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New A-5 vs Old A-5: The Differences

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    New A-5 vs Old A-5: The Differences

    I am going to be providing an in-depth comparison of the differences between the pre-2011 A-5 to the Selector Switch A-5. Feel free to leave comments, point out omissions, or ask questions.

    I will be comparing a stock selector switch A-5 with response trigger to a modified pre-2011 A-5 with response trigger. I will point out the modifications to avoid any confusion. The modifications consist on a regulator, a zero-kick bolt, squishy paddles, a QEPH, a grip frame adaptor with rail and on/off and the removal of the front hand grip. This thread will focus on the differences between these A-5s and not my modifications.

    It is also important to point out that my “old” A-5 is actually not the oldest version. The oldest version of the A-5 looks like a pre-2011 version but has the following differences:
    Cyclone and Response trigger fed by same air line, not separate like both versions pictured in this thread.
    No oring in the receiver half between the power tube and and the cyclone/ response trigger lines.
    Rear sights used to be made of metal. Both versions shown here have a plastic rear site.
    The end cap used to have a swivel for mounting a sling. Both end caps shown below have just a mounting point but no swivel.
    The original hammer was solid metal without an insert.
    Oldest A-5s were also painted not powdercoated.
    Special thanks to Hooptie and Glaman for their additional information about the older version of the A-5.

    If anyone has an older version of an A-5 please feel free to add the pictures as well.
    Last edited by Cdn_Cuda; 10-20-2020, 02:47 AM.

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    The top A-5 is the new style Selector Switch model. Note the Tippmann name is now cast in the body, and not a name plate as shown on the pre-2011 model shown below. The grip frame further differs between models as the Selector style frame is taller and lacks the finger grooves of the older model. The older model also has a push button safety instead of the selector switch.

    The air line from the tombstone to the ASA on both models are essentially the same. As my old A-5 uses a regulator I have macroline, busta stockA-5 would have the steel braided to a special ASA for the A-5. Note my modified A-5 has an adaptor that allow one to use a standard rail and on/off. Neither versions of theA-5 are compatible with standard rails and ASAs as anA-5 specific ASA is used.

    There are minor changes in the design of the clamshell of the A-5’s body. This is most notable is above the name plate and below the rear sight there is a long narrow box shape in the clamshell. The older version does not have that shape. Additionally, on the new A-5 the front grip is a integrated into the front bottom hand guard where the old version the front grip is a stand-alone piece. I will provide photos of these parts further on.

    Of particular notes is how the Selector Switch trigger frame comes right up to the tombstone, where as the older stile A-5 there is a small gap between the trigger frame and the tombstone. In that gap on the older model there is a small spring loaded latch that helps keep the tombstone secure. This latch is not present on the new style A-5 as the trigger frame is extended and basically performs the same role as the latch. And if you've every taken apart an A-5 you'll know just how much of a pain that latch can be when assembling and disassembling. I will provide a more in-depth photo of this latch when I get around to it.

    Last edited by Cdn_Cuda; 10-14-2020, 07:26 PM.


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      In this photograph we see the business side of both A-5s. These models are extremely similar with the same hoses and ports. As these are both response trigger models you can see the longer airline going to the trigger frame. Note in older versions of the A-5 there is only a single outlet that feeds both the cyclone and the response trigger. In both of these versions there are dual outlets to feed the cyclone and the RT cylinder separately.

      The newer style A-5s also upgraded cyclone paddles over what was used in the old style A-5. I believe the older A-5 had black paddles that were hard plastic and the newer versions are softer and may be green.
      Last edited by Cdn_Cuda; 10-20-2020, 02:50 AM.


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        These photos show the bottom of the A-5s with the trigger frame removed. The top one being the old A-5, the bottom being the new A-5. Note the latch on the tombstone of the old A-5 the I mentioned previously.

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        In this photo we can see the bottom layout is basically identical between the two A-5s. You can fit an old style trigger frame on the new style body but you cannot fit the new style trigger frame on the old style A-5 due to the tombstone latch. I have not tested to see if the old style trigger frame actually works the new body, but it is important to note that there is no latch to prevent the tombstone from coming out. Tombstone is held in place by a pushpin still, but likely a safety concern.


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          Here we can see the difference between the front handgrips. The left being the original style grip, the right being the new style grip. The new style grip is much easier to deal with as the retention nut is, which is shown in the photo below. You need to remove two screws to remove the new front grip and the front grip is no longer adjustable. In the old A-5 the front grip has a single screw and is adjustable along front slot.

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            The photo below shows the slot in which front grip on the old-style A-5 can be adjusted. There is a nut that sits in the slot that the bolt holding the front grip screws into. This bolt is not often another point of frustration when re-assembling your A-5 as you must split the receiver to fit the bolt into the slot and the grip screw needs to be loosened slightly to allow the receiver halves to come apart.

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            This concludes the external differences in the two versions of the A-5. The next posts will look at the internals.


              And now the internals:

              Old A-5 (with Zero Kick Bolt)
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              New A-5:
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              Largely, the internals themselves are the same. I believe at one point the hammer in the older A-5 was sold metal, without the plastic insert. As my old A-5 has a zero kick bolt, I cannot confirm which hammer was originally in it, but fairly certain it was the same hammer as the new A-5.

              In the top photo you can see the latch for the tombstone, held in place by a spring. Keep trap of this spring as it can often shoot out then disassembling the A-5. The photo below shows the latch in greater detail as well as the chanel for the front grip.

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              The photo below shows the tombstone area and front hand grip mounting spot in better detail. Note the cutout for the tombstone latch is stil in the receiver and there are a few points were there are hollows is then casting of receiver, reducing the amount of material needed from it.
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              Attached Files


                Finally, we examine the tombstones between the models. They are identical, the only difference is how they are retained in the body.

                The left tombstone is from the new A-5, the right from the old A-5.

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                And this ends the comparison of the old A-5 and new A-5 and rather in-depth thread on a rather mundane paintball gun.



                  Originally posted by Cdn_Cuda View Post
                  And this ends the comparison of the old A-5 and new A-5 and rather in-depth thread on a rather mundane paintball gun.
                  But an excellent write-up nonetheless. Thank you for all of this information.

                  One addition to the "oldest" A-5 difference list: The oldest ones were painted, not powdercoated. I don't have a pic handy to show it though.

                  Also, and this may be another topic for another thread... But is there a significant performance difference between the dual fitting A-5s and the original T-fitting A-5s when using a response trigger? I've always wondered that.
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                  • Cdn_Cuda


                    Editing a comment
                    I would imagine the dual air outlets would help prevent the cyclones from starving for air under higher rates of fire. Worth a future experiment if anyone comes across a single port A-5

                  I think I'm going to be happy with my new to me "old" A5.

                  My first one I bought at Skyball 2004. Pretty sure Dennis Jr. was at the booth too. $420 CAD with a flatline. Stuck a PPS female stabilizer on it for ny c02 and became king for a day at our outlaw field. Until everyone else got them...

                  Sold it for $250 but forgot to take off the stabilizer...