Last Updated on October 20, 2022
“Can paintball guns shoot pepper balls”? You might not know this but apart from paintballs, your markers can shoot a lot of other things as well, sounds strange right? Well, it did to me. But after going through several threads and videos, I finally got my answer.
Can Paintball Guns Shoot Pepper Balls?
So, can paintball guns shoot pepper balls? The short answer is YES!
Although Pepper balls can be found in many different sizes, you can easily find ones that are of the same size as paintballs, which is 0.68 caliber. But, here is a catch. Shooting pepper balls involves more risk than shooting typical paintballs and hence demands additional knowledge and care to avoid any injuries or mishaps.
That’s why we have covered some basic queries regarding pepper balls along with some other alternatives which you can shoot out of your paintball gun.
Before we get there, Let’s start from the basics.
What is a Pepper Ball?
A pepper ball is a small sphere filled with oleoresin capsicum (OC) powder. The OC powder consists of chili oil and other compounds derived from hot peppers, along with inert ingredients such as silicon dioxide to facilitate grinding.
Upon impact the outer shell breaks and releases smoke powder, this smoke causes severe irritation in the eyes and nose. In extreme cases, it can also cause difficulty in breathing.
Why Pepper balls are used?
Pepper balls are non-lethal projectiles used by certain low enforcement forces for riot control purposes or less-lethal weapons meant to be used during law enforcement activities in order to minimize injuries while subduing unruly individuals involved in riots.
Pepper balls can also be used against extremely aggressive animals like bears.
Is it legal to use pepper balls?
Pepper Balls fall under the same category as pepper spray. Pepper sprays are legal to carry in most states of the US for self-defense purposes.
However, some states have imposed restrictions on its usage by civilians while others have allows its use under certain circumstances, for complete surety, it is better to check out your state’s laws regarding Pepper Balls before using one.
Generally, if you are above the age of 18 and don’t have any previous criminal record, you can easily buy pepper balls.
Paintball vs. Pepper Ball: What’s the difference?
As we already know that paintball is made up of soft gelatin capsule that is filled with paint. The paint inside the paintball is completely non-toxic and biodegradable as well. After getting shot by a paintball, you will most likely even feel any pain, if wearing proper gear and clothing. In the worst case, if the ball hits on bare skin, you will get a bruise or welt.
On the other hand, Pepper Ball can cause you irritation no matter where it hits and can even cause trouble breathing and seeing. Apart from that, the outer shell of a pepper ball is also harder than a paintball and requires more velocity to break on impact.
You must have gotten the idea that pepper ball is surely not for recreational purposes and can be dangerous if not handled with care.
How effective is Pepper Ball for Self defense?
When it comes to Self-defence, Pepper balls are more effective than pepper spray or pepper gel as they can shoot a target from a long distance. A Pepper ball can leave your attacker with temporary blindness, breathing difficulties, and skin irritation. However, to shoot the Pepper ball you must have a launcher (i.e a paintball gun) with you. This makes it less effective especially for traveling purposes.
It’s safe to assume that if you are looking for a home defense solution then pepper ball is your best bet. On the other hand, Pepper spray is easy to carry and can be equipped while traveling.
Remember that Pepper balls, Pepper spray, and Pepper gel are usually effective if the attacker is unarmed or not wearing proper equipment. Pepper balls are not an alternative to real firearms and hence it is important to not rely on them and only use them as a last resort.
In case you find yourself in an extremely dangerous situation where your life is at risk then it would be better that you run away from the scene as fast as possible and call 911 immediately.
How to shoot Pepper Balls with a Paintball Gun?
Unlike Paintballs, Pepper Balls aren’t made up of soft gelatin so don’t expect them to break on impact with bare skin unless the velocity is high. So, why should one use paintball guns to shoot pepper balls when there are dedicated guns for pepper balls available?
Well, Pepper ball guns can be quite expensive as compared to paintball guns. Moreover, why should you spend more on buying a brand new pepper ball gun when you already have a paintball gun hanging around?
Steps On Shooting Pepper Balls – Can Paintball Guns Shoot Pepper Balls?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to shoot pepper balls out of your paintball gun.
- Fill your hopper (or magazine) with the pepper ball.
- Connect your Air Tank.
- Remove the barrel sleeve or barrel plug (if any).
- Load your paintball gun and aim it at a safe target.
- Shoot the Pepper balls.
- Remember that the Pepper Ball usually explodes on hard surfaces only.
Can all Paintball Guns shoot Pepper Balls?
Although paintballs come in a variety of different sizes, the most common one is the 0.68 caliber. So, If the size of the pepper ball matches the caliber of your paintball gun then you are good to go.
Apart from that, when shooting pepper balls, you must ensure that your gun is capable enough to handle increased pressure due to the intense heat build-up inside it when firing Pepper Balls. Otherwise, there will be some serious damage to your Paintball gun’s internals which might not even be covered under warranty.
Are Pepper Balls lethal?
No, Pepper Balls are not lethal. Pepper balls can cause severe irritation to your eyes and nose but they will subside a few hours after the attack.
Also, If by chance a pepper ball hits on bare skin then there is a high probability that it might leave a welt depending upon how hard it hit and where exactly was it targeted. However, these irritations are short-lived as compared to what you would feel if attacked with pepper spray or a taser gun.
Recommended Paintball Marker for Pepper Balls
To make the pepper ball explode on impact, you’ll need a marker that is powerful and accurate enough to do the job. The Tippmann Cronus Tactical and the TMC Magfed are two great guns that you use to shoot Pepper Balls.
The tactical design and striking resemblance to a real-life assault rifle make it one of the best paintball guns for self-defense purposes.
Other Alternatives that you can shoot out of a Paintball Gun
As we mentioned earlier, Pepper balls are not the only thing that you can shoot out of your paintball guns apart from the paintballs obviously. Here are some of the other alternatives you can shoot out of your paintball marker.
1. Water Balls
Water Balls as the name suggests, are round hard plastic balls filled with water. The water balls were designed for military training purposes as they don’t leave a paint mark upon impact and hence create less mess.
However, these are not very accurate and are only good for close ranges. Apart from that, they are not easily available in most paintball stores. So, finding them can be difficult sometimes.
2. Rubber Ball
A rubber Ball is another alternative that you can use with your paintball gun. These are available in various calibers and hence make it easier to find one which matches the caliber of your Paintball Gun.
However, Rubber Balls also have their limitations as they aren’t very accurate at distance and don’t fly straight either.
3. Jaw Breaker Round / Nylon Ball
Jaw Breaker Round is another type of ammunition that you can shoot out of your Paintball gun. These are usually made up of Nylon or plastic and have pointed prongs on the front which makes it easier to break the glass.
Although these jawbreaker rounds aren’t very accurate, they are still far more accurate than rubber balls within close range. The Jawbreaker rounds are mostly used by the military for riot control and are strictly prohibited to be used for recreational purposes.
Final Words – Wrapping it up
So, this was all that you need to know about Pepperball and other alternatives which can be shot out of your Paintball Gun. As you now know whether or not paintball guns can shoot pepper balls, you need to take special care while shooting pepper balls or other similar ammunition from your paintball gun because it can damage the internal parts of your guns.
Avoid using Jaw Breaker Rounds, as they are lethal if fired at close range, and follow the safety guidelines to avoid injuries.
Disclaimer: All the information provided above is strictly for educational purposes only and doesn’t in any way promotes the use of these alternatives.