You can’t play paintball without markers, guns, and pistols. While you do also need other kit, the most basic, essential piece of equipment to shoot your opponent with is a paintball gun or pistol.
A professional paintball player owns many different pistols and changes them as needed during tournaments. Using the right kind of paintball pistols is essential if you want to win the game for your team. But, one look at the market can be enough to overwhelm you. There are so many types and models to choose from, how can you pick one gun from the whole lot? How will you know which paintball pistol is the best?
Professionals would have a better idea about the paintball pistols, but what about newbies? Beginners and intermediate players need more than a simple list of names if they want to pick up the best paintball pistol.
And here we are, offering you exactly what you need. We have compiled a list of the top five best paintball pistols on the market and examined the features and benefits in detail. We have also shared a detailed buying guide with different types of paintball pistols and factors to consider when buying them. Shall we get started?
Table of Contents
Quick Comparison Table!
The Best Paintball Pistols For The Money
#1 Umarex T4E Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 .43 Caliber Paintball Gun Marker - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Umarex is one of the best known brands selling various paintball pistols on today’s market. The Smith & Wesson M&P is a semi-automatic model made from quality materials and with a decent performance. It is a 0.43 caliber pistol, which means that it will be able to accept and fire only 0.43 caliber paintballs or shots, just like regular guns. You can use either paintball pellets or rubber bullets with this pistol. Let’s take a look at the design and features in detail.
Features & Benefits
The pistol consists of metal and polyester materials that add some weight and make it a sturdy piece. The Smith & Wesson M&P weighs about 1.67 pounds. The exterior is made of high-quality polymer that gives it stability and makes it durable.
The pistol is a perfect replica of the famous real gun and is sure to grab some attention from people around you. The finish and fit of this model are equally good. The grip has been engraved to provide a comfortable hold for an extended duration.
- The magazine’s capacity is eight rounds. The pistol comes with one magazine included in the package.
- The Smith & Wesson M&P is powered by a CO2 defense marker (but doesn’t have the CO2 filled at the time of purchase).
- It has a safety trigger that ensures that you don’t end up shooting yourself or someone else by mistake.
- The interior aluminum parts include the barrel, slide, slide catch, and magazine—most paintball pistols have internal components made of metal.
- The trigger pull is a bit long, and not everyone likes it. A short trigger pull would have been better as it would mean that your shot would be faster.
- The design makes it a little hard to disassemble the pistol, but it’s not impossible.
- The blowback action is realistic, though professionals will find it less so.
#2 Umarex T4E Walther PPQ .43 Caliber Training Pistol Paintball Gun Marker - Best for Beginners
The second paintball pistol we recommend for beginners is also by Umarex, but with a Walther PPQ style and appearance. This is also a 0.43 caliber gun and it’s also used as a training pistol. This makes it suitable for newbie paintball players who want to practice the sport using a semi-automatic pistol. The pistol is sturdy and durable and delivers optimum performance. Let’s take a look at the design and features in detail.
Features & Benefits
Similar to other pistols in our list, this model is made with metal and polymer. The internal parts such as the barrel, slide, slide catch, and magazine are made of metal. These add the required weight to the pistol so that it doesn’t bend or break due to the impact of the shot. The outer frame is made of polymer to give it a good-quality finish. The pistol weighs 1.87 pounds and felt solid in our hands.
The overall appearance makes it look like a perfect replica of the original model. The trigger pull movement almost feels like a double-action trigger. It delivers a realistic blowback that is neither exceptional nor below average. Of course, professionals might have a different opinion.
- You can use this paintball pistol for the game or for personal protection. It can shoot paintball pellets, paper balls, etc., and hit the target with decent accuracy.
- The 8-round magazine is powered by a 12-gram CO2 cartridge.
- The pistol’s design is user-friendly. You can make adjustments to the front and rear ends to increase the accuracy of the shot and ensure that it flies straight.
- The pistol has a safety trigger to avoid unwanted injuries. When the paintball pistol is filled with fresh CO2, it can shoot up to 385 shots per second. The average range is around 290 to 350 FPS (feet per second).
#3 HSA PACKAGE T4E S&W M&P9 M2 .43cal Co2 Semi-Auto Blowback Paintball Pistol - Best for Accessories
The third paintball pistol on our list is known for its build quality, efficiency, and the bunch of accessories that come in the package. The company provides a magazine, three different grips for extra comfort (in varying sizes), cleaning tools, a hard case to store the pistol in, and a packet of 50 rubber balls. This is also a semi-automatic pistol with 0.43 caliber capacity. Now let’s look at the details.
Features & Benefits
The T4E S&W M&P9 M2 pistol is made using two materials, as are other paintball pistols on our list. The important internal components are made of pure metal, and the outer frame is made using polymer. However, this model is a little bulkier than the above two pistols. Still, it is not so heavy that you’ll find it uncomfortable to shoot.
The pistol can shoot paintball, powder balls, and rubber balls with good accuracy. The blowback mechanism of this pistol is much better than the previous models mentioned. That said, the price of this paintball pistol is also on the higher side.
- The 8-round magazine is powered by a CO2 cartridge. You will have to replenish the CO2 as and when the cartridge gets empty.
- The pistol comes with a user-friendly design and an instruction manual. You shouldn’t find it too hard to try it out. That said, disassembling the pistol can be a complex job.
- The pistol promises optimal performance and delivers it. Beginners and intermediate players will notice an improvement in their game when using this pistol.
- The reloading system is quite fast and doesn’t waste your time during the game.
#4 JT ER2 Pump Pistol RTS Kit - Best Entry-level Model
Let’s take a look at a paintball pistol with a pump design (you’ll see more about it in the next section). The ER2 is an entry-level model that comes for an affordable and budget-friendly price. This pistol is useful for beginners and occasional players who like a friendly game with loved ones. Professionals do not select this model for tournaments due to the lack of high power required in an intense paintball game.
Features & Benefits
The pistol is made of plastic and has a semi-transparent outer body. It weighs around 2.12 pounds and feels comfortable in the hand. The pump system will first chamber the pellet and then shoot it out when you pull the trigger.
This model comes with feed tubs (which are quite rare to find in today’s market). Each tube will hold ten rounds of shots. By using a full-sized hopper—you have to buy it separately—you can continue to shoot as many paintballs as you want.
- This model is so easy to use that it shouldn’t take you more than two to three hours to master it.
- The pistol uses 12-gram CO2 cartridges to power the shots. Each cartridge can be used to fire around 50-60 shots. Just make sure not to let the cartridge get punctured.
- The pistol’s kit includes five cartridges and five tubes holding 50 paintballs, along with a barrel plug.
- The pistol’s range is 20 yards. It is accurate up to 30 feet distance. Anything beyond that might not be as good.
- The pistol has an average of 280 FPS. It’s not much but it is, of course, enough for a beginner’s paintball game.
#5 Umarex T4E TR50 Revolver .50 Caliber Training Pistol Paintball - Best FPS
The last paintball pistol on our list is yet another model by Umarex. This one is of 0.50 caliber and is known for its excellent design and finish. This model doesn’t just replicate a real gun, it has the design of an original gun, but with a few contemporary tweaks that make it an attractive paintball pistol. The smooth barrel bore is the highlight of this model. Here’s a little more about this paintball pistol.
Features & Benefits
The pistol weighs around 1.6 pounds and is considered lightweight. It is made of two materials: polymer for the outer frame, and metal for the inner components. The grip is made of rubber so that it will feel comfortable in your hands.
The pistol looks more like a revolver and has a six-round cylindrical magazine or section where the paintball pellets are loaded and fired. What you need to do is insert the paintball pellets into the cylindrical space and click it back into its place. Then you aim and pull the trigger.
- The pistol is powered by a 12-gram CO2 cartridge. You will need to change the cartridge for every 60 rounds of shots.
- This paintball pistol has a higher shooting speed at 360 FPS compared with other models. This is a little more than the average 280 FPS in regular paintball rounds.
- It has a safety lock located on the trigger for convenience. You will need to pull down the lock before firing the pistol. It will remind you of the ones you’ve sees on TV.
- Some users complain that the trigger pull is a bit hard, but that has been designed to prevent accidental shootings.
- It is also accurate for up to a 50-foot distance.
- The pistol comes with four cylinders, for faster reloading, and an Allen key in case you need to repair the paintball pistol.
Buying Guide for the Best Paintball Pistols
Isn’t that a super cool list of paintball pistols? They do pack a punch to make the game more fun and interesting. Now it’s time for us to check out the buying guide and explore what aspects play a role in separating the best paintball pistols from the rest. First, let’s take a look at the different types of paintball pistols on the market.
Types of paintball pistols
A pump pistol is an old-fashioned style that is reliable and sturdy. This pistol doesn’t offer any of the latest features we see in today’s models, but it is still preferred by some players for the simplicity of the design. The model gets its name from the pump-like mechanism the pistol uses to place the paintball ready in line for the next shot.
Semi-automatic pistols are further divided into manual and electro-pneumatic models. These are used mostly by beginners and entry-level players. The functioning of these pistols is simple. You need to pull the trigger to fire the shot of paintball.
If you want to go for speed and fire at a steady rate, a fully-automatic paintball pistol is the one for you. No need to pull the trigger for every shot, you just press and hold it, and the paintball pistol will continue to fire at a fixed rate. However, many tournaments have banned this type of pistol as they tend to cause more injuries to the players.
A ramping pistol is similar to a fully-automatic model when it comes to fast firing. The firing rate can be as fast as 20 shots per second, which means that these pistols are also not allowed to be used during paintball tournaments.
Three-shot burst pistol
The name says it all, doesn’t it? You pull the trigger once, and the pistol fires three times in succession. You can alternate between semi-automatic and burst modes. However, take warning, beginners need to be careful when using these pistols. They might inadvertently injure their opponent by misfiring.
There are a few other ways to classify paintball pistols, though the above-mentioned classifications are the most straightforward and easy to understand.
Maintenance tips for paintball pistols
Owning a paintball pistol is easy, but for it to function and deliver the winning shot, you need to take proper care of your equipment. The last thing you want is for the pistol to jam or misfire during the event, even if it a friendly paintball game with friends. The best way to clean the pistol is to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. You can also apply the following tips to take care of your paintball pistol:
- Take a wee bit of oil and apply it to the pistol’s front and rear. This will help in coating the seals and providing a smooth shot. Beware though, if you apply too much oil it’ll mess up the mechanism and result in malfunction.
- Wash and clean the pistol after every use. The paint will cling to the outside and damage the pistol if it’s not removed as soon as possible. However, don’t use any harsh chemicals or soaps. Use plain water and a soft cloth.
- If your pistol comes with a CO2 tank or even an HPA tank, don’t let leave it out in the open. Heat and sunlight are not good for such pistols. Store it in a clean and dry place until the next use.
- Deep cleaning of the pistols from time to time is recommended to increase their efficiency. That means you have to disassemble the paintball pistol, clean the parts individually, and put it back together. Do this only when you are confident you can reassemble the pistol the right way.
- And finally, test fire your pistol before you use it in a game. Don’t directly try it out in a tournament without ensuring that it is working.
Factors to consider when buying the best paintball pistols
So, what factors should you consider and compare when choosing a paintball pistol? See below.
A paintball pistol that is too heavy will not be easy to use during a game. A pistol that weighs around two to three pounds would be an ideal choice as it is comfortable to carry, hold, and use.
Ease of use
The ease of use will depend on how skilled you are as a paintball player. Professionals can use the fully automatic models without any fear or risk of harming themselves or others. But a beginner is more likely to be comfortable with a semi-automatic pistol that fires only when you pull the trigger. Also, check the grip and size of the pistol (though paintball pistols are pocket-sized and easily fit in the palm of the hand).
Disassembling a pistol is an art. Some paintball pistols are easy to take apart and put together, even in the middle of a game. Others are complex and require patience and effort. It is always preferable to choose a paintball pistol that is easy to disassemble and reassemble. If, by any chance, the pistol jams during the game, you should be able to take it apart and work out the problem without losing much time.
Mechanical or electronic
A mechanical pistol runs on a CO2 tank and needs to be manually fired. These models are usually designed for beginners who want a simple yet reliable paintball pistol to use during their early games. These pistols require very little maintenance and can be repaired at low cost. However, they are not highly accurate or super fast.
An electronic pistol is battery operated and has a circuit fitted on the inside. Ramping pistols, fully-automatic ones, and three-shot burst pistols can be classified as electronic pistols. They need less human intervention than mechanical ones and are very accurate in firing shots. They are also super fast and can release paintballs one after another in quick succession. These pistols are best for professionals and intermediate players.
Material and construction
Pistols are made using different materials. Aluminum is the most frequent material used as it is cheap and lightweight. But these are not very sturdy, and the barrels can bend if the pistols are not used carefully.
Stainless steel pistols are obviously stronger and more durable, but they are also heavier and slightly more costly. However, pistols made of carbon fiber have the best of both materials. They are durable, lightweight, accurate, sturdy, and can sustain rough usage. These pistols are also easy to clean and maintain. They might be a bit on the expensive side, but are worth the price.
Purpose of purchase
Well, the purpose of a paintball pistol is to shoot paint at others in a game, right? What we mean here is ‘your purpose.’ Not clear? Let’s call it skill-level. Do you want to buy the pistol for professional tournaments? Do you want to buy it as a self-defense weapon to be used at home to point at intruders? (Yep, a paintball pistol doesn’t have to be used only during a game, though please be careful about harming others). Or, do you want to buy it for practicing paintball?
If you are a beginner who is still learning how to aim and play paintball, go for ab entry-level model that is easy to use.
Paintball can be quite an expensive game, considering the number of items you need to buy. So you will need to have a final budget amount in mind and allocate portions of it to different items. Also, a paintball pistol will need additional add-on items such as barrels, tanks, etc. Make sure to invest in a paintball pistol that offers you good value for the money for your purpose.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Are you still wondering which paintball pistol would be the best choice for you? In that case, we would recommend the Umarex T4E Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Paintball Gun Marker as one of the best models for beginners and intermediate paintball players. It is affordable, durable, sturdy, and reliable, and comes with a safety trigger.
Since we have already seen the features of the Umarex T4E Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Paintball Gun Marker in detail, we can safely say that this paintball pistol is worth the price.