This kit allows you to quickly convert your existing Tippmann A5 over to a "q-loader ready" marker. The kit does not include a q-loader system and is irreversible. To convert your a5 back to the cyclone feed system you must purchase a new right side receiver.
The AIC Q-Loader A-5 Mod Kit is newer, so it should be commonly available, both new and used.
Remote air setup
Special Ops Dagger Vest
4500psi 68cu Pure Energy CF Tank
Smart Parts Linear Barrel
-Nice for lefties
-Ingenuity of design
-Speed when working
-Takes a while to tweek
-Pods stop working, expensive
-Too picky with paint
First off I'd like to say this system is a really really REALLY cool idea. Whoever thought of it was brilliant to use an Archimedes's Screw to feed paint. Tippmann doesn't seem to give a damn about left-handed players, so this makes the A-5, etc, lefty-friendly. When it DOES work, you cannot beat it. It's priceless, invaluable, and the perfect weapon...
There are things I feel you all should know before buying this which is why, after a year of using it, I have decided to get rid of it. I cant sell it...it doesn't work well... I can't put the old cyclone feed back on...
1) To install this mod on your A-5, you have to break off the little clip which is built onto the frame of your A-5 which holds the cyclone feed in place. This means you can NOT put the cyclone feed back on unless you have some kind of amazing glue substance and keep the snapped-off clip piece.
2) The pods wear out and stop working FAST. You can wash the plastic parts but DONT GET THE SPRING WET. It rusts EASILY, and then the pods stop working. Also, I don't know why, but continued washing of the plastic in, as advertised, the dish washer or in the sink seems to corrode the plastic and make it malform somewhat. I don't get it... but they stop working after you wash it a lot. They just stop feeding paint, the screw no longer keeps enough tension to feed balls upwards. Each pod is 25 dollars. I've tried re-winding the pre-winds on the sprint on some pods, to no avail.
EXAMPLE: Viper Paintball scenario game on an Army Base recently: My q-loader was feeding horribly almost the entire time. Sometimes it would feed 5 balls, then just stop. It got a LITTLE dirt in pod and just stopped working. I run and dive after flanking a bunker, I'm on my back with my gun pointed at the guy... he sees me, I see him.... my gun is trained on him, should be an easy kill... nailing this guy would allow my team to advance to the next building. MOMENT OF TRUTH: *click* ........ nothing. Complete and utter failure. A few seconds later I have a hail of paint coming down on me. I had been careful all day not to get my pods dirty, there was barely any dirt in there...but it was enough to make it stop working.
3) Don't expect many brands of paint to work with this. You need marbleizers or RPS Big ball to really avoid having a gooey mess in your q-pods and feed tube. And if you're at a scenario game where they only allow the paint THEY provide? FORGET it. Most of that stuff has a softer shell and makes your q-loader utterly worthless. The spring tension pushing on the balls malforms them and makes them so inaccurate you may as well be hand-tossing them. Not only that, but if you have a break in your feed tube or q-pod the next 200 rounds are pretty much going to have zero accuracy. And it takes 10 minutes at least if you're quick about it to take the feed assembly apart to clean it well enough to shoot somewhat accurately again.
4) Cleaning is a pain in the butt. If you have a break in the chamber where the bolt is, forget about playing for a good 15 - 30 minutes. You have to unscrew the elbow which consists of 3 tiny screws which needs a small allen-wrench to pull it off and clean out the chamber. And the rub is corrugated plastic so if theres a break in there, the paint will just stay in the grooves.... and if there's a break in the pod, all the paint in that pod will get wet or paint on it and will not shoot accurately most of the time. Sooo you have to take your pod apart which can be a pain in the butt. Prying off the top black circular piece with the feed holes on it is dangerous, because it's so snug you have to use a small screwdriver to get between the pieces and pop it open... if you aren't carefully you'll tear the plastic with your screwdriver. Never did it, but it's clearly possible from seeing the plastic warp so easily.
5) Installing is the biggest pain... mainly because you never feel like you're done installing it. One day it might shoot ok...but then the next you have a break in it or something and suddenly you need to re-adjust the length of the tube for the paint to sit EXACTLY right so theres spring tension and the x to the z power of the hypotenuse equal to the square of the blah blah blah. What I'm saying is, it's a precise science to tweak this thing to work right. I took the time to make it work right, trust me...days and days of tweaking and then some. For a while it was perfect but then the hangs/dry fires and flat out useless pods... and then you just have to make adjustments all over again. Sometimes between games. This thing is FLAKY at best.
6) Ammo: Long games, you better have 5-6 or more pods on your pack/harness. At long scenario games I was always the first to run out of paint. You can't ask your buddy for a refill because it takes a special loader to feed the balls into the pods. With an E-grip you'll go through rounds wayyyyy too fast.
7) The reloading system... the silo they give you is HORRIBLE. Chuck it away immediately and go to your local paintball shop or online and buy the CHEAPEST electro feed hopper you can find. Attach it to the small crank-socket adapter, remove that crappy little silver metal clip from said crank-socket adapter, seal it with some electrical tape and there's your feed system. At cheapest you can find a electro hopper to replace the crappy silo for about 20 bucks...but thats extra anyways... so that sucks. Reloading is 500 times faster this way, AND you can do it yourself... with the silo you need at least 2 people and you'll always spill like 50 rounds on the ground. Get an electro hopper and save some paint/time...
This might be good if you're a gentle left-handed sniper with a plastic bag wrapped around it so it cant get dirty and you dismantle and clean every pod with a q-tip after every day of game play.
The time which is needed to get it to work not-even-all-the-time makes this mod completely impractical in my book, which makes me really REALLY sad.
Why? Because I LOVE Tippmann guns, but I'm LEFT-HANDED. If I want to use a tippmann I have to stare at a big cyclone feed while aiming... pretty lame. I called tippmann, they don't have any plans of making a left-handed marker.
So sad. The idea is superb... but aside from the convenience of the hopper being out of the way, the extremely high rates of feed when the pods are working, and lefty-friendly system as a whole, the quirky unreliability and poor resistance to rugged elements such as dirt, paint, and jarring make this mod way too expensive and inconvenient to be worth it.
And take it for me... this is coming from a left-handed player who NEEDS a mod like this. I wanted it to work, I spent the last year trying to get it to work. No dice, I'm throwing in the towel...probably going to get a Tac-One for it's top feed assembly so I can actually sight down the barrell and lay my love for tippmanns to rest. *moment of silence*
It get's a 4 for:
ingenuity of design
speed (when working)
convenience of reloading
and lefty-friendly function
But it's got nothing else going for it.
4 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, September 8th, 2007 at 11:59 am PST
a-5 in camo, J&J Edge Elite barrel Kit, e-grip, Rampage board, Rampage magnetic trigger, Q-loader, polished internals, AKA 2 liter regulator, Shocktech drop forward, DOP block adapter, new designz ASA , DOP front bolt and power tube, 68 CI nitro duck
Consistent feed rate when done right
Easy to spill paint.
Picky with Paint
Shipping and handling.
I first go this product last summer. Right out of the box, things seemed pretty simple with how to put it all together. Although, they had sent me the Ion mod kit, and not the A-5 one. This was before AIC put replacement parts up on their website. So there goes another 60$ out the window to get the right part that should have been there in the first place. Then UPS lost that package, which it has almost been a year and is never to be found again. Cha-Ching, another 60$. AIC eventually made up for UPS faux pas by sending me a few free pods, that just goes to show that they do indeed have good custy service.
Now for performance, for starters, you have GOT TO USE THICK SHELL PAINT. No monster balls here, it will just blend that into a yellow mess. First thing I would do with your kit is remove the prewinds from it. Then, set each pod in a prewind order. Ex: pod #1 8 winds, pod #2 9 winds, etc. Figure out which one works best for the paint you will be using. Yes, this is time consuming, but it will help from your pods turning into a blender, or feeding slowly. Either way, you will eventually have a break somewhere between pod and chamber, get used to it. Maybe it's just because I live in Alaska, but it just breaks constantly. When it does work well, you will love it, especially when you are walking your trigger 20BPS and it is keeping up with you perfectly. Even going full auto 25 BPS, it is able to keep up if you have about 13 pre winds. Oh, one last thing, always have fresh detents for your A-5 on hand. Otherwise, you will shoot 3-4 balls/ flames at once.
There are a lot of technical things that will keep you occupied for hours with this system. So once you find your sweet spot, you will love it. The profile is so much smaller, and the ability to fire even upside down is a plus too. I just wish that the pods held more than 100 balls. I would probably not reccomend this product to anyone who does not wish to become a techy with it. There is no way you can just dabble your feet in qloader knowlege, you have to know everything about it or face the blending consequences. If you want something fast, just use the TechT ratchet mod kit, I wish that was out before I bought my q loader, that seems much more consistent.
5 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 at 12:13 pm PST
tasco red dot
a5a2 air through stock
Takes time to set it up right
Feeding problems when ball breaks in the socket
this product rocks.... once you have it set up.
The q loader mod doesn't take very long to put on its just the feed tube that took me forever to set up right. It was very challenging to get it on the little peice that connects to the 90' elbow.
Once i got it on i had to test it to make sure that the feed tube was the right lenght so that balls wouldn't break when i would take out the q- pod.
This system can be placed wherever you want if you have the right stuff to mount it , which i great for different types of games ( may be defending a building so you can mount it towards the back of the gun so that it is not visible through a window and things like that).
After all the setup was complete this product rocked. It can feede up to what the manufacturer (AIC) says it can which is 30+ bps. Also i have never been hit in the pod or the elbow since i put it on which is great fro speed ball. Speaking of speed ball i can reload a lot faster since i don't place the pods back in my vest ( maybe 3-4 seconds reload time). This product also allows me to use less paint since i know i have less i shoot less except for speed ball.
One bad thing however is that you cant use cheap paint. this doesn't matter much to me but once i did just to see what would happen and i ended up breaking a ball , then the accuracy was shot and my gun would constantly jam.
Great product . Use good paint will and it will continue to be great. even better if you have an e-grip
fires at many angles
line of sight
I just bought my 500 rnd q-loader system for my A-5 and I am absolutely amazed. My first impression of ancient innovations company was very positive because everything came in nice neat packaging and when I felt all the parts, they seemed to be very solid.
The setup of the system however seemed intimidating after looking over the instructions. i found that only in the A-5 version's manual, it lacked important pictures so it took some time to figure out the different pieces and how to mount them. after a while though i figured out how to assemble it and the finised product was astounding. While the change is irreversible because you have to snap off the guide pins and ball latch on the right reciever where the cyclone feed goes, you most likely won't want to change it back any ways.
I tried out my q-loader for the first time on saturday and I soon realized that its extrememly time consuming and rather risky to load the pods. I have someone help me in order to shake the silo while i slowly cranked the pod prewinder and when i took off the pod the hose fell out as well as a small detent in the crank. this process repeated a few times and after 10 to 15 minutes, i was ready to play. I think these problems can be solved by taping of gluing the hose to the crank so the detent or hose don't fall off.
when the game started though, i realized those few minutes of struggle were well worth it when i had absolutely zero misfeeds and kick @$$ reloads. There was very little profile prsent when i stuck my head out form a bunker and i had 100% clutter free sights. While the thought of only 100 shots seems intimidating, it's hardly a problem unless you throw down a large ammount of paint.
I have heard that the pods are hard to fit in pod packs but my sabre vest works perfect for them and the pods are actually slightly smaller than Dye Lock Lid Pods. You also have to be careful with the pods because at $20 a pod, you don't want to lose or break one (even though i have dropped a couple, they haven't broken)
My final thoughts on this product are that the Q-loader is perfect for a sniper and suitable for almost any other postion after you get used to loading the multiple pods that you should buy ; ) *wink wink
You can fire the marker in any position, very low profile without the stock hopper.
Requires permanent modifications to the A-5.
May not hold up well to extreme abuse.
The long awaited A-5 Q-loader adapter was released on Nov 27th, and I ordered the kit the same day.
Unfortunately there's not much documentation on the AIC web site for this yet, so here's some more details.
* After removing the Cyclone feeder and piston, you pull the banjo fitting and put the included plug into the hole. This seals the Cyclone feeder air supply since you don't need it any more.
* If you have the Response Trigger installed you'll need the original (right angle banjo fitting) again. You can't use the Q-loader adapter with the stock LPK, unless you want to get really creative trying to mount the base and hose. You can use the Springer paintball custom LPK, or do this mod yourself though.
* In order to install this adapter, you have to break off the feeder arm (near the breach) and the 2 locking pins for the Cyclone feeder. This is a permanent and irreversible modification to the marker. You can however order a new right receiver half from Tippmannparts.com to reverse the change out.
* The mounting bracket is attached to the marker through the screw hole that held the cyclone feeder. It's removeable for cleaning, but would be a little tough to do in the field.
* The Q-loader base unit replaces the front handle on the A-5. If you like the handle, then the base unit will feel really strange in your hand, at least at first.
* The hose angle is a little tricky on the A-5. Basically, you will probably want the feeder hose to be as short as possible to present the smallest target handing off the side of your marker. That's fine, but if the hose angle is too tight the balls won't flow evenly. If the hose develops a kink, or is bumped too hard during play you'll have feed problems, so start out with a longer hose and test under fire before getting too serious about reducing the profile. By dropping the hopper off the top, your marker profile is waaaay smaller anyway.
* My single largest concern with this adapter is the strengh. Basically you have a fixed plate that mounts to the side of the marker, then a 90* elbow that rotates loosely where it attaches. (The hose then attaches to the 90* elbow and runs to the base unit.
The 90* elbow is held in place on the bottom with a small allen screw that rides in a channel on the elbow. It's held on the top with a small protruding tab. On mine this tab broke even before I had the kit mounted to my marker. I called AIC and they rushed a replacement out to me and I successfully mounted it without issues. I'll call this a one-off, except it does illustrate that this mounting system is a weak point. If it broke in the field you'd be out of play for the remainder of the day (or digging for electric tape in your toolbox). I could see this elbow getting bashed about, especially if you play woodsball.
BTW, AIC tech support rocks. They sent a replacement part out at no charge.
* Don't forget to manually put paintballs into the feeder tube before attaching the first loaded Q-pod, otherwise the pressure will create strawberry jam in your feed tube.
So, I give the Q-loader A-5 kit a 8/10 rating. It's relly kewl to have the Q-loader on the A-5 and shoot the marker while holding it sideways (zero profile) around a bunker. You'll have to get used to the pods and be careful not to bash the thing around too much, but it's worth it for tactical / milsim players like me.