I bought 3 of these markers (marker kits, actually) so that I could lend them out to friends when I go paintballing. My buddies are cheap, and they don't like the idea of renting a gun for just one day, so I lend them my spare gun(s) and they're happy and willing to come with me :) Plus, I keep one for myself as a backup gun, not that my spyder has ever broken down on me, but it's always good to have a backup, and it's kinda fun to tinker with it and see how much better I can make it without messing it up.
Anyway, upon disassembly, it becomes very obvious that these guns cost maybe $5 in materials to produce. I mean, the valve assembly is probably the most complicated piece on this gun, and that's not saying much. This is a good thing, though. People also complain about the plastic frames a lot, saying that it's a piece of garbage just because it's made of plastic. News flash man, that "plastic" is fiberglass reinforced nylon, the same stuff that tippman pro carbine handles and foregrips are made out of, and it's some of the toughest plastic in the world. Not only that, it's almost a 1/4" thick on both the handle and the main body of the gun! The thinnest spots on the gun are still 1/8" thick, which is plenty strong enough to take any abuse you can throw at it. This gun is just as tough as any spyder or tippman, maybe even tougher because of the sheer mass of plastic in this thing.
The biggest problem with this gun is ball breakage/chopping. This can be almost completely cured by drilling small hole in the feed elbow, right in the center of the outside bend. This allows propulsion gases to escape through the elbow when the gun is fired, preventing the gases from pushing paintballs back up out of the elbow. Most stock feed elbows have this feature nowadays, and it's there for a reason. Don't drill the hole bigger than 1/4" though, because it may weaken the elbow and make it prone to cracking under shock or stress.
The second biggest problem with this gun is accuracy. The barrel is too short, and the absence of a muzzle break creates HUGE inconsistencies in the spin and velocity of the ball when it exits the muzzle. I've heard/read that a few other barrels fit, some with modifications (ie; brass eagle raptor barrels, but they need a 1/4" cut off the threaded end so they bottom completely in the gun), some are just direct fits (Zap ZXS 600E's have the same barrel thread as the ZXS 400), but either way, anything is better than the stock barrel. If you can't find either one of these barrels, it's very easy to drill some ports in your barrel, for a muzzle break or spiral porting or whatever. Just lay it out carefully, and do the drilling in a drill press if at all possible. Remember that the muzzle break effectively decreases the length of the barrel in which the ball is accellerated, so you'll no doubt have to screw the velocity adjuster in a little farther to compensate for the muzzle break (not much though, maybe not even enough to notice). The increase in accuracy is worth it though, no more wildly curving shots!
There are lots of other small problems, most of which can be fixed easily with regular maintenance, ie; the ball detent is basically just a little rubber plug in a hole at the bottom of the chamber, which needs to be pushed up every so often so it does its job. Keep this thing oiled up, particularly the hammer and hammer tube (the steel hammer will wear the aluminum hammer tube out VERY quickly if you don't keep it lubed), and you should get some good use out of it.
Basically, this is a good cheap gun for your buddies to use or for a backup gun. Sometimes it's just fun to use as a main gun, to test your skills and to see how much abuse it can take without breaking down on you (it'll take a lot!!). It's also an awesome gun to modify and tinker with, since it works basically the same as a spyder or pirahna or any other open-bolt gun on the market today. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all, y'know? Anything you do to this gun, modificiation-wise, will theoretically work on a spyder, or whatever other gun you might have that you want to mod. It's a good risk-free way to learn basic airsmithing and gain mechanical knowledge about the way paintball guns work. I'd recommend this gun for newbies who are just getting into the sport, as long as they have some mechanical aptitude and are willing to tinker and mess with things. I'd even recommend this gun for seasoned players, just to go out there and see how good you really are, not relying on a $1000 gun that sprays paint like a garden hose to get you through the game. Hell, you could even put one of those junky little brass eagle 45 round hoppers on it and see if you can make it through a game with only 45 rounds of paint, now there's a challenge! Any way you look at it, it's guns like this that make paintball fun (for me, personally) and allow new players to get into the sport without breaking the bank.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 at 2:53 pm PST
Well first of all I challenge the statement that "This gun is just as tough as any spyder or tippman, maybe even tougher". Maybe a spyder but no way can it take more than a Tippmann! Second of all I dont quite understand what u mean about a "muzzle break". In a real gun they are used to give the propelant gases behind the bullet a place to go in order to stablize the gun. In a paintball gun porting is used to give the air infront of the ball a place to go.... So if ur talking about drilling porting into a barrel it isnt a simple thing to do...... I have tried it and after you have to polish the barrel a hell of a lot to get rid of the sharp edges left. It can be damn hard especially in longer barrels. Anyways i just wanted to tell people that its not an easy thing to do, and do well.
quote:Originally posted by steve-o-182 u make me sick, tougher than a tippmann or a spyder........ man get ur head together
I said "maybe even tougher", I didn't say "100% for sure tougher than a tippman". Learn how to read. If you don't believe me, I'll gladly run over my ZXS 400 with my truck just to show you, as long as I can run your Tippman over too ;)
quote:Originally posted by Little JonTippmann, what is? It's the paintball equivalent of an AK-47. Spyder, maybe. Only maybe though.
Again, I said "maybe", not "definetely" tougher than a Tippman. You want me to run your gun over too? Muahahahahaaa!