Review: Tippmann X-7 Phenom
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Crusher of Dreams
Joined: 10 June 2002
Location: United States
I have always been a very lucky Marine. And last Summer I was privy to something utterly awesome. I got to take an early version of the marker that would Become the X-7 Phenom through it's paces. Here is my review on it. When I was told that it used X-7 mods I was glad for those like myself who have invested on the X-7.
Upon un-boxing it became clear that this was a different Tippmann, It looked like an X-7 but it was smaller and lighter. The external air line was gone. It had a built in E-grip with a 3 stage selector switch. Also the Cyclone was different and upon closer inspection it was really different. The velocity adjustment screw was gone and it's place was a wheel in the marker that adjusted the internal regulator. My early prototype had standard X-7 Styled Sights which I though did not do the Marker Justice. So I swapped them out for the Salvo Sights and I liked the look better. I am glad that It seems that Tippmann took my Suggestion and put the newer sights on the Phenom. I rushed and grabbed a fresh case of Paint and I grabbed this old case of RPS premium tournament bronze paintballs, and By old I used this paint about 2 years ago to shoot up Tallen and his Girlfriend. I keep paint pretty good i rotate them often so they had small dimples on top but nothing crazy. But I am sure that most cyclones would turn that into soup.
I put the X-36 folding stock on the marker and it fit like a glove, I added a foregrip mounted on the bottom picattini rail of the new shortened shroud (my favorite cosmetic add on). The Marker then really came together. It felt solid the marker is light and has a balanced feeling.
I aired up the marker and it took about 4 shots to get it to chrono at 285fps. I play mostly with CO2 so I like to give myself a few FPS to be in the safe zone in case of a CO2 spike. The new Tippmann Flex Valve performs great with CO2. In Mechanical Semi, And the two Electronic modes I had programed "Responsive" and "Safety Full auto" I got consistent strings. I did not have any noticeable Drop off and my hand held Radar-Chrony. The marker was compared side by side with an X-7, my Alpha Black Project Salvo as expected in group size and on accuracy while firing at a moving target (a large rubber ball that my kid pulled on a rope) firing at 60 feet I loved how easy it was to get short bursts of paintballs on target consistently even in a moving target.
While fun and all, it wasn't until that weekend that I was able to put it through it's paces against actual opponents. Playing with a Mix of old and new paint the new Cyclone and the Flex Valve worked flawlessly for me. I did not had one Break on the "7" prototype I had. The Stock held up as expected with no wobble at the mounting point nor any problems when folded.
Switching between modes was easy. Using the wrench that's in the Magazine Tool kit i was able to test several modes in play before realizing that Semi, Turbo and Full Auto is the way to go. The Selector switch is comfortable and easy to get into modes once you work it in a bit. I used an old Lapco Bigshot on it and it handled the mix of paint quite well with no barrel breaks nor any issues on accuracy. While the slight tippy recoil is gone this helped greatly on quickly walking rounds on exposed limbs and or small openings on the cover my opponents where hiding behind. I have played with Team mates Space guns and this had the shooting posture of the Tourney types with it's low operating pressure as compared to other Tippmanns I have. I think this will be like when you Upgrade your Internet Speed, there just isn't really going back.
On feel the marker just feels solid in your hand with the X-36 stock and foregrip had that nice and tight SMG feel. The raised rails match up to existing X-7 hardware and shrouds. After transplanting the Sights from the Project Salvo and the Sling Point I was able to put a Hasty sling into it.
My Daughter loved the marker, as a matter of a fact she added one on her X-mas list. She has fired just about all my markers and this one she loved in weight, feel and how it shoots over all my other markers. She quickly picked up on modes and how to get good strings out on targets.
Edited by Evil Elvis - 21 October 2009 at 7:07pm
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