: Discontinued...Are still available from some stores online.
Review: I HAVE JUST BEEN INFORMED BY THE TIPPMANN TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT THAT THE E-BOLT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED...TO BE REPLACED IN A FEW WEEKS BY ANOTHER ELECTRONIC FIRING SYSTEM. I was in the process of buying two of these units for both my and my son's markers. With two new Battle Stixx barrels and Halo-B hoppers we expected to be on level with the Angles out there.

-UPDATE- 6/13/05

We have now been using the E-Bolt in two 98Cs for over a month now. About 16 hours of speedball play time on each marker. First let me say that the difference between the mechanical hammer and the electronically controlled pneumatic ram is like the difference between night any day. The reduction in "shake' of the marker upon firing is dramatic. The rear bolt (hammer) moving back and forth in the original 98C tended to move one off target. The high rate of fire is awesome with a double trigger and the ability to "walk the trigger."

After initially setting velocity, I am impressed with the ability to adjust the ball velocity by adjusting the pressure the to the ram. The lightness of the trigger pull is perfect.

The accuracy of the Tippmann 98C with the correct barrel puts it in a class equal to most high priced markers. With the E-Bolt we now have the ability to lay down a rate of fire on level with all the other electro markers out there. The heavy trigger of the original limited our ability to return fire when playing in advanced level speedball. Now we can walk the trigger so that when we can pop out to shoot we can finger three to five balls on target. Overall we have discovered that we are using less paint than before due to more on target paint.

When Tippmann finally comes out with an E-Grip conversion for the 98C I think it will not bring the marker to the level of that accomplished by the E-Bolt. The lower moving mass and the reduction of wear on sear and hammer notch maintains the ruggedness of the Tippmann and the shoot-ability of a Cocker or Angel. The E-Bolt is an expensive conversion and they are becoming scarce on the market, but we now have top competitive markers with the total cost spread over a couple of years.

This past Sunday I played the whole day in the advanced field. Very much higher level of play compared to intermediate. But, for the first time I was competitive. Stayed in the game longer than ever before. Finished several games with no one out on our side. Wouldn't ever go back to a stock firing system. Well worth the cost. Several Internet stores now list it at $229.

One little last comment about the cost. Many people seem to think it perfectly acceptable to drop $250 to $300 on a HPA tank. Spending money on this inexpensive marker takes it from a pretty good solid rugged marker right up there with to the spectacular level...while maintaining its durability and long life. Except for the flashy geegaws and the blinking lights you now have a marker that is in every way equal to the top priced markers...and you have spent a total of less than $500

Further UPDATE 7/20/05 reprint

My son and I play speedball almost exclusively, playing at least once a week. We both started out with the basic 98 Custom and over time added Flatline, Hammerhead and Stone Cold II barrels.

Having modified competitive firearms for decades I set out to improve the triggers on our markers. After several tries and some short lived success I gave up. Even those changes that worked reduced the dependability of the marker.

After reading up on the E-Bolt and the E-Grip I concluded that one or the other was necessary to really improve the marker. Since the E-Grip was available only for the A-5 and would require modification to the 98C, I went looking for a good price on the E-Bolt. Just my luck that Tippmann decided to discontinue that accessory about that time.

After several weeks of Internet searching I found a dealer with stock and place orders for 2 of them. The dealer called me to say that he actually no longer had them. After some discussion he said he knew a warehouse that might have some and would get back to me. I lucked out in that this dealer found two and shipped them to me about a week later.

Before we installed the E-Bolt in my son's marker we had installed the Palmer Direct Stabilizer and also bought the Palmer Mini-Rock regulator (the Mini-Rock to supply the low pressure air for the E-Bolt)

With the Palmer we found he could drop operating pressures to about 500 psi and the marker worked perfectly and much more quietly. A few days later we installed the E-Bolt...what a difference!!!

Suddenly we had a crisp light trigger pull. That by itself was significant to me, but an E-Grip would also accomplish that. We noted that there was less recoil/movement of the marker due to the lower mass of the pneumatic ram.

Now the real advantage. Without the need for the higher pressure to blow the bolt back to the cocked position we found that we could adjust the Palmer Stabilizer to even lower pressures. Ball velocity could be maintained by adjusting the controls for dwell on the board and the pressure to the ram with the Mini-Rock. Ram pressures are limited in that if you go too high the system starts to leak, but it has been no problem to maintain the field limit of 270 fps.

Last Friday, after adjusting the Palmer to set the fps during chrono, my son realized that the gage was reading only 300 psi. The marker is operating in a whisper quiet mode. Now the Stone Cold II barrel is part of that. The way it is ported reduces report even standing right next to it when he is firing. At fifty feet away the noise level is as low as that of his friends brand new Angel.

The marker is extremely effective on the speedball course now blowing the minds of those who are firing the high end markers, Angles, Ions and Cockers. Sunday he went to Bear Creek Pursuit to play woods ball. People kept asking what he was shooting. It looked like a Tippmann but was too quiet.

In conclusion, with a slightly modified Tippmann double trigger he is able to reach 12-14+ bps. The marker is full competitive on the speedball field. The operation of the marker as it is now could not have been accomplished with an E-Grip. Quiet with low gas consumption and low recoil along with about a 4 ounce trigger pull while retaining the dependability of the Tippmann make this a formidable piece of equipment. Tippmann has made a mistake by not continuing to produce this accessory and offering it in the 98C or the Custom Pro. To equal the performance we'd have to spend $1200 to $1500 on another brand of marker. My advise, if you can find an E-Bolt, snap it up.

I love the Tippmann product, but as our playing skills have improved, had we not been able to make this upgrade, we would have moved on to a different brand of marker.

Update 7/19/06

With the low pressure kit installed there is no need for the blow back gas. That allows me to adjust the pressures to really low levels...just what it takes to propel the ball at the desired velocity. With the Hammerhead barrel and Nelson Hemorrhage paint, I maintain 275 fps at only 140 psi!!!
Conclusion: Hope TIPPMANN has something "ASTRONAMICAL" with which to replace it!!!
Rating:
10 out of 10Last edited on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 at 9:37 pm PST
 

Review Comments
BOBO Wednesday, April 6th, 2005 | 7:39 pm PST
It is pretty much the same as the A5 grip frame. It has 5 modes & is capped at 15 BPS which makes it tourny legal .
   

bafrank@att.net Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 | 9:39 am PST
quote:
Originally posted by BOBO
It is pretty much the same as the A5 grip frame. It has 5 modes & is capped at 15 BPS which makes it tourny legal .

No, it is not the same. Read the latest revision of my original post...the section dated 7/20/05
   

Uberface Sunday, April 30th, 2006 | 2:35 pm PST
Unforunatly, Tippmann's new e-trigger is NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE CUSTOM 98. It only works with the custom pro. So, basicly anyone wanting to electrify a normal custom 98 is screwed once the supply of e-bolts online runs out.
   

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