Maintenance Tips: How To Take Care of Your Paintball Gun

Don’t forget to take care of your equipment. Basic paintball gun maintenance can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you are like any of us at Hustle Paintball, your gun is your biggest budget item. If you’ve done all of your research, saved your money, and planned properly, you likely have a paintball gun that’s going to last—as long as you take care of it properly.

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Here are some basic maintenance tips that beginners need to know. Go ahead and gloss over them if you’ve been playing for a while.

1. Clean, Clean, Clean

Before you do it, take the air source off. Sorry, I had to include that part—always remove your Co2 or HPA tank before cleaning your marker.

Cleaning is inevitable because dust, dirt and grime kill. It goes beyond just running a squeegee down the barrel and calling it a day.

Step up a cleaning routine. I just use a rag and some warm water to clean dirt, paint, and paint chips off my marker every time I use it. It’s part of my routine. When I get home, my gun comes out, gets disassembled, and every part gets cleaned with a damp cloth and dried with a dry towel. I squeegee the barrel again with a second Exalt Barrel Maid that I use only before I put my gun away (I keep two because I like to have one that is as clean as possible).

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You don’t need to use chemical cleaners. You just need a damp cloth.

2. Check O-Rings

While you are cleaning, visually inspect your O-Rings. You’re looking for cuts, tears and abnormalities that look like air could slip past. Check the manual that came with your marker to determine where all of the o-rings are.

3. Lubricate—Less is Often More

You need to lubricate your marker. Don’t just use any grease or oil you find. I shudder to think about people using 3-in-1 oil or WD40 in $1000 paintball guns. It’s crazy. Specific paintball lubricants are inexpensive and can improve the life of your marker.

Again, manuals usually specify what type of grease or oil to use in your paintball gun. Read the thing. That’s why it’s there. Some people have specific preferences. When I use grease, I like Pathogen Super. It’s cheap and the little tub lasts forever. An inexpensive bottle of Planet Eclipse Oil is good for situations where grease isn’t called for.

Don’t over lubricate your paintball gun. Using too much lube will only hurt performance.

4. Be Careful  

Don’t put your paintball gun underwater. Don’t get it covered in mud and dirt if you can avoid it. I seriously think about not playing in the worst conditions so I can avoid corrosion and additional cleaning problems. If I have to play in heavy rain, sometimes I cover my marker with a plastic bag. Even if I don’t play with the bag on, I still have it on me so I can keep the gun dry between rounds.

That’s it. It’s simple. Read your manual. Clean your marker every time you use it. Keep it out of the muck. Lubricate but don’t overdo it.

When you are done taking care of your paintball gun, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, like us on Facebook, and buy some more gear from our website.

What Are .50 Cal Paintballs All About?

For some people this might seem like a “dead topic.” But, maybe you’re just getting into paintball or maybe you don’t pay that much attention. Both ways, there is this “other” caliber out there—smaller in some cases less expensive and it requires different equipment. Now, before you run out and get a Planet Eclipse Conversion kit for your Etek, you need to figure out what is going on with .50 cal paintballs.

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What Good Is Anything New?

Well there are First Strike Rounds, which actually are pretty innovative. They can drastically improve accuracy and make paintball guns like the M17 DMR actually possible and not completely crazy. 15 years ago, when I first started playing, if you told me that a fully-scoped-in DMR-style rifle would eventually be an accurate and viable option, I would have told you that would never happen.

The point is that the aerodynamic and form advantages of first strike rounds make it possible and there are awesome new paint technologies I’m sure no one has thought of that can revolutionize how the game is played.

But, what about .50 cal paintballs? What is the point?

The old guys that have been around paintball seriously will quickly remind you that they’ve seen many different sizes of paint come and go. They can raddle them all off—maybe 6 or 7 different calibers. They’ll talk about how they all failed and so will .50 caliber.

It’s hard to pay attention to these people—some of them used to say that people will never want full auto, or that ramping would never catch on.

Advantages to .50 Cal Paintballs

There are some advantages .50 cal paintballs have over larger .68 rounds. Because the paint is smaller and carries less mass, it hurts less when it hits you. The big advantage, in my opinion, is that you can carry more paint with you in the same amount of space. That means more rounds downrange. For some players and in many game situations more paint means that .50 cal paintballs are better.

Disadvantages?

Try to find .50 cal paintballs to buy. They are seriously hard to get, especially from local dealers. Additionally, big companies haven’t really invested in different calibers. It doesn’t make sense—or they can’t see themselves turning enough profit—to build .50 caliber markers for the masses. Everyone already has .68 equipment; Most everyone is happy with it.

Where is it Going?

They likely won’t be going in your hopper. The reality behind .50 cal paintballs is pretty straightforward. At this point, the ship on their popularity has sailed. They were never meant to be a replacement for .68—maybe just to fulfill a specific purpose. For guys that need a boatload of paint, .50 caliber is great. For people that don’t like to get hit with paintballs, mainly younger new players, it also isn’t bad. Remember, because they have less mass they hurt less moving at the same speed.

That’s actually one of the reasons I was excited about .50 caliber paintballs. I was hoping that they would take off at rental fields and get more people interested in the sport.

Stay tuned for more Hustle Paintball updates. Get at us on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube. We’ll keep you up-to-date on everything that’s happening in the world of paintball gear and Hustle Paintball.

Lens Tint Differences? It’s Not About The Looks

Why do manufacturers make different lens colors? I’ll tell you this—it isn’t for style points. All the different lenses you see in masks? They all have a purpose. They all do something.

Most of the best players I know are pretty serious about goggle choice. From comfort to functionality and lens color. They end up acquiring as many lens tints as possible. The last thing they care about are style points. Style doesn’t win matches.

What’s the best lens tint? It depends on the situation.

Let’s start with Mirrored Lenses:

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They look cool, right? Sure. Everyone loves to see their reflection in your mask. Put them on during a dark day or an indoor game to look cool and you’ll be screwed. Mirrored lenses are often the darkest. They block the most light. You likely won’t need them until a really sunny day rolls around or if you want to play in the snow. That’s actually the only time I use mine.

What about Clear Lenses?

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Clear lenses are my everyday go-to lens. They can cover every situation effectively—mostly because they are clear. If you only have one set of lenses, you have to take this route. Clear lenses are perfect for 60-80% of the field conditions most players experience—they are really fine for everything except the most sunny days.

Smoke Lenses:

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Smoke or gray-tint lenses is one of the first colors you should get after clear. They provide adequate sun protection will still giving you clear definition and true colors. The biggest benefit to smoke lenses is that they help keep you from squinting on sunny days. Don’t use them inside though—I guess you can but you’re not going to be able to see anything.

Amber or Orange Lenses: 

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Orange is, in my opinion, the most useful color to get if you’re going to do anything after clear or smoke. Amerish/orange tint helps improve your ability to focus in dim conditions or when it is hazy outside. They also help improve your depth perception. It’s about increasing the reds you see and limiting the colors that block your ability to focus. They also help improve your ability to see things move quickly.

You’ll notice that a lot of professional marksmen use orange tint glasses in shooting competitions. There’s a reason for it. They help improve focus.

The rest of the rainbow: Blue, Red, Green

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You see these colors everywhere. Personally, I think they are pretty useless. Clear, Mirrored, Smoke and Orange/Amber lenses will cover everything you need. Green is good for blocking light on sunny days, but you already have mirrored for that. Red supposedly filters out light that improves sharpness—amber works the same but does it better. You don’t see any marksmen with red lenses. Blue reduces glare, but—come’on they are blue. I think they look silly, and honestly, you’re not going to find many practical situations where they are better than amber lenses for improving perception.

Which Ones Do You Buy?

Doesn’t matter to me—we want you to buy them all obviously. If you’re new to paintball, clear is the way to go. After that, get smoke for sunny days. Amber should be next if you want to see movement better and sharpen up your depth perception. Mirrored? Sure if you’re going to be playing on really sunny days. Everything else? Buy it to look cool

Why haven’t you subscribed on YouTube? You should also like us on Facebook. Remember to buy your lenses from our website. It’s how everyone at Hustle Paintball buys food and pays for beer.

Fixing HK Army KLR Fogging Issues

We’ve heard about KLR fog issues and we think there is a solution. The HK Army KLR is an excellent mask—and, for many users, the fog shouldn’t be an issue after removing a small section of black plastic that shipped on many of the masks. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take a look at the top of the mask to see if it shipped with a piece of plastic above the vent area. Without the plastic, your mask should look like the picture below.

Top Mask

2. If the piece of plastic is already removed, you shouldn’t have fogging problems. If it’s still there, you need to remove it for better ventilation. To remove the plastic vent cover, peel the forehead foam off the mask carefully.

Peel Foam

3. Use a pick or small flathead screwdriver to remove the plastic. It is anchored in the center of the vent area and to the sides. It should come right off.

4. Reattach the foam. The forehead foam should reattach well if you use a hairdryer to get the adhesive warm.

Reattach Foam

Give us a call or drop an email if you are having any trouble. If you break the forehead foam we have replacement foam available.

If you haven’t seen Reload #63 yet, video instructions for fixing KLR fogging problems are included. Check out the video below

Additionally, we are considering another Hustle Paintball game night, so head over to PbRiot and vote on the game night thread.

Stay tuned for more Hustle Paintball updates. Get at us on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube. We’ll keep you up-to-date on everything that’s happening in the world of paintball gear and Hustle Paintball.

Tippmann Cronus Review: The Best Paintball Gun for Beginners?

What’s up with the Tippmann Cronus? We took a quick look at it in CBTC #3 a few days ago, now you can see Jeff giving you the full rundown. Check out the video below.

A lot of people have been calling and emailing to ask what this new paintball gun is all about. As we mentioned a few days ago, it doesn’t have revolutionary internals—it’s a Tippmann 98 in a new body. We aren’t encouraging you to hate it. That’s actually a good thing. It’s actually the best paintball gun for beginners. Here’s why.

Reason 1: Reliability of Tippmann 98

Every paintball field everywhere rents Tippmann 98s. Reliability is the reason. Paintball fields want people to get into paintball; they want renters to have a good time. The Tippmann 98 is one of the most popular paintball guns of all time because it reliably produces good experiences.

They are actually hard to break. With limited maintenance they will run forever. The best paintball gun for beginners is the one that will work every time and is easy to take care of. The Cronus doesn’t require advanced mechanical knowledge to use or take apart. It will stand up to abuse. It will work weekend after weekend. The internals are proven—that’s why they rent 98s at every paintball field you go to.

Reason 2: Customization

The Cronus is the best paintball gun for beginners because you can customize it to suit your needs. The biggest problem we see with many entry-level paintball guns are simplistic “what you see is what you get” designs. Most inexpensive paintball guns come in one-size-fits-all packages that can’t be easily modified.

The Cronus is different. The tactical design can be customized to fit a variety of play styles. We’ll talk more about how we like it setup later—for now consider this important point: You don’t want to match your play style to your equipment, you want equipment that matches you. The Cronus includes more modification features than any inexpensive marker we’ve seen.

On top of being customizable, the Cronus shoots comfortably. The grip fits “right,” balance is good with the stock attached running remote, or with the stock removed and a tank attached.

Reason 3: Price

We don’t need to say more about this. The price is right. It’s a $79.00 paintball gun that you can extract much more than $79.00 of function from. My Tippmann 98 is 13 years old. It still works. Don’t knock something that is built on a reliable design.

How Should I set It Up?

Do you need the tactical version? Should you run a remote? These are the types of questions people have been asking alongside comments about the Tippmann 98 internals. The answer depends on your play style and the model you buy.

Removing the stock from the tactical version and attaching a tank places the marker at a perfect height for using the sights. Using the stock and tank is problematic—together they just get in the way. Another problem is that with a mask on, you can’t really see down the sights while using the stock. If you want to use the sights, take the stock off and use a tank. If you’re going to use the stock, run remote. Jeff provides a more extensive explanation in the video review.

The Best Beginner Paintball Gun?

Sure. If you are looking for something flashy the Cronus isn’t it. For a new player who wants something that is going to be fun, comfortable, customizable, and work every time you pull the trigger, the Tippmann Cronus can’t be beat. The people that will knock the Tippmann 98 internals are likely to already own a flashy expensive electronic marker. This paintball gun was built for beginners who want quality, reliability, and functionality at a rock bottom price.

Order the tactical or basic version now from our website. We think you should run it with HPA using NInja’s 48 cu tank for the best affordable results. If you’re going to run remote, get a good harness like the NXe 4+1 (at $25 it can’t be beat) and a decent remote line with disconnect.

Hustle Reload 62

Sun’s out? Guns out. Winter is over and we are excited for better weather. This week on the Hustle Reload we have an arm wrestling competition and a rap battle. Between we assemble a Milsig M17 DMR that just arrived, take a look at some Custom CCM T2 pump markers and take out a FedEx delivery driver during an orange smoke grenade test. Here’s the video:

Custom CCM T2

Let’s start by talking about the custom CCM T2 pump marker. CCM makes the best pump paintball guns you can buy. Many people already know about the advantages of the CCM T2. To us, they are less like paintball guns and more like works of art. The T2 is smooth, the action is satisfying—there is really nothing else like it. If you don’t want one, you’re crazy.

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Check out a couple customized CCM T2s in this week’s reload. Lust after them for a few seconds, and then think about how cool it would be to have your own custom T2. They take a while to come in, but you can get a T2 built exactly the way you want it. Virtually everything is customizable. Check out our T2 order page for more info.

The CCM customizer tool can help you figure out exactly how badass your T2 can look. You’ll probably want to call to order—because when you do you’ll get to pick everything.

M17 DMR Arrives

We also received the M17 DMR from Millsig. Finally. We aren’t sure if it is completely ridiculous or cool—likely it is a match between the two. If you want a well-built sniping machine that is completely outrageous the M17 is for you. Your likely going to do plenty of your own research before buying it—but here is one thing that Milsig didn’t tell us that you should know before you order: You’ll have to pick up a ladder to attach the 400mm barrel. We haven’t seen a Little Giant ladder infomercial in a while but it seems like the best choice—a nice compact design that will fit right in with your sniper kit.

John Dresser of PbNation

You should check out our exclusive interview with John Dresser where we asked all of the tough questions the community at PbNation have been waiting to hear. We discovered that he prefers hand dryers, can’t remember Home Alone 3, and that PbNation is really a peanut butter forum. Check out the interview:

Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun

The Tippmann Cronus is available and in stock now. It comes in two versions—the Cronus Tactical and the Cronus Basic. The tactical has a kick ass design—it’s the model you want if you order this marker. We’re going to get to a full video review later on, but for now you can catch a glimpse of the Tippmann Cronus in CBTC #3 on YouTube:

So, what’s the deal? Is obvious that milsim is popular and the tactical style is “cool” right now. Tippmann is picking up on it and released the Cronus Tactical to tap into the market with an inexpensive milsim paintball gun.

The Cronus is made from a high-impact composite black and tan boy (we might just spray paint ours all black). The tactical version includes a mock silencer, 6-position stock, vertical grip, and a carry handle with built-in sights. There are four rails for attaching AR-style accessories. The barrel is ported on the end. The gas line is internal and the bolt is an in-line design.

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Bottom line: The Tippmann Cronus is basically a Tippmann 98 crammed into a new shell. It’s a proven design that some people love and other people love to hate. Like it or not—it’s still a quality marker. It shoots paint, it’s durable, and—for $109.00—it does it in affordable style.

The body on the Cronus Tactical adds a good amount of functionality and a cool look (as soon as we paint it all black). It’s comfortable and it feels well-balanced.

The Tippmann Cronus is the perfect marker for a friend who wants to give paintball a try. It has the “look” everyone is after, the price is right, and with proven internals it will be durable enough to stand up to some good abuse. Some of us still have Tippmann 98s that are over 15 years old and still chugging out paint like the day they were new.

Visit our website to order the Cronus Basic or the Cronus Tactical. They both shoot paint. Buy it for your little sister, get her into paintball, it’s only $109.00.

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Virtue PF Pod Review

Virtue’s new PF Pods—the “PF” stands for Press Flick—are innovative and excellent. We understand what you are thinking: “How can a paintball pod be innovative? It just holds paint.” Trust me, we thought the same thing at first. Check out our review video where we ran these new pods through a series of “unique” tests:

The biggest advantage to the Virtue PF Pods is durability. We performed a number of tests to compare the Virtue pods to a standard pod. We dropped them from shoulder level to concrete. We dropped them from 35 feet to our warehouse floor.  We even put the Virtue PF in a vice and turned it until we couldn’t turn it anymore. Even flatting the pod in a vice couldn’t shatter the durable plastic. The Virtue PF didn’t crack and it returned to an altered albeit useable shape.

It only broke once and that’s after we abused the hell out of it.

Two Sizes

The Virtue PF Pod comes in two sizes—135 and 165. The 135 is 2-inches shorter than a normal pod, but it holds the same amount of paint. The 165 is the same length as a normal pod—it holds 20% more paint. The difference between normal pods and the Virtue PF is in the shape of the cylinder. The Virtue pods don’t taper over the length of the tube, allowing for higher capacity at the same length.

The “Press Flick” tab is a fast opening top that will press or flick open. It works great, however we did notice that it can open itself when dropped from 35-feet to our warehouse floor. The top is just as durable as the plastic tube.

Which One is For Me?

It really depends on your play style and hopper size. If you like to shoot paint and you have a large hopper, get the 165—especially if you already have a normal sized pod. The 135 has a slimmer profile. If 2-inches of pod height makes a difference for you and you enjoy “slimming” your profile to reduce hit area, the 135 is a good choice. Both sizes come in a variety of colors.

The only downside we saw with the 135 was pack eject compatibility. Because it is shorter than a normal pod, it doesn’t eject as well when you release it from a pack. You can still get it out, it just doesn’t eject as smoothly as the 165.

Buy a Set

You need the Virtue PF Pods. You can buy them as single pods on our website (135 or 165) or as a six-pack (135 six-pack or 165 six-pack). At under $6.50 each they aren’t expensive. They’re more durable than any pod we have seen. If you don’t believe us, check out our Virtue PF Pod review video and watch us crush it with a vice.

Get at us on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube. We’ll keep you up-to-date on everything that’s happening in the world of paintball gear and Hustle Paintball.

The Best Paintball Cleats

If you aren’t playing with the right shoes, you are missing out on one of the best ways to up your game. Any type of traction advantage is going to improve your ability to run and cut, resulting in improved quickness and better play. Several types of shoes are popular in paintball. Many players choose football or soccer cleats. These work well most of the time. For a long time, it was actually all that was available.

The best paintball cleats for you depend on your needs. Consider how much traction you want and how customizable you want to cleats to be. What is the typical play surface you play on? Is it turf, grass or dirt. Many fields that use turf surfaces have restrictions on the type of cleats that you can use. Additionally, you don’t necessarily want super-aggressive cleats for dirt-based play.

If you have already found something that works for your play style, definitely keep using it. Often times, a good pair of soccer cleats are absolutely fine. If you don’t have cleats yet, or you are looking for something that is paintball specific, check out these two options:

 

Exalt Developments TRX Paintball Cleats

These are one of the most popular paintball-specific options. Customization is key to these cleats. Two different sets of spikes are included. You can switch the spikes out for a more or less aggressive feel depending on your gait, field type, or field cleat restrictions.

They are only available in sized 9-13, they include a carrying bag, two sets of spikes, and a spike tool. At $80, they cost around the same as a good pair of soccer cleats. The advantage is customization and paintball-specific development.

HK Army Shredder Cleats

Instead of removable spikes, the HK Shredder uses fixed traction points. They are designed for use on a variety of surfaces—from mud and dirt to Astroturf. These cleats are acceptable on most turf fields because they don’t include metal spikes that dig up the surface. They are very similar in plate design to “turf shoes” developed for other sport-specific purposes.

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The HK Army Shredder is $70.00 and available in sizes 8-14. They are a good deal, but not as customizable or advanced as the Exalt TRX cleat.

If you already have a pair of turf shoes or soccer cleats you’ll understand the impact that proper footing can have on your game. If you aren’t using cleats, you need to start. Consider the Exalt TRX if you want the best paintball cleats for adaptability. They can handle any play surface or condition. The HK Army Shredder cleats are excellent too—they are a good choice if you prefer simplicity and don’t want to be concerned with switching out spikes.

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Paintball Workouts: Take Your Game to The Next Level

Want a way to take your game to the next level? Something you can do to improve in the off season? Before you think about upgrading your gear, purchasing a new paintball gun, or investing in the latest expensive product, upgrade your body. Put some time and effort into making yourself a better player through exercise.

The 2014 PSP season just kicked off and we can’t help but notice how fit some of these teams are. If you haven’t checked out this awesome video from SpantastikMedia take a look:

Fitness is a big key to getting to the next level.

Believe me, we would LOVE it if you purchased more gear to get better. After all, we run a business selling equipment. The honest reality is that the best investment you can make in being a better player—especially after you have the essentials covered—is in yourself and your level of fitness. With improved stamina, strength, and agility you can outrun, outgun, and outflank the competition. Better yet, when the opposing team is gassed you will still be strong and capable of communicating with your teammates. Completely focused on the game objective instead of struggling for breath.

Here are a few simple paintball workouts that will improve your game.

1. Agility Drills

Speed and explosiveness are the key. You need to have the ability to cut, decelerate, rapidly switch direction and explode to full speed running in less than a few seconds.

The easiest way to improve your agility and explosive power is through agility ladder exercises. Here is a quick video with some agility ladder drills.

2. Sprint Workouts

As you get closer to the competitive season, you’ll want to start working on your speed and sprint training. There are a few effective method of developing speed. You’ll want to practice getting to maximum speed and cutting as fast as possible. Shuttle runs are great for this. Run between two lines that are 30-50 yards apart. Practice getting to full speed, stopping quickly, turning around as fast as possible and accelerating to top speed to the opposite line. You will want to do several sets of 5-6 runs with plenty of rest between each.

Hill sprinting is ideal for developing powerful speed. Pick a hill that is steep and at least 50-60 yards long. Run up the hill as fast as possible with an explosive bounding stride. Walk back down and rest for 1-2 minutes. Repeating 6-10 hill runs three times each week will drastically improve your sprinting ability. If you don’t have access to a hill you can also use stairs at a stadium.

3. Core Strength

All of your body’s power is funneled through your core. High core strength guarantees that you remain stable and agile on the paintball field. Incorporate an abdominal strengthen regimen into your daily routine if you want to see gains on the paintball field. Perform crunches, but also pay attention to strengthening your hip flexors and back.

Leg lifts are a simple and effective hip flexor exercise. Lay on your side with your elbow supporting your body. Lift your body off the ground and raise one of your legs. Repeat 8-10 times per side.

Strong hip flexors reduce your changes of injury and improve your ability to cut quickly from side to side.

Put Some Effort In

You’re really only limited by your imagination when it comes to paintball workouts. The best workouts are specific to the demands of the sport. Additional cardio is always helpful to improve your stamina. Your main focus should be on developing speed, strength, and general quickness.

We can’t sell you fitness, but be sure to check out our website for the latest releases. Also friend us on Facebook, and subscribe on YouTube for the latest Hustle updates, tips, and new product releases.