The Bottom Line
- Fast and reliable
- Easy to find
- Very customizable
- Heavier than other hoppers
- Difficult to disassemble
- Brittle shells
- Costs more than the Halo B
- Force-fed, sound-activated loader
- Holds approximately 190 paintballs
- Requires 4 or 6 AA batteries
- Shells are interchangeable with the Halo B
- Unhook your batteries from the hopper after use to make sure they don't drain
- Manufacturer's Site
Guide Review - Empire Reloader B
Design:The Empire B is a force-fed, belt-driven, motorized hopper that can feed paintballs into your gun at over 20 balls per second. It is simply laid out with batteries in the in the nose of the hopper, the circuit board opposite the batteries facing the shooter with the motor underneath. The Empire B functions by rotating a drive cone (a round tray that holds balls like an egg carton holds eggs) that physically forces paintballs down the feedneck. The Empire B responds to the sound of your gun firing to advance the tray, so it only feeds when you shoot.
Performance:The Empire B works well. Its design is simple enough and reliable enough that very few things go wrong and it can easily keep up with the fastest shooting guns. As long as your batteries are fresh there are very few jams and breaks and it is almost impossible to out-shoot the hopper. Unfortunately, the disassembly and cleaning of the Empire B is a time consuming process.
Problems:The Empire B shell is quite brittle and it is not uncommon for it to break, so be careful about hitting things with your hopper. The feedneck is also on the large size and doesn't fit well into all paintball gun feednecks. Occasionally the hopper will not sense your gun firing and will fail to feed more balls.
Upgrades:There are many upgrades available for the Empire B including upgraded boards, batteries and shells. The one large advantage some aftermarket circuit boards have is an auto-reverse anti-jam function. The one, almost necessary, upgrade that I suggest is the Rip drive (it comes included with some Empire Bs) which is a manual drive shaft at the bottom of the hopper which allows you to manually load balls if your batteries die or to manually reverse the hopper to free jams.
Reviewer's note: This review is based on my experience and other reviews, including user reviews.