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US Army Paintball

DraXxus

Product Testing performed with DraXxus Paintballs

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US Army Alpha Black Tactical
by Bill Mills - Photos by Dawn Mills - March 2008

Features HowItWorks Disassembly Adjustment Testing Data

TESTING

Testing of the Alpha Black was performed for both general operation, in which no unexpected problems came to light, and objective testing was done to determine velocity consistency, and compare shot grouping size with the stock barrel to that with a standardized test barrel.

Alpha Black Tactical Paintball gun Accuracy Test ChronographAll testing was performed with compressed air as the power source, delivered via a Crossfire 800 psi output compressed air system, and utilizing DraXxus Hellfire paintballs. Objective test firing was performed with the Alpha Black Tactical secured to a hard mounted Custom Cylinders markers stand, with an electropneumatic trigger actuator activated at precise firing rates under control of a custom programmed microprocessor.

To test for velocity consistency and shoot-down, the Alpha Black was adjusted to fire at approximately 285 feet per second, then 30 shot strings were fired over a recording chronograph at microprocessor controlled rates of both 1bps and 12 bps. At the 1 bps rate of fire, one mis-fire occured, and at 12 every shot fired correctly (as did all other shots during testing and review.)

Alpha Black Chronograph Test Chart

Data Summary 1 BPS 12 BPS
High: 294.4 285.6
Low: 274.4 264.8
Extreme Spread 20 20.8
Average: 284.2 277.4
Standard Deviation: 5.8 5
95%:
±2.0
±2.0

At a steady 1 bps, the Alpha Black Tactical had an average velocity of 284.2 feet per second with a standard deviation of 5.8. The 95% figure – a quantification based on throwing out 5% of the data which is the least consistent (this allows for odd, inconsistent paint to be discounted) was at ±2.0.

When the rate of fire increased, for a 30 shot string at 12 bps, the average velocity dropped to 277.4. Velocity consistency remained almost the same with a standard deviation of 5.0, the 95% figure, rated the velocities again at ±2.0 – meaning that aside from a couple of oddballs, consistency was comparable whether shooting slow or fast, though rapid fire did produce a small decrease in velocity.

Tippmann Alpha Black Accuracy Test Target

Twenty-shot strings were fired at paper targets at a distance of 75 feet, at a microprocessor controlled rate of one ball per second. One grouping was fired with the stock Alpha Black Tactical barrel, and the other with the standardized barrel used in WARPIG Ballistic Labs testing, a Smart Parts All-American front and .687 insert matched to the paint, and a Freak Model 98 back. This setup allows for the same barrel to be moved from marker to marker, regardless of thread type, for a baseline comparison. Grouping size with both barrels was somewhat similar. Individual target photos are available here.

paintball With the US Army Alpha Black, Tippmann has taken their long-proven Model 98 valve system and built it into a decidedly milsim chassis, using some of the most recognizable design elements of the M-16 series infantry rifles. Although bolt-on upgrade options are more limited for the Alpha Black than the 98 Custom, its lower price tag, and US Army branding are set to create an affordable entry for new players into the sport of paintball.


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