The technology behind what creates the best paintball guns

Paintball guns have come a long way since the first wave of markers which used only compressed gas for their power source. Nowadays a whole range of more sophisticated models cater for players looking for a faster, more precise and longer lasting machine.

How does a paintball gun work?

Regardless of its price tag, model name or design any marker gun needs to be capable of fire a paintball at a speed and within a distance that will ultimately make it break up on contact with the target. To achieve this goal a gas canister is screwed onto the gun, and stored in the marker’s gas chamber ready to be released into the place the paintball is waiting. Pulling the gun’s trigger briefly opens the valve, releasing a small burst of the gas, which in turn fires the paintball. The sudden mixing of regular atmospheric pressure in the paintball chamber with the high pressure gas behind it is what creates the momentum to send it out of the barrel at speed.

Mechanical and electric paintball marker guns

The majority of marker guns consist of four sections: body, hopper, barrel and gas or air system. Some paintball guns are mechanical, and others are electropneumatic.

Mechanical markers are the original type used, requiring the player to manually reset the gun between each shot. A complicated series of actions, beginning with loading the paintball ammo, must occur succession before the paintball is fired.

The more modern guns which utilize electromagnetic designs don’t have any connection between the trigger and the actions of the marker, relying instead on an electronic switch, or a sensor to relay information on what the player requires based on their actions. This produces lightening fast responses as the valves open and close almost instantly, releasing the gas and triggering the shot. Players can reload and fire again in a split second.

Technology’s influence on hopper designs

Hoppers (officially known as loaders) are the receptacle which stores paintballs for the gun prior to them being fired. Traditional types which allowed for faster firing commonly experienced problems with malfunctioning batteries, leaking paintballs, and jams when used with either mechanical or electronic markers.

Modern designs such as agitating hoppers with sensors get round the jamming issues, providing a fast paced stream of paintballs to the gun. Even more reliable are the force-feed hoppers which can exert suitable pressure on the paintballs going through the feed tube to maintain numbers of around 50 every second. That’s impressive, and probably why this is one of the best loaders to use with an electropneumatic paintball marker.

The latest technology to come into play is a radio frequency controlled hopper which force feeds the paintballs through the system based on wireless received signals from the marker. This extends the life of the gun’s battery as this constant supply of ammo is only loaded when the gun is about to be fired.

If you found this interesting, make sure to visit for more in depth content about paintball and the technology behind the markers.

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