Author Archives: The Paintball Professor
Author Archives: The Paintball Professor
While the Empire Invert Mini is quite small, it overcomes its diminutive size with excellent shooting performance. This munchkin of a marker weighs slightly under two pounds when fully assembled. Despite this, it shoots with the authority and accuracy of a regular sized marker. It has a middle of the road price (around $300). Moreover, it is incredibly easy to handle, so it has quickly become quite the popular little marker.
For players who are concerned with the Invert Mini‘s durability, have no fear. This tiny gun comes with a limited lifetime warranty backed by industry stalwart Empire Paintball.
Therefore, you can go all in and play in your usual style without hesitation. While the Empire Invert Mini might be minuscule, there’s no reason to wear “kid gloves” when you use it. It’s ready for tournament competition, and it’ll do a darn good job.
The Invert Mini has an impressive 20 bps maximum firing rate. This is a nice surprise that most wouldn’t expect from a marker of its magnitude. It’ll blast away at competitors with speed and accuracy.
Shot rates are as follows: 1,400 shots at 275 fps off 68/4500 and 1,200 shots at 295 fps off 68/4500. Over 100,000 balls can be shot before the battery life is exhausted. There’s also a 12” auto cocker style threaded barrel, a wide range of firing modes, and an integrated anti-chop eye. Colors include red, blue, black, olive dust, and silver dust.
The marker has a three-point adjustable trigger, modes like Millenium, PSP, NXL, and NPPL, and an input pressure of around 200 pounds per square inch. Players will have to remove the fore grip cover to change modes. While this is a hassle, it doesn’t take too much time to complete.
When players squeeze the trigger for a shot, they will feel some vibration. This is to be expected from a marker the size of the Empire Invert Mini. Unfortunately, the vibration can be significant enough to loosen a screw or two in the marker’s fore grip from time to time.
The Invert Mini’s user experience design is unparalleled. Ballers will love the fact that the Invert Mini is “macro less.” This means that it requires no hoses for operation. Integration occurs through the marker’s grip. This makes the Invert Mini look extra sleek and unique. Few guns offer functionality without the use of hoses while most require two hands at all times with a steady hold.
The Empire Invert Mini is easily held in a single hand. It can be angled however the player desires to rattle off shots on the run while jumping in mid-air or while crawling on the ground. It is powered up with a single button that also functions as the marker’s safety.
The Invert Mini has a universal appeal that will strike the fancy of the most experienced players as well as those who are just starting out with the sport. It has that extra special cool factor that makes everyone want to give it a try.
There is no on/off ASA on the Invert Mini. Players must screw in the tank unless they buy an on/off ASA. On the other hand, owners can simplify the process by completely emptying out the tank before taking it off of the marker.
Moving on, the Invert Mini maintenance is simple. The marker’s internal parts can be accessed by removing a single screw. Players will have to lube the bolt along with its guide from time to time. If the gun’s eyes got dirty, the player would have to remove them along with the fore grip, plate, and trigger frame. This takes about ten minutes or so. Nonetheless, it is worth the time and effort to maintain eye cleanliness.
One of the few criticisms of the marker is that it was designed with fewer upgrades in mind than those you can find in expensive paintball guns. A good amount of paintball players love to modify their markers with special customization.
The Empire Invert Mini only allows players to add a few extra niceties like certain triggers, feednecks, and barrels. Of particular note are the New Designz Thread Saver and the Lurker bolt. The bolt is recommended as it boosts shot accuracy and speed. The thread saver comes in handy in its own right, as it lets the player de-gas the gun without removing its tank.
The Invert Mini is ideal for players who want a light gun without a hose. Really, who wants to worry about a hose crimping or breaking right in the middle of a paintball tournament? The hose-free design along with its incredibly light weight separate the Empire Invert Mini from its competitors.
This marker is perfect for anyone with medium to small sized hands. Those with larger hands might find that the grips are placed too close to one another for comfort. Still, it is a solid marker for almost any paintball player.
The Tippmann 98 Custom is the latest evolutionary step of the famous Model 98. It carries forth the best qualities of its previous incarnation but allows ballers to upgrade the marker with ease. Oh, and there’s a whole bunch of new features and better functionality. Those who are new to the sport will especially enjoy the Tippmann 98 Custom as is it easy to use and doesn’t have to be cleaned as frequently as most markers. They’ll love the fact that the Tippmann 98 Custom can be extensively customized with a variety of upgrades and it is one of the sturdiest guns on the market.
There’s a good reason why the Tippmann 98 Custom is widely used as a field rental. It is made to withstand player falls, crawls, rolls, inclement weather and just about everything else. Players can even drop it repeatedly and it will likely still work. One proud Tippmann 98 custom owner claims that he actually drove over the marker with his car and it still worked afterward. Other owners have claimed that they’ve gone years without cleaning the Tippmann 98 Custom and it still works like new. It is made of high quality metal that is comfortable to grip in both the rear and front. Even after an hour or two, it is still light enough and soft enough to carry with relative ease.
There’s a hinged elbow that players can disassemble in a matter of seconds in order to reach the marker’s chamber. The marker actually splits open into two halves so that the user can view and tinker with the internal mechanics with ease. It feels a bit awkward when you are first opening the marker but you’ll get the hang of it after a few attempts. Just be sure to keep a close eye on any springs and pins that might tumble out of the marker when you take it apart, especially the front sight spring. You don’t want to lose any of these parts but they do have a tendency to slip out when the marker is opened up.
What Matters Most: The Shot
In terms of the marker’s shooting prowess, it certainly delivers. It provides an accurate shot and the trigger is just the right size. The Tippmann 98 Custom shoots nearly as well as premium paintball markers on the higher end of the price spectrum. It operates on either compressed air or CO2. Regular ASA blade sights are provided along with the adjustable variety as well. The marker rattles off up to 8 shots a second, a speed that will satisfy the majority of paintballers. It also uses very little air compared to other markers, so it will last much longer before a new air source is necessary. If you browse the world wide web for player opinions of the Tippmann 98 Custom, you’ll find that plenty of ballers claim to have won paintball tournaments with it. That is a bit surprising but not entirely unbelievable.
The only criticisms in terms of its shot is that there is a bit more recoil than the typical paintballer would anticipate from a marker. This can impact the quality of consecutive shots. Critics also are quick to note that the stock barrel is only 8 inches. This is a bit on the short side for most ballers. It is worth noting that Tippmann altered the inner and outer diameters of this marker so that it isn’t compatible with older barrels. Yet the Tippmann 98 Custom’s new barrel is compatible with older markers.
Enormous Upgrade Potential
One of the best qualities of this marker is that it can be upgraded with a variety of niceties. Upgrades are widely available and simple to install. You can peruse Tippmann 98 Custom add-ons on the world wide web for hours and you’ll keep finding new marker options. Some of the gun’s available amenities include electronic grips, cyclone feed systems, response triggers, drop forwards, expansion chambers, custom stocks, electronic conversion kits, custom shrouds and higher end barrels like the nightstick barrel.
The response trigger kits are an especially nice addition as they takes unused air from the breech to drive a pneumatic piston that pushes the trigger outwards. Once the air has been exhausted, you’ll be able to pull the trigger for a simulated automatic fire, meaning you don’t have to take your finger off of the trigger to keep firing the marker. Hands down, the gun’s customization options are its best feature.
The Tippmann 98 Custom Has An Odd Look. Does It Matter?
While most players aren’t concerned with their marker’s aesthetics, it is worth noting that the Tippmann 98 Custom has a unique look. It deviates from the traditional style of most mainstream markers. It is quite long and its front grip is set apart from the steel braided air hose. Some will like this distinct style while others will be turned off by it. With the Tippmann 98 Custom, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
New players probably won’t care about the marker’s odd look in the slightest. Keep in mind that you can add a variety of upgrades and special parts that will make your gun appear exactly as you desire. If you take the customizations far enough, it can morph into something that looks close to an assault rifle. Anyone who enjoys simulating or re-enacting real warfare will love this flexibility.
The market for paintball guns and accessories is so crowded that finding the right place to start is overwhelming for a lot of people. GOG paintball stands out as a leader for both newcomers to the game, and seasoned veterans who want a reliable product. The eNMEy is the newest product from GOG and builds on the principles that have made the company so successful thus far.
I spent several hours over the course of two weeks testing all aspects of the eNMEy, and the gun scored highly across every category, as you would expect from any GOG made weapon.
Design And Model
With the eNMEy you are not going to get anything fancy, and the design is pretty standard for the industry, at least on the outside. The gun follows the usual industry design, with a heavy duty pistol grip, forward grip and paintball loader on top, with the air tank on the bottom. Where the eNMEy is different is in how the gun actually operates when you fire it. Other guns at this price point rely on hammers, springs, and batteries to keep the paintballs flying, but the eNMEy use a state of the art pneumatic design to propel the balls forward. The reduction in the number of moving parts means fewer pieces to break down and more reliability than other guns.
I was impressed at the way the pneumatic design offered a smooth and steady stream of fire, even after several hours of operation. There never seemed to be any decline in quality while playing.
The heavy plastic of the gun gives it a solid construction that should hold up to almost any gameplay situation that you will be in. It is lightweight, even when fully loaded, so it should not be that much of a burden for new players to carry around in their first few games. The plastic does seem brittle, and there should be some concern about chipping or breaks if you drop the gun on concrete or another hard surface.
There is nothing really stand out about the construction of the gun, but there are no glaring errors either. It is a middle of the road construction, but that’s to be expected from a value level gun.
The eNMEy boasts a low bolt pressure and anti-chop technology to enhance the weapon’s ability to fire. This technology returns the bolt to its original position in the event that the ball does not get seated properly, eliminating the possibility of a chop. Since you can remove the bolt easily and clear the blockage, you do not waste time with a weapon that won’t fire. The inclusion of high-end spool valve increases the accuracy of the gun, by giving consistent air flow each time you pull the trigger. You get better shot grouping and far better accuracy when you know that the shot is going to leave the gun the same way every time. You can easily adjust the pressure of the gun to conform to the different conditions of tournaments or play areas that you want to enter.
The rate of fire, and high accuracy make this a gun that newer players will feel comfortable using. Rather than being discouraged because they miss all of the time, new players will be encouraged by their success with the eNMEy.
Once you are done firing the weapon, it is time to take it apart and do the maintenance. For this you will need to buy several items that are part of the care kit, and you will want to use them every time you clean the gun. Like I said before, with fewer moving parts than other guns, there are fewer parts to worry about and fewer parts that need to be cleaned. It will probably take you several minutes the first time you take the eNMEy apart, but once you get used to how the pieces go together, you should be able to clean it in less than ten minutes.
The learning curve for cleaning this gun is not steep, and it is easy to put back together when you are done. I strongly suggest that you invest in a GOG detent kit to keep things functioning properly.
GOG has been making paintball guns and accessories for quite some time, so there are a lot of different options to choose from. Start by picking the gun color that reflects your style and personality. After you have the gun in hand, and you have tested it some, you will almost certainly want to upgrade the hopper, but a new hopper is a relatively cheap change to your gun. You may also want to invest in a barrel upgrade, and the Freak barrel from GOG is by far the best choice for most circumstances.
The gun works well as is, right out of the box, but your best performance will come when you upgrade some key parts.
image via: Action Village
All of the GOG guns are considered a great value for their price, and the eNMEy is no different. A starting retail price of around $149.99 (see lowest price) puts this at the low end of the high performance paintball guns. This is the perfect place for people who want to dip their toes in the water of competitive paintball, but don’t yet want to drop $400-500 for one of the premium guns.
The price is right for what you get, and there are really few competitors that have this blend of price and performance.
I highly recommend the eNMEy to new players, or players who want to have a backup gun in their inventory. The eNMEy is not going to be the most dominant gun on the field, and there will be times that you wish you had a gun with either a higher rate of fire, or a bit more accuracy at long range, but to get to that point, you have to know how to play the game. The eNMEy puts you in a great spot to learn the basics and practice, so you can find out if competitive paintball is something that you enjoy doing.
Manufactured by Tippmann, a leader in the paintball marker industry, The Tippmann TiPX is a military-style .68 caliber paintball pistol, equipped with an under-barrel C02 air system and Picatinny rail for mounting attachments. The TiPX is the second generation of this pistol, fixing several issues and small mechanical faults its predecessor had and improving on the design in general.
Semi-automatic and magazine-fed, the TiPX also possesses the basic look and feel of a real handgun. Players who prefer a marker with aesthetic appeal will find the TiPX can make other paintball markers look clumsy and awkward by comparison; the TiPX boasts a compact and lightweight design that is ideal for marking solo targets or use as a tactical backup.
The Tippmann TiPX focuses on high-performance and low-cost, seeking a balance between the two without sacrificing one for the other. Its clamshell and split receiver design allow for easy access to the pistol’s internal mechanisms and make it easier to handle when the pistol needs maintenance. The marker is made of high-impact, lightweight polymer.
The TiPX features a standard, 6’’ A5/X7 threaded barrel, compatible with any barrels of same type and similar diameter. This makes it a simple matter to purchase and implement upgrades for the barrel, for players interested in personalizing their marker.
The TiPX comes with two spring-loaded Tru-Feed magazines, which hold 7 rounds each. While this may seem like a slight downgrade from the previous version’s 8-round magazines, the 7-round Tru-Feed magazines correct the misfeeding problem that came with a staggered magazine. The magazines feature clear ammo windows along the sides, which lets you know with a glance whether or not the magazine is fully-loaded. The magazines insert into the bottom of the pistol’s grip like a normal handgun, and stay firmly-seated during play. A simple button press releases the magazine into your hand.
Unlike other markers, the TiPX does not house its C02 cartridges in the magazine; this makes the gun feel more balanced and puts less bulk on the grip. This allows for a better grip, and also means players can easily operate the TiPX one-handed if necessary. Instead, the TiPX’s 12 gram C02 cartridges are stored in a chamber right beneath the marker’s barrel, held by a quarter-turn cap. The cap twists easily into place, allowing for quick removal and replacement while wearing paintball gloves or other gear.
The Tippmann TiPX includes an external velocity adapter, located on the back of the receiver. This means you can adjust your pistol easily with the use of a wrench, and, because the TiPX’s adjuster is not thumb-adjusted, the TiPX is legal on any field of play. The pistol comes in three colors – black, desert tan, and olive.
Basic operation of the Tippmann TiPX is simple. The semi-automatic fires from an open bolt, and the pistol’s blow-forward system reduces recoil and kickback. New players and veterans alike will find the TiPX easy and comfortable to use. The Tru-Feed magazines are spring-loaded, and when loaded into the marker, the spring will automatically force the first paintball into the pistol’s chamber.
The standard 12 gram C02 cartridges, once loaded, will puncture when the trigger of the marker is pulled for the first time after the cartridge has been loaded. It’s important to note that this first pull of the trigger will not, however, fire a round. One pull will puncture the C02 and ready the marker to fire, and the second will shoot the first round.
Once the clip is empty, the magazine release button will unlock it, and the player can then reload it or switch it out for a new magazine. Additionally, be aware of the C02 cartridge; in field tests, the 12 gram cartridges lasted for 2 to 3 magazines depending on various conditions. Players don’t want to be caught unawares without any force to drive their rounds home, especially in the middle of an extreme tournament or match. In colder conditions, there is also a chance of the C02 cartridges freezing up, causing slight problems and less firing velocity. Overall, however, the location and design of the C02 cartridges isn’t likely to throw off someone’s game.
However, if any particular part or piece of the Tippmann TiPX isn’t quite to the player’s liking, there are any number of upgrades, customizations, and augmentations that can be purchased. Upgrades and modifications can take the TiPX from an already-impressive pistol to one of the best sidearms available.
Installing a remote line adapter is probably the most common upgrade players consider when using the TiPX. This allows for the pistol to be powered by an external HPA or C02 air source, and eliminates the need for constantly replacing cartridges.
The TiPX’s small magazine is perhaps one its only real downsides, and the main reason the TiPX functions better as a secondary sidearm than as a primary weapon in official matches. Larger, more unwieldy guns are also capable of holding more ammunition. However, purchasing extended magazines can keep the player shooting longer, and is another upgrade to consider. Of course, a larger magazine means more rounds are being fired, and means that the standard 12 gram C02 cartridge might only last 1 to 2 clips before needing to be replaced.
The Tippmann website also offers a page full of different accessories for the TiPX, including performance barrels, silencers, marker and magazine leg holsters, and a First Strike Breach platform. The Tippmann TiPX functions fine on its own, but a few upgrades can really give players an edge.
Overall, the TiPX’s light weight and accuracy are its true selling points, and it makes for a very dependable sidearm. The TiPX offers players more maneuverability and speed in their game, the magazines cost less than competing pistols, and its compact design makes it easier to handle. While other pistols offer first strike capability out of the box, the TiPX includes other features and upgrades alongside first strike potential.
The TiPX is light, accurate, and reliable. If you’re in the market for a solo marker or a backup sidearm, the Tippmann TiPX is definitely worth looking into.
There are only a couple of names that come to mind when you are shopping for high-end MilSim or ultra competitive paintball guns. Leading the way is Tiberius Arms, a company committed to bringing value and innovation to consumers, without compromising on quality. The newest offering from Tiberius, the T15, continues the company’s practice of revolutionizing the market, giving consumers a weapon they have been clamoring for.
This past weekend I took the T15 out and put it through its paces, testing for comfort of use, reliability, accuracy and value. As with all Tiberius products, the new T15 scored well across the board, and showed just how dominant Tiberius is becoming in the magfed gun market.
What has always set Tiberius apart is the realism of their guns. Unlike a lot of other paintball guns, Tiberius makes their products to look and feel like the weapons they emulate. This year’s T15 is a faithful 1:1 reconstruction of the best-selling AR-15. Because it so faithfully recreates a real weapon model, the gun feels comfortable in your hands, especially in the heat of competition. I spent four hours testing the gun in the middle of the afternoon, both in sunlight and in shadows. Despite the heat and sweat, the gun’s grips did not irritate my naked skin, and I never felt the handle or hand guard slip during the tests.
Overall, it looked and felt just like my Colt AR-15, minus the carrying handle.
The T15 is made with two pieces of cast aluminum, which keeps the gun lightweight and extremely durable. No matter what kind of weather or climate conditions you are playing in, the T15 will function at the manufacturer’s specifications. The stock combines the air in stock design to eliminate the need for an external CO2 container, and the inclusion of a charger in the stock reduces the hassle of keeping your gun ready to go. I found that the additional weight from an aluminum construction aided my ability to keep shots on target, and muzzle drift that I have experienced with hard plastic guns.
Great construction and materials, though I sometimes felt the stock was a little on the flimsy side.
Proper care of your gun is what will keep it working for years and years, and the T15 is easy enough to take apart that you have no excuse for improper maintenance. The two pin assembly allows you to separate the pieces of the gun in a matter of seconds. During my testing I cleaned the weapon completely three times, just to inspect the interior to see how it was holding up. The total time from operational to disassembled, and back to firing took less than five minutes each time.
It was one of the easiest cleaning I have ever done on a magfed gun.
With many paintball guns you have to make a choice between customization and quality, but not with the T15. An aluminum quad rail hand guard gives you ample space to bring all of the tactical gear and accessories that you want. This allows you to make your gun your own, customizing it for the conditions of your game. As someone who enjoys feeling like I’m in the thick of battle, being able to make changes to my gun’s appearance is very important to me, and the customization was a huge selling point. I like that I can easily switch between different types of optics for the gun, giving me an advantage in most combat situations.
The ability to customize the gun is there, and the only reason the T15 doesn’t score higher in this category is the lack of accessory selection from the manufacturer. Given some more time, your options should increase, and so will the grade.
The high-end paintball market has seen an increase in popularity towards magfed weapons the last five years, and Tiberius has consistently been among the leaders in those innovations. Magfed guns allow for greater stealth and camouflage in competitive MilSim, in particular Woodsball. The T15’s magfed design incorporates the latest technology, and gives you up to 20 rounds of .68 caliber ammunition before you need to reload. Should you decide to play speedball or other faster styles of paintball, the available adapter will let you switch over to a traditional hopper. The upgrades that Tiberius has made to the magfed gun market are amazing. Magazines are interchangeable across multiple guns, and I never once had an issue when I needed to reload. After several hundred rounds, the magfeed system continued to operate perfectly, with no jams and no lost time to mechanical malfunctions.
I’ve been a proponent of magfed guns for a long time, and the T15 should help to drive more people into this camp. The gun is an incredible blend of technology, form and function.
You have to pay a price for quality, and the T15 is not the cheapest gun on the market. Starting at $499 (see lowest price), the T15 falls in the middle of pack for magfed paintball guns; however, the high-end construction of the weapon make it a value over the more expensive options. I would say that the T15 is not for everyone, and if you only want to play around in enclosed paintball fields a couple of times a year, this is not the gun for you; however, people interested in MilSim and other immersive combat sims will thoroughly enjoy the gun. In addition, the T15 is a fantastic gun if you are looking to make a move into magfed competitions, or you want to get a feel for how magfed guns work.
The only real drawback to the T15 is the price. Newcomers may balk at paying more than $500 just to get started with this level of competition, even if the quality is worth the cost.
The T15 should be at the top of the wishlist for anyone who loves magfed paintball guns. With this product, I am waiting on the edge of my seat to see what Tiberius comes up with next.
The new magfed marker from Tippmann, the Tactical Combat Rifle, is based solidly on the already successful TiPX design, leading some people to complain that it represents a holding action on the part of Tippmann rather than real innovation, or that the differences from the TiPX do not justify the TCR’s price. Personally, I don’t see the problem here: even the detractors acknowledge that the TiPX makes a solid, functional base marker, so why fix the pieces that aren’t broken? As for the pieces that are broken, or absent, it’s certainly possible to mod all or most of them onto a TiPX, but between parts and labor, the cost of doing so rapidly outstrips the $349 price tag on the TCR.
And for that $349, you get a range of adjustments and additions to suit any style. Start with ammunition: the TCR accepts both the 7-round Tru-Feed magazine you may be used to and a 12-round extended magazine with First Strike compatibility, as well as the 20-round Zetamag if neither of those are cutting it. The larger magazine may not be necessary, though, with the self-locking quick release system that makes loading and reloading a snap. But if magfed in general doesn’t suit your mood, included with the TCR is the feed neck to transform it into a hopper-fed marker, no tools required. The TCR is ready to serve whatever you need it to be, making it ideal for the buyer on a budget.
Speaking of versatility, the TCR also offers options for air routing. It accepts 12-gram carbon dioxide cartridges, and one of its unique innovations is that the TCR cam-lock system is designed to allow one-handed reloading of said cartridges. Moreover, the system can be configured to load from either the right or the left side, so you won’t be stuck fumbling with your off hand. Once again, much more accommodating to your personal preferences. But that isn’t all: already built in is a flip-down remote-line adapter, should that prove more convenient for you in the moment. No need to waste money on extra parts or time on switching them out; the TCR is ready to go whenever you are.
Not that there’s no room for further customization; quite the opposite, in fact. With four Picatinny rails already in place, you can add anything you feel Tippmann forgot. This design is also modular, so if you want to upgrade the barrel (though with an eleven-inch, First Strike-compatible barrel already in place, you may not want to) or modify the stock, either with currently-available components or ones that become available in the future, such as the intended air in-stock design, you can make whatever changes your heart desires with no need to worry about damaging the core functionality of the rifle.
That’s if you can think of any adjustments you’d like that the TCR isn’t already designed to make for you. This marker includes both front and rear sights, both of which can be flipped down when not in use. The front grip is likewise flip-down, so you need not be bothered by it getting in your way. Said front grip is fully adjustable while you walk, no tools needed – and that means no fiddly little pieces you could suddenly find you’ve lost somewhere in the woods, sometime in the last two days. The stock and cheek rest can also be adjusted on the fly, so if you have issues with other markers not being sized quite right to be comfortable for you, the TCR may well be your chance to finally lose that slight edge of annoyance that can cost you reaction time.
On a perhaps slightly shallow note, this marker has an excellent overall look, its professional, military design doing its part to make the experience as realistic as possible. It’s lighter than most comparable products as well, taking some of the burden out of your play (which is less realistic, perhaps, but one of those things no one minds letting slide).
While the TCR should be solid and durable enough to stand up to whatever you may throw at it, accidents do happen, and when they happen to the TCR, you can know you’re covered under Tippmann’s two-year warranty. When you consider the potential costs of repairs, replacements, and customer service, $349 with all that included starts looking better and better.
Overall, the TCR may not be the complete game-changer some people are clamoring for, but it includes enough smaller improvements and additions to provide as much of a boost as that game-changer would, without any of the frustration that goes with struggling to make using a new system as smooth and instinctive as the old system was. Even if you still have the urge to customize beyond what you’re given, in the TCR you have a marker that’s made for customization rather than fighting you every step of the way. Save the fighting for your opponents. And if you’re still starting out, or considering branching out into a style you’re not familiar with, what better way to test the waters than with a single product that can give you a sense of so many setups without having to buy them all separately? At all skill and experience levels, the TCR is a product no one need be ashamed to be seen with.
One of the most important rules of paintball is making sure that you have the proper gun. However, if you are just a casual enthusiast or a pure beginner to the sport, knowing what kind to get can be quite confusing. You may buy a gun that is too expensive and complicated to use. On the other hand, it is just as possible that you purchase one that is too cheap and end up wasting your money. Fortunately, the Tippmann Gryphon was studied for this comprehensive review in order to give you some perspective.
The Bottom Line
The Tippmann Gryphon is a paintball gun, or marker, designed for beginners and casual players who like to play with friends. This gun sports a decent price tag and is relatively easy to use and maintain.
Tippmann Gryphon Review
The Tippmann Gryphon is a good looking and lightweight inline blowback marker, whose design is based on the simple, yet classic, Model 98; except for the top cocking bolt. It has a high composite body and a two finger blade trigger. The .45 grip is comfortable and the fore-grip sits in front of the trigger frame. This marker comes standard with a locking vertical feed where you can place your hopper; although the hopper is basic but it gets the job done. Its design is great for casual players or those just getting into the sport. Additionally, the Gryphon is the first entry-level marker that has an internal gas line which gives it a sleeker look.
Paintball is a tactical game that teaches you how to think, plan, communicate, and act strategically; all on the fly. Therefore, beginners must learn how to move, locate threats, and be cool under pressure. Having a gun that will perform like it’s supposed to adds to that confidence.
Overall, the Gryphon’s performance was impressive. Although, the trigger pull is a little short, it was still stiff enough to use two fingers to shoot. The trigger pull’s weight factored a little in performance but the Gryphon was still able to deliver over 8 balls per second with a gravity fed hopper. The kick is somewhat noticeable when dry firing but improves drastically when firing paintballs. Another impressive feature of the Gryphon was how well it handled even the brittle paint; there were no breaks. There was a slight problem with consistency when firing shots quickly. However, it is important to note, that the speed change was less noticeable when shots were being fired at the normal rate.
Tippmann is known for making durable and reliable guns that are easy to use and have decent accuracy. The Gryphon is no exception; this marker will work whether its caked in mud or dropped in a pond.
With many starter guns, beginners are sometimes at a loss as to how they should properly maintain their markers. Thankfully, this new Tippmann style is quite nice because it contains fewer moving parts, O-rings, and other parts that will wear and tear; Tippmann markers are known for requiring minimal amounts of maintenance. Therefore, the Gryphon is a lot less likely to get leaks and have other problems that may need to be repaired. Besides oiling one drop in the ASA, it requires virtually no maintenance and doesn’t need to be taken apart.
Many A5 threaded barrels can be used with the Gryphon and this marker has limitless mods and upgrades; its even possible to make it look like an M16 rifle. However, if you are more interested in tactics, than aesthetics, consider a longer barrel or a bigger CO2 tank for better accuracy, range, and firepower.
Tippmann is known for making reliable and durable guns; the Gryphon is no different. Although, this is a starter gun and relatively inexpensive, it performed rather well when put to the test on the field. It was quite impressive that it kept firing, even after being dropped in muck and falling in the water. It was clear to see that this marker will work regardless of the abuse and neglect it deals with from owner.
With the Tippmann Gryphon, there is no need for a beginner or casual player to buy an expensive gun. Beginners need to get out on the field and learn from experience and this is a great starter gun to do just that. It runs effectively and efficiently and also carries a lot of bang for the buck. Overall, this marker, with upgrades, is perfect for any player.
The Tippmann Gryphon is relatively easy to use, nearly indestructible, lightweight, efficient, upgradable, and affordable. It is solid gun for beginners and, with a few improvements to the stock barrel, this gun makes a great candidate for an excellent all around gun.
The JT Impulse marker has a storied history as it was one of the most commonly used markers in paintball tournaments in the early 2000s. The gun has recently been updated with new features and an improved aesthetic. The JT Impulse retails for around $1,000 (see lowest price). Below, we examine the marker’s qualities and decide if it is worth the lofty price tag.
The Basics Of The JT Impulse
To justify the JT Impulse’s exorbitant price, the team at XSV had to add a slew of features to the marker. There is a brand new design that is meant to produce the smoothest possible shots with a LPR balanced valve technology. It has a contoured slim grip that is incredibly comfortable. Experienced ballers will testify that this is one of the most comfortable guns available on today’s market. There is also a new 4 way adjustable magnetic trigger that empowers ballers to alter the trigger to the sensitivity level that suits them best. The Impulse provides a very bright, easy to use blue OLED display so that ballers can quickly see their fire rate and choose whatever playing mode option is ideal for them. This OLED is crystal clear and can be seen even in harsh sunlight. That is more than can be said of most other marker OLEDs.
Other notable features include wired break style beam eyes, a four way trigger that is adjustable and magnetic, an air cushioned piston, a dovetail mounted ASA system, a two piece 14 inch micro honed barrel, a clamping feed neck, a dual bearing suspended trigger, spring driven detents to boost the marker’s lifespan and a software upgrade through a miniature USB.
What Ballers Like About The JT Impulse
Does all of this justify the thousand dollar price of the marker? Most players respond with a resounding “Yes”. Some ballers are going as far as saying that the JT Impulse is the best gun that they’ve ever fired. They love the fact that it is much lighter than one would guess by looking at it. The marker rips off super quiet shots quickly, with a fluid pace that never falters. It shoots off 12 pods and a hopper with one fill. The gun has been re-designed for the perfect balance with a focus on the valve being improved from the 09 Impulse and it absolutely shows. The barrel is a basic 14 incher that looks appropriate for the marker. Most who purchase the JT Impulse will stick with this barrel because it is serviceable, doesn’t rise much when fired, has great porting and is very light. The on/off ASA is simple to use and doesn’t move around in the midst of battle. Simply put, the Impulse feels perfect when the trigger is pressed. There is just about no recoil kickback and that means a lot for those of us who have suffered through annoying and sometimes painful recoils.
Ballers also love the fact that the marker has a very long and easy to hold grip. Those who used the 09 version of the Impulse will be quick to note that the new Impulse grip is vastly superior. The grip frame feels perfect, especially when two fingers are pressed against the trigger. Ballers will be happy to know that they will be able to fit their thumbs between the trigger guard and the regulator. Beyond the marker itself, there is a case, a DVD with instructions, spare parts and a barrel condom. It is worth noting that many ballers have tested the JT Impulse outdoors during the winter and there have been no reports of the gun jamming or having its lube freeze.
JT Impulse Criticisms
Critics have few complaints. Among them are the fact that the JT Impulse is similar to the 09 Impulse in terms of mechanics and the fact that many of the same engineers and designers developed both markers. Another minor criticism is the small and form fitting binder style case that the marker is sold in. Compared to cases made by Luxe and Vanguard, the JT Impulse’s is a bit of a letdown. Some think that it is a bit too reminiscent of a Dye marker case (although, that too might appeal to some people).
A few other critics don’t care for the Impulse’s aesthetics. There are complaints that it is too similar to the Ego 9 in terms of its looks. Some think that the JT Impulse’s marker and the eye covers are too noticeable and a bit cheesy looking. Others think that the OLED screen is cheaply made and quite diminutive when compared to other markers on the market. Yet they are overlooking the fact that the screen is visible under nearly all conditions and has a fantastic user experience design that makes it simple to operate. On the side of the Impulse is a laser engraved warning label that reads, “This is not a toy”. This is totally unnecessary considering that just about no youngster will be able to afford the marker at its thousand dollars price tag. If anything, the label should have been put on the marker’s barrel.
Yet in the big picture, these criticisms are minor ones. In the end, the JT Impulse must be considered one of the best markers available in 2014. It is indeed worth the cost for those who can afford it.
Empire Paintball’s Empire Axe marker is a high-quality paintball gun that retails for around $450. It is similar to other high-end markers like the Reflex, Ego, Etek, Geo, and FX. Nonetheless, it is superior to these markers in several aspects. Let’s take an in-depth look at the specifics of the Empire Axe marker.
When analyzing the Empire Axe, it is best to start with its shooting performance. The Axe fires easily and accurately. Shots can be rattled off in smooth sequences without any unnecessary delays. The gun’s operating pressure is extra low. On top of that, it has special anti-chop style eyes that empower ballers to shoot fragile balls of paint.
Players have reported going through 5,000 plus paintballs with the Empire Axe and not breaking a single one in mid-air. Empire manufactures one of the best paintball hopper selections on the market as well.
The Axe has several different firing styles like Millenium ramping, PSP ramping, and semi. This wide range of shooting modes is more than most players will need, considering that the majority of fields permit only semi-auto. To put it simply, the Empire Axe marker is an extremely fun gun to shoot.
In terms of consistency, the gun offers between +-3 and +-5 on the chrono. Since it is incredibly consistent, players will be able to bring it out onto the field with peace of mind.
Even its trigger is superior to many other markers. It empowers ballers to fire off shots at fast rates of speed without any pauses. It is especially easy to fire off rapid shots while utilizing the ramping and semi shooting modes.
There is ample space between the fore grip and the trigger guard, making shooting a simple process. When the marker is in semi mode, the player can put two fingers beneath the trigger guard and “walk the trigger” with ease.
In fact, three fingers can be placed beneath while the index finger rests on the trigger. The trigger can be adjusted to four different positions, and it also has a micro-switch activation point.
All in all, the Empire Axe marker is going to function at a high level on a regular basis. This is a reliable marker.
The marker feels amazing in the baller’s hands. The Axe is easy to hold as it is very light. On top of that, the paintball gun has a special frame to accommodate any hand size.
Players will be able to run around for hours and hold the gun without their arms or hands becoming fatigued. This is an incredible advantage as paintball is oftentimes a competition of endurance and speed.
You can jump, crawl, dive and slide in confidence. That’s because the Axe’s loader will not slip off. It has a feedneck that clamps securely. This way, the loader is always staying firmly in its designated spot. On top of that, considering that Empire was found to be one of the best paintball gun brands on the market, it is safe to put your trust in this company.
The marker has a nice, smooth finish. This design reassures the player that their $450 constituted a good investment. Most paintball players will admit that the gun’s look doesn’t matter much. Still, the fact that the Axe has an esteemed, refreshing look helps to justify its high cost.
The marker’s frame has well-crafted wrap around style grips to ensure that the player has a solid hold on it at all times. Plenty of other paintball marker manufacturers rely on flat panel style grips that are more economical yet less reliable.
The Empire Axe marker is a hoseless marker. This means that the player doesn’t have to concern himself with a hose malfunctioning. While plenty of other paintball players spend time and energy worrying about the possibility of broken or leaky hoses and their eventual repair, Axe owners will be able to shoot in confidence with the marker’s grip air transfer design.
In terms of maintenance, the Empire Axe is simple to clean. The engine is accessible with the mere press of a button on the marker’s side. When the release button is pressed, a ball bearing is depressed, and the engine can be accessed from the back. The engine is basically one hefty piece with several o-rings on it.
This simplicity of the marker’s design will please its owners. They will be able to re-assemble the marker with confidence. That’s because its design is so straightforward. There is no way that they’ll be able to block any air transfer holes or place the engine in upside down.
To remove the marker bottle, there is a nifty feature built into the Axe called the Relay ASA. This utilizes a lever that initiates air flow to facilitate a quick and easy removal of the marker’s bottle. The marker’s bolt front has a small soft piece of rubber. The bolt can be returned to its position with the help of the marker’s conical spring.
Empire really stepped its game up and provided a small tool kit along with the Axe marker. In the tool kit, ballers will find lube, screws, extra detents, o-rings, and Allen keys to open the marker. The extra screws are especially handy, considering that most players end up stripping their marker’s original screws over time.
Overall, the Empire Axe marker is a very comfortable marker to hold. The gun shoots with ease, speed, and accuracy. It fires quiet shots at a rapid pace without any mechanical hassles. As long as the o-rings that touch the bolt seat and bolt are consistently lubed, this gun will shoot with little recoil. Empire has gone to great lengths to ensure that the Axe works well. In the end, the marker is absolutely worth the $450+ price tag.
In 1981, a group of friends developed an outdoor survivalist game where the hunter becomes the hunted. It began simply as a wager among the wall street “city boys” and outdoor huntsmen. The question – whom fostered the best survival skills.
With safety in mind, they needed a weapon that could tag the individual without harm, and through researching available equipment in a farming catalog, they came upon paint spray guns used to mark animals for breeding purposes.
The actual first paintball game was officially held June 2, 1981, with a few friends competing against each other among 100 acres of woodland. One of the players, Bob Jones, a Sports Illustrated writer, published an article highlighting that game that spurred national interest.
The first games were crude, compared to today’s standards, with limited ammunition and firearms. Players would even resort to throwing paintballs at each other. As equipment evolved, the intensity and competitiveness of the sport grew.
History of Paintball
Paintball is a relatively new sport that has come into popularity since its inception nearly 30 years ago. The core idea behind the paintball game was to recreate the excitement of outdoor hunting and survival of the fittest.
Friends, Bob Gurnsey, Bob Jones and Charles Gaines, were simply eager to recreate the feeling and adrenaline rush of being an outdoor survivalist. Simply said, these friends invented a method of stalking and hunting human prey.
After Bob Jones spotlighted this concept of paintball in Sports Illustrated, interest steadily increased and eventually Gurnsey founded the new sport called the National Survival Game, and then contracted with Nelson Paint Company to become the exclusive distributor of its guns and paintball equipment.
Rival competitor manufacturers quickly evolved and paintball rapidly grew in the 1990s, promoting the development of technology of better paintball pellets. Paintball technology gradually developed as manufacturers added a front pump for easy cocking, then replaced the 12-gram cartridges for tanks that would accommodate additional air, commonly called “constant air.”
Paintball became so popular that Nelson Paint Company later split into two companies: Nelson Paint Company, which focused on the products of traditional painting, and Nelson Technologies, Inc. – better known as Nelson Paintballs – which they still manufacture today.
Competitive tournaments have been going on almost since the beginning of the sport. The first major paintball tournament was held in 1983, with the team based in Canada. Paintballs have developed over time as well. When the game began in the 1980s, paintballs were oil-based. Today, paintballs are filled with a gelatin coating of vegetable oil and the dye. A number of variations have been developed, including glow in the dark, scented, and cold-weather varieties.
The first games of paintball were very different from today’s modern hunt. Nelson were the only guns available, and they used CO2 cartridges lasting a maximum of 12 rounds, and had to be cocked after each shot, which is tiring and places players at a disadvantage while waiting to constantly reload their gun.
The Inception of the Paint Ball
Nelson Paint Company, founded in 1940 by Charles and Evan Nelson patented a number of spray paint devices, originally designed for agricultural use.
Charles Nelson invented balls, encapsulated by a gelatin coating that could be injected with paint. These paint balls could be fired from a specific gun, distributed by Nelson, and the capsules invented were strong enough not break up until impact.
Both National Forest Park Rangers and cattle farmers were utilizing this spray paint equipment. Nelson Paint Company provided the paint capsules in 1960 under a contract with the U.S. Forest Service. They were created as a way to precisely mark forestry trees in long distances.
At that time, there were no specific paintball guns developed, until 1972, when Daisy, the largest producer of air guns, sealed an agreement with Nelson Paint Company to produce “The Splotchmarker.” When mass production began, the Splotchmarker was renamed the 007 Nel-Spot.
Initially, paint gels were fired from 0.22 pellet guns. Crossman manufactured the guns but Nelson Paint Company marketed them, until the paint gels became popular, industry demands began pouring in, and the Nel-Spot 707 was introduced.
Playing the Game
Originally developed as an outdoor sport, today, paintball is played in outdoor and indoor fields. The game can be played with any number of people, but paintball is generally a friendly competition, typically played with 2 teams of about 5-12 people.
Everyone is equipped with a protective mask to protect eyes, face and ears. Players use markers and shoot balls, made with a gelatin coating, which break on impact, leaving a stain. This painting is completely biodegradable, non-toxic and usually washable, thus with protective gear, there is really no need to worry about danger.
There are different types of games- many of which can be invented on the fly:
Paintball continues to draw in fans and casual players and the Sporting Goods Association estimates that approximately 10 million Americans play paintball annually. In short, it’s a fun competitive sport that mainly focuses on teamwork and the spirit of adventure.