You've heard all about how exciting paintball can be. It's great exercise, a way to have fun with your friends, and an excellent sport for anyone who has a competitive spirit. Before you get to enjoy it to the fullest, however, you should learn how to use a paintball gun.
Paintball guns aren't overly complicated, but they're not as simple as you might think, either. You can't just grab any random paintball gun and expect to be able to play -- not if you want to have a chance at winning, anyway. You should know the basics of how these guns operate.
It would definitely help to learn some tips when it comes to how to use a paintball gun. This will help you get into the game with the confidence that you know what you're doing. That way, you can enjoy it as much as possible!
How Does a Paintball Gun Work?
If you have an interest in learning how to use a paintball gun, the first thing you should do is learn how one of these works. Of course, paintball guns fire paintballs. But exactly how does this happen?
Depending on the type of gun you have, there is a canister full of some sort of gas. Usually, it's carbon dioxide, but it could be nitrogen or even run-of-the-mill air. A short and controlled burst of this gas causes a paintball to come barreling out.
The gun also contains a hopper, which puts the paintball at the head of the line into its appropriate spot in the firing assembly. There is a single paintball that is in place that is prepared to go out the next time you pull the trigger.
The hopper moves the paintball that is first in line directly in front of a piston, which will propel it out when you shoot the gun.
Types of Paintball Guns
When you're on your quest to learn how to use a paintball gun, you should also learn about the different types of paintball guns. That's right, not all paintball guns are created the same.
Different types operate using different mechanisms, which will affect the specific directions when it comes to how to use a paintball gun for you.
There are hybrids of these three types, as well as other types that are on the market. However, the three main types are pump, mechanical, and electronic paintball guns.
Pump paintball guns have been around for longer than the other types. Some may see these as the most primitive type of paintball gun, as they require manual operation. However, they have resurged in popularity in the past several years.
If you have a pump paintball gun, you have to use a shotgun-like pump in order to cock the marker and put the next paintball in place for your shot. These guns are very reliable. They may not have the most firepower, but they allow you to focus on accuracy and field skills.
If you're new to the game, you might not want to start with a pump paintball gun. It's a lot like driving a stick instead of an automatic car. It's a lot more work for someone who is just getting into the game.
Examples of pump paintball guns include the Empire sniper gun.
These are the most common and popular options for anyone who wants to learn how to use a paintball gun. Mechanical paintball guns are usually semi-automatic. This means that the gun fires one shot for each trigger pull.
The mechanical guns might be the best choice for people who are new to paintball. If you have the right accessories, they are probably the easiest and most user-friendly. They are also easy to maintain.
The majority of mechanical paintball guns that are available at this time are referred to as blowbacks.
That means when you pull the trigger, it will move a sear catch. This will release a striker, which is under spring tension. The striker will then hit the valve, which will closet to open so that the paintball can fly out of the barrel.
Examples of mechanical paintball guns include Kingman Spyder guns and Tippman guns.
It used to be that only the wealthiest paintball players could afford electronic paintball guns. However, these days, they're much more affordable.
These operate using an electric solenoid that fires the marker, and it's usually a 9-volt battery that powers the whole process. The trigger of an electronic gun either trips a laser beam or clicks a microswitch, instead of requiring a trigger pull as mechanical guns do.
It takes minimal effort to pull the trigger on an electronic paintball gun so that you can fire and refire very quickly. There is a circuit board within the gun that controls all of the commands so that you can fire in many different modes.
Examples of electronic paintball guns include the Planet Eclipse Etek4 and the Kingman Spyder Fenix.
10 Rapid Tips on How to Use a Paintball Gun for the Very First Time
When you're learning how to play paintball, a big part of succeeding is learning how to use a paintball gun properly. It might seem very simple, but the truth is that there are a few things that you should do in order to ensure that your gun functions optimally.
There are also certain tactics that you should employ while you're actually playing; that is, if you're interested in winning.
1. HPA tanks beat out CO2
When you're playing paintball, it's no secret that accuracy is essential. One way that you can make your paintball gun more accurate when you fire is to change the type of air you use. Instead of carbon dioxide, you can upgrade to HPA or High-Pressure Air.
First of all, you should make sure that your gun can operate using HPA. It works for most of the newer paintball guns, but you shouldn't assume it'll work for yours. Don't start using it without making sure your gun can handle it.
Carbon dioxide gas is very sensitive to temperature. If you're a science buff, you know that temperature and pressure have a direct relationship with one another. So, if CO2 is sensitive to temperature, the pressure can go all over the place with changing temperatures.
And this will make it very hard for you. Think about it -- if the pressure in your gun isn't consistent, your accuracy likely won't be either. HPA is much less sensitive to temperature and will be much more consistent for you.
2. Wash your gun, not just your uniform!
You can't expect your gun to be clean at all times when you're playing paintball. It's inevitably going to get muddy. However, you should also keep in mind that playing paintball with a dirty gun is one of the leading causes of inaccurate shots.
You should, of course, run a squeegee through the barrel. And you should make sure that the squeegee is clean. However, you need to clean and inspect the entire gun, not just the barrel.
You should make it a habit to check your paintball gun pretty regularly, especially after really messy matches. Make sure to check the raceway inside your motor, the detents, the eyes, the body, and the bolt and hammer, along with the barrel. It's almost a given that the accuracy of your game will be better for it.
3. Lube: a Goldilocks situation
Lube is very useful, a fact you should know while learning how to use a paintball gun. You need to keep certain parts of the gun coated with lube for optimal performance and maintenance. However, if you use too much lube, it can travel into places that could interfere with the performance of your gun.
If you use too much lube, it'll usually end up in the barrel. That could mess up the accuracy of your shots.
In other words, you don't want to use too much lube or too little lube. You want the amount of lube you use to be just right. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to figure this out by trial-and-error because no set amount works for every gun.
4. Paintballs should be subject to scrutiny
It can take a while to inspect your paintballs, which is why a lot of players don't do it. Especially since most reputable paintball distributors will produce high-quality paintballs. However, you need to keep in mind that you're never guaranteed perfect paintballs.
Even tiny imperfections on a paintball can significantly affect its trajectory in the air. Also, you should keep in mind that if one bad paintball ends up breaking inside your gun, it can mess up your entire game.
It would be a good idea for you to take a few minutes to inspect your paintballs before any game.
5. Don't get too attached to specific parts of your gun
Make sure that you check the parts of your gun on a regular basis. One example, which we have already mentioned, is the gas tanks and switching from CO2 to HPA. Also, you should make sure that your regulator is in top form.
It's possible that your regulator could have flaws from the very beginning. Or, after you've been using it for a long time, it could end up with wear and tear that could affect your game.
What you should do is test your regulator fairly regularly. If you see that it's not operating well, you should be prepared to either repair or replace it. You should make sure that it delivers consistent operating pressure.
6. Hoppers must be proper
Of course, it's essential to make sure your gun is clean on the outside. You should inspect several parts on the outside, as well as the barrel. However, it doesn't end here -- you need to check the hopper as well.
Keeping your hopper clean is just as important as keeping your barrel clean. Keep in mind that all of the paintballs that start out in the hopper will end up in the barrel anyway.
If you have oil, dirt, or the residue from a broken paintball in your hopper, it's eventually going to end up in your barrel and mess up your game.
7. It should fit like a glove
You need to make sure that your paintballs are the right size for the barrel of your gun. That is an important part of how to use a paintball gun.
If your paintballs are too small, they'll bounce around as they're leaving the barrel. That means they're not going to have a smooth flow, compromising your accuracy.
If the paintballs are too big, there will be friction between the barrel and paintball as they flow towards the exit location. As a result, the paintballs could break in the barrel. Alternatively, there will be so much drag that they'll go out at a slow velocity.
In order to make sure you're using the right-sized paintballs, there is a test that you can do. Unscrew the barrel from your gun and drop a paintball down the barrel.
If it drops straight through, it's too small, and if it gets stuck, you should blow on it with a small burst of air. If it's still stuck, it's too big, but if it exits the barrel with the short burst of air, it's the perfect size.
8. Reduce, reuse, recycle -- NOT!
In the second grade, they always told you that recycling is a good thing. And this might be true when it comes to paper, cans, and bottles. It is not, however, true when it comes to paintballs.
When you're in the middle of a game, it might be tempting to reuse paint pellets that have been dropped on the ground or have been fired already and still appear intact. After all, they're free pellets, right? They might seem free, but the truth is that your decision to use them will probably cost you by jamming your gun.
Paintball pellets have gelatine shells, which will absorb water very quickly. The pellets will become soft and swell up, to the point where they may not fit into the gun barrel or might not go through the hopper.
If you happen to drop a few pellets while you're loading your gun, you can use them, but only as long as they are still clean and dry. If you drop them in mud or a puddle of water, you're better off just leaving them.
9. Running on empty is never a good idea
The gas in a paintball gun isn't the same as the gas in your car. After all, cars operate using liquid gasoline, and paintball guns operate using literal gases. However, in both cases, you really shouldn't run on empty.
A part of learning how to use a paintball gun is learning that paintball guns have gas tanks that will generally give you a certain number of shots. Usually, you'll get several hundred shots before you have to replace the gas tank.
When you're starting to run low on gas, your pellets will start to lose velocity, which can definitely impact your game. If you think you might be running low, you should ask a marshal to check the gun and possibly fit it with a new gas tank.
Also keep in mind that the number of shots that deplete the gas tank applies to every time you pull the trigger, not just every pellet that you fire. Many people will dry fire their guns just for kicks, and this costs gas.
10. Aim before you fire!
This may seem like it goes without saying, but you'd be surprised how many paintball players fire first and aim afterward.
Basically, what they're trying to do is adjust their shot as they are firing it, so eventually, they end up hitting their opponent. However, it's often counterproductive.
Once you've fired your first shot, your opponent knows that he or she is a target and is much more likely to move and minimize your chances of making your shot.
Learning how to use a paintball gun isn't just about the maintenance of the gun itself, but also utilizing it in the proper way during a game. It's always best to be as covert as possible when you're playing paintball. Hide, aim, and then fire!
Ready, Aim, Fire That Paint!
Now that you're familiar with paintball guns and some tips on how to use a paintball gun, aren't you excited about trying out your new knowledge in a game?
Like any other game or sport, it'll take some getting used to. You're probably not going to be a champion paintball player your first time. But like anything else, practice makes perfect.
As long as you utilize all of the knowledge you have about how paintball guns work and how to use one properly within a game, you stand the best possible chance of becoming an excellent paintball player.
Just go out there and have fun, while also remembering that knowledge and strategy are your friends.
What do you think of everything we've just told you about how to use a paintball gun? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
Featured Image by John Miller from Pixabay