I've come to the conclusion that I'm not going to be on top of designating a favoured milsim marker every week, so say hello to Marker of the Month! Appropriately, I'll post this up (give or take) on the last day of every month.
August's Marker of the Month:
Gears of War Lancer
Alright, so it's not exactly milsim, but the badassery of this paintball mod completely negates that.
Ever wonder what the pistol is you saw Jack Bauer wield in the last episode of 24, or what's the deal with the shotgun in No Country for Old Men? I know I've certainly found myself in similar situations, and given Grey Ops' target audience I wouldn't be surprised if many of you frequently do the same.
Although great deals on tactical footwear can be found online, choosing the right size is often a gamble. Dissatisfaction with boot sizing is probably THE #1 complaint when ordering boots from Internet vendors!
To avoid disappointment when ordering from that great discount site you came across, here are some tips on selecting the right size:
I heard about this a long time ago, and had quite forgotten about it until I saw it just this week on the last page of Jungle magazine (a Facefull publication). A couple videos will give you an idea of how awesome this drone is...
A Grey Ops reader recently posted some comments regarding the practicality and value of US military surplus footwear, and I wanted to repost them here so that this information gets proper exposure to our readers.
"Anon 2 here - Don't rule out surplus for boots or anything really...Surplus is actually a great source, provided you do your home work and shop at US surplus stores. Usually the best ones are located next to US bases, such as Bradley's Surplus at FT Drum NY ( Watertown NY). Bradleys is also where the 10th MTN guys buy all their extra kit..and sell their old stuff.
Sometimes when researching post ideas, you come across some knowledge that you wish you could just UN-LEARN. This is one of those times!
I was researching some topics for Boot Week, and apparently, there's a select group of people out there who get sexually turned on watching things getting crushed underfoot. On the benign side, some of these people get a rise out of watching vegetables or invertebrates (bugs) getting squished. On the darker end, others enjoy watching small animals getting stomped to death.
As you'd expect, usually the footwear involved are shiny latex stiletto boots, or strappy heels.
In my boredom I was toying around with my Goblin Solo launcher and realized that the rubber slugs that plug the S-Thunder .68 Grenade fit perfectly in the Goblin shell. I gave it a whirl and fired off some reballs with the combination of a shell/reball/slug and it worked great! This works because it creates a more explosive depressurization of the shell, because of the pressure built up behind the airtight seal created by the slug. I have yet to try it with paintball but it was a fun exercise nonetheless. Also, for those that bought the Goblin Solo for airsoft purposes it provides a cheap slug round.
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let all of you know that I've applied for a Google AdSense account (gasp). Because of recent developments and rising costs attributed to the blog, it will help if I have a bit of money to help it along. That being said, any money made through AdSense will be put right back into the blog, and not my pocket. I remain committed to my non-profit blog stance, and will do what is necessary to keep that in place.
In addition to that, I will now entertain the thought of adding permanent advertisements to the front page of Grey Ops. Any prospect would have to be something not only supported by Grey Ops but also in demand with our readers. If you are such a company that would benefit from advertising here or know someone that is, email me here: Connor@greyops.net .
If anyone has issues with this, make it known to me. I believe this small change will make the blog a bit easier to run and also allow it to expand at a faster pace.
Edit: Looks like I was accepted after just 3 hours, I guess Google wants my business.
Recently, I was able to get my hands on a nearly-new pair of Danner Striker GTX boots in Size 9 for a teammate, as well as a new pair of Danner Telson GTX boots for myself. With both boots being highly suited to Milsim paintball, I thought I'd do a review on them for Grey Ops' Boot Week.
This is repost of an older review, following the theme of Grey Ops' Boot Week. Although this post is old news, the Vipers are still going strong at a low price, and I wanted to showcase them for new readers.
Footwear for paintball doesn’t have to be complicated. Basically, any shoe or boot meant for hiking or the outdoors will work well in a paintball game, and depending on how well-kept your field is, you might even be able to get away with cross-training shoes or cleats. But as a Milsim player, not only do you want capable footwear, you want something that completes your “tacticool” look as well.
These days the “holy grail” of footwear for Milsim paintball and Airsoft players is the Oakley SI Assault Boot. But as I mentioned in my recent review, the $200 price tag on them puts them out of reach for practical paintball players who aren’t made of money. If you’re not willing to pay the cost of a brand new marker for something you put on your feet every couple of weeks on the field, you’ll have to look around for something less costly.
(Not to mention, the Oakley boot isn't really holding up that well after some mild wear. See the update for more info).
Due to a recent vacation I'm a bit behind on the news. Apologies all around. In any case, read this:
Tippmann Signs Agreement with H&K LicenseeDeal with Umarex to bring authentic gun styles and names to Tippmann products BUFFALO GROVE, IL. (August 27, 2010) – Tippmann Sports just finalized an agreement with Umarex, the worldwide exclusive Heckler & Koch (H&K) licensee for paintball products. Under terms of the deal, Tippmann and its customers will be able to offer paintball accessories bearing the official names and authentic looks of popular H&K models, including the MP5 and G36. “This agreement will ensure that we continue to offer our players extremely authentic products, so that they can take the field with unparalleled confidence and pride,” said Patrick Ehren, vice president of sales and marketing for Tippmann Sports. “The greatest impact from this new partnership with H&K will be evident on our popular X7 platform, where we will continue to offer various H&K “looks,” which will allow the X7 to maintain its status as the most customizable paintball marker in the world.”
Finally! This marks Tippmann's entry into true milsim aesthetic, as now they'll be allowed, nay, expected to deliver a true HK licensed product. Whether or not that translates into higher product prices remains to be seen, but I'm excited to see the famous HK on a Tippmann marker.
Silent Assassins Squad is a prolific (and well outfitted) milsim paintball team based out of North America. Their members maintain an active presence on various forums and social media pertaining to milsim paintball.
Back in June I reviewed the Oakley SI Assault Boots here on Grey Ops. In a nutshell, I remarked how the boots were extremely light and comfortable, but pricey and probably not that sturdy. Since then, I've had the opportunity to wear both the black leather and tan suede versions many times, and want to provide an update on them.
PIcking up a good pair of Milsim footwear is only half the battle. Certain steps need to be taken to keep them in good condition so they'll last, and to prevent them from causing problems for your feet over time. This post will cover some basics about how to care for your new boots.
Original SWAT markets several models of tactical boot, with their entry-level model being the 9-inch Classics 1150. The 1150 is a good value tactical boot, with an average price of $80-100 USD. They're available in black, tan, or coyote brown. In this review we'll take a look at the black version.
With most tactical boots being available in black or tan/desert (and with some models being available in as many as 4 different colours), you may be wondering whether you should buy the black or tan version of the boot of your choice.
Rocky Outdoor Gear is an American company headquartered in Nelsonville, Ohio. They've been producing footwear for over 70 years, and produce boots for hunting, work, Western enthusiasts, and of course duty wear.
The flagship of their duty line is the Rocky Special Ops S2V Boot. The S2V is available in black, tan, sage green, and olive green, which is a welcome change in a market full of boot models sold in only black or tan. This review will examine the black version.
As a keen Milsim paintball player, you've no doubt invested a lot of money in a top-of-the-line Milsim marker, as well as all sorts of "tacticool" accessories to make it appear even more realistic. You've probably also sunk some decent coin into an air tank with a remote line to power that marker, as well as a tactical vest and pouches to hold it. And that's not even getting into the cost of a good mask! All told you've probably spent hundreds of dollars on paintball gear to accomplish the task of getting your paintball out of the gun and on target. But how much have you invested in your footwear?
A new S-Thunder break action grenade launcher is now available through Airsoft-War4, with a package price tag of $110 USD (I hear the launcher itself is also available for just $70ish USD). What I like about is that it looks like you can put another AR-15 grip on it (like this one, I don't know for sure though), and since it isn't a replica of anything, it should be very easy to import into Canada. I'd love to see a long barreled version, as that would rock when shooting rockets etc.
Just gauging interest to see if anyone would be interested in a Grey Ops t-shirt. I also have a design for a white shirt with a black logo that's a bit cheaper, but I think a black t might be more popular.
Front has Grey Ops logo in white, back has "www.greyops.net" in white.
Would be about $22 CDN
In fitting with the blog's zero profit plan, none of this money would come back to me or the blog
Gildan 5000 heavy cotton
A white model could be made available for about $19 CDN
T-shirts would be shipped from Canada
Anywhere from small to XXXL
Shipping to Canada/US would still keep the cost below $30 CDN
Better Camo is a newcomer to the camouflage scene but has already outlined several patterns that they will be producing. The name of the company itself is nothing short of genius, as when you talk about it you imply that it's simply, well, better (when looking at the title of this post, you might think I was just talking about generally superior camouflage). When it comes to the patterns themselves, I have to admit I'm a bit of a skeptic, as I think that there are large very broken lines going horizontally across the uniforms shown.
A cool little find, Cerakote provides an interesting alternative to such coatings as Duracoat or hydrographics. There are a few perks provided by the ceramic composition of Cerakote, that are nicely illustrated with the pictures below:
So here's my bone to pick, and I've been seeing a lot of this lately: Paintball and airsoft M203 grenades pack a serious punch. Would you stare down the barrel of a loaded, charged and cocked paintball gun at point blank range? Well then why is everyone staring down their M203 grenades? There are no built in safety mechanisms in them, and if an o-ring fails his grenade could discharge spontaneously.
I’m generally a pretty Zen, relaxed guy. But every once in a while, with no warning, I come across something that makes me angry...VERY angry. This conveniently happens around once a month...so why not turn it into a monthly feature on Grey Ops?
The following opinions are mine alone, and don’t necessarily represent the views of Connor or any other writer on the Grey Ops team. Please direct all wrath, angry comments, law suits, and profanity towards myself (Mike), and spare all innocent parties.
The world of paintball is hurting at the moment. Sure we're climbing steadily out of the worldwide recession, but we're not out of the woods yet. Paintball is by no means a budget sport, and a significant amount of money is required to invest in startup equipment (not to mention the additional costs of field fees, field paint, and Big Game tickets). A lot of people just don't have this kind of money to throw around, and it's showing in the marketplace, most notably with the recent bankruptcy of Smart Parts - once a colossus in the paintball industry.
So in this economic climate, paintball field and pro shop owners and employees must be putting the customer first, valuing them and making them feel welcome, right?
I go to quite a variety of paintball fields and stores in eastern Canada, and while most are generally positive and welcoming to customers, I occasionally come across one where the owner and/or staff act like they're doing YOU a favour by doing business with you. Rude treatment and disrespect is a lot more common in this industry than most others.
I think a big part of the problem is that the only qualification that a lot of field owners and employees bring to the table, is that they have experience playing paintball. This doesn't necessarily translate over to knowledge of good customer service, or good business sense. In most other industries the market would weed these types of people out. But in the rough game of paintball, with its welts, bruises, splinters, and mosquito bites, this unpleasantness often gets overlooked in the big picture.
There are certain establishments where you can expect to be treated poorly by the staff, as it comes with the territory. Some such places that come to mind are exclusive nightclubs, Korean nail salons, and prison. Aside from such places though, paying customers should have positive interactions with the staff of any business, and being a paintball field or shop doesn't grant it some magical exemption.
So to all you paintball consumers out there, reclaim your power! Keep an eye out for shitty treatment, refuse to accept it, and "vote with your wallet" so to speak. Use your purchasing power to punish cocky and rude staff of paintball establishments, and when the money stops coming in, they'll realize the value of proper customer service. This applies to online stores too; if you need to send 3 e-mails to a store before someone answers you back, or they sit on your order for 2 weeks before shipping it out, take your business elsewhere.
Throwing down the gauntlet
So to all you field owners out there, consider yourselves officially on notice! Your customers are your bread and butter, and they're doing YOU a favour by patronizing your business, not the other way around. Treat them properly, and impart a philosophy of proper customer service to your staff members as well. Otherwise, that giant sucking sound you'll hear will be the ridiculous amount of money myself and others spend annually on paintball being diverted to your competitors!
First, Arnold was quick to correct me in that they now ACCEPT .50cal paintball guns, but have not "adopted" them as official field markers or field paint. They simply allow owners of .50cal markers to bring them into the facility, and being a field paint-only operation, they sell the balls to go along with them. As for his motives, he said that he and his business partner Ken have been friends with Richmond Italia since they were toddlers, and when Rich asked them to start allowing .50cal equipment, they obliged. Although the paint isn't selling like hotcakes, he admitted it was "moving" fairly well.
Other than a couple brief mention, I have yet to talk about Mr. Engler on Grey Ops. This is a bit of an oopsy on my part, as Mr. Engler has done a lot for the milsim paintball community for a long time.
Many of you are probably familiar with RAP4's upcoming scenario this fall, that is shaping up to be the biggest mag-fed only game the world has seen. What I didn't know, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here, is that the game will feature a rather unique play system.
Viper Paintball has designed a system that merges scenario paintball play with real time strategy games (a la Starcraft), complete with resource management and different unit types. For a complete compliment of rules, click here.
The guys at ITS tactical have done the leg work, now they need all of you to help pick out the best camouflage pattern out there. In part 2 of their Camouflage Comparison Series, you'll see the following patterns looked at:
It seems that Arnold Indoor Paintball in Montreal, Quebec is now allowing the use of .50cal paintball markers on their field. Given that they're a field paint-only operation, they also sell .50cal paintballs to go with the markers.
Does this mean that .50cal is starting to catch on? Only time will tell. But given that GI Milsim, the main pushers of .50cal, are based in Montreal as well, it may just be a local deal struck between the two companies.
I'll be at Arnold's Big Game, Saddam's Gold, next weekend. I'll see if I can catch up with Arnold himself and see what brought on their acceptance of .50cal paintball gear.
"That's right...Extreme Stitchworks will be no more. I have shut it down. I have also joined with a partner and started a new company called M-Tech. This new company will be manufacturing goods in all sorts of different industries from real world weapons gear to camping/hiking gear to pet products and lots of other stuff! Oh yeah...we'll make paintball gear too! The paintball portion will be soft goods, hard goods, and maybe even some resale items. We'll call it....hmmmm....how about...Special Ops paintball!!! That's right, we purchased Special Ops Paintball. We are committed to returning it to its former glory! Watch for exciting new products, informational and entertaining videos, attendance at events all over the country, and tons of other great things! Stay tuned! "
As some of you may know, I've been in the process of developing the Youtube portion of Grey Ops. If you're interested in milsim paintball (and airsoft to a lesser extent), here's a brief rundown of what the 'Tube has to offer.