WGP AutoCocker, BS VM-68, PPS Typhoon, Tippman Pro-lite, ATS TS-1. The Vector stands out because of its accuracy. Just by sighting down the barrel, I am able to point the gun and hit what I am pointing at. The power stock certainly contributes to this, it feels as if it fits perfectly and points very easily. I have a BOA barrel with a nickel finish and it cannot beat the accuracy of the stock barrel, though it is slightly quieter. The gun is very stable when shooting, much more stable than blowbacks that I have shot like the VM-68 and the Spyder. Barrel cleaning is very easy because the barrel comes off with just one button-push, then you can swab the whole barrel, however, barrel breaks aren't very common because the bolt will not pinch balls. The trigger pull is very short and crisp, similar to many electronic trigger feels. I would describe it as a mouse-click. The trigger group is made of EDM-cut (electrical-discharge machining, used to cut very hard metals) tool-steel, thus it will wear much more slowly than other guns' trigger groups. This hardened tool-steel is certainly responsible for the very crisp trigger action. Finally, the gun is definitely a sleeper in its looks, it is not flashy and does not attract attention because of its looks, just because of its performance.
Marker is mostly stock. I have an NRG barrel (vertical feed), BOA nickel-plated barrel, but I still like the stock barrel best. The vertical feed obstructs my sight picture and the BOA is heavier since it is nickel-plated brass vs. the aluminum of the standard barrel. The BOA barrel is quieter because of the porting, but not that much quieter. I use the Air Power Powerstock with a Cobra coiled remote and Procheck slide check, running off of an Air American 3000psi 113ci bottle. I run ~500psi into the gun and get about 1000 shots out of a tank (usually filled to 2700psi from 3000psi SCUBA tanks ). I have used an Armson OEG sight, but I prefer to just sight down the barrel, it is quicker and just as accurate for the ranges I work at. I use a VL2000 motorized loader, you can definitely outshoot this loader, but it does a decent job of keeping up.
There are now a number of upgrades offered for the Vector by independent airsmiths.
Classic Paintball, run by Justin Beard (firstname.lastname@example.org) has all of the spare parts for the Vector, some remaining new Vectors, as well as the following upgrades:
Spring/Seal upgrade kit
Trigger job kit
Stainless steel screw kit
Advanced timing kit
The airsmith Dingo (email@example.com) does a modification to the adapter body in the rear that allows it to use standard bottle o-rings. The standard o-rings are prone to being sliced and it is hard to find replacements. Opening up the o-ring grooves allows you to use common bottle o-rings.
The airsmith Punisher (http://airsoldier.com/~punisher/) does a number of modifications to the Vector:
45 grip frame
Bottomline/Drop forward mounts
Sidesaddle low-pressure regulator replacement (allows use of adjustable 3rd party low-pressure regs like the Palmer Rock, ANS Jackhammer, or Shocktech FGP)
Valve and flowthrough modifications
Powertube flow modifications
Quick-exhaust elbows on the ram for faster cycling
Adapter to fit Phantom barrels
Other things as well
Finally, the airsmith Dez (http://www.geocities.com/dezignbolts/) makes replacement bolts that seal in the barrel, increasing the efficiency of the Vector.
BOA, Barrels of America, will make a Vector barrel that is quieter than stock, but just as accurate as stock (because the stock barrel is just so darn good!)
Reliability, does not come "out of tune"
No ball chopping, bolt will just stock if a ball is not fully in the breach, then you just reset with the safety
Very high performance without modification
"Sleeper looks," resembles an H&K MP5 submachinegun
Crisp, short trigger pull
High rate of fire
Very minimal movement during firing
Very well balances with a powerstock
No longer manufactured
No spare parts at local stores (but you can get them from Classic Paintball, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Not as efficient as other guns (though this can be improved significantly with modification)
Not a lot of bolt on parts to improve performance
This gun is hands down the best product I have ever used in my many years of playing paintball. The accuracy is top notch and the mechanics are so reliable, easy to maintain, and trouble free that it keeps me playing and not always fixing and tuning. The Air Power Owners Group (http://airsoldier.com/~apog/) is a fantastic resource for finding these marvelous guns for sale and to discuss upgrades with the airsmiths mentioned above. I would highly recommend this gun to anyone who appreciates the balance and aimability of some of the best firearms, something that most paintball guns lack.
Nothing I have used compares, although I'm not big into semis.
1995 Thruster Ready Vector. Gas thru stock with WGP regulator.
This gun is great. It is really consistent, turns heads at the field, is very accurate, has a very nice trigger pull, a great stock barrel, doesn't really need upgrades, good rate of fire, and a very reasonable price. This is by far the best gun for under $300 and compares favorably to the higher level guns. You can get an aftermarket barrel from BOA, but you don't need one.
This gun is very loud, but that's not a problem for me. Who cares if they hear you if they have already been hit by the paintball? The only problem I have with the gun is that it is not very efficient. It also leaks out the 4-way a little, which adds to its inefficiency.
It's a great gun. If you can get your hands on one, buy it up! Best value I've ever seen.
Splatmasters, Nelspots, Tippmanns, 'Mags, 'Cockers, Phantom Express, Sniper II, .... that's all I can think of, for now.
Every other marker is "mass produced" compared to the Air Power Vector. Less than 2000 of them were hand made out of aluminum blocks. They are quite possible the finest, highest quality markers ever made. Designed to simulate the handling and feel of the Heckler & Koch family of submachine guns. Heavy duty!
I have 3 of these puppies right now (Thanks Avery McFall!) and they each have slightly different attributes.
I run them with a back bottle setup using 20-24oz CO2 or 68ci Crossfire Stubbies. One is stock, one has a Sheridan RG-1 in-line reg and my lefty stays in the house.
No need for upgrade barrels or whatnot.
Any tune-ups or slight internal upgrades can be best described by Justin Beard at email@example.com. He rules!
Justin's trigger job did for me gave my Vec a "mouse click" trigger that is sorta like an electro trigger. Really fast! He also does a mean cup seal upgrade which makes the Vectors ALOT more gas efficient. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org (No, I don't work for him... I am just really impressed!
Compared to my Sniper, it is such a wonderful change of pace.
It is easily as accurate as my Sniper, right out of the box. The stock barrel doesn't care about paintball size or weather and just fires tack driving paintballs one after another into tiny bunker windows!
It is uniques and quite terrifying to the uninitiated (I am regularly asked about the legality of my "full-auto electro"!)
It's also fun to be asked to re-chrono because it is SO consistent that ball after ball fly at exactly the same fps.
It eats liquid CO2 without complaint and NEVER breaks balls. (seriously)
The ball break feature is beyond me, but if you put your finger in the feed tube and pull the trigger (sounds nutty, I know) to simulate a misfed ball, you barely feel the bolt hit. A simple flip of the safety resets the bolt and the "jammed ball" can roll freely into the chamber.
It is a tad gas hungry, but tuned up, it rocks just as long as any other.
It balances very nicely with a 20oz. in the back bottle. That'll last all day.
I don't see a "lack" of upgrades as a bad thing... I spend enough $ on paintballs!
If you see one, get one. It's a collectors item that rocks the Angel world nearly ten years after it was introduced!
Simply the best semi-auto paintball marker I have ever used. Bar none.
Automags, Autocockers, PPS Blazer, electros, Nelson and Sheridan-based pumps
Palmer Pursuit Shop Blazer ser#: BZ2581, Right-hand feed neck
12" double-ported PPS Brass barrel, matched with sight bead, brass finish
vertical male stabilizer (a PPS high-pressure regulator)
Pure Energy 68/4500 HPA bottle
Later models: very consistent and accurate; anti-chop, indestructible
Out of production, early models didn't have interchangeable parts (!) LOUD
I remember this marker from waaaaay back when I first played paintball, c.1994. The Vector was the one marker I was most impressed with - shot along-side Automags, Autocockers and my trusty LineSI Bushmaster.
I only borrowed one, never owned, but the owner told me the design philosophy was to create a marker that was "firearm accurate." Based on my limited testing, they got it right.
I remember putting paint onto a single spot on an oil drum about a 75' away - ball on top of ball.
The first Vectors produced had the quirk of not having interchangeable parts. By that I mean "part A" from gun #1 ONLY works in gun #1 and no other. Later models had interchangeable parts, were more gas efficient, consistent and accurate.
Shame the manufacturer went under or sold out. My understanding is the Brass Eagle "Rainmaker" IS the same marker as an Air-Power Vector, perhaps slightly altered.
If you like mechanical semis and have a chance to pick up a late model Vector, c.1995, do it. There aren't many left out there but they're an extremely accurate marker.
I may get one just for nostalgia.
Oh, one more thing: they are LOUD.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 5:31 am PST
99 WGP autococker
AM Sentinel TS
Vector B w/ Thruster reg
None needed. Also, none are available.
No upgrades available
EASY to clean
Old school looks
No upgrades available
This is my favorite marker. It outperforms my 99 upgraded cocker.
The Vector was way ahead of its time. It is fully pneumatic, like a cocker. Unlike a cocker, it has an anti-chop feature. Flip the safety and it resets.
Field stripping and cleaning couldn't be easier. The barrel and feed detach with a push of a button. Swap the barrel and the exposed bolt, and the gun is clean.
The trigger feels like a high-end electro. When people try it, they ask where the electronics are.
This gun is extremely reliable. I have never had it break down in any way. The only trouble I ever had was some brittle paint that broke in every gun I fired that day (four). The Vector was the easiest to clean and had the fewest breaks.
The stock barrel is about the best I have found. The barrel seems medium bore and is well finished inside. It handles all paint I have thrown into it without complaint. There is no porting and the internal design of the air flow make this a loud gun. If you want quiet, this is not the marker for you. However, the barrel is quite accurate and cleans very well.
Some people will find some drawbacks. This gun is not in current production, so there are essentially no significant upgrades. I consider this a strength because it keeps the marker from being a money sink, and no upgrades are really needed once you put on the Thruster reg. The stock trigger is single-finger, but it feels great. The air intake is in back-bottle position, but if you are using a DF (as most people do now), that doesn't matter one bit. I love the looks, but some younger kids think it looks too old school (the pneumatics are protected under a shroud, so there are no shiny or busy-looking parts to see moving as on a cocker). This just means everything is protected, a plus in my book.
Even those who dissed my gun wound up loving it once they actually shot it. It is reliable, accurate, and just plain fun. You won't spend a fortune upgrading it, but then you don't need to. Air Power used quality components all around, as other manufacturers SHOULD but don't. If you have a chance, buy one. You won't regret it.
I have used everything from pumps to autocockers, Raptors to Impulses and everything between.
Right now I have 3 guns a Razorback pump, BrassEagle Raptor and a 32 Degrees PT Extreme.
None, the Vector is by far the best gun I have ever used.
The Vector has a simple setup that even a child can care for. The quick release barrel is awesome this makes cleaning easy, the front stock is a nice feature that is a great safety piece over the hoses. The rear mount tank is a nice way to craddle the gun when you are belly crawling or taking a stand. The noise is a little loud compared to other guns but that is the menacing charm of the Vector. It is a real intimidation factor. The weight is well balanced when you have a tank larger than 12 ounces, I recommend a 20, and have a cap on the back of the tank. Once again I just want to reiterate the fact that this is a low maintinance gun and even my 4 year old nephew can operate and care for it, which tells us what mentality level Chris is on.
There are no bad features about this gun. The Vector was created by the GODS of paintball for all to enjoy, unfortunately the Vector has since been discontinued and that makes it very difficult to find parts. The only part that I recommend you try to find if you have or can get a Vector is the "thruster", which is the velocity adjuster.
If you can get your hands on a Vector and purchase one, please yourself a favor and get it. It is the best marker I have ever had the pleasure of using, and when my friend desides to sell his you know I will be the one to buy to it.
VM-68, most Indian Creek non-electrics, Mini-cocker. The Vector with its' incredible balance and superior craftsmanship makes it by far not just another mass produced marker. The gun is far too unique to compare, though it has a vaguely similar front end construction to the Autococker.
Vector, of course! Palmers Stabilizer on a dropforward apparatus. I have the original AP gas thru stock but seldom use it. I also have switched to the vertical feed barrell and so far have had mixed emotions. It looks sweet but seems to chop paint, though that may be the field paint causing that.
Highly reccomend the cupseal switch as well as a regulator. It NEEDs a regulator! Nitrogen seems to operate it a little better as my front reg gets a little frosty when going to town.
Where do I start?! Loud...FREAKING loud! Everyone knows where YOU are on the field. That is usually fine because the Vector can slug it out with the best electrics out there not too mention all the other garbage. Trigger pull: Short ant crisp, also, the bolt does not wait for you to release the trigger to recock.
Head turner: It will get attention, followed by complaints about the "fully auto electric" out there. I can't count the number of times someone has complained about it. It's not colorful! That's right, just the way paintball was intended. Flat black with a H&K/mini shotgun type appearance, it definately intimidates.
Recoil: what recoil? For as much noise as it makes, the gun barely twitches when fired. Accuracy: speaks for itself with its beloved stock barrell. What other marker can you say that about?
Solid construction: You must realize when you hold a Vector, you hold a piece of art, Ok, except for the front plastic shroud that was done a little chinsey.
A little finicky. I have always had a few problems with velocity on both of my vectors. If you can dial it in and it takes, you're golden. After sampling mine with a Nitrogen tank, I may have to get one, consistancy and no ice forming on the reg was a welcome addition.
Get one and be prepared to be picked first on a team. I'd tell you where to get one, but I have yet to see another and that's how I like it. Unique and original. This gun defines innovation; and if Air Power had not collapsed under fairly poor marketing and a saturated Spyder market, it would still continue to dominate with perhaps an even better version for todays fields.
Pump-outdoor: KP2, Direct feed mod
Semi-Air Power Vector
Electro- E-bladed 03 prostock with jam bolt and other autococker goodies.
You don't need any upgrades.
Does not care about paint. Antichop feature, the epic trigger, making Tippman owners cry.
Pretty big, annoying velocity adjustment... thats about it.
Alright, I have been using this marker for 6 months, and let me tell you, it has been gravy since I first pulled the trigger. First things first, this thing is a cannon. No two ways about it, you can make peoples ears ring. (This is great for the idiot agg kiddy trying to share the deflated dorito with you when you were there first... "Suck my decible level!")
Moving on to performance. In this aspect, the vector is quite possibly the best around. The trigger pull is smaller then most microswtches, and has positively no side to side play. Also, besides the sonic boom when fired, the vector does not tell you it's being fired. No vibration, no movement, nothing. all you see is the wire detent flick and the boom of the paintball being hammered out the barrel. And that paintball will go exactly where you want it to. The accuracy on this barrel is truly amazing, and I've got some hillarious shots with it.
Now, I've been mean to this marker, the worst being running a siphon CO2 tank on a hot day during a big game. And although it swore at me every time I pulled the trigger and blasted a foot long puff of CO2 vapour out the end, it held on for the rush and shot consistant. My mantaince for this marker is get all the paint off of it and oil it every time moving parts get dry, and it seems to do just fine. Also, the antichop feature on this is pretty great, when you are about to give your breech a new paintjob, the bolt will bounce off the ball and stop the firing sequence. Then all you do is flip the safety on then off and with a satisfying *Thwack* your vector is ready to go forth and pwn once more.
Now come the minor inconveninaces. One of them being the constant leak, though technically it is not a leak. It is"Venting". This allows you to use whatever gas you want and it won't go boom if you leave it in the sun. Pretty neat if you ask me, but it still whispers in my ear that I should go plug the leak or somthing. Next and last, the velocsity adjustment. I see this as somone who made this part of the marker diddn't have to pay for their air refills, because you MUST completely disconnect the tank fully then stick your allen key in the asa to adjust the velocity. Though it's well thought out and keeps the velocity consistant, it's a pain in the butt. Although no markers perfect, this one is as close as it'll get.
If you want to feel like you are smiting rival players with the right hand of god every time you pull the trigger, this is the marker for you. If you want everyone to know what they got themselves into when they were foolish enough to challenge you, grab this gun and give them a nice purple welt they can take home and show their family.
Vector 939, Evol II hopper, Palmer Stabalizer, Micro Rock LPR
Regulator, Electronic Hopper
Accuracy, speed, stablity, ruggedness
Lack of aftermarket upgrades, very loud
First, the Vector doesn't belong in the blow back section. It's not a blow back, it operates very much like an autococker with a ram.
The Vector has all the best features of an Autococker without the autocockers shortcomings.
The Vector fires from a closed bolt, but at rest is in an open bolt, plus it has a selanoid 4 way instead of a mechanical. It is also literally impossible to short stroke.
How it works.
When the Vector is gassed up, it self cocks. The bolt is is open, the 4 way is set, and the trigger is reset. Clicking the trigger trips a sear, which starts a process controled by two other sears which opens the 4 way. This causes the bolt to close, once closed, the striker is released, this strikes the air release and the Vector fires. The 4 way valve timing the moves the bolt back into an open position and is ready to fire again.
A unique and very usefull feature is if the bolt encounters resistence when closing, such as hitting a ball or finger, the bolt stops, flipping the safety resets the 4 way which will open and allow the ball to fall or finger to be removed. Then the Vector is ready to fire.
You can't short stroke becaues the trigger only controls a sear. It's like a mouse click, even if you squeeze the trigger 100 times a second, until the 4 way has completed it's process or the safety is reset, which simply forces the 4 way to reset, pulling the trigger has no effect. You simply can't fire the marker faster than the timing will allow. The pull is about 1/16 of an inch. It is very crisp, but in stock mode is a bit too hard.
Because the Vector has so few moving parts, and these parts are light, there is very little movement when firing. This allows for great accuracy. Plus, it makes the Vector very easy to maintain. The things are like tanks, solid chunks of metal.
Which is one disadvantage, they are heavy. An empty Vector weighs 3.5 lbs. It has great balance, so this isn't too much of a problem.
Which its great accuracy and rate of fire, the Vector would make a good sniping or long range marker, but it is so loud that everyone knows where you are at. It has the sound of a .22 firing. While this can help if playing against newbies who are intimidated, it gives your position away against any experienced player. You can make changes that reduce the sound, but they require custom milling. The sound is caused by the air being compressed as it leaves, this was to provide good consistence with CO2 and Liquid CO2, but the velocity increases to beyond the speed of sound. With a regulator there is no need for this compression, but it's intergal to the marker and thus hard to change.
Of course, anything is hard to change on the Vector. They are all nearly 10 years old or more, many were made with such close tolerances that you can't even use parts from another Vector. All changes require custom millwork. You can't even get replacement barrels. The standard barell is terrific, one of the best ever made, but people like to change their markers.
Playing this weekend, I could easily outshoot the autocockers, both in rate of fire and accuracy. Hitting people at 75 yards was common, the consistency of each shot is good enough to place a ball on a very small target even at range. All you need to worry about is enough velocity at that range for a break.
Each one is a work of art, basically hand made, and more durable than any marker you've ever seen. You could litterally drive a tent stake with one. Of course, this is over kill on a paintball marker and adds to its weight.
The Vector is a 10 year old marker, but one where the basic firing mechanism is still superior to any found today. It's simple, accurate and has a great rate of fire. Someday, someone will use the same type of firing in an electric marker and have the ultimate marker. It would be as fast as any other electro, as accurate as any marker, and could be as light and small as the smallest markers out there.
This is the best marker I've ever used! Awesome trigger pull, the feel of the perfect construction is just...awesome! There is no way to describe how well it is made, other then to hold one! This thing is also intimidating. It's loud, fast, and just looks dang cool. HIGHLY accurate too. What I consider the best semi-auto on the market. QUITE COOL! WILL get some looks and questions out at the field, garunteed!
Umm....if you are HUGE wuss you might think it's a little heavy. Probably not styled for a speedball game, and speedball players would tend to be those kind of people who would complain about how heavy it is ;) REALLY needs a motorized hopper to keep up w/ the fast rate of fire, not to mention its sooo stable when you shoot it doesn't move AT ALL. This is a GREAT thing and really contributes to accuracy, but you do need a hopper!
No upgrades are really necessary - ever. Parts are readily available, and there will always be custom shops to do whatever you want on it.