What is the difference between entry level, mid level, and high end markers?
Entry level markers from manufacturers such as BT, Azodin, and Tippmann provide an economical way to get into the sport of paintball. These brands will provide you with a fairly simple, reliable marker. Most entry level markers are mechanical and do not require a battery. Each of these brands provide you the option to upgrade to an electronic frame allowing you to use different firing modes and have a higher rate of fire than a standard mechanical marker. These markers will operate off of either CO2 or compressed air. Tippmann and BT markers have a variety of aftermarket parts allowing you to truly customize the look of your marker.
Mid level markers from manufacturers such as Eclipse, GOG, Proto, and Empire are of higher quality than entry level markers and are fully electro-pneumatic in operation. They provide you with a quieter shot than entry level markers, have less kick, and operate at a lower pressure allowing you to shoot higher quality paintballs. Mid level markers operate off of compressed air, however GOG markers will accept either CO2 or compressed air
High end brands such as Dye, Eclipse, DLX, and Bob Long provide you with the highest quality markers available. These guns will provide you with the smoothest most accurate shot and usually come stock with the best parts available. High end markers operate only off of compressed air.
What is the difference between spool valve and poppet markers?
When considering mid level and high end markers there are two platforms of operation: Spool valve and poppet valve markers. Spool valve markers such as the Eclipse Geo2, Proto reflex rail, and DLX luxe provide you with the smoothest quietest shot but you will have to fill your air tank more often. Spool valve markers also require more maintenance to keep them operating at peak performance. Poppet valve markers such as the Eclipse Ego and Bob Long G6r have slightly more kick and are louder than spool valve markers. They are however more air efficient and require less maintenance.