Best Paintball Gun Buying Guide – 10 Best Paintball Markers Reviewed
If you are looking to get into the sport of paintball you may have some questions about what type of equipment you should purchase to get started.
Or, maybe you have some experience paint-balling and you are just looking to upgrade your gear to get a better advantage against your competition on the field.
Regardless of your level of experience we want to share our top ten picks for the best paintball guns available in 2018.
We have also put together our Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Paintball Pro, which covers all aspects of the sport and will give you all the knowledge you need to hit the field with confidence.
Best Paintball Gun Reviews - Top 10
Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Paintball Pro
In this section we will cover almost every aspect of a paintball gun and how the sport is played to give you the edge out on the field.
Knowing more about all the components of the gun and different play styles will help make you a better player. You'll also be able to help newcomers to the game.
Know the different paintball play styles
There are a few different ways people play paintball and we will cover them all here.
It is good to know what type of play style you want to engage in, primarily to ensure you get a marker that is suitable for that specific styles needs.
If you enjoy the camouflage aspect of a natural forest setting, woodsball paintball matches will be right up your alley.
Sometimes referred to as hillball, bushball or woods paintball, woodsball is the first recognized paintball game format.
There are an infinite number of ways to combine woodsball with different scenario paintball variations, making it one of the most popular play styles around.
Recball is basically everything other than competitive or tournament paintball.
If you are playing any style paintball for fun, then you are playing recreational paintball. Always remember to stay safe and have fun.
Speedball is played on more open fields, indoors or outdoors, with smaller symmetrical playing areas with inflatable bunkers to provide cover for both teams.
Speedball games are usually fast paced and use a significantly higher amount of paintballs due to the play style.
Speedball was created to offer a more balanced and controlled way for tournament paintball to be played, as well as viewed by spectators.
The open play field makes players focus on providing covering fire for their team to make advancements while trying to keep the other team pinned down.
Scenario-based paintball matches offer new and exciting variations of a traditional elimination paintball match.
A few of the most common scenario-based paintball games that are played include capture the flag, king of the hill, attack and defend, protect the VIP, and bomb the base.
The possibilities for scenario paintball matches are endless and new game styles continue to pop up all the time.
Tournament paintball is regulated more than any other play style. There are both amateur and professional leagues that compete for the top prize.
Some tournaments can have large cash prizes. Players on each team have specific roles when playing tournaments.
Traditionally there are three main roles: fronts, mids and backs.
The front players are on the front lines and have to be aggressive and agile. They often see the most action and traditionally get out more than the mids and backs.
The mid players will have to push and take the fronts' spots once they are eliminated. Mid players need to also relay information between the front players and the backs.
The back players stay fairly stationary during the entire match. They lay down covering fire, keeping their opponents pinned behind obstacles, and calling out enemy position changes during the match.
Two other positions include insert players and floaters. Both types of players provide support to their team and fill in positions as needed.
Stock Class Paintball
Stock class paintball is a very specific and uncommon play style, but we want to cover it for your knowledge.
Stock paintball guns have unique rules that players must abide by:
- Guns must be pump action
- Guns cannot hold more then 20 paintballs at any time
- Guns must use a 12 gram CO2 cartridge
- The magazine tube must be parallel to the barrel
If you are into saving paint and want a more old school play style, find a field that offers stock paintball matches.
Also call MilSim, military simulation paintball matches are usually "mission" based and allow civilians to reenact military-based situations in paintball or air soft environments.
Sometimes the matches are objective-based where players need to complete a task or goal. Other times the matches are played as elimination or timed matches. The team with the most players left at the end wins.
Pump vs Mechanical vs Electronic
Paintball guns can be classified into three primary categories: pump, mechanical and electronic paintball guns.
We will cover each in detail so you can tell the difference and get the proper gun type for your preferred play style.
Pump Paintball Guns
Pump paintball markers are designed for a unique play style and can only fire one shot at a time before you need to "pump" the gun to fire another round.
Playing games with pump paintball guns usually require more strategy and tactics compared to games played with mechanical or electronic guns.
The first paintball guns were all pump-based and games were played at a much slower pace than modern play styles.
If you want to test your tactics and play a more strategic game of paintball, get yourself a pump paintball marker.
Mechanical Paintball Guns
Tried and true mechanical paintball markers are rock solid when it comes to dependability.
Mechanical guns are the most common paintball guns used by players worldwide. Mechanical guns are semi-automatic, allowing the player to shoot a single paintball every time they pull the trigger.
Having few moving parts and no electronics makes maintaining and cleaning these guns quick and easy.
Due to the less complex build, mechanical paintball guns tend to cost a bit less than their electronic counterparts. Mechanical paintball guns are great for beginners due to their basic construction and affordable price point.
Electronic Paintball Guns
Electronic paintball guns are the newest and most advanced types of paintball markers available.
These guns are typically powered by an standard 9v battery. The firing mechanism is electronic so when you pull the trigger it is sending an electronic signal to the internal computer to fire the paintball gun.
Electronic paintball markers often have adjustable fire rates of semi-automatic, 3-shot bursts, and fully automatic settings.
These guns have opened up new play styles and have allowed the sport of paintball to grow and evolve over the years. Some of the newest electronic guns actually have an LED display where you can track stats, such as how many paintballs have been fired, fire-rate and more.
Why Paintball Gun Weight Matters
Gun weight isn't the most important factor, but it is something to keep in mind. If you are playing in an area where the temperatures are very high, you may want to get a lighter gun to assist with your stamina.
Also, keep in mind your play style. If you like to hang out in the back and snipe people you can handle a heavy gun because you are not moving a lot. But, if you are a nimble front line player that needs to change direction quickly, you will want the lighter gun to improve your mobility.
Different Barrel Types
There are many different types of barrels available. Some will shoot farther than others while some will be a bit more accurate, but not shoot as far. Do your research before making purchases to ensure the threading is the same and will work with your marker.
Different paintball barrel materials:
- Stainless Steel
- Carbon Fiber
Now if you are just getting started you may feel a little overwhelmed. This is totally normal, just remember to be patient and do your research.
There are guns for all levels and types of play, and making a decision may be difficult. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send us an email on our contact page. We are more than happy to help!