Top 11 Best Paintball Gun Reviews of 2018

Best Markers for Beginners to Pro Players!

Best Paintball Gun

Our quest for the best paintball gun continued this year at the NXL ‘Las Vegas Open’ in March, which kicked off this year’s XBall season.

It was exciting to see Bryan Smith back in action.

But the real fun started when we got our hands on some of the best paintball guns in the business.

We put a lot of them through the motions, including entry-level markers, mag fed ones, mid-priced guns and the super-priced ones ($2000+).

There were a few surprises but more or less, the list of the best ones was what we expected it to be.

Psst…you can cut to the chase and check out the list of the best paintball guns over here.

Top 11 Best Paintball Guns Chart
Paintball GunSkill LevelWeightHPA or CO2Our RatingPrice Range
Tippmann A-5

Beginner/Intermediate3.01 lbsCO24.4/5$$
Tippmann Cronus Tactical

Beginner3.7 lbsCO24.6/5$
Dye Proto Rize MaXXed

Intermediate/Pro3.0 lbsHPA4.6/5$$$
Tippmann TMC MAGFED

Beginner/Intermediate~5 lbsCO24.4/5$$
Empire Paintball Mini GS

Intermediate/Pro2.0 lbsHPA4.4/5$$$
Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum

Beginner/Intermediate4.8 lbsCO24.0/5$
Dye M2 Paintball Marker

Pro1.15 lbsHPA4.4/5$$$$$
Planet Eclipse Etha 2

Intermediate/Pro2.2 lbsHPA4.7/5$$$$
Planet Eclipse ETEK5

Intermediate/Pro2.2 lbsHPA4.6/5$$$$
Tippmann TipX Pistol

All Levels1.68 lbsCO24.2/5$$
Proto Reflex 15

Intermediate/Pro1.94 lbsHPA4.6/5$$$$

Most people that we spoke to, quipped about how Paintball has changed as a game courtesy of upgraded gear. There was a lot of talk about fancy features, Bluetooth enabled masks, markers with large LED display screens and other bells and whistles that are enough to overwhelm a newbie.

The fact is, once you get on the field, irrespective of whether its speedball or woods ball, it all boils down to how accurate your gun is, how fast it can shoot, whether it gets jammed in the middle, whether its light and comfortable enough to carry and whether or not it shoots a hole in your wallet.

Everything else is a marketing gimmick.

Key takeaways: Fast, accurate, lightweight, comfortable and affordable! That’s what we have based our selections on.

P.S. These are our picks for the best paintball guns, based on our personal research, after speaking to some of the biggest names in Professional paintball, speaking to customers, moderators on forums such as PbNation and analyzing customer reviews. The guns are not necessarily rated in an ascending or descending order.

Here goes.

Tippmann A5
Tippmann A-5 Paintball Marker Gun

We bet you expected the 98 custom. Well, sorry to disappoint. The A5 is one of Tippman’s finest products. One that works equally well for rank newbies and professionals alike. (The Tippman EFFECT used it for a while before swapping it with the 98)

It can be dismantled, cleaned, reassembled, upgraded and custom moded by anyone looking to level up in their game.

It is cheap, shoots fast and is as reliable as they come.

Old, Reliable Warhorse

The A5 IS NOT one of the new age space weapons that seem to be dominating paintball these days.

It is an old, mechanical marker that still ticks.

You will love the feel of it when you hold it in your hands.

It feels solid and weighs close to 3 pounds. Now, some folks might feel that its heavy, especially during practice sessions or club games. But in a tournament scenario game or a mil-sim game, when you are heavily padded under body armor, you will prefer the A5 over feather-light markers. There’s a lot of metal on that chassis with a hint of heavy duty plastic in the right places. At 19-inches, it is not a very petite gun and rightly so. You can choose from three colored finishes, the most notable among which, is the camouflage finish.

Shoots Like a Charm

One of the reasons why the A5 still outscores a lot of newer markers is because it shoots accurately and fast. Out of the box, it is semi-automatic and you can ramp up the speed to about 15 balls a second with zero ball chopping, thanks to the patented cyclone feed system. Upgrade that stock 8-inch barrel to something better, like the Empire Apex 2 and you will have a completely new weapon in your hands, that can put those $500 markers to shame. Spin, loop, curve, whatever’s your shooting style, you are covered.

An E-Grip upgrade is also something we highly recommend. Why use only one finger on that trigger when you’ve got more? Switch to full-auto and go Rambo on your frenemies.

Mods Galore

It’s given that after a while, you will outgrow that stock barrel or get bored of that body kit and will be raring for more power with that trigger. The Tippman A5 can be modified in almost every possible way. Get a swankier, new body kit to replicate your favorite real world firearm, add set of glass to accurately track down your targets or get a hopper that’s lower profile. You can even strip down the marker without specialized tools and polish the interiors for reduced O-ring friction.

Pros

  • Budget price tag
  • Works flawlessly out of the box
  • Patented cyclone feed system
  • Zero ball chopping
  • Many upgrades possible
  • Can easily be upgraded to compete with a $500 barrel

Cons

  • The stock barrel isn’t as accurate as you’d expect it to
  • No full-auto mode in the base model

Conclusion: The Tippman A5 is one of those markers that will serve you for a considerable amount of time with minimum upkeep. If you are a beginner, then this is a worthwhile investment for a first marker. For an intermediate player, this is a very versatile marker that transcends play styles and game scenarios.

Tippmann Cronus

Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun

The Tippmann Cronus is a newbie paintball player’s dream marker.

It is cheap, light weight, has an a M4 Carbine inspired body that’s tailor made for mil-sim games, is easy to use and it can take an absolute beating.

No wonder its popularity in paintball rentals continues unabated.

Looking for an inexpensive beginner’s marker to test the water? There’s no better choice than the Cronus.

The Head Turner

Walk into a mil-sim game with the Cronus and you will grab a lot of eyeballs. The body kit looks amazing in both, the tan and black as well as the olive finishes. For an extra 20 bucks, you can get the tactical edition which features a vertical carry handle, a 6-position collapsible stock to adjust to various body types and a mock silencer with a fixed-front sight.

That’s a complete military firearm for you, right there.

The body is rugged, composite plastic (Hence the light weight) and weighs around 3.7 pounds. You can carry it all day without any problems whatsoever. On the field, the adjustable stock and the molded rubber grip allow for a comfortable experience handling it.

Dress It Up

Tippmann throws in as many as four Picatinny rails allowing you to dress up the Cronus with your favorite tactical accessories. That includes extra sights, a flashlight if need be and grips. That might sound gimmicky for an experienced paintball player. But the gun is aimed at young ball players who dig the whole ‘head into the woods’ thing and it serves the purpose.

Tippmann’s Reliability

When it comes to performance, the Cronus is essentially the 98 in a tactical body. We all know how reliable the 98 is. It is a .68 caliber, semi-automatic and features the same in-line bolt system from some of Tippmann’s other markers. The stock barrel is 9-inches and it is reasonably accurate. If you are aiming for marksmanship practice or will be playing mostly with beginners, shooting at 100-150 feet or so, you will be very happy with it. But if you are looking at intermediate level gameplay, swap it for something more reliable, like a J&J ceramic.

Ball chopping is never an issue with Tippmann markers. The only gripe with the Cronus, is that it isn’t the easiest gun to strip down and clean. Make no mistake, there are customers who have never stripped it down and it has worked flawlessly for years. But us being us, like to dissect markers and get up close to the interiors.

That’s not easy to do with the Cronus.

Pros

  • Cheap, lightweight marker
  • Stunning mil-sim design like the M4 carbine
  • Four piccatiny rails for accessorizing the gun
  • In-Line gas system
  • Adjustable position stock
  • Front grip
  • Gravity fed system

Cons

  • Stock barrel screams for an upgrade for serious paintball players
  • Not the easiest of guns to modify
  • Difficult to clean

Conclusion: The Cronus is the best paintball gun for a mil-silm scenario. Its affordable price tag and reliable performance are an unbeatable combo.

Dye Proto Rize MaXXed Paintball Marker

Dye Proto Rize MaXXed Paintball Marker

Let’s say you walk into a local field with your Cronus and discover that the rest of the guys are using electronic markers and firing the hell out of you.

What tournament grade marker would you upgrade to, that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg?

We’d personally pick the Dye Proto Rize Maxxed.

Entry-level price tag, tried and tested bolt system, ASA and lever feed neck. If you are wondering what difference that is going to make to your gameplay, then read on.

Sturdy Upgrade to the Rails Maxxed

The Rize Maxxed is a sturdy, lightweight marker that replaces Dye’s Rails range of markers. It is available in a variety of two-toned bodies. Some subtle ones, like the black and grey and a few over the top ones like the blue and lime. It has a very low profile like most other tournament markers, including Dye’s own M2 that retails for more than $1000.

The Ultralite (UL 45) trigger frame with the famed hourglass design and the rubberized sticky fore grip allows you great control while shooting.

The Rize Maxxed comes with an excellent 14-inch two-piece barrel. Of all the markers that we have tested, this one has the best stock barrel out of the box. It is accurate, silent and well-constructed. Weighing just under 4 pounds, the Maxxed is not overly heavy either.

Lever Feedneck System With an Air Port On/Off

There are two excellent design upgrades that make the Rize Maxxed stand out. First is the lever feed neck system that allows you to remove your hopper in the blink of an eye. No more fiddling with screws to get that hopper off.

The second one is the on/off for the air port which allows easy removal of the gas tank. A quick turn of the knob is all that it takes.

Excellent Performance

Coming to the most important part, the Dye Rize Maxxed shoots as well as any high-end marker does. That’s a tall claim to make. But its every bit true.

The 140 PSI operating pressure allows for butter smooth shooting with very little chopping. Feedback is almost absent. The first few times you fire this; you might wonder if the gun is actually operational. It’s that smooth.

This also allows you to use some of the best paintball for the money. Time to get the Empire Premium or the GI Five star.

The gun is not a gas hogger. On a 68/4500 tank, you can easily get 1100 shots or more from this.

There are four tournament firing modes and you can tweak the rate of fire. Most importantly, the solenoid issue in the Rails range has been fixed. The Maxxed is one of the easiest guns to clean and maintain.

Overall, you’d be hard pressed to find a better performing gun at this price point.

Pros

  • Budget-priced tournament-grade marker
  • Lightweight UL 45 frame
  • Low profile design
  • Variety of colors
  • 140 PSI operating pressure
  • Feed neck design for quick hopper change
  • Air Port on/off for easy gas tank replacements
  • Solenoid issues fixed

Cons

  • The rubberized grip on the regulator tends to get loose after a while and it can be annoying as it moves around when you are using the gun

Conclusion: The Rize Maxxed is an excellent, budget-priced tournament grade marker. It is backed by a tested performance and has a bunch of new features to boot. Hard to find a better choice at this price point

Tippmann TMC MAGFED

Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker

A large chunk of the paintball population has been veering towards mag fed guns because of the more realistic shooting experience that it offers.

This has led to an influx of mag-fed markers in the market. There’s the MR6 from Spyder, the FS T9.1, the Maxtact G36K and the RAP4. But most of these are obscenely priced or have serious design flaws.

That’s the market that Tippmann aims to capitalize on with the TMC. It is a good quality mag fed marker with an entry-level pricing.

Like everything Tippmann, it is built like a rock and can take a pounding.

The Mag fed Cronus

The TMC is essentially a mag fed Cronus. It has the same body styling (without the tactical paintjob) and is available in three colors. There’s the all-black, a black and tan and a black and grey. The portions of the body that are colored black are lightweight aluminum, whilst the colored parts are high density nylon.

It weighs just 4 lbs. and features a four-position adjustable stock. All parts of the gun that will be in contact with your hands are wrapped in rubber and give you a firm grip while handling. This includes the trigger and the handle (with finger grooves). Tippmann also throws in front and rear adjustable iron sights taking it one notch closer to the AR-15 carbine.

The stock barrel is 98 threaded and includes the 4 picatinny rails for the tactical doo-dahs. That gives you plenty of room for upgrades because there are tons of quality barrels that are 98 threaded.

Dual Feed System

This is compatible with both hopper and a magazine. So, if your fellow players are showering paint on you with their bulk-fed guns, swap the magazine for a hopper and fire away.

Attaching the hopper is super-easy thanks to the clamping neck on the hopper adaptor that’s included in the package. The other extras include two magazines of 19-rounds each in the package, along with a dummy magazine that comes into play when you are using the hopper instead.

However, unlike some of the higher-end mag fed paintball guns, you cannot use both feeding systems simultaneously. Its either a mag or a hopper. Not a biggie.

Reliable on-field

We said earlier that the TMC is a mag fed Cronus, which in turn is a reshelled Custom 98. The first marker for many a serious paintball player.

Tippmann’s build quality and reliability on field are legendary.

The TMC will give you zero reasons to complain. It fires away accurately mag after mag. For best results, we recommend that you run a remote line.

There have been minimal instances of ball chopping if any.

Since it operates on Tippmann’s blowback bolt design, there is bound to be some kick when you fire this. Especially because it’s such a lightweight marker that runs on around 750 PSI. But it’s not unmanageable.

When the TMC was first launched, there were minimum upgrades available for it. That’s no longer the case. Engler offers a custom mod that allows you to fire first strike rounds with the TMC.

Pros

  • Budget priced mag fed paintball gun
  • Built on the Custom 98 platform
  • Dual feed system
  • Front and rear iron sights
  • Rubberized grip and trigger
  • Reliable and durable
  • Includes two 19-round magazines

Cons

  • Tippmann’s magazines tend to jam occasionally. If this happens, you just have to swap it for a new mag. Unjamming the mag is a pain in the arse.

Conclusion

Tippmann’s reliability, build quality and a very affordable price tag! Can’t ask for more. If you are looking for your first mag fed, here it is folks.

Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker

Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker

Enough of the mil-sim crap already. Let’s talk speedball. Fast, aggressive, adrenaline-kicking action. That’s where you need a lightweight, fully automatic, infallible marker.

Enter the new and upgraded Empire Mini GS. Yeah, we know that the name reminds you of the old Empire Mini. The only thing that the new one shares with its predecessor is part of the name.

Everything else is new. Empire have managed to walk the talk and all of the niggles of the previous version have been fixed.

Pocket-sized Powerhouse

The new mini GS is a very small paintball gun with a super lightweight aluminum chassis. It weighs a tad under 2 pounds and is available in a variety of colors. Sadly, there’s no camouflage or all-black. So stealth fanatics are going to make do with a little flashy, shiny color here. It’s not too overwhelming though.

The gun feels excellent when you hold it. The grips are rubberized and the stock 12” barrel make for a very comfortable shooting experience. You can walk with this all day and not even feel it in your hands.

Big kudos to Empire for addressing the trigger wobble which has all but disappeared in the mini GS. The new trigger self-lubricates and has a very responsive click to it.

Revamped ASA Switch

One of the most annoying problems with the original mini was with air leakage and lack of pressure. The new revamped ASA On/Off switch solves the problem. This makes it effortless to degas the tank and remove it. Your O-rings and threads will last much longer.

Empire has not tried to cut corners here despite the mini GS being a budget-priced marker. The On/Off switch is the same one that’s found on many of their higher end markers.

Another change is the new feed neck that prevents the hopper from getting stuck. A couple of turns with an allen wrench is all it takes to swap the hopper.

Fast and Accurate

One of the best things about the Mini GS is that it will offer you ample playtime before you even start thinking of upgrades.

The stock 12-inch barrel works flawlessly and there are no ball chops which we attribute to the break-beam anti-chop technology. It can shoot up to 15 balls per second depending on your skills of course and the accuracy is pretty good for speedball ranges.

There is some amount of kick which is expected in a speedball marker. But it’s not something that should bother you. A few hours with it and you will get used to it.

Get a new hopper, probably something like the vMax plus or the Rotor and you will thank yourself that you did. The Mini GS really shines with the added power.

Pros

  • Excellent entry-level speedball marker
  • Lightweight and comfortable to hold
  • Revamped ASA On/Off switch
  • New self-lubricating trigger instead of the Hall Effect one
  • 12-inch barrel
  • Multiple firing modes

Cons

  • Empire sometimes sends out a flimsy cheat sheet instead of a manual. Check online if you can find a pdf
  • Some users have noticed a problem with low fps despite the ASA cranked up. This happens sometimes due to a dry O-ring and can be fixed easily.

Conclusion

Great pick for your first speedball marker. Cheap, fast and easy to use. Disassembly is a breeze too which is an added plus. Throw in a new hopper and up the barrel and you will easily compete with a $1000 gun.

Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum Series

Tippmann 98 Custom Platinum Series .68 Caliber Paintball Marker with ACT

How on earth can we create a list of the best paintball guns without the legendary Tippmann 98 Custom?

This is the new and upgraded Platinum series that takes one of the best paintball gun designs and adds a bunch of amazing features to it.

But at heart, it is still the old 98 Custom that’s almost indestructible. You can bury this in your backyard, dig it up after twenty years, throw a hopper and a gas tank and it will still work like new. Ok. Don’t try that.

The Most Popular Starter Gun

The 98 Custom has been the first paintball gun for thousands of players around the world. Thankfully, Tippmann hasn’t fiddled much with the winning design. The platinum series features the same aluminum frame with the contoured grips and the 8-inch stock barrel. It is hands down, the best paintball gun to grip and use for a beginner.

Tippmann’s picatinny rails allow you to stack as many accessories as you probably can and the trigger pull is nice and comfortable. You can power this with CO2, nitrogen or compressed air irrespective of the tank size.

Tons of Mods and Aftermarket Products

The 98 Custom itself supports a mini industry of mods and aftermarket products. There are tons and tons of upgrades possible with this one. Some of the more popular ones include a larger barrel (something like the nightstick), a custom trigger kit, a collapsible stock (AR-15), drop forwards, cyclone feed systems and conversion kits.

There’s a saying in the world of paintball that if it can be done, it can be done to the 98 custom.

On the field, it is reliable and reasonably fast. There will be a slight kickback. But even the most difficult-to-fix flaw with the 98 can be fixed with an upgrade.

Pros

  • Legendary, time-tested performance
  • Tippmann’s reliable in-line bolt system
  • Easy access to the interiors
  • Can be stripped down bare and modified from the ground up
  • Tons and tons of upgrades and aftermarket products

Cons

  • Can seem obsolete as compared to some of the flashier markers of today. But who needs bells and whistles when you have performance as reliable as this? Also, this one holds a prime position on the walls of many a player who has since then moved on to newer markers. So, it’s a collector’s item.

Conclusion: This doesn’t even warrant a recommendation. Just buy it. You cannot go wrong with it as proven by hundreds of others before you.

Dye M2 Paintball Marker

Dye M2 Paintball Marker

Ok. Where do we even begin?

Let us start off by saying that the Dye M2 is the best paintball gun in this list. Period.

It is crammed to the brim with features and is a professional-grade marker that will give you the edge you seek in a tournament.

The price tag might seem a little steep. But anyone who has used this gun will never downgrade to a cheaper one again. It is addictively-good!

Amazing Low Profile with Stellar Ergonomics

We talk about ergonomics while reviewing every marker. But the Dye M2 gives the term a new meaning. With a profile that’s incredibly low, it gives you a clear line of sight while in action. Add an efficient hopper, like the rotor 2 or the Spire 3 and you’re loaded with enough ammo that doesn’t interrupt one bit with your view.

The body is High-Grade Aluminum and is available in a whopping 19 colors. Right from stealth to flash, you’ve got it all. Despite the all metal construction, it weighs a feeble 1.15 lbs. only. Talk about an all-day marker that doesn’t strain your arms.

Your fingers fit perfectly into the semi-contoured grips and the magnetic trigger is butter smooth. No spring on this one and you can pick from 20 trigger adjustment points that best suits your shooting style.

The package includes two 14” stock barrels (.684 bore & .688 bore) that you can swap depending on the quality of the paint you are using.

Easy Setup, Multiple Training Modes

Right from color coded O-Rings and an O-ring map that helps you set up the marker easily, to a large air port ASA, you will be up and running in minutes with the Dye M2.

The 1” OLED screen makes usage effortless even though there are tons of presets and customization options in this. It displays almost every minute detail and most importantly, it is not difficult to figure out. You can see battery status, average rate of fire, peak rate of fire, anti-bolt stick, pressure details (hyper and LPR) and other critical game data.

The screen is extremely bright (90 Lumens) and has a contrast ratio of 10000:1. You won’t miss a thing even if you are playing in the bright sun. Need something better? Check out the MOS Air upgrade kit.

There are three integrated training modes that help you hone your speed, accuracy, muscle reflex and trigger response times. You don’t need gas or paint to practice and you get detailed logs that show your performance.

Fast Charge and Reliable Performance

The Dye M2 features a rechargeable battery that lasts a whopping 10000 shots on one full charge. You won’t be charging this frequently for sure.

Lastly, as expected, the gun is flawless on the field. Dye’s patented Billy Wing spool valve system gives it unrivalled efficiency and it operates at just 135 psi.

It is silent, fast, has tight groupings with decent range.

Pros

  • Super lightweight tournament-grade marker
  • Great ergonomics and low profile
  • 15 lbs only
  • Two stock barrels
  • Large and bright OLED display
  • Three training modes for practice
  • Patented Billy Wing Spool Valve system
  • Low operating pressure of 135 PSI
  • Tight groupings and decent range

Cons

  • We tried our best folks. But we couldn’t find a nit to pick with the Dye M2. The price tag maybe?

Conclusion: If you are looking to go professional with paintball and need a marker that can give you speed, reliability and tons of bells and whistles, the Dye M2 is your best bet. It is upgradable, fast, easy to maintain, lightweight and cost effective (not a gas guzzler). Cannot ask for more.

Planet Eclipse Etha 2

Planet Eclipse Etha 2

The Etha 2 is the successor to the wildly successful Etha from Planet Eclipse, and to be honest, we expected another budget-priced marker with a few cosmetic upgrades. But the Etha 2 is a different beast altogether.

This is hands down, one of the best paintball guns in the market currently. Planet Eclipse has revamped the Etha inside out and the laundry list of features rival much higher priced guns.

Let’s take a closer look.

Composite and Aircraft Grade Aluminum

The Etha 2 has a very clean and streamlined design that may seem a tad minimalistic as compared to some of the newer markers in the market. But it’s far from an eyesore. In fact, the camouflage version looks very much like a high-end tactical marker.

The body is made of Glass reinforced nylon composite which is more durable than ordinary nylon or PE. It won’t warp or get scratched that easily and the temperature resistance is excellent. On the inside, there’s a lot of aircraft grade aluminum that keeps it impervious to rusting or damage.

Despite this, it is not overly heavy and will not weigh you down.

Handling the Etha 2 is a breeze. The handle does not have the customary finger grooves. Instead, it has a ribbed finish which provides you with a firm grip even when you are changing positions. One of the best features is the spacious micro-switch trigger which gives you great control and is comfortable for your fingers.

Shoots Fast and Accurate

This is one marker that you would never have to upgrade unless you have some elaborate fancy plans about 3d printing a new casing for it.

It shoots fast and accurately out of the box. The stock 14.5″ 2-piece barrel provides great accuracy and the spring return bolt system ensures that ball breakage is minimized.

There are multiple tournament-compliant firing modes like semi-automatic, ramping, de-bounce and controllable rate of fire. An intuitively positioned ambidextrous LED light allows you to toggle through the modes with ease.

Last but not the least, the Etha 2 works on the Gamma Core spool valve drive train which eliminates your weather woes. Come rain, snow or Daenerys Targaryen’s fire-breathing dragons, the Etha 2 performs consistently and reliably.

Pros

  • Lightweight and rugged marker built on the Etha platform
  • Gamma Core Spool Valve for excellent weather resistance
  • 5” stock barrel
  • Spring bolt system
  • GRN composite exterior and aircraft grade aluminum interiors
  • Tournament-grade performance
  • Multiple firing modes
  • Ambidextrous LED light to monitor the firing modes
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • A little loud
  • Can guzzle some serious gas

Conclusion: The Etha 2 is one of the best paintball guns at this price point. Works phenomenally well out the box and with a few upgrades, you will be tagging pros in no time in your local tournaments.

Planet Eclipse Etek 5

Planet Eclipse ETEK5 Paintball Marker / Gun - ETEK 5

For many years, Planet Eclipse dominated the mid-level market with the Etek range.

However, Etek’s glory days were cut short abruptly when the Empire Axe came along and changed the market completely. So Planet Eclipse did what they do best.

They went back to the drawing board and came up with a brand new Etek 5 that irons out the crevices in the older model and in the process, looks a lot like the Ego LV1.

Well, we aren’t complaining. The LV1 is a brute of a marker and a great one to mimic.

Elegant Design

Since we already spoke about its semblance to the LV1, we won’t go harping about how elegant it looks. The marker feels sturdy and comfortable in your hands. The rubberized grips are thick and provide a firm grip. The chassis is mainly glass reinforced nylon and we have spoken earlier about it. It is as tough as it can get.

The Etek5 weighs just 2.2 lbs. with the battery and the feed tube. That’s ridiculously light. You can run all day with it without the slightest problem.

The trigger is smooth and actuates faster than the previous iteration. A lot of people have drawn comparison with the trigger on the Axe. But we personally find the trigger on the Etek5 to be faster. There is a slight amount of side play. But that’s negligible and certainly not a deal breaker.

The Zick 3 kit, a Programmable Board and Others

One of most critical gripes with the older Eteks were that any paintball of high quality wouldn’t make it out of the barrel alive. It would get smashed courtesy the high bolt acceleration. The new Etek 5 solves that problem by introducing the Zick 3 kit borrowed straight from the LV1.

The acceleration is gradual and no matter what the quality of the paint, it does not break.

Programming the gun is fairly easy provided you can remember flashing lights and trigger combination presses. For the lazy ones who prefer a display, check out the OLED Display upgrade.

Finally, the Etek5 shoots consistently good and is gas efficient. The low operating pressure (150 PSI) has improved the efficiency by miles.

Pros

  • Great ergonomics
  • LV1 inspired design
  • GRN chassis
  • 1 lbs only
  • Upgraded trigger
  • New Zick 3 kit
  • Programmable gun with LED display
  • Optional OLED display upgrade
  • Low operating pressure
  • Silent and efficient

Cons

  • Some people don’t like the side play on the trigger. Like we said before, that’s subjective. We didn’t find any problems with it. On the contrary, we found the trigger to be better than the one on the Axe.

Conclusion: The Etek5 is a serious contender for the title of the best paintball gun in 2018. It rivals the LV1 not just in looks but also in performance. And that’s no mean feat. If you always dreamt of owning the LV1 but didn’t have $1500 to blow, then here’s the next best thing. And hey, it’s affordable too.

Proto Reflex Rail 15

Proto Reflex 15 Paintball Marker

Last but not the least, we have the Proto Reflex Rail 2015 to conclude this enormous list of the best paintball guns.

The Reflex Rail 15 is a high-performance electro-pneumatic marker aimed at the intermediate and professional paintball players. It features an ergonomic lightweight design clubbed with a patent pending Eye Pipe system that delivers consistent and glitch-free performance.

Ultralight 45 Frame

Like some of DYE’s top-end markers, the Reflex Rail features the super lightweight UL45 aluminum frame with sticky grips on the handle and the regulator. It is ergonomically designed, has a very low profile and gives you superior handling on the field.

At 1.94 lbs, it is one of the lightest paintball guns in the business.

The solid construction and minimal kickback allow even newbies to use it with ease. The Reflex rail features a two-piece 14-inch stock barrel that provides excellent accuracy and range. Unlike what occurs with most entry-level markers, you won’t feel the need for a barrel upgrade with this one. But if you are one of the guys who needs a backup barrel, we recommend the .681 DUL.

One of the best features is the Reach trigger that allows the user to customize the angle and the distance (reach) of the trigger. If you have ever felt limited by lack of room to move the finger, then this is the marker you need. Adjust it the way you want to and go trigger happy.

Self-cleaning Anti-chop Eye System

Dye’s patent pending Pipe-eye design system is retained in the Reflex Rail and it houses some of the best technical features that we have ever seen in a marker. For starters, there’s the anti-chop eye system that remains dirt and dust free and constantly monitors ball drop and breech.

The bolt ring automatically wipes the pipe clean and there are no instances of double or missed feeds.

Keeping the airflow consistent and leak-free is Dye’s upgraded Hyper3 In-Line air regulator. This is one of the reasons for the incredibly petite design on the Reflex rail. The marker uses the proven and tested 1-piece Fuse Bolt System and has a surprisingly low operating pressure at 145 psi. So, its silent and gas-efficient.

The cam lock feed neck lets you attach and lock the rotor without the need for tools. Also, the feed neck is so low on the frame that the rotor rarely interferes with your line of sight.

To ensure effortless maintenance, Dye adds their signature color coded O-rings that takes the guess work out of replacements.

Pros

  • Ergonomically designed low-profile marker
  • High quality UL 45 aluminum frame
  • New, compact In-Line Air regulator
  • Fuse Bolt Technology
  • Four tournament modes including auto fire
  • Low operating pressure 145 PSI
  • Tool free cam lock feed neck
  • Patent pending Pipe eye design
  • Self-cleaning anti-chop eye system
  • Color coded O-rings

Cons

  • The foregrip is a little closer to the trigger frame than what it looks like in the pictures. If you feel that this is interrupting with the handling, just remove the rubber grip on the regulator and it works fine.
  • Disassembly is a little difficult because instead of the conventional swivel fittings with a microline, the marker uses Dye’s steel braided one that takes some tinkering to get right.

Conclusion

This is an excellent marker for speedball. It’s user-friendly handling and ergonomic design make it a great choice for a beginner as well as a seasoned player. And like most other markers from DYE, there’s ample scope for upgrades. Highly recommended!