Which paintball gun is best?
Paintball has become popular among everyone from thrill seekers and military enthusiasts to business owners looking for interesting team-building activities. With its simple rules and exciting play, it’s no wonder so many people are hooked on paintball after a single match.
If you’re looking to play regularly, owning your own paintball gun improves your game and saves you money on rental gear. The Kingman Spyder Fenix offers reliability and performance in a great-looking colorful package.
What to consider before you buy a paintball gun
How frequently you play
If you play paintball regularly, investing in a professional gun will give you an edge on the competition and let you define your own style. If you only play a few times a year, however, choose a gun that prioritizes low maintenance and reliability over the latest premium features.
What kind of paintball you want to play
- Speedball is played on a small field covered in inflatable bunkers. This type of play emphasizes eliminating the opposing team as quickly as possible, so players often use colorful guns and wear jerseys instead of camouflage. Enjoyed indoors or outside, speedball is the only style of paintball regulated and played at a professional level.
- Stock class paintball only allows guns that carry a small number of paintballs that must be loaded manually. Unlike speedball, which sees players fire off hundreds of rounds as soon as the match begins, stock paintball emphasizes careful aiming and ammo management.
- Scenario paintball is for people who enjoy role-playing and adhering to a predetermined theme and aesthetic. Scenario paintball events can involve hundreds of players and can last a few hours or multiple days. Events may be based on anything from historic battle reenactments to science fiction stories.
Paintball guns are pneumatic, meaning they require a tank of compressed air or carbon dioxide to operate. Professional paintball parks have the equipment needed to fill either option. However, if you play on private property you must determine which source is easier for you to get, then choose a compatible gun.
What to look for in a paintball gun
Your paintball gun should be light enough to carry, aim and run with comfortably. A tank of compressed air and a paintball hopper is attached to your gun during play, so keep in mind the additional weight these accessories will add.
Firing rate and trigger design
Paintball guns are capable of firing rates that range from five shots a second for beginner guns all the way up to 30 or more for professional ones with electronic triggers.
While firing rate is listed as a defining feature by many manufacturers, almost any gun will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger. This means that the gun’s trigger design and your ability to comfortably pull it are more important than the number listed on the box.
Some guns have triggers you can pull with two fingers. These make it easier to achieve high rates of fire.
Guns built for professional use feature electronic components that reduce trigger travel, sense when a paintball is jammed and let you select your firing mode. This technology means you have to consider battery life and electrical issues in addition to your paintball and air supply. Most recreational players should opt for guns that operate mechanically, making them easily disassembled and repaired.
Paintball guns require regular maintenance to keep shooting reliably. Select a gun that’s easy to oil and can be quickly taken apart and cleaned in the event of a paintball exploding in the chamber or barrel during play.
Paintball equipment suppliers regularly bundle their guns with accessories such as hoppers, air tanks, additional barrels and masks. For the beginner, these bundles are a great way to get a good deal on most of what is needed to start playing right away.
Paintball manufacturers usually describe their guns’ efficiency by listing how many shots you can take using a standard 20-ounce air tank. A more efficient gun lets you play longer between refills. Select a gun that allows at least 1,000 shots per fill.
From chrome plating to flashy paint jobs and accessories, paintball players frequently customize their guns to stand out from the crowd. You can get a head start on defining your style because manufacturers offer guns in a wide range of colors, shapes and configurations.
Some are made with role-playing in mind and look like realistic military gear, while others opt for striking designs and vivid colors.
How much you can expect to spend on a paintball gun
Beginner paintball guns can be purchased for as little as $100. Bundle packs and professional models can cost $1,000 or more.
Paintball gun FAQ
What are paintballs made of?
A. Paintballs are made of non-toxic, water-soluble liquid and dye encased in a gelatin shell. They are odorless and do not contain any actual paint.
What’s the difference between a paintball gun and a marker?
A. Many paintball professionals and companies refer to paintball guns as “markers” to avoid comparisons between their favorite activity and actual battle. However, the terms are used interchangeably.
Does it hurt to be shot with a paintball?
A. Yes. Depending on the speed of the paintball and your distance from the person who shot it, you may be left with a temporary sting or a lasting bruise. Eye protection must be worn at all times while handling your paintball gun to prevent serious injury.
What’s the best paintball gun to buy?
Top paintball gun
What you need to know: Kingman’s latest entry into the Spyder series maintains its reputation for quality paintball guns at low prices.
What you’ll love: With an electronic trigger for rapid firing and anti-chop technology that prevents paintballs from being broken in the chamber, this gun includes professional features for players on a budget. It’s available in five colors.
What you should consider: Accessories are sold separately.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top paintball gun for the money
What you need to know: The reliability of Tippmann’s guns has made them popular behind rental counters all over the world. The Cronus delivers both simplicity and performance.
What you’ll love: The Cronus is available in three colors and in various tactical configurations. This kit comes with the gun, a mask, a paintball hopper and a belt that holds additional storage pods.
What you should consider: Tippmann’s guns are best used in scenario games, as the company caters to strategy and military enthusiasts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This gun features professional electronics and a 14-inch barrel for accuracy.
What you’ll love: With its advanced electronics and high rate of fire, you can compete with the pros without breaking the bank. Its light, aluminum construction makes it easy to maneuver. It comes in five colors.
What you should consider: This gun should only be operated using compressed air.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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