The paintball hopper, or loader, is the part of the gun that stores the paintballs and feeds it into the chamber. The paintball hopper type will greatly affect the speed, reliability and weight of the marker. Although there is a wide variety of paintball hoppers available on the market, they fall broadly into three main categories: force fed, agitating, and gravity fed. This article will highlight the differences between the types.
1. The Force- Feed Paint Hopper
These mechanized hoppers use a sophisticated spring-loaded or belt powered system to force the paintballs into the gun. They are mostly used by advanced players because these innovative systems can keep up with the speed of play at this level.
Some have digital displays to show how many paintballs are left in the hopper. Others use wireless systems to continue feeding the paintballs before the gun's pneumatic system has begun the next shot cycle. This system increases the loader's speed and virtually eliminates misfeeds. Battery life is, therefore, extended as the gun doesn't have to work so hard. If you want to see an example, check out the Halo B Loader
2. The Agitating Paintball Hopper
These paintball loaders have a propeller inside the container and the small fan blades stop the ammo from blocking the neck of the gun. As with the force-feed hopper, the agitating hopper has a quicker firing pace than a gravity hopper. A terrific example of this would be the Viewloader Revolution.
3. The Gravity-Feed Paintball Hopper
These Paintball hoppers are ideal for someone wanting a cheap, easy to use paintball hopper for their gun. They have a large container as well as a feed tube. They are able to feed more than eight balls per second, but not necessarily reliably or consistently. One of the most popular ones that has come about recently is the Viewloader 200 Round LoaderThey can jam up markers and cause paintballs to pile up above the feed tube, which is placed at the bottom.
The paintball hopper is continually evolving and advancing, particularly the more complex types favored by tournament playing paintballers. Anything from 40 to 300 paintballs can be held by different loaders. There is a hopper out there for every type of player at any level of paintball.
If you want to see the different types of tanks may work best for your, check out our article on Paintball Tanks