How to Load a Paintball Gun
How to Load a Paintball Gun
The modern paintball gun is a remarkable fusion of fun and technology that allows a person to enjoy the incredible rush of paintball more than ever! New paintball guns are lighter, faster, more accurate and more reliable than ever, with more features designed to help the player pulling the trigger make the shot than could have ever been imagined in the days of the bolt action pistols used when the game began! But how do you load one of these modern marvels? Believe it or not, even that’s come a long way and while it takes a few steps and little knowledge, loading a modern paintball gun is nothing to fear!
Loading a modern paintball gun isn’t difficult, but safety must be maintained at all times. Any time a player loads their paintball gun the basics of paintball, and shooting, safety must be observed. Paintball goggles should be worn when using a paintball gun, and the gun should never be pointed at anything that you wouldn’t want to put a splat on at 300 feet per second.
The first step in loading a paintball gun is to ensure that the barrel of that paintball gun is covered with a quality paintball barrel cover safety device to ensure that should the paintball gun fire accidentally, the fired paintball won’t hit anyone or anything unprotected. Once the barrel cover is placed over the barrel and its lanyard is tied around the feed neck or foregrip to secure it tightly, it’s time to figure a few things out. Most blowback style paintball guns like the Valken Blackhawk should be cocked manually by pulling the bolt handle back before threading in an air tank or adding paintballs, while tournament style paintball guns like the Eclipse Etha or Emek don’t require cocking first. This information can be found in that paintabll gun’s owner’s manual.
After the paintball gun is cocked (if necessary), the paintball gun’s air source can be added. Some paintball guns use CO2 or high pressure air bottles to provide air to the paintball gun for shooting and recocking, while others use small CO2 cartridges like 8 or 12 gram CO2 capsules. Once the proper air source is determined, it’s time to air up the paintball gun. In the case of paintball guns like the Eclipse EMek, Valken Blackhawk and others, the paintball gun’s bottle adapter is at the bottom of the grip frame. Simply carefully thread the air bottle into the air adapter. Some adapters will depress the air tank’s valve as the bottle is threaded in, while others offer an on/off that will allow a player to turn their air off and on while the bottle remains attached. Thread the bottle in all the way and don’t stop part-way and back the tank off, as this may cut the o-ring seal at the top of the bottle. In the case of some paintball guns like mag-fed guns or pistols, these paintball guns may require the user to insert a CO2 capsule into the grip or magazine.
Once the paintball gun is cocked and aired up, it’s time to add paintballs. In the case of most hopper-fed paintball guns, that means putting the hopper into the paintball gun’s feed neck and adding paintballs! Don’t over-fill a hopper by cramming it full of paintballs so tightly that the lid can barely close, as this won’t allow the paintballs to feed. Simply load up and leave some room at the top of the hopper to allow paintballs to drop into the paintball gun’s breech. If the player has an electronic hopper, the hopper can now be turned on to allow paintballs to feed, while most basic hoppers need nothing more than gravity!
With the paintball gun loaded with paintballs and air flowing, a barrel cover safely covering the barrel to keep everything safe, it’s just about time to start blasting! Some paintball guns are mechanical, meaning they fire when the trigger is pulled using pneumatic valves or a hammer and sear, while others are electronic, meaning they use an electronic solenoid valve activated by the trigger to fire. In the case of electronic paintball guns, a fresh battery should be inserted and the paintball gun turned on, making it ready for firing and playing paintball!
Locked and loaded with paintballs, air and the proper safety precautions, modern paintball guns are easy to use and make paintball incredibly fun! Taking the time to learn how to operate them safely will only make a day of paintball better for everyone!