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Old 09-10-2012, 10:41 PM #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Questions (Hpa, Apex, Autococker)

First of all, I was looking into buying a used HPA tank on eBay. Would anyone advise against doing this? Also what is the deal with hydroing. I want to make sure I know as much as I can before I buy one.

Next question. I have a Tippmann a5 and was thinking about getting an apex 2 barrel for it. Does the whole backspin thing work well? Will it really make the gun more accurate? I have also heard that good paint is much more important than a good barrel when it comes to accuracy. Any thoughts?

Lastly, a while ago I got a bunch of old paintball stuff at a garage sale. One of the guns Is a '97 autococker I believe. It looks super complicated so I'm not really interested in ever using it. If I wanted to sell it, is there even a market for a gun this old? Where would I find people interested in buying it?
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:35 AM #2
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A tank is pretty hard to screw up and is actually a good thing to buy used, just so long as you can verify that the tank is in good condition and in hydro. Hydrotesting needs to be done every 5 years (on some older tanks it needs to be done every 3 years but modern tanks are all 5 years) from the date stamped on the bottle. Usually it costs around $30-$50 to have done and as long as you haven't really dinged the tank it should pass pretty easily although now it's agg to run without a tank cover so make sure you get a lot of pics of any tank you buy to prevent getting a dinged up one.

That being said it takes a lot to damage a tank to the point of it being unsafe. I remember in 2007 I was at the HB NPPL event and bought a tank from Crossfire that had some tears in the vinyl label underneath the clear coat (not damage to the wrapping, just tears in the graphic on the tank). Just to be sure I asked the dude at the booth and he picked up one of the bottles they had on display and groudnd it against the sharp corner of a vice they had set up for reg removals, scraping the clear coat completely off, almost down to the fiber and said that that tank would still be safe to use because the fibers were intact and that it would even pass hydro (Crossfire hydros in house so he knew what he was talking about). You should be fine buying used.

Accuracy is 9/10 a function of the paint you shot not the barrel you shoot it through. Buy good paint. People hate hearing that because paint you have to buy each time you go out, whereas a barrel you only by once but it's the truth. The backspin does work but at range you might have trouble actually getting breaks on people. Personally I think it's a gimmicky waste of $120 but it does work as advertised so it's really up to you. is a good place to go with the cocker questions, they know a lot about retro stuff. Stock 1997 cockers aren't worth a whole lot, it's the super milled ones that get more attention but I would bet you could find someone who would want it.
This line is in remembrance of Jared Wilson, friend and paintball teammate who died on 7/27/2005.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:42 AM #3
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A 97 Cocker has a lot of meat to it, so it's a good base as a milling project. That, and you'll still find people out there that prefer a right feed gun rather than a vertical feed. It's a niche market. You're either going to find people offering you peanuts for it, or you'll find someone offering you what may seem like too much. Of course, you'll get far more "peanuts" offers than the other.

I'm going to disagree on SKI008's assessment of the Apex effect. I wasn't a believer until I picked one up. Playing woods and big games, the usefulness of the Apex can't be overstated. You get literally twice the range. Yes, you don't have the velocity at those ranges you would at "conventional" ranges. But, you get the other side to go to cover from much further away. If they're never out of cover to fire at you, and you can close to a distance you can get a break on them at, that's worthwhile. You can get breaks at long range, too, you just have to hit something hard - like a marker, goggles, hands, things like that. The other thing a lot of folks don't catch is the bizarre ability to shoot a curve ball. Again, I didn't buy into it until last spring at an event at Sherwood in Indiana. I shot sideways at a guy who was tucked into a building, and got a perfect curve shot that arced sideways into his building, through his window, and took him out. It takes some practice and some luck to get those shots, but they're memorable when they happen.

You may also want to browse the BST here for tanks. There's some very good deals to be found. Just remember that any HP cylinder has a 15 year total life span, after which it has to be discarded. You don't want to buy someone's tank from 1999, and be stuck looking for a new bottle in a couple years!
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