So You Want to Play Pump
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
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
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
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
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
Play Hard, Play Safe, Play Stock