Contributed by Chris "Mr. Glass" Frank, Co-Founder and Executive Officer of the Bad Karma Paintball Team
For many paintballers, the paintball pistol is a blunt instrument best used in desperate situations—a last resort should your primary marker go down. But that's changing. Players have definitely found good uses for the famed Tippmann TPX and later TiPX pistols since they started getting into players hands in 2009. We'll talk about some of these uses and some exciting changes in the industry that actually turn the TiPX into a very versatile 'balling platform.
Let's back up. Paintball pistols are nothing new. They were at the genesis of the sport. The very first time I played paintball in the late 80's, it was with a rental pistol. Later I played with my friend's PGP. But as markers evolved—hoppers bulging and rates of fire ramping—they became a backup. That's not necessarily a bad thing.
At this last SuperGame outside Portland, it came down to me and our Bad Karma commander, Jared "Bad Karma Six" Bronson defending a base. We were being swarmed by 20+ players and they were coming in fast. From the corner of the base I was laying down a lot of paint—X7 Phenom on full auto emptying 400rd Pinokio after Pinokio. Jared had a lodged ball between the feed arm and the bottom paddle in his Cyclone Feed System. But then something amazing happened as he sat behind a huge tree trunk just down from the base. Without hesitation he drew his TiPX pistol popped out the right side of the tree nailing players as they were pushing in. I think they smelled blood thinking he was just using a pistol. But in the hands of a good player, it can be very devastating at close range.
They converged on his position. I was unloading left and right of the tree trunk, but there were too many. I started calling out players as they came in to bunker him. "1 o'clock, Jared!" Splat. Got him. "11 o'clock!" He rolled, came up on one knee and shot the player out point blank.
This went on for about 5 minutes until there were just too many and we both got shot out. But not before we slowed them enough that they couldn't take the base in time. Out of the 14 paintballs (2 TiPX Magazines), Jared had shot out 12 players.
So if you know how to use the TiPX can it help you get some heart-pounding eliminations? Absolutely. It excels in close quarters—bunker rushes, indoor CQB, trenches, etc. Nothing is more satisfying than getting an elimination that way.
TiPX's are also ideal in situations where you need to quickly grab an objective or command troops. By shedding heavy gear and using some speed you can pull flags off a break or on a charge where you couldn't otherwise. And in those situations where you need to worry less about a bulky marker and being right on the front line because you're commanding, the TiPX is ideal.
Now, on to the technology that is really changing how paintball pistols are used. Keep in mind, much of this is due to the magfed movement in paintball that is very exciting. Some of the production level developments we are now seeing make double-fisted John Woo style gun fighting and sniper setups not only possible, but very viable options for players that want to experience something new.
When I think of that Kamikaze, double-fisted style of play, two things come to mind. This first is the Ninja Dual Strait Remote Line. This takes awkward and time consuming C02 changes out of the equation. No more changing out air sources after a few magazines. The second is the ZetaMag set to be released sometime in June of 2013 with prices around the $25 mark. This one is exciting because it puts 20 balls in a single magazine. Just flip after 10 balls. That's a lot more firepower and a lot more speed in putting paint on a target.
For sniper play, there are some equally exciting developments. If you don't know about the Gunhead TPX First Strike Adapter already, it's a barrel adapter block replacement for the TiPX that enables it to shoot First Strike rounds. You can mod existing magazines to work with it or purchase ones specifically designed to. And yes, you can use First Strike rounds in the ZetaMag if you were wondering. The second part to creating a sniper setup is the MILSIG FXR. This is a carbine conversion kit for the TiPX. No word on price yet but should release in June 2013 as well. It attaches very easily, has more rails for things like red dot sights and lights than you'll know what to do with and the stock can house a 13ci air tank. Very cool sniper setup.
As you can see, there are a lot of exciting developments that expand not just the role of the TiPX, but how you can play this game that we all love. Are there more production and at-home mods you can do? Yes. But hopefully this gave you some ideas on what your next setup could be.