Does efficiency really matter?

An interesting debate erupted the other day in the office regarding efficiency. It started with the phrase “I loved the way it shot, but the efficiency was so horrible that I will never buy one again”. Which made me start to think… A smoother shot equates to less recoil (kick); and that means that it is easier to stay on target between shots. This is a huge advantage in any game. Yet we constantly hear people boasting that they get a full case of paint out of their 70/4500 tank. Is that a benefit that you will actually feel during a day of play? Most fields have all day air at a very reasonable price and refilling is quick and easy.

We have had the pump bug hit us hard lately and we’ve all noticed that we are having more fun, getting better at paintball and using much less paint. Even when we switch back to our electros we are more on target and still using less paint than we have grown accustomed to using.

So, should a marker that is a bit (or a lot) less efficient but gives a smoother shot be ignored because of the low number of pods per fill? How much efficiency would you sacrifice for a smoother shot? How much smoother does the shot have to be to be worth the disadvantage? So many questions and so many different correct answers that we just had to share our thoughts. Obviously, we all want the best of both worlds but the magic marker that hits everything you aim at and never runs out of air is still in testing I think :)

Some have said that your position will determine your choice, do you sling paint or snap shoot? Some swear that your style determines the best fit for you. I personally believe that limiting your paint as you play and learn to play will make you a better player and also make you better with your marker. In my eyes efficiency is like age; it really is just a number. If my marker gets 500 shots out of a tank and his gets 800 that means he CAN shoot more, but just because you can does not mean you should. A smooth and consistent shot is much more important to me than an extra pod or 2. I tend to play all over the field as I enjoy finding new ways to attack/defend a specific area instead of following the same trail to the same flag. There have been times where I have run out of air or paint or both on longer games but having the comfort level I have with my marker makes up for the air that it “wastes”.

Getting the best out of your marker is paramount. Whether it is accuracy, efficiency or just the cool factor that you want to maximize; we all want the best out of what is in our hands. Try that supposed air hog and see if it feels right, see if you hit more targets and maybe a less efficient marker will actually be better. Or you could just run out of air and get shot with a harness full of pods…

Remember air is very inexpensive and readily available where paint is available but not inexpensive.

Tell us what is more important for you and your game.

– Jeff

3 thoughts on “Does efficiency really matter?

  1. I’ve been playing now for about 8 years, shooting everything from nelspots, pistols, spyders, cockers, minis, tippmanns, egos,bl, phantoms etc etc.

    I find that in larger scenario games or tourney play, efficiency really does matter. It is not the be all and end all, but it is very important.

    In my experience playing, i have never played with any marker/barrel/paint combo that was accurate enough to hit a moving target every time at 170 feet across the speedball field or in the woods. as a result every time you run into people in large scenario games you end up needing multiple shots per person, regardless of what you are shooting. Team that with very long games and many many players, and running out of air becomes an issue.

    In tourney play, you need a range of players and guns in order to get the most out of your team and take advantage of every role, the back players need to be able to hold down lines consistently, and slinging paint is the most effective way of keeping people behind their doritos, car washes etc. While the snake player most likely won’t need the efficiency to make 1000 shots, he will be close enough to other players that the accuracy loss from any kick of the marker is often negligible. So no loss there by playing with a more efficient, less smooth marker.

    Having played with e-gripped Tippmanns and old spyders, and real steel firearms, I find it difficult to believe that the recoil on the less smooth guns has a significant effect on accuracy with speedball markers. The kick of spool valve markers and most tourney poppets is nothing compared to an a5 on auto etc.

    Also. recent tourney markers give you the ability to change the settings of the marker, dwell, flow rate etc which can allow you to trade efficiency for smoothness to personalize your marker. A marker which starts off with more efficiency can be tuned to be smoother, while markers with less efficiency often can not be tuned to be signifiantly more efficient.

    Just my .02

  2. I agree and yet disagree. if your plane at a field in us air efficiency does not matter, because like you stated before the cost of air at a field is relatively cheap. but where eric ficiency does matter is when your it’s a playing in the mountains of colorado where there is no fields around. Your only choice is to either a. have a extremely efficient marker or b. take lots of extra tanks with you. I just recently purchased an invert mini from you guys And my goal with it is to get the upmost efficiency with it. Like my other marker say my project salvo I get horrible efficiency because of the fact that it runs my response trigger as well is my cyclone hopper, but the gun looks really cool decked out with scopes bipods excetera. Great article guys keep’em coming!

  3. I’m another agree/disagree.
    The reason being, it depends upon the scenario and/or style of play.
    Speedball (at least in my experience) is more of a spray and pray – you’re going to run out of paint before you run out of air, unless you’re running an air hog that needs to be put away yesterday.
    Typically, I play milsim, and we have our share of spray and prayers, typically on fire support so our point people can get to a good vantage position. My role is typically to make a snap shot, so I try for a “one shot, one kill” point. Of course, unless you’re running First Strikes an actual paintball sniper is a serious joke to the rest of the community as a whole, but I will indeed call myself one.
    The smoother the shot is, the more likely I’m going to be able to get that one shot off and make it count. So in my book, efficiency is not really a major factor. I’ll gladly sacrifice air efficiency for a smooth shot.
    However, if I’m playing deep woodsball (which I’ll admit I haven’t yet), this becomes a major concern, because unless you’ve brought an air compressor or a Co2 tank with you, you REALLY have to make every shot count, and even then you’re in danger of running out mid-engagement.
    Now in my case, I come to the field with 4 markers; 2 A5s, 1 TPX, and a G1. The a5s are typically my snap shooters since they have longer barrels (which as everyone knows calls for more air being used), my TPX is for when SHTF, and my G1 is for when I’m expecting to do a lot of paint slinging on short rounds. In either circumstance, I’m running with a full body harness and anywhere between 4-8 pods (Half case to full case of paint respectively).

    The point being (yes, I’m getting to it finally), is that in most cases I’m going to run out of paint long before I run out of air.
    The simple reason being, is that until I spend the extra money involved to replace the bolts, hammers, etc in my markers, I’m firing with a heavy strike, causing unwanted vibration, which in turn results in a bad shot roughly around 50% of the time. Granted, we are slinging what’s effectively a paint filled musket ball, so inaccuracy is somewhat expected.

    So the way I see it, my markers are plenty efficient on air…it’s the efficiency of the internals I worry more about.

    However, your comment about the unexpected benefit of running a pump does bring up an interesting point. You really have to learn to do a lot of things differently. Shot timing, placement, and overall position on the field becomes a major determining factor on how you play the game. It’s something I’ve actually forgetten about with the advent of electronic and mechanical markers – so now I’m considering going back to a pumper and see if that improves my skill somewhat.
    My biggest complaint about this, is the fact that I’ve yet to find an affordable milsim pump marker. Granted, this isn’t a deal breaker, but if I’m going to throw down money on yet another marker (which will start one hell of an argument in this household, believe you me), I want something that’s going to make people go, “Oh DAMN. That looks bad ASS!”

    But I digress. Anyway, that’s where I sit as far as efficiency goes. If you’ve got a good idea for a decent pump marker that doesn’t break the bank, fire away (pun intended).

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