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How Far Can A Paintball Gun Shoot?

Have you ever wondered “How far can a paintball gun shoot?”? If so, like many things in life, the answer is “It depends”. There’s no one answer that covers every situation, as there are many variables and outside factors that can affect distance. That said, there are a number of ways to estimate the shooting distance of your paintball gun.

Effective Range

Now that you know there’s no exact numerical distance on how far a paintball gun can shoot, let’s take a look at how far a paintball can shoot realistically. The first thing you need to know about is the effective range of a paintball gun. The paintballs themselves have a very delicate balance in their design. They are made in a way that they can be hard enough to leave the barrel of the gun at speed without breaking but they need to be fragile enough so they break when they hit the target.

This is the reason why paintballs need to travel at a certain speed for them to break on impact. This means if you shoot a paintball at a very long distance, by the time it reaches the target, it might not have enough speed to break. Typically, the effective range is 80 to 100 feet but it can vary on the model of paintball gun and the quality of the paintballs themselves.

Safe Range

The next thing that can help you understand how far a paintball gun can shoot is the safe range. Paintball guns are designed to shoot the paintballs at a speed that they break apart when they hit the target but they shouldn’t be too fast or they can hurt the target.

The most common cap on the velocity of a paintball is 280 feet per second. This is a pretty reasonable velocity. If you aim the paintball gun a little upwards of where you want it to go and lob the paintballs to the target, it can give you a good 100 yards of range.

Absolute Range

And now doe the absolute range. We will talk under the assumption that you don’t care much about the paintball hitting someone too hard or about the paintball breaking when it hits – essentially, we are talking about being able to shoot the paintball as far as you can.

To shoot it as far as you can, you need to find paintballs that are hard and tune up the velocity to a high setting so it propels the paintball faster. The harder a paintball is, the faster it can exit the barrel without breaking. The harder the paintball and the higher the velocity setting, the farther it will go.

Of course you can only set the velocity so high. There are maximum feet per second limits on paintball guns and each of them have different absolute ranges. On an average model, the absolute range is as far as 150 yards.

Increasing Distance

No matter what model of a paintball gun you have or the quality of the paintball, the laws of physics remains the same for paintballs. There is little you can do to increase the distance of how far a paintball travels except changing the way it is shot.

At any given velocity the paintball is shot there are two factors which affect how it is shot that determine how far you can increase the speed: the shape of the paintball and the rotation. If you have the right apparatus, you can adjust both of these factors to increase how far a paintball gun can shoot.

There are manufacturers that make paintball gun barrels in a way that they give the paintball a backspin rotation as it leaves the gun. This does not change the effective range of the paintball gun but it does allow you to shoot farther than a 100 feet.

Then there is the shape of the paintball itself. Certain manufacturers play with the aerodynamics of the paintballs to give them a shape with fins on the sides to help it travel a much farther distance. With the aerodynamically designed paintballs, the design is made in a way to make the nose brittle and the sides tougher. This also increases the effective distance of a paintball gun. You can expect the effective range to go up to 200 feet and the absolute range to go up to 200 yards.

Final Thoughts

So you can understand that there is no clear cut answer about how far a paintball gun can shoot but these factors can help you get a much better idea. If you’re starting out with the sport, it is a good idea to keep the safe range in mind while you play and wear proper protective gear at all times. Have fun shooting and stay safe!