The BT Apex barrel comes with a barrel that is slightly larger than a normal .68 calibur. It handles all paintballs that I've used. From dimpled and cheap to the good stuff.
Utility, including increased distance, curve-shots and upgradability.
The barrel, not the actually adjustable tip, is only mediocre in quality.
I shot 400 paintballs through my nearly stock Tippmann X7 equipped with the BT Apex Barrel. I found the cheapest Wal-Mart balls I could find, Striker 500 count. One out of four paintballs were dimpled. Squeezing the paintballs revealed that one side of the gel cap was MUCH thinner than the other. Not to mention that they don't break well (often staying spherical and splashing paint on the target) and the paint color isn't very distinct when broken. If there is anything of less quality I would be surprised.
Through the Tippmann X7 with Apex none of the 400 paintballs broke. I know thats a low number of shots, but I think that is enough to test the Apex's response to the worst paintballs I could dig up(I had some 6 year old Brass Eagle paint that I wished I hadn't thrown away a few weeks before so that I could use them to test). On that note, I've determined for the short term, the Apex barrel can handle very cheap paint(on settings 5-8 to fully test it of course).
During this particular testing I was firing at trees, a hard rough surface, which ensured that the paintballs would break.
-Setting 8 (Backspin)
I tried the setting #8 "Super Flatline" mode for distance. To my surprise the paintball that I fired almost hit the ground in front of me before it expectedly pulled up and traveled off into the woods. I will have distance measurements later. It was a bit much for aiming, as you have to aim very high to hit a long distance target, but getting used to it wasn't so bad. I can agree with other reviews on the accuracy at setting 8 being quite sporadic.
-Settings 4-5 (Backspin)
As Invictus' review recommends, I set the adjuster to setting 5. Hitting a selected target was no problem, the path of the paintball was very level and I was very content with it's quality. I had never experienced a Flatline before, so this backspin was surprising and fun to experiment with.
-Setting 8 (Forward spin or "dive-bomb")
After reading reviews and testimonies to this mode I was anxious to try it out. In my yard there is a creek bed, the bank is very steep, six feet deep and sort of simulates a trench or open roof bunker. I fired a number of shots down into the creek bed. The arc on the ball was amazing, it looked like artillery unit's fire in a RTS computer game. I inspected the mud that is the creek's bank. Paintballs were sitting in the mud, right where a person would be crouching to guard direct fire. I was very impressed with its utility.
-Setting 8 (Left & Right Hooks)
I tried firing around thick trees in my yard. I realized that without a target around them I wouldn't know truly how close the shots were to the very backside of the tree. I decided to land some shots ON the tree with the Setting 8 left hook shot. I inspected the tree to find that the hits landed perpendicular to my firing position on the side of the tree. I can see myself using this in a game, but since I play woodsball, there will be alot more trees that would get in the way of most of these shot's travel path. Potentially useful.
Currently the retail price is $79.99 on most online Paintball Stores. Cheaper than the Flatline and much cheaper than its original price of $140
The tip of this BT Apex Barrel is removable. There are homemade mods to be done to adapt it to your own barrel as well as mods made by UMS (Underground Mod Shop) and Palmer's Pursuit Shop. I will report on the performance difference with Palmer's equipment when I get a chance to use my new equipment.
I was able to use this barrel during two paintball outings recently and I couldn't have been more impressed with the hooks and forward spin uses.
I was bunkered behind a tight clump of tree trunks. My teammate was to my left and our single remaining opponent was about 25 yards downhill and behind a very useful clump of thick trees. There are spaces between some of the trunks that he could fire in between with good vision.
Now, this particular opponent is known for being trigger happy. A paint waster but very skilled player. He'd already unloaded a hopper when I had made my way to the trees I was crouched behind. My only remaining teammate was not very cooperative, so I decided I'd go after the opponent on my own. With my Apex barrel at setting 8 and turned to a left-hook shot. I popped out from the right side of the tree and had time to shoot three discreet shots, trying to curve around his bunker. As I was retracting back behind my own trees I heard, "Whoa!" This told me I must have zinged a shot really close. I popped back out from my spot and unloaded four or five more extreme curves around the opponent's tree and heard, "HIT!"
After the game I asked him about the first three shots I had curved. He told me that he had definitely seen my position but thought that he was completely safe to defend where he was. He said he'd paused to dump another tube into his hopper and a shot flew past his face, between the tree trunks and his body. That's how far the curve threw the paintball around his bunker. My follow-up shots had splattered on the side of his arm and chest while he was facing my position.
On another occasion I had the perfect opportunity to use the forward spin or "dive-bomb" function. An opponent was behind an embankment which rolled downhill. Very similar to the testing of this function that I described in my above testing. A short story, I could see their mask lens shining in the sun as they were popping up, looking for something to fire at. I decided I would try using this new barrel beyond the improved distance functions and I quickly flipped the tip 180 degrees snapped the adjuster out to the 8th position and lobbed a few shots down into the drop off. The first two shots went way over. I overestimated the actual downward curve. The last shot I dropped the aim a little and SPLAT. Although I couldn't see the shot actually hit, she stood up and it had landed right on the lens.
All testing and gameplay was done at 280 FPS on sunny Pennsylvania summer days.
I would have to say that, so far, I would consider this BT Apex barrel a great utility to my new marker setup.
As for a comparison to a Flatline. I can't make that comparison from experience, but I did decide my choice of the two barrels through online reviews. I just couldnt choose the Flatline when I was reading that it was paint picky AND it couldn't be rotated to the positions of this barrel (not to mention that it's spin modes can be turned off completely, more intensely, that of the Flatline and of lesser intensity than the Flatline when desired).
It recieves a 9/10 because I cannot give it a 9.5, decent new price and the barrel could be improved.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, July 20th, 2007 at 9:12 pm PST
Umm I can tell you one brand of paint that is worse than Styker and that is Monster Balls, do not, do not use them and also would you suggest this barrel as a snipping barrel. By that I mean how is its accuracy at long distance, like 200+ feet and how long is the barrel overall.
Last edited on Saturday, November 24th, 2007 at 8:38 pm PST