Find fields & stores near you!
Find fields and stores
PbNation News
PbNation News
Community Focus
Community Focus

Thread Tools
Old 09-05-2012, 01:28 PM #1
Avratech Tech
russc's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
russc posts videos on PbNation
russc has achieved Level 1 in PbNation Pursuit
Tippmann FT-12 Review

Here's a quick review of the FT-12 from a gun tech's point of view, crossposted from my Paintball Blog. I've been maintaining a rental fleet for about 6 years and have a Tippmann tech certification from 2008. I'll be reviewing it in the context of rental use, so emphasis will be on the durability and ease of maintenance rather than a player's perspective.


The FT-12 delivers on its promise of ease of maintenance. It can be stripped to critical components in a matter of seconds, without tools. When the barrel and barrel nut are removed, the top hinges open, allowing access to the hammer, valve, bolt and linkage arm. The detent can be removed without opening the top, by sliding the foregrip forward after the barrel nut has been unscrewed.

The trigger components are grouped into a single removable trigger group in a plastic housing. This eliminates the need to deal with small trigger components unless the sear needs to be replaced.

The valve is a huge improvement. To access it, simply lift it off the stainless air line, and unscrew the air connector thumbscrew. The valve can then be easily pulled from the powertube, as they have extended it backwards and flared it outward. This also means there is no chance of powertube cracking affecting firing, since all the blowback gases are contained in the billet aluminum cup that extends back from the valve. One of my favorite improvements to the valve is the addition of a C-clip, much like BT-4s have been using for years. This means the user can easily access internal valve components, and replace low-cost o-rings and cupseals to fix valve leaks, instead of shelling out for a $20+ valve.


I am slightly concerned about the materials used to build the new fleet of Tippmanns. I've noticed a decline in the strength of Tippmann 98c clamshells in the past few years, with many Platinum Series 98s cracking when dropped or "crashed." Fortunately the FT-12 does not use a clamshell design, and it doesn't require the hollowed out gripframe to accomodate RT pistons or E-grip noids, so it may show more strength than the 98c it replaces.

The plastics used seem to of a lesser quality compared to the composites in older guns. They are closer to the plastics you'd find used in office supplies (a pen or exacto knife) than what you'd find used in a firearm, like the older Tippmanns. This is obvious when you compare the bolts from this new generation of guns to the old.

I'd prefer to see the trigger group use a metal housing, as mushrooming trigger and sear pin holes have been a headache in clamshell guns, but the hole tolerances on the FTs are fairly tight so this may not be an issue.

I really don't like the decision to use a cast metal ASA. All 98 customs come with a billet machined, anodized aluminum ASA, which is about as durable as you can get in paintball without moving up to steel. (I wish) Anodizing not only hardens the surface of a metal part, it decreases friction and prevents oxidation. I am concerned that the cast metal used in the FT-12 ASA will crossthread and strip out more easily than the billet ASAs. When have noodle-armed 15 year old referees screwing your tanks on and off every day, this can become an epidemic of damaged ASAs. We've had to deal with this on billet anodized ASAs, so I don't have high hopes for these new ones. Please prove me wrong, FT-12!


It shoots like any other inline blowback Tippmann. The trigger is a little goofy looking, but has a nice snappy pull. The fact that there is no open cocking slot is a welcome change. It will prevent dirt and debris from entering the gun. The gun itself is a huge improvement on the 98 Custom, and my only concerns are with the choice of materials which were obviously made to bring costs down. Whether they hold up with use will be shown in time, as plenty of fields are picking these up.

Last edited by russc : 09-05-2012 at 03:13 PM.
russc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sponsored Links Remove Advertisement
Old 09-05-2012, 04:27 PM #2
Join Date: Aug 2012
Great review thank you~
I spoke with a tippmann rep who recommended waiting a few more months before considering the fliptop for a rental fleet, in his words they are still working out a few kinks since it is a new design.
TeacherCreature is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2012, 07:07 PM #3
Join Date: Sep 2012
I have 40 of these for my field and love them. they have a oring problem but tipman sent me all new ones. to clean or repair theses things is a piece of cake. i will be buying 40 more by next year to complete my rentals
aaapaintball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2012, 08:03 PM #4
Hellf1ghter22's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
yeah, I think I am going to pull the trigger and buy about 50 of these in the next month. I am trying to wait as long as possible so they work out the kinks.
Hellf1ghter22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 10:56 AM #5
Alpha Sports Inc.
AlphaSportsPB's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
AlphaSportsPB works for a Paintball manufacturer
Great Review
AlphaSportsPB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2014, 04:50 PM #6
Join Date: Jul 2004
 has been a member for 10 years
does any one know the best place to buys these is? i dont have a venders license yet and i am a high school paintball coach. i will only need about 10 of these. thanks
ponchboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2014, 08:03 PM #7
ACL tears are no bueno
WP2015's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West Point, NY
WP2015 plays in the PSP
WP2015 is playing at Living Legends VIII
WP2015 is an NCPA player
WP2015 supports Pev's Paintball
WP2015 is Legendary
WP2015 supports Empire
WP2015 is All In
Originally Posted by ponchboy View Post
does any one know the best place to buys these is? i dont have a venders license yet and i am a high school paintball coach. i will only need about 10 of these. thanks
I apologize for not directly answering your question- but as a coach, why are you buying these? If you are looking to compete, there are much better options out there.
Army Black Knights
West Point Paintball - Home of the Combat Classic
Check out our Facebook
Bring me ETACS or Skull Eflexes - PM Me
WP2015 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2014, 06:03 PM #8
Join Date: Jul 2004
 has been a member for 10 years
i have kids that have no gear and they are not competing. they are just targets to have fun with. all my kids who are competing have their gear like axes and DM's. im just looking to help out the kids that come from low income families. thanks
ponchboy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
Forum Jump