Buying the first personal paintball marker is a whole event. The more experience, the less happy the rental equipment in the club. Given the expensive rental paintball gear, personal weapons will soon pay off, not to mention the pleasure of owning your own arsenal. The price range, variety of types and brands can be confusing for an inexperienced paintball player. I hope this guide will help you make the right choice.
Types of paintball markers. Advantages and disadvantages
Amazon’s “best marker” or the most popular weapon on the market doesn’t have to work for every player. To choose a marker for yourself, you need to disassemble the design features of each type of weapon.
The classification of paintball markers depends on the type of reload:
The history of paintball began with pump markers and pump-action. The pump requires full manual control, like a ball shotgun. Powered by carbon dioxide and needs to be recharged after each shot. A gas supply can usually fire up to 40 times. The most common version of the feeder can hold up to 15 balls. There are more cylinders and feeders, but today we are not talking about them.
The principle of operation of the pump is hardly interesting to the layman, so let’s immediately move on to the advantages and disadvantages of this type of weapon. Playing with a pump-action marker is more interesting (for my taste), since you just have to focus on the target, and not spray paint all around at the speed of light. But if you are facing off against players with automatic or semi-automatic markers, the chances of winning are slim. With such a weapon, you must be accurate, fast and maneuverable.
Mechanical paintball markers are the widest selection on the market and the most popular. They do not need to be reloaded before each shot, but after each game it is advisable to clean and lubricate them, and periodically change the O-rings. In general, mechanical markers are reliable and easy to maintain. They are not difficult to disassemble, and the parts for them are affordable.
The advantages of this type of weapon include a low price compared to electronic markers. They do not create problems during the game, so even a beginner can use them. Parts for such markers are usually interchangeable. With the advent of the semiautomatic machine, paintball has reached a qualitatively different level. Semi-automatic markers are louder than electronic and electromechanical ones and need to be cocked before firing. For a shot, a mechanical marker needs a higher pressure than an electronic one, which means there will be less shots for one cylinder.
Electronic markers are the latest generation of paintball guns. An electronic board powered by a battery actuates a solenoid valve. Programmable modes make it possible to fire three shots at a time, if desired, provide a real automatic fire. The circuit of electronic models is much more complicated than any other type of markers, so maintenance is reduced to a visit to a service center. Electronic markers are slightly lighter and smaller than mechanical markers, the trigger is pulled short and without a stop. The number of shots is much higher due to the minimum gas consumption.
They also have disadvantages. The need for compressed gas eliminates the use of carbon dioxide as an alternative. Thinking about the battery charge is also a bit annoying.
There are many hybrid models that combine the principles of operation of different types of markers. In any case, you have to navigate not only by the classification of a particular model, but also take into account a dozen other factors.
Fortunately, SMG markers do not exist. Although some models may look exactly like a machine gun, they are conventional rapid-fire semi-automatic.
What’s the difference between a paintball pistol and a marker?
There is absolutely no difference. The gun and the marker belong to the same thing – a pneumatic device that releases gelatinous projectiles. The word “marker” was borrowed somewhat later than the pistol. The reason is prosaic – the organizers of the first tournaments decided to distance themselves from “shoot” and “kill”, replacing “mark” with a tolerant and neutral one. Does this change the essence? Of course not.
Checkup for the choice of marker, which will help to determine
How often do you plan to play? Renting paintball equipment usually costs no more than $ 10, and a super-basic marker is around $ 70. You can play a couple of times a year on rented equipment (except for a mask, it is better to have your own). In 6-7 years, a cheap marker will pay off, but it will also become hopelessly outdated. The more often you play, the more expedient it is to have your own gun.
How much are you willing to invest? Going out on the field 2 times a month, it makes no sense to take cheap weapons that wear out quickly and are expensive to repair. Weapons up to $ 100 are considered to be cheap, the price of a gun is on average from $ 30 to $ 2000. A good shotgun costs an average of $ 200. Very quickly, you will be able to tell the difference between high-speed, precision models and cheap budget employees.
The range affects the price. Which one do you need? Speedball and 24-hour scenario day require a competitive, reliable weapon, and prices for rapid-fire markers are in the $ 200- $ 300 range. Most paintball players will benefit from the versatile, low-range CO2 models that can be upgraded. Cost up to $ 150.
Is it subject to repair? Yes, paintball markers break. Before buying a specific model, it is worth knowing the cost of parts replacement and repair. In a $ 30 marker, air hose costs $ 18. There are clones of expensive firms on which you can put non-original parts. But there are also such guns, which can only be repaired by a professional or a service.
Mechanics or Electronics? Mechanical markers are reliable and don’t need charging, but they are noisy and slow. Electronic, in turn, are of two types – electromechanical and electro-pneumatic. The first option has a trigger with an electronic system, which, if desired, makes automatic shots (for example, 3 shots each). The second option fires thanks to a solenoid valve that releases pressurized air. These markers are quieter and more reliable, but their repair is laborious and not everyone can afford the price.
What paintball do you play more often? For long-term, large-scale, scenario games, a marker with a stock, or one that can be carried over the shoulder, like a rifle, will not hurt. On a large playground, a rapid-fire marker with long range and accuracy is more suitable. Much depends on your role in the team – attackers need lightweight markers that are small in size, giving a lot of room for maneuvers. Those covering the attack need rapid fire. To summarize: mechanics for woodsball, casual games, for beginners. Electro-pneumatics for competitions, speedball.
Taste and color. On the market you can find a marker of any rainbow color and the most bizarre shape, but do not lose your head – your success depends on the convenience of the weapon. A very large marker cannot be pressed to the body, and some ultramarine color will give you away on any playground in a matter of minutes.
Metal or plastic? The durability of the case depends on the material, as well as its price. When deciding between polymer, steel and aluminum, consider your playing style, the type of court and how often you play. The metal marker is relatively heavy, but also the most wear-resistant. But if you play 3-4 times a year, it might not be worth paying extra for high-quality steel that will wait for you in your closet for months.
Is the upgrade possible? Not every marker can be improved. Accessories and parts can be found only for models of the middle and high price range, as well as the most popular ones. When making a purchase, consider whether you want to grow in skill. This will determine whether your marker needs an upgrade.
Take aim! The more markers go through your hands, the easier it is to make a choice. Do not hesitate to consult with experienced warriors and sellers. Take your time. Well, I advise you not to make a headache out of the choice of a marker, because this is only a tool in the game!
MODEL AND SPECIFICATIONS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Tippmann Cronus Paintball Marker Gun
Linear bolt system
Internal gas line
Barrel with sight
20 oz CO2 / HPA cylinder with pin valve
GXG mask, tourniquet and balloon included
Speed 300 FPS
Weight 4.8 lbs
+ Accurate and reliable
+ Ergonomic with heavy weight
+ Comfortable handles
+ Good FPS
+ Price up to $ 200 full package
– Inner metal, outside plastic
Spyder MR100 Pro
Military style mechanics
Clamping neck made of reinforced polymer
Front handle made of M14 resin
Aluminum multi-rail fastening system
Aluminum trigger frame
Steel braided hose line
Speed setting guide
Matt anodized finish
Speed - 300+ FPS
+ Affordable ($ 220 full set)
+ Excellent construction
+ Neat speed controller
+ Easy to clean and maintain
+ Upgrade possible
+ Great for beginners
Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum Series
Die-cast aluminum split receivers
Linear bolt system
Cut Protection Technology (ACT)
Self-locking stainless steel power tube
Vertical front stick
Reliable sight springs
CO2 and HPA compatible
Matte black finish
+ Thoughtful design
+ Excellent reputation
+ Reliability and durability
+ Affordable upgrade makes it ideal for beginners
+ Adequate price tag ($ 100)
Empire ax paintball marker
Mechanical paintball gun
Four shooting modes
Precise and lightweight 12 ” aluminum barrel
Pulse relay regulator with switch
Push-button bolt removal system
Built-in beam blocking
Extended handle frame
+ Sleek, compact and lightweight design
+ Stunning barrel
+ Incredibly smooth and accurate shooting
+ Very durable
+ Easy to handle and maneuver
+ Four shooting modes
+ Great for experts and beginners
– Price $ 350
Spyder Fenix Electronic Paintball Marker
Aluminum and high impact polymer
ECO Valve system
11 Inch Microport Valve
LEAP II PCB
Break beam anti-chop system
Double ball retainers
Three-way adjustable magnetic trigger
Three shooting modes
9.6 Volt battery
+ Great value (up to $ 180)
+ EKO Valve System is incredibly efficient
+ Excellent construction
+ Very reliable platform
+ Easy to upgrade
+ Speed control
+ Provides stable production