• How to Improve Your Paintball Aim and Accuracy

    target-practice-65647_960_720There is nothing like the feeling of hitting your target in one shot. It makes you feel powerful and skilled. The more accurate your aim is the more paintballs you can save and the more helpful you can be to your team. When your aim is good, you can conserve your paintballs. With the money you save on ammo, you can soon afford an extra session at AC Paintball in Williamstown, New Jersey.

    Accuracy is one of the most important skills a paintball player needs. If you can’t hit your target, you will have difficulty eliminating your opponents. Check out AC Paintball’s aiming tips so you can contribute more to your team’s victory.

    Practice

    The best way to improve any skill is to practice. Go to a shooting range or find another safe place to practice. You can also practice by playing more games at AC Paintball. Start with a stationary target and an average distance. Once you get good with that, you can try shooting at different angles and distances. After a while, you can try moving targets.

    You may not notice increased ability right away, but it you keep practicing you will get better. Your teammates likely will too.

    Choose the Right Marker

    On the day of your AC Paintball game, the first thing you need to do is choose the right marker. Different guns shoot differently. Some are more accurate, shoot more rapidly, or shoot further. You will want to choose the marker that will compliment your skills. This will help you succeed in your position.

    Typically longer and slimmer barrels are more accurate. You will also want to make sure the paintballs fit well in the barrel. Keep in mind that guns with attachments, may make heavier. This can hinder your ability to run and hold up the gun for a long time.  More weight can also make it difficult to distribute weight. This can affect your accuracy.

    If you are renting a gun from AC Paintball, you have two choices. These are the Tippmann Custom 98 Marker, and the Valken V-Tac SW-1 Marker. Both are fairly matched in accuracy, but the Tippman has more of a recoil. This can affect your accuracy when firing multiple shots in a row.

    Test Your Marker Before the Game

    tippmann paintball markerBefore you start your AC Paintball game, you will want to test your marker. Make sure that it is clean. Dirt in the barrel can change the direction and speed of the paintball.

    You can also test how your marker fires. Find a safe place to fire with no people around. Then pick a target and fire at it. Watch where it goes. If it doesn’t fly completely straight, adjust your aim and try again. Keep testing until you figure out how to adjust your aim so that each shot is more accurate.

    Align Your Marker with Your View

    Another helpful technique for aiming is to line up your marker with your eyes. When you don’t center the gun with your body, it is more difficult to judge angles. By centering it, you can help ensure the paintball flies where you want it to go. Be careful, though, if your marker recoils a lot it may fly back toward your face. Although you are wearing a mask, you still don’t want to hit yourself in the face.

    If parts of your marker block your view, tilt it slightly to the side so you can see. Try to keep it as centered as possible.

    Have Patience and Relax

    Some AC Paintball players get so excited that they forget to take the time to aim. If an opponent jumps out, your first instinct is to start shooting in their general direction. Whether they see you right away or not, the sound of your shooting will alert them of your position. Then they will start firing back at you. If they are an accurate shooter, you will be out of the game.

    It only takes a few extra seconds to aim. You just need to have patience and keep your focus. If you have dozens of thoughts cluttering your mind, it will be difficult to hit your target. You might be surprised just how much a little extra attention can improve your accuracy.

    paintball-1477263_960_720Check Your Posture

    In any sport, coaches teach players the proper positions and movements to shoot accurately. In a paintball game, posture will affect your aim. If you are in an awkward position, it can be difficult to angle your gun and fire straight. The best posture is with your chest and toes pointed toward your target. Center your gun with your body.

    Moving Targets

    During an AC Paintball game, players are always on the move. Your target won’t always be standing still. A common technique for moving targets it to lead them. Judge your target’s speed and keep your gun pointed ahead of them. Predict where your opponent will be when you pull the trigger. Then figure out how long it will take the paintball to reach your target. Combine your calculations and fire at just the right moment.

    Hitting a moving target will take plenty of practice. However, if you master this skill, you will become a valuable player.

  • Pros and Cons of Playing Pump Paintball

    pump paintball gunWhat is pump paintball and how do you play? If you’ve ever asked around about how to save money when playing paintball, pump was probably a big recommendation. Or, maybe you’ve heard the term on the field and are just wondering what is is. Let the following satisfy your curiosity of all things pump paintball:

    Pump Paintball Basics

    To “play pump” means to play paintball with a gun that includes a pump. This type of gun is much more simply designed than other mainstream markers used today. To use it, you must pull a handle back to load the paint into the firing chamber and cock the gun before every fire.

    The humble beginnings of the sport can be traced back to pump paintball guns. Pump was the original and first marker design and the only option back when paintball first started. Today, pump paintball has gained somewhat of a cult following. Though it is not played widespread, there are those that do enjoy the unique benefits and challenges it presents.

    You can use a pump paintball gun on most fields whenever you would like. You won’t need to get special permission from the referee or other players. You may be the only person playing pump and you can choose to do so based on some pros and cons.

    Pros and Cons of Playing Pump Paintball

    The simple design of a pump makes it a reliable, lightweight, and fairly accurate option that can achieve a reasonable distance. However, they were not intended for a fast-paced sport and offer a slow rate of fire and smaller tank.

    A little history: These guns were first made to mark trees and cattle, so there was no need for rapid fire. As a result, the guns offer a slow firing rate and must be pumped before shooting. This is the main drawback of the gun, but it can also be a positive aspect depending on your goals.

    For example, if you are trying to save on paint, a slow rate of fire would certainly help. It would also motivate you to improve your personal skills such as accurate shooting, because you will have less chances to make your mark.

    Reasons to Play Pump:

    • Save on paint and money on equipment
    • Would like low maintenance and simple equipment
    • Prefer a lightweight marker and tank for woodsball
    • Don’t need to shoot rapid fire
    • Possess good accuracy or would like to improve your accuracy
    • Would like to focus on skills with gun
    • Can be careful, cautious, and patient on the field
    • Play as a hobby and for quality experience
    • Play above a beginner level and already have solid communication and strategy

     

    Pump paintball is not recommended for speedball or those that need to shoot quickly. Anyone that is particularly competitive or wants the best in marker technology will also not benefit from playing pump. If you often shoot a bunch of paint in a general direction without paying much attention to aim, it’s definitely not a good idea.

    Should I Play Pump?

    Think about your goals on the field when choosing to play pump. This basic and inexpensive gun comes with challenges that are enjoyed by some and loathed by others.

    Are you just learning the ropes? You’ll want to focus on other aspects of the game before bringing a pump gun into the mix.

    Do you play to win rather than for the experience, and prefer paintball technology over a chance to improve your skills? There’s nothing wrong with this, but competitive players probably won’t find any benefits in pump.

    Are you an intermediate player with solid communication and strategy that is looking to focus on your skills and have a quality experience while saving money? If this sounds like you, definitely give pump a shot.

  • 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.

  • Paintball Safety Notice: Avoid Taking Your Marker (Gun) On Any School Campus

    Its easy to be in a rush and forget about safety. When you stop and think about it, a paintball gun on a school campus should be a fairly obvious no-no. But then again, people who play paintball realize that a marker looks very dissimilar to an actual gun. That difference doesn’t matter to concerned onlookers though as they notice a trigger, barrel, and handle all resembling a firearm.

    valken paintball gun

    A recent Oakland incident highlights the level of reaction that can occur from a simple paintball gun in the wrong place at the wrong time:

    A report of what turned out to be a paintball gun on campus forced a lockdown at Claremont Middle School for nearly two hours on Tuesday morning.

    Just before 8:30 a.m., BART police received an anonymous tip from someone who noticed a group of three students walking toward the school as one of them placed what appeared to be an assault weapon into a green backpack, according to a letter to parents from Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint…

    Eventually the investigation led officers to an area near a portable where an unloaded paintball gun was buried. The imitation gun was a model used for paintball and it was empty, but it could have been mistaken for a real gun, Flint said. – San Jose Mercury News

    AC Paintball is home to a lot of student players as well as birthday/bachelor party-goers. We want to alert all of our valued community members to play it safe and avoid a situation like this. If you decide to purchase your own gear either leave it at home or come hang out with us. All areas in between should be considered non-paintball-gear zones.