Anyone Play Paintball?

Ronoh

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My 15 year old son has started taking an interest in paintball (I should say he has taken an interest in taking an interest in the game)... he is planning on going to a local paintball field with some of his buddies in the near future and, assuming he enjoys it, I have started looking in to guns to purchase. Problem is this seems to be one of those activities that can get expensive rather quickly and the options are overwhelming to someone who doesn't know the first thing about the sport.

Anyone have suggestions on decent, relatively inexpensive guns for beginners?

It would be so much easier if I was only buying for one but the problem is if he enjoys himself and I get him one I will have no choice but to get one for myself as well... we have 42 wooded acres just calling to become a battlefield ;)
 

Strike1st

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Look at Proto rail....not cheap but not spey high end. Shoot me your email and I'll send you the next email sale of get. I love paintball but I'm old and fat from sorting on my ass...when I find my boyish figure again I will start playing again.
 

stocky

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I love paint balling. Me and some friends looked into purchasing some guns to use at a friends large property. Unfortunatley in Australia you need a firearms licence to own one AND you are not allowed to use them on private property. They can only be used at licensed venues.... But I could purchase a rifle with the same license and fire as many rounds as I want on the same property. Go figure.
 

T_Chan

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I used to be into paintball. I bought my own gear but cheap-o stuff as I was a broke student. Let him rent his gear and see if there's any chance he can try different guns so he can see what he likes. I'm out of the loop in terms of recommending a brand.

It's a real fun sport. One upfront expenditure for the gun, hopper and air tank, then a continuous bleeding of money to buy paint. Around here most fields won't let you bring your own paintballs and they sell their own paintballs about $0.10 each. If you're trigger happy like me, my paintball outings usually cost around $300+
 

DrStrange

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I played years ago with my kids and their Boy Scout troop. I hosted on 160 wild acres completed with a variety of hunting stands, a mix of heavy brush, woods and fields (and some wicked topology) But I had a special rule if I were going to play - highly limited ammo, typically 10 to 25 rounds depending on how many people were playing. Run out of ammo? Sucks to be you. No long range machine-gunning for us, you learned to make sure of your shots

We used cheap gear. Close to the rock bottom cheapest because A) teenagers aren't so good at taking care of their stuff and B) you never know how much interest they will have over time. If it turns out that your kid(s) are extraordinarily interested then you might consider better gear but to start, I'd take the cheapest set up. One place not to save money is shoes and safety gear.

DrStrange

PS best game set up ever? 10 vs 3 with the small team holding a blind hunting (roughly 70% cover) and a 15 minute time limit. Small team wins at 15 minutes or if they kill the all the attackers or if the attackers run out of ammo. Small team starts with the same number of total rounds so roughly 3x ammo per person.
 

Ronoh

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We used cheap gear. Close to the rock bottom cheapest because A) teenagers aren't so good at taking care of their stuff and B) you never know how much interest they will have over time. If it turns out that your kid(s) are extraordinarily interested then you might consider better gear but to start, I'd take the cheapest set up.
I should clarify this is my mindset going in, just don't want to pay $200 for something that is a legitimate piece of garbage when there is something far superior for $150. I'm reminded of my first "quality" chip set that I was so excited to have... They were ink stamped dice chips ;)
 

NiceShot

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I used to be into it and sometimes join "team building events". Most of my knowledge is old school but I can give some tips...

Most people run on compressed air now and you can refill at the parks. I would steer away from C02 as when the canisters first are filled they get quite cold and it becomes tough to regulate the speed which results in chopping balls. Annoying. Sure you can purchase expansion chambers to help resolve that but it is just added cost.

If you search crags list you can usually find a deal. Search the craigs list ad for name and model and do a quick Google search. There are so much more available than back in the day. At a minimum you want something that won't chop balls and is consistent because you will always be looking where your ball hits and readjusting your shot. Paintball field approved ball sizes means you have a giant ball of paint which doesn't exactly result in accuracy. Consistency is key. There are fancy barrels out there that are supposed to spin the ball for better blah blah but that can come later if he is really interested.

So for me an old school cheap setup that wasn't so cheap that it sucked was maybe a spyder paintball marker (all metal construction) and go buy the orings to replace the seals. Make sure and oil them before installing or theycan tear. I would stay away from the plastic Tippman stuff that breaks down easily...

Get a compressed air tank, they typically need to get tested and stamped with some date. Some fields require that for safety or you won't get on the field with it.

Get a hopper (the thing up top that holds the balls) with a mixer. They have them without but balls get stuck and you end up dry firing just as you need to take someone out which is frustrating. A little spinner at the bottom of the hopper spins automatically to load the next ball. They are relatively cheap now. I think you can get one for 15 bucks. Digital controlled stuff is expensive and can come later.

Get a comfortable paintball mask that hopefully doesn't fog easily. Lots to choose from out in the market but you will probably spend at least 30 bucks for one.

Get gloves with knuckle guards. A paintball to knuckle hurts and hands get shot at a lot. You are trying to present the smallest target for your adversary so the paintball gun/marker and your hands are likely to get hit more.

I am sure there is more and better advice out there but my 2 cents if you want to buy your own setup rather than rent. I hope it helps.
 
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Puggy

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We just played a couple of hours last weekend. In the woods. The result? Lots of bruises, scratches and sore muscles.
Both teams have different colored camos on, hard masks, goggles and stuff. And rapid-firing automated miniguns.

And yes, those balls hurt. These wounds were coused by me, fired from, say, from 5-6 meter distance.
But it's a lot of fun :)

20150523_120120_resized.jpg
 

Mr. Cheese

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I used to be on a paintball team back in the day. For a cheap gun that you can get anywhere a tippmann 98 custom is kind of like the honda accord of markers. I never had a super expensive one by some standards but my last one was a Dye DM6 with upgraded board, eye, trigger, and just about everything else you can do to them. Have him try it out, get a cheap gun like a Tippmann, see if he enjoys it after a few months then consider a nicer gun and equipment.
 

pltrgyst

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Jeez, paintball is complicated. Live ammo is so much simpler -- in 'Nam, we didn't even wear eye protection.
 

Zathras

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I played a half dozen or so times back when I was a bit younger. Had a blast doing it. I played in both woods courses and open field with obstacles type courses.
I much preferred the sneaking/sniping one pull/one shot games in the woods vs the 'spray n pray' auto-machine gun type events which seemed to be more common.
Expect to spend a few hundred per person and up for decent equipment. I always wore full camo with jeans and a sweatshirt underneath, to pad the impact a bit so I didn't end up looking like puggy's pic. :)
 

H|Q

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I used to be on a paintball team back in the day. For a cheap gun that you can get anywhere a tippmann 98 custom is kind of like the honda accord of markers. I never had a super expensive one by some standards but my last one was a Dye DM6 with upgraded board, eye, trigger, and just about everything else you can do to them. Have him try it out, get a cheap gun like a Tippmann, see if he enjoys it after a few months then consider a nicer gun and equipment.

Cheese, I loved Tippman, but that marker will leave you severely under gunned by today's competition. The first marker you buy will not be your last, unless you go all out and get an auto-fed hopper and etrigger right off the bat.

It's an arms race once you start playing with friends. My recommendation is to rent markers and play a few games at some facilities. Once you see if you like it, you can buy once and cry once.

Have fun and Googles on 100% of the time!

(I was in a winter league, and played with/against a couple sponsored teams)
 

SixSpeedFury

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Go with the rentals at the spot first and see if his interest really grows from there. Just with any other hobby, it can get really expensive.
 

Strike1st

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My last competition gun was a proto pm6...be careful buying used and I'd you play at home buy a chronograph...under 300 fps...or you will end up torn up.
 

Ronoh

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Thanks for the info guys, I'll be doing a bit of digging over the weekend :)
 

tommythecat

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Nice Shot has probably the best and most comprehensive advice ITT for someone just getting started. I played for many years recreationally, and a very short time competitively.

I also want to echo Strike1st's recommendation of a chronograph. It is very easy to get seriously hurt with a gun that is jacked to the max.

Goggles goggles goggles goggles...really can not be said enough. If you can, set up a safe zone with either tarps or tight netting away from the play area for a safe place to reload, clean goggles, etc.

I worked on a dock loading trucks and had my marker with me. I started shooting at the wall about 40-50 feet away from the door leading inside the plant. Someone walked out of the door for a smoke break at the same time I was shooting and a small piece of the plastic paintball shell flew into her face, about 1/2" under her eye. This "game" is no joke and even when you are just messing around shooting trees before a game starts, someone can get hurt from paintball shrapnel. Even wearing a mask you can get small cuts on your face from the small pieces of plastic when you get hit in the mask.

With proper precautions and good safety rules, everyone should have a good time. However, there is almost always one person that is a jackass or thinks the rules don't apply to them. Zero tolerance is the only recourse for people like this.
 

NiceShot

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Nice Shot has probably the best and most comprehensive advice ITT for someone just getting started. I played for many years recreationally, and a very short time competitively.

I also want to echo Strike1st's recommendation of a chronograph. It is very easy to get seriously hurt with a gun that is jacked to the max.

Goggles goggles goggles goggles...really can not be said enough. If you can, set up a safe zone with either tarps or tight netting away from the play area for a safe place to reload, clean goggles, etc.

I worked on a dock loading trucks and had my marker with me. I started shooting at the wall about 40-50 feet away from the door leading inside the plant. Someone walked out of the door for a smoke break at the same time I was shooting and a small piece of the plastic paintball shell flew into her face, about 1/2" under her eye. This "game" is no joke and even when you are just messing around shooting trees before a game starts, someone can get hurt from paintball shrapnel. Even wearing a mask you can get small cuts on your face from the small pieces of plastic when you get hit in the mask.

With proper precautions and good safety rules, everyone should have a good time. However, there is almost always one person that is a jackass or thinks the rules don't apply to them. Zero tolerance is the only recourse for people like this.
Second the goggles. The good parks will eject anyone taking goggles off while in game play. Doesn't take much to damage an eye.
 
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