Paintball player dressed in camouflage
When shot at a higher rate of speed, paintballs can cause severe and extremely painful injuries. To ensure a safe and fun day of play, you must measure the velocity of the paintballs being shot from your marker. Pay attention to the maximum velocity limit set by the field you’re playing at, and don’t exceed it for any reason. The international safety limit is 300 feet per second, though some fields will restrict the maximum speed to 280 or even 260.
Prepare Your Paintball Marker And Chronograph
1. Find an area free of people, animals and damageable property, where you can safely fire your marker. You should have at least 8 feet of space for the paintballs to travel in front of you.
2. Assemble your marker by following the instructions included with the owner’s manual. Attach the air source you’ll be using for the marker, following all safety warnings.
3. Pour at least 25 paintballs into the marker’s hopper, allowing for several test shots. Multiple readings when checking the velocity allows for a more accurate average.
4. Paintball gun with hopper and air tank attached
Put your paintball mask on for safety, then charge up the marker by pulling back on the cocking bolt and allowing air to flow through it. Treat your marker carefully, as it is now ready to fire and capable of causing physical harm.
5. Power on your chronograph to ensure it has working batteries. Replace them if necessary to ensure you get accurate readings.
Measure the Velocity of the Paintballs
6. Place the chronograph on a level table-like surface, or in the case of handheld chronographs, firmly in your hand with your arm extended in front of you. If you’re using a handheld chronograph, you’ll need to both hold and fire the marker with your other hand.
7. Aim the paintball marker away from yourself, with the open end of the barrel directly over the chronograph.
8. Paintballs spilling from a paintball tube
Fire a single shot from the marker, and watch the display of the chronograph for a speed readout. Repeat this step three to four times, and roughly average the results. The resulting number is the velocity of each paintball being fired from your marker, calculated in feet per second.