The embodiment of affordable firepower. Ion changed the paintball paradigm by being the first marker to deliver true electropneumatic performance in the casual paintball player's price range. With multiple firing modes, an aggressive rate of fire, and break beam Vision anti-chop system, the Ion XE continues the Ion tradition of tournament level performance at a low price. The best feature of the new ION XE is the Bolt out Back design. This new design allows even a novice player to clean the bolt in seconds.
Smart Parts Ion XE Features:
Bolt-Out-Back design makes this Ion easier to maintain than ever before. One allen wrench is all that is needed to remove the bolt sleeve, bolt and bolt stop from the rear of the marker, providing complete access to the entire bolt and valve assembly in seconds.
Weight (marker only): 1 lb. 15 oz.
Length (w/out barrel): 8.5 in.
Operating Pressure: 180psi
Gas Source: HPA or CO2
Anti-Chop System: Break Beam VisionTrigger Pivot: Stainless steel pin
Ball Detent: Dual rubber style
Semi auto, rebound, 3 round burst (10bps max), full auto, (10bps max)
Max Rate of fire: 17bps (higher with Blackheart board)
Field legal mode lockRuns on one 9 volt battery
Standard ASA includedIon one piece 14 inch barrel
Feedneck: Low profile friction grip vertical / NXT thread
Aluminum / polymer grip frame/body
The Smart Parts Ion XE is newer, so it should be commonly available, both new and used. Check out the Places to Buy links below for places to purchase it new.
None (Upgrades quickly get into cost of vastly better marker)
Shoots good for the $
First a bit of context: I purchased an Ion XE after realizing that mil-sim markers are stupid. I love woodsball but gained no benefit from a heavy, bulky marker whose key features were to be designed like a battlefield rifle (which are designed to contend with issues such as aiming at long range, recoil, heat dissipation, among others which dictate there shape, feel, and design) which a paintball marker clearly is not.
The Ion XE is a light, simple, clean marker which outperforms pretty much all the milsim markers out there (except maybe BTs new Invert Mini based marker). It is durable, can survive being rained on, bashed into trees, fallen on, rolled over, or pretty much anything reasonable you can throw at it. As long as its cleaned, and all the fittings are tight its never had issues.
- The Bolt out back is great. I've seen how older ions are serviced and this is vastly superior. I also take a key interest at the field in how other markers come apart, and I've seen a few equal, but non-exceed the Ion XEs simplicity.
- The Ion XE's design is simply elegant. There are really only 2 major moving parts, the bolt and the solenoid. Two screws get you into the real meat of the marker if you have any desire too and your presented with a few fittings, some hoses, a solenoid, and the eyes. Thats about it.
- for the price, the Ion XE shoots incredibly well without any upgrades. The Ion XE will outshoot stock 90% of the markers that hit the woodsball field. Balls fly reasonable strait with no breaks and the stock regulator sees about + or - 5fps on the field crono once broken in. Another 5% of those markers (low end protos, minis, and the like) it will compete with, but wont quite match. Meanwhile the last 5% of those markers will totally destroy it, but most cost a anywhere from $500-$1200 more. I have seen some higher end guns fire faster, with a more linear flight path, more consistently, and at longer ranges. I have had high-end markers hit me five times in the same two inch circular spot on my hand through a small window at a steep angle at ranges that the Ion XE was only able to respond with a two to three foot diameter firing circle in return, despite having a easier firing window. If you have the extra 150 maybe get a Invert Mini or Dangerous Powers G3 or something on those lines. If you have the other 1200, I do not really feel qualified to recommend, but maybe an Ego. If you do not, the Ion XE is great.
- I've never had a failure of the ion that was not caused by me. So the reliability is great. I've never had to leave it in my equipment box to grab another marker.
- Eyes do wonders, apart from maybe the SP Vibe/ SP-1's low pressure bolt system, I wouldn't own a marker without them. Ability to turn them off on the fly is a bonus.
- The Air Efficiency of the Ion XE is not bad, its just not amazing. I use a 68/4500 HP tank with my ion, always filled to the top. I normally carry 4 pods and a hopper about 700 paintballs. I can fire all of them and still have 1000PSI left. So thats about 200 paintballs fired per 1000PSI. Not too shabby really. I have never counted, but the Ion XE will fire a fair amount of paint on that last 1000PSI of air without issue or visible drop-off till the tank hits just a hair over whatever pressure you have your regulator set to (mines usually running around 180PSI for 280fps) . Then things fall apart quite rapidly. So you might be able to get away with a smaller tank, and the same amount of paint that I carry.
- Watch out for the Body. The Body is a very strong plastic and rubber housing for the breach of the gun, and also serves as an attachment for the feed neck and frame. All the while holding the dents and the eyes into the breach. Its an effective system but has a few minor issues to watch out for. If you let either of the two screws at the front or rear of it get lose it can slide a little. This can produce a lip between the body and the breach at the feed neck that balls can be caught on and thus not feed smoothly into the marker.
- I pretty much clean my marker before I take it out on the field. I play about twice a month. Over the past 9 months my Bolt Out Back has gotten well scuffed, but this is purely a cosmetic issue.
- A lot of people seem to hate this pressure fitting feed neck. I really like it. Its simple, has no bolts that can come loose (and thus lost) like clamping feed-necks, and holds my hopper insanely tight. A little to tight as it turns out. Despite removing one o-ring to loosen the fit, lubricating the feed neck to ease hopper removal, and sanding down my Halo B's feed-neck, I have managed to break the threadlock that holds it in. Not a major problem at all, as you simple screw the feed-neck back in, but its annoying when you unscrew your feed-neck while trying to wrestle your hopper on. The manual clearly states that you should only turn the hopper counter-clockwise during removal to prevent just this problem, but I have had my hopper so utterly stuck, that I had to wiggle it out thus breaking the threadlock.
- The Micro Line fittings are apparently threadlocked in with some incredibly strong stuff (red threadlock?). I attempted to remove the fitting from the bottom of my regulator and totaly destroyed the soft brass fitting without getting it off. That was a $45 dollar mistake as I have to replace that part of the regulator, at that price I might as well spend the other $30 and get a new one.
- I also think the Micro Line is ugly and could be streamlined better as seen on the EOS/Vibe/SP-1. The EOS/Vibe/SP-1 has it strait down the centerline with very nice fittings. This doesn't get in the way, and I think looks better. Its a minor annoyance.
- I do not like the fact that I need a wrench to adjust my regulators output pressure. Every other marker on the planet uses a hex wrench, not to mention that every other part of the ion is serviced with a hex wrench. Its just one more tool I have to carry. And again, the EOS/Vibe/SP-1 all have hex wrench based adjustments, which is a much nicer looking system, and quite frankly easier to use.
-The Dents work just fine, but the rubber wears down fairly fast, requiring replacement, which could be a hassle for the technically unadventurous.
- The stock battery is absolute rubbish. This seems to be a major issue with smart parts products in general. I have known quite a few people who thought there marker was broken (me included, twice!), because of this foul battery. The marker simply does not operate with it. It will fail to cycle and appear to get jammed. I suggest a campaign: everyone should send the battery back to smart parts and demand they pay to recycle this battery that seems to have no purpose apart from helping destroy the planet. They really should save themselves some money, there customers the technical difficulty, and there tech support guys a lot of phone calls and simply not include this useless battery. If I knew how to put this in giant bold text I would, in hopes smart parts would read it, and act! Note: I really do know how to put this in giant bold text, but its against my sensibilities.
- Stock On/Off Switch, Oh how do I hate the. The Stock On/Off switch is simply a printed plastic sticker with a bump of soft rubber glued to both sides. One on the exterior of the marker to give you something to press on, and one on the interior of the marker to push down on the micro-switch. Unfortunately, its is insanely hard to press. The only way I could do it on my marker was with my fingernail, which quickly destroyed the soft rubber. Then it begins to slide off the marker as paintball goo eats away at the adhesive. Ultimately forcing you to get a new one at some insidious cost (~$10 for a upgraded one). And if you think I'm starting to rant I haven't even begun! Ok, lets look at this from a manufacturing standpoint. Other smart parts markers have a very simple, good feeling, good looking, small, and durable plastic button. This button is most likely made via plastic injection molding. A one step process. Meanwhile, smart parts has to pay someone to print in mass the plastic power switch sheet found on the Ion XE, then cut it out, then glue two rubber nubs on it, then apply adhesive. Printing in itself is expensive. I cannot imagine that it is more cost effective to make this dysfunctional glorified sticker than it is to mold the lovely little plastic button thats found on basically all their other markers. A button that fits into the Ion XE with zero modification and is sold as an upgrade. The only advantage to them is to ripping off their customers to sell a $10 pice of plastic, a bad ploy, as it seems most paintball stores do not seem to carry smart parts upgrade button and instead carry the numerous alternate 3rd party replacements; which are in of themselves slightly more glorified stickers. Smart Parts, I plead with you, get rid of this button. If I knew how to make this any more scathing I would.
- The Micro-switch method of programing your marker is obtuse at best. Anything that requires you to press something with 'micro' in its name a billion times while trying to interpret the flashing of equally microscopic lights; all the while counting how many billion times you pressed it, and multiply some number in your head to determine how many fractions of a second you just adjusted your dwell, only to realize you accidently had it on the wrong adjustment mode, and screaming as you attempt to re-input the factory defaults by repeating the process over again isn't a good thing.
-The Trigger is sloppy but functional. Unfortunately as its made of , what to be fair is a strong, plastic with a hole drilled into it at a particularly vulnerable point so an adjustment screw could be placed into it; mine broke at said point when it was hit by a paintball. Frankly, the best thing that ever happened to my marker, as the metal replacement trigger I replaced it with is quite posh.
- Lastly, you can dump insane amounts of money into upgrading an Ion, or for that matter any other marker. Just make sure you realize that after a handful of even some of the cheeper upgrades (QEV ~ $20 ~ $30 feed neck, ~$30 trigger, ~ $10 switch, ~$50 bolt for a total of ~$140 ), plus the Ion XE ( ~$270) your already to the price of a higher end marker that will probably be better out of the box than the upgraded Ion XE. In-fact, that plus a better electronics kit (~$140 for a total upgrade cost of ~$280 and the Ion XE for ~ $270 = ~ $550 ) are the cost of a better marker and another nice toy! Simply put buy the Ion XE for what it is, not for what it can be.
Overall the Ion XE is a good, reliable, fairly sturdy marker, with excellent performance to cost. Although perhaps not class leading, it holds its own against even marginally more expensive markers. Overall I'm very satisfied, apart from the inexcusably bad battery and criminally ineffective power switch. That being said, there are vastly better markers on the market, but they are also had for more money. If you want one of these better markers, do not buy an Ion XE with the plan of upgrading it into one, the cost of doing so adds up at an incredible rate, and there is just no sense at making a good marker into a great marker, when you could almost have had had both at the same cost. Get the Ion XE for what it is, a very competent marker for ~$275.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, August 24th, 2008 at 1:34 am PST
Honestly, the only necessary upgrade needed is a clamping feedneck. The stock one doesn't accommodate the larger loaders (Halo) even after the 2 large O-rings have been removed. ANY clamping feedneck is fine, they are all adjustable. Brand is up to your preference. Once I saved some money, the second upgrade was the trigger. The stock one sways side to side. The shape is W, I prefer an S shape, easier for higher rates of fire. After that upgrade, I replaced the traditional duckbill ASA with a 1.5" dropforward w/ on & off. Any other upgrades can come along, this sport is expensive as it is.
Stock Parts (barrel, trigger, feedneck and ASA)
-you can usually find this at local shops for about $225. Not bad at all considering electro-pneumatic markers were an average of $900 back in the day.
-clean up is a cinch with the B.O.B (bolt-out-back) design. 1 allen key is all that is needed to remove the bolt.
-with the popularity of the SP Ion XE continually growing, many after-market upgrades are available. Heck, you could build a complete custom Ion from the ground up, that's how much stuff there is for it.
-with the new spool valve tech, the guts in the marker are simplified. It is efficient operating at an average psi of 180-190. For those who enjoy doing their own repairs, there is nothing intimidating inside. Simple hoses and fittings. There are MANY tutorials on how to make any adjustments to better suit you.
But to be fair.....
If Smart Parts were to include all of those upgrades, then the price of the Ion wouldn't be $225!
I've played paintball for many years. I've seen markers come and go. This is definitely one that will stay. It is affordable, efficient, durable and VERY customizable. There is no need to drop $700 right off the bat to get something sweet. Only a minor upgrade (feedneck) is needed when first purchased. Other parts can be upgraded later.
If you are on a budget but want a high end electro marker, then this is a perfect choice for you. I'm rating it a STRONG 9 because the body could've used a little bit more styling.
Price vs Quality. You get a lot of bang for the buck!
Length of use: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating: Currently 4/5 stars.
Appearance: Currently 4/5 stars.
Performance: Currently 4/5 stars.
Reliability: Currently 4/5 stars.
Value: Currently 4/5 stars.
Price paid: $300.00
Pros: read below
Cons: read below
Price: $300 (Canadian Dollars) + upgrades you will most likely buy.
Alright so this is my first marker, and i got to say it is a great platform. I have fired about 10000 balls so far and i am very happy with my results. Its very reliable, fast, and easy to use. I rarely chop balls, and i got +/- 15 FPS with almost no tweaking stock. (if you some one tells you thier $1000 dollar gun shoots +/- 1, they are BSing. The pros at my field are happy with +/-10 and they spend hours upgrading and tweaking)
I have not had any major issues and almost no minor issues with this gun so far. The only major draw back was that i had to pay for a bunch of upgrades (another 125 bucks canadian) to complete it. Read my review for details.
•The Price: This gun is cheap. Dollar per quality you really get a deal on this marker. The stock marker is good enough to enter any rookie torunament. *some upgrades are strongly recomended though*
•Firing Modes + Eyes The stock board comes with multiple firing modes, the 2 you will care about are semi, and ramping. You can also do 3 shot burst and full auto. The board is capped at 17 bps, but show me a rookie or that can pull more than 17 bps on semi... most pros cant do this without some kind of electronic assitance. Also the guns comes with decent break beam eyes stock.
•Easy To maintain: The maitenece is simple and striaght forward. The back out bolt is 10000 billion million trillion times better than the old ion system. Standard maitence is about 5 minutes. Unscrew back bolt, lube, screw back bolt in. You should do this after every day of "intense play" or about after every case.
•Very Common Gun: Everyone knows this gun. Most pros carry one as a practice gun or a backup. If you ever run into problems you will more than likely find some one at your local field that can help. That being said, you will not run into many problems. You will more likely ask the local ion experts for help installing your upgrades
Required Upgrades Ok, no upgrade is required, but there are many things smart parts "cheaped" out on to keep this gun under 300 dollars.
•Feed neck +$25. The reason you need this is simple, if you plan on moving a lot on the field, your hopper will fall out or you will wedge it in so tight you will break the hopper. I thought i didn't need to buy a clamping neck. I was wrong. Very wrong.
•Trigger +$20-$50. Every ion owner i have met has had thier stock trigger break. Its cheap plastic, and if you pull quickly it will eventully break. In my case, i was shot in the trigger from 7 feet and my trigger snapped.
Thats it! Those are all the "manditory" upgrades for the ion xe. Everything else is up to you. The following is a list of optional upgrades that are worth while eventully.
•QEV, $20 I bought the SP 360 QEV, it was designed for the ion and it was very simple to install. This was the first upgrade i got before the feedneck or trigger. I dropped my dwell from the stock 52 to about 20. This basicly doubled my shots per a tank. Also when I improve my skillz i will able to shoot faster . Definatly worth while.
•Barrel, $30+++ dollars. The stock barrel is fine, i know some people dont like it, but as a starting point, it gets the job done. This is the kind of thing you wait untill you get a deal to upgrade. You can always find a cheap 2nd hand UL or Stiffi on the forums or at your local field. Just make sure its an impulse threaded barrel .
•On/Off ASA $40: This is also a nice upgrade to have. It allows you to turn off the air supply at the tank end of the gun. Basicly it makes unscrewing a tank easy and saves o-rings. *when you turn it off the gun may still have air in it* make sure you safely dry fire the gun even after you remove the tank. My foot learned this lesson the hard way.
•New board. $50+++. This is something you may consider if you want to persue tournaments. I am still using the stock board, and i will continue to use it untill i find a deal on a better board. I dont like taking the grip frame off to adjust the settings but its not that bad.
•The bolt. I have yet to see a reason to change the stock bolt. I noticed that i was only getting poor air effiency with the stock set up, but the QEV upgrade quickly fixed it. Changing the bolt will not make a big difference, (or so i am told) If a deal comes my way i will probbaly take it, but otherwise the stock is fine. I heard there was a batch of bad sotck bolts, if yours breaks, call SP for a replacnment under the warrenty!
•The reg. Again, i have yet to see a reason to change the stock reg. From what im told, the stock reg is really quite good. Dont waste your money untill a really nice deal presents itself. Do some research if you want to change this part.
All in all this gun is a great buy. As i said above many pros keep them as back-ups. It a reliable and easy to maintain gun. In conclusion, if you are looking for a good starter gun buy this thing. Keep in mind you will immedaiatly want to spend another 70 bucks on the "manditory" upgrades after you play one round with it stock.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at 9:55 pm PST
Smart Parts Ion/Ion Max'd/Ion Xe
In-between markers at the current moment.
Feedneck would be good.
Barrel isn't too much of a priority.
ASA (I HATE duckbills).
Got a Lemon
Well, I guess I played with a Lemon because of what happened.
Basically, got to shoot approximately a hopper. After I refilled, the gun was loosing velocity. Called the Proshop, and didn't help at all. Brought it in, and they took a look at it. He said it was the velocity, so he aired it up, took a shot, turned the velocity up, took a shot, turned the velocity up, took a shot, than turned it up all the way and blew out the regulator. Got it sent into Smart Parts to get a new regulator, and it came back, not shooting well still. Now it either shoots at approximately 290-300 or not at all.
Other than that, I noticed the feedneck is horrible. Adjustible my ass.
Trigger still sways a bit from left to right.
The duckbill ASA has my hatred on all levels.
The power button is still a bit annoying to use.
On the good side though, it is cheap, pretty light weight, and has Bolt Out Back which allows for great, easy maintenence.
Obviously, with my experience, I would not recommend. It also seems that there were a bad bunch of Ion XE's, seems like I've got one of them. So don't really take my review too much, but, what happened to me, can happen to you as well.
Halo B hopper
Kingman Java 48/3000 HPA tank
Dye rhino tank cover-Blue
Clamping feedneck (If you wanna get an electronic hopper
Everything. Great accuracy. Easy maintenance
Nothing i saw
I used this gun and I must say wow. Great accuracy. I could shot someone from the other side of the field. Great air consistancy. Didnt have to fill my tank for 4 hours. Doesnt chop paint at all whatsoever. Super easy maintenance. Comes with everything. Pretty cheap only $225.
I would recommend this gun for everyone. Great gun. The best ive ever used. This gun shows that you dont need a super $700 gun to be good. WOULD RECOMMEND TO EVERYONE!!!!!!
CLAMP FEEDNECK!!!!!!! Get this or you will be pessed when your hopper falls off
Quality, accuracy, quiet, consistent, easily upgraded, bob is great.
Some stock. Definetly upgrade the trigger eventually
This is an awsome gun for everyone. it is cheap and easily upgraded. if you want to save money and get great quality get this gun. if you want to be pro get a dye dm something of one of the marq series. this gun will last you for so long. makesure your hopper can go atleast 20 bps because the new trigger will help and you should get a blackheart board to make it go faster
GET IT!! i doubt many of you play intense tournaments so get it do nt waste money on a crazy gun because you want to brag. i hate people that do that and i light them up cause they piss me off.
SP ION XE
dye throttle hp 70/45 w/ olive rhino cover
techt l7 bold
smart parts q-lock
new clamping feedneck
maybe a drop?
Bolt out back
Not enough pictures in manual (lol)
Efficiency: This gun has great efficiency i never have to fill up after a heavy game (with a 70/45) but i do go and top it off
Speed: is great 17 balls per second? who needs more than that?
Weight: this gun is lighter than most lower, high end guns i've used
Kick: this gun had a bit of kick with the stock bolt, but nothing to ruin your experiance. Also i have recently installed a techt l7 bolt and i get better efficiency and no kick.
Reliability: This gun has never failed me yet, though there were some frustrating times i got through them but they weren't on the field
Price: I got mine for $200 on sale and it was well worth it, i would have paid much more for this gun if i had
Feed neck: the stock feed neck is pretty crummy , in my opinion, it is ok until you break a feed neck oring. the feed neck should be one of the first upgrades u get
macro line: the stock macro line is kinda annoying by causing leaks and then you need to move it around by the fittings to get it to stop, i believe this is caused by the diameter being a bit smaller than regular macro line. btw this IS NOT a major issue
I recommend this for all players beginning or advanced. if you have any questions or comments post a comment... or pm me thanks. also if you could, plz pm me (or post a comment) so i can fix any problems before you post a dispute.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 5:16 pm PST
Ion XE W/
14 inch freak ss back, black AA tip
48/3000 pure energy
Halo w/ Rip and V35
Critical Trigger (personal preferance)
Freak Barrel (stock is alright)
Price - I paid $200 for my Ion Xe (on sale) regular price is $225ish
Weight - only 1 pound 15 oz
Size - 8.5" w/o barrel and roughly 20" w/ barrel
Efficiency - I play indoor, the FPS being under 250 the opperating pressure is about 110 PSI (may be off, I've heard sp gauges are usually a little off) With using a 48 3000 tank I don't need to worry about refilling much (will get my tank filled and update on how many shots/tank I got) Also very little kick at this pressure
Break Beam Vision - it works beautifully. only breaks I had were 2 or 3 barrel breaks (really crappy and old paint)
BOB - BOB as I like to call it or the Bolt Out Back system, I love it. Takes literally 30 seconds to unscrew the back cap, take the bolt out, clean and put it all back together again
Feedneck - better than the ion feedneck (it is actually the Epiphany feedneck and NXT threaded) very snug fit with an evo and halo after lubing the O-rings in the feed neck
Barrel - not bad but not great it does the job fairly well for the price of the gun
Trigger - side-to-side movement, not very smooth trigger pull
Drop forward - the drop is the same as the original ion's and personaly I don't like how it pushes your air tank back further than most
Design - I think SP could have done a much better job in designing the Ion xe, it looks exactly the same, not too big of a deal but it would have been nice if they had givin the ion a bit of a new look.
Troubles - I believe I just got a bad egg, coussin bought the same marker same day I bought mine, hes had No issues at all.
1. I bought my Ion xe before the guys at badlands (paintball proshop) could test the gun out. I picked mine up and brought it home to find out that 2 of the grip screw weren't even in correctly and someone had almost made new holes in my frame trying to put them in (put the screws in the right way and no issues everything is good)
2. I did not have this before but when I got my gun back I now have a leak, a very small leak but none the less, a lead. All the fitings are tight. I am going to borrow my friends stock bolt to see if its possibly the O-rings on my bolt, (O-rings on my bolt look like they are slightly damaged). Will update later on
I really think I got a bad egg here
The leak is gone, shot baout 500 balls through while playing and haven't heard a leak since
Just for all you haters of Ions because people upgrade the sh!t out of them or you think they are bad guns or what ever.
the ion is perfect for someone whos on a budget starting off in paintball, then can save money and buy upgrades for there gun later on to make able to compete with guns that are better then a stock Ion. Also perfect for someone who wants to try and make a truely unique marker, I think Ions are now the most customizable markers available now.
Great all around marker for any beginer - intermidiate player
When upgraded I believe this can be equal to maybe even better then some top end markers. don't believe me take a look
search Youtube - type in "fastest ion" look for - Fastest Ion - UFC equiptment
Yes that is an Ion
he is still tweaking the settings and apparently gotten it to fire even faster since that video.
Overall great marker for the price and how upgradible/customizible
8 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, February 21st, 2008 at 2:14 pm PST
CP sling trigger
crossfire 68/4500/ tank cover
if you get these upgrades this gun is good
Okay i got this gun to replace my tippmann. It was a good deal. The retail is $235 but the shop i go to sells it for like 160. Dont listen to you get what you pay for when it comes to the ion. This actually makes a difference in my playing. The gun holds up well during play and i didnt have any problems at the field. You might expierience some minor problems but mainly it is all good. The asa frequently becomes loose so get another one.
BUY IT. it has no major flaws
9 out of 10
Last edited on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 12:54 pm PST