For a marker to work correctly, its various mechanical elements must work with good pressure. It is not uncommon to see failures due to excessive pressure, causing the breakdown of the o’rings. To advise you the best in your choice of bottle/preset combination, it is necessary to understand the inner workings of your marker.
1. What is the pressure?
The pressure is measured in “psi”, which is a unit of measurement and Anglo-Saxon meaning “pound per square inch” or “PSI” or with our units “453.6 grams of a square area of 2 , 54 cm square. ”
In the European system, the pressure is usually measured in Pascals. 1 Pascal is equivalent to a force of 1 Newton on a surface of 1 square meter. Pascal is a relatively small unit, the most common unit is hPa (hecto-Pascal), which is equivalent to 100 Pa.
Pressure can also be expressed in bars. 1 bar = 10 000 Pa = 100 hPa.
To give an order of magnitude, a car tire is inflated to a pressure of between 2 and 2.5 bar, a bicycle tire in turn may contain a pressure of between 2 and 4 bars for a mountain bike and between 6 and 8 bars for a bike race.
Converting bar / psi is a linear function, corresponding to approximately 1 bar 14,51 psi.
1 bar = 100 hPa = 14.51 psi
The pressure in a bottle of paintball (or diving) comes close to 4500 psi, which corresponds to about 300 bar, so 100 times more than a car tire!
As for the diving, certain precautions are necessary when using such high pressures and in case of doubt, it is always better to seek the advice of a professional.
2. Different pressures within the marker
In a paintball marker, the tank pressure undergoes several changes before reaching the paintball. Beyond the stages of regulating the pressure, a portion of the air will be used to operate the marker, particularly in the return of the bolt.
Each marker is different and has its own internal mechanisms, but we can distinguish two patterns of pressure, as your launcher is either closed or open bolt.
Closed bolt marker
The preset reduces cylinder pressure to provide the desired internal pressure (inner pressure). The air then passes through the inline regulator where the pressure will be reduced to the service pressure. This pressure is used to propel the paintball but also to bring the bolt back to its starting position.
Setting the velocity is done via the inline regulator. By changing the pressure, you will influence the speed of the paintball and at the same time the speed of the internal mechanical parts, changing noise, kick and the regularity of the shots.
A too high service pressure may result in malfunctions and accelerated wear of mechanical parts and o’rings. In addition, you may also destroy your solenoid.
Open bolt marker
The diagram of the open bolt launcher is more complicated, and that explains why those markers are usually more expensive.
Like for closed bolt markers, the preset reduces cylinder pressure to provide the desired internal pressure (inner pressure). The air then passes through the inline regulator where the pressure will be reduced to the service pressure.
Where it is different is that some of the air out of the inline regulator will go through a second regulator, the LPR, which will provide a pressure stabilized at about 75PSI and will only be used to move the internal mechanical parts via the solenoid. This pressure is the operating pressure.
The advantage of this system is that we can tune the operation pressure to find the perfect balance between smoothness and kick. Then just adjust the inline regulator to vary the velocity without affecting the behavior of mechanical parts.
Unlike open-bolt markers, a pressure set too high will not cause the destruction of the solenoid because it is protected by the LPR .
To summarize :
– To adjust the LPR , it is up to you to find the optimum position to be a compromise between regularity and kick . LPR can be adjusted later and will not affect other settings . We recommend that you set the “dwell ” in your board to its original value, its more accurate adjustment will be discussed in another article.
– After adjusting the LPR , you can adjust the velocity by changing the pressure through the inline regulator. Again, the dwell can be modified to provide a better airflow against the ball, a better regularity and thus avoid breaking ball (all this will be detailed in a future article).
3 . Which air-tank to choose?
The choice of a bottle depends on three factors :
- The dimensions ( length and diameter)
- The weight
- The manufacturing quality
There are 2 types of bottle:
- Aluminum bottles :
They are heavy but sturdy and can contain up to 3000 psi of pressure.
- Composite bottles:
They are designed based on Kevlar and other materials, and are generally composed of up to 3 layers: an inner liner or coating of polymer (on Stako and Safer), a resin structure with carbon fiber or Kevlar, and an outer layer of polyurethane or other polymer resistant to scratches and impacts.
It is not advisable to completely empty a bottle with a liner, you could damage it.
The composite bottles are lighter and can contain pressures up to 4500psi . Their price is also higher .
What you should know about bottles
On each bottle is indicated expiration date (denoted “FINAL”). The life of a bottle may vary and is of 10 to 20 years depending on the model. Once this date passes, the bottle can not be used because it is no more compliant with the legislation (CEE standard).
The retesting dates must also be indicated. The retestings should be performed every 5 years from the date of manufacturing and are used to monitor the condition of the bottle. A visual inspection is then performed using an optical fiber to monitor the status of the internal coating or liner, and if necessary, a refinishing can take place. The bottle is then inflated to a pressure of 6000psi to check its strength and tightness. This test is also called the hydro-test.
The bottles do not support staying in the sun, so do not leave your bottle on the seat of your car and always remember to keep it in a dry place and away from direct sunlight and other heat sources. These same rules apply to scuba tanks.
Remember also to provide protection for your bottle, especially for composite tanks, they do not appreciate at all the slides or shocks during meetings with rocks. To protect it, you can either opt for a neoprene coat, offering good resistance to shock or a “tank cover”, which is a rubber conformable to the bottle, offering more grip and protecting the rear of the bottle while leaving the bulk to more easily identify the apparition of bubbles.
What must I do if a bubble appears on my air-tank?
In the case where a bottle “bubble”, that is to say bubbles are appearing on the outer surface, it is imperative to stop using it immediately. If one of these bubbles burst, your bottle can turn into a real bomb, right next to your face.
If this happens to you, remove the bottle from the marker and ungas it completely by pressing with a tool on the pin of the preset. Stop using the bottle and return it to the manufacturer for service, some manufacturers will exchange it directly. Some sets of bottles have had many problems in the past (the old Safer) and are now replaced immediately by the manufacturer in case of bubbles apparition.
The appearance of bubbles may be due to several factors: poor design, shock, retest date exceeded, bottle left in the sun, misuse (too high pressure or “slam-fill”, that is to say a full filling at too fast speed).
Safer V3 :
Safer V3, hear 3rd generation, is composed of three layers of different materials.
- The first, a new liner polymer ultra-resistant of the last generation, nothing to do with previous SAFER and their “famous” blisters. The use of this new material provides a more stable bottle, resistant to temperature changes and thus it is more durable.
- The second matrix is a carbon fiber and Kevlar fabric. It gives the bottle its high pressure resistance while minimizing the weight of the cylinder! This matrix was awarded the innovation prize Dupont de Nemours in 2012
- The third, meanwhile, is a protective layer of epoxy. Anti-slip, its role is to protect the inner fiber of the bottle. This is actually a “cover” embedded! (Warning, a bottle cover will still be required and highly recommended for all parties.)
Safer V3 is available in three capacities (1.2L (144eu), 1.5L (162eu) and 2L (215eu)), they come with unique certificate and serial number to allow individual monitoring of each cylinder! This is unheard of!
|Model||Capacity [L]||Length (without preset) [cm]||Diameter [cm]||Empty weight (without preset) [g]|
|Fuel - Supralite||1,1||23||10||640|
|Safer - Ultralite||1,2||21,3||11,6||720|
|Safer - Ultralight V3||1,2||21,3||11,6||690|
|Safer - Ultralight V3||1,5||23,8||11,6||830|
|Safer - Ultralight V3||2,0||32,1||11,6||1110|
|Ninja - Dura||1,1||23||11,4||1031|
|Empire - Pure Energy||1,1||21||11,2||1056|
4. Which preset to choose?
The preset is what many know as the regulator of the bottle. This is a crucial element of your marker because it provides the internal pressure (inner pressure). If it is malfunctioning, for example by releasing too much pressure, it can crack o’rings and cause leaks in your marker if it is not compliant with higher pressures.
All presets are designed to withstand 6000psi pressure, which is more than the resistance of a bottle. In this article, the presets were tested on composite bottles with a pressure of 4500psi.
What is a “rupture disk”?
A bottle preset can have 1 to 2 rupture disks for security reasons (often two).
The rupture disks are metal discs designed and calibrated to break and let the air pass-through when the pressure for which it was intended is exceeded. it is integrated in a support which is screwed on with care and with a teflon seal on the regulator.
Each rupture disk is designed for a burst pressure that is specific , and the following values are used for different reasons :
The 1.8 K is positioned after the regulation. In case of regulation problem , it leaks out the pressure so that it does not reach the launcher, what may cause damage. It must be screwed into the slot marked “Low” .
The 7.5 K or 5 K is positioned before the regulation and is designed to break if the pressure in the bottle is too high. The 5K is usually found on 3000psi bottles while 7.5 K is found on those containing 4500psi .
It must be screwed into the slot marked “High” .
Locations marked “High” and “Low” on the preset have nothing to do with the type of regulation (high or low pressure), but it specifies on which side we are regarding the regulation .
The rupture disks and manometer can be replaced but it is recommended to have it done by a professional. Sealing is provided by a sheet of Teflon wrapped around the thread .
High pressure or low pressure ?
Depending on the design of your marker , it will accept either the high pressure or low pressure, or both . It is very important to check the pressure that your marker can accept, because if you use a bad pressure, you may be end up with a marker that does not work correctly or that cannot fire at all, or in the worst case it can destroy parts like the solenoid or internal o’rings .
For each marker, the pressure to use is specified in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
Here are the following types of pressures in ascending order (with an accuracy of + /- 100psi) and their use :
300psi : SLP or Supra Low Pressure. Designed specifically for the Bob Long markers, especially the G6R and Victory, but this pressure is not widespread.
500psi : Low Pressure. Mainly used Macdev launchers , machine , DLX , Vanguard and some Empire.
650psi Average pressure. This pressure is almost not used.
800psi : High pressure. Recommended for all Planet Eclipse markers.
1100psi : SHP or Supra High Pressure. Originally designed for some Tippmanns equipped with a cyclone kit and Automags to exceed the 20bps.
The most common settings are low and high pressures.
Theoretically, a low pressure will make more shots than a high pressure, but in practice, it depends mainly on the design of the marker.
In Belgium, we can find mainly three brands of presets : Ninja, Guerilla and Pure Energy:
Ninja has developed a very wide range of presets, ranging from SLP to SHP .
The most versatile is the Ultralite (about 55€) and the Pro Adjustable (about 65€), they have the great advantage that you can set the output pressure through a system of washers (shims) with an imprecision of +/- 50psi:
- No washer: 450psi
- 1 shim: 550psi
- 2 shims: 700psi
- 3 shims: 800psi
Ninja pro V2 :
Ninja Pro V2 is an evolution of the Ninja Pro Adjustable. It was announced at 69.9 eur.
Regarding its appearance, the ninja V2 differs from the V1 by his engraving and the appearance of the pine. The differences are primarily internal.
How to remove the preset ninja? The system, consisting of 3 screw, is retained. Therefore, to unscrew the cap (black upper part), unscrew the three screws on the same side AND DO NOT cover those located on the silver ring. Screws on the silver ring will guide you the way you want with your preset for comfort as for example by placing the pin filling down.
What do you observe when removing the ninja V1 and V2?
What differs between the two models is the valve pin, the spring of the valve and the cover.
- The V1 Pin Valve is represented by a gold coin. On V2, it is the metal of the stainless steel of ball-type.
- The valve spring is much longer on the V2.
- Hood differs in its hole where the pin goes. On V2, it is wider. In addition, the seal is located below and is wider on the flexible V2. On the V1, it is a rigid o-ring.
From our perspective, we prefer the system presented in V2. In V1, the pin rubs against the cover o-ring, which is source of leaks. By cons in the V2, the ball get in the o-ring evenly, which reduces the risk of leakage. The only negative point is is the material that makes up the ball. A wear, there is a risk of marking the ball with pine airports markers pushing. We’ll see with time if any degradation depending on the quality of the material but Ninja has accustomed us to the good quality material.
IMPORTANT NOTE for your safety. Do not transfer items between V1 and V2. This is clearly indicated by Ninja for safety reasons.
Guerilla Air presets
The Myth G2 (about 50€) is certainly the shortest preset that exists on the market. It will delight the players who like to play in a compact manner. But note that the gauge exceeds the thread which can cause it to hit the frame (handle). An adjustment of the position of the airport of your launcher with a raiser can solve the problem if you find it annoying.
The Myth G2 is not a preset high or low pressure, it is a medium pressure, which unfortunately limits its interest. Its output pressure is +/- 650 psi and can be used on low pressure markers accepting more pressure, or high pressure markers remaining regular despite a lower pressure.
In addition, the design of the G2 could have been better.
Pure Energy presets
The Pure Energy preset at 4500psi is available at about 35€. It is very robust and reliable design. Its output pressure is 800-850psi, high pressure then.
It has the best quality/price ratio if you want to play high pressure.
|Regulator (4500psi)||Size (outside the bottle ) [cm]||Weight [g]|
|Ninja - Ultralite||5,3||120|
|Ninja - Pro Adjustable||5,5||137|
|Guerilla - Myth G2||3,7||99|
Which pressure for which marker?
|Marker||Low pressure||High pressure|
|Machine - Vapor||V||X|
|Vanguard - Demon 2013||V||X|
|Dye - DM 13||V||V|
|Planet Eclipse - LV1||(V)||V|
|Planet Eclipse - GEO 3||(V)||V|
|Planet Eclipse - ETEK 4||(V)||V|
|Planet Eclipse - ETHA||(V)||V|
|DLX - Luxe 2.0||V||X|
|MacDev - Clone GTi||V||X|
|Empire - Axe||V||V|
The tips from Black Tiger:
Buying a “tank cover” is essential to ensure your safety and the safety of the players around you.
Never put oil or grease on the net that is used to screw the bottle to the airport, the oil can ignite.
Bonus video of the explosion of a bottle
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