1. Where can I buy a phantom or upgrades?
Hans is a good guy and has good prices.
Mike Casady, creator of the phantom. If you need it fast, go straight to the source. Excellent service.
Best prices, incredible custom work, the source for ghost rings, can get all CCI products, I believe. Be patient, he's an honest business man and a wizard of an airsmith.
These guys offer competitive pricing, some custom work and some barrel options, at times. Dedicated to the phantom and surely worth dealing with.
This is run by fellow pumpers and offers a nice line of products. Also has a lot of pump and stock class products, including Sterlings and AM Illusions. Competitive prices.
Also run by fellow pumpers. Also a dealer of Sterlings and AM Illusions. Competitive prices.
Best prices, makes Frantom barrels to accept Freak inserts and carries accessories. I've heard good things about dealings with Whitewolf.
Check out their 5% price match policy.
Solid prices, but they charge $20 extra for silver. I think some other places don't. Their prices on direct feed phantoms are some of the best, but their prices on stock class phantoms are higher than most.
Looks like they might be clearing out stock. The selection is limited.
Thanks, Smith for this addition.
"Everyone in Canada should know this site, they have great service, and it always arrives, and its about $10 cheaper on most peices" -- PMech
There are more places, but these should be plenty.
1.5 Which place has the best prices?
White Wolf airsmithing has the best prices listed, in addition to carrying his Frantom barrels (barrels made to accept Freak inserts). I've heard he's pretty quick and easy to deal with.
Punisher's Customs seems to have the second best prices on everything and he may price match (don't quote me, but it might be worth asking). However, if you aren't willing to wait a bit to get your order, you might order from someone else. It's an interesting situation. Ordering directly from CCI means paying the highest prices, but probably getting your phantom the quickest. Ordering from Punisher's Customs means paying the lowest prices but having to wait a bit longer. Then there are all those store inbetween. If I were ordering a Phantom or parts, I would order from one of the first seven stores listed. Not to knock the other stores, but I know those seven are good.
Another thing worth noting is that for most of the stores, one place doesn't beat another's prices outright. Prices for different items will vary, so it's best to compare prices of different stores for the particular setup that you want.
2. What upgrades should I get with my phantom?
A .45 block is a nice addition, but you don't really need anything else for good performance. Phantoms are some of the best performing guns out of the box. If you want to switch between stock class and regular pump play, pick up a spare breech so that you have one gravity fed and one stock class. Bottomline, vertical air, and stocks are all a matter of personal preference. Although it is often cheaper to buy upgrades when you first get the gun, you might consider trying it out stock or with limited upgrades first, and then upgrade from there depending on what you feel that you need. This depends on your financial situation, though. If you've got the cash, go ahead and buy the upgrades with the gun.
If you stay with the M16 grips and want to run a bottomline tank, there is an adapter that will allow you to attach a bottomline ASA available here: http://www.skanline.com/detail.asp?pid=32141
If you would like to mount a regulator I recommend getting a vertical air kit and then running a hose from your bottomline to the regulator. However, you can also use an inline regulator or mount a standard reg off of the side of the valve body. I recommend picking up a cheap stock autococker regulator for $20-$30 in terms of the best value.
2.5 What is the best phantom setup?
My personal opinion, disregarding fancy colors and lots of accessories, is that a Phantom VSC with .45 frame and extra GF breech is the best setup. I think it is pretty complete, yet not over the top as far as cost. If you don't like stock class or would like to run a constant air tank larger than a 4 ounce, you might want to make additions/subtractions to this.
3. What is the best barrel for a phantom and what barrels are available?
The stock barrel is truly excellent. You can buy detent rings for $6 or so to prevent roll-outs when using small paint As a match to the barrel, I like PMI Premium.
The CCI nickel barrel is an upgrade and is slightly smaller in bore. It shoots marballizer nicely.
Other barrels available for the phantom are the J&J Edge kit, J&J Ceramic, Lapco Autospirit, Lapco Bigshot, DYE Boomstick, DYE Titanium and maybe others. Electric Iguana Paintball is working hard to provide phantom owners with barrel choices (see link above). Armson, Smart Parts, Taso and Dye have made barrels for the phantom in the past, as well. I believe the SP All American, Dye Aluminum and Dye stainless are no longer in production. Barrels of America also makes barrels, but their website is down. Try Bunker Boyz for BOA barrels.
I would like to note that J&J has really taken phantom owner's into consideration and is catering to us with it's J&J Edge kits and Ceramics. Smart Parts seems to no longer produce phantom barrels.
4. Should I run my phantom on nitro?
You can run it on nitro if you would like to, but there isn't a great advantage to it. Phantoms run on CO2 quite well, but if you plan to play a lot in cold weather, nitro would be more consistent. It probably isn't worth investing in a nitro system though, just for your phantom. For that ultra-consistent setup, you may want nitro.
5. How do I adjust the velocity?
Turn the screw on the face of the bolt clockwise by quarter turns to increase the velocity, counterclockwise to decrease it. Lock down the nylon set screw, accessing it through the feed port. If you need to adjust it by a lot, put in a stiffer main spring or a lighter valve spring. It's easier to just switch the main spring, but you can experiment. Pick up a nelson spring kit for $6. The stiffnesses are by color, from softest to stiffest:yellow, green, blue, red. A green main spring and a green valve spring are a good starting point.
6. What is a Pneumatic Assist (PA) phantom?
A pneumatic assist phantom has pneumatics mounted on it, such that the pump stroke is only a small fraction of an inch. By pumping, you activate a three-way, just like you do by pulling the trigger on an autococker. This short pump stroke allows for an incredible rate of fire when combined with the autotrigger.
7. What is a Micro Phantom?
A phantom that has a 6" barrel and half size pump handle. The gun is still just as accurate as it would be with a longer barrel. The micro kit will fit any phantom. It is availible with either clear of black pump handles.
measurements: Phantom VSC micro with 15 rd tube
Lenght s/c: 17 1/2" (subtract approx. 3" for a ten round tube)
lenght c/f : 13 1/4"
Height s/c : 8 1/2" (top of gun to bottom of 12 gram changer)
height c/f : 8 3/4" (top of gun to bottom of 12 gram changer)
Pump handle lenght: 2 1/2".
Thanks to pyropig for that addition.
7. Where can I get custom work done on my phantom?
I certainly don't mean to leave anybody out, but the places that I know of are Punisher's Customs, Doc Nickel http://www.docsmachine.com/index.html
, Paintball Maxx (Brad Nestle) http://www.paintballmaxx.com/
, and Electric Iguana Paintball. I believe all four of these places do semi-auto conversions.
8. What is a ghost ring?
A ghost ring is a small cylinder that slides onto the sight rail of a phantom. Punisher's Customs makes the ghost rings. These are not sights, but they give the shooter a frame of reference for his target and may help to quickly aim.
9. What is the single greatest resource for Phantom information?
The Phantom Owners Groups (PHOG), of course.* http://pub15.ezboard.com/bphantomphorum75007
*credit to Crazy Mills for suggestion this addition, credit to C-Mac for finding and putting in the link.