The Apex Barrel system is redefining how the game is played. With unmatched distance along with accuracy you will be able to hit more targets then before.
Hit previously untouchable targets with new curve feature.
Adjustable ramp switch - choose the desired level of the curve.
Left hook, right hook, drop shot and long flat trajectory shots with a twist of the barrel.
Easy to " Dial in " targets and change the level of curve.
Easy to clean
Compatible models - Fits all popular barrel threads including:
Just about any paint will work, but the Higher the grade....the better consistancy you will have in the shots.
Has several "levels" to choose from
Shoots Farther and more accurate than Flatline
Shroud must be turned in counter clockwise motion to prevent barrel from unscrewing
The Apex has several "levels" (8 clicks/positions to be exact)from which to select/adjust from. Position 2-3 is equal in distance to the Flatline but is more accurate. Position 4-5 gives about 30-50 more distance and also retains incredible accuracy. Posistion 6-7 gives EVEN more DISTANCE, but accuracy starts to drift off. Position 8 aka "Super Flatline" gives the greatest Distance (about 80ft more than the flatline for me), and has accuracy comparible to the Flatline itself.
Position 8 Divebomb, and Hook Left/Right are simply amazing. The individual user will need to experiment with these options in order to properly use them. They will need to be familiar with the angle, distance, and flight path which the ball takes.
The overall barrel length unmounted is exactly 10 3/4 inches. Inside the shroud, on the bottom there are several slots/grooves in it. When the ball is shot, the combination of it hitting the rubber piece and air flowing underneath the ball (via the slots) sets the backspin in motion.
When set on "Super Flatline" is has anywhere between a 2-4ft drop that initially occurrs before the ball levels back out. When it levels back out, the ball literally seems to float... and float....
I give this product a 9, simply because no product is perfect and can always be added upon to improve its abilities
edit: So far I have noticed no problems with the Apex barrel. The only real thing I have noticed though, is that when a ball breaks in the shroud... its a pain to clean out. The paint being in there didn't seem to effect performance, just looked ugly I suppose.
UPDATE!!! Tuesday, August 16th, 2005 at 4:09 pm PST I tested out the Apex to see exactly how far it would shoot with me being able to hit the target. I went threw exactly 2 1/2 cases of paint, and found that on lvl 8 setting I was able to hit the target at 303 feet. I did so at 2.4 out of 10 shots. On lvl 5 setting I was able to hit the target at 167 feet and did so 8.9 out of 10 shots.
UPDATE!!!! Wednesday, August 24th, 2005 at 3:35 pm PST I went to a 8 hour scenario August 20th and was able to properly field test the Apex. I was outshooting and hitting people easily. I was able to easily provide long range suppressive fire and to bunker several people. I tested out the "Dive Bomb" and after a few shots I was able to dive a few shots over a tree stump to hit a guy that was bunkered by another player. It was a Field Paint only event, and the paint was quite cheap... some no name white box junk. Out of 2 cases, I broke only one ball.
UPDATE!!! Monday, October 3rd, 2005 at 2:19 pm PSTI recently attended the Tippmann World Challenge (TWC) in Michigan, Sept 17-18. I played on the Tippmann Team. Dispite the poor paint, the Apex was performing amazingly. I demonstrated on field for a few people its capabilities. At one point I became a camera man, and followed the World team for pics. Several of them with high end markers were sporting Apex's. One guy who had just bought one was getting upset because he couldn't hit anything. I explained that he simply needed to back the ramping off. 2 clicks back.... and he cleared the road.... took out 6 guys. He was outshooting those with Flatlines. I have been able to battle (field) test this barrel thoroughly, and I am still very impressed with its performance.
This barrel is without a doubt the evolutionary upgrade of the Flatline, and unfortunately (sad to say this since I own a flatty as well) now puts the Flatline in the stone age.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Monday, October 3rd, 2005 at 2:26 pm PST
+30mm Red dot site
+Tactical AR-15 riser
Any medium to high grade paints
Quieter than the flatline
More distance than the flatline
More accurate than the flatline
It takes a little getting used to
I just got my Apex barrel today and I took it out for some target practice. THIS BARREL IS AMAZING!! It easily adds 50+ feet to the flatline's range (and then some) It does take a little getting used to and a few adjustments in the way you play, but I love it either way.
I cant seem to find anything wrong with this barrel. The divebomb effect works like a charm, although I don't plan on using the super-curvey effects very often. For all of you who think this is a novelty barrel, think again. It kicks the flatline's butt in distance and accuracy
I reccomend it to snipers and heavy rifleman. This barrel gives you that extra edge
In my opinion-Anything
But I have used PMI Premiums and Marbs so far
APEX simply are not paint picky=better scenario gun
Big Barrel End
I am convinced of this after playing all day in a scenario game yesterday that I am better off with the Apex than I was with my Flatline. Dont get me wrong Flatlines are still very effective but this is a few things that I saw. (yes I owned both but sold my Flatty to buy this Apex)
Apex could shoot farther
Apex was very accurate
Apex is NOT paint picky
No weird shots or wingers
Apex Does not break balls.
APEX simply are not paint picky=better scenario gun
I ran most of the day on Setting 4-5 which is the basic flatline mode. When i need that extra OOmph I simply Upped to the Superflatline mode. I was shooting at one guy and I was on setting 4 My balls would drop just before the got to him. I flippped my switch up and Poof 3 shots later he was out. It was 200 ft. or more. The balls the and another guy were shooting at me did not break Several hit my vest and barely bounced off. I was suprised mine broke on him.
One thing I didnt use was the bunker busters and wrap shots. I didnt feel the need to use them. I really dont think these tyoes of trick shots will really come into play that much. I would see someones but sticking out behind the tree and aim and hit it. Why worry about the curve?
Quite a few people had Apex barrels out there and all of them that I talked to love them.
I never saw one ball wing to the left or right the way some do with the flatline. Some of the Flatlines out there broke paint. Were were using PMI Premium.
I have only shot the Premiums and Marbs through mine but I cant see any paint that will break. I am gogin to try some scorch and cheaper balls in a few days.
What I dont like about the apex? The end is to big. Its kind of hard shoving that barrel through cracks and shooting since the end is so darn big. I could sit the lip of my flatty between a whole in a barricade and fire away. Its not easy to do that with a Apex but i think its a small price to pay.
I have and use a response trigger and it handled it just fine. I watched people on the field using cockers and other high fire weapons and they were also ddoing great with no ball breaks. Its like a normal barrel. Much more reliable than the flatline at high rates of fire. Yes ther are 8 clicks the closer the nob is to you the more normal the barrel is. At the 1 setting the barrel is a very accurate normal barrel click 4-5 is Flatline. the last setting is super flatline. You simply twist the barrel to have the shot curve in the direction you want. You can do the same thing with the flatline. But there is a more noticeable curve with the apex.
Buy it if your going for a no hassle non picky barrel. Point and shoot and click for distance.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Monday, August 22nd, 2005 at 1:57 pm PST
The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion on the comments page.
Period of Product Use:
43 of 336 people found this review helpful.
More than 5 years
Similar Products Used:
None... all i own are barrels that give other players a chance....
A5 with Adapter and with an OPSGEAR 18" Fluted Sniper Barrel and a Flatline with a coiled remote, and a folding aluminium combat stock / M16 solid stock
(also bought the 18" air cooled machine gun shroud with it... also looks bad to the bone.)
none... this thing shouldnt banned from the sport
Helps players that would otherwise suck actually get kills
Knocks out the poor shlepps that are playing fair
I used a friends APEX for some $hits and giggles when we were playing woodsball..... Ive never been more turned off to something in my life... with a little practice it was able to nail people that you normally wouldnt be able to get with a flatline or regular straight barrel.... this thing is retarded...
Not only have i been playing paintball since 1994, but Im also a gun owner... and the last time I checked my M1911A1 didnt shoot .45 rounds like curve balls... neither did my 8MM M48 Mauser.
A normal barrel has a downward arc... but thats because of gravity.. this barrel is made to go around corners and such on purpose... its cheating for godsake!!!
What ever happened to "hey theres a guy behind that bunker... you get his left flank ill get his right and you, harry... go up behind em." You know.. a certain thing that paintball was originally based around... something called TACTICS!!!!!
In history there have been a few attempts to make a bullet go around a corner straight from the gun by putting an angled attachment on the barrel.. but nothing like this.. this takes the cake as far as being unrealistic goes..
Now, dont get me wrong, Im not trying to offend anyone... but if I am its because you know what im saying is true...
this product is about as much of a cheap shot to paintball as the electronic marker was... theres no need for a gun that fires 20 rounds a second... not even an M60 can fire that fast... hell even those stupid little UZIs can pull that one off...
I hate to say it guys but anyone that has any talent in the game of paintball shouldnt need barrels that shoot around corners and guns that sound like bumble bees when they fire... if you actually have any skill whatsoever... you should be able to take a pump gun onto a field of NORMAL mechanical semis and still kick some A$$,,, not try to compensate for the fact that you suck by going out and spending thousands on some high tech gun that fires a million rounds a second or a barrel that shoots around corners... its called practice... vasily zaitsev didnt have a gun that sounded like a bee's wings when fired... he had a bolt action mosin nagant rifle and a scope... and if you know anything about snipers you know that you cant just look thru a scope and hit something ur aiming at... theres a lot more to it... and if he didnt land that one shot he was probably dead in his tracks...
the phrase one shot one kill is just that... not one pound of paint one kill... if you have any talent or skill whatsoever you shouldnt need all these fancy gadgets to make u look good....
what looks better?
a 5 guys walking off a field shaking their heads with no splatter on any of them and one shot in the center of each of their chests?
one guy walking off the field covered from head to toe in enough paint to coat a house?
do the math
to all of you morons thinking im a sore loser thats probably been tagged 1000 times by one of these things, you're wrong... ive never actually been hit by a ball coming from one.. however... my entire team was nearly wiped out by 4 players using them... we had 2 guys on our team that were using them til they saw that and then switched back to their stock barrels just to prove a point. we still kicked their A$$es
Originally constant air systems were banned from field play because the "founding fathers" of the national paintball association or whatever the hell its called now a'days didnt want the sport to revolve around the gun... they wanted it to remain based on tactics.. not high tech gizmos... they would have cows if they saw this
You know, if you're gonna nail someone do it with dignity by flanking them or something tactical... not by camping in one spot with some cheap shot barrel
products like the APEX are ruining the sport... theyre every bit as bad as the player that wipes a direct hit off of his clothing and continues playing... what do the two have in common? cheating and poor sportsmanship!!!
Im giving this product a 1 because there are no options for negative numbers
1 out of 10
Last edited on Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 at 2:40 am PST
M98C / Apex barrel / Response Trigger / Evolution II Y / Remote sys hose
Range, accuracy, durability, doesn't break paint!
After my first experience paintballing, I knew that my stock setup, especially the barrel, just wasn't cutting it. I asked around quite a bit on different barrel upgrades and nearly everyone told me to get a Flatline. But lo and behold, as I walked in to the shop, the dude behind the counter told me about this new, really trick barrel he had out back called the Apex. I bought it without hesitation. After playing with it on the field, I, as well as everyone out there, was totally impressed with it's superior range and accuracy. My bone stock marker (at that time) was outranging some pretty serious setups, as well as the A5's w/ flatlines. I was also using some really doo-doo paint at the time, and broke maybye one or two balls out of a thousand. After I installed the response trigger and the egg2 hopper, I thought I was going to have mass breakage through the barrel when I put the marker into cyclic fire (I know it's not true auto), but nope! Not a single ball has broken through it in over six thousand shots! The shot bending stuff really works too, but it took a couple hundred shots to get proficeint using it. I feel like i'm cheatin' when i use the curve shots though, so I try not to use it as much anymore. The only drawback was the size of the end of the barrel (which is used for the variable settings). I found it a little akward shooting through holes, but the advantages far outweighed this minor inconvenience. I do know that once I purchase a new marker, I will definitely equip it with an Apex.
Buy this barrel. You will not regret your purchase. Many markers have adaptor kits that will accommodate this barrel. The range on this thing is amazing!
Tippmann 98 fltline-very long and paint picky
Tippmann A-5- about the same size as the apex, but very much wider in circomefrence, not as picky as the 98's,
6 Stage Expansion Chmamber
Smart Part Progressive
DOP A-5 Vertical Adaptor
DOP Grip adaptor
Smart Parts Ion
CCI VSC Phantom
Roin Gear elite stock class harness
Any, i used three types in testing an worked fine
The idealic design
None at testing
Heres the story: I had to stop into my local proshop to pick up some macro line for my ion. While i was in there, the store owner and another customer were shooting a A-5 equpied with the Apex barrel system. So natural curisosity brought me to ask to try it.
I being a flatline owner know about the great vast range given by the flatline, but it has problems such as accuracy when not properly set up, or it being picky to paint.
So i'm shooting away with the apex equiped a-5.. The barrel was a nice length, with the A-5, it still looks a bit long, and the apex reminds me of a silencer mounted on a barrel, not like the cylinderal tube of the flatline. So i'm shooting Stingers, Draxxus, and some seconds paint. All work really well with it. Nifty little dialer lets you adjust the range and the flatline effect to the ball, works very well. Not only that, all paint used worked actually pretty well in testing. And then with the apex you have the option of twisting the barrel to make it curve, almost like shooting a Flatlined a-5 sideways. With ot dialed in, it woked amazing.
After shooting it, i took a look at how it was made. The "controller" section of the barrel was a hard plastic. And the "paddle" that sort of funneling it so it does the backspin. The paddle was also made out of the hard plastic. Eh, no biggie. The interior of the metal part of the barrel was sily smooth and well machined. So its composite and metal, i'm ok for that. Unless you are hardcore woods ballers, that take your a-5's or 98's and really bash em into trees, i think it will be just fine.
This is much better idea for woodsballers, i really don't think it would be effencent on the speedball field, for you will be bombard by paintballs, and at the same time, u are dialing int the range and all. Not too smart of a move.
This is a very well built barrel, and is a solid performer.
This is a great product for hardcore woods ballers, possibly for speedball back men. You can now actually have the flatline effect with out having a tippmann marker, and not doing ghetto home customizing mods to use it. Just find your thread and bam, flatline for your gun. With the curving ability, it's nice. Well built product for any user.
Tippmann A-5 with flatline and/or All american 12 inch and Tipp. Werks 12 inch
Low preassure kit with Ergo reg (set to 400 psi) and 68 cu. in. Nitro
Respnse trigger upgraded
Steel remote hose with 1/4 turn on/off
Draxxus or PMI
Not the best accuracy
Alot of people are going to be displeased with this review because I wont have the best things to say about this barrel.
I anticipated this barrels arrival to the store where I work for some time. Finally got there about three/four weeks ago. Immediatly I just had to hook it up and go shoot it at my building. I put it on a 98 and had fun. I chrono all barrels before i test them and shoot with compressed air as to get the best results possible. I tested again on A-5 a few days later, results did not change between the gun enough to be worth noting.
First Test: Accuracy.
I used draxxus paint first off, then PMI's and tested the accuracy without the back spin on. Wasnt very happy after hearing this was supposed to be a strong point. Now granted it wasnt horrible and it was more than usable but it reminded me of shooting with a spyder stock barrel. The shots were inconsistant enough the getting tight groups, just wansnt happening. Mind you, im not setting up little perfect 12"x12" targets and all that, I shoot at two dumpster a wood pallet a gargbage can, some telephone poles and a wall. I have to say Im a good shoot and with target like that, if I wasnt going to get tight, consistant groups, hittin a person would be tough enough that I would change my barrel to my Werks or All american and move closer.
Second: The Spin.
Then, naturally, i click it out to the first position. Not much difference. In fact I didnt see much of a difference at all until about position 3-5. It was getting at this point to within the same range limitation's as flatling. HOWEVER, it is supposd to be more accurate than a flatline at the same range. Using a flatline for 3 years, I can tell you now this was not so. I can get more consistant groupings with a properly set up flatline A-5.
On the max back spin setting this thing gets some killer range, I was very impressed with that, but its lack off accuracy and irregular shooting pattern make it very undesirable. When the ball came within max standard paintball range, it dropped to within about a foot to 8 inches off the ground with the gun level. Im 5' 6" so me holding a gun plum level is at about 5 feet off the ground. It would then kick back up to over an 8 foot arc and then cost down again. These results were typical between position 7 to 8. Again, the range was great but the eradic trajectory and inaccurcy means the last to click will probably never be used for more than cover fire that can reach. Woods ball people rarley have 300 or so feet of open ground to shoot across, and with bushes in the way, you wont make the shot at level 8. I play back/captain for my scenario team, so i was happy to hear that this was supposed to get more range than the flatlline, it just didnt live up to what I've come to expect a barrel should . I give it about a 4 for this aspect.
Third Test: The Curve.
This, i was very impressed with. The ability to curve the paintballs is nothing new if you've had a Flatline, but the ability to adjust said curve and make it either steep or long is wonderfull. I am a big fan of the curve ball with the flatline and use it to my advantage as much as I can, which is still one big reason I use the flatline. The APEX takes that to a whole new, unseen level. If you use this barrel not for the range, but just the curve its almost worth the 140 bucks. A 10 all the way for that.
Fourth Test: Squeaky Clean.
Ok, not really a test but a mishap. A paintball or two managed to accomplish the inevitable and break. Not fun. Squeegie it out! Not a change. Any form of a good cleaning while in a game is just not going to happen. I had to use a pull through on the barrel, which cleared fine, but the tip just didnt budge until i ran it under the tap. That to me is just unacceptable. I give this a 4 as you can clean it to a degree that you can finish your battle, but not anywhere as close as you can with a normal, straight barrel.
Averaged together, this get a 5.5. But I am going to give it a 7. Why? Because I beleive its inovative, a wicked good idea and I like the curve. I beleive that its a new product and has the common mishaps of new products that have not been widley field tested. Once more news starts getting back to BT you'll see more improvments made to this barrel.
It is an awesome idea and I am stocked somthing like this is getting onto the market, i just honestly believe it needs more testing and more time to be truly great. I would recomend buying/testing it for your self and if you personally can deal with complications than go for it. But based on it being functional and worth the money, I cannot say it is and I still tell people looking for the range to with a flatline if they can. I will test again when the weather change, when its not so windy etc. And if any changes occur I will adjust this review accordingly. But until then, I do not believe this barrel is at the place where it is worth the money and the time needed to learn its complicated patterns.
Redz Pepperstickz Kit - Quieter, More Accurate, Shorter Range
2004 B2K STD w/ Self-installed PDS
Redz Pepperstickz Kit or Apex Barrel
Shocktech LPR Plunger
CP Rail w/ ASA
Dye Sticky 2s
ND Ion Clamping Feedneck
Madpooh PDS Harness
Ported Ram w/ polished shaft and bumper
Steel 50/3000 HPA tank
Doesn't matter. This thing is nice and wide. The more consistant the paint the more consistant the shot, though. So don't go too cheap.
Range! Range! Range!
Less accurate than other barrels
A bit expensive
I've always wanted a Flatline. Even when I was renting and Tippmann (Sports) first came out with them, I wanted one. Just the idea was cool. But Tippmann decided to keep the barrel threading proprietary so that only Tippmann's and a few specialized guns (the Flatline Autococker comes to mind) could use one. When I finally bought my own gun it came with Autococker threads, so I figured that I'd never have that range.
But a different Tippmann came to my rescue. Ben Tippmann Designs has built a barrel that can put spin along the ball at any degree, and at varying magnitudes. One of which mimics, indeed surpasses, the Flatline barrel.
I am truly impressed by the range of the barrel. At level 6 or 7 you can shoot level balls nearly 300 ft. Compare this to the ~110ft you'll get from a normal paintball firing 280ft/s. What this means is that in woodsball, where branches preclude aiming much above horizontal, your range can be almost tripled.
In woodsball games without heavy tree cover I am able to stay well out of range of normal barrels while laying suppressive fire. I even get a few kills. I can literally stand up with no cover and not worry about being hit. I'm simply out of range.
This barrel is not very accurate. With the slider at minimum, meaning that there's no "Apex Effect", I can rarely hit a hopper several times in a row at 40 ft. I can hit a pair goggles, though. As you increase the amount of spin your accuracy goes down significantly.
At maximum spin, you'll probably have a hard time hitting someone at 150+ feet. Of course, you'd have very little chance of hitting them with a regular barrel. At 200+ feet you have to lay down a barrage of paint and hope you get lucky. People will sometimes move between cover lazily, thinking they're out of range. A string of paint can net you an easy kill.
Throw whatever you want in here... just make sure it's not too lousy. The more consistent the paint, the better time you'll have with this barrel. The extended ranges and the extreme spin put on the ball means that any inconsistencies are multiplied. Even using decent paint (Xball Bronze) I still shank some.
This thing is loud! There's almost no porting and the barrel is very short (10"). So you get very loud cracks with each shot. You'll be thankful of the extra range, because everyone's going to know where you are.
This barrel is a lot of fun to use. I don't use the dive bomb or hook shots. However, if I tilt my gun a few degrees I can put a little bit of curve to it in order to arc around a bunker. Sometimes you can get a knee or a peeking goggle.
I find myself using a lot more paint with the Apex. You'll find a lot more shots open to you meaning you'll fire more. Furthermore, the barrel isn't terribly accurate so to hit the target, you'll need to fire more. But oh, when you get someone who thought they were out of range it's all worth it.
Ridiculous range, but sub-par accuracy. Don't expect to be a sniper, but expect to get some extra kills in long distance fights.
Get yourself a barrel kit for close games, but pull out the Apex for the long distance woodsballing.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 at 11:48 am PST
The BT Apex barrel comes with a barrel that is slightly larger than a normal .68 calibur. It handles all paintballs that I've used. From dimpled and cheap to the good stuff.
Utility, including increased distance, curve-shots and upgradability.
The barrel, not the actually adjustable tip, is only mediocre in quality.
I shot 400 paintballs through my nearly stock Tippmann X7 equipped with the BT Apex Barrel. I found the cheapest Wal-Mart balls I could find, Striker 500 count. One out of four paintballs were dimpled. Squeezing the paintballs revealed that one side of the gel cap was MUCH thinner than the other. Not to mention that they don't break well (often staying spherical and splashing paint on the target) and the paint color isn't very distinct when broken. If there is anything of less quality I would be surprised.
Through the Tippmann X7 with Apex none of the 400 paintballs broke. I know thats a low number of shots, but I think that is enough to test the Apex's response to the worst paintballs I could dig up(I had some 6 year old Brass Eagle paint that I wished I hadn't thrown away a few weeks before so that I could use them to test). On that note, I've determined for the short term, the Apex barrel can handle very cheap paint(on settings 5-8 to fully test it of course).
During this particular testing I was firing at trees, a hard rough surface, which ensured that the paintballs would break.
-Setting 8 (Backspin)
I tried the setting #8 "Super Flatline" mode for distance. To my surprise the paintball that I fired almost hit the ground in front of me before it expectedly pulled up and traveled off into the woods. I will have distance measurements later. It was a bit much for aiming, as you have to aim very high to hit a long distance target, but getting used to it wasn't so bad. I can agree with other reviews on the accuracy at setting 8 being quite sporadic.
-Settings 4-5 (Backspin)
As Invictus' review recommends, I set the adjuster to setting 5. Hitting a selected target was no problem, the path of the paintball was very level and I was very content with it's quality. I had never experienced a Flatline before, so this backspin was surprising and fun to experiment with.
-Setting 8 (Forward spin or "dive-bomb")
After reading reviews and testimonies to this mode I was anxious to try it out. In my yard there is a creek bed, the bank is very steep, six feet deep and sort of simulates a trench or open roof bunker. I fired a number of shots down into the creek bed. The arc on the ball was amazing, it looked like artillery unit's fire in a RTS computer game. I inspected the mud that is the creek's bank. Paintballs were sitting in the mud, right where a person would be crouching to guard direct fire. I was very impressed with its utility.
-Setting 8 (Left & Right Hooks)
I tried firing around thick trees in my yard. I realized that without a target around them I wouldn't know truly how close the shots were to the very backside of the tree. I decided to land some shots ON the tree with the Setting 8 left hook shot. I inspected the tree to find that the hits landed perpendicular to my firing position on the side of the tree. I can see myself using this in a game, but since I play woodsball, there will be alot more trees that would get in the way of most of these shot's travel path. Potentially useful.
Currently the retail price is $79.99 on most online Paintball Stores. Cheaper than the Flatline and much cheaper than its original price of $140
The tip of this BT Apex Barrel is removable. There are homemade mods to be done to adapt it to your own barrel as well as mods made by UMS (Underground Mod Shop) and Palmer's Pursuit Shop. I will report on the performance difference with Palmer's equipment when I get a chance to use my new equipment.
I was able to use this barrel during two paintball outings recently and I couldn't have been more impressed with the hooks and forward spin uses.
I was bunkered behind a tight clump of tree trunks. My teammate was to my left and our single remaining opponent was about 25 yards downhill and behind a very useful clump of thick trees. There are spaces between some of the trunks that he could fire in between with good vision.
Now, this particular opponent is known for being trigger happy. A paint waster but very skilled player. He'd already unloaded a hopper when I had made my way to the trees I was crouched behind. My only remaining teammate was not very cooperative, so I decided I'd go after the opponent on my own. With my Apex barrel at setting 8 and turned to a left-hook shot. I popped out from the right side of the tree and had time to shoot three discreet shots, trying to curve around his bunker. As I was retracting back behind my own trees I heard, "Whoa!" This told me I must have zinged a shot really close. I popped back out from my spot and unloaded four or five more extreme curves around the opponent's tree and heard, "HIT!"
After the game I asked him about the first three shots I had curved. He told me that he had definitely seen my position but thought that he was completely safe to defend where he was. He said he'd paused to dump another tube into his hopper and a shot flew past his face, between the tree trunks and his body. That's how far the curve threw the paintball around his bunker. My follow-up shots had splattered on the side of his arm and chest while he was facing my position.
On another occasion I had the perfect opportunity to use the forward spin or "dive-bomb" function. An opponent was behind an embankment which rolled downhill. Very similar to the testing of this function that I described in my above testing. A short story, I could see their mask lens shining in the sun as they were popping up, looking for something to fire at. I decided I would try using this new barrel beyond the improved distance functions and I quickly flipped the tip 180 degrees snapped the adjuster out to the 8th position and lobbed a few shots down into the drop off. The first two shots went way over. I overestimated the actual downward curve. The last shot I dropped the aim a little and SPLAT. Although I couldn't see the shot actually hit, she stood up and it had landed right on the lens.
All testing and gameplay was done at 280 FPS on sunny Pennsylvania summer days.
I would have to say that, so far, I would consider this BT Apex barrel a great utility to my new marker setup.
As for a comparison to a Flatline. I can't make that comparison from experience, but I did decide my choice of the two barrels through online reviews. I just couldnt choose the Flatline when I was reading that it was paint picky AND it couldn't be rotated to the positions of this barrel (not to mention that it's spin modes can be turned off completely, more intensely, that of the Flatline and of lesser intensity than the Flatline when desired).
It recieves a 9/10 because I cannot give it a 9.5, decent new price and the barrel could be improved.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, July 20th, 2007 at 9:12 pm PST
The Apex is much different than anything I've used (progressive, tear drop, evil pipe, J&J Edge, Powerlyte Scepter
Tippmann 98 Custom, HPA, Variety of barrels
Small to medium bore with a slightly harder shell
Distance is crazy long
Accuracy is poor (especially at long distances)
Note: This review is written by an experienced player with a critical but fair perspective. I do not give raving reviews and perfect "10"s for every piece of crap paintball item on the market.
Not having used an Apex barrel before, my first impression was "weird", my second impression was "whoa", my third impression was "this might be decent for a back or cover player".
As a woodsball player. I was attracted to the BT promise of longer flatter shots. So, I found an Apex for a good price at discountpaintball.com ($28.20 on 10/26/08).
Once received, I took it outside and fired about 50 rounds of Nelson paint and about 100 rounds of Zap paint. Here's what I discovered...
The Apex has Eight different settings. The settings control the severity of the spin and ball curve. On setting one, there is no spin/curve. On setting eight, there is severe spin/curve. It seemed to me that the most useful settings were between 4 and 7, depending on the paint and the distance of the shot.
I also noticed that on the higher settings you really have to aim your marker upward because the ball comes out of the marker at such a low trajectory and then curves up towards the target. (This is a significant disadvantage from the prone position.)
Pros: The Apex barrel really did significantly extend the range of my shots.
Cons: Accuracy was very poor at the longer distances. Long shots seemed to sail like a kite and would hit all over the place. At short to medium distances, accuracy was only slightly better than a stock barrel.
Also, the flight trajectory is not flat. On the higher settings, the spin on the ball causes the ball to fly in a severe arc. The ball exits the barrel on a downward trajectory, then the ball travels upward and eventually dropd again due to gravity. This causes an "S" shaped flight path for the longest of shots.
The player that would benefit most from this barrel would be a back or mid woodsball player that provides covering fire for front players. With medium to long shots the accuracy is decent enough to keep people down until a front player can move into position to make a kill shot.
Due to the fact that this barrel exponentially complicates the physics of the shot trajectory, lots of practice is necessary for proficiency.
If you're a back or cover player with lots of time and paint ($$$) to practice, this might be a good choice for you. Shot physics is more complicated. Accuracy is limited. But, distance is impressive. For me, I'll play some games with the Apex, especially when I get tired (cause I'm old =)) and want to play back. However, my trusty Smart Parts Progressive still out performs anything I've tried on my Tippy and will likely continue to see the most field time.