Tippman Pro/Carbine, Tippmann 98 Custom, A-5, Stingray II, Tigershark, PGP
High Voltage Marker
J&J 12" ceramic barrel
PGP - sidearm
Barrel (a must)
Light trigger pull
Great entry-level electromarker
Barrel/Hopper breaks (paint?)
Vertical feed (personal preference)
Brass Eagle ties
First of all, I came from a background of ALL completely mechanical markers, so i'm not all that positive if i'm being too harsh on this marker or not. It's just in a new catagory to me, and therefore is being judged so.
My first impression of this marker was about the same as it would be with anything else bought at Wal-Mart...don't except the best. However, I've found the marker to be more exceptional then I initially thought. I questioned a full-auto, electro paintball gun priced at $100, which also INCLUDED an agitated hopper. Made me question the integrity of the gun's quality.
Well, apparently the days have changed since when I played 5 years ago or so. I took a break and then got into it again. All the sudden, guns are offering more bang-for-the-buck, and they really are produced with a lot more precision for the money. Gone are the days of other markers such as the stingray...which was so corny that it's barral didn't even SCREW IN.
Anyhow, I found the gun to be surprisingly quick and smooth when it came to firing. Being the first electro marker i've used, I thought the trigger pull was simply IMPRESSIVE. Now apparently, others have commented that it's heavy compared to other electro's out there...but in my own opinion...it really did impress me coming from an all-mechanical Tippmann background. Short and sweet did impress me, and the 3 different modes made it seem like more than a steal than it should have been. Where's the shortcoming here? There had to be one.
And of course, there is. The achilles heel of the gun is made apparent by the barrel and hopper. Looks pretty suave, but it's finish didn't really reassure me too much. I've taken the gun out 3 times now, and played over about 2K paintballs. I had a horrendous 2nd time, with balls breaking not only in the barral, but also in the hopper AND the feeding neck, deaming it about useless until taken apart and cleaned out properly. (NOTE - i can't blame that entirely on the marker, however. I was using Monster Balls, which I enventually found to be produced ultimately by the infamous failure...brass eagle. Enough said). While I couldn't get over the intial excitement of an agitated hopper, I very quickly grew...agitated...with the hopper. I was constantly having hopper breaks, and having to take it apart and clean it out. In the end, while the VL200 may not be able to feed paintballs quite as consistantly as the Quantum VL that comes with marker, the headache that it saves you and the extra 60 paintballs it carries seems to easily outweigh the latter.
The barrel is almost a MUST when it comes to upgrades, as there is a definete night and day effect after playing with my J&J ceramic. WELL worth the $35. I dug deeper to find out that VL was bought out by Brass Eagle years ago, but still retained the VL name. This concern was pretty quickly pushed aside, as the VL High Voltage does seem to outperform any Brass Eagle product i've used, by far.
Another problem that I ran into was when using the full-auto mode. Simply put, the internals freeze up pretty easily, which causes a sloppy recoil, and spraying of flaked CO2 everywhere. I've only played in the cold, so i'm not sure how bad this affects it, but it's a big problem for this gun. In 3 burst, it doesn't happen as frequently as long as you pace yourself. Semi mode didn't really touch it, as your fingers would get tired before you'd freeze it.
I question if the expansion chamber is even functional at times, or if maybe it was just placed there to create a foregrip. At any rate, it does seem to offer a good place to hold the gun balanced.
As mentioned, the gun seems A LOT more paint-brand specific than any other Tippmann i've used...but if you find a brand that it likes, you'll be surprised how sweetly this gun can sing. In my experience, RPS Marballizer work great (why wouldn't they though), and for starter paint, Visable Impact and Recon paint, both made by GameFace, seem to carry their own. A little thick on the fill, but breaks are far and between. Best of all...they are readily available at any local Wal-Mart.
To tap the VL High Voltage's real potential, dump the Quantum VL hopper that comes with it for a $4 VL200 hopper, and a better barrel...immediately puts the gun right up with almost any other entry-level electromarker in it's class.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, November 26th, 2006 at 1:46 am PST
actually if you're going to get a new hopper, stick with something like a revvy or an empire reloader. if you remove the spring on the trigger, most electros can be made much faster , and with that speed you're better off with an electronic loader of some sort. the quantum is really only made to make sure the paint doesn't get "jammed" in the loader, and like you said the capacity is a little weak. as for the marker freezing up, the simple solution is to stay away from CO2. yes it costs more for a compressed air tank, but the reliability is worth the price!