Bunkerkings CTRL Loader Review
Bunkerkings CTRL Paintball Loader Review
Lightweight and Battle-Proven, the Bunkerkings CTRL loader Delivers High Performance!
Ever since the first person made a stick feed tube on his paintball pistol a little bit longer than everyone else’s at the paintball field back in the 80’s, the arms race was on. Then it was oil bottles, homemade loaders, ammo boxes, whaler loaders, sight feeders and Indian Springs loaders, then the whole agitated paintball hopper thing happened. With the advent of loaders like the Viewloader 2000, the Revolution and then the force feed loader, paintball guns could now shoot faster than gravity – as fast as the loader, solenoids, compressed air and programmable electronics could allow.
But would you believe that making a good, reliable high-end paintball loader isn’t exactly easy? It has to work, and it also needs to not look completely ridiculous or weigh too much or fly apart when a player spins on the break or dives into a bunker and work with all kinds of paintballs and all kinds of paintball guns in all kinds of weather. From how to feed the paintballs consistently and the mechanics of that whole thing to where the batteries go and how a user is supposed to get them in there, how the loader comes apart for cleaning but doesn’t come apart when it isn’t supposed to and a half-million other things to worry about, making a loader that can feed a thousand-dollar paintball gun consistently at ten to fifteen shots per second all day in the rain, heat, cold and while being bounced around a paintball field all day is a tall order. One company that seems to have tackled it and checked off a ton of the important boxes along the way is Bunkerkings, with their new CTRL paintball loader!
The Bunkerkings CTRL paintball loader has a sleek, streamlined look and in the hands it’s very lightweight. Those are great first impressions. On the inside, the loader will look familiar to anyone with a working knowledge of the Virtue Spire line of loaders and that’s not a bad thing – the Spire is time-tested all the way up to the pro level and teams like Edmonton Impact have won great big trophies with it. Its internals work. Getting the loader ready to play is simple enough, requiring the user to break it apart. That takes only moments, as the CTRL loader’s top shell pops off the bottom and the tray and guts lift right out of the bottom shell to reveal the battery compartment, board and electronic goodies.
Three AA batteries are what it takes to power the Bunkerkings CTRL paintball loader and once they’re installed, reassembly is quick and confidence-inspiring – the tray drops back in and seats in place, then the top shell is hooked and snapped down over the bottom with a tactile “click” that means the loader shouldn’t go in two or three directions at once during a game. Taking the loader apart and putting it back together that quickly should show a player how easily it will be to clean and maintain – even between points in the pits at a tournament.
The power button of the Bunkerkings CTRL loader is in a good place – underneath the back end of the loader where it won’t get shot to pieces and even with gloves on it’s relatively simple to find and activate. Adding a couple hundred paintballs to the loader – either through its included durable lid or with its accessory Speed Feed, then makes the loader ready for action. The CTRL loader’s feed neck is nice and thick, that’s another potential weak point Bunkerkings owners won’t have to worry about.
Once it’s on a paintball gun and doing what it’s supposed to do, the Bunkerkings CTRL loader handles the business of feeding paintballs very well. Leaning to the left and leaning to the right, switching hands and moving from target to target is easy thanks to the light weight and balance of the loader, and at no point will even young players feel like their loader is so top-heavy on their paintball gun that it’s pulling the gun one way or the other. The CTRL sits nice and low on most paintball guns, keeping hopper hits to a minimum and further improving accuracy, handling and balance of the overall paintball gun/air tank/hopper setup. Consistent streams at ten, twelve and higher shots per second are easily reached and maintained, though the optional feed ramps are a great addition to ensure the loader will push every paintball down the feed neck.
The best thing that can be said about a paintball loader is that someone can take it out of their gear bag, put it on their paintball gun, play paintball all day, take it apart, wipe it off with a rag, stuff it back in their gear bag and go home. No jams. No shredding paint, no gathering up parts that have flown all over the place, no cursing and punting loaders across the staging area and no frustration about missing a shot or losing a point because they couldn’t shoot someone. That’s easily done with the Bunkerkings CTRL paintball loader – keep fresh batteries in it and it’ll handle its business with little more than an occasional cleaning. For players in search of a high-quality, high-end tournament paintball loader, the Bunkerkings CTRL is an excellent choice!