An old Kingman Hammer - A reliable marker, but not nearly in the same category.
All stock, Daisy Max View sight (makes it tremendously accurate.)
I've been told the CCI Nickel plated is an excellent, cheap upgrade. A ref on a field once told me to try out the Armson Stealth as I squegeed behind a stump, but I haven't heard how it performs on the Phantom. So far, the stock barrel has done well enough.
Compact - Even w/ a 14" barrel, the stock Phantom is sleek. I remember sniping sideways through a bunch of collapsed trees my first day out on a wood course, with only a three inch opening, and no one could see me. No hopper exposed, no bulky tank, nothing.
Accuracy & Range - If you can steady your shot, and have the assistance of a red dot sight, you can thump some heads. The first day I played w/ some friends after calibrating my sight, I played for 3 hours straight w/o getting hit once. I racked up 6 slaps to the other guys' masks and 2 other hits in the arm and hand when my target sighting in on me. I was truly amazed at each hit after hit, ranging up to around 120 ft., even though the day before I was able to hit a piece of 1x4 lumber sunk into the ground time after time from around 100 ft. That's a 3.5" target. There is nothing like hearing your final target cry out from 40 yards away as you switch off your sight, push in the safety, and step from the creek or foxhole or downed log, drawing in a deep breath. It's completely different from blazing someone w/ a semi.
Simple Internals - If you keep them clean and oiled, they will serve you well.
Great Service - Just give Mike Cassidy a call w/ any questions. CCI will be around for some time.
Few upgrades needed - a new barrel maybe sometime down the line, and maybe a .45 grip. Everyone says it's so much better, and maybe my fingers just aren't that sensitive as I'm stalking my prey, but I haven't cared yet.
Easy switchovers - You can change the stock class to vertical feed or switch the 12 gram adapter to a CO2 tank with a few twists of the alan wrench.
James Bond effect- The gun just looks sweet. You will turn some heads on the course, and maybe get a few condescending looks. But like others here have said, just let look. And then play your game. It's not the gun that makes the man... It's the man that makes the gun.
Experience - You will learn to think strategically in a way that will help your all-around game. You can specialize as a sniper to take out targets your teammates may not be able to. You will enjoy the rush.
Economy - Cheap to play this way.
Velocity Adjustment - Can be adjusted down the barrel w/ a special tool, but the side bolt (which is nylon, and must be treated w/ care) is a bit more difficult to access w/ the SC horizontal feeder. I always strip the gun and adjust the bolt once it is separated from the breech, but this can be a handful at the course. Just a grain of sand anywhere in the gun can cause trouble. More than one grain can really cause trouble. I had flanked one opponent and was only 25 ft from them, pulling the trigger... when it stuck. I had knocked some sand into it while trying to frantically squeege my barrel earlier. Learn to treat your gun well.
ROF - You can hold the trigger and pump off shots, but really this is a pretty unlikely choice w/ only 11 balls in your feeder and w/ the typical opponents you'll be up against on a field. This isn't ultimately a "bad." Understand what this tool can accomplish within its bounds, and you will appreciate it. Don't buy this gun if you can't handle having less than 12 bps blaze in your opponent's general direction.
Ball/CO2 Capacity - 10 balls before a reload, around 30 or so shots before you'll have to switch out your 12 gram. Again, not ultimately a "bad." But it can be if you aren't aware of your limitations.
Cocking - You may double feed a few times before you learn the rythmn. It's just simply not as easy as just pulling a trigger.
I have had an unbelieveably huge amount of pleasure from this gun. It is perfect for playing after work in the woods and field near my house. We crank ours up to almost 350 fps, w/ RPI Premium or Superswirls, and they honestly still shoot straight and true, and w/o breaks. And they hurt, quite a bit. Games can last a long time when you terrified of a sniper out there... stalking you, trying to flank you. You begin to think about tactics in a very different way. The Phantom price tag comes w/ a free education.
On the rec fields, up against mags, autocockers, tippmans, and rental spyders, you can truly hold your own. Not w/o varying your strategy. Not w/o support at times from semis. Not w/o getting blazed at least once because you excitedly rush the front and get pinned down before you learn to adjust your game. But you can learn to position yourself and out range your opponents. You can move w/ stealth and do things that they just won't expect. You can take out key players, maybe sacrificing yourself in the kill. You will bring home stories of crawling up creeks and slithering through ravines unnoticed because everyone else is hiding behind barrels and trees, just emptying their hoppers and wallets as you flank them, and slap a single ball into a mask of a $600 speedballer and watch them do a triple take as you cock your pump Phantom for the next kill. That kind of rush is worth the $178.
Play with a semi, too. They are two different styles. But among pump markers, the Phantom will not let you down. It demands a resourceful and gutsy warrior to play with one.
It also is illegal in almost every state and most countries, also, i am thinking of getting a phantom, and was wondering, is it really as accurate as people claim, at 100', can u get exactly or close to ball on ball accuraccy, or is it more/less accurate than that?
well, autococka, it depends. in speedball, i tried to use intimidating fire on this guy (at 5 bps) and the balls dropped down pretty quickly at about 285 fps with a 11" inch stock barrel. i kno that longer barrels r just as accurate, but i heard that they go farther cuz more air is needed to push the ball out (think of an airline strip). i.e. my friend plays woodball and picks off ppl at least 100 ft away with a 16". but n/e way, yeah, it is very accurate. i just need to test this first.
and about the velocity thing. yeah, of course putting it over 300 isn't the best thing, but sometimes the gun does shoot at over 300 fps (as long as u dont turn the bolt over 6 times). i've noticed that when testing this at the chrono, the velocity jumps a bit: 280, 275, 311, 294. something like that.