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Bryce's Blog: The Good, The Bad, and The Pointless The guide to Upgrades Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Team Brute Force 

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

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Hey everybody, I’m back from my hiatus. And by hiatus, I mean month-long vacation of lounging in my hacienda, smoking cigars with Castro, and getting hand-fed grapes by European swimsuit models while Mike Revelle was tirelessly working in the fields growing Team Brute Force a new website. Alas, his hard work is completed, and he’s earned those 4 bundles of oranges. Since I will be detaining those oranges for my breakfast in the near future, I figure this recognition paragraph serves as equal payment. Then again, you can’t cure malnutrition with pixilated brilliancy. Oh well, that’s not my problem.

Anyways, let’s say you just got a brand new gun. Congratulations! Now you’re going to play with it! You have a good day of play, however, you can’t quite put your finger on it, but something seems off. The gun just isn’t as good as it’s supposed to be. You can’t buy a new gun, that’s too expensive! So what are you going to do? Upgrade, that’s what.

Nowadays, upgrades a seemingly necessary asset to a decent gun. Notice how I said seemingly. Such a word was used, because great amounts of people end up wasting money on worthless upgrades. Sometimes, they even end up downgrading! Can you imagine that? Buying something to make your gun what you consider better, and actually making it worse.



To read the rest of Bryce's post about upgrades, go to Bryce's Blog

So tell me guys, what's the best and/or worst upgrade you've ever gotten? How often do you get upgrades? Do you find upgrades useful?

This post has been edited by Team Brute Force: 13 March 2011 - 08:06 PM

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#2 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:49 PM

I feel there is a bit of bias, but some good points.

Some people play FOR the realistic/Milsim feel. To say (via your chart) that cosmetic upgrades are OK as long as they don't make your marker look more real is probably the most biased thing to put on your chart.

Two: Require a .691 barrel.... in my time (my area only, so far), I have run into nothing that doesn't work in my Phantom's .686 barrel - in fact, most of it has been a great deal smaller (i.e as small as 0.670).

Three: thumb sized or not is in no way an indicator of performance, nor is the requirement for it to be electronic (see Mags, cockers, fluted hammers for pumps, etc.). It may not be "worth" it for some of these pieces, but it depends on what you want to get out of your marker - even many high end markers have modifications that people did themselves and shared with others that do make a difference (ie. 12 gram shot count).

Four: "Does your gun already have this type of part?" --> most people have barrels, eyes, boards, etc. --> hence "upgrade". You justify these things though many people upgrading (with exceptions - ie. stock Tippmanns) already have these parts.

Five: many people, including myself, will say that yes, sights can work, given they are sighted in properly for a certain distance, you have good paint, etc. Though obviously, sights aren't generally useful for a quick snapshot, they can help land that first surprise shot in the woods.

I'm sure there was more I was going to say, but that's what you think because that all works for you.

I can admit, with my first 98c, I fully TechT upgraded a cyclone and never bought an E-Trigger or RT - total waste of money (except perhaps the squishy paddles). I had a dogleg stock, but I loved it. Couldn't shoot left handed with that and a remote, but I accepted that - didn't feel a need to, most times.
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#3 User is offline   Souleater 

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 09:50 PM

I don't buy upgrades, aside from a barrel or a broken part. If I have a crap gun, bolting on a zillion other parts probably won't help (much). And if the marker's already good to go... well if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Now there are a few (and I stress "few") upgrades- usually marker specific- that are usefull, like squishy paddles for a Cyclone feed. Or an on/off ASA- I feel this is a must have part for every paintball gun, as it makes life so much easier with an on-gun air tank. And I really could care less if folks want to deck out their marker so it looks like an AK or whatever. For me it's a pointless waste of money and adds weight. But everyone has their own idea of what their ideal marker should be. So if they're hell bent on replacing some trivial part with an "upgrade" more power to them.

Worst upgrade- bought an "anti chop" bolt for my first marker, a Spyder TLR. What a load of bollocks....totally useless. Of course it WAS a spyder.... :D
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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:08 AM

My favorite line: "is it under $5?"... good stuff. I though overall it was great, but certainly took it as quite a bit tongue-in-cheek as I'm assuming was some of the intent.
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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:25 AM

I don't like buying cosmetic additions to my gun. I rather put in additions that serve a purpose instead of just added weight. Yeah it can give you a intimidation factor, buts that's about it. I get intimidate by someone who can run around with a slingshot and take out my entire team, then someone who spent a ton of money to make their marker look like a m-4 UMP or a .50 cal.
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#6 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:35 PM

Again though, that's you (and me, in some respects).

Some people love the idea of limited ammo clip fed markers with all the stops to appear like real-world weapons (especially in the case of weight, for some). For them, they want the "disadvantages", because it makes it more real, and so, more fun for them.

So, cosmetic "upgrades", while not true upgrades, are must-have accessories for some.

On-off ASAs, remote lines, and small tanks in the stock may not add to anything (or even reduce other capacities), but it fits the person.
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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:23 PM

@Dragon, the post isn't a little biased, it's very biased. Obviously, people's opinions on which upgrades are worth the money will vary. Shine mentioned how the post sounded "tongue in cheek", because a lot of it was. If you want your gun to look "totally real and MilSim", follow your heart and don't let anybody tell you different. Personally, I think modding guns to look real is stupid, but that's just me. I almost added a box right below the milsim one that read "Is it meant to make your gun look agg", with a "yes" pointing to the "Don't Buy" and vise versa. I took it out though, because that would make everybody hate me, not just MilSim players. It's all about perspective, do what you want.

I don't know where exactly you're from, but if AB stands for Alabama (I failed geography) then you live in a pretty warm place. Up here in wicked cold New England, paint gets dimpled and expands quite often. It's always better to have the barrel too big than too small. Inb4 "that's what she said".

The "thumb sized" thing was refrencing stupid little metal parts that don't actually do anything. A lot of crucial parts are much smaller than your thumb (eyes, detents, feedneck), but those are listed long before the thumb box. Also, I can't remember the last time I saw somebody with a vintage automag who was complaining about how they needed to upgrade it.

I said does this gun already have this type of SPECIFIC part. All guns have ASAs, feednecks, etc. However, not all guns have on/off ASAs, clamping feed necks, or parts of the like. And if you already have an on/off ASA or clamping feedneck, you don't really need to upgrade to a new one.

Like I, and you, said this post is biased. I'm sure at some point in the future of paintball somebody somewhere will do something that goes against the chart, and if that's what they feel is best, that's fine by me.

@Souleater, I did the same thing. I remember walking into the shop one day and seeing a Spyder Pilot ACS hanging up on the shelf. At the time I had a Tippmann, and figured it was worth buying a new gun for the totally gnarly anti-chop bolt. Boy did I screw up.
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#8 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:41 PM

I wasn't sure how tongue-in-cheek it was meant to be, I apologise.

Actually, I'm up in Alberta, so it's freakin' cold ... and it still gets pretty hot (35C). I thought paint tends to expand when it's warm? Anyways, nothing has ever been too big for my Phantom's .686 barrel. Though from what I read, overboring is more accurate than matching bore... but underboring is more accurate than both, and more efficient. I've heard people underboring reliably (ie. without breaks) up to .006 below their barrel's bore.

As for "specific" parts, yeah, that's probably true for most (with some exceptions, for example the squishy paddles combined with cold/high ROF). I'm not familiar with cockers, but they seem to have a lot of specific upgrades (don't know how much they do), and I'm new to Mags (but the level 10 is quite an upgrade from the level 7).

I can defer to you on some of it though, as I have only really been playing for a season and a bit.

And I admit, I shelled out for some exotic wood to make some custom grips for my Phantom (and perhaps the other set will go to my Mag) ;) but to me, it's part of the best part of pump - as stuff wears in it only gets better.
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:38 AM

View Postcdrinkh20, on 13 March 2011 - 08:49 PM, said:

Five: many people, including myself, will say that yes, sights can work, given they are sighted in properly for a certain distance, you have good paint, etc. Though obviously, sights aren't generally useful for a quick snapshot, they can help land that first surprise shot in the woods.


Wow! I'm going on a "sights" rant! This isn't directed at any individual, there's only two of you so far and neither of you said sights are useless so don't think that when I say "you" from now on, I mean you. Just people in general. To all: feel free to skip over this one. If anyone does come along for the ride, I thank you, maybe your reading this justifies me staying up till 3am on a school night ranting it.

I never clicked the link but from this I take it that the blog said sights are useless? Just had to let the universe know: I am sooooo tired of hearing people say that. Sights aren't entirely useless just because the paintball won't hit exactly where the reticle says EVERY TIME. If you actually zero your sight for a given range then your paint will hit where your sight says at that range the vast majority of the time. And even when your target isn't at that magic range the sight is still pretty effective if you know how to use it: If they're a little farther away than your magic zeroe'd range... compensate by aiming just a little higher. If they're a little closer then maybe compensate for hop up by aiming a little lower (if that), and the reticle is the reference point for doing so. I don't consider myself a super good paintballer, I run an A-5 (not renowned for it's accuracy), on CO2 and I ONLY buy bargain paint! And still I've found my sight deadly accurate for lobbing paint of all things, just by giving me a dead on point of reference to guestimate elevation from.

I mean honestly if you think sights are useless I can gaurantee you've either never tried one, didn't give it a chance if you did, or didn't know how to use one in the first place. You don't see crappy marksmen blaming the gun, don't see why everyone seems to blame the sight for their own inability to use it. But then again I'm willing to bet that half of everyone who says such things never used a sight to find out in the first place. Just jumped to a conclusion based on an idea with no experience whatsoever to back up what they assume.

And if all that isn't enough can we please just use a little common sense here? Do you really think that any projectile launching device of any kind can ever be so massively innacurate that it actually becomes more accurate when you don't aim it? No that doesn't make any sense. No matter how inaccurate paintball is, it's ALWAYS going to be more accurate when you aim it. The accuracy of a gun doesn't change unless you change the mechanism its self (barrel, propellent, etc): stocks, sights, grips etc all just help the operator aim the gun better and therefore improve the accuracy of the marker/operator system. So even if a gun is unmodified the behavior of the operator can drastically affect the accuracy of the marker/operator system. Think about it: if you're shooting a paintball gun that's only 40% accurate and you aim it: YOU will be about 40% accurate with that gun -5 to 10% maybe as a margin of human error depending on your skill. Now if you're shooting a paintball gun that's only 40% accurate and you never bother to aim it, you just created a massive margin of human error that negates a huge chunk of that marker's, already too little, 40% accuracy: NOW you are only 10 to 15% accurate with that same gun.

As for the "quick snap shot" statement I slightly disagree. Optic sights can be extremely usefull for snap shooting, in fact, that's what optic sights were invented for! It's actually really easy to bring up a marker look through the sight, both eyes opened, focused on target, observe that the dot is on targe, adjust if necessary and fire a quick shot. It sounds like a lot, I know, but keep in mind the alternative for aiming a snap shot before optic sights was: bring up the weapon (lets face it they were invented for guns, and most of the basic principles except long range marksmanship still apply to paintball), line up your eye with rear sight, line up eye and rear sight with front sight, line up eye rear sight and front sight with target, adjust if necessary (paintball) then fire a "quick shot". Or use a laser that reveals your position to everyone who sees it (red dots were designed as a fast aiming alternative to lasers, they work almost the same except without being visible to others, and without losing focus over distance). The usefullness of red dot sights in paintball is alot more dependent on range than on the speed with which you want to return fire... or initiate fire depending on circumstances haha

In conclusion: At close ranges sights aren't necessary as these are often refered to as "point and shoot" ranges because basically anyone can just point the marker (or whatever) and know they're going to hit the target. Medium ranges where the paint will probably strike on or close to the reticle (including your zero range) sights are perfectly usefull, even for snapshots. Long "lobb-balling" ranges, turns out these are where sights become the MOST usefull. The further away you get the harder it becomes to judge where the gun is pointing by hand-eye co-ordination alone. You can get away with point and shooting at medium range, but lobbing is where point and shoot really breaks down. Using a sight allows you to ensure vertical alignment with your target and gives a much more precise means of gauging your elevation making it WAYYY easier to get hits out past normal ranges. I owe a handful of lobbed single shot eliminations to my optic sight, and that's pretty good for paintball, as even at medium ranges its rare to see a single shot elimination in this game.
<<<<END OF RANT>>>>

I also don't believe in modding markers just to make them look like real guns. I mean, the whole reason why real guns are cool isn't because they were designed to look cool. They WEREN'T designed to look cool, or like anything. Guns are cool because they were designed to reach the absolute pinacle of function, every single aspect of a weapon has a purpose that either enhances the performance of the weapon, or enhances the performance of the weapon's operator. So if you want your paintball gun to be "cool" in the same way don't design it to look like a gun, design it to work as best it possibly can as a paintball gun, regardless of appearence. Do it any other way and your actually defeating the spirit of the real guns you think are so cool... we think are so cool. So I don't believe in cosmetic modding, BUT...

Also, I take issue with what alot of people define as cosmetic parts. For one: stocks. Pretty much everyone seems to think that stocks are purely cosmetic. That's just not the case. Granted, stocks don't affect the range or accuracy of the marker directly. But what they do, do (haha doodoo)... or can do, is help the operator be more accurate with the gun. Therefore they can have an effect on the marker/operator system increasing overall accuracy. They DO have an effect, they DO something. Therefore, they aren't PURELY cosmetic. They are functional.

Also shrouds: specifically RIS shrouds. That's Rail Interface System, any shroud or handgaurd with rails on it that provide for the mounting of attachments, IE grips, sights, lights etc. The shroud or gaurd might be modeled to look like a certain gun so there definently is a certain cosmetic aspect to it, but because the rails have a function therefore there is a functional aspect to it. So again not necessarily purely cosmetic. Unless it's just modeled to look like a gun and has NO rails on it, in that case no funcion and it IS purely cosmetic.

Fake magazines however, are always purely cosmetic... I freakin hate those things. If you don't that's cool though.

Also functional magazines aren't cosmetic mods. THey have a function, therefore they are functional mods. True they do limit ammo capacity, BUT that can have very positive effects on performance! Limiting your own ammo forces you to use what you can carry alot more wisely and drastically improves efficiency. And since unlike in the real world military, we are all responsible for our own personall logistics, that can be freakin awesome! That's what I learned from switching to a 30 round tac cap from full hopper. I went from using a case of paint per paintball day like most people I know, to using half of a BAG of paint per paintball day! And I still get the same amount of eliminations most other people do with 1/4 the cost!

When I switch from my tac cap to mags, and I will be next month YES!!! I'll be giving up 10 to 12 more paintballs per load! BUT I'll also be gaining more benefits not offered by any type of hopper including tac caps. First with a spring loaded mag holding paintballs solidly in place no more rattling hoppers! Kinda hard to sneak around when you sound like a Mariachi weilding a single gigantic maraca! Mags have a stealth advantage over hoppers. Also they improve paint efficiency EVEN MORE. With no more pods and hoppers to screw around with in the field the spilled paint phenomenon just went out the freakin window! And with no more pods and hoppers to screw around with in the field, you get massively faster reload times.

So real mags, for the record. Temendously functional mods. Not by any logical assesment are they only cosmetic. You might not appreciate the function or want your marker to function as such... but that doesn't make it not a function.
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:42 PM

Wow...nice rant man I like it. Even though we don't necessarily see eye to eye on the scope/sight thing, I respect you for taking the time to write all that.

-Bryce
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:43 PM

Hahahaha! First ever positive response to my ranting! The rest of special ops is gonna be pissed at you for encouraging me!

Out of curiosity, what parts do we not see eye to eye on?

I don't believe in paintball scopes. Scopes are for shooting targets too far away to see clearly with the naked eye. Paintballs don't go far enough to hit targets too far away to see with the naked eye. You can look through a scope and hit someone at paintball range with it... but you never NEEDED it in the first place 'cause you're in paintball range...
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:50 PM

Eh, as for that mag bit at the end, yes, you wont be carrying pods anymore, but you WILL be carrying multiple mags.

Albeit they don't take up as much weight, but they are pretty close to the same total amount of space. And as for spillage, if it uses something similar to a detent system like you all said in response to my question before, just remember detents do wear out, so they may end up not holding them after awhile (although if each mag only holds 18-20 balls, and figure that means 40 passes per load/unload, that still means a few hundred uses before they should need to be fixed)

nifty thing you might be able to do is rig up a dual mag system, or even a triple mag system, such as having them taped together in an !i! format, just with the middle one sticking up just far enough to lock into the mag well.
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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:01 AM

View PostPrivate Silver, on 01 April 2011 - 10:50 PM, said:

Eh, as for that mag bit at the end, yes, you wont be carrying pods anymore, but you WILL be carrying multiple mags.

Albeit they don't take up as much weight, but they are pretty close to the same total amount of space. And as for spillage, if it uses something similar to a detent system like you all said in response to my question before, just remember detents do wear out, so they may end up not holding them after awhile (although if each mag only holds 18-20 balls, and figure that means 40 passes per load/unload, that still means a few hundred uses before they should need to be fixed)

nifty thing you might be able to do is rig up a dual mag system, or even a triple mag system, such as having them taped together in an !i! format, just with the middle one sticking up just far enough to lock into the mag well.


Actually the mags will take up more space and weigh more than using pods. With pods a single plastic container holds a hundred paintballs or more. With mags you need a separate container for every group of 18 - 20 mags, so you've got a much higher container to paintballs ratio.

But the advantage of using mags ISN'T a space or weight advantage. It's a ease of operation / stealth / speed of reload advantage. With mags you just grab the mag and shove it in the gun when you want to reload. That eliminates the f-ing with pod lids and hopper lids and pouring paintballs that you have to do when you use pods. Makes reloading faster and easier. Also because all of the paintballs in mags are held firmly in place by the spring, you don't have paintballs rattling around in containers anymore, which is where the stealth advantage comes from.

I don't know, but I'm pretty sure the detents in the RAP4 mags aren't the same kind of detents you find in a paintball gun's firing chamber. It's probably a solid piece of plastic or metal with a spring behind it pushing it into the path of the paintballs preventing them from passing. Then when you insert the mag a tab inside of the mag well pushes the part out of the way compressing the spring. When you eject the mag, the compressed spring... springs back pushing out the detent again and keeping in any paintballs still left in the mag. You're right though, maintenance will be required no matter what the detent is, eventually that spring will have to be replaced. Also the spring that pushes out the paintballs will need to be replaced too. I'm sure we'll all get a ridiculous amount of uses before we have to do that though...

Good call with stacking the mags. If you put a spacer inbetween each mag when you tape them together, you can keep them all facing the same way. That way you won't need to flip it over to insert mags facing oposite directions. And that'll make reloading faster. Also that was cool how you used the i's to show what you meant... ohhh Imma do it!

i-i-i

i = magazine
- = spacer, spacer only needs to be wide enough to make a gap for the mag well to fit over the top of each mag.
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