I recently bought an X7 phenom.But before I did I asked a lot of questions because that was my 2 choices was going to go with tipman or BT(battle tested). Went with tipman from what I hear tipmans are more reliable and much more durable. Smother rate of fire in general also BT stol great a buddy of mine hasa fully upgraded BT that is sick!
Tippmann Pneumatics was a family-owned business with all its manufacturing in the US. In 2004 its then-owner, Dennis Tippmann Jr, negotiated a deal with Summit Partners to recapitalize the company, a move that essentially transferred control and ownership of the company to Summit. Ben Tippmann, Dennis Tippmann Sr's nephew and designer of the 98 and A5, disagreed with this decision and left to form his own company under his own name in conjunction with NPS/KEE. Tippmann, now under the control of Summit, sued Ben for use of their IP, though the two settled with the agreement that Ben can continue to use elements from his old designs in exchange for not selling the guns under his own name, which is why they changed BT to mean "Battle Tested."
More recently, KEE has begun merging a lot of their brands (they had a ton) and BT is now officially part of their Empire brand.
BT is now Battle Tested under Empire/KEE, but it used to be Ben Tippmann.
From my understanding, someone at the Tippmann camp let their patents expire. The brother (or son I forget the relation but it was immediate family) saw an opportunity and ran off with the designs, creating BT and almost identical guns.
BT (Ben Tippmann) has always been a sub-brand under NPS/KEE/Empire ever since Ben left Tippmann after the Summit purchase.
The companies' names have changed (Ben Tippmann to Battle Tested, NPS being bought by KEE and later putting BT in with Kee's Empire sub-brand) but their relationships have not.