These days, you can get a lot of things customised. Socks with your dog’s face printed on them? Easy. A dog with your face printed on it? Probably possible. But, way before the customisation trend took off, Spec Ops were ordering off-menu for one particular thing: our paintballs.
Here’s why: Back in the olden days (the nineties), paintballs were made of glass. These were primarily used for marking cattle and trees. Then, they started to make the shell out of gelatin, with an oil-based paint fill. A lot of paintball fields still use these paintballs, because they’re cheap (and nasty).
The gelatin shell is now the only option available. Gelatin is the same thing medication capsules are made of, and it dissolves in water. But, this means that it has a tendency to absorb water when it’s dropped, even if it’s only on the ground for a few moments. This water absorption will cause a dropped paintball to swell, and swollen paintballs can cause jams in your marker, or even break open inside the barrel, which is a messy, annoying interruption in the heat of battle. The swelling can also stop a paintball from exploding on impact. When you fire a swollen paintball that doesn’t explode, it’s like throwing a rock at someone at a velocity of 270 feet per second. OUCH. That’s why we have a strict rule on our field that forbids picking up a paintball once you’ve dropped it. Just do as Elsa from Frozen commands, and LET IT GO.
The other problem with the old-school paintballs is the oil-based paint. That stuff is pretty unfriendly to the planet. That’s why we’ve chosen PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) paintball fill for our custom-made Spec Ops paintballs. PEG is a non-toxic and water soluble substance that’s safe for the environment, your skin, and our equipment. In fact, all ingredients that are used to make paintballs are food-grade quality, so if you ingest it, you’ll be fine. Although, eating a whole bowl full would have a laxative effect…We’ve already got enough to clean up, thanks.
Here are a few more reasons we chose to have custom paintballs made for us:
- We get to specify the exact thickness of the shell, ensuring just the right breaking point on impact
- We can check that the paintballs are truly spherical, so they are as aerodynamic as possible and efficient to load and shoot
- We can choose the colour of the paint to make a bright, vibrant and hard-to miss mark
- We can control the consistency of the paint fill so it’s hard to wipe off or disguise.
Control freaks, much? Only where it counts!
Come in and experience the Spec Ops difference.
Paintball just got real.