My Friends 14" Barrel (not sure on the brand)
Tippmann 98 Custom
16 0z. Co2
Any small to medium bore high quality paint
I used Marbalizers
Let me start by explaining how the Flatline works. Its curved shape and rough interior put backspin on the ball creating lift which makes the ball fly farther. I tested it out in my backyard shooting out into the field behind my house. I will also explain the installation because it is different than other barrels.
1. It is recommended that 3 bolts are loosened or removed to make installation of the
barrel adaptor easier. These are the bolts at the front sight, at the front grip, and
above the trigger guard.
2. The barrel adaptor must be screwed in all the way so the pinch bolt tab is at 6 o'clock
3. If you wish to use the shroud, the rear sight must be removed. Then place the
shroud over the top of the gun and tighten it with the provided screw through the hole
previously used for the rear sight.
4. Slide the barrel down (through the shroud if used) and into the barrel adaptor. The
original directions tell you to tap it in with a rubber mallet but mine slides in
smoothly. After you test the barrel and you are sure it is installed correctly I would
mark it in some way so you do not need to waste paint to find out if it is in right.
5. Tighten the barrel adaptor pinch bolt and three receiver bolts.
Tippmann does not lie when they say it shoots farther than any barrel out there. When installed correctly, the ball flies from 150 to 200 feet before it starts to drop (I am not good with distances and these may be wrong, but 3 of my friends agree it shoots farther than their guns). The ball does not float or travel at a slower speed. The ball appears to float because it travels in a straight line and it is difficult for the human eye to judge the speed. This same effect happens with all objects. At long distances the ball may not break. This is not a defect in the barrel, but an example of physics. The ball is traveling through the air longer, giving it more time for air resistance to slow it down. When the ball finally reaches its target it will not have the same force behind it to break the shell of the paintball. Keep your velocity between 270-280 fps. 280fps is the maximum velocity at most organized fields. If the velocity is too high it might break a ball and a broken ball in the barrel is a problem that should be avoided at all costs. I will explain why later in the review.
When installed correctly, at short distances it is the most accurate barrel I have used. At long distances it is still the best barrel I have used because no other barrel made it that far. At long distances the barrel may not perform that well. But once again it is not a defect of the barrel. The wind can have a pretty nasty effect on the ball just like it can for any other barrel, but because it is over a longer distance the ball will go off course even farther. As I stated earlier, installation plays a major role on the accuracy. Because the backspin is put on the ball in a certain way, the ball will assume which direction is away from the pull of gravity. If it is shot out wrong the ball will curve. The same problem will occur if the gun is not shot straight up and down. This curve can be used for the better when used correctly. The ball can curve slightly around trees, buildings or other obstacles and possibly hit a player hiding behind the object.
When the shroud is used the gun has a much cooler look than before.
Installation is a bit time consuming and the directions must be read for people doing it for the first time.
If a ball happens to break in the barrel it is more difficult to clean than most barrels, but TIppmann had a good idea to clean it. There is a button on the top of the shroud that pushes down on the original front sight. This causes the elbow to release from the gun and a squeegee can be slid through the feed down to the other end of the barrel where you can pull it out which cleans the barrel. The provided squeegee is not the best but bulky squeegees like mine will not fit which is a disappointment. But this is not the barrels fault, but the markers fault.
The provided shroud is made of plastic and i feel like i can break in with one hand. I wish Tippman would have provided a metal shroud.
Myths I Want To Prove Wrong:
Breaks More Balls Than Most Barrels
Barrels do not break balls, the bolt does.
Balls Float and Travel Slower
I already proved this wrong.
Flatline Uses More CO2
No barrel uses CO2, the valve is the only thing that uses CO2.
The Flatline System is Too Heavy
On my scale, the Flatline and shroud were not enough to even show 1pound of weight. When the official Tippmann website says the 98 Custom weighs 2.9 pounds, I don't think even 1 pound would be enough to feel a difference.
I would recommend this barrel to someone who shares the same philosophy as I do, accuracy over speed. I would not recommend this barrel to anyone who is not patient enough to install the barrel correctly and then learn the technique needed to reach the Flatline Barrel Systems full potential. I give it a 9 because it would not practical for speedball or close quarters in which speed is required to not get eliminated in a game (i am afraid to chop a ball), and the shroud is plastic.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, July 1st, 2005 at 8:35 am PST
Anything that is small and very round. PMI and Zap rec series give me no problems.
Good accuracy. Excellent distance.
Hard to install (if your 10.) The plastic cover looks cheap.
1. The flatline is not that complicated to install. If you can't figure it out, you don't need to be shooting paintballs at anyone. Just look at it and make sure the thing is straight.
2. The barrel is not hard to clean if you have a paintball break inside. Just hit the button to release the hopper and run a squeegie through a couple times. You don't have to remove the barrel.
3. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had a ball break inside the barrel in three years of shooting it, and I shoot plenty of cheap paint.
4. With the right paint (not always expensive) it is very accurate. The paint should not have dents in it. That will make it fly weird. But with any round, small to medium paint, you can get good to very good accuracy. I never have problems hitting people, and I rarely go through a full hopper in a game.
5. Wind does not affect the paint shot from this barrel any more than any other barrel. It appears that way because the ball goes so much farther and will be in contact with the wind longer.
6. This setup was not meant for speedball. People should know better, but they try it anyway and end up giving it a bad review. It was meant for woodsball and similar styles of playing. You can't hardly call yourself a sniper without one of these. I can hit people that don't have a chance at hitting me. You can also shoot right under tree limbs and still hit your target a good ways away. The paint will usually break at those distances too.
7. It does cost quite a bit, but when you consider the price of other barrels and their limitations, I'd say it's money well spent.
8. The plastic cover that goes over the barrel to make it look normal is sturdy enough, but it does look and feel cheap.
If you already have a 98 you can't go wrong with this barrel. If you're looking into getting this and the 98, you might want to consider the A5 with a flatline. It sounds like an even better setup (that will be my next purchase). I give it a 9 because there is room for improvement.
Very consistant accuracy and distance if there is not any stong wind...if there is it can be a problem,
but usually if the wind is constant you can compensate for it (just like them snipers who shoot miles
and have to compensate for wind!)
Since there is backspin put on the ball they float through the air and there is less chance of breakage,
but think if you didnt have the barrel you couldn't even get a paintball to get to that person and
usually they will break...its just that sometimes they don't when you think they should.
I ordered it with my model 98....so I have never used another barrel and can't really compare it to
anything else! For my style of play I love it! I am usually not the person rushing up front in the close
fire fights. I am usually off to side trying to flank or in back giving support and this barrel is great. I have
even been in close fights and managed to do ok. The ball will rise a little at first for close shots, but
thats about it! As I said the only disadvantage is that there is the chance that the ball won't break!
But heck, even if the ball doesnt break you can provide cover fire for your teammates to advance!!!
The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion on the comments page.
Period of Product Use:
Less than a month
6 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Similar Products Used:
if this means other barrels then, custom 98's stock barrel, 12 inch all american barrel, stainless steel freak backs with a 12" freak front
custom 98: double trigger, ak-riochet hopper, flatline barrel, 16oz co2 with anti-siphon
Adds a little distance
gun had to be exactly straight
bore size is too big
i did not like this barrel what so ever! it must of been the worst one i used, i hated it so much that i actually took it off and put my stock barrel back on!
I was playing at a outdoor field once and balls were breaking in my barrel, and I could acutally see teh balls curve 90 degrees to the right after 10-15 feet! any paintballer will agree that it's unplayable like that. I found that a regular barrel is way better then a flatline.
And as far as adding extra distance to your shots the gun has to be exactly straight or else it'll curve due to the spin on the ball.
so basically if you break a ball int eh barrel you'll have a better chance throwing teh balls at the opponent.
accuracy / consistancy:
since the bore size is too big the balls fly all over the place! shots will land half a meter away from each other
Do not bother buying this barrel, it's a waste of money, you will soon realize it. get a freak kit instead that's way better then a flatline. i sold my flatline after using it 2 times that's how bad i thought it was.
and let's face it if alot of people gave bad reviews for it then there must be something wrong with it, if it's a quality product then there shouldn't be more then 1 or 2 bad reviewws this things has over tens over bad reviews taht should tell you something! to my opinion i think people like this barrel just because it adds alot of distance to your shots and it's a one of a kind barrel but distance to me means nothing if you can't hit a damn thing
1 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, December 3rd, 2004 at 8:09 pm PST
model 98 with flatline,homemade shoulder stock,fake ammo clip, and homemade bipod
doesn't seem to matter
Shoots straight, fast and extremely far
None that i've found so far
Up until now i've only had a progressive and the stock barrel. i decided to buy this because i wanted to try something new. i read some of the reviews on this website and anybody that tells you that the flatline sucks is full of crap.
this thing has amazing accuracy. the range on it is unbelievable, and to all those people that say you cant shoot fast with it, theres something wrong with them. i bought the cheapest paint i could find, and didn't chop a single one.
when i fired of my first shot with it and was amazed.it easily shot 4-5 times farther than my progressive did. the grouping at that range wasn't the best but its understandable. the accuracy is amazing. the only problem is that if youre shooting things that are at the outer limit of the barrels range it might take 2 or 3 shots to hit it because it can curve at that distance.
the thing that impressed me the most about this barrel was how easy it is to install it. theres all these people complaining about how hard it is to install it, but it took me about 15 minutes to install it (and thats only cause i dropped the adaptor screw under the couch and couldn't find it)
like i said before i read some of the other reviews and for someone thats kinda nervous about spending this much for a barrel i'll dispel some of the bad rumours about this barrel.catching the balls, the "floating" effect, you cant shoot fast, and the assembly time, are false.
my friend tried to catch one of the balls when it was coming at him. he said he saw it coming towards him but it was moving to fast. then we tried the accuracy test. he stood quite a ways away from me( and no we didn't measure, but it was a lot farther than my progressive would have went) and i placed about 3.5/5 shots on his chest(the .5 shot just grazed the side of him.)
as for the shooting fast i don't have an rt trigger so i can't say anything for super high rates of fire, but i was cranking my 98 custom as fast as it would go with cheap paint and the only problem i had was outshooting my stock hopper. but no chops.
the assembly time.like i said its super easy. the main thing is installing the adaptor, but theres a trick to it. if you take the velocity screw allan wrench and stick it in the hole where the set screw goes you can crank it easier and get it into the final postion. as for adjusting the barrel,thats not to hard as long as you've got 10 or 15 minutes. i took about that much time to adjust mine and now it shoots like a dream.
some people also say that the plastic shroud feels cheap. while it not the strongest thing around it should hold up to some tough plays. i spent most of the day running around the woods with it,diving propping it up on stuff to steady the shot etc, and i didn't have any problems with it. as long as you don't decided to try and chop down a tree with it you'll be fine.
honestly this was worth every penny i paid for it and i would not hesitate to purchase this gun again or recommend it to anyone. all in all this is the best barrel ever and everybody with a model 98 should consider buying one
Buy it. scrounge up the money anyway you can and buy it. this is the best upgrade for this gun ever made
10 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, June 25th, 2005 at 7:58 pm PST
The Flatline is the ultimate in fun. Nothing else will give such a definite advantage when used correctly. The Flatline gives the person or team the 'most dangerous' symbol and you are now a target to be reckoned with. The Barrel isn't perfection and it has its pros and cons which I will elaborate on.
Range: The main thing is the super long range. No other barrel goes farther than the 98 Flatline. The range is incredibly useful in woods play. When the opponents paintballs are falling at your feet, they're within range and vulnerable! The accuracy at long range is good, no more need to severely lob balls and cause wild shots. Another factor is the control of area you receive with the Flatline, the opposing team now has to be aware of where they are more often and not lose sight of your position.
Flat trajectory: This aspect is very helpful, not only do you not need to lob shots, but now any hole thru brush or trees is an opening that can be used. No more lobbing of shots and hitting branches. Brush and other obstacles are now a manageable problem instead of a hindrance.
Accuracy: This is a good and bad thing. At short range the Flatline is somewhat inconsistent and the accuracy is not impressive. This is not a problem with the barrel, but an issue with paintballs. Until paintballs are made round and their center of gravity is improved, short range accuracy is not going to be impressive. However, at medium to long range the consistency very much improved over a standard barrel. The reason is not having to lob paint and causing inaccurate shooting. Overall the accuracy, if the Flatline is used correctly, is a big advantage.
Installation: The installing of the Flatline is a bit tricky and you need some practice to do it quickly. The main reason is the 98 was not designed with the Flatline in consideration. Therefore, Tippmann had to come up with a weird way to make it work. The barrel adapter has to be lined up correctly and the barrel perfectly straight in order for the Flatline to work correctly. If the barrel is not lined up straight the paintballs will curve because of some side-spin on the paint. Another hindrance is difficulty to quickly disassemble the barrel. It isn't convenient to take the Flatline on and off repeatedly.
Ball breakage: You have to find correct paint for the Flatline, otherwise you will be breaking balls. Marbs, Big Ball, and Scorch are some that work well. Overall this problem can be reduced with correct paint sizing.
Heavy: The barrel is a little heavy and long. It's not a big problem, but it's noticeable. The weight makes for a bit of a front heavy feel. You will used to it through extended use.
Price: Yes, the barrel is expensive and a quality barrel kit can be purchased instead. But if woods-ball is your game, and range is important, the price should not be a determining factor.
Overall the barrel is very useful in woods play. In speedball forget about it so don't consider the Flatline. It such a huge advantage that, when used correctly, it's dominating. If the price in your range I strongly suggest buying a Flatline and marking some opponents!
Good = Less Breaks
Bad = More Breaks
If you can handle they breaks then use whatever you want (just takes a few minutes to clean with squege).
Good Ad On
If balls break in barrel your accuracy turns to @#$%.
Get a Reg.
When I bought my flatline I took it home and immediatly got to work. Everything was smooth untill it says, "Screw in the Barrel Adaptor". I got really pissed when it didnt go in all the way and I didnt know why. I found out that you have to disassemble the two pieces of your gun to fit the barrel adaptor on it, then you have to screw in all the screws again and then after that. I got it all good. I put paint in it and bam! All my paint was falling out of the barrel. This was because in my attempt to install the barrel adaptor my little orange ball holder thing fell out onto the floor. So I disabsembled the gun AGAIN and put the orange thingy back in. Then I got it all good and went to shoot, put balls in and went outside. Then I shot. Nothing happened. Because during my orange ball holder mission the trigger spring fell out onto the floor. I was so pissed. I disasembled it and put a all the stuff back in after reading the manual on how to asemble the trigger. I went out to shoot and Walla!!! The ball ploped to the ground like a weak little hoe! I was bewildered. I got my bros gun and tryed with stock barrel. Shot and heard that horrible full auto sound. No C02!!! i refilled c02 and then shot the gun. It shot so far i @#$% myself all over!!! It was AMAZING!!! No wild ball curves no dematic drops no nothing!!! IT WORKED LIKE A DREAM!!! I shot a house accendentally thinking it was out of range, OPPS!!! but no worry!!! IT IS AWESOME!! GET IT!!!
Make sure during install that you be very carful of falling parts!!! Barrel Works like crap with low c02, but so does any gun. It is great product. I dont think it cost that much considering it is the best barrel ever. It is a wood ball barrel. Get a Stiffi for speedball. And yes you can get a Stiffi for a Tippmann you just need a barrel adapter!!!!
Lapco Bigshot, J&J Ceramic, AA, Freak Jr. (None compare with the Flatline)
98C w/ Flatline (also a bigshot)
GTA double trigger
Rocket Cock II
Custom Trigger Mods
48/3000 Pure Energy Comp. Air
DraXxus, Premiums, (the more expensive quality balls)
Range (unbeatable), Great Accuracy, Looks, Intimidation, SEXY!, fixes hopper wobble when installed
This is a mother of a great barrel. I love mine. It is a very nice looking barrel with incredible range. Although the price is quite steep i find it makes up for it in performance. No other barrel can compare with it! It can be kind of tricky to install, but if you can read and follow instructions, it shouldn't be that hard. Other people said that the barrel was hard to clean and that you have to take it right off to squeege. This could be true if you have a stick squeegee, but spend $3 at www.countypaintball.com and get the proflex rubber squeege. Then you just drop the feedport dealy down and run the squeege through a few times. Then your good to go. The range on this barrel, once again, is INCREDIBLE!!! When your shooting at 150+ feet no barrel is going to actually hit the same spot time and time again, but with this barrel installed correctly, you can easily shoot it into 1-1.5 foot squares over and over. This is incredible. With other barrels you cant even shoot that far without lobbing immensely. I love the look of the barrel on my gun. It does add some extra weight but i also have a Remote Coil so i actually lose weight from before i had the barrel or remote. When I got to my local field and the kids playing there see my barrel, they instantly want to be on my team. The other thing to point out would be how the shroud fixed my hopper wobble that was annoying the $hit out of me =) It gives the gun a more rifle like feel. When playing, buy more expensive balls and you will have no problem with chopping. I can honestly say that i have shot 2000 ball sout of my barrel so far and only broke 2 (no big deal)... then i just whip out the squeege and squeege away. Also, a previous review said that you can't shoot more than 4 bps... this is a load of $hit. I can easily do 5-6 bps out of mine without chopping and when playing woodsball, you don't need to do anymore anyways. Once again, this is a great barrel and i would recommend it to anybody playing woodsball!
I love this barrel, and most likely, if you buy it you will too. It is a great barrel for the 98C and makes the gun look so nice =) It can be a pain installing, but is definately worth the time! 10 out of 10
Stock 98c barrel(sucked), Dye Ultralight(awesome barrel but cant compare to distance of flatline)
Dye Ultralight (my flatline got scratched so need to get it fixed, dont ask)
Palmer Male Stabalizer
DOP Pro2 drop
Lapco sight rail
Adjustable CAR stock
Crossfire 47cu 3000psi preset
(basicly anything that is know to be CONSISTANTE
Strategic(shoot around bunkers
Some speedballers might not like it
This barrel is simply awesome, No it does NOT break any balls, as someone before me said, any ball break u do get is from the bolt chopping the balls, unless u have REALLY, REALLY, REALLY crappy old paint, then it might be the barrel, but then again u shouldnít be using that paint anyways. I've used this barrel for over a year and I have not had any major problems with it, except I just scratched it bout a month ago on the inside (donít ask) so I just need to get it honed and then it'll be back to normal. It has phenomenal distance! It can overshoot ANY barrel by at least 75feet, and no it does NOT slow the ball down at all, people only think that because when u see it fly it's flat, not curving down, so it's hard for the brain to measure speed when seeing it (same thing happens with trains) and unless there is a very strong wind it will affect your trajectory very little, havenít had any problems with that and Iíve played a lot of games in the wind, and for the guy below me, obviously if your fps is really high it will screw it up, it'll give it too much of a backspin, you shouldnít have your fps so high in the first place seeing as that's illegal, the perfect fps to have your gun set at is 175-185, if you have it set on that with the flatline it will work PERFECTLY. And you do NOT need to take the barrel off to clean it, just push the squeegee through where the balls go in (might not be able to do this with swabs but a good squeegee works better anyhow, and it comes with one made for it too) the only reason Iím giving this a 9/10 and not a 10 is in comparison with the A-5 flatline, for some reason that one seems to be a little better than this one, in terms of accuracy and all, donít get me wrong though, this barrel is still very accurate, but from my experience they improved a little with the A-5 one. If you play speed ball u may not like it because of its size but it still works fine on that kind of field, no reason it wouldnít, u could even have a tactical advantage because if u tilt the barrel to the side it makes the ball curve *around* bunkers, a tactic I have used MANY times and confuses the hell out of people, I played one game and got 3 kids that were behind bunkers even though I couldnít see them, after they were just standing around confused as hell "how did we get hit? We were covered by the bunker!" gotta love it :D, Iíd say most of the complaints u hear about people breaking balls with the barrel is because they donít put it in all the way, if you donít get the barrel ALL THE WAY IN then you might have problems, but if u do, then you're good to go! I say buy it, ESPECIALY if you play woodsball, being able to shoot long range shots can really make a difference, if you play speedball u may not like it out of preference and u may think your a looser because people might laugh at you, well since its a tippmann only barrel they'll probably laugh at u anyway because your using a tippmann for speedball, and they're right, a stock tippmann cannot keep up with a dm5, but if u modify the right things, u can get it going up to 15+bps, and then see if they still laugh when u shoot them while they're behind a bunker thinking they're safe. DEIFINTLY WORTH THE MONEY
Tippmann 98c - 130$
Tippmann flatline - 99$
Confused face of a dm5 owner after he got shot thinking he's safe behind a bunker - priceless
If you want a great barrel with unmatched distance then GET THIS BARREL, unless your an idiot and cant put it on right then you wont have any problems, just make sure to use consistant paint for best results, the ways u can use this barrel for tacticle advantage are infinite, dont be fooled, IT WILL NOT CHOP BALLS AND IT DOES NOT SLOW THE BALL DOWN, if you want to have the most advantage on the field, then GET THIS BARREL
nothing really compares... I guess Ive used a boomstikk.
Rec ball: Black tippmann 98c with flatline barrel and scope 20 oz co2
Speed ball: blue Icon E 32* ice cold barrel, 12 oz co2
backup:(we play at our field if your gun is hit you cant use the gun that got hit)Brass eagle talon w/ holster.
anarchy and marbs work good for me
It shoots far and accurate
The shroud is made out of cheap plastic. you can get metal ones though
My brother got a response trigger for his 98c, and I wanted to have something better than him. So I got this. He broke his gun installing the response, and My barrel shoots like a dream. I just love it for rec ball, but its a little bulky in speedball. I have noticed that tippmann 98c stock barrel shoots better than my friends flatline, Im not sure if its because he miss treated it or what though. For me it added at least 60' more to my range, and alot more accuracy.
I recommend this barrel to any serious player who plays rec ball and who likes range. I give it a 9 because of the shroud.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, December 17th, 2003 at 8:24 am PST