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$250-300 markers for a non-tinkerer


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#1 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:18 PM

So besides being the billionth topic on this subject, I thought I would add a slight twist. I'm a big believer in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That is, if my marker is working well, then I'm not going to screw with it. Routine maintenance and cleaning? Sure. Tearing it open and fiddling with things and upgrading every other week? That's not really my jam. So with that in mind, what are the most reliable markers in this price range that'll let me play as much as possible with minimal amounts of "It's nice as is, but you should really get (x) upgraded"? Paintball is a fun hobby for me, but paying the bills and going to back to school for a second degree means I'll never have the cash to go anything beyond rec ball. So, "It's nice as is" will do me just fine. 

 

I play speedball, and I'm totally fine going used. From what I've gathered from lurking so far, my best bets buying new are the Rail and the Extcy. I'm kind of into the idea of finding a used newer-generation Mini, but I'm far from married to the idea.


Edited by Don'tGogMeBro, 12 February 2014 - 07:42 PM.


#2 BurningPlaydoh

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:21 PM

Used Etek 3 or Ego 7/8

Edited by BurningPlaydoh, 12 February 2014 - 08:21 PM.


#3 scpb5696

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:25 PM

search locally on craigslist and local forums and pick up and axe some times you can find one really cheap, i have seen one as low as $235 in great condition which is a steal


"It costs me more than $3,000 to play paintball every year, therefore I'd get a used highend for around $300- $600 and use the rest towards paint, gas, food, hotel costs, alcohol, and cheap hookers." SOUP on March 31, 2014


#4 Wolfe

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:39 AM

There are a lot of reliable markers in your price range. New: you're looking at the eXTCY or Rail. Both are great markers and honestly, pretty much the same marker. Used: The market opens up a lot more. Best bet is to check the BST here and other forums. Craiglist is an ok option, but make sure you're able to test the marker before you buy. Ebay is ok, but kind of a crap-shoot.



#5 Lotus

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

Even though I'm completely biased, I recommend a PM7 or PM8. They are way better than an Axe and all the other markers mentioned here.


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#6 BurningPlaydoh

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:34 AM

OP says hes doesnt like to tinker... so people suggest markers that you generally tune.

#7 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:38 PM

I don't mind fiddling around with it to get it up to speed and working well...once. But I don't want to have to KEEP doing that, is what I mean. I'm also seeing a lot of older DM4s for sale at the right price, and most reviews seem to love it aside from it being "kinda heavy" and "kicks a little". Is that a solid option for what I'm looking for?



#8 SPARTAN1147789

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:56 PM

I would also suggest the PM8, as you don't really have to tinker with it, just maintain it, and the bolt system is probably the most proven and reliable spool system out there, you may also be able to find a DM9 for $300, but IMO the PM8 is just as good and is generally cheaper, they usually go for between $200-$300. So I would say the PM8 would be your best bet, just as good as any DM, and for under $300 I think it's the best marker out there.


Edited by SPARTAN1147789, 13 February 2014 - 12:57 PM.


#9 BurningPlaydoh

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 01:26 PM

I don't mind fiddling around with it to get it up to speed and working well...once. But I don't want to have to KEEP doing that, is what I mean. I'm also seeing a lot of older DM4s for sale at the right price, and most reviews seem to love it aside from it being "kinda heavy" and "kicks a little". Is that a solid option for what I'm looking for?


DM4s are MASSIVE. Like a good pound or two heavier than anything today. They are really sweet but I wouldnt suggest one as someones only electro.

#10 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 01:57 PM

Weight doesn't really bother me that much, unless it's seriously going to be like carrying around a cannonball.



#11 BurningPlaydoh

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:15 PM

Well you could be getting a DM8 for your price range. Its a big difference, no pun intended.

#12 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:52 PM

Only in terms of weight, or is there a noticeable performance jump too? Also, a buddy of mine from the field here has an Ego 6 he doesn't really use much anymore and might be willing to part with, pending Girlfriend Approval.



#13 Lotus

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:44 AM

I don't like the Ego6. One of the biggest changes in Egos was the Ego7, and the Ego6 just doesn't feel right to me. That being said, it's still a great marker. I just think you can do better.

 

Pretty much all DMs (and PMs) have the same performance characteristic. However, the further back you go, the worse the Ergonomics. The DM10 was the first DM with a decent trigger, the DM6 was the first DM with a thin and comfortable frame, and so on. The DM6 was the first DM that was also reasonably light. That being said, you can save money by finding a DM7 with these upgrades (I wouldn't buy a DM6, their eye plates are tiny and terrible should you ever have to work on them), or if you really want to save money a PM7 or PM8. The PM7-8 are lighter and less tall than their DM brethren due to LPR placement, and I actually prefer them over the DM line due to their ergonomics, however if you do get a PM7 keep in mind that you're probably going to want to buy one that has an Ultralight Frame on it already.


Edited by Lotus, 14 February 2014 - 11:46 AM.

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#14 Punisher068

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:49 PM

PM7-8 if you prefer spool markers this is the one to have.Best Dye gun released.Once it's tuned you'll rarely have to adjust it.

Axes are no fuss too from what I've seen.Egos are another good choice,a little loud and rough for me personally but reliable

Lotus has a nice PM for sale on here I'd buy if I had the $ and fewer projects,sold mine along time ago to replace it with a PMR,huge fking mistake on my part


Edited by Punisher068, 14 February 2014 - 03:55 PM.


#15 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:37 PM

So in that case, it's looking like my field  for used is this-

 

Older Eteks and Egos

PM7/8 or DM8

Axe, if I'm a very good boy and save enough of my pennies

 

I've seen a bunch of Minis on sale around also, generally in that price range. I know the older generation made under the Invert name seems to have been pretty hit or miss, but are the newer ones that are Empire-branded worth looking at, or is this a "god no, never, stay away" situation? It seems hard to believe that the same company that makes possibly the only universally-loved gun out there(Axe) could have also made a legit stinker.



#16 SPARTAN1147789

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 04:37 PM

The internals of the mini and the axe are identical, the axe just has a larger air chamber, better trigger, on/off asa, etc.. The thing about the mini is when they were originally released them they had problems, and then over the years they fixed the problems without really telling anybody. When they released the axe I believe all the problems in the mini, with it being a hit or a miss marker were fixed, so if you want to get a mini I would suggest buying new, but due to the larger air chamber in the axe, the axe will have a better shot, along with all the improvements I mentioned. So the invert mini is now a good marker, the axe is just slightly better due to the improvements, so getting a used axe would be better than getting a new mini. However, I would instead suggest to get a used PM8, DM8, or DM9, as I think they offer the most performance in your price range, as they have better ergonomics, and a smoother and quieter shot than the axe or egos.



#17 zecrom_89

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 06:41 PM

I say reflex rail. I like the trigger alot and comes with alot of the tech you find in DM's. i have owned a FX,Etek 4 and now a reflex, I would say it would be tied between the FX and Reflex and the etek in last. I don't like how thick the fram on the Etek is and the trigger is crap in my opinion. If you have no idea about matiencing gun a Etek would be you best choice but, if you can reulary maintain a drive train/bolt/ram and reg I would pick up the Reflex or FX.



#18 Lotus

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 09:11 PM

Please don't buy a reflex. They have decent ergonomics, and their shot is good for their price range, but the DM line just stomps them to the ground in every other category, and in EVERY category if you have the Ironmen trigger on it. Dms are smoother, more efficient, AND quieter, and the DM/PM 7/8 are cheaper than a Reflex Rail 2012 or newer. There's no reason to buy a Reflex Rail in my book.

 

There's nothing wrong with the newest generation Mini. They resolved those problems, but that meant that the first generation Mini were really just a test-bed. They realized they had to do a bunch of different little tweaks like have a tiny vent-hole in case the bolt didn't travel all the way and such. They're all present in the most recent Minis as they are in the Axe. They're pretty much the same marker internally, just with a different volume firing chamber and different ergonomics.

 

Honestly, one marker I also recommend you checking out (in addition to my PM7/8 suggestion), is a Bob Long Vice or Protoge. I think they can be had for around $300 now (not sure), and while they do require you to set the correct LPR pressure, it's a set-it-once-and-then-forget-it thing. They're excellent markers, but be aware of what board you're getting in there because they too went through some changes in the production cycles, and many people went for aftermarket boards. Make sure you know what manual to refer to.

 

I do have a PM7 for sale in the for sale threads, but whether you want to purchase that is up to you. I won't upsell it beyond what I genuinely think of it, and the reason I'm selling it is because I now have a PM8, which I do think is better (although not by much with the stuff I have on my PM7). I do genuinely think the PM7/8 is a good choice (and one I made myself), but there are alternatives available like the Vice. The Droid is another, but I don't think you'd be able to find one for the price you want, and they are also very maintenance heavy.


Edited by Lotus, 15 February 2014 - 09:17 PM.

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#19 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:45 AM

Wow, you guys have been really helpful. Buying is going to have to wait until I get my tax return, hopefully in a week or so, but you've all given me plenty of good information to think about. I like to do all of my research in advance so I can know a good deal when I see one and jump right on it.



#20 scpb5696

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:09 PM

be sure to post later about what you got  :tup:


"It costs me more than $3,000 to play paintball every year, therefore I'd get a used highend for around $300- $600 and use the rest towards paint, gas, food, hotel costs, alcohol, and cheap hookers." SOUP on March 31, 2014


#21 xXTrollFoxPBXx

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 03:29 PM

save up 30 bucks and buy a g5... boy, that's a good shooting pice


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#22 zecrom_89

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:25 PM

save up 30 bucks and buy a g5... boy, that's a good shooting pice

lol no, G4 is better than the G5



#23 Talucci

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:46 PM

dms i would usually recommend but the lpr might bother you... etek 3, geo, or ego 8 would do you justice.


Edited by Talucci, 18 February 2014 - 08:47 PM.


#24 meh

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:01 PM

i know one of the guys on Team Insanity didnt lube or tinker with his mini for 2+ years and his gun was fine. So get a mini, used axe, or used etek. You can beat the living hell out of these markers and theyll still work every time you take them out of the box.


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#25 get.lit.up!

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:08 PM

For this price, any used etek will do ya good. My personal choice would be an axe. And to round off my third favorite in this price range would be an extcy.

Can't go wrong with any of those 3
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#26 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

Update- I've got two options at my field that are pretty much exactly what I'm after...I just have to pick one of them. One guy has a v3 Mini and another one has an Etek 3 LT, both for $225. The guy selling the Mini is well-known at the field and has a reputation as being extremely trustworthy and going out of his way to make sure the guns he sells are in good shape and fixes them for free if they're not. I don't really know much about the guy selling the Etek, but most reviews seem to indicate it's the better marker of the two. I like the feel of both of them, so I guess it's a choice between a theoretically less good marker from seller who I know will take care of me, and a better marker from a guy I haven't heard anything about. Thoughts?


Edited by Don'tGogMeBro, 23 March 2014 - 05:13 PM.


#27 SPARTAN1147789

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:24 PM

Between the two the Etek 3 LT is definitely the better deal, but I would still suggest a used PM8, I believe there's one for $265 in the buy/sell/trade forum, but you'll have to get an eye pipe for it as well.



#28 vector911

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:41 PM

I've owned, teched, and sold every marker listed above except an axe for some reason.
I see that your not a tinkerer so that immediately screams etek. Even with all its flaws, they are crazy reliable. Even if you move up later they make great backup. the etek 4 I had last week didn't have .5 bps adjustment though, so aftermarket board might be necessary to shoot that extra .5 bps.
I had a dm5,6,9, and a few pm8's that were all extremely reliable after I was finished rebuilding them. When I get them they are pretty rough with many possible sources of leaks. Normally simple o-ring fixes, but defiantly not for a non tinker type unless 100% leak free with good feedback.

#29 meh

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:41 PM

i know that one of the guys on team insanity didnt even touch his mini for around 3 years and it worked perf.


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#30 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 07:02 AM

I've owned, teched, and sold every marker listed above except an axe for some reason.
I see that your not a tinkerer so that immediately screams etek. Even with all its flaws, they are crazy reliable. Even if you move up later they make great backup. the etek 4 I had last week didn't have .5 bps adjustment though, so aftermarket board might be necessary to shoot that extra .5 bps.
I had a dm5,6,9, and a few pm8's that were all extremely reliable after I was finished rebuilding them. When I get them they are pretty rough with many possible sources of leaks. Normally simple o-ring fixes, but defiantly not for a non tinker type unless 100% leak free with good feedback.

 

All I've ever heard bad about Eteks is that they're loud and they kick hard. What other flaws do you mean?



#31 Orange Chicken

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:28 PM

^That's mainly it.

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#32 The Recballer

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:45 PM

I don't like the Ego6. One of the biggest changes in Egos was the Ego7, and the Ego6 just doesn't feel right to me. That being said, it's still a great marker. I just think you can do better.

 

Pretty much all DMs (and PMs) have the same performance characteristic. However, the further back you go, the worse the Ergonomics. The DM10 was the first DM with a decent trigger, the DM6 was the first DM with a thin and comfortable frame, and so on. The DM6 was the first DM that was also reasonably light. That being said, you can save money by finding a DM7 with these upgrades (I wouldn't buy a DM6, their eye plates are tiny and terrible should you ever have to work on them), or if you really want to save money a PM7 or PM8. The PM7-8 are lighter and less tall than their DM brethren due to LPR placement, and I actually prefer them over the DM line due to their ergonomics, however if you do get a PM7 keep in mind that you're probably going to want to buy one that has an Ultralight Frame on it already.

Really? I thought my DM10s trigger sucked.


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#33 Simiballer

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:20 PM

 
All I've ever heard bad about Eteks is that they're loud and they kick hard. What other flaws do you mean?

Actually, Eteks that I've played with (players on the team had it, I didn't actually use it) were not loud, but had an interesting noise to the shot. I was hunkered down next to an Etek 3 and when he shot, it didn't sound loud at all. The noise it made was like when you make a 'th' noise with your tongue and teeth, and was just incredibly intimidating. This is my only experience with an Etek however, and it may have been isolated.
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#34 Wolfe

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:55 AM

 

 
All I've ever heard bad about Eteks is that they're loud and they kick hard. What other flaws do you mean?

Actually, Eteks that I've played with (players on the team had it, I didn't actually use it) were not loud, but had an interesting noise to the shot. I was hunkered down next to an Etek 3 and when he shot, it didn't sound loud at all. The noise it made was like when you make a 'th' noise with your tongue and teeth, and was just incredibly intimidating. This is my only experience with an Etek however, and it may have been isolated.

 

They're loud when compared to other mid-range markers. Yet, far from being LOUD or the loudest marker available. My first electronic marker was a Spyder RS. It was heavy, kicky and LOUD. It's really all about perception. What do you "preceive" as loud?



#35 Don'tGogMeBro

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 03:58 PM

So I ended up going with the Mini. The guy who had the Etek sold it to somebody else, and good thing it wasn't me, since it immediately blew a bunch of o-rings the first night the new owner used it. After two 4-hour nights of play, I love it. Fits me just about perfectly, no ball breaks, not a bit of kick. The guy who sold it to me threw a Vmax in for another 20 dollars. I know they don't get a lot of love, but so far it's kept up with the gun in ramping, and considering I only play in semi most of the time, I don't think I have a lot to worry about. Besides, it was the same price I paid for my Primo hopper, so I figure I can't go too far wrong. 

 

As far as I can tell, it's mostly stock, except for the relay ASA. That thing is just a pleasure to use after the ghetto home-made on/off on my Trilogy. 






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