Spiders, piranha, tippmann m98 have used bigshot, jj ceramic, and stock barrels on all the before mentioned.
A freak barrel on the spiders
A-5 tippmann with a flatline barrel and an e-grip on pure energy HPA
tippmann m98 with a JJ ceramic barrel on Pure energy HPA
big ball (the best) I'll explain below
Distance, accuracy, does not break balls, flies real flat
You have to have the right paint to barrel match and the speed set right.
First off let me start by saying I have read a lot of reviews about this barrel and would like to put an end to some myths. The reviews go from real good to real bad. Most people who dislike this barrel have not given it a chance or do not own one just borrowed it for a game or witnessed someone shooting one. So here we go
Myth one. The barrel floats the shoots out to the target making the balls move slower. One person on a review I read even stated that the balls move so slow that he could “swat them out of the air” so when my gun/barrel showed up I when to my local range to test this out. I set my speed to 275 fps (deviation of 5 fps up and down) measured at the end of the barrel. I then backed off 30 yards (90 feet) and shot again speed average was 265 at 55 yards (165 feet) I was still going 250 fps and at 75 yards (225 feet) now I do not know about you but I would love to see a player try to swat a ball from the air at 225 fps I am not saying it can’t be done (I have seen people catch arrows at that distance) I would just like to see it. For comparison I did the same with my jj ceramic barrel the numbers are 275 at the barrel, 30 yards was 260 fps, 55 yards 240 fps, 75 yards 200 fps. Some of the reason that the jj was so much slower could have been the arc path it was following as it when over the radar gun.
Myth two. This is an inaccurate barrel. When my barrel showed up I tried shooting a five-gallon bucket end on from about 15 yards and sent 2 out of ten in the bucket. This bothered me. At the range I found out what was happening the gun was set to 200 fps as I increased the speed I was able to hit 5 out of 10 at 250 fps at 25 yards. Then at 275 fps I was able to send all ten into the bucket. At 285 fps I was able to hit a standard CD at 30 yards 10 out of 10 times, with the right paint. At 300 fps I could not hit the bucket at all. The speed that you set a flatline to is very important. So go to the range and find out what speed your gun likes the most and keep it there.
Paint is everything. I started with marbs. They were ok. I read that evil worked well, they did. All in all I tried 27 different paints from super swirls, and dusk (Wal-Mart), venom, inferno, maxim (1 and 2), nelson, etc. to platinum, evil, marbs. The one that worked the best in my barrel was big ball (lucky for me $45 a case at the local sporting goods store). Big ball placed 7 out of 10 hits on a police issue man size silhouette target at 75 yard (225 feet!!!!!!) my jj hit 2 out of 250 rounds. Note: my friends gun, an identical setup to mine, does not like the big ball at all. His setup liked the evils. So try them all and find which on works for you.
Myth three this barrel is an air hog. My jj ceramic gets 550 shot out of my pure energy 48 cu HPA set to a speed of 275 fps my flatline get 540 shots set at 275 fps. Is that an air hog I do not think so. Ten shots out of 550 has not won or lost a game for me yet.
Myth four. This barrel and the a-5 hopper are a “paint blender” in the effort to find the right paint I shot over 27 different paints from 14 sellers and 6000 round. Any ball bigger then platinum will come out the end of the barrel as a squirt of liquid. The old test of placing the paint in the barrel and looking for two half moons around the ball has never been better then here. Big diameter paint will come out of your barrel in a stream of liquid paint. The second it hits the top of the arc in your barrel it will explode. With that said. I have shot Marbs, Evils and big ball over 2000 rounds with out one break in the barrel. Even when set to full auto and 18 rounds a second.
Myth five the barrel is hard to get off incase of a break in the field. Well let’s get a little creative here folks. I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade. If you do not like something then change it. You customize every other part of your gun why not this one. Could it be because there is not a kit you can buy? I went down to my local nuts and bolts store and bought three thumbscrews (cadmium coated they are black to match the gun and will not rust when they come in contact with aluminum or water) that match the three bolts on the front of my A-5. All I have to do is use my hand to twist the screws two turns each turn the barrel one quarter turn and remove. Clean barrel and reinstall in reverse order. I have raced my friends, which have spiders, m98s and auto cockers. Only the 98 beat me the big threads on the 98s take a lot less turns to get off. The total mod cost me a dollar fifty.
Myth six this barrel does not like the wind. I was out playing in a mesa canyon with a 10 mile per hour wind and did not notice any difference between the wind affect on my flatline and ceramic barrels. With one exception when you shoot directly into the wind. The flatline tends to rise a little (one foot over 55 yards). But my ceramic was not even getting to the 55 yard mark so in trade the rise did not bother me that much.
Myth seven you can shoot around corners with this barrel. Not exactly but if you turn it on its side you can get it to throw on very useful curve ball. Just like in base ball the curve ball does not turn 90 degrees all at once. But it does let you hit a player that is behind a barricade or wall before they can get a clean shot off at you. The arc is about two feet at 30 yards. I can compare this to using the wind with my ceramic barrel to arc a shot around a barricade and hit someone. The only difference is I do not have to rely on wind to be there. Also for those shots in the wind where you need your ball to fly straight but the wind is making it arc. You can with a little practice tilt the flatline and compensate for the wind allowing you to get a straight shot.
I hope this helps some of you who are on the fence about this barrel/gun combination. Please do not believe the things you read out there about this barrel/gun combination go out and try one yourself, And not just for one game ether. Play with the speed setting and the ball combinations. if you put a little time into your set up you will not find a more accurate, flat shooting gun that will reach out and touch someone at 75 yards.
January 29 2004
I am adding a section because of questions I have received about the screw replacement.
The number one question I have received is where do you find the thumbscrews that replace the ones on the front of the a-5 so you can remove the barrel fast. The link is as follows: http://www.mcmaster.com/ then in the top left corner type in thumbscrew and do a search. You will come up with a page that has all the choices. I liked the knurled head shouldered screw with in Stainless Stee, part number xxxxxxxx in 10-32 with a 1 inch long thread. You can choose anyone you would like they even have plastic covered large headed t-handles.
I have been sent e-mails telling me that the screw part number are not right. so please give me some time to recheck my part numbers and get back to you on the right part numbers.
I recommend this barrel. Those of you that play in a small area will like this barrel those of you like myself that play in large area like the woods, mesa, or town scenarios will love this barrel. Snipers and back players will love the distance and front players will love the short length, flat shooting (great for those tight shots thru trees and bushes) and fast shooting ability of this barrel. Put an e-grip on this thing and you will have a very fast (18+ round a second) long reaching (75 yards) gun.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, March 30th, 2005 at 5:33 pm PST
This is an excellent review. You clearly considered every counter argument and refuted it nicely. The best part was that you had EVIDENCE to back up your statements. Very impressive. As a future mechanical engineer, you have made me a very proud man.
THANK YOU for this review. I just purchased one of these and my first try sent balls zinging everywhere! However, I knew the reviews were very favorable for this item, and I was counting on someone like you to point where I was going wrong.
If anyone is having problems with this product, PRINT OUT THIS REVIEW. This fellow may save you the $99 to $129 you thought you just wasted!
Thanks much for the review. I bought the A5 and barrel bassed primarilly on this review. I would like to learn more about diver's thumb screws modification. Secifically, what the parts description might entail (so I can look for something similar online) and/or where to buy the same replacement screws. Thanks again. ogleh
hey... i have just used my new flatline and i found the accuracy was not that good. the distance was awesome though. i just have to get used to it i guess. i got 3 people in the head and one person three times in the head. i think i found one problem with the flatline; the stock sights are not aliened properley with the flatline because the sights were ment to be used for the stock barrel which is lower then the flatline. nice review man. please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited on Wednesday, October 29th, 2003 at 9:35 pm PST
Great as hell review man. I owe you my thanks for you helping me make the decision of the flatline, which if i wouldnt have bought it, i would have welts engraved into me. What im saying it the flatline saved my life (in paintball). thanks. You are awsome. I am considering joining the army some day too....
I just bought my friends used A-5 with an RT trigger for 200 dollars he used it only like 5 times and he is very sensative with his guns his whole family plays his dad just spent freakin 2500 dollars on his Bob Long but anyways i wanted to get a good barrel for it and the first thing i looked at was the Flatline and i want a great woodball barrle but i want something for the speedball that i can spray but still be accurate do you think this is the barrel for me?i love all tippmann products i have used i have the Pro Carbine and the Custom 98 both of them upgraded and if you get an expansion chamber on the A-5 you think it is worth it?
Haha, Tippmann should pay you to put this review somewhere on their product box or something. As said before, it's nice to see someone who backs up his comments with facts. You've clearly pulled people "hanging on the fence" to buy a flatline barrel. Good Review!
To comment on the accuracy , i would like to add make sure the barrel is on straight when you install it, cuz i put it on with a slight tilt and i quickly noticed that the paint was moving to one side. I just got the flatline and was impressed with the distance , but didn't see the accuracy as u stated. I;ll try the 285 fps and the paint u suggested, thanks for the review !
your review inspired me more to buy the flatline, and i havent gotten to test it because it is winter and i live in north dakota, so... but i heard some really good stuff, and the bad is only that you have to have certain paintballs, but i dont care so thanks!
i like this review alot. ur pretty cool. and i totally agree with wat u said bout the myths. i have this barrel and i love it. I cant put it down. and i was scoutin sniping usin this barrel and got sponswered, dye, wgp, dead on. thats bout it
Dude, awesome review. You had evidence backing up your review, and you could argue with people who say the Flatline barrel isn't a good barrel. You could probably prove them wrong. Defintely a good review!
That was the most helpfull, informative, and awsome review i have ever seen. You have inspired me to buy this barrel!!!!! You busted those myths that really wern't true with facts. Good job. I wish we had more people like you!