VL Revelation-I found the trigger too sensitive. Difficult to disassemble, or modify.
-Better accuracy out of box. Comes with double trigger. NOT durable
(especially the bottom line)
***even though the rev can cost upto $249. can.(can. tire kit) they are comparable.
A5 with Flateline barrel, 12 oz co2, Delta 68, ZXS(back up), PMI Marbelizers.
BARREL (yes you can! 2 ways actually.)see notes.
Internal work (easy). Piranah threads ussually work.
Tweakable, Great for price, Good for bringin' in the newbs (more targets).
Made THE cheapest way possible, courtesy of ZAP inc.
ZAP-ZXS400 is what it is. A cheap MASS-produced paintball marker, specifically marketed as a beginner gun. Now the ZXS is a great beginner, but DO NOT go buying it at a retail store. There are thousands upon thousands waiting to be bought used for about 40$ or less canadian.
Now about the rumors about this gun shooting hard? It is actually pretty standard at around 275-280 fps. If you need to shoot harder for some reason, you can remove the bolt off of your velocity adjuster, now there goes your accuracy. At 300+ fps you will be lucky to hit a truck at 100 feet. That's because of the 8' stock PIPE. Its lovely how ZAP even forgot to hire a buffer. Anyways there are 2 ways to improve. My friend has a 14' All American on his, it fits great. He picked it up used for 50$ canadian, and he can now actually control his shots. I just took mine to a machinist and had him port it, buff the inside (babies bum), and I wanted the outside to be shiny silver instead of dull. That gave me the same result as the All American, and it only cost me 20$ can.. If you don't like these options I saw a kid who got a machinist to shorten his barrel, and add threads. So that he could screw another barrel into it. The end result was a barrel that looked like a DYE boomstick.
ZAP inc. unfortunatley forgot to hire people (or machines), to do the finishing work on their markers, so grab some tools. (small file, sandpaper) If you want to fire faster you can do some things to the elbow joint. First you'll see all the unnesesary ridges inside...file smooth(as you can). If you do it right you'll start filing into the feeder(so slightly). Next drill 2 holes on each side of elbow. Then you'll want to smooth and grease your sear. If you know how your gun works, you can also file the sear to make the trigger pull quicker. All rough edges should be filed, then sanded smooth.(Be careful not to scrape!) After that just be sure to use 0-ring grease on all your rings, sear, and bolt, and I use lots of gun oil on my valve stem (which is the usually the first part to go on these). After you have you marker ready, you will see and feel a dramatic improvement. When you are comfortable and ready for more, get an A5! Want to spend a fortune get a Halo!
I highly recommend this gun as a first gun. It is a great learning gun, and an affordable way to open the paintball door. Just remember it is the player that wins, not the gun.
See you on the field...but you probably won't see me.
5 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, June 3rd, 2004 at 8:53 pm PST
Stingray II is similar in that it is a polymer gun, they are comparable.
A sling, perhaps a better barrel, but you can mod the one that's on it. A foregrip, has to be handmade though. A bottomline if you want it, but not really neccesary.
INEXPENSIVE, easy to work on, solidly built.
Slow rate of fire, not fit together well, hard to cock.
Alright, I picked this gun up for $25 at Academy, and I bought it as a beginner gun for my girl, or as a backup gun for me. I brought it home and completely disassembled it. It's solidly built out of a thick plastic and it's got a lot of metal parts in it too, so don't be fooled by the fact that it's "plastic".
Alright, so what I did to it was: I first of all ported the barrel by drilling a series of holes into it about every three quarters of an inch, then I smoothed out the edges caused by the holes and then polished the barrel. I polished the lower portion of the bolt (metal), and then sanded down and smoothed out the upper portion of the bolt (plastic). On the face of the bolt that strikes your paintball, you have to be careful, because there can be (there was on mine) a little lip, edge, whatever you want to call it, of plastic that would cause severe ball breakage. You can also smooth out the bolt face a bit and round it down a bit more. Also, on the front of the gun, there is a big screw that fits into the gas chamber, remove it and make sure you really lube the gas pin, otherwise you'll leak CO2 or air or whatever all over the place. I also polished the sear and trigger realease. On the metal bolt housing, make sure you file down all rough edges, otherwise when you start using it, little flakes of metal will get rubbed off and can foul up your gun. The feed tube needs to be filed down as it has a semi sharp edge surrounding it. The elbow that come with the gun needs to have a small hole drilled in either side to allow the gas to escape but don't drill it more than a 1/4 of an inch otherwise you'll risk weakening the elbow. Finally, just make sure you lube the gun up really well.
I also made a foregrip for this gun, for an idea of how, see my review on my victor. With the vertical CO2 tank, and the foregrip, it looks slightly like an MP5 or other SMG.
Finally, for a sling, just buy a utility strap from the camping section of wal=mart for like $2, feed it through both the front and back of the sight rail, secure it, and then pull it tight against the sight rail.
Even with all the mods you can't fire too fast, because for some reason the balls don't feed super fast, and if you get ahead of your rate of fire you end up shearing one in half and that's NO fun in the middle of a game. I suppose if you used an electrical hopper, it might solve that problem, but having an electrical hopper is just one more thing that can go wrong in a game.
I'd say that if you know how to work on guns, or want to learn, this is a good gun for the money. I believe it's been discontinued, but a lot of places still have them, or you can find them on E-bay. I would say not to pay more than like $25, cause if you get up much higher, then you can go ahead and buy a Victor for $45. If you're wanting to learn, then once again, buy one, cause if you mess it up or something, then you'll have only lost $25. It's good to have as a backup or a loaner. I'm very impressed for the price.
Comparing this marker to others is really a hard thing to do, because of course picking up a marker for less then $50 youíre not going to be expecting much except a marker that (hopefully) shoots paintballs. That being said, this marker is a GOOD marker for its price. Itís a fair marker overall, as it is what you pay for.
Right now Iím using a Spyder Aggressor XT, with a ceramic J&J barrel. I have also slapped an expansion chamber and drop-forward on it.
Definitely purchase a drop-forward for this marker if youíre planning on using it for a prolonged period of time. Nothing else is worth upgrading to this marker, as I know different barrels on this marker will chop paint, and a new barrel wouldnít really make a big difference on this marker. This marker basically falls short on comfort, which is what a drop-forward would help with.
-Great for a beginner
-Works good with ZAP paint
-Cocking this gun can be annoying
-Uncomfortable to play with
I started with this marker, and Iíve unquestionably spent a lot of time around this marker; as after I had bought mine, eight other people started the sport the next season, all buying the same marker (the ZAP ZXS-400).
With that being said, Iíve seen a fair amount of problems from this marker. Iíve seen people pull this marker out of the box and have it fail to work, it simply wonít fire, or leaks, things such as thatóso if youíre buying this marker from a store, be sure they have a good return policy.
I also played with this marker for several seasons, until I upgraded to what Iím currently using. Iíve also played against these markers for several seasons, but by now pretty much all of my fellow players have upgraded their markers as well.
This marker is fairly noisy, and if youíre playing bushball youíll have trouble sneaking around the field, and popping shots off, as people will instantaneously know where you are in the field by the loud popping noise this gun gives off. I think itís the barrel that the marker is shipped with, as itís basically a steel pipe with threading on one side.
However, the barrel performs fairly well, and almost never chops paint. Iíve found that high-end paint doesnít work as well as cheap paint in this marker, I would recommend picking up 800 balls worth of ZAP instead of buying some moderate to high-end paint. Brass eagle is definitely a no-no in this marker, as it is with many (brass eagle paint blows).
While using this marker, I found it fairly heavy in the front, as if youíre using a 9 oz., thatís quite a bit of weight to have on the front of your marker, I would recommend buying a drop-forward for $15 if youíre planning on using this marker for a extended period of time.
If youíre thinking about buying this marker, and youíre new to the sport, then buy it. I canít imagine why someone who isnít new to paintball would buy this monstrosity, unless you were on a tight budget. This would make a great-giftÖ say if youíre going to try to get your grandmother into paintball or something crazy like that, but apart from those 3 reasons, there is no other excuse to buy this marker.
Also, the reason I didn't talk about accuracy or distance is because they're not great, but they're not bad for the price of this marker. If you're thinking of buying this marker, you're not going to be worrying about those things anyways, you're going to want to have fun.
This marker is fair, and is good for itís price. Definitely consider buying a drop-forward however, as I know I wish I would have. Itís the cheapest possible upgrade for this gun, and it makes a huge difference, and makes playing with this maker more enjoyable over-all.
Definitely buy this marker if youíre hoping to break into the sport, but donít want to make a serious commitment. This marker is reliable (of course that is if you get a working one out of the box) and Iíve never seen this marker break-down, as itís pretty simplistic in-design.
Spyder Victor 2- more accurate, more upradable
Tippmann 98 Custom- more accurate and more upgradeable
zap zxs 400, 9oz eagleair tank
A new marker if not possible, a new barrel if you can find one that fits..
-Wild curving shots
-Not very powerful
The marker is made of some sort of plastic, it is suprisingly durable i have dropped mine many times.. without the slightest sign of damage. you can take the nut off the back where you adjust the velocity, allowing you to turn the velocity up more, which is needed. BUT the higher you turn the velocity the worse the shots curve. somtimes you can shoot and instead of hitting your target it can hit somthing 20-30ft to the left or right of it. The velocity is not consistant at all, some shots go fast some basically drop out of the barrel. This marker is an okay marker for the price it is very cheap,But it is not upgradable at all. but i would save a few more dollars.(which can be difficult believe me I Know.) and get a victor 2 or tippmann 98 custom.. i have friends they each own one of the two and from time to time i get to use them, they both work great, the victor tends to break paintballs somtimes which can be a pain. but other than that they are both great.
I would not nessicarily recommend this marker, but if you are in a tight situation and you really want to get into the sport.. go for it. its not a waste, you can always sell it to get a better one.
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
Mokal Fokus - much better
Eradicator - About the same
I run a Mokal Fokus with a 14" teardrop Barrell, and EVX trigger frame
I don't think you need any - just get a new gun after after you outgrow it.
CHEEP!!, reliable for the price
hard to cock, hard to adjust velocity
I used my friend's when my Fokus went down and I was impressed. thegun dosent chop paint and it has a low ROF which is good when you are strapped for cash. overall a decent gun for the price ($80 Cdn for kit) it is also PEALLY LOUD which I personally like. it is overall a decent gun.
Ok I used this as a beginner gun because I started playing paintball. At first I was using Zap paintballs they were ok, broke a few balls. But once i decided to use Brass eagle Rec balls i think....anyway they haven't broke on me once. anyway i took the whole thing apart oiled it and sanded the bolt. Now it works fine.
Its a good little gun. i would recommend this gun to someone just starting out.
First of all when you get it take it apart and look at the internals. The pin valve and the pin hole valve both have to be inspected. These markers were mass produced and some of them are not formed properly. The pin hole valve should be complete, smooth and well rounded, make sure other wise when you attach a CO2 bottle the gun will go auto untill all the CO2 is emptied. Next lube everything. This marker is platcis rubbing on plastic and the plastic bolt will expand after you fire a hopper. The plastic will then begin to bind otherwise. Use high compression oil for the springs and valve seals. Use light-medium grease fot eh triger and light-grease for the bolt. Porting the barrel is a must of you set your velocity high. I would recommned porting the barrel using a 5/64 drill and diagoally at 1 cm spacing, 2 rows. The velocity screw MIGHT break when beating around the bush and therefore a spare bolt from walmart might need to be in your spare parts bag.
Accurate at lower velocity
Internals a bit rough
Needs more maintenance than a stingray
Velosity screw weak
This marker is an adequate marker for bush play with buddies. As for an affordable semi i would spend the same amount on a stingray if strapped for cash. The marker preforms well for its preice and has a table rate of fire, 3-4 balls/sec. Anybody who says this gun chops balls is obviously pulling the trigger too fast and did not file down the bolt properly. The internals need to be looked after very often and taken care of. The one problem is that if they break replacements are hard to get. I have 2, one customized the other stock so if a part breaks i put the broken parts into the stock one and take it back to walmart and get another one. Then i put the pieces back and keep playing. For being a compact marker it works well with vertical feed as it feels like an uzi and is great for rushing. The trigger is hard and a bit weak but proper lube and a backup spring is a must. Fairly loud and easy to breakdown(take apart) this marker is good for what you pay for. Anyone who bashes it obviously is mechanically inclinded and is not allowed to call himself a man and should stop playing paintball. If you have bought this gun don't just throw it out the window, instead sit down and open it up and put some elbow grease into it. Like the stingray, a little work on it will take it a long way.
If you plan on having friends playing in the back woods and are looking for a cheap beat'em up gun, get it. Its cheap on gas ( will leak the first time a CO2 is hooked up, but will be stop once you fire it), will break the occational ball, all markers do, and is a fun compact marker.
7 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, April 24th, 2004 at 3:14 pm PST
No Bottom Line
Breaks Thin Shells
Pretty Much Everything
This gun is perfect for any newbie. It shoots best with Zap paint. It will break thin shell paint like Draxxas easy. The stock barrel is like a pipe with threads.You should get a new one once you find what threads it has(i dont know). It is good for woods ball because of its dark color. I am buying a bottom line feed because when you doing have one the gun is front heavy. This gun double shoots sometimes but doesnt break either. Overall a piece of poop.
2 out of 10
Last edited on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006 at 2:02 pm PST
compared with this product....all the classic BE's (stingray, Avenger, ect) This gun is much better, and longer lasting than any of the BE's I've used. Its as fast or light as my vexor but i still dont know how long that will last.
Gameface Vexor w/ 14in 32degree Nightstick barrel
Zap 400 (Winchester Durango...same thing) w/ 12 in Millenium Barrel and bottom line
Brass Eagle custom Tigershark Sniper (yes, a pump) 14in Nightstick barrel, tank w/ buttplate (and thinkin about adding fiber-optic sights
...just depends on what kind of mood i'm in
*The major upgrade this marker needed was a new barrel. The piece of pipe they sell with the gun curves as soon as it leaves the barrel. For this gun, you need ANY spyder-threaded barrel that does not have a very thick base to it (as in, barrel isnt very big around on the outside.) For me, i'm using the stock barrel from a Bob Long Melinium(sp) that i bought from a friend for $20 when he got his new barrel. As soon as i got that barrel, the value of this gun went from worthless to priceless. I'm not a BPS person and depend way more on accuracy, and maybe its just my gun, but that barrel did the trick.
*If your gun does not come with a bottom line, get one, it definitely balances the gun out
*i need to take a look at it, but i'm sure there's a way to change the trigger setup. If there is, thats something that would improve the gun as well. The whole spring-loaded single-finger trigger thing isnt good
*I took care of some of the ugly issue (and a little weight) by taking a bench grinder to the dovetail on the back of the gun and grinding it down level with the rest of the gun and then did a custom paint job on the body to hunter green. It kinda reminds me of a polymer version of a spyder compact
Durable, cheap, can be turned into a good marker
Bad barrel, little heavy, kinda ugly, needs a lot of oil
I've never been a fan of dropping a lot of money on a gun. Some can afford it but i cant. Its much less expensive for me to buy a cheap marker and make minor upgrades. I'm not a tourney player, just enjoy hangin out with friends and havin fun. If i need to lay cover fire, i can put a steady 4 or 5 bps downrange with this gun which is plenty for me. After a couple minor (and fairly inexpensive) upgrades, this gun is a mainstay in my arsenal. I just used it last week against a group playing with some of todays nicer semis and had no problem keeping up with them (and taking them out, though i am a firm believer that the player is more important than the gear). It does have its weaknesses but is much more durable than any other marker in its class from my experience.
Do not pass up the chance to pick up one of these markers for cheap. Tune-up kits can still be found, and bottom lines as well. With the massive assortment of barrels out there, i know you can find one that fits, and for under, oh, $50, you can have a pretty decent marker.