You can't play paintball without a proper gun. However, your gun will never work at top level unless it is properly cleaned. Paintball guns are not cheap. In fact, they are one of the most expensive parts of the sport. As a result, you want them to last as long as possible. This guide will cover some of the best cleaning practices to make sure your equipment is around for years to come.
The first part of cleaning a paintball gun is making sure you have all of the necessary supplies. There are several tools you need, but almost all of them will be easily accessible everyday items. You need your gun's schematic (which is either in the box, manual, or manufacturer's website), Q-tips, paper towels, Allen keys, pull-through squeegees, lubricant, and warm water.
Once you have all of those in order, move to a wide or open work space where your parts will stay in one place and not be easily lost.
The first part of learning how to clean a paintball gun is to de-gas it. You never want to risk misfire, which means you should remove the fuel canister and locate the ASA lever. If you gun has no lever, you should check the instructions on the manufacturer's site on how to de-gas your model.
Next, you want to carefully (very carefully) disassemble your model. Starting with the hopper, remove the barrel, hammer, bolt, and grip frame. As you do this, be sure to set each piece aside in its own space with the screws or fasteners. This will help easily reassemble it when the time comes and also make sure you never accidentally lose any parts.
Though all parts need to be cleaned, they are each done in their own way. You want to start with the body. However, before you begin you need to find out if you need to run a squeegee through the gun. Do that first if needed, then use a wet Q-tip or toothbrush to make sure everything is properly cleaned out. That will prevent jamming. Once that is done, you should wipe the body down with a paper towel to ensure everything stays dry.
The next step in this process is cleaning the barrel. To do that, you want to use a pull-through squeegee to get any paint residue from the barrel. This helps stop jamming and increases accuracy. Once you are done and the paint is gone, wipe the barrel down with a damp paper towel and carefully dry it.
After that, you want to take care of the bolt and hammer. Take a paper towel and use it to clean both parts. You also want to check the o-rings on each piece for any general wear and tear. Though some strain is fine, too much indicates that they need to be replaced.
The final part of the gun you need to clean is the grip frame. You start this process by cleaning out any debris with a Q-tip or toothbrush. However, as the trigger assembly is complicated and tough to put back together, do not take it apart. Once you've cleaned it, carefully dry and check for any signs of damage.
Once you've successfully cleaned your gun, you next need to perform an inspection. First, you should replace any cracked or damaged O-rings. Then, check the rings and look at the screws for any potential signs of damage. If you find any parts that are not up to snuff, replace them.
Proper lubrication is another part of learning how to clean a paintball gun. After you've cleaned and dried everything, carefully lubricate each and every part. While it can be tempting to use generic brands, only use paintball oil that is recommended by the gun's manufacturer.
Once the above steps have been completed, you have to put everything back together. This is just as important as the cleaning because improper reassembly can lead to damaged or worn parts. While reassembly differs from model to model, the overall rule is to put things back in order by going through each piece and installing it with fasteners or screws.
Anyone who plays paintball needs to know how to clean a paintball gun. This is an important part of making sure your purchase keeps working as intended over a long period of time. You never want your gun to break early on, and you also want to avoid any accuracy or performance issues. As long as you follow the above steps every now and then, you will be able to shoot worry free.