When it comes to a mid-range paintball marker, Planet Eclipse has been a dominant name with the GTEK line, The Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R is no exception, and has commonly been referred to as one of the best paintball markers for the price. Now with the release of the Planet Eclipse GTEK 180R, what has changed overall? Is the GTek 180R that much better? Is the Planet Eclipse 180R a good gun? We're going to break down some of the major differences between these two amazing paintball markers, and highlight the big changes from the GTek 170R to the new GTek 180R to answer that question for you!
First and foremost, let's go over the barrel systems the GTEK 170R and GTEK 180R utilize. The GTEK 180R comes with a streamlined version of Planet Eclipse's S63 three-piece barrel system, whereas the GTEK 170R utilizes the Shaft 5 two-piece barrel system. With this S63 barrel found on the PE 180R, all you would need to effectively size your paint to your barrel are additional PWR inserts, whereas the GTek 170R only has the standard two-piece barrel system which does not allow for bore matching. This means if you want to get the most consistent shot possible, you'd have to purchase a barrel kit for the Eclipse 170R. Whereas for the 180R, there are PWR inserts you can purchase and use to size paint for better consistency and accuracy, this also eliminates trying to find a matching barrel kit to your marker.
The second big comparison between these two amazing markers are their 'engines.' The 170R utilizes the Gamma Core, and the 180R uses the OP-R Core. Between these two engines, they both handle brittle paint extremely well, are air efficient, extremely reliable, and very easy to maintain. The OP-R Core does have some advantages over the Gamma Core, being better efficiency, softer shot signature, and a soft tip bolt for better paint handling. This improvement is possible with the OP-R Core having a larger volume chamber to store air, and having a shorter bolt stroke, also resulting in less recoil or kick when the marker is cycling shots. The Gamma Core from Planet Eclipse has been widely used across their lineup of markers including their entry level Planet Eclipse EMEK, and even used a modified version (the GP Core) in their former flagship marker, the Planet Eclipse CS2 Pro. Needless to say the Gamma Core preforms incredibly well and took reliability to the next level for these markers, needling very infrequent maintenance, you are able to pull one of these markers out of your bag each week and can count on it performing flawlessly each time. While the OP-R Core from Planet Eclipse is a new design, it was built and designed based off of the Gamma Core, so you can count on it being even more consistent and reliable than its predecessor.
Another key upgrade to the 180R over the 170R is the electronic boards these markers use. The GTEK 170R has a crisp OLED display, with a blinking light above the screen. This screen provides information such as firing mode, eye status, battery level, and more. The GTEK 180R comes equipped with the advanced MME technology that is found in the Planet Eclipse LV2 and CS3, and a higher definition OLED screen. These features give the user the ability to program their board much quicker and easier than the previous version found in the 170R or previous versions including the GTEK 160R and the original GTEK.
In conclusion, the Planet Eclipse GTEK 180R is a big step forward from the GTEK line of markers. Planet Eclipse has continuously made these high performance markers available to players around the world at an affordable price. With the GTEK 170R being called the best mid range paintball gun for the past 4 years, the GTEK 180R has stepped into the limelight in a massive way. It's safe to say that the Eclipse 180R is the new king of the midrange paintball markers, bringing tournament grade performance at a lower price point, and keeps all of those user friendly features that Planet Eclipse is known for.