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Paintball powergun: the GZ 2000 DAO Airgun.

Many gun dealers sell a variety of firearms-related products such as archery gear, black powder weapons, air guns, and paint ball supplies to increase both profits and customer traffic. Of all of these, paint ball guns and gear are most likely to attract the gun shops' most important new customers: the young shooters.

Paint ball, the Survival Game, grown-up tag, or whatever your customers call it, has been expanding its market appeal since its inception in 1981. The game is responsible for catching the interest of young, active customers who might otherwise have felt that shooting sports were too slow and sedentary for their taste.

The latest advance in paint ball technology is the advent of reliable semiautomatic guns. In the past, semiautos had a tendency to either jam or damage ammunition, making the guns more of a liability on the field than an advantage.

One of the front-runners in the semiauto paint ball market is the GZ 2000, made by the GFR Corporation in Andover, N.H. The GZ 2000 is made of carbon graphite composite, making it a very light, easy-handling gun. It is available with both a 7-ounce constant air tank and a "quick change" 12-gram C02 adapter, which eliminates the possibility of overtightening the cartridge.

The GZ 2000 comes in either O.D. green or black with a low-shine, easy-grip finish. It also comes with a polished brass barrel -- something other guns offer only as a custom extra.

Versatility and ease of maintenance are important features for most paint ball players, and the GZ 2000 is designed with this in mind. Velocity is easily adjusted with various snubbers so the gun can easily be configured for indoor or outdoor play. Field stripping and cleaning can be done with a screwdriver and rag.

The Paint Flies

As an experienced paintballer, I was looking forward to trying this state-of-the-art gun even though I had used various semiautomatic paint ball guns before with mixed results.

The GZ 2000 operates with a piston/plunger which moves forward with each trigger stroke, pushing a ball into the chamber, then releasing the [CO.sub.2] charge. This makes firing the gun much more reliable than the hard, chopping motions of other pump-action guns.

The trigger action itself is much like the Colt All American 2000 -- fairly stiff with a long travel. In fact, this gun makes such a good training tool that it's currently being used by the secret service and the Louisana State Police as a realistic practice weapon.

The GZ 2000's accuracy is surprising as well. While paint ball guns aren't known for their ability to hit a target consistently at more than about 30 to 40 yards, the 2000 delivers acceptable accuracy with groups of about 7 to 10 inches at 20 yards, even with its little 6 1/2-inch barrel. (The gun is also available with 8 1/2-inch and 11-inch barrels)

Of course, accuracy isn't what customers are looking for in a gun like this, it's pure gallons-per-minute of paint in the air, and the GZ 2000 certainly delivers that. Firing from 20 yards a shooter can easily keep three rounds in flight until the ammo runs out or the gas is exhausted. In testing, I fired over 150 rounds through the gun without a misfire or ball break.

The only disadvantage of the GZ 2000 is that the gun's semiautomatic action blows back a fair amount of gas into the paint tube, meaning that a sealed magazine, as is required in some games, gets knocked off with every shot. The gun must be used with a hopper or an open feeder of some type, but with these the action is flawless.

In The Store

Nearly as impressive as the gun itself is GFR's marketing and dealer support program. To begin with, the GZ 2000 comes with a three-year full warranty and the customer's choice of either a constant air tank, quick change 7-ounce cartridge, or both in the "Pro" model.

GFR also provides authorized dealers with a co-operative advertising program which pays 50 percent of ad costs -- in the form of credit on future orders -- for any ads placed in eligible media, including newspaper and magazine display advertisements.

The GFR dealer kit comes with camera-ready artwork so dealers can create their own ads. Even advertisements which feature other product for partial co-op credit from GFR.

GFR offers same-day shipping as well as a full customer service and repair department. Most importantly, customers who call or write about prices of GZ products are referred to their nearest authorized dealer; GFR does not sell directly to the consumer. Additionally, GZ products are televised on Bob McGuire's Outdoor Journal on the Sports Channel and promoted at various trade shows, fund raisers, and tournaments across the country.

The GZ 2000 is priced well below other guns on the market with similar features, which makes it even more attractive to the younger customer.

For dealers who use paint ball sports equipment to broaden their customer appeal, the GZ 2000 will be a welcome addition to the product line. For dealers who have not yet discovered the profit avenue between firearms and associated products, the GZ line of products offers an affordable way to break into the field of paint ball guns and accessories.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sighting In
Author:Farell, Scott
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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