Paintball Barrel Basics: Everything You Need to Know

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All paintball barrels probably look the same to some extent at the first glance, but if you look more closely, you can feel the differences that set them apart and each of them is a better version of one another in certain matters like gameplay, shot type and performance-wise.

It may also differ depending on players’ preferences. The paintball barrel is an important part of the gun. You can buy different paintball barrels, but you need to know about them and what makes them different, which can serve your purpose in buying them.
paintball barrel basicsPhoto Credit: LoneWolfPaintball

Paintball Barrel Length

There is a belief in some people that a longer barrel allows a more accurate shot. It is true to some extent, but it is true up to 12 inches. A barrel over 12 inches will hamper your gun’s performance because the paintball has to travel further and it doesn’t travel the same way.

Paintball needs air to eject itself out of the barrel, but when it is longer than 12 inches, it needs more air to escape. The efficiency is lessened here as you can see.

As the barrel gets longer, it will be too long for the paintball which will slow it down inside. And as it slows than normal, it will travel less distance.

Barrel Design

A barrel is divided into 3 parts. Such as – The threading, the porting, and the barrel shaft. Threading is the one that has grooves that allows you to attach and screw the barrel to the gun. The solid part of the gun with which players shoot paintballs is the barrel shaft.

Barrel Porting

The holes on the side of the barrel of the gun that you are the ports. When fired, it reduces the sound of the shots. The air is sucked in from these ports when paintballs are being shot. These holes are in series on the side of the barrel until the end of the barrel opening,

The ports allow the air to gradually escape from the barrel which in turn causes less noise. Generally, this means that more porting allows the barrel to be quieter. But it takes quite the amount of air to fire the paintball and thus the gun’s efficiency decreases.

Sometimes, the porting comes in different designs and shapes like spiral or straight but there’s not much of a difference to be concerned with.


Threading is different and varies from gun to gun. As a big threaded screw won’t even with the small threaded bolt, barrels of wrong threading will not even fit to your gun.

Let’s suppose that you have bought a Tippmann paintball marker and you got a barrel to go with. But it needs to be a Tippmann threaded barrel so that it can fit, otherwise, it won’t fit or work properly.

Hence, ensure that the threading of the new barrel that you want to fit, matches with the threading of the gun so that you can get to utilize it properly without a hassle.


Paintballs come in different sizes and shapes. While the standard paintball size is regulated to be .68 inches in diameter, different brands manufacture them in different sizes. Hence, worrying about the size of the barrel is not fruitful.

What matters is that the paintball size should match the barrel size. As the paintball is round, it can’t go down the barrel without help. It needs external force or blowing on one end of the gun. Paintballs that go down by themselves mean it is too small for your gun.


Paintball barrels can be made and produced with different materials. And these materials don’t play that much of a role where you need to be concerned about them. These materials don’t contribute to accuracy and performance, but they do affect the weight.

One thing is to be noted, that heavier barrels cost less than the lighter ones. So, choose the barrel which feels comfortable to carry.

Conclusion: Paintball Barrel 101

Paintballs vary in different sizes from time to time, season to season. And if you play to change your gun set (outside of paintball that is), make sure that the sizes of the barrel and the paintball match both accordingly if you’re aiming to have a specific type of projectile.

Barrels are sometimes constructed with a single piece or two pieces being merged which can affect performance-wise. So, it’s better to come to an understanding of what you’d like before purchasing it.

Last, but not least, always remember to look at the porting in the new barrels while choosing it as they are crucial.


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