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How Far Can a Paintball Gun Shoot? Safe & Effective Ranges

Freddy Miller

Hi, I’m Freddy. I have been playing paintball for almost two decades. People new to the game often ask me how far a paintball gun can shoot. A paintball’s range depends on the paintball marker, the pressure from the HPA or CO2, the barrel length, the paint used, the paintball’s velocity, and the amount of backspin applied.

But first of all, what type of range are we talking? There are three types, as you’ll see.

How Far Can a Paintball Gun Shoot?

We can measure a paintball gun’s range in three ways:

  • The effective range is 80-100 feet or 24-30 meters.
  • The safe range is 300 feet or 91 meters.
  • The absolute range is 450 feet or 137 meters.

Understanding the difference between maximum range and effective range is crucial for paintball players looking to improve their game and ensure safe gameplay. Most people don’t know how far paintball guns can shoot, so once you learn this, you may have a distance when planning your strategies on the field.

Effective Range (Long Range)

effective range

The effective range of a paintball gun is the distance within which a player can accurately hit a target with a reasonable probability of success. Generally, the effective shooting range of a paintball gun is between 80-100 feet (24-30 meters). Beyond this distance, the accuracy and consistency of shots decrease significantly, making it challenging to hit targets reliably.

Factors Affecting Accuracy:

  • Barrel quality: High-quality barrels with appropriate bore size and porting can improve accuracy at longer ranges.
  • Paintball quality: Consistent paintball size, shell thickness, and fill quality can enhance accuracy.
  • Marker stability: Maintaining a stable shooting stance and supporting the paintball gun properly can improve accuracy.
  • Environmental conditions: Temperature, humidity, and wind can impact the paintball’s trajectory, affecting accuracy at longer ranges.

The effective range is the distance a paintball can hit its target with enough force to break on impact, and it is also the distance where it shoots and hits the mark most accurately and where the pellets are most likely to break upon impact. The effective range is the standard for most beginner to intermediate-level markers like Planet Eclipse GTEK 170r and Tippmann Cronus.

Safe range

The safe range is the distance the paintball would not cause serious injury if it hit a person. A paintball gun’s safe range is approximately 300 feet or 91 meters.

Absolute range (or maximum range)

The absolute range is the maximum distance a paintball can travel; however, First Strike rounds have a much longer range (up to 50% greater range) due to their aerodynamic shape and fin stabilization technology. The typical absolute range for most paintball guns using regular paintball rounds is 450 feet or 137 meters, and some modified and calibrated guns can shoot even further. Since paintball guns are not very accurate on longer distances, moving closer to your target is the best way to improve your accuracy. At longer ranges, the velocity decreases, and the pellet may not break and mark the target when it hits.

Another term used is “maximum range” which is means the same. The maximum range of a paintball gun refers to the furthest distance a paintball can travel when fired. As mentioned, most paintball guns have a maximum range of approximately 450 feet (137 meters), with some high-end guns capable of shooting as far as 500 feet (152 meters) or longer. However, factors such as paintball quality, barrel quality, and environmental conditions can impact the maximum range.

Increasing Distance: How to make your paintball gun shoot further

Size of PaintballSize of paintball affects the flight path.68 caliber paintballs
Type of PaintballDifferent types of paintballs have different rangesLong range paintballs
Barrel LengthLonger barrel length increases the range of the gun24 inch barrel
VelocityHigher velocity increases the range of the gun400 feet per second
TrajectoryTrajectory affects the flight path of the paintballCurved trajectory
WeatherWeather affects the gun’s performanceRain or wind
Paintball TypeDifferent types of paintballs have different rangesFirst strike rounds

Most paintball guns shoot at velocities between 280 and 300 fps (feet per second); however, some guns can shoot much faster. Beware that some countries may have a regulatory agency that controls the industry’s safety by testing and approving manufactured paintball equipment, so there may be a limit on the maximum velocity allowed for any paintball marker in your country. Paintball venues, local tournament organizers, and professional tournaments often have velocity rules between 270-300 fps to ensure safe and fair play for everyone.

The most effective ways of increasing the paintball shooting range are:

  • Optimal weather and favorable wind conditions.
  • Install a longer barrel with a backspin. 14+ inches barrels can improve speed and accuracy. The backspin makes paintballs rotate, and the porting at the end of the barrel helps to thrust the pellets in a straight trajectory.
  • An HPA tank is superior to a CO2 tank in terms of constant pressure and consistent velocity over time. So more often than not, HPA tanks contribute to speed and accuracy.
  • Increase pressure from the HPA or CO2 tank. Many paintball guns have velocity adjustments at the bottom of the front or bottom grip and some at the back of the gun near the bolt (click here to read more).
  • Use special paintball rounds, such as First Strike rounds with an aerodynamic shape.
  • Shoot from higher ground.
  • An electronic marker is more accurate and speed than a mechanical or pump paintball gun.
  • Finally, FPS largely depends on the quality of the marker. High-End paintball guns like GTEK, CS2 PRO, M3+, EMEK 100, or GTEK M170R will be faster and more accurate compared to more basic models like Tippmann Cronus and 98 custom.

These are ways to improve distance, but be aware that increased pressure in the chamber can cause too much pressure and make the pellets break before they exit the barrel and jam it up. Going above 300 feet per second is dangerous and can cause serious injury.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the more effective ways to improve range and accuracy of a paintball gun, such as upgrading the barrel, using quality paintballs, maintaining the gun, and optimizing the propellant system.

Upgrading the Barrel

  • Benefits of a longer barrel: A longer barrel can provide better accuracy and control at longer distances.
  • Bore size matching: Ensure the barrel bore size matches the size of the paintballs used to optimize performance and accuracy.

Using Quality Paintballs

  • Importance of consistent size: High-quality paintballs with consistent size and shape can improve accuracy and range.
  • Shell quality: Using paintballs with an appropriate shell thickness can prevent premature breaks and enhance performance.

Maintaining the Gun

  • Cleaning the barrel: Regularly cleaning the paintball gun barrel can help maintain accuracy and prevent paintball breaks inside the barrel.
  • Lubricating moving parts: Lubricating the moving parts of the paintball gun, especially in electronic markers, can ensure smooth operation and consistent performance.

Optimizing the Propellant System

  • Regulating pressure: Adjusting the pressure of the propellant system can influence the range and accuracy of the paintball gun.
  • Choosing the right propellant: Using compressed air (HPA) instead of CO2 can provide more consistent pressure and improve overall performance.

Components of a Paintball Gun

Assemble the Paintball Gun

There are four main components of a paintball gun that affect its shooting range: the barrel, propellant system, firing mechanism, and the paintballs themselves. Each component plays a significant role in determining the overall performance and accuracy of the paintball gun.


The barrel of a paintball gun has several factors that can affect its range:

  • Length: Longer barrels tend to provide better accuracy and control, while shorter barrels offer increased maneuverability.
  • Bore size: The bore size should match the size of the paintballs used for optimal performance and accuracy.
  • Material: Barrels can be made from various materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, or carbon fiber, each with its benefits and drawbacks.
  • Porting: Barrel porting refers to holes drilled into the barrel, which can help reduce noise and improve accuracy by venting excess gas.

Propellant System

There are two common types of propellant systems used in paintball guns:

  • Compressed air: Also known as high-pressure air (HPA), compressed air provides consistent pressure, resulting in better accuracy and range.
  • Carbon dioxide: CO2 is less consistent than compressed air, as it expands and contracts with temperature changes, which can affect the shooting range.

Firing Mechanism

There are two primary types of firing mechanisms in paintball guns:

  • Mechanical: These guns rely on mechanical parts, such as springs and valves, to fire the paintballs. They are generally less expensive and easier to maintain but may have limitations in firing rates and consistency.
  • Electronic: Electronic paintball guns use circuit boards and solenoids to control the firing process, offering higher rates of fire and more consistent performance. However, they tend to be more expensive and require additional maintenance.


The quality and size of the paintballs used can significantly impact the range and accuracy of a paintball gun:

  • Size and caliber: Paintballs come in various calibers, with the most common being .68 caliber. The size should match the barrel bore size for optimal performance.
  • Material and quality: High-quality paintballs have consistent size and shape, contributing to better accuracy and range. Lower quality paintballs may have imperfections that can affect their trajectory.

Factors That Affect How Far the Range of a Paintball Gun is

long range paintball gun

Several factors can influence the shooting range of a paintball gun, including the gun setup, propellant system, paintball quality, and environmental conditions.

Gun Setup

  • Barrel length and bore size: As mentioned earlier, the barrel length and bore size should match the paintballs used for optimal range and accuracy.
  • Firing mechanism: Electronic firing mechanisms can provide better range and accuracy compared to mechanical systems.

Propellant System

  • Pressure: Higher pressure can increase the shooting range, but it may also result in safety concerns and reduced accuracy.
  • Consistency: Compressed air offers more consistent pressure compared to CO2, resulting in better range and accuracy.

Paintball Quality

  • Size consistency: Paintballs with consistent size and shape will provide better accuracy and range.
  • Shell thickness: Thicker shells can withstand higher velocities, while thinner shells may break prematurely and reduce the range.
  • Fill quality: High-quality paint fill contributes to better accuracy and range.

Environmental Conditions

  • Temperature: Temperature fluctuations can affect the propellant system and paintball quality, impacting the shooting range.
  • Humidity: High humidity can cause paintballs to swell, affecting their performance and range.
  • Wind: Wind can impact the trajectory of paintballs, making it harder to hit targets at longer ranges.

Shooting Technique

  • Arcing the shot: Shooting at an upward angle can increase the range but may sacrifice accuracy.
  • Flat trajectory: Shooting with a flat trajectory can improve accuracy but may limit the range.
  • First shot accuracy: Taking time to aim and properly align the paintball gun can improve accuracy and range on the first shot.

Safety Considerations

When using a paintball gun, it is essential to adhere to safety guidelines and regulations to prevent injuries and ensure a fun and secure gaming experience.

Velocity Limits

  • Regulations and guidelines: Regulatory agencies may limit the maximum velocity allowed for paintball markers. Paintball venues and tournaments often enforce velocity rules between 270-300 fps (feet per second) to ensure safe gameplay.
  • Importance of chronographing: Chronographing is the process of measuring the velocity of paintballs fired from a gun. It is essential to regularly check your paintball gun’s velocity using a chronograph to ensure it stays within safe limits.

Minimum Engagement Distance

  • Risk of injury: Firing paintballs at close range can cause injuries, even when wearing protective gear. It is crucial to maintain a safe distance from opponents when playing paintball.
  • Safety equipment: Wearing appropriate safety equipment, such as masks, goggles, and padding, can help reduce the risk of injury during gameplay.
  • Public spaces: Firing paintball guns in public spaces can be illegal in some jurisdictions. Always check local laws and regulations before playing paintball in a public area.
  • Private property: When playing paintball on private property, ensure you have the owner’s permission and adhere to any rules or guidelines they may have in place.

Common Misconceptions About Paintball Gun Range

team holding paintball guns edited

There are several misconceptions about paintball gun range that can lead to confusion and unrealistic expectations among players. Here are some common myths debunked:

Longer Barrels Always Increase Range

While longer barrels can improve accuracy and control, they do not necessarily increase the range of a paintball gun. The range is primarily determined by the velocity of the paintball and the angle at which it is fired.

Higher Velocity Equals Longer Range

Although higher velocity can result in a longer range, it is essential to consider the trade-offs. Increasing the velocity above 300 fps can be dangerous and cause serious injuries. Also, higher velocities may result in reduced accuracy due to the instability of paintballs at extreme speeds.

All Paintball Guns Have the Same Range

Not all paintball guns have the same range. Factors such as barrel length, bore size, firing mechanism, and propellant system can significantly impact the performance and range of a paintball gun. Additionally, the quality of paintballs used and environmental conditions can also influence the range.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Paintball Gun?

A paintball gun is a device used to shoot paintballs, which are spherical gelatin capsules filled with water-soluble dye.

How Do You Measure FPS On A Paintball Marker?

To measure the fps of a paintball marker, you will need to use a ballistic chronograph or gun chronograph, a device that measures the speed of a projectile, in this case, a paintball.

How Do You Adjust the FPS on a Paintball Marker?

how far can a paintball gun shoot

To adjust the velocity (measured in FPS, feet-per-second) on a paintball marker, use the following steps:
1. Use a gun chronograph to measure the current velocity of your marker.
2. Adjust and calibrate the velocity regulator on your marker to increase or decrease the velocity.
3. Test fire your marker and measure the FPS with the chronograph.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 until you have achieved the desired velocity.
Warning: Remember to adjust the velocity to what is allowed in tournaments and paintball fields. Stay under 300 fps velocity in a paintball game.

Does More FPS Make My Marker More Accurate?

long range paintball gun

FPS, or feet per second, is a measurement of velocity. The higher the speed, the longer your paintball can shoot.
However, this does not necessarily mean that your marker is more accurate, as many factors determine accuracy.
The quality of the marker, the type of paintballs used, and the player’s shooting skills are all factors that can affect the speed.

What is the maximum range of a paintball gun?

effective range

The maximum range is the same as the absolute range. The paintball’s velocity determines the maximum distance of a paintball gun, typically around 300 feet or 91 meters. However, some high-end guns can shoot as far as 500 feet (152 meters), and some modified guns can shoot even farther.

Conclusion: What is the long range paintball guns can shoot?

Understanding how far a paintball gun can shoot is essential for players who want to shoot long distances with a long-range paintball gun. The shooting distance, shooting speed, and type of gun play a significant role in determining the range of your paintball gun. By considering factors that affect how far a paintball can shoot, such as the paintball barrel, the shape of the paintball, and the paintball’s quality, you can ensure that your paintball won’t break prematurely and will travel as far as desired. 

If you don’t know how far your paintball gun can shoot, it’s crucial to educate yourself on the factors that influence its performance, such as the paintball barrel and the type of propellant system used. The range of a paintball gun depends on various factors, and by understanding them, you can optimize your paintball gun to shoot the paintball as far as possible. 

Experimenting with different components, like the best paintball barrel for your specific gun, may allow you to shoot the paintball even further. Ultimately, the distance a paintball travels when shot from a paintball gun depends on several factors, and understanding them will help you maximize your paintball gun’s potential. So, get out there and shoot some paintballs, knowing that you’ve armed yourself with the knowledge to make the most out of your paintball experience.