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B_Manz Sunday, May 17th, 2009
Period of
Product Use:
3 months1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

4 years
Products Used:
Spyder Pilot
Spyder MR2
Shocker NXT
Tippman 98C
Tippman A-5
JT Tac 5
Smart Parts EOS
Marker Setup: SP Ion XE
360 QEV
ViewLoader eVlution 2
PMI 68/3000
Strengths: Lightweight
Not very Expensive
Lots of upgrades/parts
works with CO2 or HPA
shootdown after a while between shots(solved w/QEV)
changing modes (see review)
Review: after playing with my MR2 for a few months, i got tired of the constant cleaning and maintenance required to even play. I talked to my friend about what kind of gun i should look at getting as a replcement for it, and he suggested anything from Smart Parts would be a good bet without spending too much money.

After researching which gun i liked the most, i settled on the Ion XE because it had good reviews on this website, had Bolt-Out-Back, eyes, and lots of parts/upgrades available, unlike the MR2 (especially Barrels).

I was lucky enough to find a brand new one of these on E-Bay for about $125 and when I got it, I was not disappointed. The air efficiency was alot better than anything that i had ever played with, as an empty tank on my MR2 let me shoot about 3 more hoppers of paint on my XE with a remote (don't use CO2 without a remote).

However, HPA was a different story. Off of a 68ci/3000 tank, i shot about 3 hoppers before noticing shoot down. This was solved with the 360 QEV ($18) however, as my dwell moved from 52 blinks to 22, increasing efficiency and cycling rates. (PSI also dropped about 30 PSI to 150)

This is not as innacurate as some people might say. If you shoot large bore paint through it with HPA, it is ball on top of ball at about 35 yards. with CO2 the spread is about 6 inches. (I was using RPS Stinger).

Honestly, unless you feel like spending over $100 just to shoot over 20 BPS, you don't need to upgrade this. If you play woodsball like myself, you don't really need to shoot over the stock board's 17 BPS. If you play speedball, you really don't need to upgrade this either, as some tournaments limit the gun to 15 BPS anyways.

Some people may also get a board for different/more firing modes. This is fine i suppose, but not really necessary.

The only way to change firing modes is to pull off the grip (2 screws) and press a button a few times. By trial and error you can figure out what mode you are in because there is no set light "code" or number of flashes that signify a firing mode.

RIDICULOUS. I couldn't fit my eVlution 2 so i when to my local field and bought a Smart Parts Q-Lock ($40). Problem Solved.

Some kind of plastic... did not break and have no problems, but very cheap feeling. Will upgrade soon. No big deal though.

Some people complain about this gun being too heavy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? The Ion XE weighs under 2 pounds without a tank. Those who say that it is heavy probably are just babies who don't realize that a tank adds weight to a gun.

The stock bolt is 32 grams or so. A SP Firebolt ($40) is about 16.5 grams. You can pick a bolt up to reduce air consumption, reduce kick (for better accuracy), and increase cycle rates. There are lots of bolts available for the Ion from $20 to about $60.
Conclusion: Although i don't have too many upgrades, this is a great gun out of the box an i would recommend it to beginners, intermediate players, or people looking for something better than a spyder (no offense because i love my pilot). With a few upgrades, this gun will shoot as good as a $400 gun. 9 for cheap quality of some stock parts (trigger, feed neck).
9 out of 10Last edited on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 5:19 pm PST

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