Are you new to the game of paintball? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about the sport.One area of the sport that often confuses people are the paintball guns themselves. This is because there are just so many different types of paintball guns on the market. That’s why today we are going to take an in-depth look at paintball markers and review several that we feel are the best in the industry.
Choosing the right paintball marker for your needs doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Sure there are hundreds of models to choose from but if you know what you are looking for then you won’t have any problems finding the perfect gun. Below are some things you will want to consider when purchasing a paintball gun. Follow these helpful tips and you will find shopping for a new paintball gun a pleasurable experience.
Low profile frame which fits perfect in your hands
The DYE Proto Rize paintball marker is a remarkable gun for the price. It comes with a patented Rize Fusion bolt that will push out paintballs at lighting speed! The Proto Rize is also a very accurate gun that fires really quiet giving you a huge tactical advantage on the battlefield. This paintball marker has a low profile frame which fits perfect in your hands. The gun also comes with an adjustable aluminum trigger for smooth operation.
Also, this paintball marker comes standard with anti-chop eyes which will help reduce paintball breakage. This paintball gun only weighs in at 4 pounds which won’t slow you down on the playing field. Having a lighter gun will mean that you can carry more gear and paintballs giving you a huge tactical advantage over other players. When it comes warranty DYE stands behind their product by offering a full one-year warranty. This will help protect your investment and if you have any issues simply send your gun back in for repair. Built with both affordability and performance in mind, this gun is perfect for those looking to get into competition paintball but doesn’t want to spend a ton of money.
Another high quality paintball gun that is also affordable, the Planet Eclipse GTEK was built to last. This marker is perfect for daily play and competitions. The GTEK comes equipped with breech sensing technology which helps trap up to 30 PSI during firing making it one of the most efficient guns on the market. This paintball gun operates on 135 PSI which makes it both quiet and accurate at the same time. Not many markers can fire on such a low PSI, but the GTEK has a smaller than normal spool.
When it comes to warranty, Planet Eclipse offers a very generous 12-month warranty with this model. This will allow you to safely use your gun without having to worry about it breaking down on you. If you do run into issues, the marker can be turned in for quick repair and you will have it back in no time. Highly durable, the GTEK comes with a solid high-grade aluminum frame that will stand the test of time. This will allow you to use your marker in less than perfect conditions without having to worry about corrosion. If you are looking for the perfect mid-ranged paintball marker for competition play, then the Planet Eclipse GTEK is the perfect one for you.
This paintball marker is higher on the price range but still very affordable. The Planet Eclipse ETEK5 is one of the most accurate guns in the world. Because it operates at only 150 PSI, you will be able to easily hit your target without slowing down. Having such a low operating pressure also gives you a very quiet paintball marker. This will allow you to sneak around the battlefield without being noticed. A SL4 Inline Regulator that is built into the frame of the guns helps regulate pressure so you will always have a smooth firing rate. This marker also has a larger valve chamber that will help prevent paintball breakage and makes the gun easy to clean. You won’t have to spend a lot of time on gun maintenance because of this very well designed feature. This gun is loaded with features and you think all the technology would weigh you down. But this paintball marker only weighs 2.2 pounds! If you are looking to upgrade to a higher quality paintball marker, the Planet Eclipse ETEK5 is the perfect model.
Different firing rates including three round burst and full-auto
SP Shocker RSX Paintball Marker Gun
When it comes to performance and durability, this paintball gun will exceed your expectations. Priced a bit higher than other guns on the market, the SP Shocker RSX paintball marker is for those looking for a more serious gun. The perfect gun for competition, this marker comes with a RSX bolt system that will efficiently fire paintballs at a rapid rate. This system keeps the gun very quiet during game play and using less operating PSI. Have a quite gun will help give you the element of surprise against those with much louder guns. A state-of-the-art OLED circuit board allows you to choose from many different firing rates including three round burst and full-auto. This will allow you to choose the best firing rate for the situation at hand. A pair of break beam eye sensors will let you fire just about any type of paintball on the market without slowing you down or worrying about breakage. This gun is also very light weight in at only a few pounds. A generous one-year warranty is also including with this paintball gun. If you are looking for a higher quality paintball marker that has tons of features, this is the model for you. Perfect for serious competitions, you really can’t go wrong with the SP Shocker RSX.
This marker sends the paintball screaming out of the barrel at lighting speeds
DYE M2 Paintball Marker
This is hands down the most expensive gun on the list. But the DYE M2 paintball marker offers you great value. For this price you will be getting one of the most advanced paintball guns in the entire world! One feature that helps this gun stand out from the rest is the 1″ Prism OLED Interface with Method Operating system. This readout screen will allow you to quickly change between firing modes. Not many guns offer a display of this size making it very desirable. You also get a 5-way control joystick that makes the marker easy to operate while on the move. This marker fires with a very low operating pressure making it both silent and accurate. At only 65 PSI, this marker sends the paintball screaming out of the barrel at lighting speeds. Not many guns can operate at such a low pressure but the DYE M2 does it with grace. When it comes to weight, you won’t find a lighter gun with this many features. Weighing in at only 1 pound 10 ounces, this marker will never slow you down. This will allow you to carry your marker all day without feeling tired at the end of the day. A very easy to clean paintball gun, general maintenance on this model will only take you a few minutes. If you are looking for a high-grade paintball marker that will help you blow away the completion, the DYE M2 paintball gun is the one for you. Not many other guns can compare to this one and the price is right.
In the early days, these were the only type of paintball markers around. These guns require players to manually operate it in order to fire. This gave the gun an extremely slow firing rate. To get a better picture of how these guns work, think of a pump shotgun that you often see in the movies. Though older, these guns are still around today and many people love to use them. Pump paintball guns are very accurate and extremely reliable compared to other types of markers. These guns require more skill to use but once you get the hang of the marker you will be highly skilled. Because they take so much time to learn and fire much slower than modern day guns, these are not recommended for those new to the sport. On the other hand, if you have been playing for quite some time, you might want to give one of these older models a try. These retro paintball guns are making a comeback and you just might see one on a playing field near you.
Mechanical Paintball Guns
This type of paintball marker is hands down the most popular and loved gun today. Mechanical paintball guns are used in every part of the world! These markers are semi-automatic which means that each time you pull the trigger the gun fires. When it comes to maintenance, these guns are very easy to keep clean and are very reliable. As far as price goes, mechanical paintball guns are very affordable and can be purchase at many different price points. There are two types of propellants that are used by this type of marker; CO2 and compressed air. Stored in tanks, CO2 and compressed air can be attached to the gun and used to fire the paintball out of the gun. Most paintball stores will be able to refill your tanks for a small fee. The majority of these guns utilize a blow back operating system. When the trigger is pulled it releases a hammer which is under spring pressure. Then the hammer hits the valve which opens up and send the paintball flying out of the gun. After the paintball is released the hammer blows back by the pressure and returns to a firing position.
HK Army Paintball Team in Action
Electronic Paintball Guns
These guns are the latest and greatest in the world of paintball. High-tech, the electronic paintball gun is a different breed of marker (see the Empire Axe). When these guns first came onto the market, they were very expensive and only the most serious paintball players had them. But now these markers have come down in price and many players are starting to invest in them. Electronic paintball guns fire with the use of a solenoid that is controlled by a circuit board. Most of these guns are powered by a simple 9-volt battery which is very convenient. Many of these markers come with multiple firing rates that include the popular three round burst and full-auto. These guns make the sport of paintball very interesting and keeps it evolving. Many of these guns use a spool valve which only requires the gun to have one moving part. This makes for very easy clean up and there are fewer parts to repair. Many people purchase these guns for that reason alone. If you are a serious paintball player that takes part in a lot of competitions, then this just might be the best marker for you.
Propellant Systems Overview
Paintball guns use three different types of propellants to fire. All three types of systems are widely used and both have serious followings. Depending on who you ask, each system is considered the best. Today we are going to take a look at both types. We will learn about CO2 and HPA/Nitrogen and compare them. All three of these propellants have their positive sides and their downsides.
This is the most commonly used propellant. CO2 is the cheapest of the two types of propellants and costs around $5 to fill up a 20-ounce tank. A brand new CO2 20-ounce tank will typically cost around $23. This will allow players lots of time on the playing field for very little cost. But there is a disadvantage to using CO2 as your propellant of choice. CO2 is a cold gas and when it is released at a rapid rate both the tank and your paintball gun can freeze up. This occurs when the gun is fired in rapid motion. A very common problem during tournament play, freeze up is something every paintball player fears. This can cause serious damage to any paintball marker and some parts may even have to be replaced. If you have a very expensive paintball gun, the cost of the damage can really add up.
These two similar types of propellants are most often used during tournament play. Very dependable, both HPA/Nitrogen stays at a constant pressure no matter how fast you fire your paintball gun. Also, these gasses are very stable and will not freeze up unlike CO2. Each of these propellants are considered to be clean gasses and will not harm your marker. The only real downside to using these gasses is that they will cost you more money. These propellants will typically cost around $1 per 1000 PSI at many paintball shops or big box stores. A brand new HPA/Nitrogen 3000 PSI tank will set you back about $60 and up. This extra cost is why some players choose to go with CO2. But the money you will save by not having a costly freeze up is well worth the extra cash.
Ninja Paintball 4500 PSI Carbon Fiber HPA Tank
Marker Barrels Overview
Another important part of any paintball marker is its barrel. Depending on the gun, you can often choose to add a different barrel than the one that came with the gun. These aftermarket barrels come in kits and are made from different materials. Today we are going to take a look at these materials and how each one is different from the other.
This type of material is a great choice for those looking for a lightweight barrel that won’t break the bank. Aluminum barrels are often cheaper than the rest and they can be found in just about any paintball shop. One of the downsides of aluminum barrels is the fact that they can bend easily.
Lighter than most metal barrels, those made from ceramic will help reduce the weight of the overall gun. One thing that many people love about ceramic barrels is that most of them are self-cleaning. In the event of a broken paintball, players won’t be slowed down because a ceramic barrel will take care of itself.
Stainless steel barrels
If you are looking for durability a stainless steel barrel is your best choice. Stronger than most barrels on the market, this material will take abuse like no other. These barrels are also quite affordable and you will find them on many paintball markers. The drawback to owning a stainless steel barrel is, of course, the weight. Being much heavier than other materials might cause some players to stay away from these barrels. This is especially true for those who play competition paintball.
Carbon fiber barrels
These are often considered the cream of the crop. A carbon fiber barrel is both durable and easy to clean making them one of the best options. But the price of these barrels are much higher which is sometimes a turnoff to players. But in my opinion, It’s worth every penny.
Another less common but very durable barrel type are those made from titanium. They are very light and super strong. They are also easy to keep clean even during heavy game play. But the price is also high and many just can’t justify the cost of these barrels.
When it comes to speed a brass barrel will push a paintball out faster than the rest. This is why many players choose this material. Brass is also very lightweight allowing it to be easily carried while attached to the gun. But like aluminum brass has a tendency to bend under pressure.
Are you a casual player or a competition player? This is a very important question that you should ask yourself before buying a paintball marker. If you just like to go out in your backyard and shoot at your friends, then most paintball guns will do the job. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a gun for that purpose. But if you are a serious player that thrives on competition, you will need to invest some money in a good high quality gun. Most of these guns are going to cost you at the very least $100.
Weight is a big issue. If you are going to be playing for a long time or during a tournament, you will want to choose a paintball marker that is lightweight but durable at the same time. Try to find one under 5 pounds so you won’t grow tired of carrying it. Some higher-grade guns weigh less than 2 pounds and were designed for long term competition play. If you are a more serious player, you might want to consider buy one of these guns.
What happens if your gun breaks? When looking at paintball guns to purchase make sure to find one with at least a one-year warranty. This will protect you in case something happens to your marker. Getting stuck with a paintball gun that has no warranty can mean that you will be out of a gun and out of your money if something serious goes wrong.
Last but not least look for one you like. This could not be more important. Choose a gun that you like holding in your hand. Style is very important and choosing a gun that matches your shooting style will help you be more successful during game play. What’s the point of owning a gun that you can’t stand to look at just because someone says it’s the best?
Now that you have learned more about the different types of paintball markers, you will be able to make a better purchasing decision. You know what options you have and you have a better grasp about how each of these guns work. This guide has taught you about the different types of propellants you can choose from and what to look for in a barrel. You have learned that weight is very important and why so many people choose lightweight guns over heavier ones. This step-by-step buyers guide has provided you with enough information to make a solid purchase. If you’re still not sure, start by looking at the Empire Axe Pro or the SP Shocker from HK Army.