View Full Version : Paintballers- suggestion for a first purchase?
04-21-2005, 09:03 AM
Okay, here's the deal:
My son is approaching his next birthday, and apparently paintball is the next BIG THING. So, my Lady and I are looking into getting him started. Does anyone have any recommendations? It has been a looong time since I've done any paintballing, and technology has apparently advanced while i was asleep.
So, what's a good first purchase? We're not talking anything with a laser sight, fully automatic, talks to you, etc. just something serviceable, few moving parts, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Also, I guess we need to discuss the 'cool factor.'
Any reputable vendors? I'd like to get him a gun, mask, and a reaosnable supply of ammo for the first time out. My Lady is making noises about needing chest protection, I think that a bit of a sting might make him more careful with it. I've checked out ebay, but can't tell a good buy from the ripoffs.
And no, I don't want to debate the ethics of paintballing. thanks in advance.
04-21-2005, 09:49 AM
Tippmann makes good quality guns for a decent price. It's what most parks use. It's been a couple of years, so I don't know what the latest models are. Be sure it's a semi-auto and not a pump, or the cool factor definitely goes out the window (unless he's really, really good; then it's cool again).
Marbelizers are good paintballs, but it's a good idea to try different brands and see what works best with the gun.
The mask should cover the ears (which most do). Unless he has some medical condition, he doesn't need chest protection, but he does need a cup. I'm a grown woman, and I've been hit right on the nipple. It hurts like hell, but it's not dangerous. My husband has been very grateful he's worn a cup on more than one occasion.
Gun (with a hopper to hold the paintballs)
CO2 tank (12 - 20 ounces) (assuming the gun uses CO2 and not nitrogen or something)
Cup (for guys)
Remote hose and a tank holder (the tank sits on your belt and a hose runs to the gun; decreases the weight of the gun, but it's attached to you)
Ball tubes and a waist pack (let's you carry extra paint on the field)
04-21-2005, 09:54 AM
personally, i'd go with a good, basic, mechanical blow-back marker, like the Tippmann 98 Custom or the Kingman Spyder line
i own a somewhat upgraded Tippy 98 and the thing's a tank, never failed me, i've heard they can be dropped, dunked in a mud puddle, or otherwise abused and they'll take it all in stride and never fail, that reliability is one reason many paintball fields rent them out, they're almost impossible to kill, heck, i read somewhere (perhaps a paintball urban legend) that someone ran over a Tippy 98 with their car, picked it up, and it still fired like nothing was wrong with it
the only downside to the T-98C is that it's longer than most paintball markers, Spyders use a "stacked tube" design, where the barrel and reciever sit on top of the gas chamber, this design is more compact and more condusive to "speedball", the Tippmann line is more "riflesque", with the gas tube behind the reciever/barrel, it's a longer profile and is more condusive to being shouldered and pointed like a rifle/shotgun
it's personal preference which design your son would like, i like the more rifleesque design of the Tippmann
i haven't played as much paintball as i thought i would, so i've been shopping around at local sporting goods stores to see if they buy used equipment, i'd like to use the money i spent on the marker to get a decent road bike, as paintball can become an expensive hobby very quickly
my Tippy started off as the base marker ($150), i then added a J&J Ceramic 16" barrel ($40) before i knew that any barrel length over 12-14" is overkill, paintballs are too innacurate for "sniping" and the barrel length makes it a handfull in the woods, i added an expansion chamber ($50) for more consistent shot placement, and reliability, as playing in cold weather adversly affects CO2 expansion rate, and you don't want liquid CO2 to get into the marker's firing mechanisim, i also added a Smart Parts shut-off valve ($30) to the 12 Oz CO2 tank to prevent the accidental discharge of CO2 when removing a partially full tank (liquid CO2 accelerates the aging of the tank's o-ring seal)
all told, when i added up all the above hardware, the mask ($35), and the price of CO2 refils and paint, i realized paintball is not a cheap hobby, it's loads of fun, but not cheap...
04-21-2005, 09:59 AM
In fact, the Tippmann 98 Custom is what I have, and my husband has a Spyder, so yes, they are excellent guns.
I didn't stop playing because of the cost, but because I got tired of the cheaters and testosterone-laden playing fields.
04-21-2005, 10:41 AM
I play almost every weekend. Or at least from March to October.
I have a Kingman Spyder E99. The original kit came with the marker, tank, mask, barrel swab, and a barrel plug for about $150. Solid and dependable.
As time went on I got a new barrel, bolt, springs, and another tank. Nothing was a must have, just little goodies that build up like any other hobby. For myself I have knee pads and elbow pads to wear under my cammo. There's rocks and sharp bits of brush poking at you when you are creeping and crawling up on somebody in the woods.
A big cost savings was when a dozen of us went in on buying all the gear for filling our own CO2 tanks. It was about $500. We were getting sick of going to the sporting goods store and getting charged $2-4 for each fill.
Paint is funny. Most of the guys I play with buy expensive paint and try to get in the perfect shot. They say the better paint flies straighter, doesn't break as much, and yadda yadda whatever. I buy a lot of cheap paint. My theory is more is better, I try to "kill" with volume.
Tippman is a good make also.
I buy a lot of my stuff on the web from Action Village. Quick and fair priced.
The Mad Hermit
04-21-2005, 04:27 PM
Be prepared for the clothing trade off. Here is the basic rundown:
The better the protection you have from the paintballs, the more likely it is that said paintball will break on you. Being hit with a paintball that doesn't break is in effect not a hit, because the paint isn't marking the target. So, players tend to wear form-fitting clothes with minimal padding, which softens the impact of the paintball and makes it less likely to break- but much more likely to bruise or sting.
Paintball bruises are like battle scars; sometimes worn with pride. If you search for them you will find pics of some bad bruises- including pics of guys who didn't wear a cup. :smack:
Paintball is not cheap. It's easy to burn through hundreds of dollars worth of paint in an afternoon. There are no substitutes- malted milk balls jam up the gun and M&Ms are too small or irregular to work.
One other thing off the top of my head- get the stuff that keeps your visor clear of moisture. It's no fun if you can't see.
04-21-2005, 04:42 PM
Here in the UK, most paintball places provide all the necessary equipment for a charge. The way you worded it ("next BIG THING") makes it sound like it could just be a passing fad, in which case you'll feel pretty stupid if you spend hundreds of dollars on equipment that gets used three times before disappearing into the back of the cupboard. So, assuming there is a venue as described above near you, I'd go for that first. If he still has "birthday parties," paintballing is a fun thing to do - it's far more satisfying capping your "friends"! If you're going to find paying $30 each (or whatever) for 10 kids a little expensive, I'd say it's acceptable to ask your guests to chip in. YMMV, of course.
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