Do you hate your first paintball gun? Oh dear, where did it all go so wrong? Well here are a few possibilities, and all of them are avoidable.
Rushing to purchase after too little time on the field
Too many first time buyers of cheap paintball guns rush into buying a paintball gun without having spent enough time playing the game to know how to judge a paintball gun. Further, they don’t really know what sort of player they are, or what sort of game they like to play. Only once you have been playing a while, will best paintball hopper reviews you know how to spot a good gun, and what sort of gun will suit your game. Crucially, you will also have had some experience of bad rental guns, perhaps even terrible rental guns, but the up-side is that you won’t own any of them!
The rental equipment at the field of play is universally poor, but it is what you should be using the first few times you play. Don’t focus on the gun; focus on the basic tactics of the game. Then once you have played a few times, borrow a cheap paintball gun from a friend for a game. How is it better? Why is it better? What do you really like about it? What don’t you like about it?
Not doing sufficient (any) research
By borrowing a friend’s gun and taking it for a field test you are performing the most important part of research. You are learning what a cheap paintball gun can do in your hands and you are assessing it. But so many first time buyers of cheap paintball guns just rush out and buy without doing any research at all. Within as short a time as a week they can be regretting their haste.
Only then does the first time buyer get on the internet to read up on their subject. They visit content websites devoted to paintball guns, they read reviews, visit paintball forums and within as little as a few hours on the right sites they know where they went wrong, and what they should have done. They learn that there are so many cheap paintball guns out there, and only some of them are good guns. They learn that paintball guns are technical products, with a fair bit of variation and range. Unfortunately, for many the knowledge comes too late. They are out of pocket, and out on the field of play carrying a blunderbuss when they should be carrying an assault rifle.
Yeah, but it looks great
It’s bright metallic blue, or red, or yellow, or orange or any other colour that gives your position away in a wood as easily as if you had lit a fire. Choosing your paintball gun solely or primarily on the basis of looks is a very bad idea. Never judge a gun buy its looks. Some nice looking guns are rubbish. Buy the gun because it is a good gun when judged against a reasoned criteria: because it will last, will help you win games, be reliable etc. If it looks good, great, but keep in mind that if you want to stay hidden, ‘black and matt is where it’s at’. The gun should blend into the surroundings, and not give your position away.
Really? So where do I get the mask from?
As far as the rules go, the mask is the crucial bit of paintball equipment, since without it you cannot enter the field of play. However, many first time buyers forget to buy a mask, or to budget for one. As a result, they end up with a cheap mask, one which fogs up and is really uncomfortable. Keep in mind that you are going to be wearing this thing all day. If you have to keep taking it off every 20 minutes to adjust it for comfort you will be risking your eyesight from a paintball. If a referee sees you he/she might send you out of the games for good. So budget for a good comfortable mask that will not fog up.
Yeah I upgraded the barrel! 21 inches!
It’s a well known that replacing the barrel that comes with your average cheap paintball gun (known as the stock barrel) will improve its performance. Knowing this, many first time buyers mistakenly go for length when they buy a new barrel (known as an aftermarket barrel). ’21 inches, yeah that must be a good one. Size matters, doesn’t it?’ Well yes it does, but in this case small is beautiful. Don’t go above 14 inches, any longer and performance will suffer.
Buying a high maintenance gun
As a new player, the last thing you need is a gun that needs constant oiling, or tweaking with tools in the field. You need a gun that will just work consistently, no frills, no fuss, leaving you free to concentrate on learning the game. Good cheap paintball guns will just get on with the job, and adjustment of them in the field, for example changing velocity, will be easy. Similarly, a good cheap paintball gun will be easy and quick to clean.
I’m new here, so I figured I’d get the best gun available
For better or for worse, paintball has got a bit of attitude. There are few things that irk experienced players more than the sight of a clueless new payer ambling around the field carrying state of the art, top of the range hardware. Yeah I know, they are only jealous, and they probably dream about owning your gun.
But there is also a serious point to make here about maintenance. A good cheap paintball gun will have the performance and durability advantages of an expensive gun but none of the advanced features–which only an experience player will be able to really take advantage of. A good cheap paintball gun will also be very easy to take apart, clean, and reassemble. Contrast this with many expensive guns which can be a real maintenance headache for someone unfamiliar with paintball guns. Taking it apart is easy, putting it back together is the hard part, and expensive paintball guns tend to come with big but not necessarily clear manuals. You could be looking at highly complex schematics wondering how life got so complicated.
So keep things simple. Buy a good cheap paintball gun, and then concentrate on the playing. Learn the tactics, and learn about yourself as a player. Meanwhile, you’ll be cleaning your basic gun in no time at all.