Smart Parts SP-1
Smart Parts SP-8
X-7 w/ E-Grip
Opsgear 12" G36 barrel
Freak kit w/ 16" tactical barrel
Tech T Squishy paddle
Tech T Vortex ratchet
X36 folding stick
Orange bolt (tried for a short time)
ND aluminium power tube (tried for a short time)
Cut power tube
Cut ball detent
PE 72/3K steel tank with PE remote
APE Rampage board (big time - see review)
Tech T Squishy paddles
Tech T Vortex ratchet
any good, short and smooth barrel
hard-shell paint (see review)
Super easy to maintain
Comes with own loader
Hard on brittle paint
Not as accurate as true electro
I bought two X-7s this year and sold them both. Not because they are bad guns but because I did not understand how to use them. I was too focused into making my X-7 perform like a true electro-pneumatic gun.
The main strengths of the X-7 are :
-built tough, very low maintenance. They are the 'Kalashnikovs' of paintball. For maintenance you can easily split the two halves in 30 seconds time. Just a few drops of oil here and there and maintenance is done.
-comes with the Cyclone, so no need to get an expansive loader or to fiddle around with batteries. Also the Cyclone is low profile.
-Very customizable: can be turned into a M4, UMP, MP-5, etc very easily.
-Since it runs at 850psi at least there's no drop-off
-Tippmann has awesome customer service so you buy piece of mind when you get a Tippmann. Also due to the popularity of the gun you can find parts for cheap everywhere.
What's not so good:
-quality control is iffy at best. Lots of paint overspray gets inside the gun and sometimes balls may rub against that causing breaks. Lots of rough edges as well, which causes break. So polishing and sanding down those edges is not an option.
-The gun kicks a lot. Some people love that, whatever. The gun is very rough on tournament-style brittle paint (like RPS Evil or Draxxus Gold) and will turn into a blender if you use any. Must use harder-shelled paint like Draxxus Blaze. Then no problem.
-All things being equal (using same fresh batch of consistently round paintballs, same barrel, same air source) any gun with speedball internals will be more accurate. I know, I tested. Using the same components I mentioned above I would get +/- 5 fps at the chrono with my SP-8, then +/- 15 on my X-7.
-The stock ratchet often breaks. Get a Tech T Vortex ratchet just to prevent that.
The stock E-Grip is total crap. First of all to turn it on or off you need a small object like an Allen key or a pen. And you must turn it on and off before and after every game otherwise it will drain your battery in no time. Also after a few games the stock E-grip just died on me. Tippmann repaired it for free, but I still had to pay for shipping (so not so 'free' after all!). I HIGHLY recommend the APE board.
Squishy paddles from Tech T is a good idea (and cheap) to prevent Cyclone chops. Although some now boil the stock paddles to make them softer on paint. Never tried it. I also recommend a rather short and smooth barrel (maybe 8"-12" max). Forget those 16-18" monsters they will actually hinder the performance of the gun. A smooth barrel will be easier to clean and if shorter will be less likely to cause barrel breaks. Opsgear and Lapco are good choices. Also make sure you overbore, that is that you pick a barrel that is much larger than the paint you are using. With Tippmanns it is often a good idea to pick the largest bore you can find (usually around 0.690-0.695)
Also forget aftermarket parts like bolts and power tubes. They're absolutely useless. Get a Tech T Lightning rod or QEPH if you want to be able to shoot 15-20bps, which I really don't recommend on any Tippmann anyway. So they're kind of useless.
One last thing: I HIGHLY recommend setting velocity in the 250-270fps range. Tippmanns perform much better within that range. You may lose a few feet of distance but your shots will be much more accurate, and you will prevent a lot of chops/breaks.
The main reason I see to get a Tippmann is if you play a lot of milsim-scenario games where you have a limited amount of round per player. If you want a "paint thrower" with milsim looks get a true electro-pneumatic (SP-1 or TM-7)
7 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 at 5:49 pm PST