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Size/weight similar to Egos
Aluminum grip panels
Lack of trigger tension adjustment
No manual included
I bought this gun because I was looking for something new in the $600 range and read some shining reviews by players and in PGI magazine. Its a good thing I did, because this marker is a beast.
The packaging was adequate. The gun, along with an 11.5" barrel, matching neoprene barrel sleeve, and some stickers, was packaged between two pieces of packaging foam. There is no manual included, but an up to date manual is available at alienpb.com in pdf form, although a paper version would have been nice. Overall I was unimpressed with the packaging, but I suppose you have to take away from something to get a high quality gun at this price.
Upon my initial inspection, the first thing I noticed was the frame fit my hand like a glove. It is a unique 85* (nearly vertical) with a timmy-like hump at the back and gets narrower at the top. Surprisingly, it doesn't feel like most 90* frames at all, and handles most like an 05 Angel 45 frame. Actually, if the old I-Frame for the Impulse were made with a larger trigger guard, this is probably what it would feel like (and its a VERY large guard). Most people who have held my gun loved the frame, and you probably will too. Not to mention the fact that it weighs about the same as an Ego when fully set up.
The milling anno job (gloss blue) were top notch for the most part. A few areas inside of the trigger guard could use some work, and some sharp edges near the barrel and snatch grip that will probably wear down eventually, but everything else was flawless.
The barrel is as good as they get. My old setup used a Pipe kit with Stiffi front, arguably the best setup possible, and this barrel performs as well as that. Its a little short and there's more metal on it that necessary, but if you don't mind those things then there's no reason to replace it.
I was a little confused the first time I took the gun apart. The internals and wires are cramed into such a tiny space that it takes a few reads of the manual to master them. Basically, if you read the manual you won't break anything, but if you don't, then you're liable to pinch a wire or damage a barb. It is a stacked tube, knock open valve design similar to Intimidators etc. The ram housing is directly attached to the solenoid, so that does away with some air passages/hoses. The whole unit can be removed from the body with ease, and is in my opinion an ingenous piece of equipment. Everything else should be pretty familiar; the HPR is mounted to a timmy-style front block, with an LPR under the barrel, and a short LP hose going to the solenoid. The board and battery are located inside the grip frame, and the eye wires go through the body and are protected by a rubber sleeve. Overall, the design seems very durable and I haven't had a problem yet.
One thing that most players probaly won't like is the trigger adjustment method. I owned an Impulse before this gun, so I was spoiled by externally adjustable trigger travel/tension/actuation. The Alien's trigger is adjusted from the inside, although it is possible to do this by only removing the bolt and reaching down through the body with an allen key. You can then adjust the pre- and post-travel, and therefore you can set the fixed actuation point to be at any point in the pull. However, there is no way to adjust trigger tension, short of exchanging/cutting the spring. Fortunately, the stock spring is very light and snappy, so most players will be happy with it.
Maintenance is easy, and you'll probably never have to disassemble the gun in the first place. Just oil the ram after every day of play (AKA or KC Trouble Free oil are preferred, do NOT use dow33/55). You can do this by extending the hammer, removing the bolt, and letting a few drops of oil slide down a screwdriver shaft through the pullpin slot onto the ram. Occasionally you may want to use dow33 in the lpr for cold weather, but its not necessary.
The board is W.A.S., which is very fast and allows you to program most operation features. It is the same mounting style as an NME board, so if you want a new board you can use any of those, including AdvantagePB boards if you're a cheater :dodgy:
Customer service is legendary. Jack, the president of Alien PB, will promptly and personally answer your questions, and posts regularly in their forums on PBN (as will I - Exit Wounds @ pbn). If something goes wrong and you didn't do something stupid, they'll usually fix it for free or for very cheap. Trust me on this one, you can't go wrong in this area.
The marker performed flawlessly on the field. At the chrony, I shot a little hot out of the box (310), but once I got the regulators in harmony I got about +-5 consistency, which is pretty good for low quality paint and new regulators. It should get much better as the regs break in.
Like most markers today, it shoots much faster than you'll ever be able to move your fingers, and the W.A.S. board offers PSP and NXL modes if you want them. The eyes seem incapable of chopping a ball, and I haven't broken a ball in the barrel in the two cases that I've shot through it (except for one day in the sub freezing cold, but I'm going to ignore that because EVERYBODY was chopping that day).
Accuracy was superb. I found that I could hit small targets like hoppers and packs much more frequently than I have before. I'm convinced that there is something to the "sweep valve and bolt" design, which puts a small amount of backspin on the ball in order to stabilize its trajectory. I could literally shoot all the way across a 3-man field and land every ball on a player's hopper. The marker is very easy to snap with, and its easy and comfortable to burn lanes.
Update: I've owned this gun for about 9 months now, and I've had no problems other than minor leaks and some loose screws. A word to the wise: Use some teflon tape on the 4 screws in the rear of the gun to keep them from vibrating out during intense play. Same goes for the 2 solenoid mounting screws if you find they come loose.
For those wondering about marker setup, I currently run an Evolve Pi regulator and a CP 2-piece with two backs, fed by an LP Crossfire tank. My dwell is at 9.3, with an lpr pressure of 90. I get about 1500 shots per fill on a 68/45 at 280 fps, +/- 1.
I really can't think of any complaints about this gun. Every bit of it, except for the minor anno blemish I mentioned, oozes quality and superior engineering. I think it could be priced hundreds of dollars higher, and it would still be a fantastic deal. Most guns over $500 are more flashy and stylish, but then again its nice to have a gun that nobody else on the field has heard of. All things considdered, I'd say that Alien has the best gun on the market today.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, July 5th, 2006 at 9:12 pm PST