Paintball is all about speed and accuracy. If you’re into paintball, you would want to know how fast does a paintball gun shoot, before heading out to the field. But, with all the different types of paintball guns on the market, it’s hard to know just how fast each one goes.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the average speeds of most paintball guns on the market. Later in this guide, we will also discuss the factors that influence the shooting speed along with the firing rate of a paintball gun.
How Fast Does a Paintball Gun Shoot in terms of Speed?
When you press the trigger of a paintball gun, the paintball flies out in a split second. So exactly, how fast does a paintball go?
The speed of paintball guns is measured in (feet per second) FPS. Usually, the speed of a standard .68 caliber paintball is around 240 – 280 FPS, which is equivalent to around 163 – 190 MPH. The international safety speed limit for paintball guns is capped under 300 FPS, this is the maximum speed most paintball guns fire safely.
However, the smaller .50 caliber paintballs have an average speed of 250 feet per second, which is roughly 170 MPH. Keep in mind that within this range, there are also different models of guns that can shoot at different speeds and firing rates.
Factors that Influence the speed of Paintball Gun
There are many different factors that can influence the shooting speed of paintball guns, some are internal while others are external.
1. Velocity Adjustment
Paintball guns usually come with adjustable velocity, which is designed to increase or decrease the speed of your paintballs. How fast a paintball gun shoot in terms of FPS depends on how you set the velocity adjustment. You can further adjust this factor by changing the components that are appropriate for the task at hand.
For instance, if you are playing on a small field or indoor arena, you should set the velocity adjustment at lower rates. On the other hand, if you are playing in open outdoor spaces, you should use high-speed settings to increase your gun’s firing accuracy. How quickly your paintball hits its target depends on both distance and speed.
However, make sure that your velocity doesn’t exceed the recommended safety limit. For complete surety, ask your local paintball field about their allowed speed limit and chronograph your weapon accordingly.
2. Type of Paintball Gun
The type of paintball gun you’re using also has a significant impact on the speed at which your marker shoots. For example, pump-action markers have slower shooting speeds as well as less firing rates as compared to mechanical or electronic paintball markers.
Usually, electronic markers have the fastest shooting speed and accuracy. However, they are also more expensive and less reliable than mechanical and pump-action paintball markers.
How fast a paintball gun shoots can also depend on the quality of your marker as well as its parts. For instance, if you use a low-quality marker with worn-out components, you might not be able to reach higher FPS rates
3. Type of Propellent
The propellant you’re using also has a major impact on your paintball’s speed. Most beginner-level guns are equipped with CO2 tanks. However, they have more pressure drops as compared to HPA tanks.
Since the CO2 tank doesn’t have a constant pressure supply, your paintball’s speed will start to slow down over time. HPA tanks, on the other hand, have compressed air that constantly supplies propellant at constant pressure, resulting in fewer pressure drops.
4. Quality of paintballs
The shooting speed of paintball guns also depends on the quality of the paintballs you are using. Typically, higher-quality paintballs are made with better materials and can travel faster than cheaper paintballs.
For better results, you should try to avoid using “bunker” or any second-grade paintballs that usually have irregular shapes with various deformities. How fast a paintball gun shoots also depends on the density, thickness, and overall weight of your paintballs.
In addition to this, make sure that you clean your marker regularly after every session. Keeping it free from dirt and debris will allow for smoother firing action as well as better accuracy.
5. Wind Direction
The spherical shape of a paintball is not very aerodynamic and can be easily affected by air resistance. That’s why the wind direction can also affect your paintball gun’s shooting speed.
Oftentimes, wind affects the trajectory and flight path of your paintballs, causing them to fly off course or disperse quickly. Moreover, a sudden gush of wind in the direction of your paintball can drastically decrease the speed of paintballs.
How Fast Does a Paintball Gun Shoot in terms of Firing Rate?
The firing rate of paintball guns is measured in paintballs per second (PBS). Although the firing rate of a paintball gun depends on multiple factors such as the type of propellant, the firing mode, and the rate at which the hopper is feeding the paintball into the barrel. However, the factor that has the most influence on the firing rate of a paintball gun is the type of paintball you are using.
Some high-end speedball guns can shoot at a firing rate of up to 15-20 PBS. This means that you will end up emptying a hopper of 200 paintballs in roughly 14 to 16 seconds of continuous shooting. That is just astonishing to think how fast a paintball gun shoots.
Factors that Influence the firing rate of Paintball Gun
The firing rate of your paintball gun depends on many factors. However, some of the most important factors are discussed below.
1. Type of Paintball Gun
As we mentioned above, paintball guns come in various types, each with its own unique features. The type of paintball gun you use is the main factor that determines the number of paintballs you will fire per second (BPS).
Mechanical paintball guns have a firing rate of 6-9 rounds per second. They are the most common type of paintball gun that is used in woodsball. On the other hand, electronic paintball guns have a firing rate of about 15 and 20 paintballs per second.
Lastly, in pump-action paintball markers, you have to load the marker every time before firing so it is obvious that they have the lowest firing rate. The firing rate of pump action paintball guns depends on how fast you can load the marker, which is typically 2-3 shots per minute.
2. Type of Propellent
The propellant that you will be using also has an impact on your firing rate. CO2 tanks were the most common type of propellant used in paintball because they were cheap and accessible. However, it is important to note that CO2 tanks have significantly less pressure than HPA tanks and are more prone to pressure drops, so this limits your firing rate.
That’s why it is recommended to invest in a good HPA tank as they offer the best performance in terms of firing rate. Some high-end paintball guns can even fire up to 20-25 rounds per second when used with HPA tanks.
3. Type of Hopper
Another important factor that affects your firing rate is the type of hopper you are using. How fast a paintball gun shoots also depends on how many paintballs it can feed in one shot, which is known as feed rate. With higher feed rates, you will be able to shoot more balls per second.
The most common type of hoppers used in tactical and speedball markers are electronic loaders. These hoppers have high-speed motors running at 15RPS or higher that can easily keep up with even the fastest shooting paintball guns available today.
On the other hand, gravity-fed loaders work by letting gravity push the paintballs down into the chamber so they can feed at lower speeds. Therefore, these hoppers have a slower feed rate than the electronic ones, and it is even lower with snorkel or elbow-fed loaders.
4. Responsive Trigger
There is nothing as satisfying as pressing the trigger and hearing that sweet clack-clack sound of your marker firing – especially if it happens simultaneously.
However, not all paintball guns are designed the same way to shoot faster. For example, electronic markers generally have a faster trigger response than mechanical ones because they do not have any mechanical parts that need to move before firing.
In addition, the responsiveness of your trigger depends on the type of trigger frame you use. For example, a curved trigger offers a more ergonomic shooting position compared with flat triggers making them easier to shoot with greater accuracy at a faster rate.
5. Firing Mode
There are three main firing modes that paintball markers use – Semi-Auto, Ramping, and Full Auto. Semi-automatic means you will have to pull the trigger for every shot whereas full auto or ramping can shoot multiple times in one single trigger pull.
While these modes enable you to shoot faster, they do so by sacrificing accuracy. The more shots you fire in a single trigger pull the less accurate your shots will become. So, you should always use ramps and full-auto modes only when shooting at targets nearby.
If you are new to the game, then we recommend that you use the semi-automatic mode until you get used to operating a paintball gun.
What is the maximum speed a paintball can shoot safely?
The International Paintball Players Association (IPPA) has set a speed limit of 300 feet per second for paintballs fired from guns. This figure is the maximum safe speed at which the paintball will break on impact without piercing into the skin of players on the receiving end.
What determines how fast a gun shoots?
There are a number of factors that determine how fast a marker shoots, which include the type of propellant used, hopper feed rate, and firing mode. In addition to these variables, your paintball gun may have an impact on your shooting speed as well. Some paintball markers are designed to be faster than others by being more responsive or having a faster firing rate.
Can you customize a Paintball Gun to increase its Shooting Speed?
You should never customize your paintball gun to increase its shooting speed because this will likely put you in contravention of the law. You also risk causing damage to your marker or hurting yourself or somebody else if several shots are fired in quick succession. You could easily damage your marker’s internals or blow apart an O-ring if you exceed 300 feet per second. Read more about this here.
Final Words – Wrapping it up
If you want to increase the firing rate of your gun, then look for markers that have fast trigger responses and high hopper feed rates. You should also consider upgrading to electronic markers as they give you faster rates of fire than mechanical ones.
However, always remember to prioritize accuracy over the firing rate of your paintball gun. You need to be accurate before you can shoot fast so practice as much as possible before trying out your skills in a game. If you are new to the game, then stick with semi-automatic mode until your aim gets better.