|The Piranha STS G3 is part of the next generation of paintball markers from PMI (Pursuit Marketing Inc.). It is the improved version of its older brother, the STS G2. We were given a couple of weeks to test the STS G3 VF (Vertical Feed), and found out that it is very well made and lives up to PMIs outstanding reputation. The STS G3 is also available with a powerfeed as opposed to the vertical feed. A set of o-rings, allen wrenches, a spare hammer spring, and a barrel plug were included with the STS G3.|
The STS G3 comes with two color choices, either with a black or Titanium finish. The STS G3 with a deep black finish makes for excellent camouflage. Black will not stand out in a crowd and wont turn too many players heads while you are standing on the sidelines, but it will help conceal your position when you are playing woods games. If you are more into having a hot looking gun, then you may want to spend the extra few dollars and get the STS G3 with the Titanium color scheme (Note Picture on Right). Colors aside, the STS G3 looks decked out when you consider that it is loaded with goodies like the gas thru grip, vertical feed, beavertail, and a ported barrel. Overall, the STS G3 gets an 'A' in the appearance category.
The Piranha STS G3 is packed with features for the advanced paintball player. The STS G3 sits near the top of the Piranha gun line. The list of features standard on the STS G3 includes a ported barrel, double finger trigger, patented Ram Air chamber, quick adjusting velocity knob, raised sight rail, stainless steel valve, true venturi bolt, gas thru foregrip, 10 degree bottomline adapter, rear beaver tail (for a limited time), and a one year warranty from PMI. The PMI guys went all out to stack the STS G3 with some very nice features.
|Feature: Trigger and Trigger Frame|
One great feature on the STS G3 is the light weight trigger pull. The trigger is smooth and light, and with the help of the double finger trigger, it is possible to shoot about 7 - 8 balls per second. The trigger frame is constructed from lightweight plastic that keeps the STS G3 light and easy to maneuver. The only downside to the trigger frame is that it has plastic grips that are slippery when wet.
|Feature: Ram Air Chamber:|
The Ram Air chamber is a radical, new design recently introduced to the paintball market by PMI. The concept behind the Ram Air low pressure chamber is based on the action of an internal spring which forces CO2 out of the low pressure chamber and back into the valve, allowing the paintball gun to operate at a lower pressure. Lowering the operating pressure of a paintball gun allows the balls to get a longer push out of the barrel as opposed to a single, short pop of air. We did not break any paintballs in the barrel during testing, having the addition of the Ram Air chamber helped to lower the output pressure of the gun, making ball breaks less likely.
|Feature: Vertical Feed:|
The STS G3 comes with either a vertical feed or is also available with a powerfeed (feeds from side). A vertical feed allows balls to feed faster into the gun, making it harder to chop balls when rapid firing. Having a vertical feed can be either a good feature or a bad feature depending on your style of play. A vertical feed protrudes straight up from the body of the marker, and makes it impossible to aim by looking down the top of the barrel. Instead of being able to look straight down the barrel, you must aim by looking along side the barrel. If you plan on playing speedball where you will need to fire paintballs rapidly, the vertical feed will probably work best for you. If you are more into the woods setting and never need to shoot more then 5 balls per second, you may want to consider getting a STS G3 with a powerfeed.
Time for what we would consider the most important test, accuracy testing. All the goodies on a paintball gun don't mean a thing unless it can shoot straight. We used PMI Premium paintballs and ran our tests at 65 degrees. We secured the STS G3 into a clamp on a sturdy bench to ensure that the gun could not move between shots.
We shot 10 paintballs at each target from four different ranges: 45, 65, 85, and 105 feet. The pictures of our tests and out conclusions are posted below so you can check out the results.
The STS G3 performed well at all four ranges, and no shots missed the targets. The stock barrel proved itself to be accurate to within 15 inches (measured horizontally) at 85 feet. Tight enough to easily tag another paintball player. The STS G3 proved to us that it was a real competitor when it comes to accuracy.
|Velocity Consistency |
To test the velocity consistency of the STS G3, we mounted it securely on our testbench and chronographed the guns speed to about 275 feet per second. We ran this test running CO2 at a temperature of 65 degrees on a sunny day. The graph on the left shows the velocity for each shot taken in each of the two ten shot series we recorded. The second string was fired 10 minutes after we completed the first series of shots. We were surprised to see that the STS G3 was usually staying within about 4 - 5 feet per second of 275 FPS during both strings of shots. The STS G3 was very consistent on the chronograph. The addition of the Ram Air chamber on the STS G3 helped maintain a consistent velocity during testing. The STS G3 performed very well, and even surprised us by making a strong showing with regards to velocity consistency.
|Field Stripping & Maintenance|
The STS G3 is simple to disassemble and remove the bolt for cleaning, however it is not quite as easy to reassemble. The STS G3 has a field strip pin that can be easily removed to allow quick access to both the bolt and the striker. Removal is easy, as the bolt and striker are interconnected by a connecting pin. From there each part can be disassembled and cleaned. Reinserting the bolt / striker unit is more complicated. Since the bolt and striker are attached to the hammer spring, it can be difficult to hold the assembly together while inserting it back into the gun. PMI made it easier to reassemble the STS G3 by adding a button on the grip that will release the trigger sear to allow the bolt / striker assembly to freely slide over the trigger frame and into place. After cleaning the gun a few times, disassembling and reassembling the STS G3 becomes second nature.
|Balance and Field Performance|
After running the STS G3 through our rigorous PGR performance testing, we packed it up and headed out to the paintball field. We loaded down the STS G3 hopper with 150 paintballs and noted that the gun balanced well when loaded with paint. The light weight was a refreshing change when running quickly from bunker to bunker without being weighted down by a heavy gun. The STS G3 proved itself as a quick and agile competitor on the field. We even managed to tag a few of the tough guys running around with their super guns. The STS G3 worked great on the field and proved itself as a great paintball gun for the advanced paintball player.
|The truth and nothing but the truth:|
The STS G3 performed very well throughout our testing and proved itself in our accuracy, consistency, and field testing. This is a accurate, light, and quick maneuvering gun. All the great features packed into this Piranha make it a great package for players just getting into the game or for the advanced player looking to upgrade to a tournament level gun. The STS G3 met up to PMIs high quality standards, and as a result, it comes highly recommended by us, Team PGR, and has earned our seal of approval. Great performance, great price, great gun.
|Buy the STS G3 VF (Vertical Feed)|
Buy the STS G3 (Power Feed)