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Kato Wednesday, March 7th, 2001
Strengths: I've shot only autocockers for a while, but this gun rocks!!! Autocockers have the advantage that they are the one of two closed bolt semi-autos with a high rate of fire(the shocker is the other). I've built custom autocockers for awhile now, and i've also run many tests comparing accuracy of an autococker to all of the guns in the paintball store(angel LCD included) where I worked...and nothing had the accuracy my autococker. However, the autococker does not have the rate of fire that an Angel does. But when they came out with the Sandridge F-5, there suddenly is nothing that compares. It has the ROF of an Angel, the accuracy of an autococker(my sandridge will make a 3 in. wide splat at 20 ft. with 10 balls
But the best part has to be the anti-chop eye. This little doo-hickey senses when a ball has been loaded into the breech. It will not allow the bolt to come crashing into a half loaded ball. Yet, once a ball has been loaded, it will immediately close the breech. Effectively, what this does is decrease the time it takes to cock the gun and load a ball(cycle time) to the shortest amount of time possible. This shortens the typical autococker cycling from a chick-ahhh-chick-ahhh to ch-ch-ch-ch. In other words, the ROF is unlike any autococker you've ever seen. You just have to see it to believe it. All this, and it will not chop a ball in half. Period. I have shot over 15 cases through this gun. I've used a lowrise feed to starve the gun, and it still would not chop a ball. I tried using an Revolution with low batteries... and it would not chop.
Another cool thing is that this is a kit. The Kit replaces you trigger and trigger frame(with an Angel 45 frame and trigger) and you pneumatics, and it adds the antichop eye. What this means is you can take advantage of all the cool upgrades available for the autococker like high efficiency valves. And you can have you gun milled and anodized to whatever way you want, and the kit will just be placed onto you existing gun.
Weaknesses: 1. The extremely high ROF means that if you're shooting center feed, get a feed extension. And a Revolution would bet nice. If not you will starve the gun, and shoot BLANK shots(you won't chop paint though).
2. The gun wants on the best 9V batteries. No old half used Revolution batteries. Duracell Ultras or any equivalent. However I just changed my battery, so expect to be able to shoot ~15 cases +/- a few depending on how much dry firing you do.
3. The pneumatics can be a pain to clean if you get shot there.
4. Sandridge did not lock down the sear lug and the trigger set screws when they sent me the gun. Subsequently, the gun went out of time during the first day of use(it was not hard to reset the time). Just make sure that you use a hammer kit which has nydlocks(nylon setscrews) for the lug and locktite the trigger set screws.
Conclusion: Besides the Loctite of the set screws an tightening the nydlock on the hammer kit, the gun stock is unbelieveable.
It costs $750 to install the kit onto you existing gun, so the F5 kit on a new 2001 vert feed autococker(~$375) can cost you over a grand. But this gun has all of the attributes that you could possibly want in a gun. Accuracy, ROF, and No ball chopping. I have met many paintballers who regret buying an LCD after they shot my F5(I have an LCD also so the following is not a biased statement), so in my honest opinion, it is the best gun on the market today(NOT the best gun ever), because I really do like the built in timer on the LCD. Now if they put some of the LCD features on a Sandridge, then it would be the greatest gun ever(namely the PIN number and the timer). But until then we can just dream on...happy shooting
9 out of 10

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