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Empire Apex 2, First impressions from an Avid Apex 1 user Review of Empire Battle Tested Apex 2 barrel system Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:16 AM

First off, I LOVE the original Apex, it is on both my Tippmann A-5 and 98 Custom, and even when playing in below freezing temps, where paint breakage is an issue… I will still risk the occasional broken ball so that I can use my Apex. If you haven’t used an Apex barrel system before, then don’t even bother reading all of this, just go to

http://www.empirepai...ested-apex2-14/

and order one. (If you don’t know what type you need… then read my review) The Apex system will change the way you play paintball, and also change your tactics, as the disadvantage of facing a foe with an Apex 1 or 2 is HUGE…

Here is some video of me playing woodsball with my original Apex


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I like my paintball gun short, which was one of the things I really liked about the original Apex barrel; it gave you the accuracy of a longer barrel, without the added length. This new Apex 2 barrel is available in 2 sizes. The smaller size 14 inches (once installed on my A-5 with the quick connect adapter) is 13 ¼ long. The original Apex was only 10 inches long. (Measuring from where it protrudes from the receiver body to the end of the tip) It is longer if you figure the threads…

A-5 with apex on top, A-5 with Apex 2 14 inch middle, and Apex 2 18 inch (98 custom threads) on bottom
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Or you can go with the 18 inch Apex 2, which installed is a little over 17 inches long.

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The original Apex had 9 levels of Adjustment, and the new Apex 2 also has 9 levels of adjustment.

First off, the fit and finish of the new Apex 2 is much better than the feel of the old style Apex. The tip is longer, smoother (aluminum) and much smaller, and actually has the look of a silencer. Which is a cool look in my opinion, and based on the cost of some barrel systems, the price can’t be beat for the Apex 2.

Taking the original Apex apart consisted of removing 4 screws with a Phillips screwdriver. The new one boasts “tool free” removal, which is true, but I don’t see myself needing to remove the tip on the field… Never had to with my old Apex tip, worse case I would just use the quick disconnect on my A-5 and remove the entire barrel and whip a squeegee through it, removing the paint residues.

To remove the tip, you adjust the apex all the way ramped (move the adjuster forward 9 clicks), then push down on the adjuster area, which now acts as a button, and pull off the aluminum tip cover.

Inside you will find 4 o-rings (bet it will work fine with just 2 if you loose or break one) 2 o-rings on the front, and two on the back. I stuck my finger in the tip and pushed it apart and grabbed the front o-rings, to remove them. Then open it up halfway and slide it off the barrel. Then you can remove the back o-rings.

At the top of this picture is the original Apex disassembled, and below is the Apex 2 disassembled.

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So as you can see they have made some changes, most noticeable is that the rubber tip goes further under the barrel, which I would assume makes the ramp more stable when adjusted all the way up or fully ramped. The biggest engineering change is the ramp adjuster which now is attached at the tip and acts as a button. So when you adjust the tip, it does move. Which if you are adjusting while firing would change the ramp amount dramatically I would guess, and I can’t wait to see if that is true… (I will update this thread once I shoot a video test)

I read that someone said they were getting a lot longer distance with the Apex 2 than their Apex 1 so the first thing I did when I got it apart was to compare the amount of ramp that level 9 achieves on each. And I took pictures so you could see the difference as well.

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So the Apex 2 does have quite a bit more ramp!... Meaning even longer distance targets are now within your reach. I have already proved that you can hit guys over 350 feet away with an Apex, I can’t wait to play with the Apex 2.



The “threads” on the Apex 2 tip are different than the original, But, they are close enough that they should work once you remove the o-rings. The first indentation into the barrel is smaller than the previous Apex tip, but I took my original Apex 1 barrel, and put the Apex 2 tip on it and it fits fine.
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Now, let’s talk about other paintball guns. I’m primarily a Tippmann guy, because I play in very cold temps. So here are some of the other Tippmann markers with the Apex 2 tip installed.

First off a Tippmann 98 Custom top marker has the 14 inch barrel, and bottom marker has the 18 inch barrel. The stock barrel and original Apex are in the middle for comparison.

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And I can’t forget the newbies that want to get into paintball and their mom picked them up an Alpha Black for Christmas. You want the 18 inch with 98 custom threads for your marker. If you buy the shorter 14 inch you will have to remove your barrel shroud for it to fit.
18 inch Apex 2 on an Alpha Black Tactical
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14 inch Apex 2 on an Alpha Black Tactical with barrel shroud removed
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And a group shot for fun.
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If you are new to paintball head on over to empire’s web site because they have a voucher for a free day at your local paintball field!

http://www.empirepai...ee-rookie-pass/

I am going to do a test soon showing the differences between a stock barrel, and an Apex 1 and Apex 2 as well as a longer barrel. And I will update the thread when it is completed, or you can subscribe to my video’s and you will see it as soon as I upload it to youtube.


Typically the first upgrade people make to a paintball gun is the barrel. I shoot real guns a lot, so I compare my paintball guns to real guns. And my biggest complaint about every barrel I tried was that they all ‘arched’ when you fired. Making scopes worthless… Because the way you aim to hit a target at 50 feet is totally different than the way you aim at 100 feet, and on and on.

The Apex changes that. With my original Apex barrel system, I set my ramp at the halfway point which gives a long flat shot up to about 70 feet. I even sighted in my core red dot scope and was able to hit within 4 inches over and over at 70 feet! Now it still has some curve but nothing like a traditional barrel.

The reason why is it creates backspin, just like you do when you hit a ping pong ball with a paddle while moving the paddle up while hitting it. The ball hits the tip of the barrel and starts spinning, that spin creates lift, and instead of flying in an arch, it hovers. Pretty cool to watch, and will really change your game. Even on a speed ball course.

You know how when you are playing and you see a paintball coming at you from far away. If it is a regular barrel, most of the time it will drop before it gets to you… But, with an Apex it just keeps coming, and I can’t tell you how many times, I have been eliminated because it went an obscene distance for a paintball to travel and then busted on me.

More when I have time.

This post has been edited by Fear the Reaper: 13 January 2011 - 11:31 AM

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#2 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 09:31 PM

I did a video test using my A-5, the original stock barrel, a smart parts two piece custom barrel, and the new Apex 2 barrel system in 14 inches. Three distances, 70, 120, 170 feet.

Check it out.


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#3 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 02:30 AM

Not the most scientific comparison I've ever seen... lol. You could have at least brought the Apex up to speed with the other barrels' velocities.

Were you trying to arc the shots or shoot straight at each range with each barrel?
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#4 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 05:55 AM

View Postcdrinkh20, on 13 February 2011 - 02:30 AM, said:

Not the most scientific comparison I've ever seen... lol. You could have at least brought the Apex up to speed with the other barrels' velocities.

Were you trying to arc the shots or shoot straight at each range with each barrel?



It is what it is. We play in the cold a lot, and people always say you can't use Co2 in below freezing temps. This video shows what happens in the cold, and how to try and get a good time in and still have fun, as well as showing the difference in accuracy a barrel makes.

I will do a real test when the weather is good with more markers chrono'd at normal speeds. I just wanted to do one in the snow, the way I play. Real world settings. As I find tests where the marker is mounted on a stand and the gun changed between every shot not very "real world". I've never seen a paintball gun mounted on a stand in a game.

The apex went last so it didn't have the same pressure, as the tank was freezing up. But, it was close enough that you could still see just fine what kind of accuracy you gain. Yes, you end up arching paint as 170 feet with a regular straight barrel will be lobbing unless your speed is hot, and even then it will be arching. At the 170 feet I was pointing the tip of the marker up for every barrel. This was just a cold weather test, showing what happens with your marker as you fire a ton of shots and it starts to freeze up.

Even with those issues, The Apex 2 clearly is a better barrel than the stock, or even a high end two piece barrel, in my opinion.

I had the Apex 2 at 3 clicks for every shot.
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#5 User is offline   D.B.D 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:56 AM

I thought it was pretty decent and enough to sway someone's opinion one way or the other, and it sure swayed mine!

Looks I'll be adding the Apex 2 to my wish list...
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#6 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:05 AM

The more I think about it... The more I think that the decrease in speed was due to the Apex 2 tip. As it is puttin backspin on the ball, and to do that... it slows it down.

So I would guess that you lose about 20-30 fps from 3 clicks of backspin. That makes more sense than it slowing down, as I didn't change the marker speed between any of the barrels. As that wouldn't be a fair test. This test was to show what happens when you ONLY change the barrel. And are playing in below freezing temps.
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#7 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:15 AM

Finally had a day where the weather was good with no wind...

So I made a new video showing the Apex 2 with a bunch of the suggestions I got from this site and others.

I always thought my pole was 60 feet from my driveway, but I never measured it (it was actually 77 feet when I measured it with the tape measure) until I did the video.

It is in 1080HD.




What do you think?
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#8 User is offline   super_stalker 

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 04:52 PM

3 questions

1: Can an apex tip be added to a deadly wind fibur barrel?

2:How about a stock phantom barrel?

3: Does it affect accuracy at all? I'm considering one for my phantom possibly other pumps, but not if it significantly affects accuracy since I can't make it up with volume.
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#9 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 07:12 PM

Yes, you can add it to non apex ready barrels, with a little bit of work... I put it on my All American barrel by using a combination of electrical tape, and o-rings.

These pictures are from my first attempt, which in my opinion was a failure. As to pull off the tip you have to pull forward on the tip, and that pulled it loose from my barrel. So my next version worked much better as I put tape on both the backside as shown and also infront of that area, so it "locked in" the location. Then the o-rings allowe it to spin properly. You have to build it to the perfect height so it lines up perfect if using the Apex 2 tip, as it is a lot more sensitive to placement than the Apex 1 tip.

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The version I use now has electrical tape at the front edge, which holds it in perfect position, and when you pull it forward to pull off the tip, it still holds it in place. Works great, so if your barrel will accept this type of mod (in other words, it doesn't have some strange lip on the tip of the barrel) it should work with this mod.

Otherwise, many barrels are made to accept Apex 1 tips, and almost all of them will work with the apex 2 tip as well. Just Apex 2 barrels won't work on Apex 1 tips, as the rings are different. (the Apex 1 back ring is larger)


It definitely helps your accuracy by adding an Apex tip. But, only if you are going to add a little bit of spin, I run my Apex 2 at 3 clicks, and my Apex 1 at 5 clicks. That added spin will help even out the inconsistancies of paint, as you can see in the video I showed earlier. Paint is not round, and the spin helps lessen the affect of bad paintballs.
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#10 User is offline   super_stalker 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 02:50 PM

I thought that some of you might be interested in this... I know what I'm getting now.


One of a kind pump mag F/S/T Open AND stock class capable.

"The knockdown power is approximately equal to, but not greater than that of a small Spanish child being hurled through a stove door at around 1,500ft ASL with a 5 knot crosswind on thursday, 31 degrees celcius, with 56% humidity."-FrozenCarnitas.
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#11 User is offline   Supergyro 

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:37 AM

Nice job DeadlyWINd!
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#12 User is offline   alexspawn3000 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:56 PM

Very good guide, with some nice information!

I just ordered my APEX 2 for my Tippmann 98.

What setting would you say is the best to increase your range, while maintaining the most accuracy? I have heard 3-4. I want this barrel to help flatten out my shots, as I intend to attempt longer range "snipes" in my future games.
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#13 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:27 AM

Hmm. I adjust mine for long range shots... (when I think long range I'm thinking 300+ feet).

Other than that, I leave it at 3 clicks, and just tilt up for longer shots.
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