The Empire Axe is a new marker from Empire Paintball based on similar design as the Invert Mini. However don't mistake this marker as the same thing, because its features blow the mini out of the water. This paintball gun performs great, and its design is really nice.
The Empire Axe made a big appearance in 2011, signing quite a few pro teams.
When I first saw the Empire Axe, like many others it instantly reminded me of the Invert Mini. However looking past its basic design, there are a lot of external and internal differences in the markers. This gun is remarkably lightweight and small, however is still roomy enough for a comfortable grip. Some big things about the Axe is that it incorporates a gas through grip frame and has an easy bolt removal system.
Empire Axe Specifications
Empire Axe Features
- Gas through grip frame
- Firing modes - Semi, PSP, NXL millenium
- Push bolt removal system
- Big and comfortable grip frame
- Great magnetic return trigger with microswitch
- Low pressure operation through the marker
- Very nice barrel
- Lever On/Off ASA - Awesome
- Break beam anti chop eyes
Durability and Reliability
So far playing with the Empire Axe, the marker seems very durable and reliable. I have yet to chop a ball in 3 cases of paint. The gas through grip eliminates the need for macro line which can break. The Empire Axe paintball gun feels very solid in your hands when shooting.
Consistency and Efficiency Review
I have noticed that the air efficiency of the Axe is great. I have been getting 10-11 pods off of a 68/4500 tank. This is one of the things I loved about this marker. For the Empire Axe's consistency, I usually have about +-5 FPS over the chronograph at most. Often I have shot +-3FPS.
- The Empire Axe is very shot consistent and air efficient
Empire Axe Size
The milling on the Empire Axe does look similar to the Invert Mini, but when you compare the two, there is a very noticeable difference in size. The Axe is much bigger in your hands than the cramped mini, and feels really comfortable. This was something I didn't like about the Mini because I always felt like my hands were cramped up in the grip frame. The grip frame, trigger frame and entire body is elongated so that you have more room to comfortably hold the marker. However the profile of the marker from the front is still extremely small for your opponents.
Notes on the Size
- The stretched out and elongated features makes the ergonomics of the marker much better.
- This is better all around in paintball, for example its much easier to run and gun than with a cramped grip design.
- Huge trigger frame for your fingers!
Empire Axe Bolt Assembly Review
The Empire Axe is designed with a quick release bolt assembly. When I first took a look at this design, it caught my attention as very innovative and simple. The bolt assembly can quickly and easily be removed out the back by pressing a button and twisting the assembly in a certain pattern back and forth (clockwise, back, counter-clockwise and out). It is also very easy to maintain, and you can field strip the internals (bolt).
- Simple, quick, easy to remove and maintain bolt assembly
The trigger on the Empire Axe feels really good. The board activation uses a micro switch which gives a distinct feel when fired which is really nice. Also the trigger has ball bearings, and a magnetic return which makes the trigger movement very smooth. Both pre and post travel and be adjusted on the trigger, and the trigger frame, again is really big. It also has very little side travel. All of these factors make the Empire Axe trigger awesome.
- Great trigger design and feel
- micro switch, ball bearings, pre/post travel adjustable and a large trigger frame.
Push Lever On/Off ASA
The air source adapter on the Axe is great and really easy to use. It is a flip lever design, where you flip a lever up to pressurize the marker. This is a great design because the tank is easily attached, and the on/off doesn't require any difficult knobs to turn.
Other Design Features
- Nice 12 inch Barrel (.691 bore)
- Clamping feedneck
- Great detents and positioning
Empire Axe Disassembly Video
Here is a brief video of the Axe being taken apart and showing all the different parts.
Overall the Empire Axe paintball gun is an amazing marker for its price range at under $500. The marker has some great feature including a gas through grip design, micro switch and ball bearing trigger design. It also has a long body and trigger frame which feels great. On top of that, the air efficiency and consistency is amazing, which makes this a very powerful paintball gun on the field.