Standard markers, usually have a loader on top to hold your balls in quantities of about 200 balls or there are also magfed (they hold magasines under them like real steal). Loaders (on top) can be gravity fed or electronic or use the Cyclone system, like on Tippmann A5s. Cyclone system uses excess air from each shot to turn a "paddle system" inside the loader to push the balls faster into the marker without the use of batteries (kind of awesome).
Also the bottles that are used to bring air to your marker can either be CO2 or compressed air (nitro). Bottles are either one system or the other, meaning you can't put CO2 in a compressed air bottle or vice versa. CO2 is usually used in warmer climates, but here in Québec, we mainly use compressed air year-round (less fuss).
If you're looking into getting a pistol, those tend to be a little more delicate and finding a repair gu can be a little more tricky. Personally, I don't use pistols, when I play, I like to have less weight on me. So having a secondary "weapon" isn't my cup of tea.
So if you're looking for your main marker, there are all kinds on the market, but for beginners, there is nothing like a good old Tippmann 98 or a Tippmann A5. Why either of these 2 markers? Well they have made their fair share of testing here at Fort Ouest and at other paintball parks in Québec year-round. These markers work no matter what, rain or shine or snow or below freezing temperatures. They are just unstoppable and will work "no matter what", but of course if you're a little too harsh, maybe they will break down. But it's good to know, usually within a few minutes or an hour at most, they can be fixed. Parts are also easy to get, it's the "Honda Civic" of paintball markers. So if ou want to upgrade into looking like an AK or an MP5 or any other model? You can find either Tippmann parts or after market parts any where online.
But before you do think of buying online, please encourage your local paintball park, if you encourage them, you can get sweet perks like memberships and free stuff. You usually get super service from us and other parks, but if ou buy it online, you will be charged wherever you go to get it fixed if it breaks. In the long run, buying online "costs" more than directly from a park or pro shop.
Most of the time, if you get a marker that uses batteries, even on Tippmanns, they usually they end up not working right when temperatures are rainy or cold. What I do like to use, is the "Response Trigger" also called "RT" option, this is a system that uses the excess air after each shot to push a piston towards the trigger. Thus it can shoot a few shots one after the other like a machine gun, without the use of batteries. And if you adjust it right ou could shoot all your balls in your loader in one simple trigger pull. But that takes some skill!!
Fort Ouest owner since 2005