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.