Price: $299.95 US / $325.95 CAD
Get one: Compulsive Paintball
The new 2011 Proto Rail is a pretty good entry level speedball paintball marker. Let’s start off this review with some specs and a quick overview from the Proto website.
There are some things I will note that you should know about the gun to make an educated buying decision. Let’s start off with the frame.
The frame on this gun is a composite frame, meaning not metal, and not aluminum. The reflex rail has an all aluminum frame, but it’s little brother does not. However, it does come with the aluminum back cap. This was a problem with past rails as the back cap would crack or break and the player would have to go out and purchase a metal back cap to keep this from happening. Proto has stepped up and made the aluminum back cap standard on both the 2011 Rail and Reflex Rail. I thought that was pretty nice of them and useful to me. But yes, sadly the frame is composite. You will need to upgrade to the Ultralite aluminum frame if you should wish to have full metal construction of the gun. I will note that this composite frame is durable however and can take quite a beating should you with to punish your marker in such a way. I have played with this gun recently and it made it though every test I could throw at it. I dove and slid into bunkers and the marker had no problems contacting the ground. No worries there.
If you are the type of person who likes to tweak and upgrade your markers for better performance (which I’m sure you are), you will want to replace the stock barrel. I am not saying that the stock barrel isn’t any good, because it’s actually not that bad, but a 2 piece barrel kit isn’t a bad move. It gives you much more options for paint to bore match which in turns gives you better accuracy and air efficiency. For those of you who are wondering, ANY COCKER THREADED BARREL WILL WORK. Caps so you won’t miss it. So many people ask what threads the Rail is. There you have it.
The feed neck that was on the Rail that I used was locking, but it did not have a locking lever. You had to lock the feed neck onto your loader with allen keys. Not a bad thing, but it gets old every time you want to take your loader on or off, especially when you get used to having a locking feed neck with a lever. You may want to get one for the ’11 Rail should you choose to purchase it. Enough said about that. It’s pretty self explanatory.
Air efficiency. This is something everyone wants to know about. Is the Proto 2011 Rail air efficient? Yes and No. It really depends. Break the gun in a bit, then retest it. From my experience with the ’11 Rail, the gun wasn’t that bad. It could have been better, but I was actually quite pleased with it. I mean, you need to remember you only paid $300 for this marker you know. Depending on tank size, temperature, and paint to bore match, you are looking at anywhere from 900-1300 shots of paint. I was averaging around 1100 shots on a 68/45. This was indoor and I had good paint to bore matches. Depending on your circumstances, you could expect the same from your marker after you have it good and broken in. Just remember to maintain it.
All in all, this is a nice marker and it is an improvement over previous Rails. If you purchase this marker, you will not be disappointed. With some minor tweaks and upgrades, you can have this marker shooting nice and clean with air to spare. Which reminds me, the TechT bolt would be a pretty nice upgrade. So I hope you found this review at least semi-helpful. If you did, leave me a comment with any questions or concerns.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for an entry level tournament quality gun from a trusted manufacturer, you will not be disappointed with the 2011 Proto Rail. With minor upgrades and tweaks, you will have a marker that will allow you to up your game. This marker runs with the best of them and it was a pleasure getting to play with this marker. I recommend this marker to you if you are thinking about picking one up. It really is nice!
Oh come on, you didn’t really think that I was done with this marker did you? There are a couple more things I would like to add. The eye pipe is outstanding, as always with Dye/Proto markers. Out of all the paint I shot, and yes it was over 2000 rounds, I did not break one ball. It was amazing I assure you. I was shooting around 280ish FPS. Now I’m done with the post.