I purchased this marker about three months ago for use as a backup, in case my beloved, and highly tweaked Proto Matrix fails on me. Wouldn't you know it, my Matrix failed that day, and I had to use my new Mini. I fell in love with it. After using it for a day, I like it almost as much as my Matrix. Here is a rundown on my impressions of the marker.
Overall Design: This section is largely for you old-school ballers out there. The Mini is what the E-Mag should have been. I am a huge fan of all of AGD's work, and looking at the Mini, it looks like Invert took a cue from Tom Kaye and the gang at AGD. The marker seems to be a hybrid spool valve/poppet valve/blow-forward design. It's rather genius. All of the electronics are housed in the foregrip, and the mechanical guts of the marker are contained in the rear of the mainbody. All one needs to do the clean the interior of the mainbody is remove one screw and the bolt and valve slide out the back, very similarly to an Automag. The integral ASA and regulator provides air to the marker through a hard line in the trigger frame. This results in no external hoses.
Size/Weight: All of this combines to make a marker that is compact and light. It feels about as light as my CCI Phantom. For those of you too young to know what that is, trust me, it's light. This marker is so easy to sprint with, that it became an essential for the guys I play with who are in the front. They threw a 4" barrel on it and went nuts.
Price: New, this marker was only $324.99. One can find them used on E-Bay for well under $300. This puts it well under half of what I spent on my Matrix.
Maintenance: The design of the marker makes the maintenance a breeze. All one regularly needs to do is clean it and lube the bolt. It's just that simple.
Efficiency: I didn't really pay too much attention to how many pods I got out of my tank, but I seemed to fill it about half as often. I'll pay more attention to it the next time I go out.
Speed: Stock, this marker could almost keep up with my Matrix, in semi. It was competitive with everything on the field. Since I swapped the trigger to a CP Rake Trigger, it is firing even faster.
Quiet: This needs to be taken with a grain of salt, since I was using my St!ffi barrel on the marker, but it was astonishingly quiet. Not as quiet as my PM6, but people knew who was firing at them when 12 paintballs came quietly their way.
Trigger: This is purely personal preference, but there is considerable slop to the trigger. The magnetic return also makes it a very soft pull and return. I prefer a more stiff and crisp pull. The CP Rake Trigger with a spring return eliminated most of the side slop and gave it a more crisp return. This was more to my liking.
As a counterpoint, some people really like how soft the stock settings are. There's a lot of bounce at some points that some have exploited for insane rates of fire.
LED Placement: This only really applies to those of us who play night games, but the placement of the LED makes it constantly blink red and reflect off the trigger fingers. This could give a person away in a night game. It does not really apply to the regular games that I play during the day. It could simply be taped over, but I'm being nitpicky.
Board: This is not something that bothers me, as I only play at fields that require semi only, but the programming is very limited, and the rate of fire is capped at 20 BPS. The method of programing seemed a little onerous, at first. If you are in search of more flexible programming and higher rates of fire, then you might want to consider an aftermarket board.
Integral ASA: Finally a word should be said about the ASA. The unique design of the marker fixes the ASA in a static location. This is not a big deal to me, but if one wishes to install a drop forward or stock, it is not an option. This was a sticking point for some of the people I play with.
Overall, this is a fantastic marker. It is competitive with everything that I've played against, and the price makes it all the more attractive. It's easy to maintain, compact, and fast. It has been so impressive that I've converted a few hardcore Tippmann people I play with.
Final rating: With 5 being the average and 10 doing everything advertised with no suggestions for improvement . . . 9. This is a highly competitive marker, especially when one considers the price. The only improvements I might suggest are the trigger, board, and maybe the LED.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 11:11 pm PST
This is an excellent review. I have been playing paintball for 12 years now. I own 2 Automags and 1 Minimag. I love them to death! I got out of paintball for two years but am lookign to get back in. Naturally i went to AGD to check out their new RT Custom ULE body. While I have played in the past with RT's and think they are amazing, the price to get everything I want brings a non electric up to $640. Having you, someone who knows AGD, rec commend this gun puts it in my basket for check out. Thanks!
JCON87, I've still got friends who rock their .68 Classics. They're bulletproof, but they're also, as you said, more expensive than the Mini, and, I've observed, less competitive. If you have any questions, send me a message. I'm all about sharing information.