Review Eclipse EMek
Planet Eclipse Doubles-Down on Mechanical Paintball with Their Most Affordable Marker!
As Published in Paintball.Media Magazine
By Joshua D. Silverman
Is anyone else as ecstatic about the mechanical revolution going on in paintball lately as I am? From local fields where the mechanical rentals chatter every weekend to national events like NXL events that host mechanical divisions and the amazing Iron City Classic that drew over fifty, ten-man teams in 2018, paintball played with guns that don’t need batteries is back and growing! As someone who got their start with a Splatmaster and fell in love with the game shooting pump and then mechanical semi-autos before evolving with the game through Angels, Shockers, Intimidators, Egos, the Matrix and the latest crop of modern guns, to see the game come full circle, allowing players of all shapes, sizes, ages and experience levels to enjoy the game without ramping electros has been a joy to see, along with the smiles the game played in this manner always puts everyone’s face. After impressive success with the release of their GMek mechanical marker some time ago that has recently won such tournaments as the Iron City Classic in the hands of San Antonio X-Factor, Eclipse has doubled-down on the format, releasing an affordable, but no less impressive, mechanical marker, the EMek, which seems poised to take mechanical paintball by storm!
With the world of mechanical paintball growing in both number of serious players and available paintball guns both new and old, Eclipse was welcomed with open arms when the GMek hit and as an avid shooter of one, let me tell you just because these guys have enjoyed massive success with the Ego, LV, ETek, Geo, GTek and CS lines that all use microswitches and batteries to go bang, doesn’t mean they don’t know how to make a mechanical marker shoot with event-winning performance. These guys were making accessories for Automags and Autocockers before a good number of paintball players were born, after all! However, while the GMek, with its metal body, can cost several hundred dollars, the new EMek retails at an eye-poppingly-low $219. But it’s not so much how much the EMek marker is, as much as how much marker you receive for that price that has heads turning and people lining up to buy.
I first saw and shot the Eclipse EMek at the aforementioned, amazing Iron City Classic event on the mounds fields when old friend Jonathan Call of Brimstone Smoke handed me his and said, “you’ve got to try this!” I was expecting a well-made marker no doubt, as it does, after all, come out of Planet Eclipse, but for its price I wasn’t expecting much. But once I put it in my hands and pulled the trigger, I knew it would be a great success just as the GMek before it had been. As they always do, Eclipse figured out how to create a paintball gun that blends innovation with performance in a way that ducks inside the net more than the sum of its parts. And in a format where the player must mean every single trigger pull rather than just clicking a microswitch and letting the marker’s electronics do the work to keep a stream in the air, this is critical.
The Eclipse EMek is a simple mechanical marker built around their low-pressure, soft-touch in-line Gamma Core drive train that, thanks to its 135psi operating pressure, will be gentle on paintballs. This, combined with an off-set Deftek clamping feed neck, will go a long way towards preventing broken and chopped paintballs. The marker’s outer shell is made from lightweight yet strong and game-proven glass-reinforced nylon and the bottom-line bottle adapter is made from aluminum. A replacement on/off ASA is available and might be a good buy for serious players. The EMek accepts Autococker-threaded barrels, making a replacement for the basic ten-inch tube that, although clean, simple and well-honed internally with a few ports at the brake, will likely be replaced by more serious players with a kit to allow bore sizing to whatever paintballs may be available. A pivoting single trigger actuates a simple and robust mechanical three-way valve that initiates the firing sequence of the EMek when the trigger is pulled and a mechanical safety lever is built-in. The marker’s wrap-around rubber grips are comfortable and can be removed without tools, and unlike it’s more expensive GMek brother, the EMek requires no external macro-line air hose.
A player’s first impressive on the EMek once it’s out of the box and in the hands is that this marker is very light. At under two pounds, that’s an understatement. Adding a compressed air bottle and a hopper won’t change things much unless a massive bottle and a high-end force-feed loader are slapped on, but the average EMek will hit the field at around five pounds ready to fight. I chose a lightweight 68 cubic inch Imomrtal Air bottle and, because I wanted to take advantage of the marker’s light weight, a JT Revolution loader. Players who don’t want any batteries at all could surely make-do with a simple non-motorized hopper but may find an occasional “shake and bake” may be needed to keep up. To shave even more weight off and take full advantage of long-range accuracy and consistency (and so I could stick my barrel through brush in the woods) I also replaced the marker’s stubby stock barrel with a carbon fiber Freak. With air topped off and paintballs in my loader I was ready to play.
Over the chronograph the EMek is consistent, not surprising considering its compressed air propellant, regulator and Gamme Core drive train. Using paintballs much too small for its stubby stock barrel I fould initial results of 264, 266, 263. A quick turn of the included Allen wrench to the velocity adjuster at the bottom of the bottle adapter got things up to 276, 270, 274. Paint was small enough that groups were a little loose at medium ranges so I swapped over to my sixteen inch Freak barrel with a properly bore-sized insert, and immediately the marker transformed from solid to impressive. Velocity shot up ten feet per second consistently with 286, 284, 286 over the chrono and groups near and far were predictable and very tight. In addition, the sound of the firing gun changed, becoming quieter - ideal for woodsball where shooting might give away a position. Finally, there's the trigger pull. The EMek's pivoting single trigger is easy to learn to shoot fast and has a surpsingly clean, crisp break.
The Eclipse EMek is an impressive paintball gun. Extremely light, easy to shoot, consistent, well-made delivered with plenty of standard features and, obviously, that incredible price, not to mention the backing of Planet Eclipse, makes this marker an ideal choice for a player on a budget, players looking to try mechanical paintball without dropping hundreds or even thousands, or even for serious mechanical players due to the competitive performance of the marker! Whether you're looking to ditch the batteries on purpose or simply want a great paintball gun at a great price regardless of how it goes bang, put the EMek on the short list!