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CQB.Wardog Monday, September 17th, 2007
Period of
Product Use:
2 years2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Several Tippmann markers in my lifetime from the Pro-Am to the '98
Marker Setup: Tippmann A-5, Special Ops air thru stock setup with remote, Centerflag air tank with sliding valve
Recommended
Upgrades:
New barrel, LAPCO side-rail mount, remote line, nitrogen system
Strengths: It's a Tippmann. It'll outlive your grandkids
Weaknesses: Difficult to field strip, hard to reassemble
Review: A long time ago I used a rental SL-68 2 while playing in the woods. In my life I've had the pleasure of shooting a Pro-Am, Pro-Lite, a .68 Special, and almost every other Tippmann gun ever made. But I never owned one, I just used rentals or borrowed from a buddy when I would go out of town and didn't feel like taking my gear with me.

So when I got the A-5a2 I knew it would be a good product. I've dealt with Tippmann at big games before and I know their customer service is top notch. In the box it comes with spare parts, as well as the original A-5 parts if you want to swap her back and forth. After a full disassembly, I found the largest problem of the A5. Putting one back together is a bear. Springs don't always want to fit back into the cast halves. So I made a mental not to never take it apart at the field, EVER. You also should have a clue before you take it apart, "spare parts" after you put the gun together is bad.

My A-5a2 came stock with a short thunderpig barrel, which I didn't like at all. The porting is all the way down the thing, and I was losing a lot of control and air efficiency. I recently replaced it with a Stiffi, and I couldn't be happier.

Much to my surprise, I can actually crank out a decent amount of paint with it. I think I can top her at 10 a second, if that's important to anyone. I run her with Nitrogen on a remote, and there's rarely any velocity problems when I'm laying out cover fire. The only time I had any was when I played at high elevation once, but even then I set the gun and it was fine for the day.

Typical of a Tippmann, she is a loud gun. She's also got the blowback 'kick' because of the in-line hammer/bolt. I don't look at these as disadvantages, I like the kick. That's why I got one with a stock on it in the first place. And the noise isn't as bas as the old .68 specials, that thing was LOUD.

Sighting down the barrel is not possible if you shoot her high on the shoulder like a speedball gun. You gotta put it in the same place you'd put a rifle, square into your shoulder. But the base A-5 is built to have the tank under the grip. Because of this, the iron sights are a waste of time when you rifle stock the thing. In fact, I ripped the iron sights off mine as they're completely useless. I side-mounted a dot sight and it puts paint where I want it. If you're used to pellet guns or rifles, shoot this like you'd shoot those, and you're fine.

Speaking of the stock, the balance is very reminiscent of rifles. I can snap it up to my shoulder and start firing very quickly, because it just has the right feel to it. It's also good for long patrols, because I can raise it up and shoot fairly fast. The lack of the handle grip really doesn't enter into things, as I don't shoot mine like a tommy-gun anyway. I hold her like a pump, and it works out.

One of the side benefits of this marker is it has a great reverse intimidation effect. I take her to speedball courses and it turns heads. I wear my camos or my blacks to play speedball anyway, and combined with the look of the A-5a2 some guys assume you're part of the local "SWAT" team. It's actually fun to play along, and throw a few hand signals at them.

Speedball or CQB, she's a touch long in the body. That's Tippmanns for you. Honestly, a Spyder or the Tac-1 is better for indoor play because they're smaller. But I like using the A-5 indoors, once you learn how to maneuver with it. If you play a lot of airball, Tippmanns aren't your gun anyway.

Over the two years I've been using her, I've never had to replace anything. It's a Tippy, it's a freaking tank. The worst damage is the loader has taken some dings and scratches. I replaced it with a ricochet stealth hopper, and problem solved. As long as you perform basic maintenence on her, the A-5 will last damn near forever.

Tippmanns have a lot of available upgrades, including e-trigger packages and accessories. I don't need an e-trigger, but I was thinking of replacing the power tube with another brand when I finally wear down the one in there. But that'll be a while, she's a Tippmann.
Conclusion: I hate reviewers who give a product they like a "10 out of 10" because there's no perfect paintgun. For my purposes, the A-5a2 is about right. It's not the fastest, the slimmest, the smallest, the quietest, but it fits my style of play. Not to mention that I could use her for another 30 years, and she'll still be cranking out paint. The trigger could be lighter, the hopper could be a little slimmer, there's a few other details but in all, it's a solid purchase and a solid product.

If you're looking for a solid piece of kit that you could use for the rest of your life, Tippmanns fit the bill in general. But she's not for everyone. If you're looking for raw firepower, or a "tight speedball gun", you won't be too happy with the A-5a2. If you're looking for a woods style paintball marker with a somewhat "Realistic" look, you'll like the A-5a2.
Rating:
8 out of 10
 

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