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Lethal Syntax Thursday, June 29th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
Only tested16 of 16 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
If you mean other paintball guns... Tippman 98, Shocker 4x4, the new Shocker, Fly angel, Old school Angel (thats right, the one with the key to turn it on), Black Magic Autococker, Intimidator, Bushmasters, Spyders, Impulses galore, E-Mag, Blade, Talon just about any other electro and entry-level gun you can think of.
Marker Setup: To be honest, I quit, Just a little while after Smart Parts released their new Shocker and Impulse. Thats all about to change.
Recommended
Upgrades:
Nothing. Maybe a set of detent rings, but I consider those as more of a nessessity. Maybe a stock, but thats a personal prefference.
Strengths: Weight and the style of play required to use it.
Weaknesses: Velocityadjuster is hard to get to. People tend to talk trash before the first game.
Review: Ok, let me start by saying this gun single-handedly brought me back into paintball. I started playing around age 14, back when my parents thought I needed a hobby and financed my field fees, paint, and bought me my first gun. I loved paintball more than anything in the world and I was always looking for ways to save up for a better (faster) gun. With no means other than cutting the grass for $15 to earn money, it took me 2 long years to buy myself a Shocker. At the time, I thought I had purchased my dream gun. Sunset fade, freak barrel, it looked awesome. Turns out the guy who sold it to me on ebay failed to mention one little problem with the gun: the WHOLE body needed to be replaced. I frantically cut a deal with my parents to pay for the repairs, at the expense of my funding for field fees and paint. After receiving my repaired (and now 75% black, since they had stopped making any other colors for the replacment bodies) Shocker from Smart Parts. It was a little like finding out that the love of your life had received disfiguring facial burns. I took my gun to the local field and gassed it up, no leaks, looked like I was going to have a great day. I played 2 games and shot almost 500 rounds, it was all ok though, I had eliminated at least half the players on the other team each game. Then, ebay slapped me across the face again. The regulator blew out. Just a little more than frusterated, I walked back to the field house and grabbed my Tippmann, 5 games later, the 2 year average life span on the power tube gave out and I was left with no guns and only an hour or so into the day. The owner of the field refunded my field fee, then calmly told me that in a month he would no longer allow outside paint. No more $30 cases of Great American for me. It had to be the worst day for anyone in paintball history... Well, maybe not the guy whos nitro tank exploded and destroyed his gun, removed his hand , and permanantly disfigured his face(no that didnt actually happen, and I dont think it could unless someone was trying). I walked away from paintball that day. I was fed up with the money it was costing me, and the fact that the most fun I was having was looking up guns I could never afford on the internet.

A few months ago, my church group was having a paintball trip, I told a friend why I wasnt going, and he told me he had an extra gun, a Phantom, I perked up because of all the guns I have tested, I had never played a stock class marker. To make a long story short, my love of paintball received a defibulator jolt. On to the review.
The Phantom is light, no, its crazy light, like the kind of light were the horn blows and before you even think of diving into a bunker, youre already 3/4 of the way down the field light. Seriously, I slid into a bunker, and turned to communicate with my teammates and saw people crouched facing the opposite direction. Thats when I realized the consistancy of the Phantom. I aimed the gun, pulled the trigger, and the ball went straight into the side of the other guy's facemask. After overcoming my shock of how accurate it was, I took aim at a second opponent. The gun was so quiet he didnt even notice that I had just eliminated his teammate. The next thing I noticed was there was no ball in the breech, since I had momentairly forgotten that I had to pump the gun to load another ball. I pulled the pump handle back and marveled for a moment at how it felt; smooth, but just a little rough -someone described the action as 'ice' I cant think of a better way to describe it, like crushing ice with a rockbar maybe- the second shot was dead on once again, same spot in the side of the facemask. I walked off the field with 5 eliminations, and the only reason I was eliminated was I suddenly felt like rambo and decided to bunker 3 people all at once... Thats when I realized the rate of fire doesnt really make that a smart idea. Ok, now the review in non-story format.

The Phantom I used was a forest Green VSC with clear parts, 15 round feed tube, and a T-stock.
Accuracy- Dead on, all the time.
Consistancy- I only noticed a decline in performance when the 12g was on its last legs.
Looks- Slender, Stealthy, Sexy. You look really cool with the silver 12g's strapped to your chest too.
Efficiency- I got about 26 good shots from a 12g.
Ease of Operation- Changing 12g's is a little tricky at first, but after I practiced with 2 spent cartriages in the waiting area for a bit, it became almost second nature. I didnt take the gun apart, but I have looked at diagrams on the internet and theres really nothing to a Phantom. The velocity adjuster is a bit hard to get to, but other than that, the gun is stupid simple.
Quality- The best I can describe, the gun is like holding a piece of titanium. It feels light and breakable, but absolutely rock-solid. Mike really outdid himself.
Price- Ok, the Phantom is a bit more expensive than an entry-level gun, but it is Very much worth it. Theres no secret 'black box' that breaks and costs $200 to repair, in fact, I have heard that Mike wont even charge for parts that break due to wear and tear. I used about 200 rounds all day and with 'field paint only' that means big savings. The CO2 powerletts are cheap, less than 50 cents a piece if you buy bulk; if thats still too much, you can get a 3.5oz CO2 for around $30. There are also places where you can get custom annodizing to give your marker a one-of-a-kind look, I am personally getting a Blue/Gold acid wash from Wevo Paintball (Get my paycheck saturday!).
Upgrades- There really arent any 'upgrades' per say, but there are a ton drop in conversions you can buy, like direct feeds, bottom lines, clear parts, and a cool 'micro conversion kit' that pretty much turns this thing into a super-accurate pistol weighing less than nothing. A stock is also available that screws into the bottom line holes.

My favorite part of testing this thing was when some of the 'regulars' asked me if my car was steam powered too, I just laughed and told them wood was cheaper than gas. Dont get me wrong, I love players who flaunt their angels and laugh at my 'stone age' tech. They make the game that much sweeter when you take them out with one shot after they waste 400 rounds shooting at a teammate they were so engrossed with 'lighting up' they didnt even realize you were already in the bunker with them.
Conclusion: I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a change. I was fed up with the technology race and all the costs that came with it. The Phantom is the pinnacle of pump technology. It has no frilly milling, no batteries, no high pressure air tanks, just a simple elligance that will turn heads and hearts. Buy this gun if you are on the verge of quitting, or have already hung up your mask. Its paintball in its base form, win or loose, you will always have fun with a phantom.
Rating:
10 out of 10
 

Review Comments
supguyex Friday, June 30th, 2006 | 11:28 am PST
in such a way, that's such a sad story. sniff. who needs a broken heart when you've got a broken shocker. it's even worse!
   

Lethal Syntax Sunday, July 9th, 2006 | 7:33 pm PST
I fixed the shocker, but frankly, Im sick of it. Works fine, I think I might sell it. Its just my luck that I would get a finiky shocker. Ive heard great things about shockers, unfortuantely when they go bad, they go really, really bad.
   

Nuclee369 Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 | 10:29 am PST
nice review... but from my experience ive had my gun for 4 years now,... and as you use the gun more you get more shots per 12 gram... like i used to get 25-35 (i don't quite remember exactly) but now i get a solid 50 shots, and the last 5 start to plunk down
   

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