Purchasing your very own paintball weapon is a big step; make an informed decision.
1. Determine your budget, keeping in mind you may also need to buy other gear. Paintball guns, or “markers,” can range from $150 to more than $800. Also realize that some paintguns, such as semi-auto and auto-cockers, shoot more balls and use more CO2 than others. This, too, can affect the cost of your game.
2. Play with as many borrowed and rented guns as you can.
3. Ask paintball enthusiasts at paintball fields and facilities what they like and dislike about their guns.
4. Checkout reviews of paintball guns on pbreview.com. Pbreview.com is a site for paintball enthusiasts with reviews of paintball guns written by real paintballers. Ask questions about specific guns or anything else related to paintball in the pbreview.com forums.
5. Decide whether you want constant air from a CO2 tank, or a quick-changer for CO2 cartridges. Constant air lasts longer, but you need a place to fill it up. Cartridges run out every 20-30 shots, but you can stock up on them.
6. Decide the size and type of paintball loader you want. A bigger loader holds more balls, but is heavier. The real question is: how much paint do you plan on firing at your opponents? Some players like to shoot single, accurate shots, while others keep their opponents pinned down with a constant barrage.
7. Decide the length of barrel you want for your gun. A longer barrel is generally more accurate, but it is also heavier and more awkward. A rifled barrel costs more, but also tends to be more accurate.
8. Visit your local paintball store and price the guns you like. You can also order through the mail and over the Internet, but don’t order anything you haven’t actually seen or held. Sometimes advertising can be misleading.
9. Purchase your paintgun and familiarize yourself with it. You should know take it completely apart and put it back together before you begin playing.