The number one question we get asked is “What is the best paintball gun?” That’s an extremely hard question to answer, because it depends. Are you new to the sport and just starting out? Are you a seasoned player that needs speed over accuracy or are you a sniper who likes to pick people off from a distance?
As you can see, the answer is “It depends.”
One of the good things is that cheap paintball guns can easily be upgraded and modified to grow as your game develops. They can also be customized for very specific purposes such as speed or accuracy at long distances. That’s why we highly recommend starting with a good quality, base model.
The paintball gun that we recommend is the Tippmann 98 custom.
This marker is great right out of the box for the majority of players, but can easily be transformed into one of the most accurate and fast sniper rifles on the market.
Check out our Tippmann 98 Custom review.
As the sport has grown, so has the variety and style of the equipment. Almost every time of firearm has found its way into the paintball world. We now have paintball rifles, shotguns and even pistols.
Even within the paintball community are niches such as the milsim (military simulation) that feature tactical paintball guns that look like an m4 or m16. These military paintball guns function exactly like a traditional marker, but they have been modified to have the look and feel of a military style weapon.
Paintball rifles are the style we see typically think about when we hear the word paint ball gun. These can be either mechanical or electronic in nature and upgraded in an almost unlimited combination of accessories. Mechanical rifles typically fire one round per trigger pull while electronic versions can be fully automatic paintball guns.
Electronic paintball guns are becoming much more common as they add a number of additional features to the marker such as being able to adjust the number of rounds fired per trigger pull.
Paintball Sniper Rifle
One of the fastest growing styles is the paintball sniper rifle These markers are extremely accurate at long distances and allow snipers to hang in the back of the field while the gunners find their way to the front with their faster and much lighter markers.
Instead of being able to shoot one or several paint balls per trigger pull like a rifle, the paintball shotgun is typically designed like a regular pump shotgun. After one round is fired, the user must pump the marker to chamber another round.
Pump paintball guns are becoming popular in a niche segment. Many leagues now feature shotgun only matches. This changes the game and requires a completely different strategy.
Although not very common, paintball handguns are available. One of the most popular models is the Tippmann TPX. These are typically not used in a competitive match as they have a limited capacity and lack most features of a typical marker.
Different manufacturers add different features to their markers to make them stand apart from the crowd, but the following features are standard in the industry.
Electronic vs Mechanical
As far as reliability, an electronic model is just as reliable as a mechanical model. Electronic models do require a battery, so they will stop working when the battery runs down.
A mechanical model can typically take more abuse than an electronic model, but with normal care, it’s a minor issue.
When you see a full auto paintball gun, or a “paintball machine gun” as many people like to call them, that’s an electronic marker.
Balls per Seconds (bps)
With the introduction of electronics, we now have the ability to adjust the way a marker fires with the flip of a switch. The most common modes are single shot (one ball fired per trigger pull), 3 shot burst (3 balls fired per trigger pull), semi-automatic and fully automatic.
Each mode will affect the number of maximum balls per second. In semi-auto mode, most guns can fire around 25 bps. Double or triple that in fully automatic mode. For this reason, most public facilities will limit your bps to around 15.