|Inside the JT TAC-5 ||
| Written by Dan Reeves|
|Camo and milsim are "in"--and the new JT TAC-5 heads back to the woods, where JT-sponsored teams dominated the tournament scene for years. Today's new breed of scenario gamer demands a marker with "the right look"--and the TAC-5 energetically delivers the payload.|
The TAC-5 is an open bolt, blowback, in-line marker with neat innovations. The feed can be set to left, right, or center feed as the player chooses. A modular internal parts design adds serious convenience for ease of cleaning and maintenance. With its adjustable foregrip and carry handle, along with the marker's overall shape and low cost, the TAC-5 is very milsim friendly.
The adjustable feed offers three possible positions for the collar. The feedport will either angle left, angle right, or point straight up. Scenario players wanting to use a sight will find this adjustable feedport very useful. Right- and left-handed players can position the feed on the side they prefer.
The feedport collar mounts with two screws. It's part of the separate unit on the front three inches of the TAC-5 body which also includes a short multi-function rail.
When choosing an angled feedport, use the 45 degree elbow (included with the TAC-5) between the feedport adaptor and the feedport gripper (where the loader neck is inserted). This keeps the loader upright.
The test team tried the feed port in all three positions. It only involves five screws and the threaded elbow, so to change the feed port takes only a few minutes. Center feed keeps the most loader behind cover no matter how you come out to shoot. Hopper left means the hopper sticks out more when you shoot out the left side of cover; hopper right works just the opposite. Since a right-handed player more often shoots out the right side ofcover, for him or her, hopper left makes a smaller target. Experiment with all three choices until you know what you like best.
The well-accepted in-line design keeps the valve body in line with the barrel, usually in an enlarged compartment. An airtube extends out the front of the valve toward the barrel. The bolt slides on the airtube, moving back to expose the feedport and let a paintball drop, and moving forward to push the paintball into the barrel.
The hammer sits behind the valve body. When the hammer is cocked, it is pulled back against a spring until the hammer catches on the sear. When the trigger is pulled, the sear is released. This lets the spring push the hammer, so it strikes and opens the air valve. Air is released to shoot the paintball, and part of that air also recocks the hammer (that's what "blow back" refers to).
A link rod mechanically links the hammer and the bolt, so they move in unison. The TAC-5 link rod slips easily out of the hammer and bolt when the assembly is out of the marker body.
JT's special design element in the TAC-5 keeps the cocking knob, base, main spring, and hammer as a separate module. The cocking knob shaft goes through the base, stabilizing spring, main spring, and hammer, and has a retainer which holds it in place. The base slides into the body of the TAC-5 and is held in place by a push pin.
After the TAC-5 is cocked, the cocking knob shaft is pushed back through the base by the stabilizing spring. Theoretically, the cocking knob should not move during a shooting cycle, but in fact the hammer has enough drag on the shaft to send the fast-moving cocking knob more than an inch away from the back of the marker. This "jumping" of the cocking knob diminished significantly as the marker wore in, but never went away completely. We'd like to see a "beaver tail" added so the cocking knob is enclosed while it moves out the back of the marker.
A black, steel braided pressure air line connects the bottom line ASA to the valve body. The upper part of the line ends with a metal end and an o-ring. A threaded sleeve screws vertically into the body just in front of the trigger, tightly holding the metal end into the body. The tip with the o-ring projects up into the valve body, providing an air tight connection. This design does not allow the use of standard expansion chambers.
Frame & Body
The body, grip frame, and trigger guard are a single piece. On the right hand side of the grip frame, a cover plate gives access to the trigger, sear, safety, and a few related parts. The grip cover wraps around the back of the grip frame and is held on with two screws on each side.
A combined Picatinny and 3/8 inch dovetail rail forms much of the top of the body. When the carry handle is mounted on this rail, you cannot mount a sight--it's either/or.
Another short section of similar combined rail is on the front bottom of the body. This lines up with the grip mount rail on the feedport collar, increasing choices for where to mount the foregrip. The foregrip could be removed and a tactical light be installed instead.
The bottom line ASA mounts on the bottom of the grip with two screws in a side-by-side pattern.
The TAC-5 double finger metal trigger has a couple of gentle scoops in its face that help shooting fingers stay in place. It has 1/8 inch of take-up, another 1/8 inch to the trip point, and almost 1/2 inch overtravel. In testing, the trigger proved comfortable, with a slightly long stroke. The trigger travel is not player-adjustable.
There is a crossbolt safety in the frame slightly in front of the trigger. In testing more than one TAC-5, the test team found the safety very hard to work on all of them; JT was advised of this.
JT's owner manual advises adding three drops of oil to the ASA before attaching the tank. Though the manual does not say to add oil with each new tank of air, that's a common practice in paintball. The TAC-5 will run on CO2 or HPA (high pressure air or nitrogen).
With the drops of oil added and a 12 ounce CO2 tank installed, the test team added a VL Revolution loader. The loader neck fit into the Gorilla Grip feedport very snugly. Solid grip!
Tip: The Gorilla Grip feedport threads onto the feedport adaptor, so it is important to keep rotating the loader clockwise when inserting or removing it. If you rotate the loader counterclockwise, the Gorilla Grip feedport may unscrew from the adaptor.
At the range, a few test shots (with no paint) showed the marker to be cycling properly. The cocking knob kept coming out the back of the marker, over an inch, with each shot. We could easily hold it in with a finger or thumb, so it seemed there was just enough drag from the hammer to overcome the stabilizing spring that should hold the cocking knob against the back of the TAC-5. As mentioned, a beaver tail would be an improvement.
Test conditions started out almost ideal, 70 degrees F., humidity under 30 per cent, and light breezes under six mph. With PMI Marballizer paintballs, the chrono read 276 fps.
The velocity is adjusted with an Allen drive screw in the right hand side of the marker. The farther in the screw is, the more it blocks an air passage and the less air gets past. This reduces the velocity. Since we wanted to raise the velocity, we backed the screw out about 1-1/2 turns. The velocity went up only a little bit. At max velocity adjustment the TAC-5 wouldn't shoot over 275 fps, and that was the same result with another TAC-5 on the same day, using CO2.
Testing in the 275 fps range, a measured string of 10 shots averaged 273 fps, with standard deviation of 3.6. We plinked with the rest of the Marballizer in the loader, then changed to Draxxus X-Ball Podium Silver paintballs. A measured string of Draxxus averaged 256 fps, with a standard deviation 4.1. Repeating with Jumbo paintballs, the velocity average dropped to 251 fps as the standard deviation tightened to 2.5. JT factory tech support said changing the mainspring would bring the velocity up.
Accuracy tests ran 18 of 20, sometimes 19 of 20, on a 12 inch target at 60 feet after adjusting for the lower velocities. Testing with velocities under 250, the marker still put out very long range shots with good flight patterns.
The TAC-5 is not the most quiet of markers. The factory barrel has a muzzle brake but no porting. It has Spyder-compatible threading, so during tests the team tried a 12 inch ported Spyder "tournament" barrel. The sound changed to a more quiet sound--less of a twang thwap and more of a whoosh thwap.
During extensive testing, the JT TAC-5 marker performed well. It is fairly lightweight and has a decent rate of fire. Choose black or camo; be aware the camouflage finish is very popular and may be hard to find. The price is very right! JT made a good move back to the woods with this budget-priced milsim marker.
Features: multiple position feed port with two "Sniper" offset positions (left or right) and an "Assault" vertical position; Gorilla Warfare Grip self sizing loader adaptor; easy field strip technology; bonus removable tactical handle; sight rail; adjustable/removable foregrip; multiple accessory mounting rails; precision barrel system; blade style double finger trigger. Available in black or camo.
Method of Operation: in-line, open bolt, blow back
Power Supply: CO2, N2, or compressed air
Stock Barrel Length: 9 inches, Spyder-compatible threading
Overall Length (w/Stock Barrel): 21 inches
Included Accessories: barrel plug, elbow, owners manual, lubricant
Weight: 3 pounds 11 ounces
Warranty: factory, 90 days
Corona, CA 92879
Posted by gary, on November 20, 2007 at 14:20
the JT was my first gun it is still my back up marker, but it is one of the most acorate paintball guns i have shoot. i am working on making it into a sniper.
Posted by will s, on December 1, 2007 at 22:49
im 13 , first gun, been in the shop more than i've played, breaks balls, blows o-rings , read the manual , lubed it , still a piece of crap , my 2 cents ,peace oh ya tippann rules !
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