ThePaintballGun is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links.

How Does A Paintball Gun Work? (Explained for Beginners)

Do you know paintball? The game that allows you to shoot ‘enemies’ with paint bullets using special air guns? It is a favorite of many. However, any paintball enthusiast might at one time have wondered.

Does it work like a regular gun? What is the mechanism behind the paintball gun? How come the balls don’t hurt that much? What makes the paintball gun so unique?

how does a paintball gun work

What Is Paintball?

Most people would have loved to be a part of the disciplined forces. Unfortunately, the disciplined forces cannot accommodate all of us. So, what does one do? Most turn to paintball.

Why? Because paintball enables one to simulate the actions of the disciplined forces but in a wholly safe context. Therefore, to put it simply, paintball is a team game where players shoot at each other with paintballs. The paintballs turn into a spattering of dye whenever they hit the intended target.

Paintball is undoubtedly one of the surest ways to unwind or form strong bonds with team members of friends. If you have never tried it out, then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Paintball mimics the forces in virtually every concept except the live bullets. Where there are real bullets in the real world, there are paintballs in the game. The guns in paintball, also called markers, are ideal for sporting events but can potentially be dangerous.

That is why one still needs to have protective gear on. That is because, while the paintballs won’t hurt you that much, they still will sting when they hit your bare skin.

Four Functional Parts

Various aspects make up a paintball gun and facilitate it’s working. The paintball marker comprises four functional parts: the grip, the barrel, the tank, and the trigger. Inside the tank is compressed CO2, sometimes substituted for nitrogen or normal air.

There is also a hopper that acts as the ammunition storage, the ammunition being paintballs. It also functions as the loading mechanism for the gun. The firing assembly inside the hopper ideally keeps one paintball in the firing line until the user pulls the trigger. A piston behind the ball also helps in expelling it when the player pulls the trigger.

The Trigger Mechanism

Whenever a player or user pulls the paintball gun’s trigger five components play a role in the ball, finally leaving the gun at high speed. These include the hopper, the tank (full of air or CO2), the airline trigger, and the barrel.

Nonetheless, most of the firing happens in the barrel. Additionally, there is a sear that prevents the gas canister’s pressure from derailing things.

Therefore, when a player pulls the gun’s trigger, they cause the sear’s release, causing the gas assembly to move forward, which gives way for the discharging of the cartridge via the airline.

Thus, the gas’s pressure pushes the ball, which is released from the barrel at high velocity for a successful firing. The firing system immediately replaces the fired ball with another one from the feeder. It also ensures the new ball is in an ideal position for the next firing. Thus, the player will keep firing as long as the feeder has paintballs.

Paintball Speed

Although we have already said the balls are ejected from the gun at high speed, the speed cannot go beyond 300 f/s to protect the players from wanton injury.

Consequently, paintball guns don’t fire at the same speeds as conventional guns. Manufactures always take into account the firing velocity when manufacturing them to guarantee the safety of players.


Do all Paintball Guns Use the Same Shooting Mechanism?

Yes. They might differ in design, but they all use the same mechanism to shoot the paintballs

Can I Use a Real Bullet in a Paintball Gun?

No, you can’t. The paintball guns are designed to fire much lighter paintballs as compared to the heavier real bullets.

How Much do Paintballs Hurt?

Not very much. However, you will feel something akin to a string that will quickly fade away after some time. Some guns, however, might cause welts.

How Fast Can I Shoot with a Paintball Gun?

The maximum velocity you can shot a paintball gun at is 300 f/s. It is the maximum recommendation speed for all paintball guns to ensure safety.

Scroll to Top