Planet Eclipse Etek 4 Review
Planet Eclipse’s Etek 4 paintball gun will set you back between $400 and $550. It is available in two different models: LT and AM. The LT version constitutes the base model. It is lighter and a bit longer than the AM. While the LT is made of aluminum and glass reinforced nylon fiber, the AM (all metal) is constructed with only aluminum. The AM costs more than the LT. The Etek 4 is available in a couple different colors including blue – black, Earth – black, red – black, forest – black and plain old black.
The Etek 4 Build
This marker’s build is basically a single piece design with updated milling. There is now a male front regulator mount (FRM) built into the body that is compatible with the SL3 regulator. The marker’s aluminum is T6-6061 grade, which means that it is very light and durable. The LT version’s glass reinforced nylon fiber is extremely rigid. The grips are very soft and provide optimal comfort.
The Etek 4 has a nifty angled regulator swivel like those used on Ego markers. Many will question whether the Etek 4 is really worth the extra money when the Etek 3 has significantly dropped in price. The truth is that if you already own an Etek 3, upgrading to the Etek 4 is likely a waste of your money. For everyone else who does not own an Etek paintball marker, the Etek 4 is absolutely worth your consideration. All in all, the Etek 4 is a slightly modified edition of the Etek 3 with a couple of minor alterations including a new regulator and ASA.
The Etek 4 Board and Electronics
The Etek 4 is a very high tech marker. It has a SMC solenoid connected to its body. There is a filter within the minifold that connects to the regulator. This prevents dirt and other debris from sliding inside of the gun. The Etek 4 even has 3 color LEDs that improve the marker’s programming processes. The board can be programmed for a wide range of firing modes including Ball in place, Dwell, Eyes Off ROF and Capped ROF. The Etek 4 is considered to be a mid-level tournament marker so it is easily programmed to comply with all different types of tournament regulations.
The Etek 4 Feed
The Etek 4 has a Deftek Feed system that actually rolls the paintballs into the marker’s chamber instead of dropping them in. The slightly offset feed rolls ball after ball into the breech so that no bouncing occurs while the hopper force feeds and the bolt resets. Once a paintball moves through the Deftek, the marker’s Break Beam Sensor System verifies its presence, prevents chopping and permits the actual firing of the ball once it is in the breach. There is even a quality control subroutine that is engineered to clear away impediments.
The Etek 4’s Cure Bolt, Rammer and Regulator
The Etek 4 uses the same Cure Bolt as the Ego marker. It can also accept upgrade bolts like the Cure 3+ and the Cure 4. These bolts all seamlessly fit into the marker’s body and rear space. The Cure Bolt succeeds in shooting paintballs without any breakage in the feed and breech. The marker also has the Zick2 Rammer with a special cap that is only found on the Etek4.
Prospective buyers will be happy to know that the marker contains a regulator commonly used on paintball guns that cost two times as much money. The SL3 is used on markers like the Geo 2.1, the CSL and the Ego 11. It can be paired with any style of tank and swapped between different pressure levels without any internal or external modifications or a significant output change.
The Etek 4 ASA and Barrel
This marker has the exact same ASA as the Etha paintball marker which is also made by Planet Eclipse. It is an “OOPS” low profile on and off purge style valve that has been engineered with a hose exit mounted on the front. It twists quite easily to open and mounts nicely to the marker’s slot rail. The gun is also compatible with the POPS ASA as well.
The Etek 4 is built with a Shaft4 barrel that has a diameter of .693”. This is basically the same barrel used on the Ego Shaft 4 marker and the Geo marker. Pick up the Shaft4 Boost Kits and you will be able to mix and match as you desire.
The Etek 4’s Trigger
The marker’s trigger is a standard reverse curve that clips nicely into the holding frame. It is fully adjustable so you can alter it to your heart’s content until you find the ideal position. The trigger is self lubricating and is built with a magnetic return for greater fluidity. Players can even adjust the magnetic return strength if desired.
Etek 4 Summary
This is a nicely balanced, lightweight marker that stands the test of time. In terms of disadvantages, the Etek 4 does have a substantial kick when fired. Many players complain that the standard trigger is not very comfortable. Expect malfunctions to occur when the marker’s battery is low on juice.
If you love paintball and can afford to spend around $500 on a paintball gun, you should consider the Etek 4. It is chock full of high tech niceties that tournament players adore. Those who are new to paintball and those who do not take the sport very seriously should look elsewhere for a more affordable marker.