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Paintball is one of the most popular recreational sports in the world. The sport has made its way into the professional ranks with the creation of different organizations and leagues, both domestically and internationally. The production of paintballs is a big business for the sport. Making paintballs does not need any expensive materials or equipment, so producing homemade paintballs is fairly easy and cost-effective.
Making the Outer Shells
To make a hollow shell, you will need a mixture of water, corn-type oils, flour and, most importantly, gelatin, like the substance used to make gummy bears. Paintballs are made of nontoxic materials, including the materials used to make the outer shells and the paint filler. Melting and mixing everything can take up to a half hour. Once the mixture is complete, you must store the shells in a colder temperature to allow the shape to solidify.
As mentioned, all paint, or the dye, used in paintballs should nontoxic and biodegradable. However, there are some commercially produced paintballs that can contain toxins, so be sure to check the products you buy. Most paintballs use a dye made of polyethylene glycol, the same liquid used for cough syrup. When selecting a paint color to buy, keep in mind where you usually play, whether inside or outside, and the ease to notice paint on an individual's body. Most paintballs used today are of a bright pink, yellow or blue color.
Filling paintballs is easy to do. The most popular method is to use a syringe filled with the select dye of your choice. Take the finished hollow paintball shells and inject the dye into the shell until it is filled. It is common to leave a small amount of air space inside the shell to allow for an easier break upon contact with an object.
Sealing and Storing Paintballs
Once filled, use a sealant such as super glue to close off the small hole made by the syringe. Once you have filled and sealed your homemade paintballs, store them at room temperature. This is important because if stored at a cold temperature, the dye inside the shell can thicken and will rarely allow the outer shell to break upon contact. An illegal method in Paintball known as "freezing" shells can be very dangerous and is highly frowned upon.
Alex Oppenheimer has been writing Sport and Recreation related articles since 2001. He has previously written for publications such as The Miami Herald, INASECTV.com, Hurricanesports.com (University of Miami Athletics), Thesportsrooster.com (Florida High School Sports) and The Metropolitan Golf Association (NY). He holds a degree in Sport Administration from the University of Miami (FL).