What Are First Strike Paintballs?
First Strike Paintballs, also known as First Strike Rounds
or First Strike Projectiles, are a true sniper paintball projectile from
Tiberius Arms. Rather than a round gelatin sphere, the shell of a First Strike
is made of a photodegradable polystyrene material that is rounded in the front
and cylindrical in the rear. The hollow cylinder half has external angled fins
that act as rifling, imparting a spin. This allows the FS Round to fly further and
straighter than any other paint projectile on the market at this time! They are
much more expensive than regular paintballs but have developed a cult following
of loyal users.
Can My Paintball Gun Shoot First Strike?
First Strike Projectiles will fire from any .68 caliber
paintball marker, but are slow to load if your marker is not compatible or
converted to load them. Because FSRs are shaped different (like an elongated
capital D), the breech of the marker needs to be properly shaped. If yours is not the proper shape you can
still load them one shot at a time by unthreading the barrel, loading it in the
breech end, putting the barrel back on and firing. This works, but it is a very
The pre-FS Tiberius markers require a First Strike
Conversion Kit to shoot them. If your model does not include the .1
designation, such as T8 vs. T8.1, then it is pre-FS. More and more tactical/
scenario paintball guns are coming equipped to accept First Strikes from the
factory. Some, like the Empire BT Tracerr pump marker, have a standard
paintball feed neck that can slide out of the way for breech-loading individual First Strike Rounds. Mag fed paintball guns like the Tiberius line, Dye DAM,
and select Spyder MR series models will continuously feed First Strike
Projectiles. Some of these feature a rotating barrel or select feed, so you can
switch between FSR and regular paintballs on the fly.
How To Chronograph First Strike
Because of their shape and characteristics, First Strike
Projectiles will shoot at a higher speed than standard paintballs at a specific
velocity setting. This is not a problem if you are only shooting First Strike,
but if your marker can switch between FSRs and standard paintballs on the fly
then you need to adjust your marker accordingly. While results will vary from
marker to marker and barrel to barrel, most users find that FSRs shoot about 20
fps faster than normal paint at a given setting. Since it would be very costly
to adjust purely with First Strikes, a common method is to chrono with regular
paintballs and set your velocity 20-25 fps below the field limit. This will get
your setting close, so you can do your final adjustment with as few FSRs as
possible to verify your marker is field legal. Just remember… if you are using
First Strike on the field, your final verifying chronograph results need to be
done with them for safety!
What Bore Diameter Work Best For First Strikes?
While paintballs will vary in size and shape constantly, First Strike Projectiles are, by the nature of their composition and
manufacturing, very consistent. Paintballs these last few years have gotten
progressively smaller in diameter. A .689 diameter barrel used to be the norm
for regular paintball, but now using sizes down to .675-.679 is common for best
accuracy and efficiency. First Strikes, on the other hand, are consistently in
the mid .680s. Too small of a bore and you lose efficiency and start breaking
the rifling fins off the projectile; too large and you lose accuracy. Results
of course will vary slightly, but the vast majority of players experience the
best results with a barrel bore of .686-.687 internal diameter. This is a close
fit to the FSR’s typical size, and will yield the closest FPS difference
between regular paintballs and First Strikes.