“ Manufacturer: Patriot / Type: Paintball Gun „
The "Patriot Paintball Pistol" is a replica of a modern paintball marker. The toy is said to be suitable for ages eight and above, and is available for purchase online at the cost of £15.99. It will also require additional paintball pellets at the cost of £3.99/80.
Packaged with 10 starter paintballs, rigid plastic eye goggles, and a marksman's target, the Patriot Paintball Pistol claims to offer "paintball with attitude". As a former player myself, I bought this toy as a gag gift in hopes it would prove at least somewhat fun for plinking targets without the need to equip the numerous items required to assemble a full scale paintball marker. The item arrived shortly after I ordered it but field tests were less than satisfactory.
One aspect which immediately struck me about the product is its very hollow construction. The toy feels very light in my grasp and I wondered if it would feature any sort of durability. My questions were soon answered after attaching the included clear plastic feeding chamber and loading the handful of starter paintballs. The pistol does not operate on batteries or gas, but rather is actioned by a spring which retracts while pulling a lever at the top of the unit. This pumping motion is required prior to every shot and will allow one paintball in the feeding chamber to roll into position. The lever is easy to pull back and requires little by the way of hand and arm strength, however the sliding motion was often too quick for me. I usually found myself tugging the lever with excessive force which undoubtedly put excessive pressure on the springs held within the pistol. It was also this force which led to the unit's demise. Within my first 10 paintball pellets, the cocking lever broke off of the pistol and I was not able to successfully repair it. The toy now serves me as a paperweight; albeit a very poor one.
In actual use, the Patriot Paintball Pistol is acceptable for a toy. My short lived experience with the unit yielded shots in excess of 10 metres. The paintball pellets burst into a thin, runny mess which have a viscosity comparable to a watercolour. The paintballs are also very small. Further investigation informed me that Patriot Paintballs are 0.50 calibre. This number is significantly lower than the standard 0.69 calibre paintballs which are compatible with traditional paintball markers. Because of this, owners will be forced into buying brand specific refills for their toy which can often be poor value for money. Additional paintballs for the Patriot Paintball Pistol are approximately 5p per paintball; double the price of a value brand 0.69 calibre paintball.
This toy is by no means a replacement for a modern marker, nor is something which could be deemed as durable or cost efficient. It is possible that this may appeal to a supervised youngster who is interested in the sport of paintball. I feel this is about the extent of the product's appeal and would likely prove to be a poor purchase for anyone outside of this market.