What Is MagFed Paintball?
What Is MagFed Paintball?
One of the most exciting and fastest-growing segments of the world of paintball is magfed. Magfed paintball has been tried a few times over the course of paintball history, but recent technological advancements, the willingness of the paintball industry as a whole to get behind the concept and the dedication and devotion of some amazing players who love the format and helped it grow, have propelled magfed paintball to the forefront of paintball’s consciousness! But for newer players or those unfamiliar with the concept, the question might be a more basic one when they first hear about it – what is magfed paintball?
Strictly speaking, magfed paintball is a term used to describe magazine-fed paintball: the game of paintball played between participants armed with paintball guns fed from magazines, rather than hoppers. And while that’s true at its core, the concept of magfed encompasses much, much more than just a type of paintball gun or a spring-loaded box pushing paintballs into a gun’s breech for firing. Magfed paintball has become a true stand-alone playing style and unique format of the game of paintball that blends tactical-style play, a more affordable, limited paint format and magazine-fed paintball guns with both mag-fed only games and, often, the challenge of going toe-to-toe with players using hoppers and carrying hundreds of paintballs! Magfed paintball is here to stay!
While some magazine-fed paintball guns and plenty of accompanying tactical gear existed throughout paintball’s history, what really helped magfed paintball break through and become so popular in recent years was the First Strike projectile. A spin-stabilized paintball round able to fly much farther, with a much flatter trajectory and with much, much greater accuracy than the round paintballs used in paintball since its earliest days, the First Strike round, when fired through paintball guns able to feed them, suddenly gave paintball players a decided range and accuracy advantage over players shooting hopper-fed paintball guns. Yes, the modern tournament electronic paintball gun may be able to hose paintballs downrange in ropes well in excess of ten, twelve or even fifteen paintballs per second and at close range that firepower is all but insurmountable, at longer ranges players shooting regular .68 caliber paintballs are pointing their paintball guns up in the air and hoping for a hail-Mary-miracle to hit opponents, and at those ranges paint will likely bounce, rather than break. In stark and eye-opening contrast, First Strike-equipped players can literally pick a target at long ranges, squeeze and send a bad guy back to the staging area because they absolutely meant to. The ability of magfed paintball players to successfully and consistently counter, then defeat, the rate of fire advantage of opponents with hoppers on their paintball guns was, quite literally, the game changer.
Fast-forward a few short years and magfed paintball has become a viable and affordable alternative to playing a day of paintball with a hopper-fed paintball gun and dumping hundreds and even thousands of paintballs, and the dollars and cents to buy those paintballs, while enjoying a fun and successful day at the paintball field! Magazine fed paintball guns aren’t exactly cheap, but a good-quality mag-fed paintball gun costs less in most cases than almost any mid-to-high-end tournament style electronic paintball gun and requires fewer high dollar peripherals like a high-tech loader and a high capacity compressed air tank to feed them, and though First Strike rounds may be more expensive than regular paintballs, a seasoned magfed paintball veteran can leave the field with plenty of notches in their buttstock while shooting dozens or maybe hundreds of rounds, rather than two cases of round paintballs! For players serious about taking their paintball in a tactical direction, or who simply wants to have fun playing the game a different way, the lure of magfed paintball is greater than ever!
Modern magfed paintball equipment is better than ever and improving all the time! Valken’s M17 magfed paintball gun is a great example of form, function and capability at a great price that magfed paintball has become popular for, as the paintball gun feeds either .68 caliber round paintballs or First Strike rounds, has a “rock and roll” switch for shifting into fully automatic firing mode right out of the box, and offers enough sight and accessory rails to mount literally anything a tactically-minded magfed player can imagine, from sights and scopes to lights, lasers and fore grips, with ease! At the higher end of the magfed spectrum, paintball guns like the Dye DAM take magfed to a whole new level of technology, blending all the knowledge a company like Dye has compiled over decades of innovation with a magazine-fed paintball gun platform like nothing else in paintball!
In between the Valken M17 and the Dye DAM and rapidly becoming the most popular paintball gun in current magfed paintball is the Eclipse EMF100. A lightweight, modular magazine fed paintball gun built around the impressive Eclipse Gamma Core operating system, the EMF100 magfed paintball gun offers low pressure, quiet, accurate and incredibly reliable performance from a light, easily customized platform. All that performance and quality, along with the Eclipse reputation for performance and customer service and an impressive price have made the EMF100 a tough proposition to beat in magfed paintball that’s turned a great many players on to the concept that might never have tried it otherwise. Then there’s First Strike – the people behind the rounds – and their workhorse, the T15. The First Strike T15 magfed paintball gun offers a realistic AR-style look and function, along with a long list of available upgrades, magazine capacity options and various factory-produced model variants that make it an extremely attractive option for serious magfed players and tactical paintball operators!
Then there are the paintball snipers. People have talked about it for years. But with the advent of First Strike rounds and some high-tech bolt-action paintball sniper rifles like the First Strike Scout, players can now, really and truly, pull on a Ghillie suit, grab their bolt gun equipped with a sighted-in rifle scope, and disappear into the treeline to make single, well-aimed shots to take out opponents from great distances. Oftentimes, at large scenario paintball events like East Coast Supergame, Living Legends or Fulda Gap, paintball snipers direct accurate, aimed fire at opponents from so far away they can’t be seen or heard, save the buzz of a First Strike round cutting through the air should they miss and send it by a player’s head!
Most recently, magfed paintball has taken an even more tactical turn, with the advent of .50 caliber First Strike rounds as little brothers to the .68 caliber First Strikes already slicing through the air at paintball events, with paintball guns to shoot them like the First Strike Roscoe paintball revolver! Other paintball pistols on the market include the .68 Caliber First Strike FSC pistol, the new .50 caliber Valken TR50 made by Umarex in a custom Valken combat grey color, and the venerable Tippmann TiPX, another .68 caliber offering. Intended for use in force-on-force training but ideal for magfed paintball or tactical paintball as well, Umarex offers the T4E line of .43 caliber paintball pistols like the Walter PPQ paintball pistol, the TPM1 8XP paintball pistol and the S&W M&P9 paintball pistol – these all function and feel like their real-steel handgun counterparts and add a whole new layer of realism to force-on-force training or serious tactical paintball!
Magfed paintball is a growing and is now an extremely popular and growing slice of the paintball pie that now has the respect and backing of the paintball industry thanks to major companies like First Strike, Umarex, Planet Eclipse, Valken and Tippmann! If you’ve played mag-fed paintball you know why, and if you haven’t, maybe it’s time to give it a try!