When it comes to playing paintball, it’s fair to assume you’ll soon get nowhere if the aim on your marker isn’t up to the job. Whether you’re buying your own marker or just using one of a paintball venue’s marker, the first thing you’ve got to do after the safety briefing is test its accuracy. Trust us when we say the difference between two makers can be the difference between winning or losing a game.
Thanks to the relatively soft consistency of paintballs and the fairly small firepower of a paintball marker compared to any kind of actual gun, many players are quite surprised when they first fire a marker. Though they are perfectly accurate at short-to-medium distances (i.e. within the parameters of almost any regular game zone), paintball markers lose their accuracy the further they are required to fire – as factors like wind direction, speed and barrel friction all have to come into careful consideration if you’re aiming from a distance. Believe it or not, temperature even plays a factor in accuracy, as certain paintballs react differently to fluctuations in temperature.
Having said all of this, there are a handful of things you can control yourself in order to get the most aim out of your marker. The most important of these is to obviously make sure that the barrel of your marker is perfectly matched to the paintballs you are using. If you’re playing at a venue, then they will take care of this, but if you’re buying your own gear then perhaps consider road-testing a few different brands of paintball to find the best accompaniment to your marker. You ideally want a paintball that will fire well with as small amount of force as possible, as this suggests that there is little friction coming from your barrel.
Next, have a look at the air or C02 supply and make sure that it is working to its full capacity and that the air flow to the barrel is regulated and performing exactly as it should be. The faster the paintball leaves your marker the more accurate it will be as it will be less influenced by wind direction and basic gravity.
If you are choosing your own marker though, don’t assume that cost equals quality, as you don’t necessarily need a big name expensive paintballing equipment to ensure you hit your targets. If you get the chance, you absolutely should test-drive a few models before selecting the best one for all of your priorities.