- Action: Semi-Auto (Open Blow Back Bolt)
- Air-Source: CO2 or Compressed Air
- Barrel: 8.5 in.
- Cycle Rate: 5 Shots / Second
- Weight: 2.9 lbs.
The Tippmann Model 98, referred to as the M 98 by most players, is probably the most dependable and rugged paintball gun available on the market today. The Model 98s simplistic design along with its high quality construction makes it almost indestructible and extremely dependable. The M 98 comes with a hopper, wire squeegee, barrel plug, gun oil, 4 allen wrenches, and an owners manual. The M 98 also comes with a one year warranty from Tippmann.
While the M 98 was designed to be tough, dependable, and affordable, it also looks good on the field. The M 98 is only available in two colors, black and silver. Its style varies significantly from the traditional Spyder and Piranha styles, but that is a good thing. The Model 98 may not look as tricked out as many other guns, but its what is inside the gun that makes it so popular. So you obviously won't have people telling you "Mint Gun!", but who cares? Experienced players know that its not the gun that wins the game, its the player behind the gun that wins the game.
The M 98 has many great features that most guns can not offer. The Model 98 offers up a removable elbow, bottomline setup, built-in sight with sight rail, and a front fore-grip. The features list isnt real long, but to not underestimate this gun. The quick remove elbow and unobstructed sighting system on the M 98 stand out when playing on the field. Caution: You may find yourself tagging more players using the M 98 then you ever did with any other similarly priced gun.
|Feature: Sight Rail|
Almost every player that has used an M 98 is quick to point out that they loved being able to sight straight down the barrel. The sighting system on the M 98 is basically the same as it is on an open sight rifle. You have a clear, unobstructed view across the top of the barrel. With most paintball guns you will find that you have to aim down the side of the barrel since the power feed or vertical feed blocks your view along the top of the barrel. On the Model 98, paintballs feed into the side of the gun and the player is allowed a clear view along the top of the barrel. The Tippmann design team put a front and rear sight on the gun to make it quick and easy to sight in the Model 98 on your target. We love the sighting system on the M 98 and wish that every paintball gun had a similar setup.
|Feature: Removable Elbow|
The Model 98 has a removable feed elbow that allows for quick cleaning of the guns chamber. If you chop a ball in the Model 98 it usually doesnt require disassembling the gun. You can quickly remove the feed elbow and run water through the gun to clean out any paint and shells that may be in the chamber. The removable elbow works very well at allowing you to quickly clean out the Model 98 without needing to field strip it. The elbow also has a built in clamp at the top, allowing you to clamp your hopper securely onto the gun. The removable elbow was an excellent idea and it a very useful feature of the M 98.
|Feature: Model 98 "Custom"|
The newest version of the Model 98 is the Model 98 Custom. Custom simply means that the gun is easier to upgrade. The older version of the Model 98 was not easy to add new features to. Upgrading the M 98 used to mean having to spend time drilling holes and shaving down the frame to fit upgrades into the gun. With the new Model 98 Custom, Tippmann has made the gun much more upgrade friendly and has left space and reshaped the inside of the guns frame to make it much easier to add upgrades to the gun. Common upgrades include expansion chambers, venturi style bolts, rear cocking systems, full auto kits, double triggers, compressed air internals, powerfeeds etc.. Just about any upgrade imaginable can be found for the Model 98 Custom.
Accuracy testing is viewed as the most important test of a paintball gun by most every player. If you cant hit your target, your not going to be very effective out on the field. We used PMI Premium paintballs and ran our tests at 80 degrees. We secured the M 98 into a clamp on a sturdy bench to ensure that the gun could not move between shots.
We shot 10 paintballs at each target from four different ranges: 45, 65, 85, and 105 feet. The pictures of our tests and out conclusions are posted below so you can check out the results.
The M 98s barrel did a very good job at holding a tight grouping up until about 85 feet. At about 85 feet we noticed that the paintballs were beginning to curve slightly. The M 98 does fine accuracy wise, but an upgraded barrel is usually the first item that most M 98 owners buy. I little longer, and better barrel will not only increase accuracy at longer ranges, but it will also increase the velocity of the balls traveling out of the barrel. Thus allowing you to lower the guns pressure slightly and increase CO2 efficiency. The stock barrel is by no means bad, but an upgraded barrel is worth considering.
|Velocity Consistency |
To test the velocity consistency of the Model 98, we mounted it securely on our testbench and chronographed the guns speed to about 285 feet per second. We ran this test running CO2 at a temperature of 80 degrees on a sunny day. The graph on the left shows the velocity for each shot taken in each of the two ten shot series we recorded. The second string was fired 10 minutes after we completed the first series of shots. The Model 98 held its velocity fairly well between shots. With only small variations in velocity between shots and no major velocity spikes or dips, the M 98 did a nice job on the chronograph.
You may notice that the average velocity of the second string of shots is about 10 fps higher then that of string one. This was caused by our CO2 tank heating up while we waited 10 minutes to run the second string. Any gun that runs CO2 without a regulator will experience this effect because there is minimal regulation of the CO2 pressure coming from the tank.
|Field Stripping & Maintenance|
The only real drawback to the M 98s design is that it is very time consuming to completely field strip. In order to take the M 98 apart and properly clean the internals, you must remove 5 allen screws from the gun. Once you have removed the 5 screws that hold the guns body together, you can easily remove the top half of the body and access the internals. You can now clean any paint out and oil the bolt. The actual valve is enclosed within a separate plastic body within the M 98, protecting it from damage.
The trick is putting the M 98 back together. It is not hard to do, but you will want to check the owners manual the first couple times to make sure that you reassemble the gun properly. As with any gun, the more familiar you become with its operation, the easier maintaining the gun becomes. We would like to add that the M 98 is one of the most dependable paintball guns on the market. It is very seldom that an M 98 ever needs to be repaired. If you keep the M 98 well oiled and clean, it will outlast just about any other paintball gun.
|Balance and Field Performance|
After running the M 98 through the battery of performance testing, we packed it up and headed out to the paintball field. We loaded down the M 98 hopper with a full hopper (175 balls) and noted that the gun balanced fairly well. The M 98 does balance a little bit heavy toward the front end, but this is made up for by the positioning of the front foregrip. The foregrip is directly below the hopper, giving you excellent control over the gun.
While playing, it was a refreshing change to be able to use the M 98s open sight rail. The open sight gives you a great view of the action in front of you. The built in sight makes it easy to put your first shot on target, there is no need to guess where your shots will be going. The M 98s setup makes it a good choice for the paintball sniper who wants to make sure his/her first shot is on target. The M 98 also has a light trigger pull, measured at about 3 pounds. An experienced player can crank out about 7 balls per second with the M 98s trigger. The M 98 proved to us that it can be a formidable force out on the paintball field. It was great throughout the entire day. A lot of fun to play with.
|All in all, the M 98 was a blast to play with! We really liked the M 98 and have to congratulate the Tippmann design team for doing an excellent job on building such an awesome paintball gun. If you are an experienced player or just starting into paintball and are looking for a durable gun that will last you a long time and perform great out on the field, look no further then the Tippmann Model 98 Custom. In our opinion we have to say that there is no paintball gun for under $150 that can outlast an M 98. Really one of the best paintball guns we have ever tested. 5 Stars |