The original Trracer was one of the workhorses that kickstarted the paintball industry as it was one of the most common rental and consumer pumps until the start of the semi-automatic era. Empire’s re-invisioning of the Trracer brings to mind the durability of the original but has some modern design themes to introduce the modern generation of players to the pump.
Because of the similarities to the classic Trracer, much of this review will refer to the original version of the gun.
The new Trracer mimics the original with the the rear ASA, 45 degree elbow and cocking handle around the barrel. Some modern innovations include the composite body, the single side safety, the locking and removable elbow and the two Picatinny rails, one above the body and a second on the cocking handle. The single finger trigger is very similar to the original but adds a screw to adjust the length of the trigger pull. The simple, matte black finish and white “Trracer” lettering remain though a prominent Empire logo now sits on the ASA. The included barrel is ported and has autococker threading. The grip does come with screw holes to add a bottom-mounted ASA, but the stock gun requires the air tank to be screwed directly into the valve.
Image courtesy of PriceGrabberI’m a big fan of the original Trracer – I own several and still use them – and so all reviews of the updated versions performance will need to compare to the original. With any pump there are three different defining aspects – the pumping action, the trigger pull and the accuracy.
The pumping action is smooth and comfortable, though, due to the spring resistance, gets progressively stiffer during the pump stroke and, by the end, is a little stiffer than I would prefer. The grips on the cocking arms are decently comfortable, though the inclusion of a Picatinny rail on the underside of cocking handle is less comfortable to hold than the original, circular handle. The ergonomics of the handle are improved and facilitate a strong pumping motion. Overall, I would say the pumping action is pretty good for an entry-level pump.
The trigger pull is where the new Trracer really shines. When playing with the original Trracer my finger starts to feel it by the end of the day as the original trigger pull was stiff and heavy. The new trigger is much improved with a smooth, consistent trigger pull. The trigger does allow for repeated firing by holding the trigger pulled back and pumping the handle.
The accuracy is pretty good. The original Trracers had variable accuracy, depending on the individual gun and barrel, with some being very accurate and others being terribly innacurate. I have only tested one new Trracer, so I can’t speak to how consistent different guns perform, but the gun I tested proved surprisingly accurate with the stock barrel. I wouldn’t say that it has ball over ball accuracy, but it is close. Over the chronograph it was relatively consistent with variability about +/- 10 fps with CO2.
In other performance areas, I like the locking elbow though it seems to be geared towards fat hopper necks and may not fit snugly around thinner feednecks. Also, due to the ASA being attached directly to the valve, the gun does, as expected, get very cold if fired quickly.
I generally like the Trracer and recommend it for people interested in trying out pump paintball. It is pretty comfortable to hold, it is relatively accurate and it appears to be well-made. The original Trracer was extremely durable and, if the new Trracer proves to be the same, I would count it as a worthy successor to the original.
Originally posted 2012-03-20 15:57:47.