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 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.
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 typically 80-100 feet (24-30 meters), and this range is the standard for most beginner to intermediate-level markers like Planet Eclipse GTEK 170r and Tippmann Cronus.
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.
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.
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.
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?
To adjust the velocity (measured in FPS, feet-per-second) on a paintball marker, use the following steps:
- Use a gun chronograph to measure the current velocity of your marker.
- Adjust and calibrate the velocity regulator on your marker to increase or decrease the velocity.
- Test fire your marker and measure the FPS with the chronograph.
- 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?
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?
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.
If you don’t know how far a paintball gun can shoot, consider 80 – 100 as a standard range, and 280 FPS as an average shooting speed. Anything above that can hurt another player that is not cool at all. Paintball is generally a safe game if you follow the safety rules and listen to your match referee but always expect some bruises and welts.