Stock Class Paintball. Just the phrase conjures up different pictures on one's mind. It also starts more arguments on the internet with no defining conclusion. I decided to set out and find out why. The Origins of Stock Class Paintball
First, we have to find out where stock class paintball originated. Most will think back to the days when Splatmasters and Nelspots roamed the Earth. Actually, it all began in 1992 when the Stock Gun Players Association (SGPA) was formed. Founded by Marty C. Nation M.D., the SGPA, wanted to define what Stock Class paintball was:
The "Stock Class" was created to bring paintball back to the roots of the
game. When the Stock Class Paintball Players Association was being formed, there was much discussion as to exactly what "stock class" meant. We started to get hung up on the technical definitions of the guns themselves and forgot about the purpose of forming the group. We wanted everyone to play with the same basic technical limitations. No constant air. No quick changers for the 12 grams. No direct feeds. No hoppers. Paintball playing skill and tactics should decide who wins and who loses, not how much money you can spend on a gun and paint.
stock class rules laid out by the SGPA are as follows:
(From Stock Gun Players Association- SGPA fax)
A stock gun is powered by a single 12 gram powerlet. It is a pump
gun. The paintballs are gravity fed from a tube that is parallel to the
The barrel may be any length but must be smoothbore and solid.
This means- no holes, rifling, or muzzle brakes. There can be one
barrel addition but it may not exceed eight inches from the tip of the
(original gun's) barrel and may not be drilled, rifled, etc.
The feed tube can not hold more than 20 paintballs either capped or
with a tube inserted. It must be flat and can have no ramps to
encourage balls to roll to the bolt. There can be no arrangement to
impede the balls from rolling off the bolt except the thickness of the
main body and the tube above it. There can only be one ball in the
same plane as the entrance to the bolt. This means an arrangement
where the ball drops to the side then into the bolt is not allowed.
No quick changes for the CO2. This means the knob holding the
CO2 in must be unscrewed and the powerlet dropped out through
the threads. For safety reasons, the knob must be turned at least
one and one half full revolutions to remove it. No check valves.
Removing the CO2 must inactivate the gun.
Any type of stocks, grips, and sights are allowed.
The Stock Class Paintball Association was in the March 1994 issue of APG and that article can be read here: Back to Basics - Stock Class Paintball
We've seen dozens of different variants posted on the internet. Some with changes to allow for certain exceptions. One being an exception for the Nelspot since you needed to remove the grip panel (The CO2 did not drop out through the threads), and an exception for the Crossman 3357, a double action .50 caliber revolver.
The original format from the above fax went on to be written as such to allow for these exceptions:
ORIGINAL FORMAT STOCK CLASS
- Feed/Operating System
- A stockgun must be manually operated. Some manually actuated mechanical manipulation must be performed to load a ball and cock the paintmarker's action. No semi-automatics or double- actions (with the exception of the Crosman 3357 Spotmarker).
- A stockgun can only be powered by a SINGLE 12 gram powerlet.
- The paintballs are gravity fed from a tube that is parallel to the barrel. The outer circumference of the tube, or stock feed block, must touch the outer circumference of the barrel.
- The feed tube can not hold more than 20 paintballs either capped or with a tube inserted.
- The magazine tube or feeding block's outer circumference must touch the outer circumference of the barrel. It must be parallel to the longitudinal axis of the barrel. It must be flat and can have no ramps to encourage balls to roll to the bolt. (This is to prevent any design that provides enough space to stack another paintball so that will be ready to load without tilting the paintmarker.)
- In the feed tube there can be no arrangement to impede the balls from rolling off the bolt except the thickness of the main body and the tube above it.
- No direct feeds, the paintmarker must be tilted to load EVERY paintball.
- Power System
- No quick changes for the CO2. This means the knob holding the CO2 in must be unscrewed and the powerlet dropped out through the threads. (With the exception of: Nelspot 007 & Crosman 3357 Spotmarker. Because the grip panels must be removed to change 12 grams, they have been made exceptions.) However, Battlegrips for the Nelspot (that have a drop out hole for the twelve gram) are not permitted.
- For safety reasons, the knob must be turned at least one and one half full revolutions to remove it. No check valves. Removing the CO2 must inactivate the 'marker.
- Rat-a-tac, Phantom stock class, and other "bucket-type" quick changers are permitted.
- The barrel may be any length but must be smoothbore and solid. This means- no holes, rifling, or muzzle brakes.
- There can be one barrel addition but it may not exceed eight inches from the tip of the (original marker's) barrel and may not be drilled, rifled, etc.
- Other Equipment
- No autotriggers.
- Any type of stocks, grips, and sights are allowed. With the exception of the Battlegrips for the Nelspot, that have a drop out hole for the twelve gram.
Examples of TRUE STOCK CLASS GUNS are as follows:
Examples would be the Nelspot 007,
and certain clones, the Sheridan PGP, PMI-1, KP Rifle, and P68SC are true
Even in 1996, folks did not like the Phantoms or Carter guns. The early stock class adopters were against the arms race of pump guns, just as much as the arms race with semi-automatic paintball guns as seen in the quote below:
The Carters, Phantoms, and Taso guns are abominations of the term "stock", as they bring the high-tech aspect into an area that should be left alone.
But today we're quick to call a Phantom, or a Carter, or anything with a "horizonal looking feed", a stock class gun. But according to the original rules, they are in fact NOT stock class. They have both auto-triggers and barrel porting, and some guns that Earon Carter built didn't exactly have a "horizontal feed". Due to a slight angle in the feed tube, the paintball was allowed to roll forward, without a rocking movement.
The original group - The Stock Gun Players Association did not want to allow guns that were capable of auto-triggering, or what they considered "high-tech" pump guns.
Many players have commented upon the technical requirements set forth by the Stock Gun Players Association as being too restrictive, auto-triggers and barrel design being the hot topics of discussion...
Wanting to avoid another "arms race" and standardize the Stock Class concept, the SGPA holds fast to these limitations.
Jim Lively held stock class divisions in both the 1993 Bay City Masters and the 1993 International Masters.
This is when Stock Class, NOT the SGPA, but stock class as a concept began to loosen the rules.
...but if these limitations means only two people can play "stock", then you need to allow some change in the definition.
Phantoms and Carters don't fall into the original definition as being
"stock" because they have auto-triggers. However, at the Masters Stock
Class competition, they were allowed in with the provision that "No
auto-triggering is allowed." During the two years of Stock Class
competition at the Masters, no one violated this rule. When asked about
this, several players simply stated that an auto-triggered shot is a
wasted shot. In stock class, you need to aim. Plus, what's the use of
trying to auto-trigger from a horizontal feed. Unless you're shooting down
a hill, you'll probably chop a ball.
From there, the stock class rules were modified to allow the use of Phantoms, Carters, and other guns that had porting and auto triggers, with the understanding that you would NOT use your auto trigger. From here on out the rules would continue to state "No auto trigger", but no longer meaning you couldn't have a gun with an auto-trigger, just that you couldn't use it in the game. Otherwise, if this hard fast rule was still followed, 95% of the guns we use today would not be allowed, because they are not stock class.
The APG article even stated:
The presence of auto-triggers has been an area of debate, but everyone agrees, auto-triggering is not allowed.
The "concept" of Stock Class began to transform and change. The SGPA no longer had a death grip on the Stock Class players, and we started to see an emergence of what was called "Modified Stock Class" Modified Stock Class
This is where everything gets muddy. There are no set rules for Modified Stock Class. There are some generally accepted rules, but it varies on who you ask. StockClassPaintball.com
says that modified stock class:
CCI Phantom's website
Modified Stock Class- Allows auto-triggers, and either a constant air tank OR a hopper (not both)
has had it listed since 1998 as such:
1. Paintball Gun
a. Pump action, 0.68 caliber.2. Paintballs
b. Single 12 gram CO2 powerlet only. No check valves.
c. Requires the removal (unscrewing) knob or housing to change the powerlet. (No lever changers.)
d. Horizontal feed, 20 round maximum.
e. Vertical feed, 10 round maximum. (Any configuration that allows more than one paintball to be stacked over the breech feed opening.)
f. External velocity adjusters must be locked into position.
g. Any length barrel. No silencers or sound suppressor extensions.
h. Any type of stocks, grips and sights.
a. 0.68 caliber3. Chronographing
b. Unaltered factory condition.
c. No coating with powders, sprays or any substances.
a. Maximum firing velocity for horizontal feed 300 f.p.s..4. Goggles / Clothing / Equipment
b. Maximum firing velocity for vertical feed 275 f.p.s..
c. Each player must chrono upon exiting the field with a fresh 12 gram powerlet.
d. (1) Clearing shot is allowed. The average of (3) shots is recorder. Firing above the maximum velocity shall be assessed penalties as follows:
Horizontal feed. 301 to 316 f.p.s. - (2) points per foot.
317 f.p.s. and above - (50) points maximum.
Vertical feed. 276 to 291 f.p.s. - (2) points per foot.
292 f.p.s. and above - (50) points maximum.
a. Field approved goggle system with full-face protection.
b. Long sleeve shirt and pants sized to fit player, (2) layers of clothing maximum.
c. Oversized, draped or ghillie type clothes are prohibited. Bright polychromatic and water repellent clothing (e.g. nylon, vinyl and rubberized fabrics) are prohibited.
e. Kneepads and harness systems must be worn on the outside of clothing.
f. No equipment allowed on playing field that could be used to effect velocity settings.
g. No pyrotechnic or similar devices.
h. Inspection of player and equipment may be conducted on the playing field or staging area to determine safety and fair play.
And Durty Dan, whom I believe was the originator of the "modified stock class rules" has something slightly different than CCI's list. Dan's modified rules still did not allow for auto-triggers, while CCI's did. And why should CCI take that rule out... Their gun's have auto-triggers.
But I feel Durty Dan said it best when he said:
You have to remember that stock class rules, as so many stock class players seem to think, were not brought down from a mountain carved in stone tablets. Stock class rules SHOULD be modifiable so we can get more people playing stock class.
The final point is, what we would call our current modern day "Stock Class" rules are indeed NOT stock class as it was intended. The rules are modified, and seemingly arbitrary. We modify the "stock class rules" as we see fit to either include or excluded guns or features we either like or don't like. Not because it IS some sort of rule we're following.
If we were to follow the original SGPA rules, we could not use Phantoms, Carter's, RTR Gargoyles, et al.
Should we allow the use of a tank with a horizonal feed as stockclasspaintball puts in their modified rules? We could.
Should we allow the use of direct feeds with 10 round vertical stick feeds but using 12 grams as CCI says? We could.
These are the modified rules. Yet many today will tell you using a vertical stick feed isn't stock class, while using a Phantom paintball gun, that isn't stock class either, but only allowed due to a modified version of the original rules. Proposing a Modern Day Stock Class Set of Rules The New Proposed Rules
- Pump Paintball Gun - Some manually actuated mechanical manipulation must be performed to load a ball and/or cock the action (No pneumatic assist, electronic, or mechanical advantage is allowed to assist in moving the bolt to load the paintball)
- Stick Feed (Single stacked paintballs, 20 round max) running parallel to the gun or Vertical Stick (10 round max). No force feeds/springs allowed.
- Single 12-gram changer (No 6-paks, turret changers etc)
What does this do? This allows for any and all pump guns. Direct feed, horizonal feed, it doesn't matter. Any direct feed style gun can easily be adapted with a 45 degree elbow and a stick that runs horizontal to the body of the gun. Allowing someone to even use their old WGP Sniper II
We allow the use of all single use 12 gram changers. This is to be sure certain guns like the Duck or Re-dux with the slam changer don't get excluded.
When we think stock class, we immediately think horizontal feed. We will however make an exception for a 10 round vertical stick feed. Some guns may not have the ability to be turned horizontal, and therefore will be limited to 10 rounds. Think of the Empire ER2, where you just jam a 10 round tube into the direct feed port. We're also going to add this in because some horizontal feeds are not perfectly horizontal, and instead of trying to differentiate what is perfectly horizontal and what is not... we'll just make sure they're covered by the rules and allowed.
What happened to the old rules?
The concept of stock class has changed, so we must change too. Nelspots are not just stock class anymore... They're vintage. You can no longer purchase them new. Just as they have special races for vintage motorcycles and vintage snowmobiles, maybe time has come to make a vintage stock class game? And since stock class no longer means what it used to mean, let's redefine it. Out of this I think we can create what can be called the "Vintage Stock Class", "Stock Class" (with the proposed rules), and an "Open Class" for pump paintball. Conclusion
In doing the research for this project, I've found that what we call "stock class" is very far from the original foundation that was laid out. Everything done today is a modified version with our "ideal" way that we want to see stock class, thrown into the rules. With all the different modified versions of stock class rules on the internet, we're really just picking and choosing what we want to play to purposely exclude others. Stock Class seems to be the original elitist group of paintball.
Let's not keep it that way.
Pump guns are readily available today from many different manufacturers, both in-expensive and top of the line.
All pump guns can be run on 12 grams. Sure, certain low pressure guns (ones that run on HPA like CCM) will need to be re-sprung for CO2, but it can be done. We will be putting together a how-to on re-springing your pump gun for CO2.
Horizontal feeds and 10 round tubes can still be purchased. I put in the vertical feed to not exclude certain pumps but also to leave the door open to someone that only had an old gravity fed hopper. 10 rounds in the hopper isn't enough to take away the skill aspect. Also "house rules" on the amount of paint a hopper fed gun user can take with them can be enacted.
Durty Dan is quoted saying:
I feel that we must change with the times and embrace new technology available to us. There is nothing wrong with using technology in stock class so long as it does not take the skill out of the game, like it has with the rest of paintball.
I believe these simple rules are all we need in paintball to redefine the concept of Stock Class. The original idea of stock class has long been ignored and our own ideals projected onto what we thought it should be or how we reinterpreted the rules. Let us be open to allowing pump guns, firing a limited amount of paint, allowing us as players to continue to utilize our skills. To me, that is the true and modern day concept of Stock Class.
 Dirty Dan's Website - What is stock Class
- or Mirror of it: What is Stock Class (archive.org)
 Rec.Sport.Paintball Discussion Group - Stock Class Rules
 Original Stock Class FAQ - Feb, 1996 Stock Class FAQ
 StockClassPaintball.com FAQ - Stock Class Paintball FAQ
 Phantom Online - Tournament Guidlines
 APG Article - Back to the Basics