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Empire Apex 2, First impressions VIDEO TEST ADDED

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    Posted: 13 January 2011 at 9:19am

First off, I LOVE the original Apex, it is on both my Tippmann A-5 and 98 Custom, and even when playing in below freezing temps, where paint breakage is an issue… I will still risk the occasional broken ball so that I can use my Apex. If you haven’t used an Apex barrel system before, then don’t even bother reading all of this, just go to

 

http://www.empirepaintball.com/battle-tested-woodsball/empire-battle-tested-apex2-14/

 

and order one. (If you don’t know what type you need… then read my review) The Apex system will change the way you play paintball, and also change your tactics, as the disadvantage of facing a foe with an Apex 1 or 2 is HUGE…

 

Here is some video of me playing woodsball with my original Apex

 

 

 

I like my paintball gun short, which was one of the things I really liked about the original Apex barrel; it gave you the accuracy of a longer barrel, without the added length. This new Apex 2 barrel is available in 2 sizes. The smaller size 14 inches (once installed on my A-5 with the quick connect adapter) is 13 ¼ long. The original Apex was only 10 inches long. (Measuring from where it protrudes from the receiver body to the end of the tip) It is longer if you figure the threads… 

 

A-5 with apex on top, A-5 with Apex 2 14 inch middle, and Apex 2 18 inch (98 custom threads) on bottom

 

Or you can go with the 18 inch Apex 2, which installed is a little over 17 inches long.

 

 

The original Apex had 9 levels of Adjustment, and the new Apex 2 also has 9 levels of adjustment.

 

First off, the fit and finish of the new Apex 2 is much better than the feel of the old style Apex. The tip is longer, smoother (aluminum) and much smaller, and actually has the look of a silencer. Which is a cool look in my opinion, and based on the cost of some barrel systems, the price can’t be beat for the Apex 2.

 

Taking the original Apex apart consisted of removing 4 screws with a Phillips screwdriver. The new one boasts “tool free” removal, which is true, but I don’t see myself needing to remove the tip on the field… Never had to with my old Apex tip, worse case I would just use the quick disconnect on my A-5 and remove the entire barrel and whip a squeegee through it, removing the paint residues.

 

To remove the tip, you adjust the apex all the way ramped (move the adjuster forward 9 clicks), then push down on the adjuster area, which now acts as a button, and pull off the aluminum tip cover.

 

Inside you will find 4 o-rings (bet it will work fine with just 2 if you loose or break one) 2 o-rings on the front, and two on the back. I stuck my finger in the tip and pushed it apart and grabbed the front o-rings, to remove them. Then open it up halfway and slide it off the barrel. Then you can remove the back o-rings.

 

At the top of this picture is the original Apex disassembled, and below is the Apex 2 disassembled.

 

 

So as you can see they have made some changes, most noticeable is that the rubber tip goes further under the barrel, which I would assume makes the ramp more stable when adjusted all the way up or fully ramped. The biggest engineering change is the ramp adjuster which now is attached at the tip and acts as a button. So when you adjust the tip, it does move. Which if you are adjusting while firing would change the ramp amount dramatically I would guess, and I can’t wait to see if that is true… (I will update this thread once I shoot a video test)

 

I read that someone said they were getting a lot longer distance with the Apex 2 than their Apex 1 so the first thing I did when I got it apart was to compare the amount of ramp that level 9 achieves on each. And I took pictures so you could see the difference as well.

 

 

 

So the Apex 2 does have quite a bit more ramp!... Meaning even longer distance targets are now within your reach. I have already proved that you can hit guys over 350 feet away with an Apex, I can’t wait to play with the Apex 2.

 

 

 
The “threads” on the Apex 2 tip are different than the original, But, they are close enough that they should work once you remove the o-rings.  The first indentation into the barrel is smaller than the previous Apex tip, but I took my original Apex 1 barrel, and put the Apex 2 tip on it and it fits fine.

 

Now, let’s talk about other paintball guns. I’m primarily a Tippmann guy, because I play in very cold temps. So here are some of the other Tippmann markers with the Apex 2 tip installed.

 

First off a Tippmann 98 Custom top marker has the 14 inch barrel, and bottom marker has the 18 inch barrel. The stock barrel and original Apex are in the middle for comparison.

 

 

 

And I can’t forget the newbies that want to get into paintball and their mom picked them up an Alpha Black for Christmas. You want the 18 inch with 98 custom threads for your marker. If you buy the shorter 14 inch you will have to remove your barrel shroud for it to fit.

18 inch Apex 2 on an Alpha Black Tactical

 

14 inch Apex 2 on an Alpha Black Tactical with barrel shroud removed

 

And a group shot for fun.

 

If you are new to paintball head on over to empire’s web site because they have a voucher for a free day at your local paintball field!

 

http://www.empirepaintball.com/step1-free-rookie-pass/

 

I am going to do a test soon showing the differences between a stock barrel, and an Apex 1 and Apex 2 as well as a longer barrel. And I will update the thread when it is completed, or you can subscribe to my video’s and you will see it as soon as I upload it to youtube.

 

 

Typically the first upgrade people make to a paintball gun is the barrel. I shoot real guns a lot, so I compare my paintball guns to real guns. And my biggest complaint about every barrel I tried was that they all ‘arched’ when you fired. Making scopes worthless… Because the way you aim to hit a target at 50 feet is totally different than the way you aim at 100 feet, and on and on.

 

The Apex changes that. With my original Apex barrel system, I set my ramp at the halfway point which gives a long flat shot up to about 70 feet. I even sighted in my core red dot scope and was able to hit within 4 inches over and over at 70 feet! Now it still has some curve but nothing like a traditional barrel.


The reason why is it creates backspin, just like you do when you hit a ping pong ball with a paddle while moving the paddle up while hitting it. The ball hits the tip of the barrel and starts spinning, that spin creates lift, and instead of flying in an arch, it hovers. Pretty cool to watch, and will really change your game. Even on a speed ball course.

 

You know how when you are playing and you see a paintball coming at you from far away. If it is a regular barrel, most of the time it will drop before it gets to you… But, with an Apex it just keeps coming, and I can’t tell you how many times, I have been eliminated because it went an obscene distance for a paintball to travel and then busted on me.

 

More when I have time.



Edited by FreeEnterprise - 12 February 2011 at 11:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evil Elvis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2011 at 12:52pm
I like the Apex Tip. I use one on my Phenom but the Stock Empire Barrel are garbage. Perhaps the worst barrel I have shot since the original model 98 rought 8" barrels. I use a 8" LAPCO Bigshot Apex ready and it's money.

How many more clicks do you get out of the new Adapter?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2011 at 5:07pm
It is the same number of clicks (9) but much different than the original Apex 1. As the ramp is different. There is about 1/16 difference in height when measured from the center of the barrel, but there is actually more than that as the tip is angled more up than the previous tip.
 

I went out and fired it today, and there is a big difference between the original Apex 1 and the new Apex 2.

 

For example, on the Apex 1 if you set it halfway ramped (about 5 clicks) it shoots pretty level. That is how I typically leave mine.

 

The new Apex 2 at 5 clicks puts WAY more ramp on the ball, meaning that the ball exits the barrel a lot lower and hovers back up in the air, so you have to point the marker up higher when firing.

 

At 5 clicks it is almost like the old Apex 1 fully ramped to 9 clicks...

 

 

So to shoot level, you would set the Apex 2 at 3 clicks.

 

If you go up to 7 clicks it shoots very similar to a flatline barrel. The ball comes out way low and climbs way back up.

 

At 9 clicks it is amazing the amount of ramp... Way more than anything I have seen before, and I can't wait to do some distance tests on this new barrel, once it warms up.

 

And yes, you can push down on the button while firing and manually adjust the shot without actually clicking it into place. Which could be very helpful in a wooded setting to get a shot through thick brush!

I like the original barrel, it works great with the paint I use (xball scenario woodsball camo paint from Dick's), as it is tapered from .700 down to .680 at the end when it hits the tip. The new barrels have the same tapered internal dimensions but they are longer than the original apex barrel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evil Elvis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2011 at 5:33pm
Cool good to know. A few of the guys at the OG's got some of these. I'm
Just going to wait till they release the tip by itself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spirit2277 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2011 at 7:00am
I've been looking for an answer to this question for a long time. I really want to get an APEX2, but I want to get the 14in. The problem I'm having tho is that MY A5 is currently equipped with an SR 9in floating hand guard. The opening is approximately 2 or 2.5 inches wide (just a guess, I'm not near my gun right now, will update soon) How wide is the tip of the APEX2. it looks significantly not as wide as the original. I'm wondering if its small enough to fit inside my floating handguard because i would like to keep that attachment equipped.
 
So how wide exactly is the APEX2 barrely tip?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spirit2277 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2011 at 10:20am
So I slightly over estimated the gap in the floating hand guard. It is just a hair shy of 1 5/8 inches wide

Will i be able to fit the 14in APEX2 inside the hand guard? with that wide of an opening?


Edited by Spirit2277 - 25 January 2011 at 10:34am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nemessis45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2011 at 12:20pm
In your opinion which length would be best for woods ball 14" or 18" going on a x7 phenom
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2011 at 3:10pm
I will measure the tip tonight, and let you know Spirit.
 
I would recommend the 14 inch. Personally I like short barrels, so I put my new apex tip on my original apex barrel.
 
the 18 inch is extremely long... (which if you have a shroud like the Alpha black, you would need that, but otherwise, no.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 January 2011 at 7:32am
The Apex 2 tip is 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
 
The original Apex tip is just under 1 3/4.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Twitchey93 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2011 at 3:05am
Wow i really should have read this before posting my thing asking about a new barrel! Thanks man i know what im ordering!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2011 at 10:39am
Originally posted by Twitchey93 Twitchey93 wrote:

Wow i really should have read this before posting my thing asking about a new barrel! Thanks man i know what im ordering!
 
 
Well, you will love it... But, your friends will HATE it...
 
I know when I got mine, my friends were mocking me about my "silencer"... Then I shot them at 300 feet away.
 
Then I did it again.
 
 
And again.
 
Now they all have Apex barrels on their guns, and won't play without them. It really changes your game in woodsball.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spirit2277 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2011 at 6:32am
Thanks for the info FreeEnterprise! I'm going to try the 14in because ive had it with long barrels. definitely excited about the APEX.
 
does anyone know if there is a significant difference in performance between the 14in and 18in barrels?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2011 at 10:18pm
I have both, one 18 inch for my alpha black, and the 14 inch for my 98 custom and A-5. They all shoot the same in my opinion, based on my testing that I did this afternoon. I'm planning on using my original apex barrel and mounting the apex 2 tip on it, as I like a really short marker. Which is easier to use in the woods for me.
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What size and brand is the barrel shroud you used? Looks awesome.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2011 at 11:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trazis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 February 2011 at 4:00am
Sorry still kind of new to paintball just from reading this I want to make sure I'm understanding it properly before I go out and purchase the stuff


You can remove the end tip of teh apex the part that looks like a silencer and mount that on the end of a different barrel and still get the ability to curve your balls?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2011 at 9:00am
Yes, you can remove it, but most barrels are too thin to mount it easily, you can add tape or o-rings to use them, but many companies make apex ready barrels that are the correct size.
 
Me personally, I like the barrel that comes with it, and don't think you need to change the barrel. The accuracy comes from being able to spin the ball. As the spin takes out the issues of non consistant paint. Which all paint isn't perfectly round, and if you don't spin the ball, then those imperfections will cause the ball to have a weird flight path... No matter the barrel it is coming out of.
 
So you have to spin the ball to get accuracy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MclarenF1LM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2011 at 7:52pm
Got a question for ya. I have a tippmann straightline on my 98 custom, and am trying to decide whether I should put an apex tip on it. Sound like a good idea? Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2011 at 7:36am
I really want to get a APEX2, but I want to get the fourteen in. I Tho this is my A5 is currently working with a floating SR9-inch guard equipment. Opening is about 2 or 2.5 inches wide (just a guess, I now close my gun did not, update soon), how wide APEX2 iceberg. It seems obvious as the original width.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2011 at 8:16am
Well, I finally got my HD editing software in, and put together a video that really shows the difference between the stock A-5 barrel, vs All American 2 piece barrel (with and without Apex 1 tip "using a combo of the tape mod and o-ring mod to attach") vs the Apex 2 both on my original Apex 1 barrel (the way I play with it) and also with the stock 14 inch Apex 2 barrel.
 
Distance was 75 feet.
 
If you watch it on youtube, you can change the resolution to 1080HD.
 
 
Let me know what you think of this test, and video.  At the end includes game footage with 300 + foot eliminations.
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