US Army Paintball doesn’t seem that old but Tippmann Sports actually launched the line of markers and accessories years ago and just released an update to the brand’s flagship Alpha Black Paintball Gun. Tippmann had a big presence at the latest Paintball Extravaganza and the US Army Alpha Black Elite was center stage. Tippmann listened to owners of the original Alpha Black and made some subtle, but important changes in the new Elite model.
The US Army Alpha Black Elite borrows the majority of its foundation from the original Alpha Black. Most changes in the Elite came by way of external components. The carry handle in the original Alpha Black has a one piece design with the receiver. You couldn’t remove it if you wanted to add a different riser or mount for a scope. The original Alpha Black’s carry handle was also an odd width. Not all rails designed to fit inside universal carry handles were compatible. The rails that would work required a hole in the valley of the carry handle to mount which the original Alpha Black did not have. That meant if you wanted to mount a scope or red dot to your carry handle, you’d have to search out one that would fit and then drill your own hole. That was easier said than done. Most people turned to the Project Salvo as an alternate choice to avoid this issue.
The New US Army Alpha Black Elite receiver now features a standard picatinny rail with a removable carry handle. The carry handle included is made of durable, composite plastic with two thumb screws for easy removal. It also features a hole in the valley for rail mounting. Now the possibilities are endless! You can add a rail to the carry handle and mount whatever you like. Want a tighter profile? Remove the carry handle and mount a riser or offset rail directly to the picatinny receiver. This is a welcomed change over the previous model.
Other updates include a picatinny rail molded into the underside of the shroud. We were the first to offer rails that mounted to the bottom of standard M-16 handguards, a concept borrowed from real firearms. This allows the player to mount a forward grip, bipod and flashlight to the front of the Alpha Black. The new Elite comes equipped. So if you’re a bigger person and need a wider stance on the marker or want to achieve better balance, adding a front grip has never been easier. I guess we’ll be selling less handguards rails!
The last substantial change to the original Alpha Black is the removable front sight. The original Alpha Black’s front sight post was molded into the handguard which didn’t really matter given that the carry handle was also molded in. Allowing the front sight post to be removed is crucial now that you can remove the carry handle on the Elite. This allows you to swap it out for another barrel mounted sight or none at all if you’re running a scope or red dot directly on the top picatinny rail.
The US Army Alpha Black Elite retails for $129 and is a welcome update to an old favorite. In our opinion, this marker is not only a great entry level paintball gun, but now a solid platform to build a sick, custom scenario marker. The receiver is all M4 and the handguard, barrel and stock are easy to customize. Just add an optic and you’ve got yourself a jaw-dropping Tippy at a decent price. Alpha Black Elite’s are available in semi-auto, e-grip and power pack configurations.