Also known as mil-sim, military-style paintball guns are designed to replicate the real life firearms used by the US Army. Imitating the design of such weaponry makes for a more realistic and high-octane game of paintball for everyone involved.
More models than ever are available right now, so choosing a marker can be difficult, especially if you’re a beginner. What features are necessary for tactics, performance and competition? All manufacturers claim theirs is the best, but who is actually right?
To make your decision a lot easier, we’re here to help. Take a look at our list - we’ve compiled eight of the best military style paintball markers available right now, from some of the best brands in the industry, for your viewing pleasure.
If you’d like to know a little more about what characteristics you should be looking out for, we can help you there too. Just check out the thoroughly researched Buyer’s Guide, which has all of the relevant information right there at your fingertips.
Still stuck on a question or concern? Instead of turning to Google, read through our handy set of FAQS. Based on the most common inquiries from your fellow players, we may well have answered yours there, too. Good luck and have fun!
Need A New Marker Right Now? Here’s Our Top Pick:
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re a paintball fan and you haven’t heard of Tippmann, where have you been hiding?!
They are one of the best mil-sim manufacturers around, and the first of their markers on our list also happens to be our number one choice: the Cronus Tactical.
Highly realistic and wicked cool, the .68 caliber high impact composite body is a combination of exceptional durability and high-octane performance.
Lightweight yet sturdy, with molded-rubber grips, this construction offers max maneuverability.
Adjust between 250 and 325 FPS, thanks to an impressive A5 ported barrel and in-line bolt design, proven to shoot accurately every time.
An internal gas line is also useful for maintaining the marker’s svelte, low-footprint physique.
With four Picatinny rails, adding modifications like sights is incredibly easy and only takes a double of minutes.
Mount a wide assortment of different accessories (sold separately) to up your game and intimidate the competition.
As always, every Tippmann marker comes with a full one year warranty, which means that even if you aren’t as impressed with us (and everyone else) about this bad boy, you’ll be able to solve any issues with no problem at all.
- Realistic .68 caliber milsim marker, A5 ported barrel
- Four Picatinny rails for easy addition of mods
- Molded rubber grips are great for beginners
- Durable, high-quality marker, built to last
- More expensive than the original Cronus, without that many differences
With almost three decades of experience in creating some of the most impressive paintball markers in the world, Planet Eclipse are another manufacturer you can rely on.
The EMEK 100 might be an entry-level mech marker, but it packs a punch.
Intended to offer newer players a high-quality marker right off the bat, this bad boy has a heavy duty single-piece GRN frame and foregrip, GRN composite outer body and aluminum inner core. Even advanced players comment on its toughness.
Though only air compatible (sorry CO2 fans) it’s fully mechanical and no batteries are required; the hoseless air transfer system will have you firing paintballs rapidly and with accuracy.
Beginners can handle its safe/fire switch with ease, too.
Featuring the renowned Gamma Core spool valve drivetrain, as well as being PAL loader enabled and ready to upgrade with POPS ASA, at this price, you’re getting access to some serious technology. It’s one of the best deals around!
Accessing and removing the grip is toolless and takes a matter of moments for quick adjustments; it might not be as authentically military as some of the other markers on our list, but you certainly won’t regret opting for it.
- Ideal for beginners and skilled players in equal measure
- Simple, easy to understand maintenance
- Best value for money when picking a mechanical marker
- Impressively durable - stands up to any weather conditions
- Not as authentically ‘milsim’ as some of the others we’ve listed
With a truly beautiful milsim look, the Project Salvo sniper from Tippmann’s US Army series is equipped with their proven in-line bolt system, so you know it’s not just a pretty face.
It carries capabilities you’d expect for a far pricier marker!
Semi-automatic, with an open bolt blow-back and eleven inch ported barrel, the pneumatic power of this marker is second to none.
It’s compatible with CO2, compressed air and nitrogen, so take your pick - whichever you prefer to use.
The gas line is made of stainless steel, preventing rusting or breakage, and the all aluminum die cast receiver is equally as hard wearing.
Easily maintained with a quick release feeder elbow, it should last you for years to come without a fuss.
Reminiscent of the AR15, it boasts a six position collapsible folding stock, four Picatinny rails on the shroud (both top and side) and a magazine that also serves as tool storage, it’s a well thought out gun that works efficiently and effectively.
Compatible with any standard paintball feed or hopper, you can choose whatever gravity-based method you’d like to replenish your ammo, and the range of modifications available is hard to beat, especially given the number of rails.
- Equipped with a proven in-line bolt system; Tippmann’s finest
- Picatinny rails for instant modifications, enhance with E-Grip and cyclone feed
- Suitable for beginners and intermediates, easy to maintain
- Stainless steel gas line, CO2 and HPA compatible
- Not the best choice for more advanced players
Pairing the JT Stealth .68 caliber marker with all of the accessories a beginner would need to get started, Maddog have created an excellent all-in-one package here.
Compact, feather-light and equipped with a double trigger, fast firing is the aim here.
Blacked out for a clean, milsim tactical look, the tactical stealth body utilizes a hoseless design and an internal gas line system.
A vertical front foregrip offers control and comfort, even for the longest tournaments, and is plenty accurate.
Working alongside either CO2 or HPA compressed tanks, a clamping feedneck secures the loader of your choice for an impressive firing rate.
You’ll also receive an aluminum paintball tank, with a capacity of 800-1100 shots per fill!
Other accessories that Maddog pack the marker up with include their silver CO2 accessory kit, a safety certified anti-fog paintball mask, harness, pods and barrel squeegee - that’s everything a newbie requires to head straight out onto the field.
Adjustable between 250 and 300 FPS, it might be targeting those new to the game, but even paintball pros can appreciate its power.
Offering real value for money, this set would make an excellent gift for an aspiring player.
- JT Stealth .68 caliber all-black marker, designed for field play
- Compact, with double trigger for rapid firing
- Ideal entry level starter kit with all of the accessories required
- Runs on CO2 or HPA (be sure to pick the right package!)
- As a bundle it’s brilliant, but there are better milsim options available
Fully pneumatic and entirely authentic, the TMC Magfed marker from Tippmann is another of their impressive tactical firearms.
Either traditionally fed with a loader or via a magazine, it offers players the best of both worlds, whatever their preference.
Ready to take on any challenge, the 12 inch high performance barrel, durable aluminum receiver, internal stainless steel gas line and bottom mounted ASA combine to make a truly impressive semi-automatic.
Totally customizable, with multiple inbuilt Picatinny rails, users can add to the existing front and rear sights to modify this already impressive marker with Tippmann’s impressive range of accessories.
Adjustable from 250-325 FPS, it should serve users at any skill level. Included with your purchase are two twenty round, spring driven magazines, but of course, you can pick up others separately if you’d like a greater capacity or more backups!
Speaking of backups, it’s worth mentioning again that all Tippmann markers are covered by that impressive one year’s manufacturer warranty.
You’ll also have full time access to their dedicated technical support team - just in case!
- Available in all-black or black and tan - excellent authentic milsim
- 12 inch high performance barrel, semi automatic (250-325 FPS)
- Built in Picatinny rails for simple modding right out of the box
- Mag fed or traditionally loaded - dual options
- On the more expensive end of our list!
Last but not least, we had to include something from Tippmann’s ever popular Stormer series.
Our favorite is absolutely the Elite, a totally modular .68 caliber marker designed for any player, with their reliable in-line bolt system as standard.
As you might expect, it has that recognizable high-impact composite body that really takes a beating. With its dual-feed mechanism, you can switch between hopper or magazine feeding depending on your preference or to mix up your look.
The usual standard of high-performance barrel is present, as is the vertical grip, which is great for improved accuracy.
Both an offset feed port and the internal gas line allows maximum maneuverability, with no distractions to catch on.
Though it only has a single trigger, it’s adjustable between 190 and 300 FPS (though of course that latter measurement is not recommended for use against other players!) according to reviews from existing customers, so it’s packed with firepower.
Also included as part of your purchase are a tactical front shroud, front and rear flip-up sights, two paintball magazines, a six position collapsible stock and all of the equipment you need to convert from loader to magazine.
What a package!
- High impact, hard wearing composite boy
- Dual fed module design - use magazines or hopper
- Traditional Tippmann in-line bolt design, proven to outshine competitors
- On the more affordable end of the milsim spectrum
- Definitely on the heavier side - not one for youngsters!
Best Military Paintball Guns Buying Guide
Tournament VS Recreational
First things first: the location you’ll be playing at most frequently is the biggest deciding factor. Are you more of a ‘for fun’ paintballer, or do you plan on entering some tournaments and competitions?
Either way, recreational sites, private properties and tourneys alike have their own set of legislation regarding what equipment is allowed to be used. Some will only allow you to rent their equipment, in order to provide a level playing field.
Occasionally, you might be able to attend what’s known as a ‘walk on’ event, wherein you’re allowed to take whatever marker you like. Just remember that everyone else is bringing their own equipment too - be prepared!
If you have a particular center or contest in mind, be sure that your intended marker adheres to the rules and guidelines established there. Otherwise you’ll have to leave without playing, or use one of their lousy rentable guns. Not fun.
Pump, Mechanical or Electric - You Decide
As the oldest form of marker around, pump paintball guns can only fire when discharged manually; these usually take a shotgun style mechanism, which loads the next pellet into the chamber once it has been cocked.
They remain popular today, in spite of technological improvements, because some players feel they allow you to focus more on your accuracy. Rather than worrying about how hard you’re shooting, your focus stays on hitting the right target.
That said, they can be a lot more difficult to master, especially for those new to the sport; most of your opponents will be using mechanical markers, which automatically puts you at an immediate disadvantage.
As you may have guessed, the mechanical style markers are reminiscent of semi-automatic weaponry, able to fire a paintball as many times as you pull the trigger. For this reason, they’re usually a whole lot easier to maintain.
Where pump guns require a whole lot of concentration, mechanical model are run on compressed air or similar CO2 setups, which means they are a whole lot easier to fire. Beginners will be able to pick them up with a lot more ease.
You’ll also see a lot of electronic paintball guns on the market, which make use of the latest technology and are operated using a tiny internal circuit board. Offering several firing rates (including burst and full auto) they are hugely popular of late.
Whilst they’re certainly on the more expensive side, given the tech required, you’ll find they’re much easier to take care of, but should definitely be left to the more serious players on the field. In the wrong hands they can be dangerous!
Features To Look Out For
- Tank compatibility - you’ll typically find that most markers are powered by compressed air or CO2, so depending on your preference (if you have one) make sure the marker you opt for will use your fuel of choice
- In-built Picatinny rails are always a good option if you’re a fan of modifying your markers, as they make the addition of sights and other accessories a whole lot easier - the more there are, the more you can mod!
- Markers are either fed by magazines or hoppers these days, with the mag fed coming more often in a milsim style; hoppers have more of a capacity, so mags tend to be reserved for tactical style play
- Stick to recognizable, reputable brands! As you can see, our list consists mostly of Tippmann markers, because they’re well known as one of the best, especially when it comes to mil sims - by staying mainstream, you’re more likely to have access to warranties, customer support and help from other players with the same marker
- What kind of match will you be playing? Speedball, Woodsball or scenario paintball? Either way, do some research and find out what kind of marker is best for that situation
Frequently Asked Questions
What age do you have to be to play paintball?
The answer to this question depends on where you are in the world! Most countries are much stricter on this, and require you to be at least eighteen years old before heading out onto the field, aka a fully grown adult in the eyes of the law.
One large factor is the age at which insurance companies will allow players to participate at their local center; in the US, this is either ten, eleven or twelve years old across the majority of states.
It’s also likely that players between the ages of ten and seventeen will have to have a parent sign a permission form and waiver. This is more for the safety of the company you’re playing with than it is your child, so don’t panic.
How far can a paintball shoot?
Again, the answer to this question depends on the marker that you’re using and how high tech it is! That being said, the average distance for standard markers are between 80 and 100 feet, though it’s definitely possible to get them longer ranges.
Whatever power your gun has, it must be calibrated in such a way that it doesn’t exceed the cap velocity, which is usually around 280 FPS in standard field play. Otherwise, you could hurt (and even seriously injure) your fellow players. Not cool!