Tippmann Carbine A2 – Long Term review

So fellow Cake eaters this one is from the heart, sadly after writing this I was forced to sell my beloved Tippman Carbine. The good news is the accompanied videos, words and memories will live on.

So first things first, why did I buy a the Tippmann Carbine CQB?

The G&G G26 AEG with my custom front grip, rail riser and paint job.

Well that’s easy after resurrecting my Airsoft Adventures with a cheap 4th hand G&G, I wanted something that resembled the recoil and workings of a real firearm. After researching many different manufacturers the Tippmann always came up, it was also the most affordable. At sub £500 it was made even easier when Patrol Base offered it for £465 as a start up bundle with line and bottle, a no brainer as most HPA guns are more than £500 with nothing.

Tippmann Carbine CQB shortly after getting it with my custom front grip and TDC hop adjuster wheel

Straight out of the box I loved the construction of the Tippmann with a good mix of metal and polymer. The expected areas of the upper and lower receiver all metal along with the buffer tube and outer barrel. In my opinion the polymer is exactly where I want it in the butt, grip and front rail system.

It’s quite a controversial topic with mixed opinions about a front rails system finished in polymer or Aluminium but I prefer polymer. If you’re firing a real M4 or Airsoft variant ideally you want to keep the front weight of the gun as low as possible, not easy with all of the accessories people add these days. If the front end is light It’s easier to manoeuvre, bring up to aim and when firing and hold in the shoulder for longer without fatigue. If it’s a real M4 weight further back into the shoulder helps control recoil, something that the Tippmann has but isn’t really affected by.

So the construction for me was great and the quality of all parts for the price was the most impressive element. As the weapon is regulated in trigger mechanism of the lower receiver you have no need for batteries. It splits and functions like a M4 with a bolt carrier cycling which adds the recoil which can be adjusted with washers in the buffer tube if you like it heavy.

The function of the gun is crisp and as you can see from the video below makes a nice reassuring sound which isn’t quiet. Automatic sounds and feel epic but even with the fps cranked right up isn’t comparable to any AEG, that’s a minor point but something to bear in mind if you expect it to be a direct comparison.

With the regulation of the air in the gun and no electronics to control it, it’s not susceptible to inclement weather like other electronically controlled HPA guns and no batteries require. But there is really 2 different types of HPA and I categorise them as HPA and HHPA.

When I say HPA I generally think of Polarstar or Wolverine which operates using an electronically system between 100 – 200 psi. You can imagine if you have a 3000psi tank it will last a while, being able to run down much lower pressure before the gun stops functioning.

HHPA I refer to Tippmann that operates with paintball pressures around 800psi plus, so a 3000psi tank will not last as long as the gun will struggle to cycle below 900psi as seen below (7min 30). It also requires different microbore lines and connectors that look the same but wont work with the higher pressures. A confusing point that can be dangerous with the less experienced Airsofters or people that are new to the HPA world.

Now that’s out of the way I had a blast with the gun and loved everything about it except one thing. I wanted to go quieter and the Tippy is a loud gun as you can hear from the videos. To that end I then ventured down the road of lower pressure HPA as previously mentioned with the Wolverine MTW (checkout my Youtube channel for that one, you won’t believe it).

As upgrades go I didn’t upgrade anything as I had it dialled in with the factory kit being more than happy with the range and accuracy. They worked with my cheap Nuprol 125rd midcaps (don’t judge I like them) and had no feeding issues at all. The only think I added was my custom front grip and a rotary wheel literally glued into the TDC hop.

Unlike most hops located in the ejection port which is in my opinion a terrible idea the Tippy has a TDC adjuster right on top that requires an Allen key. Not ideal on the field for quick adjustments but cut a key, glue it in and easy peasy a fast reliable hop adjuster on the go.

Thumb wheel hop adjuster on the standard TDC

After that I decided to paint it but unlike AEG’s where most of it is covered up requiring little masking you do have to be careful with the Tippy. Because of the moving bolt carrier if you get excessive paint in the areas where moving parts are it will act like sand paper and destroy seals, so take care and remove or mask internals off.

OK let’s grade this bad boy.

Cost 10/10

Well as I mentioned separate the cost of other HPA systems and look at what you can get for the price. Gun, line and bottle for less than £500 is amazing value, it also comes with tools and spare seals unlike other HPA guns.

Quality 9/10

The quality is fantastic with a good mix of alloy and polymer in the right places It’s strong and robust. After 10,000 rounds correct cleaning mine had no issues at all and to be honest got better the more rounds went through it. The body pins are secure and you don’t need to worry about water ingress due to no electronics. Tippmann includes a polymer mid cap mag which is good quality which I still use with other guns now and a bag of spare O rings if one gets damaged or breaks. Also included is a tool kit for adjusting fps, rate of fire and a stock wrench thats not seen on HPA guns costing double that.

Delivery 7/10

What do I mean about delivery well It’s all about how it does the job. As the system is a high pressure air blowback system, operating above 800psi it requires braided lines and uses substantially more air than lower pressure systems. This said if you have a 48ci tank and don’t mind the weight it will last about 2 full days playing and about 2-3000 rounds depending how you play. That said I think that’s the only draw back the way it performs to get a round out with the recoil is fantastic and I would take that over a few quid of air any day.

Overall rating of 8.5 / 10

Easy to live with, great quality, accuracy while giving the user the feeling of recoil and for less than the £500 whats not to like. If I was allowed to get another I would for a DMR build because it brings a huge smile to your face every round fired.

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