Hands up if you’ve asked for a paintball marker for Christmas? No, me neither – it’s far too early to be worrying about Christmas presents! Anyway, yesterday I wrote about how to change the tank on a paintball marker but today it crossed my mind that maybe some of you are looking to buy your own marker and just don’t know where to begin?
Leave it to us. Unfortunately, Bedlam doesn’t allow players to bring their own markers onto our sites, as we simply don’t have the time to individually test them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your own marker and join (or form?) a paintball team. But before you do, here are a few things to think about.
How often will you play? No need to invest in one of these if you’re just planning on playing a handful of times a year. Instead get on eBay or the look through the classifieds and paintball forums for a bargain.
Set a price limit & stick to it. Do a little research and find out what the going rate is for a marker that will tick all your boxes. Consider second-hand too by all means, as many serious players upgrade regularly, so second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean bad condition. Don’t be tempted to splash out on something way over budget though, save that cash for the accessories.
Reviews, reviews, reviews. We say this about every bit of kit we buy: always read online user reviews. These are totally impartial third-party testimonials, written by either satisfied or grudge-bearing customers, so read them before clicking ‘Confirm’ on any choices.
Get an all-inclusive starter kit. You know how we said save any extra pennies for the much needed paintball accessories? Better still is a complete starter kit. Most big brands, like Tippmann, make decent, good value starter kits, so try and find one that has everything that you need – and then start comparing prices online.
Know your gear. Don’t just focus on the marker itself, get acquainted with the other components if you’re serious. Ask questions at your local paintball site, so you know exactly how the hopper works and what to look for in barrel length etc. Likewise, speak to an experienced player if possible to get some insight into the small but significant gear details, like whether a electronic trigger is better than a mechanical one.
You plan to play..? If it’s scenario paintball, you’ll need a good all-rounder, whereas the likes of woodsball and speedball will both require a smaller, faster marker.
Obviously buying new from a registered paintball supplier or from the manufacturer themselves is the best possible option but, if you simply can’t afford it, always try out anything you plan to buy second-hand, and find out what their policy is on returns if it turns out to be anything other than what you expected.
In short, use your head…it’ll pay off big time once you hit game play!