-Too Many Plastic Components
-Magazines Are Expensive
When you pick up the T.91 ranger youíll first notice the nice carrying case it comes in. It is only plastic but bears the Tiberius logo and looks very professional with good thick foam pads on the interior and features the ability to lock the case with a small padlock. The carrying case is a bit bulky but it has room to fit most any accessory you can buy for the Marker.
The Stock Sight:
The next thing I noticed was the stock Sight. It is a 30mm red dot sight with 7 brightness settings. The sight seems very high end and features end caps secured with bungies to make removal a snap. Basically the end caps are yellow tinted polycarbonate. This is very nice since I have taken some hits to the end cap itself and suffered no damage to the site. This feature also makes cleanup a snap since you can pop the lens caps off and run them under water and you are ready to hit the field again with perfectly clean lenses. The adjusters for both x and y axis are downright sexy. They click with precisions when adjusted and feature screw on cover caps to prevent accidental adjustments. All in all I felt the sight was a good value. The brightest setting is actually the ONLY setting I use however as the others are not very bright at all and I have only used it in full sunlight. Now having written that I realize that I HAVE played in some dense brush but I simply used the brightest setting now that I think about it because of ease of use. 0 and 7 are right next to each other on the dial so going from OFF to Full Brightness is the fastest, which is another feature I liked. Though I would have liked a brighter dot it is bright enough to use in full sunlight, at least it was for my eyes.
Iíve written a separate review for the FSRs themselves but I will cover some of the same information here since this product was specifically designed to work in conjunction with the FSR. The T9.1 features the ability to swap from traditional paint on the fly. This works best when the FSR magazine is empty as it will almost always cause a ball chop if it is not. Swapping is easy however; you simply pop the magazine out slightly (to clear it from the breach), push in on the barrel and rotate it 45 degrees, pop the magazine back in and you can rip your traditional rounds. It takes about 1-2 seconds to switch fire modes. Swaping back to FSR is best done by inverting the marker(this is to make sure that no paintballs are in the way of the breach). Once again you must pop out the magazine, invert the marker, push the barrel in, twist it 45 degrees, pop in a new magazine and you are ready to fire FSRs again. This takes about 2-4 seconds, a little longer due to inverting the marker and having to ready a fresh magazine.
Here I must note that to make use of both types of paint in a single game you must make a decision regarding your barrel. The stock barrel is out of the question but you WILL have to choose if you want a barrel that caters to Traditional Paintballs, or the 13 inch Riffled Barrel .683 ID. If you choose the route of the traditional barrel you will not see the true potential of the first strike round. I shot about 200 rounds through the stock barrel during play and found them to be FAR more accurate than a traditional paintball. Headshots at 100M are definitely possible to pull off consistently. (note when I say consistently I mean 9 times out of 10) You might think ďWhat is wrong with that?Ē well Iíll tell you; once I switched to the 13 inch Riffled Barrel .683 By Lapco I realized the full potential of the First Strike Rounds. At 50meters I can consistently hit a target smaller than a quarter. Iíve also won several bets with skeptical onlookers when I claimed to be able to hit a quarter from 100M. Yes 100M. With a magnified sight fully dialed in and no crosswind it is possible to hit a quarter sized target 8 times out of 10. This marker using the 13 inch Riffled Barrel .683 by LAPCO, is outrageously accurate. It is possible to hit a dime from 50 meters, and in game play this means that not only can I hit someoneís hand that is protruding from a bunker at ranges closer than 50m but I can actually pick which finger I want to hit (NOTE to get this kind of accuracy you will require the Tiberius 4x24 scope, with the red dot however I can still hit someoneís hand from 50-100m consistently no problem. Without a doubt the Riffled barrel is king of the Castle when it comes to accuracy in paintball. The FSRs are magazine fed and the Tiberius T9.1 comes stock with two 7 round magazines (note that the same magazines can be used to feed traditional paint by swaping out the spring in the magazine). They are durable and manufactured from aircraft aluminum.
I have to also note that the variation in shots from right to left is VERY minimal with only a few centimeters of spread horizontally even at 100m. This means that as long as you accurately account for the distance (range finding scopes help with this) you can hit targets within a few centimeters.
You can really put all the bells and whistles on this thing. It comes stock with a picatinny tri-rail riser. This can be fitted with multiple sights and lights etc. The upper picatinny rail offers the potential for any military sight as well as innumerable aftermarket sights. There are attachments on either side of the marker allowing you to secure aftermarket picatinny rails for lights and lasers etc. and a second rail along the bottom of the marker allows for the attachment of aftermarket fore-grips and by-pods. The stock fore-grip gets the job done. It is plastic which isnít the best but makes it light-weight. You can also turn a dial on the bottom of the stock fore-grip which enables you to slide it forward or backward for mid-game adjustments. The equipped carbine Stock is also of quality design and attaches to the marker in a very secure I was impressed with the quality. You can really pimp this Marker out with a ton of available barrel shrouds and rail covers as well as all types of sights and lights, this is a Mil-Sim Dream Marker if you are on a budget.
At 349.99CAD for a high end mechanical marker you canít go wrong. Add the ability to fire FSR and conventional paintballs and the degree of customizability and you wonít find another comparable Mil Sim Marker for the price. I would definitely recommend getting the 13 inch Riffled Barrel from Lapco if you are going to be shooting first strike rounds. (And why wouldnít you?)
Tough Choice To Make?:
If you are using a smooth bore barrel you will lose accuracy with your FSRs. If you use the Riffled Barrel you will find that you will chop far too many conventional paintballs to make it worth-while. This means that you need to make a choice which sort of paint you will favour. Obviously you can simply have two barrels and switch between rounds, or I guess even in the field if you want to carry an extra barrel with you, but if you want to switch on the fly you canít get the best of both worlds so you need to think about which you prefer to use. You can either lose accuracy with the FSR (in my opinion this eliminates the primary reason for the round and the justification for the 60 cent per round price-tag) or you can deal with frustrating chops. Now I have heard of some paint that is a better bore match but I did not get a chance to use any small bore paintballs in the riffled barrel so I canít comment.
For me this meant that I ended up only using the FSRs and brought my Pistol along as backup. Iím sure many more out there would be just as happy swaping on the fly, but I just got addicted to the one shot kills of the FSR and donít mind paying more for each trigger pull.
The FSRs are magazine fed meaning you only get 7 rounds per magazine. In my opinion this is not really a weakness so much as an obstacle. It requires you to change your play style if you are only shooting FSRs, but you can always swap on the fly. I personally enjoy swapping magazines, I find it adds an element of realism and it also requires more teamwork as cover fire while reloading is always nice to have. Many will be absolutely turned off by this but Iím sure all you Mil Sim types are drooling over it. Like myself. And donít forget that you CAN swap fire modes on the fly even though I eventually chose not to.
I found it odd that it did not come stock with a 45 degree nipple for a remote coil attachment, especially since the instruction booklet features one in the schematics. A quick trip to the hardware store yielded me one for under 1$ so no big deal but it was a little inconvenient.
Too Many Plastic Components:
I HATE plastic. And there is a lot of plastic on this marker. Even the trigger is plastic. My main issue is the front shroud, it is made almost completely of plastic and at the bottom where it is joined together it seems cheaply made. (I actually got a friend to cast the part and poor me an aluminum shroud which looks bad-ass. I also put in a custom trigger since a plastic trigger really bothered me). The front shroud and the fore-grip are fully plastic. The front shroud does have steel inserts to which some extra attachments can be installed (ie extra pictinny rails). This does significantly reduce the weight of the marker, and it is not a light marker, but I have a personal bias against plastic. I like steel. Iím sure many out there wonít care either way.
First Strike Round Price:
At 60 cents per round. It is what it is. I for one am willing to pay the difference for the added accuracy it provides. Hitting a hole in a bunker that is only about 4cm wide from 100m away with one shot and taking out your opponent, is worth the 60 cents if you ask me. This is a matter of personal preference, and of course you can opt to only shoot traditional paint. (but why would you?) [note to ďthread the needleĒ on long shots like that you must have an accurate idea of the range of the target. I have a particular skill at that so donít be frustrated if it takes you a little longer to achieve these results, Range finding scopes are a real asset at those distances.]
The Stock Barrel:
In one word; Garbage. The stock barrel, when used with conventional paint almost made me vomit. I was slinging shots that had boomerang like trajectories. My first time using the Marker I only had the stock and very limited Frist Strike rounds, so once I was through with the FSRs I switched back to my Tippman. With an aftermarket barrel (there are many manufacturers) the T9.1 Ranger is accurate with conventional paint. I must admit that I have only tested the T9.1 with an aftermarket barrel with conventional paint so I canít really make a comparison with say a Tippmann Custom 98 with a Teardrop barrel, but from testing it they seemed comparable. My experience with the marker is much more heavily with the First Strike Rounds (FSR) and the riffled barrel. I have fired over 1000 rounds through it. The First strike Rounds are surprisingly accurate in the stock barrel and are really a joy to shoot but nothing compares to the performance of the riffled barrel.
If you are looking for a Mil-Sim marker and this is in your budget, buy it. Plain and simple. If you are like me and you long for more accuracy instead of spraying and praying, if you want to make one shot kills no matter what the price then buy this marker and get the Lapco 13inch riffled barrel. You will not be disappointed. This gun changed the way I play paintball and I have almost completely stopped using traditional paint. I only use it in my TPX which I use as my side-arm.
I was a die hard fan of the Tippman series of paintballs and have several. I swore by them for years even sounding like a salesman. This is the marker that finally made me put down my Tipmman. Sheís sitting on my mantle.