Friday, January 31, 2014

REVIEW: Hakkotsu Thunder-B Sound Grenade System

Hakkotsu Thunder-B Grenade,
flash bang style with
compression rings
Go buy one. Now

        Ok, Ok, I realize a review needs to be somewhat more comprehensive than that but seriously, if you order one now, then it'll be 10 minutes closer to be delivered to your door by time you finish reading this post!

        I've been a skeptic of this grenade system for a long time, for the most part because around the grenade's major North American debut, I was pretty poor, and anything with disposable parts that needed replacing didn't seem like an intelligent investment to me, short of ammunition for my markers that is. I had some disposable income over the summer however, and picked up a set of 12 shells and the actual grenade assembly and it was totally worth it.

        I'm going to share with you a short story now about how effective this little unit is, but I strongly recommend you do exactly what I DIDN'T* do and ask you field supervisor if these are A-Ok to use at your field. Let me clarify: I did not get a verbal warning for throwing this device and most certainly didn't smuggle it into a game, I just mentioned I had a new and very loud toy for the field which I had not yet tested which was probably going to go kapow a few times over the course of the day but kept what it was very hush-hush. Don't want to give away all my secrets to every player attending, right? The first time I used one of the Thunder-B grenades was at a Kamloops Paintball Games scenario called "Miami Vice." First scenario of the day went as follows: Each team needs to locate and capture two bags of contraband, the first one they need to find is the one deepest inside enemy territory, the second bag is somewhat closer to home, but for capturing bag number two to count, bag number one must make it home first. Not too complicated, and it played pretty good.

        I was working my way up the center of the field toward the opposing force's base with a small group of regulars and I was armed with my trusty Phenom, we were leap frogging from bunker to bunker when we spotted the first contraband bag. It was right in the middle of a clearing with no real good way to get to it short of a mad dash there and then back and we knew for a fact there were a few sneaky renters loitering in the bunkers surrounding the clearing. I prepared to do what I normally do in these situations and that usually involves ditching my vest and gun to sprint in and grab the objective. I have a few guys behind and beside me to hold down the bunkers in the clearing so its looking like a pretty good set up. But I have this sound grenade. This new toy I really want to throw and so I rationalize me first throw to myself: it'll be a good distraction, or maybe it'll startle them into keeping their guns to themselves a bit longer so I can get a head start on running this bag home. My Team mates and I quickly confer about the plan, I pull out the grenade, yank the pin, release the handle so the hammer inside punctures the 12 gram, and I toss it.

        2... 3... 4... 5... Aww, damn, did I buy a dud?

        Then I hear something I've only heard once before, and that's a sound like a tire exploding on an 18-wheeler doing 100 down the highway. Yeah, no kidding, that's how loud this grenade is when your playing outside. Suffice it to say, I was giggling like a little girl all the way to the contraband bag and back to my base. Players were definitely rattled and didn't start firing their guns again until I'd run halfway home already, even my teammates covering me because the opfor was too spooked to poke their heads out! The Thunder-B grenade is incredibly effective at what it does, and provided you have the element of surprise when you use it, it can make the enemy wet themselves. Used too much however, and the effectiveness wears off, as does the novelty. If you're using the grenade every game at very predictable moments then the opposing team will know what to expect and when, so it's more of a rainy day kind of device.

        But no review is complete without a breakdown of the components, craftsmanship and just how the unit works. The specific package I picked up came from Tactical-Mod Canada and was the "Hakkotsu™ Thunder-B CO2 Sound Grenade Flashbang 12-Pack w/ Shells" and I managed to get it on sale, regularly it's $59.99 and I think it ended up costing barely more than just one regular sized smoke grenade at our field, so I was feeling like a very crafty consumer indeed. The package came with
 lots of goodies inside, the grenade's fireing pin, hammer, and handle assembly, 12 shells, an extra pin, a spare gasket (which I've now lost entirely), as well as a relatively recent addition to the Thunder-B system: 2 sets of compression rings. Hakkotsu manufactures a variety of a Thunder grenades and while you can still buy the old shells which are just a green or black plastic cylinder, you can also now buy pipe bomb style and pineapple style Thunder grenades. The flashbang-looking grenades with the compression rings are the loudest in the family. The rings prevent premature blowouts of gas from either end by screwing on and doing as their name implies: compressing. This allows more gas to enter the cylinder before the shells explode outward creating a bigger bang. I should mention now that it's not a particularly violent explosion aside from the sound, and so no shrapnel will be flung out from the grenade upon detonation. Also, if you fill the grenade with BB's prior to the game those won't be flung out either, so using one as an airsoft frag grenade isn't really going to work. They can make an interesting poof if you fill them with some baby powder though!

       Operation of the device is very simple as well, I was able to get a good grasp of it without Youtube or the instruction manual, but after accidentally discarding a set of my compression rings since I didn't realize immediately that they weren't disposable, I strongly recommend at least give the manual a quick once-over. All one needs to do it pry back the hammer which punctures the CO2 12 gram, flip the dead-man handle over top of the hammer, and slide the pin in place through both the hammer and handle to prime it. CO2 cartridges go in the bottom of the assembly by unscrewing a nobbled aluminum cap, placing the cartridge inside skinny end first, and replacing the cap. After that it's as easy as selecting the shell you want and placing compression rings on it if required. Using it on the field, all one needs to do is pull the pin while gripping the dead-man handle and toss when you're ready. Remembering to hold onto the dead-man handle is important, it will allow you to delay puncturing the 12 gram until you're ready to throw it, or replace the pin if you change your mind about throwing it entirely. If you don't hold that handle while pulling the pin, the hammer will puncture the 12 gram and it'll go of in your hands.

       Construction of the reusable parts is pretty good but won't be winning any awards. It's mostly aluminum with a few rubber seals which need replacing from time to time. The handle and hammer mechanism on top is what'll take the most beating during use as it is the most top heavy part and will likely hit the ground first after every throw. In the woods where its mostly falling on dirt its ok, but at an indoor CQB arena with a cement floor, it's lifespan might be limited. While the hammer is a pretty solid chunk of metal, I expect I could probably break the handle with my bare hands if I tried but after about 24 throws its still in one piece. All in all I'm very impressed with this unit and will definitely be buying an additional package for spare parts and shells this season!

       So did you order one yet? Why not!? We need more of these on out fields!

Photo by Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Carmatech Engineering SAR 12 and Milsig Update

       Ok, I've decided to be a news outlet once a year for the paintball expo, just for the sake of the next two posts.
       I have a few updates regarding the last post about new Milsig products. First regards the internals and the construction of the M17: it sounding like there will be no charging handle on either the new Paradigm or the M17, and that they will be blow forward systems. Another interesting development is the HEAT upgrade for the K-Series MKII; this will let current owners of MKII's operate at lower pressures (about 500-600psi), and it does away with the side air tube for the MATS and CATS stocks, air goes directly into the back with the new internals.
       Now for some prices: Doug Brown of Psi Ops has been posting on the Milsig Owners Facebook page with a few figures like: FXR kit: close to 200, HEAT upgrade: 125, M17: 550 (no word on accessories included at that price). I was also incorrect on my assumption about the M17 being a cast aluminum receiver, turns out it is actually molded polypropylene which should help keep the cost lower than the all metal counterparts. There is no word on the pricing of the new Paradigm, but if the change in price of the original M-series if anything to work with, it could be as much as $2000 CAD!
       In related news, a new contender is stepping into the mag fed realm: Carmatech Engineering. They're ramping up for a September 2012 launch of their marker, the SAR 12. It's the first mass production bolt action paintball rifle on the market and it's quite the beast of a marker, if not a little niche. The rifle can also been changed to fire in semi auto mode without tools in a matter of seconds which is a pretty cool too. Carmatech is currently designing a number of accessories for the marker like new front ends, stocks, one of which will take 13ci tanks which the rifle will achieve about 170 shots off of. It will take first strike rounds in a stacked fashion in the mag, and when you run out of shots, you flip the mag around and use a second stack of rounds on the other side which is a pretty clever way to get the most out of a huge mag designed to look like the real thing. Price point looks to be $1000 US, and they're asking 150 for preorders!
Here's Carmatech's site

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Milsig Markers Closing the Gap

       I tend not to post news items here, but this stuff got me pretty excited. New markers have been appearing on the Milsig Owners and Milsig Industries pages over on Facebook for the last two days and it's been stirring up a lot of talk. Nelson over at Milsig is pretty strict about not letting the company turn into a hype machine, so anything new coming from them makes even their most manly fans giggle like excited school girls. These are Nelson's three aces as he calls them, and they are a new limited edition Paradigm, a new mass market platform known only as the M17 (no relation to the M-Series), and two fairly substantial pistol to carbine kits for the T8.1 and TPX called the FXR.

       Above is the new Paradigm Mk II. As you can see, there is the CNC'd hand guard we know and love which has been elongated on the new model, and the 13ci air in stock which appears to supply air directly into the back of the marker; no side air line. It can shoot first strike too, no word on if the pictured barrel is what will be included with the marker or if that's a Marksman Barrel. Also, it would appear that Milsig has finally found a way to close the gap between the magwell and trigger guard. Nit-pickers rejoice! There is debate over what the internals of this marker will be like. No confirmation has been given over whether it will use the same blow back design as the original and Mk II K-series markers, or of it's something we haven't yet seen in a Milsig; with a little luck, it will operate on lower pressure, so those of us who have troubles getting a Milsig over 270 fps out of the box will not have this issue any more.

       This is the M17 and receiver and internal wise, should be fairly identical to the Paradigm Mk II. This is the cast aluminum, non limited run model. It is also first strike ready.

       This is the FXR Force Multiplier Pistol to Carbine kit, which will be available soon for T8.1 and TPX. Word is there will be Air thru and air in stock options of this kit which is pretty nifty.

       More details about these two new markers and kits will be unveiled on the 28th at the upcoming paintball exhibition, like just what kind of internals they have, pricing, and what will be included with these markets when you purchase them. No word if Nelson has a fourth ace ready to show, but if he does, I think I know what we all hope it would be. I'll be sure to follow this particular story closely.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

REVIEW: Original SWAT Classic 9" Side Zip Boot, Coyote

       In case you are a new reader to the blog, I feel it is necessary to link you to the review of the 5.11 ATAC Boot w/ Side Zip since to date, it is the golden standard to which I measure all boots up to. Here is the link to that review REVIEW: 5.11 Coyote ATACs 8inch. Have you read that one yet? Ok, good, so you probably know now that after going through a pair of those boots every six months over the last year and a half, I was in pretty bad need of some different footwear than 5.11 offerings both on and off the field. There was a sale on Original SWAT boots down at First Response Duty Gear back in mid June-early July, and I decided that there was no better time than the present to check out the offerings of a non 5.11 Tactical company. Of course, since I have enormous mutant feet, I had to find a size close to what my feet were and then guess what size I should order. On to the fit and feel of the boot.
       At first try on, they feel about as good as the 5.11 boots, at least around the sole, but they lack some of the additional padding which the ATAC boots have running up the back of the ankle. As a result, I've developed some blistering on the skin over my heel bone due to the lack of cushioning. I can't complain about any other friction or pressure points with the boot, however. In spite of the boot being a 9 inch boot, I have found that it feels like the top of the boot rests at a lower point on my leg than 5.11's 8 inch ones, and to this day it still feels a bit alien to wear them. This might be due to the fact that I continually switch between my nearly worn out 5.11 boots and the newer Original SWAT's.
      Design wise, the boots leave a lot to be desired. Although they have a few features that the 5.11's have, the features aren't nearly as heavy duty. The side-zipper isn't as robust, though I can't say that it's ever given out on me. The anti-bacterial sole doesn't do as good a job at minimizing foot odor. The boots have no one-way ventilation points on the inner sole like the 5.11's. Along the back and front of the sole, there are two layers of very wide stitching which for me have broken in several places so I now have tassels on the bottoms of my boots; I have no idea what these are for in regards of the construction of the boot but given how huge the stitches are, they can't possess any structural purpose. Last comment is regarding the quality of the materials used in these boots. Although they are still wearable and in one piece, they are deteriorating, especially where the boots have to flex. There are small holes forming on either side of the base of the ankle on them and it won't be long before the holes are the size of the eyelets the laces are woven through.
Something is falling apart in the sole
      The chief redeeming quality of these boots is the soft sole they have, it's nice to walk on, and it's significantly softer than the 5.11 boot sole, albeit, the sole and treading is quite a bit thinner. I accidentally developed a clever means of testing the softness which involved foot breaking on a longboard and seeing how effectively the boot could slow me down. These boots are quite grippy and can stop a person in motion very effectively, so much so that they've nearly caused me to fall forward on several occasions. As a result, taking off into a sprint is similarly easy as your feet don't slide around at all. But there is a downside to the soft sole, and that's on tile and linoleum floors, especially when the soles are wet. Every step will squeak absurdly loud if you go from outside to in on a wet day. Not much of a big deal for a paintballer, but if you're a curious law enforcer or military type reading this and thinking these might make for a boot that one can sneak around in, I'd recommend avoiding these boots, everyone will know precisely where you are at all time if these boots are moist.
Material falling apart in where there's flex
       Overall, I feel like the Original SWAT's aren't a boot which is worth 30-40$ more than the 5.11 equivalent. A lower price point might make me feel a little more fond of them, but I paid for these on sale what I would have paid for 5.11s at full price and am not convinced it is in any way superior, in fact, I think these boots lack some of the features the 5.11 ATACs have, and feel that the next time I need to make a boot purchase I will go with what's been tried and true for me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

REVIEW: 5.11 TDU Rapid Assault Shirt

       When Valken made several mistakes with my teams’ first order in summer of 2011, it resulted in my giving a team mate the large Zulu jersey I’d purchased for myself while I waited for his to sell locally and recycle those funds into a replacement. By the time that jersey had sold however, the team had already received order number two, this time for Underground Productz, and it too was incorrect and incomplete. I said bollocks and decided to purchase a different brand of combat top from somewhere that would get it right the first time.
       The solution came through First Response Duty Gear, the local mom and pop tactical shop I’d been seeking sponsorship from for boots and gloves for my team. I looked at a few of their Multicam offerings from Tru-Spec, BlackHawk, and 5.11, and settled on the 5.11 TDU Rapid Assault Shirt. It closely resembled Valken’s Zulu offerings but had a few more features I liked, such as the non Lycra (Spandex) torso section, a zip-up front (upper third), a collar, ergonomic patch areas on the arms, velcro wrist cuffs, generally tougher materials all around, and I definitely got what I paid for in the end.
       Feel-wise, the shirt is very comfortable. I usually find myself wearing XL everything and hoping it shrinks down to a size between XL and L after the first wash. I grabbed a Large Rapid Assault Shirt and found it fit perfectly right away, not what I was expecting from a company that usually makes gear for those with athletic body types, but I’m not complaining on that one. It was a good fit, not too long on my short arms, and not too clingy on my torso. The material on the arms, shoulder, and collar is a 65% polyester and 35% cotton blend, and the material on the torso is 55% cotton, 37% polyester, and 8% lycra, and while it does have some spandex in it, it’s not super noticeable. The top has integrated elbow pads which won’t save your elbow if you hit your funny bone on a rock, but they are much larger than the elbow pads on the Zulu Jersey and are more than adequate for crawling through unforgiving vegetation. One the topic of arms, they also have quite a bit of real estate for patches, as well as pouches to store small odds & ends. The patch areas are also sewn on at 45 degree angles and contour to the arms which is nice for keeping your profile a little more stream lined and having a few less bits of clothing poking off of you. The zip up collar is a nice touch as well, it’s great to do up on a chilly day of play and you can unzip it for temperature control on hot days as well. The tough canvas it’s made of also means it will take the bite out of balls that hit you in the neck.
       After a half season of playing in this top, it has only suffered one war wound. I took a ball to the chest at very close range, and the jagged shell of the ball punched a very small, neat, hole in the 100% cotton material there. I did not get around to mending it, but after playing for the rest of the season and letting the tear do its own thing, it hasn’t spread or become any larger than the day it was inflicted on the jersey. There have been no broken stitches anywhere on this top or any other quality control issues to speak of. The 100% cotton material on the torso is much more durable and breathable than the material on the Valken Zulu Jersey, the arms are also much tougher and heavier duty, but they don’t breathe quite as well on a hot summer day in the desert around Kamloops. The only improvement I can think over there would be some ventilated cotton material running the length of the upper-inner arm around the armpit. But yes, the whole thing is very indestructible, I’ve played several games running only a pistol and have crawled across some pretty gnarly surfaces only to inspect the shirt after and find no frays or rips anywhere
      I’m feeling exceptionally lazy today, and don’t want to lug out the big ‘ol SLR to take pictures of my own shirt, so I’m going to link you directly to 5.11’s page for the this top which is right here. And if you’re concerned about the hole I mentioned earlier, don’t be, seriously, it’s smaller in circumference than a Bic ball point pen.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Tippmann TPX or Tiberius 8?

Tiberius T8.1
       At some point in the last couple of weeks I had a nearly complete post regarding which pistol I recommend to people when they're hunting around for one, but I also somehow managed to lose it between then and now. I wanted to get something up in time for the holiday season regarding pistol purchases so you could take advantage of all the sales that appear around this time, so hopefully putting in double the effort to deliver this post to you will pay off for all of us in the end.
      Alright guys, so most of you know I'm Canadian, and as such, I tend to purchase a lot of stuff from With that being the case, I'm going to use their website for all of the price comparisons herein. So let's examine the price tag of the pistols on their magazines first. The price of a Tiberius 8.1 here in Canada is $199.95 which is down from $227 the last time I checked the price. The price of the Tippmann TPX is $278.95, nothing much had changed there since the pistol's release a couple years back. I give the win in this department to Tiberius, but Tippy's pistol can still shine through, lets take a look at the price of the magazines.
Tippmann TPX
       Tiberius 8.1 magazines cost.... Oops, apparently doesn't have T8.1 magazines, however the prices listed on some other sites tell me that T8.1 mags are currently sitting at 45-50$ a pop. That's a bit steep. Tippmann TPX magazines are going for the same price, but you get 2 for the price of 1, so that's 22-25$ per magazine for a TPX. Ok, Tippmann, you win that round.
       How about the construction of the two marker's themselves. The grip and trigger of the T8.1 is plastic, but the rest is all metal, even the magazines. Tippmann's pistol has a lot more plastic on it, the magazines are all plastic, and metal parts are for the most part limited to the trigger, barrel, and internals. To some, this isn't a problem due to the next point, but I give the win in construction to Tiberius.
       How are the ergonomics of both pistols? How do they feel in the user's hands? The TPX being mostly plastic is a lot lighter than the Tiberius 8.1, the grip is smaller, the receiver is narrower but a little "taller" in the user's hands due to where the 12gram powerlet is installed in the pistol. The metal that goes into the T8.1's receiver and it's mags makes it a lot heavier, and I personally like this. I don't like a heavy paintball assault rifle, but I do like a heavy pistol; I enjoy the heft in my hand, it feels reassuring. The T8.1's 12gram CO2 goes in the grip with the magazine which makes the pistol's grip beefier than that on the TPX and a lot of people aren't fans of this, they say it feels too bulky and alien. I can't complain about this myself and I have smaller hands than most gentleman and grip feels quite natural for me. But I'm in that generous Christmas spirit right now, so I'll go with what the majority has to say about the TPX's grip and give them the comfort point there, even though I feel it's a draw.
       Accuracy: Depending on the forums you spend your time on, you'll see different reports of what kind of accuracy people have had with the different pistols. Some swear by the TPX, some by the T8.1. I think a lot of this comes down to avoiding buyer's remorse. When someone shells out a bunch of money on a marker, they will defend that purchase, sometimes to the point of making themselves look like a complete ass to avoid acknowledging contradictory evidence suggesting they picked up a sub par marker. Accuracy wise, I have not been able to do a controlled side by side experiment with these two pistols, but I'd imagine most accuracy will come down to the user's skill and paint in the magazine. You will find your accuracy increases out of necessity when you play with limited ammo in any case. It's a good way to train! I call accuracy a draw for both pistols in this case.
       So we're all tied up, even though I'm personally still kind of leaning in the T8.1's favor, and it sort of looks like we've covered all the bases. What's going to be the tipping point? Air delivery. Imagine you're on the field with a TPX, you place the CO2 powerlet in the marker, shoot about 3 mags (24 rounds), and you're out of gas, you have to change the CO2 cartridge out of the marker. Now let's try the same exercise with the T8.1, take those same 3 mags, put a CO2 cartridge in each since they go into the mag in the T8.1 and not the pistol itself, and start blowing away the opfor. But! Every time you slap in a new magazine, you're also slapping in a new CO2 cartridge which seals when you eject it so it's not wasted. As long as you have a mag with CO2 in it, you can keep shooting, you don't need to change the CO2 out of the pistol itself. You can put more paint in those 3 mags, and shoot each one 2 more times before having to swap out the 12gram giving you a grand total of 72 shots. What I'm saying here is with the T8.1, you could hypothetically shoot through an infinite number of magazines 3 times over before having to swap out a single CO2 powerlet, but with the TPX, you have to make the swap every 24 shots no matter what (unless you use a remote coil). To me, that's an important selling feature the T8.1 has over the TPX. 
       Both companies have a great reputation, stand by their products, and have customer service second to none though. Regardless of what you buy this holiday season, you likely won't be sitting on the sidelines teching a temperamental marker, I just find there are certain things that tip the scales in the T8.1's favor and felt I'd share these observations to help you make an informed decision.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


       I feel like a bad blogger again, having not posted for, oh, let's see, two months I think it's going on? But I figured it was time to throw something online so folks know I'm still alive, still sorta writing, and have no interest in letting the blog die, but times are busy right now. As I've said in the past a few times, when I'm pressed for time, writing a micro-essay on paintball isn't at the top of my to do list. As much as I love other blogs like GreyOps and Catshack Reports, which I go to very regularly for news and reviews of paintball stuff, I'm not the sort to do a two or three sentence post and link out to a different website for a story. I like having 100% original content on here and unless I'm posting some kind of photo gallery, I have a minimum length I like to keep my posts at, that being about one page, single spaced, 12-font, typed in Open Office.
       So outside of Eight Pound Ops, here's where I am: I'm taking a heavier course load than ever before in school which is gobbling my time up, as a result I don't get to go to the field very much these days, I even missed the end of season last weekend. I don't have the same inclination to write in my free time when writing happens to be all I'm doing in my other time. I've been getting out on the longboard a lot, which has been nice since I don't need a ride anywhere to do that, don't have to pay a fee, and don't need a few buddies to make it a good time. As a result I should be probably posting on that blog more than I am, but it's like ever since I started the second blog about longboarding, suddenly the thought of maintaining two blogs is scaring me away from doing anything on either one of them. Crazy.
Do you smell something burning?
       I have a few articles which are near completion, though only a few, and most of them are reviews, too. There's a chance I'll be able to post some of them before Christmas which itself will bring some free time to write a little more. There is the 5.11 TDU Rapid Assault Shirt, Milsig Hydration Vest, a little commentary on pros and cons of the T8.1 and TPX pistols, and just to mix things up, I hope to do a review of the latest Call of Duty installment as well (I can only do one and not the other so Battlefield will have to wait!). That review would also come way-late since only being able to pick one game for the next couple weeks means Skyrim takes priority! I have no stories up my sleeve right now for this blog though, given that playing doesn't fit into the schedule as it used to, and this makes me sad as well since Kamloops Paintball Games just started selling some really excellent smoke grenades.
        A fellow recently posted on the Facebook page (which by the way has a staggering 2 fans!) that he liked the Week of Valken, and was sorta sad to see there had been no new content appearing on here in over two months. That was a bit of a motivator for this post and has got me back to thinking about doing something I'd been considering since mid-August, that being a “Week of GoPro”, which given the recent release of the HD Hero 2, might just be a smashing idea. I'll let you guys know a little closer to Christmas how that's shaping up.
       Don't be a bonus baller!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

AN INTERVIEW: With Nelson "Noc" Lau of Milsig

Lau, posing for some product shots of Milsig's
2009 limited run paintball marker, the M-Series Paradigm
       Milsig hasn't always been the Milsig it is today. Those loyal to the brand are familiar with a magazine fed marker know as the TM4 which precluded the very popular K-Series, and also know of Milsig's involvement in assisting RAP4 in the creation of their Gen 3 T68. How far back does Milsig go? What are the origins?

       The gun you know as the K-Series actually goes farther back than the MILSIG brand. The platform existed for 2 years before MILSIG was launched. My partner Cho designed the original K-Series, and RAP4 picked it up and re-branded it as the T68 Gen5. Then we went into a partnership with a company called SWAT systems, they rebranded it Tactmark TM4...and then we launched MILSIG on our own. Before MILSIG was launched, we did massive upgrades to the original system, and throughout its life cycle, we’ve continued to make improvements.
       As for even older markers, RAP4’s T68 Gen 3 line was also our design. It was based on the stacked tube (SPYDER) system. RAP4’s current mag fed design is basically a T68Gen3 converted to mag fed. I guess they decided to upgrade our earlier design after we broke ties with them. You’ll also notice that RAP4 magazines are identical to ours as they pretty much copied our design.

       Was being the president of a milsim paintball company always a goal of yours? Or was there something special along the way that kindled an interest in the industry?

       I actually never set out to start a MILSIM PB Company, and I didn’t play a lot of PB growing up in Vancouver. I was actually heavily involved with airsoft and real steel. I got my first airsoft gun when I was 14, and I founded the British Columbia Airsoft Club when I was 19. I was literally one of the “pioneers” of airsoft in Canada. Eventually, my interests in airsoft and guns in general led me to run a small but successful business selling and fixing airsoft guns...which eventually led to a lot of lucrative work in the movie industry as they had just “discovered” airsoft guns as movie props. My life basically revolved around Airsoft, Real Guns, and MILSIM. When I wasn’t working with Airsoft, I was out shooting them with the guys at the club.
The BCAC was run by a pretty tightly knit group of older professionals, and we steered the club towards a true MILSIM mantra. Unlike a lot of clubs and even businesses today, the word “MILSIM” had true meaning to us. A bunch of guys running around with BDUs and space guns and playing different versions of capture the flag is NOT MILSIM. We were all drawn to airsoft because we were a bunch of military buffs, and the game play reflected that. All we played were objective based scenario games.
       There was very little conflict, and while we always played on the same few local fields, the changes in scenarios and objectives kept things fresh. Over time, more newbies joined, and all they wanted to do was play “shoot em up” games. They all wanted instant gratification, and doing recon, patroling, and stalking was WAYYYY too boring! It became the same “team A out to kill all the guys on team B”, and vice versa. And as bragging rights and egos got out of hand, the finger pointing started and everyone was accusing everyone else of cheating. In the end, I quit airsoft, and I often wondered “Wouldn’t an airsoft gun that marked solve the problems in airsoft?” “What about a more realistic paintball gun?”
Years past and I eventually moved to Taiwan as my long time girlfriend was “summoned” home to Taiwan to help with the family business. Out of shear luck I met my manufacturing partner Cho when I attended a PB bachelor party at one of his fields. We quickly became friends because of our common interests and he eventually asked me for help on a project.
       He was working on a contract for an American company intending to turn one of his products into a Less Lethal Launcher for Law Enforcement and Military use. I was brought on as a consultant to help with the R & D. I spent 18 months on this project and I got to know Cho’s product inside and out. Eventually, the project ended as the company we were working with had some legal and financial problems...but we didn’t walk away from this project empty handed.
       While working with the American partners with the LE Project and launching Tactmark, I saw a void in the Paintball Market. Accessorized Tippmann A5s were all the rage, and everyone wanted to make their marker look more real. I looked at these things and I thought...” Why add a hunk of metal to the receiver to make it look like a magazine, only to continue feeding balls from a top heavy hopper?” “Why add a CAR stock to a marker to only put a gigantic air tank underneath?” “Why pay hundreds of dollars to wrap your marker in folded sheet metal just for looks?” I asked a lot of WHYS and realized that we already had the perfect product. We already had a realistic and robust marker...with a working magazine! The answer to the questions I asked myself when I quit airsoft was staring right at me... 
        The rest as you’d say is HISTORY!

       On the way to the spot you are in now, was there any person in (or outside of) the industry who you aspired to be like?

       I met a lot of people along the way, and I learned a lot from many different people. I can’t say that I want to be like any one person or company in particular as everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. If I have to identify certain people and their positive traits, I’d say Doug Brown of PSIWORX for his passion and understanding of the industry...or in particular what is WRONG with the industry. Eric Bratten of Tiberius for his candor and professionalism. Finally, Gino Postorivo of Valken for his vision and ability to spearhead such a come back in such a short time.

       Some individuals at the woodsball field I hail from and some from others have criticized the design of the K and M-series markers for being somewhat archaic, relying on high pressure output for operation instead of a lower pressure poppet for maximum air efficiency. When one considers the MSG RRV vest which holds 8 mags (160 rounds) and the MATS Stock grants around 130 shots, they make a reasonable point, what would you say to address nay-sayers?

       I don’t doubt that there are more efficient systems out there, and that the inline blowback design is quite old. But the oldie is a goodie as there are more inline blowback markers out there by volume than any other designs. We chose to use the inline blow back system ourselves because the action most feels like a real gun as the blowback action creates some sensation of felt recoil. It’s NOT the most efficient system, but for the sake of realism, there must be some tradeoffs.
       As for the vest holding more mags than the 13CI HPA tank can shoot...get a bigger tank and a remote line! I honestly don’t know why we get so much slag in particularly. From our own tests, our markers are actually more efficient than other brands’ blow back why so much hate?
As for guys that run MATS with the 13CI HPA alone, most of them report that they never go through all of their ammo before air runs out. I will say this though...we WILL look into a system upgrade or change at some point in the future, but we’ll stick to our core values.

       Milsig is somewhat famous with it's fans for not being a “hype machine” like other paintball companies when they choose to market new products. Some fans are crying for some kind of teaser from Milsig for anything from new marker accessories to the long awaited box-magazine. Are there any plans to throw them a bone in coming weeks? Anything you'd be willing to share about the "Milsig 2.0" teased on Facebook?

       I’m not totally against hype, as excitement is a key marketing tool. However, unless I’m 100% good and ready to release a properly tested high quality product, I’d rather not talk about it much at all. I disappointed a lot of fans for a failure to deliver a box mag, which we hyped... In the end, our competitor beat us to the punch, and I vow to not make the same mistake again. I’ll let the end results speak for is crap unless you deliver substance.

       Milsim paintball and limited ammo play is becoming hugely popular, unfortunately for new players, the price of a magazine fed marker is pretty huge itself. Does Milsig have any plans to make it more accessible to new players in the future?

       Without revealing too much, part of MILSIG 2.0 is to make the entry barrier into mag fed play lower...stay tuned.

       Accessibility aside, where do you see Milsig paintball or mag-fed play as a whole in the future?

       I think more players will see the benefits of limited ammo or mag fed play. I don’t think one needs to shoot a case of paint per outing to have a good time, and the cost benefits will outweigh some “spray and pray” tendencies. I think over time, field operators will see the light and realize that you don’t need your players to burn through a lot of paint to make a profit.

       If you weren't involved with Milsig as you are now, what do you think you'd be doing instead?

       Well, truth be told, MILSIG isn’t how I make my living. I’ve recently taken on a more active role and spend as much time running MILSIG as one would at a full time job, but I have other business interests. The company behind MILSG does a lot more than just make MILSIM paintball products. We do considerable ODM (Original Design Manufacturing), OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing), and R & D work for clients from a diverse range of industries including the automotive, firearms, airsoft, and paintball industries. On top of that, we do a lot of military and law enforcement contract work here in Taiwan and abroad.
When I’m not doing the manufacturing stuff, I’m involved in property development. I guess I just like to “build things”.

       Lastly, what is Nelson Lau's favorite game to play at the field?

       Capture the flag! No, just kidding... I actually don’t have a favorite game. I like to take part in objective filled scenario games...just like it was from the BETTER days. I like it more when an event takes on an unpredictable life of its own, where the outcome isn’t solely determined by “which team killed more of the other teams’ guys”. I’ve played in games where I fired a lot of paint, got into many firefights, and made a lot of kills and not felt fulfilled. I’ve had others where I did a lot of sneaking around where I didn’t even make a kill but felt way more enjoyment. Teamwork and comradery are more important to me than having the coolest toys or the most kills.