The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion below.
Period of Product Use:
Less than a month
29 of 36 people found this review helpful.
More than 5 years
Similar Products Used:
Model 98 + Flatline (essentially the same)
M98 and A5 with Flatline with lots of various upgrades for gas efficiency, looks, and ROF.
Generally the smallest size you can get but unfortunately this is not a universal truth on the Flatline.
Range, the wow factor of the first time you shoot it.
Accuracy, maintenance, and most of all CONSISTENCY - read my review!
I was an early adopter of the Flatline barrel when it first appeared on the market for the Model 98 years ago. At that time I had not yet graduated to an electric marker running on HPA and was using a tricked out M98. I play a lot of scenario games and liked to play sniper so the Flatline seemed like a great choice, man was I wrong.
6 months later I was so frustrated with my M98 + Flatline I not only stopped using the barrel but I SOLD my M98 and all related accessories! I have since tried the A5 with flatline to see if it has improved and found it to be essentially the same. I have 6 months of play experience with this barrel - PLEASE if you are considering a Flatline purchase keep reading and think carefully.
There are a lot of 10/10 reviews posted on this page. They all say things like "Wow! Amazing range!" and "Great Accuracy!" but if you read carefully you will see the word "if" used an usually high number of times - and that, in a nutshell, is the basic problem with the Flatline barrel. The Flatline seems great when you are shooting it in your backyard under perfect conditions. The Flatline will shoot an acceptably accurate shot at slightly longer ranges than traditional barrels IF:
- You can keep your velocity at a consistent 280 FPS +/- 5 FPS at all times.
- You never break a ball in the barrel (God help you if you do)
- You have the exact right paint for your barrel (which can vary from barrel to barrel and can even change depending on the temperature outside!)
But these are just too many "if's" for a day of actual paintball. Good luck keeping a consistent 280 FPS all day long, especially if you are on CO2. Play somewhere where it gets hot in the afternoon? I hope you like frequent trips to the chrony. Is the field you play at or the scenario your are attending "Field Paint Only"? If so and if that is not the exact right size for you flatline you are in for an afternoon of comically inaccurate shots, or worse - spraying liquid paint out the front of your barrel most of the time. Did you just experience a barrel break? Hope you brought a sidearm! Have fun taking your gun apart after the game to clean it out while your friends kick back with a can of Coke.
Even IF all the stars line up for you - you have PERFECT paint match for your particular flatline, your velocity stays extremely consistent all the time (maybe you are on good HPA and have an awesome reg installed... why you would pay for that kind of hardware on an A5 or M98 is beyond me... but some people do...) AND you never have a barrel break ALL DAY, your ball-to-ball accuracy will still not be any more consistent (probably a lot less) than a traditional barrel - and consistency is ultimately the most important thing in paintball accuracy. I do not care if you can hit a coke can 25 yards away dead-on with flat trajectory 4 out of 5 times. A good player with a good marker will be able to do that 5 out of 5 times with an arced trajectory. Flat trajectory does not automatically translate into "accurate." Sure it looks cool, but is it consistent and reliable? No it is not.
If you buy the flatline you will probably be impressed with it when you set it up, chrony it to the right velocity, get the right paint, and play with it in your back yard. But when you take it to the field - you are in for a day of frustration. The concept of the Flatline barrel is insteresting and I commend Tippmann for coming up with a novel approach to delivering paint to a target, but there are just too many variables in paint quality, gun velocity, and field conditions to achieve CONSISTENCY on the flatline. Want to be a paintball snipre? Do yourself a huge favor and just buy a nice long high-quality traditional barrel and PRACTICE. Paint does not care if it was "floated" to the target or "lobbed", it will break either way. Marksmanship is about knowing where your shot is going to hit before you pull the trigger and not having to cross your fingers and hope for the best! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ;)
Dispute: This review is in accurate because there are not alot of "ifs" like Umgar says. I have found that the barrel is quite forgiving to paint. the only time i ever had a ball break was when i was first testing my barrel and was using CHEAP OLD paint I had. even coated the curve in the barrel still produced better shots than straight barrels. The whole point of the flatline is to not have to lob shots and have increased accuracy. the idea that a longer barrel means better accuracy is a fallacy. the paintball is being pushed out of a straight barrel while it is getting backspin from the flatline's barrel therefore adding lift which increases range/draws out the flat portion of the arc. also there is no porting on the barrel meaning it is being propelled with more force as the co2 doesn't vent till it reaches the end of the barrel.
This is improper use of the "dispute" feature. This guy's comments are based solely on his opinion. My review is based on my experience, nothing I stated was factually inaccurate. If he wants to make comments like this he should write *his own review* and not attempt to hijack mine with a dispute.
Dispute: This reveiw went into detail. But their were many Opionated comments. I disagree with you on the barrel.If you post a reveiw of a product you must use it fully and maintain it. When you said it was hard on paint, every barrel chops a ball now and then.period. With the flatline when you chop one ball, you must squeegy the barrel or clean it, right away or you will chop them over and over again. The cure: Use brush squeegy. A rubber rod with a brush at the ends. It cleans the barrel as well as a squeegy, and you dont have to take off the barrel. It takes about ten seconds. You will carry it on you all the time and it will fix the ball chopping problem. Also you stated when coditions are right its a good barrel. Well this one is easy. All barrels are bad on windy days and bad days.I feel that why you are hard on it, is because you disliked it on the 98, I also used the flatline on the 98, the old style and the new style on the 98. It was not as affective of the flatline on the a5, but was still good. So it seems you came in with a bad feeling on flatline barrels. So i feel some statements were exaggereted. I hope I could help out thanks for reading.