• After the Game: How to Care for Paintball Equipment

    paintballchecklistYou’ve just finished a long and exciting day of paintball and it’s time to pack your gear up and head home. Never forget to take care of your equipment the proper way. A paintball marker and gear is a big investment, so it’s worth the extra time to clean and store it the right way to avoid future damage. Nothing is more disappointing than getting hyped for your next big day of paintball, only to arrive at the field and realize your gun isn’t in working order because you packed it up too hastily last time!

    The good news is, it won’t take too much effort to keep your marker and gear in good condition. Some simple maintenance is all it takes to keep your stuff functioning properly. Check out instructions for equipment care and storage tips after the paintball game below:

    After Game Care Instructions for Paintball Marker

    At the field:

    De-gas your marker in the target range. Turn the tank off and fire to ensure that all the air has been let out. Unscrew the tank and apply the thread saver to the bottle. Swipe the squeegee quickly across the barrel and the outside of the marker. Make sure all screws are still secure. If you want to pack up and head home now, this is all you need to finish at the field. The other steps can wait until you get home.

    At home:

    Take out the batteries from the marker and hopper and keep them in a safe place. Place electrical tape over the 9 volt terminals to prevent sparks.

    Every now and then it’s a good idea to do a more thorough cleaning at home to prevent any paint, oil, and dirt buildup. On this occasion, remove the tank and the barrel and squeegee the inside of the barrel thoroughly. Use only water; No soap, chemical cleansers, or abrasive wash cloths. Wipe the inside again with a dry towel and allow it to completely dry before reassembling. This should only be needed every few months or so, depending on how often you play. Remember not to take the marker apart more often than necessary, as it can be easy to lose a bolt or reassemble it incorrectly.

    Oiling, however, is something you want to do after every day of paintball. When everything is completely dried, oil the bolt and o-rings to prevent rust. Only use oil specifically designed for paintball guns because other types can cause damage.

    Use oil sparingly, but always use it. It is required for proper operation and can help extend the life of your marker. However, too much oil can gather over time and cause problems. The perfect amount is just a very light coat.

    Check out the owner’s manual for your marker to find any specific cleaning or storage instructions. There may also be a certain type of oil that should be used for optimal operation.

    Paintball Marker Storage Instructions

    Check to make sure the trigger is in safety mode and the barrel plug is in place before you unload and remove the air supply. Keep it in a safe, dry place, out of direct sunlight. The tank is especially prone to heat and sun damage because Co2 expands in high temperatures.

    After Care Instructions for Soft Paintball Gear

    Use a trash bag to keep your dirty gear and clothing in during the drive home. Dump them into the washer when you get home. Pack your elbow pads, knee pads, and other gear in a mesh bag if you have one because this will allow the items to dry completely. If you don’t, make sure to hang them up to dry as soon as you get home to prevent odor or stains.

  • What Affects the Accuracy of a Marker?

    texture1Accuracy, distance, firing rate, and efficiency are all important in paintball. However, these can not be definitively ranked. Every player is different and values some of these qualities over others. If you’re just starting out, you’ll develop your own preferences as you gain more time on the field. Intermediate or seasoned players will likely have figured out which marker strengths they prefer.

    This blog post will focus on accuracy. What aspects of a marker and equipment affect shooting accuracy and how can a player achieve an improvement in this area? Training and practice can only take someone so far. A player can have near perfect aim nine times out of ten, but still end up a missing the target. Why? Poor quality barrels or paintballs are probably to blame. Check out how these could be holding you back:

    Barrel Length

    The length of the barrel is at the top of the list when a marker’s accuracy is determined. Stock markers tend to come with a barrel length of 8.5 inches. Upgrading to a longer barrel will bring increased accuracy simply because it will be easier to aim.

    However, barrels that are too long will bring some drawbacks as well. A barrel length between 12 and 16 inches is ideal for improved accuracy and minimum negative effects. Anything above 16 inches will of course have fantastic accuracy, but a lot of potential drawbacks as well. It’s up to the player to decide if these are worth it.

    Potential drawbacks of using a barrel above 16 inches:

    • Decreased distance
    • Increased processing time
    • Increased contact between paintball and barrel
    • Higher potential for frozen or shattered paintballs in cold temperatures
    • Increased mass of marker, adding weight or making it more difficult to hide

    Barrel Bore Size

    The bore size of a barrel is another factor that affects accuracy. A stock barrel usually has a bore size of .690 and decreasing the size will result in better accuracy.  It is recommended to start by modifying to a .688 bore size and gradually decrease from there, depending on preference.

    The easiest way to do this is to purchase a barrel kit that offers modifications of many different bore sizes, ranging from .675 to .691. Note that paintball size used with the modified barrel may need to be adjusted along with bore size for maximum accuracy.

    Barrel Cleanliness

    How well the inside of the barrel is maintained could have an effect on accuracy as well. Over time, paint, mud, dirt and oil can accumulate inside the barrel and slow down the operation, resulting in decreased accuracy.

    Make sure to remove the barrel and clean it occasionally in order to prevent this. Use a squeegee and some water, then wipe it with a dry towel. Polish with a very light coat of oil and allow it to completely dry before reassembling. Do not use soap, chemical cleansers or abrasive wash cloths.

    paintball_packPaintball Quality

    In addition to the quality and modifications of the barrel, the chosen paintballs have a big impact on the accuracy of the marker. The use of high quality paintballs results in a much higher accuracy. It may cost a bit more to purchase a higher quality brand, but it will be worth the investment if accuracy is your goal.

    The reason this works is because better quality paintballs contain a much more dense material that fills the entire space inside the shell. Cheaper paintballs are often only filled partially or filled with a material that leaves room for air bubbles. This then can cause the filler to settle to one side and the ball to curve in that direction from the weight.

    Paintball Size

    Lastly, if ultimate accuracy is the goal, it is very important that the paintball size is chosen to match the bore size perfectly. If the paintballs are too small, they will move around freely inside the barrel and potentially shoot off in all different directions. If the paintballs are too big, they could get stuck in the barrel and slow down operation or eventually shatter.

    To find out if the paintballs match the bore size, try dropping one vertically down the barrel. It should stop up inside, but become easily dislodged with a light blow of air.

    Think about all of these factors when shooting for a higher accuracy with your marker. Make sure to find the perfect barrel length for your playing style and keep the inside clean and polished. Choose a high quality paint that fits the bore size properly. All of this combined with some practice and skill, and your marker is sure to be extremely accurate.

    Play note – sometime facilities require a certain kind of paintball, our “house paint”. They might also check yoru marker for certain industry standards , such as fire rate and power. investigate your play field to determine if your marker is appropriate.

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Marker Working Like New

    texture1A paintball gun is a big investment, so you’ll want to keep it clean and in working order. Nothing is worse than getting hyped for a big day of woodsball, only to get on the field and find out your gun is leaking or won’t shoot!

    Your marker will require some easy maintenance to keep it functioning like new. Check out the following blog for storage and care tips, as well as solutions to the most common problems.

    1. Read the Owner’s Manual and Disassemble Only As Needed

    Make sure to read the owner’s manual for any maintenance and cleaning instructions specific to your marker. One very important detail to look for in the manual: the type of oil required.

    While it’s important to clean and repair as needed, don’t take the gun apart more often than necessary. It’s too easy to reassemble it incorrectly or lose a bolt while doing so.

    2. Oil Frequently But Not Excessively

    Before gameplay, make sure to oil the front and rear bolt O-ring. Use oil specifically made for paintball guns only, because other types can damage the O-rings. Remember that less is more when it comes to oil. Too much oil will gather over time and cause delays in the operation. The perfect amount of oil is just enough to coat the seals.

    Check your markers manual, because many will specify a certain oil or grease that should be used. The right kind of oil is usually inexpensive and has the most power to extend the life and quality of your gun.

    3. Clean After Every Use

    Clean the marker thoroughly after every use, but make sure to remove your Co2 or HPA tank first. Wipe down the outside of your gun after gameplay to remove all paint. Don’t use soap, chemical cleansers or wash cloths that are too abrasive.

    During gameplay, be careful when playing in wet or muddy conditions and try to prevent too much water or mud from making contact with your gun. If it does become exposed to a lot of dirt, mud, or water, take it apart to wipe out the inside. Make sure it is fully dry before reassembling.

    Occasionally you’ll also want to remove the barrel and clean the inside with a squeegee and some water. Too much paint buildup can pile up and cause problems. Wipe it down again with a dry towel and make sure it is completely dry before reassembling.

    4. Keep It In a Safe Place

    After cleaning, oil your marker to prevent rust. Make sure the trigger is in safety mode and the barrel plug is in place, then unload and remove the air supply.

    Keep it in a safe, dry place, out of direct sunlight. The tank is especially prone to heat and sun damage because Co2 expands in high temperatures.

    5. Most Common Problems Solved By Replacing These Parts

    If your gun is having operational issues, the first thing you should do is check on the Co2 bottle, batteries (if it uses them), and the O-rings. The most common problems can be fixed simply by replacing these parts.

    Make sure the Co2 bottle is not empty and check for valve problems, or test out the marker with another bottle. If the gun is leaking near the bottle, the Co2 bottle O-ring probably needs to be replaced. You should also routinely check the O-rings for any cuts, tears, or openings that air could get through just as a preventive measure.