A paintball gun (also known as paintball marker) is used to mark opposing players with paint. It uses air (carbon dioxide) to force the paintball out of the barrel at the speed of about 300 feet per second. This will cause paintballs to break upon hitting somebody but will only cause mild bruising to a person. This could blind a person, though, thus making it a necessity to wear a face mask or eye protection such as goggles.
There are four types of paintball guns and they are classified according to their firing modes. These are pump action guns, semi-automatic guns, fully automatic guns and ramping-mode guns.
In the early days of paintball, all guns were pump action. Each shot would require the person wanting to shoot to manually pull back the bolt to let a paintball fall in front of it and then manually push forward the bolt to bring the paintball in the position to fire. This was excruciatingly slow when compared to other firing modes used today, but is loved by many people as it teaches the importance of a person’s skill with his gun.
Semi-automatic guns were designed so that when the trigger is pushed down, a shot will be fired and the bolt moves back automatically to load the new paintball in position for the next trigger pull. This allows the player to increase firing frequency and accuracy because he will not have to manually pump the gun.
Fully automatic guns are those that will continue to fire paintballs as long as the trigger is held down. The Tippman SMG was the first to feature a fully-automatic gun.
Ramping-mode guns are guns that can fire up to 15 shots per second. This type of gun prevents abuse from semi-automatic guns or fully-automatic guns that can shoot more and can cause injury to other people.
These types of guns are used in different kinds of situations, usually to prove who the best player in a tournament is. Pump action guns promote using stealth and are desired by experienced players because of the challenge they present. Semi-automatic guns are used by players hoping to improve their shooting accuracy and since they do not have to pump every shot, they are able to concentrate more on their targets. Fully automatic guns are used by infantry and middle men in attacking another team’s base. Ramping-mode guns are for controlled environments where there is a specific rule to prevent injury and other problems.