Questions: What the heck are First Strike rounds? How are they different than standard paintballs?
Most mag-fed paintball guns out there are already configured to fire the Tiberius Arms First Strike rounds, others are a relatively simple conversion kit away from also being able to fire the round. In fact, many players are switching to a magfed marker specifically to be able to take advantage of the range and accuracy of the First Strike round. If you are unfamiliar with the Tiberius Arms First Strike round, then check out this video:
When playing with a magazine fed marker, you are truly limiting the amount of paint you can run with – let’s do some quick math. Let’s assume (for argument’s sake) that you load up your hopper fed marker with 200 paintballs and bring another two pods (with 140 balls each) out on your pack for a total of 480 rounds. That is pretty standard, and pretty easy to carry with you on the field as well. The fact is that depending on the magazines that you have (lets say an average of 15 balls per magazine), you could need upwards of 32 magazines to carry the same number of rounds. Carrying that many magazines with you is simply not practical. So, regardless of the number of magazines you decide to take with you on to the field, you WILL be bringing less paint with you – which means you will want to make the most out of each and every shot.
While paintball fins have been around for a while, Tiberius Arms has revolutionized the market with the first, readily available, mass produced stabilized paintball. These paintball rounds take range and accuracy to a whole new level, increasing your ability to consistently eliminate targets while using fewer rounds.
With the First strike rounds, you will be able to make each shot matter, allowing you to take less paint out on to the field and be more effective and conservative with your ammo at the same time.
This is also important when you factor in the cost of using the First Strike rounds as the cost is indeed the major drawback here. The First Strike rounds will cost (at best) $0.40 per round, so YES, you want them to count! But let’s look at the cost of using regular paintballs at roughly $0.05 per round. This means that you need to make your First Strike rounds 8 times more effective in order to break even in terms of the cost.
Here is where your style of play comes in to effect – if you find yourself running up and down the field, shooting from the hip and laying down lots of suppressing fire, then using First Strike rounds might not be for you as the cost will quickly add up (but we will discuss options for you later on).
Where the First Strike rounds WILL make the difference will be for the player moving slowly and taking out targets from a distance. For the times where you find yourself having to play both roles in the same match, it may be beneficial to bring some magazines loaded with standard paintballs and a few others loaded with the First strike rounds. An even better set up would be to bring along a pistol for those quick encounters where swapping out magazines would be too time consuming. If you are willing to spend the money, a few high end markers offer the ability to switch from hopper fed to magazine fed at the flip of a switch or twist of a barrel.
The Tiberius Arms T4 is one of the markers that offers this feature. Here you get the best of both worlds, being able to have a hopper and a magazine loaded simultaneously! Think of the possibilities of being able to fire off a few First Strike rounds at your enemies from a distance and then being able to switch to your hopper and lay down some cover fire or engage them in close quarters without having to worry about spending $0.40 per shot! The only drawback to a dual set up like this one would be that you will have to be careful with your paint to bore size matching.
The First Strike rounds come in at a .683 while your standard paintball will be roughly .689 or so. What this means is that if you are using a barrel such as the LAPCO .683 FSR Rifled Barrel, you will have to be extra vigilant in making sure that your standard paint will fit through the barrel without breaking. Other than that, markers with this capability are devastatingly versatile and will unleash all kinds of havoc upon opposing teams!
So there you have it. You can now make an educated decision as to whether or not you want to embrace the First Strike rounds, putting a premium on accuracy, range effectiveness and of course price, or stick to the standard, somewhat unpredictable yet inexpensive paintballs. But again, why be forced to make that choice when you can have both at the same time!?