Which is better, the Sniper II or the Phantom?
First of all, note that there was a comprehensive article on the www.pumpplayers.com
website, which will hopefully be back up soon. In the meantime, here is a little food for thought:
Unfortunately, the answer comes down to preference. If you don't like the feel of a certain marker, you won't shoot it very well, regardless of how good the gun itself is.
However, there are certain characteristics that might make the decision easier for you.
Convertible between SC and direct feed (VERY easily, 2 minutes)
cheaper base version
great performance out of the box
efficient (30-40 shots/12g is reasonable)
available in a large variety of configurations
available in a large variety of colors/patterns
Adequate barrel selection (but the stock barrel is great)
backed by a pump-oriented company
Direct feed only (without custom work)
less efficient (20-25 shots/12g is reasonable)
available in a limited number of colors
available in one configuration out of the box
convertible to semi-auto without much work (well under an hour, including timing)
Huge aftermarket part market
Huge barrel selection (the stock barrel is not as good as the phantoms, but not bad for a stock barrel)
Nicer pump stroke (in my opinion)
If you have a chance to shoot both, then go for it, as that's the best way to tell which is better for you, which is the real concern. As far as weight goes, some people find extra weight of the Sniper to make for a nice steady platform, others find it cumbersome. If you want to play stock class, then the phantom is the better choice of the two. I believe you can get a stock class phantom and a spare direct feed breech for about the price of a Sniper. I'm really a fan of both guns, but it comes down to preference.