Thinking about the S6.5 - a 'sort of' review.
One of the great advantages of CCM is that they listen to their end users. They are constantly making tweaks and adjustments to their markers to suit the customer. This can have one disadvantage, however, concerning this review is that I am much more likely to list what I would like to change to a company that will actually listen to me. In this vein - I have owned my S6.5 for about eight months now and have thought heavily about what I like about it and would like to change. After a full day of play today - I would like to list the nit picks about this marker.
I will be comparing the S6.5 to other CCM markers - mostly S6.
Weight: The major advantage of the 6.5 to the S6 is weight. It is markedly lighter and because of this factor - I can hold the marker longer, snap shot quicker, and hold the marker more steadily.
Feedneck: The S6.5 uses a two piece removable feedneck that is made to for Spyder two hole style feednecks. This, as seen with the T2 is a more versatile feedneck design that allows for myriad of feednecks and feed styles. It is easily removable with two screws and makes for an easier clean at the end of the day.
Nit Pick: Make more feed styles. In particular, make a compatable stock class feed. You made a cram and jam for the T2 in VERY low supply and with very little modifications you could at least make this for the S6.5. We all know this is not a stock class marker - but MANY MANY people want to shoot modified stock class.
For that matter, make a feedneck that is actually a tube. Make it hold 13 balls and come out the back. You don't have to make it a 17 piece kit like the SS-25 feed was - look at the Gargoyle and design one that is similar.
One Piece Body: This change was made with the S6. I am not sure of the advantages other than having one less seal and one less screw to worry about - but I don't really care. It is damned cool - it looks cool, it works perfectly and I love it.
Newer Auto Trigger Retention Pin: Whomever had the idea of the ball and spring retention system should be slapped. It only works when it is held in with a tiny grub screw or all you EVER do is loose the little damned things.
With that said - whomever thought of the cam pin at CCM needs a raise. An elegent solution to a complex problem. This is, by far, the best AT on a CCM yet. The pin stops the cam from binding on the trigger and the shorter cam and single hole in the frame makes for a more elegant trigger design. Mad Kudos here. (If the same person had the ball and spring idea as had the pin idea - slap them and THEN give them a raise.
AT pump arm Pin: Love it. Simple and elegant. Please tell me you are done messing with this design. You have had every allen key size and hole ever imagined in that single hole on the pump arm and this latest design works, stops rub, and is hot.
Pump Guide Arms: Bill is going to hate this one - but I don't think they need to be stainless - or if they need to be stainless - they could be skelotinized more. Love the tear drops - but you could drop some serious weight by rethinking the larger guide arm on the later models. With that said - if you have tried it and you lost reliability or increased wear and tear - skip it - a few grams are not worth it in the long run. Just a thought.
Love and have loved the single 3/16th allen key removal slot in the end. Awesome and has been awesome.
Valve: Don't touch it. I still want to find Garret and slap him for the delrin fart years of the CCM. This newer modular valve stem is awesome and efficient.
Hammer and main spring: This is where my main gripe is for the S6. A longer heavier hammer meant getting a redesign on the spring. A design for an end cap meant less room in the bottom tube. What did we end up with? A lighter and FAR more efficient valve design - that had VERY little back travel if you were ever over FPS. My S6.5 and my T2 run at the very back end of their IVG settings and I have to reg down if I am hot.
Not optimal. The advantage of every hammer in the CCM family besides the halfblock hammer is that you had a huge variance in FPS adjustment. The disadvantage to the T2 and S6.5 shielded hammer is a loss in this adjustment.
Further, the "250 forever" problem exists in both markers if they get paint or debris in the bottom tube, which is very easy due to the half block design. About 1/2 of the problems I field with these two markers is cured by saying 'clean you bottom tube'.
I don't know how you can fix this - in the short run I would ellipse the hammer so that it more tolerant to grime and dirt in the bottom tube. In the long run - you need to look at a redesign (in my opinion).
Goals: Keep the efficiency (it is 50% more efficient than the S6) but loose the lack of rear adjustment and the lack of a back cap on the S6.5. Let's face it - on the S6.5 it is ugly to simply have the IVG hanging out the *** end. The vanity cap was a great addition to the T2 - but a lack of one on the S6.5 shows a lack of design time. This was a must on MODIFIED markers (cockers turned into half blocks) but not on a marker built from the ground up.
Grip Frame: I think this one has been addressed but my grip frame has a hole in it for a beaver tail that is taken up by a grub screw. Omit this.
Bolt and Detent Design: Spot on. Nothing to see here. Fast, elegant, has the Circle C CCM logo on the back, has great detents and detent covers. This is the sort of thing CCM is all about. Awesomeness. Take that thinking and apply it to the hammer of the bottom tube on the S6.5.
Lower Hole on the CCM Reg: It is about damned time. I love it. The 90 degree fitting fits UNDER the Grip frame. Thank you CCM for fixing this once and for all!
CCM Rail: Bring back the CCM logo on the rail. Little touches like that make a marker hotter.
With all of this said - I love my S6.5 I have ONE down game with this marker in 8 months (paint on the hammer after being bunkered) and have killed more than the plague with it. It is an accurate, fast, reliable, sexy, head turning, death machine - and frankly - the reason I run a CCM marker. If I had to own ONE marker - it would be the CCM S6. Tried, true, and death in my hands. If I had my choice of markers to run - the S6.5 is my choice.
I will be taking pictures of my S6.5 and doing a manual for this marker soon. Stay tuned.
Last edited by Talfuchre; 04-23-2011 at 10:55 PM.