paintball gun fight

Paint the Battlefield Red: Choosing a Great Paintball Gun

Knowledge Base

Although experienced paintball players can shell out over a thousand dollars to buy a high-end paintball gun, that isn’t necessary in order to get a thrilling experience on the field of battle.

To give you the edge in these paint-splattered arenas, this article is going to go over the key things to look for when buying one. You can get yourself a very good paintball gun for less than $200 and get the full experience of this high-octane tactical sport.

What Is a Paintball Gun?

A paintball gun is an air-powered device used by paintball players to shoot at one another with paintballs in paintball games.

Types of Paintball Guns

As you look for a paintball gun, you need to know the type you want. There are 3 basic types. Pump, mechanical and electric.


Paintball started with manual or pump guns that required working the bolt for every shot. Contrary to popular belief, pump guns are better than other types of paintball guns. The accuracy is determined by the quality of the paint you will be shooting and how closely you match the balls to the size of the barrel.

Although they are not popular today because of their slow rate of firing, there are paintballers who prefer the slow, skillful playstyle these guns offer. So, these are popular among skilled players who want to change their playstyle from a boring semi-automatic shooting to a skilled style of play.


These types of paintball guns are popular in woodsball play (outdoor paintball) where they shine in terms of reliability and durability. They lack electronic components, so, they rely on simple mechanical parts to shoot the paintballs. Mechanical guns are easy to maintain and are not likely to have issues as you play.

Unlike electric paintball guns, these don’t require batteries. However, these are likely to chop paint which causes a lot of mess and interferes with the accuracy of the gun. They can’t cope with the high speed of firing that comes with high-end electric guns.


Electric paintball guns tend to be more expensive compared to mechanical guns. Rather than using a mechanical hammer to open the valve, these have a solenoid that opens electronically. They are sometimes controlled through a rechargeable or replaceable battery. These are much smaller and lighter compared to mechanical guns. They have built-in systems that prevent the gun from firing unless the paint is loaded properly which decreases misfires and chopping of paint. Modern electric paintball guns can easily fire more than 30 balls per second, although the legal limit is usually 10.5 or less per second.

Things to Consider in a Paintball Gun

Besides the strategies and the athletics that come into play in paintball, this game is similar to many other sports. However, the game is played with technologically advanced equipment. As such there are some things to consider as you look for a decent paintball gun.


Although the efficiency of a paintball gun is a moot point for both beginners and experienced players, efficiency can be measured in terms of using less air per shot. This results in less impact on the ball which is good if the tournament paint is brittle. Also, it results in shooting more balls per tank of pressurized air.


As you look for cheap paintball guns, beware there are fickle creatures in the market too. Ensure you buy a durable gun if you will be playing on rough terrain, especially if you are a beginner. To prolong the life of your paintball gun, clean it after each use. Also, disassemble it if you get into mud or chop a paintball and you need to clean the internal parts of the gun.

Paintball Upgrades and Mods

As you take the sport more seriously, upgrading your gun can become a side-hobby as pleasurable as the game itself. Whether it’s to enhance the looks or performance, it is common to find players modifying or upgrading their guns. So, if you would like to upgrade or modify your gun in the future, look for a brand that supports these upgrades or modification.

Paintball Propellant

There are 3 propellants that can be used in paintball guns i.e. carbon dioxide, Nitrogen and High-Pressure Air (HPA). Carbon dioxide can be very hard on the internals of a paintball gun and may affect the distance and accuracy of a shot. So, some paintball guns including premium guns have opted not to use it.

Nitrogen, although is not very harsh on the internals of a paintball gun, it a very expensive alternative to carbon dioxide.

Therefore, most modern guns use HPA which is a cheaper alternative. An endless supply of HPA can easily be created through the use of industrial air compressors or water filters. HPA now accounts for most of the power used on paintball guns.

Parting Shot

Getting a good paintball gun for a reasonable price can be a challenging undertaking, especially if you are a beginner or intermediate or even a casual player. You may be confused by all the features and unfamiliar terms common in the industry. We hope you gained key insights into paintball guns from this article and you were able to figure out the appropriate gun for you based on your tastes and playing style.