Justin "Zorko" Grill
This FAQ is for all owners and prospective buyers of the Pro-Lite. All opinions expressed in here are mine, and the other voices in my head. If you wish to copy this FAQ make sure somewhere Justin "Zorko" Grill (Hey that's me!) is given credit for this wonderful piece of writing. Feel free to link this FAQ to your website, Thanks.
LET THE OPINIONS BEGIN
The Pro-Lite is a top of the line paintball gun. It has reliable solid performance that will make any weekend warrior more than happy. The Pro-Lite is also rugged enough to be a great rental gun, in fact its generally considered to be the best field rental gun. And its got enough add-ons to turn it into a tournament paintball gun (regardless what auto-whatever owners have to say.)
Length: 24" with standard barrel, 32" with 12 oz. tank and standard barrel
Type: Open-bolt blowback semi-automatic
Warranty: 1 year from date bought
Tippmann Pneumatics inc.
Tippmann is an excellent company who puts the player first. They make good performing guns at a reasonable price, and make those guns very reliable. If a problem should arise (very doubtful) Tippmann will conveniently fix and return it to you in no time. All those attributes earned Tippmann Manufacture of the Year for 1997.
Good points of a Pro-Lite
- Good out of the box (unlike Autocockers and Automags)
- Excellent accuracy and range with an aftermarket barrel
- Good gas efficiency (700-900 shots out of a 12 oz. tank)
- Well balanced with a 12 oz. or 20 oz.
- Great cold weather gun (shoots fine with liquid CO2, in fact it can run off a siphon tank)
- LOW ball breakage
- Light Weight
Not so good points of a Pro-Lite
*-bad points can be fixed
- *Relatively loud (ported barrel fixes that problem)
- *Trigger is tight
- *Stock barrel lacks accuracy
- *Big gun (not necessarily a bad point for players who prefer rifle like guns)
- *Elbow teeth cut a hole in the hopper
- *Breaks a lot of tank O-rings
- *Doesn't have excellent rate of fire
How to fix the not so good points
- *relatively loud
- Answer-Buy a ported barrel (Smart Parts, All American, J&J etc.)
- *Trigger is tight
- Answer-smooth out trigger shoe and the sear
- *Stock barrel lacks accuracy
- Answer-Buy an aftermarket barrel (different types of barrels explained later).
- *Big gun
- Answer-buy a vertical mount or remote.
- *Elbow teeth cut a hole in the hopper.
- Answer-Invest in a commando feed or speed feed. (will eliminate forgrip, but you can use Carbine forgrip).
- *Breaks a lot of tank O-rings.
- Answer-Get your hands on an On-Off Valve.
- *Doesn't have excellent rate of fire.
- Answer-I think you can get a trigger job (don't etch this in stone).
- Answer-Get a double finger trigger (You won't get an excellent rate of fire, but you will get in the 6-8 shots per second range).
A couple of years ago when the Pro-Lite first came out, it had very little upgrades. How times have changed. Now the Pro-Lite is one of the top customizable guns you can buy. As you read on, you will see what I mean.
These are the friends who help you even the score with tricked out Automags and Autocockers. This is what I know, feel free to give me any other products I left out.
- All American-AA barrels will increase your accuracy and range big time. AA will also significantly quiet your gun. The drawbacks are the gun has an arching trajectory, which if you are not used to, will hurt your accuracy. Accuracy is still top of the line once you get used to it.
- Tear Drop-will give relatively same characteristics of AA barrels. While Tear Drop barrels long range accuracy is reportedly not as good as an AA, I've heard Tear Drop barrels are significantly quieter then AA.
- Venturi-The quietest of the SP line of barrels, but not quite as accurate at long ranges as the two above.
- Progressive-not as good performing as the other SP barrels, but is an excellent buy for the money.
- Tippmann Sniper-I was greatly disappointed in the Sniper barrel. The accuracy wasn't bad at short to medium range, but the ball veered off at long range. My recommendation would be to buy another barrel in the Sniper's price range.
- Dye-Dye have been praised as a excellent top of the line barrels, and they live up to the hype. Dye's give excellent long range accuracy but are heavy and expensive.
- Eliminator-a step down from Dye's in the accuracy and range department, but are much lighter and quieter.
- Power-this gives just a slightly better performance over the stock barrel. Not really a good buy, but better then the Sniper.
- Armson-In two words, RIP-OFF. These barrels give good short to medium range accuracy but long range accuracy is awful. Plus an Armson barrel is LOUD, definitely not worth the hefty price tag.
- J&J-There are too many different types to give any kind of summary. I do know that
J&J's quality control leaves something to be desired, but their variety of barrels might make up for that. The Stainless Steel, Spiral Ported with whisper brake barrels are recommended.
Note: it is widely believed that aftermarket bolts are not as good as the stock bolt. Plus aftermarket bolts tend to mess up your gun. You might be wise spending your money elsewhere.
- Venturi-The widely popular and effective design generally increases performance, but for the most part not with Pro-Lite. I've heard (and seen)Venturi's break massive amounts of paint, and heard they can get jammed in AA barrels, but have also heard players praise their Venturi. This product is like rolling a dice.
- Starfire-The Starfire design is very poor. You will probably be better off with the stock bolt over this piece of garbage.
- Rimfire-Now finally some good news. The rumor has said that the Rimfire will increase range and accuracy slightly, and without all the screw ups. A $25 price tag might not make the Rimfire worth the money however.
- Cyclone?-I've heard rumors that there is the famous Cyclone bolt now for Pro-Lites. Whether these rumors are true remains to be seen to me. I haven't heard any performance info, feedback would be greatly appreciated.
- Stock grips-The grips that come with the Pro-Lite are somewhat large, and many players don't like the "battle grips" so they look to upgrade their comfort.
- .45 grip-These are very popular in the paintball market. They are smaller in diameter then the battle grips. You can also get Hogue wraps around the grip to give you comfortable and cool looking finger grooves.
- average price for base .45 $15
- average price for .45 with Hogue wrap $20
- Vertical adapter-For those who like to shorten their Pro-Lites, or play indoor or speedball games where maneuverability is an advantage, there is a vertical CA adapter available. It relocates the tank from bottomline to in between the trigger and forgrip at a vertical 45 degree angle.
- Remote-Players who want to shorten their guns without having all the weight in the middle usually get a remote. Remote relocates your tank from the CA adapter to a harness located in your back. You can either buy a steel hose or coiled hose (latter looks like a phone cord). Also you can buy a gas-thru stock if you want something to rest you shoulder on when you shoot. I recommend the coiled hose (better in cold weather) and the adjustable gas-thru stock, which adjusts from 8" to 12".
- Coiled remote average price $52
- Steel remote average price $33
- Stock average price $25
- Adjustable Gas-thru stock average price $40
- Backbottle Expansion Chamber-Taso made this baby specifically for the Pro-Lite. From what I've heard of it, its pretty good. While not as good as those Mega capacity EC, combine the backbottle EC with a regulator and you got a combo that will keep liquid out and give you more consistent velocities then any large expansion chamber on its own.
- Backbottle average price $35
- Deluxe Expansion Chamber-This is the same as the backbottle, except the Deluxe is located in by the trigger and goes at a vertical angle. It also is bigger thus making it more effective.
- KC No Hot Shots/RG-1-If you want consistent velocities then a regulator is a must. Regulators give guns extremely stable velocities, which means less ball breakage, and improved accuracy. With either the KC No Hot Shots or the RG-1 your velocity will be +- 2-4 f.p.s. variances. Definitely worth the money, and probably a must for tournament play.
- Pro-Lite Custom Hammer-This hammer is exactly the same as the stock hammer with a few exceptions. The Custom Hammer has been polished and weighs less. The Custom hammer increases cycle rate and gas efficiency, but if you polish the stock hammer (explained later) you get the same effect. I've even heard if you polish the stock hammer its just as good as the Custom hammer.
- Double finger trigger-This item is relatively new to the Pro-Lite market. All it is, is another trigger that fits on your already existing trigger to give you more leverage when you shoot. I've heard it increases your shots per second by 2 or 3. Be aware though, you must have a standard bottom line like the one on a Carbine to use the trigger, because the trigger guard hose is too close to the trigger to fit both triggers.
- Raised Sight Rail- Since the tank is aligned in a bottomline configuration, I think a Raised Sight rail used for sighting would kind of be worthless, but it might be useful as a carrying handle if you don't use the shoulder strap. It also might look cool for some players.
- Sights-Its a fact that you shoot more accurate with a sight then the regular sights on the gun. Whether you should invest in a sight depends on your style of play. If you're a player who sees a target and starts shooting and covering the area in paint (a.k.a. spraying and praying), then you will find little use in a sight. On the other hand if you play a sneaky stealthy game, or if you aim at your target then a sight should be rather beneficial to you. My recommendation is to buy a sight $50 or less. The ADCO reflex sight and Champ will suit you very well, besides the more expensive sights generally give off a huge glare of light from the sight that says "hey look at me!" These things are like a giant glowing bullseye! Besides who wants to spend $60-$120 on a sight when they can buy a barrel or case of paint. I recommend the Champ.
- ADCO Reflex Sight-$15
- ADCO Champ-$25
- ADCO Square Shooter-$95
Note: The stock feed is very good. It can keep up with you no matter if you put a trigger job on your Pro-Lite or if you're a really fast shooter. What many players have a problem with is that the feeder cuts holes in the hopper. Or they dislike the forgrip. All of these upgrades will either eliminate the forgrip and/or will not cut holes in the hopper.
- Commando Feed- This is a copy-cat of the stock feeder except the Commando doesn't have the lock teeth (eliminates hopper holes) and also discards the forgrip. This is especially helpful for players who want a small barrel (6" or 8") or don't like the forgrip.
- Speedfeed- This product is a Pro-Lite version of the powerfeed. It supposedly feeds your paint faster than a normal feed system. I personally question this statement. There has been some recent rumors saying a standard Automag feeds just as fast as a powerfeed equipped Automag. Besides the Pro-Lite feeder feeds fine with or without a trigger job. This mod is just for looks and for players who feel to trick out their guns, even if the mods are just for bragging.
The moment you're all waiting for. . . . . .
The wannabe Glenn Palmer do-it yourself upgrades!!!!
Note: I am not responsible for any of your numbnut actions. you will probably not be injured/killed if you don't have any CO2 and or paintballs or .68 cal. toy bouncy balls (do not mess with these!!). But you can screw your gun up. If your gun does contain paintballs or bouncy balls and or CO2 while you do these modifications you can shoot your wall, lose an eye, lose your pride, get CO2 frostbite, or blow up your house. That's the warning. HAVE A NICE DAY.
- Porting your stock barrel- This is for all you players who don't have the money to upgrade barrels or who don't wish to spend the money on a new barrel. While this won't give you Dye accuracy, it will help a little bit.
There are tons of designs you can drill into your barrel. Anything from spiral porting to a simple 8 hole muzzle brake at the end of your barrel. Just make sure your holes are evenly apart before you start to drill. Experiment a little bit with your designs.
- Honing stock barrel- This won't help range much, but it will give you more consistent shot groupings.
Note: This will work well with the Sniper barrel, use sandpaper or the honer to hone out the rifling in the barrel This will improve your accuracy and almost eliminate the curving at long range (250 + ft.).
- Get your barrel, power drill, either sandpaper or a micro honer and a polishing compound.
- Put a metal rod or dowel on your drill and wrap sandpaper around the rod or if you're lucky, put your micro honer on your drill and your ready to go.
- Rub the dowel back and forth evenly until there is a good shine or use a honer or sandpaper until there is a good shine.
- Wash out the barrel to get rid of polishing compound.
- Porting Valve- I have never heard about this being done on a Pro-Lite, but I have heard about this done on other guns (Spyder, Stingray, and a VM-68). It was observed that once the porting job was done that the guns had more stable velocities. You might want to be careful where you drill though, because you don't want your gun to leak. Don't drill in the back portion where the hammer hits. Drilling in the middle will probably be your safest bet. I recommend that you call Tippmann for advice and info about your warranty before you do this mod.
- Porting Elbow- This is a very simple mod you can do in no time. Just grab an electric drill and port holes aprox. 1/2" apart. This will reduce blowback, thus making the chances of pinching balls less likely.
- Polishing internals- Polishing the internals will increase gas efficiency, and might increase your cycling rate. Just get a drill with a wire brush (dremel tool, etc.) and polish the hammer and bolt guide to a chrome like finish. After polishing these two things, they will attract rust very easily, because of that you need to blue the hammer and bolt guide (hoppes #9 works very well). Just dab a little bit on your finger about the size to fill your finger nail and rub it into the hammer.
How good is the Pro-Lite??
I have shot many guns this past year when I was searching for a new gun. I must say that the Pro-Lite is one of the best ways to go. True it is not the gun for everyone, if you want a compact gun the Pro-Lite is definitely not for you. But there are many features that make this a great gun for a lot of people. Its accurate, reliable, rugged, upgradable, and light weight. Those are characteristics of a winner. The Pro-Lite when equipped with the same gear as the other guns is more accurate then a Mag, and more reliable than an Autococker (accuracy between these two are too close to tell). Plus this is one of the best guns out of the box that money can buy. As all of these statements prove this is an excellent gun who deserves to be considered in the same class as Autocockers and Automags.
I hope this FAQ gave new info for Pro-Lite owners and will help give the Pro-Lite the respect it deserves. As far as follow ups, I am in the process of writing in a Pro-Lite accessories FAQ which will be out in about 2-3 months, and will do a Pro-Lite barrel test in the spring. In the meantime, enjoy the FAQ.
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