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98 Custom - 2006
By Bill Mills - Photos By Dawn Mills - July 2006
Testing of the 98 Custom was performed at Hurricane Paintball Park in Palm Bay, Florida. It was outfitted with a HALO B hopper, and Crossfire high-pressure output compressed air system, and loaded with DraXxus Hellfire paint. While the balance and feel were familiar, the light electronic trigger made rapid-fire shot strings surprisingly easy. Well-aimed shots also benefited from the lighter trigger pull.
The Equalizer board was set with its default configuration, and adjusted to semi-automatic mode. Under testing, including with computer control and monitoring on the test stand, the semi-auto mode only delivered one shot per trigger pull while using the default debounce settings.
Velocity adjustments were made using a hex wrench and the 98 Custom’s velocity adjustment screw. When screwed inward, the screw restricts the space through which gas can flow from the valve to the bolt in order to fire a paintball. Many other blowback driven paintguns control velocity by changing pressure on their mainspring with a rear velocity adjuster. The flow constriction method used by Tippmann offers a significant advantage in that it has no effect on the recocking action of the paintgun, only the velocity. It took less than a minute to get the 98 dialed in to 285 fps operation.
To test the ACT system, the 98 Custom was fired with the hopper turned off, and even with the feedneck held open, and paintballs intentionally fed only partially, to see if they would be chopped by the bolt. The ACT system performed as it was designed to, and in practice it was found that the first tap from the bolt often jostled a ball into place, ready for the next shot.
For objective testing, the 98 Custom was placed on the WARPIG Ballistic Labs test stand, and fired at both 1 shot per second and 14 shot per second intervals under computer control to compare velocity consistency of single shots to rapid fire.
At one ball per second, 30 shots averaged 280 feet per second with a standard deviation of 7.6. As the rate of fire was ramped up to 14 balls per second, the average velocity dropped slightly to 277 feet per second, and the standard deviation increased to 9.6. With the two shot strings overlaid in the above chart, they could be easily compared.
To get a measure of how much noise the
98 Custom produces, it was hand fired on the test stand with its stock
barrel, and sound level measurements were taken at a distance of 10 feet
from the muzzle, approximately 45 degrees off-axis from the direction of
firing. The ten readings provided an average noise level of 63.1
deciBels, with a high of 68 dB and a low of 62 dB.
Additionally shot groupings with the stock barrel taken at a rate of one shot per second and a distance of 75 feet to a paper target were compared to a grouping fired under the same conditions with a bore-matched Freak Barrel kit with All American front. The two groupings when overlaid, allowed a comparison between the stock barrel and a standardized barre.
Through both on and off-field testing,
the latest edition of Tippmann’s Model 98 has stayed true to the design,
feel and reliability of the Model 98 line. At the same time it hasgrought
in new optional features in the form of the ACT bolt and Equalizer electronic
tigger system that have provided noticable improvements in sound paint
feeding, and higher rates of fire.
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