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Event_Horizon Thursday, October 19th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
3 years32 of 32 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
Tippmann 98C
Tippmann A-5
Marker Setup: BT-4 Assault w/ Ricochet AK hopper, Mag expansion chamber, BT1913 barrel, Bipod, red dot and laser sights
Recommended
Upgrades:
Remote coil - Gun is heavy enough as it is
Possibly a Bipod if you plan on sniping
And the Mag expansion chamber if you want to look REALLY badass.
Strengths: Accurate
Intimidating
Doesn't chop
Good performance
Extremely reliable and durable
Weaknesses: Big
Heavy
Forward sight (see review)
Some parts seem to rust
Review: Well lets start off with what this gun does best: look good. I play a a private field with a bunch of guys, and they all have Custom 98's with the odd A-5, a few of them recently switched over to X7's which make me stand out a bit less. But when one day I pulled this big guy out of the back of the car, everyone was "ooh"ing and "aahhh"ing over it. They all wanted to know how it shoots, who made it, where its from, how much it was, etc. etc. This gun is not only really badass looking, but also intimidating on the field. I've had newbies surrender at the sight of me coming through the bushes with this thing.

The best way to visualize this gun is as the sum of its parts. There is the main base, housing the internals, along with the barrel, barrel shroud, front sight, the car stock, the rear sight, the front grip, and the feedneck.

The car stock is made of some kind of heavy plastic, and is of high very quality; there aren't any seams or sharp spots, and it functions well. The stock has six positions, but I never use all six. Sometimes I have it fully extended, because I'm a tall guy and that gives me the best stability when shooting. If I need to be on the move, I'll collapse the stock completely. Then I'll use a middle setting for when I'm setting up a stationary position by resting the gun on a log or a branch. It is extremely rugged and I have complete confidence I could butt someone in the face with it and not damage it at all.

The barrel and shroud are a tricky thing to figure out. The barrel itself is a 14" aluminum barrel and is fairly accurate (I'll get to that later) and has an A-5 threading on it. The shroud is made of the same plastic as the stock, and while it seems rickety it's actually pretty sturdy. The front sight is also aluminum. You can take the whole setup off of the barrel too. Just pull back on the spring-loaded ring at the back of the barrel and the two halves of the shroud separate, and the front sight and rear circular thing are held on by two set screws. It should be noted that while the front sight has a sling attachment, the design isn't well thought-out. More on that in a bit.

The rear sight is made of solid aluminum and is really sturdy. The sight is also adjustable for windage and elevation, and there is a little flippy thing you can flip up to make the sight hole smaller - increasing your precision. It attaches to the Picatinny rails on the top of the gun with a couple of thumbscrews. The thing itself is completely solid, you couldn't break it if you tried to.

The front grip attaches to the lower picatinny rail by sliding on from the front, and then you do up the metal screw on the bottom which raises a pin so it is locked in one of the grooves. Though the pin isn't as wide as the grove, so the grip does have a little bit of room to slide back and forth a bit, but not enough to really detract from the gun. The grip is also very sturdy (same plastic as the stock), you probably couldn't break it unless you really wanted to. I find that I use the front grip to hold the gun about half the time, and use the barrel shroud about the other half of the time.

The hopper feedneck is made of the same plastic as before, and slides onto the picatinny rail from the front and click into position, but because its plastic it also has a tiny bit of wiggle room. Its not much when you're at the base, but if you have a big hopper the top of it might move back and forth about a half inch when you bump it into something or open the lid if the lid is tight. Though once again, its not a very big deal.

The pistol grip on the gun is also made of plastic, with a rubber covering to be easy on the fingers. The grip is perfectly sized for my hands, but it might be a bit big for small-handed people. Again, it is made entirely of thick plastic.

The main housing of the gun is made of aluminum. The screws holding it together are stainless steel and I have not had any rust problems on them at all. The gun comes apart very easily. First you remove the grip and trigger assembly in one piece by undoing two screws and then it just slides off. Then there are four larger screws holding the body together, and it should be noted that the lower right one is longer then the other three, so remember to put it back in the right spot. Once the screws are out,t he gun is still rather well held together from the the parts inside, so what I do is I grab the stock and twist it a bit to loosen the two halves of the gun. They then come apart easily, and you're greeted by the exact same internals as you would find in the 98 Custom (minus the crazy trigger assembly found on the 98C). They are exactly identical. There are only two parts that are not the same, and that would be the barrel adapter and the drive spring. The drive spring is about a quarter inch longer then that of a 98C. The powertube is plastic, but has not given me any problems like cracking or anything to that nature. The front bolt is made of plastic s well, but also seems to be well built and doesn't have any problems. The rear bolt is made of steel with an aluminum core. The rod connecting the front and rear bolts is also steel. The drive spring is a real nail driver, I had to cut mine down a bit (more on that later). The stock acts as the back stop for the bolt and drive spring, so you can't take it off unless you have an end cap to take its place. There is another important point here: The barrel adapter is made in such a way that it is possible to put it in upside down. If you do this, then the barrel will screw in and will stop with the sight on the bottom, so make sure you put it in the right way.

And now the fun part: performance. This gun is as reliable as a tippmann, and I try to take good care of my stuff. I keep this gun cleaned and oiled at all times. This marker isn't afraid of gobbling up your CO2 or compressed air, and I had it freeze up once on me when I was playing in sub-zero temperatures using CO2. I fixed the problem by simply cutting the drive spring down by about a quarter inch, and now the gun works great. The stock barrel is pretty accurate, when I'm shooting for accuracy I get a spread of about two feet at a range of about 100 feet. I have only broken paint twice in this gun. Once was when I was using some really, really old and severely misshapen paint, and the other time was when I forced the feedneck off while a paintball was halfway through, breaking it. Both incidents were my fault completely. Well actually, there was an incident where a paintball another guy fired hit my barrel straight on and splattered inside, and all the rest of my shots broke in the barrel, but that's hardly a technical fault. I also had an occasional problem where, when I pulled the trigger, the bolt would slide forward about a quarter inch and get caught on something, forcing me to re-cock it. This only happened once every 2000 shots or so, but I have not been able to find the source of the problem. I've had no other mechanical failures to speak of, save for the front sight incident i will explain later. The marker shoots like a dream.

Now for the problems. As I said, the gun froze up when I was shooting rapidly using CO2 in sub-zero temperatures, and the gun is pretty heavy on gas usage, but I mostly fixed that problem by cutting the drive spring down by about a quarter inch. The gun is also a big, heavy thing. Weak people might have trouble with it because its fairly heavy. small people might have trouble with it because its large. This gun is clearly for woodsball, not speedball. Also, the manual doesn't mention how to disassemble the barrel shroud at all, and that ended up being a big problem for me. When I first got the gun, I read the manual over but it didn't say how the shroud came off. So I looked it over, but I didn't notice the screw holding the front sight on, because its hidden underneath the forward sling attachment. Then later I had taken the gun apart and accidentally put the barrel adapter in upside down, and so when I put the barrel back on, the front sight was on the bottom. I couldn't figure out why, so I tried to twist the front sight off to turn it around. What I managed to do was cause the screw to dig into the barrel, leaving some very deep scratches in the black finish. I only then realized then there was a screw, and later realized my error with the barrel adapter. As a result, the screw doesn't stay in as tight as is should, and once in a while the front sight will simply come loose during a game. I'll be running through the bushes and look down and the sight will be upside down, and i'll touch it and it will slide along the barrel. When Your in the field you're only option is to take the front sight off, and take the circular shout attachment off too, and but them into your pocket. It doesn't affect performance at all, but It kills the look of the gun to take it off permanently. I plan to at one point purchase an almost identical forward sight from ops gear which clamps onto the barrel instead. That will also hopefully cover the scratches.

And now for everything else. I put an agitated hopper onto my BT-4 because I hate to shake the gun around all the time. I also put a remote on the gun because I'm a weakling and I like the tank on my back. The Iron sights on the gun are accurate horizontally, but the ball drops out of its view because of gravity, making them not too useful. Another major problem is that unless you have a very flexible mask you won't be able to even look down the sights, because the stock is in the way. You have to press your cheek up to the stock to see down the sights even when not wearing a mask, and my V-force Armor mask doesn't let me get nearly close enough to actually use them. But if you purchase a seperate red dot sight and mount it onto a AR-15 style carry handle picatinny sight rail, you can use your own sights no problem, but its possible your hopper will get into the way in this case.And also, if you mount the gun on your wall, it looks really, really cool.

BT already has an E-grip available for this gun, as well as a bi-pod for sniping. The gun will accept the same internal upgrades as a 98C as well. And BT also has available an M4 style magazine expansion chamber kit. I don't own it myself (EDIT: I do now!), but if you had that thing instead of the vertical grip, you would have one BADASS looking piece of hardware.

EDIT: Ok, well I just pulled the gun down off of my wall for the summer season, and when I took it all apart to clean it out and lube up the internals, I noticed a few things: The screw in the feedneck that clamps onto your hopper is made of steel and mine has some rust on it... Not alot, but its there. I also noticed some discoloration on the aluminum rear bolt core. There also is some rust in the set screw that holds the forward sight onto the barrel. None of these problems are serious hoverer, but in a few years they might be. Also, I ordered myself a bipod and red dot scope from opsgear yesterday, and I decided I was going to take the forward sling attachment point off of the forward grip... Well it turns out I couldn't. The thing is rock solid. I tried to remove the rod it connects to, but it seems to be all one piece.. so I tried to pry it off with a cheap old knife I had kicking around, and ended up simply bending the knife all to hell. As a last resort, I took a hacksaw to it, and sawed and sawed but all I ended up doing was taking the black finish off (luckily I was smart enough to do it in a spot where you can't see it). Bottom line: the aluminum (is it even aluminum? I'm not sure anymore!) parts are completely rock solid. I wouldn't hesitate to trust my life to the durability of the forward or rear sights... I literally tried to break them and failed. If you plan on modifying these parts in any way, you'll need nothing short of a jackhammer to misshapen those things.

EDIT #2: Alright, well its been two weeks since my last edit. I managed to get the forward sling attachment off. First of all, if you're going to do this, don't try to drill out the pin. I tried this, and my titanium drill bit snapped into three pieces, one of which got jammed in the pin. Then I tried drilling from the other side, and snapped a second drill bit in two, jamming the broken part into the other end. Then I took a hammer and a striker and basically tried to punch out the connecting pin... and bingo! it popped out! So, two drill bits, three headaches, a knife and a hacksaw blade later, I finally got the forward sling attachment off. Now, I can get at the set screw for the forward sight much easier. I can now tighten the screw much better. Unfortunately, all the months of doing it up and undoing it with the sling attachment in place has worn the corners off the one end of my hex wrench. So I have to use the other side. However, I have played 6 games with the forward sling attachment gone and the screw done up nice and tight, and I no longer have any issues with it falling off. As of now, my next purchases will be the M-16 style expansion chamber... Too bad my gun already weighs in at around 12 pounds fully loaded with all my extras and stuff... But hey, I'm building upper body strength, right?

EDIT #3: Well, I've had the gun for two years now. Taking off that forward sling was a life-saver. I haven't had the sight come off since. I also purchased the mag expansion chamber, and it has resolved all the last issues I had with this marker. No longer does it freeze up and the weird bolt problem seems to have solved itself. I also purchased a BT-1913 barrel kit, which is for looks only. I currently have the gun decked out with a laser sight and a flashlight, as well as a red dot sight on an AR-15 carry handle sight rail as well. If I could do it all over again, the only thing I could have done differently is removed the forward sling earlier. Otherwise, I am completely happy with this marker and all the fun it has brought me. It is reliable as can be now. The only tiny problem is the rusting parts mentioned in edit number 1, but its not significant enough to be a problem.

EDIT #4: Three years I've had this gun. As of last summer, about a year ago, my paintball team disbanded. I was considering giving up paintball all together and my BT-4 Assault became an ornament in my bedroom where it looked really badass but was not used. The cable guy, the furnace guy, two electricians and the phone guy all thought it was an actual assault rifle. I hadn't cleaned the gun after the last game, thinking I'd do it at the end of the summer. Well I forgot to completely and the team got back together a year later. So I hauled out the gun and the gear and found myself in the field with a gun that had not been cleaned, still with some paint on it. Had not been oiled in a year. I screwed on a CO2 tank and filled the hopper and away it shot without any initial problems. After the first game it started to act up though, firing twice per trigger pull, or occasionally firing three or four times as if it was running out of air. I found the action of the bolt to be pretty stiff, I think that could be whats giving me issues. Regardless, I've purchased a BT rebuild kit and some new oil so I'll be letting you know how it goes shortly once I've replaced all the O rings and lubed it up like old times. On a side note, don't buy cheap red dot sights. They can't take a direct hit. Mine was hit and it pretty much exploded. My next one won't be from China. ;)
Conclusion: In conclusion, I must say that this gun outperforms the 98C and the A-5. If you were to get an A-5 with the same accessories (stock, sights, etc) it would cost over $150 more. The gun is as reliable as any Tippmann out there. You could never clean it, and never oil it, and leave it in a puddle on the side on the road overnight and pick it up the next day and it will shoot as good as it did before. Its built like a rock and is probably one of the best looking guns out there for the price. I would recommend this gun to anyone who doesn't plan on playing speedball with it. Hell, if you took all the extra stuff off of it and gave it an E-trigger, you could probably make it a pretty good speedball marker. This marker is the best marker I have ever used. Totally worth it.
Rating:
10 out of 10Last edited on Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 9:13 pm PST
 

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