Paintball Equipments is the main items in a paintball game. As it is an aggressively physical game, it does not mean that good equipments means the player is good, but it definitely helps with proper planning and strategising.
Minimum requirements in any paintball game would be a marker with propellant of which can fire the paint, paintballs, a loader and a mask that is used to protect the player’s face and eyes. A barrel sock or a plug is also important. Otherwise, gloves, pods to carry extra paintballs, squeegees and swabs are also items to be carried in the game.
A paintball marker, otherwise the paintball gun, is the main equipment here. markers uses an expanding gas concept to propel paintballs through the barrel. The Marker is also another common name for the ‘gun’ as it sounds less violent and offensive. As the original intention of paintball goes, it was for marking trees and not for gaming purposes. The velocity of the muzzle can reach up to 300 feet per second.
The components of the markers usually are composed of the hopper, the body, the barrel and the gas system or otherwise known as the air tank. Some markers do look like real guns as they are modeled after the weapons. Used mostly in woodsball or military simulation games, the mil-sims like the Tippmann A-5 and the X7 are popular choices.
Propellants uses either one of the gases, Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen. In most cases, nitrogen is more preferred because it does not liquefy and leak into the marker. Furthermore, it is more consistent than CO2, because due to the nature of the playing field, particularly its temperature, it does not need to time to cool down or to warm up, which efficiently speed up a lot.
Carbon Dioxide, which when compressed turn into liquid must be expanded into gas to be used by the marker. Such expansion is not adiabatic and hence it uses energy which will cool the tank. The heat used to expand the CO2 to gas will subsequently become cold that it forms ice crystals. As the bottle holding the CO2 does not have an anti-siphon tube, the liquid CO2 would get into the marker, which evaporated will freeze the marker. This will cause clouds forming through the vaporized CO2 form the marker when fired. If that happens, it causes the markers to malfunction for a while as it needs to warm up again.
High Pressure Air /Nitrogen
High Pressure Air or otherwise known as HPA usually N2, remains as gas all time. It cools the tank at a slower rate compared to liquid CO2 but one differnece is that it does not change from gas to liquid or back therefore saving considerable time.
Known also as loaders, this is the equipment where the player keeps their marker fed with constant ammunition. One can look at it like a bullet magazine in a typical rifle. Hoppers are attached on top of the marker which slips into the marker for shooting. No extra mechanism is needed for loading into the marker as gravity pulls it down for shooting. Although most markers uses this concept, it can cause some problems like dry firing as it might get jammed. To solve this, the markers use Agitated Feeders otherwise known also as Revies.
Looking somewhat like a bullet, it is also known as ‘paint’. These are spherical gelatin capsules that contains poluthylene glycol, dye and non-toxic, water washable substances. Usually made from food material, they are actually edible although it is not recommended. Note that the color of the paintball does not indicate the color of the paint.
A safety equipment would be the goggles or the masks. Most venues require players to wear them for safety purposes. They cover the eyes, the ears, mouth, nostrils and some with throat protection as well. the eye protection lens are manufactured to hold and withstand high pressure pellets that come out from the paintballs. However, as a lot of heat is released during the game, some come with double-layered lenses which is anti-fog.
As the third most played extreme sport, paintball would usually recommend very durable clothing. As it is physically intensive, players would usually wear a specific colour to indicate their own team. In games like woodsball, camouflaging clothes are used. In tournaments however, uniforms are desired. For most enthusiasts, they would prefer a more straighforward, army-styled clothing in order to store additional paintballs, swabs or squeegees as of when it is needed.
Remote Lines are typically a hose that is connected to the marker and the tank. This frees the movement of the player while handling the marker as it now connected to the pouch or the belt. Drop Forward are add ons for the marker which are mounted and used to reposition the air canister.
Pods are tubular plastic containers used to keep paintballs. Known also as tubes or guppies, the typical pod keeps about 140 paintballs but comes in different shapes and sizes for different capacity purposes.
Harnesses are used to hold full pods. It also usually attach the gas tank via a remote line.
Barrel Covers, which are also known as socks or plugs and condoms is actually a safety device made from cloth and is attached at the opening of the barrel. It is intended to prevent any accidental paintball discharge when the player is not using the marker.
Paint Grenades are not used in tournaments but is a fun gadget to have. There are two types of paint grenades, the non-explosive ones which are typically like water balloons. The explosive paint grenades uses a black powder banger using a short-time fuse. There is a small plastic paint bag wrapped around. Smoke Grenades are used in scenario play and is not allowed in tournament. This will create a smoke screen, which are harmless and intention to blur the vision of the opposing teams.
Paint Mines are like land mines. It functions like one although there are no explosions involved. Paint will be used to spray around the area when the player triggers the paint mines.
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