A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Paintball gripe

I love paintball. I got the chance to start playing with some cool folks the middle of last year I think. Since then, I've played maybe a dozen times. I've even bought in, getting some paintball related equipment for Christmas and spending a couple hundred bucks on a paintball gun. We got started playing in a wooded area up in lakeland, sadly a 30-40 minute drive from my house, but doable. If you buy paintballs off the shelf at walmart or sportsmans warehouse, you can get 2,000 balls for $30-$35.

Now here's where a little math and speculation comes in. The gun I play with is the Tippman A5. Its a good all around gun. In the wide world of paintball guns, its considered low-end. Probably a beginner's gun, or certainly an amateur's gun. But I am certainly an amateur, and heck, even a beginner. I dont see *ever* paying $1,200 for what's considered a "nice" paintball gun. I dont need it, and have, um, a zillion things to spend that kind of cash on. And my wife would kill me. My A5 is a semi-auto gun. You pull the trigger and one ball fires. You let go of the trigger and pull it again and another ball fires. You can manage a goodly rate of fire like this, even so. I'd guestimate you could easily manage 2 or 3 rounds per second, maybe more if you're quick-fingered. More expensive, or modified guns can be burst or full auto. Like hold the trigger down as long as you want to fire 15 rounds per second, or whatever. Here's my thing- I love the semi-auto action of the A5. And my number one reason? I dont go through balls like water. Cause um, the paint costs more than water. I'd imagine guys can *easily* go through way more than 2,000 rounds in an afternoon. Heck probably double or triple that if their trigger happy. But I'm not out to try to do this semi-professionally or anything. I manage alright with my squeeze-squeeze-squeeze action.

Anyway, this started when I saw the prices that a local paintball park charges for paint. Note that you have to buy paint onsite. You cannot bring your own paint from walmart in. I copied and pasted below:

PAINTBALLS - must be purchased onsite

Canister of 100 $7.50
Web Belt and Carry-On Pack Containing 200 Balls $22
Bag of 500 Balls $26
Case of 2000 Balls $90

That's insane.

Last time I went and played, I was at a park (which did not have a "must purchase onsite" policy - its a great park called Cedar Hill Farms in Hernando MS), I was there for like 5 hours, and went through about 600 or 700 rounds of paint.

So let me summarize, I'm just saying two things.

1- I like my A5 because its reliable and not super expensive and does not go through paint fast as shit.

2- Some paintball parks apparently charge paint at the current rate of gold. That's way too freaking expensive, and I'll probably never visit one of these parks, and so they'll have to do without my money.

Which brings me to a moment of melancholy about it. A friend pointed out, when I ranted about these prices, that paintball is a rich kid's entertainment.

No comments: