How do paintball pistols work

Paintball pistols are a type of marker that fires small plastic rounds. It is typically one of the cheapest weapons you can buy because it does not require compressed air like a paintball gun does. Paintballs are the ammunition for this weapon. 

They come in many different colors, and you will often find them packaged together with their respective pistols so that you can buy everything at once without having to go to multiple stores. 

The average round has around 200-500 rounds in it, although some may have more or less depending on what kind of game they’re being played in, and how many people are playing at once.

An Overview of Paintball

A paintball is a game weapon typically used in recreational and sometimes team-based paintball games. Paintball pistols are designed to launch spherical, solid rubber or polymer plastic objects containing the compressed air used by the cartridge. 

A player's goal is to either shoot their opponents so that they are revealed in Day-Glo colors for scoring, or to shoot them out of a designated zone on the field known as "the kill zone". 

A field with a kill zone will normally have two or more "safe zones" where players who have been shot enter and exit after being eliminated. The maximum velocity of each paintball is approximately 285 feet per second, causing rifle-sized spheres to inflict superficial tissue damage with mild blunt trauma. 

Types of Paintball Pistols:

There are different types of these pistols. 

  • Single Action

The first one is a single action, which means that you have to pull back the bolt and press the trigger in order to fire. 

This type of marker has a shorter barrel and is very powerful, but they are also heavy because of their size. This can make them difficult to wield if you don’t have a lot of weight on your body when using the weapon.

  • Double Action

The next type is the double action. This marker has two triggers—one on the front and one in the back of the gun—that both need to be pulled back before firing. 

This gives the user the ability to have a reloading system on the gun, making it possible to shoot more paintballs while they’re out and on the field. Some models don’t come with this feature, though, so make sure you check before you buy one.

  • Gas Shooting Models

Lastly, some markers are also capable of shooting gas. This is different from CO2 since it uses compressed air instead of carbon dioxide in its shells. Although it requires a different type of gun to shoot with, it is still treated like paintball ammunition and can be used in game play just like any other type of pistol.

Alternatives of Paintball Pistols

A pistol is considerably smaller and lighter than a paintball gun, and uses plastic or rubber balls as opposed to the heavy metal pellets used in airguns. Paintball pistols are commonly considered to be a cheap alternative to paintball rifles, but some enthusiasts prefer the "feel" of the round projectiles. 

Some use pistols for training purposes, such as for learning how to aim and shoot at moving targets. Others use them for recreation, usually at outdoor fields. The performance of paintballs from pistols differ from those fired by airguns due to differences in pressure and velocity between the two systems. 

From a pistol, the round is propelled by a small canister of compressed gas, usually containing around 450 - 700 psi (3.2-4.9 bar) pressure that is only able to propel the projectile at speeds up to 285 ft/s (87 m/s). 

The airgun system used in conventional paintball markers operates at 3000 psi (20.7 bar) and fires projectiles at velocities of approximately 350+ ft/s (110+ m/s). This increase in pressure means that pistol projectiles are restricted to lower muzzle velocity and less range than those fired from conventional paintballs.

How Do Paintball Pistols Work?

This pistol is a self-contained unit which does not use compressed gas to power the firing mechanism. Instead, it uses a long CO2 canister to generate and project either compressed air or a paintball projectile. 

The force of each shot is then augmented by an electronic solenoid valve which creates propulsion from an initial "snap" back of the bolt and transfer nozzle, whereupon the air/paintball then travels down the barrel into contact with a paintball projectile in front of (or behind) it.

To fire one round, first the operator needs to place their thumb over the safety key on top of both trigger assemblies on both sides simultaneously so that they cannot be pulled accidentally. 

They then pull and hold the trigger on the left side, which will cock the solenoid valve, then they must then pull the trigger on the right side. The solenoid valve will release, firing the paintball or compressed air and propelling it out of the barrel.

It takes approximately 2–3 seconds to load both barrels with two paintballs each after which point a mechanism pushes down on both barrels simultaneously to prime them for continued shots until expended. This allows a more compact design than most other models of paintball pistol which have separate priming mechanisms and barrels.

A loader to load paintball pistols into the barrels is optional but adds a great convenience. The loader simply drops the balls into the chambers. The pistol is then primed after which each shot will fire one ball, pushing the other out of the chamber and onto the ground.

Perfection for Target Practice

The paintball pistols can be used for simple target practice or for use in scenarios where a player is required to capture or disable an opponent using a non-lethal projectile instead of paintballs. 

Some scenarios may require that specific targets be hit on an opposing player with at least a given amount of force (i.e., without causing permanent injury). For these requirements a pistol is useful, since it will deliver a much lower velocity shot than a paintball marker (up to , depending on the design of the gun).

Due to their high muzzle velocity, these pistols can also be used as improvised railguns in projectile physics experiments. A compressed gas source is used to accelerate a projectile up to speeds of.

As of 2013, this kind of pistol has nearly twice the muzzle energy compared to those built by earlier researchers with railgun plans available online. These pistols are also very popular among recreational users who use them for small game hunting.

Benefits of Paintball

Paintball pistols let you enjoy the game of paintball without the pain. They are made to be light, not too expensive and easy to use – perfect for beginners, kids, and experienced players alike.


The advantage of a pistol is that it can shoot at a much higher rate than some other equipment in the game. That means they're more suited for playing shorter games or where speed counts. This can also make them more suitable as a sidearm weapon on the field as opposed to being your primary gun for longer games.

That's not to say they don't have their advantages over the standard paintball rifle. In fact, some pistols can match the velocity of a paintball rifle, allowing you to move around more freely than if you're carrying something heavier. 

They're also easier to sneak up on your opponents with, and make for an excellent addition to a paintball player's holster. For other players, these pistols are an enjoyable way to relive their youth – whether it be from watching Rambo or the A Team in the past or from playing video games like Splatoon.

Downfalls of Paintball Pistols

Almost everyone has heard of paintball, but what about the pistols? Is it worth investing in one with all the potential disadvantages they have? Let’s find out.

As a precursor, we should point out that these pistols are not as powerful as their counterparts – which is really quite obvious when you look at them. Paintballs just don’t go as far or shoot as fast. 

Paintball pistols shoot specially designed paintballs. The pistol also comes with an LED light to help the user see where they are shooting. These pistols are inexpensive and easy to use, but have some disadvantages as noted below:

The paintballs can easily break the skin. Inaccurate shots can be dangerous as well because a player could accidentally hit another person with a paintball. These weapons need batteries in order not to waste time reloading for each match. Depending on the type of battery used, these batteries may cost more than other blank ammunition types.

These pistols are often noisy, even when the user is not actively shooting the weapon. As a result, users may be told to be quiet when they are playing with other people. Because pistols' pellets are not shot from a barrel or a muzzle, they can bounce off objects in their path and cause injuries if not taken seriously.