Hobby & Sports

The 5 Best Paintball Pistols – [Reviews & Guide 2020]

Whether you want to get into paintballing as a hobby or find a realistically-modeled paintball gun for home defense purposes, there are a lot of handgun models to choose from. To help you decide, we have reviewed the top paintball pistols.

We will explain why these are the best of the best by highlighting features and quality. Afterward, we will go over things to look for in your pistol choices, as well as additional gear you may want to consider.

Finally, we will go over some frequently asked questions. Let’s get started!

Best Paintball Pistols

 T4E Walther PPQ M2Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol KitT4E TR50 Paintball Pistol
editors choice
Caliber:.43.68.50
Capacity:8 Shots7 Shots6 Shots
Weight:1.17 Pounds1 Pounds1.4 Pounds
Includes:Pistol, magazine, hard gun case, cleanerPistol, three magazines, leg holster, maintenance kitPistol, five magazines

For more of my top paintball recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Paintball Masks, Paintball Guns, How to Play Paintball.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Paintball Pistols For 2020

  1. Elite Force T4E Umarex .43 Caliber Walther
  2. Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol Starter Kit
  3. T4E TR50 .50 Caliber Paintball Pistol Revolver
  4. First Strike Compact Pistol
  5. T4E New Walther PPQ M2 Semi-Auto Paintball Pistol

Our reviews of the top rated paintball pistols with our guide and comparison table will help you choose the right one for you.


Paintball Pistol Reviews

Umarex has always been one of the most reliable names in high-quality airguns and paintball guns. With the Elite Force T4E .43 Caliber Walther replica, they are absolutely putting their best foot forward.

This pistol is an authentic 1:1 scale replication of the Walther PPQ M2 handgun. It is constructed with a combination of metal and polymer plastic, which balances weight and durability equally.

The metal slide of the pistol offers a controlled, functional blowback system.

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It features a tactical rail that allows for simple, easy accessory attachments. This gun also comes with a hard-shell pistol case, a cleaning hose, and a spare magazine spring.

With these items, you can perform proper, regular maintenance and ensure the longevity of your paintball gun.

With realistic aesthetics, yellow dot sights, trigger safety, and an ambidextrous slide release, you will absolutely get your money’s worth from this paintball pistol.

It utilizes CO2 canisters to fire paintballs and has an FPS of 290 to ensure fast, accurate shot placement.

 

Elite Force T4E Umarex .43 Caliber Walther at a Glance:

  • Caliber: .43
  • Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Weight: 1.17 pounds, 1.87 pounds with magazine
  • Includes: Pistol, magazine, hard gun case, cleaner

Tippmann is known for making some of the best paintball pistols and guns without fail, and their TPX model is no exception.

It looks bulkier than it is, but rest assured that this gun is surprisingly lightweight and feels reportedly natural in-hand.

This gun is fed with seven-round magazines, which means it may not be the best option for a primary paintball gun.

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But in a pinch, it serves as a fantastic, easy-to-handle secondary option that may surprise you and your opponents.

Larger magazine sizes for this gun are available, though. As an added bonus, the starter kit comes with three seven-round, spring-loaded magazines included.

This paintball gun uses compressed CO2, attached to the underside of the barrel and available in standard 12-gram tanks.

Keep in mind that a 12-gram tank may not allow you to fire off many shots, typically only 20 to 40. So along with carrying spare magazines, you will also need to carry spare CO2 canisters.

On the bright side, Tippmann accounted for these problems. Both the magazines and the CO2 are easily replaced even in high-stress situations. You will be able to quickly and accurately swap out empty magazines and canisters.

This is a fantastic paintball gun kit for beginners and long-time hobbyists alike. The gun is light, accurate, and convenient, especially in a pinch. As an added bonus, you can use it with riot balls, making it a great alternative for home or self-defense.

 

Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol Starter Kit at a Glance:

  • Caliber: .68
  • Capacity: 7 shots
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Includes: Three magazines, leg holster, barrel plug, maintenance kit

If you’re looking for the best paintball pistol under 100 dollars, look no further than Umarex’s T4E TR50 .50 Caliber Revolver Pistol.

The low price tag is far from indicative of the quality of this pistol, as it routinely rates highly among customers worldwide.

This pistol works well with paintballs, rubber balls, and powder balls, so you have options for any kind of game, training scenario, or defensive use.

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It has a bulky, imposing look to it, and fires .50 caliber projectiles. All around, it’s an impressive paintball gun.

This pistol uses CO2 cartridges for firepower. These cartridges are located conveniently in the grip of the pistol, and it takes little effort to pierce it for use. This means it can always be ready and fully charged for use.

The grip of this pistol is also textured for optimum grip capability. You shouldn’t have to worry about losing your grip on the gun in any situation, but should it occur, the gun features a trigger blade safety.

This prevents accidental firing if you do happen to drop the gun.

This gun is amazing and makes the most use out of its capacities. With only a 12-gram CO2 cartridge, it will fire at over 300FPS. It also makes the best of the CO2 capacity and will fire about 60 shots off of one cartridge.

 

T4E TR50 .50 Caliber Paintball Pistol Revolver at a Glance:

  • Caliber: .50
  • Capacity: 6 shots
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Includes: Five additional magazines

The First Strike Compact Paintball Pistol made our list for a few reasons, but one of the most prominent is that it can fire a variety of paintball types.

This makes it a prime candidate, if not the absolute best, for self- or home defense as far as paintball guns are concerned.

It was designed to have a smaller, more modular grip than other paintball pistols as well as a shorter overall length.

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This means it can fit in any holster with ease and security. This also makes it easier to handle overall due to its light, handleable weight.

The grip is 20% smaller than any standard 8.1 pistol out there. It features an under-mount rail, ambidextrous safety, and a micro-honed barrel for precision and accuracy.

Along with a textured, comfortable grip, you cannot go wrong with this pistol.

It can be powered by an 8- or 12-gram CO2 cartridge, and the gun itself will accept 8.1 or 9.1 barrels. These features make it one of the most customizable paintball pistols available on the market today.

 

First Strike Compact Pistol at a Glance:

  • Caliber: .68
  • Capacity: 6 shots
  • Weight: 1.68 pounds
  • Includes: Two 6-round magazines

By far, the best paintball handgun is the T4E New Walther PPQ M2 .43 Caliber Semi-Automatic Paintball Pistol.

As with their Elite Force Walther, Umarex has made this Walther M2 as a nearly-exact, authentic replica of its inspiration.

The realistic design is great for home and self-defense, as well as MilSim paintball games or tactical practice. With the ability to customize and attach accessories, it’s great for nearly any kind of paintball game.

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The T4E line is meant for training for engagement. As such, this semi-automatic paintball pistol is ready and able to bring your game to the next level of realism, with none of the risks.

When you purchase this gun, it comes with a magazine, a paintball spring, a cleaner, a rubber ball spring, and a hard pistol case.

This makes maintenance and care pretty easy and straightforward, but keep in mind that it never hurts to have extra supplies ready just in case.

With solid five-star reviews on Amazon, this gun lives up to the Umarex standard and is well worth considering for purchase.

 

T4E New Walther PPQ M2 Semi-Auto Paintball Pistol at a Glance:

  • Caliber: .43
  • Capacity: 8 shots
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Includes: Pistol, magazine, and hard gun case

Paintball Pistol Comparison Table

Paintball Pistols CaliberCapacityWeightIncludesRating
Elite Force T4E Umarex Walther.438 rounds1.17 lbsPistol, magazine, hard gun case, cleaner4.2 / 5.0
Tippmann TPX Paintball Pistol Kit.687 rounds1 lbsThree magazines, leg holster, maintenance kit3.9 / 5.0
T4E TR50 Paintball Pistol.506 rounds1.4 lbsFive magazines3.8 / 5.0
First Strike Compact Pistol.686 rounds1.6 lbsTwo magazines3.5 / 5.0
T4E New Walther PPQ M2 Paintball Pistol.438 rounds1.2 lbsPistol, magazine, and hard gun case5.0 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Paintball Pistol – Buyers Guide

good painball pistol for the money

There are several factors that you should consider when you’re looking to purchase your first paintball gun.

Type of Paintball & How Often You Play

Paintball is primarily played in two different ways: Speedball, or Woodsball.

Speedball

Speedball is played inside of an arena or enclosed tactical space. These spaces, usually, are no larger than the average basketball court but may vary in shape and layout. Speedball is played by regulatory rules, but operate primarily with capture the flag or elimination game modes in mind.

Woodsball

In contrast to speedball, woodsball takes place on courses that are often the size of a football field, and some extend over ranges that could encompass most small towns. These typically take place in heavily-wooded areas with no prep-time needed. There are customizable rules and standards for each game of woodsball, so every play can be unique.

Along with the difference in playing fields, you may also have specific needs or goals in mind, such as tactical training and learning safety rules for arms handling.

Regardless of your reason for playing or even the type of play you take part in, your frequency of play also plays a factor in what kind of paintball gun you should invest in. If you play infrequently, you could get away with a gun that isn’t as durable and is just for occasional use, for example.

Keep in mind that regular maintenance, mindful care, and proper use will help improve the lifespan of any paintball gun you purchase.

types of paintball

Type of Marker

Paintball guns are often referred to as markers, and there are three basic, primary types.

Pump Markers

Pump-action paintball guns or markers are the oldest type. They have recently been making a comeback in popularity, however.

Pump paintball guns require manual operation to fire. Typically, this means you have to work a shotgun-like pump to cock the marker and chamber the next paintball for each shot. This makes it one of the harder methods of introducing a new player to the sport, but it is also very rewarding.

These types of markers are incredibly reliable and force a player to focus on their field skills and accuracy more than power. For that reason, they are fantastic for training purposes.

Mechanical Markers

This type of paintball gun is the most common marker type seen today in recreational play. These are typically semi-automatic, and fire one round per pull of the trigger.

These markers are usually the most affordable and easiest to maintain option. They are also the easiest guns to use no matter your skill level. They operate on either compressed air or CO2 cartridges, and most sports shops will supply refills or refill certain cartridges with ease.

Many mechanical markers have a blowback design. This means that when the trigger is pulled, it moves a sear catch. The sear catch releases a strike or hammer under spring tension, and that opens the valve only long enough to propel the paintball out of the barrel.

Blowbacks come in an inline or stack tube design. Stack tubes are typically more gas efficient and are optimal if it’s difficult for you to refill your tanks or forget to pack extras for your session. Inlines aren’t as efficient, but are much more customizable.

Electronic Markers

Electronic paintball guns are more expensive now than they have been in previous years, but they are still the most expensive of the marker types. These use an electronic solenoid to fire the fed projectile.

Usually, these are powered by a 9-volt battery or a rechargeable battery of equal power. The trigger of these markers are sensitive and click like a switch rather than having a heavy trigger pull like the mechanical markers tend to.

This equates to high rates of fire for even the most novice of paintball hobbyists. A circuit board controls every command that goes into the solenoid, so almost every electronic marker is capable of burst-fire, full-automatic, ramping, and other firing modes.

Price

Paintball guns, and more specifically paintball pistols, can vary greatly in price. From below $100 to greater than $1,600, there’s a paintball marker for every budget and every kind of enthusiast.

Remember as with anything that you’re paying for not only the tool but also the quality of it. The cheaper the cost, in most circumstances, the lower the quality will be. That’s not to say that you can’t find a good, durable paintball gun for a low cost, but you should absolutely check reviews and do research.

The range between $100 and $200 is typically a sweet spot for entry-level paintballers to begin investing in their own markers. Guns in this range guarantee durability, customization, and quality without breaking a budget.

Manufacturing Materials Used

Paintball guns are made from everything from polymer plastics to steel, with Nylon mixes and aluminum alloys being fairly commonplace as well. Consider how frequently you plan to use your marker and under what conditions when looking at the manufacturing materials of the gun you have your eye on.

Note that various materials may affect the price of your gun. They will also affect maintenance needs, repair costs, and weight while handling.

Offset or Center Feed

Paintball markers have either an offset or center feed.

A center feed, also called a vertical feed, has its feedback situated on the top center of the marker. The user will sight down the side of the marker and barrel in order to aim. Center feed markers are ambidextrous and incredibly well-balanced.

Offset feeds, by contrast, have the feed neck oriented to either the right or left of the body of the marker. This feed allows you to sight straight down overhead of the barrel. It also allows for clearance of most types of red dot sights or scopes. Users of traditional firearms tend to prefer the offset feed to the center feed.

What Equipment Do You Need to Use for Paintball?

While paintball games may not typically be fatal, they can be extremely painful if you aren’t properly prepared. Not only that, but there are upgrades and general equipment that you can purchase and use alongside your gun to optimize your experience in the field.

With safety, there are two main components to consider: a mask and clothing.

paintball mask

Paintball Mask

If you plan to be on, or even near, a paintball field, you need to be wearing a mask. It is mandatory at every regulation facility. This is because paintballs fire at an impressive speed, more than enough to take an eye out or otherwise cause serious injuries.

Masks will vary with price, padding, lenses, size, and other features. This means that there are a lot of options on the market to choose from, but it also means that you are almost guaranteed to find a mask that’s perfect for you and your play style.

One of the main features to look for in a paintball mask is anti-fogging capabilities. The best masks will come with thermal lenses, which resist fog and keep your vision clear. Another good alternative is a double-pane lens, which has a space between lenses that acts as a thermal buffer.

Your mask has to be rated for and made to handle paintball scenarios, so keep that in mind. Full head masks minimize and absorb impact when you hit your head or get shot.

Make sure that the mask you choose fits comfortably and offers a wide field of view. Additionally, if you wear glasses, make sure that the mask will accommodate them naturally. Purchasing spare lenses will allow you to jump back into the game easily and quickly.

Clothing Options

There isn’t really a set way to go about choosing or wearing protective clothing. The general rule of thumb, especially for new players that may not be used to the impact of a paintball, is to wear thick clothing or wear layers of clothing to help against the impact.

Leave no body part exposed, because you may very well be shot in it. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and gloves for optimum protection. In hot weather you can wear breathable body armor, to keep cool while still being protected.

You may also want to invest in a ghillie suit. These are comfortable and provide camouflage while breaking up your outline in a firefight. This can help you stay in certain games longer, especially in naturalistic environments.

Non-Safety Gear to Consider

Hoppers: Hoppers are small containers that sit on your gun. These allow your paintballs to feed directly into the chamber of your gun, and need to be refilled less frequently than a magazine.

Air Tanks: Whether your gun utilizes compressed air or CO2, it needs available propellant to fire the paintballs. The exceptions to this rule are electronic paintball guns. Small 12-gram tanks are also used with BB guns, but larger tanks are available as well that will fire hundreds of paintballs easily.

Extra O-Rings: O-rings seal off spaces and gaps within your paintball gun. They ensure that air does not leak from the gun while firing, which keeps your PSI optimal for games or sessions. O-rings will need to be regularly checked and periodically replaced. This is because they will warp or crack over time and with extended use.

O-rings should always be kept on-hand, even during play, because they can fail at any time. Replacement is easy and can be done fairly quickly. Simply cut or remove the O-ring, lubricate the space with gun oil or grease, and affix a new ring.

Paintball Types: There are a variety of paintball ammunition types to choose from. They vary in grade or quality, caliber, and price. Typically, paintballs are sold in packs or batches of 2,000. However, you can sometimes find them for sale in bulk or in smaller numbers, depending on availability.

The most common types of paintball are recreational and tournament-grade. Tournament grade balls break easily and are meant for high-end, top-performance competition guns. They are considered premium and are guaranteed to fly straight and break upon impact.

Recreational-grade paintballs are designed for practicing or general, non-tournament level games. They are what are most commonly used in commercial fields and can be found both online and in sporting goods stores with ease. It is much more affordable than the tournament or professional-grade ammunition but may have slight inconsistencies of quality.

When purchasing new or extra paintball ammunition, be sure that the ammunition matches the caliber of your paintball gun or pistol. You could damage your gun by using the incorrect ammunition size.

FAQs About Paintball Pistols

Q: How long do paintball guns/pistols last?

A: There is no real, hard estimate for the lifespan of a paintball gun. Many factors go into determining the longevity of each individual gun, even within the same make or model.

The materials the gun is manufactured with is one of the biggest things to consider for longevity. Most modern-day paintball guns are made of aircraft-grade aluminum and aluminum alloys.

The standard used to be plastic, but they tend not to last long. Heat and exposure from the sun wears down the plastic and warps it. This meant that consumers would have to more frequently purchase or repair their paintball guns to operate properly.

There is a growing number of paintball gun manufacturers that are using combinations of carbon fiber, Nylon, and other durable materials for their guns. Some companies even use steel. The more durable the materials of your gun, the longer it will last.

There are also different kinds of paintball guns and pistols. Some tend to last longer than others, while others will outperform for the short-term period.

Some enthusiasts feel that electric paintball guns don’t operate for as long as semi-automatic guns, for instance. This is because the gun can accumulate dust and moisture, which are terrible for the electronic components. Proper care should be taken in these instances.

Regardless of the materials and make of your gun, you should expect a few good years of use out of it with proper maintenance, storage, and overall care. Proper care for your paintball gun will ensure that it lasts and performs adequately for years to come.

Q: Do paintball guns have recoil?

A: Some, but not necessarily all, paintball guns do have a bit of recoil to them. The kickback or recoil is still significantly less than what you feel from an actual, bonafide firearm, however. This is because propulsion by air, spring, or a combination of the two has much less force than combustive propulsion.

Q: How far do paintball guns shoot?

A: The speed and distance of a paintball gun’s shot is determined by the operating PSI of the gun. The recommended regulatory standard for markers is between 260 and 300 PSI. Once the trigger is pulled, your paintball will fire at about 175mph in that PSI range.

There are a lot of variables to consider when making your shot, though. These include wind speed, barrel quality, weight of the paintball, and more. All of these variables can affect your firing range.

In general, a paintball fired within the lower ranges of PSI will travel around 50 to 60 yards in optimal conditions. At higher PSI ranges, they can usually travel around 80 to 100 yards in similar conditions.

Q: When should I use a paintball pistol?

A: Primarily, paintball pistols in-game are used as a secondary or last-resort marker to a semi- or fully-automatic paintball rifle. This is because they have a low shot capacity, which leaves the user at a sometimes crippling disadvantage in-game.

They can be great in tight or close-quarter situations, as a last-ditch effort to shoot a nearby opponent, or as self- or home-defense when you are not in a game or practicing tactics.

Paintball pistols can look extremely realistic, and are effective at scaring off potential threats without ever actually having to fire a round, but rubber or riot ammunition is best to have in case you do have to fire.

Performance
Features
Quality

The Elite Force T4E is our Editor's Choice for the best paintball pistol with its combination of performance, features and quality.

User Rating: Be the first one !

Notice:

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Richard Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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