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Empire SYX Review

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The release of Empire’s SYX model paintball marker caused quite a stir in the speedball community when it first entered the market. Based off of the renowned Axe series, the Empire SYX has taken many of the factors that earned the Axe series its popularity and improved upon it.

If you are looking for a marker that will serve you well against an intermediate to advanced level of competition, then the Empire SYX is an excellent choice for you.

Key Features of the SYX

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  • Improved Bolt System
  • Home Serviceable Regulator
  • Tool less Battery Door in Foregrip
  • Multi-function Redline OLED Board

Empire SYX Specifications

When Empire first launched the Mini back in 2006, the paintball community were not happy, and for good reason. Frankly, it was crap. Realising their mistake, they soon released the Mini GS, which was a dramatic improvement and it still considered to be an excellent entry/ mid-level marker for speedball.

Empire went on to release the Axe and Axe Pro, both of which were excellent improvements on the Mini GS. While the Empire SYX is not strictly the latest successor of the Axe series, it is heavily based off of the Axe Pro- and for good reason. The Axe Pro is a solid marker that performs well and is durable.

As such, many elements of the Axe Pro have been incorporated into the SYX. My personal experience has taught me that no two paintball guns are alike, and it would be wrong to assume that the Empire SYX is just an Axe Pro with a few new bells and whistles.

The New Bolt System is Awesome

First of all, Empire took a hard look at their already excellent bolt system and improved it even more. As a result, the Empire SYX performs better than the Axe Pro and is much gentler on the balls. You won’t find this baby chopping much paint, even when you use lighter, more fragile paintballs. In fact, Empire’s redesigned bolt system continues to be one of the best on the market.

The new bolt system was not completely new, however. It still features the same spring and bolt guide as the Axe, but the poppet and housing has seen some changes. This is great news as the bolt system on the Empire Axe series had an issue where the face would not always seal properly. That issue has been fixed with the new Empire SYX bolt system.

Another upside of the redesigned bolt system is that it is a bit longer which adds a bit of volume and lowers the pressure to around 165 PSI. From these changes, you can expect a decrease in velocity drop off and an increase in consistency. This calls for high fives all around!

The Redesigned Regulator Works Great, But…

Consistency on the Empire SYX is also improved thanks to the redesigned regulator. The regulator on the Empire SYX is not very easy to take apart, which is an issue that we really shouldn’t have to deal with at this price range. You might not need to disassemble the regulator often, but when something goes wrong with it, it is not something that you can ignore.

Luckily, Ordinary Maintenance is a Dream

For years, people have had to take their markers to a specialist or have it sent to the manufacturer for servicing because of markers requiring special tools and/ or know how. While I definitely think you should leave maintenance up to the professionals if you don’t know what you are doing, if you do want to try and work on your marker yourself, you will be glad you bought the Empire SYX.

General maintenance can be done with a simple Allen wrench.

The Trigger and Grip Are New

The new grips on the Empire SYX is certainly refreshing. One of the first things you will notice is that they are really thin, even though the regulator is housed in the frame. I was glad to see that the gas feed was housed inside the frame, I don’t know how many of those I have broken when the manufacturers place the feed on the outside of the frame.

The trigger is pretty much the same as it has been for the entirety of the Axe series. It is a good, reliable trigger that can be adjusted to your preferences with a healthy degree of precision. It won’t be winning any competitions but at the same time, you really can’t go wrong with the stock Empire trigger.

Personally, I love the new design of the foregrip, but that really does boil down to personal preference. Some people think Empire was a bit aggressive with the ridges on SYX’s foregrip, so take a moment to consider how you prefer your foregrips before you make up your mind.

The Empire SYX is Definitely a Good Buy

I know it can be difficult to find a marker under $700 that can beat the Etha 2, but the Empire SYX really gives it a run for its money. The SYX is lighter for one. If you are looking for a marker that won’t let you down in the heat of battle but also won’t cost you an arm and a leg then you should definitely buy the Empire SYX marker- it is a great paintball gun!