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Monday, 15 October 2012

Load me up another clip! A new age in milsim markers.

Tactical, milsim and scenario paintball has never really been something that interested me, as I love the pure competition of the speedball format, but recent news has definitely been grabbing my interest.  There has been some big product news the past week or so that may really excite tactical and scenario players: Magazine fed markers are finally coming into the mainstream.  Both Dye and Spyder have released photos and information regarding new magazine-fed paintball markers which should be released around World Cup.  These markers seem like perfect execution of a design feature that has always been asked for by groups of players, but never really effectively put into action on affordable, reliable, high quality markers.  We'll start it off with the high-end luxury marker, then cover the new affordable markers which are really catching my eye.

Dye's D.A.M. - Dye Assault Matrix

 Here's the promo video from Dye promoting their new tactical marker, take a look:

With a reputation for quality high quality markers, Dye has really outdone themselves here.  Rather than taking their regular speedball designed markers and adding tactical rails and rear stocks, then re-releasing it as a "new, tactical marker" (similar to the tactical Etha and G6r's).  The D.A.M. is designed from the ground-up as a tactical marker with a lot of basic ideas that are really refined to be done right: the stock is lowered which actually allows you to line up to use the sight rails, the loader is offset so your feedneck doesn't block the sight rails either.  It has an ergonomic single trigger frame combined with a button for select-fire to quickly change between firing modes from semi auto, to three round burst to full auto.

The hybrid magazine/hopper feed system seems to have the perfect simplicity needed for switching in quick situations.  The magazines hold 10 rounds on each side, using a "dual mag" design and are compatible with First Strike paintball rounds, which can offer a significant improvement in shot stability and range.  Combine these with the ability to also use a standard hopper on top and quickly switch between the two, and you have a real winner here. 

Spyder's new MR series and Hammer 7 Pump

Here's the other cool news in tactical magazine-fed markers: Spyder.  Although the MR series has been around for a few years now, this year's line also includes a magazine feed option on their mechanical and electronic markers.  The MR5 and E-MR5 are equipped with a rear stock and sight rails, and is available as either a mechanical or electronic marker. 

The one that really excited me here is the new Hammer 7 pump marker.  This is a re-design of the old Kingman Hammer pump markers that were around in the past, but an exciting new look.  The idea of a magazine fed pump is great, it's similar to stock class in that you have limited ammo, but I could see it being much easier to switch between magazines than to fumble with 10-round tubes trying to reload.  Once again, with the option of switching back and forth between hopper feed and magazine feed, these new markers add a whole new level of versatility to the game of paintball.  I've always been interested in pump paintball play as a fun way to add a challenge to the game or for playing rec ball while keeping paint costs down, and the new Hammer 7 looks like it will be a real winner in this area.