Oct 202009
 

gimilsin logoThis will be the third in our series on the .50 Caliber revolution that we have all been hearing about. The Catshack Reports think it important to keep an open mind when it comes to the introduction of new paintball products no matter how off the wall it may sound.

Richmond0207This editor felt the .50 Caliber topic of such importance that we got on the phone and spent the better part of an hour with the man behind the evolution/revolutionary idea that is .50 Caliber Paintball. The following is our conversation with Richmond Italia of G.I Milsim in Montreal Quebec, Canada.

To begin with and for those of you who do not really know who Richmond Italia is, suffice it to say the man is yet another of the “legends” of the sport to be added to our “Catshack Hall of Fame”. Over the 20 years of his involvement in paintball Richmond is the man who financed the “Halo” project which now allows us use of those fancy Halo hoppers. Richmond was also the individual who created the 500 round paintball bags that is standard in the industry and he was the first to add graphics to your everyday box of paintballs. He bought and played a part in the creation of the Matrix markers now known as your DM9, played a part in the creation of the spool valve and last but not least Richmond was the one that created XBall. Did I mention he used to own Pro Caps/Draxxus?

Ok so in short here is a man with a list of accomplishments that have lent to the evolution of paintball with numerous improvements to make it the game we all enjoy today.

GI50So how did .50 Caliber paintball come about?. Richmond has numerous issues with today’s existing products. Today’s economy has caused people to choose their leisure activities, lets face it paintball is not an inexpensive game to play. Rental players pay premium prices making the enjoyment of paintball much less attractive in today’s day and age. Other reasons include some questionable raw materials going into some paintball’s.  .50 Caliber paintball’s will have much less environmental impact. Richmond also explains that less joules of energy pertaining to paintball impact equals far less hurt and injury. Which leads directly to the .50 Caliber being safer on paintball goggles and other equipment. What was particularly interesting is that on a global level, many countries have made paintball illegal as anything propelled at over 10 joules of energy is against the law. While these same countries look the other way quite often and do allow paintball to be played at designated facilities, the .50 Caliber paintball at less than 10 joules of energy make this caliber and paintball completely legal in those countries in question.

Soooo. ….Richmond, with his idea a few years in the making approached Adam GINANO50-3and Billy Gardner of Smart Parts for purposes of getting permissions to use some of the Smart Parts patents and in so doing forge ahead with the project. As most are aware, the Gardners opted to partner with Richmond and G.I Milsim seeing the wisdom of the concept in front of them.

specs_FM50_AThe Catshack Reports took issue with .50 Caliber initially in that we do recall the .55 Caliber introduced by a company a few years back. For those of you around at the time, we can all agree I am sure that those paintballs really hurt on impact. Richmond explains that we are in a much different technological era than what was around then. New plants with machines that are PLC Computer controlled allows for the production of a paintball with a thinner shell that still breaks much the same as the .68 Caliber paintball. The G.I Milsim ribbon allows them to make a shell that is 40% thinner than the .68 Caliber. The .50 Caliber paintball is lighter, weighing in at only 1.2 grams, a third of the weight than that of .68 Cal. Ok so now what about range?….Richmond explains and is supported by preliminary tests by Mike Phillips of TechPB that less wind resistance on the smaller .50 Cal allows it to keep distance and range capability. The only drawback they have noted is in rainy conditions where the rain itself seems to have more of an impact than the .68 Cal in side by side testing.

The Catshack Reports was given the figure of a 60% reduction in air consumption. In field tests, a 3 oz Crossman co2 canister yielded 290 rounds fired with .50 Caliber. As well those places in the world like Brazil for example where it can cost upwards of $100 for a single bottle of co2 makes it much more cost effective for paintball players there.

As far as other paintball manufacturers, Richmond explains that he has made the .50 Caliber conversion an open book to everyone. As he put it anyone who so desires are welcome to touch base with him and see the .50 Caliber for themselves. Such companies including Kee Action Sports, Bob Long and Tiberius to name only a few have approached Richmond and are now working on their own .50 Caliber models.

So from the paintball players perspective, what about the cost to us to convert?. specs_FM50_BWell I pretty much answered my own question, if paintball’s are 30% cheaper to purchase, and air consumption is lessened,  in the short term, the initial cost may be more, but the savings long term can be realized. For field owners who have to purchase or convert rental markers, Richmond suggests they do it gradually with again the savings realized in a years time. The savings seen in year one is more than enough to see the cost effectiveness of the switch over.

In a quote from Richmond on the topic of .50 Caliber paintball.

“The sheer number of big paintball companies who have gone bankrupt, laid off many of their employees or ceased normal production is huge, the industry is not a healthy one, not to mention the drop off of people who like to play the game. Its time to do something to stop the bleeding. .68 Caliber will not go away, but .50 Caliber is here to stay”

Stay tuned as The Catshack Reports will soon have one of the .50 Caliber markers to test ourselves and report on!

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  13 Responses to “Richmond Italia’s Revolution”

  1. Very informative

  2. [...] Italias Revolution report on Catchackreports: Richmond Italia’s Revolution | Catshack Reports I supposes these are all the data we are going to get from "them" __________________ [...]

  3. You should know that Mike did no actual tests. I was standing right there and all we did was shoot the gun.

  4. Fair enough Harb, perhaps what I should have stated was that the results seem to have been further substantiated based on Mike’s impressions having test fired the marker and further shooting himself point blank a few times to see if there were any difference in the pain caused by close quarter rounds to his person.

  5. [...] when Italia himself says the paint weighs 1.2 grams in an interview we shouldn't believe him? Richmond Italia’s Revolution | Catshack Reports __________________ The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world that he [...]

  6. I think it’s a little bit of a stretch to say “supported by preliminary tests by Mike Phillips of TechPB”

    I did get to shoot the nano, the nano shot at me, overall I thought the marker shot great and I left the field with a much better understanding of what GI MilSim is trying to accomplish.

    As far “scientific testing” or “preliminary tests”, I didn’t have a chrono, I had no idea what type of paint I was shooting (was it rec rocks? Was it ultra evil? Was it midgrade?), but the markers did shoot nice, and first impressions were certainly positive.

    If it costs less and it hurts less, I’m for it. Obviously the biggest challenge they are going to have is the shell design of the 50 caliber paint. If it costs 30% less, but you have to hit someone 30% more to get a mark on them, that’s a problem. So time will tell if they truly ironed out the technology of the 50 caliber paintballs to break on contact.

    First impressions of the platform in general were very positive on the XBall field. If it costs less, and hurts less, and has somewhat the same range and accuracy, sure why not.

    great article Cat!!

  7. However, Carter (of MCarterBrown) has been doing testing and found the results to be less than ideal. Plenty of hard data floating (I will gladly provide links if you don’t mind, Tomcat) around that the .50 Cal has range and breaking issues compared to .68 and while not scientific by any stretch, he noted that at 90′ the bounces hurt a lot more with .50.

    Otherwise, the comment that paintball will now be legal in some other countries? .50 cal has existed for 20+ years and there are plenty of .43cal markers (RAP4, anyone?) that could have been used long before now.

  8. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by crypticpb: Richmond Italia’s Revolution – http://bit.ly/4ksQRZ

  9. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by paul forcier and Xaquelina, Cassidy Heim. Cassidy Heim said: Richmond Italia's Revolution | Catshack Reports: Over the 20 years of his involvement in paintball Richmond.. http://bit.ly/RN4Ub [...]

  10. [...] Will this be the next big wave in the paintball world? Will you pay to have your current gun modified to accept the new rounds? What about rental equipment? All these questions don’t seem to be insurmountable for Richmond as he explains the benefits far out weigh the initial out lay for up grades. So from the paintball players perspective, what about the cost to us to convert?. Well I pretty much… [...]

  11. I think the complete .50 story is bullshit and just made to bring more money to the big players in the industry. A normal player like me doesn´t buy a gun every year…maybe all 5 years….the same with the rest of the equipment….as long as everything works fine. Now we were forced to buy a complete new setup without getting a real advantage out of it.
    And yes i say forced!, the first tournament series are announcing that they will allow the new caliber from next year….how long will both calibers be supportet. I bet not long, because its a Pain in the Ass for all referees etc. which now have to deal with 2 different types of setups at the same time on the field. I think it will not take much time until the first tournament series will switch to .50 to avoid problems during the event.
    And then it will not take much time that we can say goodbye to .68….maybe its wanted that a huge amount of players like me will drop the sport when it comes to that point.

  12. I am all for the .50 cal as an addition to the market. I would love to save some money on paint and air. As it stands now in my area (Northern IL) I cannot buy .50 cal paint anywhere but Farm And Fleet, and at 9.00 for 200 count I say no. I think in this case, Farm And Fleet is just trying to rip off parents who walked in to buy a paintball gun for their kids. The .50 cal gun they sell is such ridiculous low quality I wouldn’t use it to cushion a falling piano. It is however the cheapest one they sell. ($22) Dad walks in, buys the cheapest one, then gets bent over the rack and raped when he comes back for paint. Anyways, back on topic. If I could carry 1000 rounds in the same tubes that hold 700 .68 that would be a perk too. I think once the novelty wears off of having the first one on the block we will see where this .50 cal took us.

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