Thinking of purchasing an Empire Sniper? Questions? Comments? This is YOUR thread!
Hey everyone! I've decided to make a thread that I will constantly update about my experiences with the Empire Sniper. Not a lot of videos or reviews are around, let alone on here, so I decided to take it upon myself to make a thread about Empire’s newest creation, the Sniper pump marker. I will be writing this to players that are familiar with paintball, and understand beginner technical aspects, but I will not get in-depth with the technical aspects of this marker, simply because I haven’t had enough experience with pumps to fully break it down for you. For the people who want a more technical breakdown of the marker, here is a thread from MCB, which is composed very nicely. Cutterj will be another contributor, and I will credit him everywhere that he helps.
Here are the guidelines I am using, to help you find what you're looking for:
Red subtitles are overviews on the product.
Green subtitles are about specific parts of the marker and accessories.
Purple subtitles are conclusions and experienced reviews.
The orange subtitle refers to changes in the article; look there to see how this thread is edited over time.
FEATURES: Out of the box, this marker is LOADED with accessories (as far as I've seen on other pumps). I'll get more in-depth with that in the "Unboxing" section. I'll use the box's description of the marker and its features for this section. The Empire Sniper features "tournament level performance", a closed bolt design, low pressure operation, a vertical feed design, Autococker barrel threading, a 300psi gauge that can be put on either side of the marker, a removable "pump assist plate" (commonly known as "The Hitman Mod"), an autotrigger, inline regulator with swivel adapter, T-Mounted on/off ASA, delrin pump handle and sled, dual stainless steel pump rods, and 45 frame grips with finger grooves.
UNBOXING: As far as I know, not many pump guns come with all of the extras the Sniper has. Watch the video below to see what I am saying. Open the box and you'll find your CD-ROM manual and the quick start guide. Take the top layer of foam off, and you will find the marker, barrel sock, and full Allen key set (an addition which I enjoy). After you remove that tier of foam, you have the bottom tier, filled with all of the accessories. This includes the tool box, which has extra screws, detents, O-rings, and some lubricant. The 4-piece Empire barrel kit is nicely ordered in the foam as well. The kit includes a 14" front with 3 backs (.685, .680, and .675). The last item is the 10-round, spring-assisted stock feed tube. I will have a sub-section for each of these components.
Barrel Kit: This barrel kit really impressed me. Some of you may think, “Well, my _______ barrel kit has more backs/inserts.” Well, you could be right, but that doesn’t mean that your kit is better. Many guns do not come with a 4-piece kit, like this marker. The back sizes (.685, .680, and .675) are very good for underboring and preventing rollouts. You should be able to properly underbore most paint you’ll use. The control bore (the length of the barrel back) is 6.5 inches, which is a very nice control bore. The front is a heavily ported, 14” front, which is also very nice. The only gripe someone may have is if most of their paint bores extremely large on a regular basis. I would assume you have a large bore barrel already. These kits are very desirable, from what I’ve seen, so if the bores aren’t for you, I think you could sell it in a flash.
Barrel Sock, Tools, and Parts: I’m extremely satisfied with the maintenance and safety components of the gun. The Empire barrel sock is nice, but most barrel socks do the same job. I was very happy that the marker came with a 10-key Allen key set, all contained in a “holster” of sorts, with each size labeled. As far as the spare parts kit, it does the job. It comes with spare screws, detents, lubricant and O-rings. I like that the Axe kit had movable box spacers, but I use a large tackle box for all tools anyway, so I’ll just throw the spare parts box in the closet.
ASA, Pump Handle, Hitman Mod, Gauge, AT, and Feedneck: The first time I pumped a pump marker, I was amazed at how smooth the stroke was. The Sniper is no exception. I find the ribbed pump handle very comfortable. The Hitman Mod is a very nice touch for those that want to keep their barrel very steady, and it’s removable for those that don’t like it. It is nice that the regulator gauge can be swapped to either side for optimum comfort. I’m dominantly left-handed, so I enjoyed that stock, the gauge is on the left side. The ASA is very nice. It’s a simple flip of the lever, and your air will bleed out. The autotrigger was timed relatively nicely, but I don’t plan to use it much. The autotrigger can NOT be changed to either side, even though there is a screw hole on the other pump rod, which makes it appear so. I absolutely LOVE what Empire did to the feedneck’s adjustment. Like Planet Eclipses feednecks, the Sniper feedneck is able to be adjusted without the use of an Allen Key. The only gripe I have with the feedneck is that it can be difficult to remove and re-install it if you choose to use the stock tube.
The Stock Tube: I had a rough beginning with the stock tube. Check out my video to see the design of the tube, and then read this to understand my gripes. The back cap was almost impossible to turn out of the box. I used 3-in-1 oil, and hardly had any effect. My father and I later fixed the issue by removing the back cap, lubricating it with the stock lube, and just twisting it for awhile. Now it feels great. Having the spring-assist is nice, so you don’t have to “rock and cock,” although for some people who may want that, the spring mechanism is removable by unscrewing the rounded end of the feed tube. I think it would've been nice for Empire to include some 10-round tubes, but they're cheap enough to buy anyway (10 for $5).
First Impressions: This is my first pump marker. I haven’t had experience with CCMs or Autocockers with CCM parts, and I’ve heard they are a dream to shoot. My first impressions out of the box are very positive. I think this is a great pump marker for any player who wants to get into pump, a pumper who wants a new pump, but doesn’t want to build one or pay for a CCM, or any player looking to play pump without buying top-shelf, or used. Sure, there are other pumps out there, but with all of the accessories and extras, I believe the price is justified, and the Empire Sniper will shape up to be a very nice marker.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- While using this marker, or most pumps, if you hold the regulator instead of the pump handle and fire, the sound is much quieter. This may be because the valve is open longer. Cutterj found out that players would think there were two different people in his bunker because the sound was so drastically different. Note that this doesn't change velocity as long as the bolt is all the way forward! It will be double-checked soon (tip by Cutterj).
- To fix the issue with the stock tube cap being almost impossible to turn, pull out the plug and lubricate it with the stock lube (or any lube). It'll help tremendously (tip by Jarz and Cutterj).
12/27/11 - Thread is created. Videos to come soon.
12/27/11 - The AT can NOT be switched to either side. Edited in post.
12/28/11 - Videos have been added! Sorry if they aren't the greatest.
12/29/11 - "Tips and Tricks" section is added; Cutterj supplies the first tip.
This post has been edited by Jarz: 07 January 2012 - 01:48 PM