Ion, Crossfire 68/45 High Output, Stock barrel & Freak Kit, Evolution II hopper.
Trigger, Feedneck, Barrel, Regulator
Cheap, fast, ACED, fully electropneumatic.
Trigger adjustment is rather poor
Post shooting impressions:
I finished my final pod and checked my tank pressure to find it at approximately 2750 PSI. A quick moment of mathematical genius tells me that the total gas consumption for 4 pods is about 1550 PSI of tank pressure. 4x140= approximately 560 balls, so youíre on par for 1100 balls at 3100 PSI of pressure, and youíll be at about 1535 balls at 4250 PSI. Realistically, you should be getting about 1400 balls off a 68/45 fill. The Ion certainly lives up to its reputation in this respect. ***Please note that I only used 4 pods for testing purposes, but have put nearly 2 cases through this marker thus far in testing.***
As I stated in the dry-firing section, there was very little if any kick with this marker. This may be adjustable and you may be able to dial it out by playing with the dwell settings, which I didnít do to any huge extent. The marker was a bit on the back-heavy side with an Eggo and 68/45 tank on a duckbill, but this can certainly be remedied. Once again, when turning on and off the eyes, the LED/membrane button proved to be a bit of a pain, but it is tolerable, at least without gloves. The trigger leaves quite a bit to be desired, but Iím also coming from shooting a Joy Division Fly prior to this marker. Thatís a huge difference to take note of. The composite and rubber cover over the regulator was actually quite comfortable in my hands, despite looking hard and uninviting. The grips are surprisingly comfortable as well, but people with small hands (younger players, Iím talking about you) may find the grips a bit bulky and a little too large to be comfortable. This could be remedied with panel grips such as Hybrid or the like, but since I donít happen to have them handy, I canít comment on it. The trigger guard is a little on the small side, but it works for bouncing your walking fingers off of if you walk with your fingers straight. If youíre using your fingertips, youíll have a little bit of a problem getting your fingers in there, but youíll do ok. The entire marker was just a little bit too long for me to get into a proper shooting position with (and I have fairly long arms) but screwing a 45ci tank into the duckbill brought it into a good position to shoot from. Iíd recommend adding a rail and on/off to this marker to bring it a little more into balance if youíre using a 68ci tank, or even a 45ci tank, but thatís personal preference.
Following the shooting tests and about another case and ĺ of just fun shooting and passing it back and forth, I brought the Ion back to the shop and took it to my workbench to strip down and check out the internals and the construction. With manual in hand, I followed the instructions for stripping down the marker, and the only word of caution I have for you here is to make sure you remove both sides of the grip frame to ensure that the board doesnít hang up on the screws. You may also need to slide the board out with your finger from the bottom to help it out if it doesnít slide out readily. Follow the directions very carefully the first time through and youíll be just fine.
My impressions were that the internals (solenoid and air fittings) are of decent quality construction, not the greatest out there, but not too shabby either. As is known, the solenoid is not a Humphrey style solenoid, but a new style design which appears to be very high flow and quite robust. The eye ribbon, on the other hand, appears VERY brittle, and I recommend using a pick along with a gentle tug to get it out of the eye socket on the body. The air hoses are cocker style, but are nice and large for high flow, and the barbs seemed satisfactory, if a little bit brittle, even though I did not remove any barbs and test their durability. I followed by removing all the fittings from the body itself and sliding off the composite cover to expose the firing tube. The breakbeam eye board is a simple removal at this point; just pull it out of its recessed slot and set it aside. A quick look at the tube revealed the swivel donut, held on by a circlip. Removing the circlip and the donut revealed the rear o-rings of the firing chamber, and a generous helping of DOW 33. This also confirms that the Ion is indeed a spool valve style marker. The body is an interesting screw together design which makes accessing the bolt a fairly simple affair. The bolt, upon removal, is somewhat cheap in construction, but I donít see it breaking any time soon. The bolt was also generously lubed with DOW 33, and is an 8 hole venturi design. We can most likely expect to see some open faced designs of this same bolt, and most likely in delrin or nylatron which will increase cycling times.
When examining the ASA where the regulator screws in, I noticed that there was a fine screen in the ASA, which Iím guessing is in place to screen CO2 for debris. This was a bit of a moot point, however, because upon removal of the screen and inspection, there was a fair amount of debris in the ASA already, and beyond the screen to boot. However poor in construction this is, it does attest to the reliability of the solenoid to continue working in adverse conditions (in this case, debris in the air lines).
During reassembly, a few things are of note. First off, once the air fittings have been rethreaded, the board is back in place, and the grip frame screws have been started in their holes, I would advise lining up the body, cover, and grip frame and installing the front screw FIRST, then tightening down the grip frame screws. Other than that, reassembly is the opposite of disassembly.
The bottom line:
Ok, so after all the tech talk and the shooting talk and all thatÖ.whatís the bottom line? Iíll list this sequentially:
Trigger is very unforgiving
Stock barrel leaves something to be desired
Feedneck is not a clamping feed
The membrane button is hard to work with gloves on, and is stiff in general
LED is difficult to see in bright light
Modes of fire are difficult to change, can be confusing until you get it down
3 LEDs make it somewhat confusing to change modes
Composite parts may not appeal to some
Duckbill makes for a horribly long setup
Stock reg drops off at high rate of fire
Good quality, well finished metal parts
Composite parts are of good quality with nice rubber trim
Comfortable grips and comfy regulator grip
Small, light, and compact
Hardly any kick
High flowing internals (minus the bolt)
Customizability (new shells remove in a matter of minutes)
Consistency with the stock regulator
Eye logic works well
Efficiency was very good for a marker of this design
Feedneck securely held a Halo despite being a non-clamping feed
When you consider the price of this marker, and what you get for your money, Iíd say this marker is about an 8 of 10. If you want me to tell you what to upgrade first, then hereís my opinion:
New trigger (when available)
Overall, for what you get, once youíve had your hands on one and shot a few pods through it, youíll be very happy. I usually shoot an Angel Fly, and Iím impressed enough with the potential of this marker to consider adding one to my bag of tricks. A few well chosen upgrades and this marker could be a serious performer. So I guess the bottom line comes down to this: shoot it and see how you like it. Iíve found no bugs in 2 cases through it so far, and no real problems other than whatís listed above.
If you want a copy of the manual to peruse, the address of the manual is: http://www.wppseries.com/ion/Ion_Manual.pdf
Worth every penny of it's price. Smart Parts shines through with this fantastic offering.
Some of your weaknesses for this gun aren't really that bad like the membrane button being hard to turn on with gloves on. Are you too lazy to take your gloves off. Other than that your review was pretty good.