Cronus First Impressions
So I don't usually do this, but since I couldn't find too much info on the Cronus while deciding on whether to purchase it, I figured I'd make a post on here and let everyone know what's up with it.
First of all, this gun was purchased for my much younger brother, who is 11 years old and only had played paintball once before, earlier this summer. Immediately after I took him to the field for the first time and let him play with my loaner spyder and shoot my beloved 'cocker a few times, he was talking about buying a gun of his own. His budget from his lawn mowing and birthday earnings was ~$100, about what it should be for any 11 year old buying their first paintball gun, so we sat down together and looked at some of the lower end blowback semis.
Immediately the Cronus caught his eye. He's a Call of Duty/xbox kid so the tactical look was right up his alley. We ended up purchasing the Cronus basic, although he was definitely oogling over the tactical model, with carry handle, CAR stock, and false suppressor/shroud. Luckily I was able to convince him that these barely functional add ons would only make his gun more bulky and be a waste of his money. Clearly Tippmann is targeting the younger crowd with the look and ergonomics of this gun, and they did a great job. More on that later.
The Cronus was also the only real mainstream, NIB option aside from the Spyder line which fit his budget. I tried to get him to consider the more expensive 98 custom, and attempted to preach to him the value of the full metal body as opposed to the Cronus' plastic body, but at roughly $40 more, and without the "cool" tactical look of the Cronus, plus the fact that the internals are identical, he wasn't interested. And hey, I wasn't going to stop the kid, as we all know a first purchase in the sport of paintball can be a very important personal decision for an 11 year old, and I wanted him to feel proud of the decision he made on his own.
Anyway, we placed the order from Hustle paintball and the gun arrived at our door. That weekend we took the gun out to the field and put it to the test. Not once did it chop paint, jam, or fail to recock. The same reliability you would expect out of a 98. It is loud, maybe slightly louder than a 98, which I attribute to the lightweight construction. With the right tank, the gun is extremely maneuverable due to its low weight. Perfect for the younger crowd. The grip is also perfect for the younger crowd, as it is smaller and skinnier than your typical grip, definitely made for smaller hands. Again it is clear Tippmann designed this for younger players.
The A5 threaded stock barrel is about what you would expect; wide-ish bore with a few portholes in the middle but other than that it's basically just an aluminum tube with the inside polished. Interestingly, although the gun takes A5 threads, I can confirm that at least one of the aftermarket A5 barrels does not fit, that being the standard BT APEX1 barrel. Others may not fit as well, but that is the only one we have tried. The reason is the threads on the Cronus are recessed into the gun, inside a metal collar piece which composes the front end of the breach. The walls of the collar are too tight for the standard APEX1 barrel to fit in. That being said, the APEX1 barrel is rather wide in external diameter, so this is probably only an issue for similarly wide barrels. Just something to keep in mind when purchasing aftermarket barrels for this gun, which should be your first, and possibly only upgrade.
As I said before, the body is entirely made of plastic. The breech collar piece, trigger and rails are the only external metal parts aside from the screws. The foregrip holds onto the rails securely and does its job well. I am personally not a fan of using sights on paintball guns, or at least not the type of sights on the Cronus. They are just a little too tight for me to use during the heat of battle, but they can serve to vertically line up long range targets if needed.
Taking down the gun is a pain with the clamshell design, and for beginners it would be especially difficult. This is no different from the model 98. My advice for beginners thinking of taking apart this gun to get a sense of how it works, or just for general maintenance: don't. If you want to get a sense of how it works, watch a youtube video about it or really any model 98-based gun or read the manual instead of stripping the thing down yourself. If you absolutely must do so, be sure that you have sufficient tool skills and have some experience with tinkering and the occasional frustration it can bring, and if possible have an experienced user or tech walk you through the process. The trigger spring can jump out at you if you don't take it apart right, so be careful. Take the gun apart with the right side on the table, left side facing up, and work slowly. For everyone else, put no more than two drops of oil in the ASA before each time you play and you should be good. Use a suqeege and wet paper towel to get paint out of the breech, but don't soak the inside of the gun in water when doing so (although you would probably be fine if water gets in there, but it's still not good to do, especially often.) If anything else goes wrong, take it to a tech.
Overall I think Tippmann hit their target with this gun. While it may seem a bit toyish to older, more experienced players with its plastic construction and Call of Duty look, the younger players eat this stuff up. It looks "cool" while being lightweight, practical, reliable and inexpensive.
That's the end of my thoughts on the Cronus, hope it helps anyone thinking of purchasing this gun.
Last edited by tEh PwNz1c0r : 08-07-2014 at 09:47 PM.