If your paintball gun is shooting low and you want it to shoot harder, there are several ways that one can bump up the speed:
- Adjust your velocity
- Check your tanks output pressure
- Replace the main spring
- Increase dwell time
- Clean and grease your paintball gun
- Check the paintballs bore size
- Check the barrel for damage and/or dirt
- Use HPA tanks in cold weather
Adjust Your Velocity
The most common and practical way to make your paintball gun shoot harder is to increase your velocity. This is done by the velocity adjuster on your paintball gun. If you are uncertain where to adjust the velocity, your users manual will give directions on how to do it.
Most basic paintball guns will have a screw adjusting the main hammer spring tension or to control airflow out of the valve.
The higher end paintball guns that run on lower pressure will need their input pressure adjusted by the secondary regulator on the gun. You don’t want to adjust the regulator by large amounts because if you over pressurize the system it could damage the internal solenoid.
Make sure you are checking your max velocity with a chronograph so that you aren’t exceeding the fields velocity safety limit. If you adjust the velocity too high, it can cause injury to another player and substantially reduce accuracy.
If are at home and you don’t have your own chrono you can pick up a basic shooting chronograph on Amazon for a good price. The Caldwell Ballistic Precision chrono is budget friendly and works quite well for paintball – https://amzn.to/2J1ZZJm
Check Your Tank Output Pressure
Your tanks output pressure or fill level may be too low to operate your paintball gun properly. Most basic paintball guns require a tank input pressure of about 800 psi, anything lower than that can reduce your max velocity.
Most tanks will come standard with an output pressure of 800 psi, but some are adjustable down to 300 psi. When purchasing your tank from a distributor, they will tell you if it is a low pressure output. If it doesn’t say anything about output pressure, then it is safe to assume it to be a standard output pressure of 800 psi.
Your tank could also be running low on air and not allowing you to get up to the max pressure. Just simply refill your tank and you will be good to go!
If needed, you can test the pressure of your tank by installing a pressure gauge on the Air Source Adapter (ASA, part you screw your tank into on your gun) if there is a port for it.
Replace the Main Spring
One very common problem for standard blowback style paintball guns is the main hammer spring wearing out. Blowback paintball guns like the Tippmann 98 Custom, Azodin Kaos 2, and Spyder Extra require you to cock the hammer back before you can start shooting paintballs.
This is usually quite easy to do, simply contact the manufacture and purchase a replacement spring for your style of paintball gun. Then open up your gun (review the manual if you don’t know how) and replace the spring. Sometimes you can install a stiffer spring from an aftermarket spring kit to push the velocity even higher!
Increase the Dwell
Sometimes the settings can get messed with on your electronic paintball gun, and the Dwell Time is one of the main settings that can effect your velocity.
In paintball, Dwell represents how long the solenoid is left open (in milliseconds). This dictates how long the bolt stays in the forward position, allowing air to flow and pushing a paintball down the barrel.
If the Dwell Time is too short, it won’t allow enough time for the bolt to fully travel forward and allow air to flow down the barrel, pushing the paintball. If the paintball only makes it halfway down the barrel before the air cuts off, it could cause the paintball to decelerate before it even exits the barrel!
The best way to make sure you have the right settings is to reset your board to manufacture default. This is going to be covered in your owners manual and will get you to the settings that the gun ships out with new.
Clean and Grease Your Paintball Gun
If your paintball gun has no lubrication or has dirt and paint inside of it, that can slow down the bolt and not provide proper performance. Also, if some of the o-rings are missing, you could have leaks and air not being focused in the right locations.
Doing routine maintenance on your gear will help keep it at peek performance for a long time. If you don’t clean out gunk that has accumulated from previous games, that could obstruct or damage the seal between the bolt and barrel causing velocity issues.
Check Paint Bore Size
If your paint is way too small for the barrel being used, air will push past the ball and not help push it out of the barrel, reducing maximum velocity.
Ideally you want the widest diameter of the paint to be close to the same size of the inner diameter of your barrel. This is why barrel kits like the Freak barrels are popular.
Should I Underbore or Overbore?
This question has been long discussed, tested, proven, and disproved with not absolute definitive answer if one is better than the other. At the end of the day, the general consensus is to overbore a little bit for semi autos (paint can freely roll through without being too big) and underbore a little bit for pump paintball (stops in the barrel but is easily blown out).
I wouldn’t overbore too much as it can start causing larger variances in velocity and lower maximum velocity. On the other end, you don’t want to underbore too much as paint will be more likely to break in the barrel.
Check the Barrel for Damage or Dirt
A dirty or damaged barrel will reduce the performance of any paintball setup 100% of the time every time. If you have broken paint or dirt in the barrel, it can cause obstruction to the paint attempting to fly through it and greatly reduce accuracy and velocity.
Simply cleaning your barrel with a barrel swab or pull through squeegee will bring you back up to speed no problem.
My favorite ones that I have found to work the best are the Exalt Barrel Maid (great price on Amazon – https://amzn.to/31olXg1) and the GxG Pull Through Squeegee (super cheap on Amazon – https://amzn.to/32vogiK).
If the barrel is damaged (bent, warped, and/or dinged) it would be better to just replace it. It happens to quite a few of us, I myself have bent a paintball barrel by falling on my gun. Once they have a small bend in it, accuracy will be almost completely gone.
Use HPA Air Tanks in Cold Weather
If you are playing in cold weather, CO2 will not perform very well as it requires heat to transition from liquid to a gas. HPA is not affected by temperature and you can use it in freezing conditions to 100+ degrees with little to no change in pressure.
I highly recommend only using HPA tanks for all modern paintball guns. The output pressure is more consistent in varying temperatures, most fields now only fill HPA tanks and don’t fill CO2 anymore, and they are much easier to fill than CO2 tanks.
A basic 48 cubic inch, 3000 psi tank (also called a 48/3000) can be purchased for much cheaper than the carbon fiber 4500 psi versions. You can pick up a 48/3000 on Amazon for a great price here – https://amzn.to/2J4Pa9c
Tanks are one of the things that I suggest to pick up new as high pressure tanks have an expiration date and need to be retested to be usable every 5 years.