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In order to enjoy your paintball game to the fullest, you will certainly need all your paintball gear. A paintball hopper is one of the gears that you definitely want to invest in.
A hopper also known as a paintball loader is a gear that you attach to your paintball gun.
The hopper is used to hold several rounds of balls, the ones that tend to store into your paintball gun for firing.
However, it can be a bit difficult to find the perfect paintball hopper especially if you don’t have any relevant knowledge about it.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry, base on testing and research we have come to an agreement that the Virtue Spire 3 is one of the best paintball hopper on the market today.
So without further ado, let’s take a more in-depth review of this high-quality hopper.
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Virtue Spire 3 Paintball Hopper Review
This paintball hopper is pretty light and compact and works amazingly well. It’s considered to be one of the most popular paintball loaders in the game right now.
This electronic paintball hopper will never let you down as far as its performance is concerned. A high level of durability can also be expected from this hopper.
Let’s take a look at some of the details about this superb quality hopper.
The Virtue Spire 3 Design
When it comes to the design of this paintball loader, it certainly reminds me of its older siblings. The hopper is very similar to the Spire 260 and the Spire 200 in terms of the appearance.
Personally I have always liked the way Spire looks the design was always eye-catching. Back in the days when Spire 200 hit the market, it was one of the most talked about – its unique design made it stand out against the regular shape of the Dye Rotor and Empire Prophecy. It’s great to see that the Virtue was able to keep up with their overall theme with its sharp and angular designs.
There have been several improvements in the Spire 3 as well as a few drawbacks that keep it competing as one of the best loaders in the paintball industry.
Let’s take a look at some of the upgrades.
Looking at the paintball hopper you’ll notice that the shell is the biggest upgrade in the Spire 3. On the older version, the shell was comprised of three pieces – top shell, bottom shell, and back shell. While it had three pieces, most people never got the top and bottom shell apart, so in terms of using the loader, it was essentially two pieces, the back shell, and the top/bottom shell.
Also, when needed to remove the internal tray, you have to remove the back shell and slide the tray out of the back. This tends to be easy, but over time a few of the plastic will break off causing the back shell not to stay attached to the loader.
Having a faulty backshell was one of the biggest problems on the Spire 200 and 260. Thanks to the new improvements, the Spire 3 now has a more traditional shell style, which splits the loader into two separate pieces.
It’s now a resemblance of the other high-end models like the Dye Rotor or HK Army TFX. There’s just a slight difference. If you are familiar with these new models you’ll notice that on the Rotor and TFX, the shells can easily be separated and you end up with a bottom and top half.
The Feed System/Tray
Base on testing and reviews, the Spire has one of the best feed systems out of all the other high-end paintball loaders on the market right now and the Spire 3 is even better.
The Spire is well known for its ability to load any kind of paint under any condition – it just works all the time and the same thing can be said about the new Spire 3. The Spire 3 uses the same drive cone design as the older models, but with a few upgrades.
One thing that most people complained about is that it didn’t feed fast enough. You don’t have to worry since the new Virtue’s improvements to the feed system have taken care of this issue. We like the fact that Spire 3 uses long fingers in its drive cone providing faster and smoother loading.
The Virtue has also improved the motor and software to enable higher feed rates. Also, you can easily dismantle the tray now. The board, raceway tray can be easily taken apart within minutes without the need of any tools.
We love the fact that Spire 3 now has an attached spring ramp. In the older models, the spring ramp used to be separated and we have to say that the spring ramps have gotten smarter than they used to be. Underneath the smart spring ramp is a microswitch that can tell when it’s in the fully extended position of the ramp.
There is absolutely no point in pressing it down. The smart ramp can judge the absence of paintballs in the loader, a speaker will beep once and two LEDs on the side of the loader will keep glowing red until the ramp identifies that there are paintballs again.
If you have a problem with the sound, there is a new force feed button right at the bottom to be pushed. If you want you can always push back the button to enable the sound.
Base on testing, the smart ramp feature is great and it comes in handy while on the battlefield playing against your opponents. It helps to remind you when you need to refill your gun with more paintballs.
When it comes to performance, the Spire 3 is definitely an improvement for the regular Spire. The Spire 3 has an upgraded drive cone, software, and a far better motor. The performance is guaranteed to be better which such amazing updates.
If you were comfortable with using the Spire 260 and Spire 200, then you are going to be surprised by how amazing the Spire 3 works.
Going by user reviews, the new Spire 3 has the ability to feed around 19 BPS, while the Spire fed around 15 BPS. The loader works just fine throughout the day without experiencing any problem.
The Spire 3 has the best performance you’ll ever find in any hopper on the market. A high-end loader is meant to serve its purpose and shouldn’t get in the way at any point. This is exactly what the Spire 3 does best.
Sometimes adding a lot of features doesn’t turn out well. Most successful products on the market are always simple and easy to operate. This is where the Virtue Spire comes into play with all it’s high-end paintball loaders and the Spire 3 definitely takes it to another level.
The Spire 3 has a very simple design that ensures that it keeps working under all conditions. It’s extremely durable, versatile, compact and lightweight and easy to take apart. The Virtue Spire 3 is without a doubt one of the best hoppers on the market.
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Alwayne is a Pro Paintball Coach in profession. He has a long experience as a Paintball Coach. Now, Alwayne is sharing over 10 years of experience of all tips and tricks about paintballs. The reviews and guide are elaborate at its best!