I heard a story this past weekend. It sounds like science fiction. I'm unwilling to even call it a rumor at this point so let's just say it's speculation. But I give it credence for a couple of reasons; the technology exists and it comes from the same source that gave me the original 50 cal story--which nobody believed at first--and the JT Sports for sale story--which JT denied vociferously until the deal was done.
For the VFTD record on small ball type "50 caliber" into the search box and you will get a good selection of past posts going all the way back to the original post from May 15, 2009, 'The Ultimate Paintball Conspiracy.'
With a vocal element of the paintball community suspicious months before the official release and a firestorm of competing claims and "scientific evidence" as samples of 50 cal became available the mood of the marketplace did not (and does not) appear to be particularly receptive to small ball. Add industry resistance from companies like Tippmann and what we know of real world pricing where 50 cal paint is available and it's easy to conclude the whole effort is a likely bust. But that could be a very premature assessment.
VFTD is on the record as suggesting the only market that matters is the recreational rental market. If small ball can make real inroads there the Caliber War will be on. But that too seems unlikely when a company like Tippmann won't play ball and the current economic environment isn't encouraging when it comes to refitting rental markers and carrying additional inventory for two sizes of paintballs. But even so...
Take a look at this. Do you remember what it is? It was called the Evolt. It used an 18 volt battery to generate an air pulse that fired a paintball without an air tank. A production model was never released. Probably because it was bulky and slow.
But imagine a streamlined, up-dated version of the Evolt. One that no longer has to propel a 68 caliber paintball. One that has taken advantage of advances in battery technology. One that only needs to be able to shoot a projectile a fraction of 68 caliber paintball's weight and mass. One that can be delivered to the marketplace at a price point that suits the rental market. Would a rental gun that needs no airfills grab the attention of the rental market? Would it be enough to overcome resistance to the small ball?
I don't know but we may find out sooner rather than later. Is it a hoax? Could it possibly be real? I'm told it's release may only be months away.
I know how this sounds but I'm told the Evolt project was never shelved and that the development work continued. And between the marker's potential and the significant weight & mass savings of the small ball that the combo is a reality and coming soon. If so, will it change everything or prove to be only a niche oddity?