If you are involved in the sport it is important to know about the main paintball gun parts. You need to understand the components of your marker to ensure its successful working and to facilitate its cleaning and upgrading. Beginners can be over whelmed by terms such as: bottom line adaptors, quick disconnect feed necks, CP micro drops and magic regulators. Essentially, most paintball gun parts will fall into one of the following main categories; body; hopper; tank or barrel.
The largest of the paintball gun parts is the main body of the marker. This comprises the bolt and the trigger frame. Bolts help to reduce the ammo breakage caused by a slow feed. The body parts can be detached from one another to incorporate upgrades and accessories. Best not to attempt this until you have become familiar with your weapon.
The body of the gun is fairly standard across the models. The main difference is in the placement of the trigger. The further forward the trigger is placed, the easier the marker is to handle with one hand and the lower the profile of the body. Guns with lower profiles are more successful in the field; markers with large bodies provide a bigger target.
The next of the main paintball gun parts is the hopper. The hopper, or loader on a marker stores and loads the ammo. Between 40 to 300 paintballs can be held by different hoppers. The speed, weight and reliability of the gun are greatly affected by the hopper type.
Stick feeds are generally used on pump action markers. They are the least sophisticated and reliable of the hopper types.
Gravity feeds are also a simple and cheap option. However, they are prone to jamming problems causing ball breakage or blockage in the hopper.
Agitating hoppers have a propeller inside the container which prevents the paintballs from jamming. They have a quicker firing pace than the previous loaders.
Force feed hoppers are used by professionals or tournament playing paintballers because they can keep up with the required loading speed. The device is spring loaded, or powered by a belt system. It captures the paintballs and forces them into the marker. They are the most sophisticated, reliable and expensive of the hopper types.
Another of the main paintball gun parts is the tank. Paintballs can be propelled in different ways and the tank contains the propellant. Markers typically use CO2 gas or high pressure air (HPA). The terms “nitrogen tank” and “HPA” tank mean the same thing.
CO2 gas was the original propulsion material. Early guns were powered by small CO2 cylinders which were good for about 15 shots. These evolved to 12 ounce CO2 tanks with a 200 shot capacity.