How does a Paintball Gun work?

For all those people who have been to a Paintball field, a question might have arisen in their minds how does a Paintball gun work? What happens when you press the trigger? On the face of it, you just see a speedy projectile rushing out of your barrel and hitting the enemy. But, what is happening behind the scene?

For a few people, it does not matter as far as the paintball gun is shooting. But, if you’re a newbie who’s invited to the game or if you already are familiar with the game but find it difficult to manage the shots. In both cases, you need better knowledge and understanding of how the gun works.

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How do Paintball Guns work? Why should I bother?

Let’s suppose you’re at the arena with a feeling of adrenaline rushing through your veins all ready to downpour at your opponent, but maybe taking too long or might not be aware of how to load the barrel, you might miss your target. Or, you want to start Paintball as a hobby but you do not know what is the difference between different kinds of Paintball Markers? You are confused about choosing between a mechanical or an electronic gun.

We’ve all been through this situation once in our life. Thus, with all my past and current experience with paintballing I can guide you best on every single detail that you should know regarding the gun.

Basics of a Paintball Gun

To understand how a paintball marker works, you need to just learn the few basics of a Paintball Gun. Hence, it will remove all your queries and confusion about the Paintball Gun working mechanism.

The paintball gun also termed the marker by many players and writers comes in different shapes and sizes. But they all work the same way. You just need to know the basics. No need to enter the intricacies of the marker.

To understand the basics of a Paintball gun, you need to have little knowledge of the main parts of a Paintball gun. The parts that matter to you are a Paintball Barrel, a loader, a gas chamber, and a trigger. You use the loader to store the Paintballs. So that, once you press the trigger, paintballs come out of the barrel with high velocity. All this you can see in the following Paintball Gun diagram.

Paintball Gun diagram
Paintball Gun Diagram

Each gun has its barrel from where players shoot their paintballs. Most markers allow you to store a good number of paintballs so that you won’t have to constantly reload the gun and can shoot rapidly at your target.

This is the simplest explanation of the basics of a Paintball Gun. Nearly, all paintball guns work similarly.

How does Paintball work? Paintball Gun Mechanism

Knowing the basics of the gun we can proceed further with the shooting of the gun.

A paintball gun works with compressed gas that can be air or carbon dioxide (CO2). Paintballs do not come into the barrel automatically. For this, you need to cock the bolt of the gun. Then, a bolt pushes and seals the paintball into the barrel. Now is the time to press the trigger. This allows the pressurized air to enter the barrel by lifting a small sear. Sensing the large available area of the barrel, the pressurized gas starts expanding. Due to this, it exerts a high force on the paintball that is blocking its way. This results in the high-speed shooting of the paintball out of the barrel.

After the paintball is forced out, everything goes back to its normal position. If you want to shoot your next shot you will have to start cocking again. And, when the gun is empty only the sound will come and not the paint.

Types of Paintball Gun

Mainly, paintball guns come in two types. Either, you can shoot one at a time by reloading or you can go by one after the other. The two types of markers are further discussed in detail below.

1. Mechanical Paintball Gun

Mechanical Paintball gun

The most common type of paintball gun is the Mechanical gun. These plastic pumps are mostly seen in the ground. Although they do come in a better and more sophisticated version yet they aren’t used in the arena as they’re way too expensive for public use.

To people who ask, how does a mechanical gun work? As the name explains itself the gun has to be prepared mechanically for it to work. That means that you will have to be cocking everything so that they move and make way for the paintball.

The downside of using a mechanical marker is that you would have to constantly reload it, which is time-consuming and it may keep you away from enjoying the game to its vastest. Moreover, mechanical guns also have low velocity, compared with an average gun that produces 300 ft/sec, However, the firing velocity and accuracy are lower for the Mechanical Paintball Gun. Furthermore, it consumes more air than an Electronic Paintball gun. It means that definitely, you will finish your Paintball tank early.

On contrary, the gun is cheap and its spare parts are always available in the market. But it is not an ideal gun to play paintball. However, if you’re a beginner to your new paintball hobby then you should invest in a mechanical paintball gun as they don’t require huge investments and are easy to set up.

  • Comparatively cheap
  • Spare parts are easily available
  • Ideal for Pros to Intermediates 
  • Manual & Constant Re-loading
  • Time-consuming
  • Comparatively less velocity 

2. Electronic Paintball Gun

Electronic Paintball Gun

An electronic Paintball gun is also known as an automatic gun. It comprises the features of automatic firing. You just need to set the mode of firing and it will shoot according to that shoot paintballs.

The distinctive factor about these automatic markers is that they have a circuit board installed inside that controls the complete firing system of the gun.

These electronic markers have gained good popularity over the past few years. Since the circuit board is installed, they are easy to use. Therefore, players don’t have to reload the gun repeatedly. It allows one after another shot to players that give them a competitive edge over the opponents.

These amazing features of the electronic gun help it to gain a battering over the Mechanical gun. But always remember everything comes with its flaws. This marker is slightly expensive and is not recommended to beginners, but if you want to get a hint of it, I’d recommend you buy the second-hand version.

Electronic paintball guns use lesser air pressure so you will have longer firing chances in the field. These are a little complex in nature. So it means that you can easily do regular maintenance. However, if you need a major one then don’t try it at home unless you are an expert. Take your marker to some reliable place so that you may not ruin your paintball gun.

  • Easy to use
  • No need for manual Re-loading
  • Small, Light, and fast
  • An ideal choice for intermediate to Pros 
  • Expensive to buy & maintain 
  • Spare parts are not easily available
  • Not for beginners

Apart from these two types of Paintball Guns, there are some other types as well. These are

  • Electro-Mechanical Paintball guns
  • Pump Paintball Guns
  • Auto-cocker Paintball Guns
  • Auto-mag Paintball Guns

How does a Paintball Gun differ from a normal Gun?

A difference between both the guns is kept for obvious reasons. There aren’t a lot of similarities between the two which means that those people who think that they know how to shoot a real gun might be good at paintball. I’m sorry, but isn’t it.

So, the first most obvious reason that discriminates between the two is that in paintball players use soft liquid and not a real bullet, which is the safest of any gun. Some guns might use DIY paintballs that may cause bruising because of the snapdragon that they use.

Sometimes paintballs can be harmful to humans. Because of this, we require the players to wear protective gear like gloves, helmets, glasses, etc. to keep themselves safe from getting any bruises. Although paintballs might be made up of soft plastic and liquid, they can still cause bruising on flesh, if it’s not covered.

Even the young kids can play Paintball using Paintball Guns however I just dread the thought of having a real gun close to a kid.

A real gun is never used in Paintball games and it can only be kept by people who have licenses. However, paintball guns can be owned by any person stated under their legal state law.

Lastly, many guns out there seem to be real as the authentic ones. But, people who are aware of paintball can easily differentiate between both.

How to aim with Paintball Gun?

If you’re a beginner, you might have a flood of questions surfing in your mind that, how to make the best aim? Why does the paintball fall on the floor? And, how to hit your opponent in every shot? All these questions are natural to hear from players.

Firstly, you have to know the nature of the paintballs. As they are lighter in comparison to bullets, thus are easily affected by wind and make you miss your target. So don’t be tense about this as this is only because of the wind. Moreover, paintball guns aren’t as strong as real guns as they only hold a velocity of 300 ft/sec which is way lesser than that of the real gun. And because of this, your shot might not always reach your target.

Now to keep a good angle of your gun try pointing your marker to like 30-45 degrees, as this will prevent the paintball from falling onto the ground. Sometimes people seem weird out upon hearing to set their angle higher than where their opponent is. But it will only make your angle better and there are higher chances that you get your target.

Final Words

When you’re aware of the facts on how the paintball gun works will help you to improve your aim at your target and it may also give you a clear view of the type of gun you have to choose. Just try placing your marker at the right aim and surely you will be able to get your target with the most shots.

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