How do Paintball Guns Work?


Have you ever asked yourself how do paintball guns work? Let’s explore the details behind creating the centerpiece of one of the most exciting action sports in the world. To fire a paintball gun there are a lot of things that have to happen for that paintball to shoot in the direction you want. Attached to the paintball gun are two crucial components. You have the hopper and the CO2 canister. While there are other types of gasses that can be used we are going to focus on using CO2 for now.


When both of these attachments are in place the magic starts to happen. The hopper containing paintballs releases a single paintball into the firing assembly. The firing assembly is the small piece of machinery inside the gun that holds the paintball in place until it is to be shot. Once a paintball is located within the firing assembly there is only one action left.


The Trigger Pull

Once you pull the trigger it sets in motion a series of events that ultimately make a paintball gun work. As soon as the trigger has been pulled a sear is released. The sear is the part of the paintball gun that holds the paintball in place but also ensures that the paintball can be released at a high rate of speed. Depending on the device your using, located behind the paintball is a piston. Behind and below that piston is a pressurized air chamber and regulator.


Pulling the trigger releases the regulator allowing the air chamber to be filled with CO2. The CO2 then floods the air chamber at such a high rate of speed that it forces the piston behind the paintball forward. The piston then makes contact and transfers its energy to the paintball allowing the paintball to travel through the barrel and reach its intended target. 


There are many different types of paintball guns out there, and they all work in different ways. This is just a basic view of the underlying mechanics that make this great game possible. If you’re ready to play a great game of paintball and see these mechanics in action then book a visit with SteelTown Paintball at one of our parks! Happy Paintballing!