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39 years old
Birthday:
February 7, 1975
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Longmont, CO

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Rathje

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Topics I've Started

  1. .50 cal - the New Best Way to Heavy Gun?

    04 February 2011 - 10:38 AM

    Hi guys.

    I've been thinking about the new .50 cal paintballs and the line of guns for them. I don't really like .50 cal for the way I play (I tend to do a sort of ghost-flanking/light rifle sort of style). It doesn't penetrate bushes, trees and shrubbery very well, and my style requires all shots to count. From what I hear, the stuff is horrible and punching through soft cover, and requires a different style of shooting (targeting masks, hoppers, and other hard targets). But people who've shot it claim they don't see too much difference in range or accuracy. Of course, there are no Flatline barrels or Apex barrel tips for .50 cal. Since just about every Heavy probably wants to be running one of those, range advantage still goes to .68 cal.

    But, .50 cal still offers some definite advantages over .68 cal that Heavies will probably want to consider.

    Here's the big one - .50 cal absolutely SMOKES .68 cal for sheer volume of fire. You can just sit on the trigger at full auto and unload paint for ridiculously long periods of time - on JUST ONE HOPPER. And for the same weight on your vest or pod pack, you can carry a TON more paint if you are doing .50 cal. If you are providing covering fire, .50 cal keeps you in the game a lot longer and shooting more.

    You can get a sense of the sheer fire volume of this caliber here:



    And what's more, the ammo is probably cheaper overall going with .50 cal. You carry more paint for less money. Given the hard economic times a lot of us are going through, this advantage cannot be overstated.

    Now, drawbacks.

    Penetration of soft cover is a definite disadvantage of .50 cal and will probably turn some people off to the stuff.

    But I think that this problem isn't a really big deal in the case of Heavies. Heavy Gunner's main purpose is to lay down suppressing fire - to keep heads down. Racking up kills is a secondary role - not unimportant, but still secondary. You can still score kills by volume though. But point is, you can pump a lot of fire into those bushes and make sure no one pokes their heads out. And you don't need to actually be cutting through the brush to do that. And the sheer volume kind of makes up for losses in punch.

    Which means the only real loss is in range. If they ever develop an Apex tip for .50 cal guns, this drawback will disappear. In the meanwhile, it simply means that a Heavy would have to play closer.

    Like I said, I'm a light runner and don't shoot much. I run point, spook the enemy, fade back and pull flanking moves. I have absolutely no use for .50 cal in my own play - I need all my shots to count. But I definitely wouldn't mind running next to a guy who was pumping a gazillion .50 cal rounds into the bushes. I could make really good use of that I think.

    What do you think?
  2. Programming a Halo Too

    25 December 2009 - 12:15 PM

    OK guys, just got an Invert Halo Too loader for Christmas. :laugh:

    So I'm trying to figure out where I want it programmed. Just watched a decent enough YouTube video explaining how to do it:

    http://www.youtube.c...h?v=so4OXE46rHg

    I guess I get it. But one question I still have is which settings I want the following:

    -Motor Speed
    -Microphone Sensitivity
    -Feed Stack Monitoring

    The gun I'm running is a mechanical blowback Spyder MR-1. It's a very loud gun, so I doubt the mic needs to be that sensitive. It's also not all that fast of a shooter. I imagine 10 bps is as fast as I need it to be right now.

    So I need to set my motor and microphone on a scale of 1 to 6. 1 being slowest, or least sensitive, and 6 being the fastest, or most sensitive.

    Also, what is this "Feed Stack Monitoring?" I have an option of having it either on or off. Which should I go with and why?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  3. My first few paintball games and my attempts to play Dagger

    22 October 2009 - 12:57 AM

    Disclaimer: I started paintball spring of this year and have only played five game days total.

    My purpose in posting this is:

    A: To invite comment on the stuff I learned as a newbie and maybe get some good feedback from others here.

    B: To talk about the games I played just because I'm excited about them, and my wife is tired of listening to me chatter about them.


    My first game, I was invited by a friend from church to play a pickup woodsball game with a bunch of guys this past May. So we went into the National Forest one Saturday morning and had a series of woodsball games. About 20 guys total. Played capture the flag, attack-and-defend, assassinate the president, foxes and hounds, and I had a blast.

    My friend loaned me his Smart Parts SP-1, a mask, and a hip-pack for pods and my CO2 tank Ė attached by remote line. The gun shot fabulous. Quiet, rapid fire, lightweight. And even kinda cool and military looking.

    I did well that day. I just naturally started playing like a Dagger (even though Iíd never heard the SpecOps term at the time). Iíd run off into the woods to the side and try to flank people. I got a lot of kills that way, and even managed to assassinate the president and end the game in once. Didnít shoot a lot, but got a high kill ratio and did a lot of running. I was stoked.

    Lesson #1 Ė Running and flanking is super-effective against stationary opponents, and it means you donít have to waste as much paint (which saves lots of money)

    I did notice that I didnít like the tank bouncing around on my hip pack much with all the running I was doing and decided I wanted my air on-gun in future. After coming across the SpecOps website and reading all I could, I was sure I was a ďDaggerĒ and started planning to get my own gun and take this up.

    Immediately bought a Spyder MR-1 for $50 off eBay. I was looking for a cheap gun that could shoot CO2 on the gun. Grabbed a $4.00 gravity hopper, a couple pods, barrel swab, and large CO2 tank from Wal Mart and figured I was good to go.

    I found a local hardcore club of woodsball players online and found they had a game scheduled in about two weeks. So I decided to show up. Then I realized something Ė ďI canít play. I donít have a mask!Ē

    Doh!

    Lesson #2 Ė buy your mask before your gun.

    I probably should have started with a mask purchase before getting all gah-gah over buying a gun. Especially considering that the game I was going to was pump-gun-only and Iíd arranged to borrow a marker from a more experienced player who had plenty of loaners. As I think about it now, it seems to me that you can borrow a gun setup a lot easier than you can borrow a mask that actually fits. Live and learn I guess.

    I started researching masks online and thought Iíd found a good one that was even available at our local sporting goods box-store. Went and tried it on. No good. Whatever good reviews it had online, it was just too small for my face.

    Lesson #3 Ė you have to try on masks in order to get a good one.

    Heads come in all shapes and sizes. Some models of paintball mask just donít fit Ė no matter how awesome everyone says they are. You have to go to stores physically and try the masks on. I settled on a Proto Switch EL Ė which had good reviews, but more importantly, fit my face.

    So, thus equipped, I headed off to my first paintball game. I grabbed some light clothing that covered up, but wouldnít be too hot in the summer heat, some old roller-blading kneepads that I figured might be handy (and they were extremely handy - as it turned out), and headed for the mountains.

    At the field location, over a dozen guys showed up. They appeared to be a lot more experienced than the guys Iíd first played with. Apparently their club had been meeting and woodsballing for a long time. Some guys were also on dedicated woodsball teams. It was a pump-only game, so I couldnít use my new gun. One of the guys loaned me one of his old Tippman SL68 pump guns (it turned out to be a very reliable and solid gun Ė even if the pump action was a little finicky sometimes).

    I thought I was ready to play. But almost immediately, my mask started fogging up and I couldnít see. The same thing happened during two more games and kind of ruined my first few games.

    Lesson #4 Ė if you canít see Ė you canít play. Pay a lot of attention to making sure your optics are going to work properly on the field.

    I found out that the problem was two-fold. First, my glasses were fogging up from the heat and probably needed some anti-fog spray Ė which I didnít have. Secondly, the sweat from my forehead was saturating the goggle foam and causing liquid to run down onto the lenses of the goggles on the inside. I solved this problem with a headband, but the fogging persisted. Finally one of the guys was willing to lend me one of his spare masks with an old computer CPU fan rigged to the mask. Combined with a sweat band, It worked perfectly. I resolved then and there to make getting my own mask in order a priority.

    Once I could see, the games went better. But I found it a much different game than a pickup game with once-in-a-blue-moon players. The guys in this group werenít messing around. They were fast, focused, experienced, and they tended to hit what they shot at. Often what they were hitting was me. I tried the same aggressive flanking runs that worked so well for me the first game and pretty-much got shot to hell almost every game.

    Lesson #5 Ė when up against players who keep their cool and shoot well, a lone aggressive flanker tends to get killed a lot.

    I figured out quickly that these guys were on a different level than my first group, and they didnít tend to ignore flankers like the novices in my first game did. I had found that against inexperienced players, sometimes all you need to do to get them to ignore you is - don't shoot at them. If you don't shoot at them, for some reason they don't seem to care that you're running around their flank and behind them. But those were inexperienced players like me. These club guys weren't having any of that, and let me know it.

    So I canned the idea of playing Dagger for a bit and decided to shut up, calm down, and try and learn a bit. I attached myself to the main body of my team, and dedicated myself to playing fire-support and doing whatever the guy next to me told me to do.

    And it worked well. I contributed fire to driving off an enemy push, and even managed to run back and save the flag from a lone enemy runner who had broken through Ė netting my first and only kill for that day.

    Lesson #6 Ė Donít get too hung up on these SpecOps positions. You have to play the role appropriate to the situation. If the situation needs a flanker Ė flank. If it requires fire support Ė start shooting.

    I went home and started planning how to make my mask work for me. First, I bought a spray bottle of anti-fog. Second, I bought a couple of those athletic headwraps you see football players wearing, and tossed in a headband for good measure. I reviewed goggle fans, but found the online reviews for all of them almost universally bad. Since I didnít have the know-how to rig the apparently effective computer CPU fan setup, I decided to make do with what I had.

    Next game was with the club again and I got to use my own gun and setup this time.

    The anti-fog spray helped out a lot, and the headwraps made an even bigger difference (keeping the sweat away from the goggle foam). I didnít have any real fogging problems all day (even though it was just as hot). I played almost exclusively in Sabre position for the game (not that I was trying to "be a Sabre" - I just naturally ended up doing it), and this time I had a lot of success. I racked up a respectable number of kills and was eliminated a lot less. Conservative team-play was working well for me.

    Lesson #7 Ė Team play works. You coordinate your actions with your teammates, and it will net big results. And itís absolutely crucial against opponents with a moderate degree of skill or better.

    I did notice however, that at the end of the day, Iíd used up a lot more of my paint supply than my wallet felt comfortable withÖ Fire support is more expensive, I guess.

    My MR-1 performed just fine during the day. Iíd heard a lot of people knocking Spyders before. But I really didnít see what the big deal was. Sure, Spyders are hard to find quality customized parts for, and their plastic feednecks completely suck. But theyíre easy maintenance, tough as nails, and they shoot just fine for a beginner who doesnít have the trigger skills to pump out the firepower anyway (or the wallet to afford it).

    The big drawback to my MR-1 came the next game when the plastic feedneck expanded a bit in the heat and started swiveling under the weight of my hopper. I had to spend half the day with one hand on the trigger grip of my gun, and the other hand clamped around that stupid cheap plastic feedneck to keep it from falling upside-down. I immediately went online and ordered a 30.00 aluminum feedneck replacement. Huge improvement - probably the first upgrade you should get with a lot of Spyders.

    I also realized that my stock barrel was not really that accurate, and I needed to be shooting a lot of balls at a person before I could score a hit as a result. Thinking it over, I determined that Iíd have to upgrade the barrel. The cost savings on paint alone would make it worth it. I got a Smart Parts 14" Linear barrel.

    Lesson #8 Ė buying a cheap marker sometimes means you have to spring for additional upgrades to make it perform acceptably.

    I sometimes regret getting a cheap gun, and wish instead Iíd sprung for something like a Smart Parts Vibe or SP-1, or an Azodin Blitz, or Proto SLG. All of them would probably be superior to the MR-1 Iíve got now.

    But then again, I doubt any of them are as easy maintenance as my MR-1 (all of them being electronic). And when you come right down to it, you can win with a gun, or you can lose with a gun. But itís mostly you Ė and not the gun. I had plenty of success with my MR-1 and I intend to stick with it. Iíve given it the essential upgrades and bought some spare detents, springs, and O-rings for maintenance. I think Iíd probably spring for a good electronic hopper and high pressurized air (HPA) tank before I even consider getting that Proto SLG Iíve had my eye on. My research seems to indicate that HPA and a hopper will net you better shooting performance than a gun upgrade anyway. Besides, Iím kind of attached to my MR-1 at the moment. I think Iíll play with it for quite a while longer before I move on to something better. You gotta earn the better stuff, I say.

    Meantime, Iíve got my first scenario game coming up. Iíll have to borrow a friendís pack to lug some extra paint, and a new hip pack is probably my next buy. After that, an HPA tank and maybe a hopper a while after that (face it Ė for a newb like me, a gravity hopper is probably OK). Maybe in a couple years, Iíll look at a new gun.

    Iím also thinking of trying to move back to the Dagger style of play. I do naturally gravitate toward it, and I donít like burning through too much paint on fire support roles (as a young father, I really donít have the funds for that kind of shooting). So Iím hoping at this scenario game to combine the Dagger-style play I enjoy with the more conservative team-play that gave me success in my later games. As I look back on it, the times I was picked off as Dagger was really because I ran off by my lonesome with no support. Against inexperienced players, it worked well. Against more competent players Ė not so much. The trick will be playing the Dagger role, but as a part of a fire-team.

    Either way, Iím hooked on the game. Wish me luck.
  4. Comparing Mask Fans

    19 July 2009 - 03:56 PM

    Hi guys.

    I've got a Proto Switch El mask with a single-pane lens. I wear glasses. And I'm looking at goggle fans.

    The thing fogged up bad at woodsball yesterday and I'm looking at options. A friend let me use his thermal lens mask that he'd rigged with a small computer fan on top. Didn't have any fogging problems on the mask or my glasses for the rest of the day.

    I don't think the problem is breathing, though breathing down helped. I think the problem is sweating on my forehead and face.

    I was going to grab some anti-fog stuff and use it. But the fan was nice, and I want to install one. But don't have enough tech savvy to rig my own from a computer fan. So I want a comparison on commercial fans out there.

    I've looked at the Dye Invision, Proto Switch Turbine, and JT Vortex. I don't know of any others. Dye and Proto are about $50.00. JT's is about $25.00, so I'd prefer it over the others, all other things being equal. But I don't know how these things perform aside from some unhelpful Amazon.com reviews. So which fans do you guys prefer?

    One other thing - can I mount a JT or Dye fan in my Proto goggles and vis versa? Or are they all designed to work well only with their own goggles?
  5. Which SP Marker Good for beginner?

    13 July 2009 - 10:34 AM

    Hi guys. I currently use a non-electronic Spyder MR-1. Good, reliable gun. I like that it's durable enough for woodsball (all I play) and looks mil-sim enough. Drawbacks are that it's loud (I don't like drawing attention to myself on the field), and the rate of fire is probably a bit less than I'd like. Also, I'd just like to have a second gun to play with and use the other as a backup or loaner.

    I'm not really sold on Tippmans, and I used my friend's SP-1 once and really liked it, so I'm looking at Smart Parts. What I want to know is which SP marker I should consider.

    Here's how I play:

    1. I don't shoot a ton in a game. Last game, I played all morning from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM and only shot under 400 balls. Never even went through a hopper in a single session. If you care about those Special Ops positions, I play like a Dagger - lots of maneuver, and only small bursts of shooting. I never use full-auto mode (although it might be fun - just to have for scenario play).

    2. I'm a beginner. This means I don't have the technical know-how to dink around with a technically complex marker (one thing I like about my MR-1 is that it's easy for a dummy to maintain it).

    3. I also don't care too much about bullets-per-second. 10 bps is probably as high as I need (and honestly, I probably don't have trigger skills for much more). But I would like to pump out about five rounds really quick (my aim isn't so hot - so I need to compensate with multiple quick-shots).

    4. I move a lot, so I'd like a small lightweight marker. Those tricked-out Tippman A-5s with butt-stock, M-16 barrels, tripods, and stuff don't interest me at all. So I also don't care about mil-sim upgrades too much. A Red Dot sight is about the most I would consider (and not for a while anyway).

    5. I can't afford HPA, and I don't know anywhere nearby that even fills them - so whatever I buy has to run well on CO2. This is non-negotiable. The marker has to run well on CO2 (keep in mind that I don't shoot too much, so freezing the internals is probably not so big a concern as it would be for some Broadsword player).

    6. I don't like remote lines. I tried it while using my friend's SP-1 and I didn't like that thing bouncing around on my butt while I tried to run for cover. I want my air on-gun.

    7. I'm a young father, and I'm not made of money. I don't want to mess with anything over $200.00 (no Shockers and even upscale Ions are probably pushing it).

    So - to summarize: I want an inexpensive, reliable, simple maintenance marker that is lightweight and runs well off CO2 on-gun.

    After looking on Smart Parts' website, I've narrowed it down to the following:

    Vibe (suggested retail price - $149.95)
    SP-1 (suggested retail price - $174.95)
    Ion (basic version) (suggested retail price - $164.95)

    I like the mil-sim looks of the SP-1, but this isn't a big deal to me. As long as I can get it in all-black, I'm good.

    Which of these markers is the best fit for what I'm looking for?

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