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buying first paintball gun, lots of questions Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   sneaky sneak 

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:09 PM

ok so i have played about 4 full days of paintball and i have decided to buy a gun instead of renting one every time.

before i buy the gun i want to tell how i play and see what you guys think is best, usually i will go on the outskirts avoiding enemies and crawling most of the way to go around the enemy and pop out behind and pick them off from behind with them having no clue what hit them.

now to me what seems best for a gun would be something very accurate to pick people off within the first 2-3 shots so they dont have time to jump behind some cover and keep me pinned down and get all their friends to turn around and get me. so im not looking at something that can have a really high rate of fire per say.

i wouldnt call myself a sniper i could be one possibly but i would say im more of a ghost flanker.

i have been browsing around and i have about 300-400 dollars to spend right now just on the gun and some other gear.
Marker - either the tippmann 98 custom or A-5 as a marker. i just need a semi-auto reliable gun good for beginners.
Barrel - for a barrel i want some good range and awesome accuracy i have noticed the 18" interceptor barrel has had some good reviews
Stock - i plan on getting just a $35-40 dollar stock
Hopper - im not really sure an amazing hopper is needed for what im planning but i dont want the paintballs to get chopped up but that may be a problem with the markar so no clue on that
Bipod - i planned on getting one to help steady my shot but if you guys find them usless let me know
Paintballs - not really sure which are the best so let me know on them
Harness - i found a nice back one that holds a Co2 conister and 2 refill pods that is camo
Remote - setting up a remote from my gun to back harness for my Co2 to make the gun lighter and easier to handle
Co2 vs. N2 - no clue on these let me know which you guys think is better
Regulator - read that it helps make your shots more consistant, so should i invest in one?
Scope - dont need anything too top of the line or with a huge zoom most of the enemies will be within 60-70 feet

let me know what you guys think or if you have any advice at all, like i said these are just some of the things i have been looking at not sure on any of it. and if there is anything else i need or should look in to, thanks.
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#2 User is offline   krazymunky 

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:20 PM

you might want to get a mask :angry:
Marker: i prefer my 98cp over the A-5 but its all preference. as everyone says try them out and then you can decide
Barrel: im not a fan of barrels over 14" i hear it doesnt do that much if its that long
Stock: No experience with stocks but since your going remote i guess it would help
Hopper: No experience except for gravity fed :P
Bipod: i think they're pointless. My cousin bought a BT iron horse and he took off his bipod after his first game with it. didnt find it useful.
Paintballs: i just buy what the field has :P
Harness: i think you could go with any harness
Remote: im not sure what remote is the best or the difference between the different brands
Co2 Vs N2/HPA : id use HPA, more consistent
Regulator: Palmers?
Scope: dont get one, if you need to use a scope to shoot someone, they're probably too far to be shot by a paintball. i guess you could use it to spot the other team.
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#3 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:22 PM

View Postsneaky sneak, on Apr 23 2008, 09:09 PM, said:

before i buy the gun i want to tell how i play and see what you guys think is best, usually i will go on the outskirts avoiding enemies and crawling most of the way to go around the enemy and pop out behind and pick them off from behind with them having no clue what hit them.


You'll find any functional marker will serve you well in any capacity (well, unless you're trying to be the main suppressive fire agent, then you'll have some issues with some limited-paint guns).


Quote

i have been browsing around and i have about 300-400 dollars to spend right now just on the gun and some other gear.
Marker - either the tippmann 98 custom or A-5 as a marker. i just need a semi-auto reliable gun good for beginners.


While those work, don't rule out other companies. Ben Tippmann's BT-4 is also a nice entry gun, as is the PCS US5 (I think that's what it's called). Smart Parts also makes the SP1, so look into that too.

They're all in your price range, just take a look at them all and decide which fits you best. Don't buy the hype that "Tippmann > all others" that you'll find all over this forum and other internet locations -- reality is all the guns I listed will perform about the same (except for the SP1, which will actually perform better if you're comfortable with it).


Quote

Barrel - for a barrel i want some good range and awesome accuracy i have noticed the 18" interceptor barrel has had some good reviews
Stock - i plan on getting just a $35-40 dollar stock
Hopper - im not really sure an amazing hopper is needed for what im planning but i dont want the paintballs to get chopped up but that may be a problem with the markar so no clue on that
Bipod - i planned on getting one to help steady my shot but if you guys find them usless let me know
Paintballs - not really sure which are the best so let me know on them
Harness - i found a nice back one that holds a Co2 conister and 2 refill pods that is camo
Remote - setting up a remote from my gun to back harness for my Co2 to make the gun lighter and easier to handle
Co2 vs. N2 - no clue on these let me know which you guys think is better
Regulator - read that it helps make your shots more consistant, so should i invest in one?
Scope - dont need anything too top of the line or with a huge zoom most of the enemies will be within 60-70 feet


1. Don't bother upgrading yet. Play with your bone stock gun first and then upgrade as you find needs. You may find you are quite happy with a stock gun.

2. If you do get another barrel, just know that beyond 14" you're just adding extra length for looks and it won't do a whole lot of good.

3. You'll be fine with a Viewloader Revvy. Don't need that fast a loader unless you plan on shooting fast, continuous bursts.

4. Scrap the bipod. It's just extra weight that really won't do much for you. This isn't the real military -- at paintball range, you won't see a benefit in accuracy with using a bipod for support.

5. As for the remote and regulator, see my earlier comment about upgrading (point #1)

6. If you really want a sight, look into $30 or so red dots. They'll work fine. I've never used a sight outside of "iron sights" though.

7. N2/HPA will be far superior to CO2, but it's more expensive on start-up cost. It's cheaper to fill though, and the performance is far better. Make sure you have a local field that can consistantly fill HPA though.

8. Just use field paint, or look into what kinds of paint are available in your area. Experiment with them in your gun, and see which gives you best performance without breaking your budget.

That's just my two cents,
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#4 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 10:11 PM

Most markers are all capable of the same level of accuracy. Most all markers have capacity to be equally accurate. It comes down to a few criteria - a smooth barrel, a consistent air setup (this is what the marker plays the largest role in) and fresh paint. That's about all you can do. Ultimately the rest is up to the shooter. In the end, their all paintball markers and they all have the same restriction - the ammo their shooting. Paintballs themselves aren't particularly ballistic, and with the velocity that you can safely shoot them at you won't be very effective past 150 feet even with the nicest of setups. If you're sure you want to get a Tippmann, I personally would go for the 98 over the A-5. Internally they're pretty much the same marker. They both work off of the same valve system. If you fire over 6-7 balls per second or in long streams of paint it can be worth going for an A-5 because of it's cyclone feeding system. Aside from that the only real difference with the A-5 is in the barrel threads it uses, and the aesthetics of the marker. I wouldn't necessarily limit yourself to Tippmann's products either. There's a lot of good markers out there, it's just a matter of finding one with the qualities you want and the cons that you can deal with. I do recommend looking into Classic Valved Automags from Airgun Designs, Pro/Carbines from Tippmann, and if you can find one - Viper M1s. All offer excellent build quality for their price.

Most barrels so long as they are smooth and have a consistent bore are all just about as accurate as one another. Ideally 8-12 inches of unported length will provide the best air efficiency. Anything longer or shorter and air efficiency can take a hit. Accuracy has very little to do with length - even the 6.5 inch barrels on old school PGPs do just about as well as a full size marker. Pick a reasonable length that you will feel comfortable with. The range on all barrels is the same - the only thing that effects range is the velocity you shoot a paintball at. Apex and Flatline barrels will in a sense increase your maximum range by providing a backspin effect on the paintball, but in the end your effective range is still the same. That means that at any given distance your paint is traveling at the same velocity no matter what barrel its shot from. Your likelihood of hitting a target and actually having it break outside of 150 feet is still minimal no matter what marker it's shot from. Paintball is a close action sport, any accurate shooting or any significant actions will happen under 75 feet. I personally find Lapco's lineup of barrels and Palmer's brass barrels to exceptionally well crafted.

Paint will not chop so long as you meet three criteria: The first is your rate of fire. Gravity feed loaders can feed a maximum of 7bps when they are free of jams. If you fire faster than your loader can feed you may catch a paintball coming half-way into the breech of the marker and chop it. Play with a basic gravity feed hopper first and if it doesn't work for you look into something fancier. The second thing is your barrel. Barrels themselves generally don't chop paint, however if the paint you are using is too big for the barrel it can. You should be able to blow paint out your barrel like a blow-gun without it getting stuck. The third and most important thing is to have fresh paint that is durable enough for your marker. Most paint sold is just fine in quality, even the cheap stuff - but it's important that the paint you get is fresh and was stored properly. It should always be held at normal temperatures and shouldn't be left sitting for any prolonged time without being rotated. Buy your paint from a place with high turnover like a pro shop, and if you can't remember how long ago you bought your paint it's probably too old. Most paint titled "recreational" or "field" grade should be fine for your use. If you want to get a specific brand or don't like the basic paint at your pro shop you can try some of the "premium" grade brands.

HPA system are the popular trend these days. However, many don't give CO2 the chance it deserves. Since 98 customs work excellently on CO2 it's worth the investment of learning how CO2 works. With a CO2 regulator such as a Palmer's Stabilizer you can have the same consistency of HPA while still retaining the advantages of CO2. CO2 in many places will be cheaper to fill, will have the capability of coming in slimmer more lightweight tank sizes, and still gets a better shot capacity to tank size ratio. With the way CO2 works at high pressures in Tippmanns it can be tricky to get it working properly in more extreme temperature ranges - particularly when it's cold out (it's still very possible though). If you play in more extreme temperature conditions it may be worth the investment to use HPA. If you get HPA you will not need a regulator, all HPA tanks come with a regulator on them. With CO2 you have the option of using a CO2 regulator, though it's not mandatory. Personally I highly recommend it though, its one of the few upgrades that directly improves performance - it relates back to the idea of consistency.

Fancy shoulder stocks, scopes and bi-pods are rather overkill for paintball if you ask me. It's a close quarters sport. You can maximize the capabilities of paintball marker without them. The performance and ballistics of a paintball marker is rather alike a musket in how it's effective range is really limited. A steady pair of arms and familiarity with your gear is all you need.
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#5 User is offline   Grendelsbane 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:48 AM

View Postsneaky sneak, on Apr 23 2008, 09:09 PM, said:

Barrel - for a barrel i want some good range and awesome accuracy i have noticed the 18" interceptor barrel has had some good reviews
Stock - i plan on getting just a $35-40 dollar stock
Hopper - im not really sure an amazing hopper is needed for what im planning but i dont want the paintballs to get chopped up but that may be a problem with the markar so no clue on that
Bipod - i planned on getting one to help steady my shot but if you guys find them usless let me know
Paintballs - not really sure which are the best so let me know on them
Harness - i found a nice back one that holds a Co2 conister and 2 refill pods that is camo
Remote - setting up a remote from my gun to back harness for my Co2 to make the gun lighter and easier to handle
Co2 vs. N2 - no clue on these let me know which you guys think is better
Regulator - read that it helps make your shots more consistant, so should i invest in one?
Scope - dont need anything too top of the line or with a huge zoom most of the enemies will be within 60-70 feet

let me know what you guys think or if you have any advice at all, like i said these are just some of the things i have been looking at not sure on any of it. and if there is anything else i need or should look in to, thanks.


I'm a noob, but here's my 2 cents worth.

1) Go with the A5...comes with the built in Cyclone hopper so you don't have to buy an aftermarket hopper. If price is an issue...Craigslist is where its at. I just saw a A5 with response trigger and a folding stock for $180.00
2) Get a GOOD MASK! Having the best gear is worthless if you can't see anything. Out of everything THIS is your most important piece of gear. Everything else comes in at a distant second.
3) Stock....depends....most stocks just get in the way of your mask. You generally can't sight down a paintball gun unless you have offset sights or risers. The best stock IMO is the SpecialOps/Tippmann Dogleg stock. Lets you put your noggin in the right place to sight down your gun. The downside is that the stock is kinda pricey. I would try out how you like your set up before buying a stock....or when you are out on the field again ask someone if you can get the feel of their gun with the stock on and a mask on your face.
4) Barrel...most of the research I found states that first 8-10" of the barrel gets the paintball to the desired speed and then the 2-4" for guidance. Longer barrels cause unneeded friction and eat more gas. Plus, that 18" barrel you might find is unwieldly as you run around the woods. IMO, a good barrel is J&J barrel.
5) Bipods - Never used them. Looks cool...but IMO they appear to be something that would get caught on things as you move through the woods.
6) Paint, if you go to Walmart...open the box and make sure the paint is ok. I would recommend Visible Impact and for gawds sake stay away from Monster Balls.
7) Harness I find ride down as you run. If you can run without it falling GREAT! If not...well an easy fix IMO is just a pair of black suspenders to keep the thing from sliding down.
8) Remote---I use a remote...but it does restrict your movement. You can't easily switch hands to attack on the left side of tree for example if you are right handed. It does balance out the gun though. Some people like having the tank on the gun...even use it as a stock. I would try it before you go remote.
9) CO2 or N2...I would say N2...simply because everyone states that CO2 is hard on your internals, fluctuates depending on the ambient temperature, and can't be "topped off" like N2. Of course...CO2 is generally way cheaper, but for a $60.00 or so you can get a nice steel N2 tank. Yes, steel tanks are heavy...but its not that bad. If anything its only 5lbs or so at most.
10) Regulator - depends if you go with CO2 or not. I don't have one...so I will leave that to more experienced players.
11) Scopes.....first...kinda hard to use with a mask IMO. Second...a paintball isn't a real gun its not going to fire as far you can see. IMO...the best thing to get is just a simple red dot sight. Make sure you are zero'd in and let fly.

This post has been edited by Grendelsbane: 24 April 2008 - 12:58 AM

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#6 User is offline   Dark Shadow Hunter 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:02 AM

View Postredleg_64, on Apr 24 2008, 03:02 AM, said:

In my opinion, the shooter is the guy who is going to get eliminations, not the gear. If the player doesn't have enough confidence in themselves that they feel they need to rely on scopes/sights, stocks, bipods, and stuff like that, then the player is going to have a hard time anyways. I think all that stuff just gets in the way. I've been playing for a quite a while (excluding the two deployments to Iraq and a tour in Korea) and I've found that I play a lot better when I'm not hauling around a lot of gear. I often see guys with milsim markers that have every imaginable accessory mounted on it. Having a marker that you can handle all day and move around quickly is a good thing to have. With practice you will learn how your marker shoots and what it is capable of.

1. I wouldn't bother with anything over 14". Is a barrel that is four inches longer going to make a ball go straighter? I doubt it. The length also starts to become an issue when you're crawling all over the place. There are barrels sets that allow you to change the size of the barrel to match your paint. Having a good barrel/paint match will increase your accuracy.

2. Don't worry about getting a stock. Stocks add length to your marker and it can make it more difficult to handle. If you want a stock though, see if you can borrow someone's marker that has a stock so you can test it out first.

3. If you get an entry level marker without an electronic trigger then a gravity hopper should do just fine. If you think you'll be shooting a lot then there are plenty of agitated and motorized hoppers. Viewloader Revvies, Tippmann Triumphs, and others are out there that don't cost a whole lot. As with everything else, shop around for the best price.

4. Bipods are useless unless you weigh your marker down with everything else and you get tired from holding it all the time.

5. There are a lot of great paintballs out there. Generally, the more you spend on paint, the better it is. If you buy paintballs from Wal-Mart or a sporting goods store ask if you can open the box before you buy them. People at these places often don't understand that you can't be too rough with them and it isn't unusual to have broken paint in a bag.

6. Make sure your harness won't slip and slide all over the place. You can move a lot easier if your gear isn't shifting around on you. Load the harness with everything you intend to play with and then run around, jump, crawl, and do anything else that you'll do in a game. Identify the problems before you start playing.

7. Remote lines are great. Invest in one with a slide check valve. Yeah, there is more shiny metal, but they are so much more convenient to use. You don't have to disconnect the whole remote line when you leave your marker somewhere. Just turn off the valve and unhook it and you are good to go. Just make sure to turn the slide check on before you start playing again. I got shot twice last year at the Elite Weekend because I forgot to turn my air on. :laugh:

8. What air source is easier to get in your area?

9. I suck at air systems, lol... redleg you old war dog. I guess will answer this one.

10. A sight can be a valuable tool, but it won't make or break you. I used one when I had my SP-8. It was great for taking the first shot and surprising people, but after that I never used it. Some people focus too much on looking through their sight that they won't take a shot when they have it and they won't see the big picture as clearly.


If you go with a Tippmann, Spyder, BT,or any other blow back style of marker I strongly recomend a regulator. For any of those types a Palmer's Stabilizer will work out great. That is especially true when using CO2 as your air source. Now a lot of people will tell you that you don't need a regulator if you use HPA, also known as compressed air or nitrogen. I have read articles and am currently doing my own field research on this. So far it looks as though a blow back marker is most consistant when using HPA and a secondary regulator.

Now if you would prefer to stick to CO2 you could use two Palmer's Stabilizers. That is something else I have looked into but have yet to test. However all the reading I have done seems to indicate a marker with dual regulation will be very consistant, even when using CO2 as the propellant.

If you decide to get a low end electro-pnuematic marker the stock regulator will be fine for a while. However after the first couple of months I would get a differant reg.
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#7 User is offline   sneaky sneak 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 04:56 AM

first off thanks everyone for taking the time and helping the nooby.

i have read through the posts and thought about them but of course these arent my final decisions until i purchase everything which will be a bit.

i have used the 98c almost everytime i went and am comfortable with it and also find it reliable.

for barrels is the Stiffi worth the extra price on it?

as for the air the N2 is sounding better to me just because as some of you said Co2 takes some messing with to get it right and with this being my first gun i wouldnt really know what i was doing when i did that.
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Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:19 AM

I personally don't like Stiffi barrels. I don't find them to be worth their cost. Carbon fiber markets well and has the advantage of being pretty much paperweight, but other than that I don't really like them. They're rough on the inside, and have an extremely long ported section. While that's good for reducing sound signature a little, it wouldn't be all that practical on a 98. 98's will be loud with even the quietest of barrels, it's just the nature of the valve system. Accuracy is no better than any other barrel.

You don't necessarily have to mess with CO2. In fact, in it's normal configuration you may even mess with it less. It doesn't have a built in regulator like HPA because it's a self regulating gas. No gauges to read or fill nipples to keep clean. You can just have your tank filled and put it on the marker. It will work just fine like it has for over 20 years. The regulator is something you can get later if yo want the added consistency. I would never consider one propellant superior to another, it's just a matter of which air system has what you value more.
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#9 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:57 AM

View Postsneaky sneak, on Apr 24 2008, 04:56 AM, said:

i have used the 98c almost everytime i went and am comfortable with it and also find it reliable.


If you like the feel of it, go for it. One of the biggest factors in paintball is how the gun feels in your hand. Many players on this forum started with a 98. It's not a bad gun, as long as you know the limits (which it sounds like you don't need to worry about too much). Some people buy a 98 or A5, then go and sink hundreds of dollars more into it to try and make it perform like a $400-500 mid-range gun. It can be done (sort of), but it's not worth the money. I only bring this up as a word of warning to you, although it sounds like you are probably not going to fall into this.


Quote

for barrels is the Stiffi worth the extra price on it?


IMO, no. You're paying for the lightweight more than anything else.

Good barrels to consider if you're looking to change your barrel are Lapco, J&J, or one of the barrel kits.


Quote

as for the air the N2 is sounding better to me just because as some of you said Co2 takes some messing with to get it right and with this being my first gun i wouldnt really know what i was doing when i did that.


I wouldn't say it takes some messing with. It's just a good idea to have a regulator. From my personal experience the pros/cons are as follows:

CO2:
+cheaper start-up cost
+less things that can go wrong with the tank
+holds potentially better shot count than an HPA tank of identical size
-costs more to fill (around here, you're looking at spending $5/fill easy, maybe more)
-less consistent without a secondary regulator (PPS stabilizer)
-cannot be used in some higher-end guns (not really a problem for your 98, but it could be future issue if you ever wanted something else as well)
-must remove from the gun to refill

HPA/N2:
+costs less to fill ($5 for all day unlimited fills at a paintball field, or sometime around $3/fill here otherwise)
+more consistent (it has a built in regulator on the tank)
+Input and output are different fittings -- you can fill without removing the tank from your gun
+Can be used in any marker made (well, aside from the 12-gram powered ones... you know what I mean)
-expensive start-up cost
-possible things to watch for that can go wrong (such as keeping the fill nipple from getting dirty, but you can buy a couple buck cover that'll do that for you)
-need a larger tank by physical dimensions to hold the same amount of shots as a CO2 tank

Personally, I use a mix of guns, and I use HPA in all of them. It's easier for me to work with, and I like having that guage to know about where I'm standing on air (as opposed to the"guess and check" of CO2 that I never quite got the hang of).
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#10 User is offline   ProX 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:57 AM

Definitely lots of good info here.

Quote

Some people buy a 98 or A5, then go and sink hundreds of dollars more into it to try and make it perform like a $400-500 mid-range gun.

To this, I say "To each their own". If you like to tinker, and like the marker, then don't be afraid to toss some money at it. Just be warned that there are better ones out there for that kind of cash. I guess what I'm saying is this is (for 99.9% of us) our hobby. They are supposed to be fun, not an investment. We are not on Wall Street.

Quote

-cannot be used in some higher-end guns (not really a problem for your 98, but it could be future issue if you ever wanted something else as well)


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the marker doesn't really care what gas is being put through it right? The key word here is gas... The solenoids don't like liquid CO2. So, with proper regulation and an anti-siphon tube it would be possible to run CO2 in an electro right?
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#11 User is offline   sneaky sneak 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:08 PM

i dont really know which markers are good and not too expensive if there is a good marker for what im trying to do just let me know
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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:36 PM

View Postsneaky sneak, on Apr 24 2008, 02:08 PM, said:

i dont really know which markers are good and not too expensive if there is a good marker for what im trying to do just let me know

Re-read post #4... Like Piller said, even lowly Spyders and Tipmanns can do a great job. After that you are paying for improved craftsmanship, improved materials, less noise, more air efficiency and so on. For now, what you are happy with is what you should get. If it's a Tippy 98, then get it... All I was saying was that if you wanna tinker with it, then don't let anyone put you off of it as long as you realize that you can possibly get something better for the same money. Including purchase price, I could have bought a better marker for what I have in my Spyder MR1 - but I don't care. Someday I will own something better yet. That's why it's a hobby.

As for good and not too expensive, you can't go wrong with a used Classic Automag. They are on e-bay all the time for a little more than a new 98..

It all comes down to what makes YOU happy.
I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

"Never play AGAINST your wife on her first day paintballing. Wife gets beat = no more nookie"
Mark that quote down... very important.

When I did tech support for Dell a call came in about a laptop that wasn't working right. The guy insisted that the bullet holes in had nothing to do with the boot issues... -Puzuma
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#13 User is offline   sneaky sneak 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:43 PM

and if i do get HPA and the remote just so i know and im not just buying stuff because you guys tell me to, what is the second regulator good for?
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#14 User is offline   ProX 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:48 PM

View Postsneaky sneak, on Apr 24 2008, 02:43 PM, said:

and if i do get HPA and the remote just so i know and im not just buying stuff because you guys tell me to, what is the second regulator good for?

This may help you some. I found it on another forum... Read Me
I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

"Never play AGAINST your wife on her first day paintballing. Wife gets beat = no more nookie"
Mark that quote down... very important.

When I did tech support for Dell a call came in about a laptop that wasn't working right. The guy insisted that the bullet holes in had nothing to do with the boot issues... -Puzuma
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#15 User is offline   lexy1636 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:50 PM

May i say that reading all of this has helped me understand paintball a little better, lol now i can understand what my boyfriend is talking about more... gosh i am so new at this...
As we set forth in the world, we see all the wonders that it has in store. We never doubt the truth it lays out in front of us; we never doubt the opportunities it offers. We all seem to go foward on our own journey waiting what the world is willing to give. Never do we look back and regret things that could have been prevented. We move on and continue life knowing that we tried our hardest to get through the years with our best intentions in heart. This is now, that was then, the future will soon come, and we will be prepared.
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