Complete Guide to Beginner Pump Paintball Guns and Accessories

After playing pump paintball for the past 15 years, I have owned and used quite a bit of pump paintball gear on the field. I have used everything from the super basic gear that falls apart after a day of use to custom made gear costing hundreds to thousands of dollars that I still use today.

Pump paintball is an extremely fun way to play paintball while challenging yourself to become a better player. Lots of players usually just try playing pump to see if it is for them, while other fully transition to playing pump to continue to challenge themselves when playing against regular walk on and rental players.

This page will help you select what gear is best for you and the best places to pick them up. Plus, I will give you some of my most effective tips when playing pump paintball so you can hit the field running.

Open Class or Stock Class Paintball?

Before buying your first paintball gun, you should determine if playing stock class or open class is best for you.

I will briefly cover the differences between stock class and open class below, but for a full and detailed explanation on the key differences between the two check out my article by clicking the following link:

Open Class Pump Paintball Guns

Most players will naturally gravitate towards open class pump paintball as it is usually the cheapest way to get into playing pump. This is because players will already have a hopper and an air tank, so all they will need is a good pump to start playing with.

Open class paintball guns are similar in design to regular paintball guns and use the same hoppers and larger air tanks most modern paintball guns use. This allows players to use a familiar air tank and hopper so they don’t have to adapt to a completely different feeling paintball gun.

Playing open class pump paintball will be much easier to play with as they can be aimed just like a regular paintball gun. this allows players to focus more on honing their skills and accuracy without having to worry about paint and air management.

Stock Class Pump Paintball Guns

If you are an experienced player and are looking to challenge yourself, or want as small and light of a paintball gun as possible, you will probably gravitate to stock class.

Stock class paintball guns are more simplistic in design and use the original paintball gun design with a horizontal feed tube and run on 12 gram CO2 cartridges.

This layout requires more player skill as you usually have to rock the gun forward when pulling the pump handle back and loading another round. Doing so will cause you to point the gun down and require you to take aim again to accurately shoot.

Best Pump Paintball Guns for Beginners

Picking the right pump paintball gun for your needs will ultimately determine how much you enjoy playing pump. If you choose the wrong type, it may leave you dissatisfied and stop playing pump.

Here are my two top pics for paintballers wanting to start playing pump for the first time. Both of these are affordable options and can also be found on the used market for a great price.

If you want a complete list of my recommended pump paintball guns, check out my gear page by clicking the link below:

Azodin KP3.5 (Open Class)

If you are looking for a great quality open class pump paintball gun at a super affordable price, look no further than the Azodin KP3.5. These come in several different colors, have an adjustble regulator, light pump stroke, and are very easy to maintain.

You get a lot of value with the KP3.5 and it is normally found for less than $300! This pump comes with a lot of features normally found on more expensive paintball guns, like an on/off ASA and multiple sized barrel backs to help reduce paintballs from rolling out the barrel.

When using quality paintballs, the KP3.5 is dead on accurate. The stock barrel is well made and there is no need to replace it unless you want more barrel sizing options like you would find with more expensive barrel kits.

Here are some pros and cons of the Azoding KP3.5

– Pros and Cons

Azodin KP3.5 ProsAzodin KP3.5 Cons
Affordable PriceLong Trigger Pull
On/Off ASA“Burp” Noise When Fired
0.685 and 0.681 Barrel BacksPlastic Grip Frame
Half Block Design
Low Operating Pressure (230 psi)
Adjustable Regulator
Dual Pump Rods for Stability
Clamping Feedneck
Easy to Maintain
Autococker Barrel Threads
Similar Feel and Layout to
Regular Paintball Guns
Metal Body

– Where to Buy an Azodin KP3.5

There are several places you can go to buy the KP3.5, but the best prices can be found on either Amazon or used on Ebay. Amazon is typically the most convenient place to buy a new KP3.5, but if you want the best prices Ebay may have some amazing deals for a fraction of the price!
Click here to check Amazon for current prices.
Click here to browse Ebay fro the best prices on used gear.

If you want a more basic version of the KP3.5, check out the Azodin KPC. It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that the KP3.5 has, but it is a bit cheaper overall.

CCI Phantom (Stock Class and Open Class)

CCI Phantom in a VSC configureation

The Phantom is an excellent pump paintball gun that can be found in both open class and stock class configurations. Plus if you have the right parts, you can swap between the two configurations quickly and easily!

The CCI Phantom has been going strong for 30 years as it is a very well made and designed pump paintball gun. It is super light weight, very efficient with 12 gram CO2 cartridges, dead on accurate with quality paintballs, and the configuration possibilities are nearly endless.

I have been using the Phantom for at least 10 years and owned about a dozen different guns in various configurations. One of my favorite aspects about the phantoms is how efficient they are with 12 gram CO2. This allows you to create a super small and light platform that wont wear you down. I can get between 30-35 good shots off of a 12 gram before I need to change it out to a new one.

If you want to see my Phantoms and how they are setup, click the links below:
My Single Barrel CCI Phantom
My Double Barrel CCI Phantom

– Pros and Cons

CCI Phantom ProsCCI Phantom Cons
Light Weight and CompactHeavy Pump Stroke
Very Modular with lots of
Aftermarket Parts
Lower Profile Requires Some
Adjustment and Pracice
Quality Sock Internals and
Stock Class May Be Harder to
Super Simple DesignValve/Hammer Springs May
Need to be Changed for HPA
Very Reliable
Efficient on CO2
Dead on Accurate with Good
Quality Paintballs
Minimal Maintenance Required
Quiet Shots
Crisp Trigger Pull

For more information on the Phantom, check out my full review by clicking the link below:

– Where to Buy the CCI Phantom

There are two great places to buy a phantom, directly from CCI or used on Ebay. Sometimes you can find entire kits for the phantom at an amazing price on Ebay for much cheaper than you could new!
Click here to check current prices on CCI’s website.
Click here to find amazing deals on Ebay!

Best Pump Paintball Barrels, Tanks, Hoppers, and Accessories

Now that you have picked out a pump paintball gun, you will need the right accessories to go with it!

Keep in mind that when picking up pump paintball equipment, you need to pick up gear that works for either stock class or open class pump paintball guns.

I will have my best pics for both open class and stock class gear below so you can quickly and easily find some of the best gear on the market!

Best Pod Packs and Harnesses for Pump Paintball

It is common for most pump paintball guns to have a small pocket hopper or a 10-15 round stick feed. Using these smaller capacity hoppers and loaders may require you to reload on the field, which means you need the right packs and harnesses to carry extra paintballs!

In this section I will show you my top pics for how to carry the extra paintballs, and in the next section I will show you where to find the 10 round tubes and small pods to put in the harnesses.

– Best Stock Class Pump Paintball Harnesses

If you are playing stock class, you need a good way to carry your 12 gram CO2 cartridges and 10 round tubes. Lots of people (like myself) will sometimes just throw an extra 12 gram and a few 10 round tubes in my pocket. But for the most part, I uses special leg and packs to hold them for easy access.

My favorite packs are made by Top Stitch (aka Paintball Mafia) and are the 10 round Leg harness and Joyride packs. The leg harnesses are super easy to use, let you carry 100 extra rounds and just attaches to your belt and clips around your leg. The Joyride allows you to carry 150 extra rounds and allow you to use the tubes in a capless configuration.
Pick up yours on

– Best Open Class Pump Paintball Pod Packs

Just like with the stock class packs, you may want to find a way to hold your smaller 50 round paintball pods. You can use regular pod packs, but they just add extra bulk that can get hit and cause you to be eliminated.

The best 50 round pod packs that I have found on the market is actually a cheap knock off pack from an older pod pack design. I can only find these on Ebay under the search term “deluxe paintball pod pack”.

These packs are very affordable, securely hold the pods in place without opening, have a low profile design, and have an adjustable belt. Click here to check out Ebay and see whats available.

Best 10 Round Tubes and Small Pods for Pump Paintball

Now that you have the right pack to hod paintballs in, lets look at the containers themselves. These are typically small 10 round tubes and 50 round pods.

– Best Stock Class 10 Round Paintball Tubes

There are a lot of places that sell 10 round tubes but it can be hard to find the right kind. My favorite 10 round tubes have a cap that can be popped off with your thumb and keeps the cap on a tether so you don’t have to worry about dropping them.

This allows for quick and easy one handed refills on the field so you can do it without looking. The best tubes made today are from Empire Paintball. They come with lids and are available on ANSGear by clicking here.

– Best Open Class 50 Round Paintball Pods

There are only a handful of companies still making 50 round pods, and my favorite version is made by GxG. These are ridged plastic pods that open and close easily. They are relatively cheap and get the job done.

The easiest place to find them is on Amazon, click here to see current prices.

Best Hoppers for Pump Paintball Guns

Now lets feed your pump paintball gun. This will usually be something you will only pick up for an open class pump as most stock class paintball guns will have their own integrated 10 to 15 round horizontal feed tube.

There are two different types of pump feeds that you may be interested in, small hoppers and stick feeds. For a complete comparison of different pump paintball hoppers, click here to see all the ones I tested and reviewed.

– Best Pump Paintball Hopper

The absolute best pump and low capacity paintball hopper on the market to day is the GOG Muli Caliber Loader. This hopper feeds super fast, consistent, and holds 100 paintballs. You won’t be able to find anything better than this hopper for less than $15, there is literally nothing else that compares within $20 of this hopper.

Pick yours up on Amazon by clicking here.

– Best Stick Feed for Pump Paintball

If you want a cool stick feed for your open class pump, you can either make your own or pick up one from Paintball DNA. These are rigid 3D printed feed tubes that hold between 12 to 15 rounds and feed like a charm.

I personally use them on both my pumps and my regular semi auto paintball guns for a super light setup.

Pick yours up on Paintball DNA by clicking here.

Best Barrels for Pump Paintball Guns

Most quality pump paintball guns today will come with a nice, high quality barrel or a basic barrel kit. These barre kits come with different sized barrel backs or inserts to match the barrel diameter to the size of the paintball (paintballs can vary in size by a small amount).

By matching the barrel bore size to the paintball you can achieve two things important to pump paintball guns; efficiency and preventing rollouts.

Lots of pump paintball guns are using a small air source (like 12 gram CO2) and efficiency will suffer if too much air slips past the ball without pushing it forward.

If the bore size is greater than the diameter of the paintball, the paint will just roll out the barrel if you tilt it forward. This can be frustrating to many players as they think they have a ball ready to shoot but end up shooting nothing instead.

The best way to remedy this is by using a barrel kit with different sized barrel backs or inserts. I personally use the Freak Barrel kits and have done so for the past 15 years. They shoot super accurately and I can use the kit on different paintball guns with different barrel threads by just picking up one barrel back for the gun.

You can pick up a basic Freak Jr Barrel Kit with a case on Amazon for a great price by clicking here. Just make sure you pick up the right barrel threads for your paintball gun.

Best Air Tanks for Pump Paintball Guns

Now, lets look at air sources for your pump paintball gun. I have owned and used almost all the different sizes of tanks on the market and have found my favorites. If you want to see all the tanks that are ideal for pump paintball click the link below:

– 13/3000 HPA Tanks

The most common small paintball tank that pump paintballers will use is a 13 ci 3000 psi tank (aka 13/3000). This is a super small and lightweight tank that will be enough to shoot between 90 to 150 shots on most paintball guns.

The best priced 13/3000 tanks are usually by HK Army or Tippmann and can easily be found on Amazon by clicking here.

– 26/3000 HPA Tanks

My personal favorite sized pump paintball tanks are 26 ci 3000 psi tanks (aka 26/3000). They are the right length for me and I can play all day with them and never have to fill them up.

Just like with the 13 ci variants, HK Army and Tippmann make the best priced 26/3000 HPA tanks and can be found on Amazon by clicking here.

– 12 Gram CO2 Cartridges

For 12 gram CO2 vartridges, I will primarily use the more expensive Leland 12 grams or the cheaper and easier to find Valken 12 gram CO2 cartridges found on Amazon by clicking here.

Tools and Accessories That Every Pump Paintball Player Needs

Now that all the basics are covered, lets go into some of the extra paintball accessories that will make playing pump more enjoyable. Some of these you may already have, but if you don’t it is a good idea to pick them up anyways.

Barrel Swab

When playing pump paintball, accuracy is extremely important. If you have ever broken a paintball in the barrel, you know how much a dirty barrel will cause your shots to curve and prevent you from hitting your target.

Having a simple tool, like the Exalt Barrel Swab, will allow you to quickly and easily clean paintballs out of your barrel in the middle of a game. Pick yours up on Amazon by clicking here.

Microfiber Cloth

As paintball is a highly visual game, any smudges and paintball splatters on your lens can reduce your visibility and effect your performance.

Having a microfiber cloth on hand to remove excess paint smudges is always a good thing to do after a game is over so you can be clean and ready to go for the next game.

I have several microfiber cloths on hand, but usually reach for my Social Paintball microfibers first as they are super soft and have a large cleaning area. Pick yours up on Amazon by clicking here.

10 Round Tube Speed Feed

If you are using 10 round tubes to reload your stock class paintball gun, you may want an easier way to fill them.

The Drop10 is a great 10 round tube speed feed that attaches to a regular hopper and allows you to fill tubes blazing fast. Click the link below to pick one up yourself:

Dump Pouch

When you are done with your small 10 round tubes or 50 round pods, it is sometimes more convenient to just drop them on the ground rather than put them away. But doing this will get them dirty and as they are small you can easily loose them. This is where a drop pouch comes into play.

Having a simple drop pouch on your belt or pod pack will allow you to quickly dispose of your empty pods and tubes so you don’t lose them or accidentally grab an empty tube in the middle of a game. There are plenty of versions on the market, but I personally use the Maxpediton Rollypolly Folding Dump Pouch for paintball games.

Pump Paintball Tips for Beginners

Pump Paintball

Now that you have all of you pump paintball gear picked, lets go over some key tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new gear! Just by doing these 4 things, you will improve your game and overall experience when playing pump.

Use High Quality Paintballs

The absolute most important tip I can give you for anyone playing pump is to use high quality paintballs.

When playing pump, you will probably only be using at most 500 paintballs for one day of play (maybe even over a whole weekend). This means you will probably only be buying one bag of paint, so why not purchase that bag of quality paintballs for $5 more?

Pump paintball is cheaper than regular paintball, especially when you get the more expensive paintballs. Why you say? Think about it this way, if you have to shoot 4-6 shots for one of the paintballs to fly straight and true vs 1-2 shots of top shelf paint you are shooting less paint and hitting more targets.

Keep Moving and Move FAST!

Playing pump has one major setback where you can’t shoot a bunch of paint quickly. But with a lighter setup you gain an amazing advantage players with heavier gear won’t have, speed!

When you are playing pump, take full advantage of how light your complete loadout is. You wont have a large 200 round hopper full of paint, a large bulky air tank, or 300-600 paintballs strapped to your waist. Instead you will have a super light setup that will let you dart around the field with ease.

You will be able to reach key bunkers before most other players will, can dart in and out of bunkers with ease and speed, all while being able to jump from bunker to bunker to get the best angles on players.

Aim Before Looking Around Bunkers

This tip is key no matter what style of paintball you are playing. If you have a general idea where the opposing players may be before you look around the bunker, take aim at that spot while you are still in cover so you can immediately shoot when you pop out to see if anyone is there.

Practice Shooting Before Playing

Finally, learn how your pump paintball guns handles and aims before you hit the field. Familiarize yourself with how to pump the handle, how well it aims, how to shoulder it, and how to load it off the field so you can enjoy the equipment on the field.

For my complete guide to playing pump paintball, check out my Pump Paintball Tips link below:


Florida based paintball player with 20 years of experience playing everything from recball to 24 hour scenario events.

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