I'm posting this for reference as a lot of folks are unaware how First Strike Rounds came about. Here's a summary:
Tom Kaye and Gary Gibson develop the "Perfect Circle" paintball
and Tom spins off a company around it (Perfect Circle Paintball). The paintball was designed to be nearly spherical (Later patents admit that they were as good as +/- .002" roundness), in the hopes of improving accuracy. The patent applies to the design of the round (generally spherical, a sealing joint at the equator) and the material/manufacture (a photodegradable pre-stressed polystyrene that can handle loading, chambering and firing but, still break on target). It doesn't catch on in paintball (cost vs performance) but, it's used extensively in the less lethal and, movie F/X industries.
Later on, Perfect Circle Paintball developed a spin-stabilized round (patents here
) by using the polystyrene shell they had already developed and, a weighted section in the nose (to put the center of gravity forward of the center of pressure), a fill portion in the back, and a skirt with spin inducing fins. This round coincided with the development of the XM303 'projectile launcher' developed by Airgun Designs and, Gun F/X (of Pro Team Products). Ultimately, the launcher and the rounds were designated as the FN 303 launcher and ammunition.
Ultimately, Gary Gibson of Perfect Circle Paintball appears at PB Extravaganza in 2009 at the Tiberius Arms booth, and he's pitching the new First Strike Rounds. By this point, they have already applied for a patent
and he reveals that the rounds will be made by Perfect Circle Paintball but, marketed by Tiberius Arms.
The patent describes key design features of the round:
- Hemispherical front, tapered skirt (9degrees), A wall that closes the hemisphere from the tail section.
- At least three, but preferably 16 Fins that have a height that is longer at the tail than at the equator, so that they are not wider than the equator.
- The fins angled in such a way to cause the projectile to spin (interestingly, unlike the FN303 patents, the angle is not defined here).
- A fill that is heavy enough and located far enough forward to keep the center of gravity forward of the center of pressure (good for stability).