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Smart Parts Ion Paintball Marker Review

 


Ion Paintball Marker
(click to enlarge)

The Smart Parts Ion Paintball Marker features 17 balls per second semi-auto rate of fire with 3 shot burst, full auto, and Rebound firing mode. The Break-beam Vision Anti-Chop System is reliable and durable with eyes mounted on a separate board for perfect alignment not affected by paint or body color. Just clean and replace (in minutes). Vertical Regulator. A featherweight at 2.2 pounds, the Ion is among the lightest high-end markers made, and it’s tube design imparts an ultra low profile. The Ion was engineered to stand up to the demands of professional players and will outlast what used to be considered high-end and won't break down the minute you get it home. Improved ball detents have approximately 10 times the service life of current detents. Expect an efficient 1000-1400 shots from a 68ci, 4500psi bottle without any modifications. High-quality aluminum internals are protected by composite shells, allowing you to instantly change the color or look of your body. Comes in blue, red, black or yellow, with more body styles in the works. Feed tube with O-ring seals fits a wider range of hoppers than most guns in this price range. An included 1/8" Allen wrench is all you need for primary disassembly, along with trigger and velocity adjustment wrenches and a handy parts kit. Impulse threads take advantage of the barrels and feed tubes you may already have. The Ion uses a tough scratch resistant outer body shell made from high quality composite that does not fade or gouge. The inner core that protects all the functioning parts is made from aluminum. Just replace your old shell with a new one.

Summary: Reliable, small profile, light, accurate, quiet, doesn't chop paint (has an eye), fast 17 BPS, not field strippable, sloppy trigger needs adjustment. For the price, the Ion is hard to beat.

Reviews

The following points have been compiled from various Ion reviews. When you read a marker's reviews, patterns can be seen.

From many reviews:

Strengths

• Accurate with stock barrel.

• This Smart Parts marker is fast, 17 BPS.

• The Ion is a solid balanced gun, light, only weighs 2.2 lbs, easy to snap shoot.

• Has an eye; does not chop balls.

• Small, can stay tight to bunkers, easy to handle.

• Quiet; one player thought it was "whisper quiet" with the stock barrel.

• Good manual; instructions and drawings clearly marked.

• Customer service from Smart Parts was reported as good.

• One of the best markers for its price: $285.

Weaknesses

• Not exactly field strippable. Disassembly is pretty tough. Takes about 20 minutes to take apart and re-assemble; one player reported 1 hour first time. Another player said it must be taken all apart just to clean it.

Players generally thought the stock trigger was poor ("not bad but not good"; "sloppy" was a common description) and could use adjustment. The magnet can be removed to make it less stiff. And with the included tools, it can be adjusted.

Some players reported shoot-down problems. A new regulator will fix this. One player suggested the problem can be fixed by taking out the screen of the regulator.

Comments

• CO2 is not recommended for this Smart Parts gun, even with an anti-siphon tube. Use HPA.

• While noise was not a complaint, a new barrel can make this marker quieter.

• The Ion's frame is made from a polymer, reinforced by rubber and aluminum underneath. The polymer is much stronger than plastic and will not crack on you, but if it does you can get a new one for $30.

• Some thought the Ion had a little shoot-down (the velocity of the paintballs would drop off), which can be fixed with a better regulator. One player thought that shoot down is only a problem if you are using CO2. Some thought the stock barrel wasn't that great. But one player put it in perspective, that this is a $300 gun, and for the price the components are decent. With a new regulator and barrel, the Ion can shoot with the best, which will put the price into the $400 range.

• The Ion runs at 150 psi, about the lowest pressure you will see a marker run at.

One player claiming to do repair work on Ions said that a long string of paintballs will cause a drastic shoot-down (he thought he was running out of air), and waiting a second or two would allow the regulator to recharge; but this brought a barrage of responses that the Ion doesn't have shoot-down.

• When upgrading your barrel, remember it takes Impulse threads.

• Full auto and burst are 10 BPS, which is slower than semi-auto in rebound mode (17 BPS).

• One player thought the feedneck was pretty high and recommended getting a q-lock or other low rise feedneck.

• One player tested the Ion on a chrono and found 280, 281, 279, 280, 281 FPS right out of the box. Not believing his results, he did it again and got 279, 281, 282, 280, 278. He then set the ROF (rate of fire) to MAX, put it on rebound, and ripped a hopper. While ripping, the chrono still was within +/- 1. Typical chronos from other players are in the +/-  5 or 6 range.

• The speed of the Ion is capped at 17 BPS. It is expected that aftermarket boards, bolts, and solenoids will make it go faster.

• One player suggested using a $15 Eclipse QEV (quick exhaust valve, for the front banjo fitting which is a screw-type connector that screws into the marker). He found the dwell dropped from 52 to 12, the cycling increased (uncomfirmed 20 to 28), the pressure could be dropped from 160 to 120 psi at 285 fps with the low dwell time, and the efficiency increased from about 1,250 to 1,400 on a 68/4,500 tank.

• One player suggested using a Shocktech #5 drop forward, and a Custom Products 2005 On/Off valve. These made his Crossfire 68/4500 tank balance perfect with the center of gravity just over the grip frame and no longer back heavy. He reported better accuracy with snap shooting, and considerably less fatigue since his arms were not extended as far as they previously were. It is also tighter, great for front players who like to play tight behind cover. The On/Off value prevents blown O-rings since you can release the air pressure quickly.

• One player reported that upgrading to a Freak Barrel Kit with stainless steel inserts greatly improved accuracy, 6" grouping at 100 feet.

• Several players suggested using a Crossfire tank to prevent shoot-down.

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