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The Strikeloader: Fast-loading ammo backpack could be a paintball game-changer

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August 23, 2013

The Strikeloader is a battery-operated backpack that feeds paintballs directly into a gun,...

The Strikeloader is a battery-operated backpack that feeds paintballs directly into a gun, eliminating the need for a regular loader while holding six times as much ammo

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It may be a relatively new sport, but there's been surprisingly little technological innovation in the world of paintball since it was created. Aside from a few modest enhancements, the basic gas-powered guns (also called markers) have remained about the same, but an upcoming product could change how the game is played entirely. The Strikeloader is a battery-operated backpack that feeds paintballs directly into a gun, eliminating the need for a regular loader while holding six times as much ammo.

In professional matches, paintballers usually resort to carrying several canisters of spare balls and taking cover to reload every so often, which restricts their movement and leaves them vulnerable. As you might imagine, a device that continuously funnels all of a player's ammo directly into their marker without the need to reload could offer a huge tactical advantage. Besides carrying extra ammunition, the backpack also removes the need for a paintball loader on top of the gun, giving the player an unobstructed view along with a lighter, more balanced gun.

Inventor Heddies Andresen, a product developer based in Germany, came up with the idea for an automatic paintball loader after an accident cost him his left hand. Since then, Andresen and his team have spent several years perfecting the Strikeloader design to ensure it can withstand the harsh conditions of countless frenzied paintball matches.

Players will also be able to move freely and switch guns between hands thanks to a flexibl...

The main compartment of the backpack has room for 1,200 balls, which is quite a jump from most loaders that can only hold about 200. Below that is the patented feeding mechanism, which uses a rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack to send paintballs through an attached hose and into the gun. According to Andresen, the mechanism is designed to prevent any jams or accidental breaks, but is also powerful enough to keep shooting even if the gun is held sideways, upside-down, or high above a person's head. On a full charge, the battery has enough power to feed over 10,000 balls at a rate of 42 balls per second. The bottom section can also be detached and rotated to accommodate both left and right-handed users.

Players can either wear the Strikeloader using several straps or mount it onto certain tactical vests with an adapter. It isn't bulky in size, so the wearer can maneuver comfortably without becoming a larger target. The backpack has been built to be shatterproof and waterproof, so it stays operational no matter how hectic a game gets, and it only weighs a light 2.9 kg (6.39lb) when empty. Players will also be able to move freely and switch guns between hands thanks to a flexible, spiral steel hose that's engineered to keep the paintballs flowing. The entire system also disassembles for quick cleaning, just in case a defective paintball makes a mess inside the feeding mechanism.

The main compartment of the backpack has room for 1,200 balls, which is quite a jump from ...

The development team says it has gone to great lengths to ensure the product is reliable and will fit in with other paintball equipment on the market. They've already produced various adapters, skins, battery chargers, and more so players can customize the Strikeloader to their liking. They've even built an LCD screen that attaches to a marker to display how much game time or ammo is left and will alert the user if either one gets lower than a specified point.

If the designers can deliver on what they're promising, the Strikeloader could literally be a game-changer for paintball players. Not needing to reload opens up the sport to completely new strategies, and some leagues may even need to amend their rules to address it.

Andresen and his collaborators are currently attempting to raise US$250,000 to bring the Strikeloader into mass production through the crowd-funding site, RocketHub. The minumum contribution level is $269 to pre-order the Strikeloader in black, olive, or desert camo color schemes. To sweeten the deal, the team is also offering to send the finished loaders to backers a good 3-6 months ahead of general consumers. The first batch expected to ship in February 2014. Even if they don't meet their funding goal however, the developers say they already have a backup investor lined up, so anyone who pre-orders a Strikeloader should still receive one.

Check out the video below to see how a Strikeloader prototype performs in action.

Source: RocketHub, Strikeloader

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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10 Comments

It would be even more awesome if this could be integrated with an air cylinder to play with a remote coil.

Wazz
23rd August, 2013 @ 03:45 am PDT

Relatively new sport? You're kidding right? I've been playing for more than 30 years myself and I know people playing longer than that.

Rocky Stefano
23rd August, 2013 @ 06:11 am PDT

1. Paintball new? See Rocky's comment

2. The technology in paintball has evolved a TON from the inception of the sport. 10 shots per minute to 30 a second...yeah no change there

3. It's obvious the writer has never played paintball or much even watched/ researched to see how the game is played

4. 1200 balls being carried onto the field is not uncommon at all for back players. Also it is carried in a much slimmer, and lighter package.

5. It's not hard to reload and keep firing at the same time. It's practically considered a required skill if you want to be good.

6. You don't aim down the center of the marker so having an "unobstructed view" is a mute point

And to cap it off...this has been done years before with an AGD Warp Feed.

Cody Blank
23rd August, 2013 @ 10:20 am PDT

Imagine the outrage if I suggest something like that for my sport: Long range target shooting.

Slowburn
23rd August, 2013 @ 06:33 pm PDT

This is not a new sport or a new concept. It was designed in the 90's

Dapperdanno
24th August, 2013 @ 08:26 am PDT

More spray and pray paintball garbage!!

I see an immediate problem in that you have too much paint on your back, and a cord tied to your weapon. So your mobility is reduced. If you lay down on your stomach, your pack sticks up, raising your profile...at least in war scenarios, with a gear-pack you can ditch your pack....you can't ditch this one (you'd have no ammo!). If you need to drop your weapon and pull your sidearm, you have to detach from the cable. Barf!

These kinds of things ruin the sport of paintball. Your goal shouldn't be to 'dump' as much paint on the enemy as you can... There are some really awesome 'real life' paintball markers that are far superior to typical evo piranha junk. I'm not sure if I can suggest other sites here but...check out Real Action Paintball (rap4).

And they want to raise $250,000 to make these things? bwahaha. Oh man. I pity th' foo!

Why is it that the US military use M16A2s, or MP5s and MP7s? Because they're manoeuvrable, efficient and effective. Take a few extra clips and you're good to go.

I think I carry 18 rounds in a mag and carry 4-5 extra mags on my person. :-) What kind of noob needs 1,200 rounds??? :-)

EndoAgain
24th August, 2013 @ 01:50 pm PDT

@ Rocky Stefano

How long has tennis, soccer (fut ball?), and polo been played?

Slowburn
25th August, 2013 @ 12:53 pm PDT

Relatively new?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paintball#Organized_play

Game changer?

Just adds to your profile. bigger...

"but there's been surprisingly little technological innovation in the world of paintball since it was created"

Really?

The marker that the people in the photos are holding is the result of 30 years of innovation. And that isn't even the current cutting edge.

This isn't even the first time that a backpack has been developed.

I looks nice and it may do well in the Scenario world. Best of luck to the designers. Still, please do a little more research....

than205
25th August, 2013 @ 02:23 pm PDT

Why even use paint balls? Why not just hook up a pump to a hose connected to a tanker truck full of paint? What was the point of the game again?

sk8dad
26th August, 2013 @ 01:04 pm PDT

So, obviously the author is either ignorant of the sport or is trying to promote this product. The guns have changed quite a bit over the years from the Nelson based pump guns to the 30+bps capable guns of today.

This product is based upon Airgun Designs Warpfeed system but without the ability to switch easily from right to left hand. Thus making you a bigger target while using off hand cover. The 1200 round backpack (if the 6x capacity is accurate) may sound cool, but in reality would make it inconvient to share paint, give you a bigger profile and puts a nice peice of hard target on your back. On the cheap buy a Halo too. Or pony up and get a Dye Rotor. You will be happier in the long run.

Rodney Heck
11th September, 2013 @ 04:40 am PDT
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