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pbReview.com / ACI F4 Illustrator / ACI F4 Illustrator / ACI F4 Illustrator / ACI F4 Illustrator

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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Unregistered User Wednesday, March 27th, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
4 years
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
Spyders and tippmans, and the list goes on and on...................
Marker Setup: Lets see............
I have a Benchmarker Expansion chamber and thats it
Oh yeah....since i got my F4 in 98 i have the oldscool straight barrel(no muzzle break) and it shoots straight as hell. Ive even shot a birds and squirrels with it.
Recommended
Upgrades:
Expansion chamber and if you really want get a barrel. Especially if its one of the new barrels with the muzzle break
Strengths: everything
IM NOT BIASED
The valve system kicks ass. I refill my tank every 3 weeks or so
Good cold weather gun (we're talkin -20 degrees below 0 )
Actually its good in all kind of weather, rain, sleet, hail ,snow, heat
Shoots straight
HIts hard
Chicks dig it!!!!!
It makes a col noise when it fires
Highly upgradable
Better then a Syder
Weaknesses: nuthin at all
REALLY IM NOT
Never chopped a ball yet
and ive been using it for over 4yrs now
Conclusion: BUY it
Youll kick ass with it.
PLuss CHicks dig it
they really do
Really....you cant go wrong with this marker
Its a perfect all around conditions gun
Rating:
10 out of 10
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AznPballr Friday, March 8th, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
1 year
Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Marker Setup: E-Matrix w/ pmi 68ci nitro w/ remote setup, gas thru stock, smoke ricochet

grey 1999 F4 Illustrator w/ a cp flame drop foreward (silver), aci chrome double trigger frame, venturi bolt, 6 stage sub zero expansion chamber, smart parts all american (16'') barrel
Recommended
Upgrades:
barrel!!!!!
expansion chamber, remote, or anti siphon tank
Strengths: Hmm whats good about this gun...
The F4s got a great valve... i can play all day w/o having to refill my 14 oz tank.
Works well on CO2, which is a BIG plus. It's also got a unique cocking setup, in which you pull a back knob in the sight rail. It's pretty much just a top cocking setup with a cocking sight rail screwed on top of it. The main benefit of this is that dirt and paint etc. cannot enter the gun, plus it looks cool, too :). Anodizing and milling look good as well. Field stripping is easy, too, but be sure not to stick the bolt in upside down (the side w/ 2 holes goes down). Nice new trigger shoe that makes shooting much easier and faster is also included. In my opinion much better than spyders that are in the same price range. Also, with the setup i had above, looks absolutely bad ass!!
Weaknesses: Comes with a ball chopping open faced bolt; buy the venturi (which will reduce ball breaks and give maybe 20 feet more range). Stock barrel SUCKS. It's just like an aluminum pvc pipe with muzzle break. It's also large bore, making shooting common medium bore paintballs even more inaccurate. The all american i got with it is an huge improvement. Trigger frame is composite. I know it's strong and all, but it just feels cheap (speaking of cheap, the stock grips are plastic). Velocities somewhat erratic if you don't get something that eliminates liquid CO2.
Conclusion: For the price, it's a very good buy. Miniscule compared to the E-Matrix, but then again my Matrix setup was around 900 bucks, while an F4 setup (with much needed new barrel) is only around 200. What you get with the F4 is a tight looking, easy to maintain, reliable, good performing paintball gun.
Rating:
9 out of 10
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Unregistered User Sunday, February 24th, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month
Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
Shutter, TL +, Maverick, Revulation (forgot how to spell it, only tested it), Minimag, Sniper II.
Marker Setup: Spyder Shutter w/ Storm E-Grip, 14" Big Daddy Smart Parts barrel, 6 stage expansion chamber, 20 oz. CO2 tank, Adco Imp Sight, RPG bipod, Alien Bolt, 12 v revvy, braided hoseline, w/ 32 degrees or diablo paintballs.
Recommended
Upgrades:
New barrel (Always get a 14 inch, you get the same performance as a 16 inch for the accuracy, but eat up less CO2 and have less drag, and its better than a 12 inch.), new expansion chamber, a regulator, if your in to conserving your shots and accuracy get a red dot sight, the grip on this thing is alright, if you care too much about that you can get a better one, and a double trigger.
Strengths: Doesn't eat up co2 at all, pretty accurate, fun to play with, can compete with most semi autos (If your a good enough player even cockers and mags), dependable, you can get it at about 140 dollars, has a rear cock, its overall a pretty good.
Weaknesses: Not much on its own, unless you compare its actual performance vrs things like cockers and automags.
Conclusion: Good gun, really, i liked it, but you know, ive enjoyed things like the TL + from spyder and some other guns for the same price a bit more. If you really are compelled to get it, theres not much to stop you with other than its not the "best gun" but its a pretty good one.
Rating:
8 out of 10
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Unregistered User Friday, February 22nd, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
3 months
Paintball
Experience:
6 months
Similar
Products Used:
Once again, I have used a Talon, uncomparable since it is only $35. I have also used a stingray, which I would like to say do NOT suck, they have a rather dependable design, but the lock pins are a major hinderance. I've also used a Shutter and Surge, for all practical purposes the same thing, and I enjoyed the feel of my F4 much better.
Marker Setup: Obviously, I own an F4, a black one, to be specific. It has no upgrades as of now, but will soon have a Sub-Zero X-chamber. It's powered by a 9Oz. chrome-moly (I'm no wimp, it's just cost effective).
Recommended
Upgrades:
Can't reccomend anything, because I don't have anything. A sight is a nice addition though, but mine broke.
Strengths: First, this is a follow-up review, after actually playing a game with it. Now, the one thing that I absolutely love is the markers simplicity. Through three hours of play, only one ball broke, and it was not a chop. Second, the trigger shoe is an excellent addition, as it caused no pain at all to my trigger finger. The rate of fire, though not high, is perfect for a person on a budget, because you cannot fire at an absurdly high rate. The field strip, though I didn't have to use it, was great, because at the end of the day, it took a grand total of five minutes to completely clean and lube the marker. The stock barrel was incredibly accurate, I could place shot after shot on top of each other from thirty to forty feet away from the target. I also liked the cocking method, namly no bolt to pop out and hit your mask. One person even had to ask how I cocked it! The gas efficiency is incredible, I played in colder weather, and made due with just my nine ounce through more then hundred rounds. The only marker there that rivaled my efficiency was a stingray, shooting well over three hopper-fulls on one nine ounce. The grip no longer bothered me because you don't realize comfort when you have adrenalin pumping through you.
Weaknesses: As with everything, there is a downside. I only realized this during play however, that the marker has incredible kickback. You can try to hold it steady, but it is very difficult. The powerfeed plug is still a pain to turn, and it starts to hurt after a while, so I am going to buy a new one. Though not a problem, since I had only one break, which was not during a game, the barrels' accuracy vanishes after a ball break, the balls go wherever they want to, up, down, left, or right. The velocity adjuster is very good, though the slightest adjustment will lead to a HUGE change in velocity, which is not bad, only an annoyance.
Conclusion: Great marker! Those two words sum up all that I have written, even though some blemishes do shine through (or maybe thats my anodizing coming off). Its' simplicity is what attracted me to buy it in the first place, and it has not failed me yet. I am however coming very close to trying to burn the power feed plug, because it is increasingly difficult to turn, even with a large amount of oil. But as always (well, at least most of the time), good triumphed over evil. Though the rating is not as high as my original review, because of the incredible kickback, the F4 still gets a good ratng, a 9.
Rating:
9 out of 10
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Unregistered User Thursday, February 21st, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month
Paintball
Experience:
1 year
Similar
Products Used:
Piranha G3
Spyder Compact 2000
Tippman Prolite
Marker Setup: I use an F4 illustrator w/ a 14" barrel & expansion chamber
Recommended
Upgrades:
I would recommend a longer barrel.
Strengths: This product is durable, and very CO2 efficient. The volocity is very consistant from shot to shot. Thi gun is also very accurate. In two games I shot my brother twice with only three paintballs. Both shots were at least 50ft away. Great gun!
Weaknesses: The gun seems to lose alot of CO2 when unscrewing the tank. Might just be my O rings.
Conclusion: This is a great buy. It's perfect for playing with friends and if you wanna bring it to a real coarse it will shoot better than most guns people have.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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Unregistered User Saturday, February 2nd, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
6 months
Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
Raptor , JT 4.0 , M98 , Sheridan XTS
Marker Setup: F4 illustrator , venturi bolt , 8 inch custom made barrel , 4 stage expansion chambor
Recommended
Upgrades:
new barrel
Strengths: very reliable , easy to clean , not that expensive , take's pro carbine barrels
Weaknesses: not that accurate unless u put a new barrel on it
Conclusion: This is a great gun for a beginner player and with the right upgrades you can win a small tournament. Buy it if u are a starting player playing walk on games or small tournaments.I have taken out players with M98's , automags and i have also beat a player with a 2001autococker.Great gun buy it
Rating:
10 out of 10
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gothic goat Sunday, January 27th, 2002
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month
Paintball
Experience:
6 months
Similar
Products Used:
tippmann about the same
spyder sonix better
Marker Setup: Tippmann Model 98 custom
12 in. 32 dgrees nyte stick barrel
GTA double trigger
VL 9 volt REV
Recommended
Upgrades:
ACI 6 stage exspansion chamber
ACI 12.5 in. Zero gravity barrel
Strengths: so far performance and relablity are almost as good as the Tippmann
Light frame
light trigger pull
not a spyder
not a worr product
Weaknesses: It took a little bit to get the gun fireing right
Conclusion: bought as a pack up for tourneyies
my become my speedball gun
not as many people have heard of ACI
Rating:
9 out of 10
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Unregistered User Thursday, December 27th, 2001
Period of
Product Use:
Less than a month
Paintball
Experience:
6 months
Similar
Products Used:
I've used a Talon, which I will not compare to a semi, because the Talon is $35 and therefor you get $35 performance (I still might play with it to sharpen my skillz). I have also used my bro's Shutter, and personally I like my F4 much better.
Marker Setup: Stock F4 Illustrator powered by a 9 Oz chrome-Moly and fed by a VL 200 w/ adjustable elbow (Damn that 7/8 power feed).
Recommended
Upgrades:
What can I say, mine is completely stock, though I would recommend a new barrel because the stock barrel is large bore. But the stock barrel is also an aftermarket barrel (it's the Zero-G Millenium series).
Strengths: Let's start with the small things. First the trigger shoe is nice, because the trigger is like a razor to my poor little fingers. Next the steel-braided hose is very nice as opposed to the macro-line on my bro's Shutter. Love the wrap-around grip, much better than grip plates, while on the grip subject, thank God that the grip can accept standered bottom lines. Plus another little bouns: when I opened up the F4 to oil it for the first time of use, I found that the parts had a liberal coating of lube on them already. And now the two main reason's I fell in love with the F4: the fact that everything on it but the grip is made of aluminum or steel. The other reason? The fact that a 9 Oz can get a reasonable amount of shots. The tool-free field strip, even though not one of the main reasons, is also nice, even though it can't compare to the field strip on a Spyder or Piranha (hope I spelled that right), which will only take a matter of seconds.
Weaknesses: These are just little things. The biggest of the little things is the fact that the power-feed plug if a pain to remove and turn (the plus-side is you could run over it a few times and you could still use the plug). Another of the little gripes is that whenever you try to remove the striker-plug, it's o-ring gets snagged on the threads of the body. The grip frame is also plastic, but that doesn't bother me right now, because somewhere down the road, I'll buy an aluminum frame. And to correct another person, the field strip pin is not threaded both ways, only one, and thats the way you put the plug in to extract it.
Conclusion: Now my conclusion. Great job by ACI! even though some thought could have been put into certain parts (trigger frame, barrel), the job that was done was excellent. Now I just got my F4, and I've been testing it in weather that, on average is about 20-40 degrees F. The Sub-Zero valve works just as they said, and I'm running my F4 on a 9 Oz (thats CO2), no freeze-ups, no failures to recock. The only thing that I would've liked more is if the stock barrel was medium bore, since I've been testing it with Diablo Rec paint. Once again, I must say that ACI has done a great job, so I give my Illustrator a perfect 10, even though I don't believe that anything is perfect, because there is always room for improvement.
Rating:
10 out of 10
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Unregistered User Friday, December 21st, 2001
Period of
Product Use:
2 years1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
3 years
Similar
Products Used:
Thundercat (most cost effective), spider, automag, Nova
Marker Setup: A few custom accessories, mostly stock
Recommended
Upgrades:
The stock barrel is a tube with threads - definitely should be upgraded, like all stock barrels. (Why does that never change?)
Strengths: The F4 is a very tried and true (its basically an F2), dependable design, and I it has performed well. Like all paintguns of this type, rate of fire is moderate, and the stock barrel provides little accuracy, but the design is fairly trouble free. Importantly, I have never experienced ball breakage problems, which seem common among the newer entries into the market, except when using Brass Eagle paint, which someone gave me, and proved to break about every fifth ball. This, of course, is pretty good performance for Brass Eagle paint, and in no way reflects negatively on the marker.
Weaknesses: ACI did take a significant shortcut in the design of the bottle connector on the front of the gun. The bottle mount is connected by a small screw through its center which engages about two threads through a thin web of aluminum. This is unfortunate, as the gun is far from having a weight problem and just widening the body extrustion by 3/16 of an inch would have made a world of difference on the durability here (the F2 did not have the forward mount). As is, the marker must, for all practical purposes, be used with a bottomline (and naturally that comes stock), and vertically mounting a bottle would be an almost guaranteed way to strip the retaining screw from its mount, permanently ruining the extrusion. If an expansion chamber is mounted here, the user must take careful of accidential impacts to the marker (don't drop it) for the same reason. The marker is also bulkier than it needs be, and a little refinement in the design would compact it a bit.
Conclusion: The F4 is reliable if taken care of, but not durable.
Rating:
7 out of 10
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Dockman Tuesday, December 18th, 2001
Period of
Product Use:
2 years
Paintball
Experience:
More than 5 years
Similar
Products Used:
ProLite, Spyder, VM68
Marker Setup: F4 with Venturi bolt, HVC, Air America Black Ice reg, Double Trigger with trigger job, ACI Zero gravity - JJ ceramic - Custom stubby - Stock barrel, KAPP Drop Zone 2 with econo adapter, Dye pressure gauge, and a little T.L.C.
Recommended
Upgrades:
ALL that I have, my gun kicks butt. Asked on more than one occasion if I had a electronic trigger frame
Strengths: LOW maintenance, Easy to upgrade, Simple design, WELL built, ACI = QUALITY
Weaknesses: Stock barrel not to great, but then not to many stock ones are anything to jump for joy over. Stock trigger is a little sloppy but that is easy to fix.
Conclusion: Great all round gun, would recommend to anyone looking to get into the sport, or wants a reliable and easy to upgrade gun. Perfect for the rec player that does not want to spend an arm and a leg on a gun and wants to get the most for their money.
Rating:
9 out of 10
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