Tippmann A-5

Last updated
Tippmann A-5
Tippmann A5.JPG
Tippmann A-5 Basic with aftermarket 12" ceramic barrel by J&J and BSA 30 mm red dot sight.
Action Semi-automatic, fully automatic with E-Grip
Barrel 8.5 in (216 mm) ported barrel
Bore .68 in (17.272 mm)
Rate of fire 17+ balls per second (with E-Grip)
Retail price~US$200

The A-5 is a semi-automatic pneumatic marker made by Tippmann for playing paintball. It is inspired by the look and feel of the Heckler & Koch MP5K submachine gun. It was first produced in 2002 in the United States. The A-5 utilizes a loading concept called the "Cyclone Feed System", which links the feeder sprocket to the air system for synchronized ball feed for reduced breakage and jamming. The Tippman A5 is the fully loaded model in the Tippman arsenal and costs more due to its built in features.



The standard A5 is a semi-automatic, open bolt blow-back operated, sear-trigger paintball marker. Its inline blowback gas system can utilize both CO2 and HPA propellants. The standard marker includes a single-finger trigger, 8.5 in (216 mm) ported barrel, front and rear sights, tournament-legal velocity adjuster, opaque black 200-round wide-mouth hopper and Cyclone Feed System.

Cyclone Feed System

photo showing the unique Cyclone Feed System of the Tippmann A-5 paintball marker A-5 Cyclone.jpg
photo showing the unique Cyclone Feed System of the Tippmann A-5 paintball marker

Tippmann A-5s use a special paintball feed mechanism called the Cyclone Feed System. It is similar to electric loaders in that it increases the rate at which the paintball marker can feed balls into the chamber. [1]

Whereas most markers have a feed tube attached to a hopper/loader that either drops paintballs one-by-one or force-feeds (in the case of some loaders) into the chamber, the Cyclone Feed System is a housing on the right side of the marker. Contained within the housing are two star-shaped sprockets. Paintballs fall from a wide mouth hopper into the gaps between the spokes. As the operator fires, excess gas from the firing cycle is routed to a cylinder, which holds a piston. Gas pressure pushes the piston forward, also compressing a spring which will return the piston when the gas pressure in the cylinder drops; at far end of its travel, the piston is connected to a ratchet which interacts with a toothed gear, the advancement of which on the piston's return stroke (important because it regulates the force with which the paintballs are struck by the spokes) rotates the position of the spokes counter-clockwise and feeds a paintball into the chamber. This effectively means that the rate at which paintballs are being fed into the marker is dependent on the rate at which the operator pulls the trigger. Users have reported speeds in excess of 25 bit/s, but this requires mechanical modification to the stock cyclone parts. It is advertised at 15+ bit/s.


The A-5 is one of the most modifiable paintball markers in existence. Some products are performance upgrades, while others are purely aesthetic. Kits available at many stores and websites can allow the A-5 to resemble many real-world firearms.

Some of the many upgrades include:

The upgrades available from Tippmann specifically for the A-5 include the CAR Stock, Response Trigger, E-Grip, Low-Pressure Kit, Expansion Chamber, Universal Mount, 98 to A-5 Barrel Adapter, Remote Line, Sniper Barrel (12", 14", 16" lengths), Camouflage Graphics Kit, Longbow Stock (with or without air-thru), Dogleg Stock (with or without air-thru), Double Trigger Kit and Flatline Barrel System.

Flatline barrel system

The Flatline barrel is a curved paintball barrel. The slight "S"-shaped curvature, in addition to a roughly honed surface at select points in the barrel, creates topspin on the ball which increases its range by 100+ feet over a standard barrel. Some players feel that it is not quite as accurate as many other paintball barrels, because each paintball is spun differently. Another disadvantage some players claim is its tendency to break paintballs more easily. This can be remedied with higher quality paint, however. The Flatline is also quite loud, due to lack of porting.

Unfortunately, Flatline barrels are sometimes considered difficult to remove and clean, though it has been said that the A5 is much easier over the version used by the Tippmann 98 Custom. On the 98 Custom model, they do not screw into the adapter on the muzzle of the marker; three bolts must be loosened before the barrel can be removed.

The Flatline is often favored by players who like to play farther back roles, especially those providing suppressive fire as the range gives them an advantage.


The E-Grip is an aftermarket pistol grip and trigger for the Tippmann A5, though the model A-5 with E-Grip can be bought directly from Tippmann. There are two types of electronic triggers now available.

There is the older and significantly harder to find Tippmann produced E-Grip. It features five different fire selections which include:

The maximum firing rate of the E-Grip is 20 balls per second. Firing modes are very easily selected by means of a screw which is rotated to toggle modes. Maximum rate of fire can also be changed via another screw on the grip frame.

There is also the newer E-Grip produced by Wicked Air Sports (W.A.S.). This is what is commonly sold now by Tippmann in their E-Grip package. This trigger will also be installed an all A-5 markers ordered with the E-Grip installed. Firing modes on the W.A.S. trigger are:

The "Three" in the "Three Shot Ramping" and "Three Shot Full Auto" programming modes refers to the trigger needing to be pulled three times before the full auto or ramping are activated. The first three shots in this will be semi automatic. This makes the trigger legal for certain competitions.

Programming the W.A.S. trigger is more difficult. There is a menu system that is controlled by the pressing both trigger and a small button on the front of the grip that can only be pressed with a tool. There is a small three color LED that outputs data by different patterns of blinking and LED color.

The trigger can be programmed more deeply than the older Tippmann E-Grip. Maximum firing rate is 30 balls-per-second but is usually programmed much lower. Dwell and Debounce is also programmable.

The W.A.S. board is also used in the Tippmann 98 line of paintball markers. However the polarity of the microswitch is reversed. Polarity can be changed by referring to the owners manual. The same board can be used in both markers.

Response Trigger System

The Response Trigger System is a firing system available for the A-5. The system uses a series of parts that are added to the marker to greatly increases firing rate for the marker. The system uses excess carbon dioxide or compressed air from the firing process to reset the trigger and sear with a pneumatic cylinder. The system can reset the trigger with only moderate pressure on the trigger. When this happens, the pressure of the finger can immediately pull the trigger back, creating "bounce", and firing again. This effectively gives the shooter the ability to fire at fully automatic speeds. As such, it has been banned at some commercial paintball fields.


Continuing the Tippmann tradition, the A-5 is very durable and features a solid cast-aluminum receiver with a high-impact shock absorbing endcap. The Tippmann A5 can take much abuse as all parts are tough. The exceptions to this are the Cyclone Feed System and the Response Trigger Kit, which both have lines that snake along the receiver and can be snagged easily.

The grip/trigger assembly, back plate and bottom-line hose (or direct Air Source Adapter) are held to the receiver by four push-pins that can be easily removed to allow easy field stripping.

Field stripping

Unlike previous Tippmann markers, the A-5 is very easy to field strip and clean. Tippmann says it can be field stripped in about 60 seconds. This is done by removing four push pins which hold the tombstone, endcap and grip frame in place.

To field strip an A-5 marker:

Note: Be sure to clean any residual paint from the hopper area. If it builds up, it can increase the chance of chopping a ball in the future. Q-tips work well to clean the hopper area. Also remember to thoroughly clean the barrel.


The Tippmann A-5 uses an inline blowback system.


Before gassing, cock the marker by pulling back the cocking handle (located near the front of the marker on the left side of the receiver). This pulls back the front and rear bolts and allows access to chamber while also ensuring that the valve is not being depressed by the rear bolt when the propellant supply is screwed in, which would result in a leak. A click should be heard. Release the cocking handle.

Screw a propellant supply (CO2, N2 or HPA) tank onto receiver or remote coil. Operator should hear a sound as marker becomes pressurized.

Hopper and loading

Press the manual-feed button (located to the right of the receiver, on the Cyclone Feed System) and check Cyclone Feed System for proper rotation of sprockets. It should be clean and free of debris.

Attach a compatible hopper to the marker by placing the mouth-end (male) of the hopper into the Cyclone Feed housing (female) and turning hopper until tab on mouth locks into corresponding hole in feeder housing. Hopper should be parallel with marker.

Open hopper flap and fill with paintballs (up to 200 for standard hopper). Close flap until it snaps onto hopper mouth.

Preparing to fire

Pull back on the cocking handle located on the opposite side of the marker from the cyclone feeder (this is only required once each time a propellant bottle is connected). Press the manual-feed button to force a paintball into the chamber.

Disengage safety by pressing the 'Push Fire' button located above the trigger on the right side of the grip frame. A red line on the left side of the button indicates when marker is ready to fire.

Related Research Articles

Tippmann is an American manufacturer of paintball markers and paintball equipment, including military simulation (MilSim) kits. A related company, Tippmann Industrial Products manufactures manual and pneumatic heavy-duty sewing machines primarily used for leather, other leather-related equipment, and some industrial products. Originally a family-owned business run from Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 2004 Dennis Tippmann Sr. sold a majority ownership stake to Summit Partners, a private equity firm. Tippmann designed one of the first automatic markers, the use of refillable air systems in place of 12 gram cartridges, the "Cyclone Feed" system, the "Flatline" barrel, and the Tippmann C-3, the first propane-powered marker.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stoner 63</span> Modular weapon system *Carbine *Assault rifle *Light machine gun *Squad automatic weapon

The Stoner 63 is a 5.56×45mm NATO modular weapon system. Using a variety of modular components, it can be configured as an assault rifle, carbine, top-fed light machine gun, belt-fed squad automatic weapon, or as a vehicle mounted weapon. Also known as the M63, XM22, XM23, XM207 or the Mk 23 Mod 0 machine gun, it was designed by Eugene Stoner in the early 1960s. Cadillac Gage was the primary manufacturer of the Stoner 63 during its history. The Stoner 63 saw very limited combat use by United States forces during the Vietnam War. A few were also sold to law enforcement agencies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Autococker</span>

The Autococker is a closed-bolt semiautomatic paintball marker manufactured by Worr Game Products (WGP). It was one of the first paintball markers to be designed specifically for the sport, and has long been known throughout the paintball community for its popularity and customizability as well as its complexity. It is commonly believed that the closed-bolt design of the marker makes it inherently more accurate than its open-bolt counterparts, though this is disputed.

Smart Parts was a paintball manufacturing company in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, which filed for liquidation on July 28, 2010. As of August 22, 2010 Smart Parts' assets and intellectual property were acquired by Kee Action Sports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paintball marker</span> Air gun used in the shooting sport of paintball

A paintball marker, also known as a paintball gun, paint gun, or simply marker, is an air gun used in the shooting sport of paintball, and the main piece of paintball equipment. Paintball markers use compressed gas, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or compressed air (HPA), to propel dye-filled gel capsules called paintballs through the barrel and quickly strike a target. The term "marker" is derived from its original use as a tool for forestry personnel to mark trees and ranchers to mark wandering cattle.

Paintball is an equipment-intensive sport and in order to safely conduct a game, every player requires a marker with propellant to fire the paint, a mask to protect the eyes and face, paintballs, and a loader to hold them. To ensure safety off the playing field, a barrel sock or plug for the marker is also compulsory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Automag (paintball marker)</span> Guntype

The Automag is a paintball marker designed by Tom Kaye and produced by Airgun Designs, Inc. It bears the distinction of being the first semi-automatic marker ever to win a paintball tournament. Team Swarm used Automags in their victory at the 1990 International Masters.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tippmann C-3</span>

The Tippmann C-3 was the first propane powered paintball marker. It operates on a unique system Tippmann calls 'Propane Enhanced Performance'. The name 'C-3' may refer to the chemical formula of propane, C3H8.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spyder MR1</span>

The Spyder MR1 is a MilSim paintball marker designed and manufactured by Kingman Group, now superseded by the Spyder MR2 and MR3 models.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heckler & Koch HK21</span> General-purpose machine gun

The HK21 is a German 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, developed in 1961 by small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch and based on the G3 battle rifle. The weapon is in use with the armed forces of several Asian, African and Latin American countries. It was also license-manufactured by Fábrica de Braço de Prata in Portugal as the m/968 and in Mexico by SEDENA as the MG21. In the German military (Bundeswehr) and the federal police (Bundespolizei) it is designated "G8".

An inline blowback is a type of blowback design. A blowback marker is one that when the trigger is pulled, the sear is released, which allows the striker, which is linked to the bolt, to slam into the valve, which releases air into the bolt, which is redirected out the barrel. The valve also releases air back into the striker, pushing it back and recocking the marker. An inline blowback is where the bolt, striker, and valve are all adjacent horizontally in the same tube, instead of in a stacked tube blowback where the valve and striker are in one tube, and the bolt is in another tube above the valve and striker.

The CCI Phantom is a Nelson-based pump action paintball marker developed and produced by Mike Casady. Production began in 1987 after about six months of prototype work. The name for the marker was derived from the much more stealth-oriented and drawn-out style of play that was typical when the game was first developing. The Phantom was designed to be powered by a single 12-gram CO2 Powerlet, but larger tanks may also be used by removing the powerlet adapter or using a dummy powerlet. When first introduced the marker featured a fixed barrel assembly referred to as a "unibody" combined with a modified Crosman air pistol frame and brass bead sight. However, since roughly 1989 the body and barrel of the marker have been two distinct parts and no longer feature the bead style sight. The marker is also capable of supporting bulk gravity fed hoppers by using a different breach type. The Phantom is one of only a handful of readily available markers acceptable for use in the various forms of stock class paintball. However, because the Phantom is capable of auto-triggering and features barrel porting it is considered to be a modified stock class marker.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ion (paintball marker)</span>

The Ion is an electropneumatic paintball marker manufactured by Smart Parts. At the time of its release, the Ion was the first fully electropneumatic marker aimed at entry-level players, at a price point similar to Spyders and other mechanical blowbacks. The Ion has generally been credited with making high-rate-of-fire electropneumatic markers generally available, at a time when electropneumatic markers were considered out of reach of most casual or budget players.

The ICD Promaster is an electropneumatic paintball marker manufactured by Indian Creek Designs and first released in 2005. The Promaster was designed to replace the aging Bushmaster 2000 model, which had been Indian Creek Design's flagship marker between 2000 and 2004.

The PGP is a paintball pistol originally manufactured by Sheridan. It is a "Stock Class" paintball marker, meaning that it utilizes 12 gram CO2 powerlets, and has a horizontal feed tube that holds 10 rounds.

The following are terms related to firearms and ammunition topics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tippmann TPX</span>

The TPX/TiPX is a magazine fed paintball pistol made by Tippmann. New to the paintball pistol market, Tippmann released the TPX in 2009. This paintball marker uses an air system that allows for 12 gram CO2 cartridges to be placed underneath the barrel. This was meant to eliminate bulk in the grip of the marker caused by placing the CO2 cartridge in the magazines. In 2011,Tippmann changed the name of the pistol to the TiPX to market all the improved parts at that time, as well as differentiate it from the TPX baseball line by Louisville Slugger.

RAP4 is a manufacturer of paintball markers, paintball equipment, tactical gear and training tools.

A firearm malfunction is the failure of a firearm to operate as intended for causes other than user error. Malfunctions range from temporary and relatively safe situations, such as a casing that did not eject, to potentially dangerous occurrences that may permanently damage the gun and cause injury or death. Improper handling of certain types of malfunctions can be very dangerous. Following gun safety rules can prevent firearm malfunctions, and limit the damage inflicted by them if they do occur. Proper cleaning and maintenance of a firearm play a big role in preventing malfunctions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electropneumatic paintball marker</span>

An electropneumatic paintball marker is a paintball marker that uses a pneumatic solenoid to actuate the hammer and/or bolt's movement.


  1. Richard Sapp (2004). Joel Marvin (ed.). Paintball Digest: The Complete Guide to Games, Gear & Tactics. Krause Publications. p. 126. ISBN   0-87349-743-0. LCCN   2004100735.