A-5 FAQ & Upgrade Information
Ok, so many times I seen people asked about the A-5 and its upgrades. Well, I am putting this A-5 FAQ together. Hopefully this will help you decide what is right for you.
Section 1: General FAQ
Section 2: Cyclone Feed System FAQ
Section 3: After-Market Barrel FAQ
Section 4: Flatline Barrel FAQ
Section 5: E-Grip FAQ
Section 6: RT FAQ
Section 7: Air System FAQ
Section 8: Other Upgrade FAQ
Special thanks to Tippmann Effect Airsmith Meph & Kreeper-X from www.a5ownersgroup.com .
There is no way I could done this without their help.
First thing first, what’s A-5?
The A-5 is the next evolution in the Tippmann line of markers. It is a great mid-level marker that can grow with you as you grow as a player. It can hang with the "big dogs" out of the box, but with a little work, you can put together a truly awesome marker.
Note: Model No. A-5
A stands for Automatic (referring to the Cyclone Feed System)
5 stands for how many paintballs the Cyclone Feed System “Pre-Load” in its five arm “Star”.
How do I oil my A-5?
Get good paintball oil. Not vegetable oil or WD-40. Get paintball specific oil. Such as Hoppes 9, Pro-Team Pro-lube, or PMI Perfect. There are many different types. But as long as they are made "specifically for paintball" then it's good for maintenance.
Because this is critical in your guns' overall life. These are not toys, they require regular maintenance. Normally, at least every other case of paint, about 4-5 drops in the ASA. Screw in the tank, and take about 20 dry-fire shots (note: with barrel off, otherwise you'll get oil in the barrel hurting accuracy).
For total break down maintenance, you'll only need to oil moving parts. Such as the bolt and hammer. These need to be oiled every so often. And along with those, all the o-rings require to be oiled. Otherwise they will dry up and need to be replaced.
Is it true that the A-5 can be field striped within 60 seconds with no tools?
Yes, it is right. Standard cleaning and maintenance can be done by turning the velocity screw all the way in and then pulling out four quick-pull pins, removing the grip and ASA adapter and pulling the entire valve system out of the marker.
Everything in the A-5 is very modular in design. This becomes evident when fully disassembling the marker. We find that the entire trigger and sear system is a single self-contained part. No more springs flying everywhere when you strip the marker like there was with the M98 and 98C. The one-piece trigger assembly can be broken down easily for installation of a double-trigger or for maintenance sake.
Why there are so many plastic parts on the A-5?
A lot of parts (Cyclone Feed, cocking knob, Front Grip, Trigger grip, Front Sight, End Cap, ...) on the A-5 are "plastic" instead of aluminum both because of cost and weight. This reduces weight, so it's not a bad thing, though some people are scared to death of plastic. Tippmann made this marker to last and you need not worry, it's not a Brass Eagle marker after all, it's a Tippmann Marker and we all know how Tippmann stand behind the products they make.
What kind of fire power/trigger upgrades can I get for the A-5?
E-Grip & Response Trigger. And you can ONLY have one of them installed on your A-5, not both at the same time.
Cyclone Feed System FAQ
What is the Cyclone Feed System? How does it work?
The Cyclone Feed System, which looks like about half of a soda can with a five arm "star" agitator inside it.
The cyclone Feed System works by directing a small portion of the excess blowback gas released by the CVX valve into a piston which forces the cyclone to turn one step. So each time you pull the trigger a paintball is force fed into the chamber and ready for firing again. No matter how fast you shoot, the cyclone loads the next ball just as fast. A common misconception about the Cyclone is that it sucks up extra gas, this is not true, and the Cyclone requires a small amount of gas that is normally wasted in the normal operation of a Tippmann blow back.
The Cyclone main body is connected to the marker by a single bolt on the left and two guide pins on the right side and connected to the CVX valve via a valve tap and banjo fitting. There is also a cylinder that houses both the air piston that works the Cyclone and a manual feed knob that you use to force the first paintball into the breach at the beginning of a game.
As paintballs fall into the main feed body, they fall into one of five "star slots" that effectively pre-load the next five shots and keeps them in stand-bye to be fired, just like a gumball machine. As the trigger is pulled, the cyclone advances the "star" one step, forcing the next paintball into the chamber.
The Cyclone acts as a force-feed system, not just an agitating hopper and was factory tested to 16bps and it can handle every bit of that and then some, though you will have to get the Tippmann Reactive Trigger Kit or E-Grip as well as a good flowing High Pressure Air (HPA) tank to realize that potential.
Does the Cyclone Feed Hopper make the gun a bigger target?
Now a lot of people have been yelling about the size of the cyclone system and how much larger it is that a "normal" hopper such as a Revolution or Evolution. But the facts are that the hopper has a lower profile and is tighter to the marker than any other marker on the market. The Hopper sits a full two inches lower on the A-5 than on a Model 98 with a Revolution on it. the hopper itself is smaller than a revy, only holding slightly more than 160 rounds, but the size difference is really telling. Go to http://members.tripod.com/The_kryptk...clone_myth.htm to see the pictures for yourself.
Are there any problems known with the Cyclone Feed System?
Yes, some of the earlier Cyclone Feed Systems could malfunction when used with HPA or in markers that cycled a ton of paint on a consistent basis, so Tippmann released a Cyclone Upgrade that fixes these problems and will install it free of charge if you send the marker to them or they'll send you the parts if you feel secure enough to install them yourself. More information be be found here.
Also the hopper for the A-5 is a little different looking and has an odd flat face, but it functions just as well as any other hopper. There were reports of Early A-5s having hopper that would break if they took a direct hit from a paintball. These hoppers will be replaced by Tippmann for free if you do break one, and Tippmann has replaced the old plastic hopper with a stronger hopper made with thicker plastic on all new A-5s leaving the factory.
Note: If you don’t like the way A-5’s stock hopper looks, you are in luck. There are after-market hoppers available for replacement, check www.pbgear.com for details.
After-Market Barrel FAQ
Great, so what is my first upgrade should be?
Your very first upgrade should be a new barrel. I strongly suggest this. Forget everything else until you get a new barrel. You have many choices, and many different price ranges. The choice you make depends on both styles of play and budget.
Now there are many many other barrels out there worth mentioning. But the fact still remains; whatever aftermarket barrel you chose it will be better than the A-5’s stock barrel. Check Barrel & Paint for more details.
After the barrel, most other upgrades only slightly increase performance, quiet the gun, make a smaller profile… etc. But in the end, all future upgrades continue to add weight! That is why the barrel is the most important upgrade. Because it's the biggest factor in you actually hitting your target.
Note: The barrel threads of the A-5 are removable and exchangeable. The A-5 is shipped with a Pro-Carb barrel thread adapter which accepts almost all Pro-series barrels and well as most F-4 barrels, but if you want, you can get a series of aftermarket barrel adapters that allows you to use spyder, m98 and other style barrels on your A-5. Check www.lapcopaintball.com , www.bp-usa.com , www.fullboarproducts.com for more details.
Which one is better? 12” or 14”?
If you play more speedball, tourneys, and hyper ball, you’ll want a shorter barrel. An 8”-10” would be the right size.
If you play a lot of Air Ball, a 14” or 16” barrel will be handy when you want to snap shoot.
Note: Range and Accuracy has NOTHING to do with Barrel Length. Check here for more details.
And the important thing is the classic "Paint to Barrel match".
I won't have the money to buy a after-market barrel any time soon, what can I do?
I found this quick MOD on the Internet that will improve the accuracy of your stock barrel. Get some electrical tape, cover up all the porting (holes) at the middle of the stock barrel. I have never try it out, so I don't know it works or not. But won't hurt to give it a try. Anyway, as soon as you have some money for upgrade, buy yourself a nice after-market barrel.
I heard that Lapco makes Fake Suppressor for the 7.5” BigShot. Will it works with other barrels?
No. This cosmetic upgrade is specially designed for using with the Lapco 7.5” BigShot only. As you already know, it is “FAKE”, it doesn’t Silence the gun at all.
I have a 7.5” BigShot for M98/98C and a 98 -> A-5 Barrel Adapter on my A-5, can I use the Fake Suppressor with them?
No. The after-market Barrel Adapter is a little longer than the stock Barrel Adapter, so it won’t fit.
Flatline Barrel System FAQ
What about the Flatline Barrel System? What is it?
The Flatline Barrel system is a Specially designed barrel that imparts backspin on the paintballs fired through it. This backspin causes the paintballs to generate "lift" which actually counters the force of gravity for much of the flight of the ball, resulting in about 50 to 100 feet MORE distance than ANY other barrel on the market.
How does it work?
The Flatline is a unique barrel system. Instead of a straight, smooth, tight bore barrel, the Flatline is curved like a banana, has a rough internal texture, and is a huge bore (about .700).
As a paintball is fired into the Flatline, the ball is forced up against the top of the barrel by a cushion of air and rolls along the rough texture of the barrel along the curve.
This forces the ball to pick up a consistent back spin, which in turn causes the paintball to form two pockets of air ournd the outside surface of the ball. A pocket of high pressure air forms under and slightly behind the paintball, pushing it up and forward, and a pocket of low pressure forms above and slightly in front of the paintball. This is called the Magnus Effect and is the same force that is generated by an airplane wing, and the force that baseball pitchers rely on to throw curve balls and sliders.
As the ball flies through the air, the lift generated by the Magnus Effect counter acts the force of gravity, and reduces the turbulence in the air that the paintball moves through, making the paintball fly in an almost FLATLINE toward the target until the spin on the ball starts to slow down, then the outside forces of gravity and wind resistance begin to work on the ball just like any other ball. The thing is that these forces don't start working on the paintball until it's already flown 75 feet. Thus, the barrel shoots the paintball further.
Where do I get the Big Bore paintballs that fit the Flatline?
You don't want a large bore paintball with the Flatline. Where as every other barrel systems work best when the paintball is almost identical in size to the internal bore of the barrel (this is called "paint to barrel match"), the Flatline requires a very loose fitting paintball, in fact, the smaller the paintball the better because paint to barrel match is meaningless with the Flatline.
The smaller paintball will spin faster, and provides more room in the barrel for the cushion of air to form under the ball is rolls along the barrel.
The Best paintballs to use are pretty much anything RPS Advantage Makes, such as Marbalizors, All Stars, El Tiger, Evil, Polar Ice, and Superswirls. Also good are Proball and Proball Platinum, and Nelson Anarchy paintballs.
Avoid anything medium or large bore.
Will the Flatline use more air that a normal barrel?
Yes, but the difference is only slight. The Flatline has no porting, so while some of the air will escape below the paintball as it travels down the barrel, most of the air is still trapped behind the ball. It tends to slow the balls down slightly. If you were shooting a BigShot at 280fps and switch the barrel to the Flatline, expect a drop to about 265 to 270fps, however that's about the perfect velocity for the Flatline.
How are the M98 and A-5 versions of the Flatline different?
The two barrels perform almost exactly the same. There is NO noticeable difference between the performances of the barrels.
Does paintballs travel slower out of a Flatline?
While this is true due to the fact that the perfect velocity is between 265 and 275fps, it's more of an optical illusion. At this speed, the spin and the speed of the paintball fly in the straightest flight path. The shots definitely look slower, because they fly in a more predictable flight path that the eye can follow easier, even though the ball is only going 5 to 15fps slower.
In fact, a paintball fired from a Flatline barrel retains it's initial speed longer than a paintball fired from a normal barrel because of the Magnus Effect, so at ranges of 40 to 60 feet, the Flatline actually is traveling faster than a shot from a normal paintball.
Tippmann did tests slowing an actual 10 to 15% speed INCREASE between evenly spaced chronographs on a target range.
Someone says he can catch the paintballs fired from a Flatline and put them in his marker and shoot them back because they move so slow. He also says he can dodge the shots easier. Is this true?
It is true only if the guy with the Flatline is standing about 250 feet away.
At extreme range, ALL paintballs move slowly enough to dodge easily, no matter the barrel they are fired from. But in typical paintball ranges (50 to 150 feet) these claims are not true.
Can the Flatline barrel handle high rates of fire?
Yes. Once installed properly, the Flatline can handle E-Grips, RTs.
Someone says that the Flatline isn't accurate at all.
No, it is not true. The Flatline, when properly installed, shooting good quality small bore paintballs, and shot with the proper technique is pretty accurate.
The thing is that people will run out and get a Flatline, throw it on without readying the directions, dump some brass eagle paintballs into the hopper, crank the velocity as high as it can go, and then shoot the marker with it tilted at an angle to the right or left.
The marker MUST be fired with the marker straight up and down, tilting the marker left or right will result in curving shot that can go around objects in the field, which can come in handy, but make it seem to be inaccurate to the untrained user.
If you shoot crappy paint, expect crappy results. Paintballs with pronounced seams, paintballs with oily shells, paintballs with dimples or large bore paintballs will result in bad to horrid results.
Also, keep the barrel cleaned religiously. Between games you should sgueegie the barrel out even if you didn't break any paintballs. A dry and clean Flatline is necessary in order for the barrel to maximize the back spin effect.
Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the spin the Flatline puts on the ball, everything you've already learned about shooting paintballs is wrong. The flight path is different and you have to become adjusted to this.
Also, wind can have a different effect on your shots due to the spin that the Flatline puts on the ball. It's definitely not an all weather barrel.
Is it true the Flatline Barrels on the A-5 Wear out? What can be done if they wear out? And how must they be properly cared for to avoid this wear?
These barrels shouldnt wear out for a long time, years even. If it does wear out, we will re-sandblast it for free. You shouldnt have a problem if it is kept clean with water and a squeege.
What is the E-Grip? How does it increase Rate of fire?
The GTA E-Grip is a new Grip Electronic Frame that trips the sear electronically with each pull of the trigger using a solenoid. You install the new grip frame in the place of the stock grip frame. The E-grip comes complete with trigger assembly, trigger frame and the electronic components.
Since the trigger activates the sear electronically, the marker can fire much quicker than the stock trigger, but slightly slower than the RT. Most people report results of 11bps.
The E-Grip uses standard 9 volt batteries and gets roughly 3000 rounds per battery from reports we've gathered.
Can I adjust the Rate of fire? What modes of fire are available?
There are Two holes in the E-grip Frame that allow you to change both the rate of fire and the mode of fire with a small screwdriver.
The E-Grip has five firing modes.
1. Semi Automatic - One shot for each pull of the Trigger
2. Turbo - Semi-Auto until the trigger is pulled faster than 4bps then it switches to auto-response, doubling your rate of fire.
3. Auto Response - One shot on the pull and one on the release of the trigger. Basically two round burst.
4. Three Round Burst - Three shot each time you pull the trigger
5. Full Automatic - Hold the Trigger; launch 11bps in a constant string.
Is the E-Grip easy to install and uninstall?
Yes. You just pull the two lower receiver pins, and the tombstone pin, remove the stock grip frame, remove the bottom line ASA from the stock receiver and install it on the E-Grip, and install the E-grip on the marker just as you uninstalled the Stock Grip. It takes less than two minutes.
Does the E-Grip use MORE gas?
No, it is powered by the batteries.
Is the E-Grip Tourney Legal?
Absolutely. That's why it was created. It takes the A-5 into High-End territory and can definitely compete with the Big boys out there. Just as Tippmann Effect, Tippmanns Factory Tourney Team. Though it can only be used in Semi-Auto mode.
Are there any known problems with the E-Grip?
A few. The Battery tends to be difficult to install/uninstall even though it was designed to be easy. The Wires tend to get in the way and hold the battery in the grip.
The Trigger switch is very sensitive and unless you make sure to turn the E-grip to a "Dead" setting, the sear tripping pin can shoot out of the Grip.
Also, the cyclone can get rather rough on paint when cycling at 15bps for loing periods of time. There are updates available for the cyclone that fixes that problem and they are free. Just call Tippmann for details.
Some fields still ban everything except Semi-Automatic; sue the other modes after talking to your field operators.
Response Trigger FAQ
What is the RT Trigger Kit? How does it increase Rate of fire?
The GTA Response Trigger Kit is a fully mechanical, Pneumatic Trigger Assist system. It uses wasted blow back gas to power a piston installed behind the trigger which returns the trigger to the ready position, ready to fire the next shot much quicker than the normal spring return and with much greater force.
Since the trigger resets much quicker and with much greater force, you can pull it quicker. Most people report results of between 14 and 17bps.
Can I adjust the Rate of fire?
In a way yes. You can adjust the flow of gas to the RT Piston, increasing or decreasing the pressure in the piston. The greater the pressure, the greater the force required to pull the trigger, and thus a slower the rate of fire. The lesser the pressure, the lesser the force required to pull the trigger, and thus a higher rate of fire.
Will the RT make my A-5 Fully Automatic?
In a way yes, and in a way no. Fully automatic markers work by cycling the bolt automatically while you are holding the trigger down. The RT can MIMIC this easily, but the trigger still moves with each shot, so you TECHNICALLY are pulling the trigger with each ball fired. This is called "sweet spotting."
How do you find the "Sweet Spot?"
It's different with the individual settings of each marker and each player. Usually the sweet spot can be found by pulling the trigger about half way back instead of all the way back and by applying constant pressure to the trigger. If set up correctly, the Trigger will bounce against your finger, and fire off a string of shots at high speed.
Is the RT easy to install and uninstall?
Yes, much easier to install than the 98 Custom Version of the RT and it requires less modification. The instructions are a bit complicated, but anyone with a decent working knowledge of the A-5 will be able to install it in about 15 minutes, and even less to disable it. To Disable the RT, you simply need to pull the hose that leads to the RT piston, and replace the Banjo "T" fitting with the stock banjo fitting.
Does the RT use MORE gas?
Yes and no. The RT works on wasted blow back gasses. So in theory you should get the same number of shots per tank that you get from a stock A-5 or a m98c.
But that's not necessarily the case.
With the increased Rate of Fire Co2 will act differently than it would for the stock A-5 or M98C. As you shoot faster, the tank becomes colder and that leads to the Co2 taking more time to evaporate from liquid to gas. This means that more liquid will be drawn from the tank as usual. This in turn means not only will you use more of the co2, but it can also chill the gas lines and the valve, creating even more of a problem. This can also cause the output pressure of the tank to start dropping rapidly, meaning that the cyclone and RT will start to "slow down." A good Expansion Chamber, Regulator and remote system will help with this, but Nitro is the best solution.
Is the RT Tourney Legal?
Again, yes and no. Even though it is still a semi-automatic marker, and you're still pulling the trigger for each paintball fired, the fact that you can mimic full auto easily has caused MOST big leagues to ban the RT. Some local tourneys will allow it though, so always check with the Ultimate Judge of the tourney before signing up with and RT.
Are there any known problems with the RT?
A few. Some of the earlier RT kits had loose o-rings resulting in leaks. And some of the RTs shipped with bad pistons. These problems were corrected by Tippmann and if you have one of these kits you can contact Tippmann to get yours replaced.
Newer RT kits also come with new trigger plates that can stand up to the pressure of the RT kit a little better.
That and some field still ban fully automatic paintball markers, and the RT because of the trigger bounce.
Air System FAQ
What kind of air source can I use on the A-5?
Both CO2 and N2/HPA. Check Air Systems more details.
What kind of upgrades should I get if I use CO2?
You have a couple of options. expansion chamber, remote, anti-siphon & regulator.
Most expansion chambers are the same. They all do their job by turning liquid to gas. It pretty much depends on how many stages you get. If you want a more compact design, go with a 4 stage. But a 6 stage will help the liquid expand better.
Remotes, you have the choice of coiled or steel-braided. The steel braided will last a lot longer… but it is also a longer remote. The coiled remote will sometimes curl up on you when gassed up, but just a turn of the gun and it's loose. Plus the coiled remote is more compact and doesn’t get in the way as much as steel braided. And if you get coiled, make sure it’s with a high enough psi, at least 3000, but 4500 if you can afford. Both are very flexible, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
And if you get a remote, which takes the tank weight off of your gun, you’ll need to hold onto it somehow. To do this, you’re probably going to get a harness any ways to help carry paint, so be sure to get a harness+1. That +1 on the harness means +1 spot to hold onto your tank.
For the anti-siphon, this is a tube that curls up inside the tank. It makes it so that only gas goes into the gun. Because in CO2 tanks, it is liquid CO2. With a regular tank, this liquid can get towards the pinhole and go out instead of gas. But with this, it maximizes the chance of only gas and keeping the liquid in the tank and not in your gun.
**Special Note: Never run an anti-siphon and a remote together. Doing so will result in the total opposite effect. It will turn the tank into a siphon. Meaning that you'll bring pure liquid CO2 into the gun.
If you want to use a regulator with CO2 use. There is only 1 regulator I can suggest. The Palmer Stabilizer. The reputation this has built, due to it's durability and quality, has ranked it as the best for CO2 use if needed. More information can be found at www.palmer-pursuit.com .
Note: Here is a guide for CO2 shots per OZ. at 80º F.
65 to 70 shots per OZ
7oz Tank = 466 Shots
9oz Tank = 600 Shots
12oz Tank = 800 Shots
20oz Tank = 1333 Shots
What kind of upgrades/Tanks should I get if I use HPA/N2?
There are many factors in purchasing an HPA system, so get a tank that’s good for you. There are many different sizes, different fixed output pressures or adjustable, different material, and different maximum fillable psi (3000 or 4500).
For those that like a lighter tank, go carbon-fiber wrapped. However, the steel tanks can take a ding a lot better compared to the damage it would do to the wrapped tanks.
Along with that, get one that fits your gas needs. If you play short games, you’ll only need a 47-68ci or so tank. But if you play scenarios, long rec. games, etc. you may want to consider a bigger tank like an 88-114ci.
Note: It is about 10 shots every cubic inch on a 3000psi tank (68ci = 680 shots, 88ci = 880 shots). And it is about 15 shots every cubic inch on a 4500 psi tank (68ci = 1020 shots, 88ci = 1320 shots).
Now if you are running N2, you may also want to look into a secondary regulator, which is one of the most underrated upgrades, I feel. This will help make your shots more consistent, and help you on adjusting your psi input for better efficiency. Because your input pressure will determine what type of regulator you should get. Be it a high pressure, or a low-pressure regulator. If you’re going for your gun to run on a low-pressure system, you’ll want a low-pressure reg of around 50-400 psi. But if you want your gun to run off of almost the stock psi, get a higher-pressure reg of around 400-800psi. With Low Pressure, you get less kickback from the gun. And in theory, it's supposed to soften the impact of the air on the ball resulting in less distortion and less ball breakage.
I don’t like to use a Remote, can I add a Drop Forward?
Of course, any kind you want. But you will need a Universal Mount. More information can be found at www.lapcopaintball.com , www.deadonpaintball.com and www.bp-usa.com .
Other Upgrades FAQ
What other upgrades are available at this time?
Since the A-5 is a very "young" gun. (It started taking pre-order 4/2002). There aren't many upgrades available for it yet. So far there are Rear Velocity Adjuster (RVA), Double Trigger, Aluminum Trigger Grip, Aluminum Front Grip, Titanium Hammer, Vertical Adapter, Pro-Seal. Check here for the complete list and reviews.
Is that a good idea to replace any internal parts?
Internal parts normally referring Hammer, Power Tube, Front Bolt. Personally I think replacing after-market internal parts brings nothing but troubles. Maybe because too many people had bad experience with them in the past. Be sure you call Tippmann before you do so.
On the other hand, the Madman Spring Kit becomes handy when you have problems with the velocity. (It can't be turned up or turned down) Check www.maddmanproducts.com for more details.
Any "Do it yourself MOD"?
Sure, check here . That should keep you busy for a while.
I like to make my A-5 looks like a real gun, are there any cosmetics upgrades for that?
Yes, there are many. Check www.proteamdirect.com , www.extremesportsandhobbies.com , www.bp-usa.com for more details.
I personally have the MP-5 Ammo Clip MOD done on my A-5. You can PM me if you like to know more.
If anyone has anything to add to this, PM Kampfer or myself and I'll be happy to open the thread up so you can add it in. Nice job Kampfer. It's goin in the Ultimate.
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