Tippmann pro-lite (great but hard to find replacement parts)
Spyder TL (great but hard to find parts as well)
Tippmann A-5 (excellent marker but I prefer electronic hoppers over the cyclone feed)
Tippmann 98 Custom with ACT
Smart Parts 14 in Linear Barrel
BT Rip Clip (98 Custom version)
Double Trigger kit
Reliable, consistent, inexpensive, durable, tons of upgrades available, parts easy to find.
Stock barrel loud and inaccurate
Certain upgrades required to be elite
About 2 years ago I was introduced to paintball and I immediately wanted to get my own equipment. I asked a few veteran friends of mine and I looked through the web for reviews and I came to the conclusion that Tippmann was the way to go for my intended use (recreational woodsball). I bought mine used from a friend and I ended up using it for the whole spring and summer of 09.
Here are my experiences:
When I first bought my marker the only upgrade it had was the double trigger kit (nice but not a necessity) while everything else was stock. The first problem I encountered was that once I was engaged in a firefight I would find that my marker would fire when I squeezed the trigger but wouldn't fire a paintball every shot. It was also very loud and lacked the range and accuracy of some of the other markers out in the field that day. I did however have zero breaks and zero issues aside from the ones I just mentioned.
After the first outing with my new marker I want to the local paintball store and bought a barrel upgrade for the marker (wow what a difference). Accuracy and range were no longer issues for me after that but I still had issues with the marker not firing a ball with every trigger squeeze. It's sooooo much quieter now as well.
After the second outing I bought an electronic hopper, which took care of the misfiring issues. After both of these upgrades I can honestly say that this marker gives me zero issues while I play. I like the fact that there are so many options to choose from when it comes to upgrading this marker. Replacement parts are a cinch to find locally or on the internet (not that I've ever needed any) and the reliability of this marker is unsurpassed. Yes if you try to do a field strip you might want to be careful not to lose some of the small parts on the inside of the marker, but I have a hard time believing that will ever be happen since I do all the all the maintenance at home before I go.
If I were to go the speed ball route I would definitely look for a different type of marker but as far as woodsball goes I think this marker is as good as anything out there. If you wanna go full auto the E-Grip and Response trigger are available so there really isn't any instance where you'd be "out gunned".
I've never had any mechanical issues with this marker and zero ball breaks (use good paint) I bought this marker because their durable and reliable.
If you use Co2 you might want to get an expansion chamber upgrade as this will allow space for the Co2 to convert to gas form from the liquid form in the tank. This also is supposed to help with accuracy too or you can do what I do and use a remote coil which kinda does the same thing along with taking the weight of the tank off your marker.
The cool thing is that none of the upgrades need to be done immediately, they can be done as you have the money, but in the meantime you still have a great marker to go out and use. It's all about customizing it to a point where it fits your style of play...this marker can do it all as long as you have the money for the upgrades.
If you want a quality built durable marker for a low price than this is the one for you. Yes their are cheaper markers but this marker is the cheapest I'd go if you want to ensure that you don't have any huge issues down the road. It's ready to go and very good out of the box but with a barrel and hopper upgrade you will go from very good to excellent when it comes to woodsball. You don't have to spend a fortune on the upgrades either, but like most things you get what you pay for (check reviews and ask around about these accesories before you buy them). Since I had to do a few upgrades to get this marker to the level I wanted I'm giving it an 8 but with my current upgrades it's a 10. The maker doesn't make the player but it sure as heck shouldn't hinder the player, and I have no problems with this baby. Hope this helps.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 at 4:08 pm PST