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Method of operation

The parts that make up the stacked tube blowback are the body, trigger sear, bolt, striker/hammer, valve, valve pin, cup seal, main spring, and valve spring.

When cocked, in the bottom tube, the main spring exerts forward pressure on the striker, which in turn is held in place by the trigger sear, the valve spring exerts backwards pressure on the valve pin which closes the valve with the cup seal, thus holding back the air/CO2. In the top tube sits the bolt which is connected by a rod to the striker and the paintball which sits in the chamber held in place by a detent.

When the trigger is pulled the sear releases the striker, which flies forward being pushed by the main spring. When it reaches its forward limit of travel it impacts the valve spring, thus pushing back the cupseal and opening the valve. The air/CO2 is released, part of its volume is sent upwards into the bolt, which by this time has pushed the paintball into the barrel. This volume propels the paintball through the air. The remainder of the gas pressure forces itself against the striker, pushing it against the mainspring and all the way back past the sear resetting the striker to its resting position, at the same time the valve spring pushes the pin and cupseal forward closing off the valve and resetting the system for its next shot.

The trigger sear can be released by either mechanical force, in so-called mechanical markers, or by an electro-magnetic solenoid in electronic markers.


The Stacked-tubed blowback system was first created by PMI for their PMI-III, later renamed as the VM-68. Its simplicity and reliability meant is was copied and improved upon by many other manufacturers.

Due to the popularity of the Spyders and the availability of their parts many manufacturers have produced products similar to the Spyders. These use practically the same internals and parts of the Spyders. Some of these clones may even be of higher quality/performance to the Spyder, while some may be cheaper or of less quality.

This mechanism is used by most low-end mechanical and electronic markers and can be easily identified by the double stacked tube body.


New Gen Electra & Pilot

The new generation Electra and Pilot markers were introduced into the Spyder community in 2008. They were designed with a shorter body reverting back to the old style valve and striker system of the past, replacing the gen II balance valve system used in the RS & VS markers. They are equipped with a regulator and run at a relative 300psi low pressure from the box. This generation Spyder is a streamlined version that is short and comfortable, light, fast with advanced electronics and has about every upgrade of the past including a metal locking feedneck.

Spyder VS series

The VS series was released in 2006 and is geared towards new tournament speedball players. The Spyder VS1 is an electronic marker with eyes, featuring semi-automatic and 3-round burst modes as standard.

A modified Spyder VS1

The Spyder VS2 features an infinity trigger system with Spyder’s “3G” technology, and a valve that allows the marker to operate as a LP (low pressure) system. The Spyder VS3 adds a Rocking Trigger. The Spyder VS series is available in many colors, and allows the user to purchase body kits that are interchangeable between the VS2 and VS3.

Spyder MR series

The MR series markers are geared towards players who prefer woodsball/scenario type games. They feature mil-sim style bodies with a choice of matte black or a matte olive green finish and the same reliable action as other spyders.

The Spyder MR1 is the most basic MR marker and features a detachable stock and completely mechanical (although there is an electronic version) action similar to most mechanical Spyders. The Spyder MR2 features and electronic trigger frame, and an Anti-Chop System (ACS) Bolt which helps prevent chopping. The Spyder MR3 adds eyes to the electronic system to further prevent chops.

Spyder RS Series

The Spyder RS is Spyder’s newest line, using their “SE Technology” (Synergy Engineered Technology), which they claim can reduce barrel breaks. There are currently two models, the RS, and the RSX. The RS is the less expensive of the two and can operate on CO2 or HPA at approximately 300 PSI. The RSX is the higher end of the two, and according to Kingman’s claims, it can only operate on HPA at a pressure of 250 PSI. In addition, they both include membrane buttons, and the RSX contains a Tadao Technologies circuit board which is normally an aftermarket upgrade for other markers.

Spyder Classic Series

Spyder’s first markers consisted of these, at which time they did not use the “classic” tag. Now with the revamp of their line-up and the introduction of new markers, they have added the “classic” to the model name of the markers.


Spyder Flash: The first electronic Spyder. Used innovative insert barrel and dip-switch set firing modes. Rear cocking with an oft-maligned aluminum bolt guard. Electronics were powered by a single 9.6 volt Nimh rechargeable battery. The charger plugs into a charger port located at the back of the trigger handle.

Spyder Electra /w ACS: An electro-mechanical marker that features an Anti-Chop (ACS) Bolt, electronic trigger frame (CAMD v3.0),shooting 30 bps (balls per second) and a rocking trigger.

Spyder Electra /w eye: Same basic marker as the Electra but features a different electronic trigger frame (CAMD v4.0) and break-beam eyes to further prevent chopping.

Spyder Imagine: Low-end electro mechanical with IPI System (Intelligent Push-Button Indicator)

Spyder Pilot: A low-end electro mechanical marker features an electronic trigger frame (CAMD) with Semi-Auto up to 20 bps in 3 Bursts, 6 Bursts, and Full Auto modes. It also has a top-cocking venturi bolt.The Gun Has a lub-less bolt,Vertical fSpyder pilot, but featuring a different body and Anti-Chop bolt (ACS) that helps prevent chopping and a different trigger frame (CAMD v2.0). Has semi up to 20 bps, 3 burst, 6 burst, or full auto up to 13 bps.

Spyder Fenix ACS: Features a regulator with gauge, an electronic trigger frame (CAMD v2.0), and a top-cocking Anti-Chop bolt (ACS) that helps prevent chopping.


A Spyder Xtra with the tail piece removed.

Spyder Rodeo: The Spyder Rodeo is a mechanical semi-auto marker that features a Regulator that improves consistency, two-finger trigger and rear cocking. It also featured a milled aluminum body. The top-of-the-line Mechanical Spyder.

Spyder TL and TL Plus: The Spyder TL and TL Plus are semi-auto mechanical markers that featured a new, for its time, sleek body, two-finger trigger, and Rear-Cocking, leaving the older side cocking mechanism behind.

Spyder Xtra: The Xtra is an entry level mechanical marker that featured a two-finger trigger and gas-thru foregrip and rear cocking.

Spyder Sonix: Another intermediate marker. Featured two-finger trigger, gas-thru foregrip, and top or side-cocking. Also comes in Sonix Plus and Sonix Pro versions. Was made from re-manufactured basic Spyders. They were mostly re-anodized blue at the factory

Spyder Victor: An entry-level marker which usually comes as part of a kit. Features two-finger trigger, gas-thru foregrip, and “Vizion” rear-cocking. Comes in 5 versions: Spyder Victor II, Spyder Victor 2006, Spyder Victor, Spyder Victor IV, and the Spyder Victor III.

Spyder Aggressor: One of the earlier markers, featured a quick-strip pin, rear cocking, vertical feed and two-finger trigger.

Spyder ONE/Classic: The earliest versions of the spyder. Came with single-finger trigger and side-cocking. Characterized by their silver bodies with black trigger frame and powerfeed tube.

Spyder Compact 2 in 1: Same popular Compact 2000 paintball gun with a removable bottomline. Length with barrel: 17″; Weight: 1.8 lbs. Features include: Semi-auto action, Powerfeed, 45 grip with rubber grip cover, Second-generation venturi bolt, anti-double feed, JAVA edition anodizing, double trigger, raised mini sight rail, low pressure chamber, vertical ASA or bottomline setup, external velocity adjuster, aluminum barrel with muzzle break, filter system, composite trigger frame, quick disconnect, field strippable T-pin.


Raven Nexion: A low-end electronic marker. Features a regulator, vertical feed, electronic LCD trigger frame with 4 firing modes, and can operate on either CO2 or HPA

Raven Primal: A high-end electronic marker. Features SDE (Solenoid Direct Electro) system, reactive response trigger, inline regulator with gauge, and low pressure regulator.


(2007) About Kingman Group

(2007) OtterSC Customs, How Spyders Work

(2007) Goodman, Billy. Two Tube Blowback Basics

External links

Kingman Group

Otter SC Customs

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Appendix:Glossary of paintball terms


Paintball marker, Electropneumatic paintball marker, Paintball equipment

Paintball Markers:

Angel, Ariakon Overlord, Ariakon SIM-5, Autococker, Automag, Bob Long Intimidator, CCI Phantom, DD68 Redux, BT-4 Combat, Dye Matrix, E Matrix, Excalibur, ICD BKO, ICD Bushmaster 2000, ICD Freestyle, ICD Promaster, PGP, Planet Eclipse Ego, Proto SLG, RAM P99, Smart Parts Ion, Smart Parts Shocker, Smart Parts SP-8, Spyder MR1, Spyder MR2, Spyder Rodeo, Spyder Victor, Spyder VS2, T68 Paintball Marker, Tippmann 98 Custom, Tippmann A-5, Tippmann C-3, Tippmann SL-68 II

Game Styles:

Paintball variations, Scenario paintball, Speedball, Stock paintball, Tankball, Woodsball, Woodsball strategy, Slingshot paintball


Player positions (paintball), Speedball backman, Speedball centerman, Speedball frontman


Blackballed, The Whiteboard, Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball, Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX’D, Gotcha! The Sport!, Gotcha!, NPPL Championship Paintball 2009

Other Objects:

Paintball tank, Paintball pistol, Paintball bunker


Airgun Designs, APS (formerly WDP), DYE Precision, Indian Creek Designs, JT Sports, Kingman Group, Smart Parts, Special Ops Paintball, Tippmann, Worr Game Products (WGP)


List of professional paintball teams, NCPA (paintball), Ultimate Arena Paintball League, List of paintball leagues, NXL, National Professional Paintball League

Major League Teams

Orange County Bushwackers, Portland Naughty Dogs, Russian Legion, San Antonio X-Factor, San Diego Dynasty


Jeremy Labiano,Oliver Lang, Ryan Podesta, Colt Roberts, Greg Siewers

Categories: Paintball equipment manufacturers

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