A paintball marker capable of ramping.
Most paintballer players want guns that shoot as rapidly and accurately as possible, and paintball “marker” technology has always tried to answer that wish. Ramping, which increases rapid fire capability, was one such development. While it allows paintballers to fire paintballs at an extremely rapid rate, it has also caused some competitive inbalances that have led some tournaments to ban ramping.
The “ramping” name is derived from the fact that the gun’s rate of fire is “ramped-up” as the player pulls the trigger. When the shooter pulls the trigger of a ramping-enabled standard semi-automatic at a certain rate, the electronic mechanism inside the gun switches the feed from semi-automatic to fully-automatic. The switch is imperceptible on many guns, making it difficult for referees to detect when players have enabled ramping.
There are three main modes of ramping. Each mode is determined by the gun’s PACT timer that measures the rate of fire and the delay between each shot.
PSP Ramping requires three shots before the gun switches to ramping mode. When on the semi-automatic mode, the player must fire at a rate of at least five balls per second to initiate the ramping to full-auto. The maximum rate of fire in this mode is 13 balls per second.
NXL Ramping requires three shots before initiation. The player only has to hold down the trigger to initiate the increased rate of fire (full-auto). The maximum rate of fire for NXL ramping is 13 balls per second.
Millennium Ramping is initiated when the player pulls the trigger at least six times per second. The fully automatic rate will shoot 12 balls per second.
Players and manufacturers have tried increasing the speed of the firing mechanism ever since electric markers were introduced in the late 1980s. The Tippmann SMG 60, introduced in 1987, was the first gun capable of full-auto fire and was quickly modified so ramping could take place.
Ramping gave players with expensive fully-automatic power an advantage over those players with non-electric markers. The first bans of it came in the mid 1990s just as ramping-enabled guns became popular. Many paintball fields then posted rules and regulations that prohibited players from ramping. PSP ramping has been accepted by some paintball leagues and in some tournaments, but other types of ramping are typically banned from those competitions.
Players who use fully-automatic guns can inadvertently shoot opponents more than they intend to, which leads to injuries beyond what a standard paintball gun could do. When PSP ramping is allowed in tournaments, the speed of the guns is sometimes lowered to reduce the chance of injury.