How Does a Paintball Gun Work? Ulitimate Guide 2021

Playing paintball surely is an entertaining sport right? However, have you ever, thought that how the most important part of it, i.e. a paintball work works? What’s the mechanism? How does it shot a fire? Probably Not. Haha.

Well, keeping knowledge about the type of gun that you are owning is very necessary as it will help you to seek out the issues you are facing by yourself. Not only that but with a proper mechanism, you will be able to fire effectively with that paintball gun as well.

So, to keep you updated, I am here with a complete guide on how different types of paintball gun works and what’s their mechanism?

Keep in mind that I am writing this article because I myself am a professional paintball shooter and have vast experience over using different paintball guns for shooting purposes.

So, let’s head back to the main topic without any further ado:

Also Read: Top 10 Best Paintball Guns 2024 

How Does a Common Paintball Gun Work? The Basics

A common paintball gun works as it expels out paintball pellets from the end of its barrel through a controlled pressure of a gas. This gas is released from the fuel tank of the gun commonly known as a canister.

Keep in mind that different gases are used in a fuel tank depending upon which type of gun you are using. That is, some guns have got carbon dioxide gas, some nitrogen and some are even filled with regular air as they work on pump action.

A paintball pellet is simply fed to the firing assembly of a gun by a hopper. The function of a hopper is to accommodate pellets and it also keeps each pellet in an ideal sequence for repeated shootings.

The hopper’s function is to place the pellet in front of the firing assembly. The first component of the assembly., i.e. the piston is powered by air which springs forward the pellet after you press the trigger. The pellet then goes in a limited velocity and with different accuracy kinds according to the type of gun you are holding.

You should also keep in mind that the firing assembly of a paintball gun will vary from type to type. However, to be more general, the firing assembly consists of a gas valve which is packed against the release of the gas. The bolt, in this case, moves forward with the pressure of the gas and hits the pellet to set it for a projectile flight.

Talking about the working function of the trigger, whenever you press it, it will release a small piece known as sear which is actually holding everything intact and will cause the firing assembly to move forward in order to fire the pellet. Right after the firing assembly comes in action, the pellet will be released from the gun and will go in the direction according to your aim and accuracy of your paintball gun.

Paintball pellets, however, have got a comparatively low speed as compared to other gun bullets. With a very close contact, it can leave a mark on your body, but from a far distance, they won’t harm you except for the paint residue. Yeah, a pellet’s function is to mark you in order to make sure that you are out of the tournament.

This thing being said, paintball pellets can, in fact, cause to face or eye injuries easily. That’s why different paintball players use protective masks to keep themselves safe from such injuries. I would strongly recommend you not to enter the field of paintball without wearing any mask because you cannot afford an eye injury at all.


That was all about the mechanism of a typical paintball gun and how it works. To keep it simple, with the burst of gas pressure, the fire assembly comes in action which causes the pellet to move with pressure and it goes out from the barrel with a high velocity in order to hit the target with effectiveness.

Working of Different Kind of Paintball Guns:

We have a different type of paintball guns available on the market. Each gun has got a similar mechanism as I have discussed above. However, some differences are common that I am going to discuss.

Checkout the detailed article on types of paintball guns

So, let’s have a look without any further ado:

1. How Does a Pump Action Paintball Gun Work?

Paintball guns working on the pump action mechanism used to rule this sport when the technology and this game was not so advanced. However, they are now used very rarely. On the other hand, I am still in favor of them as they have got a perfect shooting mechanism.

In fact, some of the tournaments will only allow you to use pump action guns and not the other type. many senior paintball players still use such guns as they consider it a nostalgic attraction.

Pump Action paintball guns have got single firing ability. That is, you have to work on the pump right after you press the trigger. That’s because there is no gas tank available to push the bolt again and you have to make it pumped with regular air. This mechanism, however, reduces the fire rate to a very low extent as compared to other modern paintball guns.

2. How Does a Semi-Automatic Paintball Gun Work?

Semi-Automatic guns are indeed the most common rifles used for paintball competitions. That’s because they don’t need a lot of effort to shoot paintballs and are affordable at the same time. They will work just like a common gun or a pistol.

The main mechanism works as, after pressing the trigger, the spring will reset itself and the shooter will not have to wait for any other thing. This improves the fire rate of such guns sp that a paintball player can take down his opponents with ease.

If you go into more details, a semi-automatic paintball gun will work by redirecting the gas in front of the fire assembly, thus, everything comes back to its original place after a single shot is fired. In this way, you can fire shots at a higher rate without any worries.

Such guns are commonly used in paintball competitions without any restrictions whatsoever.

On the other hand, I will also recommend you to g for semi-automatic guns if you are just starting to play the paintball sport.

3. How Does a Ramping Gun Work?

Ramping guns are advanced than that of semi-automatic guns and are mostly used by pro level players. Ramping actually has got a firing mechanism which you won’t see in other mainstream guns.

The mechanism of a ramping gun simply works by setting a fixed level of fire. In this way, the bolt will get itself set with the help of an electric motor. The process is a bit complex and will require a bit more gear than the above-mentioned guns, but ramping guns are perfect for winning the competition like a boss.

However, there might be restrictions in different tournaments as they don’t allow you to use ramping guns in order to maintain the competitiveness in the tournament. So, you must check out the rules and regulations of the tournament that you are about to join in case you have got a ramping gun.

4. How Does an Automatic Paintball Gun Work?

As the name itself shows the main idea behind an automatic gun. It allows you to fire multiple shots at a time. You can literally pull the trigger in order to spray down the whole field within minutes. Automatic guns usually have got a special circuit board which will turn on the firing assembly within a blink of an eye once you pull the trigger.

In addition, automatic guns also have got a motorized hopper. That is, such hoppers won’t be affected by the gravity issue and you can hold such guns in any position you want as compared to semi-automatic guns.

However, automatic paintball guns also are banned from many tournaments, because they can literally ruin someone’s day in a matter of time. So, in case you want to take revenge from a friend you can make use of this gun without any single thought.

Also Read : Top 10 Best Paintball Vests Reviews 2024

Maintaining a Paintball Gun Effectively:

You will need to maintain your gun more often because paintball guns have got many parts moving in them as you are continuously firing such guns.

In my opinion, you should not overdo the disassembling and reassembling process more often. That’s because it is probable that you can attach a faulty instrument in the wrong place which can simply ruin your gun

Also, refrain from using mainstream oils and lubricants for your gun. Such lubricants might destroy the inner function of your gun and might break their seals as well. For this purpose, you should only use the oil and lubricant recommended by the manufacturer of that specific gun.

Some Last Words:

That was all that you need to know about the working of a paintball gun. Keeping knowledge about a machine with which you are going to take down your opponents is necessary. Therefore, give this article a thorough read in order to make yourself more comfortable in using your paintball gun.


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