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**PAINTBALL 101-Basic Info**

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    Posted: 28 December 2006 at 2:41am
Most Recent Update:  Added information regarding 98 Platinum assembly and corrected silly punctuation/spelling issues on 3 Jul 2008.


So, you got a new Tippmann paintball marker for Christmas/Birthday/just cause you wanted one. Congratulations and welcome to paintball. Hopefully this should answer some questions for those of you who are fairly new to the paintball world. I included general area titles in bold letters and added an index for those not patient enough to read all the way through.  Even if you don't read anything else, I highly recommend reading the safety section.


1.0    Safety
    1.1    General Marker Handling
    1.2    Marker Velocity
    1.3    Masks
    1.4    Other Safety Equipment

2.0    Paintball Etiquette

3.0    Marker Use Basics
    3.1    Practice
    3.2    Marker Preparation
    3.3    Preventive Maintenance
    3.4    Disassembly/Reassembly Hints
    3.5    Lubrication
    3.6    Function Check
    3.7    Basic Firing Technique

4.0    Propellant Basics
    4.1    General
    4.2    CO2
    4.3    Compressed Air
    4.4    Nitrogen
    4.5    Propane
    4.6    Expansion Chambers (X-chambers)
    4.7    Regulators
    4.8    Remote Systems
    4.9    Gas Lines (On Gun)
    4.10   Low Pressure Kit (LPK)
    4.11  Capacities/Performance
    4.12  Tippmann markers and compressed air

5.0    Barrel Theory
    5.1    Basics
    5.2    Barrel Length
    5.3    Barrel Porting
    5.4    Rifling/Fluting
    5.5    Backspin Barrels
    5.6    Barrel Surfaces
    5.7    Bore Sizing
    5.8    Bottom Line

6.0    Sights
    6.1    In General
    6.2    Scopes (Magnifying)
    6.3    Laser Sights
    6.4    Red Dot Sights
    6.5    Occluded Eye Gunsights (OEG)
    6.6    Iron Sights

7.0    Firepower Upgrades
    7.1    Response Trigger (r/t)
    7.2    E-Grip/E-Trigger

8.0    Hoppers
    8.1    98 Series Markers (Including Custom Pro)
    8.2    A5/X7
    8.3    Cyclone Feed System (As a 98 Upgrade)

9.0    Silencing a Marker

10.0  Other Handy Equipment
    10.1    Squeegees
    10.2    Spray Bottle
    10.3    Rags
    10.4    Spare Batteries
    10.5    Tools and Parts

11.0   Military Simulation Markers (Mil-Sim)
    11.1    General
    11.2    X7

12.0   Other Upgrades
    12.1    General
    12.2    Specific Items and Issues

13.0   Need Help/Got Questions
    13.1    Forum Use Hints

1.0  Safety

1.1  General Marker Handling

Paintball guns are not toys. It is possible to break small bones (like those in your hand), rupture eardrums and destroy eyes with them if they are misused or not handled safely. I recommend that everyone treat paintball markers with the same respect that should be shown for real firearms. Additionally, paintball markers have the added hazards associated with the handling of compressed gasses. There has been at least one fatality due to the valve separating from a CO2 tank during removal from a marker. Care and attention must be paid to the task at hand when gassing/degassing markers.

Paintball markers should come with a barrel blocking device (BBD) to protect bystanders from accidental discharges. This will either be a barrel bag that goes over the barrel and is held in place by an elastic cord or a plug that goes in the barrel and is held in place by friction. The bag is the better device as the plug can be displaced by several subsequent shots. (Many commercial fields now require barrel bags as opposed to barrel plugs.) The BBD should be in place (secured over the barrel or inserted into it) at all times when the marker is not in a designated firing area.

1.2  Marker Velocity

Most commercial fields have rules regarding the maximum velocity at which paintballs may be fired from markers during games at the field.  These velocities, which are measured in feet per second (FPS), usually range from 240 fps to 280 fps depending upon field conditions, lighting, and potential engagement ranges.  The maximum safe velocity that a paintball marker should ever be set to fire at is 300 fps.  Velocities above this limit dramatically increase the risk of injuries to game participants.

Marker velocity is determined through the use of a device known as a chronograph.  These come in both table-top and hand-held styles and some have additional capabilities such as measuring rate of fire in balls per second (bps).  A chronograph is the only means of determining the velocity a marker is firing at.  Due to variance between markers (even among the same models) and environmental effects on both paintballs and propellants, there is no "magic number" of turns on the velocity screw or any other similar shortcut for determining marker velocity.

Markers should be chronographed, as a minimum, at the beginning of every day of play.  Even if the marker setup has not changed since the last use, other factors can affect velocity: For instance, CO2 is temperature sensitive and paintballs can swell or shrink depending upon humidity and temperature conditions.  (Players who are using CO2 in situations where the temperature changes significantly will want to chronograph their markers even more often; possibly before every game.)

1.3  Masks

The mask is the most important piece of paintball equipment anyone owns. If you are going to go cheap on any piece of equipment, this is not the equipment to do it on. The mask should be properly worn at all times in any location where markers are discharged or handled without BBDs in place.  Paintballs fired from a properly chronographed marker can reach speeds in the range of 200 mph.  That speed imparts the paintball with sufficient kinetic energy to turn an eyeball to mush or rupture an eardrum.  Accidents resulting in blindness or deafness have occurred in the past due to the mishandling of markers or non-use of safety equipment.  (If curious do an internet search on the words "paintball blindness" or "paintball deafness.")

Players should select masks that they can wear comfortably for long periods of time. The foam around the lens should fit tight enough against the face to help prevent sweat rolling into the eyes and, as a minimum; the mask should provide coverage to the jawline and over the ears. Many speedball players prefer the smallest mask possible to reduce their target profile; as a woodsball player, I prefer a larger mask that provides as much protection as possible. I like having built in throat protection and forehead coverage. Players should select a mask that is well vented to allow air circulation for cooling and to help prevent fogging. On the subject of fogging, I recommend the dual-pane thermal lenses as opposed to lenses with anti-fog coatings. Also, if glasses are worn, make sure they will fit comfortably under the mask and that a good anti-fog spray is available. Finally, if the mask comes with a chin strap, which it should, use it. Some of today’s markers are capable of putting out a stream of paint which could blow a mask right off someone’s head at close range; the chin strap helps prevent that.

For more in-depth information on masks I highly recommend that you check out "Which Mask is Right for You" by usafpilot07, which is also posted in the new player's forum.

1.4  Other Safety Equipment

As a minimum I suggest wearing gloves (the ones with raised plastic armor are very nice) because hand hits hurt.  Other items that I highly recommend include a cup for males and upper body protection for females. Being older, I also find kneepads to be useful. As throat hits can be very uncomfortable, some type of throat protection is also a good idea; a hit to the Adam’s apple can just ruin your day. For neck protection I prefer the masks with the hinged neck guard as I find the neck wraps to be very uncomfortable. People who play in BDUs can get some neck protection by turning up the collar and fastening the top button.

2.0  Paintball Etiquette

Just a few tips to help promote good relations with your fellow players. Obviously, these don’t have to apply in games between small groups of close friends, but you will find they do apply almost everywhere else.

  • One hit, anywhere on the body, is generally an elimination as long as it is the size of a U.S. quarter or larger.
    • It doesn’t matter if it was done on accident, or even a lucky shot, it is still an elimination.
    • If it was an accident and was done by your own team, it is still an elimination.
  • Wiping of hits and continuing to play is not tolerated very well in rec-ball.
    • Yes, you may do it and get away with it a lot, but you only have to get caught once, or be suspected by more than one person, to be forever labeled as “that cheater who wipes”.
    • Once that happens you may find yourself having a hard time finding people to play with or getting shot excessively so that “it will be too much paint to wipe off.”
  • Once you call “hit” you are out, even if you then realize that the paintball bounced without breaking.
    • This means it is a good idea to check hits visually or by touch before calling out.
    • In some cases where I wasn’t sure I’ve asked my opponent to stop shooting so I can step out and let him make the call. I’ve almost always had good results with this.
  • If you wear a ghillie suit, any hit counts as an out, whether it breaks or not. (This is due to the potential ghillie suits have for making players “bullet-proof.”)
  • If you are the victim of a “silent kill” (i.e. barrel tag, surrender or safety kill), show your opponent the courtesy of leaving quietly.
    • You don’t call hit because you weren’t hit.
    • In the case of surrenders, if you want to warn your team mates then go down fighting.
  • Make sure your marker is shooting at field legal velocities. This is always 300 feet per second (fps) or less
    • Velocities in excess of 300 feet per second have sufficient impact energy to break small bones at close range.
    • Goggles are generally designed/tested for this velocity.
  • Always remember that dead men don’t talk. (This gets people shot again at our field.)

3.0  Marker Use Basics

3.1  Practice

You should test fire your marker to develop familiarity with how it shoots before you ever step into a game. If you have a sight, sight it in. If not, practice point/shoot techniques and walking fire onto a target. You should practice rapid fire to see how the marker performance changes during a long string of shots and slow sustained fire to simulate basic suppressive techniques. The reason for this is to get an idea of your effective range; it is very embarrassing to be the guy who blows the ambush by opening up on the other team from way outside of effective range.

3.2  Marker Preparation

These instructions assume you are using a basic, mechanical Tippmann, with minimal upgrades. If you aren’t, or the marker came upgraded, you should probably look elsewhere. These instructions also assume that you are doing this at a commercial field with a designated test-fire area and stringent safety precautions in place.

  • Ensure the BBD is in place before doing anything else.
  • Take the marker to the test firing area, put a few drops of oil in the ASA (air source adapter-where the tank screws in) and attach the tank.
    • Many new players find that the easiest way to avoid cross threading is to hold the marker vertical with the barrel down, set the marker in the ASA and then turn it clockwise.
    • Once the tank “catches” firmly, turn the marker barrel up and finish attaching the tank. (Turning it up prevents liquid CO2, which can be hard on the marker's internal components and cause velocity problems, from entering the marker.)
  • Remove the barrel. NOTE: If you do not remove the barrel, you can just squeegee it after the next step.
  • Fire the marker two dozen or more times to disperse the oil in the ASA throughout the internal components of the marker. (Congratulations, you just oiled your marker. Cleaning and lubrication are the two most important steps in keeping a marker well-maintained and in good operating condition.)
  • Put the barrel back on. (Or clean it.)
  • You are now ready to load up paint and practice/sight in.
  • Remember to replace the BBD before leaving the firing line.
3.3  Preventive Maintenance

Tippmann makes amazingly tough paintball markers.  The abuse I have seen received by rental Tippmanns, which continue to function correctly, is unbelievable.  (A friend of mine owns a paintball business.)  However, just because a Tippmann can handle abusive treatment does not mean it should have to.  A few simple preventive maintenance steps will ensure many years of superlative performance from a Tippmann marker.

One of the most important steps in maintaining a functional marker was already covered in the preceding section.  Regular lubrication, as described under "Marker Preparation," should be accomplished at the beginning of every day of use.  Additionally, paint residue should be removed from the marker exterior, the barrel should be squeegeed and the breech/chamber area should be wiped out at the end of every day of use.  These two steps are the absolute minimum that should be accomplished to maintain a marker in operating condition.

3.4  Disassembly/Reassembly Hints

I believe the markers should also be field stripped occasionally, but must admit that I have seen daily use Tippmanns go for years without field stripping and still function perfectly.  The advice I am going to offer on this subject is my personal opinion based on paintball experience that dates back to 1985 and 23 years of carrying an M16 on a daily basis.

How often an individual chooses to field strip their Tippmann is a matter of individual choice.  As a very general guideline, I will provide the following:  When I played almost every weekend for about six months out of the year and owned/used a single marker, I normally field stripped it three times a year; once at the beginning of the season (to make sure it was ready/operational), once in the middle, and once at the end (to prepare it for storage).  Now that I own several markers and don't play as often, I usually just perform a complete tear-down at the beginning and end of the season.  There are exceptions to this of course; for instance, I always field strip and clean a marker when it gets an exceptionally bad paint break that can't be sufficiently cleaned out of the area around the bolt without disassembly.

Tippmann owner's manuals contain detailed instructions for marker assembly and disassembly so it would be redundant to repeat that material.  I will however add a few suggestions that Tippmann owners might find useful.
  • General to all Tippmann markers:
    • Disassemble the marker in a location that facilitates the finding of small dropped parts. (Clean bare floors are superior to carpeted or cluttered floors.)
      • I like to use a large table over a tiled kitchen floor.
      • I also put an old light-colored towel down both to protect the table (and me-from spousal wrath) and to prevent small parts from rolling away.
    • Make sure the marker is not cocked during disassembly.  (Unless you like launching the rear bolt, drive spring, and guide pin into the next room.)
    • Have the owner's manual handy. (I've been doing this for years and always double check reassembly against the schematic in the manual because I only want to put the marker back together once.)
    • Make sure the buffer o-ring is reinstalled around the spring and spring guide.
      • Failing to do this is one of the most common reassembly mistakes that new players make. (It's understandable, this o-ring doesn't really seem to do anything; many new, and some more experienced, players assume it is just an "extra.")
      • This o-ring absorbs impact from the hammer recoil.  Failing to replace it can result in eventual damage to the marker end cap (or a stock, if installed) and has been known to damage the body shells as well.
    • Ensure the ball latch is facing the right way.
      • This would be the other common mistake that new players make during reassembly.
      • This error does not normally result in serious damage to the marker, but it does result in poor/non marker operation.
  • Model 98 specific:
    • Correctly reinstalling the front sight is a common difficulty for 98 owners.
      • You can, with a little luck, get it in position so it "catches" on the edge of the body and stays in place during reassembly.
      • I've found the following is easier:
        • This is done with the right body half laying flat.
        • Make sure the front sight spring is correctly positioned.
        • Position the front sight so the rear protrusion is just outside the top of the marker body.
        • Join the body halves. (This usually requires wiggling which would have jolted the sight out of the correct position anyway.)
        • Separate the two halves just at the front and just enough to push the front sight in place.
        • Rejoin the halves.
        • Check from the front to make sure the spring is still in place. (If it isn't, the two halves of the body will have space between them.)
        • Screw the body together.
    • It is important to have the front sight spring correctly positioned before screwing the body halves together.  Failing to do so can result in both body and spring damage.
    • When reinserting the pins into the body half shell, it is vital that the short pin go in its proper position at the front sight location.  Putting a long pin in this location will result in body damage as soon as the receiver halves are screwed together. (I have seen it poke a hole in the body which allows the pin to fall out followed shortly after by the front sight and hopper.)
    • On the subject of the pins; they sometimes have a tendency to pop out of place during disassembly, so it is always a good idea to separate the body halves as slowly as possible.
      • On one of my markers, I used thread locker to "glue" the pins in place to prevent this. (Just the six long ones.)
        • It did not seem to affect marker operation in any manner.
        • It did make reassembly noticeably more difficult.  I believe this was because with the pins held in place, the body shells had to be lined up in a more exacting manner.  (The "wiggle" room the pins had before allowed for small errors in lining up the shells.)
          • If someone wants to try this, they do it at their own risk.
    • A word of caution for owners of newer 98 series markers which use a 5-pin trigger assembly. (This system uses a sear spring which pushes up on the rear underside of the sear as opposed to pulling down on the front bottom of it.)
      • It is very easy for this spring to pop out of place during reassembly.
      • If the rear of the shell halves do not want to go together, do not force them.
        • This spring may be out of position.
        • If so, forcing the halves together may irreparably damage the sear spring.
  • 98 Platinum specific (Thanks EE):
    • There is a possibility that an alignment issue could occur if the customer attempts to tighten the gas-line with the receiver bolts loose.
    • Consumers should make sure they reassemble a 98PS as follows:
      • Make sure the valve & powertube assembly is correctly positioned in the right hand side of the receiver.
      • Secure gas-line into valve finger tight only to properly position the valve & gas-line.
      • Reinstall the left hand receiver halves.
      • Tighten all of the receiver bolts.
      • Tighten the gas-line in the marker using a wrench
  • A5 specific:
    • Do not dry fire the marker without the tombstone adapter in place.  This results in some small but vital parts (an o-ring and washer if I remember right) being knocked out of place.
      • Yes, I learned this the hard way.
    • The most challenging part of A5 reassembly is getting the cocking handle and spring to stay in place when joining the body halves.  Unfortunately I have yet to find a way to do this that is easier than what is in the manual. (Sorry.)
    • Since the A5 has a latch system to hold the tombstone adapter in place, I have seen some people choose to leave out the push pin that secures the tombstone.  This is a very bad idea. The air delivery portions of a marker can contain up to 1800 psi of pressure if using CO2 on a hot day. 
  • X7 specific:
    • The X7 is very similar to the A5 in operation/construction.  Anyone who can take an A5 apart should have only minimal difficulty with an X7.
    • The magazine base (fake magazine well) on the X7 must be removed in order to remove the tombstone adapter and the grip must be removed in order to remove the magazine base.  Therefore it is very hard to accidentally dry fire the marker without the tombstone adapter in place on most X7s.  (It is however, something that you still want to avoid doing if your marker is configured in a way that makes it possible to do so.)
      • The tombstone adapter on the X7 is only held in place by a single push pin.  It does not have the latch system that the A5 has.  With this in mind, it is very important to ensure that the push pin for the tombstone is in place before attaching an air source to the marker.
    • Like the A5, getting the cocking handle and spring to stay in place during reassembly is very frustrating.
    • When cleaning an X7 with a ported barrel, check for paint residue inside the front grip (the plastic foregrip that goes around the barrel).  If there is porting inside this area broken paint can spray in here.  I have seen some with sufficient residue that it actually dripped back into the barrel from the foregrip after the barrel was cleaned.
  • Triumph specific:
    • I still have limited experience with this marker.  Most of what was covered in the section on the 98 series markers applies.
3.5  Lubrication

First, a word about oil is in order.  Use an oil that is designed for paintball/air tools or a premium gun oil.  My personal favorite, which is also recommended by Tippmann, is Hoppes #9. It can be found at most sporting goods stores.  Using the wrong lubricant can result in o-ring damage which could render the marker completely non-functional.

A common question is "Where does the oil go?"  First, do not drown the marker interior in oil.  A light coat; just enough to put a slight sheen on the lubricated surface, is sufficient.  I usually just put a drop on my index finger and use it to apply oil to the various surfaces while adding additional oil as necessary.

A second common question is "How often should I do a complete tear down and lube?"  A time frame recommendation would not take into account how often someone plays, so my answer instead would be that you should disassemble, clean and thoroughly lubricate a Tippmann marker after every 10 to 12 uses.

As a general guideline, apply oil to any friction-bearing surface.  That is any surface that has another surface rubbing against it during marker operation.  More specifically, these are the areas I ensure I oil:
  • Every one of the trigger assembly pins.
  • The interior surface of both receiver halves from the power tube to the end cap.
  • The linkage arm.
  • The exterior of the rear bolt including the rear bolt o-ring.
  • Springs (drive spring and guide pin, sear spring, trigger spring, front sight spring).
  • Front bolt o-ring. (Very, very, very lightly.  So lightly that if you hadn't just oiled it you would think it hadn't been oiled.)
If the inside of the marker is seriously gummed up with old paint, the body halves can be submersed in a sink full of hot water with a little grease cutting dish soap added (I like Dawn).  Every other part should be removed from the marker shell if you wish to do this.  (Including the valve assembly on 98s, which is why I only do this for really gummed up markers.)  If you let the shell soak for 30 minutes or so, the paint will come right off.  Rinse afterwards and make sure the body halves are completely dry before reassembly.

I do not recommend taking Tippmann valves apart unless it is absolutely necessary.  On the 98 I don't even recommend removing the valve and power tube from the right body half unless you have to.  (The threads in the aluminum valve strip quite easily.)  If you do have to remove a 98 valve from the power tube, follow the directions in the owner's manual.  While doing so, you will note that the valve does not just "slide out the back of the power tube" as easily as the manual indicates.  If you are careful, you can expedite removal without causing damage by using the eraser end of a pencil to push the valve out.

3.6  Function Check

The final step of reassembly (before adding air or paint) should be to conduct a function check of the marker.  For mechanical markers, this is accomplished as follows:
  • Ensure the marker is on safe and BBD is in place.
  • Cock the marker.
  • Pull the trigger.
    • The marker should not fire.
  • Put the marker on fire.
  • Pull the trigger and hold it to the rear.
    • The marker should dry fire.
  • Cock the marker. (The trigger should still be held to the rear.)
  • Release the trigger.
    • You should hear a click as the sear resets.
  • Pull the trigger again.
    • The marker should dry fire.
  • Place marker on safe.
The function check is complete.  You have verified the operation of both the safety and the mechanical aspects of the marker firing system.  (This means there is a very good chance the marker was reassembled correctly.)

3.7  Basic Firing Technique

Let me preface this by saying that this is provided for the first timers who have never played paintball before and may not have ever fired a real gun. (For those with firearms experience, a lot of the same techniques do apply. Also you will probably find the decreased range the hardest thing to get used to.)

There are many things (such as walking the trigger) that I will not cover that can be picked up from the friends you make playing this game. This is for the first timers to give them a slightly better chance on the woodsball field.
  • Stabilize your firing platform to keep multiple shots on target
    • Use both hands on the marker
    • If you can, use the tank as a stock. You can also tuck it under your arm if you prefer or are a younger player with shorter arms.
  • The only part of your finger that should touch the trigger is the very end pad of the trigger finger. This helps prevent jerking the marker off target while firing.
  • If you have time to aim, you should do so. Opponents who you eliminate with your first shot never get to shoot back.
  • Normal paintball markers are gravity fed so try to hold the marker reasonably upright. ("Gangsta" style shooting results in misfeeds and chops-yes I've seen this happen.)

4.0  Propellant Basics

4.1  General

CO2 and compressed air tanks are normally sold empty and must be filled before use. If you are purchasing a tank (from Wal-Mart, local paintball place, whatever) and plan on using it right away, ask about getting it filled or where to get it filled.

If you are using a marker and it suddenly goes full-auto, firing faster than the hopper can feed paintballs, there is a good chance that your tank is empty. Empty tanks do this to markers when the point is reached where there is no longer enough pressure for the hammer to reset on the sear. When the hammer flies back toward the front of the marker, it strikes the valve and fires another shot which also blows the hammer back toward the sear. But the hammer was not hit with enough pressure to make it all the way back so it again fails to engage the sear and starts forward again. Unless interrupted in some manner, the process repeats until the tank is completely empty.  If you want, you can stop this buy grabbing the charging handle; however, there is potential for a rapped knuckle when doing so.

4.2  CO2

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the most common paintball propellant. It is a liquid with a very low boiling point. This liquid vaporizes into a gas for which the most important use is propelling paintballs. (Okay, the bubbles in beer are cool too.)

The main advantages of CO2 for paintball usage are that it is relatively cheap and you can get more shots from CO2 than you can from a comparatively sized compressed air container. CO2 has numerous disadvantages. On very hot days, it can over expand inside your tank and blow out the burst disk on the valve (which is designed to release when the pressure reaches dangerous levels) rendering the tank unusable until the disk is replaced. In cold weather, the CO2 transitions from liquid to gas much slower than when it is warm and shot per ounce efficiency decreases dramatically until the propellant becomes essentially useless at someplace between 30 and 40 degrees. Also, because the liquid CO2 must vaporize before it can be used, it is possible, under certain conditions, to fire faster than the gas can recharge. This “out-shooting” of the air source can cause decreased velocity, marker stoppages, or even marker “freeze up” if liquid CO2 is sucked into the valve. (Liquid in the valve can also cause sudden, dangerous velocity jumps as well.) Finally, even under ideal conditions, CO2 delivery pressures can be inconsistent enough to affect shot-to-shot range and accuracy. (The CVX valve that comes inside all Tippmann markers seems to handle this better than most similar markers.)

The following paragraphs were originally intended to be included in section 4.10 (Capacities/Performance) but I realized they fit better here.  They contains some slightly more technical information regarding CO2.

A full tank of CO2 is not actually full.  When 9 oz of CO2 is put into a 9 oz tank, the liquid CO2 actually takes up slightly less than half of the available space inside the tank.  The left over space is room for the liquid CO2 to vaporize into a gas.  Without this expansion space a CO2 user would risk liquid CO2 getting inside his marker and would experience massive velocity fluctuations, malfunctions and possibly even damage to the marker.  Additionally, overfilled CO2 tanks pose an explosive hazard under certain environmental conditions.  This is why the only safe way to fill a CO2 tank is to empty it completely, then fill it by weight.  As a side note, warm CO2 tanks are hard to fill because the CO2 vaporizes as it comes in contact with the tank and this creates pressure that resists the filling process.  This is why fill station operators will "vent" the tank occasionally during the filling process.  (The venting cools the tank.)

As mentioned earlier, CO2 is very temperature sensitive.  At 32*F a full CO2 tank has a delivery pressure of approximately 500 psi which is insufficient to operate most high pressure markers (like stock Tippmanns) correctly.  At 70*F that same tank would deliver gas at around 850 psi which would operate most stock Tippmanns quite well.  At 100*F the internal pressure of the tank would be near 1400 psi which would provide quite a few extra shots.  However, what has to be taken into account is that the temperatures being mentioned are not ambient air temperature, but the tank temperature.  A CO2 tank left in the sun at 70*F can absorb enough heat to raise the tank temperature to 120*F with a corresponding internal pressure of over 1800 psi within 15 minutes.  This is sufficient pressure to blow a burst disk and dump the contents of the tank.  If the tank is not properly equipped with a 1800 psi burst disk, the pressure can eventually rise sufficiently to turn the tank into shrapnel.

4.3  Compressed Air

The main disadvantage to compressed air is that the containers tend to be bulkier on a per shot basis than CO2 cylinders. However, other than that, compressed air is quite advantageous to use. Compressed air is very consistent, ensuring less shot-to-shot velocity fluctuation and less stress on the marker operating system. It is unaffected by weather conditions and the tanks can be filled without being removed from the marker. Additionally, it is virtually impossible to “outshoot” the higher end compressed air systems.

Compressed air tanks come in with low and high pressure regulators.  High pressure tanks normally have an output pressure of approximately 850 pounds per square inch (psi) while low pressure tanks normally have an output pressure of around 450 psi.  Stock Tippmanns require a high pressure tank to operate properly.

4.4  Nitrogen

Compressed nitrogen gas was used at one time as a paintball propellant.  Due to expense it is now very unusual to find a place that provides nitrogen fills.  The terms nitrogen and nitro as used by paintball players today are usually considered substitutes for the terms compressed air or high pressure air.

4.5  Propane

As of this time, there is only one marker that uses propane; the Tippmann C3. It is a pump marker specifically designed to ignite small, controlled quantities of propane gas to propel paintballs at safe velocities. It uses the small camping propane bottles that are available in sporting goods sections everywhere and gets approximately 50,000 shots per bottle. While Tippmann is probably considering the potential for a propane powered semi-automatic marker, due to safety concerns (most likely regarding heat dissipation and gas metering) the technology does not yet exist and probably won't for a while. A few additional items to be aware of regarding propane are listed below:

  • The C3 is the only marker that can use propane, if you try to stick a propane tank on any other marker you will only risk damaging the marker and yourself.
  • The C3 is not a "flamethrower"-all of the propane is consumed in the combustion chamber. (It doesn't shoot flaming paintballs either.)
For further information on the C3, check out DeTrevni's post which has been stickied in the Paintball Ideas forum.

4.6  Expansion Chambers (X-chambers)

Expansion chambers are added to markers to expedite the transition of CO2 from liquid to gaseous form. They normally are manufactured from metals that are highly conducive to the transfer of heat and have several internal chambers. They allow both room for additional gaseous expansion and additional area for thermal transfer to speed up the process. The expansion chambers that can be easily used as a handgrip have the advantage of allowing the player to add his body heat to the process. (In other words, don’t complain about that cold hand, it helped you keep shooting.)

Both the 98 and A5 marker families require some modification to add expansion chambers. The A5 requires new airlines as does the 98 which also requires the purchase of a drop forward adapter and complete marker disassembly.

4.7  Regulators

These devices, much like the name says, regulate the gas pressure going into the marker. They can be used with C02, but because CO2 can expand/contract after going through the device, they are more effective when used with compressed air. This regulation of the propellant supply has the advantages of allowing a marker to be "tuned" for maximum air efficiency and it enhances accuracy by increasing shot-to-shot consistency. (Shots tend to go to the same place as opposed to differing ranges due to gas supply fluctuations.)

4.8  Remote Systems

These are basically a hose which attaches to the marker at one end and the air source at the other. Their main purpose is to get the tank off of the marker for those who want a lighter marker or are going for a military simulation (mil-sim) look. For those who use CO2, remote lines have the added advantage of acting as a giant expansion chamber.

There are several types of remote lines:

  • Braided steel line-these put the least “pull” on the marker, but they tend to get caught on the surroundings when moving, they’re normally shiny, and they make noise when they rub against themselves.
  • Coiled line-these are quieter and less likely to get caught, but do put an annoying “pull” on the marker.
  • Coiled micro line-Less pull, but do not feed gas fast enough for most markers. (I’m not sure they even make these anymore, I’ve only seen them for sale used.)

4.9  Gas Lines (On Gun)

I added this for those of you who will need new lines for certain modifications.

  • Braided steel-stock Tippmann line is an example of this; the metal helps with heat transfer when using CO2.
  • Macro-line
    • Comes in various neat colors to match the person’s marker, jersey, etc.
    • Doesn’t transfer heat as well when using CO2 creating a potential for rare freezing up of the line
    • Care must be taken during installation to avoid burrs on cut ends and sharp bends.
  • Micro-line
    • Metal and plastic version is still available on some pump markers
    • Not large enough to prevent gas starvation on semi-autos

4.10  Low Pressure Kit (LPK)

The LPK replaces the internals (hammer, springs, etc) of the stock marker and adds a regulator and air chamber. The theory behind the low pressure kit is that it will provide a more consistent air delivery than the standard high pressure system. This consistency provides for less velocity variation between shots which means that the balls tend to go the same place when fired, rather than all over. Additionally the lightened internal components and springs provide for less recoil, making it easier to keep the marker on target when firing multiple shots. Finally, the lower chamber pressure accelerates the ball at a slower rate which is both easier on the paint and creates less muzzle turbulence from excess gas when the ball exits the barrel. All of this together is supposed to make the marker both quieter and more accurate.

Many experienced players consider the advantages of low pressure on less expensive markers to be marketing hype.  I tried an LPK on a 98 custom and did not like it enough to continue using it.  This is one of those personal preference issues where I recommend you do your own testing and research.

4.11  Capacities/Performance

So the big question everyone asks is "how many shots can I get from my tank?"  The truthful answer is "it varies depending upon several different factors," but I can give you a rough idea here of what to expect performance wise from various propellants.

Conventional wisdom has always been that you could get about 50 shots per ounce of CO2.  Testing conducted by Rich Kappmeier resulted in an average of 86 shots per ounce.  (See WARPIG for the article.)  However, do not expect 80 plus shots per ounce of CO2 with a stock Tippmann.  I state this for the following reasons:
  • The testing referred to was conducted in temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to the upper 90s which would have a positive impact on shots per ounce. 
  • The tester used a marker with a spring pressure velocity adjustment mechanism.  These are more efficient than the Tippmann flow-interrupt method.
Now that you have been introduced to the opposing viewpoint, I'll give you my opinions based on personal observation:
  • Under normal conditions (mid 70s) expect to get about 45 shots per ounce of CO2 with a stock Tippmann.
  • Keep in mind that changing the marker configuration can affect efficiency.  I noticed drops in efficiency with the additions of both the Flatline barrel and the Response Trigger with my 98s.
  • Also keep in mind that rate of fire can effect CO2 efficiency as well.  Firing faster than the liquid CO2 can evaporate results in inefficient CO2 usage.  (Those clouds of white that come out the barrel when someone using CO2 really lays on the trigger are composed of unexpanded/unvaporized CO2.  Each one of those clouds represents several potential shots if the user was firing slower.)
  • Because of the extra expansion room in larger CO2 tanks, the larger tanks seem to provide a small efficiency advantage over the smaller ones.
  • Various marker modifications can also improve CO2 efficiency.
    • Rear velocity adjusters prevent the release of excess propellant when properly adjusted.
    • Expansion chambers promote the expansion of CO2; preventing waste by ensuring only expanded CO2 reaches the valve.
With all this taken into account, here are some rough estimates on how many shots the average stock Tippmann will get from various sized CO2 tanks under relatively normal conditions:
  • 9 oz tanks--Figure about 300 shots.
    • The minimal expansion room in these tanks combined with the fact that the Tippmann velocity adjuster does not regulate gas usage makes these tanks go quick.
    • These tanks (along with 4 and 6 oz tanks) are also more likely to overheat and blow burst disks than the larger tanks.
  • 12 oz tanks--Expect around 450 shots.
  • 14 oz tanks--Count on about 600 shots.
  • 20 oz tanks--You should get around 900 shots.
Conventional wisdom regarding the performance of compressed air as a paintball propellant is related to tank capacity and pressure rating.  It is as follows:
  • 3000 psi tanks will provide about 10 shots per cu. in.
    • So a 68 cu. in. 3000 psi tank would be good for 680 shots. (68 X 10 =680)
  • 4500 psi tanks will provide about 15 shots per cu. in.
    • So a 68 cu. in. 4500 psi tank would be good for 1020 shots.  (68 X 15 = 1020)
  • 5000 psi tanks will provide about 16.5 shots per cu. in.
    • So a 68 cu. in. 5000 psi tank would be good for 1122 shots.  (68 X  16.5 = 1122)
Do not expect quite these same results with a stock Tippmann.  My experience up to this point is limited to 3000 psi tanks, but the best my stock 98 ever did on a 68/3000 tank was 550 rounds.  Modifications to the marker can also affect efficiency with compressed air.  Adding a response trigger did not seem to make a significant difference, but after I installed and tuned my Flatline I only got a little better than 400 shots per fill.  The numbers below are extrapolated from my experience with my Tippmann in stock configuration.
  • Figure about 8 shots per cu. in. with 3000 psi tanks.
  • Figure about 12 shots per cu. in. with 4500 psi tanks.
  • Figure about 13 shots per cu. in. with 5000 psi tanks.
4.12    Tippmann Markers and compressed air

The only thing required to run a stock Tippmann marker on compressed air is a compressed air tank and a source to provide compressed air refills.  Tippmann markers will operate off of high pressure air (HPA) tanks without any modification being necessary.  A low pressure kit is required to utilize low pressure air.

5.0  Barrel Theory

5.1 Basics

Unlike firearms, in paintball longer barrels do not provide for more range. For safety reasons, paintball velocities are limited to no more than 300 feet per second (fps). A paintball fired at this speed from one marker with an 8 inch barrel will (with only minor variation) travel just as far as one fired from another marker with a 20 inch barrel. The only exceptions to this would be the barrels which use backspin to increase range.

5.2  Barrel Length

Tippmann markers are designed with a valve that produces a short high pressure burst of air (spike pressure of 75-100 psi) in the chamber to launch the paint balls. According to the one article I have found on this subject, 6 to 10 inch barrels are best for this type of marker in stock configuration. Once you start modifying your marker however, you’ll just have to work this out for yourself.

Longer barrels:

  • Pros:
    • Generally quieter than a shorter barrel of the same type because the extra length provides additional room for the expansion of excess propellant before it is released from the end of the barrel. (At approximately 14" of length, the additional disadvantages of additional length begin to outweigh the additional silencing capabilities and advantages.)
    • Very handy for sticking through brush or pushing in an air bunker so you can shoot effectively from relative safety.
  • Cons:
    • The extra length is extra friction/contact with the ball which increases the chance of balls breaking in the barrel.
    • The extra length is awkward in close quarters or when moving through thick undergrowth.
    • The extra length can result in decreased efficiency with some markers.
      • This does not normally apply to stock Tippmanns; they are designed to release the same amount of propellant with every shot as the velocity adjuster only regulates how fast the gas is released.
      • If the barrel is long enough however, a heavier spring may be required to get the paintballs up to an adequate velocity. In this case air efficiency has been decreased.
    • The longer barrels tend to be harder to clear breaks in by shooting “air shots” through them.
Shorter barrels:
  • Pros:
    •  Very handy in close quarters and do not get caught on thick underbrush during movement.
    •  Easier to shoot clean.
  • Cons:
    • Barrels less than 8” can be significantly louder than similar longer barrels.
    • Barrels less than 6” may not provide enough stabilization for the ball before it exits which can result in very poor accuracy. (This is a situation where paint to bore match becomes very important.)
    • Barrels under 6” are less air efficient than longer barrels.
      • The ball has to be accelerated faster because there is less available distance for the propellant to accelerate the ball in.
      • Since more air must be released sooner, this is both inefficient and increases the risk of breaks in the barrel.

5.3  Barrel Porting

Porting quiets the sound of the shot by dispersing the release of the gas behind the projectile over a longer time period. Some experts also believe that porting helps with consistent shot-to-shot velocity, but others dispute this. Porting does, however, decrease per shot gas efficiency. As a general rule, porting can be divided into two types:
  • A tight series of small holes near the end of the barrel is more effective for improving accuracy by decreasing turbulence as the ball exits the muzzle.
  • A series of small holes spread out along the barrel is more effective for quieting the report from firing.

5.4  Rifling/Fluting

Rifling in paintball attempts to put a spin on the ball through ball contact with spiral lands formed into the inside of the barrel. Fluting is straight rifling which is supposed to stabilize the ball by preventing it from spinning. To this day, I have only read of one test that was conducted to see if either of these actually worked. The test was conducted on early Armson barrels and it determined they were slightly more accurate than a similar non-rifled barrel. However, the test determined this accuracy increase was due to the nature of the Armson rifling making a better ball to bore fit, not due to any spin being put on the ball.

Rifled and fluted barrels tend to not only be harder on paint than smooth bore barrels, but to also lose all accuracy when there is a barrel break. They also require extensive cleaning (more than a single quick squeegee run-through) before they are effective again.

5.5  Backspin Barrels

There are two barrels that fall into this category: The Flatline (F/L), which induces backspin by use of a curved barrel with a rough internal friction surface, and the Apex which induces backspin by the use of a muzzle break with a built-in and adjustable friction surface. Due to the adjustable nature of the Apex system the user can chose the amount of backspin, or even set it for side/top spin for curving shots that go around corners or drop into bunkers. The downside to the Apex system is that changing the settings on the field can affect velocity, so some fields, and most tournaments do not allow it.

The F/L is pickier about paint, requiring small bore paint to be effective. It is also hard on paint when the weather gets damp or below 60 degrees. I have been told that breaks in the tip of the Apex (where the ball contacts the friction surface) become more prevalent as it gets colder. The Apex is not as picky about what paint can be shot through it as the F/L. While the Apex tip would be difficult to clean a break out of, it can be removed, pocketed and the barrel used as a normal barrel in these instances. Additionally, the straight design of the Apex and smoother internal surface (compared to the F/L) make it easier to clean.

While the Apex is essentially a plug-and-play barrel, the F/L is not. When using a F/L the user must remember to hold the marker straight up and down or they will inadvertently put a side spin on the ball that will cause it to eventually curve away from the intended trajectory. This is a consideration with the Apex as well, but the adjustable nature of the Apex allows a knowledgeable user to compensate for it. (Once someone is familiar with either of these barrels, they can really annoy opponents with this capability. I should note that this misuse feature of the F/L is not as controllable as the similar intended feature on the Apex.) 

The F/L on the A5/X7 is easier to install correctly but, because the cyclone feed system can’t be dropped to the side for cleaning, must be removed from the marker when barrel breaks occur. On a 98 it is easier to clean the F/L, but installing/aligning it can be a time consuming and frustrating process the first few times it is done.

A few final F/L considerations include the fact that the F/L is also picky about the velocity it is used at (mid 260s to 270s seems good for most people) and a F/L with broken paint in it has no accuracy at all and can’t be shot clean.  If you break paint in a F/L, you better have a good squeegee with you.

Both of these barrels increase range by a significant amount. By significant, I mean that if you compared either one of these barrels to a standard barrel firing at the same velocity, the balls from the backspin barrels are still going straight and level at what for the normal barrel is maximum lobbing range. (Most tests indicate this is around 80 extra feet of range.) Now for the bad news, this extra range does not equate to the ability to make single shot eliminations at long distances. Paintballs are inherently inaccurate, and as distance increases so does this inherent inaccuracy as the effect of such factors like cross winds, the seam of the paintball, and any imperfections in the shape of the ball begin to take effect.

I consider both of these barrels to be special purpose barrels.  I would not want one as my primary barrel, but I like having one of them available when I need it.  They do not provide long range sniper accuracy, but both of them provide long range suppression capability at ranges where other barrels don't have a chance of a hit.  The F/L (or a properly adjusted Apex) provide the capability of making straight shots through cover that is impossible to lob through with a normal barrel.  Short range accuracy can sometimes be questionable due to the behavior of the ball as it exits the barrel before the backspin stabilizes it.  (This is not so much a issue of missing targets as it is an issue of the ball hitting intervening objects that the shooter expected it to clear.)  Both barrels tend to be a little harder on paint and more weather sensitive than normal barrels.  Of course, with the Apex you can turn off the spin and use it as a normal barrel.  However, most Apex users are unimpressed with the basic straight barrel part of the system.  (Which is why Lapco makes an Apex-Ready Bigshot barrel and several companies make adapters that allow the Apex tip to be put on other barrels.)

5.6  Barrel Surfaces

Generally, shiner and smoother is better. (The F/L is the exception to this rule as it requires a friction inducing internal surface to put spin on the paintball.) Shiny equates to no scratches or rough spots that can break paint or induce an unwanted spin on the ball. Smooth equates to an even surface without dips or rises that can also put an unwanted spin on the ball. Manufacturers of barrels have all kinds of cool names for their barrel making process like “micro-honing”, “mandrel pressing” and “swaging” but when you look at any basic aluminum barrel, they are pretty much all the same. Where you start getting into performance upgrades is when you consider barrel surfaces such as ceramics, which make a barrel easier to clean or, in the case of some barrels, even allows the user to “shoot clean” and retain about 80% of the original accuracy.

5.7  Bore Sizing

The next step up in performance upgrades among barrels would be the barrels with internal bore sizers (such as the Freak) or different internally sized interchangeable back sections (like the Edge) that allow for a better paint to bore match. A better bore match, between the internal diameter of the barrel and the external diameter of the paintball affects both accuracy and efficiency. Accuracy is effected because the ball experiences less "bouncing" during the first few inches of flight in the barrel before it stabilizes. A good match improves efficiency because their is less room for air to be "wasted" by passing between the inside of the barrel and the edge of the ball. One word of warning; firing paintballs through too tight a bore gets very messy very quickly.

5.8  Bottom Line

If someone is looking for more accuracy out of an after market barrel, almost any of them will shoot better than the stock 98 or A5 barrels*. The next step up** in accuracy after that requires the purchase of a barrel setup that allows for careful matching of the paintball outer diameter to the barrel inner diameter***.

*The stock barrel on the Custom Pro is not bad. It is actually one stock barrel that can be used for a while without being at a serious disadvantage.

**Most recreational players will be perfectly happy if they don’t take that next step up. They will get their Lapco Bigshot or J&J Ceramic and never notice the slight accuracy advantage that someone with a Freak kit has over them. (Both the Lapco and J & J are quite good barrels.)

***Matching ball to bore diameter is best done by testing several randomly selected balls in the various bore sizers. They should stay in place when put in the breach end, but you should be able to blow them through with minimal effort.

6.0  Sights

6.1  In General

Quite a few people will say that you don’t need any kind of sight on a paintball marker. They will tell new players to learn to just point and shoot, to aim down the side of the barrel, or to “walk” a stream of paint on to the target. I consider certain types of sights useful for those situations where you are facing multiple opponents and need for the first shot to be a hit or you would like to avoid attracting attention by eliminating one or two opponents with as few shots as possible. Even when engaging at longer distances in larger firefights, sights are useful in providing an initial reference point for where your paint will most likely hit and they help you avoid attracting attention by not requiring that you fire a long stream of paint to successfully engage your target. (If you look less dangerous than the other players on your team, your opponents will shoot you last.) 

Players should always remember that no sight will ever be right on target all the time. Mostly this is due to the fact that large bore spherical objects with liquid centers are just not effective projectiles. Also, because of the "arc" required to hit targets at longer ranges with most markers, a sight that is right on at one range will be off at a different distance.

Engaging with a sight in close range exchanges will get you eliminated. Everyone should know their marker well enough to have a reasonable chance of pointing at and successfully hitting a man-sized target within 40 feet without having to actually aim. In a firefight at any range less than this, the guy who takes the time to shoulder his marker and use the sight is probably going to be leaving the field after being eliminated by his opponent who pointed and fired from the hip. Being able to do this takes practice, but is well worth it. My personal opinion is that everyone should be able to snap shoot without aiming if they need to, but it is nice to have a sight available for when you have the time to use it.

6.2  Scopes (Magnifying)

Most folks believe scopes are useless in paintball. While I believe they are generally useless for aiming a paintball marker, I do not consider them totally useless. If you aim with a scope you will find yourself taking shots that are way out of your effective range because the sight picture through the scope can be deceptive. Even using them at maximum effective paintball range can be a challenge because of the arc that must be placed on the ball. (Sometimes the target is not even in the sight picture.) Scopes, or any sight that has to be used with one eye shut, tend to cause “tunnel vision” which leads to eliminations. What scopes are very useful for is scouting. They can be used to check out terrain before moving into it and for figuring out exactly what that suspicious looking shadow under the big bush is.

6.3  Laser Sights

Lasers are totally useless during daylight play. The dots on the target just aren’t bright enough to be seen in daylight conditions. They are more useful indoors or outdoors during periods of reduced visibility, but they are also easier for the opposition to see as well. Additionally, lasers point in perfectly straight lines and paintballs, unlike bullets, do not travel in perfectly straight lines. A final consideration is that laser sights are not allowed at some fields because of liability concerns regarding eye injuries from “flashing” (shining the beam in someone’s eyes).

6.4  Red Dot Sights

Red dot sights project a red dot onto a small screen on/inside the sight. Once the marker has been “sighted in”, the paintballs will hit in the general area of the red dot as seen through the sight. It must be remembered that since paintballs are low velocity projectiles, some elevation must be added for longer shots if the sight is set up for shorter ranges. The nice thing about these is that they can (and should) be used with both eyes open. This prevents tunnel vision by allowing the player to see more of the field when aiming.

When choosing a red dot sight, one should remember that the larger the viewing area, the quicker they will be able to acquire the red dot and place it on target. Also, while adjustable red dots are usually more expensive, being able to vary the brightness is a very nice feature to have when it starts to get dark. (It prevents the dot from shining so brightly that you can’t see the target.) Remember that dots that appear bright enough indoors may not work that well outdoors; if you can’t test the sight outdoors, save the receipt so you can return it later. NOTE: If you have a battery operated red dot, it is always a good idea to have a spare battery around,

6.5  Occluded Eye Gunsights (OEG)

OEGs are sights that are used in the same manner as red dots. The only difference is that they must be used with both eyes open because you can not actually see through them. They work by one eye seeing the dot and the other eye seeing the target and the brain putting the pictures together into one sight picture. They are generally fiber optic (light gathering cable) based and as such do not require batteries. This is a nice feature in that you don’t have to buy new/spare batteries but the drawback is that these sights do not work in the dark. A second drawback to OEGs is that the way they work means they provide a different sight picture for different people, thus, “sighted in” for one person may not be for another.

6.6  Iron Sights

Tippmann non-speedball markers come with a stock sighting system which is not bad at all. It will not normally be right on target, but it will get your first shots in the general area you want them to be in. Additionally, the sight that comes on the 98 family of markers (including the Custom Pro) is adjustable for elevation, so you can set it for the range of your choice.

7.0  Firepower Upgrades

7.1  Response Trigger (r/t)

R/t installation requires taking the marker apart and removing the valve from the power tube (on the 98, the airline must be removed as well). While the r/t is not a true full auto, it can be tuned to simulate full auto fire so closely that the difference is unimportant. The r/t uses some of the air that operates the blow-back action of the marker to operate a cylinder assembly in the handle of the marker. The air pressure pushes a pin out of this cylinder that strikes the back of the trigger and pushes it forward, resetting it for the next shot. There is a valve on the side of the marker that controls how fast the pin operates by regulating the air flow to the cylinder. An experienced user with a well-tuned r/t can put just enough pressure on the “sweet-spot” to allow the trigger to vibrate under their finger while the marker is ripping off long strings of rapid fire shots. The instructions that come with the r/t explain installation and tuning in detail, but here are a few other considerations.

  • Double triggers allow the user to put more pressure on the trigger; this additional pressure requires more force from the cylinder to reset the trigger and can interfere with r/t operation. If you have a double trigger and the r/t doesn’t work:
    • Use one finger on the top part of the trigger.
    • Or put a single trigger on it.
  • Tippmann triggers have a spot on the rear specifically placed there to serve as a contact point for the r/t, if an after-market trigger doesn’t have that spot, it won’t work with the r/t.
  • Since r/t’s run off of air, the rate of fire will slow down as the tank gets close to empty. In fact, the r/t will stop working before the marker will. (This means you will be firing normal semi-auto, not that the marker will stop working.  You will have a few more shots before their is no longer enough pressure to fire at all.)
  • R/t's are not tournament legal and are not allowed at some recreational fields.
    • The r/t can be easily disabled by removing a single hose and the kit comes with a plug to seal the hole in the valve once the hose is removed.

7.2  E-Grip/E-Trigger

The E-grip is a battery operated grip that replaces the stock grip on the A5 or X7. It is a “sear tripper” system, meaning the mechanical operation of the marker stays the same, it is now just actuated by the e-grip instead of by direct interaction with the trigger. E-grips normally can be adjusted both for rate of fire and for various firing modes from semi-auto to three round burst and full-auto. The different modes and adjustment are explained in the accompanying instructions. Additionally, various after-market electronic boards which add new features/improvements tend to become available on a regular basis. The E-trigger is the E-grip system for the 98 Custom and Custom Pro. Installation is somewhat more involved as these markers must be disassembled for this upgrade unlike the A5 and X7 in which the new grip is a direct replacement for the original one.

8.0  Hoppers

8.1  98 Series Markers (Including Custom Pro)

Comes with a standard gravity feed hopper. If you don’t fill these completely before a game (leave at least an inch to the lid) they are much less likely to jam up. When they do jam up, usually nothing more than a little shake is required to get them working again. There is no reason to replace these with any other non-motorized hopper. When you decide to get an electronic hopper, the hopper you get should be influenced by your current rate of fire and any firepower upgrades planned for the future. When selecting an after-market hopper, look at the balls per second (bps) feed speed claimed on the side of the box and subtract 3 bps as hopper manufacturers tend to claim top tested speed as opposed to consistently reliable speed.

8.2  A5/X7

The A5 hopper is perfectly reliable and the only reasons I can see to replace it have to do with ammo capacity or a presenting a smaller target profile to the opposition.  I have not personally used an X7, but have received mixed feedback about the "low profile" hopper it comes with; some people seem quite pleased with it while others have reported mis and non-feeding issues.  The majority of these problems seem to have occurred when the hopper was nearing empty and the marker was tilted for firing at longer ranges.

8.3  Cyclone Feed System (As a 98 Upgrade)

The Cyclone Feed is very reliable and there are many upgrades to it mentioned/discussed throughout this forum which improve its reliability and feed speed even more. Some of these upgrades were included in the X7 Cyclone and will be available as after market additions for the A5 eventually. The main advantage to the cyclone is that it times the chambering of the paintballs to the cycling of the marker which helps prevent ball breaks. The disadvantage* is that the original Cyclone could be very rough on paint and that a break inside the feed system creates quite a mess. As a final consideration, the new Anti-Chop Technology (ACT) system which is available on both 98 Customs and Custom Pros also negates the need for this as an upgrade on any marker with the ACT system.

*One other disadvantage to the A5, and the reason I prefer the 98 family of markers, is that it is sometimes very handy to be able to quickly flip the hopper to the side, use a pull-through squeegee on the barrel and flip the hopper back up.

9.0  Silencing a Marker

Eventually, most woods players will experience the desire to quiet their marker in hopes that this will provide an additional surprise advantage.  The first thing to remember is that if you shoot at someone and miss, they will probably realize they are under fire no matter how quiet your marker is.  If they are eliminated, their loud yell of "Hit" will let their nearby team members know that something is up.  If the team is halfway decent, they will pass this information along immediately so the rest of the team realizes that there is a threat nearby.  This is not saying that quieter is not better, it just points out that there are other facts to consider.

The basics for quieting a Tippmann are simple.  A Rocket Cock added to any marker in the 98 or Custom Pro family will help keep internal noises inside the marker. (It should be noted that operating cycle of Tippmanns, like any mechanical blowback marker, are going to be significantly louder than electro-pneumatic markers.)  Since the report of the marker is from the sudden explosive release of excess gas being released as the paintball exits the barrel, decreasing the amount of excess gas can decrease noise as well.  There are two ways to do this:

  • Adding an after-market rear velocity adjuster (RVA).
    • Decreasing the tension on the drive spring will decrease the force with which the hammer strikes the valve.  This in turn will result in a smaller propellant release.
    • In conjunction with an RVA, the operator would want to adjust the Tippmann's stock velocity screw so that it does not interfere with gas release at all.
      • Approximately 4 complete turns out from the all the way in position.
      • Because the cyclone and the response trigger operate off of air, this may interfere with the operation of either or both by failing to direct enough excess air back to operate these accessories.
    • Ideally, the operator would want to tune the marker so that it used just enough air to propel the ball at the desired velocity while still having enough excess air to power any air operated equipment.
      • This is very hard to do and, because of the nature of the Tippmann valve and stock velocity adjuster, it may prove impossible to completely quiet the report and still have everything work correctly.  (I say "may" because the barrel used factors into this as well.)
      • An additional consideration when doing this is the type of propellant that is being used.
        • Compressed air is very consistent, but the output pressure may be insufficient to properly operate the marker or achieve desired velocities once spring tension is relieved.
        • Due to the temperature sensitive nature of CO2, fluctuations in temperature could cause operation problems or additional pressure that results in unwanted noise.  Constant adjustments might be required.
  • Adding a longer barrel.
    • The longer barrel will provide extra room for the expansion of excess gas behind the paintball.
    • At approximately 14", additional length provides negligible sound-suppression advantage but does increase the chance of other problems. (See "Barrel Theory" listed above.)
      • Most reputable sources agree that 14 inches is the maximum length barrel that can be installed on almost any marker before air efficiency is impacted by the extra barrel length.
        • With stock Tippmanns, efficiency is technically effected at approximately 10 inches, but the nature of the stock velocity adjustment mechanism means that the excess air in question will be wasted anyway.  (The stock velocity adjuster controls rate of release as opposed to amount released meaning that every shot uses about the same amount of propellant.)
        • 14 inches is the average point where for almost any marker additional air must be added to the firing cycle to maintain velocity in the barrel.
      • Since additional air must be added to retain velocity, the amount of air behind the ball in any length barrel is approximately the same from this point on unless the operator is willing to trade distance for silence.
    • My recommendations for adding a longer barrel to quiet your marker.
      • I can't, in good conscious, recommend anything over 16 inches long.
      • If possible, research several lengths before purchase and get what you like the best.
        • Check out other's equipment.
        • When testing/checking out listen to the report from both behind and in front of the marker.
      • Remember that amount of air released is still an issue.
        • An RVA combined with a new barrel might be worth considering.
        • Enough "back pressure" must be maintained to allow any air operated accessories to function.
        • Some barrels require so much extra air to operate that they negatively impact velocity.  (A lot of newer 98 and Custom Pro owners run into this issue when getting a Flatline.  It can be fixed with either an RVA or an after-market spring kit.)
One final note:  Making a silencer for one's paintball marker usually results in a violation of federal law and can have seriously negative repercussions.  Unless an individual is willing to make the proper payments and coordinate with the proper agencies, they should not even consider trying to make a home made silencer.

10.0  Other Handy Equipment

10.1  Squeegees

Squeegees are tools used to clean your barrel if you have the misfortune to get liquid paint inside it from either a broken ball inside the marker or a really lucky (or unlucky, depending upon your point of view) hit. As hinted at before, broken paint in the barrel has a very detrimental effect on accuracy. When paint is fired through a barrel that has a broken paintball smeared along its internal surfaces, the unbroken ball picks up liquid paint and sometimes even bits of shell as it travels the length of the barrel. This creates uneven contact with the interior of the barrel which can induces random spin on the ball and/or change the aerodynamic properties of the ball after it exits the muzzle. Both of these conditions can cause shots to veer off in random directions away from the desired target area.

Squeegees are used to remove this paint from the barrel and return at least some of the previous accuracy to the marker. They vary in composition from sticks with small sponges on the end to cables with washers and polishing disks.  The two main varieties are explained below:
  • Stick squeegees.
    • A straight stick with some type of sponge, cloth, etc on the end.
    • They are intended to be inserted from the muzzle, shoved all the way down to the chamber, then removed.
      • It is a good idea to ensure there is no paint in the chamber when using these unless you want to risk breaking another paintball.
      • Some of these are quite fancy with movable rubber pieces on the end that are designed to slip past large chunks of debris, then drop down behind them to pull them out.
    • There are also squeegees of this variety that consist of two separate pieces of wood joined by a rubber connector with a large polishing head on each end
      • These are best used for polishing after the majority of the paint has been removed in some other manner
  • Pull-through type squeegees.
    • Cable type, as mentioned above, with one or more rubber washers to wipe the barrel clean and perhaps even a fuzzy piece for polishing.
    • All in one rubber ones which are a single molded piece that has the "washers" formed out of the same material as the "cable".
      • The ends of some of these snap together so they can be carried/worn around the neck for quick access.
    • This type is used by inserting it in one end of the barrel, then pushing it through until it can be pulled out the other end.
      • This type usually provides a superior cleaning effect, but unless you have a marker with an easily removable hopper, the barrel must be taken off for cleaning.
My personal recommendation for squeegees is to have two.  One, of whatever type is preferred that can be carried on the field for quick on field cleaning or initial cleaning off of the field and a "two-part polisher" for final cleaning.

10.2  Spray Bottle

A spray bottle of water simplifies cleaning of mask hits, or really bad barrel breaks (remove barrel first); especially if the field does not provide cleaning supplies. Using lots of water when cleaning paint of off lenses will help avoid scratching them so they will last longer.

10.3  Rags

A supply of rags of some sort is handy for cleaning off hits or spray between games. Soft cottons are the best for cleaning mask lenses.

10.4  Spare Batteries

For any equipment that uses batteries.

10.5  Tools and Parts

The bare minimum I recommend for Tippmann users is a set of Allen wrenches for the marker, spare tank o-rings, burst disks if using CO2, and some type of multi-tool that at least has a standard and Phillip's head screwdriver on it.  As players gain more experience, they will figure out what else they need to carry.

11.0  Military Simulation Markers (Mil-Sim)

11.1  General

Mil-Sim is something most people either love or hate, there just isn’t a lot of middle ground. The fans of it will say, “Look at my cool marker, it looks like a HK G36K assault rifle!” while detractors will reply with, “Not really, and you’ve made it really heavy.” Mil-sim, like many things in paintball comes down to personal preference. I figure if someone is happy with the way their marker looks and shoots, then it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks.

11.2  X7

This marker may be the marker that creates a consensus of agreement between the pro- and anti-mil-sim camps. In can be stripped down to a basic marker that is fairly lightweight due to the materials used in it’s construction, but it is also designed to accept numerous cosmetic upgrades. The fact that it was designed from the ground up for mil-sim purposes and the accessories were designed at the same time will probably prevent X7 setups from having that “bolted on” look that so many non-mil-simmers detest. The fact that it should have Tippmann durability and reliability is a plus as well.

12.0  Other Upgrades

12.1  General

The purpose of this section is to cover upgrade options that have not been mentioned elsewhere.  With that in mind, I will try to avoid unnecessary repetition.

The first thing a new Tippmann owner should do is play with the marker in its basic stock configuration at least once to get an idea of what they need to upgrade. At this point, many people will decide that they want the accuracy of a better barrel. If you can stand it, play a few more games with the stock marker, but this time pay attention to the playing style you are developing; knowing how you like to play will give you a good idea of what you need to modify/upgrade on your marker. It will also prevent you from spending money on items that you later realize don’t work with your playing style or the other changes you’ve decided to make to your Tippmann.

For most people, a better barrel is the first thing they get; followed soon after by a hopper.  From that point on, upgrades vary based on the individual's playing style and many other factors.  A suggestion I make, that I stress very strongly people listen to, is to not put more than one upgrade or after-market part on a marker at a time.  While it may be easier to put several parts on while the marker is taken apart anyway; if there are any problems, you won't know which part is causing it.  It is just best to do one upgrade at a time, then play with the marker for a while to make sure the upgrade does what you want/expect it to do.

12.2  Specific Items and Issues
  • Barrels:  Just so everyone understands, I'm going to point it out one more time; this should be the first upgrade anyone considers making to their marker.  Changing barrels almost always results in the need to significantly alter the velocity adjustment as well since different bores and lengths affect paintballs differently.
  • Stocks:  Some people don't like using the tank to shoulder the marker or prefer the look of an after-market stock.  In general, stocks are superior to using the tank as a stock because they are ergonomically designed for it.  The downside to stocks is that they add extra weight unless a remote is used to move the tank off-gun.  They also change the balance of the marker, but this can be good or bad depending upon the change. 
    • Selection considerations:
      • Ensure the stock is compatible with the marker you have.  Not only should you get a 98 stock for a 98, but you should make sure it is ACT compatible if the marker has ACT.  (Non-ACT stocks can be modified to work with varying degrees of success.)
      • Ensure the stock is compatible with accessories that are already on the marker.  For instance, the low-pressure kit is not compatible with most stocks because it interferes with the mounting location.  Additionally, the "tightening" ring on some 98 stocks interferes with Rocket-Cock operation.
    • Operational considerations:  If the spring holes in the stock are not the same depth as the ones in the markers original end cap, it will change the operation of the marker.  This could require major readjustment of the velocity adjuster or even spring modification/replacement.
    • Related upgrades:  Adding a stock almost always necessitates adding a raised sight rail as well if the player has a sight on their marker because interference between the stock and the mask prevents utilizing most sights mounted on the stock rails.
  • Sight rails:  Adding these generally do not affect the mechanical operation of the marker.  However, some sight rails do interfere with hopper installation/placement/removal, especially on the A5.  It is always a good idea to try these on one's marker before purchase if possible.
  • Rocket-Cock: 
    • Probably my favorite Tippmann 98 accessory based on the fact that anything that keeps dirt, paint, etc. out of my marker is a good thing.  (It also quiets the operation slightly.)
    • The downside to these is they can interfere with/be interfered with some stock installations and if you wanted to use one with the old style Flatline Barrel it required modification of the barrel shroud. 
  • Rear velocity adjusters (RVAs): 
    • Explained:  These tend to be replacements for the stock end cap of the marker.  They have a bolt in the center that can be adjusted inward/outward to change the tension on the mainspring.  Doing so changes how hard the rear bolt hits the valve and thus alters how much gas is released with each shot.
    • Selecting:  I will not recommend a specific brand, but will provide some general recommendations.  For 98 series markers, you want one that either fits tightly between the marker shell halves or has an external part that can be held to prevent it spinning in place during adjustment.  (This is very frustrating; fortunately it is not an issue with the A5 or X7.)  You also want one that has a way to lock the bolt in place once velocity is adjusted.  (The ones that don't have a locking screw on the side tend to not hold position during use.)
    • Using:  Essentially, you adjust the forward (stock) velocity adjuster to highest velocity then use the RVA to bring it back down.  Once this is done, you are theoretically using the minimum amount of air necessary with each shot to achieve legal velocity which maximizes air efficiency.  It should be kept in mind that this can affect air-operated accessories such as the Response Trigger or Cyclone Feed and users with such accessories will have to experiment to find the best balance between the two adjusters.
  • Foregrips
    • Vertical Foregrips:  These are useful in a variety of situations.  If using a stock or a tank as a stock the vertical forgrip can be used to help pull the marker back into the user's shoulder which provides a more stable firing platform.  Due to the leverage they provide, they are superior to the horizontal cosmetic foregrips for this purpose.
    • Horizontal Forgrips:  Generally these serve a primarily cosmetic purpose.  They are superior to using the stock marker or barrel for this purpose because they tend to provide a more ergonomic grip surface but are inferior to vertical foregrips.
  • Magazines and magazine wells are normally only cosmetic upgrades and serve no purpose although some contain expansion chambers/are heavy duty enough to serve as a vertical foregrip.
  • After-market grips vary from cosmetic only to useful ones that provide additional comfort and support and all combinations in between.  The Dye stickies are a favorite of mine as they combine comfort with a texture that ensures a secure hold on your marker.

13.0  Need Help/Got Questions

Then this forum is the place to be.

13.1  Forum Use Hints

There are quite a few folks here who really know their stuff. Unfortunately, there are also folks who don’t, but don’t realize it. When you get answers to a question, evaluate the answers: Does the poster just rave about how "u63r-1337" a specific hopper is, rant about how "OMGZOR the ????? barrel sux hard", or does he/she support his/her position and explain how he/she arrived at it. Look at the thread, and possibly others, and get an idea of what other forum members think of this individual’s opinions. With a little time on the forum you will be able to tell the geniuses from the trolls. You should also realize that even the smartest, most knowledgeable people on the forum still have personal opinions and will be influenced somewhat by them. Sometimes different people just look at things in different ways. In these cases, judge the evidence, look at other opinions, and make the best decision you can.

When you ask for help, you will get better answers if you follow the basic rules of internet courtesy and a few other simple principals:

  • Search first. Many questions have been answered repeatedly and folks who have been on the forum for more than a year or two get testy about seeing some of those repeat questions.
  • Type so you can be understood. Many people do not wish to waste their time deciphering gibberish and will not bother to help those that can’t communicate in an understandable manner.
  • If someone tries to help, but says they can’t understand you, you should be appreciative of their effort to understand and help rather than develop an attitude.
  • Any time you ask for help, explain in detail:
    • The nature of the problem (“my marker double and triple shoots occasionally even though it is a basic semi-auto” is much more useful than “ MY (DELETED) PIECE OF (DELETED) MARKER IS (DELETED) (DELETED)!
    • Make sure you explain what type of marker you have and all of the aftermarket parts that have been installed on it and any other upgrades you have done. Telling us what type of air system you use (compressed air or CO2) and stuff like the brand and capacity of the tank or if you use a remote can be helpful as well. (This is why a lot of people who have only one marker list the information in their signature block.)
  • Use proper terminology when asking for help.
    • For instance, “ball latch” is a much better description than “rubber thingy”.
    • If you don’t know the correct terms, they can be found in your owner’s manual
End Note

This is not all-encompassing but, with the help of quite a few other forumers, it is getting better.  The experienced people have brought up subjects I should have covered or offered improved explanations and the new folks have asked questions that led to the inclusion of additional information.  Hopefully most folks will find something useful in it.

Edited by Mack - 03 July 2008 at 11:57pm
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hybrid-sniper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hybrid-sniper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2006 at 3:14am

Ok, I read almost all of that, and you did an excellent job. Two things I see that could be clarified:

-Include the fact that C02 tanks do not come filled (unless it was bought at a shop and they filled the tank after the sale). There's always a few threads every now an then that deal with a new gun "not getting C02."

-Specify the difference between a Stabalizer and other regulators. The Stabalizer is a regulator, after all, and the way you wrote it it sounded like they were two different things. I'm sure you know why the Stab is so "special" so I'm not going to insult you.

Very well done.

Edited by hybrid-sniper - 28 December 2006 at 3:17am
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Snake6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snake6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2006 at 7:10am
Good read.

But how much you want to bet that no one reads it?
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BigReDude View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigReDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2006 at 10:39am

Originally posted by Snake6 Snake6 wrote:

Good read.

But how much you want to bet that no one reads it?


I read the whole thing. And you did a VERY good job on writing that... it answered a couple of my questions and may answer more questions i havent even though of. Thanks again for writing that

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DeTrevni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2006 at 3:14pm

My God. You like to type don't you! That would give me carpel(sp?) tunnel!

Good job though!

Evil Elvis: "Detrevni is definally like a hillbilly hippy from hell"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nathanours Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 1:13am

ya thanks i read all that except the mil sim part

answerd a few questions

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fireman9302 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 3:24am

good job,

Sticky worthy


Fightin fire with paint
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kickinwing2010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 4:27am
ok so besides big red and nathan i bet we will start to get tons of posts
dealing with guns not workin and all of them will be user error but good job
any one who reads it will appreciate it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phil_stl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2006 at 10:55pm
nice work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rock Slide Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2006 at 11:33pm
Needs to be a sticky for a while... 
I bring annihilation

and cheap red wine!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote an94 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 January 2007 at 1:39am
Originally posted by Rock Slide Rock Slide wrote:

Needs to be a sticky for a while... 

what do you mean for a while?? just make it a sticky.. period
1 paintball gun package=$150
1 case of paint=$50
air & entry fee=$15
lighting up newbies all day long= Priceless
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote f3lix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 January 2007 at 1:44pm
owch you could break bones in your hand!

Edited by f3lix - 01 January 2007 at 1:44pm
NASA and the Americans spent millions of dollars and hundreds of hours to develop a pen that would write in space.....The Russians used a pencil.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saladorm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2007 at 10:11pm

First off Hello everyone,

I'm just breaking into the paintball scene, after playing years of airsoft which i will continue to play, just registered to say great job on the post,  It answered many questions i had and also opened my eyes to some other ones i didn't think of.  I think this forum will be a handy place to visit when i start to get questions.

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I don’t have one either. Is that good???

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 January 2007 at 5:28pm
To help clarify Mack's statement:

A regulator is a device that controls or limits the volume of gas that enters the gun, typically through the use of a piston and spring that the gas has to push against. This keeps the output of a regulator at a certain PSI level.

There are two main purposes to a regulator:
-Keeping a constant PSI level entering your gun, you will prevent velocity spikes, and generally keep your velocity level more or less constant.

-Using the minimum amount of gas that your gun requires to shoot a paintball and cycle the action, you will more efficiently use the gas in your tank, and may notice an increase in your shots per tank of gas.

A Stabilizer is a particular brand of regulator built by Palmer Pursuit Shop.

Edited by Shub - 06 January 2007 at 5:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MoNkeY Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2007 at 8:32pm
holy crap its been a long time.

Edited by MoNkeY Hunter - 07 January 2007 at 8:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2007 at 9:44pm
I updated the post with further relavant information based on browsing the forums and the valuable input of fellow forumers. I just wanted to thank those folks here for there assistance because I realize they probably won't reread the original post.

Originally posted by hybrid-sniper hybrid-sniper wrote:

-Specify the difference between a Stabalizer and other regulators. The Stabalizer is a regulator, after all, and the way you wrote it it sounded like they were two different things. I'm sure you know why the Stab is so "special" so I'm not going to insult you.

Thanks for the assist, I added what you suggested regarding CO2 tanks and decided to simplify the section on regulators rather than going into more detail because it is aimed at new players. In the future, feel free to "insult" me by spelling out any additional information. I don't offend easily, and if I don't know it, then I get to hide my ignorance and just say "Oh, uh yeah . . . I knew that." (In the case of stabalizers and regulators, I've gotten in the bad habit of using the terms interchangeably and, as you rightly pointed out, I need to quit that.)

Originally posted by Snake6 Snake6 wrote:

Good read.

But how much you want to bet that no one reads it?

Stop it, you're depressing me.

Originally posted by Shub Shub wrote:

To help clarify Mack's statement:

A regulator is a device that controls or limits the volume of gas that enters the gun, typically through the use of a piston and spring that the gas has to push against. This keeps the output of a regulator at a certain PSI level.

There are two main purposes to a regulator:
-Keeping a constant PSI level entering your gun, you will prevent velocity spikes, and generally keep your velocity level more or less constant.

-Using the minimum amount of gas that your gun requires to shoot a paintball and cycle the action, you will more efficiently use the gas in your tank, and may notice an increase in your shots per tank of gas.

A Stabilizer is a particular brand of regulator built by Palmer Pursuit Shop.

This is a much better explanation than what I wrote. I will probably go through this over the next day or so and work on adding it to what's there while avoiding repetition. Thanks.

I should also thank Squishy for giving me the idea for this post (and some valuable information) with the barrel length thread he started. That, and some comments from some forumers dreading the "Christmas Newb Invasion" were my motivation here. (I always wished somebody had given me a paintball primer both before the first few years I played and quite a few years later when I returned to the game.)

Edited by Mack - 07 January 2007 at 9:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonchos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2007 at 10:52pm
Excelent! I just got an A-5 and I needed most of the information here. Thank you very much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deviant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2007 at 12:49pm

Nice Artical and very informative! Thanks for your time and contribution to all of us n00bs.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dye Playa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2007 at 6:15pm
Originally posted by fireman9302 fireman9302 wrote:

good job,

Sticky worthy


good work, u have a lot of time.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spray and pray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 January 2007 at 7:04pm

Great Post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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