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wolftune Sunday, July 19th, 2009
Period of
Product Use:
Only tested6 of 6 people found this review helpful.

Paintball
Experience:
1 year
Similar
Products Used:
Mid to high grade paintballs (DXS Bronze and Gold, Evil, Triumph, etc.). None are close in accuracy or consistency.
Marker Setup: Palmers Pursuit Shop Cherry Pyre with Apex tip
Armson Max Duty sight
Lapco shoulder stock/drop forward
Recommended
Barrels:
.689 bore or slightly bigger for my batch of first strike
Strengths: Accurate (no curving)
Maintains velocity
Adds effective range
Weaknesses: Can only load one at a time
Price
Bore size too big?
Review: First off, I have only tested 8 of these first strike paintballs. I will do further testing next week but thought I'd get my first impressions up since so few people have reviewed these.

In my opinion, the first strike rounds are a great addition to paintball even if it remains somewhat of a fringe item. It has the potential to add a real "sniper-like" player to the game (please notice that I said sniper-like; I'm not suggesting these will hit someone at 300 yards). Read on to see why:

Quality:
When you pull them out of their tubes, these rounds seem very high quality. The fins are uniform and the rounded portion with the paint is very sleek.

Accuracy at distance:
This is the most important distinction that these paintballs have over regular paintballs. With good regular paint, such as DXS Gold, and my Pyre pump, made by Palmers, I can hit a mask very consistently at 75 feet with one shot, using my red dot site. At 125 feet, I'm much less likely to be successful but will get on the mask at least 25% of the time.

With the first strike dialed in with a red dot sight, it is very easy to see hitting a mask at 125 feet 80% of the time. Maybe every time with practice. This is no joke. This is mostly due to the paint flying VERY straight with MUCH less drop than a regular paintball. In fact, those crossbow, 3 dot sights with 3 horizontal dots actually would make sense with this paintball. You could adjust for yardage and actually be effective. Once I was dialed in with the first strike, I could hit an old paintball bag hanging in a tree at about 125 feet 3 out of 4 times. The miss was very close and was more likely due to my error.

Distance:
While the advertising says these go 500 feet or something like that, it's unlikely you would ever shoot them over 250 feet IMO. At 75 cents a pop, why bother. It's really about an increased EFFECTIVE RANGE as another reviewer said. Someone standing in the open at 200 feet away would be a real target with these paintballs. Someone leaning out of a bunker or behind a tree is a real target at 125 or 150 feet. Those kind of shots are just about impossible with regular paintballs. Even if you're on target, most good players hear the shot and move in time.

Velocity at Distance:
This is another substantial benefit to these rounds. Because of the aerodynamics of the first strike, they maintain their velocity more (slow down less). So while a regular paintball will slow from 280 feet per second to 160 fps after 100 feet, a first strike will be going 225 fps (these numbers are hypothetical). Not only does this improve accuracy, but it lessons the chance that a player can duck your paintball. Good players will get out of the way if they can. This is much less likely with the first strike round.

Breaking:
All mine broke on the target. With a blow forward, it seems highly unlikely that these would ever break in the barrel or marker. With blowback, it seems possible but less likely than regular paint.

Bore size:
I was kind of bummed to see that these rounds are .689 or thereabouts. The truth is, the trend for quality paintballs seem to be getting smaller. This will inevitably cause problems with players shooting tighter bored barrels for their regular paint who then want to use the first strike intermittently. It will be too big for the barrel. Also, they didn't fit in my PPS brass barrel because of the wedgits on those barrels. I will have to set up a different marker to play these rounds and use different regular paint for that marker. Kind of annoying.

***EDIT*** I realized that I could muzzle load the fs. Basically, I push the round into the front end of the barrel and push it back with a soft squeegie. Because the round does not go all the way back the barrel (about 1.5 inches in front of a normal paintball because the 'widgets' stop it), it has about the same velocity as my DXS bronze does, making it a perfect way to load. ***END OF EDIT***

Also, since much of the paint is smaller than .689, you might chrono your .686 paint at 285, pop in a first strike, and chrono that at 310. Same thing happens with any other bigger paint.

Price:
They're expensive. Yep. But if you're using good paint, it's the equivalent of shooting about 20 regular paintballs. Depending on how you use them, you may just save yourself that many by taking a guy out at 150 feet with one shot.

Final thoughts:
These are a great product. They are well built and actually yield a dramatic increase in accuracy, especially at distances at and over 100 feet. This round has the ability to add another dimension to the game. For example, traditional back players fire lots of rounds mostly to bunker the opposite team. Now, there can be another back player who takes careful shots and makes eliminations from behind the front line. Definitely a great product, especially when it comes down in price.
Conclusion: I highly recommend that you at least try these. For $6, the price of a super-burrito, you can give them a shot. They may or may not fit into your game, but chances are others will be using them more and more, so it won't hurt to learn about them. These are not a gimmick and do work. If you factor in price, it's an 7. If you just look at the product, a 10. I rounded to a 9.
Rating:
9 out of 10Last edited on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 9:17 pm PST
 

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