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   October 20, 2014

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So You Want to Play Pump Paintball?
 
The bottom line on switching to pump play.
 
 
You've been to your local paintball field, you've bought your own equipment and you can fire off of dozens of paintballs a minute. Youve got a jersey, and all the seemingly neccessary accessories of modern paintball, and its fun, allot of fun. But more and more as you play and improve your skills , you begin to think there's something missing. Sure, firing off 10 round strings is fun, but is accuracy really a result of superior fire power in paintball? Isnt there some thing more than just shooting until you hit something besides a bunker? Then you wonder, is this really skill, or just the result of a good paintball budget, and a fast marker? Then one day you notice "THAT" player. You know , the one who comes to the field with that old school pump marker?  You watch as they play, you notice they're having a blast, there moving, their using some sort of tactics, but its not really clear at first. They seem to be doing well, and theyre not all bent out shape if they get elliminated from the game. This looks interesting, even though their obviously out gunned, theyre still making elliminations, and out lasting even those guys with the expensive set ups , what gives? Now that your interest is peaked, you try to get a look at their equipment. At first glance, it looks like something from the roots of paintball, but you look closer. That pump gun doesnt look so old, its even got a regulator, and a drop forward. From the elliminations that player is making, it seems like its pretty accurate to boot. You begin to wonder even more, "can i shoot one of those?" ,  " do i have the nerve to play with equipment like that against markers that shoot faster than most people can talk?"Now this might be a real challenge, maybe its what ive been looking for in my game?"
 
So it begins, almost without realizing it, your becoming hooked on the fascination of pump and stock class play! Like all things new, your not sure yet, you want to find more information, but where to look? You cant really ask the your normal semi playing group, they might laugh. You've heard them make fun of "that pump player" , even though "that pump player" has elliminated them all, or given them a better game than most "normal" players at the field. Yet they still congratulate their opponents on their game, even if they get shot out early, what is that? Oh, now you remember, thats called sportmanship!
 
After a few times at the field watching the pump player, you get to talking to them. Their proud of their equipment and even let you hold it and shoot it a few times, that wasnt so bad was it?  You think to yourself. "I might be able to do that."  And your on your way to becoming a full fledged pump player. But how? What to do? Fear not friends, for the answers you seek are upon you!
 
Breaking into pump or stock class play:
 
Youve made your decision to give pump play a try, now you need to decide how you'll go through with it. The first thing you need to do is find yourself a pump marker, and there are many to choose from. Unfortunatley, most of the pro shops dont have a large selection, or no pumps at all, so this will be your first big hurdle. Remember that pump player at your field? Dont be afraid to talk to him or her. Chances are, theyve already been through your current dilemma, and will be glad to help. They may even have a few different styles of markers in the trunk of their car, and show you them. Its always best to handle, and shoot a few different types of pumps before purchasing if possible. If you simply dont have access to trying them out, there is still hope for you, so worry not!
 
Tips on choosing a pump or stock class marker:
  •  If you shoot a single tube type semi (ie - automag, tippman, etc.) you might be most comfortable with a Nelson based pump, like a phantom.
  •  If you shoot a stacked tube type semi (ie- spyder, autococker, ect.) you might be more prone to prefer a sheridan based pump like a p68.
  •  If you're a front player you'll want a pump that is lighter, and shorter like a micro phantom or even a pistol type like a Sheridan PGP.
  •  If your a back player you'll want a longer pump, closer to a riffle configuration, maybe an  Action Markers AM-P Illusion with a stock, or long tank.
  •  If you're a heavy shooter, you'll probably be best off with a direct feed marker to start out with, you can use your semis' Revy type hopper with these.
  •  If you like to pick your shots, or you're looking for the ultimate challenge, go with a stock class marker with a horizontal loading tube.
  •  If you're play style is some place in between, you might best enjoy a multiconfigurable marker that you set up based on your whims day. Phantoms and Illusions or great for this.
  •  If you already own an Auto cocker, Or Auto mag semi, you might want to look into getting a pump kit for it. The kits allow you to convert your semi to a pump, with a bit of work and there are usually no permanent modifications. Youll save a few bucks as well.
Now you've all seen the various economy pump markers available at your local discount super stores. While these can be okay for just testing the waters, they're also not very durable. After all, you get what you pay for. If your really serious about pump play, you may want to put those hard earned dollars towards a more substancial pump marker. A cheap pump marker may last you a few months, but a good pump will last for years, and has a better resale value, should you decide that pump play isnt for you, or you want to upgrade later on. While we're on the topic of resale, be warned. While a used pump may seem very attractive because of the price, it could also become a headache for you. If you decide to go this route, be very selective. There are a multitude of vintage pumps available out there, but many are hard to find replacement parts for, or have not been maintained properly. Do your home work before your purchase, if you cant find a current source of replacement parts for the pump your interested in, it might be best to skip it. While there are some awesome older pumps available, they do no good if you cant find that blown oring to keep them going, and they will require a good working knowledge of pumps. Leave those to the tinkerer types and collectors. (like me :) )
 
Okay Maverick, I've found a pump i like, what do i do now??
 
This part may be even more difficult than picking out your perfect pump, you have to go out and use it!  You definately want to practice a bit first, and get aquainted with your equipment. In a safe area, go take some target practice. Learn how to work your pump and how it handles. The target range at most fields is a perfect place for this (dont forget your paintball approved googles, even if your just in your back yard, alway put safety first!) Make sure you learn how to adjust the velocity of your pump and its maintence needs. This information is usually provided with a new pump marker, and if you purchased an "experienced" marker, hopefully the previous owner supplied you with the important facts. You can always do a search on the internet as well, theres plenty of info available for you to peruse through.
 
Now that you know how it works, and have fired a bit to get accustomed to it, its time to get out to the field. Be warned, just the fact that your using a pump may make you the victim of some ridicule. Most semi players just havent seen the light yet, they dont understand the pump players mind set, and some times theyll even lash out. Another factor is the uncertaintanty. "Will I get lit up if i use this pump?" "Will I survive the break at the beginning of the game?" "How will I be competitive when they're shooting ten shot strings of paintballs at me and I can can only shoot one at a time?"
These things and more will be going through your head when you hit the field for the first time with your pump.  So muster your courage, your resolve, and get ready to have the game of your life!!  Put those thoughts and fears aside, concentrate on your game, and go get em!!
 
You very well may get lit up your first time out, you might not even get a single shot off. You might not be able to advance , and you might even loose your concentration suddenly, as your playing a totally different style of game than your accustomed too. Thats all a part of the excitement though, and once you know what to expect on the field, you'll adjust. Your senses and reflexes will improve to your new playing situation. The way you look at the field will change and you'll see the angles and opportunities you ignored with your semi. It may take a few games, or even a few days of play, but at some point, everything will click in the gray matter between your ears and you'll get your first pump ellimination!!  After that, its all fun and games from now on!!
 
A few things that might make your first pump playing experience a bit easier and shorten your learning curve a bit are:
  • Most recreational semi players will duck back if you send a ball their way, you dont "need" 10 shot strings, one or two balls will do the same job.
  • keep moving, if you dig in behind a bunker, you will be elliminated once they target you. Move often, keep them guessing, and be agressive.
  • Learn to snap shoot your pump, one well placed quick shot can be enough to push back a heavy shooting semi player long enough for you to improve your field position, or elliminate them.
  • Learn the best angles for the field your on. walk it, visualize it, be the ball. Know ahead of time where you'll get your best shots from.
  • keep track of your air or co2, and your remaining shots, especially if using a stock class marker. A brilliant rush is useless if your out of paintballs and cant take out the player you just worked so hard to get a bead on.
  • Don't be afraid to take a few risks, if it doesnt work, so what?? Theres always the next game.But when it does work, its an awesome feeling!
  • Be a team player,you may be the only pump on the field, but your still part of a team. Work with them, not against them, youll earn respect this way.
  • Play with Honor, Sportsmanship, and Respect, these are the qualities that set pump players apart from the crowd, represent us well!
  •  Above all, don't forget its about having fun!! Some of my best games have been a result of being a sacrificial lamb, or making crazy moves that no one expects. Even when they didnt work, I walked off the field with a huge grin because i had a great game, and you will too!!
 
Pump and Stock class play are the ultimate paintball challenges, it's not for everyone, but for those who enjoy it, theres no other way!! The spirit of Stock class is alive and well, the challenge is unequaled, and the rewards are great. If you have the courage to try, and the persistance to endure some of the obsticles, you will earn the respect of your peers. You'll advance to the next level of paintball, be a part of the future of our sport, and have a great time on your journey!!


 
Play Hard, Play Safe, Play Stock Class!!!
 
 


- Maverick


(c) 2003 The Stock Class Players Network- Commercial reproduction without express permision is forbidden. Non commercial reproduction is granted on condition that proper credit is given to the author, and www.stockclasspaintball.com is recognized and linked back to as the origin of this publication.
 


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