The September issue has an ad for the FN 303.
The 303 is a very cool looking machine. It gives you 15 rounds of less than lethal law enforcement... BooYaa!
Wait a sec. It's just a paintball gun. FN has made a paintball gun! I love paintball. I've captained 2 teams and love the sport probably just a touch more than I love actual firearms. You think I'm a gun nut? I can totally geek out about paintball.
From a paintball players perspective, FN's new gun (players call them Marker for some reason) is looking like crap. Sure, it looks cool, and I love the big sights on it... but when it comes right down to it, the design is reflecting a very poor configuration, even for a paintball marker.
15 rounds inside a drum? Who thought that up?
Probably the same cat that put the air tank on the side. How lame is that? Tanks are heavy... Why would you put it out on the side?
I can see why, perhaps, if your a police department that wants to add a paintball marker to its arsenal for tactical delivery of less than lethal force - most paintball markers wont gun it. You have a large bottle of air coming off it with a big 200 round ball hopper sticking up in a weird and untactical way... Regular sporting markers just don't cut it from the SWAT perspective.
And how expensive is this 303? Can you say "Very"?
The marker is .68 caliber... but doesn't use regular paintballs... it uses these:
Odd shaped... that means expensive.
You'll be ending up spending a LOT of money feeding your "weapon system" that is of little advantage over conventional special purpose paintballs. With regular paintballs, you can get marking, water filled, OC, and dang near anything you want in a softgel capsule. (okay, the water filled balls use an actual plastic shell - WOW do those buggers HURT!) Conventional paintballs can be found anywhere and most police supply shops can get you the "good stuff" balls any time you want them. These funky FN rounds are just silly. They claim improved range, double that of regular paintballs. But then again they claim a regular paintball's range is only 20 yards. Feh... I've tagged guys out at over 80. And they have the welts to prove it.
Seriously, if your a police department guy looking at getting "something like this"... Don't.
Let me give you a couple other options.
This is the PT-Extreme marker. It's only 150 bucks and gives you 10 shots. You can carry this marker on your hip, or in a tactical thigh holster to get into the area. They are accurate, reliable, and will do the job of hitting the badguy in the face with an ball of OC.
If you want to get a bit mroe agressive and are willing to pay a few extra bucks to have a much better marker than FN's creation... there is this:
The Tagline TS1. A magazine fed select fire marker that can carry 20 to 60 shots. You can get these for 400-500 bucks. Note the air tank is used as the stock and not hanging off the marker in a retarded location. Did I mention that it's select fire?
If anyone wants to talk paintball markers... feel free to ask me about them. I've either owned or used most everything out there.
And if your wanting a new design for a tactical marker for police work - I have a killer design that will put both the Tagline and the FN 303 to shame.
This FN 303 - the more I look at it... the more goofy it gets.
Those PT Extreme Markers would be great training devices for your officers for CQB drills, weapon retention, edged weapon, hostage, any force on force training. In fact, if your NOT using paintball as a training tool - your missing out.