LAPCO Paintball has been around for years, quietly making high quality parts and accessories for the paintball world. Their work isn’t considered ‘sexy’, but they’re best known for making extremely high quality parts.
BT Designs created the Apex barrel for scenario/woodsball players to give them added range and the ability to curve paintballs. It takes the concept of the Tippmann Flatline barrel and condenses it into a small package that bears a striking resemblance to a suppressor on a real firearm.
The Apex’s main weakness is the barrel it comes attached to. While the Apex itself functions as advertised, accuracy suffers. LAPCO surmised that their barrels could add needed precision to the range offered by the Apex. LAPCO uses an exhaustive process to manufacture their barrels, starting with aluminum extrusions that eventually get milled, gun drilled, and honed into one of the most finely finished, accurate barrels on the market today.
We received an Apex Ready Barrel in autococker threading, which is commonly used on higher end markers like the Planet Eclipse Ego, DYE DM Series and others. Installing the Apex tip was merely a matter of taking the tip off of the BT barrel and attaching it to the LAPCO barrel. The bore on this barrel was the BigShot’s .690″, which is a good all-around barrel size for most field grade paintballs. Out of the tube we noticed that the anodizing was different than what we’re used to seeing. It’s a Military Class III anodizing, rather than the normal ‘sulfur’ anodizing used for decorative purposes. This makes for a hard finish, more resistant to scratching.
We used the barrel and Apex on a variety of paintball markers, including a Empire Mini and ’06 Planet Eclipse Ego. “Georgia” Joe Hamilton is an experienced scenario player and game writer. He’s used Apex barrels in the past, and while he liked the increased range that they offered, he felt that the shotgun-like pattern they produced could be improved on.
Over the course of several games he used the LAPCO Apex barrel and he noted that the pattern produced by the LAPCO barrel was significantly tighter than the stock barrel the Apex comes with. For the testing portion of the review, Joe used a wide variety of paint, from ProCaps Blaze and RecSport, to low end paint he purchased at Wal-Mart. In every case, he noted a significant improvement in precision while still providing the increased range that the Apex is designed to give.
LAPCO sells the Apex Ready Bigshot in two lengths, 8″ and 12″. If you already own an Apex Barrel and just want to upgrade the barrel portion, you can buy that from LAPCO directly or through their authorized dealers. LAPCO is also selling a complete Apex kit with the LAPCO Apex ready barrel and Apex tip. For under $100, you can buy a 12″ barrel system with the tip and LAPCO barrel, or for $59 you can buy the 12″ barrel. The 8″ variant is $10 cheaper. For more information, check out www.lapcopaintball.com