Performance is key when playing paintball. One of the elements which determine your success is the quality of the hopper. Paintball loaders or hoppers are units which used to store and load paint balls into the firing chamber of the paintball marker. There are many hoppers in the market which make the selection process quite overwhelming. Yo have to take the time to look for the ideal hopper which matches your needs. Loaders vary with cost, design, capacity, material construction, price and more. Here is a guide which will help you settle for the best paintball loader.
Gravity Feed Hoppers rely on gravity to draw their paint balls into the chamber. Their design is simple, but the feed rate is slow, rated at eight balls per second. A low feed rate can cause balls to be jammed inside the hopper. Gravity Feed Hoppers are designed to be used with mechanical markers.
Electronic Hoppers use electronic agitators to increase the feed rate. They can be used with both mechanical and electronic markers. Loaders are also classified based on the feed rate. Here we have beginner loaders, mid-level loaders, and high-end loaders. Hoppers also differ regarding activation systems. We have sound, eye and cyclone feeding systems.
Consider a loader with a high or desirable feed rate. It determines how many balls can be filled into the marker’s firing chamber per second. Sound activated feeds allow the marker to track firing and switches. Choose a hopper which has a more silent operation but not too much to the extent that the microphone finds it hard to pick up sound for activating the feed motor. A good hopper should provide a long battery life. It should also offer feed rate adjustments and free-jam mechanisms. Select models which are easy to disassemble. A quality hopper should also provide access to the chamber and a light indicator for convenience.
Power: Halo is a leader regarding convenience for it provides a battery indicator. This prevents abrupt shut down while in use.
Material Construction: Empire Halo paintball is made of a polycarbonate which is capable of withstanding impacts.
Capacity and Feeder: It has a capacity of holding 180 balls, and a lightweight loader feeds at least 20 balls per second. It has been endorsed by paintball pros as the best loader in the price bracket. It makes use of an ultra-quiet drive which force-feeds the balls. This allows your marker to throw many to through a lot of paint to the opponent.
Anti-Jam Mechanism and Monitoring: Empire makes use of the Anti-Jam Freeway technology which keeps the loader free from jamming and breaking paint balls. This makes you competitive by allowing you to shot while others are stuck scrapping their paint.
Smart: An on-board computer is used to direct sound-activated feeding as well as program the motor speed, microphone sensitivity and track the feed stack.
Price: Empire Halo costs almost less than a half the price of some top paintball loaders. The combination of its price and performance makes it a favorite choice for many players.
It’s of high capacity, fast and adjustable with the ability to feed 20 balls per second going upwards. Empire is jam resistant which gives you several hours of running, bumping and spraying. It is affordable given its performance. It is a smart model given anti-jam, automated feed, and monitoring thus making its one of the better paintball hoppers.
The marker is a bit loud since the motor can be heard over many shots. Battery harness wires are a bit fragile. The disassembly process is very hectic, and wiring is too messy.
Spring Loaded Anti-jam Drive: This mechanism Slides underneath and pushes jams out before they accumulate.
Capacity: It can hold up to 200 balls.
Assembly and Disassembly: Virtue Spire 200 is designed with a slide to lock quick release mechanism which makes it easy to disassemble the unit.
Change and Speed Feed: Spire 200 makes use of Optimal Crown SF technology to change the loaders speed back and forth. The transition from speed feed to lid takes place in seconds.
Smart: It is designed with a shot activated sensor and a jam-proof feeding system.
Virtue Spire 200 is aggressive, lightweight and compact. It holds more paint than most models in the market. It is easy to clean, and the battery life is a bit longer. The design allows for a smaller profile. The speed-feed installation is easy as well as the disassembly process of the whole unit.
It is a bit expensive and has a tendency to load balls when non are loaded. Power consumption is too high when running sensitivity. It is also a bit noisy.
Feed Capacity and Design: Dye Precision hopper exceeds pro level feed requirements with the ability to feed more than 50 balls per second. This is one of the features that pros consider a good paintball hopper should have. A unique center feed design allows you to push balls straight over a shorter distance thus giving loading allowances.
Disassembly: The unit can be easily broken down for cleaning and maintenance at the push of a button. You only have to slide a locking tab and push a button to break down the loader.
Access: A transparent locking lid is incorporated into the interchangeable dual density carrier. A viewing window is installed thus providing the ability to monitor the paint. It is designed with a spring tension lid which allows faster loading as well as securing the lock on the loader.
Adjustments: The carrier design allows for quick change between the lid and fan speed. Allen wrench can be used to tune the torque setting manually.
Jam Release and Battery Life: A Sharkfin Jam Release Trigger gets you back into the game in case of over-sized or out-of-round paint. Only 3 AA batteries are capable of over 100,000 ball shots.
You can turn the LED indicator off at night or during low light games. The coated board is water resistant making it fully functional underwater. It has an impressive capacity which keeps you in the game. It does not jam even after putting a full box. It easy to clean and maintain. It offers access, fine adjustments and longer battery life.
This loader is a bit heavier compared to its peers. There is no indicator for low balls which makes the rotating loud during the emptying process.