How Does a Paintball Gun Work?

Paintballs guns look complicated on the outside by their working principle is very simple. They are usually referred to as markers. This is to indicate that they are harmless. The work of the marker is to aim and propel the ball at a high speed over a long distance. A burst of compressed air is used to propel paint balls. The hopper is used to feed balls into the firing chamber. Ammunition is placed directly in front of the piston. The firing system varies from gun to gun. But they usually contain a gas valve and a bolt. Other elements are the sear and trigger which are used for propulsion and firing. The balls move through the barrel and go off. Speed and force of the shots are regulated for safety reasons. This discussion gives basic information on how a paintball gun works.

Cocking
Cocking is done in way to allow the paintball to fall out of the hopper and enter the barrel. This is done by pulling the bolt back and pressing the spring. This back movement allows the intake to open. The sear found under the hammer connects the bolt to the hammer. The hammer is pressed forward and the bolt moves back. Auto-cocker markers have a flexible valve which automatically redirects the pressurized gas. The bolt is moved into position by the gas thus allowing the gun to re-cock automatically. These markers use either an electric motor or compressed air.

Firing
The gun is fired by pulling the trigger which is then pressed against the sear. This causes the front part to move down thus freeing the hammer from the bolt. The hammer springs backs and moves backward as it presses against a raised tube casing. Firing the paintball marker falls between firing a gun and throwing a ball. The movement of the ball forms an arc. This requires the shooter to tilt the marker upwards when shooting over a long distance.

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Propulsion
The movement of the hammer causes the valve tube to move backwards. A spring movement moves the valve tube back exposing the sides of the tube. Pressurized gas is allowed through the barrel which propels the paintball forward. A given amount of compressed gas is released behind the barrel for propulsion. Th e propulsion system uses CO2, Nitrogen or compressed gas to propel the paintballs. The gas is stored in tanks and cartridges which re attached to the gun. The hopper is used to hold the paint balls. These balls are moved into the firing chamber at intervals as they are fired through the barrel.

Regulation
A valve runs from the center of the marker along the barrel. It goes past the hammer, bolt, spring and the valve seat at the gas intake. This valve tub is always open at the end of the marker. A cup seal keeps the valve is place. When the marker is un-cocked, the bolt expands and blocks balls from entering the barrel. The power of the shots is kept at a certain level for safety reasons. The maximum speed is 300 ft per second. This speed will not cause any injury but might bruise your skin in absence of protective clothing.