Phantoms--lighter [but feels 'cheaper'], has a stiffer pump stroke, but still a great gun [I own one!]
PPS pumps--heavier, but great pump stroke and high quality.
Snipers--gneh. Not my cup of tea. EDIT: never mind. Read my S6 review.
Newest model Carter Buzzard in brilliant dust purple/pink
SS Carter/Sanchez Machine insert barrel
Hybrid .45 grips
Forest green w/ milling through the anno
12" Dye Ultralite
A shoulder stock
Nail polish/electrical tape
Paint and air...which are highly underrated ;)
Incredibly high quality
Amazing and classical looks
Superb performance and overall feel
Doesn't come drilled/tapped for bottomline screws these days.
I bought a Buzzard because I had always wanted one and I had the cash. I've used many kinds of pumps but one never really 'clicked' with me. PPS makes great products, as does CCI, but for whatever reason they just don't feel right to me; the Phantom, despite its quality, feels to me like a cheap toy. I hate the way that PPS Sheridans' pump handles flop around after cocking because PPS removes the bolt bearings--they basically require you to keep your mitt clamped on there at all times, which doesn't appeal to me too much. As for Snipers: CCM.
Carter guns are made of all handcrafted parts of the highest quality. Everything has the solid and well-made feel of an AKA or AGD marker. Even my trigger spring was cut to fit this particular gun and to give the best trigger feel [which is amazing--I'd kill for this smooth of a setup on my Ego or PM6, relatively speaking.] The trigger has a snappy feel to it. The gun doesn't suffer from hammer bounce and each shot is a crisp SNAP out of the barrel. The pump stroke alone is worth the price--very smooth and silky, and very very light. The bucket changer is very quick and very comfortable to glom onto as a foregrip. The 1.5 frame is a matter of contention amongst owners but, as some reviews have noted, Carter will make you a Buzzard or Comp with the original-style frame if you want that instead. Personally I find the 1.5 to be very comfortable, and the supposedly "angular" frame is nothing of the sort, in my opinion.
The barrel is the usual legendary Carter piece, but this time around it uses a Sanchez Machine insert system which means I can buy extra inserts in different sizes [though at the present time I am just using a piece of electrical tape in the barrel, as I have always done with pumps.] I must say that I miss the days when Earon Carter made SS barrels, but he says they were too much of a hassle to mill...so we have to make do.
The anodizing and overall finish is flawless. I'm almost afraid to play with this thing--I'm almost tempted to buy another [edit: which I did] and just keep this one in a display case [edit: which I do not]! Mine has the milled pump handle and body rail and it is a beautiful package overall. I almost wish Earon could have stuck to anodizing his guns first and then milling through the finish [I happen to think it's more of the classic Carter look and very visually appealing] but I have no actual complaints about the fact that my Buzzard is covered in a beautiful layer of anodizing.
Performance overall is stellar; the marker is exceptionally accurate and fairly quiet. I get 40+ shots from a 12g CO2 and I expect that only to improve over time as the marker breaks in. The Phantom is superior to the Carter models only in ease/speed of disassembly, but to be honest as long as you make sure that your set screws are aligned well on the Buzzard you'll never have to mess with anything again.
In the future I plan to purchase a 13/3000 HPA tank since my field offers free fills, which will save me a good deal on 12gs. Hopefully I'll find some nice tank rings to sling it under my T-stock, but I can also use a bottomline ASA [though I had to have my shop drill/tap it because the Buzzard frame came without any sort of mounting holes.] I might also invest in the direct-feed collar option just to have it around, and perhaps a backbottle adapter.
Carter makes some of the finest handmade works of art in paintball. If you like stock class and want a bit of class...buy it. This and the Comp certainly aren't cheap, but sell one of those useless electros you've got hanging around and treat yourself to a true piece of quality.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, July 13th, 2008 at 7:51 pm PST