BZ Paintball the leading retailer of paintball guns, paintballs, paintball equipment & accessories. The UK's largest walk in paintball store and online paintball shop. We stock a huge range of paintball gear from all major brands.
Choosing a marker isn’t as straight forward as it seems. You will need to take into account whether you want an Electronic or Mechanical marker. They both shoot paintballs, but in distinctive ways, so what’s the difference?
Well as always we're here to help.
All markers are designed to shoot paintballs at high speeds using either Co2 (carbon dioxide) or HPA (high pressure air).
When you shoot a marker there is a small bolt which pushes the ball into the paintball barrel thus sealing the ball. A valve then releases compressed gas which expands the barrel forcing the ball to shoot out.
The major difference between electronic and mechanical is the way the gun advances the ball into the barrel, seals the barrel and releases the gas.
Mechanical guns are normally mechanically activated blowback guns. These will fire once the trigger is pulled this then releases a bolt with is forced forwards via a spring which pushes the paintball into the barrel, once in the barrel the bolt hits a pin allowing air to travel into the barrel. The bolt returns to its original position by the expansion caused by the air.
There is a vast variety of mechanical guns available on the market, here’s what our guys recommend;
Mechanical markers are often cheaper than the alternative electronic markers. They are easy to set up and can often use either CO2 or HPA. They are easy to maintain and relatively simple to fix.
Mechanical markers generally lack accuracy and speed unlike electronic markers. The amount of air that propels the paintball varies resulting in the speed of the paintball being inconsistent. They must be cocked before fire and typically require higher pressure, meaning fewer shots per tank.
Electronic guns or electro-pneumatic rely on battery power and a circuit board that then activates solenoids which causes the gun to fire. The trigger is linked to the circuit board which tells the gun to fire which activates the gun. These guns rely on regulators that take into account variable air pressures to ensure consistent firing.
Electronic markers come in various forms and have varied internal set ups with different bolts, valves and regulators. Here’s what some of the guys from our shop recommend;
In comparison to mechanical, electronic markers are more accurate (in most cases), consistent and can fire faster. They can operate on a lower pressure meaning more shots per tank and are often lighter and smaller.
These markers are more expensive. They can be difficult to disassemble and maintain for inexperienced players. They generally require HPA rather than Co2, so make sure you have access to HPA before buying. Also, you will need batteries to run your electronic marker (typically 9V).
It really is all down to personal preference, you should take into account being new to the game or whether your an avid paintball player. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call us on 01642605000.
Often players will get hit in the mask whilst playing, clean off the paint when you’re not on the playing field. Leaving paint on your mask will deteriorate the lens over time and some paint can even stain. For the longevity of your mask ensure you get into the nooks and crannies where the lens meets the frame, if left this may weaken the lens.
If you have a single lens always ensure you have cleaned the lens and applied a fresh coating of anti-fog spray. This is vital, if you forget you’ll soon be reminded when your mask mists up and your view is hazy, not ideal.
Microfiber cloths are ideal for lenses, these will prevent smearing and distorting your vision. If you use paint spray etc with a regular cloth or your hand expect a smudged mess. A microfiber cloth will give you a seamless clean, just what you need.
Thermal lenses are dual paned lenses which are sealed together via glue and foam, this assists with regulating the temperature thus reducing fogging. Never submerge your goggle under water, the foam barrier between the lenses is absorbent so if you get water between the lens panes your lens is useless. Ideally when cleaning your thermal lens you want to use water on a cloth to clean the outer lens and a microfiber cloth for the inner lens.
Change it up
Eventually your lens will need to be changed the recommended time is yearly if you’re a paintball regular. If your lens is scratched it’s probably time for a new one.
No glass cleaners
Don’t use Windex or other glass cleaners when cleaning your paintball mask, these are not polycarbonate lens cleaners and will damage your lens. The idea is to prolong the life of your lens not shorten it.
It’s always best to buy from an established brand such as Virtue or Empire etc, this way you know what quality to expect. Always purchase from a respected retailer such as ourselves, if you purchase from eBay who really knows what you’re getting, it could be some cheap knock off you’ve paid way over the odds for.
Throughout our years as a paintball retailer, we’ve had hundreds of people contact us that are starting out, and the number one questions they ask is “What’s a good paintball gun for a beginner?”
There is no simple ‘one gun’ answer to this, as there are a number of factors to consider:
Co2 or HPA (High Pressure Air)
Where you’re going to be playing, do they use co2 or HPA? This can affect your options – i.e. some paintball guns will only work on HPA (mostly the electronic ones), so it would be pointless getting a gun that can only work on HPA if your local field only uses/supplies co2. Check out our blog post on CO2 and High Pressure Air tanks for more info.
Magfed v Hopper Fed
Traditionally, paintball is played with paintball guns fed by hoppers, however there is a new format of paintball which is becoming increasingly popular where the paintball guns are fed by magazines rather than hoppers. Magfed play tends to be more tactical as the ammo is a lot more limited, i.e. a hopper can hold around 200 paintballs at a time where as most magazines might only hold up to 20 paintballs.
Tactical Style v Speedball Style
This one is purely down to personal preference. The speedball style markers are generally easier to handle as they’re lighter and less bulky, but some players prefer their paintball guns to look as real as possible.
Electronic v Mechanical
Electronic guns have a higher rate of fire (bps/balls per second) than mechanical, and most may have a more consistent (accurate) shot compared to mechanical guns (there are exceptions to this rule!). However, electronic guns are generally more expensive to buy, require more maintenance and also require an electronic hopper to feed the paintballs quick enough. Also, your local paintball field might not allow electronic paintball guns so you should consider this too. Check out our Electronic vs Mechanical Markers blog post for more info.
How often are you going to play?
If you plan on taking up paintball as a hobby but only plan on playing once or twice a year, it might not make sense for you to drop a load of money on the latest and greatest paintball gun. Similarly, if you’re going to play frequently, you’re better off spending a little more on your gun to get something that you’re going to be happy with for longer. Quite often we see people come into the game, buy the cheapest kit they can find, only to get totally hooked and then end up spending money on a whole new set up in just a few months time because they find the basic gun they bought doesn’t quite cut it any longer.
What is your budget?
Up to a certain extent, you really do get what you pay for with a paintball gun. Generally, if you can afford something a little more expensive than the budget guns, they’re going to keep you happier for longer. However you should consider what else you might need to go with the gun to get the best out of it – you may need an electronic loader to feed it, or an air tank rather than co2 to power it.
Stick to a recognised brand
When buying any paintball gun, you want to buy with the confidence that if you do encounter any tech issues, you’re going to be able to get warranty, parts & support. Your best bet is to stick to recognised paintball brands, such as Tippmann, GOG, Proto, Planet Eclipse, DYE, Empire, Shocker Paintball and DLX. Check out our full range of paintball guns here.
Here at BZ Paintball we stock various paintball markers that are ideal for novices, simple to use and easy to maintain. Check out our top beginner marker picks below and what to look out for.
Unfortunately it’s the nature of the sport, and there is a chance you may have issues with your paintball gun. Sometimes it can simply be an issue with maintenance or a dead (or cheap) battery. In some cases you may be able to fix issues yourself, but if you do need help we have in house expert techs which will assist you.
You can call us on 01642 605000 or email us on email@example.com and you can send in your gun to us and our tech team will price up the issues and go ahead with fixing your gun.