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Comments on Scipio's Review

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Scipio Saturday, February 23rd, 2008
Period of
Product Use:
2 years
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Tippmann A5 - nice, but the US5 e-trigger is easier to use and more durable. Also I prefer an electric hopper to the cyclone loader. The cyclone blocks my view to the right while I can sight under my electric hopper pretty well.
Marker Setup: PCS US5
Evil Pipe Barrel Kit
PCS SAW stock
Ricochet 2KX
Palmer Stabilizer Regulator
Trinity carry handle
Armson Pro Dot sight
Recommended
Upgrades:
A stock
10 BPS or better electric hopper
Strengths: The US5 has great features at a bargain price.
Weaknesses: It is possible to kink the hammer spring if you're not careful when reassembling.
Review: The PCS US5 is a high pressure, in-line design marker. It works well with both high-pressure air/nitrogen and CO2. It has a fairly loud report and more recoil kick than my DP Fusion LE and for that matter probably most every low-pressure marker.

The US5’s right side, offset ball-feed allows you to sight straight down the barrel. It has both 3/8th and 7/8th sight rails on the top.

The marker is equipped with a short Spyder/Pirahna threaded barrel.

The electronic version of the PCS US5 has an MSRP of $179.95. The manual version's MSRP is $129 and can be easily upgraded to the electronic version by purchasing the electronic grip separately for about $50. The manual version is now routinely available on line for $99.95.

Function.
The PCS US5’s appearance is slightly reminiscent of the Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine gun. It has a rear pistol grip, a broomstick-style front grip and MP5-style sights. It does not come with a stock or a faux magazine.

The rear portion of the rear pistol grip is removable/replaceable. The electronic PCS US5 comes with two grip inserts. One houses the trigger electronics and a battery well. The other is basically empty restricting the trigger to manual semi-automatic mode. The marker features an electronic trigger w/tourney lock semi-automatic, unlocked semi-automatic, 3 shot burst or fully automatic. The lighter touch of the electronic grip combined with the use of a stock allows me to stay on target as I deliver several rapid-fire shots. The marker’s rate of fire is 10 balls per second on fully automatic.

The electronic grip provides modular trigger electronics rather than a circuit board that is installed into the frame. It is fully self-contained so there are no wires to pinch and no circuits to cross or chip. It can be installed or removed in seconds. The PCS US5 comes with a rechargeable battery and charger.

As I mentioned above, the marker comes with a second, manual grip. With this grip installed the trigger is slower. But, it is nice to have for those days when it is threatening rain and you don’t want to chance exposing your electronic grip to rainwater. The grips are instantly changeable.

The US5 has a side-cocking handle designed to protect the marker’s internals from dirt, paint and other debris.

Reliability
I have used my PCS US5 for two full years. I play one day every other weekend with few exceptions during good weather. We play several games each day. I have yet to miss a game because my PCS US5 was not operating properly. I fully disassemble my marker to clean it after each day of use but that’s not always necessary. I lightly lubricate the marker once before each day of play.

The ball feed flips down to allow the use of a pull-through squeegee. I almost never chop paint with my PCS US5, although I have broken a few balls in the barrel. However, in each case I was shooting either old paintballs or high-end brittle tournament paintballs. I have had very good luck shooting Chronic, Scorch, Ramp, X-ball Silver and Nightmare paintballs with this marker.

Durability
After two years of frequent use the marker looks good. I have not replaced a single component due to wear. I did destroy a ball detent when I accidentally installed it backwards. I have also replaced a hammer spring that was bent when I bought the marker. When assembling the US5 it is important to do so with the marker in the charged (rear) position to avoid bending the hammer spring.

Ease of use
Using the manual trigger, operation is simple: press the safety to fire mode and go play. When using the electronic trigger add the following two steps: turn on the electronic grip and select a firing mode.

The selector for setting the firing mode is a single silver button on the outside of the marker near the top of the grip. Each push cycles to the next of three firing modes: semi-automatic, three round burst and fully automatic. There is no indication, LED or otherwise to which mode the marker is set.

The tourney lock is also on the grip but must be set before installing it as the switch is concealed when the grip is in place.

Ease of Maintenance
I do not consider the PCS US5 to be easy to clean. It shares a clamshell design with many other in-line design markers. Consequently, it is not easily field-strippable. You need to disassemble the entire marker to thoroughly clean it. However, you can accomplish some cleaning without disassembling the marker. Leave the marker fully assembled, but remove the barrel and flip down the ball feed, at which point you can see a large amount of the bolt. With some water in a spray bottle you should be able to do a fair job of cleaning a chop without fully disassembling the marker.

One aspect of the PCS US5 design that does contribute to ease of maintenance is the trigger assembly. Like the electronic grip, the trigger assembly is a single, self-contained piece, no tiny pins or springs.

I sometimes play where there is no HPA available. On those days I power my PCS US5 with CO2. I consider the US5 to have average gas efficiency.

Upgradeability.
The PCS US5 accepts Tippmann A5 or grip bottom stocks. The top of the receiver is milled to allow the use of sights with either 3/8” or 7/8” mounts. The US5 accepts Spyder/Pirahna threaded barrels.
Conclusion: I am surprised that the PCS US5 is not more popular than it is. It has great features at a bargain price. Reading through the other reviews I see that loyal Tippmann owners are outraged that PMI dared manufacture an in-line marker. I commend their loyalty but wish they would comment on the US5 based on facts rather than emotion. I also wonder why Spyder owners aren't similarly outraged at about 30 other marker manufacturers for daring to manufacture a stacked tube marker.
Rating:
10 out of 10Last edited on Monday, February 25th, 2008 at 9:55 am PST
 

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