How Do Paintball Guns Work?

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Before trying to understand how a paintball gun works, it is important to know what a paintball gun is. It is a particular type of gun that is used for entertainment and fun.

So they are specifically designed for sports. Even though they are only used for the game, paintballs guns are, to some extent, dangerous. Hence, before playing the game, one has to be familiarized with the safety rules.

So how do paintball guns work? Well, primarily, the gun is composed of a paintball barrel for accuracy, trigger and, grip. These paintball gun parts work together to function as a gun. However, there are different types of paintball guns with their specific functions. Some of them are discussed below.

how do paintball guns work

How Paintball Gun Works?

Electronic Paintball Gun

The electronic paintball gun also called an electro-pneumatic gun, shoots paintballs with the help of battery-powered circuits that trigger solenoids, which then cause the gun to fire.

The trigger pull indicates the circuit board to shoot, which then causes the gun to activate. Since the boards can be programmed, it is easy to activate the board to shoot paintballs automatically, by usually using a three-round burst.

There are different types of electronic guns with different integral settings. While the various types of regulators, bolts, and valves affect the overall performances of the guns, the pros and cons of all the types are pretty much the same.

But the different types need to be maintained according to their specific needs. This includes cleaning the gun and lubricating them with oil or grease. The downside of having an electronic gun is that they are pretty difficult to assemble.

This is because they have very detailed manuals that explain how to reassemble or disassemble each section of the gun. So you need to follow the instructions carefully while setting up the gun.

But compared to other guns, they are more accurate, consistent, and are prone to fire faster.

CO2 Paintball Gun

CO2 was used in the very first paintball guns, thus making it a standard for many years. It works in a pretty simple way. When carbon dioxide transforms into a gas from the liquid state, it expands.

This creates pressure, and this very pressure is used to fire the paintball through the barrel. Refilling CO2 in the tank is pretty inexpensive. Also, the tanks can yield more shots when filled with CO2.

However, there are some issues regarding CO2. When the liquid expands, it also cools down. And the faster it expands, the faster the cooling happens, so this can result in an erratic shooting.

Blowback Paintball Guns

Of all the types, this is the simplest method. The blowback paintball gun is primarily a spring-loaded hammer that hits a valve that then lets the air out from the barrel, which ultimately causes the paintball to shoot out.

The air is also directed towards the hammer, which in turn resets the paintball gun. This method is commonly found among standard guns. It also doesn’t require electronics to operate, and the moving parts are kept at a minimum, so this type of gun is more reliable than the others.

Moreover, they are easy to maintain and not very expensive. With the right kind of accessories, they can easily be the easiest gun to use. The guns usually have a stack tube design like the Kingman Spyders or BT-4s.

This design makes it more efficient, so if you are playing throughout the day with little chances of a refill, then you might want to consider buying this gun. One of the downsides of the blowback paintball gun is that it is pretty heavy to carry and is liable to make you tired pretty quickly.

Closed Bolt Paintball Gun

A closed bolt paintball gun is a type of gun that stays in a ready-to-fire position while the bolt remains closed. This means the gun is ready to shoot the paintball when the front part of the bolt is secured in the chamber or at the barrel’s breech end.

So when the trigger of the gun is pulled, a valve opens up, which lets out a burst of CO2 via the bolt to fire the paintball from the barrel. The closed bolt guns can re-cock by themselves, or they are pumped in case it is a pump gun.

They do this by opening enough to let another paintball fall inside the chamber, and then they close up and get ready to fire again. Pump guns and auto cockers all use the closed bolt design.

How Far Do Paintball Guns Shoot?

One thing that might slip your mind is how far can a paintball gun shoot, especially when you are busy with firing. But this is very important to know since the effective range of your gun will determine how safely you can play and how your shooting style must be.

The primary deciding factor of the shooting range is how far the paintball travels when it exits the gun. So this depends on the type of gun you have and the type of paintball that you are using.

The average maximum range in which a paintball gun can shoot is between 80 feet to 100 feet, and this is the standard for most of the types of guns available in the market.

So depending on your desired impact force or preferred result, you can adjust the gun to shoot paintballs in different shooting ranges. You can also change it depending on how slow or intense the game is.


Paintball guns are considered to be sophisticated pieces of equipment designed especially for entertainment. Compared to normal guns, these are pretty simple and straightforward to use.

Each type of gun has its method of functionality. So once you know how they work and how they should be operated, it can be a pretty fun experience. Even though there are different types, the general rules of paintball guns apply to every all the models.

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