The anticipation level for the release of the new Alien Paintball Deception marker was as frenzied as we’ve seen for a paintball gun in a long time. It’s been one of the hot topics in online forums and on paintball fields for several months and we finally got to see, touch and hold one at this year’s Paintball Extravaganza. And it looks amazing!
Rather than have us tell you about the Alien Deception we went right to the source, Jack Rice of Alien Paintball.
Jack, what can you tell us about the Deception?
It is the best looking Alien gun by far, but the first really totally new Alien in 10 years. We had made 4 step up versions of the gun with the “Independent Ram” and the poppet valve.
Deception started with a clean sheet of paper, keeping only the bolt concept that adds some rotational stability.
From there we designed around the new valve. First came the super light Actuator instead of a rammer. Then we narrowed the bottom chamber from what everyone else in the industry does, changed to new lower profile eyes that we have ever used, got a new board, slimmed down that sides of the gun and went through 4 versions of the body to get what we think is the best looking gun a player can get. We made the Rammer a cartridge the width of a AAA battery to keep the ease of service (and the lack of needing to service) of the Independent Ram, made our rubber grips from last year wrap around grips, and for the first time since ’08 we are including a Caron Fiber Barrel, but this time it takes the poplar inserts that so many players already have.
It does look amazing! How did you get into making paintball guns?
We really started in 2003 when Scott – my son – played the whole season with our rotating door gun as a young guns Player. He played with Anthony “ant” Parsons, the original machinist for Alien guns and Eddie Tomao. Both Ant and Eddie went on to play with XSV.
That pivoting head gun seemed to have the teardrop look of an Alien Head, which is where the company name came from. The air flowing under the ledge in the door that pushed the ball into the barrel is where the concept came from to limit the air flow to the bottom half of the bolt.
How did you get into the game of paintball?
I first started playing in 1986 east of Sacramento at a field called Sam’s Paintball. However I didn’t really get started until my son started playing. I was very fortunate to have some really good players help and encourage me early. I played at Rich Telford’s field in Modesto almost every week and in the summer often twice a week. I was told to try that field by a young player who worked at the local paintball store and played on a local team call “Outta Control.” After a while he started going with my son and I to Wednesday night practice. His name is Dave Baines. I also met and then crewed for the Ironman that regularly practiced at Rich’s field and they would shoot my prototypes and give me feedback – not all of it positive. Then in 2005 their second squad, XS NRG shot the first guns Alien made.
How did the Paintball Extravaganza go for you?
This year’s Extravaganza was especially fun for us. The response we got was usually Wow. Actually 3 wows. One for how light the gun was, Because it is so narrow and its low profile, a second for how light the Actuator is. Then a third for how the Morf Valve works. Players like the low maintenance and the narrow feel of a double staked gun. What they don’t like the sound or the extra kick. By equally the sound signature of a spool and cutting the moving mass down to below that of a spool it give players saw that it was the best of all the features.
What new products did you show at the Extravaganza?
The gun, the vale for the gun, some hats, some t’s and the new grease we have “Alien Slime” that is a green Teflon wax, instead of silicone.
What are your goals for 2014 and beyond?
We have always been about great shooting guns. That won’t change. Our real goal is to make this our breakthrough year. We kid that our support is a foot wide and a mile deep. Those that like Alien guns sometimes post that they are the only guns they will never sell. We feel the new Deception gun has the looks and performance to take that solid base of support and extend it so that enough guns are out there that most every players has one on his field. Make it so players can see in person exactly what an Alien gun is. Once that happens, players will choose Alien as now, more than ever, the gun speaks for itself.
How do you feel about the state of paintball right now?
We feel that paintball is becoming more polished now. The early crazy days are behind us. The booming economy bought in a lot of big heads and demanding players, some of who partied a bit too much, trashed venues at times and weren’t as professional, thoughtful or inclusive as they might have been. It seems that now more of the Pros and players understand that we have to care for our sport, be good representatives of paintball, and look at it from a standpoint of where we want it to be in 5 or 10 years. We keep our eye on the result and paintball has a bright future. Chess with guns, nothing is more fun than that.