A Comprehensive Guide to Paintball Pump Guns (Markers)
A Comprehensive Guide to Paintball Pump Guns
Paintball has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1980s. What started as a simple game with the purpose of marking trees and cattle has now evolved into a thrilling sport with a wide range of gear options. One popular type of paintball marker is the pump marker, also known as a pump gun. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of pump paintball markers, including their history, different price points, and some of the top options available in the market today.
A Brief History of Pump Paintball Markers
The concept of the pump marker can be traced back to the early 1960s when hard-shelled balls with an oil-based fill were used to mark trees for the Forestry service and cattle for ranchers. However, it wasn’t until 1981 when the first official paintball game was played and gained national attention through an article in Sports Illustrated. This led to the rapid growth of the sport and the development of various paintball gear options.
Originally referred to as markers rather than guns, pump paintball markers were designed with the intention of marking opponents rather than inflicting harm. These markers require the player to manually pump the marker after each shot, resulting in a slower pace of play compared to semi-automatic or electronic markers.
Understanding Different Price Points
When it comes to purchasing a pump paintball marker, there are different price points to consider. The price of a marker often reflects its quality, features, and performance. Let’s take a look at the three main categories: beginner level, mid-level, and high-end.
For those who are new to the sport or simply want to try out pump play without breaking the bank, beginner-level markers are a great option. These markers typically sell for $249 or less and offer reliable performance for casual players. They are a good starting point to see if you enjoy the sport before investing in more advanced gear.
Mid-level markers, priced between $250 and $799, are suitable for avid casual and budding tournament players. These markers offer a balance between performance and affordability, making them a popular choice among players who want to take their game to the next level.
For players who demand the best of the best and participate in tournaments, high-end markers are the way to go. These markers, priced at $799 and above, are designed to deliver exceptional performance, durability, and customization options. High-end markers are often used by professional players and offer cutting-edge technology for the ultimate paintball experience.
Top Pump Paintball Markers
Now that we have a better understanding of the different price points, let’s explore some of the top pump paintball markers available in the market today. These markers have been carefully selected based on their performance, features, and overall value for money.
1. Azodin KPC+ Gun
The Azodin KPC+ Gun is an excellent choice for those looking to enter the world of pump paintballs on a budget. It is the upgraded version of the popular Azodin KP3, offering the same functionality and reliability at a lower price point. The KPC+ Gun features a half-block style body, a preset feather regulator, and a 14″ single-piece barrel with a bore size of .685. The stainless steel pump rod and guide ensure smooth operation, while the quick-release bolt with dual O-rings enhances efficiency. The inline ON/OFF bottom ASA provides convenient air intake, and the screw lock feedneck securely holds the loader. The Azodin KPC+ Gun is compatible with both CO2 and HPA, making it versatile for different playing conditions.
2. Azodin KP3.5
If you’re looking for a pump paintball marker with advanced features, the Azodin KP3.5 is an excellent choice. It offers a clamping feedneck, an adjustable regulator, and an on/off ASA for added convenience. The dual rod delrin pump handle provides a comfortable grip, while the two-piece barrel with interchangeable backs (0.685 and 0.681) allows for precise shots. The trigger pull on the KP3.5 is smooth and responsive, making it a joy to use on the field. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the Azodin KP3.5 delivers exceptional performance at a reasonable price.
3. CCI Phantom
The CCI Phantom is a highly versatile pump paintball marker that has gained a reputation for its reliability and customization options. One of the standout features of the Phantom is its ability to be configured in various setups, including open class with vertical or angled feeds, or stock class with horizontal feed or spring feed. The marker is compatible with undercocking kits, bottom line setups, 12-gram CO2 changers, and tank-out-the-back configurations. With the Phantom, players can truly personalize their setup to suit their playing style. Additionally, the marker is known for its efficiency, with some players reporting getting up to 30-35 shots per 12-gram CO2 cartridge. The lightweight design of the Phantom ensures that players can comfortably maneuver on the field without fatigue.
4. Autococker Pump Kits
Autococker pump kits offer a unique opportunity for players to build their own pump paintball markers. Autocockers have a reputation for their smooth pump strokes and adjustable triggers, making them a favorite among pump players. With a wide range of parts available on the market, players can easily customize their autocockers to their desired specifications. Whether you choose to build your own or purchase a used autococker, these markers offer excellent performance and a satisfying shooting experience.
5. Retro Hornet Pump
For those seeking a high-end pump marker for tournament play, the Inception Designs Retro Hornet Pump is a top contender. Inception Designs is known for its exceptional quality and reliability, and the Retro Hornet Pump is no exception. This marker combines the best features of the autococker platform with enhancements unique to Inception Designs. With its sleek design and superior performance, the Retro Hornet Pump is a favorite among professional players.
Pump paintball markers offer a unique and challenging playing experience for players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to try out pump play or a seasoned player seeking a high-performance marker, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs. From budget-friendly choices to high-end tournament markers, the world of pump paintball has something for everyone. So grab your pump marker, hit the field, and enjoy the adrenaline-filled excitement of pump paintball!
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