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About Tippmann A-5

Tippmann A-5 is a great paint ball gun!

Tippmann A-5. Black, compact, with a retail price of $369, the A-5 has the Tippmann "challenge" look. Straight from the factory, it was an easy set-up to start the semi-auto A-5 rocking along. We shot over 1,200 paintballs using CO2, without a single ball break at about 280 feet per second. Accuracy? Good. The somewhat shorter barrel (8.5 inches) gives the A-5 an excellent profile for small bunkers or paintball scenario tanks. Buy a longer barrel if you want to, but try the factory barrel for a while first. 

Tippmann's A-5 uses a 150-ball loader that only fits this marker (included). It has a flip lid for easy loading into the new Tippmann patented Cyclone Feed System. As you squeeze the trigger, the Cyclone Feed System actuates the sprocket inside the loader. The feeder captures the paintballs and moves them into the chamber. Each time you pull the trigger, a ball moves one position closer to being shot. Tippmann says it will cycle up to 15 balls per second. In testing, we were not able to get ahead of the loader.

The A-5 breaks down for cleaning easily, and very fast, no tools needed. Plenty of these were seen at D-Day 2002 at The Bunker Extreme, Wyandotte, Oklahoma, and players who were polled with "How do you like it?" said good things and had nothing negative to report. 

Tippmann had upgrades in the planning stages at the time of the field testing. These included a response trigger, flatline barrel, and electronic kit. Check with Tippmann for prices and availability. During the next year, the company will continue to add accessories for the A-5. 

Although Tippmann planned this marker for use in recreational, scenario, and tournament play, the early-on email questions about the A-5 that APG received were over 95 per cent related to scenario or rec ball use. There is a ring sling ring on the marker.

Cyclone Feed

A closer look at the Cyclone Feed System begins with the exterior. There’s a loader top piece with a flip lid that looks like most loaders on the market today. The lower section, however, is a cup-like piece attached to the right-hand side of the marker. Looking down into the lower section, you see the two level impeller. It looks like a starfish with five swooshy trailing arms. A  paintball fits in the space between each pair of arms. 

When the trigger is pulled, some of the air released from the valve is directed to drive the impeller. Loaded paint sits above the ball-sized spaces of the star-shaped paddles. As the paint enters the paddle system, it "gets in line" to be moved into the chamber. As the leading arm passes the side entrance to the ball chamber, a curved "finger" riding between the two levels guides the ball into the chamber, where it is held firmly by the trailing arm. A small air powered ram advances the impeller one-fifth of turn with each shot, timed to put a ball in the chamber each time. A small plunger lets you manually advance the impeller to load the chamber so the first trigger pull will shoot a ball. 

The loader mounts on the feed housing with a wide neck. No other loader currently available will fit the A-5. It’s a good idea to buy a second loader upper part for your gear bag, just in case.

The Cyclone Feed System is distantly related to an earlier Tippmann marker, the F/A, which rotated the feed system using a wound spring-type apparatus. The F/A is no longer in production.

Field Tests

Visually, the A-5 has a "family resemblance" to the Model 98--similar main body lines and gas feed line placement. The A-5 is only available in flat black at this time. There have been quite a few comments received about the A-5's "military look"--which, without the loader, are not off base. However, when the loader is added, the A-5 has the general outline of a paintball marker. Other Tippmann markers have long been used by law enforcement and the military for various purposes.

The grip/receiver was a hard molded composite with a flat, "bead blasted" type surface. A short composite vertical grip enables a stable positioning of the marker. The air line from the bottom of the marker body to the ASA on the bottom of the grip was of braided steel.

For field tests, you’d think you were reading a Southern novel: "It was warm and muggy, with a slight overcast, when...." With a 12 ounce CO2 tank as the power source, we aired up the A-5. Pulling the cocking lever back, we dry fired about a dozen times to check for cycling. The stock barrel had measured .690 with a bore micrometer.

Three paint brands were used in the main portion of the chrono and accuracy tests. With Diablo Blaze, we averaged 293 feet per second (fps). Checking the function of the velocity adjuster, about 1/4 turn reduced it by about 3 fps. The velocity adjuster is a screw in the side of the marker body, which restricts or opens the flow of gas or air. Turning the screw in restricts the flow and reduces the velocity. 

Tests resumed shooting International Worr Paint, which was slightly smaller. The velocity average dropped to 282 fps on average, as was expected. Because we ran some rapid fire tests with the Worr Paint (no ball breaks), the CO2 tank started to cool down and collect a little condensation on the outside. When we shot PMI/RPS Marballizer, a smaller ball, we found a further velocity drop to an average of 277 fps with some variation in velocities, not uncommon with relatively smaller paint being shot out of a relatively larger bore. With year old Viewloader paint, which was small (the WDP Paintmate suggested using it in barrels of .684-.686 inside diameter), the velocity average was 279 fps. We had no ball breakage but did see a couple of wingers. 

As we moved into target accuracy shooting, we took the time to run some long strings. No balls broke but we saw a marked increase in the number of wingers. We stopped shooting to analyze, and one test team member saw dampness in the barrel. That’s a sure cause for wingers, no matter what kind of paint is shot. The cooler CO2 from rapid fire had cooled the marker down, and moisture was condensing from the humid air onto the outside and INSIDE of the barrel, leading to the wingers. Shooting the A-5 with compressed air would prevent this situation. A field solution would call for frequent barrel swabbing with a dry shotgun swab end or a fluffy swab, and a pull through or stick squeegee cleaning would also help.

In spite of the high humidity and continuing presence of condensation on and in the marker, plus a light wind, the A-5 sent 6 out of 10 paintballs onto the 10" x 18" target at 80 feet.

When you remove the tank, the A-5 drains the air out. If you simply turn off a tank and do not drain the line, the marker and valve will hold some CO2. Our tests showed five shots remained but the fifth shot did not re-cock the marker. Remove the tank after playing and before doing any field stripping.

Field Stripping

Field stripping is about as easy as it gets. Remove the air source and all paintballs. Wear your goggles for safety. Removing 4 push-out receiver pins and pushing on one latch releases the grip/receiver, air line and main body end cap. With the end cap removed, the main spring, bumper, hammer/valve/power-tube/bolt assembly can be pulled out of the main body. Reassembly is very easy. Practice this a few times until you are used to the procedure. The owner’s manual has a breakdown diagram of the internals. 


The Tippmann A-5 is lightweight, shoots fast, and feeds reliably. Tippmann builds quality into their markers, and has a strong reputation for good customer service. It’s too early to tell whether the A-5 will catch on for tournament play, but it’s moving hard into the rec ball and scenario scenes. Take a look, and have a test range session, with the A-5 at the local pro shop or paintball park, as you decide what marker to buy next. 


Tippmann A-5

ACTION: in-line, open bolt, blowback, semi-auto paintball marker

POWER: CO2, or regulated compressed air or nitrogen


RECEIVER: aluminum; matte black anodized finish

CO2 ADAPTER: bottom line

FEED: patented Cyclone Feed System

GRIP FRAME: molded composite

SAFETY: cross bolt trigger block

SIGHT: iron sight (ring and post in front; adjustable slot in back)

SIGHT MOUNT: standard 3/8" dovetail sight rail

BARREL: aluminum, removable, ported, 8.5 inch


VELOCITY: adjustable

WEIGHT: 3.5 lbs.


OTHER FEATURES: front hand grip; rear sling buckle

INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: owner's manual, barrel plug, squeegee, allen wrenches, o-rings, oil

(c) 2003 Пейнтбол Клуб Егерь

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