Special Ops Paintball: Review of the MilSig Elite and the RAP4 Gen 4 - Special Ops Paintball

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Review of the MilSig Elite and the RAP4 Gen 4 Head to head comparison Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   windwalker 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 01:31 PM

MilSig Elite and RAP4's GEN4 Head to Head Comparison.

Elite(top) and GEN4(bottom)
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Disclaimer:
I wanted to point out that MilSig is a Sponsor of MilSim Empire, of which I am a Co-Owner. Having said that, this comparison was done with a complete unbiased opinion towards the Elite and MilSig.

My goal for this comparison is to honestly and unbiasedly compare and contrast the differences between the MilSig Elite and RAP4 GEN4 markers. This comparison will measure the strengths and weaknesses of both markers in Performance and Materials. The results will admittedly be a bit unscientific and not as detailed as SRTsnipers excellent review of the MilSig Elite found HERE but they will be honest results that I hope will help our members in determining their next purchase of a mag-fed marker.


Side by Side comparison.
Elite (top) and GEN4 (bottom).
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The Elite feels like a real weapon in every sense, very sturdy and rugged and as a result it is heavier than the GEN4 which feels like a toy compared to the Elite.

GEN4 (foreground), Elite (background)
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Elite (foreground), GEN4 (background)

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Picture of the business end of the Elite and GEN4
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Picture of the Foregrips: Elite(top) and the GEN4 (bottom).
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GEN4
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GEN4-
To be honest and upfront I feel I need to mention all the issues that I have had out of my first GEN4 serial number 61. It has been a long and arduous road to get the GEN4 to a point where it can function. Here's a list of the issues I had with my first GEN4 and I only include them to advise our members of some of the more common problems the GEN4 is facing:
-The charging handle is rough.
-The collapsible stock does wobble a bit, but not at the base where the fitting is, instead it is in the plastic on the rear.
-Mag's are loose in the magwell, sloppy, but not so bad that the mags drop out.
-Mag release sticks inside the magwell.
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-I had replaced every O-ring on the previous Gen 4 (3 sets worth) trying to seal it up...it still leaked like a sieve. It had leaks out the barrel, the Main Body Ping, and the Flex Air Adaptor. I was successful in getting it to quit leaking in the Air Chamber Valve!
-Velocity adjustment screw would not turn and became stripped.
-The bolt or hammer (something) was sticking and causing it to go full auto and not fully cycling back. Oiling it did not help.
-The Flex Air Line I was told(by RAP4) to remove and super glue to fix the leaking problem. That didn't work and the only result was the cheap metal stripping.
-The magazines ball retention's are that in name only.

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That GEN4 was replaced FREE of cost by RAP4 for serial number 177 which resolved all of those issues, with the exception of the looseness and wobble in the magazines and buttstock. The only other issue to date on the replacement was the trigger had to be clearanced to prevent the trigger sticking on the guard. 2 minutes with a file fixed it easily.


Fit and Finish:
The GEN4 has an excellent fit and finish, the anno is uniform throughout the marker. Not all is a bed of roses however, the mag release sticks and for us with smaller hands the mag release is a bit too far away, not enough to make me changed hand positions, but it would be nice if they was an extension for it.The rear stock is very clunky, with quite a bit of movement on the x and y axis, same with the magazine inserted in the mag well. Sling attachments are very tight and quiet, as they should be.

Trigger Pull Weight: A hefty 8Lbs. 15 ounces with a distance 5/8's of an inch traveled.

Length/Weight:
The GEN4 is 33 5/8 in length. Weight is 5lbs and 14 ounces.

Ease of Use: Insert a mag, pull the charging handle, place safety off, sight and squeeze the trigger. That simple. The breakdown is a bit onerous for someone used to the simplicity of Tippmanns, but it's not so bad once you get used to the steps.
SPECS:
- Internal flexi air system
- All metal construction
- M4 style charging handle
- Removable carry handle
- M4 Style front sight
- M4 Style hand guard
- 3 Position collapsible Stock
- 14" Tactical Barrel

Elite-
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Fit and Finish:
Excellent fit and finish, again the anno is very uniform throughout the marker with just a tad of wear marks on the barrel, as to be expected. The Front RIS grip is nice and tight in the up position, but had a bit of wobble in the down placement. The mag extension is a well thought out and designed piece. The CNC'd Aluminum RIS Handgaurd is top notch and lends to the marker a feel of no nonsense attitude. Comes with a removable Weaver Riser rail for your optics pleasure. I really like the Steel Reinforcement Brackets that are found on the marker giving the package a much more stable and rugged capability. Also comes with 10 removable RIS rail covers and the Standard barrel is a 300mm ported and triple polished barrel.
Trigger Pull Weight: A decent 4Lbs. 9 ounces with also a distance 5/8's of an inch traveled.
Length/Weight:
As configured: The Elite is 33 5/8 approximately in length and 7 lbs and 8 ounces in weight.
Ease of Use: Insert a mag, pull the charging handle, place safety off, sight and squeeze the trigger. That simple. Similar to the GEN4 the breakdown is a bit more complicated than I would like for a paintball marker, but not as bad as the GEN4. Once you remove the Reinforcement straps, the magwell and the 90g adaptor and gas line, you basically have an A5, but with some improvements. For instance the powertube is all metal, and the internals are already acid etched to remove overspray. When breaking down the Elite I was very amazed of how well made all the fasteners are...they're literally top of the line! I got some new found respect looking over the inner workings of the Elite, MilSig done it's homework well when designing everything.

SPECS:
- CNC'd Aluminum RIS Handgaurd
- Front RIS grip
- Weaver RIS Rail
- HK Style front sight and Rear Sights
- Steel Reinforcement Brackets (the rear with a single point sling attachment)
- Hopper attachment included
- 9 Rail Covers
- Mulitple ways to run air, 90g tank or Remote
- Magazine Release Extension
- 3 Position collapsible Stock
- 11.81" Ported and Triple Polished Barrel

All the nice goodies that came with the Elite:
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H&K sights is another small attention to detail that helps make the total package feel like a real weapon.
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An all metal trigger guard:
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Magazines:
The magazines are identical in length and are interchangeable in either marker, which is understandable as MilSig used to make the solid black mags for RAP4. The fit and feel of the Elite smoke mags are much better than the older solid black ones. The clutch of the newer Smoke mags are much smoother in performance. The spring tensions on the newer Smoke mags feels a bit stronger as well. The biggest difference that I could tell was the ball detents are much, much better on the newer Smoke mags. Some of the solid black mags if you turn up side down the paintballs will fall out unhindered, not so on the Smoke mags. It's also very evident when you ratchet back the ball follower on the newer Smoke Mags how smooth the action is, much better than the older style. On the second day of testing I had one of the older mags go down on me. After taking it apart, I determined the issue was the brass nut on the end of the string ratchet needed tightening. So far, that has fixed the issue of it not ratcheting the ball follower down.

Weight: Elite- Loaded 13 ounces. Unloaded-11 ounces
Same for the GEN4.

Solid Black RAP4 mag (left) and newer Smoke Elite mag (right).
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Performance Testing Day 1:
Temps in the low 80's, using some old Marballizers and some cheap Visible Impacts. Note: Some of the Marbs were swollen and causing feeding issues. Both markers ran off a remote and Palmers Stabilizer.

For the 1st day trials I was not much concerned with accuracy as I was testing the function of both for any gremlins.
GEN4: Chronoed only at 265(could not locate the non-standard size allen wrench to change the velocity) with variations of 10-12 fps.
I shot 10 mags out of the GEN4 without any problems...no chops, no busts and no leaks. It performed very admirably. In fact the only hiccup was when loading a mag, the clutch disengaged and I ended up crushing 3 marballizers up in the mag well...making a very big and a very green mess. I noticed that the GEN4 was much quiter than the Elite..or even any of my Tippmanns, but some of that would be because of the lower velocity settings.
Elite:
Chronoed at 290 and never strayed more than 10 fps either way.
Again, I shot 10 mags from the Elite and it's a real pleasure to shoot..the marker just feels right when you shoulder it. I did run into some issues, however. The first was the Oring in the 90g adaptor blew first thing when I put air to it. It's a special size, but I have found that two bottle orings stacked on one another will work for you in a pinch.
I also had one chop on the bolt and two breaks inside the barrel using the older Marbs. At this point I believe it was from the degradation of the paint and not the fault of the marker. Interestingly, I think it was due to the tighter tolerances I believe the Elite to have over the GEN4, as I noticed that the older black mags was more lenient with the slightly oversized Marbs than the newer mags were.

Performance Testing Day 2:
Temps were in the mid 80's. Using Co2 ran thru a stabilized remote coil. This was the "Plinking" day, a chance for some offhand shooting to see what the markers were capable of. The target was an old JT mask nailed to a tree 50 feet away, placed at head height.

GEN4:
The GEN4's velocity was all over the dial, it dipped from 291 to 239, not condusive to anytype of accurate ball placement. I shot 9 clips (162 shots) at the target and had one chop. I did not stop to clean the chop but continued the test to see how well it shot itself out. I had 2 shots that missed by a couple of feet(due to the added paint from the previous chop) and 9 other that missed within 3-5 inches of the helmet. The rest were spot on the mask.

Elite:

Chronoed the Elite at the mid 280s, but had a few spikes up to 305. The Elite's has very fine accuracy...it's a nail driver for a paintball marker! I got only 2 clips in on the Elite before it double fed twice(using the solid black magazine at the time) and the second double feed chopped. Testing had to be stopped to clean the Elite as this chop was much worse than what the GEN4 had suffered.After cleaning I finished the test using only the MilSig magazines and had no chops or busts.Completed the remainder of the 9 magazines and had only 8 misses and those were just barely misses. Paintballs being what they are, every now and then you have some slightly dimpled, out of round, etc.


Performance Testing Day 3:
Bench testing. Each marker was clamped down for a stable platform and 3 clips were shot through both. Target was a 12x18 box placed a chest height, 100 feet away. Temps low 90's and the Paint was Marballizer.


GEN4:
Chronoed at 278 and the lowest recorded dip was 261.
The GEN4 performed really well. Out of the 3 clips I had 8 misses and two of those was because of a double feed. While shooting, the middle clip just decides to eject iself mid-clip. The way I had it clamped in the vice there was no way I could have hit the ejection, so I am considering the the mag was not seated properly and the vibrations knocked it out. Also while shooting the M4 front handguard decided it also wanted to come lose. No chops or busts.

Elite:
Chronoed at 285 and the lowest recorded dip was 268.
The Elite again was very accurate with only 8 misses and their margin was within inches. I used only the MilSig mags and as a result had no chops or busts.



Conclusions:
After all the troubles I have had from the GEN4 I am very pleased that almost all the bugs have been ironed out. I came into this Comparison as unbiased as I could be, but to be honest the GEN4 performed much better than I had expected. There is still a host of small bugs and irritants to be found with the GEN4, such as; the cheapness of the materials, the fact I could never get the GEN4's FPS to max out, magazine issues. The Elite, however, never had any magazine issues and when I switched over to just using the Elite mags I never had another chop or bust. To test that theory a bit more I went back to some of those older marbs I had chopped with in TEST 1 and used them in the MilSig mags on the Elite. Shot 2 clips through it without any issues and that leads me to believe that the older black mags were not fitting up properly inside the Elites magwell. On the 3rd test I decided to try and use the 90g co2 cylinder in the butt stock. Tried several times with it but I never could get the Elite to air up from it. I then installed it on my 98c and it immediately air'd up for action. After close examination I could not detect any visible defect on the marker, but I am guessing that the adaptor is not threading up enough to depress the cylinder pin.
My final impressions of the two markers are as follows: the GEN4 can be an accurate, reliable platform, but expect to have high maintenance with it and be careful of the hardware fittings as they are easily damaged. What I liked the most about the GEN 4 was the quiteness, lighter weight and the placement of the magwell.
The Elite on the other hand can be used as a sledgehammer if you need one, very solid and reliable out of the box. There's a trade off with that ruggedness and that is the added weight. What I liked most about the Elite was the sheer ruggedness of the marker, the accuracy and the superior magazines.



Ratings:
Scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Accuracy:
GEN4-7.5
Elite-8

Fit and Finish:
GEN4- 6.5
Elite- 9

Marker Performance:
GEN4- 7
Elite- 8

Magazine Performance
GEN4- 6
Elite- 9.5

Materials/Durability:
GEN4- 5
Elite- 10

In conclusion the decision between the two is a fairly straight-forward one for me. With the durability and ruggedness the Elite is the clear choice. Both markers had issues, but the Elite shown itself to be the more durable of the two by a very wide margin.
Ultimately the decision is up to you, the reader, to formulate an opinion based from these tests and comparisons, but for me the Elite is the only choice.
Windwalker

MilSim Empire
Death is light as a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain.
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#2 User is offline   Death Envoy 

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 12:08 PM

Thats some sweet stuff man.
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