Yes, It Can Be Done.. Sort Of.
Note : Minigun In Promo Ad Pic Above Does Not Fire Paintballs!!
Quick Note: Paintball miniguns that can fire 6000 pbpm are not the same size as standard miniguns due to the speed of the rotor & it's ability to pick up a static paintball, accelerate it then spin it in a 4 inch circumference at 1000 RPM all in just a few milliseconds. A paintball cannot handle +20g's in that fashion, even if it is frozen solid. Plus god forbid it gets half way in the chamber & chopped as the rotor moves to pick up the next one. To get around this problem the rotor has been enlarged to over 12 inches with 10 or more barrels. This gives a high rate of fire without the G-Force problems associated with a smaller & faster pickup mechanism. The paintball miniguns you see here that are smaller cannot come anywhere close to the ROF of a real minigun at 6000 shots per min but they are still alot of fun.
Research & Experimentation
Paintball in itself has it's own problems and a stigma (Some Points Well Earned) at that. Most gunsmiths, especially the good ones I have met are very biased against paintball for several reasons & these are the people with the knowledge & skills to build these advanced type guns.
Let me break it down with the info I have gotten from different people...
Problem 1 - The Ugly Black Pickle -
Most paintball guns now are rather hi tech looking, some even look more like a ray gun seen in movies. So what's wrong with that?? Nothing! It's not the guns the "Real Steel" gunsmiths have the problem with, its the UGLY, melted looking, black plastic magazine or "Hopper" as it is sometimes called on top of the gun. 95% of paintball guns use them. For people used to owning, repairing, customizing & shooting real guns, this paintball magazine appears to them like a pile of dog poop stuck to the top of the guns. "Just go out & look for poop sticking up & a paintball person is under it!" In all reality, look at a new paintball gun. Shiny & high tech, futuristic & sleek. Now put a magazine on it & tell me how it does not look like the other gunsmiths have described! Face it paintball magazines like this RUIN the outline of a gun, no matter how it looks & the manufacturers know this. Look at ads for paintball guns on the web & you will notice +95% of them do NOT have magazines attached & it is for this reason, UGLY & they break up the lines of the gun.
Problem 2 - He Said, She Said & The Billy Factor -
Most gunsmiths also want nothing to do with paintball because it is not "Real". My personal experience is it can teach some great tactics, improve quick decision making under stressful conditions & help keep you in shape. The big problem is immaturity. I have seen arguments break out over "Who got hit" & stuff like "That paint rubbed off my cover - you didn't hit me" Yada Yada Yada..The overall idea to many paintballers is it is all about winning & the Billy Badass mentality who has to win & hit the other players with 6 head shots from 6 feet every time.. Most adult gunsmiths despise people like this for good reason! And want nothing to do with kids or adults alike that act like kindergartners stuck indoors on a rainy day. Unfortunately this kind of behavior is common especially with 15 year old boys with raging hormones & a kill everything attitude. People like this have no business with real guns & gunsmiths especially want nothing to do with these type people...
Problem 3 - Airsoft Is Coming -
Paintball may not be on its way out but the growth of it is slowing. I have seen more and more adults and older paintballers make the switch over to airsoft. Taiwanese & Japanese technology has advanced airgun design to the point now the average person looking at a real gun & an airsoft reproduction cannot tell the two apart. Airsoft guns can now push the 600 fps mark with some BB's and this is about as close to a real firefight as you can get without ending up dead. Honor comes into play here also & this makes it more of an adult sport, when your hit most people see this as a learning experience. Some part of their tactics failed & they strive not to make the same mistake again. As in a real firefight they would be hurt really bad or killed, now the worst they come away with it is a bleeding welt & tiny scar. Plus they don't look like some fool covered with yellow paint.
Now don't get me wrong, paintball has its place but most knowledgeable gunsmiths just prefer to have nothing to do with it for the reasons I listed above. This is not my opinion, it is what they have told me face to face. Right or wrong this is the way they see it & they are the ones most knowledgeable when it comes to creating something like a paintball minigun. Dennis Tippmann did build one for his Hellhound Paintball Combat Vehicle It's design gets around the High G force/High RPM problems I mentioned before but is just too costly to put into commercial production.
My Personal Opinion, If You Care To Read It..
Like I said, My personal experience is paintball can teach some great tactics, improve quick decision making under stressful conditions & help keep you in shape. Most paintball guns look cool but I do agree the "Hopper Feed" is ugly as hell. Too bad no one has come up with a helical magazine feed system for paintball like Calico Industries did for their firearms. That would be really hi tech! As for the mention about the people with the Billy Badass attitude you have to look at it like this. Kids will be kids & the big difference is in the real gun world if you have the attitude like the generic Billy Badass you end up in prison or dead before you are 21. In the paintball world there are few real consequences for an Idiot like Billy. So a word of advice for you die hard paintballers out there, If you play paintball & have you own little Billy in your group, the next time he "acts up", go up to him, take his gun away & kick the crap out of him for his own good. Little Billy types give paintball a bad name & in reality that ass kicking you just gave him may just teach him a lesson & save his life someday. Overall I like paintball.. I just have no use for the little Billys of the world, they screw it up for Everybody!
Now back to miniguns.. All you gunsmiths/paintballers that do work & tinker with paintball, if you do get around to building a paintball minigun, Send me some pictures of it when you get it working, I will be happy to put it up and write an article on it here!
Now it looks like someone has gone and done it!
Below are some pictures of what is reported to be the first fully operational almost 1:1 Scale .68 caliber paintball mini. This info was sent in by one of our readers so heres the low down. The paintball mini clicks the chrono at a fairly good speed, 300fps with a 1200 per min rate of fire. As far as the gas supply, it must be run on dry nitrogen. Due to the high gas consumption Co2 is not a viable option since it can form dry ice inside the gun. Construction time took over 2 years of R&D to build it into something like a minigun & not something that had all the effects of a can of spray paint. Now check out the pictures & let's see what you think.
8/2003 - Now In Production
We just got another email from the designer of this weapon, he dropped us a line to let us know that the paintball mini has gone past the prototype stage & into production. It looks like this gun is going to retail for around $6000 but for the real skinny info drop a e-mail to the designer & builder Mr. Tim Cruz and he can give you the lowdown on his new paintball mini.
4/2005 - Scam Alert?
We just got a email from a reader that has put a large deposit ($2500) down on one of these paintball miniguns. I was told Mr. Cruz promptly cashed the check for $2500 in October 2003 & then started having "production problems". Then Mr. Cruz's email goes dead along with his phone # & an email in May of 2004 was the last thing his would be customer ever heard.
Until I hear otherwise I must advise my readers to avoid sending deposits to anyone selling or advertising a new production .68cal paintball minigun until you fully investigate the seller of the product. I would also like to hear from Mr. Cruz for his take on this matter & hopefuly get the persons deposit back or gun delivered. According to the person that sent him the deposit complaints have already been filed with the Postal Inspector & his local police so hopefully this will be settled soon.
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