Proto Matrix 8 (PM8) Review


The last marker in the real Matrix line for Proto, most people would say this marker made it that there was no reason to step up to the DM8 (and many, myself included, believe that’s why there isn’t a PM9).

Actually slightly lighter than the DM8, the PM8 had a completely new design of bolt. This design actually was carried over in favor of the DM8 design to create the DM9 (with evolutionary changes). These come with the UL frame and board stock, which was many peoples first upgrade on previous Proto Matrices. They also had the LPR changed from a horizontal layout like all previous DM’s and PM’s to a vertical layout…giving it it’s signature “hole” at the front. This is one of the styling things that either makes most people LOVE the design of the PM8, or hate it. I personally love it.

Evolutionary changes made these the most efficient matrix ever released when they were still made. They’ve been surpassed by the DM9, but are still quite decent efficiency when broken in and properly tuned, capable of getting 1600+ shots, and easily getting 1400+ shots off a 68/4500.

The Proto 2-piece barrel is actually just a smaller bore, differently milled version of the Dye UL barrel. As such, it shoots AMAZINGLY well, and there is absolutey NO need for a new barrel. If you want a better selection of bores, get a couple UL backs, the threading is identical, and the Proto tip will fit on them no issues. Shooting it, it shoots like just about any other Matrix. It’s VERY smooth, with basically no kick. I am not a fan of the stock UL trigger, but with the Critical Raze on the UL, I find no other marker more pleasant to shoot.

The one thing most people fault these for is the fact that they still use ribbon eyes, that have an unfortunate stigmata of being fragile. I’ve never actually had ribbon eyes fail on me personally, and have multiple markers (including multiple Protos) that use them. As long as they aren’t abused, they don’t have issues. However, for those that really hate ribbon eyes, there is a wire-eye conversion out that uses EXTREMELY thin wired eyes to put in for the PM8.

Maintenance is not as difficult as it was with earlier models, but it’s still quite complex when compared to simpler spools such as the Quest and G3. There are quite a few orings to lube, and you have to make sure to lube them sparingly or you’ll get bolt stick. Also, like all spools, you’ll need to lube rather frequently. Every few cases is recommended. Another trate it shares with other spool valves is that you may have to turn your LPR up in the cold to compensate for the thickening of the lube, which will cause you to be able to feel some minor kick.


  • Very smooth shooting
  • Inexpensive for a higher level marker
  • Self-cleaning eyes
  • UL frame stock


  • Ribbon Eyes (not a problem IMO, but some people dislike them)
  • No longer made


One fantastic marker as long as you are willing to do regular maintenance, and don’t tear your markers apart every day just to play with everything. Shoots smooth as any marker ever made, gets quite decent efficiency, and can be had
under $400 now used.

Forum Discussion

By: Timothy L. Miller


Manufacturers Website: Proto Paintball

Price:$600  Now much cheaper





Setup: PM8 w/ critical trigger, Crossfire 70/4500 stubby, stock proto 2-piece barrel, Vlocity w/ Gangstar chip

Proto Matrix 8 (PM8) Gallery

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1 Comment

  1. Ogall
    May 25, 2009, 11:57 pm

    Actualy there is an PMR 09 or not?

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