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Calculon Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Period of
Product Use:
1 year
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Smart Parts SP-8
Tippmann X-7
Marker Setup: SP-1 Blackheart board
L7v2 Bolt
Freak barrel with AA front with Apex tip; stainless inserts
CAR stock with stock adapter
Halo B V35 w/ Rip Drive
Tiberius raiser with BT offset rail; NC Star DP130 red dot
PE 72/3K steel tank with PE remote

Recommended
Upgrades:
SP-1 Blackheart board (only if you want to shoot above 11bps)
L7v2 bolt (minor upgrade)
Stock adapter with stock (personal preference)
Strengths: Accurate
Quite
Reliable
Never chops
Easy to maintain
Sturdy construction
Weaknesses: Stock board and solenoid eat up batteries
Center feed is not very milsim
Review: I got this gun as an afterthought, it was so cheap ($150 back then). I used it at first as a back-up and often as a loaner. The people I loaned it too always loved it. I started more and more to use it as my primary and I now take it everywhere with me.

The main strengths are :

-very quite, no kick. Even more quieter with L7 bolt.
-stock barrel is quite good
-stock regulator is very good. I tried my broken-in CP reg on it and saw no difference with the stock reg. I measured +/- 7 fps with fresh Draxxus Gold. I'm sure I could get +/-5fps or less with some extra tuning.
-no drop-off even at 11 bps
-comes with 3 firing modes stock: semi, 3-shot burst and full-auto. A great feature also is the ability to switch from one mode to another by simply pressing on the on/off button. Very useful during a game.
-Never chops, even with no eyes (stock SP-1s have none, only with the Blackheart upgrade) Very easy on the most brittle of paints. This is due to the "low-force" bolt. So even the stock bolt is pretty good. One of the main reasons why it won't chop is because the gun is capped at 11bps.
-Very easy to maintain. Has bolt-out-back system which gives a very easy access to the firing tube for quick cleaning and lubing. Use only Dow Corning-type grease (such as DC33) by the way. Such maintenance necessary after a couple of cases. Reg maintenance is also very easy, but more parts involved. Necessary only a few times a year.
-very durable plastic (unlike the SP-8's or even the TM-7's). I toss this thing around, play in the mud, the snow, drop it on rocks and there are even hardly any scratches on it; also no cracks anywhere whatsoever. Tough stuff!
-Plenty of picatinny rails to mount accessories.
-Comes with flashlight emplacement so a Mini Mag-Lite can be fitted in there without any modifications.

Weak points:

-The stock board is rather weak (common feature among Smart Parts guns). The 'noid eats up batteries badly. We're talking one per day of playing. I had the same problem with my SP-8 and when I switched to the Blackheart board the problem disappeared.

-Center-feed only. It is rather annoying not having the option to mount an off-center feedneck. To be able to mount a red dot scope I had to get a BT offset rail.

-Very limited choices of looks, unlike Tippmanns which can be turned into a great variety of look-alike real guns.

I must say I find the weak points very minor compared to the great benefits of its major points.

Get the Blackheart board ONLY of you want to shoot in the 12-20bps range. Otherwise there is absolutely very little reason to. The Virtue board only has the higher ROF settings, without the QEV and eyes of the BH for the same price, so you will get horrible drop-off and chops if you get the Virtue without adding eyes or a QEV. Both the Virtue and the Blackheart use the same stock solenoid which can't handle anything past 11bps.

With the L7 bolt and a Freak barrel, my set-up is even more quieter than a stock SP-1. Even when set at about 290fps it makes very little noise and no kick whatsoever. It was as if I had a silencer on! When I show this to other players, be they recball, milsim or even seasoned speedball players they are usually very amazed.
Conclusion: Awesome gun for such a low price. The kind of gun you buy as a back-up or a loaner but then end up using as your main gun. The perfect recball gun. Simply that amazing. I also cannot believe how cheap it is for all that you get.
Rating:
9 out of 10Last edited on Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 11:00 am PST
 

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