Tippmann Gryphon Marker Review

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.TippmannGryphon

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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.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Internal gas line
  • Great for any field whether it be woodsball or speedball
  • Backed by the Tippmann name
  • Easily upgraded
  • Great starter gun
  • Lightweight


  • Long trigger pull causes slow fire speed
  • Hard to take apart
  • Needs a few improvements to the stock barrel


  • Inline blowback marker
  • Runs on compressed air or CO2
  • Standard look
  • Ergonomically designed front grip
  • High composite body

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.

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JT Impulse Marker Review

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.JTImpulse

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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.

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Empire Axe Marker Review

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.

Accurate Gun with Multiple Firing Styles

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.

Shots with No Delays, Comfortable Grip

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.

How the Empire Sniper Feels in Your Hand

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 Empire Axe Marker Style

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.

Disassembly and Maintenance

Empire Paintball Axe Marker


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.

History of Paintball: Origins and Evolution

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:

  • Central Flag: attempt to capture the flag before the other team
  • Two banners: you must capture the opposing team’s flag
  • Speedball: practiced with center flag or two flags in a field
  • Hyperball: practiced with center flag or two flags with lots of obstacles, this is usually done in tournaments
  • Super Air Ball: practiced with many obstacles inflatable center flag or two flags; this is usually the standard for competition.
  • Elimination: eliminate your opponent and last man standing wins

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.

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