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PainTBaLLMOFO1 Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
Period of
Product Use:
6 months8 of 10 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
SP ion, Etek 3 LT, Empire Axe and many more high-end markers.
Marker Setup: Invert mini, Virtue'd
Invert 14" Twister Barrel
CrossFire 68-4500 Tank
Recommended
Upgrades:
Maybe a Barrel, not needed though.
A board, also not needed.
Strengths: Weight
No Macroline Hose
Accuracy
Air Efficiency
Low Maintenance
Eye Technology
Price
Weaknesses: Non Really
Review: STRENGTHS

Overall Design: This section is largely for you old-school ballers out there. The Mini is what the E-Mag should have been. I am a huge fan of all of AGD's work, and looking at the Mini, it looks like Invert took a cue from Tom Kaye and the gang at AGD. The marker seems to be a hybrid spool valve/poppet valve/blow-forward design. It's rather genius. All of the electronics are housed in the foregrip, and the mechanical guts of the marker are contained in the rear of the mainbody. All one needs to do the clean the interior of the mainbody is remove one screw and the bolt and valve slide out the back, very similarly to an Automag. The integral ASA and regulator provides air to the marker through a hard line in the trigger frame. This results in no external hoses.

Size/Weight: All of this combines to make a marker that is compact and light. It feels about as light as my CCI Phantom. For those of you too young to know what that is, trust me, it's light. This marker is so easy to sprint with, that it became an essential for the guys I play with who are in the front. They threw a 4" barrel on it and went nuts.

Price: New, this marker was only $324.99. One can find them used on E-Bay for well under $300. This puts it well under half of what I spent on my Matrix.

Maintenance: The design of the marker makes the maintenance a breeze. All one regularly needs to do is clean it and lube the bolt. It's just that simple.

Efficiency: I didn't really pay too much attention to how many pods I got out of my tank, but I seemed to fill it about half as often. I'll pay more attention to it the next time I go out.

Speed: Stock, this marker could almost keep up with my Matrix, in semi. It was competitive with everything on the field. Since I swapped the trigger to a CP Rake Trigger, it is firing even faster.

Quiet: This needs to be taken with a grain of salt, since I was using my St!ffi barrel on the marker, but it was astonishingly quiet. Not as quiet as my PM6, but people knew who was firing at them when 12 paintballs came quietly their way.

WEAKNESSES

Trigger: This is purely personal preference, but there is considerable slop to the trigger. The magnetic return also makes it a very soft pull and return. I prefer a more stiff and crisp pull. The CP Rake Trigger with a spring return eliminated most of the side slop and gave it a more crisp return. This was more to my liking.

As a counterpoint, some people really like how soft the stock settings are. There's a lot of bounce at some points that some have exploited for insane rates of fire.

LED Placement: This only really applies to those of us who play night games, but the placement of the LED makes it constantly blink red and reflect off the trigger fingers. This could give a person away in a night game. It does not really apply to the regular games that I play during the day. It could simply be taped over, but I'm being nitpicky.

Board: This is not something that bothers me, as I only play at fields that require semi only, but the programming is very limited, and the rate of fire is capped at 20 BPS. The method of programing seemed a little onerous, at first. If you are in search of more flexible programming and higher rates of fire, then you might want to consider an aftermarket board.

Integral ASA: Finally a word should be said about the ASA. The unique design of the marker fixes the ASA in a static location. This is not a big deal to me, but if one wishes to install a drop forward or stock, it is not an option. This was a sticking point for some of the people I play with.
Conclusion: I really do like this marker. It is a perfectly acceptable tournament marker. It is very fast, and ridiculously small and light. I really like the marker and plan to keep it as a back-up. I really am concerned with the fragility of the marker, though. this would not be such a big problem except right now there are very few techs capable of dealing with minis (there haven't been a lot of classes yet). Due to this, I would recommend that people who have little experience teching markers avoid this guy for the time being. If you are confident in your repair abilities, though, or have a Mini techy on hand, this is definitely a good marker to consider. When this marker works, it works really well; easily keeping up with Egos, G7s, and Dms. For the price, you really can't expect much more, it's just too bad that all the money that went into the packaging wasn't put into making the marker a little more resilient instead.
Rating:
9 out of 10
 

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