What in the World is a Drop Forward?
A cradle, or as it is more formally known, a drop forward is a mount for the air tank on your marker. The benefits of are two-fold. First, it can make the setup of your paintball gun more compact. A compact setup lets you get closer to your marker and use your sites effectively. Second, it can help you balance the weights, making your marker setup easier to handle. A drop forward can particularly make heavier tanks less tiring to hang on to.
Whether you actually need a drop forward depends on your personal preferences. As a recreational paintball player, you may not need one.
However, most serious paintball players do have them. If you play a lot of paintball. It will allow you to play longer without your arms getting tired, as well as possibly improving your game. But, you do not have to have a drop forward to reign victorious.
What type of drop forward should you buy?
Several different types of drop forwards are on the market from several manufacturers, their main function may be essentially the same, but each mount varies.
Some mounts may be able to be easily removed while others are not. Be sure to check your air system compatibility with the mount. Although most are made for screw-in type of CO2 and nitro tank, others can run different air system configurations. Also, while some mounts will have an on and off option that will start and stop air flow from the tank to the gun, some do not. If you are looking for safety features, this feature acts as an extra safety on your marker.
As for the mounting options, the different varieties of drop forwards vary in how much they bring a tank down. The typical dimensions will be a downward drop of 1 to 2.5 inches and forward angle of 0 to 8 inches. Also, some of them will have various mounting holes, giving a player some flexibility in deciding the exact location the tank should be and is most comfortable.
When you decide it is time to buy a drop forward, it is important to consider your marker setup, your playing style and your personal preferences. The one you chose must work with your marker. If not, you will have to invest in an adjuster, costing you anywhere from $5.00 to $40.00 to mount your tank. It must also work with the air system for your marker. Be especially leery if your CO2 tank does not screw-in. Not all drop forward mounts are able to correctly mount large air tanks. So, if your air tank is large, make sure that the mount has enough clearance and still provides the balance you are looking to create. This same issue can arise if your tank is really small.
As for the price, they can cost as little as $15 or as much as $100 or more.
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