I'm aware of the old Sniperball gimmick that was around when I first started playing paintball in the mid-90s, but I never used them. I'm also aware of the less-than-lethal FN-303 round that Perfect Circle based this recreational First Strike round off of, but I've never used them either.
Otherwise, there is nothing to compare this paintball with on the market today. I have fired an Apex and a Flatline with many varieties of traditional paintballs, and while those do provide increased range and variable trajectory, they aren't comparable when it comes to accuracy and consistency.
I've got several markers that I use, depending on the event or my mood. I've tested the FS rounds in the following markers:
Proto Rail with 45/4500 and Ultralite Frame
ATS AT-85 with 45/4500
Tippmann 98C with Response Trigger
Tippmann Pro-Lite with CO2
Brass Eagle Stingray II with CO2
In the one game I played with these paintballs, I went with the Pro-Lite because of need to breech-load or muzzle load these rounds and the accessibility of the breech on the Tippmann.
As a side note, I plan on experimenting with the AT-85's magazine in the future, to see if I can load multiple rounds of First Strike. I haven't tried it yet.
I have a J&J Edge Elite on my Rail, and I went with .688
The AT-85 has a stock barrel that's .690 and comes with a bore unisizer.
I have a Winforce on the Pro-Lite, a 32 Degrees Nyte Stik on the 98C, and a 12" Eagleworks on the Stingray. People laugh when they see the Stingray, but that barrel is bullseye with proper paint match.
I only put 2 rounds through the Rail, as it just doesn't seem to be the right "demographic" for these paintballs. The .688 bore was fine, though I wouldn't be surprised if they would've fed through the smaller bores, too. These paintballs seem to be on the smaller side of .689
The old Nyte Stik did great with these, too, and the 98C would make a great option for this round.
I had the highest hopes for the Winforce, as it's a small bore barrel, but I honestly wish it was a 14" instead of a 12. I've traditionally been a bigger fan of shorter barrels, but for this type of "one-shot, one-hit" round, the ease of aiming and sight lines can be increased with a longer barrel.
The Eagleworks barrel worked fine as well, and I was shocked at the increased range and accuracy. However, the bore was slightly larger than necessary and the FS paintballs would slide 1/4 way down the barrel if I tilted the gun. If I held the gun level it was fine, but this could be a hindrance in-game especially adding the fact that I had to remove the barrel each time to load the round. The same limitation held true with each shot from the AT-85, however, the Unisizer kept the round from sliding down the barrel.
- Novel concept
- Noticeable range increase
- Drastic consistency/accuracy increase
- Adds another dimension to tactical gameplay
- Need to load one at a time without a Tiberius setup
- Possible FPO limitations
Let me first start by saying how excited I was when my package arrived from Discount Paintball. I have been anxious to see these rounds in action since I first heard about them months ago. However, that excited feeling was somewhat buzzkilled when I opened the package and saw a small Ziploc bag "filled" with 5 tiny 8-round tubes.
It really hits you when you see how little you get for $35 when it's staring back at you.
However, in context, I still don't feel that these are a blatant rip-off by any measure. They are a definite value in my opinion. So much so, in fact, that I am going to purchase a T9 from Tiberius and use it as my "sniper" setup. This round has actually made that terminology viable after years of the concept of "sniping" being laughed at in paintball.
Well, because we've always been limited by the inconsistency of liquid-filled spheres and their inherent trajectories. The effective engagement range of a traditional paintball just doesn't compare to the First Strike. Now it's possible to actually sight in a red dot or similar scope, and have EVERY shot drop on target from OUTSIDE the range of return fire from standard paintballs.
Don't get me wrong, I've seen many players using scopes and utilizing a "sniper" style of play, but we all know how limited it's been in practical usage. There is only so much any of us can do with a traditional paintball and, more importantly, ANYONE can return fire with the SAME accuracy and range, therefore nullifying the "sniper" advantage once he's been spotted.
With these FS paintballs, I could honestly hit people from outside of their effective range (and often far enough to not even be seen before relocating), and remain confident that what I had lined up in my sights was well within accurate range of what I was shooting. I could shoot in a straight line without having to arch my barrel, allowing me to shoot under and between low-hanging trees, etc, etc
Keep in mind, the need to breech load these rounds makes them a horrible choice for fire fights. That's why I liked using them with my Pro-Lite because I could use traditional paintballs in my hopper, but then slide it forward to expose the breech for single-shot loading. The same holds true for Tippmann 98, except the hopper falls to the side. This actually might even be better for players who wish to use a scope, since the hopper can be completely removed and provide a full sight picture.
Either way, it's nice to be able to carry standard paint until you get into position to use your FS rounds.
This is another reason I'm going purchase the FS-ready T9 marker from Tiberius: It allows for 8 continuous rounds of FS, which enables a marksman-type player to engage more targets in rapid succession. I can also permanently mount my 2X red dot scope to the T9 since it has no hopper to get in the way AND the ammunition actually justifies using a scope and playing like a "sniper" without hearing chuckles from other players.
Besides, even if they do chuckle, nothing feels better than goggling a smug punk from nearly a football field away.
Definitely worth investing in if you're interested in one-shot, one-hit eliminations and if you've ever wanted to actually be able to rely on a scope.
These paintballs don't really fire any longer than a Flatline can, but the difference is in the reliability. Once you're sighted in, they have a consistent accuracy that I can only compare to a high-quality pellet rifle as opposed to traditional paintballs. Granted, I've only fired 40 rounds so far, but every single one of the 40 went exactly where I was aiming at a range I wouldn't try with standard paint. Again, the key benefit of these rounds comes from drastically increased accuracy at slightly increased range. You're still limited by firing under 300fps, so don't fantasize about shooting someone in the dome from a quarter mile out.
Oh, and as for the cost involved, the WORST part is actually sighting in your gun and hitting the chrono. It takes a few shots, and it tends to hurt when you know that each pull of the trigger is costing you 75 cents. Once you're sighted in, you're ready to rock, but that's one more reason to designate one gun as your FS shooter. Don't get me wrong: The joy of sighting someone in at 2x magnification and shooting them right between the shoulder blades with one shot, without them EVER seeing where the shot came from is well worth 75 cents to me. Just get your scope sighted in as quickly as possible.
I'll give them a 9 due to cost and limited usage. I was optimistically (maybe even daydreaming) hoping for an engagement range of 300 feet, but elevation and drop off come into play at that distance. I didn't notice much drop-off up to 150 feet, however, which is very comfortable range for one-shot hits with a red dot.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Sunday, May 24th, 2009 at 12:40 pm PST
Great review, thanks! Realistic and with useful detail.
Did you find it easy to "breach" load or did you have to experiment with the best place to put the FS? I have a Palmers Pursuit Shop Pyre pump, and would love to just remove the bolt, slide in a FS, and put the bolt back (a 5 second process) when I'm in situations to "snipe". Since it's a blow forward, that should get the FS in position, right?
Thank you, sir. I couldn't breech load with the AT-85, Stingray, or the Rail. I had to take the barrels off and put the FS round in the bolt-end of the barrel, then reattach it to the gun. It worked, but was much slower than breech loading the 2 Tippmanns.
Your idea should work fine, though without being familiar with the Palmer setup, I can only guesstimate. The AT-85 is blow forward, and I didn't have any problems at all.
I used the M98 again today, and the breech load method was more of a pain in the rear than it was the first time I used it, and definitely more annoying than with the Prolite.
The breech is tighter in the M98 than it is on the PL....and using it in-game was more tedius than it was during target practice. I ended up removing the barrel, loading the breech end, and putting the barrel back on. The First Strike round rested nicely just in front of the detent.
So, for in-game applications, the M98 is better off loaded by removing the barrel, while the Prolite worked well for breech loading every time I've tried it.
Awesome review! I am saving for a T9 Longbow ready, Longbow Stock and the Q loader system from Spec Ops. Add to that the FS T9 conversion kit from Rockstar Tactical, an extra FS Mag and a case of the FS paintballs. I was worried about the price of them but after watching vids on the net and reading your review I think they are worth it. I called Tiberius Arms because I was concerned with how easy it was to switch between the magazine feed and the hopper feed and they said it takes two seconds. Just push in the barrel and twist it. SOLD! Have the magazine loaded with FS rounds and if I have to get nasty just switch to the q loader. :) It's like having 3 markers in 1. A pistol, a sniper rifle and an assault rifle. Once again thank you for the review!
I'm not sure but i don't think that the T9s come FS capable. There is an after market kit to modify them to make them FS capable. That kit is $140 though and all it is a barrel, new bolt, new mag and 2 FS 8rd tubes. The FS mags are the same price as the normal mags but its still an expensive upgrade.
Bocasean, after shooting the fs rounds, I strongly agree with your review (in fact, I wrote my own). Also, I just found a great deal on a pro-lite and bought it. It should be arriving any day.
My question is: did you notice a velocity spike when you used the first strike compared to the other paint you were using?
Since the first strike rounds that I used were just on the bigger side of .689, I'm worried that my regular paint (about .687) will have a lower velocity, making me choose between slow regular paint for firefights with good velocity on the fs, or the occasional first strike round going over 300 fps in order to have my regular paint shooting at around 280.
Just an idea for you. To adjust for the drop off past 150' use a scope designed for a crossbow. There are several designs some red dot sites have three or more dots to set for different ranges. Since most shots you will take with the first strike will be at distance outside of normal paint, a multi dot sight works good. Just remember these are not bullets and will not fly perfect. so do not expect to be making head shots at 100 yds.