Pump Guns - Pros/Cons

Pardini:
Hi Tim, My son and I met you at Pump Day on the 22nd. I want to pick up a couple pump guns (new) in the $200 to $500 range. Any sugguestions? Give me pros/cons on these three; CCM SS25, Houndstooth, Superstocker.

I have also found several used Sniper II's on after market frames for around $200. They are appealing, but I know way too little about them to make an informed choice.

 

 

Tim:
Hey Pardini, nice meeting you guys on Sunday, was hoping you'd jump into the fray, but was content to see some newcomers interested in our little game

the reviews i give on these guns will be based on lots of fact and some personal preference, i'll tell you right now that my personal favorite gun is a CCI Phantom VSC with the extra cool urban camo anodizing its my personal gun and i hardly use any others, but have had experience with all the ones you've mentioned and have played games with each

so anyway...

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Houndstooth:


right feed, vertical bottle, Houndstooth w/ UMB bottomline bracket

Palmer gun built ground up per your specific order. Its a stacked tube Sheridan valve design using brass tubes and a sheridan style trigger frame. Very low maintenance...keep the bolt lubed and drop some oil in the ASA every few weeks and it should perform like a champ. very simple guns and there should be no reason to ever have to take it completely apart...not to mention the PPS shop is right here in sac for easy access to tech work and troubleshooting.

Can be set up in a variety of configurations per your preference...
-back bottle, verical bottle, bottomline, vert reg with bottomline...
-right feed, left feed, center feed, spring feed, or stock class style...
-long barrel, short barrel, vented, non vented...
-polished nickel, matte nickel, or powder coat whatever color you like
---my personal preference would be vertical reg with bottomline and a small drop forward, polish nickel plate with a medium length double spiral vented barrel

This was actually the first palmer gun I ever purchased, PP-212...which got traded, and then sold on 5 sepreate occasions and eventually ended back up with me about a year later. Its very accurate, you can trust the sight rail and bead pretty well to line up the shots...with an autotrigger and a good firm grip in your shoulder its plenty fast to shoot off the break with and lay down some paint. with a tank and full hopper it does tend to get a big heavy, being made out of brass its not a flimsy gun by any means.

the barrels on all palmer guns come with pre stamped Wedgits...bascically there are three 'dents' on the end of the barrel where the ball sits when the bolt is closed, these dents dont effect performance or flight of the ball at all, but act as a detent system to hold the ball in place to prevent rollouts...its Palmers answer to barrel kits...you never have to change the barrel because every barrel they make fits every type of paint made...

Craig Palmer's personal pump paint slinger is a Inline Reg/bottomline, vert feed, antiqued finnish houndstooth, with 12" barrel and spiral porting, a HaloB, a HPA tank, and a 40mm BSA Red Dot sight that can hit anything he aims at...

Pro: built to order, accurate, versatile, easy maintenance, fast when needed, solid problem free construction, wedgits, 18+ shots per 12 gram

Con: heavy, when using UMB a drop is almost always required to shoulder the gun properly, slightly tough pump stroke

overall on my scale i'd give a Houndstooth: 8/10

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Super Stocker:


standard stock class Super Stocker w/ reversable feed, and vertical ASA and CCI 12 gram changer

Palmer gun, built ground up just like the Houndstooth, these are built to be stock class specific. like any other Palmer gun its a stacked tube sheridan valve design. the tubes are nickel plated brass and the trigger frame is the sheridan style like on the houndstooth. it also requires little maintenance...few drops of oil, keep the bolt clean etc...

it doesnt have as many options as the Houndstooth as far as setup is concerned...the Super Stocker is built for and meant to be a stock class gun only which means operation using 12 grams not air tanks and 10 round tubes not hoppers... for a true stock class setup it would be:
-12 gram changer, vertical or back bottle
-standard horizontal feed tube, non-spring feed
-un-vented barrel
however you can have a side mounted feed tube (offset left or right), longer or shorter barrel with venting or not, vertical bottle or back bottle or bottomline if you add a UMB with an ASA. and other options like extra sight rails or powdercoating / polishing just like with any Palmer brass gun.

you can set up a stocker to have a rock forward (nelson style) or rock back (sheridan) design...most are made with a standard feed tube up top that 10 round tubes just slip fit into and the plug can be reversed to make it work either forward or back depending on your personal preference.

Again, these guns are very accurate if you know what you're doing with them, my favorite all time super stocker belongs to Dan Bacci (attended pump day on the 22nd) its a Long Vented Barrel super stocker with a PPS Wedge stock, vertical 12 gram, and horizontal top feed tube with a phantom feed gate. Its a beauty and I can almost always hit what i'm aiming at without using sights even from cross field...they're built well and never break down, and like i said earlier, the PPS shop is here in sac and easy to get to if you ever have problems with the gun.

the barrels on all palmer guns come with pre stamped Wedgits...bascically there are three 'dents' on the end of the barrel where the ball sits when the bolt is closed, these dents dont effect performance or flight of the ball at all, but act as a detent system to hold the ball in place to prevent rollouts...its Palmers answer to barrel kits...you never have to change the barrel because every barrel they make fits every type of paint made...

Craig Palmers stock class gun is a super stocker with a standard reversable feed (rock forward for him) 12" barrel with spiral porting and vertical 12 gram changer (CCI)

Pro: Light yet still very sturdy, extremely accurate, very gas efficient, can use 12 grams (comes with a CCI changer) or a 4oz CO2 tank if prefered or even bottomline, stock class feed system ordered to your preference, wedgits, 25+ shots per 12 gram

Con: slightly tough pump stroke, limited to stock class amount of paint (usually 10 - 15 balls), not hopper adaptable, have to rock the gun before every shot.

overall on my scale i'd give a Super Stocker: 9/10

its not for everyone, if you want a more intense experience try playing stock class first before spending $300 on a stock class only marker...i'd say start with a tank and hopper gun if you've never played pump before, it's easier to get used to when starting out.

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Chipley SS-25:


original style CCM SS-25 w/ .45 frame w/ single delrin hinge trigger, stock class feed tube, stock inline regulator and bottomline w/ on/off, autotrigger, clear pump handle, F4 style wire ball detent, and J&J barrel, all match annoed silver/purple w/ laser engraving


new prototype CCM SS-25 w/ the new milling pattern, .86 frame w/ single delrin hinge trigger, vertical clamping feed, black delrin pump handle, autotrigger, new style spyder ball detents, stock inline regulator, and CCM carbon fiber barrel kit, all match annoed dust gray and polished black

The newest in the line of Chipley markers is the SS-25, with a couple features of a spyder, like the removable front ASA/Pump block and spyder threaded removable feednecks...with everything else about the gun like a WGP Sniper. It's a stacked tube sheridan valve design, not unlike the palmer guns mentioned above, however the body is made from a solid aluminum block instead of stacked brass tubes. They are mid scale on the heaviness and a bit beefier looking than any palmer guns due to the larger and wider body. CCM is going to release a new version of the SS-25 soon with a body more milled like their old style J2 bodies. it will remove a lot of weight and give the gun some very nice looking angles.

the guns themselves are springed very lightly, meaning the lower tube internals (valve spring, valve, hammer, main spring) are very low tension to allow the gun to operate on a lower pressure. they feel very soft when they shoot unlike some other snipers that use heavy back springs and kick a lot. the light springing allows for less recoil and faster shooting. and it also makes the pump stroke a lot less stiff because there's less resistance.

the feed system the Chipley SS-25 uses is modular, meaning you can change from vertical feed to stock class if you so choose, and there are aftermarket companies like Wevo Paintball that make the stock class tubes to add on. they dont come in right or left feed though. you can also change your air source if you like. they come set up for using a bottomline tank setup (co2 or HPA) but you can remove the reg and put on a 12 gram adapter to play full stock class with the added stock feedneck.

all the Chipley SS-25's should come with their own inline reg and barrel, not sure if they come standard with the autotrigger and the bottomline ASA though, you'd have to check into that. they also use a .45 or .86 frame instead of a sheridan style frame like the PPS markers do, the .45 frame is like on any standard paintball gun and the .86 frame is more of a vertical frame like on the newer angels. and you can change the frame if you prefer one or the other...you can put a .45 frame on a palmer but it will cost around $100 or $150

the guns themselves are very accurate (notice a trend here?) and you can change your barrels unlike on the Palmer guns which have fixed brass barrels (good or bad depending on your preference). on the SS-25 the body accepts any cocker threaded barrels so you can use freaks, stiffi kits, dye boomsticks and ultralites, longbows, CPs, lapco or whatever you like. the barrel provided with the gun suits it fine and comes in a standard .689 bore size, but if you want to get a kit to change bore sizes depending on what paint you have its possible...

pro: lightweight, very accurate, interchangable barrels, interchangable feed styles, easily changed air source, .45 or .86 frame, VERY smooth pump stroke, relatively easy maintenance, 20+ shots per 12 gram

con: bigger and bulkier than PPS brass guns (not necessarily heavier), many more parts to worry about, shop is in Redding so guns will need to be mailed out for work to be done by the factory (still not too far away)

overall on my scale i'd give a Chipley SS-25: 9/10

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I'd honestly stay away from used snipers, unless they are old chipley pumps or well maintained aftermarket guns...the stock WGP snipers are very chunky and not smooth at all

if you're looking to spend $200 - $500 each of the guns mentiond above can be bought for those prices easily.

if you would like an informed opinion on used guns for sale i'd be happy to provide one, just post the links to them here and i'll critique each one. though i'd honestly think you'd be happier with a factory new pump gun so you know no one has been tinkering inside and you know what to expect from them.

 

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Matt:
from what I hear phantoms have some of the best stock barrels that you never will have to worry about changing out. They apparently have a great maker who is a great guy willing to help with everything. Phantoms are a nelson base as well if I remeber right tim? So they have their small differences from sheridan style. In pump I am told every kind of has their own perticular taste some like nelson based some like sheridan.
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Tim:
Matt, you're absolutely right, Phantoms (along with Carters, Nelspots, Razorbacks, etc...) are all Nelson based, the whole valve, hammer, and bolt are contained in a single tube all inline with each other where as with a sheridan the valve and hammer setup is in the lower tube and the bolt is the only thing in the top tube.

And yes, Phantoms do have some of the nicest barrels as far as stock barrels go, however i prefer the rarer CCI Carbon Fiber barrels...CCM/Wevo also now make a Carbon Fiber kit for the phantom which i hear is quite nice...

Pardini,
as far as why phantoms are my favorite markers for pump...it really comes down to preference and feel...while i like snipers and own more snipers than i do phantoms, the phantoms just feel more natural in my hands...i've been playing heavily with my Urban Camo VSC with a T-stock for the past 2 1/2 years and i generally can hit what i'm aiming at without any sighting aids just because it shoulders so well and i know how it shoots. It's the only pump marker i use anymore.

they're very easy on maintenance and require no tools at all to field strip, there's two thumb screws on the grip frame that disconnect the body from the grip and all the parts slide out easily for cleaning / oiling...the only allen wrench required for cleaning is a 9/64" used to remove a stock class feed on a SC phantom, but for a right/left/center feed there are no tools required.

as far as reliability, out of the 3 1/2 years i've owned the gun the only pieces i've replaced are the stock black plastic ones for clear plastic ones just because it looked better in my opinion...there have been no parts worn out and i've only had to dis-assemble the gun about 5 times to give it a complete cleaning and oiling.


the '03 snipers are nice, but still just stock snipers...the Chipley kits really make a difference on a cocker based pump, they improve the smoothness and have larger pump handles which are easy to grip in game...the Chipley internals are also much lighter and more precisely tuned and improve efficiency...you can buy a stock sniper and add the chipley upgrades for around $180...

if you're looking for a good looking gun that shoots well and will last forever your best 3 choices are PPS, Chipley, and Phantom...

if you'd like to try out each one, you're more than welcome to come to pump day next month and give each one a shot...pete has a chipley modified sniper, i have each style of phantom, and both of us have sheridans and PPS guns...other who come play have chipley pumps and other various types you may like to try...

if you want to buy phantoms, the best place to get them would be Brandon (the guy who was selling paint last pump day) he owns Electric Iguana Paintball and has the best prices on phantoms i've seen...the website is currently down, but the prices are around:
-$185 - back bottle, right feed phantom with M-16 grip in black anno
-$253 - Vertical Stock Class phantom w/ .45 grip in black anno
-Anodizing - $19 for solid color - $26 for acid wash
-Different feed bodies are ~$35 for whichever style you like
-T-stocks are $45
-All extra desired parts can be ordered with the gun so they will all completely match anno.

another nice thing about phantoms is they hold their re-sale VERY well...if you pay $300 on a phantom, you can likely get $275 for it if you decide to sell it...the official Phantom Owners Group is here if you'd like to look into it a bit more: http://www.bunkerboyz.com/phog/index.php?

i know the feeling of saying "no...i'm not buying another gun"...it never seemed to work with me either...note the collection of 53 guns.......its a habbit, its a hobby, however you justify it, it's always fun!