Paintball is a great way to keep fit while having a bit of fun, so it’s no surprise so many people have become regular players over the past couple of years. If you’re planning to give paintball a whirl, you’re definitely in for an awesome time. However, you might also be in for a lot of stress and confusion when trying to find the right gun for the best price.
If you have any prior experience in paintball (or any sport), you will understand just how important it is to be playing with high quality equipment. If you go for the least expensive option in order to save a couple of dollars, you’re probably going to end up lying helpless in a ditch while the players with decent markers paint you like a canvas.
We’re here to try and help you avoid such a situation, and maybe ease some of the aforementioned stress and confusion. We have gathered a number of the best paintball guns on the market and are going to discuss the merits of each, as well as a couple of other things you should know before getting involved in paintball.
- 1 Advantages Of A Good Paintball Marker
- 2 What Makes A Great Gun Great?
- 2.1 Value For Money
- 2.2 Accuracy
- 2.3 Lightweight
- 2.4 Top 10 Paintball Guns
- 2.5 1. Tippmann Cronus
- 2.6 2. Tippmann X7 Phenom
- 2.7 3. Spyder Fenix
- 2.8 4. Tippmann Cronus Tactical
- 2.9 5. DYE Proto Rail
- 2.10 6. U.S. Army Project Salvo
- 2.11 7. Azodin Blitz
- 2.12 8. Tippmann 98 Platinum
- 2.13 9. Dye Proto Rail MaXXed
- 2.14 10. Dangerous Power G5
- 2.15 Paintball FAQ – What kind of gun should I choose?
- 2.16 Mechanical VS Electro-pneumatic
- 2.17 Mechanical
- 2.18 Electro-pneumatic
- 2.19 CO2 VS Compressed Air
- 2.20 CO2
- 2.21 Compressed Air
Advantages Of A Good Paintball Marker
There are a number of reasons you should bypass the cheap beginners guns and go for something a little more expensive, among them are:
You’d be amazed what a difference confidence can make. It’s inevitable that you’re going to be a little bit on edge and unsure of what to do the first time you step onto the paintball battlefield. It can often take months before you feel at ease when playing, but you’ll find your footing a whole lot quicker with a high quality marker. The knowledge that you can rely on your marker can turn you from just another rookie to the one to watch.
What’s the best way to make sure you stick at something? Spend a lot of money on it. Now, I don’t mean you should try to trick yourself into liking paintball. If you give paintball a shot and decide it’s not for you, that’s fine; go and find something else to do because you’re not going to be able to enjoy the sport if you’re not passionate about it. But if you want to play paintball and are worried you don’t have the followthrough to become a skilled player, a good paintball gun will give you motivation to step out of your comfort zone and strive to be one of the best.
In a lot of ways, buying a high quality paintball marker can be written off as an investment. If you plan to be involved in paintball for years to come, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to purchase a beginner’s marker. While they are cheaper than professional markers and somewhat easier to master, the dedicated paintballer will outgrow one very quickly and be forced to purchase a better model. Rather than upgrading a year from now and costing yourself even more money, you should consider going straight for a professional paintball gun and having something of a baptism by fire.
|2.||Tippmann X7 Phenom||4.7|
|3.||Tippmann Cronus Tactical||4.7|
|4.||DYE Proto Rail||4.5|
|5.||U.S. Army Project Salvo||4.4|
|8.||Tippmann 98 Platinum||4|
|9.||Dye Proto Rail MaXXed||4|
|10.||Dangerous Power G5||4|
Or just watch our video!
What Makes A Great Gun Great?
Before we look at some specific guns, let’s take a minute to discuss what makes one gun stand out from all the others.
Value For Money
Price is the first thing anybody looks at when planning a purchase, so we’ll get that out of the way now. As with anything, you should avoid going for one product simply because it’s the cheapest. The paintball guns which you find in drugstores or toy shops may seem like a great bargain when compared to online options, but it’s important to remember that a low price tag does not exactly equal value for money. A $25 paintball marker probably isn’t going to hold up very well when pitted against the professional guns of experienced paintball players. Among other things, you will have to worry about chopped balls, low ammunition, and a jammed trigger.
A steady hand and a good aim will come in time, but if you’re just starting out, there are certain paintball markers which will increase your chances of an accurate shot. Again, those cheap drugstore paintball guns probably aren’t going to do the trick here, so you’ll have to go with one of the more expensive options. The extra expense will be well worth it when you’re standing fifty feet away from your opponent with a trembling hand and one ball left in your markers.
The last thing you want be doing during a lengthy paintball game is lying on your stomach, waiting for somebody to stumble into your viewfinder. This can get awfully boring and paintball is about having fun, so you should be able to run around a bit and lose yourself in the madness of it all. For that reason, you need to find a gun which you can carry with ease. There are a lot of lightweight guns out there, but the lighter you can get the better, as some attachments weigh a surprising amount.
Top 10 Paintball Guns
Now that we have covered the things which you should take into account when purchasing a marker, we can start looking at the top paintball guns on the market. It would be impossible for us to name one gun as the absolute best paintball marker available without drawing the ire of those who prefer a different markers, so let’s just say this top ten list is in no particular order.
With that in mind, here are the ten best paintball guns for sale.
1. Tippmann Cronus
Tippmann have been responsible for some of the best paintball guns ever produced, and their Tippmann Cronus is considered by many to be the perfect choice for anybody new to paintball. Let’s take a look at why the Tippmann Cronus might appeal to beginners, and paintball players in general.
Like I said before, price is the first thing anybody who isn’t a millionaire looks at before making a purchase. Most really great paintball guns will go beyond the $200 mark, so if you’re trying to save money, the Tippmann Cronus is the way to go. You get a great lightweight marker from a trusted manufacture for less than $100. It’s practically a steal.
- Four Picatinny Rails
Even the greatest paintball guns can be improved upon, which is why the Tippmann Cronus features plenty of room for add-ons. With four Picatinny rails, the combination of extra equipment which you can fit onto the Tippmann Cronus is limited only by your imagination (and bank account, of course).
You can read our detailed Tippmann Cronus review here.
2. Tippmann X7 Phenom
The Tippmann X7 Phantom is one of Tippmann’s guns for more experienced players. If you’re looking for a gun which you can rely on for a number of years, you can’t go wrong with the Phantom.
- Three Position Selection
The Tippmann X7 Phantom comes equipped with a three position selection switch. This allows you to chose between two settings for firing: manual and automatic. When in manual mode, the Phantom will fire one bullet for every time you pull the trigger. Obviously, this is beneficial if you’re trying to keep track of your ammunition or are confident you can get the job done with one shot. The automatic setting will be useful should the game get a little bit out of hand. It will fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger, essentially promising you a hit regardless of your shooting ability.
Unlike a lot of professional paintball guns, the Tippman Phantom X7 does not take up a whole lot of room. It can be carried in just one bag and requires minimal effort to maintain. The small scale of the marker is particularly advantageous if you end up having to hide or take cover during the game.
3. Spyder Fenix
Considered by many to be the Terminator of paintball guns, the Spyder Fenix comes equipped with a three way adjustable magnetic response “sabre” trigger and a LEAP II circuit board with rear facing CAMD.
- Easy Maintenance
You probably shouldn’t be purchasing this gun if you’re new to paintball, but if you’re not going to listen to me and buy it anyway, you can do so safe in the knowledge that the Spyder Fenix is easy to maintain. A lot paintball guns out there are incredibly complex in their design and so require a lot of effort and expert care to ensure they continue performing to their highest possible standard. This marker, however, is simple to disassemble and inspect.
- Break Beam Eyes
If you’re an experienced paintball player, you are probably already aware of how frustrating chopped balls can be. If you’re a novice in the sport, you’re likely to discover it for yourself soon enough. A chopped ball occurs when a paintball breaks while still in the barrel of the gun. This creates a number of problems and is the last thing you want to happen in the middle of a tense shootout. The Spyder Fenix’s break beam eye systems uses photo-detection to ensure the marker cannot fire if a ball has not been loaded, essentially eliminating any risk of chopped balls.
4. Tippmann Cronus Tactical
This is Tippmann’s third appearance on this list and it isn’t hard to see why. Much like the original Tippmann Cronus, the Tippmann Cronus Tactical is a great gun for beginners and sells at an affordable price.
- Inline Bolt System
The Tippmann Cronus Tactical’s inline bolt system means you can rely on your gun in even the most hardcore and stressful of games (not that paintball is ever anything but a stress reliever). Should there be a problem with your load during the game, the inline bolt system allows you to tend to the matter without having to dismantle your marker. A minute of fiddling around puts you back in the game.
As you progress through the paintball ranks, your games will probably become a bit less rigid in terms of boundaries. Because you’ll be able to wander where you will during battles, a gun with a good range is essential. The Tippmann Cronus Tactical has a range of 150 feet, meaning you can shoot people up without ever leaving your hiding spot. How tactical.
5. DYE Proto Rail
Wheter you’re a paintball veteran or just getting started, the folks over at DYE believe their Proto Rail is the best gun you can get. With countless unique features and innovative technology, it’s pretty hard to argue with them.
- Eye Pipe Plateless Enclosure
The Dye Proto Rail is equipped with an anti-chop system which is guarded by a polycarbonate eye pipe. This protects the anti-chop technology from any stray paint or dirt which could compromise it. With every shot taken, the pipe is wiped and cleaned by the tip O-ring.
- Hyper3 Regulator
The manufacturers made some changes to the Hyper regulator on this marker to make it more effective than ever before. The design is far more pleasing to the eye, and allows the user greater control when adjusting the air pressure.
6. U.S. Army Project Salvo
And make that four appearances from Tippmann. This gun is a bit different than what we have come to expect from Cronus and is part of their U.S Army range. The gun features Tippmann’s inline bolt system and rarely goes beyond the $200 mark.
- MilSim Look
If you’re a military enthusiast, you’re obviously going to be drawn to markers such as the Project Salvo rather than some of the more sleek, Apple-esque options. This gun is the closest you can get to a real military firearm without joining the army, and has the perfect combination of power and durability to help you perform at the top of your game.
No matter how good you are, a stiff trigger will always affect your shot. It requires a surprising amount of effort and energy, and this will only wear you down as the game goes on. The Project Salvo is equipped with a light trigger which is simple to maneuver and increases accuracy. It also gives you the ability to fire shots at rapid speed should it be required.
7. Azodin Blitz
The Azodin Blitz is one of the best mid-range guns on the market today and is perfect for any beginner. It’s also a great piece of equipment for anybody who has been playing for a little while and is looking for the right gun to get them to the next level.
- Fully Electric
The Azodin Blitz is a fully electric paintball marker, meaning you have the option to fire multiple rounds at a time. If you’re going to be playing against more experienced paintballers, this marker will be instrumental in evening the playing field and maybe even giving you a bit of an edge.
- Feather Striker System
The Azodin Blitz features a feather striker system, meaning the striker is 30% lighter than most striker designs. This results in reduced mechanical recoil and leaves the shooter with a smoother operating experience.
8. Tippmann 98 Platinum
Yet another Tippmann product. The Tippmann 98 Platinum allows for possibly the most customization of any gun on this list. While some people see this as nothing but a way for Tippmann to trick you into spending extra money, there is no denying the fact that the right combination of add-ons can be the difference between defeat and victory.
- Removable Power Tube
While most Tippmann products come with a warranty, it is important to take time to clean your marker regularly if you want it to perform to its highest standard for a long period of time. The Tippmann 98 features power tubes which take practically no effort at all to remove from the marker. After giving each tube a quick but thorough clean, simply reattach them and you are good to go.
Like I said earlier, the Tippmann 98 Platinum gives you the opportunity to craft the perfect weapon for you. It is compatible with a wide array of accessories, as well as CO2 and compressed air.
9. Dye Proto Rail MaXXed
According to Dye, they consulted with a number of seasoned paintball players before making this gun. They took everything that was great about the original Dye Proto Rail and “maXXed it out”. Their words, not mine.
- Lockdown Clamping Feedneck
There is really no point in finding a great hiding place if your loader is going to stick out from the top of your gun and give away your position. DYE took this into account when designing the Proto Rail maXXEed and have come up with a solution. An adjustable cam lock level allows you to get your loader in nice and low (and good and tight) without any effort or tools.
- Ultralight Airport
The Proto Rail MaXXed is fitted with an ultralight airport which allows for maximum control of airflow throughout the marker without taking up much space. With an easy to use on/off toggle, the airflow system can be manipulated literally at the flick of a switch.
10. Dangerous Power G5
Over the years, Dangerous Power have built up quite a nice reputation for themselves as produces of high quality paintball guns. Their guns are expertly crafted and extremely popular among paintball enthusiasts, so you can be sure you’re getting a gun which you can rely on when you purchase the Dangerous Power G5.
- Riptide Regulator
The Riptide Regulator in this gun is stripped down to the bare necessities. Operating with a seven O-ring system, the Riptide Regulator pumps air throughout the marker while adding practically nothing at all to its weight.
- Low-Pressure Stinger Frame
The G5’s reimagined aluminum stinger frame promises a reinforced and accurate fit frame-to-body. The heavy-duty bracing structure ensures the gun will hold up for years in even the most physical of paintball games. If you have longterm paintball goals and a short temper, this is the marker for you.
Paintball FAQ – What kind of gun should I choose?
Mechanical VS Electro-pneumatic
When searching for the right paintball gun for you, you need to decide if you want to go with a classic mechanical marker or a more complex electro-pneumatic model. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to each, and we’re going to cover them here.
A lot of the cheaply made paintball guns are mechanical, which has caused a lot of people to view all mechanical markers as flimsy and low quality. However, some of the finest paintball guns ever produced have been mechanical ones.
Generally, a mechanical paintball gun will allow you greater control over your shots. If you don’t have a steady hand, you might experience some issues with aiming, but a veteran player will have little difficulty hitting targets from long distances with a mechanical marker. Any newcomers who are looking to master the art of paintball should spend at least some time using one.
The great disadvantage of a mechanical paintball marker is that you are limited by the speed at which you can pull the trigger. While this won’t be that much of an issue if you are playing with beginners, it will become problematic when you go up against more experienced players who are likely to have a quick and unforgiving shot.
Rather than using a system of clogs and springs to fire, electro-pneumatic paintball guns are equipped with a circuit board which controls a solenoid. When the trigger is pulled, the circuit board sends a signal to the solenoid, which causes air to be pumped through the marker.
Electro-pneumatic guns are generaly more consistent than their mechanical counterparts. Mechanical guns depend on a number of factors in order to produce an effective shot while an electronic gun will give you a powerful and accurate shot every time. Because the trigger is not hooked up to the clogs and springs you would find in a mechanical marker, it is light /and requires little effort to fire.
If you think you’d prefer a electro-pneumatic gun to a mechanical one, you may think again once you learn of the cost involved. These guns are expensive enough to purchase, but the expenditure likely won’t stop there. After using an electro-pneumatic gun for some time, you’re probably going to run into some sort of issue which can only be fixed by a paintball professional. The price of repairs varies depending on what work needs to be done, but you can expect to spend significantly more money with an electro-pneumatic marker than you would with a mechanical one.
CO2 VS Compressed Air
There is much debate among paintball enthusiasts when it comes to the issue of CO2 versus compressed air. Each has its merits and each has its disadvantages. We’re going to be covering both of those things for both options in order to produce a fair and balanced overview.
CO2, which is Carbon Dioxide, was used in the very first paintball markers. It was chosen for this purpose as when turned from liquid into gas it expands and creates pressure, perfect for firing a paintball. CO2 tanks come in both disposable and refillable tanks.
What makes CO2 so popular among regular paintballers is that it is relatively inexpensive. If you’re going to go out paintballing more than once or twice a week, you don’t want to be spending a ton of money on equipment, so the cheap refillable tank is a great choice. Some people find it difficult to refill their tanks if there is no paintball shop in their area, but most party shops will do it if you ask nicely.
One of the major issues people have with CO2 is that tank chilling often has a serious impact on the accuracy and power of your shot. As you shoot, tank pressure drops and causes more and more problems every time you pull the trigger. On top of this, pressure rises between shots but drops again once you fire. This fluctuation in pressure is not good for your gun and certainly isn’t good for the people you are playing with, as it can result in balls being released at unsafe speeds.
When issues with CO2 became too much to deal with, many people in the paintballing world began to look for an alternative. This is when compressed air began to come into prominence. Compressed air is also known as “High Pressure Air” (HPA) and “N2”, as the first tanks primarily used nitrogen.
No matter what you do in this world, consistency is key. Consistency is why so many people prefer using compressed air instead of CO2. A compressed air tank is not affected by things such as the weather or the frequency at which you fire; this is particularly beneficial if you’re the kind who just likes to get lost in the game and fire at anything and anyone.
While CO2 tanks can be filled up in a number of places, compressed air tanks can really only be refilled in stores that deal exclusively in paintball equipment. For most paintballers in the United States, this won’t be a problem as such stores can be found in most states. Paintballers in smaller countries, however, may be forced to use CO2 tanks for the simple reason that they are easier to get your hands on.