There are literally thousands of Paintball Guns or Paintball Markers – ranging from cheap plastic knockoffs to serious paintball rifles with long range sighting capabilities. As avid paintballers, we set out to create a guide of the best paintball guns available on the market from our own experiences.
There are a lot of factors that determine what would be considered the best paintball guns for in the field. Really though it comes down to two factors – reliability and capability. Paintball is the closest thing we can get to real combat, and for many athletes is far more satisfying than hunting as it’s a game of skill – after all the opposition is shooting back at you.
Determining the Best Paintball Gun for Your Style of Play
When I talk with newbie’s about selecting the best paintball gun, I try to get a read on the person themselves and help them determine what type of combat strategy they are most likely to use. For my own tactics I prefer accuracy and stealth tactics – where I have friends that far prefer a more aggressive in your face style of attack and are better served by high capacity automatic weapons.
Personally I love my Tippmann A-5 Sniper Rifle – it’s accurate up to 100 feet with zero arcs in the trajectory, but with practice you learn to work with the elevation to become pin point accurate to 60 yards. But like any marker, you have to pay attention to the rules of the particular range and game you are playing as it may be deemed ineligible.
Many new to the sport of paintballing have either the tendency to be very aggressive or very timid. It’s only when the experience of combat sinks in that you realize there is a time and place for both. I bring this up because when determining what the best paintball gun is – who is using has an impact on that rating and recommendation.
Everyone has their own opinions of what their favorite paintball gun is – but in general we all can agree on the following rating points.
I remember reading a story back about World War One troops that had trouble with their rifles jamming in the middle of combat. Can you imagine in the middle of a life or death struggle your weapon malfunctioning. Although the stakes are a lot smaller in paintball – there is nothing less frustrating than a marker that has malfunctioned or jammed and any experienced paintball athlete will tell you nothing is more important than reliability.
Next to not having a weapon that will fire is having a weapon that can’t hit the target. Numerous factors determine how accurate a paintball gun is including velocity – barrel construction and the accuracy of the sites.
Let’s face it – you get what you pay for and all of us want the most value for our dollar. There are many great deals out there for markers that provide terrific value without breaking the bank.
4. Ease of Use:
There are many factors that can be invisible to a buyer until they are in combat. For example it’s not uncommon for hoppers to interfere with sites – or Co2 containers being bulky or hard to use. Another consideration to consider is that with your mask on will you be able to site the marker?
5. Customization Options:
There are many add-ons you can customize your marker with and you will want to buy a brand that allows you to have options on upgrades and add-ons. It’s ideal if the add-ons come from the same brand/manufacturer.
The less expensive paintball guns have plastic parts and are susceptible to breaking. You want to invest in a weapon that is sturdy and can stand up to the punishment it is going to take in the field where you won’t have time to be gentle.
7. Co2 Usage:
Different guns use Co2 at different rates – and can not only be an added expense – but also a real pain in the field if you’re running low in a game.
8. Balance when Hopper is Attached:
Another area where purchasers sometimes forget to consider is how the weapon reacts with a full hopper which can add substantial weight to the marker. Does it become difficult to use when full?
9. PSI Capacity:
Cheaper Markers typically have poor PSI pressure which affects performance in open combat environments (although many ranges have 300 PSI max rules). Anything under 240 is likely going to disappoint you but anything over 300 is a waste and creates safety issues. Anything over 500 is considered a true firearm.
10. Looks and Appearance:
I put this one last as for far too many people it is the most important. But you know what – in the field or in combat – what you gun looks like doesn’t matter at all – and the entire above factors do. Yes a beautiful mean looking weapon is great to look at and admire – but looks stop the moment the match begins and that’s what paintball is really about.
Check out the 10 Best Paintball Guns on the market right now:
1. DYE M2 Paintball Marker
Dye M2 Paintball Marker fefined over 12 years of paintball marker manufacturing, innovation, and experience. DYE’s M2 marker is the new benchmark for performance and beauty. Based on the legendary DM series platform and meticulously re-engineered from the ground up, the new M2 boasts improvements in every component. DYE’s artisan approach to the M2 is distinctly evident from the marker’s elegant contours. Sharp, aggressive lines flow seamlessly across the M2 without basic screw heads or intrusive cover plates violating the aesthetics of the marker. But the M2’s substance is more than just skin deep. Now with the introduction of the Method Operating System (MOS) and Prism Interface, DYE’s software gives you a vital look into the heart of the M2. The 1 inch, full color, high resolution OLED screen helps give instant clarity into the M2’s unmatched performance. Internal pressure sensors, service systems, expanded operational control, and multiple player profiles are just a few of the many new features that make the MOS the next evolution in electronic control systems. With extraordinary performance, comfort, and unprecedented beauty, the M2 is the new definition of luxury craftsmanship in paintball markers.
2. Empire Paintball BT Dfender Marker
The innovative geniuses of Empire Paintball has been at it again with the creation of the Empire BT D Fender has ultra-strong, lightweight magnesium shells with the high performance guts of the markers and a Z2 loader inside. Reduce your silhouette and never take a hit on your loader again. Forget its name, with the D Fender in your hands, you’ll attack.
3. ETEK4 – Planet Eclipse Etek 4 LT / AM Paintball Guns
The Etek4 LT utilizes glass-reinforced impact resistant composite parts for the frame, eye cover, feedtube and OOPS knob. All other materials are the same high grade alloys found in the Geo and Ego range of markers. The Etek4 AM is of an All Metal construction that replaces all of the above composite parts with machined alloy parts.
>> ETEK4-Planet-Eclipse-Etek-4-LT/AM-Paintball Guns
4. Planet Eclipse ETEK5 Paintball Marker / Gun – ETEK 5
The ETEK5 points accurately and naturally whether snap-shooting or running and gunning. Internally, the ETEK5 now incorporates Zick3 technology which introduces a true 2-stage acceleration profile. This provides a very gentle initial acceleration to the bolt and ball which then increases during the 2nd stage of the bolt stroke to enable super-fast rates of fire. It enables the ETEK5 to be more gentle on paint whilst also reducing recoil. On top of that, the ETEK5 operates at much lower pressures compared to previous ETEK models. The much larger valve chamber combines with the high-flow valve and new soft-tip Cure5 bolt to deliver an HPR operating pressure of around 150psi and an LPR pressure of 85psi. The result is a quieter, smoother shot as well as having the added benefit of being more gentle on paint both in the breech and in the barrel.
5. Empire Paintball Axe Marker
For the money, this is the best paintball marker on the planet. Feel free to think otherwise, but the pro players on the PSP tour who win with the Axe would disagree. The fact is, the Axe is a proven marker that wins tournaments. It has great features like the Relay ASA that uses a lever to initiate air flow and permits easy bottle removal. The push-button Bolt removal system makes engine maintenance quick and easy, even when on the field. It shoots smooth and is a rock-solid paintball gun for all types of players, all playing styles and for usage on tourney fields or in the woods. Try the Axe and cut down your opposition.
6. Dye Proto Rize MaXXed Paintball Marker
DYE’S RIZE MAXXED is packed with features normally only found on high end markers. Feature loaded with the Precision True Bore Proto 2 piece 14 barrel, proven Hyper 3 regulator, DYE UL on/off airport, DYE Lockdown cam lever feed neck, newly redesigned RAMP solenoid, and newly designed Patented Rize Fusion bolt, gives the Rize MaXXed all the performance features of a high end marker. Additionally, the Rize MaXXed is comfortable, accurate and easy to shoot fragile paint. The patented Dye UL Hourglass 45 frame, dual density sticky grips, no slip reg sleeve, adjustable aluminum trigger and low profile balanced design, provides a level of control & comfort not found in most mid range markers. Keeping your Rize MaXXed operating at a high performance level is simple and easy.
7. Proto Rail MaXXed Paintball Gun – Black Lime
The Proto MaXXed Rail features Fuse Bolt Technology, color coded o-rings, a 2-piece Micro Honed 14-inch barrel, clamping feedneck, Ultralite on/off airport, quick release macroline hose and a custom MaXXed Rail marker case. These features combine to give the player a true advantage on the paintball field and make the MaXXed Rail the marker of choice by beginner to intermediate players worldwide.
8. Tippmann A-5 .68 Caliber Paintball Marker
An affordable, upgradable and customizable marker, suitable for woodsball or scenario play. Cyclone Feed System can fire 15 balls per second without batteries. The A-5 can be field stripped in less than 60 seconds without tools. Two position external selector switch allows players to easily change from safe to firing mode. Enhanced ergonomics with a longer front grip, lighter weight body and easier to remove push pins.
9. U.S. Army Project Salvo .68 Caliber Paintball
The Project Salvo has the looks, performance and reliability you would expect from a much higher priced marker. The Project Salvo marker features a high performance 11” ported barrel, top and side Picatinny rails for accessories, and a magazine that doubles as tool storage. Upgrades include an E-Trigger Kit, Response Trigger and the Cyclone Feed System.
10. Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball Gun
Tippmann Cronus Tactical Paintball GunThe new Tippmann Cronus combines high performance with incredible durability in a milsim body. The Cronus features the reliable in-line bolt system in a high-impact composite body with soft over molded rubber grips. This marker can easily be modified by mounting an assortment of accessories on any one of the four picatinny rails.
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