The debate between gravity fed and agitated hoppers rages on as paintballers everywhere try to decide which choice will provide them with the best possible results. Here are a few key points for each style and how they compare head to head.
A gravity fed hopper is essentially a container with paintballs in it. It sits casually on top of your gun and feeds those paintballs one at a time into the gun - or at least they are supposed to. These are generally the cheapest hopper options available and have a low rate of loading due to the speed of gravity and the bouncing of the paintballs off of each other. If you are firing too quickly, the balls in the hopper will stick to each other and form an arch over the hole, stopping the feed of paintballs. You can shake the hopper to fix the problem, but it will generally slow your rate. The basic problems with gravity fed hoppers are the reason why an agitated hopper was developed.
These hoppers contain a motor that connects to a paddle spinning and breaking up the arches that form when the paintballs gather over the feed hole. This ensures the paintballs keep feeding into the gun at a steady pace, pushing through the hole and not slowing down your shots.
The speed difference between from a gravity operated to agitated hopper is actually non-existent. However, because there is no break in the feed of paintballs, you do not need to stop and shake them free for any reason. They will continually feed. Agitated hoppers are slightly more expensive than their gravity fed counterparts - starting at $25 and rising rapidly from there.
The agitated hopper comes in multiple different forms as well. You can find some with very simple, straight paddles that push the paintballs through the feed hole. Others will have paddles that are shaped like propellers to physically move the paintballs downward into the gun. They will not spin constantly most of the time; rather they move only when the balls stop feeding into the gun, making them more efficient. This is done with a small sensor that will detect a gap between paintballs feeding through. If the gap grows too large, the paddles will start spinning. A single 9-volt battery is usually sufficient to run an agitated feeder.
A force fed hopper does a little bit more than an agitated hopper by actually forcing the paintballs into the chamber from the hopper. It will usually have the paintballs fall to either side of a cone, then rotate the cone to drop the paintballs into the chamber one at a time. This kind of hopper will continually force feed paintballs for as long as necessary to keep you firing at a constant rate. These machines are highly efficient and reliable, but can cost as much as $100 for a low end model.
When making a choice between hoppers, remember what you need for your outing. If you are playing speedball, you will definitely need at least an agitated feeder to ensure constant firing - while woodsball with a few beginner friends will likely be okay with a gravity fed hopper.
Every year in the United States, five million people play paintball, and that number has been growing steadily over the past decade. What has so many people engaged in this sport? Combine the joy of a game of hide and seek with an old west shootout and you have a good idea of the sport's widespread appeal. Casual games are almost like a family camping outing, and a competitive game is a great bonding experience as well. The best part of starting your journey into this entertaining sport is that the essential gear required is minimal, making the activity much more accessible than most other sports.
Safety First With Paintball Goggles
The first piece of gear you need to purchase is a set of paintball goggles, also called a mask. Goggles are absolutely required to play; your first priority always has to be safety. While the sport is considered extremely safe, with fewer injuries per year than most sports including football, paintball goggles will ensure your safety in every case. Like the name says, they cover the eyes, but they also cover the nose, mouth, and ears. The lenses are made of heavy duty, resilient polycarbonate polymer that will withstand a pellet while maximizing individual comfort.
After you have your paintball goggles, the next purchase is a marker. The paintball guns, called markers, come in every possible design and at every skill level for each type of player. If you have a little extra cash to spend, you can have replica modern, WWII, or antique styled paintball guns. For a beginner, you should find a marker package that includes paintball guns, the CO2 cartridge, a hopper to hold your balls, and the cleaning equipment to keep your gun working. Just purchase a case of pellets when you want to play, and your marker is ready to go.
Dress For Success
The paint from playing will easily wash out of clothing with warm water and soap; it is only food coloring and gelatin or vegetable oil. With any outdoor activity, a change of socks and shoes is always a good idea. A sound purchase would also be a paintball vest. The specifically designed vests offer great storage pockets for spare CO2 cartridges, extra balls, water bottles, and a cleaning rod to un-jam a marker, and it will keep your keys and wallet clean and safe. When you start playing regularly, a vest is a great investment.
A Place To Play
The sport is so accessible that it does not require a specialized field to play in, but there are professionally designed and maintained venues. Woodsball is a term used to describe playing in the great outdoors and is how people typically are introduced to the sport. The professional fields can be played on indoors during inclement weather, and also includes referees to help maintain a safe playing environment. Even out in the woods, goggles and their rigorous, continuous use will also result in a safe game. No matter where you play, gather up your friends and family, and game on!
Paintball is indeed a challenging sport and has recently turned out to be one of the best part-time activities for lots of people who want to experience an exciting outdoor activity.
Once you start playing on a regularly basis, it is better that you purchase your personal safety gear, along with choosing a paintball gun you feel confident with and which will also give you a more enjoyable time.
It is understandable that you may have no idea where to start with, while looking for a gun that shoots straight and fast. There is a lot to choose from, and a lot to know about them, which will be the most suitable for you, and be all you have looked for. So, take your time and do your research well.
It is true that you may hear serious players talk about different ways of choosing a gun, so you can learn from them what make and model is the best, and if that particular mark and model is all they were looking for. You could go to those veteran players that are more than happy to give you a piece of advice, as if there is anything they love talking about, that's their paintball guns.
You should know from the very beginning that paintball guns may be quite expensive but they are sure worth it, especially if you are really into playing this game. It's very important to get what you want, or even start with a common gun, and then work your way up to the special gun you want, as you become more experienced.
There are guns that range up to thousands of dollars, so you may want to start with a gun that your feel comfortable to spend your money on. Taking out a loan for this kind of gun is not what I advise you to do, unless there's someone in your family that would loan you the money.
Think about your style when you start playing it, and when you are out in the open. Paintball is a slow game but, as you become a passionate and regular player, your entire style will change to a more competitive one, and get faster as you see more of a challenge in this exciting sport.
So, you should start looking for a gun designed for speed as well as for performance.
Start surfing the Internet and you'll find lots of information on makes and models; you could even try reading other's opinions and reviews on this.
Of course, one way you can really get the feeling of the gun is to actually test it and make sure you ask if you could try it, before you purchase it. What you could also do, is to try your friends' guns, as there would always be someone that might let you try his gun. Or, you could even rent a gun; ask them about the models, as chances are they don't have one model only. Rentals usually include better beginner as well as novice models.
Paintball was designed for your fun, and if you remember western movies, we even tried imitating cowboys shooting each other in the movies, and hiding behind trees or rocks. This is the reason they invented paintball, and western movies have been taken to a new, modern level under the form of a game, even if it sometimes hurts.
So, whether you choose to purchase or borrow the gun, it must be comfortable.
In order for you to get the most out of a gun, you need to have a basic understanding of how it works and what you can do with it.
Paintball sports can be a great recreational experience, as well as providing lots of exercise. It is also important to note that this activity is not just a sport for young people. People of all ages are enjoying taking to the paintball field and the number of those participating are growing every year.
Paintball is also not just a sport for men, as more and more women are also taking to the paintball field and making their mark in the world of action paintball. It is a sport of strategy, one capable of building both strength and character.
Paintball is nothing more than shooting a paint filled capsule from an air or carbon dioxide powered gun. The paintball gun is often called a marker. It usually stings a bit if you are hit by a ball because of the speed with which the paintball pellets leave the gun. Other than that, if you take all the safety precautions, you can be sure that you will end having a fun-filled game.
But if you are only just beginning to explore the world of paintball, a great deal of the information that you find will likely be geared toward more advanced paintballers and of little use to a novice. So, if you know nothing at all about the sport of paintball, this article could be a great place to start.
Paintball is a sport that can be played by anyone in any physical condition. Using guns which propel paint-filled capsules, paintballers are divided up into two teams, on either side of a playing field, with each team given a flag. The object of paintball is to capture the other team's flag and bring it back to your base without getting eliminated. You are eliminated when a person from the opposite team hits you with a paintball capsule and it bursts leaving a splotch of paint.
If you are serious about breaking into the sport of paintball, you will first need to invest in some good eye protection. Eye protection is the most essential piece of paintball equipment that you can invest in and should be your first purchase. You should never play paintball or fire a paintball marker/gun without the proper eye and face protection.
The second piece of equipment that you will need is the paintball gun or, as some call it, the maker. You can either purchase one of these outright or rent one once you get to the paintball arena. The gun or marker consists of a main body, a bolt, barrel, hopper and air tank and is usually not very accurate no matter how much money you invest. While some praise one gun over another, your first paintball gun purchase will probably be made with mostly your budget in mind.
The paintball capsule is about the size of a marble, has a hard exterior shell, and is filled with paint. The hard shell allows the paintball to be shot long distances and to remain intact until it hits its intended target. While some say that getting hit with a paintball capsule at close range can sting, many say that they do not feel anything at all and only experience a little redness where the paintball made contact.
If you are trying to get a handle on what it is all about, then try thinking of a game that combines capturing the opposing team's flag, an old west shootout and a child's game of hide and seek. The game is a combination of strategy and survival techniques and will show you just how well you can succeed at a high speed game of cat and mouse.
The paintball field can vary from group to group. You may find yourself playing in a league that uses a well designed playing field or simply trekking through the woods to hunt their prey. No matter what the field, rugged terrain or paintball park, this fast paced game can be both fun and challenging.
For those who are enthusiastic about paintball they have two primary selections when planning an excursion in paintball. Number one is the Commercial paintball type of field and the second one is the "outlaw" type of paintball field. These two unique variations of paintball fields differ to a great degree and have to be compared before you make a decision as how either one best fits your personal needs and the needs of the other participants.
The Commercial Paintball Field Is An Excellent Method To Try Some of the Paintball Competitions
One of the best ways for a beginner to experience paintball would be the commercial type of paintball field and then come to a conclusion if this type of sport is one that they would be interested in spending time as well as money in playing.
One of the benefits of a commercial paintball field is that you can rent all of the necessary equipment, for instance a marker (paintball gun), mask as well as protection for the eyes, paintball ammunition as well as compressed air. This type of equipment are primary tools needed to play successfully as well as in a safe manner and by renting the equipment for the player who is doing this the first time is an excellent way to find out if this is the type of sport that is something they enjoy or not.
Additionally, the size of commercial fields are typically small and have many bunkers as well as forts so you can keep yourself hidden as well as evade your competition. You will also find that there are referees there to oversee the game and make sure that they rules are followed and everyone plays safely. For a person that has not played paintball, the commercial paintball field is a great way to get to experience the game while not having to make a big financial commitment in equipment.
The "Outlaw" Paintball Field Frequently Needs Teamwork To Defeat An Opponent
Paintball fields known as "Outlaw" are typically informal types of wooded areas where a bunch of friends and colleagues get together to play a game of paintball. There are numerous safety rules of thumb that should be adhered to whenever paintball is played. Some of the general rules to follow is to make sure that the entire group is calibrating and measuring the velocity of each paintball gun with a "chronograph". Also putting on the needed safety regulated equipment as well as following the other general safety rules.
Paintball is a highly enjoyable game to play as long as everyone in your group realizes as well as follows the primary safety guidelines. These type of "Outlaw" games have been nicknamed "woodsball" amongst paintball enthusiasts. You will find in "woodball" that the terrain is frequently challenging, giving physical challenges such as valleys, trees, hills, shrubs etc. These external types of difficulties add to the total challenge of the game itself, hence making "woodsball" a highly popular field of choice for numerous people who are enthusiastic about paintball.
An Urban Paintball Delight, Tourney Ball Furnsihes Numerous Unique Challenges
There is a third kind of paintball field which is known as Tourney ball field. This smaller sized paintball field has numerous bunkers that are filled with air that are arranged in similar positions on two different sides of the field. What this accomplishes is that each team is faced with an identical mirror image of the competitive field, with each team holding their own side. The tourney ball fields are typically located in areas that are urban and are very well liked alternative to that is "Woodsball. Tourney all has different types of variations; one is that of "speedball" and "hyperball", these are additionally located almost exclusively in urban areas.
Most people starting to play paintball start out by renting paintball guns or paintball markers. Incidentally, the term paintball gun or paintball marker can be used interchangeably. Both terms mean the same thing. After playing a few times one quickly discovers that it won't take very long before you could have purchased your own paintball guns and equipment instead of throwing away your money renting. This article will help narrow the choices for your research.
The first thing we usually ask people is where are you going to play? Will you be playing on an organized field or will you be playing around your own land or a friends land in the woods? The answer to this question will guide you to certain models of guns due to the air supply. If you are going to play at an organized field, they will have resources for compressed air or CO2. The type of air you have access to, will lead you to choosing an applicable gun.
If your paintball gun choice is limited to using CO2 tanks, then you should stick with paintball guns that are happy using CO2. Care must be taken to choose paintball guns that are made to run on CO2. CO2 is a liquid gas and is damaging to paintball guns or paintball markers that are not made to handle the liquid. You could buy an expensive paintball gun and damage it beyond repair with just a few uses. We recommend sticking with good quality name brand paintball markers that are made to run on CO2.
There are many models of CO2 paintball guns. The main brand names are Spyder, Smart Parts and Tippmann paintball guns. You can choose electronic or non-electronic. Popular models of paintball guns are the Spyder Victor, Xtra, Sonic, Pilot, Electra, VS1, VS2, Smart Parts Vibe.
CO2 paintball guns with a military look are the Spyder MR1, MR2, MR3. Smart Parts has the SP1 model designed to run on CO2 and a military scenario look. New releases from Tippmann are the Tippmann Alpha Black Series. These paintball guns are packed with features at competitive prices. Tippmann also has its more rugged and upgradeable Platinum Series Custom 98, A5 and X7 paintball guns. They are all great brand names backed with good warranties.
We left the compressed air paintball guns until now because generally the compressed air markers are a little more expensive to a lot more expensive. Paintball guns range from the low $150's to close to $2000.00. This is often where the range and choices on the market confuse everyone. Simply stated, at this point it is about features, price points and you get what you pay for. You really have to determine what it is that you are looking for. Are you a recreational player, or are you playing competitively? There are several main features and so we will briefly explain some the popular features.
One of the basic decisions is if you want an electronic paintball marker or not? Then, an extension of this is what kind of electronic firing modes and speed of firing are important. Single shot, 3-shot burst, semi-automatic, and fully automatic are some firing modes that are popular. Like adding new clubs to your golf bag, each added feature will add cost. There are some great values out there, so do your research and you will find many of the same features at lower price points.
Maintenance of your paintball gun is also very important. Proper care, cleaning and lubrication is a must for all paintball markers. Does your paintball marker come with a squeegie for cleaning? Is it easy to access the internals for cleaning and lubrication? If ease of maintenance is a concern, we recommend the Smart Parts paintball guns along with the Tippmann 98 Cutsom Platinum Series. Both of these paintball gun models or series are very easy to maintain and clean. Don't be fearful of the maintenance on paintball guns. The manufacturer's websites are very helpful. There is a large amount of help videos on their sites or also on Youtube.
Paintball gun upgrades are the next question. Are you going to make a one time purchase for recreational play? Or are you going to be adding equipment as your skills improve. Frankly, it is fun and keeps the sport fresh to add new ways to improve your paintball gun. Do some research and see what upgrades are available for the particular model of paintball gun you are considering purchasing. The most upgradeable paintball marker is the Tippmann X7 with many replica looks and feel. You can change back and forth with this paintball gun. It won't be cheap but you won't get bored!
This article was the beginning of the fun involved in finding out what you really want and need. Decide on the air you have access to and match your style and type of play to the paintball guns you are interested in. Compare features and price ranges. Narrow in on your choices and finally buy a paintball gun and take out your friend or enemy in style!