Hey guys here is my shot at writing a review/ first impression of the Zodiac Renegade ZR1 (1.5 bolt). Over the last few months I have looked around for any information about this marker as possible but other than a few videos and a few threads on forums i was not able to get much info so I hope this can help out anybody who is going through this as well. I came to notice the ZR1 when I had seen the Master Blasters using it, I play a lot of big games and have seen them around a lot (8 games with 200+ players as of 6/10/12). I have asked around about this marker and had found out that I would be able to try out the marker at OXCC paintball field if I left my drivers license and Credit card with Zodiac. So June 9, 2012 I had gone to OXCC for Blue VS Red 2 and met with Chris Cole of Zodiac (look up Chris Cole if you dont know who he is, he has been around a while) and borrowed one of his markers for the day.
First off I the marker needed a medium pressure tank which I didn't have but ended up borrowing Chris's as well. After this my first order of business was to get some air and fire it, I had gotten a hot fill of 4.5k but after chrono and 20 mins it stayed steady at 3k. On my first outing I had gone through a Hopper (Z2) and 4 Proto Alpha pods with 1k air left to spare. Second outing I had gotten air again and this time was only holding steady about 3800 psi. ( its hard to take it slow and get a fill when 30 guys are waiting so deal with it) This time I had gone and shot all my paint (hopper and 5 Pods) with a little over 1k psi left. With this I was convinced that I wanted this marker and had gone back to the Zodiac tent to purchase one.
This marker comes with a nice plastic case, 2 piece barrel kit, small parts kit, tube of hater sauce and a rail so that you can use your own reg and asa. After I had purchased my marker I sat down with Chris Cole and he broke the marker down to explain everything to me about the marker and made sure the marker worked perfect and chrono'd before I went back out to the field. He had stressed a lot that I should make a pressure tester so I can adjust the gun and tune it later on. This can be down with either the gun attachment from a remote line or with a gas though grip with a gauge, just replace the front grip with your tester and you will be all set.
example of remote fitting that i will replace nipple with gauge
After this I had to get ready for the final battle, so I loaded up with my apex barrel (bore was loose), 8 pods, full hopper and put my own ninja tank with 2 shims removed to give 550 psi. I had filled my tank and right before the game I made sure I had 4k air and after 20 mins of hardcore shooting I left the field with no paint on my back and about 500 air left. On the field I had not seen a significant drop in distance so I will assume that my velocity should have still been good.
After this day I have come up with some thoughts on the marker, its just a first impression since I had only gone through about 2 cases with one. I really like the shot of this marker and how it felt in the hands, at first with the gun down I felt it was a little heavy but when I started playing with it didn't feel that heavy, my setup for this marker balanced the weight of the marker very well. Also it has been a while since I had a marker with a nice sized snatch grip in the back so this was a nice surprise for me. Since I shot 2 different ZR1s I did notice that the gun I borrowed felt better and a little quieter but maybe because his is broken in and mines is brand new out of box (will update on this). I had only one ball break the whole day but might not have been markers fault cause I noticed a hit on my barrel afterwards, not sure which came first (btw was shooting Valken redemption paint). The marker is quiet in comparison to my Ego11 but I would say that my Luxe is even quieter than the ZR1. The ZR1 is smooth but until I shoot it more and let it break in, I will be a little more conservative with my opinion.
In conclusion, I like the Zodiac Renegade ZR1 very much and I a lot of potential for this marker. The air efficiency was what sold me but the smoothness of the shot and the feel of the marker in your hands is really top notch. The weight of the marker is balanced, the trigger very snappy and well shaped and having the comfortable snatch grip made it a joy to shoot. But there are a few things that I wished they had done differently, like including a pressure tester. If having one is so important it should have been included in the box instead of depending on players to make one. I would have also like to see a manual in the box, i understand i can just print one out but at $1000 I have grown accustomed to getting one in the box. I had purchased a Shiv barrel kit for $80 which included .681, .684 and .691, however I had hoped to have seen one more in a smaller bore like .679 so that I can under bore like I normally do. Also lack of a on off asa isn't too bad (cranking 550 into gun ins't hard) but still a feature i am used to (Chris Cole says they will have on soon). Lastly the clamping feed neck is not tool less like many markers today, you would need to use an Allen key to tighten the neck then clamp down. I do recommend this marker and encourage people contact Zodiac and see if they will be in an area by you and maybe you'd be able to test the marker out like I did before you decide. Thanks