I think theres already a lot written on how to figure out if pistol is or isn't for you and how to progress to it. A write up by me on such a thing would simply be "go buy one and friggen do it for a couple big games." So now that I have that out of the way I want to write about what step 2 is, going from "I want to only play pistol" to actually doing it.
If your at the point where your really willing to do this your at the point where your ready to really invest in it. Any good settup on the market is going to run you a bit of money and time. You got the cost of the rig, the clips, and the gun. Keep all of these in mind as one total.
First you have to know what sort of player you are. Not front/back/mid but what sort of capabilities you want. here's a couple key ones I can think of. If you can think of another consideration and answer please post it up so we can get a good list going.
-Do I want to have to worry about the clips?
-Do I want to have to do more than bassic maintinance/tinkering on the gun?
-How fast do I want the reload
-How much paint do I want to carry?
-how much paint do I want immedietly available
-do I want 12 grams or CA most of the time?
-how small do I want the gun/rig?
-how heavy do I want this?
Budget should not figure into this until the end. You can always scale back and pick things up later, but to make a choice based on price at the start is to limit your opportunities later.
Your final gun decision ought to be based off of how these catagories apply to you, not just which one you think looks the coolest/feels best in your hand. You don't have as much flexability with your play style of using diffrent pistol modles. I can spray and pray with an angel just as easily as I can sneak around with one but if I was using a modded out TPX v. my gun I'd have to play very diffrently for example.
The method of holding and reloading paint is the most expensive part of owning a pistol. Your going to lose/break them over time. Your going to want to have more clips than you can carry for the quickest downtime off field when you reload. They are a constant fluctuating expense while the gun is a one time thing for the most part.
It's also has the largest effect on your entire rig. If you absolutly have to go with clips your gun is going to be a tac-8/tpx for example.
Now there are two types of paint involved with pistol play due to needing clips or tubes to reload effectively. Paint you have loaded and immedietly available for your pistol and paint that first needs to be put into your clips/tubes before being loaded into your gun with ease. A lot of people carry pods and tubes/mags. This will signifigantly slim down your settup regardless of your reload style.
The big trade off is obviously being out of commission for however long it takes you to reload your tubes/clips.
[i]method of carry[i]
Where do you want your rig? Chest, back, butt, belt, etc. Your rig consitutes a hard point on your body and something that will effect how you move. I can't tell you what rig settup is best for you (vest/pack/belt).
Your gun will dictate what type of holster you can use. Mine for example is way too heavy and long to have it in some sort of tactical holster or belt worn cross draw. Your not going to be able to carry a pirate stock KP the same way you can carry a slimed down TPX. Use common sense here.
[i]Clips v. tubes[i]
There isn't really much of a pro/con list between tubes and clips. Clips can be reloaded far faster than tubes can. Reloading clips is 50000 times more fun than reloading tubes unless your weird. These are their only advantage. Just remember that while you can reload clips faster you also have to worry about them more, this adds to your average reload time if your policing them all the time.
Clips are far more expensive than tubes.
-tube with premade speedcap online: around 80 cents on the high side
-tube with homemade speedcap: around 20 cents and it takes me around an hour to make 40 of them with rubberbands and the lip shortened down. I suck at making stuff though
-TPX clip: 15 bucks online
-tac 8 mag new 30-40 bucks online
-replacable 10-round springfeed tube for lower end blow backs is around 20ish back when I last looked
-how exposed am I comfterable with my paint being?
this means two things. One a high capacity paint settup is going to be costly. Two your going to have to worry about your clips while the loss of a tube while obnoxious is not a big deal. I don't like having to worry about my rig at all. If I broke all 40 tubes on my back it would piss me off but it wouldn't make me really upset. This allows me to only worry about my tank and gun when doing stupid moves Im proberly going to hurt myself on.
The secound consideration under this is how much immedietly available paint you want. I can easily carry 400 rounds in tubes, 800 if Im ok with my chest becoming a hard point. The max number of clips I've seen someone carry is Agent smith at 24 with a TPX, this is with clips on the front of his legs which I would find as movement limiting. I think he's a good example of how many mags you could carry comfterably without your chest being a hard point though until someone else posts up another rig that proves me wrong.
So your maximum comfterable carrying capacity with magazines is,
TPX 7-round clips: 192
tac-8 and tpx 8 round clips: 192
10-round top tube springfeed swapouts: 240
10-shot tubes w/ ronin gear butt pack: 400
Now to be fair with the 10-round tube springfeed swapouts you could proberly carry more, but I havn't seen any sort of settup to carry a serious amount online. I'd really recomend this sort of settup as the reload time isn't quick enough to justify having to worry about the clip.
The point I'm trying to make is not the maximum carry capacity but that with magazines your really looking at only being able to carry about half the immedietly usable paint as you have with tubes. Your also going to automatically have a more bulky and heavy rig than with tubes unless your carrying significantly less loaded paint.
Ontop of this limitation clips are also more open to getting poop on your paint than tubes are. Tubes are water resistant, clips have open areas. While you can overcome this somewhat with your rig you still will have issues if it rains or something with the paint your carrying getting wet.
The opposite issue arises with tube loaded paintguns. You have a large open slot on the top of your gun that's open to getting contaminated. This can not only dick up your paint while its loaded into the gun but because your not replacing the spring loaded chamber each reload, like with a clip, if you get enough poop in your springfeed your going to have to do off field maintinance.
In really sandy and muddy enviroments this is a big issue for people using a tube fed gun. It also can become an issue if you call out and someone decides to be a dick and lights your gun up to make sure your deffiently out or something. I've had shell from spray get into the 10-shot tube and dick up my loading before.
So your looking at two diffrent reliability issues, either before the paint is loaded into the gun or during. Until someone designs a 10-shot tube fed gun that doesn't have a massive slot for poop to get into and a tube to bolt design that isn't open I can't say one side or the other has the bigger disadvantage. Which weakness you perfer is up to you.
CA or 12-gram
By CA or 12-gram I mean which settup are you planning on running the majority of the time. 12-grams give you a lighter load, as hpa tanks are more bulky and obnoxious than 12-grams, but they also increase your reload time, expense, and lower your consistancy. If your the sort of person that fogets to police your empties all the time, like me, you'll also piss off field owners. It's the number 2 reason I don't use them, expense being 1.
If you've figured out the top your bassically at the point where you have a pretty good idea of the gun you want. There's already a hundred threads on tpx v. tac8 by people more knowledgable than me about them. So this is mainly going to be about tube fed guns.
If your going with a tube fed gun you sort of have 4 semi-auto options I'm aware of. One of the many diffrent "just another blow back" spyder sorta pistols available, the BT-18 which is marketed as a midgrade pistol, the sydarm which is a high midgrade pistol, or Palmers which would be the highend expensive pistol.
Which one you pick depends on how much maintenance you feel like doing. A low end gun can absolutely be upgraded to at least be compeditive with a palmers, Agent Smith is a great resource to hit up about that. The trade off is that those guns will absolutly break down at a very consistant rate if your shooting a lot of paint through them. If your ok with trading money for your time/expertise than go with the cheaper pistol route, they are lighter after all. Dunno anything about the BT either.
The sydarm I do have experience in. I can tell you that the amount of maintenance that's required on a Co2 powered automag is required on these. If you don't know exactly what that means, like me, then don't get one unless your willing to learn how to maintain them. I'm not it's why I don't have the gun.
You can get the tube on the top of the gun, making a three stack. You can also get it on one side or the other of the barrle or at an angle as well with custom setups. Personally I like having it on the outside left of the gun with the springfeed slot up as that made really easy to reload.
You have three types of reloading hole styles. The standard plug and feed, the sydarm style, and the replacable top tube style. The replacable to tube style is a huge PITA and I personally have yet to meet someone who can reload their replacable top tube faster than I can reload my standard plug and spring. The standard style is the removable plug and springfeed that can be set into the on and off position easily. The sydarm style has a hole on the top that allows you to set the springfeed and then just pour balls in the top.
Think about where you want your reloading hole as well. Having it lowered for example instead of on the top of the gun will force you to have to tilt the gun a little more to get paint feeding as fast as possible. having it flush with the back will make it a little more difficult to keep the holes matched up when reloading. having it a little more in makes it progressively more easy up to about an inch or so, then it's just overkill IMHO.
The sydarm style tube has the advantage of a much faster reload due to having fewer steps. You also don't have to worry about losing the cap, which is a big issue if you have a palmers as replacement parts are impossible to find anywhere other than in sacramento :) The downside is that you are adding a .68 caliber hole to the top of your gun going directly to the spring behind the pusher. This is a bad place for things like spray and dirt to get as the only way to clean it is to remove the entire spring feed.
the best solution I've seen for this is RP's squalicane feed which had a sliding cover over the hole. It would automatically move out of the way during reloads. I would imagine more maintenance would be required as your adding components but it covered the hole and stopped paint from getting in.
another solution I've seen is the punisher crowd buster feed. This was also a sydarm feed setup but with a rotating screw at the top that could be used to open and close the hole (dunno how).
No one of course has used both of these specialized feeds. Hardly anyone got a crowbuster last I checked (if any) and the squalicane has only been built once.
sydarm v. regular cap and plug
They both equal out in raw performance one style to another in my opinion. On one hand you have fewer parts with the syarm style. This means the process portion of reloading the gun is signficantly slower. Having none of the parts lose also means your not about to drop your plug by mistake.
I've only done that once in 10 years of playing with my pistol though. The standard plug and feeds main advantage is the balls going from loading tube to springfeed is a little bit quicker. Add to this having to point the gun at a funny upwards angle which makes you have to drop your elbow lower than the tip of the barrle. With a springfeed your tilting the gun down, which is much easier to do in a really tight spot.
I'm biased twoards my method as you don't have to really be paying attention when you pull the cap and set the springfeed. It's much harder to keep the paint aligned with the hole, in my opinion, than to do these other two processes. I've always had the mindset that if you can't do a task quickly and efficiently without it hindering you moving/looking/paying attention that it's one that's more difficult to do in stressfull enviroments. So I avoid them whenever possible.
any other thoughts?
thanks. great read and very informative.
great write up, great read.
Good stuff 10Shot!
Though as always, we differ on some details. As it should be. Can't let anybody forget there's more than one way around the maypole!
I worried about the same things with regards to clips that you did before I had road time with the TPX mags in particular.
Now let's be clear, I'm NOT careful with my gear in play, I'm in the dirt and everywhere else and I own mags I purchased BEFORE they were generally for sale. They're the oldest magazines someone not a Tippmann employee can have, pretty much.
They're still fine and in working order.
In spite of being ejected into gravel and onto rocks on the run, having been stepped on and shot themselves, sometimes point blank in the exposed loops, having been laid on, slid on and crawled on, I still happily use all but one. That one I lost. The original purchase price aside, I'm out $15 in almost 2 years of play. That's acceptable to me and then some. As for the purchase price, what I got was worth what it cost.
The truth is people have an idea in their heads of mags as heavy and fragile. It's not correct in the case of the TPX or I would not carry it. A TPX mag weighs 3oz. that's right, 3oz. So they don't limit my movement at all. Nor are they long enough to interfere with movement. With the covering pocket of my new smokin pants they won't be prone to flop or get oocky.
I never especially considered the worry of rain getting into a belted mag, though I dont dunk them on purpose. I empty them too fast:ROTFL:.
The pristine condition of the balls as they come out of a 10rd tube seems moot since you're pouring those paintballs into a mag tube which certainly has a bunch of rain in it anyway, as will the barrel.
Pistols fill up with rain. There is not a semi pistol that doesn't have a slotted mag. The slots on a TPX or T8 mag are covered at least when the mag is in the pistol, the slot on a stroker mag is always exposed. All the JABBs, the sydarm, you name it. All have slots cut open to the rain, with carbon steel springs inside and a hole that drops we all know where...
It seems to me also a tossup between tubes, tube fed guns and mags, mag fed guns. They all get rain in 'em somehow!
If I found that I damaged and had to replace a bunch of TPXmags, then I would change my view, but the only situations I've seen destroy TPX mags, would pretty much destroy realsteel mags.
My problem with some magfed and all tubefed pistols is the extra step on the field. Bearing in mind that a mag only weighs a little more than a tube,
set spring, unlock mag tube, load from 10rdtube into mag tube, relock mag tube then fire the paint. This is hard. It's hard enough that alot of people put pistols down for good. Part of what I'm getting at is that paint in a tube isn't really 'Immediately usable'. You have to unlock a mag. Then pour paint out of the tube into the mag. Then relock the mag. Then get rid of the tube. Instead you could unlock a mag, relock a mag and get rid of the empty mag. This is because it's not hard to carry as many mags as is needful.
Tubes do not have any advantage over mags, they do not replace them or even compete. Every pistol has a mag, some are just welded on. Others can be preloaded, saving time.
Due to the weight limiting how many you can carry and the 12ie being able to fire 3 turns of paint, these pistols force you to reload mags on the field. you have to carry all the gear a person using a tubefed gun would, PLUS mags. Imagine getting a pod of paint tossed to you under fire because you're out, then having to reload empty 10rd tubes now, so you can later reload the empty T8 mag, which you will even later reload in the empty pistol. I did it once and that was enough, kept it as a sidearm for years though, it's good for that.
Loading the mags into the pistol is easier than using tubes, while being as fast as any system I've seen(I've seen most). Once I realized there was not enough weight difference between TPX mags and 10rd tubes to matter to me the answer was obvious, get as many TPX mags as I used to carry tubes and I would gain efficiency. The advantage over the JABBS with the regulated TPX is worth more than 3 balls a mag.
The drawbacks to me of the stroker/squall type are as bad as they will get for anybody. I shoot alot and I shoot really fast. The loading system is not anything to cheer for and I want to pull a single trigger at 9bps and use 12 grams. Perhaps it's only the several strokers and 1 squall I've tried, but under rapid fire they don't get more than 15-16 shots from a 12ie and that's being kind.
Of course the sacrifice of going CA can be made.
Not by me.
I have no problem with the stroker/squall weight or size, I carried a P68SC for a couple decades, but they frankly don't perform as well as I demand my pistols perform.
Sydarm Vs Rear Feed and plug.
Rear feed and plug
Set spring, remove plug, pour in paint, replace plug, release spring.
Set spring, pour in paint, release spring.
These things are true. However in the course of a game and given some experience they don't matter enough to notice.
There is one other huge thing I do prefer with the magfed over the tubefed pistols.
Front or rear tubeload, whether it's a beautiful squall or a bargain basement delta68, you have to lose your sight picture to reload.
Your hands get in the way.
Sydarm style is with the pistol pointed up slightly to load and can sometimes be kept somewhat in the general direction of the target, whereas a rear plug pistol must be pointed down.
A magfed pistol can be reloaded without removing the sights from the target, this advantage is enormous.
Bear in mind that 10shot and I are both dedicated, experienced pistol players. I'm sure if I let 10shot wear my rig he'd do just fine in play, as I feel I would in his gear. We both follow Bruce Lee's motto "retain what is useful, discard what is useless". We react to our experience to make ourselves as tough as we can get, we simply have different experiences. I could add in MCBer and dedicated pistol player Dirtnap, who busts it just as hard as we do but with the T8. He's found a way to make that work for him that I respectfully disagree with, but I will not doubt for a second how tough both 10shot and Dirtnap are with their chosen pistols. Dirtnap and I played in a one on one portion of a pistol tournament, games were averaging 3-5 minutes with 5min the time limit. Our game ended after 18 seconds with both of us shooting the other, mine bounced, his broke.
That guy is the equal of any player with any marker I know, as is 10shot from having followed his exploits through the years.
Whatever pistol you may pick, know that. There's people out there leading the way that can show you how to succeed, decide what you want to shoot with and then make it work for you
Im not that good, mainly just overhyped which works for me :)
What I'm trying to say is with the rig you specifically have you can unload 192 rounds if my math is right way quicker than I can with all the advantages of a clip reload. You do have to watch your clips more which effects reload time as I can drop a whole lot of them without a lot of care. even with that your reload time is, for sake of arguement, let's say half the time of mine (not even averaging in reloading the 12-gram every 3 clips or whatever).
I however can unload 400 rounds quicker than you can as that's what I have in my pack tubed up. So my reload time is a little longer but my paint capacity is twice with a similar rig (butt pack only). Now if we where both OK with having a gargantuan hard point on our chest I can carry 800 rounds, I have yet to see a similar clip settup.
Another bonus is the lower cost per clip makes it so I can have a lot more paint loaded and ready at camp. I load up a box each game. Unless your spending a lot more money, to the point no ones done it that I know of, you can't have that many clips loaded. That's downtime, downtime is bad.
If your going to sling a box or two at a 24 hour game with a pistol Id say go with a standard style spring tube. If you can shoot less than that, which I am totally unable to do, I'd say use your settup. If your going in with only 8 clips because you want to roll like that, which I think is too little to be effective, I'd say go with the tac 8 as long as your carrying only the amount of paint those 12grams can shoot.
What Im saying is if your picking a rig souly based on playing one way or another mag fed guns work one way, tube fed guns another. They all have advantages/disadvantages, give and take. I for example lost around 50 speedcaps last time I actually was playing for a season, you have lost one your whole time playing with a tpx. Your platform would be prohibitively expensive being as careless as I am :p. You also can't throw the empties at people :)
You can swap your barrle out, I didn't have to do anything more than oil my gun and clean it for 9ish years before a rebuild. Your gun is way lighter than mine, mine has a revolver grip on it. Your gun requires a totally custom rig, mine is a mass produced butt pack and holster (albeit Im going to change that someday). A large portion of the cost for your guys rigs is the clips, mine is the gun. My gun is closed bolt, yours in blow forward.
Head to head your gun would absolutly have a huge advantage over mine. In terms of overall impact on the field though as long as I have at least enough support to stop a bunkering attempt I simply have twice as many rounds to put into play as you do. That's simply a debate over paint capacity though.
As educational as always guys! I do always find it interesting when people say that TPX mags are hard to reload mid game. It really is like saying 10 rd tubes are hard to reload.
I hope I'll find out for myself in august, 10shot! Heinlein said that anyone who talks about themselves walks a tightrope between egotism and false modesty. I can tell we both try to stay balanced.
A factor to remember is that using the cumulative advantages of weight gain with the TPX, I don't empty my max load with a pistol.
I do it with 2 pistols, weighing in around the same as a single squall or a little less than a T8 with 2mags.
This grows my options exponentially.
I can empty both pistols in under a second. That means to me that in any given moment I can put 14bps out in 2 different directions at once.:p
My point was it doesn't matter if you have 400 tubes or 4, to use them you're going to have to pour them AGAIN into a magazine. To use industrial terms, you're double handling. Out of off-field supply into tube, then from tube to magazine. Instead of off-field supply into magazine. Even when I empty all my mags and have to reload them on the field, I think, well at least I'm not filling tubes, just to do this same job later with them into a mag.
When I'm reloading mags onfield in actual play with my pistolpod it averages out to 3 seconds a mag reload time(starting hands free with empty mags in loops). The pistolpod for 7rder is the exact same size as an APP 50rd pod and just as easy to carry. My personal extra capacity shoulder pack is 4 pistolpods, so 28 more mags worth and 12 co2. I have 2 of them if necessary.:ROTFL: but I have a larger camelback with small pack that can hold 8 also. That 56 mags plus the original 24 make 80 mags, or 560rds, that would have to do me, I guess...:rolleyes:
Not to mention that it's not uncommon for me to get deliveries as teammates insert, due to radio comm.
With the TPX at the big games I played year before last I averaged a bag of paint a day, so roughly 250 a 3 hour session(this is half what I shot with the zeus/T8 combo, but I scored more total eliminations). Last year was mostly a wash as my mobility was at a minimum with the broken leg. This year with the new rig, I will shoot whatever is required but expect it to be about the same. I've gotten fairly casual about firing single shots. In one of the games I helmet cammed this summer, my friend walt and I start getting fired on from the upper window of a tower. 100' to the tower, with the window 14' up and without thinking I casually leaned out and gave him 1 in the grill. With my zeus a few years before that, I'd have come out and given him all I had in the pistol. As my confidence rises that my pistol will deliver, the amount of paint I feel the need to shoot goes down. All things considered, I'M alot tougher today as far as my capability of contributing to a team. I can go further, faster and do more damage when I get there. Having 2 identically tuned, accurate, light pistols with the capability to carry on as long as is needful, is my dreamtrain and I'm on it.
That being said, if the TPX never happened, I'd be hitting it as hard as I could with whatever I had:ROTFL:.
My pistols didn't REQUIRE a custom rig, i gave them one as a present. I did quite well with a $9 UTG belt, 2 $30 UTG holsters and, though I chose a fancy $30 6o4 mag pouch, I only had to buy 3, as each holds 4 mags. That plus 2 $10 surplus m4 mag pouches that held pistolpods. I could carry 2 pistols, 14 mags, reloads for all 14 mags and 12 co2, total cost $180.
Again, budgets must be obeyed, but that fit well within mine as I spread it out over months a piece at a time.
These 6o4 mag pouches are excellent for any style rig, but I found myself unable to easily return empty mags to them. This caused me to need two places on my gear for 1 piece of equipment. A mag pouch and a dump pouch. The focus of the rig I made is to give me a comfortable, light, secure mag pouch that I could put a mag into, as easily as I could remove one. In this way the small tight pocket over each group of loops on my pants only needs to hold it's 3 mags when empty. Each cup on my magslide can be reached with either hand to return an empty. Keeping track of who's where is doable.
I've never factored hard points into my calculations, if someone's good enough to hit me with a paintball(often it's not that hard), then they deserve to have it break, IMO. But these chest rigs and such are movement killers. If the size of your gear bundled into a burlap bag is the same size as a player's gear with a regular marker, then you're missing out on some of the advantages inherent in pistol play.
I also submit that you're so 'careless' with 10rd tubes, because they're cheap, easily breakable and basically disposable. I submit into evidence the fact that you've never lost a much smaller feed plug. I think you'd do fine with mags.
Also, I have nailed my friend Walt with an empty TPX mag to get his attention in game. It flies alot better than a 10rd tube, range galore!
Lol :) I lost it once, at VIP, it would have been 50 bucks or so,mething if they still made them, which they don't. Deffinate drawback.
I shoot more like half a box to a full box in one day of big game play. Loading tubes is horrid, its the worst part of pistol play. I can load a box, never wished for more than just a few more with that. Having to reload a bunch of clips on field would be a pain.
Its not which is harder, its that once I the tubes loaded they are set to go. You have to reload your mags at some point in the game. It would drive me nuts.
Ahh, the missing piece of our puzzle heaves into view!
I was never willing to accept the mobility loss of harnessing that many tubes, nor because of my peculiar situation, did I need to. I reloaded tubes on the field all the time anyway, remember there is NOT 1 second time difference between loading a mag and a tube, it's not any 'harder'. You have to hold the gate out of the way with a magazine, but you don't have to uncap and cap it like a tube, it's a tie overall, IMO.
With my zeus and my P68SC I carried 24 tubes, all on my belt. 8 in my cops911 rear pouch, 4 ea in in zipper pouches that fit T8 mags also, 3 on my zeus holster and 5 in the external pocket of my P68sc holster. I usually wore my 8 rd pistolpod to keep the sheridan fed and tubed the zeus.
With my zeus and my T8 I carried 8 tubes in cops911 pouch, 3 tubes on holster, usually 1 T8 mag in 1 zippered pouch and 4 tubes in the other and a pistolpod to reload everything. So 15 tubes.
The reason I am able to do this and still put out a ton of paint is that I'm a Great Lakes Ranger. We're a big team that generally has at least a dozen players at HS events, the team travels alot to Sherwood and other fields as well, though I'm more the homebody type, the last 5 years. With HS an hour away and vacation time at a premium(I work on the weekends so other than playing every sunday in open class, I have to use vacation for every event and I'm fitting bird dog trials into that too, judging twice in april), it's 2 scenarios and 3 big games, with 100 player groups on sunday and that's plenty of good paintball. I have sworn to make a game at EMR next year.
We have good radio communications and can coordinate paint delivery from my own supply at the ezup.
Another factor is that I'm an old man:old:. If I find myself low on paint, it's entirely possible that I may simply do a run through on more people than I have paintballs. Even when this doesn't result in me being eliminated(rarely) at least I got some exercise and enjoyed the live action video game that is our hobby:ROTFL:.
Because of the jobs that I take on much of the time, I'm no stranger to the dead zone. My motto has always been "if you never get hit, you're not playing hard enough". This can vary enormously of course. At 09 monster, I fired a bag in the 1st session using 2 TPXs and 12 mags(all I had at the time) and 2 pistolpods. I lived 2 hours on the highland side, easing back and forth between the 3 bases on that side shooting people in ghillie suits.
I think I may have an unusual support structure that lets me do what I do the way I do it. :Focus:
I think you should give a pistolpod a try, if you call they'll make them any length, from a DRV 5 to a Stroker 10. It's just so blessed convenient.
They made them in a 105 originally, with 15 in a stack, perfect for the P68SC. When I said I was going to cut some down to 8 rounds high the owner, prototyped some and voila! This pic I took when I got the first one says it all to me, which of these do you want to have to keep track of while you're playing:
Once you get used to it, it's faster than tubes, IMO. Even if you stick with tubes, this is the BEST WAY TO LOAD THEM! you pour the paint in and then rotate the top to feed one chamber at a time.
EDIT:A quick vid of loading an 8rd TPX mag with one:
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