Tippmann X7 with Red-Dot sight and custom stock, with custom sling
DEFINITELY a new barrel, perhaps new internals, better sights, stock, and remove rails on the side of the shroud if not in use
Ease of use
Ease of maintenance
Stock iron sights
A lot of controversy have been going around this marker; some good, some bad. But overall, this is a great marker. Nothing more, nothing less.
First of all, the accuracy with the stock barrel is pitiful. Simply pitiful. Topped with THE crappiest sight system I've ever seen, it does not help.
However, with a slightly longer barrel - Let's say a 10-incher - can dramatically increase its accuracy. Topped with a decent sight system, this gun will outperform many guns. As long as your Red-Dot sight doesn't break, that is.
The durability of the gun is just like the Tippmann quality... Rugged, reliable and virtually indestructible. You can get the AK-47 (Looks more like the 74, but whatever) mods and you can do pretty much the same thing to the marker as its real-life counterpart and will handle the same way. YOU CANNOT BREAK IT ON ACCIDENT. It's just not possible. I've heard some reports saying that the magazine breaks when hit, but that never happened, so as long as you take care of the whole gun things will stay intact.
The upgradability of the gun is incredible. What some markers have to get after purchase already comes with this gun. Military standard Picatinny Rails COVER this marker, making this the prickliest gun I've ever touched. And here's another thing: It comes with a removable shroud that could be tweaked just the way you want it. Some also complain that the shroud doesn't allow users to mount thicker barrels, but if you remove the ring that lines it thicker barrels could easily be mounted.
As mentioned on "recommended upgrades," I recommended the users to remove the side rails if they are not in use. Why? Because it hurts. The ends of those rails are like knives, and I've cut myself handling it. Plus, it allows the shroud to be held more like a rifle, if you like that kind of feel. After all, this gun was made to fit your needs.
Picatinny rails mean one thing: ACCESSORIZE. If you can put it onto a real gun, this gun can probably take it too. Want a vertical grip? Buy one. Mount one. Want lasers? Mount it. Want a bipod? Stick it on! Want a microwave oven? Put a rail adapter on that bad-boy and put it on. Anything that have a Picatinny or Weaver threading can be put on this gun.
Reliability of this gun is impressive. The only ball break I've had was after using stale paint for velocity testing and backyard shooting. Never has a ball broken inside my hopper. Never. If you wanna get picky, sure, you can complain about this gas-guzzler of a gun... But I've gone 3 games without refilling my 24Oz. tank. And I even had some left over to do some messing around.
Affordability is not something this gun is very good at. Priced at $300 on Special Ops and ActionVillage, this is currently the most expensive Tippmann gun. But you know what? The Cyclone EP is much faster than the A-5's, and the shroud and the rails would cost you an arm and a leg. If you want to get an A-5 and spend another $150 to get where the X7 is, go ahead, but this gun is worth the price in my opinion. So affordability, not so much. But Bang for the Buck factor? Definitely a 10.
BfB FACTOR: 10
Appearance is vital to a product. A marker might be EXCELLENT. But if it looks like a piece of turd, then who'll buy it? The moment I saw this gun I was in love with it. And this has been my dream gun ever since I got my Spyder. If only I got this baby before the P.O.S. marker...
The love for milsim may or may not persuade a consumer from buying this gun. A lot of my friends complain how ugly it looks because of its rails. I say it looks practical. And it definitely looks sexy. In my opinion. But the important thing is that you have to have the guts to go against speedballers bashing the looks of this gun. Or for any milsim/Tippmann marker for that matter. Sure, this gun is not the lightest. Nor is it the smallest. And it definitely isn't the fastest. But if you take any of the $1000 speedball guns out in the desert... better go sell your kidney to get your gun repaired.
Ergonomics decide how long a player can carry around his weapon for prolonged amounts of time. Although big and blocky, the X7 can be lugged around for literally hours without tiring me out. Compared to the A5, it feels much lighter. Why? Because it's balanced. Also, many features are set-up so that it feels right in your hands.
I definitely recommend this gun to any player that asks me which marker they'd like to get. Aside from a slightly hefty price tag, this gun is just too great. Sure, the stock barrel is crap, but so is a lot of guns.
And don't be fooled by people saying it's just a more expensive version of the A-5. Sure, it's more expensive, but the improvements are much greater than they say. So grab your piggy bank, smash it into pieces, and head to your local sports store today! Or anytime sooner! Or whatever!
Though you say the Cyclone is much faster than the A-5. Not true. X-7 can do up to 20 Balls Per Second (with E-Grip of course) and the A-5 can do 17 BPS with E-Grip. So unless 3 BPS is realy that much of a difference.....it's not big.