Christmas Paintball Gear Tips
New Christmas Paintball Gear Tips!
New Paintball Gear Tips from Valken Paintball!
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for a whole bunch of reasons, and one of those reasons is definitely new paintball gear under the Christmas tree! However, for those new to the game of paintball and the pile of gear needed to play the game successfully and safely, all that new paintball gear may be confusing! But don’t worry – Valken isn’t the type to simply offer paintball gear for sale without helping anyone learn how to use it safely and effectively! So, if you’ve got a pile of new paintball gear under the tree and have questions, or simply want to speed up the process of learning how to use all your new paintball equipment, you’ve come to the right place!
Paintball Gun Safety
There’s nothing more important in the world of paintball than safety! When played properly and safely paintball is one of the safest games and sports in the entire world! That means always wearing proper paintball safety equipment when playing paintball or using paintball guns and using it properly. Paintball should only ever be played while wearing an ASTM-approved paintball goggle system that protects the eyes, face and ears. Modern paintball masks like those available from Valken, Push, Dye, Virtue, Bunkerkings, JT, VForce and several other brands all do the job of keeping the wearer safe, from the entry level affordable paintball goggles all the way up to the best paintball goggles worn by top pro players! But they only work when they’re actually on a player’s face! So if your paintball gun is in your hands, your paintball goggles should be on. Paintball goggles are a “one size fits most” piece of gear, that can be adjusted to a player’s head by pulling the sizing tabs on the goggle strap apart to make them tighter. Modern paintball goggles are now delivered with a chin strap as well and this is important to help keep the goggles on a player’s face safely while sliding, diving and moving around the field and it should be used at all times. Some paintball goggles, like the Valken MI-3 Gotcha goggles, also offer a strap over the top of the player’s head, and this is ideal for younger or smaller players to help prevent the goggle from sliding down off the face and eyes. Finally, when it comes to paintball, no other type of goggles or face protection should be considered safe for use while playing paintball, including airsoft goggles, safety glasses or other types of goggles or shooting glasses. Only paintball goggles should ever be worn while playing paintball!
In addition to always wearing proper paintball goggles, paintball is kept safe in several other important manners. A paintball barrel cover should be used at all times when a paintball gun is loaded by not being used by the player to actually play the game. Some paintball guns are still shipped with a barrel plug, and while a barrel cover is better, the plug also works, but only if it’s used properly. Both paintball barrel covers and barrel plugs do the same thing – they act as a last line of defense to make sure paintballs cannot be accidentally fired at a player not wearing goggles who might be injured, by blocking the muzzle of the paintball gun’s barrel. If a loaded paintball gun is accidentally fired while unprotected players are around, the plug or barrel cover will stop that paintball from leaving the barrel where it might cause harm. Whenever a paintball gun is loaded with paintballs or air and not being used to actually play the game, the barrel cover should be placed over the tip of the paintball gun’s barrel and the lanyard secured to the paintball gun, or if a barrel plug is provided, the barrel plug should be inserted into the barrel securely.
As a final, and important piece of paintball safety advice, never carry or shoot a paintball gun away from the paintball field. Paintball guns aren’t toys and should never be fired anywhere that bystanders or those who do not play the game may be struck with a paintball. As some modern paintball guns have a tactical appearance with rails and magazines, some may even be mistaken for firearms in public if they’re carried or transported back and forth from the paintball field in plain view. Safety, and especially paintball safety, begins and ends with the person holding the paintball gun.
Now that all the important safety aspects of paintball that make our game the safe, fun game that it is have been touched on, it’s time to gear up with all that new paintball gear! Most new paintball gear, especially the entry level gear, is designed to be simple and easy to use, to allow new players to get into the game with affordable paintball gear that is straightforward. However, it can still be intimidating to those new to the equipment and the game! Some basic tips to get anyone new to paintball started will make life a lot easier for new paintball players who might be trying out their new gear for the first time away from a professional paintball field with experienced staff to walk a player through it!
When it’s time to load up that new paintball gun and see how it runs, it only takes a few simple steps. We’ve already covered that your goggles should be on, so let’s pick it up from there! Modern paintball guns like the Valken Blackhawk or the Valken Razorback might look different, but they’re both semi-automatic mechanical paintball guns and that means the first step to loading up is to cock the bolt. Paintball guns like the Tippmann 98 or Tippmann A5, or the Valken Blackhawk, have a cocking handle on the side that is simply pulled to the rear until the bolt engages the sear and remains in the cocked position. Paintball guns like the Valken Razorback or Spyder models are generally cocking by a cocking handle at the top of the paintball gun that, again, is pulled to the rear until it clicks and remains back. With the paintball gun cocked, a paintball air tank can be carefully threaded into the paintball gun’s air adapter. Make sure the air tank is filled, and then carefully thread it into the adapter, taking care not to stop when air can be heard entering the paintball gun – keep threading the bottle in until it is hand-tight. At this time the paintball gun should be considered loaded and a barrel plug or barrel cover should be placed into or over the muzzle to prevent an accidental discharge. Next, the paintball gun’s hopper can be added to the feed neck. If the paintball gun has an adjustable feed neck, this is the time to adjust the feed neck so it holds onto the hopper but isn’t too tight. Finally, flip open the lid of the hopper and add fresh, good-quality paintballs and – remember your paintball goggles should already be on – the paintball gun is loaded and ready to fire!
Unloading a new paintball gun is just as simple. When it’s time to put a new paintball gun away, start by removing all paintballs from the hopper. However, this often means a single paintball or even a couple may remain in the paintball gun’s feed neck and in the breech so the paintball gun must still be pointed in a safe direction with paintball goggles on! A player can remove the hopper and dump the remaining paintballs out of the feed neck, and fire the paintball gun into the ground or in a safe direction to empty the breech of the last remaining paintball. With all paintballs then removed from the paintball gun, the paintball gun’s air tank can be unthreaded. Extreme care must be taken at this time to ensure that the paintball air tank is being unthreaded from the paintball gun, rather than the valve unthreading from the air tank. With the paintballs removed from the paintball gun, begin slowly unthreading the air tank and slowly fire the paintball gun in a safe direction, as this will allow air in the paintball gun’s valve to exit the paintgun down the barrel, rather than blow back as the air tank is unthreaded. Once the air tank is unthreaded and removed from the paintball gun, the paintball gun is now safe and dismantled and other items like the barrel can be removed if the player wishes. Paintball guns should never be stored loaded and should never be transported in plain view. Store paintballs and paintball air tanks in dry, climate-controlled storage out of direct sunlight.
All that new paintball gear might look complicated, but with a little practice anyone can gear up and play safely! Simply take it slow, read your paintball gun’s owner’s manual, be safe and keep those goggles on. Welcome to the world of paintball!