Are you new to paintball and curious to where to start when looking for your first paintball gun? We are going to break down each level of paintball gun and explain to you what to look for before you buy! However, before you spend a dime of your money be sure to go play a few times. This will give you some great feedback on what you see at the local paintball facility along with what you absolutely can't stand in the rental guns and gear. Believe us, this will give you so much helpful information you'll use when searching for your perfect first paintball gun purchase.
One of the first things you will notice when you start looking around for paintball gun and gear is some of the words players use won't make any sense to you. This is because there are popular terms the regular players use to describe the gear they are using. Before we get too far into talking specifics we are going to break down the popular terms you will hear and read in your research.
Paintball Gun vs Paintball marker. These phrases are thrown around and mean the exact same thing. These phrases are used to describe a paintball shooting device but the phrase paintball marker was created to eliminate or reduce the use of "Gun" when talking about paintball. Some people believe parents and the general public would be more open to the sound of paintball marker than paintball gun. In turn, most of your long-term players will call it a marker when speaking to people who haven't ever heard of paintball in order to reduce the concern for danger while using the word gun when speaking between two players.
Electro or Mech. These two words describe the way the paintball marker actually fires. An electro or electronicpaintball marker will use a battery to control the firing mechanism. Electro paintball markers will fire at a faster rate of fire (more paintballs flying out in one second) than a mechanical marker as they use a different trigger mechanism which allows the user to pull the trigger at a faster rate of fire. Mechanical or mech paintball guns are exactly how they sound, mechanical. Once the trigger is pulled it allows metal parts inside of the marker to release which fires the marker and shoots a paintball out. This method of operation requires a longer trigger pull and a longer firing process so in return you have a slower rate of fire (less paintballs flying out in one second).
BPS and FPS. When we are referring to the number of paintballs flying out of a paintball marker in one second, we call this the BPS or balls per second. This is the number of Balls per second that are leaving the chamber of the paintball gun one right after another. Mech markers have a lower BPS and electros have a higher BPS. FPS is a term which is used to describe the speed or velocity the paintball is physically leaving the marker. Most paintball markers will leave at a speed of 280 FPS or Feet Per Second. This is similar to the MPH, or miles per hour a car is driving down a road. 280 FPS is roughly 200 MPH.
Speedball and Woodsball. These phrases will typically describe the style or look of the paintball marker. A woods ball paintball marker will usually be used in the woods and will look more realistic and tactical. A speedball marker is typically used on a tournament style setting where the pace of the game is much faster and the fields are not in the woods. All paintball markers can be used recreationally to play in any format but if you decide you want to play tournaments in the future you wouldn't want to carry around a large tactical sniper rifle style paintball marker on a speed ball course. Most players when they are new do not know the style of play they will be mostly playing just yet, this is another reason why it is important to play a few times before committing to your purchase.
The terms we have broken down above should help you understand everything we are going to jump into going forward. As with any purchase, you get what you pay for. What we mean by this is if you are going to purchase the least expensive paintball marker you find then most likely you will get a lower quality, lower performing marker. By no means are we suggesting you go out there and spend your whole pay check on the most expensive paintball gear you can afford but there is a middle ground we recommend to consider.
Entry level paintball markers.
Entry level paintball markers are great for the couple times a year playing and for the players who really just want to skip the rental equipment and show up with their own setup. This is perfectly acceptable but let's explain what you will get for the money you spend. Most paintball markers that sell for under $75 will be part metal, part plastic. The main concern with this is the plastic parts of this marker will break sooner or later and will need to be replaced. The quality of the parts will be very low end "usually". If you feel you genuinely enjoy paintball and think it will be something you do for years to come, consider saving up just a little more to get an all metal, reliable paintball marker. One general rule on entry level paintball markers is that they will usually be mechanical. The mechanical functionality of an entry level marker allows the maker to produce this product on a low budget with limited features. Even though most entry level markers are lower quality, there are a few brands that stand out. The brands that offer entry level markers that are reliable with a great reputation are the following.
Tippmann and Azodin. Tippmann makes the best woods ball style entry level markers available for a great, affordable price. Tippmann products last forever and have an amazing warranty. The Azodin brand makes more of a speed ball style marker and offer an all metal, easy to maintenance, reliable setup. These two brands offer entry to mid level, reliable paintball markers that new players will be able to use for years without having to upgrade. If you are new to the sport, do some researching using these brand names!
Mid Level paintball markers.
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