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Duffman2765 Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month15 of 18 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
Tippmann 98 Custom
Marker Setup: Tippmann A-5; 14-inch Smart Parts TearDrop barrel; Dead-On drop forward, foregrip & double trigger
Recommended
Upgrades:
Flatline barrel, double trigger, drop forward (if you want to use it for speedball), expansion chamber
Strengths: Ease of maintenance
ROF
Accuracy
Awesome looks (my opinion)
Weaknesses: Gas usage
Cyclone Feed may need some tinkering
Weight
Review: I just purchased an A-5 from a friend of mine, and let me start by saying that this is one of the best guns I have ever used. I've shot everything from rental Spyders to an Angel LCD, and the A-5 can compete with nearly any gun out there. It can fire as fast as I can move my fingers to pull the trigger, which is more than I can say of some other guns I've used, both more and less expensive than the A-5. The Cyclone Feed system works just like Tippmann says it does, and Tippmann says some pretty good things about it. In one day I used around 800 rounds (using $50/case paint at a field where Marballizer costs almost $70/case) without a single break or dry-fire. That's a good day no matter what you're using.
Now, on to accuracy. I can't say how well the A-5 shoots out of the box, as I have yet to shoot it with the stock barrel attached. However, using both a 14-inch Tear Drop and the stock barrel from the 98 Custom (that's right, the standard 8.5" barrel from a $130 gun) I could place 4 balls in a row on a hanging paint can about the size of a large coffee mug from 30 feet away without too much trouble - and I'm no marksman.
Okay, the A-5 shoots straight and fast, but with the Cyclone Feed system and all, isn't it a pretty complicated gun? Not at all. Tippmann's website boasts the A-5 can be field stripped and reassembled in 60 seconds, which I think is a bit conservative. The quick disassembly pins are incredibly easy to push out - the only problem I had all day was that one of the pins is located just below the Cyclone, which makes it difficult to push in without using something like a screwdriver to get it out. Even if you need to take apart the entire gun all you need are two allen wrenches and a few minutes.
One more thing that stood out to me is the fact that the hopper is not above the gun like with most other markers, it is on the right side. Not only does this make for a more compact design overall, but it put me at a big advantage over other players because I'm a lefty. I can pop out the left side of a bunker, and the only thing an opposing player has to shoot at is my barrel. If you're a speedball or tourney player, I'd recommend learning to shoot left-handed with this gun, as it decreases your target profile by about half.
As great as the A-5 is, I do have a few minor beefs with it. The most glaring of these is how fast this gun goes through CO2. Basically, if the A-5 was a car, its fuel efficiency would probably compare to that of a Hummvee. I filled my 20 oz tank before the first game in the morning, and was out by lunch. I'd say I probably got about 400 shots out of each fill.
Another problem I had, also Cyclone Feed-related, was that near the end of the day it stopped working on me. The gun was still firing, but the blades in the feed system stopped turning, preventing any balls from getting into the chamber. I asked the guy at the proshop about this - his response? "Yeah, to fix that you'll have to open up the system and file down the rods, and maybe cut the spring too. Or just ship it back to Tippmann, they'll be able to fix it." Now I'm no expert on the mechanics of a paintball gun, so I wasn't about to try filing anything down. I was equally turned-off by the prospect of shipping my recently-acquired gun back to Tippmann to have them fix it. So, when I got home I decided to try and diagnose the problem myself. As it turned out, the man at the proshop had no idea what he was talking about, and I fixed the problem in about 10 minutes. Inside the Cyclone system is a small metal rod that hooks into a sawblade-shaped circular disk when it is pushed in by firing the gun. A spring then pulls this rod back, which rotates the blades and loads the next ball. The problem with my gun was that the metal rod was pushing up against the disk so hard that when it moved forward and grabbed the next groove, it didn't pull back because the spring didn't have enough power to overcome the force of the rod pushing against the disk (it sounds very complicated, but if you ever get a chance look at the internals of an A-5 and you should figure out what I mean in a matter of seconds). I quickly remedied this by slightly bending the metal rod out with a pair of pliers, and just for good measure I oiled all the parts as well. That's all I did - bend a piece of metal.
You'll see I've listed weight as a weakness of the gun, but I would describe it as more of an inconvenience. It doesn't really hinder me at all, but near the end of the day I started to notice that the A-5 is above average when it comes to weight. With my drop forward and 20 oz tank, I'd say the A-5 weighs in around 6 lbs when fully loaded with paint, which is comparable to an M-16. This isn't really a big issue, but I am the type of player who sprints whenever I feel a walk won't suffice, so by the end of the day I'm dead tired no matter what I'm using.
Conclusion: This gun has a lot going for it, and it's certainly another excellent product from Tippmann. My play style and the specific gun I have are really the only things that caused problems for me, otherwise the only issue is the gas consumption. Aside from that, so far the gun has performed flawlessly for me. I'm planning on using it in an upcoming tournament, and I expect I'll be able to keep up with most anything that is thrown at me.
Rating:
9 out of 10Last edited on Wednesday, October 15th, 2003 at 7:22 pm PST
 

Review Comments
isuck2 Sunday, November 30th, 2003 | 11:12 am PST
to get better gas usage get a palmer stabelizer
   

funkrocker049 Monday, May 17th, 2004 | 5:37 am PST
nice review
   

boing7472 Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 | 11:28 am PST
400 shots out of 20oz sounds REALLY low, mayb theres somethin wrong with ur tank. i can get nearly 3 times that much with a 20z
   

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