Special Ops Paintball: BT4 vs Smart Parts Vibe - Special Ops Paintball

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BT4 vs Smart Parts Vibe The floodgates open.... Rate Topic: -----

Poll: BT4 vs Smart Parts Vibe (10 member(s) have cast votes)

BT4 vs Vibe

  1. BT4 (5 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. Vibe (5 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

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#1 User is offline   mixcow 

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Post icon  Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:02 AM

Hello, I am a one time paintball player, and I'm HOOKED.

I played on a woodsball field with the basic rental Custom 98 with stock barrel, gravity fed hopper and CO2, it was accurate at times, but for the most part the paintballs fell short of the target or just curved right off. I tried a friend's rental BT4 combat with 16" barrel, which was only marginally better for some reason, and then an Ion with a 14-16" barrel (can't remember which) which blew both mechanicals out of the water, eg me and my friend are about 15 metres / 30 feet away from a rather well built fully adult male, our balls kept curving off and didn't even hit him, in fact, they only impacted around him, leading him to be alerted to our presence and being able to take me out with a one shot headshot (T.T) and my friend shortly thereafter, really disliking the Custom 98 after that particular mishap.

We were using the sights and firing a GOLLY GEE WILIKERS cloud of almost 50 balls all up (apiece) in his direction, seeing paintball splats hitting the piece of cover that was directly to his left, it was a CLEAR SHOT ==; :P

But since this one case instance is not enough, I've been looking around, and after deciding to leave the PBreview ship which was sinking under a flood of 10/10 "THIS GUN IS AWESOME" or 1/10 "THIS GUN IS poo GET A *insert famous brand name here* " (cough* tippmann *cough)

I've found two markers that i really like the sound of, after looking at the features listed.

What I'm looking for here is a balanced, prefferably first hand experience based mini review or simple overview (compare and contrast =]) of the BT4 and the Smart Parts Vibe, based on:
Ability to accept an accurate barrel (name please =])
Durability
Ease of maintenance
Reliability
Fresh out of Box (FOB) capability vs value
Weight is NOT an issue
Neither is Rate of fire (being in Australia, all paintball markers MUST be semi automatic)

My main reasons for picking these two are the ease of maintenance of the Vibe, and it's similarity to the Ion which outperformed the other guns i tried. For the BT4 is it's rare milsim nature and It's rail system, plus the fact it has IRON SIGHTS (I LOVE them =]) which is also directly linked to the fact it doesn't have a center feed neck.

Also, the SP-1, Alpha black tactical etc and most other mil-sim markers are banned in Australia, or will be.
If there is other information that would be vital, i would love to know!.

This post has been edited by mixcow: 06 November 2009 - 03:46 AM

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#2 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 09:53 AM

From a pure performance standpoint I would side with the Vibe. It works off of a regulated valve system, working at a lower pressure, which allows it to produce much more consistent velocities over a broader range of conditions. With CO2 you won't get the velocity shoot-down you generally get if letting loose a long stream of paint. Likewise it is not as effected by extremely hot/cold playing conditions. If fed properly a marker shouldn't chop paint, but even so the Vibe has an anti-chop bolt which pinches the paintball rather than breaking it entirely. Due to the electronics the trigger is also lighter than the BT-4. They use Ion/Impule threads on their barrels, which aren't quite as common as the threads used on the BT4, but most all barrels are still made with that threading. The only downside is that the marker is built relatively cheaply - there's and abundance of plastic (SP fans will say composite/polymer) on the marker, including the trigger. It's very apparent they cut corners to save price, not that Ions are whole lot better to begin with. Naturally, Smart Parts doesn't have the best ethical business reputation in the paintball industry either.

BT4s are pretty well built markers. It functions off of a blowback valve system which is a bit more archaic, but works just fine. They're a bit less consistent, a bit less efficient, noticeably louder, and have quite a bit of mechanical motion for a paintball marker. The good news is that they're relatively simple, and the lack of intricate parts brings the price down. They come with a cast meal body, and are pretty solid. No batteries to worry about, and they fire through pretty much everything. They generally don't need a lot of maintenance, though an occasional breakdown and cleaning keep splattered paint from gumming up the internals.

I personally would choose the BT4. While I don't really think it lives up to the older generation blowbacks like Tippmann's Carbine series, it's a simple well rounded marker that performs pretty well. Even with unregulated CO2, as long are you use it correctly, you can get decent consistency. Grab a barrel for it (I recommend either CP's 1-piece classic, Lapco's Bigshot or Autospirit, or Palmer's brass barrels depending on your price range) and a spring kit and your good to go. I don't consider either to be particularly easy to disassemble, but they aren't difficult either. Both require tools, and a can be a bit meticulous. Look at the diassembly of a pump marker like a Phantom, or even an Automag if you want to see something easy to disassemble.
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#3 User is offline   ger 

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 10:44 AM

Just to reinforce what Piller wrote...

Ability to accept an accurate barrel:
Both can take pretty much any aftermarket - the Palmer's brass have been my hands down favorite, followed closely by Lapco. I've owned a CP & it was pretty good, better than the J&J I've shot.

Durability:
The fact that the BT is mostly metal construction gives it the edge in durability. Yes, the Vibe is made of plastic (composite) construction which doesn't mean it will break the second you dive behind a tree, but is more likely to break than the BT.

Ease of maintenance:
Tear down of the BT does have quite a few parts, but it's not overly complicated because it is just a mechanical blowback marker. The first few times might be a bit daunting but you'd get used to it pretty quickly. The Vibe being an electro doesn't have many parts, but the parts it does have can be sensitive. Neither would be that difficult to maintain.

Reliability:
If something goes wrong, the BT would usually be easier to fix just because it's a mech. Although most problems w/ electros can be fixed by installing a brand new quality battery. Most markers are going to be reliable 95% of the time you hit the field. There are exceptions like an X7 w/ a problematic cyclone, or on the other end an Automag that never breaks down. For the rest of the markers out there it's pretty much a wash. Also, the BT's construction is reportedly been better than recent generation Tippmanns, take that for what it's worth.

Fresh out of Box (FOB) capability vs value:
The BT is the least expensive of the two usually, at least here in the US. The Vibe outperforms the BT in some areas, but the BT is better in others.

Since weight & rate of fire are not issues (both things the Vibe have a distinct advantage in), I'd choose the BT. With a good aftermarket barrel & identical paint, both markers will be able to hit their target w/ the same accuracy. For me, not having to worry about batteries or loose wires while on the field is more important than my marker being quieter & more air efficient. If consistency is more important to you than using your marker to dig a trench, then you should choose the Vibe... jk - never use your marker for bunker construction.

This post has been edited by ger: 06 November 2009 - 10:46 AM

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#4 User is offline   mixcow 

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 04:45 PM

Woah, thank you for the indepth and very informative info guys =]
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#5 User is offline   mixcow 

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 05:08 AM

"If consistency is more important to you than using your marker to dig a trench, then you should choose the Vibe... jk - never use your marker for bunker construction." - quoted from guy above, what exactly does consistency mean?
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#6 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:57 PM

Consistency refers to the marker's ability to shoot paint at a consistent or steady velocity. All markers should be chronographed before playing to make sure they're shooting at the correct velocity - usually around 270-290fps is ideal, never more than 300fps.

Most blowbacks get sound around +/-10 fps on plain CO2, really good ones can do as well as +/-5 but for CO2 on an uregulated setup it really depends on the conditions you're playing in, the temperature of your tank, and how much you're shooting. A Vibe has an internal regulator which helps with its consistency, you should get around +/-5fps in most all conditions.
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#7 User is offline   TheEnd 

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:12 PM

Either one is a good choice for a starter marker. Just decide what features you like the most, and try to use them.
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