Occasional double fire sound (not necessarily a result of ball breakage) and small upgradability
This gun is a fun mess around gun for beginners. when i first got this gun i was told it was a fairly nice back up gun when in tournaments. the gas thru grip on the gun is alot like the gas thru grip on the ei black draguns, matches the gun body and makes the gun look better (vs putting an after market expansion chamber on it, making it look odd) in other words i recommend u keep that part as is. the stock barrel on it isn't horrible, but nothing special. i never got around to using compressed air in it but im sure it would performance just as well as CO2.
Not a bad gun for the price, it always worked when i wanted it to.
Illustrator TP with Zero grav barrel (all anodized turqous(sp) and black) gravity fed hopper. Double trigger came with mine. NO upgrades added.
Revvy or other agitated hopper.
Simple, no nonsense, reliable, excellent customer service.
Long trigger pull (good for begginner)
Lack of upgrades(good for begginner marker)
This gun beats everything listed above for the price(around $150) and came with a matching Zero gravity barrel.. The Autococker is quieter, smoother and slightly more accurate, but not that much better IMO and you will pay a lot more. The A5 is better because it has better rapid fire potential but you will pay a lot more. This is the one paintball purchase I have never regretted. It has never failed me. I have failed it twice. Once when I turned the knob on the bottom of the power feed causing it to chop and once when I put the bolt back in upside down (LOL). I called ACI and in 5 minutes the problem was solved. There is no better begginner marker that I have tried, period.
I love this thing. If you have the zero grav barrel, cover the first 1/2 of the porting to increase long range accuracy and CO2 effeciency. Getting a gun with an electronic trigger as a begginner level marker will only cause you heartache; I've seen it too many times.
I've gone up against A5/flatline/egrip users in the woods and I do just fine even at long range
I've gone up against Autococker users in casual speedball play and also do just fine. Just because It is a begginner marker doesn't mean it won't take care of you.
I think it is sad that there arent more of these guns around. Somehow they have slipped through the cracks. It is the first gun I recommend to a begginner. Buy this NOW!
10 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, November 12th, 2004 at 3:53 pm PST
This gun can be made electric if desired and it wont cost much
I would suggest this gun to any beginers
It is low maintenance and all of the guns dun match this
I have a mokal fokus 2k3 and a f4 illustrator
I say the illustrator is better
Ok have a good day
very reliable, feels sturdy, looks way better than spyders
triger is bad, lack of upgrades
this is an unbeliveably reiable gun. it is like a tippman that looks good with less upgrades. this is fir the guy who wants a gun and doesnt want to do anything for it. my freind has no upgrades and doesnt even knoe how to clean it and it has worked for 2 years. the trigger sucks though and its a single so its much slower than spyders. accuracly of stock barrel sux too. good feel to the gun. feels like a high end gun and is very sturdy.
solid gun great for bigginers, but if u want upgrades go with a spyder. a little pricey for what it is.
Double trigger if you would like a better trigger pull, and a better barrel if you got it stock. Empire Reloader hopper rather than a 12v revy!
Reliable, fairly good on co2, great beginning marker!
Key weaknesses it can chopp if you don't have ur ball detent correct!
This is a good paintball marker, I suggest any one starting out in paintball try this out, I did! It is great and will get you through most firefights, I suggest geting a moterised hopper I love the empire but a 9v or 12v revy will feed ok to. Very easy to maintain and feild strip, don't take off the sight rail! Overall a great begining marker!
If you are considering a spyder over this marker wake up! F4's are much better then spyders, if you are looking for somthing that will eek it's way through and have lots of sensliss upgrades get a spyder.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, November 12th, 2003 at 9:01 am PST
Mokal Mirage, Brass Eagle Avenger 2, Spyder Imagine, Autococker, Bob Long Defiant, Impulse
Green Spyder Imagine - evil smokestack, dye 14 inch boomstick, 12v revy, 20 oz. CO2.
02' Verticle cocker- Rock reg, orracle 3-way, supafly bolt, STO ram, 15 asa, palmer detent, palmer stabilizer, 12v revy, 20 oz. CO2 on remote
Not much you can do besides a barrel. The aci venturi bolt doesn't have a good review.
Fairly light, good stock expansion chamber, nice annodizing.
Chops once a day, no aftermarket parts, single trigger.
The biggest thing that I can find wrong with the illustrator is the powerfeed. This gun is an old design that could use a facelift. Powerfeeds were invented back before we had reliable motorized hoppers, and were supposed to give more room for the paintballs to fall in place. The problem is that the angle the balls have to fall to get into the chamber is limiting how fast the gun can fire. This is the reason everyone is going to vertical feed. It's not that big of a deal as long as you know the gun's limitations. There is also no reason at all, know matter what anyone says, to get a motorized hopper on this gun. I've tried mine with and without and got the same results. The electric hopper is held back by the slow powerfeed. I'm use to faster gun's, so it could be my fault that I chop a ball about once a day. I bought this gun for other people to borrow (trying to get as many people as I can into the sport), and no one else has ever had a problem with it. The barrel is not very accurate, but that's the first thing people change anyway. There is an amazing lack of hop up parts for the illustrator, which takes away some of the fun of owning it. I do think that the F-4 illustrator could be the coolest name a paintball gun has ever had. I might also be a dork though. I'm waiting for ACI to come out with a double trigger, vertical feed F-5 illustrator to keep up with the times.
I bought mine used for 100 bucks with extras. 150 new is kinda alot for such an old design, but I still like them better than a spyder. They are built pretty well and seem to hold up. I would have given this gun an 8 back in 1996, but times makin changes.
7 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, September 25th, 2003 at 5:03 pm PST
Pirahna rental guns, Cheap VL/Brass Eagle guns (not my fault, I was forced), Tippman Model 68, Tippman 98 Custom
ACI F4 Illustrator TP
ACI Bulldog II Air 68/3000
12" Zero-G Barrel
None, unless you want a barrel that has a long section w/ less porting or maybe a drop forward/cradle.
Very accurate w/ stock barrel.
All around good beginner/mid level gun.
Could should Faberge' eggs and Hope Diamonds too, though.
I bought this gun for a bargain price of $119.95 on pbgear. Let me tell you, it was excellent. I have shot over 1000 rounds, which although is not really that much, and never had a break. It shoots cheap paint very well, and good paint even better. With the model I got, each paint job is unique, and the verteran of 10 years running the fill station at the field actually thought it was customized. Overall, it is extremely comfortable to fire, comes standard w/ a 4-stage expansion chamber, is extremely accurate as stock, and is very conservative with air (I got 6-700 shots w/ a 7-ounce CO2).
With it's combo of pro features and low price, I would recommend it to anyone from beginner to veteran. I gave it a 9, because the Dye Autococker's and various other 7-10 hundred dollar guns must have something reserved for them.
Ive used a tippman carbine which rated about as well as my F-4 illustrator TP. I have also had some experience with various spyders and my advice to people thinking of buying them is DONT. They break very easily and are a pain. I have also used a model 98 and while it performed well, it didnt perform up with my f-4. It wasnt quite as accurate at long distances. I also have a stingray 2 and for a beginner it is a decent gun. It is very durable and easy to use. Overall, if your a person looking for a good reliable well priced semi, id say go with a f-4. Their reliable, durable, easy to use, low maintenance, and have a good price.
I recommend a aftermarket barrel. THe stock barrel is not the best but with a good aftermarket barrel, the gun is great.
Almost everything. It has a real light trigger pull, 2.2 to be exact. It is a breeze to clean and can be taken apart with allan wrenches. With the aftermarket barrel, it is very accurate and shoots a long ways. It uses very little CO2 and doesnt weigh much. It is very low maintenance and in the two years ive had it, it hasnt broke once. It also has a very good price tag on it.
Occasionally it will jam if a piece of paintball gets into the barrel and it takes about 10 minutes to fix. That is the only drawback i have seen however.
If your a person playing paintball on a budget, this is a good gun for you. It is well worth the price, durable, low maintenance, and fun to use. With a aftermarket barrel, ill put it up against any semi out there.
mine came with a 14 inch zero gravity barrel, hvc, expansion chamber, and venturi bolt so it was pretty consistant and accurate.
First off this gun has a lot of kick. This makes it hard to stay accurate during long strings. The trigger is not very good and has a long hard pull . The worst thing is that if you chop a ball you have to strip the maker down and try and unjam the bolt and clear out any paint that is in the top camber. This take about 15 minutes and after you do that the marker isnt nearly as accurate until you wash it out with under a sink.
If it did not jam every time it chopped a ball this would be a much better gun. But as it is I wish I had bought a spyder instead of this.
well thus far i have not really found anything to be that good in specific. It is not that loud, it does have a pretty low consumption of co2, fires ok with the stock barrel.
right when i got it i had to replace a spring. Stock barrel is not that great, but there are not that many good stock barrels out there.
This is an ok newbie gun. pretty good price, but i think it could have been a little bit better manufactured. I prefer pumps because i think that spray and pray tactics are not what the game should be about. any way it is an ok entry level gun i would however go with the tippy m98C. If u decide to go pump go with a phantom, the best pump there is.