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In the growing paintball market, the number of paintball guns available can make finding the best paintball gun for you a difficult task. There is a myriad of styles, with a seemingly endless amount of variation between models and manufacturers. Not only are the differences cosmetic, but the gun you buy may not be the best for your style of play. Even the most subtle differences set each paintball gun apart from the next. One model may be the most accurate paintball gun available, but that doesn’t mean it has the highest rate of fire or furthest effective range. And with paintball being a moderately expensive hobby you want to be sure to buy the best paintball gun right off the bat.
So, what is the best paintball gun for you? That will depend on if you are playing for recreation, sport or using the gun to re-enact D-day. With countless paintball reviews scattered across the internet, it can be hard to get a true feel for what’s best for you. So we have compiled a convenient list of the top five best paintball guns.
Paintball Gun Reviews
1. Tippmann U.S. Army Project Salvo Paintball Gun – Realistic Look and Feel
This semi-automatic paintball gun is licensed through the U.S. Army. Mimicking the style of an AR-15, this paintball marker is great for those looking for a realistic feel and look. Project Salvo is great for most styles of play, including rec ball. Although, with a lower rate of fire compared to similar guns – Project Salvo is not the best choice when playing speedball. What the project Salvo is intended for is scenario play. The realistic look is perfect for role-playing scenes from your favorite movie.
Equipped with an 11- inch ported barrel, the Salvo is built to be accurate right out of the box. And with an effective range of about 150 feet, this paintball gun can reach further than the average gun in its class. Tippmann’s in-line bolt system has become standard with most of their paintball guns. This gives the Salvo a longer and sleeker design. The all-aluminum receiver gives this marker the durability needed in heated battles. The stock is collapsible, making the transition from the outdoors to tighter indoor settings a breeze. Project Salvo is also equipped with four Picatinny rails for any attachments you desire.
So, if you are a fan of scenario play and are in the market for a more realistic looking marker, the Salvo is the best paintball gun for you. Click here to see the best price.
- Accurate at ranges up to 150 feet
- The realistic design makes it comfortable to hold
- for long durations
- On-board tool kit makes repairs on the go easy
- Rate of fire is on the slow side
- A little heavy compared to similar markers
2. The Empire Mini GS – Lightweight and High Tech
The name says it all, this gun is mini, but don’t let its size fool you, this marker packs a lot of features in its small frame. While not the newest paintball gun on the market it has become one of the most popular in the last couple of years. The MINI GS is the second generation of the MINI series. This paintball gun is perfect for players that are looking for a small and lightweight frame.
This little paintball marker packs a lot of features on its small frame. The Mini GS sports a micro switch trigger allowing for lighter trigger pulls along with satisfying feedback. With the Mini GS having an electronic feature this gun is equipped with weatherized housing. Allowing players to focus on the game not the cleanliness of their marker. If things do get wet, the foregrip and pistol grip is rubber coated for excellent comfort and control. With the Mini GS weighing in at a little over two pounds, players do not have to worry about arm fatigue as their day of paintball rolls on.
Lastly, with an on-board ASA regulator, you can be sure you are outputting the optimal tank output pressure. So whether you are using CO2, or compressed air, you will know exactly how much pressure you have with each trigger pull. Click here to see the best price.
- Lightweight and ideal for long play sessions
- Tons of features on a small frame
- Simple design makes maintenance a breeze
- A small frame can be hard to handle for larger hands
- The stock barrel is lacking
3. Tippmann A-5 .68 Caliber Paintball Marker – Tested and Reliable Design
This is the second Tippmann paintball marker to make our list and this is no doubt one of the best paintball guns this company has to offer. The A-5 has been around for years and is still one of the most popular paintball guns today.
The A-5 is semi-automatic right out of the box but can be upgraded to fully automatic paintball marker. Boasting a cyclone fed hopper, the A-5 can fire up to 15 balls per second. The hopper is sleek in design its low profile making it less likely to get hit in a game. The discreet hopper also allows for better line of sight making it easier for users to spot targets.
With a selective fire switch just above the trigger housing, switching from safe to semi-auto can be done with the flick of a finger. The aluminum body makes the A-5 durable yet light. Along with the stoned-honed 8.5-inch barrel, users can expect an accurate gun without needing to upgrade the barrel. With removable sling mounts, users can easily attach a sling depending on their style of play.
The Tippmann A-5 is easily field stripped with no tools necessary. Making cleaning on the go quick and simple. This marker is also compatible with CO2 tanks as well as compressed air tanks. The A-5 is one of the most battle-tested paintball guns in use today. Click here to see the best price.
- Even on semi-auto this gun fires quickly
- Highly Customizable
- This marker is a bit heavy compared to other
- markers on our list
- The A-5 can be on the loud side
4. Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun – Tactical style with Solid Composite Build
You might be thinking to yourself another Tippmann marker? Yes, another one. But the Tippmann Cronus makes the list for a couple of reasons. First, its price point. The Cronus is the most affordable paintball marker to make the list at a little over a $100. And second, Tippman is one of the best paintball gun makers in the industry. The Tippman name is synonymous with quality.
The Cronus has a composite body making it lighter than its aluminum brothers but still just as strong. The design is a mix of real-world weaponry with traditional paintball styles. The Cronus comes with a mock silencer giving it a unique look. The receiver also mimics the style of an AR-15 which is equipped with Picatinny rails. The Cronus is equipped with a vertical fore grip-enhancing control and accuracy. The sleek and realistic design is allowed by the in-line bolt system. The gas line is contained internally within the grip. So no need to worry about snagging it on anything.
While the Cronus may not be the fanciest paintball marker on the market. This paintball gun is one of the more modern and militaristic looking guns available. And with the Tippmann name backing it up, you know you are getting one of the best paintball guns being sold. Click here to see the best price.
- Composite material makes it lightweight
- The internal gas line means no worry about wear
- and tear
- The price point is low
5. Tippmann TMC MAGFED Paintball Marker – Hybrid Loader with Realistic Look
The TMC MagFed paintball marker is the next generation of the paintball gun. Depending on which state you live in you do not want to be walking in public with one of these. Gone are the days of the hopper blocking your line-of-site.
The TMC MagFed name says it all, the paintballs are feed through a magazine in lieu of a traditional hopper. Each magazine holds up to 20 paintballs. That being said, if using a magazine is just not your style, you can opt to use a hopper instead. This paintball gun is equipped with the best in-line bolt system that Tippmann is known for. The aluminum body gives the TMC durability users would expect. With over-molded rubber grips, along with a 12” barrel and muzzle brake, the TMC MagFed is an accurate marker. While kick is not an issue with this marker, it comes with a collapsible stock that can be set in 5 different positions.
If you want people to turn their heads the next time you play paintball, the TMC MagFed is the best paintball gun for the job. Click here to see the best price.
- Flexibility to choose between MagFed or
- 12” barrel provides superior accuracy
- The built-in gas line stays out of the way
- Sturdy yet sleek design
How To Get The Best Paintball Gun
So, there you have it. Those are the top 5 rated paintball guns, in our opinion. As you saw, there are many different types of paintball guns to choose from. But what is the best paintball gun for you? Here is a thorough guide to help you make that final decision. First, let’s start with the style of paintball you will be playing.
Depending on your preference, there are several different game types in the sport of paintball. Choosing the right gun for the right game is essential to success. So let’s break down a few styles of play and see what bracket you fit in.
Rec Ball: Rec ball describes itself, is in the name, it’s for those who are playing for recreation. This type of play, while not relaxing, is not to be taken too seriously, it is all about fun. You will still be playing games like capture the flag, king of the hill and last man standing. At the end of the day, you are still playing towards an overall objective. That said, there are no cash prizes at the end of the day, you are just there to create memories with friends.
Scenario: Scenario play is like role-playing, but with paintball guns. Re-enacting battles from past wars or scenes from your favorite movies, this game type is all about fun. While still playing towards an objective, this game type is much more thematic. Teams will be given a list of missions to complete and gain points when they complete each task. Whichever team accumulates the most points wins the match. The Paintball guns that mimic the style of real-life firearms are the best paintball markers for scenario play.
Speedball: Speedball is not for the faint of heart. This is for those who want to take the game of paintball beyond weekend warrior status. There is no hiding in Speedball, standstill, or camp behind an inflatable bunker, and you will not last long. This game variant is all about aggressive movements and teamwork. Keeping the enemy team cornered is key to success. Restricting the movement of your opponents while your team maneuvers to grab the flag is the number one goal.
While some might assume CO2 is the only gas used in the sport of paintball, there are actually others that are used. So which propellant is best for your paintball gun? Let’s go over the three types available to you today.
CO2: This is the gold standard of paintball propellant. It was the first gas to be used in the first paintball guns. It works by compressing liquid CO2 in 12-gram non-refillable cartridges, or the larger refillable tanks that many use today. When a user pulls the trigger a small burst of liquid CO2 is released rapidly expanding and ejecting the paintball or paintballs.
Some advantages to CO2 is its availability, you can re-fill tanks at most paintball shops and other hardware stores wear liquid CO2 is commonly used. Its availability, along with its low cost, CO2 has stayed relevant in the paintball world.
That being said CO2 does have some issues. First, the more rapidly a user fires with CO2 gas the colder the tank and the paintball gun will get. In turn, liquid CO2 may begin to leak, or with added pressure, the velocity of paintballs may reach unsafe speeds. CO2 is susceptible to the weather as well. In colder weather, your paintball gun may not cycle correctly. CO2 also affects the longevity of O-rings and cannot be re-filled until completely emptied.
Compressed air: Compressed air came along to solve the problems that sometimes plague CO2 users. When compressed air tanks first came around they were mainly filled with nitrogen. The tanks are designed to handle extremely high pressure because the content is in a gaseous state, not liquid like CO2. Compressed air is much more stable compared to CO2, many of the issues are solved because of this. What you get with compressed air is consistency with each shot. That and you get more shots per fill when compared to CO2.
Compressed air is not Perfect though. It comes at a higher cost than CO2 and finding a filling station is a pain. The tanks are also bigger than their CO2 brothers. Making them less convenient to carry around all day.
So those are your two options for propellants. CO2 has some longevity issues but is cheap and readily available. And compressed air lasts longer and is easier on your marker, but is not as cheap or easy to find. It is ultimately up to you to decide which is best for your paintball gun and wallet.
Types of Paintball Markers
There are many different styles of paintball guns, but really there are three classes you can look at to see what paintball gun is best for you.
Paintball Guns for Rec: First let’s look at guns used for rec play. A perfect example of a paintball gun for recreational play is the Tippmann A-5, number three on our list up top. The reason these paintball guns are the best for rec play comes down to several factors. The first being cost. These types of paintball guns are bare-bones, there are not many bells and whistles. That’s not to say this style of the marker is not the best paintball gun for you. These are still quality paintball guns, but they are made for casual players. They may not be the most accurate, but they offer ease of use that other categories of paintball guns do not have.
So if you are just looking to have some fun with your friends on a Saturday afternoon, this style of paintball marker is best for you.
Paintball Guns for Scenario: Next let’s talk up Scenario style paintball guns. These paintball guns are going to look more realistic than a normal paintball gun. These are designed to mimic real-world weaponry. This is due to the role-playing atmosphere of scenario play. The best paintball marker to use as an example is number five on our list, the Tippmann TMC MagFed paintball gun. It looks and feels like a military-style rifle. While they still have about the same capability as rec play markers, it is all about how they look in the heat of battle.
Paintball Guns for Speedball: Lastly, let’s talk about speedball paintball guns. These paintball guns are top of the line. They have all of the bells and whistles you would expect in a Rolls-Royce luxury car. This is because these paintball markers are used in tournament play. These are what the professionals use to take home the cash purses and hold up the trophies. Speedball guns are the most accurate paintball guns that you can find. One problem is that these paintball guns are so advanced that they can be a tad finicky. These are not the best paintball guns for beginners. Intermediate players should be okay with these advanced paintball guns. If you are thinking about entering tournament play these are the best paintball guns to use.
Accessories You Need
You may think since all of the paintball guns listed are $100 or more that you get everything you need in one box. Unfortunately, most of the time that is not the case. Here are the accessories you will need to buy along with your new paintball gun.
CO2/Compressed air tanks: Without these, you will not be able to send paintballs downrange. Fortunately, the cost of these tanks run pretty low between $20 to $50.
Hoppers: The hopper is a pretty important piece of equipment. Without one, you would have to manually drop in a paintball for each shot. So, buying a hopper is not really an option. Hoppers come in many different variations. There are the basic hoppers the rely on gravity to drop balls in, this is the slowest option.
Then there are the cyclone fed hoppers, typically these do not require batteries to operate.
Lastly, there are electronic hoppers. These are going to feed paintballs at a much more rapid pace than gravity ever could. These are perfect for speedball or any game variant you happen to be playing at the time. These hoppers will cost you though. On average these hoppers run from $50 to over $100. They are worth the money as they will bring your rate of fire up along with your overall skills.
How can I make my paintball gun more accurate?
The easiest way to ensure accuracy is by keeping your paintball gun and equipment clean. Buying aftermarket barrels and accessories like barrel inserts may also help improve accuracy.
How far can paintball guns shoot?
The average effective range for a paintball marker is about 80-100 feet. Although some markers, typical the most accurate ones, can be effective at up to 150 feet.
Will a longer barrel improve accuracy?
Short answer, yes. That being said an ideal barrel length for accuracy is between 12-16 inches. Going beyond that will have negative impacts on your markers performance.
How do you aim a paintball gun?
With MagFed paintballs on the market you can aim down the sights like you would a pellet gun or firearm. If you are using a traditional hopper you will want to follow the side of your gun following the direction of the barrel.
Best Selling Paintball Guns
- Machined & Anodized Aluminum Body
- Aluminum ASA Bottomline Adapter
- COMPLETE ALL-IN-ONE PAINTBALL GUN PACKAGE! Maddog's Silver CO2 Kit Has Everything You Need to Get in the Game! Silver Package Includes: Tippmann Cronus Paintball Gun, Maddog 200 Round Gravity Fed Paintball Loader, Industry Standard 20oz. CO2 Paintball Tank (Tank Shipped EMPTY. Brand May Vary - Maddog, Empire, Tippmann, GI Sports, Valken, HK Army), Stealth Anti-Fog Paintball Mask, Barrel Squeegee, Maddog 4+1 Deluxe Padded Paintball Harness, and (4) Standard Paintball Pods
- THE BEST CHOICE FOR ENTRY LEVEL PAINTBALLERS! High performance, low maintenance, reliability, and incredible durability make it one of the most popular paintball markers across the globe. Built with the paintballer in mind, the marker’s high-impact, composite construction is extremely lightweight and features molded-rubber grips and an internal gas line for enhanced control and maneuverability. Plus four Picatinny rails for fast and easy custom modification.
- COMPLETE ALL-IN-ONE PAINTBALL GUN PACKAGE! Maddog's Titanium CO2 Kit Has Everything You Need to Get in the Game! Titanium Package Includes: Tippmann Cronus Paintball Gun, Maddog 200 Round Gravity Fed Paintball Loader, Maddog 20 Ounce CO2 Tank (Shipped Empty), Stealth Anti-Fog Paintball Mask, Barrel Squeegee, Maddog 6+1 Deluxe Padded Paintball Harness, and (6) Standard Paintball Pods
- THE BEST CHOICE FOR ENTRY LEVEL PAINTBALLERS! High performance, low maintenance, reliability, and incredible durability make it one of the most popular paintball markers across the globe. Built with the paintballer in mind, the marker's high-impact, composite construction is extremely lightweight and features molded-rubber grips and an internal gas line for enhanced control and maneuverability. Plus four Picatinny rails for fast and easy custom modification.
- 0.68 caliber paintball pistol
- 2 12gram CO2 Cartridges
- ALL-IN-ONE PAINTBALL GUN PACKAGE! JT Stealth .68 Caliber Semi-Auto Paintball Gun Marker with Maddog's Titanium CO2 Paintball Gun Accessory Kit. Titanium CO2 Paintball Package Includes: Industry Standard 20 Oz. CO2 Paintball Tank (Tank Ships EMPTY - Must Be Filled Prior to Use. Brand/Color May Vary - Maddog, Empire, Tippmann, GI Sports, Valken, HK Army), 200 Round Paintball Loader, Safety Certified Anti-Fog Paintball Mask, 6+1 Paintball Harness, (6) Standard Paintball Pods, and Barrel Squeegee
- PERFECT ENTRY LEVEL PAINTBALL MARKER! The JT Stealth is lightweight, compact, and comes standard with a double trigger for faster firing! Whether you're just getting into the game or upgrading from JT's splatmaster pump-action sets, JT's Stealth paintball gun takes you to the next level! As it's namesake suggests, JT's Stealth is BLACKED OUT for a clean, tactical look ready for battle! Equipped with an ergonomically-designed foregrip and features an internal airline system.