In-Depth: Pathogen Super Grease

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When you think about paintball, grease probably isn’t anywhere close on your radar. Yet, it’s one of the most important factors in keeping your marker shooting perfectly. Proper lubrication is absolutely necessary, and if you want to get the best performance out of your marker, you can’t rely on simply using a toothbrush or some other generic cleaning solution to clean your marker appropriately.

Rather, you need to go with one of the leaders in marker lubrication: Pathogen’s Super Grease!

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Simple Paintball Photography Tips

First, if you haven’t checked out Reload #67, you should. It’s been out for a few days now. You’ll get to see the big stack of M17 CQCs that we are just itching to ship out. Order one right now on our website. I personally think they are badass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWEIGTcnUEM

The next order of business is paintball photography. Everyone has a digital camera. Everyone wants to take great shots. Where’s the best place to get great photos? Definitely on the paintball field. Here are some tips that will make your paintball photos stand out:

#1. Use the Right Gear

With digital photography, a lot of what you can do is limited by the gear you have. What type of camera do you need? What type of lens? Well, for most people the saying goes, “The best camera is the camera you have.” In the world of fast action sports, that’s not always accurate. There are some basic limitation that will hold you back if you don’t have decent fear.

First, you should look into a digital SLR camera. Something like the Canon Digital Rebel will work for most people, but if you’re really itching to spend money, get a Canon 7D or 5D Mark III. The Canon 7D is blistering fast—it shoots up to 8 frames per second. That’s going to matter when you are taking pictures of people who are moving.

After your camera, you need a decent lens. You don’t want to get in the way and you need some “reach” or focal length, so you’ll be looking for a telephoto lens. Something 200mm or longer should do the trick. On a crop-sensor camera like the 7D or Canon Digital Rebel, the lens focal length actually gets magnified by 1.6x because of the camera sensor’s size. Just to save time, if you don’t know what I am talking about, Google it.

Next, you’ll need a decent UV filter for your lens. A simple UV filter should be fine for most applications. If your lens gets hit with paint, it will absorb the impact.

#2. Use the Right Settings

If you buy a more expensive digital SLR like the Canon 7D, you’ll get to blast 8 frames per second, but you’ll still have to worry about the right settings.

Here comes photography 101. If you want to freeze action, you need to use a fast shutter speed (measured in fractions of a second). Something like 1/125 (usually a DSLR just shows 125) is great for freezing a person that is walking or barely moving. People playing paintball are usually moving quickly. To stop that kind of motion without blur, you’re going to need a shutters speed of 1/500 or faster.

To get that type of shutter speed, you’ll have to let more light into your camera or increase the sensitivity of your image sensor. Many cameras do this automatically if you switch your camera to “Aperture Priority Mode”—you’ll see it listed as “Av” on your camera knob. This will let you set the shutter speed and the camera will make other exposure choices for you.

Indoors, you’ll need a fast lens (one with a large opening or small f-stop number like f2.8 or smaller) to get a decent shutter speed. More light comes in as you open up the lens (the bigger the opening or smaller the f-stop number), and you also end up with less depth of field. You also get to use a faster shutter speed when you let more light in. You can adjust ISO to get more light sensitivity. A higher ISO number will let you use a faster shutter speed but it also increases the grain in your image. Some people like gain. It’s artsy.

#3. Rule of Thirds

Divide each picture you take into three seconds that go top to bottom and left to right. You end up with 9 squares. Some cameras actually have those 9 squares right in the viewfinder when you look through it.

Want your pictures to look like they were professionally composed? Never put anything in the center third of the frame. Always line your subject up at one of the lines that you’ve envisioned in the frame. Line up your subject’s eyes with the top third line. Put their center point on the left or right third line. Boom. You are a pro.

You don’t need to buy an expensive camera. You can. It will make your life easier. The best equipment is the equipment that you have. Right now, think about getting a faster shutter speed to freeze action by increasing your aperture (lower f-stop number), increasing light sensitivity (high ISO number), and getting composition right. Don’t forget to protect your camera lens with a good UV filter.

When you are done learning, buy something from us on our website. We like selling things. Also, you should subscribe on YouTube and comment on our Facebook wall. Cheers!

Review: Bomb Swab Super Deluxe Sheepskin Battleswab

Bomb Swab Super Deluxe Sheepskin Battleswab Image

Ba-ba-ba-BATTLESWABS!

Now that we have your attention, today, we’re going to tell you all about why you need to purchase the Bomb Swab Super Deluxe Sheepskin Battleswag. Now, we know what you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Hustle Boys, who cares about a review on battleswabs?”

That’s a good point – especially since most battleswabs are quite disposable. You’ve seen them – the $3 – $5 battleswabs that last only a little while, forcing you to have to go buy another one. It’s a part of paintball that most people never think about, because after all, how hard is it to just buy another battleswab when it’s time for a new one?
Yet, there is value in purchasing a battleswab that will last you for years.

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Speedball 101: Player Designations and Basic Game Decisions

Think about your game. Discuss strategy with your teammates before you start. Even if you are just playing a walk-on game, the idea of a preplanned strategy can’t be overstated.

If you are a new player, here is a basic strategy run-down. Because of the complexity of speedball, you’re going to find hundreds of ways to approach a game. Don’t take this advice and these descriptions as the “end all” to paintball tactical decisions. If you are new, learn them and head to your local field armed to discuss appropriate strategy with other players.

For the purpose of learning, let’s assume you are playing 5v5 or 7v7.

Player “Designations”

A “Front” player’s goal is to grab the opponent’s flag. Fronts will run forward of the other players on your team who will be providing covering fire. The biggest mistake that beginner players make is starting everyone as a “front” player. Everyone gets on the field with the personal goal of getting the flag. It’s not going to work. Designate a front player to get the flag.

“Back” and “mid” players are the opposite. They stay in position, cover major traffic lanes at the beginning of the game, and spray a ton of paint toward opponents. You’ll need back players to initially lay down paint that will take out the other team’s rushing front players. Other than providing covering fire and spraying anyone that pops their head up or out, back players communicate and provide information on player positions to front players.

Back and mid players can fill in key bunkers that are lost when someone on your team is eliminated. As a back or mid player, your goal should be to secure lanes that your teammates can safely move up. Additionally, you’ll want to watch your flanks and remember to secure the snake side of the field.

Starting Box Decisions:

The first step is to decide who is going to be a front player and who will be playing back/mid. You’ll want to make sure that you have a clear idea which bunker everyone is traveling to, who will be running where, and where to expect people diving. Make sure players traveling the furthest distance from the box have the right of way.

Your first option is to just stay at the box and pour paint down lanes you expect your opponents to be. Spend a few seconds shooting before moving, and then move to your predetermined bunker. You should know who is playing in the back or middle for your team. If your team has decided that you will be playing the back or back-center, this should be your initial strategy.

You can also run to your bunker while shooting down range. It’s not as fast as sprinting and diving straight for a bunker, but it is a good way to provide covering fire that keeps your opponent’s heads down and sightlines off while you and your teammates move into position. Start shooting right from the start and run into position.

If you’re going to play from the front, your best bet is to cross your fingers and run for it. Don’t hesitate, don’t shoot, just sprint and dive to your position.

After You Are In Position

It’s time to talk to your teammates. Determine how many players are left on the other team. Determine which bunkers are occupied by your team and the opposing team. Hopefully, you’ve walked the field before the game and you understand which bunkers are the most important to hold. If you’ve lost a teammate at an important bunker, you need to call up a rear player to hold that bunker.

After you’ve secured the bunkers you want, look at the lanes you have covered. If you have superiority over a specific lane as a back player, you’ll want to communicate that to fronts and move teammates down the field and toward the flag. Constant communication is the key. Remember, if you aren’t shooting or moving you are talking and sometimes you need to move, shoot and talk at the same time.

Basic Mid to Late Game

If you are in position well, this part gets easier. When you have a numbers advantage, play aggressively. If you don’t have an advantage, stay on the defense until things are evened up. If you have more players, you can look for weak bunkers and attempt bunker them. If you have fewer players, you’ll want to lock up all lanes and pin down movement. Just a few backs can effectively lock down opponents for some time.

Those are the basics.

There are 100 ways to end the game or to progress from the mid to late game stage. The basics always hold true. When a player goes down, you need to bring a back to replace that position. You need to designate players at the start of the match, determine where each person is heading and where the vital lanes are, decide on a starting strategy, and—once you are in position—communicate.

That’s it for now.

Please subscribe on our YouTube Channel, like us on Facebook, and buy some more gear from our website. We like visitors so if you want to stop by our showroom, do it.

Review: TechT’s Quick Strip Pins (Tippmann Markers)

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Just like anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to push pints. On one hand, they make it simple for you to open up and close your marker in a split second. On the other hand, they can break, get stuck, and generally be a pain to work with. Sure, they’re wonderful when they work right, but when they don’t? They’re your worst enemy.

Luckily, TechT’s Quick Strip Pins eliminates almost all of the disadvantages associated with push pins and amplified the advantages. If you have a Tippmann marker that uses pull pins, you will certainly want to keep reading this review. So without further ado, here we go!

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Review: Gunhead TiPX First Strike Conversion Kit

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Yo, Tippmann fans! Have you been jonesing to shoot the legendary Tiberius First Strike rounds out of your Tippmann marker? If you have (and we know that you have), then keep reading, because we have one exciting product! Seriously – stop now and you’re going to miss out on one of the most awesome additions you can add to your Tippmann marker!

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The Best Paintball Pants? HK Army Hardline ProPant 2014

You can wear blue jeans. You can wear BDU pants. You can wear shorts. If you really want to you can wear a kilt. We hear it all the time—”you don’t need paintball-specific pants!”—and “real men don’t need padding.”

I’m not the first person to say that the padding really makes a difference. Unless you are a masochist who enjoys getting shot where the sun doesn’t shine, a quality pair of paintball pants will really help you step up your game and improve the quality of your paintball experience.

The best paintball pants are durable and they stand up to years of abuse. Most paintball-specific pants breathe well and include special ventilated areas that a pair of BDU pant’s don’t have. The padding takes away more than the pain of getting hit. Sometimes, padding can cushion impact enough to prevent paint breakage—keeping you in the game longer.

If you’re on a budget, the Valken Fate II should be acceptable. They include improved knee-area durability and a breathable polyester construction that will keep you comfortable on the field. At under $50.00 they aren’t that much more expensive than a decent pair of street pants.

To get the best pants, you have to shell out some money.

My personal favorite are the HK Army Hardline Propant 2014. You can check out the product video straight from HK Army on YouTube:

HK thought of everything when they designed the 2014 Hardline. They are durable enough to stand up to the toughest conditions, breathable in all the right places, and filled with little features that will improve game play and experience.

The Hardline ProPants are double stitched everywhere and exceptional durable in the knee area. The front and rear are reinforced to handle the load of a harness. On the back, the location of the HK logo is exceptionally firm—it helps hold up a heavy harness and keep your load stable.

There are elastic straps on the waist and Velcro straps on the ankles. You’ll find belt loops, but with the adjustable elastic it is unlikely that you will need them. The zipper is sturdy and there is a dual button at the top opening for additional reinforcement.

HK advertises a total of six pockets. There are two deep front zipper pockets that are lined with an easy to clean liner, two sets of front pockets (one of the pockets is pretty small and doesn’t fit much), and rear squeegee holders.

Breathability is exceptional. The 2014 Hardline ProPants have a mesh liner that helps keep you cool and a ventilation system that extends down the inseam and behind the knee. The stretchable vent material extends to the front of the knee to provide increased movement—something that few pants do. This is perfect if you plan on wearing knee pads.

Overall, the HK Army Hardline ProPant is a good buy. I personally preferred the 2013 colors, but the 2014 model adds increased functionality that was lacking in last year’s model. Breathability is improved and the front pockets are actually functional.

Improve your game and have more fun getting hit with paint by ordering some paintball pants now. Yes, we’ll make some money off the deal but we promise to use it for tacos and beer. Like us on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube to stay in touch and hear about our latest antics.

Review: NCStar DRGB135 Dot Sight With Cantilever Weaver Mount

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If you have been looking for a quality dot sight that’s durable yet lightweight, boasts a ton of awesome features, but will not break your piggy bank, then the NCStar DRGB135 sounds to us like it is the perfect fit for you. Sporting three brightness settings for the green/blue/red dots of the NCStar DRGB135, this is a dot sight that you will want to have with you at all times, this is just the beginning of the advantages players will have when using the NCStar DRGB135. What makes it stand out from the other dot sights in its price range? Let’s find out.

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Speedball 101: Communication

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about speedball basics. I’ve talked to a lot of new players recently and have been dishing out the same advice on repeat over and over. That usually means it’s time to write it down.

If you’re new to paintball you’ll benefit from thinking about basic tactics, teamwork strategies, and play styles regardless of what game you like to play. Even if you only play woodsball locally on private land and never go to a professional field or join an organized team you should listen up and improve your game.

Lesson 1: Walk The Field

Even if you already think you know it. Walk the field before you play. Discuss the field with your teammates. If you are a walk-on player or new to the game, talk to someone with experience. Discuss which bunkers are the best and which are the worst. Look for good positions to flank and areas that have blind spots. Where are the key positions?

 

New players constantly skip this step and jump right in. Don’t skip it. Walk the field and talk about it with your team.

Lesson 2: Start With a Plan

This might seem silly—of course you’re going to have a plan! That goes right up front. Regardless of how redundant you might think it is for me to tell you to discuss a plan before a match, you wouldn’t believe the number of players or teams who just walk right out on the field with no strategy.

Develop a basic naming system for as many things as you can, especially if you play with the same team on a regular basis. If you just head to the field for a walk-on game things with obviously be different. Still, right before the match you can plan moves down the field and inform your teammates what you’re going to call certain field areas.

If you have time you should name all of the bunkers or at the very least decide on some basic directions to describe opponent locations and movements. Forgetting this step will lead to disorganization. It might seem silly to sit around and talk strategy, even if you are at a pick-up game full of walk-on players you don’t know. Trust me, this is the one area that consistently separates winning and losing teams.

Lesson 3: If You Think You Are Talking Too Much, Talk More!

You need to constantly update your teammates with information. They need to know where you are going. They need to know where opponents are. They need to know if you get hit or if you take someone out of the game. Use your pre-determined directions, plan, and bunker names if you have them.

If you aren’t moving or shooting you should be communicating with your teammates. You can move, shoot, and talk all at the same time. Do it as much as possible. Speedball isn’t about sneaking up on people in a ghillie suit. You’re not out in the woods. You’re not going to sneak up on anyone. You don’t need to be quiet. In a game that is all about strategy, communication with your teammates is everything. If you aren’t shooting and you are not moving, you are talking. Always.

We’ll be back with more Speedball tips later this week. For now, check out Reload #66:

When you are done, subscribe on our YouTube Channel, like us on Facebook, and buy some more gear from our website. If you are local, just come to our new showroom and talk to us. We like visitors.

Review: Empire Battle Tested THT Operator Gloves Review

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Do you want a pair of gloves that are not only tough, but comfortable? Of course you do, but we know what you’re thinking: “guys, such a thing doesn’t exist. I can only have one, but not the other, right?”

Typically, you would be right – yet these gloves from Empire are a different type of beast altogether. With a little bit of armor and a bit of padding, these gloves will allow you to keep your finger firmly on the trigger while providing you with a ridiculous amount of protection. And again, these gloves are comfortable! Here’s what you need to know about them:

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