Every now and again, when the news is so big that we have to shout about it, we bring you the latest product news from the paintball industry. Find out about all the most important new releases here.
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December 2009 - Latest Product News
It's pretty safe to say that we haven't released any product news here for quite some time. That's mainly because we've been so busy with our other projects and because all the latest goings on are regularly discussed in our forums. But sometimes, the news is so big that it needs its only special little place on this web site!
The New Year is promising us something completely different. Its been dubbed as "Paintball 2" and if you believe the hype then you could buy in to the belief that this new development is set to inject a whole new lease of life in to the paintballing industry.
Read on to find out more...
Fifty Calibre from GI Milsim
G.I. Milsim was established in 2009 by paintball innovator Richmond Italia, along with the assistance of Bill and Adam Gardner (AKA Smart Parts).
Here's the official marketing low down from GI Milsim themselves...
Some truly remarkable designs and engineering have resulted, and the start of a new paintball revolution has begun! Bringing G.I. Milsim's creative ambitions to reality called for a deeply seasoned and imaginative engineering group. Smart Parts' American designers and engineers collaborated with two brilliant designers from Asia and several more from Canada to bring the project to fruition.
After intense developments and testing, G.I. Milsim has delivered an inspiring and remarkable line of .50 caliber products that will bridge the gap between paintball, airsoft and milsim.
Tremendous G.I. Milsim performance, function and convenience will usher in a new era of excitment to the great game of paintball! From purpose-build WoodsBall, Scenario and Milsim products to inspiring Sport and Tournament rigs, G.I. Milsim set the new benchmark of Excellence.
That's the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of claims that have been made about the release of a .50 caliber paintball, but we wont bore you with it all. Instead, we'll tell you what this really means...
Paintball is traditionally played with a .68 caliber paintball. One of the barriers for people to participate in paintballing on a regular basis is the cost of the paintballs themselves. They are not particularly cheap and they are not reuseable by their very nature. This fact has seen many participants leave the sport for similar hobbies such as airsoft where the ammunition used is much cheaper. Paintballing is arguably a better pastime, as the frangible, marking properties of the paintball leaves no doubt to when a player has been hit. Its ironic that one of the game's best features (the paint inside the paintball and the construction of the paintball itself) is also one of its main problems: the cost to participate.
The introduction of .50 caliber paintballs is supposed to be the solution. By making smaller paintballs, they can make cheaper paintballs. Suddenly, the cost of regular participation in paintballing is reduced and that means more players and a stronger industry all around. G.I. Milsim are set to re-invent paintball for the good of all - so they say.
Fifty caliber was "launched" back at the paintball World Cup in early October 2009. Since then, we've seen very little progression. There's no influx of product in to the market and no big re-invention of paintball overnight. Now we are being told that the birth of "Paintball 2" will take time and will co-exist with .68 caliber for the forseeable future.
The paintballing community has raised many concerns over .50 caliber from potential issues with its flight characteristics, to possible problems with the ammunitions frangibility and marking capabilities, to a negative impact upon the industry as the two formats battle it out and sales are fragmented.
The general concensus at the moment is to "wait and see." Fifty caliber is definately a reality with some of the industry's biggest hitters backing it's development. It is certainly not going to go away and could, potentially, do what G.I. Milsim claim and breath some fresh air in to the industry. However, .50 caliber has it all to prove and has a lot of work to do in order to meet its objectives of re-inventing paintball.
What does this mean in the short term. Not a lot. For customers who play paintball once or twice a year, the impact is going to take a long time to filter down and we don't predict paintball day's out to become cheaper any time soon. For those regular paintballers, the impact may come about sooner or even later. Its too early to say and so for now we wait. We'll keep you posted about the developments.