Report Card Review: Tippmann Model 98 Custom with ACT
By Jason Casebolt
Class resumes and for the next assignment Paintball.com will be taking a look at the Tippmann 98 Custom with Tippmann’s new Anti-Chop Technology (ACT). Has this marker been in school too long or is it time to graduate or flunk out, let’s start circling answers.
Look-Aesthetics: (C) Middle of the curve.
The Model 98 does not look bad, but it does not look great either. For the most part it looks like a bar of metal with parts protruding from it. While it does have somewhat of a militaristic image to it, it far lacks the look of its brother the A5 or the competitor the
Originality: (A) Setting the standard in its class!
While other similar markers are now flooding the market, the Tippmann line of markers are still the originals. Tippmann rocked the industry when it released the Model 98. With its clam shell design, solid build and quick trigger, this marker really broke ground.
Since its inception, it has incorporated features to keep it competitive. At first the Model 98 changed into to M98 Custom. The Custom’s improvement was to include a pre-molded interior to allow for the most popular aftermarket parts. This allowed upgrades to be “Snapped” into place with minimal modification.
The Model 98 Custom w/ ACT is the next step in keeping the Tippmann line competitive. Other competitors are getting cheaper and including anti-chop systems like the Anti-Chop Eye. For the Model 98 to include an Anti-Chop eye would be succumbing to peer pressure. Tippmann instead invented a totally new anti-chop system that I will describe below. Kudos for innovation.
Construction: (A) Put together out of high quality materials!
When you first pick up the Tippmann M98 Custom w/ ACT, you can feel the solid construction that keeps winning the “Tippmann Vs. The World” Big Game. For years Tippmann has been a leader building a solid product and this has not changed a bit.
One noticeable difference between this Model 98 and those of the past is the inclusion of a higher quality paint job. The exterior of this marker is laced with a heavier duty coating than previous versions. Furthermore, it has more of a matt finish to remind users that they are out to win this war.
Features: (C) Solid Marker out of the box, a definite (A) if you include aftermarket electronic and low pressure systems.
Anti-Chop Technology: Now the highlight of the marker, the new Anti-Chop Technology (ACT) is both simple and effective. Although it does not incorporate electronics, this unique system has evolved the cocking mechanism to include an extra pin and spring into the internal rear of the marker.
Upon encountering resistance in the ball chamber, the hammer continues to push forward. The redesigned linkage arm does not allow the bolt to close in the chamber. This results from the linkage arm being attached to a new groove in the hammer that contains the new pin/spring combo. This allows the marker to cycle and not to chop paint. The new spring inside the hammer then pushes backward to re-cock the marker.
After market accessories: The Tippmann 98 line of markers enjoys an expansive array of possible upgrades. While there are 3rd party companies like Rufus Dawg that invent excellent upgrades, the Tippmann Factory itself still releases some of the best.
Tippmann Sports offers the E-Trigger electronic upgrade kit. Now that Tippmann is incorporating WAS Boards into their frames, the Model 98 is now a virtual machine gun. The previous limitation to this technology was loading misfeeds could cause chopping.
The ACT system now eliminates the chopping and allows a maximum rate of fire without having to clean out your barrel.
Other upgrades that any Tippmann owner should check out would be the Flatline Barrel system, Low Pressure Kit and new M98 Compatible Cyclone Feed System.
Performance: (A) (C) Great for the subject matter, acceptable for a different subject.
Intended Performance (Recreational-Scenario): (A)
This marker is intended and is perfect for the recreational market. The sturdy construction combined with great aftermarket parts is a sure fire way to defend forts. In addition, the Tippmann Flatline barrel is the best recreational barrel on the market as it offers the largest range of any barrel out there.
Other Performance (Tournament): (C) or (B+ with upgrades)
The Model 98 Custom with ACT is suitable for beginner local tournaments, but will not be effective at higher levels of competition. Entering any type of slightly advanced competition will quickly show this markers disadvantage in firepower.
Upgrading this marker with electronics will provide a large boost to its competitiveness. The fast and programmable firing speed combined with the ACT will allow the Tippmann 98 Custom with ACT to hang with most markers. Only at the highest of levels should the differences between this marker and the elite markers be noticed.
Support: (A) It keeps earning the grade after it is submitted.
Tippmann has set the standard for years with top notch customer service and support. Even check out their website at www.tippmann.com and they have support and warranty registration available on there. Furthermore, Tippmann offers a one year defective parts guarantee for peace of mind.
Value: (B-) Solid price for a solid marker.
In the Mid $100 range, the Tippmann is a solid marker. It is not as inexpensive as many other markers, but its higher quality parts drastically reduce maintenance and repair. You can go cheaper buy buying a different marker, but remember that you get what you pay for!
Overall Grade: (B) Passes the test with flying colors!
Overall this is an above average paintball marker. Out of the box it is solid and will not give the user any problems. This should be perfect for any scenario or recreational player. For those that want something more, Tippmann’s upgrades turn this recreational beast into an effective and quality tournament marker.
* For more information on this or other Tippmann Sports products visit www.tippmann.com *