JT Splatmaster – Family Friendly Paintball Alternative
Kee Action Sports made a splash in 2012 when they made a bold decision to release the JT Splatmaster line of paintball markers and accessories. Named after the famous classic paintball gun, the National Survival Game Splatmaster pistol, the JT Splatmaster series were designed to introduce paintball to the youth and family market. Of course, there was quite a bit of misinformation or just plain misunderstanding amongst the hardcore paintball community regarding it. I will admit, even this author was a bit skeptical at first but after getting to blast away with JT Splatmaster at the firing range in the JT/ Empire compound at last year’s World Cup paintball tournament I became a solid fan of the product!
Introducing new players to paintball is the key to the game’s future but certain aspects of the equipment make it difficult for a youth and family activity. Much of the equipment is too heavy or complex for kids to use and maintain. The impact of standard paintballs shot at typical field velocity is excessive for many and the range requires a large area for play. It’s one thing to buy a paintball gun for everyone in the family; it’s another thing to buy a CO2 or compressed air tank, hopper and all other required gear for each of those paintguns as well. The JT Splatmaster line was created to make the sport accessible to this neglected segment of potential players.
JT Splatmaster guns and JT Splatmaster Ammo is a radical departure from the rest of the industry. Splatmaster paintball guns do not use CO2 or compressed air. Instead, they are manually cocked to load the paint into the breech and compress a spring. When you pull the trigger this spring builds up pressure to propel the Splatmaster Ammo paintball through the barrel at consistent low velocities of 110-150 feet per second. That is half or less the velocity of a standard paintball fired at industry regulation speeds. A nub within the barrel imparts a backspin on the ball, creating a Magnus Effect to give the ball lift like a BT Apex2 Barrel. Thus, a Splatmaster marker has a max range of 100-150 feet, with accurate effective range of around 50-75 feet. This makes supervised play in large suburban/ rural backyards possible. Although made almost entirely of plastic, the JT Splatmaster guns are built like tanks. I talked to the playtesters and designers; engineering these things to withstand a beating from kids was paramount in their master plan!
The JT Splatmaster z100 Pistol is the lowest cost and lightest weight option. It feeds from a through-the-grip 7 shot magazine and includes a larger cocking handle to make it easier for smaller kids to use. The JT Splatmaster z200 Shotgun is by far the best seller, with great accuracy to 50+ feet. It holds 15 shots and cocks via a pump action to be the fastest firing of the line. The JT Splatmaster z300 Sniper Rifle is the newest addition to the line and by far the most accurate of the three. It cocks by a lever on the side and has an adjustable stock for steadier aiming.
The Splatmaster Ammo paintball is .50 caliber. Normal .50 cal paintballs use a similar shell to standard .68 cal, but at the low velocity JT Splatmasters shoot these would be too heavy for decent range and too resilient to break on anything but hard targets at close range. Thus, the gelatin shell of Splatmaster Ammo is more thin and brittle for flight and target breakage. If you try to use Splatmaster Ammo in any other .50 cal paintball marker you will just end up with paint soup. The paint and shell is non-toxic, non-staining and marks with a satisfying splat without causing huge messy paint spray. Best of all, it doesn’t hurt or cause welts and bruising like standard paintballs! At World Cup a representative told me to hold my hand out. I did, and he shot my palm with a Splatmaster pistol from a distance of 6 inches. It stung but the discomfort was gone in a minute, with no bruising or skin abrasion at all. Then, he shot my bare leg from 15 feet and it felt like getting hit with a strong rubber band. Definitely kid-friendly. Splatmaster paintballs come in 50, 200, 500 and 1000 count containers.
Eye protection is absolutely required when using JT Splatmaster. Originally the line was envisioned as a target practice shooting game so the JT Splatmaster Optix Goggles were made for use while plinking in the backyard. For playing against one another they made the JT Splatmaster Optix Goggle Upgrade to provide face and ear protection while playing. This combo is definitely lightweight and comfortable but any approved Empire or JT paintball goggle will also do a great job with more coverage to boot.
Completing the JT Splatmaster line is a whole range of accessories. The JT SplatMaster Marksman Target with Stand and JT SplatMaster Four Arm Spinning Target are sturdy built targets for repeated shooting that clean quick and easy. The JT SplatMaster Inflatable Nuke Bunker is an inflatable target and bunker to hide behind while playing, standing 3 feet tall with a water chamber to stay in place. For the z100 Pistol you can get some JT SplatMaster z100 7 Round Magazines for fast reloading and the JT SplatMaster z100 Pistol Holster to safely carry it on your hip in between games.
JT Splatmaster has been a huge hit within the paintball community. Not only has it become a popular past time for whole families but it is gathering a following with college students and young adults as well. Now you can get in some paintball action while hiking, camping or at that big suburban/ rural BBQ without all the expensive and heavy equipment restraints. Of course, if one likes JT Splatmaster then the next step is always up to traditional paintball! At Paintball Online we carry the full line of JT Splatmaster guns and accessories.