Paintball 101: Markers
Paintball markers are the very most important piece of equipment in regards to playing the paintball game. Paintball markers are actually the guns, and are used to shoot paintball onto an opposing players. Hitting an opposing player with paint from paintball markers is called a hit, and will automatically eliminate the person who was marked with the paint. The first team to eliminate all of the opposing team’s members, by hitting them with paint from their paintball markers, is deemed the winning team.
Paintball markers are powered by either expanding gas, or by compressed air. In most cases the rapidly expanding gas used to power paintball markers is carbon dioxide. The gas or air, depending on the type of paintball markers being used, forces the paintball through the barrel at a very high velocity of speed. This speed is sufficient enough to break the paintball upon impact, but not fast enough to cause any tissue damage to the person being hit by one.
Paintball markers have evolved quickly over the last few years. It used to be that paintball markers were primarily used to mark trees by the Forestry services. This is what they were first manufactured to do, as well as to mark livestock. These single shot, hand held, manually cocked pistols have now evolved into electronically controlled, automatically cocked, full ranged paintball markers, that are also used to play paintball games.
There are four main components associated with paintball markers. These components are:
* the body
* the hopper
* the tank
* the barrel
Also known as loaders, the hopper is what will hold the actual ammunition for paintball markers. The hopper’s main methods of feeding the ammunition into the paintball marker include gravity, force feed, and agitate feeding. Paintball markers that use force feed or agitate feeding tend to have a much higher firing speed than paintball markers that use gravity as their feed method. However, paintball markers that use the force feed or agitate feed methods, despite being able to shoot a paintball at a higher rate of speed, malfunction much more often than paintball markers that use gravity to feed their ammunition.
Paintball marker tanks are what hold the compressed gas, or high pressure air, that is used to accelerate the ammunition through the barrel. Most paintball players choose to use paintball markers that use the high pressure air, rather than use the paintball markers that use carbon dioxide. The high pressured air markers are reported to be more consistent, as well as more reliable.
Barrels of different types of paintball markers come in several popular lengths. These lengths can include:
* twelve inch barrel
* fourteen inch barrel
* sixteen inch barrel
* eighteen inch barrel
* twenty inch barrel
Some paintball players have been known to use even longer barrels, as the longer barrels are much more quiet, as well as more accurate. Paintball marker barrels that are less than eleven inches are reported to have very little accuracy, and they are basically inefficient. However, paintball markers with longer barrels have to need for more propellant for the ammunition than a shorter barreled paintball marker.
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