Planet Eclipse Etek 4 LT Review
Author: James Peterson
2. Well Balanced
1. Low Battery Causes Malfunctions
2. Noticeable Recoil when firing
3. Stock trigger not that comfortable
As a mid-priced alternative to the more expensive Ego, the Planet Eclipse Etek 4 Paintball Gun is Planet Eclipse’s latest version of their popular line of paintball guns. Using innovations developed while refining the poppet valve design of the Ego, Planet Eclipse has produced a simplified marker that retains much of the quality and all of the reliability that the company has built their reputation around. The most notable changes on this latest version are the addition of the Zick 2 rammer and Cure bolt which provide smoother firing and lessens the effects of recoil, although in comparison to Ego’s and many spool valve guns it does remain considerable. A newly-angled swivel on the Etek adds to the comfort while switching to the SL3 regulator, the standard reg on several Ego and Geo models, simplifies maintenance and repairs. The stock trigger is adjustable to suit individual users, although the curvature of the trigger itself (or rather, lack thereof) will lead many to replace the stock trigger with one of the many aftermarket versions available. The single-button interface to the electronics of the marker keep things simple and straightforward allowing users to alter settings without too much trouble provided they read the excellent owners manual, although memorizing the color codes may be a challenge to some. Changes to rate of fire and firing modes are made using a combination of cycling through options with the single button and pulling the trigger to make adjustments. The Etek 4 is fairly air efficient out of the box but players can tinker with dwell settings according to individual preferences. One of the more frustrating aspects of the Etek’s electronics is its tendency to malfunction the moment battery power begins to decrease. Therefore, swapping out batteries should be the first step when troubleshooting any problems. Anyone familiar with the feel of an Ego or an earlier Etek model will get no surprises heading on field with an Etek 4. After slipping one’s loader of choice into the levered clamping feed neck and airing up the marker via the screw-in OOPS, powering up the gun and adjusting the velocity is quick and easy by utilizing the 1/8 Allen screw at the bottom of the inline paintball regulator. A string of shots over the chronograph should allow one to get a feel for the barrel rise that’s likely to occur when rapidly firing an Etek 4, but it is easy to compensate for and still allows for accurate shooting. The marker is very lightweight and nicely balanced, making it easy to carry and comfortable to handle while working different angles of a bunker. Its thin, compact body gives it a small profile and provides less of a target for opponents. The sleek and smooth milling isn’t overly elaborate and while perhaps not as eye-catching as other designs, it does allow for quick and easy clean up between games or at the end of a day of paintball. Overall the Etek delivers excellent value, combining reliability and quality performance at a reasonable price.