Etha 2 Best 400 Dollar Paintball Gun
(DL) — Keep reading below to learn why the Etha 2 is the Best 400 Dollar Paintball Gun.
My mission is to convince you that the Etha 2 is the best 400 dollar paintball gun. I picked up an Etha 2 after taking over a year away from paintball. You’re going to find me mainly on the speedball field, but I attend scenario games regularly as well. I play front snake so I’m always in the thick of battle crawling around in the muck. I needed a gun that won’t skip a beat even if the temperature is well below freezing. If I’m in a torrential downpour or heat causing the paint to swell, I need a reliable beast.
I’m playing regardless of what mother nature decides to throw at me. I don’t want to spend over a thousand dollars on the newest tournament marker. Sure it will look beautiful, but if I can get the job done with a 400 dollar marker I’m going to spend the rest of that cash on paint and entry.
I’ve been that player at the field with a really high-end setup. It is not necessary anymore. You CAN compete for a fraction of the price. In my opinion, the Etha 2 is the best paintball gun for 400 dollars, hands down.
What Can I Get For $400?
Let’s start with price point. 400 bucks is a lot of scratch to some people. I hope if you’re planning on spending that much money on paintball, some level of research is involved. If you’ve done your research you know that for 400 dollars and under there’s a ton of great markers. Now I’m not talking about the used market either. We all know there are some steals to be had out there, but there’s also a lot of questions.
Is this marker really going to come as described?
Is it working properly?
Is the seller even going to ship it or am I getting scammed?
Those points can make an article for another day, but in buying a reliable new marker you avoid those epic problems completely. A new marker for 400 is common. Your choices are:
- Empire Mini GS
- Proto RIZE
- RIZE Maxxed
- Empire Axe 2.0 (Okay – a little more than 400)
- Dangerous Powers G5
There are others but you get the idea. There’s a ton of markers out there hovering right around the 400 dollar price range.
Well, why should you put your hard earned dollars towards the Etha 2?
The biggest advantages the Etha 2 has over the competition is reliability and shot quality. The Etha 2 edges out the competition as the best 400 dollar paintball gun.
Like That Stupid Energizer Bunny, It Just Keeps Going
Reliability. I cannot overstate this enough. If I’m playing and I get shot out because the other player is more skilled than me, that’s fine. That’s why we play the game. I want to go head to head with the best. If I get out because my equipment failed, that is unacceptable. I’ve been known to get rid of gear the first time it gives me an issue. I don’t have time to tinker and fine-tune a marker. It needs to work every time out of the box.
My first day with the Etha 2 was not an ideal day to play paintball. The temperature was a high of 30 degrees. Paintball markers and cold do not mix. The shell of the paint gets soft and brittle leading to more breaks in the gun. The markers themselves have to overcome the cold and this leads to a lot of bolt stick.
While chronoing I saw a lot of guns refuse to shoot more than a few paintballs. I was getting a little nervous watching my teammates walk back from the chrono station frustrated. For me, it’s always stressful airing up a marker brand new out of the box. I have been playing since 2007 and rarely have I had equipment function perfectly in this scenario. In addition, I was not using the best paintballs.
This was field grade rec ball paint. Out of the 4 bags purchased 2 already had broken paint. Not a good sign. This stuff was really brittle from the cold. I grabbed the Etha 2, threw on my Dye ltr, and screwed in my Ninja 68/4500 air tank. I’ll describe chronoing later, but there were zero issues. I shot the entire hopper at the chrono station just to make sure it was working properly.
Throughout the day I never broke paint, not even a barrel break. There were no skipped shots and no bolt stick. The secret to the Etha 2’s reliability is its bolt system. This is the heart of the marker, the Gamma Core.
The Gamma Core is also found on a few other Planet Eclipse markers. The Gtek, the Gtek 160R, and their high-end marker the CS2 feature a modified Gamma Core design. Having owned a Gtek a number of years ago I can speak to the long-term reliability of this bolt design. When Planet Eclipse first introduced the Gamma Core they made a video featuring a Gtek in spending some time in a freezer at -4 degrees being shot without any issues. There’s another entertaining video online where a youtuber tries different substances as lubes such as peanut butter and elmers glue. Even those couldn’t stop the Gamma Core.
Those videos are fine but what about a real world scenario. I mentioned the temperatures earlier. But we also had snow on the field. Diving around all my gear was getting soaked. I had no issues the entire day. My etha 2 never let me down.
But How’s It Shoot?
After reliability, the second most important feature to me is the shot quality. I like a smooth, quiet, consistent shot. The Etha 2 does not disappoint. At the chrono station, my first shot was 265 fps. I adjust the velocity to my field specified 285 fps. I decided to shoot an entire hopper to get a feel for the marker and see if it was going to have any barrel brakes like my peers.
The subsequent shots were as follows. 285, 283, 284, 284, 285, 285, 284. I was blown away. This was with dimpled, low quality rec grade paint. The shot quality is hard to quantify in words. You need to feel one for yourself. It has such a soft shot. There were a few times during the day where I went back to the chrono station to double-check if I was still shooting 285. It’s just that smooth.
It’s so easy to hold down an accurate stream of paintballs because there is hardly any barrel rise. I can easily shoot it one-handed while im grabbing a pod to reload. It has a high-end shot quality without the high-end price. The last thing to mention about how the Etha 2 shoots is how quiet it is. The paintball field is hectic, and communication is such a crucial aspect of our game.
If you can’t hear your teammates because of how loud your marker is, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. In the woods a quiet shot is so valuable because it helps to conceal your position. I can hear a rental marker shooting from across the field. I don’t even need to spot a player to know their position. The Etha 2 does not suffer from this.
First is the carrying case. You get a padded zipper case to keep your Etha 2 safe during transit. This holds all your goodies as well.
Boy does Planet Eclipse hook it up! You get a tube of lube, a full allen key set, a barrel cover, a FULL color manual with pictures, and a huge bag of spare o-rings, detents and screws. Planet Eclipses packaging is second to none. Everything you need to keep the Etha 2 in good working order. The Etha 2 also features a clamping feedneck and an on off ASA. The trigger is fully adjustable so you can tune it to your preference.
The battery is in the front grip and requires no tools to access, and the bolt assembly is tooless as well. Maintenance is easy, just a few o-rings to lube. The board has all the modes and settings you would ever need, and there are two rear facing LEDs to let you know the marker is on.
The marker is super comfortable, it has a stretched out grip spacing that most companies are utilizing. There are no wires attaching the frame to the body. If you’ve ever had to disconnect the little clips a lot of other companies use you know why this is a cool feature. Keeping up with the no wires trend there are no external hoses to get snagged on when you’re crawling through the brush.
All the airlines are internal giving it a really clean profile. It has a really unique eye system as well. Instead of the sensor being in the breach, it uses a reflective piece of clear plastic to keep the sensor free of paint if you ever manage to break paint. This feature makes clean up even easier.
So what else is there? It is bulletproof reliable and it has an amazing shot. Here are the honorable mentions. Stuff that i don’t really care about, but might help sway you into purchasing the Etha 2.
For you scenario brawlers there is the additional upgrade of the EMC kit that gives you the tactical look as well as allowing you to attach whatever accessories you need to rails. For the guys that need to customhouse their markers, there is a ton of aftermarket 3d printed bodies.
Planet Eclipse released the files for the Etha 2 body allowing a few companies to create some truly beautiful 3d creations. If you get bored with the stock body, or its looks bother you as much as they bother me, look into a new body.
There Has To Be Something Wrong With It …Right?
Well, there is a few places the Etha 2 loses points with me. Not enough to knock it out of the best 400 dollar marker spot, but enough that the reader needs to hear about. The back of the body is clunky. For some reason, it flares out.
It takes a bit to get used to. I had to tilt my marker slightly more to aim down the barrel. The front grip that houses the battery is bigger than some might be used to. For a smaller player this might be a problem. For me, it was really comfortable, but go to your local proshop and feel one for yourself.
Last, and this really has no effect on the gun, but I think its butt ugly. Some people love the looks, I’m personally not a fan. As I stated earlier I’m more concerned with shot quality and reliability, but to each their own.
Do I have you sold? The Etha 2 is the best value in paintball for 400 dollars. You wont be disappointed. You don’t need a high-end marker to compete anymore. 400 dollars will be able to hang with the best of them. Regardless of if you play in the woods or on the speedball field, the etha 2 is unbeatable at 400. It is the best paintball gun for 400 dollars. If you want a gun that shoots smooth and will never break down on you, it’s a no brainer.
Etha 2 Or Bust.
Any questions comments or concerns feel free to reach out to the editor or leave a comment below. Did you feel like we forgot something, or do you still need help making your decision. Please contact us.