Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:39 PM
I also went through the Phenom vs TM-15 debate and ultimately settled on the Phenom. My reasons may or may not matter to you so your analysis may differ. But anyway here were some of the deciding factors I went with.
1) I had to sell existing equipment to pay for the gun because we're expecting a baby and the wife says no new $$$ for the gun because of the baby. This made money a large but not overwhelming factor in the decision. A base price of $400 vs $460.
2) I liked playing with my Tac-Capped A5 and wanted to do the same thing with my new gun from time to time. To do it with the Phenom required no modification. To do it with the TM-15 I would have needed to invest in a RipClip and microphone mod, which would have cost more money again (another $80+ to that 460).
3) I like quiet guns and the TM-15 definately has that going for it. But I already have a fairly quiet Automag with a JJ Ceramic to fill that role. It was a nice to have but not a need to have option.
4) I liked the hybrid electro-mechanical concept of the Phenom despite the understanding that most electros have plenty of battery life to them. If the battery, board, or solonoid goes down I'm still in the game. I read up on many users of the TM-7 and TM-15 having solonoid stick issues (correctable with proper lube levels and not the junk from the factory). It was something I didn't want to deal with.
5) Things both guns had going for them was being more air efficient than what I already had (automag & A-5), and both had the milsim look. The TM-15 had the M-4 or HK-416 look down pretty well out of the box, but I was looking for something a little more SMG style, hence the Phenom. If I ever get bored of the look (and the wife lets me spend the money), I can customize the look on the Phenom more easily than the TM-15.
Now I have a phenom. I have only done some backyard testing and here's my impressions.
1) The gun is heavier than I thought it would be. If you want pure electro performance in a light and tight package, this isn't it. This gun has the RoF but it's on the hefty side.
2) The semi auto felt pretty fast, even being mechanical. I'll probably spend most of my time in this mode.
3) I've shot electros before but never owned one till now but wow, being on the sending end of 13bps is kinda sick! I don't see how 20 or more would be necessary. It was plenty fast for me, I may even turn it down to 10 or 11 to save on paint and be fair to the players who don't have fast shooters.
4) It's louder than I thought it would be but not nearly the bark of an A-5.
5) I was shooting 2 year old paint with horrendous dimples and didn't have a single cyclone, breach, or barrel break! I couldn't test for accuracy for how bad the paint was but even corkscrewing and curving, I was impressed.
Overall, it's a hefty but fast shooting marker that can dress up in a number of milsim configurations while only sipping instead of guzzling the air. Even in it's stock configuration it shoots well. I'll maybe post up a more in depth review after it's had game time.
As to the choice between the Phenom and TM-15, both are great performers but for different reasons. I like what I got. I'm sure I'd be satisified with the TM-15 too, and if money were no option, I'd have both.