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ACI F4 Illustrator Reviews

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ACI F4 Illustrator
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Number of Reviews: 83
Average Rating: 9.0 / 10
Manufacturer Website: Click here
Suggested Retail Price: $200

Manufacturer DescriptionSubscribe to Reviews on this Product - Edit this Product Listing
New upgrades from the previous F-4 include a much more comfortable 45-Grip frame, new wide trigger shoe, and the trigger pull of only 2.2 lbs.! The gun has no external moving parts meaning less maintenance and less chance of breakdowns. All moving parts are hardened or hard anodized for long life. ACI's new patented valve system is proven to be the most air efficient in the industry allowing the F4 to operate in all temperature ranges with over 800 shots off of your 9oz. tank.
Product Availability 
The ACI F4 Illustrator is older, so while it may be available used and in a few cases new, it is not commonly available anymore.
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imants_h Thursday, April 3rd, 2003
Period of
Product Use:
6 months8 of 10 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
1 year
Similar
Products Used:
Autococker- different price range, so really no comparison applies
Piranha/Spyder - Way way worse for entry level.
Marker Setup: 2k2 v/f Cocker w/Kapp Rflx hinge, Palmer's Rock, Bomb, Fat Ram, Ergo Reg, ANS Quick Pull, Dop Drop and a bunch of barrels.

3 F4 illustrators, with all sorts of upgrades (Drops, WGP Regs, Expansion Chambers, barrels)
Recommended
Upgrades:
1- Barrel (J & J or Big Shot are by far the best)
2- 9v Hopper (After a day, you will out shoot a standard hopper garaunteed)
3-HPA (Nitrogen Tank)
3-WGP Reg (get em off the boards for like $15-$20)
Strengths: Consistent (nice accuracy)
Easy to Maintain
Durrable
Great Customer Service / Owner's Group
Weaknesses: For this price range, there is absolutely nothing anyone can complain about. (PERIOD)
Review:
What can I say? I started with an F2 back before HPA or Electros, and the F4 is just a solid more sleek version. This gun is THE entry level marker. Nothing else comes close to the quality and reliability of this marker for under $150 new or under $80 used. I have bought (for myself and friends) a total of 5 used F4 Illustrators, and all of them have operated perfectly even in near freezing temperatures on C02.
In terms of quality, there is no comparison to the spyder or piranha, which are continuously in need of repair and perform at a much lower level.
Furthermore, I used a tricked out F4 for a long time before I got an Autococker, and with its range and accuracy I was consistently taking out players with much more expensive markers.

Conclusion: I highly recommend this marker for anyone new to paintball, or if you need a reliable back up/loaner. You can go on the forums and find cheap stock cocker regs for $15 or so and grab a new barrel, and a drop and the F4 will not let you down. And do not hesitate to read more about the F4 at the F4 owner's group site (URL's are against the rules, sorry)
Rating:
10 out of 10
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Evi1Seed Thursday, March 15th, 2007
Period of
Product Use:
1 year5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
1 year
Similar
Products Used:
Triad, Autococker Prostock , Tippmann 98
Marker Setup: Game-face Vexor
no add ons
Recommended
Upgrades:
New barrel would be great but stock is pretty good.
Strengths: Good accuracy, light weight.

Weaknesses: Loud
If you shoot to fast you'll have to recock it.
Review: This marker is great for beginner alot better than a triad.
Its easy to manuver with this gun and its very light wieght.
If you shoot to fast you will have to recock it which is very scary because you think its jammed or something and just yell your out,which isent very good after you realise you just needed to cock it.For me this happens alot.It is very easy to strip and clean,
Also there are no moving parts on the outside which is nice.
It is extreamly derable and can take alot of abuse.If you clean it after every competition it will last a lifetime.Also for the price it is well worth it.
Conclusion: Overall a great gun for begginers may want to upgrade to another gun after,otherwise it is a very nice gun for the price and would recomend to buy.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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JoeFace Thursday, January 9th, 2003
Period of
Product Use:
3 years5 of 9 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
4 years
Similar
Products Used:
Spider & Tipp
Marker Setup: F4 with J&J ceramic barrel
Recommended
Upgrades:
Barrel.......definately get a nice barrel ASAP.
Strengths: I am 30-something, so I really don't get blown away by products. I recognize there are numerous good guns out there. I have to say that in the $200 price range, I definately prefer the F4. It is just so steady. Steady shooting, steady performance, and reliable. I have never had any problems with it. NONE.....All moving parts are internal, so less cleaning is needed. It is easy to take apart and clean/oil though. If you take care of this gun, it will not let you down. If mine was lost or stolen, I would buy another one in a heart beat. (Hope I didn't just put a jinx on me) There is a "trigger attachment" that comes with the gun and makes the tringer wider and more confortable. I didn't tighen mine down enough and the 3rd time I went out and played, it fell off. I kept playing of course. I sent ACI a note asking them if I could get a replacement. They sent me TWO at NO CHARGE. Great service from the company. That is a huge plus. +++++
Weaknesses: I waited to upgrade my barrel for some stubborn reason. I went and decided on the J&J ceramic and I have been thrilled with the set up even more than originally. The number of barrels out there for this gun is less than many other makers, but there are still plenty. Get a better barrel and you will be a paint throwing fool ! ! ! ! !
Conclusion: Great gun in the $200 price range. (less actually) You won't regret purchasing this gun. You take care of this gun and it will take care of you and take out the enemy.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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ninjpwr32 Saturday, October 26th, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
2 years4 of 6 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
Tippmann 98, nothing compared to my f4
Marker Setup: F4 illustrator with a venturi bolt, a high volume cell, a 12 inch smartparts stainless barrel, a foregrip ,a palmer stabalizer, with a remote. I also have a 12 volt revvy with x board, a raised site rail, a ADCO Sure Shot , and a custom shoulder stock
Recommended
Upgrades:
id definately get a new barrel
a venturi bolt helps good
definately a revvy or some electric hopper, it shoots fast
an aluminum double tripgger grip frame would make u pull the trigger even faster..hehe
Strengths: this gun is really light. So is the trigger.people say that they get carried away with it , and i belive them. A revvy helped me a whole lot because id never have a fast enough feed.um it was dirt cheap too. i got mine for 80, shame the sales over..but its still cheap evrywhere else. I like the fact that its compact and u can feild strip it without any tools. I very CO2 efficient, cause it can shoot like 3 hoppers full of paint on a regular 9 oz. its very regulated, but i got a stab cause i wanted an even cleaner shot. This gun shoots on nitrogen too, which is very good. I liked how balanced it is, but after i got my barrel i needed a forgrip to keep it level. It has no visible parts, and its easy to clean.
Weaknesses: Umm not too much. I dont like how long i takes to feild strip. Sure its easy but it takes time. Umm it doesnt really have too many upgrades, but im not complaining.
Conclusion: its very light, has a quick trigger pull, and it is very affordable, i suggest u get one.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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USAF_Sniper Friday, March 14th, 2003
Period of
Product Use:
6 months4 of 8 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
1 year
Similar
Products Used:
Nothing really, you cant compare F4 and Tippman
Marker Setup: - Tippman 98 custum with Remote kit and 14" Terminador Barrel
- F4 Illistrator
- Spyder Sonix with 14" TrueFlight barrel.
Recommended
Upgrades:
just barrel, venturie bolt, and a revolution hopper.
Strengths: The gun is great for point and shoot. Its almost like a part of you when you jsut point and fire away. You can shoot as fast as you like with the gun and it dosent sputter. And is also accurate with the stock barrel.
Weaknesses: It has a tendancy to chop balls, so buy a revolution hopper. DONT LOOSE THE TRIGGER INLARGER THE BARE TRIGGER WILL CUT YOUR FINGER!!!!!! Thats something they dont tell you in the manual. Shoots hot and loud. Single parts are hard to find and new ones are expensive, so if your buying a heavaly used one and you have the chance to get 2 get them both. That way you can gut one and use the better parts and sell the rest for scrap.
Conclusion: I got mine off of some guy in california, and i live in PA. It is pritty old and badly abused. I had to buy all new inetrnal springs and o rings becasuea ppon reasembaly the valve was put in backwards. It has deep srcahes on the bolt and inside the gun but all has been buffed out with a dremel. Now the gun works almost like new. O did i mention im missing the top cocker attachment, all that appers is a nub about 1/4 an inch tall that you must hook with your shirt you your finger to cock. But all around a good gun, but mine is one of the first ones that came out and i havent tested the new ones out.
Rating:
8 out of 10
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Mav Wednesday, June 26th, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
4 years4 of 8 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Name a blowback semi... there ya go
Marker Setup: Used stock 1 year, used with expansion chamber 2nd year, Custom Products bolt added 3rd year, Left it alone at four
Recommended
Upgrades:
Expansion chamber and a new barrel. You could also get a 2x frame if you don't fare to well with the stock one.
Strengths: -Sturdy, it trully is built like a rock (can take a lot of abuse)
-Reliable, I have never (underline never) missed a game because it has gone down
-Easy on parts, Yes I have a notorious early '99 marker and yet she still on the original internals. The trigger assembly worked great (no sear problems, ever) and it still has the original cup seal!
-7 BPS: It can do seven, it's a blowback semi, the majority of users are poor newbies, why would they need more?
-Valve: Never freezes over, perfect for cold weather play (I can freeze over a tank but the gun will still want to run)
-Design: Totally enclosed body, no foreign contamination, cocking system is one of a kind
-Barrels: Uses F4/Griffin and Tippmann Prolite/ProCarbine barresl (not to hard to find)
Weaknesses: -Trigger pull is heavy, some players have "bankers hands" and don't know how to handle it
-Clicking problem: If you know older F4s you'll know that the earlier '99s had a problem. If the trigger mechanism was over oiled or had a little bit of grime in there it had a problem resetting itself, it's easily fixed by cleaning the mechanism.
-Trigger shoe: Falls off on older models, most people who did their homework new to locktite it before playing with it.
-Low number of aftermarket accessories: Hehehe don't need 'em anyways
Conclusion: Designed as a low cost low end blowback semi automatic marker. You can pull it out of the box, cock it, screw in a tank and rock 'n roll. ACI did it right when they took over this line of markers.

I give it a ten, it is the best blowback semi out there. Period.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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FOXRCNG11 Friday, June 8th, 2001
 
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Strengths: I own this gun as well as a few others and this is a pretty good gun...Mine is totally tricked and it performs great in all condi...It is a very light, well-balanced gun that shoots great and is easy to update...
Weaknesses: I have had a couple probs w/ it, the first one i had to send to the co but they fixed it free but it took the whole summer...The other problem that i have is the vavle and the hammer keep getting stuck together, but this is probably from "dry-firing" it.
Conclusion: great all around gun works good for me....
Rating:
8 out of 10
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Unregistered User Wednesday, December 6th, 2000
 
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Strengths: Lightweight, simple design, accurate, fairly light trigger pull, Reliable, great tech support, awesome feel. A very high quality marker.
Weaknesses: Stock barrel is loud as hell and not that accurate, but i think the new F4's have much better stock barrels, chops balls occassionally during very rapid fire (unless you get a Revolution).
Conclusion: Great gun out of the box, undoubtedly best gun under $200, get a new barrel like a Lapco Bigshot,expansion chamber, and a VL revolution and this gun rocks the house. With the revolution and fast trigger finger you can get 8 balls per second. VERY Highly reccomended. Great marker for any type of player.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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Unregistered User Sunday, November 12th, 2000
 
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Strengths: An excelent, reliable first marker. the late '99s have one of the best stock barrels I've ever seen. There isen't a single external moving part on the 'gun. Mine personally has never had a problem.
Weaknesses: I've heard a few horror stories about bad sears and striker springs, but ACI has offered to fix them to all who have warranties. Other than that and the relatively limited upgrade path (which you don't really need), there's nothing bad about them.
Conclusion: Overall, an excelent beginning 'gun at a good price. What sold me, though, was the members of www.f4og.com . If you're thinking about getting one, check their site out. If you do get one, oil it and take it apart once in a while, and you shouldn't have any trouble.
Rating:
9 out of 10
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Unregistered User Sunday, November 5th, 2000
 
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Strengths: I have a 1998 F4. The gun works great. It is easy to maintain, gas efficient, and easy to field strip. I got it from my wife for a wedding present, and have been playing with it ever since. It field strips without any tools, using only a screw on the bolt plug to pull the pin that connects the striker and the bolt. I like the fully enclosed body with the ambidextrous top cocking. It helps to keep dirt and stray paint from entering the internals of the marker. It is fairly lightweight. It also give you the ability to go with either the supplied bottomline, or to go with a vertical bottle. The all-weather valve is nice for playing when the temperature starts to drop.
Weaknesses: It has a plastic trigger frame with a separate plastic "Euro" grip. It is rather uncomfortable, and know one seems to know where to get a replacement grip (I think a grip for the Spyder Compact will work, but...). The trigger pull is a little sloppy, but then again this is a low to mid level marker. The entire trigger frame and grip are different on the 1999 and later F4's. However, my most serious problem has been with velocity adjustments. The velocity adjuster doesn't seem to make a difference. Tried cutting the striker spring, but no good. It shoots at 300fps! Customer service at said it should settle down after about a case of paint. It didn't! Tried replacing the spring and several other things. Now I'm trying the aftermarket adjustable venturi bolt. If that doesn't work, I'll either get a regulator or ditch the gun. Other than the velocity trouble, it works great. The stock barrel is OK but could use upgrading.
Conclusion: Other than the velocity trouble, stock barrel, and the poor ergonomics of the grip, the gun works great out of the box. I got a CP barrel and that helps with accuracy and quietness. The 1999 and later versions get rid of the grip problem. I haven't heard of any velocity troubles with the 1999's either (maybe mine is an isolated incident?). You can get a new 1999 F4 for as little as $135. On the other hand, you can get a new Tippman Model 98 for $126. The M98 is a little more rugged, but it is also heavier and can't be field stripped nearly as quickly. It's a decent starter gun with some potential, but I wish there were more aftermarket upgrades from other manufacturers. An upper level Spyder (a TL?), a Tippman Model 98, or a Piranha are good alternatives.
Rating:
7 out of 10
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