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Paintball Markers: Oldies but Goodies
Newer doesn't mean better
Being a relatively low-income individual my entire life, yet making the wonderful mistake of getting into paintball, I've made it a rule to keep a low budget for paintball markers. This often means getting used markers that are a couple years old. Or older.
At first, it was a matter of convenience. The mindset was simple: "that's what I can afford, so that's what I'm gonna get." Nevermind that whatever marker it was had been out for 2-3 years or more, and there's more recent versions of the same marker with a few better features.
But as the years went by, getting those old markers meant more. It meant using a marker that still represented innovation rather than style or flare. It meant collecting a piece of history.
Going back in time
Very few times have I purchased a marker brand new while it was still considered new. Fewer still, did I retain those few markers. The newest marker I currently own is a modest pistol pump called the JT ER2 (2010). That's where the clock starts winding backwards.
The newest markers of significance (in my eyes) that are currently in my collection were released in 2006 & 2007 respectively: Shocker NXT & Trilogy Tactical. One, a product representing my love for single-tube spool-valves; the other, a result of my compulsive need to own some kind of pump autococker (was sold as a semi, but really autocockers are nicest with a pump kit on them).
The next step back in time consists of a curiously large chunk of the collection originating in the same year of 2005. Well, by large, i mean only 3-4, which compared to my collection, is a lot. First up, is considered the first poor man's Matrix, the Proto PM5; a run-down orphan, abandoned on my cousin's doorstep (technically, his girlfriend's brother's friend gave it to him, missing pieces and needing severe maintenance). I fixed it up, and is now one of my fave electros ever. Next, are a couple Smart Parts Ions: one being the first true electro-pneumatic I ever owned, and purchased brand-spanking-new from Action Village in the year they released, and the other I purchased used from a buddy in 2011, and converted to mechanical operation with the help of a little drop-in kit designed by a couple smart fellows on a popular internet paintball forum. The final marker of this year is the Spyder Imagine, Digital LED version. Purchased used from a coworker's boyfriend, I primarily bought it out of pity, but also for a longing to own another e-spyder, as my very first marker was an e-spyder called an E99 (check out my paintball history hub).
One marker, also circa 2005, that is no longer within the reach of my loving embrace, would be the Dye DM5. A used marker that retains a piece of my very soul, wherever it may be (like a bloody fool, I sold it).
One of my all-time favorites, and one of the reasons I started playing this cursed game, is the first Dye Matrix, before they were given initials and numbers instead of real names. I owned its predecessor once, the Generation E Matrix, but sold it. So glad I found the Dye Matrix.
Appreciating the classics
Just recently, I acquired a marker that predates my own paintball history, a marker released before I ever started the game. This past weekend, I purchased a used PMI Trracer Deluxe pump. Barely used, still in immaculate condition, and including both the original box and the original manual. Quite a feat, as this was released in 2000/2001. A decade plus old, and still works great.
There are definitely older markers, more classics to search for. And hopefully I can get my hands on a few... or a lot.