We proudly present the second installment of our series Behind the Scenes. Today we talk with Ledz about the new GTEK 170R - Planet Eclipse's answer for the upper mid-end segment.
Up-front a huge thanks goes to Anthony of PaintballMAG for providing us pictures of the Sandbaggers testing the GTEK 170R.
The GTEK 170R has just been unveiled at Paintball Extravaganza please tell us more about it.
The 170R is a direct replacement for the 160R. We launched the GTEK 160R back in June 2016 and it’s been a great marker for us and the customers that have bought it. We knew we needed to look at a new model because things have moved on and the 160R, though still a great marker, just had a few ergonomic challenges that we needed to overcome. So we got on with making that happen and now the 170R is born.
So what has changed?
The easiest changes to see straight away are the sleek looks of the 170R. We have removed the AT pipe to go hoseless and to give the 170R the looks and feel that players want. The 3D body styling of the 170R looks gorgeous and slick in all of its 6 different colour ways. Under the hood the 170R is driven by the amazing Gamma Core drive train.
Under the hood the 170R is driven by the amazing Gamma Core drive train. We have moved the 9 volt battery to the fore grip giving us space in the frame to house…. Well, pretty much everything else from the NEW inline reg, the solenoid is now in the frame and the NEW breech sensor with freakin infrared light guiding prismatic light pipes.
We have a NEW POPS assembly, toolless access to detents, battery, eye covers and the gamma core drive train. The OLED computer interface is the same as before with updated firing modes and a game timer.
What about the weight? Everyone wants to know how many strawberries lighter or heavier new markers are.
I’m not sure how many strawberries we are talking about but the 170R is 67 grams or 0.15 lbs lighter than the 160R, which is about the weight of a Kiwi Fruit.
Al Woods of the Sandbaggers testing the GTEK 170R at the CPPS.
What about the feel and ergonomics of the 170R? Anything changed?
Yes we have changed the layout and feel and given the 170R have a much more stretched out, modern feel to it. Players that have shot it tell us that it just feels ‘right’. They have a hard time explaining what ‘right’ means but they just say it feels like they have been shooting it for years. Like your most comfortable pair of shoes.
The GTEK and the GTEK 160R were both very popular and have both been sold out from Planet Eclipse for a while now (you can still pick one up if you look around). So the 170R replaces the 160R but what about the GTEK?
When we launched the GTEK and GTEK 160R back in 2016 we were not sure which model people would want. The simple LED, hose set-up (and thus cheaper) GTEK or the OLED, AT pipe 160R version. It turned out that both were popular but for different reasons. The 160R outsold the GTEK so we decided to focus our efforts into just the 170R and retire the standard GTEK model. We don’t like leaving gaps in our line up but with the Awesome ETHA2 sitting there we didn’t feel like we needed to replace the GTEK.
But the GTEK also has a great following due to the GMEK mechanical frame that you needed to fit to the GTEK If you want to shoot mechanical. Is the EMEK the only Planet Eclipse mechanical option now?
No… We got you covered there as well. We have the M170R which is the mechanical version of the 170R. The EMEK is a great shooter but it’s not going to be for everyone. It’s designed to take the abuse of day after day play at the local Paintball park and it works great at doing that and taking scalps at walk-on days, scenario events and any other mission you give the EMEK, but it’s no beauty and we realise that not everyone wants a GRN bodied marker as their weapon of choice. Some players not only want performance they want their marker to look great as well.
The M170R has a Swing/Hinge trigger similar to the EMEK but with a host of enhancements. Multi-Point adjustment for the trigger activation point, spring return strength and post travel stop. Twin roller bearing trigger pivot. Linea bearings for the 3way push pins which make for a customizable, crisp trigger pull with zero short stroking.
One of the criticism we came up against with the GTEK and GMEK frame was that if you wanted to have the best Planet Eclipse Mechanical marker you first needed to buy an electro GTEK, remove the frame and install a GMEK frame. We felt that was ok because you might want to play a bit of both (electro and mechanical) but some people didn’t like that so we are going to make a dedicated mechanical marker called the M170R.
Is the M170R out now?
No not quite yet. Parts have been ordered but they are going to be a little bit later in the year. At a guess I’d say about May 2019.
Another picture of the Sandbaggers testing the GTEK 170R.
What’s the difference between the 170R and the M170R?
Once you take away the battery you lose the electronic stuff like the computer interface and eye system, obviously. Instead of the double trigger on the 170R you get a single trigger mechanical frame. Everything else is exactly the same. Same engine, same body, same barrel, same colours.
You always do a lot of testing before launch is this the same with the 170R?
Yes, of course. We have had the 170R out with beta testers and in the field for months now, as far back as Mid 2018. The Sandbaggers have been using a few in competitive tournaments (and winning with the 170R) and the UK Predators have also been doing some testing with the 170R in the woodland environment. So yes, a lot of testing has been done.
Have both the 170R and M170R been legalised yet in Germany?
Yes all of the paperwork etc. has been done and legalisation has been completed for the F-stamping. They are both ready to rock.
So the M170R will be available later in the year what about the 170R?
We are taking dealers order right now and stores will be getting products for a 1st March launch date. Midnight Black 170R’s will come first with others colours following closely behind.
Any plans to make a Mech Frame for the 170R so players can switch between the two (Mech and Electro)?
Yes I believe there is. No solid plans at the moment but I think we will make a small run of Mech frames for people wanting to switch. There are some logistical nightmares with colour ways etc. I’d guess that we would make black and maybe silver but nothing is confirmed at this stage.
Thank you very much Ledz for the detailed informations and your time.