I have owned 7 Intimidators ranging from the Classic Style, 2K2 versions, Alias platforms and now the Generation 4's. This marker has significant improvements over many of the capabilities offered by previous platforms. It does however require more intensive and proactive maintenance and a diligence in keeping o-rings lubed with Dow 55 and the poppet and rocket cap in the valve operating precisely.
I shoot a 2K5'd GZ, Excalibur, Viking, Texas Storm, Ripper, Ripper 2 and Ripper 3 Intimidators. I run a Halo or an Empire Reloader B (and now a Pulse) with a PMI Pure Energy or Crossfire Tank.
Due to the redesign from the Alias to the Generation 4 platform, there are very few upgrades recommended out of the box. Most are a matter of personal preference and have minimal effects on the performance of the marker. If you feel compelled to put upgrades in, here's what I'd recommend.
1. Techna Trigger. The stock trigger is the best one Bob has put on an Intimidator but nothing comes close to beating a Scythe II Techna. The wait however is about a year.
2. Tadao M6 Board. The Frenzy board is one of the top two or three stock boards in paintball and has more capabilities than the average user will use. If you're a high end competitive tournament player, the Tadao is the way to go. The cost difference between the Empire 1.5 board that comes stock and the $135 you'll spend on a Tadao makes it somewhat restrictive/unnecessary.
3. Barrel. Everyone swaps this out. Pick your favorite and put it on.
4. Rail/ASA. Same as a barrel. I prefer the CP's but get whichever you prefer.
5. HPR. I recommend that if you're going to get rid of the stock torpedo (which frankly is amazing on my Ripper 3) I'd go with the only one that's significantly better and that's the AKA 2-Liter.
6. Feedneck. I actually am not a big fan of this and would recommend a CCM or Empire Clamping feedneck to supplement this already amazing marker.
7. Probably the only mandatory upgrade that I'd recommend are the hard blue detents from Paintball Kingdom. These ensure that you can easily use a Halo, Reloader B or other forcefed loader without chopping.
Balanced valve makes for a marker that operates smooth and consistent at a low LPR.
More intensive maintenance required compared to previous model intmidators.
Bob has really hit the ball out of the park with the Generation 4 platform. The Milling on the Ripper 3 is reminiscent of the Classic Ripper, Ironman and Ripper 2.5 bodies that the Intimidator community has come to adore. It's been shortened and lightened and accomodated with a 2K6 gripframe to make a light, small, precisely milled marvel that's a dream to shoot.
As with all 2K6 platform markers, the Ripper 3's incorporate many upgraded features. They come stock with the adjustable ram cap that's threaded on the outside making for a smooth ram travel on the inside. The LPR is smaller and easier to remove to access the internals. The gauge has been redesigned and Bob is now using a stock Bob Long gauge that is better and more diminutive than the Ashcroft gauges of year's past. The 2K6 frame is smaller than the infamous and utilizes the same proven Humphrey's Solenoids and hose configurations, however the barbs are better positioned into the ram sleeve (due to a redesign) and are easier to get to and remove without risking damage to the sleeve or LPR block. The Ripper 3 uses an Alias style ram block with the offset barb for easy removal and access to the valve.
The Ripper 3's also incorporate a "balanced" valve system to keep an even pressure on the valve. Early Gen4's had problems with the newly designed poppets and rocket caps. The Ripper 3's were the first Gen4's to come stock with the reinforced Rocket Cap (removed using a 3/8" socket) and brass poppet. Unlike past versions you need to be careful about the lube used on the poppet. The new poppet has 3 o-rings, of which the front one is critical to lube. Lubing the middle one can cause it to become slick and roll off causing a leak.
Ripper 3's are more maintenance intensive and require exclusive use of Dow 55 to ensure swelling of o-rings to ensure a tight seal throughout the marker. The redesigned ram has a rear o-ring that must have a solid amount of Dow for the marker to chrono to velocity.
The Ripper 3 has the proven torpedo regulator and also has a wider trigger guard so you can get those fingers moving quickly. The triggers are probably the best stock ones on an intimidator yet, though I'm still preferential towards a good Techna. The board is the Empire 1.5 board (same as a Frenzy 127.5) and has the firing modes including Semi, PSP, NXL modes with adjustable and uncapped ramping modes as well as adjustable dwell, debounce, mbounce, etc. These are probably the best stock boards in paintball today.
The real upside is that many upgrades from previous versions will work on the Ripper 3's including Gen 4 Techna's, Tadao boards, Regulators and Kila Detents.
The new valve system and overall redesign means a marker that rips strings of paint at blinding speeds, much like previous intimidators, but with little to no kick. Even at 70-80 psi out of the LPR there's little kick to the marker. The balanced valve also enables the owner to move the LPR down into the 40's with conistent cycling/shooting of paint.
The downsides of the marker are the more proactive maintenance required to keep it working. It must take Dow 55 and Dow 55 only as a lube since Dow 55 will swell o-rings. These tight seals are critical for efficient operation. The marker, when working well will get you 1600-1800 shots per 68/4500 fill. it's a relatively quiet shooting marker though not nearly as quiet as a spool valve. Certainly the least noisy of ram/poppet designs.
The milling is incredibly precise and sharp and is actually sharp enough in the back where the prongs can cut you if you try and carry it as if you had a snatch grip. (I jokingly call it the vampire for the symmetrical marks it leaves on my hand). Beyond that, this has some of the best milling of any Intimidator.
The best part of this marker is that it's backed by BLAST, the best shop in paintball. If you have issues with it the BLAST techs are there to service the marker and perform warranty work as needed and without hesitation.
This is probably the pinnacle of Intimidators to date. A low pressure marker with high speed operation capable of ripping strings of paint consistently while operating at 40psi. It's a revolution in the execution of paintball marker technology and certainly incorporates innovations and lessons learned from previous markers.
Both of the pictures listed at the top of this review are of my marker. The first is a picture, taken by Terry59 at BLAST prior to the marker being sent to me in Sept. The second is of me holding it at my house.
A top notch marker in the Intimidator line and well worth the money. It's fast, light, consistent and operates smoothly.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, January 11th, 2007 at 6:04 am PST
I a currently debating between a ripper 2.5 and a ripper 3. Does the 4th gen upgrades that the ripper 3 comes with make it a more viable option over the 2.5 ? I have shot and love the 2.5 but havent gotten my hands on a 4th gen timmy to test the feel of the reduced force valve, maintenence is not an issue for me as I know what im doing for the most part, I just wanted your opinion on the two. Currently i have te opurtunity to pick up the ripper 3 for 800 plus shipping ....
By the way ... I thought your review was very insightful and adressed alot of things I had questions about, glad to see atleast somone goes in detail on theyre reviews.
I'm 6'3" and 235 lbs, I actually like the longer feel of the Generation 3 markers better due to my size. The Gen4's are nice and compact and quite light but the Gen3's balance a bit better for me, for my size. That fact doesn't detract from the quality of this marker.