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Smart Parts Tactical Barrel Reviews

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Smart Parts Tactical Barrel
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Number of Reviews: 35
Average Rating: 8.6 / 10
Manufacturer Website: Click here
Suggested Retail Price: $55

Manufacturer DescriptionSubscribe to Reviews on this Product - Edit this Product Listing
Total military simulation. The Smart Parts Tactical barrel is quiet and accurate at long distances. A perfect sniper upgrade for your scenario paintball gun.
Product Availability 
The Smart Parts Tactical Barrel is newer, so it should be commonly available, both new and used.
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i_love_my_A5 Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion on the comments page.
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month53 of 58 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
1 year
Similar
Products Used:
-Stock A-5 barrel: no comparison, this one is 5x more accurate
-Flatline: not quite as accurate, shoots much further though
Marker Setup: Tippmann A-5
Smart Parts Tactical 20"
Pure Energy 12oz
Recommended
Paintballs:
Medium Bore, but small still works.
From what I have observed; any kind will work
I have used the worst (wild streak) and great (tork) paint in it. Both work fine, tork is a bit more accurate but not by much.
Strengths: *ACCURATE!
*Medium loudness
*Looks
*Did i mention accurate?
*INTIMIDATION
Weaknesses: *Maybe a bit too long
nothing else so far
Review: ******Keep in mind I actually OWN this barrel, I can't say so for the other reviews about it




**Story time**: So I am cruising the net's paintball sites, and I run into this awesome looking barrel. So i look into it. No reviews about it on pbreview.com yet, so i was a little doubtful. So I thought why not go out on a limb and try something, it was made by Smart Parts so it couldn't be bad. I got it 5 days later. I raced home from school and I took it out into the abnormally cold, canadian day. I shoot 15 shots, very impressed. Until, a ball broke, after that it was all downhill. Be warned if one ball breaks you cannot, i repeat cannot, shoot it clean. They will 80% all break afterwards and all accuracy is gone. So i was a little disappointed. The next day (below freezing also) I went to my local field to play with some buddies. Second game a ball broke and I was screwed, so i came off cleaned it and played again, same story, ball breaks i go off. I then was a little pissed so I put on my stock barrel and it kept breaking balls. It turns out everyone there on CO2 was breaking balls so it is NOT the barrels fault.

The reason I didn't write this a week ago was becuase i didn't want to give my opinion when i was angry about it. So I went out today in comfortable temperatures and used it again.

A song comes to mind at this point " I can see clearly now the rain is gone".

The barrel blew me away it was amazingly accurate!!
I was able to hit a 2 foot wide board 100% from 35 meters away.
That was also with the cheapest paint money can buy. I once regretted my purchase but realized it was my CO2 the whole time, I love this barrel. (details below)




---***Accuracy***---
This barrel is very very accurate, I am not saying it is as accurate as a real gun, but as close as it gets for paintball anyways. It is a HUGE improvement over the stock one. I highly recommend it.

---***Workmanship***---
This barrel is extremely well built, the inside finish is litterally mirror like, the porting lines up when you screw in the barrel, and it has a nice solid feel to it. It also has a perfect woodsball paint finish, exact same as the A-5.

---***Maneuverabilty***---
This barrel however is quite long. It took a while for me to get used to it. All personal preference however.

---***Weight***---
This barrel isn't too much of a weight diffrence from the stock one, not meaning to brag or anything but I'd say im above average strength so it doesn't bother me at all, I'm sure it won't for you either unless your a 12 year old girl.

---***Made For***---
This barrel is 98% woodsball, it is the exact opposite of a desired speedball barrel. I use it in both though, so it can be both if needed. But its soul is woodsball, if you are a speedsball player do not buy this.

---***Pickiness***---
This barrel is not picky at all on paint, just a tiny bit on velocity however.


Conclusion: This is the perfect barrel for woodsballers, amateurs and pros alike. It is extremely accurate, but with that comes the akward length. Anyways I conclude by saying this: If you are a woodsballer, buy this barrel. I would give it a 9.8 so that rounds up to 10.
Rating:
10 out of 10Last edited on Thursday, March 2nd, 2006 at 7:50 am PST
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Ravenwulfe Saturday, July 29th, 2006
The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion on the comments page.
Period of
Product Use:
3 months19 of 19 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
Smart Parts 14" Progressive, good barrel, just hasn't worked as well for me.
Marker Setup: Tippmann A-5 Basic, Black Finish
Smart Parts Tactical 20" barrel
BT Designs Carbine Stock
Brass Eagle 20oz Co2 tank
Atomic Energy 12 oz Co2 tank
Crosman red dot sight
Raised sight rail
CP gear Canadian Forces helmet scrim for the barrel
Recommended
Paintballs:
Any that is a proper fit, small are dececent, however.
Strengths: -Very accurate
-Great looks
-Thus far, no breaks
-Not very picky with paint
Weaknesses: -Length takes adjusting to
-Only comes in 20"
-Air efficiency (explained)
-One piece
Review: While my Progressive has done me well throughout the years, there comes a time where everyone finds that their first upgrade barrel that was fairly inexpensive just isn't living up to what you wanted. It just didn't seem to be getting the accuracy that I wanted. All the Progressive is is the next step up from stock, needless to say, there's steps above even that.

So after a couple year with my Progressive I found myself taking more carefully aimed and longer shots, and keeping people's heads down, if not taking them out. While the Progessive was killer in my charges and close encounters, I've found myself taking the side road more often than going right into the thick of things. After all, sneaking up behind people's much more satisfying.

So I go to my team's semi-sponsor and I decide to take back my BT AK-47 barrel (didn't like how the parts were mounted to it and it performed worse than the Progressive, accuracy wise, in my practice shots), and turn it in for the Tactical Barrel on the wall, I thought it was also that 16 inch beside it (didn't see the "flash suppressor" at first), and he hands me the 20 inch. My friend loves his 20" barrel, so I thought "sure, this could be fun." After all, I've heard it was very accurate and it was rifled. Me being a former soldier knows how rifling is a wonderful thing.

Now, some of you people may be of the opinion that rifling doesn't do anything in a paintball barrel, as range isn't as much of a factor. It does if you have the right paint to bore size match, as rifling works like this: Even in a real firearm, when the bullet is fired, it is pushed out of the barrel and the rifling grooves carve miniature notches into it that cause it to spiral. They aren't very deep or noticeable usually, but they do make a great effect and they put a horizontal spin on the projectile. It's the same deal for paintball rifling, but if your ball's too small, it won't matter anyways.

Anyways, my first test was a rainy, crappy day that effected everything and everyone from the most seasoned veterans to the newest of new player, fogged EVERY SINGLE MASK on the field (My V-Force Profiler fogged, the ref's Dye Invision was fogging, et cetera), and everyone was worried about moisture homehow getting into their hoppers.

Well, this barrel did me some justice.

Dispite the fact that I could barely see what I was shooting at, and my manual accuracy was effected a bit from discomfort and bad positioning, I was still able to keep the guy's head down with single shots (I had to manually feed my cyclone on my A-5 because my wrachet stripped and wouldn't catch in that game), but whenever I shot, the guy would keep his head down, because the shots were landing very close to him, and I was shooting at a vauge blob of black. I probably could have hit him easier if I had a proper paint-to barrel match, but this is only a one piece barrel, and it was field paint only, which happens to be a bit smaller than the bore size.

But when I could see people clearly, I was hitting very close to them when I was in a pinch, and I managed to get my first up close goggle shot of somebody. I was a very happy camper. One thing I had to get used to with the barrel was the added length, which I ended up having the barrel in the dirt when I was reloading my pistol (I wanted to try that in a game for a change), I safetied the marker and cleaned out the junk best I could, and the accuracy wasn't effected afterwords, and dispite there still being some dirt in the barrel when I cleaned it, most of it was gone. Not bad.

The next month, I got a red dot and I adjusted my Crossmann superscope to fit on my A-5 and decided to shoot a couple hundred rounds to sight them in. I was pleased to notice that the paintballs struck in very close proximity to each other, so sighting in was fast and painless for my red dot, and the only problems I had sighting in were entirely that of my superscope, which requires a lot of tweeking to make much of a difference. I can't get it to sight in any lower for some reason, but the shots were consistantly just below the point where the crosshairs met. Very impressive.

The barrel is more of an 18" with a 2" flash suppressor (I measured), and it stops hugging the paintball after the 18" as there is a slight, I estimate, just under 1mm drop when it gets to the flash supressor. So for those of you hearing that 20" is bad for efficiency, and 18" inches are the extreme maximum, I am of the opinion that this is basicly a 18" barrel with an extra 2" of cosmetics that don't have any effect on accuracy, consitancy, or efficiency. There are four large cut outs in the "flash suppressor" that easily let the gas behind the paint escape from the barrel before it's even out of the flash suppressor. While this is better than a 20", I believe (I havn't done any extensive testing between the two to tell you for sure, but this is just my fair logic) that it's still a bit less efficient than say, 16" or less because long, goofy barrel lengths like 18" and 20" start to effect your efficiency, regardless of what some people tell you. But if you play at a field with free refills, than I wouldn't even consider it a problem, because you just fill up between games.

Now, the barrel just looks awesome. It's got nice styling and cuts, and the flash suppressor part, while adding unnessessary length, definantly makes this an appealing military-appearance barrel. If you put a kit over this, it would defininantly look like it belongs. This barrel will get you some nice comments as well (when I went to the field last, people were calling for "the sniper", while waving me over because they wanted me to make long shots just because I had a ridiculously long barrel, a stock, and a sight rail with no sights (I used the sight rail so I can use it for an iron sight with my mask, as the stock gets in the way). I felt flattered and humoured at the same time, because most of the people had more camoflauge than I did, as my combat uniform is olive drab.

Just keep in mind that it's the barrel's quality in construction, paint to barrel match, and the player's skill when it comes to accuracy, not the length. Having a super long barrel will not help your accuracy (unless it somehow boosts your confidence and you believe in yourself more or something), but this barrel certainly is an improvement over first-upgrade class barrels. While it's certainly annoying that it's only a one piece, this allows it to be consistant throughout and is rarely a problem. Just hope your field paint is a close enough size (if you want a quick test, if your paintball rolls out of the barrel with no resistance, it's way too small. If it gets stuck barely in the barrel, it's too big. If it gets stuck part way through but a light blow in will knock it out, it's probably about right.)
Conclusion: This is a great barrel for recreational and scenario paintball, and if you can find the right size paint for it, it will be a great shot. It's accurate with cheap and small paint as it is, but aim for a medium bore. If you think that a long barrel will be in your way, see if you can try out a 20" from someone you know to find out for a few games and decide. It is very accurate and it certainly fit my bill.
Rating:
8 out of 10
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IeatEARwax Wednesday, April 19th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month9 of 13 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
2 years
Marker Setup: Tippmann98 Custom, 20" smartpart tactical barrel, remote line
Strengths: Looks, lot more quite than stock, accurate
Weaknesses: Getting used to length
Review: When i first saw this barrel i fell in love with it . I ordered and it came in took it home and tested it. Worked wonderful. And when we went out and played on sunday I compared it to my cousins stock 98 custom. The difference was amazing on how loud it was, and how the accurateness was a big plus. It did take me awhile to get used to it but i had no problems really the first game. Had no problem running with it and shooting as fast as possible. Never had a ball break in it which i thank ful for seeing how it could be a pain to clean. But should have to worry about that for awhile.
Conclusion: Overall i love this barrel would recommend it to any woods-ball player to get an upper hand on quietness and accuracy
Rating:
9 out of 10
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sukiestpbplaya Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
3 months9 of 15 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
2 years
Similar
Products Used:
progressive barrel
Marker Setup: 98 tatical barrel
Recommended
Paintballs:
just about any as long as your not stupid.
Strengths: accurate
Far shot
Light fer so long
Put togeather well
Price
Weaknesses: Takes a while gettin used to it
Review: Its very accurate and if your a real woodsball player this is the perfect sniper barrel for you. If you want one shot one kills this is the barrel. its cheap i got mine for 42$ and its light . Ive put mine threw alot of crap and it is scratcheless and dentless.
Conclusion: I recomend if you a sniper and a woodsball player.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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Donster 125 Tuesday, July 25th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
6 months7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Custom 98 flatline
stock A5 barrel
Marker Setup: Tippmann A-5, SP 20" Tactical Barrel, 3 pos. CAR stock, Opsgear UMP gas-through mag, RIchochet R5 hopper, LAPCO offset sight rail
Recommended
Paintballs:
X.O. Industries with a V1 shell; these are godly paintballs that made the stock A5 barrel seem like it was good. These balls will work for any barrel and i highly recommend them for this barrel. Incredibly accurate!
Strengths: Accuracy
Looks
Automatically being recognized as the sniper
Quiet
Weaknesses: None! This barrel is great, and they also make a 3 piece version of it!
Review: I love to snipe in paintball so after finding out that the flatline didn't have the accuracy i needed in order to snipe, i moved to this cool looking barrel. The reviews on it have been really good, so i went for it. Straight out, i was worried that because the price tag was so low, i thought it was shoddy quality. BUt i was wrong. The barrel performed very well. At least my friends said so. BUt i was iffy cause after coming off of the flatline, the range was not very impressive. so my opinions were not very high. BUt both of my freinds were saying that that was to be expected. They said it was performing well when compared to their barrels. And the accuracy was batter then the flatline, i only did one mesuring test at 15 feet, its shot grouping was less then 1 foot. But thats very unipressive. Throughout the day i shot my gun at targets and it was very consistant and easy to predict. My friends have a BT-16 barrel and i was making better shots then they were. They lenbth took some getting used to, but i overcame that i even bunkered 3 kids with my barrel cause i was the only man at the time that was in the positions to do so, and the barrel length didn't interfere with that. I was sniping people, but i wasn't making any 1 shot one kills cause i dont no how to predict my barrel perfectly yet (since i used to use a flatline), but that should become better over time. IT should also become better when i get a sight as well. I also noticed that the barrel noticable quieted down the report of my marker, another added feature.

Overall Impressions:
Overall i am very pleased with this barrel and it is a 1000 times better then the flatline in terms of sniping. I was picking off peoples hoppers and everything with my barrel. I like it alot. The length could be a downer for some people, but not for me so would the whole air effeciency. I however get free CO2 fills, so that is not so much of a problem for me.

EDIT: Sun. April, 29/07
I have put in an order for a lapco snapshot kit. I did this because i wanted perfect accuracy all of the time. The other day, i had dimpled paint and i kept chopping. If i had a barrel kit, i could stick in a large insert of back and play relatively chop free for the rest of the day. since i didn't have one that day, i was chopping every 2 or 3 shots. this still is a great barrel and provides great accuracy, but i suggest to go with a kit upfront and not have to worry about stuff like this. furthermore, for tippmann guns, lapco and J&J barrels are supposed to be the best, so i went with lapco.
Conclusion: I thourougly enjoy this barrel and i recommend it to people who need the accuracy and at the same time want a cool looking barrel. They now make a version of this barrel with a freak back. this is really good. i however will most likely stick with this barrel becasue all of the fields i go to have a perfect, or close to perfect piant/bore match .in that case, the rifling will (IMO) provide better accuracy then the freak kit (assuming both have a perfect paint/bore match. thus, it is more financially viable and more accurate if i stick with this barrel. i raised my rating to a perfect 10 because i only gave it a 9 b4 because this barrel wasn't in 2-3 piece construction. i now raised my review accordingly!
Rating:
10 out of 10Last edited on Sunday, April 29th, 2007 at 2:14 pm PST
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Greg-Suchy Friday, April 14th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month6 of 8 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
SP Progressive 14"
Marker Setup: Tip. A-5 Electro grip
SP Progressive 14"
SP Tactical 20"
Recommended
Paintballs:
Diablo Formula 13, Heat.
Tomahawk classic, competition
Strengths: Looks great
really accurate
price ;)
Weaknesses: None so far
Review: Ordering this barrel I wasn't sure I was doing right. Nobody of my friends has tested that before. Only reason that I bought it was its look. The price was not bad so I took the risk.
After all it was worth, barrel seems to be a really great deal.
It isn't expensive.
It's really accurate and does not need a expensive paintballs.
SP already made good barrels but the TACTICAL become my favorite one!!!
GOOD JOB!!!
Conclusion: If anybody wants a military looking barrel which is also accurate SP TACTICAL is the one. In addition it ain't cost a lot of money ;)
Rating:
10 out of 10
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eastcoastkilla Wednesday, April 19th, 2006
Period of
Product Use:
3 months5 of 12 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
flatline
all american 14 inch
Marker Setup: A-5, starfire bolt, E grip, expansion chamber, double trigger, compressed air 3000 psi
Recommended
Paintballs:
pro ball is good but the best is (especially in the woods) is combat 68
Strengths: Very accurrate, shoots far, looks great, very quiet.
Weaknesses: May need o adjust velocity due to long length.
Review: I love this barrel.
It is the best part ive out on my gun so far.
My kills have gone up three hundred percent.
Alot of my friends think im basically cheating because of its length.
Now i take all my kills from about fifty plus feet.
This is the ideal barrel for a sniper due to its accuracy and stealthyness.
Smart parts has done it again, same with the linear barrel which is the same but looks more for speedball.
Conclusion: Nike....just do it.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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Overdryve75 Saturday, February 9th, 2008
Period of
Product Use:
6 months4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Marker Setup: Spyder Fenix - 14" Boomstick barrel; custom drop forward, grips, and tourney board.
Spyder MR1 - 20" Smart Parts Tactical barrel w/ glow sights; custom stock and grips.
Recommended
Paintballs:
Something decent; works well with just about any paint so long as it's not cheap crap.
Strengths: Accuracy, weight, price, and sheer novelty (come on, it's 20 inches!).
Weaknesses: Awkward length
Review: A great barrel for woodsball players with a sniper mentality. It even turned my mediocre Spyder MR1 into a respectable marker. Very good accuracy; I can consistently hit small targets at upwards of 25-30 yards, with decent paint. It's nothing special, but still good enough for me to use as my primary woodsball barrel.

Definitely not for speedball or close quarters... those 20 inches of precision become a serious liability if and when you get bunkered. I recommend carrying a backup (I use a Zeus G1) if your field will allow it, just in case you get cornered. Players who use stocks, especially, should be aware that this barrel will turn your marker into a four-foot-long beast that sticks out of cover, makes fast movement difficult, and provides an attractive (albeit skinny) target for your opponents. An extra-long squeegee is a wise investment, also.

Crazy length aside, the barrel is remarkably light and durable. As for appearance, well... basically, the thing looks goofy. You're sure to get a few stares before games, but people have to respect it when you take them out with single, precision shots. Plus, there's a certain rebellious appeal to it's awkwardness... you'll definitely stand out from the Tippman A-5/Custom crowd.

There are more practical and more accurate barrels out there; but for the price, it's a solid upgrade. And, of course, there's something to be said for being the only guy sporting a 20" piece of hardware... but we won't go into that.
Conclusion: A great choice for casual-to-intermediate woodsball players on a budget.
Rating:
8 out of 10Last edited on Saturday, February 9th, 2008 at 8:55 am PST
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kingsniper Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
Period of
Product Use:
1 year4 of 5 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
2 years
Similar
Products Used:
nothing in comparison
Marker Setup: regular 98
smart parts tactical 20"
tasco red/green dot scope
spec ops sniper stock
rocket cock 2
and soon to have a chameleon rfile rag
Recommended
Paintballs:
any
Strengths: Very quiet
Can stick through brush and get a good shot
Very accurate
Intimmidating

Weaknesses: If a ball breaks you better clean it
Review: This is the best barrel for any paintball sniper. When I got home I put it on my gun and shot it about 10 times at around 70-80 ft. The results were shocking, I hit a tree about the size of a basket ball pole 9-10 times and that was even with scorch paint.

When I went to Bull Creek in Ohio (very good place) I sniped about 7 people out from 50-90 ft.
The first one I hit was their leader. When the paintball hit him the first thing he acted like he didnt know what happen uintill he saw the paint on him. The people following him must of thought it was a lucky shot or something because they kept walking. So I shot a nother one off and unsuprisingly it hit a nother person. They finaly found a bunker of some sort and got behind it. I jus waited for some one to stick their head out or any thing and eventualy some one tried to shoot. So I shot him in the mask (from about 55 ft). That leaves only 2 more left. One trys to run so I shoot about five shots nd they actualy missed : O. I geus the kid got courage or something so he charged where he thought I was shootig from so I pegged him. Then this is where the intimidation factor comes in because the kid got so scared or something that he jus surrendured
:P.
Conclusion: You dont need any mods like fake suppresors or an aditional break because 1: it screws your accuacy up and 2: It makes ur gun louder
Rating:
10 out of 10
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GianM87 Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Period of
Product Use:
1 year3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Tippman 98 Custom stock barrel
14" Tippmann 98 Custom barrel (forgot where I got it from and the manufacturer)
Marker Setup: Tippmann 98 Custom
Smart Parts Tactical 06 20" barrel
Double Trigger
Brass Eagle 20 oz. CO2 tank
JT Elite Headshield mask
------------------------
Soon to be added:
Response Trigger
Cyclone Feed
Recommended
Paintballs:
Medium bore. Small will work well too. So far I haven't had a problem with my paint choices.
Strengths: Very accurate
Intimidation factor
Looks great
Stealth
Reliability
Quiet
Pricing
Weaknesses: Length takes some getting used to.
Review: Back in December 2007 I was in the market for a newer, more reliable barrel to add to my Tippmann 98 Custom. The marker itself is still in a relatively stock condition, although I had a 14" barrel that satisfied my expectations as to how it should perform in woodsball scenarios. However, the more I played with my barrel the more disappointed I became with it. If there was any residual paint from either a chopped round or if one ball in the bag was compromised, my shots would go wildly off target. Even when the barrel was in its best condition, it wasn't as consistent as I would like it to be, especially since I prefer to fill the sniper/marksman role and do it well.

I did some research, browsed several online paintball site's selections, and found the SP Tactical on one of the sites. It was 20", which perked my interest since a longer barrel is typically more accurate, so I did some research on just this barrel, read several reviews from this website, and weighed the good and the bad before I made my purchase.

Initial experiences:
When it arrived I immediately tried it on my marker to get a feel for it. The extra length gave my marker a more balanced feel, although I noticed it also affected my ability to bring it to bear on an imaginary target around a corner. I knew I would have to rethink my gameplay to compensate for the extra length. I was impressed with its accuracy when I fired my first round. I picked a 8" diameter tree about 50 ft away from where I was standing and fired five rounds into it. Four out of the five hit well within the target tree, the first round having barely missed it.

In my first woodsball game with this barrel on, it immediately drew notice from the crowd and friends. A few friends chuckled and quoted sniper mottos and the field master joked that I had to be two extra feet away from my target in order to make use of the "live or die" challenge. It did intimidate some players a bit, making some people try to avoid me altogether, while others focused on me to eliminate me early. So people noticed the "big stick." When I first dropped my gun to my side, the barrel was so long the tip scraped the dirt a bit and I had to inspect it to make sure I would have clean shots.

While in play, the barrel threw me off so much... I'm the kind of player that'll crouch low or even go prone and crawl further up to avoid detection and set myself up for a proper shot. A lot of woods that I play by have open fields that have 5-6' tall grasses and shrubs growing by mid-spring, and the dead grasses from the previous year were still standing tall, making ideal concealment for sneaky players like myself. The problem was, my gun was catching on the grasses and holding me up a lot more than I had expected it to. The only way I really got around that inconvenience was to just put my whole body into a turn while easing my marker through the grasses so I could bring it to bear on my intended target.

Overall experiences:
After figuring out the in-game feel, then I started noticing the advantages it'd give me while in the fields and woods. If I'm in a heavy patch of grasses, I'm able to remain relatively concealed while I can have the tip of my barrel poking out and at my intended target. The porting makes it quieter than the other barrels out on the field, so I can usually get off a couple extra shots before players know where the fire is coming from.

As for its reliability, I have had only a couple rounds break on me inside the barrel due to some sand getting inside while I was defending a flag set in some sand dunes (no, I was not playing on a beach although I'd bet it'd be an awesome experience). Even after firing the marker a few times to get the paint and any sand out of the barrel, the overall accuracy was still up to my expectations.

Now, almost a year after my purchase, I'm so used to it that it serves more as an extension of my arm. Going back to my 14" barrel, I'm usually back to my 20" after just a few shots because of my dissatisfaction from the loss of accuracy and "quirky" feel (I lose the feel that I'm shouldering a rifle and I'm swinging around a SMG). I know accuracy is affected by whatever sized paint I'm shooting, but I've used cheap Monster balls to higher end and field-only paint, and I haven't observed any noticeable change in accuracy. So really I have no preference to what I'm shooting as long as it fits through the barrel.

I've received plenty of feedback from the barrel's performance, of which several friends have told me it's quieter. One friendly rival sporting an automatic marker with a flatline system told me that "I'm usually the only player he's concerned about going up against not because of my rate of fire (as fast as I can pull the trigger), but because my shots go where I want them to." Since I'm that guy that'll run a good quarter mile to flank the enemy and crawl to get even closer, I tend to get the jump on people more than he does. Even with us going toe-to-toe hiding behind a trees pumping paint into each other (and those unfortunate trees), I usually have the luxury to leave my cover and pop a few rounds into him before he can recover as he's reloading his hopper (since he goes through a whole lot more paint than I do). Granted, this has more to do with player's skill and game tactics, but when I find myself in situations where I have a window of opportunity of just a few seconds, the last thing I want to do is worry about my shots veering off target. Compared to the flatline system my friend uses, I don't have the range he does, but I do have the accuracy, since I can tilt my marker on its side without having my shots veer to the side like a flatline equipped marker's paint would.

All of the above review applies to my stock Tippmann 98 Custom. Now (10/14/08) I'm about to have my first game with my marker with a Response Trigger and Cyclone Feed System installed, and I'll come back to write my initial and overall thoughts once I've seen some action.
Conclusion: This barrel is designed for the woodsballer in mind. The increased accuracy and reliability on the field makes it a superb barrel to play with regardless of a player's overall experience, although its length takes some getting used to. Being an avid woodsballer myself, I am very happy to have this barrel on my marker. I have only played in a speedball setting twice, the first was with my 14" before I had the SP Tactical, and the second game with my 20". It performed flawlessly in the setting I was in, as I was able to keep a constant stream of fire directly upon my hiding target's head and contend against the other team without any real limitations imposed on me due to its length.

But to quote I love my A5: "Its soul is woodsball; if you are a speedballer do not buy this." Overall, I give it a 9.7 for my experience with this barrel.
Rating:
10 out of 10Last edited on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 at 8:44 pm PST
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