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Safety of Air and CO2 paintball tanks.

By | Paintball, Uncategorized | No Comments

An Unfortunate accident in the US is a timely reminder for all paintballers to respect air tanks and be very careful in how they are handled and repaired.

In the last week a Cherryville man died after an accident in his own home whilst trying to repair his CO2 Cylinder.
All paintballers in Australia should use this unfortunate incident to think about how they approach safety around compressed air and the potential risks involved.

According to the Charlotte observer, Neman Bated died whilst trying to apply tape to a leaking CO2 bottle in his kitchen. He suffered severe neck and chest injuries and was pronounced dead a short time later. Another person in the room also suffered minor injuries according to reports.

Whilst there are very few paintballers that still run CO2 this sort of issue could still occur if people fail to respect compressed air.

A warning went out to the scuba diving community a number of years ago when a wide range of scuba cylinders were found to be at risk of breaking and or exploding. This certainly has proven correct with several exploding since. There are many structural similarities between scuba and the air tanks used for paintball.

Exploding scuba tank

Example of exploding scuba tank

In most of these cases the flaw starts around the thread where the bottle meets the regulator. Once this area starts to fail the resulting explosion can occur at any time. Reading the articles on this unfortunate – it is quite possible that something similar happened to Neman Bates. If he was attempting to stop a leak with tape as reported the most likely place for this to occur is around the neck of the bottle.

 

There are some important rules when it comes to staying safe around Compressed air.

 

1. Respect it. It has been often said that a standard paintball tank has similar stored energy to a grenade. I am not sure if this is true or not but I certainly would not want to be around when somebody finds out. If something feels wrong – speak up and proceed with extreme caution. Repairing or maintaining compressed air equipment is not something to “have a crack at”.

2. If you are working on an air tank…. Depressurize it completely. I tend to assume that the gauge is also faulty and remove a burst disk to ensure that all is above board.

3. Do not modify any component of an air system outside the manufacturers instructions or guidelines. I am sure that people have been tempted to use a higher grade burst disk when it blows repeatedly but this could be the last line of defense against total failure of the bottle. When something goes wrong in a gas bottle the burst disk is designed to fail. If a burst disk continues o blow – chances are that there is something more serious going on.

4. Be careful what chemicals come into contact with your air tank. Most people are aware that you should not put oil near the air tank but this is only part of the problem. As a rule we refuse to have any petroleum based lubricants onsite – just in case. We only use innox on our rental markers as there is no petroleum base to the spray. WD40 – whilst great for home use should stay a long way from any compressed air device.

5. Check that your tanks are “in date”. As well as being a legal requirement in Victoria, it is also the best defense against unexpected failure. If you need a tank tested – give us a call and we will help arrange it. There have been several air tanks detected out of the required testing dates.

6. Watch our for your mates. Education is the absolute key here. If you see someone coming into the sport – make sure that they are aware of the danger posed by incorrect handling compressed air and CO2.

 

Please make sure that you take the time to pass this information on if you feel that it would be helpful.

The social media share buttons are below.

Mathew – Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne

WCNC news link

 

The future of Tournament paintball in Victoria…. Part 1

By | Age Limit, Paintball, Uncategorized | No Comments

Victorian paintball has gone through a number of changes in the last 20 or so years. It all started with pump action paintball markers out in the bush and we are now at the point where we are playing on the same layouts as teams on the other side of the world with paintball markers capable of 20+ paintballs per second.

For the last 5 years however the rules and formats of paintball have consolidated leading to a period of stability in the sport from a competition point of view. Sadly during this period the amount of people competing in paintball tournaments in a regular basis in Vic has dropped significantly.

It peaked in around 2012 when 28 teams participated in PAVs – now called Vic 5s hosted by Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne. Last round of Vic 5s we had 12 teams total. And this was the equal max for the season. So it is evident that there are issues recruiting new players, holding onto existing players or perhaps a little of both. After chatting to players, field owners and other event organisers and a few trends seem to keep coming up.

tournament paintball competition

Victorian paintball competition in action

Age limit

The legal age for paintball in Victoria is 18 and over. Obviously most sports do not have an age restriction and this forms a big part of how they recruit players. When look at organisations such as Auskick for AFL football it is evident that this has a big part in recruiting players to the sport and fostering long term retention of the players.

The legislation is looking like it will change the paintball age limit to 16+ in early 2015. Hopefully this will help but we will still be chasing our tails unless it lowers a little further. Assuming the age limit lowers it will also depend on how the legislation is enforced from the perspective of paintball licenses. The best guess currently is that people under the age of 18 will not be able to hold a paintball license. This is only based on the implementation of other firearm categories and hopefully is a little more lenient than that but we will need to see how it occurs.

Once we do have under 18’s around the sport players will need to make adjustments also. As a sport that has been restricted to 18+ for a long long time it may require adjustments to the culture and appropriate language. If paintball in Melbourne to be taken seriously as a sport we need to represent ourselves as such. Younger players are going to bring parents and families and this influx of paintball players could easily dry up if we scare off the new source of paintball competitors.

Conclusion: Lowering of the age limit will be a great boost to tournament paintball but we need to be careful to represent our sport professionally when this happens.

junior paintball

In the USA there is no official minimum age for paintball

 

For more read on to part 2 here….

 

Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne – Special Ops

By | Paintball, Uncategorized | No Comments

Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne is on the verge of announcing the next evolution in paintball games.
We will soon be introducing the Melbourne paintball community to a new option for paintballing in Melbourne.

At Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne we understand how hard it is to put a group together.
Very soon we will be putting together a VIP membership for Snipers Den Paintball Special Ops.

It will include –
Special packages available only to Special ops members. These will apply even when playing as part of another group.
Access to closed Special OPs sessions.
Access to training normally reserved for Catagory P paintball licence holders.
Special competitions and prizes. There will also be a into pack with exclusive gear.

More details will be published as we put them together nut prepare for a shakeup to how you play paintball….

 

 

 

Miniball / Splatball… Why we don’t do underage paintball…

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Miniball, Splatball, underage paintball – there are many names people are using to describe it.

Whichever name you want to run with, it seems that we are probably the last paintball in the field to not start running the “underage paintball”. Particularly in school holidays we seem to constantly get calls from parents looking to have their kids have a go at paintball in Melbourne.

Before we get into the reasons that we are not running this form of paintball – lets start by looking at the differences in the 2 types of “paintball” that are being run at the moment.

1. Miniball or SplatballThere is no official name for this type of game and I hesitate to use the word paintball to describe it. All operators running the same “guns” to run their games. The reason that this form of paintball has been unrestricted in terms of age is that Victoria Police who enforce the laws relating to paintball have confirmed that they do not consider them a paintball marker as defined in the legislation.

Victoria Police gave a few reasons that they are not defining the splatmaster as a paintball marker.
a. They do not have a gas bottle – so their is no “stored energy”b. The velocity is much lower than regular paintball
c. The fact that they are made of plastic makes serial numbers very difficult to maintain.
The splatmaster guns look like the pic below. They also fire a paintball of about half the volume at 1/3 velocity on average.

splatmaster

An example of the “Splatmaster” paintball guns used to run underage groups.

2. Real Paintball
Proper paintball uses very different equipment. Over the last 10 years most Melbourne Paintball fields have used Tippmann 98 markers although there has been a shift to a the FT-12 and the BT Slice. At Snipers Den we were one of the first paintball fields in Melbourne to use the FT-12s and we use them for many of our groups that play with us.
As opposed to the “miniball” guns paintball guns are designed to shoot up to 300 feet per second and have an effective accurate range of over 70m. They also shoot a much larger paintball – over double the volume of the other type.

FT-12 paintball melbourne

An example of a paintball marker used for full paintball

Issues…
The main reason that we did not chose to go down the road of the underage paintball in because we did not want to put our name behind a product that we couldn’t stand behind. The online feedback for the underage version of paintball so far has been pretty horrible. The experience is never going to be the same as the real thing but many businesses are still willing to offer an inferior version of the game.
One issue is that the reduced velocity and volume of the paintballs dramatically reduces the distance and accuracy of the shot. Sadly these issues make them closer to a nerf dart gun than to a paintball gun. And with some paintball Melbourne fields charging up to $1 per paintball it is very different to the $15 per 100 we charge for regular paintball.

The last thing we want is for first time paintballers to play with splatmaster paintball guns and judge the experience from that experience. They are certainly words apart. With the age limit of paintball expected to drop to 16 in early 2015 we have decided to wait until then to introduce customers to the real thing instead of pushing an inferior version.

If you have your heart set on the underage version of paintball please do your homework and read the online feedback of the business before you book. Also make sure you look at the price for extra ammo – there is a massive difference in the quality and price of venues.

Thanks for reading – Matt

 

Daylight Savings Paintball

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For paintball in Melbourne it is a great time of year. The days are getting warmer and longer. Saturday night the clocks move an hour forward and we lose an hour of hard earned sleep.

That means that if you want a paintball Melbourne experience we can begin to make use of the extra daylight. So get your group together after work and book in a twilight session.

In the colder months we have made many changes to the fields and improved several of the paintball games we play on them. Even if you have played with us before come down and have a fresh experience.

The midweek pricing does still apply for twilight paintball session so get in touch and let us show you what paintball is really all about.

Remember that Snipers Den is a leader in tournament paintball in Melbourne. Let us show you why the best Melbourne Paintball players play with us over all other paintball fields!

See you soon!

Paintball Age limit change update

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There has been further development in drive to lower the legal age of paintball. Sadly it is not all good….
Unfortunately other bills have taken priority and the bill relating to paintball has not yet been debated. With only one sitting week before the elections in November it is almost impossible for there to be a change prior to the end of the year.

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