I have used a wide variety of makers. I currently own only a Shocker 4x4 s/f and an Automag. I have found that I'm having more fun using the A-5 than either of these other markers. Other markers I have considerable experience with are Autocockers and the Tippmann pro-lite. I have used numerous other markers. I have been playing since '94.
I have added few things to the stock A-5.
My favorite upgrade is the f/x sniper stock, remenecent of a Thompson's wood stock (it's the WWII Tommy gun). I also grabbed three barrels, considering they were all quite cheap - a LAPCO 7.5" Bigshot, a Blackpoint Paintball's xShort (5" barrel), and one other that slips my mind just now... its a 12".
I have no other mods
I am considering a r/t (response trigger) but will roll with what I have a half dozen more times before making that choice.
I agree with most other people who have posted reviews that the A-5 needs a new barrel. What it does not need is a pricey or flashy barrel - lets face it, the A-5 is something of an ugly duckling and throw'n on a hot need boomstick or AA is pretty pointless. More over, the reality is that one barrel's not so different from another - my 7.5" LAPCO bigshot cost me around $65 and has been my favorite so far. All in all, I would highly recomend some sort of new barrel.
The stock is really a matter of perferance - I like stocks and have added one to all the markers I own. For me, the stability of a nice stock is worth the loss of manuverablity and added weight.
For those that want raw firepower - the r/t will keep your A-5's rate of fire up there with Angels, Cockers, Mags, Shockers, Timmys, etc. You'll be dragging around a Tippmann, but you'll at lest have comprable rof.
I'm a fan of the A-5's hopper. The cyclone sold me on this gun, and has performed to such great extent that I have forsaken my other markers. I played a hard day, ran 2000 pbs through the marker, kissed the dirt, got splattered and sprayed, took direct hits to both the feed and the hopper and have come away with a growing admiration for good ole American Know How - Tippmann has made a wonderful feed system. Every shot had a ball. Every trigger pull sent a ball. I never chopped. I never misfed. I ran the sucker dry before I noticed that I was low on rounds. Excellent, excellent loading system.
Further, I like the heft of the A-5. Some would call this marker heavy, compared to feather weight guns, but in reality the A-5 is more mid-size sedan than SUV.
The A-5 has a low profile, especially in conjunction with one of the short barrels out there - like the 7.5" LACPO or the xShort (5"). I cannot stress this enough - if you have heard that the A-5 has a large profile you have been misled. Especially on lefthand corners, the A-5 has one of the slimist profiles you will find. The only thing I have seen that has a smaller profile (and I'm including a hopper of course) is mags with WARP feeds. Add a short barrel and you can sit real tight, keeping the marker out of enemy fire while returning your own. I have used the A-5 both in speedball and woods play - I could tuck in tigher than the Angels and the Cockers - much to my surprise! - and found that I ended up more than holding my own (this of course might have something to do with my 8 yrs of experience, too).
Field strip screws work as advertised. I can pop them off in under 30 secs and get into the bolt, or swap the stock off, or throw on a reg or expansion chamber.
Trigger: remember, this is no Angel I'm talking about - there are fanastically shorter triggers out there. However, as far as comparable stock triggers - including the stock Cocker trigger (with which I might add the A-5 is priced to compete with - silly Tippmann), the A-5 trigger is my favorite. Let me qualify this by stating that I like a *somewhat* long trigger pull. What I really dislike are "sloppy" triggers - like the original 4x4 Shocker trigger. It was floppy (sloppy) and one could move it side to side quite a bit. The A-5 trigger is snug, smooth, and easy on the finger. It is no 2mm pull, but I am pleased none the less.
The marker is well balanced with the stock . I found it easy to snap shoot.
The front grip is useful. It was conveint and sat relatively well in my left hand, with my thumb resting just below the cocking lever.
Easiest external cocking gun even to cock.
Stock and grip worked very well together when I took aim and held aim, or when I advanced slowly. Gave me a *very* stable platform.
The gun is a bit of a gas hog. I shot roughly 700 pbs out of a 20 ounce. It was enough for a few games, but ... I'd like it to be better. Of course, the markers hunger comes from its use of gas to cycle the cyclone.
Front grip is a 1/2" too short to be perfectly comfortable. It is based on the front grip of the MP5 varient called the PDW, where a shor front grip is used, but Tippmann should have lengthed the grip a bit.
The marker *once*, when I really needed it to shoot, bucked up. I was rushing forward on a speedball field, drew a bead on one fellow, pulled the trigger, and heard a sound familar to old Mag hands - a softer *thump* rather than the usual *thwang*. The bolt had stuck. Took me a few to figure it out - by then I was roasted. The immeadate and easy fix was a recock. Problem never reoccured.
Marker drew much too much attention from little kids off the field. Not like that's a big problem, but I didn't feel so wounderfully cool as I'd like to.
Long balling is weak. Take this with a grain of salt however. I really only used my 7.5" barrel (I have tested the other two, but stuck with the LAPCO). Accuracy at range is poor with this barrel. I look at the A-5 as an assault gun - get to medium-short range and you can rock and roll. Try running the back end of the speedball field and you just let your teammates down. A perfect example of this was on the opening rush of of a 4v4 speedball game - we start in range, looking at each other. Angel boy and I face off. Game starts. We rock and roll. His balls hit me in the chest and arm, mine drop near his feet - guns were more or less level. My Shocker would have made it. The A-5 with the 7.5" Bigshot did not. Ce la vie.
Final note: rushing
I found the A-5 to be very unsteady with the on gun 20 ounce tank and stock when rushing. The tank makes for a larger area of impact on the shoulder, negating the advantage of the stock - the "natural" resting place of the marker on my shoulder was tank-shoulder, not stock-shoulder. This meant that running forwards left me very unstable and inaccurate. Coupled with the inherent inaccuracy of semi-auto while running and the result was poor. Once I fix my remotes (both needed t-tape and I had none!) I'll re-evaluate this.
Overall a superb marker for around $300 - a better than fine marker for $280. I paid $280 and feel satisfied. It *is* overpriced, but watch for that to drop. The A-5 has it's short comings. It has its benifits. It's no Angel, Cocker, Mag, etc, etc, but is a great marker for the middle of the run - and can hold its own versus the big boys. Exceptional is its loading system - the best I have ever seen. Better than WARP, Rev, Ric, HALO - it just works! The cyclone has been the best piece of mind I've ever had on a marker. I have faith in the A-5 that when I need it to work it will, that when I need that round to fly it will fly, as will the next, and the next, etc, etc. The downfall of this gun, if any, is its gas consumption. It does use much. Additionally, it is not great for rushing, but that may be just my own fault. Running a remote should solve this.
On a side note, much ado as been made over the marker's "plastic" parts - like the rear (main) grip and the hopper/loader. Know that all loaders are made of plastic - various kinds, but still plastic. The Cyclone's construction has in my case been sound, but for others has failed - this is most likely a quality control issue and not a design flaw. Tippmann replaces cracked hoppers for free. As for the plastic rear, or main, grip - its the same bloody stuff used in the Gloch! WTF are we complaining about here? It's mil-spec! And not like we run around clubbing people with our grips, eh? So who needs the more weight that a metal grip adds? I suppose tis a matter of taste.
All in all I recomend the A-5 to the user that wants a gun that will work for them, consistantly.
Great Review, unbiased and fair. Not some like some of these punks who broke one ball and docked it 9 points. I can remember back when I first started with the pump at my local field (don't even remember what they were) I'd double sometimes triple feed balls and chop like a mofo I probably broke more paint with those than I shot. I also need to thank you for pointing out that it can be used in speedball but it has it's place. My prefered style of play is woodsball/CQB scenny, and it hurts when speedballer dock a marker that's not really designed for speedball because it isn't working for them on a sup air field. Anyway again great review. thanks for confirming that I'm buying the right marker for what I want it for.
EDIT: on the comment about the mil-spec plastic everybody complaining about it, remind me of when the Glock 17 first came out. people were freaking out because terrorists could take them on planes. even though the internals were 90% metal.
BTW: I haven't seen a hopper yet that isn't plastic and i've only seen one of those break (when my dad hit it with the car. long story don't ask.)
Last edited on Wednesday, June 15th, 2005 at 3:26 am PST
Good review. I have noticed the same thing with balls dropping over distances. I think it may be because if you shoot it a lot, it loses velocity quickly. Whereas a Cocker let's say, shoots consistent no matter how long your burst is. This is my thought. If I'm wrong, someone please tell me so and tell me what the problem is.