Paintball guns or paintball markers operate by defusing pressurized air into a chamber which propels the ball down the barrel. The paintball is a spherically shaped capsule filled with gelatine. The distance depends on the speed of the barrel because it is the barrel that determines the distance that the paintball can travel. Firstly, to proceed with the distance the paintball will cover, three things should be considered which are the effective range, safe range, and the absolute range.
Paintballs need to achieve some balance while they travel through the air. In other words, they must be hard enough to break through the barrel freely, and at the same time, they should be fragile enough to burst easily when they hit the target. Paintballs won’t break so easily unless they reach a certain speed. For instance, if a paintball is fired at a long distance, when the paintball is approaching the target it slows down to a point where it won’t break even after striking the target. The effective range of the gun depends on the clothing the target is wearing because the softer clothing ceases the paintball from breakage. Usually, the maximum distance paintballs can go is 80-100 feet.
The paintball guns should be composed to reach stable and safe velocity. In the event that paintballs are shot at high speed, they might injure the target when hit. Therefore, most paintball fields have a strict limit on how fast a paintball can be shot from the marker. Generally, it would be around 280 FPS (feet per second) or 200 MPH. In case the paintball is fired with such velocity, the travel distance could reach be around hundred yards.
If a person fires the paintball gun but is worried that it would hit someone too hard or concerned that the paintball would break and then instead they should try to shoot the paintball as far as they can. For this, the paintball should be extremely hard and not prone to burst on impact. Moreover, the shooter can crank up the velocity on the marker in order to fire more quickly. Theoretically, if the weapon continues to fire hard paintballs with high velocity, they can reach an indefinite distance. However, in reality, this won’t be possible because markers can only reach a certain FPS that limits the range they can reach unless the gun is modified significantly. Considering the variability of the maximum shooting speed, each paintball gun is unique with various absolute ranges, and some guns fire up to 160 yards.
There are two possible ways to ramp up the range of a paintball gun. The first method is to enhance the paintball’s rotation. Specifically, if the paintballs are given back spin, they can be able to increase the distance. But this won’t have any impact on the effective range of the weapon. The second method is to change the condition of the paintball. But this process is more expensive and also have some weaknesses. The effective range of these can be 200 feet, and absolute range might reach 200 yards.