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How Do Paintball Pistols Work?

How Do Paintball Pistols Work?

If you’re serious about the game, you won’t want to enter the field without the back-up support of the ultimate sidearm, the paintball pistol. Your marker will always be your primary weapon, but in a crisis when it lets you down by jamming or running empty, there’s nothing like the security of a pistol to get you out of trouble. There are also likely to be times during the game when using the full-sized marker just isn’t the best option - in cramped conditions, for example, or when you’re moving at top speed. Sometimes it’s so much easier to fire one-handed, even from the hip, to give your opponents the slip under the cover of pistol fire.

How Do Paintball Pistols Work?

Varieties of Paintball Pistols

Because of their convenient size and utility, paintball pistols have been developed with a variety of operating systems. All the major names in paintball equipment, like Tippman and Empire, produce their own range, with some very smart entries like this Tippman TiPX Mag Fed Paintball Pistol. Here are some of the most popular options available.

Tippman TiPX Mag Fed Paintball Pistol

Mechanical Pistols

These are easy to use and to maintain. Because they use simple mechanical operations, they are highly resilient in all weather conditions and can withstand pretty rough handling. Many of them will also have a semi-automatic function that allows you to fire several shots with one pull of the trigger. They are the least expensive options, but they perform very well in emergencies.

Electro-Pneumatic Pistols

The electro-pneumatic variety is the most powerful and has the fastest firing rate. That makes them the perfect accessory, although the downside is that they are much more sensitive than manually powered pistols, and you’ll need a lot of practice to get the most out of them. Because of their relative complexity, they also need a lot of maintenance; although the basic operation is the same as in any other pistol, the sophistication of the electro-pneumatic components calls for greater care. Apart from the higher level of performance, what sets this model apart is the electronic switch, which replaces the customary mechanical arrangement linking the trigger and the action. The switch connects directly to a solenoid valve or a small circuit board to initiate firing.

Ramping Paintball Pistol

This is very popular because it enables you to increase its firing rate on the go. The trigger is similar to the electro-pneumatic version, using an electronic rather than a mechanical connection. It is designed so that you can use the trigger to initiate an approximation of automatic fire; pulling the trigger ten times will make the pistol fire ten simultaneous shots. If that isn’t enough hail for you, holding the trigger down will increase the rate even further. No one’s going to get close to you with that kind of fire coming at them.

Three-Shot Burst Pistol

These also have electro-pneumatic operating systems, and as the name suggests, they give you a three-shot burst of fire every time you press the trigger and can switch to semi-automatic mode for even greater fire power. It has to be said that these are probably not ideal for beginners because switching between modes requires a certain dexterity and confidence that only really comes with experience.

Other Factors to Consider

Other Factors to Consider

Which is going to suit you better: mechanical or electronic, battery or manual? There are pros and cons to both. A mechanical pistol will usually be more accurate but won’t be as fast and will make more noise, while an electronic pistol requires batteries but can give you faster firing capability, even if the accuracy is not as good.

Low or medium range? It depends on how you intend to use your pistol. If it’s reserved for tight spots and close encounters, low range is going to be more effective; otherwise, go for medium.

Don’t forget to think about the weight of your pistol; anything that comes in at more than 3 pounds is probably not ideal. Aluminum pistols are light, carbon fiber is lighter, and stainless steel is extremely robust but will be the heaviest.

Finally, consider the accessories your pistol will need since every marker, big or small, needs a hopper. Depending on the model, it may also require a compressed air tank. One of the great advantages of a paintball pistol is its compactness and portability, so the smaller the setup, the more you’ll get out of it.

A pistol really can give you an edge on the field. If in doubt, speak to an expert in your nearest sports store or online with a reputable paintball equipment supplier like

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