Ben Tippmann, formerly of Tippmann Pneumatics, formed his own paintball manufacturing company and named it after his initials, BT. BT became known for its wide range of paintball guns, also known as markers. The BT-16 is called a “milsim” marker because it has a design that simulates the M-16 rifle of the U.S. military. There are several versions of this milsim marker from the loaded BT-16 Tactical to the simplified BT-16 Elite.
The BT-16 receiver and grip frame is billet machined from a block of aircraft grade aluminum. Other paintball markers are built from a multitude of cast aluminum pieces screwed together. The high grade of the billet machined aluminum also allows BT to hard anodize its receivers, which creates a much longer lasting finish than most markers have.
Although the exterior of the BT-16 is based on the design of the M-16, the BT-16’s operation is similar to the Tippmann A5. The BT-16 utilizes a poppet style valve. The valve is hit by a hammer to release gas and drive the paintball through the barrel, while simultaneously pushing the hammer back for another strike on the valve.
Military Simulation Design
The BT-16 Elite is the most basic and stripped down version in the line, but even this marker has the T shaped rear charging handle of the U.S. Military’s M-16. In addition, the BT-16 Elite has all the rails and attachment points needed to add the same accessories that come on the BT-16 tactical.
BT-16 Feed Port & Sight Rail
The BT-16 has a collet style screw that locks down the neck of the feed port. This feed port lies along the center line of the top of the receiver right in front of the sight rail. This rail supports M-16 sights and is compatible with a variety of other military sights and scopes.
Air System Adapter & Foregrip Rail
The BT-16 utilizes a standard Air System Adapter (ASA) that comes out of the bottom of the grip frame right in front of the trigger guard. The CO2 tank can be attached and hung vertically here, or a hose can be attached to run down to the bottom of the pistol grip. That will allow the CO2 tank to be carried horizontally just under the stock. It also has a Picatinny rail right in front of the ASA that has the necessary slots to accommodate quick snap-on accessories such as a flashlight or bipod. The BT-16 tactical has a Picatinny rail on the top of the receiver as well instead of the Elite’s smooth sight rail.
The BT-16 usually goes for $300, but you may find a slightly better price for one barely out of the box. BT paintball doesn’t show the Tactical model on its website as of 2010, but they have a variety of 2010 markers that range from $110 to $460 depending on the features you want.