Spyder TL+ (compare? OK, they both shoot paint.)
Viper M1 (Getting there, but AT-85 is way better)
ATS AT-85 Tactical with Leapers 3-9x40mm scope w/mount, 23' AT-16 barrel, Harris bipod, ATS modified trigger assembly, PSG-1-style sniper grip, CAR stock with remote to 3000psi Maxflow or 13ci HPA tank w/stock from ATS
Well, you could go all out and turn your gun into a sniper rifle with all the upgrades I have, or do just about anything you want to it to suit your style of play. Oh, and get the modified trigger assembly. It's only like $25, and it's the best non-electric trigger I've ever felt.
Intimidation (notice this is last on the list)
This gun is truly a piece of work. There is literally nothing like it on the paintball market as I am writing this review. Even as countless Armotech-clones fill the milsim/scenario market, they are just Spyder and Tippmann copies, dressed up to look like M-4's. The first thing you notice about this gun is that it looks scary, but that is the least important thing about it. This is a review of the 85's performance, not its appearance, so here goes: Since my mantra as far as all of my equipment goes is "Durability, Versatility, Reliability," I'll handle those aspects of the gun first.
Durability: This thing's made out of high-impact plastic, which I believe is an innovation in itself for paintball. I don't know of any other guns made of this kind of quality, lightweight plastic. And the gun is much lighter as a result. The bottom line is: The gun will not break if you abuse it a little, which you shouldn't, if you can help it, of course.
Versatility: Well, you saw the list of what I did to mine! It's true that there aren't many aftermarket accessories for the '85, but most of these accessories of which we speak are redundant teflon/delrin/venturi/super-bolts, all of which are claimed to be superior by their manufacturers. ATS just gets everything right the first time with their guns. And the line of ATS accessories is plenty enough for me. You can even buy new receivers to convert the gun to AT-4, 10, or 16 models! As you can see above, my gun is an AT-85 "Tactical" or "Tactical-85," which is the model that comes with a flat-top rail and removable tactical carry handle (a la M-16), which also affords you access to the plethora of M-16/AR-15 accessories that can be found in today's gun market.
Reliability: This is the most important. The gun has to work for you when you need it to, which is always, and the AT-85 does. If this gun screws up on you, it's your fault. Trust me; it's happened to me before. Enough about that.
Innovativeness: This gun has more unique innovations than a Maxim machine gun. It's basically completely unique. The operating system is incomparable to anything on the paintball market today. It's operating system is actually more closely related to gas-operated, select-fire assault rifles than paintball guns. On top of that, the magazine-fed system prevents you from ever chopping a paintball, provided your magazine is properly indexed, and is also a miniature warp-feed-type thing. There's just too much to list here, just go to their website or save yourself the trouble and buy one.
Accuracy: Oh yes. This is THE most important performance aspect for me personally. I am always in pursuit of greater accuracy, and this gun has it. This is due to it's extremely good bolt and the bolt's operation, as well as the unisizer (any paint size fits perfectly, no inserts, no barrel changing, period), and the high-quality ATS barrel. This thing shoots like my brother's autococker with freak system.
Intimidation: It's beautiful. And it's loud. I love to shoot this thing on full auto. If you want to hear it, there's a recording of it on the website as well.
OK, now the weaknesses.
Complexity: Yes. This thing will confuse even experienced paintball players. Just get used to the fact that you're going to blow out like ten guide plates, so buy extras when you order the gun! (OK, so I exaggerated, but those things are easy to blow out!) Just never dry fire the gun without a magazine, OK?
Uniqueness: OK, so this can be a good thing, but it really cuts down on the normal customization options you have for your gun. Fortunately, ATS supplies some pretty good customization options, but the path of the AT-85 owner is a lonely one.
I don't give many tens. Today, I give one.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Monday, September 27th, 2004 at 1:06 pm PST