Tippmann Paintball Marker History

Posted by Ron Goldblatt on Thu, Nov 07, 2013 @ 01:41 PM


Originally a manufacturer of collectible, half-scale replica machine guns, family-owned Tippmann entered the paintball industry in 1986 when gun law changes forced them to re-evaluate their business.

At the time, the Tippmann's were afraid that paintball was just a passing fad that would have about as much staying power as the hula hoop. But it seemed like a natural transition for the company anyway. After all, they knew how to make guns, and paintball markers shared the same basic principles as the machine guns they were manufacturing.

Tippmann Factory

Thinking the sport would never last, they entered the paintball industry with a goal: to make high-performance, durable products that people could afford. Because of their experience in the gun industry, the Tippmanns' products were light years ahead of the competition. They built the very first semi-automatic and full-automatic paintball markers, and the sport never slowed down. Tippmann went from having eight employees in 1986 to 120 in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Tippmann Sports Europe in Tournai, Belgium.



The SMG-60... where it all began.
The Tippmann SMG-60 was the first Semi, and Full Auto gun to market. This was also the first gun to have built in constant air. Coupled with a very unique feed system, and .62 caliber paintballs that fired an amazing 600 rpm, this was the most feared paintball gun in the day.  

Tippmann SMG-60


The Tippmann SMG-68 was the industry’s first .68 caliber semi-automatic paintball marker. This marker is one of the rarest & most collectable markers Tippmann produced. It’s pretty much identical in function to the SMG-60, but was built to accommodate the larger "Standard" .68 caliber paintball. The SMG-68 had a couple of different features than it's .62 cal counterpart, the biggest difference being the removable barrel. While the SMG-60's all had fixed barrels, the SMG-68 was the first Tippmann to allow the use of different barrels.

Tippmann SMG-68


The SL-68, introduced in the Late 80's was Tippmann's first pump gun. Designed to match the technology of the time. This was the first production pump marker to come standard with, auto-trigger, velocity adjuster, clamping feed neck, constant air, site rail & stainless steel internals. Unlike the SMG-60 & SMG-68 this pump marker was allowed at all fields and tournaments. 
Tippmann SL-68


68 Special

The 68 Special had a lot of groundbreaking standard features for the time including gravity feed loading system, constant air, velocity adjuster and a M-16 style grip. It was one of the first semi-auto markers on the market, and cycled at 6-8 balls per second.
Tippmann 68 Special


Introduced in January 1991. Designed to replace the SL-68, the SL-68II featured a new bottom-line tank adapter & an external velocity adjuster. Production continued until 2003, and then in 2010 a redesigned SL-68II was released.
Tippmann SL-68II


Designed to replace the 68 Special. More efficient, lighter weight and was the first Tippmann marker designed using CAD software. The Pro/Am featured a machined receiver, cast aluminum fore grip, lower receiver and a hard plastic marker case.
Tippmann Pro Am


Factory F/A

Introduced in December 1995. This paintball marker was the first to use the Cyclone Feed System & also featured a selector switch for full-auto & semi-auto modes. This marker was only produced until late 1996 & is considered to be one of the most collectable Tippmann markers ever made.
Tippmann Factory FA


68 Carbine

Introduced in Nov 1996, the 68 Carbine was very similar to the Pro-lite but was easy to upgrade and modify. This was the first Tippmann marker to use the revolutionary CVX gun value system which delivered high efficiency & consistent velocity with C02 or compressed air.
Tippmann 68 Carbine

Model 98

The Model 98 introduced in September, 1998 was the first marker to sell over a million units using a die cast aluminum receiver construction which lowered the weight and cost but maintained the Tippmann durability. This design became a standard as the rental marker at most fields, introduced more players to the game and was engineered so well that the base design is often still copied today.
Tippmann Model 98

Pro Carbine

This marker was a combination of the best features of the Pro-lite and 68 carbine. The Pro-Carbine was built so well that many considered it indestructible and to this day they can found still in use as a rental marker at many fields.
Tippmann Pro Carbine


98 Custom

The Custom built off the Model 98 platform provided added access to internals to make it easy to add upgrades and accessories. Using a die cast aluminum receiver construction which lowered the weight and cost but maintained the Tippmann durability. This design became the new standard as the rental marker at most fields, introduced more players to the game and was engineered so well that the base design is often still copied today.
Tippmann 98 Custom


Introduced in 2002, the A-5 addressed the need for more customization, improved speed and easier access to internals. The Tippmann A-5 push pin design can be field stripped in under 60 seconds and utilizes the patented Cyclone Feed System that enables a rate of fire up to 15 balls per second without batteries. 

Tippmann A-5

X7 and X7 Phenom

2007-2010 in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Tippmann X7 and later the X7 Phenom took customization to a whole new level with over a 1,000 different looks available. The X7 Phenom uses FlexValve technology that operates under 300psi and can switch from electronic to mechanical mode on the fly. The X7 Phenom can use most X7 accessories and features the Cyclone feed system and push pin design.

Tippmann X7 and X7 Phenom

TiPX Pistol

The TiPX Pistol addressed the need for a true military-style look in a compact, lightweight design. With the under barrel 12 gram CO2 air system and first trigger pull puncture system with a separate magazine, the TiPX truly stands out from all others. The 7-ball True-Feed magazines is a proven performer in all weather conditions and the efficient spool valve system maximizes air efficiency and minimizes kick.

TiPX Pistol


The FT-12 Flip-Top .68 Caliber Paintball Marker was initially designed for rental fields to improve maintenance time by up to 75%. It features a “No tools required” Flip-Top design, compact milsim look, an all-aluminum receiver & grip-frame and is modular design with fewer parts. The FT-12 features the Tippmann proven inline bolt system. 

Tippmann FT 12

Crossover and Crossover XVR

2012 -2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Crossover XVR features upgraded performance, easier maintenance and enhanced design. Designed to allow players to easily switch from tournament to woodsball play, the new XVR features a venting On/Off ASA, 15” two-piece barrel, tool-less access to Bolt and FlexValve System, tool-less battery access, stream-lined Vertical Grip, aluminum Lightweight Trigger and an optional Barrel Kit. The Crossover and Crossover XVR both feature FlexValve Technology which allows operation under 300PSI that can change from electronic to mechanical operation.

Tippmann Crossover and Crossover XVR


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Topics: Tippmann, Paintball, X7 Phenom, FT-12, A-5, Pistol, 98 Custom, TiPX Pistol

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