size makes it awkward for speedball
First off I had high expectations for this barrel, which may explain in part why I am so disappointed. If I can't get 5 balls within 2' of each other at 75' then I'm not happy. Take that into consideration
My opinion is this: if you can shoot 250 ft but cant consistently hit a target the size of my front door at 100ft (or my house at 200'), then what good is shooting that far? Every shot takes a different path than the one before it. I had one guy actually stand up from behind his bunker to shoot me, I couldn't hit him and he knew it. He had been watching the balls go every which way but the right one. Granted I was shooting from my 10, and he from his, but his Boomstick had no problem placing 5 shots thru a tire at the same range. The first time I used this barrel I played 5 games without a single elimination, the only other barrel I brought was the stock one, so I switched to it and got 3 kills in the next game. That was enough for me to put it up for the day. I went home and completely cleaned the Flatline, tried some fresh paint, and put another 300 rnd through it at different velocities....same story. Wind was maybe 5mph, and still I could't hit my roommates explorer consistently at 100ft. I give up.
I played with the velocity but with not satisfactory results. I tried speeds from 200-300. It liked about 280 best, but accuracy was still worse than the stock 8.5" barrel.
To be fair I have only tried Big Ball and no other paints. That's all they shoot at the field near me. Maybe paint is the missing piece in the accuracy puzzle. I asked every person I saw with an A-5 flatline, and even those with 98's to fire their marker a few times so I could see the accuracy, it was the same every time, just like mine (and a lot of them were using different paint). The exception was a guy shooting Premium Golds, he had much better consistency than I had seen before, but it was worlds away from an AA or a Boomstick.
I've been eliminated by flatlines at the field, but only at close range. Most of the time it's an All American or Boomstick that gets me. I have better results with the cruddy barrel that came on it. I'll stick with my SP AA Freak Front, if you can't hit what you're aiming at, it's just no fun imho..
I've used the 98 flatline for several years now. I have loved every second of it. The trick is to put it on in the proper manner. When I saw the a-5 and found out it had a flatline I was highly interested. I read all the great reviews here and then decided to plop down the money and get it. Then I found out 4 very important things AFTER I gave up those hard earned dollars!
1. It doesn't shoot as far as the 98 flatline
2. It is not as accurate as the 98 flatline
3. It is more picky about paint than the 98 flatline
4. The barrel "wears out" after a mystery number of shots and has to be sent in to be re-blasted ( this number varies depending on who you talk to. Tippmann says 250,000 others say as low as 20,000)
Well I think if Tippmann had come out and said all of these things (maybe they did and I missed it) I wouldn't have any problem because I wouldn't have bought it. The barrel would be ok if you didn't buy the gun FOR the barrel. It's better than having no Flatline at all. I however payed $345 for a system that doesn't shoot as reliable, as long or as accurate as a 4 year old system I payed $245 for. I will be extremely cautious of any Tippmann product in the future.
Needs to be VERY clean to get distance.
Picky on paint.
I had my 12" Dye Ultralite and LOVE it...but, thought that the extra distance of the flatline would be a great asset to my woods game. I read a lot of mixed reviews on this site and from several different message boards. Of all the good and bad aspects of this barrel, I finally thought that as long as i use the right paint (Marbalizers), and kept it very clean, the Flatline should be fairly accurate and get great distance. Well, I bought the barrel and took it out to a "Big Game" and to my dissappointment, this barrell is TERRIBLE!!!!!! The paintballs flew EVERYWHERE, they were curving all over the place! At first it DID have distance, but after shooting a couple hoppers the distance was gone! There were no breaks in the barrell but i guess the residue from the paintball shells made the barrel "dirty". So now not only was it inaccurate, it had NO distance...i mean it was less then a regular barrel. I switched back to my Ultralite and my game was back on! The Flatline's only asset is it's looks!
The Flatline is a WASTE OF MONEY!!! Not only is it expensive, it's also HEAVY, INACCURATE, PICKY ON PAINT, and needs to be constantly cleaned!!! I'd recommend getting a "regular" barrel. Any DYE barrel is good, as well as the Lapco Bigshot.
2 out of 10
Last edited on Tuesday, November 4th, 2003 at 7:38 pm PST
Accuracy @ 75ft+
Temperature and CO2 Dependant
I received the A5 Flatline on 3/7/2003 and was able to do a quick test the following day. At first the Flatline was worse than my Smartparts Freak Jr. however I discovered that someone filled my CO2 too much and caused the velocity to become very inconsistant. After shooting 100+ balls the Flatine started to show its true ability. Tom ( brother ) and I played a few quick games of woodsballs to test the ability and I was very impressed; I was able to shoot Tom before he was even in range to shoot me. It was so unfair for him that we decided to stop playing.
Today I actually did some real tests w/ my A5+Flatline setup. I purchased PMI Premium, RPS Marbalizers, and Diablo Dust to try. I used all 1500 rounds at 75degrees +/- and NO breakage ... I did have the RT going at times and everything seemed fine. I shot at targets at 50ft, 75ft, 100ft, 125ft, and 150ft+ ... the accuracy spread was <5in, <12in, 2-3ft, 2-3ft, 5+ft, respectively. Ironically using all 3 different types of balls the performance was pretty similar in distance + accuracy thus for future reference I can purchase Diablo Dust for home play and PMI Premium or RPS Marbalizers for field play. The Flatline does seems to be VERY picky on the inside "cleaness" of the barrel; the PMI Premium left a residue on the top part of the barrel which seem to "gunk" up the barrel which caused inaccuracies. Also the Flatine in general was just "dirty" on the inside even when new and took me a while to clean out. I heard that Tippmann barrels are dirty in general? The Flatine seems to have its pros and cons reflective on barrel cleaness, temperature, CO2 level, and R/T. The barrel needs to be CLEAN, 70+/- degrees, and CO2 CANNOT fluctuate. The R/T did cause ball breakage at 50+/- degree however once the temperature reached higher levels it seemed fine.
The Flatline does shoot in a MUCH straighter trajectory than normal barrels which is a huge plus. However once going past 75ft+ the barrel curves balls left and right especially if the barrel is dirty. The velocity of the balls shot from the Flatline seem to be very dependant on the CO2 ... you can see a HUGE difference when the CO2 is vacilitating. I have not played a real games yet however I will post updates when I get a chance.
Does anyone have any insight on how to keep the barrel from "gunking" up w/ paint residue, ways to increase accuracy, and ways to increase distance due to CO2 fluctuations? I'm still new to the paintball sceen and will post updates when I see the Flatline in action. Thanks.
6 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, March 13th, 2003 at 6:38 pm PST
Stock barrel; shot better. Yes, the stock barrel shot more accurately.
J&J Ceramic; I've always loved my ceramic barrels, and this one didn't let me down.
Stock A-5,Pure Energy HPA, CMI regulator
Nothing shot worth a damn from my flatline.
Distance (when it flys straight), looks cool
Accuracy, Accuracy, Cost. Did I mention accuracy?
I've only shot about 800 rounds of different paint through it, and I can wring any kind of accuracy out of it. I locked the marker in place and shot it with RPS premium, Big Ball, and Diablo Nightmare and Midnights, and none of those balls would fly consistently. Each shot would come out of the barrel heading a different way, I could actually watch the balls come out of the barrel in different directions; left, right, up, down, far short. I've heard that people are getting great accuracy from these barrels, but I can only say that I could probably throw paintballs more accurately. The ones that did fly straight flew pretty far, but what good is range if you can't hit anything with it.
I bought the A-5 so I could have the flatline because everyone gave it great reviews. All I can say is that I feel like I've been had. $100 for something that shoots worse than the stock barrel.
Tippmann 98c 14" Warrpig barrel, 16" J&J Full-Tilt Ceramic for Spyder MR2, 16" Smart Parts Progressive for A5 (2nd Gen), Smart Parts Progressive 14" for A5 (1st Gen).
Spyder MR2 with J&J Full-Tilt 16" 2 Piece Ceramic Barrel, Empire B2 Loader, 32 Degrees Heavy Duty Remote Air System, 20 oz Co2.
Tippmann A5 w/W.A.S. E-Grip, TechT Paintball Complete Cyclone Upgrade Kit, Rufus Dawg Venturi Bolt, Flatline Barrel, X7 Hopper, Pure Energy Remote Coil, Pure Energy 72/3000 HPA Tank.
Small Bore Size with slightly "slimy"/ Oily coating. NOT textured dry shells like Monster Balls.
- - - BEST OF BEST: (1) RPS (2) Draxxus (3) PMI (4) Evil
Range, Flat Trajectory, Looks, Range
Picky about paint, Cost, Barrel breaks could be a nightmare, Co2 Sucks with it
Installation is simple; loosen 4 screws and slide it in. Looks good.
Went out for a weekend of play (using Co2) and brought some old Monster Balls and some fresh JT Pro-Tac paint. The JT's performed much better than the textured shell of the Monster Balls. I continued using Co2 and cheap paint all day and messed with barrel fit and velocity and achieved an accuracy equal to that of a Spyder MR series' stock barrel (but much better range). (About a 5'x5' Square at 40 yds)
I decided that i would give the barrel a chance to truly shine, so i invested in a Pure Energy 72/3000 HPA system and some RPS Marbs and AllStars. Seemed like Marbs did best, grouping was very good and i could go full auto at 25 Balls Per Second with almost no variation in trajectory or flight. This barrel turned from "alright" to INSANE by changing paint and switching to HPA.
I have also used this barrel with Draxxus and PMI, Draxxus works better than PMI usually; but after using Marbs; PMI and Draxxus pale in comparison.
I have put over 8000 rounds of paint through this barrel and have had ZERO breaks, even with year old paint and cheap Wal-Mart paint. The barrel does not add any amount of noise to the gun, maybe muffles sound a slight bit.
I have my Velocity Adjuster so far out (down in pressure) that it almost falls out of my gun. The accuracy got better the less velocity i pushed to it, and range stayed the same. I'm not sure what people are saying about the shots "flying slower" but if you've ever actually shot a Flatline or been shot at by a Flatline, the balls seem to travel faster, not slower. Though i've never tried a chrono to test the difference between Flatline and a normal barrel; I don't think there would be a huge difference in FPS numbers.
After playing with a Tippmann 98c with 14" Warrpig and a Spyder MR2 with 16" J&J Full-Tilt Ceramic barrel, getting used to the flat trajectory was wierd. This barrel was verging on painful to use with trashy paint and Co2 (because of inaccuracy past 25-30yds) but after getting good paint and some HPA, this barrel has become a TRUE factor on the field.
This barrel is less accurate than the Smart Parts Progressive series that i have used (with Marbs) but only by a slight bit (50 balls shot within 3'x3' square at 40yds w/Progressive VS 4.5'x4.5' w/Flatline).
This barrel, however; is UNRIVALED in range WITH accuracy. If you play any mid or back position on your squad/ team i highly recommend this barrel. Be sure to do the barrel justice and get some good paint for it though.
Unmatched range with accuracy that nearly equals that of some of the most accurate barrels on market. May be a bit expensive but for raw performance this barrel ROCKS. BE WARNED, barrels like the Smart Parts Progressive shoots trash paint pretty accurately even using Co2; but using trash paint and Co2 on a Flatline may cause more frustration than anything else.
Doesn't break balls, even old paint. Unmatched range. Flat trajectory is a God-send for woodsball, good looks, easy install.
I give it an 8 because of the picky nature of the barrel and its cost. ($80 on Ebay)
8 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, May 25th, 2008 at 6:14 pm PST
anything with a hard shell. I like Marbs and Blaze
Accuracy (see review)
First off let me say that I love this barrel. Ok, now that that's out of the way on to the review. When you first open the package you think, "wow, this is small!" And it is. It is roughly 10 inches long including the shroud. Then you have to tune the barrel. make it so that the top screw is directly infront of the line in the front sight. Then, when you get to the field, chrono the gun to around 260-265. I left mine at 270 and i had balls hook up, so i had to chrono down in the end. The flatline does exactly what it promises, which is increase distance. and it does it without sacrificing accuracy. Now, don't think that you can be a sniper with it, because you trade silence for distance. This thing really claps, LOUD! Now, if you are playing one of those kids who blind fire from behind their starting bunker, tilt you gun to the right for a right hook around the bunker, or to the left for a left hook around the bunker.
Overall, it is a good barrel. I enjoy every bit of mine, and it makes muppets poop themselves
this barrel is very amzing for what it does. in about, 8 inches, it gives range and acc. like no other barrel.
Range- LONG!!! you can easily call your self a long baller with this lil' baby. where most barrels drop off, this barrels paint keeps on flying. it may seem like after a while you balls are just floating, well, there really not. because the barrel puts a nice back spin on the paint, this gives it range and keeps it more in a stright line verus the normal arch you have with stright barrels. but for longer targets, your ganna have to arch it. i believe it can touch targets aournd 75 yards to 80. i never have attepmted to measure how far but it does go farther than normal stright barrels.
Accuracy- because it puts a back spin on the ball, they tend to go in a stright line thus makeing your pattern tighter vs. SB (stright barrels). how ever, if you tilt the gun to far over, you lose it because it slightly turns into the BT Apex, and gives a slight curve to the ball. but if held stright up it makes a nice long path. like all barrels, the father the target, the less accuret you will be. so, other than a tighter pattern at around 150 ft, this barrel preformes very well.
Loudness- compared to other barrels this is pretty loud. it doesnt help that theirs no ports on it. however, i think if you look pass the loundness, you like the barrel. but if you like loud barrels, then there is no problem for you.
Wieght- slightly heavy ~1 pound (not sure, never wieghed it). most of the wieght comes from the outside shround and end peices. in a game though i never had a problem being heavier than normal barrels. to be honest i dont evan notice the wieght. cant say it thoughs the gun off balance cause if you have a stock, or tank on the gun, i ganna say your not ganna notice any difference.
Size- very nice size for what it offers. no needing a 20 inch barrel for those long shots, just get this and you get a nice deal. coming in around 9-10 inches, its a nice short size. perfect for tight areas with not alot of room. the round shroud that it comes with makes for a nice grip with out being to big. it's diameter is slightly bigger than the width of the gun.
cleaning- well if you broke paint....your ganna have a heck of a time cleaning it. but there is a very simple solution to this. what you can do is get some matching thumb screws for i believe first 3 screws (the one above and below the barrel mount and the one that screws into the hopper). although i never tried it, from what i heard it works. for me since i dont have that, and shoving the barrel squwegy down the end of the barrel all the down to the forward bot makes no sense, i have to adjust the cyclone feed to allow the squeegy down it and up the barrel and pull it through to clean it. the squeegy sometime gets stuck in the cyclone freeder, but a simple push and pull fixes it. if you need to clean the outside of the barrel for what ever, there is a hex srew on each of the end pieces (one on top closet to the gun and on bottom at the other end). unsckrew those, take the end piece off of the farthest one from the gun, then the shroud. and there you go.
maintance- the only real thing you need to marke sure of is that your barrel is stright. i had this problem of it being too lose. but to fix it being lose or off center. you need to unskrew the hex skrew closet to the gun and in side the hole, is another hex skrew. i dont know the size, but i believe i used a slight smaller size than the one above it i could be worng. but anyhow, that hex skrew there goes through and hits the barrel, adjusting its tightness. so if your barrel is off center or too lose, just tighting that skrew and you'll good to go. to know if it is centered or close to being, without shooting, take off your front end piece off and see if it fit easily on with out you having to adjust or force it, your good. but if you have to twist the end piece to meet up the holes so you can skrew it in, you might be off by a bit.
installing- pretty easy, some force need, but nothing extreme. all you need to do, is losen the front two and the hopper skrew, slide in the barrel (some force may apply), twist, and make sure if you have the front sight on, that the screw and the center of the sight match up. the barrel has the "barrel adapter" on it so you don't need to match any treads up.
Paint- this is a major one, if you dont have the right paint, good luck. you must have the right paint matching the bore size. too big or too small will lead you up in choping and in accuret shots. from what i found out is that Evil, Marbs, Crush, and Karnage all work pretty good. personally i like Evil the best, had a frew breaks, but not often enough for making me mad. i would typcally stray away from cheap paint, and go for the medium to higher priced paint. so like Monster or paint like you get at fred myers i wouldnt go with. but once you find the right paint, you will be set.
FPS setting- from what i heard, setting your FPS around 280 gives you the best resluts, personally i have a hard time getting to that cause i use CO2 and my weather doesnt help much (often cold, to Warm) so my Co2 is constally changing. i usally have my gun's FPS set at around 270-280, for me, i have no problem.
I have heard that the effect of the Flatline does wear out, for if this is really true, i don't know.
a really great barrel for Snipers and what not. just get your settings right, and you'll be good.
Tippmann A-5 , Flatline barrel, Responce trigger, a.b.s Red dot scope, CAR 15 stock, Shock tech relocator bar, Double trigger, Dead-on internals, Flatline battle shroud,and a mil-sim M16 clip.
All stars and marballiser.
Maybe a little heavy.
This is a really great barrel.I have mainly shot with All-star, but marbs work great to. It definitely adds at least 100 ft.The barrel is is fairly accurate at longer ranges, but will eventually lose accuracy. Some people say it shoots to slowly to do any good, but the reason it appears to float in the air is because of the backspin .
I think this is one of the best barrels to get. It Is guaranteed to give you greater distance.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, June 8th, 2007 at 9:43 am PST
Palmer Male Stabilizer
Rufus Dawg Bolt and Power Tube
Palmer Cyclone QEV
RT and Cyclone 1/8" ID Hoses
PMI 4500 88 Tank
Cyclone Ratchet and Lightning Rod
PMI Premium field grade paint is all I have used to date.
Effective range. Can engage ~50-75ft beyond range of other barrels
Accuracy at max ranges. Cleaning. Affected by wind
Barrels comes to its own when used with a well regulater marker. See my setup above, but with the above mentioned components, even the aftermarket bolt, the performance from this barrel has been fantastic. First off, this barrel is used for woodsball were its flattrajectory and effective range can make a difference in how the other team reacts to your actions. The ability to lay suppresive fire at 50-75 ft beyond what the other teams can engage allows your flankers and fwds to maneuver that much closer and take out the perimeter positions of the opponent. The squad I have played with was equipped with three flatline and two JJ. Us with flatlines suppressed, and no no need to rip tons of paint. A few well placed shoots are effective. The JJ move up and clean up while their heads are down. Numerous eliminations with the flatline were done at range to unsuspecting players. It earns its repect.
Observation regarding ball breakage: With the above set up I have shoot 2.5 cases with not a single break in the barrel. Paint was PMI premium field paint. Not the best in the world, but has a decent dry thick shell. A few ringers, as to be expected, but overall not a single break.
Clean the barrel after a day of play. Make sure you get all the gell off the powder coating inside the barrel by using very hot water to melt the gel and wash it off.
SHort range accuracy is on par with mid range barrels. Yes, you can still snapshoot. I done it. From time to time you get a ringer, you can still effectively punch it out with reg barrels at short ranges. But if used effectively, in the right fields, with this barrel you shouldnt have to be pushed into short range battle position.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, January 28th, 2007 at 11:17 am PST