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Guide to Playing on a Budget


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#1 Kjimenez

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 02:08 AM

Paintball On a Budget:
A comprehensive guide to reducing paintball costs

Introduction

As some of you may have already noticed, I have been posting this guide in parts over the past week or so, but have decided to compile it together and repost it in one thread, to make it more useful.

I have been playing paintball for nearly 11 years now. For the past 4 years, I did so while attending college full time. This meant finding as many ways as possible to save money in order to continue playing. I hope that, by posting this, you can find things out the easy way, rather than the hard way like I had to.

Edit 1/28/11: As I may not have made this particularly clear, I'd like to state that this guide is not for players who are simply trying to save a few dollars here and there. This forum already contains a wealth of information if that is your aim. This guide is written for those players who must constantly save money to be able to play at all, and for whom the most basic gear may be all that is within financial reach. So, students, high-schoolers paying for their own gear, and guys and gals with real-life commitments and responsibilities, this guide is for you.

It may also be useful for those who find themselves so focused on equipment and being competitive that they've stopped enjoying the game. Less equipment allows one to focus on the game, not the gear. To quote Thoreau, "Simplify, simplify."


Part 1: The Mindset

While it may seem odd to discuss the mindset necessary to play paintball on a tight budget, it really is vital to understand before diving further into the topic. Many players quit because they "can't afford to play", when really, they lack the dedication, self-control and adaptability necessary to play on a budget. So, here's a short list of things that will help you in your quest to reduce your paintball costs.

Self-control- New products for paintball are constantly being released, and it requires a great deal of self-control to tell yourself that you really don't need the shiny new gadgets. Not only must you control your own spending, but you must control your actions on the field to a higher degree--particularly when it comes to firing the marker. Controlling your rate of fire and avoiding "buck fever" will be of the utmost importance.

Dedication- You mustn't give up on your commitment to your budget, despite any problems you may encounter, such as being less effective on the field or even ridicule from other players. This dedication also requires a degree of self-confidence--ridicule always raises doubts, and self confidence is the only way to put those doubts to rest. You must be certain that you are doing what is best for you.

Critical Thinking- This is, essentially, your ability to analyze what your needs as a player are, and to find ways to meet your needs that are within your budget. This means examining each piece of equipment carefully, and deciding whether it is truly necessary and worth the cost.

Creativity- Often, problems (such as lacking a certain piece of equipment) can be solved with a little creativity. It may require making something yourself or finding something similar, but creativity will guide you to the solution.

Adaptability- For most players, a budget will require a radical change in playing style, and being adaptable will allow you to "roll with the punches", and find a way to make the most of what you have, and have fun doing so.

These attributes will make the obstacles encountered when playing on a budget seem much less daunting, and will allow you to enjoy yourself just as much as the player spending half a paycheck every time they play.

Part 2: The Budget

In general usage, when we discuss paintball on a budget, we really mean "cheap". But an honest-to-goodness budget will help you control your spending and direct your resources toward the things you really need. The budget need not be anything particularly complex--just enough to help you keep track of where your money is going. You'll have to create an overall budget first, then create a paintball-specific budget from that.

Overall budget
Start with the amount of money you generally bring in per month. From that, subtract recurring, fixed expenditures; things like rent, utilities, and other bills. Then, from that, subtract money for things you have to buy, but which costs vary for, like fuel and food. An estimate here is fine, or you can look at bank statements and average things out from past months. This should give you an idea of what your discretionary income is; this is the money you have to spend on whatever you choose.

An example overall monthly budget:
Income: $1,200
Fixed Expenditures: $600
Other Expenditures: $400
Discretionary: $200

Now, if paintball is your only hobby, you can budget all of this toward paintball; however, I would leave some for other things (trips, dates, unexpected expenses, etc.). Depending on your income, budget anywhere from 25 to 75 percent of your discretionary income for playing paintball. Assuming that you play every weekend, the amount you budget shouldn't exceed $400, but should be more than $120. More than $400 and you are probably making enough to not be concerned with a budget (lucky you); less than $120 and you may not have enough to pay for paint, air, and field fees. The amount here is really up to you--it's just important that you set a maximum amount for paintball each month.

Paintball Budget

So, you should now have an amount of money set aside for playing each month. Now, we must create a budget, to control how we spend that money. I will assume that you already have a full set of equipment of your own if you play regularly enough to set a budget, so we won't include equipment costs. If you already have a favorite field and know their pricing scheme, then subtract your entry fees and air/CO2 costs for every day you plan to play. If not, a safe estimate is $30 for every day of play for entry and air. This should be enough to make sure you're not caught short. Also subtract $5 to $10 for drinks and food for every day of play, and $20 for the month for equipment maintenance (spare parts and the like), and a reasonable amount for transportation costs, which will depend on your location.

The number that you're left with is your paint budget for the month. Divide that by the number of times you plan to play, and you'll get the amount you can spend on paint each day. It is probably surprisingly low, but you must stick to this amount. However, you'll have to be able to purchase at least 500 paintballs for a day of play, so if you know you won't be able to purchase even that amount, you'll have to either cut costs somewhere else in your budget, like food expenses, or increase the portion of your discretionary income that you devote solely to paintball. Again, it is important that you utilize some self control and make sure you stay under this limit for paintball spending. It is very easy to nickel-and-dime yourself into not being able to pay rent.

At this point, your budget should be complete. Again, while this process may seem unnecessary, it will really help you keep your expenses in check and make paying for paintball much less stressful.

Part 3: Purchasing Gear

Skill is much more important than equipment. Stock class and pump players prove this on a regular basis, and this must be one of the maxims that you live by as a player. A dollar spent on equipment would be better spent improving skill. However, it is impossible to play without equipment, and so I will address the most effective and inexpensive ways I've found to meet my equipment needs.

First, a few tips:
-Be a minimalist. You really don't need a ton of equipment--when I go to play, I only take what fits in a backpack. Focus on playing more, and less about buying new junk. It's kind of liberating, actually.
-Be creative. You can make all sorts of equipment out of household things. There are plenty of do-it-yourself guides out there if you need them.
-Check out yard sales, thrift stores, the B/S/T and eBay. You can find incredible deals on all sorts of stuff.
-Protect your investments. It makes no sense to spend $40 or $50 on a mask, only to throw it in a dirty gear bag with shoes and hoppers and markers. You can make a mask bag out of an old t-shirt, and a marker case out of a used laptop bag or briefcase. Spending 5 dollars to protect something is better than spending 50 to replace it.

The following is an equipment guide for newer players who may not own their own gear, or for those looking to replace equipment. For advanced players who already own their own gear, I have included a section about pump play, immediately after this equipment guide.

The Mask

There has been a great deal written about all of the various masks on the market. I will simply provide some guidelines to follow when selecting a mask. The first consideration to make is the lens--you want to be sure that you'll be able to get replacement lenses for a long time. The JT Elite and Spectra, and the VForce Armor and Profiler lenses have been around for a decade or more, so they are safe bets. Having selected a lens, I would suggest looking up every mask model that has used that lens, including masks no longer in production. Masks like the JT Proteus and V Force Morph were fine systems, but no longer made and not well known. You might be able to score a deal this way, but of course, you should replace the lens on any used mask you purchase, for safety reasons.

The Marker

Again, plenty has been written about every marker on the market. Here are my recommendations:

-Don't buy an electro, even a sear-tripper. You'll blow your paint budget quickly and needlessly. Mechanical, blowback semi-autos are cheap, simple, reliable, and surprisingly effective.

-Don't buy a pump. Yes, they can save you paint. However, the initial cost is pretty high, and playing pump requires a lot more skill. As such, this is something more appropriate for advanced players.

-Only buy a marker you know you will be able to get parts for a few years down the road.

-Buy a discontinued model. (This works well with Spyders. With a few exceptions, all the internals are compatible between markers, meaning you can purchase something like an Aggressor or TL-R and still find parts.)

-Buy used. Mechanical markers are awfully hard to kill, so even a used marker should last a long time. My primary markers were made in the mid 90's, and show no signs of stopping.

-If it requires an elbow to put a hopper on, you'll need to purchase a bunch. These get lost easily and the newer ones tend to crack. Add that into the price before you buy anything.

-Don't buy upgrades. Most are a waste of money. Not even a barrel. (The PunkWorks team has proven quite conclusively that the player and the paint have the biggest effects on accuracy, so a new barrel won't really help.)

My personal favorites:

-Spyder, any model, or a 100 % compatible clone. My personal favorites are the Victor, TL, and the Special Edition. These can be had for ridiculously low prices, and are solid markers. Parts are plentiful, and Kingman isn't going anywhere for a long, long time. (A note: the "straight elbow" needed to attach hoppers to some Spyders can be made out of a PVC fitting. 1/2" to 3/4" if I recall correctly. Requires a bit of Dremel work, but is nearly indestructible.)

-Tippmann 98 Custom. Purchased used, these are a great deal. Personally, my luck with Tippmanns has been poor, but hundreds of field owners can't be wrong. If this is your choice, purchase extra front sight springs and ball detents (easy to lose), and don't spend more than $50-$60 if you buy used.

There are certainly other possibilities; again, these are personal favorites and nothing more.

The Hopper

Again, there's a wealth of information out there about hoppers. Most would recommend a basic force-feed model, but I'm going to recommend a simple gravity feed, or at most a used Revvy or Ricochet. A generic gravity feed hopper can be had for $5 or less, and if you make sure to fill it with no more than a pod (Personally, I pad the inside and fill them half full), you won't have many jamming issues.

The Tank


If you are fortunate enough to play at a facility with all-day air, by all means, purchase a compressed air system. A 48/3000 system should be adequate, and they can be bought for not much over $30 brand new. You won't be shooting fast or often enough to really worry about things like recharge rate or tank capacity. Only use CO2 if HPA is not an option (like in my case, where I'd have to drive to another state to get a fill), or if it is cheaper to have CO2 filled than HPA--a rarity these days. If so, a 20 oz tank is more than enough and should last all day.

Paintballs

This may seem counterintuitive, but buy the best paint you can afford. This doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive, but it should be of high quality. Ask local players for their recommendations, if possible. Since paint is the biggest deciding factor in accuracy, good paint is crucial. If you can only afford 500 rounds, then you can only afford 500 rounds. Its better than buying 1000 cheap paintballs and shooting twice as much to hit anything.

Purchase or make a funnel to use when filling your hopper, and fill your hopper over some kind of container, to catch any paint that you may drop. Waste not, want not...

Clothing and Other Equipment

Woodsball or speedball, most clothing made for paintball is about fashion and little else. Yes, pants and jerseys have some padding, but a cheap pair of knee and elbow pads work just as well. In general, paintball specific clothing is a bit of a rip-off, so avoid buying it.

For woodsballers, a set of camouflage BDU's or ACU's from a local surplus or thrift store will do just fine. Studying stalking and ambush techniques is more useful than a full set of Multicam gear.

If you can't find camouflage, go to a thrift store and find a pair of brown, olive green, or tan cargo pants, a bit bigger than you'd normally buy. Then, find a tan, brown, or olive green hooded sweatshirt. Avoid items with white printing or brightly colored logos, unless you can remove them. Sticking to olive green or khaki colors works surprisingly well in the woods.

For speedballers, purchase a pair of black cargo pants (again, bigger than you'd normally buy). These don't look too different from normal paintball pants, so you won't look terribly out of place. On top, just wear a long sleeved t-shirt or a hoodie. Again, the thrift store is your friend. If you really must have a jersey, find one used, or buy an older one on closeout. Another option is to purchase a motocross jersey--they're very similar to paintball jerseys, because the original paintball jerseys were re-branded motocross jerseys.

When it comes to shoes, a number of people recommend cleats. I choose the easier route and buy trail-running shoes or lightweight hiking boots. If you live in an outdoorsy community, you can find these used at thrift stores or yard sales for dirt cheap. Just make sure they fit well and allow you to kneel, crouch, and run easily.

Other items: For headgear, a ballcap or beanie is more than enough. The cheapest solution for gloves is a pair of brown jersey gloves with the fingertips cut off. Motocross or BMX gloves are also very effective. Don't spend more than $10, though.

You may have noticed I haven't mentioned a harness/pack--there's a reason for that. You don't need it. If you're trying to save money, you'll have to save paint, and playing hopperball is an easy way to do that.

If your marker didn't come with a barrel sock/condom, simply purchase the cheapest one you can find. Anything that's commercially available is certainly good enough.

I think this covers all the essential equipment.

Pump Guide

If you're a bit more advanced, playing pump can be a great way to save money. There's a great deal of information out there about pumps, so I'll keep it basic.

There are two main operating systems for pump markers; Nelson-based and Sheridan-based. Nelson-based pumps have an inline design, while Sheridan-based are stacked-tube. The CCI Phantom is an example of a Nelson-based pump, and the WGP Sniper is an example of a Sheridan-based pump.

There are also two main styles of pump play; open-class and stock-class. Open class means using a standard hopper and air system, while stock class means the marker is powered by 12-gram CO2 "powerlets" and fed by a horizontal feeder that holds 10 paintballs. The marker must be rocked forward or back while pumping to load a ball. Stock class obviously provides the greatest potential for paint savings, but is an extremely challenging way to play.

My suggestion when purchasing a pump marker is to purchase an open class marker. These can easily be made to function as a stock class marker if you want to try that style. Simply purchase a 12-gram changer, and make a feed tube out of PVC or copper pipe.

My suggestion for a good starter pump marker would be a Trracer, either a used older version or the recently re-relased Empire one. The design is simple and rugged, and they work well.

Part 4: Reducing Paint Consumption

Playing paintball on a budget requires one big sacrifice--you have to reduce your paint consumption. So here are some tips on reducing it, as well as a few tactics to increase your effectiveness on the field.

-Buy better paint, but less of it. This is kind of obvious and I have stated it in previous posts, but you're better off buying 500 paintballs that fly well and break on target than 1000 that corkscrew and bounce.

-Be smart when you fill. This is a restatement, but it is very important. When filling your hopper, use a funnel or a paintball caddy. Also, ALWAYS fill over some sort of container. That way, any paint that falls out is caught. A small and simple trick, but you'd be surprised how much you find dropped at the end of the day.

-Play hopperball. Again, sort of obvious. For most situations, having 150-200 paintballs per game is more than enough, if you are careful.

-Aim carefully and know where to aim to hit a target at any distance. Again, obvious, but seems to be neglected by many people. An easy, natural way to learn to aim is to point your index finger parallel to the top of the grip frame (what Rob "Tyger" Rubin of Web Dog Radio calls "zen" aiming).

-Break out the shake-n-shoot. Without the luxury of a force-feed hopper, you're not going to be able to shoot "ropes". Besides, shooting fast on a budget is a bad idea.

-Use a smaller hopper. You can make a pretty decent 50-60 round loader using an old quart oil container and the neck and lid to a Gatorade bottle, or purchase a suitable one for a fairly low price. Many companies make small loaders, including Empire, GXG, and Allen Paintball (a personal favorite). A small investment that can be helpful and reduces your target profile.

-Don't longball. Unless you're an amazing shot, or just lucky, you're not going to get an elimination.

-Partner up. There should be plenty of players who shoot like paint is going out of style. Team up with them. Let them do the heavy lifting while you advance or sneak around to make eliminations or a flag grab.

-Don't sit in one place. You don't have the paint or rate of fire to slug it out with someone, so move constantly.

Conclusion

Hopefully all of these tips will help you to keep playing despite any budget limitations you may face. I intend to continue editing and revising this document as I come up with more ideas and as I receive suggestions. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kjimenez, 07 February 2011 - 01:18 AM.


#2 Pokey

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 03:24 PM

First!

I'm smelling a sticky ;)
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#3 Kjimenez

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:47 PM

First!

I'm smelling a sticky ;)


Thanks. I'm surprised there have been no other comments.

#4 Smokey Mac

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:07 AM

I'm calling shens. Basically your advice is :

1: Don't spend all your money (dur)

2: Use decade old lenses

3: buy a Tippamnn 98 ..

4: Make the rest of the team fire for you.


Man I just gave the exact same advice in less than a paragraph ... Sticky me.

Edited by Smokey Mac, 28 January 2011 - 12:08 AM.

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#5 iReLapse

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:24 AM

^Valid Points but overall pretty good
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#6 Kjimenez

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:43 AM

I'm calling shens. Basically your advice is :

1: Don't spend all your money (dur)

2: Use decade old lenses

3: buy a Tippamnn 98 ..

4: Make the rest of the team fire for you.


Man I just gave the exact same advice in less than a paragraph ... Sticky me.

Allow me to preface this by saying that I intended this guide for players who are truly scraping by, and for whom getting the opportunity to play at all requires saving up for each outing. Not for players who merely wish to save a dollar or two, here and there.

1. It's not as simple as "don't spend all your money". Creating a budget allows you to put your playing expenses in perspective with living expenses and easily manage both. This is a good idea for ALL players.

2. At no point do I say "use decade old lenses". I do, however suggest purchasing goggle systems that are well established within the industry. The four lens styles I listed have been in existence for a long time--since about 2001 for the VForce line, the mid-1990s for the Spectra and the late 80's for the Elite.

The reason for this is to help players avoid purchasing a cheap goggle system, like a GXG Stealth, only to find that the lenses are out of production at the end of the season and purchasing a whole new system is the only option. Obviously that is a waste of money. Purchasing one of the 4 types I listed will allow you to use the same mask for years to come.

I have yet to see that particular piece of advice offered in any other guide, and it is something important to consider when purchasing.

3. Nice try, but no. Most of the guides here are for people who are on a budget that's significantly larger than the players that I am writing for, and the ones who I feel need this guide the most. That's why you see recommendations for cheap electro guns and force-feed loaders. The paint costs for these markers are simply too high for a number of people, and these people are my intended audience. That is why I suggest a blowback semi-auto--you can easily control paint costs while maintaining a useful rate of fire.

4. Again, you misinterpret a piece of advice that I have seen in a number of books and magazine articles, written by very experienced players like Rob Rubin and Durty Dan. (If you don't know either of those writers, you have no room to talk.) The fact of the matter is, if you don't have the firepower to overcome an opponent, use teamwork. Take advantage of players on your team, have them provide cover while you advance to make the elimination.

You missed the point of the guide, failed to understand just who my intended audience is, and failed to even provide correct information based on the apparently small amount of my work you did read and understand.

Edited by Kjimenez, 28 January 2011 - 12:43 AM.


#7 Smokey Mac

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:22 AM

Man you sure are good at taking very little information and stretching it out over four paragraphs. Your college proff's must love reading your papers B)
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#8 BillNyePBGuy

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:39 AM

Man you sure are good at taking very little information and stretching it out over four paragraphs. Your college proff's must love reading your papers B)


Why are you giving him such a hard time? he wrote a well thought out, descriptive, and informative guide. The fact that you were able to make short titles for his points doesn't mean that he wrote too much.

Obviously, this guide is meant for someone getting into paintball that really wants to play, but doesn't have the income to support such an expensive hobby, or the experience to make an informed decision on their own. Since the writer expounded his ideas in a clear and cohesive manner, the reader is able to fully grasp the concept that Kijimenez was trying to convey. Honestly, i found your dull sarcasm and obtrusive ego to be quite annoying and childish.

I think this is a great post, and deserve to be stickied so that the people that would benefit from reading this pot will be able to locate and read it easily. Great work.

Also, your college profs must hate reading your papers, as it means they have to make a trip to staples to restock their supply of red pens.
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#9 Kjimenez

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:52 AM

Man you sure are good at taking very little information and stretching it out over four paragraphs. Your college proff's must love reading your papers B)


Simply trying to supply adequate information and provide the reasoning behind my statements. Is this a novel concept to you?

And yes, they did. A few use my final papers from their classes as examples of what they want to see when finals come due.

Edit: Thanks for the support, BillNyePBGuy. I'm glad you understood my intent.

Edited by Kjimenez, 28 January 2011 - 01:54 AM.


#10 TheBlueFlame44

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 10:40 AM

This really deserves a sticky. However, I disagree about the VL-220 vs. Force-Feed hopper. I think that you should buy a good loader, like a Halo, so you don't CHOP. Vl-200s are known for causing chops, and if you want to fire more than 2 shots per second, I suggest picking up a Halo, or Invert Too. It's not very cheap, but if you ever want to upgrade, you wont have to go out and buy a new loader.

I agree somewhat about the mech vs. electro. Because I have a mech gun, I can buy a bag, and have enough to play for 3 hours. I still get people out, just not as often. However, it breaks paint like a mofo in the winter. It's also not that accurate, due to the paint being nearly broken by the time it leaves the barrel. It's just a fact that mechs are hard on paint.

All in all though, solid guide for the thrifty paintballer.
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#11 PaintballWill

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:22 PM

Man you sure are good at taking very little information and stretching it out over four paragraphs. Your college proff's must love reading your papers B)

im going to agree with you, there is a lot said that can easily be said with less words. almost seems like you are typing all of this to be stickied rather than to help anyone. im sure it will help a lot of ppl save money if they follow your steps, but it could be said a lot easier. good write up tho, and thanks for your time put into it! but smokey is right...

#12 Kjimenez

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:20 PM


Man you sure are good at taking very little information and stretching it out over four paragraphs. Your college proff's must love reading your papers B)

im going to agree with you, there is a lot said that can easily be said with less words. almost seems like you are typing all of this to be stickied rather than to help anyone. im sure it will help a lot of ppl save money if they follow your steps, but it could be said a lot easier. good write up tho, and thanks for your time put into it! but smokey is right...


Just trying to write in an organized and intelligent manner. I could easily make a TL;DR version of this, but I really feel that it's unnecessary. If you were to read this guide in a magazine like Action Pursuit Games, it would only be two or three pages, with pictures. As far as articles go, that's pretty concise.

#13 m4ndark

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:04 PM

will be pretty good if it get sticked. gj bro
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#14 Shortbuscrew

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:57 AM

shake and shoot hopper is a huge waste, and a headache at that. Nothing more annoying than in a firefight with somebody and bam, oh look you gotta shake your loader to get him out, oh wait your already out.... Yeah I guess that can save you money in a way by getting shot before you get any paint loaded. Electronic loaders are the best investment you can buy for paintball it will save your ass and let you have much more fun enjoying that the fact you don't have a huge handicap on your gun the entire time.
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#15 thorgold

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:40 AM

shake and shoot hopper is a huge waste, and a headache at that. Nothing more annoying than in a firefight with somebody and bam, oh look you gotta shake your loader to get him out, oh wait your already out.... Yeah I guess that can save you money in a way by getting shot before you get any paint loaded. Electronic loaders are the best investment you can buy for paintball it will save your ass and let you have much more fun enjoying that the fact you don't have a huge handicap on your gun the entire time.

The whole point of his recommending "shake n' shoot" and not buying electro is because it reduces paint-flinging capacity. Besides, you don't need firepower to win a firefight. If a guy is trying to get into a 50-50 slog with me, I pop a round or two on the bunker while I move somewhere else. If you rely on firepower to save your ass, you need to rethink your tactical mindset.

This guide is quite well written. The section on equipment, especially, is informative in its breadth of discussion and the reasoning behind using certain types of gear to cut down on costs. My only complaint is the underrating of pump guns - despite their notably higher price, the costs they save in paint is significant. Since I switched to a VSC Phantom last year, I've used less than a bag for three days of play. $20 dollars instead of $75 a day adds up. In addition, most pumps (Phantoms in particular) are extremely high quality, and will last long enough for the paint to start paying itself off, in addition to having reliable part replacement and out-of-the-box quality.

Edited by thorgold, 01 February 2011 - 10:07 AM.

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#16 Shortbuscrew

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:47 PM

you dont need a pump or a shake and shoot to "save paint" what you need to do is learn some trigger control and take less paint with you, maybe a hopper, maybe just 1 pod into that hopper. I use between 300-600 shots a day, and if i use more than a bag, thats pretty rare. I use a space gun, I use a prophecy. Yet i shoot as much paint as some of the pumpers use. A days of paintballing for me is around 15-20$. I typically get a deal on a years field pass and air for helping out at the field with either reffing some games or cleaning up the field before season opens.

Saving money is about learning to control your fingers and patiently wait, not a different setup. People pick up another setup because they either wont bother to learn or think its another way so they get something that restricts it.

As for a mask, no i wouldn't recommend it to anyone to go cheap on them, you are wearing them for hours a day. and during a scenario game, if it fogs up or what ever, its a long walk back just to take it off. Get a thermal, get something that you enjoy to wear, something comfortable for you. You are wearing this for hours. not minutes, hours. If you have something you can't breathe in, fogs up, and is hot in. Don't buy it because its cheap. Ignore the way they look, and ignore the cost, You will have the mask for years, its one of the best investments you can buy aside from a electro hopper.
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#17 Kjimenez

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:52 AM

shake and shoot hopper is a huge waste, and a headache at that. Nothing more annoying than in a firefight with somebody and bam, oh look you gotta shake your loader to get him out, oh wait your already out.... Yeah I guess that can save you money in a way by getting shot before you get any paint loaded. Electronic loaders are the best investment you can buy for paintball it will save your ass and let you have much more fun enjoying that the fact you don't have a huge handicap on your gun the entire time.


I've only had that happen to me a handful of times in the past decade. Also, if you look, I also mention the Revvy and Ricochet loaders which are more than enough for my recommended setups. Other loaders such as the Extreme Rage 9V overdrive or Revvy CAT are fine as well.

I suggest the shake-n-shoot loaders for a few reasons--they're really cheap (sometimes free), reliable, and provided you're not shooting strings of 20-30 balls downrange, they're adequate. They're not great, but they're not much of a handicap if you're moving and snap-shooting. As I said, if you try to duke it out with someone, you probably won't come out on top. But that's a stupid way to play on a budget.

I will edit the hopper portion to make the part about agitated loaders a little more obvious.

My only complaint is the underrating of pump guns - despite their notably higher price, the costs they save in paint is significant.

I agree, and I have a number of pumps that I use regularly. The reason I shy away from recommending them is because there's no particular performance gain, and a pretty large learning curve that comes with them (particularly stock-class). This results in many people simply selling the marker because they can't get used to pump play. Since most experienced players who would be reading this would, I presume, have their own equipment, the equipment section of the guide is geared toward newer players. For newer players, I think the blowback semi-auto is a more useful marker. With more experience, pump play is certainly an option.

I will add a portion regarding pump play to the guide as soon as I'm able--it does merit more discussion than I give it.

Thanks for the support!

Edited by Kjimenez, 02 February 2011 - 12:52 AM.


#18 acPballer

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:44 PM

-Don't buy a pump. You can exercise some trigger control to save paint and pumps tend to be much more expensive.

 



you'll save more money over time on paint alone using a pump. You can snag a used cocker pump for 115-150$ easy. or grab a 1rst gen azodin kaos pump from ans.

Otherwise this is a great guide and kudos for the effort.

Quick little story. I played against a guy last week running a pos spyder, and a shake and shot hopper. Of course most people underestimated him. It was fun watching him plow through our ranks.

Just wanted to throw my opinion take it or leave it. Posted Image

ah :-/ I just read your post above. You make a good point sire, pump is a niche in the paintball population and is most likely not the best way to start out playing paintball.

Edited by acPballer, 02 February 2011 - 10:52 PM.

Pump is hawt.



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#19 thorgold

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 02:56 PM

you dont need a pump or a shake and shoot to "save paint" what you need to do is learn some trigger control and take less paint with you, maybe a hopper, maybe just 1 pod into that hopper. I use between 300-600 shots a day, and if i use more than a bag, thats pretty rare. I use a space gun, I use a prophecy. Yet i shoot as much paint as some of the pumpers use. A days of paintballing for me is around 15-20$. I typically get a deal on a years field pass and air for helping out at the field with either reffing some games or cleaning up the field before season opens.

Saving money is about learning to control your fingers and patiently wait, not a different setup. People pick up another setup because they either wont bother to learn or think its another way so they get something that restricts it.

As for a mask, no i wouldn't recommend it to anyone to go cheap on them, you are wearing them for hours a day. and during a scenario game, if it fogs up or what ever, its a long walk back just to take it off. Get a thermal, get something that you enjoy to wear, something comfortable for you. You are wearing this for hours. not minutes, hours. If you have something you can't breathe in, fogs up, and is hot in. Don't buy it because its cheap. Ignore the way they look, and ignore the cost, You will have the mask for years, its one of the best investments you can buy aside from a electro hopper.

While I understand that your point is trigger discipline and personal control, I still stand by the fact that pump playing - particularly stock class - forces you to learn better control, faster. I've played with a semi since I switched my primary to pump, and force of habit cut the amount of paint I shot significantly. Is it beneficial to control yourself with a semi? Definitely, and the ability to not fling paint is one to be desired greatly. I'm just saying that playing pump is an excellent way to break out the spray-and-pray rut by limiting the capabilities of your equipment itself, for personal challenge and training.

I will admit that budget balling isn't the only reason to buy a pump. With discipline, you can pay the same or less on paint as a pump gun, and semi-autos are generally cheaper. However, pump guns are by no means "wrong" for budget ballers to consider when building a budget.

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#20 JesterofWar

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:49 PM

IN regards to pump play , I believe that it can be beneficial. You can pick up a used Trilogy fro anywhere form $50-$75 , throw on a 25 dollar pump kit and you are good to go, Also if you wanna play semi just throw the pneumatics back on a zingo , semi auto. If you want to try something abit more challenging go to your local hardware store and pick up some pvc to make a stock class stick feed, then pick up a 25 dollar Co2 quick change and zingo, stock class. So for around a $150 you can have three different guns in one.
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#21 xero

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:00 PM

I've got to agree, I feel this was written just to get sticked. Using many more words then neccessary is NOT a way to make things sound better. It makes you sound like you don't know what you are talking about, and therefore are trying to fill space.
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#22 Kjimenez

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:13 PM

I've got to agree, I feel this was written just to get sticked. Using many more words then neccessary is NOT a way to make things sound better. It makes you sound like you don't know what you are talking about, and therefore are trying to fill space.


For the most part, I only say what's necessary to describe my argument and support it; at the very least that's what I strove for while writing. I could say less, but the guide would quickly lose clarity. I hope that you don't see this as me B.S.'ing my way to a sticky. I really have tried to be succinct, there's just a lot to cover.

And yes, ideally, I'd like this to be stickied. The sticky in this forum is certainly not all that it could be.

Also, I am working on the pump portion of the guide. I had it mostly written, but Word crashed when I was half-way through.

#23 EricCartman

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:31 PM

-Don't buy a pump. You can exercise some trigger control to save paint and pumps tend to be much more expensive.

im sorry are you retarded? semi markers shoot faster which will make you spend more money. pumps you can use a hopper for more than 3 games.

also you say to pick up a spyder clone or a tippmann 98. those guns dont have the same perfromance as the mid range markers. there are cheaper markers in bst that are money shooter. agd, autocockers , minis , older egos , smart parts , etc.

Edited by EricCartman, 06 February 2011 - 08:39 PM.

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#24 xero

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:24 PM

in my honest opinon, nothing beats trigger control.

With my g3 or my g1, I can shoot just as much as my big ass fingers can fly. I can shoot 1bps, or I can shoot 1 ball per 10 seconds.

I can go out with a hopper full and play hopper ball, or I can go out with my pack and carry four additional pods, or I can go with my tac vest and carry upwards of 1500 rounds.

And all this was done spending less then 200 bucks. That's for mask, gun, tank, pack, tac vest, pods, gloves, pants. The weakest part of that set was the gun, which I upgraded to the g3 iq for 300 when I had the cash.
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#25 Shortbuscrew

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:53 PM

-Don't buy a pump. You can exercise some trigger control to save paint and pumps tend to be much more expensive.

im sorry are you retarded? semi markers shoot faster which will make you spend more money. pumps you can use a hopper for more than 3 games.

also you say to pick up a spyder clone or a tippmann 98. those guns dont have the same perfromance as the mid range markers. there are cheaper markers in bst that are money shooter. agd, autocockers , minis , older egos , smart parts , etc.


You are not even thinking about LEARNING trigger control, big difference to learning it, and being forced it. It's like learning to read before you talk.
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#26 Kjimenez

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:17 AM

-Don't buy a pump. You can exercise some trigger control to save paint and pumps tend to be much more expensive.

im sorry are you retarded? semi markers shoot faster which will make you spend more money. pumps you can use a hopper for more than 3 games.

also you say to pick up a spyder clone or a tippmann 98. those guns dont have the same perfromance as the mid range markers. there are cheaper markers in bst that are money shooter. agd, autocockers , minis , older egos , smart parts , etc.

Certainly a Tippmann or Spyder can shoot 5-7 bps, but so can a Phantom or Sniper with an auto-trigger. The question is whether you utilize that capability or not. You can take an Ego out onto the field with a WGP Ammo Box and not run out of paint, or you can take a Trracer and blow through a hopper and pods. Just depends on how you use it.

Again, I recommend the mechanical blowback markers because they can shoot fast enough to get you out of a tight spot, but discourage excesssive, wasteful shooting. I do not recommend pumps, at least for newer players, because the initial cost is substantial and a great deal of skill is required to play with a pump. Many players simply give up on pump after a month or so of trying it, so the safer bet is a semi-auto.

I agree that a Spyder or Tippmann will not perform at the same level as a nice 'Mag, 'Cocker, or even basic electropneumatic markers like the Vibe or BKO. That's pretty obvious. However, each of those markers have their drawbacks, particularly for players on a budget. And this is, after all, a guide for players on a budget. Blowbacks have performance which is adequate for most playing situations, and have the advantages of being less expensive to purchase, and so well-established that parts will be cheap and easy to find for a long time to come.

Finally, if you're going to bother to insult me, don't put sorry in front of it. Go all the way, or don't do it at all.

I hope that I have managed to address your concerns.

#27 EricCartman

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:58 AM

a phantom can not shoot 5-7 bps on autotrigger. for the price of a tippmann you can get a agd or a pump.

Edited by EricCartman, 07 February 2011 - 08:59 AM.

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#28 Kjimenez

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:26 PM

a phantom can not shoot 5-7 bps on autotrigger. for the price of a tippmann you can get a agd or a pump.

You can get a used Tippmann (and, if you recall, I did recommend purchasing used) for $50 or so. If you can get an Automag for $50, more power to you. I've had no such luck. Certainly an old Trracer or Tigershark can be had for $50, but I have already given a number of reasons why newer players should avoid playing pump. Re-read the guide.

About the Phantom:

http://abcnews.go.co...ideo?id=3568893

It's about 45 seconds in. It's not a Phantom, but it is a Nelson-based marker that's identical in operation. It's right around 7 bps.

Anything else?

#29 EricCartman

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:55 PM

but that isnt a phantom lke you stated so your phantom statement is false. but beyond what i mentioned good right up.
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#30 Kjimenez

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:45 AM

but that isnt a phantom lke you stated so your phantom statement is false. but beyond what i mentioned good right up.


If that old Bushmaster or whatever it happens to be can shoot 7 bps, so can a Phantom. They're the same design. The insides are all the same. Your argument is like saying that your car is faster because it's painted red instead of blue.

#31 Kjimenez

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:40 AM

Also, I neglected to mention this earlier, but I have edited the guide a bit and added a section on pump play.




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