Loaders: Gravity Fed or Battery Fed?
Gravity Fed and Battery Fed hoppers (aka loaders) are built for two very different playstyles and two very different styles of marker. Electronic paintball guns can now shoot up to 30bps (balls per second), and many paintballers want to shoot that straight and fast, but they will need a battery fed (electronic) loader that can keep up with their gun. The resurgence of auto cocker and pump markers create the continued need for gravity loaders in the paintball industry. These paintballers want to shoot slower, conserve paint, and get those one-ball shots.
Gravity loaders use the force of gravity to pull the paintballs into the breach of the marker. Gravity loaders are great for rentals, mechanical markers, auto cockers, and pump markers. They are good for players that are either just getting into the sport and want to save money, or they are good for players that intentionally want to shoot slower, conserve paint, and prize one-shot accuracy. Gravity loaders typically come in 50 round and 200 round capacity. 50 round loaders are typically used in the later scenario, 200 round capacity loaders are for those that are trying to save some cash before getting the battery fed loader. The 200 round loaders do have jamming issues, but again, if you’re trying to save some money, the positives outweigh the negatives. Examples of Gravity Fed Loaders are the Empire Splitter, Gen X Global 200 Round Loader, Proto Primo, and the Gen X Global 50 Round Loader.
As mentioned, the biggest issue with gravity fed loaders is that they jam very frequently. This happens because all the paintballs are all trying to fall into the breach at the same time. To get the paintballs unjammed you’ll need to shake your loader. This costs you time, and if you value speed, and want to shoot 30bps, you’ll need a battery fed (electronic) loader. Electronic loaders also use the force of gravity, but the paintballs are mainly moved into the breach with a motor and paddles powered by batteries. The balls fall into the paddles and get fed straight into the feed neck. They are the best to eliminate all dry fires and jams. Examples of Battery Fed Loaders are the Dye R2, Virtue Spire IR, Virtue Spire III, and the Halo Too.
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