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How to Choose a Paintball Gun

How to Choose a Paintball Gun
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Paintball Guns

There are a lot of paintball guns out there to choose from.  What to buy should be based on your commitment to the game and your purchasing power.


A low cost way to get into paintball is to purchase a pump paintball gun.  They are made by Brass Eagle and other suppliers.  You can purchase one of these guns for as little as $20.00.  You will need to also purchase some 12g co2s.  Each time you play, you might use five or six co2 cylinders (about 50 cents each).  You will also, of course, need some paintballs.  Five hundred (around $10.00) would be a good amount to start out with.  

The beauty of these guns is that a bunch of people can start out on a whim and see if they like it.  It is also a great item to have on hand for new players.  For example, when a new player wants to come play paintball with you, they rarely have the equipment.  And, since you don’t want to spend thousands on new people, the low cost pump guns are a great solution.  If someone likes the game enough to keep coming out, then that’s where you talk to them about purchasing a more sophisticated gun.


The Tippman is the dominating force in the market.  They sell an A5 and an X7.  They are basically the same gun.  The only difference is that the X7 is easier to upgrade.  You will pay around $100.00 more for the X7.  The cost increase is significant because the cost of an A5 is around $180.00.  Most people will end up choosing the A5.   

Nearly every gun you see is a modified version of one of these two guns.  You can make them look like many different military guns, sniper rifles, and gangster guns.  Some of the tricked out guns look quite intimidating, but it’s really the same stock gun.  They don’t shoot any faster or better, they just look different.

The amateurs prefer to use a compressed air co2 tank to power the gun.  The tank will cost around $20.00.  It is usually a good idea to get a larger tank.  A tank that is around 20 ounces is a good choice.  The co2 tank screws onto the back of the gun and can also be used as the butt stock.  To refill the tank, you can take it to many hardware or sporting stores to have it filled for around $5.00.  


There is a gun that is way more expensive than a Tippman.  The brand name is Angel.  They are slightly better than a Tippman, but cost about 6-8 times more money.  You will pay over a thousand dollars for a gun.  The benchmark improvements are so slight that many professionals still prefer the Tippman.  The Angel does look more impressive in the visual design.  For example, you can get a chrome look or style variations.  All stock Tippmans are simply black.    

The professionals upgrade their guns.  For one thing, they use compressed air instead of co2.  Co2 has the disadvantage of not working the best in cold weather.  In addition, you can usually find a place to fill the compressed air tank for free.  You will also get more opportunities to get larger compressed air tanks.  You can then carry the tank on your back in a vest and then run a hose from the tank into your gun.  Many people think this is the best setup.

The other serious upgrade is an Etrigger.  The Etrigger is an electronic trigger that lets you shoot in fully automatic mode or in bursts of 3 or more at a time.  You simply tap the trigger with two fingers and you will put out bursts of three or more.  You will seriously use a lot of paint and be hard to stop in battle.  

One of the other upgrades is a flat line barrel.  Upgraded barrells can make the paintballs shoot around a third farther.  They work by spinning the ball backwards giving it more loft.  One of the limitations of paintball is that the ball itself will break down if too much force is applied.  In addition, you want the sport to be safe. For these reasons, you can’t get a gun that is more powerful than everyone else.  

Final Tip

The final thing to note is that you will want a vest.  At the very least, the vest should be able to carry your pods and a compressed air tank.  If you are a weenie and afraid of the ball, the vest can give you some added protection.  Better yet, how about putting on your old catchers uniform under your clothing.