We took our finest gun and put it on steriods. The result is the 68 special. A new hybrid weapon with proven Tippmann quality and reliability. It combines the ruggedness of the SL-68, the most durable gun we've ever built, and the speed of the SMG-60, the only full automatic CO2 paintball gun ever made.
The 68 Special is a true semi-automatic, not a double action with a new gravity feed system that eliminates ball breakage and double feeding. A 1/8" light trigger movment lets you shoot as fast as you can squeeze off rounds. And a new liquid CO2 system that will shoot up to 200 rapid shots without loss of velocity.
You can't go wrong if you order the special.
The Tippmann 68 Special is older, so while it may be available used and in a few cases new, it is not commonly available anymore.
.68 Special w/ rebuilt internals and milled hammer. 18" brass ported "sniper" barrel.
-Must have a Siphon Tank
-The Tippmann "retro-fit" for older models. Not sure if they still do it, but you used to be able to send in the older Specials to get upgraded internals and a "slide lock" saftety.
Tank like construction, will keep going in the harshest conditions, and old-school cool.
Inconsistent velocity, hard to find parts, requires a Siphon Tank, Gas hog, and HEAVY.
I remember when this marker hit the fields for the first time, pumps ruled, the SMG-60 struck fear into the hearts of mere mortals, and the Rapide could be made into a carbine. Along came Tippmann with this mean looking hunk of solid metal that could outshoot just about anything on the field. It was tough, it was loud, and it was bad a$$!
That was then, circa 1989. Now the .68 Special is as dated as a big block hemi. It has a low rate of fire compared to todays markers, it's velocity drops off quickly with several successive shots, it's heavy as a manhole cover, and sucks gas like Dad's old Chrysler.
However, old-timers like myself have a softspot for the Special. It's got character, something that most of the look alike "bubble pack" markers sorely lack. When you hear the characteristic "clank!" of a Special firing, it's a sound like no other marker on the planet. It's so loud that a kid on one of the local fields I play on thought it was a real firearm. It looks like a gun, not like something from a science fiction movie. Also, it's fun to walk around with a functioning piece of paintball nostalgia that can still mix it up with even the newest markers. I still get looks and lots of questions whenever I break out the "Special".
A couple of things about the Special that you should be aware of should you decide you would like to own a piece of history.
- It's a heavy marker. That's a strength and a weakness. It will take almost any amount of abuse you throw at it.
- It's a gas hog. You might get 400 rounds out of a 20oz Siphon tank.
- It loses velocity with rapid shots. It's not an Angel, if you want to hose paint this isn't the marker for you. It can handle short bursts of rapid fire, but if you consistently overshoot, it will begin to lose velocity until you give it a break.
- It NEEDS a Siphon tank. This is because of the valves construction. The valve requires liquid CO2 to operate properly. A siphon tank sucks the liquid CO2 from the tank directly into the marker, as opposed to a regular tank or an anti-siphon tank where you are only getting CO2 gas. If you have a 68 special that keeps "chattering" and won't cylce properly, chances are you aren't using a siphon tank.
- The internal gas line will blow eventually. The original gas line is plastic with a spring wrapped around it for strength. They get brittle over time and will blow out, they are also sensitive to solvents. If this happens your marker will be down for a while but it is repairable.
- The stock barrel stinks - If you can find a SL-68 II aftermarket barrel by J&J ceramics, buy it... you won't be disappointed.
- It's loud.. it will give away your position, but that's part of the fun!
- There are some fun mod kits for it. I've seen a MG-42 and a Thompson kit.
- It will work in ANY weather. Since it runs on liquid CO2 it will work in rain, heat, snow, water, etc. I played many a game in sub-freezing conditions with a Special.
- You may have to rebuild or even remake some of the internals. Parts are becoming downright scarce and a siphon tank is getting hard to come by.
As with anything that's outdated, a .68 Special is a labor of love. If you can overlook and compensate for it's weaknesses when paired up against modern markers, you will find it a lot of fun to use on the field. If you find a Special in good working condition and you want to own a functioning, fieldable piece of paintball history, then I say buy it. It won't let you down.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, March 17th, 2007 at 6:41 am PST
This thing takes me back. It was the first marker I ever used back in 1992 at the old field. My buddy has one with an 18 inch barrel and vertical foregrip serial number 00666. We called it the beast. It was slower than the F1 illustrators of the time and not very consistent due to fluctuations of liquid CO2, and talk about gas hog. Still, it was one of the very first true semi-autos in production. This is the precurser to such tippmann classics as the pro-am, pro-lite and todays pro-carbine. All of the pros and cons of these classics apply. Limited upgrade path, slow rate of fire and heavy triger pull are offset by the toughness and cool old-school look. I would love to have one for display. My friend uses one to this day so it has some staying power. I understand that if you point the barrel at the ground for extended periods of time, the first shot would fire well above 300fps. On a cold day, you had to turn the gun upside down to dry fire it 3 shots before each game to "liquefy" the marker.
All in all, this guy is a classic. It gets a 9.5 because they are built well and it has the nostalgia thing going for it. I wouldn't recommend it as a cost effective solution for everyday use these days. A spyder victor would perform better for around $60. I would pay more than that for one of these to add to my collection.
9 out of 10
Last edited on Wednesday, February 9th, 2005 at 2:13 pm PST
Tippmann 68 Special, factory upgraded power tube, siphon tank, ported after-market barrel. All else pretty much stock.
Siphon tank! Big siphon tank.
Indestructible. Mil-Sim look. Easy to clean, repair, trouble-shoot, etc. Great customer service. Accurate.
Air-hog. Low rate of fire compared to today's markers. Chops cheap paint.
This was my first marker way back when. For the time, it was as good as it got and as hassle free as could be. Back then all semis caused some problems. Not the 68-Special. The only upgrade needed was a 20 oz. Siphon tank because this thing is a hog and needs lots of pressure to keep it going. I have played in the snow, the rain, the mud, hot days, etc. The 68-Special does fine in all conditions as long as you follow 2 rules: don't have a low tank and don't use brittle balls. The gun is a little bit easier on balls in warm weather, but if it is cold, expect anything like a PMI Premium ball to cause you to have a bad day. Trust me.
I really like my 68-Special, but let me warn you...If you like quiet guns, you may not like the Special. If you like to throw paint around, you may not like the Special. If you like to upgrade constantly, you may not like the Special. I personally like the heavier trigger pull and the lower rate of fire. It allows me to keep my finger on the trigger without accidentally shooting and keeps me from shooting through a case of paint to quickly.
For the good. If you like a military look, loud shots, accuracy, great customer service (even for a 15 year old gun), dependability, and cast iron strength you will really like the Special.
This gun can't keep up with today's semis, but for those of you looking to own a FUNCTIONAL piece of paintball history, this is the gun for you. I love mine for more than just sentimental value and know that I would never sell it for the prices I see on eBay.