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Old 08-18-2004, 08:34 AM   #1
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Brief history of paintball's arsenal, and why people have $800 guns

Lopez17 recently made a darn good post that answers a major question that often arises.

My Spyder fires 13 BPS and costs $200. Your Matrix fires the same, but costs $800. And assuming everything else is equal, the accuracy should be, theoretically the same. So why buy an $800 gun? And is my Spyder still ok to play with?

So, with courtesy and permission of Lopez17, I present to you his post, as the ultimate answer to that question, and as an added bonus, he also includes a history of paintball weaponry and its evolution.

Being that I've been playing since before most of you were eating solid foods I'll chime in here. Back in the old days pumps were all that was around. Semi-Autos...when they came out...were a BIG thing...no more pumping. Many players initially stuck with pumps rather than pay the higher cost for a semi. Were the semi's better...yes but only marginally. (People forget that only 10 years ago, pumps were still used by the majority of players).

Semi's evolved and Kingman and Tippman became the big time players. Cockers and Angels in the mid to late 90's then started to take over essentially becoming the top of the line markers. The first true electros started hitting the market...and technology evolved again. I would argue that most of the first electros were probably a waste of money over the semi autos. A Spyder or Tippman was about as good overall as a Cocker in the old days when short stroking was a regular occurance. You still needed lots of force on the trigger, air efficiency sucked all around.

The next generation of electro's comes out...and AKA, Bob Long and a few other manufacturers create the low pressure marker. In the course of development someone discovered that you don't necessarily need more force to propel the ball to make it travel further. With more air behind the ball, you can use less pressure to fire it...and the volume of the air cushions the ball as it leaves allowing for faster firing speeds of electronically controlled solenoids discharging air and recharging the regs/air flow almost immediately. Tippman doesn't change it's semi. Kingman makes it's markers look prettier. Bob Long, AKA, Smart Parts *spit*, Dye/Matrix, ICD, WGP, WDP all improve their markers with new technology.

Now...I'll lump semi's like Spyders (Clones) and Tippmans together and say semi's for the point of this discussion. In terms of performance they can fire at a zippy speed, they are also accurate with a halfway decent barrel and two top teams in Tippman effect and Bad Company shoot modified markers in tournaments with limited success. Putting all this in perspective the player makes the gun, the gun does not make the player. There's a big difference between talent and ego. I know enough about how to move on a field during play (hyperball or woodsball) to smoke most people regardless of what they're shooting. Most players buy high end markers as a crutch. What a high end marker does exceptionally well is solve a few problems the lower end guns don't.

They prevent chops with eyes. This is key. They operate at a lower pressure usually using compressed air. As we all know, CO2 is not a gas...it's put into a tank in liquid form...as CO2 gets warmer or gets shaken it expands...and not necessarily evenly. This creates spikes in the marker. People using semi's can buy palmer stablizers or something to help mitigate this...they can use anti siphon tubes or even go to compressed air. Most users of semi's don't do this. They use CO2. A 20oz aluminum tank on a tippman is...let's face it ... heavy. CO2 isn't exactly effiecient with the air. I'd take my 88/4500 on my Timmy over a 20oz on a Tippman any day of the week.

Now...with the whole efficiency thing...Spyders and Tippmans aren't great with the recharge rate and coupled with the inconsistencies of CO2 and lacking a quality reg, you have situations where your balls will not fall on top of each other consistently. Balls will go long, drop short, curve, etc. High end markers solve this problem. They don't kick like a ******* (unlike most semi's...and cockers aside) and their recharge rate in the regs are top notch. The triggers on an electro are incredibly light. Can you do this on a Spyder or Tippman...sure ... I've seen some really awesome Tippman triggers...they also took 30+ hours and some major work and $$. Spyders are less involved but everything in there is metal on metal...even if you replace components...there's still lots more wear. The consistency and feel of a high end marker...especially the newer Timmy's, Shockers *spit*, DM4's and so on...is just AMAZING. Light, easy and smooth trigger pulls, quick maintenance...etc. Tippmans are known for durability but Spyders are made of garbage parts. Mostly plastic, low grade aluminum and shoddy metal. I see tons of problems with them over time. Tippmans also break down but they're easier to fix.

Now...when it comes to a high end electro...Would I rather have a marker that's still incredibly accurate and consistent in a hyperball game after 1200 shots or something that fires slower, isn't consistent and doesn't put balls in the same place...and generally lacks the accuracy of a higher end marker? I want a gun as a backplayer that can rail out paint and keep a lane locked down or keep a man in his bunker. In competitive paintball...this is ESSENTIAL. Semi's just don't do this anymore. In practice or playing walk ons I can do lots of things with a semi on a hyperball field...and still make my moves...but in a real tournament or hell against a team like Justice, Sin, or any of the Pevs team at a practice I'd get rocked. Talent only carries you so far.

The trouble with electros is that lots of kids get them and use them as a crutch...instead of developing their game...they think excessive speeds are key. We've all heard the newbie at the field say "I can fire 18 balls a second" which is great...but he can't hit the broad side of an oil tanker, doesn't know how to move and uses his ability to rail paint as a crutch to his mediocrity. That's the key reason that most people buy an $800 marker over a $200 marker. The reason the rest of us do is that the marker isn't a crutch, it now becomes a tool (a very deadly one) for more eliminations. They're faster, lighter, have better warranties (than a Spyder), have better parts, internals, etc.

As an aside...most people that claim their $200 is better than a high end gun or state that they don't want $800+ markers are fibbing or covering for the fact that they can't afford one (see also: Sour Grapes). Not all...but most. Given $1000 they would go buy a Timmy or some other marker. That's 12 years of paintball experience and probably 75 weekends (in the last 2 years) of rec play talking...
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Last edited by Ebonclaw : 08-18-2004 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:44 AM   #2
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Nice, well thought out post.
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I'm a rec-balla and i have a gun, isn't that really all that matters?
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:41 AM   #3
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Somebody should add this to the Ultimate Sticky. It has great info and shows both sides pretty well. I now understand why high end guns are so much better.
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Old 08-18-2004, 10:35 AM   #4
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Originally posted by {J}aCt()uT
Somebody should add this to the Ultimate Sticky. It has great info and shows both sides pretty well. I now understand why high end guns are so much better.
And it's important to note that it's not that high end markers are better...they're better in the right situation. All things being equal, the player with more talent will still smoke a player of lesser talent. If I'm playing lots of recball or woodsball, and I don't feel compelled to drop a G, I'd go buy a Tippman in a heartbeat. I've seen a field employee at Pevs bunker a group of 3 kids shooting an angel, cocker, and timmy all while he was out of AIR and PAINT! That's skill folks. People often get higher end markers to make them competetive immediately which a high end marker certainly has the potential to do. They don't develop the rest of their game and without the fundamentals they find themselves outclassed by other players who dropped $600-1000 less. All things being equal...two players with the same talent and marker will shoot out each other 50% of the time. Give one a Tippman and one a Timmy and that may go up to a 25-75% differential in favor of the timmy...maybe less. Give a more talented player a Tippman and a newbie the Intimidator...and I bet the more skilled person still wins 75% of the time. Now give a skilled, experienced player a Timmy and a newbie a Tippman and the poor newb probably gets killed 95% of the time...and this is what most folks see and then equate the higher marker with the wins...leading to a mindset that it has to be the marker...and not the player.

When you buy a marker...buy within your budget and buy with your game style in mind. Tippmans are not a great choice for hyperball. Certain high end markers aren't all that great for recball either. I've seen lots of $1000 markers take a swim in the creek at Pevs@AG. They get fried. The tippmans still work...during that same game.

So...everyone that reads this...when people ask you what the best marker is or what marker they should buy...all of you should answer... "It depends!" Because...honestly...it really does.
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:54 AM   #5
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lose is to win as loose is to tight. learn to use them correctly.

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Old 08-18-2004, 12:38 PM   #6
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That post tells all! I would have to agree with this 100% even though I have a spyder.
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:38 PM   #7
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Exactly the point I've always tried to make, but you did a perfect job and told it like it is. Very nice post.
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Old 08-21-2004, 09:04 AM   #8
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couldn't have said it better myself.
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Old 08-21-2004, 09:49 AM   #9
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Bah! I bang my head against the wall! My $200 F4 is better than your Timmy! Rawr!!!

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Old 08-21-2004, 02:49 PM   #10
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this deserves a sticky

Originally posted by evilhomer
I wonder what the expression on the face of the first caveman to take a crap was like...
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Old 08-21-2004, 03:02 PM   #11
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This is a sticky... now if people could stop spamming a thread created by a moderator, I would apreciate it greatly.
*people= including myself
Oh and to keep this on-topic, I know that I for one am one who would take my $200 and below budget, and like it better than the $1000 and up budget for a marker... (I would pick up a used phantom )

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Old 08-31-2004, 03:48 PM   #12
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Awsome post, I like how you showed both sides, it wasn't biased at all
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:29 PM   #13
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Interestingly enough WGP may make the best of both worlds...their new cockers will be in the same price range as Tippman and Kingman's markers with the performance of a cocker. (If you can) slap an E-Blade on there and voila a high performance, high speed marker.
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:20 PM   #14
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great post...i like how you explain it from both sides
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Old 02-16-2006, 03:54 AM   #15
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wow i cant believe i read the whole thing..its the longest thing i read in a while..

well its awesome! even though i got a fish..
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lopez17
Now give a skilled, experienced player a Timmy and a newbie a Tippman and the poor newb probably gets killed 95% of the time...and this is what most folks see and then equate the higher marker with the wins...leading to a mindset that it has to be the marker...and not the player.
The guy with the tippy is me on my first day of Airball . I geuss you could say I got killed. It was my first time to play airball, and it was with a Tippy. That's not even the worst part........... It was a team practice day.

Great post Lopez.

Edit: 95% I did get killed, but that small 5% felt pretty good...
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:31 PM   #17
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Great Post! I see both sides.... with the markers its the quality you pay for. My freind has a DM6 and let me try it.... all I can say is WOW!!!!!! You get what you pay for, even though the $200 markers work good enough to play they lack the quality the high end markers deliver.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:33 AM   #18
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Lightbulb Maybe I am just weird...

I'd absolutely still take my Tippmann regardless of how much money I had to spend. Heck, I'd probably buy more than one. One with an RT and one with an E-Grip. Not because I am jealous of/hate high-ends, but rather that they (Tippmanns) fit my personal preferences quite perfectly. I understand the benefits/advantages of high-ends, but they never really interested me. Maybe it's because I'm an upgrade/custom mod whore. I respect other people's choices/preferences in markers because, in the grand scheme of things, the marker a player uses has very little to do with the quality of their game for the most part. Why turn your opinions/preferences into some sort of Crusade/Jihad? IMHO, that turns a lot of prospective new players away from the sport. It's okay to rip on your buddies about how you owned them in that last game you played, or how their marker is SO crappy (), so long as it is in the spirit of fun, but putting down some random new player at your local field isn't.

By the way,
Props for such an awesome thread.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:49 AM   #19
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This thread was made a year and a half ago

But it is still a great post, and a good read, so whatever.
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Old 03-20-2006, 03:31 PM   #20
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Angry mags

I don't like Lopez's post because it left out Mags which are as technically and historically significant as Cockers.

But on the other hand, I love that it get's to the point of, develop your game, not your checkbook (and thus a high end gun).

Hmmm...love it or hate it?

My advice on this issue has always been, "If the only reason you lose is because your marker is inferior, buy a new marker. Until then, work on your skill."
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