Stark Pursuit: ZetaMag Developments

We recently caught up with Stark Pursuit to see what they are working on in the mag fed paintball world. These guys are serious about mag fed play. For them, it isn’t just about milsim. It’s also about the form factor that mag fed delivers. Small, light, unobtrusive—there is a slimming sleekness to markers that utalize paintball magazines and the 20 round ZetaMag. Tactically, magazine-based paintball is an entire new world that offers a variety of exciting tactical considerations and equipment options. We learned some exciting things about upcoming Stark Pursuit releases and ZetaMag projects that are in development. Check out our video interview with Ian from Stark Pursuit:

If you don’t know about the ZetaMag, you should. It’s a versatile twin-channel, 20 round capacity, reversible magazine originally designed for use with the Tippmann TPX/TiPX pistol. Operation and reloading is slick—it’s a neat idea—you reload from the same magazine by releasing it and flipping it over in the marker. Both sides of the mag hold paint. The ZetaMag is truly one of the most innovative products in magazine fed paintball. They essentially took a standard Tippmann magazine, improved weather and dust sealing, the feed channels and doubled capacity while only adding 4-inches of length.

Crowdfunded Release?

Stark has been working hard to develop and release a ZetaMag compatible with the Tiberius T8.1—Tippmann’s direct competitor in the paintball pistol market. They’ve already developed an aftermarket grip for the T8.1 that accepts ZetaMags. The grip includes an ambidextrous safety switch and release points as well as removable back grips. The idea is to create a grip that uses the ZetaMag but also provides the ultimate in fit and customization.  If you aren’t into pistol play, the same grip works with the Tiberius T9.1.

Currently, the development phase of the T8.1 aftermarket grip is complete. Stark Pursuit doesn’t have the resources to tool and produce the product yet. Be on the lookout for a crowdfunding campaign to get the grip off the ground. Stark indicated that they might rely on potential customers to get the new grip into the production phase. We’re excited to see if this product takes off.

Additional Releases

Here’s something we didn’t realize. The Tippmann 98 mag fed adapter that is about to come out? It turns out that Stark Pursuit was vital to the development process. Stark began the design in 2011-2012 and brought it to Tippmann for production. It’s the perfect idea for one of the most popular paintball guns ever produced.

They are also working on a mag well for the Milsig M17. We got to see the “experimental” version along with a clear ZetaMag that currently isn’t in production. If you want to see the clear ZetaMag, Stark is open to suggestions—contact them and let them know you are interested.

Stark Pursuit also showed us the “Menace Adapter”—a ZetaMag attachment for the CCI Phantom. The adapter removes the hopper system and allows for a magazine attachment in the rear of the marker. The whole system makes the CCI Phantom’s form factor tighter. It just looks cool!

Another product that should be out soon is a magazine well for the Empire Trracer. A ZetaMag full of 20 first strike rounds will be the perfect complement to the legendary Trracer.

Be on the lookout for other releases from Stark Pursuit. We were excited to see them and encouraged by the level of communication, teamwork, and rapport they obviously have with developing products with larger companies like Tippmann.

Getting Into Mag Fed Paintball

Magazine Fed paintball is changing the game.  Over the last few years, the magazine fed and milsim paintball market has expanded rapidly. We’re going to see plenty of AR-styled paintball gun releases in 2014. The Tippmann TCR, Milsig M17, the Tiberius Arms T15 (expect a review soon), and several others are poised to capture the attention of players looking to get into the world of mag fed and milsim style play.

As it gets more popular, I hear people asking all the time, “What’s the best gear for mag fed paintball” or “What’s the cheapest mag fed paintball gun?”

Try a Friend’s Mag Fed Marker

Try it before you buy it. It’s easy to offer affordable suggestions. Kingman’s Spyder Hammer 7 is under $100. If you want something new and revolutionary, the Milsig M17 CQC is about to ship and is only $299. Both options seem fairly affordable, but by the time you add a few extra magazines and maybe some first strike rounds, even the least expensive markers are going to put a dent in your wallet. Your best bet is to go to a local facility with people that play mag fed games and ask to try someone’s marker.  For people accustomed to speedball it’s a different game.

Mag Fed Adapter

We already talked about the new Tippmann Mag Fed Adapter—an upgrade for the 98 Custom that uses Tru-Feed magazines or a 20-round Zeta mag. The 98 Custom adapter will start shipping in May. At just under $50, this might be the cheapest mag fed paintball option. There are plenty of 98 Customs out there waiting for a quick conversion.

MOLLE Vest and FazMag

If you get into mag fed paintball, you’ll quickly learn the importance of fast reloads. Effective equipment is just as important as a quality mag fed paintball gun.

A MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) belt or vest and magazine holders like the Milsig FazMag magazine speed pouches are the foundation of an efficient tactical reloading system. Check out our video and post on the FazMag:

There is a certain cool to mag fed that has everyone’s attention. Maybe it’s about having a badass AR style paintball gun. Personally, I think it is about the simplicity. Around 15 years ago, I started playing paintball in backwoods games with a Brass Eagle Talon and 35 round hopper. There was an excitement to the game brought on by the challenge of a simplified style. Magazine fed paintball returns me to those simple roots.