The rebirth of 50 cal paintball started in 2009 with the founding of G.I. Milsim which was a joint venture between Richmond Italia of ProCaps Paintballs and Adam and Bill Gardner of Smart Parts.
Now 50 cal paintballs are not a new idea but they had fallen out of favor many years back. One of the biggest downsides of existing 50 cal paintballs was their poor marking ability. But they did have the advantage of being low impact which was a plus for attracting new players. Other advantages included a lower cost per ball and higher gas efficiency, both of which would be attractive to field owners.
So formulating a better marking 50 cal paintball was Richmond Italia’s first goal. And to go with this paintball new markers were designed. The two examples shown here both show their Smart Parts heritage.
The Nano50 is a spool valve design that has many similarities to the ION. Whereas the Impulse50 is a poppet valve design that looks like a scaled down version of its bigger brother the 68 cal Impulse. Both of these markers are light in the hand and feel tiny compared to their 68 cal brothers.
But in the end the 50 cal grand vision was never fulfilled. Whilst a number of other makers did jump onto the 50 cal bandwagon it never achieved widespread public support, there just wasn’t enough of an advantage to 50 cal. So today 50 cal is primarily relegated to spring powered paintball markers used for low impact kids paintball. On a side note the Chameleon barrel kit shown was signed by the pro team Joy Division in 2010.