How Does a Paintball Gun Work?

by Claudette Pendleton
How Does a Paintball Gun Work?

How Does a Paintball Gun Work?

Paintball Guns

Paintballs loaded into a paintball gun.

A paintball gun, which is also referred to as a paintball marker, is a piece of equipment used to play in the sport referred to as paintball. Many in the paintball community use the term marker as opposed to gun with an intention to oppose the public's belief that paintball markers are weapons and that paintball is a dangerous sport to participate in.

Paintball Guns and How They Work

The paintball sport

Paintball markers quickly thrust and propel paint balls out of the marker via a burst of compressed gas. They are pump-action guns. A long valve tube is in the center of the marker. The valve tube runs the length of the barrel, where paint balls are inserted, down to the chamber which is located at the rear end of the marker. This is also where the gas cartridge is attached. The valve tube passes through the bolt, the hammer and a spring along this path. It also passes along the valve seat which is located at the gas-intake end position of the marker (gun). The valve tube is at all times open at the barrel end of the marker. However, the other openings that are at the sides of the tube are obstructed by the bordering valve seat. The tube is kept in place by a device referred to as a cup seal. When the marker is not cocked, the bolt expands and blocks the paint balls from entering through the barrel. To shooter must cock the gun to release and shoot the paint balls. This is done by pulling the bolt backward on the marker and pressing the spring to get the bolt to hit against the hammer. As the bolt slides backward, the ammunition intake opens allowing a paintball to enter the barrel of the marker. A device referred to as the sear is located at the bottom of the hammer. The sear spins on a small pin and latches onto the bolt once the bolt is pressed against the hammer. The sear also causes the hammer and the bolt to connect resulting in their working together as one component. Once the shooter pulls back the bolt, the hammer is also pressed forward. The trigger is pulled to fire the marker (gun) causing the trigger to press against the rear portion of the sear. This motion causes the front end to move down freeing the hammer from the bolt causing the hammer to spring and propel swiftly backward. When the hammer springs backward, it presses against a raised device surrounding the tube. The valve tube is propelled backward with great force and is pressed back momentarily. The spring pushes the valve tube back into position causing the sides of the tube to be exposed. The pressurized gas is able to stream through the barrel at this time resulting in a paintball being propelled forward out of the paintball marker at a respectable velocity of speed.

Auto-Cocker Paintball Guns

With an auto-cocker paintball gun, a flexible valve automatically redirects condensed gas to the front of the gun once the gun is fired. The gas drives the bolt back into position allowing the gun to re cock automatically. The shooter does not need to re-cock the marker every time he wants to shoot. Automatic paintball markers are either comprised of compressed air or they have an electric motor that caused the marker to automatically re-cock itself. The marker can be fired continuously when the trigger is held downward.

About the Author

Claudette Pendleton runs a virtual company from home. She performs quality work for several companies. Her areas of expertise include transcription, elementary essay assessment, title editing, freelance writing and editing as well as website user testing and real estate. Claudette enjoys the variety of her work and has been working in these areas for over 7 years.

Photo Credits

  • www.clipartguide.com, www.prezziesplus.co.uk, www.paintballimpact.com