Tippmann 98, 98 Custom, Autococker Trilogy, VL Triton II, Black Maxx, X7.
None of these markers match up with the A-5.
A-5 w/APE Rampage board, AK-47 Apex barrel, remote coil, Pure energy expansion chamber and adjustable CAR stock.
Barrel either Apex or flatline depending on your preference.
Expansion chamber is nice but not necessary.
Stock is good to have.
Durability and accuracy are key. Very solid gun. Cyclone feed.
Enormous "HIT ME HERE" hopper and hopper neck.
I will start at the back and move forward.
Stock - I like the adjustable CAR stock mostly for looks, I feel a stock helps with control of the gun. It does interfere sometimes if running and ducking during a close battle. Without a stock it is a super mobile close quarters gun.
Internals - I have not replaced the internals. This gun works great right out of the box. I am sure that some fancy bolt or polishing may help some but I do not think you would notice a huge difference. My suggestion is don't waste your money unless you are obsessive about your weapon. I have replaced O-rings but they were not leaking. Something I do once a year needed or not.
Trigger - I had the original WAS board and it kept malfunctioning. I use only response mode which doubles my rate of fire. I bought the APE Rampage board and love it since you do not have to turn it on before you shoot. It is always in ready mode. It is a pain to make it work. The metal tab has to be bent properly. You have to take one spring off the trigger and put a weaker spring under the sear. I installed it the first time and shot my pink paint at the ceiling in my kitchen. My wife still points to it and tells everyone about my accident. The trigger was stuck on full auto until I corrected the spring situation. I have another without an E-grip and I find it very functional and it has a good feel. Suggestion stay with the regular trigger if you are not needing speed. If you go E grip get the APE board. It stinks when you jump out from behind a tree and your gun is off because it has been 10 minutes. You eat paint.
Hopper/Cyclone - I have bought a lower profile off brand hopper to try to minimize the huge billboard I am carrying with me when in the woods. When you are hiding behind a tree and your hopper sticks out into the next area code you are going to get hit. The only weakness on the gun is the size of the feed neck and the hopper. But it makes up for it by not chopping and feeding without fail. Never need to hide and shake.
Sights - The stock sights are very accurate, at least for how my marker is set up. With my Apex on I can aim and hit a 3" circle from 30 yards consistently.
Barrel - The stock barrel is ok but not great. You can play and hang with most weekend warriors with the stock barrel. It is good for close quarters. I have an AK-47 Apex that I bought recently. I love it. It is accurate and the AK look is very cool. I keep the Apex at about 2 clicks and only use backspin. This barrel can do a lot of things if you want it to but I do not play with my barrel when people are raining paint at me. The AK-47 Apex is on the long side. I like the Flatline just as well but the AK was better looking so my son got the Flatline with his gun.
I am not about looks but with my barrel and stock I have an intimidating looking weapon.
This is by far the best gun I have used. We now have 4 of them. One is my sons. I have 98s as back ups but never need them. I believe that this gun looks better than the X7 even though there are more upgrades for that. The amount of aftermarket items available and the common sense and engineering that went into this gun are great. It can be bought for less than $200 and is very dangerous out of the box. I have no vision in my right eye and need all the help I can get and I get it from my A-5