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Home bullet Gadgets bullet The NPA

The NPA by FullAuto Written on 18th March 2006

Well, I finally did it. I took responsibility for the safety of me and my loved ones, defending my home, property, friends, family, pets and life against all aggressors, both foreign and domestic. Yes, that's right. I finally bought a paintball gun.

I checked out a few initially, but in my heart I knew what I wanted. After passing the requisite background check, mental, emotional and physical fitness tests and the sperm count, I got my licence and purchased myself a nice carbine in the form of a Predator PR1500 in 12.7mm/.50 calibre. I know what you're going to say; .50 is just too much gun. Well, for a pistol, you'd be right, but in the case of a carbine it's perfect. The increased weight and size means coping with the recoil is easy, while the large calibre means maximum stopping power and penetration. Added to the longer barrel length (better range and muzzle velocity? You got it!) the layout and foregrip means better ergonomics and performance while retaining the compact size.

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Everything you get. Except the flag.
The Predator comes with four magazines, each capable of holding ten rounds. I know, I know, that damn high-capacity magazine ban gets on my nerves too, but it can't last forever. The Predator is actually capable of holding five, one loaded and four clipped to the receiver, so that's fifty rounds without carrying any spare on your person. I knew I might have to go up against a variety of targets, so I bought a few different types of ammo. Communists are usually pretty well armoured, so I picked up 200 rounds of 35-grain Armour Piercing Paintball (colour coded orange) for use against hard body armour and while these babies will of course penetrate soft body armour they'll be a bit wasted on such lightly armoured targets. I really like the 55-grain APP (green) but its performance against hard body armour, ceramic plates in particular, is poor.

I bought 200 rounds of 30-grain Full Plastic Jacket Paintball (blue) for use against any government agents that try to transgress against my rights and freedoms. The next time those bastards come knocking and try to seize my weapons, they'll find out their soft body armour is too soft. Twelve layers of Kevlar (typical composition of covert body armour) is no protection at all against such a potent load. As well as its good armour penetration characteristics, these rounds have a tendency to tumble like the 5.56mm/.223 NATO rifle round, which increases their wounding potential even after punching through Kevlar. Pretty good deal, really. Massively reduced prices on bulk orders, too. If they performed better past the quoted 23-metre/25-yard ideal range I'd get a lot more of these.

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Not quite cocked, but locked and ready to rock.
Last but not least, 200 rounds of 45-grain Jacketed Hollow Paintball (white). This is the bad boy of hollow paintball loads, ideal for use against religious fanatics and irregular forces world-wide, because they are not typically armoured. I've heard a lot of people complain about them not feeding and not expanding as reliably as other HP rounds, but I put this down to simple lack of practical care. You have to tend to JHP rounds a little more carefully than, say, FPJPs but they're still pretty robust. The jacket really puts the 'J' in JHP, and ensures penetration against Level I body armour while being thin enough to guarantee reliable expansion. It takes something serious like stone or mud to prevent the hollow round performing as it should. I know some folk prefer pre-fragmented rounds, but their performance against body armour is nil, and their fragmentation can be stopped by something as simple as hitting clothing before flesh. Unless your targets are naked, this is obviously less than ideal. Which is why I prefer JHPs. Good penetration (14 inches in correctly calibrated ballistic gelatine) and solid 1.6x calibre expansion makes them my number one choice when facing up to unarmoured targets. Very popular in the civilian market for self-defence use, their only downside is shaky jacket retention when hitting bone. This means reduced efficiency concerning CoM (Centre of Mass) shots. Damn those ribs, eh?

The Predator is a fine weapon. It fed all three ammo types without problem. There was one malfunction in the first fifty rounds, but that was because of a misshapen case, which created a double feed. After clearing the chamber and reloading the magazine, it functioned flawlessly. Recoil was minimal, and although the butt is a little uncomfortable it rested firmly against my shoulder. Trigger was a little stiff at first, but there was no creep and it fired cleanly. The safety is too far forward of the trigger on the left side of the gun, a bad choice in my opinion. Right-handed firers need to take their left hand from the foregrip to work it. Unless they have freakishly long thumbs. Lefties need to use their trigger finger. The safety is a sliding-switch type and the surface is roughened for better purchase. Confusingly, it has two stages, off and on. Pushed to off, the safety is on, and vice versa. About as well thought out as John Merrick's face. Foregrip is well placed, and the gun points naturally at the target. This is important at extreme close ranges (where instinct is to point the gun instead of aiming) and when caught unprepared (firing from the hip, for example). Weight and balance are very important, if underrated, factors but the gun is slightly rear-heavy and easy to handle. I prefer front-heavy weapons, gives me something to aim with, but that's a matter of taste.

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Loaded, safety pushed to 'off', which means it's on.
A confusing matter is the magazine placement. When loaded, the magazine projects from the top of the weapon, raked backward at a 45-degree angle. This makes standard aiming procedure difficult as the magazine obscures the foresight, but there is ample space to mount an AimPoint or other similar optical aiming guide. These 'red dot' lasers assist greatly when aligned correctly with the barrel but they're not my thing. They degrade the vital skills you need to aim a weapon properly, and batteries are not always readily available. Say the government overthrew the current democratic system and became totalitarian. How many of us would have unlimited access to batteries? Exactly. Fighting to the death for batteries is not how to conduct an effective resistance. Same situation if the Commies invade or Islamic extremists start raining from the skies. I doubt batteries.com will still be delivering come Double-U Double-U Eye-Eye-Eye.

Practical accuracy tests showed an excellent all-round performance. I shot from a bench rest to minimise my influence and let my weapon and the ammunition display their true colours on the range (my back garden). Thankfully, it was all red, white and blue, pure Union Jack. The 35-grain APPs were best overall, with some 1-inch groups all the way out to 23m. An efficiency test carried out at the local Socialist Party meeting proved their stopping power, dropping nine Commies out of ten and severely wounding the tenth at that. Goddamn Reds reproduce like rabbits, though. Nothing to do in their perfect socialist state except lie around and knock out more sprogs. Still, now I know I can knock down wave after wave of those Marxist pigs if necessary. God bless the right to bear arms. And being able to hold weapons in them.

The 30-grain FPJPs were slightly less satisfactory. Although consistently grouping at 5m and 10m, they spread out to 2.5 inches at 23m. This is obviously unsatisfactory out of a 9-inch barrel, but will probably suffice. I made do for the time being, opening fire on traffic warden after traffic warden on a shoot and scoot manoeuvre through my local town centre. The inconsistent accuracy at greater ranges meant I maimed more than I killed, but it was still a pretty good day out. I need to find some ammo that's accurate and good against soft body armour, or just buy a lot more APPs and use those. In the meantime, any Big Gub'mint Agents had better watch out when getting up close and personal.

The 45-grain JHPs were rock-solid. 1.5 inch groups no matter the range, by far the most consistent of the three ammo types. The target did look like I ejaculated all over it, though. Finding religious extremists proved difficult. Two days spent watching the local Protestant church turned up no targets (turned up no one at all, actually) but on the third day, one came to me. Opening my door at a polite knocking, I came face-to-face with a Jehovah's Witness. I fell back, creating enough space between us for me to retrieve my Predator and simultaneously dodge the jabbing pamphlet. I got two CoM hits before he could move and winged him again on the run at about 10 metres. Those boys can really move, so I'm righteously proud of that shot. I tracked him through several klicks of barren estate, but lost the trail halfway across a school field. Damn shame to think of such a trophy going to waste, but skinning it and lugging it home would probably have been more trouble than it was worth.

The Predator has a few faults. The pump-action priming system is situated on the rear of the gun, instead of using a sliding foregrip type like pump-action shotguns. This means you have to lower the weapon out of aim to cock it. Thankfully, this can be easily done when reloading and takes only a few seconds. The grips are quite firm, but could do with being a little more strongly affixed. The wide space between grips begs for a Beta C mag adaptation, with a strong enough magazine spring and clever ergonomics this could be a great addition. Mag caps are small and easy to lose. They need to be fixed to the magazines in future. A custom shoulder stock also needs to be offered, as well as a bipod for prone shooting. Sling swivels would also be handy, though the lack forces you to keep your weapon close to hand. The light weight means it isn't much of a burden, admittedly.

Still, this baby is good value for money, and when you tote it people will know you for the God-fearing capitalism-loving straight-shooting steak-eating beer-drinking big-talking xenophobic son of a bitch you really are.

God Bless Britannica.


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