Special Ops Paintball: A-5 vs. 98 vs. Ion vs. Mini - Special Ops Paintball

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A-5 vs. 98 vs. Ion vs. Mini Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Post icon  Posted 17 May 2009 - 03:47 PM

I've been playing paintball for about a month now and I am ready to replace my Brass Eagle T-storm for a better marker. I'm a woodsball player and I've found that I prefer to flank the other team and attack from a medium/close range. Due to this style of play, I need a gun that is small, light, and can take some mild abuse. I want a gun that has decent accuracy, but more importantly that can fire at a decent rate of speed without emptying all my paint in 2 minutes. I'm trying to limit the amount i spend to under $400 (for marker, tank, hopper and belt/tank) but I am willing to spend and upwards of $500 if it is truly worth the money. From what I've looked at, the markers I am interested are:

Smart parts Ion / 68ci 4500 psi fiber wrap hpa tank / tank cover / electric hopper. I have estimated this for about $355. The downside is I've heard a lot about the low quality of the Ion and its stock parts.

Invert Mini / 68ci 4500 psi fiber wrap hpa tank / electric hopper. I've estimated this for about $490. This is more than I want to spend but I'm told that it is well worth the money compared to the other guns. Personally I am slightly opposed to the Mini as I feel it is too small (after my friend let me use his).

A-5 w/ egrip / 68ci 4500 psi fiber wrap hpa tank. Estimated at about $430. Downside to this gun is its weight and size. I don't plan on using the auto/burst fire modes from the egrip (due to field rules and because Tippmann doesn't offer hair triggers), and only want it for the lighter trigger for faster semi-auto fire. This gun leaves a lot for me to upgrade later on, such as a flatline barrel and a double trigger.

98 custom w/ etrigger / 98c 4500 psi fiber wrap hpa tank / Cyclone feed loader. Estimated at about $410. I would only prefer this over the A-5 due to the size and weight. I like it for the same reasons as the A-5

Any feedback or reviews on these guns is appreciated, and if you know of another marker that might suite me and is in my price range please let me know.
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#2 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:22 PM

Among your choices I would say that the Mini is the most well constructed.

However, I would suggest looking into classic valved Automags. They're built extremely solid, thanks to their stainless steel body. They're a bit on the heavy side because of it, but they're very well shaped and not bulky like Tippmanns. They have a regulated blow forward valve system so you get similar consistency to that of an Ion or Mini. Maintenance is minimal, and tool free. The whole assembly can slide out the back with the release of a thumb screw.

Being mechanical they aren't the absolute fastest markers on the planet, but they were considered Tournament markers back in their day. With some practice and familiarity on the trigger they can shoot pretty quickly. Occasionally you can find a hyperframe for them as well. They go for around ~$150 on eBay, but it varies a lot per marker.
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#3 User is offline   Nom Carver 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:47 PM

Why the heck are you limiting yourself to the Mini when you said yourself that you don't like the feel. That is numero uno in my opinion. If it isn't comfortable, don't get it. Look into a DP F8 or DP G3, maybe a Proto SLG. Out of those, which are all the same price of the Mini, if not cheaper, I'd recommend the F8. They can be found here. I would not recommend the other 3. I second the Automag notion, but only if your willing to sacrifice speed for ease of maintenance and a marker that's built like a freaking tank.

EDIT: A mini and any other electro will have a super light trigger pull, not quite sure why you think a tippmann would have a lighter trigger pull.

This post has been edited by Nom Carver: 17 May 2009 - 04:48 PM

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#4 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:04 PM

View PostNom Carver, on May 17 2009, 05:47 PM, said:

EDIT: A mini and any other electro will have a super light trigger pull, not quite sure why you think a tippmann would have a lighter trigger pull.


I was referring to the e-grip being a much lighter pull than the 1-3 pound triggers on the semi versions. Tippmann doesn't offer hair or light triggers that i know of, so I'm forced to buy e-grip. I've test-fired a mini and personally i think the trigger is a bit too light. I want to be able to fire at a decent speed w/o automatic, but I don't want to fire so fast that I am simply unloading boxes of paint on a target, which is how I feel about the Mini. I'll look into those markers you mentioned. Thanks for the advice :D
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#5 User is offline   Silent-7 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

I third the Automag notion. My playing style is very similar to what you described, and I'd be buying an Automag for sure if I could justify spending any money on paintball right now. As far as speed goes, I'm not educated enough to know how difficult the trigger is to get used to, but I've heard many many times that Automags can rip under the right circumstances. And of course, they're virtually bullet-proof.

I also considered the Mini once upon a time, but if you've tried one and didn't like the feel of it, I would strongly recomend scratching it off your list immediately. There's no sense buying a marker just because everyone else likes it - not if you can't stand playing with it.

Also, I actually run an A-5 right now. It has served me very well, and I wouldn't try to steer you away from it by any means. HOWEVER, if you were to decide to buy one, I would advise you to avoid pouring money into upgrading it. I understand the temptation - I shudder to think how much money I've spent on my A-5. But you really are better off sticking with a few basic A-5 upgrades, and saving the rest of your money for another marker further down the line. You may think you'll be happy with an A-5 forever, but sooner or later someone with your/my playing style will often begin to want something more consistent/quiet/etc.

That's my two-cents from my personal experience. Hope it helps. :D
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#6 User is offline   Nom Carver 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

Ohh, gotcha. :D
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#7 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:38 PM

All the automags I am finding are between $500-$1200. Am I looking in the wrong spot or is automag just out of my budget limit?



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#8 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:57 PM

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?s...o%3D2&fgtp=

You also might get lucky on a local Craigslist

The expensive Automags are usually going to be RT Mags/Tac-Ones, and E-Mags.

Doro Paintball also has what appears to be and old stock of new classic automags, but they're sold bare bones: http://www.doropaintball.com/AB1038101Equi...exd.asp?id=7916

This post has been edited by Piller: 17 May 2009 - 05:58 PM

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#9 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:30 PM

What about the Ion? From the looks of things it seems to be rather decent for the money. Should I just get it and learn from it while I save up for a high-performance marker? I've heard the main problems with it are the neck feed and fragile trigger, both of which can be easily fixed.
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#10 User is offline   ghostinthewood 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:59 PM

View Postpvt Johnson, on May 17 2009, 05:04 PM, said:

View PostNom Carver, on May 17 2009, 05:47 PM, said:

EDIT: A mini and any other electro will have a super light trigger pull, not quite sure why you think a tippmann would have a lighter trigger pull.


I was referring to the e-grip being a much lighter pull than the 1-3 pound triggers on the semi versions. Tippmann doesn't offer hair or light triggers that i know of, so I'm forced to buy e-grip. I've test-fired a mini and personally i think the trigger is a bit too light. I want to be able to fire at a decent speed w/o automatic, but I don't want to fire so fast that I am simply unloading boxes of paint on a target, which is how I feel about the Mini. I'll look into those markers you mentioned. Thanks for the advice :(

You can set a BPS cap so you dont shoot a lot of paint. Its not that big of a deal.

It is also a lot easier to take care of than an Ion.
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#11 User is offline   pvt Johnson 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 09:08 PM

I didn't know you could set a cap, that helps alot. Thanks :(
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#12 User is offline   Silent-7 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:15 PM

Yeah, with your budget you're probably going to be looking at used Automags. But that's not necessarily bad - like we've been saying, they're built like tanks. But if a used marker doesn't really appeal to you (I'm like that too sometimes) maybe an Automag is something to consider for down the road.

I haven't used an Ion before, so I can't really help you there...
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#13 User is offline   Deus Ex Machina 

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:04 PM

View Postpvt Johnson, on May 17 2009, 05:30 PM, said:

What about the Ion? From the looks of things it seems to be rather decent for the money. Should I just get it and learn from it while I save up for a high-performance marker? I've heard the main problems with it are the neck feed and fragile trigger, both of which can be easily fixed.


Are you planning on getting an Ion or an Ion XE? If you're going to get an Ion XE, stop, and just buy a straight Ion.

If you are going to get an Ion-class gun, my personal recommendation would be to get an SLG. The Ion is cheaper, but the SLG performs better than the Ion and is cheaper than the Invert Mini. However, this is personal recommendation: The Ion that I have the most experience with fails often, while the SLG that I have personal experience with hasn't failed, so my grand total of experience is two markers.

I would recommend the G3 if it wasn't an additional $100 on the price of the SLG.

Another gun to consider the BT-4. It's basically a slightly cheaper, different shaped Tippmann 98. I really wish I could say more than that, but it's the truth.

Anyway, all told, If I were you, I would be looking at a 98 Platinum or a Proto SLG.

However, it's all personal taste.

This post has been edited by Deus Ex Machina: 18 May 2009 - 12:56 AM

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#14 User is offline   Wrzesinski 

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:28 AM

View Postpvt Johnson, on May 17 2009, 05:30 PM, said:

The Ion performs better, but it performs better than the Ion



umm...wait what?
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#15 User is offline   Jarhead2531 

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:43 AM

View PostWrzesinski, on May 18 2009, 03:28 AM, said:

View Postpvt Johnson, on May 17 2009, 05:30 PM, said:

The Ion performs better, but it performs better than the Ion



umm...wait what?

Agreed! :o
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