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Smart Parts - Ion Information
Manufacturer Information Edit Product Description Edit
Smart Parts
100 Station Street
Loyalhanna, PA 15661

Phone: (800) 992-2147
Fax: (724) 539-2298
Email: customersvceast@smartparts.com
Website: http://www.smartparts.com
Ion
 Manual: Download the manual for Smart Parts Download
 Release Date: 2005
 MSRP: $174.95
 Average Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
 Reviews: 294
 Rating Summary:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
  13%
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
  61%
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
  17%
  • Currently 2/5 stars.
  6%
  • Currently 1/5 stars.
  2%
 Link:
Smart Parts - Ion Reviews
Smart Parts Ion First off, I want to address the Stigma that is perceived about The Smart Parts Ion: This marker was designed as a USER UPGRADEABLE BEGINNER MARKER, meaning that out of the box, it's tournament...
Report this review to a moderator   #47001
Team_ILLNatured
Running Hatchet Man
Team_ILLNatured's avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Depew, NY(716)
Team_ILLNatured has been a member for 10 years
Team_ILLNatured owns a Planet Eclipse Ego
Team_ILLNatured owns a Planet Eclipse Ego
Team_ILLNatured supports Team VICIOUS
Team_ILLNatured plays in the APPA D5 division
Team_ILLNatured is Legendary
Length of use: More than 1 year
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 2/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Price paid: $0.00
Pros: Lightweight, reliable
Cons: Stigma
First off, I want to address the Stigma that is perceived about The Smart Parts Ion:
This marker was designed as a USER UPGRADEABLE BEGINNER MARKER, meaning that out of the box, it's tournament readiness was questionable. A stock Ion, with no upgrades is still a great Recreational player's marker. now, the setup I built and will list below will turn an Ion from a rec marker, to a full on death machine, with the ability to hate.

Pros of Stock Ion:
Lightweight
reliable
"set it, and forget it"
Trigger frame comfortable
Grips are passable

Cons of Stock Ion:
Board programming a NIGHTMARE
No PSP ramping
stock barrel is junk
Stock feedneck is junk
stock body is ugly


Spec:
Stock Trigger frame
Stock Donut
NDZ Autococker threaded breach
NDZ Firing can
Q-Lok feedneck
CP regulator
Smart Parts 360 QEV
Virtue Redefined board
Virtue Lazer eyes
new Smart Parts on/off button
Warrior Aluminum Ion replacement body
Fire Bolt
Contract Killer "Tony Montana" grips
CP Rake trigger
CP Rail
CP on/Off
Sprung detents

Pros of my built up Ion:
FAST
Lightweight
extremely comfortable
easy programming via Virtue board

COns:
Detent springs make disassembly and reassembly slightly more difficult

conclusion:
Don't buy a bone stock Ion and expect it to be tournament ready. put some effort in, and take pride in building your own death machine.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion I got my first ion back in the spring of 2005 in a tournament and it was my first electronic, tournament ready, marker. Smart Parts revolutionized the ability for people with a tight budget to be...
Report this review to a moderator   #8333
lrYerfdog
Armageddon
lrYerfdog's avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Timbucktwo
lrYerfdog owns a Planet Eclipse Ego
lrYerfdog is reppin' sidebar 4 life
Length of use: More than 1 year
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Price paid: $200.00
Pros: Upgrades galore, cheap, easy to learn
Cons: Cheap, barrel, duckbill, feedneck, image
I got my first ion back in the spring of 2005 in a tournament and it was my first electronic, tournament ready, marker. Smart Parts revolutionized the ability for people with a tight budget to be able to compete with the best.

Appearance/Feel - You can tell the body is made of plastic but it is expected with the price, as well as the barrel, feed neck, and asa are going to have to go. They come in an assortment of colors which enables the buyer to personalize their marker. Overall the marker looks like it's going to need some work but it looked great to me, it just comes down to preference. The marker felt very comfortable in my hands and only weighs about 2.2 lbs but, can easily be reduced with aftermarket parts (explained later).

Performance/Design - When you first take this marker out of the box it works great but, it needs some tuning. The macroline could probably use a trim to get it out of your way but not essential, I didn't cut mine for a while. HPR - Mine was shooting + 35-40 fps, and it takes quite a bit of time and patience to get it performing better, shoot a lot of paint to break it in!! I have heard of people giving up on it or not being able to get it to work good at all but I have had success with every ion reg I've worked with. My family has owned 5 ions and I've been able to get them all down to around + 10 to + 5 but, I suggest purchasing an aftermarket reg. Feedneck - absolute garbage, I have never been able to get it to work. I tried removing o-rings and shaving the hopper with no success. There is no grip if the hopper even fits, and won't keep it from moving, especially during high intensity play. I suggest making this your first upgrade. Barrel (Accuracy)- it works as a recreational play barrel but it is too short for my tastes and its accuracy is poor ~ 2 ft spread from 30 feet. Once again if you plan to play once and a while this barrel will work fine but if you are interested in performance I'd advise upgrading. Duckbill - It works fine but makes the marker long because it sits behind the frame and can't be adjusted. Stock board - Simple design and few settings can be changed, limiting versatility. You can only change dwell and recharge rate however unless you know what you are doing I advise not touching these. I know what I'm doing and I still get aggravated and run into trouble. The board is capped at 17bps. Without an LED/LCD screen, as some upper level markers use, setting changes can be more difficult. You have to keep a manual handy, or memorize the board blink patterns, in order to know what mode/setting you are in and which way it is being adjusted. This wasn't a problem until I started to mess with my dwell, purchased an aftermarket board w/ more complex blink patterns, and purchased a marker with a LCD screen. Stock Board Info. Bolt/can/breech (Efficiency)- It's a spool valve so its naturally inefficient, but if you tweak your settings and purchase aftermarket parts you can make it great. Out of the box I got ~ 1350 shots off a 68/45. Once I purchased an aftermarket can, bolt, and QEV I was able to get the kick to 0 and up to ~ 2250 -2500 shots per 68/45. Not to mention my upgraded ion is the quietest marker I've ever shot, which includes many high ends. Efficiency has never been important to me though because I play snake, shoot ~ 4 pods a game, and at fields I can air up after every game. Detents - If you plan to shoot a lot of paint you will go through them like butter, they are just rubber and wear easily. I would advise the weekly player to get aftermarket spring/magnetic detents but the occasional player shouldn't have a problem with stock. Body - Cheap plastic/rubber but it's just a cosmetic cover for looks and to protect the internals from paint. The body is not required for the marker to work, it's just a plastic shroud that goes around the breech/can but, I'd advise leaving it. Trigger - Not bad but I've seen them break, someone shot a kids marker in a game and it snapped the trigger in half. It's made of cheap plastic and has a basic 2 finger design. It also has a lot of side-side wobble which can be aggravating to some. I used it for a while as it works fine for recball and fooling around, however, when I chose to start playing serious I immediately bought a more reliable trigger. Eyes - Pretty basic, keep them clean and you shouldn't have trouble. Some, not all, have a reflective tape on the inside of the body to aid in the occasional problem with light entering the feedneck. This is not a big problem and I have never encountered it but, I have never had a clear hopper either. Internals - The banjo fittings are simple design yet care needs to be taken with them to avoid leaks and damage. Their small/thin threads make it easy to cross-thread and/or snap the threads off in the breech but, as long as you take your time be careful you will never have a problem. I have occasionally heard of the internal hoses leaking but I feel this is due to the user's lack of care. A good cleaning on occasion and not constantly twisting them around will lead to longer usage time, same with any marker. On occasion the banjos will leak but simple Teflon, Loctite, or lubing the o-ring will fix it. Finally, there is an exhaust valve on the top of the board which releases air from the solenoid if the frame screws are tightened too hard. Loosening the screws a little has always fixed this problem for me.

Upgrades - The greatest thing about this marker is there are endless upgrades such as barrels, boards, feednecks, an asa, and regs from countless companies. Originally when the marker came out this was about all you can buy but, now you can buy aftermarket parts for the entire marker, there are ions now that are 100% custom. You can buy aftermarket frames, internals, bodies, and even add things such as membrane pads, enabling the user to completely individualize their marker to fit their style/preference. This is the reason I kept my ion for so long.

Durability/Reliability - The ion is pretty durable but it has its downfalls. I've had regs lock up on me and had to take them apart to get them working again but this is rare. The crappy on/off button seems to always peel, on every ion I have owned, and get damaged easily from the pressure it sometimes takes to turn the marker on. The plastic body, grips, and reg covers are all fairly durable yet after extensive use the grips and reg cover start to wear and come apart. This however is something I would expect in any marker high or low end. As for reliability, I rarely found a problem with this marker that wasn't an easy fix, aside from these small problems I have never had my marker go down. As long as you keep it maintained and know your way around the internals, to fix the small leaks and occasional shoot down problem, you should never have a problem. Lubing the internals is a fairly simple task and is easily mastered after one or two tries. This is essential to keeping your marker from experiencing inconsistency, shoot-down, and other problems. It is the most reliable, easily fixed on the go, low end electro that I have owned. One final thing, the marker is compatible with Co2 but this can severely reduce the reliability, performance, and longevity of the marker. Using Co2 at high rates of fire freezes the internal hoses and can damage the board/Solenoid. Using anti-siphon Co2 only reduces this slightly by not allowing liquid Co2 into the marker but, I highly advise purchasing a HPA tank.

Overall I would recommend this marker to all those who like to work with markers, need a backup, or occasional/new ballers on a budget. The available upgrades make it a wonderful project marker. I included image in cons because the general Paintball community consensus is that the Ion is garbage. This is, IMO, because most are afraid of change or hate SP for some reason or another. They may get a bunch of heat but that doesn't change the great innovation they brought to the sport. It is far from my favorite marker but, do your research and you might just find that it's perfect for you! It's the person behind the marker that matters most, not the marker.

Check out the PbNation forums and get the opinions of your fellow balers to help you make a great decision in purchasing, repairing, or upgrading your marker. The Ion Forum has tons of info, check the stickies they answer most of your questions/problems. Also, don't hesitate to send me a pm with questions or problems you might have and ill help to the best of my ability. Finally, there are plenty of tutorial videos online that a simple Google search will bring up.

I take great pride in my reviews and I spend time editing, spell checking, and making sure I include all I know to help the reader. Please read before you rate and rate truthfully, ENJOY!
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 4.6/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion Quick note: All of the above ratings are based solely on the marker stock. The Smart Parts Ion revolutionized electronic tournament markers. Up until 2004-2005 when it came out, not everybody could...
Report this review to a moderator   #4269
SpyderPB819
 
SpyderPB819's avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Charlotte
SpyderPB819 donated to help Peyton Trent
Length of use: More than 1 year
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Price paid: $165.00
Pros: see review
Cons: see review
Quick note: All of the above ratings are based solely on the marker stock.

The Smart Parts Ion revolutionized electronic tournament markers. Up until 2004-2005 when it came out, not everybody could afford one. A competitive electric marker for $285?!?!?!?! what? That was unheard of.

Stock Ion

Pros:
  • Very cheap, $165 currently
  • Good, Solid Stock board
  • Great Regulator. Actually recharges faster than the CP
  • Endless amount of upgrades to get
  • Amazing help community on PbNation
  • Easy to use, Easy to fix
  • Light Weight, for a spooler
  • Good eye system, You won't chop

Cons:
When I say, "bad", it's a part I wouldn't use. Everything will work just fine for you if you want to leave it stock
  • Bad Feedneck
  • Bad Barrel
  • Not great on air (It's a spool valve, that's a given)
  • Bad ASA
  • Bad Trigger
  • Has quite the kick


Maintainence
Here is a good video detailing what needs to be done to clean and maintain the ion. This is one of the major design flaws in the ion. I doubt it was simply overlooked, but BOB (bolt out back) was probably left out to keep the guns under 300 dollars.

The ion XE fixes that problem, and you can convert your existing marker into an XE with the upgrade kit smart parts offers. This can be found at various paintball stores online.

The ion accepts Dow 33 lube only. Read this thread to find out more about what lube works and what doesn't.


Upgrading an Ion

Even though the ion is perfectly fine stock, This is something I can almost guarantee you will want to do at some point. In mine, and many others opinions, these are the parts you will really want to get. However, the words to live by are, "Play with the ion a few times, and see what you don't like."
  • Clamping Feedneck
  • QEV (Quick exhaust Valve)
  • New Barrel/Kit
  • On/Off ASA

Bolt: Upgrading the bolt will do three things for you. It'll increase your efficiency, allow your marker to cycle faster, and reduce the kick. Every single aftermarket bolt can snap at any time other than the Lucky stage 1 v.3 and the Deadlywind Hollowpoint. The snapping occurs randomly... Bolts most commonly snapping are the firebolt and the Warrior. check out Ydna's Bolt page for more information on bolts.
Board: Upgrading the board will give you more controll over the settings of the marker, and give you different firing modes. In all honesty, do not buy a board unless you've got money burning a whole in your pocket or you are playing in a tournament series. Check out Snowbandit16's board thread[/b] for more information on boards.
Trigger: These are completely personal preference. All you can do is try different ones out and see what feels nice to you.
Regulator: The stock regulator is GREAT on the ion. As I said earlier, it is even faster that the CP. As long as you maintain it every couple months it will be great for you.
Feedneck: There are several to choose from, all basically work the same. The ion uses impulse/ion feedneck threads. NOTE: The XE uses NXT threaded feednecks. One of the favorites among ion owners is the Smart Parts Q-lock. It's very easy to use, and it looks nice.
ASA: This is a great upgrade to get, because you really shouldn't be walking around with a pressurized marker at the field. Get something with an on/off and a purge/bleed off.
Barrel: A barrel is also a really important upgrade. You want your paint to be bored perfectly for efficiency and accuracy to be good. Read Mann's thread for more info on barrels
Air Source (tank): Use HPA, only. The ion doesn't run very well on co2, regardless of anti siphon. It can run on HP or LP, but just get HP. With LP there is a slight chance you can get drop off... Just don't run that risk, and get high-pressure. It's the same price anyways.
Body: BOB = Bolt out back. Semi BOB = you have to take off the rear frame screw, take off the back cap, and then unscrew the firing chanber. Either make it easier to lube your bolt. Body is mostly upgraded for looks though.[/b]
Detents: Kila Magnetic Detents are the only way to go. Don't mess around with the springs. The stock detents are god awful and will wear out very fast if you use a force-fed loader.
Trigger Frame: This is basically for looks and comfort. No real need to get this.
Grips: Looks and comfort
QEV: The QEV is the best for your money. check out This post To find out about QEV's.
Gun Lubricant: This is all you ever need to know about lube.

Helpful links
PbNation's Ion Forum: http://www.pbnation.com/forumdisplay.php?f=336
PbNation's Ultimate Ion Sticky:http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=1750871
Ion Section on Zdspb (Ydna's site): http://www.zdspb.com/tech/mguide/ion/index.html
Ion Manual (pdf file): http://www.smartparts.com/Manuals/Ion_Manual.pdf

I hope my review was helpful to you. Feel free to pm me with any ion related questions or for more info. Thanks for reading.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 4.5/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion bought myself a smart parts ion back in 2004, maybe ran a about 4 cases thru it. and let it sit in my back porch until the beginning of this year, took it out, filled it up with air and paint....
Report this review to a moderator   #29053
arab305
Miami Top Shottaz
arab305's avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Miami
arab305 is playing at Living Legends V
arab305 owns a Planet Eclipse Ego
arab305 supports Pev's Paintball
arab305 is attending Decay of Nations VI
Length of use: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Price paid: $280.00
Pros: built like a tank
Cons: discontinued
bought myself a smart parts ion back in 2004, maybe ran a about 4 cases thru it. and let it sit in my back porch until the beginning of this year, took it out, filled it up with air and paint. everything worked fine and since i have been playing this year this gun has gone thru hell and back.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion This is my first gun, was soooo excited when i took it out of the box. Overall, ive played with it a few times, and I love it. make sure that you stay away from gravity feed hoppers and Halos with...
Report this review to a moderator   #7557
rosenrocks
rosenrocks's avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Length of use: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Price paid: $150.00
Pros: Reletively light, price
Cons: A pain in the @$$ to clean!
This is my first gun, was soooo excited when i took it out of the box. Overall, ive played with it a few times, and I love it. make sure that you stay away from gravity feed hoppers and Halos with ions, the halos just dont work very well with them, and the gravity feeds dont feed fast enough. This gun's got pretty good bang for its buck, but for the price, I'd just go on pbnation and pick up a used ego or g3 for 200. Also, dont waste ur $$ on the anti-siphon co2 for the tank, go all-out and pick up a carbon fiber tank for it. You can probably get em for under 60 on pbnation if you look hard.

In conclusion, this is a great beginners gun with the right tank and hopper.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion Overall this gun is nice however for the price it is amazing, there is nothing close to it for under 500, when taking all factors into consideration, I think this is one of the best markers in its...
Report this review to a moderator   #15936
tweeter4
Quinn Nadu
tweeter4's avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lancaster PA
tweeter4 posts videos on PbNation
tweeter4 is one of the top 1000 posters on PbNation
tweeter4 is Boss
Length of use: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Price paid: $120.00
Pros: Light, cheap, easy to maintain
Cons: plastic body
Overall this gun is nice however for the price it is amazing, there is nothing close to it for under 500, when taking all factors into consideration, I think this is one of the best markers in its price range. Most ions can be bought for under 100 dollars now and they will give you great performance. This is the best gun for begginers and entry level players. There are many upgrades available on the market to enhance performance of this marker which is a deffinate plus.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion I am sure everyone has owned a Ion at one time or another. This was a good gun to start with and was very upgradable. Some upgrade were immediatly needed like the ASA and feedneck. Others could come...
Report this review to a moderator   #26147
Venemous Fire
 
Venemous Fire's avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: CC, Texas
Venemous Fire is playing at Living Legends V
Venemous Fire owns a Planet Eclipse Ego
Venemous Fire supports Team VICIOUS
Venemous Fire has achieved Level 4 in PbNation Pursuit
Venemous Fire has achieved Level 5 in PbNation Pursuit
Venemous Fire is Legendary
Length of use: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Price paid: $180.00
Pros: shoots good,
Cons: maintenance is terrible
I am sure everyone has owned a Ion at one time or another. This was a good gun to start with and was very upgradable. Some upgrade were immediatly needed like the ASA and feedneck. Others could come overtime but eventually you could have a 100% custom gun. I had a stock one and a 100% custom one and loved the custom one. The stock was just for friends to use. It was a really nice beginner gun but once it brokedown it was terrible. The design is horrible and you literally have to take the entire gun apart to get to the bolt. Which is why I got a BOB body(lucky 5.1). Made life easier with the ion. Overall it is a good starting gun.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion The ion is a very good gun for the money. If you are just getting into paintball this is a very good gun to buy. One good part about this gun is that there are a lot of upgrades to please your needs....
Report this review to a moderator   #4002
AlexanderD
 
AlexanderD's avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Length of use: More than 1 year
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Price paid: $300.00
Pros: Good gun for the money
Cons: trigger
The ion is a very good gun for the money. If you are just getting into paintball this is a very good gun to buy. One good part about this gun is that there are a lot of upgrades to please your needs. I bought a CP trigger and now my ion shoots faster than my Invert Mini. The ion is also big compared to other guns but still a great gun.

I would advise this gun to anyone who is starting to get into paintball .
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion This was my first mid end marker. I felt like I "broke into the scene" with it. It was a great beginner gun. Sadly, they are no longer in production. Mine seemed to be accident (leak) prone,...
Report this review to a moderator   #37340
paintballer045
Noob forum OT OG
paintballer045's avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Good ole' Georgia
paintballer045 owns a Planet Eclipse Ego
paintballer045 supports Team VICIOUS
paintballer045 is one of the top 250 posters on PbNation
paintballer045 is Legendary
Length of use: More than 1 year
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 3/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 2/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 4/5 stars.
Price paid: $190.00
Pros: Great cheap gun
Cons: Not the most reliable
This was my first mid end marker. I felt like I "broke into the scene" with it. It was a great beginner gun. Sadly, they are no longer in production. Mine seemed to be accident (leak) prone, regardless of how well I cleaned/maintained it.
  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
Smart Parts Ion Ion was my first electro gun way back when they came out. I thought it was a great marker, until I had to service it. Come to find out, it was a terrible design, required an engineering degree to...
Report this review to a moderator   #25256
Brules
MFCEO
Brules's avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: 405
Brules is Boss
Length of use: More than 1 year
Overall Rating:
  • Currently 2.3/5 stars.
Appearance:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.
Performance:
  • Currently 2/5 stars.
Reliability:
  • Currently 1/5 stars.
Value:
  • Currently 1/5 stars.
Price paid: $250.00
Pros: Good lookin
Cons: Was really a POS inside
Ion was my first electro gun way back when they came out. I thought it was a great marker, until I had to service it. Come to find out, it was a terrible design, required an engineering degree to tech and needed HUNDREDS of $ of hop ups to work really well.

As the marker was targeted to the entry level user, I cant believe they made them so hard to work on, Smart Parts lost a customer for life over the POS Ion. Glad they finally went out of business a few years later!

  This review has been rated:
  • Currently 3.8/5 stars.
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