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How do paintball pistols work

April 21, 2020

How Does A Paintball Pistol Work And The Different Types

How do paintball pistols work

Paintball guns or pistols are a mystery for those that have never tried to use one before, yet the way in which they operate is actually easy. Here is an overview of how these guns work and the different types.

The Basics

The paintballs inside the gun expel from the barrel using controlled and short bursts of gas. This action is typically released out of a canister that contains carbon dioxide housed inside the gun. In some cases, regular air or nitrogen gas is used which will depend on the gun type you are using.

The paintballs go into the firing assembly through a hopper, where one ball is held in position until the trigger is pulled which will release the next paintball. The hopper positions the ammunition (the paintballs) in the front part of the piston which is a part that is air powered. This device springs forward and flings the paintballs out.

The firing assembly on these pistols vary from gun to the next, but they will usually feature a type of gas valve that is sealed against the consistent release of a gas or air. This provides a way for the bolt on the gun to move in a forward direction.

The trigger on the gun releases a sear, which is a small part that holds everything else in position against the pressure inside the canister. This part also allows the “firing assembly” to move in a forward direction once the gas releases. This is what causes the balls to expel out of the gun at a speed. What occurs next is going to depend on the gun-type that you are using.

The paintballs fire at a low speed and most are limited to around 300-feet per second. This speed has the potential to leave a welt or bruise if a paintball hits you at a close distance, yet it is unlikely to result in serious harm at distances greater than 10 feet, especially when you are wearing the right gear.

That being said, ear and eye injuries will and can occur if you do not wear a mask along with ear protection. Many of the fields will not permit players to play without this type of protection.

Here is a list of the different types of paintball pistols:

  • Pump Action Gun

The pump-action marker was once the only type of paintball gun around, but these have become less common as new types and models emerged onto the market.

These pistols offer a single fire, which means the player has to operate the pump on the gun between every shot as there are no mechanisms present to reset the bolt once one of the paintballs is fired. This rate of firing is a lot lower when compared to the modern pistols, yet they feature fewer moving parts, which makes them a far more reliable option.

  • Semi-Automatic Paintball Guns

At this stage, the semi-automatic paintball gun is still the most popular and common gun used across the globe. The spring on these guns resets between every shot, without any involvement needed from the shooter, which means the fire rate is as “fast as the person can pull the trigger”.

These pistols work by moving gas or air to the front part of the firing-assembly, which pushes all the parts back into position once a shot is fired. Just about all the entry-level paintball pistols fall into this category, and they can be used easily without any restriction on the majority of fields and in tournaments. For those that are experimenting with this sport, this is the type of gun to start with.

  • Ramping Paintball Gun

Ramping is a mode whereby the pistol has a specific fire level where the gun assists the bolt using a motor that is electrically powered. The process is slightly complex and requires more gear when compared to the usual markers, yet it does lead to impressive results.

These guns start firing faster and faster, once the motor has kicked in. The fire rate increases as the shooter pulls on the trigger. You should first find out from your tournament or field if you will be allowed to use one of these guns, as they are in some cases banned due to the excessive fire rates.

  • Automatic Paintball Pistols

The automatic paintball guns essentially allow the shooter to fire out multiple shots using one trigger press. These guns operate with a type of circuit board that regulates and controls the firing-assembly, which activates as the trigger is pulled. These guns often come with motorized hoppers. These guns are usually banned in most tournaments and fields.

Maintaining Your Paintball Pistol

Since these pistols feature many moving parts that operate at a high speed, maintenance is a requirement for any paintball gun that you plan to use regularly.

It is important to not overdo it, as you will probably run into more problems when it comes to incorrectly putting the gun back together than you would from any other type of wear and tear.

The best way to keep your paintball pistol in tip-top condition would be to invest in paintball-gun oil to keep everything lubricated if you have decided to take the gun apart. Using the incorrect oil could destroy the seal. Using the wrong lubricant can also damage the interior functions of the gun. For this reason, only buy a lubricant or oil that the manufacturer of the pistol has recommended. Other care tips include trying not to drop the gun into mud or banging it against something hard. You should also clean out the barrel directly after every game.

Final Thoughts

A paintball gun or pistol is regarded as a type of sophisticated toy, yet the way they operate is not as complex when compared to a normal gun. Paintball pistols become a lot more interesting once you have found out how each one works. Even though all the models have slight differences, they generally operate in the same way.

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