If you ask me, the CS3 is one of the best high-end guns ever made. However, it comes with a hefty price tag of $1,750. Like most high-end guns, It includes an electronic frame, but for an extra $400, you can switch it to a mechanical frame, which brings the total cost to a staggering $2,150. The question is, does adding a mechanical frame to the best high-end electronic gun really make it the best mechanical gun?

After a bit of a shaky start, the CS3 has proven itself as a top-notch paintball gun. It boasts outstanding ergonomics, a reliable OP Core bolt system, an adjustable rake trigger, and a user-friendly screen and button system. I’ve reviewed this gun extensively, and you can find more here ➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVH2M7UFVnU

Exalt Paintball Carbon Series Marker...
  • Padded, water resistant exterior prevents incidental damage to your marker in storage
  • Microfiber interior absorbs any residual moisture and prevents scratches
  • Fold-flat construction allows use of bag as a work surface to keep oil and paint from making a mess

The CS3 mechanical is a joy to use, allowing for quick, accurate shooting. Even someone like me, who’s not the fastest shooter, can manage around eight balls per second. It’s a significant improvement over my Emek, which I can only fire around four balls per second.

The CS3 mechanical is also impressively quick and smooth. A big reason for this is the FL Pro 3 valve it comes with, making it easier to shoot rapidly. You can upgrade your Emek with the FL3 valve to achieve similar performance.

The trigger on the CS3 also contributes to its quick firing. It features a ball bearing that engages with the activation lever, making it lighter and more responsive. Magnets and a spring return provide a crisp and precise feel. However, the trigger’s flat face could be improved. I personally prefer rounded triggers, like the ones offered by Infamous.

Installing the frame is a breeze, and it comes with grips, a regulator, and a pops on/off system. This means you won’t have to swap many parts, simplifying the process. The addition of these components justifies the extra $200 for the frame.

While the CS3 is undoubtedly a great paintball gun, the $2,150 price tag is quite steep, especially when you consider that the 180r offers about 90% of its performance at a significantly lower cost. Additionally, the Etha 3 line is worth exploring. The Etha 3M, at $400, is an excellent value, providing similar performance to the 180r.

In conclusion, the CS3 is fantastic, but it’s expensive. If you’re looking for the best mechanical gun value, the Ether 3M is a solid choice. However, if you already own a CS3, it’s worth getting the frame for mechanical play. But for most people, the high price of the CS3 may be a deal-breaker.


Yo! My name is Brad Johnson, I'm the author/creator/owner/janitor of Paintball Ruined My Life. I worked in the paintball industry for over 16 years, before starting this website and my YouTube channel.