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Paintball Guns

Paintball markers (also known as paintball guns) are the primary tools used to play paintball.

Paintball players use paintball guns called "markers" to tag their opponents on the other team. The marker's original design was used to mark trees from a distance by forestry service workers. After paintball players started using it to play games, the design began to change. When the first official paintball game was played, the pioneers of the sport used Nelspot 007 tree markers, manufactured by the Nelson Paint Company. These were the only paintball markers available at the time. They held ten shots and used a carbon-dioxide propellant to fire the paintball. The paintballs at the time were oil based, instead of water based like today's paintballs. Bob Gurnsey's newly formed company, National Survival Game struck a deal with Nelson Paint Company to be the sole distributor of their markers and paintball gear.

Paintball markers have four main components: a body, a hopper, a tank, and a barrel. The body varies from model to model. Most offer a muzzle velocity of 300 feet per second or less. 300 fps is the maximum allowed muzzle velocity for legal paintball play. Some players choose to add on a longer barrel to add accuracy to their shots. It is thought that a specialized sniper barrel will add an estimated 20% accuracy. The hopper refers to the jug that holds paintballs and feeds them into the body. They come in two styles. A gravity fed hopper uses gravity to load paintballs into the gun, while an agitation hopper moves the paintballs into the gun with an automatic mechanism. Of the two, the agitation hopper is widely regarded as more reliable. The tank holds whatever compressed propellant is used to fire the paintballs from the barrel.