Smart Parts Ion

Reviewed

Smart Parts Ion
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber.

The Smart Parts Ion is a low-cost electropneumatic paintball gun designed for the player who wants a tournament-level paintball gun at a basement price. While you won't mistake it for a top of the line gun, it is a good performer and can compete in the same ballpark as any gun on the market.

Design

The Smart Parts Ion is a spool valve driven electropneumatic paintball gun that operates at under 200 PSI.

It is a very simple design, with aluminum internals and an easily exchangeable composite body shell. It is fashioned after other high-end guns with a standard sized ASA, pistol grip, and front regulator. It is an attractive-looking gun and there are enough body kits available to ensure that you find the one that fits you. It comes with a vertical feedneck, uses standard Smart Parts barrel threading and has break-beam eyes. The stock board has semi-automatic, ramping, 3-shot burst and fully-automatic modes and is rated up to 17 BPS.

Performance

Compared to other electropneumatic paintball guns, the Ion is quite inexpensive, but its performance is not. It really will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger and once the regulator is broken in, it is quite consistent. With the right paint and barrel combinations, the Ion can be as accurate as any gun out there, and with a few improvements, its air efficiency is also quite good.

The trigger is not very adjustable and the feedneck does not clamp, but both of these can be changed with upgrades. Overall, the stock Ion performs about as well as other similarly priced mechanical guns, but it comes stock with eyes and it is so upgradeable that you can get it to compete with some of the best paintball guns available.

Maintenance & Upgrades

Basic maintenance on the Ion is very simple and there are not many o-rings that need replacing, but, if you ever need to open up the whole gun, be prepared for a job. A strength of the Ion is the number of upgrades available so you can improve the gun's performance, change its board, or cosmetically alter it to fit your style.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Very upgradeable
  • Lightweight
  • Will run on compressed air or CO2 (with an anti-siphon tank)

Cons

  • Few modes of fire
  • Difficult to disassemble
  • Tall and non-clamping feedneck
  • Some upgrades are difficult to install
  • Difficult to change modes, dwell, and recharge

Description

  • Electropneumatic paintball gun
  • Runs on compressed air or CO2
  • Runs on 200 psi or less of air
  • Shoots up to 17 BPS

Reviewer's note: This review is based on my experience with Ions and other people's reviews of the stock Ion.