Paintballing is a sport or hobby that is growing hugely in popularity.
It’s the perfect game for a team bonding exercise with you and your work colleagues or a great bachelor party gift for your soon-to-be-married friend. It’s a game of endurance, skill, dexterity, hand-eye coordination and stealth.
But why rent a paintball gun at your nearest course when you can buy your own? If you’re paintballing regularly, you can use your paintball gun to practice on the nearest target in your backyard.
For serious players, you’ll want every opportunity to get better and best your teammates, and having your own paintball gun will be very important to achieving that.
But what should you be looking for in a decent paintball marker? Well, these days you can get a lot of mechanical markers, but you can also get plenty of other cheap automatic markers that will be ideal for entry-level players.
You’ll need to know the exact specifications of your gun so that it helps rather than hinders your improvement over time.
If you are a beginner at paintballing, you won’t want a gun with all the bells and whistles, as this might be too complicated for you to work, which might set you back significantly in your development. When you are starting with your paintball gun, you’ll just want something with the most basic sight and smooth trigger action.
If you have more money, then we would recommend that you purchase an electronic sight to give you greater accuracy. However, paintball gun technology is always being upgraded, so you might buy a fully up-to-date model one year, only for it to be completely obsolete in 12 months.
Electronic markers are some of the most affordable guns on this list, with plenty of automatic features that will greatly improve your accuracy and shooting capabilities. These are also generally more affordable models and greater for starting users on a budget.
However, if you are an intermediate or advanced level player, you might want to invest in a mechanical marker that will utilize CO2 gas canister cartridges that are much more user-friendly and allow you to control your rate of fire.
With a gravity-fed hopper, you can also load your paintballs one at a time into the chamber.
But we would recommend that you learn a lot more about the features of your paintball gun before purchasing it, whether it's the barrel size or the gas system, each one will affect your ability to shoot straight or the force with which your paintball travels.
You’ll also want to be shopping for paintball accessories, as well as a paintball gun. Protective equipment such as gloves, face masks and elbow pads are going to be crucial in staying safe, as a paintball hitting bare flesh can be one of the most painful injuries to experience.
But where can you find the best paintball guns? What features should a top-of-the-range paintball gun have? What materials should it be made from to ensure that you have a resilient and reliable gun with you out on the field? How much can you be expected to spend on a paintball gun in terms of price?
Well, paintball enthusiasts, either beginner or expert, won’t have to worry themselves with such questions any longer, because we’ve compiled a list of the 6 best paintball guns currently available on the market. We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you determine the great paintball guns from the not-so-great paintball guns.
We then finish up this article with a few frequently asked questions from paintball enthusiasts that should settle some of the more common quandaries that you have about the sport. This might save you having to fork out more money on replacement parts or having to send your paintball gun back after a few months of use.
When maintaining and cleaning your weapon, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t damage the gun as you repair it. Often, these guns are made from a durable plastic material rather than metal, so they might not be as resistant to knocks and impacts as traditional projectiles.
So grab your face mask, your elbow pads and war paint and let’s start by having a look at some of the top 6 paintball guns currently available on Amazon.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first model is an incredibly heavy-duty unit, looking much like something that you might see in Starship Troopers.
This will certainly make you one tough mother to deal with on the paintball circuit, with an electronic marker that is affordable and very state-of-the-art.
If it’s high accuracy with longevity you’re looking for from a gun, then you can’t go far wrong with the Empire Paintball BT DFender Marker.
First, let’s talk about the look of this gun. It’s ridged top gives a very mean impression, with a dual-handling that mimics most models of a traditional automatic rifle.
The housing requires no tools to maintain it, you can change the battery and load your magnesium clips without the need for a wrench or a screwdriver.
There are 5 firing modes on this gun, ranging from automatic to semi-automatic, which will allow you to control the rate of fire when out on the course.
When it comes to professional levels of paintballing, having control over your fire will be crucial, especially if you need to blast your way out of a tight spot and conserve ammunition.
This comes with a mounted T-rail that makes it ideal for customization, which will again be a boon for experienced players who are more familiar with their shooting style.
It has a smaller functional hopper that is kept inside the gun without reducing the number of shots that you can take.
This gun has been known for its high performance, especially when it comes to accuracy.
Users have rated the handling and the dual-controlling, giving you a much better grip and increased trajectory.
Even if you’re suffering from wind, you’ll find yourself having fewer stray balls, which will in turn save you money on replacement balls.
- This is the perfect gun for both amateurs and professionals, although expert players might get more out of the increased accuracy and improved handling.
- This will fire balls at such a rate that will produce very few duds, which will ultimately save you a lot more money on balls per game.
- The build quality of this gun is immense, with a mean-looking toothed design that will set you apart from the newbies - making you look like something that has just stepped out of the game KillZone.
- The 5 shooting modes - you can toggle between the different modes of shooting, allowing you to choose rapid burst fire, auto or semi-auto, all of which will come in handy at some point in your match.
- The accuracy - with dual-handed controls, you can certainly be expected to see greater accuracy in the line of fire. We all know that the most important thing in a paintball match is hitting that target!
- Some users have complained that the smaller functional hopper results in more frequent reloading, which will certainly be a problem when you’re under fire.
- The speed feed door on this hopper is lower than usual, so try and keep the amount of debris that’ll get into it to a minimum.
Next up we have an inimitable weapon that looks uber-cool, with a Day Of The Dead design on the barrel that will set you apart from your friends and co-workers.
This long, thin barrel gives you increased accuracy and is perfect to use for beginner players.
This has rubber grips for greater handling and a weather-proof board to help you out in adverse conditions - introducing the Empire Paintball Mini GS Marker.
This baby shoots at 260fps straight out of the box, meaning that you won’t feel stranded with a gun that simply does not go the distance.
It has plenty of enhanced features that normally come with a paintball weapon that has a much higher price tag. It has an electronic marker which is great to use and perfect for entry-level paintballers.
You’ll see a lot of the reviews for this paintball gun urging newbie players to buy it straight away and they’re certainly not wrong.
The design of the gun is compact and lightweight, with decent accuracy and a high rate of fire straight out of the box. This is also great for a teenage player who naturally has much smaller arms and hands than an adult player.
As well as being reliable, this pistol is also very easy to clean and maintain. The parts require no additional tools to dismantle, allowing you a very thorough clean before and after use.
It will be important to remove any excess debris from your gun as this can impede the functionality over time, especially during woodland shoots.
- Stylish - if you can manage to get your hands on the Day Of The Dead model, then all the better. You’ll look badass with this paint job, as we all know that intimidation is the first part of destabilizing your opponent.
- Shoots at a high rate straight out of the box, meaning that you can be sure of a deadly accuracy even in the worst weather, which will elevate your game above the others.
- With waterproof rubber grips, you’ll have a firm handle on your weapon, which will improve your accuracy as well as the confidence in your game.
- The dual-handle option is good for added control, which will make you even more deadly with such a small gun.
- This gun is one of the easiest models to clean on this list, you won’t need any tools to disassemble the barrel or clean out scum from the trigger.
- Some users have complained that cleaning the markers in between matches is much more difficult with this gun than with some of the others.
- Doesn’t come with a manual, so you might have to Google a pdf. of how to work this one.
Now we go back to the larger units with this next model, which comes in a classic semi-automatic style.
Just looking at this unit makes you want to buy it, giving you that Vietnam GI look that will surely strike fear into the hearts of your enemies (which is important for a fun game of paintball).
This gun has dual feed functionality and is built for speed, not stealth - introducing the Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker.
If you are already a seasoned player who plays tactical games, then this is certainly the rifle for you, giving you plenty of firing styles to choose from, whether the quick burst of a semi-automatic or the intense firepower of a purely automatic.
Having this versatility in the field is exactly what you need to adapt your gun to a stealth scenario.
However, this gun is built more for speed than for stealth, with a molded rubber grip for added control and a dual feed option - you can either put your pods in the hopper or you can feed them through the magazine.
The trigger is very easy to pull but is not too sensitive in those tense situations. Users have reported very few functionality issues with reliable internal mechanics.
This gun is also super slick, with no ugly protruding gas line, you will get a paintball weapon that looks like a real gun in every way.
The construction is lighter than it looks, which will also improve the handling. It also comes in a wide variety of camouflage styles, allowing you to blend in with any woodland match.
- This certainly is a high-performance weapon for those paintballers who value speed over stealth.
- You have a choice of two different types of magazine feed - either Go MagFed or a traditional loader, the latter of which is the slower of the reloading tools.
- The durability of this gun is immense, with stainless steel components that will ensure that this gun will last over months if maintained correctly.
- The outer casing of this gun is very reliable, with rubber grips in the handles that will prevent slippages even in harsh weather, as well as the precision-measured sight that will give you a dead straight shot, even in the most chaotic of firefights.
- This gun has great action in the trigger, without any unsightly, exposed gas lines, you can wield this gun just like a real one.
- Some users have complained that the shots are so rapid and intense with this gun that it results in remarkably reduced accuracy.
- This model has not yet been adapted for First Strike round, some of the best long-range ammunition on the market.
Now we have not just a gun, but an entire paintball package set that is the ideal starter kit for a newbie as well as a high-performance upgrade for a seasoned paint shooter.
This comes with a red dot sight, a carry handle, an Action Village 20-pound CO2 tank, a folding grip, a paintball harness and 140-round paintball pods - introducing the Action Village Tippman US Army Alpha Elite Foxtrot Paintball Gun Package Kit.
This is more or less like owning a genuine high powered ballistics, except that it takes paint instead of real bullets.
This has a patented red dot sight marker that will appear on whatever target you’re aiming at, improving your accuracy by over 50-percent.
When it comes to getting aim in adverse weather conditions, this gun is perfect, being highly waterproof in its constituent parts.
Feeling completely protected during your paintballing match is of paramount importance, as having the most resilient goggles, gloves and sportswear will give you added confidence when you’re out on the field and will undoubtedly improve your game.
This kit comes with a highly durable plastic mask that will protect the entirety of your face.
In addition to that, you also have a wrist band and a harness that you can use to carry your paintballs around in, with plenty of paintball pods that you can use to practice with on your target range in your backyard.
The CO2 canister is very resilient too, constructed from aluminum that won’t break or split when hit with a high-velocity paintball.
- This kit gives you all the basics you need to start paintballing, with protective equipment to make sure that you’re safe when facing down an army of other opponents.
- The red dot sight - this feature elevates your gun above all others, perhaps more preferable to beginners who want to improve their sight rather than for more skilled snipers who prefer the satisfaction of an unaugmented kill.
- The 140-round paintball pods are great for practicing with your new gun, as well as saving you considerable money on your first pack. It’s a nice little incentive.
- The build quality of all the elements of this rifle is very impressive, made from highly resilient thick plastic and steel, you can be sure that it will withstand the worst weathers and scrapes on the harshest terrain.
- The aesthetic of this rifle matches the real thing - if you want to intimidate your opponents, what better way than with an authentic-looking rifle that will make them wonder whether you have brought a real firearm to a paintball game.
- The CO2 canister can carry up to 20-ounces of gas, more than enough to keep you firing for a few hours at a time.
- Some users have complained that this rifle gets jammed on 370fps, no matter how much they tighten or loosen the barrel.
- The red dot sight can go off-center at times, making you aim deliberately inaccurate.
Our next model is ideal for anyone who values accuracy and reliability out on the paintball field, with a compact gun that is very easy to carry, with rubber grips in the handle that improves handling.
This gun mimics the traditional paintball gun style but comes with enhanced features that will allow you to match the more seasoned players blow-for-blow - introducing the Tippmann A-5 .68 Caliber Paintball Marker.
Let’s start with this gun’s most interesting USP - the capacity for personalization. You can upgrade it with a lot of components, including the gas canister, the hopper and the handle.
Although it’s hard to see why you’d want to as it comes ready with a Cyclone Feed System that can fire up to 15 balls per second without the need for a battery.
This pistol is great for handling and fast delivery of paintballs. It has two handles that make wielding and gripping very easy, the rubber in the handle is perfect for optimized grip and is fully weather-proof.
You can also completely strip this weapon in the field in 30 seconds without the need for tools!
You can toggle between two different shooting styles with this paintball gun, opting either for automatic or semi-automatic.
This will help you greatly if you’re backed into a corner and need to preserve bullets or you have enough in the chamber and want to let rip on your opponents’ fortress to secure that win for your capture the flag games.
- The construction of this gun is very solid, so the likelihood of it coming apart or getting damaged in the field is significantly reduced. It is perfectly designed for woodland, urban concrete or even water-based combat.
- This has a very straight barrel that lines up perfectly with the built-in sight, giving the skilled shooter those accurate hits every single time. This will also save you a remarkable amount of money on pods in the long run.
- It optimizes speed and reliability - a durable gun that you can throw to the ground or use to unleash hell on the enemy with very little fuss or glitches.
- The rubber in the handle of this gun is very resistant to the wear and tear that you get on less expensive paintball guns. This will increase the overall longevity of your weapon.
- If you find yourself with a jammed weapon being pressed upon by the enemy, then you won’t have to surrender - with this model you can quickly strip out all your components in 30 seconds to fix the issue by yourself without the need for tools.
- Some users have complained that the packaging for this gun is very substandard, barely even fitting in the box that it came in.
- Given the fact that you can upgrade this model, the base unit is pricier than some of the other models on this. However, this won’t matter to those who won’t want to upgrade.
We’ve saved the best until last, reserved only for those paintballers who value high levels of performance and demand high durability and reliability from their gun when they’re out in the field.
This is another full paintball gun kit from the reputable Tippman brand, with an in-line bolt system that is built well enough to withstand hard knocks and adverse weather conditions during hard tactical play - introducing the Maddog Tippmann Cronus Tactical Corporal Paintball Gun Package.
There are plenty of ways that you can sup up your paintball rifle to make it unique to you, including the carry handle, a mock silencer and an adjustable stock.
This will give it the appearance of a very real military-grade weapon, which will surely send shivers up the spine of your enemy. There are 4 Picatinny rails that you can use to mount accessories.
This rifle’s composite structure makes it very lightweight and reliable to use when out on the field. This is ideal for entry-level paintballers who want their first gun to be easy to clean and simple to shoot in straight lines.
It has molded grips in the handles and an internalized gas line for enhanced control and maneuverability.
This model comes with an impressive array of industry-standard paintball accessories, with a high-performance ported barrel and a vertical grip that will make wielding it very easy for beginners who have never held a rifle before.
The sight is integrated into the front and rear of this gun, allowing you to see from all angles - very important when you’re stuck in a tricky situation.
You also get a Gen X full-face hard plastic protector mask, made from closed-cell foam and an adjustable head strap that can accommodate various head sizes and shapes.
You also get a padded paintball harness that allows you to shift over 750 rounds around your waist. You also get a barrel squeegee to keep your gun clean, which will overall lead to an increased lifespan for your weapon.
- This is one of the most high-performance weapons on this list, coming with every single accessory you might need when out on the field. If you want a gun that is reliable, durable and safe-to-use, look no further than this one.
- The composition of the gun itself is very light and allows for greater maneuverability, which is crucial when trying to execute that perfect shot in front and behind you.
- Modification - with 4 Picatinny rails, you can attach numerous different scopes and fake silencers to this rifle, which will lead to your weapon looking far cooler and more intimidating to your opponents.
- The accessories - with a comfortable foam padded mask, goggles, a paintball pod harness, a CO2 cylinder and a carry bag, you have everything you need to enter the complex and challenging world of paintballing.
- This is the ideal unit for entry-level paintballers who might not have the first clue about upgrading their barrels or sights. Once you have gotten used to handling and shooting this gun, you should have no problem graduating to an even higher level.
- Some users have complained that they got sent fewer pods in the post that was initially promised by the manufacturer.
- This might not be the best option for beginners who fancy using the smaller more traditional style of a paintball gun.
6 Best Paintball Guns Buying Guide
When it comes to buying your next paintball gun, you’ll need to be familiar with the intensity and regularity of the paintballing that you’ll be doing. If you play once or twice a month, then the chances are that you aren’t going to want to spend lots of money on all the bells and whistles of the top range models.
Most pump paintball guns these days use the compressed gas canisters, which comes with both mechanical and electronic marks, which we’ll discuss in more detail below. These canisters will improve the accuracy of the marker, more so than the guns that were made in the past.
You can also get single shot pumps, with some newer models of guns employing an auto-trigger, which means they can keep their finger held down for multiple shots at a time. The single pump shot means that you have to pump in between pulling the trigger every time.
If you are a beginner paintballer, you might be looking at the auto-trigger as it seems far easier to get to grips with at the start. However, there is a reason that paintballers stick with the slightly outmoded single pump - it requires you to be a lot more skillful between shots, as it takes you that much longer to pump and reload.
Now, it is important to break down the differences between the electronic and mechanical paintball markers, as it will help you decide which one you need for your distinctive style of playing.
Electronic Paintball Markers
These were once used only by the richest players, utilizing the inner workings of a mechanical paintball gun and integrating it with electronic sights and other augmentations to improve the firing rate and accuracy.
However, due to advancements in the manufacturing of electronic components, you can get these more modern guns for a lot cheaper on the market.
This makes them ideal for newbie paintballers who want to rely more on the technological capabilities of their gun rather than their amateurish instincts.
The electronic markers still rely on the compressed gas canisters of the mechanical models, however, they also use a circuit board that features several different firing modes that allow you to fire in semi-automatic, rapid burst and full-automatic modes.
This will be very important for players who want added versatility and to switch up their playing style.
With even more expensive electronic markers, you can get features such as digital displays that will give you info on things like how many rounds you’ve fired and whether you need to replace your canister.
Advanced electronic paintball markers also come with hopper agitators that will allow the shooter greater control over how they load their paintballs into the breach of the marker.
Mechanical Paintball Markers
These are probably the more common paintball gun style, with a design that is simple to use even for beginners, requiring very little maintenance and a very affordable price tag.
These markers generally come in the semi-automatic variety and very rarely are they versatile enough for multiple styles of shooting.
Most of these mechanical markers use compressed air, which gives the shooter only one shot for every pull of the trigger.
You can refill your compressed canister at most specialist paintball shops, although if these stores are not easy for you to get to, we’d recommend switching for CO2 canisters, which are much more readily available.
Whichever choice of paintball gun fuel you decide on using, you’ll be having to attach it onto the grip, which is usually sticking out from behind, so that it doesn’t get in your way. Gravity-fed hoppers are often used with mechanical guns, which means that you can load only one paintball at a time in the chamber.
To fire your paintball, you pull the trigger, which then releases a hammer whereby the compressed air stored in the tank drives the paintball out of its chamber and through the barrel of your gun at extremely high velocity.
This is better known as the blowback feature. You can get semi-automatic or full-automatic options for this system.
What Is The Material Of Your Barrel?
Precision and accuracy should be the most important of your priorities when it comes to buying a new paintball weapon, so you’ll need to make sure that your barrel is made from the correct material.
Aluminum barrels are of a light build as well as being very affordable, making them a great choice for newbies who are working to a budget. However, the fact that it’s so lightweight also means they are much more susceptible to bending, which could be a significant problem when you’re playing a very rough game in hard terrain.
If you are a seasoned player and are willing to spend the money, we would recommend that you purchase a carbon fiber model. These barrels are very robust and will not bend, as well as being lightweight.
You can also easily maintain them, most of them being highly resistant to rust.
There are slightly less affordable stainless steel barrels, which also hold up well during extreme pressures over a prolonged period. On the downside, stainless steel is very heavy and might affect the trajectory of your shot and the weight of your overall gear.
What Gas System Do You Have?
You might be mistaken in thinking that gas systems are a one-size-fits-all situation, but that is not the case. If you purchase the incorrect gas canister for your paintball gun, it can render your marker completely redundant.
The most popular gas canister is CO2, in which the liquid inside turns into a gas once pressurized, which is then released at high speed, which in turn pushes your paintball quickly out of your paintball gun.
However, the one negative aspect of using CO2 canisters is that they can be unreliable when discharging your bullet, as the temperature can fluctuate.
Remember: you’ll also have to completely drain a CO2 canister before you can refill it again. This might be quite frustrating as your canister struggles to function towards the end of its lifespan. On the plus side, this is the more inexpensive option for your paintball gun fuel.
If you opt for air instead of CO2, you can expect it to compensate for the shortcomings of CO2. Air pressure does not succumb to the same fluctuations in temperature, giving you a much more reliable firing rate.
With air pressured canisters, you also get gauges that will tell you how much you’ve got left in the tank. You also won’t have to wait for your tank to empty before using.
What You Need To Consider Before Buying A New Paintball Gun
Putting the cosmetics and specifications of your gun to one side, you’ll need to think about the intensity and regularity of the type of paintballing that you’ll be playing.
If you are going to play infrequently at the nearest paintball field, then you certainly won’t want to be spending a small fortune on a gun with every upgrade you can fathom.
You won’t need to worry about the material of your firearms. Stainless steel and carbon fiber are only reserved for those players who batter their weapon a few times a week on the paintball assault course.
If you are a seasoned player, you’ll probably already be aware of the factor that weight plays in a good game of paintball.
You’ll probably want to buy a marker that is made from carbon fiber, as it is very lightweight, allowing you to aim and fire for hours at a time. We would recommend that you aim to get a market that is around 2.5 kg.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Your Average Paintball Gun Work?
Ultimately, this question depends on what version of marker you’ve decided to buy, as different markers operate in different ways.
In most paintball guns, the paintball rounds are deployed by pressing the trigger which releases the gas in the canister which then pushes the ball through your barrel at high velocity.
In most instances, a paintball marker’s firing assembly will feature a gas valve with a seal that halts the constant stream of gas driving it into action, which allows the inline bolt to function with optimum efficiency.
How Much Will You Have To Pay For A Decent Paintball Gun?
If you are a beginner, you’ll probably only want a basic marker that costs you a little over $100. Although, as with a lot of precision technology such as this, you’ll be wanting to spend more money on ultimately a better marker.
If you are starting, we would recommend that you spend as little as possible on your first paintball gun.
However, you might want to spend a little more on additional gear such as paintball harnesses, a protective mask, elbow and knee pads and extra paintball pods.
Having adequate protective gear will be very important for keeping you safe, as getting hit by a paintball gun on bare flesh is incredibly painful and can split the skin.