Empire Sniper Review: Pump Marker Excellence

The first ever Sniper paintball gun was made in 1986 and the marker is still going strong today. Based off of the famous Autococker design, the Sniper is a tournament level paintball marker that runs about $350 to $400 (see lowest price). It looks super cool, is built for harsh conditions and delivers solid performance.

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The Empire Sniper Build

The Sniper is a pump style marker with low pressure operation, autococker barrel threading, a 10 round vertical feed system and an auto trigger that rattles off quick shots. There’s an aluminum 14 inch barrel with two pieces and 3 barrel inserts: .675, .680 and .685. It is built with a removable pump assist plate, a Delrin pump handle and an inline regulator equipped with a swivel adapter.  The marker’s double stainless steel pump style rods significantly improve the marker’s stability. There’s also a 300 psi gauge that can be positioned on either side of the marker and a T-mounted on/off bleed ASA.

Empire Sniper Functionality

To use the marker, all you need is a hopper, an air bottle and paint balls. It is one of the lighter CCM pump markers at just over 2 pounds and it has remarkable balance.  The Sniper’s on/off bottle adapter is operated by a lever and sends air between the air bottle and the marker’s inline regulator through an angled air adapter. There is a small Delrin bolt that remains sealed with the help of 3 o-rings. It also has a lever clamping feed neck that holds the hopper in place.

The internal parts are kept moving and operating as intended thanks to the dual stainless steel pump rods. There is a spring return style pump handle that is extremely light and very easy to hold. This is a very convenient function as it empowers shooter to hold his target and rattle off sequential shot with ease. Players can use a variety of hoppers and air bottles of different sizes depending on their personal playing preferences. It’s a highly functional marker that works exactly as designed.

The Empire Sniper Firing Performance

The Sniper’s grips have a molded wrap around them for extra comfort. There’s also a nice finger groove as well. The gun feels great in your hands and its shooting performance is held in high regard throughout the paintball community. While it looks somewhat like the original Sniper, this updated version has contemporary pump features that put it at the head of the pump pack.

There’s plenty of buzz around the Sniper because it performs like a champ. It fires nearly as fast as the majority of semi-automatic paintball markers. Most consider the Sniper to be the gold standard for elite pump models because it shoots with speed and accuracy. Shots can be fired from 50 plus feet away and almost always hit their target or come very close.

The marker’s pump handle pump assist empowers ballers to re-cock the marker by merely squeezing two fingers. This can be accomplished while still keeping the barrel pointed at a target. Follow up shots are efficiently executed with slick precision. The marker’s adapters allows both left and right handed players to lick off shots with ease. The .45 grip frame is ergonomic and the single auto trigger has been drilled for ideal weight. There’s also an easily accessible safety button as well. Although it is a point of contention, many players consider the Sniper’s shot to be fairly quiet. This is attributed to the marker’s two piece aluminum barrel that allows for significant amounts of porting.

The Empire Sniper Style

The Sniper is only available in silver / grey colors. The parts are all black. So it is a rather boring looking marker but has just enough style to look halfway decent. The dull colors can be viewed as a positive as they help keep the Sniper camouflaged in the woods and other playing environments. The Empire logo is engraved on the marker along with a logo jewel and cross hairs.

Empire Sniper Maintenance

The Empire Sniper is ready to go right out of the box. You’ll love how little maintenance is required. Your main responsibility will be to clean the bolt and apply lube. Doing so will ensure a slick and relatively quiet shot. Also, players mind find that it helps to lube the pump rod to improve the pump stroke. The regulator should be removed and lubed after every 4 to 5 cases. Players can also adjust the marker’s hammer lug to alter when the trigger will enable the hammer to fire.

Empire Sniper Faults

The Sniper is beloved by most paintball players. The few complaints typically center around the marker’s 3 piece barrel kit. Many ballers think that this is insufficient. Also, there are very few upgrades available for the marker. Amongst the limited upgrade options are the TechT Hush bolt to lower firing volume, the CP Reg Extender and the Exalt Reg Grip. Some players have reported that the marker’s gauge is fragile can break when impacted by a significant amount of force.  Others have complained about the marker’s firing noise in comparison to other similar guns.

A handful of players have noted that the pump stroke isn’t as seamless as expected.  In particular, some players noted that the marker’s rubber detentes move against the bolt with too much pressure.  Add in the marker’s weighty main spring and return spring and it becomes easy to see why some consider the pump stroke to be rather rough.

Conclusion

The Empire Sniper is a fantastic pump paintball marker. It is a bit costly, coming in around $350 but it isn’t intended to attract casual players who are shopping on a budget. This is more of a hardcore player’s marker and it delivers excellent value. Ballers who play recreational paintball or pump tournament paintball will love the Empire Sniper.

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