Tippmann A5 (good value, very customizable, very common, and benchmark for scenario markers)
Ariakon SIM4 (good value, reliable in mech mode)
Armotech WG-65 Electronic (decent, but had some QC issues later addressed by MilTech's updated line)
AutoMag RT (reliable, costly, and HPA only--so is the AT85)
AT85 customized with 16" barrel, ATS weaver rail, Armotech parts (front sight, carry handle, RIS, and muzzle brake), T-stock, generic red dot sight
A remote setup in conjunction with ATS's gas-thru stock, or bottomline
Any combination of the millions of Mil-Sim accessories out there.... know your style, and assemble something that works best for you.
Durable, ergonomic, reliable, easy service, no batteries, lots of mask clearance.
Cost of mags, mediocre gas efficiency, inconvenient velocity adjustment.
This will be a long review, and I will not regurgitate the many good points common to other reviewers. Instead, this review will focus on issues seldom mentioned, but useful or interesting to readers/potential buyers. (Be sure to take a look at the AT-4 reviews too. Both AT-85 & AT-4 are identical twins in different clothes.)
Second-hand buyers should beware the TS-1 which is a 1st Gen AT-85. TS-1 was made by Tagline (later sold to ATS). The TS-1 had major reliability issues and teething problems. The AT-85 addressed all problems by introducing a high-flow system, and by going HPA only.
**Tagline TS-1 vs. ATS AT-85**
1st caveat: the Cog. The TS-1's old mag cog looks like a saw with all teeth filed down. The AT-85 cog has only the first 4 teeth filed down (much more reliable feed). You can fit an AT-85 cog into the TS-1.
2nd caveat: the Mag. The TS-1 mag's right-side has a metallic "turn key" (looks like the turn key on those antique wind-up toys or clocks). It is very easy to grab it by mistake during firing, and jam the marker. The ATS mag has a pop-up wind key that is snag-proof. Although ATS sells a replacement winder kit, it's very difficult to swap the winders. The age (or wear-n-tear) on TS-1 mags almost always guarantees that the plastic will shatter on any attempt to pop out the metal turn key. The ATS mags also have a unique anti chainslap plate *molded* into the mag housing that extends chain life. The old vs new mags can make or break your marker.
3rd caveat: TS-1 had a slightly different regulator assembly. This is very prone to stripping, and can seize from HPA usage. You can easily refit an AT-85 regulator to the TS-1, but this won't change the weak regulator threads inherent in the TS-1 chassis. You can, however, buy a new ATS valve housing. This updates the TS-1's reg and valve system to an AT-85.
Why Choose ATS?
I own & love the scenario benchmarks: AutoMag & Tippy A5. If you were to combine the best of both, what would you get? Well, I don't know.... but the ATS comes pretty darn close.
The ATS markers are made for players who want something different. Gone are the days when ATS markers dominated tthe realistic look department. There are plenty of reasons, other than looks alone, to justify getting an ATS.
ATS epitomizes the saying: " the whole is worth vastly more than the sum of its parts."
In terms of looks, feel, ergonomics, and ROF, many companies excel on one or 2 key strengths. But the ATS delivers the *whole* combination--all of the above. It's designed for players who want it all.
My decision for buying an ATS hinged on a few other reasons, different from what other reviewers have said. Here are some of my favorite ATS features:
1. The Profile:
AT4 or AT85 equipped with a carry handle, RIS, and a 30mm Red Dot scope has the *top* of its hopper sitting at least 1" lower than the scope. Try this with a flat-top hopper (eg the Ricochet), and you will notice how much lower the hopper sits relative to the scope. This translates to a 180 degrees of unobstructed view during maneuvers. No hopper or Cyclone feeder to obstruct your right hemisphere.
**It must also be noted that the Q-Loader, compatible with nearly every marker, also offers the same no-obstruction benefit. Both Q-Loader & ATS magazines employ unique feed mechanisms that require user care. A Q-Loader pod has a more durable plastic than the ATS mags. However, an ATS hopper adapter plate allows much easier reloading and you can "top up" your hopper constantly. The ATS also has a more blended design. But the choosing either ATS or Q-Loader depends on what you're willing to tradeoff.**
When you add an ASA-mounted collapsible stock, the benefits of ATS's clean design become more obvious. You can aim without straining your neck on an ATS, unlike most milsim markers. The clearances on the ATS are VERY well-thought out. You can compare it to many scoped, M4 look-alike markers out there, and you'll be amazed that on the ATS, the collapsible stock does not hit your mask.
2. The Trigger:
The AT-85 has one of the best mechanical triggers, period. The normal trigger has a pull less than 3 lbs. If you opt for the factory trigger job (aka "tourney trigger mod"), the pull is light as a mouseclick. The trigger travel is approximately 3mm, either way.
This is one of the most underrated features of the ATS line. The trigger system performs and feels very similar to AGD's ULT. If you own an ATS, don't overlook its excellent semi mode. It is fairly easy to go as fast on semi as it is on full auto! (Note that this excellent trigger has been the same on EVERY ATS marker, regardless of manufacturing date.)
3. Ease of Maintenance:
Huh? You say.... Isn't the ATS a very complicated marker? Yes and NO! The actual maintenance required from the user are the following:
-5 drops of oil on the ASA at the start of your game day. Keeps the cycling mechanism happy.
-LUBE SPRING PLATE: save yourself a lot of grief by removing only the spring plate, and only the spring plate. Put a dab of grease, and re-install. Always complete this process *BEFORE* removing the valve housing and you'll never break a spring. BTW lubing the plate is needed after about 5 cases of paint, not after every game.
-LUBE Regulator as specified: this is the only tricky part of ATS maintenance; it is not difficult, and the reg is made up of only 4 small parts anyway; however, the parts are very small, and it's easy to lose them if you're not careful. ALWAYS do this on a well-lit area, on a clean work table.
-Lightly lube the sleeve, bolt, and hammer: this is needed very, very RARELY. See mfr instructions on how & why.
-above all, always keep it clean: wipe all paint splatter with a damp rag
So there! The user does not need to take apart nor service anything inside the valve housing, ever. There is no reason or need to ever take apart the 4-way cyclic valve.
Note also how little servicing is needed on the internals.... you don't have to physically dismantle the marker to lube the bolt after every game.
In actuality, here are the parts you need to inspect semi-regularly: magazine chain, cog, spring plate, hammer, bolt, and bolt sleeve. If you aren't intimidated with taking apart a Tippmann A5, the AT-85 will feel right at home, if not easier.
In summary, maintenance is just a bit more involved than a Mag, parts count somewhere near the A5. The engineering, intelligent parts layout, and ease of use are very similar among the ATS, AGD, and Tippy markers.
I hope this really dispels the "very complex mechanism" myth for many potential ATS buyers.
4. Full Auto
Everyone's raved about this on the ATS, but nearly every competing marker has this feature now. The ATS mechanical full auto is, to this day, the benchmark of reliability and elegance. It's reliable because the indexed ratchet system prevents chopping. It's elegant because it requires no batteries, no RT mechanism, and no fine-tuning needed. (Feed/cycle problems occur only if someone has improperly re-assembled or wrongly adjusted the regulator.)
The ATS line is exactly identical except for external configuration. What this means is that you can buy any body kit, and barrel set, or, a spare valve, and swap at will. You can start with an AT-85 kit and eventually buy just the AT10 or AT4 bodies and never worry about fit problems!
6. High Precision Workmanship
The high precision manufacturing of the ATS is very apparent in its velocity consistency. If you ever owned a blowback, you know that you need to rechrono and recalibrate every time you gas up the marker..... what was 240fps yesterday could be much higher (or much lower) the next time you gas up. This practically never happens with the ATS markers. The velocity and regulator settings do not have the tendency to "wander" or fluctuate at every gas up. I am NOT saying that you can skip chronying by owning an ATS. (Always chrony--it's for everybody's safety!!) Rather, on the chrony line, you can dial-in the correct velocity in little or no time at all. Just don't lose the velocity adjusting rod!!!!
**Recommend ATS Accessories for New Owners:
If you want to invest in an ATS, be sure to keep the critical spare parts. When you need them, nothing else will suffice. Here are some very useful spare parts:
-Ricochet Hopper (not from ATS, but the angular shape works very well for RIS-crazy setups)
-at least 1 spring plate
-1 spare mag
-seal kit (it includes regulator maintenance parts!!)
-2 screw kits (you will lose a bolt or 2--always keep one kit in your toolkit)
-spare plastic handle & 3-prong cap for the velocity adjuster (must be custom ordered from ATS--less than $1 each!!)
-spare velocity adjuster (one of mine has been mistaken for a "broken" stick squeegee, and was tossed away by an ignorant player.... this is very likely to happen to you)
The ATS line of markers has always been a niche in the Mil-Sim market. There are markers that are very reliable (AGD), those that shoot fast (Mag RT, A5 RT, electros), super customizable ones (A5), or slick looking types (Ariakon, Armotech, etc).
If you're happy with 1 or 2 particular strengths, you can easily find your dream marker. If you want all of the above, then the ATS is one of those rare, do-it-all markers. It does not excel at a particular strength. Rather, it is good at everything, with a few trade-offs mentioned previously.
You can shoot fast when needed, have an unobstructed view during maneuvers, shoot lots and not worry about chopping or dropoffs. Accomplish all of these without batteries. And, impress others with a killer-looking marker. All of these right out of the box!!!
Price-wise, the AT-85 is very competitive with many customized Mil-Sim products. You can customize it to a near AT-4 lookalike, and spend the extra change on paint or Mil-Sim accessories.
That's what got me to buy an AT-85, and to never look back--it's basically as if my Mag and A5 got fused into one... Just enough uniqueness to make you WANT to use it.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, August 26th, 2006 at 5:23 pm PST
Paintball: All Tippmanns, Many Spyders, Several Cockers, And Several Other Unknown Name Brands.
RAP: RAP4 LE
Airsoft: JAC, Many AEGs, And A Few GBBs.
1x AT-85 Kit
1x 9oz Anti-Siphoned Chromoly w/ Butt Plate (With Smart parts On/Off Screw-In)
1x RAM Series R-Sling
(Dont Have These Yet, As of September 05)
5x ts1300t Mags
5x Forward Loaders
Moded Trigger Kit
Viewloader Tripod w/ 200rd Hopper
HPA (See Below)
I suggest using a rig to use the tank it self as the stock
Support Role: Hopper Adaptor w/ Electric or VL standard hopper
Rifleman: 5-10 1300t extra mags
Sniper: 3-6 1300t Extra Mags, Moded Trigger Kit, & 23" Barrel (& Red Dot Scope)
Sniper, Rifle, or Support
Great Range & Accuracy
If you hate the hopper and the position of the bottle, but want to use .68 cal. paintballs, and want an all-pneumatic gun, get it. The A-5 has its Pros, But Many Cons, As is with the RAMs and Airsoft, The only con here is gas hog and price. I bought my older one for 480.00, buying a new one for 430.00. Yes, Im planning to use CO2 by the way, but I must recommend using HPA, I had one about 6 months back (as of now) and got rid of it due to stupidity, and I ran CO2 on that one too, and I must say, these guns work well on CO2, but if your intersted in cold weather play and/or Max. ROF, dont use CO2. Also, dont take the gun apart or buy it for that matter if your a Pneumatically Inclined person, or just dont like to fully dissassemble your guns, I like doing it. And unless you have experience in PB, AS, or RAP, go with something alot cheaper in the Mil-Sim category first.
A must for a respnsible Mil-Sim or even Scenario Player!
I would give it a 9.5, cuz there is no perfect gun (yet) but .5 averages to the next number..
Donate to the Mil-Sim Is Alive Corp??
10 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, September 18th, 2005 at 11:19 pm PST
Spyder Victor II- cannot compare in any way
Ariakon SIM-5N- great gun, but fails in comparison
Weaver top mount
HPA (never use C02, it will destroy all the tiny o-rings this marker has)
Ball Breaks are a pain to clean
VERY complicated and finicky
First off this marker is the best I have ever owned. Super durable, very unique and an excellent performer. I've only had it for a month and I've fallen in love with it, there is nothing else like it.
Accuracy: I can get 5-6in groupings at 110ft with Zap Tork, I can only imagine how good it would be with Marbs. The Zap is a bit too small for the barrel, it falls through. But... the unisizer does its job and accuracy isn't greatly affected. I've tested the ID with marbs and the paint to barrel match is perfect.
Durability: This thing seems indestructible. It's made of military grade polymer (the same stuff Glocks are made of), its insanely strong. The only weak link is the magazine itself, it seems rather fragile. A direct hit from a paintball would likely break it. Also there are many things to break through user error. Guide plates are easy to fry if you don't follow the right airing procedures and the regulator can be finicky. Not to mention the small parts that are easy to lose. Although, 99% of the problems will be user error, so watch the video and study the users manual religiously.
Features: Auto-cocking, full auto, m-16 like select fire, built in freak system, clip fed. What's not to like?
Uniqueness: Pretty much the only clip-fed .68 marker. The internals are also completely unique, even though its a cocker, it doesn't have the standard pump like internals. There's no 3 way, no cocking rod, no macroline, no back block, no timing required. Also this gun is near impossible to chop. The magazines are synchronized with the marker to load only when fired...cool. The only way to chop is if the mag is not indexed (synchronized), I accidentally forgot to check to see if it was indexed, and ended up pinching a pb between the bolt and receiver. I tried to clean it, to no avail. Because of it's design it ended up shooting paint into the rear of the gun, getting the internals covered in green paint. Which also got paint in the bolt, so it is pretty much impossible to clean in the field. Also, parts are EXPENSIVE!!!!!
This is an incredible marker, and was worth every penny. I bought mine used, and got a great deal, but it is definitely worth the list price. Even though it does have some problems. the advantages far out weight the bad. I would love to give this a 10, but because of the complexity and the easiness to break I will have to give it a 9. Buy one, you won't regret it!
9 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 at 12:18 am PST
Loudness (potential stealth issues), Complexity (at first)
Low capacity for paint, (get a VL clip)
I've been after one of these markers for a while now, ever since I first saw one in about 1998. I finally got one last summer and it has been everything I hoped it would be. Something about fully automatic fire has always intrigued me. I aquired a Rainmaker a while back, one of the old models that was select fire, and I loved to shoot with it, unfotunately, it ran on C02 and that meant that extended full autoing tended to freeze the gun over, and it wasn't all together accurate. The local paintball outlet finally got a HPA fill system and I decided it was time to get an AT85. The first thing I did was put it into full auto and empty my clip. It's extremely satisfying to hear the bark and feel the kick when you squeeze the trigger, and everybody else on the field knows that someone is on the recieveing end of a lot of fire. I play alot of woods ball and the AT85 works perfectly there, I have yet to play speedball with it. I don't know how well a front player could manuever with it but it should work fine for a back guy.
I would say this is one of my best paintball investments, and believe me, there have been lots. Get a VL clip for it and its just like any other marker except more accurate, reliable and much more fun to shoot!
Stock AT-85, used a Nitro Duck tank and a 12volt Revolution when I played with it.
Nitrogen. Really aren't too many other upgrades. I hated the Allen headed screws in the rear of the gun (total of 4), so went with stainless steel Philips.
Powerful gun, can really be your enemy if in the right hands.
Expensive, not a practical gun.
The AT-85 is a serious piece of hardware. If used right, it will own the field. Accurate, nice designs, but a bad gun for overall use. It is very expensive and needs a lot of care. I used the gun for a year, then the cog pull broke one day at the field. That little piece of metal costs $30. It is now fixed, but not my main gun.
Good gun if you are into scenario games, and only scenario games.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Monday, December 11th, 2006 at 12:39 pm PST
Tippmann 98C/M98/A-5, all setup with response triggers/E-grips/tactical setups, stocks, flatline barrels, the max. WGP Autococker 04. RAP4 RAM. Airsoft M15A4 - highly Upgraded, M16A2 - spring upgrade. Aisoft Gas machine pistols / SMGs.
I just bought the hopper adapter (which I really suggest for better feeds on Auto, but is a little bulky, but still 150% better than the dumb Vertical or side feed PB guns), Run CO2 directly into the gun from the ASA, which by the way is OK TO DO!!! people are blabering about how bad it is (the only thing bad is that Auto ROF is down to about 7 RPS), I also run HPA which is good in colder wheather unlike CO2, Also - Tactical Sling, Tactical 6 Zoom Scope.
Definentley like I said, the Hopper adapter, because of how much of a Pain In The *ss it is to reload the mag with the foregrip loader (But no E-hopper, as you can't go submerged or in heavy weather with it), Lots of spare parts (I havent used any yet but it takes to damn long too get 'em if there ever is a problem), and w/e kind of person you are, upgrade your gun to suit you.
COMPARED TO A-5
COMPARED TO A-5
Same Air Hog
Kinda Dumb Chain Layout
Picky About Balls
Ok, the gun overall is just -wow- I love it.
It is all gas run, select fire (with a switch), the tank is in the perfect position to act as a stock (BUT! your mask with interfear with that a little), it is so light, perfect length and width, I hate the chain deal but can easily be overlooked with the hopper adapter, very secure and comfortable grip. And I love how you can remove the mag and insert a new one like a real weapon. Things other people say like - its very fragile, its too long, it hates CO2, and its not good as a primary - is 100% BS!!! 1 - this is the 3rd strongest gun ive ever come across, 2 - its as long as an M4, 3 - it only shoots slower Full Auto on CO2, 4 - if you use this gun as a 2ndary, sell it and stick to Cockers and Angels. Next, do not even look at it if ur a championship player, this gun is soley made and designed for scenario players only!!!! Finally, the gun is not simple but if you have half a brain, it is not complicated to disassemble and re-assemble.
If you are planning to be infantry in the marines or army or any other type of In-battle soldier like me, or if you just love scenario PBing, Get this gun, treat it right and it will treat you right but, the gun is only half the killer, the rest is you...
Doesn't like CO2, hard to modify much (not that you need to)
I'm used to good, accurate paintguns, but my first thought upon using my AT85 for the first time was that someone had swapped my paint for homing missiles and had neglected to inform me. It was THAT accurate! That entire day, I fired some 300 rounds of paint and (I counted) missed exactly 14 times. Wow.
Best marker I've ever used. Impossible to chop a ball unless you're a total idiot, shoots 6 inch shot groups at 100 feet, looks and sounds amazing, and is equally useful for backwoods sniping as it is for speedball. I once slipped off a log and landed on my gun; Not a scratch or ding, and once I squeegeed the mud out, it continued to shoot like a dream. The stock barrel is better than the $100 barrel I had on my old Trracer, and with the breech sizers, it accepts ANY paint flawlessly. The only time anything on it ever broke was the time I checked it as luggage when flying to California, and some clumsy baggage handler dropped the suitcase, apparently. The lockout screw for the safety/selector switch snapped off but the gun itself shot as well afterwards as it did when brand new (and still does, a year later). The only real drawback is the gun HATES CO2; But since new guns are no longer sold with CO2 use as an option, this isn't a big deal (and once I get around to mailing in my gun, it won't be a problem for me ever again).
Rental markers, spyders, tippmanns, cockers and they cannot match the AT 85!
with hopper adapter clip (too lazy to preload clips)
remote line would be nice, i tried it and its much better, get the Straight ASA version and get a CAR stock with remote plug decreases weight and makes it easier to aim.
comfortable to hold as well
It is an air hog though!!! need to fill regularly
read eyes review
It is an incredible marker, the only problem at the moment is that i cant increase the fps above 250, its very strange. And one of the screws is worn out so i cant take it apart but that happens when you buy it second hand...
Overall must be tried at least!
You must buy this marker, it is incredible altough it is not for beginners, a lot of maintenance required. Cant just throw it under the stairs after playing.
over all must buy! Its the biggest attention grabber in the field, nobody cares about the
£1000+ guns anymore :P
again, what weaknesses? not noobie proof is all...
*copies and pastes Eyes' review again*(read a few pages down to find his review) Accurate, badass, looks cool, mechanically original, and such. BUY IT NOW! Again with not enough words here.(If eye hadn't already said everything i was going to, i would write a book, but why waste my time, when he stole my thoughts??)
everything Eyes said is true. this gun rulezors! I don't have enough words.....so, I'll tell you why I bought this gun. It looked cool, so i researched it forever and a day. Also, someone else @ my local field had one, and i witnessed first hand it's awesome destructive power, and sheer indimidation capabilities. If you have enough money, go buy this gun right now, unless you like to tinker with it, w/out reading manuals first. READ THE MANUAL 49 TIMES!! then take it apart, then read the manual again, and watch the video that comes with it. Most accurate gun I've used, eye grabber, and only gun to use an actual magazine to feed the paint....nuff said!
10 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, December 20th, 2003 at 5:10 pm PST
stock barrel is good
It did not grant me three wishes ; )
Just because this gun can do fully automatic does not mean that you have to spray the whole time in order to make use of what you paid for, it is real easy to take minimal shots and do just as well with the gun's good accuracy.
Speaking of which, full auto is really fun : )
Get a remote line or bottom line, because you cant really see the sights with the tank sticking out the back of the gun(at least in my case). Unless you raise the sight rail.
LOUD, its a good thing.
I love this gun, It is worth every penny I paid for it