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A5 Hopper Adapter
By Bill Mills - Dec 2005
Photos by Dawn Mills
Tippmann’s A-5 has become an extremely popular woodsball, scenario, and milsim players. Not only does it have Tippmann’s legendary durability, but it is easy to field strip, and bears more than a passing resemblance to a real military firearm, the H&K MP5. Another key feature of the A5 is its cyclone feed system. The built in feed mechanism provides similar performance and reliability to high-end aftermarket electronic hoppers.
While sights are seldom seen in tournaments and concept style paintball, they are a bit more common in the woods and scenario games – and an often-desired component in milsim play. Game formats that involve more stealth and creeping often afford more opportunities for a single shot elimination rather than accuracy by volume. Additionally these game formats also typically have more situations where a player will actually have the time to use a sight to line up their shot – a luxury that is rare on a concept field.
Whether one wants a quick to use red-dot sight, or a telescopic sight to help spot camouflaged opponents, the A-5 has a shortcoming. While the it is fitted with a combination 3/8” and Weaver sight rail, the Cyclone feed system places its hopper in the way of many aftermarket sights, preventing their installation.
Eastgate Design, a company specializing in customizing paintguns for milsim play has addressed the sight interference issue with their new offset hopper adapter.
The adapter couldn’t be simpler, it is a short tube, about four inches tall, and nearly the same diameter as an A5 hopper. With two bends, the adapter fits between the hopper and the cyclone feed, raising the hopper 2.8 inches, and shifting it .5 inches to the right.
While the resulting placement makes the front silhouette a little larger by raising up the hopper, it creates significantly more space for optical sights. Two sights that could not be used with the standard hopper placement – a Bushnell airgun scope, and an ADCO Square Shooter red dot sight both fit easily when the adapter was installed. The ADCO fit properly on the A5’s rail, while the scope required a modified ICD site rail to lift it above the A5’s iron sights into a position that was not compatible with the stock hopper placement.
The offset adapter was tested with both the stock A-5 hopper, and the Ricochet R-5, and fit properly with both. Inside its upper opening is the same type of slot as in the Cyclone Feed, allowing the hoppers to easily twist lock into place. In use, the adapter had no noticeable impact on feed performance. An added side benefit also became apparent, due to the space in the hopper, the A-5’s carrying capacity was increased by approximately 45 paintballs. The adapter was not tested with the new optional cyclone feed for the 98 Custom, but should fit similarly.
While the Eastgate Design offset hopper
adapter for the Tippmann A5 is about as simple as accessories come, it
does what it is designed to do – relocate the hopper to make room for high
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